Verbatim report of proceedings
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Tuesday, 14 March 2023 - Strasbourg Revised edition
1. Opening of the session
 2. Opening of the sitting
 3. Data Act (debate)
 4. Resumption of the sitting
 5. This is Europe - Debate with the President of Lithuania, Gitanas Nausėda (debate)
 6. Resumption of the sitting
 7. Voting time
  7.1. Request for the waiver of the immunity of Ioannis Lagos (A9-0053/2023 - Andrzej Halicki) (vote)
  7.2. Request for the waiver of the immunity of Nicolaus Fest (A9-0055/2023 - Ilana Cicurel) (vote)
  7.3. Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund – application EGF/2022/002 BE/TNT - Belgium (A9-0043/2023 - Olivier Chastel) (vote)
  7.4. Objection pursuant to Rule 112(2) and (3): Genetically modified oilseed rape MON 94100 (MON-941ØØ-2) (B9-0162/2023) (vote)
  7.5. Ro-ro passenger ships: stability requirements (A9-0255/2022 - Roberts Zīle) (vote)
  7.6. Binding annual greenhouse gas emission reductions by Member States (Effort Sharing Regulation) (A9-0163/2022 - Jessica Polfjärd) (vote)
  7.7. Land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) (A9-0161/2022 - Ville Niinistö) (vote)
  7.8. Revision of the Market Stability Reserve for the EU Emissions Trading System (A9-0045/2022 - Cyrus Engerer) (vote)
  7.9. Energy performance of buildings (recast) (A9-0033/2023 - Ciarán Cuffe) (vote)
  7.10. Data Act (A9-0031/2023 - Pilar del Castillo Vera) (vote)
  7.11. Activities of the European Ombudsman - annual report 2021 (A9-0054/2023 - Anne-Sophie Pelletier) (vote)
  7.12. Policy Coherence for Development (A9-0019/2023 - Janina Ochojska) (vote)
 8. Resumption of the sitting
 9. European Semester for economic policy coordination 2023 - European Semester for economic policy coordination: Employment and social priorities for 2023 (debate)
 10. Adequate minimum income ensuring active inclusion (debate)
 11. Resumption of the sitting
 12. Approval of the minutes of the previous sitting
 13. Question Time (Commission) - How to ensure energy security in the EU in 2023
 14. Question Time (VPC/HR) - Strengthening the Trans-Atlantic ties in an ever challenging multilateral world
 15. Deterioration of democracy in Israel and consequences on the occupied territories (debate)
 16. Delegated acts (Rule 111(6))(action taken)
 17. Situation in Georgia (debate)
 18. The challenges facing the Republic of Moldova (debate)
 19. Implementation report on the Agreement on the withdrawal of the UK from the EU - The Windsor Framework (debate)
 20. EU-Armenia relations (debate)
 21. EU-Azerbaijan relations (debate)
 22. Explanations of vote
  22.1. Binding annual greenhouse gas emission reductions by Member States (Effort Sharing Regulation) (A9-0163/2022 - Jessica Polfjärd)
  22.2. Land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) (A9-0161/2022 - Ville Niinistö)
  22.3. Energy performance of buildings (recast) (A9-0033/2023 - Ciarán Cuffe)
  22.4. Data Act (A9-0031/2023 - Pilar del Castillo Vera)
  22.5. Activities of the European Ombudsman - annual report 2021 (A9-0054/2023 - Anne-Sophie Pelletier)
  22.6. Policy Coherence for Development (A9-0019/2023 - Janina Ochojska)
 23. Agenda of the next sitting
 24. Approval of the minutes of the sitting
 25. Closure of the sitting



1. Opening of the session
Video of the speeches

  Presidente. – Dichiaro aperta la sessione 2023-2024 del Parlamento europeo.


2. Opening of the sitting
Video of the speeches

(La seduta è aperta alle 9.01)


3. Data Act (debate)
Video of the speeches

  Presidente. – L'ordine del giorno reca la relazione di Pilar del Castillo Vera, a nome della commissione per l'industria, la ricerca e l'energia, sulla proposta regolamento del Parlamento europeo e del Consiglio riguardante norme armonizzate sull'accesso equo ai dati e sul loro utilizzo (normativa sui dati) (COM(2022)0068 - C9-0051/2022 - 2022/0047(COD)) (A9-0031/2023).


  Pilar del Castillo Vera, rapporteur. – Madam President, Commissioner, we are here to debate the Data Act. Data is the primary resource of digital technologies. The development of the cloud, big data, AI and quantum are inextricably linked to the availability of data. And with the development of the IoT, the increase in data will be exponential. By 2030, the global value of IT services could reach up to EUR 11 trillion. And we know from the Commission that 80% of industrial data is underused. Clearly, Europe is not reaping the full value of data. In this context, the Data Act that we will vote on today has the potential to be an absolute game changer if it can create a data-agile ecosystem that enables easy access to an almost infinite amount of high quality industrial data.

In economic terms, this regulation is expected to create EUR 270 billion of additional GDP in the EU by 2028. This is of paramount importance for the EU’s competitiveness at a time when data will mainly come from connected things. And we must not forget that anything that can be connected will be, in fact, connected.

In other words, data – and especially industrial data – is a growing competitive asset for Europe, an asset that we cannot afford not to optimise. Let’s not lose sight that what our international competitors are doing – in the US, for example – not only exhibits for more dynamic industrial investment, but it is developing policies such as the Inflation Reduction Act that will further increase disadvantage.

Dear colleagues, although the EU’s share in global manufacturing exports has declined by nearly 7% since 2004, we still have an outstanding global competitive position in manufacturing. This is why we have urgently to provide the best tools to reinforce our industry, and precisely the Data Act can be instrumental for our competitiveness in the global markets.

The new rules will empower consumers and companies by giving them a say in what can be done with the data generated by their connected products. And here is where the biggest potential of the Data Act lies for the EU: this regulation will contribute to optimising existing business models and processes, boost the development of new ones and, by doing so, create new values and jobs.

We are determined. We are reinforcing this idea constantly. We are determined with our strategic sovereignty. In that sense, during this term, we are adopting a very comprehensive package of digital files: the Data Governance Act, the Digital Service Act, the Digital Market Act, the new review of the NIS Directive, the Artificial Intelligence, the Electronic Identification Regulation and the CHIPS Act are very clear examples of this. This has been a great achievement for all the institutions. We have the Commissioner here. We have also to congratulate the Commission and congratulate especially our Commissioner.

Sovereignty is, in any case, very much about our capacity to compete and innovate. And the Data Act is precisely that. What it is about is competition and innovation. If we have to define with two single words what the Data Act is about, we can clearly say ‘competitiveness and innovation’.

At noon we will be voting on Parliament’s position on the Data Act – a report that was adopted without one single vote against in the ITRE committee due to the excellent cooperation with the shadow rapporteurs and with the opinion-giving committees, as you know, LIBE, JURI and IMCO. But also it was such a success because of the clear awareness in this Parliament of the importance of this dossier for Europe’s future.


  Ibán García Del Blanco, ponente de opinión de la Comisión de Asuntos Jurídicos. – Señora presidenta, la digitalización de nuestras economías y de nuestras sociedades plantea muchos retos para Europa.

El primero es, por supuesto, el tener una población que sea consciente de lo que supone ese cambio, que tenga además sus derechos protegidos. Y también, por supuesto, que seamos capaces de estar al nivel que necesitamos para tener una verdadera competitividad a escala internacional.

Además, por último y por resumir estos retos, que seamos capaces también de alguna forma de distribuir equitativamente los beneficios de esa digitalización, ese salto en la productividad, para que los beneficios no sean solo para unos pocos, sino para muchos.

En la Comisión de Asuntos Jurídicos hemos tratado de ayudar, en el marco de la Ley de Datos, a ese gran objetivo de crear un mercado único de datos, al mismo tiempo que creamos confianza suficiente en la protección de los mismos para que exista realmente esa transferencia entre el sector público y el sector privado, y creemos valor añadido dentro de la Unión.

Hemos introducido la figura del coordinador de datos para tratar de darle coherencia a toda la Ley y darle soporte también a los usuarios y a las pymes. Y, en cualquier caso, también hemos intentado introducir cuestiones relacionadas con la ilustración en materia de datos, con la ilustración digital, que nos parecen de extrema necesidad para que la sociedad sea capaz de entender el cambio que se está produciendo y también el valor de sus propios datos.

Por último, quiero darles las gracias a todos los ponentes alternativos de la Comisión de Asuntos Jurídicos y, por supuesto, quiero agradecer la buena negociación y el diálogo que hemos mantenido con la ponente principal.


  Sergey Lagodinsky, Verfasser der Stellungnahme des mitberatenden Ausschusses für bürgerliche Freiheiten, Justiz und Inneres. – Frau Präsidentin, sehr geehrter Herr Kommissar, liebe Freundinnen und Freunde hier im Saal! Es gibt keine Datenökonomie ohne Datenschutz. Für uns muss klar sein, dass nichts am Internet der Dinge und nichts an dieser konkreten Regelung an den schon vorhandenen Standards der DSGVO etwas ändert oder verringert. Die persönlichen Daten bleiben persönliche Daten, und die Regeln für den Umgang mit diesen bleiben weiterhin bestehen.

Das Grundrecht auf den Schutz personenbezogener Daten verlangt hohe Standards und setzt hohe Standards, und die haben wir als LIBE-Ausschuss hier auch erfolgreich und entschlossen verteidigt. Unser Datenschutzgrundrecht ist dabei nicht nur zur Abwehr da, sondern gibt auch Befähigung für unsere Bürgerinnen und Bürger, damit wir auf unsere eigenen Daten zugreifen und damit machen, was wir, Bürgerinnen und Bürger, damit wollen.

Mit dem Datengesetz gehen wir damit sogar ein Stück weiter als mit der Datenschutzverordnung, indem wir auch ein Zugriffsrecht auf die Daten direkt auf dem Internet der Dinge Geräten geben, die wir nutzen. Das ist kein Hindern der Regulierung. Das ist die Grundlage für Innovation und Wirtschaftswachstum, weil es das Vertrauen der Verbraucherinnen und Verbraucher fördert.

Hier geht es um etwas. Der Wert der Datenökonomie ist immens. Das hat die Kommission auch dargestellt. Wichtig für mich ist, hier geht es nicht nur um Wirtschafts- und Innovationsförderung, hier geht es um die Fähigkeit der EU, sich als globale Akteurin und Standardsetzerin auf dem globalen Markt der Technologien zu positionieren. Das ist ein geostrategischer Imperativ. Das Vertrauen der Bürgerinnen und Bürger ist das auch.


  Adam Bielan, rapporteur for the opinion of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection. – Madam President, dear Commissioner, cloud services have become essential for the use of available data and for strengthening the competitiveness of the European services sector and industry, which relies heavily on accelerated uptake of cloud services.

I believe we should always consider the digitisation of our economies as a holistic challenge, meaning that when introducing new legislation, we should always focus on both users’ and providers’ needs and create a predictable environment that allows the planning of long-term business decisions.

This is why, as rapporteur for the IMCO opinion, with exclusive competences on the cloud services chapter, I welcome that our committee introduced efficient solutions to unlock the potential for cloud computing providers, data processing and portability services, and delivered strongly agile tools that enable customers to take fully informed business decisions.

Lastly, I would like to thank all the shadow rapporteurs in the IMCO committee for their work. I believe the Data Act is a step in the right direction towards unlocking the full potential of data, and I look forward to defending our text during negotiations with the Council.


  Thierry Breton, membre de la Commission. – Madame la Présidente, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, tout d’abord, je voudrais, si vous m’y autorisez, féliciter le Parlement européen pour le travail qui a été fait en vue d’arriver à une position sur la proposition d’une loi sur les données. Je tiens à remercier et féliciter d’abord Mme la rapporteure, Mme Pilar del Castillo, et aussi, bien sûr, tous les membres de la commission ITRE ainsi que les différentes commissions compétentes pour avis, LIBE, JURI et IMCO.

Nous sommes à un moment clé pour l’économie de la donnée. Cela a été dit et je le redis à mon tour. Nous sommes tous conscients que nous avons devant nous une vague, une nouvelle vague de données, industrielles cette fois-ci, beaucoup plus importante du reste que la vague de données personnelles que nous avons connue, que nous connaissons encore, et qui a permis de construire les soubassements de l’économie de la donnée. Et au fond, on a l’opportunité, par cette nouvelle vague de données industrielles, d’augmenter considérablement la valeur ajoutée, la valeur générée par ces données pour notre économie, pour notre compétitivité, mais aussi pour notre société.

Pour saisir cette opportunité, cela a été dit, l’Europe doit agir avec vitesse, mais aussi avec détermination. Elle le fait, on le sait, depuis 2020. Au début du mandat, la Commission a présenté une stratégie complète, cohérente, globale et ambitieuse pour les données. En mai 2022, les colégislateurs ont adopté un premier règlement absolument majeur qui était le DGA, qui visait à établir la confiance entre les acteurs s’engageant dans un échange de données de façon volontaire. Et aujourd’hui, nous discutons de la dernière proposition législative majeure de cette stratégie: la loi sur les données proposée par la Commission il y a maintenant un an, et je me félicite à nouveau de l’engagement très fort du Parlement européen et des États membres autour de cette initiative.

Il s’agit, je tiens à le rappeler ici, d’un texte essentiel pour tous les secteurs industriels. Il a pour ambition de déverrouiller les données industrielles et d’accroître aussi, ce qui est très important, l’équité à leur accès dans une économie de la donnée, de clarifier aussi les droits d’utilisation des données entre, évidemment, les entreprises, le «B2B», entre les entreprises et les consommateurs, le «B2C», ainsi qu’entre les entreprises et le secteur public, le «B2G».

Avec la loi sur les données, à laquelle il a été fait référence tout à l’heure, nous avons structuré et nous structurerons une économie de données innovante, ouverte. Mais évidemment ouverte à nos conditions et conformément à nos valeurs. Cela veut dire que nous portons une attention toute particulière aux droits, aux droits des consommateurs, aux PME qui sont au cœur de notre industrie, à l’intérêt public également, à la protection de nos données européennes, en un mot. Et ceci est crucial pour notre souveraineté numérique.

Dans ce contexte, je suis très heureux de constater que le Parlement a préservé une approche équilibrée de la proposition, pour faire en sorte que plus d’acteurs puissent bénéficier des données, tout en conservant un cadre incitatif d’investissement dans la production de ces données.

Je voudrais ici souligner également que la loi sur les données servira d’instrument d’appui pour les PME, axé sur leurs besoins, et notamment dans un accès plus large aux données, dans le rapport de force des négociations contractuelles, notamment dans les situations de désaccord. Les PME n’ont souvent pas, on le sait, les moyens pour gérer un contentieux légal.

Notre proposition comprend aussi des règles relatives à l’accès du secteur public aux données des entreprises. Il est important de pouvoir élaborer les meilleures politiques publiques sur la base de ces données et surtout en cas de crise. Je suis conscient que le Parlement propose de limiter ce chapitre aux données non personnelles et je note que cela rendrait l’accès aux données de la part des autorités publiques considérablement plus difficile, dans des cas de crise évidemment, où les données, même pseudonymisées, pourraient aider à trouver des solutions efficaces et rapides face aux urgences de certaines situations.

Par ailleurs, et pour conclure, je suis heureux de constater la volonté de stimuler la concurrence sur le marché européen du cloud en supprimant les obstacles au changement de fournisseur de cloud. J’espère donc que nous pourrons maintenir cette ambition de créer un marché du cloud fluide et compétitif.

Pour conclure, permettez-moi à nouveau de remercier le Parlement européen pour le travail accompli sur une proposition législative très importante et, je crois pouvoir le dire, susceptible de révolutionner le champ des données.


  Christian Ehler, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, dear colleagues, today we are discussing legislation that can enhance the European data-driven economy and enable new business models for industry. Enabling secure, efficient data sharing among businesses can have a profound impact on the economy, leading to more innovation, growth and job creation. It will provide businesses with the right incentives and support to innovate, develop new products and services based on data and, by doing so, it can create new opportunities for business across Europe, driving growth and creating jobs.

And I would like to congratulate – because we don’t do that often in this House – the Commission, and specifically Commissioner Breton, but also our rapporteur, Pilar del Castillo, and also the other colleagues. Because we do something, we salute much more – and we should do that in the presence of many more colleagues. We do something for the competitiveness of Europe. And that’s the bigger issue.

We should be aware that, in the presence of this House, it is much more vivid. If we strangle the European industry, if we regulate, if we create ambitions which are not fostering European competitiveness – and it’s a relatively lonely business or it seems to be – then we are saluting the fact that now we are really substantially contributing to European competitiveness.

But we should be aware: it is starting. We are starting to deindustrialise Europe. And what had been promised for the Green Deal has to become a Green Deal, whereas the second leg – the digital leg – is the one we are saluting today. And it’s a good signal and a good day for the European industry.


  Dan Nica, în numele grupului S&D. – Doamna președintă, domnule comisar, dragi colegi, este un act extrem de important pentru noi toți, pentru că de modul în care noi am reușit să adoptăm acest act va depinde ceea ce vor face cei din industria relevantă în perioada următoare.

Și vreau să-i spun ceva domnului comisar Breton. Am avut o discuție înainte să fie numit comisar. Și atunci am vorbit câteva lucruri și vreau să spun aici că s-a ținut de cuvânt, ne-a spus și am convenit atunci că Uniunea Europeană are nevoie de servicii de cloud care să fie în Uniunea Europeană pentru Uniunea Europeană și pentru întreprinderi și cetățeni europeni, lucru pentru care s-a ținut de cuvânt.

Astăzi vorbim din nou despre un lucru care tot așa l-a menționat la investirea domniei sale ca și comisar, faptul că Uniunea Europeană, știți cum spun, este un nou șerif în oraș. Deci nu mai există ca aici să fie un fel de supermarket în care fiecare venea, lua datele din Uniunea Europeană, le foloseau cum credeau, fără să fie întrebat cineva nici dacă există vreun accept și nici fără să existe vreo aprobare sau vreun control din partea cuiva.

Astăzi, cu Data Act, punem capăt și acestui regim, să spunem, de naivitate de care dădeam dovadă.

Și mai este un lucru foarte important. Noi trebuie cu toții să fim conștienți că dacă noi nu știm să ne apărăm interesele noastre ca Uniune Europeană, dacă noi nu știm să ne protejăm interesele noastre, nu o va face nimeni, iar Uniunea Europeană este unul dintre actorii cei mai importanți, iar colaborarea și cooperarea noastră cu toți cei care sunt like-minded, cei care respectă regulile, regulile noastre, ale Uniunii Europene, trebuie să se alinieze acestor reguli și să poată să-și facă, să-și desfășoare activitățile în conformitate cu standardele noastre, cu obligațiile noastre.

Nu negociem respectarea niciunei reguli europene, nu negociem nici nerespectarea vreunui drept sau obligații de care beneficiază vreo întreprindere europeană sau vreun cetățean european.

Și felicitări celor care au lucrat la acest raport și felicitări încă o dată Comisiei. Când face lucruri bune, trebuie să recunoaștem și aceste lucruri.


  Alin Mituța, în numele grupului Renew. – Doamna președintă, în primul rând, sigur, mulțumesc colegilor din echipa de raportori cu care am lucrat foarte bine pentru a avea astăzi pe masă acest text.

O mare parte din dispozitivele pe care le folosim astăzi produc date, de la obiectele simple, precum becurile inteligente, bineînțeles, până la cele mai complexe, precum automobilele sau avioanele.

În acest moment folosim doar 20% din toate aceste date. Dacă utilizatorii și companiile ar avea, ar putea folosi întregul potențial al datelor, am putea genera în Europa peste 2 milioane de locuri de muncă și am genera aproape 300 de miliarde de euro în plus la PIB-ul Uniunii.

Acesta este și rostul legii datelor. În primul rând, revoluționăm modul în care folosim tehnologiile și internetul în favoarea consumatorilor, redând controlul asupra datelor celor care le co-generează. Tot utilizatorii vor decide cu cine le partajează, cui le vând și cum le folosesc. În al doilea rând, vom putea folosi mai bine potențialul datelor pentru a avea acces la servicii publice mai bune, iar în al treilea rând, creăm o economie a datelor care să ajute Europa să inoveze și să profite de acest uriaș potențial al datelor industriale.

Cred că ceea ce avem pe masă este un compromis foarte bun și cred că trebuie să îl adoptăm și să avem o poziție puternică în negocierile cu Consiliul.


  Damian Boeselager, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Madam President, dear Commissioner Breton, dear Pilar, dear colleagues, more and more devices – windmills, ships, aeroplanes, paper-cutting machines – are connected to the internet. It’s the internet of things, after all. But who can have access to the non-personal data that these devices produce and who is allowed to share it with others? That is what the Data Act is about: deciding who should have access to what kind of data coming out of connected devices.

That’s why I think this law is actually right up there with GDPR and the Digital Services Act when it comes to the importance for the European digital economy. I think overall we have risen to the occasion, and here I want to explicitly thank Pilar and all the other colleagues for the very good cooperation that actually helped us improve the Commission’s proposal.

Let me give you two examples of where I think we definitely improved the proposal. First, we put the user, the owner of the connected device, back into the centre. They can decide who they want to engage in contracts with and who they want to share the data with.

Second, we created incentives for both the user and the data holder to share data on data markets. And that’s really the core. We need liquid data markets so that new cool startups can come use this data, connect it and build new ideas and applications.

However, there’s one point where I don’t think we got the balance correct, and that is what kind of data can be shared. Here, we gave a million excuses to the data holder to not share data. Trade secret protection, security settings, non-compete provisions, complex algorithms; we made the list so long that the Data Act is in the risk of becoming a data suppression act, allowing data holders to basically not share data. That’s short-sighted protectionist policy. We need to make sure that in the next step, when we negotiate with the Council, we have the maximum amount of data to be shared with the user who is actually producing the data with its use. So let’s fight for that.


  Margarita de la Pisa Carrión, en nombre del Grupo ECR. – Señora presidenta, señorías, seamos sinceros. La Unión Europea llega tarde a la batalla de los datos, hoy liderada por los Estados Unidos y China, y la Comisión lo ha hecho con una propuesta que tiene como objeto acaparar más poder y cumplir con una agenda, sin medir cómo afecta a nuestro tejido empresarial o nuestra vida como ciudadanos.

Por otro lado, el Parlamento Europeo, con una buena colaboración entre los grupos y con la ponente, ha conseguido reducir en gran medida este impacto negativo, poniendo en el centro del Reglamento al consumidor y su seguridad —especialmente su protección frente a abusos—, reclamando transparencia y la compensación, programando una implementación escalonada para la industria, mejorando técnicamente el texto y liberando de exigencias a las pequeñas y medianas empresas.

Pero, sin duda, existen puntos controvertidos, porque conceptualmente tenemos visiones diferentes de la Unión Europea. La soberanía de las naciones, en este caso sobre los datos, debe ser nacional y las decisiones pertenecen a ese nivel. Por esta razón, hemos presentado peticiones de cambio para limitar las competencias que las instituciones europeas se atribuyen. Es una oportunidad para hacer que esta norma respete el principio de subsidiariedad en todo su contenido. Hagámoslo, trabajemos juntos, sigamos trabajando juntos. Pedimos, por tanto, apoyo a las enmiendas presentadas por nuestro grupo.


  Marie Dauchy, au nom du groupe ID. – Madame la Présidente, chers collègues, quel dommage! Voilà ce que m’inspire une telle proposition législative. Car, une fois n’étant pas coutume, le constat de base prévalant à la législation sur les données partait d’une bonne intuition: libérer l’accès et l’utilisation des données pour permettre de créer de nouveaux biens et services. Mais passé ce constat, l’on se rend compte que le Data Act reprend les éternelles errances de l’Union européenne: absence de vision stratégique, foi aveugle dans le marché et naïveté dans ses rapports avec le reste du monde.

Après être complètement passée à côté des révolutions numériques, de l’économie de la donnée et de l’intelligence artificielle, la Commission européenne veut nous faire croire que la réponse au retard abyssal qui sépare l’Europe des États-Unis et de la Chine naît dans le numérique. Dans le numérique serait la libéralisation. Car ce texte, qui ne varie pas de celui déposé par la Commission, n’est rien d’autre qu’une pure et simple libéralisation du marché de la donnée sur le modèle de l’ouverture des monopoles d’État dans les années 1990 et 2000. Il impose au détenteur d’une ressource essentielle d’en délivrer l’accès à des conditions contractuelles équitables, en espérant que le marché s’occupe du reste.

Cette logique est complètement erronée. Pire, c’est un raisonnement à l’envers. La question prioritaire n’est pas tant celle de savoir si les données circulent suffisamment ou pas assez. La question essentielle est celle de savoir pourquoi ce ne sont pas des géants européens qui les contrôlent au sein d’un écosystème d’innovation européen. La Commission est comme un enfant trop naïf à qui l’on fait croire que Google, Facebook, Apple et consorts sont simplement le fruit d’esprits géniaux enfermés dans le garage de leurs parents. Ce faisant, elle est incapable de comprendre que c’est la vision stratégique de l’interventionnisme d’État qui a contribué à créer les champions du numérique. C’est le développement de compétences essentielles allié à un investissement massif dans des technologies de pointe et à la mise en place de réseaux de dernière génération. Mais encore une fois, l’Union est fondamentalement incapable de ce type de raisonnement.

Ce texte soulève d’ailleurs tant d’autres problèmes que le temps m’empêche d’aborder. Rien sur la protection effective des données de nos entreprises face aux concurrents internationaux. Rien sur la cybersécurité, rien sur l’abus d’autorité des entités publiques que ce texte semble complètement ignorer. Rien encore sur le coût de l’accès à certaines données. Alors certes, le Data Act pourra effectivement participer à créer quelques opportunités économiques à la marge. Mais dans le fond, l’Europe est et restera vouée à demeurer soumise au reste du monde sur le numérique.


  Έλενα Κουντουρά, εξ ονόματος της ομάδας The Left. – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, κύριοι συνάδελφοι, ο όγκος των δεδομένων που παράγονται από ανθρώπους και μηχανές αυξάνεται εκθετικά κάθε χρόνο. Τα βιομηχανικά δεδομένα μπορούν να αποτελέσουν καθοριστικό παράγοντα για την ανάπτυξη, την καινοτομία και τον μετασχηματισμό όλων των τομέων της ευρωπαϊκής οικονομίας. Δυστυχώς, σήμερα η πλήρης αξία τους παραμένει ανεκμετάλλευτη ή συγκεντρώνεται στα χέρια λίγων μεγάλων εταιρειών. Για να αλλάξει αυτό, θα πρέπει να δοθούν επαρκείς απαντήσεις στα μακροχρόνια ζητήματα της πρόσβασης στα δεδομένα, στη δικαιοσύνη, στη διαλειτουργικότητα και την επαναχρησιμοποίηση των δεδομένων.

Δεν υπάρχει αμφιβολία ότι η θέση της επιτροπής ITRE αποσαφηνίζει και βελτιώνει αρκετά σημεία της αρχικής πρότασης της Επιτροπής. Διασφαλίζεται η προστασία των προσωπικών δεδομένων, ότι η πρόσβαση στα δεδομένα και η κοινοχρησία δεδομένων θα είναι δωρεάν για τους καταναλωτές, η χρήση των μη προσωπικών δεδομένων του ιδιωτικού τομέα από δημόσιους φορείς των κρατών μελών B2G σε περίπτωση δημόσιας έκτακτης ανάγκης ή για την εκπλήρωση συγκεκριμένου καθήκοντος προς το δημόσιο συμφέρον, η προώθηση της ικανότητας των καταναλωτών να κατανοούν καλύτερα τις τεχνικές λεπτομέρειες και τα δικαιώματά τους αναφορικά με τα δεδομένα που παράγουν, το δικαίωμα δικαστικής προσφυγής κ.α..

Παράλληλα, όμως, εξακολουθούν να υπάρχουν ορισμένα στοιχεία που μπορούν να υπονομεύσουν τους στόχους του κανονισμού και θα πρέπει να βελτιωθούν στους προσεχείς τριλόγους. Ενώ, για παράδειγμα, η ανάγκη προστασίας του εμπορικού απορρήτου είναι αδιαμφισβήτητη, θα πρέπει να αντιμετωπιστεί ο κίνδυνος αδικαιολόγητης χρήσης του για την υπονόμευση των δικαιωμάτων πρόσβασης των χρηστών.


  Francesca Donato (NI). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, da anni si parla di regolamentare l'accesso e la condivisione dei dati personali e non, in questo Parlamento. All'inizio l'intenzione dichiarata era quella di introdurre il concetto di proprietà dell'individuo sui propri dati con i connessi diritti. Poi si è andati nella direzione opposta.

Oggi discutiamo di una proposta che, in nome della concorrenza e giocando sull'ambiguità dei dati misti, di fatto spoglia le persone del legittimo controllo sui propri dati personali, calpestando l'essenza stessa del diritto alla privacy.

L'importante è che le imprese possano liberamente disporne per il loro business e profitto. E sappiamo che con i nostri dati potranno orientare le nostre vite, anche le nostre intenzioni di voto.

Perché quest'Aula si preoccupa, ormai, più degli interessi delle multinazionali o comunque di soggetti terzi, a scapito dei diritti dei cittadini europei? Molti pensano che la risposta si possa evincere dalle dinamiche del Qatar-gate.

Se continuiamo così, sarà molto difficile convincerli del contrario.


  Maria da Graça Carvalho (PPE). – Senhora Presidente, Caro Comissário, Caros Colegas, o Regulamento dos Dados, numa palavra, é sobre dar acesso – dar acesso às pessoas e às empresas.

Até agora, as regras não têm sido claras, em especial sobre quem pode aceder aos dados gerados nos produtos conectados. Com este diploma devolvemos o controlo a quem produz os dados e, ao mesmo tempo, abrimos caminho a uma maior utilização desta informação. Um passo fundamental para fazer crescer a economia dos dados e para promover a inovação.

Na qualidade de relatora-sombra na Comissão do Mercado Interno e da Proteção dos Consumidores (IMCO), concentrei—me em especial no tema da computação em nuvem. Este mercado é dominado por operadores não europeus, com três empresas a concentrarem quase toda a oferta.

Para os clientes, a troca de operadores é difícil. Com este regulamento, eliminamos barreiras e taxas injustificadas, tornamos a troca de operadores mais simples e reduzimos custos, ao mesmo tempo que protegemos os segredos comerciais e a propriedade intelectual.

Termino felicitando a relatora, Pilar del Castillo, e os outros relatores, e também o Comissário Breton pelo excelente trabalho e pela excelente cooperação. Foi um trabalho árduo e que exigiu muita conciliação, mas podemos ficar orgulhosos do resultado.


  Marina Kaljurand (S&D). – Madam President, Commissioner, colleagues, I would like to thank the rapporteur and everybody who worked on this act. I believe that it will be landmark legislation for this mandate if it succeeds in harnessing the potential of data in all the ways we are hoping and foreseeing.

I would like to underline some very important points of the European Parliament’s position. In the event of conflict between two legislative instruments, GDPR will prevail. We do not create any additional legal basis for the processing of personal data nor removing any of those that exist. It will help to enforce our citizens’ right to data portability, which is already provided in GDPR, and we ensure the right foreseen for a person who is not the user asking for transfer of data but whose personal data is still being transferred.

On a personal note, I would like to mention my own remaining concern. The scope of what business will have to share with governments is much wider in Parliament’s position than I personally would have liked. It remains to be seen how this will be done in practice and it remains to be seen if we need to go to court to see how some personal data applications work.


  Karen Melchior (Renew). – Madam President, dear Commissioner, dear colleagues, firstly, I’d like to thank the rapporteur and shadows for their diligent work on this complex and multifaceted file.

The role of data in our lives is growing, from industrial processes to wearable devices. Data provides us with valuable insights needed to fight climate change, diagnose diseases, as well as to produce food and goods more sustainably.

The Data Act is essential in unlocking the potential of data and bringing down the many barriers that we face today. We have succeeded in achieving clearer boundaries between personal and non-personal data; a balanced deal on trade secrets that would enable more data sharing whilst protecting intellectual property rights.

I am particularly satisfied that we’ve provided the following solutions to current problems. Today, when we buy and use connected devices, the data generated is often stored in the cloud, and we can only access our data if we’re willing to give away personal information or to pay extra.

The Data Act puts citizens and businesses in control of their data, with free and unhindered access for consumers and a guaranteed fair price for companies no matter their size.

Today, innovative services are never developed due to barriers in accessing data from other manufacturers. The Data Act ends hoarding of data, enabling developers to build the services that citizens and consumers want.

The COVID pandemic revealed that governments struggle to obtain data they need in emergencies. We have ensured that governments can respond quickly without overstepping and putting citizens’ privacy at risk.

Also, because manufacturers regularly shut down related services prematurely, rendering smart devices useless before their physical end of life, I do miss one thing from our JURI opinion: where we require transparency on how long a smart device will remain smart or even usable, how long related services and software updates will be provided, and if a connected device can work offline. This information is vital to empower citizens to make sustainable choices when they buy connected devices, and I hope to see it in the final legislation.

I wish the rapporteur and her team all the best in the upcoming trilogue negotiations.


  Alexandra Geese (Verts/ALE). – Frau Präsidentin, sehr verehrter Herr Kommissar! Daten sind glücklicherweise nicht das neue Öl; Daten sind der neue Boden, aus dem Innovation wachsen kann, und diese Innovation gilt es zu fördern. Indem wir jetzt mit klaren Regeln darstellen, wer welche nicht personenbezogenen Daten nutzen darf und wie diese Daten auch zusammenwirken können.

Aber dabei muss ein Prinzip klar sein: Wer die Daten erzeugt, entscheidet über ihre Nutzung. Es kann nicht sein, dass die Daten aus der Nutzung eines smarten Kühlschranks automatisch nur dem Hersteller gehören. Denn für innovative Anwendungen und Geschäftsmodelle brauchen wir ja gerade auch die Zugänge für Startups und für die Forschung.

Im Cloudbereich bedaure ich sehr, dass der Binnenmarktausschuss den ambitionierten Vorstoß der Kommission zunichtegemacht hat, den heute von zwei dominanten Digitalkonzernen beherrschten Markt aufzubrechen, um gerade auch europäischen Anbietern eine echte Chance zu geben und unseren kleinen und mittelständischen Unternehmen mehr Auswahl zu bieten. Hier zementieren wir eine Abhängigkeit, aus der wir uns in Europa doch eigentlich befreien wollen.

Schwach ist der Vorschlag – leider – wie die gesamte Digitalpolitik auch in Sachen Klimaschutz. Die steigenden Datenvolumen werden große Mengen Strom und Ressourcen brauchen. Deswegen ist es so wichtig, dass wir Grünen Deal und Digitalgesetzgebung zusammen denken, dass sie Hand in Hand gehen. Denn wir brauchen eine kluge Digitalisierung, um den Planeten zu retten. Ich hoffe, dass wir die Chancen noch ausnutzen können, die sich jetzt im Bereich Ökodesign und künstliche Intelligenz dafür ergeben.


  Geert Bourgeois (ECR). – Voorzitter, commissaris, collega’s, ik steun volmondig de doelstellingen van de dataverordening en ik feliciteer de rapporteur die – samen met velen – gevoelige verbeteringen heeft aangebracht aan het voorstel.

De EU heeft absoluut een competitieve datamarkt nodig. Onze achterstand ten opzichte van de Verenigde Staten en China is dramatisch. Delen van data is cruciaal voor innovatie en groei, voor onze concurrentiekracht, voor onze welvaart.

Maar, collega’s, sta mij toe te zeggen dat er nog een aantal werkpunten, een aantal zorgpunten, zijn aan wat voorligt op het vlak van rechtszekerheid voor onze bedrijven, het beschermen van hun bedrijfsgeheimen en intellectuele eigendom. De mogelijkheid voor overheden om private data op te eisen moet zeer, zeer strikt gelimiteerd worden, afgelijnd worden, beperkt worden.

De deur voor oneigenlijk gebruik moet absoluut dicht.


  Emmanuel Maurel (The Left). – Madame la Présidente, la régulation du numérique avance en Europe. Nous le devons à la vigilance de ce Parlement. Nous le devons aussi à l’action du commissaire Breton. Et ce règlement marque une étape importante dans la construction d’une législation efficace en matière d’accès, de transfert, de partage de données non personnelles, au premier rang desquelles les données industrielles.

Qualifier de «nouvel or noir» les données, c’est un peu un lieu commun, mais il est vrai que, comme tout or noir, il fait l'objet de convoitises et nous sommes dans l’obligation de protéger ces données, et cela y compris vis-à-vis de nos partenaires commerciaux qui, en l’espèce, sont aussi de redoutables concurrents – je pense aux États-Unis et évidemment à la Chine.

Parmi les points clés du texte, j’en retiens trois. D’abord, l’intérêt général sort renforcé du texte, dans la mesure où les organismes publics pourront avoir accès aux données des entreprises en cas de situation de crise – c’est un point important. Deuxième chose, cela a été dit, c’est une avancée pour les consommateurs qui bénéficient d’une portabilité des données d’un cloud à l’autre et qui auront accès gratuitement, c’est important, aux données générées par les objets connectés qu’ils possèdent.

Dernière chose enfin, l’encadrement étendu des transferts de données vers les pays tiers: le texte renforce la protection de nos industries et de leurs savoir-faire. Il faudra être vigilant en trilogue parce que cela n’est pas encore totalement réglé. Mais je pense qu’on va dans la bonne direction et il faut que ça continue.


  Edina Tóth (NI). – Tisztelt Elnök Asszony! Biztos Úr! Az adatok gyors és biztonságos felhasználása az uniós gazdasági fejlődés egyik kulcsa. Ez a javaslat fontos lépés a hatékonyabb és átláthatóbb adatmegosztás, valamint a digitális átállás irányába, amelynek elsődleges célja az európai polgárok érdekvédelme. Ezért elengedhetetlen egy világos és stabil jogszabályi környezet kialakítása, amely az állampolgárok kezébe adja a döntést a saját adataikról. Örömmel látom, hogy a javaslat számos ponton védi a digitális átmenet szempontjából is kiemelten fontos kis- és középvállalkozásokat, ezzel segítve a kiegyensúlyozottabb piaci versenyt.

Bízom abban, hogy a szabályozással hozzá tudunk járulni egy olyan hatékonyan működő adatgazdaság megteremtéséhez, amely méltányos és egyenrangú feltételeket teremt minden érintett számára.


  Angelika Niebler (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Kommissar, liebe Kolleginnen, liebe Kollegen! Wir leben in einer Zeit, in der Daten die neue Währung sind. Aber ein großer Teil unseres Datenschatzes bleibt bisher unangetastet. 80 % der Industriedaten werden, Stand heute, nie genutzt. Ich glaube, es ist wirklich an der Zeit, dass wir die Datensilos, die wir in der Europäischen Union noch haben, aufbrechen.

Das Datengesetz ist dafür ein wichtiger Meilenstein. Es regelt endlich den Zugriff auf Daten von vernetzten Geräten, Maschinen, ich sage mal, vom Kühlschrank bis zu den Flugzeugturbinen. Durch dieses Datengesetz werden künftig Daten einfacher zugänglich, nutzbar und wertvoll für die Bürgerinnen und Bürger in der Europäischen Union, für Verwaltungen, für Unternehmen, für die Gesellschaft als solches.

Die große Herausforderung beim Datengesetz war, die richtige Balance zwischen den verschiedenen Interessen zu finden. Ich finde, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen, das ist uns eigentlich ganz gut gelungen, zumal wir ja auch für einzelne Datenräume wie z. B. den Gesundheitsdatenraum ja noch einen eigenen Rechtsrahmen bekommen werden.

Bürgerinnen und Bürger nutzen smarte Geräte. Für mich war es wichtig, dass der Datenschutz eben da auch in dem Bereich genauso gilt, dass der Bürger, die Bürgerin entscheidet, wer was mit seinen Daten unternimmt. Zweitens war es natürlich wichtig, gerade kleinen, mittelständischen Unternehmen und Start-ups künftig einfacheren Zugriff auf Industrie- und Maschinendaten zu geben. Auch das ist uns gelungen. Andererseits haben wir aber auch sichergestellt, dass weiterhin Geschäftsgeheimnisse gewahrt bleiben. Wichtig in der Datenwelt ist, dass wir vertrauensvolle Umgebungen schaffen. Ich glaube, dass uns das mit diesem legislativen Akt, mit dem Datengesetz, gelungen ist.

Ich möchte auch ein herzliches Dankeschön an unsere Berichterstatterin Pilar del Castillo und alle Kolleginnen und Kollegen aus den Fraktionen, die an diesem Dossier sehr engagiert mitgearbeitet haben, sagen. Ich glaube, wir haben damit wirklich einen guten Schritt in Richtung Aufbau einer Datenwirtschaft und einer Datengesellschaft geschaffen.


  Miapetra Kumpula-Natri (S&D). – Madam President, I’m sorry to be only now here. Physical travel from Finland took a bit longer in France. But this winter, the competitiveness of the European industry and economy have been a great cause of political discussion due to high energy prices, the war on the continent and the upheaval of the global supply chains. We need to enact more robust European industrial policy fit for this challenge in the world to create more decent jobs and welfare.

The Data Act is a key element on the regulatory side to give a push for European data innovations and data markets to be created. We need a clear framework to enable fair and open utilisation of data by private businesses, consumers and the public sector. The single market is Europe’s greatest power and the source of the ‘Brussels effect’. So by shaping the emerging data market now, we are showing that the global data market can reflect the European objectives of competition, consumer protection and democratic rules.

Dear colleagues, it is a historic day. We will create a new right by legislation. When buying or renting a product that produces data, an enterprise or consumer will not only be a source and object for data collection, but will have a right to the data the use of the product provides. Doesn’t it sound reasonable? Yes, it does. Is it a fact today? No, it is not. So let’s do this and there will be a right for the user to know what data the use of the machine is collecting and providing and have a say how it can be used. This will unleash a lot of data for the new services and hopefully also disruptive innovations. Some estimates say that 80% of this so-called industrial data is unused in silos.

I am very happy already to see companies in health and hospitals working for better ways to use data for our good. I was very delighted to talk to farmers who are waiting for this to happen and thinking of the ways they can utilise the data produced in their own farms. Repair services are there to employ more people as we will reduce waste and material use by better repair possibilities. The efficient use of, and fair access to, data will provide a new competitive edge for many SMEs in Europe.

I am confident also that this legislation will be useful if something serious like the pandemic happens. There will be well framed rules in place to use data to help society through public sector action to work for the best of citizens.

I want to thank the rapporteur, the Commissioner and many colleagues and so many others around Europe who believed in this fair data economy already when we wrote together the brave vision for the European Data Strategy, including these business-to-business data sharing rules. So, colleagues, I urge you all to vote in favour so we can start trilogues as soon as possible.


  Christophe Grudler (Renew). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Commissaire, chers rapporteurs fictifs, chers collègues, en parallèle du travail de réindustrialisation que nous menons en Europe, nous devons également mener un travail sur la numérisation de nos industries, en particulier par une meilleure exploitation de nos données industrielles.

Aujourd’hui, de plus en plus d’objets et de produits sont connectés, évidemment, y compris des produits industriels lourds, comme une locomotive de train. Tout cela produit des données qui ne sont pas toujours exploitées à leur maximum. Ce texte que nous votons aujourd’hui permettra de faciliter ce partage des données. Une compagnie ferroviaire, pour reprendre l’exemple du train, pourra par exemple accéder plus facilement aux données des trains qu’elle achète et ainsi réduire le nombre des pannes grâce aux informations récoltées. Et moins de pannes, cela veut dire aussi moins de retards pour les voyageurs. Voilà un exemple, j’allais dire, parmi des milliers d’autres.

Accéder plus facilement aux données, cela veut aussi dire un meilleur accès pour les consommateurs. Quand un produit est connecté, il est important que le consommateur puisse utiliser librement ses propres données.

Enfin, le Data Act permettra de lever les barrières pour le passage d’un service informatique en nuage à un autre – les fameux clouds. Il n’est pas acceptable qu’un client de cloud soit bloqué chez un prestataire à cause de frais de transfert excessivement élevés. Ce sont des pratiques anticoncurrentielles et il faut pouvoir y mettre fin. Il faut supprimer ces frais et cela, quelle que soit la situation.

Chers collègues, nos données, notamment industrielles, ont de la valeur, il faut le rappeler. Il est donc aussi important que les données produites en Europe soient également traitées plus facilement en Europe. Le Data Act va dans ce sens et je m’en réjouis.


  Kim Van Sparrentak (Verts/ALE). – Voorzitter, als je je tanden poetst met een slimme tandenborstel, dan zijn die data niet van jou, maar van de tandenborstelfabrikant. Als je je elektrische auto wilt laten repareren, moet je naar de garage van je merk, want ze kunnen niet in de computer van jouw auto. En je robotstofzuiger verzamelt de hele dag data over jouw huis, waar jij niet bij mag. Het is pure datahonger onder het mom van innovatie. Dit is natuurlijk de wereld op zijn kop. De data die jij produceert, moeten van jou zijn.

Nou, deze wet is daarvoor gelukkig een eerste stap en ik ben blij dat er geen sluiproutes voor bedrijven in zitten om nóg meer persoonsgegevens te verzamelen. Persoonlijke data horen niet thuis op een datamarkt. Laten we kijken naar de data van bedrijven, zoals in energiegebruik of productieprocessen. Hier kunnen we collectief van leren om processen duurzamer te maken en sneller oplossingen in de klimaatcrisis te vinden. Laten we die data vrij beschikbaar maken.

Data kunnen ons veel brengen, maar individuen moeten zelf kunnen bepalen wat ze willen delen, ongeacht welk apparaat ze aanschaffen.


  Cristian Terheş (ECR). – Madam President, the European Data Act Regulation, contrary to the declared numerous benefits it brings for citizens, is yet another brick in the construction of the digital tyranny in the EU under the leadership of Ursula von der Leyen, where people are stripped of their fundamental rights like privacy, anonymity, intimacy and transformed into serialised objects that are surveilled by the government every step of the way.

When this draft legislation was published, the European Commission claimed that it is benefiting the people. What benefits can people have from being mass tracked or profiled by the government or the EU institutions? The so-called benefits of this proposal, like providing personalised medicine, new mobility solutions and contributions to the European Green Deal, are just honey traps to implement mass monitoring and, later, control with this regulation. While this regulation is very keen to protect the interests of businesses like trade secrets, it is granting prerogative not only to governmental institutions but to EU institutions to request and receive data from any company that is generated by the users, which is unacceptable.

The EU was established as an area of freedom and democracy, not an open air prison camp, which is why we need to reject the European Data Act Regulation.

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


  Karen Melchior (Renew), blue-card speech. – Thank you very much, colleague, for accepting the blue—card. It was quite a speech you made, with quite some claims, saying that the Data Act will allow for mass surveillance of citizens.

The Data Act will actually allow citizens and businesses to have control over their own data. So how is increased control for citizens of their data, for their use that they choose, a sign of more surveillance, and for allowing your claim of Europe being an open air prison camp?


  Cristian Terheş (ECR), blue-card reply. – Thank you so much for this question, and thank you so much for offering me the opportunity to clarify the fact.

I worked – before I was elected here – as a programmer, so I know exactly how this data is stored, so when you are claiming right now that you are providing access or control of the citizens over the data, that is false – because that data is not stored on their device and they do not have physical control over the data. The data is stored on a server or on a cloud. What this regulation does is allowing or granting access to any governmental agency or even EU institutions to access that data directly. That’s what the report says.


  Sandra Pereira (The Left). – Senhora Presidente, esta proposta de regulamento sobre o acesso e utilização de dados constitui mais uma peça para o aprofundamento do mercado único digital.

Este mercado de dados visa a apropriação de dados de índole diversa, favorecendo os gigantes digitais e utilizando—os para potenciar os seus lucros. Também não está desligado do acordo celebrado com os Estados Unidos, há um ano, para o fluxo de dados transatlânticos, que representa potencialmente 7,1 biliões de dólares em relações económicas.

Consideramos que a necessária garantia do consentimento em qualquer comunicação de dados pessoais deve ser devidamente acautelada e que é a preservação do interesse do indivíduo, e não das grandes multinacionais, que deve nortear estas iniciativas. Opomo—nos a uma lógica mercantilista dos dados pessoais, contrária ao princípio de olhar para os dados pessoais como um prolongamento da personalidade humana.

A gestão e utilização de dados deviam ser integrados numa visão de desenvolvimento soberano, visando a preservação e salvaguarda de dados no plano nacional e que comporte, simultaneamente, uma dimensão pública e de interesse nacional.


  Λευτέρης Νικολάου-Αλαβάνος (NI). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, με την πράξη για τα δεδομένα τα μονοπώλια του κλάδου δεν θα έχουν πλέον μόνο τη δυνατότητα να καταγράφουν, να αποθηκεύουν, να αναλύουν και να αξιοποιούν τα δεδομένα των χρηστών, προσωπικά ή μη, όπως μέχρι σήμερα κάνουν, για παράδειγμα στην Ελλάδα, χάρη και στη σχετική οδηγία που ψήφισαν από κοινού Νέα Δημοκρατία, ΣΥΡΙΖΑ, ΠΑΣΟΚ και ΜΕΡΑ25. Στα πλαίσια της ευρωενωσιακής αγοράς δεδομένων, τα ευρωπαϊκά μονοπώλια θα μπορούν να τα μεταπωλούν σε τρίτους, σαν τμήμα του εμπορικού προϊόντος ή των υπηρεσιών τους, έχοντας στήριγμα το Ταμείο Ανάκαμψης, δηλαδή τα χρήματα του λαού.

Στο πλαίσιο των ανταγωνισμών με τις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες Αμερικής και την Κίνα και των ανακατατάξεων που συμβαίνουν στον κλάδο, πολλαπλασιάζονται οι απολύσεις στους επιχειρηματικούς κολοσσούς, όπως οι Google, Facebook, Amazon,Twitter. Συντελούνται πτωχεύσεις τραπεζών που συνδέονται και με τον κλάδο, και τα βάρη τους βεβαίως θα μετακυλήσουν και πάλι στους λαούς.

Το συμπέρασμα: η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση και η καπιταλιστική αγορά είναι ασύμβατες με κάθε προστασία των δεδομένων. Η πάλη για ψηφιακές τεχνολογίες στην υπηρεσία των σύγχρονων λαϊκών αναγκών ενάντια και στο σκοτεινό πλαίσιο φακελώματος, επομένως, συνδέεται με τον αγώνα για την ανατροπή της εξουσίας των μονοπωλίων.


  Ivan Štefanec (PPE). – Vážená pani predsedajúca. Digitalizácia mení a bude meniť naše životy. Preto, aby sme zlepšili celú situáciu v digitálnej oblasti v Európskej únii, potrebujeme predovšetkým zlepšiť infraštruktúru, digitálne zručnosti a správny digitálny rámec v práci s dátami. A o tom je práve tento dôležitý Data Act, keďže dát budeme spracovávať viac a viac. Prístup k dátam bude kľúčový pre nové nápady a ich realizáciu najmä malými firmami tvoriacimi najviac pracovných miest. Ak chceme udržať našu konkurencieschopnosť vo svete a reflektovať vývoj reality v oblasti digitalizácie, musíme sa naučiť efektívne využívať dostupné priemyselné dáta, osobitne v oblasti ich zdieľania. Data Act predstavuje ucelený komplex, ktorý ponúka možnosti, ako pracovať s dátami tak, aby sme z nich využili naozaj maximum pri zachovaní európskych štandardov pre ich ochranu. Dnes využívame len 20 % priemyselných informácií a očakávame, že nové pravidlá umožnia využitie priemyselných dát a ich zlepšenie tak, aby prispeli k európskemu HDP o ďalších 270 miliárd. Za dôležité považujem: po prvé, odstraňovanie prekážok pri zdieľaní dát, po druhé, zlepšenie transparentnosti a po tretie, jasné podmienky pri zdieľaní súkromných dát verejným sektorom. Práca s dátami bude determinovať náš ekonomický rozvoj a správny právny rámec k tomu môže výrazne prispieť.


  Tsvetelina Penkova (S&D). – Madam President, dear Commissioner Breton, dear colleagues, data has become one of the most valuable resources in today’s world. In an environment where the technology is all around us, data is the key asset that can drive innovation and growth in the economy and that can upscale businesses and enhance customer driven solutions.

The EU has proven once again that it can lead and pave the way when it comes to providing the right legislative framework. The Data Act sets clear goals to achieve the digital transition. It will foster the EU data market where the allocation of IoT data is fair and just for the benefit of the consumers and the businesses. It will allow for more opportunities for growth, even for the smallest players in our economy, for the SMEs and for the startups. And, last but not least, it will incentivise innovation.

This is the first time when we can actually have data as a measurable asset in our economy and we should be proud of that.


  Kosma Złotowski (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Panie Komisarzu! Szanowni Państwo! Dane to paliwo gospodarki cyfrowej, które zasila innowacje i pozwala tworzyć nowe modele biznesowe. Unia Europejska generuje ogromne zasoby informacji, których przechowywanie, wymiana i wykorzystanie do celów gospodarczych powinno być łatwe i tanie. Tylko dobrze działający rynek konkurencyjnych usług chmurowych może to zapewnić. Potrzebna jest jednak większa równowaga między dostawcami chmury a jej użytkownikami, szczególnie małymi i średnimi przedsiębiorstwami, które najbardziej narażone są na nieuczciwe praktyki czy niekorzystne umowy.

Ogromne zasoby danych o nas gromadzonych i przetwarzanych przez urządzenia podłączone do sieci muszą być lepiej chronione. Zapewnienie dostępu do produktów z obszaru internetu rzeczy niezależnym punktom serwisowym pozwoli obniżyć koszty naprawy i wydłuży koszt życia sprzętu. Z punktu widzenia rozwoju europejskich technologii, takich jak sztuczna inteligencja, te przepisy są kluczowe. Europa musi lepiej wykorzystywać potencjał generowanych przez nas danych, zapewniając maksymalny poziom ochrony.


  Pablo Arias Echeverría (PPE). – Señora presidenta, señor comisario, todo lo que se puede conectar será conectado. Estamos ante una ley que tiene el potencial de cambiar el panorama digital e industrial europeo. La Unión Europea no ha sido parte de la carrera global, en la que los datos se han convertido en un activo esencial. Sabemos que países como China y los Estados Unidos ya están implementando sus estrategias en el ámbito industrial potenciando las posibilidades que ofrecen los datos. En Europa no podemos quedarnos atrás ni vamos a hacerlo.

Hoy podemos presumir de una Europa a la vanguardia de la regulación mundial con la Ley de Servicios Digitales y la Ley de Mercados Digitales. Dos Reglamentos que sientan las bases de cómo debe ser el mundo en línea y que, por primera vez, ponen coto a los gigantes de internet que, durante mucho tiempo, se han aprovechado de nuestro mercado sin unas reglas claras.

Ahora, con el internet de las cosas, tenemos que encontrar nuestro propio un modo de sacar ventaja del potencial de los datos industriales: de los que ya tenemos y que actualmente están infrautilizados y de los que podemos llegar a generar, siempre respetando —por supuesto— nuestros valores y estilo de vida europeo.

Es necesario mejorar la autonomía estratégica de la Unión Europea a través del sector digital para impulsar la competitividad a través de la innovación de la industria europea, a la par que protegemos a nuestras empresas y, por supuesto, también a nuestros ciudadanos.

No puedo terminar hoy sin felicitar a la ponente, Pilar del Castillo, y al resto de ponentes de esta Cámara, así como al comisario Breton, por el extraordinario resultado de este trabajo, que espero sea masivamente refrendado en la votación de hoy.


  Patrizia Toia (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, con molto orgoglio possiamo dire che l'Europa sta costruendo – caso unico al mondo e veramente per prima nel mondo – un'architettura di norme che cercano di dare allo sviluppo digitale così impetuoso, inarrestabile e anche molto utile, indicazioni, obblighi, opportunità e soprattutto responsabilità per gli operatori e per gli utenti, anche ai cittadini consumatori, responsabilità perché dobbiamo operare tutti alla luce di un principio che è fondamentale per noi: la libertà e i diritti dei cittadini, così come quelli dei consumatori, devono essere salvaguardati e potenziati anche nello sviluppo dell'innovazione e del mercato digitale.

Con il Data Governance Act prima e adesso con il Data Act, noi stabiliamo chi può utilizzare i dati e come può farlo, con quali regole e a quali condizioni; chi può dare valore economico nella futura e anche già presente economia dei dati allo sfruttamento dei dati e chi e come può condividerli, con quali regole e con quali finalità, sempre salvaguardando l'interesse generale e il benessere dei cittadini.

Un'ultima cosa voglio dire al Commissario: tutto questo impianto è importantissimo ma starà in piedi se noi svilupperemo la cosiddetta data literacy cioè tutta l'alfabetizzazione digitale perché nessun cittadino di nessuna condizione, età e formazione rimanga indietro rispetto a questo sviluppo.


  Henna Virkkunen (PPE). – Madam President, Commissioner, I want to thank the rapporteur and everybody who has been participating in these negotiations. This Data Act is an important piece of legislation, especially in promoting European rights and values in our digital world. Once successful, it will be boosting both innovation and also our data economy in Europe.

We know that there is much unused potential with data: despite data being collected in vast quantities, the Commission has predicted that 80% of all industrial data produced is never used, so there is huge potential.

I think it’s especially important that with this regulation we can also rebalance the SMEs’ negotiation power and make better access to data for our small, micro- and medium-sized enterprises. It’s particularly important for innovation and also in order to ensure their competitiveness.

At the same time, it’s clear that trade secrets of corporations should be protected. And I think we have found a good balance in this regulation with these different sizes of companies. And from the consumer perspective, it’s essential that, as a generator of data, they have also better access to their own data. There must be a possibility for such data to be also transferred to another service provider.

The negotiators of the Data Act have found a good, balanced compromise, and I think this is a solid foundation for continuing to the trilogue negotiations.


  Carlos Zorrinho (S&D). – Senhora Presidente, Senhor Comissário, tal como definimos e estamos a aplicar um «Green Deal», ou seja, um pacto para que a União Europeia seja uma referência global na transição energética e na descarbonização, também temos que aplicar um «Data Deal» para a cidadania e para a competitividade.

Um «Data Deal» em que sejam respeitados os valores europeus e em que o acesso aos dados com respeito pela privacidade possa ser transformado em inovação, competitividade, autonomia estratégica e melhores serviços para os cidadãos.

As regras estabelecidas na regulamentação em análise visam a partilha justa dos dados, com ganhos para a economia, para a eficácia da governação e dos serviços públicos e para os consumidores. São um pilar da transição digital inclusiva com que a União Europeia tem que fazer a diferença na economia dos dados e na nova sociedade a gigabytes. Uma transição digital que não deixe ninguém para trás, que combata as desigualdades e promova a dignidade.

Este regulamento constitui um alicerce forte para uma década digital capaz de atingir os seus objetivos e ser inspiradora, nos princípios e valores que a sustentam, para as dinâmicas globais de regulação no domínio do acesso e do uso dos dados.

Sobre ele se construirão espaços de dados que serão pilares de maior integração das políticas em concreto, como é exemplo o espaço europeu de dados de saúde. Temos que ter sucesso neste «Data Deal».


Procedura catch-the-eye


  Sunčana Glavak (PPE). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, Akt o podacima vodeći je zakon kojim se regulira način prijenosa pristupa i dijeljenja industrijskih podataka.

Zahvaljujem izvjestiteljici na ovom izvješću i svima koji su na njemu radili. Njime zapravo otključavamo neiskorišteni potencijal dijeljenja podataka „business to business” i „business to government”. Vjerujem da će predložene izmjene donijeti i brojne pogodnosti za građane. Neke od njih uključuju poboljšanu personaliziranu medicinu, nova rješenja mobilnosti i doprinose, svakako, europskom zelenom planu.

Izvješće koje je odobrio odbor ITRE pojašnjava i vrste podataka koji spadaju u područje primjene Uredbe kako bi se nova pravila primjenjivala na različite igrače i jaču zaštitu poslovne tajne za vlasnike podataka. Osim toga, pojašnjavaju scenarij javnog izvanrednog stanja koji zapravo omogućuje javnim tijelima da zadrže pristup podacima u privatnom posjedu i specificira da vlasnici podataka trebaju imati pravo na poštenu naknadu za odobravanje tog pristupa. Smatram, zaključno, velikim uspjehom i to što će predložene izmjene potaknuti konkurenciju na tržištu usluge oblaka olakšavanjem uvjeta za prelazak s jedne usluge oblaka u drugu.

Ovim izmjenama stavljamo korisnike u središte i to je smjer kojim trebamo se voditi u budućnosti, ne samo kada je u pitanju zakonodavstvo o podacima.


  Seán Kelly (PPE). – Madam President, in my first mandate, I had the privilege of being a rapporteur for the GDPR, which was all about protecting people’s data.

Now things have moved on, and it’s really about utilising data for people’s advantage. Speakers mentioned that 80% of our industrial data is not utilised. So, there is a challenge there to make us competitive and I’m sure Commissioner Breton will be addressing that in every way he can.

Also, later on today, we will be voting on the EPBD about refurbishing buildings. Data is going to play a huge part there in reducing emissions so that consumers can use data to use their appliances at the optimum time and thus reduce their electricity bills and also, of course, reduce emissions.

Also, data on the household stock in general will be very important in encouraging financial institutions to make green mortgages available. So, hopefully we can utilise the data to the best advantage of our citizens.


(Fine della procedura catch-the-eye)


  Thierry Breton, membre de la Commission. – Madame la présidente, mesdames et messieurs les députés, tout d'abord, je voudrais me féliciter de l'engagement très fort de ce Parlement sur cette initiative qui, beaucoup, beaucoup d'entre vous l'ont rappelé, est absolument essentielle pour garantir notre place européenne dans l'économie de la donnée.

Il est crucial que tous les acteurs, les grandes entreprises, les PME, les consommateurs et les autorités publiques puissent bénéficier de la valeur des données. Et le débat qui vient de s'achever l'a clairement démontré. Je prends note du soutien, de votre soutien pour l'approche équilibrée qui est la vôtre, visant à déverrouiller les données tout en conservant les incitations à investir dans les produits connectés. Et dans ce but, nous nous félicitons des clarifications qui ont été apportées aux définitions qui sont tout à fait pertinentes pour garantir la sécurité juridique dans la pratique.

Bien sûr, je suis conscient des discussions sur la protection du secret des affaires, qui est un thème très important. Mais la loi sur les données vise exactement à bâtir, à mettre sur pied un réel équilibre qui respecte pleinement la protection des données commercialement sensibles, tout en évitant des barrières lourdes, lourdes, artificielles, qui empêcheraient l'accès et l'utilisation des données, surtout dans les PME, dont on sait qu'elles seront génératrices d'innovations et de services. Et le Parlement, me semble-t-il, préserve bien cet équilibre essentiel dans ce rapport.

Dans ce contexte, je voudrais noter également les interventions sur l'importance du cadre propice aux PME qui simplifie l'accès aux données. Nous tenons compte évidemment des intérêts des PME qui sont au cœur de notre industrie dans l'ensemble des dispositions. Je le redis, la loi sur les données met en place également des conditions pour recréer de la concurrence dans le marché du cloud et également réduire nos dépendances.

Un dernier point, si vous le permettez, la loi sur les données constitue un cadre horizontal, tout comme le DSA, vous vous en souvenez, ce qui permet évidemment de pouvoir greffer des évolutions éventuelles à venir, législatives et sectorielles si nécessaire. Nous attendons donc désormais la position du Conseil pour commencer les trilogues. La Commission sera en soutien pour parvenir à adopter la loi sur les données dans les délais les plus brefs.

Je vous remercie et merci encore à madame la rapporteure.


  Pilar del Castillo Vera, ponente. – Señora presidenta, señor comisario, voy a ser muy breve ya en esta intervención. Quiero agradecer sus contribuciones a todos los diputados que han intervenido y asegurarles que yo tomo buena nota de todo lo que han dicho.

Creo firmemente que el acuerdo alcanzado por la inmensa mayoría de los grupos de la Cámara merece ser suscrito dentro de unos minutos, cuando votemos, por todos nosotros. Las negociaciones con el Consejo empezarán pronto, y desde aquí pido a todos los miembros un mandato negociador fuerte para este Parlamento y para esta propuesta legislativa.

Estamos ante una propuesta legislativa crítica para nuestro futuro. Se trata de una propuesta realmente disruptiva, una propuesta visionaria que nos podría poner en una situación de alta capacidad competitiva e innovadora en un contexto global. Y todo ello porque los beneficiarios son todos los usuarios, las pequeñas y medianas empresas, las empresas emergentes, las grandes empresas también, en suma, nuestra economía y nuestra sociedad europea.

Quiero, finalmente, de nuevo, dar las gracias a todos los ponentes alternativos, también de los comités, de las comisiones que han intervenido, más allá de la Comisión ITRE, las comisiones competentes para emitir opinión. Y quiero, también, agradecer profundamente el trabajo fabuloso, extraordinario, que los equipos de todos los diputados que han intervenido, ponentes alternativos y los de otras comisiones han realizado. Realmente habría sido muy difícil sin ellos, sin su trabajo, llegar al buen puerto al que hemos llegado. Muchas gracias, señor comisario.

Para finalizar, nos queda todavía un tramo por recorrer, que yo espero que recorramos juntos, de la mano, y que finalmente obtengamos ese texto y esas oportunidades que tanto deseamos. Eso es todo. Hasta dentro de un rato en la votación.


  Presidente. – La discussione è chiusa.

La votazione si svolgerà oggi.

(La seduta è sospesa alle 10.23)

Dichiarazioni scritte (articolo 171)


  Romana Jerković (S&D), napisan. – Gospođo predsjednice, dame i gospodo, količina podataka koje generiraju ljudi i strojevi eksponencijalno raste svake godine. Industrijski podaci mogu biti odlučujući čimbenik u razvoju, inovacijama i transformaciji svih sektora europskog gospodarstva. Nažalost, danas njihova puna vrijednost ostaje neiskorištena ili koncentrirana u rukama nekoliko velikih tvrtki.

Da bi se to promijenilo, dugotrajna pitanja pristupa podacima, pravednosti, interoperabilnosti i ponovne upotrebe podataka morat će se adekvatno riješiti. Nema sumnje da stajalište odbora ITRE pojašnjava i poboljšava nekoliko točaka prvotnog prijedloga Komisije.

Osigurana je zaštita osobnih podataka, da će pristup podacima i dijeljenje podataka biti besplatni za potrošače, korištenje neosobnih podataka privatnog sektora od strane javnih tijela država članica u slučaju izvanrednog stanja ili za ispunjenje specifičnih zadaća u javnom interesu, promicanje sposobnosti potrošača da bolje razumiju tehničke detalje i njihova prava u vezi s podacima koje generiraju, pravo na pravni lijek i sl.

U isto vrijeme, međutim, još uvijek postoje neki elementi koji mogu potkopati ciljeve uredbe i trebalo bi ih poboljšati u nadolazećim trijalozima. Dok je, na primjer, potreba za zaštitom poslovnih tajni neosporna, treba se pozabaviti rizikom njihove neopravdane upotrebe za potkopavanje prava pristupa korisnika.




4. Resumption of the sitting
Video of the speeches

(The sitting resumed at 10.41)


5. This is Europe - Debate with the President of Lithuania, Gitanas Nausėda (debate)
Video of the speeches

  President. – We have with us today the President of Lithuania, Gitanas Nausėda. Mr President, dear Gitanas, thank you for accepting our invitation to address the European Parliament as part of our ‘This is Europe’ series of debates.

It has been over a year since Russia launched its full-scale military invasion of independent and sovereign Ukraine. In this time, Lithuania has never held back from sending aid to Ukraine and has been one of the strongest supporters of Ukraine’s European perspective. The Lithuanian people have welcomed more than 74 000 Ukrainians into their homes and their hearts in what is the largest inflow of refugees in the history of the country. Lithuania’s solidarity towards Ukraine has never let up. Thank you also for your commitment to a democratic Belarus.

Dear colleagues, we have already witnessed our Union becoming stronger and more resilient. Facing these challenges together has made us more united.

In this time of global instability, we need to speed up investment in Europe to put our economy back on a stable path of growth. Mr President, your push for a long-term competitiveness strategy, an ambitious trade policy, and boosting conditions for investment has been central to this vision of a better, more prosperous Europe.

Dear President, the floor is yours.


  Gitanas Nausėda, Lietuvos Respublikos Prezidentas. – Gerbiama Parlamento Pirmininke, gerbiami Europos Parlamento nariai, mieli Europos žmonės, džiaugiuosi turėdamas galimybę prisidėti prie šios įkvepiančios diskusijos Europos Parlamente – svarbiausiame politiniame forume, kur keliami pamatiniai klausimai apie vieningos Europos praeitį, dabartį ir ateitį.

Savo šiandieninę kalbą norėčiau skirti Europos idėjai, kuri mus vienija ir kuri mums teikia stiprybės daugelio krizių akivaizdoje. Šiandien kalbėsiu apie būtinybę drąsiai siekti užsibrėžtų tikslų – ir ginti tai, kas mums, europiečiams, svarbiausia ir brangiausia. Kalbėsiu apie pagalbą Ukrainai ir šios šalies vietą Europoje, taip pat istorinės atminties reikšmę ir didžiuosius iššūkius, su kuriais šiandien susiduria Europa.

Atvykau pas Jus vos kelios dienos po Lietuvos nepriklausomybės atkūrimo minėjimo. Tai, ką netrukus pasakysiu, bent iš dalies bus nulemta konkrečios lietuviškos perspektyvos, susiformavusios ilgoje istorijos tėkmėje rytinėje Baltijos jūros pakrantėje, ten, kur per amžius konkuravo, sąveikavo ir viena kitą praturtino skirtingos kultūros. Nors didžiųjų istorijos jėgų susidūrimai ne kartą atnešė skaudžių tragedijų, mūsų atmintyje jie išryškino ir neįkainojamą laisvės bei žmogiškojo orumo vertę.

Simboliška, kad būtent prieš 700 metų Lietuvos valdovas Gediminas raštu kreipėsi į to meto Europos visuomenę, kviesdamas svetimšalius riterius, pirklius, amatininkus, žemdirbius, kunigus ir vienuolius atvykti į Lietuvą, kur jie galės laisvai išpažinti krikščionių tikėjimą ir siekti geresnio gyvenimo.

Nuo šios datos, 1323 metų sausio 25 dienos, mes skaičiuojame Lietuvos sostinės Vilniaus istoriją. Tačiau ne mažiau svarbu, kad Gedimino laiškai mūsų istorinėje atmintyje įtvirtino Lietuvos kaip atviros, tolerantiškos, pažangios Europos šalies idealą, kurio mes norime siekti.

Iš tiesų Lietuva per amžius buvo neatsiejama Europos dalis ir net sunkiausių išbandymų, okupacijų ir teroro akivaizdoje išlaikė šį pamatinį ryšį. Tikėjimas, kad anksčiau ar vėliau sugrįšime į nepriklausomų, ant laisvės, atsakomybės ir pasitikėjimo pamatų pastatytų Europos valstybių bendriją, palaikė mūsų viltį nelaisvės metais.

Šis tikėjimas 1989 metų rugpjūčio 23 dieną mane, kaip ir dar maždaug 2 milijonus Lietuvos, Latvijos ir Estijos žmonių, įkvėpė protestui prieš neteisėtą sovietinę okupaciją bei Stalino ir Hitlerio suokalbį. Sustoję į 650 km ilgio gyvą grandinę – Baltijos kelią – mes drauge pradėjome savo išsivadavimo, kartu ir sugrįžimo į Europą bei atsivėrimo pasauliui, žygį.

Šiandien man atrodo, kad Baltijos kelio dvasia nepaprastai ryškiai šviečia ir Ukrainos kovoje už laisvę, nepriklausomybę bei demokratinę ateitį Europoje.

As I stand here, I recall the warning voiced by Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine and my dear friend, at the European Parliament a month ago: that Russia is seeking to destroy not only Ukraine, but the European way of life, to destroy by violence and lies all of us who cherish freedom, honour and dignity, who respect the rule of law and human rights.

We cannot allow this to happen if we really care about the future of Europe. We must take a stand and show by our actions what is truly precious and valuable to us. This is a moment of historical breakthrough similar to the one Lithuania experienced in January 1991, when the defenders of our freedom stood barehanded against Soviet tanks, armed only by boundless courage.

Today, Ukraine is going through an even more painful experience as it defends itself against the bloody murders of Bucha, Irpin and Izyum.

I am happy that Europe and other freedom-loving nations did not succumb to the lies, disinformation and intimidation spread by Russia. They stood united and extended a helping hand to Ukrainians when they needed it the most. After overcoming some doubts, we are now moving forward with more determination, strength and resilience than ever before.

A united European response would not have been possible without the strong support and determination of European civil society. It is no coincidence that a month ago President Zelenskyy addressed, first of all, Europeans: all European citizens. I believe that today most European citizens understand that Ukraine’s fight is their fight too. In this fight, victory can only be achieved through the joint efforts of us all.

Didžiuojuosi galėdamas pasakyti, kad ne tik Lietuvos valdžios institucijos, bet ir mūsų šalies pilietinė visuomenė nuo pat karo pradžios atsiliepė į Ukrainos pagalbos šauksmą. Bendra Lietuvos, įskaitant nevyriausybinių organizacijų, verslo ir fizinių asmenų parama Ukrainai artėja prie 1,5 proc. BVP. Vos per tris praėjusių metų gegužės dienas Lietuvos žmonės surinko 6 mln. eurų koviniam dronui įsigyti, o per šių metų vasarį – 14 mln. eurų taktiniams radarams.

Lietuva ir toliau pasirengusi remti Ukrainą. Su didelėmis viltimis žvelgiame į Jus, Europos Parlamento narius, atmindami, kad ir anksčiau ne kartą esate pademonstravę lyderystę, kai reikia visos Europos Sąjungos vardu kalbėti drąsiai, tiesiai bei aiškiai.

Noriu priminti, kad prieš 40 metų, 1983 metų sausio 13 dieną, Europos Parlamentas, priėmęs sovietinę okupaciją smerkiančią rezoliuciją „Dėl padėties Estijoje, Latvijoje ir Lietuvoje“, tapo vienintele tarptautine institucija, kuri atsiliepė į 45 disidentų iš Lietuvos, Latvijos ir Estijos pagalbos prašymą.

Praėjus dar 8 metams, netrukus po Kremliaus tyliai palaimintų kruvinų žudynių Baltijos šalyse, Europos Parlamentas tiesiai įvardino sovietų kariuomenės veiksmus karine agresija ir intervencija.

Noriu atskirai padėkoti Europos Parlamento nariams už tvirtą paramą Lietuvos prokurorams ir teisėjams, kurie tyrė 1991 metų Kruvinojo sausio bylą ir joje vykdė teisingumą, ir dėl to patiria Rusijos spaudimą bei persekiojimą.

Tai yra nepaprastai svarbu, nes pirmoji Rusijos agresijos auka visuomet būna tiesa. Melo ir istorijos iškraipymų kampanija paruošė placdarmą ir Ukrainos puolimui. Su melu turime kovoti pirmiausia.

Gerbiamieji, visi mes šiandien skaudžiai mokame už neišmoktas Antrojo pasaulinio karo pamokas. Po skambios pergalės prieš vieną – nacistinį – totalitarinį režimą liko aiškiai neįvardyti ir nepasmerkti kito – sovietinio – režimo nusikaltimai. Būtent tokie nutylėjimai sudarė sąlygas Sovietų Sąjungoje, o vėliau ir Rusijoje, šlovinti karo nusikaltimų, etninių valymų ir kitų nusikaltimų žmoniškumui organizatorius. Iškreiptas Antrojo pasaulinio karo atminimas ilgainiui ne tik Rusijoje, bet ir už jos ribų tapo politiniu instrumentu dabarties nusikaltimams pateisinti.

Siekiant nekartoti senų klaidų, būtina jas atminti. Todėl šiandienos kontekste nepaprastai svarbi Europos Parlamento 2009 metų rezoliucija dėl Europos sąžinės ir totalitarizmo, taip pat sprendimas rugpjūčio 23-iąją dieną – nusikalstamo Stalino ir Hitlerio suokalbio dieną – paskelbti Europos totalitarinių ir autoritarinių režimų aukų atminimo diena.

Reaguodami į agresijos prieš Ukrainą kontekste suaktyvėjusius Rusijos veiksmus, praėjusių metų liepos mėnesį kartu su Estijos, Latvijos, Lenkijos ir Rumunijos vadovais paraginome sustiprinti Europos Sąjungos dėmesį Europos istorinės atminties politikai, parengiant švietimo programas moksleiviams, skiriant Europos Sąjungos finansavimą tyrimams ir komunistinių režimų nusikaltimų tarptautiniam įvertinimui, taip pat totalitarizmo aukų įamžinimui Briuselyje. Tikiu, kad šios priemonės skaudžią praeitį Europos piliečių sąmonėje tvirčiau susies su dabartimi, taip palikdamos mažiau vietos Rusijos propagandai.

Ignoruoti praeitį niekada nėra išeitis. Tiek, kiek mes Lietuvoje minime abiejų totalitarinių režimų ir jų kolaborantų nusikaltimus, tiek tampame stipresni ir atsparesni. Galime ryžtingiau ir tiksliau reaguoti į šiandienos iššūkius.

Atvirai pasakysiu: pirmieji pranešimai apie žudynes Bučoje ir kitose Ukrainos vietovėse buvo ypač skaudūs Lietuvos žmonėms, nes priminė mums daugelį tokių bučų, ištikusių mūsų šalį, kai sovietų okupantai smurtu įtvirtino savo neteisėtą valdžią, niekino nukankintų laisvės kovotojų palaikus ir suiminėjo motinas, išdrįsusias apverkti savo nužudytus vaikus.

Išties labai skaudu, kad pasibaisėtinas teroras vėl sugrįžo į Europą. Tuo svarbiau užtikrinti, kad šie naujausi Rusijos nusikaltimai neliktų be atsako.

Nepaviešintas, metai iš metų nutylimas blogis ne tik kelia grėsmę pamatinėms europinėms vertybėms, bet ir neleidžia Rusijos žmonėms stoti į akistatą su savo praeitimi. Todėl privalome sulaužyti melo, nusikaltėlių šlovinimo ir nuogos agresijos ratą, kol jis mūsų visų nesutraiškė. Nuo to priklausys ne tik Ukrainos ir jos žmonių likimas, bet ir ilgalaikės bei tvarios taikos Europoje perspektyva.

Turime stiprinti sankcijas Rusijai tol, kol ši nenutrauks agresijos prieš Ukrainą, ir siekti, kad atsakingi už agresijos nusikaltimus asmenys sulauktų atpildo. Todėl tvirtai pasisakau už specialaus tarptautinio tribunolo agresijos nusikaltimui tirti įkūrimą, taip pat už įšaldyto Rusijos turto panaudojimą Ukrainos atstatymui.

Tikiu, kad rezoliucija dėl specialaus tribunolo įsteigimo, kurią sausio mėnesį priėmė Europos Parlamento nariai, padės pasiekti tai, kas dar visai neseniai atrodė vargiai įmanoma.

Gerbiamieji, Europos bendrija, sukurta kaip taikos projektas, šiandien patiria beprecedentinį spaudimą. Vis aiškiau jaučiame, kad taikus gyvenimas, laisvė, demokratija ir materialinė gerovė nebėra savaime suprantami dalykai.

Istorinė patirtis rodo, kad efektyviausias būdas plėsti taikos, stabilumo ir klestėjimo erdvę Europoje buvo ir bus Europos Sąjungos plėtra.

Tai įrodo sėkminga Europos Sąjungos plėtra 2004, 2007, 2013 metais. Tuometinės Europos Sąjungos naujokės, trokšdamos stipresnės Europos, karštai rėmė reformas. Todėl ir šiandien, jei norime dar labiau sustiprinti Europos Sąjungą, – priimkime naujas nares.

Turėdamas tai galvoje, nuoširdžiai džiaugiuosi pastaraisiais visuotiniais sprendimais dėl Ukrainos, Moldovos ir Vakarų Balkanų šalių. Mūsų pagalba kaip niekada reikalinga Moldovai, patiriančiai milžinišką prorusiškų jėgų politinį bei energetinį spaudimą. Turime suteikti vilties ir Sakartvelo jaunajai kartai bei pilietinei visuomenei, aktyviai siekiančiai permainų ir europinės ateities.

Neabejotina, kad neįprastų sprendimų iš mūsų pareikalaus Ukrainos derybos dėl narystės Europos Sąjungoje. Tačiau ši šalis jau įrodė, kad geba įveikti iškylančias kliūtis ir tvirtai žengti reformų keliu. Dar visai neseniai niekas nebūtų patikėjęs, kad jai pačiame karo įkarštyje pavyks pasiekti kandidatės statusą.

Prasidėjęs nuo Euromaidano, Ukrainos atgimimas turi baigtis vieningoje Europoje. Ne tik Ukrainai reikia Europos, bet ir Europai reikia Ukrainos, su visa jos gyvybine energija ir ryžtu siekti užsibrėžtų tikslų.

Todėl aš svajoju apie dieną, kai šiuose rūmuose posėdžiaus Ukrainoje išrinkti Europos parlamentarai ir valstybės narės teisėmis plevėsuos Ukrainos vėliava. Ta pati vėliava, kuri šiandien yra tapusi šlovingos kovos už ukrainiečių orumą ir laisvę simboliu.

Lietuva išgirdo Europos Parlamento raginimą sutelkti pastangas derybų su Ukraina pradžiai dar šiais metais. Todėl ypač svarbu užtikrinti tęstinę Europos Sąjungos finansinę ir techninę paramą Ukrainos europinių reformų įgyvendinimui.

Gerbiamieji, Lietuva iki šiol jaučia pareigą Europoje liudyti Baltijos kelio dvasią. Nuoširdžiai trokštame prisidėti prie Europos lyderystės pasaulyje. Norime kurti pasaulį, kuris būtų sąžiningas ir teisingas visiems ir kurį galėtume ramia sąžine perduoti ateities kartoms.

Ne paslaptis, kad vieni didžiausių iššūkių prasideda, kai Europai tenka išlaikyti orią ir nepriklausomą laikyseną santykiuose su autoritariniais režimais – tais, kurie ją siekia susilpninti, pakirsti jos demokratijos ar vieningos rinkos pamatus.

Tačiau man atrodo svarbu atminti, kad kartu su savo artimiausiais partneriais mes buvome, esame ir būsime nepaprastai stiprūs. Todėl, jei rimtai galvojame išlaikyti taisyklėmis grindžiamą tarptautinę tvarką, turime ne tik patys prisiimti atsakomybę, bet ir toliau plėtoti ir stiprinti transatlantinius ryšius. Turime visapusiškai bendradarbiauti su vienmintėmis šalimis stiprinant demokratiją, plėtojant taisyklėmis pagrįstus ekonominius ryšius pasaulyje, pasisakyti už teisingą konkurenciją ir prieš ekonominę prievartą.

Bendro mūsų dėmesio neabejotinai nusipelno ir neteisėtos migracijos tema. Po to, kai Lietuva ir kitos kaimyninės Europos Sąjungos valstybės 2021 metais tapo Baltarusijos ir Rusijos režimų hibridinės atakos taikiniu, dar labiau išryškėjo poreikis sutarti dėl teisinių priemonių kovai su neteisėta migracija ir jos politiniu instrumentalizavimu. Nacionalinės ir vietos valdžios institucijoms susiduriant su vis didesniu spaudimu, reikalingi sprendimai visos Europos Sąjungos lygmeniu.

Lietuva puikiai supranta poreikį tinkamai apsaugoti Europos Sąjungos išorines sienas. Todėl pasisakome už tikslingą Europos Sąjungos skiriamų lėšų panaudojimą, sklandaus nelegalių migrantų grąžinimo užtikrinimą, padidintą dėmesį kovai su dezinformacija trečiosiose šalyse ir neteisėtu žmonių gabenimu, pagrindinių neteisėtos migracijos priežasčių šalinimui jos kilmės šalyse.

Meine Damen und Herren, bereits in der nächsten Woche werden wir im Europäischen Rat über eine der langfristig besonders wichtigen Fragen beraten, die Frage der geeignetsten Vorbereitung auf die grüne Transformation Europas und die Sicherung der Wettbewerbsfähigkeit unserer Wirtschaft. Eine Gruppe von zehn Staats- und Regierungschefs, zu der ich auch gehöre, hat sich in einem gemeinsamen Brief für eine langfristige Strategie zur Wettbewerbsfähigkeit Europas ausgesprochen. Dazu gehören nach unserer Vorstellung die Stärkung des Binnenmarktes, der technologischen und industriellen Basis, die Beseitigung bestehender überflüssiger Barrieren für den Verkehr von Waren, Dienstleistungen und privatem Kapital sowie die Förderung internationaler Partnerschaften und auf Regeln basierender Handelsbeziehungen.

Unser besonderes Augenmerk sollte den Ländern Afrikas, Lateinamerikas, Indiens und der Pazifikregion gelten. Bei dieser Gelegenheit möchte ich auch die Rechtsakte zu den kritischen Rohstoffen und zur Industrie begrüßen, die in dieser Woche der Europäischen Kommission vorgelegt werden. Diese Rechtsakte werden dazu beitragen, die grüne und digitale Transformation der Europäischen Union noch stärker voranzubringen und die Widerstandsfähigkeit der europäischen Wirtschaft zu stärken.

Die Erpressungsmaßnahmen Russlands im Energiebereich haben uns gezeigt, dass die Europäische Union in der Lage ist, Widerstand zu leisten und Entscheidungen recht schnell zu treffen. Der Winter ist gekommen und gegangen, und niemand in Europa ist erfroren. Allerdings sind die Energiepreise sprunghaft gestiegen, was sich empfindlich auf die Allgemeinheit, die Wirtschaft und auch die Politik ausgewirkt hat. Wir müssen daraus Schlussfolgerungen ziehen und noch mehr in die grüne Energiewirtschaft investieren, um tatsächlich unabhängig zu werden und – was noch wichtiger ist – uns um das Klima unseres Planeten zu kümmern.


Nach meiner Überzeugung ist die Entscheidung Litauens zum Verzicht auf den Import russischer Energie – Gas, Öl und Strom – ein Vorbild zur Nachahmung durch andere Staaten der Europäischen Union. Wir sind sehr beunruhigt, dass Russland immer häufiger auf die atomare Energiewirtschaft als Mittel zur Erpressung zurückgreift. Das militärische Roboterkernkraftwerk in Saporischschja wird ständig zur Drohung mit einem Kernstörfall eingesetzt. In der vergangenen Woche wurde dieses Kraftwerk, das größte Atomkraftwerk Europas, aufgrund russischer Raketenangriffe schon wieder von der Stromversorgung abgetrennt. Ich danke dem Europäischen Parlament für seine grundlegende Unterstützung hinsichtlich einer weiteren Geisel von Russland, nämlich des Kernkraftwerks von Astrawez in Weißrussland, und ich hoffe, dass die Aufmerksamkeit für dieses Problem auch in Zukunft nicht nachlässt. Die Gefahr ist keineswegs gebannt. Im Gegenteil, sie spitzt sich noch zu – jetzt, da Belarus plant, mit einem zweiten Block dieses fehlerhaften Kernkraftwerks ans Netz zu gehen. Ein zweites Tschernobyl in Europa dürfen wir nicht zulassen!

Distinguished Members of the European Parliament, to conclude and set the tone for today’s debate I would like to remind you that united Europe was born on the ruins of World War Two.

We have seen time and again serious crises give impetus to European renewal. There is something remarkable about the ability of all of us Europeans to adjust and move forward with unfaltering optimism whatever happens.

Our recent trials have once again led to reasonably fast, precise and accurate decisions. Each time we confronted a migration crisis, a pandemic or a Russian aggression. We made the right choices and most of the time we chose more Europe, which means quicker decisions, more decisive action, and more resilience.

I can assure you that Lithuania will always work to be at the forefront of European decisions. This is our commitment, not only to Europe but also to ourselves. We know better than anyone else that the risk of losing Europe means we are making every effort to keep Europe strong and resilient.

We feel it is our duty to extend symbolically the Baltic way so that the whole of Europe can share the spirit of responsibility that 33 years ago united people between Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn. It is a task of many generations of Europeans, not just a single one, to contribute to shaping the future of Europe.

We all can and must work for more freedom, security and progress. We all have the responsibility to ensure that freedom-loving nations in our neighbourhood are not neglected, wronged or forgotten. This is the Europe I believe in and I am proud of. Let us be the co-creators of such a Europe.


  Andrius Kubilius, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, Your Excellency Mr President, dear colleagues, I would like to welcome the President of my country in this House, which in the European Union has the strongest institutional adherence to European values of democracy, human rights, liberty, solidarity and respect to dignity of each human being, despite what is his or her colour of the skin, and what is his or her sexual or political orientation.

The European Union will be strong if it will be based on those values without compromises, if it will be based on those values not only here in the European Parliament or in some other EU institutions, but also on a national, regional and local level. This is the only way how those values can be established also on the whole European continent.

Why is it so important to talk about those basic principles and values? Because this is the only way how sustainable peace can be established on the European continent, since there is a very well—known law of geopolitics: only democracies are not fighting with each other. That is why defence of those values everywhere in our Union and the spread of democracy and basic human values into the eastern side of European continent is the most important strategic geopolitical goal for all of us, and especially during this war.

We need to recognise, all of us in the European Union: we are not perfect back home in this area. There are things which we need to improve and to strengthen, also in Lithuania.

But today I want to elaborate on what our President was speaking about. What should our common strategic agenda be in order to assist the nations in the eastern part of the European continent to enjoy the same European values of democracy and human rights? I want to repeat: sustainable peace on European continent will be established only when Belarusian and Russian people will have a possibility to enjoy those values and to live in normal European conditions. Such a strategic agenda will be implemented only if we shall proceed with a very clear strategic action plan.

First, Ukraine needs to decisively defeat Putin’s Russia during this year, and that will create possibilities for big political changes in Russia and Belarus. Our most important obligation: weapons, weapons, weapons… and sanctions.

Second, the absolute geopolitical priority for you during this year: to start membership negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova. That would be the most powerful European geopolitical answer to Kremlin hybrid offensive activities in the region, especially in Moldova and perhaps also in Georgia.

Third, the integration of Ukraine, Moldova and possibly Georgia towards the EU should be concluded till the end of this decade, since that is the only way how successful and prosperous democracies can be created in those countries. The success of those countries would be an inspiration for Belarusian and Russian societies to follow.

Fourth, Ukraine needs to get membership in NATO, if not during the Vilnius summit this year, then during the Washington summit next year. It would help Russian people to abandon their dream to restore empire because Ukraine will be gone.

Fifth, the EU needs to show clear perspective. Democratic Belarus will have possibility to integrate into the EU. Democratic Russia will have a special and very practical relationship with the EU.

We Lithuanians want to be part of a European Union which is able to implement such a democracy action plan because this is an action plan for sustainable peace on the European continent.


  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, S&D frakcijos vardu. – Gerbiamas Lietuvos Prezidente, ponia Pirmininke, gerbiami kolegos, mūsų diskusiją stebintys Europos piliečiai, Lietuva, kaip ir kitos to paties likimo šalys, kurioms buvo lemta patirti  Sovietinės totalitarinės Rusijos priespaudą ir agresiją  geriau  nei bet  kas žino krauju iškovotos laisvės kainą.

Šiandien šitoje vietoje yra Ukraina, kuri herojiškai kovoja už savo ir mūsų laisvę. Kaunasi su tuo pačiu, tik pavadinimą pakeitusiu, agresoriumi. Todėl nenuostabu, jog nuo pirmos Rusijos invazijos į  Ukrainą dienos ir iki pat šiol Lietuvos ir kitų Baltijos šalių balsas buvo garsiausias, raginantis ne tik teikti skubią visokeriopą pagalbą Ukrainai, bet ir reikalaujantis bendro ir vieningo Europos Sąjungos atsako į Rusijos agresijos sustabdymą. Čia ir dabar.

Leiskite priminti, jog ilgus metus Lietuva ir kitos Baltijos šalys nuolatos kalbėdavo ir įspėdavo apie tikrąjį Rusijos veidą ir jos autoritarinio Putino režimo tikslus. Deja, šiuos įspėjimus norėjo girdėti ne visi Europos bendruomenės nariai. Tačiau šie įspėjimai virto kruvina realybe Ukrainos žmonėms.

Šiandien jau visi pripažino, kad Lietuvos ir Baltijos šalių kalbėjimas apie kruvinus Kremliaus režimo tikslus nebuvo vien istorinės nuoskaudos liejimas. Mes tai darėme, nes žinojome, kokia yra trapi laisvė ir kokia yra didžiulė jos kaina, ir siekėme, kad tai Europoje daugiau nepasikartotų ir kad nei viena tauta nepatirtų brutalios priespaudos ir pasikėsinimo į teritorinį vientisumą ir laisvę. Niekada.

Visiškai pritariu mūsų Prezidentui. Istorinė atmintis neturi nugulti archyvuose. Užmiršti istorijos nevalia ir Putino pradėtas karas tai dar kartą liudija. Todėl raginu būti atsakingiems, vieningiems ir drąsiems bei įsteigti tribunolą Rusijos vykdomiems karo nusikaltimams, imtis visų įmanomų veiksmų ir sankcijų silpninat Kremliaus režimo galią bei padėti Ukrainai laimėti šį brutalų karą, nes tai kartu yra ir Europos ilgalaikio saugumo garantas. Turime būti vieningi atkuriant ir išplečiant savo gynybinius pajėgumus − mūsų, europiečių, saugumas priklausys nuo to, kaip kartu, bendrai ir sutelktai to sieksime.

Gerbiami kolegos, stipri ir atspari Europa gali būti tik tuomet, kai ji yra vieninga, socialiai atsakinga, teisinga ir pažangi. Mūsų, socialistų ir demokratų tikslas, yra stiprinti socialinį Europos pagrindą ir siekti, kad Porte vykusiame aukščiausio lygio susitikime patvirtinti tikslai būtų pilnai įgyvendinti visose valstybėse narėse.

Socialinė Europa turi užtikrinti, kad net ir minimalias pajams gaunantys žmonės galėtų oriai pragyventi ir išlaikyti savo šeimas, o ne atsidurti skurde, kad neliktų skurstančių vaikų, kurių šiai dienai dar turime per 18 milijonų Europoje, kad vyrai ir moterys gautų vienodą atlyginimą už tą patį darbą, kad mūsų pensininkai turėtų orią senatvę, kad būtų ginamos visų žmonių teisės ir laisvės.

Tik socialiai stipri, atspari ir atsakinga Europa sugebės susidoroti su iššūkiais, tokiais  kaip žalioji pertvarka, skaitmenizacija, kas neišvengiamai įtakos Europos socialinį-ekonominį modelį bei darbo rinką. Tačiau visų reformų priešakyje privalo būtų mūsų žmonės.

Taigi, drąsiai ir vieningai už Europą!


  Jordi Cañas, en nombre del Grupo Renew. – Señora presidenta, señor Nausėda, desgraciadamente, en Europa, en muchas ocasiones —yo diría que en demasiadas—, se divide a los países en función de la geografía —si están en el norte, en el sur o en el este—; en función de su población —si tienen muchos millones de habitantes o pocos—; o en función de su PIB —si es muy alto o es pequeño—.

Pero en muchas ocasiones llega la realidad, y la realidad actúa como un reactivo, como una prueba del verdadero tamaño de los países y de su importancia. Y cuando hablamos de la importancia de un país, miramos a Lituania y vemos que ha demostrado ser un gran país en los momentos de dificultad que la guerra de Ucrania ha desvelado.

Es un gran país porque ha dado un ejemplo de generosidad, de compromiso y de solidaridad. Y lo ha hecho no solo con las palabras, que siempre son importantes: las palabras mueven el mundo. Pero lo que mueve el mundo de verdad es aquello que uno pone encima de la mesa cuando la verdad nos obliga: dinero, recursos, personas que uno admite como inmigrantes. Y ahí, nuevamente, Lituania ha demostrado ser un gran país, porque mientras su pequeño país destinaba más del 1 % de su PIB, los grandes países europeos no alcanzaban el 0,2 %.

Entonces, cuando hablamos de los valores europeos y hablamos de qué es Europa, ¿sabe lo que es Europa?: compromiso, generosidad y solidaridad. ¿Y sabe lo que es Europa?: su país, Lituania. Porque es en los momentos de dificultad cuando los países, sus gobernantes y sus ciudadanos demuestran cuáles son los verdaderos valores europeos y demuestran qué es Europa.

Europa es un refugio. Es un refugio de la democracia, pero también es un escudo y debe ser un escudo de la democracia. Y la democracia se defiende con compromiso, sí; con generosidad, sí; con serenidad, sí; pero, también, con armas. Porque la democracia se defiende también en las trincheras y, por eso, es muy importante que todos los que estamos aquí sigamos su ejemplo, sigamos el ejemplo de Lituania a la hora de defender la democracia, los derechos y las libertades que están en cuestión en Ucrania. Porque Rusia es una amenaza cierta, Rusia es una amenaza militar, es una amenaza geopolítica. Ustedes, los países bálticos, llevaban años advirtiendo de las dependencias energéticas, de las amenazas que suponía Rusia, y todos miraron hacia otro lado. Nuevamente los pequeños países lideraron los valores europeos.

En definitiva, presidente Nausėda, gracias por estar aquí con nosotros. Transmita a sus ciudadanos el agradecimiento de este Parlamento y del conjunto de los ciudadanos europeos y de sus representantes, porque los valores europeos, además del compromiso, la generosidad y la solidaridad, ahora tienen un nuevo nombre: Lituania.


  Terry Reintke, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Madam President, first of all I wish to welcome the President to the European Parliament and, most importantly – even if we are a bit late – to say ‘Happy Independence Restoration Day’ to Lithuania, of course.

More than anything, colleagues, the full—scale invasion of Ukraine has confirmed the need for European unity. And it is true that only together, as Europeans, can we stand up against the brutal imperialism of the Russian regime. We have shown here in the European Parliament that we stand for unwavering solidarity with Ukraine, be it financial, humanitarian, or military support, paving the way for Ukraine to become a member of the European Union.

But of course, and you have mentioned it, Mr President, we need full energy independence of the brutal Russian regime. For too long politicians also, and especially from my home country, Germany, have ignored the alert for from our eastern neighbours, like, for example, Lithuania, and now we are paying a high price for this.

But colleagues, one thing has to be understood. Simply switching from one energy dependency on one dictatorship to another will not solve any of our problems. Nor does the shift from one fossil fuel dependency to another non-renewable energy source. The only sustainable answer that will prevent us from having the exact same problem that we have been facing in the last year again, in two, five or ten years is to make our energy consumption 100% renewable. That is possible and we have no time to lose. No country in the European Union will manage this alone. Only a strong European Green Deal can make that possible.

You are absolutely right. The Green Deal for long already has not only been a measure that we need to protect our climate or to stimulate our economy, it has become the most crucial measure also for strong security in the European continent. But, Mr President, the fight against authoritarianism does not only happen, unfortunately, outside of the European Union. We also have to stay vigilant inside because we can see attempts of undermining our democracy, of undermining separation of powers, rule of law and fundamental rights in the European Union, brutal attacks on press freedom and journalists.

We cannot stay silent in the European Union on these developments because the EU is not only a community of trade – we share fundamental values. If we want the EU to be strong and true to its own values, we have to protect all our citizens from these attacks, no matter whether they are from Lithuania or Portugal, no matter their gender, their skin colour or their sexual orientation. Because safeguarding freedom and human dignity means safeguarding freedom and human dignity for all.


  Waldemar Tomaszewski, w imieniu grupy ECR. – Pani Przewodnicząca! Szanowny Panie Prezydencie! Dzisiejsza wojna na Ukrainie stwarza zagrożenie dla bezpieczeństwa międzynarodowego i jest przyczyną kryzysu gospodarczego. Trwały pokój jest wartością nadrzędną. Trwały pokój też jest niezbędny i też niezbędna jest solidarność, która pozwoliłaby na przetrwanie tego trudnego czasu. Z tym, że z solidarnością europejską jest dzisiaj duży problem, bo niektóre wielkie kraje prowadzą własną, egoistyczną politykę.

Unia przeżywa też kryzys wartości, tych wartości, które budowały niegdyś Wspólnotę, a od których niestety odchodzimy. Mówię to przede wszystkim do instytucji unijnych, gdzie nie ma rozwoju demokracji i wolnej myśli politycznej. Niestety sztuczny układ sił blokuje rozwój wolności, blokuje wbrew demokracji, gdyż odrzuca się wolę dużej części wyborców, nawet do 50%.

Dzisiejszy układ łączy cel – władza za wszelką cenę i podział „stołków”. To jest swoiste zawłaszczenie demokracji. Dwie główne siły w tym Parlamencie – PPE i socjaliści, choć mają teoretycznie różne programy, to od lat zaraz po wyborach łączą się, aby nie dopuścić trzeciej siły i w ten sposób nie muszą wywiązywać się ze swoich programów. Socjaliści obiecują programy społeczne, ale ich nie realizują. Obiecują dbanie o najuboższych, ale popierają handel emisjami CO2, co powoduje wzrost cen oraz ubożenie ludzi.

PPE deklaruje, że dba o wartości chrześcijańskie, ale nie broni życia od poczęcia do naturalnej śmierci, nie chroni małżeństwa rozumianego jako związek kobiety i mężczyzny oraz często popiera ideologię gender, co nie ma nic wspólnego z prawdziwą chadecją.

Dodatkowo obie siły narzucają powstanie federacji unijnej, co niszczy Europę ojczyzn, którą miała być w zamyśle jej twórców, Schumana i innych. Niestety ten sztuczny układ polityczny blokuje wolną myśl i ideę. Układ PPE z socjalistami nie dopuszcza jakiejkolwiek alternatywy, tzw. trzeciej siły. Taki system sprzyja korupcji politycznej, której świadkami jesteśmy w Parlamencie.

Ten szkodliwy i niedemokratyczny proceder jest też przenoszony na poziom państw członkowskich. Nawet nasz prezydent Gitanas Nausėda jest atakowany, a jego wybór podważany, chociaż otrzymał 67% głosów. To nie sprzyja demokracji.

Europa staje się za sprawą układu PPE i socjalistów ideową pustką. Jest w rozsypce. Dlatego w imię prawdziwego solidaryzmu europejskiego potrzebna jest trzecia czy czwarta siła, które będzie w stanie uzdrowić Europę, by przywrócić jej prawdziwą twarz opartą na jej korzeniach.

To właśnie EKR jest siłą, która to dostrzega i chce to zmienić, o czym rozmawialiśmy ostatnio na szczytach w Warszawie i Madrycie. Mówiliśmy też o potrzebie wzmocnienia niezależności energetycznej Europy i rozwoju własnego przemysłu, w tym ciężkiego i obronnego. Zgodnie z tą myślą dzisiaj nie mielibyśmy problemów z kondycją obronną w dobie agresji w Europie.

Szanowni Państwo! Europa i Unia potrzebuje więcej demokracji i wolności opartej na wartościach chrześcijańskich, tradycyjnej rodzinie i wolnej myśli, bo taka jest prawdziwa dusza Europy.


  Jaak Madison, on behalf of the ID Group. – Madam President, President Nausėda of Lithuania, first of all I am more than happy to be here as from one from the Baltic States, from Estonia. And I really appreciate your several statements that Latvia and Lithuania have been together in history and the good and also in the bad times

If we just remind the history, it was pretty easy for Russia — they called it the Soviet Union at the time but it was Russia, the same thing — to break down each country one by one because all those three countries, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, had their own some kind of policy. And for Moscow, it wasn’t very hard to have some kind of deals each by each. And the result we know pretty well and it’s just experience for the history. If you try to make some kind of deals with Satan, you are the loser from the beginning, there is no chance.

To remind some of the necessity of the support to Ukraine. We all agree, most of us agree here. And there is different kind of ways to help Ukraine. But the most necessary definitely is military aid. As we can see in the news, the next weeks and the next months will be very crucial in Ukraine because both sides haven’t won. And if somebody’s saying that there is no winner in the war, there is.

The winner can be only Ukraine, because if they lose we will be the next ones. And there is no question about that. As I looked just on the statistics, the resources, those three Baltic states have given the biggest military and financial aid to Ukraine. Estonia with 1%, Latvia with 0.98%, Lithuania with 0.65% of the GDP. And the fourth one is Poland with 0.63%.

At the same time, there has been very huge help from the US and from the UK. But they can do more. And the problem for us now is that we really don’t have a lot yet to really give to Ukraine. But there are much more to give from the US, from the UK, also from Germany and France. Germany has given 0.17% of the GDP, France 0.07% of the GDP.

Those are just cold facts and numbers. And now the question is: are they really brave enough to make this change in the war or not? Because if we will lose this momentum now, in the next month, we will face the new war in the next two or three years.

So just a moment to think which kind of chances we have if somebody is talking about the peace negotiations. The peace can be only if the conditions are good for us. And the only conditions that are good for us can be that there is no ambitions for Russia to start any kind of aggression in next decades.

I will not say ‘forever’. We shouldn’t be very naive. Russia will not disappear. But the only thing what we can do is just to weaken them as much as possible and to show that they cannot win their neighbours.

And finally, I would like to really thank you that Lithuania was one of the countries two years ago who showed how to deal with illegal migration. There is no question that if you are the war refugee, you need help. There is no doubt. But what we saw in Belarus, it was just illegal migration, what was used by Belarus for the hybrid attacks. And Lithuania, together with Poland, just shut down the border and said ‘there is no way to enter to the European countries through those countries illegally’, because if you open the border, there would be no ending, no ending at all.

And you did absolutely well. So labai ačiū, thank you so much. And good luck for the Baltic cooperation.


  Δημήτριος Παπαδημούλης, εξ ονόματος της ομάδας The Left. – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, Πρόεδρε Nausėda, Πρόεδρε της Λιθουανίας, σας καλωσορίζω στο Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο. Όλες οι πολιτικές ομάδες, από την πρώτη στιγμή, εκφράσαμε την ξεκάθαρη, απόλυτη καταδίκη μας απέναντι στη ρωσική εισβολή στην Ουκρανία και η παρουσία σας εδώ είναι μια ευκαιρία να συζητήσουμε το μέλλον της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης: Τι πρέπει να κάνουμε για να σταματήσει η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση να γερνάει, να αδυνατίζει ο γεωπολιτικός και ο οικονομικός της ρόλος στον πλανήτη και να κινηθεί αποτελεσματικότερα για να αντιμετωπίσει τις απαιτήσεις και τις αγωνίες των πολιτών.

Για να τα πετύχουμε αυτά, χρειαζόμαστε μια Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση που να μην είναι απλώς μια κοινή αγορά και «λίγο από πολιτική ένωση». Χρειαζόμαστε έναν πιο ισχυρό κοινοτικό προϋπολογισμό, μεγαλύτερο από το 1% του ευρωπαϊκού ΑΕΠ, με περισσότερους ίδιους πόρους, με πιο πολλά χρήματα για τη μείωση των κοινωνικών ανισοτήτων, που έχουν αυξηθεί, για να στηρίξουμε τις πιο φτωχές χώρες και τις πιο φτωχές κοινωνικές κατηγορίες, για να υλοποιήσουμε το Green Deal· μια Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση που πρέπει να παραμείνει ένα πρότζεκτ ειρήνης και δημοκρατίας. Γιατί η δημοκρατία υποφέρει και μέσα στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση: και στην Πολωνία και στην Ουγγαρία, δυστυχώς και στην πατρίδα μου την Ελλάδα, και δεν νομίζω, κύριε Πρόεδρε, να είστε και εσείς ικανοποιημένος ότι η δημοκρατία είναι στα καλύτερά της και στη Λιθουανία. Πρέπει λοιπόν να σεβόμαστε το κράτος δικαίου και να αποφύγουμε τον κίνδυνο της παράλυσης στο Συμβούλιο, όπου συχνά η ομοφωνία γίνεται όπλο στα χέρια εκβιαστών, κυβερνήσεων που μπλοκάρουν τη λειτουργία της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, για να εκβιάσουν, να πετύχουν κάτι για τα συμφέροντά τους.

Για τη διεύρυνση να είμαστε ειλικρινείς. Να μην υποσχόμαστε στους λαούς της Μολδαβίας, της Γεωργίας και της Ουκρανίας πράγματα που θέλουν χρόνια και αλλαγές και προϋποθέσεις. Προσέξτε! Η διεύρυνση προς τα Δυτικά Βαλκάνια αποφασίστηκε στη Σύνοδο της Θεσσαλονίκης, στην πατρίδα μου, το 2003 και 20 χρόνια μετά, οι χώρες των Δυτικών Βαλκανίων περιμένουν από την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση να υλοποιήσει τις δεσμεύσεις της και φυσικά και αυτές πρέπει να κάνουν τις μεταρρυθμίσεις που απαιτούνται. Να μην επαναλάβουμε το ίδιο λάθος, υποσχόμενοι λαϊκίστικα πράγματα που δεν μπορούμε να πραγματοποιήσουμε αύριο.


  Nicolas Bay (NI). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Président, chers collègues, vendredi dernier, à Washington, Ursula von der Leyen s’est soumise à Joe Biden. Sans mandat du Conseil, la présidente de la Commission européenne y a annoncé notre alignement total sur les intérêts américains. Elle a sacrifié notre industrie automobile et promis un accord sur les minerais de terres rares. Elle s’inscrit ainsi, sans aucun contrôle, dans une stratégie américaine dangereuse de tensions avec la Chine.

Bien sûr, nous sommes attachés à l’amitié historique qui nous lie aux États-Unis et, évidemment, à l’OTAN en tant qu’alliance défensive. Mais les intérêts vitaux, commerciaux, géopolitiques de l’Europe ne se confondent évidemment pas avec ceux de Washington. La guerre à nos frontières en Ukraine, la sécurité alimentaire et énergétique de nos pays, notre compétitivité économique doivent rester nos seules préoccupations.

Mme von der Leyen semble poursuivre en réalité un agenda personnel. Elle donne des gages dans l’espoir sans doute de devenir secrétaire générale de l’OTAN en 2024. Mais dans un monde plus incertain que jamais, l’Europe et ses nations doivent agir de conserve pour retrouver la voie de la puissance qui seule peut garantir l’indépendance. Le Conseil européen doit donc urgemment reprendre la main, remettre Ursula von der Leyen à sa place et défendre d’abord les intérêts de notre continent.


  Paulo Rangel (PPE). – Madam President, President Nausėda, Commissioner, I remember that, in the late 1970s, my father, with a map in his hand, taught me, my brother and my sister, that Baltic states were not Soviet Union. They were occupied and they remained independent.

I remember that, in 1987, our Prime Minister, from our party, Cavaco Silva – who was Prime Minister ten years and President of the Republic ten years – had a huge conflict with the Parliament because he didn’t agree with a visit to the Soviet Union, where the territories of Baltic states were included. And the government fell down because he was defending this principle.

So, I have to tell you that, for decades, we were in the European Union defending the sovereignty and the future of democracy and freedom to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

And today, Mr President, we are very proud because your country became a world front runner of defence, of democracy, of freedom, of human rights. This was clear when you sent all the support to the Ukrainian people, but also when you are claiming for democracy in Belarus and when you are saying that you don’t accept the blackmail of China.

The example of the Ukrainian solidarity shows that you want for other countries in Europe, and I dare say in world, the same fate that Lithuania had, which was in a very, very oppressive regime and managed to become independent and to give freedom, prosperity and human rights’ respect to all the citizens.

I would like to thank you, to say ačiū, Mr President, to all the Lithuanian people and also to you and to your government. Let me try to invite you to have here your say on the prospects for Belarus and how we should shape our relation with China. Because the Lithuanian experience is a very important one and can set the example to all of us.


  Domènec Ruiz Devesa (S&D). – Señora presidenta, señor Nausėda, presidente de la República de Lituania, yo he compartido absolutamente su discurso en los elementos de firmeza respecto de Rusia, de apoyo total a Ucrania, en la defensa de su integridad y su soberanía. También, en la apertura a la ampliación, por supuesto, para Ucrania, para Moldavia, para Georgia y también, como se ha recordado, para los Balcanes Occidentales. Tiene todo mi apoyo en esa agenda que ha planteado.

Al mismo tiempo, sí me gustaría decirle que esa agenda requiere, si somos honestos y si somos creíbles, también una mención, que no he encontrado en su discurso, a la necesaria profundización del proyecto político. Para mí debe quedar claro, y hablo también en esta ocasión como portavoz de mi grupo en la materia de asuntos constitucionales, que no puede haber ampliación sin profundización. No es sostenible ir a un Consejo de Asuntos Exteriores con 30, 32 o 33 Estados con derecho de veto en política exterior, por ejemplo. O que necesitemos también una unanimidad para aprobar el marco financiero plurianual con 33 Estados miembros y, no olvidemos, 33 ratificaciones nacionales.

Por tanto, señor presidente Nausėda, le animo a que también contribuya en el debate en el Consejo Europeo para abrir el camino para la adopción de un nuevo Tratado más democrático, más eficiente y, por tanto, más federal.


  Marie-Pierre Vedrenne (Renew). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Président, Messieurs les Commissaires, il faut du courage pour soutenir inconditionnellement le peuple ukrainien, comme la Lituanie l’a toujours fait. Il faut du courage pour ouvrir ses frontières en accueillant et protégeant les opposants au régime dictatorial de Loukachenko. Il faut du courage pour s’affirmer face à un voisin russe belliqueux aux menaces expansionnistes. Il faut du courage pour tenir tête à l’autoritarisme chinois. Il faut du courage pour ne jamais tourner le dos à ses alliés.

Ce courage, votre pays l'a eu, votre peuple l’incarne. Votre pays nous a montré ce que certains ne voulaient et ne veulent toujours pas voir: que la souveraineté nationale est renforcée par la solidarité européenne. Votre pays démontre ce que certains rejettent: qu’une plus grande unité européenne est synonyme de protection de nos valeurs et de nos concitoyens. Oui, l’Union européenne doit rester toujours unie. C’est pourquoi, et vous l’avez évoqué, un instrument anti-coercition fort, réactif, effectif, ne pouvant être bloqué par un État membre, est un impératif. Oui, c’est une nécessité que de pouvoir réagir, que de pouvoir nous protéger quand des États tiers cherchent à limiter notre liberté.

Monsieur le Président, votre pays et les Lituaniens montrent qu’agir en Européens est la seule voie qui permette de défendre la démocratie, de répondre aux enjeux d’aujourd’hui, de bâtir notre autonomie stratégique. Face à la pandémie, nous avons agi en Européens: l’achat groupé de vaccins, le transfert de patients entre États membres, l’adoption du plan de relance. Face à l’agression illégale et injustifiée de l’Ukraine, nous agissons en Européens: sanctions, aides macrofinancière, fourniture d’armes. Face à la crise énergétique, nous continuons d’agir en Européens: création de nouvelles lignes d’approvisionnement, réinvestissement dans de nouvelles énergies vertes, création d’un fonds social pour le climat.

Face aux sirènes de la division, nous devons continuer d’agir en Européens: renforçons le dialogue entre nos sociétés, renforçons le dialogue entre nos États, renforçons le dialogue avec les États tiers. Continuons à agir en Européens souverains et solidaires. Car pour sortir des dépendances critiques, pour nourrir nos concitoyens, pour relever le défi de la transition climatique, pour ne laisser personne de côté, nous devons dialoguer, progresser, mais surtout agir ensemble.

Au Parlement, nous y sommes prêts. À nous de suivre cette voie. La voie que votre peuple dresse pour que ces actions ne restent pas sans réponse et que nous soyons collectivement à la hauteur des préoccupations et des aspirations de tous les Européens. Et permettez-moi aussi, Monsieur le Président, de dire, alors que mon collègue Nicolas Bay a déjà quitté l’hémicycle et n’a pas dit un mot pour votre pays, que les Français ne se situeront jamais sur les lignes défendues par le Rassemblement national et tous les extrêmes.


  Bronis Ropė (Verts/ALE). – Gerbiama Pirmininke, gerbiamas Prezidente, Komisijos nariai, kolegos. Noriu, gerbiamas Prezidente, nuoširdžiai padėkoti Jums už savo indėlį ir nuolatinį darbą, kurį darote siekdamas suteikti reikiamą, būtiną ir savalaikę paramą Ukrainai. Jūs šio karo išvakarėse lankėtės ir susitikote su Ukrainos prezidentu, nepasiduodamas įtikinėjate kitų šalių vadovus, kad būtina remti Ukrainą organizuojant finansinę, karinę paramą ir teikiant visą reikalingą paramą. Už tai nuoširdus Jums ačiū. Bet vis dėlto norėtųsi ir aktyvesnės Jūsų politikos sprendžiant, tame tarpe ir Lietuvos, vidaus problemas, tokias kaip milžiniška infliacija, pakilusios maisto bei energetikos kainos, bankų palūkanų šuolis, kai tampa sudėtinga atskiroms šeimoms išgyventi. Neramina šalies ūkininkų gaunamos pajamos, pieno krizės suvaldymas ir šios krizės galimi padariniai Lietuvos žemės ūkio ateičiai. Pergyvenu, kad regioninė šalies politika vis dar nepateisino lūkesčių, nes pajamų atotrūkis tarp gyvenančių šalies regionuose ir sostinėje dar vis dėlto yra pakankamai ryškus. Tai kartu, žinoma, yra ir Europos problemos. Suprantu, kad karas Ukrainoje paaštrino šias problemas. Bet vien tai konstatuoti – nėra išeitis. Būtų neteisinga dvejoti ir nesiimti veiksmų, kurie pagerintų Europos žmonių gyvenimą.


  Ryszard Czarnecki (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Panie Prezydencie! Szanowni Państwo! To było ważne wystąpienie. Bardzo żałuję, że tak mało, około 60 posłów, a więc mniej niż 10% Parlamentu tego słuchało, bo warto słuchać głosu Litwy, krajów nadbałtyckich, z naszego regionu. Żałuję, no ale taka jest rzeczywistość. Cieszę się, że spotykamy się znowu, bo Pan Prezydent przyjechał do Polski na nasze święto narodowe. To była symboliczna wizyta, ważne przesłanie polityczne.

Natomiast myślałem co dzisiaj Pan powie, Panie Prezydencie? I przewidziałem wszystko to, co Pan powiedział. Przewidziałem, ponieważ wiedziałem, że będzie Pan mówił o Ukrainie. Za to dziękuję. Że będzie Pan mówił o historii i będzie chciał Pan pokazać Litwę jako kraj, który jest częścią tego europejskiego mainstreamu. Pamiętam zresztą, jak Seimas, Parlament Litwy, jako jedyny i jako pierwszy zagłosował przez aklamację za przyjęciem konstytucji europejskiej, odrzuconej potem zresztą w referendach przez Holandię i Francję. Myślę jednak, że czasem warto dyskutować i spierać się, gdy chodzi o Europę, bo z takiego sporu wynikają decyzje, które mogą na dłuższą metę być dla Unii Europejskiej dobre. Na koniec wierzę, że będzie Pan Prezydent wspierał mniejszość polską na Litwie, bo pluralizm, bo ochrona mniejszości jest czymś, co w Unii Europejskiej jest absolutnie fundamentem.


  João Pimenta Lopes (The Left). – Senhora Presidente, aqui estamos perante mais um discurso que, apontando à guerra, sem apontar soluções para lhe pôr fim, aí procura o bode expiatório de todos os males. E, no entanto, para os problemas concretos com que os povos se confrontam – agravados pelas políticas de sanções, de liberalização de setores, de concentração da produção, da precariedade e baixos salários que a União Europeia promove – continuam a faltar soluções.

Onde estão as medidas para inverter o aumento da pobreza e interromper a indecente concentração da riqueza? Onde estão as medidas para conter a perda de poder de compra e o aumento brutal do custo de vida? Quais as medidas para pôr fim aos aproveitamentos e especulação dos grandes grupos económicos e financeiros e aos seus lucros obscenos? Que iniciativas para investir nos serviços públicos e defender a segurança social universal e solidária? Quais as propostas para pôr fim ao assalto a direitos laborais, ao aumento da exploração, da precariedade e da desregulação do horário de trabalho?

Os povos querem paz, querem o que lhes está a ser negado.

Em Portugal, como um pouco por toda a Europa, intensifica—se a mobilização das populações, dos trabalhadores. Multiplicam—se as ações reivindicativas pelo direito a uma vida digna, a trabalho com direitos, ao aumento de salários. Pelo fim da especulação e dos aproveitamentos, pela intervenção nos mercados, pela fixação de preços máximos. Pelo direito à saúde, à educação, à habitação. Pela paz.

É esta a voz que vos falta escutar.


  Sven Simon (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Präsident! Sie haben gesagt, ich zitiere: „Durch Gewalt und Lügen soll das zerstört werden, was uns in Europa kostbar und wertvoll ist.“ So ist es. Meine sehr geehrten Damen und Herren, der brutale russische Angriffskrieg gegen die Ukraine hat uns für die europäische Einigung zwei Erkenntnisse gebracht. Erstens: Die Staaten in Europa sind in ihrer Verteidigung aufeinander angewiesen. Die NATO und eine europäische Verteidigungsunion sind so wichtig wie nie zuvor. Zweitens: Auch in der Energieversorgung sind wir voneinander abhängig.

Deutschland – es ist schon angeklungen – wäre in den letzten Jahren gut beraten gewesen, in der Energiepolitik den eindringlichen Appellen aus Estland, Lettland, vor allen Dingen auch Litauen und von den polnischen Kollegen zu folgen. Früher haben wir in Deutschland gesagt: Die Zukunft der baltischen Staaten liegt in Europa.

Heute – das sage ich auch als deutscher Abgeordneter, mit Blick auf Verteidigung, auf Energie, aber vor allen Dingen, Herr Präsident, auch auf die klare Orientierung, die Sie hier vorgetragen haben – kann ich sagen: Die Zukunft Europas liegt im Baltikum. Sie haben gesagt, ich zitiere noch einmal: „Der Geist des baltischen Weges muss Europa leiten.“ Auch dabei möchte ich Ihnen zustimmen. In der Tat. Aber wenn wir manchmal über die Zukunft Europas sprechen, dann werden Sorgen vorgetragen, dass weitere europäische Integrationsschritte die Mitspracherechte von kleinen Staaten beschneiden könnten. Ich denke, der baltische Weg zeigt uns: Das Gegenteil ist der Fall.

Gemeinsame europäische Entscheidungen können uns vor nationalen Alleingängen bewahren. Deshalb muss dieser grausame Angriffskrieg ein Weckruf sein. Sie haben es gesagt: Wir stehen an einem historischen Scheideweg. Wenn wir über die Verteidigungsfähigkeit Europas sprechen, dürfen wir uns nicht länger davon abhängig machen, wer gerade durch Zufall ins Weiße Haus gewählt wird. Wir stehen vor wichtigen Schritten, die wir nur geeint als eine europäische Antwort geben können: Verteidigung, Energie, Sie haben viele andere Beispiele und Themen genannt.

Jean-Claude Juncker hat einmal gesagt: Wir haben in Europa zwei Arten von Staaten, kleine Staaten und solche Staaten, die wissen, dass sie klein sind. Und der Kollege Cañas hat gesagt: Mit der richtigen Politik kann man in Europa als kleines Land ein ganz großes Land werden.

Wir im Europäischen Parlament haben es vorgemacht. Aus einem kleinen Mitgliedstaat kann eine Abgeordnete etwas ganz Großes werden. Ich bin nach einem Jahr immer noch stolz darauf, dass wir Roberta Metsola aus einem kleinen Land als Präsidentin gewählt haben. Daran sehen Sie auch symbolisch: Aus einem kleinen Land kann man etwas ganz Großes werden und machen.


  Leszek Miller (S&D). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Panie Prezydencie! Koleżanki i Koledzy! Za miesiąc, 16 kwietnia, minie 20 lat od podpisania przez rządy Polski i Litwy w Atenach traktatu akcesyjnego, będącego prawną podstawą wejścia naszych krajów do Unii Europejskiej. Razem z nami uczyniło to jeszcze osiem państw i było to największe rozszerzenie Unii Europejskiej w całej jej historii. Miałem zaszczyt jako polski premier podpisać traktat i na pewno w Polsce i na Litwie 20-lecie będzie dobrą okazją do różnych ocen i bilansów naszego członkostwa. Jestem przekonany, Panie Prezydencie, że Pan te 20 lat ocenia bardzo dobrze, tak jak i ja, i inni, i wielu Polaków.

Nie tylko historia jest ważna, ale przede wszystkim dyskusja na temat przyszłości Europy, podtrzymywanie idei, która nas jednoczy. Ta idea spełnia się w pomocy dla Ukrainy, która odpiera rosyjską agresję, ale też w przestrzeganiu europejskich wartości, zasad praworządności, społecznej sprawiedliwości, równorzędności praw kobiet i mężczyzn, pomocy dla wszystkich, którzy jej oczekują. Potrafimy się odradzać i budować mosty. Jest to słuszna droga i należy ją kontynuować z myślą o teraźniejszości oraz o przyszłych pokoleniach, pogłębiać integrację europejską i przestrzegać tych wszystkich wartości, które także nas tutaj na tej sali zebrały. Jestem przekonany, że zarówno Litwa, jak i wszystkie inne kraje członkowskie będą konsekwentnie szły tą drogą.


  Tineke Strik (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, dear President Nausėda, you are very welcome to our House. You refer to summer 2021, when Lukashenko brutally instrumentalised migrants by sending them to your border. The EU stood behind your country as it was an attack on the EU and also an attack on our values. But the only right response is a value-based one.

The Court of Justice last summer was crystal clear: Lithuania’s legislation allowing for pushbacks, automatic detention and denial of the right to asylum is illegal under EU law. Despite this, your government approved a bill further legalising these illegal policies. And we hear your government justify these violations under the misguided arguments of fighting instrumentalisation. But what you are doing is fighting innocent victims in need of protection.

So I urge you to stop these pushbacks and arbitrary detentions, and to adjust the legislation in line with the Court of Justice ruling. Don’t turn away refugees at the border, but turn away from unlawful policies. Restore the rule of law at the EU’s borders. Defend EU values and we will stand with you!


  Karlo Ressler (PPE). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, hvala puno. Predsjednice, kolegice i kolege, zajedno s baltičkim susjedima Litva, ali isto tako i Ukrajina, i Hrvatska, moja država, kroz svoju povijest borila se protiv represije, borila se za slobodu, čuvajući svoj identitet, čuvajući svoj jezik i čuvajući svoju kulturu.

Sve to dok se naša sloboda nije uzimala zdravo za gotovo i dok su je mnogi osporavali prije svega, snažniji i veći susjedi. I Hrvatska i Ukrajina pretrpjele su agresiju, Hrvatska se obranila, oslobodila, i danas itekako dobro zna kroz što Ukrajina prolazi. Godine pripremane agresije, snažne propagandne udare, ali isto tako i orkestriranje i podupiranje unutarnje pobune. To danas živi Ukrajina, to je preživjela Hrvatska a suštinski se sve to pripremalo, možda u različitim oblicima, i za baltičke države. Baltičke države u proteklom desetljeću osjetile su dezinformacijske udare, kao i udare na svoju digitalnu infrastrukturu. Ukrajina također danas najviše trpi napade na civilnu infrastrukturu. Hrvatska, iako daleko od bilo kakve vojne ugroze, i danas je izložena različitim kulturološkim presezanjima. Iako smo u mnogo toga različiti i u različitim povijesnim trenucima, jedno nam je itekako zajedničko. Znamo tko smo, znamo koje su naše vrijednosti i znamo gdje pripadamo.

I upravo zato je najvažnije da svaki kutak Europe, neovisno o tome koliko nam se nekada čini da smo daleko od ijedne ratne ili digitalne bojišnice, da upravo naša sloboda, naša sigurnost i naša budućnost je ono o čemu se odlučuje i u Ukrajini danas.


  Isabel Santos (S&D). – Senhora Presidente, senhor Presidente Nausėda, permita que comece por expressar o meu reconhecimento pela forma corajosa e determinada com que a Lituânia tem defendido os valores europeus face aos regimes autocráticos, não só de Putin e Lukashenko, mas também, e é bom que se vinque, de Xi Jinping. É, realmente, um exemplo para muitos outros países da União Europeia.

Contudo, tenho que dizer que estive, há exatamente um ano, na Lituânia e pude testemunhar as condições desumanas a que os migrantes e requerentes de asilo provenientes do Médio Oriente, da Ásia e da África estavam sujeitos, depois de terem sido utilizados por Lukashenko como armas de arremesso.

Um ano volvido, muitas destas pessoas foram libertadas e as condições melhoraram, sabemos disso. Porém, os Médicos Sem Fronteiras tiveram que encerrar as suas operações devido às restrições que lhes eram impostas e alertam para o facto de, em 2022, terem ocorrido mais de 8000 push—backs cometidos por guardas de fronteira lituanos, os quais continuam a verificar—se.

Senhor Presidente, as violações de direitos humanos, as violações do direito internacional não podem ser combatidas com mais violações de direitos humanos e mais violações do direito internacional. Estou certa de que poderão ter para com os refugiados vindos de outras proveniências o mesmo grau de humanidade que tiveram para com os refugiados da Ucrânia.


  Juozas Olekas (S&D). – Pirmininke, gerbiamas Prezidente, mieli kolegos, didžiuojuosi, kad esu Lietuvos atstovas. Gerbiamas Prezidente, Jūs paminėjote šlovingą mūsų istoriją. Bet aš pasakysiu – per paskutinius 19 metų, kada mes tapome Europos Sąjungos nariais, iš tikrųjų šuolis buvo didžiulis. Išaugo mūsų vidaus produktas – daugiau kaip tris kartus ir beveik pasiekė 90 procentų Europos Sąjungos vidurkio. Mes esame pilnateisė Europos Sąjungos ir euroatlantinio aljanso nariai. Paskutiniai metai, be abejo, buvo labai tokie su iššūkiais dideliais: COVID-19, toliau Baltarusijos diktatoriaus pavogti rinkimai Baltarusijoje, Rusijos karas prieš Ukrainą. Jūsų Ekscelencija, dėkoju už Jūsų asmenines iniciatyvas ir telkimą, paramą Ukrainai. Taip pat naudodamas proga noriu padėkoti Lietuvos žmonėms, priėmusiems pabėgėlius ir parėmusiems Ukrainą ir jos ginkluotąsias pajėgas. Šiandien vyksta diskusijos, bet visiškai sutinku su Jumis, kad vienintelė taikos garantija yra okupantų karių išvijimas iš Ukrainos, specialusis tribunolas ir nusikaltėlių agresorių nubaudimas bei pilnateisė Ukrainos narystė Europos Sąjungoje ir NATO. Jūs paminėjote ne tik Rusijos diktatorių, bet ir Baltarusijos. Beveik pusantro tūkstančio politinių kalinių Baltarusijoje, kurie yra laikomi nežmoniškomis sąlygomis. Todėl norėčiau paprašyti, kad Vadovų Taryboje, kartu ir su Europos Parlamento paraginimu, mes padarytume viską, kad politiniai kaliniai būtų paleisti, įskaitant Aleksej Beliacki, Maria Kalesnikava, Mikalai Statkevich ir kiti. Nepaisant to, Rusijos agresijos sukeltos krizės ekonomikoje, kituose sektoriuose ir mūsų piliečių atsparumo, kai kas iš tos krizės pasipelno. Mes matėme energetikos sektoriuje, kai kur farmacijos, bankų sektoriuje didžiulius viršpelnius. Manau, kad reikėtų bendrų pastangų, kad tie viršpelniai būtų pažaboti ir lėšos paskirstytos labiausiai reikalingai gynybai ir gerovės valstybės kūrimui. Taip pat matome, kaip svarbu užtikrinti maisto gamybą. Ir čia mano kolega minėjo, kad iš tikrųjų laikas vėlgi bendrom pastangom padaryti, kad Europos ūkininkai gautų vienodą paramą ir tiesioginės išmokos pasiektų Baltijos valstybės ūkininkus, kad galėtume gyventi socialiai teisingoje Europoje.


  President. – President Nausėda, the floor is now yours to answer the questions, varying arguments and points that have been made over the past hour.


  Gitanas Nausėda, President of Lithuania. – Madam President, first of all, I would like to react to some comments made by the colleagues, your parliamentary Members from Lithuania, for example, Mr Tomaszewski regretted that I am attacked by some political parties in Lithuania even after the elections where I collected 67% of votes.

You know, I am new man in the politics. I went to the politics in 2009. In 2019, as an independent candidate, I was elected President of Lithuania. But one issue I realised being in the politics is that the politics is not just peaceful and coexistence with the political parties. This is a fight. This is a competition, and this is not a competition for my own interests, but it’s a competition for the ideas I present.

And one of the main priorities for which I went to the politics and my programme was dedicated to the social welfare state idea. And even in being in this competition, sometimes with the opposition, sometimes with ruling coalition, we were able to implement some very important measures which will make the life of some sensitive and exposed groups of society better. First of all, the pensioners, socially, affected families and so on and so on.

Now some comments on migration. I would like to touch the issue of migration because this is very important. We have two kinds of migration: migration which is caused by just spontaneous movements of the people from countries where there are some social problems, those countries which are in a state of war.

And this second kind of migration, we call it instrumentalised migration. And we faced this phenomenon into 2020. People just became the weapons in the hands of some totalitarian leaders which are near to us, for example, Mr Lukashenka. And he used deliberately this kind of migration, just trying to destabilise the situation in my country and in European Union.

What do we need in this situation? We need a very clear legal framework in order to deal with this kind of challenges. if we will not have it we will just put the instruments into the hands of Lukashenka or Putin to attack us, to destabilise us. And this is not good.

So this is the reason why we ask European Parliament, we ask European Commission to provide this kind of legal framework in order to be more efficient and in order to be more successful in fighting illegal migration.

Of course this is not only one issue, there are many other issues. And we have we have to strengthen our strategic communication. We have to help these people, which returned to their origin countries to be reintegrated into the society. And we have much to be, much more active in the countries of origin of migration and transit of migration.

Now about Ukraine: why is Lithuania is taking the lead in providing the support to Ukraine? I can explain it by telling you some historic facts. There was a time in the 14th, 15th, 16th century when we were in the same commonwealth, the Commonwealth of Lithuanians co-existing with Belarusians and Ukrainians. And it was very peaceful formation of the countries, one common body of countries, and there was full respect of the nations to each other, even the nations which belong to different language groups. They have very different traditions. And, you know, these kind of feelings that we remember lead to empathy towards Ukraine. We treat them like the brothers and sisters, they are our brothers and sisters.

The second reason: Lithuania has no one else — probably maybe Baltic countries and Poland, putting them together — who understands that the fight. In the battle on the battlefields in Ukraine it is a freedom fight. But not only the freedom fight for Ukrainians, this is our freedom fight. Because, as my colleague, I think, from Estonia mentioned, the second target will be the Baltic countries, Poland, maybe Romania, and there will be third target if Putin is not stopped in Ukraine. There will be next targets, we have to be fully aware of it.

China: yes, Lithuania has some interesting, challenging history of relations with China. Several years ago, we decided to leave so-called format of ‘17 plus one’ because we realised that this format is not promising very much to us and implementing very important infrastructure projects and so on and so on. And we decided to leave it. And we still defend the idea that we have to speak with China with one voice.

So ‘27 countries plus one’ would be the most suitable format in communication and relations with China. Some other countries followed our example, and now this format is already 13 or 14 plus one. And I think that sooner or later we will come to the conclusion that the best way to deal with China is just 27 plus one.

Enlargement of European Union: this is very important and we are a keen proponent of enlargement of Europe. We defend the right of our nations to join the European Union sooner or later. So this is the reason why we support the aspirations of Moldova, the aspirations of Ukraine, the aspirations of Georgia, because we remember very well what a powerful trigger from progress our membership in the European Union was.

As we entered European Union, we started from 43% of GDP per capita. Now we already reached 86% of GDP per capita, and we are running forward with excellent speed. So this is a huge opportunity to be European, but this is also a responsibility.

To be European means responsibility, to be sensible, to be united and to help the countries in need. And this country in need is now Ukraine. So we have to understand and remember it very well.


  President. – Thank you, Mr President.

The sitting will resume in approximately one minute, when we start with the vote.

(The sitting was briefly suspended)


6. Resumption of the sitting
Video of the speeches

(The sitting resumed at 12.12)


  Markus Buchheit (ID). – Frau Präsidentin! Wir hatten hier gestern ein recht durchwachsenes Stimmungsbild zur Gebäudeeffizienzrichtlinie, und deswegen hätte ich einen Antrag nach Artikel 59 der Geschäftsordnung. Wir haben das Chaos gesehen, das sich jetzt gerade im Rat ausbreitet in Bezug auf die Abschaffung des Verbrennungsmotors. Wir sehen auch jetzt schon den Widerstand zweier Mitgliedstaaten gegen die Gebäudeeffizienzrichtlinie, und wir sehen den erheblichen Widerstand auch hier im Hause fraktionsübergreifend gegen den Zwangscharakter der entsprechenden Maßnahmen. Ich stelle deswegen den Antrag, diesen Vorschlag an den Ausschuss zurückzuüberweisen.


  President. – We will take this point when we come to the vote on that file.


7. Voting time
Video of the speeches

  President. – The next item is the vote.

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


7.1. Request for the waiver of the immunity of Ioannis Lagos (A9-0053/2023 - Andrzej Halicki) (vote)

7.2. Request for the waiver of the immunity of Nicolaus Fest (A9-0055/2023 - Ilana Cicurel) (vote)

7.3. Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund – application EGF/2022/002 BE/TNT - Belgium (A9-0043/2023 - Olivier Chastel) (vote)

7.4. Objection pursuant to Rule 112(2) and (3): Genetically modified oilseed rape MON 94100 (MON-941ØØ-2) (B9-0162/2023) (vote)

7.5. Ro-ro passenger ships: stability requirements (A9-0255/2022 - Roberts Zīle) (vote)

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

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

7.8. Revision of the Market Stability Reserve for the EU Emissions Trading System (A9-0045/2022 - Cyrus Engerer) (vote)

7.9. Energy performance of buildings (recast) (A9-0033/2023 - Ciarán Cuffe) (vote)

  – Before the vote:

President. – We move to the report by Mr Cuffe on energy performance of buildings. Now we come back to the request by Mr Buchheit. Your request, Mr Buchheit, has to be dealt with. We will need to check the low threshold.

Mr Zanni, is this your group’s request? It is a different procedure. There is no low threshold.

– After the vote on the Commission proposal:


  Ciarán Cuffe, rapporteur. – Madam President, a compelling case for the renovation of buildings.

But on the substantial issue, I would like to refer the file back to committee for interinstitutional negotiations.


(Parliament decided to refer the matter back to the committee responsible under Rule 59(4))


7.10. Data Act (A9-0031/2023 - Pilar del Castillo Vera) (vote)

– After the vote on the Commission proposal:


  Pilar del Castillo Vera, rapporteur. – Madam President, I would like to request referral back to committee for interinstitutional negotiations pursuant to Rule 59(4).


(Parliament decided to refer the matter back to the committee responsible under Rule 59(4))


7.11. Activities of the European Ombudsman - annual report 2021 (A9-0054/2023 - Anne-Sophie Pelletier) (vote)

7.12. Policy Coherence for Development (A9-0019/2023 - Janina Ochojska) (vote)

– Before the vote:


  Janina Ochojska, Sprawozdawczyni. – Pani Przewodnicząca! Celem tego sprawozdania jest ocena dotychczasowych rezultatów w zakresie stosowania PCD oraz przedstawienie rekomendacji dla poszczególnych instytucji europejskich. Bez PCD działania na rzecz rozwoju tracą na efektywności oraz skuteczności. Dziękuję wszystkim posłom zaangażowanym w powstanie tego sprawozdania i liczę na współpracę we wdrażaniu jego postulatów.


  – After the vote:

President. – This concludes the vote.

(The sitting was briefly suspended)




8. Resumption of the sitting
Video of the speeches

(The sitting resumed at 12.48.)


9. European Semester for economic policy coordination 2023 - European Semester for economic policy coordination: Employment and social priorities for 2023 (debate)
Video of the speeches

  President. – The next item is the Joint debate on the European Semester – the report by Irene Tinagli on the European Semester for economic policy coordination 2023 [2022/2150(INI)] (A9-0044/2023) and the report by Estrella Durá Ferrandis on the European Semester for economic policy coordination: Employment and social priorities for 2023 [2022/2151(INI)] (A9-0051/2023).

Mrs Tinagli, the floor is yours.


  Irene Tinagli, rapporteur. – Madam President, last year, when we debated the Semester report in this House, war had just broken out in Ukraine. The war had, and is still having, a devastating impact on the Ukrainian population. To a completely different extent it had, and it still having, an impact on us as well.

The EU was one of the most exposed advanced economies to downward risks, given its proximity to Ukraine and also the heavy reliance on energy imports, particularly on gas from Russia. The impact of high energy prices and the subsequent inflation led to the erosion of household purchasing power and industry competitiveness, in particular that of SMEs.

So, on the one hand, we all know that the low and stable inflation rate will be an important condition for long—term sustainable economic growth and so it is important to intervene on inflation. But, on the other hand, we also know that a reduction in aggregate demand, combined with the less favourable financing conditions, which are related, when you have high interest rates, could lead to a sharp decline in investment and therefore in future economic growth.

So investment in renewables and energy efficiency, for example, could also suffer, although these are precisely the investments required to reduce reliance on imported fossil fuels and structurally limit inflation driven by energy prices. So it’s quite a complicated conundrum.

These deteriorating economic conditions have increased the vulnerabilities and risks. The rising mortgage rates and the deterioration in debt servicing capacity resulting from the decline in real income of households may cause further distress for families and for financial markets in general. So against this background, we need to act.

In our public debate, we always recall that the primary objective of the ECB is to maintain price stability, of course. But we should also recall that the aim of the Union as a whole should be to dampen the impact of current turbulences on the real economy and to minimise future risks, thereby defending the well-being of our citizens and preserving our production structure and the international competitiveness of our companies, as well as decent working conditions for our workers.

So in this regard, we need adequate and coordinated fiscal, structural and regulatory policies that complement the ECB’s monetary policy actions in order to support household incomes and provide targeted and temporary support to companies suffering from supply bottlenecks and high energy costs. The policy leeway created by the activation of the general escape clause was very important and was determinant in strengthening Member States’ economic and social resilience, both during the COVID pandemic and also in the last year after the war started.

The Commission released last week the fiscal policy guidance for 2024. However, we need more clarity as regards the medium and long term. This is why we call in this report for an urgent review of the EU fiscal framework, preferably to be completed prior to the deactivation of the general escape clause. The Commission’s communication of last November is an important step in the right direction. It addressed most of the concerns to emerge in the last years in the public debate, in particular as regards the simplification of the framework and the more tailor—made governance. The revised regulatory framework should allow Member States to have sufficient leeway to deliver decisive crisis resolution measures when they are needed and should preserve the flexibility already in—built in the Stability and Growth Pact.

Of course, there are some issues that are not addressed in the Commission communication, but which are important. For example, the issue of macroeconomic stabilisation is not properly addressed, and we believe that the Commission should build also on the positive experience we’ve had in the past years, for example with SURE. But most importantly, we hope that there will be a debate and that the Commission, the Council, will consider our contribution to the Semester cycle and the Commission will soon be able to bring forward legislative proposals on the reform of economic governance.


  Estrella Durá Ferrandis, ponente. – Señora presidenta, señor comisario, señora presidenta en ejercicio del Consejo, navegamos por una transición. Nuestra nave debe tener un timón social para llegar a buen puerto. El Semestre Europeo que defendemos este año desde el Parlamento Europeo pone toda su fuerza en garantizar que los objetivos de crecimiento económico vayan ligados a una transformación socioecológica e inclusiva de nuestras economías, considerando todas las transiciones al mismo nivel y evitando los desequilibrios sociales, económicos y medioambientales mediante la lucha contra la pobreza, la reducción de las desigualdades y la creación de puestos de trabajo dignos, con salarios y condiciones decentes.

Por ello, y también como prioridad, el Semestre Europeo de este año, reconoce la necesidad de mejorar el marco de gobernanza actual. Los objetivos de crecimiento económico deben estar en consonancia con los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible y el pilar europeo de derechos sociales. Y la arquitectura de gobernanza europea debe basarse en la solidaridad, la convergencia social al alza, la integración y la inversión en servicios públicos de calidad.

Las normas presupuestarias europeas tienen un papel fundamental para este fin y por ello destacamos que deben facilitar la inversión pública y la financiación necesaria para conseguir la transición hacia una economía justa con la naturaleza, pero también justa con las personas y los territorios. En esta línea, y en previsión de la desactivación de la cláusula de salvaguardia, los Estados miembros van a necesitar mayor flexibilidad y la exclusión de las inversiones sociales del cálculo del déficit excesivo. Con ello, los Estados miembros más endeudados podrían adoptar sendas de ajuste individual más flexibles que les permitan tener un margen presupuestario suficiente para llevar a cabo las inversiones y reformas necesarias para unas transiciones ecológica y digital socialmente justas.

La consolidación presupuestaria sólo será sostenible si el impacto distributivo de los gastos reasignados o los cambios en los ingresos está bien calibrado y contribuye a reducir las desigualdades socioeconómicas.

El Semestre Europeo, como principal instrumento de coordinación de políticas con el que contamos, tiene que permitir a los Estados miembros hacer frente a las crisis y prevenir futuros choques, pero no solo económicos, sino también sociales. Por ello, el informe de este año también contempla la creación de un marco de convergencia social como sistema de vigilancia de los posibles riesgos para la convergencia social al alza y que detecte potenciales consecuencias negativas de otras políticas para la implementación del pilar social. Este marco de convergencia incluiría también objetivos sociales concretos que alcanzar.

Desarrollar instrumentos que autorregulen las fluctuaciones del mercado y garanticen la sostenibilidad y supervivencia de nuestro sistema de bienestar social es uno de los puntos centrales de este Semestre. Medidas, por ejemplo, que contribuyan a frenar la volatilidad de los precios energéticos.

Por ello, necesitamos herramientas para abordar el impacto desigual del cambio climático y la degradación del medio ambiente en los diferentes grupos de ingresos, así como las consecuencias sociales de la transformación de nuestras sociedades hacia la neutralidad climática. Un fondo social del clima puede ser el inicio de un mecanismo que siente las bases de esquemas de protección social ecológica a escala nacional, con el apoyo de la Unión Europea para reforzar la resiliencia social frente a los cambios climáticos y la degradación medioambiental.

Asimismo, en lo que respecta a fondos, el informe contempla como novedad un fondo de soberanía con el fin de garantizar, entre otras cosas, que todos los Estados miembros dispongan de flexibilidad para hacer frente a los retos sociales, climáticos y medioambientales.

Además, se considera que cualquier futura iniciativa de financiación de la Unión Europea debe integrar la justicia social como principio rector. En definitiva, un Semestre ecosocial que proteja a las personas.


  Eleni Stavrou, rapporteur for the opinion of the Committee on Budgets. – Madam President, dear colleagues, I will speak on behalf of my colleague Petri Sarvamaa, who is the rapporteur of the budget opinion on the European Semester for Economic Policy Coordination 2023.

First, we would like to thank Ms Tinagli for this report. It raises important and topical issues related to the current challenges and opportunities of the EU economy. The annual European Semester cycle has also an important role in anticipating the EU’s economic outlook.

Coming from the Budget Committee perspective, Mr Sarvamaa has a few observations. We need to remember how uncertain times we are living because of past current and future crises. All of these relate to the uncertain economic outlook of the European Union.

On the other hand, it is good that we have been able to respond to this crisis. The most concrete example is the Recovery and Resilience Facility and its stabilising impact on the EU economy. It is also good that we have started to discuss the economic sustainability of the EU in the long term, especially bearing in mind that government debt-to-GDP ratios are historically high. Member States should be able to return to a sustainable budgetary approach eventually.

Lastly, it is worth mentioning that the introduction of new own resources, as agreed also in the interinstitutional agreement, is crucially important so that the Next Generation EU debt can be refinanced without detriment to future programmes.


  Jessika Roswall, President-in-Office of the Council. – Madam President, honourable Members, Commissioner, thank you for this opportunity to hold the regular discussion on the European Semester here today.

The European Semester remains a very important framework to ensure effective policy coordination across four dimensions: environmental sustainability, productivity, fairness and macroeconomic stability. All of these are key for the economic prosperity and sustainable competitiveness of our Union.

The policy coordination is more important than ever, as we are facing multiple challenges resulting from Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

Our post-COVID recovery is being challenged at various levels and this requires policy measures that are supportive of inclusive and sustainable growth. Rising inflation, interest rates and energy prices have left many companies and households struggling. Given this mix of challenges, our policies must remain coordinated and flexible.

The EU and the Member States must work both on immediate actions to address the current challenges and notably the long strategy to boost competitiveness and productivity for a green and digital transition.

These crucial questions will be on the agenda at the next week’s European Council. We must step up our efforts to implement the digital and green transition. This requires swift, targeted and coordinated actions both at the EU and national levels to carry out structural reforms. With NextGenerationEU and REPowerEU, we also have funding to finance key investments and reforms in Member States.

Honourable Members, so far, labour markets are proving surprisingly resilient. But there are several challenges. Real wages are declining, which are weighing on households. At the same time, employers are finding it hard to hire in some sectors. That is why we need more ambitious actions at the EU and national level to promote skills through education, training, upskilling and reskilling. Therefore, I am happy that this is emphasised in the European Year of Skills 2023.

In the context of demographic challenges, these actions will contribute to meet the challenges of labour shortages and the transformation of jobs. Policies geared towards skills and competences for the green transition hold the key to Europe’s full resilience and prosperity.

Honourable Members, as Council Presidency, we intend to ensure a smooth European Semester cycle and that all parties concerned do their utmost to achieve the common objectives of seeing the country-specific recommendations approved by the European Council in June.

Allow me also to add a word on the reform of the EU economic governance framework. The Council has been working intensely on the Commission’s orientation for this reform, and the Presidency has worked hard to find a compromise. We hope that we will find a compromise that all States can agree on.

Many of the multiple challenges we are facing require ambitious reforms and substantial investments. Moreover, we need to address the increase of public debts as a result of the COVID crisis and the war in Ukraine. Reducing these high levels of debt should be done in a gradual and realistic manner.

We now stand ready to examine the Commission’s new legislative proposal on economic governance.


  Nicolas Schmit, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, first, in the name of my colleagues, Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Gentiloni, who are attending today’s ECOFIN, and myself, I would like to thank the rapporteurs Ms Tinagli and Ms Estrella Durá Ferrandis, and the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs for their reports, which provide a valuable contribution in view of the European Semester priorities for 2023.

Let me first focus on the economic and fiscal side. The European economy is facing multiple shocks, but has shown also remarkable resilience. We narrowly avoided a recession and started 2023 on a more optimistic footing. But even if the peak of inflation appears to be behind us, consumers and businesses still struggle with high energy and food prices, and inflationary pressures remain. So while the economy is doing better than initially expected, we are not out of the woods yet. In all, in 23, growth is likely to remain subdued. There are also structural challenges we need to tackle the EU’s energy dependence, the green and digital transitions, skills shortages and the need to strengthen our overall competitiveness. All this against the background of high uncertainty as Russia continues its criminal aggression against Ukraine.

The European Semester has proven to be an agile instrument for European policy coordination. Our focus now is to deal with the immediate consequences of the ongoing shocks and to meet longer term common EU objectives and priorities. In recent months, Member States and the Commission have worked to coordinate targeted and affordable measures to cushion the impact of the energy crisis on vulnerable households and the most impacted businesses, while safeguarding public finances and the single market. Together with the ERF, the semester will continue to ensure an effective reform momentum in each Member State up to 2026. Combined with the reform and investment strategies enabled by other EU programmes.

Fiscal policy coordination is vital. It provides an anchor of stability, supports investments in the twin transition, strengthens resilience, and allows buffers to be built to cope with future shocks. Last week, the Commission presented its orientations for fiscal policy for 2024. After three years of sizeable fiscal support, the focus should now be on improving debt sustainability. Prudent fiscal policy will support monetary policy in the current high-inflation environment. As the European economy is no longer in severe downturn, we confirm that the general escape clause will be deactivated at the end of 2023. The guidance also reflects the fact the EU’s fiscal framework is in a transition phase. As views converge on several key issues, the Commission intends to table legislative proposals after the European Council later this month. The guidance should be seen as a bridge between how the rules have worked in the past and how they may work in the future. This means that certain elements of the Commission’s reform orientations can already be applied. To be specific, we invite Member States to set fiscal targets that ensure the respect of the 3% of GDP deficit reference value and ensure a path for credible continuous debt reduction over keeping it at sustainable levels. On that basis in spring, the Commission will propose fiscal recommendations with a quantitative requirement as well as qualitative guidance on investment and energy measures.

As regards the measures to cushion the impact of high energy prices on households and businesses remaining measures should be better targeted on those most affected. Moreover, as energy prices head lower, governments should move to phasing out most of the support measures, starting with the least targeted ones.

Finally, all Member States should preserve investment to boost sustainable and inclusive growth in line with the common EU priorities, namely in the field of fair transitions. The co-legislators have acted rapidly to phase out the EU’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels, promote zero carbon sources and strengthen energy resilience. Now that the repower EU Regulation has come into force, we are leveraging the Recovery and Resilience Facility to achieve a secure, affordable and sustainable supply of energy. Revising National Recovery and Resilience plans and incorporating REPowerEU chapters with additional funding represent an opportunity to respond to persistent as well as to new challenges in the context of the new Green Deal Industrial Plan.

Let me now turn to the employment skills and social dimension. The employment report provides an important input on the employment and social priorities, focusing, inter alia, on wage and social protection policies, the European Child Guarantee, the use of distributional impact assessments, as well as its call for the strengthening of the social dimension of the semester and the introduction of a social convergence framework. This important debate on the European Semester takes indeed place in an uncertain, as already mentioned, in an uncertain and challenging environment. While the unemployment rate remains low overall in the Union, at only 6.1%, specific groups are still under-represented in the employment statistics. In particular, youth unemployment is still very high at 15%, and the employment gap between women and men continues to be substantial, 10.8 percentage points. Furthermore, the potential of older workers is not sufficiently used. At the same time, labour and skills shortages are increasing across Member States and sectors and this is also due to inadequate quality, equity and labour market relevance of the education and training systems.

Let me just mention one particular issue, which is appalling. It’s the youth NEET rate, which still remains high with over 13%. This represents and this represents a real challenge with more than 8 million young people excluded from the labour market and all kinds of training schemes. A social problem with long lasting consequences, a major loss for our economies facing labour shortages, and here I think strong action is absolutely needed.

With the ongoing high inflation, we still need prompt, adequate and well-targeted policy responses to address poverty risks, as more people and households are experiencing a drop in real incomes. Adequate wage policies and updates of minimum wages in line with the directive as well as collective bargaining, play a key role to prevent increases of in-work poverty. This is particularly important as inflation has significantly outpaced wage growth so far, which brings social risks, especially for low-wage earners. The European Semester remains the key integrated policy coordination framework to address these challenges and pursue key common priorities. Let me underline that coordinated policy action in this semester is key to advance the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights. I welcome Parliament’s call to progress in the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights in the framework of the European Semester and the Economic Governance Review. Implementing the 21 Pillar Action Plan also means advancing on the 2030 EU headline and national targets, unemployment skills and poverty reduction. This requires that ambitious reforms and investments are put into place by Member States in line with the commitments made in Porto for a strong social Europe. This is all the more important also in view of the very significant transformations that Europe has to undergo to affirm itself as a global leader on the twin transitions. Skills are, of course, central to this. And this is why 23, as the European Year of Skills, will be crucial in promoting skills acquisition, reskilling and upskilling, helping people get the right skills for quality jobs.

Through the Green Deal Industrial Plan, we will further accelerate our work on skills for the green transition, including digital skills with the final aim of supporting competitive and sustainable industrial policies in the EU and creating quality jobs. Skills are an essential tool for our competitiveness as well as for enhancing productivity. The revisions of the Recovery and Resilience Plans in the context of REPowerEU give all Member States an opportunity to boost green skills and reskill our workforce, and also importantly to address the causes of energy poverty. The semester itself will evolve, discussions are ongoing on the economic governance review and, in parallel, Member States are discussing a possible new social convergence framework. This will have implications for the future European Semester of Economic and Employment policy coordination. And I am sure that by using the tools we have more effectively, we can make the semester stronger as a framework to jointly pursue our common priorities and achieve a fairer, more inclusive and greener growth with a competitive and innovative economy that works for people.




  Markus Ferber, im Namen der PPE-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Kommissar, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Europa steht in den kommenden Monaten vor enormen Herausforderungen. Die europäische Wirtschaft steht am Rande einer Rezession. Viele Mitgliedstaaten sind hoch verschuldet. Die Inflation erreicht ein Rekordniveau, die Finanzierungskosten steigen, und gleichzeitig sind enorme Anstrengungen zum Umbau unserer Wirtschaft notwendig.

Eine effektive Koordination der europäischen Wirtschaftspolitik ist entsprechend dringender notwendig denn je. Das Europäische Semester ist dafür ja auch grundsätzlich das richtige Instrument. Wir müssen auch anerkennen, dass das Semester in der Vergangenheit nicht besonders effektiv war. Wir haben schon vor zehn Jahren als EVP-Fraktion darauf hingewiesen: Man muss dann das Dach reparieren, wenn die Sonne scheint, bevor der nächste Sturm aufzieht. Diese Chance wurde leider versäumt.

Schon damals war abzusehen, dass der enorm hohe Schuldenstand in vielen Mitgliedstaaten und der Mangel an Wettbewerbsfähigkeit spätestens dann zum Problem werden wird, wenn die Zinsen wieder ansteigen und die Refinanzierungskosten in die Höhe schnellen. Viele Mitgliedstaaten haben die guten Jahre aber nicht zur Haushaltskonsolidierung genutzt, sondern weitere Schulden angehäuft, meist auch nur für konsumptive Ausgaben. Sie haben nicht nichts für Wettbewerbsfähigkeit gemacht, sondern Strukturreformen verschleppt.

Für uns als EVP bedeutet das, dass wir uns in diesem Jahr auch mit dem Blick auf die anstehende Reform der wirtschaftspolitischen Steuerung noch mehr als ohnehin auf den eigentlichen Kern des Semesters fokussieren wollen: verantwortungsvolle Fiskalpolitik und Maßnahmen, die die Wettbewerbsfähigkeit stärken.


  Joachim Schuster, im Namen der S&D-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! In der Tat, wir stehen in Europa vor schwierigen wirtschafts- und finanzpolitischen Aufgaben. In einem Umfeld steigender Zinsen und hoher Inflation muss ein sozial verantwortlicher klimaneutraler Umbau unserer Wirtschaft vorangetrieben werden. Zugleich gilt es dafür zu sorgen, dass die hohe Inflation nicht zu einer wachsenden sozialen Ungleichheit und einer Verarmung breiterer Bevölkerungsschichten führt.

Wir brauchen eine dauerhafte und deutliche Steigerung der Investitionen in die klimaneutrale und digitale Transformation. Dabei geht es nicht nur um private Investitionen; wir brauchen auch eine erhebliche Steigerung öffentlicher Investitionen. Wir brauchen neue reguläre Einnahmen, um eine solide Finanzierung der öffentlichen Haushalte sicherzustellen. Deswegen stehen die Mindestbesteuerung großer Unternehmen, eine Abgabe für große Vermögen und die Finanztransaktionssteuer auf der Tagesordnung.

Bei all dem müssen wir realisieren: Der gemeinsame Binnenmarkt mit einer gemeinsamen Währung erfordert klare europäische Regeln und vor allen Dingen auch europäische Solidarität. Das müssen wir bei der Reform der Fiskalregeln realisieren.


  Stéphanie Yon-Courtin, au nom du groupe Renew. – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Commissaire, chers collègues, demain, dans cet hémicycle, nous, députés européens, nous prononcerons sur le Semestre européen 2023. Ce cycle annuel coordonne les politiques économiques entre États membres et évalue leur compatibilité avec nos priorités européennes. Jusqu’à présent, il est incompris par nos concitoyens européens parce qu’il est trop complexe. Il doit être simplifié, mais pas seulement. Pour la démocratie, les parlements nationaux et le Parlement européen doivent avoir leur mot à dire.

Ce rapport s’inscrit dans un moment charnière, la révision des règles de gouvernance économique qui visent à surveiller et à réduire la dette et le déficit public des États membres. Dans le contexte actuel d’inflation galopante, nous n’avons pas le droit à l’erreur. Ces règles, qui doivent être révisées ces prochains mois, doivent être simplifiées, pragmatiques, ambitieuses pour relever les défis d’aujourd’hui que sont l’autonomie stratégique et la transition écologique et numérique, dans un contexte d’incertitude majeur.


  Ernest Urtasun, en nombre del Grupo Verts/ALE. – Señora presidenta, el proceso del Semestre Europeo sigue siendo en gran medida un ejercicio económico. El Parlamento Europeo debe apoyar que, en la próxima revisión de la gobernanza económica, se pongan la convergencia económica y la social en pie de igualdad.

En un documento publicado antes de la Cumbre Social de Oporto, en mayo de 2021, los gobiernos de Bélgica y España propusieron un instrumento para abordar los desequilibrios sociales: el procedimiento de desequilibrio social o, como prefiere llamarlo la Comisión ahora, el marco de convergencia social. Dicho procedimiento abordaría los desequilibrios sociales que podrían afectar negativamente a las condiciones laborales o de vida de un país y, a su vez, tener un efecto indirecto para el conjunto de la zona del euro.

El riesgo de desequilibrios sociales para cada país se determinaría en función del número de indicadores que se detecten en situación de deterioro como, por ejemplo, un nivel excesivo de abandono escolar temprano o una brecha salarial de género en aumento. Cuando se comprobase que un Estado tiene desequilibrios sociales, la Comisión actuaría en diálogo con ese Estado miembro.

Sabemos que el Consejo está trabajando en ello. Creo que la mejor manera de darle una verdadera alma social al Semestre Europeo sería hacer de esta propuesta una realidad.


  Johan Van Overtveldt, namens de ECR-Fractie. – Voorzitter, commissaris, collega’s, het Europees Semester is de cyclus die het economisch en begrotingsbeleid van de lidstaten op elkaar moet afstemmen. Welvaart en groei bestendigen en onze concurrentiepositie bewaken, dat zijn de doelstellingen. Die uitdaging wordt nu bovendien op scherp gesteld door de fameuze Amerikaanse Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), met haar lange trein aan subsidies.

Het Europese antwoord daarop kan en mag niet dezelfde logica volgen. Op het vlak van subsidiëring moeten we immers nu al niet onderdoen voor de VS. Integendeel. Voorzichtig geschat pompen we nu al – gespreid over meerdere jaren – ruim 500 miljard EUR aan subsidies in onze industrieën. Als we het menen met de versterking van onze concurrentiepositie én met een ernstig antwoord op de IRA, dan moeten we de moed opbrengen een cruciale vraag te stellen: nog meer geld, nog meer subsidies, is dat het juiste antwoord?

Subsidies staan al decennialang centraal in het Europese economische beleid, in de hoop dat ze zouden volstaan om investeringen aan te trekken en groei te bevorderen. Dat is hooguit gedeeltelijk gelukt. Onze achterstand is niet te wijten aan een gebrek aan subsidies en ook onze kansen moeten we daar niet zoeken. De focus moet eindelijk komen te liggen op minder betutteling, verstandiger regulering, eenvoudige procedures en minder bureaucratie, kortom, op meer vrijheid en meer zuurstof. Het eerder statische subsidiemodel leidt tot een cyclus van vaak inefficiënte uitgaven en is niet bevorderlijk voor de economische groei op langere termijn.


  Gunnar Beck, im Namen der ID-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin! Die jüngste Wirtschaftsprognose der Europäischen Kommission sollte uns alle wach rütteln. Vier Mitgliedstaaten befinden sich nun offiziell in der Rezession. Die vier sind die größten Pro-Kopf-Nettozahler zum EU-Haushalt: Deutschland, Österreich, Schweden und Dänemark.

Die EU hat sich im Gegensatz zu den USA nicht von der Coronakrise erholt, auch weil sie wegen ihrer unsinnigen Klimapolitik stärker von steigenden Energie- und Lebensmittelpreisen betroffen ist als irgendwer sonst. Besonders betroffen ist Deutschland, wo das Wachstum kollabiert und Löhne und Renten die galoppierende Inflation nicht ausgleichen.

Die EZB indes ignoriert ihr Mandat und nimmt die Inflation hin. Deutschland zahlt netto mittlerweile über 40 % des gesamten EU-Haushalts. Was bekommen die Deutschen dafür? Die höchste Inflation seit über 70 Jahren, wirtschaftliche Stagnation und die Eskalation des Ukrainekonfliktes, der die Stagflation nicht schuf, aber beflügelt.

Vor gut 50 Jahren war der Libanon die Perle des Nahen Ostens. Dann nahm das Land Millionen unqualifizierte Flüchtlinge auf. Die Inflation stieg, und das Bruttosozialprodukt pro Kopf ist heute niedriger als 1970. Deutschland ist auf dem besten Wege, der Libanon in Mitteleuropa zu werden. Von der Leyen spricht ja gerne von der Mondlandung der EU. Vielleicht finden Sie da Ihre neue Steuerkolonie.


  José Gusmão, em nome do Grupo The Left. – Senhora Presidente, durante a resposta europeia à crise da Covid-19 houve quem alimentasse a esperança de que as instituições europeias tivessem aprendido com a desastrosa resposta à crise financeira. Infelizmente, parece que esse foi um otimismo infundado.

O que verificamos neste processo do Semestre é que regressamos ao mesmo discurso e às mesmas políticas que marcaram, após um período de políticas contracíclicas, a resposta à crise financeira. Diz-se que agora vamos introduzir os objetivos sociais e ambientais no Semestre Europeu. O que se vê é tudo menos isto.

Enquanto se fazem algumas declarações vagas e sem nenhumas consequências para as obrigações da Comissão, a Comissão já está a pressionar os Estados-Membros e a dar instruções para que se corte na despesa social, coisa a que, por exemplo, o Governo português já veio ceder com a obediência habitual.

Ao mesmo tempo que recusa um instrumento permanente de investimento europeu e exige uma consolidação orçamental imediata, a Comissão Europeia pede mais investimentos na transição energética. As exigências são contraditórias, mas a última também não é para cumprir.


  Enikő Győri (NI). – Tisztelt Elnök Asszony! Tisztelt Képviselőtársaim! Az európai szemeszter, mely 2011-ben magyar elnökség alatt született, eredetileg a tagállamok gazdasági folyamatainak összehangolására, a pénzügyi fegyelem biztosítására szolgált. Mára erősen túlterheltté vált: baloldali nyomásra túlmutat eredeti mandátumán és ideológiai töltetet kapott. A Bizottság továbbá már olyan kérdésekben is számon kéri a tagállamokat, melyek nemzeti hatáskörben vannak. Négy javaslatom volna.

Az első: a zöldítést ne a versenyképesség, a kohézió és a konvergencia rovására valósítsuk meg, hanem mindezeket összehangolva. Második: az országspecifikus ajánlásokkal a Bizottságnak nem szabad túlterjeszkedni a hatáskörén, azokat objektív módon, a tagállam helyzetéhez igazodva, a kettős mércének még a gyanúját is elkerülve szabad csak kiadni. Ehhez érdemi párbeszéd kell a tagállam és a Bizottság között.

Harmadrészt: a helyreállítási eszköz egy egyszeri helyzetet kezelt, a Covid-válságot. Nem alkalmas arra, hogy a gazdasági koordinációs keretrendszert annak alapján újítsuk meg.

Végezetül, tisztelt Képviselőtársaim! Kis önmérséklet: azt javaslom, hogy az EP maga is tartsa tiszteletben a játékszabályokat. Maradjon a saját hatáskörén belül, ne követeljen magának nagyobb befolyást a gazdasági koordináció folyamataiban. Ezzel gátat szabhatnánk az ideológia előtérbe kerülésének, s mindenki a hatékonyságra és végrehajthatóságra koncentrálhatna.


  Eugen Tomac (PPE). – Doamna președintă, domnule comisar, cred că după criza de sănătate, criza economică, criza energetică, criza de securitate, avem în față mari provocări și cred că este esențial să ne concentrăm atenția pe soluționarea problemelor cu care se confruntă societățile noastre, astfel încât recomandările din Semestrul european să fie aplicate exact așa cum sunt ele să menite să creeze o coordonare mult mai eficientă pentru a depăși toate vulnerabilitățile prin care trec statele membre ale Uniunii Europene.

Pentru că inflația, crizele sociale, crizele economice, crizele financiare prin care trece Europa acum pot fi depășite doar printr-o mai bună coordonare și este esențial ca statele membre, împreună cu Comisia, să implementeze reforme necesare, astfel încât societățile noastre să oprească risipa banilor, să se concentreze pe vulnerabilitățile pe care le întâmpină cetățenii atunci când își doresc o stabilitate, locuri de muncă mai bine plătite, iar acest lucru se poate realiza doar prin investiții inteligente.

Europa trebuie să facă față tuturor provocărilor prin care trece acum și evident că acest lucru îl putem face doar cu investiții inteligente și, evident, printr-o mai bună coordonare, astfel încât competitivitatea să fie cuvântul de bază și să reușim să ne apărăm investițiile și, bineînțeles, să ne proiectăm un viitor bazat pe creștere economică.


  Agnes Jongerius (S&D). – Madam President, over the last few months I feel like I have been visited by the ghost of Christmas past. But of course, this ghost is not about Christmas. It’s about the ghost of the 2008 financial crisis.

Talking about a danger of higher wages in time of inflation. And I think it’s high time to say good-bye to this old school, outdated neoliberal narrative. It’s the profits, not the wages that are pushing up inflation. So let me repeat that again: it’s the profit, not wages that are pushing up inflation.

We cannot have the EU hit by austerity again, for we really need a true convergence of the social and economic policies. So when the Commission is going to propose its plan for the revision of the economic governance framework, I expect a mandatory social objective. I expect a social dimension before we all expect a visit of the ghost of austerity yet to come.


  Marie-Pierre Vedrenne (Renew). – Madame la Présidente, Madame la Ministre, Monsieur le Commissaire, face aux inquiétudes liées au chômage pendant la crise de la COVID, nous avons mis en place l’instrument commun SURE pour garantir un salaire commun à chacun. Face à la crise énergétique liée à la guerre en Ukraine et pour atteindre nos objectifs de neutralité carbone, nous créons notamment le Fonds social pour le climat. Face aux demandes pour soutenir la compétitivité européenne, nous poussons pour plus de flexibilité sur les aides d’État. Mais ne nous arrêtons pas là, car les chocs se succèdent et nos concitoyens en subissent les conséquences, particulièrement les plus vulnérables.

La Commission européenne a présenté les grandes lignes d'une réforme du pacte de stabilité et de croissance. Il est impératif que cela aille de pair avec une réforme ambitieuse du Semestre européen. Les indicateurs de suivi et de coordination de nos politiques doivent évoluer. Évoluer pour permettre à l’Union européenne de faire face à des crises de plus en plus fortes et plus en plus sévères. Évoluer pour une action ancrée dans le progrès social et la lutte contre le changement climatique. Évoluer, en fait, pour une Europe plus juste qui réponde aux aspirations et aux préoccupations de tous nos concitoyens.


  Rosa D'Amato (Verts/ALE). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, Commissario, Consiglio, il patto sociale tra le istituzioni e i cittadini è rotto. Le regole a livello europeo sono incapaci di rispondere alla crisi sociale e, anzi, nella loro rigidità, vanificano gli sforzi degli ultimi anni per una vera ripresa economica, territoriale e sociale.

Il semestre europeo, così come il Patto di stabilità e crescita, sono strumenti oramai superati che rappresentano un ostacolo alla convergenza sociale. I principi del pilastro europeo dei diritti sociali sono rimasti lettera morta.

Ecco perché noi Verdi chiediamo una riforma del quadro di governance economica, obiettivi obbligatori per l'eliminazione della povertà e l'esclusione sociale e una valutazione dell'impatto sociale dei piani dei vari Stati membri e dei soldi stanziati dai governi nazionali.

Senza il necessario spazio fiscale che permetta di tornare ad investire nella scuola, nella sanità e in misure di inclusione, come il reddito minimo, non potrà mai esserci una transizione giusta. Ripartire dalla giustizia sociale è l'unica possibilità che abbiamo e noi Verdi abbiamo le idee chiare: serve una riforma.


  Beata Szydło (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Szanowny Panie Komisarzu! Szanowni Państwo! Agresywna wojna, którą Rosja prowadzi przeciwko Ukrainie, wpływa oczywiście na to, co dzieje się w całej Europie, wpływa na warunki gospodarcze, społeczne i mamy wszyscy świadomość tego, że będzie cały czas wpływała na naszą sytuację. Musimy mieć też świadomość, że musimy zrobić wszystko, aby Rosję powstrzymać, aby Ukraina wygrała. W związku z tym musimy dostosować również nasze działania do tego, co dzieje się w tej chwili w Europie. Musimy podejmować działania pragmatyczne i realistyczne. Ja mam wrażenie, że czasami wystarczą niektórym politykom tylko debaty i deklaracje, natomiast tutaj chodzi oczywiście o czyny, a w związku z powyższym musimy dostosować naszą politykę europejską również do tego, co dzieje się za naszą wschodnią granicą. A w związku z tym, musimy mieć świadomość, że trzeba tutaj podejmować decyzje racjonalne i musimy przede wszystkim chronić europejskich obywateli, europejską gospodarkę, sprawiać, żeby była dalej konkurencyjna.

Na przykład dzisiaj wprowadzaliśmy projekty w ramach programu „Gotowi na 55”, czy te wszystkie projekty, które są związane z polityką, transformacją klimatyczną, one niestety będą skutkowały tym, że będzie ubożeć Europa. Więc bądźmy bardziej racjonalni, bądźmy bardziej pragmatyczni, bo dzisiaj to jest potrzebne nam wszystkim.


  Antonio Maria Rinaldi (ID). – Signora Presidente, Commissario, onorevoli colleghi, nella proposta della Commissione del 9 novembre scorso e il successivo dibattito che si è instaurato sulla revisione del Patto di stabilità, si continua a soffermarsi sul debito pubblico mentre si ignora totalmente quello privato, che ha dimostrato in passato più responsabilità nelle cause delle crisi.

Quanti sono gli Stati dell'eurozona e del mondo che rispettano il limite del 60% del debito pubblico/PIL? Pochissimi! La media dall'eurozona è del 95%.

È necessario inoltre che i Paesi membri crescano al numeratore PIL, archiviando le politiche di austerità e le rigide regole di rientro del debito che hanno sempre sistematicamente fallito, invece di rincorrere sterili percentuali senza fondamento scientifico.

I trattati sono stati scritti a Maastricht e a Lisbona non sul Monte Sinai! Smettiamola quindi di fingere di ignorare questi problemi e mettiamo finalmente mano ai trattati, adeguandoli alle reali esigenze del mondo in cui viviamo.


  Κωνσταντίνος Αρβανίτης (The Left). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, νομίζω η εισήγηση του κυρίου Schmit είναι σε σωστή κατεύθυνση, απλώς θέλω να προσθέσω δυο-τρία πράγματα. Nομίζω ότι ζούμε πάλι μπροστά σε μια επανάληψη του ίδιου εφιάλτη, ειδικά για τις χώρες που έχουν ζήσει χρεοκοπία: οι κοινωνικές ανισότητες αυξάνονται, προβάλλει μια νέα δυναμική φτωχοποίησης των μεσαίων και μικρομεσαίων στρωμάτων, για τους πολίτες που είναι ήδη στη σφαίρα της φτώχειας, ούτε λόγος, η κατάσταση είναι τραγική. Πολλοί συμπολίτες μας Ευρωπαίοι αδυνατούν πλέον να πληρώσουν τους δυσβάσταχτους λογαριασμούς που αφορούν τη στέγη, την επικοινωνία, το νερό, την ενέργεια, τη διατροφή. Το Ευρωπαϊκό Εξάμηνο λοιπόν, πρέπει και μπορεί να προωθήσει ένα νέο παραγωγικό μοντέλο βασισμένο στις ανάγκες των πολλών και στην κοινωνική, περιβαλλοντική και φορολογική δικαιοσύνη και βεβαίως τα βασικά αγαθά να είναι στον δημόσιο χώρο και στον δημόσιο έλεγχο. Μιλώ για τις συλλογικές συμβάσεις εργασίας, το είπε και ο κύριος Schmit, θα συμφωνήσω μαζί του, για δίκαιους και επαρκείς μισθούς, τη διασφάλιση της ψυχικής υγείας των εργαζομένων, την ισότητα των φύλων. Σε αυτή την κατεύθυνση βρίσκεται η έκθεση που συζητάμε, η οποία συμπεριλαμβάνει πολλές από αυτές τις προτεραιότητές μας. Νομίζω ότι πρέπει να πάρουμε και χώρο και δράσεις σε αυτή τη διαδικασία.


  Tatjana Ždanoka (NI). – Madam President, Commissioner, colleagues, in this crisis situation, people and only people may be at the forefront. The employment report calls on the Member States to rapidly implement the provisions established in the minimum wage Directive, saying that decent wages are an essential tool in helping households keep up with rising energy prices.

Let's take some examples of how these ideas are implemented. Concerning my country, the Commission launched the opinion that Latvia has made limited progress with regards to the structural part of the fiscal recommendations. How does this limited progress look like? The minimum wage in Latvia in 2023 was raised by 24% while remaining the quite low EUR 620. Meanwhile, the salary of the chairman of Parliament has been raised by 75%, Minister President by 53%, Members of Parliament by 34%. The salary of chairmen, therefore, is 13 times bigger than the minimum salary. Really decent wages for the few and unworthy for the many. I think that the semester process needs a more thorough look at the elements of dispersion of wages and the just effective fight against poverty in general with a special focus on in-work poverty, direct support of most vulnerable groups. This is the solution which we need.


  Lídia Pereira (PPE). – Senhora Presidente, a revisão do Semestre Europeu, o exercício de coordenação das políticas económicas e sociais, é necessária e é urgente. Estamos a falar das regras orçamentais europeias, do controlo dos défices, da gestão da dívida e da capacidade de investimento público.

Depois da pandemia, da pressão inflacionista e do verdadeiro esforço de guerra na Europa, ninguém entenderia voltar a 2019, ao passado. As palavras-chave desta reforma têm de ser três: flexibilidade, simplicidade e responsabilidade. Esta coordenação económico-social tem de ser mais flexível, determinando prazos mais realistas e exigindo medidas mais estruturais do que temporárias. Naturalmente, isto implica tempo, investimento e abordagens que respeitem a realidade nacional de cada Estado-Membro.

O Semestre Europeu tem de ser mais simples para que os cidadãos possam compreender e avaliar melhor o valor das medidas e a quem devem pedir contas. E, por isso mesmo, o Semestre Europeu tem de promover mais responsabilidade. O princípio da solidariedade intergeracional implica maior ambição na redução da dívida e que esse caminho não seja feito à custa da destruição dos serviços públicos, sobretudo na saúde ou na educação.

O debate está feito e é preciso agora tomar decisões. O Parlamento tem estado em consenso em torno deste tema. Falta os governos encontrarem o mesmo consenso.


  Delara Burkhardt (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Es scheint für einige ganz schwer vorstellbar, dass Wirtschaft nicht in einem luftleeren Raum stattfindet, sondern eben ziemlich real von gesellschaftlichen und ökologischen Krisen betroffen ist. Ein gutes Beispiel dafür ist die verschleppte Energiewende. Menschen leiden unter der hohen Inflation, die steigende Preise in ganz Europa zur Folge haben. Die Inflation ist dabei aber vor allen Dingen eins: eine fossile Krise. Wenn Diktatoren und Autokraten ihre Hähne zudrehen, wird fossile Energie knapp und teuer, während Erneuerbare so günstig waren wie noch nie.

Das Gute ist: Mit dem Grünen Deal haben wir die Instrumente in der Hand, um uns von dieser Abhängigkeit zu befreien. Den Einfluss ambitionierter Umwelt- und Klimapolitik auf die europäische Wirtschaftspolitik müssen wir sichtbar machen. Nicht das Wachstum des Bruttoinlandsprodukts, sondern das gesellschaftliche Wohlergehen innerhalb planetarer Grenzen muss Ziel unseres Wirtschaftens sein. An dieser Realität muss sich das Europäische Semester 2023 endlich messen lassen.


  Dragoş Pîslaru (Renew). – Madam President, dear Commissioner, dear Minister, I need to observe right now that we have a lot of young people that are watching us right now, and they are visitors and there are much more of them than us as Members of Parliament or the Commission or the Council in this room.

And this is a pity because they are really interested about this shift that we are talking about. The change of the semester. The semester is the way that people, the young people, everyone, are looking to see how we are shifting towards a sustainable, inclusive and resilient growth model.

This debate is crucial. This is not just a technocratic thing that we’re doing here. The future of investment, if we want to do investment, cannot be foreseen without a social component that responds to the fears and expectations of the young generations and all the citizens in Europe.

We have to fight against all forms of social exclusion and poverty, especially poverty among children. The recovery and resilience plans are essential for supporting smart reforms and investments. And then the review that we are talking about of this semester, it’s a unique opportunity to redesign the architecture of EU economic governance and to create a tool for reinforcing reforms and investment.

We look forward to working together to create a stronger and more resilient Europe. And we also look forward to working with the young generations that right now are interested in knowing more about Europe.


  Denis Nesci (ECR). – Signora Presidente, Commissario, onorevoli colleghi, le scelte economiche e politiche che faremo nei prossimi mesi saranno decisive per le generazioni future. Per il rilancio della competitività europea, la strada da seguire non è quella del rialzo dei tassi di interesse, che già ha avuto un impatto negativo su consumatori, famiglie e imprese, ma occorre mettere in campo una solida politica industriale e commerciale.

L'istituzione di un fondo sovrano europeo dovrà appunto essere il perno su cui la nuova programmazione dovrà svilupparsi. Ma prima di tutto è perentorio rivedere le regole delle politiche di bilancio degli Stati membri, che evidentemente non sono più adatte all'attuale contesto socioeconomico.

La comunicazione della Commissione, benché costituisca un primo passo nella giusta direzione, è ancora lontana dalle esigenze degli Stati e, soprattutto, presenta diversi nodi da sciogliere. Mi riferisco in particolare all'ambito di applicazione, al potere della Commissione e all'imposizione di un tetto pluriennale della spesa pubblica.

Infatti, d'accordo con il premier Giorgia Meloni, penso che il futuro Patto di stabilità e crescita debba tenere maggiormente in considerazione il tema dell'equilibrio tra questi due valori: stabilità e crescita, entrambi necessari.

Pertanto, auspichiamo che la proposta della Commissione valuti di non calcolare nel deficit gli investimenti pubblici a favore di innovazione, ricerca e infrastrutture.


  France Jamet (ID). – Madame la Présidente, sous couvert de coordination économique, le Semestre européen de Bruxelles poursuit ses objectifs ultralibéraux et ses visées impériales. Par exemple, la Commission «recommande» – doux euphémisme – à la France d’«harmoniser» – autre euphémisme – notre système de retraite. En d’autres termes, de supprimer nos régimes spécifiques à certains métiers qui se justifient par la pénibilité de ces métiers ou du fait de la conjoncture démographique entre bénéficiaires et cotisants, ou quelquefois même les deux, et je pense notamment aux régimes de nos marins. Nous n’avons décidément pas les mêmes valeurs.

Si l’Union européenne défend à l’autre bout du monde le droit des peuples à disposer d’eux-mêmes, elle piétine allègrement la souveraineté populaire à Bruxelles. Ah, il est vrai que le prédécesseur de Mme von der Leyen affirmait: «Il n’y a pas de démocratie face aux traités». Eh bien, en France, il n’y a qu’un seul souverain, c’est le peuple.


  Gheorghe Falcă (PPE). – Doamna președintă, domnule comisar, dragi colegi, doresc să punctez câteva aspecte care, în opinia mea, trebuie adresate de urgență și care sunt în concordanță cu zecile de discuții pe care le-am avut în ultima vreme cu cetățenii europeni din România și din alte state.

Oamenii așteaptă de la Uniunea Europeană rezultate concrete care să-i ajute să trăiască mai bine. Dar, astăzi avem o pandemie care i-a afectat, avem invazia rusă în Ucraina, care afectează, avem o creștere a prețurilor la energie care afectează, la fel cum ne afectează zi de zi șomajul și lipsa de oportunități reale. Mulți nu știu cum o să-și plătească utilitățile, nu știu dacă vor avea un loc de muncă, nu știu dacă vor plăti creditele.

De aceea ne interesează foarte mult să avem soluții acum și nu în 2025 sau 2050.

Micile companii care trebuie să concedieze oameni sau care trebuie să închidă porțile, ce le putem spune în acest moment? Ce soluții concrete le oferim acum, dincolo de bunele intenții și de planurile pentru următorul deceniu? Locuri de muncă nu se creează din aer. Ele sunt create de antreprenori, de oameni care trebuie sprijiniți și în niciun caz împovărați de noi versiuni legislative sau de birocrația de la Uniunea Europeană. Dacă firmele și antreprenorii dispar sau sunt tentați să plece în America sau în Asia, cum vom genera locuri de muncă de calitate și din ce bani vom asigura necesarul de care au nevoie cetățenii europeni?

De aceea, este foarte important să investim în oameni, în primul rând în programe și în antreprenorii care vor crea acele locuri de muncă bine plătite pentru cetățeni.


  Margarida Marques (S&D). – Senhora Presidente, Senhora Ministra, Senhor Comissário, neste debate convém lembrar que estamos preocupados com as regras de governação económica. Aguardamos o compromisso hoje no ECOFIN e o compromisso no próximo Conselho Europeu. Mas, sobretudo, aguardamos com expectativa as iniciativas legislativas da Comissão para a revisão do Regulamento sobre o Semestre Europeu e sobre o Pacto de Estabilidade e Crescimento.

O tempo é escasso. Temos compromissos para com os europeus: fazer as transições ecológica e digital, concretizar o Pilar Europeu dos Direitos Sociais e o Compromisso do Porto. Nenhum deles se fará com políticas de austeridade que rejeitamos.

Aprendemos as lições do passado e não podemos, como aconteceu com a crise financeira, quatro anos depois do início da crise, passar da recomendação de investimento - o NextGenerationEU está aí para isso - para a recomendação de políticas de austeridade. Mas estamos também a aprender as lições positivas do Mecanismo de Recuperação e Resiliência ou do SURE.

Senhora Ministra, Senhor Comissário, temos de saber encontrar as convergências necessárias que melhor sirvam os cidadãos e as economias. O Parlamento tem vindo a trabalhar para isso.


  Billy Kelleher (Renew). – A Uachtaráin, Sa réamhaisnéis is déanaí, deirtear gur bheag nár bhuail cúlú geilleagrach an Eoraip, gur baineadh buaicphointe an bhoilscithe amach, agus go bhfuiltear ag súil le fás eacnamaíoch. An tseachtain seo caite, d’fhógair an Coimisiún go bhfuil geilleagar an Aontais ar ais ar an leibhéal réamh-phaindéime, agus gur féidir deireadh a chur leis an gclásal éalaithe ginearálta ag deireadh na bliana.

Tréimhse chrua a bhí ann le cúpla bliain anuas. Tá áthas orm go ndearna an tAontas na bearta agus na cinntí crua a rinne sé. Bíodh sin mar atá, ní féidir linn ligean dár bhfiachas imeacht as smacht. Ní mór do na Ballstáit leibhéal a bhfiachas a smachtú, ach ag an am céanna, ní mór dúinn tacú i gcónaí leis na daoine is leochailí. Dá bhrí sin, is díol sásaimh dom na tograí ón gCoimisiún chun cur chuige níos solúbtha a thabhairt isteach maidir le fiachas a laghdú. Leis sin, beidh na Ballstáit ábalta infheistíochtaí a dhéanamh bunaithe ar riachtanais shonracha a gcuid saoránach.


Procedura "catch the eye"


  Margarita de la Pisa Carrión (ECR). – Señora presidenta, señorías, la verdad es que podemos decir que la línea política elegida por la Unión Europea en este último mandato nos ha llevado a estar en una situación comprometida, con errores previsibles, advertidos por grupos como el mío. Vemos cómo se destruyen puestos de trabajo, cómo pierde densidad nuestro tejido empresarial y la industria no encuentra en nuestro entorno las condiciones para poder desarrollar su actividad. Las exigencias medioambientales han dado lugar a la carestía y al aumento de los precios de la energía, la inflación y la inseguridad jurídica. Esta situación es la que está generando la pobreza y la miseria, que no puede solucionarse solo a base de políticas sociales. Porque debe existir equilibrio entre estabilidad y crecimiento; hay que apoyar generando a la vez prosperidad, creando el ambiente que nos permita ser competitivos, favorecer el emprendimiento y reactivar nuestra economía. Sorprende que ahora que debemos replantear y ordenar las prioridades, se proponga una huida hacia adelante, hasta el punto de pedir que las recomendaciones del Semestre Europeo pierdan su foco económico y supongan una intromisión en áreas donde la Unión no tiene competencias, con una visión ideológica que ya ha tenido y sigue teniendo efectos devastadores allí donde se aplica.


  João Pimenta Lopes (The Left). – Senhora Presidente, por muito que o queiram pintar de social ou de verde, o Semestre Europeu não deixará de ser aquilo que sempre foi: um instrumento de condicionalidade e interferência na política orçamental dos Estados, em prejuízo dos povos, em favor das grandes potências e grupos económicos.

Recordemos que as recomendações específicas por país de 2022, no caso de Portugal, evidenciaram o reforço das pressões orçamentais até 2023, visando conter a despesa corrente do Estado, ou seja, pressionando no sentido da contenção dos salários reais e dos investimentos nos serviços públicos.

Esta discussão não pode dissociar-se do momento em que se anuncia o fim da cláusula de escape do Pacto de Estabilidade e a reposição dos procedimentos por défices excessivos, associado ao debate em curso sobre a revisão da chamada governação económica, visando aumentar os condicionamentos sobre a despesa e o investimento público dos Estados e o seu quadro sancionatório.

Desenvolvimentos negativos que se antecipam em prejuízo de países como Portugal.


(Fine della procedura "catch the eye")


  Nicolas Schmit, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, Members, our growth strategy is based on the four dimensions of competitive sustainability. It remains the compass for coordinating EU economic and social policies both in the short and medium term. And the framework for doing so is the European Semester, and I fully agree this should not be a technocratic exercise. This should be an exercise — a political one, a democratic one — based on realities.

By integrating Next Generation EU as well as REPowerEU in the European Semester we have shown that the EU can both be agile and flexible in responding to the important challenges and persistent uncertainty which we all face. The EU has, for the time being, considerable resources which should be used in an efficient and targeted way to precisely respond to these challenges, also those challenges coming from competitors outside the EU. And each new payment reflects steady progress in meeting milestones and targets and implementing key reforms and investments.

The next weeks and months will also be crucial to shape the future of our fiscal rules. And, while the Commission has proposed a bridging solution for ’24, it is urgent to agree on a revised set of fiscal rules. The Commission will present legislative , and we rely on the European Parliament to play an active role in reaching a rapid agreement because it is important to guarantee stability, to allow reforms and enhance investments. This is the key for successful and socially fair transitions.

Effective employment and social policies are key to enable fair transitions and to protect and accompany people. We need to ensure that the EU is at the forefront of the industrial transformation aimed at ending the dependency on fossil fuels, but also improving its competitiveness and creating quality jobs.

The effective coordination of economic employment and social policies in the context of a strong European Semester remains key to succeed. And this should also be reflected in a reformed economic governance, as asked by many speakers.


  Jessika Roswall, President-in-Office of the Council. – Madam President, honourable Members, Commissioner, many of you speakers, for example, Mr Ferber and Mr Van Overtveldt raised the issue of competitiveness and the lack thereof. It was said that we need to mend the roof while the sun is shining. Now, when it has begun to rain, this is even more pressing.

As was said, the solution is not only more money and more subsidies; the lack of European competitiveness goes deeper. That is why the Swedish Presidency is prioritising long-term competitiveness.

The European Semester is an important element of this. To attract investments, stability and predictability is key. The European Semester is instrumental to achieve this.

Allow me also to assure you once more that the Council gives great attention to the European Semester. You have touched on some important points today, and your ideas will make a valuable contribution to the ministerial debate on this European Semester, which continues in the Council.

As I also said earlier, we must step up our efforts to implement the digital and green transition, and it requires swift, targeted and coordinated policy actions both at the EU and the national levels to carry out structural reforms.

I would also like to emphasise the importance of also engaging with our citizens to increase national ownership. I welcome the initiatives taken in this regard, such as dialogues and consultations with stakeholders, civil society and social partners in Member States.

Today’s debate has shown that, despite some differences, there is a lot of common ground between us on which we should build. In a Union of highly integrated systems, enhanced economic and social policy coordination can help prevent discrepancies and contribute to ensuring convergence and stability in the EU as a whole and in its Member States.

I am therefore confident that we will continue to work together to find appropriate solutions to meet the challenges before us.


  Estrella Durá Ferrandis, ponente. – Señora presidenta, señor Schmit, señora Roswall, señorías, estamos en una legislatura que aborda retos sin precedentes, promoviendo iniciativas que deben poner rumbo hacia un nuevo modelo europeo que consolide la estabilidad económica, el progreso y la inclusión. No es fácil, ustedes lo saben. Por eso nosotros, políticos europeos, debemos aportar perseverancia e ilusión, porque es con ilusión y trabajo como se cambian los paradigmas.

La situación actual lo requiere y la urgencia de actuación es más que evidente. El propio Informe Conjunto sobre el empleo de la Comisión y del Consejo, relativo a la orientación de las políticas sociales y de empleo en el año 2023, reconoce que los salarios mínimos disminuyeron en todos los Estados miembros menos en cuatro. La pobreza laboral en la Unión Europea no ha disminuido en la última década. La tasa de sobrecoste de la vivienda sigue estando por encima del 40 % para más del 8 % de la población, y apenas se ha avanzado en la reducción del sinhogarismo.

Por otro lado, las ayudas sociales, como los esquemas de renta mínima, no alcanzan el nivel de adecuación necesario en la mayoría de los Estados miembros. Y no lo harán si no se aprueban medidas vinculantes al respecto, como una directiva sobre renta mínima.

Compañeras y compañeros, este Semestre Europeo debe apostar por una Europa de bienestar y de oportunidades. Debe contar con nuevos instrumentos de gobernanza e inversión basados en la justicia social para superar cualquier desequilibrio socioeconómico subyacente y avanzar hacia un crecimiento sostenible e inclusivo y unas transiciones ecológica y digital justas.

Un Semestre Europeo que luche contra el fraude y la evasión fiscales, apueste por crear puestos de trabajo estables y de calidad, contribuya a reducir las desigualdades sociales y la brecha entre hombres y mujeres, y refuerce los salarios y las pensiones. En definitiva —como señalaba antes— un Semestre Europeo ecosocial que proteja a las personas.


  Presidente. – La discussione congiunta è chiusa.

La votazione si svolgerà domani, mercoledì 15 marzo 2023.

Dichiarazioni scritte (articolo 171)


  Атидже Алиева-Вели (Renew), в писмена форма. – Днес ЕС е изправен пред огромен брой предизвикателства - от една страна такива, породени от високите цели на Зелената сделка в областта на екологията и цифровизацията, а от друга - зависимостта на Европа от енергия и от галопиращата инфлация, коренящи се в руското нападение в Украйна. Съюзът трябва да докаже, че е устойчив и има проспериращ модел на функциониране, който може да се справя с кризи. Нуждаем се от повече инвестиции в цифровия преход и климатично неутралните отрасли. ЕС трябва да осигури достъпна енергия за всички европейски граждани.

В същото време, сега е моментът да се даде отговор и на социалната криза. Ръстът на безработицата при младите все още е твърде висок и една причина за това е недостигът на умения. 2023 г. е годината на уменията. Затова призовавам националните парламенти да инвестират повече в младите хора, като им помагат да развиват способностите си, така че да могат да разгърнат своя потенциал. Заедно с това, ЕС и държавите членки трябва да направят необходимото, за да се превъзмогне бедността, особено детската бедност. Недопустимо е в модерния свят децата ни да бъдат лишавани от основните им нужди. Нужни са амбициозни и последователни политики, за да може ЕС да се справя по-бързо и адекватно с кризите!


  Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou (PPE), in writing. – Prudent fiscal positions and sustainable growth are key pillars of the Union’s fiscal strategy. Greece has clearly conformed, and in fact has surpassed related expectations. The strides Greece has made under the Mitsotakis government, despite COVID and the war in Ukraine, are nothing short of exceptional. Under Mitsotakis’ leadership, Greece has witnessed unprecedented growth, with the economy expanding by 5.9% in 2022, and a further 1.2% is expected for 2023. Over the last three years, Greece has consistently outperformed expectations. Under the Mitsotakis government, Greece has achieved: the lowest levels of unemployment since 2010; consecutive records in export growth and inflows of FDI in 2021 and 2022; exited the EU’s enhanced surveillance framework after 12 years. Prudent fiscal management has seen Greece repay IMF debt two years ahead of schedule. Since 2021, our public debt to GDP ratio has entered a fast—declining path, which continues unabated. In January 2023, Greece recorded a surplus of EUR 1.47 billion – a staggering EUR 500 million over the target. No wonder the FT has touted Greece as ‘one of the seven economic wonders of the world’. The Mitsotakis government’s commitment to securing Greece’s long—term economic growth and prosperity is unwavering. The results show this.


  Andżelika Anna Możdżanowska (ECR), na piśmie. – Raport „Europejski semestr na rzecz koordynacji polityki gospodarczej” wreszcie dostrzega istniejące zagrożenia. Pandemia, kryzys surowcowy, wojna na Ukrainie, inflacja i konieczność jej przeciwdziałania – to naprawdę solidny kubeł zimnej wody dla marzycieli, którzy widzieli europejską gospodarkę jako skazaną na sukces i odegranie przewodniej roli w zielonej transformacji. W sytuacji, kiedy wychodząca z zapaści europejska gospodarka musi dodatkowo sprostać wyzwaniom konkurencji, jakie stwarza np. amerykańska ustawa o redukcji inflacji, pojawia się pytanie o równe szanse państw członkowskich. W czasach hojnego szafowania pomocą publiczną wygranymi zostają ci, którzy mogą sobie pozwolić na zwiększenie zadłużenia. A tak się składa, że są to głównie północne i silniej rozwinięte kraje, których gospodarcza przewaga nad pozostałą częścią UE teraz jeszcze się powiększy... Chciałabym przestrzec, że nowy fundusz to nowe, wspólne długi. I że większość korzyści i tak odniosą najsilniejsi, których gospodarka jest najlepiej przygotowana do zielonej transformacji... Obecna sytuacja to kolejny dowód, że nie można zwiększać zadłużenia w nieskończoność i że solidne finanse publiczne są najlepszym ubezpieczeniem na niepewne czasy. W tym kontekście warto wspomnieć np. o Polsce, której dług publiczny – poniżej 60%PKB – korzystnie kontrastuje ze średnią europejską (89,4% PKB) czy jeszcze wyższą średnia strefy EURO (97,2% PKB).




10. Adequate minimum income ensuring active inclusion (debate)
Video of the speeches

  Πρόεδρος. – Το επόμενο σημείο στην ημερήσια διάταξη αφορά ερωτήσεις με αίτημα προφορικής απάντησης προς το Συμβούλιο σχετικά με το Eπαρκές ελάχιστο εισόδημα που διασφαλίζει την ενεργό ένταξη των Dragoş Pîslaru, Krzysztof Hetman, Estrella Durá Ferrandis, Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová, Sara Matthieu, Giuseppe Milazzo, Özlem Demirel εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής Απασχόλησης και Κοινωνικών Υποθέσεων (O-000050/2022 - B9-0008/2023) και προς την Επιτροπή σχετικά με το Eπαρκές ελάχιστο εισόδημα που διασφαλίζει την ενεργό ένταξη των Dragoş Pîslaru, Krzysztof Hetman, Estrella Durá Ferrandis, Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová, Sara Matthieu, Giuseppe Milazzo, Özlem Demirel εξ ονόματος της Επιτροπής Απασχόλησης και Κοινωνικών Υποθέσεων (O-000051/2022 - B9-0009/2023).


  Dragoş Pîslaru, author. – Mr President, dear Commissioner, dear Minister, living in dignity is a human right. In 2021, 95.4 million people in the EU, representing 21.7% of the EU population, were at risk of poverty and social exclusion. Just to clarify, that means that one in five people in the EU are in poverty or at risk of social exclusion. The COVID-19 pandemic and the rising cost of living further exacerbated the plight of individuals and households in precarious socioeconomic situations.

Minimum income schemes serve as social safety nets, guaranteeing a minimum standard of living and the right to dignity at all stages of life. For people lacking sufficient resources and decent, stable employment, access to adequate minimum income plays an essential role in reducing poverty, social exclusion and inequalities and such schemes should be combined with incentives and measures enabling labour market activation for people who are able to work.

Why do we have this debate? We have this debate because the situation in Europe is such, that there are many Member States that do not have such provisions. I myself, as a Minister of Labour in 2016 initiated the law on the minimum income for inclusion, it has not been implemented in 2017, and it should, and it has been postponed. It is still not implemented today. That is why we need this debate.

Representing the Committee of Employment and Social Affairs, I would like to ask the Council the following questions: how will the Council encourage Member States to gradually set their minimum income schemes to at least the level of the national at risk of poverty threshold while providing incentives to reintegrate people who can work into the labour market? How will Member States ensure that beneficiaries of such schemes are not forced to accept precarious work? How does the Council intend to improve the coverage of the existing national scheme? How will Member States tackle the non-take-up problem – a very serious problem? What kind of mechanism will they establish to raise the awareness and ensure that those eligible are receiving the support that they can actually benefit from it? How will the Member States ensure that that such minimum income schemes do not substitute for social policy measures in other areas such as housing, healthcare, disability support or labour market integration? And how are Member States cooperating with social partners, civil society and all the other relevant stakeholders on the design, implementation and monitoring of the minimum income schemes, and where do they see room for improvement?

The Committee of Employment and Social Affairs would also like to ask the Commission a couple of questions. How does the Commission intend to ensure that Member States gradually increase their minimum income schemes to at least the international AROPE threshold while providing the incentives that I have referred to before and enabling the measures to reintegrate those who can work in the labour market? Then the question is how will the Commission monitor the implementation of this recommendation and the contribution to achieving the 2030 targets, in particular, reducing the number of people at risk of poverty and social exclusion by at least 15 million, including the 5 million children – we are, right now, close to two years after Porto. How will it help Member States to tackle the non-take-up problem? Similar question for the Council as well. And what action does it intend to promote non-discrimination in the context of the minimum income schemes? And last but not least, certainly, how will it involve the social partners at European level in implementing and monitoring the Council recommendation?

These are the questions that stem from the debate that we had in the Committee of Employment and Social Affairs. You will hear my colleagues underlining other very important elements in that. But I am really glad that we have this opportunity to discuss about this very, very serious situation. And I will thank you very much for your pertinent answers.


  Jessika Roswall, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, honourable Members, Commissioner, the social safety nets in our Member States are a trademark of what Europe stands for in terms of solidarity, social inclusion and cohesion. Building on the Council conclusions from 2020, the EPSCO Council reached an agreement on the recommendation on adequate minimum income last December.

The recommendations include substantial measures to improve access to the labour market for those who can work. Indeed, strengthening an inclusive labour market is important to mitigate long-term dependence on income support. For example, this can be done through activation requirements that provide incentives to enter or re-enter the labour market, supporting job seeking and improving investments in human capital through education and training policies.

As this Parliament’s motion for a resolution also recalls, the fight against unemployment is the best tool to fight poverty. And, as you all know, to fight unemployment, you need to boost our long term competitiveness.

At policy level, Member States are recommended, among others, to provide a coherent package of income support and labour market activation measures and to empower stakeholders to effectively participate in the design and implementation of the minimum income scheme.

In order to ensure that minimal income schemes, in accordance with national traditions and legislations, reach all those who need it, Member States are recommended to assure ensure that all persons who lack sufficient resources are covered by minimum income.

On the take-up problem raised in the oral question, Member States are recommended to encourage or facilitate the full take-up of minimum income. The ways to do this will depend on the context in each Member State.

The recommendations include various measures ranging from simplification of the application to raise awareness and facilitate the take-up among persons who lack sufficient resources. Ensuring that minimum income schemes do not substitute social policy measures will be a matter for careful and regular assessment by Member States in their national legislative context.

To achieve our goals, we need to involve relevant stakeholders. Let me stress that if we address and try to improve the prospects for a life in dignity for those most in need, it is a contribution to the cohesion of our whole society and the resilience of our democracy.


  Nicolas Schmit, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, honourable Members, I would first like to thank the Parliament for putting this issue of adequate minimum income high on its agenda. I would also like to thank the Employment Committee for its resolution on minimum income that focuses on the accessibility, adequacy and enabling aspects of minimum income schemes with a view to promoting upward social convergence.

Against the background of the multiple crises that we are facing, we need to work together to ensure social cohesion. We are on the same side on the fight against poverty, social exclusion and inequality. More than one in five people – and this has already been said – in the EU are at risk of poverty or social exclusion. The situation might worsen in view of the soaring living costs and economic uncertainty, so we must ensure our safety nets are up to the task.

Guaranteeing that every person who lacks sufficient resources can have access to adequate income support and services that foster inclusion is essential: essential to ensure a decent standard of living; essential for human dignity; essential to build fair and resilient economies and societies; and essential to promote active participation in society.

Inspired by principle 14 of the European Pillar of Social Rights on minimum income, the Commission proposed the Council recommendation that has now been approved by the Council. This recommendation aims to improve the adequacy of income support while ensuring sufficient incentives for those who are able to work to enter or re-enter the labour market.

The recommendation is part of a comprehensive package to tackle poverty and social exclusion to achieve upward social and economic convergence and to promote solidarity, as put forward in the European Pillar of Social Rights and its Action Plan.

For recipients who can work, minimum income should act as a stepping stone towards employment or complement the income from work in view of specific personal or family circumstances.

Member States are now called to achieve the proposed adequacy levels by 2030. They are expected to regularly review and adjust the level of minimum income. The recommendation also focuses on making access to the labour market more inclusive. This can be done through improving skills, safeguarding work incentives or creating work opportunities in the social economy. It also calls for supporting those who cannot immediately work through social inclusion plans.

Lastly, it calls for improving effective access to support services. At the Commission, we continue to work together with Member States via the Social Protection Committee and the network of the national authorities responsible for minimum income. We will also support and complement Member States’ action via the European Semester.

The European Social Fund Plus will be a key driver to implement the recommendation. It will provide large-scale financial support for disadvantaged groups and marginalised communities. It will make Member States more resilient while promoting socially fair green and digital transitions. And the Recovery and Resilience Facility is also promoting reforms of minimum income systems in line with the principles set out in the recommendation.

The stocktaking of the recommendation will take place in 2030. This time horizon is aligned with the 2030 headline poverty reduction target as well as with the targets on employment and skills.

Member States have welcomed these targets and presented their own national targets. Regarding the poverty reduction target, the sum of the national targets exceeds the EU target. That is good news, but it is now time to walk the talk.

The European Semester, including the Joint Employment Report, will yearly monitor the progress on the headline targets and on the national targets. Every three years, the Commission and the Social Protection Committee will also prepare a joint report on the progress in implementing the recommendations.

Let me now address the specific issue of non-take-up that you have raised. This is a common challenge for all the Member States. On average, around 30-50% of the eligible population do not seek the minimum income support they would be entitled to. The recommendation invites Member States to facilitate the full take-up of minimum income by reducing administrative burden, simplifying the application procedures and ensuring step-by-step guidance, by ensuring access to user-friendly and transparent information, by combating stigmatisation and intensifying reaching out, and finally by regularly assessing the reasons behind the low take-up.

The recommendation also calls upon Member States to establish transparent and non-discriminatory eligibility criteria that would facilitate access to minimum income. This can help increase coverage and reach some groups which, despite their need, are not covered in some Member States. I am thinking of young adults, non-nationals or the homeless.

Finally, let me underline that the successful implementation of the recommendation requires broad ownership across all stakeholders, including social partners. The European social partners were consulted on the content of this proposal and the Commission will promote social partners’ involvement using the existing fora of the European Social Dialogue.

The Commission also urges Member States to engage in a policy dialogue with civil society organisations, people experiencing poverty, social partners and other economic and social actors in implementing and monitoring the recommendation, including to deliver on its active inclusion approach.

And finally, your Parliament can be an important actor also in relation to the implementation of this recommendation. We remain, of course, ready also to facilitate sharing good practices between Member States in order precisely to implement the recommendations.


  Krzysztof Hetman, w imieniu grupy PPE. – Panie Przewodniczący! Panie Komisarzu! Szanowni Państwo! Problem ubóstwa i wykluczenia społecznego w Unii Europejskiej to poważny problem. W następstwie skutków pandemii Covid i dramatycznie rosnących kosztów życia ponownie stał się kwestią priorytetową i dotykającą wszystkie bez wyjątku państwa członkowskie i ponad jedną czwartą naszych obywateli. To z całą pewnością złożony problem i musimy do niego podejść całościowo.

Systemy dochodów minimalnych mogą stanowić ważny element walki z ubóstwem i wykluczeniem. Mogą, ale tylko wtedy, gdy będą skrojone na miarę, łatwo dostępne dla potrzebujących i – co chyba najważniejsze – będą częścią większej całości systemu opieki społecznej oraz połączone ze środkami aktywizacji zawodowej, aby tych najbardziej wykluczonych ponownie włączyć na rynek pracy. Zapewnienie dostępu do edukacji, możliwość kształcenia i zindywidualizowane doradztwo zawodowe to kluczowe elementy nowoczesnego wsparcia społecznego, o których nie możemy zapominać. To wszystko nie jest łatwym zadaniem i uważam, że aby dało się to osiągnąć, krajowe systemy dochodu minimalnego muszą być projektowane jak najbliżej obywatela i odpowiadać specyfice każdego z państw członkowskich.

Dlatego nie jestem zwolennikiem tworzenia ogólnoeuropejskiej dyrektywy w tej sprawie. Uważam, że w dyspozycji zarówno państw członkowskich, jak i Komisji Europejskiej są inne narzędzia, które należy najpierw wdrożyć, i w pierwszej kolejności dążyć do tego, aby z istniejących możliwości wsparcia korzystali wszyscy do tego uprawnieni, gdyż niestety, ale szacuje się, że w chwili obecnej nawet połowa nie korzysta z przysługującego im wsparcia. Apeluję więc do państw członkowskich o pragmatyczne i odpowiedzialne podejście i determinację we wdrażaniu niedawno przyjętych rekomendacji Rady w sprawie odpowiedzialnego dochodu minimalnego.


  Estrella Durá Ferrandis, en nombre del Grupo S&D. – Señor presidente, señor comisario, señora ministra, señorías, es nuestro deber impulsar mecanismos que luchen contra las desigualdades sociales y ayuden a las personas en situación de vulnerabilidad. Los sistemas de renta mínima son un instrumento eficaz para luchar contra la pobreza y la exclusión, además de garantizar la integración y el acceso al mercado de trabajo, siempre y cuando sean adecuados y estén bien diseñados.

Este no es el caso a día de hoy. Además de las grandes diferencias existentes entre los esquemas de renta mínima de los diferentes Estados miembros, muchos los sitúan por debajo del umbral nacional de pobreza. Es evidente que los actuales esquemas nacionales no han dado lugar a una suficiente convergencia al alza ni a una reducción significativa de la pobreza. Por ello, como socialista, considero imprescindible una directiva europea que garantice que ninguna persona en la Unión Europea tenga unos ingresos económicos por debajo del umbral nacional de riesgo de pobreza o exclusión social y que asegure su integración en el mercado laboral.

Esta directiva es imprescindible para cumplir con el objetivo fijado en la Cumbre Social de Oporto de reducir el número de personas que viven en la pobreza o exclusión social en la Unión Europea en, al menos, quince millones para 2030. Por eso, desde este Parlamento pedimos también que se evalúe la situación de la pobreza en la Unión Europea en el período previo a ese objetivo de Oporto, y no en 2032, como propone la Comisión en su Recomendación.

En definitiva, son tiempos de impulsar medidas vinculantes e invertir en lo social para avanzar hacia una sociedad más justa y un progreso real e inclusivo.


  Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová, za skupinu Renew. – Vážený pán predsedajúci. Čelíme mnohým krízam a evidentne sa nám nedarí budovať sociálnu Európu, v ktorej nikto nemôže zostať pozadu. Deväťdesiatpäť a pol milióna Európanov čelí sociálnemu vylúčeniu a chudobe. Jednou z najväčších zraniteľných skupín sú ženy, jednorodičovské domácnosti, ľudia so zdravotným postihnutím alebo ľudia z marginalizovaných skupín. Tridsať až päťdesiat percent z týchto ľudí nedostáva žiadnu podporu alebo dostane nedostatočnú podporu, a to napriek tomu, že všetky členské štáty majú zavedenú schému minimálneho príjmu. Minimálny príjem musia dostávať všetci ľudia, ktorí takúto pomoc potrebujú, ktorí sa ocitnú v núdzi, a to bez akýchkoľvek úradníckych prekážok. Štát je iba taký silný, aký silný je najslabší z jeho článkov, a Európska únia je taká silná, aké sú členské štáty, a nielen to, ľudia, ktorí žijú v členských štátoch. Preto si myslím, že Európska únia musí prevziať vedúcu úlohu v oblasti boja proti sociálnemu vylúčeniu. Zároveň však musí rešpektovať kompetencie členských štátov.


  Sara Matthieu, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, we are only halfway through the month, but for a lot of European citizens now the struggle begins. Transaction denied when you’re trying to buy food at a supermarket. You’re feeling guilty keeping your child at home because of a very expensive school trip. You’re ignoring the calls of your landlord on your phone when he’s asking where the rent is.

Today, a minimum income doesn’t lift people out of poverty. Too many people are struggling every day, putting all of their energy into a fight for survival. The soaring cost of living crisis is hitting the most vulnerable households the hardest.

How do we lift people out of poverty? We need an adequate minimum income that ensures that every European citizen is able to buy food, to afford their rent, to be able to pay their electricity bills, and to be able to find a good job. This is about a young Spanish guy that, with no support from his parents, can now afford a good education. This is about a middle-aged Belgian woman who took care of the children instead of working, and whom we need to protect so she doesn’t end up in poverty after a divorce. This is about supporting people with long-term illnesses who cannot work in order to make sure that they don’t end up in poverty.

These are the people that would benefit most from minimum income above the poverty threshold, but as of today, not one of our Member States has decided to implement this. So tomorrow, colleagues, the choice is yours: do we continue on the same path and let the most vulnerable people down, or do we give these people the hope and the perspective they deserve by supporting the resolution of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL)? I ask you, vote tomorrow for a directive on minimum income. Vote for the most vulnerable people’s future.


  Elżbieta Rafalska, w imieniu grupy ECR. – Panie Przewodniczący! Panie Komisarzu! Koleżanki i Koledzy! Idea dochodu minimalnego jest społecznie nośna i ważna, bo dochód minimalny ma na celu przeciwdziałanie ubóstwu, wykluczeniu społecznemu poprzez propagowanie odpowiedniego wspierania dochodu, skutecznego dostępu do usług wspierających i podstawowych, integracji na rynku pracy osób do niej zdolnych. Jednak cele te należy realizować bez uszczerbku dla uprawnień państw członkowskich, ponieważ polityka społeczna i zatrudnienia jest realizowana przede wszystkim przez państwa członkowskie, do których należy identyfikacja potrzeb i dopasowanie ich do wewnętrznych możliwości. Inicjatywy Unii Europejskiej muszą być realizowane z poszanowaniem traktatowego podziału kompetencji, zasady pomocniczości i dialogu społecznego.

Decydującą kwestią dla mojej pracy jest zawarte w tekście rezolucji nawiązanie do dyrektywy w sprawie odpowiedniego dochodu. A więc ta dyrektywa jest głosem kluczowym, a jej odrzucenie w głosowaniu plenarnym przesądzi o naszej rekomendacji co do głosu finalnego.


  Guido Reil, im Namen der ID-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, Herr Kommissar, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Die EU möchte ein europäisches Mindesteinkommen einführen. Das ist erstaunlich, denn jeder Mitgliedstaat hat da schon eine eigene Gesetzgebung. In Deutschland war es mal Hartz IV. Hartz IV wurde eingeführt, um Langzeitarbeitslosen wieder den Weg in den Arbeitsmarkt zu ermöglichen. Funktioniert hat das ganz schlecht: 2022 haben es gerade mal 1,6 % der Hartz-IV-Bezieher geschafft.

Das ist auch spannend, denn gerade 2022 wurden Arbeitskräfte dringend benötigt, z. B. an den deutschen Flughäfen. Es ist traurig, dass es kein einziger Hartz-IV-Empfänger geschafft hat, einen Koffer auf ein Transportband zu legen. Spannend ist auch: 5,5 Millionen Menschen bezogen in Deutschland Hartz IV, davon 2,5 Millionen Ausländer. Die Zahl ist seit 2016 um 45 % gestiegen. Spannend ist auch: 66 % der Syrer beziehen in Deutschland Hartz IV.

Und jetzt gibt es noch etwas Neues: Jetzt gibt es das Bürgergeld. Es gibt also noch mal eine Schippe drauf. Das ist für mich ein Schlag ins Gesicht für die vielen Menschen, die im Niedriglohnsektor arbeiten, und das sind in Deutschland viele, viele Millionen.

Wenn wir die Armut bekämpfen wollen, müssen wir diesen Menschen helfen; wir müssen diese Menschen unterstützen, und wir müssen den Bürgergeldbeziehern die Möglichkeit geben, auch zu arbeiten, gemeinnützig zu arbeiten, um Wertschätzung zu erfahren. Niemand darf sich in der sozialen Hängematte ausruhen.


  Özlem Demirel, im Namen der Fraktion The Left. – Herr Präsident! Menschen, die am Monatsende nur noch trockene Nudeln essen, Kinder, die hungrig zur Schule gehen, Rentnerinnen, die in Mülleimern Pfandflaschen suchen, Arbeiter, die trotz Arbeit nicht mehr über die Runden kommen – längst sind das keine Einzelschicksale mehr.

Schon vor den Preisexplosionen war jeder fünfte EU-Einwohner von Armut bedroht. Wie viele sind es inzwischen, Herr Kommissar? Wie viele Menschen, denen das Gefühl gegeben wird, sie seien ganz persönlich schuld und gescheitert? Wie viele Menschen sind das? Dabei ist doch niemand, der nicht zur Klasse der Superreichen gehört, wirklich vor Armut geschützt.

Armut ist auch kein Einzelschicksal. Sie hat System, und die reiche EU leistet sich viel zu viel Armut. Deshalb ist es richtig und überfällig, dass wir über Mindestsicherungssysteme in der EU beraten. Doch wir brauchen nicht nur eine Empfehlung, Herr Kommissar, sondern eine verbindliche Richtlinie. Wir müssen nämlich sicherstellen, dass wir Grundsicherungssysteme in allen Mitgliedstaaten haben, die ein Leben in Würde sichern, die das existenzielle Minimum absichern, die Teilhabe für alle ermöglichen, die den Zugang zu Bildung, Umschulung und Weiterbildung gewähren und die gute Arbeitsplätze schaffen, die vor Armut schützen.

Im Übrigen sind schwache Sozialsicherungssysteme auch immer ein Angriff auf gute Löhne. Kolleginnen und Kollegen, die Schere zwischen Arm und Reich ist nicht gottgegeben. Ihre Ursache hat systematische Gründe. Ja, es ist die Profitmaximierung, und politische Entscheidungen der Vergangenheit haben diese Situation verschärft. Deshalb lassen Sie uns dem einen Riegel vorschieben. Herr Kommissar, bitte noch in dieser Legislaturperiode eine Richtlinie!


  Ádám Kósa (NI). – Tisztelt Elnök Úr! A minimáljövedelem alapvetése, hogy minden embernek kötelező ezt segélyként adni élete végéig. Ezt a megközelítést több okból is elutasítom. Többen lesznek inaktívak, mert a segélyt választják a munka helyett. Ezért az európai országok versenyképessége leromlik. A szociálpolitikai ellátórendszer kiegyensúlyozottsága megbomlik, és egyre kevesebb lesz a befizető, illetve egyre több lesz a kedvezményezett. Ez garantált gazdasági összeomlást és államcsődöt jelent. Magyarországon tíz év alatt közel egymillió új munkahelyet hoztak létre. A személyi jövedelem adókulcsa egységesen 15 százalék mindenkinek, és igen komoly családi adókedvezményrendszer segíti az emberek jobb életét, ahogyan a 25 év alatti fiatalok számára az adómentesség. A munkaalapú társadalom a kulcs a jobb és igazságos jövő felé. Mert ha munka van, minden van.


  Dennis Radtke (PPE). – Herr Präsident, Herr Kommissar, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Die jüngsten Zahlen des letzten Eurobarometers machen eigentlich die Dramatik und die Notwendigkeit dieser Debatte noch einmal deutlich. 92 % der Europäer fürchten sich vor sozialem Abstieg. 42 % sagen, sie haben aktuell große Schwierigkeiten, überhaupt ihre laufenden Rechnungen zu bezahlen, und 45 % sagen, dass sie in der Inflationskrise bisher einen erheblichen Verlust an Lebensstandard erfahren haben.

Das kommt sozusagen alles noch hinzu zu der Situation, die wir vorher hatten, die wir auch vor COVID hatten, wo wir das Thema Armutsbekämpfung hier schon im Fokus hatten und gesagt haben, die Situation ist dramatisch, aber die Situation ist im Grunde durch COVID und die Inflationskrise noch dramatischer geworden, und ich werbe darum, das Thema weiter ganzheitlich zu bespielen.

Ich glaube, wir können es uns nicht so einfach machen und sagen, wenn wir eine Richtlinie machen, dann haben wir einen erfolgreichen Schritt in Richtung Armutsbekämpfung getan. Mir ist einfach wichtig, dass wir insgesamt den Weg, den wir hier mit einer großen Mehrheit in diesem Haus gemeinsam beschritten haben, fortsetzen.

Wir haben als EU wirklich geliefert; wir haben den europäischen Mindestlohn auf den Weg gebracht. Wir sind jetzt dran beim Thema Plattformregulierung. Das, was wir beim Thema ESF+ auf die Schiene gesetzt haben, kann sich sehen lassen. Auch das ist ein wichtiger Aspekt für das Thema Armutsbekämpfung und für die Organisation von Partizipation.

Denn das muss doch insgesamt auch unser Antrieb sein. Wir wollen doch nicht Menschen alimentieren, sondern wir wollen Teilhabe für Menschen organisieren. Deswegen mache ich es mir nicht ganz so einfach und sage: Richtlinie einfach ja oder nein, dann sind alle Probleme gelöst, sondern ich werbe weiterhin für einen ganzheitlichen Ansatz.


  Agnes Jongerius (S&D). – Voorzitter, ook voor de ouderen met een klein pensioen zijn de prijzen van de boodschappen gestegen. Ook voor de arbeidsongeschikten is de huur omhooggegaan. En ook voor de mensen met een bijstandsuitkering is de energierekening niet meer op te brengen. Overal in Europa nemen de betalingsproblemen toe. En de armoedecijfers gaan de lucht in, samen met de rijzende prijzen.

De minimuminkomens zijn dus niet meer toereikend om de rekeningen te kunnen betalen en een fatsoenlijk leven te kunnen leiden. Niet alleen het minimumloon, maar ook het minimuminkomen moet toereikend zijn voor mensen. Dat moeten we durven te vragen van de lidstaten. Dat moeten we durven te eisen van de lidstaten.

Daarom ben ik voor een richtlijn rond het minimuminkomen. Als iemand mij zegt dat dit onmogelijk is, dan zeg ik: “dat zullen we nog wel eens zien”. We hebben geen tijd meer om met de duimen te draaien. Vertel mij niet dat het onmogelijk is. Laten we ervoor gaan: een richtlijn “minimuminkomen”.


  Max Orville (Renew). – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, plus d’une personne sur cinq est menacée de pauvreté ou d’exclusion sociale dans l’Union européenne. Derrière ce chiffre, il y a des individus en souffrance. Cette réalité est insupportable. Face à ce constat, il est capital de pouvoir s’appuyer sur des régimes de revenus minimums robustes. C’est une mesure de justice sociale. Le Conseil a adopté sa recommandation sur le sujet. Il s’agit d’un instrument non contraignant pour les États membres.

Monsieur le Commissaire, je vous appelle à présenter une directive sur le revenu minimum. Cette directive doit pouvoir assurer le niveau adéquat des revenus minimums dans chaque pays pour que chacun puisse vivre dignement. Elle doit aussi coordonner nos approches pour renforcer les politiques de retour vers l’emploi. C’est notre responsabilité d’élus d’arriver à une Europe plus juste, qui promeut partout la dimension émancipatrice du travail, mais qui toujours accompagne ceux qui en ont le plus besoin.


  Mounir Satouri (Verts/ALE). – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, Madame la Ministre, le constat est sans appel: montée de la précarité, crise, augmentation de la pauvreté et difficulté de se nourrir. Il nous faut garantir un revenu minimum digne pour toutes et tous. Et pour pouvoir le garantir, il nous faut une directive, une directive forte qui l’impose.

Alors j’entends que certains s’expriment contre ce projet de directive. Comment votre doigt peut-il trembler quand il s’agit enfin d’apporter sa protection aux plus vulnérables? Aujourd’hui, en France, par exemple, les jeunes font la queue pour pouvoir bénéficier de l’aide alimentaire pour se nourrir. Et notre RSA ne leur permet pas de bénéficier de ce revenu minimum. Aujourd’hui, il n’y a que deux États membres qui permettent de garantir à leur population un revenu minimum digne de ce nom.

Alors, chers collègues, je vous appelle solennellement à faire pencher la balance pour qu’enfin une directive européenne soit adoptée et à ne pas être dans le camp de celles et ceux pour qui la dignité des gens n’est pas essentielle.


  Λευτέρης Νικολάου-Αλαβάνος (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, το ψήφισμα για το ελάχιστο εισόδημα χύνει κροκοδείλια δάκρυα για τη δεινή κατάσταση των εργαζομένων που δουλεύουν για ψίχουλα και αντιμετωπίζουν την κούρσα του πληθωρισμού, των τιμών βασικών προϊόντων και υπηρεσιών, το ξεσπίτωμα από τις τράπεζες και τα funds. Καλεί την Επιτροπή να καταθέσει σχέδιο οδηγίας αντίστοιχης με εκείνης για τον κατώτατο μισθό, της οδηγίας δηλαδή που ονομάζει την απαράδεκτη κατάργηση των Συλλογικών Συμβάσεων Εργασίας και τον καθορισμό κατώτατου μισθού με νόμο εθνική παράδοση της Ελλάδας και άλλων κρατών μελών.

Είναι γνωστή η στρατηγική των ελαχίστων. Την εφαρμόζουν χρόνια η κυβέρνηση της Νέας Δημοκρατίας, του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ, του ΠΑΣΟΚ/ΚΙΝ.ΑΛ. στη χώρα μου: Μοιράζει ψίχουλα με pass σε όσους στερούνται τα στοιχειώδη, που τα παίρνει από εκείνους που είναι λιγότερο φτωχοί. Σπρώχνει τα κοινωνικά δικαιώματα προς τα κάτω, ορίζει μια γραμμή εξαθλίωσης πάνω από την οποία κανείς δεν δικαιούται στήριξη, ενώ οι όμιλοι μπουκώνουν με χρήματα του λαού.

Ενίσχυση του λαϊκού εισοδήματος αποτελούν τα μέτρα που διεκδικούν με αγώνα σήμερα οι εργαζόμενοι, το ταξικό συνδικαλιστικό κίνημα: συλλογικές συμβάσεις εργασίας, αυξήσεις σε μισθούς και συντάξεις, στη βάση των σύγχρονων αναγκών, κατάργηση του ΦΠΑ στα είδη λαϊκής κατανάλωσης, των ειδικών φόρων κατανάλωσης σε καύσιμα και ενέργεια, διαγραφή των πανωτοκιών και των χρεών λαϊκών νοικοκυριών στις τράπεζες και προστασία της λαϊκής κατοικίας από τους πλειστηριασμούς.


  Gabriele Bischoff (S&D). – Herr Präsident, Kolleginnen und Kollegen, Herr Kommissar, Frau Ministerin! Es ist richtig, dass wir diese Entschließung hier auf den Weg bringen. Aber ich möchte noch einmal in Erinnerung rufen, worum es geht. Wir reden nicht darüber, ob wir Sozialsysteme brauchen oder nicht, was einige ja schon infrage stellen, sondern wir reden über die Angemessenheit dieser Systeme und die Zugänglichkeit. Hier sehen wir, dass es riesengroße Probleme in Europa gibt.

Ich frage mich ehrlich manchmal – ich weiß nicht, wie es dem Kommissar geht –, ob es Fluch oder Segen ist, schon so lange in der europäischen Sozialpolitik aktiv zu sein. Wie viele Präsidentschaften, wie viele Entschließungen, wie viele OMK-Prozesse, wie viel freiwillige Selbstverpflichtung ich schon gesehen habe – keine davon wirkt.

Deshalb kann ich mir nicht vorstellen, einen neuen EU-Kommissionspräsidenten oder eine neue EU-Kommissionspräsidentin zu wählen, der bzw. die die nicht ganz oben auf die Agenda setzt, eine Richtlinie für ein Mindesteinkommen auf den Weg zu bringen. Ich werde diese Richtlinie immer als die Fintan-Farrell-Richtlinie in Ehren halten – wo immer er jetzt ist. Es ist einfach an der Zeit und überfällig, in Bezug auf die Richtlinie zu Taten zu schreiten.


Διαδικασία "catch the eye"


  Milan Brglez (S&D). – Gospod predsednik, spoštovani komisar, kolegice in kolegi!

Varstvo pred tveganjem revščine je temelj socialne države, človekove varnosti in svobodne izbire.

V tem mandatu smo uspeli narediti prvi korak s sprejetjem direktive o ustreznih minimalnih plačah. Ker pa je bila ključna pravzaprav politična volja in ne toliko pravna osnova, ta politična volja je bila ključna tudi, ko so države članice intervenirale v času pandemije in prilagodile svoje sheme socialnih minimalnih dohodkov.

Direktiva o zadostnem minimalnem dohodku, ki jo zahtevamo, je logičen odziv na sosledje kriz in predstavlja trajen mehanizem na permanentno krizo. Jamčila naj bi dostojno življenje tistim z najnižjimi dohodki, dlje časa odsotnim s trga delovne sile ter socialno ogroženim, mladim, upokojencem ter drugim, ki jim grozi revščina ali socialno izključevanje.

Jutrišnje glasovanje, tudi s predlogom direktive, torej je preizkus naše politične volje in resnosti obljub, da je res socialna Evropa v službi ljudi.


  Rosa D'Amato (Verts/ALE). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, la surreale polemica della destra contro il reddito minimo è una prova lampante che il patto sociale non esiste più. Noi Verdi chiediamo semplicemente una direttiva europea che porti il reddito minimo al di sopra della soglia di povertà, affinché diventi uno strumento di vera inclusione sociale e non di mera sopravvivenza.

Un reddito minimo adeguato va accompagnato da un sistema di politiche attive ambizioso per far fronte la crescente povertà anche tra chi lavora. Non è accettabile che in Europa governi come quello italiano usino una retorica disgustosa per distrarre i cittadini, aizzarli gli uni contro gli altri per nascondere la sua incompetenza e le sue vere intenzioni.

La verità? Ridurre il numero dei beneficiari e l'importo complessivo del reddito ha un solo obiettivo: forzare i più vulnerabili ad accettare lavori precari e malpagati. Abbiate il coraggio di dirlo, però.


  Sandra Pereira (The Left). – Senhor Presidente, as políticas de rendimento mínimo devem ter natureza temporária, transitória e assegurar um nível mínimo de rendimento que permita viver com dignidade àqueles que se encontram em situação de maior privação e vulnerabilidade.

A introdução de regimes de rendimento mínimo em todos os Estados-Membros da União Europeia, consistindo em medidas específicas de apoio às pessoas cujo rendimento é insuficiente e na garantia do direito à saúde, educação, habitação, entre outros direitos fundamentais, a par de medidas de inclusão, visa garantir um nível adequado de vida e promover a integração social.

Mas não nos iludamos. O caminho mais eficaz de combate à pobreza radica no combate às suas causas. São necessárias medidas concretas que promovam políticas públicas de emprego e de apoio e promoção da capacidade produtiva nacional, com vista à criação de emprego com direitos, à valorização do trabalho e dos trabalhadores, ao aumento dos salários, à valorização dos serviços públicos e à garantia do direito à habitação.


  Matjaž Nemec (S&D). – Gospod predsednik!

Energetska kriza in draginja, s katerima se soočamo tudi v Sloveniji, sta izjemno pospešili socialne stiske in socialno neenakost. Grozljive posledice se kažejo v povečani socialni izključenosti.

Kar 95 milijonov Evropejk in Evropejcev je bilo v letu 2021 izpostavljenih tveganju revščine. Te številke pa so se lani še povečale. To pomeni, da se kar ena petina naših državljank in državljanov težko prebije čez mesec. Ta podatek mora strezniti vse dvomljivce, da odločne politike za socialno vključenost potrebujemo tukaj in zdaj.

Vse države članice morajo obvezno sprejeti ukrepe za pomoč aktivnega vključevanja, torej pomoč, ki bo ljudem pomagala najprej in naprej v dostojno življenje. Takšno odločnost smo lani jeseni pokazali s sprejemom zakonskega paketa o minimalni plači. Takšno odločenost pričakujemo tudi jutri.

Ne pustimo, da naša dobra namera ostane le na papirju, zato „da“ podpora resoluciji Parlamenta, še večji „da“ za konkretne ukrepe, za socialno vključenost po celotni Evropski uniji.


  Leila Chaibi (The Left). – Monsieur le Président, en France, il existe un revenu minimum qui s’appelle le revenu de solidarité active, le RSA. Mais quand on a moins de 25 ans, on n’y a pas droit. La France est un des seuls pays de l’Union européenne à mettre une condition d’âge dans l’accès au revenu minimum. Des milliers de jeunes Français se retrouvent condamnés à démarrer leur vie dans la pauvreté parce qu’ils sont discriminés dans l’accès au RSA.

Une directive peut remédier à ça. Pas une simple recommandation aux États membres, une directive. Une directive contraignante, avec une clause de non-discrimination, obligerait la France à ouvrir l’accès au RSA aux moins de 25 ans. Monsieur le Commissaire, faites une directive. Montrez aux jeunes Français qu’ils peuvent compter sur vous, qu’ils peuvent compter sur l’Union européenne.


(Λήξη της διαδικασίας "catch the eye")


  Nicolas Schmit, membre de la Commission. – Monsieur le Président, chers membres du Parlement, d'abord, je tiens à vous remercier pour avoir organisé ces débats. Pendant un peu plus d'une heure, vous avez donné une voix à ceux qui, bien qu'ils soient des millions en Europe, n'en ont pas.

Et je crois que c'est un pas vers plus de justice. C'est un pas aussi pour leur dire qu'on ne les oublie pas. On ne doit pas les oublier. Et le projet européen est un projet, doit être un projet inclusif. Il ne peut pas être un projet qui fait une croix sur des millions d'hommes, de femmes et d'enfants qui simplement ne savent pas comment survivre, comment vivre le lendemain.

Je crois que vous avez bien décrit la situation concrète de millions de citoyens européens, leur détresse. Parfois leur désespoir aussi. Et il est illusoire, illusoire, de penser qu'on peut se sortir tout seul d'une telle situation. Donc il est extrêmement important d'avoir des soutiens, d'avoir une vraie politique sociale, d'avoir un revenu minimum sur lequel on peut compter, mais qui vous permet aussi de vous en sortir, d'organiser votre vie et d'aller effectivement vers l'emploi si vous pouvez travailler. Je crois qu'il y a beaucoup de lignes, beaucoup de perspectives qui ont été ouvertes dans ce débat.

Vous me demandez une directive. Et je ne peux pas vous cacher que ma première idée, quand on s'est occupé de ce sujet important – il faut d'abord reconnaître que cette commission s'est lancée sur ce sujet – et donc, la première idée, c'était effectivement d'envisager une directive. Malheureusement – et croyez-moi je n'aime pas trop avancer des arguments juridiques – mais malheureusement le traité ne nous donne pas beaucoup de marge.

Le traité n'a pas été écrit pour effectivement intervenir dans les politiques sociales des États membres. Et d'ailleurs j'ai entendu tous ceux qui défendaient ici les intérêts des personnes frappées par la pauvreté, plaidant à la fois pour des instruments en matière de revenu minimum et en même temps chaque fois, invoquer la subsidiarité, le droit des États de déterminer jusqu'où ils peuvent, ils veulent aller.

Et donc je pense que, à ce stade, peut-être le choix entre la directive et la recommandation n'est pas la question la plus essentielle. La question essentielle, c'est la volonté politique à l'échelle européenne, à l'échelle des États membres, d'aller de l'avant et de dire: la pauvreté est un scandale, c'est un scandale pour notre société et on veut aborder ce problème. La précarité n'est pas une fatalité, n'est pas une fatalité. Et je crois que c'est cela finalement, ce qui est inscrit dans le socle des droits sociaux.

Et donc cette recommandation met en place au moins un appel permanent, un processus qui oblige les États membres à faire face à leurs responsabilités. Les responsabilités effectivement de lutter, de combattre efficacement, individuellement contre la pauvreté, la pauvreté qui a un visage, qui a des noms, et de ne pas laisser de côté des millions de personnes qui théoriquement auraient le droit de toucher un revenu minimum mais qui ne le touchent pas, soit parce qu'ils ne le savent pas, parce qu'ils ne savent pas se débrouiller, soit parce qu'ils ont honte.

Eh bien, cette honte-là, ce n'est pas de leur côté qu'il faut la rechercher, la honte est du côté qui laisse des gens dans la pauvreté. Et donc, bien sûr, nous allons mettre en application cette recommandation. Et peut-être, si un jour on peut modifier le traité, il faut renforcer cet aspect du traité en matière de lutte contre la pauvreté, pour plus de justice, pour plus d'inclusion.

Et c'est vrai que la jeunesse, notre recommandation est très claire à ce sujet On ne fait pas de la discrimination sur la jeunesse. On n'exclut pas les jeunes d'un droit, d'un droit essentiel, parce qu'il y a des millions de jeunes aujourd'hui qui doivent faire la file pour avoir de l'aide alimentaire, qui ne savent pas comment financer leurs études, qui n'ont pas le goût de chercher un emploi parce qu'ils n'ont pas la force, parce qu'effectivement ils ne savent pas comment et de quoi le lendemain sera fait.

Eh bien, cet appel là que vous avez initié aujourd'hui, il faut qu'il soit entendu et qui soit traduit en politiques concrètes.


  Jessika Roswall, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, honourable Members, Commissioner, I would like to thank you all for this debate on this important topic. Minimum income schemes as a part of our social safety nets is a tool to contribute to reducing poverty and combating social exclusion. The recommendation is an encouragement to Member States to set their income support at a level that allows a life in dignity while safeguarding the incentives to integrate and remain in the labour market for those who can work. It is within the Member States’ competence to define and organise their social protection system. But I would like to emphasise that the broad support shown by the Member States are a proof of the importance attached to this topic. There is a high level of ambition among the Member States to ensure that minimum income support is at an adequate level that fosters participation in society and contributes to a sustainable participation in the labour market. The Council recommendations recently adopted reflect just that. But once again, thank you very much for the debate and thank you for your attention.


  Πρόεδρος. – Η συζήτηση έληξε. Έλαβα δύο προτάσεις ψηφίσματος για την περάτωση αυτής της συζήτησης.

Η ψηφοφορία θα διεξαχθεί αύριο.

Η συνεδρίαση διακόπτεται για λίγα λεπτά και θα επαναληφθεί στις 3.00 με την Ώρα των ερωτήσεων προς την Επιτροπή.

Γραπτές δηλώσεις (άρθρο 171 του Κανονισμού)


  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), raštu. – Europos Sąjungoje daugiau nei 95 mln. ES gyventojų gresia skurdas arba socialinė atskirtis. Skurde atsiduria ne tik dirbantys žmonės, bet ir jų vaikai. Šiandien turime apie 18 milijonų skurstančių vaikų. Skurdas ir socialinė atskirtis yra asmeninės ir kolektyvinės socialinės atsakomybės klausimas ir jų priežastys sietinos su valstybių narių ir ES ekonomine ir socialine politika. Socialinę atskirtį dar labiau padidino COVID pandemija bei tebesitęsiantis karas Rusijoje, kas iššaukė dešimtmečiais nematytą infliaciją, maisto ir energijos kainų augimą. Minimalios pajamų sistemos yra skirtos padėti pragyventi žmonėms, neturintiems kitų pajamų šaltinių dėl įvairių priežasčių. Tačiau labai dažnai minimalios pajamų sistemos neatitinka realaus pragyvenimo lygio ir labiausiai pažeidžiami žmonės atsiduria skurde. Nors šiuo visose valstybėse narėse taikomos įvairių rūšių MPS, tačiau jų poveikis didinant konvergenciją ar mažinant skurdą nėra pakankamas, o kartais nustatytas MP dydis yra netgi mažesnis nei skurdo rizikos. Tai reiškia, kad asmenys, gaunantys minimalias pajamas, neturi pakankamai pajamų, kad galėtų pragyventi. Esami privalomos teisinės galios neturintys mechanizmai, kaip antai konkrečioms šalims skirtos rekomendacijos (KŠSR) ir pagal Europos semestrą nustatyta socialinių rodiklių suvestinė, padėjo kovoti su skurdu ir socialine atskirtimi, tačiau jie yra nepakankami. Todėl mums būtina turėti veiksmingą ir privalomą teisės aktą dėl minimalių pajamų sistemų.


  Jarosław Duda (PPE), na piśmie. – Na wstępie chciałbym podziękować sprawozdawcom za przygotowanie tego kompleksowego dokumentu. Od 1995 roku zajmuję się polityką społeczną, temat więc jest mi bliski i znany. Uważam, że opracowując strategie wsparcia, należy oprzeć się na podejściu opartym na cyklu życia i obejmującym szeroki wachlarz działań. Pomoc może być potrzebna na każdym etapie życia. Cieszę się, że idea ta została zastosowana w nowej strategii Komisji Europejskiej w sprawie opieki długoterminowej. Zgadzam się też z autorami rezolucji, że same systemy dochodu minimalnego nie wystarczą, aby wyciągnąć ludzi z ubóstwa. Jestem zdania, że potrzebujemy znacznie szerszych systemów wsparcia, obejmujących również kształcenie i szkolenie lub rozwój umiejętności w celu reintegracji na rynku pracy dla osób, które mogą pracować, czy włączenie społeczne osiągane poprzez proaktywne postawy pracowników socjalnych. Potrzebujemy dobrych systemów łączenia zasiłków z aktywnym wsparciem zatrudnienia. Tylko dobre i kompleksowe systemy pozwolą na osiągnięcie celów wyznaczonych podczas szczytu w Porto, czyli wyciągnięcia co najmniej 15 milionów osób z ubóstwa.


  Laura Ferrara (NI), per iscritto. – La forza politica a cui appartengo, il M5S, ha sempre agito per proteggere la dignità di chi vive in stato di bisogno. Lo ha fatto anche con l'introduzione, per la prima volta in Italia, del "Reddito di Cittadinanza". È uno strumento ancora perfettibile, che prevede requisiti, condizioni e obblighi del beneficiario, al fine di perseguire obiettivi di politiche attive del lavoro e di inclusione sociale, favorendo crescita occupazionale ed economica.

Mentre nell'Unione si dibatte su come migliorare l'accessibilità, l'adeguatezza e l'efficacia dei regimi di reddito minimo, anche attraverso una proposta di direttiva, il Governo della Meloni persegue la scellerata decisione di abolire il "Reddito di Cittadinanza".

L'intenzione è di sostituirlo con misure che rischiano di ridurre, anziché aumentare, le risorse da destinare a persone e famiglie svantaggiate, sempre più danneggiate dall'aumento dei prezzi energetici e del costo della vita. Continueremo la nostra battaglia in Italia e in Europa per garantire a tutti una vita dignitosa ed un'occupazione di qualità. Nessuno deve rimanere indietro.


  Cindy Franssen (PPE), schriftelijk. – Tijdens de afgelopen plenaire zitting hebben we over een resolutie gestemd waarin wordt opgeroepen tot een Europees adequaat minimuminkomen. In 2021 liepen 95 miljoen Europeanen een armoederisico, waarvan 18 miljoen kinderen. De Europese Commissie heeft de ambitie om in samenwerking met de lidstaten tegen 2030 het aantal mensen in armoede met minstens 15 miljoen te verlagen. Daarvoor hebben we de voorbije jaren al heel wat initiatieven genomen, zoals de loontransparantie, de adequate minimumlonen, de kindergarantie, het sociaal klimaatfonds, het Europees Platform voor de bestrijding van dakloosheid en het lopende dossier voor een betere sociale bescherming van platformwerkers.

Door de energiecrisis en hoge inflatie rijzen de kosten voor levensonderhoud inzake energie, huisvesting, voeding... de pan uit. Mensen kunnen nauwelijks overleven. Steeds meer gezinnen geraken in moeilijkheden. Daarom is het tijd om alle zeilen bij te zetten en te voorzien in een minimuminkomen voor de meest kwetsbaren. Dat is uiteraard geen universeel Europees minimuminkomen. Daarvoor zijn de verschillen tussen de lidstaten te groot. Alle Europese landen hebben al een soort van minimuminkomen, maar het is te laag om effectief te zijn. We moeten het optrekken richting de Europese armoederisicogrens. Armoede mag in onze samenleving geen plaats hebben. Europa zal sociaal zijn, of zal niet zijn.


  Katarína Roth Neveďalová (S&D), písomne. – Debata o minimálnom príjme je dnes ešte dôležitejšia ako inokedy, pretože v Európe máme obrovskú infláciu a rastú nám ceny potravín. Zároveň tu máme aj energetickú krízu, pre ktorú nám krachujú firmy. Toto všetko dokopy spôsobuje, že ľudia si za svoje peniaze môžu dovoliť stále menej a menej. Aktuálne na Slovensku poklesli reálne mzdy najviac za posledných 20 rokov, čo si nikto nevšíma. Preto treba zabezpečiť podporu najzraniteľnejších skupín, aby sociálne dávky a príspevky, ale hlavne mzdy ľudí boli dostačujúce na dôstojný život.

Podľa informácií EUROSTAT-u bolo v roku 2021 viac ako 95 miliónov ľudí v EÚ ohrozených chudobou a sociálnym vylúčením, čo predstavuje až 21 % našej populácie. Pandémia odhalila medzery v systémoch sociálnej ochrany a vojna na Ukrajine spolu s infláciou rastúcou rýchlejšie ako príjmy situáciu ešte viac zhoršila. Členské štáty síce majú systémy minimálneho príjmu, no všade fungujú inak a nie vždy sú primerané. Často sa dokonca nachádzajú pod vnútroštátnou hranicou chudoby a nemotivujú ľudí k návratu na pracovný trh. Preto je potrebné, aby sme sa touto tematikou zaoberali na európskej úrovni a nastavili si aspoň minimálne spoločné štandardy tak, aby nikto v EÚ nemal príjem pod vnútroštátnou hranicou chudoby alebo sociálneho vylúčenia.


  Stefania Zambelli (ID), per iscritto. – Gentili colleghi, i regimi di reddito minimo, presenti in diversi Stati membri, sono sicuramente un utile strumento per combattere la povertà assoluta e per garantire una forma di sostentamento a chi non può lavorare.

Tuttavia essi non devono trasformarsi in un dannoso ostacolo per l'accesso al mondo del lavoro. Dunque le persistenti richieste da parte dell'Europa per una direttiva sul reddito minimo non possono essere condivisibili. Occorre mettere le aziende e tutte le realtà produttive nella condizione di creare lavoro, il modo più efficace di combattere la povertà è infatti quello di creare un'occupazione stabile e di qualità.

Bisogna, inoltre, ribadire come le prerogative di stabilire i criteri sui redditi minimi siano solamente in capo agli Stati membri. Ogni regime di reddito minimo deve solamente rappresentare una forma di sostegno temporaneo volta a combattere l'esclusione sociale per incoraggiare l'accesso al mondo del lavoro, non per impedirlo.




11. Resumption of the sitting
Video of the speeches

(Die Sitzung wird um 15.05 Uhr wieder aufgenommen.)


12. Approval of the minutes of the previous sitting
Video of the speeches

  Der Präsident. – Das Protokoll der gestrigen Sitzung und die angenommenen Texte sind verfügbar.

Ich sehe keine Einwände.

Das Protokoll ist damit genehmigt.


13. Question Time (Commission) - How to ensure energy security in the EU in 2023
Video of the speeches

  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Fragestunde mit Anfragen an die Kommission gemäß Artikel 137 der Geschäftsordnung.

Ich begrüße Frau Kommissarin Simson zu dieser Fragestunde.

Das Thema dieser Fragestunde lautet: „Wie lässt sich die Energieversorgungssicherheit in der EU im Jahr 2023 gewährleisten?“

Die Fragestunde wird etwa 90 Minuten dauern. Die Redezeiten sind: eine Minute, um eine Frage zu stellen, zwei Minuten für die Antwort, 30 Sekunden für eine Zusatzfrage und weitere zwei Minuten für die Antwort.

Ich weise Sie darauf hin, dass eine mögliche Zusatzfrage nur dann zulässig ist, wenn sie in einem engen Zusammenhang mit der Hauptfrage steht und keine neue Frage enthält.

Wenn Sie eine Frage stellen möchten, ersuche ich Sie, Ihren Antrag jetzt zu registrieren, indem Sie die Funktion Ihres Abstimmungsgeräts für spontane Wortmeldungen nutzen, nachdem Sie Ihre Stimmkarte eingeschoben haben. Während der Fragestunde erfolgen Wortmeldungen von Ihrem Sitzplatz aus, und ich ersuche alle Redner, die ihnen zugewiesene Redezeit einzuhalten.

Die Kolleginnen und Kollegen benötigen möglicherweise einige Augenblicke, um ihren Antrag, eine Frage zu stellen, über ihr Abstimmungsgerät zu registrieren. Daher ersuche ich Sie erneut, Ihren Antrag jetzt zu stellen, und wir beginnen mit der ersten Frage.


  Maria Spyraki (PPE). – Commissioner Simson, my question is concerning the issue of production of green hydrogen in the framework of how to ensure energy security in the period of 2023. I would like to focus on the issue of the delegated acts that the Commission has already tabled.

According to my opinion, and I think that we can share this opinion in this house, the industry needs clarity, needs stability and needs predictability. In this regard, I would like to ask you if the Commission is ready to give some kind of clarification when it comes to the use of hydrogen, the definition of green hydrogen for industrial reasons, for production reasons, for chemical reasons and at the same time for fuel. And secondly, if you are ready to give clarification when it comes to the term of ‘additionality’, which is provided in the delegated acts.


  Kadri Simson, Member of the Commission. – Thank you, honourable Member, and thank you for allowing me to address this still very important question: how we will be better prepared for next winter in the current volatile environment of energy prices.

As you know, clean hydrogen is one of our workstreams that allows us to replace natural gas in the sectors where electrification is not possible or is just too costly. And the European Commission has been debating the precise wording of the Hydrogen Delegated Act for two years. We really did listen to all the options and reached out to all the stakeholders. We knew that we could not make everyone happy but there is no industry segment that fundamentally opposes our regulatory framework.

And after the Commission published the delegated act, there have been some very promising developments. For example, Thyssenkrupp announced a 2 billion investment in clean steel, which will require one driver tower of hydrogen by 2030. And I think that this is a clear testimony that the delegated act works and gives certainty and predictability for the sector. And we also see support from hydrogen consumers, the hydrogen infrastructure developers. And also we will address the remaining challenges after two days when, accompanied with our Net-Zero Industry Act, there will also be a dedicated part on a hydrogen bank.

We do have already project pipelines in place year by year. And last year alone, the total volume of electrolyser projects before 2030 grew by 17%. And this shows that the industry is increasingly confident about the chances for the European market, and indeed these projects are all across Europe.

And from an international perspective, there is great interest towards our regulatory framework. We aim to create a global certification scheme that other major market players will also acknowledge, and that gives also a possibility to scale up the hydrogen market.


  Maria Spyraki (PPE). – Mr President, coming to scaling up the market, I would like to go to the Hydrogen Valleys. And of course, you are familiar with the joint undertaking. We have a very few number of hydrogen valleys in the EU ground – two or three. And I would like to ask you if the Commission is preparing some action in this regard, particularly in terms of raising awareness at the regional level.


  Kadri Simson, Member of the Commission. – Indeed, we have set up an EU-level framework that allows regional developers to share the best practices. But on top of that, we are addressing the remaining bottlenecks, the infrastructure question and, of course, access to affordable, renewable electricity. Just an hour ago, the Commission adopted an electricity-market design that will promote renewables, that will give clear incentives to accelerate renewables by using PPAs, and that should also allow hydrogen projects to scale up in speed because, indeed, by 2030 we will need 10 million tons of green hydrogen produced domestically here in EU.


  Dan Nica (S&D). – Domnule președinte, doamna comisar, pentru mine și grupul meu politic este foarte clar că dacă vrem să avem o securitate energetică în Uniunea Europeană, trebuie să ne uităm la modul în care reușim să reducem, să eliminăm această volatilitate excesivă a pieței de energie electrică, de gaze în Uniunea Europeană.

Este clar că trebuie să creștem capacitățile de energii regenerabile, eficiența energetică și este pentru mine o întrebare cum facem ca, încercând să creștem mult, mult, foarte mult cantitatea de energie regenerabilă, să nu creăm o altă dependență de energiile prime necesare care să producă, să contribuie la producerea panourilor solare și în special mă refer la baterii. Avem materiale critice și cum facem ca acest lucru să nu se transforme într-o nouă dependență și care este strategia Comisiei Europene în acest sens?


  Kadri Simson, Member of the Commission. – Thank you for this question. We are at this stage in the situation where prices are not as high as they were last year. Last year it was just a matter of survival. But despite the decrease of electricity and, of course, gas prices, they remain higher than in regions where partially domestic consumption is produced using gas and oil produced in these regions, for example, in the United States. And that means that our only long lasting and sustainable way to deliver affordable and relatively low prices for our consumers is to accelerate renewables.

We don’t want to create another dependency, and I know that on the renewables side, there are several bottlenecks that that make it difficult to accelerate. The first one was permitting and to address that, our Renewable Energy Directive and some Article 122 temporary proposals. Then there is a problem of how to connect these renewable installations into the grid. We have to address the grid developments and we will do so. And on top of that, from where are the engines for turbines and solar panels coming? That question we will address after tomorrow with our Net-Zero Industry Act, we have to bring some of the production back to Europe. We cannot address this necessarily in the sector, all the possible sectors, but we will address the sectors where Europe still keeps the global leadership or where we might create new vulnerabilities. And solar industry for sure is such a sector where right now majority of the panels are coming from the only single supplier. But saying that, last year was a very good year for solar. It was 41GW of new installations - a record year. And we do expect that this year will be another record year. And so it will continue because the solar sector has already announced that they do expect 53GW this year of new installations.


  Dan Nica (S&D). – Domnule președinte, doamna comisar, sigur că obiectivul nostru este să avem o predictibilitate a prețurilor la energia electrică și la gaze, pentru că acest lucru, aceste facturi care, pe de o parte, au avut o fluctuație foarte mare, pe de altă parte, nivelul foarte mare, i-au afectat și pe oameni și industria.

Întrebarea mea este: cum faceți să determinați operatorii și distribuitorii de energie electrică să se ocupe de contracte pe termen mediu și lung, în loc să se ocupe de prețurile pe a doua zi și să intre într-o zonă care este considerată de foarte multă lume ca fiind o zonă a speculațiilor și care a dus la aceste prețuri uriașe pentru facturile la energia electrică?


  Kadri Simson, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, one of the challenges of last year for consumers was that despite the fact that wind and solar in 2022 provided more electricity to our grids than coal, affordable pricing was not felt by retail consumers. We aim to solve this issue by promoting long-term contracts that will give investment incentives for project developers, but also allow, not only industry, but also small and medium companies and retail consumers to opt for predictable pricing schemes.

These kind of power purchase agreements were existing already under current regulation. Now we have mapped all the shortcomings that have not made these schemes as popular as we think they are necessary, because also investors will find ways to finance their projects better if they know that for five to ten years they do have agreed pricing on the table and that allows them to also provide predictable pricing for the final consumers.


  Valter Flego (Renew). – Poštovani predsjedavajući, kada govorimo o energiji, u prošlosti malo je tko, vjerujem, tako ozbiljno o njoj razmišljao kao danas.

Bilo je energije, cijena je bila OK i nismo se puno opterećivali, ni građani ni gospodarstvo s energijom. Ja bih rekao da smo se previše opustili. To je sada jasno, ali od 24.2. i ovog nesretnog rata u Ukrajini svi smo odjednom postali svjesni važnosti energije. I naravno, svi smo počeli razmišljati o alternativnim izvorima, o solarima, o energetskoj obnovi zgrada i tako dalje. Ali, ne idu stvari posvuda u svim državama jednako brzo. Postoje, naravno, dokumenti Fit for 55, Green Deal i tako dalje, ali ponavljam, neke države zaostaju. Moja Hrvatska ne ide u tom smjeru tako brzo.

Zato moje pitanje, poštovana povjerenice, je da li ovo ljeto planirate iskoristiti za dodatne kontrole, za razgovore, za, ja bih rekao nadzor u državama članicama, kako ide provedba svih preuzetih obaveza oko povećanja energije iz alternativnih izvora upravo čim, čim prije, sada.


  Kadri Simson, Member of the Commission. – Yes, I am planning to do that because exactly this year, in 2023, Member States have to upgrade their national energy and climate plans, and the previous ones were not aligned to our higher climate targets. I hope that very soon we will be able to conclude the trilogues on the Renewables Directive. And we did so last just last Friday on the Energy Efficiency Directive.

That means that Member States also have to upgrade their plans by promoting renewables, but also taking measures that allow them to save energy, because at this very moment we do know that the only sustainable solution to replace the remaining Russian gas in our energy mix is to promote savings and also to promote renewables.

So there is not enough natural gas and new natural gas developments coming to the market this year to replace gas from Russia with trusted partners production. So this is an ongoing process. Right now, all 27 Member States are upgrading their national energy and climate plans. Already last year they were very successful in installing new renewable installations and connect them to the grid and altogether we did see this installed new capacity in 2022: 41 GW of solar and, and 15 GW of wind respectively.

This allowed us to save approximately 11 billion m³ of gas, so this is a significant development. And if Member States will achieve even higher targets this year, it allows us to tackle this this challenge that the remaining Russian natural gas in our grid still represents.


  Valter Flego (Renew). – Poštovani predsjedavajući, da, hvala na ovom odgovoru i vidim da vam je zbilja u fokusu ova tema i to me raduje.

Ali imam jedno kratko pitanje, evo za vas možda znate odgovor. U vašoj državi, ako bi vi, baš vi, kao građanin postavili na krov svoje kuće solare i dali zahtjev vašem isporučitelju električne energije da vas priključi, koliko bi to otprilike u vašoj državi trajalo, odnosno koliko bi vi kao građanin čekali odgovor i priključenje ?


  Kadri Simson, Member of the Commission. – We addressed this issue with one of the Article 122 proposals – that solar rooftops should be granted grid access in a very short time frame, but of course, temporary emergency measures will expire. That is the reason why we have to address this issue also in ordinary legislation.

Now, the question was, how long will it take in my home country? And I think that I come from a country where it is relatively fast due to the fact that our grid is digitalized and that allows distribution system operators to accommodate more renewables. So digitalisation is key. This is one of the challenges that many bigger Member States will face. But we will, from our side, promote that, and we will also advise Member States to use some of the recovery funds specifically to strengthen the grid, because this seems to be the next bottleneck after the permitting procedures.


  Cristian-Silviu Buşoi (PPE). – Dear Commissioner, we should remain committed to our climate goals and also to the principles of the free market and competition. This past year and a half, when we have been living under extraordinary circumstances – with high prices of energy because of the pandemic, and then, of course, because of the market manipulation by Russia, and then because of the aggression of Russia against Ukraine – show us that we need to have instruments to intervene when there is clearly market manipulation and or high volatility.

I welcome the proposal that will be released today on EMD, and therefore some measures will have to be considered to better manage vulnerabilities and price volatilities. In your opinion, will EMD strike a balance between building a market, incentivising investments and low carbon solutions on one hand, and reducing volatility on the other hand?


  Kadri Simson, Member of the Commission. – Thank you Cristian. And first of all, thank you for the very good cooperation that we do have with the committee. We just had a chance to discuss last week the results of the REPowerEU proposal that was presented a year ago. And next week we will discuss electricity market design and I do hope that Parliament will treat electricity market design as a priority file because we don’t have time to waste.

From my perspective, I believe that the Commission has proposed some very effective provisions to reduce the weight of gas and electricity prices. One of them that should make the difference is that we propose a peak shaving mechanism to reduce demand at times in which gas is needed to cover it. And we already saw that our Article 122 proposal that addressed electricity price peak hours consumption allowed us to cut gas consumption.

Of course, the other important part of this proposal is to empower the consumers to allow them to opt for different pricing contracts, even one designed for their domestic consumption, and another flexible contracting scheme, for example, to charge their electric vehicle. So in this proposal, there are several very practical provisions that will help our consumers already in a very short time frame.

But the only lasting solution, the only way how we can actually decrease our electricity prices in a sustainable way is to accelerate renewables. And there are some measures that we have to strengthen and we will address these measures exactly with our electricity market design this time.


  Cristian-Silviu Buşoi (PPE). – Commissioner, you mentioned renewables and you also mentioned the debate last week in ITRE. Thank you for that, and for the very good cooperation with the ITRE Committee, which I chair.

You remember that we discussed a lot, and maybe the main obstacle is not the lack of investment, not the lack of interest, but the permitting and the bureaucracy in many of the EU Member States.

Besides what we are doing in terms of updating the legislation, do you intend also to put political pressure on Member States to move a little bit faster with permitting for renewables?


  Kadri Simson, Member of the Commission. – I think that you can help us in this regard because there is still ongoing discussion and ongoing dialogue on the Renewables Directive. If our targets will be as ambitious as the Commission proposed for 2030, that also means that Member States have to address these bottlenecks – because 2030 is not so far away anymore. And if we continue business as usual, then many offshore wind projects, for example, that are in the pipeline will not materialise by the time they are needed.

We will consult Member States and help them. I will give you as an example the offshore wind developments: how to strengthen the sea basins approach because it makes offshore projects more cost effective if Member States will not make the planning and permitting only for radial connections, but they will cooperate with their neighbours and allow wind farms to be connected to several markets. And of course, since we finalised our TEN-E trilogues, the Commission can also support financially the necessary grid developments that will connect big offshore wind farms to the mainland. That also helps project developers to fast track these investments. So my plea to Parliament: please prioritize also the Fit for 55 files that remain open and help us to conclude this ambitious agreement.


  Κώστας Μαυρίδης (S&D). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η ενεργειακή ασφάλεια είναι σημαντικός πυλώνας για επίτευξη του στόχου μας ως Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης για στρατηγική αυτονομία. Σημαντική παράμετρος της ενεργειακής μας ασφάλειας είναι και η απεξάρτηση από αυταρχικά καθεστώτα, όπως αυτό του Πούτιν. Αυτό όμως σημαίνει ότι διαμορφώσαμε και ένα αυστηρό πλαίσιο κυρώσεων. Πώς μπορούμε να απεξαρτηθούμε από τέτοια αυταρχικά καθεστώτα, και όχι μόνο του Πούτιν; Και αναμένω την απάντησή σας στο κατά πόσον το καθεστώς Ερντογάν σήμερα εξυπηρετεί τα δικά μας συμφέροντα ή τα συμφέροντα του Πούτιν.

Το δεύτερο μου ερώτημα: Τα κοιτάσματα του φυσικού αερίου στην Ανατολική Μεσόγειο είναι στρατηγικής σημασίας και για το μεταβατικό στάδιο, αλλά και για τη μείωση των τιμών για τους καταναλωτές, στην οποία προηγουμένως αναφερθήκατε. Αισθάνεστε ότι σήμερα υπάρχει τέτοια προτεραιότητα και πώς το τεκμηριώνετε; Με συγκεκριμένα παραδείγματα.


  Der Präsident. – Vielen Dank, Herr Kollege Mavrides. Ich will mal darauf hinweisen, dass es sich um eine question time handelt und nicht um eine questions time. Also wir sollten uns jeweils auf eine Frage beschränken, und auch bei der Nachfrage soll man sich auf die erstgestellte Frage konzentrieren.

Selbstverständlich ist die Frau Kommissarin frei zu antworten, aber die Antworten belasten dadurch den Zeitplan auch dann dementsprechend.


  Kadri Simson, Member of the Commission. – Earlier I was mentioning that last year was a very challenging year. Actually, there was a question of our survival because if one major supplier will disappear – and Russia was a single biggest supplier who decided to cut their gas deliveries very rapidly – then markets will face difficulties.

Since the war started, we have addressed this challenge with many different legal proposals, but also by addressing our vulnerabilities, for example, giving a specific strategic position to underground gas storage. Because underground gas storage in Europe gives us assurance that no unexpected development against, for example, existing gas pipelines can impact us, or impact is limited.

When we announced that we will replace two thirds of Russian gas by the end of 2023, then we were also very clear that we will not replace these 90 billion m³ of gas only with alternative gas suppliers. We were very successful. We attracted additional LNG shipments and trusted, reliable partners who were connected with Europe via pipeline – like Norway, Algeria, Azerbaijan, who uses a pipeline via Turkey – were able to increase shipments. This was accompanied by energy savings measures and by accelerating our renewables deployment.

This is our strategy for years to come. We will replace a significant part of lost Russian gas volumes by replacing gas in power generation with renewables, by replacing gas in the building sector with heat pumps, and by simply prioritising energy savings where we can.

So, wrapped up in short, we will never end up in a situation where we are so dependent on one single supplier. And by diversifying our energy sources, we will also take care of our security of supply and, in a broader context, our independence.


  Κώστας Μαυρίδης (S&D). – Η ερώτησή μου θα είναι πολύ απλή. Θα ανέμενα να μας απαντήσετε κατά πόσον το αυταρχικό καθεστώς Ερντογάν έχει ευθυγραμμιστεί με τις πολιτικές μας σε σχέση με την ενεργειακή ασφάλεια. Είναι πολύ απλή η ερώτησή μου και αναμένω μια απλή απάντηση. Αν δεν έχετε απάντηση, πέστε το μας. Αλλά αναμένω μιαν απάντηση και όχι οτιδήποτε άλλο.


  Kadri Simson, Member of the Commission. – Me and my services we do have several energy dialogues with important energy partners, but not with Turkey because we don’t have a Council mandate for that. So we don’t have energy dialogue with Turkey.


  Marie Toussaint (Verts/ALE). – Monsieur le Président, Madame la Commissaire, nous sommes ici dans un débat sur la sécurité énergétique de l’Union et donc aussi, en arrière-plan, sur la sécurité de l’Union européenne. Or, il y a dans la politique qui est menée aujourd’hui un point aveugle qui est celui de l’uranium en provenance de Russie.

Les importations d’uranium naturel ont atteint 2 358 tonnes en 2021, pour un montant d’environ 210 millions d’euros, sans compter les 234 millions d’euros envoyés au Kazakhstan, où l’uranium est exploité par l’entreprise russe Rosatom. Pour la France, le pays dont je viens, c’est près de deux tiers de l’uranium enrichi qui nous vient de Russie et 43 % de Kazakhstan et d’Ouzbékistan, où travaillent également Rosatom ou ses filiales. Sans compter la dizaine de tonnes qui partent chaque année sous la forme de déchets vers la Sibérie, en Russie là également.

Alors, je vous pose la question. On voit aujourd’hui un véritable élan pour l’énergie nucléaire dans la législation européenne. On l’a vu avec la taxonomie, on l’a vu avec le paquet relatif au gaz. On le voit dans les discussions en cours sur l’hydrogène, ou encore dans la directive sur la réforme du marché de l’énergie. On le voit peut-être même émerger dans le cadre des énergies renouvelables ou dans des projets comme celui de BarMar, véritable cheval de Troie pour l’énergie nucléaire.

Madame la Commissaire, ma question est simple: n’y a-t-il pas là une contradiction? Et comment répondre à cette question de la sécurité énergétique vu le contexte dans lequel nous sommes?


  Kadri Simson, Member of the Commission. – This is true that five of our Member States do still use nuclear fuel that is Russian-designed. And we have assisted them to put forward a clear timetable for when, and with the help of alternative suppliers, they can diversify away from Russian-designed fuel.

There are good examples that some of the nuclear installations that were previously using fuel from Russia have been able to replace it. And several companies have already notified us that they have started talks with alternative suppliers such as Westinghouse. To do so, my services will provide all the necessary assistance so that certification procedures to allow them to use alternative fuel will be smooth. And I think that this is a key that, also in the future, the nuclear power plants should be able to rely on several suppliers, not only the single supplier.

Most probably you have heard that our Ukrainian partners have requested us also to address the dependence on Russian nuclear fuel. And we have. We have addressed this issue as a priority concern of ours. Right now, these five Member States, they do have sufficient fuel supply in their storage. But, as I was mentioning, in the coming months, they have to present their plans on how they will diversify away from Russian supply.


  Marie Toussaint (Verts/ALE). – Vous me répondez, Madame la Commissaire, sur la diversification de l'approvisionnement en uranium naturel et enrichi. Vous ne répondez pas à la question des déchets, et il y a en outre une autre menace pour la sécurité énergétique en ce qui concerne le nucléaire, qui est la question de l'eau.

Le nucléaire, c'est 150 à 180 litres d'eau pour produire un mégawattheure d'électricité. Et il suffit d'un court épisode de canicule pour rendre indisponibles jusqu'à cinq gigawattheures de puissance nucléaire, soit 8 % du parc français, qui est celui qui alimente le reste de l'Europe, sans compter évidemment que ça met en danger l'approvisionnement en eau pour l'agriculture ou simplement pour la consommation humaine.

La question de la sécurité n'est donc pas terminée, épuisée, une fois qu'on a réglé la question de la diversification des ressources en uranium. Je vous relance donc la question: comment sécuriser l'approvisionnement énergétique et la production d'énergie dans l'Union européenne dans un contexte de modèle énergétique reposant sur l'énergie nucléaire?


  Kadri Simson, Member of the Commission. – I was checking the facts, and on top of the nuclear fuel, there is also 25% of the EU’s nuclear front—end services, conversion and enrichment, that is dependent on Russian supply. The discussion of nuclear in our future energy mix has become more intense in the past few months, and my responsibility is to provide technology-neutral solutions.

Member States who have opted for nuclear power plants can do so, of course keeping in mind the highest safety standards. My services – DG ENER units – will provide them with all the necessary assistance. Of course, we have to be ready since not only last summer, but the summer of 2023 might bring us extreme weather conditions. There are some predictions that we will face extreme drought this summer again. This just reminds us of the same challenges that we had last year: challenges with hydropower, very low hydro capacity and, on top of that, the possible impact to coal-fired power plants or nuclear.

With our electricity sector and with our answer, we are mapping the summer challenges. This is regular work that we do, and very soon there will also be a risk assessment of what might await us in the summer this year.


  Christian Ehler (PPE). – Herr Präsident, Frau Kommissarin, lassen Sie uns doch ein bisschen konkreter werden. Die Internationale Energie-Agentur hat eine Studie veröffentlicht, dass wir noch in diesem Sommer und spätestens im Herbst ein riesiges Problem haben werden, die Gasbestände in Europa wieder aufzufüllen, anders als im vergangenen Jahr, wo wir es immer noch über russisches Erdgas und über Flüssigerdgas (LNG) gemacht haben. Die Energie-Agentur hat hier konkrete Vorschläge gemacht.

Insofern ist meine Frage jetzt ganz konkret, und ich weiß, dass sich das auch auf die Mitgliedstaaten bezieht. Wir haben bei den Vorschlägen gehört, wir brauchen mehr Energieinfrastruktur – eine Vertiefung –; wir haben aber gesehen, dass in dem Resilienzfonds des großen EU-Programms keine einzige transnationale Infrastruktur ist.

Das zweite Thema ist: Wir haben auf dem Markt LNG gekauft, was China im letzten Jahr nicht verbraucht hat, dieses Jahr aber absehbar verbrauchen wird. Und das dritte: Wir haben keinen Zugang zu russischem Erdgas. Also die Frage lautet sozusagen: Wie wollen wir ganz konkret über den Sommer bis zum Herbst die Speicher in Europa wieder auffüllen?

Eine letzte Frage: Sie haben sich auf Energieeffizienz bezogen. Die Mitgliedstaaten haben dem verbindlichen Energieeffizienzziel nicht zugestimmt. Insofern wird uns das Thema im Sommer nicht zur Verfügung stehen.


  Kadri Simson, Member of the Commission. – Indeed, last year when Russia decided to cut off their supplies, we faced some challenges because instead of using legacy pipelines and that connected Eastern Europe and Germany via pipeline with Russian gas fields, we had to find very fast alternative routes. But we were prepared for that. Actually, the first warning that Russia can manipulate our energy markets was obvious already in 2009, and since then, the European Union has financed cross-border energy infrastructure that allowed us to diversify away from Russian gas fields. It was not a very last moment effort that last year we were able to launch pipeline connection between Poland and Norway, the so-called Baltic pipe, which was financed significantly from EU funds. Another pipeline interconnection between Greece and Bulgaria helped to deliver Azeri gas to Bulgaria, which was first of the countries who lost Russian long-term contracts. And on top of that, we were relatively successful by building new LNG infrastructure. In 2022, our import capacity rose by 25 billion m³. And we do expect some 50 billion m³ capacity more coming to them, coming online this and next year. And that allows us to maximise the possibility to replace Russian gas with other trusted gas producers’ supply.

I was mentioning earlier that that tomorrow you can hear from us another promising message on the joint gas purchase that also allows our companies, but not only EU companies, but also companies from Ukraine, Moldova and Serbia to pool together the demand and negotiate better prices. So this is ongoing work. We have mapped some of the missing links, but overall we will now prioritise cross-border electricity cables because we have to electrify. This is the way forward.


  Christian Ehler (PPE). – Herr Präsident! Meine Frage bleibt ganz nah am Thema, weil es die gleiche Frage ist. Die Energie-Agentur hat ein gap von 57 Billionen Kubikmeter attestiert. Wir haben das im vergangenen Jahr durch russisches Erdgas und LNG geschlossen. Erklärtermaßen ist auf dem Markt das LNG zur Verfügung gewesen, weil China in diesen Größenordnungen wegen der COVID-Maßnahmen dieses Gas nicht gekauft hat.

Die Chinesen haben erklärt, dass sie in diesem Jahr massiv den Einkauf steigern werden; das russische Gas wird nicht zur Verfügung stehen. Woher werden wir das Gas bekommen?


  Kadri Simson, Member of the Commission. – The International Energy Agency has been a great help, and we have used their analytics to design our policy proposals.

One of their new headline proposals is to prioritise energy savings because it was only 2021 when we received 155 billion m³ Russian gas. They cut it down significantly. Last year we were successful in replacing it with LNG, but also Norway and Azerbaijan scaled up their production and shipped it via pipelines.

Now the remaining 60 will be very challenging to replace. Keeping in mind that Russia does not have alternative pipeline connections, the gas that they are not selling to Europe, they cannot sell to anybody else. That creates deficit in global markets.

So, we cannot opt for a solution that we buy all the available LNG because that leaves third countries in a very difficult position where they have to replace gas with coal, and this is damaging.

We will prioritise renewables. Where we can replace gas with renewables, we will do so. Smart solutions and all the solutions that help us to balance or to limit the peak hours, for example, in our electricity market, help us with almost no costs to cut gas consumption.

Then, of course, renewables in the gas sector. You can expect that we will come out with a strategy to promote green gases, biomethane, because this is something that can also replace partially natural gas. This is also a great opportunity for our regions, but also for municipalities, who too have a responsibility to clean their wastewater, to cover some of their consumption, for example in public transport, with home-grown renewables, being it biomethane or, in the coming years, hydrogen.


  Robert Hajšel (S&D). – Vážený pán predsedajúci, pani komisárka. Áno, za rok od začiatku vojny na Ukrajine sa úplne prepísala energetická mapa Európy. Určite je pozitívne, že Európa hľadala a aj do istej miery sa jej podarilo nájsť alternatívnych dodávateľov plynu. Tu sa chcem hlavne spýtať a pokračovať vlastne v logike tej predchádzajúcej otázky, keďže naozaj vieme, že táto zima bola k nám ohľaduplná, ale tá ďalšia nemusí byť. A tak isto ten LNG, čo sa týka tej Číny, tá bude určite viac prítomnejšia na tom trhu a dá sa povedať, že tie zásobníky, ktoré dnes stále sú naplnené asi na 55 percent, nebudú možno môcť byť doplnené do tých 90 percent do novembra. Aké máte argumenty? Ešte aj ďalšie, čo ste už spomenuli, že sa to podarí urobiť?


  Kadri Simson, Member of the Commission. – I do believe that right now, in the middle of March 2023, we are less vulnerable than we were a year ago. And I have to thank also Parliament, because there were some initial steps that allowed us to end this heating season with a relatively comfortable stage.

One of those measures was storage obligation. Right now, our underground gas storage is 56% full. This is double the volume that it was last year, and this makes it easier to refill by November. We have also set up the joint gas purchase platform. My colleague, Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, is in constant contact with private companies all across Europe who have indicated their interest to participate in this in this platform. And we have pooled together the demand.

The Commission, in cooperation with a service provider is working on the demand aggregation and a first tender for gas purchase will hopefully be launched very soon. That allows companies all across Europe, despite their geographical circumstances, to benefit from the EU negotiation power.

And on top of that, we also witnessed last year that Member States are actually able to cut their gas consumption. We agreed that Member States voluntarily should introduce measures that allow them to cut consumption by 15%. In real life, they did more. They cut gas consumption by 19%.

And now I will request Member States to prolong this arrangement because, as many experts are very clearly indicating, this winter might be even more challenging because there was some gas from Russia that we received last year that might disappear. And on top of that, last year, the weather was very mild. Nobody gives us guarantees that this will be repeated this winter.


  Robert Hajšel (S&D). – Vážený pán predsedajúci, pani komisárka. Ja som bol zvedavý, že či by ste spomenuli popri týchto úsporách pri spotrebe plynu a samozrejme teda aj pri budúcej výrobe biometánu a vodíka aj možnosť obnovenia ťažby vlastného plynu v našej réžii. V Európe máme najväčšie zásoby, samozrejme v Holandsku, ale máme napríklad aj na Slovensku, kde sa kedysi plyn takisto ťažil. Považujete aj obnovenie a podporu, prípadne, samozrejmem za prísnych environmentálnych podmienok, za takisto jednu z možností, ako zaplniť túto existujúcu dieru v chýbajúcich množstvách plynu?


  Kadri Simson, Member of the Commission. – There are some projects in the pipeline where Member States or companies in some Member States are exploring the possible extraction projects. On the other hand, there are some environmental considerations that have closed existing gas production sites in Europe. Of course, there will be demand for natural gas in the years to come, but step by step, we will reduce our gas consumption and replace it with renewables. This is our priority. And my priority is also to allow Member States to benefit from the green transition, not only on the power generation side, but also in the hydrogen market and on the biomethane side. Last year we created a biomethane industrial alliance, so I hope that very soon we will see an increase of this production also.


  Grzegorz Tobiszowski (ECR). – Panie Przewodniczący! Pani Komisarz! Tu już o tym była mowa, iż Międzynarodowa Agencja Energetyczna przestrzega, abyśmy byli czujni jeśli chodzi o 2023 rok. Chodzi o to, iż pojawia się pewna luka 27 mld zapotrzebowania na gaz. Z jednej strony mamy embargo na rosyjski gaz, z drugiej strony do gry mogą wejść, jeśli chodzi o LNG, Chiny. I stąd moje pytanie: czy widzi Pani, obok ograniczania energii, które już następuje w krajach europejskich, i obok ambitnych planów, jeśli chodzi o odnawialne źródła energii, jeszcze jakieś działania, które mogą pomóc w tym roku, w przyszłym roku, w najbliższych latach, jeśli chodzi o bezpieczeństwo energetyczne? Bo ważne jest, żebyśmy mieli spójny system, bowiem pojawiają się przecież decyzje w energetyce europejskiej, w krajach wysoce rozwiniętych, jak Niemcy i nie tylko, powrót do energii związanej z surowcami kopalnymi, z węglem kamiennym. I czy nie widzi Pani tu zagrożenia, że z jednej strony ograniczamy, nie nadążamy z odnawialnymi źródłami i de facto system staje się niespójny.


  Kadri Simson, Member of the Commission. – This is very true that last year we very successful to attract additional LNG deliveries to Europe. The majority of the LNG shipments originated from the United States. I do believe that we have created a trusted partnership so that we will not lose these shipments.

But, if China will add their growing demand to the global markets, then that means that the LNG market, as such a global market, will be very heavily contested. Price formation is not only dependent on our activities. So this is behind this warning.

Already in autumn 2021, we started a very active global outreach to the gas producers whom we regarded as trusted gas producers. We have signed several MOUs and there are some promising projects. For example, Egypt and Israel are cooperating to ship Israeli gas via liquefaction facilities in Egypt to Europe. There are some producers, like Norway and Azerbaijan, who did their utmost to scale up their production and took advantage of the pipeline connection that connects our two markets.

So all these global outreach procedures we have done and despite that, we still believe that to calm down the global markets, we have to prioritise also energy savings because there will not be enough new capacities coming to the market this year to replace the lost Russian volumes. We have to keep in mind that if Russia is not able to sell this gas to anybody, then it means that they are venting or flaring this gas in their oil fields when it is a side product, and that also causes climate warming. So this is also not only manipulation of our energy markets, but a very negative decision to create global warming, and as such, it impacts a wider region, not only Europe.


  Grzegorz Tobiszowski (ECR). – Panie Przewodniczący! Szanowna Pani Komisarz! Dziękuję za tę informację. W tym kontekście mam pytanie: czy procedowane obecnie rozporządzenie w sprawie redukcji emisji metanu, a konkretnie zapisy nakładające obowiązki informacyjne na producentów i importerów gazu naturalnego, jeśli chodzi o emisję metanu, nie przyczynią się do zniechęcenia producentów LNG do rynku europejskiego w tak ważnym okresie i w tak ważnych planach, o których Pani Komisarz wspomniała?


  Kadri Simson, Member of the Commission. – Methane is a very potent greenhouse gas and we have to lead by example.

Well, there are some activities that in the energy sector that actually do not demand additional investments, it is just the issue of awareness. Beyond the activities here in Europe, we are also reaching out to the gas-producing countries who still emit a lot of methane. And we are planning to pilot some projects that we call ‘you capture, we buy’, because in the energy sector a large share of methane could be tackled with almost no cost. Or we can we can finance these investments. And, by doing so, also bring to the market additional volumes that are, in this contested situation, very much needed.


  Marisa Matias (The Left). – Senhor Presidente, Senhora Comissária, a crise da energia que vivemos tem deixado milhões de famílias e de pequenas empresas numa situação muito difícil, praticamente de joelhos, sem capacidade para pagar as contas de energia. E, enquanto isto acontece, as empresas da energia têm tido o jackpot, com lucros absolutamente excecionais.

A Comissão apresentou várias medidas, mas todas elas de curto prazo e nenhuma estrutural, medidas estas que não tocam a questão de fundo. Portanto, a minha pergunta é a seguinte:

Tendo em conta a proposta que apresentaram agora, que não mexe no sistema de fixação de preços e continua a ser marginal, qual é a medida ou quais são as medidas que esperam adotar para proteger as famílias e os pequenos negócios no inverno que se aproxima, em vez de continuar a dar o jackpot às empresas da energia?


  Kadri Simson, Member of the Commission. – So what is the Commission doing? First of all, as you very correctly mentioned we have introduced emergency measures that are still in place, like the inframarginal revenue cap, which allows governments to channel revenues to consumers to reduce bills. Second, we need to continue cost diversification efforts. That allows us to calm down the price signals that are coming from the gas market. We will also introduce the joint cash purchase platform that allows our companies to benefit from our negotiation power. And of course, if we will manage to bring down the gas prices, it also has a direct impact to our electricity prices. Right now, gas prices are below 50, and this is a lower price than we saw at any moment last year. And third, we need to ensure that industry and SMEs are less exposed to the volatility and high prices of the short-term electricity market. And this is exactly the reason why we proposed the revision of the electricity-market design. There are measures that facilitate access to long-term instruments, like power purchase agreements or contracts for difference, for a new investment in power generation. And this will help customers benefit more directly from the lower cost of renewable generation. So if we will have more hours where our consumption is covered by renewables, that also means that prices for our industry and consumers will be significantly lower than in these hours when we are dependent on gas-fired power plants.


  Marisa Matias (The Left). – Senhor Presidente, Senhora Comissária, a verdade é que na proposta apresentada pela Comissão não há nenhuma alteração, como eu disse, ao sistema de fixação de preços. Mantém—se o sistema marginalista.

E, por isso, alguma coisa aconteceu, porque, em julho do ano passado, a Presidente da Comissão Europeia, Ursula von der Leyen, veio aqui a esta Casa, a este Parlamento, dizer que o mercado marginalista não era um mercado adaptado para combater o aumento dos preços da energia e, portanto, tinha que ser alterado.

Entre julho e agora, afinal, mudaram de ideias. O que é que fez mudar as ideias? Continuar a garantir os lucros das empresas?


  Kadri Simson, Member of the Commission. – Electricity market reform will not change the mechanics of price formation on the short-term markets because this formation guarantees that our consumption is covered by supply at every single moment. But this doesn’t mean that it will not achieve a decoupling of electricity prices from gas prices, because making the final prices paid by consumers more independent from short-term prices is the solution that delivers more affordable and more predictable prices for our final retail consumers. This is achieved by bringing more renewables and flexibility into the market to displace also fossil fuels and by changing the way new investments in inframarginal generation are remunerated.

On top of that, we have few but effective provisions to reduce the weight of gas on electricity prices again by accelerating the green transition, but also by settling the long-term PPAs. That gives us access to pre-agreed pricing schemes for relatively long periods.


  Georgios Kyrtsos (Renew). – In my view, in order to have energy security, we have to reduce our energy dependence on Russia and also reduce the financing of the offensive war.

I don’t think we succeeded in 2022. For instance, in my country, Greece, we had to spend EUR 9 billion to import Russian oil and Russian natural gas in 2022, whereas in 2021 we spent EUR 5 billion. We increased the financing of the war by EUR 4 billion due to the price increases in the international markets.

My question is: how much money did we offer in 2022 to Putin and his offensive war in order to cover our energy needs? And is there a plan to reduce? Are there any targets for 2023 so that he will get less money from us?


  Kadri Simson, Member of the Commission. – We were last year successful in negotiating ten packages of sanctions against Russia. And several of these sanctions also covered the energy sector. You were very correct when you mentioned that in 2022, our companies still bought Russian coal or oil, but sanctions came into force for crude oil in the end of 2022, in December. And now, with limited exemptions, they are also covering refined products. So in several commodities, we do not offer Russia a market anymore. And on top of that, with our G7 partners, we have introduced a price cap for oil products so that Russia’s revenues will not be as high as if they would have been able to trade their oil products with world crude oil global market prices.

Now on gas: we have not put in place sanctions. But, there are very few Member States who are still receiving some natural gas from Russia. On top of that, there are several companies who are buying Russian LNG and there is no need for that, because these are companies from the geographical regions where, historically, Russian gas did not play a significant part in the gas market. And this is the sector where really we should call for solidarity and request our companies, without implementing any sanctions, to not prolong their existing contracts to stop buying Russian LNG.


  Nicolás González Casares (S&D). – Señor presidente, señora comisaria, si queremos más seguridad, lo que está claro es que necesitamos, más energías renovables y menos fósiles. Por fin tenemos una reforma del mercado eléctrico en la Unión Europea; bienvenida sea. Gracias por esta reforma, que hemos pedido largamente y es en sí es una buena noticia; creo que va de algún modo bien encaminada, pero no es suficientemente ambiciosa, sobre todo en lo que respecta a las medidas de emergencia.

Creemos que con estas medidas que ustedes proponen no se resolvería la pasada crisis de precios. ¿Usted cree que se resolvería esa pasada crisis de precios? Quiero que me responda a esta pregunta.

En segundo lugar, bienvenido sea ese nuevo derecho a poder compartir energía que tienen ahora los ciudadanos. Pero no olvidemos que el gas en Europa se paga siete veces más caro que en Estados Unidos. Por lo tanto, no podemos ser conformistas. Estamos perdiendo competitividad. Tenemos que conseguir que esta reforma del mercado eléctrico dé una verdadera señal de que las renovables son la energía más barata. Creo que no lo vamos a conseguir si no somos algo más ambiciosos en esta reforma.


  Kadri Simson, Member of the Commission. – I agree that we have to be ambitious, and I agree that renewables are our home-grown energy source that allows us, step by step, to stabilise the energy prices. You compared our gas prices with the United States; the United States is currently an LNG-exporting country. We are importers, so we are competing with other LNG markets globally, such as the Asian market, which is even bigger than ours. In this regard, our prices are comparable.

So how we can address this issue and keep our ambition level high enough? There are some steps that are very urgent. We have to conclude the trade trilogue and keep the high ambition that the Commission proposed under the Fit for 55 Package. Secondly, we need to use all the potential, in particular on biomethane and heat pumps. As I was mentioning earlier, I plan to launch, on top of all the measures we presented last year, a practical initiative to promote biomethane. You can also expect from our side that we will present an action plan on heat pumps, because there are some wonderful examples from some individual Member States where heat pumps very quickly replaced a significant share of gas consumption in domestic heating.

Thirdly, we have to accelerate large-scale offshore projects. It is wonderful that each of us would like to install solar rooftops, but we also need offshore wind. This year we are hosting at least two big summits in Ostend and in Lithuania, but we have three more sea basins. There is also potential for floating offshore, and we should also grasp this situation.


  Michael Bloss (Verts/ALE). – We are talking about energy security, and we see that with the current legislation, the electricity market design and the RED, it will be in place in two years, and that leads to investors basically now waiting for two years for the more beneficial setting. So now, we need to bridge these two years.

There is the idea of a renewable energy booster, a European-wide tender of 120 gigawatt – 60 gigawatt solar, 60 gigawatt wind – and it could also help to bridge the gap between the 40% renewable target from the Council in the renewable energy trilogue, and the 45% of you and of us the Parliament. So what do you say about such a renewable booster? I think it would be a great idea also to Europeanise the electricity market. Do you agree that we should have something like this?


  Kadri Simson, Member of the Commission. – I do agree. I see developments all across Europe. Basically we will see the outcome in the upgraded national energy and climate plans because Member States already implement what is not agreed yet. But I hope that Member States, by renewing their national energy climate plans, are opting for the higher end of ambition.

Now, you mentioned that the electricity market design will take a couple more years before it will be implemented, but it was our clear decision that we will opt for ordinary legislation. Last year was a year when we were forced to use emergency proposals. But I made a clear case and I also promised to your president, Roberta Metsola, that electricity market design will be necessary for years to come. It is necessary tool to give certainty for investors. So we cannot tackle it as an emergency proposal.

In this package, partially, some of the solutions are in regulations, others in directives. That means that partially we can we can skip the lengthy implementation procedure. But where I need Parliament’s help is, of course, by accelerating also your procedures, because what we see with the Fit for 55 package is that it has taken almost two years already to finalise the discussions and get to the legislation process.

We do not have that time, but sometime it will be necessary for Member States to implement. On top of that there are financing tools for Member States to support renewable investments. There are available funds to strengthen the grids, and there is public acceptance right now also to grant some shorter and simplified permitting for renewable installations, because unless we do so, there is no alternative to gas, no green alternative. I am very grateful that our NGOs do support this approach.


  Martin Hojsík (Renew). – Now, it’s not only about the future legislation. Let’s remember the Clean Energy for all Europeans package back from 2019. Now, there were important elements like the energy communities, like prosumers. And sadly, what we still see is a number of the Member States, including my own, Slovakia, not having implemented it properly. Now, I appreciate that you are taking them to court, but what other measures? Because we do not need the court cases, we need reality on the ground changes. We need liberalisation. We need opening up of the market to prosumers and end of the defence of the monopolies and oligopolies. What measures do you plan to take? Because this could be the decisive year for the people to really take the energy freedom into their hands. So what measures do you plan beyond taking some of the Member States to court?


  Kadri Simson, Member of the Commission. – I do remember the negotiations in the Council where this very fragile agreement on a clean energy package was achieved. I was then representing the Presidency, and already then some Member States claimed that their starting position was not as good as others, because the lack of digitalisation of their grids, distribution of meters. Now they have to step up their action. For me, the infringement is the very last option. I prefer assistance and by achieving our agreed goals by also co-financing the necessary works.

As I was mentioning earlier, there are now significant funds available also for distribution-grid operators. So EU funds usually were dedicated to cross-border infrastructure, but of course to accommodate more renewables, to allow cities to introduce thousands and thousands of electric vehicle charging points, the local grid has to be strengthened. And financing is there and a well-functioning EU-level organisation that can provide assistance and share best practices is available. Now really there is a demand from Prosumers side. So we have to insist that Member States will implement what is already agreed. And on top of that our new electricity market design will even strengthen prosumers rights to share their production and overall to strengthen also the consumer’s right to opt for several contracting schemes. I think this is necessary. And I think that the energy crisis actually has helped us to accelerate also work on prosumers side.


  Radan Kanev (PPE). – Dear Commissioner, in the summer of 2022, we faced a real perfect storm in the European energy system with the problems that blocked French nuclear power plants, with the drought which impeded hydropower on a European level, with heat and subsequent peak consumption of electricity and, of course, the main reason, the war in Ukraine and the disruption of gas markets.

In this period, we relied heavily on coal generation, which was for really a short period crucial and economically feasible, which it’s normally not.

So my main question is, does the Commission have any plans of sustaining coal generation as a critical strategic reserve in times of heavy crisis like we faced? Or, if not, what other type of emergency crisis measures do you have in mind?


  Kadri Simson, Member of the Commission. – Last summer, on top of Russian manipulation, we had severe environmental conditions that triggered unexpected maintenance of several nuclear power plants and didn’t allow us to use the full potential of hydropower. And in spite of that, our market delivered. We had no risk of blackouts. On top of that, in 2022, EU—27 Member States were able to cut their CO2 emissions by 2.5%, so that shows that actually the new installations of renewables also helped us to tackle this very, very difficult situation.

Now, when you are asking if we are addressing the challenges of storage and power plants that help us to address the capacity mechanism in our electricity market design revision, we will prioritise storage and the other independent renewables because, step by step, when our electricity comes from renewables, which are intermittent, we need to prioritize also demand response and storage solutions. This is something that you can expect from our proposal. We will not open the door to extend the special scheme for coal or other fossil fuel plants because this is not necessary. The current arrangement of capacity mechanism already allows Member States to address this issue.




  Στέλιος Κυμπουρόπουλος (PPE). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, κύριε Επίτροπε, πραγματικά ακούστηκαν πολλά σωστά πράγματα μέσα στην αίθουσα και καταλαβαίνουμε όλοι ότι είναι πολύ σημαντικά όλα τα μέτρα που έχουν παρθεί, αλλά θεωρώ ότι ο χειμώνας συνεχίζει να είναι δύσκολος και οι προσπάθειες των κρατών μελών και της Επιτροπής δεν μπορούν να ανακουφίσουν όσο χρειάζεται τους πολίτες και την αγορά. Αυτή η ακρίβεια και η ενεργειακή εξάρτηση της Ευρώπης πρέπει να σταματήσει άμεσα. Σε αυτό θεωρώ ότι πολλές χώρες, μεταξύ αυτών και η Ελλάδα, έχουν κάνει προσπάθειες. Ακούσαμε για υποδομές υποδοχής LNG. Μια άλλη πρωτοβουλία είναι η συνεργασία Ελλάδας και Αιγύπτου, η οποία βοηθά στην ενίσχυση των ανανεώσιμων πηγών ενέργειας, και ήθελα να σας ρωτήσω συγκεκριμένα αν θεωρείτε ότι πρέπει χώρες όπως η Ελλάδα να υποστηριχθούν, όταν φέρνουν στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση την ενέργεια που χρειαζόμαστε για να ανεξαρτητοποιηθούμε από το φυσικό αέριο και το πετρέλαιο.


  Kadri Simson, Member of the Commission. – That might be true that I have named several emergency measures on top of existing legislation that helped us to tackle this energy crisis last year. Indeed, each and every of these was important because we had no silver bullet. This was a complex exercise and step by step we achieved the situation where our gas storage by the end of this heating season is still half full. Prices are down to pre-war levels and EU CO2 emissions are significantly decreased.

Saying that, of course we will need LNG from trusted partners and Greece is a fine example: how you are delivering LNG beyond your own borders. You are a crucial partner for several neighbouring countries.

The EU has financed necessary infrastructure and we will do so also to address the challenges that are not only for EU Member States, but also for the Western Balkans neighbourhood.


  Katarína Roth Neveďalová (S&D). – Vážený pán predsedajúci. Pani komisárka. Dnes sme tu napríklad schválili taký dokument, ktorý hovorí o tom, ako by sme mali mať energeticky efektívne budovy. Spomína sa v ňom napríklad to, že chceme, aby sa už viac nepoužívalo na kúrenie fosílne palivo, z čoho mi jedine vyplýva, že môžeme používať buď tuhé palivo, alebo viacej elektriny. Ja pochádzam z krajiny, ktorá má viac ako päťdesiat percent svojho energetického mixu jadrovú elektrinu alebo elektrinu z jadrových zdrojov. A teda máme ruské reaktory a používame palivo z Ruskej federácie. Chcem sa spýtať, keďže momentálne je diskusia o jedenástom balíčku sankcií voči Rusku, kde sa spomína aj možnosť, že by bol zakázaný dovoz paliva z Ruskej federácie, ako Komisia mieni riešiť pomoc týmto členským štátom, ktoré potom budú musieť získavať tieto zdroje pre jadrové elektrárne z iných krajín, čo bude energeticky, ale aj finančne náročnejšie, pretože nie je to úplne jednoduchá záležitosť. A takisto sa tým potenciálne zvýši aj cena tejto elektriny pre ľudí. A pritom ide naozaj o sebestačnosť krajín, že môžeme hovoriť o obnoviteľných zdrojoch, ktoré sú krásne, ale nie vždy sa dajú využiťm a trvá samozrejme nejaký čas, pokým ich naštartujeme.


  Kadri Simson, Member of the Commission. – Thank you for your question, and I appreciate very much the chance to discuss energy performance of the buildings directive yesterday in front of this plenary. You mentioned that challenges are bigger for some Member States and it might take time to decarbonise building stock – building stock that is right now responsible for 40% of EU energy consumption. But to start the decarbonisation process, at first, we need to agree that this is our target.

In this regard, I highly appreciate the vote that gave the mandate through your rapporteur to start the negotiations with the Council because buildings have a huge, cost-effective potential to reduce and optimise energy consumption. And the EPBD on top of that clearly addresses also the root cause of energy poverty. Renovations clearly will help us in several different workstreams. They will cut energy consumption. They will create a healthier living environment. And they will also create domestic jobs because the building sector is a very labour intensive sector.

Of course, there are possible exemptions for some Member States, as it has always happened, that during the negotiations with co-legislators, some necessary flexibilities for implementation have been granted.


  Der Präsident. – Meine Damen und Herren, ich danke allen, die Fragen gestellt haben, und der Kommissarin für ihre Antworten.


14. Question Time (VPC/HR) - Strengthening the Trans-Atlantic ties in an ever challenging multilateral world
Video of the speeches

  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Fragestunde (HR/VP) (Artikel 137 GO).

Ich begrüße den Vizepräsidenten der Kommission und Hohen Vertreter Josep Borrell recht herzlich zu dieser Fragestunde.

Das Thema dieser Fragestunde lautet: „Stärkung der transatlantischen Beziehungen in einer immer komplexer werdenden multilateralen Welt“.

Die Fragestunde wird etwa ebenfalls 60 Minuten dauern. Die Redezeiten sind wie bekannt: eine Minute, um die Frage zu stellen, zwei Minuten, um zu antworten, und eine 30-sekündige Zusatzfrage und jeweils die Antwort.

Alle, die sich zu Wort melden, bitte ich, dass Sie sich de facto mit dem Abstimmungsgerät melden.


  Tom Vandenkendelaere (PPE). – Mijnheer de hoge vertegenwoordiger, welkom in dit vragenuurtje over het trans-Atlantische partnerschap.

Multilateralisme en internationaal recht horen heel hoog op de trans-Atlantische agenda te staan en het gezag en de werking van de VN moeten natuurlijk worden gevrijwaard door hervormingen waar de trans-Atlantische partners de motor van moeten zijn. Maar waar de VN structureel tekortschiet, bijvoorbeeld op het vlak van vredeshandhaving in bepaalde regio’s van de wereld, daar mogen wij als trans-Atlantische partners niet blijven toekijken, als internationale gemeenschap die in gebreke blijft. Een schrijnend voorbeeld daarvan, mijnheer de hoge vertegenwoordiger, is Oost-Congo, waar de situatie voor de lokale bevolking wegens geweld compleet dramatisch en uitzichtloos geworden is, en waar wij, als Europese Unie, maar ook als trans-Atlantische partners, de ambitie moeten hebben om toch meer te doen en niet in gebreke te blijven.

Vandaar mijn vraag aan u, mijnheer de hoge vertegenwoordiger: is de situatie in Oost-Congo voorwerp van overleg en samenwerking met de Verenigde Staten en worden er in dit verband initiatieven overwogen?


  Josep Borrell Fontelles, vicepresidente de la Comisión / alto representante de la Unión para Asuntos Exteriores y Política de Seguridad. – Yo creía que venía a una sesión de control sobre las relaciones transatlánticas, no sobre la situación en el este del Congo.

Su pregunta hace referencia a la situación en el este del Congo, lo que es sin duda un tema altamente importante y preocupante, pero no es precisamente algo que tenga que ver con la relación transatlántica.

Pero, si usted lo que pregunta es si tenemos una preocupación común y compartida con los Estados Unidos sobre la situación en el este del Congo, sí, claro que la tenemos, pero debo confesarle que recientemente no hemos tenido como parte de nuestro diálogo ese problema concreto por el que usted se preocupa.


  Tom Vandenkendelaere (PPE). – The question to the High Representative was if, in the transatlantic dialogue with the United States, you have discussed the topic of Eastern Congo, which is a dramatic situation, or where dramatic events are unfolding?


  Josep Borrell Fontelles, vicepresidente de la Comisión / alto representante de la Unión para Asuntos Exteriores y Política de Seguridad. – Yo creía que venía a una sesión de control sobre las relaciones transatlánticas, no sobre la situación en el este del Congo. Su pregunta hace referencia a la situación en el este del Congo, lo que es sin duda un tema altamente importante y preocupante, pero no es precisamente algo que tenga que ver con la relación transatlántica.

Pero si usted lo que pregunta es si tenemos una preocupación común y compartida con los Estados Unidos sobre la situación en el este del Congo. Pues sí, claro que la tenemos. Pero debo confesarle que recientemente no hemos tratado, como parte de nuestro diálogo, ese problema concreto que a usted le preocupa.


  Tom Vandenkendelaere (PPE). – Ja, korte opvolging. Dit gaat misschien – inderdaad – niet concreet over het thema Oost-Congo, maar gaat er eerder over of de VS en de Europese Unie actief werken aan hervorming van de VN, daar waar het precies nodig is, bijvoorbeeld bij vredeshandhaving in gebieden waar het vandaag niet gebeurt.


  Josep Borrell Fontelles, vicepresidente de la Comisión / alto representante de la Unión para Asuntos Exteriores y Política de Seguridad. – Sí, claro, claro que trabajamos conjuntamente en nuestro diálogo transatlántico en todos los temas que afectan a la paz, y tratamos de todo lo que podemos llamar «retos mundiales».

Pero, si quiere usted que le diga honestamente, recientemente no hemos tenido una discusión concreta sobre la situación en el este del Congo. No descarto que la vayamos a tener. Sin duda, lo que ocurre allí es una materia que nos preocupa y nos ocupa, tanto a los Estados Unidos como a nosotros. Por lo tanto, tomo buena nota de su interés y preocupación, y la próxima vez que tenga ocasión de discutir con mis colegas de los Estados Unidos pondré también este tema en la agenda.


  Tonino Picula (S&D). – Mr High Representative, welcome to the House. It is very timely that we met and discussed our global cooperation with the USA today in the deteriorating security environment at our borders and with a number of security challenges arising across the world daily.

EU Member States have stood by Ukraine throughout Russia’s war of aggression with every means possible, including through military support, with experts estimating that EU Member States individually and through the European peace facility have donated approximately 12 billion in military aid in this regard. However, the war has put under pressure European defence industry production capacities, which already faced strong competition from American companies which have dominated the market in Europe for years.

How do you envisage future collaboration with the US in the field of the defence industry in light of both European industry production capacity shortages and strong preference over the years to procure American—made defence products?

What steps are being taken to develop the European defence industry adequately to ensure Member States begin procuring more interoperable equipment?


  Josep Borrell Fontelles, vicepresidente de la Comisión / alto representante de la Unión para Asuntos Exteriores y Política de Seguridad. – Tanto los Estados Unidos como la Unión Europea están haciendo un enorme esfuerzo de apoyo militar a Ucrania. Y no se crea que el nuestro es insignificante o irrelevante comparado con el de los Estados Unidos, como a veces oigo decir. En su conjunto, hemos suministrado a Ucrania 67 000 millones de euros desde que empezó la guerra y, de ellos, 12 000 millones han sido en asistencia militar. Ciertamente los Estados Unidos han hecho más. Pero si sumamos todo —lo militar, lo financiero, lo humanitario, lo económico—, la Unión Europea está por encima. Somos el primer grupo de países que ayuda a Ucrania.

Ahora el problema se plantea, como usted dice, señoría, en términos de capacidades industriales de la defensa. Y, ciertamente, hay mucho material militar que llega de los Estados Unidos para apoyar a las Fuerzas Armadas de Ucrania. Y parte de esa ayuda llega directamente y parte circula por los stocks de los Estados miembros.

Pero creo que Europa, en este momento, más que confiar en la capacidad militar de otro país, tiene que aumentar la suya propia. Lo que tiene que hacer Europa ahora es aumentar su propia capacidad y no confiar en la que los Estados Unidos puedan aportar, que lo están haciendo y mucho. Pero necesitamos desarrollar nuestras propias capacidades. La interoperabilidad: todos usamos o casi todos usamos armamento «NATO-compatible». Todos usamos los estándares de la OTAN. Por lo tanto, no hay problemas de compatibilidad de municiones. Lo que hay es, por nuestra parte, falta de capacidad. Y eso no nos lo van a arreglar los Estados Unidos. Eso lo tenemos que arreglar nosotros mismos.


  Tonino Picula (S&D). – My second question is related to the fact that we are days away from very important presidential elections in Montenegro, following almost three years of political instability and no progress on their European Union path.

How much is the US involved in fixing instability concerning the Montenegrin Government, fighting disinformation and external influence and trying to get the country back on track with reforms?

Would joint EU—US mediation similar to the joint mediation called the Prespa process in North Macedonia maybe an option for Montenegro?


  Josep Borrell Fontelles, vicepresidente de la Comisión / alto representante de la Unión para Asuntos Exteriores y Política de Seguridad. – Tengo la sensación, señor presidente, de que vamos a dar la vuelta al mundo hablando de todos los problemas bajo la referencia a la cooperación transatlántica. Que sí, sirve de excusa para todo.

Bueno, le puedo decir lo que está pasando en Montenegro, donde estamos ciertamente comprometidos en apoyar las estructuras democráticas del país para que sean más funcionales y que Montenegro pueda estar más comprometido con su perspectiva europea, continuando con sus reformas. Pero, para ello, Montenegro, en primer lugar, tiene que resolver sus diferencias políticas a través de sus propias instituciones; y en eso le estamos ayudando. Y, sí, podemos hacerlo conjuntamente con los Estados Unidos, ¿por qué no? Estamos trabajando muy bien con los Estados Unidos en el diálogo entre Kosovo y Serbia. Muy bien, muy eficientemente.

También lo hemos hecho en el caso de Macedonia. Podemos hacerlo también en el caso de Montenegro, pero, por el momento lo que hay es un trabajo en coordinación que incluye la lucha contra la desinformación. Pero no hay una mediación conjunta entre la Unión Europea y los Estados Unidos, o no la hay todavía.

Aprovecho la ocasión para resaltar cuán importante es la cooperación que mantenemos para resolver el problema entre Kosovo y Serbia.


  Catharina Rinzema (Renew). – Vorige week was Commissievoorzitter Von der Leyen bij president Biden in Washington DC om over de Inflation Reduction Act te praten. Dit is een subsidiepakket van honderden miljarden euro’s dat Amerikaanse productie zal stimuleren, vaak ten koste van Europese productie.

Ik had gehoopt dat Von der Leyen zou terugkomen met een afspraak ...

(de Voorzitter onderbreekt de spreker)


  President. – Madam, excuse me, but can you stand up? Thank you.


  Catharina Rinzema (Renew). – Vorige week was Commissievoorzitter Von der Leyen bij president Biden in Washington DC om over de Inflation Reduction Act te praten. Dit is een subsidiepakket van honderden miljarden euro’s dat Amerikaanse productie zal stimuleren, vaak ten koste van Europese productie.

Ik had gehoopt dat Von der Leyen zou terugkomen met een afspraak voor Europese bedrijven, zodat die in aanmerking zouden komen voor bepaalde subsidies. Helaas heb ik geen afspraak gezien.

Als we het hebben over het verstevigen van de trans-Atlantische relatie, dan verdienen Europese bedrijven dezelfde uitzondering die Amerikaanse handelspartners, zoals Mexico en Canada, ook krijgen. We kunnen daarmee de Europese banen beschermen.

Mijn vraag aan u is:

Gaan Europese bedrijven dezelfde status krijgen die andere handelspartners van Amerika al hebben?


  Josep Borrell Fontelles, vicepresidente de la Comisión / alto representante de la Unión para Asuntos Exteriores y Política de Seguridad. – Señoría, estoy seguro de que mi presidenta, la presidenta de la Comisión, la señora Von der Leyen, también hubiera preferido volver con acuerdos cerrados. Claro que sí, pero las cosas son más complicadas de lo que parecen y todavía no se han alcanzado los acuerdos que necesitamos.

Pero lo que sí le puedo decir es que se va a trabajar en un acuerdo sobre materias primas fundamentales para asegurarnos de que nuestras cadenas de suministro en Europa tengan acceso al mercado y que se va a poner en marcha el diálogo sobre los incentivos para las energías limpias con el fin de reforzar cada uno las capacidades del otro.

Pero, sí, todavía queda trabajo por hacer y mucho que negociar. Comprendo que usted hubiera preferido tener ya resultados, pero habrá que esperar. Las nuevas negociaciones empezarán inmediatamente para alcanzar un acuerdo sobre los minerales críticos que debería permitir a las empresas europeas tener las mismas condiciones que las de Canadá o México. Debería. Es el objetivo de la negociación, pero nadie sabe todavía cuándo y cómo puede alcanzarse este acuerdo.

Y el segundo resultado, como le he dicho, es la puesta en marcha de este diálogo sobre incentivos para las energías limpias con el fin de que los dos trabajemos de una forma complementaria.

Pero está claro que, con la Ley de Reducción de la Inflación (IRA), los Estados Unidos han puesto en marcha una de las políticas más proteccionistas desde los años treinta y esto debemos tomarlo muy en consideración.


  Catharina Rinzema (Renew). – Als we het hebben over het beschermen van onze banen, dan moeten we oneerlijke concurrentie uit China aanpakken en samen met de VS minder afhankelijk van China worden. Het is een stap in de juiste richting dat we gaan samenwerken – zoals u zei – op kritieke grondstoffen van bijvoorbeeld batterijen. Moeten wij uiteindelijk niet gaan toewerken naar een meer ambitieuze en bredere samenwerking op het gebied van handel tussen de EU en de VS? Meer handel zou ook meer banen opleveren aan beide kanten.


  Josep Borrell Fontelles, vicepresidente de la Comisión / alto representante de la Unión para Asuntos Exteriores y Política de Seguridad. – Sí, por supuesto. Lo que usted pregunta abre la puerta a una cuestión de una enorme importancia, que es cuáles van a ser las posiciones respectivas de la Unión Europea y los Estados Unidos con respecto a China.

Ya lo he dicho en muchas ocasiones: nosotros no somos equidistantes entre China y los Estados Unidos. ¿Cómo íbamos a serlo, si compartimos el mismo sistema político y económico? Pero tenemos nuestros propios intereses y, por lo tanto, tendremos que velar por que las decisiones que toman los Estados Unidos, que tienen efectos colaterales sobre terceros países, no tengan efectos de balanceo contra nuestros intereses.

Una cosa es clara: el sistema que han buscado los Estados Unidos para luchar contra el cambio climático, que son subvenciones masivas a los productores de energías renovables, no es el mismo que hemos usado nosotros hasta ahora, que hemos utilizado instrumentos como los precios, a través del sistema de derechos de emisión, o impuestos, como el impuesto de ajuste en frontera. Digamos que los Estados Unidos han utilizado más la zanahoria y nosotros hemos utilizado más el stick, es decir, medidas que castigan a quien no cumple. Los Estados Unidos buscan impulsar la inversión, pero no toman medidas, digamos, de tipo punitivas.

Pero las soluciones deben siempre respetar las reglas del comercio internacional; nosotros siempre lo hemos defendido. Y está claro que lo que han planteado los Estados Unidos en muchas cosas no lo hace.


  Francisco José Millán Mon (PPE). – Los Estados Unidos son el socio más importante para la Unión Europea. La agresión de Rusia a Ucrania ha puesto de manifiesto una vez más la enorme relevancia de esta relación y también de la OTAN. Deberíamos reforzar ahora estos vínculos aprovechando estos años en los que contamos en Washington con una Administración realmente cercana a Europa.

Yo celebro los acuerdos iniciales alcanzados por la señora Von der Leyen con el señor Biden este viernes, pero me habría gustado que fuesen más ambiciosos, que no se limitasen básicamente a minerales críticos y a la problemática de los coches eléctricos.

A mí me parece una lástima no haber alcanzado el acuerdo de la ATCI en la etapa Obama. Faltó voluntad política en Washington y también en Europa. Si lo hubiésemos logrado, probablemente no tendríamos los problemas que ahora existen con la Ley de Reducción de la Inflación (IRA).

En este contexto, señor Borrell, ¿no cree usted que sería ahora un buen momento para dar un salto hacia adelante en los vínculos con los Estados Unidos —en los planos económico y comercial, y también en el político— para asegurarnos un marco institucional reforzado para esta relación que futuras administraciones en Washington no puedan ignorar?


  Josep Borrell Fontelles, vicepresidente de la Comisión / alto representante de la Unión para Asuntos Exteriores y Política de Seguridad. – Quisiera que mi respuesta le pareciera lacónica, pero la podría resumir en un sí.

Sí, sí, me parece un buen momento para analizar a fondo nuestras relaciones. Nadie ha cerrado ninguna puerta. Se creó el Consejo de Comercio y Tecnología en el que se deben encontrar soluciones a los dos grandes ejes que van a marcar nuestras relaciones y también nuestra posición relativa con respecto al resto del mundo: el comercio y la tecnología, que se van a influir mutuamente.

Usted lamenta que no se llegara en su día al acuerdo, de que se perdiera una ocasión, pero de poco sirve llorar por la leche derramada. Ahora lo que hemos de hacer es utilizar nuestros esfuerzos y capacidades para aprovechar las nuevas oportunidades que nos brinda este empuje inflacionista; la decisión de los Estados Unidos de actuar como lo está haciendo.

Yo creo que Biden está actuando como un buen socialdemócrata. Su política económica está —parece— cortada a la medida de un socialdemócrata europeo clásico. Y estoy seguro de que, en muchas cosas, debemos poder coincidir con él.


  Francisco José Millán Mon (PPE). – Señor Borrell, yo creo que debemos ser más ambiciosos. Estos acuerdos iniciales alcanzados son demasiado puntuales sobre temáticas muy concretas.

A mí me preocupa, y supongo que a usted también —aunque, claro está, ni usted ni yo tenemos una bola de cristal—, que en un futuro podamos tener una administración en Washington que se distancie mucho de la línea positiva de ahora y que podamos regresar a una etapa de distanciamiento, como la que tuvimos en la etapa de Trump.

Por eso, ahora serían convenientes acuerdos ambiciosos en los planos político, económico y comercial, y no limitarse a los materiales críticos ni tampoco a las baterías de los coches eléctricos.


  Josep Borrell Fontelles, vicepresidente de la Comisión / alto representante de la Unión para Asuntos Exteriores y Política de Seguridad. – Bueno, en realidad no se ha alcanzado ningún acuerdo. No. O sea, me dice que le gustaría que hubiera acuerdos sobre más temas. Yo le voy a poner los pies en el suelo: de momento no tenemos ningún acuerdo.

El único acuerdo que tenemos es el de seguir trabajando para alcanzar acuerdos. Más vale eso que nada. Pero acuerdos de momento no tenemos ninguno. Tenemos un acuerdo para seguir trabajando para conseguir acuerdos sobre dos temas —al menos dos—. Seguramente sería bueno tener más, pero, francamente, vamos a concentrar los esfuerzos en estos dos, que no se crea que son fáciles, sobre todo el de materiales críticos, porque este va a tener muchas consecuencias e implicaciones para el resto del mundo.

Estamos hablando de cadenas de valor que podamos compartir con Estados Unidos y decimos que vamos a trabajar con los socios afines para impulsar la cooperación global. Déjeme que le diga que, si queremos conseguir acuerdos para limitar el cambio climático, la paz y la cooperación, no nos podemos limitar a los países afines. Tenemos que hablar con los que no son países afines, porque algunos de estos problemas globales no tienen solución sin ellos.


  Matjaž Nemec (S&D). – Gospod predsednik, spoštovani visoki zunanjepolitični predstavnik!

Moje vprašanje se bo nanašalo na izjemen napredek Bosne in Hercegovine v približevanju Evropski uniji.

Status Bosne in Hercegovine danes lahko enačimo s tistim, ki ga ima Ukrajina, in sicer po vaši zaslugi, osebni zaslugi, zaslugi tega Evropskega parlamenta ter tudi moje države, Republike Slovenije, ki je v zadnjih mesecih vložila veliko energije in napora za to, da bi ta država po desetih letih zastoja končno dobila evropsko perspektivo.

Podobno kot od vas bi pričakoval tudi od komisarja Várhelyija – njegova vloga mi je nepoznana in neznana v tem primeru.

Ampak ne glede na to – rad bi pohvalil tudi predvsem bosanske oblasti za napredek, ki so ga izvedle od volitev do danes. Tu gre za izjemen napredek, ki je primerljiv s tistim vseh najbolj razvitih evropskih držav.

Dovolite mi vprašanje, gospod komisar, visoki predstavnik. Kakšna je pot Bosne in Hercegovine v vaših očeh? Kaj bo vaša služba naredila v naslednjih mesecih, da bo še pospešila njen napredek na poti v Evropsko unijo?


  President. – What was the question?


  Matjaž Nemec (S&D). – Actually in Slovenian it was quite concise. What could the EEAS do in the next future to push forward the ambitions of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the European path?


  President. – Dear colleague, that has nothing to do with today’s Question Time.


  Josep Borrell Fontelles, vicepresidente de la Comisión / alto representante de la Unión para Asuntos Exteriores y Política de Seguridad. – ¿Pero esto no era un debate sobre los vínculos transatlánticos?


  Matjaž Nemec (S&D). – Yes.


  Josep Borrell Fontelles, vicepresidente de la Comisión / alto representante de la Unión para Asuntos Exteriores y Política de Seguridad. – ¿O me he equivocado de sitio?


  President. – No, you are right.


  Josep Borrell Fontelles, vicepresidente de la Comisión / alto representante de la Unión para Asuntos Exteriores y Política de Seguridad. – Yo puedo hablarle de Bosnia y Herzegovina, pero venía aquí para otra cosa...


  President. – We are continuing.


  Hannah Neumann (Verts/ALE). – Thank you, High Representative, for being with us here today. The topic of the debate is indeed a transatlantic approach in a multilateral world. And one area where we can witness at least a multitude of actors at the moment is the Middle East. Over the weekend, China brokered a deal with Saudi and Iran, while we still have no special envoys, the EU. The US President declared the JCPOA as dead while you are still trying to negotiate it, some EU Member States and the US export arms to Saudi Arabia or the UAE, while others have embargoes in place, and many Gulf countries are trying to be friends with the EU, with the US and Russia at the same time. So I am wondering if there is still such a thing as a transatlantic alliance, or at least a transatlantic approach to the region, and if yes, what it looks like along these very concrete examples.


  Josep Borrell Fontelles, vicepresidente de la Comisión / alto representante de la Unión para Asuntos Exteriores y Política de Seguridad. – Sí, ha habido un acuerdo, con la mediación de China, entre Irán y Arabia Saudí, que pasa por el restablecimiento de las relaciones diplomáticas entre los dos países. Nosotros hemos celebrado el anuncio de este acuerdo y, desde luego, esperamos ver cómo se aplica.

Hay que reconocer los esfuerzos diplomáticos que han conseguido llegar a ello. Porque los dos países, Arabia Saudita e Irán, son centrales para la estabilidad y la seguridad en la región, y creo que el hecho de que vuelvan a tener relaciones bilaterales puede contribuir a la estabilidad de la región en su conjunto.

Esa es una de nuestras prioridades y cierto es que en esto trabajamos conjuntamente con los Estados Unidos. Desescalar las tensiones en lo que llamamos el Medio Oriente amplio es una prioridad para nosotros. Estamos trabajando con todos los agentes en la zona para intentar ver si es posible estabilizar la región. Pero tendremos que estar vigilantes, porque esos dos países han vivido durante décadas de una hostilidad mutua, especialmente en el desarrollo de las ambiciones nucleares de Irán.

Vamos a ver en qué medida contribuye este acuerdo a la estabilidad de la región.


  Hannah Neumann (Verts/ALE). – I’ll take the chance of a follow-up question specifically on the JCPOA and the fact that we see nuclear enrichment now in Iran. Are there any consultations between the EU and the US on how either the JCPOA or an alternative plan to deal with this is being pursued?


  Josep Borrell Fontelles, Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Well, I weigh my words, because this is a very sensitive issue and my role is not to negotiate with the US or to reach agreement with the US, but to make possible agreements between the US, the rest of the international community and Iran. I am not a negotiator. I am not part. I don’t negotiate. I coordinate the negotiations, which is a different thing. The negotiations are between Iran, on one side, and the International Community on the other side. And the International Community is being represented by the US, by China, by Russia and by three Member States, two plus the United Kingdom. My role is to coordinate. And I am playing the role even not as High Representative, but as a direct asking of the Security Council. And we stay committed to continue looking for any possibility in order to facilitate this dialogue.

Unhappily, the last news on the reports referred to the presence of 83.7% high-enriched uranium and the Fordow facility has been very much troublesome. We support fully the International Atomic Energy Agency on its impartial work to clarify what is the source of this enriched uranium, and which is the real concern that it represents for the nuclear path of Iran. I continue believing that a restored JCPOA could be or it is the best way to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. And I continue ready to develop diplomatic efforts to make that possible. But it’s not up to me, as I said, and it’s important to make the difference. I am not negotiating. I am coordinating the negotiations.


  Radosław Sikorski (PPE). – Mr President, High Representative, as chairman of the USA delegation here in the European Parliament, I’d just like to express satisfaction that President Putin’s criminal invasion of Ukraine has brought us as the West together. And I’d like to thank the Commission and you personally for your leadership on this, which gives me hope that we will prevail.

I therefore have only two suggestions. Number one: could we make the Trade and Technology Council – which I think is crucial in denying the autocrats the dual use and aggressive technologies – could we broaden it to include key allies such as Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United Kingdom to make it more effective?

And secondly, it appears that the US is far more energetic in applying the Magnitsky Act, which we have also adopted here. Russia now has more political prisoners than the Soviet Union did under Brezhnev. But some of those prosecutors, judges and gaolers of people like Kara-Murza and others still have not been sanctioned and they should be.


  Josep Borrell Fontelles, Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Your question was about opening the Trade and Technology Council to others? This is a bilateral issue. The Trade and Technology Council is a bilateral issue between the US... and I myself am not part of this council, so it is difficult for me to say how this council should work when one is not part of it. But why not? Sorry I cannot give you a precise answer.

And about these other things, these are much more concrete things to discuss. How can we use our tools in order to support the people who are in Russia today? And enlarge the number of political prisoners? No, I don’t think the US is more ready than us to work for that. No, I don’t think so. I think that both are equally committed. Both are equally ready. The problem is, how do we do that? But believe me, there is not a difference between the US and Europe on supporting the Russian political prisoners, whose big number is certainly something that marks the Putin regime.


  Radosław Sikorski (PPE). – We had a meeting here in the European Parliament this morning with Bill Browder, who initiated the Magnitsky legislation, and he claims that we have not used this mechanism as much as the United States. So, just take a look at it, please.


  Josep Borrell Fontelles, Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.(inaudible) I don’t think the US is more ready than us to work for that. No, I don’t think so. I think that both are equally committed. Both are equally ready. The problem is how do we do that? But believe me, there is not a difference between the US and Europe on supporting the Russian political prisoners, which big number is certainly something that marks the Putin regime.


  Pedro Marques (S&D). – Mr President, dear High Representative, the leadership of this group of the Socialists and Democrats, we just came from the US just before Chancellor Scholz and the President of the Commission landed a few days later there.

At our meetings at the White House or at the Congress, there was a lot of appraisal about the unity between Europe and the US regarding the support of the Ukrainians against the Russian aggression. But we were also, of course, discussing the elephant in the room, the IRA. America is trying, as you just said previously, to go more independent on other economies, including from ourselves, promoting American industries, even the green ones.

And we in Europe are, at the same time, discussing strategic autonomy and the sovereignty fund. So I would like to ask you, what comes next for this transatlantic partnership? Will we lead together the reinvention of the multilateral institutions, Mr Borrell, so that we can fight globally the health, the financial and the climate challenges? Or are we to face a kind of a new Cold War with blocs clashing through the world against each other?


  Josep Borrell Fontelles, vice-président de la Commission/haut représentant de l’Union pour les affaires étrangères et la politique de sécurité. – Je ne peux pas vous dire s'il va y avoir à nouveau une guerre froide. Je sais qu'il faut faire tout ce qui est possible pour l'éviter. On en a déjà eu une. Mais la guerre froide qu'on a connue était une guerre froide avec un isolement économique et financier entre les parties. Il n'y avait pas de relations commerciales, il n'y avait pas de rapports financiers entre les États-Unis et la Russie soviétique. Les échanges entre les deux blocs, c'était minimal, ridicule.

Et surtout, l'Union Soviétique n'était pas le banquier des États-Unis. Par contre, aujourd'hui, la Chine est le banquier des États-Unis. C'est l'achat par la Chine des bons du Trésor et les crédits aux consommateurs qui ont permis aux États-Unis de poursuivre dans leur dynamique financière. Et les échanges entre la Chine et les États-Unis sont de l'ordre, je n'ai pas les chiffres en tête, de milliards par jour, pas par an, par jour.

Donc c'est une guerre froide entre deux parties qui n'ont pas intérêt à l'anéantissement de l'autre, parce qu'elles sont trop liées. C'est vrai que maintenant, on essaye de chercher la parade pour cet engagement mutuel. Mais si vous parlez avec les États-Unis de decoupling avec la Chine, ils vont vous dire que, non, ce n'est pas le decoupling qu'on cherche, c'est le derisking. C'est autre chose. Et, de ce point de vue-là, il va y avoir une confrontation, on y est et ça va marquer le siècle. Ce siècle sera le siècle de la confrontation entre ces deux grandes puissances. Mais je pense que nous avons tout intérêt à éviter d'abord de jeter la Russie dans les bras de la Chine et provoquer une alliance de ces deux régimes autoritaires, et ensuite à défendre les intérêts qui sont les nôtres.


  Pedro Marques (S&D). – I refer to the reform of the multilateral institutions. And we were also in New York at the UN with the Secretary—General, and there was a sense of hope on the reform of the multilateral institutions. And it was good to hear some sense of hope in such difficult times. And I would like to ask you, do you also believe that we can indeed deliver on the reform of the multilateral institutions, namely the Security Council, and particularly to give a role, a concrete role, to the Global South? Latin America and Africa are calling for too long for a stronger role in the multilateral institutions, and I saw the Secretary—General going in that direction. I would like to have your saying on this.


  Josep Borrell Fontelles, Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Theoretically, we are very much ready for that. And yes, we support the enlargement of the Security Council for a better representation of the world the way it is today, which is not the world when the multilateral institutions were created on the aftermath of World War Two.

But if we have more members of the Security Council in order to have more veto rights, then we are not going to improve the working of the United Nations system. More vetoes means more difficulties to reach agreements, and we have already a lot. But, on the other hand, I don’t see a lot of people ready to renounce to their veto rights. Do you know some? Do you know some who say, ‘Yes, I’m going to renounce my veto right on the Security Council’? Certainly not.

So, if we want to make the Security Council more flexible, we have first to have more members inside, second to have less veto rights, in order to be able to get decisions quicker and more engaged with the world problems.

But it’s not only the United Nations, it’s also about financial institutions that have to be renewed and reformed. And for that, last week in Stockholm, the Minister of Development discussed our proposals for the reform of the financial institutions.

Believe me, neither is so easy. Everybody is ready to open and to give roles to the others, but when the time comes to renounce some of your part in order for the others to have a bigger part, then the difficulties start.


  President. – Dear colleagues, we have so many colleagues asking for the floor. It is impossible to give everyone the floor, but I ask you to delete the second question. Then it is possible to give more people the floor. So only one question, answer and go on.


  Anna Bonfrisco (ID). – Signor Presidente, Alto rappresentante, onorevoli colleghi, in questo secolo sappiamo che poco può fare una singola strategia di sicurezza nazionale, che non basta una strategia di sicurezza europea: serve una strategia di sicurezza transatlantica sempre più forte.

E nell'ambito del dialogo transatlantico, sappiamo, che per il nostro più grande alleato e il più importante, gli Stati Uniti, è diventato materia di sicurezza nazionale il concetto secondo il quale, chi sarà alla guida delle tecnologie abilitanti e di quelle emergenti, dall'energia alle scienze biomediche, dall'intelligenza artificiale al quantum computing, emergerà come leader mondiale e sarà in grado di esercitare il soft power e l'hard power meglio di altri.

Le chiedo, quindi: c'è perfetta sintonia tra Europa e Stati Uniti in questa valutazione dottrinale? Riscontra debolezze, vulnerabilità nell'implementare tale dottrina?


  Josep Borrell Fontelles, Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – These are cosmic questions. Difficult to answer in a minute and a half. Nothing is white, nothing is black on that. We are partners, but we defend our own interests. And certainly the US did not consult us when they approved the Inflation Reduction Act. Now we are trying to negotiate in order to see how the collateral effects of this decision can touch us. And with the contrast with other international powers, we agree that our cooperation has to strengthen not only our economic security, but also national security, but being rooted on the multilateral system. This multilateral system has, among others, the WTO. As I said before, the IRA is the biggest protectionist measure that the US has launched in 1913. And it is certainly in many parts of the IRA, it is something against the rules of the WTO. I am not blaming anyone I am just saying that white is white. So certainly we can follow them. And also to undermine still more this multilateral order, or we can try to look for something that could not be a race to who is the one who gives better and bigger subsidies, because then we go in a completely geopolitical and economic landscape than the one in which we have been working until now. And is not clear how it is going to go. President von der Leyen went to Washington, certainly, it was excellent relations. But what we have in the table now is the will to continue discussing.


  Veronika Vrecionová (ECR). – Pane předsedající, vážený pane vysoký představiteli, Spojené státy a Kanada jsou našimi největšími a nejbližšími spojenci a partnery, a to ve všech oblastech: společná obrana, bezpečnost, ekonomika, kultura, inovace. V současné době ruské imperiální agrese a stále více konfrontačního chování Číny musíme jako Západ držet daleko více při sobě. A hlavně, nesmíme připustit jakékoli, byť jen náznaky obchodních sporů nebo snad dokonce obchodní války. Já se jenom vrátím k tomu, co už tady padlo několikrát. Bohužel obchodní smlouvu se Spojenými státy nemáme. Považuji to za chybu, ale to už se stalo. Chystáme se tedy ty obchodní vztahy řešit alespoň menšími sektorovými dohodami? Vy jste mluvil o dvou dohodách. Já myslím, že to je strašně málo. Chystáme nějaké další? V podstatě mluvíme o tom, co můžeme dále dělat. Ale jakákoli konfrontace se Spojenými státy není v našem zájmu. A jaká bude naše další reakce na IRU (Inflation Reduction Act)?


  Josep Borrell Fontelles, Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. –Nobody is looking for a confrontation with the US. Nobody is looking for that. President von der Leyen went to the US, certainly not looking for confrontation, but looking for understanding and agreement. So do not worry, this is not the case. We are not looking for a confrontation with the US in any field.

But, if the transatlantic relations are in a very good shape, it is for two reasons. First, because we share the same interests and values, or at least, they are very well aligned in many issues. We share the same political analysis of Russia’s war; we both want Ukraine to regain its full sovereignty.

But our relationship works well because our partnership is balanced. And the more balanced it will be, the better it will work. And I think that the US understands that perfectly. I think that the US are very much interested in the European Union to assume their strategic responsibilities, and that a stronger Europe will make a stronger transatlantic relationship. Our relationship works well because it is balanced, and the more balanced it will be, the better it will work.


  Marc Botenga (The Left). – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Ministre des affaires étrangères européen, voici une question. Vous savez que la crédibilité de l’Union européenne dans le monde dépend non seulement de la façon dont nous traitons d’autres pays, mais surtout de quelles interactions nous avons avec nos alliés.

Vous avez été un grand défenseur, justement, du fait de ne pas laisser impunis les crimes de guerre russes en Ukraine. Mais aujourd’hui, nous sommes 20 ans après la guerre américaine contre l’Iraq, une guerre criminelle, en violation du droit international, qui a fait environ un demi-million de morts, et toujours aucun responsable gouvernemental américain n’a été tenu pour responsable.

Alors, dans nos relations transatlantiques et pour la crédibilité de l’Union européenne, pour ne pas avoir une Union européenne qui a deux poids et deux mesures, comme nous le reprochent souvent l’Amérique latine, l’Afrique, etc., allez-vous mettre cette question sur la table, et comment?


  Josep Borrell Fontelles, vicepresidente de la Comisión / alto representante de la Unión para Asuntos Exteriores y Política de Seguridad. – Sí, evidentemente, la crítica que se nos hace de utilizar dos pesos y dos medidas me la encuentro todos los días.

Sí, ustedes defienden la integridad territorial de Ucrania, pero ¿qué hacen para defender la integridad territorial de los territorios palestinos ocupados por Israel, por ejemplo? Eso me lo preguntan todos los días. Hace poco tiempo —la semana pasada, creo—, estuve en la India, en Nueva Delhi, en la reunión del G20 y muchos de nuestros socios internacionales dicen que ellos defienden la paz, pero la defienden de una forma coherente, consistente, y que nosotros lo hacemos de forma selectiva y no dejan de citar ejemplos. Y usted ha citado el ejemplo de la guerra de Irak, que fue sin duda una de las primeras veces en las que se hizo el uso de la fuerza fuera del marco de las Naciones Unidas. Por eso muchos Estados europeos no siguieron a los Estados Unidos en esa guerra.

De lo que usted me plantea ahora, pues, francamente, no tengo nada nuevo que decirle. Que yo sepa, no hay nada sobre la mesa. Pero sí me hago eco de esa crítica, a la que creo que tenemos que ser sensibles. Hemos de ser coherentes y —como decía uno de nuestros socios— hay que defender las cosas de forma consistente y coherente.


  Georgios Kyrtsos (Renew). – Mr Borrell, unfortunately you are obliged to have a global outlook and try to answer questions concerning different regions of the world. What about Latin America? It is of strategic importance to the United States of America and, of course, to the European Union. We have a lot of issues, developments in Mexico, in Brazil, in Argentina. So could you please summarise to us the points of convergence with the strategy and the policies of Washington and some points of divergence?


  Josep Borrell Fontelles, vicepresidente de la Comisión / alto representante de la Unión para Asuntos Exteriores y Política de Seguridad. – Cuando se habla de la relación trasatlántica, todo el mundo entiende que es la relación entre Europa y Estados Unidos, pero esa es solo la relación trasatlántica norte. Hay otra relación trasatlántica, porque América Latina también está del otro lado del Atlántico. O sea que deberíamos hablar de dos relaciones transatlánticas: la norte y la sur. Para nosotros, la sur, la relación con el subcontinente latinoamericano, debería tener mucha más importancia de la que tiene.

Históricamente, Estados Unidos y Europa han visto América Latina de manera muy distinta: Estados Unidos con la Doctrina Monroe —esta es mi área de influencia, este es mi backyard, aquí no se mete nadie y tengo un cierto derecho, en castellano diríamos «de una manera muy castiza»— y Europa es una vieja potencia colonial en América Latina, en particular, en algunos países y, en particular, el que yo conozco mejor. Por lo tanto, nuestra relación no se parece en nada. En América Latina reprochan todavía a Estados Unidos su apoyo a las dictaduras militares en el Cono Sur: la Operación Cóndor, Chile, Argentina, Brasil. Lo recuerdo muy bien.

Hoy el paisaje político latinoamericano ha cambiado. Ha aparecido una nueva izquierda. La nueva izquierda en Colombia, en Chile, una segunda edición de la izquierda de Lula en Brasil, todavía la permanencia de la izquierda peronista en Argentina y el macizo andino. Todo eso dibuja un escenario en el que nosotros tenemos que buscar nuestro camino y comprometernos más con América Latina, independientemente de lo que haga Estados Unidos, que ha hecho mucho, pero seguramente desde una óptica diferente.


  Александър Александров Йорданов (PPE). – Г-н Председател, трансатлантическите отношения, г-н Борел, трябва да гарантират регионална и глобална сигурност. Инструмент на такава сигурност е членството на държавите в НАТО. В тази връзка е моят въпрос. Ние желаем да приемаме нови държави в Европейския съюз, но не трябва ли преди това тези държави да станат членове на НАТО? Досега всички държави от бившия комунистически блок, които бяха приети в Европейския съюз, преди това ставаха членове на НАТО. И въпросът ми е конкретно за Република Сърбия, която в момента е държавата, формираща руско влияние в региона на Западните Балкани и чиято политика дестабилизира и съседни държави като Северна Македония, Косово, Босна и Херцеговина. Членството в НАТО като инструмент за сигурност в трансатлантическите отношения.


  Josep Borrell Fontelles, vicepresidente de la Comisión / alto representante de la Unión para Asuntos Exteriores y Política de Seguridad. – Ustedes perdonen, pero bajo el nombre de relación trasatlántica están ustedes poniendo cualquier cosa que se les ocurra. O sea, ahora resulta que la relación transatlántica determina la integración de Serbia en la...

Vamos a ver, señor presidente, yo vengo aquí con mucho gusto a contestar sobre un tema concreto, pero si me preguntan por cualquier cosa y luego me dicen «esto tiene que ver con la relación trasatlántica», pues les diré «no, no tiene que ver con la relación trasatlántica y no tengo ni idea de cuál es la perspectiva de Serbia a entrar en la OTAN».


  Katarína Roth Neveďalová (S&D). – Vážený pán predsedajúci, ja sa chcem spýtať na transatlantické vzťahy, pán Borrell. My sme mali s Američanmi vždy veľmi dobrú spoluprácu, čo sa týka humanitárnej pomoci a podpory krajín, ktoré boli najzraniteľnejšie, ktoré mali rôzne problémy. Dnes diskutujeme napríklad o kritických surovinách, ktoré sú potrebné pre nás aj pre Američanovm aj pre ďalšie krajiny, napríklad pre Čínu, na výrobu a vývoj rôznych produktov. Ja sa chcem spýtať, kde sa nachádza momentálne diskusia so Spojenými štátmi v tejto otázke ? Ktoré regióny považujeme možno za také dôležité pre nás? Ale aj v súvislosti nielen s tým, akú humanitárnu pomoc podporujeme a ako podporujeme ľudí v týchto regiónoch, ale takisto aj ako chránime týchto ľudí? A keďže sme priatelia, ale zároveň aj konkurenti, tak ako vlastne pomáhame týmto krajinám možno aj bojovať s klimatickými zmenami? Pretože veľmi často tieto využívané zdroje, ktoré využívame a ťažíme, spôsobujú rôzne problémy v oblasti environmentálnej.


  Josep Borrell Fontelles, vicepresidente de la Comisión / alto representante de la Unión para Asuntos Exteriores y Política de Seguridad. – Debo reconocer que no entiendo la pregunta. ¿O sea que cómo ayudamos a quién para qué? ¿Cómo ayudo a qué países?

Por favor, señorías, si ustedes quieren que les conteste con un poco de seriedad, háganme unas preguntas que yo les pueda contestar. ¿Cómo ayudamos a qué países a hacer frente al cambio climático? ¿A qué países se refiere usted?


  Reinhard Bütikofer (Verts/ALE). – Mr Borrell, the cooperation on China is a core issue in transatlantic relations. Recent media excitement has focused on some lack of clarity as to where the EU stands. President von der Leyen has been accused of being overly hawkish. Some people even felt the need to say we should not be a vassal of the United States, while President Michel has been dubbed as the person who tries to avoid confrontation.

Now, where should the EU stand with regard to transatlantic relations on China? And I have three specific questions. President Biden has said yes to all three. What are you saying? Should there be outbound investment screening? Should there be sanctions if China delivers arms to Russia? And should there be a deterrence policy to avoid an attack on Taiwan?


  Josep Borrell Fontelles, Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – This is about our relationship with China, not with the US. Our position with China on arms to Ukraine, our position on China versus Taiwan, which was the other one? Screening of investments? This is our position on China. Do you want a debate on China? Call for it! Call for it! But don’t hide between the transatlantic relations to discuss about China.


  President. – Mr Bütikofer said at the beginning that China is a part of the transatlantic relation, because we need a common position with the West vis-à-via China. I accept that ...


   Ich entschuldige mich dafür, dass viele Kolleginnen und Kollegen heute das Thema der Fragestunde stark erweitert haben. Da bin ich auch mehrfach eingeschritten und Sie auch. Aber bei diesem Thema ist es nicht eine Ausflucht, sondern es ist ein Zusammenhang mit unseren transatlantischen Beziehungen und dem Bezug zu China.


  Hilde Vautmans (Renew). – Wel, ik wil eigenlijk mijn collega Bütikofer bijtreden, want ik moet eerlijk zeggen, mijnheer Borrell, het gaat wel degelijk over trans-Atlantische relaties en ik grijp dit ook aan – net zoals collega Bütikofer – om dit aan te halen.

Mevrouw Ursula von der Leyen was in de Verenigde Staten. We lezen nu dat er een conflict is in houding tussen mevrouw Von der Leyen en Charles Michel met betrekking tot de visie van China. Wij hebben hier breed voor een uitstekend verslag van mijn hand over China gestemd, waarin we zeiden: “Voor China-beleid moeten we samenspreken met gelijkwaardige partners.”

Nu stel ik u de vraag, mijnheer Borrell:

Was er gegevensuitwisseling? Hebben de Verenigde Staten, als goede partner, met ons, Europa, gegevens uitgewisseld als zou China wapens leveren aan Rusland in het conflict dat er daar bestaat? Dat is een vraag over trans-Atlantische relaties.

En te: U bent eigenlijk toch wel gedeeld tussen Raad en Commissie? Wat is uw standpunt nu? Volgt u mevrouw Von der Leyen of volgt u Charles Michel met betrekking tot het China-beleid? Laat u zich beïnvloeden door de houding van de Verenigde Staten richting China? Dat is wel duidelijk een vraag over trans-Atlantische relaties.


  Josep Borrell Fontelles, Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Look, I am not aware that there is a difference between the President of the Commission and the President of the Council, is there? Where is this information coming from? Do you read the press?

(In reaction to off-mic comment by Hilde Vautmans) Let’s be serious. Please. Let’s be serious.

The common foreign policy of the European Union is being driven by the European Union Council because foreign policy belongs to the Member States, not to the Commission. I am charged with building a common foreign policy, putting together the different approaches of the different Member States to China. So the foreign policy of the European Union with respect to China is being built under the political guidance of the European Union Council.

Trade policy is a competence of the community pillar of the European Union. But trade policy doesn’t dictate foreign policy. Trade policy is part of foreign policy. Trade policy doesn’t drive foreign policy. It is foreign policy that drives trade policy. Does that answer your question?


  Der Präsident. – Wir beenden die Frage…


Frau Kollegin, bitte! Wir beenden die Fragestunde mit dem Hohen Vertreter und Vize-Präsidenten der Kommission.

Die Lebhaftigkeit und die Vielfalt der Fragen zeigt, wie intensiv nicht nur die transantlantischen Beziehungen, sondern die geopolitische Entwicklung Teil der politischen Debatte in Europa geworden ist. Ich halte das für gut.

In Zukunft würde ich die Kolleginnen und Kollegen bitten, bei ihrer Fragestellung das Thema der Fragestunde primär im Visier zu haben.


15. Deterioration of democracy in Israel and consequences on the occupied territories (debate)
Video of the speeches

  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über die Erklärung des Vizepräsidenten der Kommission und Hohen Vertreters der Union für Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik über die Verschlechterung der Demokratie in Israel und Folgen für die besetzten Gebiete (2023/2593(RSP)).


  Josep Borrell Fontelles, Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Mr President, honourable Members of the European Parliament, thank you for this opportunity to address you today on the increasingly important issues. Everybody is following closely the developments in the Middle East in the past weeks, both in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territories.

First I would like to start by underlying both the European Union’s and my own personal engagement with both parties. I’ve been in contact with both Israeli Foreign Minister Cohen – even this morning – and the Palestinian Prime Minister. We invited the Prime Minister to Brussels, where we had a very good exchange at the last Foreign Affairs Council in January. This has been coupled with public messaging. You have seen a number of my statements – not my statements – the last one was an a statement of 27 Member States. Sometimes people blame me for the statements of the 27 Member States. It’s not me, it’s the 27 Member States. I am representing the Council, and the Council is the 27 Member States. This was issued last Wednesday. And when we face a difficult situation on the ground with increasing violence and extremism I think it’s crucial that the European Union is united and speaks with one voice, not my voice, the voice of the 27, all together. And we managed to reach an agreement of the 27. And this is the first time it happened for many years, that we had the statement of the 27.

And I spoke this morning on the phone with the Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, who was not very happy about this debate. He was concerned. He was asking why the European Parliament is interfering in the internal affairs of Israel. He was once again blaming me. Well, sorry, I am coming to the Parliament. The Parliament calls me to discuss something, and I have to come. Which I did. It’s not me who put this title, ‘Deterioration of democracy in Israel and consequences on the occupied territories’, it’s the political groups, and this Parliament is able to discuss about everything they consider important. And that’s what I try to explain to the Israeli minister in a very friendly way: ‘Look, it’s normal that the parliamentarians are concerned about the growing spiral of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories and the need for all sides to de-escalate the situation’. I mentioned this agreement that we reached with the 27 Member States where, of course, we condemn terrorism; of course we fully recognise Israel’s right to defend itself; and we certainly never draw a comparison between operations by the Israeli military and the actions of terrorists. But we have to call for the proportional use of force. No, we don’t want any kind of funding activities that could encourage incitement.

Of course we are a strong believer in the two—state solution. And there is no, we believe, viable alternative to that. And with our international partners, we will continue to work for a peaceful solution to the conflict. And I am using this Parliament to say – and I suppose you agree – that the European Union has to engage on looking for peace in the Middle East, and that the Middle East peace process is something that matters for us, and we are engaged on that. Maybe someone doesn’t like it, but we do it because we believe that is our contribution to the security in the region and to our security too. So I hope that today will be a good discussion to show to Minister Cohen that the Parliament is ready to discuss what is happening in the Middle East and how we can contribute to the peace process. And this is not at all to have an anti-Israeli position. Not at all.

Second, we have known Israel for its vibrant democracy. That’s true. So vibrant that we have seen five elections in the past three years. Very vibrant. Five elections in three years is quite a dynamic electoral process. And the new government is keen to pursue a judicial reform. And that’s what we want to discuss today: a judicial reform which has led to a heated internal political debate. And everybody knows, because everybody watches TV and reads newspapers, that many Israelis have been demonstrating in the streets. And both the government and opposition are using fierce language. A compromise seems difficult, but as far as I know, talks are ongoing, especially thanks to the efforts of President Herzog. And I don’t want to prejudge the outcome of this debate. I am not part of this debate. I am just saying that this debate is taking place. And I can’t remember you what the President Herzog himself has said. And we are a close observer because Israel is a key partner. Our values are based on our democratic and open society and the rule of law. And we expect this to continue.

And if we have concerns, if you have concerns, you will not hesitate to express them and convey them as you do with any part of the world. For example, the Knesset is discussing a bill that could re-establish the death penalty. We know that we are strongly and we are in principle opposed to the death penalty. And for sure today, I’m sure that many members will engage on this clearly.

And third, with full respect to the internal political dynamics in Israel, this Chamber is fully empowered to discuss these dynamics and to understand what happens there with respect to our perception of our values and interest in the region. Nothing is strange on that. This cannot be seen as an interference, but a way of showing our interest and our appreciation for the Israeli democracy.

And then you present in the title of the debate also the consequences on the Palestinian territories, the occupied Palestinian territories. And I am not inventing the new world if I say that the situation there is grave. And that violence has reached levels unseen since 2005, with an appalling number of victims, including children. Things cannot go on like this. And I made a call with our statement and also with an article published in the Middle East press, asking both sides to act urgently and responsibly. They need to do whatever they can to allow for a change of course.

And we have been clear and I will be clear once again: settlements are illegal under international law. Is that being anti-Israeli saying that? No: settlements are illegal under international law. And the expansion must stop, as well as demolition and evictions of Palestinians from their homes. The Israeli Government must seriously counter the violence of settler extremism and hold perpetrators accountable. And military operations must be proportionate and in line with international humanitarian law. It’s difficult not to agree on that.

But the Palestinian Authority must act too. They must redouble their efforts in terms of security cooperation and work to prevent acts of terror that have claimed many Israeli lives. It is equally important that the Palestinians work towards reconciliation in order to reunite the Palestinian territories under one single legitimate authority. Palestinian factions should engage constructively in reconciliation talks. Palestinian people deserve the right to vote in national democratic elections to renew the legitimacy of their leadership. This is important also in view of future peace talks.

The international community must act as well to help bring about a renewed perspective for peace. And we need renewed international efforts to help both Israelis and Palestinians to think through their options. And in order to contribute to that, on 13 February I met with the Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal, and with Arab League Secretary—General Aboul Gheit, and we agreed to work together towards a viable solution in order to revive and build on the Arab Peace Initiative, also by adding a European peace contribution to it. And in these efforts we will be working closely with other Arab and international partners.

We have also supported the work of the US, including on the recent Aqaba Joint Communiqué. And all parties should now respect the agreements that they reached in Aqaba in good faith. And we must help to create the conditions where it will be advantageous for Israelis and Palestinians to go back to the negotiating table and talk. And nothing will make me more happy than to be able to contribute from the European Union to prepare this process. I’m sure everybody in this Chamber agrees that the European Union should do all we can in order to contribute to a peaceful settlement of the conflict in the Middle East and peace between Israel and Palestine. This and nothing else is what is moving us, and in particular me.


  Michael Gahler, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, dear colleagues, our support for Israel as a functioning, vibrant democracy in the Middle East is, to a large extent, dependent on this very fact – that it remains a functioning democracy, where the separation of powers between the executive, parliament and the courts prevails. The legislation that is currently passing the Knesset seeks, among other issues, to enable the Knesset to overrule Supreme Court decisions. Such legislation must be a no go in a functioning democracy.

But there is hope and protest. Israeli President Yitzhak Herzog last Thursday said that the government should abandon proposed legislation to overhaul the country’s judiciary, in favour of a model with broad national support. I also put my trust in Israel’s vibrant civil society. Hundreds of thousands of citizens are demonstrating every day against this onslaught on a liberal democracy, and they will not let it happen.

Israel, with its founding legacy, must remain on moral high ground. The prime minister has to guarantee that hate speech against political opponents and extremist positions expressed by cabinet ministers do not further encourage a circle of violence, such as the radical settlers attacking Palestinians in Huwara. He is also responsible not to implement those parts of the coalition agreement where the signatories claim, ‘Israel has a natural right over all of the land, and a fundamental purpose of the new government will be to promote Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank’.

We want to defend Israel’s legitimate right to exist as the Jewish state, but we cannot defend what is illegitimate.


  Pedro Marques, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, this is a significant moment of unity in this chamber, and I want to highlight that after the words of my colleague, Mr Gahler, because with the aim to free itself from the strings of the judiciary, the government of Israel and its coalition are trying to approve legislation that is not acceptable in a democratic country as we know them. It’s certainly not acceptable and not accepted in Israel, too, because Israeli citizens are taking to the streets week after week on ever bigger mass demonstrations to protect against the judiciary reform already referred previously by Michael Gahler, claiming, correctly, that it constitutes an assault to the Israeli democracy. This reform diminishes the judiciary as a whole, making it easy for the political power to overrule decisions from the Supreme Court. And as it was also referred, legislative proposals are being discussed to reinstate even the death penalty. This government is paving the way for a de facto annexation of the occupied territories. So let me end, Mr President, with a sentence, there is no room for ambiguity. We are not anti-Israeli, for we are by the side of the hundreds of thousands, of the millions of Israelis that are fighting for democracy in Israel in the streets these days.


  Nicola Beer, im Namen der Renew-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Die Europäische Union und Israel verbindet eine tiefe Freundschaft. Freundschaft bedeutet aber auch, besorgniserregende Entwicklungen anzusprechen – und ich bin besorgt. Ich bin besorgt über die neue Gewaltspirale in den palästinensischen Gebieten. Ich bin besorgt über die geplante Justizreform der neuen israelischen Regierung, die zum Ende der Gewaltenteilung und der Unabhängigkeit der Justiz führen könnte.

Die Demonstrationen in Israel und die Äußerung von Präsident Herzog zeigen aber auch, dass Israel eine lebendige, eine wehrhafte Demokratie ist, die um bessere Lösungen ringt. Wir als Europäisches Parlament, als demokratischer Partner sollten uns als vertrauensvoller Partner anbieten und unterstützen. Im Diskurs miteinander zu sein, sich offen zu äußern, insbesondere als Freund, sehe ich als konstruktiver an, als das übliche blame game beider Seiten.

Ich baue auf mutige Politikerinnen und Politiker in Regierung und Opposition, die in der Lage sind, sowohl einen gesellschaftlichen Konsens in Israel herbeizuführen als auch später – quasi in der Fortführung der Abraham Accords – die Gewalt in den palästinensischen Gebieten zu überwinden.


  Jordi Solé, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – In just a few short weeks, we have seen what the most extremist government in Israel’s seven-decade history is capable of: eroding democracy by undermining the independence of the judiciary. Mr Borrell, the EU must unequivocally stand with those who defend a solid democracy with proper checks and balances in Israel. And you should make clear that if these reforms go ahead, this will ultimately have consequences for relations between the EU and Israel. But as we look at what is going on in the streets of Israel and in the Knesset, we need also to be looking at what is happening in the occupied territories. And there we see more of the same. Perhaps with greater intensity. We see growing violence, expansion plans for illegal settlements, a de facto annexation turning into a covert, de jure annexation, daily discrimination against Palestinians, demolitions... It is necessary that it also gets international attention and condemnation and that the EU finally gets vocal and consistent, opposing occupation policies from the current government, as well as former ones which seek to make a just and lasting peace an impossibility.


  Joachim Stanisław Brudziński, w imieniu grupy ECR. – Panie Przewodniczący! Według oceny delegatury Unii Europejskiej w Tel Awiwie rośnie zagrożenie eskalacją przemocy na Zachodnim Brzegu. Newralgiczny okres nadchodzącego ramadanu i nakładających się na niego świąt żydowskich wraz z ostrą retoryką radykalnych polityków wchodzących w skład koalicji rządowej w Izraelu, w tym odpowiedzialnych za różne aspekty bezpieczeństwa, w połączeniu z poczuciem bezkarności osadników, jeszcze bardziej zwiększają ryzyko kolejnych aktów przemocy. Do tego dochodzi bardzo słabe panowanie nad sytuacją na Zachodnim Brzegu ze strony władz Autonomii Palestyńskiej oraz duża liczba obecnych tam gotowych do akcji jednostek małych ugrupowań rozproszonych i pozostających poza czyjąkolwiek kontrolą, takich jak Hamas czy Palestyński Islamski Dżihad.

W ostatnim czasie doszło do wielu nadużyć ze strony osadników, ale i izraelskich służb na Zachodnim Brzegu, do jednych z najbardziej wstrząsających należą wydarzenia w Huwarze. W ocenie wielu komentatorów, wydarzenia w Huwarze pokazują coraz większą zuchwałość osadników, u których poczucie bezkarności może być podsycane świadomością obecności w rządzie izraelskim ich zwolenników. Ja chciałbym się upomnieć, Szanowni Państwo, o palestyńskich chrześcijan. Nadchodzą święta Wielkanocy. Mówimy o konflikcie palestyńsko-izraelskim, a zapominamy o chrześcijanach, którzy od wieków są prześladowani zarówno przez jednych, jak i drugich ekstremistów.


  Anna Bonfrisco, a nome del gruppo ID. – Signor Presidente, Alto rappresentante Borrell, onorevoli colleghi, i cittadini di Israele oggi sono orgogliosi del loro Paese, che quest'anno celebra 75 anni di indipendenza, e credono nella giustizia della sua causa, ma allo stesso tempo sono esausti dalle lotte intestine e dalle sue conseguenze sulla vita politica e sociale.

Queste sono parole del Presidente Herzog e lo ringraziamo per questo monito valido per tutte le democrazie liberali e anche per aver celebrato con noi la Giornata della Memoria. Israele conosce i pericoli derivanti dal virus della polarizzazione politica, un virus che può erodere la fiducia dei cittadini nelle istituzioni e arrivare a paralizzare la nazione.

Ma è importante ribadire che Israele è un faro di democrazia. È uno Stato speciale per come è costruito e per come opera. È uno Stato innovativo per natura e desideroso di contribuire allo sviluppo del genere umano, nonostante si trovi collocati nell'area più difficile del mondo. Intorno a sé ha nemici, intolleranza, disprezzo, terrorismo e Stati caratterizzati da una minore volontà di sviluppo e di democrazia. Ma Israele si sa difendere da tutto ciò.

I will now switch to English and, given the importance of our debate today, I would like to conclude with a quotation from Chaim Weizmann, the first President of Israel: ‘The future of the State of Israel rests on three foundations: fraternal love, an effort to build and peace to all, near and far.’


  Martina Michels, im Namen der Fraktion The Left. – Herr Präsident, Herr Borrell, Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Israels Regierungskoalition mit rechtsextremen Parteien ist dabei, die demokratische Verfasstheit des Landes niederzureißen. Dabei geht es nicht nur um das Justizreformpaket, das selbst der Staatspräsident Herzog als bedrückend und schädlich für die Demokratie bezeichnet und gegen das Tausende seit Wochen auf die Straße gehen. Es geht auch um die Einführung der Todesstrafe, um die Übertragung von Zuständigkeiten für die besetzten Gebiete auf das neue Büro für Siedlungstätigkeiten im besetzten Westjordanland. Es geht um eine inzwischen ungezügelte Siedlungspolitik und die Beschleunigung von Annexionstendenzen.

Das sind mitnichten interne Angelegenheiten. Diese Politik ist auch keine Entschuldigung für Terroranschläge, aber sie wird nicht dazu beitragen, die Spirale von Hass und Gewalt zu durchbrechen. Herr Borrell, Israel und die EU verbindet vieles, vor allem auch die gemeinsamen Werte von Demokratie und Menschenrechten. Wir müssen endlich klar dazu stehen, die Kräfte in der israelischen Gesellschaft, die diese Werte und Wege verteidigen, zu unterstützen, notfalls gegen ihre eigene Regierung.


  Kinga Gál (NI). – Tisztelt Elnök Úr! Főképviselő Úr! Képviselőtársaim! Izrael egy stabil, demokratikusan megválasztott kormánnyal rendelkezik, amellyel szembeni támadások most ismét azt bizonyítják, hogy a baloldali erők képtelenek elfogadni, ha egy választáson nekik nem tetsző eredmény születik. A baloldal ugyanúgy választások miatt, politikai alapon támadja most Izraelt, ahogy Magyarországot is teszi. Ideje lenne, hogy végre tiszteletben tartsák a választók többségének akaratát, és a demokratikus választások végeredményét. Az Ábrahám-megállapodások megkötése hosszú évtizedek után a tartós béke záloga lehet Izrael és az arab országok között. Az izraeli kormányfő elismerést érdemel a közel-keleti térség stabilitásáért tett erőfeszítéséért.

Ez Európa biztonsága szempontjából is kulcsfontosságú, ennek hiánya ugyanis a terrorfenyegetettség és az illegális migrációs hullámok erősödését eredményezi. Európának elemi érdeke, hogy támogassa a közel-keleti békefolyamatot. Izrael önvédelemhez való jogát tiszteletben kell tartani. Elítélendő minden izraeli állampolgárral szemben elkövetett terrortámadás. Megbékélés kell végre.


  Antonio López-Istúriz White (PPE). – Señor presidente, miles de personas se manifiestan pacíficamente en Israel defendiendo el Estado de Derecho. Esto mismo ha ocurrido hace poco en España también, por maniobras de mi Gobierno —¿no?— en cuestiones judiciales. Lo que demuestra es que es un país democrático, como cualquiera aquí.

Pero las reformas judiciales propuestas en Israel están pasando ahora mismo por un intenso proceso legislativo y político, un proceso que aún desconocemos. Creo que perdemos cierta credibilidad, señor Borrell, como actores estratégicos si nos apresuramos a debatir una ley en proceso de creación en un país democrático, no como los que lo rodean, de los que hablamos poco muchas veces.

Por supuesto, comparto las preocupaciones sobre estas reformas propuestas tal y como están ahora. Es más, no las comparto. Pero debemos recordar que una de las ventajas de la democracia —por si alguno se ha olvidado— es la negociación y la participación de distintos actores en los procesos legislativos. Debemos confiar en el sistema democrático israelí, que reflejará la voluntad de los votantes y también de las diversas opiniones sobre este asunto tan sensible como es el Estado de Derecho. Los ciudadanos, los políticos y la sociedad israelí, y lo ha mencionado, señor Borrell, y lo han mencionado otros, el presidente de Israel, el presidente Herzog, van a intervenir en este proceso, lógicamente.

A diferencia de otros países, Israel goza de una excelente salud democrática. Solo en el caso de que sus mecanismos de pesos y contrapesos fallen, tendremos la autoridad y, por supuesto, el momento para criticar lo que allí se decida.

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


  Ana Miranda (Verts/ALE), intervención de «tarjeta azul». – Señor López-Istúriz, como usted es el presidente de la Delegación para las Relaciones con Israel, yo le he preguntado recientemente, en la reunión de la Delegación, si tenía conocimiento de lo que me sucedió entrando en el aeropuerto de Tel Aviv. Usted quedó en hacer alguna gestión ante el Gobierno de Israel; simplemente, deseaba preguntar si lo ha hecho o si tiene alguna información para que retiren el veto a la prohibición de entrada como diputada de esta Cámara. Gracias si me responde.


  Antonio López-Istúriz White (PPE), respuesta de «tarjeta azul». – Efectivamente se ha contactado sobre esto y, sobre todo, con el gabinete de la presidenta, que —como sabe usted y se lo han dicho, se lo han comentado— está siguiendo el caso.

Sobre este caso particular, haré una declaración al respecto —me alegro de poder decírselo ahora en público— en la próxima reunión de la delegación de Israel, que creo que es dentro de una o dos semanas.

En breve tendrá la respuesta acerca de todo lo que hemos recuperado.


  Evin Incir (S&D). – Mr President, colleagues, history will judge us not based on our thoughts, but merely on our actions. The Israeli democracy is right now at stake, it is in danger. And the international community, this includes the EU, has an obligation to act in defence of the people. Democracy, rule of law and human rights are not up for negotiation. It is about respect for international law. So to the colleague that was speaking previously, we need to, together, ensure the respect for international law.

In the biggest demonstration in Israeli history, over half a million citizens have taken to the streets to protest against the extreme right wing government and their attempt to throw the country into an authoritarian one. The judicial reforms and the government illiberal policies are perpetrated against the Israeli people as well as the Palestinian people. It is used as a tool to expand settlements and annex the West Bank.

For years already, the EU has demanded a stop to and compensation for Israeli demolition and confiscation of EU-funded structures and projects. For decades, the EU has demanded an end to the occupation and of the expansion of illegal settlements in Palestine. Enough already! My question to the High Representative and Vice-President Josep Borrell is what appropriate measures will the Commission take?




  Bernard Guetta (Renew). – Monsieur le Président, c’est si triste que l’on en viendrait presque à ironiser. Ironiquement parlant, on pourrait se dire que voilà, c’est fait. Israël s’intègre enfin au Proche-Orient, puisque sa majorité parlementaire n’aspire plus qu’à reproduire le modèle politique des régimes qui l’entourent. Mais non! L’ironie n’est hélas pas de mise, car cet État que notre Union soutient parce qu’il est la seule démocratie de la région, pourrait aujourd’hui prendre le chemin des démocraties illibérales, celles où l’on continue de voter pendant que les contre-pouvoirs sont attaqués et détruits.

La situation est si grave que deux Israéliens sur trois, de droite et de gauche, luttent pour la survie de leur démocratie. Alors, comme partout, nous devons soutenir l’état de droit, dire de quel côté nous sommes et ne pas hésiter, s’il le fallait, à utiliser toutes nos armes, politiques bien sûr, mais également économiques.


  Katrin Langensiepen (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, since weeks, thousands of Israelis have been demonstrating against the judicial reforms. The new Netanyahu government plan is not a judicial reform: it’s a revolution. A revolution in a very bad, dangerous direction.

And what’s the plan? It seeks full power of the appointment of the nine-member committee that selects the judges of the Supreme Court. It wants to give the Knesset the ability to override court decisions by a simple majority, give ministers authority to appoint legal advisers in the ministry as opposed to the Attorney General doing so.

Human rights are in danger. Women’s rights are in danger. Rights of minorities will be in danger. I am very worried about the rights of the citizens in Israel and the neighbour states it has consequences for. We are consequently on the side of the democrats in Israel. We are solidary with the demonstrators on the streets in Israel. We are the partners of Israel and not of a crude group of old grey, conservative fascist men.


  Manu Pineda (The Left). – Señor presidente, señor Borrell, el régimen israelí ha intensificado su espiral de violencia contra el pueblo palestino. En lo que va de año, y sin contar lo que está pasando en el gueto de Gaza, han sido asesinadas 83 personas palestinas y han sido destruidas 144 viviendas. Han autorizado nueve asentamientos y anunciado la construcción, solo en Cisjordania, de más de 10 000 viviendas para colonos ilegales.

Este mismo mes se ha aprobado un proyecto de ley que instaura la pena de muerte para los presos palestinos. ¿Y qué hace la Unión Europea ante este atropello? Pues lo de siempre: declaraciones en las que manifiesta su profunda preocupación mientras que usted, señor Borrell, reactiva el Consejo de Asociación con Israel y la presidenta Metsola anuncia que estrecha relaciones con el Parlamento israelí e invita con honor al presidente de un régimen colonial que practica la limpieza étnica y el apartheid contra el pueblo nativo del territorio que ocupa.

Señor Borrell, hay que acabar ya con el Acuerdo de Asociación con Israel y excluir a este régimen criminal de todos los programas financiados por la Unión Europea.


  Fabio Massimo Castaldo (NI). – Mr President, the recent developments have shown a global alarming trend towards the normalisation of far—right and ultra—nationalist ideologies, with the potential to further erode the democratic principles on which the EU and the EU partnership are founded.

Israel makes no exception. As it is well known, the Pegasus spyware developed and distributed by an Israeli company is being widely used to target human rights defenders, journalists and political opponents across the world, including in our Union. This is an aspect that should be firmly taken into account in all our cooperation, especially when they are set up, and as it happened with the Israeli police force, including on cybercrimes, to ensure adequate controls and conditionalities, because the use of such spyware to silence dissidents and stifle free speech is a threat to democracy and must be firmly condemned.

As representatives of the European Union we must use our voice to call for greater accountability and transparency in the sale and the use of such technology. We must stand in solidarity with those who fight for human rights and democratic values, because only by working together can we ensure a future where all people can live in freedom, dignity and justice.


  Željana Zovko (PPE). – Mr President, High Commissioner, Israel has been a democracy in the last 75 years. Actually they are having many elections, they had three elections in last four years and they have quite a heated debate. And as we gather today to discuss the recent protest in Israel, my sincere hope is that the Israeli society will come together to find a compromise on this debate.

I would like to take a moment as well to address the ongoing escalating wave of violence not seen in the last 15 years. With the greatest sadness, we are continuing to witness the loss of innocent lives in both Israel and Palestine. We need an active diplomacy and it’s quite urgent, and dialogue to end this conflict. I commend the effort of the US, Jordan and Egypt in trying to de-escalate the situation through the Aqaba Communique of 26 February 2023. The EU can also play an important role as an honest broker in this process. Countries in the region and the conflicting parties should continue to work towards de-escalation to achieve long-lasting peace and prevent more unnecessary deaths. Please. That’s the task for the EU and we can really play a constructive role in this.


  Brando Benifei (S&D). – Signor Presidente, Alto rappresentante, onorevoli colleghi, il Governo Netanyahu, insediatosi a fine 2022, detiene purtroppo già due record: è l'esecutivo più a destra della storia di Israele e ha scatenato proteste antigovernative, le più grandi di sempre. Centinaia di migliaia di persone scendono in strada in questi giorni per rifiutare una riforma della giustizia che vuole concentrare poteri nelle mani dell'Esecutivo e depotenziare la Corte Suprema.

Con questa riforma il governo potrebbe nominare molto più facilmente i giudici della Corte, verrebbe eliminato il potere di veto sulle leggi del governo e la maggioranza sarebbe in grado di bloccare le sentenze della Corte stessa.

Questo è un esempio di un disegno nazionalista autoritario da parte di un governo che minaccia lo stato della democrazia israeliana, i suoi meccanismi di pesi e contrappesi, nonché le prospettive di pace con il popolo palestinese, mentre prosegue una spirale di violenza senza precedenti.

L'Unione europea non può voltarsi dall'altra parte: deve impegnarsi per la democrazia e per la pace anche in quella regione.


  María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos (Renew). – Señor presidente, el Gobierno de Israel, en el que participan partidos de extrema derecha, ultranacionalistas y ultra religiosos, avanzaban, por declaraciones de algunos de sus líderes —que hoy son ministros—, un gobierno antiliberal, pro anexión, racista y homófobo. Desgraciadamente, lo que está sucediendo es la prueba de lo primero.

La reforma judicial es realmente un golpe de Estado antidemocrático. Estamos aquí, debatiendo, porque no es una cuestión interna de Israel. Los más afectados por esta reforma van a ser los palestinos y aquellas minorías más vulnerables.

La política de anexión de territorios ocupados y discriminación de los derechos de los palestinos se lleva años produciendo. La vulneración del derecho internacional, también. Desde luego, esta reforma, si se acaba con las garantías judiciales, no hará más que profundizarlo. Los derechos de israelíes y palestinos están siendo amenazados. El mismo ministro de Interior, que pedía una represión dura contra los manifestantes israelíes, es aquel que ampara la actuación violenta de los colonos.

Es tiempo, alto representante, de actuaciones. No... (el presidente retira la palabra a la oradora).


  Margrete Auken (Verts/ALE). – Hr. formand! Det lovkompleks, der er på vej i Israel, er en katastrofe for Israels demokrati. Men det var i forvejen hullet med love, der klart diskriminerer Israels palæstinensiske borgere for slet ikke at tale om dem i det besatte Palæstina. Gennem 55 år er deres liv gået fra slemt til stadig værre. I 2022 blev 146 civile dræbt, heraf 39 børn. De fleste af IDF straffrit. Land blev stjålet af bosættere, huse revet ned i voldsomt omfang, børn og voksne fængslet i måneds, ja årevis. Med den ny regering forsvinder den sidste rest af retsbeskyttelse. Annekteringen af Palæstina foregår nu fuldt lovligt og med fuld fart. Folkeretten er for Israel en by i Rusland, væk. Hr. Borrell, relevans, tale er vigtig, men endnu vigtigere er relevant handling, nu. Desmond Tutu anså også Israel for en apartheidstat. Hans svar til dem, der iklæder sig neutralitetens kappe var; hvis du er neutral i uretfærdige situationer, har du valgt undertrykkerens side.


  Marc Botenga (The Left). – Monsieur le président, Monsieur le Ministre des affaires étrangères de l'Europe, oui, effectivement, l'Union européenne se fait critiquer partout dans le monde pour ses deux poids deux mesures. D'une part parce qu'on ne critique jamais, par exemple, les crimes de guerre américains, mais effectivement aussi sur Israël et pour l'association de l'Union européenne avec Israël.

Alors là, j'ai du mal à comprendre et j'ai du mal à comprendre parce qu'effectivement nous avons un gouvernement israélien aujourd'hui qui déclare, qui avoue ouvertement violer le droit international, qui veut annexer les territoires palestiniens. On voit un ministre qui appelle à effacer et raser un village comme Huwara. Et cela s'ajoute effectivement aux bulldozers qui détruisent les maisons palestiniennes, aux assassinats d'enfants, etc.

Moi je me dis que si un autre État avait fait la moitié du quart de ce que fait Israël, nous aurions déjà appelé à des sanctions. Nous n'aurions certainement pas conclu un accord d'association avec cet État. Mais ici, pour Israël, déjà vous avez l'air de vous excuser d'une déclaration un peu forte. Alors, aujourd'hui, soyons cohérents, prenons des sanctions ou suspendons pour le moins l'accord d'association. On ne peut pas rester associé à un tel gouvernement quand même!


  Marcel de Graaff (NI). – Voorzitter, in Israël is Benjamin Netanyahu opnieuw minister-president geworden en prompt beginnen de protesten, zoals ook toen Donald Trump president werd, zoals ook in Georgië, toen het parlement zich keerde tegen buitenlandse beïnvloeding, zoals ook toen zogenaamd het Capitool bestormd werd. Het is de beproefde techniek van links om tegen betaling protesten te organiseren of te kapen, stemmen te ronselen, rechtszaken aan te spannen en regeringen omver te werpen. Ook deze protesten in Israël zijn door een linkse elite georganiseerd via vehikels zoals de Movement for Quality Government om hun weerzinwekkende ideologische agenda uit te rollen. De EU zelf heeft in het kader van haar thematische programma voor maatschappelijke organisaties miljoenen ter beschikking gesteld om de Israëlische regering via deze maatschappelijke tussenpersonen onder druk te zetten. Ik roep de Commissie op onmiddellijk te stoppen met deze aanval op de democratie in andere landen.


  David Lega (PPE). – Mr President, I am known to be a friend of Israel, but in this context, I would like to highlight this: true friends are honest with each other, and true friends can also discuss uncomfortable issues. And while I stand by Israel, the Middle East's only democracy, and its indisputable right to defend its territory and people, I do have an uncomfortable issue to address.

The draft legislation on the planned judicial reform is worrisome. We don't know how the final reform will look, and that is important to keep in mind. Only a draft has been presented so far and at this stage, Israel's democratic allies, among them the US, have expressed concerns, but more importantly, many, many, many, many Israelis have expressed their discontent. And as Israel is a genuine democracy, people are by all means allowed to protest and enjoy the rights to freedom of expression and opinion. The regional comparison is noteworthy. Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East. Israel is the only country where people are allowed to protest and express dissenting opinions, as the Israelis are doing right now. So I do hope that the government of Israel will listen to the concerns of their transatlantic democratic friends. But I know for a fact that the government of Israel are listening to their people, as in all genuine democracies.

I look forward to continuing and deepening the relations between the EU and Israel, including by discussing uncomfortable issues like this one, because that's what friends do.


  Nacho Sánchez Amor (S&D). – Señor presidente, señor Borrell, si la leyenda famosa urbana de la rana en agua hirviendo fuera cierta, este sería un buen momento para utilizarla.

Hemos dejado ir muy lejos a Israel en materia de libertades y derecho internacional sin una redacción adecuada. Y ahora nos encontramos con una reforma judicial que su propio presidente, tan citado hoy aquí, considera inaceptable, depredadora y que desmantela los cimientos democráticos. Yo me pregunto qué estaríamos diciendo si este fuera un proyecto, por ejemplo, de Erdoğan. ¿Estaríamos poniendo tantos paños calientes?

Afortunadamente, ha habido una reacción de la sociedad civil y ahí queda alguna esperanza para el futuro del país. Por eso, no tenemos que confundir nunca esa sociedad civil de Israel, que está en las calles protestando, con su Gobierno.

Habría que hablar un poco también de las consecuencias, no solo para la población palestina, sino para toda la región. Israel, supuestamente, era la única democracia de Oriente Medio. Nunca lo fue en realidad para la población palestina de los territorios ocupados, y ahora corre el riesgo de dejar de serlo también para la propia sociedad israelí.


  Ilana Cicurel (Renew). – Monsieur le Président, j'ai souvent rappelé dans cet hémicycle la nécessité de préserver la complexité du conflit israélo-palestinien, combattu l'idée inique consistant à parler d'apartheid dans un pays où nombre de citoyens arabes sont médecins, professeurs, policiers, députés, juges, y compris à la Cour suprême.

Aujourd'hui, face à la tentative de mise au pas du système judiciaire, je veux m'adresser au premier ministre d'Israël, comme députée européenne représentant des puissances amies, l'Europe et la France, et comme femme politique viscéralement attachée à la démocratie et au destin d'Israël. Ne fermez pas les yeux devant la mobilisation la plus massive de l'histoire d'Israël. Ne perdez pas vos plus grand alliés en restant sourd à leurs appels à la raison. Ne trahissez pas les principes fondateurs de l'État d'Israël et le message biblique dont il est porteur et qui a contribué à l'idée européenne de démocratie en posant dans la Torah elle-même le principe de séparation des pouvoirs et l'obligation d'ériger des tribunaux pour limiter les dérives du pouvoir politique.

Il est encore temps de renoncer à ce projet dangereux pour la démocratie israélienne, qui a toujours su, et c'est remarquable, maintenir l'État de droit malgré l'état de guerre. Le président Herzog vous montre la voie.


  Ana Miranda (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, all my support and solidarity with the protests in Israel, in Palestine and around the world; all my support to the Israeli and Palestinian civil-society organisations, in particular human rights defenders to continue their vital work. Israel respects nothing, nor to the Members of the European Parliament like me, who was on an official mission, and Israel arbitrarily decide not to let me enter to go to Palestine.

We are deeply concerned about the judiciary reform proposed by Israel. The EU cannot remain silent. The judicial reform is the result of the coalition agreement that will be used as a tool to expand settlements and annex the West Bank.

The EU needs to recognise that annexation of the West Bank is taking place. The transfer of power from the stable administration to the Finance and Defence Minister is more annexation of the West Bank by Israel.

Mr Borrell, if the EU is committed to the two-state solution, it should strongly push back against this annexation, against the occupation.

(The President cut off the speaker)


  Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez (PPE). – Señor presidente, señor alto representante, resulta muy curioso ver cómo aquellos que más alzan la voz hoy al hablar sobre la independencia judicial son precisamente quienes desde hace años ya han dictado sentencia contra Israel. Como en tantas otras ocasiones, estamos teniendo un debate con carácter preventivo. Antes incluso de que la reforma haya finalizado su proceso de debate en el seno de la sociedad de Israel, algunos diputados de esta casa ya han sacado sus conclusiones.

Al igual que varios sectores de la sociedad de Israel, también nosotros compartimos su preocupación sobre el riesgo de tensión de los equilibrios constitucionales de Israel. Pero también somos conscientes de que la mayoría de israelíes creen que es necesaria una reforma judicial. El verdadero reto para ello ahora es elegir, con los mayores consensos posibles, qué reforma es la adecuada para Israel. Pero, al margen de cómo discurra este proceso legislativo, hablar ya de un deterioro de la democracia, o incluso de iliberalismo, resulta exagerado y alejado cuando todavía estamos hablando sobre un proyecto.

El Estado de Derecho, la independencia judicial y la calidad democrática en Israel hasta ahora están fuera de toda duda, y así lo acreditan numerosas instancias internacionales. Por tanto, respetemos los tiempos y los procedimientos democráticos. Esperemos a la versión final de la reforma y dejemos de desacreditar, sin hechos definitivos, la salud institucional de un socio tan estratégico como Israel.


  César Luena (S&D). – Señor presidente, alto representante y vicepresidente de la Comisión, yo creo que es muy importante hacer declaraciones, aunque aquí se ha dicho «solo —solo— son declaraciones», pero yo creo que es algo muy importante; es verdad, que he escuchado decir al señor Borrell, en la última parte de su intervención, que había que hacer todo lo que esté en manos de la Unión Europea.

Creo que aquí la clave está en detener los asentamientos —7 000, nada más y nada menos—. Estos asentamientos, que verdaderamente son un ejemplo de apartheid y de segregación racial. Hemos estado hace dos semanas, señor Borrell, allí: segregación racial.

Yo le hago dos propuestas. En primer lugar, creo que las empresas europeas que trabajan en los asentamientos deberían informar a la Comisión del resultado final; es decir, de dónde trabajan, al final, para qué se utiliza.

Y, en segundo lugar, deberíamos advertir al Gobierno de Israel que, si construye estos 7 000 asentamientos ilegales, tendrá consecuencias. Y creo que las consecuencias son que debe estudiarse un régimen de sanciones —pero primero tenemos que advertir al Gobierno de Israel de esa posibilidad—.


  Barry Andrews (Renew). – Mr President, Mr Borrell, the override clause would degrade any claim Israel might have on being a liberal democracy. I applaud the people of Israel for calling out this legislation, but the new government has asserted Jewish people’s ‘exclusive and inalienable right to all parts of the land of Israel’. And vandalising the delicately constructed separation of powers is a precondition for expansion of settlements and ultimately annexation. Not only should we call out this injustice, but we should back up our words by action.

A case in point is the forthcoming due diligence legislation. Airbnb generates profits from rental of properties in illegal settlements in the West Bank. A meaningful human rights due diligence would prevent this type of commercial activity in the occupied territories under the present circumstances.

So I support the thousands of protesting Israelis, I support the right of Palestinians to self-determination and the two—state solution.


  Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou (PPE). – Mr President, High Representative, there can be no doubt as to the level of feeling that the proposed judicial reforms have unleashed in Israel. Emotions are very high, and this is obviously a very polarising issue for the country.

But colleagues, we as outside observers should tread very carefully before jumping to any conclusions. Labelling a country’s democracy as ‘deteriorating’ is, after all, a very serious charge. But as experience shows to many in this house will always jump at the opportunity to criticise Israel. Of course, we have concerns and of course, we are entitled to voice these concerns, but let us not prejudge any particular outcome. Israel has been a functioning – and yes, Mr Borrell – vibrant democracy for 75 years and after five recent elections, it has a democratically elected government and a Knesset.

Dear colleagues, as a friend of Israel, I need to believe for the good of Europe as well, that at the end of the day, Israel will remain a fully functioning democracy.


  Maria Arena (S&D). – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Haut représentant, vous avez posé la question de savoir s’il s’agissait d’ingérence de la part du Parlement de parler de la situation d’Israël. Nous ne parlons pas ici de la situation d’Israël. Nous parlons d’un accord de partenariat entre l’Union européenne et Israël et il est de notre devoir, en tant que Parlement, de savoir ce qu’il y a dans cet accord de partenariat et en quoi cet accord de partenariat est respecté.

Cet accord de partenariat est basé sur le processus de paix, sur le maintien de la démocratie et sur les valeurs communes. Nous voyons aujourd’hui que la volonté de ce gouvernement israélien de droite et d’extrême droite est en totale rupture avec ce qu’il y a dans cet accord de partenariat. Et donc il nous appartient, en tant que Parlement européen, de donner des indications sur ce qu’il faut faire.

On le sait, la réforme du système judiciaire est une atteinte à la démocratie et un laissez-passer pour l’annexion. Ce n’est pas ce qu’il y a dans notre accord de partenariat avec Israël. Comment allons-nous y répondre? Plusieurs choses. La première, vous l’avez dite, par la diplomatie, le dialogue et je pense qu’il faut continuer. Mais il y a aussi le gel du conseil d’association, les sanctions que nous pouvons utiliser à l’égard de ces colons qui ont fait cette mission punitive…

(Le Président retire la parole à l’oratrice)


  Lukas Mandl (PPE). – Mr President, I feel that I want to ask the question today how many Members of the European Commission are left? There are two of them today, so twice as much as it is usual in this Chamber. Well, the issue is maybe not the most important issue for the EU.

The State of Israel will celebrate in a few weeks 75 years of its existence and to be honest, I feel strong sympathy with Israel, for many good reasons. They are our partner; the only rule of law based democratic state in the Middle East, the only Jewish state on earth. We have an Association Agreement with Israel which is outdated and I can only ask the High Representative to negotiate a new one.

But you don’t have to feel strong sympathy with Israel just to treat Israel with fairness like each and every other rule of law based democratic state on earth. And this is not happening if we from outside try to insinuate this or that about Israel.

So, since I only have one minute of speaking time, I strongly ask to treat Israel as every other democratic rule of law based state on earth.


  Matthias Ecke (S&D). – Herr Präsident, Hoher Vertreter! Israel ist ein traditioneller Freund und Verbündeter der EU. Als einzige liberale Demokratie im Nahen Osten betrachten wir Israel als Teil unserer europäischen Wertefamilie. Zu den Prinzipien des demokratischen Rechtsstaats gehört die Unabhängigkeit der Justiz. Dass diese immer wieder aufs Neue verteidigt werden muss, das wissen wir hier in der EU nur zu gut.

Hunderttausende Israelis sehen ihren Rechtsstaat bedroht. Landesweit richten sich beeindruckende Proteste gegen die geplante Justizreform der aktuellen Regierung. Sie will die Rechte des Obersten Gerichtshofs dramatisch aushöhlen. Ein Umbau dieses Ausmaßes greift den Rechtsstaatscharakter Israels an. Die EU darf hier nicht schweigen.

Die komplexe politische Situation gerade der besetzten Gebiete, deren Status die neue Regierung in fundamentaler Weise verändern will, erfordert unabhängige Gerichte, die handlungsfähig und wirkmächtig sind. Daher warnt der israelische Präsident Isaac Herzog zu Recht vor einer Zerreißprobe seines Landes und fordert die Überarbeitung der Justizreform.

Herr Borrell, unterstützen Sie Präsident Herzog zum Wohle Israels, seines Rechtsstaats und seiner Demokratie.


Spontane Wortmeldungen


  Milan Zver (PPE). – Gospod predsednik!

Sam imam močne pomisleke glede današnje razprave o domnevnem slabšanju stanja demokracije v Izraelu.

Dozdeva se mi, da v tem zboru spet igramo vlogo nekakšnega vrhovnega razsodnika, s čimer si ne bomo izboljšali ugleda v mednarodnih odnosih. Mislim, da je Izrael na tapeti te hiše že tretjič v nekaj mesecih. Ta mlada država ima 75 letno demokratično tradicijo, ki deli vrednote z Evropsko unijo.

V živahnih demokracijah pač prihaja redno do protestov in ti so nekaj normalnega. Toda sodna reforma je notranji izraelski politični in demokratični proces, ki zagotovo ne potrebuje zunanje intervencije.

Naj pa vas vseeno spomnim, da so teroristi v četrtek zvečer resno ranili tri mlade moške v Tel Avivu. Tega seveda niso storili zaradi sodne reforme, ampak zaradi nenehnega spodbujanja sovraštva med etnijami v regiji.

Ta dogodek ima veliko večje posledice za varnostno situacijo in življenje izraelskih državljanov kot neka sodna reforma, ki se je komaj začela.


  Milan Brglez (S&D). – Gospod predsednik!

Skrajno desničarska vlada je privedla do poslabšanja stanja demokracije v Izraelu. To dokazuje tako na eni strani jasno podrejanje sodne veje oblasti, ki ji nasprotuje ljudje, kot zaostrovanje razmer do Palestine.

Jasno izraženi in nedvoumni nameni vlade, da razširi nelegalno poseljevanje ter priključi zasedena ozemlja, so privedli do porasta nasilja nad in napadov na Palestince in Palestinke tako s strani izraelske vojske kot nelegalnih naseljencev.

Pri tem je treba opozoriti, da so neutemeljena, nesorazmerna uporaba sile, agresija nad civilnim prebivalstvom ter nelegalno prisvajanje palestinskih ozemelj, hude kršitve mednarodnega prava.

Zato pozdravljam resolucijo Generalne skupščine Združenih narodov iz decembra lani, ki od Meddržavnega sodišča zahteva svetovalno mnenje o pravnem statusu izraelske dolgotrajne okupacije ter pravnih posledicah izraelskih zlorab Palestincev.

Obenem pa pozivam, da tudi Evropska unija naredi vse, kar je mogoče, tako na pragu multikulturalizma kot oživitve procesa dveh držav.


  Billy Kelleher (Renew). – Mr President, Israeli judicial reforms that are proposed are regrettable, but regardless of the democratic makeup of the state itself, Israel has consistently crushed and systematically dismantled the Palestinian State. And when people talk about the rule of law in Israel, let’s be honest, there is no rule of law. It has consistently flouted international law, Mr Borrell – and we have done nothing, nothing to condemn. We haven’t as much as sanctioned them in any way. We have occupied territories where we import products from. We have sent no signals to Israel that we condemn what they are doing.

So, when I talk about democracy, we should insist that there is no further occupation of the Palestinian State; that they shall go back to the original borders, as was proposed in the two-state solution.

And Mr Borrell, there is no two-state solution viable now because Israel is systematically dismantling the Palestinian State as we speak, and we are shamefully sitting on our hands all the time.


  Grace O’Sullivan (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, Vice-President Borrell, I recently returned from the occupied Palestinian territories. There I witnessed Israel directly extracting fossil fuels out from under Palestinian land.

Despite your regular condemnations of Israel’s disregard for international law, the EU has rewarded Israel with a multimillion-euro gas deal. And my question to you, Mr Borrell, is why is one occupier’s oil and gas more acceptable than another’s?


  João Pimenta Lopes (The Left). – Senhor Presidente, agrava—se brutalmente o aumento da repressão israelita sobre o povo palestiniano, antevendo uma escalada da política de expulsão forçada de palestinianos das suas casas e terras às mãos do atual Governo israelita, que integra forças de natureza fascista, que persegue, de forma ainda mais ostensiva, os planos de há muito de Israel.

As reiteradas proclamações da União Europeia em defesa da solução de dois Estados contrastam, e muito, com a conivência, plasmada em múltiplas formas de apoio e cooperação e dualidade de critérios, com a política de Israel, que há muito inviabiliza essa solução, violando, da forma mais grosseira, relevantes resoluções da ONU e sucessivos acordos firmados com as autoridades palestinianas.

É preciso ir além de declarações, Senhor Borrell. É preciso assumir uma posição de inequívoca defesa da imediata concretização do direito do povo palestiniano a um Estado soberano e independente, com as fronteiras de 1967, capital em Jerusalém Oriental, com a efetivação do direito ao retorno dos refugiados, no cumprimento das relevantes resoluções da ONU. Toda a solidariedade para com o povo palestiniano.


(Ende der spontanen Wortmeldungen)


  Josep Borrell Fontelles, vicepresidente de la Comisión / alto representante de la Unión para Asuntos Exteriores y Política de Seguridad. – Señor presidente, señoras y señores diputados, no voy a concluir el debate. El debate queda inconcluso. Este era un debate entre los parlamentarios. Estoy seguro de que quien lo haya seguido desde aquí en Estrasburgo o desde Tel Aviv o Ramala, habrán podido ver los diferentes puntos de vista y el interés con que los parlamentarios europeos siguen los acontecimientos en Israel. Eso no implica ni injerencia ni la voluntad de dar lecciones a nadie, pero sí de demostrar preocupación e interés. Dejemos que los israelíes, que tienen una democracia vibrante, resuelvan su problema. Los esfuerzos de mediación del presidente Herzog son realmente notables. No voy a repetir aquí lo que él mismo ha dicho, que está publicado en todos los medios de comunicación y que es, sin duda, una autoridad bien superior a la mía para opinar sobre lo que ocurre en Israel.

Lo que está claro es que la situación empeora desde el punto de vista de los niveles de violencia y de conflicto entre Israel y los territorios palestinos ocupados; que hay que seguir trabajando para dar seguridad a Israel, la libertad a los palestinos y paz y estabilidad a toda la región.

Quede claro que intentar resolver el conflicto entre Israel y Palestina es una prioridad para nosotros. Por eso debo rechazar las manifestaciones de miembros del Gobierno de Israel que nos invitaban a no preocuparnos por este problema porque no era nuestro problema; que nos ocuparemos más bien de resolver el de Chipre que, sí, ciertamente, también está pendiente de resolución.

Pero, sí, también nos preocuparemos por intentar contribuir con nuestros esfuerzos al retorno al diálogo entre israelíes y palestinos, entre Israel y Palestina. Lo cual quiere decir hablar con las dos partes. Con Israel, a través del diálogo que hemos relanzado a nivel ministerial. Porque los acuerdos de asociación no son con un Gobierno, son con un país, son con un Estado. Y no lo podemos suspender simplemente porque cambie la mayoría política. Los acuerdos son con Israel. Hoy hay un Gobierno, mañana habrá otro, como antes hubo otro. Es importante que mantengamos abiertos los canales de comunicación tanto con Israel como con Palestina.

Tienen ustedes razón: la comunidad internacional ha hecho muchas declaraciones y emprendido pocas acciones. Intentemos nosotros contribuir, en la medida de lo posible, a una acción constructiva que permita, como les digo, garantizar la seguridad de Israel, el bienestar y la libertad de los palestinos, y la paz y la seguridad para todos en la región. A esto seguiremos dedicando nuestros esfuerzos desde la Comisión, desde el Consejo, contando también con su apoyo político.


  Der Präsident. – Herr Hoher Vertreter und Vizepräsident der Kommission, ich will nochmal präzise sein: Sie haben gesprochen anlässlich der Beendigung der heutigen Aussprache im Plenum.


  Reinhard Bütikofer (Verts/ALE). – Herr Präsident! In der vorausgegangenen Debatte ist Israel zweimal des Faschismus bezichtigt worden. Ich finde, solche Worte sollten im Europäischen Parlament nicht fallen, und wenn sie fallen, sollten sie gerügt werden.


  Der Präsident. – Vielen Dank, Herr Kollege Bütikofer. Ich werde Ihre Stellungnahme der Präsidentin zur Kenntnis geben.

Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 171 GO)


  Maria Grapini (S&D), în scris. – Pacea în Orientul Mijlociu este esențială și cred că UE trebuie să acționeze cu diplomație. Israelul este o democrație și este singura în zonă. Israel este un partener esențial al UE și de care UE are nevoie. Cred că trebuie să recunoaștem dreptul de a se apăra a Israelului și să condamnăm atacurile teroriste din Palestina. Reforma în justiție este o competență națională și este dreptul israelienilor de a demonstra, dacă sunt nemulțumiți. Pentru UE este important să se folosească calea democratică atât în reformele interne din Israel, cât și în relația Israelului cu Palestina. Este nevoie ca și în Palestina să fie alegeri democratice la care să participe toată populația palestiniană, doar așa se va găsi un limbaj comun diplomatic între Israel și Palestina. Apreciez declarația echilibrată a Înaltului Reprezentant, Josep Borrell și consider că mai ales, în contextul actual, pacea în Orientul Mijlociu este primordială.


  Matjaž Nemec (S&D), pisno. – To, kar se dogaja na Bližnjem vzhodu nas zelo skrbi. Najbolj desna vlada v Izraelu do sedaj ne izbira sredstev. Država pluje v temačne vode. Zahodni breg pa je že dalj časa ujet v valu nasilja.

Pretekli konec tedna so Izrael preplavili rekordni protesti. Na ulice so odšli zaradi reforme pravosodja in da bi obvarovali demokracijo. V izraelskem parlamentu je prvo branje prestal zakon, ki bi smrtno kazen prvič v državi uvedel zgolj za Palestince. Najbolj pa nas skrbi poskus vlade uveljavitve režima, podobnega apartheidu na palestinskih ozemljih na Zahodnem bregu. Vlada želi pristojnosti nad upravljanjem z naselbinami iz vojaške uprave prenesti na civilnega ministra. Minister bi tako de facto postal guverner Zahodnega brega. S tem vlada grobo krši mednarodno pravo in tudi načela Združenih narodov ter se očitno zelo konkretno pripravlja na popolno priključitev okupiranih palestinskih ozemlji Izraelu.

Evropa in svet se morata zbuditi. Takšni koraki Izraela imajo za cilj aneksijo. Z njimi pa bodo dokončno pokopani načrti dveh držav. Palestinske države ne bo več možno vzpostaviti na Zahodnem bregu. Priznanje Palestine mora biti zato naš skupen odgovor. Evropa mora ukrepati. Iskreno moramo premisliti o odnosih z Izraelom in v primeru, da ta ne spremeni smeri, zamrzniti sporazum z EU.


16. Delegated acts (Rule 111(6))(action taken)
Video of the speeches

  Der Präsident. – Gegen die vom ECON-Ausschuss vorgelegte Empfehlung für einen Beschluss, keine Einwände gegen einen delegierten Rechtsakt zu erheben, die bei der Eröffnung der gestrigen Sitzung bekannt gegeben wurde, wurden innerhalb der vorgegebenen Frist von 24 Stunden keine Einwände erhoben.

Gemäß Artikel 111 Absatz 6 der Geschäftsordnung gilt die Empfehlung somit als angenommen. Sie wird mit dem angenommen Text veröffentlicht.


17. Situation in Georgia (debate)
Video of the speeches

  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über die Erklärung des Vizepräsidenten der Kommission und Hohen Vertreters der Union für die Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik zur Lage in Georgien (2023/2594(RSP)).

Für den Vizepräsidenten der Kommission und Hohen Vertreter der Union für die Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik spricht Herr Kommissar Várhelyi.


  Olivér Várhelyi, on behalf of the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Mr President, honourable Members of Parliament, over the past week, thousands of Georgians exercised their right to peaceful demonstration against the adoption of a law on transparency of foreign influence in first reading by the Georgian Parliament. Across the country, women and men took to the streets, holding European flags to recall their attachment to democracy, our shared European values, and to Georgia’s path towards the European Union.

After these demonstrations, the ruling party announced last Thursday their decision to withdraw the law, which was voted down by the parliament the following day. The withdrawal of both drafts is an encouraging and positive sign.

Honourable Members, Georgians have a future in the EU. The European perspective granted last June set out relations on an even closer course under the EU enlargement policy framework, building upon the long-standing cooperation anchored in the Association Agreement.

The European path sets the bar high as regards standards in Georgia that Georgia needs to meet, and the values it has to maintain. It brings increased scrutiny and monitoring and a need to implement reforms. It also provides a wider set of EU tools to accompany Georgia in this process.

The Georgian people, in their vast majority, have expressed their resolve to join the EU. The government has sent similar messages. Now it is time for action on the ground. We acknowledge important steps made by Georgia in the reform process. Now, work on reforms and priorities set by the Commission must continue. Strengthening the independence of the state institutions, upholding the highest standards of human rights and the rule of law are key priorities.

Let me recall that on 2 February, the Commission services have provided further policy guidance on the EU acquis-related reforms in their analytical report, completing our opinion from June last year on the country’s application for the EU membership.

A comprehensive assessment of Georgia’s progress in meeting accession criteria will be carried out for the first time as part of the Autumn 2023 enlargement package, and therefore you should anticipate an even fuller picture.

Honourable Members, this Parliament adopted last month a resolution on the health situation of Mr Mikheil Saakashvili. We conducted an EU démarche with the Minister of Justice on 27 February, and our message was very clear: it is the legal responsibility of the Georgian authorities to fully guarantee Mr Saakashvili’s rights, both as a detainee and as a defendant, in line with Georgia’s international commitments. The EU is ready to assist partners on this matter, including as regards efforts to ensure medical assistance.

Let me conclude by stressing that the EU remains a close friend and partner to Georgia and its people. This is a crucial moment for the whole country to unite and to work resolutely for the common strategic goal of EU membership and European values.


  Sandra Kalniete, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, Commissioner, dear colleagues, the highly disturbing events in Georgia must not be viewed in isolation. Just as Russia wages a war of aggression against Ukraine and tries to destabilise Moldova, the Kremlin is desperate to retain Georgia and its sphere of influence. I applaud the courage shown by the protesters in Georgia. Europe sees your bravery and will not turn its back on you. Your courage has stopped the passage of the Kremlin-inspired foreign agents act.

However, we should not be naive. The fight does not end here. These events are an important reminder that we will never have lasting peace and security in Europe as long as these grey zones remain. The place of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia is firmly in the European Union. The Georgian people must continue pressing for critical reforms that will bring Georgia towards EU candidate status. Only the Georgian people can hold its leadership accountable. Only the Georgian people can challenge the might of the oligarchs.

In conclusion, as an MEP from Latvia, I remember how difficult the accession process is. Allow me to remind you. Windows of opportunity can only arrive once or twice in a generation and do not stay open for long. I appeal to the Georgian people not to waste your window of opportunity.


  Sven Mikser, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, the degree of support in Georgian society for the country’s European aspirations has been so high that it has been very easy for years for us to support Georgia’s aspirations. No serious political party has been able to fully ignore the degree of support that Georgians have expressed with regard to the country’s European future. Even those in power have always felt it necessary to pay lip service to those aspirations, even when their actions have spoken a different language. We’ve seen problems in the area of the rule of law, the independence of judiciary, media, freedom and political polarisation. I think the attempt by the Georgian Government and governing party to adopt the so-called Foreign Agents Law was just one example of a long list of problems in the area of rule of law in the country.

What is concerning is that recently, even though the draft law was dropped, even the words do not support these aspirations. The ridiculous accusations against the European Parliament and the European Union will ...

(The President cut off the speaker)


  Petras Auštrevičius, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Mr President, Commissioner, dear colleagues, I would like to start by congratulating the people of Georgia who, by their active stance, have stopped the government’s intention to adopt a Russian—style foreign agent law. I also reiterate our solidarity and appreciation to the civil society in Georgia.

Fulfilling the European will of the Georgian people, the Georgian authorities must fully implement the 12 recommendations of the European Commission, bearing in mind that the health and life of the poisoned and imprisoned Mikheil Saakashvili is an integral part of the EU requirements. Europe will not open the door to any form of political revanchism.

I regret that the EU flags were burning in Tbilisi today. It is a sad day for all Georgia’s friends in the European Union. Nevertheless, I believe that the historical wisdom of the people of Georgia who remember the horrors of totalitarianism will take over.


  Viola von Cramon-Taubadel, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, Commissioner, dear colleagues, all masks are finally off. The government of Georgia is determined to sabotage the country’s European path. Thankfully, the people of Georgia are not taking it. There is no way back to the Russian swamp. There’s no way back to the curtailed freedoms and autocracy. There’s only one way forward: to Georgia’s European future.

The people of Georgia are so unlike their government. Everyone took to the streets to make their voices heard in Tbilisi, in Brussels and especially in Moscow. Those in the streets of Tbilisi, Batumi or Kutaisi spoke on behalf of over 80% of Georgians. You cannot wash away the European identity with water cannons. Burning the EU flag will not burn Europe from the Georgian hearts. Violence is futile against those who fight for freedom.

The Constitution of Georgia is sacred, and its Article 78 demands the government ensures the full integration of Georgia into the EU and into NATO. Yet the government has put the interests of one oligarch and the Kremlin above this constitution. When those in power betray their people, those people will demonstrate their power.

It is time to take a cue from Georgians and fight for the European future. The people of Georgia deserve to be in the EU, even if their current government does not.


  Anna Fotyga, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, Commissioner, a full-scale invasion of Ukraine means a geopolitical shift in our neighbourhood. Georgian people understand it very well. It is a turning point for all of us in the region. Therefore I pay tribute to their courage in protesting about the appalling foreign agent law.

I would like to mention that keeping the third president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, in prison as Putin’s hostage, means a deteriorating future for Georgia. Hopefully the Georgian Government understands it similarly to people’s protests recently in Tbilisi and elsewhere.


  Anna Bonfrisco, a nome del gruppo ID. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, una Georgia membro della NATO renderà gli alleati dell'Unione europea più forti e sicuri. Questo perché le due istituzioni internazionali sono complementari attraverso un partenariato strategico indissolubile.

La partecipazione all'Alleanza si baserà sempre sull'impegno della Georgia verso i valori fondanti della NATO e quelli dell'Unione europea: Stato di diritto, democrazia, diritti umani, pluralismo, società civile, apertura, trasparenza e il rispetto del diritto internazionale.

Da quando ha riconquistato l'indipendenza, il popolo georgiano ha scelto chiaramente e coerentemente di far parte della comunità democratica euro-atlantica.

Partendo proprio dalla violazione della sovranità e dell'integrità territoriale della Georgia come dell'Ucraina, come possiamo noi realizzare un sistema più forte di sicurezza collettiva per noi e i nostri vicini, caro Commissario?

Oggi noi vediamo nei cittadini della Georgia fratelli europei e dobbiamo aiutarli in tutti i modi.


  Mick Wallace, on behalf of the The Left Group. – Mr President, Commissioner, Georgia – like many other former Eastern Bloc countries – has not fared well under the thumb of predatory financial capitalism, crushing economic reforms and a hollowing out of the State. The NGO sector has stepped in to fill that void, and an entire middle class now is dependent on this sector and foreign funding.

The initial upset about this law was about people’s incomes being put in danger. Not that it was pro- or anti-Russian, or western. The NGO sector rallied and got the proposal retracted while apparently charging the Georgian State with taking a dark authoritarian turn for looking at laws similar to what exists in Russia, in Australia, in the US since 1938, and may be coming to the EU sometime soon.

That we have had condemnation of the law from the EU and others who either have or would happily implement similar measures is the height of hypocrisy. That this has been seized upon to inflame tensions in Georgia, which could potentially reignite the frozen conflict on its borders, is very disappointing.


  Marcel de Graaff (NI). – Voorzitter, deze zaal toonde zich tot op het bot geschokt over de omkoping van leden van dit Parlement door Qatar. Het Parlement eiste onmiddellijke maatregelen. Ngo’s die banden hadden met Qatar moesten worden geweerd, want dit Parlement wil terecht buitenlandse beïnvloeding voorkomen. Ondertussen geeft de EU zelf miljoenen euro’s aan maatschappelijke organisaties via de EU roadmap for engagement with civil society in Georgia, om daar de politieke en culturele koers te beïnvloeden. En nu het Georgische parlement wetten wil aannemen om buitenlandse beïnvloeding te voorkomen, is dit Parlement tot op het bot geschokt. Want nu komt zogenaamd de democratie in Georgië in gevaar. De hypocrisie is misselijk makend. Ik zeg aan Georgië: doe er alles aan om de EU buiten de deur te houden, want anders wordt Georgië nog slechts een vazalstaat zonder identiteit en zonder soevereiniteit.


  Andrzej Halicki (PPE). – Szanowni Państwo! Historia i geografia nie znają próżni, szczególnie dzisiaj, kiedy mamy w Europie wojnę. Nie można lawirować między Rosją a Unią Europejską i doskonale rozumieją to Gruzini, którzy wyszli masowo na ulice. Widzimy was, jesteśmy z wami, widzimy te flagi europejskie, podniesione wysoko, które dzielnie trzymacie nawet wtedy, kiedy bije was policja i polewają zimną wodą. I z tego miejsca apel do gruzińskiego rządu. To przyszłość jest w waszych rękach. To wy jesteście odpowiedzialni za przyszłość i bezpieczeństwo Gruzji. Porzućcie rosyjską retorykę, rosyjskie prawo, bo Gruzja jest w Europie. Tego chcą Gruzini. W waszych rękach jest przyszłość narodu, ale też zdrowie prezydenta Saakaszwilego. Polski rząd pragnie go leczyć. Co wam przeszkadza? Czego się boicie, że nie dopuszczacie międzynarodowych lekarzy? Zdecydujcie się, bo gruziński naród zasługuje na bezpieczeństwo i bezpieczny rozwój. Gruzja jest w Europie i wasza odpowiedzialność dziś leży u was, na waszym stole i nie dziwcie się, że nie będziecie partnerami dla Europy, kiedy nazywacie ją obcą agenturą.


  Marina Kaljurand (S&D). – Mr President, as the Chair of the South Caucasus delegation, I have two messages to the Georgian people. First, we Members of the European Parliament know and respect the choice of closer European and transatlantic integration. You have been very clear and consistent in expressing your European aspiration. We support you and we stand with you on European path. Second, we will never, I repeat, never drag you into any war. We remember the war of 2008 and human lives lost. We will never recognise occupation of Georgia. We will always support Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We wish Georgian people peace, security and prosperity.

Our message to the Georgian politicians is very clear. War in Ukraine opened a window of opportunity for Georgia. Do not waste it. Remember that today Ukrainians are fighting and dying for their future, but also for your future. Attacks on Ukraine and President Zelenskyy by Georgian officials are disappointing and unacceptable. The window of opportunity will not remain open forever. Do what your people expect from you.


  Katalin Cseh (Renew). – Mr President, colleagues, Commissioner, the foreign agent law cooked up in Vladimir Putin’s Russia is malicious, cynical and oppressive. Its sole purpose is to discredit civil society and to crush dissent.

So, no wonder that autocrats all around the world can’t seem to have enough of it. It is copied in Nicaragua, Belarus and Egypt and, sadly, also in the EU. Viktor Orbán’s government passed an exact replica of this law and it took the European Court to strike it down. Because, as Josep Borrell communicated it to the Georgian leaders, it is incompatible with EU values. So, we very strongly welcome its withdrawal.

Our Parliament has a very clear message to the pro-European forces in Georgia: we see you and we stand with you and we admire your determination to join our European family. The image of a protester in Tbilisi waving an EU flag while facing the water cannons is such a powerful symbol, colleagues. It shows how much the European project means for people in accession countries.

We should work every day to live up to this and to have a much broader strategy to counter Russian influence, because we cannot fight Putin without fighting the Putinisation of our neighbourhood.


  Markéta Gregorová (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, dear colleagues, I have to say that after four years intensely working on getting Georgia closer to us, knowing it is also something that the citizens want, I am at a loss with the situation now.

It seems that whatever we do, it’s a reason for Prime Minister Garibashvili to accuse us of foul play or for other representatives of the government to personally attack each of us. Now, after doing the right thing and reconsidering this version of the Foreign Agents Law, there is no humility; on the contrary: horrible claims about how the opposition would kill a person just to cause chaos, and that we are the foreign agents interfering. I’d like to remind the Georgian Government of one thing: we are not here against your will. You have an association agreement, the DCFTA. You are eager to get candidate status. You do everything to get closer to us. But at each step, you throw a stone at us. So if you want to get closer to the EU just to be able to throw stones from a short distance, I don’t think we have an agreement. Pick a side, or we will stop being a choice.


  Adam Bielan (ECR). – Mr President, Commissioner, 15 years after an attempted coup, Georgia still faces serious political security and economic interferences from the Kremlin. I welcome the withdrawal of the recent Kremlin-inspired law on foreign agents and the bravery of the Georgian people protesting against it.

In parallel, during the last plenary session, this Parliament adopted with a large majority a resolution calling for the release of former Georgian President Saakashvili and his immediate transport abroad for specialist treatment. I welcome that this resolution, together with the calls from the Polish Government, have borne fruit and that Polish doctors will soon be able to examine the former Georgian president’s health. The EU and its Member States should keep supporting democratic aspirations of the Georgian people and maintain the high dynamic of the EU enlargement process.