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Mercredi 20 janvier 2021 - Bruxelles Edition révisée
1. Ouverture de la séance
 2. Négociations avant la première lecture du Parlement (article 71 du règlement) (suites données): voir procès-verbal
 3. Annonce des résultats de vote: voir procès-verbal
 4. Investiture du nouveau président des États-Unis et situation politique actuelle (débat)
 5. Reprise de la séance
 6. Présentation du programme d'activités de la présidence portugaise (débat)
 7. Première session de vote
 8. Présentation du programme d'activités de la présidence portugaise (suite du débat)
 9. Reprise de la séance
 10. Prolongation du mandat de la commission d'enquête sur la protection des animaux pendant le transport: voir procès-verbal
 11. Crise sociale et crise de l'emploi dans la pandémie de COVID-19 et réponse de l'UE dans le plan de relance et le CFP (débat)
 12. FEAD: mesures spécifiques pour lutter contre la crise liée à la COVID-19 (débat)
 13. Composition des commissions et des délégations : voir procès-verbal
 14. Logement décent et abordable pour tous (débat)
 15. Droit à la déconnexion (débat)
 16. Réformer la liste des paradis fiscaux de l’Union européenne (débat)
 17. Annonce des résultats de vote: voir procès-verbal
 18. Manque de transparence des nominations du Conseil au Parquet européen (débat)
 19. Reprise de la séance
 20. Deuxième session de vote
 21. Explications de vote: voir procès-verbal
 22. Corrections et intentions de vote: voir procès-verbal
 23. Débats sur des cas de violation des droits de l'homme, de la démocratie et de l'Etat de droit (annonce des propositions de résolution déposées): voir procès-verbal
 24. Actes délégués (article 111, paragraphe 2, du règlement): voir procès-verbal
 25. Dépôt de documents: voir procès-verbal
 26. Virements de crédits et décisions budgétaires: voir procès-verbal
 27. Ordre du jour de la prochaine séance : voir procès-verbal
 28. Levée de la séance


  

PRESIDENZA DELL'ON. DAVID MARIA SASSOLI
Presidente

 
1. Ouverture de la séance
Vidéo des interventions
 

(La seduta è aperta alle 8.34)

 

2. Négociations avant la première lecture du Parlement (article 71 du règlement) (suites données): voir procès-verbal
Vidéo des interventions

3. Annonce des résultats de vote: voir procès-verbal
Vidéo des interventions

4. Investiture du nouveau président des États-Unis et situation politique actuelle (débat)
Vidéo des interventions
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  Presidente. – L'ordine del giorno reca la discussione sulle dichiarazioni del Consiglio europeo e della Commissione sull'insediamento del nuovo Presidente degli Stati Uniti e sulla situazione politica attuale (2021/2502(RSP)).

Ricordo agli onorevoli deputati che per tutte le discussioni di questa tornata non è prevista la procedura "catch-the-eye", né saranno accettate domande "cartellino blu".

Sono inoltre previsti interventi a distanza dagli Uffici di collegamento del Parlamento negli Stati membri.

 
  
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  Charles Michel, président du Conseil européen. – Monsieur le Président du Parlement européen, Madame la Présidente de la Commission, Monsieur le Haut-représentant, chers membres du Parlement européen,

In front of the White House in the four corners of Lafayette Square stand statues of European heroes of the US Revolutionary War: French Generals Lafayette and Rochambeau, Polish General Kościuszko, and German General von Steuben. They and many other Europeans spared no effort and spilled their blood to help build freedom and democracy in America, and hundreds of thousands of Americans spilled their blood twice last century to protect freedom and democracy in Europe. Ever since, the United States has been our closest ally in defending democracy and rule of law. American democracy has stood strong and often served as an example for advocates of freedom around the world, and this is why the events at the US Capitol shocked us so much.

But the darkness of violence will never dim the light of democracy. Law, order and democracy have prevailed over this disgraceful attempt to overturn the election. American democracy has proven its strength and resilience, and today Joe Biden takes the oath of office as the 46th President of the United States. This will be, I hope, a day of peaceful transition and a great day for American democracy, like it has been for over two centuries.

Dear Members of the Parliament, today is more than a transition. Today is an opportunity to rejuvenate our transatlantic relationship, which has greatly suffered in the last four years. In these years, the world has grown more complex, less stable and less predictable. This requires, more than ever before, that we Europeans take our fate firmly into our own hands to defend our interests and promote our values. A Europe that plays a stabilising and constructive role on the global scene in line with our true weight in the world; a stronger Europe to contribute to a better, fairer and greener world; a stronger Europe in defence and in preserving peace and security. And to do this, we need strong and reliable partners, and this is why the European Council reaffirms the strategic importance of our partnership with the United States as the world’s foremost and closest relationship. We share values, common interests, cultural and historical ties, and a geopolitical reality. Together we must stand as the bedrock of the rules-based international order working for peace, security, prosperity, freedom, human rights and gender equality – values harshly challenged in the world.

Dear Members of the Parliament, on the first day of his mandate, I address a solemn proposal to the new US President: let’s build a new founding pact for a stronger Europe, for a stronger America, and for a better world.

Je voudrais adresser de manière solennelle aujourd’hui, en ce jour d’entrée en fonction de Joe Biden, un appel à construire ensemble un pacte fondateur nouveau pour une Europe plus forte, pour des États-Unis plus forts et pour un monde meilleur.

Dear colleagues, we should work on five priorities: first, boosting multilateral cooperation; second, combating COVID-19; third, tackling climate change; fourth, rebuilding our economies, ensuring fair trade and promoting the digital transformation; and fifth, joining forces on security and peace. This won’t be easy, but together we are up to the challenge.

The EU and US, we have our differences, and these will not magically disappear. America seems to have changed, and how it is perceived in Europe and the rest of the world has also changed. Likewise, the way the United States views the European Union may also have to change. The EU chooses its course and does not wait for permission to take its own decisions. Still, what unites us is so much greater than what divides us, and the events of 6 January have revealed that we share one particular challenge in common: protecting democracy and the rule of law. 6 January was a lesson to us all – a wake-up call – that even in our well—established democracies we too often take democracy and the rule of law for granted. Protecting democracy requires constant vigilance and constant work to foster cohesion in our societies. This is true in America, and it is true right here in Europe.

Mesdames et Messieurs, chers collègues, ce nouvel agenda pour l’Europe et pour les États-Unis que nous souhaitons mettre sur la table est un agenda ambitieux et c’est pourquoi, en ce premier jour de son mandat, je souhaite inviter le président Biden en Europe pour participer à une réunion extraordinaire du Conseil européen à Bruxelles, réunion qui pourrait se tenir en parallèle à un sommet de l’OTAN. Vous le voyez, nous sommes prêts, nous voulons être rassemblés, nous voulons être mobilisés pour travailler ensemble avec les États-Unis, pour construire un pacte nouveau fondateur pour une Europe forte, pour des États-Unis forts et pour un monde meilleur.

 
  
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  Ursula von der Leyen, President of the Commission. – Mr President, in all beginnings there dwells a magic force.

Jedem Anfang wohnt ein Zauber inne.

I cannot help but think of this famous line of the poet, Hermann Hesse, when looking forward to the inauguration of Joe Biden in a few hours from now.

Joe Biden’s oath will be a message of healing for a deeply divided nation, and it will be a message of hope for a world that is waiting for the US to be back in the circle of like—minded states. This time-honoured ceremony, on the steps of the US Capitol, will be a demonstration of the resilience of American democracy and the resounding proof that, once again, after four long years, Europe has a friend in the White House, and he will be standing next to Kamala Harris, the first woman to be Vice-President of the United States. This is a historic achievement and this also makes this day very special.

This new dawn in America is the moment we’ve been waiting for so long. Europe is ready for a new start with our oldest and most trusted partner, and this is why the Commission has recently adopted a new forward—looking transatlantic agenda. It focuses on where we can, together, join forces to push for global change, based on our common values, interests and global influence. From climate change to health, from digitalisation to democracy, these are global challenges that need renewed and improved global cooperation. The European Union and the United States must lead from the front and bring an alliance of like—minded partners with us.

There is of course no greater need for global cooperation in the short term than in tackling the pandemic, which has been so devastating on both sides of the Atlantic. As you know, the European Union has been leading the global response since day one, and it was so encouraging that so many US organisations and foundations have helped build and design the COVAX Facility, our global alliance to bring vaccine to the low and middle-income countries. Now I am looking forward to the US Government joining our common effort. This will be a strong message. Beyond this, we will propose to the United States to step up our work on health prevention, preparedness and response at the G20 Health Summit in Rome in May.

I’m delighted that, on day one as they, the new American administration, announced, the United States will rejoin the Paris Agreement. This will be a very strong starting point for our renewed cooperation, and of course way more is to come.

We want to deepen our partnership on emission trading and carbon pricing, we want to join forces with the United States to fight the loss of biodiversity and the destruction of nature. We want to develop the technologies that will drive us to climate neutrality.

It is with this new green tech alliance that we will look forward at everything from offshore to climate change, from hydrogen that is clean to sustainable batteries and to circular economies that we have to build up to fight this climate change. We will be ready to engage from day one on.

Meine sehr geehrten Damen und Herren Abgeordnete! Die Erleichterung, die viele von uns über den Amtswechsel in Washington spüren, sollte über eines nicht hinwegtäuschen: Präsident Trump mag in wenigen Stunden Geschichte sein, seine Anhängerinnen und Anhänger aber bleiben.

Über 70 Millionen Amerikanerinnen und Amerikaner haben Trump bei den Wahlen ihre Stimme gegeben. Einige Hundert von ihnen stürmten erst vor wenigen Tagen das Kapitol in Washington, das Herz der amerikanischen Demokratie. Diese Fernsehbilder waren ein Schock für uns alle. So sieht es aus, wenn aus Worten Taten werden. So sieht es aus, wenn die rasante digitale Verbreitung der Hassbotschaften und Fake News zu einer Gefahr für die Demokratie werden.

Wir sollten diese Bilder aus den USA als Mahnung begreifen, trotz allen Urvertrauens in unsere europäische Demokratie. Wir als Europäer, sind vor solchen Entwicklungen nicht gefeit. Im Gegenteil. Auch bei uns gibt es sie längst. Im vergangenen August wollten einige hundert Rechtsextreme den Berliner Reichstag stürmen. Nur dem Mut und der Umsicht einer Handvoll von Polizisten war es zu verdanken, dass sie damit keinen Erfolg hatten.

Und wir erinnern uns an Jo Cox. Die britische Labour-Abgeordnete wurde im Juni 2016, in diesen hitzigen Tagen vor dem Brexit-Referendum, von einem rechtsextremen Täter ermordet – eine Tat die noch heute fassungslos macht.

Natürlich gibt es Unterschiede zum Sturm auf das Kapitol. Aber es gibt auch bei uns Menschen, die sich benachteiligt fühlen, die wütend sind, Menschen, die wild grassierenden Verschwörungstheorien anhängen, einer oft wirren Melange völlig abstruser Hirngespinste. Und es gibt natürlich auch bei uns die sozialen Medien, die diesen Hass und diese Verachtung unserer Demokratie ungefiltert millionenfach verbreiteten.

Meine Damen und Herren Abgeordnete, natürlich müssen wir auf die Sorgen und Nöte jedes einzelnen unsere Bürgerinnen und Bürger eingehen. Ihre Ängste etwa – völlig berechtigt –, in der Pandemie wirtschaftlich abgehängt zu werden. Wir werden dies tun, etwa mit dem milliardenschweren Investitions- und Wiederaufbauprogramm NextGenerationEU. Am Ende aber werden wir womöglich nicht jeden und jede davon überzeugen können, dass in unseren Demokratien keine finsteren Mächte am Werk sind.

Eines können und eines müssen wir als Politikerinnen und Politiker aber tun: Wir müssen dafür sorgen, dass sich diese Hassbotschaften und Falschinformationen nicht mehr ungehemmt verbreiten können. Wir müssen die ungebremste und unkontrollierte Macht – das ist eine politische Macht – der großen Internetkonzerne demokratisch einhegen. Denn in einer Welt, in der polarisierende Meinungen die größte Chance auf Gehör haben, ist der Weg von abseitigen Verschwörungstheorien zu toten Polizisten nicht mehr weit. Auch das hat der Sturm auf das Kapitol leider gezeigt.

Lassen Sie mich zunächst eines klarstellen, damit kein falscher Zungenschlag in unsere Debatte kommt: Wir in Europa schätzen Innovationen. Wir begeistern uns für die Möglichkeiten modernster Technik. Wir sind offen für Neues, denn ohne das Neue, ohne die Innovation, ohne die Fortschritte der Technik, gibt es kein Morgen, werden wir das, was uns wichtig ist, nicht behalten können. Aber niemals dürfen neue Technologien dazu führen, dass andere bestimmen, wie wir leben und genau darum geht es hier.

Wie Sie wissen, hat die Kommission im Dezember den Digital Services Act und den Digital Markets Act auf den Weg gebracht. Grob vereinfacht, wollen wir damit erreichen, dass künftig online verboten ist, was auch in der analogen Welt verboten ist. Wir wollen, dass die Plattformen Transparenz schaffen, wie ihre Algorithmen funktionieren. Denn es kann nicht sein, dass Entscheidungen, die weitreichende Auswirkungen auf unsere Demokratie haben, von Rechenprogrammen getroffen werden, die kein Mensch kontrolliert. Und wir wollen klare Vorgaben, dass die Internetkonzerne Verantwortung übernehmen für die Inhalte die sie verbreiten. Denn auch das ist mir wichtig. So richtig es gewesen sein mag, dass Twitter den Account von Donald Trump fünf Minuten nach zwölf abgeschaltet hat – solch gravierende Eingriffe in die Meinungsfreiheit sollten auf der Basis von Gesetzen gemacht werden und nicht nach den Spielregeln von Unternehmen, auf Grundlage der Entscheidung von Parlamenten, Politikerinnen und Politikern und nicht der Manager vom Silicon Valley.

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren Abgeordnete! Gerade auf dem Gebiet des Digitalen haben wir in Europa der neuen Regierung in Washington viel anzubieten. Unser europäischer Weg kann Vorbild für internationale Weichenstellungen sein – so, wie es unsere Datenschutz-Grundverordnung längst ist. Ich kann mir als ersten Schritt beispielsweise einen gemeinsamen Trade and Technology Council vorstellen. Gemeinsam können wir ein weltweit gültiges Regelbuch für die Digitalwirtschaft schaffen – von Datenschutz und Privatsphäre bis hin zur Sicherheit kritischer Infrastruktur. Ein Regelwerk, das auf unseren Werten basiert: Menschenrechte und Pluralismus, Inklusion und dem Schutz der Privatsphäre.

Honourable Members, this day brings good news. The United States are back, and Europe stands ready to reconnect with an old and trusted partner to breathe new life into our cherished alliance.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Manfred Weber, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, yes, today is a day of great expectations: of a better future, of hope, of a new chapter in the transatlantic relationships, when the inauguration of Joe Biden as President and Vice—President Harris will take place. Four years of splitting societies, of fake news, even of the escalation of violence against the institutions who represent our democracy, are now behind us.

The first message, while still having the pictures of the Congress and the Senate in America in mind; the unbelievable pictures from the office of Nancy Pelosi or the plenary of the Senate. The main message for me, is first of all, that as a Member of a Parliament, the European Parliament, as elected Members of a Parliament, we are close to our colleagues in Washington. We are together defending the institutions, the Parliament, as a heart of democracy – we will always fight for it.

I think it would be arrogant in these times to try to give our American friends any kind of lesson. We are facing similar – even the same – challenges. The first was already expressed by our Commission President: social media, the digital world.

I think the new way of communication has made these things possible. It is a fact that compromise is boring in a social media feed and an extreme position of provocation is attractive, it is re-tweeted. That is a reality, and this has a lot of impact in our daily life, as politicians in our political life. The big tech giants need clear rules, and the business of the big tech giants must be to serve societies and not destroy our European way of life.

A second consideration for me is that more than 70 million people still voted for Donald Trump. Around half of American society. That is the real challenge: how to win them back to serious centre—based politics. I think it would be wrong to attack them as populistic voters. I think we have to take their concerns seriously.

To ask for a strict control of the border is not radical, to ask for regulation of the globalisation, with regard to China, is not radical and to defend American jobs is also not radical. We have to take their concerns seriously.

The third point I want to mention is – yes – we will have a restart of the transatlantic relationship with Joe Biden in office, and President Michel if you will allow, I think it would be great to have Joe Biden in a Council meeting; but the better option for having Joe Biden in Europe to present his ideas for the future of the transatlantic relationship would be to have him make a speech in the European Parliament, probably in Strasbourg, because he’s aware of Europe’s history. That could be a really great place to restart.

But, this restart also means for us as Europeans to be prepared, and there I have some thoughts, for example, on security, about NATO cooperation. Are we really ready to build up our European defence pillar; are we really ready to give in and to invest more?

On trade, I still have the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) discussions in mind. We have to learn from the mistakes we made about transparency, for example, on the TTIP debate eight years ago. In the TTIP debate, there were a lot of anti—European arguments on the table as well. Are we really prepared for a restart? That is what we have to reflect upon.

The last point I want to mention is, having the developments in America in mind, we together have to define a clear red line as to what extremism is all about and to fight against violence in politics. We did it in the European Parliament last year with the rule of law mechanism to establish a binding mechanism where we defend the values of the European way of life and defend our institutions.

The European Union is about being united in diversity, that is our main message and the same message could also be for our American transatlantic relationship: ‘united in diversity’. Let’s defend our common values and our institutions.

 
  
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  Iratxe García Pérez, en nombre del Grupo S&D. – Señor presidente, la democracia de los Estados Unidos vivió el pasado 6 de enero uno de los capítulos más oscuros de su historia. El asalto al Capitolio es el espantoso resultado de una retórica nacional populista para socavar los cimientos de la convivencia civil y pacífica en el seno de la sociedad estadounidense. Todas las democracias son vulnerables, incluso las que creíamos más sólidas. La democracia estadounidense es fuerte y superará esta crisis. El presidente Biden y la vicepresidenta Harris deberán contribuir a crear un clima de concordia que cure las heridas de la división y la polarización.

El rechazo al extranjero, el racismo, la aversión a las mujeres, el antisemitismo, la negación del cambio climático o el activismo antivacunas representan los delirios de una extrema derecha cada vez más presente en las democracias occidentales. Junto a esta ideología iliberal, que propugna el miedo al diferente, no olvidemos que el crecimiento de las desigualdades, la evasión fiscal, la desindustrialización y el elevado desempleo han contribuido también, por supuesto, a que millones de personas en los Estados Unidos y en la Unión Europea hayan perdido la fe en la democracia.

Es hora de entender que ignorar la lacra de la desigualdad representa no solo una inaceptable injusticia desde el punto de vista moral sino también el origen de los peores cataclismos políticos del último lustro, desde el Brexit al trumpismo. Vemos populismos a su vez alimentados por una ideología nativista que rechaza sociedades de seres humanos iguales en derechos. Las horribles escenas del Capitolio también demuestran que tenemos que luchar más eficazmente contra la desinformación y garantizar el derecho de los ciudadanos a recibir información veraz.

La ley de servicios digitales propuesta por la Comisión debe servirnos para regular la retirada de contenidos ilegales de las plataformas en línea con pleno respeto a la libertad de expresión.

Otro reto compartido con la Administración Biden y Harris es la reconstrucción de un sistema multilateral que garantice el respeto de las normas e instituciones democráticas. En la familia socialdemócrata estamos comprometidos con una Asociación Transatlántica revitalizada. Tenemos que formular estrategias conjuntas en el marco del Acuerdo de París sobre el Cambio Climático, el acuerdo nuclear con Irán, la Organización Mundial de la Salud, la Organización Mundial del Comercio.

No caigamos en un debate falso que nos obliga a elegir entre la agenda europea y la agenda transatlántica. Una Unión Europea con autonomía estratégica sería el mejor socio para los Estados Unidos. A ambas orillas del Atlántico tenemos que aprender que las democracias se construyen cada día. Seamos conscientes de lo que nos jugamos y no olvidemos lo que el segundo presidente de los Estados Unidos, John Adams, tuvo presente en la fundación de su país: la libertad, una vez perdida, se pierde para siempre. En nuestras manos está el preservarla.

 
  
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  Dacian Cioloş, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Mr President, the attack on the Capitol and on the foundation of democracy was outrageous. While shocking and in extreme contrast to America’s political tradition, this event has easily recognisable roots — populist, the pursuit of individualistic interest while in public office, extreme polarisation and huge lies, made up and propagated even by the country’s highest office. No democracy in the world is immune to these dangers. In Europe there are numerous politicians that flirt with the same recipe and it is our duty to stand by our values, confront them and call a lie a lie.

Dear colleagues, today’s inauguration of the 46th President, Joe Biden, and of the Vice-President, Kamala Harris, gives a new opportunity to the United States and to the transatlantic partnership. It is an opportunity we Europeans and Americans cannot miss. We need to roll up our sleeves and reshape our long-standing partnership. Let’s put trade tensions behind us, as our farmers, for instance, are eager for a moratorium on the sanctions, and let’s build a common vision on how to deal with our common challenges. Let’s level up our commitment to fight climate change and openly discuss how to deal with digital giants — two very important files for both Europeans and Americans — and let’s identify how to support countries in the world to recover from the pandemic and back on track. And, most importantly, we Europeans should seize Mr Biden’s proposal to build an alliance of democratic countries that cherish freedom and respect human rights, while we in Parliament should be a strong partner for this initiative. We can prove to the world that democracies are resilient, fit for the challenges of this new century and ready to fight populist disinformation and authoritarianism.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Jérôme Rivière, au nom du groupe ID. – Monsieur le Président, Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Président, chers collègues, les États-Unis changent aujourd’hui de président après avoir donné au monde un spectacle accablant: je parle bien sûr des images choquantes du Capitole. Cette profanation du temple de la démocratie américaine est grave et les morts, parmi les policiers comme parmi les manifestants, sont autant de drames. Violer l’institution symbolique que représentent les bâtiments du Congrès américain est inexcusable, mais cette manifestation houleuse n’était en rien un coup d’État. Joe Biden a regretté l’agression sans précédent de la démocratie américaine. Il n’avait rien dit lorsque, quelques mois plus tôt, les mêmes bâtiments était envahis par l’extrême gauche radicale et le mouvement Black Lives Matter.

L’autre spectacle accablant et qui doit, lui, nous inquiéter, c’est l’exclusion par la quasi-totalité des réseaux sociaux d’un président démocratiquement élu et encore en exercice. C’est une agression historique sans précédent contre ce principe démocratique essentiel: le respect de la liberté d’expression. Les réseaux sociaux ont débranché Donald Trump, s’arrogeant le droit exorbitant de créer de nouvelles règles. Ils estiment que les conditions d’utilisation de leurs services priment sur la constitution des États souverains.

Joe Biden affiche sa volonté de remettre en place un leadership mondial américain avec des accents bellicistes. Cela ne peut que nous inquiéter après le mandat de Donald Trump marqué par des années sans aventure militaire, sans doute son accomplissement le plus marquant, après un demi-siècle d’interventions militaires américaines au gré des présidents qui se sont succédé. Quand Joe Biden affirme, et je le cite: «Nous devons prouver au monde que les États-Unis sont prêts à diriger de nouveau, non seulement avec l’exemple de notre puissance mais aussi avec la puissance de notre exemple», c’est arrogant, ce n’est pas l’Amérique qu’on aime.

Au-delà de l’homme et de son style, la défaite électorale de Donald Trump ne remet en rien en cause l’agenda politique qu’il a développé aux États-Unis et qui est, partout sur la planète, porté par les peuples: régulation de l’économie mondialisée, remise en cause du rôle de gendarme du monde des États-Unis, rejet du politiquement correct, écoute des populations face aux inégalités grandissantes. Ces thèmes sont ceux que portent le Rassemblement national en France, la Lega en Italie, l’AfD en Allemagne, l’ensemble de nos alliés en Europe. Et c’est ce profond respect pour les peuples qui nous portera au pouvoir pour protéger en Europe des pratiques démocratiques affaiblies et des libertés publiques gravement entravées au nom d’une sécurité sanitaire qui a bon dos.

 
  
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  Ska Keller, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, dear colleagues, the shocking scenes from Washington have not materialised out of thin air. They were the direct result of Trump egging them on, but also of four years of daily lies, a contempt for facts, of relentless attacks on free media and portraying dissenting opinion as evil or a conspiracy. And this proves that even the strongest democracies are vulnerable when challenged on a steady and aggressive basis. I very much hope that the inauguration today goes well and smoothly, and I wish President Biden a lot of success.

Dear colleagues, imagine that the riots to overturn a free and fair election would have happened here at the European Parliament or in the parliament of one of the Member States. Sounds unbelievable, sounds far away? But do we really think in Europe we are safe from the threats of populism and demagogues, from disinformation and attacks to overthrow the rule of law? Remember the Brexit campaign five years ago, filled with blatant lies and false promises. Think of the Polish Government’s unbelievable disregard for women’s ownership of their own bodies. Think of what we sometimes hear here in this Chamber. And perhaps most emblematic: don’t forget Viktor Orbán’s systematic dismantling of Hungary’s rule of law, blaming every imaginable or unimaginable foreign foe, from George Soros to migrants, to indeed the EU itself. And let’s keep all of this in mind when looking at the events across the Atlantic. Those events should inspire humbleness rather than fuel a false belief that we’re safe from all of this in the EU. We must learn from those shocking events in Washington.

Firstly, we should take seriously those who announce that they want to destroy democracy. Many participants in the Capitol riots had announced their intentions in plain view. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Far-right groups are also underestimated in Europe. They commit murders, they purchase weapons, and yet there’s very little attention to what they’re planning. They are a real threat, both on this side and on the other side of the Atlantic.

And secondly, let’s remember that democracies are fragile and are always ‘work in progress’, and the EU has not always been agile enough to prevent the erosion of rule of law in several Member States. We must relentlessly work to safeguard fundamental rights and rule of law.

And thirdly, we need to look into the role of the social media tech giants in this crisis. Disinformation, amplified by algorithms, has divided societies and has even cost human lives. At the same time, the cooperative executives have acquired unbelievable power. So let’s bring social media under democratic scrutiny. That can wait no longer.

 
  
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  Derk Jan Eppink, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, the United States has always been a beacon of freedom. I wonder how long that will last. Nobody disputes that the breach of the Capitol was a criminal act and that the perpetrators have to be punished.

The question is: where does the United States go from here? Freedom of expression is under siege. Big tech companies cancel accounts arbitrarily, rather than on the basis of democratically adopted legislation. As rapporteur of the Competition Report 2020, I’m of the view that big tech companies abuse their dominant position. Their power must be broken. If need be, structural unbundling should be the reply.

Democrats are traumatised after four years of Trump. I can understand that. But revenge, retribution, exclusion and cancelling 74 million voters is not the answer. We can agree that many of the divisions in the United States are also found in our societies. The new incumbents – and I wish them luck today – should refrain from criminalising dissent. Raising inconvenient questions is the core of democracy. If politicians and media do precisely that, censorship will prevail and the US will become the People’s Republic of America. That would mean the end of freedom in the entire world.

 
  
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  Martin Schirdewan, im Namen der Fraktion The Left. – Herr Präsident! Vier Jahre Trump haben das Vertrauen in die US-Demokratie untergraben, Organisationen wie die Vereinten Nationen und die Weltgesundheitsorganisation geschwächt und internationale Abkommen zerstört und beendet. Deshalb verbindet sich mit der heutigen Amtsübernahme durch Joe Biden durchaus die Hoffnung auf, vor allem aber Erwartungen an eine andere Politik der Vereinigten Staaten. Die schockierenden Bilder vom Sturm auf das Kapitol und dem gescheiterten Putschversuch sind ja nicht aus dem Nichts heraus entstanden, andere Kolleginnen haben darauf schon hingewiesen. Die Demokratie in den USA hat sich in den zurückliegenden vier Jahren unter permanenter Attacke aus dem Weißen Haus heraus befunden.

Die Demokratie ist in Gefahr, und das nicht nur in den Vereinigten Staaten, wo wir auch das Entstehen einer neuen faschistischen Bewegung gesehen haben, sondern die Demokratie ist auch in anderen Regionen, auch hier mitten in der Europäischen Union, unter Angriff, und Demokratiefeinde, die sich in den letzten Jahren mit Trump gemein gemacht haben, sitzen auch in diesem Haus. Einige haben ja auch schon das Wort ergriffen, andere werden es im Verlaufe dieser Debatte noch tun.

Das transatlantische Verhältnis muss zukünftig vom Kopf wieder auf die Füße gestellt werden, und daraus ergeben sich aus der Sicht meiner Fraktion ganz konkrete Forderungen an die Administration von Joe Biden, die sicherlich auch hier im Haus auf breite Zustimmung treffen dürften.

Erstens die Rückkehr zum Multilateralismus: Statt der weiteren Schwächung internationaler Organisationen wie der Vereinten Nationen oder der Weltgesundheitsorganisation, bedürfen wir deren Stärkung. Zweitens eine gemeinsame Politik, die sich dem Klimaschutz verschreibt. Der angekündigte Wiedereintritt der USA in das Pariser Klimaschutzübereinkommen ist da ein erster zu begrüßender Schritt. Drittens die gemeinsame Arbeit an einer stabilen Weltfriedensordnung. Das betrifft das Verhältnis zu China ebenso wie zu Russland. Das bedeutet aber auch atomare Abrüstung und den Wiedereintritt der Vereinigten Staaten in das Anti-Atomabkommen mit dem Iran. Viertens muss die US-Politik auf die Wiederherstellung und Stärkung der Demokratie ausgerichtet sein durch die Verteidigung von Bürgerinnen- und Bürgerrechten und Freiheitsrechten, aber auch durch die entschiedene Bekämpfung der sozialen Ungleichheit, die den gesellschaftlichen Zusammenhalt in den USA, aber auch hier in Deutschland, in der Europäischen Union immer weiter entkernt. Wer die Demokratie wirklich schützen will, muss endlich den Mut finden, die wirtschaftliche und politische Macht der großen Konzerne und der Superreichen zu begrenzen und gesellschaftlichen Wohlstand umzuverteilen. Das gilt diesseits und jenseits des Atlantiks.

 
  
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  Tiziana Beghin (NI). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, gli Stati Uniti sono un partner naturale dell'Unione europea, un alleato fondamentale dei nostri valori, dei diritti e del multilateralismo, ma la nostra reciproca amicizia è stata trascurata negli ultimi quattro anni, e tutto il mondo ne ha risentito.

Il presidente uscente ha portato avanti politiche che si sono dimostrate dannose per l'Unione europea, arrivando quasi a spezzare il profondo legame che ci unisce. Ora è il momento di cessare gli antagonismi deleteri e di ristabilire i nostri legami commerciali, politici e umani. Questo è quello che chiedono i cittadini.

Ecco perché spero che il presidente Biden dimostri da subito la sua buona volontà e abolisca i dazi americani sui prodotti europei, riportando quindi le nostre relazioni sul giusto binario. Inoltre, se proprio volessimo mantenere un aspetto positivo della presidenza appena conclusa, mi auguro che non impegni il suo paese in ulteriori conflitti esterni e che fortifichi la fiducia dei cittadini nelle istituzioni democratiche.

Concludo facendo le mie congratulazioni al presidente Biden per la vittoria. Il mondo si aspetta molto da lui.

 
  
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  Arnaud Danjean (PPE). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Président, chers collègues, le soulagement et l’espoir sont sans doute les sentiments dominants en Europe face à la fin de la présidence Trump et beaucoup d’interventions ici l’ont souligné ce matin.

Mais le soulagement et l’espoir ne doivent pas, pour nous Européens, signifier l’euphorie et l’amnésie. Nos liens historiques, culturels, commerciaux et de sécurité avec les États-Unis, la place particulière de ce grand pays dans le monde en font naturellement notre partenaire prioritaire et privilégié. On ne peut donc que se réjouir de l’arrivée d’une nouvelle administration respectueuse de ce lien transatlantique et soucieuse de rétablir les relations de confiance avec ses alliés.

Nos intérêts convergent souvent mais ils ne sont pas toujours identiques, c’est pourquoi l’euphorie que je note parfois ici ne serait pas une attitude responsable. Il faudra des actes pour surmonter des contentieux bien réels, tels que par exemple les fameuses surtaxes commerciales injustes qui frappent certains de nos secteurs. Et c’est le Bourguignon qui vous dit que les taxes sur le vin sont particulièrement incompréhensibles pour des gens qui aiment les États-Unis.

Il ne faudrait pas oublier non plus que la parenthèse Trump n’est pas totalement accidentelle. À trop se réjouir de son départ, on oublie un peu vite pourquoi il est arrivé et comment il a gagné il y a quatre ans. Dans un texte de 1941, en pleine période sombre, Raymond Aron, actualisant les leçons des grands penseurs grecs, nous expliquait comment les démocraties périssent de l’intérieur, avec le danger mortel des démagogues qui tirent profit de leurs faiblesses, de leurs contradictions, mais aussi du manque de résultats des politiques publiques.

Sachons nous en souvenir aux États-Unis et ici en Europe. La perspective que nous devons construire avec les États-Unis doit se faire dans la lucidité, pas dans la naïveté.

 
  
  

VORSITZ: KATARINA BARLEY
Vizepräsidentin

 
  
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  Kati Piri (S&D). – Madam President, in just a matter of hours, reason and leadership and loyalty to the values of the US Constitution will return to the White House. And let me congratulate soon-to-be President Biden and, in particular, the first female Vice-President of the United States, Kamala Harris, on this historic day. Today is historic for multiple reasons. Never has the threat of violence loomed so large over the inauguration of an American president. And the wounds of four years of lies, disarray and division run deep. The incoming Biden-Harris administration will have to reunite the American people, heal these wounds and build back better. Not only do the American people need that, but so do our transatlantic relations. From today on, the US, the EU and all democratic allies must take responsibility as a team. Together, we must tackle this covid crisis, the climate crisis and the global crisis of democracy, side by side as equal partners with equal responsibilities.

 
  
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  Hilde Vautmans (Renew). – Madam President, Biden’s inauguration is a victory for democracy. But even with Biden, it cannot be business as usual. First, we need to redefine our transatlantic relationship by establishing a stronger and more integrated European pillar, especially in defence. And secondly, we have to increase our fight against at least a dozen mini-Trumps in Europe who try to poison democracy on this side of the pond: Farage, who manipulated Brexit with lies; Orbán, who is killing Hungary’s democracy further every day; and then I don’t even talk about Salvini, Le Pen and Dewinter. People vote for these pied pipers of Hamelin because they feel insecure about their future, so the best way to fight them is not to wait for Biden, but to speed up European cooperation and integration – the COVID recovery fund, the euro bonds, the European health union, the role of Frontex – that’s what we need to kill the Trump virus here in Europe.

 
  
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  Susanna Ceccardi (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, permettetemi di unirmi alla preoccupazione che molti hanno recentemente espresso in riferimento a quanto accaduto in questi giorni negli Stati Uniti.

La violenza non è mai la soluzione, e una condanna efficace va legata anche all'apertura di una prospettiva di dialogo. Ma è un fatto come episodi come quelli visti il 6 gennaio siano indicatori importanti dello stato di salute di una democrazia.

L'augurio per avere un partner stabile, all'altezza delle sfide geopolitiche che ci attendono nel futuro, è che il presidente Biden comprenda il malessere della democrazia americana e le dinamiche sociopolitiche che hanno portato all'assalto di Capitol Hill. Quando milioni di persone che ritengono truccato un risultato elettorale scelgono di occupare il centro del potere politico, la prima cosa da fare è chiedersi quali siano state le cause di questo disagio.

La narrativa prevalente, alimentata non solo dai politici ma anche dai media e da esperti, e gli attacchi volti a minare la legittimità della presidenza Trump hanno progressivamente eroso la fiducia nelle istituzioni, generando questo pericoloso boomerang.

La via per la riconciliazione passa per un dibattito politico inclusivo, che torni a considerare le istanze di quei 75 milioni di americani liberali e conservatori, senza squalificarli in partenza. Dunque la libertà di espressione e il potere eccessivo concentrato nelle mani di alcuni privati saranno temi cruciali nei prossimi mesi e riguarderanno molto da vicino anche il Vecchio Continente.

Nel lungo periodo la prospettiva di trasformare i social media in bolle ideologiche virtuali contribuirà a un'ulteriore radicalizzazione delle posizioni, unita all'incapacità e alla mancanza di predisposizione al dialogo e al reciproco rispetto. L'espulsione di Trump accelera dunque il processo di trasformazione dell'avversario in nemico.

I rapporti tra le due sponde dell'Atlantico sono solidi e tutti noi lavoreremo affinché, nel corso di questa Amministrazione, lo diventino sempre di più.

 
  
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  Alice Kuhnke (Verts/ALE). – Fru talman! Äntligen förvandlas Donald Trumps presidentskap till historia. Äntligen kan vi lägga hans fossilnostalgi, hans nationalism, hans rasism och instabila agerande bakom oss.

Det är dock alltför lätt att tänka att vi nu slipper allt detta bara för att Trump är borta från Vita huset. Det är fel. I stället är det viktigare än någonsin att vi fortsätter att kämpa för att upprätthålla, förstärka och försvara demokratin.

Donald Trump har visat hur enkelt det är att få människor att tro på konspirationsteorier. Hur enkelt det är att uppvigla, förvirra och sprida hat och rasism. Tyvärr har han många följare. Även här i Europa. Tillträdande president Joe Biden har ett stort ansvar på sina axlar. Men det har också vi.

Demokratin måste försvaras. Varje dag, i varje rum, i varje möte.

 
  
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  Witold Jan Waszczykowski (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Chciałabym na tej sali upomnieć się o trzeźwą i uczciwą ocenę sytuacji w Stanach Zjednoczonych oraz o uczciwą ocenę polityki prezydenta Trumpa. Uważam, że niesłusznie demonizujemy prezydenta. To nie on zaatakował Kapitol. Mieliśmy do czynienia z licznymi prowokacjami. Patrząc na relacje europejsko-amerykańskie z perspektywy mojej części Europy Środkowej, USA to europejskie mocarstwo, które w XX wieku wielokrotnie przychodziło Europie z pomocą.

Patrząc na relacje ze Stanami Zjednoczonymi w czasie prezydentury Donalda Trumpa, trzeba wspomnieć, że wzmocnił te więzi – więzi wojskowe, energetyczne, poparł kwestię Trójmorza. Upominam się o trzeźwą ocenę.

Uważam, że prezydent Biden będzie podtrzymywał te działania i zobowiązania, które zostały podjęte przez prezydenta Trumpa wobec naszej części Europy.

 
  
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  Helmut Scholz (The Left). – Frau Präsidentin! Präsident Joe Biden steht ab heute vor der schieren Titanenaufgabe, einer tief gespaltenen Gesellschaft Wege aus dem Graben zu ermöglichen und sie gleichzeitig wieder in die internationale Gemeinschaft zu integrieren. Was Hoffnung weckt, sind die Millionen junger Amerikanerinnen und Amerikaner, die sich mit so viel Idealismus für die USA der Bürgerinnen- und Bürgerrechte eingesetzt haben, dass sie den konservativen Milliardären und den Evangelikalen hinter Trump diese Wahlniederlage bereiten konnten. Ohne sie wird es nicht gelingen – black lives matter.

Trump lebte von Konflikt und Zerstörung dessen, was ist. Kein früherer US-Präsident hat mehr Handelskriege angezettelt als er. Die EU und die USA müssen nun auch in ihrer Wirtschafts- und Handelspolitik Neuausrichtungen vornehmen, dass sie nicht nur den großen Playern dient, sondern real die Lebensverhältnisse aller Bürgerinnen und Bürger verbessert.

Die Potenziale der USA, der EU und Chinas und vieler anderer sind zu nutzen, die zentralen Fragen für die Menschheit endlich gemeinsam anzugehen. Der Weg dahin ist in der UNO mit den 17 Nachhaltigkeitszielen längst vereinbart – Zeitraum bis 2030. Das ist die Aufgabe, die wir gemeinsam auch in den partnerschaftlichen Beziehungen mit den USA gestalten müssen.

 
  
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  Márton Gyöngyösi (NI). – Madam President, exactly a century ago, in his campaign for the Presidency, Warren Harding said, ‘America’s present need is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration; not agitation, but adjustment’. A hundred years later, the US is facing the same problems, and I must say the people have voted and the Congress has finalised the decision. But if the new administration looks back to the past instead of the future, populism will prevail.

President-elect Biden, we might have ideological differences, but there is one thing that binds us together, and that is the respect for democratic institutions, rule of law and fair politics. Needless to say, these are just some of the many things my country, Hungary, is lacking currently. Just like the President a hundred years ago, you must navigate your country back to the path of normalcy, and the same normalcy should be brought back to US—EU relations. Don’t deal with the past because, if you do so, the polarisation of the US society will be worse. Show us an example of good governance and let us learn from the examples you are setting. I promise you my party and I will be working hard to take my country back to normalcy next year.

 
  
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  David McAllister (PPE). – Madam President, today the entire world is looking at Washington DC as Mr Joseph Biden is inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States. President Biden deserves all the best wishes for the enormous challenges that are lying ahead of him. Today’s inauguration certainly opens a new chapter for our American friends, but it also opens a new chapter in our transatlantic relations, which have been under such tremendous pressure since 2017. Strategic goals are important. They are crucial for our relations, to renew the trust that is at the heart of our alliance, to agree on a common strategy to address global challenges, and to adapt our political, military, technological and economic cooperation, so that we have the most effective alliance for protecting freedom, securing peace and supporting a rules-based order in an increasingly challenging world.

As Commission President Ursula von der Leyen pointed out this morning, there are certainly massive challenges we should tackle jointly, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic recovery, trade and digital technology, climate change and, of course, foreign policy and security issues. So let us give a fresh impetus to our transatlantic relations. Things can only get better, and I am convinced they will get better.

 
  
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  Tonino Picula (S&D). – Madam President, for 70 years the international order, the representation of democratic values, has been based on cooperation between the US and the European Union. For the last four years we have lost our transatlantic partner. Congratulations to President Biden and Vice-President Harris. Our hopes and expectations are that the new administration will seek to refresh our relations on what we are — allies working together for a multilateral system based on fair rules, shared values, democracy and the rule of law.

But the European Union has to strive to redefine the relationship as one of an equal to an equal. That also requires bigger investments from our side. Where we agree, we should act together. Where we disagree, like regulating giant tech companies, we should negotiate our differences and reach common solutions. The United States is much better than the events we witnessed two weeks ago and I firmly believe that our cooperation partnership can be much better than it is today.

 
  
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  Nicolae Ştefănuță (Renew). – Madam President, a few hours ago the 45th President of the United States issued his farewell address. Today he will be leaving in a separate ceremony. He spoke of unity yet departs the White House through a separate door. He spoke of having started no new wars, yet I remind him that he brought no new peace either. On 6 January I was astonished to see the mob trample over George Washington’s tomb in the Congress Rotunda, and no one even stopped, because no one even knew any more that it was there. It made me think whether we do enough about democracy education, whether we speak enough of it, whether we are compassionate when we speak about it.

Could this happen here, Monsieur Le President, Frau Präsidentin? Here in this Parliament or there at the Berlaymont, or in the Bundestag or Casa Poporului in Romania, where I come from? If the answer is yes, then we have our work cut out for us. Frau Präsidentin, Mr Giuliani encouraged the mob to do trial by combat. I encourage you to do justice by education, by cooperation, by love.

 
  
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  Maximilian Krah (ID). – Frau Präsidentin, meine Damen und Herren! „Die Demokratie ist die Notwendigkeit, sich gelegentlich nach der Meinung anderer Menschen richten zu müssen“, sagte Winston Churchill. Es ist eben so, dass es in den USA 2016 erfolgt ist, dass diejenigen, auf die man sonst nicht hört, eine Mehrheit organisiert haben. Davon ist die Demokratie nicht untergegangen. Im Jahr 2020 sind mehr Menschen an die Wahlurnen gegangen als je zuvor, und selbst der unterlegene Donald Trump hat mehr Stimmen eingesammelt als Barack Obama bei seiner Wahl und bei seiner Wiederwahl.

Wir sollten doch bereit sein zu akzeptieren, dass es Menschen gibt, die anderer Meinung sind, und anstatt sich jetzt hier zu freuen, dass man sie endlich losgeworden ist, die Frage zu stellen, wie man sie einbinden kann. Der Sturm auf das Kapitol war ohne Frage ein Verbrechen, und er ist ein Warnruf an jeden von uns. Aber das Abschalten eines Twitter-Accounts mit 80 Millionen Followern ist ein größerer Anschlag auf die Demokratie und den freien Meinungsaustausch. Insofern kann ich auch die Sieger nur bitten, im Moment des Sieges Demut und Vernunft walten zu lassen und nicht triumphieren.

 
  
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  Reinhard Bütikofer (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, when President Lincoln spoke at Gettysburg, expressing the resolve that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth, the doors opened to a new birth of freedom in that young nation. The secular and venerable achievement of building a popular democracy became a shining example to many nations.

Today, the battle to defend and develop democracy has become a global battle. We can find encouragement in the actions of those who, on 6 January, gave priority to their constitutional obligations when the rioters challenged democracy. But the forces of darkness cooperate internationally. That is why we must help in building the global alliance for democracy. We must contribute to that primarily by allowing a new birth of freedom, of justice, of respect, and of defence of the public good on our own shores. Welcome President Biden. Welcome Vice President Harris.

 
  
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  Carlo Fidanza (ECR). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, oggi si apre una nuova stagione e auguriamo buon lavoro alla nuova Amministrazione americana.

Molte certezze aleggiano in quest'Aula, ma molti di più sono gli interrogativi irrisolti. Pensate davvero che sarà Joe Biden a risolvere i problemi di visione e di leadership di un'Europa smarrita e senz'anima? Vi illudete davvero che, una volta abbattuto il mostro Trump, scompaiano decine di milioni di patrioti in Europa e nel mondo che credono nei valori dell'identità, della sovranità, della famiglia, del senso religioso, del merito, dell'etica del lavoro?

Siete così democratici da voler governare il mondo con le multinazionali del web, che censurano la libertà di espressione di cittadini e leader politici, anche quando rispettano le leggi? Siete davvero così irresponsabili da pensare che il mondo sarà più pacifico e sicuro se si tornerà alla dottrina Obama-Clinton, che ha spianato la strada a guerre, fondamentalismo islamico, profughi e immigrati clandestini? E credete davvero che si possano fare accordi con il regime comunista cinese senza preoccuparsi di riequilibrare il commercio globale a difesa delle nostre produzioni?

Per noi le relazioni transatlantiche non sono qualcosa da piegare agli interessi di parte ma la cornice entro cui rispondere alle grandi sfide del nostro tempo. Noi continueremo a lavorare in questa direzione.

 
  
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  Idoia Villanueva Ruiz (The Left). – Señor presidente, hoy toma posesión Biden, tras el asalto violento al Capitolio que deja tras de sí cinco muertos y una democracia quebrada, asalto alentado por el todavía presidente de los Estados Unidos, Trump —«A mis feroces seguidores, ¡luchemos!»—.

Aún quedan muchos detalles por conocer, pero sí conocemos la escandalosa diferencia entre la actuación de las fuerzas de seguridad bajo el mandato de Trump frente a las protestas de movimientos progresistas como Black Lives Matter y la falta de medios y las connivencias en el asalto al Capitolio. Este ataque exige la condena rotunda de la comunidad internacional a su alentador y sus conniventes. Trump ha alimentado hasta el límite el odio, el racismo, el machismo, el negacionismo.

No se trata del último coletazo. Es un movimiento político, seguido por grupos políticos que hoy están aquí: en España, Vox —blanqueados por el Partido Popular—; en Italia, Salvini; en Hungría, Orban. Expresión de un mismo movimiento que intenta atacar lo que somos: la convivencia, la democracia, los derechos, las libertades, sirviéndose del odio y de la intoxicación del debate público. También son y serán culpables aquellos que callan.

Hoy debemos poner en valor y defender aquello que quieren destruir: lo común. Solamente mediante políticas sociales y economías redistributivas podremos derrotar la desigualdad, la incertidumbre y el miedo que alimentan estos monstruos. Hoy, desde aquí, digo a todos aquellos que están sufriendo miedo, incertidumbre y se sienten señalados: ¡ni un paso atrás!

 
  
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  Κώστας Παπαδάκης (NI). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, η σχεδιασμένη εισβολή ακροδεξιών αντιδραστικών δυνάμεων στο Καπιτώλιο, αλλά και ο τραγέλαφος που προηγήθηκε στις αμερικανικές εκλογές, εκθέτουν όλους εκείνους που «πέφτουν από τα σύννεφα» για τη λεγόμενη αμερικανική δημοκρατία· αυτή των δεκάδων πολέμων, των διαμελισμών χωρών, των πραξικοπημάτων και των ανατροπών εκλεγμένων κυβερνήσεων με αιματοχυσίες λαών, τόσο με Ρεπουμπλικανούς όσο και με Δημοκρατικούς. Και με τους δυο, ο αμερικανικός λαός βιώνει διαχρονικά εκμετάλλευση, ανεργία, καταστολή και ρατσισμό.

Το βάθος της σήψης μιας κοινωνίας σε βαθιά παρακμή βρίσκεται πέρα από τη διαχείριση του Τραμπ, ενώ πολύ σύντομα θα διαψευστούν και όσοι καλλιεργούν ψεύτικες ελπίδες για φιλολαϊκή διαχείριση Μπάιντεν, ισχυριζόμενοι ότι θα βάλει φρένο στην τουρκική επιθετικότητα. Τα περί τραμπισμού δεν μπορούν να απενοχοποιήσουν το ίδιο σάπιο καπιταλιστικό σύστημα με τις αγιάτρευτες αντιθέσεις του και την ταξική πόλωση.

Όλα αυτά συνδέονται άμεσα με τα οξυμένα προβλήματα της αμερικανικής οικονομίας, την αμφισβήτηση της πρωτοκαθεδρίας των ΗΠΑ από την Κίνα και τους οξυμένους ανταγωνισμούς με την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση. Οι λαοί πρέπει να είναι σε επαγρύπνηση, να μην πληρώσουν την κρίση στις ΗΠΑ με νέο γύρο όξυνσης της επιθετικότητας και κλιμάκωσης των ιμπεριαλιστικών σχεδιασμών.

 
  
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  Esteban González Pons (PPE). – Madam President, in a few hours Donald Trump will become nothing but an appendix to the history books. As President von der Leyen pointed out, we cannot say the same about Trumpism, a virus that is still very much alive. Trump has confronted democratic institutions, the separation of powers, international organisations, the free press, and even science. Never has an American President hurt so much and harmed so many in such a short time.

As Europeans, there is one lesson to be learned from these last four years. When it comes to our destiny, we cannot rely on the United States alone. Not anymore. The myth has fallen. If we want to maintain peace and international order, if we want to protect our democracy, free press and human rights, Europe must react now. It is time for Europe to take a step forward. The world needs European values and principles more than ever. We have suffered two world wars, and two cruel dictatorships in fascism and communism. We know well what it is to live without freedom, justice or rights. We have a moral duty to prevent something similar from happening again. And the commitment goes beyond our borders. It is a commitment to the world and to history. From Europe to the United States: welcome back, we missed you.

 
  
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  Miapetra Kumpula-Natri (S&D). – Madam President, the first priority to relaunch EU—US relations is to fight the pandemic and the related economic and political challenges. Cooperation is needed so that the least developed countries will also get their fair share of vaccines and their economies will not break under the weight of increased debt loans. We should show the world that true leading democracies can stand together across the globe and by the weakest members of the international community.

To quote the words of former President Wilson, from 100 years ago: ‘Make the world safe for democracy.’ Today, we need to make the world safe for democracy, also with the US, and make the global digital world safe for democracy. There is a lot to be done, not least to regulate platforms and emerging technologies, such as AI, in line with human rights and democratic principles. While intensified cooperation is our aim, we need to continue strengthening Europe’s independence capabilities. As a stronger autonomous actor, we will have more to give to the world and to our partners.

 
  
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  Sophia in ‘t Veld (Renew). – Madam President, we all congratulate President Biden and Vice—President Harris, and in particular of all the girls out there, we congratulate Vice—President Harris.

The transatlantic relationship is crucial for us, but the pre-Trump era will not come back. In fact, the relationship had already profoundly changed, but Europe didn’t seem to notice. A strong partnership needs two strong pillars, and Europe has indeed rapidly grown stronger and more powerful in recent years, and Renew welcomes that strong and self-assured Europe.

But, we should not be blind to the weaknesses in our own European democracy. Events in Washington two weeks ago are a warning for Europe as well. We don’t have one single big Trump but we have many ‘mini Trumps’, and like in the United States they are part of the political leadership of the EU, and they get their podium, not just on social media Madam President, but also traditional media, and yes they get protection from traditional parties as well.

So, today we enter a new era. Let’s make it the era of liberal democracy, shoulder to shoulder, with our American friends.

 
  
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  Tom Vandendriessche (ID). – Voorzitter, collega's, vrije meningsuiting is fundamenteel in onze democratie. Met dit grondrecht controleren burgers immers de machthebbers. Dat wordt gegarandeerd door de grondwet van elke natiestaat en door het Europees Verdrag voor de rechten van de mens.

Sociale media en het internet zijn de moderne marktplaatsen waar we dit recht op vrije meningsuiting uitoefenen. Deze platformen zijn echter geen vrije markten maar worden gedomineerd door een oligarchie, een Silicon Valley die overal zaakjes doet maar nergens faire belastingen betaalt. Multinationals als Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple en Amazon beheersen door hun monopolie de informatie in onze democratie. Ze eigenen zich vervolgens de macht toe te bepalen wat de waarheid is, en te censureren wat zij ongewenst vinden. Daarmee bepalen zij wie in onze democratie nog vrije meningsuiting heeft als fundamenteel grondrecht. Bovendien blijken ze ook de macht te bezitten om hun directe concurrenten – Parler – de toegang tot de markt te ontzeggen en zo te liquideren.

Dit is een fundamentele machtsverschuiving van het volk naar de aandeelhouder, van de democratie naar de oligarchie, van de grondwet naar de gebruikersovereenkomst. Dit is ronduit gevaarlijk voor onze democratie, die gebouwd is op de vrije markt en vrije burgers. Daarom moeten we deze bedrijven opbreken. En als dat niet voldoende is, moeten we ze de toegang tot de Europese markt ontnemen. De Europese Unie heeft daartoe de macht. Gebruik ze. Tijd voor actie.

 
  
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  Ciarán Cuffe (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, hope is back in Washington. In these dark hours, we look to the dawn of Inauguration Day. Democracy remains under threat in Europe and in the United States. But Joe Biden gets it. Kamala Harris gets it. They want to tackle injustice. They want to match our European Green Deal and address the climate emergency. So America, welcome back to the Paris Agreement. We missed you, Mr Kerry. Let’s talk. Let’s build this new transatlantic partnership, link climate action to racial justice, tackle poverty in Baltimore, in Brussels and in Dublin.

Martin Luther King said: ‘We are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.’ Those words ring as true today as they did half a century ago.

Today, there is a ripple of hope. I’m Irish, but my mother was from Chicago. So I wish you well. Ireland and the EU are your friends. We don’t always agree – we’ll call you out when we don’t – but today is a good day. A day of hope.

 
  
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  Angel Dzhambazki (ECR). – Madam President, isn’t it ironic that, for four years, we listened to the Democrats claim that walls are immoral, unnecessary and ineffective, yet today in Washington DC, an eight—foot wall circumvents the Biden inauguration ceremony. For four years, the Democrats and the far left used every single opportunity to attack the Second Amendment of the American Constitution, allowing citizens to bear arms. Yet today they have organised 30 000 very well—armed federal troops, flown in from all over the country.

This sort of hypocrisy is of course nothing new for the Democrats and the far left. Last summer, we witnessed the eruption of violence in many American cities with zones being occupied by the Antifa and BLM mob of Marxist extremists. The far left media and the Democrats call them peaceful protesters. However, when the protesters are not extreme Marxist terrorists, but patriots, suddenly they are called terrorists. One thing is sure: in history you either go down as a patriot or as a coward. The Democrats, dear friends on the left, are the cowards today because (inaudible)

 
  
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  José Gusmão (The Left). – Senhora Presidente, concordo com os que aqui disseram que o discurso de ódio termina sempre em violência, que o discurso contra a democracia acaba sempre por tentar destruí-la. Mas todos sabemos, e também já foi dito, que Trump e o discurso do ódio têm os seus adeptos deste lado do Atlântico e, portanto, perdoem-me se não consigo levar muito a sério discursos de choque e indignação com o que se passou no Capitólio vindos da bancada que continua a albergar o partido de Viktor Orbán.

Neste tempo, o tempo que vivemos, é um tempo de luta pela democracia e liberdade e todas as forças democráticas têm que escolher de que lado estão e agir em conformidade. Agir em conformidade é também aqui, na União Europeia, olharmos para aquilo que fez a extrema-direita nascer. A extrema-direita alimenta-se das feridas sociais que também existem na Europa que muitas políticas europeias têm procurado reforçar e aqueles que hoje se mostram ansiosos em retomar os programas de ajustamento de má memória farão bem em fazer esse balanço e esse exercício histórico.

 
  
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  Ivan Vilibor Sinčić (NI). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, kolegice i kolege, upozorio sam i ranije na diktaturu milijardera koja nam prijeti.

Izbacivanje američkog predsjednika s društvenih mreža je skandalozno, to je udar na demokraciju i na slobodu govora. Tu odluku nisu donijele nekakve institucije na temelju zakona nego su ih donijeli vlasnici kompanija, menadžeri. Radi se o ljudima koji imaju bogatstva veća od cijelih nacija. Dok se ovdje zbor korona krize reže proračun Europe, dok je nestalo 10 % ili 15 % BDP-a Hrvatske, oni su sve bogatiji i akumuliraju sve veći broj novca na svoje račune. Države sve slabije, korporacije i njihovi vlasnici sve jači.

To nije sve. Također, prema istraživanju švicarskog federalnog instituta za tehnologiju, 147 kompanija drži 40 % svjetskog bogatstva a 737 80 % svjetskog bogatstva, inače s isprepletenim vlasništvom međusobno. Vrijeme je da se onemogući da korporacije pojedu demokraciju. Treba uvesti limit na bogatstvo tih ljudi a samim time i na njihovu moć a sredstva iskoristiti kao jedan od izvora prihoda za program univerzalnog bezuvjetnog temeljnog dohotka.

 
  
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  Siegfried Mureşan (PPE). – Madam President, the past four years have been very challenging for transatlantic relations. We have seen tweets replacing official communication between allies. We have seen temperament replacing long—standing policies. Now that this has ended, we’re looking forward to working with a US President who respects the freedom of speech. A President who respects the democratic order. An American President who wants an independent and strong judiciary. And let me be clear: one can only defend the rule of law around the globe if one respects and defends the rule of law at home.

Now is the time for us as allies, the European Union and the United States of America, to defend human rights around the globe. The fundamentals of American democracy and of European democracy are the same: respecting existing rules and institutions, respecting the international order and our allies and, first and foremost, respecting our values. Challenging these values has only served autocrats in recent years.

America has a fresh start. Transatlantic relations have a fresh start. We should be looking forward, but we should also learn from the lessons of recent years, and the lesson is clear: fake news and hate policies are dangerous. They lead to violence. That is why we should also tell people here in Europe: stay away from extremism, stay away from hate policies, stay away from populism, stay away from lies. They are dangerous.

To conclude, I would like to bring up an issue which is important to 30 million EU citizens. Today, the citizens of Cyprus, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania still require a visa to enter the United States. Let’s work together with the new American administration to ensure full visa reciprocity between the United States and the European Union.

 
  
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  Kathleen Van Brempt (S&D). – Voorzitter, mevrouw de Commissievoorzitter, mijnheer de Raadsvoorzitter, het is bekend, president Biden en vicepresident Harris staan voor een onwaarschijnlijke opdracht in hun eigen land om hun bevolking te verenigen, de democratie te versterken en opnieuw een wereldspeler te worden waarop we kunnen vertrouwen. Maar laat vandaag vooral een dag van hoop en perspectief zijn.

Hoop en perspectief, bijvoorbeeld op een doorstart in het wereldwijde klimaatbeleid omdat ze zich weer zullen aansluiten bij de Overeenkomst van Parijs. Maar er zal meer nodig zijn. Er zal een echt ambitieus klimaatbeleid nodig zijn, zoals wij de Green Deal hebben. Hoop en perspectief ook op een opnieuw actieve Verenigde Staten in de Verenigde Naties, de Wereldgezondheidsorganisatie en de Wereldhandelsorganisatie.

Laten we dus dat partnerschap versterken, maar laten we dat doen vanuit de eigen sterkte van de Europese Unie en laten we niet aan het handje van de Verenigde Staten lopen, maar zorgen dat we gelijkwaardige partners zijn en onze rol in de wereld samen opnemen.

 
  
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  Liesje Schreinemacher (Renew). – Madam President, today marks a very important moment. A moment followed by many people in Europe and around the world: the inauguration of the United States’ President Joe Biden. It is also a moment of hope: of hope that our transatlantic ally and partner has finally returned and is ready to cooperate in a way that today’s situation asks of us.

Recent events have shown that the US is suffering from great polarisation, which this President will have to address. This will not be an easy task, and this is also something that we in Europe are all too familiar with.

Yes, the United States has changed, but so did Europe. So of course, our transatlantic cooperation will not be the same as a few decades ago. But having said that, I do hope that the Biden administration will join us in our ambitions and will join forces to promote multilateralism, rule-based trade, provide security and fight climate change.

With that, I wish President Biden and Vice—President Harris all the strength, wisdom and courage in the years to come.

 
  
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  Mara Bizzotto (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, gli Stati Uniti sono e saranno sempre la stella polare per la democrazia e la libertà nel mondo.

Al di là degli schieramenti politici, il nuovo governo americano troverà sempre in noi della Lega un alleato serio e affidabile, schierato convintamente con l'Alleanza atlantica a difesa dei valori dell'Occidente libero.

Oggi più che mai è necessario rilanciare con forza le relazioni tra Europa e Stati Uniti per affrontare insieme le grandi sfide del nostro tempo. E la prima sfida da vincere insieme è quella contro la Cina comunista, che rappresenta la più grande minaccia alla nostra libertà e alla nostra democrazia.

È scandaloso che l'Europa e il governo italiano di PD e 5Stelle siano complici silenziosi delle malefatte del regime di Pechino. La partita sul 5G e l'accordo commerciale tra Europa e Cina, tanto caro alla Merkel e a Macron, sono lì a dimostrarlo. Basta ambiguità, basta doppi giochi, basta affari sporchi di sangue con la Cina.

Cari colleghi, è chiaro a tutti che la dittatura cinese sta portando avanti una guerra economica e una guerra di civiltà contro il mondo occidentale. Insieme ai nostri alleati americani dobbiamo essere pronti a difendere con ogni mezzo la nostra libertà e la nostra democrazia. Gli italiani, gli americani, gli uomini liberi di tutto il mondo non moriranno mai schiavi della dittatura comunista cinese.

 
  
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  Marcel Kolaja (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, let me make one thing clear: I condemn the recent attacks on the Capitol as well as Donald Trump’s statements. However, I am also concerned about how much power dominant online platforms have, and by the fact that they have been taking over essential functions that belong to democratic institutions. Deciding what is appropriate and denying people the right to speak by suspending their accounts without a court order is a dangerous practice.

Today it is Donald Trump, but whose account will be suspended tomorrow? This is not how democracy and justice should work. In a democratic society, only independent courts can decide what is illegal. We need to update our legislation. Reform bills introduced via the American legislation regulating platforms have not been successful. Now it’s time for Europe to lead by example with the Digital Services Act.

 
  
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  Hermann Tertsch (ECR). – Señora presidenta, señorías, desde luego cuánto odio, cuánta fobia, cuánto miedo a Trump. Se dijo cuando ganó que era el fin del mundo, que llegaba el fascismo, que iba a acabar con la democracia americana, que iba a arruinarla, que sería la guerra. No ha habido ninguna guerra por parte de los Estados Unidos, es el primer presidente que no hace una en generaciones.

Son malos consejeros el odio, la fobia y el miedo para valorar lo que ha pasado. Aquí se acusa a Trump de asaltar el Capitolio. Él pidió una manifestación pacífica. Pero no se acusa a Biden y a Harris de la violencia masiva, los incendios, los saqueos, los asesinatos durante todo 2020 con el Black Lives Matter, a pesar de que, a esos delincuentes, cuando eran detenidos, les pagaban las fianzas.

Aquí se ha callado la censura que ha habido. Realmente estamos violando todos nuestros principios apelando a ellos. No se protestó con la violencia del Black Lives Matter. No se protestó por la censura que se ha aplicado a medios que denunciaban la corrupción de la familia Biden, que no ha salido nunca a la luz. Estamos negando nuestros principios, y lo pagaremos también caro.

 
  
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  Michael Gahler (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! „It must have been Trump, but it is over now“, möchte man fast melodisch sagen an diesem Tag, der es wieder möglich macht, das ganze Spektrum und Potenzial der transatlantischen Beziehungen in den Blick zu nehmen. Als außenpolitischer Sprecher der EVP-Fraktion freue ich mich, dass die neue Mannschaft in Washington auch von der Revitalisierung der amerikanischen Diplomatie spricht. Die Rückkehr in möglichst viele Bereiche des multilateralen, regelbasierten Beziehungsgeflechts ist eine Erwartung, die wir auch in unserem Interesse deutlich zum Ausdruck bringen.

Das Pariser Klimaübereinkommen ist erwähnt worden, der JCPOA mit dem Iran muss wiederbelebt werden. Weitere Stichworte unserer Erwartungen im Bereich der Rüstungskontrolle: die Verlängerung und Neuverhandlung des New-START-Abkommens, hoffentlich Open Skies neu verhandeln. Wir Europäer wollen beidseitige doppelte Null—Lösungen bei Mittelstreckenraketen, wir müssen unseren Teil der Verteidigungslasten erfüllen – 2 % –, wir müssen gemeinsam Länder wie die Ukraine stärken gegenüber einem aggressiven Russland und gegenseitig alle Strafzölle abschaffen, die WTO wieder voll funktionsfähig machen und gemeinsam China in diesem Rahmen verpflichten. Ich hoffe, dass wir mittelfristig etwas wie ein TTIP 2.0 hinbekommen. Das stärkt langfristig unsere Demokratien gegenüber einem systemischen Rivalen wie China.

 
  
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  Sven Mikser (S&D). – Madam President, the events we witnessed at the US Capitol on 6 January were horrible and reprehensible. They surely do not represent what America is all about, but unfortunately they do represent a danger that continues to lurk, even after the inauguration of the Biden—Harris administration – and not only in the darker corners of US society, but also here on the European continent. It is the danger of authoritarianism that feeds on untruths and conspiracy theories peddled by power-hungry extremists at home and taken advantage of by our external adversaries.

The new administration in Washington represents an opportunity to welcome the US back as one of the global leaders in fighting the COVID pandemic and in fighting climate change. There are other policy areas – trade, digital technologies – where it takes more time and patience to restore the transatlantic trust and cooperation, but we must welcome this opportunity with open arms because it represents a chance, among other things, to actually score a final victory against populism and authoritarianism.

 
  
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  Katalin Cseh (Renew). – Madam President, America is back. This is how the new Biden administration summarised their foreign policy, and this is great news. Four years of assault on the multilateral order left us all in danger. Challenges like climate change, disinformation or the pandemic kept rising and our capacities to respond kept shrinking. So we welcome our key ally back to the table. Europe is ready to work together, with more unity and resolve than ever before.

But let’s not try to turn the clock back to the pre-Trump era, it won’t be possible. Autocrats are emboldened, also in Europe, and corruption – at the root of the surging authoritarian trend – is rampant, also in Europe. Civil liberties are at a historic low. The US is no exception. But are we, in Europe? I don’t think so. So where do we go from here? Let’s come together at a global summit of democracy and let’s put human rights and democracy at the centre of our fight, and let’s focus more than ever before on the fight against corruption.

 
  
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  Marco Dreosto (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, la nuova Amministrazione statunitense troverà nella Lega un alleato affidabile in Italia e in Europa. Saremo sempre al fianco degli Stati Uniti, che sono stati, sono e saranno sempre punto di riferimento per la democrazia nel mondo e per i valori dell'Occidente.

Per difendere questi valori Italia, Stati Uniti ed Europa dovranno lottare assieme ed avere come perno il contenimento dell'influenza cinese in Europa. Su questo purtroppo mi rammarica avere sentito l'altro giorno il Presidente del Consiglio italiano Conte mettere sullo stesso piano la più grande democrazia del mondo e la dittatura comunista. Questo è inaccettabile per il rappresentante di un paese importante come l'Italia, fondatore dell'Unione europea e membro del G7. Il Patto atlantico è una cosa seria. Che il Premier italiano non la pensi così è drammatico e allarmante.

Riteniamo che rafforzare i rapporti transatlantici vorrà dire non firmare quello sciagurato accordo commerciale tra Unione europea e Cina su cui questo Parlamento ha giustamente, Lega in primis, promesso battaglia.

 
  
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  Salima Yenbou (Verts/ALE). – Madame la Présidente, l’assaut consternant du Capitole nous montre une fois de plus, une fois de trop, la fragilité de nos démocraties et qu’il est essentiel de constamment défendre notre état de droit.

Ce n’est pas un incident isolé qui concernerait seulement les Américains. Rappelons-nous le Parlement allemand, fin août 2020. Nos démocraties occidentales commettent depuis trop longtemps l’erreur de sous-estimer les dangers de l’extrême droite. Cette extrême droite qui a marqué dans sa chair notre histoire commune européenne, l’avons-nous déjà oublié?

Ce qui s’est passé au Capitole doit être l’avertissement qui nous fait enfin réaliser qu’il est temps de prendre au sérieux les graves clivages et crises démocratiques que traversent actuellement nos sociétés occidentales. Cet aveuglement doit cesser et j’en appelle à vous, Madame von der Leyen, Monsieur Borrell, Monsieur Michel et Monsieur Sassoli, pour engager une profonde réflexion sur ces sujets. Si nous ne le faisons pas maintenant, demain il sera trop tard car, comme le dit un proverbe espagnol, demain est le mot qui ne veut rien faire.

 
  
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  Assita Kanko (ECR). – Madam President, as the era of ‘America first’ comes to an end, we can begin to look forward to a presidency of ‘Allies first’ from the Biden administration.

Europe has spent the last four years carving out its own strategic autonomy. Now we have an opportunity to make the transatlantic alliance great again. By speaking in unison as Democratic allies, our words and actions can be strengthened in the face of the existential challenges that we face: autocrats like Putin, challenges related to the tech revolution, violent Islamic extremism and the threat of climate change.

I urge the EU to support Biden’s efforts to unite democracy so that we can reinvigorate multilateralism in our own free image.

The recent events in Washington have shown how fragile all of our democracies can be, but I also do we agree with my colleague Danjean that we need to look deep inside the issues and face reality. The free world has the chance to come together in the defence of our common values which have been neglected for too long...

(The President cut off the speaker)

 
  
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  Andrius Kubilius (PPE). – Madam President, besides congratulating the new US President, today is also a good occasion to reflect on recent events and how fragile our democracy is. It should become a common inspiration, on both sides of the Atlantic, to become much more serious about challenges towards democracy.

Our democracy on the European continent is also suffering from different diseases. Globally, democratic values are being attacked by autocrats in Belarus, Russia and China. Democratic values are also being attacked by an internal ‘cancer of democracy’, by the slow erosion of democracy, and by populism. Joe Biden has promised to organise a global democracy summit. It’s a great idea. Let’s prepare ourselves for that big event.

Why not have an EU Conference on the Future of Democracy next to the Conference on the Future of Europe? The defence and promotion of democracy should become our common most important strategic agenda.

 
  
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  Carlos Zorrinho (S&D). – Senhora Presidente, a tomada de posse da nova Administração americana é uma oportunidade para uma reconfiguração geoestratégica global e para o reforço das relações entre os Estados Unidos e a União Europeia num contexto de pandemia e de ameaça crescente do populismo e do autoritarismo no mundo.

O mandato de Trump deixa marcas que não se apagam com a sua derrota eleitoral. Vivemos um tempo em que o conceito de fronteiras está esbatido. Em democracia, a política externa, para ter legitimação popular, tem que ser compreendida e aceite internamente. É assim nos Estados Unidos e é assim na União Europeia. A autonomia estratégica é cada vez mais uma condição-chave para a cooperação saudável.

A UE e os USA têm desafios fortes em que a sua cooperação é fundamental: a segurança internacional, as alterações climáticas, a saúde, a digitalização das sociedades estão na primeira linha da agenda. É uma agenda em que a cooperação e competição estarão lado a lado e em que a capacidade de confrontar, com sucesso, um modelo centralizado das potências concorrentes será determinante. Temos que ser pragmáticos, fazendo dos nossos valores e princípios o eixo central das relações transatlânticas para que a relação União Europeia e Estados Unidos seja um jogo de soma positiva para os seus povos e para o mundo.

 
  
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  Dragoş Tudorache (Renew). – Madam President, it is often said that the US and the EU are founded on the same principles and values, and that is true. But, beyond principles, a partnership is built on trust and reliance. As genuine long-standing partners, we need to know that we can rely on one another in moments of hardship, and this is a moment of hardship for all of us.

We need, therefore, to stand by President Biden in his efforts to heal the deep fractures of American society, just as President Biden needs to stand by us Europeans when we are dealing with our own challenges. We can both deliver for all citizens if we work together to fight COVID, to restore multilateralism and a global order based on the rule of law, to meet climate objectives, and to face the digital transformation of our societies and economies.

 
  
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  Kosma Złotowski (ECR). – Szanowni Państwo! Europę i Stany Zjednoczone łączą trwałe więzi przyjaźni, a nasze bezpieczeństwo gwarantuje przede wszystkim obecność amerykańskich wojsk. I to jest wciąż aktualne. Naiwnością jest sądzić, że zmiana gospodarza Białego Domu zwolni nas z obowiązków wynikających z członkostwa w NATO, o których stanowczo przypominał prezydent Trump. Presja na większe finansowe zaangażowanie państw europejskich w Sojuszu Północnoatlantyckim nie zniknie.

Widzieliśmy w ostatnich tygodniach sceny, które nie powinny mieć miejsca w demokracji. Jednak reakcja największych portali społecznościowych była jeszcze bardziej szokująca. Źle by się stało, gdyby kończąca się kadencja 45. prezydenta Stanów Zjednoczonych kojarzona była w przyszłości wyłącznie ze szturmem na Kapitol, ale byłoby jeszcze gorzej, gdyby kadencja 46. prezydenta kojarzyć się miała z początkiem cenzury internetu i końcem wolności słowa. Chcąc tego czy nie, Amerykanie wybrali nie tylko głowę państwa, ale także nieformalnego lidera wolnego świata. Oby prezydent Biden podołał temu zadaniu. God bless America – and Europe.

 
  
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  Traian Băsescu (PPE). – Doamnă președintă, inaugurarea astăzi a mandatului lui Joe Biden este o veste bună pentru Europa, pentru America, pentru lumea liberă.

Trebuie însă să remarcăm că evenimentul de la Capitoliu poate fi doar semnalul definitiv. După doi ani de manifestații de stradă, în marile democrații din Europa și din America, totul a culminat cu 6 ianuarie, evenimentele de la Capitoliu.

Trebuie să ne întrebăm de ce reușesc populiștii în Europa și în America. Trebuie să vedem ce este în neregulă în sistemul nostru economic, social și politic. Și credința mea este că Uniunea Europeană, împreună cu Statele Unite, trebuie să remodeleze procesul de globalizare.

 
  
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  Jytte Guteland (S&D). – Fru talman! Låt oss inte glömma att detta är en bra dag när USA nu svär in sin nya president, Joe Biden. En president som vill stärka demokratin, som tror på multinationalism, som vill vara en kraft för klimatarbetet.

Den blodiga stormningen av Kapitolium är resultatet av att Trump under lång tid har underminerat det amerikanska valsystemet. EU gör rätt i att fördöma hans agerande. Men även om Trump, denna arga clown, nu snart kommer att förpassas till historiens marginaler så ska vi inte glömma att det finns risk för att det finns många människor som vill ha revansch och då kan det bli ännu farligare, också för världen.

Den stora utmaningen för EU är ändå att stå upp för ett nytt transatlantiskt samarbete. Ta tillfället i akt med Biden-Harris, med en klimatinriktad EU-kommission. Se till att göra det här året framgångsrikt inför Glasgow. Se till att fylla det transatlantiska samarbetet med klimat och se till att vi har en framtid tillsammans som blir ännu bättre.

 
  
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  Dita Charanzová (Renew). – Madam President, when 60% of Europeans think that the US system is broken and few think Americans can be trusted, the transatlantic bond is at breaking point. We must urgently rebuild this trust.

On trade, isolationism must end. For starters, we need a functioning WTO and all tariffs against the EU lifted. On digital, we need common US—EU regulations on the digital world, from the internet to cyber security. We must not break our digital bond by Europe going alone.

To ensure our continued place in the 21st century, we need a renewed US—EU partnership. I hope we now have a partner on the other side of the Atlantic that we can call: a partner that understands the importance of this bond.

Here in Europe we must stop promoting protectionist solutions under the banner of sovereignty and remember that we should build bridges, not walls.

 
  
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  Danuta Maria Hübner (PPE). – Madam President, I would like to focus on the proposed EU-US trade and technology council.

But first let me say that we see on the other side of the Atlantic an American President who values international cooperation and a Transatlantic relationship. I believe if we stand together again and do our trade policy thoughtfully it will give us both greater agency in the global world.

Talking about the council, I think it could become a platform to deepen our mutual involvement through facilitating regulatory compatibility in areas of geopolitical relevance. While generating geopolitical benefits in areas like the digital economy, the council could help to avoid the risk of separate regulatory spaces and incompatibility. Benefits from common standards will be particularly high in the areas of new regulatory requirements for technology, investment and security. In this context, the council could also look into innovative approaches to standardisation.

After four years of largely dysfunctional relations, there is also the need for this House to intensify our Transatlantic dialogue because we have many converging interests and we face common global challenges.

 
  
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  Brando Benifei (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signor Presidente Michel, signor Alto rappresentante, oggi gli Stati Uniti finalmente voltano pagina. Dopo quattro anni di unilateralismo è tempo di tornare a fare politica insieme.

Siamo sicuri che il nuovo presidente Joe Biden contribuirà, come promesso, alla costruzione di un rinnovato sistema internazionale basato su un nuovo multilateralismo e su un dialogo costruttivo con l'Unione europea.

I temi da affrontare insieme saranno molti. Ne cito due: un'azione globale nella lotta al cambiamento climatico, ripartendo dall'accordo di Parigi, e un accordo transatlantico globale sul digitale e i dati, che includa la questione della fiscalità dei giganti del web.

Oggi in tutto il mondo i nazionalisti e i populisti di destra, e i loro consapevoli o inconsapevoli alleati, subiscono una battuta d'arresto, ma la lotta per maggiore democrazia e giustizia sociale in tutto il mondo deve continuare ed è una battaglia che deve unire i popoli, specialmente in un momento così difficile della storia del nostro mondo.

 
  
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  Billy Kelleher (Renew). – Madam President, the storming of Capitol Hill on 6 January was not because people weren’t listened to; it was because they were actively encouraged by a partisan, divisive president. The days of Trump politics are over and I hope that they’re over here in Europe as well. For too long, we haven’t listened to the centre. We’ve been placating and appeasing the right. From now on, I think it’s important that we build a transatlantic alliance based on inclusive politics, on politics that are seen by the progressive centre as necessary.

I wish Joe Biden the best of luck. I wish Kamala Harris the very best as well. They’re both people I passionately believe can bring politics back to the centre and ensure that we have a strong transatlantic alliance that works for citizens and doesn’t appease the right, either in the States or here in Europe, of which, unfortunately, there are many in some governments in Europe and, unfortunately, in this Parliament too.

So, from now on, let’s work together to ensure that the transatlantic alliance is strong, is emboldened and is confident in what we’re trying to achieve with regard to the environment, the economy and for the citizens of Europe, the States and the world in general.

 
  
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  Angelika Niebler (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Ratspräsident, liebe Kolleginnen, liebe Kollegen! Mit Joe Biden und seiner Administration haben wir die Chance, ein neues Kapitel in der transatlantischen Beziehung aufzuschlagen. Unsere Werte Freiheit, Demokratie, Rechtsstaatlichkeit verbinden uns.

Nicht alles wird sich morgen ändern, aber in Bereichen, in denen wir gleiche Interessen haben, sollten wir wieder eng zusammenarbeiten. Die Ankündigung des neuen Präsidenten, umgehend wieder dem Pariser Klimaschutzübereinkommen beizutreten, ist eine gute Nachricht. Die Ankündigung des neuen Präsidenten, der WHO wieder beizutreten, ist eine gute Nachricht. Auch die Reform der WTO kam auf die gemeinsame Agenda, ebenso wie der gemeinsame Kampf gegen Corona.

Die Erwartung auf eine gute Zusammenarbeit ist groß, aber auch die schrecklichen Bilder vom Sturm des US-Kapitols am 6. Januar bleiben in Erinnerung. Der Sturm wurde durch die Echokammern im Internet angeheizt. Diese Entwicklung muss uns auch in Europa eine Mahnung sein. Auch hier gibt es Hass und Falschinformation in den Echokammern des Internets. Wir dürfen es nicht den Tech-Konzernen überlassen zu entscheiden, was über die sozialen Medien laufen kann. Das ist Aufgabe der Parlamente, und dessen müssen wir uns jetzt annehmen.

 
  
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  Nacho Sánchez Amor (S&D). – Señora presidenta, señor Borrell, señor Michel, quiero hablar de la cooperación con los Estados Unidos en nuestras respectivas políticas exteriores.

La coordinación de esas políticas será útil para el mundo libre, porque la promoción de la democracia y los valores y las prácticas democráticas es importante en un momento de gran polarización entre democracias maduras y sistemas liberales autoritarios. Esa Cumbre Mundial por la Democracia y una previsible Agenda común transatlántica, incluyendo actores privados, son esenciales.

En cuanto a las relaciones con Turquía, tanto el Consejo como la Comisión han hablado muy recientemente de nuestra coordinación con los Estados Unidos en relación con Turquía, pero Turquía no es un Estado que vaya a formar parte de los Estados Unidos. Es un Estado que quiere ser miembro de la Unión Europea y, por tanto, la naturaleza de nuestra relación es muy diferente. Para nosotros, Turquía no es un país tercero. Para nosotros, Turquía no es un vecino. Y las obligaciones de Turquía con la Unión Europea derivan de su condición de candidato y de la exigencia de reformas democráticas. Lo digo porque el Consejo, señor Michel, a veces no insiste demasiado en la condicionalidad democrática, que para esta Cámara es irrenunciable.

 
  
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  Benoît Lutgen (PPE). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Président, les Américains sont plus que des amis, ce sont des frères. Ils ont libéré nos territoires il y a 76 ans, je ne l’oublierai jamais. 80 000 y ont laissé la vie dans ma région de Bastogne. Merci d’ailleurs à vous, Monsieur le Président, pour votre engagement lors des commémorations.

Alors bien sûr, nous avons été heurtés, blessés par ces quatre années passées, par ces dernières semaines, ces derniers jours. Une nouvelle ère s’ouvre, qui donne des opportunités pour renforcer ces relations fraternelles et quasi charnelles, notamment, certainement, par rapport au climat, à la lutte contre le réchauffement climatique. Je l’espère – ne soyons pas naïfs – pour la taxation des GAFA sans riposte commerciale de la part des États-Unis.

Et je souhaite vivement que nous puissions aussi voir et revoir l’accord avec la Chine en fonction de ces nouveaux contacts et de cette nouvelle relation que nous allons élaborer avec les États-Unis, avec l’administration Biden. Ce serait de la folie d’aller signer cet accord sans avoir de nouveaux contacts et sans le revoir à l’aune de ces relations.

 
  
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  Alfred Sant (S&D). – Madam President, with the Biden administration we should expect that relations with the US can now resume on the basis of a civilised and coherent dialogue. However, the deep dilemmas that gave rise to ‘Trumpism’, both inside and outside the US, will remain, and it will be difficult for President Biden to clear them.

First, President Biden will have to try and bridge the deep divide between Americans who are riding with success the ongoing technological changes after having recovered from the effects of the 2008 crisis, and the other half of US society, which has been losing out in the post-modern economy and was badly mauled by the financial crisis. COVID—19 is likely making this divide deeper.

Meanwhile, outside the US, the President will have to determine how best to manage the race with China for global predominance. Europe needs to position itself correctly in this context. Given its ideological and cultural affinities with the US, it will seek to promote close cooperation with the Biden administration. However, it should not appear as a member of the US racing team, nor be one.

 
  
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  Željana Zovko (PPE). – Madam President, over the last four years the US Administration has implemented policies that challenged its partners and surprised its force. With today’s inauguration of the new President of the United States, a new chapter will commence. Nevertheless, the US is entering a new unprecedented era as a divided society. It will also impact its place in the world and, by extension, its ability to work with Europe on common peace and security issues in our neighbourhood and worldwide. This will require extra efforts on our side to export, support leadership and resources to maintain our important transatlantic partnership. I highly welcome the fact that an American return to multilateralism is high on the new Administration’s agenda. Re-joining the Paris Agreement is a big step forward in its global fight against climate change. I congratulate the new President of the United States of America and his Vice-President and wish them and their people and the people of America good luck.

 
  
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  Lina Gálvez Muñoz (S&D). – Señora presidenta, nuestro alto representante, Josep Borrell, escribía el otro día que los últimos acontecimientos de Washington deben ser una llamada de atención para los defensores de la democracia. Pero también hacía referencia a la creciente desigualdad. Porque no olvidemos que la desigualdad tiene efectos en la salud democrática y los ha tenido especialmente tras la salida austeritaria de la última crisis.

El caso norteamericano nos muestra que el énfasis en la igualdad de oportunidades, pero manteniendo esas políticas económicas que generan desigualdad y que también hemos seguido aquí en Europa, no redunda ni en mayor igualdad ni en mayor movilidad social; genera indignación y hasta odio y hace sentirse excluido de un sistema político que muchas personas no sienten que les represente, como vimos el otro día claramente en la toma del Capitolio.

Y es que Trump no es el origen de esta indignación, sino que es el síntoma. Por tanto, haremos bien en luchar conjuntamente con la nueva administración Biden contra las desigualdades y contra la desinformación y en defender la promoción del Estado de Derecho y los valores democráticos. Y también será fundamental colaborar en la regulación en el ámbito digital.

 
  
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  Roberta Metsola (PPE). – Madam President, let me start by wishing our US allies and partners well. I am confident that the restart that the world expects will materialise.

But I also want to refer to the scenes that we witnessed in the last month. I don’t often quote Arnold Schwarzenegger, but he was right when he said that it started with ‘lies and lies and lies and intolerance’. The world watched transfixed as the shining city on a hill was ransacked and violated before our very eyes. The mob, after being egged on, enabled and encouraged for years, stormed the United States’ seat of democracy.

There are many lessons for us to learn here. In Europe, the shock gave way to realisation that the weight of the world’s democratic order now rests more heavily on our shoulders. It is true of course that the new administration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris brings with it new hope of better cooperation, of new Transatlantic expectation, of optimism and a return to normality.

But Europe’s role on the world stage cannot be undervalued. Our belief in liberal democracy, founded in values and the rule of law, matters, not just to all our citizens, but to millions more people around the globe looking to us for hope.

With increasing hostility to our east and uncertainty to our west, Europe matters. Standing up for the rule of law matters. Defending democracy matters. Leaders’ words matter. Never underestimate how fragile our democracy is.

 
  
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  Josep Borrell Fontelles, Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Madam President, Members of the European Parliament, after this interesting debate, it’s clear for all of us, and especially for the Commission, that the Transatlantic partnership remains the most important and strategic relationship for the European Union and its Member States.

The stability and prosperity of both sides of the Atlantic is deeply affected by our ability to work together. All of you have been expressing hopes, that we share, that a very good understanding of what Europe means for the US interest and policy is a cornerstone of our future relations.

We are also very much aware that in the past four years, they have delivered an important lesson for the EU for a policy engagement with the US. What has happened has to be taken into consideration in order to build our future relationship, and we should improve our capacity to anticipate the US internal drivers that at the end shape the US foreign policy. Certainly we have now a historic opportunity to rebuild and to reinforce our relationship, to effectively address together the needs and challenges of the 21st century.

In the post-corona world, Transatlantic cooperation will revitalise the international rules-based order. As I said yesterday, you had to make multilateralism great again, based on our common values, interests, and pursuing global influence on the Western world.

Dear Members of the European Parliament, most of you have been expressing your convincement that a more assertive, more capable and more resilient Europe will be the best partner for the US. Enhancing Europe’s strategic autonomy will allow for a better cooperation when it comes to the security risks of today and those of the future, and I am sure that the new American administration will understand that and will put in practice a pragmatic framework for this new Transatlantic partnership.

You have been talking about the specific areas of cooperation: being partners and multilateralism. This will mean that we need to push for reforms of the United Nations organisations that preserve its democratic foundations, but being more ready, more able, to face pressing global problems.

It’s very good news that the Paris Agreement will be accepted by the US as the framework to fight against climate change. Only with that the new Presidency will make a strong difference on the role of the US in the world.

Thank you very much for all your interventions. I think that together with the Council we will be able to build a new partnership based on dialogue among equals, to preserve the security and defence of democratic values in the world.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Charles Michel, président du Conseil européen. – Madame la Présidente, chers collègues, cette attaque, le 6 janvier, contre le Capitole, nous l’avons suivie avec stupéfaction et nous l’avons vécue comme un électrochoc qui démontre la fragilité de ce en quoi nous croyons profondément, parce que c’est l’ADN du projet européen, les valeurs de liberté, d’état de droit, de démocratie.

Si nous le choisissons, cet électrochoc peut être salvateur parce que s’ouvre maintenant aux États-Unis une nouvelle page qui donne la capacité, si nous sommes engagés, de pouvoir construire avec cet allié auquel nous sommes attachés pour des raisons historiques, pour des raisons fondées sur des valeurs, ce nouveau pacte fondateur qui doit être l’occasion d’être mobilisés autour des trois piliers qui doivent être les piliers pour ce projet européen.

D’une part, les valeurs de démocratie, d’état de droit, cet engagement permanent, constant. Ces derniers mois, d’ailleurs, dans le débat Parlement européen/Conseil nous nous sommes engagés en Europe pour faire progresser concrètement cet engagement pour la gouvernance et la démocratie. Nous devons rester vigilants et engagés sur ce sujet-là.

Le deuxième pilier essentiel, c’est la prospérité que nous voulons, c’est améliorer notre cadre de vie en se fondant sur le changement climatique comme levier pour modifier le paradigme de notre développement, notre capacité à rencontrer les besoins de nos concitoyens. Cette idée effectivement que nous devons soutenir l’innovation, soutenir avec force cette ambition, la neutralité climat à l’horizon 2050 et le renforcement des objectifs 2030 que nous avons décidé, il y a quelques semaines, au sein du Conseil.

Enfin, le troisième point que je souhaite mettre en évidence, c’est l’engagement pour une Europe mobilisée sur le plan global, la coopération internationale, mesurer quels sont nos atouts et travailler pour corriger nos faiblesses. Une Europe plus résiliente, une Europe plus robuste, c’est l’appel que je veux lancer en ce jour symbolique, important: l’inauguration d’un nouveau mandat présidentiel aux États-Unis. Nous ouvrons les bras, nous tendons la main, nous savons bien sûr qu’il y aura des débats parfois difficiles ou tumultueux, mais nous partageons l’essentiel.

Je vous remercie pour avoir été engagés dans ce débat parlementaire, démocratique, vous pouvez compter sur le Conseil européen pour maintenir cet engagement stratégique au service d’une alliance fondamentale pour notre avenir commun.

 
  
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  Die Präsidentin. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 171)

 
  
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  Joachim Stanisław Brudziński (ECR), na piśmie. – Jednym z najważniejszych wydarzeń na arenie międzynarodowej w ostatnim czasie był moment zaprzysiężenia Joe Bidena na 46. prezydenta Stanów Zjednoczonych, kraju niezwykle istotnego na płaszczyźnie wspólnych relacji z Unią Europejską.

Liczymy na bliską współpracę z nowym prezydentem w zakresie dalszego wzmacniania zarówno Polsko-Amerykańskiego Partnerstwa Strategicznego, jak i w wielu płaszczyznach na poziomie Unii Europejskiej. W naszym wspólnym interesie leży utrwalenie strategicznego partnerstwa w wymiarze bezpieczeństwa i obrony oraz dalszy rozwój współpracy w sferze gospodarki, energii i bezpieczeństwa energetycznego. Europa i Ameryka potrzebują siebie nawzajem.

Pamiętając, jaką rolę Stany Zjednoczone odgrywają w globalnym układzie politycznym i gospodarczym, jestem przekonany, że możemy i powinniśmy skoncentrować się obecnie na najpoważniejszych wyzwaniach i zagrożeniach dla społeczności międzynarodowej, szczególnie na opanowaniu pandemii Covid-19 i odbudowie gospodarek, promocji praw człowieka, walce z dezinformacją i fałszywą narracją.

Europejskie inicjatywy obronne powinny pozostawać komplementarne wobec zdolności NATO, a nie je wypierać. Bardzo ważne są więc wszystkie inicjatywy unijne umożliwiające współpracę z NATO, zwłaszcza ze Stanami Zjednoczonymi, Wielką Brytanią i Norwegią. W naszym wspólnym interesie jest silne zaangażowanie Stanów Zjednoczonych w Europie. Wierzę, że z powodzeniem będziemy kontynuować dotychczasowe i wszystkie nowe kierunki współpracy.

 
  
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  Josianne Cutajar (S&D), in writing. – The 2020 US presidential election was historic for many reasons. Never have so many Americans cast their vote in the country’s history, in what may be viewed as a firm expression of disapproval for the misconducts of the Trump presidency. The outgoing administration has disregarded centuries of US—EU cooperation – one that helped bring peace to our own continent. President Biden has vowed to undo the wrongdoings of his predecessor, starting with the reinvigoration of the transatlantic relationship. A strong EU—US partnership means strengthening the international public good and common values, including democracy, security, human rights and gender equality.

Biden has also promised to re-enter the Paris Agreement, bringing back to the table a player that can afford an enormous contribution towards decarbonising our world. A new US administration will also allow for new consultations on the benefits and threats posed by digitalisation. In particular, we expect the US to help us fight disinformation and hate speech – the plague of our century.

This election was historic for many reasons, though one of them stands out. Kamala Harris’s election as the first woman VP is a landmark achievement in gender equality, setting the tone for many more to come.

 
  
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  Łukasz Kohut (S&D), na piśmie. – Rozpoczynająca się dziś kadencja 46. prezydenta Stanów Zjednoczonych, Joe Bidena, jest nadzieją na nowy początek. Jest nowym otwarciem po trudnych latach prezydentury Donalda Trumpa, który z dezinformacji, fake-newsów, dzielenia i wykluczania uczynił narzędzia walki politycznej. Jest również świadectwem tego, że demokracja jest odporna – odporna na nienawiść i kłamstwo.

Ale nie możemy być naiwni – ta odporność, jeżeli zbyt nadwyrężana, może się skończyć. Historia przynosi nam wiele dowodów w tej sprawie. O demokrację trzeba walczyć każdego dnia, pielęgnować ją każdego dnia. Nie można pozwolić na jej atakowanie i osłabianie.

Prezydentura Joe Bidena to nadzieja na powrót Stanów Zjednoczonych do głównego nurtu polityki międzynarodowej w roli konstruktywnej, nie destrukcyjnej. Dla Unii Europejskiej i całego świata Ameryka silna swoją konstruktywną obecnością w międzynarodowych gremiach jest ogromnie ważna. Dziś również po raz pierwszy funkcję wiceprezydenta USA obejmie kobieta. Historia pisze się na naszych oczach. Trzymam kciuki za prezydenta Bidena i za wiceprezydentkę Harris. Stany Zjednoczone zasłużyły na mądre przywództwo.

 
  
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  Elżbieta Kruk (ECR), na piśmie. – Stany Zjednoczone Ameryki Północnej odgrywają kluczową rolę w globalnym układzie zarówno gospodarczym, jak i politycznym. To, co się tam wydarzy, prędzej czy później przełoży się na znaczną część świata. Dlatego trzeba uważnie obserwować niepokojącą sytuację w USA.

W ostatnich tygodniach byliśmy świadkami wydarzeń, które nie powinny mieć miejsca w demokratycznym państwie. Mam na myśli nieprawidłowości wyborcze czy cenzurę internetu. Oto prezydent Stanów Zjednoczonych jest już otwarcie cenzurowany nie tylko przez firmy internetowe: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, ale też przez wielkie stacje telewizyjne. Korporacje orzekają, co jest prawdą. Obserwujemy – zdaje się – proces przejmowania przez wielkie korporacje, w tym z tzw. Big Techu, pełni władzy na niespotykaną w dziejach skalę. Będzie to nieuchronnym skutkiem zaprzeczenia wartościom, na których USA i zachodnia demokracja zostały zbudowane.

Jeśli obiektywnie spojrzymy natomiast na politykę Donalda Trumpa, to trzeba ocenić ją pozytywnie. Na pewno taka była z punktu widzenia interesów państw Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej, w tym Polski. Wzmocnione zostały więzi wojskowe, gospodarcze, energetyczne. USA poparły inicjatywę Trójmorza, mającą tworzyć trwałe podstawy dla rozwoju gospodarczego regionu. Inicjatywę powołano jako forum współpracy 12 państw: Austrii, Bułgarii, Chorwacji, Czech, Estonii, Litwy, Łotwy, Polski, Rumunii, Słowacji, Słowenii i Węgier.

Wyrażam nadzieję, że Joe Biden podtrzyma te działania i zobowiązania.

 
  
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  Gheorghe-Vlad Nistor (PPE), in writing. – It is with the utmost pleasure that I welcome the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States of America, Joseph Biden. I hope that the auspices of his tenure will be favourable both to USA—EU relations, and also for our friends and allies all over the globe. The incoming administration’s messages are most encouraging and, even if this will not materialise in a return to the old order to which we were all accustomed, it will for sure represent a strengthening of our historic and, I emphasise, natural alliance.

Even at the low points of our relationship, the US was a committed ally. We can again work together to restore and deepen relations and focus on mutual interests. The bilateral relationship must be built with the desideratum of restoring a true multilateral order, especially in these trying times for humanity and for the planet we inhabit. The responsibility is now, probably, much higher than it was during the Second World War and the ensuing Cold War era; we must now work together to actively protect our ideals, secure recovery and future prosperity and protect our planet.

 
  
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  Urmas Paet (Renew), kirjalikult. – USA sise- ja välispoliitikas on alguse saanud uus aeg. Eeldused Euroopa ja USA suhete kiireks paranemiseks president Bideni ametiajal on väga head. Kiireid positiivseid arenguid ELi ja USA koostöö tihenemises võib oodata näiteks kliimamuutuste vastases võitluses, kus president Biden on juba otsustanud uuesti ühineda Pariisi kliimakokkuleppega, ja ka kaubandussuhetes. Kindlasti loob Bideni presidendiks saamine ka positiivsema õhkkonna NATOs. Biden oli omal ajal ka üks Eesti NATOga ühinemise toetajaid. Eestil on EL-i ja USA headest suhetest ainult võita.

 
  
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  Ivan Štefanec (PPE), in writing. – The inauguration of the new US President Joe Biden represents for the EU an opportunity to relaunch transatlantic cooperation, which has severely suffered in the last four years. Trump’s unilateral action, withdrawals from treaties and international organisations often led to a divided and less stable society as well as a deterioration of our EU-US relations. The EU and the US were the oldest and the most trusted allies.

The recent events in Washington showed us how fragile democracy could be. Therefore, now more than ever, the US and the EU must act as partners and together rebuild the multilateral system based on our shared values of democracy, the rule of law and human rights. Only together are we more powerful to face the threats posed by extremists and populism that are challenging our democracies, tackle the emerging problems due to the global pandemic, climate change and digitalisation and finally secure the peace, prosperity, security, freedom and human rights equality.

 
  
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  Mihai Tudose (S&D), în scris. – Președintele Joe Biden e chemat să scoată SUA din criza dezbinării extreme și să stopeze dezechilibrul global, tot mai accentuat. Societatea americană a ajuns la o cotă periculoasă de tensiune, după ani de instigări la intoleranță și violență. Administrația Biden trebuie să închidă rănile Americii, dar și să pună piciorul în pragul unei lumi mai învolburate ca niciodată după sfârșitul Războiului Rece. Replierea SUA a lăsat loc liber ofensivei imperialismelor orientale. E nevoie urgentă de resudarea relației transatlantice, pentru o colaborare strânsă în fața provocărilor geostrategice și economice cu care se confruntă, tot mai intens, lumea democratică. A devenit evident, sub acceleratorul pandemiei, că este imperativ să acționăm împreună, UE și SUA, într-un parteneriat de forța celui care a înfruntat dictaturile secolului trecut. Noi, cei care am cunoscut în Est ororile comunismului, înțelegem bine miza actualei încercări de reconfigurare a echilibrului de forțe în lume. De aceea, în spiritul solidarității prevăzute de art. 5 al Tratatului Nord-Atlantic, e momentul să afirmăm răspicat voința euro-americană de a nu mai permite niciun pas înainte dictaturilor agresive - de la ingerințele lor în procesele noastre democratice și inițiative nocive ca Nord Stream 2, mergând până la amenințarea militară și chiar recurgerea la forță.

 
  
 

(Die Sitzung wird um 10.52 Uhr unterbrochen.)

 
  
  

PRESIDENZA DELL'ON. DAVID MARIA SASSOLI
Presidente

 

5. Reprise de la séance
Vidéo des interventions
 

(La seduta è ripresa alle 10.55)

 

6. Présentation du programme d'activités de la présidence portugaise (débat)
Vidéo des interventions
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  Presidente. – L'ordine del giorno reca la discussione sulle dichiarazioni del Consiglio e della Commissione sulla presentazione del programma di attività della Presidenza portoghese (2020/2928(RSP)).

 
  
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  António Costa, Presidente em exercício do Conselho. – Senhor Presidente do Parlamento Europeu, Senhora Presidente da Comissão Europeia, Senhoras e Senhores Presidentes dos grupos políticos, Senhores Comissários, Senhoras e Senhores Deputados, com a pandemia de COVID-19 a Europa vive o seu maior desafio do pós—guerra. Em menos de um ano as famílias foram destroçadas com a perda de quase meio milhão de vidas humanas e fomos arrastados para uma crise económica e social devastadora no conjunto dos 27 Estados-Membros.

Mas esta crise provou também a mais-valia que a União Europeia constitui, no acesso de todos os cidadãos europeus, em pé de igualdade, à ansiada vacina contra a COVID, na resposta conjunta e robusta à crise económica e social, na garantia da estabilidade financeira.

Quero aqui saudar o incansável trabalho da Comissão, do Parlamento, do Banco Central Europeu, do Presidente do Conselho, Charles Michel, e das presidências croata e alemã na resposta europeia a esta crise dramática.

O início do processo de vacinação e a aprovação do Quadro Financeiro Plurianual e do Programa Next Generation EU abrem uma porta à esperança.

Portugal assume, por isso, a presidência do Conselho num momento decisivo para pôr em marcha, para executar, para concretizar as decisões históricas que adotámos nos últimos meses.

É por isso que escolhemos como lema: tempo de agir: por uma recuperação justa, verde e digital.

Um lema que sintetiza bem as três principais prioridades da Presidência Portuguesa: a recuperação económica, o desenvolvimento do Pilar Social e o reforço da autonomia estratégica de uma Europa aberta ao Mundo.

A primeira condição da recuperação é o sucesso do processo de vacinação. É indispensável que continuemos a trabalhar coordenadamente porque só em conjunto venceremos o vírus, restabelecendo a plena liberdade de circulação e todo o potencial do mercado interno. Mas também a indispensável solidariedade internacional para a erradicação da pandemia à escala global, seja nas nossas vizinhanças, seja no continente africano, seja na América Latina.

Em paralelo, temos de pôr em execução os instrumentos de recuperação económica e social.

Por um lado, o novo Next Generation EU.

Para isso é necessário que os parlamentos nacionais concluam os processos de ratificação da Decisão sobre Recursos Próprios, que este Parlamento possa votar o Regulamento já acordado e que os 27 planos nacionais de recuperação e resiliência possam vir a ser aprovados. Porque, para vencermos esta crise, só a venceremos de forma conjunta em toda a União.

Por outro lado, temos igualmente de iniciar a implementação dos programas do novo Quadro Financeiro Plurianual, designadamente aqueles que, graças à determinação deste Parlamento Europeu, beneficiaram de um importante reforço, como os Programas Horizonte Europa, EU4Health, ou ERASMUS+.

Senhor Presidente, Senhoras e Senhores Deputados, a máxima atenção que o combate à pandemia nos exige a todos não nos consente descurar os desafios estratégicos que tínhamos e continuamos a ter pela frente.

Por isso a recuperação europeia deve basear-se nos motores da transição climática e digital.

Estamos numa emergência sanitária, mas continuamos em emergência climática. Temos um planeta para proteger e não nos podemos dar ao luxo de perder mais tempo. Urge, por isso, concretizar o Pacto Ecológico Europeu, desde logo aprovando a nova Lei do Clima, que assumo como um dos nossos principais objetivos políticos. Estamos prontos para o trabalho que nos resta convosco, Senhores Deputados, para obter um acordo político deste Parlamento o quanto antes.

Esta é mesmo a década decisiva, que vai exigir um maior esforço e ambição para conseguirmos cumprir o nosso compromisso de atingir a neutralidade carbónica em 2050.

Mas esta é também a década da Europa Digital. Um dia sem apostar no digital é mais um dia de atraso nesta exigente competição à escala global em que a Europa tem de estar na linha da frente.

Nesse sentido, dedicaremos uma atenção muito particular ao novo Pacote dos Serviços Digitais que a Comissão acaba de apresentar e que nos oferece instrumentos legislativos fundamentais para a proteção dos direitos individuais e da soberania democrática e para trazer maior concorrência ao mercado digital, estimulando o empreendorismo e a criatividade.

Em suma, a recuperação não se pode limitar a responder às necessidades do presente com conjuntos de estímulos para a conjuntura. A recuperação tem de assentar em investimentos e reformas que nos permitam sair desta crise mais resilientes, mais verdes, mais digitais do que éramos antes desta crise.

Senhor Presidente, Senhoras e Senhores Deputados, as transições climática e digital são essenciais, inadiáveis e empolgantes mutações sociais. Mas preocupam-me muito as pequenas e médias empresas e milhões de trabalhadores europeus. As empresas temem perder competitividade ao não conseguir acompanhar o esforço de investimento que a modernização exige. Os trabalhadores receiam pelo futuro do trabalho, do seu próprio posto de trabalho, das novas formas de trabalho e da virtualização de direitos sociais duramente conquistados ao longo dos anos.

Por isso, em linha com o relatório do Parlamento Europeu “Uma Europa Social Forte para Transições Justas”, a nossa segunda prioridade é concretizar o Pilar Social da União Europeia como base de confiança dos europeus na capacidade da Europa liderar as transições climática e digital.

Precisamos de reforçar as qualificações – new skills, upskilling, reskilling - para que os nossos cidadãos sejam atores e não vítimas destas transições. Precisamos de investir mais na inovação para reforçar a competitividade das nossas empresas e precisamos de reforçar a proteção social para assegurar que ninguém fica para trás.

O evento central da nossa Presidência será precisamente a Cimeira Social, que organizaremos em maio, na cidade do Porto, com os parceiros sociais, a sociedade civil, os Presidentes das Instituições e os Estados-Membros.

O principal objetivo desta Cimeira é dar um forte impulso político ao Plano de Ação que a Comissão vai apresentar em março e que materializa a ambição expressa pelos nossos cidadãos de pormos em prática os 20 Princípios Gerais proclamados em 2017 em Gotemburgo.

Aqui também não há tempo a perder. Também aqui é tempo de agir. O desenvolvimento do Pilar Social é fundamental para dar confiança aos europeus de que as mudanças que estamos a viver não são uma ameaça, mas, podem e têm de ser, uma oportunidade.

Os populismos que minam as nossas democracias alimentam-se do medo e concretizar o Pilar Social é, por isso, a melhor vacina contra as desigualdades, o medo e o populismo.

Finalmente, a nossa terceira prioridade será, como já referi, reforçar a autonomia estratégica de uma União Europeia aberta ao Mundo. Como esta pandemia evidenciou, a Europa não pode estar totalmente dependente do fornecimento de bens essenciais da parte de terceiros.

Temos, portanto, de reforçar a nossa autonomia estratégica. Trata-se de um debate muito exigente porque implica a política industrial, a política de concorrência e a política comercial.

Mas que não pode significar nem uma deriva protecionista, nem a mirífica promoção de “campeões europeus”, desperdiçando a enorme vantagem da capilaridade de um sistema económico assente em pequenas e médias empresas e de um sistema de investigação, desenvolvimento e inovação distribuído por 27 Estados-Membros.

Por último, o reforço da autonomia estratégica significa também afirmar a Europa como um ator global, valorizando, como nos pedem os nossos cidadãos, os padrões sociais e ambientais que nos distinguem e orgulham.

Queremos, naturalmente, continuar a reforçar, desde logo, as parcerias de vizinhança, a Leste e a Sul, e a parceria estratégica com o continente africano e as nossas relações transatlânticas com o Reino Unido e os Estados Unidos da América.

E neste dia em que tomará posse o Presidente Joe Biden não posso deixar de lhe dirigir os votos dos maiores sucessos no seu mandato e de referir a necessidade de relançarmos as relações cada vez mais próximas com os Estados Unidos e não esquecermos também que o Reino Unido, novo vizinho, mas velho Aliado, continuará a ser sempre um grande parceiro da União Europeia.

A principal marca da nossa presidência quanto à região do Indo-Pacífico será promover uma parceria mais próxima e estratégica entre as duas maiores democracias do Mundo, a União Europeia e a Índia. Acolheremos uma Cimeira da União Europeia-Índia também na cidade do Porto, centrada na cooperação sobre o digital, o comércio e o investimento, os produtos farmacêuticos, a ciência e o espaço.

Uma última palavra sobre uma questão central da relação da Europa com o Mundo: as migrações.

Estamos cientes das diferentes sensibilidades existentes, mas as migrações são uma realidade desde que existem seres humanos no planeta. E assim continuará a ser enquanto a espécie humana conseguir sobreviver. É também inegável que a sua gestão exige uma ação europeia comum. Devemos, portanto, continuar o trabalho sobre o novo Pacto para as Migrações e o Asilo, tentando encontrar o equilíbrio adequado entre as suas dimensões interna e externa, sem esquecer também a migração legal.

Senhor Presidente, Senhoras e Senhores Deputados, é tempo de agir no processo de vacinação, é tempo de agir na recuperação económica e social, é tempo de agir para desenvolver o Pilar Social, é tempo de agir para reforçar a autonomia estratégica de uma União aberta ao Mundo, mas é também tempo de agir para o futuro da Europa.

E por isso precisamos da Conferência sobre o Futuro da Europa como fórum de debate entre os Estados-Membros e com os nossos cidadãos sobre o que queremos construir juntos como União no futuro.

A Conferência deve ser centrada nos anseios e nas angústias dos cidadãos e não nas questões das Instituições.

A Conferência deve ser orientada para as políticas e as respostas comuns aos desafios estratégicos que temos de enfrentar num mundo cada vez menos eurocêntrico.

Enquanto Presidência do Conselho tudo faremos para que a Conferência possa ser lançada o mais rapidamente possível para que a possamos poder concluir com um debate aberto e esclarecedor.

Senhor Presidente, Senhoras e Senhores Deputados, deixem-me concluir.

Foram os valores da Europa que trouxeram Portugal à Europa. Foi a vontade de consolidar a democracia reconquistada, de poder partilhar um espaço comum de liberdade, de segurança e de paz, de prosperidade, após 48 anos de ditadura, a mais longa da Europa do século XX. Até por isso sabemos bem que o respeito pelo Estado de direito é uma condição necessária à pertença à União Europeia e, no âmbito da nossa presidência do Conselho, prosseguiremos com os processos em curso neste domínio.

Os desafios que temos pela frente são imensos. Mas com base no trabalho desenvolvido pela Comissão, pelo Parlamento, pelo Conselho, acredito que estamos agora todos melhor preparados para superar esta pandemia, ultrapassarmos esta crise sem precedentes e construir juntos um futuro melhor.

É por isso que assumimos a Presidência com um lema muito claro: Tempo de agir, para uma recuperação justa, verde e digital.

(Aplausos)

 
  
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  Ursula von der Leyen, présidente de la Commission. – Cher Monsieur le Président, cher Premier ministre, cher António, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, j’ai eu le privilège de commencer cette nouvelle année par une visite à Lisbonne. Cette ville de renouvellement et de nouveau départ était le lieu idéal pour discuter de nos priorités politiques avec le gouvernement et le parlement portugais. Une fois encore, cher António, merci beaucoup pour votre hospitalité.

Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, c’est dans les périodes de grand bouleversement que notre tissu social est le plus mis à l’épreuve. Nous le constatons en Europe et dans le reste du monde, les évolutions démographiques, sociétales et technologiques sont allées plus vite que notre capacité à répondre aux attentes des gens. Pour trop de gens, c’est une source de frustration et de division. Mais leurs attentes n’ont pas changé.

Their expectations have not changed. They want jobs for a decent living, they want fairness, equality and social protection in times of need. They want to know that if they work hard and do their fair share they will not lose out. These are the unwritten rules and norms that make up our social market economy.

But while expectations have not changed, society and economy have, and our current rules are based on old realities. They do not entirely reflect any more the speed and the scale of transformations we are embarking on. So, as we overcome the pandemic, as we prepare necessary reforms, and as we speed up the twin green and digital transitions, I believe it is time to also adapt the social rule book. A rule book which ensures solidarity between the generations, a rule book that rewards the entrepreneurs who take care of their employees, which focuses on jobs and opens up opportunities, which puts skills, innovation and social protection on an equal footing. The good news is that with Next Generation EU we have all chosen to recover from this crisis together, rather than scrap for ourselves and widen social disparities.

With our SURE programme we have shown our commitment to protect jobs and workers. This has helped provide EUR 90 billion to support employees and employers in 18 Member States of the European Union, but there’s much more to do. This is why we will update our industrial strategy to make sure we can create quality jobs in the post-pandemic world, because the green digital and fair recovery must be a jobs recovery.

In the next month we will address some of the underlying societal trends. In March, indeed, we will bring forward our action plan on the European pillar of social rights, and I’m looking forward to the social summit in Porto in May where we can send a united message, along with social partners, with trade unions, with employer unions and the EU institutions. I want to thank you, António, for your leadership on this.

Honourable Members, as we all know, any recovery depends on overcoming the pandemic. I will not repeat what you already heard yesterday in your debate on the vaccine strategy, but I want to say this. Staying united at 27 on vaccines was the best choice. It was Europe at its best. And if anyone has any doubts, I simply urge you to look at the list of the top 50 countries in the world who have vaccinated the highest percentage of their population. All 27 Member States are on that list.

Without a common EU approach, how many Member States would have been on that list? Without a common EU approach how many Member States would not have been able to negotiate a single contract? What would it have meant for our Union if one Member State had vaccinated almost all of its citizens before others have even started. But by working together the Commission was able to secure the broadest portfolio of vaccines in the world. As you know, this gives us access to 2.3 billion doses and this is more than enough for Europe, and our neighbourhood.

And a word on our neighbourhood. We need to support them to start vaccinating their front-line workers, from the Western Balkans to the Eastern Partnership, to our African partners in the south. This is why the Commission is proposing an EU vaccine-sharing mechanism. This will channel vaccines either directly or through the COVAX Facility, in which the EU is the largest contributor, to low and middle-income countries. In total, Team Europe has already provided almost EUR 40 billion of support to our partners since last April, and we need to show the same leadership when it comes to vaccines.

I know some will ask how we can talk about sharing vaccines with others when we are not all vaccinated ourselves. To them I say: this is not only a matter of solidarity, but also a matter of self-interest. We will only come out of this pandemic together. This is true for our health. This is true for our economies. This is true for our supply chains, and this is also true for our geopolitical credibility and influence.

Those who show support to their partners with doses and deeds will not be forgotten. But those who do not will be remembered, but for very different reasons, and I am determined that Europe must be on the right side of history and humanity and I know this House feels the same way too.

Honourable members,

Es ist ein Wettlauf gegen die Zeit. Wir sind mit beispielloser Geschwindigkeit vorangekommen. Was wir in zehn Monaten bei der Impfstoffentwicklung geschafft haben, braucht in der Regel zehn Jahre.

Selbstverständlich haben alle Staaten weltweit auf der Strecke mit Schwierigkeiten zu kämpfen – sei es bei der Produktion, beim Vertrieb, bei der Logistik. Aber das werden wir überwinden, und wir werden das rasch tun. Aber auch hier gilt, dass es nur gelingt, wenn wir gemeinsam handeln.

Ich werde morgen auf der Videokonferenz mit den Staats- und Regierungschefs Kernpunkte ansprechen: Wir müssen schneller werden beim Impfen. Das Tempo in Europa ist noch viel zu unterschiedlich. Wir müssen die Unternehmen mehr dabei unterstützen, die Produktionskapazität zu erhöhen, und das können wir auch, und das ist schon auf dem Weg. Und wir müssen die Ausbreitung der neuen Varianten des Virus präzise verfolgen.

The spread of these variants is a cause for severe concern. This is indeed a race against time. The EU urgently needs to speed up genome sequencing. Currently only one Member State is testing above 1% of positive tests, and many have not even yet started. This makes it very difficult to identify the progress of the variants or to detect potential new ones.

We should aim for every Member State to scale up sequencing to 5% to 10% of the positive tests. And I know not every country has the capacity to do so, but our agency, ECDC, does and every Member State has access to that capacity, but only two so far have used it.

My last point is about preserving our single market. The message is clear. The blanket closure of borders in this situation makes no sense. They harm the functioning of the single market and they are not as effective as targeted measures, and this is why we need a common approach to test, trace, travel and borders, and the Commission has put everything on the table to ensure that we can do that.

Honourable Members, all of this will take continued efforts from us all and I’m delighted that we will have the Portuguese Presidency alongside us to make it happen. Together we will overcome the pandemic and, as the Portuguese Presidency so aptly says in its motto, it’s time to deliver.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Manfred Weber, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, a warm welcome to the new Portuguese Presidency and a warm welcome to Prime Minister Costa. It is good to have you here in the European Parliament.

The Portuguese people know how important a united Europe is. The Portuguese people know and believe that to be a European is not losing anything but winning a lot. Having the history of Portugal in mind, I think it’s obvious that you are looking beyond the horizon, you are looking for new things, and you are not afraid of the unknown. This spirit is exactly what Europe needs now, the spirit of an explorer. So welcome, it is good to have you here.

Ich möchte natürlich auch zunächst auf das Thema COVID eingehen, weil uns das alles in diesen nächsten sechs Monaten unter der portugiesischen Präsidentschaft weiter beschäftigen wird. Historische Krise, und im Start 2021 zeigen wir, dass wir besser sind, als wir im Jahr 2020 zu Beginn der Krise waren.

Ich möchte für die EVP-Fraktion die Ansätze von Ursula von der Leyen voll unterstützen. Wir wollen keine erste und zweite Klasse Europäer auf diesem Kontinent. Wir sind alle gleich und hatten die Chance, auf den Impfstoff zum gleichen Zeitpunkt zuzugreifen. Wenn es jetzt Kritik gibt an der Europäischen Union: Letzte Woche durfte ich in einem Gespräch mit dem CEO von BioNTech erleben und lernen, dass BioNTech vor 15 Jahren EU-Gelder bekommen hat. Ohne diese EU-Gelder würde es die Forschungserfolge von BioNTech nicht geben. Wir Europäer haben es möglich gemacht, dass wir so schnell eine Antwort darauf gegeben haben. Darauf sollten wir stolz sein.

Jetzt gilt es, die Lieferengpässe zu überwinden, die bereitgestellten Impfdosen auch wirklich zu impfen, dass die Behörden vor Ort das umsetzen. Wir brauchen den Impfnachweis für die Europäische Union, dass es keine Fragmentierung gibt beim Impfnachweis, und wir sollten stolz sein auf das, was erreicht worden ist. Das sollte uns motivieren, im Kampf gegen Alzheimer und im Kampf gegen Krebs jetzt die gleichen Ambitionen an den Tag zu legen, genauso schnell voranzukommen, wie wir es bei Corona geschafft haben.

Das Zweite, was uns umtreibt, ist natürlich die wirtschaftliche Entwicklung. Die Volksrepublik China hatte im letzten Jahr 2 % Wirtschaftswachstum – ein Plus von 2 % – und wir Europäer fast 8 % Minus. Die Gewichte auf dieser Welt werden gerade fundamental neu verteilt, und deswegen muss das Jahr 2021 ein Jahr sein, wo wir über Jobs, Jobs, Jobs reden, über ökonomische Fragen reden. Wir unterstützen dabei die Priorität eines sozialen Europas, und das Wichtigste beim sozialen Europa ist, dass unsere Menschen Arbeitsplätze haben, dass vor allem die junge Generation Arbeitsplätze hat. Eine neue verlorene Generation muss unter allen Umständen vermieden werden. Das ist die Idee der sozialen Marktwirtschaft, und in dem Zusammenhang, Herr Premierminister, möchte ich unterstreichen, dass Handel für Europa wichtig ist. Sie als portugiesischer Premierminister wissen ob der Bedeutung der Kontakte zu unseren südamerikanischen Freunden: Mit Mercosur liegt da ein Abkommen auf dem Tisch, und da brauchen wir jetzt eine portugiesische Regierung, die uns das Momentum zeigt, dass diese Abkommen richtig und wichtig sind.

Zu guter Letzt: 2020 ist das Jahr der Krise, 2021 hoffentlich das Jahr des Aufbruchs, und deswegen hoffe ich auch, dass Sie mit der Konferenz zur Zukunft Europas beginnen können, dass Sie durchstarten. Die Zeit des Krisenmanagements sollte vorbei sein, wir sollten jetzt über die Zukunft Europas reden, und der Lissabon-Vertrag zeigt ja, dass wir derzeit auf portugiesischen Wurzeln arbeiten. Wenn jetzt Portugal das neue Kapitel aufschlägt, wäre es ein tolles Signal.

Alles Gute für die Präsidentschaft!

 
  
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  Iratxe García Pérez, en nombre del Grupo S&D. – Señor presidente, señor primer ministro Costa, le damos la bienvenida a la Presidencia portuguesa.

Atravesamos circunstancias excepcionales con una pandemia que ha alterado nuestras vidas y provocado consecuencias devastadoras a nivel económico mundial. En estos meses hemos visto cómo la Unión Europea ha reaccionado para coordinar las respuestas nacionales y evitar una competencia dañina entre nosotros. Hemos logrado aprobar un presupuesto ambicioso y un plan de recuperación. La cuestión que se plantea ahora es si todos los ciudadanos y ciudadanas notarán, de igual manera, este esfuerzo compartido que hemos hecho.

La Unión es un espacio de prosperidad y de protección social, y estamos orgullosos de nuestro modelo, pero seamos sinceros: no es igual para todos. Y, en los últimos años, la brecha entre los salarios más altos y más bajos ha crecido. Por no hablar del desempleo —sobre todo de los jóvenes—, de la pobreza energética o de la falta de una vivienda digna. La pandemia ha exacerbado estas desigualdades y nos pone delante del espejo como europeos. ¿Por qué el Fondo de Recuperación establece un mínimo de un 37 % para las inversiones verdes o un 20 % para la transición digital y no hace referencia a un umbral para el gasto social y para los sistemas de salud?

La Presidencia portuguesa quiere subsanar este déficit y, por eso, es crucial aprovechar la ventana de oportunidad. La crisis de la COVID hace patente la necesidad de actuar y contamos con la experiencia de António Costa para garantizar el liderazgo adecuado para este momento histórico. El lema de la Presidencia no podría ser más certero: «Tiempo de actuar: por una recuperación justa, ecológica y digital».

Sin duda, es el momento de acelerar nuestra transición a un modelo más sostenible aprovechando las nuevas tecnologías. Pero no olvidemos que la recuperación, ante todo, tiene que ser justa. El dinero que vamos a invertir debe contribuir a reducir las brechas. Es más, ha llegado el momento de reformar la gobernanza económica para que el pilar social tenga la misma importancia que el crecimiento económico, y en eso tenemos mucho que aprender de un país como Portugal. Deberíamos suspender las reglas fiscales hasta el 2023 y aprovechar este tiempo para reformarlas, introduciendo, por ejemplo, la regla de oro para las inversiones sociales.

Uno de los momentos clave será la Cumbre Social de Oporto en mayo. Allí debemos plantear un plan de acción con estrategia clara, con medidas y con calendario, y tienen la colaboración de mi grupo político. Nos preocupa la falta de avances en cuestiones como la garantía infantil o el seguro de desempleo, dos propuestas a las que se comprometió la Comisión Europea. A la Presidencia portuguesa le pedimos que incluya, además, en sus prioridades, la creación de un mecanismo europeo de respuesta sanitaria para poder avanzar en la Unión de la Salud.

Esta dimensión social también se verá reflejada —estoy segura— en un especial compromiso por introducir la dimensión de género en todas las políticas, y también la lucha contra todo tipo de discriminación. Y no olvidemos una cuestión importante: sigue pendiente el nuevo Pacto sobre Migración y Asilo, que necesita un mecanismo para concretar el principio de solidaridad y asegurar que nuestra política migratoria esté a la altura de nuestros valores.

Por último, confío en que la Presidencia portuguesa pueda desbloquear el inicio de la Conferencia sobre el Futuro de Europa. Tenemos que actuar con responsabilidad y desbloquear esta situación. No nos engañemos: lo importante de esta Conferencia no son los rostros conocidos, sino las voces de millones de ciudadanos y ciudadanas europeos que nos quieren marcar el camino de la Europa por construir.

 
  
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  Dacian Cioloş, au nom du groupe Renew. – Monsieur le Président, Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Premier ministre, bienvenue et bonne chance pour votre présidence. Votre réussite sera aussi la nôtre, vous avez toutes les prémices pour réussir et je sais que le Portugal, compte tenu de son histoire et de sa position géographique, connaît très bien quelle est la valeur ajoutée de l’Union européenne et sait comment apporter de la valeur ajoutée au projet européen.

Le travail que nous avons réalisé ces derniers mois est titanesque. L’Europe a réalisé sous la pression de cette pandémie, il est vrai, des progrès que beaucoup pensaient impossibles il y a encore un an. Mais nous n’en sommes qu’au début. Vous prenez, Monsieur le Premier ministre, la présidence tournante du Conseil à un moment où il faut transformer l’essai: nous devons faire de 2021 l’année de la renaissance et pour cela, il n’y a pas de miracle, nous devons dépasser la pandémie et pour cela chaque Européen doit avoir rapidement accès à un vaccin sûr et efficace.

Félicitations Madame la Présidente pour ce que la Commission a accompli mais vous savez que nous comptons encore sur vous pour assurer la coordination de la campagne de vaccination.

Mais il faut aussi soigner notre tissu économique et social, je sais que c’est votre priorité. Le plan de relance historique sur lequel nous nous sommes accordés doit être mis en place le plus vite possible et nous devons être prêts à faire plus s’il le faut. La relance doit être verte, numérique, juste et tournée vers l’avenir. Il sera donc de notre responsabilité commune de faire en sorte que chaque gouvernement mette en place les réformes et investissements stratégiques nécessaires pour que l’argent européen contribue au développement d’un nouveau monde post-COVID. Il ne faut en aucun cas que les gouvernements utilisent l’argent européen pour mettre sous perfusion sans assurer des effets positifs à long terme et structurels.

Nous devons donc reconstruire, innover et transformer, en nous appuyant sur le pacte vert et ses déclinaisons comme l’économie circulaire ou le mécanisme d’inclusion carbone aux frontières. Mais aussi en nous appuyant sur l’agenda numérique. Vous le savez, il y a urgence de reprendre en main notre destin en la matière, c’est un enjeu à la fois économique et social et la Commission européenne a mis sur la table un projet ambitieux.

Mais cette renaissance ne verra réellement le jour que si l’état de droit est respecté et ce dès le premier jour. À quoi bon investir, si nous ne sommes mêmes pas capables de garantir que ces fonds ne seront pas détournés. Il s’agit là d’une question existentielle pour l’Union. Il s’agit de préserver nos valeurs mais c’est aussi une question d’efficacité.

Au-delà, notre Union devrait bâtir une politique d’asile et de migration commune: un dossier majeur pour les prochains mois, tout autant que celui de nos relations avec notre voisinage oriental et méditerranéen et les Balkans occidentaux. Je sais que notre voisinage attend une vision claire de l’Union européenne sur ces projets.

Monsieur le Premier ministre, rien n’est prédéfini ou préécrit. Même si nous sommes toujours en pleine tempête, je suis convaincu que l’Europe doit hisser toujours plus haut ses voiles et maintenir son cap sous peine de partir à la dérive. Les contours du monde post-COVID dépendent entièrement de notre engagement, de notre persévérance et de l’exigence de notre ambition. Plus que jamais nous sommes aujourd’hui les auteurs de notre propre destin et ce destin sera encore mieux défini si nous arrivons à débloquer cette conférence sur le futur de l’Europe et je suis convaincu qu’avec la présidence portugaise, en collaboration avec le Parlement, ce sera possible.

 
  
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  Marco Zanni, a nome del gruppo ID. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, benvenuto signor Presidente Costa al Parlamento europeo.

Abbiamo appena terminato sei mesi di Presidenza tedesca, che sono stati dipinti come il successo di una visione europea sul quadro finanziario pluriennale, sul Recovery Fund e sullo Stato di diritto, con Angela Merkel che sembrava aver portato avanti gli interessi di Bruxelles, piuttosto che i propri interessi.

Poi però abbiamo scoperto che la realtà nei fatti era ben diversa, e mentre ci si impegnava a parole ad avere una dimensione europea per la gestione della crisi, soprattutto, alcuni Stati facevano i propri interessi e negoziavano bilateralmente per avere dosi aggiuntive di vaccini. E sia ben chiaro che io non voglio attaccare questi Stati per questa scelta legittima, ma semplicemente evidenziare come, nei fatti, alla fine l'interesse nazionale venga prima di quello europeo.

Con Lei, Presidente Costa, vorrei fare anche una riflessione su quella che è stata la risposta alla crisi da parte dell'Unione europea, ora che abbiamo più o meno tutte le carte sul tavolo. La prima considerazione che vorrei fare con Lei è il fatto che l'unica istituzione non politica dell'Unione europea è quella che ha veramente agito in fretta e in maniera efficace, la Banca centrale europea, e questo chiaramente pone un tema di accountability democratica, che non può essere ignorato.

Poi vorrei passare al pilastro di questa risposta, che è il Recovery Plan, la risposta europea alla crisi, per fare alcune riflessioni con Lei e porLe alcune domande. La prima riflessione riguarda la chiarezza, ora che abbiamo le carte sul tavolo, su cosa sia il Recovery Plan: abbiamo scoperto che è debito europeo, quindi è un indebitamento che si assumerà sulle sue spalle l'Unione europea; abbiamo scoperto che i primi soldi probabilmente arriveranno dopo più di un anno dallo scoppio della crisi; abbiamo scoperto che per ripagare questo debito i cittadini europei dovranno sostenere delle tasse europee e abbiamo scoperto che ci sono delle condizioni, delle condizioni che, a mio avviso, cozzano sia con quello che è il programma della Presidenza Costa sia con quella che è la visione, ad esempio su alcune regole, che trasversalmente il Parlamento europeo ha espresso – lo diceva la collega del gruppo socialista.

Il patto di stabilità e crescita va rivisto, è vetusto, non è più attuale e credo che Lei, Presidente Costa, possa essere d'accordo con questo e quindi mi vorrei interrogare sul fatto che noi, da una parte, diciamo che questo patto va cambiato e la Commissione si è impegnata a rivederlo e, dall'altra parte, nel regolamento sul Recovery Fund scriviamo nella pietra che, in cambio di quei soldi, dobbiamo rispettare il patto di stabilità e crescita, vincolandoci a queste regole che dobbiamo cambiare per i prossimi quindici o vent'anni. Quindi io vorrei capire anche come queste condizionalità si sposano col programma della Presidenza portoghese e soprattutto cosa intende Lei per pilastro sociale.

Voglio concludere facendoLe un in bocca al lupo, perché i prossimi sei mesi saranno molto difficili e Lei dovrà attuare questa che è una risposta, seppur tardiva, alla crisi attuale. Credo che serva il coraggio di cambiare, il coraggio di guardare indietro, il coraggio di capire che l'approccio che abbiamo utilizzato è completamente sbagliato, il coraggio di rinnegare anche quelle scelte sbagliate. Credo che senza una rivoluzione di buon senso e del buon senso l'Europa non potrà uscire da questa crisi.

 
  
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  Philippe Lamberts, au nom du groupe Verts/ALE. – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Premier ministre, bienvenue au Parlement européen, chers collègues, sur le plan environnemental, social, économique, je dirais même géopolitique, les priorités du Portugal pour sa présidence du Conseil s’inscrivent dans la dynamique générale imprimée par la Commission von der Leyen, qui a placé un pacte vert pour l’Europe au cœur de son programme.

Donc, a priori, nous aurions envie de vous suivre les yeux fermés mais, comme le dit l’adage, le diable se cache dans les détails. Et il en est un – et il est de taille Monsieur le Premier ministre – qui contredit totalement les belles ambitions affichées. Je veux parler de votre obstination à vouloir coûte que coûte ratifier cette relique du XXe siècle qu’est le projet de traité de libre-échange entre l’Union européenne et le Mercosur. Une obstination que vous partagez d’ailleurs avec votre collègue espagnol Pedro Sánchez, un socialiste tout comme vous.

Et là, nous ne vous suivons pas, mais alors là pas du tout! Ce projet, s’il devait être ratifié, serait un désastre pour le climat et la biodiversité car il accroitra la déforestation et les émissions de gaz à effet de serre. Ce serait un désastre pour nos agriculteurs aujourd’hui déjà accablés par une course sans fin au productivisme et confrontés demain à une nouvelle concurrence déloyale, alors que les suicides déciment déjà le monde agricole. Ce serait un désastre pour les travailleurs là-bas, qui subiraient des pertes massives d’emploi dans le secteur industriel, mais aussi pour les défenseurs de l’environnement, qui aujourd’hui déjà paient de leur vie la défense de ce bien commun qu’est l’Amazonie.

Ce serait enfin un désastre sanitaire, d’abord parce que nos assiettes se retrouveront encore plus envahies de produits alimentaires bourrés de pesticides, dont la plupart d’ailleurs sont interdits en Europe, mais aussi parce que la déforestation massive couplée à l’élevage animal intensif favorise la transmission aux humains de maladies, telles la COVID-19.

Tout cela pour quoi? La croissance me direz-vous. Parlons-en: 0,1 point de PIB en plus pour l’Union européenne et la même chose en moins pour le Mercosur. Non, le véritable objectif est d’accroître encore les marges bénéficiaires des multinationales en mettant toujours plus sous pression la planète et le vivant, y compris les humains. Et ce, alors que notre planète et nos sociétés minées par les inégalités sont déjà au bord de la rupture.

Monsieur le Premier ministre, ce traité n’est ni fait ni à faire. Et ce n’est pas en lui accolant une petite déclaration par-ci ou un protocole par-là qu’il deviendrait vertueux.

Mr Prime Minister, you may put lipstick on a pig, it remains a pig.

Depuis trop longtemps, la majorité des socialistes européens, au nom de la croissance et de l’emploi, a gobé le mythe selon lequel ce qui était bon pour les multinationales et pour ceux qu’elles enrichissent est bon pour nos sociétés. Je vous le dis, réveillez-vous!

Monsieur le Premier ministre, si vous prenez au sérieux le principe qui veut que plus aucune de nos politiques ne peut aggraver la situation environnementale et sociale de la planète, ce fameux «do no harm principle», vous devez reléguer le traité avec le Mercosur, en tous cas comme aujourd’hui négocié, aux poubelles de l’histoire. À rebours du nivellement par le bas qu’elle a produit jusqu’ici, il est temps de faire de notre politique commerciale l’instrument central d’une émulation vertueuse en faveur de normes sociales, environnementales, sanitaires, fiscales et même démocratiques toujours plus élevées.

 
  
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  Peter Lundgren, för ECR-gruppen. – Herr Talman! Välkommen hit premiärminister Costa. Tro mig, ni har att göra. Det finns arbete att sätta tänderna i.

Jag vill lyfta tre punkter. EU recovery fund. Vad menar man egentligen med solidaritetsfond? Som exempel får Italien 9 miljarder till hälsovård, 17 miljarder till jämställdhet och den allra största delen, 75 miljarder, går till klimatomställning. Vad har det här med Corona att göra? Efter USA och Tyskland har Italien den största guldreserven. Kanske kunde man använt bara en liten bit av den reserven? Varför ska svenska skattebetalare vara med och finansiera detta? Att använda 75 miljarder euro från Coronafonden för klimatomställning i Italien – är det solidaritet mot de svenska skattebetalarna? Ni kan kalla det vad ni vill: Coronafond, nextgenerationfond. Jag kallar det för att Sverige är en bankomat för Sydeuropa.

Nästa sak jag vill ta upp vaccinationspass och där hoppas jag ni gör en insats. Kommer fritt resande i framtiden bara vara möjligt för innehavarna av ett sådant? Vi ska alltså dela in människor i kategorier nu? Detta är ett skrämmande exempel på hur coronakrisen utnyttjas för att skapa en federal stat.

Slutligen – freedom of speech. Jag ser inget i Portugals program om detta. Big Tech-bolagen är de nya makthavarna. Det är de som avgör vem som får yttra sig. Det är lagen som sätter gränser för vad som är olagligt eller inte att uttrycka i sociala medier, inte plattformägarnas politiska preferenser eller godtycke. Och rätten att ha ett konto bör vara den vägledande principen.

Lycka till Portugal! Jag hoppas ni kan påverka.

 
  
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  Manon Aubry, au nom du groupe The Left. – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Premier ministre Costa, bienvenue ici au Parlement européen. 13 000 suppressions de postes chez Airbus, 10 000 chez IBM, 2 300 chez Michelin, 2 000 chez Sodexho. Je pourrais continuer d’énumérer cette liste sordide de plans sociaux pendant des heures, tellement la crise sociale fait rage partout en Europe. Des entreprises qui licencient à tour de bras, des indépendants étranglés par les dettes, le chômage qui explose: voilà la terrible situation de l’Europe en ce début d’année. Voilà ce qui doit être la priorité absolue de votre présidence.

La récession a bon dos pour les profiteurs de crise qui reçoivent des aides publiques sans aucune contrepartie sociale. Alors oui, pour distribuer des dividendes à leurs actionnaires, certaines des multinationales n’ont pas hésité un seul instant, mais quand il s’agit de sauver l’emploi, il n’y a plus personne. Prenez, par exemple, Sanofi, quatre milliards d’euros de dividendes et 1 700 postes supprimés.

Derrière ces chiffres qui donnent le tournis, ce sont autant de vies bouleversées, de visages inquiets, de familles déboussolées qui sombrent dans la pauvreté, s’enfoncent encore plus dans la précarité. En Italie, ce sont 3,7 millions de personnes qui ont eu recours à l’aide alimentaire, en France c’est 30 % d’augmentation, à Barcelone les repas distribués ont été multipliés par 20.

Chers collègues, dans l’une des zones les plus riches au monde, les gens ont faim. La misère touche tous les segments de notre société et elle s’abat avec plus de force encore sur les jeunes. Déjà ignorés, ils se retrouvent carrément abandonnés avec cette crise. En France, 50 % des étudiants ont du mal à s’alimenter correctement, un quart ont eu des pensées suicidaires, quand ils ne passent pas déjà à l’acte, comme ces deux étudiants à Lyon. Une génération entière est sacrifiée et appelle à l’aide, mais nos gouvernements refusent de l’entendre.

Alors la présidence portugaise a déclaré qu’elle ferait de la crise sociale sa priorité. Au nom de notre groupe de la Gauche au Parlement européen, je voudrais vous faire une proposition simple mais pleine de sens, lourde de sens. Décrétons l’état d’urgence sociale. Notre Parlement a proclamé il y a peu l’état d’urgence climatique face à la destruction de notre planète. Réagissons avec la même intensité face au tsunami de pauvreté qui risque de tout emporter sur son passage. Décrétons l’état d’urgence sociale pour les jeunes dans la galère, pour les gens dans la misère, décrétons l’état d’urgence sociale.

 
  
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  Márton Gyöngyösi (NI). – Mr President, tasks and challenges facing the Portuguese EU Presidency are clear. But from a long list let me just highlight two which require special attention and without which our European Union cannot last – and thank you, Mr Costa, for elaborating on both.

First, solidarity and granting of benefits of economic cooperation to all Member States i.e. strengthening the social pillar, closing the wage gap across our continent and between the periphery and the core countries, we just cannot afford to have winners and losers of European cooperation. Second, strengthening the rule of law and democratic institutions by implementing the rule-of-law mechanism adopted here recently.

But first and foremost, the Portuguese Presidency should depart from its predecessors’ bad habit of making decisions behind closed doors just in the interests of a few Member States and particular interests. There is nothing more damaging and disengaging than this practice. The EU must be transparent and work for the benefit of its Member States, all 27 of them.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE). – Senhor Presidente, Senhor Primeiro-Ministro António Costa, Senhora Presidente da Comissão, a Presidência portuguesa começa hoje sobre o signo de um profundo pesar e de uma janela de esperança. Janela de esperança pela campanha de vacinação, profundo pesar pelo número de mortos na Europa, agora trágico também em Portugal. Na pessoa do Primeiro-Ministro presto tributo a todos eles e às suas famílias, agradeço emocionado aos profissionais de saúde.

Falando de saúde. Tem algum plano para coordenar as respostas dos governos em sede de medidas de restrição? Se no Natal se tivesse optado pela coordenação e se tivesse seguido os exemplos francês, alemão e italiano, os números em Portugal não seriam tão trágicos. Agora já está disposto a apostar nessa coordenação? Falando de economia, com os efeitos terríveis desta vaga, vai propor um programa de emergência que apoie os setores mais afetados no curto prazo, emprego jovem, turismo, restauração?

Quanto ao Fundo de Recuperação, que vai fazer para garantir que o dinheiro é bem aplicado? Essa é, aliás, uma das funções da Procuradoria Europeia, combater a fraude e a corrupção de fundos europeus. Não lhe farei perguntas sobre isso porque há um debate de urgência que, a pedido do governo, foi adiado de ontem para hoje.

Assim sendo, e como está cá, lanço o desafio. Represente em pessoa o Conselho nesse debate. É o local próprio para se explicar e congratulo-me por, afinal, se ter convertido à Conferência sobre o Futuro da Europa depois de tanto a ter desvalorizado em dezembro de 2019 e ao longo do primeiro semestre de 2020.

Finalmente, uma nota pessoal. Nós que nos conhecemos e convivemos há tantos anos, com respeito, afabilidade e sentido democrático. Está na Casa da democracia europeia de que foi membro. Aqui, olhos nos olhos, diga-nos acha mesmo que deputados de todos os partidos e de todos os Estados-Membros alinharam numa conspiração internacional contra Portugal, o Estado e o Governo português? Tem mesmo coragem de repetir aqui que isso foi montado diante de todos?

Acredite, os deputados do PSD estarão sempre ao lado de Portugal e da Europa. Vou trabalhar para que Portugal e o Governo português tenham sucesso, mas vou trabalhar como sempre, sem medo de ameaças, sem medo de intimidações.

 
  
  

PRESIDENZA: ROBERTA METSOLA
Viċi President

 
  
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  Carlos Zorrinho (S&D). – Senhora Presidente, Senhor Primeiro-Ministro, é nos momentos difíceis que se revela o carácter e a capacidade dos povos, das pessoas e das instituições. Como português e como europeu orgulho-me da lucidez e da coragem com que a Presidência portuguesa definiu e está a pôr em prática as suas prioridades. Uma definição pragmática, porque quando as pessoas estão a sofrer, como tantas estão a sofrer com os impactos sanitários, económicos e sociais da pandemia, o pragmatismo é o primeiro dos princípios.

 

A resposta às necessidades dos cidadãos é um dever humanista e o antídoto contra o populismo. E nós sabemos, até por experiência na política interna de Portugal, que há quem não hesite em propagar falsas narrativas para enfraquecer a capacidade de cumprir. E foi o que fez, aliás, na sua intervenção, o deputado Paulo Rangel.

 

No debate desta tarde tudo será de novo esclarecido sobre a nomeação do Procurador Europeu por Portugal e espero, então, que o Sr. Deputado tenha a humildade de pedir desculpa. Mas nós cumpriremos. Cumpriremos tirando todo o partido do novo ciclo de cooperação solidária da União, concretizando a estratégia comum de vacinação, avançando no enraizamento progressivo de uma união da saúde, aprofundando a dimensão social da tradição energética e a realização digital e, na Cimeira Social do Porto, dando espaço para tornar realidade novas medidas concretas quanto às desigualdades, quanto às novas precariedades e a favor da dignidade. Iremos mais além.

Hoje mesmo inicia-se um novo ciclo na geopolítica global com a tomada de posse da nova Administração Americana. É o tempo de um novo multilateralismo com mais autonomia estratégica. A Cimeira com a Índia, a amarração digital à América do Sul, a atenção especial às relações com África, ao novo ciclo de relações transatlânticas marcam os primeiros passos da União Europeia neste novo ciclo.

Senhor Primeiro-Ministro, a ligação do cabo submarino EllaLink a Sines, da América do Sul a Sines, é, aliás, um sinal da perceção clara de que nenhuma estratégia de combate às alterações climáticas ou de digitalização inclusiva será bem-sucedida se for apenas europeia. As estratégias serão tanto mais europeias quanto mais conseguirem ser, ao mesmo tempo, globais.

 
  
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  Malik Azmani (Renew). – Madam President, I would like to welcome Prime Minister Costa to this House.

Leaving the turmoil of 2020 behind us, we look forward into 2021. With the start of vaccination programmes throughout the European Union, there’s finally some light at the end of the tunnel, and that gives us hope. But at the same time, we are not there yet. But together, as President von der Leyen mentioned, we can get through this. I believe that only together can we get through this.

With the start of 2021, we also welcome the new Presidency. Although the COVID—19 health crisis will keep dominating the agenda, we also have to look beyond this crisis. Renew Europe shares the ambitions of the Portuguese Presidency to deliver on key issues, such as the green and digital transition, a strong recovery of the European economy, strengthening the role of the EU in a turbulent world, and making headway with the Conference on the Future of Europe.

We also underline the priority to make progress on the new agreement on migration and asylum. Europe needs a comprehensive migration policy that looks internally at the challenges we face, but crucially, also with an external focus. We need to have good solid partnerships with countries of origin and transit to address and tackle our illegal and, above all, dangerous routes of migration to the European Union. How is this Presidency going to keep pressure on this process?

With the digital transition moving forward, we must not forget to respect and defend the fundamental rights of users, the protection of our democracy and ensure a level playing field for our businesses. The Digital Services Act is a matter of priority for Renew, and my message to the Portuguese Presidency is that we now need to deliver and create a safer digital space.

 
  
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  Nicolas Bay (ID). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Premier ministre, chers collègues, parmi les priorités de la présidence portugaise de l’Union, certaines sont intéressantes, d’autres beaucoup plus inquiétantes, laissant craindre notamment une aggravation du risque de censure sur internet et de restriction des libertés numériques. Les récents événements aux États-Unis devraient au contraire nous inciter à lutter contre l’emprise des GAFA et leur volonté de privatisation pure et simple des libertés publiques.

Sur la mise en œuvre du plan de relance européen: si le soutien à nos économies dévastées est évidemment vital, je reste dubitatif quant au plan de relance lui-même, dont on ignore tout, notamment du financement, et dont les dépenses des États membres seront soumises à l’étroit contrôle, une fois de plus, de la Commission européenne.

Tous les prétextes sont bons pour plus de centralisation bruxelloise, alors même que la rigidité bureaucratique, l’absence d’anticipation et le manque d’agilité ont caractérisé les institutions européennes tout au long de la crise sanitaire.

Avec ce plan de relance, mon pays, la France recevra au total 35 milliards d’euros de moins que ce qu’il versera alors même que nous sommes l’un des pays les plus touchés. Sans doute s’agit-il là encore d’une grande victoire d’Emmanuel Macron sur la scène européenne.

La présidence portugaise désire également approfondir le marché unique. Mais ce qu’il faut à ce marché, avant son approfondissement, c’est sa protection! Il faut lutter contre la concurrence déloyale, il faut réindustrialiser pour gagner en indépendance sur la scène mondiale.

Il faut une meilleure sécurité alimentaire pour nos nations et sanitaire pour nos peuples. Il faut augmenter les contrôles et imposer le respect de nos normes à ceux qui veulent vendre sur le sol européen.

L’accord du Mercosur serait une véritable trahison pour nos agriculteurs, il serait aussi dangereux pour nos concitoyens, il serait enfin, et vous le savez, désastreux pour l’environnement.

Le Portugal, grand pays de conquérants et d’explorateurs européens, devrait montrer la voie de l’indépendance, de la puissance et du rayonnement de notre civilisation et de nos nations plutôt que de rester englué dans les vieux dogmes mondialistes dont l’application aboutit à notre déclassement aujourd’hui et nous menace de disparition demain.

 
  
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  Jordi Solé (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, Prime Minister, I’m happy to see on the Portuguese Presidency programme several references on the need to improve democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights in the European Union. However, to be honest it leaves me a little puzzled seeing these commitments, but at the same time not seeing any real progress to overcome serious situations that we are currently having over these matters. I’m sure you would agree that it is untenable that a Member State has been keeping politicians and civil society activists in jail or exile for more than three years now for supporting a demographic vote in Catalonia. This is a situation that simply cannot hold any longer and which indeed contradicts EU values. Therefore, I’m asking you, Prime Minister, as holder of the Presidency of the Council, to encourage the Spanish Government to take, during this semester, clear steps towards dialogue with Catalonia, to engage in political negotiations with the Catalan Government and to find a solution for our pro-independence leaders, which should be based on an amnesty law.

 
  
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  Derk Jan Eppink (ECR). – Voorzitter, mij viel een zekere ironie op. Italië heeft met ruim 200 miljard euro zo veel geld uit de meerjarenbegroting gekregen dat de coalitiegenoten in de Italiaanse regering zo veel ruzie kregen dat die regering in crisis raakte. Ik dacht dat het hulpfonds voor stabiliteit zou zorgen. Maar misschien heeft Italië wel te veel geld gekregen.

De president van de Italiaanse centrale bank, de heer Visco, zei vorig jaar in Elsevier dat Italië – en ik citeer – “geen geld nodig heeft, maar hervormingen”. De Italiaanse vissers lopen jaarlijks circa 100 miljard euro mis wegens een gebrekkige inning van de btw. Italië krijgt 85 miljard uit het coronahulpfonds van 750 miljard euro. Nederland krijgt zeer weinig maar staat wel borg voor 43 miljard ingeval landen het door de Commissie geleende geld niet kunnen terugbetalen. Nederland is dus een pinautomaat.

Misschien kan de Italiaanse regeringscrisis het best worden opgelost door af te zien van een groot deel van die 200 miljard. Minder geld betekent minder ruzie. Nederland is ook in crisis en kan dus zijn geld perfect zelf gebruiken.

 
  
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  José Gusmão (The Left). – Senhora Presidente, Senhor Primeiro-Ministro, nós não traremos para este plenário debates nacionais que apenas revelam a absoluta ausência de agenda nacional e europeia de uma direita que só se agarra a casos e não debate nem as prioridades do país nem as prioridades da Europa.

Mas lamentamos que não haja, no documento da Presidência portuguesa, uma clara intenção em discutir o que será o futuro da governação económica na Europa, nomeadamente perante as intenções que vão sendo cada vez mais claras da direita europeia para, depois de um breve interlúdio de apoio à recuperação económica, iniciar programas de ajustamento, pressões sobre os governos nacionais para que retirem os apoios à economia, uma política que o nosso país conhece muito bem, que teve consequências catastróficas e que o Governo português deveria contribuir para combater através da Presidência da União Europeia.

Lamento que esse debate não seja aberto durante o próximo semestre e que a nossa Presidência não contribua para mudar, de vez, regras de governação económica que não servem a União Europeia. Penso também que uma Presidência que dá tanto destaque à questão social, inclusive anuncia a proposta da Cimeira Social, devia dar um destaque também muito importante às questões do trabalho no âmbito das questões sociais e isso, infelizmente, não acontece e é, lamentavelmente, consistente com o que tem sido a política do Governo português de não reverter as alterações à legislação de trabalho do tempo da troika.

Finalmente, uma presidência que quer ter o clima no centro não pode ter como uma das suas prioridades persistir no atentado ecológico que é o acordo de livre comércio com o Mercosul, que é uma espada que pende sobre a Amazónia e sobre o equilíbrio ecológico à escala global. Este acordo tem que ser abandonado e a Presidência portuguesa da União Europeia seria um excelente momento para o fazer.

 
  
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  Daniela Rondinelli (NI). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, un anno e mezzo fa il Movimento 5 Stelle è stato decisivo per salvare l'Europa dall'abisso dei nazionalismi con il nostro voto favorevole a Lei, Presidente von der Leyen, per un progetto politico ambizioso e orientato al futuro.

Con la stessa convinzione oggi, come Movimento 5 Stelle, accogliamo il programma della Presidenza portoghese, che pone una serie di priorità per i cittadini europei che coincidono con quelle che il governo italiano si è dato per la presidenza del G20, a testimonianza di una continuità politica e di azioni comuni che possiamo portare avanti insieme per affrontare l'attuale crisi pandemica a livello europeo e internazionale.

Dalla digitalizzazione etica e antropocentrica, all'accelerazione della transizione verde, fino al completamento del pilastro sociale, quelli che erano i temi di un movimento nato tra la gente per la gente oggi sono patrimonio e meta del nostro continente.

Primo ministro Costa, chiediamo alla Sua Presidenza di farsi promotrice di un vero cambiamento e di proporre la revisione del patto di stabilità, affinché le risorse messe a disposizione da Next Generation EU possano davvero generare una ripresa economica che sia quanto più espansiva possibile nel lungo periodo.

Con coerenza diciamo che sosteniamo il progetto europeo secondo i valori fondanti, perché non ci sarà vero progresso se non sarà per tutti i cittadini.

 
  
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  Siegfried Mureşan (PPE). – Madam President, Prime Minister Costa, welcome to the European Parliament. Portugal is holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the fourth time, and whenever Portugal held the Presidency in the past, it was linked to important moments for the further development of the European Union. It was the Portuguese Presidency in 1992 when the Maastricht Treaty was signed, negotiated during the Dutch Presidency, signed during the Portuguese Presidency. The 2007 Treaty of Lisbon: negotiated, agreed, and signed under the Portuguese Presidency. It became fundamental law for all of us, for the European Union. And the Portuguese Presidency in the year 2000 marked decisive steps towards the accession to the European Union for some Member States in the south and in the east of the continent – Malta, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, and my home country, Romania.

So Europe owes a lot to previous Portuguese Presidencies of the European Union, and the moment in time now is equally important. The Portuguese Presidency needs to lay the ground for the European Union of the future – more innovative, based on research, digital, based on a process of greening which works for the economy, works for people and works for enterprise.

In December we managed to make important decisions: we agreed on the budget of the European Union for the next seven years, and we agreed on the biggest economy rescue package that the European Union has ever done. Now, Prime Minister Costa, it’s time that we make this work. Money needs to arrive to people in need, to enterprises in need, to regions, very soon. In two weeks’ time will take here in the plenary of Parliament the final vote for the Recovery and Resilience Facility, and I’m calling upon you, Prime Minister, to work with the Member States to also do the last steps at national level, specifically ratifying the own-resources decision so that we give the European Commission the permission to go to the market, to borrow the money so that it can reach the people in need very soon. Thank you very much, Prime Minister Costa, good luck for the next six months.

 
  
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  Simona Bonafè (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, la nuova Presidenza portoghese parte mentre siamo ancora alle prese con l'emergenza coronavirus, ma dobbiamo cominciare a ripensare il futuro dell'Europa.

Le cose da fare sono tante, ma prima di tutto occorre mettere in sicurezza sanitaria gli europei con il piano coordinato di vaccinazioni e far ripartire l'economia con Next Generation EU, strumento storico, reso possibile da chi ha creduto nell'Europa e nella forza della sua unità a dispetto di quanti, ancora oggi da questi banchi, picconano proprio quei provvedimenti che permettono alle risorse europee di arrivare a cittadini e imprese il prima possibile.

Sull'approvazione dei piani nazionali di ripresa deve essere adesso concentrata la nostra attenzione: non ci servono piani di ripresa nazionali qualsiasi, ma piani di ripresa che sappiano fare di questa drammatica crisi un'opportunità per cambiare radicalmente il modello di sviluppo, renderlo più a misura di persona, sostenibile ambientalmente e socialmente, con un occhio particolare a chi ha perso il lavoro e alle nuove generazioni, che rischiano di portare sulle loro spalle il peso dei prossimi debiti, se non saremo in grado di investire oggi su progetti per la crescita di domani.

Queste sono le uniche condizionalità che accetteremo. Buon lavoro, Presidente.

 
  
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  Katalin Cseh (Renew). – Madam President, I wish the Portuguese Presidency good work.

Last year, the EU showed courage, vision and solidarity in its pandemic response and climate policy, as well as in the rule of law crisis. But sadly, the Council was more often part of the problem than the solution.

There are too many leaders on the conservative side who still believe that silence, autocrats and their corruption is what holds Europe together. But they are wrong. Further appeasement of and concessions to autocrats will only embolden them and make Europe weaker. The Portuguese Presidency now has the chance to be wiser.

The other thing that makes Europe weaker are the Trojan horses within the Union who misuse the unanimity rule. Just look at the outrageous arrest of Alexei Navalny and at Mr Szijjártó, an EU foreign minister who will pay a friendly visit to Moscow this Friday. We will be never be a global player if we play like this.

I hope the Portuguese Presidency will be a partner in fixing this broken system and thus making Europe a truly global player.

 
  
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  Gunnar Beck (ID). – Frau Präsidentin! Der EU-Migrationspakt ist ein Herzstück Ihrer Präsidentschaft und soll das Dublin-System ersetzen. Doch Dublin ist nicht das Problem. Denn was seit 2015 geschieht, ist laut Dublin Unrecht. Dieser Migrationspakt indes macht Unrecht zu Recht, indem er Asylrecht und Einwanderungsrecht vermengt und so nationale Hoheitsrechte erodiert. Das bedarf eines neuen EU-Vertrages nach Artikel 48 Absatz 2 EUV, nicht einfacher Mehrheit, umso mehr, als der Pakt Aufnahmen beschleunigt und Abschiebungen nicht, gemeinsam mit NGOs neue Zugangswege erschließt und Aufnahmekapazitäten erhöht.

Dieser Pro-Migrations-Pakt normalisiert Migration. Kommen Sie doch zu Sinnen. Weitere drei Millionen Migranten, die die EU aufnimmt, zerrütten unseren Sozialstaat, und Afrika erzeugt drei Millionen Menschen alle drei Wochen.

 
  
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  Francisco Guerreiro (Verts/ALE). – Senhora Presidente, cara Presidente Ursula von der Leyen, caro Primeiro-Ministro António Costa, permitam-me começar com uma palavra de apoio a todos os profissionais, sobretudo aos de saúde, que trabalham na linha da frente do combate à COVID-19.

Mas esta pandemia não surgiu por obra do acaso. Segundo dados científicos, ela é um sintoma de um sistema falhado e em rutura. Falo do modo como produzimos e consumimos bens alimentares neste mundo globalizado e, considerando os riscos para a saúde pública, os impactos para a biodiversidade e a mitigação das alterações climáticas, tal como o bem-estar de milhões de animais na Europa, questiono a Comissão e a Presidência do Conselho sobre se procurarão ativamente que as decisões resultantes das negociações em torno da política agrícola comum, agora em fase de trílogos, se alicercem na estratégia europeia do Prato ao Prato e na estratégia para a preservação da biodiversidade. É que a política agrícola comum não é só 34% do Quadro Financeiro Plurianual. É uma política fundamental para cumprir o Pacto Ecológico Europeu e a melhor ferramenta para implementar processos produtivos resilientes e regenerativos.

 
  
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  Anna Zalewska (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! To trudne sześć miesięcy, wiele trudnych kwestii, które będą decydowały o przyszłości Europy: pandemia, szczepienia, odbudowywanie zaufania po tym, co zrobiła firma Pfeizer, ograniczając dostawy szczepionek, czy też Niemcy, które poza umową europejską negocjowały swoje kontrakty, i prawo klimatyczne, które wciąż jest niezakończone – prace nad nim muszą przyspieszyć (głosy Parlamentu, Komisji i Rady Europejskiej są rozbieżne), dostosowanie do prawa klimatycznego rozporządzeń, między innymi rozporządzeń dotyczących pochłaniaczy, jak również bardzo ważnego rozporządzenia o ETS.

Jak państwo dobrze widzą, ETS, czyli europejski system opłat za emisję dwutlenku węgla, wymknął się spod kontroli. W ciągu ostatnich kilku miesięcy dwukrotnie więcej trzeba zapłacić za emisję tony dwutlenku węgla. To alarm – trzeba w ciągu najbliższych tygodni doprowadzić do zmiany i rewizji tego rozporządzenia.

 
  
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  Sandra Pereira (The Left). – Senhora Presidente, Senhor Primeiro-Ministro, a dimensão dos problemas que vários países na União Europeia enfrentam, entre eles Portugal, exige a implementação de medidas opostas àquelas que, ao longo de décadas, estão na origem da regressão de direitos laborais e sociais, da crescente desigualdade social e concentração da riqueza, da fragilização e privatização dos serviços públicos, do aumento da dependência e do endividamento, do desrespeito pela soberania.

A gravidade da situação exige outro rumo que assegure o emprego com direitos, o reforço dos serviços públicos e das funções sociais do Estado, o apoio às micro, pequenas e médias empresas, o investimento nos setores estratégicos e produtivos, assegurando o desenvolvimento soberano de cada país e a convergência no progresso económico e social.

O chamado “Fundo de Recuperação” e o Quadro Financeiro Plurianual devem promover a concretização destes objetivos garantindo uma rápida mobilização dos recursos, tendo em conta a realidade económica e social e as necessidades específicas de cada país e sem a imposição de condicionalidades que interfiram com as decisões soberanas.

A anunciada Cimeira Social não deve resumir-se a uma proclamação de intenções e de políticas assentes no nivelamento, no retrocesso social ou de medidas que visem atenuar o impacto de uma planeada destruição de emprego. O que é exigido é um pacto pelo emprego e pelo progresso social que vise o pleno emprego, o emprego com direitos, a erradicação da precariedade, a valorização salarial. Um pacto que promova a defesa e o reforço dos serviços públicos em cada país, assegurando a universalidade de direitos, como o direito à saúde, à educação, à segurança social ou à habitação.

 
  
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  Dorien Rookmaker (NI). – Madam President, dear Prime Minister, dear colleagues, Portugal declared a state of emergency and every effort should be made to getting people vaccinated as quickly as possible. As we have seen, the EU is able to cooperate in such an emergency; there is no need for further integration or a superstate. We can work together if we have to. We need more of these good practices. Integration is not an objective in itself; it is simply necessary to achieve common goals. Abstract ideals do not inspire people; we need tangible results for everybody to see and for everybody to enjoy. If we really want people to make a connection to Europe, we have to make it possible for them to connect within Europe. Transport and tourism need improved cross-border connections, especially high-speed rail connections. TEN-T projects need cross-border commitment from EU leaders and Member States. Let’s make it possible; let’s get to work!

 
  
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  Kinga Gál (PPE). – Tisztelt Elnök asszony! Ami ma igazán érdekli a polgárokat, éljenek bármelyik szegletében az Uniónak az, hogy kapják vissza a pandémia előtti életüket. Ha ennek a beoltottság a feltétele, akkor jogosan kérdezik, mikor kapják meg az oltást. Azt nem lehet megmagyarázni, hogy amíg az Unión kívül milliószámra oltanak, addig nálunk hiányzik az oltóanyag. Ez megrendíti az uniós intézményekbe vetett bizalmat. A bizalom a kulcskérdés, miniszterelnök úr, hogy az Unió vissza tudja-e adni a polgárok biztonságérzetét pandémiával, gazdasági válsággal, migrációs kihívásokkal szemben. Ezért azt várjuk a portugál elnökségtől, hogy segítse elő, hogy legyen elegendő oltóanyag, hogy hajtsa végre a történelmi költségvetési megállapodást minél hatékonyabban. Állítsa vissza a polgárok bizalmát abban, hogy az Unió meg tudja és meg akarja védeni külső határait, hogy az illegális migráció megállítható és a jogosulatlan migránsok visszafordíthatók, és hogy a kötelező bevándorlási kvóta semmilyen formában sem megoldás. Ezt a visegrádi országok nem tudják elfogadni. Garanciát várunk a portugál elnökségtől, hogy a jogállamisági vizsgálódás nem válik zsarolási eszközzé, hogy ideológiai alapon nem támasztanak elvárásokat uniós kifizetésekkel kapcsolatban. Elfogadhatatlan, elnök asszony, hogy Jourová alelnök tegnapi nyilatkozatában pénzelvonással fenyegette meg a magyar kormányt. Elvárjuk, miniszterelnök úr a portugál elnökségtől a hetes cikk szerinti eljárás lezárását a Tanácsban.

Végül pedig állítsa vissza a bizalmat az európai polgári kezdeményezés eszközével, mert mi célt szolgál több mint egymillió összegyűjtött aláírás, ha a bizottság mégsem él jogalkotási kezdeményezéssel a hagyományos nemzeti, nyelvi kisebbségek védelmében? A nemzeti kisebbségvédelem a jogállamiság része. Ha ezzel mégsem kíván foglalkozni, akkor hiteltelenné válik Jourová minden jogállamiságot számonkérő érvelése. Lesz mit tennie a portugál elnökségnek a bizalom erősítése terén. Ehhez sok sikert kívánok!

 
  
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  Pedro Marques (S&D). – Senhora Presidente, Senhor Primeiro Ministro António Costa, Senhora Presidente da Comissão Europeia, num debate agendado para que o Parlamento discuta as prioridades da Presidência do Conselho para os próximos seis meses, onde nos devemos concentrar em salvar vidas, em salvar empregos, um deputado do PPE até agora escolheu desafinar de resto a Câmara, nacionalizar o debate e atacar o Primeiro-Ministro de Portugal.

Registo, com pesar, esta escolha do PPE, do PSD. Mas adiante, que este não é o tempo para a pequena política, porque a Presidência Portuguesa começa com grandes desafios. Garantir a unidade europeia enquanto continuamos o combate à pandemia, salvar vidas, vacinando os europeus, rejeitando os egoísmos nacionais neste processo.

Salvar empregos, ainda salvar empregos, agora que a terceira onda da pandemia nos obrigou a confinar novamente, contrariando a vontade de alguns falcões que desejam o regresso precipitado das regras macroeconómicas que iriam neste tempo gerar desemprego e desesperança. Se há dez anos houve dinheiro para os bancos, todo o que foi preciso, agora não vamos cortar as pernas aos trabalhadores, que não têm culpa nenhuma desta crise.

E preparar também o futuro, com uma recuperação verde e digital ambiciosa, mas que não deixe ninguém para trás. Saudamos Portugal e António Costa pela prioridade ao Pilar Social. E, pergunto, que avanços pensa a Presidência portuguesa conseguir nesta matéria? Podemos aprovar o calendário do plano de ação do Pilar Europeu dos Direitos Sociais na Cimeira Social do Porto?

 
  
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  Luis Garicano (Renew). – Señora presidenta, bienvenido al Parlamento Europeo, señor primer ministro Costa. Los planes nacionales de recuperación están empezando a llegar a Bruselas, pero algunos Estados miembros no desean hacer las reformas que Europa exige. Por ejemplo, en España, en mi país, los ministros populistas del Gobierno insisten en que no hay que hacer reformas, incluso quieren deshacer las que ya se han hecho. Piensan que el dinero europeo llegará igual.

La tentación de cada país será hacer la vista gorda a los planes de los demás: hoy por ti, mañana por mí. Pero no podemos permitir que los países se salten las condiciones europeas, señor Costa. Si ahora hacemos la vista gorda, si no hacemos las reformas, si no invertimos este dinero bien, el dinero europeo habrá sido un gran despilfarro con graves consecuencias para Europa.

Por eso, Europa debe ser firme. Usted, señor Costa, y usted, señora von der Leyen, deben exigir que el dinero europeo se gaste en las prioridades europeas. Su deber es no aprobar ningún plan que no incluya las reformas e inversiones que este Parlamento, la Comisión y el Consejo hemos acordado. Como usted ha dicho, señor Costa, es tiempo de cumplir.

 
  
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  Gerolf Annemans (ID). – Voorzitter, staat u mij toe de aandacht van de Portugese voorzitter te vragen voor de kwestie van de zogeheten brede investeringsovereenkomst tussen de EU en China. De burgers van Europa kregen het nieuws van dit akkoord ergens tussen de kerstboom en oudejaarsavond opgediend door mevrouw Merkel en meneer Macron, die – zoals we allemaal weten – deze Europese Unie de facto besturen. Wij, de andere lidstaten, mogen aan het handje meelopen.

Ik doe van hieruit de oproep aan Portugal, ook een kleine lidstaat, om dit in feite schandalige akkoord on hold te zetten en voorlopig ook on hold te houden. Immers, amper enkele uren na de protserige bekendmaking van dit akkoord werden in Hongkong, in opdracht van het Chinese regime, parlementsleden en politieke leiders aangehouden in pure Tiananmen-stijl. De democratie in Hongkong is volledig onthoofd, en wat doet Europa? Europa gaat zoete broodjes bakken met een investeringsakkoord. Dit is voor ons totaal onaanvaardbaar. Onze verhoudingen met China moeten volledig herzien worden. Er is een grondige evaluatie nodig, niet alleen wat Hongkong betreft maar ook inzake 5G, het coronavirus en de weinig subtiele militaire dreiging in de Zuid-Chinese Zee en elders. Dat alles moet ons hier in Europa inspireren om alle naïviteit te beëindigen, hier en nu meteen.

Het wordt tijd dat wij het onmiddellijke gewin en de politieke marketing van de Europese Unie vervangen door een verstandige strategie op lange termijn.

 
  
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  Yannick Jadot (Verts/ALE). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Premier ministre, vous avez fait du climat, le coeur de votre intervention et de l'agenda européen et, sans surprise, vous n'avez pas évoqué le Mercosur, parce que l'accord de libre-échange sur le Mercosur, à cause du soja, du bœuf, du bioéthanol, c'est plus 25 % de déforestation et donc cela contribue massivement au dérèglement climatique.

Pourtant, Monsieur le Premier ministre, depuis 2 000, année d'ouverture de la négociation avec le Mercosur, c'est 5,5 fois la superficie du Portugal en déforestation sur l'Amazonie. 5,5 fois la superficie de votre pays et vous savez, vous avez été premier ministre au moment des feux terribles qui ont ravagé votre pays. Alors Monsieur le Premier ministre, puisque vous voulez la ratification de cet accord, comment justifierez-vous auprès de vos compatriotes portugais les prochains feux de forêt, issus du dérèglement climatique?

Madame la Présidente, quand il y aura une nouvelle pandémie issue de la déforestation, de l'élevage industriel, qu'est-ce que vous direz aux citoyens européens? Quand il y aura un scandale sanitaire des pesticides ou de la maltraitance animale au Brésil, quand il y aura un scandale de corruption, comment justifierez-vous aux Européens d'avoir signé? Alors rouvrez cet accord, vous ne pouvez pas dire qu'aujourd'hui on ne peut pas rouvrir l'accord avec le Mercosur, au moment où tout change.

 
  
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  Geert Bourgeois (ECR). – Voorzitter, mijnheer de eerste minister, Lissabon is één van mijn favoriete steden en bovendien stel ik vast dat u enkele goede klemtonen legt. U kiest resoluut voor multilateralisme en u zult daarin een medestander vinden bij Joe Biden, die het goede idee heeft om een top van de democratische landen te organiseren. Ik vraag u: zet op uw agenda ook een top van de EU en de Verenigde Staten.

Succes ook met uw plannen voor nieuwe handelsverdragen, zeker in Midden- en Zuid-Amerika. Ik hoop dat u een draagvlak vindt voor Mercosur, met aanvullende engagementen voor duurzaamheid en bosbeheer.

Ik vraag u ook om alles op alles te zetten om eindelijk tot een doorbraak te komen met India. Maak van die top een succes. Ik denk dat u op het Europees Parlement kunt rekenen.

Ik ben veel terughoudender voor uw sociale top. Ik vraag u om de herverdelende bevoegdheden bij de lidstaten te houden. Respecteer de subsidiariteit om het vertrouwen in de Unie te behouden.

 
  
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  Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó (NI). – Madam President, Prime Minister, the cloud of key words that will identify the Portuguese semester will be very similar to that which identified the German Presidency: Next Generation EU, digital transition, climate emergency, but also pandemic, confinement, vaccines, economic crisis and unemployment.

It is true that the Portuguese Presidency will open a new stage in the relationship with the United States and will have the opportunity to restore, with President Biden, everything that President Trump has broken. In this sense, we have full confidence in the ability and the Atlantic vision of Portugal.

But what worries me most is everything that is clouded by the pandemic cloud. I am referring above all to rights and freedoms, certainly in EU countries like Spain that have political prisoners and use repression against political dissidents.

Please Mr Prime Minister, fight to ensure that the pandemic does not make human rights and fundamental rights invisible. Can we beat the virus without freedom? COVID—19 maybe yes, but the crypto-fascism virus, no.

 
  
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  Dolors Montserrat (PPE). – Señora presidenta; señor Puigdemont, ¡no venga a contar mentiras! Usted es un fugado de la justicia, un enemigo de la democracia y del Estado de Derecho. Estoy convencidísima de que la Presidencia portuguesa va a defender con vehemencia el Estado de Derecho y la democracia.

Presidente Costa, los próximos seis meses tienen que llevarnos inexorablemente a la salida de la crisis sanitaria. Tenemos las herramientas, la vacuna y la firme voluntad de terminar esta terrible pandemia. Los europeos están exhaustos. Si la Presidencia alemana nos ha dejado la vacuna y su acceso, ahora la Presidencia de Portugal tiene que poner todos los recursos necesarios para que, dentro de seis meses, los europeos estén mayoritariamente inmunizados y vacunados contra el virus.

No hay alternativa. Solo desde la seguridad sanitaria se podrán impulsar nuestras economías, industrias y empleos, afectados por culpa de la pandemia. Y, junto a ello, hay muchos retos para el próximo Semestre que no pueden ser olvidados, como reorientar los acuerdos de pesca tras el Brexit para defender a nuestros pescadores, la crisis migratoria, o la crisis turística y hotelera tras la COVID.

Hoy hay millones de europeos preocupados no solo por saber cuándo se vacunarán, sino también por su empleo, por su negocio. Se despiertan cada mañana sin saber si cobrarán a final de mes, hasta cuándo estarán en ERTE o en el paro. Estos seis meses que tenemos por delante tienen que ser los del impulso de la recuperación y la esperanza, con las reformas nacionales ambiciosas para crear empleo.

Todos queremos el éxito de la Presidencia portuguesa, porque será el éxito de la Unión Europea. Pero, presidente Costa, le he de decir que difícilmente podrá ser así si no se disipa la sombra de toda duda sobre la elección del fiscal portugués ante la Fiscalía Europea. No hay tiempo que perder: aclárenlo. Hoy tienen la oportunidad. Los europeos le estamos esperando.

 
  
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  Kati Piri (S&D). – Madam President, I should like to say to Prime Minister Costa that you are taking the lead at a time when the world needs exactly that: leadership. Not only within the EU borders, but also in the global arena, and this requires the moral leadership to say that a world in which two thirds of the population will have no access to COVID-19 vaccines by 2022 is unacceptable.

It also requires the executive leadership to enact the EU’s first sanctions against the world’s worst perpetrators of human-rights violations under the new global human-rights sanctions regime, and it requires the global leadership to stand up to China, to hold Russia to account and to rebuild our transatlantic and multilateral ties while strengthening Europe’s ability to take responsibility.

The S&D Group looks forward to working with you on a truly progressive global agenda. Good luck.

 
  
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  Stéphane Séjourné (Renew). – Madame la Présidente, Madame la Présidente de la Commission européenne, monsieur le Premier ministre António Costa, j'ai écouté avec attention les priorités de la présidence portugaise et nous partageons les grandes orientations et les grandes priorités de de cette présidence.

La relance économique pour assurer l'exécution de notre budget européen et notre plan de relance européen, l'action pour le climat afin d'approuver la loi européenne sur le climat et garantir au moins 55 % de réduction d'émissions de CO2 d'ici 2030, le numérique pour garantir la souveraineté européenne, l'Europe sociale avec la préparation de ce sommet de Porto, qui doit donner un élan au socle européen des droits sociaux, ainsi que l'Europe ouverte au monde géopolitique avec un sommet Afrique, des relations avec le la Méditerranée, c'est l'autonomie stratégique.

Il faudra néanmoins garantir un point supplémentaire, monsieur le Premier ministre, sur le sujet institutionnel qui doit rétablir la confiance dans nos institutions. La conférence sur l'avenir de l'Europe doit être un moment important et doit sortir de terre assez rapidement au mois de juillet. Il faudra dépasser nos clivages et les blocages, nous serons au complet si nous décidons et nous débattons de comment décider ensemble.

 
  
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  Paolo Borchia (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signor Presidente Costa, per il bene dei popoli europei io mi auguro che la Sua sia una Presidenza umile, perché umiltà significa essere capaci di riflettere su quanto siano inadeguati i dogmi sul bilancio per uscire da questa crisi. La sospensione del patto di stabilità e il congelamento della normativa sugli aiuti di Stato non sono che la punta di un iceberg di insostenibilità.

La gente che lavora e le imprese hanno passato mesi a guardare a Bruxelles con fiducia, ma se non ci sarà il buon senso per capire che le condizionalità sono una trappola in una fase storica come questa, allora il Recovery Plan rischia di diventare un cappio al collo.

Secondo il Fondo monetario internazionale, lo stimolo fiscale adottato dai governi dell'eurozona è nettamente minore rispetto a quanto fatto dai governi delle economie avanzate dei paesi terzi. Questo significa che in Europa i governi hanno paura di fare spesa pubblica, per cui io mi auguro che questa Presidenza ne tenga conto perché un guinzaglio, per quanto allentato, rimane sempre un guinzaglio.

 
  
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  Tineke Strik (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, a Presidency comes with celebrations and joy but also with responsibilities and opportunities, especially where Member States are divided and are not willing to achieve progress.

On two topics, I urge you to take decisive action. One is to fight discrimination. The Black Lives Matter Movement shows that in Europe too many people still feel excluded from society and are discriminated against. Twelve years ago, the Commission proposed a horizontal equal-treatment directive to make sure that equal treatment applies to everyone in all situations. The Parliament swiftly adopted the proposal but it has been blocked in the Council up until now, so I urge you to take the lead to try to unblock this important file.

Another blocked file is the start of the negotiations with North Macedonia. For years now we have imposed requirements for this moment on them and the country did a tremendous job to meet all of them, and now one Member State misuses its EU membership to solve a bilateral dispute. I urge you to put pressure on Bulgaria to lift its blockade, and to restore the credibility of the EU regarding the Western Balkans. Their citizens deserve it.

 
  
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  Eugen Jurzyca (ECR). – Vážená pani predsedajúca. Považujem za maximálnu prioritu, aby boli zdroje zo záchranného balíka použité čo najefektívnejšie. Máme len jednu šancu využiť ich rozumne. Nie sú to peniaze zadarmo. Sú to zdroje, ktoré budeme desaťročia splácať z nových európskych daní. Chcem preto vyzvať predstaviteľov portugalského predsedníctva, aby podporili myšlienku „hodnoty za peniaze“ čerpaných zdrojov. Zelené a digitálne investície, ktoré sú stanovené ako priorita, musia rovnako podliehať testu efektivity. Prinesú vyššiu produktivitu ako iné investície? Nevieme celkom. Posilnia dlhodobý hospodársky rast? Tiež nevieme. Verejné investície nesmú byť alternatívou nevyhnutných štrukturálnych reforiem, ale len ich doplnkom. V opačnom prípade po záchrannom balíku ostanú len vyššie dane a nový dlh.

 
  
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  Tomas Tobé (PPE). – Madam President, for the European Union, for our citizens and for the migrants, the moment of truth is here. We need a common European approach to migration. It is time to break the political deadlock in the Council. Last September, the Commission presented its proposal for a new pact on migration and asylum. It is now crucial that the Portuguese Presidency move the work forward.

As Rapporteur on the Regulation on Asylum and Migration Management, I believe we now have an opportunity to find an efficient, pragmatic and practical political compromise. We need a meaningful solidarity for the front-line Member States and flexible options for the contributing Member States, and let me be clear: all Member States need to contribute in some way.

Therefore, the Council needs to unite on a position, by consensus would be ideal, but if it’s not feasible it should be by qualified majority. We need to start the reforms and I believe that this needs to be on the top of the agenda of the Portuguese Presidency.

My questions to the Portuguese Presidency and Prime Minister Costa are therefore: what actions will the Portuguese Presidency take during its term to unite the Council on a position; what is the timeline? And good luck of course with your Presidency.

 
  
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  Heléne Fritzon (S&D). – Fru talman, herr president och herr premiärminister! Under lång tid har vi socialdemokrater drivit på för ett starkt Europa, ett starkt socialt Europa, med trygghet, rättvisa och jämställdhet. Som svensk är jag väldigt stolt över att vår regering fick arrangera toppmötet i Göteborg där alla medlemsstater ställde sig bakom den sociala pelaren. Men nu, nu måste kampen gå vidare, inte minst i skuggan av den pågående pandemin.

Jag välkomnar därför det portugisiska ordförandeskapets tydliga vilja att prioritera de sociala frågorna. Jag vill särskilt betona vikten av att hålla ihop den sociala dimensionen med den gröna given och den digitala agendan. Vi ska ha ett mer socialt, ekologiskt och ekonomiskt hållbart Europa. Därför, herr Costa, så ser jag fram emot toppmötet i Porto. Tack för den inbjudan.

 
  
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  Guy Verhofstadt (Renew). – Madam President, I say to the Prime Minister: thank you for your clear commitment on the conference on the future of the European Union.

I know that there are still some problems in the Council, but I know your strengths. I think you are maybe the only one who can overcome that in the Council, and there is also good reason to do so, that conference, because it’s not because now that Trump is out and Biden is in that we can do business as usual.

We have reacted better to the COVID-19 crisis in comparison to the financial crisis – which was a disaster, because it took us 10 years to have the Banking Union and it’s still not there.

There are still weaknesses in the European Union. Migration is not solved. The problem of our geopolitical weakness in our relationship, for example, to Russia: not solved. The rule of law: a number of countries not biding by the rules. I think we need this conference urgently and I count on you, Prime Minister, to achieve that in the Council in the coming weeks if possible.

 
  
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  Philippe Olivier (ID). – Madame la Présidente, au seuil de cette présidence portugaise, Monsieur le Premier ministre, vous exprimiez votre volonté de faire aboutir le pacte pour l'immigration, ce pacte avec le diable. Ce pacte prétendument équilibré est irresponsable et totalitaire.

Il est irresponsable parce qu'il organise la submersion de l'Europe, avec pour objectif affiché son repeuplement. Il est totalitaire parce qu'il met en oeuvre des législations coercitives pour les États en étirant les traités, notamment les articles 79 et 80 du traité de fonctionnement de l'Union, en tordant le principe de subsidiarité, en faisant des migrations une compétence de droit commun de l'Union, quand elle n'était qu'une compétence d'exception. Or, on ne peut changer un traité que par un autre traité.

Cette mondialisation démographique de l'Europe, vous voulez la décider entre vous, sans qu'aucun véritable débat démocratique n'ait lieu. Parce qu'il y va de l'existence de l'Europe et de sa civilisation, pour le pacte d'immigration, nous vous demandons, monsieur le Premier ministre, de donner la parole au peuple en appliquant le principe de l'Europe plurimillénaire à laquelle appartient votre beau pays: Vox populi, Vox dei.

 
  
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  Sven Giegold (Verts/ALE). – Frau Präsidentin, Frau Kommissionspräsidentin! Sie haben zu Recht die europäische Impfstrategie verteidigt. Aber für die jetzige Phase der Pandemie brauchen wir deutlich mehr als eine gemeinsame Impfstrategie.

Akut haben wir es mit hochansteckenden Mutationen zu tun, die sich grenzüberschreitend ausbreiten. Viele Menschen könnten zusätzlich sterben, wenn die Schutzmaßnahmen und Shutdowns weiter ungleichzeitig und national beschlossen werden. Jetzt brauchen wir eine verbindliche Synchronisierung der Corona-Politik in Europa, das heißt, einen gemeinsamen Stufenplan mit möglichst einheitlichen Maßnahmen bei gleichen Inzidenzwerten. Entsprechende Vorschläge haben Top-Wissenschaftler in der „Contain COVID“-Initiative längst vorgelegt.

Frau von der Leyen, Premier Costa, seien Sie morgen beim EU-Gipfel mutig! Legen Sie einen europäischen Plan für eine europäische Corona-Politik vor! Alles andere, mit Grenzschließungen, würde massiven Schaden anrichten. Ein starker EU-Plan gegen Corona ist angesichts der neuen Bedrohungslage das Gebot der Stunde! Das ist die EU-Gipfel-Aufgabe morgen!

 
  
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  Mazaly Aguilar (ECR). – Señora presidenta, la Presidencia alemana del Consejo ha sido para olvidar. Bajo su mandato se ha negociado un marco financiero plurianual para los próximos siete años que consagra una rebaja inadmisible de la PAC para contentar al lobby verde y que no está pensado en absoluto para ayudar a las empresas y trabajadores europeos, que, después de nuestros mayores, son los que peor lo están pasando con esta pandemia.

Un marco financiero que destinará ciegamente miles de millones a la agenda verde sin atender a la realidad de nuestras economías, mientras suben el paro y la desesperación de los autónomos y las pequeñas y medianas empresas. Una Presidencia alemana que ha terminado con el anuncio de un lamentable acuerdo de inversiones con la China comunista, país responsable por acción o por omisión de esta crisis de muerte y desolación.

Los españoles tenemos grandes esperanzas de que la Presidencia de una nación hermana, como es Portugal, ponga sentido común a esta deriva, refuerce la protección del eje mediterráneo y ayude a explicar que la gran diversidad de nuestro sector agrícola y ganadero no constituye una amenaza al medio ambiente, sino que sigue siendo su mayor y mejor aliado.

Toda la suerte del mundo, presidente Costa.

 
  
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  Benoît Lutgen (PPE). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Premier ministre, merci à vous de mettre au cœur de la politique européenne l’aspect social. La crise COVID a eu et a toujours des conséquences importantes pour les aînés dans notre société, mais elle a des conséquences aussi très importantes sur le plan social, singulièrement pour les jeunes. La jeunesse est aujourd’hui désespérée, la réalité à court terme est assez sombre, à moyen terme elle n’est guère meilleure et à long terme, elle est assez noire, anxiogène, en tout cas, liée notamment à la lutte contre le réchauffement climatique.

Donc, merci de nous dire, de nous indiquer si la jeunesse sera vraiment au cœur de ce sommet social à Porto qui sera très important pour tout le monde. Merci aussi d’avoir aussi associé les partenaires sociaux notamment à cette démarche.

En revanche, je m’étonne vraiment que vous mettiez à la une et que vous ayez cette envie de ratifier absolument et rapidement le Mercosur. On ne peut plus envisager des traités de libre-échange, et je suis pour le libre-échange, sans tenir compte de l’impact pour le climat. On ne peut pas à la fois dire que nous sommes pour les accords de Paris et ne pas tenir compte dans les différents accords que nous passons d’une analyse précise, objective en matière d’impact CO2.

C’est un premier élément et le deuxième pour nos agriculteurs, nos producteurs, on attendrait plutôt d’avoir un signal, notamment par rapport aux importations qui doivent cesser, si on a cette force de production en Europe, notamment pour l’alimentation du bétail.

Enfin, on se réjouit bien sûr qu’un populiste en Amérique du Nord soit parti de la Maison Blanche, on ne doit pas pouvoir soutenir demain un populiste en Amérique du Sud, à savoir au Brésil.

 
  
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  Eric Andrieu (S&D). – Madame la Présidente, Madame la Présidente de la Commission européenne, Monsieur le Premier ministre monsieur António Costa, merci de votre propos et merci d'avoir énoncé tous les défis européens auxquels votre présidence va devoir répondre.

Et parmi ces défis, parmi ces priorités, que je partage, il y a la négociation de la politique agricole commune. J'émets le voeu tout d'abord que nous puissions aboutir ensemble sous votre présidence. Plus que jamais, ce texte devra permettre aux agriculteurs de vivre dignement. Or, vous le savez, la PAC est depuis longtemps guidée par le marché, exclusivement par le marché, créant en cela des dégâts considérables au sein de la communauté des agriculteurs.

Et, bien que je ne sois pas défavorable à l'orientation par le marché, je crois que nous sommes allés trop loin dans la dérégulation. Les marchés agricoles sont structurellement instables. Il nous faut sortir du mythe qui veut que le marché agricole s'autorégule. C'est faux: trop d'agriculteurs ont perdu leur travail, quelquefois fois même leur vie. Il nous faut d'urgence réguler les marchés agricoles et je ne doute pas de votre volonté pour ce faire.

 
  
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  Valérie Hayer (Renew). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Premier ministre, je me réjouis de voir que votre présidence sera placée sous le signe de la relance. Mais en parallèle, la mise en œuvre de l’accord de remboursement nécessite de baliser le terrain dès maintenant. Parce que demain, c’est Janez Janša, le petit Orbán des Alpes, qui prendra le relais. Aura-t-il le cœur suffisamment européen pour faire avancer ce projet?

Alors Monsieur Costa, j’ai une question: pourquoi le programme portugais ne mentionne-t-il nulle part les ressources propres, actées et planifiées pour éviter le remboursement de la dette par les citoyens européens?

Monsieur le Premier ministre, votre présidence se veut sociale et c’est très bien. Mais elle ne sera sociale que si vous parvenez à poser avec sérieux les jalons de la justice fiscale. Elle ne sera sociale que si les géants du numérique passent à la caisse, elle ne sera sociale que si les industriels chinois paient les mêmes droits à polluer que les entreprises européennes, elle ne sera sociale que si les spéculateurs financiers sont mis devant leurs responsabilités.

Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Premier ministre, l’Europe sociale passera par la justice fiscale ou ne sera pas.

 
  
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  Mara Bizzotto (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, pensate che gli italiani siano stupidi? Pensate che gli italiani non abbiano capito che l'Europa li sta trattando a pesci in faccia?

Prendiamo il problema dell'immigrazione clandestina: secondo Frontex nel 2020 in Europa gli sbarchi di immigrati sono diminuiti del 13 %. Peccato che in Italia siano triplicati: in piena pandemia in Italia sono sbarcati oltre 34 000 immigrati clandestini, pari al 95 % di tutti gli immigrati illegali arrivati dal Mediterraneo centrale. Avete trasformato l'Italia nel campo profughi d'Europa, con la complicità del governo PD-5 Stelle.

Passiamo all'emergenza coronavirus. Sono passati undici mesi dall'inizio della pandemia e gli italiani non hanno visto un euro, né del Recovery Fund né dei miliardi tanto promessi. E ora nel regolamento del Recovery avete inserito l'ultima fregatura: stanziate i soldi ma in cambio torneranno patto di stabilità, austerità e tutti gli assurdi vincoli europei.

Non permetteremo che questa Europa, schiava delle banche e delle multinazionali, metta alla fame tante famiglie e imprese italiane. Insieme ai nostri cittadini ci batteremo per fermare questa follia e per dare speranza e futuro al nostro popolo e alla nostra terra.

 
  
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  Terry Reintke (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, Madam Commission President and most of all, dear Prime Minister Costa. Forty-six years ago, the people in Portugal took to the streets for democracy and freedom. They took to the streets to peacefully overthrow an authoritarian and oppressive regime. Their struggle for democracy and freedom will never be forgotten in Europe’s history.

Many years have passed since then, but today again authoritarians are grabbing power in Europe, threatening democracy and the rule of law. Again, we need a strong Portuguese voice in the struggle for freedom and democracy.

So, Prime Minister use the next six months to stand strong for our shared European values. This Parliament has for years now fought for a more determined European reaction to breaches of rule of law and EU citizens’ fundamental rights. Very often, unfortunately, without the Council Presidency at our side.

Let us make the next six months a spring for freedom and democracy inside the European Union, for the rights of minorities, of women, for equality and diversity. We count on you Mr Prime Minister.

 
  
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  Nicola Procaccini (ECR). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signor Presidente Costa, la fase politica è certamente epocale. Vedremo se altrettanto memorabile sarà la vostra capacità di offrire una guida equilibrata ed efficiente: purtroppo a nessuno è sfuggito come gli accordi europei di giugno sull'acquisto dei vaccini siano stati traditi da chi si ritiene al di sopra di tutti gli altri Stati membri.

A proposito dei piani di ripresa dalla COVID-19, anche noi ravvisiamo il rischio che alcuni piani nazionali diventino l'occasione per elargire mance elettorali, piuttosto che per investimenti strategici di lungo periodo.

Infine vorrei menzionare due fascicoli decisivi. Il primo è il Digital Services Act: non può essere la policy aziendale di una piattaforma digitale americana o cinese a stabilire le regole della nostra convivenza economica, democratica e sociale. Il secondo è il nuovo patto sulla migrazione e l'asilo: non si scarichi il peso dell'immigrazione irregolare sugli Stati di frontiera, come il Suo e il mio. Buon lavoro, Presidente!

 
  
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  Karlo Ressler (PPE). – Madam President, the Portuguese Presidency starts in a crisis and pandemic without precedent and, although everyone is affected, some feel the negative impact more than others. Older generations are under higher health risk, but younger generations face tremendous challenges in education, finding a proper job and starting their own family.

The joint European vaccination efforts offer an opportunity to normalise our lives and our economy, but it is also crucial to defend the free movement of persons in Europe, both through maintaining Schengen as an area without internal border controls, and through further Schengen enlargement after fulfilment of all the criteria. I also welcome your commitment in the area of the future of work, and in reconciling work and family life.

The imperative of fair recovery has been recognised by the Portuguese Presidency. It’s time that innovative and digital recovery comes to all: to all generations, to all economic sectors and to all the regions. I wish you success.

 
  
 

(Id-dibattitu ġie sospiż)

 

7. Première session de vote
Vidéo des interventions
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  Il-President. – Qabel ma nagħti l-kelma lill-kelliema li jmiss, se niftaħ issa l-ewwel sessjoni ta' votazzjoni tal-lum.

Se nivvotaw dwar il-fajls hekk kif inhuma indikati fl-aġenda.

Is-sessjoni ta' votazzjoni se tkun miftuħa mis-13.00 sas-14.15.

Il-votazzjonijiet se jsiru bl-istess metodu użat fis-sessjonijiet ta' votazzjoni preċedenti.

Il-votazzjonijiet kollha se jsiru b'sejħa tal-ismijiet.

Niddikjara għalhekk miftuħa l-ewwel sessjoni ta' votazzjoni.

Għandkom sas-14.15 biex tivvotaw u r-riżultati ta' din l-ewwel sessjoni se jitħabbru fis-19.00.

 

8. Présentation du programme d'activités de la présidence portugaise (suite du débat)
Vidéo des interventions
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  Il-President. – Issa nkomplu d-dibattitu tagħna dwar id-dikjarazzjonijiet tal-Kunsill u tal-Kummissjoni dwar il-preżentazzjoni tal-programm ta' attivitajiet tal-Presidenza Portugiża (2020/2928(RSP)).

 
  
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  Agnes Jongerius (S&D). – Voorzitter, mevrouw Von der Leyen, premier Costa, je voelt het, er waait een andere wind in Europa. Zorg dragen voor iedereen en ervoor zorgen dat iedereen mee kan komen, dát is nu onze opdracht. Draal dus niet langer met hogere minimumlonen, zorg voor betaalbare woningen, en maak een einde aan de nulurencontracten. Dan komen we samen eerlijk deze crisis door.

Portugal heeft laten zien hoe je uit een crisis kunt komen door te investeren in mensen. Die les moeten we in heel Europa gaan toepassen. Ik ben blij met de prioriteiten van premier Costa voor een nieuwe sociale agenda voor Europa. Daarvoor hebben we bindende sociale doelen nodig. Op de sociale top in Porto moeten de regeringsleiders en de Europese Commissie hiervoor tekenen. Ik zou zeggen: ook de nieuwe Nederlandse regering.

 
  
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  Dita Charanzová (Renew). – Madam President, I say to the Prime Minister: Portugal must be a strong leader to bring us out of the crisis. We need an efficient rollout of the vaccine. Our citizens want to know: when will we have enough vaccines, and how should these be delivered efficiently?

Our health systems are still under a lot of pressure. Lockdowns help reduce new cases but are costly, not only economically but also for public trust. Public trust which is vital to successful vaccine programmes.

Mr Prime Minister, the vaccine is just one part of restoring our economy. Beyond the recovery package, we need to plan how to remove the barriers introduced since the crisis and ways to encourage our citizens’ businesses to work and travel cross-border again. I wish you good luck.

 
  
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  Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, I have been a Member of this Parliament for 18 months and I already sound like a broken record.

Every start of a semester I request for my Group one minute of speaking time to address the new Presidency and to inquire what will you do about the situation in Poland? What will you do about the situation in Hungary? What will you do about these two Article 7 procedures that the Council seems to be shying away from, reeling away from, even.

Meanwhile, democratic life in these two countries is getting worse and worse, and some freedoms just do not exist anymore for those citizens that the Council does not seem to find equal to the other European people.

We need you to act. Will you be in the courageous camp? I remember the Finnish Presidency. These quite young women – very strange already for a government, young and women – were the only ones that had enough courage, cleverness and political skills to tackle this grave problem. Will you lead on this?

 
  
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  Izabela-Helena Kloc (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Panie Premierze! Wielu Europejczyków zamiast cieszyć się z uroków zimy zastanawia się dziś, jak przetrwać tę porę roku. Ich obawy są uzasadnione. Jesteśmy ostatnio świadkami niebywałej fali zaburzeń w dostawach energii i skoków cen prądu. Zima obnażyła zawodność odnawialnych źródeł energii i przywróciła obawy o bezpieczeństwo energetyczne. Prezydencja portugalska nie podjęła tego tematu. Ostatnie miesiące pokazały, że zbyt szybka transformacja energetyczna pociąga za sobą ryzyko poważnych zawirowań w produkcji i dystrybucji energii. Do tego mamy kosmiczne rachunki za prąd. Tak dzieje się już we Francji, Austrii, Irlandii. A do końca zimy jeszcze daleko. Apeluję więc, aby nie pomijać problemu bezpieczeństwa energetycznego i dostępu do energii. Musimy zagwarantować rozsądne tempo transformacji z wykorzystaniem jednak rodzimych paliw kopalnych jako stabilizatorów systemu energetycznego. Nasz kontynent nie może pogrążyć się w zimnie i ciemnościach tylko dlatego, że wiatraki i panele słoneczne są w modzie i przynoszą zyski wybranym. Myślę, że czas teraz przeprosić się z węglem.

 
  
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  Λευτέρης Χριστοφόρου (PPE). – Κυρία πρόεδρε, ευχόμαστε ολόθερμα να πετύχει η πορτογαλική προεδρία, γιατί μαζί της θα πετύχει και η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση και θα έχουν τεράστια οφέλη οι Ευρωπαίοι πολίτες. Αναμφίβολα, η μεγάλη μας πρόκληση είναι η αντιμετώπιση της πανδημικής και κοινωνικοοικονομικής κρίσης. Ήμασταν αναφανδόν υπέρ της ψήφισης αυτού του ιδιαίτερα θετικού και ιστορικού βήματος, που είναι η δημιουργία του Ταμείου Ανάκαμψης «Νext Generation EU», ύψους εφτακοσίων πενήντα δισεκατομμυρίων. Όμως, αυτήν τη στιγμή, οι επιχειρήσεις στενάζουν. Οι εργαζόμενοι και οι πολίτες της κοινωνίας της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης βρίσκονται σε δύσκολη θέση και αναμένουν αυτά τα χρήματα ως «μάννα εξ ουρανού» για να μπορέσουν πραγματικά να ανανήψουν από αυτή τη δύσκολη χρονική περίοδο.

Αγαπητέ κύριε πρόεδρε του Συμβουλίου της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, πρωθυπουργέ της Πορτογαλίας, António Costa, υιοθετώ πλήρως τις προτεραιότητές σας αλλά σε αυτές τις προτεραιότητες θα ήθελα να προσθέσετε ακόμα μία: τη διαφύλαξη των αρχών, των αξιών και του ευρωπαϊκού δικαίου. Μία χώρα συλλήβδην και διαχρονικά παραβιάζει και ισοπεδώνει τις αρχές και τις αξίες της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και παραβιάζει το ευρωπαϊκό δίκαιο, συνεχίζοντας να χρηματοδοτείται από την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση· η χώρα αυτή δεν είναι άλλη από την Τουρκία, η οποία παραβιάζει επίσης την κυριαρχία κρατών μελών της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, της Ελλάδας και της Κύπρου.

Η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση επέδειξε μέχρι σήμερα μια απαράδεκτη και καταχρηστική ανοχή. Αναμένω από εσάς, κύριε Costa, να μου απαντήσετε ξεκάθαρα, χωρίς τα τετριμμένα, όσον αφορά την Τουρκία, ποια θα είναι η δική σας αντίδραση απέναντι σε αυτή την προκλητική συμπεριφορά της Τουρκίας· και θα ήθελα να ξέρω τι θα κάνατε εσείς ως πρόεδρος και ηγέτης μιας χώρας της Μεσογείου, της Πορτογαλίας, αν τα ίδια συνέβαιναν με εσάς και την Τουρκία και η χώρα σας ήταν η Ελλάδα και η Κύπρος.

 
  
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  Birgit Sippel (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin! Schutz von Grundrechten, Demokratie, Rechtsstaatlichkeit – diese Prioritäten nennt die Präsidentschaft im selben Absatz wie Schutz vor Terrorismus, Hassrede, Fehlinformation. Sicherheit und Grundrechte stärken, das ist eine Herausforderung, auch für uns im LIBE-Ausschuss, etwa bei E-Evidence, der Sicherung und Herausgabe elektronischer Beweismittel. Ja zur schnelleren Herausgabe, wenn denn die Grundrechte gesichert bleiben.

Bei terrorist content online konnte es dem Rat gar nicht schnell genug gehen. Doch bei der E-Evidence-Verordnung zum besseren Schutz der Privatsphäre online sind wir seit 2017 verhandlungsbereit, und die Mitgliedsstaaten blockieren. Während also der Rat bei einigen Maßnahmen aufs Tempo drückt, steht er beim Schutz der Grundrechte auf der Bremse.

Deshalb, liebe portugiesische Präsidentschaft, zeigen Sie, dass auch der Rat Grundrechte immer effektiv schützen will. Vielen Dank und viel Erfolg!

 
  
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  Charles Goerens (Renew). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Premier ministre du Portugal, Madame la Présidente de la Commission, j'espère que sous votre impulsion la conférence sur l'avenir de l'Europe pourra démarrer sous peu. Cette conférence, qui n'est pas un but en soi, permettra, je l'espère, de réconcilier le citoyen avec la sphère politique européenne. Le citoyen sera donc au centre de cette conférence, mais ne soyons pas naïfs, ne faisons pas comme si le citoyen allait ne nous révéler que des choses inédites.

Nous savons, d'après les sondages faits par Eurostat notamment, que le citoyen est épris de sécurité, qu'il veut une politique de sécurité et de défense, qu'il veut qu'on lutte contre le changement climatique, qu'il veut qu'on relance le multilatéralisme avec l'administration Biden, qu'il veut qu'on défende les biens publics.

Alors j'aimerais introduire une petite nuance par rapport à votre discours, que j'ai beaucoup apprécié. Il faut quand même parler aussi des institutions. Si nous sommes d'accord sur les finalités, il va falloir s'accorder aussi sur les moyens pour les mettre en œuvre. Je compte aussi sur vous, sachant que vous êtes un Européen convaincu, pour que ce sujet ne reste pas tabou, ce serait une occasion manquée.

 
  
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  Riho Terras (PPE). – Lugupeetav istungi juhataja, proua president, austatav härra peaminister. Esmalt soovin teid loomulikult tänada Portugali eesistumise eesmärkide tutvustamise eest. Tänases tervishoiu- ja majanduskriisis tuleb teha tõeliselt tulevikkuvaatavaid otsuseid, sest globaalne võidujooks kriisist edukama taastumise nimel käib juba mõnda aega. Euroopale on kiire taastumine elulise tähtsusega eesmärk ja meie konkurentsivõime sõltub väga palju otsustest, mida tuleb teha täna siin ja praegu. Olen veendunud, et just need tegevused, mis tõstavad Euroopa kerksust, toetavad laiemalt digitaalset ja tehnoloogilist pööret, annavad meile võimaluse globaalses konkurentsis esirinnas püsida.

Aga härra peaminister, konkurentsivõime tähendab ka võimet tagada meie inimestele Euroopas toodetud tervislik ja mõistliku hinnaga toit. See on ühise põllumajanduspoliitika peamine eesmärk. Ma väga loodan, et ühise põllumajanduspoliitika triloogidel seisab Portugal selle eest, et Euroopa põllumeestelt ei võetaks rohepöörde egiidi all motivatsiooni oma valdkonnas edasi tegutseda. Euroopa Komisjoni ja eriti asepresident Timmermansi roll triloogidel on olnud mitte tasakaalustav ja lahendustele orienteeritud, vaid ideoloogiline ja põllumajandusele murettekitav. Ma loodan, et Portugal seisab oma eesistumise ajal Euroopa põllumeeste huvide eest ja kõneluste tulemused on põllumeestele soodsad. Ma tänan.

 
  
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  Javier Moreno Sánchez (S&D). – Señora presidenta, señora presidenta de la Comisión, señor primer ministro, querido António, que sean mis primeras palabras para desearte la bienvenida en lo que ha sido y será para siempre tu casa, la casa de la democracia europea.

Se suele decir que las crisis generan oportunidades para la Unión Europea, y el año pasado, desafortunadamente, no han faltado. Ahora es tiempo de actuar ante los retos y las oportunidades, como consta en el lema de vuestra Presidencia.

En primer lugar, superando la pandemia con una campaña de vacunación basada en la transparencia y la cooperación europea, eliminando los nacionalismos sanitarios. En segundo lugar, afrontando la recuperación económica y social con la llegada de los fondos europeos para unas transiciones ecológica y digital justas e inclusivas, que no dejen a nadie atrás.

Por ello, la concreción del pilar social con un verdadero plan de acción y medidas concretas es claramente una urgencia. Y nadie mejor que la Presidencia portuguesa para lograrlo, prestando una atención especial a la igualdad de género y a la lucha contra la pobreza. ¡Suerte y adelante!

 
  
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  Svenja Hahn (Renew). – Frau Präsidentin, sehr geehrter Herr Premierminister! Vielen Dank für den Austausch. Das Potenzial von künstlicher Intelligenz ist so groß, das können wir uns heute kaum vorstellen. Für die Perspektiven von morgen müssen wir aber jetzt einen Rahmen schaffen, wie wir leben, wie wir wirtschaften und welchen Platz die EU in einer digitalisierten Welt haben wird.

Premierminister Costa, ich erwarte mir von Ihrer Präsidentschaft vor allem drei Punkte: Den digitalen Binnenmarkt vorantreiben. Chancen heben wir nur gemeinsam, globale Standards setzen wir nur zusammen, Bürgerrechte sind nicht verhandelbar. Der Schutz von Grundrechten muss europäisch gesichert sein. Keine Massenüberwachung durch automatische Gesichtserkennung und kein Overblocking durch Uploadfilter! Innovation fördern statt bremsen!

Jede Art von Regulierung muss unbürokratisch und technologieoffen sein, und ich erwarte mir, dass Sie nationale Alleingänge verhindern, dass Sie vorangehen, einen europäischen Rahmen schaffen für künstliche Intelligenz und digitale Dienste, für Fortschritt und Innovation „made in Europe“. Viel Erfolg!

 
  
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  David McAllister (PPE). – Madam President, ladies and gentlemen, dear colleagues, first of all, Prime Minister Costa, the Presidency of the Council under your leadership has begun during unprecedented times. As we heard this morning, important priorities are on your agenda, such as tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring Europe’s economic recovery. Colleagues, I welcome in particular the fact that Portugal has decided to focus strongly on external affairs in the upcoming months. As we discussed yesterday with the High Representative during the debate on our common foreign and security policy, strengthening multilateralism and affirming the European Union as a global player is today more important than ever, and our Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is leading a geopolitical Commission, and this for good reasons.

Prime Minister, the proposals from the Portuguese Presidency to strengthen the EU’s relations with India, with the African continent, and indeed with Latin America, especially Mercosur, are a key step in promoting the role of the European Union on the global stage. The next months will also be decisive in establishing a fruitful cooperation with the United Kingdom and with the new administration in the United States. For all these priorities I wish her success. The Committee on Foreign Affairs is looking forward to working closely together with the Portuguese Government.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Nuno Melo (PPE). – Senhora Presidente, Senhor Primeiro-Ministro, resistindo a comentar a nomeação de um Procurador Europeu com base em informações falsas, que assim compromete a credibilidade da Procuradoria no exato momento em que nasce, queria sublinhar que o Dr. António Costa recebe a liderança da União Europeia num momento em que a pandemia de COVID-19 mostra sinais de absoluto descontrolo e os europeus precisam de olhar para si e confiar que estará à altura do desafio. Mas, infelizmente, olham para o desastre que acontece em Portugal e duvidam.

Em poucos meses, Portugal passou de bom aluno a um dos piores exemplos do mundo. Quando a Europa confinou, Portugal relaxou. Quando em julho os números eram piores do que em março, em vez de apertar na exigência, disse às pessoas para irem a banhos e quando em outubro, novembro e dezembro as consequências apareceram, não se impôs a redução absoluta de contactos no Natal e Ano Novo. Agora que tudo está pior, ordena-se um confinamento de faz de conta que mantém as pessoas todas na rua e fazem-se eleições que vão provocar ajuntamentos em todas as aldeias de Portugal.

Não faz sentido que, numa União Europeia em que as pessoas circulam livremente, que cada um decida, diferentemente, os mecanismos de controlo da pandemia, muitas vezes por intuição e por isso, pergunto e termino, o que é que pode dizer hoje, aqui, para tranquilizar os europeus e dizer que fará muito melhor à frente de 27 países do que está a conseguir em Portugal?

Planos de vacinação, ritmo, coordenação, solidariedade europeia, em vez de egoísmos nacionais, são as questões que lhe deixo, Sr. Primeiro-Ministro, e desejo-lhe muita sorte na função no momento, que bem precisa.

 
  
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  Pedro Silva Pereira (S&D). – Senhora Presidente, Senhor Primeiro-Ministro, a Presidência portuguesa tem as prioridades certas: vencer a pandemia, recuperar a economia, reforçar a Europa no mundo.

Quando discutimos o nosso futuro comum, é lamentável que alguns, felizmente muito poucos, queiram usar o palco do Parlamento Europeu para a sua pequena «guerrinha» política nacional, mas nenhum caso artificial deve desviar a Presidência portuguesa do que é realmente importante e o importante é fazer da Presidência portuguesa uma ocasião de reencontro do projeto europeu com as expetativas dos cidadãos, coordenar a estratégia europeia de vacinação, fazer o dinheiro chegar à economia real, alinhar o investimento com as nossas prioridades estratégicas.

Nos próximos seis meses, Portugal tem a Presidência do Conselho e tem também o Secretário-Geral das Nações Unidas, uma grande oportunidade para a aposta no multilateralismo de que o mundo precisa e a Europa também.

 
  
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  Margarida Marques (S&D). – Senhora Presidente, Primeiro-Ministro, Presidente, vacinação e recuperação são as duas tarefas mais urgentes da missão da Presidência portuguesa. Construímos uma resposta europeia robusta à crise, ancorada no QFP, no Fundo de Recuperação, na Decisão Recursos Próprios, no Mecanismo de Recuperação e Resiliência e no Regulamento relativo ao Estado de Direito.

Faltam os Estados-Membros ratificarem a Decisão Recursos Próprios. Parabéns a Portugal por ter já agendado para o próximo dia 29 esta decisão no Parlamento nacional.

É claro que os apoios orçamentais às economias têm que se prolongar para além de 2021 e a general escape clause do Pacto de Estabilidade e Crescimento tem de se manter ativada ainda em 2022.

As presidências portuguesas têm tradição em deixar heranças, o Tratado de Lisboa, por exemplo. Estou certa de que o mesmo acontecerá desta vez.

Termino, citando o Presidente Sassoli, uma Presidência que ficará para a História por ter impulsionado a construção da nova Europa, missão que todos temos. Conte connosco, conte com o Parlamento Europeu.

 
  
  

PRESIDENZA DELL'ON. DAVID MARIA SASSOLI
Presidente

 
  
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  Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, Madam President of the Commission, dear Prime Minister, dear António, I think that, as you heard from all honourable Members, your programme to deliver on a green, digital and social Europe resonates very well with this House, and this is exactly what Europe now needs and what our citizens expect from us. As Mr Azmani, Ms Bonafè, Ms Jongerius, but also our parliamentary leaders Mr Weber, Mr Cioloş and Ms García Pérez said, they all expressed in their interventions also the reference to hope – to hope that we will be able to come back to life as we knew it before COVID—19.

I think it was also very clear from this debate what we need for that. We need to show the highest respect for EU solidarity and for EU unity. As you know very well, yesterday the Commission called upon the Member States to get more than 80% of the health workers and more than 80% of elderly over 80 years of age vaccinated by February. We would like to get 70% of the European population vaccinated by the summer. That’s the timeline, that’s the ambition, and that’s the hope, which we hope the European leaders will endorse tomorrow in a videoconference on this very issue. We believe that this is the best path to restore growth, prosperity and to bring us back to the normal joys of life we all miss so much.

Honourable Members, in almost all interventions there was clear reference to the importance of tackling the social consequences and social problems aggravated by the COVID-19 crisis. Therefore, we in the Commission appreciate so much the support of this House for the Portuguese Presidency’s ambition to complete the work on national recovery plans, to get approval for their own-resources decision, so that we can start the disbursement of money to kick-start our economies also by this summer.

The European social summit organised and proposed by the Portuguese Presidency will be an excellent opportunity to put in practice all the Commission’s measures we will prepare under the European pillar of social rights to make sure that nobody is left behind.

Dear Prime Minister, honourable Members, the Presidency of Portugal is also opening a new chapter in pursuit of our European geopolitical ambition and the restoration of effective functioning multilateralism. It will be our efforts to help our neighbourhoods and to help the global effort in the vaccination. It will be closer cooperation with democracies, including the summit between the European Union and India, which happen to be the two largest democracies on this planet. And you heard also, Mr President-in-Office, the support of the Members of this House for open, strategic autonomy on which we will be working together. On top of it, it will be also under your Presidency when we will open a new chapter with the new incoming US Biden administration. We start to build a new relationship with the UK as a third country, and we will also push to rebalance the trade and investment relationship with China.

Dear Prime Minister, you highlighted how important it is to listen to people and to respond to our citizens, and we all hope, as it was expressed by Mr Verhofstadt, Mr Weber and Mr Séjourné, that under your Presidency we will be able to launch a conference on the future of Europe and devote it to the debate and, I would underline, listening to our citizens – what they want us to improve and how they want us to shape our Europe in the future. And I agree with you that it should be the issues which are closest to their heart we should debate together.

To conclude, I would like to assure you, Mr President-in-Office, that we will be working with you as closely as possible to make sure that, after your Presidency, Europe will indeed be healthier, greener, more digital and more socially fair. Lots of success and best of luck with your Presidency, Prime Minister.

 
  
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  António Costa, Presidente em exercício do Conselho. – Senhor Presidente, Senhora Presidente da Comissão Europeia, Senhor Vice-Presidente, Caras e Caros Senhores Deputados, queria, em primeiro lugar, agradecer as palavras calorosas de alento e de entusiasmo sobre o futuro da Presidência portuguesa e quero começar por me congratular pelo amplo consenso que aqui encontrei quanto às prioridades que definimos, desde o objetivo de jobs, jobs, jobs formulado pelo Deputado Weber até ao apelo ao estado de urgência social da Deputada Aubry. No fundo, é a verificação de um objetivo comum de fazer da recuperação económica e social da Europa uma prioridade.

Essa recuperação não pode ser uma recuperação qualquer. Tem que ser uma recuperação focada no nosso futuro, nos desafios estratégicos que temos pela frente e, por isso, deve assentar naquilo que é a grande ambição de fazer desta década a década para atingirmos, pelo menos, uma redução de 55% na emissão dos gases com efeito de estufa e também de fazer desta década uma década digital.

Também não pode ser uma recuperação qualquer do ponto de vista social e aí, como disse a Deputada Iratxe, a questão social é absolutamente central. Esta recuperação tem que ser justa, tem que diminuir as desigualdades, tem que criar empregos de melhor qualidade, empregos dignos, empregos com direitos. É por isso que termos colocado a Cimeira Social como o grande evento da nossa Presidência visa, precisamente, alargar um espírito de diálogo social abrangente, aquilo que é o compromisso que parceiros sociais, sociedade civil, instituições europeias, Estados-Membros, todos temos que celebrar para que possamos sair desta crise mais fortes do que aquilo que éramos quando ela se iniciou.

Mas este processo de recuperação tem que ser exigente também no respeito dos valores da União Europeia e, seguramente, um país que viveu a mais longa ditadura do século XX é particularmente sensível à importância de garantir os valores inscritos no artigo 2.º do Tratado e de não deixar parar os processos abertos no âmbito do artigo 7.º.

Quem viola o Estado de Direito não pode fazer parte da União Europeia. Quem viola os valores fundamentais da Europa não pode fazer parte da União Europeia. É por isso que é absolutamente fundamental não só assegurar o respeito pelo mecanismo de condicionalidade que este Parlamento aprovou, mas também fazer respeitar e fazer avançar os processos que estão em aberto no âmbito do artigo 7.º.

Portugal orgulha-se da caminhada que fez, desde 1974, para ser um país exemplar na proteção do Estado de Direito. Posso mesmo orgulhar-me de há 20 anos, enquanto Ministro da Justiça, ter testemunhado a implantação e o arranque do Eurojust e ter, agora, também sido o meu Governo que juntou Portugal a esse mecanismo de cooperação reforçada que é a Procuradoria Europeia, fundamental para combater a corrupção e assegurar a boa gestão dos dinheiros europeus, visto que, até ao meu Governo, Portugal se tinha recusado a juntar-se a esse mecanismo de cooperação reforçada.

É com orgulho, por isso, que assumimos esta nossa Presidência e em que temos bem a consciência de que esta Europa, no mundo global de hoje, precisa efetivamente de ter uma presença externa mais forte. Tem que ser verdadeiramente um agente global e nós não seremos um agente global nem criando muros para evitar migrações, nem fechando as portas às relações comerciais que temos que abrir com todos as outras economias do mundo.

Percebo o debate sobre o Mercosul, mas o debate do Mercosul não é, em primeiro lugar, um debate económico. Claro que todos sabemos que é o mais importante acordo comercial que a Europa pode celebrar, mas, em primeiro lugar, um acordo pela geopolítica da Europa porque, neste novo mundo global, o Atlântico não pode perder a importância que tem, deixando a nova centralização do mundo incidir no Indo-Pacífico. Não ignoramos essa região e, por isso, colocámos como prioridade da nossa Presidência a realização da cimeira com a Índia, mas o Atlântico continua a ser o nosso espaço e é por isso que, apesar do Reino Unido ter saído, temos que ter com o Reino Unido relações de grande proximidade. É por isso que temos que olhar com esperança esta nova relação com o Presidente Biden. É por isso que temos que celebrar o Ellalink, ligando fisicamente por cabo a Europa à América Latina como elemento da maior importância, mas é por isso também que precisamos de um acordo com o Mercosul.

Aguardamos, aliás, as conclusões dos estudos da Comissão sobre o impacto ambiental deste acordo e sobre os passos a dar, mas há uma coisa que gostaria de dizer também com toda a franqueza, porque é com franqueza que temos que falar: que ninguém queira esconder na floresta da Amazónia o metano produzido pelo gado europeu. Não, não podemos querer esconder na floresta da Amazónia aquilo que é, verdadeiramente, o protecionismo de uma política agrícola que tem que ser ajustada às prioridades da transição climática e dos valores ambientais. O objetivo ambiental tem que estar presente em todas as políticas europeias.

Queria terminar, falando do futuro e do futuro da Europa. Temos que desbloquear este pequeno impasse institucional que já nos fez perder x tempo para refletirmos sobre aquilo que é a ambição que a Europa tem para fazer em conjunto e não faltam temas para a Europa discutir no seu futuro: o tema das migrações é um tema crucial, a gestão económica pós-COVID do nosso Pacto de Estabilidade e Crescimento é uma questão central, as relações com o continente africano são uma questão central, as questões da justiça fiscal são uma questão central.

É por isso que essa conferência deve avançar e nada justifica que pequenas questões institucionais bloqueiem aquilo que é o futuro de 450 milhões de cidadãos. Não, esta conferência tem mesmo de ser sobre a cidadania, sobre os cidadãos, os seus anseios, os seus receios e não sobre as questões institucionais.

É por isso que o lema da nossa Presidência é mesmo tempo de agir para assegurar uma recuperação justa, uma recuperação verde e uma recuperação digital.

Muito obrigado a todos e a Presidência conta com o Parlamento Europeu para levar a bom porto a nossa missão.

(Aplausos)

 
  
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  Presidente. – Grazie Primo ministro, grazie Presidente. Come avrà sentito c'è grande attesa, grande fiducia nella Presidenza portoghese e naturalmente una grande voglia di collaborare.

La discussione è chiusa.

I nostri lavori riprenderanno alle ore 15.00 con le dichiarazioni del Consiglio e della Commissione sulla crisi sociale e occupazionale durante la pandemia di COVID-19 e la risposta dell'UE attraverso il piano per la ripresa e il QFP.

Dichiarazioni scritte (articolo 171)

 
  
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  Carmen Avram (S&D), in writing. – I wish good luck to the Portuguese Presidency in these unprecedented challenges. First, European workers need adequate minimum wages and a coordinated social-security system across EU. This is why putting the European social model at the centre of the Portuguese Presidency is paramount and in accordance with our common values of solidarity, convergence and cohesion. Also I welcome the announcement of the Portuguese Government regarding the implementation of the Green Deal, the adoption of the climate law and the decision to promote innovation, digitisation and sustainable resource-management in the rural areas. Faced with the COVID crisis, European agriculture managed to ensure food security and is certainly something the EU needs to seriously support with regard to future potential challenges. In this context, since Portugal will oversee the implementation of the MFF and the recovery fund I hope it will do its utmost to guarantee funds for agriculture. By doing so it is respecting the promise that no one will be left behind. However, in order to achieve this, it is essential to understand that not all Member States find themselves in the same position, they do not all have the same resources to face this crisis.

 
  
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  Isabel Carvalhais (S&D), por escrito. – 2021 será o ano do arranque da implementação dos planos de recuperação económica e social. Uma recuperação baseada em 3 princípios que norteiam a presidência portuguesa: ambientalmente ambiciosa, baseada na inovação e no desenvolvimento digital, mas que não esquece os princípios base do pilar europeu dos direitos sociais. Estes são também pilares essenciais para as negociações da reforma da PAC, reforma que importa concluir a bem da estabilidade do sector e de um avanço rápido no caminho de maior sustentabilidade ambiental, mudança de comportamentos, estímulo ao desenvolvimento da investigação e inovação tecnológica.

Também nas pescas a presidência enfrenta vários desafios. A situação pandémica e o Brexit colocam muitas incertezas que podem dificultar a recuperação económica. Independentemente das dificuldades, a presidência portuguesa dá um sinal importante de esperança, mas também de realismo com as prioridades apresentadas para as pescas e os Oceanos. O setor das pescas pode dar um grande contributo para a implementação das diferentes estratégias para que se cumpram os objetivos do Pacto Ecológico Europeu. A plena e justa transição climática e digital trará sustentabilidade ambiental, mas também económica e social a todos os setores, incluindo as pescas.

 
  
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  Sara Cerdas (S&D), por escrito. – Portugal assume a Presidência num período importante para a UE: por um lado, temos a entrada em vigor do QFP 21-27, por outro, a necessidade de começarmos a trabalhar tendo em vista a recuperação da crise e, com isto, novos instrumentos para a recuperação, nomeadamente o Next Generation EU.

Portugal tem a possibilidade de deixar uma marca na UE e de estabelecer o ritmo no que respeita à recuperação da crise, mas também na implementação do Pacto Ecológico Europeu e dos compromissos em matéria de redução de emissões e combate às alterações climáticas.

Neste sentido, chamo a atenção da Presidência para as questões transversais das regiões ultraperiféricas (RUP). É fundamental que exista um equilíbrio entre as medidas destinadas a compensar os constrangimentos específicos e défices estruturais das RUP e as que se destinam a promover o seu potencial e oportunidades de desenvolvimento.

É ainda essencial que haja um plano equilibrado e coordenado na recuperação da crise e na aplicação dos princípios do Pacto Ecológico Europeu. A Presidência deve envidar esforços no sentido de garantir a salvaguarda e a criação de postos de trabalho, apoiar as PME dos setores mais afetados pela crise e garantir uma verdadeira coesão europeia.

 
  
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  András Gyürk (PPE), írásban. – Az előző év éles vitáit követően, illetve a koronavírus-járvány okozta gazdasági válság kontextusában a portugál elnökség számos teendővel néz szembe az energia- és klímapolitika területén. Az Európai Zöld Megállapodás elvi keretét kell a következő időszakban konkrét tartalommal megtölteni. Összetett és nagy feladat ez, melyhez elengedhetetlen a polgárok az Unió intézményeibe és eszközeibe vetett bizalmának visszaállítása. A soros elnökség fontos lépéseket tehet ebben az irányban. Ennek megfelelően a következő hónapokban véglegesítendő európai klímarendeletben tiszteltben kell tartani az emberek jogos kívánságát, hogy a pandémia előtti életüket kapják vissza. A klímavédelemnek és a zöld átmenetnek a polgárok érdekeinek megfelelően kell haladnia, nem az európai baloldal ideológiai elképzelései mentén. A jelenlegi gazdasági helyzetben óvatosságra van szükség az energetikai átmenet pénzügyi eszközeinek kidolgozása során is. Kockázatos elképzelés zöld célokra hivatkozva a tagállamok adó-jogköreit szűkíteni. A fenntartható finanszírozással kapcsolatos taxonómia rendelet sem mélyítheti tovább a válságban lévő európai ipar helyzetét. Végül, örömmel olvastam a portugál elnökség ambiciózus célkitűzéseit az energiaszegénység elleni küzdelem és a körforgásos gazdaság területén. Az akkumulátorokkal kapcsolatos megfelelő szabályozási keret kiemelt fontossággal bír. A feladatok adottak, megvalósításukhoz sok sikert kívánok!

 
  
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  Lívia Járóka (PPE), in writing. – I welcome the ambition of the Portuguese Presidency of the EU Council to put our EU citizens at the centre of the programme. 2021 needs to rime with hope and solidarity. The programme presented today reflects this objective to strengthen EU citizens’ resilience. In this sense, I also welcome the Portuguese Presidency for underlining the situation of Roma people in Europe and their focus to fight poverty, social exclusion and discrimination. I call for the Portuguese Presidency to be bold and ambitious in the general conclusions and recommendations in the context of the new EU Roma Strategic Framework 2020-2030. We need strong and targeted policies that address the challenges Roma communities face on daily basis: lack of education, poor access to public basic services, lack of decent housing, general health problems, discrimination and violence. The European Parliament expects the Council to take over its recommendations from last year and work towards swift tangible results.

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D), por escrito. – La Presidencia portuguesa presentó sus tres prioridades principales: promover la recuperación de Europa; implementar el pilar social de la Unión, fortalecer la autonomía estratégica de Europa manteniéndola abierta al mundo.

La Presidencia apoyará la creación de una UE de la Salud, que refuerza la capacidad de responder a las crisis de salud pública, de producir y distribuir vacunas seguras, asegurar un proceso de vacunación universal, simultaneo, público y gratuito.

La delegación española comparte esas prioridades y pide a la Presidencia acelerar la transición a un modelo más sostenible, aprovechando las nuevas tecnologías y promoviendo una recuperación justa: la inversión debe contribuir a reducir las desigualdades, la brecha salarial, el desempleo y asegurar una vivienda digna para todos.

Hay que reformar la gobernanza económica para que el pilar social tenga la misma importancia que el crecimiento económico, y suspender las reglas fiscales hasta el 2023, aprovechando este tiempo para reformarlas, introduciendo, por ejemplo, la regla de oro para las inversiones sociales.

Debemos plantear un plan de acción en la Cumbre Social de Oporto, con medidas como la garantía infantil, el seguro de desempleo, y la creación de un mecanismo europeo de respuesta sanitaria para avanzar en la Unión Europea de la Salud.

 
  
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  Nacho Sánchez Amor (S&D), por escrito. – La Presidencia portuguesa presentó sus tres prioridades principales: promover la recuperación de Europa; implementar el pilar social de la Unión, fortalecer la autonomía estratégica de Europa manteniéndola abierta al mundo.

La Presidencia apoyará la creación de una UE de la Salud, que refuerza la capacidad de responder a las crisis de salud pública, de producir y distribuir vacunas seguras, asegurar un proceso de vacunación universal, simultaneo, público y gratuito.

La delegación española comparte esas prioridades y pide a la Presidencia acelerar la transición a un modelo más sostenible, aprovechando las nuevas tecnologías y promoviendo una recuperación justa: la inversión debe contribuir a reducir las desigualdades, la brecha salarial, el desempleo y asegurar una vivienda digna para todos.

Hay que reformar la gobernanza económica para que el pilar social tenga la misma importancia que el crecimiento económico, y suspender las reglas fiscales hasta el 2023, aprovechando este tiempo para reformarlas, introduciendo, por ejemplo, la regla de oro para las inversiones sociales.

Debemos plantear un plan de acción en la Cumbre Social de Oporto, con medidas como la garantía infantil, el seguro de desempleo, y la creación de un mecanismo europeo de respuesta sanitaria para avanzar en la Unión Europea de la Salud.

 
  
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  István Ujhelyi (S&D), írásban. – Sorsfordító időszakban veszi át az Európai Unió soros elnökségét Portugália. A koronavírus-járvány megfékezése mellett most indul el az EU hétéves költségvetése is, de várhatóan megkezdődik az európai közösség jövőjéről szóló konferencia is. Kiemelt prioritást kell élveznie a portugál elnökség munkaprogramjában az S&D-frakció által kezdeményezett – és részben általam kidolgozott – Európai Egészségügyi Unió koncepciójának minél szélesebb körben történő megvalósítása, benne az egészségügyi ellátórendszerek minőségi kritériumainak megteremtésével, illetve a tagállami stressztesztek elvégzésével. Ehhez kapcsolódóan szükséges lesz az EU jövőjét tárgyaló konferencia keretében az olyan dogmatikus elvek esetleges átalakítását is asztalra tenni, mint az egészségügyi ellátás szervezésében biztosított kizárólagos tagállami hatáskör. A járvány ugyanis bizonyította, hogy a tagállami szuverenitás maximális tiszteletben tartásával, de integráltabb koordinációra van szükség az egészségügyben. Hasonlóképpen kiemelkedően fontos a turisztikai szektor mielőbbi újranyitása és talpraállítása, ez az ágazat szenvedte el ugyanis szinte a legtöbb kárt a járványhelyzetnek köszönhetően. Ehhez európai szinten koordinált, célzott program és célzott támogatás, a többmillió európainak munkahelyet biztosító szektort megillető figyelem megadása szükséges. Nem kérdés, hogy a portugál elnökség egyik kiemelt prioritása kell legyen a Szociális Pillér kibontása és megvalósítása is, ezzel ugyanis jelentős elmaradásban van az európai közösség, a koronavírus járvány pedig különösen megmutatta az Uniónak, hogy ideje az emberekbe, a szociális felzárkóztatásba fektetni.

 
  
 

(La seduta è sospesa alle 13.37)

 
  
  

PRZEWODNICTWO: EWA KOPACZ
Wiceprzewodnicząca

 

9. Reprise de la séance
Vidéo des interventions
 

(Posiedzenie zostało otwarte o godz. 15.05)

 

10. Prolongation du mandat de la commission d'enquête sur la protection des animaux pendant le transport: voir procès-verbal
Vidéo des interventions

11. Crise sociale et crise de l'emploi dans la pandémie de COVID-19 et réponse de l'UE dans le plan de relance et le CFP (débat)
Vidéo des interventions
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  Przewodnicząca. – Kolejnym punktem porządku dziennego są oświadczenia Rady i Komisji w sprawie kryzysu społecznego i kryzysu zatrudnienia podczas pandemii COVID-19 i odpowiedź UE w planie odbudowy i WRF (2020/2934(RSP)).

 
  
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  Ana Paula Zacarias, President-in-Office of the Council. – Madam President, the COVID—19 pandemic has caused a once—in—a—generation crisis and is having a deep social and economic impact, which is likely to leave its mark on our societies for many years to come. Thousands of businesses have temporarily or permanently closed, millions of Europeans have lost their jobs and livelihoods, and almost all of us, in our own lives, have experienced a change to and, in some cases, have had to reshape our professional and private lives.

All across Europe we have witnessed job losses, often with devastating effects for the people concerned, for their families and for the local communities. At the end of last year, almost 16 million people in the EU were unemployed, two million more than the year before. It is an appalling statistic, behind which there are countless people, countless stories, countless issues and the lives of people who were working and have now been pushed into poverty and precarity.

The COVID—19 pandemic has disproportionately affected the most vulnerable members of our society. It has laid bare existing systemic vulnerabilities and increased social inequalities to the detriment of those most disadvantaged. The pandemic has had a particularly strong impact on women. Our response to the continuing crisis and the recovery measures must therefore be designed in a gender—sensitive way. To this end, the Portuguese Presidency intends to table a set of Council conclusions on the impact of COVID—19 on gender equality in the labour market. The conclusions will form the basis of a forthcoming research note by the European Institute for Gender Equality.

Young people will also continue to disproportionately suffer the effects of this crisis. The reinforced Youth Guarantee, adopted by the Council in October, will help Member States better respond to the needs of young people and hence better target efficiency and monitoring.

We are now in the midst of a third wave of the virus, with even more contagious variants that have prompted stricter lockdowns in many Member States. Yet, at the same time, we are on the brink of hope that a vaccination can bring about the start of a long road to recovery. So the European social model that provided a cushion of support during this terrible period needs to be reinforced.

Although this crisis is grave, it would certainly have been far worse without the decisive action of the European Union and its Member States. At a time of difficulty, the EU showed unity, solidarity and flexibility, first addressing immediate emergency needs and then planning an ambitious recovery to make Europe more resilient, more competitive, just and sustainable for all future generations.

In the spring of 2020, we adopted the ESM Pandemic Crisis Support, the EIB Pan—European Guarantee Fund and SURE. While Member States fortunately did not need to activate their safety nets, thanks to the extremely favourable market financing conditions in 2020, EU workers benefited substantially from the support of SURE. All these measures were fundamental to support public action, enterprises and workers. We see that SURE has already been almost entirely utilised to support SMEs. We are also starting to see the benefits of the EIB support.

As for the recovery phase, we have come a long way since our leaders reached an agreement on the biggest ever MFF and on the unprecedented recovery instrument, the Next Generation EU, in July. These two instruments, amounting to more than EUR 1.8 trillion over the next seven years, are endowed with ambitious climate and digital targets and a focus on addressing challenges to employment, sustainability, resilience and competitiveness through reforms and investment. As such, they will enable the EU to provide both a much—needed cyclical stimulus and the right incentives to address structural issues in an ambitious way.

While sharing the same objectives, the Council and Parliament had different views on how to structure this recovery plan. After intense, yet very constructive discussions and trilogues, we found political agreement on an ambitious text, which now needs to be swiftly voted on by the co—legislators, paving the way to the plan’s implementation. The Portuguese Presidency is indeed committed to steering the EU through a swift and efficient implementation of the instruments agreed in the course of the last year, ensuring a high degree of interinstitutional cooperation, flexibility and determination.

Addressing the social concerns of COVID—19 will be a key priority for our Presidency. We will seek to strengthen trust in the European social model, the importance of which became starkly clear during these troubling times. In this context, as you heard our Prime Minister say in this Chamber this morning, the Porto Social Summit that will take place in May will give impetus to the European social dimension and the European Pillar of Social Rights and its implementation plan, emphasising its central role in the European recovery and in adapting to the climate, digital and demographic transitions. We would like this summit to address the issues of employment. This morning, we were talking about jobs, jobs, and jobs. Indeed, we need to tackle this issue, and also skills, reskilling, innovation and social welfare to ensure that no one is left behind.

Resilience is part of the European identity, so to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights is the best vaccine against inequalities and fear. We have to tackle, and act quickly on all these fronts to fulfil the Portuguese Presidency motto: it’s time to deliver a fair, green and digital recovery.

Thank you very much for your attention. I will remain here to answer your questions.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Nicolas Schmit, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, 2021 should be the year opening the road to recovery. But this means first that we have to attain the objectives which have been set on the level of vaccination, because to defeat the virus we have to win this battle first.

The Commission has indicated that our objective should be 70% of people vaccinated at the beginning of, or at least within, the next six or seven months. The second road to recovery is to maintain our strong will to contain the economic and social effects of the crisis thanks to the unprecedented efforts of the EU and the Member States.

As already described by the President, it is true that economic activity has been strongly impacted over the past year. And the outlook for 2021 remains uncertain because we do not know exactly what the evolution of the pandemic will be; thus the importance of vaccination.

The unemployment rate has increased – though it has increased less than one could have feared – and this is because Member States reacted, reacted through the introduction of massive short-time work schemes, with the support of the European Union. But the statistics do not tell us the whole story, yet millions of people have lost already their jobs and they are mainly the low-skilled, the low-paid workers, the temporary workers, the young on precarious work, and the most vulnerable.

Precisely the most vulnerable people have been disproportionately hit, and after a clear improvement, poverty and inequalities are again on the rise. Moreover, the recovery will likely be uneven across Member States, across regions, across economic sectors and categories of workers. Therefore, we need a strong solidarity at all levels – at national levels, at regional levels, and, obviously, also at European level.

The EU support is all the more important to ensure a sustainable and inclusive recovery and economic and social upward convergence. The EU has been reactive and played a leading role to mitigate the negative effects of the crisis. The EU launched an unprecedented plan for reform and investment worth almost EUR 1.8 trillion, made up of long-term investments, financed by the Multiannual Financial Framework, more than one trillion, and one other financial instrument, the Next Generation EU with EUR 750 billion.

The Recovery and Resilience Facility will fund reforms, as the President has just mentioned, on the one hand, and investments in every Member States. We have to build back better, and here investments are extremely important. We have to support growth and employment while boosting the green and digital transitions. We are not talking about any growth: we want sustainable growth and we want an inclusive growth.

Cohesion funds have been boosted through the REACT-EU initiative, increasing the resources of the current programmes to address the social and economic impact of the crisis. The European instrument for temporary support to mitigate unemployment risks in an emergency, better known as SURE, has helped and is still helping Member States fund their short-time work schemes and similar schemes for the self-employed to mitigate the immediate economic impacts of the pandemic and the necessary confinement measures.

In addition, euro area Member States agreed to make available a combined volume of around EUR 240 billion to help finance health-care, cure and prevention costs due to COVID-19 through the European Stability Mechanism.

Yet a surge in unemployment may have only been delayed rather than averted. That’s what I meant when I said ‘statistics do not tell us the whole truth’. High risks affecting the labour market exist as many sectors are unlikely to fully recover for some time, and many companies are already experiencing financial distress.

While short-time work schemes have been effective in cushioning the blow and continue to be an important element of support at this critical juncture of the pandemic, they cannot be a durable solution, although we have to maintain them where necessary and combined, if possible, also with training and with skilling people in order to offer them new jobs. We need to set the conditions for future sustainable economic growth and a quality job-rich recovery. Investments, reforms, active labour market policies and skills for jobs are key.

We need a coherent package of active labour-market measures to support structural change and quality job creation by easing business restructuring where needed and facilitating the redeployment of labour, notably towards the green and digital economy, and that’s what the President of the Commission, Ms von der Leyen, said this morning. Yes, jobs, jobs, jobs, is key, but we do not want precarious jobs, especially not for the young. We want quality jobs.

The modernisation of labour market institutions, promotion of upskilling and re-skilling and reinforcement of social protection and health systems will be crucial to strengthen economic and social resilience and secure growth and employment in Europe, also in the medium and long term.

This is all the more important as we see that some groups are hit especially hard. We must avert at all costs the risk of a new ‘lost generation’. Years of progress in bringing down youth unemployment risk being compromised, in particular with a view to those furthest from the labour market. Therefore, it’s now important to implement the Youth Employment Support (YES) programme that the Commission launched in July already and to translate it in concrete actions and also to integrate it in the measures financed by the recovery and resilience plans.

Workers in non-standard forms of employment, above all temporary employees, are particularly vulnerable. Women are over-represented in sectors that are at the forefront of fighting the pandemic. Women are also particularly affected by the increase in unpaid care and domestic work. Equality, therefore, remains high on our agenda, not just for pay, but also for all the opportunities in the economy and therefore will have also, especially in the care sector, where three quarters of workers are women. We have to value this work in terms of recognition but also financial recognition.

Children in low-income families are also at risk, in particular as distance learning has become a norm for many pupils. It really matters whether you have access to a computer, a good internet connection, a quiet place to study, and parents who are able to support you. There is a new ground for inequality, for inequality of opportunities that we really have to tackle.

In general, health, education and social-protection systems, in particular social services, have been put under unprecedented pressure, further exacerbating challenges for people in the most vulnerable situations. This will continue to stress test the capacity of social protection. And finally, this is part of the resilience we have to strengthen. We have to do that in relation to adequacy, coverage and sustainability. This has come to the fore in view of ensuring socially fair transitions.

Our action plan to further implement the European pillar of social rights is imminent. It will turn the pillar’s principles into concrete action for recovery and renewed upwards convergence in the EU. This will include an update of the pillar’s social scoreboard in a long-term view up to 2030. Many measures, from boosting skills to reforms to strengthening social protection systems, to investments in social housing, for children in need can be supported through the new funding instruments established on the Next Generation EU and the MFF.

The European Parliament and the Commission have been able to strengthen the social dimension of the Recovery and Resilience Facility even further, and I’m more than grateful for that work which has been done in Parliament. The Cohesion Policy, including the ESF+ and the Just Transition Fund, will also play a critical role in supporting economic recovery, and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for displaced workers can support workers who have lost their job due to restructuring.

This shows that we have formidable firepower, financially but also the tools, to turn the present challenges into opportunities. While building back our economies and societies, by boosting the green and digital transition, we need to set the conditions for achieving social progress. This is imperative for successful, fair, sustainable and inclusive recovery, and we will all meet in Porto to make these objectives very concrete.

 
  
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  Siegfried Mureşan, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, the pandemic and fear of job loss are, without doubt, the two biggest concerns of citizens throughout Europe right now. All of our political decisions have to keep this in mind. We should do all we can to reduce the risks of the pandemic and the negative effects upon the people, upon the companies of Europe and upon the regions, and we have to do all we can to support the process of job creation. Unemployment is still projected to rise this year; we do not know exactly how much it will increase, because we will only know the magnitude of the economic crisis after COVID-19, after the lockdowns and once the economy returns to its full potential of activity.

We therefore have to do two things for the time being: firstly, implement the decisions that we have taken; and secondly, stand ready to do more if needed.

In terms of decisions taken – and the Commissioner and Minister rightly outlined many of these – I would like to highlight the recovery and resilience facility. Here at the European Parliament, with myself, Dragoș Pîslaru and Eider Gardiazabal Rubial as co-rapporteurs, we worked hard to ensure it was better suited to supporting the process of job creation, SMEs and the people affected by the crisis.

So what have we done? Firstly, we have created a special pillar, a social pillar, to help those affected by the pandemic, particularly women, because, Commissioner, you’re right, very often the burden upon them was bigger. Then there is an economic pillar – support for SMEs – and we also make very clear that solvency instalments are allowed at national level, so countries can use the money to support companies facing the risk of insolvency.

To conclude: to the Member States, please present your national programmes to the Commission as soon as possible. To the Commission, please adopt them as soon as possible so that money can start flowing, so that we can start helping those affected. We, the European Parliament, will make use of our prerogatives in order to make sure that the plans presented by the countries enhance employment.

 
  
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  Manuel Pizarro, em nome do Grupo S&D. – Senhora Presidente, Senhor Comissário Schmit, Senhor Presidente do Conselho, à medida que a recessão económica e social se agrava, a grande maioria dos cidadãos europeus olha para a União Europeia como uma tábua de salvação.

Sejamos justos, sem a União, vários Estados-Membros teriam hoje, pela frente, o naufrágio. A melhor prova disso é, aliás, o silêncio a que se remeteram, temporariamente, os populistas que, durante anos, elegeram o projeto europeu como bode expiatório. Não podemos falhar.

O plano de recuperação e o novo Quadro Financeiro Plurianual dão uma resposta robusta à crise, estimulam o investimento económico e social e a criação de emprego, mas temos um problema. Os ritmos morosos e burocráticos da União Europeia não são compagináveis com emergências como aquela que hoje enfrentamos. Temos que garantir que as verbas que estamos a investir para amparar os trabalhadores, as empresas, os sistemas de saúde vão, de facto, poder ser inscritas no plano de recuperação e no QFP.

Temos de caminhar no sentido de traduzir em direitos vinculativos os princípios do Pilar Europeu dos Direitos Sociais. Confio que a Presidência europeia exercida pelo meu país, Portugal, contribuirá para esse desígnio, para essa Europa social que ambicionamos.

 
  
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  Dragoș Pîslaru, în numele grupului Renew. – Doamnă președintă, domnule comisar, doamnă ministru, dragi colegi, românii au un proverb: „prietenul la nevoie se cunoaște”. Doar atunci când ai nevoie reală de ajutor vei realiza în cine poți avea încredere.

Uniunea a demonstrat în 2020 că este un prieten adevărat al cetățenilor europeni, atinși de cea mai gravă criză medicală, socială și economică din istoria recentă. Renew Europe crede că reacția noastră prin mecanismul de redresare și reziliență, prin ambiția noastră pentru cadrul financiar multianual, răspunsul a fost pe măsură.

Parlamentul European, Comisia, Consiliul au lucrat permanent pe dosare cheie, cum ar fi FEAD, REACT-EU, SURE, Fondul social european pentru a începe lungul drum spre vindecare.

Șansa noastră este de a deveni mai puternici. Criza aceasta trebuie folosită pentru a vindeca, dar apoi pentru a depăși probleme sociale structurale vechi. Accesul la educație, la sănătate, lupta împotriva sărăciei, a excluziunii sociale, a discriminării, a barierelor în fața muncii trebuie să fie subiectul eforturilor noastre mai departe. Nu mai putem accepta ca milioane de copii să trăiască fără siguranță alimentară sau a unui acoperiș stabil deasupra capului.

Apelul meu către politicienii europeni: fiți ambițioși, gândiți pe termen lung și gândiți-vă la cetățeni, prioritizați în planurile naționale pentru redresare și reziliență investiția în copiii și tinerii Europei, în locuri de muncă cu impact social care vor crea acces și oportunitate.

 
  
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  Hélène Laporte, au nom du groupe ID. – Madame la Présidente, Madame la Ministre, Monsieur le Commissaire, mes chers collègues, il ne peut y avoir de relance économique sans relance sociale. Le constat est accablant: avec la crise, le vieux continent devrait compter plus de 30 millions de travailleurs pauvres, selon l’Observatoire social européen. Je pense notamment aux jeunes et aux femmes, qui sont les plus exposés aux conséquences économiques et sociales de la pandémie. L’incapacité de l’Europe à surmonter les crises sociales n’est hélas pas un fait nouveau.

Pourtant, au milieu des années 2000, l’Europe européenne donnait l’impression qu’elle allait moderniser son agenda concernant la politique sociale. En mars 2008, l’importance de la dimension sociale de l’Union européenne faisait même partie intégrante de la stratégie de Lisbonne. Néanmoins, au cours des années suivantes, les préoccupations majeures portèrent sur la maîtrise des dépenses publiques et les réformes structurelles. L’austérité devint un mot clé de la politique publique de l’Union européenne et la dimension sociale disparut pratiquement de l’agenda politique européen.

D’ailleurs, malgré ce constat, il est intéressant de relever que Bruxelles souhaite renforcer la dimension sociale de l’Union économique et monétaire, alors que les politiques sociales et de l’emploi relèvent très largement de la compétence des États membres. Cette nouvelle intégration fédéraliste se heurtera à la réalité des multiples indicateurs témoignant des disparités européennes sur les questions sociales.

Certes, Bruxelles a appris de ses erreurs lors des crises précédentes, en créant le programme SURE afin d’aider les travailleurs à conserver leurs emplois, cependant, comment sera-t-il possible de combiner effectivement ambition économique et ambition sociale et environnementale? L’Europe va enfin devoir clarifier ses priorités. Les arbitrages sur les plans de relance ainsi que le sommet social à Porto, qui se tiendra au mois de mai prochain constitueront des marqueurs afin de connaître la volonté, feinte ou réelle, de Bruxelles, d’une reconstruction radicalement plus portée sur le social.

 
  
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  Kira Marie Peter-Hansen, for Verts/ALE-Gruppen. – Fru formand! Jeg var i Bruxelles under den første lockdown, og her oplevede jeg, at vi stod på vores altaner og klappede af sundheds- og omsorgspersonalet. Det var en vild følelse, og de mennesker fortjente klapsalver, for de har stået i fronten i coronakampen. Men klapsalver er slet ikke nok. Kvinder, der er ansat som landets sygeplejersker, udsætter sig selv og deres familie for sygdom hver dag. Det er samtidig et af de mange kvindefag, der er underbetalte og mangler anerkendelse. Statistikkerne viser nemlig, at vi er langt fra både økonomisk og social ligestilling, og sundhedskrisen har kun forværret det.

Vi skal sikre ligeløn, og vi skal lukke løngabet! Det er derfor vigtigere end nogensinde, at Kommissionen snart kommer i gang og får fremlagt sit forslag om løntransparens. Vi har ventet, og det er et kæmpe svigt af de hårdtarbejdende kvinder i sundheds- og omsorgssektoren, at dette forslag igen bliver udsat. Jeg glæder mig derfor til at se Kommissionens forslag. Coronakrisen har også vist os, at det er børn og enlige forældre og kvinder og personer med handicap, der bliver ramt først. Vi har derfor brug for at styrke vores sociale sikkerhedsnet gennem en europæisk sikring af mindsteindkomster.

 
  
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  Johan Van Overtveldt, namens de ECR-Fractie. – Voorzitter, collega’s, commissaris, staatssecretaris, voor eind vorig jaar hebben we een akkoord bereikt over de meerjarenbegroting en het coronafonds. Dat is echter niet het einde van het werk. Dat is eigenlijk pas het begin van het werk. We moeten er nu voor zorgen dat die middelen zo snel mogelijk in de economie geïnjecteerd geraken. Hierbij dus een oproep aan alle lidstaten om zo snel mogelijk voor ratificatie te zorgen.

Besteding van die middelen moet het herstel stutten, voor jobcreatie zorgen en ons toelaten onze gezondheidssystemen te versterken, maar ook – en dit wordt vandaag vaak uit het oog verloren – de schuldenbergen die nu ontstaan en die elke dag verder aanzwellen, beheersbaar te houden. Dat kan enkel met economische groei. Halen we die groei niet, dan krijgen we inflatie en/of faillissementen van soevereine staten. Geen van beide is een aanlokkelijke evolutie en zal het Europese huis zeker verder onder druk zetten. Dus hopelijk worden deze fondsen goed besteed, komt die economische groei er en gebeurt er niet wat we toch een beetje te veel hebben zien gebeuren met de vaccins.

Vaccins bieden dé uitweg uit de coronapandemie en – laten we het als politici maar toegeven – de wetenschappers hebben meer dan hun werk gedaan. We hebben vandaag die vaccins beschikbaar, iets wat alle lof verdient. Toch hebben de EU en de lidstaten voor een stuk weer nagelaten de toegevoegde waarde te bieden die Europa echt zou moeten bieden. Cruciale kansen werden gemist. De keuze voor de aankoop van een portfolio van vaccins vind ik zeer verdedigbaar en legitiem, maar ze moet ook wetenschappelijk onderbouwd zijn. In de Duitse pers circuleren nu verhalen als zou Europa te laat en te weinig vaccins besteld hebben omwille van Franse belangen. Dat creëert de perceptie van politiek gemarchandeer, wat in de huidige omstandigheden uiteraard totaal onaanvaardbaar is.

Zelfs indien er voldoende vaccins voorhanden zijn, zijn er blijkbaar ook nog andere problemen. In België dreigt vandaag een tekort aan spuiten en injectienaalden, de zoveelste voorraadsaga. Doet dit probleem zich ook in andere lidstaten voor en welke Europese oplossingen zijn daarvoor mogelijk? Daar moeten we echt wel antwoorden op krijgen.

 
  
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  Leila Chaibi, au nom du groupe The Left. – Madame la Présidente, si je suis là aujourd’hui, c’est pour vous demander de déclarer l’état d’urgence sociale en Europe. Vous l’avez dit, Monsieur le Commissaire, la pandémie a fait exploser la pauvreté et la précarité.

Des étudiants se jettent par la fenêtre de leur chambre universitaire, des livreurs de Deliveroo font la queue aux Restos du cœur. Je les ai vus de mes propres yeux. Ils livrent à manger, mais ils n’ont pas à manger pour eux-mêmes. Nous sommes au bord du précipice et à nos pieds, dans le gouffre, il y a une des pires crises sociales de l’histoire de l’humanité. Alors je vous demande d’écouter les cris d’alarme des associations qui voient défiler des travailleurs licenciés, des familles entières, des locataires pris à la gorge.

Les choix politiques ne doivent plus être pris à l’aune de la concurrence, du marché ou de la rigueur budgétaire, la situation nous oblige à laisser tomber tous ces dogmes, mais la seule chose qui doit désormais irriguer les décisions de l’Union européenne, c’est l’urgence sociale. Alors je vous le répète, je vous en conjure, décrétons l’état d’urgence sociale en Europe!

 
  
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  Rosa Estaràs Ferragut (PPE). – Señora presidenta, la pandemia ha alterado el escenario económico global. Ha supuesto una crisis profunda, social y económica: empresas cerradas, casi dieciséis millones de europeos sin empleo. Ha afectado también, de manera importante, a los sectores vulnerables. No hay ninguna duda de que siempre las crisis golpean más al que menos tiene, al sector de la discapacidad, a la mujer y a todas las minorías.

Europa ha dado una respuesta solidaria, una respuesta unida, una respuesta histórica sin precedentes, poniendo sobre la mesa actuaciones muy sólidas, que supone más de 1,8 billones de euros para poder conseguir una Europa más digital, una Europa más inclusiva, una Europa más sostenible, una Europa más competitiva.

Para poder tener estos resultados, los Estados miembros tienen que actuar, y para eso tienen que hacer reformas: reformas laborales, del sistema de pensiones; hay que centrarse mucho en sectores económicos como el de mi tierra, el turismo. Es el momento de actuar. Es el momento de la verdad. Es necesario que se pongan las pilas para poder dar una respuesta sobre todo a esos colectivos más vulnerables, porque sin ellos, sin atenderlos a ellos no se sale de esta crisis.

 
  
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  Klára Dobrev (S&D). – Tisztelt Elnök asszony! Hatalmas lépést tettünk előre egy sokkal erősebb és egy sokkal egységesebb Európai Unió felé. A szociális ügyek és az egészségügy tagállami hatáskör volt nagyon sokáig. Mégis ebben a járványban, ebben a válságban az Európai Unió sokkal többet tett a járvány megfékezéséért, sokkal többet tett a szociális következmények enyhítéséért, mint jó néhány tagország kormánya. Sajnos, köztük Magyarország kormánya. Soha nem látott pénzeket mozgósított az Európai Unió, soha nem látott könnyűséggel és rugalmassággal lehetett ezeket a pénzeket felhasználni. Tényleg megnyílt a lehetőség, hogy közvetlenül segítsünk az embereknek. Ezért innen szeretném megköszönni Európa országainak, kormányainak, hogy szolidaritást mutattak a Tanácsban. Innen szeretném megköszönni az európai pártcsaládoknak, hogy félretéve a természetes versengést képesek voltak megállapodni a Parlamentben, és innen szeretném megígérni mindenkinek, hogy ez a pénz nem illiberális diktátorokhoz, oligarchákhoz fog menni, hanem oda, ahova szántuk őket: az emberekhez.

 
  
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  Marie-Pierre Vedrenne (Renew). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Commissaire, Madame la Ministre, chers collègues, ce choc sanitaire a aujourd’hui des conséquences avant tout sociales et représente une source d’angoisse multiple.

Le premier ministre Costa a rappelé ce matin l’engagement nécessaire pour une reprise juste, verte et numérique. L’objectif qui doit nous animer et demeurer: ne laisser personne de côté. Nous le savons de nombreux emplois sont menacés. Je pense à tous les travailleurs, notamment bretons avec les annonces de plans sociaux à venir par de grands groupes.

Avec d’autres, avec vous, Monsieur le Commissaire, nous avons travaillé pour un accord ambitieux sur le Fonds européen d’ajustement à la mondialisation pour les travailleurs licenciés. Soutenir et accompagner dans la reconversion, requalification, réinsertion, c’est la raison d’être de ce Fonds et la COVID devient motif de mobilisation. Sur tous les fronts, l’Europe agit, elle doit aller plus loin. L’Europe solidaire et sociale se bâtit chaque jour, mais demain, elle doit être encore plus réactive et encore plus visible.

 
  
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  Gunnar Beck (ID). – Frau Präsidentin! Die EU hat bei Corona versagt – medizinisch und wirtschaftlich. Wir haben Rekordsterberaten und mit Großbritannien die schlechtesten Wirtschaftsdaten weltweit. China indes wächst und schreibt Rekordexporte. Nun bestellt die Kommission noch zu wenig Impfstoff, und so sterben hier unnötig mehr Bürger und Unternehmen als in Russland, China oder Albanien.

Um Versagen zu vertuschen, plant von der Leyen Rekordausgaben von 1,8 Billionen. Dafür leiht sie sich vertragswidrig 750 Milliarden – vertragswidrig, denn Artikel 310 AEUV verlangt: „Der EU-Haushalt ist in Einnahmen und Ausgaben auszugleichen“, und 311 fügt hinzu: „Der EU-Haushalt wird unbeschadet der sonstigen Einnahmen vollständig aus Eigenmitteln finanziert.“ Nur verbucht werden die illegalen Schulden nirgends.

Bestimmt ist das Geld für Green Deal und EU-Migrationspakt, obwohl die EU nur 9 % aller CO2-Emission generiert und Millionen Migranten unseren Sozialstaat zerstören, ohne Afrika zu entwickeln. All das ist Wahnsinn, das ist kein Konjunkturpaket, sondern ein Morgenthau-Plan für die Deindustrialisierung Europas und eine Vision für den schnellsten Weg in die Dritte Welt. Wer solche Visionen hat, muss zum Arzt.

 
  
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  Damian Boeselager (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, we fought hard as the European Parliament, but also as the EU as a whole, for a strong EU recovery fund to counter this unprecedented crisis. We decided to raise an unprecedented amount of EUR 750 billion to be able to invest in the green and also the digital recovery and to get out of this crisis better than we went in.

Now it’s time to fight equally hard to make sure that this money is put to good use, and for this I demand three things.

First of all, that we ensure that every cent that is spent is transparently spent, that we know where this money is going. Second, that this money is used as additional money, that we make sure that we have new projects in the green and digital spaces, so we don’t just refinance existing pet projects of national governments. And third, that citizens are involved, that stakeholders are involved, and that most importantly our national governments are involved when we draw up these plans to make sure that the money is put to good use.

 
  
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  Zbigniew Kuźmiuk (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Pani Minister! Panie Komisarzu! Pandemia koronawirusa spowodowała poważny kryzys gospodarczy, a w konsekwencji społeczny na świecie i w Europie, czego wyrazem jest głęboki spadek PKB, nawet dwucyfrowy w krajach południa Unii Europejskiej, a także dwucyfrowy wzrost bezrobocia. Unijną odpowiedzią są ramy finansowe na lata 2021–2027, Fundusz Odbudowy, a także idąca już w biliony euro pomoc publiczna udzielana przez kraje członkowskie ich przedsiębiorstwom. Chciałbym wyrazić nadzieję, że ten Fundusz Odbudowy uzyska szybką ratyfikację w dwudziestu siedmiu państwach członkowskich. Jeżeli tak się nie stanie, to w 2021 r. może on okazać się funduszem papierowym, a to nie pozwoli, szczególnie krajom południa Unii Europejskiej, wyjść z recesji.

I na koniec kwestia pomocy publicznej. Rzeczywiście – tak jak powiedziałem – ona udzielana jest już w bilionach euro, ale jest bardzo nierówna. Kraje bogatsze mogą sobie na nią pozwolić, kraje mniej zamożne mogą pozwolić sobie na pomoc publiczną mniejszą. To oczywiście będzie powodowało zakłócenia na unijnym wspólnym rynku i przedsiębiorstwa wywodzące się z krajów mniej zamożnych będą miały poważne kłopoty, żeby sprostać konkurencji.

 
  
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  Milan Brglez (S&D). – Gospa predsednica, spoštovane in spoštovani.

V tem trenutku razprava o socialni in zaposlovalni krizi pomeni le vrh ledene gore, saj grobe statistike zakrivajo velike razlike med državami članicami, regijami in gospodarskimi sektorji. Prav tako ne odražajo osebnih stisk ljudi in socialnih razlik, ki so se poglobile.

Zato je ključno, da imamo ukrepe, ki to pomagajo blažiti. Z njimi dokazujemo, da je socialna unija možna smer evropskega povezovanja. Tudi če pravo Evropske unije ni naklonjeno socialni uniji, je ta mogoča, če zanjo obstaja politična nuja ali volja.

Osredotočanje na najšibkejše, odpravljanje plačnih razlik med spoloma, izboljšanje pogojev dela in zaščite pri delu, vlaganje v znanje in veščine ljudi ter krepitev socialnega dialoga in kolektivnega dogovarjanja morajo postati naš trajni odziv.

Upam, da bosta letos aktualno portugalsko in prihodnje slovensko predsedstvo Svetu EU znala prenesti duha svojih socialno in k človekovim pravicam usmerjenih ustav tudi na evropski parket ter skupaj z nami in Komisijo krepiti steber socialnih pravic. Za EU kot varen dom ljudi.

 
  
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  Атидже Алиева-Вели (Renew). – Уважаема г-жо Председател, вече са изработени стотици доклади и анализи, отчитащи огромните икономически последици от Ковид-19 пандемията, и данните са силно притеснителни. За мен е важно същото внимание да бъде отделено и на социалните последици от тази криза.

Извънредното положение и наложените мерки сериозно засегнаха уязвимите групи. Това доведе до увеличаване на неравенството, бедността, безработицата и социалните различия и може да застраши социалния модел, както и стандартите за заетостта в Европа.

Силно приветствам отговора, който Европейският съюз даде в МФР и плана за възстановяване. Той следва да се основава на принципите на икономическо и териториално сближаване, солидарност, социален диалог и трансформация с цел справедлив зелен преход. Сега е основополагащо да се избегне забавяне на предвидените средства. Гражданите трябва да усетят резултатите от тези инвестиции още през тази година.

Отговорността на държавите членки е огромна и именно те следва в своите планове да са отразили конкретните нужди на населението, предвиждайки набор от реформи и мерки, които да гарантират социално възстановяване от кризата.

 
  
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  Paolo Borchia (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, io potrei elencare i dati di Eurostat sull'occupazione o sulla moria delle imprese ma invece, a monito, oggi vi parlerò di Mario Monti. Perché Mario Monti? Ex Commissario europeo, da Presidente del Consiglio italiano mise in pratica con stretta osservanza gli stessi dogmi di bilancio che sono entrati in punta di piedi nel regolamento del Recovery and Resilience Facility con i seguenti risultati: crollo del PIL, aumento della disoccupazione, esplosione della disoccupazione giovanile, peggioramento del rapporto debito pubblico/PIL.

Vi cito Mario Monti per dire che l'applicazione del piano per la ripresa e del bilancio dovranno tenere per forza di cose conto delle raccomandazioni della Commissione sugli squilibri macroeconomici. Sono ricette che in passato hanno fatto disastri – non lo dico io, lo dice Eurostat, per cui Mario Monti all'epoca, era il febbraio del 2012, venne applaudito da questa stessa plenaria riunita a Strasburgo. E quindi io vi dico: meditate, perché prima vengono le persone e poi le regole di bilancio.

 
  
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  Elżbieta Rafalska (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Kryzys społeczny i kryzys zatrudnienia podczas pandemii COVID-19 to skutki tej pandemii, które zostaną z nami na dłużej. Stąd pytania: jakie już działania podjęto, czy poziom ich finansowania jest wystarczający, jaka będzie i jest skuteczność zastosowanych instrumentów łagodzących te skutki? Na niektóre odpowiedzi musimy poczekać. Kryzys trwa. Pierwszoplanowym wyzwaniem, zmniejszającym skutki społeczne takie jak wzrastające ubóstwo, nierówności społeczne, utrudniony dostęp do ochrony zdrowia, pogarszająca się sytuacja osób starszych, chorych, niepełnosprawnych, stała się ochrona miejsc pracy, utrzymanie zatrudnienia i walka o każde miejsce pracy.

Polska, mój kraj, jest przykładem państwa, które skutecznie jak dotąd, dzięki wdrożonym instrumentom wsparcia, ochroniło swój rynek pracy, korzystając z zasobów własnych i z unijnego wsparcia. Polska skorzystała z programu SURE i przygotowuje krajowy plan odbudowy umożliwiający skorzystanie z Instrumentu na rzecz Odbudowy i Zwiększania Odporności. Szczepienia są szansą dla nas wszystkich, ale jeżeli chcemy mieć zdrową gospodarkę i nowoczesny rynek pracy, musimy wdrażać innowacyjne rozwiązania i nie bać się reform.

 
  
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  Margarida Marques (S&D). – Senhor Presidente, Senhora Ministra Zacarias, Comissário Schmit, o impacto desta pandemia na economia e no emprego, nas finanças públicas é ainda incalculável. É imperativo proteger os cidadãos na saúde, mas também tudo fazer para impedir destruição de emprego, acentuar desigualdades e assimetrias, aumentar a exclusão social.

A União Europeia construiu uma resposta europeia para a recuperação, desta vez com a ambição política e o financiamento necessário para a concretizar. A dimensão social tem de ser um pilar importante nos planos de recuperação económica e social, financiados pelo Fundo de Recuperação, promovendo o investimento e criando emprego. A transição para o digital e o clima não podem gerar novos pobres e novas desigualdades. Pelo contrário, têm todas as condições para gerar emprego sustentável e com qualidade, emprego com direitos, emprego decente.

A recuperação económica e social só será eficaz se as pessoas estiverem no centro das políticas.

 
  
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  Valérie Hayer (Renew). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Commissaire, Madame la Secrétaire d’État, chers collègues, la crise sanitaire n’a épargné personne: employeurs, employés, associations, personnes les plus vulnérables. Alors, bien sûr, nous ne sommes pas sortis de la crise mais j’ai espoir car nous y travaillons tous sans relâche.

J’aimerais, ici, rendre hommage à l’action européenne. L’Europe sociale, l’Europe qui nous protège, qui protège les citoyens, qui nous protège, vous et moi, n’était pas une évidence avant la crise. Depuis, sa nécessité s’est imposée, on l’a vu avec ce mécanisme européen d’aide aux systèmes d’assurance chômage partiel. Concrètement, si certaines personnes ont pu recevoir des aides de la part de leur État, c’est parce que l’Europe était en soutien. Ceux qui avaient les reins les plus solides ont donné des gages pour assurer aux plus fragiles la capacité de se financer. C’est ça la solidarité européenne!

Monsieur le Commissaire, Madame la Secrétaire d’État, nous avons encore un long chemin à parcourir pour sortir de la crise, mais ce que nous avons fait avec le mécanisme d’assurance chômage, avec le plan de relance, avec le budget européen et ses différents instruments négociés c’est poser les jalons de l’Europe sociale et solidaire. Nous devons nous en féliciter.

 
  
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  Robert Roos (ECR). – Voorzitter, commissaris, minister, iedere plenaire week debatteren we in dit Parlement over zaken die hier helemaal niet thuishoren. Ook deze week. Sociaal beleid en werkgelegenheid zijn namelijk geen zaken waar de EU over gaat. Het zijn bij uitstek nationale aangelegenheden, en met goede reden: dit type beleid moet dicht bij mensen staan, gemaakt binnen de lidstaten. In mijn geval: voor Nederlanders, door Nederlanders.

Ik heb waardering voor de inzet van de collega’s hier, maar de realiteit is dat jullie veel tijd besteden aan initiatieven die buiten de verdragsrechtelijke basis van de EU vallen. Afspraken die zijn gemaakt over de bevoegdheden tussen de EU en de lidstaten worden net zolang opgerekt totdat Brussel een voet tussen de deur heeft op wéér een volgend beleidsterrein. Dat is, dames en heren, de manier waarop dit instituut werkt. En een crisis wordt daar altijd voor misbruikt.

Brusselse bemoeizucht ondermijnt onze nationale slagkracht terwijl wij die juist nu, meer dan ooit, nodig hebben om de coronacrisis te overwinnen.

 
  
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  Nicolas Schmit, membre de la Commission. – Madame la Présidente, chers membres, je crois que nous partageons beaucoup d’éléments dans l’analyse et je crois qu’il y a un large consensus sur l’urgence et la gravité. Ce qui est important, c’est de mettre en œuvre maintenant les mesures et je crois que nous devons tous être conscients que cette fois-ci, ça doit être différent.

Ce matin, la présidente a préconisé ce qu’elle a appelé a new social rulebook. Cela souligne l’importance de la dimension sociale dans ces politiques. C’est ce que les citoyens nous demandent, que l’Europe, que l’Union européenne, comme les États membres, comme tous les acteurs, soit à leur écoute, soit près de leurs problèmes, de leurs difficultés.

Et au premier chef, il y a la relance mais la relance ne fonctionne que si elle est mise en œuvre rapidement. Donc je partage tout à fait ce qui a été dit, d’abord sur la présentation des plans nationaux et sur la mise en œuvre rapide de ces plans. Cela suppose aussi – et je me joins aux appels qui ont été lancés d’ailleurs par le président du Parlement et qui ont été répétés ici –que les parlements nationaux et les gouvernements doivent faire leur travail en ratifiant les cadres financiers pour que, effectivement, les plans de relance et notamment les ressources liées puissent être mis en œuvre.

Oui, la création d’emplois est centrale. Nous sommes dans une triple crise. Une crise sanitaire que nous espérons maîtriser grâce aux vaccins, mais aussi une transformation fondamentale, qui a été accélérée d’ailleurs par cette crise, du numérique. Une révolution qui affecte beaucoup d’emplois, beaucoup d’entreprises, notamment les PME. Et je suis d’accord que la création d’emplois doit être au centre de nos préoccupations, notamment par le soutien aux PME, aux nouvelles entreprises, aux jeunes pousses, à ceux qui inventent les technologies de demain.

Mais en même temps nous devons préparer tous ceux qui risquent demain de perdre leur emploi à ces nouvelles échéances, à ces nouveaux défis et donc l’investissement dans les compétences, dans les qualifications à la fois pour les jeunes, mais aussi les moins jeunes est capital. Donc, je crois que ce que nous avons entamé avec les différentes mesures sur la formation, bien sûr qu’on ne va pas le faire d’ici à Bruxelles, on va le faire avec les entreprises, avec les partenaires sociaux, avec les régions, avec les municipalités, partout où il y a une transition à opérer.

J’ai écouté ce que certains collègues ont dit sur des régions ou sur la montée du chômage. Et puis l’Europe doit être présente sur le terrain en aidant, en facilitant les transitions et en amenant les personnes vers l’emploi, non pas vers un vague avenir qui sera fait de chômage et d’exclusion mais vers des emplois solides, des emplois de qualité. Voilà l’enjeu, voilà le défi, ensemble nous devons l’assumer.

 
  
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  Ana Paula Zacarias, President-in-Office of the Council. – Madam President, I think I’ve heard a lot of consensus in that 2021 should be the year for recovery, with the rollout of the vaccination processes and with the support of the financial recovery instruments. We have the vision, we have the programmes and we have the budget.

So we have the responsibility to succeed. And to succeed, we have to put the people at the centre of our policies. This is very clear. We need to work now to have an immediate impact on the lives of people with the national recovery plans and, at the same time, we need to push for reforms and economic and social investment that will have a long-term impact, addressing structural issues that became even more evident under the focus of the pandemic.

Some of you said that the EU has already done a lot. This is true, and we should be happy about that, but we need to continue to do our utmost to help Member States protect Europeans from the social and economic consequences of this crisis. To this end, we need quickly to finalise the pending legislative work and move towards the implementation phase before the summer. We need to avoid delays.

Recovery has to be anchored in sustainability, in innovation, in gender equality, and in upward social cohesion. We have to take care of the young and we also have to take care of the old, because we have seen the ravages that this crisis has taken on our older population too. Protecting Europeans from the adverse effects of the COVID—19 crisis will therefore remain high on our agenda. This trio of Presidencies – the current trio and the next trio of Presidencies – have already discussed this matter and will take this forward.

So the Council is ready to continue working on these issues, together with the Parliament and the Commission. Thank you, Commissioner, for the proposals put forward. We look for the best solutions to meet this daunting challenge that we are all facing, and we need to face it together.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Przewodnicząca. – Zamykam debatę.

Oświadczenia pisemne (art. 171)

 
  
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  Estrella Durá Ferrandis (S&D), por escrito. – La actual pandemia ha provocado una crisis de carácter social y del empleo, generando ya una tendencia al alza en el aumento del desempleo, empeoramiento de las condiciones laborales, así como un incremento de las desigualdades y de la pobreza en Europa. El plan de recuperación y nuevo MFP, tienen como principal objetivo mitigar los efectos negativos de esta crisis, en todas sus formas.

Sin embargo y desde un punto de vista social, necesitamos más. Necesitamos enfatizar en mayor medida la dimensión social dentro de estos mecanismos de recuperación, para poder realmente alcanzar una Europa socialmente sostenible y que no deje a nadie atrás. Necesitamos, asimismo, que el nuevo marco financiero incremente el presupuesto destinado al FSE+, el único instrumento destinado a paliar los nefastos efectos sociales provocados por esta crisis, implementar el pilar de los derechos sociales, y poner en marcha medidas que son prioridad para los socialistas, como la garantía infantil.

En definitiva, un vasto presupuesto, que asegure la obligatoriedad de cumplimiento de los objetivos sociales, así como el establecimiento de unos indicadores concretos y tangibles de inversión social que se incluyan en el Semestre Europeo y en los planes nacionales de recuperación.

 
  
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  Isabel García Muñoz (S&D), por escrito. – La actual pandemia ha provocado una crisis de carácter social y del empleo, generando ya una tendencia al alza en el aumento del desempleo, empeoramiento de las condiciones laborales, así como un incremento de las desigualdades y de la pobreza en Europa. El plan de recuperación y nuevo MFP, tienen como principal objetivo mitigar los efectos negativos de esta crisis, en todas sus formas.

Sin embargo y desde un punto de vista social, necesitamos más. Necesitamos enfatizar en mayor medida la dimensión social dentro de estos mecanismos de recuperación, para poder realmente alcanzar una Europa socialmente sostenible y que no deje a nadie atrás. Necesitamos, asimismo, que el nuevo marco financiero incremente el presupuesto destinado al FSE+, el único instrumento destinado a paliar los nefastos efectos sociales provocados por esta crisis, implementar el pilar de los derechos sociales, y poner en marcha medidas que son prioridad para los socialistas, como la garantía infantil.

En definitiva, un vasto presupuesto, que asegure la obligatoriedad de cumplimiento de los objetivos sociales, así como el establecimiento de unos indicadores concretos y tangibles de inversión social que se incluyan en el Semestre Europeo y en los planes nacionales de recuperación.

 
  
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  Krzysztof Hetman (PPE), na piśmie. – Słowo kryzys odmienialiśmy w ostatnim roku przez wszystkie przypadki. Pandemia COVID-19 doprowadziła do wzrostu bezrobocia, zwiększenia nierówności społecznych, pogłębienia ubóstwa wśród Europejczyków, załamania się systemów ochrony zdrowia i edukacji.

Unia Europejska, mimo swoich ograniczonych kompetencji w wielu tych obszarach, dużo już zrobiła, aby wspomóc państwa członkowskie w ich walce z kryzysem. Wykazano się dużą elastycznością w wydatkowaniu funduszy unijnych, Komisja przyjęła tymczasowe ramy pomocy państwa, aby wspierać zagrożone przedsiębiorstwa, wdrożono instrument SURE mający zmniejszyć zagrożenia związane z bezrobociem, a także instrument FEAD umożliwiający pomoc żywnościową lub materialną dla najbardziej potrzebujących. Wreszcie przyjęto nowy budżet i przeznaczono 750 mld EUR na Plan odbudowy dla Europy.

To jednak dopiero początek naszych starań. Prawdziwy zakres kryzysu poznamy pewnie dopiero po ustąpienia pandemii. W tym momencie musimy przede wszystkim skupić się na szybkiej i przemyślanej strategii szczepień, która dałaby nam szansę na powrót do normalności. Dlatego cieszę się, że wykorzystaliśmy mechanizm wspólnego zakupu szczepionek.

Państwa członkowskie powinny również jak najszybciej zaprezentować plany odbudowy. Ważny w tym kontekście jest dialog społeczny z regionami, partnerami społecznymi i przedsiębiorcami. Musimy wsłuchać się w głos obywateli. Trzeba też zagwarantować właściwe wykorzystanie środków. Każde euro musi być wykorzystane tak, aby przynieść jak największe korzyści naszym gospodarkom i obywatelom.

 
  
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  Alicia Homs Ginel (S&D), por escrito. – La actual pandemia ha provocado una crisis de carácter social y del empleo, generando ya una tendencia al alza en el aumento del desempleo, empeoramiento de las condiciones laborales, así como un incremento de las desigualdades y de la pobreza en Europa. El plan de recuperación y nuevo MFP, tienen como principal objetivo mitigar los efectos negativos de esta crisis, en todas sus formas.

Sin embargo y desde un punto de vista social, necesitamos más. Necesitamos enfatizar en mayor medida la dimensión social dentro de estos mecanismos de recuperación, para poder realmente alcanzar una Europa socialmente sostenible y que no deje a nadie atrás. Necesitamos, asimismo, que el nuevo marco financiero incremente el presupuesto destinado al FSE+, el único instrumento destinado a paliar los nefastos efectos sociales provocados por esta crisis, implementar el pilar de los derechos sociales, y poner en marcha medidas que son prioridad para los socialistas, como la garantía infantil.

En definitiva, un vasto presupuesto, que asegure la obligatoriedad de cumplimiento de los objetivos sociales, así como el establecimiento de unos indicadores concretos y tangibles de inversión social que se incluyan en el Semestre Europeo y en los planes nacionales de recuperación.

 
  
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  Ibán García Del Blanco (S&D), por escrito. – La actual pandemia ha provocado una crisis de carácter social y del empleo, generando ya una tendencia al alza en el aumento del desempleo, empeoramiento de las condiciones laborales, así como un incremento de las desigualdades y de la pobreza en Europa. El plan de recuperación y nuevo MFP, tienen como principal objetivo mitigar los efectos negativos de esta crisis, en todas sus formas.

Sin embargo y desde un punto de vista social, necesitamos más. Necesitamos enfatizar en mayor medida la dimensión social dentro de estos mecanismos de recuperación, para poder realmente alcanzar una Europa socialmente sostenible y que no deje a nadie atrás. Necesitamos, asimismo, que el nuevo marco financiero incremente el presupuesto destinado al FSE+, el único instrumento destinado a paliar los nefastos efectos sociales provocados por esta crisis, implementar el pilar de los derechos sociales, y poner en marcha medidas que son prioridad para los socialistas, como la garantía infantil.

En definitiva, un vasto presupuesto, que asegure la obligatoriedad de cumplimiento de los objetivos sociales, así como el establecimiento de unos indicadores concretos y tangibles de inversión social que se incluyan en el Semestre Europeo y en los planes nacionales de recuperación.

 
  
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  Cristina Maestre Martín De Almagro (S&D), por escrito. – La actual pandemia ha provocado una crisis de carácter social y del empleo, generando ya una tendencia al alza en el aumento del desempleo, empeoramiento de las condiciones laborales, así como un incremento de las desigualdades y de la pobreza en Europa. El plan de recuperación y nuevo MFP, tienen como principal objetivo mitigar los efectos negativos de esta crisis, en todas sus formas.

Sin embargo y desde un punto de vista social, necesitamos más. Necesitamos enfatizar en mayor medida la dimensión social dentro de estos mecanismos de recuperación, para poder realmente alcanzar una Europa socialmente sostenible y que no deje a nadie atrás. Necesitamos, asimismo, que el nuevo marco financiero incremente el presupuesto destinado al FSE+, el único instrumento destinado a paliar los nefastos efectos sociales provocados por esta crisis, implementar el pilar de los derechos sociales, y poner en marcha medidas que son prioridad para los socialistas, como la garantía infantil.

En definitiva, un vasto presupuesto, que asegure la obligatoriedad de cumplimiento de los objetivos sociales, así como el establecimiento de unos indicadores concretos y tangibles de inversión social que se incluyan en el Semestre Europeo y en los planes nacionales de recuperación.

 
  
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  Dan-Ştefan Motreanu (PPE), în scris. – Actuală criză sanitară, fără precedent în istoria recentă a provocat o pierdere considerabilă a veniturilor și a locurilor de muncă, rata șomajului atingând cota de 7,6% în octombrie 2020, lucrătorii deja defavorizați, precum tinerii și cei cu contracte temporare, fiind afectați în mod disproporționat. Totodată, s-au accentuat dificultățile întâmpinate de tineri în privința accesului la piața forței de muncă, inclusiv ca urmare a proceselor tot mai îndelungate de tranziție de la educație la muncă. Doresc să salut adoptarea recomandării Consiliului privind consolidarea Garanției pentru tineret, un instrument important în multe state membre, care a contribuit în ultimii ani la îmbunătățirea vieților a milioane de tineri prin oferte de locuri de muncă de bună calitate, de continuare a educației sau de participare la programe de ucenicie sau stagiu. Doresc să subliniez pe această cale importanța sporirii complementarității dintre Fondul Social European+ și Mecanismul de redresare și reziliență cu scopul de a stabili la nivel național programe consolidate pentru tineri, pentru a le oferi noi oportunități și competențe în domeniile emergente precum digitalizarea și tranziția verde.

 
  
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  Guido Reil (ID), schriftlich. – Offiziell heißt es, die Gelder des geschaffenen Wiederaufbaufonds, 750 Milliarden Euro, dienen zur Verringerung der wirtschaftlichen und sozialen Folgen der COVID-19-Pandemie. In Wirklichkeit dienen sie aber zur Verwirklichung der Ziele des unantastbaren Green Deals und stellen einen wichtigen Schritt zur Vollendung einer Schulden- und Transferunion dar. Es handelt sich hierbei um einen Etikettenschwindel. Nach dem Austritt der bösen Briten gibt es natürlich viel weniger Geld zum Ausgeben, aber trotzdem will man nicht einkürzen. Immer mehr Geld ausgeben ist die Botschaft. Deswegen werden neue Mittel durch einen neuen Haushalt bereitgestellt. Die deutsche Bundeskanzlerin hat den Deutschen immer versichert, es gäbe niemals gemeinschaftliche Schulden. Jetzt gibt es tatsächlich gemeinsame Schulden und es gibt keinen Weg zurück. Dass die EU Schulden aufnimmt, obwohl ihr keine eigene Staatlichkeit und Finanzhoheit zustehen, dass das Geld an den Parlamenten und ihrem Haushaltsrecht vorbei verteilt wird, ist ein Verstoß gegen Demokratie und Recht. Das Endergebnis ist, dass in dieser Transferunion 40 % der EU-Bevölkerung die übrigen 60 % mitfinanzieren.

 
  
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  Domènec Ruiz Devesa (S&D), por escrito. – La actual pandemia ha provocado una crisis de carácter social y del empleo, generando ya una tendencia al alza en el aumento del desempleo, empeoramiento de las condiciones laborales, así como un incremento de las desigualdades y de la pobreza en Europa. El plan de recuperación y nuevo MFP, tienen como principal objetivo mitigar los efectos negativos de esta crisis, en todas sus formas.

Sin embargo y desde un punto de vista social, necesitamos más. Necesitamos enfatizar en mayor medida la dimensión social dentro de estos mecanismos de recuperación, para poder realmente alcanzar una Europa socialmente sostenible y que no deje a nadie atrás. Necesitamos, asimismo, que el nuevo marco financiero incremente el presupuesto destinado al FSE+, el único instrumento destinado a paliar los nefastos efectos sociales provocados por esta crisis, implementar el pilar de los derechos sociales, y poner en marcha medidas que son prioridad para los socialistas, como la garantía infantil.

En definitiva, un vasto presupuesto, que asegure la obligatoriedad de cumplimiento de los objetivos sociales, así como el establecimiento de unos indicadores concretos y tangibles de inversión social que se incluyan en el Semestre Europeo y en los planes nacionales de recuperación.

 
  
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  Ernő Schaller-Baross (PPE), írásban. – Miközben az Európai Unió Tanácsának soros elnökségét betöltő Portugália szociális fordulatot hirdet, a gazdasági válsághelyzet hatékony kezelése az egyetlen módja annak, hogy a szociális válságot megelőzzük. Mindez gazdasági megoldásokat sürget, nem pedig a tagállamok szociálpolitikai hatáskörének elvonását. A magyar baloldal ismét elárulta magát: Dobrev Klára egy európai szuperállam mellett kardoskodik, és központilag szeretné a szociálpolitikát szabályozni. Az Európai Egyesült Államok építése helyett olyan uniós szintű intézkedésekre van szükség, amelyek hatékonyan támogatják a munkahelyteremtést, a bérnövekedést és a családok támogatását. Az Európai Uniónak olyan megoldást kell kidolgoznia, hogy tagállamai megerősödve kerüljenek ki a válságból, ne csak átvészeljék azt. A magyar kormány gazdaságvédelmi akciótervet hirdetett a járvány okozta válsághelyzetre tekintettel, amely a vállalkozásfinanszírozás mellett a munkahelyek megtartására, munkahelyteremtésre és a családok védelmére is kiterjed. A gazdaságvédelmi akcióterv segítségével 1500 milliárd forint extra kapacitásbővítés valósul meg a magyar gazdaságban. A járványügyi intézkedések miatt ideiglenes bezárásra kényszerült vállalkozásokat a magyar kormány a bérköltségek kétharmadának átvállalásával támogatja 2020 decemberében és 2021 januárjában. A stabilizációs és gazdaságélénkítő csomag eredményei már érzékelhetők a foglakoztatás és a gazdaság erősödésében. A kis-és középvállalatok tekinthetők a legsérülékenyebb gazdasági szereplőknek a világjárvány idején. Egy konkrét célokat magában foglaló ütemtervre van szükség, hogy érdemben csökkenjenek a kkv-k adminisztratív terhei.

 
  
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  Carlos Zorrinho (S&D), por escrito. – Depois do tempo da concertação política, da coordenação solidária e do desenho dos instrumentos de resposta aos impactos da pandemia este é um tempo de focar todos os esforços na ação, promovendo as ratificações e completando o quadro legal para que os recursos cheguem rapidamente às pessoas e às empresas e sejam úteis, nas respostas de emergência e também nas transformações estruturais que a União Europeia precisa. Os debates e as decisões institucionais têm permitido um alinhamento decisivo entre as prioridades dos governos nacionais, da presidência portuguesa da União Europeia, do Conselho Europeu, da Comissão e do Parlamento. Com uma legitimidade forte, partilhamos uma visão, programas e financiamentos. O passo seguinte é, através dos programas nacionais e dos programas europeus, envolver toda a sociedade na sua concretização, colocando as pessoas no centro, apostando na requalificação e na preservação do emprego e garantindo que a transição energética e digital assume uma dimensão social, que garanta que não serão os mais pobres ou os mais vulneráveis a arcar com os seus custos.

 

12. FEAD: mesures spécifiques pour lutter contre la crise liée à la COVID-19 (débat)
Vidéo des interventions
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  Przewodnicząca. – Kolejnym punktem porządku dziennego jest sprawozdanie sporządzone przez Lucię Ďuriš Nicholsonovą w imieniu Komisji Zatrudnienia i Spraw Socjalnych w sprawie wniosku dotyczącego rozporządzenia Parlamentu Europejskiego i Rady zmieniającego rozporządzenie (UE) nr 223/2014 w odniesieniu do wprowadzenia szczególnych środków reagowania na kryzys związany z COVID-19 (COM(2020)0223 - C9-0151/2020 - 2020/0105(COD)) (A9-0174/2020).

 
  
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  Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová, Spravodajkyňa. – Vážená pani predsedajúca. Súčasná pandemická kríza má vážne ekonomické a sociálne dôsledky takmer na každého. No úplne najviac na ňu doplatili, a to vo všetkých členských štátoch, ľudia ohrození chudobou. Títo ľudia neriešia, či a kedy pôjdu na exotickú dovolenku. Títo ľudia riešia, či si môžu pre seba a pre svoje deti vôbec dovoliť zaplatiť teplé jedlo alebo zakúriť v dome. Vplyvom pandémie bude nárast nezamestnanosti obrovský a zníženie životnej úrovne ľudí bude extrémna v prípade miliónov Európanov. Ale ak sa znižuje životná úroveň u ľudí, ktorí už štartovali z hranice chudoby, potrebujeme na ich záchranu konať rýchlo a potrebujeme konať efektívne. A takto ja vnímam FEAD, Fond európskej pomoci pre najodkázanejšie osoby. Pomoc z neho musí byť rýchla, musí byť adresná, flexibilná a materiálna. V mojej vlastnej krajine, na Slovensku, sa po prvej vlne pandémie výrazne zvýšil počet domácností, ktoré v zime mrznú, a to doslova, lebo nevedia zaplatiť za teplo. Takmer osem percent domácností na Slovensku sa po prvej vlne pandémie dostalo do situácie, že nezvládali platiť účty za elektrinu. Oproti roku 2016, keď to bolo 5 percent takýchto domácností, ide o obrovský nárast. Aktuálne žije na Slovensku už 16 percent rodín, a to aj rodín s malými deťmi, ktoré uviazli v pasci chudoby. Od vypuknutia COVID-19 sa zhoršila situácia viac ako dvadsiatim percentám občanov Európskej únie, ktorí sú ohrození chudobou a sociálnym vylúčením. Fond európskej pomoci pre najodkázanejšie osoby je práve ten nástroj, ktorý pomáha ľuďom v núdzi na ceste z chudoby a zo sociálneho vylúčenia. Prostredníctvom fondu môžu štáty poskytnúť potravinovú a základnú materiálnu pomoc, ale tiež nemateriálnu pomoc na pokrytie základných potrieb pre tých, ktorí to najviac potrebujú. Od svojho vzniku v roku 2014 FEAD ročne pomáha 13 miliónom ľudí vrátane štyroch miliónov detí, ktoré v Európskej únii žijú v chudobe. Kríza prehĺbila sociálne rozdiely a nerovnosti. Členské štáty potrebujú čerpať peniaze z Fondu európskej pomoci, aby pomohli najzraniteľnejším. Kríza má,, samozrejme negatívny dosah aj na schopnosť partnerských organizácií doručovať pomoc tým, ktorí sú na ňu odkázaní. Pracovníci partnerských organizácií musia byť dnes sami chránení, aby dokázali doručiť materiálnu pomoc tam, kde je potrebná. Preto v rámci revízií nariadenia FEAD prijímame výnimočné opatrenia, ktoré sú priamou reakciou na zhoršujúcu sa situáciu nielen tých, ktorí sú na pomoc odkázaní, ale aj tých, ktorí sa starajú o to, aby im bola pomoc doručená. Chcem sa veľmi pekne poďakovať aj Komisii, chcem sa veľmi pekne poďakovať aj Rade za absolútne efektívnu spoluprácu počas našich spoločných trialógov, vďaka ktorej sa nám podarilo dosiahnuť dohodu tak veľmi rýchlo. Revidované nariadenie umožní, že členské štáty budú môcť využiť aj dodatočné zdroje FEADu, a to až do výšky 100 percent. Bude na rozhodnutí členských štátov, koľko dodatočných zdrojov realokujú z REACT-EU na FEAD, a bude sa tak diať výlučne podľa toho, koľko zdrojov bude tá či oná krajina potrebovať nato, aby pomohla najzraniteľnejším skupinám obyvateľstva zasiahnutých krízou, či už pôjde o rodiny postihnuté stratou zamestnania, o slobodné matky s nezaopatrenými deťmi, alebo o starších a chorých občanov, alebo ľudí žijúcich v separovaných a segregovaných komunitách, ako napríklad rómske osady. Budú sa pritom musieť držať princípov integrácie a nediskriminácie a rovnosti z rodového hľadiska, a to všetko v súlade s Chartou práv Európskej únie. Dobrou správou pre členské štáty je, že môžu požiadať o 100 percent z európskych peňazí, čo znamená, že pomoc z fondu bude môcť byť vyplácaná bez obmedzení, bez omeškaní a bez záťaže na štátne rozpočty. Naozaj ma veľmi teší, že sme sa dohodli na všetkých týchto dôležitých prvkoch, a pevne verím, že vďaka tejto revízii sa pomoc, ktorá je v súčasnosti a v súčasnej kríze tak veľmi dôležitá, dostane ku všetkým zraniteľným občanom, ktorí ju potrebujú.

 
  
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  Nicolas Schmit, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, we just had a debate on the social and employment consequences of the crisis, and now we are discussing one of the most dramatic impacts of this crisis on real lives, which are under pressure, under threat – the lives of people who are suddenly in deep poverty. The social impact of this pandemic is primarily affecting precisely the most deprived, and demands for additional material and social support are rising, because some people – who never imagined they would find themselves in such a situation – from one day to the next have lost their jobs, they have lost their businesses, they have lost their income, and they are facing deep social problems, deep poverty. In many Member States, we see the queues at food banks and soup kitchens becoming longer and longer, and joining them are people who never thought their lives would go this way.

Thank you for the presentation and the introduction, and also for setting out the dramatic consequences. We have a duty to protect the most vulnerable during this crisis. That is why I thank you, Madam rapporteur and the Parliament, for having quickly concluded on the regulation amending the existing Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived, or FEAD. I particularly thank Madam Nicholsonová, Chair of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, who has led the work on this file, and also the shadow rapporteurs.

As has already been said, with this amendment we are ensuring that we can mobilise fresh money for 2021 and 2022 for the most deprived people through the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived, as part of our overall EU crisis response. Our contacts in the Member States signal that these possible top—ups will be well used, and we estimate that they will inject substantial amounts of fresh money into the FEAD. It is our joint mission for the additional funding to swiftly reach the most deprived. So we will already pay 11% of the 2021 allocation as initial pre—financing.

The support for the most deprived is also part of the European Social Fund Plus proposal, which is still waiting for an interinstitutional agreement by the co-legislators. Progress was made under the German Presidency and I’m very hopeful that under the rapporteur and the Portuguese Presidency, we can come to a rapid conclusion.

I also want to thank all those in the NGOs who, day after day, are committed to helping the people who are close to despair. I think we have to recognise their work, their commitment, their help, their solidarity. They are perhaps one of the best aspects of Europe.

 
  
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  David Casa, f'isem il-grupp PPE. – Sinjura President, il-flus li qed nitkellmu fuqhom huma kruċjali fil-ħajja ta' dawk l-aktar vulnerabbli fis-soċjetajiet tagħna. Il-pandemija tal-COVID-19 ħolqot kriżi soċjali li l-konsegwenzi tagħha se nibqgħu nħossuhom fis-snin li ġejjin.

Naturalment, ir-Rapporteur għamlet biċċa xogħol tajba hawnhekk flimkien magħna x-shadow rapporteurs, u naħseb għandna nkunu preparati u lesti għal dak li qed ngħaddu u li se ngħaddu minnu bl-għodda li għandna available f'idejna, fosthom ReactEU. Dawn huma importanti, però bil-vot li se jkollna aktar tard illum, inkunu qed nassiguraw li jintlaqtu l-aktar dawk in-nies li għandhom bżonn.

Issemma, naturalment, mill-Kummissarju, l-ESS+, li tiegħu jiena r-rapporteur. Jiena nittama li l-Kunsill – li jiddispjaċini mhuwiex qiegħed hawn bħalissa preżenti – ikollu iktar kuraġġ għall-isfidi li għandna quddiemna.

Sfortunatament l-ESS+ għadu ma ġiex approvat fil-laqgħat li qed ikollna. Taf, Sinjur Kummissarju, li bħala Parlament qegħdin nagħmlu ħilitna kollha biex insibu dak il-kompromess li għandna bżonn. Aħna bħala Parlament qegħdin nagħmlu d-dover tagħna. Lesti, iva, li nittrattaw l-ESS+ bħala xi ħaġa kruċjali f'dawn il-mumenti kruċjali, f'dawn il-mumenti uniċi.

Sfortunatament hemm barra hemm ħafna nies li qegħdin isofru, u bil-kuraġġ tagħna lkoll, bil-ħidma tagħna flimkien, jiena nemmen li t-tliet Istituzzjonijiet jistgħu jsibu dak il-kompromess li huwa tant importanti waqt din il-kriżi partikolari li għaddejjin minnha.

 
  
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  Brando Benifei, a nome del gruppo S&D. – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, il programma FEAD, il Fondo per il sostegno alle persone più indigenti, è uno strumento insostituibile e imprescindibile per l'Unione europea perché fornisce aiuto diretto alle persone più bisognose per miliardi di euro tramite assistenza materiale, come la fornitura di cibo e beni di prima necessità, oppure con programmi per favorirne l'inclusione sociale.

Per il Parlamento europeo la difesa del FEAD è una linea rossa assoluta, anche nei negoziati in corso sul nuovo Fondo sociale europeo Plus, che lo includerà al suo interno.

Lo voglio dire ai colleghi presenti della nuova Presidenza di turno portoghese: il FEAD oggi permette a migliaia di organizzazioni in tutta Europa di finanziare progetti per combattere in prima linea la povertà, interventi fondamentali per dare dignità alle persone che si trovano in una situazione di bisogno, grazie a misure di accompagnamento, supporto psicologico, formazione, assistenza amministrativa e legale. Consente il finanziamento di buoni pasto e voucher per famiglie e individui bisognosi. Permette alle mense dei poveri di operare in continuità nel loro servizio. Oggi in tutti i paesi europei, a causa anche della COVID-19, le file a queste mense si stanno allungando spaventosamente.

Perciò grazie a REACT-EU l'Europa mette a disposizione 55 miliardi aggiuntivi da ridestinare a politiche di inclusione e coesione sociale. Le amministrazioni nazionali, con queste modifiche al regolamento, oggi possono e devono rafforzare il loro programma FEAD, in attesa del nuovo regolamento.

Non perdiamo il senso della realtà: qui parliamo veramente della sopravvivenza e della dignità di tantissime persone.

 
  
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  Dragoș Pîslaru, în numele grupului Renew. – Doamnă președintă, domnule comisar, aș vrea să îi mulțumesc doamnei raportoare Lucia Nicholsonová, cu care am lucrat foarte bine pe această nouă revizuire a fondului.

Renew Europe a sprijinit propunerea Comisiei și a contribuit substanțial la dezbateri. Suntem mulțumiți de această majorare a sumelor care vor merge către persoanele care au atât de multă nevoie de ajutor în aceste zile negre de pandemie.

În România, FEAD se implementează prin POAD, Programul operațional pentru ajutorarea persoanelor defavorizate. Pentru acești oameni aflați în vulnerabilitate procentul de 3% cu care majorăm finanțarea poate face diferența între viață și moarte.

Este important ca statele membre să facă acum două lucruri: să profite la maxim de această oportunitate, dar și să se asigure că sursa acestor finanțări este comunicată corespunzător. Banii trebuie să se transforme în alimente și materiale vitale pentru cei care nu și le permit, distribuite eficient, amplu, folosind toate mijloacele necesare în toate regiunile, în special în cele mai dificile sau îndepărtate. Utilizarea acestei majorări este voluntară, într-adevăr, dar eu cred că statele membre ar trebui să profite de ea.

Nu în ultimul rând, acest program trebuie comunicat mai bine, este un răspuns direct, european, solidar la suferința celor vulnerabili, este un argument pentru o Europă mai puternică și cu prerogative crescute.

 
  
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  France Jamet, au nom du groupe ID. – Madame la Présidente, mes chers collègues, cette pandémie est le catalyseur de ce qui sera, de ce qui est déjà une crise économique et sociale sans précédent, aggravée par la dramatique incurie des politiques européistes qui ont éliminé un à un les outils élémentaires de souveraineté.

Ce rapport se propose donc d’adapter le règlement du Fonds européen d’aide aux plus démunis pour répondre à l’explosion de la pauvreté. Oui, il faut aider nos entreprises, il faut aider nos compatriotes plongés dans la misère et pour cela il faut utiliser à bon escient ce qui pourrait passer ici pour les largesses de l’Union européenne, mais qui concerne en fait l’argent pris dans la poche des contribuables.

Or, l’exposé des motifs de de ce texte est déroutant, on y indique que les données qui serviront à établir la distribution des fonds seront collectées et établies par des ONG dites spécialisées. Au-delà du fait que ces ONG s’arrogeraient des prérogatives des États, nombre d’entre elles sont très politisées et servent leur propre but idéologique avant tout.

Cette pandémie ne doit pas être non plus un prétexte pour laisser libre cours aux lubies politiques de la technocratie. Qu’elle n’oublie pas que les pauvres qu’elle prétend aider aujourd’hui ont été plongés dans la détresse et le dénuement par leur propre politique: absence de frontière, accords de libre-échange, délocalisations, désindustrialisation. Voilà en fait le bilan de la politique mondialiste européenne.

 
  
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  Katrin Langensiepen, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Madam President, the coronavirus let the poorest suffer the hardest : the homeless, Roma, children living in low-economic-resource households, more often women than men, persons at risk. The list is long. I’m worried that if help for the poorest is not immediately provided the consequences will be severe.

As Greens/EFA shadow of the FEAD proposal I’m therefore happy to see that this afternoon we will vote on a file that includes the need of a social sustainable and resilient recovery and stresses the feminisation of poverty.

But not only that. We Greens also welcome that the proposal boosts funding by pre-financing and by inviting the Member States to boost the fund. FEAD is an instrument that reaches out to the most deprived with very direct support that makes a real difference on the ground.

So for this afternoon I urge you all to vote for funds, for basic food, basic material, and special social inclusion measures. Let’s vote in favour of FEAD.

 
  
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  Elżbieta Rafalska, w imieniu grupy ECR. – Pani Przewodnicząca! Panie Komisarzu! W dostatniej Europie ciągle mamy enklawy biedy i głębokie zróżnicowanie ubóstwa. Przed kryzysem pandemicznym z Europejskiego Funduszu Pomocy Najbardziej Potrzebującym korzystało 13 mln osób, w tym aż 4 mln dzieci. To pokazuje skalę problemu.

W kryzysie i po kryzysie lawinowo będzie rosła liczba osób potrzebujących wsparcia żywnościowego. Dzisiaj to widzimy. Szczególną uwagę należy zwrócić na osoby starsze, osoby niepełnosprawne, osoby przewlekle chore, samotne, osoby bezdomne. Potrzebna jest szybka i dobrze zorganizowana pomoc.

Częściową odpowiedzią na te rosnące potrzeby jest zmiana rozporządzenia w sprawie FEAD-u, w tym kluczowe jest zwiększenie dodatkowych środków. Jednak określenie obowiązkowego dla wszystkich udziału tych środków na poziomie 3% może ograniczyć swobodę działania rządów. Czas nas nagli. Priorytetem jest jak najszybsze wejście w życie rozporządzenia w celu niezwłocznego uruchomienia dodatkowych środków, dokonania zmiany programów operacyjnych, a także zakup żywności i szybkie skierowanie jej do osób najbardziej potrzebujących.

 
  
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  José Gusmão, em nome do Grupo The Left. – Senhora Presidente, durante este debate, o FEAC foi debatido como um instrumento consensual, um instrumento de última linha que recolhe o apoio de todos os grupos políticos.

Infelizmente, num outro processo, o processo do Fundo Social Europeu, estamos a ter uma negociação muito difícil com o Conselho que, num momento que é um momento de muito maior necessidade deste instrumento, quer menos financiamento para este instrumento.

Portanto, é muito importante que peguemos neste consenso que temos no Parlamento Europeu para pressionar o Conselho a tomar medidas de financiamento deste instrumento que estejam à altura das necessidades, mas precisamos também, porque este é um instrumento de última linha, de mudar a forma como pensamos, a resposta económica às crises, nomeadamente as regras de governação económica porque o objetivo da União Europeia e o nosso objetivo coletivo não podem ser os de ter instrumentos para distribuir bens alimentares. Tem de ser uma sociedade de prosperidade em que estes instrumentos não sejam necessários.

 
  
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  Ιωάννης Λαγός (NI). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, η κρίση που δημιουργήθηκε με τον κορονοϊό έχει φέρει μεγάλο πρόβλημα σε όλο τον πλανήτη, πόσο μάλλον στους Ευρωπαίους πολίτες. Έχουμε δει, λοιπόν, ότι υπάρχει μεγάλο πρόβλημα όσον αφορά την ανθρώπινη υπόσταση των πολιτών. Συζητάμε για λεφτά, συζητάμε για νούμερα, και καλά κάνουμε, γιατί πρέπει να δοθούν χρήματα και ενισχύσεις στους απλούς πολίτες· όμως, δεν πρέπει να ξεχνάμε ότι χάνουμε σιγά-σιγά την ανθρώπινη υπόστασή μας. Τι ζωή θα κάνουμε; Πώς θα ζήσει ένας άνθρωπος όταν δεν ζει με τους δικούς του, όταν δεν μπορεί να αγκαλιάσει τον συγγενή του, δεν μπορεί να αγκαλιάσει το παιδί του, δεν μπορεί να βγει με δύο φίλους του να πάει κάπου και να ζήσει όπως πρέπει.

Εδώ υπάρχουν μεγάλα ζητήματα και υπάρχει μία πλήρης τρομοκράτηση που έχει γίνει σχετικά με το ζήτημα του κορονοϊού. Εγώ προσωπικά βλέπω κάποια πράγματα τα οποία δεν μπορώ να αντιληφθώ· ας πούμε, μπορούμε να μπούμε στο μετρό, στο λεωφορείο, στα μέσα μαζικής μεταφοράς, που είμαστε στοιβαγμένοι με πάρα πολλούς άλλους ανθρώπους, αλλά δεν μπορούμε να μπούμε στο αυτοκίνητό μας, να είμαστε μαζί με άλλα δύο άτομα, της οικογένειάς μας. Πώς είναι δυνατόν αυτό; Μπορώ να αγοράσω έναν καφέ ή ένα σάντουιτς και να στηρίζομαι στα σκαλοπάτια για να φάω, αλλά απαγορεύεται να κάτσω στις καρέκλες. Αυτά, λοιπόν, πρέπει να τα δούμε, να δούμε γιατί φθάσαμε εκεί, και θέλω να πω —μία τελευταία επισήμανση— ότι δεν πρέπει να δοθούν τα χρήματα σε ΜΚΟ· μου προκαλεί μεγάλη εντύπωση, γιατί οι ΜΚΟ είναι ξεκάθαρο τι εκπροσωπούν.

 
  
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  Dennis Radtke (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Kommissar, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Ich möchte mich zunächst ganz herzlich bei Lucia als Berichterstatterin und bei den Schattenberichterstattern für das gute Arbeitsergebnis bedanken. Allerdings muss man sagen, man bedankt sich für eine Arbeit von der man sagen muss: Traurig, dass sie überhaupt gemacht werden muss, dass es überhaupt eine Notwendigkeit dafür gibt.

Die Europäische Union ist für Millionen Menschen auf der Welt ein echter Sehnsuchtsort. Aber gerade die Arbeit an diesem Dossier zeigt uns, auch in einem Ort, der für viele Millionen auf der Welt ein Sehnsuchtsort ist, gibt es massenhaft Probleme, gibt es massenhaft Armut. Ich glaube, der Weg, den wir heute für zusätzliche Mittel – auch für eine Verlängerung des Programms – freigeben, ist nicht nur eine wichtige Hilfe für die Betroffenen, sondern ist darüber hinaus eigentlich auch ein extrem wichtiger Fingerzeig. Denn ich merke das auch immer in Gesprächen mit Besuchergruppen, die sagen: Ja, bei euch in der Europäischen Union, bei euch im Parlament, da dreht es sich sowieso immer nur um die Interessen von Konzernen, von Unternehmern, von großen Bossen, von wichtigen Leuten, für die kleinen Leute ist nichts drin. Bei euch in Brüssel, dauert alles immer so lange.

Ich kann nur sagen: Das, was wir jetzt hier bei FEAD hinbekommen haben – auch innerhalb von kürzester Zeit –, beweist eigentlich genau das Gegenteil: Dieses Europa hat ein großes Herz und hat diejenigen im Blick, die wirkliche massiv von dieser Krise getroffen sind. Daher vielen Dank für Eure Arbeit an dieser Stelle.

 
  
  

PRESIDENZA DELL'ON. FABIO MASSIMO CASTALDO
Vicepresidente

 
  
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  Agnes Jongerius (S&D). – Voorzitter, commissaris, probeer maar eens bij de les te blijven wanneer je zonder ontbijt naar school moet. Voor veel kinderen is dit de dagelijkse realiteit. In een rijk land als Nederland groeien meer dan 270 000 kinderen in armoede op. Zelfs wanneer de ouders allebei keihard werken, zijn er kinderen die zonder lunchtrommeltje naar school moeten. Ik vind dat hartverscheurend en onaanvaardbaar. Armoede remt mensen af en houdt ontwikkeling tegen. Daar moeten we echt van af.

Ik ben dus enorm blij met deze extra middelen in deze coronacrisis voor het Fonds voor Europese hulp aan de meest behoeftigen. Ik roep van hieraf mijn collega's in Den Haag op om direct gebruik te maken van de middelen uit dit fonds, zeker nu er geen regering zit. We moeten de armoede juist nu tegengaan door meer te investeren in kinderen.

 
  
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  Sylvie Brunet (Renew). – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, chers collègues, je me félicite de cette seconde révision du règlement du Fonds européen d’aide aux plus démunis (FEAD) depuis le début de la crise COVID-19 afin de l’adapter à la crise sanitaire, économique et sociale qui touche les plus vulnérables dans tous les pays de l’Union européenne.

En effet, cette révision va permettre de lutter plus efficacement contre la pauvreté en augmentant les crédits issus de l’initiative REACT-EU et les préfinancements en soutien des actions de terrain. En France, un tiers de l’aide alimentaire est financé par les fonds européens et la demande a malheureusement augmenté d’environ 30 % avec des jeunes, des personnes âgées, des femmes qui pour la première fois ont recours à cette aide. C’est dire combien l’action de l’Europe était attendue par les grandes associations et acteurs en charge de la distribution de l’aide alimentaire et j’en profite pour les remercier de leur engagement sans faille.

Je regrette cependant que l’obligation de consacrer une part minimale des ressources disponibles de REACT-EU à l’abondement du FEAD ait été écartée lors des négociations avec le Conseil: l’allocation de ressources restera volontaire et sans pourcentage minimal alors qu’il faudrait que tous les États membres puissent s’engager dans la même direction.

Je ne cesse de le répéter: nous ne pourrons réussir en Europe la transition environnementale et digitale en laissant de plus en plus de monde sur le bord de la route.

 
  
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  Maxette Pirbakas (ID). – Monsieur le Président, cher Commissaire, je tiens à m’exprimer ce jour pour mes compatriotes guadeloupéens, martiniquais, réunionnais, guyanais, mahorais, qui sont eux aussi touchés par la crise sanitaire qui nous frappe.

Il faut savoir que les entreprises ultramarines, comme par exemple de la Guadeloupe, ont perdu 83 % de leurs exportations, ce qui aura pour effet des pertes d’emplois directes et indirectes dans toute l’île. Dans cette période de crise sanitaire, sociale et économique, pour moi, il est urgent d’agir sans délai pour les plus pauvres et les plus démunis de nos compatriotes ultramarins afin de garantir un minimum pour survivre. Aujourd’hui, notre insularité et notre éloignement créent des facteurs de pauvreté plus prononcés, ce qui devra aboutir à des aides plus fortes afin de faire vivre les familles des départements d’outre-mer français.

Je vous le dis, mes chers collègues, l’ambition de la reprise impulsée par les États membres et notre Parlement doit inclure fortement les régions ultrapériphériques, dont les cinq départements d’outre-mer français. Chers collègues, croyez-moi, c’est important pour nous de lutter contre la pauvreté dans les départements d’outre-mer. Nous devons réagir ensemble, ensemble pour nos territoires si lointains de l’Europe.

 
  
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  Радан Кънев (PPE). – Г-н Председател, днес обсъждаме допълнителна европейска помощ за най-засегнатите от корона-кризата наши съграждани – тези, които живеят в крайна бедност. Подкрепям тази инициатива, защото съм представител на държава, в която бедността е основен проблем, в която стотици хиляди разчитат на временна работа, често в чужбина, за да изхранват семействата си, и мнозина бяха лишени заради кризата дори от този свой минимален доход. Но искам да обърна Вашето внимание и върху друго лице на проблема. Опасността десетки хиляди семейства тепърва, в резултат на кризата, да изпаднат в състояние на крайна бедност. Пандемията буквално отне хляба на свободните артисти, на хиляди самонаети лица, на собствениците на малки и семейни фирми. Довчера представители на средната класа, сега те са без доходи, с просрочени ипотеки и натрупани задължения, а в някои европейски държави, сред които за съжаление е и България, те са изоставени извън закрилата на икономическите мерки. Този Парламент, заедно с Комисията, е длъжен да обърне внимание на проблема, да гарантира, че европейският бюджет наистина се харчи за най-засегнатите, да не допусне нови милиони европейски граждани и семейства да станат невинни жертви на бедността.

 
  
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  Anne Sander (PPE). – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, Mesdames et Messieurs, les plus démunis subissent de plein fouet les conséquences de la crise sanitaire, économique et sociale liée à la COVID-19.

Dans cette période très particulière, de plus en plus de personnes basculent dans la grande précarité. Les contraintes logistiques et de ressources humaines, notamment en raison des mesures de confinement mises en place et de distanciation sociale, entravent de plus en plus la distribution de l’aide alimentaire et matérielle de base, ainsi que le soutien à l’inclusion sociale.

De nombreux bénévoles, et je tiens d’ailleurs à les saluer, qui sont des piliers du front ne peuvent plus aussi facilement se mobiliser car certains aussi, il faut bien le dire, appartiennent à des groupes à risque plus élevé de maladies graves. Il y a aussi parmi eux des personnes plus âgées.

C’est donc toute la chaîne de solidarité et d’aide aux plus vulnérables qui est fragilisée par cette pandémie. Pour faire face à cette situation très préoccupante, c’est l’Europe, c’est l’Union européenne qui est au rendez-vous, et je suis donc très contente que les mesures que nous avons déjà prises, que nous allons prendre permettront de lutter contre cette grande précarité.

Le présent rapport complète le règlement FEAD précédemment adopté et permettra de débloquer des ressources supplémentaires. C’est essentiel, c’est un beau témoignage de l’Europe solidaire, proche des démunis, l’Europe qui a du cœur.

 
  
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  Nicolas Schmit, membre de la Commission. – Monsieur le Président, d’abord je tiens à remercier tous ceux qui se sont exprimés et qui ont exprimé ce soutien et cette solidarité avec les plus démunis, avec ceux qui sont les plus frappés par cette crise et qui sont effectivement poussés parfois au bord même du désespoir.

Je crois que ce qui vient d’être dit par plusieurs d’entre vous, le message qui part d’ici, de Bruxelles ou de Strasbourg, c’est un message pas uniquement de cœur, mais c’est un message de solidarité et c’est aussi un côté de l’Europe qui est souvent sous-estimé et méconnu. C’est le message que l’Europe se soucie effectivement de tous ses citoyens. Comme d’ailleurs, elle doit se soucier de tous ses territoires, y compris des régions ultrapériphériques.

La Commission vous remercie encore une fois pour votre travail, notamment Madame la rapporteure, et elle s’engage à mettre en œuvre très rapidement ce règlement et à travailler avec détermination avec tous ceux qui sur le terrain mettent en œuvre cette aide aux plus démunis pour qu’ils s’en sortent.

Il y a donc un lien évident avec le plan de relance, parce que nous ne voulons pas laisser les gens dans la pauvreté. Et je suis d’accord, c’est un travail que nous devons faire mais que finalement il vaudrait mieux ne pas devoir faire. Et donc la relance et par la même la sortie de cette précarité, c’est notre objectif, d’où l’importance du plan de relance.

 
  
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  Presidente. – La discussione è chiusa.

La votazione si svolgerà oggi, mercoledì 20 gennaio 2021.

Dichiarazioni scritte (articolo 171)

 
  
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  Атидже Алиева-Вели (Renew), в писмена форма. – Фондът за европейско подпомагане на най-нуждаещите се лица е израз на европейска солидарност с най-нуждаещите се в нашите общества. Сега, в условията на пандемията от Ковид-19 и съществуващата несигурност за милиони хора, тази солидарност е по-необходима от всякога. Важно е държавите членки да увеличат подкрепата за организациите, доставящи храна, основна материална помощ и подкрепа за социално приобщаване на хората, които се нуждаят най-много и сега това е възможно с почти 48 милиарда евро, налични по REACT - EU. Призовавам държавите членки да се възползват максимално от тези допълнителни ресурси и да използват това допълнително налично финансиране, за да гарантират, че най-тежко засегнатите от кризата ще получат бързо толкова необходимата им подкрепа в тези несигурни времена на здравна криза. Борбата с бедността и социалното изключване е обща и целта ни е да се осигури бързо, устойчиво възстановяване. Изключително съм доволна, че бе поставен специален акцент и върху факта, че кризата засегна много повече жени, които работят предимно в сферата на услугите и са на първа линия в борбата с пандемията, и че това трябва да бъде отразено при разпределението на средствата.

 

13. Composition des commissions et des délégations : voir procès-verbal
Vidéo des interventions

14. Logement décent et abordable pour tous (débat)
Vidéo des interventions
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  Presidente. – L'ordine del giorno reca la relazione di Kim Van Sparrentak, a nome della commissione per l'occupazione e gli affari sociali, sull'accesso a un alloggio dignitoso e a prezzi abbordabili per tutti (2019/2187(INI)) (A9-0247/2020).

Ricordo agli onorevoli deputati che per tutte le discussioni di questa tornata non è prevista la procedura "catch-the-eye", né saranno accettate domande "cartellino blu".

Sono inoltre previsti interventi a distanza dagli Uffici di collegamento del Parlamento negli Stati membri.

 
  
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  Kim Van Sparrentak, rapporteur. – Mr President, dear Commissioner Schmit, thank you for being here today, dear colleagues, today we are discussing the report on access to decent and affordable housing for all, because we are facing a housing crisis in Europe. From Paris to Warsaw, Dublin to Athens, an increasing number of people in the EU are struggling to afford the rising cost of housing. Even before the start of the pandemic, one in ten Europeans were spending more than 40% of their income on housing. And not only the price, but also the quality of housing is a problem. Far too many people in Europe are living in overcrowded, damp, poorly-insulated, or otherwise unhealthy homes, with unaffordable utility bills.

We can’t just be bystanders; this housing crisis is affecting people from all demographics: young people who are forced to stay with their families longer than they want because they can’t afford a place of their own; people who are thinking of starting a family but are postponing this since they still live in a studio, for which they can only just make the rent; elderly people who would like to move out of their family home but can’t afford to get an adjusted apartment, whilst young families are desperately waiting for a family home to move into.

And this is the housing crisis for those that actually have a home, because the sad reality still is that more than 700 000 people sleep rough every night in Europe, and this number keeps on rising year after year in the last decade. This report recognises that access to decent and affordable housing is a fundamental right, a right that is guaranteed at EU level. This can’t just remain nice words, colleagues. And as a rapporteur on this topic in the European Parliament, it has become clear to me that the European rules today are often better at protecting the making of profit on the housing market than at protecting people who need a roof over their head. This has to change. We need the EU to step up its game and do its part with all the tools it has at its disposal to tackle the housing crisis, side by side with the Member States and local level that of are, of course, crucial. The report offers concrete solutions for the Commission, the Member States, and the local level to take action. And for this, I also want to thank the shadow rapporteurs, with whom I had a very pleasant collaboration.

Because we can solve the housing crisis if we want to. We can end homelessness by 2030. Homelessness is an extreme form of poverty and a violation of human rights. In the coming six months, the Commission will propose its action plan on the European Pillar of Social Rights that addresses homelessness in its Principle 19. And the topic is high on the agenda of the Portuguese Presidency. The Commission should be bold and dare to propose a social moonshot strategy: an EU level goal together with all the Member States to end homelessness by 2030.

Commissioner Schmit, I’m very happy that you’ve already shown your willingness to work on this, and the European Parliament with this report makes also a strong call to tackle homelessness once and for all. Let’s be partners and put the collaboration platform on homelessness that has been announced to work with a clear and ambitious target.

We can also increase investments in affordable housing. Since the financial crisis, we have an average annual investment gap in affordable and social housing of EUR 57 billion per year. We need to urgently close this gap.

We can, on the one hand, ensure that EU prioritise this investment for each budget and that Member States prioritise it in their recovery plans. On the other hand, the new fiscal rule book of the EU should allow for more public investment in housing. We can fight climate change, create jobs and tackle energy poverty through housing renovation.

We are living through a health crisis; we have an economic and social crisis unfolding; there is a climate emergency. We can tackle all these issues by investing in quality housing through the renovation wave. We know that housing renovation can create two million jobs. This investment in renovation can help kickstart the economy. Bad indoor quality, damp housing, mouldiness – all have an important influence on respiratory diseases like Covid, so we can improve people’s health through renovation, and on top of that we can get millions of people out of energy poverty.

We can stop illegal holiday rentals. In more and more cities, residents are pushed out of their neighbourhoods because it’s more profitable to rent apartments to tourists. Many cities feel powerless against these platforms when trying to get rid of illegal hotels. We can give cities more control over short-term holiday rentals through platforms like Airbnb. Through the Digital Services Act, we have to make sure that these platforms share the necessary data on rentals with cities so that rules on illegal holiday rentals can be enforced.

We can make sure houses are to live in. Rather than a fundamental right to be guaranteed for all, housing has increasingly been considered only as a market to make profits through speculative acquisitions and through hedge funds and foreign institutional investors such as Blackstone, treating housing as a tradable asset. This has a dramatic effect on prices. We can do something about this by checking if the EU rules on real estate transactions and ownership, and put forward proposals to better protect mortgage borrowers from evictions.

Citizens across Europe are struggling and count on us to stand by their side. With an economic and social crisis unfolding, the European Parliament will send a strong signal that we are serious about a strong, social Europe. That is why this report receives very broad support in the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, and that is why, dear colleagues, I count on your support for this report in plenary as well.

 
  
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  Nicolas Schmit, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, I would like to start by thanking the rapporteur for the report and also for the presentation of the report, which really highlighted the issue and the challenges, and the real dimension of the housing problem, which affects all Member States in the European Union. So it’s not just a national issue; it has become a real European issue. I also want to thank the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs for its timely and very relevant work on this report on access to housing.

Importantly, the report calls for an integrated approach to social, public and affordable housing at EU level. I very much share the objective of tackling homelessness and of supporting access to decent and affordable housing as a key factor in fighting poverty and social exclusion. We talk a lot about better wages, about minimum wages; this is extremely important. But even if I increase the minimum wage, if housing rents are increasing much more, people have not gained – they are not more prosperous; they have become even poorer. So I think the housing issue is a central issue in terms of social policy and improving the social context in all our Member States.

Last year’s employment and social developments in Europe highlighted the strain that the increase in house prices over the last decade is putting on the middle class in the EU. There is a poverty trap looming because of this housing crisis for a lot of people who can no longer afford to find decent housing, and I would say housing close to their job, which, incidentally, creates other issues of transportation and CO2 emissions.

Housing costs are higher in cities than in rural areas and represent a burden for more than one third of households living below the poverty threshold. In 2018, one person out of seven in the EU was living in a dwelling of poor quality. Thirty-Four million Europeans are struggling to keep their homes adequately warm in winter. And, more worryingly, homelessness trends have been on the rise over the last decade in most Member States. And I agree that we need better and more data to really understand what is happening here.

The COVID-19 crisis has worsened inequalities and people’s ability to cover housing-related expenses. The health crisis has underlined how essential a decent home is to health and well-being. It has demonstrated the vulnerability of persons, families, children, who experience homelessness and the pressing need to address this extreme form of social exclusion.

As the honourable Members know, housing policies are obviously a national prerogative. But the EU has a key role to play in supporting its Member States, in helping Member States to exchange experiences – and indeed there are good and positive experiences all over Europe – on developing affordable housing, and also, in financially supporting the development of affordable housing.

In the context of the COVID-19 recovery strategy, building renovation constitutes an opportunity to boost the green transition and, at the same time, employment. In particular, the renovation of social and affordable housing districts has the potential to reduce energy poverty, create local jobs and bring long—lasting benefits for communities. In this regard, local social economy enterprises can also play a key role by improving the accessibility and affordability of housing. The Commission encourages Member States to include building renovation in their recovery and resilience plans, with particular emphasis on social and affordable housing, and, in accordance with the principles introduced in the renovation wave, to establish long—term local public-private partnerships, supporting skills, digitalisation and smart technologies.

Energy poverty is a strong focus of the renovation wave. The Commission has issued a recommendation to support national, regional and local efforts in tackling this issue. In addition, it will continue to support the EU Energy Poverty Observatory, which collects data, develops indicators and disseminates best practices for tackling energy poverty. The Commission will also support eradicating homelessness through Next Generation EU and the next long—term EU budget, namely under the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). In particular, the integrated housing——led approach will be supported by the ERDF in combination with ESF+. This approach follows the principles of Housing First, which combines immediate housing with enabling services to help previously homeless people pay their rent, promotes stable living conditions and prevents repeat homelessness.

To tackle all these issues, and to help Member States – but also local authorities, municipalities and regions – address this problem of homelessness, together with the Portuguese Presidency we will organise a conference in June. It will be a broad conference bringing together all stakeholders – not only Member States, the Commission, Parliament and national parliaments, but also local authorities and NGOs – precisely to create a common platform to address the problem of housing and mainly the problem of homelessness.

There are good approaches in certain Member States and municipalities in our Union. We really have to help everybody to address this problem efficiently, with the aim of reducing drastically – if not absolutely – the question of homelessness. The future Invest-EU programme and its social and skills window will support investment in social housing and accompanying services for vulnerable groups. Homelessness and housing affordability and their social and macroeconomic implications are considered in the context of the European semester and included in the country—specific recommendations addressed to Member States.

I’m looking ahead to the upcoming action plan implementing the European pillar of social rights, which will clearly emphasis this problem and we will discuss how to concretely translate principle 19 to the benefit of all those who suffer from bad housing or even the absence of housing.

 
  
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  Dennis Radtke, im Namen der PPE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, Herr Kommissar, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Zunächst mal ganz herzlichen Dank an die Berichterstatterin und an die Schattenberichterstatter für die hier vorgelegte Arbeit – eine extrem wichtige Arbeit, aber in einigen Details auch ein etwas schwieriger Bericht.

Also worüber man mit der EVP nicht streiten muss, ist die grundsätzliche Frage und auch die grundsätzliche Leidenschaft und Bereitschaft, gegen Obdachlosigkeit und für bezahlbaren Wohnraum zu kämpfen, darüber muss man mit uns nicht streiten. Aber über einige Details müssen wir uns schon unterhalten. Deswegen haben wir in diesem Bericht auf zwei key votes für uns markiert. Das ist zum einen die Frage: verbindliche Renovierungsquote. Ja, beim Thema energetische Gebäudesanierung sind die größten Potenziale, wenn es um die Frage CO2— Einsparungen geht. Aber die Ziele müssen auch realistisch und auch finanzierbar sein.

Genauso sieht es mit einem Investitionsverbot in Immobilien aus. Ja, auch hier gibt es einen echten Zielkonflikt. Aber wer sich den Aufbau von privater Altersvorsorge ansieht, der wird feststellen: Immobilieninvestments spielen an dieser Stelle eine große Rolle. Also deswegen: Lasst uns über diese Details streiten, das muss sein. Das werden wir auch jetzt in der Abstimmung austragen. Aber an der grundsätzlichen Richtung, dass wir hier mehr PS auf die Straße bringen müssen, darüber muss man mit der EVP nicht streiten. In diesem Sinne noch mal ganz herzlichen Dank für Eure geleistete Arbeit.

 
  
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  Estrella Durá Ferrandis, en nombre del Grupo S&D. – Señor presidente, en primer lugar, quiero felicitar a la ponente, Kim Van Sparrentak, por el excelente informe que ha presentado y la colaboración con los otros Grupos.

La crisis de la vivienda afecta a todos los Estados miembros y nos afecta a todos y todas. Las personas que tienen dificultad para acceder a la vivienda digna se cuentan no ya por miles, sino por millones en la Unión Europea. Cada vez más gente vive en barrios marginales y asentamientos informales, en condiciones de vida insalubres.

La pandemia no ha hecho más que agudizar esta situación. La vivienda es un derecho fundamental y uno de los pilares básicos del Estado de bienestar. Debe ser excluida de las reglas de la competencia, de la misma manera que la inversión social debe ser excluida de las políticas de consolidación fiscal. Tenemos que ser valientes y llevar a cabo importantes cambios; apostar de una vez por todas por un enfoque universalista de la vivienda.

El Grupo de la Alianza Progresista de Socialistas y Demócratas ha introducido en el informe verdaderas propuestas ambiciosas: la inclusión de la vivienda en los servicios económicos de interés general, para que se amplíe el grupo objetivo y que el acceso a la vivienda social se extienda también a las clases medias y no solo a los más vulnerables; que el indicador de sobrecarga del coste de la vivienda refleje la realidad de lo que viven las familias y se fije en no más del 25 % de su renta disponible; que se garantice la provisión de viviendas adecuadas y asequibles para los tres quintiles inferiores de la sociedad; y que el 30 % de las nuevas viviendas sean asequibles para las personas de ingresos medios y bajos.

Los desahucios y el sinhogarismo constituyen una violación de los derechos humanos. Hay que apoyar firmemente el programa Housing First. Es necesaria también la regulación del mercado de alquiler y del sector inmobiliario, abordando la especulación de la vivienda, aumentando los impuestos a los grandes tenedores de la vivienda y la oferta de vivienda de alquiler —sobre todo, de titularidad pública— y regulando las plataformas vacacionales.

Finalmente, la ola de renovación energética tiene que empezar por rehabilitar las viviendas de los grupos más desfavorecidos, y a los reguladores nos toca asegurar que los proveedores de electricidad adopten esquemas de protección para garantizar el suministro de energía a los más... (el presidente retira la palabra a la oradora).

 
  
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  Yana Toom, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Mr President, I’m happy to take part in this discussion which is one more sign of the big social shift which we have witnessed in the European Union in the last years.

It is also sad that also in this part of the world in the 21st century we’re still trying to solve the problem of homeless people. It was a big challenge even before the pandemic, but now things, as we know, are getting even worse. Economists predict that the current crisis will deepen the inequality, which means that the problem of housing will become even more serious.

The Renew Group shares the call on the Commission to take appropriate measures to help Member States to solve the problem. We very much welcome the idea of broadening the scope of those who are entitled to receive social housing, and I believe we have to keep in mind that the European Charter of Fundamental rights and the pillar of social rights will promise Europeans assistance in housing, so we must act.

But it doesn’t mean that we have to overreact. Renew Europe does not believe that in order to solve a problem we have to intervene into the free market and try to use measures tailored for one particular Member State all over Europe.

We are diverse not only culturally but also economically, and touristification in Venice is not the same as, let’s say, on Saaremaa island. But despite the fact that in some things the report goes too far, we welcome the initiative and hope that together with the Commission we can make a big step in the European Union where the right to housing will finally become not just a right, but the reality for everybody.

 
  
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  Stefania Zambelli, a nome del gruppo ID. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, il diritto alla casa è sacrosanto. Purtroppo in tempi di crisi sociale come quella che stiamo vivendo non è una certezza per tutti. Il numero di persone ridotte alla fame e alla povertà è in continua crescita. Basta sentire i telegiornali e vedere le code di persone in attesa di un pasto caldo presso le varie associazioni di volontariato per capire che qualcosa non sta funzionando.

Ritengo che l'Europa abbia altro a cui pensare in questo periodo di crisi che occuparsi di edilizia popolare, mettendo paletti e condizioni per l'assegnazione di alloggi, privilegiando tra l'altro rom ed extracomunitari.

L'Europa non deve intromettersi nelle competenze dei singoli Stati. Servono piani nazionali che sappiano assecondare le necessità reali dei singoli territori e una politica in materia di immigrazione molto più rigida per arginare l'arrivo di migliaia di clandestini, perché solo così, e ripeto, perché solo così si ridurrebbe drasticamente il numero dei senzatetto delle nostre città e diminuirebbe il numero delle occupazioni abusive destinate a chi è in lista da anni.

 
  
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  Ciarán Cuffe, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, housing is in the news often for all the wrong reasons. In Europe, 700 000 people will sleep rough tonight. In my own country of Ireland, 8 000 people are without a home today. Rents and costs are high. Many live in homes that are cold, damp and unaffordable.

My colleague Kim Van Sparrentak’s report says this does not have to be. Everyone deserves decent and affordable housing. Her report says we must recognise housing as a fundamental right under European Union law. We must seek to end homelessness over the next decade. We must bring together our national strategies.

That won’t help those who are homeless tonight, in Brussels or in Dublin, but it sends a message that Member States must do more. We must provide housing first to those who are homeless. We must make the renovation wave a reality by retrofitting existing homes and bringing public housing up to an A energy rating. We must build public homes in the numbers needed and we must learn from cities like Vienna and Helsinki that give housing the priority it deserves.

 
  
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  Beata Szydło, w imieniu grupy ECR. – Panie Przewodniczący! Szanowni Państwo! Powszechny dostęp do mieszkań to niewątpliwie priorytet. Nie ma godnego życia, jeżeli człowiek nie ma szansy na to, żeby mieć mieszkanie. Dotyczy to zarówno młodych ludzi, którzy planują swoją przyszłość, chcą założyć rodzinę, jak i osób starszych, które bardzo często są w trudnej sytuacji finansowej: nie stać ich na czynsz, nie stać ich na to, żeby kupić mieszkanie. Ale bardzo często dla tych osób, tak samo jak i dla osób niepełnosprawnych, dodatkową przeszkodą są bariery architektoniczne. No i wreszcie bezdomność, która dotyka tak wielu Europejczyków. To wszystko wymaga naszej troski i wsparcia. I w tym zakresie zgadzam się jak najpełniej ze sprawozdaniem. Zgadzam się też z tym, że budownictwo mieszkaniowe to koło zamachowe gospodarki. Ale nie zgadzam się z tym sprawozdaniem w tej części, kiedy próbuje się w nim narzucać kolejne normy, kolejne regulacje i wchodzić w kompetencje państw członkowskich. Powinniśmy wspierać państwa członkowskie przy finansowaniu dobrych projektów, ale nie narzucać kolejnych regulacji.

 
  
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  Leila Chaibi, au nom du groupe The Left. – Monsieur le Président, un grand merci d’abord à Kim Van Sparrentak pour l'excellent rapport et pour l'excellente collaboration que nous avons eue durant l'élaboration de ce rapport, dont j’espère qu’il sera voté à une large majorité.

Je voudrais revenir sur un point, étant donné que le temps nous est compté. Chers collègues, j’espère que dès la fin de cette fichue pandémie, vous pourrez revenir visiter Paris et quand vous vous baladerez entre les immeubles haussmanniens, je vous invite à repérer les vitres sales, les boîtes aux lettres pleines, à chaque fois ce sera le signe que l’immeuble est vide et vous verrez, il y en a plein. À Paris, près d’un logement sur cinq est vide: on appelle cela la spéculation immobilière. Moins il y a de logements sur le marché plus les immeubles se vendent cher, plus les prix des loyers montent et plus la crise du logement s’aggrave.

Pour sortir de cette crise, il faut remettre ces logements sur le marché et pour cela, il y a une solution, c’est la réquisition. Alors, à tous ceux qui hurlent à l’expropriation et à l’atteinte au droit de propriété, je vous rassure: réquisitionner c’est forcer un propriétaire à toucher un loyer tous les mois. Ça va, c’est loin d’être le goulag, vous en conviendrez. En plus, cela permettra à des millions de personnes d’avoir un toit sur la tête. Donc s’il y a une vraie raison de hurler, hurlons plutôt pour que le droit au logement soit réellement fondamental.

 
  
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  Chiara Gemma (NI). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, due dati: 700 000 persone dormono in strada ogni notte, come è stato richiamato dalla relatrice, che ringrazio per la sua puntuale relazione; 80 milioni non riescono a pagare il proprio alloggio. È evidente che siamo di fronte ad una emergenza: il disagio abitativo.

Eppure il pilastro europeo dei diritti sociali riconosce il diritto all'assistenza abitativa per i bisognosi, per i senza dimora, per le persone vulnerabili. La casa non è un bene commerciale, è un diritto umano. Non è un mezzo per l'accumulo di ricchezza, è un bene sociale.

È tempo allora di contrastare le discriminazioni multiple e garantire alloggi dignitosi e abbordabili per tutti, e dico per tutti. E qui va il pensiero a coloro cui è negato il diritto a una propria casa: bambini, anziani, vittime di violenza domestica, donne, rifugiati, persone con disabilità, per le quali la tutela del diritto a vivere in modo indipendente è un dovere morale.

È evidente che le diverse politiche abitative, garanzia per un reale impulso alla coesione sociale, richiedono un unico approccio, quello che pone il rispetto per la dignità di ogni persona, nessuna esclusa, al centro di ogni scelta politica.

 
  
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  Eugen Tomac (PPE). –Domnule președinte, domnule comisar, criza locativă reprezintă un subiect extrem de important și de maximă actualitate astăzi, în vreme de pandemie.

Consider că este de datoria noastră să răspundem la această problemă cu soluții extrem de practice și aplicate. În mod evident, pentru noi reprezintă o mare provocare, cu atât mai mult cu cât sunt zeci de milioane de cetățeni care sunt puternic împovărați de costurile locuințelor, trăind în case vechi, insalubre, aglomerate, ineficiente din punct de vedere energetic și, ceea ce este cel mai grav, multe dintre ele, nesigure.

Pandemia generată de coronavirus a accentuat suferința acestora, deoarece mulți dintre ei au fost nevoiți să rămână închiși pentru perioade îndelungate de timp în cămine insalubre.

Dreptul fundamental de a trăi într-o locuință de bună calitate ar trebui să fie garantat tuturor cetățenilor din Uniunea Europeană și în acest sens se impun măsuri îndrăznețe. Mai mult decât atât, cutremurele devastatoare care au afectat recent Croația, la finalul anului trecut, nu fac decât să reconfirme pericolul în care se află zi de zi milioane de cetățeni europeni.

Tocmai de aceea cred că, inclusiv orașul în care locuiesc eu, București, unde avem peste 2 000 de clădiri cu risc seismic ridicat, care pun în pericol viața a zeci de mii de cetățeni, obligă Uniunea Europeană la o politică extrem de activă în această dimensiune.

 
  
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  Agnes Jongerius (S&D). – Voorzitter, als de huizenprijzen omhoogschieten ondanks een economische crisis, als de wachtlijsten voor sociale huurwoningen soms wel een kwart van een mensenleven duren en als bakstenen vooral gezien worden als een interessante belegging voor huisjesmelkers, dan is het tijd om in te grijpen. Voor veel mensen is een goede en betaalbare woning een ver-van-mijn-bedshow geworden, een onbereikbare droom. Dat is onacceptabel. Daarom moeten we inderdaad meer investeren in meer sociale huurwoningen. Het moet de standaard worden dat in alle nieuwbouwprojecten ook voldoende sociale huurwoningen gebouwd worden. In Europa, in Nederland, verdienen jongeren, gezinnen en ouderen een goede woning die zij hun thuis kunnen noemen.

 
  
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  Dominique Bilde (ID). – Monsieur le Président, une vingtaine de sans-papiers vivant dans 37 m2 dans le Val d’Oise, 200 migrants dans un squat à Marseille, une pénurie grandissante de logements sociaux en Île-de-France, des camps de migrants et de Roms aux abords de nos villes, ce sont là quelques exemples qui démontrent le triste état de notre pays la France aujourd’hui.

Nous ne cessons de répéter ce que vous refusez de voir: le flux migratoire incessant aggrave les problèmes de logement, n’en déplaise aux donneurs de leçon qui habitent volontairement bien loin de ceux qu’ils prétendent défendre. Pour en finir avec le fatalisme et l’hypocrisie des bien-pensants, stoppons l’immigration qui produit des effets catastrophiques pour les catégories populaires qui en subissent les effets de plein fouet. Affirmons la préférence nationale en matière d’attribution des logements sociaux, menons la guerre aux marchands de sommeil, qui à l’instar des passeurs, profitent du laxisme de nos États, en même temps que de la misère sociale. Stop à la tiers-mondialisation de nos nations.

 
  
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  Beata Mazurek (ECR). – Panie Przewodniczący! Sprawiedliwy dostęp do przyzwoitych i dostępnych cenowo mieszkań to prawo każdego człowieka, które powinno być powszechnie zagwarantowane. Brak tej możliwości może mieć fatalne skutki ekonomiczne dla całej Wspólnoty Europejskiej, mieć negatywny wpływ na i tak już rozchwiane nastroje społeczne.

Niestety pandemia COVID-19 nie oszczędziła tej gałęzi gospodarki. Problem dotyczy dziesiątek milionów mieszkańców Europy, którzy w wyniku jej następstw mają poważne trudności z opłaceniem czynszu i rachunków za mieszkanie. To, w jakiej formie będzie nasza gospodarka po koronawirusie, w dużej mierze zależeć będzie od tego, czy będziemy działać wspólnie i czy będziemy angażować instytucje unijne w celu zwiększenia dostępności mieszkań wśród osób o różnych potrzebach mieszkaniowych.

Często liczba oddawanych mieszkań nie przekłada się znacząco na poprawę ich dostępności. Problem ten dotyczy ludzi młodych, którzy wchodzą na rynek pracy, a także rodzin wielodzietnych, których dochody są zbyt niskie, aby nabyć mieszkanie po cenach rynkowych, a jednocześnie zbyt wysokie, by móc ubiegać się o najem mieszkania komunalnego. Dziś jasno musimy powiedzieć i zapewnić obywateli, że Unia Europejska nie zostawi nikogo bez dachu nad głową.

 
  
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  Cindy Franssen (PPE). – Voorzitter, geachte commissaris, collega's, degelijke en betaalbare huisvesting is voor veel Europeanen geen evidentie, laat staan voor de meer dan 700 000 daklozen in de EU. Het recht op huisvesting is nochtans vermeld in de sociale pijler en staat verankerd in het Europees Verdrag voor de rechten van de mens. In België is degelijke huisvesting zelfs een sociaal grondrecht. Bovendien biedt huisvesting de sleutel om toegang te krijgen tot andere rechten en andere sociale diensten.

Ben ik het eens met elke paragraaf in dit dossier? Zeer zeker niet. Maar als medevoorzitter van de interfractiewerkgroep Armoedebestrijding steun ik dit dossier omdat degelijke huisvesting een van de belangrijkste hefbomen is in de strijd tegen armoede. En ik wil het hier hebben over dakloosheid. Het laatste decennium is het aantal daklozen met 70 % gestegen. Daarom is het zo belangrijk om een Europees samenwerkingsplatform voor dakloosheid te hebben, om dit luik van de sociale pijler te realiseren en de “Housing First”-aanpak verder uit te rollen. Want eerlijk gezegd, dakloosheid hoort niet thuis in een welvarend Europa. En om het met uw woorden te zeggen, mijnheer de commissaris: het hoort thuis in musea.

 
  
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  Heléne Fritzon (S&D). – Herr Talman! Redan före pandemin så stod det klart att det finns en brist på lämpliga bostäder till en rimlig kostnad. Många européer lever i dag i ohälsosamma och trånga bostäder. Alldeles för många tvingas också uppleva att bli vräkta från sina hem och hemlösheten har brett ut sig.

Det finns en rad utmaningar för bostadssituationen i Europa, där betänkandet kommer med konkreta förslag som är välkomna. Samtidigt är det så klart viktigt att vi har en god balans mellan EU-nivån och den nationella nivån, då bostadspolitik i grunden är medlemsstaternas ansvar.

Bostadsbristen måste byggas bort. Segregationen i boendet måste motverkas och klimatpåverkan i både byggande och boende måste minskas. Där EU kan agera för en framåtsyftande bostadspolitik, där SKA EU göra det. Jag välkomnar Nicolas Schmit besked när det gäller den framtida bostadspolitiken.

 
  
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  Guido Reil (ID). – Herr Präsident, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Wir sprechen heute über den Zugang zu angemessenem und erschwinglichem Wohnraum für alle. Das ist ein sehr wichtiges Thema, denn in den letzten Jahren sind die Mieten explodiert, und leider leben in der EU mittlerweile 700 000 Menschen auf der Straße, sie sind obdachlos.

Aber welche Lösungsvorschläge werden uns jetzt hier in dem Bericht gemacht? In erster Linie ist es uns wichtig, den Grünen Deal umzusetzen. Viele Wohnungen sollen energetisch saniert werden. Aber Wohnungen, die energetisch saniert werden, sind nicht unbedingt bezahlbar. Als Beispiel möchte ich mal das Beispiel aus Deutschland geben: Die Stadt Kiel hat den Stadtteil Gaarden aufwendig energetisch saniert. In diesem Stadtteil haben bis vor ein paar Jahren vor allen Dingen Geringverdiener, Sozialhilfeempfänger und Migranten gelebt. Nach dieser schicken Sanierung wurden genau diese Menschen in Wohnbaracken verdrängt, oder sie wurden gar in die Obdachlosigkeit gedrängt, und gekommen sind neue Bewohner. In erster Linie Grünen-Wähler, die sich dieses schicke Umfeld leisten können.

Die grüne Politik ist eine Politik der sozialen Kälte, der Eiseskälte, und das dürfen wir nicht zulassen. Wir brauchen echte soziale Politik für echte Menschen!

 
  
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  Λουκάς Φουρλάς (PPE). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, κύριε Επίτροπε, στη χώρα μου, την Κύπρο, η κατοικία αποτελεί ιερό θεσμό. Το 1974, εκατοντάδες χιλιάδες Κύπριοι έχασαν τα σπίτια τους εξαιτίας της τουρκικής εισβολής. Το 2013, οι Κύπριοι πολίτες «έβαλαν πλάτη» για να στηρίξουν τις τράπεζες, χάνοντας μέρος ή ολόκληρες τις καταθέσεις τους. Σήμερα, αυτές οι ίδιες οι τράπεζες απειλούν να πάρουν τα σπίτια όσων δεν μπορούν να αποπληρώσουν το χρέος τους. Σήμερα, και ενόσω η πανδημία συνεχίζεται, δεν νοείται κανένας άνθρωπος να χάσει το σπίτι του. Τα κράτη μέλη πρέπει να θεσπίσουν νομικές διατάξεις για πιστωτικές διευκολύνσεις και για προστασία των ενοίκων έναντι της έξωσης. Επαναλαμβάνω: κανένας άνθρωπος δεν πρέπει να χάσει το σπίτι του.

Υποστηρίζουμε την πολιτική της Επιτροπής, κύριε Επίτροπε, για τις ανακαινίσεις κατοικιών. Αυτή η πολιτική θα δημιουργήσει θέσεις εργασίας, θα συμβάλει στην προστασία του περιβάλλοντος και θα επιτρέψει σε εκατομμύρια Ευρωπαίους πολίτες να έχουν πρόσβαση σε προσιτή στέγη. Πάνω από τέσσερα εκατομμύρια άστεγοι ζουν αυτήν τη στιγμή στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, κι αυτό δεν τιμά κανέναν μας.

 
  
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  Elisabetta Gualmini (S&D). – Mr President, housing is the first and most important among social rights, from which all the others derive.

If you have a roof over your head you can develop social relationships, create a family and raise children, cut down your feelings of insecurity and distress. In Europe, 80 million citizens are unable to pay the costs of their houses and the ranks of the homeless have grown by 70% in the last a decade.

We now have to build up a real European plan on housing, based on sustainability. Fortunately a wind of change is blowing through Europe, since Europe is now able to show what solidarity means in front of the big suffering of the people because of the pandemic. So a good society is the one in which the minimum expectations of each of us are fulfilled. We can’t be indifferent to those who sleep in the streets. We can’t be indifferent to those who simply need to build up a future.

I hope that this House, our House, will strongly support this dossier.

 
  
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  Nicolas Schmit, membre de la Commission. – Monsieur le Président, chers membres, en fait, ces trois débats que vous avez organisés aujourd’hui ont un point commun important. Le point commun, c’est comment est-ce qu’on peut garantir plus de justice sociale, comment est-ce qu’on peut garantir à tous les citoyens européens, où qu’ils vivent, un certain nombre de droits fondamentaux sans lesquels on ne peut pas organiser sa vie? Cela vaut pour la crise de la COVID et ses conséquences sur l’emploi, ça vaut pour ceux qui ont déjà été frappé par cette crise, ceux qui sont dans la pauvreté et ça vaut pour ceux qui sont les victimes de la crise du logement.

Il y a un large consensus sur ce droit au logement. Le logement, ce n’est pas uniquement un secteur économique, un objet de spéculation, c’est un droit. Et puisque c’est un droit, alors il faut le concrétiser, il faut garantir sa mise en œuvre à tout le monde et je crois que c’est sur cela que partout, dans tous les États membres, il faut faire des efforts. Il faut effectivement veiller à ce que les logements soient accessibles, soient abordables, qu’il y ait des logements sociaux.

Il est vrai aussi que, dans le contexte de la rénovation, qui est centrale et qui peut être un atout majeur, à la fois social mais aussi économique, notamment pour sortir de cette crise, il y a aussi des dangers, cela a été notamment relevé par d’aucuns, et le danger, c’est que vous rénovez et vous expulsez. En fait, vous rendez ces logements rénovés inabordables et c’est ce qu’il faut éviter parce que ça s’appelle la gentrification. Des quartiers qui offraient un logement à des gens à un certain niveau de loyer deviennent soudain inaccessibles une fois que les logement sont rénovés. Et là c’est un danger, parce que cela augmente, cela aggrave la crise du logement et cela aggrave aussi l'injustice sociale.

Quand on regarde l’évolution des loyers, notamment dans de nombreux centres urbains, et l’évolution des salaires, on voit que la fourchette s’est complètement ouverte. Donc, il faut agir de façon coordonnée bien sûr chaque fois dans un contexte national et local sur la question des plateformes qui, finalement, immobilisent des milliers, des centaines de milliers de logements.

Le problème des logements non occupés pour des raisons de spéculation foncière doit être maîtrisé, comme il faut maîtriser les investissements dans des logements abordables. Du reste – je viens de voir arriver mon collègue de l’économie –, le logement c’est un problème social, mais c’est aussi un problème économique. Un grand problème économique. Nous savons que, parfois, la crise du logement prend une autre forme. Elle prend la forme de bulles avec des crises financières à la clé, donc je crois qu’il y a là une dimension européenne qu’il ne faut pas méconnaître, qu’il ne faut pas ignorer.

Merci pour ce débat, merci pour ce rapport. Agissons et la Commission sera au rendez-vous.

 
  
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  Presidente. – La discussione è chiusa.

La votazione sugli emendamenti si svolgerà oggi, mercoledì 20 gennaio 2021, mentre la votazione finale si terrà domani, giovedì 21 gennaio 2021.

 

15. Droit à la déconnexion (débat)
Vidéo des interventions
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  Presidente. – L'ordine del giorno reca la relazione di Alex Agius Saliba, a nome della commissione per l'occupazione e gli affari sociali, recante raccomandazioni alla Commissione sul diritto alla disconnessione (2019/2181(INL)) (A9-0246/2020)).

Ricordo agli onorevoli deputati che per tutte le discussioni di questa tornata non è prevista la procedura "catch-the-eye", né saranno accettate domande "cartellino blu".

Sono inoltre previsti interventi a distanza dagli Uffici di collegamento del Parlamento negli Stati membri.

 
  
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  Alex Agius Saliba, rapporteur. – Mr President, today we live in an always-connected world. Digitalisation and digital tools have brought many new opportunities, both in our personal and also in our working lives. It has created benefits, it has created advantages for employees such as greater flexibility and less commuting times. But it has also its pitfalls, such as the constant pressure on workers to always be reachable, to always be available at all times. Digital tools used to work have created the phenomenon of always being connected: an always-on culture, creating digital obesity that can intensify work and extend working hours with a detrimental effect. A detrimental effect on workers’ fundamental rights. A detrimental effect on fair working conditions. A detrimental effect on fair remuneration, on working time and on work-life balance, on health and safety at work, on the equality between men and women.

Digital tools make it particularly difficult to switch off in our free time. We all know the feeling of always being under constant pressure to check: to check for work-related emails, work-related messages, worried that our immediate attention is required. We all have been in situations where we receive work-related calls, emails, and we feel obligated to reply. More than ever, in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the increase of telework and working from home, we have been victims: victims of our phones, of our emails, of our computers. The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we work, and we must therefore update our rules.

During lockdown, one in three workers started working from home. This has saved countless lives, but many workers suffer and are suffering from harmful side-effects, such as isolation, fatigue, depression, burnout, muscular or eye illnesses. People who regularly work from home are twice as likely to work more than the maximum 48 hours. The boundaries between work and private life have become blurred. The human cost is high, from unpaid overtime to exhaustion, to burnout.

It is fundamental that we protect workers from the invasion of their rest time and to ensure that their right to rest and leisure and a maximum limit of the workday are safeguarded. And for this, we need the right to disconnect to become a fundamental right, a fundamental right to each and every worker throughout our Union. Therefore colleagues, I strongly urge you to support this own-initiative report.

 

We are calling on the Commission to propose a European directive on the right to disconnect. The report is putting forward a fully-fledged, developed legislative proposal with the minimum requirements for using digital tools for professional purposes outside our working time. It provides for the right to disconnect for all workers in the EU, and it ensures that digital tools are used as an asset benefiting employers and workers while their adverse effects are mitigated. It provides workers with the right to disconnect, switch off and refrain from engaging in work-related tasks, activities or communication outside the working time.

The report is also introducing safeguards to workers against any victimisation or negative repercussion if they use this right. Employers should enforce this right and not require workers to be directly or indirectly available or reachable outside their working time and provide them with sufficient information and methods to support the right to disconnect. The report also recognises the social partners’ pivotal role and tailors its implementation to the specific needs, depending on the different national and regional levels, sectors, and industries.

Those are the main elements of the report, providing the right balance. The right balance equally positive for both workers and also employers, and I am counting on your support to show solidarity with European workers, especially during these difficult times of the pandemic. Please let us stay focused on the right to disconnect. The report will help millions of workers in these challenging situations. Nothing in it or in the amendment tabled by me intends to undermine the social partners, neither limit the Commission’s legislative power to propose legislation on the right to disconnect in early course. The report or the amendment in no way can change the Treaties or limit the Commission’s legislative power or veto the European legislation.

Social partners in Europe are fully autonomous in what they negotiate. For me it is clear that we, as European Parliament, cannot interfere in this process, and the amendment should not be interpreted as making any legislative proposal contingent on the framework agreement, which, as stated in paragraph 13, addresses some arrangements for connecting and disconnecting and no other aspects of the right to disconnect.

(Applause)

I call therefore on the Commission, on the Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Schmit, if the European report is adopted, to act immediately, through consultation with social partners, and put forward a proposal for legislation on the right to disconnect, because only through European legislation we can ensure the real impact on the very-much needed workers’ rights in the digital world.

Colleagues, we have a fundamental choice to make tomorrow. We either provide workers with the right to disconnect or turn our backs on them. My choice is clear. I hope you can all support the right to disconnect for all European workers.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Nicolas Schmit, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, I would like to thank the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, and particularly the rapporteur, for the work on this legislative own-initiative report on a very important and sensitive issue: the right to disconnect. Indeed, the report addresses this important issue, which is related to the profound changes in the world of work – profound changes dominated by the digitalisation of many jobs and by the way people work and are connected.

In the last few years we have witnessed a sustained growth in telework and an accelerated adoption of ICTs for work purposes. With the lockdowns due to the COVID-19 crisis, this gained much more prominence, and it will likely remain a permanent feature in the work organisation. Digitalisation has created, indeed, new businesses, new opportunities, new ways of working, living and consuming. It has led to productivity increases, to more flexibility for workers and businesses, and in the context of the pandemic, allowed many workers and many companies just to continue their activities. So if there is, on one hand, an important advance by the digitalisation of the European economy, we have also to have a very, very keen look at the upholding of working conditions and labour law. The new economy cannot develop outside the normal framework of labour law, including also working time.

This is not just a social dimension; it’s also an economic one, so we have really to maintain a balance between the development of digitalisation on the one hand, with the extremely important tools we all have in our hands, and on the other hand, the rules, the framework, the laws which protect people, because we want a people-centred development of digitalisation.

This report identifies some of the key challenges that new technologies pose, indeed, to the world of work. Addressing these challenges is all the more important in view of the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, because this has accelerated a lot of these processes.

In Europe we can pride ourselves on a strong set of social and labour laws which already touch upon some of the challenges raised by this report. We have the Working Time Directive, the Occupational Safety and Health Framework Directive, the Work-life Balance Directive and the Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions Directive, to mention the ones which are relevant for remote working and have a direct impact on the ability of the worker to disconnect from work obligations.

These laws protect the well-being of European workers and put forward safeguards, amongst other things, against excessive working hours and unpredictable work schedules, including for the ICT-based work. We need to explore how best to seize the opportunities and address the challenges posed by digitalisation of the world of work, taking into account national industry and sectoral specificities, as the rapporteur has also mentioned.

In this regard, the high-level conference on the future of work, remote work, challenges, risks and opportunities, planned by the Portuguese Presidency, comes very timely. Implementing a right to disconnect is often a matter of finding the right balance between the nature of the tasks, management style, personal choices and company-level rules. Certainly a one-size-fits-all approach is therefore not ideal, but this doesn’t diminish the importance of a right. Then you have to implement the right according to the different situations, and certainly this can be best done through social dialogue.

As rightly set out in your report, social partners have a central role in dealing with issues linked to this right to disconnect. Social partners should take a leading role in this regard, and the Commission stands ready to assist, ready to encourage. But this means that we have to be all de bonne foi.

In the last few years, some Member States have taken action by directly or indirectly mandating social partners to negotiate provisions on the right to disconnect. Italy, Spain, France, Belgium are among those countries. And in the past, social partners have already agreed on a cross-industry framework agreement on telework, in 2002 – so quite a long time ago, when telework was starting. Now telework is extending, and close to 30% and sometimes even more people are on telework. It would perhaps be important to have a look at this agreement and to adapt it to the present context and circumstances.

Social partners have also come together to agree on a more recent agreement on digitalisation, concluded in 2020. This framework agreement specifically tackles telework and modalities of connecting and disconnecting from work, and it is currently being implemented at national, regional and local level. In this specific field it is equally important to duly take into account the concerns on proportionality, subsidiarity and better law-making principles.

All proposals for Union action – and this is absolutely fundamental and applies also to the right to disconnect and eventually action in this field – must be subject, under Article 154 of the Treaty, to consultation with the EU’s social partners, who may decide to act by means of agreements, to act by negotiation between themselves. So anyway, this door is open – wide open. Before deciding on any action on the right to disconnect, the Commission certainly has to apply this Article and will also discuss with social partners on these aspects.

As a certain number of Member States, as I recalled already, have already introduced a right to disconnect, many companies also establish this important right through agreements with their social partners, because they have understood what the rapporteur has described: people are not robots, people have limits. So, if you want to have better productivity, you cannot just occupy people 24 hours a day and seven days a week. So I think this is an important contribution, economic and social again, and this shows the importance of this right to disconnect for the good functioning of companies. And very often, by the way, it’s IT companies who have introduced this right to disconnect.

It underlines also the crucial role of social partners in this field. Therefore, the Commission is inviting social partners to proactively work together in order to come to an adequate solution for the benefit of workers and companies. Certainly the Commission is ready to accompany and support them in this endeavour, and then the right of the Treaty – also of Article 225 – is absolutely there and can be used by the Commission if needed.

(Applause)

 
  
  

VORSITZ: RAINER WIELAND
Vizepräsident

 
  
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  Tomáš Zdechovský, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, the Commissioner is absolutely right: people are not robots. It’s a very clear message to everyone, and I will now switch to my mother tongue. I will continue in Czech because it’s very important to send messages to people back home.

Pane předsedající, koronavirová krize ukázala, že lidé můžou pracovat z domova, ale že často jsme nenastavili podmínky, za jakých budou pracovat. Mnoho lidí se nedokázalo vlastně sžít s tím prostředím, že museli připravovat děti do školy, do toho vyřizovat telefonáty a pak dohánět poštu, která se na ně hrnula ze všech stran. I já mám malé děti a vím, co to je být s dětmi doma. Vím, co to je, několikrát zapínat nefungující připojení do školy, aby se spojily s paní učitelkou. A tady vidím jako velice důležité, že nejenom já, ale i řada z vás jste si tím prošli. A víte, že je důležité, abyste měli čas, který můžete trávit nejenom svojí prací, ale také tím, co děláte. Proto Alexi a vy další, kteří jste se podíleli na této zprávě, jsem rád za tu vyváženost a za absolutně jasný message z Evropského parlamentu. Evropský parlament je na straně lidí a na straně toho, aby měli osobní život.

 
  
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  Agnes Jongerius, namens de S&D-Fractie. – Voorzitter, ik denk dat iedereen dat gevoel wel kent. Kom je na een lange werkdag thuis, sta je net te koken, en dan blijft die telefoon maar trillen. De baas, of je toch nog heel even ...

Voor steeds meer mensen lopen werk en privé steeds meer door elkaar heen. Stress, depressieve gevoelens en burn-outs nemen toe als je altijd maar aan moet staan. Je kan er ziek van worden. Ook als je niet zo zeker bent van je contract, omdat je bijvoorbeeld een tijdelijk contract hebt of omdat er een reorganisatie op je bedrijf is aangekondigd, moet je het recht hebben om te zeggen “nu even niets”.

Voor alle werknemers in Europa pleit ik voor het recht op onbereikbaarheid. Commissie, commissaris, kom zo snel mogelijk met een richtlijn, liever vandaag nog dan morgen. Ik denk dat onze rapporteur en de schaduwrapporteurs een prachtig voorstel op tafel gelegd hebben, dat absoluut de steun van het Parlement verdient.

 
  
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  Yana Toom, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Mr President, frankly speaking, all the smart things have already been said, and that’s why I thought that I have to share a piece of personal experience.

Like, I believe, many of us, I was raised in a working environment where you had to work 24/7 just to build up your career. In the very beginning, after my country gained independence, I was a single mother of three. It was non—stop. And that was exactly what I wanted to see from my own people whom I was working with.

I have to say that, working on this report I felt ashamed sometimes. I believe that my accredited parliamentary assistants are particularly grateful to the rapporteur and for the fact that we raised this topic. Due to these technical means, we are now used to calling and writing to people at any time and then waiting for them to react. This is not normal.

We all know, theoretically, that we have a Working Time Directive. We know how many hours we are supposed to work and how many hours we are supposed to rest, but do we really act accordingly?

Sometimes not, let’s be honest. I believe that we have to deal with this problem, not only at legislative and European level, but also here in this House and everywhere. I’m very glad that we are on the same page as the Commission and the House. I believe that we are able to solve this problem and to give people the opportunity to work, especially during a pandemic, and to have a proper work-life balance.

 
  
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  Guido Reil, im Namen der ID-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Kein Arbeitnehmer muss seinem Arbeitgeber 24 Stunden zur Verfügung stehen. Das ist doch völlig normal. Die Arbeitswelt hat sich in den letzten Jahren völlig verändert. Den Fließbandarbeiter, der acht Stunden am Fließband steht, gibt es faktisch nicht mehr. Wir reden heute über Gleitzeit, wir reden über Vertrauensarbeitszeit, wir reden jetzt ganz, ganz viel über Homeoffice. Und all diese Dinge bringen Flexibilität, Flexibilität, die auch Freiheit bringt – und das ist gut so.

Natürlich brauchen wir auch Regularien. Die zu finden, wird schwierig. Und warum ausgerechnet dieses Parlament sich berufen fühlt, diese Regularien zu finden, erschließt sich mir überhaupt nicht. Denn es ist überhaupt nicht die Aufgabe dieses Parlaments. Dieses Problem muss national gelöst werden, denn die Arbeitsmärkte in der EU sind völlig unterschiedlich, und die Spielregeln, nach denen gespielt wird, sind völlig unterschiedlich. Deswegen muss dieses Problem national von den Sozialpartnern und selbstverständlich von den Tarifpartnern gelöst werden.

 
  
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  Sara Matthieu, namens de Verts/ALE-Fractie. – Voorzitter, in het weekend met je baas whatsappen of 's avonds nog snel een e-mail beantwoorden, klinkt het bekend in de oren? De grens tussen werk en privé vervaagt steeds meer, maar meer autonomie en flexibiliteit mag niet gelijkstaan aan continu bereikbaar moeten zijn. Mensen zijn geen machines. We moeten onze batterijen kunnen opladen door afstand te nemen van ons werk, want permanent bereikbaar zijn, leidt tot stress en burn-out.

Ik roep de Commissie op om zo snel mogelijk met een wetgevend initiatief te komen, want alle Europese werknemers verdienen het recht om onbereikbaar te zijn. Zeker in tijden van COVID-19 en thuiswerk is dit extra relevant. Maar ook voor werkgevers is dit belangrijk. Zonder gezonde werknemers kan de boel immers niet blijven draaien. Een speciale vermelding nog voor vrouwen: ze nemen vaak meer zorgtaken op zich maar moeten ook steeds bereikbaar blijven voor hun werkgever en daardoor lopen zij meer gezondheidsrisico's en komt hun welzijn extra onder druk.

Collega's, als je woonkamer je kantoor wordt, waar trek jij dan de grens? Laat ons dit samen aanpakken.

 
  
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  Beata Szydło, w imieniu grupy ECR. – Panie Przewodniczący! Praca online z jednej strony to dobrodziejstwo, bo chroni przed koronawirusem, daje możliwość pracy w tym trudnym czasie, ale z drugiej strony to przekleństwo, ponieważ zaciera się granica pomiędzy życiem prywatnym a zawodowym.

Absolutnie nie może być zgody na to, żeby ludzie nie mieli prawa do prywatności, do prywatnego życia – przecież są przepisy, które powinny przed tym ustrzegać. Jest dyrektywa z 2003 roku, która jasno określa prawo do odpoczynku, pokazuje, jak obowiązują normy czasu pracy, jest prawo krajowe dotyczące czasu pracy, a więc wydaje się, że te rozwiązania, które są w tej chwili proponowane, to kolejna nadregulacja. Może warto przyjrzeć się tym obowiązującym już przepisom i zastanowić się, dlaczego to nie działa, dlaczego pracownicy nie mają szansy na to, żeby ta dyrektywa z 2003 roku ich chroniła, a nie tworzyć kolejne prawo.

 
  
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  Daniela Rondinelli (NI). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, in un anno i lavoratori a distanza sono passati dal 5 al 30 % e ciò è avvenuto in una condizione di completo vuoto legislativo a livello europeo e nazionale.

È necessario regolamentare questa trasformazione del modo di lavorare attraverso una direttiva europea, che scongiuri la diffusione di nuove forme di sfruttamento, ed evitare che gli Stati procedano in ordine sparso proprio perché il lavoro "ubiquitario" è un fenomeno comune del mercato interno.

È per questo che va evitata l'insorgenza di nuove forme di dumping tra i paesi attraverso una normativa europea che impedisca alle aziende di violare i nuovi diritti fondamentali dei lavoratori che derivano proprio dalla digitalizzazione.

È per questo che il diritto alla disconnessione è una necessità per tutti, a cui la Commissione europea deve rispondere con la massima urgenza e avviare l'iter legislativo da subito, perché le parti sociali non potranno implementare l'accordo sulla digitalizzazione nei prossimi tre anni.

Il Movimento 5 Stelle sostiene nei contenuti questa relazione, che peraltro è stata rafforzata anche grazie ai nostri emendamenti, ma non possiamo accettare che il Parlamento blocchi il dialogo sociale, quando invece bisogna restituire a ogni lavoratore la dignità che merita.

 
  
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  Dennis Radtke (PPE). – Herr Präsident, Herr Kommissar, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Um diesen Bericht ist sehr hart gerungen worden, und deswegen möchte ich damit anfangen, mich beim Berichterstatter und bei den Schattenberichterstattern für ihre Arbeit zu bedanken, aber vor allen Dingen auch für ihre Kompromissbereitschaft.

Ich glaube, es ist einfach ein ganz, ganz wichtiges Signal, auch von diesem Parlament aus. Das ist ein Thema, von dem ja auch schon vor Corona Millionen Europäer betroffen waren. Dass wir als Parlament einen Bericht abgeben, der nicht mit riesigen strittigen Mehrheiten entschieden wird, sondern wo sich eine große Mehrheit in diesem Haus dahinter versammeln kann. Ich glaube, das wird der Wichtigkeit dieses Themas absolut gerecht.

Mir ist auch – und das sag ich auch als jemand, der selber viele Jahre bei einer großen Gewerkschaft gearbeitet hat – wichtig, dass wir als Politik nicht den Anspruch erheben: Wir können das hier alles zentral sofort regeln und steuern, wir haben auf diese komplexen Fragen eine lebensnahe Antwort, sondern dass wir jetzt sagen: Jetzt sind nach unserem Verständnis die am Zug, die am nächsten dran sind, und das sind die Sozialpartner. Ihr habt jetzt drei Jahre Zeit, konkret mit Dingen zu kommen und sie uns vorzulegen, und wenn ihr das nicht hinkriegt, dann machen wir es. Aber jetzt seit erstmal ihr am Zug, das halte ich für ein ganz, ganz wichtiges Signal, und es ist auch und Zeichen des Vertrauens in eine dringend notwendige Stärkung der Sozialpartnerschaft.

Von daher ganz herzlichen Dank und ich bitte um Zustimmung für diesen Bericht.

 
  
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  Marc Angel (S&D). – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, chers collègues, il est important de rappeler que le droit à la déconnexion concerne tous les travailleurs et non pas uniquement ceux qui sont en télétravail. Et si la numérisation présente de nombreux avantages dans la vie d'un salarié, des études démontrent que l'hyperconnexion peut entraîner des effets non désirables sur l'équilibre entre la vie professionnelle et la vie privée ou sur le bien-être au travail.

Il est pour nous inadmissible que de plus en plus de salariés voient leur temps de travail augmenter et ceci sans revenu supplémentaire, ni temps de repos compensatoire. En tant que socialiste, je me réjouis de ce rapport, qui appelle à l'inclusion des partenaires sociaux dans le processus législatif à venir, mais surtout qui fixe les lignes directrices nécessaires à la création d'un tel droit en Europe, via une définition claire du droit à la déconnexion, l'information des travailleurs quant à leur droit à la déconnexion, la fixation de nouvelles conditions de travail pour l'emploi en ligne et la protection des travailleurs quant au risque de représailles en cas d'indisponibilité en dehors des heures de travail.

Yes, European workers need the right to disconnect. Let’s make it happen!

 
  
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  Gilles Lebreton (ID). – Monsieur le Président, le télétravail est une nouvelle façon de travailler qui intéresse beaucoup de salariés mais il peut être ressenti comme une contrainte insupportable quand il est imposé par une entreprise, que ce soit en période normale ou lors de circonstances exceptionnelles, comme la pandémie de coronavirus.

C’est pourquoi il est utile de reconnaître aux salariés un droit à la déconnexion, c’est-à-dire le droit de bénéficier pleinement de leur temps de repos et de congés, sans être importunés par leur entreprise. C’est ce qu’a fait la loi française du 8 août 2016, cette loi reconnaît ce droit à la déconnexion et renvoie avec sagesse au dialogue social pour en préciser les modalités. Cet exemple français mérite d’inspirer l’ensemble des États membres de l’Union européenne car l’Union ne doit pas se contenter d’être l’Europe du business, elle doit aussi avoir une dimension sociale.

Il faut toutefois éviter de faire peser un carcan administratif déraisonnable sur les entreprises. En outre, je considère que la création de ce nouveau droit qu’est le droit à la déconnexion relève de la compétence des États et non de l’Union.

Pour ces deux raisons, je suis opposé à l’adoption d’une directive sur la question. Faisons confiance aux États.

 
  
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  Λευτέρης Νικολάου-Αλαβάνος (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η νέα καπιταλιστική κρίση, που επιτάχυνε η πανδημία, έδωσε την ευκαιρία στις κυβερνήσεις και την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση να νομοθετήσουν πάγιες απαιτήσεις της εργοδοσίας, για τη μείωση του κόστους της εργασίας και την εντατικοποίησή της, αυξάνοντας δραστικά την τηλεργασία.

Οι παραβιάσεις της εργοδοσίας είναι συνεχείς μέσω της «σύνδεσης» με την τελευταία λέξη της τεχνολογίας και της εκμετάλλευσης: κάμερες, εφαρμογές καταγραφής, αισθητήρες, δουλειά χωρίς ωράριο, με οδυνηρές συνέπειες στην ψυχική και σωματική υγεία των εργαζομένων. Παραβιάσεις που στηρίζονται στις υπάρχουσες αντεργατικές οδηγίες Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και νόμους κυβερνήσεων που προβλέπουν τη διάλυση του οκτάωρου, την αύξηση του εργάσιμου χρόνου έως και 72 ώρες την εβδομάδα, την εξαμηνιαία διευθέτησή του.

Οι εργαζόμενοι καλούνται να δυναμώσουν την πάλη τους για συλλογικές συμβάσεις εργασίας, τη μείωση του ημερήσιου εργάσιμου χρόνου και την κατάργηση κάθε μορφής ευέλικτης εργασίας, ενάντια στη μονιμοποίηση της τηλεργασίας, για διασφάλιση του ελεύθερου χρόνου τους. Να αγωνιστούν ενάντια στους νόμους που διαλύουν το οκτάωρο, τα εργατικά ασφαλιστικά δικαιώματα, όπως η δεκάωρη εργασία που προωθεί η κυβέρνηση της Νέας Δημοκρατίας, για να εξασφαλιστεί η επιστροφή στους χώρους δουλειάς με όλα τα απαραίτητα μέτρα προστασίας με ευθύνη εργοδοσίας και κυβέρνησης.

 
  
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  Στέλιος Κυμπουρόπουλος (PPE). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, κύριε Επίτροπε, σύμφωνα με μελέτη του Εurofound, το 27% των ερωτηθέντων που εργάζονται κατ’ οίκον αναφέρουν ότι εργάστηκαν στον ελεύθερο χρόνο τους, ώστε να ανταποκριθούν στις εργασιακές απαιτήσεις. Υπό αυτό το πρίσμα, το δικαίωμα στην αποσύνδεση πρέπει να αποτελεί ένα σημαντικό μέσο της κοινωνικής μας πολιτικής και να προστατευτεί άμεσα· ένα μέσο που θα επιτρέπει στους εργαζομένους να βελτιώσουν την ισορροπία μεταξύ επαγγελματικής και ιδιωτικής ζωής και να αντιμετωπίσουν τις συνέπειες της διαρκούς σύνδεσης στην ψυχική και στη σωματική τους υγεία, αλλά και μια ρύθμιση που θα λαμβάνει σοβαρά υπόψη τις επιπτώσεις σε κατηγορίες του πληθυσμού όπως γυναίκες, νέοι και τα άτομα με ευθύνες φροντίδας, όπως οι οικογένειες με παιδιά και οι μονογονεϊκές οικογένειες, και φυσικά θα λαμβάνει υπόψη τις ειδικές ανάγκες των διαφόρων κλάδων, όσον αφορά το δικαίωμα στην αποσύνδεση, με σεβασμό στην αυτονομία των κοινωνικών εταίρων.

 
  
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  Gabriele Bischoff (S&D). – Herr Präsident! In der Tat, wir sind keine Roboter. Und deshalb ist dieser Bericht, ist das Recht auf Abschalten eine so wichtige politische Initiative, insbesondere in diesen Pandemiezeiten. Millionen Menschen wurden ins Homeoffice geschickt, und viele erleben dort gerade, wie es ist, dass die Arbeit und Privates miteinander verschwimmen, dass Burn-out, Stress und auch Schuldgefühle die Folge sind. Auch wenn die meisten Beschäftigten hinterher wieder in ihre Büros zurückkehren werden, ist klar: Die Art und Weise, wie wir arbeiten, hat sich verändert.

Umso unverständlicher ist eigentlich der Lobby-Tsunami, der hier auch von einigen Arbeitgeberverbänden entfacht worden ist. Das erinnert an den Streit über die Arbeitszeitrichtlinie. Dabei ist es doch wirklich wichtig, dass Beschäftigte verbindlich befähigt werden, dass sie den Stecker ziehen können und ihre dienstlichen Telefone und Computer außerhalb der Arbeitszeit abschalten können. Deshalb sollte die Kommission sich von diesem Lobbying nicht beeindrucken lassen.

Ich appelliere an alle hier im Haus, den Bericht zu unterstützen. Europas Arbeitnehmerinnen und Arbeitnehmer erwarten zu Recht, dass ihre Gesundheit geschützt wird – time to act!

 
  
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  Marianne Vind (S&D). – Hr. formand! Under coronapandemien oplever mange et pres for at stå til rådighed i deres fritid. Derfor foreslår vi at beskytte retten til at holde fri, når man har fri, for alle dem, der ikke har en fast arbejdstid. Det er for mig helt altafgørende, at det er de sociale parter, der udarbejder aftalen, og det behøver ikke være svært. Det handler først og fremmest om forventningsafstemning. En aftale på en arbejdsplads for, hvornår og hvordan man bruger mail og telefon. Men ikke en, der er så ufleksibel, at man ikke har lov til at hjælpe til, hvis det hele brænder på.

Dette er et lille stykke af vejen. Der er lang vej endnu, hvis vi skal hjælpe de mange millioner, der rammes af stress. Det bliver derfor altafgørende, at vi får en ambitiøs strategi med hovedfokus på sundhed og sikkerhed på arbejdspladsen. Vi skal have fokus på denne forebyggende indsats, så Europas lønmodtagere oplever, at arbejdsopgaverne passer sammen med arbejdstiden og deres kompetencer, samt at lederne bliver bedre uddannet. Der er ingen tid at spilde. Lad os komme i gang.

 
  
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  José Gusmão (The Left). – Senhor Presidente, queria agradecer ao relator e aos restantes relatores-sombra o trabalho que fizemos neste relatório. A proposta não ficou, naturalmente, como eu gostaria, ou como qualquer outro relator gostaria, mas conseguimos um bom consenso para introduzir este direito a desligar no Direito Comunitário.

Lamentavelmente, a semana passada surgiu uma alteração escrita pelo PPE, que se opõe a este direito a desligar, basicamente introduzindo um adiamento de três anos para a Comissão Europeia apresentar uma proposta. Um adiamento de três anos, entendamos bem, tem como objetivo que este Parlamento Europeu não aprove esta iniciativa legislativa neste mandato, porque daqui a três anos estaremos a quatro meses das eleições.

Portanto, o PPE encontrou uma forma de matar este relatório, sem o dizer explicitamente, e conseguiu a proeza de pôr o relator socialista a fazer essa proposta e a apelar ao mesmo tempo ao comissário que não a cumpra!

Votaremos contra a alteração n.º 2 e achamos que isto é uma péssima mensagem a enviar às dezenas de milhões de trabalhadores que estão atualmente...

(O Presidente retira a palavra ao orador)

 
  
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  Nicolas Schmit, membre de la Commission. – Monsieur le Président, chers membres du Parlement, j’ai bien écouté vos interventions et je n’ai entendu personne qui a priori était contre ce droit à la déconnexion. Pourquoi? Parce que c’est simplement du bon sens.

Comme je l’ai dit et comme certains l’ont répété aussi, on ne peut pas exiger d’une personne, aussi performante soit-elle, qu’elle soit disponible en permanence. On peut l’exiger pendant un temps mais si on dépasse ce temps, eh bien il y aura un retour. Le retour, ce sont les maladies professionnelles, le stress, le burn-out. Des maladies souvent de notre temps et des maladies qui ont des incidences terribles pour les personnes, mais qui ont aussi des conséquences financières considérables sur tous nos systèmes de protection sociale.

Permettez-moi juste de faire un bref rappel. Il y a 102 ans, on a adopté, dans un pays membre, pour ne pas le citer la France, une loi sur le temps de travail journalier de huit heures. C’était un énorme acquis, revendiqué partout en Europe, et pas qu’en Europe d’ailleurs, en ce temps-là. Certains ont pensé que c’était la fin de l’économie, la crise, la fin de la productivité. Eh bien la technologie déjà à l’époque a enseigné que ce n’était pas le cas. Et d’ailleurs, la convention numéro 1 de l’OIT, qui a été créée au même moment en 1919, portait exactement sur les 8 heures de travail quotidien.

Je crois qu’aujourd’hui on est dans une autre situation, mais on est aussi dans une révolution technologique, on est dans un bouleversement du monde du travail. Et donc il faut prendre la mesure de ce bouleversement et de ses impacts sur les humains, sur le travail humain.

Ce Parlement, avec d’ailleurs la précédente Commission, a adopté une directive importante sur l’équilibre entre vie professionnelle et vie privée. On ne peut pas d’un côté préconiser cet équilibre et de l’autre côté, ouvrir absolument la porte à tous les excès. D’ailleurs qui, logiquement, raisonnablement, pourrait défendre de tels excès. Oui c’est vrai, il ne peut pas y avoir dans ce domaine une solution qui vaut pour tous les types d’entreprises. C’est pour cela que les partenaires sociaux ont un rôle fondamental à jouer.

Mais je dis en même temps que, si je dois me féliciter qu’un certain nombre d’États membres ont déjà inscrit, comme cela a été rappelé, dans leur législation ce droit à la déconnexion, qui doit être décliné selon les entreprises par les partenaires sociaux, eh bien, en tant qu’Européen j’ai quelques difficultés à accepter que ce droit soit accessible à certains nationaux, à certains travailleurs dans certains pays mais pas à tous les Européens. Ce n’est pas cela le modèle social européen! Et donc le cadre pour pousser vers une reconnaissance de ce droit doit être créé. J’espère que les partenaires sociaux y parviendront.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Die Abstimmung über die Änderungsanträge findet heute, Mittwoch, 20. Januar 2021, statt.

Die Schlussabstimmung findet am Donnerstag, 21. Januar 2021, statt.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 171)

 
  
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  Tanja Fajon (S&D), pisno. – V času epidemije kar tretjina vseh delavcev v Evropski uniji dela od doma. To ima svoje prednosti, a tudi slabosti.

Prednost je zagotovo manj možnosti za širjenje okužbe s korona virusom, slabost pa občutek, da mora biti delavec vedno na voljo. Delo od doma namreč briše mejo med službenim in prostim časom. Zato se v Evropskem parlamentu (na pobudo poslanca S&D Alexa Agiusa Salibeja) zavzemamo za tako imenovano pravico do odklopa, kar pomeni pravico oziroma možnost, da delavec po delovnem času izklopi telefon in elektronsko pošto, in to brez strahu zaradi negativnih posledic.

V poročilu pozivamo Komisijo, da to pravico uredi za vse delavce v EU. S tem bo močno zmanjšan pritisk in povečana skrb za duševno zdravje zaposlenih, ki se že skoraj celo leto soočajo z nepredvidljivo situacijo in prilagajajo na nov način dela. Ta ukrep bo v olajšanje tudi številnim Slovencem, ki v času epidemije delajo na daljavo.

 
  
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  Έλενα Κουντουρά (The Left), γραπτώς. – Aπό την έναρξη της πανδημίας, περισσότεροι από το ένα τρίτο των εργαζομένων της ΕΕ εργάζονται πλέον από το σπίτι. Η τηλεργασία, πέρα από τα θετικά που φέρνει – ευελιξία, εξοικονόμηση χρόνου, μείωση της ατμοσφαιρικής ρύπανσης λόγω μειωμένων μετακινήσεων, προστασία της υγείας των ευπαθών ομάδων –, αποτελεί μείζονα πρόκληση για τις εργασιακές σχέσεις εισάγοντας νέα δεδομένα και θέτοντας νέες υποχρεώσεις μεταξύ εργοδοτών-εργαζομένων, συχνά εις βάρος των τελευταίων. H ολοένα αυξανόμενη τηλεργασία έχει οδηγήσει σε μια επιβαλλόμενη νοοτροπία διαρκούς σύνδεσης και αδιάκοπης λειτουργίας και μπορεί να εντείνει οριζόντια τις αρνητικές επιπτώσεις στα θεμελιώδη δικαιώματα των εργαζομένων, στις δίκαιες συνθήκες εργασίας και την ισορροπία μεταξύ επαγγελματικής και ιδιωτικής ζωής, στη σωματική και ψυχική υγεία και την ασφάλεια και ευεξία κατά την εργασία, αλλά και, δεδομένου του δυσανάλογου αντικτύπου της σε εργαζομένους με ευθύνες φροντίδας που κατά κανόνα είναι γυναίκες, στην ισότητα μεταξύ ανδρών και γυναικών. Φαινόμενα όπως η υπονόμευση των εργασιακών δικαιωμάτων, η καταστρατήγηση του νόμιμου ωραρίου και η παραβίαση του σεβασμού στην ιδιωτική ζωή, επιβάλλεται να ρυθμιστούν για να εξαλειφθούν. Εξαιτίας της έλλειψης ενός ευρωπαϊκού νομοθετικού πλαισίου που να καθορίζει και να ρυθμίζει το δικαίωμα στην αποσύνδεση, ζητούμε απ’ την Επιτροπή να προτείνει άμεσα σχετική νομοθεσία. Η αποσύνδεση από την εργασία πρέπει να αποτελέσει θεμελιώδες δικαίωμα και οι εργαζόμενοι πρέπει να έχουν τη δυνατότητα να απενεργοποιούν ψηφιακές συσκευές χωρίς να αντιμετωπίζουν συνέπειες.

 
  
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  Ádám Kósa (PPE), írásban. – A társadalmi távolságtartás és a kijárási korlátozások idején a munka és a magánélet egyensúlya nagyon fontos, ezért a kijelentkezéshez való jognak olyan jognak kell lennie, amely a munkaszervezés elválaszthatatlan részét képezi az új digitális korban. A Covid19-válság miatt hozott intézkedések megváltoztatták az emberek munkavégzésének módját, bizonyították a digitális megoldások fontosságát. Míg az otthoni munkavégzés nagyon sok munkahely megőrzését jelentette, eközben azonban az otthonról dolgozók 27%-a számolt be arról, hogy szabadidejében munkahelyi feladatok ellátásával foglalkozott. A távmunka terjedése még nagyobb terhet jelentett a fiatalok és a gondozási feladatokat ellátó személyek, például az egyedülálló szülők, a gyermekes családok vagy hozzátartozókat ápoló családok számára. A folyamatos online kapcsolat, kombinálva a munkahelyi feladatok nagy mennyiségével és azzal a növekvő elvárással, hogy a munkavállalók bármikor elérhetők legyenek, negatívan befolyásolhatja a magánélet és a munka közötti egyensúlyt, valamint fizikai és mentális egészségüket és jólétüket, fokozhatja a stresszt és kiégéshez vezethet. A kijelentkezéshez való jog lehetővé teszi a munkavállalók számára, hogy a pihenőidőben vagy a szabadságuk alatt tartózkodjanak a munkával kapcsolatos elektronikus kommunikációtól, telefonhívásoktól, e-mailektől, anélkül, hogy bármilyen hátrányos következménnyel kellene szembenézniük. A munkaidő tiszteletben tartása, előre kiszámítható jellege alapvető fontosságú a munkavállalók és családjuk egészségének és biztonságának biztosításához az Unióban.

 
  
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  Victor Negrescu (S&D), în scris. – Pentru a adapta drepturile lucrătorilor la schimbările produse de munca la domiciliu, stânga europeană a solicitat și a inițiat un raport al Parlamentului European privind dreptul la deconectare. Raportul se bazează pe impactul TIC asupra condițiilor de muncă cu care se confruntă majoritatea europenilor forțați de criza COVID-19 să treacă la un sistem de telemuncă. Pe lângă aspectele pozitive generate de acest nou sistem, precum protejarea locurilor de muncă în timpul pandemiei sau o mai mare flexibilitate cu privire la gestionarea timpului, a locului și a modului în care este efectuată munca, au apărut însă și noi provocări care prezintă riscuri mai mari pentru lucrători și care presupun o coordonare la nivel supranațional a statelor membre. Conform Eurofound, 27% dintre europenii care au lucrat de acasă spun că au fost nevoiți să lucreze și în timpul liber pentru îndeplinirea sarcinilor profesionale. Astfel, propunerea noastră vizează dreptul acestei categorii de lucrători de a se deconecta și se bazează pe studii recente care ne arată importanța echilibrului dintre viața profesională și cea privată asupra sănătății fizice și mentale a lucrătorilor, protejând în același timp flexibilitatea atât de necesară multor lucrători din ziua de astăzi.

 

16. Réformer la liste des paradis fiscaux de l’Union européenne (débat)
Vidéo des interventions
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  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über

die Anfrage zur mündlichen Beantwortung an den Rat über die Überarbeitung der EU-Liste der Steueroasen von Irene Tinagli und Paul Tang im Namen des Ausschusses für Wirtschaft und Währung (O-000081/2020 – B9-0001/21) (2020/2863(RSP)) und

die Anfrage zur mündlichen Beantwortung an die Kommission über die Überarbeitung der EU-Liste der Steueroasen von Irene Tinagli und Paul Tang im Namen des Ausschusses für Wirtschaft und Währung (O-000082/2020 – B9-0002/21) (2020/2863(RSP)).

 
  
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  Paul Tang, author. – Mr President, let me mark this moment because it’s the first time — and I say this with pleasure and even pride —that the Subcommittee on Tax Matters (FISC) is participating in the plenary debate of the European Parliament.

I am convinced that FISC will manage to build broad majorities inside and outside this House, because what I have seen from discussions with the different political groups is that we have at least one notion of fairness in common — that is that everyone has to pay taxes.

That is the rule, and there are no exceptions to the rule. Not for billionaires, not for big polluters and not for big corporates.

This brings me to the blacklist of tax havens: the list of non—cooperative jurisdictions. It was long a deep wish of the European Parliament to have this list. Indeed, in 2017 we got our way when it was established for the first time. It was and is a good idea to name, to shame and, above all, to change. Change because being on the list should have, and must have, real consequences — both for the countries on the list and for the businesses that operate from those countries. But the Member States that ultimately decide on the list have forgotten just one thing: to include actual tax havens.

The Tax Justice Network has shown that the countries included on the list are responsible for only 2% of global tax avoidance. By comparison, the Netherlands alone — the country where I come from — is responsible for 8.5%, and the number one offender is the Cayman Islands, responsible for 16.5%. The list does not work yet.

And the nasty truth is that it’s not getting better; it’s getting worse. The Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Jersey. These are some of the world’s most renowned tax havens and they have been removed from the list.

Commissioner and Minister, imagine the shock I and others in the House felt when we learned that the Cayman Islands, the number one tax haven in the world, had been removed as well.

With the Member States failing to live up to their duty, it is for the Parliament to step up and tell it like it is. This list is confusing and ineffective. You have got to fix this. Give the list teeth with strict criteria and make it bite with defensive measures. No countries without a corporate tax system or with low effective corporate tax rates should go free.

Europe is suffering from Member States’ failure to live up to their duty. Our citizens are losing EUR 140 billion each year from corporate income tax losses. This is money that could have been spent on housing, on health, on care or, if you wish, on income taxes.

Our citizens want something different. They expect something different. 86% of them say that they want the EU to fight tax avoidance and tax evasion. Go fix it!

There is a democratic deficit. The citizen expects, yet the politicians do not deliver. A democratic deficit is not just that, but also the lack of transparency, because the discussions on taxation take place in the back rooms, although scrutiny and accountability are part and parcel of our democracy.

Taxation seems to be a debate for technocrats alone at this stage, and this should be changed. What you see in the resolution is that it calls for democratic standards to be obeyed. More specifically, it calls on the Council to disclose the participating members, the topics of discussion, the technical assessments, the summaries, the minutes and the conclusions of these meetings.

It also calls on the Chair of the Code of Conduct Group to visit the FISC committee regularly. It is part and parcel of our democratic process; scrutiny and accountability are part of that.

The resolution also calls for us to look in the mirror, because to fight tax avoidance through non-EU tax havens adds up to hypocrisy if we don’t look in the mirror. When we do, we will find that it’s not a pretty sight. The Netherlands, which I already mentioned, together with Luxembourg, Ireland, Hungary and other EU States are responsible for one third of global tax avoidance. This is why in the resolution Parliament commits itself to examine each and every policy [...]

(The President cut off the speaker)

 
  
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  Ana Paula Zacarias, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, honourable Members, I’ve listened carefully to the honourable Mr Tang. Thank you for bringing this question to the plenary, as it is an important issue. The EU and its Member States are committed to strengthening good tax governance, fair taxation, global tax transparency and the fight against tax fraud and evasion, both at EU level and globally. The Ecofin Council produced a set of conclusions on 27 November 2020 on fair and effective taxation. This provided political guidance on further work on a modern EU tax environment. These conclusions also express the Council’s views on the Commission tax action plan, issued in July 2020, on good tax governance in the EU and beyond. The Council reiterated the importance of supporting the principles of good tax governance through the continuation of the successful work undertaken so far in the context of the Code of Conduct Group, including the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes, which should be further pursued and enhanced where necessary.

The Council therefore requested that the Code of Conduct Group continue its work. It also stressed the importance of fair treatment within the EU with respect to third countries and jurisdictions, while maintaining a continuous dialogue with third countries as well as with the OECD. The Code of Conduct Group will also pursue its discussions on ways and means to further improve the work on the code. This should take into account the successful lessons from other experience gained so far.

The EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes was revised most recently in October 2020 following an in-depth review of the implementation of the commitments made by third countries’ jurisdictions that are part of the process. The next revision of the EU list, which is scheduled for February at the Ecofin Council, is prepared by the Code of Conduct Group.

As regards defensive measures towards non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes, Member States and the Council adhere to a number of guiding principles. The defensive measures can have considerable consequences for the listed jurisdictions. The following aspects can be mentioned in this context. First, the key objective of the list is to ensure change, as Mr Tang said, and not punish the listed jurisdiction. Being listed entails reputational damage and we see that this aspect tangibly contributes to the efficiency of the EU list. More and more jurisdictions change their practice and adopt tax good governance; standards that are also applicable between the EU Member States.

So, on the second aspect, a number of EU-level defensive measures are being applied vis-à-vis the listed jurisdictions, and these can have financial consequences. The work in this area is also continuing with the assistance of the Commission.

And third, Member States are also free to apply national lists or defensive measures that go beyond what is agreed at the EU level or in the intergovernmental context of the Code of Conduct Group.

Finally, it is important to recall that the measures agreed in 2017 in the Council were reviewed in 2019 in the Code of Conduct Group, and Member States agreed to continue this work during this year. This reflects the fact that Member States have different legal systems, different laws and it takes time to design new measures. Work on defensive measures will not stop. Coordination will continue, and it’s likely to increase in the near future. Should the Commission choose to table a legislative proposal in this area, it will of course be examined by the Council in accordance with the treaty requirements and taking into account the limits of the EU’s competence in these matters.

 
  
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  Paolo Gentiloni, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, honourable members, first of all let me thank the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) and Subcommittee on Tax Matters (FISC), and the rapporteur, Mr Tang, for putting the fight against tax evasion and tax avoidance at the forefront of the agenda.

The EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions will continue to play an important role in the years to come. And, I think, especially at this moment in time, in order to help overcome the economic and social crisis also caused by the pandemic, we have to strengthen these tools.

The Commission announced a commitment to work to strengthen these tools in July 2020, and this commitment will continue. Of course, there is a need to improve tax good governance, not only globally, but also within the EU. Member States are subject to reviews under various tools, and these tools include the Code of Conduct for business taxation, whose reform is an absolute priority, and infringement procedures in the areas directly covered by EU law. I count on the European Parliament to continue pushing for an ambitious agenda. I am glad to hear the Council’s commitment in this direction.

The Commission actively engaged with Member States in the different Council groups to discuss the follow-up to the communication on tax good governance in Europe and beyond. As a result, the Council adopted conclusions, as it was reminded, which take note of the communication and reiterate the importance of the principles of tax good governance and the need to enhance the EU listing process.

This is an important step as it recognises that more work is needed. I have in mind, in particular, the revision of the Code of Conduct for business taxation. Any change in this respect will have a major impact on the EU listing process. The progress on the discussions of minimally effective taxation in the context of Pillar Two of the OECD’s report are accordingly crucial for the code and, consequently, also for the EU listing process, and will have an effect on our fair taxation criterion, including zero-tax jurisdictions.

The EU listing also requires improved administrative cooperation, in particular through the exchange of tax information. This is why the Commission will continue to work on extending the EU list criteria to cover effective exchanges of information under the Common Reporting Standard, country-by-country reporting between tax authorities and beneficial ownership information.

I believe that it is also necessary that we focus on the right jurisdictions, and consider whether any relevant jurisdiction is missing from our radar. This is the reason why the Commission is working on a revision of the scoreboard, and uses enhanced selection criteria for identifying jurisdictions and prioritising their screening under the EU listing process.

The Commission is also looking forward to assessing the actions undertaken by Member States towards enacting domestic defensive measures vis-à-vis listed jurisdictions. I reiterate on this occasion that we are ready to take any necessary initiatives in case the results are not in line with our expectations, including by way of legislative proposal.

Finally, I believe that the Council should report regularly to the Parliament regarding its work on non-cooperative jurisdictions. This would improve the mutual understanding of the process and would help to focus on improving the EU listing process.

 
  
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  Lídia Pereira, em nome do Grupo PPE. – Senhor Presidente, num tempo de crise em que precisamos de todos os recursos que conseguimos mobilizar, a começar pelos financeiros, os nossos orçamentos nacionais não podem continuar a perder, todos os anos, 20% das receitas com o imposto sobre as sociedades em transferências para paraísos fiscais.

Cada cêntimo que deixamos de receber faz falta para ajudar a reconstruir e a relançar a economia e o emprego. Precisamos de empresas europeias competitivas. São as empresas, sobretudo as PME, o motor da nossa recuperação. Por isso, é importante continuar a contar com o mercado interno, com uma concorrência também fiscal, leal e justa.

É precisamente por acreditarmos nesta justiça e lealdade que não podemos transigir na utilização de paraísos fiscais para ocultação de rendimentos e para evitar o pagamento de impostos que são devidos.

A lista negra de paraísos fiscais é um instrumento imprescindível para sinalizar Estados ou regiões, promover reformas nestas jurisdições e desincentivar a sua utilização por parte de cidadãos e empresas. Mas precisamos de mais e melhores critérios para a identificação dos paraísos fiscais. Precisamos de transparência e precisamos de uma lista que contribua, eficazmente, para o combate à fuga, à evasão fiscal e ao branqueamento de capitais.

Precisamos de travar esta pandemia de fugas fiscais. Este Parlamento teve a ambição de apontar um caminho. Exige-se aos governos nacionais a coragem de o seguir!

 
  
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  Pedro Marques, em nome do Grupo S&D. – Senhor Presidente, Caro Comissário Gentiloni, Cara Secretária de Estado Ana Paula Zacarias, Colegas, as dificuldades que os cidadãos enfrentam na atual crise tornam ainda mais gritante a injustiça do nosso sistema fiscal. Os cidadãos estão a fazer muitos sacrifícios, as pequenas e médias empresas, mas, ao mesmo tempo, alguns milionários e muitas multinacionais aproveitam os paraísos fiscais para escaparem ao pagamento de impostos. Isto é apenas inaceitável e a União Europeia tem de fazer um muito melhor trabalho no combate aos paraísos fiscais.

A falta de ambição, de consistência e de transparência da lista negra dos paraísos fiscais tem que ser ultrapassada em definitivo. Como já referiu o nosso presidente da subcomissão e relator Paul Tang, as Ilhas Caimão foram recentemente retiradas da lista de paraísos fiscais. Os cidadãos veem, mas não acreditam.

Estima-se que esta jurisdição é responsável por mais de 16% das perdas fiscais a nível global, um valor assustador, superior ao PIB de muitos Estados-Membros. Não é admissível! Não podemos continuar assim e saudamos a determinação aqui revelada pela Presidência do Conselho.

Com esta resolução, propomos a revisão dos critérios dessa lista, com maior transparência e escrutínio democrático, com um critério que inclua na lista qualquer país que não cobre simplesmente impostos, bem como aqueles que têm impostos muito baixos, abaixo de uma taxa mínima definida pela União.

Mas a União também tem de dar o exemplo e não permitir práticas internas semelhantes numa concorrência desleal, que resulta sempre numa corrida para o fundo no financiamento da política pública. Esperamos, portanto, e estaremos atentos, que esta resolução mereça um consenso muito alargado aqui no Parlamento, revelador do compromisso de todos com estas propostas.

 
  
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  Gilles Boyer, au nom du groupe Renew. – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, Madame la Secrétaire d’État, merci pour vos mots. Évidemment la liste européenne des paradis fiscaux a été, en 2017, une première étape. Et nous sommes nombreux ici à regretter que son potentiel ne soit pas exploité, vous en avez aussi parlé. Les territoires mentionnés dans la liste ne représentent en effet que moins de 2 % des pertes de recettes fiscales au niveau mondial, ce qui évidemment pose des questions sur l’efficacité de cette liste. Cette liste doit donc être réformée pour doter l’Union européenne d’un véritable instrument juridique, coercitif. Il faudra pour cela renforcer ses critères et durcir et mieux coordonner les sanctions.

Enfin, si l’Europe veut être légitime au niveau international dans la lutte contre l’évasion fiscale et les pratiques fiscales dommageables, il faut évidemment qu’elle donne l’exemple et nous appelons donc à une cohérence entre les critères qui régissent l’inscription sur la liste et les critères relatifs aux pratiques fiscales dommageables à l’intérieur de l’Union européenne.

Monsieur le Commissaire, Madame la secrétaire d’État, nous serons, nous Parlement, vigilants pour que vous agissiez et merci de vos mots encourageants à cet égard. Vous savez que le Parlement est un interlocuteur exigeant et vigilant mais qu’il sait aussi reconnaître lorsque l’action est au rendez-vous et nous serons à vos côtés, si la réforme est à la hauteur de nos attentes.

 
  
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  Sven Giegold, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! 360 Milliarden Euro kosten Steueroasen weltweit die ehrlichen Steuerzahlerinnen und Steuerzahler. Und von diesen 360 Milliarden Euro werden von den Ländern, die auf der EU-Liste der Steueroasen stehen, gerade mal 2 % erfasst. Deshalb ist es gut, dass wir hier eine breite parlamentarische Mehrheit haben, diese Liste der Steueroasen der EU gründlich zu überarbeiten.

Länder, die 0 % Unternehmenssteuern haben, Länder, die Schattenfirmen mit wenig ökonomischer Substanz erlauben, sollten in Zukunft automatisch auf dieser Liste landen. Und genauso muss die Liste europäischen Standards entsprechen, also transparent erarbeitet werden. Daher ist die Forderung an die Kommission: Seien Sie mutig, legen Sie einen mutigen Vorschlag vor und möglichst auch einen, der – anders als es manchem hier im Parlament bisher noch etwas schwerfällt – offen zugibt, dass wir auch in Europa, in der EU Steueroasen haben.

 
  
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  Beata Kempa (ECR). – Szanowni Państwo! Kraje Unii Europejskiej co roku tracą 170 mld euro na rajach podatkowych oraz na transgranicznym przenoszeniu zysków. Trafia do nich średnio 13% rocznego budżetu poszczególnych krajów Unii Europejskiej. Jak szacuje Polski Instytut Ekonomiczny, sama likwidacja sztucznego transferowania zysków przez międzynarodowe korporacje między różnymi jurysdykacjami w ciągu siedmiu lat może doprowadzić do odzyskania 420 mld euro. To więcej niż kwota przeznaczana przez Unię na politykę spójności w najbliższych siedmiu latach.

Dzisiaj potrzebna jest solidarność w tej materii. Te środki finansowe są potrzebne, aby ratować nasze gospodarki, szczególnie w walce z COVID-19. Dlatego musimy wymagać stanowczych wspólnych działań całej Unii. Dość podwójnych standardów, dość milczenia. Na terenie Wspólnoty jest sześciu beneficjentów tych szemranych transakcji, żerujących na krzywdzie i zaciskaniu pasa przez innych. Największe zyski osiąga niewątpliwie przywołana tutaj przez autora Holandia.

 
  
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  Manon Aubry, au nom du groupe The Left. – Monsieur le Président, chers collègues, aujourd’hui je vous propose de jouer à un petit jeu des sept erreurs très instructif. Voici le classement de l’ONG Oxfam des pires paradis fiscaux au monde pour les multinationales et je vous propose assez simplement de le comparer avec la liste européenne des paradis fiscaux.

En premier, on a les Bermudes, qui ne sont pas listées par l’Union européenne, en deuxième les Pays-Bas non plus, la Suisse non plus, les Îles Caïmans non plus, Singapour non plus, l’Irlande non plus, le Luxembourg non plus. Bon, je m’arrête là parce que j’aurais pu aller jusqu’au bout de la liste avec le même résultat: aucun des paradis fiscaux les plus notoires n’est listé par l’Union européenne.

Voici donc ce qu’il reste de votre liste européenne de paradis fiscaux: ça, une carte blanche à l’évasion fiscale. On nous dit que les caisses seraient vides pour venir en aide aux gens qui galèrent, alors commencez par appeler un chat un chat, en nommant véritablement les paradis fiscaux, y compris au sein de l’Union européenne et allons chercher l’argent là où il est: dans la poche des évadés fiscaux.

 
  
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  Markus Ferber (PPE). – Herr Präsident, sehr geehrter Herr Kommissar, Frau Ratspräsidentin, liebe Kolleginnen, liebe Kollegen! Der Rat hat im Mai 2016 die Einsetzung einer schwarzen Liste von Steueroasen beschlossen. Es sind inzwischen viereinhalb Jahre vergangen. Seitdem ist die Liste zwar mehrfach aktualisiert worden. Eine ganze Reihe von Jurisdiktionen wurden auf die Liste gesetzt und wieder heruntergenommen. Meist handelte es sich dabei um kleine Inselstaaten im Südpazifik, deren Nichtkooperation in Steuerfragen wohl am ehesten daran lag, dass sie keine leistungsfähige Steuerverwaltung haben. Es wäre nun einmal an der Zeit, über Sinn und Unsinn dieser Liste grundsätzlich nachzudenken und auch zu schauen, ob sie uns wirklich weiterhilft, wenn es darum geht, Steueroasen zu bekämpfen.

Ich glaube, wir haben drei Probleme, die ich auch kurz ansprechen will. Erstens: Mit wenigen Ausnahmen trifft die Liste nicht die richtigen Staaten. Der Rat war immer mutig, kleine Staaten, die sich irgendwo auf kleinen Inseln befinden, auf die Liste zu setzen, hat sie aber immer gescheut, große Brocken anzugehen. Warum ist der Bundesstaat Delaware – immerhin ist einer aus diesem Staat heute als Präsident vereidigt worden – nicht auf dieser Liste, um mal nur ein Beispiel zu nennen? Zweitens: Die sogenannten Abwehrmaßnahmen, die mit der Liste verknüpft sind, sind schlichtweg nicht ausreichend. Also sollten wir auch hier nachdenken, was es wirklich bedeutet, Sanktionen zu schaffen. Drittens: Die Liste ist nicht glaubwürdig, solange wir nicht selber in Europa anfangen, unsere Steueroasen zu bekämpfen.

Frau Ratspräsidentin, ich empfehle Ihnen, dem Ratschlag der Kommission zu folgen und sich Madeira mal anzuschauen. Ich glaube, das gehört zu Portugal – auch das ist eine Steueroase.

 
  
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  Jonás Fernández (S&D). – Señor presidente, yo creo que el Consejo debe empezar este debate reconociendo que la actual lista de paraísos fiscales no funciona. Y probablemente podríamos acordar dos grandes motivos. El primero de ellos es que no hay unos criterios claros, de tal manera que se introducen siempre cuestiones diplomáticas, o cuestiones de política exterior u otras consideraciones que nada tienen que ver con el seguimiento del control de los paraísos fiscales.

El segundo gran elemento es la ausencia absoluta de transparencia, de rendición de cuentas, de control por parte de este Parlamento, de tal manera que, si tenemos en cuenta que el Consejo incorpora valoraciones o criterios que nada tienen que ver con la lucha contra los paraísos fiscales y que, además, no hay una rendición de cuentas democrática, tenemos una lista que no es creíble. Y una lista que tiene que ser revisada a fondo, porque, en estos momentos, en esta dura crisis que está atravesando Europa, los ciudadanos necesitan ver una mayor ejemplaridad por parte de los responsables públicos.

Por lo tanto, confío y espero que la Comisión, comisario Gentiloni, presente próximamente nuevas iniciativas que mejoren la transparencia, que mejoren la predictibilidad sobre qué Estados pueden estar o no estar en esa lista y que no estemos al albur de países que entran y salen de esa lista sin ningún criterio, sin ningún control, sin ninguna trazabilidad democrática.

Y esperemos que en esa propuesta incorpore una mayor transparencia, un mayor control por este Parlamento Europeo y que el Consejo, por supuesto, lo acepte.

 
  
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  Kira Marie Peter-Hansen (Verts/ALE). – Hr. formand! Tak for ordet og tak til kollegerne for også at komme med rigtig mange gode kommentarer. Når det gælder EU's skatteliste, så ved jeg næsten ikke, hvor jeg skal starte. For hvad er EU's liste over såkaldte ikkesamarbejdsvillige jurisdiktioner egentlig? Ifølge Det Europæiske Råds hjemmeside er det en liste over lande uden for EU, der tilskynder til skadelig skattepraksis, som udhuler EU-landenes skatteindtægter fra virksomheder. Det lyder måske OK på papiret, men virkeligheden er jo, at kun to procent af de mistede skattely-milliarder mistes i lande på EU-listen.

Helt ærligt, hvad pokker nytter den liste så overhovedet? I efteråret røg yndlingsdestinationen Caymanøerne af listen, og i forvejen rummer listen kun ét af verdens 20 værste skattely.

Det er en dårlig vittighed, hvor elendige kriterierne for at komme på listen er, og en endnu dårligere vittighed, at EU's egne skattely ikke er på den. Det mest oplagte er, at et kriterie må være at sætte lande på listen, hvis de tilbyder en skat på nul procent. I kan høre, at Parlamentet er klart, og jeg håber derfor, at Kommissionen vil være sin opgave voksen, så de skattefiflende selskaber kommer til at betale deres pris.

 
  
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  José Manuel García-Margallo y Marfil (PPE). – Señor presidente, el 31 de diciembre, el Reino Unido y España cerraron un principio de acuerdo sobre Gibraltar.

No voy a hablar de soberanía, porque si al Gobierno español eso no le importa, no sé lo que les iba a importar a ustedes. Lo que sí les importa es evitar la competencia desleal. El preacuerdo quiere eliminar barreras físicas a la movilidad de personas y mercancías. Cosa nada fácil, porque son dos territorios con sistemas fiscales diferentes.

En Gibraltar no hay impuesto sobre el valor añadido ni impuestos sobre el tabaco, el alcohol y el petróleo. El impuesto sobre sociedades no grava en absoluto los beneficios obtenidos fuera del Peñón. Hoy hay en Gibraltar 80 000 sociedades, 25 000 de las cuales son entidades financieras. Y Gibraltar ha llegado a controlar el 60 % del juego mundial online. El preacuerdo consagra este régimen fiscal.

¿Qué empresa se va a establecer en el territorio europeo adyacente, si puede acceder al mercado interior europeo sin pagar impuestos? Nos preocupó que el Reino Unido se convirtiese en un Singapur y nos escandaliza Barbados. No tiene sentido que toleremos un paraíso fiscal en las puertas de casa, quitemos la cerradura o entreguemos las llaves.

 
  
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  Ernest Urtasun (Verts/ALE). – Señor presidente, la lista europea de paraísos fiscales es una gran idea muy mal aplicada. Decía Paul Tang que a alguien se le ha olvidado poner los paraísos fiscales en la lista. No puedo estar más de acuerdo.

Creo que hay tres cosas urgentes que hay que arreglar. La primera son los criterios que se usan para introducir los países. Son más políticos que técnicos y objetivos, y es necesario urgentemente corregirlo. Segundo, las sanciones. Las sanciones a sociedades que están en la lista son muy pocas. Los que están en la lista gris prácticamente salen de rositas, sin ningún tipo de sanción, y eso no puede ser. Y tercero, la transparencia. La lista no será jamás creíble si no somos capaces de explicársela a los ciudadanos y si este Parlamento no tiene capacidad de controlar cómo se hace ese mecanismo.

Finalmente, en toda esta cuestión lo más importante es que tenemos que atajar los paraísos fiscales dentro de la Unión Europea, cosa que esta lista no resuelve. Y la Resolución que votaremos propone una medida que ayudaría muchísimo, que es un tipo mínimo europeo del impuesto de sociedades. Por eso, lamento que haya grupos que hayan presentado enmiendas para quitar esa parte del texto, y yo lo que quiero es invitar a todos mis colegas a que mañana voten para que esa parte se mantenga.

 
  
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  Claude Gruffat (Verts/ALE). – Monsieur le Président, Madame la Secrétaire d’État, cher Commissaire Gentiloni, chers collègues, la crise actuelle a mis la finance publique de toute l’Union européenne dans le rouge et, en miroir à la misère croissante chez nous, il y a l’insolente santé de la finance et de l’évasion fiscale permise par les paradis fiscaux. Honte à eux! Notre réponse à ce fléau: une liste de pays mineurs représentant péniblement 2 % de l’évasion fiscale.

Où est le reste? Où sont les États de l’Union comme Malte, l’Irlande, les Pays-Bas, le Luxembourg, qui n’ont rien à envier aux Caïmans ou à Panama. D’ailleurs, faudra-t-il bientôt y ajouter le Royaume-Uni, puisqu’on dit qu’à l’occasion du Brexit, ce pays se verrait bien comme un Panama sur Tamise, à nos portes.

Chers collègues, il est grand temps d’en finir avec l’hypocrisie et la complaisance amorale concédée aux fraudeurs. Balayons devant notre porte et imposons nos standards à ceux qui veulent accéder au marché intérieur. Toute valeur créée dans l’Union doit contribuer à la solidarité de l’Union: c’est l’essence même du projet économique européen.

 
  
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  Paolo Gentiloni, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, I think in this debate it was very clear, first of all, the awareness of the dimension of the tax avoidance. Mr Giegold mentioned EUR 360 billion. This enormous dimension also moves very fast and quickly, adapting to different situations, different countries, frequently with new methods.

It’s a challenge for us. What can we say, I think, first, we have a tool. I understand the limits, the difficulties, the criticism towards this tool; but indeed for a few years we have had this tool. I assure you from the short experience that I have here in the Commission, but also from previous experiences, that this blacklisting is in any case something effective for the countries involved.

This tool should be strengthened. We have to work on criteria to avoid the risk of formal decisions being inconsistent with substantial reality in tax havens.

Second, I think we have to control defensive measures taken in Member States against blacklisted countries. Because if these measures are not there, or not rightly there, I think the Commission should propose to intervene, as I said in my introduction, with a legislative proposal.

Then we have a different file from the one of the non-cooperative jurisdictions, which is the file of what happens within our club, and within our Member States. Is there a problem with aggressive tax planning, with a race to the bottom? Yes, there is a problem. We have repeated this in our semester surveillance process for years, and I want to seize this opportunity to stress the fact that we not only have the process going on with Pillar II in the OECD discussion, but we also have the recovery and resilience facility with the commitment to be consistent with country—specific recommendations, and in a few cases these country—specific recommendations give some importance to the issue of aggressive tax planning. I think we should work to make this commitment practical and solve these issues.

A final point: several Members asked for the Commission to be ambitious. I think we will try to do so. But quite frankly, to do so, we need your control and your support.

 
  
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  Ana Paula Zacarias, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, I’ve heard the honourable Members of Parliament and I’ve heard the Commission.

I want to thank you for this clear and open exchange of views and it’s good to see that the three institutions think that good tax governance is a priority. So, as the Commissioner said, we have a tool and the work of the Code of Conduct Group is carried on a continuous basis under the guidance of the Ecofin Council, so things can evolve.

The issues discussed in this context are both important and sensitive, and the working group will continue to generate concrete and positive changes in tax legislation both at the EU and international levels. The results of the work of the group are made public systematically in a transparent manner, and they will continue to do so.

So thank you very much once again for this debate, and thank you for your attention.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Die Abstimmung über die Änderungsanträge findet heute, Mittwoch, 20. Januar 2021, statt.

Die Schlussabstimmung findet am Donnerstag, 21. Januar 2021, statt.

Liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen, mit Ihrem Einverständnis schlage ich vor, dass wir mit einer kleinen Abweichung von der Tagesorndung fortfahren. Um den Fraktionen zu erlauben, für die nächste Abstimmungsrunde die Stimmempfehlungen vorzubereiten, würde ich jetzt mit der Bekanntgabe der Ergebnisse nicht bis zum Abschluss der nächsten Debatte warten, sondern würde das jetzt tun. Das ist für 19.00 Uhr angesagt. Wir liegen da auch genau in der Zeit.

Ich sehe keine Widerspruch.

Wir kommen also zu den Ergebnissen der ersten Abstimmungsrunde.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 171)

 
  
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  Marek Belka (S&D), in writing. – Isn’t it ironic that in this House we don’t get bored of taxes? However, more than 80% of EU citizens agree that tougher rules on tax avoidance and tax havens are needed. And yet around 20% of the EU’s corporate tax revenue is estimated to be lost annually due to profit shifting to tax havens. Something is still going wrong. Firstly, it is not proven that black lists hurt tax havens. Paradoxically, they might even serve as guiding maps for wrongdoers seeking secrecy, lack of transparency and low tax rates. We need sanctions now! Secondly, a very low or zero-tax rate should be a basic criterion for these jurisdictions to be blacklisted. Moreover, we need more transparency from the Code of Conduct. The list should be less political, while the methodology must be easily explainable to our citizens. Finally, we can’t preach what we don’t deliver. Our own usual suspects when it comes to tax deals in the EU have to reform – not undermine a fair internal market. When one thinks of tax havens, we imagine a luxurious club of tropical islands. In this Club Tropicana drinks might be free, but it is our citizens who pay for them. Let’s make that Club bear a fair share!

 
  
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  Enikő Győri (PPE), írásban. – Mindannyian egyetértünk abban, hogy nagyon fontos az adócsalás és az adóelkerülés elleni küzdelem, és mindent meg kell tennünk annak érdekében, hogy szigorú átláthatósági szabályok betartására ösztönözzük azon harmadik országokat, melyek az adóparadicsomok listáján szerepelnek. Folytatnunk kell tehát a nyomásgyakorlást az adóügyi együttműködést visszautasító államokra. Ennyiben támogatni is lehetne ennek a jelentésnek az elfogadását, de sajnos a baloldal a szövegben adóparadicsomnak minősíti az alacsony adókkal operáló uniós tagállamokat. Az adóelkerülést nem szabad összekeverni az adóversennyel, az adócsökkentés tekintetében a tagállamok rendelkezésére álló legális eszközökkel. A COVID-19 válság rendkívül nehéz körülményei között is látnunk kell, hogy a vállalatokat sújtó adóterhek csökkentése ma a krízisből való kilábalás és a versenyképesség kulcsa : ezt természetesen felelős költségvetési gazdálkodás mentén kell, az adott ország teherbíró képességének függvényében, megtervezniük és végrehajtaniuk a tagállamoknak. E téren Magyarország élen jár, hiszen a válság kitörése óta tovább csökkentettük az adókat, így munkahelyek százezreit sikerült megmenteni. Az eredmény látható is, hiszen a foglalkoztatás szintje 2021 elején csak egy százalékkal marad el a válság kitörése előttitől. E rendkívüli eredmények fényében még inkább mondhatjuk, hogy a jelenleg fennálló körülmények között teljes felelőtlenség egy olyan határozatot elfogadni, amelynek javaslatai és következtetései teljesen ellentétesek a gazdasági válságkezelés szempontjaival és legfontosabb követelményeivel.

 
  
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  Andżelika Anna Możdżanowska (ECR), na piśmie. – Sprawiedliwe podatki, nieuchylanie się od ich płacenia, przejrzystość i odpowiedzialność to nieodłączne cechy naszej demokracji. Według badań obywatele UE tracą co roku 140 miliardów euro z tytułu strat w podatku dochodowym od osób prawnych. Są to pieniądze, które można np. wydać, szczególnie w dobie pandemii, na zdrowie. 86% obywateli Unii Europejskiej chce, by UE walczyła z uchylaniem się od płacenia podatków.

Nie możemy dłużej przymykać oczu na skrajnie nieodpowiedzialne działania i hipokryzję! Jak można usunąć z listy rajów podatkowych Kajmany – raj podatkowy numer jeden na świecie, odpowiadające za 16,5% światowego unikania opodatkowania? Dlaczego przymykamy oczy na europejskie raje podatkowe, które są odpowiedzialne za jedną trzecią globalnego unikania opodatkowania? Szczególnie teraz, kiedy kryzys spowodowany przez COVID-19 pochłania tysiące przedsiębiorstw uczciwie płacących podatki, tysiące miejsc pracy naszych obywateli, jest to niedopuszczalne!

Nie pomożemy przedsiębiorstwom z sektora MŚP, pozwalając na unikanie opodatkowania gigantom. Nie przyspieszymy wychodzenia z tak poważnego kryzysu, stosując niejasne zasady, godzące w gospodarkę i każdego obywatela UE. Naszym obowiązkiem jest przygotowanie i wdrożenie przejrzystych i bezstronnych kryteriów umieszczania i usuwania kraju z listy. Rzetelność, uczciwość i współpraca pomiędzy krajami członkowskimi w tej materii są niezbędne!

 

17. Annonce des résultats de vote: voir procès-verbal
Vidéo des interventions

18. Manque de transparence des nominations du Conseil au Parquet européen (débat)
Vidéo des interventions
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  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über die Erklärung des Rates zu mangelnder Transparenz bei den Ernennungen des Rates für die EUStA (2021/2501(RSP)).

Ich weise die Mitglieder darauf hin, dass es bei allen Aussprachen dieser Tagung keine spontanen Wortmeldungen gibt und keine blauen Karten akzeptiert werden.

Außerdem sind Zuschaltungen aus den Verbindungsbüros des Parlaments in den Mitgliedstaaten vorgesehen.

 
  
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  Ana Paula Zacarias, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, honourable Members, first I would like to express the Council’s and the Portuguese Presidency’s attachment to the European Public Prosecutor’s Office. Ensuring that the EPPO starts functioning at the earliest opportunity is a priority for us. In this perspective it’s also equally important that the EPPO, with its important mandate of prosecuting the crimes which affect the financial interests of the Union, is a solid and credible office. This is in the interests of all stakeholders, including the EU institutions and the EU citizens. We all hope that the EPPO will start functioning as currently planned in March this year.

In achieving this objective, the Council has worked in close cooperation with this Parliament, which resulted in the appointment in October 2019 of the Chief European Prosecutor. The Council has actively worked on the establishment of the EPPO with a series of legislative texts, aiming at implementing the EPPO Regulation. In 2019-2020 substantive work was done with the objective of appointing European prosecutors. In July 2020 the decision appointing European prosecutors – one for each of the 22 participating Member States in this reinforced cooperation – was adopted by the Council, and this allowed the EPPO college to start functioning in September 2020.

The work which led to the appointment of the European prosecutors was carried out in full transparency and in the full respect for the applicable rules. I want to underline here that the Council implementing decision on the operating rules of the selection panel states, and I quote, ‘the selection panel shall rank the candidates according to their qualifications and experience. The ranking shall indicate the selection panel’s order of preference and shall not be binding on the Council’. The Council thoroughly analysed the selection panel’s opinion on every candidate and followed the proposed ranking on 19 nominations. In the other three it decided otherwise, making use of its discretionary power. Moreover, in addition to the legislative acts published in the Official Journal, all documents pertaining to the process have been handed to the interested parties when requested and in accordance with the Council’s rules on access to documents.

I’m aware of the fact that some of the appointments have been contested and that there has been criticism regarding the designation of prosecutors of some Member States, including my own. I speak here on behalf of the Council and I do not want to go into detail at this stage. So I will listen to you carefully and I will be ready to answer your questions.

But ladies and gentlemen, let me state that the establishment of the EPPO has required much more time than expected, with huge delays linked particularly with the pandemic. It is now time to combine our efforts to allow the EPPO to become operational and start its activities on the protection of the Union’s financial interests against criminal offences. This is something that the Parliament wants. This is something that the Council wants. And we need to work together on this.

 
  
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  Esteban González Pons, en nombre del Grupo PPE. – Señor presidente, Portugal es, para mí, mucho más que un Estado miembro. Comparte límites geográficos, historia y cultura con mi país. Juntos salimos de la dictadura y entramos en la Unión Europea. Por eso me entristece tener que condenar el comportamiento del Gobierno portugués. Pero los hechos son irrefutables.

El Gobierno portugués mintió al Consejo sobre la cualificación de uno de los candidatos a la Fiscalía Europea y, fruto de esa mentira, se adoptó una decisión que no debía haberse adoptado. Sinceramente, no sé qué es peor: si la excusa del error administrativo o la teoría de la conspiración internacional antiportuguesa que ha propuesto el primer ministro Costa. Esta clase de disparates son propios de otras latitudes y le hacen un flaco favor a la Presidencia portuguesa.

La Fiscalía Europea es un instrumento al servicio de todos los europeos para luchar contra el fraude y para preservar el Estado de Derecho, que ahora ha quedado bajo la sombra de la sospecha. Hace dos semanas me dirigía a la Comisión Europea, junto a otros compañeros, para solicitar una investigación al respecto. Hoy la pido de nuevo aquí y me dirijo al Gobierno portugués para que asuma su responsabilidad ante los portugueses y ante los europeos. Las mentiras deben tener consecuencias y corromper el Estado de Derecho no puede quedar impune.

Señor Costa, los portugueses merecen una disculpa, y nosotros, no quedar como idiotas.

 
  
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  Isabel Santos, em nome do Grupo S&D. – Senhor Presidente, aqui sou mais do que eu e ergo-me do alto de quase 900 anos de História para responder ao Deputado Pons, atrás do qual se escondem os verdadeiros urdidores desta campanha de desinformação, cujo único objetivo é atingir a Presidência portuguesa do Conselho e, de arrasto, atingir a própria Procuradoria Europeia.

Mas vamos a factos. Vamos a factos. Os candidatos portugueses a Procurador Europeu foram selecionados pelo Conselho Superior do Ministério Público, um órgão independente. O Conselho Europeu nomeou o primeiro da lista seriada por este órgão. A comunicação do Conselho Europeu é clara: diz que o candidato apontado obteve a mais alta classificação no ranking do Conselho Superior do Ministério Público...

(O Presidente retira a palavra à oradora)

 
  
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  Sophia in 't Veld, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Mr President, colleagues, I’m a bit shocked after what I just heard. Just today, a President who for four years has been dismissing all criticism as a conspiracy against him, has left the White House – fortunately. Can we please stop following his example? Because what happened here is, objectively, very shocking. Madam President-in-Office, you said that you are fully behind EPPO and the fight against corruption. We all are. Then I ask myself: why have not just the Portuguese Government but the Belgian Government, the Bulgarian Government and the entire Council jeopardised the function of EPPO? It is completely irresponsible. There is an independent panel of experts who’ve made a selection and they’ve made a recommendation.

There was absolutely no reason why the Council should deviate from that recommendation, because that’s what we have the panel for. Because if you want to choose the best person for EPPO, then all the Council had to do was follow the recommendation. What other objectives could you have in deviating from the recommendation other than, I don’t know, creating jobs for the boys? I don’t know. Unfortunately, in the Council this is not an incident, but it is a pattern.

What we need is full transparency. Portugal, first of all, has to provide full and accurate information and fully clarify the matter. The Council must provide full clarity on the process and the considerations for the choice of candidates. And finally, I would like to call on the Council – and I hope you will pass on the message to your colleagues – to commit here and now to refraining from ever deviating again from the recommended ranking and avoid this situation.

 
  
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  Saskia Bricmont, au nom du groupe Verts/ALE. – Monsieur le Président, le parquet européen est investi de pouvoirs d’enquête et de poursuites et donc il faut des garde-fous institutionnels pour garantir son indépendance et son obligation de rendre des comptes aux institutions de l’Union.

L’EPPO n’est même pas encore en place que cette première exigence d’indépendance des procureurs à l’égard de leur pays, fondement de la séparation des pouvoirs, est sciemment contournée par la pression de trois États membres, la Belgique, la Bulgarie et le Portugal, dont on attend pourtant, en tant que présidence de l’Union européenne de montrer l’exemple et de suivre l’avis du panel d’experts européens. L’EPPO doit pouvoir exercer sa mission de lutte contre la fraude et contre la corruption sans risque d’intrusion politique.

Chers collègues, la prochaine révision des statuts du Parquet européen nous donne l’occasion de transformer notre indignation en action politique et de renforcer ces garde-fous pour assurer l’indépendance de l’EPPO, notamment en rendant contraignant l’avis du comité de sélection européen chargé de leur classement. Et rappelons-nous que cette question s’est déjà posée lors de la désignation de la cheffe du parquet européen Laura Kövesi et que c’est le poids de cette maison qui a fait la différence pour faire barrage à l’interférence partisane des capitales.

 
  
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  Sandra Pereira, em nome do Grupo The Left. – Senhor Presidente, o Conselho Superior do Ministério Público português selecionou um candidato diferente do indicado pelo Comité ao nível da União Europeia, tendo o Governo português escolhido o candidato apontado pelo órgão português.

Não nos opomos à seleção feita pelas autoridades portuguesas. Pelo contrário, reconhecemos-lhes maior competência quanto à escolha do Procurador Europeu a indicar por Portugal.

Este processo está marcado por discrepâncias entre as informações constantes do currículo do candidato escolhido pelo Governo português e o documento que acompanhava esse currículo. Importa saber em que documentação o Conselho Europeu se fundamentou para nomear o Procurador indicado por Portugal.

É necessário averiguar o que se passou e prevenir que tal situação não volte a acontecer. Esclareça-se esta situação, a bem da transparência e do rigor, até aí estamos de acordo, mas não contem connosco para o empolamento desta questão, que, acima de tudo, tem por trás, obviamente, uma agenda política.

 
  
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  Jeroen Lenaers (PPE). – Mr President, this is a sad day, because the behaviour of the Portuguese Government has cast a shadow on the start of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, and this EPPO is an historic step and we should be off to a flying start, but yet we are faced with a false start because the Portuguese Government prioritised political preferences over fighting fraud. Now this is regrettable in its own, but the way that the Portuguese Government went about sending their yes-man to Luxembourg is even worse. The Minister of Justice flat-out lied to all her colleagues in the Council. What a start of the Portuguese Presidency!

First, there was nothing to declare, because confidential. Then they weren’t lies but rather mistakes by civil servants and they were purely administrative, so not so important. Then we learned that those lies came straight from the political level and they were actually the determining factor for the nomination process in Council, and still the Portuguese Government refuses to take any responsibility. For the sake of the independence and the credibility of the EPPO, we demand honesty, transparency and accountability, and unfortunately we’re not getting any of these at the moment. And as law professors from all over Europe have reminded us with an open letter, the Union cannot claim to be a defender of the rule of law if its own prosecution office is born in violation of such rule of law. So we are looking at the Commission and the Council. You were misled, you were lied to, you must set this straight.

 
  
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  Pedro Silva Pereira (S&D). – Senhor Presidente, uma coisa são dúvidas legítimas e de boa-fé sobre a transparência das decisões do Conselho nas nomeações dos procuradores europeus, outra coisa são as acusações falsas, totalmente falsas, quanto à nomeação do procurador português.

Primeiro, disseram que era um escândalo o Conselho não ter seguido, neste caso, a recomendação do Painel Europeu. Hoje, sabe-se que esse parecer não é vinculativo e que também não foi seguido no caso de outros países.

Segundo, acusaram o Governo de fazer uma nomeação política. Hoje, está esclarecido que o procurador português não foi escolhido pelo Governo, mas sim por um órgão independente.

Terceiro, disseram que a decisão do Conselho foi determinada por mentiras e erros no currículo do candidato. Hoje, sabe-se que o currículo junto ao processo não tinha erros e que o fundamento da decisão do Conselho, explicada pela Presidência alemã, não se baseou em quaisquer erros.

Fosse isto uma batalha naval e dizia que foram 3 tiros na água, porque isto não passa de um caso artificial.

 
  
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  Dragoş Tudorache (Renew). – Mr President, we have all fought hard in his House for the MFF the RF and for the right level of political scrutiny and oversight on how money is allocated and spent, but we must also make sure that EU funds are not spent fraudulently or reaching illegitimate pockets – and that is where the EPPO comes in. I hope we can all agree that it is essential to have a strong, efficient, credible and, above all else, independent EPPO. I praise Ms Kövesi for the work done in the past year to set up the office as quickly and as diligently as possible. But to ensure independence from the politics here in Brussels or in the capitals, the EPPO needs a body of prosecutors appointed with utmost respect for the rules established and without any shred of doubt as to their individual independence from those appointing them. And that brings me to the heart of today’s debate. Prosecutors in the EPPO are meant to be appointed based on the results of an evaluation done by an independent panel of European-level experts. The problem is that the Council disregarded those evaluations – and not only once, and on the basis of false information. Which begs the question: why would a political body overwrite the results of an evaluation based on merit and competence? Being a prosecutor is not about being politically astute so as to justify a political judgment; it is about being competent, about holding anyone to account no matter how powerful, whether it is politically opportune or not. That is what the Council needs to understand and that is what we as Parliament need to uphold with full force.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Daniel Freund (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, Ms Zakarias, the European Public Prosecutor (EPPO) is supposed to be a leap forward in the fight against corruption and fraud, but Council seems to be working against the success of EPPO.

You do not want to provide adequate funding for EPPO; two Member States still refuse to appoint full—time prosecutors, and three governments have now heavily interfered with the selection process. Belgium, Bulgaria and your own government have chosen to ignore the ranking by the independent experts. Belgium rather wanted the guy that used to work in the cabinet of the minister that nominated him. Your Portuguese government provided false information to the other Member States – and I thought we were going to select the best guy for the job.

I honestly don’t understand why the other governments in Council tolerate this, and if Member States are not able or willing to check the dubious personnel choices of their fellow governments, then I think Council is not the suitable institution to make these choices, because we need a fully—functioning, well—staffed EPPO to start its work.

(Applause)

 
  
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  José Gusmão (The Left). – Senhor Presidente, o nome que foi proposto por Portugal para a Procuradoria Europeia corresponde ao primeiro nome selecionado pelo Conselho Superior do Ministério Público e este parece-nos um procedimento adequado.

A trapalhada grave que ocorreu, com a prestação de informações falsas no currículo desse candidato, deve ter, e já teve, consequências políticas, nomeadamente com a demissão do diretor-geral dos serviços que prestou essas informações falsas e com a assunção da responsabilidade política por parte da Ministra da Justiça, que devia ter verificado a informação e não a verificou.

Confesso, no entanto, que acho um bocadinho lamentável que os partidos que suscitaram este debate se tenham escondido atrás de outros debates, de outros deputados, para o fazer e sugiro aos deputados do PPE, que estão preocupados com o Estado de Direito, que olhem para a sua própria bancada e para o Partido Fidesz que a integra, e aos deputados portugueses que têm a mesma preocupação que parem de fazer alianças com a extrema—direita em Portugal, porque é mais nesse terreno que se joga o futuro da democracia no nosso país e na Europa.

 
  
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  Monika Hohlmeier (PPE). – Herr Präsident! Ich begrüße die Ratspräsidentschaft sehr herzlich und auch die Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Gemäß der Natur ihrer Aufgabe muss die Europäische Staatsanwaltschaft als Institution unabhängig sein, und die nationalen delegierten Staatsanwälte müssen insbesondere auch von ihren Regierungen unabhängig handeln dürfen. Und wenn es die Lage erfordern würde, dann müssten sie unter Umständen sogar gegen die eigenen Regierungen ermitteln dürfen.

Das bedeutet aber, dass auch die Besetzung und die Nominierung entsprechend unabhängig sein muss. Wir haben ein europäisches Auswahlgremium, das hervorragend gearbeitet hat und gute Kandidaten vorgeschlagen hat. Dass die portugiesische Regierung dann auch noch falsche Informationen geliefert hat, um einem anderen Kandidaten ihrer Wahl den Vorrang zu geben, ist unglaublich, und dass die anderen beiden keine transparenten Begründungen für die Benennungen haben – ich halte es für falsch. Ich bitte dringend, liebe Ratspräsidentschaft: Das muss sich ändern. Die Europäische Staatsanwaltschaft muss von Anfang an glaubwürdig sein, und sie muss von Anfang an unabhängig agieren können.

 
  
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  Ana Paula Zacarias, Presidente em exercício do Conselho. – Senhor Presidente, gostaria, em primeiro lugar, de recordar que intervenho aqui em nome do Conselho e não como representante do Estado português.

Direi, no entanto, o seguinte: ouviram-se nesta assembleia alegações de interferência política na nomeação do procurador português. Quero sublinhar que aquela decisão de nomeação foi baseada no parecer do Conselho Superior do Ministério Público, um órgão judicial, independente do poder executivo, previsto na Constituição Portuguesa, composto por dezanove membros, dos quais a maioria magistrados do Ministério Público, mas também inclui membros nomeados pela Assembleia da República.

Este Conselho atribuiu ao procurador José Guerra a mais alta classificação. Sublinho que os candidatos foram ouvidos também na Assembleia da República Portuguesa em total transparência. Esta nomeação foi independente.

Além disso, é importante relembrar o que já disse inicialmente. De acordo com as regras aplicáveis, a classificação que indica a ordem de preferência do Comité de Seleção não vincula o Conselho, que usufrui de plena discricionariedade nesta matéria. No caso português, manteve-se a ordenação estabelecida pelo Conselho Superior do Ministério Público, na qual não houve qualquer interferência política.

Em terceiro lugar, alguns comentários no que se refere à carta onde Portugal manifesta a sua preferência por seguir o parecer deste Conselho independente, enviada no dia 29 de novembro de 2019. Esta carta foi apreciada pelo Conselho, juntamente com o parecer fundamentado do Comité de Seleção sobre os nomeados portugueses.

Infelizmente, contém dois lapsos e permitam-me esclarecer o que foram esses dois lapsos.

A carta refere-se ao procurador José Guerra, usando o título de cortesia de Procurador-Geral Adjunto, embora seja, na realidade, Procurador da República. Esta referência é um mero elemento de identificação e, de nenhum modo, pretendia valorizar as suas qualificações ou servir de critério de preferência.

Com efeito, o Conselho avaliou a experiência do procurador José Guerra não com base na sua categoria profissional, mas sim com base na sua experiência de mais de três décadas no Ministério Público, que inclui doze anos no Eurojust em várias funções.

A carta refere, ainda, que este procurador esteve envolvido nas fases de investigação e de julgamento do caso UGT, embora, de facto, tenha participado apenas na fase de julgamento.

Estes elementos foram esclarecidos pela Ministra da Justiça numa carta dirigida ao Conselho, em 4 de janeiro de 2021.

Estes lapsos, embora lamentáveis, não influenciaram a apreciação do Conselho sobre os méritos e as habilitações profissionais dos candidatos portugueses, facto que resulta evidente das cartas enviadas aos candidatos não selecionados.

Acresce que o curriculum vitae do procurador José Guerra foi remetido ao Conselho, no início deste processo, e está totalmente correto, não contendo qualquer uma das imprecisões referidas.

Espero que estes esclarecimentos tenham dissipado quaisquer dúvidas face ao compromisso de Portugal para com a Procuradoria Europeia, num espírito de total transparência, mas também quanto ao compromisso da Presidência do Conselho e ao compromisso do Conselho neste projeto de cooperação reforçada, tão importante quanto esta para proteger os interesses financeiros da União.

Este é um tema da maior importância para Portugal, para a Presidência e para o Conselho da União Europeia.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 171)

 
  
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  Laura Ferrara (NI), per iscritto. – I Procuratori europei, per essere selezionati e nominati, devono soddisfare delle condizioni di indipendenza e meritocrazia, che rappresentano la principale garanzia per un idoneo esercizio delle funzioni ricoperte . Il procedimento dovrebbe avvenire al di sopra di ogni dubbio o sospetto, ma così non è stato. Per alcune nomine il Consiglio, ha deciso senza seguire le raccomandazioni e le graduatorie del Comitato di selezione europeo. Ciò, pur se consentito, ha sollevato questioni che esigono chiarezza e massima trasparenza, sulle decisioni adottate. Va sgombrato il campo da ogni ombra di interferenza politica impropria. Non possiamo permettere che accese polemiche, come quelle sorte sulla nomina del Procuratore europeo del Portogallo, incrinino la fiducia nella Procura europea. Il Parlamento europeo, il Consiglio e la Commissione, devono proteggere, da ogni indebita influenza, il suo ruolo cruciale. Essa è stata istituita per lottare contro la frode, la corruzione e i reati che ledono gli interessi finanziari dell'UE, una mission fondamentale, per la credibilità dello stesso progetto europeo.

 
  
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  Marian-Jean Marinescu (PPE), în scris. – Acțiunea guvernului portughez de decredibilizare a instituției Procurorului European nu poate rămâne fără consecințe. Avem de-a face cu încercarea unui stat membru, chiar când asigură președinția Consiliului Uniunii Europene, de a aduce un grav prejudiciu regulilor și valorilor statului de drept. Nu trebuie să ne ferim de cuvinte. Guvernul portughez a mințit Consiliul European când a prezentat dosarul profesional al procurorului care urmează să facă parte din EPPO. Minciuna și lipsa asumării responsabilității nu sunt comportamente acceptabile în funcționarea instituțiilor europene.

Solicit, alături de colegii mei din PPE, Comisiei Europene să investigheze modul în care guvernul din Portugalia a respectat procedura de desemnare a procurorului care urmează să facă parte din EPPO.

Încercarea acestui guvern de a-și promova procurorul favorit pune la îndoială încă din start credibilitatea EPPO, instituția care trebuie să apere bugetul UE, adică banii fiecărui cetățean european, de acte de corupție.

Faptele sunt simple și clare: când un stat membru prezintă oficial informații false, pe baza cărora Consiliul European își bazează deciziile, are loc o încălcare a Tratatului privind funcționarea UE, privind obligația unei cooperări de bună credință. PPE nu acceptă un asemenea abuz și solicităm retragerea procurorului în cauză și deschiderea unei investigații de către Comisia Europeană.

 
  
 

(Die Sitzung wird um 19.30 Uhr unterbrochen.)

 
  
  

PRZEWODNICTWO: EWA KOPACZ
Wiceprzewodnicząca

 

19. Reprise de la séance
Vidéo des interventions
 

(Posiedzenie zostało otwarte o godz. 20.00)

 

20. Deuxième session de vote
Vidéo des interventions
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  Przewodnicząca. – Kolejnym punktem porządku dnia jest głosowanie.

Będziemy głosować nad punktami podanymi w porządku obrad. Głosowanie będzie otwarte od godziny 20.00 do godziny 21.15. Przyjęto taką samą metodę głosowania jak w poprzednich głosowaniach. Wszystkie głosowania będą imienne.

Ogłaszam otwarcie drugiej części głosowania i przypominam, że można głosować tylko do godz. 21.15.

Posiedzenie zostanie zawieszone dzisiaj o godz. 21.15 i wznowione jutro o godz. 8.30, pierwszym punktem po wznowieniu posiedzenia będzie ogłoszenie wyników drugiej części dzisiejszego głosowania.

 

21. Explications de vote: voir procès-verbal

22. Corrections et intentions de vote: voir procès-verbal

23. Débats sur des cas de violation des droits de l'homme, de la démocratie et de l'Etat de droit (annonce des propositions de résolution déposées): voir procès-verbal

24. Actes délégués (article 111, paragraphe 2, du règlement): voir procès-verbal

25. Dépôt de documents: voir procès-verbal

26. Virements de crédits et décisions budgétaires: voir procès-verbal

27. Ordre du jour de la prochaine séance : voir procès-verbal
Vidéo des interventions

28. Levée de la séance
Vidéo des interventions
 

(Posiedzenie zostało zamknięte o godz. 21.15)

 
Dernière mise à jour: 9 mars 2021Avis juridique - Politique de confidentialité