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Thursday, 15 December 2022 - Strasbourg Revised edition
1. Opening of the sitting
 2. The 30th anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities (debate)
 3. 90 years after Holodomor: Recognising the mass killing through starvation as genocide (debate)
 4. The humanitarian situation in Ukraine due to Russia’s attacks against critical infrastructure and civilian areas (debate)
 5. Resumption of the sitting
 6. Voting time
  6.1. Chinese government crackdown on the peaceful protests across the People's Republic of China (RC-B9-0563/2022, B9-0563/2022, B9-0569/2022, B9-0571/2022, B9-0572/2022, B9-0573/2022) (vote)
  6.2. Military Junta crackdown on peaceful demonstrations in Chad (B9-0574/2022, RC-B9-0575/2022, B9-0575/2022, B9-0576/2022, B9-0577/2022, B9-0578/2022, B9-0579/2022) (vote)
  6.3. The case of human rights defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja in Bahrain (RC-B9-0558/2022, B9-0558/2022, B9-0562/2022, B9-0565/2022, B9-0567/2022, B9-0568/2022, B9-0570/2022) (vote)
  6.4. Suspicions of corruption from Qatar and the broader need for transparency and accountability in the European institutions (B9-0580/2022, RC-B9-0581/2022, B9-0581/2022, B9-0582/2022, B9-0583/2022, B9-0584/2022, B9-0585/2022, B9-0587/2022) (vote)
  6.5. 90 years after Holodomor: Recognising the mass killing through starvation as genocide (RC-B9-0559/2022, B9-0559/2022, B9-0560/2022, B9-0561/2022, B9-0564/2022, B9-0566/2022) (vote)
  6.6. Upscaling the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (A9-0281/2022 - Jan Olbrycht, Margarida Marques) (vote)
  6.7. Deliberations of the Committee on Petitions in 2021 (A9-0271/2022 - Loránt Vincze) (vote)
 7. Resumption of the sitting
 8. Approval of the minutes of the previous sitting
 9. Major interpellations (debate)
 10. Explanations of vote
  10.1. Suspicions of corruption from Qatar and the broader need for transparency and accountability in the European institutions (B9-0580/2022, RC-B9-0581/2022, B9-0581/2022, B9-0582/2022, B9-0583/2022, B9-0584/2022, B9-0585/2022, B9-0587/2022)
  10.2. 90 years after Holodomor: Recognising the mass killing through starvation as genocide (RC-B9-0559/2022, B9-0559/2022, B9-0560/2022, B9-0561/2022, B9-0564/2022, B9-0566/2022)
  10.3. Upscaling the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (A9-0281/2022 - Jan Olbrycht, Margarida Marques)
  10.4. Deliberations of the Committee on Petitions in 2021 (A9-0271/2022 - Loránt Vincze)
 11. Approval of the minutes of the sitting and forwarding of texts adopted
 12. Dates of forthcoming sittings
 13. Closure of the sitting
 14. Adjournment of the session


  

VORSITZ: NICOLA BEER
Vizepräsidentin

 
1. Opening of the sitting
Video of the speeches
 

(The sitting opened at 9.05)

 

2. The 30th anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities (debate)
Video of the speeches
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  Die Präsidentin. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über die Erklärung der Kommission zum 30. Jahrestag der Erklärung der Vereinten Nationen über die Rechte von Personen, die nationalen oder ethnischen, religiösen und sprachlichen Minderheiten angehören (2022/3000(RSP)).

 
  
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  Stella Kyriakides, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, the EU is a strong proponent and supporter of the fundamental values in the EU and the Declaration on Minority Rights, whose 30th anniversary we are marking today.

Respect of the rights of persons belonging to minorities is one of the founding values of the European Union, and is a principle explicitly mentioned in the Treaty on European Union. Any discrimination on the basis of ethnic origin, language, religion or belief, as well as membership of a national minority, is explicitly prohibited under Article 21 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Defending minority rights is today more important than ever. We are seeing a backlash against the universality of human rights, against intercultural and multi-ethnic coexistence by opportunists, using us—against—them ideologies, fuelling hate speech against minorities, and demonising cultural or ethnic differences as a means to divide societies and further their political goals. The Commission ensures that fundamental rights and the right to non—discrimination are respected when EU law is implemented. Within the remit of its competences the EU is well equipped with legislative instruments, including the Racial Equality Directive, the Employment Equality Directive – which prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion or belief – and the framework decision on combating racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law.

The EU anti-racism action plan sets out a series of measures to step up action and bring together stakeholders at all levels to address racism more effectively within the EU. The action plan is intended to tackle racism and racial discrimination across society through fair policing, protection, education and remembrance, funding in areas such as labour market, social protection, healthcare and housing, fighting against extremism and hate speech, and improving data collection about instances of discrimination.

The EU’s equality agenda can have a direct impact on minorities of all kinds. For instance, the EU-Roma strategic framework for equality, inclusion and participation aims at promoting equality, social, political, cultural and economic inclusion of all Roma people. The Commission adopted its first ever EU strategy on combating anti-Semitism and fostering Jewish life that aims to support and complement EU Member States’ efforts in their national action plans to combat anti-racism and anti-Semitism.

The Commission has appointed a special envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the EU. The special envoy will establish a dialogue with national authorities and stakeholders in countries suffering from discrimination on the grounds of religious belief. The Commission is also in the process of appointing a coordinator for the fight against anti-Muslim hatred.

In its response to the European Citizens’ Initiative on the Minority SafePack, which was communicated on 14 January 2021, the Commission explained how it is implementing several Council recommendations and other policy documents which together represent a substantial set of measures in favour of minorities. In this respect, I mention the funding programmes in the areas of culture and education, which are fully accessible for regional or minority languages.

As regards EU funding more generally, the EU has reinforced the rules for compliance with fundamental rights and EU funds. The new common provision regulations setting out the rules for the next budget of 2021-2027 contains an enabling condition relating to the Charter. This requires Member States to take steps to ensure compliance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights when disbursing the EU structural funds.

The Horizon Europe programme – the biggest framework programme for research and innovation – dedicates a specific cluster on culture, creativity and inclusive society with a focus, among others, to protect languages as part of Europe’s cultural heritage for the first time. And I would say that in this context, significant attention will be devoted to research activities such as safeguarding minority, regional and local languages.

 
  
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  Loránt Vincze, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, dear Commissioner Kyriakides, minorities have been frequently subjected to restrictions and even suppression. This was true in the past and it is still true today. The UN declaration has lost nothing of its relevance. Minorities are often instrumentalised in the most violent internal conflicts. In extreme cases, they were subject to some of the worst atrocities ever committed, instead of being treated as equals and partners for peace and stability.

Given the occasion of the 30th anniversary, the European Parliament should have adopted the resolution supporting the UN engagement and action, and I am sorry that it did not do so. On Monday, probably driven by unfounded fears and outdated reflexes from national politics, the S&D, Renew and ID Groups voted overwhelmingly against the EPP proposal for the adoption of a resolution in Parliament.

What is the cynical message they sent? They have turned their back on the Rohingya, subject to unimaginable cruelty and expulsion in Myanmar. They have betrayed the Yazidis and the Kurds, our partners in the fight against ISIS. They have abandoned the Uyghurs and the Kurds, the Tibetans locked in labour camps in China. Violence against minorities in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen was of no relevance either.

But the message was disappointingly clear for the minorities in the EU as well, including the Roma – 40 million Europeans in total. It sends them the message: your rights are not worth the effort. Respect for the rights of minorities in the EU and beyond was and still is a matter of utmost importance and urgency. It is also about the credibility of our Parliament’s external action. I hope next time this House will be up for the task.

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar, en nombre del Grupo S&D. – Señora presidenta, comisaria, se cumplen treinta años de la Declaración sobre los derechos de las personas pertenecientes a minorías nacionales o étnicas, religiosas y lingüísticas por parte de la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas.

Es evidente que, pasados estos treinta años, hay millones y millones de personas pertenecientes a minorías que siguen sufriendo asimilación forzada, persecución, prejuicios, discriminación, estereotipos, odio y violencia.

Y la Comisión de Libertades, Justicia y Asuntos de Interior se preocupa singularmente por esa presión sobre personas pertenecientes a minorías en los procesos de inmigración y asilo: apátridas, menores, personas especialmente vulnerables y, cómo no, las mujeres pertenecientes a minorías, siempre perjudicadas de manera singular por la violencia de género, por violencia de todo tipo y, por tanto, por agresiones inasumibles a sus derechos fundamentales y a su dignidad.

Y, por eso, las Naciones Unidas siguen insistiendo en la necesidad de que la Unión Europea muestre liderazgo político, de acuerdo con los valores proclamados en el artículo 2, que prohíben especialmente la discriminación por pertenencia a minorías y que, además, incluyen como un valor fundamental de la Unión Europea la protección de las minorías.

Y, por eso, el Parlamento Europeo aprobó en 2018 una Resolución terminante que exige normas mínimas europeas de protección de las personas pertenecientes a minorías. De modo que el Parlamento Europeo pide legislación, con una definición precisa del concepto europeo de minorías y los estándares de protección, que serán, por tanto, exigibles a todos los Estados miembros de la Unión Europea.

Este será un modo de honrar este 30.º aniversario de la Declaración de las Naciones Unidas sobre los derechos de las personas pertenecientes a minorías.

 
  
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  Maite Pagazaurtundúa, en nombre del Grupo Renew. – Señora presidenta, señora comisaria, efectivamente, hace treinta años de esa declaración y dos años desde que debatimos, en esta misma Cámara, sobre los derechos de las personas pertenecientes a minorías. Yo dije entonces, y lo repito hoy, que la protección de las minorías y de los más vulnerables —y, por supuesto, la protección y promoción de la diversidad lingüística— es y tiene que seguir siendo una prioridad creciente. Esta protección solo puede lograrse con la defensa de una sociedad en la que seamos libres e iguales en derechos y libertades. La promoción de la diversidad lingüística debe enmarcarse también en esta idea.

En la Resolución sobre derechos de las minorías aprobada en esta Cámara, justamente hace dos años, dijimos cómo hacerlo. Los derechos lingüísticos deben respetarse siempre y promocionarse en consonancia con las leyes, de forma que se respeten los derechos fundamentales de todas las personas, sin ningún tipo de discriminación. Creo que es tiempo de entender la identidad como riqueza compartida, no como dogma, y de promover lenguas y culturas de forma abierta, en una Europa sin policías del pensamiento ni de la identidad, sin discriminación, como digo, con ciudadanos. Una Europa abierta, una Europa con personas libres e iguales.

Feliz Navidad.

 
  
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  François Alfonsi, au nom du groupe Verts/ALE. – Madame la Présidente, Madame la Commissaire, chers collègues députés, à l’instigation de l’intergroupe «Minorités traditionnelles, communautés nationales et langues» du Parlement européen, les groupes PPE et Verts/ALE avaient proposé qu’une résolution sur les droits des minorités soit soumise au vote du Parlement à l’occasion du 30ᵉ anniversaire de la Déclaration des Nations unies sur les droits des personnes appartenant à des minorités nationales ou ethniques, religieuses et linguistiques. Les autres groupes n’ont pas appuyé cette demande, et, lors du vote sur notre ordre de jour de session, une majorité très étroite a été dans leur sens: deux voix d’écart seulement. Je le regrette.

Je pense que cette question des minorités, depuis que les Nations unies ont adopté cette déclaration, est gravement sous-estimée par les institutions européennes, y compris par notre Parlement. Dans les années 1990, plusieurs textes ont été élaborés et votés dans ce Parlement et au Conseil de l’Europe, comme la Charte européenne des langues régionales et la Convention-cadre pour la protection des minorités nationales. Ces textes ont participé à la définition des critères de Copenhague, qui fondent depuis 1993 le socle des valeurs de l’Union européenne. Malheureusement, ces deux décennies ont érodé l’intérêt pour ces thématiques essentielles à la cohésion de l’Union européenne et au respect de ce qui en est la devise, «Unie dans la diversité».

Pourtant, comment ignorer l’importance de ces questions à l’international, comme en Syrie et en Iraq, où l’État islamiste avait fait de la persécution des minorités religieuses et ethniques l’essentiel de ses méfaits, à propos de l’Arménie et du Haut-Karabakh, au Sahel, où les conflits ethniques expliquent l’essentiel de l’emprise gagnée par les islamistes de Daech, en Éthiopie, ou encore pour les Ouïghours en Chine? Le recul de l’Union européenne sur ces questions affecte à mon sens la bonne appréhension de ces conflits par notre Service européen pour l’action extérieure comme par la plupart des diplomaties européennes.

À l’intérieur de l’Europe, ces questions sont tout autant d’actualité. Les critères de Copenhague ne sont toujours pas ratifiés par un pays comme la France. Le rapporteur spécial des Nations unies a encore récemment déploré la censure d’une loi adoptée pour l’enseignement des langues régionales. Les raisons viennent de loin. Elles viennent de l’histoire conflictuelle des États, à laquelle la construction de l’Europe veut apporter une réponse durable. Or, le recul sur ces thèmes est sensible, et il compromet la stabilité de l’Union.

Je veux notamment attirer l’attention sur les décisions déplorables qui sont prises en ce moment dans certains pays contre les minorités russophones, en raison de l’action de Vladimir Poutine. Il faut veiller à empêcher ce type de mesures qui, loin de construire la paix, risquent d’accroître les problèmes. Voilà le débat qui est en jeu. Je ne doute pas que le Parlement s’en emparera pleinement à l’avenir.

 
  
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  Silvia Sardone, a nome del gruppo ID. – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, è giustissimo discutere dei diritti delle persone che appartengono alle minoranze etniche e religiose e garantire loro impegno per il rispetto dei diritti umani.

Però bisogna essere onesti: per troppa ideologia vi siete concentrati a favorire risoluzioni, fondi, campagne comunicative solo per determinate comunità. Parliamo da anni del problema islamofobia, secondo cui per voi c'è un razzismo verso i musulmani, ma i veri perseguitati nel mondo sono i cristiani, di cui però nessuno parla.

Sono oltre 360 milioni nel mondo i cristiani perseguitati a causa della loro fede. Nel 2021 6 000 cristiani sono stati uccisi per motivi religiosi. Ne vengono ammazzati 16 ogni giorno. Aumentano anche le chiese attaccate, sono oltre 5 000.

La verità è che l'Unione europea e l'ONU non aprono gli occhi su un dramma che ci riguarda direttamente. Forse, ho pensato, tanti di voi erano più interessati a favorire il Qatar, che punta all'islamizzazione dell'Europa.

 
  
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  Margarita de la Pisa Carrión, en nombre del Grupo ECR. – Señora presidente, señorías, el objetivo de la Declaración es que personas pertenecientes a minorías puedan contribuir a la estabilidad social y política de los Estados, para servir al bien común y de la persona. No al interés general o de las mayorías, como se dice ahora. Siempre en un afán de encontrar armonía y no enfrentamiento.

Sin embargo, este derecho de las minorías se está utilizando como arma arrojadiza para generar división, por ejemplo, dando pie a minorías separatistas para que de forma ilegítima pretendan romper la unidad de las naciones, como ocurre en España. O cuando se protege de manera interesada y a veces desproporcionada a unos, pero, en cambio, no a otros, en función de intereses ideológicos.

Es vergonzoso que la comunidad internacional silencie el incesante atentado contra las vidas de las minorías cristianas, cruelmente, injustamente perseguidas por su fe, cuando, además, siempre han constituido un servicio innegable para la sociedad.

En su nombre y en el mío les deseo a todos ustedes una muy feliz Navidad.

 
  
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  Younous Omarjee, au nom du groupe The Left. – Madame la Présidente, Madame la Commissaire, je suis issu d’un peuple, le peuple réunionnais, qui a beaucoup souffert, qui est né d’un crime contre l’humanité, l’esclavage, et qui a connu la colonisation, la répression et la négation de sa langue et de son identité. Nous avons, par nos luttes, survécu à cela, mais, de par notre expérience, nous savons ce que signifie ne pas pouvoir parler sa langue, ne pas pouvoir pratiquer sa religion et être sommé de faire le choix entre assimilation ou soumission.

C’est pourquoi, en tant que Réunionnais, je sais ce que vivent aujourd’hui, en Europe, les minorités, qui, dans ce temps réactionnaire et d’exaltation des nationalismes identitaires assumés ou déguisés, paient un lourd tribut.

Dans ce contexte, la protection des minorités est, pour l’Europe, un devoir fondamental. Je pense que c’est un devoir de survie pour une Europe civilisée. Pour le monde, la sauvegarde, aujourd’hui, de la diversité culturelle et de la diversité linguistique – mises à mal, comme toujours, par des processus de domination –, est un enjeu de civilisation.

 
  
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  Javier Zarzalejos (PPE). – Señora presidenta, lamento que este debate no haya concluido con una resolución, como proponía el Partido Popular a través de nuestro colega Loránt Vincze. Me parece que, cuando estamos celebrando este 30.º aniversario, este Parlamento no debería haber quedado ausente de un pronunciamiento claro al respecto.

La protección de las minorías no es solo una exigencia de los derechos fundamentales, es una parte fundamental de la arquitectura de la paz en Europa que representa la Unión Europea. Pero es también una parte fundamental de la arquitectura, de la paz y de la seguridad internacionales. La Unión marca estándares globales muy altos, pero tenemos que seguir avanzando en este camino.

Quiero señalar tres cuestiones que me parece importante remarcar en esta ocasión. En primer lugar, que los derechos, como bien dice la ONU, pertenecen a las personas, y que a las personas y a su dignidad tenemos que referirnos cuando hablamos del respeto a las minorías. En segundo lugar, no podemos admitir a quienes se disfrazan de minoría para separar, romper o dividir a las sociedades. Y, en tercer lugar, la identidad no puede ser un elemento de confrontación, ni de lengua, ni de credos, ni de culturas. No puede ser un elemento de confrontación en sistemas políticos democráticos y pluralistas, ni puede limitar o derogar la universalidad de los derechos humanos. Identidad con igualdad. Identidad con lealtad cívica. Identidad con diversidad en convivencia pacífica y democrática.

Doy la bienvenida especialmente al nombramiento de un enviado de la Unión para la Libertad Religiosa, de quien esperamos que lleve nuestras firmes convicciones de la libertad allí donde más se necesitan.

 
  
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  Łukasz Kohut (S&D). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Pani Komisarz! Dwa lata temu, podczas debaty o Minority Safepack, po raz pierwszy w historii Parlamentu użyłem języka śląskiego i udowodniłem, że śląski to oddzielny język, a nie żadna gwara języka polskiego.

Historia naszej śląskiej walki ma jednak bardzo wiele płaszczyzn. O uznanie ślonskij godki za język regionalny w Polsce starano się już wielokrotnie – na razie bez rezultatu. Bo zawsze jest coś ważniejszego niż sprawa śląska. Jesteśmy potrzebni tylko wtedy, kiedy są wybory i wtedy, kiedy dostarczamy surowiec – jako nie do końca zrozumiany folklor, gdzieś tam na pograniczu.

A my domagamy się uznania naszego języka. Domagamy się uznania Ślązaków i Ślązaczek za mniejszość etniczną. Wkrótce powstanie w tej sprawie ustawa w Sejmie. Domagamy się edukacji regionalnej w śląskich szkołach. Bo historia Śląska jest inna niż historia Polski. Inna, jak inne są Odra i Wisła.

Uczymy się o stepach akermańskich, a nie uczymy naszych bajtli bogatych historii naszych śląskich miast. Pomija się naszych bohaterów we wszelkich panteonach. Pomija się śląskich noblistów. W zeszłym roku zepchnięto nas do kategorii „Inniˮ w spisie powszechnym. Jesteśmy banitami, nie chcą, żebyśmy byli sobą.

Dzisiaj, półtora roku po spisie, po ciężkiej pracy, którą wykonałem ze Ślonską Sztamą, nie chcą podać wiela to nos richtig szrajbło ślonsko nacyjo a ślonsko godka. To się dzieje tu i teraz. Czego się boicie? Wielokulturowość to coś pozytywnego. Bo to coś normalnego być Ślązakiem czy Kaszubem i jednocześnie obywatelem Polski. Nie lękajcie się, cytując klasyka.

 
  
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  Yana Toom (Renew). – Madam President, Commissioner, dear colleagues, let me quote a few sentences from the Declaration: ‘States shall protect the existence and the national or ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic identity [...]’; ‘[...] the right to use their own language, in private and in public, freely and without [...] discrimination’; ‘[...] adequate opportunities to learn their mother tongue or to have instruction in the mother tongue’; ‘National policies [...] planned and implemented with due regard for the legitimate interests of persons belonging to minorities’.

This is awesome. I mean, this is awesome. And I’m really happy to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Declaration. The only thing which overshadows joy is the fact that being – or I will say staying – Russian from Estonia or Latvia, you have nothing to do with all these wonderful statements. No free use of language, no education, not even due regard.

I know that in some Member States minorities are taken as decent members of the society, but this is not the case everywhere and will not be the case until we as the Union become part of this declaration.

 
  
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  Alice Kuhnke (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, 30 years ago, we agreed that minorities’ rights need enhanced protection and promotion, and in only a few weeks’ time, Sweden will take over the presidency of the Council, a country with a government that is in practice run by a party established by Nazis in the late 80s.

The European Union has committed to protecting and promoting minorities’ rights, but for the next six months the work of the Council will be led by a country – my country – which in area after area is doing the opposite of just that.

I refuse to accept and pretend that the EU stands up for values that we do not implement in reality. In a democracy, the majority has a responsibility to promote and defend minorities’ rights. Why are you so many that choose to shy away from that fundamental responsibility?

 
  
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  Mathilde Androuët (ID). – Madame la Présidente, la protection de toutes les minorités, qu’elles soient ethniques, nationales, religieuses ou linguistiques, est fondamentale. Je remarque néanmoins qu’il existe des minorités plus majoritaires que d’autres dans l’agenda médiatico-politique. Cette hiérarchisation est inacceptable. On parle beaucoup des Ouïghours ou des Rohingyas, à juste titre; mais pourquoi, alors, passe-t-on systématiquement sous silence les minorités chrétiennes, dont les membres sont ceux qui subissent le plus de violences dans le monde?

Expulsion des chrétiens afghans par les talibans, tentatives de meurtre de réfugiés chrétiens par des musulmans sur les bateaux de migrants, épuration des Serbes chrétiens au Kosovo, ou encore répression des Arméniens. La liste est encore longue, hélas! Seize chrétiens sont tués chaque jour. Voilà le bilan.

Pendant ce temps, le Parlement européen empêche un débat sur le massacre d’une Nigériane tuée il y a quelques mois, quand la Commission, elle, a mis plus d’un an à nommer un envoyé spécial à la liberté religieuse. Quand on dit protéger les minorités, il est impératif de rester impartial et de ne pas faire son marché en fonction des intérêts politiques du moment.

 
  
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  Carlo Fidanza (ECR). – Signora Presidente, signor Commissario, onorevoli colleghi, a trent'anni dalla dichiarazione delle Nazioni Unite le minoranze religiose sono ancora perseguitate.

Sono ancora sette i paesi al mondo in cui una persona può essere condannata a morte con leggi penali sulla blasfemia, in palese violazione del diritto internazionale: Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Brunei, Mauritania, Arabia Saudita e Nigeria.

E proprio dalla Nigeria arriva un'opportunità unica per il mondo: il musicista Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, dichiarato colpevole di blasfemia e condannato a morte per impiccagione nell'agosto del 2020, ha infatti fatto appello alla Corte suprema della Nigeria, contestando la costituzionalità della legge.

Chiediamo al presidente Buhari di abbattere queste leggi ispirate alla sharia e contrarie ai diritti umani delle minoranze religiose, al diritto internazionale e agli impegni della Nigeria a rispettarne i trattati.

Sarebbe un segnale importante sul piano interno, contro le milizie islamiste che insanguinano il Paese, e sul piano internazionale, verso tutti gli Stati che utilizzano le leggi antiblasfemia per colpire le minoranze religiose.

 
  
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  Andrea Bocskor (NI). – Elnök Asszony! Harminc éves az ENSZ kisebbségi jogokról szóló nyilatkozata, de azóta sem történt sok előrelépés a kisebbségi jogok tekintetében. Fontos lenne, hogy az őshonos nemzeti és nyelvi kisebbségek jogai ne csak papíron létezzenek, hanem valójában is. Ezért óriási jelentősége lett volna az Európai Bizottság által elutasított Minority SafePack-nek. Az európai döntéshozók azonban kettős mércét alkalmazva, csak egyes kisebbségek problémáit vizsgálják nagyító alatt.

A nyilatkozat évfordulója jó lehetőség, hogy a nehéz időket élő kárpátaljai magyar közösségre jobban odafigyeljünk. A kárpátaljai magyarok elítélik az orosz agressziót, a vérontást, a rombolást, és részt vesznek Ukrajna védelmében. Mindenki megszenvedi a háború borzalmait és következményeit, de az áramszünetek közepette is kitartanak szülőföldjükön, küzdenek a megmaradásért, és támogatják az ország háborús régióiból ide menekülő nőket és gyermekeket. Az Ukrajnában élő magyar kisebbség fő törekvése megegyezik az EU tagjelölti státusz egyik feltételével, hogy a Velencei Bizottság ajánlásaival összhangban meghozott törvénnyel garantálják a kisebbségi jogokat, és tartsák tiszteletben a szülőföldjén békében élni akaró közösséget.

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE).A Uachtaráin, 30 years have passed since the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, and it continues to be the UN’s most important instrument for minorities’ rights. It provided the essential framework to ensure that minorities’ voices can be heard and for diversity to be embraced.

‘United in diversity’ remains one of the main pillars of European values. While in many ways we have been successful in upholding these values, it is the unfortunate truth that there is still much work to be done. Individuals from various minority groups still face discrimination, harassment and exclusion on a daily basis, and this is horrible. Although it is important to celebrate this incredible milestone today, we must also ensure that it is being implemented effectively and that any gaps in its implementation are filled.

On the topic of linguistic minorities, I would also like to shed light on my own country, Ireland. Earlier this year, Irish gained full status as an official EU language. Gaeilge is the official first language of the Irish State, but unfortunately holds no official status in Northern Ireland. Irish is the language of Ireland and in my view it should be awarded the status to reflect this on the whole island. Is linne an Ghaeilge.

Go raibh maith agat. Nollaig shona.

 
  
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  Evin Incir (S&D). – Madam President, colleagues, the rights of persons belonging to national, ethnic or religious and linguistic minorities are an essential part of fully fledged democracies. Their protection and rights are an integral part of upholding the universal human rights.

But even after 30 years of the UN declaration, the EU and its Member States have a long way to go to ensure that minorities are protected, and their rights are defended. A society’s well—being is judged by how we treat our whole population, especially how we treat minorities. We could even start looking at ourselves here in this European Parliament and other EU institutions. We talk about ‘united in diversity’ as our slogan, as our flagship, but what I see is a lack of diversity.

We need to strengthen the protection of minority rights all across the European Union, and we also need to promote them globally. Anyone who belongs to a national minority must have the right to learn, develop and use their minority language. The authorities must listen to the national minorities and take their needs into account. The parties must become more inclusive because only through inclusiveness, we ensure that each and every person in the European Union also in practice can become a part of society and make their voice heard. Unfortunately, we see this discrimination in all parts of our society. We need to end the discrimination and we need to defend, promote and respect the rights of minorities.

 
  
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  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (Renew). – Señora presidenta, señora comisaria, unirnos en la diversidad implica reconocimiento y respeto. Fabrica convivencia. Previene conflictos.

Hoy tenemos que lamentar que en la Unión hay diversidad, culturas y lenguas minorizadas, que padecemos discriminaciones impensables contra nacionalidades, lenguas o culturas identificadas con un Estado; minorías, como la vasca, que estuvieron desde el principio en la fundación del proyecto europeo.

Ignorar este problema, resolverlo a sentenciazos, cuya nula relación con el Derecho denuncian muchos expertos, es un error. Golpear a ciudadanos que quieren votar, encarcelar a promotores de debates parlamentarios, revela miedo y ausencia de proyectos sólidos y quiebra de principios democráticos básicos.

La innovación política, la proximidad, la cooperación, la participación, la eficiencia que aporta reconocer estas realidades son soluciones y no problemas para nuestra Unión. La segunda propuesta más apoyada en la Conferencia sobre el Futuro de Europa proponía un mecanismo para resolver con diálogo, empatía y política los conflictos que nacen de reprimir esta diversidad. La experiencia ha demostrado el rotundo fracaso de otras recetas.

 
  
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  Romeo Franz (Verts/ALE). – Frau Präsidentin, sehr geehrte Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Eines der in der Erklärung verkündeten grundlegenden Ziele besteht darin, die Achtung der Menschenrechte und der Grundfreiheiten für alle zu fordern. Es werden Maßnahmen zur Förderung der Identität von Minderheiten verlangt. Es wird ausdrücklich gefordert, Maßnahmen zu ergreifen, um die Kenntnis der Geschichte der Minderheiten zu fördern. Angehörige von Minderheiten sollten angemessene Möglichkeiten haben, ihre persönlichen Erfahrungen zu teilen, um gegenseitiges Verständnis und Vertrauen zu fördern. Dazu gehört auch eine angemessene Erinnerungskultur.

Durch den Holocaust wurden Hunderttausende Sinti und Roma ermordet, darunter sechs meiner Tanten und Onkel. Es wird Zeit, dass wir zum nächsten Holocaustgedenktag im Parlament zum ersten Mal in unserer Geschichte einen Zeitzeugen oder eine Zeitzeugin mit Romanes-Hintergrund sprechen lassen, solange wir noch die Zeit dafür haben.

 
  
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  Nicolaus Fest (ID). – Frau Präsidentin, Frau Kommissarin, sehr geehrte Kollegen! Im Jahresbericht der Vereinten Nationen über die Lage der ethnischen, nationalen, religiösen oder sprachlichen Minderheiten ist eine Sache auffällig: Problematisch ist die Lage dieser Minderheiten in China, Pakistan, Indien, Kasachstan, Turkmenistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar sowie in fast allen arabischen und afrikanischen Ländern. Europäische Länder finden sich auffälligerweise nicht in dem Bericht. Zwar wird konstatiert, dass die Roma übermäßig unter COVID gelitten hätten, aber nicht einmal der UN-Bericht kann hierin eine staatliche Diskriminierung sehen.

Anders also, als bei jeder Gelegenheit von linken Parteien hier im Hause behauptet, scheint die Lage der Minderheiten in Europa außerordentlich gut zu sein. Anders ist es allerdings, und das sagt auch der UN-Bericht, mit der Lage der Christen und der Juden in fast allen nichtwestlichen Teilen der Welt. Sie werden überall diskriminiert, verfolgt und getötet. Aber davon will die Mehrheit hier im Haus leider nichts wissen. Sie wehrt sich geradezu zwanghaft, auch nur über das Thema zu reden, so wie in der Plenarsitzung im November, als Sie die Christenverfolgung nicht auf der Tagesordnung haben wollten.

Wer damals gegen die Aufnahme in die Tagesordnung stimmte, nun aber die Diskriminierung von Minderheiten beklagt, ist ein Heuchler. Liebe Kollegen hier von dem gesamten linken Block, das gilt vor allem für Sie. Man hat ja den Eindruck, wenn es um diese Fragen geht, sind nicht nur sechs Sozialisten von Katar bestochen worden, sondern die ganze linke Hälfte hier des Hauses.

Dass sie jetzt zu Weihnachten über die Minderheitenrechte reden wollen, aber die Rechte der größten verfolgten Minderheit seit Jahren konsequent negieren, ist eine einzige Schande.

 
  
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  Clara Ponsatí Obiols (NI).(The speaker spoke in a non-official language)

 
  
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  President. – Sorry, Ms Ponsatí Obiols...

 
  
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  Clara Ponsatí Obiols (NI). – Yes, my words cannot be translated because they were in Catalan. Millions of European citizens are being treated, even in this Parliament, as second-class European citizens – we’re second class, yes. And in the meantime, Spanish MEPs come to this microphone and speak about diversity and how languages unite. No, this is cynicism and it’s intolerable.

The truth is that the European Union underpins the position of national majorities in each Member State and works against, not in favour, of regionalised minority groups. Until we get self-determination in the European Union, our rights will not be respected.

 
  
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  Isabel Benjumea Benjumea (PPE). – Señora presidenta, iba a utilizar mi minuto y medio para denunciar —y no quiero dejar de hacerlo— las persecuciones de los cristianos en el mundo y para apelar a la Comisión a que no mire a otro lado ante las masacres constantes que hay a las minorías religiosas, en este caso a los cristianos, a lo largo del mundo, sobre todo en una institución como el Parlamento, una institución de la Unión Europea donde constantemente estamos diciendo que estamos unidos en la diversidad.

Y no quiero dejar de alzar la voz para decir que hay que dar cobijo, hay que dar protección y hay que denunciar todas y cada una de las matanzas de cristianos que hay en el mundo, muy especialmente ahora que llega el tiempo de Navidad, ya que, tristemente, en años anteriores hemos visto masacres precisamente el día de Navidad.

Pero, lamentablemente, después de escuchar a la señora Ponsatí, no puedo sino denunciar varias cosas.

En primer lugar, la señora Ponsatí es una prófuga de la justicia española. Y lo es precisamente por haber querido alterar el orden constitucional.

En segundo lugar, precisamente, los niños que hablan español y que quieren ser educados en español en Cataluña son justamente aquellos a los que no se les reconoce ese derecho. España es un país maravilloso en el que hay muchas lenguas cooficiales, pero, en algunos territorios de España, familias que quieren educar a sus hijos en español, justo la lengua que compartimos todos los españoles, simple y llanamente no pueden hacerlo. Reciben todo tipo de acosos y reciben todo tipo de impedimentos para poder ejercer un derecho fundamental que es educar a tus hijos en su lengua materna.

Por lo tanto, nada de lo que ha dicho la señora Ponsatí es cierto, y lamento profundamente que se utilice este Parlamento para decir esas cosas.

Feliz Navidad.

 
  
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  István Ujhelyi (S&D). – Elnök Asszony! Én elsősorban egy vagyok a sok magyar családapa közül. Másodsorban európai polgár, egyébként pedig szociáldemokrata politikus. De mind a három minőségemben ugyanazt gondolom, hogy az Európai Unióban – így a modern időkben is – a nemzet kérdése, vagy a nemzeti kisebbségek védelme különösen fontos számunkra. Büszke vagyok arra, hogy a gyönyörű és különleges magyar nyelvemen szólhatok ebben a házban. Ez annak köszönhető, hogy évezredes küzdelmet folytatott a magyarság a fennmaradásáért, és most annak, hogy tagjai vagyunk az európai közösségnek.

De hogy mi lesz a későbbiekben, az nagyban függ attól, hogy tiszteljük-e a nemzeti kérdéseket. Az európai értékek sokszor absztraktnak tűnnek, ki-ki saját íze szerint értelmezi őket. Egy biztos, a tisztelet és az elfogadás alapvető kérdés kell legyen egymás kultúráját, vallását, szexuális orientációját, nemét illetően. De ez a lista nem teljes a nemzeti hovatartozás nélkül. Éppen ezért muszáj jeleznem, hogy nem engedhetjük a populista nacionalizmus fogságába ejteni a nemzeti kérdéseket. Egy hazafi, az védi a nemzeti érdekeket, és nem kihasználja azokat a politikai céljai érdekében.

 
  
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  Salima Yenbou (Renew). – Madame la Présidente, cette année, la Déclaration des Nations unies sur les droits des personnes appartenant à des minorités nationales, ethniques, religieuses et linguistiques fête son trentième anniversaire. C’est l’occasion de rappeler l’engagement qui a toujours été le mien: faire entendre la voix de toutes les minorités, afin de protéger et de renforcer leurs droits les plus fondamentaux.

Ne nous voilons pas la face: le chemin est encore long. Aujourd’hui encore, beaucoup trop de minorités subissent discriminations, exclusion, violence et privation des droits. Je me suis toujours attachée à être la porte-voix des «sans voix» et des minorités du monde entier (Ouïgours, Tibétains, Roms, et toute autre minorité ethnique), et je continuerai toujours à protéger et à défendre la diversité.

Œuvrons pour mettre fin aux violations des droits de toutes les minorités. Pour cela, je milite ardemment en faveur de l’intégration systématique des minorités, en associant des représentants à chaque dialogue et à chaque prise de décision, à toutes les échelles.

La pleine intégration des minorités dans nos sociétés est le seul moyen de garantir un progrès démocratique et sociétal. Travaillons ensemble afin de faire de cette déclaration notre réalité, car, n’en déplaise à certains, nous sommes tous égaux en droits.

 
  
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  André Rougé (ID). – Madame la Présidente, chers collègues, charité bien ordonnée commence par soi-même. Comment évoquer un anniversaire lié aux droits de l’homme avec 6 500 ouvriers morts sur les chantiers du Qatar et le scandale qui en découle et ébranle notre institution? Bien qu’il n’ait pas hésité à vendre ses services à une puissance étrangère, l’un d’entre nous s’érige en donneur de leçons, alors même qu’il n’a rien vu venir concernant ses camarades du groupe socialiste, aujourd’hui derrière les barreaux pour corruption.

Notre collègue voudrait lancer une opération «mains propres», mais quelles explications a-t-il fournies lorsque son ex-femme fut interpellée avec plusieurs millions de dollars dans ses valises? Toujours prompt à jeter l’opprobre sur l’adversaire, qu’a-t-il répondu à Mme Zourabichvili, présidente du pays dont son épouse était ministre de l’intérieur, qui se demandait si, en sa qualité de mari, il ignorait tout des excès de la police, des tortures dans les prisons et de la situation des droits de l’homme sur place?

Vous nous avez dit, Madame la Présidente, que vous vouliez secouer le Parlement. Alors, faites en sorte, s’il vous plaît, que M. Glucksmann ne puisse plus présider la commission ING2.

 
  
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  Kinga Gál (NI). – Elnök Asszony! 30 éve abban reménykedtünk, hogy az ENSZ nyilatkozata elősegíti majd az európai kisebbségvédelmet is. 2004 óta küzdök az őshonos nemzeti és nyelvi kisebbségek védelméért az Európai Parlamentben. A kisebbségi munkacsoport társelnökeként azóta is azzal szembesülünk, hogy több millió uniós állampolgárt – köztük magyarok százezreit – másodrendű állampolgárként kezelnek az Unió számos tagállamában. Diszkrimináció, jogsértések sokasága, az anyanyelvhasználat korlátozása vagy hiánya ellenére az Európai Bizottság nem kíván ezen kisebbségek jogainak élharcosává válni. Így a kettős mérce áldozatává válnak, kéréseik süket fülekre találnak.

Gondoljunk csak a milliók által támogatott kisebbségvédelmi európai polgári kezdeményezésre, melyeket a bizottság laza kézmozdulattal sepert le az asztalról. Az Európai Bíróság pedig ítéletben erősítette meg ezt a döntést. Pedig nagy szükség lenne végre egy átfogó európai, őshonos nemzeti és nyelvi kisebbségvédelmi keretre. Sajnálatos, hogy az EP még egy állásfoglalást sem kívánt hozni egy ilyen komoly kérdésben.

 
  
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  Gilles Lebreton (ID). – Madame la Présidente, chers collègues, pour la France, la liberté est le droit de tout individu de s’arracher à ses déterminismes biologiques et culturels. C’est pourquoi elle ne reconnaît l’existence d’aucune minorité ni d’aucune communauté qui ferait obstacle entre l’individu et la nation.

À l’inverse, la Déclaration sur les droits des personnes appartenant à des minorités nationales ou ethniques, votée par l’ONU en 1992, veut institutionnaliser ces obstacles. Elle est donc incompatible avec la conception française de la liberté. Son article 1er demande aux États de protéger l’existence et l’identité nationale ou ethnique des minorités vivant sur leur territoire. La France s’efforce au contraire de favoriser l’assimilation des personnes issues de ces minorités à la communauté nationale, qui est la seule communauté qu’elle reconnaît.

En fêtant le trentième anniversaire de cette déclaration, le Parlement européen prouve qu’il est complètement étranger à la tradition politique française. Il confirme ainsi son absence de légitimité à parler au nom du peuple français.

 
  
 

Spontane Wortmeldungen

 
  
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  Rasmus Andresen (Verts/ALE). – Fru Formand! I Europa findes der over 300 forskellige nationale mindretal. Vi burde være stolte over denne store mangfoldighed, der kendetegner EU. Demokrati, retsstatslighed og mindretalsrettigheder kan ikke gradbøjes. Stater, som misbruger mindretal som magtinstrument og samtidig har en problematisk holdning til retsstatslighed, er et problem for vores samfund. Modsat kan man ikke kæmpe for retsstatslighed uden at kæmpe for mindretallenes ligestilling. Det burde være EU's og medlemsstaternes vigtigste mål at ligestille mindretal. Som mindretalsdansker er jeg utrolig skuffet over, at den nye danske regering ikke nævner mindretalspolitik med et eneste ord i deres nye regeringsgrundlag. Det er utroligt skuffende, at EU-Kommissionen ikke tør gå i konflikt med medlemsstaterne. Kære Ursula von der Leyen, kære Kommissær Kyriakides. Det er på tide, det er nu, I skal komme med konkrete forslag for at beskytte vores mindretal.

 
  
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  Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana (Verts/ALE). – Madame la Présidente, les minorités, qu’elles soient ethniques, religieuses ou linguistiques, contribuent à enrichir notre projet européen et non pas à l’avilir. Il est de notre devoir de les protéger, afin que le vivre-ensemble prospère au sein de notre continent.

De nombreuses études ont montré que les minorités, souvent jugées négativement et comparées par la population à la «norme» supposée, sont sujettes à des inégalités et à des discriminations. C’est le cas des minorités d’origine africaine, dont l’histoire et la contribution à la paix, à la fin de la Deuxième Guerre mondiale, sont complètement occultées. Connaissez-vous le nombre d’Africains qui ont péri dans les camps de concentration en Allemagne? Non, absolument pas. Il est inconnu de nos élèves, dont la scolarité dure pourtant douze ans.

Il est donc temps de les réhabiliter et de faire connaître l’histoire de tous les citoyens qui vivent sur notre continent. C’est notre devoir de protéger et de respecter les minorités, et de donner à notre devise, «Unie dans la diversité», toute sa valeur.

 
  
 

(Ende der spontanen Wortmeldungen)

 
  
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  Stella Kyriakides, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, honourable Members, the Commission has developed a very solid set of legislation and measures which benefit minorities across Europe and at the same time is mindful that the issues relating to the recognition of the status of minorities and the use of regional or minority languages remains a responsibility of Member States. You can rest assured that the Commission is committed to continuing to protect minorities both within and outside the EU.

 
  
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  President. – I will now give the floor to our colleague Ms Ponsatí Obiols, who has asked to make a personal statement.

 
  
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  Clara Ponsatí Obiols (NI). – Madam President, I just want to reply to lies that we have heard a few minutes ago. They referred to my status and they referred to the supposed persecution of Spanish in Catalan schools. Both are lies.

I participated in a government that organised a referendum and that doesn’t please the Spanish authorities. I have always defended myself in the courts of law that have asked me to defend myself. And I’m not a fugitive. I was just part of a democratic government that organised a referendum. A referendum is a situation where people put pieces of paper in boxes. If that is a crime, we should revise the status of Spain as a Member of the Union.

And if you have a hesitation about the status of Spanish in Catalan schools, just go and walk on the streets of Barcelona and try to find the child that does not speak Spanish. And then you try to find the child that speaks good Catalan and that’s going to be a lot more difficult.

 
  
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  President. – Thank you, we will take note – it is in the Minutes – but it is up to the Spanish courts to solve that problem.

 
  
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  Die Präsidentin. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

 

3. 90 years after Holodomor: Recognising the mass killing through starvation as genocide (debate)
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  Die Präsidentin. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über die Erklärung der Kommission zum Thema „90 Jahre nach dem Holodomor: Anerkennung der Massentötung durch Hunger als Völkermord“ (2022/3001(RSP)).

 
  
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  Stella Kyriakides, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, honourable Members, the Great Famine of 1932 to 1933, the Holodomor, is one of the major tragedies of the 20th century, which took the lives of so many Ukrainians and other persons across the Soviet Union.

This was highlighted on 26 November at the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor, honouring the memory of Ukraine’s victims. Ninety years after the Holodomor, Russia is again using food as a weapon in the brutal war of aggression against Ukraine, by destroying Ukraine’s agricultural production, mining its fields and blocking its ports.

Today, the European Union stands together with Ukraine in the pursuit to help avert hunger across the world. We support Ukraine’s newly launched initiative, ‘Grains for Ukraine’, which testifies to our joint solidarity with the global efforts to fight hunger caused by Russia’s war of aggression.

Our EU—Ukraine Solidarity Lanes continue to be essential corridors for Ukraine’s agricultural and other exports and imports, bringing income to Ukraine and to its economy. We strongly support the UN—backed Black Sea grain deal. Together with our Solidarity Lanes, they are allowed to export more than 30 million tonnes of grains and other foodstuffs.

With hindsight, we can draw some more positive lessons from Holodomor. It reminds us that such a tragedy can only be possible in a world in which respect for human rights and the rule of law and democratic principles is absent. The European Union itself was built out of the ashes of war and different experiences of totalitarianism, and yet these same tragedies have shaped and driven the extraordinary achievements of a united Europe over the past 60 years.

Today, Ukraine is transformed as well – as an independent state, as a member of the Council of Europe and as a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights and a number of other international human rights instruments. While our immediate goal is to help Ukraine win the war, we will support Ukraine to also win peace, to become a modern democratic state.

In this regard, Ukraine’s EU candidate status is an opportunity. Progress on key reforms could serve a double purpose: strengthening Ukraine’s resilience and also helping it advance on its European path as a modern democracy, matching thus the will of the Ukrainian people.

 
  
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  Radosław Sikorski, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, let us be clear about what happened in the 1930s. It wasn’t a natural disaster. There was first the collectivisation, and then Stalin blamed the victims. And throughout that time, the Soviet Union was exporting grain. What happened was that internal troops, NKVD, was sent to Ukraine, surrounded places district by district, activists took grain and all the food that there was away from the peasants and then, while surrounded, the troops waited until everybody died – up to 5 million people. I commend to you the definitive work on this subject, Red Famine by Anne Applebaum, who happens to be my wife.

There was famine in other parts of the Soviet Union, but in Ukraine it was accompanied by a vicious purge of the bearers of Ukrainian culture in the cities as well, up to 200 000 people. And the reason why it’s important to commemorate this is that Putin is trying to do by somewhat similar means the same thing again, namely to reduce the Ukrainian nation to the status of Russian folklore, but to deny Ukraine the right to exist as a separate culture, separate nation, and a separate functioning, democratic and pro-European state.

This is what we are talking about. So it’s very important and couldn’t come at a better time that we should pass this resolution. I commend it to the House.

 
  
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  President. – Before we continue, I have an announcement to make. Obviously we have a technical problem with the catch-the—eye procedure at your places. So if you wish to request the floor for catch-the-eye, just raise your hand and we will take your names.

 
  
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  Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, w imieniu grupy S&D. – Pani Przewodnicząca! W XX w. dokonano wielu aktów ludobójstwa. Belgijskie Kongo, Ormianie w 1915 r., japońskie zbrodnie w Chinach, Holocaust, Chiny Mao, Nigeria, Kambodża, Rwanda, Srebrenica i wiele innych. Gazowano ludzi, rozstrzeliwano, ścinano mieczem lub maczetą.

90 lat temu z rozkazu Stalina zastosowano inną metodę. Najprostszą. Postanowiono zabić miliony ludzi, zabierając im wszelką żywność. Późniejsze tłumaczenie, że cały kraj potrzebował żywności, było i jest oczywistym kłamstwem. Nie zabierano części żywności, ale wszystko. Brutalnie uniemożliwiano ludziom przemieszczanie się do innych części Ukrainy.

Ta tragedia była przez długi czas nieznana lub mało znana. ZSRR i jego sukcesorka Rosja nigdy nie potwierdziły tej zbrodni. Nawet w niepodległej Ukrainie przez pewien czas nie był to temat podejmowany przez władze. Ten stan rzeczy zmienił się znacząco, ale nie w pełni. W wielu krajach oddano cześć ofiarom Hołodomoru, uznano też tę zbrodnię za ludobójstwo.

W 90 lat po rozpoczęciu tej zbrodniczej operacji najwyższy czas, żebyśmy także my, tu w Parlamencie Europejskim, reprezentując nasze społeczeństwa, uznali Hołodomor za akt ludobójstwa. Apelujemy do tych, którzy tego jeszcze nie zrobili, by poszli tą samą drogą.

Wzywamy Rosję do jasnego potwierdzenia, że Hołodomor miał miejsce, był skutkiem celowych decyzji władz ZSRR i do przeproszenia narodu ukraińskiego. Wzywamy wszystkich do udostępnienia materiałów archiwalnych, tak aby prawda o Hołodomorze mogła być możliwie najpełniej opisana i wykorzystana w edukacji przyszłych pokoleń.

Dla ofiar Hołodomoru możemy zrobić już tylko jedno: pamiętać o nich.

 
  
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  Petras Auštrevičius, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Madam President, Commissioner, dear colleagues, 90 years ago, the Soviet Government’s attempts to break the will of the people of Ukraine and other regions, to force them to accept the Soviet regime and the abandonment of private property and agriculture turned into a bloody action: the Holodomor.

The Soviet Government, which called itself socialist, supposedly working for the good of the people, organised the Holodomor by deliberate and systematic measures. It deprived the peasants of their stocks of grain and other foodstuffs, and imposed martial law, inhuman punishments and persecutions. Punishments up to 10 years in a penal colony or in prison awaited the collection of a few ears of grain in the fields. This applied to everyone, including minors.

The Soviet authorities, seeing the enormous number of starving and dying people and entire families dying of starvation, acted cynically and used genocidal methods. Already then, the Soviets resorted to propaganda, hosting foreign journalists favourable to them, who were shown a reality created by deception. This old school of propaganda still exists in Russia today.

Dear colleagues, I welcome the European Parliament’s determination to recognise the Holodomor as a genocide against the Ukrainian people. The call for Russia to recognise this crime is equally important. Because only such steps would show that Russian society coming to terms with history, and that it is determined not to repeat such unforgivable mistakes in the future. The social experiments of totalitarian systems based on collective violence, and radical and ideological actions must receive the necessary evaluation and response.

As we commemorate 90 years of the Holodomor, and express our condolences to the victims, let us do our utmost to help Ukraine defeat the Russian aggression, who once again threatens the existence of this brave nation and resilient country.

 
  
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  Viola von Cramon-Taubadel, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Madam President, Commissioner, colleagues, it was acorns and pigeons that Vasyl Sieber’s family had to eat to survive the winter; he was six. Olesya Sunopol was 10; she remembers people eating tree bark, frogs and even earthworms. Fedir Putyanskyy remembers a boy admitting to eating the flesh of his own mother, who died of starvation. They were just children when the man-made famine killed millions of Ukrainians.

The Holodomor is not a tragedy of one or two families. It is an attempted extermination of an entire nation by the Soviet regime. Stalin’s brigades pillaged Ukrainian villages in search of remaining grain. They were filled with hate towards Ukrainians, fuelled by Soviet propaganda.

We in the European Parliament say ‘never again’ to the horrendous crimes of the 20th century. Russia tried to write history; 90 years later, Putin is now trying to repeat it. The historic parallel is uncanny. Just like 90 years ago, Russia is stealing the grain from Europe’s breadbasket, trying to break the Ukrainian spirit. Just like 90 years ago, war on Ukraine’s national identity is fuelled by hateful propaganda and Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s word. 90 years ago, Ukrainians died on the very edge of Europe and Europe didn’t even notice it. The world didn’t even notice it. Today, we have the choice to take notice and act fiercely to avert a tragedy which future generations will never forgive us for.

With today’s resolutions, we call on the Russian Federation to recognise the Holodomor as a genocide and apologise for the crimes committed. Slava Ukraini!

 
  
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  Nicolaus Fest, im Namen der ID-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin! Ich war Mitte 20, als ich das Buch The Harvest of Sorrow las. Robert Conquest war der erste Historiker, der den Hungerkrieg Stalins gegen die Ukraine ins öffentliche Bewusstsein hob. Seiner Schätzung nach starben Anfang der 30er-Jahre rund zwölf Millionen Menschen an Hunger oder hungerbedingten Krankheiten. Wie unter Historikern üblich, ist über die Zahl der Todesopfer lange gestritten worden. Heute gehen die Experten von rund sechs Millionen aus. Aber es macht das Verbrechen keineswegs kleiner.

Gestritten wird auch über die Frage, ob der Holodomor ein Genozid war oder „nur“ die Beseitigung innenpolitischer Gegner. Für die Genozid-Annahme spricht, dass sich der Hungerterror vor allem gegen die Ukrainer wandte, also eine ethnische Komponente hatte. Dagegen spricht, dass auch 1,5 Millionen Kasachen und weitere Volksgruppen betroffen waren und es die Ukraine eben deshalb traf, weil sich die dortige Bauernschaft vehement gegen die Kollektivierung wandte. Beide Seiten haben gute Argumente, aber diese Debatte ist keine für Politiker, sie ist eine für Historiker, und daher ist dieses Haus auch der falsche Platz für solche Diskussionen.

Statt über das Für und Wider eines Genozids zu reden, sollten wir den Fokus lieber auf etwas anderes richten: Sozialismus tötet, egal ob in der nationalen oder internationalen Variante. Sozialismus ist immer verbrecherisch. Er sorgt – wir erleben das gerade wieder – immer für Korruption, für Günstlingswirtschaft und Ämterkauf. Sozialismus ist immer das Gegenteil von Gerechtigkeit, und er ist mörderischer, als jeder Nationalismus es je war. Sozialismus ist der Feind der freien Reise, der freien Berufswahl, der Glaubens- und Gewissensfreiheit. Und er ist der Feind der freien Meinung. Sozialismus ist ein Irrweg, und wer ihm heute noch immer folgt, ist moralisch verkommen. Wenn wir uns auf eine solche Entschließung einigen können, würde ich sie gerne unterstützen.

 
  
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  Dominik Tarczyński, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Madam President, it’s been 90 years since this horrible tragedy. It’s been decades. And Russia is still the same Russia. They committed crimes in Poland. They committed genocide in Poland. They committed genocide in Ukraine 90 years ago and they are still committing crimes like genocide in Ukraine now. Nothing has changed. Nothing.

And 90 years ago, over 90 years ago, 100 years ago, we didn’t know what to name it, what to name this crime. As Churchill said, it’s the ‘crime without a name’. But thanks to a Polish lawyer, Raphael Lemkin, we do know that this is a genocide. Genocide. This is very important. That’s why I think this Chamber should commemorate Mr Lemkin, one of the greatest minds of the law in history. And we have to remember that genocide is taking place in Ukraine now.

For so many years, Russia was the aggressor – not only in Poland, not only in Ukraine, not only in Europe. What have we done to stop them? What have we done? Businesses as usual for the last decades – gas, gold, diamonds. And these businesses are still taking place. We have to stop it now. We have to stop it now.

 
  
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  Martin Schirdewan, im Namen der Fraktion The Left. – Frau Präsidentin! Der Holodomor ist eines der fürchterlichsten Verbrechen des Stalinismus. Ihm fielen Millionen von Menschen zum Opfer, vor allem in der Ukraine, aber auch im Nordkaukasus, der Wolgaregion, im Süduralgebiet, in Westsibirien und in Kasachstan.

Dieses Verbrechen erwuchs aus der politischen Entscheidung der damaligen Sowjetführung unter Stalin, die Industrialisierung des Landes und die Kollektivierung der Landwirtschaft auch unter Zwang gegen die eigene Bevölkerung durchzusetzen – ein grausames Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit, in jedem Fall und ohne jeden Zweifel, das in Massenhunger und millionenfachem Verhungern gipfelte. Den Opfern aus der gesamten damaligen Sowjetunion erweisen wir die Ehre, den Familien gehört unser Mitgefühl und unser Respekt, und heute erweisen wir hier die Ehre insbesondere den Ukrainerinnen und Ukrainern, die dem Holodomor zum Opfer fielen.

Seit 1948 definiert eine UN-Konvention Völkermord juristisch als Verbrechen, begangen in der Absicht, auf direkte oder indirekte Weise eine nationale, ethnische, rassische oder religiöse Gruppe als solche ganz oder teilweise zu zerstören. Dass die sowjetische Führung unter Stalin gezielt eine Politik des Völkermordes gegenüber der eigenen Bevölkerung und insbesondere den Ukrainerinnen und Ukrainern beging – also den Hunger aus ethnischen und rassistischen Gründen über sie brachte –, ist jedoch unter Wissenschaftlern, unter Historikerinnen und Historikern wenigstens umstritten. Industrialisierung, Zwangskollektivierung, Entkulakisierung betrafen viele Nationalitäten der Sowjetunion.

Meine Kritik an der vorliegenden Entschließung, aber auch an dieser Debatte hier bezieht sich vor allem auf die Vermengung der stalinistischen Geschichte mit der grausamen Gegenwart des russischen Angriffskriegs. So werden wir weder der historischen Verantwortung gerecht, die sich aus der komplexen Geschichte Europas im 20. Jahrhundert speist, noch kommen wir einer Beendigung des verbrecherischen Krieges Russlands gegen die Ukraine näher.

 
  
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  Λευτέρης Νικολάου-Αλαβάνος (NI). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, τα ιστορικά δεδομένα δεν αμφισβητούνται. Η λεγόμενη γενοκτονία του ουκρανικού λαού που υιοθετείται ήταν μια καλά επεξεργασμένη ναζιστική συκοφαντία που διασπάρθηκε στη συνέχεια από φιλοναζί μεγιστάνες του Τύπου, όπως ο Hearst, και φασιστικές συμμορίες, όπως του Bandera. Στην Ουκρανία, στη Ρωσία, το 1930-1932, όντως υπήρχε ξηρασία, υπήρχε λιμός, τύφος. Κρύβετε, όμως, ότι οι μεγαλοαγρότες καπιταλιστές σαμποτάρισαν τη συγκομιδή, τις αποθήκες, τα μηχανήματα, δολοφόνησαν στελέχη του σοσιαλιστικού κράτους, επιτείνοντας το πρόβλημα. Βεβαίως, δεν έχουν σχέση τα πραγματικά θύματα με τα αστρονομικά νούμερα της ευρωατλαντικής ψευδολογίας. Ταυτίζετε την καπιταλιστική Ρωσία, την απαράδεκτη εισβολή της στην Ουκρανία, με τη Σοβιετική Ένωση. Χρησιμοποιείτε αθλιότητες, κλιμακώνετε αντικομμουνιστικά νομοθετικά εκτρώματα, όπως στην Πολωνία, ενώ από κοινού, ευρωατλαντιστές και Ρωσία, υιοθετείτε αυτά τα μυθεύματα, παρά το μεταξύ σας ιμπεριαλιστικό σφαγείο στην Ουκρανία. Δεν «φτιασιδώνεται» η καπιταλιστική βαρβαρότητα με διαστρεβλώσεις και ψέματα. Η αλήθεια θα λάμψει, οι λαϊκές κατακτήσεις του σοσιαλισμού είναι φάρος που φωτίζουν τον δρόμο για έναν κόσμο χωρίς εκμετάλλευση, κρίσεις, πολέμους και προσφυγιά.

 
  
 

Spontane Wortmeldungen

 
  
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  Александър Александров Йорданов (PPE). – Г-жо Председател, обръщам се от Европейския парламент към депутатите от българския парламент, към президента и правителството на моята страна България и ги призовавам да признаят гладомора в Украйна за геноцид и престъпление срещу човечеството, осъществени от престъпната съветска комунистическа партия. Призовавам ги също така да престанат да участват в кремълския сценарий за дестабилизация на България.

Отдавна е време да бъде обявен за персона нон грата посланикът на Русия в България, която се намесва във вътрешните работи на моята страна. Отдавна е време и да бъдат премахнати всички съветски и комунистически паметници, които унижават достойнството на българския народ. Днес Русия отново осъществява терор и геноцид в Украйна. Поклон пред милионите жертви на гладомора! Слава на Украйна!

 
  
 

(Ende der spontanen Wortmeldungen)

 
  
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  Stella Kyriakides, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, honourable Members, the debate today testifies to our continued engagement to keep alive the sad memory of Holodomor. The innocent lives it claimed are not forgotten. It is vital that we prevent such tragedies from happening again.

Let me stress once again that the EU will continue to act and prevent efforts to use hunger as a weapon. The European Union remains an active and responsible actor. We stand in solidarity with Ukraine and with the global efforts to fight the hunger caused by Russia’s war of aggression. And we should also be firm in fighting Russia’s lies that the European Union is responsible for the rise in food prices.

 
  
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  Die Präsidentin. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Die Abstimmung findet heute, Donnerstag, 15. Dezember 2022, statt.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 171)

 
  
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  Andrea Bocskor (NI), írásban. – Holodomor, vagyis éhhalál, az ukrán nép történetének talán egyik legnagyobb tragédiája. A 90 évvel ezelőtt történt, 1932 áprilisától 1933 novemberéig tartó mesterséges éhínség több millió ukrán életét követelte, akiknek egyetlen bűne a nemzetiségi hovatartozásuk volt. Az ukrán nép kiéheztetése valójában egy Sztálin parancsára végrehajtott népirtás volt. A világon több mint 20 ország, köztük Magyarország, ismerte el a holodomor szörnyűségeit népirtásnak.

Mi magyarok is megszenvedtük a sztálini diktatúra kegyetlenségeit, így értjük az esemény tragikumát. 1944 őszén a szovjet csapatok megszállták Kárpátalját, és mintegy harmincezer 18 és 50 év közötti magyar nemzetiségű férfit deportáltak hadifogolytáborokba, közülük több mint tízezren sosem térhettek haza. A magyar nemzetiségű férfiakat három napig tartó helyreállítási munkára toborozták össze, a nép nyelvén „málenkij robotra”, ám a kis munka helyett kényszermunka-táborokba internálták őket, ami egyértelmű etnikai tisztogatás volt.

Azokat az áldozatokat sem rehabilitálták a mai napig, bocsánatot sem kértek tőlük. A „málenkij robot” és a holodomor áldozatai is a sztálini diktatórikus rendszer elszenvedői. Fontos, hogy európai szinten is elítéljük ezeket a cselekedeteket, és ne engedjük, hogy hasonló megismétlődhessen. Magyarország jószomszédként mindig kiállt Ukrajna mellett, elsők között ismerte el a holodomort népirtásnak.

 
  
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  Kinga Gál (NI), írásban. – Egy nép halálra éheztetését nem szabad engedni elfelejteni. Ahogy a Gulagra elhurcolt, munkatáborokba, halálba küldött magyarokat sem. A kommunizmus és a diktatúrák áldozatainak, meghurcolt, halálra ítélt férfiak, nők és gyermekek százezreinek, széttépett családok tömkelegének mai napig nem szolgáltattak igazságot. A történelmet jóvátenni, megváltoztatni nem lehet. De az áldozatokról kegyelettel emlékezni, az elhurcoltak méltó emlékét megőrizni kötelességünk. Ez segít hozzá ahhoz, hogy az élet és az igazságosság örökségét hagyjuk a következő generációkra.

 

4. The humanitarian situation in Ukraine due to Russia’s attacks against critical infrastructure and civilian areas (debate)
Video of the speeches
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  Die Präsidentin. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über die Erklärung der Kommission zum Thema „Die humanitäre Lage in der Ukraine aufgrund der Angriffe Russlands auf kritische Infrastruktur und zivile Bereiche“ (2022/2998(RSP)).

 
  
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  Stella Kyriakides, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, honourable Members, Russia is taking its unjustified war against Ukraine to a new level. As we meet, the Kremlin’s forces are committing brutal war crimes across the country. They are bombarding Ukrainian infrastructure. Waves of attacks on the country’s electricity grid are being launched every day. Rockets are striking the power stations repeatedly. Putin’s war machine has one clear goal: to have Ukrainians freeze and suffer this winter.

All of this is having a tragic impact on the humanitarian situation across the country. According to the UN’s latest estimates, nearly 80 million people are in dire need of humanitarian assistance in Ukraine. Millions of Ukrainians are struggling to access healthcare, food and basic social services. In every region of Ukraine, there are areas where people are living without heating, without electricity, without water, some continuously.

For nearly 10 months, the European Union has remained firmly committed to Ukraine and its people. I want to assure this House that this support is unwavering. We are with Ukraine for the long haul. As a humanitarian donor, the EU’s funding commitments are strong and significant. Over EUR 485 million of humanitarian aid has already been allocated by the EU to Ukraine this year. With this support, we are providing critical health, protection and shelter assistance needed by the Ukrainian people. More than 13 million Ukrainians have benefited directly from EU humanitarian aid. This is thanks to the tireless efforts of many international humanitarian partners, the International Committee of the Red Cross, UNICEF and the WHO, to name just a few.

But more needs to be done for the people of Ukraine. Across the country, temperatures are now dropping to below freezing. As the EU, we must stand ready to support Ukrainian authorities in providing light and heat to residential buildings, to hospitals and to schools, to the people living there.

This is why we are turning our attention to Ukraine’s growing winter needs. Our humanitarian package now includes targeted winter support worth EUR 130 million. With this aid, we are helping partners to distribute emergency shelter and lights, and establish temporary reception centres across the country. In parallel, we are also mobilising more lifesaving supplies directly for the Ukrainian people. Through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, we have coordinated the delivery of almost 77 000 tonnes of assistance since February, and this is a clear display of EU solidarity in action.

With the support of our Member States, we have already offered over 1 000 generators to Ukraine. Last week, we mobilised 40 large generators for our new EU stockpile. This would guarantee power for 30 hospitals in Ukraine. We will soon also have 120 medium to large generators in stock, and we will take further action to expand the power generator capacity of rescEU. Our Union’s Civil Protection Mechanism is also supporting the Generators of Hope initiative of Parliament’s President Metsola and Eurocities.

Honourable Members, the European Union is determined to scale up its support in view of these unprecedented challenges. At the conference call by Presidents Macron and Zelenskyy in Paris last Tuesday, Commission President von der Leyen already announced further support in the field of energy.

In the face of these enormous challenges, the European Union, Member States, G7 and other international partners have to work together to increase the impact of our aid. For this reason, the Emergency Response Coordination Centre in the European Commission will be stepping up its coordination activities in order to pool energy assistance from all EU Member States and third countries in a newly established EU energy hub in Poland and channel it into Ukraine. I look forward to hearing your views throughout our debate.

 
  
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  Andrius Kubilius, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, colleagues, Commissioner, of course, the best humanitarian assistance to Ukraine would be more arms deliveries – guns, guns, guns – because this is the only way this war can be ended in the near future. And the war brings humanitarian catastrophe to all the people of Ukraine.

I would like to make just two comments on the humanitarian assistance issue, and what we need to do as the EU. Really, the EU is doing a lot, but I would say we need to stop talking about how much we did and how much we delivered – for example, 1 000 or whatever generators. We need to ask what the needs of Ukraine are – and for generators, 25 000 are needed – and how we are going to cover the difference between what is needed and what is delivered. That’s, I think, one of the most important issues for us.

I would also like to see the EU coordinating the efforts of all the citizens of the EU who want to assist Ukraine. And in each village or city of the EU, everybody should know the phone number of the EU coordinator.

Secondly, I would like to suggest the same idea as President Zelenskyy proposed at the very beginning of the war: that each EU Member State should take patronage of an individual region of Ukraine – for example, Estonia for Zhytomyr, Lithuania for Lutsk, and so on – and take care of the humanitarian assistance to that region especially. In order to achieve that, the EU needs to take the role of effective coordination between the EU Member States and the regions of Ukraine. We can do more!

 
  
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  Pedro Marques, em nome do Grupo S&D. – Senhora Presidente, Senhora Comissária, Colegas, a guerra de agressão da Rússia contra a Ucrânia ficará para a história como um dos grandes crimes deste século. Pela força das armas, o regime de Putin tentou impor-se à vontade soberana dos ucranianos. Mas a determinação de um povo que quer ser livre prova ser sempre mais forte e, por isso, lhe atribuímos ontem o Prémio Sakharov.

O ataque de Putin contra as infraestruturas básicas da Ucrânia visa punir vingativamente a população pela sua resistência, deixando milhões de pessoas sem energia a enfrentar temperaturas insuportáveis.

Ouvimos testemunhos incríveis daqueles que vieram até cá para receber o Prémio Sakharov de como as famílias estão a unir-se para enfrentar esta situação impossível. A situação é verdadeiramente dramática.

O meu colega Kubilius, que quero cumprimentar pelo facto, recordou aqui várias propostas do governo ucraniano que vão no sentido de reforçar essa ajuda humanitária. Não podemos ficar indiferentes, nem tão pouco paralisados. A União Europeia tem a responsabilidade moral de apoiar a Ucrânia. Por isso, apelo à Comissão e ao Conselho para que continuem a apresentar propostas na linha das que têm vindo a ser defendidas pelo governo ucraniano e por entidades europeias, para que cumpramos coletivamente a nossa responsabilidade. Verão que, da parte do Parlamento Europeu, não encontrarão nada mais do que um apoio esmagador.

 
  
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  Nathalie Loiseau, au nom du groupe Renew. – Madame la Présidente, Madame la Commissaire, en Ukraine, Vladimir Poutine conduit la guerre des lâches. Alors qu’il n’a pu prendre ni Kiev ni Kharkiv et qu’il a dû se retirer de Kherson, il cherche à terroriser la population en la privant d’électricité, d’eau et de chauffage. En revanche, il ne connaît rien à l’Ukraine. L’Ukraine, j’en reviens et j’y retournerai encore. Je peux en témoigner: face à l’acharnement russe, le peuple ukrainien ne se décourage pas – au contraire, il enrage. Plus l’Ukraine est frappée, plus elle est soudée; plus Vladimir Poutine essaie de détruire ce pays, plus il consolide la détermination de son peuple à lui résister et à le repousser.

Néanmoins, il m’est facile de prononcer ces mots ici, au chaud, dans le confort d’un pays en paix. Nous ne devons pas nous contenter de nous apitoyer sur l’Ukraine ou d’admirer son peuple. Nous devons tous, et chacun, l’aider à triompher de l’hiver avant de triompher de la guerre. Même les plus pacifistes des Européens ne pourront refuser à l’Ukraine les générateurs qui lui manquent et l’aide dont elle a besoin pour limiter les effets des frappes russes.

Les plus réalistes d’entre nous savent bien que le plus efficace reste encore de fournir à Kiev les systèmes de défense qui repousseront les frappes. Ceux d’entre nous qui veulent vraiment la paix, une paix juste et durable, savent qu’elle passera par une victoire militaire de l’Ukraine et une défaite de la Russie.

L’Ukraine n’a pas besoin de courage – elle en a à revendre. Elle n’a pas besoin de conseils – c’est elle qui se bat et qui endure. Elle a besoin d’amis des mauvais jours, qui l’aident à réparer son pays blessé et à s’assurer que plus jamais à l’avenir, on ne pourra l’agresser.

 
  
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  Erik Marquardt, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin, Frau Kommissarin! Das, was wir für die Ukraine tun, das ist ja nicht nichts – das wissen wir, glaube ich, alle. 18 Milliarden Euro, die am Montagfreigegeben wurden, das ist ein hoher Betrag. Aber das, was die Ukrainerinnen und Ukrainer seit dem 24. Februar bezahlen, ist ein so unendlich viel größerer Preis für unsere Freiheit, dass wir, glaube ich, allen Grund dazu haben. zu schauen: Was können wir als Europäische Kommission, was können wir als Europäisches Parlament, aber was können wir auch als Mitgliedstaaten der Europäischen Union tun, damit dieser Kampf für die Freiheit am Ende erfolgreich ist?

Es sind schon 4,8 Millionen Menschen, die in den EU-Staaten Zuflucht gefunden haben. Ich glaube, im letzten Jahr hätte niemand gedacht, dass wir so viele Geflüchtete aufnehmen können. Aber wir müssen auch damit rechnen, dass in diesem Winter natürlich mehr Menschen aus der Ukraine fliehen, und wir müssen uns darauf auch vorbereiten. Ich sehe in keinem der Mitgliedstaaten eine ernsthafte Vorbereitung darauf, dass noch einige Millionen Menschen kommen, und es sind ja nicht nur Menschen aus der Ukraine, die Zuflucht in der Europäischen Union finden müssen.

Ich glaube, wenn wir uns angucken, wie pervers dieser Angriff auch auf die zivile Infrastruktur in der Ukraine stattfindet, dann ist es auf der einen Seite wichtig, dass wir gucken müssen: 1,5 Millionen Menschen in Odessa, aber insgesamt 10 Millionen Menschen, die in der Ukraine momentan keinen Strom haben. Wie können wir mehr Generatoren liefern? Wie können wir mehr Räumwerkzeug liefern? Wie können wir bei der humanitären Hilfe mehr tun?

Aber ich möchte auch sagen, dass all die humanitäre Hilfe am Ende Putin nicht aufhalten wird. Es ist auch ein humanitärer Akt, genügend Waffen in die Ukraine zu schicken, damit die Drohnen abgeschossen werden können, damit die Raketen abgeschossen werden können, damit dafür gesorgt werden kann, dass die Ukraine am Ende wieder eine freie, friedliche Demokratie sein kann. Ich glaube, diese Waffenlieferung ist das, was wir auch jetzt im Winter in den Vordergrund stellen müssen, ohne das andere nicht zu tun.

 
  
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  Veronika Vrecionová, za skupinu ECR. – Paní předsedající, právě v těchto dnech miliony lidí na Ukrajině trpí nedostatkem tepla, světla nebo pitné vody. Mezi nimi malé děti, těhotné ženy nebo senioři. V důsledku masivních ruských útoků na ukrajinskou infrastrukturu jsme svědky humanitární krize, jakou Evropa dlouhá léta nepamatuje. Jsem ráda, že Evropská unie přikládá ruku k dílu a dává najevo, že Ukrajinu neopouštíme. Ruské útoky na ukrajinskou energetickou infrastrukturu jsou státním terorismem, kterým se snaží diktátor Putin srazit ukrajinský lid na kolena. Navzdory všem předpokladům před válkou, že Kyjev padne v řádu dní, se Ukrajinci už deset měsíců statečně brání agresorovi, který na jejich území páchá válečné zločiny, vraždí nevinné obyvatele a zemi chce doslova rozmlátit na kousky. Musíme vytrvat a Ukrajině dále pomáhat. Je to v zájmu bezpečnosti celé Evropy.

 
  
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  Younous Omarjee, au nom du groupe The Left. – Madam la Présidente, Madame la Commissaire, à celles et ceux qui accompagnent leur condamnation de la Russie de nuances, devant ce qui est le plus grave acte de décivilisation en Europe depuis la Deuxième Guerre mondiale, je dis: «N’avez-vous pas peur, en temps de guerre, de renforcer l’ennemi? N’avez-vous pas perçu que Vladimir Poutine anime depuis des années une internationale d’extrême droite autoritaire, nationaliste, identitaire, religieuse et réactionnaire, devenue une menace pour toute l’Europe? N’avez-vous pas compris qu’à travers l’Ukraine ce sont toutes nos démocraties qui sont attaquées?»

Notre solidarité pour le peuple ukrainien en résistance contre l’envahisseur est totale. Dans cet hiver où les Ukrainiens manquent de tout – de nourriture, d’eau, de vêtements et d’électricité, pour se chauffer, et même pour réchauffer un plat –, notre aide doit être concrète, urgente et renforcée. Elle doit l’être pour les 18 millions d’Ukrainiens qui ont, selon l’ONU, besoin d’une aide humanitaire d’urgence et les 10 millions qui ont besoin d’une aide alimentaire.

Je réitère mon appel aux villes et aux régions d’Europe à rejoindre l’initiative lancée par la Présidente Metsola, Générateurs d’espoir, pour pallier les coupures d’électricité. En ces temps de guerre, où les Ukrainiens sont au front pour repousser l’envahisseur russe, notre seule ligne d’action est l’aide humanitaire au peuple ukrainien et le soutien à l’Ukraine pour défaire l’ennemi. C’est le préalable pour que se dessine la paix future que nous souhaitons tous.

 
  
  

VORSITZ: RAINER WIELAND
Vizepräsident

 
  
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  Radosław Sikorski (PPE). – Panie Przewodniczący! Pani Komisarz! Wysoka Izbo! W mediach społecznościowych opublikowano film, fragment programu publicystycznego rosyjskiej telewizji. Pokazane jest na nim, jak propagandziści Putina naśladują dźwięk spadających na Ukrainę dronów i rakiet, i się z tego śmieją, rechoczą, cieszą się, że cierpią ludzie, którzy według nich są Rosjanami, którzy w ogóle nie są Ukraińcami. Ten ich rechot to jest najlepszy dowód na to, czym dziś jest rosyjski faszyzm, rosyjska potrzeba dominacji.

Przed chwilą rozmawialiśmy o Hołodomorze. Stalin próbował zniszczyć Ukrainę już 90 lat temu, zabił 5 milionów ludzi. Tym razem panie Putin, panu się to nie uda, bo Ukraina walczy i ma solidarność całego cywilizowanego świata. W tej sali kiedyś będą ukraińscy członkowie Parlamentu, a pan, panie Putin, będzie tam, gdzie pan przynależy – na śmietniku historii.

 
  
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  Mónica Silvana González (S&D). – Señor presidente, desde el punto de vista puramente humanitario, nos preocupa y nos ocupa no solamente la crueldad de los ataques contra infraestructuras críticas, sino cómo ser eficaces en la ayuda a las personas, en vista de las nevadas y de las temperaturas de menos de veinte grados bajo cero, mortales si no ayudamos.

Gracias al Equipo Europa, hemos sido capaces de localizar 19 700 millones de euros, que se han materializado en más de 18 000 toneladas de ayuda, a través del Mecanismo de Protección Civil de la Unión Europea; más de 1 600 pacientes trasladados a dieciocho países, a través de los vuelos del Centro de Evacuaciones Médicas; más de 800 generadores de energía, localizados en hospitales y colegios; bombillas, más de 30 millones en ahorro de energía; la creación del nuevo centro sanitario y energético RESCUE en Polonia, que servirá para facilitar el transporte y el almacenamiento de las donaciones de terceros países.

La asistencia a refugios invernales sigue siendo la prioridad absoluta, más después de los hechos que hemos conocido de daños a la infraestructura, y debemos apoyar el trabajo hecho por ECHO. Claro que sí.

Pero también es hora de regular el aporte del sector privado a la ayuda humanitaria, que, junto con otros terceros países, está permitiendo que Ucrania tenga el 75 % de las necesidades cubiertas.

Por ello, desde este Parlamento también llamamos la atención para que no se descuiden otras grandes crisis olvidadas en otros lugares del mundo.

 
  
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  Petras Auštrevičius (Renew). – Mr President, Madam Commissioner, dear colleagues, Russia’s military aggression against European Ukraine is based on an attempt to create a critical humanitarian situation by cutting off access to energy, healthcare, food and other essential services and goods. The current Russian leadership is using the genocidal crimes that were mastered long ago by Imperial Russia or the Soviet authorities. Russia’s bloody history is repeating itself again.

The determination of the European Union and its Member States to assist and stand with Ukraine and its people in solidarity must continue. Colleagues, as this week the Sakharov Prize 2022 winner, Oleksandra Matviychuk, repeatedly asked for weapons, sanctions and justice. This is an essential condition for Ukraine’s survival.

Let us not give up and let us continue helping our Ukrainian brothers and sisters who are fighting for our common values. Slava Ukraini!

 
  
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  Jakop G. Dalunde (Verts/ALE). – Herr talman! Kollegor! Det ukrainska folkets mod och kämpaglöd är en urkraft. Men denna glöd sätts på prov när den sanna vinterkylan slår till, när fönster slagits ut av bombernas tryckvågor, när elementen står kalla för att elledningar kapats och kraftverken bombats sönder, när det inte kommer något vatten ur kranen och när man tvingas tillbringa natten i en källare, i en tunnelbanestation eller i ett skyddsrum.

För en månad sedan var jag i Ukraina med några kollegor och fick se denna verklighet som det ukrainska folket utsatts för, och min känsla är att vi måste stötta det ukrainska folket mer. Genom att skydda dem med luftvärn mot missilerna, genom ekonomiskt stöd. Vi måste sluta köpa fossil energi från Ryssland som finansierar kriget. Detta måste ske nu.

 
  
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  Dominik Tarczyński (ECR). – Mr President, Madam Commissioner, it’s been 10 months – 10 months of this genocide. And Poland from day one was a leader. Over 7 million people crossed the Polish-Ukrainian border. Can you imagine that? Not even one person, Madam Commissioner, not even one family never found any other different place than a Polish home. We don’t have camps for refugees in Poland, because we are so open. But in Europe we still have hypocrites who are making money with Russia on diamonds.

Why is Belgium selling diamonds? Why is Antwerp protesting to get diamonds into the embargo? Why is there no embargo on diamonds? Why do we hear from Mr Macron that we cannot isolate a leader like Putin? Why can we hear from Mr Schulz that after war we have to go back to the normal relations with Putin?

This is hypocrisy. And if this hypocrisy will not stop, Putin will knock on Berlin’s door, Paris’ door and other doors in Europe. But Poland was first to react, and we are leaders. So be like Poland.

 
  
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  Riho Terras (PPE). – Mr President, dear colleagues, we have met with many friends of Ukraine this week in Strasbourg. They are all very brave people who leave their homeland and fight for their freedom every day. The people of Ukraine are at the forefront of the Western democracy. They are fighting our fight – let’s not forget that.

Russia aimed for a short and victorious war 10 months ago when they launched a full—scale attack against Ukraine. They were totally wrong. War against the brave people of Ukraine is not just a walk in the park. Russia, after numerous failures, has chosen the tactics of destroying Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. It is a modern day ‘scorched earth’ tactic because we all depend on energy so much. Russia has destroyed Ukrainian hospitals in cold blood for the start of the ongoing military campaign. We should not be surprised. Remember Grozny. Remember Aleppo.

This House must do its utmost to convince our governments that Ukraine needs more weapons and Ukraine needs more support. We cannot afford to wait until the end of the war to start to rebuild Ukraine. Slava Ukraini!

 
  
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  Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz (S&D). – Panie Przewodniczący! W wyniku zbrodniczej agresji Rosji na Ukrainę wiele tysięcy obywateli tego kraju straciło życie lub odniosło rany. Miliony zostały zmuszone do opuszczenia swoich domów, często tracąc dorobek całego życia. W ostatnich tygodniach Rosja prowadzi terrorystyczny atak na infrastrukturę energetyczną i transportową z pełną świadomością, że wraz z początkiem zimy życie i zdrowie milionów Ukraińców zostają zagrożone.

Żaden kraj nie jest przygotowany do szybkiej i skutecznej reakcji na kryzys o takiej skali. Żeby zapobiec tragedii, musimy udzielać Ukrainie jeszcze więcej pomocy niż do tej pory. Chodzi zarówno o wsparcie finansowe, jak i rzeczowe, pomagające tym ludziom przeżyć kilka trudnych najbliższych miesięcy. Ubrania, urządzenia grzewcze, ciepła odzież, trwała żywność, leki, środki sanitarne i opatrunkowe to dobra pierwszej potrzeby.

Musimy wesprzeć ukraińską służbę zdrowia, zajmując się rannymi i chorymi. Trzeba się liczyć z ryzykiem gwałtownego wzrostu zachorowań na różne choroby. Pamiętajmy, że szczególnie poszkodowane są ukraińskie dzieci. Spróbujmy wyobrazić sobie traumę, jaką przeżywają. Byłoby niezwykle dobrze, gdyby państwa członkowskie Unii uzgodniły pilnie program przyjmowania milionów młodych Ukraińców choćby na kilkutygodniowy pobyt pozwalający im zapomnieć o nieustannym zagrożeniu bombardowaniem. Dzisiaj wszyscy zdajemy egzamin z człowieczeństwa i zdolności do przeciwstawiania się zbrodniczej napaści.

Zło nie może zwyciężyć.

 
  
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  Katalin Cseh (Renew). – Mr President, dear colleagues, on the EU’s doorstep over 17 000 innocent civilians have died in Vladimir Putin’s barbaric war. Ukraine is bracing for a winter without shelter, without power, without food. Russian armed forces are deliberately shelling schools and hospitals. The devastation and suffering is unimaginable.

And how do Europe’s illiberal populists respond to that? They veto humanitarian aid to Ukraine because they want to extort money from the EU. First, Viktor Orbán blocked the aid. He dropped his veto on Monday as others in the Council promised him some money. And then today the news broke that the Polish Government wants to extort the EU too. They hold up the aid package, and let’s be honest, they also want money in exchange.

There are absolutely no words left to describe how shameful it all is. But I really hope that Council finally learned the lesson. If you give in to the extortionists, they will always come back for more.

 
  
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  Damian Boeselager (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, dear Commissioner, dear colleagues, yesterday we celebrated the brave people of Ukraine and at the same time there were drone attacks in the middle of Kyiv, in the city centre. I was myself in Kyiv this summer and I fell in love with the city and with the people who are trying to live a regular life despite the constant attacks from the air.

But behind their remarkable resilience, there’s a huge and immense tragedy, with attacks on households, families and children at any given point in time. So we must do three things. The first one is we need to look at our sanctions and see if they are economically biting Putin at this very moment and instantly. Second, we need to invest not only with public sector but also with private sector money in the areas of Ukraine that are currently safe with the help of war insurances. And thirdly, we need to make sure that our weapons deliveries are actually working from all our countries, including Germany, with the tanks that are needed.

I think we have a chance now with a sanctions package to also sanction political parties and all their party members to make sure Russians have a choice: leave the parties that are pro-war or face sanctions.

 
  
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  Tonino Picula (S&D). – Mr President, together with several colleagues, I visited Kyiv two weeks ago. Horrific numbers we hear about victims, destroyed objects and missiles targeted at civilian targets become truly real once you see it first—hand.

Russia did not succeed with its military plans, so it is now targeting critical and civilian infrastructure. Over 65 000 destroyed objects and 17 000 airstrikes Ukraine endured since 24 February. Six million people are without electricity. At a certain moment, Kyiv did not have electricity, water, heating or internet. The situation two weeks ago was alarming and now with even lower temperatures, it’s becoming critical.

Ukrainians are fighting bravely and we need to do everything we can to help them win this fight with more humanitarian, financial and military assistance. A significant concrete step would be EUR 18 billion in macro—financial assistance. We committed and approved it. Now we need to deliver it urgently.

 
  
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  Karin Karlsbro (Renew). – Herr talman! Fru kommissionär! Det lider mot jul. Vi sjunger om tusen juleljus och fred på jorden. Men i krigets Ukraina är det mörkt. Utanför Sofiakatedralen i Kiev ska man som vanligt resa en julgran, för, som borgmästaren sa, Putin ska inte få stjäla julen. Men granen kommer inte att ha några ljus i år, för elförsörjningen befinner sig på bristningsgränsen.

Rysslands angrepp på Ukraina har som mål att maximera lidandet och dödandet. Ukraina slåss inte bara för sin egen existens utan för hela Europa. Det är vår skyldighet att ge Ukraina de vapen, det skydd och det stöd de behöver. Det är mörkt nu, men vi ska kämpa tillsammans för ljusare tider, när ukrainarna inte behöver fira jul i mörka skyddsrum, när de som begått krigsbrott döms, när Ukrainas befolkning fått sitt land, sin frihet och sin fred tillbaka.

 
  
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  Sunčana Glavak (PPE). –Poštovani predsjedavajući, poštovana povjerenice, kolegice i kolege, ušli smo u deseti mjesec ilegalne ruske agresije na prijateljsku i suverenu Ukrajinu.

Unatoč uspješnoj protuofenzivi ukrajinskih trupa, agresor je i dalje vrlo opasan te konstantno prilagođava svoje djelovanje. Njihova najnovija taktika usmjerena je na raketne napade na ključnu infrastrukturu u Ukrajini, s posebnim naglaskom na njihovu energetsku mrežu. Uz to, mete su i škole, bolnice, prometnice te druga kritična infrastruktura. Na ovaj način ruska vojska pokušava potkopati industrijsku proizvodnju, poremetiti logističke linije, utjecati na moral te onemogućiti civilima pristup izvorima tople vode, struje. U svijetu nadolazeće zime ovakvo djelovanje stvara preduvjete za neviđenu humanitarnu krizu, što izaziva veliku zabrinutost. Pred nama su teška vremena te u njima Europski parlament mora nastaviti pružati nedvosmislenu i beskompromisnu potporu herojskom ukrajinskom narodu, jer oni se ne bore samo za svoju zemlju, već i za vrijednosti koje mi dijelimo.

Kolegice i kolege, narušen je europski mir. Zlo rata, nažalost, moja zemlja Hrvatska jako dobro poznaje. Grobnice, strahote, uništavanje čitavih gradova, nasilje nad ženama, brojna uništena djetinjstva. Zato nemamo moralnu i ljudsku dvojbu. U duhu kršćanske solidarnosti naša je obveza i odgovornost pružiti im svu moguću pomoć u tim naporima. Slava Ukrajini.

 
  
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  Sven Mikser (S&D). – Mr President, dear colleagues, it has become absolutely clear that Russia can never win a victory over Ukraine on the battlefield. And they know that. And that’s why they are increasingly resorting to terrorising the Ukrainian civilian population on a huge scale.

Russia’s intent is clearly genocidal. The statements by Russian leaders, denying the existence of Ukrainians as a nation and Ukraine as a separate country, clearly testify to that. While their intent is genocidal, the tactics they have chosen is terrorism.

At this critical moment, we have to do more than we have done so far. We have to help Ukrainians get through this harsh Ukrainian winter by giving them equipment to keep the critical utilities operating as well as giving them financial support so as to keep the budget afloat.

But we also have to dramatically step up the military aid that is giving Ukraine the weapons on the scale and of the kind that help them achieve a decisive victory on the battlefield. That’s the best way to help save Ukrainian lives and achieve a decisive victory over the aggressor. Slava Ukraini!

 
  
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  Dita Charanzová (Renew). – Mr President, the main target of Putin’s torture are civilians, the innocent and the most vulnerable. Recently, torture chambers for children were found in a Kherson region. There have been over 700 attacks on health facilities since the war began, and a Russian army has destroyed most of the energy system of Ukraine. People have to get by with a maximum of two hours of electricity a day, living in cold houses and temperatures below zero.

So what are these solutions? We must organise and lead a major public and private international humanitarian effort to help Ukrainian people make it through the winter. We must prevent blackouts, send portable generators. But above all, we must stop the flow of deadly weapons to Russia.

 
  
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  Michaela Šojdrová (PPE). – Pane předsedající, chci i vám všem poděkovat za to, že zde zní jednotný hlas na podporu Ukrajiny proti velké ruské přesile. Všichni sledujeme v přímém přenosu plánované systematické ničení infrastruktury s cílem pokořit ukrajinský národ a já jsem přesvědčena, že jde o genocidu, protože dokonce se neštítí unášet děti, převychovávat děti, adoptovat násilně tyto děti do ruských rodin. Evropský parlament odhlasoval včera velkou většinou podporu osmnácti miliard eur pro Ukrajinu. Je to hodně, ale stále to ještě není dost. Ukrajinský prezident oceňuje a děkuje za tuto pomoc a zároveň prosí a žádá o další, včetně zbraní, včetně humanitární pomoci, ale žádá nás také o vznik tribunálu pro zločiny ruské agrese vůči Ukrajině. Žádá nás o to také držitelka Nobelovy ceny Oleksandra Matvijčuková. Je třeba nastolit spravedlnost a odsoudit ty, kteří toto násilí organizují.

A dovolte mi ještě na závěr moji osobní výzvu a prosbu. Máme zde místopředsedy Evropského parlamentu. Prosím, aby vedení Parlamentu zvážilo, abychom ušetřili prostředky za to, když vytápíme dva velké parlamenty ve Štrasburku i v Bruselu. Myslím, že po dobu zimních měsíců do doby května bychom mohli ušetřit miliony eur za to, kdybychom nemuseli přejíždět.

 
  
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  Heléne Fritzon (S&D). – Herr talman! Kommissionär! Rysslands fruktansvärda krig mot Ukraina pågår här och nu. Infrastruktur attackeras. Hus, skolor, lekplatser bombas. Människors liv slås i spillror. Nu väntar en vinter, en julhelg, men EU får inte ta paus. Vi måste fortsätta vårt fulla stöd till Ukraina i ord och handling.

I våras tog vi socialdemokrater initiativ till en resolution som krävde konkreta åtgärder för att skydda barn och ungdomar som drabbas av kriget. Och det är lika angeläget nu. Vi måste behålla ett barnrättsperspektiv i de åtgärder som vi sänder till Ukraina. Det handlar om humanitärt stöd, återuppbyggnad av viktig infrastruktur och solidaritet med det ukrainska folket. Vi måste fortsätta att ge vårt fulla stöd, för den ukrainska befolkningens skull, för demokrati och frihet i Europa och världen.

 
  
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  Deirdre Clune (PPE). – Mr President, since 10 October, Russia has been targeting air and missile attacks on critical infrastructure in Ukraine on a nearly weekly basis. These attacks have caused significant damage to Ukraine’s power grid and energy stations, resulting in countrywide blackouts, telephone and Internet outages, and loss of water supplies. Ukrainians are facing those attacks in sub-zero temperatures, with families freezing in their homes. So increased humanitarian aid is needed. And, of course, many of those families are also displaced.

Such attacks have also severely affected healthcare in Ukraine. And as of last week, the World Health Organization had documented 715 attacks on healthcare facilities since the beginning of this war. Doctors and medics are unable to treat patients, again worsening the humanitarian situation. Indeed, attacks on transport and energy infrastructure have restricted patients and mobility, and their access to these vital healthcare services.

So they need support. We need more humanitarian aid to Ukraine, to those brave people of Ukraine, who I am sure sometimes cannot be brave all the time in these difficult, horrendous situations that have been caused by Russia’s horrendous attack on their country, their critical infrastructure in civilian areas. And that’s evidence that Mr Putin is unwilling to engage in meaningful diplomacy. We must do everything we can to support Ukraine now and into the future.

 
  
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  Raphaël Glucksmann (S&D). – Monsieur le Président, chers collègues, vous avez tous vu ces images insupportables d’un terroriste revendiquant les actes de terreur de son armée avec un verre de champagne à la main. Vladimir Poutine est un terroriste, et il pousse le cynisme du style de la communication de Daech à un degré inégalé. Incapable de défaire militairement la résistance héroïque du peuple ukrainien, il a décidé de détruire les infrastructures civiles du pays, de terroriser sa population et de la faire geler.

Face à cela, nous devons cesser nos tergiversations. Nous savions depuis le début que les Ukrainiens auraient besoin de systèmes de défense antiaériens performants. Nous savions depuis le début que nous finirions par donner ces systèmes de défense. Alors, ne perdons plus de temps. Le temps que nous perdons ici se paie en vies humaines en Ukraine. Notre objectif doit être clair: défaire la machine terroriste russe et donner à l’Ukraine la victoire qu’elle mérite, qui est aussi la victoire de l’Europe. Slava Ukraïni, Slava Evropi!

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE).A Uachtaráin, the current humanitarian situation in Ukraine is sobering. And as the winter sets in, the Ukrainian people are preparing for the worst. The health system is facing its darkest days in the war so far. Russia has been targeting the country’s infrastructure, leaving millions without electricity, heating or water. The attacks are relentless and temperatures are freezing. Since the beginning of the war Russia has indiscriminately attacked hospitals. Already, more than 1 100 healthcare facilities have been damaged and 144 completely destroyed. This will have an impact on the health of Ukrainians for years to come.

There is no Christmas or New Year truce planned for Ukraine. This will be an extremely tough winter. We must continue to support Ukraine with generators and heating systems. In this regard, I would like to compliment my colleague Andrzej Halicki for his initiative in supplying generators to Ukraine, and maybe as a collective of MEPs, we could fund more generators for Ukraine in the New Year. That would be wonderful.

Infrastructure, rehabilitation of schools and hospitals will be vital. Our collective support for Ukraine is crucial to ensure its recovery and reconstruction. Slava Ukraini!

 
  
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  Miapetra Kumpula-Natri (S&D). – Mr President, Ukraine saw its first snow this mid—November, just a couple of days after the new wave of missile attacks targeting energy infrastructure had left approximately 10 million people, our friends, without electricity and a warm place. As we speak, organisations are providing generators in coordination with the Ukraine authorities to ensure electricity supply to critical facilities, hospitals, schools and then heating points for people to get together. However, this is not enough and we need to do more to win the war and to protect Ukraine, their own land and their homes.

Winter conditions in Ukraine, where the temperature can drop below 20 degrees, brings a new dimension to the humanitarian crisis in the country. As energy is weaponised, we have to stay firm. It is seen in our countries, too, with the unbearable prices homes sometimes need to pay. We need a resistance together with the Ukrainians. We need to act on every level. And I don’t bear any populistic talks in this crisis. Slava Ukraini!

 
  
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  Juozas Olekas (S&D). – Mr President, Commissioner, dear colleagues, unfortunately, we see again that currently Russia is ruled by criminal regime, ready to use any form of violence against any target in order to reach its imperialistic goals. It is a crime against humanity to target civilian objects and to try to freeze millions Ukrainians by that. These criminal genocide attacks and all those who ordered it and implemented these orders, must be prosecuted by newly established international special tribunal.

What can we do to help to solve this dire situation for millions of Ukrainians? Yes, we must send thousands of heaters and generators. We must send equipment to fix damaged networks. We must be ready for the possible new wave of the war refugees from Ukraine, who decide to run from the cold.

But the most important thing is to make sure that such damage does not happen again. And this is possible only by sending the most modern air defence system to Ukraine and by continuous military equipment to the Ukrainian army. Slava Ukraini!

 
  
  

Spontane Wortmeldungen

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Wir kommen jetzt zu den spontanen Wortmeldungen, und ich darf vielleicht kurz sagen, dass es eine ständige Praxis ist, wenn hier im Haus jemand seine Redezeit versäumt, dass ich ihn dann nicht hinten anschließe, sondern im Verfahren der spontanen Wortmeldungen drannehme.

Heute haben wir da mehrere Fälle. Ich nehme an, das ist dieses Mal der Wetterlage geschuldet. Ansonsten bin ich nichtdestotrotz der Meinung, dass die Rednerliste ein unverbindlicher Vorschlag ist, wann man sich hier vielleicht einfinden könnte. Deshalb haben wir einige Redner ins Verfahren der spontanen Wortmeldungen genommen.

Es beginnt Frau Kollegin von Cramon-Taubadel, für die meine Vorbemerkung natürlich nicht gilt.

 
  
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  Viola von Cramon-Taubadel (Verts/ALE). – Herr Präsident! Wir haben hier heute darüber gesprochen: Die Brutalität des russischen Regimes ist schier unvorstellbar. Was Russland bisher nicht mit der militärischen Macht geschafft hat, hat es zuerst mit Hunger versucht, dann haben sie es mit Energie versucht, jetzt versuchen sie es mit Erfrieren. Sie wollen die Menschen, die Zivilistinnen und Zivilisten, erfrieren lassen.

Aber wer mit den Ukrainerinnen und Ukrainern im Moment spricht, der hört eben auch eines: Sie werden nicht nachgeben, sie werden diesen Winter überleben, Sie werden alles dafür tun, ihre Heimat und ihre Region, ihre Städte zu verteidigen. Dafür haben sie nicht nur unsere Bewunderung und unser Verständnis verdient, sondern eben auch unsere echte, harte Unterstützung.

Wir tun bereits sehr viel hier aus der Europäischen Union und auch aus den Mitgliedstaaten heraus. Aber wir müssen genau diese Unterstützung, diese Hilfe, diesen Beistand noch erhöhen. Wir brauchen mehr Flugabwehr, die tatsächlich die Bomben vom Himmel holt. Wir brauchen die Panzer, um die Regionen zu befreien. Wir brauchen auch noch mehr Generatoren. Und am Ende, wenn das nicht reicht, müssen wir unsere Türen öffnen und müssen tatsächlich noch mehr Ukrainerinnen und Ukrainer in unseren Ländern aufnehmen.

 
  
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  Gunnar Beck (ID). – Herr Präsident! Die russische Armee hat kritische zivile Infrastruktur in der Ukraine zerstört, das heißt Kraftwerke, Energie- und Transportinfrastruktur. Das Ergebnis: Erhebliche Schäden an über 40 % der Energieanlagen in der Ukraine und Stromausfälle, teils geplant, um Reparaturen zu erleichtern und Überlastung des verbleibenden Stromnetzes zu vermeiden.

Nun, gezielte Angriffe auf Energieversorgung und kritische Infrastruktur gibt es auch in der EU. Die Bundesregierung hat gesetzlich die Abschaltung aller Atomkraftwerke beschlossen und so die Energieversorgung ihrer Bürger und Industrie gefährdet und exorbitant verteuert.

Jetzt wird vor Winterausfällen im Stromnetz gewarnt. In Frankreich kommt es bereits zu geplanten Stromausfällen. Die Ereignisse in der Ukraine sind schrecklich, aber überflüssig ist, dass auch bei uns die Leute frieren oder ihre Rechnungen nicht mehr bezahlen können.

 
  
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  Fabio Massimo Castaldo (NI). – Mr President, dear Commissioner, horrible war crimes have been committed daily in the past ten months. We have heard accounts of deliberate and indiscriminate attacks against civilians, torture, illicit use of weapons and the use of illicit weapons. And now also massive attacks against critical civilian infrastructures, preventing even hospitals from working properly and putting civilians, even babies and kids under the threat of frost and cold.

A strong and unequivocal international legal response to the aggression against Ukraine, to this predatory and imperialist war unleashed by Russia, permitting no place for impunity for serious violations, and emphasising the legal responsibility of the perpetrators is therefore of utmost importance.

And I use the occasion to call once more on the Union to update and integrate the decision of 2011 on ICC with a strong position on the crime of aggression, as called by our Resolution 2014, and to promote the reform of the Rome Statute aimed at aligning the ICC jurisdiction on the crime of aggression with that already in place of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

 
  
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  Ангел Джамбазки (ECR). – Г-н Председател, благодаря за това, че ми давате думата толкова бързо. Руската агресия срещу Украйна премина в нова фаза. Нещо познато от историята на руските и на съветските окупационни и автократични режими. Атаки срещу цивилната инфраструктура, които целят да принудят украинското правителство да прекрати своята съпротива. Но целта на тази атака и разрушаването на инфраструктурата ще бъде поразяването и страданието на милиони хора и форсиране на допълнителна миграционна вълна.

Това разбира се, е недопустимо, неприемливо и на него трябва да бъде отговорено с все по-сериозен и ясен отговор от страна на ЕС. Трябва да бъдат разширени и санкциите, и недопускането на закупуване на полезни и всякакви други изкопаеми от Русия, така че да не бъде финансирана тази поредна руска агресия срещу украинския народ и срещу цивилните граждани.

 
  
 

(Ende der spontanen Wortmeldungen)

 
  
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  Stella Kyriakides, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, honourable Members, the European Union is determined to support Ukraine and its people. This is clear following our exchange today. In order to provide effective support, we need to first tackle rising winter needs across the country.

The Commission is already taking concrete steps to strengthen its assistance to Ukraine this winter. We are investing in additional EU generated stockpiles as part of our rescEU reserve. As I speak, the Commission is finalising a grant agreement with Poland for the procurement of new generators.

As announced by President von der Leyen in Paris on Tuesday, we have a new energy hub available in Poland. This can be a central hub for international donations and can channel aid from third countries all the way to Ukraine. At the same time, our Emergency Response Coordination Centre continues to coordinate in-kind from 35 European countries. The European Commission counts on the European Parliament to support these efforts.

Honourable Members, thank you for hosting this debate.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

(Die Sitzung wird um 11.18 Uhr unterbrochen)

 
  
  

PŘEDSEDNICTVÍ: DITA CHARANZOVÁ
místopředsedkyně

 

5. Resumption of the sitting
Video of the speeches
 

(The sitting resumed at 12.02)

 
  
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  Jan Olbrycht, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, dear colleagues, the EPP Group requests a point of order on the basis of Rule 200(4) of the EP Rules of Procedure on the adjournment of a vote. In light of the ongoing criminal investigations into a corrupt network of individual Members, former Members and assistants in the European Parliament, the EPP Group is extremely concerned about the integrity of the foreign policy positions of the European Parliament as expressed in the urgency resolutions.

We simply cannot continue with business as usual before we can establish with certainty that the integrity of the procedure and the network does not remain compromised by third countries like Qatar. We should stop all work on urgency resolutions. We must take bold and radical decisions to stop the damage of this corrupt network from spreading further into our parliamentary work.

This is why, Madam President, on behalf of the EPP Group, I request that all the three votes of urgency resolutions are adjourned.

 
  
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  Reinhard Bütikofer (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, colleagues, the EPP published a press release yesterday that has now been read to the Parliament twice, once by Ms Zovko last night, and just now. In this statement, and I quote, they question ‘the integrity of the foreign policy positions of the EP, as expressed in the urgency resolutions’. This casts a very dark shadow of suspicion and insinuation over the complete human rights work of this Parliament. And unfortunately they do so without the slightest indication that there is any reason to do it. They just take the corruption scandal that we have to fight against as an excuse for trying to kill the urgencies that they wanted to kill anyway.

Rule 144(2) of our Rules of Procedure states, and I quote, ‘[t]he Conference of Presidents shall draw up a list of subjects to be included in the final draft agenda for the next debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law on the basis of the request referred to in paragraph 1 and in accordance with the provisions of Annex IV. The total number of subjects included in the agenda shall not exceed three, including sub—chapters.’

On this basis, I request that the President ensures that the work of this Parliament on human rights that is founded in this paragraph of Rule 144 shall not be obstructed by the EPP, who call for a stop of all the work.

 
  
 

(Parliament rejected the PPE Group’s request)

 
  
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  Jan Olbrycht, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, we take note that the Chamber has rejected our request. For this reason, allow me to explain the position of the EPP Group. The EPP Group has tried hard to persuade other groups to include in this week’s resolution on corruption a need to define the scope of urgency resolutions better in order to ensure proper scrutiny of a third-party influence. But incredibly, this was not accepted. A majority composed of the left-wing groups in this House did not even accept a single reference to the urgent need for transparency and financing of NGOs, when we all know that the NGOs were involved with the scandal.

 
  
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  President. – I’m sorry, I don’t want to open the debate on this issue.

 
  
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  Jan Olbrycht, on behalf of the PPE Group. – The last sentence is very important. For this reason, the EPP Group has decided that until the integrity of this procedure is restored, it will not take part in any preparation, any negotiation, any co-signing and any debate, and will not take part in the plenary votes on the urgency resolutions.

 
  
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  President. – We take note.

 

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

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

 

6.1. Chinese government crackdown on the peaceful protests across the People's Republic of China (RC-B9-0563/2022, B9-0563/2022, B9-0569/2022, B9-0571/2022, B9-0572/2022, B9-0573/2022) (vote)

6.2. Military Junta crackdown on peaceful demonstrations in Chad (B9-0574/2022, RC-B9-0575/2022, B9-0575/2022, B9-0576/2022, B9-0577/2022, B9-0578/2022, B9-0579/2022) (vote)

6.3. The case of human rights defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja in Bahrain (RC-B9-0558/2022, B9-0558/2022, B9-0562/2022, B9-0565/2022, B9-0567/2022, B9-0568/2022, B9-0570/2022) (vote)

6.4. Suspicions of corruption from Qatar and the broader need for transparency and accountability in the European institutions (B9-0580/2022, RC-B9-0581/2022, B9-0581/2022, B9-0582/2022, B9-0583/2022, B9-0584/2022, B9-0585/2022, B9-0587/2022) (vote)
 

– After the vote on Amendment 23:

 
  
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  Marco Zanni (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, in apertura dei lavori lunedì, in quest'Aula, risuonava una parola pronunciata da tutti, unità, per meglio reagire a uno scandalo senza precedenti. Ebbene, mi spiace constatare che qualcuno sia ancora vittima della propria miope arroganza politica.

Per questo motivo propongo, a nome del gruppo ID, un emendamento orale per cui il paragrafo 3 dovrebbe diventare come il seguente: "3. sottolinea che la gravità e l'ampiezza delle indagini in corso impongono al Parlamento e alle istituzioni dell'UE di reagire con unità inequivocabile e con ferma determinazione; riafferma che la propria idea di unità inequivocabile non include tutti i gruppi politici, ovvero i rappresentanti di milioni di cittadini europei;".

Concludo, Presidente, dicendo che quest'Aula è solo un'altra prova dell'ipocrisia e della meschinità di alcuni in questo Parlamento, che si sentono di diritto moralmente superiori anche ora che i recenti gravi fatti li hanno clamorosamente smentiti.

 
  
 

(Parliament did not agree to put the oral amendment to the vote)

 

6.5. 90 years after Holodomor: Recognising the mass killing through starvation as genocide (RC-B9-0559/2022, B9-0559/2022, B9-0560/2022, B9-0561/2022, B9-0564/2022, B9-0566/2022) (vote)

6.6. Upscaling the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (A9-0281/2022 - Jan Olbrycht, Margarida Marques) (vote)

6.7. Deliberations of the Committee on Petitions in 2021 (A9-0271/2022 - Loránt Vincze) (vote)
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  President. – That concludes the vote.

(The sitting was suspended at 12.30)

 

7. Resumption of the sitting
Video of the speeches
 

(The sitting resumed at 15.01)

 

8. Approval of the minutes of the previous sitting
Video of the speeches
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  President. – The minutes of yesterday’s sitting and the texts adopted are available. Are there any comments? As this is not the case, the minutes are approved.

 

9. Major interpellations (debate)
Video of the speeches
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  President. – The next item is the debate on the major interpellation to the Commission by Nicolaus Fest, Bernhard Zimniok, Gunnar Beck, Markus Buchheit and Gerolf Annemans, on behalf of the ID Group, on attacks on critical energy infrastructure (G-001001/2022).

 
  
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  Gunnar Beck, Verfasser. – Frau Präsidentin! Mehr als zwei Monate nach dem Sabotageanschlag gegen die Nord-Stream-Pipelines werden die Urheber immer noch verschleiert. Deutsche Medien behaupten, es sei Russland. Doch wieso sollte Russland das Anlagevermögen seines bedeutendsten Energieunternehmens beschädigen und sich der Profite aus dem verbleibenden europäischen Energiegeschäft berauben?

War es Polen, das stets gegen Nord Stream war, oder die Ukrainer, weil sie die Pipeline als russische militärische Infrastruktur ansehen? Oder waren es die USA, wie der US-nahe polnische EU-Politiker Sikorski kurz nach den Anschlägen bekannt gab, weil sie ihr Flüssiggas verkaufen wollen? Antworten bleiben bislang aus.

Dabei schaden solche Verdächtigungen den gutnachbarlichen Beziehungen. Deshalb brauchen wir Aufklärung, brutalstmögliche Aufklärung, wie es einmal beim Korruptionsskandal in der CDU hieß. Nur hier sollten Taten Worten folgen.

Aufklären sollte vor allem die Kommission. Sie hat die Regierungsgewalt über Nord Stream an sich gerissen, und nun hat sie das wertvolle Stück verloren. Das ist so, als wenn man im Theater zwangsweise seinen Mantel abgeben muss und nach einer schlechten Aufführung gesagt bekommt, das teure Stück sei nun leider unauffindbar, und niemand sei schuld.

Deutschland hat wohl untersucht, aber laienhaft und ohne Taucher. Schweden und Dänemark liegen Erkenntnisse vor, diese wollen sie aber nicht mitteilen. Hier hätten wir doch einmal einen typischen Fall für europäische Zusammenarbeit. Die EU sollte die Erkenntnisse bündeln und offenlegen.

Reden wir Klartext: Russland hat mit der Sabotage höchstwahrscheinlich nichts zu tun, denn es fehlen Indizien und ein Motiv. Neben Russland ist Deutschland der Hauptgeschädigte, aber die Bundesregierung hat Angst vor den wahren Urhebern, und die Kommission hüllt sich in Intransparenz. Aber vielleicht überraschen Sie uns ja und haben nun hier im Plenum ein paar konkrete Antworten für uns.

 
  
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  Stella Kyriakides, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, honourable Members, our society relies heavily on both physical and digital critical infrastructure. The interruption of essential services, whether through direct physical attack or cyberattack, can have serious consequences for both citizens and economies. Given the current geopolitical and security situation in Europe, we need to ensure that our critical infrastructure, be it pipelines, transport or undersea cables, is secure and resilient.

Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has intensified a broad spectrum of threats, often combined in hybrid attacks. Some of these target critical infrastructure in Europe. We take very seriously the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines. The Commission is closely and continuously monitoring its consequences. Member States have the primary responsibility for security of infrastructure. The investigation of damage, causes and perpetrators of these attacks is ongoing under the responsibility of the national authorities. We are in close contact with them since the beginning.

The Parliament called on us to make the protection of critical infrastructure a priority. Soon after the attacks, President von der Leyen presented in this Chamber a five—point plan on critical infrastructure. On 18 October, the Commission adopted a proposal for a recommendation. Not even two months later we already have tangible results.

Last week, the Council recommendation on a Union—wide coordinated approach to strengthen the resilience of critical infrastructure was adopted. It will give better support to Member States in enhancing the cybersecurity and the physical resilience of critical infrastructure. The recommendation focuses on the energy sector and also covers digital infrastructure, transport, transport and space. We also invite Member States to start to implement the two recently adopted directives on the resilience of the critical entities and on measures for a high common level of cybersecurity across the Union already now. We cannot afford to waste time.

As a priority, we have asked Member States to carry out stress tests on critical infrastructure. The Commission has agreed with Member States on common criteria for conducting stress tests, starting with the energy sector as a priority. A blueprint on critical infrastructure incidents and crises will set out the cooperation structure in case of an incident so that the collaboration between the Member States and the EU institutions, bodies and agencies is ensured.

 
  
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  Andreas Schwab, im Namen der PPE-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin, Frau Kommissarin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Kritische Infrastrukturen sind in Europa heute zunehmend nur noch grenzüberschreitend denkbar und nutzbar. Deswegen ist es gut, dass wir soeben die Ausführungen der Europäischen Kommission dazu gehört haben, wie wir kritische Infrastrukturen – wozu nicht nur Energieübertragungsnetzwerke gehören – gemeinsam besser schützen können und deswegen natürlich auch die Frage stellen müssen, wenn Schäden entstanden sind, wer diese Schäden verursacht hat, und zum Zweiten, wie wir solche Schäden in der Zukunft vermeiden können.

Insofern trägt die Anfrage heute eigentlich der Tatsache Rechnung, dass wir natürlich alle besorgt sind, dass wir die Infrastrukturen, die zwischen unseren Ländern liegen, gemeinsam zu verantworten haben und dass sie vor allem dann, wenn sie zwischen den Ländern in mehr Tiefen liegen, einen besonderen Schutz brauchen. Deswegen glaube ich, dass es richtig ist, dass die Mitgliedstaaten und die Anliegerstaaten, die ja alle in der NATO sind, sich gemeinsam darauf verständigt haben, hier ein höheres Schutzniveau sicherzustellen.

Ich glaube allerdings – anders, als der einführende Kollege gesagt hat: Die Europäische Union hat sich die Macht nicht an sich gerissen, sondern es ist schlicht und ergreifend so, dass es für die innere Sicherheit in den Mitgliedstaaten die Zuständigkeiten gibt, die bei den Mitgliedstaaten selber verblieben sind. Das gilt auch für militärische und sicherheitstechnische Fragen, auch was die Geheimdienste angeht. Es ist aber auf der anderen Seite auch richtig, dass es eine allgemeine, im Interesse der Bürger und des Binnenmarktes liegende Verantwortung für die Übertragung in kritischen Infrastrukturen gibt, und hier geht es jetzt im Einzelfall eben um Gas. Man könnte aber auch andere Übertragungswege wie beispielsweise Öl- oder Telekommunikationsübertragungswege hinzunehmen.

Insofern gibt es sicherlich eine Interaktion zwischen kritischer Infrastruktur, die von den Mitgliedstaaten einerseits kontrolliert und geschützt werden muss und, wenn es notwendig ist, eben auch gemeinsam. Darauf haben Sie zu Recht hingewiesen, da sind wir auf einem guten Weg. Das muss aber noch besser werden. Zum Zweiten gibt es natürlich auch einen Nutzungseffekt für die Unternehmen, die im Binnenmarkt agieren. Daraus leitet sich der Auftrag der Kommission ab, sicherzustellen, dass diese Dienstleistungen grenzüberschreitend funktionieren können.

Wir als EVP-Fraktion haben vor einigen Wochen darauf hingewiesen, dass wir einen einheitlichen Energiebinnenmarkt in Europa brauchen, der auch einer vollen Harmonisierung unterliegt, wenn wir gerade an den Grenzen feststellen, dass die Zusammenarbeit und die Erweiterung der Interkonnektoren noch nicht so schnell und so gut geht, wie wir uns das wünschen würden, um am Ende ganz Europa energietechnisch resilient zu machen, also für den Notfall gerüstet.

Etwas Ähnliches, Frau Kommissarin, gilt natürlich auch für die Telekommunikationsübertragungsnetze, denn auch hier – wir haben es am Anfang in der Ukraine ja gesehen – sind wir besonders dann stark, wenn wir sehr viele Verknüpfungen mit den Nachbarstaaten haben, weil wir damit mögliche Ausfälle einzelner lokaler Art viel besser kompensieren können.

Herzlichen Dank für Ihre Ausführungen, Frau Kommissarin.

 
  
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  Łukasz Kohut, w imieniu grupy S&D. – Pani Przewodnicząca! Pani Komisarz! Putin od lat atakuje energetycznie Unię Europejską. Zakręca kurki z gazem. Szantażuje nas dostawami energii. Dlatego nigdy więcej business as usual z Rosją.

Czarny sen dla Kremla to Europa niezależna energetycznie, to Europa oparta na odnawialnych źródłach energii, Europa samowystarczalna, która nie potrzebuje ani jednego metra sześciennego gazu i ani jednej tony węgla z importu.

Komisja Europejska i samorząd śląski udowodniły, że ten cel jest wkrótce możliwy do zrealizowania. Dogadali się wbrew pisowskiej dywersji. Są unijne programy na transformację energetyczną: 5 mld euro. Ale poza tym musimy utworzyć wspólny fundusz energetyczny bezpośrednio dla mieszkańców Europy, tak aby nie powtarzać błędów z KPO i z funduszu sprawiedliwej transformacji, które są zależne od niepraworządnych rządów.

Żyjemy w XXI wieku. Mieszkańcy Europy mają prawo do ogrzewania domów bez obaw o rachunki i dostępność surowców. Mają prawo do czystego powietrza. Jako Unia osiągniemy ten cel wbrew Putinowi i wbrew autokratom.

 
  
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  Joachim Kuhs, im Namen der ID-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin, Frau Kommissarin, werte Kollegen! Die Botschaft hör ich wohl, Frau Kyriakides, allein mir fehlt der Glaube, dass hier tatsächlich die Absicht besteht, herauszufinden: Wer hat diese Attentate begangen, wer hat diese Leitungen zerstört, und was kann man tun, um den Schaden zu beseitigen oder zumindest zu mindern.

Nach meinen Informationen soll ja ein Strang der Nord-Stream-2-Leitung noch intakt sein. Wenn das stimmt, dann verstehe ich nicht, warum man nicht alles daransetzt, diese Leitungen in Betrieb zu nehmen, die Genehmigungen dafür zu erteilen, damit hier wirklich auch ein eklatanter Mangel in unserer Gasversorgung geschlossen wird. Da spielt es doch keine Rolle, ob das Gas jetzt von Russland kommt oder nicht. Es ist doch, dass wir Gas brauchen und dass es uns fehlt. Dann müssen wir doch alles tun, damit das Leiden unserer Bevölkerung ein Ende hat, und wir sägen doch letztendlich damit den Ast ab, auf dem wir sitzen.

Auch im Deutschen Bundestag wurden wegen dieser Untersuchungen Anfragen gestellt und es kamen keine nützlichen, sinnvollen Ergebnisse heraus. Es ist, als würde man das blockieren. Da drängt sich doch der Verdacht auf, als würde man das gar nicht wollen. Das ist für mich ein Symbol. Die Zerstörung dieser Infrastruktur, die für uns wirklich elementar wichtig ist, ist für mich ein Symbol, das auch hier in unserem Gebäude sichtbar wird.

Ich habe heute eine Besuchergruppe gehabt, und als die hier reingekommen sind, haben die gesagt: Was ist denn mit dem Louise Weiss-Gebäude los? Da fehlt ja die Hälfte! Das ist noch gar nicht fertig gebaut! Darauf habe ich ihnen erzählt, dass sich der Architekt hat inspirieren lassen von Bruegels babylonischem Turmbau. Da ist natürlich die Symbolik weit offen – genauso wie das damals zu einem Scheitern geführt hat: Dieser Turm wurde nie zu Ende gebaut.

Wollen wir hier tatsächlich mit dieser Geschichte zeigen, dass das, was wir hier bauen, nur Stückwerk ist, dass es nur für eine kurze Zeit ist und dass wir letztendlich gar nicht wollen, dass hier etwas Sinnvolles und etwas Vernünftiges gemacht wird? Das wäre eine Schande für Europa.

 
  
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  Ангел Джамбазки, от името на групата ECR. – Г-жо Председател, колега Гюнер, много навременен въпрос. На този въпрос може да отговорим по този начин. Това, което виждате, е снежна топка. Тази снежна топка я събрах отвън, пред Парламента. Не съм я донесъл да замерям Председателя, тази снежна топка е тук, за да покаже, че ......

(председателят прекъсва оратора)

 
  
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  President. – I am sorry, Mr Dzhambazki, according to our Rules you cannot hold anything in your hands. Please put it aside and then you can continue. Thank you very much.

 
  
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  Angel Dzhambazki, on behalf of the ECR Group. – It is snow. Well, it’s because of global warming. And my question here was: where is your global warming, ladies and gentlemen? Outside is like Siberia and snow is falling down. And that’s why we need to know who is behind the sabotage of this critical infrastructure. So your question is absolutely right and full on time, because we are not stupid people.

We need to ask two questions. The first question is: who benefits from this sabotage? And the second question is: who is capable of this sabotage? When we have these answers, we’ll understand why all this is happening.

And now, about global warming: please let us know with data, and why are we forcing and forced to accept all this propaganda, all this idea that we are capable and we have to build our energy only by all these sources like wind, like sun, etc.? No, we need to explore our own resources. We need to export our own natural gas. We need to explore our own nuclear energy and to have our sovereign European energy. Because we need not to be dependent on outside suppliers. Thank you. Where is my ball?

 
  
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  Juozas Olekas, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Madam President, dear Commissioner, dear colleagues, I agree with the Commission that Europe has to do more to protect its critical infrastructure. Unfortunately, for too long, European Union countries were naive to believe that business interests alone will protect its valuable assets. Russian war in Ukraine showed that in time of the war, criminal regimes are ready to attack the critical infrastructure even if that hurts their own economic interests.

Yes, the Commission should identify critical infrastructure, but the Member States must increase their efforts to protect it. It is the Member States who have the means to do that. Unfortunately, some EU Member States, for economic or political reasons, are still too relaxed and ready to cooperate with the criminal regimes.

For a long time, from this podium, they have been telling Germany also that its addiction to the cheap Russian gas is dangerous. Now we see the consequence. Similar mistake Hungary is doing now by continuing its nuclear power station projects with Rosatom. In my view, a similar mistake was done by selling ownership of the EU ports to the Chinese companies. In times of conflict, these companies will become Trojan horses on the EU soil.

The EU should diversify its energy sources. It also must agree on the rules that stakes of its critical infrastructure companies cannot be sold to the state or private actors from non—democratic regimes. We also should work on the better physical protection of our critical infrastructure objects, including the necessary military means.

 
  
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  Joachim Stanisław Brudziński (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Szanowni Państwo! Proszę pozwolić na taką historyczną retrospekcję: Lenin kiedyś użył takiego określenia „poleznyje idioti”. W latach 70. często używano określenia „useful idiots” w stosunku do tych, którzy na Zachodzie realizowali politykę, która była na rękę rosyjskim komunistom, Breżniewowi.

Proszę wybaczyć, ale czasami jak słucham niektórych przedstawicieli Parlamentu Europejskiego, oczywiście proszę tego nie traktować jako bezpośredni personalny atak, ale czasami odnoszę wrażenie, że tych „poleznych idiotov” naprawdę nie brakuje. Mówienie o tym, że to być może Polska, Ukraina, może Stany Zjednoczone. Powoływanie się tutaj na wpis skądinąd człowieka, który już takie dyrdymały wypisywał na Twitterze, że ręce opadają. Budowanie wokół takiego wpisu teorii, że to nie Rosja stała za tym atakiem, tylko być może ktoś inny, stawianie takich pytań – dla mnie, to jest moja opinia, odnoszę wrażenie, że tak jak już powiedziałem, tych „useful idiots” naprawdę nie brakuje.

Jakie są fakty? Jak podkreślają eksperci bezpieczeństwa cyberprzestrzeni, ataki nie zaczęły się w momencie rozpoczęcia wojny na Ukrainie. Cyberprzestrzeń, jak również infrastruktura krytyczna była celem rosyjskich ataków już od wielu lat. Analitycy do spraw bezpieczeństwa wykazali, że z chwilą tworzenia się koalicji międzynarodowej popierającej Ukrainę Rosja nasiliła ataki wymierzone w państwa wspierające Ukraińców. Wykazano próby włamania się do 128 organizacji w 42 państwach, w 29 przypadkach skuteczne. Takie są fakty.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE).A Uachtaráin, we don’t have conclusive evidence of who carried out the Nord Stream attacks. We have our suspicions. But whoever did it hadn’t reckoned with the resilience of Germany, who announced that they were going to build four or five LNG terminals and are actually opening one on Saturday. In marked contrast to my own country, where we have a Shannon LNG project in the pipeline for 10 years, and it’s still awaiting a decision and planning – a national embarrassment at this stage.

Also, we may not have conclusive evidence of who carried out the cyberattacks on our HSE last year in my country, but thankfully, as a rapporteur for the cybersecurity file in the European Parliament, we had a shadows meeting this week and we have come to a good arrangement which will help, as Andreas Schwab said, to have cross-border cooperation in fighting hackers.

Finally, I want to say we do know who’s carrying out the attack on the Ukrainian electricity infrastructure. And it’s barbaric and it’s disgraceful. And I hope that we will follow the example of Andrzej Halicki and supply many more generators, hopefully funded by MEPs as well as others, to the Ukrainians to get over this winter and to win the war.

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D). – Doamnă președintă, doamnă comisar, stimați colegi, cred că toată lumea știe că securitatea infrastructurii critice are competență și responsabilitate partajată. Evident, statele membre au obligațiile de a lua toate măsurile pentru a securiza, dar și Comisia, pentru că singuri nu putem, s-a spus aici, transfrontalier, companiile nu se pot singure apăra. De aceea cred că, doamnă comisar, primul lucru trebuie să clarificăm ce este de competența Comisiei și ce este de competența statelor membre și, în mod explicit, să se facă acest plan.

Am intrat în sezonul rece. Ce s-a întâmplat cu conducta Nord Stream se mai poate întâmpla. Oamenii nu pot să stea să înghețe în case.

Până la urmă, avem o piață internă. Asta a fost baza Uniunii Europene și trebuie să avem și o strategie europeană pentru energie și pentru toate celelalte resurse.

De aceea, eu cred că ar trebui mai multă cooperare și între Comisie și statele membre, și între statele membre, dar aceasta trebuie făcută coerent și nu făcută la întâmplare și să nu reacționăm doar atunci când se întâmplă ceva.

 
  
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  Mick Wallace (The Left). – Madam President, when Nord Stream was damaged, there was uproar from politicians and mainstream media across Europe for about 24 hours, and then it seemed to have disappeared. Now, for the life of me, I was shocked that it could go down the list of major items in the news so quickly.

Initially, of course, the Russians were blamed, but common sense kind of prevailed and the talk was that well if the Russians don’t want any gas going through the pipelines, they can actually turn the tap off on their end. And if they wanted to blow it up, I don’t think they would blow it up quite so close to Germany or Sweden.

So who did blow it up? This was one of the worst releases of methane in the history of mankind. It was environmental terrorism. I, for the life of me, don’t understand why the EU doesn’t want to know who did it. This is a disgrace. What is wrong with us? This is an unbelievable, destructive act and we all want to know who did it. Is it because we know the answer or is it because it’s the wrong answer?

 
  
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  Stanislav Polčák (PPE). – Paní předsedající, sabotáže kritické infrastruktury jsou skutečně mimořádně ohrožující pro celkovou naši bezpečnost. Je evidentní, že kritická infrastruktura zrovna v těchto časech plní mimořádně důležitou úlohu a její bezpečnost, stabilita dodávek je v této době klíčová. Kritická infrastruktura má samozřejmě přeshraniční charakter a odpovědnost za její ochranu nesou především členské státy, ale je dobře, že jsme si uvědomili, že odpovědnost musí padat i na celou Evropskou unii. Já nechci spekulovat, kdo je pachatelem těchto útoků, ale rozhodně odmítám vyjádření mého kolegy Becka, že tímto pachatelem nemůže být Rusko. Já zde vidím celou řadu důvodů, proč by to mohlo být Rusko.

Rusko je globální kazisvět, vede naprosto nepřijatelnou agresi na Ukrajině, ničí tamnější infrastrukturu mimo to, že vraždí nevinné lidi a unáší děti. Co z toho plyne? Nepochybně naše reakce musí být rozhodná. Nenechme se uvrtat do spekulací a rozhodně chraňme naši kritickou infrastrukturu. Je to náš společný úkol.

 
  
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  Clare Daly (The Left). – Madam President, the explosion of the Nord Stream pipelines was one of the biggest acts of economic sabotage ever carried out on the European Union, not to mention the devastating environmental consequences.

So it is very, very strange that there’s so little discussion about it. No appetite for an investigation, no appetite for accountability, for restitution, nothing, because already having voluntarily severed our links with Russian gas, as a result of the ridiculous sanctions which are costing Europeans more than Russians, the explosion now ensures that we won’t be restarting that any time in the next few years.

Instead, we’re going to be relying on filthy, environmentally devastating US LNG. And not only is it filthy, but it’s four times the price that US citizens are paying for it. So a lot of people are joining the dots. Who has the most to gain? Who has the most to lose?

Without an independent investigation, those questions will continue to be asked. And we also need to draw the conclusion that the biggest threat on our energy infrastructure is militarism. War is not ended by war, but peace.

 
  
 

(End of catch-the-eye procedure)

 
  
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  Stella Kyriakides, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, dear Members, I think it’s clear that we all share the same common purpose of strengthening the resilience of critical infrastructure, particularly given the geopolitical and security context.

And the Commission is fully playing its supporting role, coordinating work on awareness, on preparedness and response, and guiding the Member States on stress tests. We have been doing it since well before the sabotage of Nord Stream. Under the Security Union, we had already made a number of important proposals to increase the preparedness and response of Member States.

However, in the current threat landscape, we need to raise our game. These attacks were a wakeup call, and you will agree with me that the EU institutions have worked in record time on this issue.

As I have said, we already have the Council recommendation in place. First, to enhance preparedness with stress tests, a study taking stock of the undersea communications cables and the use of EU surveillance assets such as Copernicus and Galileo to support Member States in the monitoring of critical infrastructure and their immediate vicinities. Second, enhances our common response under the Union’s Civil Protection Mechanism and the development of a blueprint on critical infrastructure, incident and crisis. And third, reinforces international cooperation on resilience, including with NATO.

We will help with best practices, guidance and methodologies and feed into the expertise of EU agencies and assets such as satellite surveillance. We will count on the support of the European Parliament for this.

 
  
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  President. – The debate is closed.

 

10. Explanations of vote
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  President. – The next item is the explanations of vote.

 

10.1. Suspicions of corruption from Qatar and the broader need for transparency and accountability in the European institutions (B9-0580/2022, RC-B9-0581/2022, B9-0581/2022, B9-0582/2022, B9-0583/2022, B9-0584/2022, B9-0585/2022, B9-0587/2022)
Video of the speeches
 

Oral explanations of vote

 
  
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  Mick Wallace (The Left). – Madam President, everyone is horrified that money in bags was transferred to at least one MEP. I often wonder what planet you all live on. There’s over 12 000 companies registered in Belgium as lobbyists. Now, if we put an average of five persons per company, that’s about 60 000 lobbyists. What do you think they do? What do they do for a living? They lobby. They try to have influence over politicians, over public servants, so that decisions are made that suit their agenda.

And if you think that the money related to this scandal around Qatar is an exception, I’d ask you to think again. This has been going on for a long time and it’s nothing new. And there’s a lot of other aspects of what goes on in this House that should be investigated, but probably won’t be.

 
  
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  Clare Daly (The Left). – Madam President, I voted for the resolution. Qatar’s human rights record, whitewashed in exchange for bags of cash, is pretty scandalous. But it was also scandalous to see the LIBE Committee vote to give Qatar visas for Qatari oil, whitewashing their human rights record – two sides of the same coin.

The resolution isn’t bad, but it could be a lot better. It feels to me that we had the opportunity to really look corruption and undue influence squarely in the eye and do something about it. But we didn’t. There are actually some 48 000 lobbyists in Brussels seeking to influence EU institutions. The nearly 12 000 organisations on the EU lobby register have a combined annual lobbying budget of EUR 1.8 billion.

European defence policy has literally been written by these individuals. But instead of confronting that, the resolution dodges the question and talks solely about foreign interference. Interference is interference. Corruption is corruption. It’s all rotten. It doesn’t matter where it comes from. The influence of European money is also corrupting, and it’s about time we tackled all of it.

 
  
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  Ангел Джамбазки (ECR). – Г-жо Председател, гласувах за тази резолюция, защото разкриването на този корупционен кръг, на тази коалиция, катарска корупция в средите на социалисти, демократи и на другите леви е истински скандал в Европейския парламент. Години наред слушаме обвинения за това как някакви много десни, крайно десни били взимали пари някъде извън ЕС, за да работят срещу него. Какво се оказа? Оказа се, че в средите на най-гласовитите борци срещу корупцията „крадецът е викал дръжте крадеца“. Оказа се, че истинската корупция е в тази партия, в тази група, която уж трябва да защитава правата на работниците и на трудещите се.

Това е огромно лицемерие, огромен скандал и огромна щета за Европейския парламент и за тези, които твърдяха, че са много некорумпирани, много чисти, много бели, много такива, недокоснати от вредните влияния. Обаче не трябва да спираме дотук. Трябва да бъде проверена тази група и другите подобни за това как и защо гласува подозрително по отношение, например, на пакета „Мобилност“ или на влияние на други, трети страни, като да речем, Република Северна Македония. Това също е много важно и трябва да се провери, защото мисля, че и там ще излязат много опасни неща.

 
  
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  Stanislav Polčák (PPE). – Paní předsedající, já nemusím nic měnit na svém projevu, který jsem zde v tomto sále mohl pronést 21. listopadu, kdy se projednávala otázka vztahů s Katarem. Samozřejmě, že tento skandál dopadá velmi negativně na důvěru občanů v Unii jako takovou, v instituce a samozřejmě také otřásá našimi vztahy s třetími zeměmi. Je to mimořádný skandál.

Bohužel já jsem o této rezoluci dnes nemohl hlasovat, protože jsem to v důsledku počasí nestihl. Nemohu se tudíž ani meritorně vyjádřit k tomuto hlasování. Samozřejmě bych podpořil tento návrh rezoluce.

Tak se alespoň omezím na to, že Vám všem přeji hezké Vánoce.

 

10.2. 90 years after Holodomor: Recognising the mass killing through starvation as genocide (RC-B9-0559/2022, B9-0559/2022, B9-0560/2022, B9-0561/2022, B9-0564/2022, B9-0566/2022)
Video of the speeches
 

Oral explanations of vote

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE).A Uachtaráin, on 25 November this year, Europe commemorated the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor genocide in Ukraine. I was pleased to support this resolution, which remembers and expresses solidarity with the people of Ukraine who suffered in this tragedy. The treatment of the Ukrainian people during the Holodomor goes against the most basic of human rights – respect for human life, human dignity and freedom.

As Putin wages his war of aggression against Ukraine and pursues a revisionist historical narrative aimed at disproving Ukraine’s independence from Russia, it is essential that this Chamber acknowledge the suffering of those in the Holodomor. In my own country, the Irish Seanad recently recognised the Holodomor as an act of genocide.

Words matter, and this acknowledgement is particularly important for the survivors of Holodomor and the families and relatives of the victims, as Ukrainians witnessed – once again – Russian brutality and violence against their country.

 
  
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  Vlad-Marius Botoş (Renew). – Doamna președintă, trebuie să recunoaștem și să ne cunoaștem istoria pentru a nu o repeta. Este dificil pentru mulți dintre noi să ne imaginăm cum poți să dorești distrugerea unui popor întreg. Holodomorul a fost real. Au murit milioane de ucraineni, în timp ce grâul lor era exportat de regimul sovietic. Foametea din 1932-1933, creată în mod artificial, a fost de fapt o armă în mâinile Moscovei pentru a-și urmări obiectivele în ceea ce privește colectivizarea. Am votat această rezoluție pentru că este momentul să facem dreptate, să numim acele evenimente ceea ce au fost ele: un genocid. Sunt ferm convins că nu ar trebui să ne oprim aici cu cercetarea istoriei în statele de dincolo de Cortina de Fier, că trebuie să vedem și celelalte atrocități comise de Stalin și de regimurile comuniste din Europa de Est, deportările, gulagul siberian, exterminarea intelectualității din țările noastre, din Europa de Est. Este momentul să începem să scoatem adevărul la lumină.

 
  
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  Ангел Джамбазки (ECR). – Г-жо Председател, гладоморът е престъпление срещу човечеството. Всъщност гладоморите са няколко, срещу украинската държава и народ те са поне два и са придружени от още престъпления на сталинисткия режим, като насилствени депортации, преместване на множество народи, на множество нации. Таврийските, запорожките българи, кримските българи са били репатрирани, както и много други народи в рамките на окупираните от Съветския съюз територии.

Дълги години тази истина се затаяваше, затулваше и се закриваше това чудовищно престъпление на съветския геноциден, античовешки, антихуманен режим срещу човечеството. Това беше тяхната, бих казал, извратена престъпна идея да смажат нациите, да наложат едно мултикултурно съветско общество, един съветски човек и го правеха с цената на престъпления срещу човечеството.

Затова се радвам, че най-сетне тази зала, която е доста мудна по тези въпроси, най-сетне се задвижи и призна това истинско престъпление срещу човечеството. Оттук нататък трябва да се търси извинение и разбира се, компенсации.

 

10.3. Upscaling the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (A9-0281/2022 - Jan Olbrycht, Margarida Marques)
Video of the speeches
 

Oral explanations of vote

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE). – A Uachtaráin, táim i bhfabhar feabhsúchán ar fhrámaíocht airgeadais ilbhliantúil 2021-2028. Níos lú na 2 bhliain ó shin glacadh leis an bhfrámaíocht airgeadais ilbhliantúil. Anois tá formhór sholúbthachtaí agus teorainneacha na frámaíochta úsáidte i ndiaidh na ngéarchéimeanna éagsúla a thit amach le déanaí. Sa tuairisc, teastaíonn ón bParlaimint go mbeadh athbhreithniú cuimsitheach le linn an chéad cheathrú de 2023 chun a dheimhniú go mbeadh go leor solúbthachta chun freagairt thapa a dhéanamh i ngéarchéim agus mar fhreagairt ar iarmhairtí chogadh na Rúise san Úcráin. Cuireann an tuairisc béim ar neamh-chomhsheasmhacht mhaolú agus atheagrú sholúbthacht an bhuiséid. Ina theannta sin athneartaíonn an tuairisc tábhacht na Parlaiminte mar institiúid i gcreatbhuiséad an Aontais.

 
  
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  Vlad-Marius Botoş (Renew). – Doamna președintă, planul financiar multianual are nevoie de o mai mare flexibilitate pentru ca Uniunea Europeană să fie pregătită pentru eventuale crize. Și vedem, și resimțim câte crize ne-au lovit în acești ani. Acești ultimi trei ani ne-au arătat că, în anumite situații, este nevoie de acțiune urgentă la nivel european, de instrumente de finanțare care pot fi folosite rapid pentru minimizarea impactului negativ asupra cetățenilor. Aceste instrumente trebuie să fie totuși de sine stătătoare și să nu ia din fondurile de coeziune destinate dezvoltării regionale, cum s-a întâmplat până acum. Politica de coeziune trebuie să fie destinată în continuare creșterii comunităților și a nivelului de trai în regiunile rămase în urmă. Această rezoluție este una binevenită, iar analiza la care și-au adus contribuția toate comisiile de lucru din Parlamentul European și cer Comisiei Europene să găsească soluțiile potrivite pentru flexibilitatea de care este nevoie, punând totodată pe primul loc o mai mare transparență și responsabilitate în cheltuirea fondurilor Uniunii Europene.

 
  
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  Mick Wallace (The Left). – Madam President, of course the multiannual financial framework is a bit out of date and has shortcomings because of COVID and the Ukraine war. The report acknowledges that 21.9% of the EU population is at risk of poverty and social exclusion, and the energy poverty is certain to worsen as a consequence of the war. But what’s the EU doing to end the war? Absolutely nothing. We’re flooding Ukraine with arms at a great cost to our own citizens and at great cost to the lives of so many Ukrainians.

Now paragraph 39 of the report calls for an increase in the budget ceiling for security and defence. It advocates spending more money on weapons and war, money that could be spent instead on climate mitigation and adaptation, public transport, health or education. There is no military solution to the crisis in Ukraine, and the policy of flooding Ukraine with weapons is madness. And if we want to fight Russia down to the last Ukrainian and make our own people suffer in the meantime just to support a US—NATO proxy war, it’s about time we copped on to ourselves.

 
  
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  Ангел Джамбазки (ECR). – Г-жо Председател, гласувах убедено против този доклад, защото както обикновено той няма никаква връзка с разума и със здравия смисъл и е насочен към утопии, зеленизми, климатизми и други теми, които обричат европейците на повече енергийна бедност, на повече разходи и на неконкурентна икономика. Това, за което говорихме преди малко, а именно критична инфраструктура и така нататък, е свързано с пораженията, които нанася направената политика от Европейския съюз и Европейския парламент, която се насочва само и единствено към това да спонсорира неща, които нямат нищо общо със здравия разум. Това обаче е мотивът.

Сега в заключение ми позволете, виждам, че не се движи времето, но го отдавам на компютъра. Сега ми позволете да Ви благодаря за търпението, лично на Вас, г-жо Председател, да Ви се извиня за лекото нарушение на правилата (вярвам, че една снежна топка няма толкова да разклати Вашата здрава психика) и да Ви пожелая лично, семейно щастие, весели християнски, Коледни, Рождественски и Новогодишни празници, и лично и семейно щастие!

 
  
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  Clare Daly (The Left). – Madam President, I voted against the Multiannual Financial Framework. Two years have passed since the adoption of it. Obviously, our budget is again under strain, faced with multiple crises that are piling up, the responsibility for which largely, in many instances, is a result of our own policies or, indeed, the policies of our so-called friends. We had the US Inflation Reduction Act. Maybe this would make us realise that the misnamed free trade rules are being flouted by the world’s biggest economy and that these rules are stifling most of the world. And we can continue by almost obsessively borrowing until the crash, or we can change direction.

It is time to learn the lesson from the phenomenal rise in energy crisis that has put so many European citizens in critical situations motivated by geopolitical games. We need to tackle the big companies that are profiteering off the lives of people and the biggest ones who have made Europe the most unsafe is the military industrial complex. Yet they’re the ones who got a huge boost out of this file, which is why I voted against it.

 

10.4. Deliberations of the Committee on Petitions in 2021 (A9-0271/2022 - Loránt Vincze)
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Oral explanations of vote

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE). – Madam President, here we go again. I was pleased to support this report from my colleague. And on the outcome of the Committee of Petitions’ deliberations during 2021.

The focus this week in the Parliament has been on increasing transparency, and rightly so. I believe that the work of the PETI Committee should be emphasised and publicised further.

The Treaties confer on all citizens the right to submit a petition on any matter within the EU’s competences that directly affects them. This provides an important avenue for EU citizens, which I have successfully used myself, on behalf of some constituents.

We must ensure that EU citizens are aware of this right. To be effective, measures aimed at improving transparency and their outcomes must be communicated clearly to citizens.

I welcome the acknowledgement in the report also that when citizens do petition the committee, their request must be dealt with in a timely and consistent manner.

And finally, I just want to compliment yourself, President Dita, for the manner in which you handled today’s voting session. It could have got out of hand. It could have become very boisterous if you hadn’t handled it so firmly. And also it does no harm to see you dealing firmly with colleague ‘snowman’ Dzhambazki and basically make him put away his snowball. Happy Christmas to you all.

 
  
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  Clare Daly (The Left). – Madam President, he must be looking for a big Christmas present or a load of speaking time next year. But in any case, I voted for this file. I think it’s a great committee. Often people are disappointed that their petitions aren’t selected and one of the things that I think we need to look at is the idea that the non-aligned members of the committee, and there are five of them, don’t have the right to nominate any petition. And I think this excludes a whole number of our citizens who would like their petitions heard.

The issue was brought home very clearly to me this week when I was contacted by a Ukrainian student who was very grateful to the European Union for allowing him to travel and study at reduced rates in Latvia and in other European countries. But since the Ukrainian Government changed the rules, preventing male university students from leaving the country, tens of thousands of them have been prevented from pursuing their education. And they have gone online with a really important petition – where they’ve got tens of thousands of signatures – asking for their right to education to be seen through. They’ve got the support of the European students’ unions and, indeed, the Ukrainian student union. So I think this is something that we should use our offices here to help as it is a really important issue.

 
  
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  Mick Wallace (The Left). – Madam President, speaking of the need for transparency, I also think it’s incredibly important. And I want to raise an issue that shows a serious lack of it in Ireland. A group of homeowners from Donegal lodged a petition with the Committee on Petitions relating to what’s called the ‘mica scandal’, where there’s a huge lack of surveillance and regulation on quarries in Donegal, and an inferior concrete block was produced which contained mica, which ended up causing serious damage to over 7 000 houses. And people are looking for some recompense from the Irish Government.

A report was done which was really critical of how quarries were operated – critical of the lack of regulation – but then when the government published the report, they took out a lot of the harsh criticism. These people are looking for some accountability and they want the Irish Government held to account for their lack of transparency on this issue.

 
  
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  President. – That concludes the item.

 

11. Approval of the minutes of the sitting and forwarding of texts adopted
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  President. – The minutes of this sitting will be submitted to Parliament for approval at the beginning of its next part-session. If there are no objections, I shall forward the resolutions adopted at today’s sitting to the persons and bodies named in the resolutions.

 

12. Dates of forthcoming sittings
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  President. – The next part-session will take place from 16–19 January 2023.

 

13. Closure of the sitting
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  President. – Let me wish you all Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and on behalf of all of us, I would like to thank the staff in the European Parliament – the interpreters, Secretariat, administration, drivers, ushers, everybody who makes our life easier. Thank you so much and have nice holidays.

(The sitting closed at 15.50)

 

14. Adjournment of the session
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  President. – I declare adjourned the session of the European Parliament.

 
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