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Procedură : 2021/2071(INI)
Stadiile documentului în şedinţă
Stadii ale documentului : A9-0226/2021

Texte depuse :

A9-0226/2021

Dezbateri :

CRE 06/07/2021 - 6
CRE 06/07/2021 - 8

Voturi :

PV 07/07/2021 - 18
PV 08/07/2021 - 4
CRE 08/07/2021 - 4

Texte adoptate :

P9_TA(2021)0348

Dezbateri
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Marţi, 6 iulie 2021 - Strasbourg Ediţie revizuită

6. Elaborarea unor orientări pentru aplicarea regimului general de condiționalitate pentru protecția bugetului Uniunii (dezbatere)
Înregistrare video a intervenţiilor
PV
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  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über den Bericht von Eider Gardiazabal Rubial im Namens des Haushaltsausschusses und Petri Sarvamaa im Namen des Haushaltskontrollausschusses über die Festlegung von Leitlinien für die Anwendung der allgemeinen Konditionalitätsregelung zum Schutz des Haushalts der Union (2021/2071(INI)) (A9-0226/2021).

Liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen, wir sind etwas spät im Zeitplan, Sie wissen, dass wir für 13.00 Uhr Abstimmungen angekündigt haben. Ich setze Ihr Einverständnis voraus, dass ich zum gegebenen Zeitpunkt die Debatte kurz unterbreche, um dann die Abstimmung zu eröffnen. Ich sehe keinen Widerspruch.

 
  
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  Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, ponente. – Señor presidente, señor comisario, un Pleno más en el que hablamos sobre el mecanismo de condicionalidad de los fondos europeos con respecto al Estado de Derecho, y la pregunta es cuándo veremos una actuación. Porque el mecanismo entró en vigor el 1 de enero y todavía no hemos visto sus frutos.

Desde el primer momento fuimos muy claros y advertimos que no eran necesarias estas directrices. Acabábamos de cerrar un acuerdo y en ningún momento se nos dijo que no fuera lo suficientemente claro y, por lo tanto, no entendemos qué podemos aportar con estas directrices. Pero, en cualquier caso, y lo he dicho en varias ocasiones, el Parlamento siempre está dispuesto a trabajar con la Comisión para garantizar una aplicación rigurosa del Reglamento. Y, en este sentido, varios mensajes clave por nuestra parte.

El primero de todos, y que define claramente el contexto en el que trabajamos, es que las directrices no son jurídicamente vinculantes y que, además, no pueden ni alterar, ni ampliar, ni limitar el texto del Reglamento. Segundo mensaje: la Comisión no ha cumplido el plazo que le pedimos desde el Parlamento, lo que evidentemente lamentamos, pero es que, además, no es muy comprensible, porque había tiempo de sobra para haber presentado unas orientaciones, un borrador en marzo y haber recogido las aportaciones del Parlamento y del Consejo, y habríamos llegado de sobra al 1 de junio. Tercer mensaje: queremos más información, porque está bien que la Comisión nos diga que están trabajando y que están estudiando los casos, pero necesitamos más información.

Respecto a las directrices propiamente dichas, nuestro informe no hace más que reiterar, evidentemente, el Reglamento que negociamos. De hecho, el propio borrador de la Comisión se limita a retomar lo que acordamos en el Reglamento, lo que refuerza todavía más la no necesidad de hacer estas directrices. Pero, en cualquier caso, aprovechamos para repetir cuál es nuestra posición, y lo hemos estructurado en torno a cuatro apartados.

Uno: vulneración de los principios del Estado de Derecho. Recordamos que se deben considerar tanto las vulneraciones individuales de los principios del Estado de Derecho como las vulneraciones sistémicas o generalizadas. Y también recordamos que, en el artículo 3 del Reglamento, hemos incluido una lista no exhaustiva sobre indicios de vulneración de los principios del Estado de Derecho, y que, por supuesto, la Comisión Europea puede y debe utilizar cualquier información disponible y proveniente de una institución reconocida. Y, además, también creemos que debemos dar la oportunidad a la sociedad civil y a las ONG para que puedan facilitar esa información a la Comisión.

Segundo apartado de nuestro informe: protección del presupuesto de la Unión. Porque como instituciones somos responsables de la buena gestión financiera, es decir, de una gestión eficaz y eficiente, tal y como lo define el Reglamento Financiero. Evidentemente, hay una clara relación entre esa buena gestión financiera y el respeto al Estado de Derecho, un Estado de Derecho que debe entenderse en su relación con otros valores y principios incluidos en el artículo 2 del Tratado de la Unión Europea. Esto también estaba en el Reglamento. Discriminación a las minorías, ataques contra la libertad de prensa, libertad de asociación o reunión, independencia del poder judicial, correcto funcionamiento de las instituciones para combatir el fraude, la corrupción, etcétera: todo eso puede tener un impacto directo y suficiente en el presupuesto de la Unión.

Una vez aclarado lo que consideramos vulneración del Estado de Derecho y el impacto que puede tener en el presupuesto, hablamos sobre las medidas, y aquí el Reglamento es clarísimo. Artículos 6 y 7: se establecen todas las etapas y un calendario preciso. Se establece que tenemos que respetar principios de objetividad, de no discriminación y de igualdad de trato, y que, además, las medidas adoptadas tienen que ser proporcionadas teniendo en cuenta la naturaleza, la duración, la gravedad. Está todo clarísimo.

Y, por último, terminamos nuestra contribución con la protección de los destinatarios y beneficiarios finales. Probablemente —y aprovecho para felicitar no solo a mi coponente, sino también al resto de los grupos de esta Cámara, y para agradecer su trabajo—, la primera idea que pusimos encima de la mesa fue la protección de los beneficiarios finales. Porque el mecanismo no puede penalizar ni perjudicar a estos beneficiarios, y los Estados miembros tienen la obligación, incluida la obligación de pago, de respetar todos los acuerdos. En el acuerdo que alcanzamos con el Consejo, y evidentemente con la Comisión, a finales del año pasado, la Comisión se comprometió a establecer un sistema en el que los beneficiarios pudieran acceder a toda la información y, sobre todo, un sistema que les permitiera, si fuera necesario, denunciar irregularidades.

Y, además de este sistema, espero que la Comisión también esté trabajando en cómo utilizar todas las herramientas disponibles para asegurar que los fondos van a llegar efectivamente a sus destinatarios.

Así que, señor comisario, este debate es un buen momento para explicarnos cómo están trabajando en ese portal de información y de denuncias, para explicarnos, también, su punto de vista sobre esa necesidad de las directrices y de su contenido, pero yo creo que esta es la mejor ocasión para que nos cuenten exactamente qué es lo que están haciendo y para que puedan contestar a esa primera pregunta que hacía en mi intervención: ¿para cuándo las primeras actuaciones?

 
  
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  Petri Sarvamaa, rapporteur. – Mr President, Commissioner Hahn and the Council, so here we are once again in this Hemicycle, this plenary hall discussing the future of the rule of law in Europe. Once again we, as the Parliament, will reiterate our position, that the Commission has to act and has to act quickly. Once again we will state our worry about the degeneration and regression of the state of rule of law in some Member States, especially Hungary and Poland.

Once again, we deliver the messages we have heard from our voters and the citizens, that people are worried about their liberties, minorities being repressed, free media being shut down or bought by government oligarchs, judicial systems being party-politicised and independent judges being replaced by party loyalists.

All this done with EU money. With the money distributed from the Union’s budget to the Member States. With taxpayers’ money. And it makes me not only sad, but it makes me outraged. This should not be happening in Europe in 2021. Yet, once again, here we are in this plenary hall, stating these same sentences, even though we have heard them multiple times and we all know the reality behind them.

 

So here we are today because someone has to act. But who is that someone? The Parliament? Well, the Parliament has multiple times stated its readiness and has done everything it can within its powers. However, the Parliament lacks implementing powers.

 

Well, why won’t the Council act? Finding unanimity is very difficult when it comes to actions under Article 7 of the Treaty. And even more, the Council and Member States seem to be blackmailed by the same group that posed a threat to the MFF and Next Generation EU negotiations last autumn. Ultimately, it is in the Member States’ hands how to respond to the growing deterioration of rule of law in Europe.

 

This brings us back to the Commission. Once again, we appeal to the Commission to act. The Parliament has triggered the Article 265 TFEU procedure that also legally calls on the Commission to act. I truly hope that we will finally see something concrete when we come back from summer recess.

Despite the holidays of the institutions, the violators of the rule of law will not rest. This is why autumn is the latest opportunity to concretely initiate the process of rule of law conditionality regulation by sending written notifications to Member States concerned. There is no need to wait for the European Court of Justice ruling, and there is nothing that binds us to that.

 

To facilitate the process, we as the Parliament have drafted these guidelines for the application of the regulation for the Commission’s use. This is our contribution. The European Council demanded these guidelines. We did not consider them necessary to begin with, yet here we are, once again, delivering faster than the Council in delivering our part.

 

If the Commission wishes, it can use these guidelines as such and start implementing the regulation right away. Now the final obstacle, and this is the political one of course, we all know Voldemort, can be considered to be out of the way. It’s cleared. We have the guidelines. There can be no more delay, no more excuses.

 

Dear Commissioner, we need to work as allies. Fixing the rule of law in the Union demands a lot of hard work from all of us, and I know it is not always easy. We have our differences sometimes, but I believe that more than that we all value – I know you value, I know the Commission values – we all value the rule of law as our basic principle. The Parliament has been relatively patient, but we also like to think ourselves as pacesetters, helping the Commission and the Council to reach higher goals.

We have met multiple times either in this room, in Brussels or via video conference. We have a common understanding; all we need, all we need is the final will to act. We need action and the time has come, we are ready.

 
  
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  Terry Reintke, rapporteur for the opinion of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. – Mr President, Parliament has again and again been pretty clear. First of all, the development of these guidelines for the regulation is actually not necessary as it is sufficiently clear as it stands. Secondly, the guidelines presented by the Commission unfortunately have little, or very little, additional value to clarification. Thirdly – and I must say this, Commissioner – suspicion is actually high that the Commission is fully aware of this, but presented these guidelines anyway to buy some time.

Commissioner, I must say that I think we really need to end these theatre plays. We don’t need more delaying tactics, and we don’t need statements or Commissioners being very concerned about the situation of the rule of law in the European Union. We need action, and it is not me saying it. Check the committee votes. Apart from the far right in this Parliament, all groups agree. So, Commissioner, take this as a strong appeal. I can only support my colleagues in saying, come back from the summer break with a strong case on the basis of this regulation.

 
  
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  Johannes Hahn, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, I think it’s always good to continue our already traditional exchange on the rule of law conditionality mechanism today on the occasion of the own—initiative report on the guidelines today, so a first discussion in this format since we shared our draft for these guidelines with you and with Member States, as it was done mid-June.

This Regulation is an historic achievement for the Union and it applies since 1 January 2021 and has been followed up from that date, and may I recall that it was the Commission’s proposal in 2018 to have such an instrument. Again, I am grateful for all the support at least we received in this House before the European Parliament elections, but also afterwards.

Having said this, again I can only recall that all relevant breaches that affect or risk affecting the sound financial management of the Union budget and the financial interests of the Union after that date will be covered. As said already in the past, no case will be lost. The Commission has been actively working to assess information from all sources in view of building up a robust case, robust cases, and initiating the procedure under Article 6 of the Regulation. Notification letters will be sent without any delay as soon as we have gathered concrete evidence that the conditions required by the Regulation are fulfilled.

The Regulation requires the Commission to provide guidance for the benefit of final recipients and beneficiaries whose rights have to be ensured, and on this we very much agree. As you know, our draft guidelines include such guidance. The guidelines also explain the procedure and the way the Commission will assess cases under the Regulation. I fully agree with your report that the guidelines cannot and will not change the law as set by the Regulation, but only clarify how the Commission will apply it.

The Regulation requires a sufficiently direct link between any rule of law breach and risks for the sound financial management of the Union budget or the financial interests of the Union. Thus, a sober assessment of the following is therefore needed. The Commission should assess whether a rule of law breach affects or seriously risks affecting the principles of sound financial management or the financial interests of the Union in a sufficiently direct way. It may also need to assess whether the non-compliance with sound financial management principles arises from rule of law breaches in a sufficiently direct manner.

If a sufficiently direct link with the budget cannot be established, the Regulation will not apply. However, other tools of Union law may apply instead, for example infringement procedures or the famous Article 7 procedures. I would like to recall in particular that systematic or serious breaches are covered by the Regulation but that a general indirect or merely theoretical effect on the budget is not enough to trigger the Regulation. The Commission must be able to demonstrate an identified or identifiable effect or risk for the budget.

The Regulation also requires the Commission to apply the Regulation in a complementary way. Thus the procedure under the Regulation will be opened when the substantive conditions described before are met, unless the Commission finds that other procedures provided by the Union’s Financial Sector Regulation allow it to protect the budget more effectively than the General Conditionality Regulation. For instance, existing procedures to protect the Union’s financial interests, including those involving investigations by OLAF and EPPO, as well as measures provided under the sector-specific financial rules, may be more effective and should be used instead.

The Regulation finally requires the Commission to define the most appropriate and proportionate measures to be proposed to the Council by evaluating the impact of the rule of law breach on the budget, taking into account all relevant factors.

Honourable Members, the Commission has received your letter calling for a full and immediate application of the Regulation. You choose to pursue this path and of course the Commission will react appropriately within the timeframe foreseen by the Treaties. I will already state here that the Commission has ensured proper application of the Regulation since the day it entered into force. We have done so along two main strands.

Firstly, through the guidance on which you are consulted and that we are discussing today; secondly and most importantly, through the building up of the cases, which requires a well-formed, thorough, methodical and analytical assessment of the available information. For example, one of our sources in this context, the Commission’s annual rule of law report, will be presented later this month. All this analytical work may soon materialise, demonstrating further the determination of the Commission to apply the Regulation in order to ensure an effective protection of the budget against breaches of the rule of law.

In doing so, the Commission will of course continue to take into account the views of Parliament and this is also the reason why we are waiting for Parliament’s comments on the guidelines under consultation, and be reassured once again, as Mr Sarvamaa said, I think we are strong allies and I think we are also allies in the way that we want this instrument to become a success story in a way that indeed it can help to address successfully and sustainably rule of law breaches and correct different and several developments in some of our Member States in a way which we intend to see, at least here in the Hemicycle, by a huge majority. So be reassured. We will act, but we will act in a way that finally we are successful. I think this is in all our interests.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes, em nome do Grupo PPE. – Senhor Presidente, caro Comissário, caras e caros Colegas, os valores da União Europeia são imperativos. Têm de ser respeitados por todas as instituições e, nomeadamente, pelos Estados-Membros. São uma condição de acesso para se estar na União Europeia. São condição de pertença, mas depois são também uma obrigação para quem permanece na União Europeia.

Os valores da União Europeia não são negociáveis. São irrenunciáveis. São valores que são irrevogáveis. Estão nos tratados e, por isso, nem deveríamos precisar de um regulamento para o Estado de direito. Um regulamento que, no fundo, é uma condicionalidade orçamental para quem violar o Estado de direito.

Para além disso, Senhor Comissário, este regulamento está em vigor desde 1 de janeiro de 2021. Há que aplicá-lo, é suficientemente claro. Não precisa de linhas de orientação e aplica-se ao Quadro Financeiro Plurianual também de 2014-2020 e, nomeadamente, às autorizações pendentes e pagamentos também decorrentes dessas autorizações. Aplica-se também ao Next Generation EU, aplica-se ao Quadro Financeiro Plurianual, obviamente 2021-2025 e um Conselho, o Conselho da União Europeia, não pode alterar este regulamento nem as linhas de orientação e o desafio é: aplique-o já.

 
  
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  Maria Grapini, în numele grupului S&D. – Domnule președinte, stimați colegi, protejarea bugetului Uniunii Europene este o obligație esențială a tuturor instituțiilor europene dar și a celor naționale. Până la urmă, bugetul Uniunii Europene înseamnă banii cetățenilor și de aceea trebuie să fie protejat, dar să nu uităm că pârghia o are Comisia Europeană, domnule comisar, și de aceea cred că Comisia trebuie să monitorizeze încălcările principiilor statului de drept în toate statele membre după aceeași indicatori și să facă o evaluare calitativă, obiectivă, imparțială, echitabilă, care să țină cont de informații relevante din statul respectiv.

Și sigur că trebuie să protejăm beneficiarii finali. Dacă oficialii dintr-un stat încalcă principiile statului de drept, nu trebuie să sufere beneficiarii finali și nu trebuie să sufere cetățenii. În cazuri de corupție, nepotism, fraudă sistematică, conflicte de interese, Comisia trebuie să analizeze caz cu caz, în mod transparent, și să vadă dacă plățile pot fi continuate.

Susțin înființarea unui ghișeu unic online eficient unde cetățenii pot să reclame cazurile de fraudă, iar Comisia să vină în fața Parlamentului cel puțin de două ori pe an să ne raporteze.

 
  
 

(Die Aussprache wird unterbrochen.)

 
Ultima actualizare: 1 octombrie 2021Aviz juridic - Politica de confidențialitate