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Wednesday, 8 June 2022 - Strasbourg Provisional edition
1. Opening of the sitting
 2. Debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law (announcement of motions for resolutions tabled): see Minutes
 3. This is Europe - Debate with the Taoiseach of Ireland, Micheál Martin (debate)
 4. Negotiations ahead of Parliament’s first reading (Rule 71)(action taken)
 5. Conclusions of the special European Council meeting of 30-31 May 2022 (debate)
 6. Resumption of the sitting
 7. Formal sitting – Speech by Ruslan Stefanchuk, Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada
 8. Resumption of the sitting
 9. Statement by the President
 10. Voting time
  10.1. Strengthening Europol’s mandate: entry of alerts in SIS (A9-0287/2021 - Javier Zarzalejos) (vote)
  10.2. EU/Mauritania Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement and Implementing Protocol (A9-0148/2022 - Izaskun Bilbao Barandica) (vote)
  10.3. EU-Mauritania Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement and Implementing Protocol (Resolution) (A9-0154/2022 - Izaskun Bilbao Barandica) (vote)
  10.4. Revision of the EU Emissions Trading System (A9-0162/2022 - Peter Liese) (vote)
  10.5. Social Climate Fund (A9-0157/2022 - David Casa, Esther de Lange) (vote)
  10.6. Carbon border adjustment mechanism (A9-0160/2022 - Mohammed Chahim) (vote)
  10.7. Revision of the EU Emissions Trading System for aviation (A9-0155/2022 - Sunčana Glavak) (vote)
  10.8. Notification under the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) (A9-0145/2022 - Sunčana Glavak) (vote)
 11. Resumption of the sitting
 12. Request for waiver of immunity
 13. Approval of the minutes of the previous sitting
 14. The Commission's proposal for "Attracting skills and talent to the EU", particularly the Talent Partnerships with North African countries (topical debate)
 15. Parliament’s right of initiative (debate)
 16. Voting time
  16.1. Binding annual greenhouse gas emission reductions by Member States (Effort Sharing Regulation) (A9-0163/2022 - Jessica Polfjärd) (vote)
  16.2. Land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) (A9-0161/2022 - Ville Niinistö) (vote)
  16.3. CO2 emission standards for cars and vans (A9-0150/2022 - Jan Huitema) (vote)
  16.4. The EU’s Foreign, Security and Defence Policy after the Russian invasion of Ukraine (A9-0164/2022 - David McAllister, Nathalie Loiseau) (vote)
  16.5. Security in the Eastern Partnership area and the role of the common security and defence policy (A9-0168/2022 - Witold Jan Waszczykowski) (vote)
 17. Global threats to abortion rights: the possible overturn of abortion rights in the US by the Supreme Court (debate)
 18. Composition of committees and delegations
 19. Debates on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law (debate)
  19.1. The human rights situation in Xinjiang, including the Xinjiang police files
  19.2. The instrumentalisation of justice as a repressive tool in Nicaragua
  19.3. Violations of media freedom and safety of journalists in Georgia
 20. International procurement instrument (debate)
 21. The massacre of Christians in Nigeria (debate)
 22. Explanations of vote
  22.1. Social Climate Fund (A9-0157/2022 - David Casa, Esther de Lange)
  22.2. CO2 emission standards for cars and vans (A9-0150/2022 - Jan Huitema)
 23. Corrections to votes and voting intentions: see Minutes
 24. Documents received: see Minutes
 25. Delegated acts (Rule 111(2)): see Minutes
 26. Implementing measures (Rule 112): see Minutes
 27. Approval of the minutes of the current sitting: see Minutes
 28. Agenda for next sitting
 29. Closure of the sitting


  

PRESIDENZA: ROBERTA METSOLA
President

 
1. Opening of the sitting
Video of the speeches
 

(The sitting opened at 9.06)

 

2. Debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law (announcement of motions for resolutions tabled): see Minutes

3. This is Europe - Debate with the Taoiseach of Ireland, Micheál Martin (debate)
Video of the speeches
MPphoto
 

  President. – Good morning dear colleagues, this morning we have the pleasure of welcoming Taoiseach Micheál Martin, the Irish Prime Minister. Taoiseach, thank you for coming to address the European Parliament as part of our ‘This is Europe’ debates.

This year is an important one for Ireland in Europe and an important one for Europe with Ireland. It marks 50 years since the Irish people voted overwhelmingly in favour of joining what was then called the European Economic Community. And 50 years on, we are pleased that Irish citizens’ support for the European project remains extremely high.

The Irish Prime Minister being here with us in plenary is also an expression of Ireland’s commitment as Europe faces difficult times with an illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

Over the years, the European single market has helped Ireland’s economy become highly competitive. But Ireland continues to give a lot back to Europe too: economically, politically and socially. Economically, Ireland’s success story has allowed it to move from net recipient to net contributor to the EU budget. And politically, Ireland plays a central role in shaping common policies, particularly on finance, on the environment and on providing vital aid to Ukraine. And here I must commend Ireland for being the first country in the European Union to waive visa requirements for Ukrainians and for welcoming nearly 30 000 displaced Ukrainians who have sought shelter.

We are all painfully aware that Ireland is particularly affected by Brexit. And good relations with the United Kingdom remain in all our interests, especially in this new geopolitical context. On Northern Ireland, all the European Union institutions are aligned. Renegotiating the Protocol on Northern Ireland is not an option. The European Parliament has reiterated its unwavering support for the Protocol on several occasions and we remain fully committed to preserving the peace on the island of Ireland.

Last night this Parliament officially took receipt of a gift from the Irish Government of a bust of former Member of the European Parliament and Nobel peace prize laureate, John Hume. His legacy is an inspiration with regard to conflict resolution and with regard to respecting differences. His work in brokering peace on the island of Ireland and in hammering out the Good Friday Agreement is highly respected and honoured in this House.

This Parliament is attached to multilingualism. And, with the Irish language now a fully fledge officially EU language, let me say in Irish go raibh maith agat.

 
  
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  Micheál Martin, Taoiseach. – President Metsola, vice-presidents, distinguished leaders of the political groups, Members of Parliament, citizens of Europe, it’s an honour to be here today, and I thank you, President Metsola, for your kind invitation to address this session. I would like to salute your leadership of the European Parliament.

Before I reflect on Ireland’s European past, it would be remiss of me not to pause to pay tribute to that great European, David Sassoli, who graced the office of President of this Parliament with such intelligence and dignity. Through his life and in his work, he demonstrated integrity, compassion and a strong focus on the most vulnerable in society. He will be long remembered, especially here in this Parliament, and he is sorely missed. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

By any measure, this is a critical moment in the history of Europe and the Union which we all share. We face a series of fundamental challenges. Will the values of free democracies prevail in the face of military and other aggression? Will we act together to protect hard-won progress in our societies? Do we have the ambition and urgency required to achieve energy security and tackle an existential climate crisis? Do we have the strength to overcome the many forces which seek to return us to the days of destructive rivalry and competition between the nations of Europe?

My message to you today is that we stand resolutely with all those who share the core values of peace, democracy and progress in Europe, and we believe that protecting these values demands a strong European Union.

Is léargas é ballraíocht na Parlaiminte seo ar éagsúlacht na hEorpa, ár dteangacha, ár gcultúir agus ár startha. Ní mar a chéile aon dá náisiún, ach tagaimid le chéile agus, i gcóimheas, déanaimid bealach chun cinn a chíoradh, a phlé agus a leagan amach.

Cuirim fáilte mhór chaoin roimh an deireadh atá tagtha leis an maolú ar stádas na Gaeilge san Aontas Eorpach ó thús na bliana seo. Tá an Ghaeilge anois ar chomhchéim le teangacha bhunaitheoirí eile an Aontais Eorpaigh. Is dul chun cinn suntasach é agus treiseofar úsáid, pobal agus cnuasach na Gaeilge mar thoradh ar an dul chun cinn sin.

Ireland’s nearly 50 years of membership of this Union has been transformative. We have seen an overwhelmingly positive impact across all dimensions of our society. Last month, we marked the 50th anniversary of the decision of the Irish people to join what we now call the European Union. For us, there is simply no doubt: this membership has been a historic enabler of sustained progress for Ireland. The decision of the people of Ireland to support membership was overwhelming, but it was not achieved easily. In the then six existing Member States, questions were asked if Ireland, then the poorest country in Europe, was simply too peripheral, too poor to be able to survive in the European Community.

At home, a coalition of forces used the classic anti-Europe tactics of claiming that we would be swamped by a neo-imperialist organisation and would lose our separate identity. However, an overwhelming majority rejected these arguments. The Irish people instead chose the path of hope and solidarity, of cooperation and a shared future. Time and time again, this decision has been vindicated.

One of the inspiring things about that decision 50 years ago is the role which was played by leaders from our revolutionary generation, those who as young people had done so much to win our independence against tremendous odds. They did not see Europe as a threat to our sovereignty, but as an enabler of our sovereignty. They rejected the idea of nationalism as a narrow and defensive concept; instead, they believed nationalism should be outward and forward-looking. And just as they did, we continue to be inspired by the ideas contained in our Proclamation of Independence from 1916, when the greatest of our leaders committed their country to the ideals of equality, diversity and cooperation with other nations. That is why the democratic majority of the Irish people remain euro-positive and why we see the success of the European Union as directly linked to the success of nation states.

Over the last 50 years, sharing our sovereignty with our European partners helped to make us all safer, stronger and more prosperous, and Ireland has in turn been proud to contribute strongly to the shaping of today’s European Union. In the intense debates and negotiations of the past two years, I and my Government have been very clear: the Union must be strengthened. In order to serve us all better and to respond to urgent challenges, it needs more ambition and resources. We have been and we remain supportive of a growing and diverse Union based on shared values and shared prosperity. This has been a consistent theme during our presidencies of the Council. During our 1990 Presidency, we strongly supported European Union recognition of German reunification. During our 2004 Presidency, we worked to ease the arrival of 10 new Member States to our Union and hosted a ‘day of welcomes’ to underpin this. Through enlargement, we have welcomed new communities and they have since made a wonderful contribution to the Irish economy and society. And enlargement has been essential to strengthening our Union as a whole.

As we are seeing every day during the response to Russia’s war against Ukraine, Member States that secured their freedom from Soviet imperialism and totalitarianism are a powerful voice, reminding us that free democracy must be defended. I am strongly of the view that the prospect of membership can be a powerful driver of reform, and that membership itself is the most powerful tool we possess to enlarge the sphere of democracy, peace and security in our region. Our Treaties are clear that any European state which respects the values of the Union and is committed to promoting them may apply to become a member of the Union. It should be a source of pride and inspiration that the Union continues to be a beacon of hope to people at our borders – to the people of the Western Balkans; to the people of Ukraine; currently sacrificing and enduring so much in defence of our shared European values; to the people of Moldova and of Georgia. We should support those looking to join in undertaking the reforms and preparations necessary. And when they meet the criteria, we should not place further barriers in their way.

I strongly support Ukraine’s application for membership, and I look forward to the Commission’s opinion. I hope that, when the European Council meets in June, it will be possible to send the people of Ukraine a clear and positive message.

Ireland’s lived experience – and we are not alone in this – is that European Union membership is transformative. It is not only about access to markets and to economic opportunity, though that is, of course, important; it is about what it means to people. People who send their representatives to this Parliament. People – young people especially – who benefit from the freedom to move throughout the Union, to learn, to work, to experience life in another place and with another culture. People who gain confidence and strength from knowing that they live in a Union of values, of laws, of democracy, in which human rights and human dignity are fundamental guarantees. That is our strength, and Ireland is proud to be part of such a Union.

And no matter what its opponents say, let us never forget that the European Union is the most successful initiative for peace in our continent’s history. In Ireland, we feel this so deeply because of the Union’s role in supporting our successful efforts to bring an end to campaigns of violence which lasted for three decades. When I arrived in Strasbourg yesterday, I was privileged to join President Metsola in a ceremony to honour the only person to serve as an MEP who was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. John Hume was a political giant. A proud Irish nationalist and democrat, he dedicated his life to the cause of serving his people and persuading the minority to abandon violence and join in democratic politics. John was passionate about his country’s future, and that is why he was also a passionate supporter of the European Union. John had the vision to see the narrative of Ireland’s path to peace in the wider narrative of peace in Europe – a peace built on respect for political and cultural diversity cemented with economic interdependence. He overcame opposition from both extremes to chart a peaceful way forward for Ireland. His integrity and bravery shone through. With another courageous politician, David Trimble, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for an unwavering commitment to peace. He won every election he stood in and served in this Parliament for 25 years.

It is one of the many harsh realities of the Brexit vote of 2016 that no serious consideration was given to the implications for Northern Ireland and the agreement which underpins peace and reconciliation. The Good Friday Agreement provides a clear framework for protecting different identities and interests in Northern Ireland. It is a triumph for democratic politics and it has been a model for conflict resolution in many parts of the world. I can think of a no more solemn agreement than one which has ended a deadly conflict, has been democratically ratified and has been in operation for a quarter of a century. Because of this, a very detailed deal was negotiated and adopted to limit the damage on Northern Ireland caused by Brexit. Central to achieving this generous deal was the unwavering support and solidarity of our partners in the European Union, including the Members of this Parliament. I want to pay tribute to the European Parliament, which was absolutely clear in its support for the Good Friday Agreement and on the need to find a unique solution that would work for Northern Ireland. That solidarity mattered. That solidarity continues to matter.

The unique solution was, of course, the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland that is an integral part of the Withdrawal Agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom. It is perfectly reasonable to look for ways to improve the operation of the Protocol, but unfortunately what we have seen are bad—faith efforts to undermine a treaty freely entered into. Instead of trying to create a constructive atmosphere for all to engage, we have actually seen efforts to block agreements or introduce new problems.

In contrast, the European Union has worked hard to find ways to ensure that where there is a negative impact on businesses and citizens in Northern Ireland, it is minimised as much as possible. Vice-President of the Commission Maroš Šefčovič and his team have done remarkable work in listening to businesses and communities throughout Northern Ireland. They have a deep and practical understanding of the operation of the Protocol.

Last October, the Commission proposed a package of measures that would result in a significant reduction in border-linked checks. This Parliament has also been incredibly constructive. For example, in April, you overwhelmingly approved legislation to help safeguard the supply of medicines to Northern Ireland. I have said many times that there are solutions to practical problems under the Protocol, if there is a political will to find them. But that requires partnership. It requires the United Kingdom Government to engage with good faith, seriousness and commitment. Unilateral action to set aside a solemn agreement would be deeply damaging. It would mark a historic low point, signalling a disregard for essential principles of laws which are the foundation of international relations. And it would quite literally be to the benefit of absolutely no one.

Without a spirit of partnership, there would have been no peace process in Northern Ireland. Without trust, without engagement, without a willingness to see things from the point of view of others, there would have been no Good Friday Agreement, no quarter-century of peace in Northern Ireland in which young people have been able to grow and to flourish as themselves. All of us in positions of leadership owe it to them not to treat lightly what was so hard won.

As we look across our continent, as we see what is at stake when the rule of international law is threatened, it falls to all of us to work together and to stand by what we have agreed.

I am humbled and inspired by the extraordinary courage and resolve of the people of Ukraine as they defend their country and their right to determine their own future. The conflict is, at its most fundamental, about two utterly incompatible views of the world: autocratic and democratic. The new imperialism of Putin’s regime must not stand. Ukraine’s cause must be the cause of every person who believes in free democracy. As the European Council said once again last week, Russia must end its slaughter and withdraw from the entire territory of Ukraine.

I know that the Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament, Mr Ruslan Stefanchuk, is here in Strasbourg today, and to him I say, Ireland unequivocally supports your country, your people and your right to a peaceful, democratic and prosperous future. We strongly support the toughest possible sanctions, and we do so understanding that this involves costs for us all. We are honoured that more than 34 000 Ukrainians have sought shelter in our country.

How many times have we heard ideologues from the extremes condemn and attack the European Union? Yet today, for many millions of people on our borders, it is the flag of blue with a circle of golden stars which symbolises their wish to be free. In 2014, the people of Ukraine took to the streets to demand a democratic and European future, and for this they suffered invasion and partition. We did too little to stand with the people of Ukraine then. We did too little to reject Putin’s new imperialism and his demand to control other countries in his sphere of influence. And this happened while he was constantly investing in extremist parties and disinformation in our countries, putting us all on notice that the destruction of the European Union was a core policy objective for him. We must stand with Ukraine not just during this war but in the months and years ahead. Our agenda must be Ukraine’s reconstruction, its securing of democracy, and its inclusion within our Union.

We must also support the democratic right of the Belarusian people to new, free and fair elections. We must content condemn the detention of political prisoners such as Sergei Tikhanovsky, the husband of the inspiring leader, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya.

As a country with our own experience of famine, we condemn the illegal appropriation of agricultural production in Ukraine, which is having a direct impact on global food security and affordability, and is affecting the most vulnerable communities in parts of Africa and in the Middle East. It is hard to comprehend that hunger itself has been weaponised. Ireland will support the European Union in playing its part in an effective and swift international coordination to ensure a comprehensive global food security response.

And just as we are now showing urgency concerning Russian aggression, we also need to show more urgency on the other major challenges facing our Union and our citizens.

We must redouble efforts to accelerate the decarbonisation of our society, break our dependence on fossil fuels, and provide a more resilient, secure and sustainable energy system for future generations. There are many who continue to ignore or casually dismiss the scientific consensus about climate change. However, nobody can surely ignore the direct political and economic threat which dependence on fossil fuels poses. As far as Ireland is concerned, we unequivocally accept that climate change is a critical threat and it must be a defining issue for us. An immediate and large-scale reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is crucial. Unless we act now, terrible outcomes will be inevitable. We believe that Europe must push forward with its initiatives, including the European Green Deal and the sustainable finance agenda.

Ireland is ready to play our part. We have enacted legislation to put a legally binding target of reducing emissions by 2030 to 51% below 2018 levels. In taking the necessary steps, we must bring our citizens with us and ensure a just transition for all. Let us make sure that the regions which are most affected get a genuine opportunity to transition to a longer-term, more secure and more prosperous role in energy production. I remain confident that we can rise to this challenge.

In this, I am inspired by how we came together in the face of the largest pandemic the world has experienced in a century. Despite the unprecedented nature of COVID-19, and after some initially hesitant steps, the European Union quickly came together in an unprecedented way in support of its citizens, businesses and member countries, making it a role model for the world. We played a pivotal role in supporting vaccine development and procurement, becoming the leader internationally in the production and distribution of vaccines. Through Next Generation EU, the Member States and institutions came together in solidarity to address the economic impacts of the pandemic across our Union, supporting not just our collective recovery, but the green and digital transitions we need to bring resilience to our economies and our societies. There are hundreds of thousands of people alive today because of how we worked together to understand, control and target this terrible virus. However, there is no question that we were not fully prepared for the pandemic, and we had to innovate new policies rapidly. Our shared public health tracking and advice structures were not strong enough because we had not viewed this as a priority area. This is one of the many areas we should address as we look to reforming and strengthening the Union.

The European Union is by no means perfect – it is a project that must continue to develop and evolve – and differences will arise between Member States and between the institutions. However, it is our capacity to work together through these issues that makes the European Union something to be immensely proud of.

Over the past two years, I have signalled at the Council that Ireland supports more ambition and urgency in developing the Union. We have rejected the idea that every debate must be a zero-sum fight between countries. And that is why, even though we are a net contributor, we supported a larger budget for the Union. The highly limited level of the budget means that the Union is often over-focused on a limited range of current or desired powers, at the expense of a more active agenda of enabling activity.

We believe that we need more investment in skills and research – the foundations for sustained prosperity for all our people. We have supported greater ambition on key reforms to fully address the policy gaps which caused so much damage during the financial crisis.

We believe that the Conference on the Future of Europe has begun an important dialogue on our shared future. The recommendations of the Conference include some very worthwhile suggestions that can be implemented quite quickly, as well as some that are more ambitious and wide ranging.

Let’s focus on building a Union which can directly enable action in critical areas, and by respecting important principles such as subsidiarity, we can have a more constructive debate. Our guiding principle should be, ‘how can we best prepare our Union to continue to meet the needs of its citizens into the future?’ Ireland is ready for this debate. We will work to constructively shape our new future and are open to treaty change if this proves necessary. We should first, however, do what we can within the existing framework.

We have in recent months and years started to face up to the reality of challenges to the core founding principles of our Union – and this is not just an economic bloc. The Treaties which we have all signed open up great opportunities for us all, but they also carry fundamental responsibilities. The Union cannot work if its members refuse to follow the laws which apply to us all. And the Union cannot have a purpose if we do not absolutely insist on protecting democratic and human rights in all of our countries. As John Hume said, ‘the basis of peace and stability in any society has to be the fullest respect for the human rights of all its people’.

For some time we have been going through what has been called a democratic recession in the world. There has been an attempt to push back against the idea that democracy and human rights are fundamental to sustained human progress. Every day we are seeing the terrible human price paid when a country’s leadership stops debate, closes down political competition, controls the economy and ends the rule of law. So as we learn the lessons of this moment, let’s understand that if we want the values of a free, democratic and prosperous Europe to survive and succeed, we have to speak up for these values – and we have to do so even when it’s uncomfortable.

Jean Monnet famously said that ‘Europe will be forged in crises and will be the sum of the solutions adopted for those crises’. He has repeatedly been proven right. However, he missed an important extra element. Yes, we have constantly required a crisis in order to make major changes, but ultimately we are more and more seeing that if we want progress for Europe, it must be forged by its commitment to values. We must protect and strengthen these values. If we do this, we will remain a beacon of hope to others, especially to our fellow Europeans in Ukraine.

In our Union, we are better together, we are stronger together, we achieve most and best when we work together. Thank you very much indeed.

 
  
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  Frances Fitzgerald, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, Commissioners, colleagues, I say to the Taoiseach, thank you so much for so passionately and comprehensively outlining the importance of the EU to Ireland past, present and future.

As we both know, membership of the European Union has been nothing short of life—changing for the people of Ireland over the last 50 years. That historic vote in May 1972 to join the European Communities changed the economic and social trajectory of the Irish State for the better. And as an Irish woman, I can unequivocally vouch for this positive change. The five decades have witnessed Ireland’s emergence as a modern, open economy and society, shaped by close, reciprocal cooperation with our European partners. We strongly endorse the European values of human rights, democracy, freedom of the press, and rule of law. The European Union is a beacon, a model, and an instrument for obtaining peace.

Fittingly, last night, as the Taoiseach said, we paid tribute to a committed European, a peacemaker, and a former member of this parliament, John Hume. We remember his outstanding work for peace and his resolute, determined stance against the use of violence in Ireland. He believed in and personified this institution, describing the EU as the most successful peace project in history. He believed in extensive dialogue to bring about peace. That approach is a hallmark of the EU’s efforts to resolve outstanding concerns within the protocol in Northern Ireland. The European way is to negotiate in good faith and we expect the same in return from the UK, not bad faith.

Taoiseach, you were right when you said it would be a historic low to break an international treaty. I also pay tribute to the commissioners Maroš Šefčovič, and before him Michel Barnier, for their efforts to resolve these issues. They have shown endless patience and resolve, and I want to take this opportunity to thank my fellow parliamentarians here in this House for their deep understanding of the consequences of Brexit and for their unwavering support for Ireland as a small Member State.

The brutal Russian aggression and invasion of Ukraine illustrates the scale of the threat to multilateralism, to human decency and to the international rule of law. All Member States have a role to play in the future of defence and security policy. We must support one another. I believe that the future of Ukraine and other Eastern partners is within the EU. But I ask, is it good enough to say that your future lies in Europe, but that could be a generation away?

The issues facing Ireland today are mirrored across Europe. Ireland’s challenges are Europe’s challenges, and Europe’s opportunities are Ireland’s opportunities. Ireland and the EU must continue to defend democracy and the people of Ukraine. We must respond comprehensively to the current challenges of the cost of living crisis, the energy crisis, and work together as we have done during COVID. We are creating the future by the decisions made here today and through our engagement with our citizens. Ireland’s future is without doubt at the heart of Europe. Éire go brách and long live Europe.

 
  
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  Pedro Marques, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Madam President, Mr Micheál Martin, Taoiseach of Ireland, on behalf of the Socialists and Democrats and my leader, Iratxe García Pérez, I would like to welcome you to the House of European Democracy.

This Parliament is very much concerned about the position of the UK Government on the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol and its impact on the Republic of Ireland, on Northern Ireland and on the UK and globally on the Good Friday Agreement. So I would like to ask you, can you elaborate further on your views on this matter?

And let me take the opportunity of having you here to address also a very different but also complex topic: tax competition. It endangers the so critical collection of resources that you referred to, Taoiseach. Let me say clearly, we welcome resoundingly the fact that the Republic of Ireland joined the OECD tax agreement on minimum corporate taxation. Nevertheless, as we all know, many other practices may still be used to decrease real taxation. Taoiseach, do you agree that the EU and the Member States should cooperate more to level the playing field on these matters?

Thank you so much for the opportunity. Welcome to the European Parliament.

 
  
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  Stéphane Séjourné, au nom du groupe Renew. – Madame la Présidente, cher Taoiseach – cher Micheál –, je vous remercie pour votre intervention. Laissez-moi vous assurer, de la part d’une famille politique très pro-européenne de ce Parlement, que nous sommes fiers de l’agenda résolument européen du gouvernement irlandais.

Comme nous pouvons compter sur l’Irlande pour défendre l’unité européenne, je voulais redire, cher Taoiseach, que les Irlandais peuvent compter sur Renew Europe et leurs députés, Barry Andrews et Billy Kelleher, pour défendre leurs intérêts, car, depuis quelque temps, les intérêts des Irlandais sont les intérêts de l’Europe.

En effet, nous voilà à nouveau confrontés bien malgré nous aux conséquences du Brexit. Nous savons, à Renew Europe, les inquiétudes des citoyens irlandais et nord-irlandais. Inquiet, je le serais aussi si mon marché, ma sécurité alimentaire ou pharmaceutique dépendaient de la constance de Boris Johnson. Mais, je vais vous le dire très clairement, nous défendons le protocole nord-irlandais.

Les Irlandais ne s’y trompent pas, y compris les Nord-Irlandais, qui ont à 56 % voté pour des partis favorables à cet accord. Peut-être que des accommodements sont possibles, mais ce n’est pas unilatéralement à Westminster – en violation, d’ailleurs, avec le droit international – de définir ce qui arrange ou ce qui n’arrange pas les Irlandais et l’Europe. L’Europe, elle, n’a qu’une parole. Elle n’a qu’une parole auprès des Irlandais et auprès des Britanniques.

Cher Taoiseach, je profite de notre échange pour vous interroger sur un sujet important pour notre groupe politique: les propositions des citoyens à l’issue de la conférence sur l’avenir de l’Europe. Nous appelons à une convention pour, si c’est nécessaire, faire évoluer nos traités. Cela nous semble essentiel pour enfin instaurer une initiative législative au Parlement et surtout pour mettre fin à un certain nombre d’éléments de décision, notamment l’unanimité sur certains points au Conseil. Un État ne peut plus bloquer les décisions qui affectent 450 millions d’Européens.

Alors une question: quelle est la position du gouvernement irlandais sur ces points-là et sur le lancement de cette conférence? Vous y avez un peu répondu, mais l’on souhaiterait – mon groupe politique, en tout cas – vous entendre un peu plus sur cette question. Merci beaucoup et, effectivement, vive l'Europe et vive l'Irlande!

 
  
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  Philippe Lamberts, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Madam President, I say to the Taoiseach: welcome to the European Parliament. Actually, when one looks at the history of your country, a history marred by war, occupation, famine, poverty, mass emigration, a global financial crisis which hit you like few other countries, one might expect a country of anger, bitterness, revenge.

And we have none of that, none of that, I’m really struck every time. And you embody that, every time I meet the Irish colleagues that we find at the same time, gravitas but also a sense of optimism towards the future and humility. There’s no grandstanding, it seems, in your country, you don’t need to grandstand to be great. And this is what I love so much about the contribution that your people are making to the European Union. And being future-oriented, an optimist to me comes out of your speech as well.

Again, not with big words, but let’s take one: ‘sovereignty’. Instead of looking at this concept, which means the ability to decide on your own, basically, instead of looking back towards the nation-state, you – and these are your words – said: ‘the European Union is an enabler of sovereignty’. It makes us more sovereign, contrary to what some in this House are saying.

What I like also – and this is a change from your predecessor and successor, who was also humble enough to recognise four years ago that Ireland was a laggard when it comes to the climate transition. And it’s true, Ireland was a laggard, but you embraced the new government, and indeed thanks to the participation of the Greens. But your support, your personal support as Taoiseach has embraced the green transition.

Now, I do see the great plans and the commitments. Last year Ireland’s emissions grew by 6%, so we are still not there. There are still massive efforts to be made. But you and I see that the future of Europe’s prosperity lies in leading the transition rather than following, being laggards. We need to be leaders here if we want Europe to be prosperous.

A last point that I will make is to tell you that we will stand united and in solidarity with Ireland when it comes to preserving the Good Friday Agreement. We know that we are facing a British Government that we can’t trust, and I think that even his own party – well, many in his own party – recognise that he is not a trustworthy person. But we have to endure. We have to endure and find ways to keep peace in Ireland. And believe us, we are with you on this.

 
  
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  Marco Zanni, a nome del gruppo ID. – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, ringrazio il signor Primo ministro Martin per essere qui, perché in questo momento di grave difficoltà, in uno dei momenti più difficili che le Istituzioni europee stanno affrontando, è molto importante un dialogo costante interistituzionale, soprattutto tra questo Parlamento e i rappresentanti degli Stati membri.

Prima di tutto, è importante un coordinamento e un dialogo per rafforzare un punto in cui, a mio avviso, le Istituzioni europee sono un po' mancate in questo periodo difficile, che è la credibilità. Quando si affronta una sfida geopolitica, una sfida importante come quella che stiamo affrontando di fronte all'aggressione russa, la credibilità e l'unità sono due fattori di fondamentale importanza.

Purtroppo, a causa anche di errori strategici e di informazione che abbiamo commesso nel passato nel costruire la nostra Unione e il nostro modello, questa credibilità e questa unità le abbiamo viste pian piano mancare. Quindi è fondamentale che lavoriamo insieme, affinché non si creino blocchi distinti, come qualche volta stiamo vedendo nelle discussioni sulle emergenze. Riflettere sul perché e su come possiamo evitare questi errori nel futuro diventa fondamentale.

Decenni di dipendenza energetica dalla Russia, che sono stati una scelta politica fatta dall'Unione europea in passato, ci hanno reso deboli. Proprio oggi, quando questo Parlamento dovrà votare uno dei provvedimenti più importanti della prossima legislatura, dobbiamo fare tesoro dei nostri errori passati, per non ripeterli nel futuro.

La transizione energetica, su cui questa Commissione ha puntato molto in questa legislatura e su cui questo Parlamento sta lavorando da tempo, avrà successo se non sarà guidata dall'ideologia e se impareremo dai nostri errori del passato. In un momento in cui stiamo tentando di svincolarci dalla Russia, legarci mani e piedi a un'altra minaccia geopolitica, che è quella cinese, non è esattamente la strada giusta per rimodellare il futuro socioeconomico dell'Unione europea. Quindi invitiamo tutti a riflettere e a prendere una decisione strategica giusta sulla nostra autonomia, anche su questo pacchetto.

Chiudo sull'ultimo punto, molto importante. Oggi noi stiamo cercando di sostenere l'Ucraina e la sua popolazione di fronte a questa aggressione, e i cittadini europei hanno fatto un grande sforzo e stanno sopportando un grande sforzo a tal fine, però noi da tempo chiediamo che le Istituzioni europee si muovano concretamente perché il peso di questa ennesima crisi non ricada sui cittadini europei e sulle nostre imprese.

Di fronte alle sfide che stiamo affrontando – l'inflazione, l'aumento dei costi, la disoccupazionee la perdita di potere d'acquisto – è fondamentale che ci siano tre priorità per le Istituzioni europee: lavoro, lavoro, lavoro. Abbiamo una grande opportunità per plasmare il nostro nuovo modello futuro, che deve essere basato su un'autonomia che ci svincola dai regimi e che ci rende indipendenti nelle nostre scelte geopolitiche. Se non saremo in grado di plasmare questo sistema guardando agli errori del passato, purtroppo l'Unione europea rimarrà un attore geopolitico debole e che dipenderà sempre dagli altri. Grazie, contiamo su di voi.

 
  
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  Charlie Weimers, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Madam President, Taoiseach Martin, the Swedish Social Democrats hoped that the amnesty from migrants in 2005 would give us pause. The opposite happened: pull factors increased. The following decade meant a migration wave we’ve never seen before. This year, one shooting a day, one bombing a week, and areas ruled by criminal gangs and clans caused Bild Zeitung to name my country the most dangerous country in Europe.

Now, I understand that your government is pushing through a mass amnesty. For how many? No one seems to know. Taoiseach, have you looked at migration prognosis for the future? Ipsos tells us that 1.5 billion people would like to migrate if given the opportunity. The French Government estimates that 35—40% of those would choose Europe. That’s 500 million that would like to go to our continent if given the opportunity. The same as the whole EU population, Taoiseach.

Africa’s population is set to grow from 1.4 billion today to 4 billion at the end of this century, and there aren’t enough jobs. Taoiseach Martin, do you think that mass amnesties for illegal migrants by EU Member States is going to alleviate or worsen migration pressure on Europe?

 
  
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  Chris MacManus, on behalf of The Left Group. – Madam President, I say to the Taoiseach: in his final speech to this Parliament, John Hume proposed that the EU should have a commissioner for peace and reconciliation, whose mission would be to promote dialogue and help create a world in which there is no longer any war.

We are no closer to that vision, but it is worth holding on to. And I echo these sentiments in the hope that a similar approach underpins Ireland’s Council of Europe Presidency assumed recently. For, as we know, human rights are the core of the Council of Europe.

Sometimes in this institution we let economic considerations blind us to human rights violations. I refer specifically to the British Government, which daily shows its contempt for the rule of law and, in particular, international human rights law. They are renouncing the European Convention on Human Rights and actively undermining the Good Friday Agreement. Not only are they unilaterally rewriting the protocol, but also imposing one-sided legislation on the legacy of the conflict, providing an amnesty for crimes committed by state forces. The international community has and needs to continue to defend the Good Friday Agreement.

Finally, Taoiseach, could I remind you that human rights are often intertwined with social and economic rights? The rights of ordinary people to a home must trump the supposed rights of those who are pricing people out of the housing market or charging extortionate rents.

 
  
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  Clara Ponsatí Obiols (NI). – Madam President, I would like to thank the Taoiseach for being here and for his remarks.

The fundamental rights of any European must be the concern of every European, and in 1976, Ireland led by example. You took the UK to court for torturing detainees in Northern Ireland. It was an uphill fight, but time has shown that you were right. Yet decades later, we still see judges using evidence extracted by mistreating detainees. A recent ruling of the European Court of Human Rights ruled that a conviction of 17 years based on a confession extracted in isolation and without counsel was not a fair trial. The man was set free, but last week the Spanish Supreme Court disobeyed and sent him back to jail.

Spain’s disregard for the Strasbourg Court is astonishing. Eleven times they have been condemned for not investigating torture. But guess what? The judge that was blind to abuse and torture in six of these cases, the delinquent judge, Mr Grande-Marlaska, is now Security Minister in Spain.

Taoiseach, the tolerance of the EU authorities to Spanish human rights violation is alarming. We urge you to make your voice and speak clearly about that. We need to hear Ireland’s voice again. Please defend human rights for all Europeans.

 
  
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  Micheál Martin, Taoiseach. – Madam President, first of all could I thank all the Members for responding and for the points they have made.

The honourable Member Frances Fitzgerald made a number of key points, not least on the transformative impact of European Union membership in Ireland, and particularly on women in Ireland, over the last 50 years. Also, you made a key point in relation to enlargement. I think you posed the question that if we say to countries ‘we want you to join’ and are opening the door, why does it take so long? My own view is that the enlargement process has taken far too long, and I think we need to have a fundamental reflection on this.

We were with the Western Balkans before Christmas last, and there is no reason why North Macedonia and Albania should not be members of the European Union now. In my view, we have to accelerate the process. We have to make a fundamental call as a Union, in terms of enlargement.

(Applause)

My own personal view, coming from where we are coming from – Ireland in 1973 – is that it has been transformative. There is no point in saying anything else. Because of that, I always feel it very difficult to put a barrier up against another country that wishes to join and that fulfils the criteria. That would be our view. We don’t think politics should get in the way, that localised or regionalised issues should get in the way of a country being allowed to join. I think it’s a key question. It’s a fundamental point that we should all reflect on.

The next issue was two points, from Pedro Marques I think, in relation to, first of all, the Protocol. You asked me to elaborate. I don’t think I have the time to elaborate fully, but what I would say is that if there was a Nobel Peace Prize for patience, Maroš Šefčovič would win hands down. I want to thank him for the role that he has played. But to say fundamentally where it’s at, is that Unionist politicians have raised legitimate questions, you know, issues around the operation of the Protocol, and we believe, the European Union, believes that it can resolve these issues.

But the fundamental question remains as to what the British Government’s ultimate position is. That’s why I referred in my opening address to the absence of political will. I just simply do not detect a sustained political will on behalf of the UK Government to settle this and resolve this, because it without question can be resolved. The more fundamental concern I have is on the overall stability of the architecture of the Good Friday Agreement and the spirit that informs that. I said earlier, you know, that it took a lot of work from a lot of people to get the Good Friday Agreement over the line, and therefore we should all be very, very careful in doing anything that could undermine that. I feel the UK Government is not giving due consideration to the totality of what’s involved in the Good Friday Agreement.

On tax competition, again Ireland was very constructive and cooperative in terms of the OECD process, and we signed up to that. As a country, we continue to engage at international level in all fora in relation to tax issues. But the more fundamental issue that we find now in terms of foreign direct investment coming into Ireland is the talent question. Most companies are in search of talent or ability and so on.

That speaks to the question of migration that a colleague also spoke about and questioned, asserted that there was an amnesty in Ireland. There’s no amnesty in Ireland, but we do believe that if the undocumented are undocumented for a long period of time, they need to have their lives regularised, to have their lives resolved and become full citizens of Ireland. That’s what we’re doing.

I just would make the point in terms of the question around migration that the reason President Biden is President of the United States is because of an enormous migratory trail from Ireland to the United States after the famine and throughout the 19th century. We are the last country to start condemning migration or to take a very narrow perspective on migration, and that is our position on that.

One of the transformative things in Ireland today is the multiculturalism of modern Ireland, that so many citizens have come from within Europe and beyond Europe to live in Ireland. I was taken by what Philippe said earlier that there is still that generosity of spirit in Ireland, and that engagement, and long may that continue. We have to work at that. There are always challenges around that, and I take on board the nice comments you made in terms of humility and gravitas and so on – although the city I come from in Ireland, people don’t normally associate us with humility or modesty, but that’s an internal Irish matter!

I do take your point on climate change. It’s about delivery now. We have passed the legislation. I think what we have done though is put the template in place and the foundations for fundamental change into the future. The real challenge is delivery and really getting political consensus on delivery. I am passionately committed to this, and to the restoration of biodiversity as well. We’ve a journey to travel, but we’re committed to doing it and the legal framework is in place.

If I say so, offshore wind will be a very big development in Ireland over the next decade or so and we will be a net exporter of energy in the mid—2030s because of the fact that we have a lot of wind around our coast, with seas seven times the land mass of Ireland.

In terms of Stéphane’s point on the Conference on the Future of Europe, we are very open – and I’m very open to the idea of treaty change on the basis of the enlargement question. If we enlarge, we have to work out how we manage and operate the Union more efficiently and more effectively. We can’t operate with all the rules as the Union enlarges itself. So we’re very much in favour of really pursuing that particular issue and being open to change in terms of how we do things within the Council, the Parliament’s right to initiative and so forth.

I would have a strong belief in public health, for example. I was a former Minister for Health. I witnessed how in every domain every nationalist said we can’t allow our health systems or whatever to be the competency of, or to move to Europe, and so on. But, as we saw during the pandemic, public health, as a discipline within the broader health arena, really is a European competency.

The HERA initiative and all of that is essential to the future of public health across Europe. When I was a Minister for Health, there was no chance of procuring vaccines. Not a chance. It was so discordant and so forth. So to me it was a marvel to see Europe procure vaccines, enable the production of vaccines, and become the largest donor of vaccines in the world, for which the European Union doesn’t get credit. It is the largest donor, and the most consistent donor of vaccines.

In terms of the energy transition, and I think Marco Zanni made the point in relation to the geopolitical situation and ties to China, the war on Ukraine is causing us all to reflect very deeply on how we develop relationships into the future, how we maintain them in terms of the rule of law, values and democracy. I think there’s going to be a period of forward reflection in terms of how we engage with others who also transgress the fundamental values in our system.

I think I’ve dealt with the migration issue. Suffice to say that we need to work much harder on climate change, on a whole range of issues, to reduce the necessity for migration and to enable sustainability within many countries in the neighbourhood of Europe and in Africa in terms of economic sustainability, social sustainability, climate sustainability. That’s ultimately the way that we have a proper balanced approach to these issues.

In relation to Chris MacManus’s point, again I was at the Council of Europe yesterday, met with the Secretary—General, also visited the European Court of Human Rights, which has a strong resonance for Ireland because of our history and because of the work it did in terms of Northern Ireland, and also in the Airey case, for example, which was fundamental in terms of access to legal aid, not just for Ireland but for the entirety of Europe in terms of that decision, and also the Norris case and LGBTQ rights, and the Louise O’Keeffe case. So we have a strong affinity with that.

Again, what was interesting is that the United Kingdom Government has nothing to fear from the European Court of Human Rights. In fact, it has one of the lowest number of cases against it. It seems to be very determined to create problems where problems don’t really exist. So we’re very committed to that, and again, on a more general level, in terms of tolerance of any violation of human rights, we are very strong on human rights as a country. We want to be and we will continue to play our part at European Union level in advancing and human rights.

I want to thank you all very much for your contributions. It has been a privilege and an honour for me to address you as Taoiseach, and I look forward to engaging with you in the time ahead.

(Sustained applause)

 
  
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  President. – Thank you so much dear Taoiseach Micheál Martin for those comprehensive replies. I see the reaction from the room is testament to the engagement of this Parliament in the ongoing discussion that we can have with you and your country.

That concludes the debate.

 

4. Negotiations ahead of Parliament’s first reading (Rule 71)(action taken)
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  President. – In relation to the decisions by the ITRE and ECON committees to enter into interinstitutional negotiations pursuant to Rule 71(1) announced at the opening of the session on Monday 6 June, I have received no request for a vote in Parliament by Members or political groups reaching at least the medium threshold. The committees may therefore start the negotiations.

(The sitting was suspended for a few moments)

 

5. Conclusions of the special European Council meeting of 30-31 May 2022 (debate)
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  President. – The next item is the debate on the European Council and Commission statements on the conclusions of the special European Council meeting of 30—31 May 2022 (2022/2704(RSP)).

Dear colleagues I remind you that the free seating is applied with the exception of the first two rows that are allocated to Group leaders. You will be able to request catch-the-eye and blue cards via your voting machine after having inserted your voting card, and therefore this is a reminder to have your voting card whenever you come into the Hemicycle. Should you wish to register for catch-the-eye I invite you to do so starting from now, without waiting for the end of the debate. Also, blue cards can be raised for a short intervention which would allow a short follow-up question. The interventions will continue to be made from the central lectern, with the exception of catch-the-eye, blue cards and points of order.

 
  
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  Charles Michel, President of the European Council. – Madam President, ladies and gentlemen, dear colleagues.

Two days ago, I was at the UN Security Council to express our common European commitment to condemn Russian atrocities and to reaffirm our support for Ukraine.

The Russian ambassador did not like what I said, and he walked out because he refused to look truth in the eye. But we won’t stop telling the truth. We won’t stop acting to back Ukraine and to confront Russia with the facts.

Russia is using food as a weapon of war, stealing grain, blockading ports and turning farmlands into battlefields. There are over 20 million tons of grain, wheat and corn stuck in Ukraine. This is disrupting global food security, driving up prices and causing global famine.

During our European Council meeting, we focused on the logistical solutions to get these products to global markets, including working with Ukraine – and EU Member States – to establish alternative transport routes.

Global hunger is everyone’s business, so it requires a coordinated, comprehensive and global approach, and we are working with the G7, the African Union and all our other partners.

In New York a few days ago, I met with Secretary—General Guterres to discuss global food security and our common efforts to get the blocked grain out of Odesa. The Kremlin is weaponising food supplies and surrounding their actions with a web of lies, Soviet—style. We must join forces to call out these fabrications as pure fiction, particularly for the global South. These are Russian ships and Russian missiles that are blocking the export of crops and grain; Russian tanks, bombs and mines are preventing Ukraine from planting and harvesting.

Let’s be clear: there are no EU sanctions on Russian agricultural products. And I say to all countries affected by this food crisis: don’t be fooled by the Kremlin’s propaganda, don’t be instrumentalised by Russia.

We also reached a landmark agreement on Russian oil. This embargo will cover 90% of oil imports from Russia into the EU by the end of the year. This is a remarkable achievement and it will be extended to all pipeline oil as soon as possible.

Two months ago, in this House, I said that sooner or later, measures on hydrocarbons would be needed, and we did it. This shows that we are, and we remain, united and committed to piling the pressure on Russia.

Ukraine urgently needs liquidity: EUR 5 billion a month just to keep the country running. So we discussed how we can work with our international partners to get the Ukrainian Government the money it needs.

We agreed to provide up to EUR 9 billion to Ukraine in macro—financial assistance and we also addressed Ukraine’s reconstruction: right now and in the future, the EU must be, and will be, a leader in driving this forward. We discussed a Ukraine reconstruction platform, together with the Ukrainian Government, the EU and Member States, and all our international partners and friends.

Russia is brutally destroying Ukraine and it is only fair that Russia – the aggressor – should pay to rebuild the country. We agreed to look into the possibility of confiscating assets of sanctioned Russian individuals and entities, in line with EU and international law. This could help finance Ukraine’s reconstruction.

Russia’s war has bolstered our ambition for a strong, coordinated European defence. In March, in Versailles, we agreed to strengthen our security and to increase our sovereignty. We want to have defence capabilities that match today’s threats and we agreed to urgently replenish Member States’ stocks of equipment sent to Ukraine, and in the medium and long term, to reinforce our European defence technology and industrial sector, including SMEs.

This means better coordinating our purchases and pooling spending for joint procurement. Member States’ lack of cooperation on defence is costing tens of billions of euros per year. Only 11% of Member States’ defence investments are spent collaboratively, and we are missing huge opportunities for real savings, for economies of scale and for ensuring that our armed forces are more interoperable.

A more capable EU will strengthen NATO and increase global security.

We also discussed energy prices, including the possibility of trying to lower the gas price by capping it, together with our international partners. Different views remain on the feasibility and we have therefore tasked the Commission to analyse this.

We are also working to phase out Russian fossil fuel imports. To become more energy independent, we will act in four key areas. First, we will diversify the fuels we use and the sources they come from; second, we will speed up the deployment of renewables and the permitting procedures; third, we will do more to save energy and promote energy efficiency; and finally, we will invest in infrastructure, interconnections and renewables.

But our discussions showed that much work remains on the financing aspects of the Commission’s proposals and the Council will now take work forward in these different areas.

If we want to be a geopolitical power, we must act as a geopolitical power. This means taking care of ourselves but also taking care of others. By being together, we can use that power to become more sovereign and more prosperous, more influential.

We are united and committed to back Ukraine and to build our common future.

(applause)

 
  
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  Ursula von der Leyen, President of the Commission. – Madam President, dear Roberta, dear Mr President, cher Charles, ladies and gentlemen, honourable Members, in the early weeks of this war, you remember that the leaders were gathering in Versailles and Europe found a common sense of purpose.

The European Commission took responsibility to translating this purpose into action. At the European Council last week, there we presented our very practical approaches and proposals on four main topics.

The first one is: we have to get rid of the dependency on Russian fossil fuels. We have gotten rid already of coal, we are now in a phase where we can wind down the dependency on Russian oil: 90% till the end of the year – I would have hoped for 100%, but this is unanimity – so 90% is good till the end of the year.

And now we have to look at gas, and for that we presented the EUR 300-billion package REPowerEU. What is in it? Three main pillars, the first one is diversify away from Russia towards more trustworthy and good suppliers, friends of us, for example the United Sates, and to invest in the necessary infrastructure in a way – when I’m speaking for example about pipelines and interconnectors – that yesterday it’s for gas but tomorrow it has to be hydrogen-ready so the investment is worth it.

The second part is energy saving. And energy efficiency sounds so easy, it is a big topic. Because I just want to share with you one figure that really impressed me. If in the European Union over a year we decrease the average heating temperature by two degrees only, this is the equivalent of the whole supply of Nordstream 1, two degrees only. And this shows the power of energy savings and energy efficiency.

And the third pillar is the most important, that is massive investment in renewables. And I could speak here for an hour about that topic, but I will not do that because I have to focus now on the three other topics.

The second one is, and was, defence. At the Council the Commission did a gaps analysis: there is a clear underinvestment since the economic and financial crisis, you can see it. I give you a few figures that show that: in the last decade we had an increase in defence spending in the European Union by 19%, the United States: 65%, Russia: 300% and China: 600%. And I think these figures are telling.

So now the good news is that leaders have stepped up and, if you look at the figures they have now put publicly as investment in defence it’s EUR 200 billion. Now it is important not only that we have that EUR 200 billion but how we spend it, and here join procurement is paramount because this is a question of ending the fragmentation, of economy of scale, of interoperability and of development of our industrial base here in the European Union. So we really have to look at that intensively.

The third topic was very important: on relief and reconstruction on Ukraine. I explained that extensively last time when we were here in Strasbourg, so today I want to focus on food security, and perhaps in my closing remarks it might be possible to refer to relief and reconstruction.

Food security: honourable Members, the Russian invasion of Ukraine reverberates around the world. This is not just about what its impact is on economics, geopolitics or security architecture. It is about the lives and livelihoods of millions of people around the world, millions of people who fear that they will not be able to afford tomorrow how to heat their homes or feed their children.

And the numbers are stark. This year alone, some 275 million people are likely to be at least at the risk of food insecurity across the world: not to know where to get your food as of tomorrow. And in an inflationary world we are in right now, that risk and those numbers can quickly spiral further out of control.

Many families in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa already spend close to half of their income on food, they have no room to manoeuvre any more with rising food prices, no way. So it is no surprise that the World Bank has estimated that 10 million people are pushed into extreme poverty for every percentage point increase in food prices, 10 million people, one per cent increase.

So we should be under no illusions about the challenges ahead. We are facing up to a collision of crises, which will amplify food insecurity and debt distress around the world. Some of these are a legacy of the pandemic and wider issues linked to the cost of living. For instance, the rising energy prices that have driven up the costs of fertilisers or of transporting exports. Others are more long-term and structural, such as the effects of extreme weather linked to climate change.

But, honourable Members, whether cyclical or structural, all of these impacts have one thing in common: they are massively – and deliberately – compounded by Putin’s war. This is a cold, callous and calculated siege by Putin on some of the most vulnerable countries and people in the world.

And therefore, honourable Members, food has become now part of the Kremlin’s arsenal of terror, and we cannot tolerate this. I think this is the only way to describe Russia’s bombarding of grain storage, the blockage of the Ukrainian ports, in some cases even theft of grain from Ukraine. So at the moment there are round about 20 million tonnes of grain currently trapped in Ukraine. And it is our duty to dismantle Russia’s disinformation.

Let us be very clear, in this hemicycle and outside: our sanctions do not touch basic food commodities. They do not affect the trading of grain, or other food, between Russia and third countries. And the port embargo specifically has full exemption on agricultural goods. So let’s stick to the truth: it’s Putin’s war of aggression that fuels the rood crisis and nothing else.

Honourable Members, while the cause is without doubt, our response must be just as clear. And there are four areas of action which I believe we must now focus on together. The first is keeping the markets open so that trade can continue to flow. This means stepping up our work on the solidarity lanes. We are working very hard to provide an alternative way – I know it’s not optimal – but it’s at least to something make sure that the grain that is blocked in Ukraine gets on the markets as quickly as possible, this helps.

But the world needs the Black Sea ports of Ukraine up and running again, because the majority of Ukrainian grain can only be exported in time through the Black Sea routes. And, therefore, I am very grateful to the United Nations for its efforts. In parallel, we need to work with our partners to ensure there are no export restrictions or controls that will hamper the market. The European Union keeps its food exports going, and so should everyone else.

The second area, this is solidarity and support to partners. This is about short-term support to the countries most at risk. For example, we are now investing an additional EUR 225 million to address the short- and medium-term needs of the Southern Neighbourhood partners. And I will be in Egypt next week to discuss with President El-Sisi how best we can target our support to the region; this is a big, big task for all of us.

The third area is responding and investing in making local markets more sustainable and resilient. If you look at the figures, 50 years ago Africa produced all the food it needed, only 50 years ago. Then climate change made water scarce, and the desert swallowed hundreds of kilometres of fertile land, year after year.

Today, Africa is heavily dependent on imports for critical food products, and this makes it vulnerable. And therefore, in the medium and long term, an initiative to boost the region’s own production capacity is critical to strengthen the region’s resilience. We should have the same mind-set like we did with the vaccines. Yes, at the moment being we have to bring food to Africa, yes it is the short-term solution and it is necessary, without any question. And we should look at how we use our grain here in Europe and how much we can really bring to Africa. But in the mid and long term, like with the vaccines, it should not be our food brought to Africa, but it should be the technology that is in Africa, and Africa produces itself what it needs. So here we really have to step up.

And for this, the EU budget has already earmarked EUR 3 billion to invest in agriculture and nutrition, water and sanitation programmes, precision farming, nanotechnology for fertilisers, you don’t need the energy any more.

So there are many, many, many interesting technologies out there. But it is clear that we will need to do more. And we will need to move faster. And this is why the Commission has raised with Member States now the possibility to mobilise EUR 600 million of decommitted funds from the European Development Fund. And, please, I would be very, very happy if we move swiftly, I know that this Parliament is able to do it – you have proven it in the crisis, so let’s prove it another time.

Finally, let me emphasise that we are not doing this alone. We are working very closely with Member States through the Team Europe approach. We are working closely with the United Nations and the G7 Presidency; that has made this a key theme of the upcoming leaders’ meeting. Unity and support are the strongest messages we can send in the face of Russian action and Russian disinformation.

And, honourable Members, it is only natural that many of our partners around the world see this conflict through the prism of food or energy prices. And they expect the European Union, of course other countries around the world too, but they expect the European Union to show the same resolve, the same solidarity as we have rightly shown towards Ukraine, when it comes to addressing the food crisis in the world. And this is exactly what we will do through our own response, through our work within the G7 and other partners.

Long live Europe.

 
  
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  Manfred Weber, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, yes, let’s assess the last Council meeting. First of all, about sanctions, defence, all the other initiatives, I think the outcome is good. We took a step forward. Europe is on a good path. But I ask myself, frankly speaking, when we reflect about the last Council meeting, why nobody mentioned until now the name of Viktor Orbán. Because when people saw what happened in the last European Council, I think they understood that there is Viktor Orbán, one of the crazy guys, at the table, and this is a problem for us as Europeans. I ask myself, how was it to sit next to him, to have the experience of being blackmailed by Viktor Orbán, to have Putin’s interests sitting at the table?

I have a long history personally with Viktor Orbán. We kicked him out two years ago. Today, my party, the PPE, is in Poland, and in Czechia, for example, we kicked the corrupt Babiš out of office. So we are the rule of law party today in a lot of central and Eastern European countries. I am proud about this. But again, how was it?

And I ask these questions because I think a lot of people, all of Europe, understand that the current architecture, the current decision-making process is not anymore giving us answers to the tasks of the table. That’s why the question again: why are we not initiating the passerelle clause in the Lisbon Treaty? Why don’t we discuss these issues?

The European Parliament will vote tomorrow on the idea to ask for a convention. I think, all colleagues from the other Groups, that we find a good text now, that we find a common understanding about our requests on the table, a joint text. I hope that the leaders have enough will, show enough leadership, to really develop the idea of a convention.

When we speak about leadership, then also Ukraine is in our mind, The next European Council will have to discuss its candidate status. I want to remind us that a few days after the war started, on 24 February, President Zelenskyy was here on the screen and he was asking us, Are we welcome? Can we become a member of the club? Is it worth to fight? That was his question. And I said here, like a lot of my colleague: yes, you have to come, yes, you can join the European Union. And that’s why it’s so important that we give, in the next European Council, a clear mandate, a clear signal to the Ukrainian friends that their fight is a good fight and they are welcome in the European family. So that’s why we need a decision of a candidate status now, that is what we need, and also for Moldova.

I want to be clear on this, that the Republic of Moldova has to have the same treatment. I want to underline that this is part of a broader development, for sure. And we speak about the Western Balkans. The whole enlargement process is not any more about the single market, it is today about stability, and that’s why we should do it now. We should show leadership again in this aspect. And my Group is fighting hard for this.

And then I want to welcome the initiatives from the Commission on food security. A lot of these issues are good issues and to prioritise this is great. Probably, generally speaking, we can say that farmers are not seen anymore as the bad guys polluting our environment, because that was the perception over the last years. Farmers are those who are working hard, families who are working hard to deliver high-quality food for all of us. And that should be respected, that should be seen, especially in the week when we celebrate 60 years of the CAP.

And then we speak about the economic situation for farmers. Here I want to ask the President of the Council to consider putting another item on the agenda of the next European Council, because for the moment we speak a lot about the external dimension but we do not speak so much about the concerns of our citizens, and that is about inflation, that is about the interest rates going up in the next few months.

From what we hear from the ECB, the growth rate is not promising for today’s European expectations. We are facing a recession, a possible recession. People are confronted with the question: can I pay my bill for holidays now or for a better education for my children? That is the question of citizens in the European Union. And that’s why politically, populists are already waiting for this development. We have to give an answer. We have to prioritise this debate now. We have to prioritise it now. And the PPE always insists on jobs, jobs, jobs. That is our message and I ask you now to put this on the agenda of the European Council to discuss this issue among leaders.

From my political family, I can tell you, with strengthening the single market, less bureaucracy, yes to trade agreements. We need the Mercosur agreement now and also in this Fit for 55 package of today to find a good balance; we want to have a decarbonisation but not a de-industrialisation of the European Union. That is now on the table and that’s why we have to prioritise this issue. Leadership is needed again.

 
  
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  Iratxe García Pérez, en nombre del Grupo S&D. – Señora presidenta, el otro día, cuando seguía las noticias que me llegaban del Consejo, tengo que decirles que tenía sentimientos contradictorios. Por un lado, alivio; alivio al ver que finalmente se mantenía la unidad de los veintisiete, porque esa es nuestra mejor arma para hacer frente a la amenaza de Putin y también para apoyar a Ucrania. Me alegré de que se adoptara el sexto paquete de sanciones, a pesar de las concesiones. No me sorprendieron, sinceramente, porque algunos que no conocen el significado de la palabra «solidaridad» intentaron sacar tajada de la crisis. Pero eso entraba dentro de lo esperado.

Lo que no me esperaba es que tanto la Comisión como el Consejo se olvidaran de la dimensión interna de esta crisis, que no hayan discutido la Resolución de este Parlamento sobre las consecuencias sociales y económicas que acabábamos de adoptar. Por supuesto que vamos apoyar a Ucrania. Por supuesto que debemos fortalecer nuestra seguridad colectiva. Por supuesto que tenemos una responsabilidad para evitar una crisis alimentaria mundial.

Pero no querer ver cómo esta guerra afecta a la vida cotidiana de los europeos y las europeas es una miopía peligrosa. Sí, peligrosa, porque no hay nada más que salir a la calle y hablar con la gente. Vamos, no necesitamos ni siquiera hablar con la gente. Imagino que cualquiera de ustedes va al supermercado cuando podemos salir de este Parlamento y ve cómo se ha encarecido la cesta de la compra. Y seguro que son conscientes de que hay muchísimas familias, muchísimas familias en Europa que tienen verdaderas dificultades, que no cuentan con más de cincuenta euros semanales para poder llenar la cesta de la compra. Y sobre eso es sobre lo que tenemos que hablar; y por eso, lamento que en el Consejo no se discutiera a fondo sobre esta cuestión.

No sabemos cuánto tiempo va a durar esta guerra. Ya no es una situación de emergencia y todas nuestras políticas deben contemplar esta dimensión de ahora en adelante. Realmente, ya tenemos el mayor flujo de refugiados, y sobre todo refugiadas, desde la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Es encomiable la solidaridad que muestra la ciudadanía, y sobre todo los países que tienen frontera con Ucrania.

Ahora, a ver si los Gobiernos están a la altura, porque necesitamos financiar las políticas de integración para todas estas personas. Y yo creo que ya es hora de que el Consejo se siente a hablar del pacto migratorio, señor Michel. La emergencia climática y la crisis alimentaria, a la que la propia Comisión se ha referido, parecen indicar que la presión migratoria no tiene visos de atenuarse.

Entonces, ¿qué tenemos que hacer? Trabajar desde ahora, trabajar y estar preparados.

Busquemos una solución digna, solidaria y ambiciosa que ponga frente al reto demográfico, porque la creación de nuevos instrumentos financieros será la mejor manera de garantizar esto. Si los Estados miembros establecieran un impuesto sobre los beneficios caídos del cielo de las eléctricas de manera coordinada, tal y como pide este Parlamento, se podrían recaudar 90 mil millones de euros al año. Fíjense la de políticas sociales que podríamos hacer con ese dinero. Por lo tanto, tenemos la posibilidad de actuar más.

Concluyo con una propuesta, o mejor, dos. La primera, que se lean la Resolución de este Parlamento sobre las consecuencias sociales y económicas. Y la segunda, que organicemos una nueva cumbre social, como la que se celebró en Oporto el pasado año, para dar respuesta a este momento de inflación y de incertidumbre social que estamos viviendo. Ideas no nos faltan. Nos faltan coraje y convencimiento de que podemos hacer mejor las cosas.

 
  
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  Malik Azmani, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Madam President, President von der Leyen, honourable Members, while the war in Ukraine carries on, our European unity becomes even more important.

It becomes more important but also more difficult. Even though the real suffering occurs on our eastern border, we too feel the impact of war. The outcome of the European Council shows the European Union can still deliver.

Thank you for your leadership, dear Charles, for securing the sixth package despite the behaviour of some. Nevertheless, we can and must do more. President Putin bets that our willingness to increase costs on his regime will reduce. And let’s prove him wrong and let’s show him we mean it when we say freedom must overcome tyranny. Let us prepare for winter by increasing our energy security and investing in the green transition. Let us continue and step up our military aid so that Ukraine has a chance to determine the outcome on the battlefield.

Getting produce food out of Ukraine will stop Putin using famine as a weapon, which could also lead to migration crises here in Europe. Putin’s cynical blockade of Ukraine’s ports shows his total disregard for the global community; we must all speak out. Our partners must also deliver, and we welcome Egypt’s refusal of Russia’s stolen Ukrainian wheat.

Dear Presidents, we must be clear with our global partners, as the US have been, that they must reject Russia’s plundered commodities, or face diplomatic consequences.

Finally, colleagues, there can be no impunity for war crimes. Renew Europe welcomes the Council’s conclusions; supporting the ICC and the establishment of a joint investigation team (JIT) coordinated by Eurojust. And I repeat my call for more Member States to join the JIT, to improve the collection of evidence.

Coordination is the cure to duplication. Duplication can be painful for victims, who have to relive their tragedies to investigators. And it will ensure the aggressors are held to account, which must remain the ambition of this House and the Member States.

 
  
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  Philippe Lamberts, au nom du groupe Verts/ALE. – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Président, depuis l’agression de l’Ukraine par la Russie de Poutine, l’Union européenne fait la démonstration d’une unité et d’une détermination que beaucoup avaient sous-estimées. Et je veux le dire, votre travail à tous les deux y est pour beaucoup.

Notre première responsabilité est de les préserver dans la durée. La dynamique collective amorcée avec REPowerEU peut justement y contribuer. Sortir des hydrocarbures russes permettrait à la fois de renforcer notre indépendance énergétique et d’affaiblir Vladimir Poutine. Ce sevrage des énergies fossiles est urgent et indispensable, mais il reste terriblement compliqué. Après le charbon, le sommet de la semaine dernière a certes entériné l’abandon du pétrole russe, mais cela ne se fera pas avant la fin de l’année. De quoi donner tout le temps à Poutine de s’y préparer, en engrangeant au passage des surprofits, vu la hausse des prix que nos propres décisions ne manqueront pas d’alimenter. Quant à un embargo sur le gaz russe, en réalité nous en laissons l’initiative à Vladimir Poutine lui-même.

Je pense que beaucoup d’entre nous auraient souhaité une rupture immédiate avec cette double dépendance, russe et fossile. Mais les choix du passé rendent ce scénario impossible. Les infrastructures énergétiques, en effet, ont été conçues pour durer, et les remplacer ou les adapter requiert un temps et des moyens considérables. Le fait que des gouvernements européens songent encore aujourd’hui à remettre en service des mines de charbon ou se contentent de remplacer le gaz russe par du gaz venu d’ailleurs est donc une totale aberration. C’est à nouveau s’assurer que nous serons esclaves demain de décisions fossiles prises aujourd’hui.

Nous accueillons par contre favorablement le coup d’accélérateur que la Commission européenne veut donner à la transition énergétique avec le plan REPowerEU. Plus de renouvelables, plus d’efficacité: voilà le commencement de la sagesse énergétique. Ce plan reste cependant trop timide sur le troisième volet, essentiel, de la transition: la réduction de notre voracité. Vous y avez fait allusion, Madame la Présidente, en parlant de la température dans les bâtiments. Le toujours plus, toujours plus vite, toujours plus loin entraîne des dépenses énergétiques que nous ne pouvons tout simplement plus nous permettre. L’heure d’une sobriété juste est venue, et là tout reste à faire. Et, Monsieur le Président Michel, dans ce domaine, le gros des moyens, le gros des leviers se trouvent dans les mains des États membres.

La deuxième préoccupation dont je veux vous faire part ce matin concerne l’attitude européenne face aux dérives autoritaires des gouvernements hongrois et polonais. En ce moment, ils utilisent la guerre en Ukraine à la fois comme un alibi pour faire oublier leurs atteintes systématiques à l’état de droit et comme un levier pour faire chanter l’Europe.

D’un côté, Viktor Orban tente de conditionner son ralliement à l’embargo pétrolier à l’obtention de plusieurs centaines de millions d’euros sans aucune condition liée à l’état de droit. De l’autre, Mateusz Morawiecki est parvenu à faire approuver le plan de relance polonais par la Commission malgré l’opposition de plusieurs membres éminents du collège. Et, comme eux, nous n’avons aucune confiance dans un gouvernement polonais qui, jusqu’ici, s’est refusé à poser le moindre geste concret en réponse aux nombreux griefs émis par la Commission européenne et la Cour de justice de l’Union.

Les trois conditions posées au versement du fonds de relance à la Pologne ne constituent qu’une partie de ces griefs. Et voilà que la Commission ne fait plus un préalable de la réinstallation des juges illégalement limogés. Pour nous, c’est hors de question. Nous appelons donc les gouvernements des États membres à ne pas approuver le plan de relance polonais en l’état.

Comme la plupart des citoyennes et des citoyens hongrois, polonais ou du reste de l’Union – je veux le répéter –, nous aspirons sincèrement à une pacification durable des relations de l’Union avec ces deux États membres, qui ont toute leur place au sein de l’Union. Mais cela ne peut se faire que si leurs gouvernements renoncent à leurs dérives liberticides. Voir l’Union européenne abandonner ses valeurs fondamentales serait une victoire pour Vladimir Poutine. Le maintien de la détermination et de l’unité des Européens ne pourra jamais, jamais se faire au prix d’un tel reniement.

 
  
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  Jaak Madison, on behalf of the ID Group. – Madam President, Ms von der Leyen, Mr Michel, first of all, as I have only one minute or one and a half minutes, I would like to really agree with Mr Weber from EPP when he mentioned that actually we have to discuss also about topics when we’re talking about inflation, when we’re talking about the food security. I really loved when he mentioned that we should not see any more the farmers as a huge risk or damage to the environment. We have to see them as producers for the food and we know that we need a food security to be more independent from Russia, from China, even from US.

And, of course, if you don’t propose solutions, if we can’t solve the real problems for our citizens in European countries, then those bad guys that’s called populists will come with solutions. And, of course, they propose sometimes very good solutions, if I call myself as a populist sometimes.

Second thing about Russia and Ukraine. I think the sanction package is, of course, a huge step forward. But at the same time, we have to remind that from 24 February, EU has paid over EUR 50 billion to Russia for energy. On the same time, we have proposed the military help from the EU only for a few billion euros and the sanctions are effective in the long term maybe, in six months, in one year. But we have to think how to win Russia in few months, in end of the summer, and we will win the war if there is enough military aid to Ukraine.

And if Germany is not doing enough, as we see today by Mr Scholz, if France is totally not understandable, if Mr Macron is saying that we can’t humiliate Vladimir Putin, then it’s your duty and it’s your duty to provide more military aid by EU to Ukraine to win this war. And then we can also look forward with the sanction package to destroy their economy. That’s the short—term view how we have to react. And for the long term, of course, the sanctions are necessary. I don’t agree also with some Member States who are trying to block everything and are not cooperating together. But more thinking on inflation, economic problems for our citizens, and more thinking about military aid to Ukraine.

 
  
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  Raffaele Fitto, a nome del gruppo ECR. – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signora Presidente della Commissione, signor Presidente del Consiglio, le scelte che il Consiglio ha messo in campo sono importanti visto il momento strategico, soprattutto perché ribadiscono un concetto fondamentale, che è quello di proseguire sul percorso dell'unità.

Ecco perché noi apprezziamo anche lo sforzo che viene compiuto per individuare delle soluzioni dal punto di vista dell'unità nell'ambito del conflitto, per condannare con forza e con decisione l'azione che la Russia ha messo in campo e anche e soprattutto per evidenziare, così come stiamo cercando di fare in tutti i modi, delle soluzioni che possano andare nella chiara possibilità di una risposta forte. In questo senso, lo sforzo di trovare una sintesi nell'ambito dell'approvazione, per esempio, del PNR della Polonia è esattamente l'opposto di quanto ha detto il collega Lamberts fino adesso, e noi apprezziamo e riteniamo che sia un utile sforzo nel dialogo per cercare di valorizzare il lavoro fatto.

Detto questo, due considerazioni di fondo sulla sicurezza alimentare e sull'energia. Noi paghiamo degli errori che sono stati compiuti negli anni e oggi dobbiamo evitare di compiere gli stessi errori.

Sulla sicurezza alimentare – lo ha detto la Presidente von der Leyen e lo voglio ribadire – rischiamo che venga utilizzata dal punto di vista anche strumentale da parte della Russia, mettendo in moto una strategia che può aggravare l'utilizzo strumentale dell'immigrazione perché, se scoppiano le tensioni dal punto di vista alimentare nel Nord Africa, le conseguenze saranno per l'Europa. Abbiamo bisogno di dare risposte adeguate in questo senso, ma lo dobbiamo fare compiendo anche delle scelte diverse rispetto agli errori che sono stati compiuti nel passato. Non possono essere vessati delle intere categorie e un sistema produttivo in campo agricolo.

Analogamente, sul tema ambientale ed energetico dobbiamo partire dagli errori che sono stati compiuti nel passato, perché se oggi noi abbiamo una dipendenza evidentemente ci sono stati degli errori, che oggi vanno corretti, e una serie di scelte che parallelamente questo Parlamento e la Commissione propongono, penso al Fit for 55, rischiano di apparire in contraddizione rispetto allo sforzo e all'obiettivo che noi dobbiamo mettere in campo.

Ecco perché il nostro supporto al tema delle sanzioni è pieno, ma soprattutto lo vogliamo fare cercando di rendere questo aspetto quanto più comprensibile dai nostri cittadini, perché diversamente rischiamo di essere schiacciati in una contraddizione e in una reazione.

Lo dico anche supportando lo sforzo e l'impegno sul tema della difesa, immaginando e esprimendo una posizione chiara di sostegno all'ingresso della NATO da parte di Svezia e di Finlandia, e sulla strategia che deve essere messa in campo perché su questo terreno giochiamo una partita di prospettiva.

Ecco perché il nostro gruppo chiede con forza di poter invertire alcune scelte e di poter comprendere che gli errori che sono stati commessi nel passato devono essere corretti rispetto alla strategia futura per dare risposte adeguate ai cittadini europei.

 
  
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  Martin Schirdewan, im Namen der Fraktion The Left. – Frau Präsidentin! Die Preisexplosion bei Nahrungsmitteln stellt ein ernsthaftes Problem vor allem für einkommensschwächere Haushalte und Familien dar. Der Butterpreis ist im letzten Jahr um 40 %, der Preis für Obst und Gemüse um 20 % gestiegen. Die Preise für Brot gehen durch die Decke, und der Döner um die Ecke kostet mittlerweile 6 Euro.

Ich will nicht, dass Kinder am Ende des Monats ohne Pausenbrot in die Schule geschickt werden, weil das Geld in den Familien nicht reicht. Deshalb fordere ich die europäischen Regierungen – Herr Michel –, auf, erstens, Nahrungsmittelspekulation zu verbieten, damit nicht wenige Spekulanten sich gezielt am Hunger der Vielen bereichern, zweitens, die Mehrwertsteuer auf Grundnahrungsmittel auf Null zu senken, und drittens, kostenlose Kindergarten- und Schulspeisungen anzubieten, so wie es auch in einigen europäischen Ländern bereits der Fall ist. Denn mit leerem Bauch lernt es sich nicht gut.

Zu den Sanktionen: Es ist richtig, die Abhängigkeit von russischem Gas und Öl schnellstmöglich abzubauen. Man kann den Teufel aber nicht mit dem Beelzebub austreiben. Die Abhängigkeit von einem autoritären Regime löst man nicht durch die Abhängigkeiten von anderen Diktaturen. Die Lösung liegt vielmehr in mutigen und schnellstmöglichen Investitionen in die Energiewende. Wenn bald der Ölhahn zugedreht wird, dann braucht es jetzt eine klare Entwicklungsperspektive für die abhängigen Regionen.

Es braucht Jobgarantien für die Beschäftigten, zum Beispiel in Schwedt oder in Leuna, also in Ostdeutschland, meiner Heimatregion. Wir können die Leute nicht im Regen stehen lassen. Doch lassen wir sie im Regen stehen, Frau von der Leyen, schafft man keine Akzeptanz für die Energiewende. Die Leute müssen am Ende des Monats noch das Licht anschalten können, wollen fernsehgucken oder etwas kochen. Und um deshalb die Preisexplosion im Energiesektor zu stoppen, brauchen wir jetzt einen Energiepreisdeckel.

Bei den derzeitigen Preisen, bei der Preisentwicklung werden die großen Mineralöl- und Gaskonzerne weltweit einen zusätzlichen Gewinn in diesem Jahr allein von bis zu einer Billionen Euro erzielen – die verdienen sich derzeit dumm und dämlich. Und wenn wir den einfachen Leuten helfen wollen, dann sollten wir die Krisengewinner zur Kasse bitten. Es braucht eine Übergewinnsteuer jetzt überall in Europa, auch in Deutschland.

 
  
  

PRESIDÊNCIA: PEDRO SILVA PEREIRA
Vice-Presidente

 
  
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  Sabrina Pignedoli (NI). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, ho letto le conclusioni del Consiglio europeo e nelle oltre 2 700 parole non c'è la parola pace. L'unica arma che porta la pace è la diplomazia, ma evidentemente pace e diplomazia non fanno parte della strategia europea in Ucraina. Ritengo che questo rappresenti un grave errore, perché l'unica vera vittoria è riportare la pace alla popolazione ucraina.

Una strategia europea priva di una soluzione diplomatica concreta è destinata a fallire. Se vogliamo essere protagonisti nel nostro continente, se vogliamo portare Putin a un tavolo di pace, l'Europa assuma un'iniziativa politica forte sul piano diplomatico e lo costringa a negoziare.

Abbiamo uno strumento a nostra disposizione, la deterrenza economica, con sanzioni che si basano sull'indipendenza dal gas russo. Dobbiamo investire risorse comuni sul modello del Recovery Fund, una strada che noi del Movimento 5 Stelle riteniamo inevitabile.

Presidente Michel, la pace nasce dalla fatica di dire no, pensando prima di tutto alla popolazione ucraina. Per questo, al prossimo Consiglio europeo spero che l'Europa prenda una posizione finalmente forte.

 
  
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  Ioan-Rareş Bogdan (PPE). – Domnule președinte, excelențele voastre, fiecare pachet de sancțiuni împotriva Rusiei anunțat de instituțiile europene este prezentat ca „fără precedent” și e menit să pună presiune pe Putin, dar acest anticrist rezistă.

Fiecare import de hidrocarburi din Rusia spre țările Uniunii Europene alimentează mașinăria de război zilnic a Kremlinului, cu 800 de milioane de euro, ceea ce trebuie să înceteze. Este inacceptabil. Blocăm pe de o parte și finanțăm pe cealaltă. Nu e în regulă și pare ipocrizie pură. Este ca o invitație pentru Putin să continue un război dement. Îi dăm apă la moară și alimentăm demența.

Cine urmează? Țara mea, România, are o graniță de 650 de kilometri cu Ucraina, plus peste 120 de kilometri la Marea Neagră. Ni se dau asigurări că nu va ataca țări NATO, că nu va fi nici Republica Moldova. Adevărul e că doar bănuim asta. Republica Moldova se află într-o zonă a șantajului energetic și trebuie extrasă din presiunea de a renunța la orientarea ei euroatlantică.

Goethe spunea că pentru orice realizare primul pas este curajul. Să avem curajul să punem capăt finanțării indirecte a războiului. E greu, dar și piramidele au fost greu de construit. Industria noastră trebuie să caute alternative la alimentarea cu energie din Rusia. Imediat! Avem acest curaj sau ne batem colegial pe umeri, satisfăcuți că am mimat frumos acțiunea?

 
  
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  Heléne Fritzon (S&D). – Herr talman! Kommissionen och rådet! Mer än hundra dagar och kriget i Ukraina pågår fortfarande. EU står mer enat än någonsin och nu måste vi fortsätta att sätta press på Ryssland. Det sjätte sanktionspaketet med ett importstopp av olja är därför oerhört viktigt. Trots att inte all olja omfattas av stoppet är det ändå ett viktigt steg för att minska Putins möjligheter att finansiera detta olagliga och brutala krig i Ukraina.

Nu mer än någonsin behöver vi fortsätta arbetet med att bryta vårt beroende av rysk energi. Nästa steg måste bli att också stänga kranen för rysk gas i ledningarna. Det finns bara en väg bort från höga energipriser i våra medlemsstater och det är att vi tillsammans blir självförsörjande på energi och att vi påskyndar energiomställningen. Vi måste bli oberoende av fossila bränslen nu. Och här vill jag lyfta fram bioenergi och biogas som tillsammans med vind och solenergi är ett viktigt alternativ. Vi har sett det i Sverige. Det är mycket framgångsrikt. Biogasen är helt förnybar. Jordbrukets och livsmedelsindustrins avfall tas om hand i ett kretslopp och blir till värme i våra hus och drivmedel i våra bilar.

Avslutningsvis så välkomnar jag också diskussionen i rådet och besluten om livsmedelsförsörjningen. Att Ryssland förhindrar export av jordbruksprodukter från Ukraina får förödande konsekvenser, främst i fattiga länder. Den globala livsmedelstryggheten måste vara en prioriterad fråga för EU, och vi behöver göra allt vi kan för att på kort och lång sikt klara av att ta ansvar såväl för EU som för ett globalt ledarskap.

 
  
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  Hilde Vautmans (Renew). – Voorzitters, collega's, ik wil het vandaag hebben over twee zaken, namelijk de sancties en de Europese defensie. Het is goed, mijnheer Michel, dat we eindelijk een akkoord hebben over dat zesde sanctiepakket. Maar laten we eerlijk zijn, voor ons in het Parlement kwam het een beetje te laat. En op de koop toe – ik denk dat het mijnheer Weber was die het zei: “Ik ben eigenlijk gezwicht voor de chantage van mijnheer Orbán.” – twee keer gezwicht eigenlijk! Ik weet het wel, onze eenheid is belangrijk, maar wordt het niet hoog tijd dat we de macht afnemen van die autocraten en stoppen met die unanimiteit? Voor mij echt hoog tijd, en ik hoop dan ook dat we dat donderdag hier in het Parlement verder gaan vastleggen.

En dan het goede nieuws, en dan richt ik mij meer tot Ursula von der Leyen. Het goede nieuws is die Europese defensie. Eindelijk hebben leiders gezegd: “We gaan voor een echte Europese defensie.” Het Parlement heeft hier heel vaak over gezegd: “Laten we stoppen met die versnippering, stoppen met de verspilling van die middelen.” We geven evenveel uit aan defensie als China, vier keer meer dan Rusland, en toch zijn we eigenlijk een militaire dwerg. Dus, laten we nu van Europa een militair industrieel blok maken, en wat mij betreft, mevrouw Von der Leyen, een echt Europees leger. U heeft mijn steun. Ga daarvoor.

 
  
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  Harald Vilimsky (ID). – Herr Präsident, meine sehr geehrten Damen und Herren! Nachdem der ukrainisch-russische Konflikt erneut Thema in einer Sondersitzung des Rates ist und sich die allgemeine Situation aber nicht verbessert, sondern nur verschlimmert, kann ich nur einmal mehr auch an die Besonnenheit aller appellieren, sämtliche Anstrengungen zu verfolgen, die in Richtung Frieden zielen und nicht weiter eine Befeuerung dieses kriegerischen Konfliktes als Ziel vor Augen haben.

Es ist aus meiner Sicht ein falscher Weg, mithilfe der Amerikaner oder der EU mit mehr und mehr Waffen diesen Krieg aufrecht zu erhalten. Es ist aus meiner Sicht – und das muss auch einmal gesagt werden – der ganzen Angelegenheit auch nicht wirklich dienlich, wenn der ukrainische Präsident Selenskyj mit einer Rhetorik in die Debatte geht, die nicht der Situation entsprechend ist, wenn er Drohungen vornimmt, wenn er sagt, dass die Europäische Union ohne die Ukraine keine Zukunft haben soll. Das ist der falsche Weg. Da hat der ungarische Parlamentspräsident Kövér schon recht, wenn er sagt, dass normalerweise derjenige, der um Hilfe ersucht, das höflich macht und das besonnen macht und nicht in einer solchen Rhetorik.

Daher bitte alle Besonnenheit an den Tag legen, die Versorgungssicherheit in Europa nicht gefährden, das Sterben in der Ukraine beenden und alles in Richtung Frieden auf Schiene bringen.

 
  
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  Beata Szydło (ECR). – Panie Przewodniczący! Pani Przewodnicząca! Zanim przejdę do konkluzji Rady Europejskiej, muszę odnieść się w kilku zdaniach do słów, które padały tutaj pod adresem mojej ojczyzny – Polski. I odpowiem jednemu z panów jako obywatelka polska. Polska jest dzisiaj tym krajem, który przyjął blisko 3 miliony uchodźców z Ukrainy. Polska jest tym krajem, w którym nasze rodziny goszczą w swoich domach naszych przyjaciół z Ukrainy, rodziny ukraińskie. Pomagamy humanitarnie i pomagamy militarnie. Nigdy nie mieliśmy wątpliwości, że Ukrainę należy wspierać, bo oni walczą o wolność nas wszystkich, o suwerenność nas wszystkich. Nigdy też Polska nie próbowała wprowadzać, między innymi w tej Izbie, rozwiązań, które de facto wspierały Putina.

Jeżeli kieruje Pan dzisiaj pod adresem, szanowny Kolego, Polski te uwagi dotyczące tego, że powinny być wstrzymane środki finansowe dla mojego kraju, to proszę raczej zadzwonić do prezydenta Macrona czy kanclerza Scholza, bo oni dzwonią non stop do Putina, i po tych telefonach, między innymi, doszło do ataków na magazyny żywnościowe w Ukrainie.

Jeżeli będzie cały czas tutaj w Parlamencie próba dezawuowania i podważania roli takich krajów jak Polska, które dzisiaj bronią suwerenności, solidarności i jedności europejskiej, to szanowni Państwo, nawet najwspanialsze deklaracje, nawet najwspanialsze decyzje, które będą przyjmowane, rezolucje, plany, nie będą skuteczne.

Solidarność europejska jest potrzebna nam dzisiaj wszystkim. To co jest najistotniejsze i cieszę się, że na Radzie Europejskiej była na ten temat mowa, to jest bezpieczeństwo żywnościowe, to jest bezpieczeństwo energetyczne. Dzisiaj stoimy przed tymi wyzwaniami, które obok wojny w Ukrainie i pokonaniu Putina są dla Europejczyków najważniejsze.

 
  
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  Kinga Gál (NI). – Tisztelt Elnök Úr! Magyarországon odaadással segítjük a naponta tízezrével érkező ukrán menekülteket, és történelmünk legnagyobb humanitárius támogatását nyújtjuk Ukrajnának, és ezt tesszük addig, folytatjuk addig, ameddig szükséges. Elítéljük az orosz agressziót, és a háborús bűncselekmények kivizsgálását követeljük. Készek vagyunk áldozatot hozni a békéért, ezért Magyarország minden korábbi szankciós csomagot támogatott, és minden megállapodást betart.

Magyarország számára adottságai miatt végzetes a csővezetéken érkező kőolajra kivetett embargó, ezért nyíltan merte vállalni álláspontját, de végig kereste az egység érdekében a közös megoldást. Így lett a kompromisszum jó. A vezetékeken keresztüli kőolajszállítás maradt. Meg kell értenünk, nem támogathatunk olyan szankciókat, melyek nagyobb kárt okoznak nekünk, mint amekkora kárt az orosz agresszornak.

Mi, magyarok a békét akarjuk megnyerni, ezért nem támogatjuk egyházi vezetők szankcionálását.

 
  
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  Andrius Kubilius (PPE). – Mr President, the Council made important decisions, but still there is a lot to be done in order for us to come out from this geopolitical crisis becoming stronger. In order to do that, first of all we need to look back and to name our mistakes of the last decades, which allowed this geopolitical crisis to happen.

I see two major mistakes: first, for too long we were considering that dialogue with Putin is more important than democracy in Russia. That is how we allowed the Kremlin to become a new fascist regime. And second, for too long we were keeping Ukraine in a geopolitical grey zone, not giving it a clear membership perspective, and because of that Putin decided that Ukraine is his territory.

We need to learn our lessons. We need to give Ukraine candidate status immediately. And also, we cannot be effective during the war with the individual veto right of Member States, which simply creates conditions for a blackmail culture to spread.

We are at the war. Not just Ukraine. And I would like to see that this war will make all of us much stronger.

 
  
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  Marek Belka (S&D). – Mr President, President Michel, President von der Leyen, well yesterday we had a discussion on the Polish recovery plan. It was not a very pleasant discussion for you, especially. This time I had the pleasure to express my appreciation of the results of the summit, both for you and for you. This was important, but obviously not the last time we are discussing Ukraine. It’s going to be an evergreen for the next weeks, months or maybe even more.

One thing that I would like to concentrate in my one minute is the long—term reconstruction strategy of Ukraine. And I would like to say we need four things, four major things.

First, we need a reliable partner on the Ukrainian side, which means we need a democratic, well-governed, non-corrupt, well-managed and led with a strong hand – I’m sorry to say that, this is not against democracy – we need a well-managed Ukraine. On the other side, we need a leader of the international community. And this time it’s obvious, it’s going to be the European Union.

America can be a very important factor in military support of Ukraine, but not in the development, in reconstruction. It’s on us. As a matter of fact, there is a thinking of creating a Ukrainian reconstruction platform that would serve coordination of international partners willing to take part in the reconstruction of this country.

Third, we need resources, and by resources I mean public and private. But I think that the European Union as a leader, should provide resources, maybe also in a similar way as we have provided it for the post-COVID reconstruction, post-COVID reaction. Maybe we should follow the experience of the RRF of Next Generation EU and set up a fund, a facility to sort of galvanise resources from other sources.

And fourth and most important, what we need for the reconstruction of Ukraine is political will. It’s the realisation that a return to business as usual with Russia is not imaginable at the moment. And the last point, we have to care for the victim more than for the aggressor.

 
  
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  Luis Garicano (Renew). – Mr President, I say to Madam President von der Leyen and Mr President Michel that we are very happy that the Council has agreed on an oil embargo. Congratulations.

However, this agreement still has three shortcomings. As you said, Madame von der Leyen, there’s still no mention of gas. The agreement excludes oil coming through pipelines. If you allow me, the ‘Orbán-Putin’ pipeline is still open, and it will take six months to be implemented. In the mean time, Mr Putin continues receiving inflated oil and gas revenues to pay for his military aggression, and Mr Orbán continues receiving his oil, which comes mostly from this pipeline. This is unacceptable. We need to stop Mr Putin reducing these revenues, and we need to shorten this war, and we also need to restore the level playing field in the single market. How can we do that? We can accomplish both things by imposing a tariff on Russian oil imports.

Madame von der Leyen, a 30% oil tariff would provide the European Union with around EUR 15 billion in additional revenue. As I have estimated elsewhere, Mr Michel, Russia would lose approximately twice as much from the reduction of the oil exports plus the direct cost of the tariffs. A key advantage of the tariff is that it doesn’t require unanimity, so a qualified majority of Member States in the Council, according to Article 31, is enough to get that tariff and recover the past and recover the level playing field. The tariff could be in force next week if the Council voted on it now. Let’s do it now. This war has already lasted too long.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE).A Uachtaráin, President Ursula was right when she said Putin’s war of aggression is what fuels the food crisis. On top of that, there’s the vile destruction of the infrastructure of Ukraine, the killing of its citizens and the raping of its women.

While all this is going on, we have the President of the rotating Council, Macron, talking about ‘we mustn’t humiliate Putin’. Who is doing the humiliating? Why is he so concerned? What does this actually mean? He has to be asked these questions. Does it mean that Ukraine is supposed to hand over half his territory to Putin so that he can claim he wins the war? Otherwise, he’s humiliated by losing the war. How would he like it if somebody invaded France and we started talking about ‘we mustn’t humiliate the aggressor’, so part of France should be handed over to the aggressor? I think now is the time, and particularly at the next Council meeting, to ask Mr Macron what he means by this and why he is saying this now when the lives of Ukrainians are being destroyed every single day.

 
  
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  Geert Bourgeois (ECR). – Mr President, as my colleague Johan Van Overtveldt writes today in Politico, we have to be prepared for the reconstruction of Ukraine. So this will provoke a very, very huge cost. Vice-President Dombrovskis argued for the aggressor—pays principle. My question is, is there a decision on this principle? I agree with him. Is it possible to use the confiscated money – around USD 600 billion – and is there a legal fundament for it?

 
  
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  Jordi Cañas (Renew). – Señor presidente, la guerra ha evidenciado nuestras debilidades y nuestras dependencias y, frente a esas debilidades y dependencias, no he escuchado ni una sola vez hablar de comercio, de profundizar nuestras relaciones comerciales, de buscar alternativas de suministro. Lo he escuchado para el gas y en el petróleo, pero no para los alimentos.

Y, ¿saben qué pasa? La Comisión lleva casi dos años paralizando acuerdos comerciales vitales para garantizar suministros alimentarios alternativos. Entre ellos, el acuerdo del Mercosur, fundamental por dos países exportadores, como Brasil y Argentina.

Cuando mira uno la foto con los resultados de la votación de la Resolución en las Naciones Unidas apoyando la condena a la guerra de Ucrania, ¿saben qué parte estaba en verde? América Latina. ¿Saben qué parte estaba en azul de abstención? Asia. ¿Saben a quién no le prestamos atención nunca desde el Parlamento Europeo, desde la Comisión y desde el Consejo? A América Latina.

En un momento en que se habla de geopolítica —decía el presidente Charles Michel: «si queremos ser una potencia geopolítica...»—, si queremos ser una potencia geopolítica, ¿podemos empezar a hacer geopolítica y dejar de mantener nuestros acuerdos comerciales en el congelador hasta que alguien decida que es el momento de ponerlos en circulación? ¿Podemos empezar a intentar ratificar los acuerdos comerciales que nos pueden garantizar mercados alternativos y suministros alternativos?

 
  
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  Marc Botenga (The Left). – Voorzitter, ik ga een vraag stellen aan de voorzitter van de Europese Raad, Charles Michel, en de voorzitster van de Europese Commissie, mevrouw Von der Leyen.

De prijzen rijzen de pan uit. De mensen kunnen hun facturen niet meer betalen. Voedsel, inderdaad, maar ook elektriciteit. En sinds oktober spelen jullie pingpong tussen de verschillende instellingen over wie wanneer de prijzen gaat blokkeren, want dat is wat de mensen willen. De mensen zeggen: “Die prijzen zijn te hoog. Blokkeer die.”

In oktober zegt de Commissie tegen de lidstaten: “Jullie zouden de prijzen kunnen blokkeren.” Dan komt er een top in Versailles van alle regeringsleiders en die speelt de bal terug naar de Commissie, zeggende: “Doe eens een voorstel!” De Commissie speelt de bal nog eens terug: “Jullie zouden iets kunnen doen aan die prijzen.”

Wanneer blokkeren jullie die prijzen? Wanneer gebeurt dat nu eindelijk? De mensen wachten daarop. Als het gaat om multinationals te helpen, dan gaat het altijd snel. Maar voor de mensen is het wachten ... Ping, pong, ping, pong! Daar wil ik nu eens een antwoord op.

 
  
 

(End of catch-the-eye procedure)

 
  
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  Ursula von der Leyen, President of the Commission. – Mr President, indeed, electricity prices, energy prices are skyrocketing and we are doing a lot on it. We have issued a toolbox that many of our Member States are using that is taxing the windfall profits and subsidising thus the vulnerable households and the vulnerable businesses. But we also acknowledge that this is a short-term relief that will not really change something in the structure of the market.

And what is the problem of the structure of the market? We still have an electricity market that is designed in a way like it was necessary 20 years ago when we started to bring in the renewables. So it is the renewables that go in first, at that time much more expensive, and later on comes the other energy topics, like for example oil, or gas, or nuclear, or coal. And the one that comes last in, the most expensive, is defining the price.

Today, the market is completely different. It is the renewables that are the most cost—effective and the cheapest ones. And they come in and then at the very end comes in gas. Gas is the most expensive, but it defines the whole price. And this market system does not work anymore. We have to reform it. We have to adapt it to the new realities of dominant renewables. This is the task that the Commission has taken over now. This is not trivial. This is a huge reform. It will take time. It has to be well thought through. But we need to step forward to adapt our electricity market to the modern conditions.

My second point is a reply to the question Malik Azmani put forward. We have done steps in the right direction. The first one is we have now the common storage of gas. And today we have 44% of our storage filled. This is better than last year, there we were at the same time at 40%. So the common storage does already work in the right direction. And we have formed just now a joint purchase platform so that the 27 Member States can together jointly purchase, for example, gas worldwide. And this is so important because we are a big market power if we work at 27. If we go everyone on its own, its fragmented to 27, and there is not at all a market power. But if we work together, we should keep in mind that of the pipeline gas, we have 75% of the world’s demand. We hold it. So together we are strong, we are powerful, and this we should use now, and therefore we have created this joint platform for gas purchases.

Then there were several questions on relief and reconstruction. And yes, this is a big and mostly important topic. What is it? First of all, we need relief for Ukraine in the short term. As you might know at the moment Ukraine needs per month EUR 5 billion just to make it for the basics – pensions, salaries, basic services like healthcare. To uphold it they need 5 billion, and here we have to step up together with others. G7 already came forward with a proposal. Now we want to join the G7 and we are working on the 9 billion relief for the next months from the European side.

But the bigger topic is indeed the topic of reconstruction – Marek Belka, you mentioned a lot on that. Reconstruction would mean that the investment is colossal, as President Zelenskyy said, it is indeed colossal. We cannot do it on our own. We will carry our fair share, but we need others like the financial institutions, the IMF, OECD, G20, World Bank, for example. We need other partners, other countries to join, and therefore we will form a platform co-led by Ukraine – they have to own it – and the European Union, to make sure that we have a common direction of travel.

And then the second thing that is so important is that these investments go hand-in-hand with reforms – to improve the administrative capacity of the country, to fight corruption, to make sure that there’s an independent judiciary, to make sure that there is a conducive environment for the business sector. And we’ve done already a lot with Ukraine, and we know already a lot about each other. We have done reforms together, the land reform for example, to kick out oligarchs for example, so a lot has been done through our Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement. We have a common grid, for example, too.

And therefore, in the very end, important is the signal: there is no wild card for Ukraine. There are no shortcuts. The conditions have to be met. But if we invest and if we are combining that with reforms, this will pave the way towards the European Union.

And finally, my last sentence. Yes, the perpetrator – Russia – has to pay its fair share. So we are looking into the legal basis to achieve that.

 
  
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  Charles Michel, président du Conseil européen. – Monsieur le Président, très chers collègues, cela fait maintenant plus de cent jours que la Russie a déclenché une guerre brutale, violente, indigne contre l’Ukraine. C’est une guerre contre les Ukrainiens. C’est une épreuve pour le peuple ukrainien, qui, en ce moment même, souffre sous les bombes, sous les bombardements et sous les atrocités commises par les troupes russes.

C’est aussi une épreuve pour l’Union européenne, parce que les missiles qui sont tirés sont aussi des missiles tirés contre nos valeurs, contre nos principes fondamentaux, et c’est la raison pour laquelle, depuis le premier jour, depuis la première heure, c’est dans l’unité et la fermeté qu’ensemble nous avons réagi. C’est vrai: chaque réunion du Conseil européen – les 27 chefs d’État ou de gouvernement, lorsqu’ils sont rassemblés –, est un test pour l’unité de l’Union européenne.

S’agissant de l’orientation qui a été prise – des sanctions fermes, rugueuses contre la Russie, un soutien massif et concret pour l’Ukraine –, ces derniers jours le Conseil européen a permis de reconstituer une unité qui avait été ébranlée, les quatre dernières semaines, au départ du sixième paquet de sanctions. Il a fallu quelques heures pour se mettre d’accord – et je voudrais peut-être clarifier, au vu des propos qui ont été tenus: c'est un accord qui prend en considération et affecte 90 % du pétrole russe, sans que nous ayons eu à nous soumettre à un quelconque chantage financier. Ce sont bien les considérations techniques liées à la géographie d’un certain nombre de pays qui ont été le critère, afin de déterminer la manière dont nous allons évaluer et progresser pour résoudre cette question, pour être en mesure de viser à terme les 100 % du pétrole russe. C’est un premier élément.

Deuxième élément: le soutien à l’Ukraine. C’est un soutien financier. Des liquidités, c’est immédiat – le rapport de la Commission l’a bien indiqué –, c’est l’engagement pour la reconstruction. Une forme de plan Marshall pour l’Ukraine sera indispensable, et ce n’est pas pour dans cent cinquante ans. Nous allons démarrer dès à présent les programmes, engager aussi le soutien pour les réformes qui seront nécessaires, afin que l’argent mobilisé permette de construire, non pas l’Ukraine du passé, mais l’Ukraine de demain, moderne, transparente, fondée sur des bases démocratiques extrêmement solides.

C’est un soutien humanitaire, aussi, pour accueillir dans la dignité les nombreux réfugiés qui fuient le pays. C’est, enfin, un soutien politique, pour faire en sorte que, dans le cadre multilatéral, dans le cadre international, l’on soit également très mobilisés pour faire en sorte que le récit mensonger porté par le Kremlin non seulement ne gagne pas du terrain, mais qu’il puisse être combattu grâce à la force de la vérité et des arguments de rationalité que nous portons.

Il y a ensuite un point plus essentiel que je voudrais également aborder, parce qu’il va nous concerner beaucoup dans les semaines et les mois qui viennent: il s’agit de la sécurité alimentaire et des effets de cette guerre sur les prix des produits alimentaires. Le Conseil européen, la Commission, j’en suis certain le Parlement aussi: nous sommes parfaitement conscients de la menace qui nous guette.

La famine, l’insécurité alimentaire, ce sont des instabilités, des insécurités et des pressions additionnelles sur l’Union européenne et sur nos sociétés. C’est la raison pour laquelle nous sommes totalement déterminés, depuis le premier jour, à la fois à dénoncer les mensonges du Kremlin, mais surtout à agir. C’est le sens de la proposition de la présidence française – le projet FARM –, c’est le sens de l’initiative allemande dans le cadre du G7, c’est le sens de l’engagement des Nations unies pour débloquer les ports qui sont bloqués par cette guerre en Ukraine, et nous allons être très engagés sur ce sujet.

Vous avez été plusieurs, à juste titre, à mentionner l’importance de nous mobiliser sur le plan intérieur pour faire face aux conséquences économiques et sociales de cette guerre. Et là aussi, je vous ai dit – parce que la vérité a ses droits – que, depuis de très nombreux mois, il n’y a pas un Conseil européen qui ne se penche sur la question énergétique, et ce bien avant la guerre en Ukraine, d’ailleurs. C’est le cas depuis l’été passé, lorsque l’on a commencé à constater les premières évolutions préoccupantes en matière de prix.

Nous allons rester mobilisés par des actions extrêmement concrètes sur le sujet, qu’il s’agisse des propositions de limitation des prix en lien avec les partenaires internationaux ou de celles qui touchent à la réforme possible du marché de l’électricité. On sait que le prix de l’électricité est aujourd’hui hautement dépendant du prix du gaz. C’est la raison du mandat donné à la Commission pour se pencher sur ce sujet-là.

Je peux vous garantir que les 27 chefs d’État ou de gouvernement sont en première ligne au quotidien vis-à-vis de leur population, sur le terrain de la cohésion sociale et des conséquences pour le pouvoir d’achat – et donc pour le pouvoir de choix – de nos concitoyens partout en Europe, et le Conseil européen va rester engagé sur le sujet. Du reste, le sommet de la zone euro, qui se réunira également à la fin du mois de juin, abordera lui aussi ces sujets.

Enfin, un dernier point – soulevé par un collègue –, qui touche à l’engagement sur le terrain de la politique commerciale. Il s’agit d’une impression que je partage, moi aussi: le sentiment qu’on ne peut pas ne pas regarder la politique commerciale de l’Union européenne sans prendre en considération à la fois l’ambition géopolitique et les développements récents – la guerre en Ukraine et d’autres développements également.

C’est le sens de ce souhait de mettre ce débat de manière régulière à l’ordre du jour pour inciter toutes les institutions européennes, y compris le Parlement, à prendre leurs responsabilités avec des lunettes et un regard adaptés à la réalité de la solution. En un mot, ce qui doit nous guider aujourd’hui, c’est la lucidité, la lucidité sur le monde qui change devant nous, parce que cette guerre, il y a plus de cent jours, a ouvert un nouveau chapitre dans l’histoire de l’Europe: c’est l’unité, l’unité qui n’est jamais spontanée, l’unité qui requiert des efforts, de l’énergie, de la créativité, c’est la fermeté aussi, pour défendre les valeurs, pour défendre cette société dans laquelle nous croyons.

Parfois, on abuse, quand on clôt un discours devant cette assemblée, de cette impression que nos actes d’aujourd’hui vont déterminer le futur de nos enfants. Aujourd’hui plus que jamais, je crois intimement que chacune des décisions que nous allons prendre ensemble aura un effet majeur pour les prochaines décennies et pour le type de société dans laquelle nos enfants vivront demain.

 
  
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  President. – The debate is now closed.

Written statements (Rule 171)

 
  
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  Clara Aguilera (S&D), por escrito. – Los socialistas españoles creemos que cuando actuamos con solidaridad y con unidad Europa avanza. Por eso, celebramos que en la pasada Cumbre los veintisiete adoptasen el sexto paquete de sanciones, a pesar de las concesiones que impusieron algunos gobiernos, porque esa es nuestra mejor arma para hacer frente a la amenaza de Putin y también para apoyar a Ucrania. Desafortunadamente, la Comisión y el Consejo relegaron a un segundo plano las consecuencias sociales y económicas de esta guerra que está afectando a la vida cotidiana de los europeos y las europeas con el aumento del coste de la vida. Por eso los socialistas reclamamos una vez más que el Consejo llegue a un acuerdo relativo al pacto migratorio, cuanto más porque la emergencia climática y la crisis alimentaria existentes indican que la presión migratoria no tiene visos de atenuarse. Y que se dé una respuesta digna, solidaria y ambiciosa al reto demográfico mediante un impuesto sobre los beneficios caídos del cielo de las eléctricas de manera coordinada, tal y como pide este Parlamento.

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), raštu. – Gerbiama Pirmininke, kolegos, Karas Ukrainoje tebevyksta ir kasdien pareikalauja žmonių gyvybių. Milijonai ukrainiečių rado prieglobstį Europoje, tačiau tai yra ne pabaiga. Karo Ukrainoje grimasos tampa vis žiauresnės. Neįmanoma pateisinti nekaltų žmonių žudymo, moterų prievartavimo, vaikų kančių. Europos Sąjunga kartu su tarptautine bendruomene turi dėti visas įmanomas pastangas, kad Rusijos agresija būtų sustabdyta. Labai gaila, kad Taryboje lėtai skinasi kelią šeštasis sankcijų paketas. Šio karo akivaizdoje Europos vienybė ir solidarumas turi tapti mūsų ginklu kovoje prieš Rusiją , todėl labai tikiuosi, jog bus rasta politinė valia priimti būtinus sprendimus. Rusijos invazija ne tik sukėlė nesuvokiamas žmonių kančias Ukrainoje, tačiau ir visą eilę pasauliniu mastu jaučiamų pasekmių. Europos Sąjungos šalyse nevaldomai kyla maisto ir energijos kainos, todėl turi būti skubiai rasti sprendimai šių krizių suvaldymui. Šiandien matome dešimtmečiais nematytus infliacijos šuolius , ir apie tai privalome ne tik kalbėti, bet ir veikti.

 
  
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  Estrella Durá Ferrandis (S&D), por escrito. – Los socialistas españoles creemos que cuando actuamos con solidaridad y con unidad Europa avanza. Por eso, celebramos que en la pasada Cumbre los veintisiete adoptasen el sexto paquete de sanciones, a pesar de las concesiones que impusieron algunos gobiernos, porque esa es nuestra mejor arma para hacer frente a la amenaza de Putin y también para apoyar a Ucrania. Desafortunadamente, la Comisión y el Consejo relegaron a un segundo plano las consecuencias sociales y económicas de esta guerra que está afectando a la vida cotidiana de los europeos y las europeas con el aumento del coste de la vida. Por eso los socialistas reclamamos una vez más que el Consejo llegue a un acuerdo relativo al pacto migratorio, cuanto más porque la emergencia climática y la crisis alimentaria existentes indican que la presión migratoria no tiene visos de atenuarse. Y que se dé una respuesta digna, solidaria y ambiciosa al reto demográfico mediante un impuesto sobre los beneficios caídos del cielo de las eléctricas de manera coordinada, tal y como pide este Parlamento.

 
  
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  Lina Gálvez Muñoz (S&D), por escrito. – Los socialistas españoles creemos que cuando actuamos con solidaridad y con unidad Europa avanza. Por eso, celebramos que en la pasada Cumbre los veintisiete adoptasen el sexto paquete de sanciones, a pesar de las concesiones que impusieron algunos gobiernos, porque esa es nuestra mejor arma para hacer frente a la amenaza de Putin y también para apoyar a Ucrania. Desafortunadamente, la Comisión y el Consejo relegaron a un segundo plano las consecuencias sociales y económicas de esta guerra que está afectando a la vida cotidiana de los europeos y las europeas con el aumento del coste de la vida. Por eso los socialistas reclamamos una vez más que el Consejo llegue a un acuerdo relativo al pacto migratorio, cuanto más porque la emergencia climática y la crisis alimentaria existentes indican que la presión migratoria no tiene visos de atenuarse. Y que se dé una respuesta digna, solidaria y ambiciosa al reto demográfico mediante un impuesto sobre los beneficios caídos del cielo de las eléctricas de manera coordinada, tal y como pide este Parlamento.

 
  
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  Ibán García Del Blanco (S&D), por escrito. – Los socialistas españoles creemos que cuando actuamos con solidaridad y con unidad Europa avanza. Por eso, celebramos que en la pasada Cumbre los veintisiete adoptasen el sexto paquete de sanciones, a pesar de las concesiones que impusieron algunos gobiernos, porque esa es nuestra mejor arma para hacer frente a la amenaza de Putin y también para apoyar a Ucrania. Desafortunadamente, la Comisión y el Consejo relegaron a un segundo plano las consecuencias sociales y económicas de esta guerra que está afectando a la vida cotidiana de los europeos y las europeas con el aumento del coste de la vida. Por eso los socialistas reclamamos una vez más que el Consejo llegue a un acuerdo relativo al pacto migratorio, cuanto más porque la emergencia climática y la crisis alimentaria existentes indican que la presión migratoria no tiene visos de atenuarse. Y que se dé una respuesta digna, solidaria y ambiciosa al reto demográfico mediante un impuesto sobre los beneficios caídos del cielo de las eléctricas de manera coordinada, tal y como pide este Parlamento.

 
  
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  Isabel García Muñoz (S&D), por escrito. – Los socialistas españoles creemos que cuando actuamos con solidaridad y con unidad Europa avanza. Por eso, celebramos que en la pasada Cumbre los veintisiete adoptasen el sexto paquete de sanciones, a pesar de las concesiones que impusieron algunos gobiernos, porque esa es nuestra mejor arma para hacer frente a la amenaza de Putin y también para apoyar a Ucrania. Desafortunadamente, la Comisión y el Consejo relegaron a un segundo plano las consecuencias sociales y económicas de esta guerra que está afectando a la vida cotidiana de los europeos y las europeas con el aumento del coste de la vida. Por eso los socialistas reclamamos una vez más que el Consejo llegue a un acuerdo relativo al pacto migratorio porque la emergencia climática y la crisis alimentaria existentes indican que la presión migratoria no tiene visos de atenuarse. Asimismo, exigimos que, de manera coordinada, se dé una respuesta digna, solidaria y ambiciosa al reto demográfico mediante un impuesto sobre los beneficios caídos del cielo de las eléctricas, tal y como pide este Parlamento.

 
  
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  Alicia Homs Ginel (S&D), por escrito. – Los socialistas españoles creemos que cuando actuamos con solidaridad y con unidad Europa avanza. Por eso, celebramos que en la pasada Cumbre los veintisiete adoptasen el sexto paquete de sanciones, a pesar de las concesiones que impusieron algunos gobiernos, porque esa es nuestra mejor arma para hacer frente a la amenaza de Putin y también para apoyar a Ucrania. Desafortunadamente, la Comisión y el Consejo relegaron a un segundo plano las consecuencias sociales y económicas de esta guerra que está afectando a la vida cotidiana de los europeos y las europeas con el aumento del coste de la vida. Por eso los socialistas reclamamos una vez más que el Consejo llegue a un acuerdo relativo al pacto migratorio, cuanto más porque la emergencia climática y la crisis alimentaria existentes indican que la presión migratoria no tiene visos de atenuarse. Y que se dé una respuesta digna, solidaria y ambiciosa al reto demográfico mediante un impuesto sobre los beneficios caídos del cielo de las eléctricas de manera coordinada, tal y como pide este Parlamento.

 
  
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  Javi López (S&D), por escrito. – Los socialistas españoles creemos que cuando actuamos con solidaridad y con unidad Europa avanza. Por eso, celebramos que en la pasada Cumbre los veintisiete adoptasen el sexto paquete de sanciones, a pesar de las concesiones que impusieron algunos gobiernos, porque esa es nuestra mejor arma para hacer frente a la amenaza de Putin y también para apoyar a Ucrania. Desafortunadamente, la Comisión y el Consejo relegaron a un segundo plano las consecuencias sociales y económicas de esta guerra que está afectando a la vida cotidiana de los europeos y las europeas con el aumento del coste de la vida. Por eso los socialistas reclamamos una vez más que el Consejo llegue a un acuerdo relativo al pacto migratorio, cuanto más porque la emergencia climática y la crisis alimentaria existentes indican que la presión migratoria no tiene visos de atenuarse. Y que se dé una respuesta digna, solidaria y ambiciosa al reto demográfico mediante un impuesto sobre los beneficios caídos del cielo de las eléctricas de manera coordinada, tal y como pide este Parlamento.

 
  
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  César Luena (S&D), por escrito. – Los socialistas españoles creemos que cuando actuamos con solidaridad y con unidad Europa avanza. Por eso, celebramos que en la pasada Cumbre los veintisiete adoptasen el sexto paquete de sanciones, a pesar de las concesiones que impusieron algunos gobiernos, porque esa es nuestra mejor arma para hacer frente a la amenaza de Putin y también para apoyar a Ucrania. Desafortunadamente, la Comisión y el Consejo relegaron a un segundo plano las consecuencias sociales y económicas de esta guerra que está afectando a la vida cotidiana de los europeos y las europeas con el aumento del coste de la vida. Por eso los socialistas reclamamos una vez más que el Consejo llegue a un acuerdo relativo al pacto migratorio, cuanto más porque la emergencia climática y la crisis alimentaria existentes indican que la presión migratoria no tiene visos de atenuarse. Y que se dé una respuesta digna, solidaria y ambiciosa al reto demográfico mediante un impuesto sobre los beneficios caídos del cielo de las eléctricas de manera coordinada, tal y como pide este Parlamento.

 
  
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  Cristina Maestre Martín De Almagro (S&D), por escrito. – Los socialistas españoles creemos que cuando actuamos con solidaridad y con unidad Europa avanza. Por eso, celebramos que en la pasada Cumbre los veintisiete adoptasen el sexto paquete de sanciones, a pesar de las concesiones que impusieron algunos gobiernos, porque esa es nuestra mejor arma para hacer frente a la amenaza de Putin y también para apoyar a Ucrania. Desafortunadamente, la Comisión y el Consejo relegaron a un segundo plano las consecuencias sociales y económicas de esta guerra que está afectando a la vida cotidiana de los europeos y las europeas con el aumento del coste de la vida. Por eso los socialistas reclamamos una vez más que el Consejo llegue a un acuerdo relativo al pacto migratorio, cuanto más porque la emergencia climática y la crisis alimentaria existentes indican que la presión migratoria no tiene visos de atenuarse. Y que se dé una respuesta digna, solidaria y ambiciosa al reto demográfico mediante un impuesto sobre los beneficios caídos del cielo de las eléctricas de manera coordinada, tal y como pide este Parlamento.

 
  
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  Adriana Maldonado López (S&D), por escrito. – Los socialistas españoles creemos que cuando actuamos con solidaridad y con unidad Europa avanza. Por eso, celebramos que en la pasada Cumbre los veintisiete adoptasen el sexto paquete de sanciones, a pesar de las concesiones que impusieron algunos gobiernos, porque esa es nuestra mejor arma para hacer frente a la amenaza de Putin y también para apoyar a Ucrania. Desafortunadamente, la Comisión y el Consejo relegaron a un segundo plano las consecuencias sociales y económicas de esta guerra que está afectando a la vida cotidiana de los europeos y las europeas con el aumento del coste de la vida. Por eso los socialistas reclamamos una vez más que el Consejo llegue a un acuerdo relativo al pacto migratorio, cuanto más porque la emergencia climática y la crisis alimentaria existentes indican que la presión migratoria no tiene visos de atenuarse. Y que se dé una respuesta digna, solidaria y ambiciosa al reto demográfico mediante un impuesto sobre los beneficios caídos del cielo de las eléctricas de manera coordinada, tal y como pide este Parlamento.

 
  
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  Victor Negrescu (S&D), în scris. – Trăim o situație excepțională cauzată de războiul din Ucraina, care a generat un val de instabilitate în Europa, cu riscuri importante asupra societăților și economiilor din regiune și care reclamă măsuri urgente pentru a face față consecințelor generate de această criză. Concluziile Consiliului au evidențiat faptul că Uniunea Europeană și statele sale membre vor continua să susțină Ucraina prin sprijin umanitar, economic și politic, și își vor intensifica eforturile pentru a răspunde în mod corespunzător provocărilor survenite în acest context, precum securitatea alimentară și dependența Uniunii Europene de importurile de gaze, petrol și cărbune din Rusia. În acest sens, România poate deveni un hub regional care să asigure stabilitatea şi dezvoltarea în Estul Europei şi în zona Mării Negre, concentrând resurse financiare europene şi internaţionale pentru a sprijini procesul de reconstrucţie a Ucrainei.

 
  
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  Domènec Ruiz Devesa (S&D), por escrito. – Los socialistas españoles creemos que cuando actuamos con solidaridad y con unidad Europa avanza. Por eso, celebramos que en la pasada Cumbre los veintisiete adoptasen el sexto paquete de sanciones, a pesar de las concesiones que impusieron algunos gobiernos, porque esa es nuestra mejor arma para hacer frente a la amenaza de Putin y también para apoyar a Ucrania. Desafortunadamente, la Comisión y el Consejo relegaron a un segundo plano las consecuencias sociales y económicas de esta guerra que está afectando a la vida cotidiana de los europeos y las europeas con el aumento del coste de la vida. Por eso los socialistas reclamamos una vez más que el Consejo llegue a un acuerdo relativo al pacto migratorio, cuanto más porque la emergencia climática y la crisis alimentaria existentes indican que la presión migratoria no tiene visos de atenuarse. Y que se dé una respuesta digna, solidaria y ambiciosa al reto demográfico mediante un impuesto sobre los beneficios caídos del cielo de las eléctricas de manera coordinada, tal y como pide este Parlamento.

 
  
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  Nacho Sánchez Amor (S&D), por escrito. – Los socialistas españoles creemos que cuando actuamos con solidaridad y con unidad Europa avanza. Por eso, celebramos que en la pasada Cumbre los veintisiete adoptasen el sexto paquete de sanciones, a pesar de las concesiones que impusieron algunos gobiernos, porque esa es nuestra mejor arma para hacer frente a la amenaza de Putin y también para apoyar a Ucrania. Desafortunadamente, la Comisión y el Consejo relegaron a un segundo plano las consecuencias sociales y económicas de esta guerra que está afectando a la vida cotidiana de los europeos y las europeas con el aumento del coste de la vida. Por eso los socialistas reclamamos una vez más que el Consejo llegue a un acuerdo relativo al pacto migratorio, cuanto más porque la emergencia climática y la crisis alimentaria existentes indican que la presión migratoria no tiene visos de atenuarse. Y que se dé una respuesta digna, solidaria y ambiciosa al reto demográfico mediante un impuesto sobre los beneficios caídos del cielo de las eléctricas de manera coordinada, tal y como pide este Parlamento.

 
  
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  Henna Virkkunen (PPE), kirjallinen. – Arvoisa puhemies, Ukrainan kansa on taistellut uskomattoman urheasti jo yli sata päivää vapauden ja demokratian puolesta raakaa hyökkääjää vastaan. Pakotteita on edelleen kiristettävä. Sodan hinta on koko Euroopalle paljon pakotteiden kustannuksia suurempi. Oli suuri pettymys, että monen viikon jahkaamisen jälkeen EU-neuvostossa viimeisin kuudes pakotepaketti vesittyi niin, että öljyn tuonti saatiin vain osittain pakotteiden piiriin. Myös venäläisen kaasun tuonti Eurooppaan olisi vihdoinkin saatava loppumaan, emme voi jatkaa Putinin sotakassan rahoittamista. Komission on syytä tuoda nopeasti esitys seuraavasta pakotepaketista, jossa öljypakotteiden kattavuutta on lisättävä ja myös viimeisetkin pankit irrotettava swiftistä.Samalla tämä keskustelu osoittaa, kuinka tärkeää tietyissä ulkopolitiikan päätöksissä, kuten sanktiossa, olisi siirtyä määräenemmistöpäätöksiin. Ukraina tarvitsee kaiken mahdollisen tuen. Aseita, humanitaarista apua ja taloudellista tukea tarvitaan lisää. Ukrainan on voitettava tämä sota. Venäjä on saatava sotarikoksista vastuuseen, ja sen on korvattava Ukrainalle aiheuttamansa tuhot. Ukraina taistelee vapauden ja demokratian puolesta. Se taistelu ei saa olla turha. Meidän on tuettava Ukrainan polkua Euroopan unionin hakijamaaksi. Vaikka EU-jäsenyyteen on vielä todella pitkä matka, suunta on selvä. Tässä meidän on oltava tukena. Slava Ukraini!

 
  
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  Carlos Zorrinho (S&D), por escrito. – A reunião extraordinária do Conselho Europeu de 30 e 31 de maio, consolidou a resposta solidária da União aos impactos da invasão da Ucrânia, designadamente aprovando um novo pacote de sanções, aumentando o apoio humanitário, reforçando o apoio militar, económico e político e apoiando os países vizinhos do cenário de guerra por ela mais gravemente afetados. Destaco a criação de um mecanismo colaborativo de mitigação dos problemas de segurança alimentar e o reforço dos mecanismos de defesa e segurança em articulação com a NATO. Com sentido de urgência, o Conselho tomou medidas para suster no curto prazo as carências de fornecimento de energia e a alta dos preços e decidiu reforçar as interconexões de energia por toda a União, incluindo novas interconexões elétricas e de gás, neste caso aptas a transportar hidrogénio verde e contribuindo para uma transição energética inteligente e sustentável. Sublinho a menção especial feita ao potencial da Península Ibérica para com estes novos investimentos, contribuir para a segurança de abastecimento de toda a União Europeia. Saliento finalmente que o contexto especial não dispensa nenhum Estado - membro de respeitar os valores da União. Isso deve ser tido em conta na aplicação em concreto das medidas tomadas.

 
  
  

(The sitting was suspended at 11.31)

 
  
  

PRESIDENZA: ROBERTA METSOLA
President

 

6. Resumption of the sitting
Video of the speeches
 

(The sitting resumed at 11.42)

 

7. Formal sitting – Speech by Ruslan Stefanchuk, Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada
Video of the speeches
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  President. – Dear colleagues, as you can see by the welcome we have the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada and my dearest friend, Ruslan Stefanchuk, with us today. Ruslan, I know how difficult it is to leave Ukraine at the moment and I know how important it is for us that you are here today. Welcoming you here in Strasbourg, two months after we met in Kyiv, confirms the strong and unique link between the European Parliament and the Verkhovna Rada.

Your fight for freedom, for democracy, for the values that bind us as Europeans, is our fight, and what Ukraine has had to endure was unthinkable a few months ago, but your people have inspired the world. Your courage, your determination and your defiance in the name of liberty will be spoken about for generations to come.

Europe stands with Ukraine. Our Parliament stands with the Rada. Europeans opened their borders, their homes and their hearts to six million Ukrainian forced to flee their homeland. We have sent military, financial, political and humanitarian support. And we will continue. We cannot lose momentum. We cannot lose focus. We cannot turn away and allow war fatigue to set in.

Dear Ruslan, when we say the European Parliament stands with you, it is a message that bears enormous responsibility for us. We want to assure you that we will continue to support you with any assistance needed to push back against the consequences of the Russian invasion. And we will try to help push peace forward. A real peace. In Europe, we understand only too painfully that peace without liberty, peace without justice, is no peace at all.

The European Parliament will also continue actively supporting as you apply for EU candidate status. We know how important it is to send the clearest of signals that Ukraine’s place is within our European family; to tell everyone that Ukraine is Europe.

We also need to start a proper discussion on the recovery and rebuilding of Ukraine. As I said in Kyiv, we will help rebuild every city and every town from Mariupol to Irpin, from Kherson to Kharkiv. And we will hold war criminals accountable.

Thank you, dear Ruslan, for the efforts of the Verkhovna Rada and your personal commitment in sustaining a vision of a European future for your country against all odds.

Dear Chairman, dear Ruslan, the floor is yours. Slava Ukraini!

 
  
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  Ruslan Stefanchuk, Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

(The following is a transcription of the interpretation of the original speech from Ukrainian into English)

Esteemed Madam President of the European Parliament, esteemed Madam President of the European Commission, dear colleagues and friends. On 1 March 2022, in the first phase of the large—scale aggression against Ukraine committed by Russia, together with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, I had an opportunity to address the European Parliament.

I very well remember those moments, because I was choking with emotions in my throat because the most horrible large—scale war had started in Ukraine. I am feeling the same emotions now, but for different reasons, because today I am standing among friends and I have – for the first time over the last 105 days – a chance to address the European Parliament openly. I feel that I have the support of Ukraine in its entirety. Therefore, I sincerely thank each and every one of you. Thank you for being with Ukraine, thank you sincerely for your trust in Ukraine, and thank you very much that Ukraine is Europe.

In the first days of the war, we were all shocked because nobody believed that – in the middle of the 21st century, in the middle of Europe – a brutal, undeclared and horrible war could be launched. I understand that the entire world was shocked and confused, but we started acting. We started with the most important things – we started to unite. We united at the level of the state, at the level of the people, and at the level of power. We understood and realised that the most important thing today is to preserve Ukraine and to do everything possible to make sure that Ukraine perseveres.

We wanted to unite the entire civilised world around Ukraine, because we were aware that this was not just a war against Ukraine, but that it was a war against the values, principles and foundations of the world order. Therefore, we have been standing as one for 105 days, defending both Ukraine and the entire civilised world.

On 1 March 2022, the European Parliament strongly condemned the actions of the Russian Federation. The European Parliament has always been a powerful voice for the entire European Community, and perhaps one of the highest moral authorities that exists on the European continent today. I would like to thank you, on behalf of each and every Ukrainian, for being the first to make your powerful voice heard in such a strong and unanimous manner in support of Ukraine. You were with us from the very first days.

We all remember that President Roberta Metsola was in Kyiv when it was still besieged, and when the enemy forces were in Irpin and Bucha, in Hostomel and Borodyanka. She arrived in Ukraine and she addressed the Ukrainian Parliament from the very heart of Kyiv. Therefore, Madam President, I would like to thank you once again for your courage in doing what you did then.

We heard powerful words of support for Ukraine from you. Then you spoke about hope. You called on the entire world to act, and you quoted the words of the great Ukrainian poet, Taras Shevchenko. You addressed the Parliament with the words ‘Keep fighting – you are sure to win’.

Madam President, we are fighting and we will win, and we will do it together. Now, concerning what Ukraine has had to face over the last 105 days: in addition to the enemy aggression and in addition to the numerous missiles that are flying and landing on the heads of ordinary Ukrainians – a huge number of whom have been killed, wounded and maimed – we are seeing that the Russian Federation is continuing to move this war way beyond Ukraine’s borders.

They are doing it in the way that they normally do, through their lies. The Kremlin is talking about the ‘liberation’ of the people of Donbas, but at the same time, they are annihilating the largest city in Donbas – Mariupol. Russia says that they are defending Christian values at the same time as they burn down the skete of Sviatohirsk Lavra. They claim that they are trying to prevent a global food crisis at the same time as they steal grain in the occupied territories.

What Ukraine is doing is counteracting it with belief and truth. We are talking about war crimes; we are talking about the genocide of the Ukrainian people; we are saying that Ukrainians are being killed now simply because they are Ukrainians and an army is killing them – an army that does not respect any laws or conventions. We all have to be aware of that.

We are going to speak this truth, and we are going to speak about responsibility before history, before humankind and before the future. This responsibility should be brought to bear. I thank you and the many countries represented in the European Parliament for initiating the International Criminal Court investigation against the Russian Federation. We would like to have this just verdict. We would like those who are guilty in this criminal war to be punished and to rebuild what they have damaged at their cost. This is a fundamental principle of our unity, and this justice will undoubtedly be done, because it is what we want – we, the countries that stand in favour of the world order. However, we also have to understand that, today in Ukraine, more than 14 million people were forcibly displaced, of whom eight million became internally displaced and six million are outside Ukraine.

I would like to use this opportunity to thank all the EU countries that opened not only the doors of their homes, but also their hearts, for all Ukrainians. I sincerely thank all your great peoples. I thank the entire 500 million people of the European Union who accepted Ukrainians and enabled their survival under these difficult conditions. Thank you.

Dear colleagues, the important question is what is going to happen next? I am not going to conceal the fact that my mission now, travelling around many European countries and talking to European parliaments, including the European Parliament, is to convince each and every one of you that Ukraine is worthy of being granted candidate status for the European Union.

We are clearly aware that this is just candidate status. We are clearly aware and guarantee that we – having received this impetus, this political message – are prepared to work further, quickly and qualitatively, as we did when we were filling in the survey for candidacy status for the European Union. However, this is a very important impetus for us, the Ukrainian people. It is very important for the Ukrainian people to hear this powerful message from Europe, the essence of which is that what you are doing is not in vain. We see that you are fighting and are, therefore, friends.

If on 24 June, we do not get this message, then this will be the message that Putin will get, and he will clearly understand that he can go forward entirely without punishment. Therefore, I am asking you: let us do everything possible so that we see a watershed on 24 June – an important day for us and our great joint victory.

We also ask you to exert additional pressure on the Russian Federation, first and foremost through sanctions. It is very difficult to stop a war that we are sponsoring. I would like to thank you for supporting all sanction packages. However, if the war is continuing, then perhaps more has to be done so that the war becomes unbearable and impossible for Putin, so that he stops because he does not have the funds to fund his war. I understand that sometimes it is becoming a huge burden on the budgets of your countries, but believe me that if we do not do this, the price of defeat will be much higher. We have to do everything possible to stop this war economically as well.

Dear friends, I would like to address you as one parliamentarian to other parliamentarians. You are the representatives of a 500 million—strong, great European nation. You represent various parties; you represent Europe. I appeal to you with a request: Ukraine is ready and prepared to stand on God for our common values, common principles and common prospects, because Ukrainians today are fighting for them on the battlefield. I therefore implore you – let us do everything together so that we can add, in pen, to this new history that Ukraine is writing with its blood that Ukraine is a candidate for the European Union.

Dear friends, I sincerely believe that the European Union will approve this historic decision in favour of this unity, this solidarity and the fact that we see our future similarly; we see our values similarly.

Dear colleagues, our unity is the motivation for us. Our unity is the proof for them that we are united and that we will always be united. Dear colleagues, only unity today can be the guarantee of our common peace. I am truly grateful to you and to your peoples. I am truly grateful to all those who fight together with Ukraine. Glory to Ukraine and glory to the great and united Europe!

(The House rose and accorded the speaker a standing ovation)

 
  
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  President. – Thank you so much, dear Ruslan, thank you. As you can see from the very long standing ovation that you received, this Parliament stands with you. We stand with Ukraine and we will not stop until Ukraine wins.

(The sitting was suspended at 12.02)

(Ceremony: presentation of the LUX Audience Award)

 

8. Resumption of the sitting
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  President. – Dear colleagues, can I ask you to take your seats for what will be a substantive and a substantial voting session that we have?

(The sitting resumed at 12.34)

 

9. Statement by the President
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  President. – I just wanted to inform you before we start, dear colleagues, that we have just received word of an incident in Berlin where a car has reportedly hit a crowd of people. At least one person has lost their life and some 30 others are injured. So while we wait for more information and details, I wanted, on behalf of the European Parliament, to say that our thoughts are with the loved ones of the person killed and with all the survivors. We will keep you updated with the information as we receive it.

 

10. Voting time
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  President. – The next item is the vote.

(For the results and other details relating to the vote: see Minutes)

 

10.1. Strengthening Europol’s mandate: entry of alerts in SIS (A9-0287/2021 - Javier Zarzalejos) (vote)

10.2. EU/Mauritania Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement and Implementing Protocol (A9-0148/2022 - Izaskun Bilbao Barandica) (vote)

10.3. EU-Mauritania Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement and Implementing Protocol (Resolution) (A9-0154/2022 - Izaskun Bilbao Barandica) (vote)

10.4. Revision of the EU Emissions Trading System (A9-0162/2022 - Peter Liese) (vote)
 

– Before the vote on the Commission proposal as amended:

 
  
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  Iratxe García Pérez, en nombre del Grupo S&D. – Señora presidenta, pedimos una interrupción de tres minutos sin salir de aquí, del hemiciclo, dado que mi Grupo necesita hacer una última consulta para determinar el voto final.

(breve suspensión de la votación)

 
  
 

– After the vote on the Commission proposal:

 
  
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  Peter Liese, rapporteur. – Madam President, of course, it’s a bad day for the European Parliament when you see this.

(Mixed reactions)

Please calm down colleagues. I think it’s a shame, like in many occasions in this report, that the far right and the Socialists and the Greens voted together. We are now giving a lot of responsibility to the European Council. The Council will be definitely earlier than the European Parliament, and that will reduce our influence. But we have the possibility, dear colleagues, we have the possibility to save the thing if everybody thinks twice.

I look at ECR. You succeeded with a lot of votes, but still you voted against. I don’t see an explanation here. I look at the Greens and the S&D. You voted against, even though all the compromises that we made at any stage where EPP was a part – hello, calm down – we have succeeded. But those points where you thought that ‘a narrow majority with four votes, in the end we can dominate the Parliament’, you lost!

(Mixed reactions)

Calm down, please. So democracy means to respect the Parliament and to have a reduction of the damage. A reduction of the damage, to give it a second trial. And all those that voted against today can think twice. I would ask to refer it back to committee. Please don’t kill the ETS. Vote for bringing it back to committee to have a second thought.

 
  
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  President. – OK, dear colleagues we have a request by the rapporteur on whether this file is referred back to committee.

(Mixed reactions)

Colleagues, it is the rapporteur’s right to request this. We gave you all your time to reflect, you voted and now we have a request as to whether you want to reconsider this back in committee. I will ask you to vote by roll call to refer back to committee.

(The House approved referral back to committee for reconsideration)

 
  
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  Philippe Lamberts, au nom du groupe Verts/ALE. – Madame la Présidente, je voudrais m'adresser aux collègues et en particulier au rapporteur, monsieur Liese. J'ai bien entendu sa frustration. Et aussi curieux que cela puisse paraître, je la partage.

Je me rappelle qu’au début du traitement de ce paquet « Ajustement à l’objectif 55 » au Parlement européen, j'ai à de multiples reprises proposé que les groupes politiques pro-européens de ce Parlement travaillent ensemble, de manière structurée, pour précisément éviter ce genre de scénario. Et je fais un constat, mon message est très simple : si vous voulez des majorités pro-européennes solides, pro-climat solides, elles se construisent et ne s'improvisent pas. Donc nous sommes prêts à travailler avec vous pour y arriver.

 
  
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  President. – Dear colleagues, a number of Group leaders have asked to be given the floor. Manfred Weber first, please, and then Stéphane, but quickly we have more files to vote on.

 
  
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  Manfred Weber, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, Philippe, I really respect you very much, you know this. I respect everyone. But sorry, ‘pro—European majorities in this Chamber’ does not automatically mean the Green and Socialist majority in this Chamber. Let me be clear on this.

(Loud applause)

That’s why we voted today on content and there was a majority in this Chamber, clearly expressed by the Chamber. I tell you that at the end of the vote, when we had the chance to give the green light to the start of the trilogue, it is a reality in this House that the Socialists, Greens and Left voted together with the far right against the proposal of the majority of this Parliament. That’s a reality. Don’t change the history, that’s not fair.

(Loud applause)

 
  
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  Stéphane Séjourné, au nom du groupe Renew. – Madame la Présidente, juste un mot pour dire que je partage la préoccupation du président du groupe des Verts de travailler ensemble sur ce texte et de construire quelque chose en format majorité avec les pro-européens.

Mais je suis dans une situation différente de la vôtre. Nous partagions l'ambition, mais nous avons fait le choix tactique de voter pour ce texte et de ne pas nous mêler aux voix de l'extrême droite pour le rejet de ce texte. Mais nous partagions l'ambition.

Madame la Présidente, nous aurons un texte retour en commission, nous travaillerons sur ce texte. On veut, effectivement, qu'il y ait une majorité pro-européenne. L'ambition est importante. La législation touche 450 millions de citoyens sur une période de 30 ans, avec des objectifs importants. Donc, nous travaillerons ensemble avec l'ensemble des groupes pro-européens qui sont capables de trouver un compromis.

 
  
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  Iratxe García Pérez, en nombre del Grupo S&D. – Señora presidenta, en primer lugar, creo que es importante y bueno que rebajemos emociones y tensión. A la política se le pone corazón, pero también tranquilidad. Vamos a volver a trabajar desde la comisión parlamentaria para intentar construir una posición común, coherente. Y, por favor, no nos hagamos trampas al solitario. Si el Grupo socialista ha votado en contra es porque había una mayoría en determinados temas que algunos han sacado con enmiendas con la extrema derecha. Por eso hemos tenido que votar en contra. No pueden pedir el voto a la extrema derecha para rebajar las ambiciones y luego pedirnos a nosotros que aprobemos eso. Por lo tanto, vamos a ser coherentes.

 
  
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  Manon Aubry, au nom du groupe The Left. – Madame la Présidente, clairement, je crois que nous sommes en train d'assister à un exercice d'hypocrisie le plus total de la part de la droite. Qui, qui, Messieurs du PPE, a voté avec l'extrême droite? Qui a voté avec l'extrême droite pour donner du pouvoir aux lobbies et repousser la fin des quotas gratuits? Qui, aujourd'hui, est responsable du reniement en matière climatique? C'est bien vous, c'est bien vous.

Alors oui, nous, nous avons fait le choix de travailler ensemble, de travailler ensemble avec les Verts, de travailler ensemble avec les socialistes et surtout de travailler ensemble avec la société civile pour avoir un haut niveau d'ambition au niveau climatique. Vous porterez la honte de ce temps dans les prochaines années. Oui nous travaillerons, parce que, rappelez-vous les amis, rappelez-vous, chers collègues, que le vote de la commission ENVI, lui, portait la fin des quotas gratuits à l'année 2030. Alors travaillons avec la commission ENVI pour revenir à ce niveau d'ambition, parce que, clairement, on ne pourra plus attendre 30 ans.

 
  
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  Assita Kanko, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Madam President, I hope you can hear me. I would like to say that in this House of democracy, please refer to people by their group name, do not look at this side of the Parliament and call us ‘far right’. I am not a far-right politician! I agree with Ms Iratxe that we need to find coherent agreement, that’s why we’re here, do not call me far right, do not call us far right. It is respect.

This is also for you, Mr Weber. I like you very much, but please don’t do this any more. And your colleague, please, Ms Aubry. We have names.

 
  
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  President. – So, can we go to the next vote? We were doing well with time, but now it’s all over with our schedule.

 

10.5. Social Climate Fund (A9-0157/2022 - David Casa, Esther de Lange) (vote)
 

– After the vote on the amendments:

 
  
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  Esther de Lange, rapporteur. – Madam President, dear colleagues, I think we all know that the ETS and the social climate fund are closely interlinked. We also voted accordingly in this report. Since for the moment we have referred back to committee the ETS report, I would propose on the basis of Rule 200(4) that we postpone the final vote on the social climate fund until, hopefully very soon, we also have an agreement on ETS.

I have the impression that there is a will to resolve this. I also have the impression that the outstanding issues on ETS are more limited than some might think. So let’s get to work. Let’s keep treating this as a package and postpone the final vote on the social climate fund.

 
  
 

(The House approved the adjournment of the vote on the Commission proposal)

 

10.6. Carbon border adjustment mechanism (A9-0160/2022 - Mohammed Chahim) (vote)
 

– Before the vote:

 
  
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  Mohammed Chahim, rapporteur. – Madam President, for the CBAM Chahim Report, I would like to ask on, based on Rule 200, the referral back to the Committee, and that we will not vote today.

 
  
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  President. – So you are asking for an adjournment of the vote for the next report, Mr Chahim? To be sure. Are you asking to postpone the vote on your report?

 
  
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  Mohammed Chahim, rapporteur. – Yes, yes.

 
  
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  President. – I see that Mr Canfin would like to react.

 
  
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  Pascal Canfin, président de la commission de l'environnement. – Madame la Présidente, en tant que président de la commission de l'environnement, qui porte les trois textes dont on a parlé : le SEQE, le Fonds social pour le climat et le mécanisme d'ajustement carbone aux frontières, je peux affirmer que ces trois textes sont liés. Donc, si on renvoie en commission le SEQE et que l'on a un accord qui est différent de celui qu'on vous a soumis aujourd'hui, il faut qu'on puisse transférer cet accord à la fois dans le texte d’Esther de Lange sur le Fonds social pour le climat et dans le texte de Mohamed Chahim sur le MACF. Sinon, le Parlement votera des choses incohérentes.

On doit renvoyer les trois textes en commission en même temps, de façon à ce qu'on puisse revenir en plénière avec, je l'espère, une majorité large et cohérente pour ce Parlement et pour le climat.

 
  
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  President. – So this would be under Rule 198 of the Rules of Procedure. I put this decision to a vote.

Who is in favour? Who is against? Who abstains?

OK, that is adopted.

 

10.7. Revision of the EU Emissions Trading System for aviation (A9-0155/2022 - Sunčana Glavak) (vote)
  

- Before the vote

 
  
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  President. – But now the question is, do we vote on Ms Glavak’s reports?

Can I just... While you are thinking about what to do... Oh we don’t go home! It’s Wednesday! But I need to know whether we vote on Ms Glavak’s reports.

But while you are thinking, I would really like to thank the services who have worked day and night to prepare the voting lists which we are not voting on. So I need to ask the question as to whether we vote the last two reports.

OK. So who’s going to take the floor on this? Ms Glavak, as the rapporteur for the next two files? Can I give you the floor Sunčana? Go ahead.

 
  
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  Sunčana Glavak, rapporteur. – Madam President, dear colleagues, I think we can go with these two reports, if you agree. Yes?

So we have two reports. So, Madam President, I think we can continue with this.

 
  
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  Pascal Canfin, président de la commission de l'environnement. – Madam President, so again I think we all share the fact that we need to vote consistent text. These ones, the two on aviation and CORSIA, are a package which is not connected to three first texts. So the rapporteur and the negotiating team agrees on the fact that we can go ahead and proceed today with these two texts on CORSIA ETS aviation that are disconnected of substance from the three texts that we parked and sent back to ENVI.

 
  
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  President. – Okay so we vote on the Glavak reports. I ask Vice-President Wieland to take the votes on this.

 
  
  

VORSITZ: RAINER WIELAND
Vizepräsident

 
  
 

– Nach der Abstimmung über den Vorschlag der Kommission

 
  
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  Sunčana Glavak, rapporteur. – Mr President, according to Rule 59(4) of the Rules of Procedure, I would like to request that the file to be referred back to the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) for interinstitutional negotiations, in accordance with Rules 60 and 74 of the Rules of Procedure.

Thank you very much, colleagues, for your cooperation. It’s a small piece of goodwill for today, but it’s not good enough. You know that.

 
  
 

(Der Antrag auf Rücküberweisung wurde gebilligt.)

 

10.8. Notification under the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) (A9-0145/2022 - Sunčana Glavak) (vote)
 

Nach der Abstimmung über den Vorschlag der Kommission

 
  
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  Sunčana Glavak, rapporteur. – Mr President, I want to just say I’m very happy we can start to enter into institutional negotiations. So if you are in favour, thank you so much for that.

 
  
  

(Der Antrag auf Rücküberweisung wurde gebilligt.)

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Damit ist die Abstimmungsstunde geschlossen.

(Die Sitzung wird um 14.16 Uhr unterbrochen.)

 
  
  

PRESIDÊNCIA: PEDRO SILVA PEREIRA
Vice-Presidente

 

11. Resumption of the sitting
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(A sessão é reiniciada às 15h04)

 

12. Request for waiver of immunity
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  Presidente. – As autoridades competentes da França dirigiram à Presidente dois pedidos de levantamento da imunidade parlamentar.

O primeiro diz respeito à Senhora Deputada Nadine Morano, no âmbito de um processo de informação judiciária instaurado pelo Procurador da República de Marselha, e o segundo ao Senhor Deputado Nicolas Bay, no âmbito de um inquérito preliminar instaurado pela Procuradora da República de Évreux.

A Presidente recebeu igualmente um pedido de levantamento da imunidade parlamentar dirigido pelas autoridades competentes da Alemanha relativamente à abertura de um inquérito pelo Procurador-Geral de Berlim contra o Senhor Deputado Nicolaus Fest.

Nos termos do Regimento, estes pedidos serão enviados à Comissão dos Assuntos Jurídicos, que é a comissão competente na matéria.

 

13. Approval of the minutes of the previous sitting
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  Presidente. – A ata da sessão de ontem e os textos aprovados já foram distribuídos.

Há alguma observação?

A ata é aprovada.

 

14. The Commission's proposal for "Attracting skills and talent to the EU", particularly the Talent Partnerships with North African countries (topical debate)
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  Presidente. – Segue-se o debate sobre temas de atualidade.

Recebi uma proposta da Comissão sobre atração de competências e talentos para a União Europeia, em particular as parcerias para atração de talentos com os países do Norte de África.

Gostaria de recordar que neste debate não haverá procedimentos catch-the-eye nem perguntas sob a forma de “cartão azul”.

Recordo que os lugares são livres, com exceção das duas primeiras filas atribuídas aos chefes dos grupos políticos.

Gostaria ainda de recordar que as intervenções no hemiciclo continuarão a ser feitas a partir da tribuna central, exceto no que se refere aos pedidos espontâneos de uso da palavra, em caso de pontos de ordem.

Dou a palavra ao autor do pedido Bernhard Zimniok.

 
  
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  Bernhard Zimniok, Verfasser. – Herr Präsident! Die EU will illegale Migration legal machen, wie sie das schon im September 2020 im EU-Migrationspakt angekündigt hat. Diesmal will sie sogenannte Talentpartnerschaften mit hoch korrupten Ländern wie Nigeria, Pakistan und dem Senegal abschließen. Die Begründung der Kommission ist wie immer die gleiche. Die EU behauptet, dass wir Migranten brauchen, um den Fachkräftemangel und das demografische Ungleichgewicht zu bekämpfen. Das ist schlicht eine Lüge, die die Kommission immer und immer wiederholt.

Die Fakten sprechen eine ganz andere Sprache. Zum einen haben wir in der EU weit über 13 Millionen Arbeitslose, die wir in Lohn und Brot bringen müssen; und das sind nur die offiziellen Zahlen. Wenn in den anderen EU-Mitgliedstaaten auch nur ansatzweise so viele Arbeitslosenstatistiken wie seit Merkel gefälscht wurden, dann kann man diese Zahl getrost vervielfachen.

Warum also wird dieses Potenzial nicht genutzt? Ganz einfach: Weil Ausbildung Geld kostet, die Wirtschaft aber lieber mehr Geld auf dem Rücken der eigenen Bevölkerung und anderer Länder verdient, als in die eigenen Arbeitslosen zu investieren. Und die Politik unterstützt die Wirtschaft auch noch dabei. Nicht umsonst nennt die Kommission explizit den Pflegesektor. Pfleger aus patriarchalen und archaischen Kulturen, in denen die Männer schon den Handschlag mit Frauen verweigern, sollen Frauen jetzt gar beim Toilettengang helfen? Auf so eine hervorragende Idee kann nur die Kommission kommen – einfach weltfremd.

Über 12 000 arbeitslose Pflegekräfte in Deutschland zeigen das Potenzial in dieser Branche. Die Arbeitsbedingungen sind aber so schlecht, dass kein Einheimischer mehr bereit ist, sich ausbeuten zu lassen. Hinzu kommt noch die wissenschaftsleugnende Impfpflicht, die den Notstand künstlich noch verschärft. Der Ansatz, stattdessen Ausländer auszubeuten, damit man ja nicht die Löhne erhöhen muss, ist zutiefst rassistisch. Erschwerend kommt hier der Braindrain hinzu, dem man auch hier noch Vorschub leistet.

Wie immer wird nach dem gleichen Prinzip wie in der Staatsschuldenkrise verfahren: Gewinne werden privatisiert, Verluste werden sozialisiert. Denn die Gewinne, also in diesem Fall die wenigen wirklich qualifizierten Migranten, werden für die Wirtschaft genutzt, während die Verluste, also der Großteil der eben nicht nutzbaren Migranten, der nicht qualifizierten Migranten, dem Sozialstaat und damit dem Steuerzahler zur Last fallen.

In Deutschland leben zwei Drittel der Syrer – das sind die Fachkräfte von 2015 – von Sozialleistungen; bei Afghanen sind es etwa 44 %. Zuwanderung in diesem Sinne ist also nicht die Lösung des Demografie- und Rentenproblems, sondern verschärft das auch noch. Das ist aber sicher kein auf Deutschland beschränktes Phänomen. Laut einer Studie der Universität Amsterdam verursachte die dortige Migration alleine zwischen 1995 und 2019 Kosten in Höhe von sage und schreibe 400 Milliarden EUR. Wie hoch die Kosten dann für ein viel größeres Land, wie zum Beispiel Deutschland, sind, kann man sich denken.

Migranten aus afrikanischen Ländern verursachen dabei mit Abstand die höchsten Kosten für den Staatshaushalt. Und genau aus diesen Ländern will die Kommission jetzt Migranten anwerben und die bis dato illegale Migration legal machen. Faktenbefreiter und schädlicher kann eine Politik kaum sein.

Das vielgescholtene Ungarn zeigt, wie man das Demografieproblem durch eine adäquate Familienpolitik bekämpft. Die Vorteile sind offensichtlich: Der soziokulturelle Zusammenhalt der Gesellschaft wird nicht durch Migranten aus größtenteils inkompatiblen Kulturen gefährdet.

Und ich kann gerne auch auf Terroranschläge, sogenannte verwirrte Einzeltäter, eine Neuauflage der Kölner Domplatte und – jetzt aktuell – die gewalttätigen Zusammenrottungen von Afrikanern am Gardasee verzichten. So etwas gibt es in Ungarn und Polen nicht. Warum wohl? Die EU sollte das Fortbestehen der europäischen Völker und ihrer Kulturen sichern. Mit solchen Vorschlägen sorgt sie aber genau für das Gegenteil.

Werte Kollegen, lehnen Sie diesen Wahnsinn ab!

 
  
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  Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, honourable Members of the European Parliament, let me start with some facts and figures.

Every year between two and three million people come to the EU legally, in contrast to somewhere between 125 000 to 200 000 irregular arrivals. I think we have seen during the pandemic that 13% of frontline workers – I’m talking about doctors, nurses, drivers – were migrants. So it’s one in eight.

Legal migration has a positive impact because it gives migrants opportunities to improve their lives. It provides skilled workers for host countries, and it’s boosting the economy for all. To recover from COVID our economies, indeed, were in dire need of new workers for tourism, hospitality, the IT sector, health and logistics. All of them are sectors with structural shortages.

The EU is welcoming the refugees fleeing from the war in Ukraine, but this does not preclude the need for a sustainable and common approach to labour migration to address the EU skills needs in the long term. While we need more workers in the EU, we are fewer and fewer of an working age. In 50 years, the EU’s working—age population will decline from 65% to 55%.

Parliament has been vocal through different resolutions and debates in urging the Commission to take action on legal migration. You asked us for ambition and we replied with ambition, but also with pragmatism and vision. With our package, we propose a full set of legal, operational and forward—looking actions.

To start, we suggest to revise the long—term residence directive and the single permit directive to attract new talent, to improve the EU’s appeal in the global competition for talent, and to simplify admission procedures. We also propose to set up an EU—wide matching platform – the EU talent pool – to improve international recruitment, to match EU employers with talent.

As a first step, we are launching a talent pool pilot to map the skills of refugees from Ukraine to help them integrate. Legal migration is essential for our economy and plays an important role in our migration management, and is central to the comprehensive and mutually beneficial partnerships we are building with key countries of origin and transit.

Reducing irregular migration paves the way to step up regular migration. By the end of this year, the Commission intends to launch tailor—made Talent Partnerships with three key partners – with Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco. The Partnerships must be a win-win for all. They will allow transforming the risk of brain drain into brain gain. They will help identify priority sectors for skills that support the socio—economic development of Member States and partner countries, and provide new training and work experience in the EU or countries of origin.

We invite Member States to identify economic sectors of mutual interest and fully involve the social partners, unions and employers. We hope that these three Talent Partnerships will pave the way for others in the near future.

For the next steps we see three avenues for further action: care, youth and innovation. We are launching studies on long—term care and youth mobility, and we are discussing with the Member States an EU scheme for innovative entrepreneurs and this autumn will organise a high—level event to continue discussing with you and the Member States how to implement these proposals and make them a reality on the ground.

 
  
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  Jeroen Lenaers, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, Europe is a rapidly aging continent: our working population is shrinking and will continue to shrink in the foreseeable future. And we already see today all over Europe that employers are faced with significant labour shortages.

So it’s good that also at the European level, we look for innovative ways to increase the attractiveness of our Union to talent from third countries. And, yes, it could also help us creating effective partnerships with third countries on the external dimension of migration. And this is crucial, as we all know, in our wider efforts on the Pact of Migration. There are two principles that should be leading, in my opinion.

First, that it is, and it should remain the sole competence of the individual Member State to decide on labour migration from third countries, taking into consideration the very specific circumstances of the different national labour markets. And at the European level we need to make sure that there are no loopholes to circumvent this principle. And I am particularly concerned about intra—EU posting of third country nationals in this regard.

Second principle: focusing on attracting talents from third countries must never come at the expense of our efforts to activate our own citizens that are currently not in employment. Labour migration can be a part of the solution, but it can never be the only solution. Not when 14% of our European youth is still facing unemployment, not when people are over the age of 55 that want to work still have huge difficulties to find employment, not with the current labour shortages and not when we stumble at the moment, as in my country, from one scandal to the next, when it comes to housing or working conditions for labour migrants that are already in the EU.

Yes, employers are in need of workers, and we need to help them. But they also need to make an effort themselves to go the extra mile to employ people that want to work but need a little bit of help. In a social market economy, we can’t only always focus on the quickest, the easiest or the cheapest solution; we need a long—term solution that puts human dignity in the centre.

 
  
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  Maria Arena, au nom du groupe S&D. – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, je dois vous avouer qu'à titre personnel, je me sens mal à l'aise par rapport à ce titre «Comment attirer les qualifications et les talents en Europe?» Mal à l'aise, non pas, comme M. Zimniok l'a dit, parce qu'à titre personnel non plus je n'ai aucune difficulté à avoir à côté de moi un collègue africain qui peut partager effectivement un certain nombre de choses et de valeurs qui sont des valeurs universelles, et qui ne sont pas vos valeurs spécifiquement, Monsieur Zimniok, mais qui sont des valeurs que nous partageons ici aujourd'hui en Europe, qui sont les valeurs de la solidarité et de la dignité. Donc avoir un Africain à côté de moi ne me pose absolument pas de problème.

Par contre, cette proposition laisse entendre que, puisque nous voulons attirer les compétences et les talents, les personnes qui n'auraient pas ces talents et ces qualifications seraient les malvenues en Europe, et ce n'est pas le message que nous avons envie de donner à ces pays. Elle donne aussi l'impression qu'il y a un mélange entre la législation sur la protection que nous devons à un certain nombre de personnes, parce qu'elles sont menacées, et la question du séjour. Quand on est menacé, cela n'a rien à voir avec la question des talents et des qualifications. On est menacé, on doit être protégé.

Elle laisse aussi entendre que nous viderions ces pays de leurs compétences et de leurs talents. Et là aussi, il y aurait un problème parce que, s'il n'y avait pas ces talents dans ces pays, eh bien ils seraient encore plus en difficulté et il y aurait encore plus de phénomènes migratoires. Donc cette proposition pose difficulté par rapport aux objectifs qu'elle peut avoir.

Un dernier élément. Quand j'entends que M. Várhelyi va en Tunisie et conditionne des accords avec la Tunisie à la conclusion d'accords de réadmission, je trouve également problématique cette conditionnalité, où l'on dit j'en prends un, tu en prends un. Là aussi il y a une difficulté. Donc je pense qu'il est nécessaire de revoir la proposition telle qu'elle a été mise sur la table.

 
  
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  Abir Al-Sahlani, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Mr President, dear colleagues, dear Commissioner, I would like to start by thanking the Commission for adhering to Parliament when we sent a strong signal, with the support of two thirds of the votes here in Parliament, when it came to labour migration policy and the law report that I was rapporteur for. Thank you for that.

I do hope that we will also gather strong support and remain united on this matter of the Talent Partnership, because these are of utter importance to our work, to our Union. Firstly, because the Talent Partnership can be used to create legal pathways to the Union for migrants who want to create better lives, who want to be part of our communities, who want to work – better, safe, legal pathways.

Secondly, they can be part of our solutions to face the challenges of the ageing population, where we have a decrease in our labour force, meaning also a decrease of our welfare state or also the build of our welfare state.

Thirdly, the Talent Partnership can improve the growth of our economies. As we speak, we are losing 2% every day of our productivity with the unfilled vacancies on the labour market. That’s why these Talent Partnerships are very, very important.

But for them to be able to work and function, the first thing we need is good legislation, and we need to change the mind—set and narrative around migration, because now we are mixing everything. We need to know that not everyone wants to come to the EU. We are competing on a global scale over these talented, skilled people and we are losing in competitiveness. We are not as attractive as we used to be, or as we think.

Thirdly, I think that we also need to work on the circularity of migration, so we prevent the brain drain, and we ensure that people who come also return.

One last thing I would like to say, Mr President of the Parliament, is that I am very tired, I am really sick and tired, of being addressed as ‘the different one’. This Parliament contains non—ethnic Europeans. I myself came as an unaccompanied minor when I was 15 years old from Iraq to Sweden, and I am so tired of this racist narrative. I hope that whenever it comes, you stop it, because it is not acceptable. I am a part of the EU as much as you are and there are even more people who can be that!

(applause)

 
  
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  Tineke Strik, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, dear Commissioner, I would like to congratulate you on a positive partnership agreement reached with three partner countries to regulate labour migration. It shows that it is possible to develop equal partnerships that are mutually beneficial, which are often, to be honest, really missing.

Most of the times we see that the EU is using negative incentives ‘less for less’ to force third countries to strengthen border controls and return migrants. However, the regulation of labour migration is the best way to combat irregular migration, the exploitation of migrants and unfair competition.

I would only like to urge you to go beyond circular migration. Ensuring that migrants have strong rights from the beginning is not only key to their integration, but also to preventing exploitation. If we create more mobility rights, you can be sure that migrants will return regularly to their countries and invest there, just like we see with the free movement within the EU.

Furthermore, it’s important that the Single Permit Directive becomes a basis for strong rights for all migrants residing in the EU, and that intra—EU mobility will be a vital element for the long—term residents residing within the EU. In this way, they can come closer to the position of EU citizens.

We welcome all four proposals, as they have the potential to boost migrants’ rights, mobility and integration. We hope that this positive approach will lead to a more rational approach towards migration, which we desperately need.

 
  
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  Jean-Lin Lacapelle, au nom du groupe ID. – Monsieur le Président, chers collègues. Une fois de plus, la Commission européenne promeut son idéologie immigrationniste absolue et encourage la submersion de nos nations européennes. Le prétexte est cette fois-ci d'attirer les talents de l'étranger, notamment d'Afrique du Nord.

Mais quels talents ? Ceux que nous avons vu au Stade de France semer le chaos lors de la finale de Ligue des champions de football, il y a quelques jours ? Ceux qui remplissent nos prisons, qui vident les caisses de la Sécurité sociale et qui composent le hit parade du terrorisme ? Non merci. Attirer des talents qui viendront maintenir une pression à la baisse sur les salaires, qui resteront en Europe de façon permanente et qui engorgeront un marché du travail déjà saturé ? Non merci également. Attirer des talents qui priveront des pays en voie de développement de techniciens et de cadres indispensables à leur développement et qui maintiendront l'appel d'air de ces pays vers l'Europe ? Non merci.

Avec les mondialistes, l'immigration choisie se transforme toujours en immigration subie. Nous, nous disons non à l'idéologie masquée par de sordides logiques marchandes. Oui, nous soutenons des accords de formation. Oui, nous soutenons des visas de travail temporaire, mais notre priorité sera toujours du côté de nos peuples. Avant de recruter des talents étrangers, essayons d'abord de préserver les nôtres.

 
  
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  Adam Bielan, w imieniu grupy ECR. – Panie Przewodniczący! Populacja aktywna zawodowo starzeje się i spada w szybkim tempie w całej Unii Europejskiej. Według Komisji do 2070 r. liczba ludności w wieku produkcyjnym zmniejszy się nawet o 15%. Dodatkowo na rynku pracy już teraz występują niedobory pracowników w różnych sektorach, w tym służbie zdrowia, czy branży IT. Ponadto przejście na gospodarkę ekologiczną i zaawansowaną cyfrowo wymaga dodatkowej siły roboczej i nowych umiejętności.

Przyciąganie talentów jest więc niezbędne, by utrzymać ambitną ścieżkę rozwoju Unii Europejskiej. W tym kontekście z zadowoleniem przyjmuję nowe propozycje Komisji Europejskiej; EU Talent Partnership oraz pilotażową inicjatywę EU Talent Pool dla Ukrainy.

Ułatwienie dostępu integracji na unijnym rynku pracy osobom uciekającym przed rosyjską agresją jest w tym momencie kluczowe i cieszę się, że mój kraj, Polska, już podejmuje daleko idące ułatwienia dla naszych sąsiadów. W związku z pilnymi potrzebami uchodźców ta ogólnoeuropejska platforma – pula talentów Unii, powinna jak najszybciej wejść w życie, by dopasować umiejętności i kwalifikacje Ukraińców korzystających z tymczasowej ochrony do potencjalnych pracodawców w całej Unii.

Na zakończenie chciałbym wyrazić zadowolenie, że to właśnie mój kraj będzie w przyszłym roku organizatorem największego w Europie wydarzenia doskonalenia zawodowego i umiejętności – Euro Skills 2023. Jestem przekonany że wspomniane inicjatywy pozwolą wzmocnić jednolity rynek i odporność naszej gospodarki.

 
  
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  Pernando Barrena Arza, en nombre del Grupo The Left. – Señor presidente, todas las personas tenemos el derecho a emigrar y mejorar nuestra situación personal y económica, máxime en circunstancias de vulnerabilidad o riesgo para nuestras vidas o la de nuestros familiares. Todas, absolutamente todas las personas somos sujetos de derechos humanos y sociales y esto no puede soslayarse por razones de raza, religión, cultura o clase.

No es admisible que el enfoque que se nos propone sea única y exclusivamente permitir la entrada a la Unión de nacionales de terceros países que tengan acreditados perfiles profesionales o académicos que interesen a Europa. Quiero decir que este aspecto ya está cubierto por la Directiva de la tarjeta azul que recientemente aprobó este Parlamento; tan reciente que todavía no ha habido tiempo de evaluar su eficacia.

Quiero subrayar la ironía del origen de estas iniciativas de corte racista que se nos presentan. Quiero recordar de dónde salió la emigración europea no hace tanto tiempo: de los países nórdicos, del este europeo, de los países del sur, hacia los Estados Unidos, América del Sur, Australia, África. Exactamente por las mismas razones que esgrimen algunos que vienen de lugares donde la guerra, el hambre o la falta de dignidad humana son una realidad diaria. No podemos ser tan indignos y negar el derecho a emigrar y ser acogido que garantizaron a millones de europeos tiempo atrás.

Quiero además recomendarles que, si su preocupación es atraer talento norteafricano a Europa, comiencen por reconocer a la República Árabe Saharaui Democrática para que así también los saharauis puedan acceder al mercado laboral europeo.

 
  
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  Chiara Gemma (NI). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signor Commissario, i morti nel Mar Mediterraneo, i muri al confine ungherese e il trattamento disumano dei rifugiati al confine fra Bielorussia e Polonia sono pagine nere della storia europea che hanno lanciato un messaggio sbagliato al mondo intero. L'Europa non è quella che volta le spalle al prossimo. L'Europa è quella che accoglie quasi 24 milioni di cittadini nati nei paesi terzi e dà loro la speranza di un futuro migliore.

Adesso però noi dobbiamo affrontare l'agguerrita concorrenza di Gran Bretagna, Stati Uniti, Australia, ma anche di altri paesi emergenti che stanno portando molti giovani talenti via dall'Europa. Questo va combattuto perché toglie ossigeno alla nostra capacità di crescita in settori fondamentali per il nostro futuro. Solo per citarne alcuni: informatica, scienze, salute e turismo.

Allora, se vogliamo essere davvero competitivi e attrattivi, dobbiamo riformare la direttiva sul permesso unico, così da accogliere i giovani meritevoli senza vincoli. Meno burocrazia, meno barriere, più lavoro, più diritti. Solo così la nostra Europa diventerà un hub delle opportunità. Siamo ambiziosi? Sì, vogliamo esserlo, possiamo esserlo.

 
  
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  Hildegard Bentele (PPE). – Herr Präsident, sehr geehrter Herr Kommissar! Als Vizekoordinatorin meiner Fraktion im Entwicklungsausschuss begrüße ich den vorliegenden Kommissionsvorschlag, denn er adressiert Phänomene, die uns auf den Nägeln brennen: die illegale Migration, die Tatsache, dass Menschen ihre Arbeitskraft aus Perspektivlosigkeit nicht in ihrem Land einbringen können und sich auf eine gefährliche, teilweise auch tödliche Reise begeben. Er adressiert den offensichtlichen Arbeitskräftemangel in der EU und die demografische Entwicklung und auch die Tatsache, dass sich die EU als attraktiver Arbeitsmarkt in der Welt positionieren muss. Mit dem Vorschlag werden die Antragsverfahren rational und effektiver gestaltet. Die Rechte der langfristig Aufenthaltsberechtigten werden gestärkt, und legale Aufenthalte können zusammengezählt werden.

Ich glaube, dass der vorgestellte Talente-Pool und die Talente-Partnerschaften gute Ideen sind, denn sie bieten vor allem die Chance, dass wir nicht nur Hochqualifizierte erreichen, sondern Menschen mit allen Ausbildungsniveaus und auch Selbstständige, und außerdem, dass wir die Bedürfnisse der Arbeitgeber mit den Qualifikationen der Arbeitsmigranten besser abgleichen können – und zwar vor Abreise, Herr Zimniok!

Wir haben schon Pilotprojekte. Was können wir aus diesen Pilotprojekten, die Belgien, Frankreich, Litauen und Spanien mit afrikanischen Ländern durchgeführt haben, lernen? Es ist sehr wichtig, da gebe ich meinem Kollegen Lenaers recht: Wir müssen auf die individuelle Ausgangslage in den Mitgliedstaaten Rücksicht nehmen. Sie müssen individuell ausgestattet werden. Wir brauchen Strukturen, und wir brauchen Vertrauen. Das wird Zeit brauchen.

Ich glaube, dass wir in einer Zeit, in der wir die EU insgesamt wettbewerbsfähig und resilienter machen wollen, mit dieser Kommunikation das richtige Signal aussenden. Wir brauchen für diese Aufgaben die besten Talente aus der ganzen Welt. Wir müssen dafür attraktiv sein. Ich bin auch davon überzeugt, dass mobile Menschen Brücken bauen können, die zur Lösung verschiedenster Probleme – seien es Krankheiten, Ernährungsversorgung, Ungleichbehandlung und Klimawandel – beitragen können. Ich denke, wir müssen aus Migration echte Mobilität machen, und dazu trägt dieser Vorschlag sehr gut bei.

 
  
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  Pina Picierno (S&D). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, la questione di cui discutiamo oggi, di come cioè il nostro continente possa e debba attrarre talenti e competenze, è troppo seria – fatemelo dire – per essere oggetto di strumentalizzazioni di tipo politico. E ci sono colleghi che in quest'Aula poco fa hanno sostenuto – io non potevo credere alle mie orecchie – che evidentemente talenti e competenze si possono trovare soltanto in una parte del mondo, la loro evidentemente. Mi spiace deludervi ma non è così. Mi spiace deludervi ma il mondo è pieno di talenti, di competenza, di donne, di uomini che si sono formati, sì spesso anche a costo di sacrifici enormi, ma che ci possono aiutare a rendere la nostra Europa migliore.

Allora io voglio ringraziare la Commissione, perché questa proposta darà sicuramente i suoi frutti, arricchirà noi e i paesi del Nord Africa creando sinergie importanti. Ma, me lo lasci dire Commissario, dobbiamo anche considerare che la maggior parte delle persone che arrivano, che vogliono raggiungere i nostri paesi, lo fanno perché scappano da situazioni gravi, da guerre, da carestie. E di questo noi non possiamo dimenticarci, non possiamo voltarci dall'altra parte. Allora è necessario affrontare il tema dell'immigrazione con un approccio olistico, con la complessità che merita una questione così seria come quella di cui parliamo oggi.

 
  
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  Jan-Christoph Oetjen (Renew). – Herr Präsident, Herr Kommissar! Wenn ich durchs Land fahre und Betriebe besuche, dann sagen die mir, wir suchen händeringend Leute. Wir suchen Leute, die bei uns arbeiten können, die bei uns Ausbildung machen können. Und ich glaube, dass all diejenigen, die hier sagen: „Nein, wir haben doch viel zu viele Arbeitslose, und wir brauchen gar keine Leute“, die verschließen die Augen vor der Realität.

Ich glaube, dass die Talent Partnerships, die vorgeschlagen werden, genau richtig sind, weil eine Ausbildungskooperation eben beiden Ländern nützen kann. Sie kann eine Win-win-Situation für beide Länder mit sich bringen. Und ich glaube, dass wir langfristig einen Talent Pool brauchen – einen Talent Pool, auf den sich Migranten bewerben können. Und da können die Mitgliedstaaten sagen: „Jawoll, wir brauchen in unserem Arbeitsmarkt eine bestimmte Qualifikation, eine bestimmte Menge Arbeitskräfte, und die holen wir dann zu uns, und die integrieren wir in unserem Land.“

Ich glaube, dass wir darauf setzen müssen, diese legalen Wege in die Arbeitsmigration zu organisieren, wenn wir es schaffen wollen, die illegale Migration nach Europa zu reduzieren.

Ein Wort zum Kollegen Zimniok: Ich würde Sie bitten, dass Sie sich inhaltlich mit den Themen beschäftigen, sich inhaltlich mit den Vorschlägen beschäftigen. Diese eklige blau-braune Soße, die Sie hier verschütten, hat in diesem Haus nichts zu suchen.

 
  
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  Damian Boeselager (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, similar to Mr Oetjen, when I talk to SME founders or start-up founders, what I often hear is that they really need talent as one of the key success factors. Talent is a key success factor for European competitiveness, but we punch way below our weight. Why is that?

Because we have 27 completely separate labour markets still. It’s not as attractive as if we had one big labour market because we have these harmful and hurtful narratives that we just heard again here in this House, and the very closed idea of what an identity can actually look like in Europe. And we have an insufficient equalisation of rights which needs to be strengthened.

So I want to thank the Commission to bring forward this new package. I think there are very good elements in there when you look at the long-term residence directive. We need to increase European mobility. We need to make it easier to get access to a long-term residence permit. And I want to especially thank you for the talent pool, because this is an idea that I brought to the Commission two years ago, so I’m very happy that it has now been taken up.

I think it’s really cool that international talent now has the chance to express their interest to work in Europe and then be matched with European employers. We have to work on that, make it interoperable with what the private sector is already proposing so that we can really attract talent to Europe and make Europe more attractive. So let’s get to work.

 
  
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  Peter Kofod (ID). – Hr. formand! Vi ved jo allesammen godt, hvad det her handler om. Det handler om, at I gerne vil øge indvandringen til Europa. Kommissær Johansson har tidligere sagt det, flere af jer talere her i dag har sagt det: Europa er et aldrende kontinent. Europa har derfor brug for – synes I – at i at tiltrække millioner og atter millioner af mennesker fra Afrika og Mellemøsten i de kommende år. Men lad mig spørge jer: Hvor har jeres indvandring virket? Hvor har indvandringen fra islamiske lande i Mellemøsten og Afrika været en succes? Hvor har det været en overskudsforretning? Hvor har migranter fra Afrika gjort Europa til et bedre sted at være? Jeg spørger, for jeg kan ikke komme på et eneste sted, og alligevel går I videre og ønsker at øge indvandringen betragteligt. Lad mig sige det, som det er: Europas problem er jo ikke, at EU ikke kan tiltrække indvandring. Problemet er, at vi har fået alt for meget allerede, og man ikke har kunnet sende dem hjem igen. Det er et enormt problem. Det, I har gang i nu, det er bare at legalisere masseindvandring, og det bryder jeg mig ikke om. Og jeg tror faktisk heller ikke, at europæerne bryder sig særligt meget om det. Vi har brug for at beskytte Europa. Vi har brug for at gøre vores kontinent klart til det enorme pres, der vil komme på vores grænser i løbet af de kommende år, men også i løbet af de kommende måneder som følge af stigende fødevarepriser og inflation i nogle meget, meget ustabile lande. Vi har travlt, kære venner. Desværre gør I alt det forkerte, det bliver I ved med, og det har I gjort i mange år.

 
  
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  Elżbieta Rafalska (ECR). –Panie Przewodniczący! Koleżanki i koledzy! Zmiany demograficzne oraz skutki pandemii COVID, a także wojna na Ukrainie postawiły przed Unią poważne wyzwanie, jakim jest uzupełnianie niedoborów na rynku pracy.

Jednym z wielu sektorów narażonych na to jest opieka, w tym szczególności opieka długoterminowa. I w tym sektorze sytuacja pogarsza się z roku na rok i prognozy są coraz gorsze. Pandemia uwypukliła wiele istniejących od dawna problemów, takich jak praca nierejestrowana, drenaż mózgów, potrzeba lepszego i bardziej spójnego gromadzenia danych między państwami członkowskimi czy słabe zabezpieczenie społeczne pracowników — to wszystko jest niezwykle ważne. Można temu przeciwdziałać poprzez lepiej ukierunkowane finansowanie publiczne, które ułatwiłoby dostęp do legalnego i uczciwego świadczenia usług opiekuńczych.

Ważne jest również, aby państwa członkowskie kontrolowały na poziomie granic wjazd obywateli państw trzecich.

 
  
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  Milan Uhrík (NI). – Pán predsedajúci, ja súhlasím s tým, aby sa hľadali mladé talenty a podporovali šikovní mladí ľudia.

Ale prečo sem zase ťaháte tých Afričanov? Prečo? Kde sú všetci tí raketoví inžinieri a lekári, ktorí prišli v rámci tej nelegálnej imigrácie? Kde sú? Prišli zneužívať sociálny systém. Prišli kradnúť, prišli znásilňovať a v mnohých prípadoch aj vraždiť. Kvôli nim mnohí Európania, milióny Európanov, nemôžu vo vlastných mestách chodiť po vlastných uliciach, pretože vznikajú no go zóny.

Ja už mám naozaj plné zuby toho, ako na každý problém nájdete riešenie, že riešenie je viac Afričanov v Európe. Áno, nech sa podporujú talenty, ale nech sa podporujú medzi európskou mládežou, medzi Európanmi, medzi súčasnou generáciou, medzi budúcou generáciou, medzi našimi deťmi! Nehľadajme vo všetkom riešenie len v Afrike.

Ale pozrime sa konečne už aj do Európy na našich mladých šikovných ľudí! A tam hľadajme budúcnosť! To je naša budúcnosť!

 
  
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  Frances Fitzgerald (PPE). – Mr President, Commissioner, I welcome this debate and I will focus on one aspect of it.

As throughout the COVID—19 pandemic, right across the European Union the enormous contribution that carers make to our societies was clear to see. Their work is critical, imperative, it underlines our very social fabric here, in European society, and ensures that our family and friends have the kind of care they need when they are at their most vulnerable.

However, we know that many of those who provide care within our societies are immigrants to Europe, coming to provide care for Europeans of all ages at the moments in their lives when they need help the most. But we do not have enough carers in Europe with our care sector, childcare, elder care woefully understaffed, and care workers overstretched.

This is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity for at least 8 million jobs in Europe by 2030. We must take advantage of it. And as such, I am delighted that the European Commission has now taken on board my call to attract workers in the care sector as part of their skills and talent package, following my representations to Commissioner Schinas. I particularly welcome that the Commission will explore the potential for a new EU—led visa scheme for care workers.

To this end, I support calls to add care workers to the category of essential workers. This is crucial and should be implemented immediately. As we look towards the new European care strategy, which will be released in September, I see this as a crucial building block towards that strategy. Let’s make this the first step towards a Europe for carers.

 
  
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  Javier Moreno Sánchez (S&D). – Señor presidente, señor vicepresidente, la Comunicación de la Comisión Europea y las Resoluciones de este Parlamento representan el enfoque adecuado para gestionar los flujos migratorios al priorizar la creación de nuevos canales de inmigración legal. Y le guste o no a la extrema derecha, la emigración es un fenómeno natural, positivo, necesario y necesario.

Una doble necesidad justificada por el envejecimiento de la población europea y por la escasez de trabajadores en numerosos sectores. Pero, además, su inclusión en nuestras sociedades supone un enriquecimiento cultural, social y político, como se ha evidenciado durante la pandemia, y como usted, señor vicepresidente, lo ha recordado. Con trabajadores que pueden llegar del norte de África, pero también de otros países, incluso de Canadá y de los Estados Unidos.

El año pasado dimos un primer paso con la aprobación de la reforma de la tarjeta azul; pero debemos ampliar esta oportunidad a todos los niveles de cualificación y simplificar el resto de herramientas de emigración legal que ya tenemos, como la Directiva del permiso único. Y, ya por último, y sobre todo, debemos trabajar en cooperación con los países de origen para evitar una fuga de cerebros que pueda empobrecer a estos países apostando, por favor, por la emigración circular.

 
  
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  Malte Gallée (Verts/ALE). – Herr Präsident, lieber Herr Vizepräsident, liebe Gäste! Ich möchte erst mal sagen, ich bin wirklich extrem froh zu beobachten, wie gut und schnell die Aufnahme der Geflüchteten aus der Ukraine bei uns läuft, vor allem dank der ganzen Ehrenamtlichen. Millionen Menschen haben direkten Zugang zum Arbeitsmarkt ab Tag eins und Bewegungsfreiheit in der gesamten EU.

Aber blicken wir jetzt mal so ein bisschen auf beispielsweise Deutschland. Es fehlen über 1 Million Arbeitskräfte. Gleichzeitig sitzen hunderttausende Geflüchtete in Asylverfahren fest, haben vielleicht Duldungsstatus, mit dem sie noch nicht mal richtig arbeiten können, oder ihre Qualifikationen werden einfach nicht anerkannt. Und dann landen sie in fachfremden Jobs oder stecken an Orten, wo es noch nicht mal Arbeit gibt.

Deswegen, Herr Kommissar, bitte sorgen Sie dafür, dass wirklich alle Menschen, die hier arbeiten wollen, das auch können, dass wir die Menschen in Arbeit bringen, die hier schon sind, und dass von den Mitgliedstaaten und den Universitäten die Abschlüsse und auch andere Qualifikationen anerkannt werden.

Und zuletzt noch meine persönliche Bitte: Geben Sie meinem Pilotprojekt für eine European Language Learning App statt, damit eben der wichtigste skill, nämlich das Sichverständigen, von vornherein schon steht.

 
  
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  Filip De Man (ID). – Voorzitter, collega's, vandaag bespreken we het plan van de Europese Commissie voor arbeidsmigratie uit Egypte, Marokko en Tunesië. Men wil namelijk de arbeidstekorten in Europa opvangen. Ook met Senegal, met Nigeria, met Pakistan, en zelfs met Bangladesh moeten akkoorden gesloten worden. Nu al komen drie miljoen – drie miljoen – niet-Europese vreemdelingen per jaar de EU binnen. Maar blijkbaar is dat nog niet genoeg voor de profeten van de omvolking.

Wij zijn dus categoriek tegen dat plan. En wel om de volgende redenen.

Ten eerste zijn er verdorie 13 miljoen werklozen in de EU. Waarom zouden we dan nog gastarbeiders importeren?

Ten tweede verzwijgt men het enorme aanzuigeffect dat zal uitgaan van die allochtone werknemers. Want natuurlijk willen zij hun gezin – en als het even kan heel hun familie – ook naar hier halen, wat dan weer in vele gevallen een bijkomende last zal betekenen voor de nu al zwaarbelaste sociale zekerheid. Erger nog, hoe meer Tunesiërs, Senegalezen, Pakistani enzovoort naar hier mogen komen, hoe groter de lokroep in de landen van degenen die achterbleven. De tamtam zal dus luider klinken dan ooit tevoren.

Dit plan van christendemocraten, socialisten en liberalen is dus onzinnig. De boot is vol.

 
  
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  Robert Roos (ECR). – Voorzitter, de Europese Commissie wil nóg meer immigratie. Met zogenaamde “talent-partnerschappen” gaat ze laagopgeleide arbeidsmigranten werven in Noord-Afrika en het Midden-Oosten. Dat is om heel veel redenen een ontzettend slecht idee.

Geen enkel land heeft de EU om méér immigratie gevraagd. Ze vragen alleen om minder immigratie. Als we illegale immigratie willen bestrijden, lossen we het probleem niet op door die immigratie dan maar “legaal” te noemen. En nee, arbeidsmigratie lost ook de vergrijzing niet op: dat is de redenering van een piramidespel. Telkens weer zouden er dan nóg meer immigranten nodig zijn, ten koste van onze identiteit, onze economie en onze natuur.

Willen Europeanen dit dan graag? Natuurlijk niet. Zelfs de Commissie geeft toe dat het noemen van daadwerkelijke aantallen migranten “politieke zelfmoord” is. Laagopgeleide immigranten uit het Midden-Oosten en Noord-Afrika presteren statistisch het allerslechtst. In geen enkel Europees land zit de bevolking hierop te wachten.

Ik vermoed dat de Commissie geen referendum over dit voorstel durft aan te kondigen. Bespaar ons dan ook dit onzalige plan.

 
  
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  Maria da Graça Carvalho (PPE). – Senhor Presidente, caro Comissário, caros Colegas, as propostas da Comissão Europeia para atrair competências e talentos para a UE são promissoras, especialmente as chamadas parcerias de talento com os países do Norte de África. Só me questiono porque não são alargadas a todo o continente africano.

Estas iniciativas são descritas pela Comissão Europeia como mutuamente benéficas. Considero este aspeto, o mutuamente, muito relevante. Embora seja importante atrair talentos e trabalhadores qualificados para a UE, também é crucial garantir que existem benefícios claros para os países de origem.

A cooperação internacional tem de visar, em todos os momentos, a criação de um mundo mais equilibrado. As parcerias não devem resultar numa fuga de cérebros dos países em desenvolvimento para os países desenvolvidos. Devem, sim, conduzir à mobilidade nos dois sentidos, bem como à cooperação científica e tecnológica.

Espera-se que estes talentos, que estes trabalhadores qualificados, contribuam para as economias europeias, mas também que levem experiência e conhecimento ao regressarem aos seus países de origem.

 
  
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  Carlos Zorrinho (S&D). – Senhor Presidente, Senhor Comissário, a fragilidade das políticas migratórias da União Europeia tem gerado graves problemas humanitários e políticos, atraindo fluxos não regulados e com elevado risco de exploração dos migrantes por redes ilegais, e alimentando o discurso populista, xenófobo e radical contra as migrações na União.

A União Europeia precisa de atrair imigrantes legais para fazer face ao inverno demográfico de que padece, para assegurar a ambição de transição energética e digital e para enfrentar a falta de recursos humanos qualificados em áreas-chave, de que o turismo e saúde são exemplos.

A proposta da Comissão, que saúdo, inclui um quadro legislativo mais adequado e prevê o estabelecimento de parcerias específicas com países terceiros, promovendo a mobilidade entre eles para efeitos de trabalho ou requalificação.

O projeto-piloto com a Ucrânia tem mostrado a oportunidade e exequibilidade da nova plataforma. Uma parceria com África, no quadro de uma visão de parceria entre iguais, é fundamental para dar consciência prática ao estabelecido na estratégia UE-África e no acordo pós-Cotonu, que aguarda a ratificação do Conselho.

Uma parceria neste contexto, o estabelecimento de projetos-piloto com os países do Norte de África, inspirados no projeto-piloto com a Ucrânia, é um passo que se impõe com urgência, dando também resposta a algumas das preocupações debatidas na 41ª Assembleia Parlamentar Paritária ACP-União Europeia, de que sou copresidente e que se realizou em Estrasburgo em abril deste ano.

 
  
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  Philippe Olivier (ID). – Monsieur le Président, Mesdames, messieurs, chers collègues, il n'est pas de bonne politique qui ne soit évaluée. Qu'est ce que ça coûte ? Qu'est ce que ça rapporte ? C'est une évaluation en amont et en aval pour mesurer le coût-avantage.

Le principe que vous appliquez est celui-ci dans tous les domaines, sauf pour l'immigration. C'est le syndrome de Cologne : quand il s'agit d'immigration, on ne veut pas voir la réalité. Pourquoi imposer à toute l'Europe une immigration de travail alors que par exemple mon pays, la France, connaît un chômage de masse ?

La question des compétences peut se régler par des coopérations inter-européennes ou par la formation. Que dire de la question éthique de retirer aux pays émergents leurs forces vives et leurs élites formées ?

L’immigration n'est pas pour vous un problème, ni même une nécessité économique, mais un projet politique et idéologique. En matière de migration légale ou illégale, nos pays ont atteint un point de saturation. Vous voulez nous faire croire qu'on va faire venir des médecins et des ingénieurs alors que dans les faits, avec votre immigration, on aboutit au chaos du Stade de France.

 
  
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  Jiří Pospíšil (PPE). – Pane předsedající, dámy a pánové, vážený pane místopředsedo Komise, já ten návrh v zásadě vítám. Jsou jasné ekonomické důvody, proč do Evropy lákat mladé kvalifikované a talentované lidi. Pouze varuji před tím, aby tento návrh v praxi potom nebyl zneužíván, aby nezakrýval případnou ekonomickou migraci, kterou většina z nás považuje za nelegální migraci. To znamená, důležité bude provedení a to, jací lidé sem reálně přijdou a zda opravdu nebudou zatěžovat rozpočty členských států Evropské unie, ale naopak budou přínosem, jak se zde o tom hovoří. Je také třeba ty dohody realizovat tak, aby v zemích, odkud ti lidé budou odcházet, to nebylo vnímáno tak, že dochází k odlivu mozků a že pro ty země toto dlouhodobě není výhodné. Žádná země nemůže být spokojena s tím, pokud dlouhodobě její inteligence a elita odchází.

Ale dovolte mi ještě zmínit jako poslanec za Českou republiku, že by Komise měla více pozornosti věnovat pomoci zemím střední Evropy, které dnes podle mého názoru velmi úspěšně čelí problémům s migranty z Ukrajiny. Polsko, Česká republika, Slovensko, Pobaltí: potýkají se s těmito problémy velmi intenzivně a ta řešení, která realizují, jsou podle mého názoru velmi dobrá. Mimo jiné se ukazuje, že příliv lidí zvláště z východní Evropy, z válkou postižené Ukrajiny, ale i třeba z Běloruska a jiných zemí je pro Evropu přínosný a dlouhodobě výhodný. Jsou to lidé, kteří jsou nám kulturně blízcí, a i talenty z této oblasti bychom do Evropy měli lákat.

 
  
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  Krzysztof Hetman (PPE). – Panie Przewodniczący! Legalna imigracja może przynieść Unii ogromne korzyści. Stanowi ona odpowiedź na niedobory na rynku pracy, wyzwania demograficzne. Może przyczynić się do odbudowy gospodarki po pandemii i przyciągnięcia do Unii Europejskiej kapitału intelektualnego. Działania w zakresie legalnej imigracji przyczyniają się też do zwalczania działalności przemytników i handlarzy ludźmi i podnoszenia ochrony pracowników z państw trzecich zapobiegając ich wyzyskowi i chroniąc ich prawa.

Ponieważ obecne rozwiązania prawne nie pozwoliły na pełne osiągnięcie celów w zakresie legalnej imigracji, Komisja zapowiedziała więc ich przegląd. Potrzebujemy skutecznych zharmonizowanych ram prawnych. Proces legalnej imigracji powinien być w pełni transparentny i jednocześnie pozwalać na zachowanie wysokich standardów. Musimy zapewnić łatwy dostęp do informacji na każdym jego etapie. Istotne są także zapowiedzi utworzenia unijnej puli talentów. Potrzebujemy właśnie takich narzędzi, które pozwolą na lepsze dopasowanie kompetencji do potrzeb pracodawców.

Ważnym elementem polityki migracyjnej Unii Europejskiej będą też partnerstwa w zakresie talentów, które pozwolą na integrację wykwalifikowanych pracowników na rynku pracy i zacieśnienie współpracy w zakresie polityki migracyjnej z naszymi partnerami.

 
  
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  Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, thank you very much. I’d also like to thank the honourable Members for this debate, for their remarks, for their comments. And, of course, I would like to thank especially those who are looking at this very important theme we debated today with a comprehensive approach and with a comprehensive angle, because I think that is very important for understanding well what we are debating here.

I think most of the honourable Members who intervened clearly underline the need for a well-trained and skilled European workforce. And I would like to underscore that it does not go against the training and preparing our workforce in Europe. But we also have to realise that we are in a global competition for talent; we see it from all global economies, and therefore we need to do our utmost to train our people well, but also to be very competitive in this talent management, in attracting talented people from abroad.

And if you have any doubts, so please talk to our IT industry, talk to our battery sector, talk to our business leaders or to our healthcare professionals. And they will tell you how hard it is to actually get good people with the proper skills to do the jobs.

And I totally agree with Ms Arena’s and Mr Lenaers’ comments. Ms Al-Sahlani also underlined the fact that when we are engaged in this effort, it has to be done in a fair European way. And, therefore, I also resent some of the remarks, which I consider to be totally inappropriate, racist, and I think we just have to watch our language much more when we speak in this House.

Another very important point made by Ms Al-Sahlani and Mr Moreno Sánchez was that if we are looking for our partnership with third countries, it has to be mutually benefiting. It has to be based on the circularity, and it has to be based on the active and conducive engagement, where we want to cooperate with them on migration policies, on talent, on avoiding the brain drain, but also to cover the issues which are sometimes very sensitive and cover irregular migration, because we need to look at it from the comprehensive perspective.

I very much want to tell you that we listened very, very carefully to your remarks, to your comments. We want to thank you in the Commission for your very active role in promoting this positive and constructive legal migration agenda. I think it was underlined by Ms Strik, Mr Boeselager and Ms Picierno that we need to have a good comprehensive legislation in this regard. I think that how important it could be nowadays was very well described by Mr Pospíšil or Mr Bielan or Mr Gallée in the case of Ukraine.

I think here we should of course be very proud of Ukrainian people, but also of ourselves, because we managed in practically no time to adopt the solutions which helped to integrate Ukrainian refugees, which opened the kindergartens, which create the conditions for them to work. We open our hospitals to make sure that they will get proper healthcare if needed.

This just demonstrates how much we can do if we are properly mobilised. And I think that’s for us also a lesson learned on how we should look at this comprehensive package from this experience.

I think that Ms Picierno and Ms Carvalho said that what we need is indeed what I think Mr Zorrinho described as a ‘triple win’: we need European societies, migrants and third countries all in the camp of winners.

And therefore, I just would appeal to all of you, and I know that we will have the support of this House for adoption of our legislative proposals, of our migration package, to do it in an ambitious way and to do it within this mandate, because I think that also this debate confirms how important it is for the European Union. So thank you very much, and thank you very much Mr President, for giving me the floor.

 
  
  

VORSITZ: OTHMAR KARAS
Vizepräsident

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Die Aussprache ist damit geschlossen.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 171)

 
  
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  Balázs Hidvéghi (NI), írásban. – Tisztelt Képviselőtársaim! Önök továbbra is az emberi jogok élharcosainak tüntetik fel magukat, de valójában erkölcstelen és álszent módon cselekednek, amikor a szegényebb országok legjobban képzett állampolgárait akarják az EU-ba hozni. Amit az Európai Bizottság, és amit Önök akarnak, az sem az említett országoknak, sem az Európai Uniónak nem válik hasznára. A képzett munkaerő kiszipolyozása csak tovább mélyíti problémákat a származási országokban, és előbb-utóbb kisemmizi őket. Eközben az Európába való tömeges bevándorlás veszélyezteti kultúránkat, társadalmi kohéziónkat, és valójában jelentős anyagi többletköltséggel jár a tagállamok számára. Ismételten felhívom az Önök figyelmét, hogy az elmaradottabb országok problémáit lokálisan kell orvosolni. Elsősorban infrastrukturális fejlesztésekkel és gazdasági beruházásokkal. Tehetségi partnerségek lehetnek a fejlődés eszközei, de arra ügyelni kell, hogy helyben teremtsünk munkalehetőségeket a visszatérőknek, és ne az agyelszívást segítsük elő. A valódi segítség nem az Európába irányuló tömeges bevándorlás támogatása, hanem a kevésbé fejlett országok a világgazdasági vérkeringésébe való bekapcsolása és sikeres növekedési pályára állítása. Azt pedig ideje lenne végre elfogadni, hogy az európai demográfiai és munkaerőpiaci problémákra nem a bevándorlás az egyetlen megoldás. Más megoldások is léteznek, mint például a magyar modell, ami egy sikeres család- és adópolitikára épít.

 
  
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  Alfred Sant (S&D), in writing. – The EU needs an overall framework as a Union within which legal migration can be organised. The Commission’s Communication proposes how this should be done at a first stage. It is a realistic effort but is built on unstated premises that require deeper consideration. Migrant movements are considered mostly, perhaps uniquely, from the economic perspective of labour flows. But their regulation must be grounded as well in human and social values, related to the recipient economies, certainly, but equally to the situation of individual migrants and the societies they are leaving. This is not the case in the proposal. It focuses on the mobility of single individuals as suppliers of labour. Their families are only mentioned incidentally by way of “family reintegration”. Migrant families feature not at all. In terms of skill transfer, the primary consideration is EU needs, though protocols for the exchange of labour market information feature extensively in the proposal’s second half. Indeed, the emphasis on health care issues is indeed indicative. We risk promoting a model of development by which less advanced economies pump resources into educating doctors and nurses who on graduation leave to work in advanced economies. Should European migration policy be promoting such a perverse cross-subsidisation?

 

15. Parliament’s right of initiative (debate)
Video of the speeches
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  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über den Bericht von Paulo Rangel im Namen des Ausschusses für konstitutionelle Fragen über das Initiativrecht des Parlaments (2020/2132(INI)) (A9—0142/2022).

Dieser Tagesordnungspunkt läuft unter den gleichen Regeln, die Ihnen bekannt sind – Rednerpult, blaue Karten, erste Reihen dürfen gefüllt werden – ab, und ich komme daher sofort zum ersten Redner, dem Berichterstatter, Paulo Rangel.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel, rapporteur. – Mr President, dear Vice—President, I would like to thank you for your presence, because I know that you made an effort to be here today. I would like to start by stating that I deeply regret that this debate isn’t acknowledged as a key debate by our Parliament.

The same applies to the previous debate on electoral law reform and the debate that we’ll have tomorrow on the triggering of Article 48. If this Hemicycle, if this institution, doesn’t acknowledge these kinds of debate as key debates, what should we expect from the other institutions when they evaluate and appreciate our constitutional claims? I made this clear to the Presidency of this House and to the Conference of Presidents.

A tradição constitucional dos Estados-Membros, assim como da Europa e das Américas, é dar aos parlamentos, por causa da sua legitimidade democrática direta, um direito geral de iniciativa legislativa. Esta é, aliás, uma reivindicação histórica dos parlamentos: transformar o direito de petição ao rei, que era um direito de iniciativa indireto, num verdadeiro direito de iniciativa legislativa.

Todavia, a União Europeia não honra ainda esta tradição constitucional e o Parlamento tem alguns poucos direitos especiais de iniciativa, mas não tem um direito geral de iniciativa. Tem apenas iniciativa indireta. É verdade que nós temos hoje no Provedor de Justiça, na lei eleitoral, nas comissões de inquérito, o direito de iniciativa, mas curiosamente estes direitos de iniciativa exclusiva do Parlamento não são ainda reconhecidos como atos que exigem um procedimento legislativo mais importante do que aquele que é o da codecisão.

Mr President, dear colleagues, dear Vice—President, the Report that we’ll vote on tomorrow clearly shows the towering institutional architecture is ready for a different distribution of the right of initiative. To acknowledge a general and global right of initiative of the Parliament is possible, desirable and responds to the constitutional aspiration of making the European Union more democratically legitimate.

I want to strengthen democratic legitimacy, representative democracy. If we want to strengthen them, then Parliament has to have these rights. This Commission has honoured the commitment of President von der Leyen to always respond with a legislative act to Parliament’s requests under Article 25 on time, with only one or two understandable exceptions.

But President von der Leyen, she also says that she is in favour of a right of initiative to the Parliament! President Macron also says that! And even today the Taoiseach of Ireland said that in this Hemicycle. So it’s time to act!

Our citizens, they really aspire for more. And the Conference on the Future of Europe proposed several farther-looking proposals, the right of initiative is one of them. And this is the momentum.

I must say that if there is a huge consensus, as it seems that there is, on this very issue of giving to the Parliament this right of direct initiative, then we could have even a revision of the Treaties only for that purpose, because there is a huge consensus in this respect.

And so I think that a new distribution of legislative right of initiative should be acknowledged on our Treaties, should be acknowledged by the institutions. And I have to say, and to add, this doesn’t imply that the Commission doesn’t have its own right of initiative. It is of our tradition in all our countries that both the executive and legislative bodies have the right of initiative.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Nachdem Sie auch das Präsidium angesprochen haben, Herr Berichterstatter, kann ich sehr klar sagen: Ich teile den Hinweis, den Sie am Anfang gemacht haben, und ich kann für das Präsidium dieses Hauses sehr klar sagen, dass wir uns zu 100 % verpflichten, alles zu unternehmen, um die Vorschläge und die Ideen der Konferenz zur Zukunft Europas und der Bürgerinnen und Bürger von der Einberufung des Konvents bis hin zum Wahlrecht und dem Initiativrecht und darüber hinaus zu begleiten und zu unterstützen. Danke für diesen Hinweis.

 
  
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  Pascal Durand, rapporteur pour avis de la commission des affaires juridiques. – Monsieur le Président, merci de votre rappel sur la conférence sur l’avenir de l’Europe. Je suis tout d’abord très heureux d’abord de parler après mon ami Paulo Rangel, parce que c’est toujours très clair et on a des principes qui nous sont rappelés. Je suis ensuite content de parler devant vous, Monsieur le Commissaire. Vous savez à quel point nous partageons un certain nombre de valeurs: les termes démocratie et transparence sont deux mots, je le sais, qui vous sont chers et qui nous sont également très chers. Donc, essayons de faire en sorte que ces mots aient un contenu nouveau.

Le travail parlementaire évolue, la démocratie européenne évolue et nous devons essayer de rentrer dans un monde plus moderne. Nous l’avons vu avec les citoyens et c’était d’ailleurs ce que demandait la commission JURI. Cela a effectivement été rappelé par la conférence sur l’avenir de l’Europe, c’est la proposition 38, mais nous avons également demandé, dans le cadre de la commission JURI, que l’on puisse donner une suite législative aux initiatives citoyennes européennes. C’est là aussi une forme de démocratie très importante, nouvelle.

Donc, ce droit d’initiative, nous en avons tous besoin. Tout ne peut pas reposer sur les épaules de la Commission. Le Conseil a déjà un droit d’initiative, de fait, sur certains sujets, comme la sécurité ou la justice. Mais il a également la possibilité de travailler en amont avec la Commission. Nous ne l’avons pas. Donc, donnons-nous la possibilité de faire avancer, faisons en sorte que ce droit d’initiative soit reconnu au Parlement et, comme l’a très bien dit Paulo Rangel, ça n’enlève rien aux autres, ça ajoute.

C’est le message que nous voulons vous faire passer aujourd’hui, également au nom de la commission JURI. En tant que membre de la commission AFCO, je soutiens évidemment ce qu’a dit Paulo Rangel.

 
  
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  Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, honourable Members, dear Mr Rangel, dear Mr Durand, indeed today we are discussing a report which is not only institutionally important for the Commission, but also holds a great deal of personal significance for both President von der Leyen and myself. I would like to thank our rapporteur, Mr Rangel, for his work and also for the constructive spirit, which is reflected in the final report.

I would like to underscore that the European Commission is fully aware of the importance of the question of the right of initiative for the European Parliament. So from the outset I want to assure you of the Commission’s full commitment to continuing the positive cooperation with Parliament and its committees in these matters.

As you know, the President of the Commission in her political guidelines stressed that she supports the right of initiative for the European Parliament. Just to quote her very precisely, she noted that when the European Parliament, acting by a majority of its Members, adopts resolutions requesting that the Commission submit legislative proposals, the Commission would commit to responding with a legislative act in full respect of proportionality, subsidiarity and better law—making principles.

I hope you would agree with me that the Commission has been taking this commitment very seriously. We have adapted our working method to ensure that the work on this resolution is coordinated on a weekly basis, and that the College of Commissioners debates all replies to Parliament’s resolutions adopted under Article 225 of the Treaty.

I really would like to thank for his good cooperation Antonio Tajani, former chair of the CCC, and Bernd Lange, with whom we are working right now, because here I think that we really improved our coordination and cooperation, and also our upstream exchange of information.

This good cooperation has also translated into very concrete figures. Parliament has adopted 18 resolutions up to now, in this legislative period. The Commission has already replied to all of them, with the last replies being sent yesterday. Of the 18, the Commission replied positively to 17 of them, and I think we all would agree that we have been quite glad that we do not have to respond to the last one because it was on MFF contingency planning, and I think we’ve all been quite pleased and happy that we didn’t need it because we had the MFF approved – as we all preferred, of course.

I have to say that this positive tendency and trend is also reflected in the Commission’s work programme, and I am glad that I can inform you that we have already delivered on almost all the legislative acts requested, with 90% already adopted, and we are actively working on those which are still outstanding. So this just underlines the Commission’s willingness to work together with the European Parliament.

So I am very pleased that the report being put to a vote today acknowledges the Commission for delivering on the President’s clear political commitment in relation to the follow—up to this resolution.

We also would like to reassure you that we take good note of the call in the report for a more generalised, direct right of initiative of the Parliament. It is clear that such a broader right would require Treaty change. In the Commission’s view, such an idea would require very thorough reflection on the respective competences of the institutions and the balance between them, as well as on the legal, procedural and practical implications.

Meanwhile, I would like again to underline the commitment that the Commission will continue to honour the commitment to follow—up on Article 222 resolutions, as we have done until now.

I really would like to thank the honourable Members and the JURI and AFCO Committees for the great cooperation in this matter, and I look forward to continuing our upstream coordination with the CCC.

 
  
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  Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, rapporteure pour avis de la commission des libertés civiles, de la justice et des affaires intérieures. – Monsieur le Président, le Parlement européen doit être reconnu comme colégislateur. Le quasi-monopole de la Commission sur le législatif est délétère pour notre démocratie et parfaitement injustifiable à cette étape de notre histoire européenne. L’Union européenne reste une démocratie immature, et c’est notamment du fait de ce déficit démocratique-là. Le Parlement européen n’est pas encore un véritable parlement. Il doit le devenir, devenir une chambre d’élaboration de la loi, et plus seulement un lieu de débat qui influence la loi. Dès maintenant nous devons aussi amender l’accord-cadre de 2010 sur les relations entre le Parlement européen et la Commission européenne pour tenir la Présidente de la Commission comptable, comptable de son engagement solennel à mieux travailler avec notre institution représentative.

Cela a été rappelé, les citoyennes et les citoyens investis dans la conférence sur l’avenir de l’Europe ont demandé des institutions plus efficaces et plus démocratiques, et ce Parlement élu saurait répondre aux besoins et aux demandes de la société. Par exemple, le Parlement voulait ajouter les crimes fondés sur le genre à la liste des eurocrimes. Et ce n’est pas par hasard, c’est parce que c’est une nécessité pour aider nos pays à être plus féministes et à prendre en compte la souffrance de plus de la moitié de la population. Et même si, dans les affaires constitutionnelles, je suis souvent seule avec quelques collègues femmes, nous comptons quand même.

Enfin, c’est aussi ce Parlement qui défend le mieux les droits et les libertés des citoyennes et des citoyens. C’est ce Parlement qui a fait preuve de courage politique et de persévérance pour compenser l’inaction du Conseil et de la Commission en matière d’état de droit, ce Parlement qui a mis en route l’article 7, paragraphe 1, contre le gouvernement hongrois et fait tout ce qui était en son pouvoir pour faire progresser la procédure avec l’implication des cinq groupes les plus démocrates. Et aujourd’hui, avec un droit réel d’initiative, le Parlement européen pourrait activer l’article 7, paragraphe 2, et mettre des sanctions sur la table.

 
  
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  Antonio Tajani, a nome del gruppo PPE. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, il voto di domani rappresenta un primo vero importante passo verso il diritto di iniziativa del Parlamento europeo. Per questo voglio ringraziare Paulo Rangel e tutti i componenti della commissione AFCO che ho l'onore di presiedere.

Sono anni che noi insistiamo affinché questo Parlamento sia un Parlamento con pieni poteri, come lo sono i parlamenti di tutto il mondo. Se vogliamo, dopo questa crisi globale, con la guerra ora e il coronavirus e la crisi Lehman Brothers prima, avere un'Europa che sia fortemente politica, con i cittadini che la sentano come parte della loro vita, come ombrello che li protegga nei momenti di difficoltà, servono istituzioni più democratiche, istituzioni più vicine ai cittadini. Un Parlamento che non ha il diritto d'iniziativa è un Parlamento monco.

Quindi ritengo che noi dobbiamo avere il coraggio di andare avanti in questa direzione, in un quadro complessivo di riforme, perché non può essere soltanto il diritto di iniziativa. Io personalmente ritengo che si debba arrivare all'elezione diretta del Presidente della Commissione. Alla fine poi bisognerebbe anche unificare la figura del Presidente della Commissione e del Presidente del Consiglio, come bisogna fare tante altre riforme.

Il voto all'unanimità è un voto che blocca le nostre istituzioni. I cittadini rischieranno di non considerare mai l'Europa come un vero protagonista politico. Ecco perché questa scelta che noi stiamo facendo rappresenta veramente un impulso a un cambiamento per avere un'Europa più democratica e quindi più vicina ai cittadini.

 
  
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  Brando Benifei, a nome del gruppo S&D. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, è inconcepibile che un Parlamento che rappresenta 500 milioni di persone, l'unica istituzione europea eletta direttamente dai cittadini, non abbia il potere di proporre pienamente disegni di legge in autonomia.

L'Unione europea è certamente un'organizzazione atipica, un vero e proprio esperimento politico in continua evoluzione perché si deve adattare a un mondo che cambia. Ma adesso serve fare un passo ulteriore in avanti. Domani voteremo una risoluzione che chiede di modificare i trattati e dare il via alla Convenzione per una nuova Europa. E voteremo anche questa relazione dall'importanza cruciale, collegata, sul diritto di iniziativa del Parlamento europeo. Un tassello fondamentale per ribilanciare a favore dei cittadini l'equilibrio istituzionale rispetto alla Commissione e al Consiglio. Una richiesta che è stata espressa proprio dai cittadini durante la Conferenza sul futuro dell'Europa. Un impegno che dobbiamo onorare.

Nel documento mettiamo nero su bianco un vero e proprio mandato negoziale chiaro: alla prossima revisione dei trattati il Parlamento europeo deve avere un diritto pieno e diretto di iniziativa legislativa. Ma è fondamentale, allo stesso tempo, rafforzare le attuali modalità attraverso le quali il Parlamento europeo esercita comunque un diritto di iniziativa indiretto.

La Presidente von der Leyen ha promesso di rispondere sempre alle richieste del Parlamento europeo adottate nelle nostre risoluzioni di iniziativa legislativa. Non basta, dobbiamo pretendere di più, dobbiamo avere la garanzia legale che ciò accada ed è questo che chiediamo nella richiesta di una revisione dell'accordo quadro del 2010.

Concludo sul tema della procedura d'iniziativa per lo Stato di diritto a norma dell'articolo 7 del trattato. È uno scandalo che le ripetute azioni del Parlamento europeo siano cadute nel vuoto delle cancellerie degli Stati membri, che si rendono corresponsabili di abusi di diritto e di diritti. Ragione in più per riposizionare l'Eurocamera al centro dell'attività non soltanto legislativa, ma anche politica, di tutela fondamentale dei cittadini di tutta l'Unione. È il momento di cambiare le cose.

 
  
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  Sandro Gozi, au nom du groupe Renew. – Monsieur le Président, chers collègues, un parlement propose et adopte des lois et contrôle l’exécutif, sinon ce n’est pas un parlement. L’Europe fait trop souvent semblant. On fait semblant d’avoir une politique étrangère: on ne l’a pas. On fait semblant d’élire un Parlement de plein exercice et on ne l’a pas.

Cette assemblée doit devenir un Parlement à part entière, avec un pouvoir d’initiative élargi, comme les citoyens, lors de la conférence sur l’avenir de l’Europe, l’ont demandé. C’est nécessaire et urgent, surtout au moment où l’on veut construire une Europe-puissance. C’est une question de légitimité démocratique encore plus indispensable au moment où nous devons reprendre le contrôle, à travers notre Union, sur des domaines qui étaient autrefois la chasse gardée des États: la défense, les frontières, la sécurité, l’état de droit. C’est la réponse enfin à l’exigence de renforcer les liens de confiance et de responsabilité politique entre les citoyens et l’Union. Nous voulons une Union européenne plus démocratique, et donc nous voulons une Union européenne avec un pouvoir d’initiative concurrent du Parlement. Ce pouvoir va aussi rééquilibrer la progressive érosion de facto du droit d’initiative de la Commission par le Conseil européen, à laquelle nous assistons, impuissants, ces dernières années.

Je voudrais dire, chers collègues: nous avons besoin dans notre Union de plus de démocratie et de moins de «sherpacratie». Là aussi, arrêtons de faire semblant. Le Conseil européen doit orienter politiquement l’Union, pas empiéter régulièrement sur les prérogatives législatives du Parlement et du Conseil. Nous devons arrêter de dénaturer notre système. Le monopole d’initiative législative de la Commission de facto n’existe plus, cher Maroš, et il ne se justifie plus.

Je tiens donc à remercier le rapporteur, Paulo Rangel, pour son excellent travail dans ce dossier, qui envoie un signal fort. Le moment est venu de modifier les traités et de donner au Parlement un droit d’initiative général et direct. En cette période de grandes transformations, une refondation démocratique européenne s’impose. C’est le sens de notre combat, et nous allons le gagner ensemble.

 
  
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  Damian Boeselager, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, dear colleagues, you all have said – and I think it’s absolutely clear – that we need the right to initiative.

I just want to make this very haptical. This whole House is built on the trust of citizens in their elected officials. We need to live up to this trust. That means that we can do two things that all parliamentarians should be able to do: one is that we are actually able to propose laws and also amend laws that already exist; the second is that we can vote for the European Commission.

Then we can transfer the trust that citizens gave us into the actual representative democracy that we should be. I think tomorrow we have a good chance to start this process of Treaty change to bring all of these ideas of a better parliamentary democracy into the European Union. I’m very happy that we are going this way.

 
  
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  Gilles Lebreton, au nom du groupe ID. – Monsieur le Président, chers collègues, faut-il reconnaître au Parlement européen un droit d'initiative législative directe et générale ? Tout dépend de la conception que l'on se fait de l'Union européenne.

Si, comme le rapporteur Paulo Rangel, on veut transformer l'Union en un État, alors il faut le faire afin que le Parlement européen ait des pouvoirs comparables à ceux d'un parlement national. Mais si, comme moi, on pense que l'Union doit rester une simple organisation internationale, alors il ne saurait en être question. Car dans cette vision là, c'est le Conseil, en tant que représentant des États membres, qui doit détenir l'initiative législative, comme le prévoient déjà dans certains domaines les articles 76, 121 et 241 du traité sur le fonctionnement de l'UE.

Il faut donc bel et bien retirer le pouvoir d'initiative législative à la Commission, organe démocratiquement indigne de l'exercer, mais pour le transférer au Conseil et non au Parlement européen. Car le Parlement européen n'est à mes yeux que l'organe délibératif d'une organisation internationale et non le représentant d'un peuple européen souverain qui n'existe pas.

 
  
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  Zdzisław Krasnodębski, w imieniu grupy ECR. – Panie Przewodniczący! Należy zgodzić się z posłem sprawozdawcą, że rzeczywiście parlament bez prawa do inicjatywy ustawodawczej jest parlamentem niepełnym, ułomnym. Ale Parlament Europejski nie jest parlamentem w takim sensie, w jakim parlamentami są parlamenty w państwach demokracji parlamentarnej. A tym bardziej nie jest nadparlamentem ponad parlamentami narodowymi, jak sądzą niektórzy koledzy.

Unia Europejska nie jest państwem, lecz związkiem państw, a my, europarlamentarzyści, jesteśmy przedstawicielami swoich narodów i jesteśmy wybierani w swoich państwach. Nie reprezentujemy jakiejś Europy in abstracto. Dlatego też ten parlament nie jest i nie powinien być parlamentem w ścisłym sensie, tym bardziej że dominują w nim poglądy oderwane od kontekstu społecznego i kulturowego, że panuje w nim błędne przekonanie, że Parlament Europejski ex definitione działa w abstrakcyjnym interesie wszystkich Europejczyków. Ten parlament nie jest miejscem merytorycznych debat, najczęściej. Rzadko dochodzi w nim do rzeczywistej wymiany argumentów, których sens jest rozumiany i rozważany. Z tych też względów uważam, że żadną miarą Parlament Europejski nie powinien posiadać inicjatywy ustawodawczej.

 
  
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  Leila Chaibi, au nom du groupe The Left. – Monsieur le Président, chers collègues, j’imagine que ça vous arrive aussi régulièrement d’être interpellés par des citoyens, par des associations qui vous disent: «Il y a un problème super important en Europe, il faudrait que l’Union européenne légifère. Et comme tu es députée européenne, eh bien vas-y!» Et j’imagine qu’à ce moment-là, comme moi, vous vous sentez un petit peu gênée de devoir expliquer que ce n’est pas aussi simple, et, surtout, que vous n’avez pas le pouvoir d’écrire les lois.

Le Parlement européen est le seul au monde à ne pas avoir le droit d’initiative législative, c’est-à-dire qu’il n’a pas le droit de proposer des lois et qu’il doit attendre que la Commission européenne les propose et les rédige. Une Commission européenne composée de fonctionnaires et de commissaires, qui n’ont pas la légitimité démocratique du suffrage universel que nous avons ici, nous, au Parlement européen, seule institution européenne élue au suffrage universel direct, la seule démocratiquement légitime, nous n’avons pas le pouvoir de proposer des lois.

Nous sommes parlementaires et nous sommes obligés de jouer aux lobbyistes vis-à-vis de la Commission européenne pour la pousser à proposer les lois que les citoyens qui nous ont élus souhaitent voir adoptées, en espérant que Sa Majesté la Commission européenne ait la gentillesse d’accepter de proposer un projet de directive sur les questions attendues et demandées par nos électeurs.

Vous savez, il y a deux ans, j’ai décidé de le prendre, ce droit d’initiative, et de rédiger une proposition de directive, parce que j’en avais marre d’attendre une proposition de la Commission européenne qui était annoncée et qui tardait à arriver. C’était sur la question des travailleurs des plateformes numériques. Je savais que ça n’avait pas de valeur législative, mais c’était en quelque sorte ma façon à moi de faire du lobbying. Vous n’imaginez pas les réactions: c’était original, inattendu, disruptif… Que les députés européens proposent des lois ne doit plus être original ou disruptif. Au contraire. C’est pourquoi il faut donner un vrai droit d’initiative générale au Parlement européen.

 
  
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  Márton Gyöngyösi (NI). – Mr President, colleagues, we are discussing a draft report that attempts to rectify a long—standing anachronism, a taboo and an absurdity: the only European institution directly elected by the people, hence attaining the highest legitimacy by democratic standards and yet stripped of its right to initiate legislation.

If there ever was a justification for this farce, recent historical and geopolitical developments have certainly showed the need for change. I hear the critics of this proposal who are trying to convince us that European sovereignty is a fiction, that a stronger Parliament is a threat to national sovereignty and a cul—de—sac. Such critics have a vested interest in upholding the status quo: a weak parliament without a right to initiative; a weak and appointed Commission prone to blackmail; and a weak Council subjected to internal deadlocks due to national vetoes.

Colleagues, it’s time to get the priorities and balance amongst our institutions right. Adopting this report is a step in that direction.

 
  
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  Sven Simon (PPE). – Herr Präsident! Gestatten Sie mir zwei Vorbemerkungen: Zum ersten möchte ich Herrn Kollegen Rangel darin unterstützen, dass es kritikwürdig ist, dass diese Debatte wieder vor leeren Rängen stattfindet. Es muss diesem Parlament jetzt endlich gelingen, dass wir Debatten führen, wo die Kolleginnen und Kollegen anwesend sind, damit es einen Austausch gibt.

Zweitens, Herr Präsident, möchte ich Sie darum bitten, dass im Präsidium mal darüber gesprochen wird, dass Kommission und Rat nicht immer die Redezeit so ausdehnen können. Heute war das jetzt nur relativ kurz, aber das führt dazu, dass wir keine Zwischeninterventionen gestatten, und das brauchen wir auch für eine lebendige Debatte; und häufig überziehen Rat und Kommission deutlich. Das war jetzt heute nicht so stark, aber jedenfalls grundsätzlich.

On the file, colleagues, I would like to thank Paulo Rangel, as the rapporteur, for an excellent report that is up for a vote here tomorrow. The European Parliament definitely needs a right of initiative. But my experience, colleagues, is that we don’t need it so much, primarily, to initiate new legislation; we rather need it to amend and revoke existing legislation, because when I am in my constituency and citizens tell me that the regulation has gone too far, or that a citizen is perhaps disproportionately affected by one or two provisions, then the only thing that we can do as Members of Parliament is to write a letter to the Commission. And for that reason, I think the most important argument for having a right of initiative is that we can amend and revoke legislation.

 
  
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  Domènec Ruiz Devesa (S&D). – Señor presidente, quiero dar las gracias al vicepresidente Maroš Šefčovič y a su equipo y, por supuesto, al ponente de este informe, Paulo Rangel, y al resto de miembros del equipo negociador por este excelente informe, que es además muy oportuno, como se ha dicho.

Mañana también votaremos la Resolución que hemos negociado entre todos para activar el artículo 48, el que nos debe conducir —así lo esperamos, con apoyo de al menos una mayoría de catorce Estados miembros en el Consejo Europeo— a la convención y a la reforma de los Tratados.

Y, efectivamente, lo ha dicho el vicepresidente, se está poniendo en marcha, ya existe un cierto derecho de iniciativa legislativa del Parlamento indirecto, en la medida en que la Comisión efectivamente ha adoptado este compromiso de presentar propuestas legislativas sobre la base de nuestros informes de iniciativa.

Pero ciertamente hay que ir más allá y eso va a requerir la reforma de nuestro Tratado. ¿Por qué? Porque si queremos —como creo que la gran mayoría aquí lo deseamos— una democracia europea plena, es necesario reforzar el Parlamento Europeo, que es precisamente la Cámara que elegimos directamente los ciudadanos en las elecciones al Parlamento Europeo.

En ese sentido, si vemos la trayectoria histórica del Parlamento Europeo —no olvidemos que empezó siendo una asamblea consultiva, que no aprobaba los proyectos de ley y que inicialmente solo aprobaba el presupuesto—, entonces, el próximo paso en esa evolución histórica es precisamente lo que ha propuesto Paulo Rangel: que tenga un derecho propio de iniciativa legislativa. Esto, además, es particularmente importante si tenemos en cuenta el plan de recuperación, que también plantea el dilema democrático de quién aprueba las emisiones de deuda de la Unión Europea y quién aprueba los recursos propios de la Unión Europea.

 
  
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  Charles Goerens (Renew). – Monsieur le Président, depuis 1979, le Parlement a dû lutter pour toutes les prérogatives qu’il détient aujourd’hui. On est parti de rien, on était une académie, et aujourd’hui on est un vrai centre de décision politique. Et, à l’époque, le droit d’initiative législative n’était pas à l’ordre du jour. Il aura fallu plusieurs législatures pour se voir accorder, enfin, un début de droit d’initiative législative. Mais on peine à dépasser le stade embryonnaire, en la matière.

Quant aux possibles voies de réalisation du droit d’initiative législative, ma préférence va clairement au changement de traité. Si l’on donne une issue favorable au rapport Rangel, cela mettra fin à un retard que nous avons par rapport aux parlements nationaux. Dans mon pays, le parlement national dispose du droit d’initiative législative, comme c’est le cas dans la plupart des parlements des États membres de l’Union européenne. Mais le droit d’initiative législative n’est pas réservé aux seuls députés. Même les chambres professionnelles, qui sont partie intégrante du processus législatif, ont le droit d’initiative législative. S’agissant de mon pays, la Chambre professionnelle des travailleurs, par exemple, dispose de 60 % de non-Luxembourgeois et de 40 % de Luxembourgeois. Même cet organe, qui est minoritairement luxembourgeois, dispose du droit d’initiative législative.

Alors mettons fin à cet anachronisme qui consiste à refuser au Parlement européen ce qui est normal pour les parlements nationaux.

 
  
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  Grace O'Sullivan (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, ‘democratic deficit’ is the term used by people who argue that the EU institutions and their decision-making procedures suffer from a lack of democracy and seem inaccessible to citizens. In the European Parliament, we, some 705 elected MEPs, represent the EU’s 448 million citizens in the only directly elected EU institution and as part of one of the largest democratic assemblies in the world.

While the role of the European Parliament has been progressively enhanced through the recent treaties, we have always believed that there should be a further strengthening of Parliament’s power by way of the right to initiate legislation. Such a right to initiate is a commonplace in parliamentary systems throughout the world.

The Conference on the Future of Europe has been a worthy democratic exercise. To give effect to the conclusions of the conference and to strengthen democracy, we must progress the right of this Parliament to initiate legislation.

 
  
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  Bert-Jan Ruissen (ECR). – Voorzitter, collega's, het voorstel over een recht van initiatief voor het Europees Parlement is de zoveelste poging om van de EU een superstaat te maken, met als argument dat dit Parlement de enige rechtstreeks verkozen EU-instelling is. En dat laatste mag dan zo zijn, maar ook de ministers in de Raad staan allemaal onder democratisch toezicht, namelijk dat van hun eigen nationale parlement.

De vraag is dus niet: “Ben je voor of tegen een versterking van de democratie?”

De vraag is: “Hoe verdelen wij in Europa de macht?”

Ben je voor een superstaat, dan centraliseer je zoveel mogelijk macht en dus ook het initiatiefrecht hier in het Europees Parlement.

Ben je echter voor een Europa van samenwerkende lidstaten, dan investeer je juist in de democratische sturing via de Raad en de nationale parlementen.

En ik kies met overtuiging voor dat laatste. Het moet ons niet gaan om de macht, maar om de vraag: “Hoe kunnen wij de samenleving het beste dienen?”

 
  
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  Helmut Scholz (The Left). – Herr Präsident, Herr Vizepräsident! Danke, Herr Berichterstatter, für das unverzagte Festhalten an diesem Dossier. Endlich stimmen wir nach Jahren von Diskussionen unsere Positionen zur Durchsetzung des Kernstücks repräsentativer Demokratien ab, gerade rechtzeitig, um aus den Empfehlungen der Zukunftskonferenz – in denen dies ausdrücklich auch von den Bürgerinnen und Bürgern als Schwachstelle des Funktionierens der EU ausgemacht wurde – reale politische Aktionen abzuleiten.

Lassen Sie mich ergänzend zu den vielen richtigen und klaren Positionen und Aspekten unserer heutigen Debatte und auch in dem Bericht formulieren: Wir wollen kein Initiativrecht zweiter Klasse, also abhängig von den anderen Institutionen sein. Nein, wir beanspruchen kein Gnadenrecht, sondern gleiches Recht – nicht für uns, sondern entsprechend der repräsentativen Demokratie für alle Bürgerinnen und Bürger quer durch die EU 27. Dieses Recht auf Gesetzgebung zu allen Themen unseres gesellschaftlichen Miteinander in der EU muss in den Verträgen verankert sein. Darunter geht es nicht.

 
  
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  László Trócsányi (NI). – Tisztelt Elnök Úr! Az Európai Parlament arra hivatkozva, hogy tagjait közvetlenül választják meg, több jogot követelne magának, mint amennyit a tagállamok által elfogadott Szerződések jelenleg biztosítanak neki. Elismerem, hogy nincs olyan intézmény, amely ne kívánna több jogosítványt, ez az intézmények természetéből fakad. Abban nem lehet vita, hogy a szuverenitás hordozója a nemzeti parlamentek és nem az Európai Parlament. Ezért tévedés és hiba lenne párhuzamba állítani az európai és nemzeti parlamenteket.

Ha az Európai Parlament általános jogalkotási kezdeményezési jogkört kapna, akkor azzal az Európai Bizottság jogosítványait csorbítaná. Másfelől előrevetítené a tagállami érdekek csorbulását. Ezzel az intézményi egyensúly borulna meg, amely szemben áll a jelenleg hatályos Szerződések céljával és szellemiségével.

Végezetül szeretném megkérdezni, hogy mit keres ebben a jelentésben a magyarországi jogállamiság kérdése. Ahogy mi, magyarok mondjuk, mit keres a csizma az asztalon. A felesleges ideológiai viták helyett helyesebb lenne a valódi problémákra koncentrálni.

 
  
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  Salvatore De Meo (PPE). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signor Commissario, come possiamo spiegare ai nostri cittadini che noi, pur essendo l'unico organo istituzionale democraticamente e direttamente eletto da loro, non abbiamo il potere di iniziativa legislativa? Purtroppo è difficile spiegarlo e negli anni questa anomalia ha contribuito ad alimentare anche il sentimento antieuropeo.

Con la Conferenza sul futuro dell'Europa i cittadini hanno accolto con entusiasmo la possibilità di esprimere le proprie preoccupazioni e sono stati chiari su ciò che si aspettano: più efficienza e più partecipazione democratica. Le conclusioni della Conferenza hanno evidenziato la necessità di una modifica dei trattati e, considerata l'espressione democratica del Parlamento, va da sé come il riconoscimento ad esso dell'iniziativa legislativa sia il primo passo da compiere per conferire all'Unione europea una maggiore legittimità democratica e una forte credibilità tra i cittadini.

È vero che il futuro dell'Europa è nelle mani dei cittadini, ma è a noi parlamentari europei che hanno delegato il compito di rappresentarli affinché le loro richieste ed aspettative si traducano in soluzioni e provvedimenti concreti.

 
  
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  Cyrus Engerer (S&D). – Sur President, neleġġu parlamentari biex inwasslu l-messaġġ tagħna u jieħdu azzjoni. Sew jekk nagħmlu dan fil-parlamenti lokali, reġjonali jew inkella nazzjonali tagħna. L-istess għandu japplika għal dan il-Parlament, il-Parlament tal-Ewropej kollha.

Iżda aħna l-uniku parlament mingħajr id-dritt ta' inizjattiva; ma nistgħux inressqu l-liġijiet illi jistennew minna ċ-ċittadini, bħalma qalulna fil-Konferenza dwar il-Futur tal-Ewropa. Ir-realtajiet taċ-ċittadini għandhom jiġu mismugħa. Aħna l-parlamentari f'kuntatt kontinwu man-nies fil-bliet u l-irħula tagħna. Nafu x'inhuma l-kwistjonijiet u l-isfidi li jixtiequ li jiġu indirizzati fuq livell Ewropew. U ċ-ċittadini jafdaw lill-Parlament biex iressaq 'il quddiem l-isfidi tagħhom. Wieħed biss biss jista' jħares lejn il-petizzjonijiet li nirċievu; 1573 petizzjoni f'sena waħda biss, għaliex iċ-ċittadini jridu li dan il-Parlament itejjeb il-ħajja tagħhom. Il-petizzjonijiet huma evidenza ta' kemm nistgħu niksbu għaċ-ċittadini Ewropej jekk ikollna demokrazija li tiffunzjona fit-totalità tagħha. Aħna kapaċi, lesti u ħerqana sabiex immexxu 'l quddiem proposti leġiżlattivi li huma ambizzjużi u innovattivi. Il-Kummissjoni u l-Kunsill, meta se jsaħħu d-demokrazija Ewropea?

 
  
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  Maite Pagazaurtundúa (Renew). – Señor presidente, en primer lugar, muchísimas gracias al señor Rangel por el maravilloso trabajo realizado. Aquí se habla una y otra vez de la Conferencia sobre el Futuro de Europa y de que los ciudadanos, con mucha naturalidad, piden la iniciativa legislativa para el Parlamento Europeo. ¿Es por un capricho? No. Es porque no viven en una burbuja; es porque quieren soluciones rápidas a problemas reales y saben que el Parlamento Europeo está preparado y es maduro para poder hacer parte de ese trabajo que ahora no podemos hacer. Tan sencillo como eso.

Hoy por hoy, el derecho de iniciativa legislativa está reservado casi en exclusiva a la Comisión Europea. Nosotros podemos pedir, pero se nos hace caso o no. La Comisión Europea puede ignorarnos perfectamente y nosotros no somos el escalón de un lobby de influencia para que la Comisión Europea decida si sí o si no. Creo que estamos maduros, somos responsables para hacer frente a muchos problemas y desafíos transnacionales. Así que, si hay alguien escuchando del Consejo —al que no vemos aquí— pedimos que nos escuche.

El ciudadano ha sido muy claro en la Conferencia. Nos ha pedido que nosotros también tengamos ese derecho de iniciativa directo. Y lo hacen por lo que digo: no viven en una burbuja. Tenemos retos de época, complicaciones en el futuro que nos viene; así que, tenemos una oportunidad única para introducir cambios. Es el momento de convocar una Convención y de hacer ver al Consejo —que no está— que revisar los Tratados para reconocer este derecho es algo positivo y necesario.

 
  
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  Marcel Kolaja (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, dear Vice—President Šefčovič, absent Council, dear colleagues, the European Parliament is the only directly elected European institution, yet it is not allowed to initiate legislation. Representatives directly elected by the European citizens have only partial tools at their disposal to suggest proposals, and these are often disregarded, thrown away or heavily postponed by the Commission. Let’s be fair about that fact.

Hence, I will count on the support of the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, for the European Parliament’s right to initiate legislation. Nevertheless, declared support needs to be followed by actions. All 705 Members are directly elected to represent people in Brno, Košice, Dubrovnik and everywhere else. We are the direct voice of European citizens and therefore we should have the right to initiate legislation to fully represent and defend our citizens’ interests.

As a matter of fact, citizens asked for it in the Conference on the Future of Europe. I would like to ask the Council what the Member States plan to do about it.

(The President cut off the speaker)

 
  
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  Eugenia Rodríguez Palop (The Left). – Señor presidente, el Parlamento Europeo es la única institución de la Unión Europea cuyos miembros son elegidos por sufragio directo. Sin embargo, los ámbitos en los que puede ejercer el derecho de iniciativa son sumamente limitados y evidencian un desequilibrio entre las instancias que debe corregirse.

El Consejo se niega a negociar el derecho de investigación, dispone de una mayor capacidad legislativa —a pesar de representar los intereses nacionales y no los del conjunto de la Unión— y a menudo bloquea los avances parlamentarios. Quienes quieren volver al Estado nación deberían tomar nota de este detalle.

Lo cierto es que el Parlamento es la instancia europea por definición, porque es donde reside el cuerpo y el altavoz de la ciudadanía. Y es, además, el espacio más deliberativo y hoy el más progresista. Merecería tener una capacidad legislativa directa y real.

Los Estados han sido ya superados por la propia medida de las cosas. Los retos que nos aguardan exigen descentralización y federalismo, diferentes instancias políticas coordinadas entre las que se distribuyan las competencias para tomar decisiones. Hoy, más que nunca, es imprescindible la capilaridad, la pluralidad y la voz matizada del Parlamento Europeo.

 
  
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  Caterina Chinnici (S&D). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, il Parlamento europeo, l'unica istituzione dell'Unione eletta direttamente dai cittadini, non ha un diritto generale di iniziativa legislativa come invece i parlamenti nazionali. Un'architettura istituzionale atipica, quindi, che rappresenta un evidente deficit democratico, difficilmente comprensibile per i cittadini europei.

Tale disequilibrio istituzionale si avverte in particolare nell'ambito dello spazio di libertà, sicurezza e giustizia, in cui il Consiglio europeo definendo, ai sensi dell'articolo 68 del trattato sul funzionamento dell'Unione, le strategie della programmazione legislativa ed operativa, dispone di fatto di un diritto di iniziativa in materie tutte sensibili che impattano direttamente sulle libertà fondamentali dei cittadini europei.

Dotare il Parlamento europeo del diritto di iniziativa legislativa, come è pure richiesto dalla Conferenza sul futuro dell'Europa, rafforzerà anche l'azione dell'Unione nel prevenire e contrastare fenomeni di arretramento del rispetto dei diritti fondamentali e dello Stato di diritto, a maggiore tutela dei cittadini europei.

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). – Señor presidente, el Parlamento Europeo es la única institución directamente elegida y legitimada por el voto de la arquitectura europea. Es un verdadero Parlamento, pero es más: es el único parlamento multinacional con poderes legislativos de todo el mundo. Es un Parlamento legislador, y es un verdadero Parlamento porque inviste a la Comisión en la persona de su presidenta con su voto, controla a dicha institución y puede derribarla también con su voto.

Por eso resulta inexorable que el Parlamento Europeo —la institución que más ha crecido en el curso de la historia de la Unión Europea— complete su proceso de maduración y crecimiento con esa iniciativa legislativa directa. No es verdad que no la tenga en absoluto; la tiene de manera indirecta. Puede ordenar, mandatar a la Comisión que adopte iniciativas legislativas.

Pero hay tres maneras de mejorar la actual situación. La primera: que la Comisión se obligue, cada vez que el Parlamento Europeo adopta un informe de iniciativa, a responder y traer la iniciativa que le ha ordenado el Parlamento Europeo.

La segunda: un acuerdo institucional —«interinstitucional», lo llamamos— que refuerce la posición y la opinión del Parlamento en los procedimientos legislativos especiales.

Pero la tercera es la inevitable: es la reforma —en virtud del artículo 48 del Tratado de la Unión Europea— que complete este proceso de maduración final del Parlamento Europeo con la iniciativa legislativa directa.

 
  
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  President. – Colleagues, at 17.00 we have the next voting session. I hope it is in your interest to finalise this debate before. That is the reason why I cannot accept the rest for catch-the-eye. So I will cancel catch-the-eye and I will give the floor to Vice-President Šefčovič.

 
  
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  Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, honourable Members, I see that Members are gathering for another voting session and I know that time is running out, so I will be indeed very short.

First and foremost, I really would like to thank all of you for this very important debate. I think it gave very clear confirmation that there is a strong wish for Parliament to have a more important role in the area that we discussed this afternoon, and that it clearly warrants the need for the Commission and Parliament to continue working even more together from an early stage when the initiatives are being prepared in the committees.

I really would like to underscore that I very much appreciate your acknowledgement that this Commission delivers on our political commitment to work with you and to deliver on the Article 225 resolution, and that we are ready to further discuss how we can improve the practical aspects of our positive cooperation, an experience we had in this effort so far.

I also would like to underline that I understand that you call for a more generalised direct right of initiative of the European Parliament. I think that there was also a quite clear understanding from most of the intervening Members of the Parliament that such a broad right would require a treaty change, which of course merits a wider debate.

So, to conclude, I would like to thank all the honourable Members who intervened in this discussion and to underline once again that we are ready to continue our discussions on this matter.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel, rapporteur. – Mr President, so to conclude our debate, I would like to say first that there is no point in the argument that we are trying to build a superstate. If you acknowledge – and all of you acknowledge because you vote in ECR and in ID, you vote in every opportunity that you have – that we have legislative competence and legislative powers, then, of course, there is no reason not to have the right of initiative. Either you start to retire from this Chamber and do not vote, and then, of course, you are coherent, or if you do not do that, of course you should acknowledge the right of initiative.

Then let me say to the Vice-President of the Commission, I was very pleased with your intervention, but I would like to have a clear statement (which, by the way, your President, Ms von der Leyen, has made) that we are entitled to have the proper right of initiative. That was what I was expecting today because this was said by President von der Leyen. There is no reason for a Vice-President that is responsible for institutional relations not to say that here in a very clear and open manner.

And finally, I would take this opportunity while I have here some presidents of groups to tell you that it is a shame that our Parliament in such matters like electoral law, triggering Article 48 and the right of initiative doesn’t schedule these debates as key debates, because the other institutions will say, you are debating, you are debating the right of initiative, but you give only a very, very short slot in the evening to debate this. And the same will happen tomorrow with the triggering of Article 48. This doesn’t honour our Chamber, and it’s the responsibility of the Conference of Presidents that we don’t have the institutional issues among the most important debates of our House.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Ich glaube, dass die Debatte sehr deutlich gezeigt hat, dass es eine breite Mehrheit in diesem Parlament für ein Initiativrecht gibt.

Die Aussprache ist damit geschlossen.

Die Abstimmung findet morgen, Donnerstag, 9. Juni 2022, statt.

 

16. Voting time
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  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Abstimmung.

(Abstimmungsergebnisse und sonstige Einzelheiten der Abstimmung: siehe Protokoll.)

 

16.1. Binding annual greenhouse gas emission reductions by Member States (Effort Sharing Regulation) (A9-0163/2022 - Jessica Polfjärd) (vote)
 

– Nach der Abstimmung über den Vorschlag der Kommission

 
  
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  Jessica Polfjärd, Rapporteur. – Herr talman! Tack för förtroendet. Jag yrkar, i enlighet med artikel 59. 4 i arbetsordningen, på att ärendet återförvisas till det ansvariga utskottet för interinstitutionella förhandlingar.

 
  
 

(Der Antrag auf Rücküberweisung wurde gebilligt.)

 

16.2. Land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) (A9-0161/2022 - Ville Niinistö) (vote)
 

– Nach der Abstimmung über den Vorschlag der Kommission

 
  
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  Ville Niinistö, rapporteur. – Mr President, I would like to thank Parliament and the plenary for the strong support for the ENVI Committee’s position. And, therefore, I propose that according to Rule 59(4) of the Rules of Procedure, I would like to request that the LULUCF file be referred back to the ENVI Committee for interinstitutional negotiations in accordance with Rules 60 and 74 of the Rules of Procedure.

 
  
 

(Der Antrag auf Rücküberweisung wurde gebilligt.)

 

16.3. CO2 emission standards for cars and vans (A9-0150/2022 - Jan Huitema) (vote)
 

– Nach der Abstimmung über den Vorschlag der Kommission

 
  
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  Jan Huitema, rapporteur. – Mr President, I’m very relieved and happy with the outcome. I think it’s a good compromise. And so I would like to request that the report is referred back to the Committee for interinstitutional negotiations based on Rule 59(4) of the Rules of Procedure.

 
  
 

(Der Antrag auf Rücküberweisung wurde gebilligt.)

 

16.4. The EU’s Foreign, Security and Defence Policy after the Russian invasion of Ukraine (A9-0164/2022 - David McAllister, Nathalie Loiseau) (vote)
 

– Vor der Abstimmung

 
  
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  David McAllister, rapporteur. – Mr President, as I have communicated to the co-rapporteur Nathalie Loiseau, to the shadow rapporteurs and to the plenary services yesterday, I would like to propose an oral amendment to update the title of this recommendation.

It shall be named ‘The EU's foreign security and defence policy after the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine’. Colleagues, over the past weeks, we have used the term ‘war of aggression’ instead of ‘invasion’; therefore, I suggest to also change the title of this recommendation accordingly.

 
  
 

(Der mündliche Änderungsantrag wird übernommen.)

 

16.5. Security in the Eastern Partnership area and the role of the common security and defence policy (A9-0168/2022 - Witold Jan Waszczykowski) (vote)
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  Der Präsident. – Damit ist die Abstimmungsstunde geschlossen.

 
  
  

VORSITZ: EVELYN REGNER
Vizepräsidentin

 

17. Global threats to abortion rights: the possible overturn of abortion rights in the US by the Supreme Court (debate)
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  Die Präsidentin. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über die Erklärungen des Rates und der Kommission zu den weltweiten Bedrohungen des Rechts auf Abtreibung – etwaige Abschaffung des Rechts auf Abtreibung in den USA durch den Obersten Gerichtshof (2022/2665(RSP)).

Ich erinnere Sie daran, dass mit Ausnahme der ersten beiden Reihen, die für die Fraktionsvorsitzenden vorgesehen sind, freie Sitzplatzwahl besteht. Nachdem Sie ihre Abstimmungskarte in das Abstimmungsgerät eingeschoben haben, können Sie dann über Ihr Abstimmungsgerät spontane Wortmeldungen und blaue Karten beantragen.

Ich weise Sie auch darauf hin, dass Wortmeldungen im Plenarsaal weiterhin vom zentralen Rednerpult aus erfolgen, außer spontanen Wortmeldungen, blauen Karten und Bemerkungen zur Anwendung der Geschäftsordnung.

 
  
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  Isabelle Rome, Présidente en exercice du Conseil. – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Commissaire, honorables députés, je me réjouis de la tenue de ce débat essentiel dans cet hémicycle aujourd’hui. Je voudrais partager avec vous, dans le cadre de la présidence française du Conseil de l’Union européenne, quelques convictions pour nourrir à la fois nos réflexions communes et notre action publique à l’échelle du continent.

L’avortement, la santé et les droits en matière de sexualité et de procréation sont des questions extrêmement sensibles et complexes à travers le monde, y compris d’un point de vue juridique. Cette assemblée plénière a souvent débattu de ce thème, y compris dans le cadre de l’action extérieure de l’Union européenne. En ce qui concerne l’Europe des 27, le droit primaire confirme qu’en principe le droit de l’Union n’interfère pas avec les dispositions constitutionnelles et les autres législations nationales des États membres de l’UE relatives à l’avortement.

Bien que l’Union ne soit pas compétente en matière de politique sur l’avortement, il ne fait aucun doute que les droits des femmes sont des droits humains fondamentaux. Il ne fait aucun doute que les droits en matière de santé sexuelle et génésique sont au cœur de l’égalité entre les femmes et les hommes et du combat des droits des femmes. Il ne fait aucun doute que le déni de ces droits constitue une forme de violence fondée sur le genre. Oui, les droits des femmes sont inaliénables. Non, ils ne sont ni sécables ni hiérarchisables. Comme le stipule l’article 21 du traité sur l’Union européenne, les droits de l’homme sont indivisibles et universels.

Puisque nous discutons aujourd’hui de la réglementation de l’avortement aux États-Unis, je souhaiterais dire un mot sur la dimension mondiale. En mars 2022, l’Organisation mondiale de la santé a rappelé que, selon les estimations, 45 % de l’ensemble des avortements réalisés dans le monde sont dangereux et que les avortements dangereux étaient de plus en plus concentrés dans les pays en développement ainsi qu’au sein des groupes vulnérables et marginalisés. C’est pourquoi, dans le cadre de son action extérieure, le Conseil de l’Union européenne est pleinement attaché au respect et à la protection de tous les droits fondamentaux des femmes et des filles. L’Union européenne et les États membres suivent attentivement les développements dans ce domaine. L’Union européenne reconnaît que les droits fondamentaux des femmes comprennent leur droit d’être pleinement maîtresses de leur sexualité et de prendre librement et de manière responsable des décisions liées à leur sexualité, et ce y compris concernant la santé sexuelle et génésique, sans discrimination, contrainte ou violence.

Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, l’Union européenne doit continuer d’être unie pour soutenir les femmes et les filles, aux États-Unis et partout dans le monde, face aux défis quotidiens auxquels elles sont confrontées. Grâce à leurs outils d’action extérieure, l’Union européenne et ses États membres continueront de veiller au respect des accords internationaux pertinents au niveau bilatéral et multilatéral. Ces efforts doivent être soutenus par des actions conjointes des gouvernements et des organisations internationales concernées, dans le cadre de leurs mandats respectifs et en tenant compte des priorités nationales ainsi que des organisations de la société civile.

Dans son intervention devant cette assemblée, le 19 janvier dernier, le président de la République française a ainsi souhaité que l’Europe consolide ses valeurs et son identité en inscrivant le droit à l’avortement dans la charte des droits fondamentaux de l’Union européenne. Notre Union ne s’est jamais construite dans le statu quo, pas plus qu’elle ne progressera sans faire progresser les droits des femmes, à l’intérieur comme à l’extérieur de ses frontières.

Enfin, au-delà des principes, nous devons soutenir concrètement et logistiquement toutes les femmes qui souhaitent recourir à ce droit fondamental, en particulier dans les pays de notre continent où il peut être menacé ou restreint. Le conflit en Ukraine rend cette réalité encore plus urgente et tangible, alors que des centaines de femmes déplacées font face au danger de restriction du droit à disposer de leur corps, un droit qui vient s’ajouter aux risques inhérents au conflit dont elles sont les victimes.

C’est également le sens du pacte Simone Veil, soutenu par Mme la Présidente Metsola dès son élection, et qui vise à faire de l’Europe le continent le plus avancé pour la promotion de l’égalité entre les femmes et les hommes, le continent phare à la voie universelle pour l’égalité d’accès aux droits sexuels et reproductifs comme en matière de lutte contre les violences, d’égalité professionnelle et publique ou dans la vie familiale.

Permettez-moi de conclure en vous félicitant d’attirer régulièrement l’attention sur ce sujet ô combien important.

 
  
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  Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President of the Commission. – Madam President, Madam Minister, honourable Members, we welcome this opportunity to discuss the global situation regarding abortion. In the US, the landmark 1973 Roe versus Wade ruling has guaranteed access to abortion for almost 50 years. If the Supreme Court overrules this right, it will be a profound retrogression of a well-established constitutional right.

President Biden said such a decision would be radical and marked a fundamental shift in US law and put other rights into question, namely women’s access to reproductive healthcare and control over their own lives and bodies. We fully share this concern and indeed the consequences would be radical not only for the US but globally.

This would notably lead to an increase in unsafe abortions. According to the World Health Organization, around 45% of all abortions are unsafe, of which 97 take place in developing countries. Unsafe abortion is a leading but preventable cause of maternal deaths and morbidities.

The global trend over the past decades has been towards a repeal of abortion bans. In the past 25 years, over 60 countries around the world have liberalised their laws and policies on abortion. The EU remains committed to being a leader on sexual and reproductive health and rights, an essential part of realising human rights.

Our high ambition is clear in the EU Gender Action Plan III in External Action 2021-2025 and reflected in the European Consensus on Development. Concretely, the Commission provides support to Member States in implementing sustainable development goals pertaining to this area. At the global level, we support interventions at bilateral, regional and global levels.

The EU partners, closely with the United Nations Population Fund and civil society actors, work in this area, and in the UN Commission on the Status of Women, the EU has been a staunch supporter of sexual and reproductive health and rights.

There is a continued need for engagement with other partner countries bilaterally, such as through human rights dialogue and in multilateral fora, as well as through our global programmatic funding.

 
  
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  Arba Kokalari, för PPE-gruppen. – Fru talman! Är det inte absurt att vi fortfarande på tvåtusentalet behöver ta fajten för något så självklart som alla kvinnors grundläggande rätt att bestämma över sina egna kroppar? Tyvärr så har det visat sig att man aldrig kan ta frihet, mänskliga rättigheter och kvinnors rättigheter för givet, inte heller idag.

I USA ser vi nu starka krafter som jobbar aktivt för att stoppa rätten till abort. Och om de lyckas så kommer närmare 40 procent av de amerikanska kvinnorna att drabbas om deras närmaste abortklinik tvingas stänga. I vårt grannland Polen, som redan har förbjudit abort, har kvinnor dött när de har nekats abortvård. Den polska regeringen vill nu gå ett steg längre och införa massregister av gravida. Det här är helt sjukt. Rätten till abort är en frihetsfråga och är helt avgörande för alla kvinnors möjlighet att få utforma sina liv som de själva vill.

Den här resolutionen är så viktig. Det är en signal om att vi i EU står för frihet, för mänskliga rättigheter, för kvinnors rättigheter, och att vi har nolltolerans mot dem som försöker underminera kvinnors rättigheter. EU måste säga ifrån. Vi måste stå på kvinnornas sida och ha nolltolerans mot dem som vill omyndigförklara kvinnor och deras egna val i livet. Det här är en frihetsfråga och Europa måste ta den fajten.

 
  
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  Predrag Fred Matić, u ime kluba S&D. – Potpredsjednice, povjerenice, ministrice, kolegice i kolege. Globalne prijetnje pravu na pobačaj naša su stvarnost. Te prijetnje nisu došle jučer, neće nestati sutra i ne bave se samo pobačajem. One su mnogo šire, opasnije i perfidnije. Mnogi od vas sjetit će se neumornih rasprava koje u ovoj instituciji vodimo već godinama, a za koje se čini da ne daju nikakve konkretne rezultate, već nas godinama nove zabrane još više šokiraju.

Šokirao nas je i nacrt mišljenja Vrhovnog suda u Sjedinjenim Državama koji bi, ako se ostvari, za mnoge žene diljem te zemlje značio noćnu moru. Konkretnije, značio bi situaciju u kojoj bi 26 saveznih država gotovo odmah ili vrlo brzo izmijenilo svoje zakone te učinile pobačaj nelegalnim i nedostupnim. Natjeralo bi žene i djevojke da svoju zdravstvenu skrb traže preko granice, kod kojekakvih nestručnih pojedinaca, potjeralo bi ih u sferu nesigurnih pobačaja, a zbog kojih, podsjećam vas, 23 tisuće žena godišnje umire.

Za jednu državu i zajednicu koja priča o slobodi kao temeljnoj vrijednosti, vrijeme je da pitamo naše kolegice i kolege iz Sjedinjenih Država gdje je sloboda na odlučivanje o vlastitom tijelu, gdje je sloboda na tjelesnu autonomiju i na samostalno upravljanje vlastitim životom i zdravljem. Zar je ona rezervirana za sve osim za žene?

A u trenutku kad smo pisali ovu rezoluciju i šokirano čitali taj grozni nacrt mišljenja, naši dobro poznati kolege iz Poljske podsjetili su nas na to da te prijetnje nisu i ne dolaze samo izvana. U Europskoj uniji imamo državu koja uvodi takozvani registar trudnoća. Taj registar će poslužiti kao još jedan alat za kriminalizaciju i progon žena i djevojaka, kao i svih medicinskih stručnjaka koji su uključeni u pružanje skrbi vezane za pobačaj.

Prijetnja ostvarenim ljudskim pravima najsnažnije su upravo kada se priča o ženskim pravima, posebno kada se u raspravu uključe kojekakve rigidne desničarske klerikalne i dobro financirane interesne grupe koje smatraju da mogu upravljati svime, pa i našim tijelima. Vrijeme je da im jasno poručujemo da im u ovoj temi nije mjesto, a našim partnerima iz Sjedinjenih Država da pružimo potporu da se odupru tim nastojanjima. Jer nema uspješnih demokracija bez poštivanja osnovnih ljudskih prava a seksualna i reproduktivna prava to svakako jesu. Hvala lijepa.

 
  
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  Samira Rafaela, namens de Renew-Fractie. – Voorzitter, in de VS voeren extremisten al jarenlang campagne om het abortusrecht af te pakken. En nu lijkt hun ultraconservatieve hooggerechtshof hierin mee te gaan. Het recht op abortus is ook niet vanzelfsprekend hier in Europa. In Italië weigeren gemiddeld 70 % van de artsen vrouwen te helpen bij abortus. In conservatieve regio's kan dit oplopen tot 87 %. In Kroatië is het weliswaar legaal, maar niet betaalbaar en dus niet toegankelijk. Kosten voor een ingreep kunnen daar oplopen tot 400 euro. In Duitsland mag een arts niet publiekelijk informatie geven over abortus, mogen ze dus geen goede en betrouwbare voorlichting geven. In Nederland word je in 2022 nog uitgescholden en geïntimideerd onderweg naar de kliniek. In Polen gaan er vrouwen dood door de de-factoverbanning van het abortusrecht en in Malta is het volledig verboden.

Het is genoeg geweest, maar het is écht genoeg geweest. En mijn oproep vandaag is daarom: laten we de Europese verdragen wijzigen en het recht op abortus verankeren in onze Unie. We moeten deze fundamentalisten geen centimeter meer geven om hun destructieve antivrouwenagenda uit te voeren. Abortusrecht is een mensenrecht en dat moeten we nú in de Europese verdragen terugzien.

 
  
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  Alice Kuhnke, för Verts/ALE-gruppen. – Fru talman! För det första måste vi vara övertygade om att det är en grundläggande rättighet att bestämma när, var, hur och om man vill bli gravid. För det andra måste vi förstå och agera utifrån det faktum att de rättigheter och möjligheter som generationer av kvinnor före oss i årtionden har kämpat för är hotade. Abortmotståndet växer. För det tredje, vi vet vetenskapligt hur vi minskar antalet oönskade graviditeter. Det görs vetenskapligt genom tidig utbildning och undervisning om sex och samlevnad. Det görs genom en generös tillgång av preventivmedel och det görs genom rätten till lagliga aborter.

Den amerikanska högsta domstolens beslut om att riva upp lagen som gett amerikanska kvinnor skydd och rätt att ta beslut om sin egen kropp kommer att få vida konsekvenser långt utanför Amerika. Det kommer att påverka även EU. I Polen kämpar fantastiska, modiga polacker för kvinnors rätt att ta beslut om sin egen kropp. Att flera kvinnor har dött på grund av att läkare inte har vågat ge dem den hjälp de behövt är oacceptabelt. Vi måste agera mycket mer kraftfullt än vad vi har gjort hittills.

 
  
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  Christine Anderson, on behalf of the ID Group. – Madam President, wow, the headline of this resolution already says it all. You're talking about a global threat. It just always has to be superlatives with you, doesn't it?

Promoters of this debate should read the Treaties of the European Union first. This Parliament has no competence to lecture sovereign countries on how they should govern themselves. The USA is no longer a colony ruled from Europe. Didn't you know that?

So if their Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade as being unconstitutional, yeah, they can do that! If they decide that their federal law no longer protects the abortionists from criminal prosecution, yeah, they can do that too! And if they put decisions on how to run maternal healthcare, abortion choices, back to democratically elected leaders in their 50 states, guess what? They can do that too! And if those states then believe life in the womb is worth protecting, as the UN Convention on the Rights of Children states by the way, yep, they can do that too!

You know what your problem is? You just won't take ‘no’ for an answer. You will simply not accept anyone not in support of your dystopian brave new world agenda. As seen here today earlier, by the way, if a vote doesn't go your way, all hell breaks loose and the vote will be repeated until the result suits you. So much for democracy in this House.

So whenever you are hyperventilating about some sort of a ‘global threat’, what you are really fighting against is the collapse of your ridiculous utopia in which humans are a malleable mass. This is despicable and it's dehumanising. And I am ashamed to have to say this in this House.

 
  
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  Margarita de la Pisa Carrión, en nombre del Grupo ECR. – Señora presidenta, lo que aquí acontece es una enorme irregularidad: se basan en un borrador filtrado del Tribunal Supremo de los Estados Unidos en relación con el aborto. ¿Qué están pretendiendo ustedes? ¿Coaccionar la jurisdicción de los Estados Unidos? ¿Tratan de influir de manera ilícita en las legislaciones democráticas? Es una vergüenza y un desprestigio para esta institución.

Como mujer, no soy capaz de entender las formas con las que reivindican algo tan doloroso como es poner fin a un embarazo. Deben escuchar la experiencia de las mujeres que han elegido abortar: se les engaña haciéndoles creer que se involucran en una intervención sin importancia, pero la realidad es que se ven abordadas por un proceso bastante delicado y con una frialdad absoluta. Es normal que una mujer sienta inquietud cuando se entera de un embarazo: cuesta asimilarlo, pero esto no significa que no lo desee.

Quienes hemos perdido bebés sabemos la tristeza cuando recibes la noticia de que no prospera, experimentas una gran ausencia. Oponerse al aborto no es solo una cuestión de conciencia, sino de saber elegir el bien, donde encontraremos el amor y la felicidad. El cristianismo nos invita a todos a respetar la dignidad humana.

La verdadera protección de las mujeres está en apoyarles en su maternidad, hoy es un heroísmo y un privilegio ser madre. La falta de recursos no puede ser causa del límite de hijos. Las decisiones de las mujeres no están siendo libres, son empujadas por una sociedad envenenada, por un feminismo que reniega de su feminidad.

Los derechos humanos no pueden subordinarse a cuestiones ideológicas que pretenden normalizar la práctica de un «antiderecho humano» como es el aborto. Los Estados Unidos nos muestran que la conciencia social pone en valor la vida, y ustedes con este debate nos hacen ver que ponen en valor la muerte.

 
  
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  Sandra Pereira, em nome do Grupo The Left. – Senhora Presidente, no meu país, Portugal, após anos de luta em defesa dos direitos das mulheres, em 2007 foi finalmente despenalizado a interrupção voluntária da gravidez. Desde então, o número de IVG baixou progressivamente e estima se que foram realizados menos 40% de abortos nos últimos dez anos.

Aqueles que se opõem à despenalização da IVG nos Estados Unidos ou na Europa sabem bem que proibir não tem qualquer eficácia no combate ao aborto, apenas o torna clandestino, desprotegido e perigoso para a saúde física e psíquica e, por vezes, para a própria vida das mulheres, mas apenas para aquelas que não têm meios para o fazer num sítio seguro, num outro país.

Condenamos e rejeitamos todos os retrocessos em matéria de direitos sexuais e reprodutivos sentidos em qualquer ponto do mundo. O caminho é avançar, e não recuar. Avançar no acesso a serviços de saúde sexual e reprodutiva com o necessário reforço de serviços públicos de saúde com qualidade e gratuitos, na educação sexual, no acesso gratuito a meios contracetivos e nos serviços de planeamento familiar.

 
  
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  Jörg Meuthen (NI). – Frau Präsidentin, werte Kollegen! Wir sprechen heute über ein moralisch sehr schwieriges Thema: die Frage der Abtreibung. Nicht umsonst ringen dazu Politik und Gesellschaft seit Jahrzehnten um eine Position, um eine Lösung. Das Thema polarisiert wie kaum ein anderes. Es ist hochemotional und leider massiv ideologisch aufgeladen. Mit Sorge sehe ich, dass sich beide Lager immer weiter radikalisieren. Dies geschieht zulasten schwangerer Frauen, die in echten Notsituationen stecken.

Ich sage es ganz deutlich: Abtreibung ist kein Verhütungsmittel. Jede Abtreibung bedeutet immer das Ende eines bereits entstandenen Lebens. Sie darf niemals zu einer Routine werden. Ich sage aber genauso deutlich, dass wir keinesfalls pauschal urteilen dürfen und immer den konkreten Einzelfall im Blick haben müssen. So wichtig der Schutz ungeborenen Lebens ist, so wichtig ist auch die physische und psychische Unversehrtheit der werdenden Mutter.

Ich habe mich oft und lange damit befasst. Nach meiner Überzeugung ist das Strafrecht nicht geeignet, Antworten zu geben; Ideologie und Pauschalisierung allerdings ebenso wenig. Statt unsere Energien in ideologische Schlachten zu diesem Thema zu geben, sollten wir sie strikt auf Hilfe und auf Beratung im Einzelfall ausrichten.

 
  
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  Frances Fitzgerald (PPE). – Madam President, Vice-President, colleagues, when it comes to women’s rights, retrogressive initiatives globally are resulting in the backsliding of sexual and reproductive health rights, sadly, even here in Europe. The recent leak of an initial draft majority opinion of the US Supreme Court on the Roe v. Wade case is a huge cause for concern in the United States, but also for women here in Europe and around the world.

Restrictions on access to abortion have forced women, notably those who are most vulnerable, to travel long distances, to carry unviable pregnancies to term against their will, or to resort to unsafe self-managed abortions. This was the situation in my Member State, Ireland, until the repeal of the eighth amendment in recent years, when Irish people put their trust in the women of Ireland.

According to the WHO, the proportion of unsafe abortions is significantly higher in countries with highly restrictive abortion laws than in countries with less restrictive laws. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.

This resolution acknowledges that, among adolescent girls, aged 15 to 19 years, pregnancy and childbirth complications are the leading cause of death globally. Imagine that. Many of these deaths are preventable with safe, legal and timely abortion care and quality medical care. We must show compassion, empathy and flexibility when it comes to a woman’s right to choose how they live their lives. The absolutist approach of banning abortion entirely shows no compassion or civility for women, nor for their bodily integrity, or faith in them to make their own decisions.

As legislators, we must uphold and demonstrate our commitment to the European values of human rights and respect for human dignity by stating our position here today. My core guiding principle is and remains the same, that women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights. Women deserve better in 2022.

(The speaker agreed to respond to a blue-card speech)

 
  
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  President. – Dear Frances, there is a blue-card, are you willing to accept it? I just look from whom it is coming. It’s from Malin Björk – and sorry, really with a heavy heart I have to ask you to remove scarfs that are symbols, so please follow that.

So, are you ready to accept, Frances?

 
  
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  Malin Björk (The Left), blue-card speech. – Ms Fitzgerald, I know that you have played a very important role in Ireland, where we never thought that we would have that positive development. You managed in Ireland to legalise abortion care in a country where everyone thought it would be impossible; it was so conservative.

We still see today in this Chamber that in the right wing groups there is a lot of resistance. That’s where the resistance to abortion care and abortion rights for women comes from. So what is your best advice to convince the whole of this Chamber? Because I would like to be here in the next vote we have and to have much stronger support also from the right wing. So I would like to hear your advice on that.

 
  
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  Frances Fitzgerald (PPE), blue-card reply. – It’s a complicated question. I mean, we do know that getting women’s rights generally and equality accepted in many of our societies has been extremely difficult. Abortion is a highly sensitive subject for people. But, as I say, I consider it to be a core, fundamental right and that women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are women’s rights.

Our experience in Ireland showed us that we had a very long journey that we had to take part in. To be honest with you, at the end of the day, it was the individual stories of women and men, those who had carried pregnancies that weren’t viable, when they told their stories in the public domain – and that’s a very hard thing to do, as it meant they had to show great courage – but, actually, that was what really convinced the public at the end of the day. But it took a lot of leadership as well. And all I can say is that whatever party you belong to, you will find there are varying views, and we have to work very hard to convince people that the right to abortion care is a human right.

 
  
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  Maria Noichl (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin! Gewalt hat viele Gesichter. Das Vorenthalten von altersgerechter sexueller Aufklärung ist eine Form von Gewalt. Das Vorenthalten von Verhütungsmitteln ist eine Form von Gewalt. Das Vorenthalten von medizinischer Hilfe während und nach einer Geburt ist eine Art von Gewalt. Das Vorenthalten von Informationen zum Thema Abtreibung ist eine Form von Gewalt. Das Vorenthalten von medizinischen Leistungen in Form einer Abtreibung ist eine Form von Gewalt.

Eine Gesellschaft, die medizinisch in der Lage ist, aber Frauen, die es wollen, nicht unterstützt, so eine Gesellschaft ist eine gewaltvolle Gesellschaft. Eine Gesellschaft, die sich klar gegen Zwangsheirat ausspricht, die sich klar gegen Zwangssterilisation ausspricht, aber sich nicht klar gegen Zwangsschwangerschaften ausspricht – und eine verweigerte Abtreibung ist einer Zwangsschwangerschaft gleichzustellen –, so eine Gesellschaft ist keine freie Gesellschaft.

Wir stehen hier und kämpfen für eine freie Gesellschaft, und zwar nicht nur in Europa, sondern für eine freie Gesellschaft in der gesamten Welt. Es ist meistens eine männliche, rechte Gewalt, die uns in Schranken zwingen will, und es ist meist eine männliche, rechte Gewalt, die glaubt, auf dem Körper der Frauen Politik machen zu können.

(Die Rednerin ist damit einverstanden, auf eine Wortmeldung nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“ zu antworten)

 
  
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  Helmut Geuking (PPE), Wortmeldung nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“. – Ich will es kurz machen. Ich habe Ihre Rede gerade gehört, und ich bin sehr erstaunt. Wir leben in Europa. Wir haben eine gewisse Wertevorstellung in Europa. Glauben Sie nicht, dass das Recht auf Leben, dass das Leben überhaupt die höchste Wertevorstellung in Europa sein muss, höher als das Selbstbestimmungsrecht eines Menschen? Wo fangen wir an, wenn wir das Selbstbestimmungsrecht eines Menschen höher einstufen als das Recht auf Leben? Wo fängt es an, wo hört es auf? Welche Büchse der Pandora öffnen wir denn da?

Ich will hier gar nicht über Amerika reden, denn wie Sie richtig erkannt haben, haben wir hier in Europa Probleme, das vernünftig zu lösen. Es ist an uns, an den Politikern und an der Politik, an Ihnen, hier Rahmenbedingungen zu schaffen, damit Abtreibungen im Jahr 2022 einfach gar nicht mehr notwendig sind. Punkt.

Wenn sie dann noch notwendig sind, kann man das ja prüfen, und das ist ja auch okay insofern; allerdings sage ich und behaupte ich, wir leben heute in einem Europa, wo wir durchaus die Möglichkeiten haben, Leben zu bewahren, Leben zu schützen, und nicht Leben zu zerstören. Das ist ein Verbrechen: Leben zu zerstören.

 
  
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  Maria Noichl (S&D), Antwort auf eine Wortmeldung nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“. – Sie reden ganz klar als Mann zu mir – zu mir als einer Frau. Sie reden als Mann zu mir, der einen Seitensprung machen kann, der Sex haben kann, der ungeschützten Sex haben kann, aber dafür niemals den gleichen Preis zu zahlen hat. Sie reden als Mann zu mir, der glaubt, sich in die Position einer Frau versetzen zu können.

Da kann ich nur sagen, es wäre der Zeitpunkt, wo Sie als Mann zu schweigen haben, weil es um etwas geht, das Sie niemals selber ertragen müssten!

 
  
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  Nicolae Ştefănuță (Renew). – Madam President, I’m looking around the room and there’s only five men, myself included. I’m not counting the Commission staff. And I think it is sad that only five men speak in favour of women’s rights because women’s rights are human rights. And it concerns us too.

I grew up in Ceausescu’s Romania back in the eighties when abortion was banned, and I’ve heard terrifying stories, stories about women dying of complications of self-induced abortions or abortions performed somewhere on a ship or in some illegal place. And I think that striking down Roe versus Wade would lead to more than 20 US states banning abortion and perhaps to 36 million women having direct consequences from this on their right for their body, for their life.

So colleagues, here in this House, let’s stop a war on women, men and women together. We have very clear values here in Europe. Let’s talk about them. Let’s speak to our American friends about them, and let’s fight so that banning abortion remains just a sad legacy of the past and not a miserable gift for the future.

 
  
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  Die Präsidentin. – Als nächste zu Wort gemeldet ist die Abgeordnete Terry Reintke, und ich ersuche Sie auch, Symbole abzulegen.

 
  
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  Terry Reintke (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, sorry, I have a very sore throat today, so I had to wear the cloth.

Colleagues, I wanted to share with you three important points about abortion. First of all, abortion is a fact. Millions of people enter pregnancy each year. Criminalising abortion does not lower the number of abortions, it actually just makes ...

 
  
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  Die Präsidentin. – Frau Abgeordnete Reintke, versuchen Sie während der kurzen Zeit Ihrer Rede, Ihre Halsschmerzen auch ohne Halstuch in den Griff zu bekommen.

 
  
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  Terry Reintke (Verts/ALE). – I’m sorry, I’m not going to take off the cloth right now, and I hope it’s okay for colleagues. So again ...

(In response to clapping from the floor)

Are you seriously going to keep clapping until I take this off? Colleague?

(In response to continued clapping from the floor)

Okay, then I’m going to speak against this noise.

First of all, abortion is a fact. Millions of people end their pregnancy each year. Criminalising abortion does not lower the number of abortions, it just makes them illegal and very often unsafe. Thirdly, and this is important for me, unsafe abortions are a leading, yet preventable, reason for maternal death.

So, if this was about life and health, the answer to the problem would actually be obvious: providing safe and legal access to abortion care, providing safe and legal access to contraception, providing safe and legal access to sexual education and to universal healthcare. But it is not! Because it is about exercising power: power over other people’s bodies, power over other people’s life choices, power over reproduction.

I am not a vessel to supply infants. I and only I have the right to decide over my uterus, my ovaries and my body. Until this is the case in Europe, in the US, and all over the world – and colleague, also to you specifically – we are going to continue to fight here in this Chamber and everywhere around the world. I salute the brave people in the US fighting for this, in Europe and all over the world.

(Cheers from the floor)

(The speaker agreed to respond to a blue—card speech)

 
  
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  Karen Melchior (Renew), blue-card speech. – Thank you very much, Terry, for your speech, and I hope that your throat is going to feel better. In this debate, there is a lot of influence from religious communities and churches. Do you see that in such a debate as today, wearing a Christian cross around the neck when speaking is a political symbol?

 
  
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  Terry Reintke (Verts/ALE), blue-card reply. – Well, I would definitely say that if you can wear a cross, I think you should also be able to wear a scarf like this, especially when you have a sore throat.

 
  
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  Die Präsidentin. – Als nächste zu Wort gemeldet ist die Frau Abgeordnete Simona Baldassarre, aber ich möchte nur alle Abgeordneten, die heute Halsweh haben, ersuchen, andere Halstücher zu organisieren, insbesondere wenn sie zum Rednerpult kommen.

 
  
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  Simona Baldassarre (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, oggi la sinistra si arroga il diritto di interferire su un'ipotetica decisione della Corte suprema statunitense per rivalutare l'aborto. Questo emiciclo non ha alcuna autorità in materia di aborto, che resta una competenza esclusiva degli Stati membri, figuriamoci nei confronti di uno Stato sovrano che neanche fa parte dell'Unione europea. L'aborto non è un diritto umano. I diritti umani sono ben altri: il diritto alla vita, alla libertà individuale, alla libertà religiosa, non all'aborto.

Intollerabile poi anche l'attacco all'obiezione di coscienza. Forse dimenticate che la Carta dei diritti fondamentali dell'UE, all'articolo 10, paragrafo 2, riconosce l'obiezione di coscienza secondo le leggi nazionali. L'UE dovrebbe tentare di eliminare la necessità di ricorrere all'aborto, come sostenuto dal programma di azione del Cairo del 1994.

Cerchiamo di capire le ragioni che portano le donne ad abortire. Cosa fa l'UE per aiutare una ragazza madre o una famiglia in difficoltà a scongiurare l'aborto? Proteggere realmente le donne significa creare le condizioni affinché possano scegliere per la vita.

(L’oratrice accetta di rispondere a un intervento "cartellino blu")

 
  
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  Karen Melchior (Renew), blue-card speech.(start of speech off mic) You mentioned Article 2 of the Treaty. In that article, there is also the right to equality. Are all of the rights mentioned in Article 2 of the Treaty not equal?

 
  
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  Simona Baldassarre (ID), risposta a una domanda "cartellino blu". – Certo, sono ugualmente importanti. Scusi, che vuol dire l'uguaglianza? Io ho citato l'articolo 10, paragrafo 2. Che vuol dire l'uguaglianza? Che cosa intende? Anche l'uguaglianza è un articolo importante, certo.

 
  
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  Jadwiga Wiśniewska (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Szanowni Państwo! Globalne zagrożenie prawa do aborcji – sam tytuł tej debaty jest absurdalny, dlatego że aborcja nie jest powszechnym prawem człowieka i nie jest objęta żadnym międzynarodowym prawodawstwem, wręcz przeciwnie. W konwencji praw dziecka podkreśla się, że dziecko z powodu niedojrzałości wymaga szczególnej troski i opieki zarówno przed, jak i po urodzeniu. Dziecko przed urodzeniem ma prawo do leczenia, do dziedziczenia, a wy Państwo uważacie, że nie ma prawa do życia. Zaś co do Karty Praw Podstawowych, to zapis art. 2 stanowi, że każdy ma prawo do życia, dlatego że to prawo do życia jest podstawowym prawem, z którego wywodzą się wszystkie inne prawa. Karta Praw Podstawowych, Pani Minister, nie wymaga odnowy, jak mówi prezydent Macron, ale wypełnienia jej zapisów, bo to prawo do życia jest fundamentalną wartością, na której opiera się porządek moralny i społeczny.

Pani Przewodnicząca, chcę Pani zwrócić uwagę, że Pani nie reagowała na zachowania, które miały miejsce na sali. Pozwoliła Pani na bezczelne stosowanie symboli niedozwolonych. Nie odebrała Pani głosu. Zatem uważam, że posłanka, która nie zastosowała się do regulaminu powinna zostać ukarana, a atakowanie Margarity, podchodzenie do niej i krzyczenie na panią poseł jest absolutnie nie na miejscu. To jest po prostu dyktatura szalonej rozwydrzonej lewicy.

(Mówczyni zgodziła się odpowiedzieć na wystąpienie zasygnalizowane przez podniesienie niebieskiej kartki)

 
  
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  President. – Do you accept a blue card from Malin Björk? She would like to ask you a question. I will give her the floor, but first say yes, symbols are not allowed to be carried in the room. As chairing, I said that to those Members who I realise they are wearing a scarf, and I didn’t accept it. And Ms Reintke left the room right now. So I just repeat it to everybody: don’t wear symbols, even if you have a sore throat or something else.

 
  
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  Malin Björk (The Left), blue-card speech. – Poland already has a total ban on abortion, and now you’re making a mass register of pregnant women. For me, this is dystopian, it’s totalitarian, it does not belong in a democratic society. You are treating women like cattle. How dare you? How dare you?

 
  
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  Jadwiga Wiśniewska (ECR), odpowiedzieć na wystąpienie zasygnalizowane przez podniesienie niebieskiej kartki. – Używa Pani języka, który dla ludzi kulturalnych jest nieakceptowalny. Nie życzę sobie, żeby Pani obrażała Polskę i polski rząd. Ma Pani niepełną wiedzę, dlatego że aborcja nie jest w 100 % w Polsce zakazana. Jeśli Pani chce wypowiadać się w sprawie Polski najpierw proszę zdobyć uczciwą wiedzę na ten temat. Porównywanie ludzi do bydła jest, rozumiem, w kulturze komunistycznej na miejscu, w mojej kulturze nie.

 
  
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  Eugenia Rodríguez Palop (The Left). – Señora presidenta, 86 millones de mujeres pueden ver limitado su derecho al aborto en los Estados Unidos: veintiséis Estados amenazan con delirantes leyes de «latido fetal» y en algunos se prevén ya suculentos estímulos para quienes denuncien y sanciones carcelarias para quienes incumplan; en esos Estados no habrá financiación para garantizar derechos sexuales y reproductivos, porque a la sentencia del Supremo ha de sumarse la ley mordaza global y la enmienda Helms, así que la pobreza será una agravante.

Se está librando una guerra global contra las mujeres y el «sicariado» es, en muchos casos, un poder judicial fuera de control o sometido a las directrices de Gobiernos autoritarios. Ayer fue Polonia; hoy, los Estados Unidos; mañana, España. Está claro que, si no nos blindamos, El cuento de la criada será una profecía autocumplida.

Tenemos que incorporar el derecho al aborto a nuestras constituciones, como se ha hecho en Chile, y también a la Carta de los Derechos Fundamentales de la Unión Europea, para distinguirlo claramente del derecho a la salud.

Las feministas somos las grandes defensoras de la vida, pero no de la vida esclava y sumisa que quieren adjudicarnos los señores y señoras de la misoginia y el odio. Escuchen a las mujeres a las que se les ha obligado a parir hijos de sus violadores. Les interesan los niños, pero solo antes de nacer. Sabed que ninguna mujer será vuestra.

(La oradora acepta responder a una intervención realizada con arreglo al procedimiento de la «tarjeta azul»)

 
  
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  Margarita de la Pisa Carrión (ECR), intervención de «tarjeta azul». – Señora Rodríguez Palop, en nuestro país sabemos que hay muchas mujeres que se ven presionadas a renunciar a sus bebés por no poder asumir una infancia. Sí reciben financiación para abortar, pero no para apoyarles con su situación económica. ¿No cree que no debería ser un privilegio de mujeres que cuentan con solvencia económica el hecho de poder tener hijos?

 
  
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  Eugenia Rodríguez Palop (The Left), respuesta de «tarjeta azul». – A mí no me consta que esas mujeres reciban financiación para abortar; más bien tienen dificultades para abortar, como ya sabemos; especialmente en la sanidad pública, porque muchísimos médicos objetan, sin tener derecho a la objeción ninguna institución sanitaria en su totalidad. Muchas de ellas tienen que desplazarse de unos lugares a otros muchos kilómetros para poder abortar —algo que se les tiene reconocido como derecho—, de manera que no reciben financiación para abortar, más bien tienen dificultades.

Y por supuesto, estoy de acuerdo con que se ayude a las mujeres que quieren tener hijos a tenerlos: para eso están las políticas sociales, que muchas veces su partido —como usted sabe, señora De la Pisa Carrión— pone en dificultades, porque de hecho son ustedes los que recortan políticas sociales en la Comunidad de Madrid y en otros lugares.

 
  
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  Margarita de la Pisa Carrión (ECR), intervención complementaria de «tarjeta azul». – El aborto en España es gratuito.

 
  
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  Eugenia Rodríguez Palop (The Left), respuesta de «tarjeta azul». – El derecho al aborto es gratuito cuando se puede ejercer, y no se puede ejercer en un montón de hospitales públicos porque, insisto, en la mayor parte de ellos o en muchos de ellos se practican objeciones de conciencia que son claramente ilegales, como se sabe y ya se ha descubierto hace muchísimo tiempo, de manera que la mayor parte de esas mujeres tienen que ser derivadas a centros privados donde tienen que pagar por abortar.

 
  
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  Λευτέρης Νικολάου-Αλαβάνος (NI). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, η απαγόρευση των αμβλώσεων είναι μέτρο συντηρητικό, οπισθοδρομικό και οι συνέπειες είναι βαρύτερες για τις γυναίκες των λαϊκών στρωμάτων, εκείνες που δεν διαθέτουν τα οικονομικά μέσα να παρακάμψουν νομοθετικά εμπόδια, να ταξιδέψουν στο εξωτερικό ή να επιλέξουν ιδιωτικά ιδρύματα. Καταφεύγουν επομένως σε πρακτικές που θέτουν την υγεία, ακόμα και την ίδια τους τη ζωή, σε μεγάλο κίνδυνο. Η υπεράσπιση του δικαιώματος στην άμβλωση για τη διακοπή μιας ανεπιθύμητης εγκυμοσύνης, όποιος και αν είναι ο λόγος, είναι αδιαπραγμάτευτη. Ωστόσο, δεν αρκεί η άρση νομικών απαγορεύσεων για να εξασφαλιστούν τα δικαιώματα των γυναικών, όσο η υγεία και η αναπαραγωγική υγεία αντιμετωπίζονται σαν πεδίο επενδύσεων για ομίλους από όλες διαχρονικά τις αστικές κυβερνήσεις και στις ΗΠΑ, αντί για δικαίωμα χωρίς όρους και προϋποθέσεις.

Σήμερα, επομένως, είναι επιτακτική ανάγκη να κλιμακωθεί η πάλη του λαού για ένα αποκλειστικά δημόσιο και δωρεάν σύστημα υγείας, ασύμβατο με το καπιταλιστικό κέρδος, με υπηρεσίες που δεν θα περιορίζονται μόνο στην άμβλωση, αλλά θα αφορούν τη σεξουαλική αγωγή, τον οικογενειακό προγραμματισμό, τον προγεννητικό έλεγχο, την εγκυμοσύνη, τον τοκετό. Δικαιώματα που ήταν κατοχυρωμένα στις σοσιαλιστικές χώρες και έσωσαν τη ζωή χιλιάδων γυναικών, όταν η άμβλωση ήταν απαγορευμένη σχεδόν σε όλη την καπιταλιστική Ευρώπη.

 
  
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  Maria Walsh (PPE). – Madam President, making abortion illegal only succeeds in doing one thing – it makes it unsafe and dangerous for women. When abortion is illegal, women who feel they need or have a right to the procedure find a way, but too often at great risk to themselves.

The decision in 1973 for Jane Roe ensured the protection for women to have the right to adequate healthcare and to privacy in the United States, and it paved the way for other countries to follow. It took my own country of Ireland until 2018 to overwhelmingly vote in favour of repealing our eighth amendment, ensuring that every woman has a right to choose.

As European representatives, we are kidding ourselves if we believe the potential rollback of women’s rights in the United States will not impact the decisions and directions taken here. We must understand that access to sexual reproductive health is a human right, and every woman worldwide has the right to choose.

I echo the words of Hillary Clinton: you cannot have maternal health without reproductive health, and reproductive health includes contraception, family planning and access to legal and safe abortion.

We, as a European Parliament, must understand and support everyone’s right to choose. If we do not do this in this House, what are our future generations going to be doing that we should have done for them?

(The speaker agreed to respond to two blue-card speeches)

 
  
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  President. – Thank you very much, Maria. There is a blue card again from Karen Melchior if you’re ready to accept it.

I think it is great that we have such a lively debate where there are questions asked and Members are answering, so we are just doing exactly what everybody wants: a lively debate. But I also ask you, and this is something that applies to the ongoing speakers, not to raise the blue card more than once, otherwise the debate is taking longer and longer, as I indicated already. So Karen Melchior gets the floor, but we don’t continue like this.

 
  
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  Karen Melchior (Renew), blue-card speech. – Thank you very much for mentioning the referendum on the repeal of the Eighth Amendment in Ireland.

As parliamentarians and as community leaders, how can we, from this side of the Atlantic, help the community leaders and the parliamentarians in the US in their fight for abortion rights?

 
  
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  Maria Walsh (PPE), blue-card reply. – Great question, colleague. And I think, in many cases, we also have to support those at home too. I take great example of my own country of Ireland, which I’m very grateful that you brought up and mentioned.

It’s about sharing the stories you heard from my EPP colleague, Frances Fitzgerald, also. It’s about storytelling. It’s about the lived experience of men and the many women. It’s about connecting to our fellow colleagues in both sides of the House – democratic and republic – because, as you can see in this House, women’s right to choose and equality overall is supported in some sections right across this House.

And for that, I think it is conversation and continuous debates like this and all and I’m grateful for the President here allowing so many blue cards because it highlights the fact that we are as passionate about equality universally and not just in the European Union.

I do want to say, if you don’t mind, I’ve never met a woman who wanted an abortion, I’ve never met a woman. And I think that’s an argument that the other conversationalists and viewpoints often miss: it’s not out of want, it’s unfortunately out of choice and out of need.

 
  
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  Margarita de la Pisa Carrión (ECR), intervención de «tarjeta azul». – Todos los abortos son inseguros, siempre se acaba con una vida en desarrollo; de hecho, ninguno de nosotros estaríamos aquí si nuestra madre hubiera abortado. ¿Qué piensa de esta reflexión, señora Walsh?

 
  
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  Maria Walsh (PPE), blue-card reply. – Dear colleague, I think we’re missing the point. My mother had access to all the maternal help that she needed because she lived in a developed country. I was born in the United States. I was raised in Ireland. And I was raised to see, like my mother wanted me to see, that every woman, every man has the right to choose what they wish to do with their bodies. That is the end of the conversation.

My mother is exceptionally proud that I am making this debate tonight for her friends who didn’t have the right to choose. And there was many of them – undocumented Irish that did not have access to legal and safe healthcare, equality. And that’s happening worldwide. It’s happening in the European Union. And a question like that should never be asked in 2022 in this Parliament.

 
  
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  Robert Biedroń (S&D). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Sekretarz stanu USA Madeleine Albright powiedziała kiedyś, że jest specjalne miejsce w piekle dla kobiet, które nie wspierają innych kobiet. Dzisiaj mam wrażenie, słuchając tej sali, że to były prorocze słowa. Musi coś w tym być. Drogie Panie, jest specjalne miejsce dla kobiet, które nie są solidarne z innymi kobietami.

Inna ikona walki o prawa kobiet sędzia Ruth Bader Ginsburg powiedziała kiedyś, że nie wierzy, że wróci kiedyś zakaz aborcji. Całe pokolenia kobiet doświadczyły skutków sprawy Roe kontra Wade. Niestety dwa lata po śmierci sędzi Ginsberg ten scenariusz się ziszcza. Nie tylko w Stanach Zjednoczonych, ale i wielu innych miejscach na świecie, także w Unii Europejskiej. W Polsce właśnie kilka dni temu ogłoszony został rejestr ciąż, rodem z dystopijnego serialu „Opowieści podręcznej”.

To pokazuje, że prawa kobiet nie są dane raz na zawsze. To pokazuje, że o prawa kobiet, podobnie jak o prawa człowieka, bo przecież jedno i to wielokrotnie tutaj padało, nie wyklucza drugiego, bo jest to tożsame, o prawa kobiet trzeba walczyć każdego dnia.

Mam prośbę do Rady Europejskiej i do Komisji Europejskiej. Europa musi dawać przykład: leading by example. Przecież to jest nasza polityka zagraniczna. My musimy dawać przykład, dlatego jak najszybciej wewnętrznie musimy uregulować tę kwestię, na przykład poprzez zmianę Karty Praw Podstawowych, ale międzynarodowo doprowadzić do tego, żeby prawa reprodukcyjne, prawa seksualne, także kobiet, były w końcu uważane powszechnie za prawa człowieka, i żeby żadna kobieta nigdy więcej nie robiła tego drugiej kobiecie, czego robią niektóre dzisiaj tutaj także na tej sali. Tego wszystkim kobietom życzę na świecie.

(Mówca zgodził się odpowiedzieć na wystąpienie zasygnalizowane przez podniesienie niebieskiej kartki)

 
  
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  Clare Daly (The Left), blue-card speech. – Thanks very much President, and I must just say to the colleague that I am a lifelong campaigner for abortion rights, but I note that you quoted Madeleine Albright and said that she said there was a special place in hell for women who didn’t defend other women. The same Madeleine Albright was the woman who was responsible when asked about the deaths of a million Iraqis in the war in America ‘Was it worth it, including many children?’ and she said it was.

I’m wondering, do you think there’s a special place in hell for her?

 
  
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  Robert Biedroń (S&D), blue-card reply. – There is a special place for everyone who violates human rights, so I fully agree with you, but we are today talking again, and again, and again on the resolution, describing how there are still violations of human rights. But I want to stand here one day when we will work on the resolution that finally puts in place a kind of a standardisation, that puts the issues concerning the right to abortion at the front of human rights. I am still waiting for a date when we will debate that issue in this House, and this day has not come.

 
  
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  President. – Just before we go on with the debate, I remind all Members who are participating in this lively debate that when you are raising the blue—card, it’s not one minute, it’s 30 seconds you have in order to ask the question, and 30 seconds to answer. So please respect your speaking time.

 
  
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  María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos (Renew). – Señora presidenta, muchísimas gracias por cómo está dirigiendo este debate tan importante.

Se habla en esta Resolución de las amenazas, y hemos oído hablar mucho del título, pero, efectivamente, es la amenaza que se cierne sobre los derechos sexuales y reproductivos en muchísimos lugares del mundo, en lugares donde avanzan las dictaduras y, también, en democracias avanzadas como Estados Unidos, donde una decisión del Tribunal Supremo podría dejar de considerar el derecho al aborto un derecho constitucional.

Pero también las amenazas están aquí, están en esta tribuna; lo hemos visto, lo estamos viendo: están en Europa, están en Polonia, están en Hungría, están en Eslovaquia, donde se legisla para vulnerar un derecho fundamental, que es el derecho de las mujeres a decidir sobre su propia maternidad. Por eso tenemos que meter el derecho al aborto en la Carta de los Derechos Fundamentales de la Unión Europea, como nos pidió también el presidente Macron, porque tenemos que constitucionalizarlo.

Seamos honestos, este debate no va del derecho a la vida: cuando se prohíbe el aborto, el aborto no disminuye, sino que se incrementan las mujeres que tienen que abortar en condiciones de clandestinidad. ¿No importa la vida de millones de mujeres que mueren desangradas en abortos clandestinos? No, no va del derecho a la vida: va del derecho a la libertad de las mujeres, y una sociedad democrática confía en las mujeres, no las controla.

 
  
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  Diana Riba i Giner (Verts/ALE). – Señora presidenta, los abortos no seguros representan casi la mitad del total y son la principal causa de muerte materna. Si el Tribunal Supremo deroga la sentencia de 1973 que garantiza el derecho del aborto en Estados Unidos estaríamos ante uno de los retrocesos más importantes en cuanto a nuestros derechos sexuales y reproductivos, y eso tendrá efecto en todo el mundo, porque no olvidemos que estamos ante un ataque global que tiene nombre y apellidos; en los Estados Unidos, Alliance Defending Freedom o Federalist Society, pero también tienen nombre aquí, en Europa: Ordo Iuris en Polonia; HazteOir en España, o La Manif Pour Tous en Francia, entidades ultrafinanciadas por organizaciones ultracatólicas y coordinadas a nivel mundial con el único propósito de imponer su agenda reaccionaria; no lo permitamos.

Ilegalizar el aborto no acaba con los abortos, solo los hace más mortales: lo que está aquí en riesgo no son los valores morales o religiosos de unos pocos con mucho poder, lo que está aquí en riesgo son nuestras vidas, y con esto no se juega.

 
  
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  Alessandra Basso (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, mi sorprendo, o forse no, che il Parlamento europeo discuta di ipotetiche decisioni che riguardano gli Stati Uniti sui quali non ha alcuna autorità. Mi sorprendo perché oggi, in Europa, ci sono milioni di donne che prendono la decisione di non proseguire la gravidanza perché non c'è nessuno a sostenerle.

Un paese che voglia considerarsi civile non dovrebbe permetterlo, ma dovrebbe impegnarsi ad aiutare le donne che vogliono diventare madri, soprattutto in un momento come questo di "inverno demografico".

Quindi, colleghi, prima di preoccuparvi di cosa accade dall'altra parte dell'oceano, vi invito a prendervi cura delle persone che vivono nei nostri paesi verso cui abbiamo responsabilità politiche e morali.

Madre Teresa di Calcutta diceva: "Se una madre può uccidere il suo proprio figlio, non c'è più niente che impedisca a me di uccidere te e a te di uccidere me". Quello che serve non è puntare il dito su altri, ma sviluppare una politica seria per i nostri cittadini a sostegno della maternità.

 
  
  

PRZEWODNICTWO: EWA KOPACZ
Wiceprzewodnicząca

 
  
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  Malin Björk (The Left). – Madam President, if unwanted pregnancies was something that happened to men, we would have an abortion clinic in every town, every village – several of them. They would probably be quite nice places, maybe cosy, where you were met in a very nice way, could have a chat, could have a talk, and where you would be received with no shame, no stigma, no judgement.

That’s the way it should have been. Instead, we live in a society where there are strong political forces that want to control our lives and sexuality. The US Supreme Court wants to ban abortion. In Poland they have already banned abortion, and now they want to mass—register pregnant women. In Malta, abortion is banned, and access is severely limited in several European countries.

But we, feminists here, we are not having it! Everywhere in the world, women are mobilising for our right to decide freely over our bodies and our sexuality. Everywhere in the world, we show concrete solidarity by, for example, providing the ‘day after’ pill. And everywhere in the world, we will stand in political solidarity with the US women, but also globally, until we have claimed the right to free, legal and accessible abortion care everywhere.

 
  
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  Miriam Lexmann (PPE). – Madam President, dear colleagues, it is absolutely mind—blowing that we are standing here and having this absolutely disturbing debate on the possible future decision of an independent court of our democratic partner in the face of serious global challenges.

At almost every single plenary, we are having resolutions on so-called sexual and reproductive rights, despite the very clear provisions of our founding treaties that this area belongs exclusively to the Member States.

We are not only commenting on this topic without any competence to do so, but we also want to criticise the USA for something that hasn’t even happened yet. I am wondering how far are we to go in crossing our competences?

– Našich občanov sme sa rok v rámci Konferencie o budúcnosti Európy pýtali, v akej Európe chcú žiť. To si vážne, kolegovia, myslíme, že riešiť budúce možné rozhodnutia súdov iných štátov je to, čo občania od nás očakávajú? V čase vojny, obrovského zdražovania a ďalších ekonomických problémov znásobených dopadmi pandémie?

Pre mňa najväčším problémom Európskej únie je to, že neprinášame riešenia na problémy, ktoré občania cítia a sú v našej kompetencii. Ale naopak, strácame čas ideologickými zápasmi, ktoré do našej kompetencie vôbec nepatria. Zaradenie tohto bodu na plenárne zasadnutie je výsmechom občanov a európskej demokracie a je v rozpore so základným právom na život.

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). – Señora presidenta, que nadie se engañe: este no es un debate sobre una sentencia del Tribunal Supremo de los Estados Unidos que aún no se ha producido, no; este punto ha sido traído al orden del día del Parlamento Europeo por grupos parlamentarios, y hombres y mujeres, miembros de este Parlamento Europeo, firmemente comprometidos con los derechos sexuales y reproductivos de las mujeres y con la idea de que son una expresión de derechos fundamentales protegidos por la Carta —que vincula con el mismo valor jurídico que los Tratados a sus Estados miembros—, derechos como la libertad personal y la igual dignidad de todas las personas, como la privacidad y como el libre desarrollo de la personalidad.

Por tanto, si se produce esa sentencia que revocaría la histórica sentencia Roe contra Wade de 1973, lo lamentaremos, pero no tenemos jurisdicción al respecto; ahora, contra cualquier paso atrás, contra cualquier regresión o retroceso que se produzca como consecuencia del empuje de los movimientos reaccionarios que intentan sacudir los cimientos de la igual dignidad de todas las personas y la libertad y los derechos sexuales y reproductivos de las mujeres en Europa, tienen que saber que este Parlamento Europeo va a hacer cuanto esté en su mano para denunciarlo, para combatirlo y, en su caso, para corregirlo con legislación europea.

 
  
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  Hilde Vautmans (Renew). – Madam President, it was a lively debate, I think we can say, this evening. An overturn of the Roe v. Wade would be a tragedy – I think everybody said that already. Not just for women in the US but also for women in Europe. The ones who make women suffer in the US are also active here, and they are successful in their repression. We even heard some today here in this Parliament.

In Poland, there is a near—total ban on abortion and the PiS will even introduce a pregnancy register to control women. In several EU Member States, abortion is a crime.

Anti-abortion activists claim that they are saving lives but the results, colleagues, are unsafe abortions and maternal deaths. They force women to have an abortion even when they are victims of a rape. Can you imagine?

Colleagues, the anti—abortionists don’t save lives. So we have to make sure that the right to abortion becomes a fundamental right. Let us work to decriminalise abortion in our Member States and let us fight for the inclusion of the right to abortion in the EU Charter for Fundamental Rights. My body, my rights – are you with me?

 
  
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  Sylwia Spurek (Verts/ALE). – Pani Przewodnicząca! W tej Izbie nie możemy mieć wątpliwości. Aborcja jest prawem człowieka. Nie ma i nie będzie równości i praworządności bez zagwarantowania kobietom prawa do decydowania o sobie, o swoim ciele, o zdrowiu, o przyszłości. Niestety nadal w Unii Europejskiej są kraje, w których nie ma dostępu do legalnej aborcji, dostępu do nowoczesnej antykoncepcji i dobrej edukacji seksualnej, a Komisja Europejska przez trzy lata nie zrobiła nic, aby zmienić sytuację dziesiątek milionów kobiet i dziewcząt.

W Polsce w 2020 r. politycy praktycznie zlikwidowali dostęp do aborcji, a teraz uruchamiają tzw. rejestr ciąż. Zamiast wspierać kobiety chcą je kontrolować. Komisja Europejska musi przestać kluczyć w kwestii prawa do aborcji. Musi zdecydowanie zwalczać antykobiecy populizm. Nieważne czy to jest Polska, Malta czy Stany Zjednoczone. Trzymajmy stronę kobiet.

 
  
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  Sira Rego (The Left). – Señora presidenta, malas noticias: no es suficiente con conquistar derechos sobre el papel, hay que mantenerse permanentemente movilizadas, y es que el derecho al aborto llevaba cincuenta años blindado en los Estados Unidos, garantizando que las mujeres decidieran sobre sus cuerpos de forma legal y segura; la sentencia que hoy está en riesgo protegía la vida, como protegen la vida la salud o la educación públicas, como defiende la vida la nueva ley de salud sexual y reproductiva, la nueva ley del aborto en España, ensanchando los derechos de las mujeres.

Sin embargo, vemos que hay minorías muy organizadas maniobrando en las sombras para limitar nuestros derechos tratando de imponer su agenda reaccionaria, de la misma forma que el lunes Vox, la extrema derecha, intentaba secuestrar este debate y sacarlo del Pleno: como siempre, qué crecidos para recortar derechos, pero qué serviles con los poderosos. Eso sí, no tengan ninguna duda, las feministas, desde todos los rincones del mundo, seguiremos movilizadas y legislando para defender nuestros cuerpos y la vida, una vida que valga la pena ser vivida.

 
  
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  Peter van Dalen (PPE). – Voorzitter, helaas mag in de meeste lidstaten het ongeboren leven in de moederschoot worden beëindigd. Nederland is hierbij een schrijnend voorbeeld. Kinderen mogen tot een zwangerschap van 24 weken geaborteerd worden. Terwijl door de ontwikkelingen in de neonatologie kinderen na 22 weken zwangerschap al levensvatbaar zijn. Een grotere tegenstelling is nauwelijks denkbaar. Alhier is de tolerantie over dit onderwerp ver te zoeken. Bij talloze rapporten en resoluties wordt het geloof in abortus provocatus te pas en te onpas beleden. En dat terwijl Europa er helemaal niet over gaat. Toen onlangs een conceptnotitie van een Amerikaanse opperrechter uitlekte gilde het linkerdeel van het huis het uit. De tolerantie was en is ver te zoeken. De lidstaten moeten een gezinspolitiek voeren die goed is voor én moeder én kind én ongeboren kind, en de afwezige vaders moeten daar vooral bij worden betrokken. Teveel aanstaande vaders vertrekken helaas stilletjes via de achterdeur als hun vrouw of vriendin onbedoeld zwanger is. Dat is onacceptabel.

 
  
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  Heléne Fritzon (S&D). – Fru talman! Ännu en gång försöker konservativa krafter begränsa flickors och kvinnors rätt att få bestämma över sina egna kroppar. Ännu en gång, i ännu ett land, vill man kränka människors grundläggande rättigheter.

Tusentals kvinnor dör varje år till följd av osäkra aborter. Miljoner kvinnor vårdas akut på sjukhus. Vi vet att abortförbud inte förhindrar aborter; det leder bara till fler osäkra och livsfarliga aborter. Att begränsa och förbjuda rätten till abort får mycket allvarliga konsekvenser både för individen och för samhället. Vi socialdemokrater kommer aldrig, aldrig att acceptera att människors grundläggande rättigheter kränks. Varken i USA, Polen eller någon annanstans i världen. Jag vill bestämma över min kropp. Jag vill att mina döttrar ska få bestämma över sina kroppar. Aldrig, aldrig någonting annat.

 
  
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  Michal Šimečka (Renew). – Pani predsedajúca, každá kríza v spoločnosti so sebou bohužiaľ prináša aj krízu ochrany ľudských práv. Vrátane práv žien rozhodovať sa o svojom vlastnom tele. Roky epidémie, teraz Putinova vojna, ale aj rozvracanie právneho štátu ešte posilnili tie neliberálne tendencie, aby sa títo politici znovu pokúsili obrať ženy o ich práva.

Kým v Spojených štátoch amerických dnes po päťdesiatich rokoch reálne hrozí, že sa rozpadne koncept práva žien na interrupciu, v európskych krajinách, špecificky v Poľsku, je to už realita. A deje sa to práve na pozadí úpadku právneho štátu a nezávislosti justície. A to nie je náhoda. Ale aj v mojej krajine, na Slovensku, snáď neprejde mesiac, kedy sa zákonodarcovia nepokúsia navrhnúť ďalšie sprísnenie interrupcií. Chcem preto aj z tohto miesta vyjadriť svoju podporu všetkým ženám a ospravedlniť sa im za tieto ponižujúce pokusy.

Každá žena sa má právo slobodne rozhodovať a v Únii, v priestore slobody a demokracie, by toto právo mala mať garantované.

 
  
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  Monika Vana (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, the US Supreme Court is not only affecting women and girls in the US; it’s affecting the whole world. It’s affecting us. It’s about human rights, bodily autonomy, liberty and freedom. Despite many decades of progress, sexual and reproductive rights still remain out of reach for many across the world. And after this potential overturn in the US, it means around 170 million more. We have to face discrimination and inequality in the implementation of sexual and reproductive rights, persist, extend and intensify. And that’s unacceptable.

And it should be unacceptable for all of us in the European Parliament. Also within the European Union, we are facing alarming developments and steps backwards regarding fundamental rights for women and other groups like LGBTIQ, people of colour, immigrants and refugees. And we say clearly today: abortion must be safe, it must be legal, it must be affordable, and it must be available. Abortion is a basic healthcare, and the World Health Organization guidelines are very clear: access to abortion is protected, and it has to be respected by anyone, anywhere and anytime.

 
  
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  Marisa Matias (The Left). – Senhora Presidente, a nós mulheres, nunca os nossos direitos nos foram concedidos sem que tivéssemos que os reivindicar e lutar muito por eles. Em 2022 temos ainda que lutar pelo reconhecimento dos nossos direitos fundamentais e em todo o mundo continuamos a ser confrontadas por quem insiste em não querer ver os nossos direitos humanos, em não nos ver como dignas de direitos fundamentais, igualmente inabaláveis, e por quem insiste sistematicamente em atacar os nossos direitos e, muito em particular, os direitos sexuais e reprodutivos. Não podemos tolerar isto, seja nos Estados Unidos ou na União Europeia, ou em qualquer parte do mundo. Os nossos corpos, os nossos direitos, a nossa escolha. Por isso, apelamos à salvaguarda do direito ao aborto legal e seguro nos Estados Unidos ou em qualquer parte do mundo, à descriminalização do aborto, à garantia do acesso a serviços de saúde sexual e reprodutiva seguros e gratuitos para todas as mulheres e meninas, em conformidade com os direitos humanos das mulheres protegidos internacionalmente. Continuaremos a lutar, sim, até que seja necessário. Continuaremos sempre, sim, solidárias.

 
  
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  Isabel Benjumea Benjumea (PPE). – Señora presidenta, señor comisario, yo quiero aprovechar el minuto y medio que tengo de tiempo para dirigirme al pueblo estadounidense y pedirle sinceras disculpas, disculpas por el espectáculo bochornoso que estamos dando desde el Parlamento Europeo organizando un debate para, después de querer erigirnos como los grandes defensores del Estado de Derecho, criticar una decisión de un tribunal independiente sobre la base de una filtración sobre una futura sentencia.

Somos el gran garante del Estado de Derecho y nos permitimos el lujo de meter presión a un tribunal de una democracia sobre una decisión que toman esos magistrados. ¡Qué vergüenza es esta! ¡Qué vergüenza tan grande! Es tremendo cómo está ideologizado este Parlamento que aprovecha cualquier situación, cualquier debate, para llevarlo a la contienda del debate ideológico, sin respetar las bases básicas de la independencia y la soberanía de un Estado como los Estados Unidos de América.

Más allá de las posiciones que tengamos sobre el aborto, no es nuestra capacidad ni nuestra competencia entrar a valorar una decisión de un tribunal de una democracia, y no somos nadie para dar lecciones de democracia a Estados Unidos: es una de las democracias más antiguas y consolidadas, y, desde luego, lo que deberíamos es estar muy agradecidos a los Estados Unidos en Europa por lo mucho que han hecho para que en Europa precisamente haya democracias como las que tenemos; por lo tanto, no es ni el momento ni el lugar: pido perdón a los Estados Unidos en nombre de los ciudadanos europeos.

 
  
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  Lina Gálvez Muñoz (S&D). – Señora presidenta, precisamente en Estados Unidos —adalid de la democracia y de las libertades individuales— un derecho humano básico como son los derechos sexuales y reproductivos de las mujeres está a punto de ser anulado, aludiendo a causas jurídicas, pero especialmente por la larga mano de los movimientos antigénero y antimujeres que están llegando al Tribunal Supremo de los Estados Unidos y también, desgraciadamente, a Europa.

Así pasa en Polonia, precisamente con un Gobierno de extrema derecha controlado por movimientos ultracatólicos intolerantes, los mismos que en mi país, España, son aliados de Vox, como HazteOir, que acaban de convocar una manifestación en Madrid contra una reciente modificación de la ley del aborto y donde, curiosamente, ha confirmado ya su asistencia parte de la jerarquía católica, la misma que el pasado fin de semana trató de interferir en las próximas elecciones andaluzas del 19 de junio pidiendo expresamente el voto contra los partidos de izquierda.

Y es que los enemigos de los derechos de las mujeres nunca se fueron: llevan años tejiendo su estrategia antigénero y están librando una batalla global, y los tenemos aquí, en este Parlamento, donde la extrema derecha está realmente llegando cada vez a más partes, y en mi propio país, entrando en los Gobiernos gracias a que el Partido Popular les ha abierto las puertas.

 
  
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  Sylvie Brunet (Renew). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Commissaire, chers collègues, en 1973 une décision de la Cour suprême des États-Unis légalise l’interruption volontaire de grossesse. En 1975, en France, la loi Veil, Simone Veil, première présidente de notre Parlement européen élu au suffrage universel direct, encadre la dépénalisation de l’avortement. Cinquante ans après, ces droits, durement acquis, après d’âpres combats de nos mères et de nos grands-mères, sont à nouveau remis en question, aux États-Unis et dans bien d’autres pays, y compris en Europe. D’où l’importance de cette résolution. D’où l’importance aussi d’inscrire une bonne fois pour toutes ce droit à l’avortement dans la charte européenne des droits fondamentaux.

Nous sommes en 2022, et le modèle archaïque dominant, brillamment décrit par la célèbre anthropologue Françoise Héritier, perdure depuis des millénaires, impliquant un contrôle du corps des femmes. Combien de femmes devront encore mourir de détresse dans la pauvreté et l’isolement ou souffrir parce que leurs droits fondamentaux sont remis en cause?

 
  
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  Kim Van Sparrentak (Verts/ALE). – Voorzitter, miljoenen in de VS dreigen hun recht op abortus te verliezen. En laten we het nog maar een keer zeggen: een verbod op abortus leidt niet tot minder abortussen, maar alleen tot meer onveilige abortussen. Maar wat ik merk is dat ik niet eens meer verbaasd ben. Boos, boos, dat ben ik wel. Maar niet meer verbaasd, want keer op keer zien we dat de wereldwijde ultraconservatieve agenda, gefinancieerd door grote geldschieters, elke stap richting gelijkwaardigheid wil tegenhouden en alle vooruitgang waarvoor gestreden is weer wil terugdraaien. Zij propageren dat vrouwen en iedereen die volgens hen anders is, als minderwaardig gezien moeten worden en geen gelijke rechten mogen hebben. Maar dat laten we niet gebeuren. Want hoe harder zij hun best doen, hoe luider wij opkomen voor onze rechten. Te beginnen met onze seksuele en reproductieve rechten, inclusief abortus. Baas in eigen buik. Laat deze historische woorden geen geschiedenis worden. Dankjewel.

 
  
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  Clare Daly (The Left). – Madam President, Roe v. Wade was really a pivotal ruling in saving women’s lives by granting the right to abortion. And such was its magnitude that the conservative right in Ireland were afraid that the judges in Ireland might get the same idea. Even though abortion was prohibited with a ban of penal servitude for life, they forced a campaign to insert a constitutional referendum to ensure that there would never be abortion in Ireland. And it wasn’t until five years ago that we finally got rid of that prohibition after decades of struggle to deliver free, safe and legal abortions.

It’s one of the few positives in recent years in terms of reproductive health. And one of the reasons for that was international solidarity, be it the friendship from our neighbours in the UK offering their homes to women and girls, the support from the Netherlands and women on web, the support from our sisters in the United States fundraising.

So it is entirely appropriate that we discuss this issue to stand in solidarity with our sisters and friends in the US, offer our support and urge a defence of Roe v. Wade. Their struggle is also ours.

 
  
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  Łukasz Kohut (S&D). – Pani Premier! Spójrzcie tylko: czy to w Houston, czy w Warszawie, mężczyźni, którym wiara odbiera rozum, chcą decydować o losach kobiet. Dzisiaj podnoszą rękę na prawa kobiet w Stanach Zjednoczonych. W moim kraju, w Polsce, tysiące kobiet się boi. Co druga Polka nie chce być matką, bo Polki zastraszono restrykcyjnym prawem. Boją się, że gdy poronią, policja zapuka do ich drzwi, bo rząd w Polsce wprowadza rejestr ciąż – nowe oręże do walki z kobietami. Ministerstwo Zdrowia mówi, że ten rejestr powstał z troski o zdrowie Polek. Ale my już wiemy, że gdy władza w Polsce mówi o trosce o obywateli, obywatele mają się czego obawiać. A kobiety – w szczególności. Państwo PiS zdradziło je przecież wielokrotnie. Aborcja jest zawsze bardzo trudną decyzją – dla wszystkich – dla matki, dla otoczenia, dla rodziny. Ale to kobieta powinna decydować o własnym ciele i o swojej przyszłości.

 
  
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  Billy Kelleher (Renew). – Madam President, criminalising abortion criminalises women and girls, it risks the lives and health of women and girls, and it ends up in backstreet abortions and bathroom abortions.

Roe v. Wade was a fundamental decision of a court at a time that conferred rights on women, and we must not deny that there is a backsliding of women’s rights across many Member States in this Union as well. We have to stand up and stand in solidarity with women in countries where there is a fundamental breach of their basic human rights in terms of access to health care, abortion care and sexual and reproductive health care as well.

Ireland had a ban on abortion, but we had abortions every day of the week for years, even though we had a ban, because they got on the plane and they went to the UK. They went to other countries in Europe as well.

So be under no illusions, the idea that you’re banning abortions in a Member State, in this country, in this Union means only one thing – they are going elsewhere, and you are putting their lives at risk. We must stand with them!

 
  
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  Miapetra Kumpula-Natri (S&D). – Madam President, I wonder what year it is now. How far back in history do some people here want to take us? Human rights, women’s rights, even girls’ rights. I think Roe v. Wade is not only a concern inside the US, and as we talk here, the title is about ‘global threats’ to a person’s rights. So I think we need to work here for every woman in the world. We need to have free, safe, legal abortion, and when life is mentioned here, we should look at those women who lose their lives without a safe, legal and available abortion.

So when we talk about women’s rights, their right to their body, their right to decide on pregnancy, it is not a man to decide it. It is a right that we have to prevail.

So I conclude, I stand here with all the women in the world, with you, women in Poland, women in Malta, women in the USA. These are our rights.

 
  
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  Karen Melchior (Renew). – Madam President, this is my body. The state does not own my body. I live in, I live through, and I walk the earth with my body. I own my body. I own my ear lobes, my kidney, my organs when I die. I decide. Why should the state interfere with my uterus as the only organ of my body? What are we discussing today? It is a global debate. The protection of my human dignity. A fundamental right.

My autonomy as a woman, as a citizen, is what is at stake. Pregnancy is one of the most dangerous things that a woman can endure. What we’re discussing today is our right to make our health care choices, to make our own decisions.

Our pregnancies are unpredictable and decisions are for the pregnant to take. It is our pregnancies, our bodies. We are not the property of the state.

 
  
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  Maria-Manuel Leitão-Marques (S&D). – Senhora Presidente, 60.000 mulheres morrem todos os anos no mundo na sequência de complicações associadas a abortos ilegais. É também na vida delas que estamos a pensar hoje. Por isso, a luta pela não criminalização do aborto tem sido uma luta solidária entre muitas mulheres em diferentes partes do mundo e muitos homens também. Mulheres norte americanas, sul americanas, africanas e europeias. Todas nós, quando tivemos de travar essa luta nos nossos países, como eu tive por duas vezes, sentimos como é importante ter o apoio de mulheres de outros países. Por isso, a possibilidade da decisão Roe v. Wade ser revertida tem também a ver connosco e relembra-nos a importância de estarmos atentos aos movimentos, aqui perto, a favor da criminalização do aborto. Mesmo em países onde pensávamos que essa fase já tinha sido ultrapassada, os direitos das mulheres são universais. Seremos solidárias nesta luta, como temos sido em muitas outras, desde o direito à educação das mulheres no Afeganistão até ao combate à mutilação genital feminina em África.

 
  
 

Zgłoszenia z sali

 
  
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  Bert-Jan Ruissen (ECR). – Voorzitter, uw voorgangster in de voorzittersstoel noemde dit een levendig debat. Ik moet eerlijk zeggen dat ik dit vooral als een verdrietig debat ervaar. Ik hoor heel veel over vrouwenrechten, maar ik hoor bijna niks over het kwetsbare ongeboren leven. Zelfs een woordvoerder van de EVP noemde abortus een mensenrecht. Ook de Commissie noemde abortus een mensenrecht. En ook de Raad deed dat. Hoe kunnen we dat nou toch zeggen ? Want hoe je het ook wendt of keert, bij abortus is er sprake van het beëindigen van leven. Een klein mensje met een kloppend hart. Dat leven wordt beëindigd. Het is toch de wereld op z’n kop om dat een mensenrecht te noemen? Voorzitter, ik heb één concrete vraag aan de Commissie. We weten allemaal dat in landen waar er sprake is van prenatale screening nauwelijks nog kinderen worden geboren met het syndroom van Down. Mijn vraag is: hoe kijkt u daar tegenaan? Dank u wel.

(De spreker aanvaardt een “blauwe kaart”-reactie)

 
  
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  Kim Van Sparrentak (Verts/ALE), “blauwe kaart”-reactie. – Dankuwel. Ja, ik heb een vraag aan de heer Ruissen. Wij komen toevallig uit dezelfde regio en een aantal jaar geleden hebben ze daar toch de noodzaak weer ingezien om een vondelingenkamer in te richten. Dit omdat er zoveel mensen zijn die bang zijn om een abortus te nemen, maar uiteindelijk het kind niet kunnen houden, om financiële of andere redenen. En ik vraag me toch af hoe u de bescherming van een kind na de geboorte ziet als dat kind eigenlijk geen mogelijkheden heeft in een samenleving.

 
  
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  Bert-Jan Ruissen (ECR), “blauwe kaart”-antwoord. – Ik denk dat het onze dure plicht is om alle kinderen te beschermen. Zeker ook kinderen waar we zorgen over hebben. Ik denk dat we ook veel meer moeten investeren in het daadwerkelijk bieden van hulp aan vrouwen en meisjes die ongewenst zwanger zijn. Want ik realiseer me heel goed dat vrouwen en meisjes in moeilijke situaties terechtkomen, maar we helpen ze niet door ze een abortus aan te bieden. We helpen ze door schouder aan schouder te staan en ze hulp te bieden. Ook in de moeilijkste fase van hun leven. Dank u wel.

 
  
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  Ladislav Ilčić (ECR). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, 1973. godine američki je Vrhovni sud donio presudu u Roe vs. Wade i tada su promotori pobačaja imali isti narativ kao i danas: „Moje tijelo, moj izbor.” Moja mama je te iste godine trebala roditi moju sestru, no tek je na porodu saznala da nosi blizanke, pa sam ja dobio dvije sestre. Moj tata je bio liječnik. Mama je imala najbolju medicinsku skrb, ali tada čak niti nisu mogli dijagnosticirati blizance. Suprotno tome danas znamo sve detalje o djetetu u svakom tjednu trudnoće. Znamo da srce djeteta počne kucati u dvadesetom danu. Znanost je jako napredovala, a vi, promotori pobačaja, još uvijek imate isti narativ i zato ne možete dobiti ovu borbu jer ignorirate znanost. Dakle, dajte već jednom uskladite svoje stavove sa znanosti i s biološkim činjenicama.

 
  
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  Beata Kempa (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Dzisiaj mamy do czynienia tak naprawdę z rzeczywiście bardzo smutną debatą, która dowodzi jednego, że jest starcie cywilizacji życia z cywilizacją śmierci. Ta sala dzisiaj tego dowodzi. Było to powiedziane przed jedną z pierwszych mów, czyli że prezydent Francji życzy sobie wpisania prawa do aborcji do Karty Praw Podstawowych, a dzielne środowiska pro-life, w tym również ja, życzymy sobie, żeby w Karcie Praw Podstawowych było prawo do ochrony życia od poczęcia do naturalnej śmierci, prawo do ochrony dzieci nienarodzonych. Zdrowie prokreacyjne, zdrowie reprodukcyjne to piękne naprawdę hasła, ale to jest otoczka ideologiczna. Za tą otoczką kryje się rozpacz, smutek, często depresja. Kobiety po aborcji zostają same, najczęściej zostają same z potężnym problemem psychologicznym.

Kończę, Pani Przewodnicząca. Unia Europejska dużo mówi o wolności, o prawach człowieka, o prawach kobiet. A kiedy będzie po stronie niewinnych dzieci? Mówiono o tym, że Unia Europejska musi wygrać ten bój, a na razie go przegrywa, bo się po prostu wyludnia – i taka jest prawda.

(Mówczyni zgodziła się odpowiedzieć na wystąpienie zasygnalizowane przez podniesienie niebieskiej kartki)

 
  
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  Łukasz Kohut (S&D), wystąpienie zasygnalizowane przez podniesienie niebieskiej kartki. – Pani Posłanko, taka jedna uwaga na początek, jeżeli nie chce Pani aborcji, to niech jej po prostu Pani nie robi. Jak Pani dobrze wie, ja jestem ze Śląska. Do czeskiej części Śląska mam 22 kilometry. Jak Pani wytłumaczy śląskim frelkom, obywatelkom Polski, ten paradoks i te granice absurdu?

 
  
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  Beata Kempa (ECR), odpowiedź na wystąpienie zasygnalizowane przez podniesienie niebieskiej kartki. – Pani Przewodnicząca! Panie Pośle, różnimy się tak biologicznie. Ja jestem kobietą, Pan jest mężczyzną i wszystko jest OK. Mówimy tu też o równouprawnieniu. Pan poseł Biedroń, taka wojująca trochę feministka, przed chwilą odesłał nas do piekła. No jeszcze Panem Bogiem nie jest póki co. Więc tutaj przestrzegam Panie Pośle, ale Panie Pośle powiem Panu jedną rzecz, zanim przyszłam do tej dużej polityki pokornie bardzo ciężko pracowałam właśnie w takich środowiskach, gdzie kobiety musiały podejmować taką decyzję. I bardzo cieszę się, że jest wiele kobiet, które dzięki temu, że znalazły pomocną dłoń, dzisiaj ich dzieci są na świecie – i z tego się cieszą. Wie Pan co mówią? Dzisiaj bym szukała tego trzeciego, czwartego czy dziesiątego dziecka, gdybym to zrobiła. I dlatego zawsze, zawsze podam dłoń i to również Panu radzę. A jeśli nawet, to jest adopcja, wiele rodzin czeka na dzieci.

 
  
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  Mick Wallace (The Left). – Madam President, a woman’s right to choose is a human right. Why are we so quiet about challenging the US when they threaten human rights? Some people have said in here, ‘how dare we talk about the US?’ We talk about everybody else.

Is the US a functioning democracy? Well, let’s have a look at it. It cost 2 billion to become president. They have 25% of the total prisoners in the world. They spend over 800 billion a year on arms, which is more than most of the world put together. They’ve been at war for 250 years since their state was formed 275 years ago. But they can’t afford universal health care. They can’t afford a 1.7 trillion debt forgiveness for students. They can’t afford for a programme for the 17 million children that go to bed hungry.

Is this a functioning democracy? What’s your idea of a democracy? Bernie Sanders wasn’t even allowed to win the nomination for the Democrats. The Americans couldn’t spell democracy.

(The speaker agreed to respond to two blue-card speeches)

 
  
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  Ladislav Ilčić (ECR), intervencija zatražena podizanjem plave kartice. – Spomenuli ste demokraciju, koja dolazi od dvije riječi: demos i kracija. Znači, narod vlada. Vi zaista mislite da europski narod mora odlučivati o Amerikancima. Kako vi tumačite tu riječ demokracija? Smatrate li da bi, recimo, Australci trebali krojiti zakone u Europi ili smatrate da su europski narodi ti koji bi demokratski trebali krojiti zakone u Europi, američki u Americi, a australski u Australiji?

 
  
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  Mick Wallace (The Left), blue-card reply. – It just so happens that we actually have a foreign affairs department in the European Union, and we actually question how everybody else runs their affairs. We’re never done talking about China. We talk about Syria, Iraq. We talk about Venezuela, Nicaragua. We talk about everybody. I mean, what’s your idea? I mean, this idea. I mean, what is democracy anyway? What is it? Is it having a vote every four or five years? No, it’s not. It’s your people having a say in the society they live in. And most of the American people have no say in the society they’re living in. Their country is run by oligarchs. They’re run by big business: oil, coal, big pharma and the arms industry run the place. They elect a president and it costs them 2 billion to get into the place and he serves them when he does. They haven’t got democracy.

 
  
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  Predrag Fred Matić (S&D), intervencija zatražena podizanjem plave kartice. – Hvala lijepa, predsjedavajuća. Nisam se mislio javiti i ne mislim kolegi replicirati, nego sam htio pitati kolege s desne strane, slušajući cijeli dan ovu priču. Dakle, jeste li vi primijetili da mi s ove lijeve strane nikada vama nismo ništa uvjetovali? Hoćete li roditi, nećete roditi. Hoćete pobaciti, nećete pobaciti. Hoćete li ići na ljetovanje, hoćete li ići na zimovanje. Hoćete li kupiti auto, nećete kupiti auto. Ali vi ste nama ušli u domove, ženama ste ušli u gaćice, a sada po najnovijem ulazite i u njihova tijela i utrobe. I vi volite reći da se borite za život od začeća do prirodne smrti. Pa, recimo, u toj vašoj svetoj borbi ja bih vam preporučio, a to je isto borba za život, da odete u Rusiju i da Putinu kažete da ne šalje više mlade dečke od 18 godina u smrt. To je isto borba za život, ali nisam primijetio da tamo idete.

 
  
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  Mick Wallace (The Left), blue-card reply. – I agree with the gentleman. I mean, what he’s actually saying is that we actually are entitled to have an opinion. We have the right to choose; the same as a woman should have the right to choose. And we shouldn’t be telling other countries how to run their affairs. There’s a serious lack of respect for other nations. There’s a serious failure to actually just take other people’s position on board. We give out about countries with cultures older than our own. I mean, there’s a serious lack of tolerance, and one of the reasons there’s war is because there’s a lack of tolerance. We need to tolerate each other more and be more accepting of each other and stop fighting with each other and put an end to war.

 
  
 

(Koniec zgłoszeń z sali)

 
  
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  Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President of the Commission. – Madam President, honourable Members, the debate today testifies to your continued important engagement on sexual and reproductive health and rights, and notably abortion. Our focus must be both internal and external in countering the push-back.

Within the EU, the Commission supports regular exchanges between Member States and stakeholders on gender equality, such as under the mutual learning programme in gender equality. In the framework of the citizens, equality, rights and values programme, it continues funding civil society, including concerning social reproductive health and rights. We continue seeking ways to do more and to strategically respond to these global developments in policy and programming and in engagement with states and civil society.

 
  
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  Przewodnicząca. – Otrzymałam jeden projekt rezolucji złożony zgodnie z art. 132 ust. 2 Regulaminu*.

Zamykam debatę.

Głosowanie odbędzie się w czwartek 9 czerwca 2022 r.

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* Patrzy protokół posiedzenia.

Oświadczenia pisemne (art. 171)

 
  
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  Guido Reil (ID), schriftlich. – Abtreibungen sind ein hochsensibles Thema und ein drastischer Eingriff, der, je später er durchgeführt wird, desto näher an Mord grenzt. Sie als Teil der Gesundheitsfürsorge zu bezeichnen, wie Sie das tun, ist eine linksextreme Sichtweise, hinter der sich ein beängstigendes Menschenbild verbirgt. Sie generell zu verbieten, so dass sich Frauen gezwungen fühlen, heimlich in Hinterhöfen abzutreiben, ist selbstverständlich auch keine Lösung. Abtreibung ist ein Thema, bei dem es keine perfekte Lösung gibt, schon gar nicht eine, die für alle gilt. Stattdessen muss immer wieder neu diskutiert werden, um aktuell die bestmögliche Lösung zu finden. Das muss jede Gesellschaft mit und für sich alleine klären. Es kann nicht die Aufgabe der EU sein, für alle zu entscheiden, nicht für alle EU-Mitgliedsstaaten und erst recht nicht für alle Länder der Welt. Zum Glück ist die Justitz in den USA im Gegensatz zu der Justitz in Deutschland oder in Polen größtenteils noch immer unabhängig. Ich habe daher vollstes Vertrauen in den Supreme Court und auch in die amerikanische Gesellschaft, ihre moralischen Dilemma selbst zu lösen ohne Belehrungen von uns, die wir uns lieber an die eigene Nase fassen sollten.

 

18. Composition of committees and delegations
Video of the speeches
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  Przewodnicząca. – Informacja dla Państwa: posłowie niezrzeszeni poinformowali przewodniczącą o zmianie w powołaniach do komisji. Decyzja ta znajdzie się w protokole z dzisiejszej sesji plenarnej i wejdzie w życie z dniem niniejszego ogłoszenia.

 

19. Debates on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law (debate)

19.1. The human rights situation in Xinjiang, including the Xinjiang police files
Video of the speeches
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  Przewodnicząca. – Kolejnym punktem porządku dziennego jest debata nad sześcioma projektami rezolucji w sprawie poszanowania praw człowieka w Sinciangu, w tym ujawnione dokumenty z obozów reedukacyjnych w tym regionie (2022/2700(RSP))*.

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* Patrz protokół posiedzenia.

 
  
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  David Lega, author. – Madam President, the Xinjiang police files is yet again confirming the heinous crimes committed by the Chinese regime in Xinjiang. And now I present to you the European Parliament’s political response to the evidence that we have received. And the European Parliament, for the first time, recognises that the Chinese regime is committing crimes against humanity and the serious risk of genocide in Xinjiang in the resolution that is to be adopted tomorrow.

Genocide. That is deliberate acts with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. Genocide, crimes against humanity, torture, forced abortions, political indoctrination, mass deportation. ‘Never again’ has failed.

The European Parliament now demands the European Union and its Member States take all necessary steps in accordance with the UN Genocide Convention to end these atrocities and ensure responsibility for the crimes committed, because we have promised ‘never again’.

 
  
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  Raphaël Glucksmann, auteur. – Madame la Présidente, chers collègues, nous nous sommes tous demandé un jour ce que nous aurions fait dans l’Europe des camps, en 1942, ou dans l’URSS du goulag de 1947. À ces questions, léguées par l’histoire, nous ne pouvons répondre. Mais il est d’autres questions auxquelles nous pouvons et devons répondre. Que faisons-nous aujourd’hui face aux camps de notre temps? Que faisons-nous face à la déportation du peuple ouïghour? Que faisons-nous face aux «Xinjiang Police Files» et à ces milliers de visages de victimes sortis des ténèbres concentrationnaires? Que faisons—nous face au regard de Rahile Omer, jeune fille d’à peine 15 ans enfermée et torturée dans un camp chinois?

Le moment est venu pour nous de répondre, de briser le silence qui permet le crime, et de nommer enfin le mal, comme le fait cette résolution: esclavage, crimes contre l’humanité, risque sérieux de génocide. De dire, donc, et d’agir, en sanctionnant les principaux responsables du crime, en bannissant de nos marchés les produits de la réduction en esclavage d’un peuple. L’Histoire nous regarde et nous juge. Soyons enfin à la hauteur des principes que nous prétendons défendre.

 
  
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  Engin Eroglu, Verfasser. – Sehr geehrte Frau Präsidentin, sehr geehrter Herr Kommissar Dombrovskis, meine sehr geehrten Damen und Herren, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Auch wenn man über ein Jahrhundert behauptet, die Erde ist eine Scheibe, so wird sie das nicht sein. So wird es auch niemals zur Wahrheit, wenn die chinesischen Diktatoren behaupten, die abgeriegelten Lager in der Region Xinjiang seien Bildungseinrichtungen, die dann freiwillig besucht seien.

Ein Hohn, wenn man sich die aktuellen Beweise anschaut. Durch den umfassenden Leak, den wir vor zwei Wochen bekommen haben, haben wir Beweise. Wir haben Bilder der klaren Sprache. Wir sehen geistige wie körperliche Gewalt, die vollzogen wird. Wir sehen Folter. Wir sehen Sturmgewehre. Wir sehen Schießbefehle auf Menschen, in Berichten.

Diese Bilder und Beweise werden niemals, niemals aus der Geschichte der Menschheit und auch aus der Geschichte Chinas zu löschen sein. In unserem Jahrhundert der Freiheit wird in einem Experiment systematisch das Volk der Uiguren unterdrückt. Durch Zwangssterilisierung wird versucht, die Uiguren schleichend auszurotten. Das ist Barbarei und unmenschlich. Das ist ein schleichender Genozid in unserem Jahrhundert.

Unvorstellbar, wenn wir es nicht schaffen, das gestoppt zu bekommen. Unvorstellbar, wenn diese Machenschaften der Diktatoren in China eine Blaupause werden für weitere Diktatoren auf unserer Erde. Und deshalb appelliere ich an Sie alle: Stimmen Sie morgen für unsere gemeinsame Dringlichkeitsentschließung!

 
  
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  Assita Kanko, Auteur. – Mevrouw de voorzitter, geachte collega's, het datalek van politiedossiers uit Xinjiang legt preciezer dan ooit de onderdrukking van de Oeigoeren door China bloot. Zij staven de massale arbitraire opsluitingen in zogenaamde heropvoedingskampen. De folteringen. Een beleid gericht op de vermindering van het Oeigoerse geboortecijfer. De uitroeiing van de Oeigoerse identiteit, cultuur, onderwijs en godsdienstbeleving. De scheiding van geïnterneerde ouders en hun kinderen die toegewezen worden aan weeshuizen van de Chinese staat. De gedwongen arbeid en een alomtegenwoordig digitaal bewakingssysteem dat elk aspect van het dagelijks leven controleert. De gelekte politiehandleidingen en beleidsdocumenten tonen de verantwoordelijkheid van de Chinese communistische overheid, met inbegrip van de president zelf, die instructies gaf om de campagne in Xinjiang uit te breiden. Het optreden van de Chinese overheid in Xinjiang beantwoordt aan de criteria voor genocide en misdaad tegen de menselijkheid uit het VN-verdrag inzake de voorkoming en de bestraffing van genocide. Dit moet stoppen.

 
  
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  Heidi Hautala, author. – Madam President, the first visit of a UN Commissioner for Human Rights to China in 17 years took place two weeks ago. Some of us, like Raphaël Glucksmann and others, we warned her in advance that she should not become the victim of Chinese propaganda efforts. That’s exactly what happened, I am very sorry to say. In spite of common sense, she went on praising the efforts of China in eradicating poverty and all this, but she did not use her authority to condemn clearly what she must have seen during her visit or what she should have seen.

I think the European Union should be very careful about her possible second mandate, because we have seen that the Human Rights Council of the United Nations has become vulnerable to Chinese efforts to undermine the post—war established international human rights order.

I also want to say that, Commissioner Dombrovskis, we should hurry up with the proposal on the import ban on products produced with forced labour, because that might be a good instrument that would be able to change the situation on the ground in Xinjiang.

 
  
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  Helmut Scholz, Verfasser. – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Vizepräsident! Erinnern wir uns, warum wir heute hier zusammen sind: um uns zu engagieren. Wir wollen die Situation von jenen Menschen verbessern, die derzeit in Lagern interniert werden. Wir wollen beenden, dass Gefangene missbraucht oder gequält werden. Wir wollen, dass gegen die verantwortlichen Täter vorgegangen wird – überall und auch in China.

Um dies zu erreichen, brauchen wir den Dialog mit der chinesischen Führung, der chinesischen Regierung, dem Präsidenten Xi Jinping. Ich würdige ausdrücklich die UNO-Hochkommissarin für ihre Reise nach Xinjiang und für den Dialog mit der UNO, den sie nun institutionell einrichten konnte. Ich begrüße ausdrücklich auch, dass die EU-Kommission und Chinas Ministerpräsident Li Keqiang den bilateralen Menschenrechtsdialog auf hoher Ebene wieder eingerichtet haben. Das ist der Weg, um China davon zu überzeugen, dass die Maßnahmen überzogen sind und völlig aus dem Ruder liefen, die das Land vor 20 Jahren parallel zum Angriff der USA und der NATO auf Afghanistan gegen die Ausbreitung dschihadistischer Agitation in seinen zentralasiatischen Provinzen ergriffen hat.

Wir sollten die Signale der Bereitschaft, mit denen Michelle Bachelet in China begrüßt wurde, nicht durch einpeitschende Reden zum Erlöschen bringen. Hier müssen wir aktiv handeln.

 
  
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  Peter van Dalen, namens de PPE-Fractie. – Voorzitter, en wéér hebben we het over China. In de vorige plenaire hadden we al een debat over de betrokkenheid van de Chinese staat bij illegale orgaantransplantaties. En nu dan de Xinjiang-files, die tonen hoe het regime van mijnheer Xi de Oeigoeren systematisch onderdrukt. De nieuwe documenten tonen aan wat we eigenlijk al wisten. In China worden misdaden tegen de menselijkheid gepleegd. Terecht hebben meerdere parlementen in de wereld verklaard dat deze repressie van de Oeigoeren genocide is. Laten we nagaan hoe China voor het Internationaal Strafhof verantwoordelijk kan worden gehouden voor het schenden van de genocideconventie. Dat is geen gemakkelijke weg, maar we zijn het verschuldigd aan die minderheden in China die op brute wijze worden onderdrukt. Dat moeten we eerst doen. En we gaan voorlopig helemaal niet praten over een nieuw investeringsakkoord. Merci.

 
  
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  Maria Arena, au nom du groupe S&D. – Madame la Présidente, encore une fois, on le voit, les crimes commis par le régime chinois au Xinjiang montrent au monde entier la cruauté de ce régime envers les minorités, et la minorité ouïgoure en particulier. Ce n’est pas la première fois que nous sommes ici amenés à nous exprimer sur cette situation inacceptable de violations graves des droits humains en Chine. Mais que faire?

Manifestement, nous n’avons pas la capacité de changer le régime chinois. Par contre, nous avons la capacité, ici en Europe, de faire pas mal de choses. Premièrement, ne pas signer l’accord d’investissement avec la Chine. Deuxièmement, aller le plus vite possible sur cette réglementation de due diligence, de responsabilité des entreprises qui seraient complices de ce travail forcé. Troisièmement, interdire l’entrée de ces produits du travail forcé sur le territoire européen. Et enfin de continuer sans relâche à dénoncer dans toutes les instances, y compris les instances multilatérales, la situation qui est aujourd’hui vécue dans le Xinjiang.

 
  
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  Marie-Pierre Vedrenne, au nom du groupe Renew. – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Vice-Président exécutif, les images ne mentent pas, et, malgré la propagande du régime chinois et le déni total de la part de certains dignitaires, les preuves s’accumulent, et personne ne peut le nier. Nous, Européens, nous ne pouvons pas, nous ne pouvons plus détourner notre regard, abandonner nos valeurs, notre éthique, nos idéaux. Ne cautionnons plus les pratiques inhumaines envers la minorité ouïgoure. Ne soyons plus les complices de l’exploitation industrialisée du travail des Ouïgours pour nos vêtements.

Il est grand temps que l’Europe se dote d’un instrument commercial pour interdire l’importation de produits issus du travail forcé – une promesse de la présidente von der Leyen. Nous attendons maintenant une proposition concrète. Dotons-nous réellement de ce levier commercial fondé sur l’origine des produits et complémentaire du devoir de vigilance des entreprises. Utilisons pleinement nos instruments de fermeté et de sanction vis-à-vis de la Chine. Utilisons pleinement notre politique commerciale comme un levier pour respecter nos valeurs.

 
  
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  Henrike Hahn, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin! Die Xinjiang files liefern jetzt neue Bilder des Grauens. Seit vielen, vielen Jahren werden von China massive Menschenrechtsverletzungen an den Uiguren begangen und auch an anderen muslimischen Minderheiten sowie Tibetanerinnen und Tibetanern.

Die EU, die Mitgliedstaaten und europäische Unternehmen müssen jetzt die Konsequenzen ziehen, denn Menschenrechte sind universell und keine Privatsache Chinas. Konsequenzen sind eine klare Benennung der Menschenrechtsverletzungen, ein neues Sanktionspaket der EU und weitere Maßnahmen des Rats, der G7- und G20‑Mitgliedstaaten.

Wir wollen in Europa keine Produkte aus chinesischer Zwangsarbeit und auch keine Produkte von chinesischen Unternehmen, die in Zwangsarbeit produzieren lassen. Das bedeutet als Konsequenz für Unternehmen wie BASF und VW den klaren Handlungsauftrag, sich aus Xinjiang zurückzuziehen, sowie eine zunehmende Abkoppelung Europas vom chinesischen Markt. Die europäische Industrie muss ihre Lieferketten überprüfen und neue Wege finden, sich nicht auf Rohmaterialien aus China zu verlassen. Das müssen wir jetzt bei der EU‑Industrie- und -Rohstoffstrategie berücksichtigen.

In keiner anderen Stadt in Europa leben so viele Uiguren wie in München, da, wo ich herkomme. Wir können und wir dürfen in Europa keine Menschenrechtsverletzungen in Xinjiang dulden.

 
  
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  Dominique Bilde, au nom du groupe ID. – Madame la Présidente, chers collègues, le calvaire des Ouïgours dans la province du Xinjiang jette une lumière crue sur une Chine où les libertés publiques, notamment religieuses, demeurent réduites à la portion congrue. En effet, outre le fait que seules les religions officielles ont droit de cité, leur culte est restreint à une pratique dite «normale», sans que cette notion soit définie.

Par ailleurs, la persécution des musulmans ouïgours, comme des chrétiens du Xinjiang, d’ailleurs, s’inscrit dans une stratégie de sinisation visant à placer toutes les confessions sous la tutelle impitoyable du Parti communiste. Un million de membres de minorités ethniques, principalement musulmanes, et notamment ouïgoure, seraient détenus. En parallèle, les chrétiens sont soumis aux pires brimades, comme l’illustre l’arrestation, scandaleuse, d’un cardinal de 90 ans.

Notre débat récent sur les prélèvements forcés d’organes aura également souligné l’un des aspects les plus sordides de ces abus systématiques. Il faut donc être lucide sur la véritable nature du régime chinois, au-delà de sa propagande savamment distillée vis-à-vis du reste du monde.

 
  
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  Bert-Jan Ruissen, namens de ECR-Fractie. – Voorzitter, beste collega's, stel: je drinkt geen alcohol of je bestudeert religieuze geschriften, of je zet je telefoon regelmatig uit. Als Oeigoer in Xinjiang krijg je dan al snel het etiket onbetrouwbaar opgeplakt, met alle gevolgen van dien. Je wordt naar een “betrouwbare plaats” - lees: concentratiekamp - gestuurd om heropgevoed te worden onder bewaking van zwaarbewapende politie. De gelekte politiedocumenten etaleren de huiveringwekkende realiteit van systematische onderdrukking waar miljoenen Oeigoeren in leven. En ze laten ook zien dat dat gebeurt onder het toeziend en instemmend oog van het hoogste politieke leiderschap in Beijing. President Xi riep op om de kwestie niet te politiseren, in zijn gesprek met VN-commissaris Bachelet tijdens haar recente teleurstellende bezoek aan de regio. Het opstapelende bewijs van de Chinese wandaden in Xinjiang vereist echter een krachtige respons van Europese zijde, inclusief individuele en economische sancties voor alle personen en instellingen die medeplichtig zijn aan deze grove misdaden. Dank u wel.

 
  
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  Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó (NI). – Madam President, the human rights situation in China has not stopped deteriorating, but the West has not stopped doing business there. The persecution of the Chinese regime against the Uyghur people has been now for years, but we have been looking the other way for too long, despite the accumulated evidence of the serious crimes committed.

After the publication of the Xinjiang police files, it is impossible to deny the evidence. There is ethnic, religious and linguistic persecution against an entire people. The Chinese regime is for human rights what greenhouse gases are to climate change. So it is time to act, to take measures to protect the Uyghur people and to let the Chinese regime know that if it does not correct its policy, the European Union is ready to change its economic and trade relationship and feel the consequences.

 
  
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  Miriam Lexmann (PPE). – Madam President, dear colleagues, the latest evidence shown in the Xinjiang police files confirms that what is taking place today in this province is systematic state-driven crimes against humanity and genocide. The evidence of the CCP’s crimes are there. They are collected and documented. Now it is time for action and political will to adopt the corporate due diligence framework and to bring in as soon as possible a ban on the products made by forced labour, as promised by the Commission.

We must also ensure full implementation of the export rules to ensure that our technology is not used for surveillance or other forms of repression. Finally, it is necessary to sanction the Ministry of Public Security, including its head, Zhao Kezhi, and all those responsible for crimes against humanity and genocide in Xinjiang.

It is time for the CCP regime to face consequences for its crimes and for us to stand with the people of Xinjiang and across China and Hong Kong who are constantly oppressed.

 
  
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  Evin Incir (S&D). – Madam President, colleagues, it has been almost 75 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and we are witnessing serious human rights backlashes worldwide.

The ruling Chinese communist regime is one of the biggest abusers in the world. Uyghurs have been suffering for long through persecution and detention in internment camps.

One of the worst despicable acts in wars and used by oppressing regimes towards minorities is gender-based violence against women and girls. Women and girls are being raped, forcibly married, tortured and killed. We receive horrendous reports of Uyghur women and girls in the camps being subjected to systematic rape, forced sterilisation and separation from their children.

I am glad for the urgency, but would have wanted to see stronger and specific calls on independent investigation into these unspeakable crimes of gender-based violence. Almost 75 years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but yet still, there is a lot to do to ensure we stand up for the basic rights of women and girls globally.

 
  
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  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (Renew). – Señora presidenta, señor comisario, la credibilidad en la defensa de los derechos humanos se conquista cuando se mide con el mismo rasero a todos los que los vulneran. China es grande y poderosa, admirable en muchos aspectos, pero merece una rotunda condena por los mecanismos de represión que aplica a disidentes y minorías. Últimamente hemos conocido pruebas y evidencias de comportamientos intolerables contra uigures en Xinjiang, que ratifican lo que ya sabíamos: que estamos ante el riesgo real de que se produzca un genocidio planificado y sistemático de una cultura que molesta. Y la represión se ha convertido, además, en un negocio muy rentable.

Nadie se merece que le traten así. Por eso la Unión y sus Estados miembros deben plantarse ante el grande, promover sanciones personalizadas para los oficiales y mandos implicados en estas prácticas, llevar el caso al Comité de Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas y rechazar los productos fruto del trabajo forzado. Animo, además, a plantear este asunto a los dirigentes chinos en cuantos foros nos encontremos con ellos.

 
  
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  Gianna Gancia (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signor Commissario, "sparategli a vista": sono queste le parole d'ordine della polizia cinese nei campi di rieducazione forzata per gli uiguri. Le scioccanti rivelazioni sulla politica totalitaria di persecuzione di questa minoranza in Cina non ci lasciano più dubbi. Per anni il regime di Pechino ha cercato di nascondere quello che da tanto tempo anche noi qui in Europa denunciamo.

Ora che le prove sono evidenti e non lasciano più spazio ad alcun tentennamento. L'Unione europea deve spingersi verso una politica di disaccoppiamento dal regime comunista. Basta fare affari con chi ha le mani sporche di sangue! Torniamo quindi a privilegiare le nostre relazioni economiche e diplomatiche con quelli che sono i nostri alleati da sempre: gli Stati Uniti, l'Alleanza atlantica e l'Occidente libero e democratico.

 
  
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  Nicola Procaccini (ECR). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, è un'amara coincidenza che si discuta questa risoluzione sul rispetto dei diritti umani nello Xinjiang proprio nel giorno in cui questo Parlamento vota per accrescere ulteriormente la dipendenza energetica europea nei confronti del regime comunista cinese.

Dove si fabbricano i pannelli solari che compriamo in Europa? Dove si lavora il 95 % del polisilicio necessario a far funzionare le celle fotovoltaiche? In Cina, nei campi di rieducazione dello Xinjiang, dove sono in corso la carcerazione di un'intera etnia, lavori forzati, sterilizzazione delle donne, deportazione dei bambini, la cancellazione dell'identità e della cultura degli uiguri.

E neanche la difesa dell'ambiente può giustificare l'ipocrisia che attraversa questo Parlamento, perché sono proprio le centrali a carbone a mandare avanti il processo produttivo nello Xinjiang, quelle che fanno della Cina il più grande emettitore di CO2 nel mondo. Che ipocrisia!

 
  
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  Michaela Šojdrová (PPE). – Madam President, dear colleagues, we have raised many times our concerns and concrete cases in our previous resolutions on China. For the first time, we have actual answers and police evidence. Thanks to the leaked police files, we know concrete cases that convict Beijing of systematic repression and inhuman practices against Uyghur.

Looking through 2 844 images of detained persons, we see unjustified persecution solely based on being Uyghur. Their systematic oppression amount to crimes against humanity and genocide. Let me share a quote from the leaked plan in case of escape, ‘If trainees fail to comply, the armed police officers can fire warning shots. If trainees refuse to stop and continue to escape, the armed police officers shoot them dead.’ Terrible practices.

That’s why the European Parliament calls upon the EU and its Member States to take all necessary steps to push China to end the breaching of human rights. And we ask: ensure responsibility for these crimes.

 
  
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  Krzysztof Hetman (PPE). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Panie Przewodniczący! Szanowni Państwo! Masowy wyciek akt policyjnych pokazał brutalne oblicze chińskiego reżimu. Według ONZ nawet pół miliona mężczyzn, kobiet i nastolatków z muzułmańskiej mniejszości Ujgurów mogło trafić do obozów masowego internowania. Opublikowane w mediach materiały i zdjęcia mówią zresztą same za siebie. Systemowemu łamaniu praw człowieka i bezwzględnemu traktowaniu Ujgurów nie da się już dłużej zaprzeczać. Działania w odniesieniu do prześladowania Ujgurów podejmujemy od dawna. Parlament Europejski przyjął już dwie rezolucje w tej sprawie, a Unia Europejska nałożyła sankcje na funkcjonariuszy reżimu w związku z systemowymi represjami. Dopóki jednak Chiny kontynuują prześladowanie całych społeczności, musimy kontynuować ten nasz wysiłek. W relacjach na linii Unia Europejska – Chiny musimy postawić jasne, nieprzekraczalne granice. Unia Europejska powinna regularnie podnosić tę kwestię w trakcie dialogu na temat praw człowieka z Chinami i zdecydowanie domagać się zwolnienia zatrzymanych Ujgurów. Potrzebna jest także bardziej zdecydowana reakcja i naciski na władze Chin na arenie międzynarodowej. Powinniśmy ściśle współpracować w tej sprawie z ONZ i naszymi partnerami.

 
  
 

Zgłoszenia z sali

 
  
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  Joachim Stanisław Brudziński (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Na samym początku nie sposób nie zgodzić się tutaj z moim przedmówcą panem posłem Procaccinim, który słusznie zauważył hipokryzję w tej Izbie. Rzeczywiście dzisiaj wiele czasu poświęciliśmy na głosowania dotyczące walki z emisją dwutlenku węgla, a jednocześnie współpracujemy z największą gospodarką światową, która jest jednym z największych emitujących właśnie ten dwutlenek węgla – myślę tutaj o Chinach.

Oczywiście sytuacja w północno-zachodnim regionie autonomicznym Sinciang w Chinach zamieszkałym przez około 10 milionów etnicznych Ujgurów i Kazachów gwałtownie się pogorszyła. Szczególnie tutaj należy zwrócić uwagę na rok 2014. To jest kampania rządu chińskiego o jakże charakterystycznym dla komunistów przesłaniu „Mocne uderzenie przeciwko brutalnemu terroryzmowi”. Począwszy od kwietnia 2017 r. rząd chiński rozpoczął łapanki, w których według szacunków zatrzymano około 2 milionów Kazachów i Ujgurów. Umieścił ich w dużych pozasądowych obozach reedukacji politycznej, gdzie są przetrzymywani bez postawionych zarzutów i bez żadnych norm prawnych. Ujgurowie i inne mniejszości etniczne w Sinciangu są poddawani arbitralnym zatrzymaniem, torturom, pracy przymusowej, indoktrynacji politycznej, skrajnym ograniczeniem praktyk religijnych i kultury oraz przymusowej sterylizacji. Mówimy o ludobójstwie, ale tak naprawdę żadnych twardych i realnych działań nie ma.

 
  
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  Fulvio Martusciello (PPE). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, oggi al Parlamento europeo abbiamo il coraggio di affrontare questo tema, ma chiediamoci cosa stanno facendo gli Stati membri dell'Unione europea.

L'Italia non fa nulla. L'Italia ha negato sempre in maniera strumentale l'esistenza di questo problema. Nel 2015, addirittura, l'allora ministro degli Esteri Gentiloni, che oggi è Commissario dell'Unione europea, siglò un accordo di cooperazione e di pattugliamento con la Cina e un accordo successivo, nel 2017, fu siglato dal vice ministro dell'Interno. Una collaborazione costante con la polizia cinese, che ha trovato poi una sua massima esplicazione nel fermo che fu fatto all'interno del Senato, proprio all'entrata del Senato italiano, del Presidente del Parlamento uiguro. Pensiamo anche che non c'è nessuna testata italiana che è impegnata nell'attività di decriptazione dei file.

Dobbiamo chiederci quindi, cosa fanno i singoli Stati europei per evitare quello che sta accadendo in questa regione della Cina.

 
  
 

(Koniec zgłoszeń z sali)

 
  
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  Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President of the Commission. – Madam President, honourable Members, I don’t need to remind this House about the EU’s persistent and grave concerns about the human rights situation in China, notably the systemic repression of Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

The Commission shares your concerns as expressed in several parliamentary resolutions already adopted. The Commission also welcomes the award of the 2019 Sakharov Prize to Ilham Tohti.

While we all knew about the gravity of all human rights violations in Xinjiang, the Xinjiang police files add to the evidence reports and voices we hear from the ground. The leaked speeches, images, documents and spreadsheets shed new light on the brutal methods used by the Chinese Government, seriously eroding the cultural and religious identity of the Uyghur people, justifying mass-scale and indiscriminate actions under the guise of the fight against terrorism.

The publication of these documents coincided with a visit of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to China. We find it highly regrettable that the Chinese authorities did not provide full and unfettered access to High Commissioner Bachelet. While the High Commissioner expressed that the visit was not of an investigative nature, she also clarified that she has been unable to assess the full scale of political re-education camps in Xinjiang. The EU also deplores that her engagement with independent civil society organisations and human rights defenders was limited and somehow supervised.

The visit has been further discussed today in Geneva as part of the Strategic Dialogue on Human Rights between the EU and the Office of the High Commissioner, co-chaired by Eamon Gilmore, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, and High Commissioner Bachelet.

This visit and the release of the Xinjiang police files call for the release, as a matter of absolute priority, of the remote monitoring report on the human rights situation in Xinjiang prepared by the United Nations through the Office.

Let me assure you that the EU will continue to speak out against human rights violations occurring across China. We will also continue to convey our concerns to the Chinese leadership. In doing so, we will always make it clear that the EU will not compromise on human rights.

 
  
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  Przewodnicząca. – Zamykam debatę.

Głosowanie odbędzie się w czwartek 9 czerwca 2022 r.

 

19.2. The instrumentalisation of justice as a repressive tool in Nicaragua
Video of the speeches
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  Przewodnicząca. – Kolejnym punktem porządku dziennego jest debata nad sześcioma projektami rezolucji w sprawie instrumentalizacji wymiaru sprawiedliwości jako narzędzia represji w Nikaragui (2022/2701(RSP))*.

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* Patrz protokół posiedzenia.

 
  
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  Leopoldo López Gil, autor. – Señora presidenta, el Estado de Derecho se basa fundamentalmente en la separación de los poderes estatales, algo absolutamente negado en Nicaragua. Ortega ha subvertido el orden constitucional para utilizar su Poder Judicial como un arma represiva en contra de aquellos que se expresan en desacuerdo con su régimen.

Hoy hay centenares de presos políticos en ese país, muchos detenidos y condenados a sentencias desproporcionadas después de la última ola en el marco de las elecciones generales. La mayoría son dirigentes sociales, políticos, estudiantes, defensores de los derechos humanos, periodistas. Además, hay cerca de cuatrocientas ONG que han sido despojadas de personalidad jurídica, forzando así su cierre.

Viles jueces y fiscales sumisos a los Ortega Murillo han vulnerado sistemáticamente las garantías procesales, convirtiéndose en cómplices de la dictadura y violadores de los derechos humanos. Hoy pedimos que se incluyan sus nombres en la lista de los sancionados por nuestra Unión Europea. Se lo merecen las víctimas de ese régimen.

 
  
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  Dita Charanzová, autora. – Señora presidenta, hoy enviamos un mensaje claro: el régimen de Daniel Ortega es una dictadura que ha destruido el Estado de Derecho. Sigue violando sistemáticamente los derechos humanos, encarcelando a los opositores, a miembros de ONG, a intelectuales, a estudiantes y a periodistas con la connivencia del Poder Judicial.

Más de cuatrocientas organizaciones ya no pueden trabajar en el país. Miles de nicaragüenses han huido al exilio. Se ha disuelto la Academia de la Lengua, en una decisión sin precedentes en el continente y en el mundo hispanohablante.

El régimen de Ortega, que arrasa y patea los derechos humanos, que se sienta al lado de Rusia y la apoya en todas sus agresiones a terceros países, no puede mantener ninguna relación con la Unión Europea. Tenemos que suspender nuestro acuerdo con la dictadura que ata a Nicaragua ya.

 
  
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  Hermann Tertsch, autor. – Señora presidenta, los nicaragüenses viven una pesadilla permanente, terrible, en la cual la represión de los últimos años ha alcanzado unos niveles absolutamente inauditos. Y los ha alcanzado porque el régimen se siente capaz de hacerlo; se siente capaz y tiene esa impunidad que siente, y esa impunidad la siente porque se siente protegido.

Sus jueces cometen unas barbaridades y perpetran unas iniquidades inmensas, colosales, contra todos los opositores y contra todos los discrepantes. Y lo hacen porque cuentan con esa impunidad. Y esa impunidad se debe a que el régimen de Nicaragua tiene protección. Tiene protección de Rusia, por supuesto, pero tiene fundamentalmente la protección del Foro de São Paulo y del Grupo de Puebla. Esas dos multinacionales del narcocomunismo son las que protegen al señor Ortega y por lo que él se siente capaz de hacer lo que hace, como Maduro en Venezuela, como Díaz-Canel en Cuba. Así es Ortega. Por eso hay que acabar con ese régimen, con un bloqueo total.

 
  
  

PRESIDENZA DELL'ON. PINA PICIERNO
Vicepresidente

 
  
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  Alicia Homs Ginel, autora. – Señora presidenta, señor comisario, en los últimos meses hemos sido testigos de la clara instrumentalización de la Justicia como herramienta represiva en Nicaragua: un nuevo intento de represión por parte, exclusivamente, del régimen de Ortega contra una oposición siempre pacífica. Los tribunales nicaragüenses se han dedicado a dictar sentencias absolutamente desproporcionadas contra presas y presos políticos en procesos a todas luces corruptos, faltos de transparencia y que ofrecían nulas garantías a las personas acusadas; por ello, esta Resolución —y es en lo que nos tenemos que centrar— pide sanciones a los jueces, ya que son agentes de la represión, están ayudando a Ortega a esa represión.

A día de hoy, más de ciento ochenta personas continúan detenidas de forma arbitraria, privadas de sus derechos fundamentales, y, desde la Unión Europea, debemos seguir del lado de los y las nicaragüenses reclamando que se ponga fin al uso de tratos crueles e inhumanos contra las personas detenidas y sus familias, y exigimos la liberación, por supuesto incondicional, de todas esas presas y presos políticos.

 
  
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  Jordi Solé, autor. – Señora presidenta, probablemente el Gobierno nicaragüense nos dirá que, con esta Resolución, una vez más, nos metemos en sus asuntos internos, que estamos cometiendo una injerencia en su soberanía. Pero no: esto no va de soberanía, esto va de derechos humanos.

Porque, cuando en un país hay decenas de presos políticos, entre ellos candidatos opositores, defensores de derechos humanos, cuando en cuestión de semanas se cierran casi cuatrocientas organizaciones de la sociedad civil con el pretexto de aplicar la ley, pero con la intención real de acallar cualquier voz disidente, cuando los jueces imparten quizás la ley, pero seguro que no la justicia, convirtiéndose así en un instrumento más de la represión, cuando todo esto pasa, nosotros no podemos estar callados, nosotros tenemos que denunciar esta situación, ocurra en el país que ocurra, y exigir el respeto a los derechos humanos, civiles y políticos, y pedir a la Unión Europea que contribuya con sus instrumentos a revertir esta situación.

 
  
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  Marisa Matias, Autora. – Senhora Presidente, o uso de medidas judiciais para fins repressivos na Nicarágua continua a ser muito preocupante. Desde 2018 foram já proibidas centenas de ONG, tendo sido canceladas 350 só este ano.

As Nações Unidas consideram a nova lei na Nicarágua como contrária às obrigações de direitos, restringindo a liberdade de expressão e de associação de qualquer organização que tente criticar o Governo.

Há registos de detenções, intimidações e perseguições contra adversários políticos, defensores de direitos humanos, advogados e jornalistas, assim como casos de prisioneiros submetidos a tratamentos cruéis e desumanos. Há processos criminais que não respeitam os direitos de julgamento justo.

A instrumentalização da justiça pelo poder político é uma realidade inadmissível. Os tribunais não se podem tornar no braço judicial da repressão. São a expressão de um sistema judicial corrupto, da ausência de justiça e da separação de poderes. Temos de ser solidários por isto com o povo da Nicarágua, face à arbitrariedade e autoritarismo do governo.

 
  
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  Stanislav Polčák, za skupinu PPE. – Paní předsedající, přinejmenším od roku 2018 provádějí nikaragujské orgány systematické, cílené věznění, pronásledování politických oponentů, studentských vůdců, novinářů a všech nepohodlných. Ti čelí výhrůžkám smrti, zastrašování, samozřejmě napadání a pronásledování. A navzdory těmto četným rizikům hrají novináři a další obránci lidských práv nadále zásadní úlohu při monitorování situace v oblasti lidských práv v Nikaragui.

K dnešnímu dni je nejméně 182 politických oponentů drženo ve vězení v nelidských podmínkách. Sedm z nich bylo předběžnými kandidáty na pozici prezidenta ve volbách v roce 2021. Prezident Ortega se nepochybně snaží ovládnout stát a je jasné, že soudnictví a státní zastupitelství je zcela podrobeno jeho vůli, jeho režimu. Nikaragua se mění z demokracie na jednoznačnou totalitu. Pan Ortega je sluha Putinova režimu a jako takový je vyloučen z naší spolupráce.

 
  
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  Maria-Manuel Leitão-Marques, em nome do Grupo S&D. – Senhora Presidente, a morte do general revolucionário sandinista Hugo Torres, em fevereiro deste ano, demonstra que até os que lutaram ao lado de Daniel Ortega estão a cair às suas mãos. O general Torres esteve preso durante oito meses em condições desumanas, sujeito a constantes interrogatórios e com indícios de sofrer práticas de tortura até ao dia da sua morte.

As famílias de centenas de políticos, ativistas, membros da Igreja Católica da Nicarágua contam outras histórias de terror como esta, em que os seus entes queridos são colocados em condições desumanas enquanto aguardam julgamentos-fantasma à porta fechada, que acabam em sentenças de 3 a 15 anos.

Repetimos aqui este discurso já demasiadas vezes e infelizmente continuamos a ver a situação do país a piorar, mas temos que ser persistentes e até estar atentos a outros caminhos que tornem mais eficaz a nossa solidariedade.

 
  
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  Ryszard Czarnecki, w imieniu grupy ECR. –Pani Przewodnicząca! Panie Komisarzu! Szanowni Państwo! Nikaragua jest jednym z dwóch najbiedniejszych krajów Ameryki Łacińskiej, obok Haiti. Jest to kraj, w którym 40% obywateli żyje za mniej niż 2 dolary dziennie. I to jest może największe oskarżenie prezydenta Daniela Ortegi i wiceprezydent Rosario Murillo.

Z jednej strony Nikaragua graniczy z Oceanem Spokojnym, ale nie ma spokoju w tym kraju. Ze strony zachodu, graniczy z Morzem Karaibskim i mam wrażenie, że ci piraci z Morza Karaibskiego władają tym krajem.

Pauperyzacja i brak sprawiedliwości – te dwie rzeczy idą w parze. Dobrze, że Parlament Europejski zabiera głos. Szkoda, że musi zabierać po raz dwudziesty, czy trzydziesty w ciągu ostatnich lat.

 
  
 

Procedura "catch the eye"

 
  
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  Joachim Stanisław Brudziński (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Od początku rządów reżimu Ortegi i Murillo jest coraz więcej doniesień o łamaniu praw człowieka i nadużyciach. Reżim nadal przetrzymuje ponad 150 więźniów politycznych, a wielu z nich cierpi z powodu braku odpowiedniego wyżywienia i właściwej opieki medycznej. Inni przebywają w izolatkach. Skorumpowany system bezpieczeństwa i sądownictwa Ortegi aresztował te osoby za uprawianie niezależnego dziennikarstwa, pracę w organizacjach społeczeństwa obywatelskiego, chęć startu w wyborach i publiczne wyrażanie opinii sprzecznych z rządową ortodoksją, a także za inne działania uznawane za normalne w wolnym społeczeństwie. W kontekście całkowitego braku niezawisłości sądów represje reżimu wymierzone są również w grupy społeczeństwa obywatelskiego, przeciwników politycznych, dziennikarzy. Przyjmuje się represyjne przepisy, które naruszają prawo do udziału w życiu politycznym i wolności słowa. Od 2018 roku władze unieważniły legalną rejestrację wielu dziesiątków organizacji pozarządowych i uniwersytetów.

ECR krytycznie odnosi się do braku mechanizmów ochrony praw człowieka, braku rządów prawa i ogólnych represji wobec Nikaraguańczyków.

 
  
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  Manu Pineda (The Left). – Señora presidenta, este debate muestra la obsesión que tienen algunos sectores de este Parlamento contra los Gobiernos y movimientos democráticos y progresistas de América Latina. Esto siempre ha sido así por parte de la extrema derecha, especialmente la española, pero es muy triste ver a grupos que se consideran democráticos, e incluso algunos progresistas, apoyar una Resolución promovida por Vox, que actúa como si Latinoamérica siguiera siendo una colonia española y que tacha de dictadura a cualquier Gobierno de izquierda en Latinoamérica.

Nicaragua, Cuba, Venezuela, el Foro de São Paulo, el Grupo de Puebla y todos los organismos que ustedes insultan en este panfleto van a seguir trabajando por la soberanía de los pueblos latinoamericanos y para que sus pueblos sean los dueños de sus destinos y de sus recursos. Ustedes pueden seguir trabajando para el patrón, el mismo que ha querido excluir a estos países de la Cumbre de las Américas y que se va a ver allí solo con un grupo de palmeros, pero sepan que hay pueblos que saben lo que es ser una colonia y no van a volver a serlo nunca jamás.

 
  
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  Sandra Pereira (The Left). – Senhora Presidente, o Parlamento Europeu continua a sua política de completo seguidismo da estratégia ingerencista e desestabilizadora dos Estados Unidos da América na América Latina.

Esta nova resolução contra a Nicarágua e o seu povo é mais uma demonstração de como este Parlamento não hesita em deturpar os factos para cobrir uma inaceitável política que afronta os princípios da Carta das Nações Unidas e o direito internacional. Daqui repudiamos toda e qualquer interferência externa na República da Nicarágua, e a contínua desestabilização e tentativa dos Estados Unidos da América, com o apoio da União Europeia, de imporem o seu domínio económico e político sobre este país.

Instamos, por isso, ao fim desta política de ingerência, incluindo das medidas coercivas e unilaterais impostas à margem das Nações Unidas, que visam obstaculizar o desenvolvimento económico da Nicarágua e atingir as condições de vida do povo nicaraguense. Afirmamos a nossa solidariedade com a Nicarágua e o seu povo na luta em defesa da sua soberania e independência, do direito a decidir o seu próprio caminho de desenvolvimento, livre de pressões e ingerências externas, em defesa e no prosseguimento da revolução sandinista e do seu desenvolvimento e progresso social.

 
  
 

(Fine della procedura "catch the eye")

 
  
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  Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President of the Commission. – Madam President, honourable Members, Daniel Ortega and his wife Rosario Murillo continue to unleash a brutal repression against the Nicaraguan people. They instrumentalise the country’s judicial system and use purpose-made laws such as foreign agent law and special law on cybercrime to imprison political rivals, journalists, civil society activists, businesspeople, and really anyone who crosses their path to unlimited power and total control. They have put universities under political control. They have shut down over 350 civil society organisations in this year alone, including NGOs that had helped poor children by defending movement against sexual violence or delivered aid to victims of natural disasters. They use as a pretext the recommendations by the Financial Action Task Force against terrorism and money laundering, perverting these international recommendations to justify their unacceptable repression.

Nicaragua, after more than 50 years of totalitarian rule, remains one of the poorest countries in Latin America. The social, political and economic situation has led more than 150,000 Nicaraguans to flee and seek asylum in neighbouring countries since 2018. Ortega is forcing the best and the brightest into exile, jeopardising Nicaragua’s future and setting back the country after decades of long-fought development – development supported by the EU and others who are at the receiving end of unfounded accusations by the ruling couple.

Justice is being made a mockery of and used to legitimise repression. Trials of political prisoners held behind closed doors and lacking any trace of due process resulted in at least 44 harsh and disproportionate sentences handed down since 15 March. We have reiterated our request for the unconditional liberation of all prisoners in a spokesperson statement on 14 March.

We maintain the pressure on the regime and will continue to do so. We will also continue to support the Nicaraguan people and, in particular, the most vulnerable groups in their legitimate search for a free country and a better future. We would very much welcome the European Parliament’s strong commitment to this endeavour and it is a key part of our engagement.

 
  
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  Presidente. – La discussione è chiusa.

La votazione si svolgerà giovedì 9 giugno 2022.

 

19.3. Violations of media freedom and safety of journalists in Georgia
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  Presidente. – L'ordine del giorno reca la discussione sulle violazioni della libertà dei media e della sicurezza dei giornalisti in Georgia. (2022/2702(RSP))*.

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* vedasi processo verbale

 
  
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  Miriam Lexmann, author. – Madam President, dear colleagues, as an associated country and one aspiring for EU candidate status, Georgia must adhere to the basic conditions, including respect for human rights. Unfortunately, over the past years, we are witnessing a serious undermining of media freedom, which is part of the broader trend of democratic backsliding in the country.

I believe that these trends are counter to the Georgian people’s desire to live in a free, democratic and sovereign Georgia, as well as their European aspirations. I therefore call on the Georgian authorities to utilise fully Georgia’s legal framework for guaranteeing the freedom of expression and the freedom of media, to press on with reforms to ensure independence of the judiciary, to stop political polarisation and reverse the democratic backsliding.

I also believe an important step to support the European path of Georgia is to impose targeted sanctions on the oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili for his destructive role in the Georgian politics and economy.

Finally, let me stress that as a friend of the Georgian people, we will not stand idly by while media freedom continues to deteriorate and there is democratic backsliding, which goes against the Georgian people’s European aspirations. We stand with the Georgian people.

 
  
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  Sven Mikser, author. – Madam President, dear colleagues, the resolution we are going to vote on tomorrow is primarily dealing with the media freedom and safety of journalists in Georgia and there is plenty to be critical about on that front.

Georgia has, over the last two years, nosedived in the Global Media Freedom Index. Despite the solid legal framework, the physical safety of journalists and media representatives has significantly deteriorated, as illustrated by the violence by far-right groups against the participants in last year’s pride march and against the journalists covering the event. More recently, it has been illustrated by the sentencing of Mr Gvaramia, a well-known media figure, on rather dubious charges.

Obviously, the problems of Georgia and the challenges it faces go beyond the media scene. We all do have legitimate concerns about recent negative trends in the area of rule of law and democracy more generally. The recent conduct of the Georgian Government has, quite frankly, been frustrating and disappointing on many fronts. I do believe that in a situation like this, we need to adopt a more resolute and more demanding line in our communications with our Georgian rulers, so they really understand that it is they who have to deliver to the Georgian people when it comes to Georgia’s European aspirations.

However, I would like to also point out that a policy on our behalf will have to be based on a comprehensive and well thought-through strategy, not merely frustration and emotions. So I urge us all to carefully analyse potential consequences and plan for our next steps, so that our no doubt well-intentioned steps do not inadvertently undermine the legitimate aspirations of the Georgian people or our own strategic interests in the region.

 
  
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  Petras Auštrevičius, author. – Madam President, dear Commissioner, dear colleagues, a free and independent media is an integral part of Georgia’s EU candidacy. However, such unacceptable actions as the silencing of critical journalists, restricting their access to information, and openly threatening and prosecuting them are moving Georgia further away from this ambition.

The European Union, as a guardian of fundamental freedoms, has protected and will continue to protect media freedom in Georgia, even if it means openly criticising the policies of those in power. There is no room for political meddling in the media.

If previously the European Parliament used to naively hope for the goodwill and understanding of the Georgian Government, we are now demanding a change in the state’s policy and attitude. It is time for Tbilisi to understand what is at stake for the future of the country.

 
  
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  Markéta Gregorová, author. – Madam President, dear colleagues, friends of Georgia, Georgian citizens, if you are listening. The media situation in Georgia has been dire. Journalists are violently attacked in unprecedented numbers. There are cases of intimidation, threats and persecution of journalists, and many criminal investigations against media workers and owners.

Moreover, I’m very disappointed that the government and other politicians are joining in the media witch—hunt instead of safeguarding the pillar of democracy and society. Therefore, I remind the Georgian Government and authorities that the citizens of Georgia have expressed their wishes of European aspirations. That includes upholding the highest standards of democracy, the rule of law, judicial independence and fundamental freedoms, including free and independent media.

Candidate status is not a one—way deal. We want to fulfil your citizens’ wishes. Do you? If yes, you need to uphold some standards.

 
  
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  Anna Fotyga, author. – Madam President, colleagues, EU integration enjoys enormous support from the Georgian people. Many governments and members of the political elite of Georgia contributed to this result. The most prominent of them are now in prison.

The third president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, as well as Nika Gvaramia, the one-off subject of today’s debate, appealed to us, the best friends of Georgia, despite their criticism of current government feeling historic significance and historic threat to their country, to grant candidacy status, not to leave Georgia in a post—Soviet swamp and not to punish the Georgian people by leaving them behind the potential iron curtain. Look at what is happening in Ukraine. I, myself, opposing some time ago a communist regime, can feel this with all Georgians. And I also appeal to you: grant candidacy status to Georgia as well as Ukraine and Moldova.

 
  
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  Miguel Urbán Crespo, autor. – Señora presidenta, el año pasado, cincuenta y tres periodistas fueron brutalmente atacados por grupos de extrema derecha mientras cubrían la manifestación LGTBI en Georgia. Este año, esos mismos grupos ya han anunciado su oposición a la marcha. La persecución a periodistas y los ataques contra la libertad de prensa son, por desgracia, problemas de larga data en Georgia, como también lo es la persecución al colectivo LGTBI y los discursos de odio en su contra.

Pero, una vez más, parece que la posición de la Unión Europea viene motivada por el importante papel geoestratégico del país caucásico y su solicitud de adhesión, y no realmente por la situación de los derechos humanos en Georgia.

Exigimos que se garantice la libertad de prensa y expresión y que se tomen todas las medidas necesarias para proteger al colectivo LGTBI. El pueblo de Georgia merece nuestra solidaridad y nuestro respeto, y esto implica no ser utilizado como marionetas en función de intereses externos que muchas veces nada tienen que ver con la defensa de la libertad de expresión o la defensa de los derechos humanos.

 
  
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  Andrius Kubilius, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, dear colleagues, today we are discussing our concerns about media freedom in Georgia. Why we are discussing this issue is a lot of concern, because we are absolutely sure that the Georgian people deserve to be part of the European family. We want the Georgian people to be members of our Union. But in order to become a member of the EU, it is not enough just to have people wish to join the EU. The country needs to meet the membership criteria: democracy, the rule of law and media freedom criteria. And that depends, first of all, on the policy of the ruling party and the leadership of the country. And that is where our concerns come. Media freedom is becoming a victim of the deliberate policy of the Georgian formal and shadow leadership to politicise justice in Georgia. It is totally unacceptable. That is what this resolution is saying in a very clear way.

It is not the first time when post-communist countries are facing a similar situation. In 1997, Slovakia was not invited to start negotiations because Slovakia’s then populist Prime Minister, Vladimír Mečiar, was destroying democracy and media freedom values. The Slovakian people resolved that problem and voted out the Mečiar Government. I would urge Georgian Government not to repeat the mistakes of Vladimír Mečiar.

 
  
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  Marina Kaljurand, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Madam President, Mr Vice—President, colleagues, some months ago in this House we adopted, by a very large majority, a resolution that called for candidate status for Ukraine. Some weeks ago, we had a good discussion with the President of Moldova and recognised the achievements of Moldova’s EU integration. Today we are discussing violation of media freedom and the safety of journalists in Georgia.

I was not among the initiators of the resolution. I do not consider it urgent, but I agree with my colleagues that there are problems in Georgia, which I have also mentioned as the co—chair of the EU—Georgia PAC. The country that some years ago was a frontrunner among our eastern partners has recently, unfortunately, lost its speed and steadfast commitment to democratic reforms.

I urge Georgian politicians from the governing party, as well as from opposition: take today’s discussion as a last wake—up call, put aside party interests, stop blaming each other and start working together on the democratic reforms that are so needed in Georgia. The window of opportunity is still open. That is what Georgian people are expecting from you.

 
  
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  Karin Karlsbro, för Renew-gruppen. – Fru talman, kollegor, åhörare! Den 3 mars lämnar Georgien in sin ansökan om medlemskap i Europeiska unionen. Landet har under de senaste 20 åren tydligt visat både sin förmåga och sin vilja att närma sig den europeiska familjen. Och det ska vi välkomna. Men nu har ledarskapet slagit in på helt fel väg. För när journalister hotas, åtalas och fängslas i ett nära associerat partnerland är det inte bara djupt ovärdigt, det är en allvarlig varningsklocka.

En kandidatur till EU medför ett stort ansvar. Ingen tvekan råder om att Georgien hör hemma i Europa. Lika klart är det att det fria ordet är en grundsten i den europeiska demokratin för alla som vill vara med i EU, och det vet den georgiska regeringen mycket väl.

 
  
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  Viola Von Cramon-Taubadel, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Kommissar, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Die Hoffnungen in das Land waren groß, nachdem Georgien jahrelang das Vorbild für viele Staaten im postsowjetischen Raum war. Der Kampf gegen Korruption, die gesellschaftliche Modernisierung oder auch die Reform der Polizei – all das zeichnete das Land aus. Die Möglichkeit, einen politisierten Justizsektor in funktionierende rechtsstaatliche Institutionen zu überführen, sollte im Mittelpunkt der Regierung ab 2012 liegen. In diese Hoffnungen der Rechtsstaatlichkeitsreform investierten wir hier aus der EU sehr viel – auch sehr viel Geld.

Am Ende müssen wir konzedieren, dass das Gegenteil erreicht wurde. Anstatt sich an die Spitze der Reformbewegung zu setzen, war von all den prowestlichen Beteuerungen der Regierung nicht mehr viel geblieben. Handelsmöglichkeiten über das EU‑Handelsabkommen blieben unausgeschöpft. Ein Abstieg beim Korruptionsindex, aber vor allem bei der Pressefreiheit. Anstatt Journalistinnen und Journalisten zu schützen, werden sie attackiert. Der Fall von Nika Gwaramia ist möglicherweise ein besonders krasser, was die Verletzung der Rechtsstaatlichkeit betrifft, aber er ist sicher keine Ausnahme.

Diese Entwicklungen als große Freundin des Landes mitansehen zu müssen, schmerzt sehr.

 
  
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  Joachim Kuhs, im Namen der ID-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin, werter Herr Kommissar, werte Kollegen! Wenn wir uns über die Pressefreiheit in Georgien austauschen, dann frage ich mich, was es da überhaupt für eine Freiheit noch gibt, wenn Georgien nur noch Platz 89 von 180 auf der Rangliste der Pressefreiheit belegt; und wenn kürzlich, wie schon erwähnt wurde, der Kameramann Alexander Laschkarawa tot in seiner Wohnung aufgefunden wurde, nachdem er eine Gegendemonstration gefilmt hatte; und wenn Nika Gwaramia, ehemaliger Justizminister und prominenter Fernsehmoderator, zu dreieinhalb Jahren Gefängnis verurteilt wurde, nur weil er einen oppositionellen Sender besitzt.

Wir hören solche Fälle, und meine Praktikantin, die aus Georgien ist, erzählt mir von vielen anderen. Aber wir verhandeln weiter mit Georgien, als wäre nichts gewesen, und wir sind bestrebt, diesem Land den Status des EU-Kandidaten zu geben. Das ist ein Schlag ins Gesicht für alle beitrittswilligen Staaten des Westbalkans, die deutlich mehr Fortschritte gemacht haben als Georgien, das hier sehr zurückgefallen ist.

Ja, helfen wir diesem Land – es hat es nötig. Aber drängen wir es nicht in ein Prokrustesbett. Es würde ihnen und auch uns mehr Schaden als Nutzen anrichten.

 
  
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  Ryszard Czarnecki, w imieniu grupy ECR. – Pani Przewodnicząca! Mam do Gruzji sentyment osobisty. Byłem w tym kraju przeszło 10 razy. Otrzymałem bardzo wysokie odznaczenie państwowe od prezydenta Saakaszwiliego. Wiemy, co się z nim dzieje, i wiem, że Gruzja była pierwszym krajem zaatakowanym przez Rosję 14 lat temu w czasie igrzysk olimpijskich w Pekinie. Wiem też, że naród gruziński, bez względu na to, jak oceniamy obecną władzę, zasługuje na miejsce w politycznej rodzinie europejskiej jaką jest Unia. Myślę, że szczyt unijny powinien podjąć decyzję o zaproszeniu Ukrainy, której tak się należy, ale także Mołdawii i Gruzji do Unii Europejskiej jako krajów kandydujących. W moim przekonaniu te kraje na to zasługują. Jeżeli tak się nie stanie, będzie to najlepszy prezent dla Rosji i dla Putina. Przestrzegam przed atakowaniem tych państw, zwłaszcza teraz.

 
  
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  Peter Pollák (PPE). – Pani predsedajúca, pred polrokom sme prijali rezolúciu o posilňovaní demokracie a slobody médií. Ako sa v nej uvádza, novinári stále častejšie čelia zastrašovaniu, fyzickým útokom, najmä ak sa zameriavajú na zneužívanie moci, korupciu či porušovanie základných ľudských práv. Takéto praktiky ohrozujú demokraciu a fungujúci právny štát.

Gruzínsko v marci tohto roku požiadalo o udelenie štatútu kandidátskej krajiny Európskej únie. Avšak spomínané základné hodnoty, ako je sloboda prejavu či ochrana novinárov, sú v tejto krajine vážne ohrozené. Máme odstrašujúce príklady zavraždeného investigatívneho novinára Jána a jeho snúbenice Martiny zo Slovenska či maltskej investigatívnej novinárky Daphne, ktorí zaplatili životom pri vykonávaní novinárskej práce.

Preto je môj odkaz pre gruzínske orgány jasný a jednoznačný: je potrebné konať, a nie len nečinne sa prizerať.

 
  
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  Andrea Cozzolino (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signor Commissario, forse non era il momento di discutere e addirittura avere una risoluzione sulla Georgia nel contesto attuale geopolitico. Tuttavia, abbiamo avuto fiducia nella forza del dialogo tra di noi, concentrando la nostra attenzione sulla violazione delle libertà dei media e della sicurezza dei giornalisti e individuando anche le responsabilità delle autorità di governo.

Insieme, nella risoluzione, abbiamo incoraggiato ad andare avanti le autorità georgiane, quelle europee, i tanti e diversi protagonisti, le tante istituzioni, e soprattutto rivolgendoci al popolo georgiano, con le procedure secondo l'articolo 49 per il riconoscimento dello status di candidato per l'ingresso nell'Unione europea. È giusto, è necessario incoraggiare questo processo. Le aspirazioni del popolo georgiano devono trovare una soddisfazione nel Parlamento europeo.

Non sprechiamo però questo tentativo, questo lavoro faticoso che stiamo svolgendo da anni. Con questa risoluzione rischiamo di mettere un ostacolo. Dobbiamo essere esigenti, ma non possiamo giocare qui una partita politica con la pretesa di decidere noi quale classe dirigente il popolo georgiano deve darsi. Per questo dobbiamo incoraggiare ad andare avanti in questo processo.

 
  
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  Markéta Gregorová (Verts/ALE), blue-card speech. – Yes, thank you very much. I would like to make an additional statement, which is also connected to, let’s say, the position of S&D, so I do hope that Mr Cozzolino doesn’t mind to follow up on him with that. It concerns an amendment that will be upcoming tomorrow in relation to the resolution. And I really just want to make a personal statement towards Georgian friends, towards the government and towards this body.

I do think that Bidzina Ivanishvili is an oligarch, that we can find proof of his links to the Kremlin and that possible sanctioning would be possible in the future. However, it has no place in this very concise and very important resolution on media freedom, and therefore our group will have to vote against this. However, that doesn’t mean that we in any way don’t think that Bidzina Ivanishvili is a problem behind many problems in Georgia, and I want our Georgian friends to hear this.

 
  
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  Presidente. – In realtà non era una domanda, quindi non so se l'onorevole Cozzolino vuole aggiungere qualcosa, ma credo sia d'accordo con quanto detto dalla collega. Possiamo quindi proseguire con la discussione.

 
  
  

Procedura "catch the eye"

 
  
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  Stanislav Polčák (PPE). – Paní předsedající, Gruzie je klíčová země našeho Východního partnerství a já mám Gruzii hluboko ve svém srdci kvůli tomu, že to je raně křesťanská země. Ale také proto, že to je země občanů, kteří vyznávají demokratické hodnoty. Svoboda slova a svoboda médií proto patří mezi základní kameny demokracie, a pokud jsou ohroženy, tak máme za to, že to je skutečně trajektorie sestupu z ochrany demokratického právního státu a lidských práv. Proto bychom měli gruzínské občany ujistit o jejich evropské budoucnosti v rámci našeho společenství – společenství demokratických právních států. Vyzvat je také k tomu, aby tomuto porušování základních hodnot demokratického právního státu řekli ne a aby obnovili svobodu slova a svobodu tisku ve své vlastní zemi.

 
  
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  Eugen Tomac (PPE). – Doamnă președintă, domnule comisar, poporul georgian este un popor cu vocație europeană. Evident că derapajele cu privire la îngrădirea libertății de exprimare sunt de neacceptat și ele trebuie condamnate și combătute.

Însă cine își dorește ca Georgia să fie slăbită? Cine își dorește ca Georgia să se distanțeze de Uniunea Europeană? Cine își dorește ca Georgia să nu aibă niciun fel de perspectivă de integrare europeană? Evident că Putin.

Tocmai de aceea cred că răspunsul nostru trebuie să fie mai multă extindere, un suport consistent pentru Georgia și, evident, oamenii politici de acolo trebuie să înțeleagă că Uniunea Europeană nu înseamnă un proiect cu dublă măsură, înseamnă valori, înseamnă libertăți pe care au obligația să le respecte și să le insereze în setul de valori al națiunii georgiene, care merită integrată în Uniunea Europeană. Tocmai de aceea susțin statutul de țară candidată pentru Georgia.

 
  
 

(Fine della procedura "catch the eye")

 
  
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  Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President of the Commission. – Madam President, honourable Members, free, diverse and independent media are essential for any society to promote and protect freedom of opinion and expression and other human rights. By facilitating the free flow of information and ideas on matters of general interest, and by ensuring transparency and accountability, independent media constitute one of the cornerstones of democratic society.

As you know very well, Georgia is a very close partner in our neighbourhood. Our strong relationship is based on an ambitious association agreement with a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement underpinned by our common commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The verdict against Mr Nika Gvaramia comes against the backdrop of repeated calls by the EU to further reform the judiciary in order to instil trust and increase its independence – a longstanding commitment by Georgian authorities. The Commission has been very clear on this point – if Georgia is serious about its European path, there can be no room for politicised justice and no room for violations of media freedoms.

We note with concern an increasing number of episodes of violence against journalists in Georgia. Violence and intimidation are never acceptable. We call upon the authorities to leave no space to impunity, to launch impartial, effective and timely investigations on these cases, and to improve the protection, safety and empowerment of journalists and other media professionals.

Unfortunately, we have seen little progress on the investigations and prosecutions of the organisers of the violent attacks on 5 July 2021 against LGBTIQ people and journalists. We call again on the authorities to redouble their efforts and ensure the protection of freedom of assembly against any hateful and intolerant attacks.

We continue to be concerned about the independence and impartiality of the Georgian judiciary. The EU has repeatedly invited Georgia to address these issues and engage in a thorough and comprehensive judicial reform.

Let me conclude by stressing that the EU remains a close friend and partner to Georgia and is firmly engaged to further deepen EU—Georgia relations. This is a crucial moment for Georgia and the wider region in the context where Russia’s war against Ukraine has clearly created a new reality. We truly hope that the Georgian Government we will seize this moment to make progress on Georgia’s democratic path and uphold the high standards in the protection and promotion of fundamental freedoms and human rights.

The way authorities will perform in this area will be crucial for any next steps for Georgian European path.

 
  
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  Presidente. – La discussione è chiusa.

La votazione si svolgerà giovedì 9 giugno 2022.

Dichiarazioni scritte (articolo 171)

 
  
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  Janina Ochojska (PPE), na piśmie. – Wypracowaliśmy dobry tekst rezolucji w sprawie naruszania wolności prasy i bezpieczeństwa dziennikarzy w Gruzji (2022/2702(RSP), w którym przywołano wydarzenia takie jak napaść skrajnie prawicowych działaczy na kilkudziesięciu dziennikarzy w Tbilisi w dniu 5 lipca 2021 r. w związku z planowanym marszem godności. Dochodzenia i postępowania przeciwko osobom sprzeciwiającym się obecnemu rządowi podważają zaufanie publiczne nie tylko do instytucji sądowych, ale również do samego rządu. Gruzja jest jednym ze strategicznych krajów, z którym integracja jest istotna, szczególnie w świetle złożenia w dniu 3 marca 2022 r. wniosku o członkostwo w Unii Europejskiej. Zgadzam się z zapisem wzywającym Gruzję do zagwarantowania wolności mediów oraz do zagwarantowania niezakłóconego dostępu do informacji, które powinny być publicznie dostępne. Tekst rezolucji potępia również skazanie Niki Gwaramii, dyrektora głównego opozycyjnego kanału telewizyjnego Mtawari, oraz popiera apel Reporterów bez Granic o rewizję wyroku skazującego Nikę Gwaramię, a także wzywa władze gruzińskie do zwolnienia byłego prezydenta Micheila Saakaszwilego z więzienia, aby mógł poddać się odpowiedniemu leczeniu za granicą. Bezpieczeństwo, wolność i niezależność dziennikarzy, kluczowe elementy prawa wolności wypowiedzi i wolności mediów zapisanych w art. 11 Karty Praw Podstawowych UE oraz w art. 10 Europejskiej Konwencji Praw Człowieka, składają się na filary demokracji.

 

20. International procurement instrument (debate)
Video of the speeches
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  Presidente. – L'ordine del giorno reca la relazione di Daniel Caspary, a nome della commissione per il commercio internazionale, sulla proposta di regolamento del Parlamento europeo e del Consiglio relativo all'accesso di beni e servizi di paesi terzi al mercato interno degli appalti pubblici dell'Unione europea e alle procedure a sostegno dei negoziati sull'accesso di beni e servizi dell'Unione europea ai mercati degli appalti pubblici dei paesi terzi in merito allo strumento per gli appalti internazionali (COM(2016(0034) - C8-0018/2016 - 2012/0060(COD)) (A9-0337/2021).

 
  
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  Daniel Caspary, Berichterstatter. – Frau Präsidentin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen, sehr geehrter Herr Vizepräsident! Um was geht es heute? Wenn ein Land oder eine Stadt oder eine Gemeinde etwas kaufen möchte, dann gibt es in der Regel eine öffentliche Ausschreibung, beispielsweise beim Kauf neuer Busse für den öffentlichen Nahverkehr, beim Bau einer neuen U-Bahn oder bei einer umfangreichen Dienstleistung.

In Europa gilt fast immer: Jeder kann sich um den Auftrag bewerben, egal wo er herkommt, ob aus dem entsprechenden Mitgliedstaat, aus einem anderen Land der Europäischen Union oder aus irgendeinem anderen Land auf der Welt. Das ist auch gut so. Wir wollen durch diesen Wettbewerb sicherstellen, dass die Bürgerinnen und Bürger für ihre Steuergelder die beste und gleichzeitig wirtschaftlichste Lösung bekommen.

Gleichzeitig bedeutet das aber auch, dass unsere europäischen Unternehmen bei diesen Ausschreibungen im Wettbewerb mit Unternehmen von außerhalb der Europäischen Union stehen. Auch das ist erst mal gut. Solange diese Unternehmen fair am Markt tätig sind, keine ungerechtfertigte staatliche Unterstützung erhalten oder Umwelt-, Lohn- oder Sozialdumping betreiben, führt Wettbewerb zu Innovationen, besserer Qualität und günstigeren Preisen und stärkt damit die Wettbewerbsfähigkeit der Europäischen Union im globalen Wettbewerb.

Und andererseits gilt: In vielen Ländern auf der Welt haben auch unsere europäischen Unternehmen Zugang zu öffentlichen Ausschreibungen und können sich um Aufträge bewerben. Dazu gibt es Vereinbarungen innerhalb der Welthandelsorganisation WTO, und wir haben mit einzelnen Staaten in Handelsverträgen entsprechende Abkommen geschlossen.

Nun gibt es aber einige Länder auf der Welt, die unsere Anbieter bei öffentlichen Ausschreibungen nicht mitmachen lassen. Oder es gibt Fälle, wo sich unsere Unternehmen zwar formal beteiligen dürfen, aber über andere Mittel und Wege sichergestellt wird, dass sie am Ende nicht zum Zuge kommen. Und das können und wollen wir nicht weiter akzeptieren, und mit dieser Gesetzgebung wollen wir das ändern.

Und um das ganz deutlich zu sagen: Unser Ziel ist es nicht, ausländische Anbieter aus unserem Markt fernzuhalten oder zu verdrängen. Unser Ziel ist einfach nur, dass andere Länder ihre Märkte öffnen und unsere Unternehmen dort die gleichen Chancen haben wie Unternehmen aus diesen Ländern bei uns. Das ist einfach nur Fairness und Gegenseitigkeit.

Und was heißt das im Einzelnen? Die Kommission kann künftig entsprechenden Ländern Druck machen und entweder einen Vollausschluss oder einen Bewertungsnachteil für diese Länder androhen. Dies soll den Druck auf die Länder erhöhen, ihre Märkte für unsere Anbieter endlich ebenfalls zu öffnen.

Um die Wirksamkeit unseres Instruments sicherzustellen, unnötige Bürokratie zu vermeiden und gleichzeitig kleine und mittelständische Unternehmen zu schützen, haben wir uns auf sinnvolle Schwellenwerte für Aufträge geeinigt, die einerseits rund 70 % des gesamten öffentlichen Auftragsvolumens abdecken und andererseits nur für rund 10 % aller öffentlichen Aufträge stehen.

Zum Zweiten haben wir Abgeordnete durchgesetzt, dass der Mechanismus zur Bewertungsanpassung verschärft wird und die Kommission bis zu 100 % Preisanpassung vorgeben kann. Wenn man sich anschaut, mit welchen Kampfpreisen beispielsweise Anbieter aus China manchmal tätig sind, dann ist das nötig. Ich verweise beispielsweise auf die Tunnel in Stockholm oder ein Brückenbauprojekt in Kroatien, wo chinesische Anbieter teilweise nur den halben oder gar den Drittelpreis verlangen wie der günstigste europäische Anbieter. Deshalb ist es auch wichtig, dass unser Regelwerk gegen ungerechtfertigte staatliche Subventionen in Drittstaaten und auch unsere Antidumpingregeln weiter verschärft werden.

Auch ist uns Abgeordneten wichtig, dass dieses Regelwerk stringent und konsequent angewandt werden kann. Deshalb haben wir zwar Ausnahmen für besondere Notsituationen geschaffen, aber sichergestellt, dass Ausnahmen das Instrument nicht löchrig machen wie einen Schweizer Käse, sondern dass wir uns wirklich auf ganz wenige nötige Ausnahmen beschränken. Insbesondere hier bin ich dem Rat für seine Flexibilität und sein Entgegenkommen dankbar.

Von daher bin ich zuversichtlich, dass wir mit dieser neuen Verordnung einiges für unsere Unternehmen und Bürgerinnen und Bürger bewegen können, und freue mich auf die heutige Debatte.

 
  
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  Ivan Štefanec, Spravodajca Výboru pre vnútorný trh a ochranu spotrebiteľa požiadaného o stanovisko. – Pani predsedajúca, som rád, že po mnohých rokoch jednaní máme dnes na stole mechanizmus, ktorý je vyvážený a ktorý zjednoduší verejné obstarávania na jednej strane a pomôže na druhej strane ochrániť našich podnikateľov pred nekalými praktikami z mimoeurópskych krajín.

Je dôležité, aby sme si uvedomili silu jednotného trhu a význam hospodárskej súťaže. Aj preto sme lídrom v oblasti objemu verejne vysúťažených ponúk, ktoré sú otvorené nielen európskym subjektom, ale aj uchádzačom z tretích krajín.

Na druhej strane je pre našich podnikateľov často veľmi náročné dostať sa na trhy v tretích krajinách a ponúkané objemy predstavujú len zlomky z našich objemov. Preto je také dôležité zaviesť mechanizmus, ktorý pomôže chrániť našich uchádzačov pred spoločnosťami z krajín, ktoré nie sú otvorené spravodlivej súťaži.

Ako spravodajca vo Výbore pre vnútorný trh som bol zodpovedný za niekoľko exkluzívnych kompetencií, najmä v oblasti článku 12, ktorý hovorí o výnimkách. Tie sme po rokovaniach s Radou nastavili tak, aby sme nezvýšili byrokraciu, ale aby sme tieto výnimky jasne pomenovali, aby boli adresné a jednoduché.

Dovoľte mi, aby som sa aj pri tejto príležitosti poďakoval kolegovi Danielovi Casparymu a jeho tímu za obrovský kus práce pre úspech týchto pravidiel.

 
  
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  Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President of the Commission. – Madam President, honourable Members, let me first thank the European Parliament’s INTA Committee and especially the rapporteur, Daniel Caspary, and the opinion-giving committees, IMCO and JURI. The Commission is grateful for their political insight, hard work and the time you have invested collectively into this file; it has been discussed for more than ten years.

As you know, under the Portuguese, the Slovenian and the French presidencies, constant and intense involvement of the co—legislators was necessary to achieve progress and to conclude this file that was stalled for a decade. With your support, we are able to deliver on this key instrument that the EU industry needs, in sectors that significantly contribute to the EU economy and the creation of jobs for EU citizens.

The primary objective of this instrument is to open the markets for EU operators in third countries. But by concluding this file, the Union also sends a strong message to its partners: restricting the access of EU bidders to public procurement markets may, as a last resort, lead to reciprocal restrictions on access to EU procurement markets. To avoid such reciprocal measures under the international procurement instrument (IPI), third countries will have to eliminate restrictive and protectionist measures that limit access to their public procurement markets.

In its initial position and during the negotiations, the Parliament has made it clear that it was supporting the proposal and seeking further improvements to strengthen this instrument. The Commission is pleased to note that these improvements are largely reflected in the final compromise. So let me list a few examples.

First, the limitation of national measures restricting access to the procurement market will ensure the uniform application of EU—wide IPI measures in all Member States.

Second, stronger IPI measures have been introduced into the Regulation. These include the possibility to exclude bidders from the country concerned from public procurement procedures in the EU, and higher adjustment measures to penalise bids from the country concerned.

Third, the exceptions to the application of IPI measures shall be limited. The exception of a disproportionate increase in price has been dropped; only the exemptions for the reason of public interest and for the lack of alternative offers from bidders not covered by the IPI will remain in the Regulation.

Overall, the outcome of the negotiations reflects, in the Commission’s view, the need for a balanced instrument that limits the administrative burden for contracting authorities and at the same time preserves EU leverage vis-à-vis third countries. The IPI is a key element in the EU’s assertive trade strategy, strongly reflecting our guiding principle on open strategic autonomy.

So your vote will be an important milestone for a stronger, more ambitious and more assertive EU trade policy. I look forward to hearing your views in today’s debate.

 
  
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  Christophe Hansen, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, dear Executive Vice-President, the openness of our EU economy is one of our biggest assets, but are our companies met with the same open arms in all of the third countries to which we grant access to our internal market? The answer is clearly no, and that is why the International Procurement Instrument is more important than ever if we want to deliver on our open strategic autonomy. The elephant in the room, without any doubt, is China. Until the sudden halt of the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment, the Council played the unfortunate game of the Chinese.

Our Parliament rapporteur, Daniel Caspary, has proven that he is a real endurance athlete, because he maintained the necessary calm during more than ten years, three legislative terms and more than 20 presidencies of the Council, to finally close this evident legislative loophole. Our markets remain open to those who embrace us with reciprocity. The companies of those countries who do not, will inevitably face the same cold wind that our companies are used to.

Jean-Claude Juncker stated in 2018, in this Chamber, that Europe is open but not for the taking. These words seemed, until now, somehow like idle words. But with a positive vote on the political agreement on the international procurement instrument tomorrow, we will finally put flesh on the bones of this statement.

I just want to finish by congratulating Daniel Caspary, Bernd Lange and all the shadows involved in this on finally setting this milestone. We need this, our companies need this, and this was long overdue.

 
  
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  Bernd Lange, im Namen der S&D-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Kommissar, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Lange, vielleicht zu lange, war unser Werkzeugkasten, um uns gegen unfaire Handelspraktiken zu verteidigen, leer. Wir haben über zehn Jahre gewartet, um im Bereich der öffentlichen Beschaffung endlich ein Werkzeug zu haben, um unsere politischen und wirtschaftlichen Interessen gegen unfaire Handelspraktiken zu schützen.

12 % des Bruttoinlandsprodukts der Europäischen Union wird durch öffentliche Beschaffung generiert –12 %, finanziert durch Steuergelder. Und da kann es nicht sein, dass Dumpingangebote von Staaten, die uns den Zugang zur öffentlichen Beschaffung verwehren, hier Zuschläge bekommen. Deswegen ist es richtig, dass wir hier einen Schlussstrich ziehen.

Übrigens, dieses Werkzeug ist nicht das einzige, was wir brauchen. Wir werden auch aktiv gegen unlautere Subventionen vorgehen und auch gegen Zwangsmaßnahmen, die Handel und Investment benutzen, um uns in politische Richtungsentscheidungen zu zwingen. Nein, wir verteidigen unsere politischen und wirtschaftlichen Interessen fair und gerecht in einer globalen Welt.

 
  
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  Catharina Rinzema, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Madam President, dear Commissioner, dear colleagues, this is my first debate in plenary, so very honoured to be here. We in the European Union thrive from an open market and as the world’s largest trading bloc, we shall continue to prosper from open and free trade with our partners.

At the same time, the world around us has changed. For many years, we are seeing that not everyone is playing by the same rules and that many countries keep their procurement markets closed for European companies, all of this while those countries continue to benefit from our openness. Whether we are talking about the construction of roads and bridges, dredging rivers or selling metro stations, we see more and more foreign state—owned enterprises participating in European tenders – for instance, the Pelješac bridge in Croatia, which was built by a Chinese state-owned company with EU funds.

All of this is currently possible while European companies can often not participate in tenders in China. And China is not the only country where we are seeing closed doors. We want open and free trade. But let one thing be clear: we need to draw a line somewhere. We need to avoid seeing unfair situations elsewhere in Europe, also in my home country, the Netherlands.

So in order to continue to prosper, we will need fair trade, because our businesses, big and small, are the backbone of our economy. We will finally be able to make it harder for foreign companies to win tenders here or even to exclude them as long as their countries are not opening their markets to European companies. We want to keep our openness, but you have to open as well.

 
  
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  Anna Cavazzini, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Madam President, we Greens are happy that the international procurement instrument has the strength to ensure that third—country operators cannot get favoured when they use unfair practices, like, for example, in the case with China. A lot of colleagues said it already: the instrument is an important piece of the toolbox to rebalance economic relations with countries like China in a way that benefits the EU.

However, we Greens are a bit disappointed that the Commission, most of the Member States and some political groups have not been supportive of an exemption beyond least—developed countries. Procurement is an important tool for poorer countries to steer their industrial development, and this is also what the EU Member States have been allowed to do for decades.

Another point: social and environmental dumping is also an unfair practice. During the negotiations with the Council, it became clear that certain provisions on social and environmental standards in the EU Procurement Directive have never been used, and I think this is really a missed opportunity. I think the EU and the Member States have to get serious about applying the rules on truly sustainable procurement, and those rules should also be part of reciprocity considerations with third countries.

 
  
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  Virginie Joron, au nom du groupe ID. – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Commissaire, chers collègues, quand j’ai posé la question à vos services, il y a deux ans, la Commission a avoué n’avoir aucune idée quant au fait que des entreprises européennes aient pu remporter des marchés publics aux États-Unis ou en Chine. Aujourd’hui, vous nous annoncez que Bruxelles va exiger la réciprocité et l’ouverture des marchés publics des pays non-européens. Bravo! Ce n’est pas trop tôt, et nous voterons pour ce texte.

Mais comment expliquer aux Français et aux Européens que la Commission a signé le mois dernier un contrat avec une entreprise anglaise, British Telecom, pour gérer les communications secrètes entre États membres pour plus d’un milliard d’euros? Comment expliquer que Bruxelles engage le cabinet de conseil américain McKinsey sans vérifier si ce cabinet paie des impôts en France ou en Europe? Comment l’agence européenne SRB, qui gère à Bruxelles les faillites des banques européennes, peut-elle choisir la firme américaine BlackRock comme conseil via un contrat-cadre de 30 millions d’euros? Enfin, c’est IBM qui est le chef de file du projet de 140 millions d’euros qui gère nos données Schengen, via un contrat-cadre de 30 millions d’euros. On parle ici pourtant de fonctions régaliennes.

La coopération en Europe ne sera fructueuse que si elle est fondée sur la priorité pour tous les Européens.

 
  
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  Emmanuel Maurel, au nom du groupe The Left. – Madame la Présidente, mieux vaut tard que jamais. Je salue le résultat de cette longue négociation, qui va enfin permettre à l’Union européenne de se doter d’un instrument de protection des marchés publics. Je salue la ténacité du rapporteur, aussi, parce que je rappelle que ça fait dix ans que le texte est bloqué au Conseil par des gouvernements qui communient dans la religion du libre-échange sans entrave, et il était temps que cesse la naïveté européenne. Il était temps aussi que l’on redécouvre les vertus de la réciprocité. Mais il aura fallu pour cela que nous nous heurtions à la dure réalité.

C’est-à-dire que oui, il y a des États qui protègent leurs intérêts, qui ne jouent pas le jeu de la concurrence loyale, oui, il y a eu un renforcement du protectionnisme, chinois bien sûr, ç’a été dit, mais aussi américain, et de la part d’autres encore. Je reprends cet exemple hallucinant d’un pont construit en Croatie: 350 millions d’aides européennes, et finalement c’est une entreprise chinoise qui en bénéficie.

Alors il ne faut pas dépenser l’argent public. Il faut défendre les intérêts des entreprises européennes. Je pense qu’on pourra aller plus loin. Il y a dix ans, sur les marchés publics, on nous disait: «Vous avez tout faux.» Aujourd’hui, on nous donne raison. Moi, je vous propose autre chose: le Buy European Act, c’est-à-dire la préférence européenne dans certains domaines. Vous nous dites aujourd’hui: «Ce n’est pas possible.» J’espère qu’il ne faudra pas attendre dix ans pour y parvenir.

 
  
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  Enikő Győri (NI). – Tisztelt Elnök Asszony! Ma végre egy olyan jogszabályról beszélünk, amellyel az európai vállalatok érdekét védjük, azaz sikerül számukra külföldi vetélytársaikkal egyenlő versenyfeltételeket biztosítanunk: amely országok nem engedik be az európai cégeket a közbeszerzési piacukra, azok nehezebb pályára számíthatnak mostantól az európai tendereken.

Persze, ahogy azt már megszoktuk, az EP megint igyekezett túllőni a célon. A baloldali többség számára fontosabb volt megpróbálni kitiltani a külföldi tőkét ideológiai alapon, mint hogy az európai gazdaságot úgy hozzuk helyzetbe, hogy közben erősítjük a versenyképességét, nem pedig akadályokat tornyosítunk elibük. Szerencsére a Tanáccsal való egyeztetés során sikerült ezeket a túlzásokat visszanyesni.

Több tagállamban, így Magyarországon is tőkehiány van. Égetően szükségünk van külföldi befektetésekre. A jelenlegi gazdasági helyzetben, magas infláció idejében észnél kell lennünk, nem szabad elutálni a külföldi tőkét és túlzottan megdrágítani a beruházásokat. Hiszen ez végső soron pénzt vonna ki az adófizetők zsebéből.

A megszületett kompromisszum lehetővé teszi, hogy a közbeszerzéseknél továbbra is meg tudjuk szerezni a legjobb ajánlatot, mert ez az európai gazdaság érdeke. Jó hír egy olyan napon, amikor az EP baloldala az észszerűt meghaladó tempójú zöldítést erősítette, az európai vállalkozások teherbíró képességére való tekintet nélkül. Gratulálok a raportőrnek!

 
  
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  Inma Rodríguez-Piñero (S&D). – Señora presidenta, señor Dombrovskis, yo quiero empezar por felicitar a nuestro ponente, el señor Caspary, a todos los ponentes alternativos, al presidente de nuestra Comisión INTA, Bernd Lange, y a la Comisión y al Consejo porque creo que hemos hecho un excelente trabajo.

Es verdad que ha tardado demasiado, diez años, pero nos podemos congratular del resultado alcanzado porque por fin la Unión Europea se está dotando de los instrumentos necesarios para poder asegurar unas reglas del juego equitativas y, en este caso con el instrumento de contratación pública internacional, la igualdad de trato en los contratos públicos: un principio tan sencillo como la reciprocidad, que ha tardado tanto tiempo en empezar a dotarse de elementos objetivos que lo garanticen.

Yo quiero congratular especialmente por el hecho de que por fin se incluyan las obligaciones sociales, laborales y medioambientales a tener en cuenta en los procedimientos de contratación pública; hay que luchar no solo contra el dumping medioambiental, sino también contra el dumping social. Y le quiero pedir una cosa, señor Dombrovskis: en este instrumento, hay unos umbrales para las licitaciones en materia de obras y de servicios infinitamente más bajos —y, por tanto, más eficaces y eficientes— que los que se están planteando en el instrumento de subsidios extranjeros; hay que garantizar que haya una coordinación entre ambos instrumentos y que no se produzcan elementos distorsionadores en el otro Reglamento: en este es donde está bien recogido.