Index 
Verbatim report of proceedings
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Monday, 26 February 2024 - Strasbourg Revised edition
1. Resumption of the session
 2. Opening of the sitting
 3. Statements by the President
 4. Approval of the minutes of the previous sitting
 5. Composition of Parliament
 6. Follow-up to a request for the defence of immunity
 7. Composition of political groups
 8. Composition of committees and delegations
 9. Negotiations ahead of Parliament’s first reading (Rule 71)
 10. Composition of political groups
 11. Corrigendum (Rule 241)
 12. Signing of acts adopted in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure (Rule 79)
 13. Order of business
 14. Resumption of the sitting
 15. European Central Bank – annual report 2023 (debate)
 16. Transparency and targeting of political advertising (debate)
 17. Need to overcome the Council deadlock on the platform workers directive (debate)
 18. Tackling the inflation in food prices and its social consequences and root causes (debate)
 19. Detergents and surfactants (debate)
 20. Amending Decision (EU) 2017/1324: continuation of the Union’s participation in PRIMA under Horizon Europe (short presentation)
 21. Protection of the environment through criminal law (short presentation)
 22. One-minute speeches on matters of political importance
 23. Agenda of the next sitting
 24. Approval of the minutes of the sitting
 25. Closure of the sitting


  

PRESIDENZA: ROBERTA METSOLA
President

 
1. Resumption of the session
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  President. – I declare resumed the session of the European Parliament adjourned on Thursday, 8 February 2024.

 

2. Opening of the sitting
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(The sitting opened at 17.02)

 

3. Statements by the President
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  President. – Dear colleagues, last Saturday marked two years since Russia launched its war of aggression against independent and sovereign Ukraine: a war that no one wanted, that no one invited, that no one provoked, but one that Europe united to meet.

I happened to be in Kyiv with President Zelenskyy, representing this House, when we learned that the city of Bucha had been liberated by Ukrainian forces. We saw the horror of what the Russian troops left behind: the destruction, the decay, the suffering, the slaughter of innocents, the brutal sexual violence on women and girls. This is a reality that the world has witnessed across Ukraine for the last 732 days.

While the horror is as real today as it was then, the world also bore witness to the unshakeable courage of the people of Ukraine. They stood up, they defied the odds and they inspired the world. They continue to inspire us all.

(Applause)

And the worst of times in these last years have also brought out the best of Europe: a unity and sense of common purpose that culminated in Ukraine being granted EU candidate status; a common bond between our House and the Verkhovna Rada forged literally under fire. We have stood with Ukraine and we will remain by their side for as long as it takes to find peace – a real peace with justice, with accountability and with integrity.

We are a continent built for peace. Our Union is the promise we made to a generation who only knew war and it is a promise that we must keep protecting. That is why we could not and did not hesitate to stand with Ukraine when it mattered the most; why our political, diplomatic, humanitarian, financial and military support did not waver as we welcomed millions of Ukrainian people – forced to flee from their homeland – into our homes and our hearts.

So to everyone in Ukraine: we want you to know that you can continue to count on this House and our Members’ support. We know what is at stake, what the consequences of action – and inaction – are, why Europe needs to stand up for our values and our freedoms. Together we will win.

Slava Ukraini!

(Applause)

Let us mark this moment now, dear colleagues, by watching the screen for a few moments.

(A video was shown in the Chamber)

Dear colleagues, this week also marks 100 days to the European elections, which will be held between 6 and 9 June. The more people that vote, the stronger European democracy becomes. I would like to remind Members of all the available resources that can help in raising awareness about the European elections. Notably, there is a special election website with a ‘remind-me-to-vote’ feature and a new version of the ‘What Europe Does for Me’ website. Together, I am confident that we can continue to show politics as a force for good and that Europe can deliver.

In this spirit I also want to emphasise the importance of our legislative work. And here I want to thank you all for your steady commitment in closing off all our pending legislative work, because delivering on these files is where citizens can see the difference that Europe makes and the progress we can achieve when we work together. We need to show that this Parliament works until the last moment; I am confident that we will do that, and I am confident that people will return this House stronger.

Now for a sad announcement. Dear colleagues, I regret to inform you that on 20 February our friend and colleague Erik Bergkvist sadly passed away. Erik will be remembered for his thirst for knowledge, his intellectual curiosity and profound sense of humanity. He was a man of steadfast integrity and was never one to shy away from believing and defending what he knew to be right.

In this House, Erik’s commitment to our shared values marked him out. His work in helping cut down emissions and meeting our climate ambitions will serve as inspiration for legislatures to come. Erik’s spirit will live on in the lives that he touched and in the legacy that he leaves behind. Our thoughts are with his family, the Swedish delegation and the S&D Group in this House. May they find solace and peace as they navigate through this difficult time.

Before I ask you to observe a moment of silence in honour of Erik Bergkvist’s memory, I will give the floor to Heléne Fritzon.

 
  
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  Heléne Fritzon (S&D). – Madam President, dear colleagues, we miss Erik. He was a member of the Swedish delegation and Erik was well known, both as a politician and as a researcher. We will miss his guidance, his wisdom and his humour, and we will miss his genuine commitment for Europe.

During this difficult time, let us honour Erik’s memory by continuing the work he has done for the European growth, for the industry, for the Green Deal, for regional development and remember his last efforts, which was sustainable aviation fuel. And now, as you mentioned, dear President, we keep Erik’s family and loved ones in our thoughts.

(Applause)

 
  
 

(The House rose and observed a minute’s silence)

 

4. Approval of the minutes of the previous sitting
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  President. – The minutes and the texts adopted of the sitting of 8 February 2024 are available. Are there any comments?

If not, then the minutes are deemed approved.

 

5. Composition of Parliament
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  President. – Following the appointment of Esther de Lange as Head of Cabinet of a Member of the European Commission, Parliament takes note of the vacancy of her seat from 16 February 2024, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure.

 

6. Follow-up to a request for the defence of immunity
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  President. – The JURI Committee has informed me of its conclusion that the request for the defence of the immunity of Clara Ponsatí Obiols announced in plenary on 29 March 2023 is inadmissible, and of its decision to close the procedure.

 

7. Composition of political groups
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  President. – Niels Geuking is a member of the EPP Group as of 21 February 2024.

 

8. Composition of committees and delegations
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  President. – The EPP, Renew Europe and The Left groups have notified me of decisions relating to changes to appointments within committees and delegations. These decisions will be set out in the minutes of today’s sitting and take effect on the date of this announcement.

 

9. Negotiations ahead of Parliament’s first reading (Rule 71)
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  President. – Several committees have decided to enter into interinstitutional negotiations pursuant to Rule 71(1) of the Rules of Procedure. The reports which constitute the mandates for the negotiations are available on the plenary webpage and their titles will be published in the minutes of the sitting.

Pursuant to Rule 71(2), Members or political groups reaching at least the medium threshold may request in writing by tomorrow, Tuesday 27 February, at midnight, that the decisions be put to the vote. If no request for a vote in Parliament is made before the deadline expires, the committees may start the negotiations.

 

10. Composition of political groups
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  President. – Tudor Ciuhodaru is no longer a member of the S&D Group and sits with the non-attached members as of 23 February 2024.

 

11. Corrigendum (Rule 241)
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  President. – The ITRE Committee has transmitted a corrigendum to a text adopted by the Parliament. Pursuant to Rule 241(4), this corrigendum will be deemed approved unless, no later than 24 hours after its announcement, a request is made by a political group or Members reaching at least the low threshold that it be put to the vote.

The corrigendum is available on the plenary webpage. Its title will be published in the minutes of this sitting.

 

12. Signing of acts adopted in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure (Rule 79)
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  President. – I would like to inform you that, together with the President of the Council, I shall on Wednesday sign four acts adopted under the ordinary legislative procedure in accordance with Rule 79 of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure. The titles of the acts will be published in the minutes of this sitting.

 

13. Order of business
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  President. – We now come to the order of business. The final draft agenda as adopted by the Conference of Presidents on 21 February pursuant to Rule 157 has been distributed.

For Monday, The Left Group has requested that a debate on the report by Mr Luena on nature restoration – which was to be included directly in Tuesday’s votes – be added as the third item in the afternoon. As a consequence, today’s sitting would be extended to 23.00.

I give the floor to Mr Flanagan to move the request on behalf of The Left Group.

 
  
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  Luke Ming Flanagan, on behalf of The Left Group. – Madam President, I keep hearing how this is probably the most important vote of this mandate – probably one of the most important votes that we will have as MEPs. And it certainly is, because nature restoration is vitally important. We are facing a biodiversity crisis and we are facing a climate crisis. So for me, it would be amazing if we didn’t debate this text, because as of yet, we have not debated the text that has come out of the trilogues. And for me, I think it’s essential that we do. Many people in Europe think we try to do things behind closed doors. If we don’t have a debate on this, we’re just adding to that idea. We need a debate. I’m looking for your support on that.

 
  
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  President. – Thank you, Mr Flanagan.

I give the floor to any colleague who would like to speak against this proposal. No one? Therefore we put the request to the vote by show of hands.

(Parliament rejected the request)

The agenda therefore remains unchanged.

Also for today, the Greens Group has requested that an oral question to the Commission on ‘Promised revision of the EU animal welfare legislation and the animal-welfare-related European Citizens’ Initiatives’ be added as the last item in the afternoon. As a consequence, the sitting would be extended to 23.00.

I give the floor to Caroline Roose to move the request on behalf of the Greens Group.

 
  
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  Caroline Roose, au nom du groupe Verts/ALE. – Madame la Présidente, le Parlement a un rôle important de contrôle du travail de la Commission européenne. En juillet 2021, en réponse à l’initiative citoyenne européenne «End the Cage Age», qui a recueilli plus de 1,4 million de signatures, la Commission européenne s’est engagée à interdire l’élevage d’animaux en cage d’ici 2027.

La Commission a mené une large étude d’impact. Dans son programme de travail pour 2023, elle a annoncé la publication de propositions législatives au troisième trimestre de 2023. Aujourd’hui, à l’exception de la proposition sur le transport des animaux et de celle sur les chiens et chats, la Commission n’a pas proposé les législations promises. Ces propositions ne sont pas non plus incluses dans le programme de travail de la Commission pour 2024.

La Commission n’a pas eu l’occasion de s’expliquer auprès du Parlement et c’est pourquoi je demande que la question orale sur la «Révision promise de la législation de l’Union en matière de bien-être animal et des initiatives citoyennes européennes liées au bien-être animal» soit ajoutée à l’ordre du jour de notre plénière.

 
  
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  President. – I understand that Clara Aguilera has an alternative?

 
  
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  Clara Aguilera, en nombre del Grupo S&D. – Señora presidenta, yo quiero marcar la opinión de mi grupo, el Grupo S&D, y decirle a la señora Roose que no nos oponemos al debate. Creemos que un debate de bienestar animal puede estar bien y ser necesario antes de que finalice la legislatura. Lo que le pedimos es que esto sea en el mes de marzo. Por tanto, nos oponemos a que sea hoy el debate y le pedimos a la representante del Grupo Verts/ALE que acepte que debatamos esta propuesta en el mes de marzo.

 
  
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  President. – So the S&D Group proposes to deal with this at a later sitting. Ms Roose, do you agree?

 
  
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  Caroline Roose, au nom du groupe Verts/ALE. – J’accepte la proposition de S&D et je retire donc notre demande pour cette session. Merci, Madame la Présidente.

 
  
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  President. – OK, thank you, so this will be discussed at a later plenary session.

For Tuesday, The Left Group has requested that the title of the High Representative’s statement on ‘War in the Gaza Strip, including recent developments related to the ICJ and UNWRA and in the region’ be changed to ‘War in the Gaza Strip and the need to reach a ceasefire, including recent developments related to the ICJ and in the region’. The debate would be wound up with a resolution to be voted in March.

I give the floor to Mr Wallace to move the request on behalf of The Left Group.

 
  
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  Mick Wallace, on behalf of the The Left Group. – Madam President, in just a matter of months, over 100 000 people have been killed, injured or gone missing in Gaza. The ICJ imposed a binding order on Israel to prevent genocidal acts, which has clearly been ignored.

We all know that at least 3 600 people have been killed in Gaza since, while aid has been reduced and refugee camps bombed. We have to reconsider our position and insist on an immediate, permanent ceasefire and respect for international law. The last time we called for a ceasefire, it was on Netanyahu’s terms, this time it has to be genuine.

For this reason, on behalf of the left Group, I request that we modify the title of this debate to focus on a ceasefire and add a resolution. I would like to vote in two steps, both by roll call vote: first, on the change of title and second, the vote on the addition of a resolution to be voted on in March, regardless of the title change. The new title proposed is the following: ‘War in the Gaza Strip and the need to reach a ceasefire, including recent developments related to the ICJ and in the region’.

 
  
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  President. – Thank you, Mr Wallace. The EPP has also requested that the title of the statement be changed to: ‘War in the Gaza Strip and the need to reach a ceasefire, including recent developments in the region’.

So first I will ask whether any colleague would like to speak against having such a change in the title.

As that is not the case, I will put to the vote first the request for a change of title, and then for the resolution. And I will ask you, Mr Wallace, do you agree with the proposal of the EPP Group?

 
  
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  Mick Wallace, on behalf of The Left Group. – Madam President, no! This Parliament, Madam President, likes to insist that it respects international law. The EPP don’t want to talk ...

(The President cut off the speaker)

 
  
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  President. – Alright Mr Wallace, so we’ll put The Left Group’s request for a change of title to a vote by roll call.

(Parliament rejected the request)

So now I will ask whether the EPP would like to keep its request for the amended title? I see that is the case, so I will put the EPP request for a change of the title to the vote.

(Parliament approved the request)

Therefore the title as amended by the EPP is agreed. Now I put the request for a resolution to the vote by roll call.

(Parliament rejected the request)

So for Tuesday, the Greens Group has requested that Council and Commission statements on ‘Recent revelations of spying on Members of the European Parliament and the lack of follow-up on the PEGA Committee recommendations’, followed by one round of political group speakers, be added as the last item tomorrow evening.

I give the floor to Saskia Bricmont to move the request on behalf of the Greens Group.

 
  
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  Saskia Bricmont, au nom du groupe Verts/ALE. – Madame la Présidente, chers collègues, effectivement, la semaine dernière, de nouveaux collègues ont été espionnés à l’aide du logiciel espion Pegasus. Ces nouveaux collègues s’ajoutent à la liste des collègues espionnés précédemment – des collègues grecs et catalans, des collègues d’autres commissions parlementaires ainsi qu’une tentative d’espionnage contre notre présidente. Ceci représente une menace pour nos droits fondamentaux, pour nos démocraties, pour la sécurité européenne et, en ce qui nous concerne, il s’agit là d’une violation de l’immunité parlementaire.

Les recommandations de notre commission d’enquête mise en place suite aux révélations de Forbidden Stories, d’Amnesty International et de Citizen Lab sur l’espionnage illégal de journalistes défenseurs des droits humains, d’avocats, d’hommes et de femmes politiques ne sont toujours pas suivies d’effets, ni par le Conseil, ni par la Commission européenne. Si nous tolérons, chers collègues, un espionnage, nous tolérons l’espionnage de l’ensemble de nos communications et de nos négociations.

Je vous recommande fortement de faire contrôler l’ensemble de vos téléphones, si ce n’est pas encore fait. Nous devons faire savoir clairement à la Commission européenne et au Conseil que nous attendons de leur part l’exécution de l’ensemble de nos recommandations. C’est pourquoi nous soumettons à votre vote cette demande de débat.

 
  
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  President. – I give the floor to any colleague who would like to speak against. No one? So we put the request of the Green Group to a vote by roll call.

(Parliament approved the request)

The Left Group has requested for Wednesday that a Commission statement on ‘Preventing work-related deaths following the Florence tragedy’ be added as the first item after the second voting session in the afternoon. As a consequence, the sitting would be extended to 23.00.

I give the floor to Marina Mesure to move the request on behalf of The Left Group.

 
  
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  Marina Mesure, au nom du groupe The Left. – Madame la Présidente, vendredi 16 février, dans la matinée, six ouvriers du BTP ont perdu la vie sur un chantier à Florence, suite à l’effondrement d’une structure en béton. Nous adressons ici toutes nos condoléances à la famille et aux proches de Bouzekri, de Luigi, de Mohamed, de Taoufik et de Mohamed. Le plus jeune avait 24 ans, le plus âgé 56 ans. Ils ont tous perdu la vie le 16 février au travail.

Ce drame n’est malheureusement pas un cas isolé. En Italie, un travailleur perd la vie toutes les 6 heures. En France, 53 personnes sont mortes au travail depuis le début de l’année. Partout en Europe, c’est une situation insoutenable et révoltante, car derrière ces chiffres alarmants, ce sont des milliers de vies brisées à jamais, dont personne ne parle. Ces histoires sont souvent reléguées au rang de faits divers.

Mais non, mourir au travail ne sera jamais un fait divers. Le droit à un environnement de travail sain et sûr est reconnu par l’ONU comme un droit fondamental pour toutes et tous, et l’Union européenne doit mettre tout en œuvre pour garantir ce droit et protéger les travailleuses et les travailleurs. C’est pour cela que notre groupe propose de rajouter à l’ordre du jour de notre plénière de vendredi la question de la prévention des morts au travail suite à la tragédie de Florence. Il est grand temps de rendre visible l’invisible.

 
  
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  President. – I give the floor to any colleague who would like to speak against. No one? So we put the request to a vote by roll call.

(Parliament approved the request)

For Wednesday, the EPP Group has requested that Council and Commission statements on ‘The need for an urgent Council decision in favour of amending the protection status of wolves in the Bern Convention’ be added as the third item after the second voting session. The debate would be wound up with a resolution to be voted at the next part session, and as a consequence the sitting would be extended to 23.00.

I give the floor to Mr Dorfmann to move the request on behalf of the EPP.

 
  
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  Herbert Dorfmann, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, colleagues, in November 2022, we adopted a resolution on livestock farming and large carnivores in Europe. We ask for the review of the protection status in the Bern Convention. So far, this has not been implemented.

With more than 20 000 wolves in almost every EU country, the Commission has now finally acted. And now it’s up to the Member States to adopt the Commission’s proposals, and this needs to be done during the next Environmental Council meeting on 25 March. It would be important, I think, to hear the position of the Council and the Commission on this topic and to have a debate about this.

Furthermore, we should draft a short and concise resolution in order to make clear the position of the European Parliament to the Council. Therefore, I propose to add a debate with resolution to this week’s plenary session.

 
  
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  President. – Thank you very much, Mr Dorfmann. Does any colleague want to speak against? No? So we put to the vote first the request for the addition of the debate, and then for the resolution – two separate votes. First for the debate by roll-call vote.

(Parliament approved the request)

Therefore there will be statements and the sitting will be extended to 23.00.

Now we will vote on whether to have a resolution, also by roll call.

(Parliament rejected the request)

So there will not be a resolution.

For Thursday, The Left Group has requested that Council and Commission statements on ‘The situation of Julian Assange and his possible extradition to the USA’ be added as the last item on Thursday morning.

I give the floor to João Pimenta Lopes to move the request.

 
  
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  João Pimenta Lopes, em nome do Grupo The Left. – Senhora Presidente, há quase cinco anos que Julian Assange está detido numa prisão de alta segurança no Reino Unido, esperando a decisão sobre o pedido de extradição para os Estados Unidos.

Assange está preso por defender a liberdade. A liberdade de expressão, a liberdade de imprensa, a liberdade de divulgar informação de interesse público, a liberdade de expor grosseiras violações de direitos humanos, crimes de guerra.

Na passada quarta-feira, o Tribunal Superior de Londres adiou a decisão sobre uma extradição que, a consumar-se, representará não apenas um risco para os seus direitos fundamentais e judiciais, como para a sua própria vida.

As Instituições da União Europeia, este Parlamento, não podem continuar em silêncio sobre um caso que representa uma inaceitável tentativa de pressão, de condicionamento destas liberdades, constituindo uma séria ameaça ao pluralismo, à liberdade de imprensa, de expressão e de informação.

Por essa razão, propomos este debate que entendemos ser da maior pertinência.

 
  
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  President. – Thank you, Mr Pimenta Lopes, for that proposal. I have received an alternative proposal from the Green Group to add Council and Commission statements on ‘The extradition and prosecution of Julian Assange and implications on freedom of the press’, followed by one round of political group speakers, to be added as the last item on Wednesday.

First of all, I will ask whether any colleague would like to speak against having such a debate at all? I don’t see that to be the case. Therefore, Mr Pimenta Lopes, do you agree with the alternative proposal of the Green Group?

 
  
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  João Pimenta Lopes, em nome do Grupo The Left. – Senhora Presidente, estou de acordo com as duas propostas, de alteração ao título do debate e de alteração do horário do debate para quarta-feira.

 
  
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  President. – So we will put the proposal as just confirmed by Mr Pimenta Lopes to the vote by roll call.

(Parliament approved the proposal)

Therefore we will have Council and Commission statements as proposed and agreed with the Greens.

The agenda is adopted and the order of business is thus established.

(The sitting was suspended for a few moments)

 
  
  

VORSITZ: OTHMAR KARAS
Vizepräsident

 

14. Resumption of the sitting
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(Die Sitzung wird um 17.34 Uhr wieder aufgenommen)

 

15. European Central Bank – annual report 2023 (debate)
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  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über den Bericht von Johan Van Overtveldt im Namen des Ausschusses für Wirtschaft und Währung über den Jahresbericht der Europäischen Zentralbank 2023 (2023/2064(INI)) (A9—0412/2023).

 
  
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  Johan Van Overtveldt, Rapporteur. – Voorzitter, president, collega’s, te midden van erg woelige geopolitieke en economische omstandigheden heeft de Europese Centrale Bank zich het afgelopen jaar behoorlijk gekweten van haar hoofdopdracht, namelijk het herstellen van de prijsstabiliteit binnen de eurozone. Mevrouw Lagarde, u en uw team verdienen daarvoor alle lof. Het blijft betreurenswaardig dat de verstrenging van het monetair beleid niet eerder werd ingezet, maar dankzij het meer restrictieve monetaire beleid is het inflatiebeest nu bijna terug getemd. Bovendien blijft de door velen voorspelde stevige recessie als gevolg van die monetaire verstrenging voorlopig uit.

Maar de recente daling van de inflatie mag niet als een eindpunt gezien worden. De zogenaamde headline inflation gaat inderdaad terug in de richting van de nagestreefde twee procent, maar de kerninflatie blijft toch wel hardnekkig hoger. Een belangrijke rol in die afwijking tussen die twee inflatievoeten wordt gespeeld door de inflatie – prijsstijgingen – in de dienstensectoren, een punt dat de nodige aandacht blijft vereisen, net zoals trouwens de loonkostontwikkeling binnen de eurozone.

Maar de last mile in de koers om opnieuw tot afdoende prijsstabiliteit te komen binnen de eurozone is – zoals u en andere ECB—beleidsverantwoordelijken recentelijk ook benadrukt hebben – nog niet gelopen. De roep om snel werk te maken van rentedalingen staat dan ook haaks op de bekommernis om het inflatiepeil terug naar twee procent te brengen en daar ook te houden. We zijn nog een eindje verwijderd van een toestand waarin consumenten, producenten en investeerders automatisch terug lage inflatie meenemen in hun beslissingen.

In de beleidsafwegingen die de centrale banken dienen te maken, spelen kortetermijnelementen – ik heb er net twee aangehaald: de inflatie in de dienstensectoren en de loonkostontwikkeling – maar ook langetermijnafwegingen. We kunnen daarbij niet voorbij aan structurele veranderingen die zich de jongste jaren voltrokken in het globale economische landschap. Tot enkele jaren geleden droegen de stabiele geopolitieke omgeving, globalisering van de productieprocessen en technologische vooruitgang bij tot een heel flexibele aanbodstructuur van onze economieën. Schokken in de vraag konden op die manier zonder noemenswaardige inflatie worden opgevangen. Die technologische vooruitgang is er nog steeds, maar op het vlak van geopolitieke stabiliteit en ook op het vlak van de globalisering hebben we toch wel zeer ingrijpende veranderingen gezien.

Neem daarbij ook nog eens de impact van de pandemie op de zogenoemde internationale aanbodketens, en je krijgt toch wel een ander beeld van de aanbodzijde van de economie, die een stuk minder flexibel geworden is en die dus ook een stuk minder puur met outputveranderingen kan inspelen op veranderingen in de vraag. Prijsstijgingen lijken daarom frequenter en ook hardnekkiger te zullen gaan worden.

Het maakt de opdracht van centrale bankiers er niet eenvoudiger op. Toch blijft de consequente volbrenging van de opdracht om die inflatie laag te houden van absoluut belang, willen we de nodige groei en de nodige strategische investeringen kunnen realiseren. Lessen trekkend uit het verleden, lijken mij twee overwegingen belangrijk.

Ten eerste, inzake monetair beleid: vermijd asymmetrie. Centrale banken schoten in het verleden onmiddellijk in actie wanneer zich financiële commotie en/of economische neergang doorzetten. Terugschroeving van dat soepele monetaire beleid gebeurde al te vaak traag en aarzelend.

Ten tweede: misschien toch meer bescheidenheid. Eén: focus op de hoofdopdracht – prijsstabiliteit – en laat andere belangrijke maatschappelijke doelstellingen eerder over aan de geëigende instituties ter zake. Twee: kom los van de modelfocus. De voorspellingskracht van de gebruikte econometrische modellen was en blijft toch wel onthutsend zwak. Deze modellen, het liefst bijgestuurd, blijven hun nut houden, zeker, maar leg ze toch maar even terzijde bij het ultieme beslissingsproces.

 
  
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  Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank. – Mr President, Commissioner Mairead McGuinness, honourable Members of the European Parliament, rapporteur, as we approach the end of this legislative term, I wish to sincerely thank this Parliament for collaborating in guiding Europe through economic headwinds and geopolitical upheavals, always with the shared vision of bolstering prosperity and fostering resilience. Thank you.

Building on the collaborative spirit, today’s debate on your draft resolution on the ECB Annual Report is a pillar of the ongoing dialogue between the two institutions. And indeed, it is fundamental to the ECB’s accountability, which ensures the democratic legitimacy of our actions.

So let me start by outlining the current state of the euro-area economy and our monetary policy stance. I will then focus briefly on the need for a common European response to strengthen euro-area resilience and competitiveness.

The euro area has been facing significant headwinds from a series of sudden and consecutive shocks, which pushed inflation very high in the wake of the post-pandemic recovery. Having peaked at 10.6 % in October 2022, inflation has since declined significantly, thanks to the unwinding of energy shocks and various supply-side disruptions, along with determined policy action.

After expanding by 3.4 % in 2022, euro-area economic activity has been weak in 2023, with real GDP growth having stagnated in the final quarter. Subdued demand for euro-area exports – owing mainly to weaknesses in global trade and earlier losses in competitiveness, as well as tight financing conditions – are weighing on growth.

Weakness in manufacturing activity has been extending to the services sector since the end of 2023. However, there are now increasing signs of a bottoming-out and some forward-looking indicators point to a slight pick-up later this year.

Despite the sluggish economy, the labour market has remained resilient. Unemployment stood at a historical low of 6.4 % in December amid robust demand for labour, which is, however, showing some signs of weakening.

Inflation decreased slightly to 2.8 % in January. Energy prices declined by 6.1 %, and food inflation, while still elevated, came down further to 5.6 %, primarily reflecting a lower inflation rate for processed food.

Core inflation – that you have mentioned, rapporteur – excluding energy and food price developments, also decreased further to 3.3 %, reflecting lower inflation in goods, while services inflation remained more persistent.

Wage pressures, meanwhile, remain strong. Wage growth is expected to become an increasingly important driver of inflation dynamics in the coming months, reflecting employees’ demand for inflation compensation as well as tight labour markets. At the same time, the contribution of profits – which has recently accounted for much of the increase in domestic cost pressures – is declining, suggesting that, as expected, labour cost increases are partly buffered by profits and are not being fully passed on to consumers.

Regarding your concerns about the risks of second-round effects, as mentioned in your draft resolution, let me emphasise that our restrictive monetary policy stance, the ensuing strong decline in headline inflation, and firmly anchored longer-term inflation expectations act as a safeguard against a sustained wage-price spiral.

Looking forward, we expect inflation to continue slowing down, as the impact of past upward shocks fades, and tight financing conditions help to push down inflation.

This brings me to our current monetary policy stance. At our January Governing Council meeting, we considered that the incoming information was broadly in line with our December assessment of the medium-term inflation outlook. We therefore decided to keep our key policy rates unchanged.

These interest rates are at levels that, maintained for a sufficiently long duration, will make a substantial contribution to ensuring that inflation returns to our 2 % medium-term target in a timely manner.

The current disinflationary process is expected to continue, but the Governing Council needs to be confident that it will lead us sustainably to our 2 % target. We will continue to follow a data-dependent approach to determining the appropriate level and duration of restriction, taking into account the inflation outlook, the dynamics of underlying inflation and the strength of monetary policy transmission.

The shifting economic and geopolitical landscape calls for a strengthening of the euro-area resilience. As you note in your draft resolution, high energy prices and increased geopolitical instability are posing a threat to the euro-area competitiveness. And they are adding to Europe’s existing structural challenges, such as ageing, climate change and digitalisation.

To maintain monetary sovereignty and economic prosperity in these challenging times, it is essential for Europe to build up resilience to shocks and invest in strategic autonomy.

A unified European policy response should strive to unlock Europe’s potential, focusing on progress in three dimensions: one, independence; two, investment; three, integration.

First, we need to make progress on energy independence. Given its proximity to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, Europe was hit particularly hard by its dependence on energy imports from Russia. To reduce the bloc’s vulnerability to global shocks, improvements in energy security, efficiency and affordability will continue to be vital. European firms’ ability to compete globally will hinge on being less energy dependent.

As energy security becomes imperative, Europe will need to boost the roll-out of renewables by increasing investment in clean energy and green technologies, such as green hydrogen and smart energy grids.

But the path to greater energy independence also entails considerable investment needs. And this brings me to my second point, which is to foster investment. The European Commission estimates that an extra EUR 620 billion per year will be needed in the next few years to finance Europe’s environmental and climate objectives, with an additional EUR 125 billion required for the digital transition, including the digital euro.

But making these investments, as well as addressing shortcomings in the functioning of the financial market, requires further progress on deepening our Economic and Monetary Union, something you highlight in your resolution.

Faithfully implementing the EU’s revised economic governance framework will help ensure that fiscal rules reduce high government debt and promote structural reforms and productive public investment, including for the green and digital transitions.

I am pleased that EU policymakers, including this Parliament – thank you very much – have recently reached a provisional agreement on the new framework, which should be swiftly and diligently implemented. This will be essential to enhance credibility and anchor expectations about the future course of fiscal policies.

Completing European capital market’s union will also be key in financing the twin transition. A fully functioning CMU – and maybe it needs to be called another name, if CMU is not glamorous enough – is needed to foster private financing and complement public investment. We are currently underperforming in this area. Our capital markets remain fragmented and, as a result, lack depth and liquidity, especially when compared with those in the United States.

Let me give you two examples. First, the EU trading landscape is characterised by many small exchanges, with three times as many exchange groups as in the United States, and more than ten times as many exchanges for listings.

Second, EU venture capital, relative to the size of the economy, is only a small fraction of the size – around one-fifth – of US venture capital. Measures to promote equity financing would provide an opportunity to broaden European firms’ financing options for investing in the technologies that are needed for the twin transition.

Europe’s competitiveness and ability to invest also hinge on further progress being made towards banking union. A complete banking union would support more integrated banking services across the euro area and strengthen the global competitiveness of our banking sector.

Finally, the third key dimension of a unified European response is the need for deeper integration of our single market to strengthen Europe’s overall competitiveness and resilience. The single market remains incomplete. But it is essential for Europe’s long-term competitiveness.

A more integrated single market would help unleash Europe’s growth potential, would boost our shared prosperity. Measures to strengthen the single market could, for example, focus on reducing red tape and excessive regulation, both at the EU and national levels. This would provide incentives to invest and innovate, as 61 % of EU firms consider business regulations to be an obstacle to their investment.

In addition, a more competitive and integrated electricity market is also crucial for completing the single market and supporting the green and digital transitions.

Progress in this direction would support cross-border trade, investment, and growth. It would also enhance innovation through increased incentives for research and development. The impact of such progress would be considerable. ECB analysis shows that the single market raised the region’s GDP per capita by 12 % to 22 % between 1993 and 2008.

A more integrated single market would also strengthen our resilience. We now know that Europe’s heavy reliance on external demand and global supply chains can actually be a weakness. We should therefore leverage and further exploit the full scale of our internal market for goods and services. This will require comprehensive reform, but it has the potential to re-establish the single market as an engine for growth, for innovation and for competitiveness.

So, by way of conclusion, Europe has demonstrated – and you have been part of that – its ability to navigate turbulent times. In the face of the current economic and geopolitical challenges, policymakers must be bold enough to take the further steps needed to advance European integration.

As Simone Veil remarked in her inaugural speech as President of the European Parliament here in a Plenary session 45 years ago: ‘If the challenges facing Europe are to be met, we need a Europe capable of solidarity, of independence, and of cooperation.’

Her words resonate strongly today. We must seize the opportunity to bolster Europe’s unity and resilience. I know I can count on you, Parliament – and the next one, of which you will hopefully be part – to drive the decisive European action needed to strengthen the euro area.

The ECB will continue to play its part, within its mandate. And let me reiterate our unwavering commitment to delivering on price stability, while contributing to the topics I have talked about today, and maintaining an ongoing dialogue with you, the elected representatives of the EU citizens.

 
  
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  Mairead McGuinness, Member of the Commission.Danke Herr Präsident Karas, President Lagarde, colleagues, I’m very happy that we are discussing this draft report on the work of the ECB in 2023, and I want to particularly thank the rapporteur, Johan Van Overtveldt and members of the ECON Committee for their insightful reflections.

Parliament’s assessment is an important part of the democratic accountability of the ECB, as the President has just referred to, and the Commission shares the general sentiments of the ECON report, including the report’s concerns that high inflation is a threat to macroeconomic stability.

Inflation has hit our households and our companies hard, bringing economic growth to a halt for a good part of last year, so the Commission welcomes the easing of inflationary pressures over the past months. We acknowledge the ECB’s strong commitment to ensuring price stability and its decisive action.

The ECB raised its main policy rate from 0.5 % in July 2022 to 4 % in September 2023, which is the steepest rate increase in the history of economic and monetary union. This strong monetary policy tightening has worked its way through the economy and ensured that high inflation did not become entrenched in households’ and firms’ expectations. In addition, this tightening has been transmitted across the euro area without severe market tensions.

Now looking ahead, both the Commission and the ECB expect inflation to come down towards 2 % by 2025 and as inflation comes down, the economic growth is forecast to gradually pick up over the course of this year. The ECON report points out that expansionary fiscal policies could counteract the ECB’s monetary policy tightening, and the Commission has repeatedly stressed the need for fiscal policy to be consistent with the efforts of monetary policy to fight inflation.

The fiscal stance in the Euro area turned restrictive last year: in the 2024 European Semester autumn package, the Commission recommended a continuing restrictive policy fiscal stance for this year and next, and this is consistent with the need to reduce public debt and deficits, as well as ongoing monetary policy efforts to fight high inflation.

At the same time, the Commission shares the ECON report’s conclusion that fiscal efforts should be combined with investments and reforms that support growth. Fiscal adjustment should not come at the expense of public investment. I would add that investment is expected to increase in most Member States, both nationally financed investments and the continued support from the Recovery and Resilience Facility and other EU funds. This is important as it will support sustainable growth.

The need to maintain debt sustainability while promoting reforms and investments was the cornerstone of the economic governance reform proposed by the Commission. I welcomed the provisional political agreement reached between Parliament and Council on the new fiscal rules. The legislative package is likely to be adopted before this Parliament’s recess, and we are now preparing to implement the new framework. This will provide predictability and credibility to the Member States’ fiscal investment and reform strategies for the years ahead.

I will reserve my comments on CMU for my concluding remarks, and I look forward to listening to your contributions.

 
  
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  Sven Simon, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, Madam President, Commissioners, recent media reports have quoted a senior executive board member of the ECB as stating if you are critical of greening policies, then you are not welcome to work at the European Central Bank. ‘If you’re not green, you’re not wanted’ – this was the headline.

Madam President, I was at first doubtful whether this reporting could be true. But after your statement during the monetary dialogue, I grew increasingly concerned. Your answer on this incident was rather ambiguous and I have to say that you have been sometimes ambiguous in that concern in the past two years, even though I always thought we were in agreement.

The European Central Bank has a mandate for price stability. That does include, indeed, taking into account climate-change-related risks for the financial sector and evaluating the implications for central bank balance sheets and their own management of risk. Undertaking an active climate policy, however, is not covered by the mandate and this would not only be illegal, but also put our currency at risk.

And for that reason, I would like to kindly invite you today to take the opportunity to clearly distance yourself from this statement: ‘if you’re not green, you’re not wanted’, or further explain what was meant with that, and I am sure you can do that.

 
  
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  Pedro Silva Pereira, em nome do Grupo S&D. – Senhor Presidente, Senhora Lagarde, o ano de 2023 foi marcado pela política monetária restritiva do BCE, apesar de a inflação ter atingido o seu pico em outubro de 2022.

O BCE demorou cinco meses a reconhecer que esse pico já tinha acontecido e, ao longo do ano, foi surpreendido por uma descida da inflação mais rápida do que o esperado. Isto mostra a dificuldade do BCE em compreender a natureza desta inflação.

Em apenas três meses, entre setembro e dezembro de 2023, o BCE teve de rever em baixa a sua previsão de inflação para este ano de 3,2 % para 2,7 %, o que provavelmente não chegará para acertar o passo com a realidade, já que em janeiro a inflação foi de apenas 2,8 %.

Mas, apesar das suas previsões pessimistas, o BCE estima agora uma inflação de 2,1 % para 2025 e de apenas 1,9 % para 2026, valores em linha com a meta prevista no seu mandato.

Parece evidente, portanto, que chegou a hora de uma mudança de rumo. O BCE diz, é certo, que precisa de estar confortável com a sustentabilidade da descida da inflação, mas não há nada mais desconfortável para o Estado, para as empresas, para as famílias, do que uma política monetária que prejudica a economia mais do que o necessário.

Senhora Lagarde, esperamos boas notícias do BCE mais cedo do que tarde.

 
  
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  Engin Eroglu, im Namen der Renew-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, sehr geehrte Frau Kommissarin, sehr geehrte Frau Lagarde! Frau Lagarde, Sie sind mit Abstand eine der wichtigsten Präsidentinnen, die wir hier haben, und deswegen ja auch auf acht Jahre gewählt. Aber ich muss tatsächlich sagen: Ihre Rede hat mich wirklich zum Kochen gebracht. Ich habe das Gefühl, dass Sie da tatsächlich die Europäische Investitionsbank mit der Europäischen Zentralbank verwechselt haben. Ihre Aufgabe ist es, Preisstabilität in der Europäischen Union zu gewährleisten. Und wenn die Preisstabilität gegeben ist, dann kann die EZB auch – sozusagen – in der Wirtschaftspolitik dienen.

Nun haben wir es aber erlebt, dass – aus meiner Sicht – politische Entscheidungen der Trigger waren dafür, dass wir auf einen Einlagezins von -0,5 Prozent runter sind – aus meiner Sicht ein historischer Fehler, ein politischer Fehler – und dann diesen Zinsschock hatten auf über 4 Prozent – zu spät und zu langsam die Zinsen erhöht. Das hatte erhebliche Folgen. Wir haben einen gigantischen Wohlstandsverlust in der Europäischen Union. Die Menschen arbeiten hart – 40 Stunden die Woche – und können sich den Alltag nicht mehr finanzieren.

Die Antwort ist nicht, dass die Inflation jetzt wieder runtergeht, darüber können wir uns nicht freuen. Die Geldentwertung hat stattgefunden, Frau Lagarde. Deswegen: weniger Politik, mehr Preisstabilität, und alles andere überlassen Sie dem Parlament und der Europäischen Investitionsbank. Dafür wäre ich Ihnen wirklich sehr dankbar. Das ist wirklich enorm wichtig, auch für den Erhalt unserer Demokratie, Frau Lagarde – wirklich sehr wichtig!

 
  
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  Bas Eickhout, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, Madam President Lagarde, I have the feeling we are thrown back into time if I hear some of my colleagues who are talking about economic policies. Yes, we need a lot of investment. Europe needs a lot of investment. And indeed, policies need to be aligned with that. And I think it was very good, Madam Lagarde, that you were also pointing out that Europe needs investments. And I think, if I hear the concerns on inflation, I’m very happy that you are correcting some of the parts in the report that are pretending as if inflation is still our biggest concern, because – as you rightfully say – indeed, also core inflation is going down.

I think our biggest problem now is the lack of investment and indeed the lack of independence, as you say as well. But that means that we have to look at our current policies and the ECB also has to look at its current policies, and I do think we need to debate now the loosening, because we’ve heard some German hawks here who probably only want to discuss further tightening. But I do think that we have to just be having a rational debate on loosening up some of the policies and then mainly on loosening up the policies that allows for investments in renewables, for example.

When you say, Madam Lagarde, that investments in renewables are so important, then we need to start talking about targeted green lending, differentiated lending rates, because that is not the issue of that is not possible right now. There are more and more policymakers speaking for that. There are, in the ECB, people talking about that, because they are knowledgeable on green issues – that apparently is also not allowed anymore, it’s interesting.

But I would like to hear from you: are you willing to discuss and to propose that there will be targeted green lending and that there will be loosening for green expenditure? Because that is absolutely needed. And we know that for renewables, we need upfront investment. So stricter rental rates are disproportionately hitting investments in renewables.

 
  
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  Michiel Hoogeveen, namens de ECR-Fractie. – Voorzitter, president Lagarde, sinds eind jaren 2000 probeert de Europese Centrale Bank voor God te spelen door geld te drukken zoals het brood uit de hemel kwam. President Lagarde, de kerndoelstelling van uw ECB is prijsstabiliteit, maar uw instelling houdt zich bezig met van alles: het redden van hogeschuldenlanden, slechte leningen opkopen, klimaatverandering en een digitale euro waar niemand om heeft gevraagd. Maar van de grote economische uitdagingen waarmee de bevolking wordt geconfronteerd – inflatie, huisvesting, hoge staatsschulden, lage economische groei – ligt de oorsprong voor een groot deel in Frankfurt. Kerninflatie gaat omlaag maar is nog steeds niet onder controle, en de verloren koopkracht van de afgelopen jaren krijgen de mensen nooit meer terug.

President Lagarde, het is belangrijk dat u zich beperkt tot uw kerntaak. Het is tijd om het beest terug in de kooi te stoppen. Alleen dan kan de ECB het vertrouwen van de mensen terugwinnen.

 
  
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  Angelo Ciocca, a nome del gruppo ID. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, Presidente Lagarde, grazie di essere qui così avrà l'occasione di spiegare perché i mutui sono triplicati da 300 EUR a 900 EUR e da 400 EUR a 1 200 EUR. Potrà spiegarci chi si arricchisce? Siamo certi che i cittadini sono quelli strangolati.

Presidente Lagarde, non ci racconti la storiella, la balla dell'inflazione. Questa inflazione non è causata dalla domanda: ci sono più poveri, ci sono meno figli? Questa inflazione è causata dalla carenza di forniture non solo energetiche, anche manifatturiere, anche alimentari, è causata dagli sbagli di questa Europa.

E allora, Presidente Lagarde, le politiche criminali di questa Europa da lei guidata hanno lo stesso effetto di questo cappio, che strangola la gente, che strangola le famiglie, che strangola le imprese e la nostra economia: fermiamo l'aumento dei tassi di interesse; abbassiamo i tassi di interesse.

 
  
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  João Pimenta Lopes, em nome do Grupo The Left. – Senhor Presidente, Senhora Lagarde, as decisões do BCE que a senhora dirige afetam milhões de famílias na União Europeia. 1,3 milhões só no meu país, o mais afetado pela errada política de aumento das taxas de juro no combate à inflação.

Famílias que viram duplicar a prestação do crédito, mas não os salários, que estão a pagar mais de juros que pela própria casa, ao mesmo tempo que assistem ao crescimento obsceno dos lucros da banca.

A Senhora continua a insistir na falsa retórica de contenção salarial que afirmou, há dias, ser encorajadora, serviu aos grandes grupos económicos para manter políticas de baixos salários e empobrecimento e atacar a contratação coletiva.

Em vez de apontar medidas aos lucros galopantes desses grandes grupos económicos, opta por apertar o garrote aos trabalhadores, contribuindo para o agravamento das desigualdades de uma mais injusta distribuição da riqueza.

É urgente pôr termo à vossa política, reverter o aumento das taxas de juro, tributar mais quem mais riqueza acumula, aumentar salários, combater as desigualdades.

Aqui estamos, cá estaremos neste combate.

 
  
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  Jörg Meuthen (NI). – Herr Präsident, Frau Präsidentin Lagarde, werte Kollegen! „Wenn Sie nicht grün sind, sind Sie unerwünscht.“ Diese Worte richtete Frank Elderson, einer von sechs Direktoren der EZB, jüngst an seine Belegschaft. Er fügte hinzu: „Warum sollten wir Leute einstellen, die wir umprogrammieren müssen?“ Abseits des geradezu autoritären Charakters dieser Äußerungen sagt Elderson hiermit, dass der freie Geist der Beschäftigten zum Verständnis der grünen EZB-Zielsetzungen nicht ausreiche.

Allerdings: Klimapolitik gehört auch definitiv nicht zum Aufgabenbereich der Zentralbank. Deren Mandat lautet nach den Verträgen, Preisstabilität zu gewährleisten. Was also ist von einer Zentralbank zu halten, die in Zeiten anhaltend hoher Inflation – das ist im Kern ihre einzige Aufgabe – den fatalen Eindruck erweckt, Klimarettungspolitik sei ihr Primärmandat? Anstatt sich mit demokratisch nicht legitimierten und kompetenzrechtlich indiskutablen Unterstützungsmaßnahmen zur Klimapolitik zu beschäftigen, muss sich die EZB auf ihr Kernmandat besinnen. Damit hätte sie, wie vor allem die aktuelle Situation zeigt, weiß Gott genug zu tun.

 
  
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  Lídia Pereira (PPE). – Senhor Presidente, Presidente Lagarde, 2023 foi um ano de combate à inflação que, como sabemos, afeta especialmente as famílias de rendimentos mais baixos.

Estamos agora a ver os resultados da política monetária e uma descida da inflação que, esperamos todos, possa continuar e possa estabilizar no objetivo de 2 %, no médio prazo. Boas notícias que, ainda assim, não são suficientes.

As famílias continuam a enfrentar grandes dificuldades no cumprimento dos seus créditos, sobretudo nos créditos à habitação, e esperam sinais claros de um alívio desta pressão sobre os seus orçamentos. Ao mesmo tempo, os cidadãos continuam a ver os decisores políticos a arrastarem uma decisão sobre o sistema europeu de seguro dos seus depósitos quase uma década depois da proposta.

O que as pessoas esperam de nós, dos políticos, são respostas, são decisões. São essas respostas que estamos aqui a pedir ao Banco Central Europeu, mas que também têm de ser dadas por este Parlamento e pelos governos nacionais.

 
  
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  Irene Tinagli (S&D). – Mr President, among the many things included in the report that we will vote on tomorrow there is a reference to the opinion that the ECB gave on the Commission’s proposal on the reform of economic governance, which President Lagarde earlier also referred to.

In the same opinion, the ECB says something very important, which I would like to underline today, namely – and I’m quoting – that further progress on euro-area specific aspects is needed, in particular the development of a framework to monitor and steer the aggregate euro-area fiscal stance to provide a counterpart to monetary policy and the need for a permanent central fiscal capacity.

This is something we’ve been discussing many times, also in this room, in the committees, but always postponed. Now, let me say one thing: things halfway means doing them badly because usually the missing half never gets done.

So this is why I hope that this Parliament can take a clear commitment on these two elements before the final vote on the governance package in April: it would be a very important signal to our citizens that we can and must give.

 
  
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  Stéphanie Yon-Courtin (Renew). – Madame la Présidente Lagarde, Madame la Commissaire, Monsieur le Président, la solidité financière de notre continent a été testée à plusieurs reprises ces dernières années. De nombreux enjeux et crises ont rythmé notre quotidien: changement climatique, transition numérique, guerre en Ukraine ou défaillances bancaires aux États-Unis.

Après une baisse de l’inflation de 10,6 % en octobre 2022 à 2,8 % en janvier 2024 dans la zone euro, la Banque centrale européenne (BCE) réaffirme son rôle de garant de la stabilité financière européenne face aux défis de demain. La BCE a également une mission décisive pour assurer la transition écologique de notre secteur bancaire et pour renforcer sa cyber résistance, n’en déplaise à certains de nos collègues allemands ici présents.

Son rôle s’inscrit aussi dans un contexte plus global pour répondre aux besoins de financement massifs dans la transition écologique et numérique, estimés à plus de 735 milliards d’euros annuellement. Et l’argent public ne suffit pas! Comme vous l’avez rappelé, Madame la Présidente Lagarde, il y a urgence à consolider notre union des marchés de capitaux pour financer cette transition.

 
  
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  Mislav Kolakušić (NI). – Poštovani predsjedavajući, predsjednice Europske središnje banke!

Osim što ste izravno odgovorni za hiperinflaciju, koja je dostizala i 11 %, sada ste odgovorni i za ono za što se zalažete, a to je uvođenje digitalnog eura umjesto klasičnog štampanog novca. Lažete ljudima i govorite samo pozitivne stvari digitalnog eura, a ne govorite koliko je digitalni euro krhak. Bez interneta nema novca, ne možete kupiti niti kruh. Nijemci su mislili: „Pa tko bi ikada dignuo Sjeverni tok 1 i 2?” Kablovi, kojih ima svega nekoliko, koji tvore svjetski Internet, ponegdje se nalaze na dubini od nekoliko desetaka metara. Svaki terorist ili teroristička država može ih ukinuti. U tom trenutku nema trgovine, nema kupovine, nema ničega. Nedopustivo je izlagati europske građevine jednoj takvoj stvari.

 
  
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  Billy Kelleher (Renew). – Mr President, I welcome the report and the discussions on the same. Obviously, price stability is critically important and it is your major mandate in the ECB. But I do want to put on the record the serious challenges that we have in the Irish economy with regard to lending to small and medium-sized businesses. I have raised this with your predecessor, I’ve raised it with you, I’ve raised it with the Commission.

We have two pillar banks lending in Ireland and over the last number of years we have seen a steady decline in credit to small and medium-sized businesses – at a time when our economy is expanding dramatically. So there is an inherent dysfunction at the heart of the Irish banking system, whereby Irish banks make more money by depositing funds in the ECB overnight rather than lending to the real economy.

So it is a significant challenge and we do need to ensure that we take measures to attract competition into the Irish economy – that ensures a capital markets union, a banking union. But we do need to see greater transparency on why we do not have proper functioning banking systems in Ireland lending to the small and medium-sized business sector.

 
  
 

Spontane Wortmeldungen

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D). – Domnule președinte, doamnă comisar, doamna Lagarde, eu vin din rândul unei țări mai recent intrate în Uniunea Europeană, România. Principala sarcină a băncii, așa cum s-a spus aici, este stabilitatea prețurilor. Pierderea fantastică a ajuns la cetățeni. Avem foarte mulți cetățeni săraci, doamna Lagarde, care nu mai au nici măcar cum să-și cumpere pâine. Inflația nu a fost stăpânită. Trebuie să mergem de la rezultate. „Înseamnă că politicile pe care le-ați aplicat nu au fost bune”, spunea mai înainte colegul. IMM-urile nu au acces la finanțare.

Dumneavoastră, în raportul dumneavoastră, n-ați spus concret cum vreți să ajungeți la o inflație de 2 % în 2026. Poate ne răspundeți, pentru că dacă vă ocupați de toate și nu rămâneți în mandatul băncii pe care o conduceți, cu siguranță nu ne atingem scopul, pentru că au fost crize după crize, iar politica monetară nu a fost adaptată deloc la crize și sărăcia a crescut în Uniunea Europeană. Cer un răspuns, doamna Lagarde, dacă ați venit aici: să ne spuneți cum, pentru că și noi trebuie să spunem cetățenilor când ne ducem acasă.

 
  
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  Mauri Pekkarinen (Renew). – Arvoisa puhemies, kiitoksia pääjohtajalle hyvästä puheenvuorosta.

Minua kiinnostaisi kuitenkin kuulla arvionne siitä, mitä vaikutuksia sillä useamman tuhannen miljardin euron osto-ohjelmalla on, joka kasaantuu EKP:n taseisiin ja jota ymmärtääkseni nyt on purettu jo useiden miljardien edestä. Mikä vaikutus tällä poikkeuksellisella toimella, 5–6 tuhannen miljardin euron osto-ohjelmalla ja sen nyt tapahtuvalla purkamisella on hintavakauteen ja korkoihin?

 
  
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  Susanna Ceccardi (ID). – Signor Presidente, Presidente Lagarde, onorevoli colleghi, parlo a nome di milioni di famiglie italiane, che non riescono più a pagare il mutuo di casa.

Ci avete chiesto di sacrificare la nostra sovranità economica perché questo – ci era stato detto – avrebbe messo al riparo da inflazione e guerre. Oggi abbiamo l'inflazione, abbiamo la guerra ma non abbiamo più la sovranità. Avete scatenato la macelleria sociale, infliggendo pesanti perdite ai risparmiatori e alle famiglie a basso reddito.

Lei, signora Presidente, fregandosene delle difficoltà economiche delle famiglie e delle imprese, si è chiusa nella sua torre d'avorio, dove peraltro è stata considerata inadeguata nel suo ruolo persino dai dipendenti della stessa Banca centrale europea.

Un unico tasso di interesse per economie diverse è un grosso problema: il tasso di inflazione in Italia è allo 0,6 %, in Germania al 3,5 %. Ma Presidente per chi lavora lei? Per chi ha lavorato? Per i popoli europei o per le élite globali? La Germania ha un problema di inflazione: l'Italia ha un problema di crescita! Per questo le sue decisioni, Presidente Lagarde, non possono andare bene a entrambi.

Basta farsi dettare le regole da Berlino. Le famiglie italiane vogliono risposte.

 
  
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  Mick Wallace (The Left). – Mr President, the publication of the European Central Bank 2023 report comes at a time when European banks are on course to return more than EUR 120 billion to shareholders off the back of their 2023 results, as they pass on the benefits of surging interest rates to investors.

Today, most EU banks’ shareholder returns are larger than annual profits and this is something that the ECB and the European regulator need to act on, particularly as these surging interest rates are predominantly linked to the war in Ukraine.

Unfortunately, the ECB report appears to be silent on the issue of increased buybacks flowing from massive interest hikes. The ECB has the capacity to intervene – during COVID, the ECB recommended that banks refrain from paying out dividends and buying back shares for the period.

The current EU banking model that allows investors to profit off war is abhorrent. If the ECB is concerned with regulating, it should recommend that banks refrain from buying back shares while the war in Ukraine continues.

 
  
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  Silvia Sardone (ID). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, Presidente Lagarde, io comprendo che lei non abbia un mutuo da pagare; però i cittadini europei non riescono più a pagare le rate del mutuo.

A chi fanno comodo queste decisioni assurde? Tra l'altro, non sono solo problemi per le famiglie, perché anche le imprese hanno un serio problema di accesso al credito, anche quello che serve per i flussi di cassa, per la liquidità necessaria all'operatività aziendale.

Non credo che il suo atteggiamento, quello della BCE, sia nell'interesse della crescita. Con la vostra "cura da cavallo", sono calati gli investimenti e l'Europa è finita in recessione. Avete sbagliato completamente la cura contro l'inflazione: la vostra stretta sui mutui non ha aiutato l'economia ma ha prodotto la crisi dell'Europa continentale: un vero capolavoro direi.

Fermatevi, per favore, fermatevi!

 
  
 

(Ende der spontanen Wortmeldungen)

 
  
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  Mairead McGuinness, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, colleagues, if I can just come back to the core of this debate, which is the report on the ECB, and I think it is positive that the views of the three institutions converge on most aspects of the ECON report.

And also to remark that we are celebrating 25 years of the euro this year. We have 20 countries now using the euro. Bulgaria is likely to join and is making significant progress, and we hope it will soon meet all of the criteria to become the 21st member. Joining the euro area is good for the countries that join, for the euro area and for the EU as a whole, strengthening the global role and influence of the euro, and this is essential to maintain the EU’s competitiveness.

Now, many people have said we need significant investment and I will just echo that call, and it will need primarily to come from the private sector. So in this context, advancing the capital markets union and completing the banking union are urgent priorities. A resilient banking sector can strengthen confidence in our single currency. By integrating EU capital markets, CMU can also facilitate the transmission of the ECB’s monetary policy.

I think we all know in this House that capital markets union is a long-term project and we have done a lot in this mandate to advance CMU, but frankly, this is not enough to improve EU competitiveness and to meet these enormous investments around competitiveness improvements, the green and the digital transitions.

We welcome that the Eurogroup is working on a statement on the future of the capital markets union. It is no secret that I share the impatience of some on the slow progress on CMU and I would urge all Member States to consider the high cost to our businesses, large and small, if we fail to further develop CMU. And if we fail, we will fail to provide the necessary investment to address competitiveness, sustainability and digitalisation, and these are challenges that our economy and society face today.

So, I very much look forward to the final outcome of the work of the Eurogroup and I hope that political declarations on CMU are matched by political commitment of Member States and other stakeholders during negotiations on the relevant legislative proposals. It is not always thus.

Finally, as we move towards a more digital economy, we want to keep access to the euro by means of a digital euro and, together with the ECB, this is about making the euro fit for the digital age. The digital euro project is under discussion following our proposal of last June and those discussions are, I believe, going well in the ECON Committee, and we are grateful for that progress.

We are expecting similar progress on strengthening the legal tender status of cash and despite some comments to the contrary in this debate, let me stress that the European Commission defends citizens’ rights to access cash and to have acceptability of cash, while also working on a complement: the digital euro.

 
  
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  Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank. – Mr President, thank you, and thank you very much, honourable Members of the European Parliament for your very diverse and many questions on different topics.

So let me start first with one that is very, very clear to me, as is clear for all of you, I am sure, which is that the primary objective of the European Central Bank is price stability. It is inscribed in the Treaty, Article 127. There is no doubt, no question about it – this is the objective and it is the primary one. Which doesn’t mean to say that there are no secondary objectives which are also inscribed in the Treaty, but they are inscribed as such: without prejudice to the primary objective.

So I think, be under no doubt that this is very clear in my mind and in the mind of members of the Executive Board – all of them – as well as members of the Governing Council.

One of you asked: ‘What are the tools?’ Well, what are the tools for what? To achieve price stability. And price stability has been defined as 2 % medium term – very clear. And this is what we are aiming for, this is where we will get. For that, of course we need to tame this inflation that is vastly unequally hitting our citizens. The higher the inflation, the more the least privileged are hurt. And the service that we can do to the less privileged is precisely to fight inflation, to bring it down to that 2 % medium-term objective that we have.

So, what tools do we have? The primary tools that we can use are the interest rates. Where we are in the cycle, and given the magnitude of the force of inflation, this is the best tool that we have available and we have been using it. I remind you that we went from -0.5 % to 4 % – just looking at the DFR, the deposit facility rate.

In addition, but somehow on the back burner, we have also – and this has been mentioned by one of you – gradually started reducing the size of our balance sheet and the footprint that we have on the markets. This has happened for two reasons: one, the reimbursement of the TLTRO programmes that we had to put in place to respond to the COVID crisis. EUR 1.7 trillion has been reimbursed in the course of the last few months. There is still a little bit left and there will be yet another reimbursement of a significant amount in March, but we are getting to the end of that.

We are also reducing, of course, any kind of reinvestment in the APP – so the asset purchase programme is on a run-off mode, and there is a declining footprint as a result of that. And it has been decided that on the pandemic emergency programme, we will continue to reinvest, but reducing our reinvestment by EUR 7.5 billion as of 1 July. So this is happening at the same time as we are using our major tool, which is interest rates. This is very clear to me.

Second point – because it has been raised by some and it is always an object of questions – on wages. So wage pressures remain high and as I said during my comments, we expect them to be a key driver of inflation dynamics in the coming quarters. But almost in the same breath of air, I said that we are also observing what we had expected, which is that profits – I am oversimplifying it – profits are not increasing at the pace that we have seen them increase in the course of 2022 and beginning of 2023. So during the second half of 2023, profits were contributors to inflation by only 25 %, whereas in the past it had been 50 %.

So gradually, because of pressure on demand, we are seeing a reduction of profits because they absorb some of the wage increases. And those wage increases are a factor of two things: one, a tight labour market in many of your economies, and second, a catching-up with inflation that has been suffered by employees. So we are observing that very closely because it’s a key factor, a key driver, but we are gradually seeing that wage increase caused by the two factors that I have mentioned being actually partly absorbed by the profit contribution to inflation, which has reduced.

Now, I want to finish with two things. And I want to specifically address one issue, which is that of the participation of the European Central Bank in the fight that many of you in this Chamber have decided was critically important for Europe, which is the fight against climate change and the protection of biodiversity. And let me also be very clear on that point: this is your call. It is your domain. It is your decision. And that of government’s executive and legislative arms are the drivers of that bus.

But let me also be clear that to the extent that we have to evaluate the risks, to the extent that we have to conduct macroeconomic analysis, it is imperative that we take into account climate change. And to the extent that we are complying with our primary objective and delivering on our secondary objective without prejudice to the primary objective, we have to consider those issues.

Does that mean that we are excluding anyone? ‘No’ is the answer, very squarely. At the European Central Bank, we value highly – and I can tell you that personally, I value immensely – diversity. And it’s not just the gender diversity that we will all celebrate on 8 March. It’s intellectual diversity. It’s diversity of background, diversity of understanding and assessment of the economic reality that we live in, based on facts, on knowledge, on science.

Does that mean that we would be excluding people? No. Diversity does not call for exclusion. Diversity calls for inclusion, debate, proper understanding of each and every one’s position.

So while I completely support all my colleagues, including the one that you have referred to, I realise that sometimes words can go a little bit beyond the passion that underlies what they express. But trust me, diversity will not be diluted by the passion of something that is critically important and that impacts on our activity and I will only mention assessment of risk, tilting of our corporate portfolio and taking into account in our models and in our assessment of economic reality the imperative of climate change that belongs as a priority to you and to the executive branch of our governments.

 
  
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  Johan Van Overtveldt, Rapporteur. – Voorzitter, president, collega’s, de strijd tegen de inflatie is nog niet gestreden. Die strijd tot een goed einde brengen is de belangrijkste bijdrage die de ECB kan leveren aan de oplossing van de vele uitdagingen waar we vandaag voor staan. En dat zijn er nogal wat. Ik roep dus op om te weerstaan aan de lobby van de financiële markten, en ook van de politiek, om het renteroer nú te gaan omgooien

De ECB moet in deze, en trouwens meer in het algemeen, absoluut haar onafhankelijkheid behouden. Ze is van doorslaggevend belang naar de toekomst toe. De financiële markten moeten leren dat er grenzen zijn aan met schuld opgebouwde financiële constructies. De creatie van reële toegevoegde waarde moet terug het lijfmotto worden van financiële constructies en innovaties.

Politieke overheden, waar ik ons allen in dit Parlement bij reken, moeten zelf de verantwoordelijkheid opnemen voor budgettaire saneringen die zich inderdaad opdringen. Soelaas zoeken in monetaire souplesse, om het zo maar eens te zeggen, als oplossing voor begrotings- en schuldproblemen, is abdiceren, is vluchten voor verantwoordelijkheid. We mogen en moeten van de ECB verwachten – zelfs eisen – dat ze haar maatschappelijke verantwoordelijkheid conform haar statuten opneemt. Politici moeten dat ook doen en stoppen met wegvluchten in goedkope excuses.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Die Abstimmung findet am Dienstag, 27. Februar 2024, statt.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 171)

 
  
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  Fabio Massimo Castaldo (Renew), per iscritto. – Leggendo il testo della relazione si evincono chiaramente le varie anime che sono converse in un compromesso finale, accettabile a parer mio. Se da una parte riconosciamo giustamente l'enorme pericolo che l'inflazione comporta nei confronti dei cittadini, da cui deriva quindi la necessità di alzare i tassi di interesse e di ridurre l'acquisto dei titoli sul mercato secondario, dall'altra dobbiamo essere realisti nel notare che sono stati compiuti alcuni errori, preoccupanti in quanto erodono la credibilità dell'istituzione.

Nessuno negherebbe mai la necessità di restringere la politica monetaria quando l'inflazione raggiunge il 10,6 %, come osservato nell'ottobre 2022. Come giustamente inserito, a mia firma, nella relazione: "una risposta più celere avrebbe inciso anzitempo sulla dinamica dei prezzi". È stata determinante l'inattività iniziale della BCE, costretta poi a dieci rialzi consecutivi in 14 mesi, che hanno sortito un effetto particolarmente negativo sulle famiglie e PMI, specialmente quelle che si erano affidate a modelli a tassi variabili. Ferma restando la sacrosanta indipendenza della BCE, sarà forse necessario che riveda internamente i propri modelli e modus operandi. Noi risponderemo direttamente delle sofferenze delle nostre PMI, ma la BCE non deve mettere in secondo piano il suo obiettivo secondario, altrettanto importante: supportare le politiche economiche dell'Unione.

 
  
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  Andżelika Anna Możdżanowska (ECR), na piśmie. – Bank centralny jest stale pod presją sprzecznych oczekiwań. Żąda się od niego, by zapewnił silną pozycję waluty, a zarazem nie szkodził eksporterom utrzymując jej zbyt wysoki kurs. Żeby wspomagał rozwój gospodarki, a równocześnie wymuszał zieloną transformację. Żeby wspierał polityczne priorytety, unikając równocześnie bezpośrednich politycznych afiliacji... Tak jest w każdym państwie, a EBC znajduje się w sytuacji szczególnie trudnej, będąc pod presją niezwykle skomplikowanej gry europejskich interesów. Dlatego właśnie bank centralny posiada ustawową niezależność: aby mógł oprzeć się presji i realizować swój główny cel: skutecznie walczyć z inflacją. Doroczne sprawozdania Parlamentu to na ogół „koncert życzeń” i forma wywierania presji – najczęściej w obszarze zielonej agendy. Cieszę się, że w tym roku sprawy klimatyczne zostały potraktowane w bardziej zbalansowany sposób, zaś centralne miejsce zajmuje kwestia obecnie kluczowa: kwestia konkurencyjności europejskiej gospodarki. O ile nie chcę, by Parlament nadużywał swojej nadzorczej roli do wywierania na EBC presji w kwestiach makroekonomicznych, to zgadzam się z krytycznym podejściem sprawozdania do projektu cyfrowego euro. W tej kwestii wiele jeszcze musi zostać uzgodnione na szczeblu Parlamentu i Rady – dlatego EBC nie może wyprzedzać swoimi działaniami unijnej legislacji. Cyfrowe euro nie może całkowicie wyeliminować gotówki, a w sferze bankowości musi respektować zasady konkurencji.

 

16. Transparency and targeting of political advertising (debate)
Video of the speeches
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  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über den Bericht von Sandro Gozi im Namen des Ausschusses für Binnenmarkt und Verbraucherschutz über den Vorschlag für eine Verordnung des Europäischen Parlaments und des Rates über die Transparenz und das Targeting politischer Werbung (COM(2021)0731 – C9-0433/2021 – 2021/0381(COD)) (A9-0009/2023).

 
  
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  Sandro Gozi, rapporteur. – Monsieur le Président, chers collègues, je tiens tout d’abord à remercier les rapporteures Anna Donáth pour la commission de libertés publiques, et Sabine Verheyen pour la commission de la culture, tous les rapporteurs fictifs, la présidence espagnole – j’espérais que la présidence belge soit là pour lui dire de remercier la présidence espagnole – et bien évidemment la vice-présidente Věra Jourová. Je vous remercie pour votre coopération, chers collègues et chère Madame la Vice-Présidente, pour votre efficacité. C’est un travail collectif fort difficile, mais vraiment très important et très attendu. J’en suis convaincu, car les indications sont formelles: en 2024, nous allons connaître une augmentation exponentielle de la désinformation et des ingérences étrangères dans les élections européennes et américaines.

Depuis le scandale de Cambridge Analytica et le Brexit jusqu’aux élections en Slovaquie, nous connaissons les ennemis de nos démocraties, nous connaissons leurs alliés en Europe, nous connaissons leurs stratégies de manipulation. Aujourd’hui, nous donnons une réponse forte et efficace, j’en suis convaincu, pour protéger toutes nos élections, qu’elles soient municipales, nationales ou européennes. C’est une réponse forte et efficace pour protéger notre démocratie.

Nous sommes dans l’action pour renforcer la défense de nos libertés et des données personnelles, pour augmenter la transparence des campagnes électorales, notamment en ligne, et pour renforcer les actions contre ceux qui veulent manipuler le processus démocratique. Nous introduisons une interdiction de la publicité politique financée par des acteurs non européens afin de contrer efficacement la désinformation et les ingérences étrangères, et de mieux protéger nos élections et notre démocratie.

Nous éliminons les barrières et les obstacles existant dans le marché unique. Les partis européens pourront enfin mener des campagnes véritablement européennes et transnationales. De plus, nous prévoyons un étiquetage harmonisé des annonces politiques pour accroître la transparence et la responsabilité en matière de publicité politique.

Quel est le but? Le but est de permettre aux citoyens d’identifier très facilement une publicité politique et surtout de savoir qui dit quoi, en faveur de qui et qui finance tout cela, tout en respectant bien évidemment la liberté d’expression de chacun. Pour renforcer transparence et contrôle, nous avons décidé, nous parlementaires, de créer un registre européen pour les publicités politiques en ligne. Nous imposons des restrictions spécifiques sur l’utilisation des données personnelles sensibles à des fins de ciblage publicitaire, tout en garantissant la protection de la vie privée des citoyens. Enfin, nous mettons en place un mécanisme de mise en œuvre robuste, renforçons la coopération transfrontalière et prévoyons des sanctions dissuasives conformes à la loi sur les services numériques, le DSA.

Et donc, je le répète: nous allons obtenir un résultat très important et très attendu, un modèle au niveau global. Dans cette optique, et si demain nous approuvons ce règlement, j’irai présenter les résultats de notre travail aux Nations unies et à Washington la semaine prochaine.

En conclusion, ce texte marque une avancée significative dans la protection de nos démocraties contre la désinformation et l’ingérence étrangère. Bien que nous regrettions qu’il ne puisse pas être pleinement appliqué déjà dès les prochaines élections européennes, nous nous réjouissons de voir l’impact de notre mesure sur toutes les élections à venir, qu’elles soient européennes ou nationales.

Concernant l’entrée en vigueur de ce règlement, nous prévoyons une période d’application de 18 mois au total, avec une durée de 24 mois spécifiquement pour le répertoire de l’Union européenne. Certaines dispositions clés seront bien évidemment déjà applicables en vue des élections de 2024.

De surcroît, je tiens à signaler aux plateformes et aux États membres que vous pouvez toutefois anticiper la mise en application en prenant de l’avance et en mettant déjà en place toutes les mesures dictées ci-dessus sans attendre, afin qu’elles soient déjà toutes actives pour les élections du 9 juin. C’est tout à fait possible, et nous encourageons les plateformes à le faire. C’est une avancée, chers collègues, extrêmement positive, que nous devons tous soutenir.

 
  
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  Sabine Verheyen, Verfasserin der Stellungnahme des mitberatenden Ausschusses für Kultur und Bildung. – Sehr geehrter Herr Präsident, sehr geehrte Frau Kommissarin! Die Bedrohung unserer Demokratie durch Desinformationskampagnen und versuchte Einflussnahme auf Wahlen ist besonders online unbestreitbar real geworden. Deshalb ist es wichtig, dass wir im Parlament ein schwieriges, aber richtiges Vorhaben angegangen sind, nämlich die Verordnung zur Transparenz politischer Werbung.

Wir haben einen ausgewogenen Ansatz gefunden, der nicht nur im Offlinebereich, sondern vor allem auch online strenge Maßnahmen implementiert. Freier und kritischer Journalismus sowie politische Berichterstattung sind grundlegende Bestandteile unserer Demokratie und fallen deswegen richtigerweise nicht unter diese Verordnung. Wir haben die besonderen Voraussetzungen, unter denen die traditionellen Medien arbeiten, berücksichtigt. Sie erfüllen nach wie vor einen wichtigen gesellschaftlichen Auftrag und sind eine verlässliche Informationsquelle.

In einer Zeit, in der es gerade auf Social Media schwierig ist, politische Meinungen von politischer Werbung zu unterscheiden, gibt uns diese Verordnung eine klare rechtliche Grundlage und spielt eine entscheidende Rolle beim Schutz unserer Demokratie. Wir müssen das Vertrauen in die Politik sowie in die Medien als Informationsquelle auch stärken. Dazu brauchen unsere Wählerinnen und Wähler Transparenz, was Werbung ist und wer dahintersteckt.

 
  
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  Anna Júlia Donáth, Az Állampolgári Jogi, Bel- és Igazságügyi Bizottság véleményének előadója. – Elnök Úr! Orbán Viktor Magyarországáról jőve pontosan tudom, hogy mit jelent, amikor a választás se nem fair, se nem tiszta. Pontosan tudom, hogy milyen az, amikor kiszámíthatatlanul és megállíthatatlanul, kikerülhetetlenül ömlik ránk a propaganda, politika gyűlölete online, akár a Youtube-meséket is megszakítva.

Ezért is vagyok büszke arra, hogy európai parlamenti főtárgyalóként részese lehettem egy olyan jogszabály megalkotásának, ami átláthatóbbá teszi az online politikai hirdetéseket, és az online politikai hirdetések finanszírozását Európában. Gyengíti az orosz és a kínai állam befolyását az európai választásokra, és megtiltja a hirdetések érzékeny, személyes adatok alapján történő targetálását.

Az, hogy kit és hogyan szeretünk, hogy miben hiszünk, hogy milyen az egészségügyi állapotunk, az csak és kizárólag ránk tartozik, és az a mi személyes dolgunk. Ha az ilyen érzékeny adatainkat nem akarjuk megosztani az utcán kampányoló politikusokkal, akkor miért hagynánk azt, hogy algoritmusok árulják el ezt helyettünk?

Politikusként kötelességem megvédeni a választókat azoktól a politikai erőktől, akik online próbálják meg manipulálni és befolyásolni őket. Ennek megakadályozása az európai parlamenti választások tisztességének is feltétele, és ezért büszke vagyok arra, hogy ebben a munkában részt vettünk. Engedjék meg, hogy megköszönjem a jelentéstevő társamnak, Sandro Gozinak és a LIBE bizottság minden rapportőrének a közös munkát.

 
  
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  Věra Jourová, Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, honourable Members, I am pleased to be here with you today for this debate concerning the regulation on the transparency and targeting of political advertising. And of course, first of all, I want to thank the rapporteurs, Sandro Gozi and Anna Donáth, and the shadow rapporteurs – we just heard Ms Verheyen – and all the Parliament’s team for their hard work on this file.

I can confirm what we already heard from the speakers before me: that we have achieved an agreement on a complex and innovative proposal. It sounds a little bit dry. This proposal has been one of the most complex and most difficult ones, because the more we worked on it, the more we had to cope with a totally new situation, uncharted territory – something which also contained a lot of dilemmas, not having inspiration or some proposal which might serve as a good example of how to set up the rules in this regulation, so that it can work as a very strong, let’s say, younger sister of the Digital Services Act. All that was on our table.

And also I remember the trilogue – that it was one of the most exciting and interesting moments for common work with the Council and with the Parliament.

I believe that the outcome is both ambitious and balanced. It establishes a harmonised, high standard of transparency for all political advertising services provided in the internal market, as well as strict and effective protection of the personal data used for the targeting and ad delivery of political advertising.

It clarifies the scope of application of the regulation to cover advertising sponsored by political actors and other advertising when it is liable and designed to influence the outcome of a democratic process.

And what we already heard today from Sandro, who mentioned that very important for all of us was that the law must protect the freedom of speech by providing clear exceptions for political opinion expressed in a personal capacity and journalism. The internet has to remain the space for free agora and for non-barrier political and public discussion.

But, as we all know, the freedom of speech is not the same as freedom to reach, and the agreement clearly bans the use of profiling based on sensitive personal data to target or deliver online political ads. It also strictly limits the use of other personal data to situations where the individual has provided it, and consented to its use for its purpose.

I want to be shorter, so, finally, the deal guarantees the cross-border role that the European political parties and groups play within the Union in the European Parliamentary elections. This is now becoming very important, a few months before the elections.

For the record, the Commission has a formal statement on the resourcing of the European repository for online political advertising, which colleagues will be aware of, and which is being sent to the Parliament’s services for inclusion in the verbatim record of this debate.

Elections are coming. We will all agree that the elections must remain a festival of democracy; a competition of real people, ideas, visions, and not the competition of dirty digital methods and abused procedures. And Anna indicated it very well that this is one of our biggest values in the EU – that we still have a high chance of having free and fair elections – but we have to work in that direction.

So once again, thank you and well done to the rapporteurs and his team, and your teams, for having worked closely with the Commission and successfully concluded the hard-fought negotiations.

Commission statement

(in writing)

The provisional agreement resulting from interinstitutional negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council includes an obligation for the Commission to set up a European repository for online political advertising. This repository has the tasks to enable public access to online advertisements, together with the information provided by political advertising publishers via a single portal, i.e. the European repository, and to ensure that this information is stored, hosted, indexed and made available to the public through a dedicated single portal for a period of seven years. The Commission recalls that, in comparison to the initial Commission proposal (COM(2021) 730 final of 21.11.2021), this constitutes a significant development which entails a substantial financial and administrative burden for the Commission.

Indeed [In particular], the provisional agreement introduces a number of tasks and obligations for the Commission which will entail a substantial increase in workload, both in the short and in the long-term i.e. beyond the current programming period. These include:

- the adoption of implementing acts in areas which the Commission had not envisaged,

- the development, deployment and future maintenance and upgrades of uniform and effective IT tools for this repository, including to ensure:

- that political advertising publishers are able to access this mandatory service;

- that the public, interested entities and competent national authorities are able to access the information provided by this Repository; and

- that compliance with relevant laws is guaranteed, including during periods affecting national elections.

This has a direct impact on the human resources required for the Commission services, as well as on the budget, which was not anticipated when the Commission submitted its proposal, amounting to around four to six additional FTEs at the European level and, at minimum, around EUR 1,5 million additional annual budget costs. The Commission has prepared a Legislative Financial Statement to this effect.

For the current Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), tasks that are to be performed internally in the Commission will need to be addressed by reallocation and redeployment within the services, and financed through redeployments within the available financial envelope of existing programmes or prerogative budget lines, which would therefore be reduced so as to increase the EU contribution to an agency or other management body entrusted with the management of the Repository. Funding after 2027 cannot be prejudged and will depend on the outcome of the preparations and negotiations of the MFF post-2027.

In parallel, the Commission will explore possible options to entrust the responsibility for the management and operations of the European repository for political advertisements to an agency or management body, which is a flexibility that is provided for in the provisional agreement.

 
  
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  Angelika Niebler, Verfasserin der Stellungnahme des mitberatenden Rechtsausschusses. – Herr Präsident, Frau Kommissarin, liebe Kolleginnen, liebe Kollegen! Meinungsmache im Internet, manipulative Botschaften, Fake News und Social Bots – der Einsatz von künstlicher Intelligenz kann in der Tat Wahlen und Abstimmungen beeinflussen. Wir haben das ja im Fall von Cambridge Analytica erleben müssen.

Mit der Verordnung über die Transparenz und das Targeting politischer Werbung sollen solche Wahlmanipulationen künftig unterbunden werden – gut so! Aber ich denke, die Regeln sollten so ausgestattet werden, dass wir künftig auch noch für unsere Meinung als politische Parteien werben können, dass Wahlkampf stattfinden kann. Da sind wir – denke ich mir – vor allem in einem Punkt etwas übers Ziel hinausgeschossen: Die Regeln gelten nämlich nicht nur für die Europawahlen, für die – bei uns in Deutschland –Bundestagswahlen, für die Landtagswahlen, sondern sie gelten auch bei der Kommunalwahl. Kommunalwahlen beispielsweise in einer kleinen Gemeinde mit ein paar Hundert Bürgerinnen und Bürgern werden künftig gleichgesetzt beispielsweise mit den Europawahlen, an denen 440 Millionen Menschen teilnehmen.

Ich denke, das geht einfach zu weit. Ich denke, wir sollten gerade unsere kommunale Ebene – da haben wir sehr viele ehrenamtlich Tätige – nicht diesen strengen Regeln unterwerfen. Die Werbung gilt ja hier mit Blick auf Transparenz auch nicht nur für Social Media, sondern eben auch für alle Formen der Offlinewerbung. Auch da, finde ich, sind wir etwas übers Ziel hinausgeschossen. Warum muss ich bei jedem künftigen Kugelschreiber, den ich verteile, hier eine Fülle von Transparenzvorschriften beachten? Ich denke, das geht einfach ein bisschen zu weit, und deshalb habe ich mit dem Teil des Vorschlags auch meine Probleme.

 
  
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  Daniel Freund, Verfasser der Stellungnahme des mitberatenden Ausschusses für konstitutionelle Fragen. – Herr Präsident, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Die schönste Zeit im Leben eines Politikers geht bald wieder los: der Wahlkampf. Und während die meisten von uns in den kommenden drei Monaten versuchen werden, mit unseren Ideen, mit unseren Visionen für die Europäische Union die Bürgerinnen und Bürger zu überzeugen und zur Stimmabgabe zu bewegen, gibt es natürlich auch bei diesen Wahlen zunehmend schwarze Schafe – nämlich jene, die mit viel Geld auf dubiosen Wegen versuchen, die Meinungen der Europäerinnen und Europäer zu manipulieren, die ihre Einzelinteressen kapitalstark nach vorne stellen wollen: Ölmultis, verkappte, aber reiche Nazis und natürlich auch europafeindliche Regierungen außerhalb der Europäischen Union.

Insbesondere die Hassredner von ganz rechts kennen sich ja besonders gut damit aus, das Geld von jenen im Wahlkampf einzusetzen, die die Europäische Union kaputt machen wollen. Damit muss natürlich Schluss sein. Und hier schaffen wir jetzt zumindest mit einer großen Datenbank mehr Transparenz. Da, wo politische Werbung draufsteht, da muss auch deutlich sein, wessen Geld da eigentlich drinsteckt. Wir wollen hier keine dubiosen Geldgeber für bizarre Anti-EU-Kampagnen. Wir wollen offene Debatten. Dafür sorgen wir ein Stück weit mit diesem Gesetz.

 
  
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  Pablo Arias Echeverría, en nombre del Grupo PPE. – Señor presidente, señora vicepresidenta Jourová, señor Gozi y señora Donáth, así como el resto de ponentes de este Reglamento, la Unión Europea se distingue por su compromiso con los valores y principios europeos que constituyen el núcleo del modo de vida europeo y fundamentan nuestra Unión. Frente a malas prácticas e injerencias que intentan desestabilizar nuestras democracias y socavar nuestros valores a través de la desinformación en los procesos electorales, debemos implementar medidas de transparencia claras.

Hemos sido testigos en los últimos años de diversos ejemplos de estas injerencias en elecciones que han amenazado nuestras democracias y el proyecto europeo. El Brexit o el referéndum ilegal en Cataluña son dos ejemplos claros de este tipo de manipulación.

Este Reglamento precisamente busca defender nuestros valores democráticos a través de unas normas de transparencia sobre los servicios de publicidad política, sentar las bases de un campo de juego equilibrado para todos y alcanzar un equilibrio entre libertad de expresión, de opinión y transparencia. Los ciudadanos tienen derecho a una información veraz y contrastada y a saber quién está detrás de la misma para poder ejercer su derecho al voto.

Las negociaciones no han sido fáciles y han durado más de lo previsto, por lo que lamento que no se haya alcanzado el objetivo de poder aplicarlo por primera vez para las próximas elecciones europeas de junio. No obstante, será una buena herramienta para minimizar el impacto en el futuro de cualquier intento de injerencia para debilitar nuestras democracias.

Por todo esto, pido el voto a favor de este importante acuerdo.

 
  
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  Maria-Manuel Leitão-Marques, em nome do Grupo S&D. – Senhor Presidente, Senhora Comissária, é hoje possível, através do uso de inteligência artificial, criar vídeos de propaganda falsos que são quase indistinguíveis de vídeos reais, os chamados deep fakes. É também possível usar dados pessoais para ajustar mentiras e notícias falsas a quem as vai ouvir e ler.

Com este regulamento, a utilização de dados pessoais para efeitos de propaganda política só será permitida se o titular tiver dado o seu consentimento. Evitaremos também interferências estrangeiras e criaremos um registo europeu da publicidade política.

A confiança nas eleições e nos processos políticos é um dos pilares essenciais de um regime democrático. Com este regulamento, damos um passo importante para a proteger. Espero e desejo, Senhora Comissária, que ele seja suficiente e não tenhamos que o revisitar em breve.

 
  
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  Alexandra Geese, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, Frau Kommissarin, verehrte Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Am 24. September 2021 zeigte das ZDF Magazin Royale, wie die FDP Menschen mit grünen Interessen eine Werbung zeigt, wonach sich die Partei für mehr Klimaschutz mithilfe eines staatlichen CO2-Limits einsetze. Gleichzeitig schaltete die gleiche FDP eine Facebook-Werbung an die Zielgruppe der Vielreisenden mit einer anderen Botschaft: keine staatlichen Maßnahmen, wenn es um den Klimawandel geht. Ist das legal? Ja. Ist es richtig? Ich glaube nicht. Parteien müssen doch klar sagen, wofür sie stehen, und zwar allen Menschen, und nicht jedem etwas anderes.

Das neue Gesetz zum Targeting und zur Transparenz politischer Werbung hatte sich eigentlich aufgemacht, um genau dieser Manipulation von Wählerinnen und Wählern ein Ende zu setzen. Aber leider hat der Rat das verhindert. Ja, Anzeigenarchive und mehr Transparenz sind ein großer Schritt in die richtige Richtung. Aber die Nutzung von persönlichen Daten zum Ausspielen von unterschiedlichen Botschaften ist immer noch erlaubt. Wir werden weiter dafür kämpfen, dass Parteien ihre Ziele und Werte für alle Menschen sichtbar machen.

 
  
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  Adam Bielan, w imieniu grupy ECR. – Panie Przewodniczący! Pani Komisarz! Próby ingerencji ze strony zagranicznych podmiotów w demokratyczne procesy wyborcze w państwach europejskich, jakie obserwowaliśmy w ostatnich latach, wykazały liczne słabości systemowe i pokazały potrzebę wzmocnienia zabezpieczeń przed niejasnym finansowaniem i wpływami z zewnątrz. W czasach, w których platformy cyfrowe odgrywają kluczową rolę w obiegu informacji, integralność i przejrzystość reklamy politycznej, która się na nich ukazuje, ma istotne znaczenie.

Nie możemy jednak wylać dziecka z kąpielą. Jako kontrsprawozdawca z ramienia grupy EKR dążyłem do takiej regulacji, która – odpowiadając na te zagrożenia – nie ogranicza w żaden sposób wolności słowa. Chociaż ostateczny tekst rozporządzenia wprowadza pozytywne zmiany w stosunku do pierwotnego projektu Komisji, konieczna jest moim zdaniem głębsza refleksja nad jego długofalowymi konsekwencjami, szczególnie w kontekście utworzenia mechanizmów mogących uderzyć w swobodę i wolność wypowiedzi w sieci. Nowe przepisy wymagające od platform bardzo szybkiego, zaledwie w ciągu 48 godzin, usuwania treści niezgodnych z przepisami, szczególnie w okresie kampanii przedwyborczej, mogą otworzyć drzwi do cenzury. To rozwiązanie może więc niestety ograniczać swobodną debatę.

 
  
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  Markus Buchheit, im Namen der ID-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, meine Damen und Herren! Ross und Reiter zu benennen, das ist wichtig für den Wiederaufbau der geschundenen Debattenkultur der letzten Jahre. Da gehe ich völlig d'accord mit den Vorrednern, obwohl ich grundsätzlich der Ansicht bin, dass der mündige Bürger in vielen Fällen selber dazu in der Lage ist, den Schluss hinzubekommen, von wem denn nun eine politische Message kommt.

Viel schwieriger wird es doch in den Fällen, in denen Journalisten gar nicht so unabhängig sind, wie sie vorgeben zu sein, und in denjenigen Fällen, in denen NGOs, nämlich non-governmental organizations, eben zu hidden governmental organizations gemacht werden, weil sie von der Regierung mit Geld gefüttert und mit Rechten ausgestattet werden, oder gar, wenn Parteien durch Beteiligungen weitreichenden Einfluss auf die Medienlandschaft eines Landes erhalten.

Der demokratische Super-GAU dann natürlich, wenn alle drei Akteure im quasi kollusiven Zusammenwirken gegen diejenigen Parteien agieren, die eben gerade nicht in der Regierung sind. Meine Damen und Herren, deswegen: Jawohl, wir wollen mehr Transparenz im laufenden Wahlkampf, und bei Korrektiv und dem roten Medienimperium der SPD in Deutschland beginnen wir.

 
  
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  Edina Tóth (NI). – Elnök Úr! Az európai bürokraták egy olyan uniós javaslatot akarnak áterőltetni a politikai hirdetésekről, amelynek köszönhetően Brüsszel cenzúrázási lehetőséget kapna a tagállamok választási kampánya során, és befolyásolhatná azok végkimenetelét. Egyértelmű, hogy ez az új jogszabály figyelmen kívül hagyja a nemzeti érdekeket, korlátozza a tagállamok szuverenitását.

Ez egy újabb példája Brüsszel lopakodó hatáskörbővítési törekvéseinek. Szomorú, hogy a véleménynyilvánítás élharcosai sértik meg elsőként a szólásszabadságot, akik éjt nappallá téve azon dolgoznak, hogy a nekik nem tetsző véleményeket cenzúrázzák.

Mi ez, ha nem a demokratikus értékek elnyomása? Itt az idő, hogy véget vessünk a politikai és ideológiai nyomásgyakorlásnak, és nem szabad megengedni, hogy az uniós intézményeknek hatásköre legyen a Brüsszelnek nem tetsző vélemények felett.

 
  
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  Andreas Schwab (PPE). – Herr Präsident, Frau Vizepräsidentin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Soziale Medien sind voll von Werbung für Möbel, Haushaltsgeräte und Mode. Aber es gibt auch politische Kampagnen im Internet, die meist etwas anderes als Werbung direkt machen, aber die die ausgesuchten Leser genauso gut erreichen – politische Akteure wie fremde Staaten, die über Influencer oder NGOs Einfluss nehmen wollen und für ihre politische Agitation bezahlt werden.

Diese Art der politischen Werbung betrifft die vorliegende Regelung, und die vorliegende Regelung – da möchte ich auch meinem Kollegen Pablo Arias und allen, die mitgewirkt haben, herzlich danken – soll für Anstand sorgen in der politischen Debatte im Internet und dafür die Transparenz schaffen. Denn Meinungsfreiheit bleibt in Europa verfassungsrechtlich geschützt. Und wer gegen Geld bestimmte Dinge – und es geht nicht nur um Werbung, sondern bestimmte Dinge – online verbreitet, muss für Transparenz sorgen. Und diese Dinge müssen nicht unbedingt Aussagen zugunsten eines Kandidaten oder einer politischen Partei sein. Es kann auch um bestimmte Themen gehen, die zur Manipulation genutzt werden. Diese Manipulation wollen wir ausschließen. Dafür ist jetzt eine gute Rechtsanwendung gefordert, aber eben auch der notwendige Pragmatismus, dass Kandidaten auf der lokalen Ebene nicht mit bürokratischen Schwierigkeiten überzogen werden.

 
  
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  Paul Tang (S&D). – Mr President, Madam Commissioner, this year, half of the world population goes to the ballot box, including in June the European elections.

It is however not just politicians and political parties campaigning: systems of automated bots and factories of trolls are already there to engage. Ready to ‘flood the zone with shit’ as Steve Bannon put it.

Those trolls are trying to manipulate the public debate and tilt it towards the preference of their – often foreign – clients. That is why Parliament insisted on strictly limiting all targeting of political advertisements just before elections and outside of elections. Only this will break the death loop of personal data, commercial algorithms, and destructive disinformation.

The trilogue agreement we vote on this week is a step forward. Yet it falls short of protecting our democracy and securing fair elections. Mere transparency is simply not good enough.

 
  
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  Beata Mazurek (ECR). – Panie Przewodniczący! Szanowni Państwo! Rozporządzenie, o którym mówimy, wprowadza istotne zmiany mające na celu podniesienie poziomu przejrzystości reklamy politycznej. Jestem przekonana, że ta inicjatywa niesie za sobą szereg korzyści, zwłaszcza poprzez zapewnienie obywatelom dostępu do informacji dotyczących finansowania reklam i sponsorów, którzy za nimi stoją. Mam jednak zastrzeżenia co do długoterminowej wydolności proponowanych rozwiązań. Przesunięcie presji podejmowania decyzji w sprawach tak delikatnych jak reklama polityczna na platformy internetowe rodzi według mnie ryzyko stronniczego stosowania regulacji.

Wiąże się to z obawą nadużywania mechanizmu zgłaszania reklam politycznych, co może prowadzić do zakłóceń w procesach wyborczych. Zgodnie z proponowanymi zmianami w okresie wyborczym platformy będą zobowiązane do rozpatrzenia zgłoszeń w ciągu zaledwie 48 godzin od ich otrzymania. Istnieje zatem ryzyko wykorzystania tego przepisu poprzez masowe zgłaszanie reklam, co mogłoby prowadzić do zablokowania systemu oraz utrudnienia weryfikacji reklam faktycznie propagujących dezinformację lub łamiących prawo. W kontekście wojny hybrydowej zagrożenia ze strony podmiotów zewnętrznych już są. Dlatego musimy dążyć do rozwiązań, które zapewnią przejrzystość bez narażania procesów demokratycznych na niebezpieczeństwo.

 
  
  

PREDSEDÁ: MARTIN HOJSÍK
podpredseda

 
  
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  Marc Tarabella (NI). – Madame la Présidente, il faut bien constater que la publicité en ligne à caractère politique s’est largement accrue et que les règles nationales en la matière n’ont pas suivi et sont souvent inadaptées à cette nouvelle donne. Il était donc temps que les autorités européennes s’accordent sur des règles mettant en avant des principes de responsabilité et de transparence et proposant un arsenal de sanctions en matière de publicité politique.

On ne peut, par exemple, que se réjouir du fait que les citoyens, les autorités et les journalistes puissent enfin obtenir de nombreuses informations sur ce type de publicité, comme leur lieu d’émission ou leur financement. Il est aussi important que seules les données à caractère personnel explicitement fournies par les gens puissent être utilisées par les fournisseurs pour cibler les utilisateurs et interdire les publicités politiques basées sur un profilage utilisant des catégories spécifiques de données personnelles. L’utilisation des données des mineurs est un choix indiscutable.

En résumé, ce texte comblera un vide législatif évident et permettra d’harmoniser les règles dans les États où quelque chose existait déjà. Dans tous les cas, il s’agit d’une avancée tant pour les annonceurs que pour les électeurs. Félicitations, Monsieur le rapporteur, Monsieur Gozi, pour ce travail.

 
  
 

Vystúpenia podľa postupu prihlásenia o slovo zdvihnutím ruky

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D). – Domnule președinte, doamnă comisar, stimați colegi, astăzi vorbim despre ceea ce putem face cu acest regulament încât să existe acest echilibru între transparență și dreptul la exprimare. Știm cu toții, nu cred că există vreo țară în care să nu fi fost ingerințe în alegeri, de exemplu, un atac la democrație, așa cum spunea și doamna comisar. Este bine și facem niște pași cu registrul pe care dorim să-l înființăm, dar sunt sceptică că se vor putea identifica toată publicitatea politică plătită necurat, să spun așa, și știrile false.

Doamnă comisar, suport aceste lucruri personal: am primit în 2019 premiul Parlamentului European pentru europarlamentarul anului la Comisia IMCO. Știți ce scrie presa? Că am fost premiată de Sputnik. Așadar, aceste deformări vor duce, bineînțeles, la lipsa de credibilitate în fața cetățenilor și eu cred că nu trebuie să ne oprim aici. Trebuie să continuăm cu a găsi metode prin care într-adevăr să contracarăm știrile false și manipularea cetățenilor, mai ales în actul de alegeri care poate deforma actul democratic.

 
  
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  Mick Wallace (The Left). – Mr President, there are some positive things in this agreement that should increase transparency in political advertising. However, profiling will still be allowed. There will be a ban on profiling from sensitive data, but the targeting of political messages based on the individual preferences, weaknesses, situation and personality of every user will remain legal.

Let’s not forget that Cambridge Analytica analysed exactly this non-sensitive data – users’ personalities, not their political opinions. Essentially, therefore, the agreement still permits surveillance advertising. God forbid that we might actually challenge surveillance capitalism and put the interests of democracy before those of Big Tech.

So much of the moral panic in relation to political advertising came from the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Yes, the company clearly broke Facebook’s terms of service, but the UK Information Commissioner’s Office found no evidence that Cambridge Analytica misused data to influence the Brexit referendum. The real reason the people of the UK voted for Brexit was because EU neoliberalism was crucifying too many of the less privileged.

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). – Señor presidente, señora vicepresidenta Jourová, se acercan las elecciones de 9 de junio de 2024 y es el momento de la verdad para que la Unión Europea, que es un espacio de libertades, no permita que precisamente esa garantía de libertades fundamentales —incluida la libre comunicación y el libre flujo de la información— perjudiquen, deterioren o debiliten la integridad de los procesos democráticos.

Por eso, tanto en el Reglamento de Servicios Digitales como en este Reglamento sobre la transparencia y la segmentación de la publicidad política han trabajado conjuntamente la Comisión de Mercado Interior y Protección del Consumidor y la Comisión de Libertades Civiles, Justicia y Asuntos de Interior.

La participación de la Comisión LIBE consiste, precisamente, en garantizar el estándar de protección de derechos fundamentales y de privacidad más alto del mundo, de modo que los algoritmos en ningún caso debiliten la integridad y la credibilidad del proceso democrático, al que nos asomamos ya de manera inminente.

Este Reglamento, por tanto, tiene que ser un paso decidido —junto con el Reglamento de Servicios Digitales— para garantizar que la protección de los datos personales actúa también en la recepción de publicidad política en línea.

 
  
 

(Ukončenie vystúpení podľa postupu prihlásenia o slovo zdvihnutím ruky)

 
  
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  Věra Jourová, Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, honourable Members, allow me to thank you once again for this debate and for all the work and energy the Parliament invested in this proposal.

It is a key step to achieve a high standard of transparency in our elections and our politics, alongside robust, specific protections for personal data. It is also a crucial piece of legislation to tie together our world-leading data protection rules with our new digital and media market laws for this very sensitive and crucial area in this election year.

Let me in the remaining time react on several contributions. First of all, on Ms Niebler and Mr Schwab, which was a very relevant point regarding proportionality. I will quote Ms Niebler that these are ‘too far-reaching’ rules. Well, I believe that even the municipal and regional elections should have the rule which will give the people, the voters, the right to know who pays the ads and who is behind the campaigns, because this is the elementary request of having full transparency.

So the question is: how big the elections should be to be accompanied by transparency rules? In our view, it should apply to all elections, because in all elections, transparency and information for the citizens matter.

Mr Bielan and Ms Tóth, there is absolutely no censorship embedded into this proposal. Ms Tóth, it does not ignore national interests. First and foremost, it protects the autonomous and well-informed choice of the citizens, which is absolutely important in the EU and in all the Member States, be it Belgium, France, the Czech Republic and even Hungary.

Ms Grapini: yes, this regulation does not contain any measures against the dirty money. But we have other pieces of legislation, and in the national rules there is the role of the national authorities to monitor the financing of the political campaigns. I think that our regulation – which will shed light on who pays and how much, how the campaigns are being paid – will help the authorities to trace the possible dirty money which is being invested in the political campaigns.

On disinformation and deep fakes: indeed, we live in the era of new risks posed to the political campaigns. We have rules in the Digital Services Act which oblige the digital platforms to pay attention to those possible risks. We need to have active civil society and media to address the disinformation in the political campaigns, because it used to be a good rule that when political actors are caught lying, they are disqualified. We are not there anymore. But at least there should be some public activity to do the necessary fact-checking of this information before the elections.

As for the deepfakes, Big Tech came recently in Munich with the common commitment to label or remove deepfakes in the political campaigns. But at the same time, I have to say that I expect from the political parties the behaviour in the way or in the sense of refraining from the usage of deepfakes. And in this sense, I sent a letter to the European political parties. We also had a discussion with them, with the secretariats, and I asked them to address the national political parties. In other words, the political actors first and foremost should resist the temptation of the manipulative techniques such as deepfakes.

Once again, thank you very much, and I hope tomorrow’s vote will turn out well.

 
  
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  Sandro Gozi, rapporteur. – Monsieur le Président, chers collègues, merci encore pour votre excellent travail, merci à la vice-présidente de la commission, merci à la présidence espagnole.

Le message de notre travail est très simple: qui a peur de la transparence? Nous n’avons pas peur de la transparence. Nous pensons qu’elle est à la base de nos démocraties. Nous introduisons plus de transparence dans la campagne électorale parce que nous voulons renforcer notre démocratie.

Chère Věra, vous avez tout à fait raison, c’était pour moi aussi le travail le plus difficile de mon expérience au Parlement européen pour les raisons juridiques qui ont été évoquées. Je veux rassurer la collègue Niebler: pour les volontaires, au niveau local, il n’y aura pas de problème parce que les volontaires, par définition, n’ont pas un contrat de service de «political advertising». Donc, je compte sur le rapporteur fictif Pablos Echeverría du PPE pour convaincre la collègue Niebler du bien-fondé de notre solution.

Je veux aussi répondre aux collègues Bielan et Mazurek: il n’y a aucune censure. La liberté d’expression est absolument respectée. Nous protégeons nos données personnelles, mais, et la vice-présidente de la Commission l’a bien dit, la liberté d’expression, ce n’est pas un droit à la viralité en manipulant les données personnelles. Donc, chacun de nous reste libre d’exprimer ses idées politiquement. Quand on fait une campagne de «political advertising» et avec un contrat de service, nous ne pouvons pas manipuler les données personnelles, ce qui est à l’origine d’ailleurs des scandales comme celui de Cambridge Analytics.

‘Freedom of speech is not freedom of reach.’

Le droit à la liberté d’expression n’est pas le droit à la viralité sans règles, dans un Far-West numérique auquel nous avons décidé de mettre fin.

Et Paul Tang a raison: cette année, la moitié de la population mondiale va aux urnes. Je crois que notre réponse est positive. Je suis convaincu que notre réponse peut inspirer aussi le reste du monde. Donc, chers collègues et chère Madame la vice-présidente de la commission, encore merci pour votre soutien et votre excellent travail.

 
  
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  Predsedajúci. – Rozprava k tomuto bodu sa skončila.

Hlasovanie sa uskutoční v utorok 27. 2. 2024.

Písomné vyhlásenia (článok 171)

 
  
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  Witold Pahl (PPE), na piśmie. – Żyjemy w świecie, w którym dezinformacja stała się regularnie stosowanym narzędziem walki politycznej i stanowi realne zagrożenie dla naszych demokracji. Dlatego musimy podjąć wszelkie możliwe działania, aby walczyć z tym zjawiskiem. Wprowadzenie przejrzystych i uczciwych zasad reklamy politycznej, wraz z narzędziami jej kontroli, stanowi ważny krok w tym kierunku. Przyjęte porozumienie w sprawie przejrzystości reklamy politycznej pomoże wyborcom łatwiej zidentyfikować, co stanowi reklamę polityczną i kto jest jej nadawcą. Za szczególnie ważne uważam przepisy, które pomogą walczyć z ewentualną ingerencją w wybory podmiotów z krajów trzecich, w tym zwłaszcza przepis zakazujący finansowania reklam z zagranicy na 3 miesiące przed wyborami. Drugą ważną kwestią jest tzw. mikrotargetowanie i profilowanie, czyli kierowanie reklam do specjalnie wyselekcjonowanej wąskiej grupy odbiorców, poprzez korzystanie z dużej ilości danych. Nowe rozporządzenie wprowadza rygorystyczne ograniczenia w tym zakresie i zwiększa ochronę danych osobowych. Jako Parlament chcemy, aby każdy obywatel miał dostęp do rzetelnej i nieograniczonej informacji po to, by mógł samodzielnie podejmować świadome wybory polityczne. Tylko w ten sposób możemy zagwarantować, że proces wyborczy będzie włączający i bardziej demokratyczny.

 
  
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  Tom Vandenkendelaere (PPE), schriftelijk. – Met deze regels willen we meer transparantie brengen in politieke advertenties, zowel online als offline. Om manipulatie of buitenlandse inmenging tegen te gaan, is het belangrijk burgers in staat te stellen politieke advertenties te herkennen, te begrijpen wie erachter zit of wie voor de advertentie betaalt en te weten waarom ze deze specifieke advertentie te zien krijgen. Dit zorgt ervoor dat burgers beter geïnformeerde keuzes kunnen maken.

Bovendien maakt dit akkoord een einde aan een tijdperk waarin socialemediaplatformen en adverteerders ongevraagd, en vaak ongeweten, enorme hoeveelheden data van kiezers verzamelen om hun stemgedrag te beïnvloeden. De wet stelt terecht paal en perk aan politieke advertenties op basis van gevoelige gegevens zoals geloof of seksuele voorkeur en verbiedt advertenties specifiek gericht op minderjarigen. Ik kijk bovendien uit naar de impact van het Europees openbaar register voor online politieke advertenties.

Jammer genoeg heeft de wet vertraging opgelopen en is het gros van de bepalingen niet meer van toepassing voor de verkiezingen in 2024.

 

17. Need to overcome the Council deadlock on the platform workers directive (debate)
Video of the speeches
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  Predsedajúci . – Ďalším bodom programu je vyhlásenie Rady a Komisie s názvom: Potreba prekonať patovú situáciu v Rade v súvislosti so smernicou o pracovníkoch platforiem 2024/2582(RSP).

 
  
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  Mathieu Michel, président en exercice du Conseil. – Monsieur le Président, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, Monsieur le Commissaire, l’économie de plateforme évolue rapidement et représente une part importante de notre paysage économique, comptant actuellement environ 28 millions de travailleurs au sein de l’Union. Ce secteur joue un rôle précieux dans nos sociétés. Il permet aussi la création de nouveaux emplois et réalise les opportunités issues de la transition numérique.

Cependant, on estime que cinq millions de personnes travaillant pour des plateformes numériques sont actuellement privées de leur droit du travail et de leur protection sociale en raison d’une classification erronée. En outre, les travailleurs de ce secteur font l’objet d’une surveillance automatisée, sans contrôle humain. Cela s’accompagne souvent d’un manque de transparence, d’un risque de biais et de l’impossibilité pour les travailleurs de pouvoir contester des décisions automatisées.

Face à ce manque de protection, la présidence est convaincue de la nécessité d’une législation au niveau européen qui réponde de manière adéquate aux défis particuliers liés à l’utilisation de ces systèmes automatisés. Il est nécessaire de créer un cadre juridique à l’échelle de l’Union européenne qui soit stable et fiable sur la durée, afin de protéger les travailleurs et de veiller à ce que ces nouvelles formes de travail ne soient pas une porte dérobée pour abaisser les normes de travail. Comme vous le savez déjà, l’accord provisoire qui a été conclu par la présidence espagnole n’a pas obtenu un soutien suffisant au Conseil en décembre. Le défi de notre présidence a été de reprendre les travaux dans le temps limité disponible afin de sortir de l’impasse au sein du Conseil.

Au cours des deux derniers mois, nous avons pu reprendre les négociations avec vous et arriver à une compréhension commune sur les questions en suspens, comme le reflète le second accord provisoire que nous avons conclu ensemble début février. Il s’agit d’un bon accord, très équilibré, que nous souhaitons préserver et mettre en œuvre rapidement. Toutefois, comme vous le savez aussi, cette directive est politiquement sensible pour les États membres et il reste extrêmement difficile de trouver un soutien, même après deux ans de négociations.

Pour l’heure, malheureusement, une minorité de blocage persiste, car quatre États membres ne sont toujours pas en mesure de soutenir l’accord provisoire. À cet effet, nous consultons intensivement les États membres hésitants afin de clarifier le contenu de l’accord provisoire, d’expliquer et de préciser les questions sur lesquelles ils ont encore des doutes.

Monsieur le Président, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, Monsieur le Commissaire, nous sommes prêts à ramener l’accord provisoire à l’examen du Conseil afin de voir si les positions ont changé et si nous pouvons obtenir un soutien suffisant. Nous avons toujours l’ambition de faire adopter cette directive dans le cadre de ce cycle législatif. Nous sommes convaincus que, grâce à nos efforts communs, le texte assure une solution équilibrée entre la protection des travailleurs et la croissance durable des plateformes.

 
  
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  Nicolas Schmit, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, honourable Members, dear representative of the Presidency, when this Commission took office in 2019, it committed to improve the labour conditions of people working through digital labour platforms. At the end of 2020, Member States in the EPSCO Council agreed on the need to address the deteriorating working conditions of platform workers, while at the same time preserving the EU’s innovation and global competitiveness potential.

More than two years ago, the Commission delivered an ambitious proposal to do exactly that: combating the misclassification of the employment status through robust legal presumption of employment, and establishing rules to ensure fairness, transparency and accountability in the automated systems used by digital labour platforms – the first comprehensive rules for algorithmic management at work worldwide.

These elements would improve the level playing field for digital labour platforms in the internal market. It is an important directive not only for the platform economy, but also for the labour market of today and of tomorrow.

The Parliament and the Belgian Presidency negotiators reached a provisional agreement on this directive at the trilogue on 8 February, after already a first agreement, which had been found – as the Presidency has said – by the Spanish Presidency, but which could not be approved by a qualified majority in the Council.

The provisional agreement requires Member States to introduce an effective, rebuttable presumption of employment at national level, which must be in line with the following five elements. The presumption should be based on facts that indicate direction and control. The notion is to be based on national law, collective agreements or practice, with consideration to the case law of the Court of Justice. The presumption should be a procedural facilitation for people working on platforms that aim to have their employment status reclassified. National law should make it easy for the person performing platform to benefit from the presumption. The requirements under the legal presumption should not be burdensome, and the presumption should ease difficulties in providing evidence indicating the existence of an employment relationship in a situation of imbalance of power vis-à-vis the digital labour platform.

The shift in the burden of proof towards the digital labour platform is clearly stipulated in the text. Therefore, the legal presumption as defined in the provisional agreement improves the situation of persons performing platform work seeking reclassification.

In my view, this agreement presents an added value compared to the current situation, an obvious added value, and it does not allow digital labour platforms to easily circumvent the presumption. I consider this provisional agreement as a fair compromise, although of course I would have preferred to keep the initial Commission’s proposal with EU-level criteria in the text.

At the same time, the agreed approach still contributes to more convergence due to the introduction of a legal presumption of employment in all Member States compared to the current situation characterised by high fragmentation. Therefore, the provisions contained in the provisional agreement represent an improvement for platforms operating in the EU internal market.

Of course, I regret that the provisional agreement could not gather, up to now, the necessary support in Coreper despite the recent changes. Each Member State is of course entitled to its own position, but I had hoped that a compromise would have been found by now.

Faced with this situation, we have no other choice but to keep on trying, and work even closer together to find a compromise that is agreeable to both co-legislators. I have full confidence in the Belgian Presidency that is continuing to explore possible solutions to find a way out of the deadlock.

I just want, nevertheless, to mention there are 23 Member States who have endorsed the compromise. That means that there are four Member States who haven’t. It’s not clear those who have abstained and those who have voted against, but 23 Member States have endorsed, and we are just not very far away from a qualified majority.

I am confident that the discussion planned for the EPSCO Council meeting on 11 March will provide the opportunity to find the necessary majority for an agreement. I am confident that the positive solution to overcome the stalemate will be found, as we should all share the objective of improving the working conditions of millions of people working for platforms in the EU.

I also want to state very clearly that this directive was not proposed as an affront to the model of labour relations in any Member State, but as a way forward to complement existing models and improve the overall situation of platform workers across the EU.

With this in mind, we are in close touch with the co-legislators and we will do everything we can to support the efforts, especially the remarkable efforts by the Presidency, to find a balanced solution, after the very open mind also which was shown by the Parliament in the negotiation.

After all, this directive is about supporting the millions of people working for platforms – many young people among them – who are in need of better protection. We must not let them down, as we should not let further the Pandora’s box be opened to diminish labour rights and to generalise precariousness.

 
  
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  Dennis Radtke, im Namen der PPE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, Herr Kommissar, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Ich mache aus meinem Herzen ja selten eine Mördergrube, deswegen will ich auch heute nicht damit anfangen und ziemlich klar sagen, dass ich es eigentlich beschämend finde, dass diese Debatte hier heute notwendig ist. Sie ist notwendig, nicht, weil wir hier die finale Abstimmung vorbereiten, sondern sie ist notwendig, weil wir momentan Gefahr laufen, dass drei Jahre harte politische Arbeit am Ende zunichtegemacht werden.

Der Kommissar hat in seiner Rede darauf hingewiesen, wie groß eigentlich die Mehrheit ist – 23 Mitgliedstaaten unterstützen dieses Vorhaben. Wenn man einfach mal sieht: Drei Jahre harter Arbeit haben zu Kompromissen geführt, auf die wir uns zweimal in Trilogverhandlungen verständigt haben – zweimal haben wir einen Kompromiss erzielt. Das war für uns als Parlament auch nicht einfach. Wenn ich sehe, was die belgische Ratspräsidentschaft in den letzten Wochen unternommen hat, was auch der Kommissar in den letzten Wochen noch einmal unternommen hat, um am Ende den Rat zu überzeugen, dann, muss ich sagen, macht mich die Sturheit von Herrn Macron und von Herrn Scholz an dieser Stelle schlicht und ergreifend sprachlos.

Wenn ich den französischen Präsidenten sehe: Statt Frau Le Pen den Nährboden für ihre populistische und gefährliche Politik zu entziehen, macht er sich einmal mehr zum willigen Helfershelfer von Uber. Und der deutsche Bundeskanzler, der im Wahlkampf mit „Respekt für Dich“ geworben hat – mittlerweile wissen wir: für den dieser Satz ausdrücklich nicht gilt –, der lässt sich von einer 3-Prozent-FDP am Nasenring durch die Manege führen. Wenn ich sehe, was die FDP-Kollegen gerade aus dem Deutschen Bundestag in den letzten Tagen und Wochen alles so rausgehauen haben zum Thema Plattformökonomie: Es sei richtig, das zu stoppen, weil es sich hier um einen Generalangriff auf das Unternehmertum handeln würde. Ich kann nur sagen: Wer solche Thesen in den Raum stellt, der hat entweder die Richtlinie nicht gelesen, oder er hat sie nicht verstanden. Bei der FDP in diesem Zustand halte ich leider beides für möglich, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Also, Herr Bundeskanzler, machen Sie endlich ernst! Respekt für Dich – auch für Plattformarbeiter, auch für fünf Millionen Scheinselbständige, auch für Taxifahrer. Räumen Sie endlich auf und machen Sie deutlich, wer in Ihrer Koalition Koch und wer Kellner ist!

 
  
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  Elisabetta Gualmini, a nome del gruppo S&D. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, il 12 febbraio scorso quattro paesi su 27 (Francia, Germania, Estonia e Grecia) hanno bloccato l'accordo che assicurava un minimo di protezione sociale a 30 milioni di lavoratori delle piattaforme digitali. È stata una vergogna! Vogliamo capire il perché, perché una spiegazione razionale non c'è.

Il testo permette di correggere i falsi autonomi, di riconoscere, solo a fronte di oggettive condizioni di lavoro, lo status di lavoratore subordinato e, a differenza di quello che dicono le multinazionali, non c'è alcuna riclassificazione automatica dei lavoratori: i lavoratori autonomi rimangono tali. Abbiamo addirittura demandato la presunzione legale di subordinazione agli Stati, seppur nella salvaguardia di alcuni principi, tra cui l'inversione dell'onere della prova dal lavoratore al datore di lavoro in caso di controversie. E la parte sugli algoritmi è un'occasione straordinaria per stabilire uno standard a livello globale per la prima volta su trasparenza, obblighi di informazione, supervisione umana.

Ma perché avete bloccato? La spiegazione è una sola: perché vi siete piegati alle pressioni delle multinazionali, perché avete scelto i più forti invece dei più deboli, i prepotenti invece dei vulnerabili. E non è accettabile che due paesi "super europeisti", come la Francia e la Germania, abbiano detto no.

Alors Monsieur Macron, le projet pour lequel vous avez échoué est un projet libéral qui décourage la concurrence incontrôlée et favorise une concurrence loyale pour les entreprises. Une Europe soumise aux intérêts exclusifs des multinationales, qui exploite le travail sans un minimum de réglementation, n’est pas l’Europe libérale que nous pensions.

Lieber Herr Scholz, aus welchem Grund tragen Sie zur Zerstörung des europäischen Sozialmodells bei? Wie ist es möglich, so vielen Millionen Arbeitern keinen Schutz zu gewähren? Sie sind ein sozialdemokratischer Kanzler, der das größte Land der Europäischen Union führt. Sagen Sie uns doch, auf welcher Seite Sie stehen!

So there is the time to unblock the agreement. Please do it. Not for us, not for you, but for the workers.

 
  
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  Monica Semedo, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Mr President, the latest provisional agreement looks quite different from the initial Commission proposal. But the question is, will this directive improve the status quo of platform workers? Yes. It will establish the principle of a rebuttable presumption of employment and reversal of the burden of proof, and it will see common EU rules on algorithmic systems in the workplace for the first time.

These rules are an important first step for broader rules in the workplaces across the EU and that is why we must conclude the negotiations and reach a balanced agreement with a strong majority. And I appreciate the continued efforts of the presidency to reach an agreement in the Council. We, the Parliament and Renew Europe, we are ready. Let’s secure improved rights and conditions for the millions of platform workers in the EU. Let’s do it.

 
  
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  Kim Van Sparrentak, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, dear Commissioner, dear Minister, dear colleagues, we worked hard for more than two years on the Platform Work Directive. New rules that would give workers who drive us around, deliver our food or clean our homes through an app, access to basic rights, such as minimum wages, sick leave. And rules that would give workers insights in why they get a certain task or why they get paid a certain amount. And twice we managed to reach a deal with the Council presidency that does exactly this.

But apparently, Macron and the German liberals find the profits of the big platforms more important than protecting precarious workers. They prefer to reward the aggressive lobby tactics on which big platforms such as Uber, Deliveroo and Bolt spent millions of euros. It’s a shame that we can’t find an agreement on a directive that would help some of the most precarious workers in Europe, a directive that could have set a precedent for the future of work and how we deal with algorithms instead of people as managers.

I call on all Member States to stop blocking progress, to the liberals to stop choosing profits for big companies over people. Talking about a more social Europe doesn’t help anyone. Let’s take action.

 
  
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  Margarita de la Pisa Carrión, en nombre del Grupo ECR. – Señor presidente, señor comisario, estimados diputados, una vez más la Unión Europea se entromete en terrenos que no le corresponden. Cada país tiene una herencia jurídica para regular las relaciones entre empresas y trabajadores. No es de extrañar que algunos vean en esta propuesta un estorbo ante el desafío de nuevos modelos de empleo como los trabajadores de plataforma.

Se deben aprovechar las tecnologías para ofrecer oportunidades de trabajo y dar servicios que atiendan a una demanda flexible, todo ello con una protección social adecuada, por supuesto.

Esta propuesta no consigue ni lo uno ni lo otro porque, además —lo sabemos bien los españoles—, es una copia de la —como ya se ha demostrado, fracasada— ley en España, que ha incrementado la litigiosidad y la inseguridad jurídica causando, por ejemplo, la aparición de intermediarios que ahora contratan a esos trabajadores con sueldos bajos. Como todo lo que se trata con perspectiva social-comunista, destruye oportunidades y empeora las condiciones de quienes decía proteger.

¿Por qué no mejorar la protección social de los autónomos? Se lo merecen. Son un pilar de nuestra economía. Porque muchas personas sí verían ventajas en este régimen si estuviera convenientemente amparado y valorado.

 
  
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  Dominique Bilde, au nom du groupe ID. – Monsieur le Vice-président, Monsieur le Commissaire, l’Union s’apprête à jeter à la poubelle des mois de travail. C’est le triste sort qui devrait être réservé à la fameuse directive sur les travailleurs des plateformes. Ce qui m’étonne, c’est que nul n’apprend de ses erreurs. Après avoir ouvert nos frontières, après avoir poussé à déréguler nos marchés et laissé les multinationales contourner nos législations nationales, l’Union s’agite comme elle peut pour mettre quelques pansements sur les plaies qu’elle a elle-même ouvertes.

Le chaos engendré par les plateformes doit nous apprendre une chose: ceux qui provoquent les problèmes ne peuvent à aucun moment les régler. Dans cette affaire, ce sont ceux qui prétendent défendre l’Europe qui sabotent tout, à l’instar d’Emmanuel Macron qui protège Uber.

Face à cela, nous avons pris nos responsabilités et nous avons soutenu ce texte qui permet de défendre notre code du travail. Nous devons agir pour protéger les livreurs et les chauffeurs dont les plateformes usent et abusent à volonté. Nous devons aussi être intraitables face aux plateformes qui ferment les yeux devant le travail des illégaux: ne laissons pas faire.

 
  
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  Leila Chaibi, au nom du groupe The Left. – Monsieur le Président, par deux fois un accord a été trouvé en trilogue, et par deux fois, le Conseil a décidé de le rejeter. C’est du jamais vu: 23 États membres sur 27 ont approuvé l’accord trouvé le 8 février dernier sur la directive pour les travailleurs des plateformes numériques. Quatre États membres seulement n’ont pas voulu de cet accord, faisant le choix de mettre à la poubelle des années de travail et une directive qui apporterait des droits à des millions de travailleurs.

J’ai une pensée particulière, évidemment, pour le président de mon pays, la France, qui passe son temps à essayer de saboter cette directive, le président Macron, qui mérite vraiment son badge de lobbyiste en chef d’Uber. Mais je ne gâcherai pas davantage de mon temps de parole ce soir pour parler de lui, car c’est une cause perdue. Je veux m’adresser à madame Kallas, la Première ministre d’Estonie. Le 11 mars, le Conseil a une nouvelle opportunité de valider la directive. Madame la Première ministre Kallas, ne cédez pas au chantage des plateformes, y compris des plateformes estoniennes. J’étais la semaine dernière avec des chauffeurs Uber et des livreurs Deliveroo. Ces travailleurs sont a priori très éloignés du monde politique. Ils ont tellement d’espoir dans cette directive qu’ils organisent des manifestations devant le siège d’Uber avec le drapeau européen sur les épaules.

Il y a des élections européennes dans trois mois. Continuez à vous opposer à cette directive et vous nourrirez le sentiment que l’Union européenne, c’est pour les lobbies. Si au contraire, vous décidez de débloquer cette directive, nous serons pour une fois en capacité de montrer que l’Union européenne peut améliorer la vie. Ce n’est ni à Uber ni à Bolt de faire la loi. Ce n’est pas aux lobbies de faire la loi.

 
  
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  Rosa Estaràs Ferragut (PPE). – Señor presidente, señor comisario, presidente en ejercicio del Consejo, no hay ninguna duda de que uno de los objetivos de la Unión Europea es proteger el derecho de todo trabajador a tener un trabajo en condiciones, que respete su salud, su seguridad y su dignidad, así como proteger el derecho de información y de consulta.

Hay una transformación digital que se ha acelerado de manera muy importante después de la COVID-19 y, por tanto, el mercado laboral está acusando cambios muy rápidos, por lo que se hace necesario trabajar para que las condiciones laborales de los trabajadores de plataformas tengan una protección en toda la Unión.

Lo han dicho aquí: hay un aumento muy considerable del número de trabajadores en plataformas. De los 28 millones que tenemos actualmente, parece que en 2025 llegaremos a 43 millones y, de los 28 millones actuales, cinco millones y medio podrían no estar clasificados como corresponde.

Por lo tanto, es crucial que esta normativa se haga con sentido común, con un equilibrio entre la protección de los trabajadores y también el crecimiento de las plataformas. Hay un tema importante, que es la transparencia —garantizar la transparencia en el uso de los algoritmos con supervisión humana— y, por supuesto, establecer normas protectoras de datos.

Deseo hacer un llamamiento al Consejo para que se pueda desbloquear, especialmente en el caso de Alemania y Francia. En la Comisión FEMM, también Alemania, con el Grupo S&D, ha bloqueado la Directiva para que la violación sin consentimiento sea eurodelito.

 
  
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  Agnes Jongerius (S&D). – Mr President, thank you Vice-Presidents, dear Commissioner, dear colleagues, I think it’s safe to say that we are all disappointed. But perhaps we can also say we’re all angry because twice we have reached this agreement, twice the Member States failed to endorse it. And I think it sets to notice that liberal and conservative voices in France, Estonia, Greece and Germany are blocking the opportunity to protect 30 million platform workers.

They have caved to the lobby of Uber and Bolt, and turned their back to the workers. And from this place, I’d like to remind us all a quote from the testimony of Mark MacGann, ex-Uber lobbyist here in this House. He said ‘when tech companies have disproportionate financial resources to push their message, at the expense of the far less powerful workers upon whom their model is built – there is something truly undemocratic happening.’ And that’s happening at the moment, something truly undemocratic.

Member States should accept their responsibility and make an end to this deadlock. It was President von der Leyen who promised that she would work for better protection of platform workers. I’d like to keep her to the words and ask her to talk to these Member States who are now blocking this directive.

 
  
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  Rasmus Andresen (Verts/ALE). – Herr Präsident! Pinkelpausen, die beim Hamburger Shuttleunternehmen MOIA einzeln genehmigt werden müssen. Amazon-Mitarbeiterinnen und —Mitarbeiter, die wie Roboter behandelt und mit Kameras überwacht werden. Lieferando-Botinnen und —Boten, die zig Stunden ohne Pausen Essen ausliefern und durch Apps überwacht werden: Das ist die Realität von Millionen von Plattformarbeiterinnen und —arbeitern bei uns in der Europäischen Union.

Diese Arbeitsbedingungen sind echt beschissen, und ich schäme mich dafür, dass es nicht gelungen ist, im Rat eine ausreichende Mehrheit zu organisieren, um die Rechte von diesen Millionen Menschen zu verbessern. Die EU kann ein Ort sein, der für bessere Arbeitsbedingungen steht, der konkret für bessere Arbeitsbedingungen sorgt.

Es ist ein peinliches Schauspiel, was wir jetzt von den Mitgliedstaaten erleben. Ich schäme mich auch für die deutsche Bundesregierung, wo ein liberaler Koalitionspartner durch den Lobbyismus von Uber und von anderen so sehr getrieben ist, dass sie inzwischen ganz vergessen haben, was wahres Unternehmertum eigentlich bedeutet. Ich schäme mich aber auch für unseren sozialdemokratischen Bundeskanzler, der sich scheinbar weder für die Rechte von Plattformarbeitnehmerinnen und —arbeitnehmern interessiert noch für europäische Einigkeit. Es wäre dringend an der Zeit, diese Situation zu verändern, und es gibt eine Lösung dafür. Bundeskanzler Scholz, nehmen Sie die Richtlinienkompetenz und setzen Sie ein Ja der deutschen Bundesregierung durch, dann schaffen wir es konkret, die Arbeitsbedingungen noch vor der Europawahl für Millionen von Menschen zu verbessern.

 
  
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  Hildegard Bentele (PPE). – Herr Präsident, sehr geehrter Herr Kommissar! Tausende Berliner arbeiten über Online-Plattformen als Lieferanten, Fahrer oder Haushaltshilfen. In der EU sind es 28 Millionen – Tendenz stark steigend. Es hat sich herausgestellt, dass es oft unklar ist, ob Plattformarbeiter selbstständig oder als Arbeitnehmer tätig sind. Daher unterstütze ich es sehr, dass die EU-Kommission Kriterien formuliert hat, um EU—weit Selbstständigkeit von Scheinselbstständigkeit zu unterscheiden. Auch bei neuen Beschäftigungsformen dürfen Arbeitnehmerrechte nicht ausgehebelt werden, und es müssen EU—weit gleiche Wettbewerbsbedingungen für Plattformfirmen gelten.

Ich appelliere daher eindringlich an die Mitgliedstaaten, das Thema nach der Europawahl schnell wieder aufzunehmen und die gegenseitigen Blockaden aufzuheben. Dieser Appell geht ganz besonders an die deutsche Ampelregierung, die erneut aufgrund internen Streits und ihrer Enthaltung wieder einmal mit dazu beigetragen hat, dass die erforderliche Mehrheit für einen Kompromiss in dieser wichtigen Frage nicht zustande kam.

Herr Minister Heil, Herr Minister Lindner, Sie wollen angeblich zusammen regieren? Dann einigen Sie sich doch bitte, damit wir für faire Arbeitsbedingungen für Millionen Plattformarbeiter in Berlin, in Deutschland und in der ganzen EU sorgen können.

 
  
 

Vystúpenia podľa postupu prihlásenia o slovo zdvihnutím ruky

 
  
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  Milan Brglez (S&D). – Gospod predsednik! Digitalne platforme, ki so se razrasle predvsem v času pandemije, so skrajšale čas od ponudnika do potrošnika, toda pogosto za ceno izgube sleherne socialne in pravne varnosti delavk in delavcev. Raznašalci hrane, taksisti, čistilke ter drugi platformni delavci pogosto delajo brez pogodb o zaposlitvi ali pa so prisiljeni v odpiranje s.p.-jev.

Namesto po navodilih nadrejenih, delo opravljajo po nareku algoritmov, ki odrejajo njihov čas, ritem, lokacijo ter pogoje dela. Tehnologija namesto pomoči pri delu kot veliki brat pogosto služi za izvajanje neupravičenega nadzora.

Parlament, Svet in Komisija so se uspeli dogovoriti glede direktive s skupnim okvirom pravil in pravic platformnih delavcev, ki jo zdaj blokirajo štiri države članice. Evropski poslanci in javnost moramo skupaj storiti vse za to, da se bodo tako kot Slovenija postavile na pravo stran, proti izkoriščevalskim platformam, na stran skupnih evropskih pravil ter pravic vseh delavk in delavcev.

 
  
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  Mick Wallace (The Left). – Mr President, it’s been over two years since we passed a progressive text here that offers protection to some of the most exploited workers of our economy, and it’s depressing to see where we are still. The number of workers in the gig economy is expected to rise to 43 million by 2025, of which 5.5 million will be labelled as being self-employed. This allows platform companies to avoid paying the minimum wage, holiday or sick pay, and social security contributions.

The lobbying of platform companies such as Uber and Airbnb, both at national and EU level, has been staggering, with Uber increasing their lobbying spend by 1 400%, followed closely by Bolt and Deliveroo. This has led to a butchered and watered-down text and still no agreement.

The EU once again finds itself on the side of corporations against the workers, of profit over people. Neoliberalism rules and the workers lose.

 
  
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  Λευτέρης Νικολάου-Αλαβάνος (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η υποκρισία σας για τα δικαιώματα των εργαζομένων στις πλατφόρμες δεν έχει όριο. Ενώ στο Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο δεν έγινε καθόλου συζήτηση για την οδηγία, αλλά διαπραγμάτευση-παζάρι κυβερνήσεων, Επιτρόπων, βουλευτών και εκπροσώπων λόμπι, τώρα η Επιτροπή ανησυχεί για την απόρριψη της οδηγίας από το Συμβούλιο.

Η αντεργατική στάση της ελληνικής κυβέρνησης, που καταψήφισε στο Συμβούλιο, δεν εκπλήσσει, αφού πρωτοπόρησε στην εργοδοτική ασυδοσία με το νόμο-έκτρωμα Χατζηδάκη, που δίνει το δικαίωμα οι εργαζόμενοι να βαφτίζονται συνεργάτες. Είναι όμως πρόκληση και η γκρίνια του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ και του ΠΑΣΟΚ που ψήφισαν πάνω από τα μισά άρθρα του νόμου της Νέας Δημοκρατίας, ενώ οι πολιτικές τους ομάδες πρωταγωνίστησαν στις ύπουλες μεθοδεύσεις στο Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο.

Ενάντια στην αντεργατική οδηγία που δεν θεμελιώνει μισθωτή εργασία, αποδέχεται τις παρακολουθήσεις εργαζομένων, τη χρήση αλγορίθμων για την εντατικοποίηση της δουλειάς, για τις απολύσεις, οι εργαζόμενοι στις πλατφόρμες δυναμώνουν την πάλη τους, συμμετέχουν στην πανελλαδική πανεργατική απεργία στις 28 Φλεβάρη, διεκδικώντας συλλογικές συμβάσεις εργασίας με πραγματικές αυξήσεις, σύγχρονα εργασιακά δικαιώματα, κατάργηση όλων των αντεργατικών νόμων.

 
  
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  Clare Daly (The Left). – Mr President, the Council’s blocking minority on the Platform Work Directive truly is an utter disgrace, indicating corporate capture.

As far as I’m concerned, we need an ethics investigation into Uber and Deliveroo and who benefited from the change in policy because, despite two agreements in trilogues – the second of which was largely watered down as a result of the influence of France, Germany, Greece and Estonia – at the end of the day, they still said no.

No to basic rights for precarious workers, 28 million of whom work via digital platforms in Europe, for which this original text represented at least a glimmer of hope for a way forward.

Workers like the food delivery workers in Dublin, who recently went on strike on Valentine’s Day protesting against fluctuating pay levels. These workers, often migrants, have seen their wages plummet in favour of increasingly greedy platforms as they struggle to make ends meet.

While these companies may block progress, collective action such as the ones shown in Dublin will be the way forward. Solidarity will prevail.

 
  
 

(Ukončenie vystúpení podľa postupu prihlásenia o slovo zdvihnutím ruky)

 
  
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  Nicolas Schmit, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, honourable Members, I welcome this Parliament’s determination and flexibility to find an agreement to combat bogus self-employment by digital labour platforms which do not respect the rules in Europe, and I hope that the message very massively delivered this evening here in the Parliament will be listened to.

Well, just a remark. Nobody wants to destroy or to harm or to abolish platforms. But if this business model is only functioning with the lowest wage and without social and labour rights, just on the basis of bogus self-employed, this model has no place in a social market economy. This is, for me, very clear.

If new technologies, as algorithms, are just used to undermine social rights, basic social rights, this means that the technology of the 21st century brings us back in terms of social conditions, of labour conditions, to the 19th century. This is not progress.

By the way, the argument of flexibility is always advanced, and I just want to know: can a platform work with normal working conditions, recognising the rights? And the proof is there – yes, they can, but there has to be a different way of distribution of income.

So there is the good example of platforms working on the basis of fair wages and of social protection. So there’s no argument to say, well, if it’s not this model, there is no flexibility and the platform cannot work. The point is that those who are working on the basis of bogus self-employed, they are, by the way, also committing unfair competition towards those who are respecting the rules. And that’s why also it’s so important to have common standards.

I am really surprised that it’s now about protecting the platforms and not protecting the most precarious workers in our economy, in our society. Really, where is Europe? It’s not about Europe, by the way. It’s not about Europe. It’s about a few Member States who should really get this message because Europe has done its job.

So now we have to work together to avoid that the absence of a qualified majority in the Council becomes a missed opportunity for improving labour rights and preparing labour markets for the challenges of the future. And this debate gives me hope that an agreement on the directive is still within reach, because that’s also, in some way, some democratic attitude which should now prevail.

The Belgian Presidency is committed, and I again express my full support and also my recognition for the efforts deployed by the Belgian Presidency, and particular Vice Prime Minister Dermagne and his team, to achieve this goal.

The Commission remains fully committed to doing its part to reach a deal that has the support on both sides, and we count on the Parliament’s continued support to bring this important file over the finishing line before the election.

 
  
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  Mathieu Michel, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, honourable Members, Commissioner, thank you for all your remarks and interventions, it has been heard. I can well see that this directive is of great importance for all of us and that our common objective is to have this groundbreaking piece of legislation still under this legislative cycle.

As I have already stressed, the presidency is doing enormous efforts to achieve a positive result and we will bring the provisional agreement back to the Council for another attempt to get Member States confirmation on the final agreement. We will do all we can on our side and we hope for your continuous support in this endeavour.

 
  
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  Predsedajúci. – Rozprava sa skončila.

Písomné vyhlásenia (článok 171)

 
  
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  Clara Aguilera (S&D), por escrito. – Este debate ha girado en torno al actual bloqueo en el Consejo, del acuerdo para la Directiva de los trabajadores en plataformas digitales. El objetivo principal de esta Directiva —tan defendida por los socialistas durante años— es la de proteger a todas las trabajadoras y trabajadores en un mercado cada vez más cambiante y digitalizado. También, combatir la competencia desleal dentro del mercado único.

La propuesta pretende determinar el estatus laboral real de los trabajadores, así como el uso que las compañías hacen de los algoritmos y la inteligencia artificial, en aras de vigilar y evaluar a sus empleados. De ser lanzada, esta Directiva impediría que las plataformas digitales traten a sus trabajadores como falsos autónomos, en el caso de que realmente exista una relación laboral de trabajador asalariado. Se garantizaría, además, la mejora de las condiciones de salud y seguridad laboral del sector.

El Grupo S&D seguirá defendiendo la necesidad de respetar el modelo social europeo, y la lucha contra la precariedad laboral y los abusos. Esperamos que en el próximo mes marzo, pueda alcanzarse un acuerdo en el EPSCO, para retomar la aprobación de una propuesta normativa, necesaria para una transición digital justa y verdaderamente sostenible.

 
  
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  Laura Ballarín Cereza (S&D), por escrito. – Este debate ha girado en torno al actual bloqueo en el Consejo, del acuerdo para la Directiva de los trabajadores en plataformas digitales. El objetivo principal de esta Directiva —tan defendida por los socialistas durante años— es la de proteger a todas las trabajadoras y trabajadores en un mercado cada vez más cambiante y digitalizado. También, combatir la competencia desleal dentro del mercado único.

La propuesta pretende determinar el estatus laboral real de los trabajadores, así como el uso que las compañías hacen de los algoritmos y la inteligencia artificial, en aras de vigilar y evaluar a sus empleados. De ser lanzada, esta Directiva impediría que las plataformas digitales traten a sus trabajadores como falsos autónomos, en el caso de que realmente exista una relación laboral de trabajador asalariado. Se garantizaría, además, la mejora de las condiciones de salud y seguridad laboral del sector.

El Grupo S&D seguirá defendiendo la necesidad de respetar el modelo social europeo, y la lucha contra la precariedad laboral y los abusos. Esperamos que en el próximo mes marzo, pueda alcanzarse un acuerdo en el EPSCO, para retomar la aprobación de una propuesta normativa, necesaria para una transición digital justa y verdaderamente sostenible.

 
  
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  Estrella Durá Ferrandis (S&D), por escrito. – Este debate ha girado en torno al actual bloqueo en el Consejo, del acuerdo para la Directiva de los trabajadores en plataformas digitales. El objetivo principal de esta Directiva —tan defendida por los socialistas durante años— es la de proteger a todas las trabajadoras y trabajadores en un mercado cada vez más cambiante y digitalizado. También, combatir la competencia desleal dentro del mercado único.

La propuesta pretende determinar el estatus laboral real de los trabajadores, así como el uso que las compañías hacen de los algoritmos y la inteligencia artificial, en aras de vigilar y evaluar a sus empleados. De ser lanzada, esta Directiva impediría que las plataformas digitales traten a sus trabajadores como falsos autónomos, en el caso de que realmente exista una relación laboral de trabajador asalariado. Se garantizaría, además, la mejora de las condiciones de salud y seguridad laboral del sector.

El Grupo S&D seguirá defendiendo la necesidad de respetar el modelo social europeo, y la lucha contra la precariedad laboral y los abusos. Esperamos que en el próximo mes marzo, pueda alcanzarse un acuerdo en el EPSCO, para retomar la aprobación de una propuesta normativa, necesaria para una transición digital justa y verdaderamente sostenible.

 
  
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  Lina Gálvez Muñoz (S&D), por escrito. – Este debate ha girado en torno al actual bloqueo en el Consejo, del acuerdo para la Directiva de los trabajadores en plataformas digitales. El objetivo principal de esta Directiva —tan defendida por los socialistas durante años— es la de proteger a todas las trabajadoras y trabajadores en un mercado cada vez más cambiante y digitalizado. También, combatir la competencia desleal dentro del mercado único.

La propuesta pretende determinar el estatus laboral real de los trabajadores, así como el uso que las compañías hacen de los algoritmos y la inteligencia artificial, en aras de vigilar y evaluar a sus empleados. De ser lanzada, esta Directiva impediría que las plataformas digitales traten a sus trabajadores como falsos autónomos, en el caso de que realmente exista una relación laboral de trabajador asalariado. Se garantizaría, además, la mejora de las condiciones de salud y seguridad laboral del sector.

El Grupo S&D seguirá defendiendo la necesidad de respetar el modelo social europeo, y la lucha contra la precariedad laboral y los abusos. Esperamos que en el próximo mes marzo, pueda alcanzarse un acuerdo en el EPSCO, para retomar la aprobación de una propuesta normativa, necesaria para una transición digital justa y verdaderamente sostenible.

 
  
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  Ibán García Del Blanco (S&D), por escrito. – Este debate ha girado en torno al actual bloqueo en el Consejo, del acuerdo para la Directiva de los trabajadores en plataformas digitales. El objetivo principal de esta Directiva —tan defendida por los socialistas durante años— es la de proteger a todas las trabajadoras y trabajadores en un mercado cada vez más cambiante y digitalizado. También, combatir la competencia desleal dentro del mercado único.

La propuesta pretende determinar el estatus laboral real de los trabajadores, así como el uso que las compañías hacen de los algoritmos y la inteligencia artificial, en aras de vigilar y evaluar a sus empleados. De ser lanzada, esta Directiva impediría que las plataformas digitales traten a sus trabajadores como falsos autónomos, en el caso de que realmente exista una relación laboral de trabajador asalariado. Se garantizaría, además, la mejora de las condiciones de salud y seguridad laboral del sector.

El Grupo S&D seguirá defendiendo la necesidad de respetar el modelo social europeo, y la lucha contra la precariedad laboral y los abusos. Esperamos que en el próximo mes marzo, pueda alcanzarse un acuerdo en el EPSCO, para retomar la aprobación de una propuesta normativa, necesaria para una transición digital justa y verdaderamente sostenible.

 
  
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  Nicolás González Casares (S&D), por escrito. – Este debate ha girado en torno al actual bloqueo en el Consejo, del acuerdo para la Directiva de los trabajadores en plataformas digitales. El objetivo principal de esta Directiva —tan defendida por los socialistas durante años— es la de proteger a todas las trabajadoras y trabajadores en un mercado cada vez más cambiante y digitalizado. También, combatir la competencia desleal dentro del mercado único.

La propuesta pretende determinar el estatus laboral real de los trabajadores, así como el uso que las compañías hacen de los algoritmos y la inteligencia artificial, en aras de vigilar y evaluar a sus empleados. De ser lanzada, esta Directiva impediría que las plataformas digitales traten a sus trabajadores como falsos autónomos, en el caso de que realmente exista una relación laboral de trabajador asalariado. Se garantizaría, además, la mejora de las condiciones de salud y seguridad laboral del sector.

El Grupo S&D seguirá defendiendo la necesidad de respetar el modelo social europeo, y la lucha contra la precariedad laboral y los abusos. Esperamos que en el próximo mes marzo, pueda alcanzarse un acuerdo en el EPSCO, para retomar la aprobación de una propuesta normativa, necesaria para una transición digital justa y verdaderamente sostenible.

 
  
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  Alicia Homs Ginel (S&D), por escrito. – Este debate ha girado en torno al actual bloqueo en el Consejo, del acuerdo para la Directiva de los trabajadores en plataformas digitales. El objetivo principal de esta Directiva —tan defendida por los socialistas durante años— es la de proteger a todas las trabajadoras y trabajadores en un mercado cada vez más cambiante y digitalizado. También, combatir la competencia desleal dentro del mercado único.

La propuesta pretende determinar el estatus laboral real de los trabajadores, así como el uso que las compañías hacen de los algoritmos y la inteligencia artificial, en aras de vigilar y evaluar a sus empleados. De ser lanzada, esta Directiva impediría que las plataformas digitales traten a sus trabajadores como falsos autónomos, en el caso de que realmente exista una relación laboral de trabajador asalariado. Se garantizaría, además, la mejora de las condiciones de salud y seguridad laboral del sector.

El Grupo S&D seguirá defendiendo la necesidad de respetar el modelo social europeo, y la lucha contra la precariedad laboral y los abusos. Esperamos que en el próximo mes marzo, pueda alcanzarse un acuerdo en el EPSCO, para retomar la aprobación de una propuesta normativa, necesaria para una transición digital justa y verdaderamente sostenible.

 
  
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  Javi López (S&D), por escrito. – Este debate ha girado en torno al actual bloqueo en el Consejo, del acuerdo para la Directiva de los trabajadores en plataformas digitales. El objetivo principal de esta Directiva —tan defendida por los socialistas durante años— es la de proteger a todas las trabajadoras y trabajadores en un mercado cada vez más cambiante y digitalizado. También, combatir la competencia desleal dentro del mercado único.

La propuesta pretende determinar el estatus laboral real de los trabajadores, así como el uso que las compañías hacen de los algoritmos y la inteligencia artificial, en aras de vigilar y evaluar a sus empleados. De ser lanzada, esta Directiva impediría que las plataformas digitales traten a sus trabajadores como falsos autónomos, en el caso de que realmente exista una relación laboral de trabajador asalariado. Se garantizaría, además, la mejora de las condiciones de salud y seguridad laboral del sector.

El Grupo S&D seguirá defendiendo la necesidad de respetar el modelo social europeo, y la lucha contra la precariedad laboral y los abusos. Esperamos que en el próximo mes marzo, pueda alcanzarse un acuerdo en el EPSCO, para retomar la aprobación de una propuesta normativa, necesaria para una transición digital justa y verdaderamente sostenible.

 
  
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  César Luena (S&D), por escrito. – Este debate ha girado en torno al actual bloqueo en el Consejo, del acuerdo para la Directiva de los trabajadores en plataformas digitales. El objetivo principal de esta Directiva —tan defendida por los socialistas durante años— es la de proteger a todas las trabajadoras y trabajadores en un mercado cada vez más cambiante y digitalizado. También, combatir la competencia desleal dentro del mercado único.

La propuesta pretende determinar el estatus laboral real de los trabajadores, así como el uso que las compañías hacen de los algoritmos y la inteligencia artificial, en aras de vigilar y evaluar a sus empleados. De ser lanzada, esta Directiva impediría que las plataformas digitales traten a sus trabajadores como falsos autónomos, en el caso de que realmente exista una relación laboral de trabajador asalariado. Se garantizaría, además, la mejora de las condiciones de salud y seguridad laboral del sector.

El Grupo S&D seguirá defendiendo la necesidad de respetar el modelo social europeo, y la lucha contra la precariedad laboral y los abusos. Esperamos que en el próximo mes marzo, pueda alcanzarse un acuerdo en el EPSCO, para retomar la aprobación de una propuesta normativa, necesaria para una transición digital justa y verdaderamente sostenible.

 
  
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  Cristina Maestre Martín De Almagro (S&D), por escrito. – Este debate ha girado en torno al actual bloqueo en el Consejo, del acuerdo para la Directiva de los trabajadores en plataformas digitales. El objetivo principal de esta Directiva —tan defendida por los socialistas durante años— es la de proteger a todas las trabajadoras y trabajadores en un mercado cada vez más cambiante y digitalizado. También, combatir la competencia desleal dentro del mercado único.

La propuesta pretende determinar el estatus laboral real de los trabajadores, así como el uso que las compañías hacen de los algoritmos y la inteligencia artificial, en aras de vigilar y evaluar a sus empleados. De ser lanzada, esta Directiva impediría que las plataformas digitales traten a sus trabajadores como falsos autónomos, en el caso de que realmente exista una relación laboral de trabajador asalariado. Se garantizaría, además, la mejora de las condiciones de salud y seguridad laboral del sector.

El Grupo S&D seguirá defendiendo la necesidad de respetar el modelo social europeo, y la lucha contra la precariedad laboral y los abusos. Esperamos que en el próximo mes marzo, pueda alcanzarse un acuerdo en el EPSCO, para retomar la aprobación de una propuesta normativa, necesaria para una transición digital justa y verdaderamente sostenible.

 
  
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  Domènec Ruiz Devesa (S&D), por escrito. – Este debate ha girado en torno al actual bloqueo en el Consejo, del acuerdo para la Directiva de los trabajadores en plataformas digitales. El objetivo principal de esta Directiva —tan defendida por los socialistas durante años— es la de proteger a todas las trabajadoras y trabajadores en un mercado cada vez más cambiante y digitalizado. También, combatir la competencia desleal dentro del mercado único.

La propuesta pretende determinar el estatus laboral real de los trabajadores, así como el uso que las compañías hacen de los algoritmos y la inteligencia artificial, en aras de vigilar y evaluar a sus empleados. De ser lanzada, esta Directiva impediría que las plataformas digitales traten a sus trabajadores como falsos autónomos, en el caso de que realmente exista una relación laboral de trabajador asalariado. Se garantizaría, además, la mejora de las condiciones de salud y seguridad laboral del sector.

El Grupo S&D seguirá defendiendo la necesidad de respetar el modelo social europeo, y la lucha contra la precariedad laboral y los abusos. Esperamos que en el próximo mes marzo, pueda alcanzarse un acuerdo en el EPSCO, para retomar la aprobación de una propuesta normativa, necesaria para una transición digital justa y verdaderamente sostenible.

 
  
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  Nacho Sánchez Amor (S&D), por escrito. – Este debate ha girado en torno al actual bloqueo en el Consejo, del acuerdo para la Directiva de los trabajadores en plataformas digitales. El objetivo principal de esta Directiva —tan defendida por los socialistas durante años— es la de proteger a todas las trabajadoras y trabajadores en un mercado cada vez más cambiante y digitalizado. También, combatir la competencia desleal dentro del mercado único.

La propuesta pretende determinar el estatus laboral real de los trabajadores, así como el uso que las compañías hacen de los algoritmos y la inteligencia artificial, en aras de vigilar y evaluar a sus empleados. De ser lanzada, esta Directiva impediría que las plataformas digitales traten a sus trabajadores como falsos autónomos, en el caso de que realmente exista una relación laboral de trabajador asalariado. Se garantizaría, además, la mejora de las condiciones de salud y seguridad laboral del sector.

El Grupo S&D seguirá defendiendo la necesidad de respetar el modelo social europeo, y la lucha contra la precariedad laboral y los abusos. Esperamos que en el próximo mes marzo, pueda alcanzarse un acuerdo en el EPSCO, para retomar la aprobación de una propuesta normativa, necesaria para una transición digital justa y verdaderamente sostenible.

 

18. Tackling the inflation in food prices and its social consequences and root causes (debate)
Video of the speeches
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  President. – The next item is the debate on the Commission statement on tackling the inflation in food prices and its social consequences and root causes (2024/2578(RSP)).

 
  
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  Wopke Hoekstra, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, honourable Members, as I’m sure you are aware, I’m replacing Commissioner Wojciechowski for this important debate here with you today.

Ladies and gentlemen, there is no denying that recent crises have seriously affected food prices for our consumers. At the same time, we know that serious work lies ahead of us to deal with structural challenges in our food supply.

And let me start with the impact of the recent crisis. Annual food inflation in the euro area peaked at 19.6 % in March 2023, and both processed and unprocessed food were affected. And we all know how important food is in the consumption basket of our households. And this is especially serious in countries where food represents a higher share of overall household consumption, notably in parts of central and eastern Europe. And it is serious throughout Europe for low income households, which were most affected by inflated energy prices as well.

Ladies and gentlemen, the major drivers of food price inflation were the prices of key farming inputs like energy and fertilisers, especially following the horrible Russian invasion of Ukraine. In addition, wages in both food manufacturing and distribution have picked up in the last couple of years.

However, since March 2023, food inflation is steadily slowing down across the European Union. Energy and fertiliser prices did go down after October 2022. Last month, food inflation stood at 4.8 % in the euro area and we’re seeing the first signs of food deflation since last summer. And this has had an impact on household income too: real gross disposable household income started to increase again in 2023. And let me be crystal clear, we should stay very vigilant against any renewed pressure on our food prices. This is, if you will, in a nutshell, the current situation.

But we should draw lessons for the work we have ahead of us. In March 2022, the Commission adopted a dedicated communication on food security and we suggested measures like improved flexibility of the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived to boost food banks. Our REPowerEU package included many measures to tackle energy poverty in particular, and the Commission welcomes moves in several Member States to reduce VAT on essential foods, which the Union made possible since April 2022. And we also welcome food vouchers or other support, particularly for the most vulnerable.

At the same time, we must ensure that Member States’ actions against inflation, including price caps, do not have unintended consequences on our single market. The Commission continues to monitor markets and works with national competition authorities to investigate any anti-competitive behaviour that may actually inflate food prices. During the past year, several national competition authorities have launched investigations into pricing in the food chain.

Looking ahead, the transition into sustainable food systems is a shared responsibility and let me stress that, Mr President, a shared responsibility where we should all share the costs and the benefits. Ladies and gentlemen, let me therefore stress that it cannot be the case that farmers alone face the cost of the transition. We’ve all heard and seen the discontent from farmers on the current functioning of the agri-food supply chain. And their ask for a fair reward for their efforts is absolutely valid.

It is vital that the whole agri-food supply chain, including food, drink, retail, and even packaging and logistics, control their costs and ensure a fair sustainable price for all actors in the chain. The Commission is therefore looking into possible actions to improve the position of farmers in the supply chain and their fair remuneration. And we need to do so in a way that sustainable food remains affordable for all of our consumers because we will only have a resilient food system if commercial relationships are fair, with fair margins for all.

Mr President, the strategic dialogue launched by the President of the Commission will help in understanding exactly these challenges. And we stand ready to listen to the concerns of farmers and other stakeholders, I want to remain in dialogue with the whole of our society. My offer on behalf of my colleague is that the Commission stands ready to engage in the debate and hear the suggestions of the esteemed Members of your Parliament on how to master it, and I look forward to this debate.

 
  
  

IN THE CHAIR: JAN-CHRISTOPH OETJEN
Vice-President

 
  
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  Herbert Dorfmann, im Namen der PPE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, Herr Kommissar, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Seit der Corona-Pandemie steigen die Lebensmittelpreise – seit Anfang 2021 um knapp 30 Prozent –, während die Inflation im Durchschnitt der Europäischen Union in diesem Zeitraum 15 Prozent betrug – also die Hälfte. Das heißt, letztendlich muss der Verbraucher mehr bezahlen, wenn er in den Supermarkt geht, und wahrscheinlich denkt der Verbraucher auch, dass der Bauer dann mehr Geld bekommen wird.

Aber glauben Sie wirklich, dass die Bäuerinnen und Bauern derzeit auf die Straße gehen, weil sie mehr Geld bekommen? Es ist weit gefehlt, dass sie mehr Geld bekommen – im Gegenteil. In einigen Fällen, zum Beispiel bei Getreide, Weizen zum Beispiel, ist der Preis derzeit für die Bauern und Bäuerinnen tiefer, als er vor zwei Jahren war. Also irgendetwas funktioniert hier nicht. Es ist relativ klar, dass es da mittendrin jemanden gibt, der ordentlich verdient, und das ist wohl der Handel.

Leider hat die Kommission, Herr Kommissar, bisher zugeschaut – nur zugeschaut. Erst in dem Dokument, das die Kommission vor wenigen Tagen veröffentlicht hat, zu den Bauernprotesten kommt das kleinlaute Zugeständnis, dass vielleicht in der Handelskette, in der Verteilung der Wertschöpfungskette irgendetwas nicht genau funktioniert. Die Konzentration des Lebensmitteleinzelhandels hat zu Auswüchsen geführt, die nicht mehr akzeptabel sind und wo nur mehr Spekulationen die Folge sind.

Lebensmittel sind Mittel zum Leben. Alle haben das Recht auf Zugang zu diesen Lebensmitteln, jene, die mehr verdienen, und auch die, die weniger verdienen. Ich glaube, wir haben die Pflicht, beim Lebensmitteleinzelhandel genauer hinzuschauen. Die Spekulation der letzten Jahre ist nicht mehr hinnehmbar.

 
  
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  Agnes Jongerius, namens de S&D-Fractie. – Voorzitter, commissaris, “Meer diefstal dan dat we winst maakten”: zo kopte de supermarkt Jumbo dit jaar. Ook bij Ahold – Albert Heijn – deden ze alsof ze een heel zwaar jaar gehad hadden: ondanks dat de omzet was gestegen, was de winst een beetje tegengevallen. Een winst die overigens nog steeds minstens 100 miljoen is. Een deel van die winst gaat nu naar videocamera’s om diefstal tegen te gaan. Maar eerlijk gezegd denk ik dat we dan niet het echte probleem aan het oplossen zijn, maar juist de symptomen.

Werk moet lonen zodat iedereen zijn eigen boodschappen kan betalen, dus dat iedereen in de sector, van boer tot vakkenvuller, een fatsoenlijk inkomen krijgt waar hij of zij zijn boodschappen van kan betalen. Het lijkt mij alsof de Commissie meer luistert naar de boeren. Zelfs als ze op een dag als vandaag heel Brussel op stelten zetten, dan nog investeren we in een sociale dialoog, een strategische dialoog met de boeren.

Mag ik de vraag stellen: wat gaat de Commissie doen om de koopkracht van werknemers te vergroten?

 
  
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  Martin Hlaváček, za skupinu Renew. – Pane komisaři, pane předsedající, pokaždé, když naši lidé platí za potraviny nehorázné ceny, uspořádáte tady debatu. Všichni se vypovídají a nic se nestane. Nikdo se neptá, jak je možné, že když zemědělci dostávají za suroviny stejně jako před deseti lety, že ceny potravin jsou dnes dvojnásobné?

A víte, co je nejhorší? Není to o tom, že bychom nevěděli, jak to je. Kolik studií jste již na Komisi zpracovali na to, abychom se dozvěděli, jaké je rozdělení zisků mezi producenty a obchodníky? Co já pamatuju za posledních dvacet let, tak nespočetně a mnohé nám jasně ukázaly, že oligopoly obchodníků využívají svoji sílu proti producentům a dodavatelům a zemědělcům a že je třeba s tím něco dělat. A kolik jste za tu dobu předložili návrhů, které by to řešily? Nula. Ani jeden. Bojíte se jich.

Myslím, že v příštích evropských volbách potřebujete opravdu pořádný budíček, jinak se zase nic nestane.

 
  
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  Benoît Biteau, au nom du groupe Verts/ALE. – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, la guerre en Ukraine a ouvert un nouvel angle dans les cyniques logiques spéculatives mises en place par les multinationales depuis des décennies sur la nourriture. Moscou connaissait notre dépendance au gaz et aux engrais. Moscou connaissait la dépendance de certains pays du bassin méditerranéen au blé de la mer Noire. Poutine a utilisé nos faiblesses. L’OMC est un échec. Elle ne garantit plus la circulation fluide des aliments. Elle a créé les déséquilibres dont nous souffrons. Cette organisation doit être réformée ou elle disparaîtra.

Notre devoir est la mise en œuvre de la souveraineté alimentaire. Notre agriculture est trop dépendante des énergies fossiles. Les coûts de production des agriculteurs ont explosé. Les enseignes des supermarchés, les multinationales de l’alimentation n’ont pas répercuté ces augmentations sur le prix des paysans. Imposons des prix justes!

De l’autre côté, de plus en plus de citoyens européens doivent sauter des repas et recourir à l’aide alimentaire, résultat d’années de politiques antisociales qui ont cassé et précarisé. Protégeons le droit à l’alimentation! Madame von der Leyen, les causes de l’inflation sur l’alimentation sont connues. Les conséquences sont visibles de tous. Ce n’est pas d’experts, mais de courage politique que nous avons besoin pour affronter le problème.

 
  
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  Jorge Buxadé Villalba, en nombre del Grupo ECR. – Señor presidente, señor comisario, es una broma insultante que, a menos de veinticuatro horas de votar el Reglamento sobre la restauración de la naturaleza, organicen un debate sobre cómo atajar la inflación de los precios agrícolas.

Les voy a decir lo que produce inflación: que un hombre de campo necesite un asesor fiscal, un gestor administrativo, un agrónomo, un veterinario y un laboratorio de análisis para poder regar, segar, sembrar, criar o sacrificar su ganado sin ser sancionado o recibir lo que en justicia le pertenece; las ridículas obligaciones ambientales impuestas por quienes en Bruselas trabajan de 9 a 5 con parada para comer; prohibir fitosanitarios sin dar una alternativa viable al mismo precio; la suicida política energética; depender de terceros países en materias primas o fertilizantes, quedando en manos de la especulación financiera de los mercados de futuros; los barbechos obligatorios; reducir la tierra cultivable; la perspectiva de género en la PAC; las razias de los inspectores; reducir la producción europea o criminalizar al agricultor producen inflación. Emitir billetes a mansalva para ocultar que su Pacto Verde es un plan de despidos masivos produce inflación.

Ustedes y su fanatismo producen inflación, así que la solución es clara: desalojarlos a ustedes en junio, derogar el Pacto Verde, recuperar la preferencia nacional y comunitaria, cortar el grifo a Marruecos y controlar en serio, no a los agricultores, sino lo que entra por Róterdam o por Algeciras.

 
  
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  Guido Reil, im Namen der ID-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Wir reden heute über die Bekämpfung der Inflation, der Lebensmittelpreise und ihrer sozialen Folgen und Grundursachen. Die Lebensmittelpreise sind tatsächlich in den letzten zwei Jahren um dramatische 29 Prozent gestiegen. Krasse Beispiele: Zucker 74 Prozent, Weizenmehl 69 Prozent, Margarine 50 Prozent.

Was bedeutet das? Menschen werden in die Armut getrieben. Arme Menschen hungern. Besonders stark betroffen: unsere Rentner, die Menschen, die den Wohlstand in unserem Land erarbeitet haben. Die, die da Abhilfe schaffen, sind in Deutschland übrigens Ehrenamtler an den deutschen Tafeln. 1 000 Tafeln haben wir mittlerweile, und die kümmern sich um fast 2 Millionen Bedürftige. Die Tafeln müssen die größte Not lindern. Not, für die Politiker gesorgt haben.

Denn was sind die wirklichen Ursachen? Interessant ist: Die Lebensmittelpreise sinken global, sie steigen nur in Europa. Global sind sie mittlerweile wieder auf dem Stand von 2021. Eine Studie des amerikanischen Landwirtschaftsministeriums von 2020 hat vorhergesagt: Setzt Europa den Green Deal um, steigen die Pro-Kopf-Preise der Lebensmittel um 150 Dollar. Das haben sie 2020 vorhergesagt. Wer die Lebensmittelpreise senken will, der muss den Green Deal auf den Misthaufen der Geschichte schmeißen!

 
  
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  Luke Ming Flanagan, on behalf of the The Left Group. – Mr President, for me, the most important part of this title of this debate is the root causes. What are the root causes of price inflation? For me, it is globalised food supply chains. In a globalised world, depending on goods from faraway producers, it does not give stability of supply and therefore it does not give price stability.

We in the European Union promote this policy – you do – with your mantra of free trade pitting farmer against farmer on the opposite sides of the globe. The only winners are the multinationals manipulating the price to the detriment of the consumer.

And secondly, deliberately shifting production to where it can be produced cheaply leaves countries open to price shocks when an external event happens. If the Russian invasion of Ukraine had happened two decades ago, it would not have had much of a negative effect on the world market. We allowed the dependence on imported grain to grow and exposed ourselves to volition in price. We should aim for food sovereignty, where countries feed themselves. In the long term, this is the only solution. So if you’re looking for the root cause, you’re the root cause – your policies.

 
  
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  Κώστας Παπαδάκης (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, οι πλατιές λαϊκές δυνάμεις κατανοούν ότι η πολιτική της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης εκτοξεύει τον πληθωρισμό και την ακρίβεια. Δείτε στον περίβολο του κτιρίου του Συμβουλίου, στις Βρυξέλλες, που αγροτοπαραγωγοί διαδηλώνουν ενάντια στην ΚΓΠ. Με αυτήν τη στρατηγική, την πράσινη μετάβαση, το χρηματιστήριο της ενέργειας, το Ταμείο Ανάκαμψης, που όλοι σας ψηφίσατε, θησαυρίζουν οι αγροτοβιομήχανοι και τα σουπερμάρκετ, ξεκληρίζοντας τους βιοπαλαιστές αγρότες.

Τα δημοσιονομικά όρια σας είναι «λάστιχο» όταν δίνετε 50 δισ. EUR στην Ουκρανία. Κοροϊδία είναι και η επαναδιαπραγμάτευση της ΚΓΠ που επικαλούνται η κυβέρνηση της Νέας Δημοκρατίας στην Ελλάδα και η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, γιατί με ορισμένες αναβολές επιμέρους μέτρων και ελέγχων δεν μπορούν να βγουν οι βιοπαλαιστές αγρότες από τη φτώχεια και τα αδιέξοδα. Ο αντιλαϊκός στόχος σας είναι να διασώσετε και να διαιωνίσετε την ΚΓΠ από την οργή των αγωνιζόμενων αγροτών.

Αυτοί όμως συνεχίζουν και στην Ελλάδα, διαδηλώνοντας με τους εργάτες στην απεργία την Τετάρτη, απαιτώντας ουσιαστική ανακούφιση με αφορολόγητο πετρέλαιο, ρεύμα στα 7 λεπτά, αποζημιώσεις για τις πλημμύρες και τις καταστροφές, εγγυημένες τιμές ενάντια στην ΚΓΠ και την ακρίβεια της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και των κυβερνήσεων.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE). – Senhor Presidente, Caras e Caros colegas, mais do que declarações e proclamações da Comissão e do Conselho, nós precisamos de ação, de ações a favor dos agricultores e dos cidadãos europeus. Estes pagam cada vez mais preços mais caros nos alimentos e os agricultores recebem cada vez menos.

É preciso um plano de ação à escala europeia, coordenado, para evitar a especulação e para nós reforçarmos a nossa autonomia, nomeadamente na questão dos fertilizantes e daquilo que está a aumentar os preços e os fatores de produção.

E os Estados-Membros têm de fazer a sua parte. No meu país há 1200 taxas sobre os agricultores. Nós podemos usar os planos de recuperação e resiliência para ajudar os agricultores a combater a seca, para armazenarmos a água e geri-la de forma eficiente. Para além disso, podemos e devemos avançar com instrumentos de capitalização das pequenas e médias empresas para, inclusivamente, as ajudar a renegociar as suas dívidas.

Está nas nossas mãos ajudar efetivamente os agricultores.

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D). – Domnule președinte, domnule comisar, stimați colegi, discutăm despre inflația prețurilor la alimente. Domnule comisar, ați venit și ne-ați spus o poveste aici. Nu s-a întâmplat nimic. Vorbim de cauze, cauze profunde. Știți care este cauza profundă? Specula, domnule comisar, pentru că se speculează. Fermierul își vinde cu mai puțin grâul, dar pâinea e mai scumpă pe raft. Fermierul își vinde cu mai puțin laptele, dar produsele lactate pe raft sunt mai scumpe.

De ce? Pentru că nu se intervine la cei care fac speculă. Cine? Marile magazine, hipermarketurile. Ce putere de negociere să aibă un mic producător cu acești coloși? Nu. Și spuneați de inputuri. Ce s-a făcut? Combustibilul, energia, fermierii sunt la pământ. Și nu, nu v-am mobilizat și pe domnul comisar al agriculturii nu l-a mobilizat nici ce se întâmplă și astăzi la Bruxelles. Domnule comisar, ori vrem să salvăm agricultura europeană și să nu sărăcim și să nu moară oamenii de foame, ori atunci cred foarte tare că nu vă pasă de oameni. Oamenii, milioane, zeci de milioane de oameni nu mai au ce mânca, nu își mai permit din salarii și din pensii să-și cumpere la prețurile despre care astăzi noi vorbim și nu există nicio măsură concretă și n-ați prezentat aici nicio măsură concretă.

 
  
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  Max Orville (Renew). – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, la lutte contre l’augmentation des prix de l’alimentation est notre priorité. Ce sont des centimes, des euros en plus qui, mis bout à bout, détériorent la vie quotidienne des Européens. Combien de familles sont confrontées à un choix difficile à faire entre se nourrir correctement et répondre à d’autres besoins essentiels?

Nous devons agir avec des mesures d’urgence: aides ciblées pour les plus vulnérables, blocage des prix, panier anti-inflation. Nous devons aussi combattre les causes de cette inflation en régulant la production et l’approvisionnement des matières premières, en protégeant le pouvoir d’achat. Il faut continuer de baisser le prix de l’énergie pour une production moins coûteuse, aider nos agriculteurs à produire des matières premières abordables tout en leur assurant un revenu juste, augmenter la transparence dans la chaîne d’approvisionnement, encadrer les pratiques spéculatives pour rééquilibrer le prix des produits dans nos rayons. L’Europe peut et doit surmonter ce défi de la vie chère.

 
  
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  Thomas Waitz (Verts/ALE). – Herr Präsident, Herr Kommissar! Gut ein Viertel der Inflation bei Lebensmitteln kommt von Lebensmittelspekulation. Aber damit meine ich nicht den Handel an den Börsen, sondern die Wettgeschäfte auf steigende oder fallende Preise. Die Kommission hat zugesagt, sich das anzusehen und etwas dagegen zu unternehmen. Meine konkrete Frage ist: Was haben Sie dagegen unternommen, oder was gedenken Sie zu unternehmen?

Etwa 10 Prozent der Preissteigerungen sind weder mit Spekulation noch mit gestiegenen Produktionskosten zu erklären. Es liegt hier die Vermutung nahe, dass es Kartellbildungen sowohl bei den Verarbeitern als auch im Einzelhandel gibt. Was können Sie uns da an konkreten Ergebnissen geben, was es kartellmäßig für Verfahren gibt?

Und die Produktionskosten für die Landwirtschaft: Wir sind hier in einer fossilen Preisfalle gefangen, während die Unternehmen, die Dünger herstellen, ihren Umsatz und ihre Gewinne 2022 verdoppelt haben – Bayer Agrar plus 82 Prozent, BASF plus 71 Prozent, Syngenta plus 32 Prozent. Die verdienen sehr gutes Geld an diesem Geschäft. Den Preis zahlen die Bauern und Bäuerinnen und die Kundinnen und Kunden im Supermarkt. Dagegen müssen wir dringend etwas unternehmen. Und ich frage Sie: Was ist Ihr Plan dazu? Was ist Ihr Konzept? Was sind Ihre Antworten? Es ist dringend.

 
  
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  Bert-Jan Ruissen (ECR). – Voorzitter, commissaris, dat onze dagelijkse boodschappen veel duurder zijn geworden, staat niet op zichzelf. Het is gekoppeld aan de algehele inflatie die mede is veroorzaakt door een falende ECB die veel te lang doorgegaan is met het pompen van geld in de economie. Les één is daarom: ECB, hou je aan je mandaat, namelijk zorgen voor prijsstabiliteit.

Les twee is: laten we zuinig zijn op onze landbouw en visserij. Om de consumenten te kunnen voorzien van goed en betaalbaar voedsel hebben we moderne concurrentiekrachtige bedrijven nodig. Geef daarom ruimte aan ondernemerschap en stop met de alsmaar groeiende wirwar aan regelgeving.

En les drie: laten we nog eens beter kijken naar de verdeling van de marges in de keten. Hoe zit het met de winstmarges bij de supermarkten bijvoorbeeld? Alles wijst er immers op dat niet de boeren, maar de schakels verderop in de keten de prijzen hebben opgedreven.

 
  
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  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (Renew). – Señor presidente, señor comisario, la subida del precio de la cesta de la compra vinculada a factores coyunturales, como la invasión de Ucrania, obliga, para empezar, a promover un esquema europeo que ordene ayudas progresivas para proteger a los consumidores más vulnerables, pero hay que atacar otros problemas estructurales aportando transparencia al proceso mediante el cual cada subsector ajusta su renta a las circunstancias, lo que propiciará márgenes más justos para todos. También es necesario controlar mejor las importaciones que comprometan la competencia equitativa con los productores locales.

Hoy, el eslabón más débil de la cadena alimentaria son los productores. Hay que explorar todas las posibilidades que nos ofrecen tanto la ley que regula su funcionamiento como las políticas agraria y pesquera común.

«Unida en la diversidad» es un eslogan que vale también para la PAC y para la PPC, que deben mejorar, simplificar y acercar a los beneficiarios la gestión y el reparto de los recursos.

Impulsar la rentabilidad económica, social y ambiental de las explotaciones es más fácil con programas más simples y adaptados a realidades mucho más diversas que las que expresan hoy muchos planes nacionales.

 
  
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  Vlad-Marius Botoş (Renew). – Domnule președinte, domnule comisar, nu am să folosesc un ton atât de ridicat cum au făcut-o alți colegi, însă voi fi la fel de ferm și direct. Vorbim despre o uniune economică, dar și despre o uniune socială, însă vedem cum mulți oameni nu-și mai permit sau nu și-au permis niciodată alimente sănătoase, hrană variată, în așa fel încât să își asigure aportul necesar pentru o viață sănătoasă. Este clar că ceva nu funcționează. Produsele alimentare sănătoase, la prețuri accesibile, trebuie să fie normalitatea, nu un lux pe care și-l pot permite doar unii.

Dacă inflația poate să afecteze alte domenii, este important să ne asigurăm că alimentele de bază nu devin inaccesibile pentru cetățenii Uniunii Europene, pentru că fiecare dintre ei, pentru o populație bolnavă, înseamnă o Uniune slăbită dincolo de nivelul de siguranță. Avem nevoie de politici agricole solide, care să asigure atât locurile de muncă ale agricultorilor, cât și accesul cetățenilor la hrană sănătoasă. Trebuie să trecem dincolo de ideologie și să avem o abordare extrem de pragmatică pentru a găsi cea mai bună soluție.

 
  
 

Spontane Wortmeldungen

 
  
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  Željana Zovko (PPE). – Poštovani predsjedavajući! Pandemija koronavirusa, ruska agresija na Ukrajinu i energetska kriza ostavile su dubok trag na naše gospodarstvo, osobito na rast cijena prehrambenih proizvoda protiv čijeg povećanja se moramo dalje ustrajno i snažno boriti.

Hrvatska u toj borbi može poslužiti kao primjer i drugim zemljama članicama Europske unije s obzirom na to da naša Vlada, pod vodstvom premijera Plenkovića, bilježi jedan od najboljih, najbržih oporavaka nakon pandemije u protekle četiri godine. Donošenje efikasnog paketa mjera i pomoći u vrijednosti od preko 7,2 milijarde EUR kojima je Vlada zaštitila gospodarstvo i ograničila rast cijena prehrambenim proizvodima bio je državnički potez u ovim kriznim vremenima.

Nažalost, i dalje bilježimo porast štetnih trgovačkih praksi i svjedočimo pokušajima da se u jeku inflacije ostvari profit neutemeljenim povećanjem cijena prehrambenih proizvoda. Zato radimo na osiguranju konkurentne Europe koja potiče gospodarski rast, stvara kvalitetna radna mjesta te jača prosperitet i socijalnu pravdu za sve svoje građane.

 
  
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  Juozas Olekas (S&D). – Pirmininke, gerbiamas Komisijos nary. Jūs labai tiksliai pastebėjote, kad maisto produktų infliacija labiausiai palietė Rytų ir Vidurio Europos blokų šalis, kur maisto kainos sudaro didelį pajamų krepšelio dalį. Taip pat jūs pastebėjote, kad iš tikrųjų yra skirtumas, ką gauna vartotojas, kiek sumoka, ir ką gauna ūkininkas. Noriu pastebėti, kad Komisija yra skolinga dar Rytų Europos ūkininkams pažadą išlyginti tiesioginių išmokų, išorinės konvergencijos, kurios nėra iki šiol padaryta. Jūs paminėjote pridėtinės vertės mokesčio sumažinimą. Gal galėtumėte pateikti konkrečius skaičius ir rekomendacijas, kad tose šalyse, kur pridėtinės vertės mokestis maisto produktams yra aukštas, jis galėtų būti sumažintas? Todėl mes reikalaujame, kad Komisija pasiūlytų bendrą Europos Sąjungos atsaką, konkrečių veiksmų planą. Prašom tą perduoti ir ponui Komisijos nariui J. Wojciechowskiui.

 
  
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  Clare Daly (The Left). – Mr President, a Barnardo’s study last year found that 10 % of families in Ireland are now using food banks. A third of parents either skip meals or eat less in order to feed their children, and families with children have costing them 22 % more to put food on the table last year than it was the year before.

We know across Europe and Britain, 5.7 million people were pushed into food insecurity. Shoplifting is at 15 % for food in France and 25 % in the Netherlands. As one UN special rapporteur has said, the impoverishment of Europeans is manifesting itself most visibly on the food front.

Ordinary people are caught in the vice, being squeezed tighter and tighter by war, sanctions and neoliberal capitalism, and all our leaders can offer us is more of the same. They serve up a daily diet of polarisation and culture wars instead of any solutions. Something is going to give. If we don’t change course, it could be so-called European democracy.

 
  
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  Marc Tarabella (NI). – Monsieur le Président, les prix des denrées alimentaires continuent de progresser plus rapidement que l’inflation dans près de 80 % des pays du monde. Cette hausse est dramatique pour de nombreux ménages européens et fragilise encore plus ceux qui étaient déjà dans la précarité. Le prix élevé des denrées alimentaires est un accélérateur de pauvreté. Il est temps de sonner l’alarme!

Nous débattons ici en plénière et en commission parlementaire tous les mois, mais la situation est à chaque fois plus préoccupante. Et à qui profite le crime? Pas aux citoyens, en tout cas. Pas non plus aux agriculteurs, à la base même de toute alimentation, mais clairement pas conviés au banquet des bénéficiaires.

Il est temps, chers collègues, de déterminer qui amasse ces profits indus et qui agit de manière masquée. Je vise surtout les spéculateurs, qui ne sont pas les acteurs utiles de la chaîne alimentaire, mais bien des parasites de celle-ci.

 
  
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  Franc Bogovič (PPE). – Gospod predsednik! Kot vemo, je podražitev hrane zelo velika, 29 % in poleg podražitve energentov to zelo pritiska na stanje ljudi. Po drugi strani pa je tudi dejstvo, da je delež, ki ga dobimo kmetje za kmetijske pridelke, manjši in manjši. Danes pa kmet dobi samo še eno četrtino tega, kar plačajo potrošniki.

Zato kmetje upravičeno protestirajo najprej proti dohodkovnemu položaju v prehranski verigi, neupravičena razmerja so v tej verigi, drugo, za kar kmetje protestirajo, so tudi dodatna okoljska in administrativna bremena in ne nazadnje tudi uvoz hrane iz drugih delov sveta.

Dodatna bremena pa dajo, nalagajo tudi države, kot v Sloveniji obdavčitev na omejene dejavnike, in tudi na tiste, ki imajo dopolnilne dejavnosti. Prihodek kmetov upada, zato mislim, da je prav, da ne zmanjšamo kmetijske politike, sredstev za skupno kmetijsko politiko, kot nekateri napovedujejo, in jo povečamo in naredimo vse za to, da se položaj kmetov v prehranski verigi izboljša.

Imamo konec koncev tudi direktivo o nepoštenih trgovinskih praksah. Prav je, da le ta zaživi.

 
  
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  Έλενα Κουντουρά (The Left). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, κύριε Επίτροπε, το κόστος ζωής στην Ευρώπη έχει αυξηθεί, όμως στην πατρίδα μου η ακρίβεια και η αισχροκέρδεια σαρώνουν την ελληνική κοινωνία. Στην Ελλάδα η αγοραστική δύναμη των νοικοκυριών έχει μειωθεί κατά 50%. Ο πληθωρισμός των τροφίμων είναι κατά 5,5 μονάδες υψηλότερος από τον ευρωπαϊκό μέσο όρο. Οι μισθοί και οι συντάξεις είναι έως και τρεις φορές χαμηλότεροι από άλλα ευρωπαϊκά κράτη, τη στιγμή που τα προϊόντα και οι υπηρεσίες είναι έως και τρεις φορές ακριβότερα. Οι μικρομεσαίες επιχειρήσεις ασφυκτιούν, η κοινωνία φτωχοποιείται, οι αγρότες αγωνίζονται για την επιβίωσή τους και χιλιάδες πολίτες χάνουν τις περιουσίες τους.

Κύριε Επίτροπε, σας κρούω τον κώδωνα του κινδύνου. Να λάβετε οριζόντια μέτρα για να αντιμετωπίσουμε τα ολιγοπώλια και τα καρτέλ που επιδίδονται σε πληθωρισμό απληστίας και αισχροκέρδειας με την ανοχή ορισμένων κυβερνήσεων. Να τεθεί πλαφόν στον συντελεστή κέρδους, στη χονδρεμπορική ρεύματος, 5% στην παραγωγή ηλεκτρικής ενέργειας· να τεθεί πλαφόν στο περιθώριο διύλισης· να φορολογηθούν τα υπερκέρδη και να ληφθούν άμεσα μέτρα για τα επιτόκια χορηγήσεων των τραπεζών.

 
  
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  President. – Thank you, colleague. The next on my list for catch-the-eye is Mick Wallace. I would remind you to be present during the debate for catch-the-eye.

 
  
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  Mick Wallace (The Left). – Mr President, thank you very much. I’m sorry, I am nearly always here for all the debate, but something happened and I had to go. I’m sorry, but thanks for letting me in.

In 2023, the IMF said rising corporate profit margins are responsible for almost half of Europe’s inflation. Big business and politicians in suits are forever telling us that spiralling wage demands are the problem. But the real problem is greedflation. Supermarket multinationals are gouging consumers. They’re also gouging farmers. Consumers have been paying crazy prices for a weekly shop and yet farmers are still being squeezed by the same retailers.

And let’s not forget that the latest CAP was negotiated based on 2 % inflation. But inflation has been running at close to 10 % for the last two years – tough going for the 80 % of farmers who only get 20 % of the CAP money.

Price cuts for consumers cannot come at the expense of farmers and producers. Price cuts must be funded from the margins of the supermarket chains. We have a new agri-food regulator in Ireland now, but if he hasn’t got the power to tackle greedflation for farmers and consumers, then his role won’t amount to very much.

 
  
 

(Ende der spontanen Wortmeldungen)

 
  
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  Wopke Hoekstra, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, honourable Members, thank you very much also for the various remarks and the rich debate and the input you all just gave. I think the one thing we do agree on is that we need a food system that is fair, with fair rewards for literally everyone. And if you allow me, I would try to sum up my response in four quick points.

First, I clearly took note of the rich contributions to the debate, and I will make sure that all the various points will be filtered back to Commissioner Wojciechowski, to President von der Leyen, and to the points Madam Jongerius made specifically on the social labour market to Commissioner Schmit.

Secondly, let me reiterate once again that the President and the whole Commission takes the discussion with the farmers and with the whole sector, the whole food chain, very seriously. And that means that we are not only talking to the farmers, but also we are getting input from workers, rural communities, consumer groups, as well as from the financial sector and academia, just to make sure we get a very clear perspective.

And this way the dialogue will help us to get informed and make sure that we come up with a common agricultural policy that best supports the development of an EU agriculture that is at the same time competitive, sustainable and fair to both farmers and consumers.

Third, because many of these speakers ask what we can concretely do, the Commission is already working on concrete measures and will present these measures ahead of the March AGRIFISH Council, with a range of short, medium and longer-term actions, and these will be meant to improve the position of farmers in the food chain, protect them, as many stipulated, against unfair trading practices covering issues such as market transparency, governance and, if needed, improvement of unfair trading practices and other relevant legislation. And specific attention will go to measures related to margins, trading practices in the value chain and cost of production.

Fourth and finally, let me once again thank the Members of this esteemed House for their input. The support of this House and the input from everyone in our society, but certainly also from this Parliament will be absolutely essential for delivering on this agenda.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 171)

 
  
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  Csaba Molnár (S&D), írásban. – A közelmúltbeli válságok elképesztő mértékű gazdasági visszaesést eredményeztek. Gazdasági visszaesést, amelynek legnagyobb elszenvedői állampolgárainak és a gazdaság motorját adó kis- és közepes vállalkozások. A tagállamok statisztikái ugyanakkor felettébb eltérő különbségeket mutatnak az inflációs csúcsokat és az inflációs adatokat tekintve. Míg az euróövezetben a 2023. évi éves élelmiszer-infláció csúcsa 19,6 százalék volt, addig Magyarországon 2021. június és 2023 decembere között 56,3 százalékkal emelkedtek az élelmiszerárak. Az összevetés kedvéért, a közép-kelet-európai átlagos élelmiszer áremelkedés 36,4 százalék volt.

Ez a példa is jól mutatja, hogy az Európa-rekorder magyar inflációért Orbán Viktor és kormánya a felelős. Az az Orbán Viktor, aki hosszú ideig keresztbe tett az uniós költségvetés elfogadásának és az az Orbán Viktor, aki Putyin-barát politikát folytat az Unióban. Az orbáni infláció, a sorozatos hibás kormányzati döntések mára odáig vezettek, hogy egy átlagos magyar családnak is gondot okoz a bevásárlás.

Az Európai Unió viszont cselekszik és több intézkedést javasolt az élelmiszerbiztonság és a leginkább rászoruló személyeknek nyújtott segélyek garantálása érdekében. Szociáldemokrata európai parlamenti képviselőként feladatomnak tartom, hogy a magyar állampolgárok és vállalkozások is mielőbb részesülhessenek ezekből a forrásokból, amelyet a jelenlegi autokrata rendszer leváltását követően azonnal garantálni fogunk. Hiszen a milliárdos elit helyett mi a magyarok érdekeit képviseljük.

 
  
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  Waldemar Tomaszewski (ECR), raštu. – Auganti maisto kainų infliacija turi neigiamų socialinių padarinių visoje ES. Nuo 2016 metų mažėja aprūpinimas maistu, nuo to kenčia mažiausiai pasiturintys žmonės. Mažas pajamas gaunantys namų ūkiai dėl didelių kainų patiria dar daugiau sunkumų. Todėl turime apsaugoti visuomenę nuo nekontroliuojamo maisto kainų augimo. Eurostato duomenimis, 2023 metais maisto kainos Sąjungoje buvo 19 proc. didesnės nei ankstesniais metais. Deja, ši neigiama tendencija išlieka ir 2024 metų pradžioje – jos augimas siekia 6,1 proc. Tai vyksta nepaisant to, kad Sąjunga pirmauja pasaulyje žemės ūkio ir maisto produktų gamyboje. Turime tai pakeisti savo piliečių labui. Kad galėtume tai padaryti, reikia nustatyti tokio didelio maisto produktų kainų infliacijos augimo priežastį. Yra ir daugiau veiksnių, nulėmusių tokią situaciją Europoje. Tai didelės energijos ir degalų kainos, prekybininkai, nesąžininga prekybos centrų praktika, aukštos maržos, labai išaugusios produktų ir prekių kainos. Visa tai –neteisingai organizuotos Europos Sąjungos klimato politikos, kuri dėl biurokratiškai nustatytų žemės ūkio gamybos apribojimų ir drakoniškų CO2 išmetimo apribojimų lemia kainų didinimą ir infliaciją, rezultatas. Tai galima pakeisti peržiūrint klimato direktyvas, kad jos tarnautų žmonėms, o ne ideologijai. Priimdama sprendimus Europos Komisija turi atsižvelgti į mažas pajamas gaunančias ir pažeidžiamas grupes, kurios yra labiausiai paveiktos kainų didėjimo, kontroliuoti nesąžiningai išpūstas maržas ir tarpininkų veiklą.

 

19. Detergents and surfactants (debate)
Video of the speeches
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  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über den Bericht von Manuela Ripa im Namen des Ausschusses für Umweltfragen, öffentliche Gesundheit und Lebensmittelsicherheit über den Vorschlag für eine Verordnung des Europäischen Parlaments und des Rates über Detergenzien und Tenside, zur Änderung der Verordnung (EU) 2019/1020 und zur Aufhebung der Verordnung (EG) Nr. 648/2004 (COM(2023)0217 – C9-0154/2023 – 2023/0124(COD)) (A9-0039/2024).

 
  
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  Manuela Ripa, Berichterstatterin. – Herr Präsident, sehr geehrter Herr Kommissar Breton, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Heute geht es um einen Bericht, der jeden von uns in diesem Hause, aber auch jede Europäerin und jeden Europäer täglich betrifft. Es geht um Wasch- und Reinigungsmittel, auch Detergenzien genannt. Die Herstellung von Detergenzien sichert Arbeitsplätze in Europa und versorgt uns Verbraucher mit hochwertigen Produkten. Viele Unternehmen haben bereits gezeigt, dass es einen Markt für innovative, sichere, saubere, nachhaltige und kreislauffähige Produkte gibt. Derzeit bietet die Politik jedoch keine ausreichende Unterstützung für diese europäischen Vorreiter. Daher kommt der Vorschlag für eine Überarbeitung dieses Sektors genau zum richtigen Zeitpunkt und ich möchte der Kommission dafür danken.

Jedoch hat der Gesetzesvorschlag wesentliche Elemente des Verbraucherschutzes, des Gesundheitsschutzes und des Umweltschutzes ausgelassen. Gemeinsam mit den Schattenberichterstattern ist es gelungen, den Kommissionsvorschlag nachzubessern. Ich möchte hier die Gelegenheit nutzen, um mich für die gute Zusammenarbeit mit den Schattenberichterstattern zu bedanken. Der Kommissionsvorschlag ließ Fortschritte in Richtung nachhaltiger Detergenzien fast völlig außer Acht. Wir konnten den Geltungsbereich erweitern und somit die Möglichkeit schaffen, die Wettbewerbsfähigkeit und Innovationsfähigkeit für nachhaltige Detergenzien auf dem europäischen Markt zu steigern.

Folgende Bereiche haben wir nachgebessert: Zunächst einmal müssen unsere Waschmittel mehr für den Gewässerschutz tun. Wir haben ehrgeizigere Schwellenwerte für die Verringerung des Phosphat- und Phosphorgehalts in Detergenzien eingeführt, darunter zum ersten Mal auch für industrielle Produkte. Warum ist das wichtig? Phosphate gehören zu jenen Stoffen, die mit am meisten zu dem in Europa weit verbreiteten Problem der Eutrophierung der Gewässer beitragen. Es gibt zahlreiche Beispiele von Herstellern, die Phosphate in ihren Produkten schon aus dem Verkehr gezogen haben. Um die Innovation in diesem Sektor weiter zu fördern, werden die Schwellenwerte für den Gesamtphosphorgehalt in Verbraucher- und Industrieprodukten deshalb verschärft.

Ein weiterer Schritt für mehr Umweltschutz war die dringend benötigte bessere biologische Abbaubarkeit der Detergenzien. Derzeit können Detergenzien verschiedene Stoffe enthalten, die gefährlich und in der Umwelt langlebig sind. Dadurch stellen sie potenzielle Risiken für Ökosysteme sowie für die Gesundheit von Mensch und Tier dar. Dem sind wir klar entgegengetreten und haben den Kommissionsvorschlag fitgemacht. Denn auch hier gibt es einen der größten Hersteller, der bereits öffentlich gemacht hat, eine vollständige biologische Abbaubarkeit erreichen zu wollen. Mit diesem Bericht gerät die europäische Gesetzgebung somit in diesen Bereichen nicht in Rückstand, sondern schafft vielmehr Anreize für weitere Hersteller, mehr für den Gewässerschutz und Gesundheitsschutz zu tun.

Zudem sorgt der Bericht für gleiche Wettbewerbsbedingungen. Auch der Verbraucherschutz wird in dem Bericht großgeschrieben. Bürgerinnen und Bürger müssen beim Kauf eines Produktes mit einem Blick in der Lage sein, zu erkennen, was sie kaufen. Deshalb sollen die Wasch- und Reinigungsmittel mit lesbaren und verständlichen Etiketten versehen werden, die die wichtigsten Informationen direkt auf dem Produkt enthalten. Das Gleiche soll für Nachfüllprodukte gelten. Der Kommissionsvorschlag wird zudem angepasst, sodass Verbraucher über alle Inhaltsstoffe und insbesondere über allergene Stoffe direkt auf dem Produkt informiert werden. Digitale Etiketten können bei Bedarf zusätzliche Informationen liefern.

Um Überdosierung von Waschmitteln zu vermeiden, wird es zudem sichtbarere Messskalen auch für eine niedrige Dosierung auf den Deckeln und Bechern geben. Denn derzeit verwenden viele Verbraucher unwissentlich zu viel Waschmittel, was zu höherer und unnötiger Umweltverschmutzung und Allergien führen kann.

Schließlich gehen wir in diesem Bericht mit der Zeit und verbieten unnötige Tierversuche. Die klare Botschaft ist, unnötige Tierversuche generell abzuschaffen und zu tierversuchsfreien Alternativen überzugehen, um die Sicherheit von Produkten zu gewährleisten. Wir haben auch zum ersten Mal klare Regeln für vegane Kennzeichnung eingeführt. Dennoch hätte ich mir in diesem Bericht beim Verbot gefährlicher Stoffe klar mehr gewünscht. Hier ist es nur gelungen, eine Überprüfungsklausel einzuführen. Das ist eine Verzögerung auf dem Weg zu einer giftfreien Umwelt.

Abschließend möchte ich mich nochmals bei meinen Kollegen herzlich für ihre Mitarbeit bedanken und hoffe, dass sie meine Zufriedenheit mit dem Endergebnis unserer gemeinsamen Arbeit teilen.

 
  
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  Thierry Breton, membre de la Commission. – Monsieur le Président, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, tout d’abord, je voudrais, si vous le permettez, saluer le travail de madame la rapporteure Ripa, ainsi que celui de la rapporteure pour avis, madame Carvalho, qui ont su faire avancer ce dossier important au sein de leurs commissions parlementaires respectives, ENVI et IMCO.

Les détergents et les agents de surface jouent un rôle central dans notre quotidien, bien sûr, on le sait toutes et tous, pour l’hygiène, la santé et en particulier aussi dans les espaces publics, dans les hôpitaux, les hôtels ou encore les restaurants. Dans ce contexte, la Commission a proposé une révision ciblée des règles existantes sur les détergents, avec un double impératif: d’une part, s’assurer que les détergents soient sûrs pour les consommateurs comme pour les professionnels et, d’autre part, qu’ils répondent aux exigences environnementales portées par l’Europe.

La Commission salue les progrès effectués par le Parlement européen sur notre proposition, qui nous permettront de débuter, je l’espère, les négociations interinstitutionnelles dès cet automne. Cette proposition, je vous le rappelle, a trois objectifs.

Tout d’abord, elle vise à simplifier les règles, puisque certaines dispositions, comme vous le savez, sont devenues superflues, voire redondantes, du fait notamment de l’évolution du cadre législatif général applicable aux détergents, comme pour les règles relatives, par exemple, à l’étiquetage. Il était donc nécessaire d’y mettre de l’ordre.

Deuxièmement, il fallait adapter les règles aux évolutions du marché ainsi qu’aux avancées technologiques, qui sont nombreuses, notamment en matière de numérisation. Grâce à cette proposition, les produits innovants contenant des micro-organismes et la vente de recharges de détergents seront désormais explicitement couverts par le règlement. Cela va évidemment renforcer la sécurité et l’information des consommateurs, mais aussi permettre de proposer des alternatives innovantes et durables aux produits chimiques dangereux actuels.

De plus, cette proposition introduit la possibilité d’un étiquetage numérique. Cela se fera bien sûr sur une base volontaire, mais avec un triple avantage: une réduction des coûts pour l’industrie, en particulier pour les PME (on sait qu’elles y sont très sensibles); une réduction des coûts environnementaux, avec une mise à jour moins fréquente des étiquettes papier et, enfin, toujours plus de transparence pour les consommateurs.

Troisièmement, la proposition de la Commission vient renforcer la surveillance du marché en introduisant un passeport de produit spécifiquement conçu pour les détergents. Grâce à ce nouvel outil, nous allons étoffer nos capacités de filtrage pour ne laisser entrer sur le marché intérieur que les détergents sûrs et conformes aux règles européennes.

Mesdames et Messieurs les députés de la commission ENVI et, évidemment, tous ceux qui sont là très nombreux ce soir, je voudrais rappeler que le rapport de la commission ENVI et les amendements qu’il comporte prouvent que le Parlement européen saisit l’importance de cette proposition. Dans l’ensemble, ce rapport est même très encourageant. Ceci dit, la Commission réserve évidemment sa position à ce stade de la procédure. Il reste en effet quelques points à discuter, comme vous l’imaginez.

Cependant, avant de lancer le débat, permettez-moi un aparté essentiel. Cela concerne la place de l’industrie chimique au sein de l’Union européenne. Bien sûr, le règlement dont nous discutons ce soir, comme d’autres sur les étiquetages, sur les jouets et sur les engrais, soutient l’innovation et réduit les coûts administratifs. Il améliore aussi la performance environnementale et sanitaire des produits chimiques, ce qui est essentiel. Mais cette approche sectorielle n’est plus suffisante. Face à la hausse des coûts de l’énergie, face à une concurrence souvent déloyale des pays tiers, face au besoin primordial d’une industrie chimique forte en Europe pour notre double transition, mais aussi pour notre résilience, je pense qu’il est temps d’envisager un véritable changement de paradigme.

Et cela passe selon moi par un Chemical Act, c’est-à-dire par une approche intégrée de la filière chimique, de la recherche jusqu’au déploiement, qui se nourrisse du travail effectué en cocréation dans le contexte du parcours de transition et qui permette, premièrement, de renforcer le leadership européen en matière de recherche et d’innovation vers les substances chimiques les plus sûres du monde, deuxièmement, de maintenir une capacité manufacturière suffisante pour ces produits et technologies critiques, et enfin, de favoriser, grâce à une coordination de la chaîne de valeur, l’émergence de projets transfrontaliers et d’attirer compétences et talents.

Cette initiative n’est évidemment pas pour demain, mais elle me semble indispensable à très court terme pour s’assurer que l’Europe continue de bénéficier de l’industrie chimique la plus performante au monde.

 
  
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  Francesca Peppucci, a nome del gruppo PPE. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, perché è importante parlare di detergenti? È importante perché quando si parla di detergenti, si parla di pulizia. Se si parla di pulizia, si parla di sanificazione e se si parla di sanificazione, si parla di salute umana. Ed è evidente come questo fattore sia stato significativo e rilevante in una situazione come quella di lotta al COVID.

Da venti anni aspettavamo una riforma del regolamento sui detergenti in grado di fornire un settore sempre più competitivo e sostenibile, quindi rispettoso dell'ambiente, senza però rinunciare ad efficacia e soprattutto a modernità. Ma soprattutto offrire al consumatore una maggiore consapevolezza di quello che acquista, dando la possibilità di avere un'etichetta digitale in grado di dare maggiori informazioni e permettere alle imprese di distinguersi sul mercato. Non solo: passi in avanti sull'importanza della biodegradabilità, sul consumo corretto dei prodotti in termini di quantità, ma anche rispetto ai test sugli animali che devono essere evitati categoricamente.

È stato fatto un grande lavoro, cercando di coniugare le necessità dell'impresa e del consumatore, senza agire per ideologia ma secondo il buon senso e l'attenzione che questo settore merita.

 
  
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  Maria Arena, au nom du groupe S&D. – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, la proposition de la Commission sur la révision du règlement concernant les détergents s’est malheureusement révélée être une occasion manquée dans le cadre du pacte vert, se limitant à une simple adaptation du développement du marché, sans grande ambition en matière de durabilité, d’économie circulaire ou de meilleure protection de la santé des citoyens et de l’environnement.

Nous avons donc, en commission de l’environnement, et vous l’avez dit, tenté de corriger ces manques –, et je tiens à saluer particulièrement le travail de madame Ripa, qui a permis effectivement des négociations constructives dans le cadre de la commission ENVI. Plus particulièrement dans ce rapport, nous proposons trois points importants. Premièrement, de réduire la pollution liée aux phosphates, qui a un impact dévastateur sur l’environnement; deuxièmement, d’aller à moyen terme vers des produits détergents en grande majorité biodégradables, de façon à réduire non seulement la pression sur l’environnement, mais aussi sur nos systèmes de retraitement des eaux usées, et, troisièmement, de limiter les tests sur les animaux.

Malheureusement, il n’a pas été possible de convaincre le PPE, l’ECR et ID d’interdire la présence des substances les plus dangereuses dans les détergents, en sachant pourtant que ces produits, on l’a dit, font partie de notre quotidien et que des milliers de travailleurs les utilisent chaque jour. Dans ce contexte, il aurait été légitime de saisir cette révision pour interdire ces substances dangereuses. Malgré tout, je pense que le travail qui a été fait au Parlement est un pas en avant, et je soutiendrai donc ce rapport.

 
  
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  Danilo Oscar Lancini, a nome del gruppo ID. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, domani voteremo la revisione del regolamento su detergenti e tensioattivi, che stabilisce le norme per l'immissione nel mercato dell'Unione di questi prodotti. La mia priorità è sempre stata un buon equilibrio tra la tutela dei consumatori ed un quadro normativo armonizzato e semplificato, garantendo al tempo stesso la competitività dell'industria e del settore.

Da un lato, il testo del Parlamento presenta regole chiare sulle etichettature che permettono un facile accesso alle informazioni necessarie per scelte di acquisto consapevoli. Dall'altro lato, si tengono in considerazione le recenti e future innovazioni del settore, i progressi compiuti e i tempi di transizione per permettere alle imprese di adeguarsi alle nuove regole.

È evidente l'ampia portata della proposta del Parlamento in termini di sostenibilità e ci tengo a sottolineare che per me è giusto l'obiettivo, ma troppo spesso sono sbagliati e controproducenti i metodi e le misure imposti dalla Commissione per raggiungere tali obiettivi, sotto lo scudo del Green Deal. Il testo non è perfetto e rimangono importanti criticità per i tensioattivi: ma questa volta è prevalso il buon senso che ha limitato le disposizioni ideologiche, che erano state inizialmente proposte dai gruppi di sinistra.

La revisione del regolamento in corso porterà a cambiamenti che avranno comunque un impatto sul settore. Ma l'entrata in vigore di questi requisiti è stata posticipata e vincolata ad una valutazione della Commissione, che dovrà tenere conto dei costi economici, della competitività delle nostre industrie, nonché dei reali benefici attesi per l'ambiente e la popolazione. Concludo dicendo che apprezzo il lavoro svolto su questo file e sono certo che le rimanenti criticità saranno risolte a livello di trilogo.

 
  
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  Anja Hazekamp, namens de Fractie The Left. – Voorzitter, wanneer we onze kleren wassen en onze huizen schoonmaken, dan vervuilen we het milieu en de planeet. Deze cynische werkelijkheid moet hoognodig veranderen. Nog te vaak zitten er schadelijke chemische stoffen in schoonmaakmiddelen die een gevaar vormen voor mens, dier en het milieu. Fosfaten uit wasmiddelen vervuilen ons water. De plastic verpakkingen zijn ook niet duurzaam.

Met deze wetswijziging maken we een heel goed begin met het opschonen van schoonmaakmiddelen. Ook het verbod op het gebruik van dierproeven voor schoonmaakmiddelen is een heel belangrijk aspect van deze wet. Maar er is méér nodig. Ik nodig daarom de Commissie met klem uit om een verbod in te stellen op alle gevaarlijke chemische stoffen en om de toevoeging van fosfaten uit te bannen.

En voorts ben ik van mening dat de Europese landbouwsubsidies moeten worden afgeschaft.

 
  
 

Spontane Wortmeldungen

 
  
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  Sirpa Pietikäinen (PPE). – Mr President, first of all I would like to thank the Commission for putting this proposal forward. But I would have hoped, as we can hear from the ENVI comments, that the ambition level would have been higher, knowing that a major load of the chemicals, both hazardous for the environment and hazardous for human health, are a big part of detergents and surfactants.

So I hope that this review will come soon. The good part of this regulation is the possibility for bio-based products, which we actually know are much more effective, also to combat antimicrobial resistance in hospitals. So this would be the way we should proceed, and in the long run ban all harmful substances and toxic substances, as well as phosphates, in detergents.

 
  
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  Mick Wallace (The Left). – Mr President, the ENVI report improves the Commission’s proposal to bring the regulation more in line with the necessary transition to zero pollution society.

However, perhaps the most significant and welcome aspect of the ENVI report is the introduction of a ban on animal testing for detergents. This is an important victory for animal rights, but let’s not forget that in the farm to fork strategy, the Commission also promised that it would propose a revision of the EU’s animal welfare legislation by the end of 2023. That never materialised. And in the Commission’s work programme for 2024, only one of the four animal welfare regulations the Commission promised to revise was even included – the one on the transport of animals. The promised proposal to transition to cage-free systems remains completely absent.

 
  
 

(Ende der spontanen Wortmeldungen)

 
  
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  Thierry Breton, membre de la Commission. – Monsieur le Président, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, tout d’abord, au nom de la Commission européenne, je voudrais vous remercier à nouveau pour vos efforts et votre engagement à faire de cette révision de règlement un succès. Je crois qu’on peut dire que nos échanges de ce soir sont la preuve de positions plutôt convergentes au sein du Parlement, et ce, grâce au travail excellent des rapporteurs sur ce dossier, que je tiens à souligner. Cela me conforte dans l’idée que désormais la Commission, de son côté, se tenant à la disposition du Parlement européen et du Conseil pour faciliter les échanges institutionnels, nous pouvons nous préparer à atteindre un accord dans la lignée des objectifs affichés par la Commission pour cette révision.

 
  
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  Manuela Ripa, Berichterstatterin. – Herr Präsident! Besten Dank für die Ausführungen an die Kollegen und besten Dank für die Ausführungen von Herrn Kommissar Breton und die Bereitschaft, zusammen weiter an diesem Dossier zu arbeiten in den Trilogverhandlungen. Ich möchte betonen, dass diese Überarbeitung eine erhebliche Verbesserung des Kommissionsvorschlags darstellt. Sie wird die Gesundheit unserer Bürgerinnen und Bürger schützen und ihre Einkäufe durch lesbare und verständliche Informationen auf den Produkten erleichtern.

Wir schützen unsere Ökosysteme und unsere aquatische Umwelt und verbessern damit den Wasser- und Gewässerschutz. Wir legen den Grundstein, dass Detergenzien in Zukunft nicht mehr auf Chemikalien basieren sollen, die aus fossilen Brennstoffen hergestellt werden. Der Bericht verhindert unnötige Tierversuche, erspart Tierqual und geht mit der Zeit, indem alternative Testmethoden heranzuziehen sind, die ebenfalls die volle Sicherheit für die Gesundheit bieten.

Wir bringen die Detergenzien-Verordnung so weit wie möglich mit anderen einschlägigen Rechtsvorschriften in Einklang wie der bereits verabschiedeten CLP—Verordnung und der Ökodesign-Verordnung. Wir handeln mit diesem Bericht im Einklang mit den Zielen des European Green Deal. Wir schaffen Anreize für Hersteller, nachhaltige Waschmittel herzustellen, und sorgen für gleiche Wettbewerbsbedingungen. Daher bitte ich Sie alle, morgen für diesen Bericht zu stimmen.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Die Abstimmung findet am Dienstag, 27. Februar 2024, statt.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 171)

 
  
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  Rovana Plumb (S&D), in writing. – The detergents industry is an important sub-sector of the European chemicals industry, accounting for approximately 4.2 % of the production value of the total chemicals sector in 2018. The total market value of the European detergents industry in 2020 was EUR 41.2 billion.

The manufacturing of products for the whole market that includes both consumer and professional products involves around 700 separate facilities throughout Europe. The Commission proposed a revised regulation on detergents that simplifies and future-proofs the current rules to better protect health and the environment, as well as ensuring the better functioning of the Single Market for detergents.

The revised rules cover new innovative products like detergents containing microorganisms and sustainable new practices like the refill sale of detergents. The new rules also introduce digital labelling and a product passport for detergents and surfactants.

This proposal updates the existing rules in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal, the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability and the Commission Communication on the long-term competitiveness of the EU. The introduction of digital labelling will reduce burden and costs for industry and will provide further ease of use and awareness for consumers and professional users, contributing to protecting health and environment.

 

20. Amending Decision (EU) 2017/1324: continuation of the Union’s participation in PRIMA under Horizon Europe (short presentation)
Video of the speeches
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  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die kurze Darstellung des Berichts von Paolo Borchia im Namen des Ausschusses für Industrie, Forschung und Energie über den Vorschlag für einen Beschluss des Europäischen Parlaments und des Rates zur Änderung des Beschlusses (EU) 2017/1324 hinsichtlich der Fortsetzung der Beteiligung der Union an der Partnerschaft für Forschung und Innovation im Mittelmeerraum (PRIMA) im Rahmen von „Horizont Europa“ (COM(2023)0359 – C9-0213/2023 – 2023/0207(COD)) (A9-0378/2023).

 
  
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  Paolo Borchia, Relatore. – Signor Presidente, signor commissario, onorevoli colleghi, "Aiutiamoli a casa loro" non deve essere una scatola vuota, uno slogan fine a sé stesso: deve rappresentare un impegno concreto dell'Unione europea nella direzione della cooperazione allo sviluppo.

L'iniziativa PRIMA è promossa congiuntamente dalla Commissione europea e da 19 Paesi dell'area euro-mediterranea, di cui undici dell'Unione e otto esterni – accogliamo, tra l'altro, con entusiasmo e con favore l'inclusione della Bulgaria tra i Paesi partner – per un partenariato che è di notevole importanza geostrategica per l'Unione nel suo complesso. Affrontando sfide come la scarsità d'acqua, l'insicurezza alimentare nel vicinato meridionale, infatti, intende fungere da strumento di diplomazia scientifica, concentrandosi in particolare sulle cause alla radice dell'emergenza migratoria, il cui impatto si sta sempre più estendendo oltre i confini dei soli Stati meridionali.

Tra il 2018 e il 2022, PRIMA ha finanziato oltre 200 progetti legati alle tematiche di approvvigionamento idrico, agricoltura e sviluppo agroalimentare, per un valore totale di quasi 300 milioni di euro. In meno di sei mesi – e qui veniamo ai punti più interessanti – dall'assegnazione del dossier alla commissione ITRE siamo riusciti a portare a termine l'intera procedura legislativa, in quello che risulta essere un successo significativo; anzi, forse un vero e proprio record dal punto di vista delle tempistiche.

Inoltre, è giusto ricordare come PRIMA svolga un ruolo cruciale nell'affrontare una delle questioni più urgenti nel panorama europeo, ovvero l'emergenza migratoria. Noi, attraverso la ricerca e l'innovazione, puntiamo a combattere direttamente le cause alla radice del fenomeno, in primo luogo promuovendo la gestione delle risorse idriche e lo sviluppo di pratiche agricole innovative, nonché l'innovazione per garantire alle comunità locali la capacità di adattarsi al cambiamento e alle condizioni ambientali. Inoltre, PRIMA intende investire sull'istruzione e sul coinvolgimento dei giovani, creando quindi opportunità a livello di vicinato giacché, se i giovani trovano prospettive vicino a casa, poi saranno meno inclini a cercare soluzioni di altro tipo.

In conclusione, vorrei ringraziare tutti i relatori ombra per il loro contributo, soprattutto per la rapidità che ha consentito all'iter di giungere a conclusione: questo è un ottimo risultato e soprattutto con delle tempistiche veramente importanti.

 
  
 

Spontane Wortmeldungen

 
  
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  Cristian-Silviu Buşoi (PPE). – Mr President, dear colleagues, cher Commissaire, as Chair of the ITRE Committee, I would like to congratulate Mr Borchia and all colleagues working on this file and concluding the agreement on PRIMA.

With the heightened relevance due to climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical challenges, the partnership indeed is a very good instrument for fostering science diplomacy.

It is important that PRIMA will follow the existing framework, but it is also important that the modifications ask for more efficiency by simplifying the complexity caused by different national funding schemes, streamlining national administrative procedures, reducing time to grant and enhancing accessibility.

It is also important that we call for more complementarity between the partnership and other research and innovation projects carried out under Horizon Europe and other Union instruments, and look forward to extended links to climate- and energy-related research and innovation.

 
  
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  Clare Daly (The Left). – Mr President, PRIMA is a Horizon Europe project to sustainably manage water and agri-food systems in the Mediterranean basin. So could we please acknowledge the grotesque irony of Israel being one of its 19 partner countries, when Israel famously, notoriously and systematically deprives Palestinians of water rights and their farmland? It has deliberately subjected Palestinians to chronic water shortages for decades.

So while Israel is a water superpower, thanks to massive investment in technological innovation – no doubt in part funded from the EU by Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe – Palestinians go thirsty.

So will the EU funding that Israel gets through this programme be used to implement sustainable system of water rights and create a sustainable agri-food system for all, from the river to the sea? Or will it be used to pad the coffers of an apartheid state to help pay for the ongoing genocide in Gaza? I think we all know the answer.

 
  
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  Stanislav Polčák (PPE). – Pane předsedající, já vítám tuto iniciativu PRIMA, protože spolupráce v oblasti rozvoje, a zejména zásada dostupných vodních zdrojů, je skutečně klíčová pro naši budoucnost. A jsem také rád, že pracujeme na rozvoji našich partnerství.

Evropská unie musí na této iniciativě participovat samozřejmě dále. Je zde zastoupeno i jedenáct členských zemí Evropské unie a osm nečlenských. A ta témata, která se nedotýkají pouze středomořské oblasti, jsou skutečně velmi důležitá. Voda, sucho, bezpečnost a s tím související migrace, zemědělství, také měnící se klima a adaptace na toto měnící se klima, vzdělávání a uplatnění mladých lidí, to jsou velmi důležité otázky. Takže já tuto iniciativu, jak jsem již jednou řekl, vítám.

Přeji hodně zdaru a věřím, že vložené prostředky se Evropské unii v její budoucnosti nepochybně vrátí.

 
  
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  Mick Wallace (The Left). – Mr President, PRIMA’s goals to develop knowledge and common innovative solutions for sustainable agri-food systems and integrated water provisions in the Mediterranean area are admirable and, in the light of our current climate crisis, required now more than ever.

However, the initial phase of PRIMA, started in 2017, has not been without its deficiencies. There has been a particular delay in releasing funds to applicants. In Italy, for example, who supply almost a third of the applicants to PRIMA, there have been substantial payment delays, mainly due to bureaucracy and red tape emanating from the EU side of the project. If the goal of PRIMA is to develop solutions for sustainable agri-food systems, the Commission must ensure that the red tape and bureaucracy that slows down so many initiatives in this place is removed as soon as possible.

 
  
 

(Ende der spontanen Wortmeldungen)

 
  
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  Thierry Breton, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, honourable Members, dear rapporteur, first, I would like to thank you very much for the presentation of the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area. The Commission is looking forward to tomorrow’s votes on the amendment of this very important initiative.

PRIMA supports research and innovation solutions to key sustainability challenges in the entire Mediterranean region, such as water availability and sustainable agriculture. This has an important positive impact on increased research and innovation capacities of participating countries – for, of course, job creation in the region, food safety, water resilience and territorial development.

The extension of the Partnership that you will vote tomorrow offers the opportunity to further deepen the dialogue with the Mediterranean partners. It puts forward a stable, long-term and sustainable collaboration based on mutual benefit, equal footing, co-ownership, co-decisions and also co-financing.

Today’s geopolitical situation makes the cooperation under the PRIMA Framework more important than ever. It is in our best interest to have as many participating countries as possible to further exploit PRIMA’s potential and ensure wide-ranging positive effects in the region.

Negotiations of international agreements with southern Mediterranean countries that are not yet associated to Horizon Europe are ongoing. The Commission is particularly pleased that the technical discussions with Jordan have already been finalised. This sets the excellent example for other countries. We are well progressing in talks with Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, but also Algeria.

The signature and conclusion of these international agreements will occur only after the amendment of PRIMA basic act is adopted. So the vote of this House on the PRIMA amendment tomorrow is therefore instrumental to progress towards the conclusion of agreements with our future partners, and ensures that researchers from these countries can respond to calls for proposals that are planned to be launched in 2025.

So let me thank again the European Parliament and especially rapporteur Paolo Borchia, as well as the shadow rapporteurs and their teams for their excellent work.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Damit ist dieser Tagesordnungspunkt geschlossen.

Die Abstimmung findet am Dienstag, 27. Februar 2024, statt.

 

21. Protection of the environment through criminal law (short presentation)
Video of the speeches
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  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die kurze Darstellung des Berichts von Antonius Manders im Namen des Rechtsausschusses über den Vorschlag für eine Richtlinie des Europäischen Parlaments und des Rates über den strafrechtlichen Schutz der Umwelt und zur Ersetzung der Richtlinie 2008/99/EG (COM(2021)0851 – C9-0466/2021 – 2021/0422(COD)) (A9-0087/2023).

 
  
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  Antonius Manders, Rapporteur. – Voorzitter, commissaris, milieucriminaliteit zit in de top vijf van de meest lucratieve criminele zaken en het is goed dat we er iets aan gedaan hebben. Ik dank iedereen die een positieve bijdrage heeft geleverd, en wat heel mooi is: als we het hebben over criminaliteit, dan is dit Parlement het van links tot rechts volledig eens. Ook in de commissie hebben we hierover een unanieme stemming gehad. Uiteindelijk denk ik dat we er heel goed in zijn geslaagd om in de trialoog het standpunt van het Parlement heel duidelijk naar voren te brengen.

Vaak gaat het over slechts een paar bedrijven die echt misbruik maken en voor geldelijk gewin milieudelicten plegen. Natuurlijk moet er ook sprake zijn van opzet. Als advocaat heb ik een aantal zaken meegemaakt die mij enorm hebben aangesproken, net als een film die ik heb gezien op Netflix, The Dark Waters, over het bedrijf Dupont in de Verenigde Staten, waar een advocaat twintig jaar heeft moeten procederen om civielrechtelijk het gelijk te krijgen voor de slachtoffers van hun handelen. Zelf heb ik een zaak meegemaakt, de firma Wyatt, die met hormonen vervuild suikerwater in de handel bracht, wat weer hergebruikt is voor ijs, limonades en ook voor veevoer. De overheden weigerden gewoon om in te grijpen. Ook de Commissie treft hier blaam, want niemand weet nu hoeveel zwangere vrouwen hiervan slachtoffer zijn geworden. Inmiddels lopen die zaken nog steeds, al ruim twintig jaar.

Dat heeft mij gestimuleerd om me honderd procent in te zetten voor een duidelijke wetgeving die zelfs – en dat wordt revolutionair genoemd – op bepaalde vlakken dynamisch is. Dat is zeer uniek voor strafrecht. Er zijn een aantal zaken opgenomen: het belangrijkste hierbij is dat de vervuiler betaalt. Natuurlijk moet ook worden voorzien in het opzetvereiste. Heel belangrijk is het voorzorgbeginsel. Onomkeerbare schade aan de gezondheid van mens en milieu. De ketenaansprakelijkheid: zelfs drugsafval kan op deze manier worden verweten aan de toeleverancier als duidelijk is waarvoor het wordt gebruikt. Grote bosbranden wil ik noemen. Lidstaten kunnen delicten toevoegen. Als ze bijvoorbeeld ecocide in hun wetgeving hebben, kunnen ze deze wetgeving gebruiken om mensen die ecocide plegen te vervolgen. De dynamiek zit hierin dat er elk jaar een update komt voor nieuwe delicten. Dat is goed, want de markt ontwikkelt zich en daar moeten we op voorbereid zijn.

Ook is er een doelboete in opgenomen: lidstaten kunnen bepalen om de boetes die ze opleggen bij milieudelicten te gebruiken voor het herstel van de schade die is veroorzaakt door de handeling. Ook het anoniem kunnen melden van milieudelicten hebben we opgenomen. Een veiligheidsprotocol of een complianceofficer kan een reden voor strafvermindering zijn. De lidstaten worden opgeroepen om specialistische rechters en openbare aanklagers in te voeren, want milieucriminaliteit is vaak heel erg wetenschappelijk en best moeilijk.

Last but not least, en dit vind ik belangrijk om te melden, ook met betrekking tot de zaken van Wyatt en The Dark Waters die ik zojuist heb genoemd: zodra deze wetgeving is geïmplementeerd, kunnen de bestuurders en de CEO’s van bedrijven die vanuit winstbejag opzettelijk mensen ziek maken of het milieu vervuilen, persoonlijk strafrechtelijk vervolgd worden. Betekent dat nu dat er meer gevangenissen moeten worden gebouwd? Nee, maar het zal wel betekenen dat er veel preventiever wordt opgetreden in de bedrijven uit angst dat de directeur de gevangenis in moet. Ik hoop dat morgen iedereen voor zal stemmen.

 
  
 

Spontane Wortmeldungen

 
  
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  Sirpa Pietikäinen (PPE). – Mr President, (start of speech off mic) ... This is a very important part of the legislation what we are dealing with – because the environmental crime is the fourth biggest crime and among the most profitable ones. It is ruthless. It is not caring about people or the environment, and it is cross-border. So this is the first time we have a proper set of regulation that actually deals with those countries that have been safe havens for the perpetrators. We need a set of coherent rules and procedures in the EU. We need better police, more resources and competence on prosecution and on the courts, and last but not least, we need to set the criteria of ecocide as a part of environmental crimes.

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). – Señor presidente, señor comisario Breton, el Derecho penal fue competencia exclusiva de los Estados miembros de la Unión Europea hasta que entró en vigor el Tratado de Lisboa, con el espacio de libertad, justicia y seguridad que convirtió a este Parlamento Europeo en legislador penal.

Ahora que nos preocupa tanto el medio ambiente —por tantas buenas razones—, ahora que estamos embarcados en la transición verde, ahora que asistimos a la necesidad de desplegar fondos de solidaridad ante incendios forestales provocados, el Derecho penal es parte de la respuesta y, por tanto, esta Directiva refuerza esa capacidad, señalando penas proporcionadas y disuasorias, no solamente para las personas físicas que perpetren ecocidios —dañando el agua, el suelo, los recursos naturales o el medio ambiente—, sino también las personas jurídicas que quedan incorporadas a su responsabilidad penal, pudiendo imponerse penas que van desde el 3 % al 5 % de su volumen de negocio anual o penas que van de catorce a cuarenta años de privación de sus derechos de contratación con la Unión Europea, dependiendo de los Estados miembros.

Por tanto, es un paso decisivo en el fortalecimiento del Derecho penal europeo.

 
  
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  Ilana Cicurel (Renew). – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire Breton, chers collègues, feux de forêt, marées noires, déforestation illégale: la criminalité environnementale est l’une des activités criminelles les plus lucratives au monde. Cette criminalité en croissance constante est menée par des acteurs très inventifs, qui ont jusqu’à présent réussi à distancer notre législation.

Par l’ampleur des dégâts qu’elle cause et qui dépasse bien souvent les frontières, une réponse européenne s’imposait. C’est chose faite. Avec cette directive, nous étendons la liste des atteintes à l’environnement punies pénalement et demandons que cette liste soit mise à jour en continu pour que l’Europe ne se laisse plus dépasser par les pratiques criminelles.

Pour la première fois, nous prévoyons des sanctions harmonisées avec des amendes allant jusqu’à 5 % du chiffre d’affaires mondial pour les multinationales. Pour les atteintes les plus graves, celles que l’on associe à l’écocide, parce qu’elles produisent des effets d’ampleur exceptionnelle, durables, voire irréversibles, les États membres s’engagent à les sanctionner encore plus gravement.

L’Europe montre le chemin. C’est désormais à la communauté internationale de prendre ses responsabilités en définissant enfin l’écocide au niveau mondial.

 
  
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  Bert-Jan Ruissen (ECR). – Voorzitter, terwijl de EVP in het licht van de verkiezingen de scherpe kantjes van de Green Deal wat probeert af te halen, ligt er nu een verslag voor van een rapporteur van de EVP waarin een deal aan ons wordt voorgelegd waarbij ondernemers met de harde hand van het strafrecht worden gedwongen binnen de kaders van de Green Deal te blijven. Dat heeft iets tegenstrijdigs.

In Nederland hangen veehouders bestuursrechtelijke boetes boven het hoofd omdat ze niet over een natuurvergunning beschikken, de zogenaamde PAS-melders. Opent collega Manders met zijn deal nu ook de weg voor strafrechtelijke vervolging van deze veehouders? Ik mag hopen van niet, maar door de uitbreiding van de definitie van milieudelict ben ik er niet helemaal gerust op.

Zeker, serieuze milieudelicten, zoals het storten van drugsafval in het bos, moeten hard worden bestraft, helemaal mee eens, maar maken we de scope met deze verordening niet al te breed? Overigens betreur ik het, Voorzitter, dat met deze deal het beginsel dat strafrecht iets is van de lidstaten, dat we dat beginsel met deze verordening, deze richtlijn overboord zetten.

 
  
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  Mick Wallace (The Left). – Mr President, it’s welcome that the revision of the directive will now include a provision to directly address specific, severe cases of ecosystem destruction, including habitat destruction and illegal logging. I would hope that it will make the worst polluters sit up and pay attention that they might actually be held to account for the destruction of the environment.

Now, the text doesn’t actually say ‘ecocide’. Any such inclusion of this word in the operative part of the directive was blocked by the EPP, but the recitals make it clear that the intention of the directive is to criminalise cases comparable to ecocide.

The next step for the EU now should be to push for the amendment of the Rome Statute of the International Court to add ecocide, as a fifth crime, to the Rome Statute.

 
  
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  Stanislav Polčák (PPE). – Pane předsedající, já tento návrh zprávy vítám, a to z řady důvodů. Myslím si, že je naší povinností zvýšit ochranu životního prostředí, protože každým rokem jsme svědky obrovské ekologické katastrofy v různých členských státech s dopadem, který má přeshraniční charakter. Připomenu deforestaci, požáry, úmyslné znečištění řek, které tečou do mnoha členských států EU. Myslím si, že na to Evropská unie musí reagovat, a tento návrh jde podle mého názoru správným směrem. Chtějí to také naši voliči. Chtějí zvýšit odpovědnost za ta jednání, která se velmi významně byznysově vyplácí. A jsem rád, že reagujeme systémem, kdy předkládáme harmonizované sankce a kdy konstruujeme skutečně ucelený soubor trestněprávní odpovědnosti v environmentální oblasti. Takže chci znovu podotknout, že cílem je zvýšit ochranu životního prostředí, což já vnímám jako zásadní hodnotu.

 
  
 

(Ende der spontanen Wortmeldungen)

 
  
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  Thierry Breton, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, honourable Members, the Commission very much welcomes the agreement reached by the co-legislator on this file in November last year, and I would like to thank the rapporteur, Mr Manders, the shadow rapporteurs and the entire European Parliament for the constructive work on this file.

This directive is an ambitious instrument which will have long-lasting effect on the ground by enhancing the legal framework for effectively tackling environmental crimes. The revised directive includes a comprehensive and up-to-date list of environmental offences that will address the most serious environmental crimes, including transboundary offences. For example, breaches of environmental obligations such as illegal trade and handling of chemicals or mercury, as well as illegal ship recycling, will have to be treated as criminal offences in all EU Member States. Causing particularly serious damages to the environment will be considered as an aggravated offence, leading to higher sanctions.

Moreover, the directive defines concrete types and levels of sanctions for natural and legal persons. This is an important step forward compared to the 2008 directive. Similar types and level of penalties for natural and legal persons will apply across the EU and thus enhance the deterrent effect of the text. Specific aggravating circumstances and accessory sanctions and measures will allow for a tailored response to specific crimes.

And given that an environmental crime often has a cross-border nature, European coordination as well as cooperation between the competent authorities will be reinforced. Authorities will be required to develop a strategic approach to ensure a strong response to criminal behaviour. The new rules will include provisions strengthening the enforcement chain and relating to support to environmental defenders in criminal proceedings.

The new Environmental Crime Directive will send a strong signal beyond the EU, of course. The Council of Europe is currently working on a new convention on the same matter.

So let me conclude by once again expressing the Commission’s gratitude to the European Parliament, and in particular, to the rapporteur and his team for the work put into this proposal and the excellent collaboration. The Commission stands ready to deploy all efforts to facilitate the transposition of this new piece of legislation, to ensure it can be swiftly implemented.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Damit ist dieser Tagesordnungspunkt geschlossen.

Die Abstimmung findet am Dienstag, 27. Februar 2024, statt.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 171)

 
  
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  Eugen Jurzyca (ECR), písomne. – Je legitímne, aby sa Únia starala o životné prostredie tam, kde má cezhraničný presah. Príkladom je kauza poľskej bane Turów, ktorá znečisťovala životné prostredie v Česku. V prípadoch, kde je životné prostredie verejným statkom EÚ a je evidentné, že všetky členské štáty sa o spoločný záujem adekvátne nestarajú, je potrebné riešenie na úrovni EÚ.

 
  
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  Έλενα Κουντουρά (The Left), γραπτώς. – Η προστασία του περιβάλλοντος μέσω του ποινικού δικαίου αποτελεί θεμελιώδη προϋπόθεση, προκειμένου να διασφαλιστεί η τήρηση της αρχής «ο ρυπαίνων πληρώνει» και το περιβαλλοντικό κεκτημένο της ΕΕ. Είναι ο μόνος τρόπος για να καταπολεμήσουμε τα περιβαλλοντικά εγκλήματα και οι παραβάτες να τιμωρούνται για αυτά σε όλα τα κράτη μέλη της ΕΕ. Είναι άμεση ανάγκη να καταπολεμήσουμε τα εγκληματικά δίκτυα που εμπλέκονται σε κάθε μορφή περιβαλλοντικού εγκλήματος με τη θέσπιση ευρωπαϊκών κανόνων για τη διαχείριση των αποβλήτων και το εμπόριο άγριων ζώων και φυτών. Το περιβαλλοντικά εγκλήματα αποτελούν την τέταρτη μεγαλύτερη εγκληματική δραστηριότητα και διαρκώς αυξάνονται. Συνδέονται στενά με το διεθνές οργανωμένο έγκλημα και αποτελούν απειλή για το περιβάλλον και την ανθρώπινη υγεία. Μπορεί να επηρεάσουν την ποιότητα του αέρα και των υδάτων, να μολύνουν το έδαφος, να βλάψουν άγρια είδη και να καταστρέψουν τους φυσικούς οικοτόπους. Όλα αυτά έχουν αντίκτυπο στην υγεία των πολιτών αλλά και στον πλανήτη. Η αναθεωρημένη οδηγία για τα περιβαλλοντικά εγκλήματα θα βάλει τέλος στον κατακερματισμό του ποινικού δικαίου στα κράτη μέλη που οδηγεί σε ατιμωρησία. Ο κατάλογος των εγκλημάτων θα διευρυνθεί και οι ποινές θα αυστηροποιηθούν. Παρόμοιοι τύποι και επίπεδα κυρώσεων θα ισχύουν σε ολόκληρη την ΕΕ, κάτι που διασφαλίζει την ενίσχυση της αποτρεπτικής τους δράσης. Έτσι θα αποτρέψουμε τη ρύπανση και την υποβάθμιση του περιβάλλοντος και θα συμβάλουμε στη διατήρηση της φύσης για τις μελλοντικές γενιές.

 

22. One-minute speeches on matters of political importance
Video of the speeches
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  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgen die Ausführungen von einer Minute zu wichtigen politischen Fragen (Artikel 172 GO).

Ich möchte Sie darauf hinweisen, dass Sie für die Ausführungen von einer Minute von Ihrem Platz aus das Wort ergreifen können.

 
  
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  Stanislav Polčák (PPE). – Pane předsedající, já jsem si jako jednu minutu svého vystoupení vybral téma simplifikace, tudíž zjednodušení nástrojů kohezní politiky. Podle mě je to skutečně zásadní téma nejen pro kohezní politiku a regionální politiku jako celek, ale také pro všechny politiky EU, například pro zemědělskou politiku. Je to důležité pro příjemce naší pomoci, ať jsou to zemědělci, ať jsou to obce, samozřejmě malé a střední podniky. Ti všichni si stěžují na to, že máme poměrně rozsáhlý systém administrativních pokynů, a to téma zjednodušování našich podpůrných nástrojů je skutečně klíčové pro naši budoucnost. Myslím si, že už se podařilo také udělat mnohé ke snížení této administrativní zátěže. Připomenu, že v tomto plánovacím období skutečně došlo k poklesu administrativní náročnosti, například v té kohezní politice, ale myslím si, že je možné udělat více, a tudíž je také nutné tlačit na členské státy, aby nepřilévaly tzv. pomyslný olej do ohně. Takže pojďme skutečně zjednodušit nástroje, které Evropská unie používá pro svůj rozvoj.

 
  
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  Sara Cerdas (S&D). – Senhor Presidente, Colegas, o estudo sobre a Política de Coesão nas Regiões Ultraperiféricas reforça aquilo que é o estatuto conferido pelo artigo 349.º do Tratado sobre o Funcionamento da União Europeia. E, ao analisar as suas características geográficas, o seu perfil socioeconómico, a dinâmica demográfica e as trajetórias de desenvolvimento, é evidente que persistem vulnerabilidades e disparidades em relação à restante União Europeia.

E ampliar a aplicação deste artigo é essencial para adaptar as políticas existentes, respondendo de forma adequada às realidades das regiões ultraperiféricas, impulsionar a competitividade, estimular investimentos transformadores e investir em pesquisa e inovação, seja através, por exemplo, da aplicação de projetos-piloto, mas também para melhorar a coesão territorial, que ainda apresenta graves falhas e que deverá ser feita através da introdução de um programa específico para os transportes, como seja o POSEI. Estes são passos fundamentais para um futuro próspero, inclusivo e sustentável para as nossas regiões ultraperiféricas.

 
  
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  Guy Lavocat (Renew). – Monsieur le Président, chers collègues, alors que la guerre fait rage depuis deux ans aux portes de l’Europe, le débat sur le retour du service national bat son plein dans de nombreux pays de l’Union. Les services civils et militaires existants, comme en Suède et en France, rencontrent un franc succès.

Dans un monde de plus en plus incertain, la question qui nous occupe est celle des valeurs et des forces qui nous unissent, celle de la résilience du peuple européen pour faire face aux catastrophes de tout type. En effet, cette résilience serait le socle de tout projet de défense commune, de toute identité européenne de défense. Nous devons nous construire et agir en Européens, là aussi pour dépasser les réflexes nationaux qui nous divisent et nous affaiblissent.

À ce titre, je propose le lancement d’un service européen centré autour de notre sécurité civile et collective pour susciter auprès de nos concitoyens l’envie de s’engager, favoriser la gestion commune et solidaire des crises, donner de la visibilité à ceux que l’on ne voit pas en favorisant la mixité sociale. C’est ce à quoi un service universel européen pourrait répondre. Le peuple ukrainien et l’engagement de sa jeunesse nous montrent la voie.

 
  
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  Hannah Neumann (Verts/ALE). – Herr Präsident, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! In Deutschland erinnern uns gerade hunderttausende Menschen an unsere Verantwortung als Abgeordnete in den Parlamenten. Am Wochenende stand auf einer der Demos gegen die Deportationspläne der Rechtsextremisten eine ältere Frau mit suchendem Blick neben mir und fragte mich: „Wie geht das jetzt eigentlich? Einfach loslaufen? Ich war noch nie bei so was.“ Das macht Mut. Und noch mehr Mut machen mir die Menschen, die in den Hochburgen der Rechten demonstrieren – in Anklam, in Torgau, abseits des Rampenlichts –, die sich da gemeinsam gegen Hass und Hetze stellen, wo seit Jahren Scheiben eingeschlagen und Menschen bedroht werden.

Liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen, wenn „Nie wieder ist jetzt“ mehr sein soll als eine Floskel, dann lasst uns diese Vereine und Organisationen unterstützen. Lasst uns etwas gegen Hass und Desinformationen und Putins Bots im Netz tun und lasst uns uns immer wieder gegenseitig daran erinnern: Ja, wir sind Konkurrenten, aber der politische Feind ist der Faschismus. Es ist unser aller Verantwortung, dass bei den Wahlen dieses Jahr das Miteinander über den Hass gewinnt.

 
  
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  Charlie Weimers (ECR). – Herr talman! SVT gjorde det till förstanyhet att Sverigedemokraterna vill reformera EU:s klimatpolitik. Klimatministern hakar på och försökte plocka poäng, likaså KD-ledaren.

Romina Pourmokhtari, det är inte Swexit-fantasier att vilja hålla ner priserna på transporter, mat, energi och boende. Ebba Busch, är det inte så att efterfrågan på batterier och utbyggnad av vindkraft i själva verket ökar Kinaberoendet? KD har för övrigt öppnat upp för att slopa förbudet mot förbränningsmotorer.

KD:s och Moderaternas partigrupp talar om klimatpolitiken som tortyr mot jordbrukare, och förslaget om tvångsrenoveringar är för övrigt bara en försmak av prislappen för klimatpolitiken som komma skall.

Sverigedemokraterna vill skydda vanligt folk från kostnadschocker och vi vill säkerställa industrins fortlevnad. Det är den enda hållbara klimatpolitiken. Det är inte radikalt. Det radikala är att klubba drakoniska lagar utan konsekvensanalys.

 
  
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  Philippe Olivier (ID). – Monsieur le Président, la réunion ACP de Luanda a été un échec politique total. Entendons-nous bien, il ne s’agit pas pour moi de mettre en cause le travail des collaborateurs du Parlement ou de nos hôtes angolais, qui méritent tous les éloges.

La première journée a montré un état d’impréparation qui s’est manifesté par des récriminations publiques de plusieurs délégations africaines et les pires difficultés pour simplement l’approbation du règlement intérieur. L’invocation à tout bout de champ des valeurs de l’Union européenne a pu être légitimement interprétée comme une volonté néocoloniale de l’Europe d’imposer ses standards.

Le format quasi exclusif de séance plénière n’a pas permis d’aborder les vraies questions: la famine, la transformation des matières premières africaines avant exportation, la coopération technique, etc. Pourquoi ne pas avoir organisé des tables rondes qui auraient pu réunir en vis-à-vis des parlementaires africains et européens, qui auraient facilité ainsi les échanges directs et les contacts humains?

Je suggère que pour les prochains rendez-vous, vous sortiez des grands-messes et d’une communication peu crédible sur le savoir-faire diplomatique de l’Union européenne.

 
  
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  Έλενα Κουντουρά (The Left). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, αγαπητοί συνάδελφοι, η ανεξέλεγκτη ακρίβεια, η μείωση της αγοραστικής δύναμης των πολιτών, η ενεργειακή κρίση και η στεγαστική κρίση, η απελπισία των αγροτών και των μικρομεσαίων επιχειρήσεων για την επιβίωσή τους διογκώνονται συνεχώς. Με ευθύνη ορισμένων κυβερνήσεων ευδοκιμούν τα καρτέλ και η αισχροκέρδεια.

Στην Ελλάδα, τον Ιανουάριο, οι τιμές τροφίμων αυξήθηκαν κατά 8,3%, όταν στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση ο ρυθμός αύξησης ήταν 4,8%. Το 40% του εισοδήματος των νοικοκυριών πηγαίνει στα έξοδα στέγασης, ενώ το 85% των νέων έως 29 ετών μένει στο σπίτι των γονιών του. Τα υπερκέρδη στην ηλεκτρική ενέργεια και στα διυλιστήρια, σε συνδυασμό με τους έμμεσους φόρους που επιβάλλει η κυβέρνηση, εξαντλούν την ελληνική κοινωνία. Πολλά ελληνικά προϊόντα, όπως το λάδι, τα γιαούρτια, η φέτα και ο χαλβάς, πωλούνται στο εξωτερικό σε πιο χαμηλές τιμές συγκριτικά με τις τιμές τους στα ελληνικά ράφια. Για την αντιμετώπιση της ραγδαίας αύξησης των τιμών στα τρόφιμα και στην ενέργεια, χρειάζονται άμεσα, οριζόντια και τολμηρά ευρωπαϊκά μέτρα.

 
  
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  Katarína Roth Neveďalová (NI). – Pán predsedajúci, ja budem hovoriť o práve na odbory. Veľké zahraničné firmy, ktoré prichádzajú do východnej Európy aj na Slovensko, majú pocit, že si môžu vyberať z nášho právneho poriadku, čo budú dodržiavať a čo nie.

Podľa mňa právo platí pre každého rovnako. A ani veľká firma, ktorá má tisíce zamestnancov, si nemôže vybrať, čo bude dodržiavať a čo nie. Stalo sa nám nedávno, že sme mali problémy v odborovej organizácii vo veľkej firme LIDL, a dnes máme veľmi podobné problémy vo veľkej organizácii DELL.

Dell je americká firma, ktorá pôsobí aj na európskom území a má na Slovensku zamestnancov, ktorých je niekoľko tisíc. Títo zamestnanci si pred tromi rokmi vytvorili odborovú organizáciu a keď začali vznášať nejaké požiadavky, alebo chceli pracovať v tejto odborovej organizácii, tak táto veľká firma sa rozhodla, že ich jednoducho vyhodí. Z desiatich členov vedenia odborovej organizácie sú siedmi buď vo výpovednej lehote, alebo už dostali výpoveď.

Toto je niečo absolútne neakceptovateľné a z tohto miesta by som chcela vyzvať aj veľké nadnárodné spoločnosti ako DELL, že si nemôžu vyberať, čo budú dodržiavať a čo nie. Právo na odbory, sociálny dialóg s odbormi je dôležitou súčasťou európskeho práva a sociálneho dialógu a našej demokracie.

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). – Señor presidente, como presidente de la Comisión de Libertades Civiles, Justicia y Asuntos de Interior, tuve el honor de participar en el Consejo de ministros de Justicia e Interior de la Presidencia belga.

Recuerdo un momento remarcable, cuando se dispensó una calurosa bienvenida al anuncio efectuado por el nuevo ministro de Justicia polaco de restaurar el Estado de Derecho, arrostrando las dificultades que supone reformar el Consejo Judicial, la Oficina Judicial, el Tribunal Supremo y el Tribunal Constitucional, masivamente injeridos por la intervención política —durante dos mandatos, con mayoría— del partido conservador Ley y Justicia.

Pero espero que eso también tenga consecuencias en la situación procesal de un periodista español que lleva dos años encarcelado en Polonia, Pablo González, sin que se conozca a estas alturas ni la acusación en su contra ni, por tanto, pueda saberse si se dispone de pruebas de cargo para justificar tan prolongada prisión provisional.

Por tanto, es esperable que también en esa restauración del Estado de Derecho a la que ha dado la bienvenida la presidenta Von der Leyen se produzca un manifiesto compromiso de Polonia con la Carta de los Derechos Fundamentales de la Unión Europea, además de con el Convenio Europeo de Derechos Humanos y con las garantías procesales legisladas por este Parlamento Europeo.

 
  
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  Anna Júlia Donáth (Renew). – Elnök Úr! Az elmúlt hetekben súlyos pedofilbotrány rázta meg Magyarországot. Az azóta lemondott köztársasági elnök egy pedofil bűntársának adott elnöki kegyelmet. Egy olyan embernek, aki gyermekeket zsarolt meg és vett rá arra, hogy tagadják le az ellenük elkövetett szexuális bűncselekményeket.

A pedofilbotrány azonban csak a jéghegy csúcsa. Borzalmas állapotok uralkodnak a magyar gyermekotthonokban, és az állam tudatosan nem tesz azért, hogy a gyermekvédelmi rendszer jobb legyen. Muszáj európai szinten tennünk azért valamit, mert hiába erősek az európai gyermekvédelmi szabályok, ha a tagállamok egyszerűen nem tartják be őket.

Már a Parlament által 2021-ben elfogadott Gyermekgarancia-kezdeményezésben megfogalmaztunk egy európai gyermekvédelmi hatóságot, egy olyan erős uniós hatóság létrehozását, ami ellenőrizhetné a tagállami gyermekvédelmi rendszereit, és felléphetne, hogy ha durva hiányosságokat tapasztalna.

Arra kérem az Európai Parlamentet, hogy tegyünk meg mindent azért, hogy felállhasson egy ilyen európai gyermekvédelmi hatóság. Védjük meg azokat a kiszolgáltatott gyermekeket, akiket nem véd meg senki. Ez nem egyszerűen emberi, hanem politikai kötelességünk is.

 
  
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  Ignazio Corrao (Verts/ALE). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, affronto oggi un tema che sembra locale ma che è in realtà cruciale per il buon funzionamento dell'Unione europea: la piena partecipazione della Sicilia nella fase ascendente del processo legislativo europeo, prevista dai Trattati dell'Unione europea e di Lisbona, ma purtroppo finora mancata dall'ARS (Assemblea regionale siciliana), che è anche il Parlamento più antico di questa Europa, visto che esiste da oltre 900 anni.

Maggiore partecipazione dei territori significa essere ancora più uniti nelle diversità. E la Sicilia, con la sua storia millenaria e le sue particolarità culturali, di diversità ne ha tanta, anche se questa non viene quasi mai riconosciuta neanche dall'ordinamento italiano, nonostante l'autonomia, un'autonomia mai veramente realizzata. Ora, queste cose le sto accennando in italiano, I could have talked about this in English, ou parler de ça en français, o explicar estas cosas de Sicilia en español…

(L'oratore termina l'intervento in siciliano)

 
  
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  Michiel Hoogeveen (ECR). – Voorzitter, Ursula von der Leyen, de Brusselse brokkenpiloot, wil een tweede termijn als voorzitter van de Europese Commissie. Werkelijk overal waar “VDL” – zoals zij hier liefkozend wordt genoemd – kwam, ontstond er ellende: bij het Duitse defensieministerie, en nu ook na vijf jaar in de Europese Commissie.

Zij bracht ons NextGenerationEU, een peperduur en onnodig Coronaherstelfonds waarvoor Nederland voor 47 miljard euro garant staat, trage en schimmige vaccininkoop waarvan de sms’jes naar de baas van Pfizer nog steeds niet zijn vrijgegeven, de desastreuze Green Deal waarvoor heel Europa nu de straat op gaat, en verder nog open buitengrenzen, versoepelde begrotingsregels voor Zuid-Europa en minder vrijhandel. Geen trackrecord om trots op te zijn.

Voorzitter, mevrouw Von der Leyen is een fanatieke EU—federalist die zich onvoldoende realiseert dat zij geen keizerin is, maar voorzitter van een secretariaat. Tijd om haar beleid een halt toe te roepen.

 
  
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  Alessandro Panza (ID). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, mi domando se la Presidente von der Leyen abbia letto l'ultima relazione sulla competitività. Immagino di no, perché altrimenti avrebbe annunciato le proprie dimissioni invece di annunciare in pompa magna la propria ricandidatura, prospettandoci altri cinque anni di fallimenti e di SMS riguardanti contratti miliardari che spariscono nel nulla.

Lo dice la Commissione in poche righe della sua relazione, non un pericoloso sito che diffonde fake news: il Green Deal ci ha legato mani e piedi alla supply chain delle materie prime critiche cinesi, come il gallio e il germanio, fondamentali per le tecnologie green e anche per gli armamenti. E ora che dalla Cina potrebbe arrivare una stretta sulle esportazioni, non sapete più che pesci prendere.

Insomma, il Green Deal non solo non salverà il pianeta, come qualcuno qui dentro pensa, ma distruggerà l'economia europea. La cosa grottesca è che, nonostante l'abbiate capito anche voi, siete troppo orgogliosi o forse anche politicamente ottusi, per fare marcia indietro.

Per fortuna, l'8 e il 9 giugno gli europei vi faranno capire con il loro voto che è ora di smetterla di continuare a fare danni.

 
  
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  Mick Wallace (The Left). – Mr President, international law is in trouble these days. The US and its allies, they seldom actually talk about the UN Charter anymore. They prefer to refer to the international rules-based order, which they make up as they go along, which makes it easier for them to actually facilitate the genocide that is taken place in Gaza.

Likewise, if we look at organisations like the ICC, we had a woman from Ghana, Fatou Bensouda, and she had the audacity to threaten to investigate the US for war crimes in Afghanistan and also to investigate the possibility of Israeli war crimes in the occupied territories. So that didn’t go down very well and the US threatened her. She soon lost her job and she was replaced by Karim Khan, who is very amenable to the US interest. He recently went to Israel and he met the victims of the Hamas attack, but refused to meet the Palestinian victims. This man cannot possibly be trusted to implement justice at the ICC. It’s an absolute joke that he still has the job and he should be removed if he’s of any interest in the future of the ICC.

 
  
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  Иво Христов (S&D). – Г-н Председател, трагичната смърт на Алексей Навални в един затвор отвъд Полярния кръг предизвика оправдано възмущение в Европа. Междувременно в затвора „Белмарш“ в Лондон, на два часа път от Брюксел, един друг затворник – Джулиан Асанж, пета година е лишен от свободата си и 14 години е преследван при пълното безразличие на европейските институции.

„Грехът“ на покойния Навални беше критиката му към Кремъл, а този на Асанж, че отстоява свободата на информацията в нашия задушаван от пропаганда и морално самодоволство свят, който все още наричаме демократичен. Всеки гражданин, готов да плати цената на една демократична кауза, е достоен за нашата подкрепа. Ако скърбим за Навални, но мълчим за Асанж, сами подравяме моралната достоверност на Европа.

Призовавам Комисията и Парламента да заявят подкрепата си за Джулиан Асанж, както го правят хиляди европейски граждани, и то преди да е станало твърде късно.

 
  
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  Barry Andrews (Renew). – Mr President, the attempt by the right in this hemicycle to kill the nature restoration law is shameful. We need to work together to restore nature, which is our lifeline. There’s too much at stake tomorrow and rejection cannot be an option. We cannot kick away the biodiversity pillar of the Green Deal.

We have seen and witnessed the collapse of Europe’s natural systems. More than 80 % of European habitats have vulnerable status and this applies equally to Ireland. Voting in favour of nature restoration tomorrow will give us the opportunity to contribute to a truly historic and pivotal piece of legislation that will improve the lives of people for generations and generations to come.

And one of the most important reasons for supporting nature restoration is economic. It seems to escape the right in this hemicycle that the economy and nature don’t compete: they complement one another. That’s why 1 400 businesses wrote a letter of support of the law and according to the EU’s own impact assessment, the costs upon which opponents exclusively focus is EUR 150 billion, whereas the benefits are likely to be EUR 1.8 trillion.

 
  
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  Nicolae Ştefănuță (Verts/ALE). – Domnule președinte, „femeii îi e frică să nu-l apuce pe ăsta psihoze, să nu-l apuce omorul, să-l apuce violul, să-l apuce să o bată, să apuce să o îmbete, să apuce să o fure, s-o răpească, să se certe. Fată, hai că îți dau locație live în caz de orice.” Aceasta este o melodie a Erikăi Isac, care a revoltat jumătate din România și multe femei au ascultat-o, unele în căști, speriate să nu audă un anume Mirel. Sunt versuri care au trezit o societate și nu sunt doar versuri. Nu sunt doar versuri, e adevărul.

Culmea, de 1 și 8 Martie se trezește același Mirel să dea femeilor lalele, pentru că abuzatorul știe cel mai bine să își ceară scuze. Ce nu vrea să înțeleagă Mirel este că femeile nu vor flori, femeile vor să fie respectate, vor să nu mai fie abuzate, vor să nu meargă cu frică pe stradă, vor să aibă dreptul la avort, la sănătate reproductivă, vor să decidă pentru corpul lor. Femeile nu sunt auzite decât prea puțin și vreau să menționez aici munca pe care o fac asociații precum FILIA, Anais, E-Romnja, Iele-Sânziene și multe altele. Vreau să vin în sprijinul lor. Femeile nu vor flori, ele vor drepturi.

 
  
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  Gunnar Beck (ID). – Herr Präsident! „The sick man of Europe“ ist ein Titel, der seit 150 Jahren der jeweils schwächsten großen Volkswirtschaft in Europa verliehen wird. Jetzt, so schreibt der eigentlich deutschlandfreundliche Guardian, schickt sich Deutschland an, sich diesen Titel für alle Zeit sichern zu wollen. Stagflation, Industrie- und Humankapitalflucht und Offene-Stellen-Rekorde bei Millionen unqualifizierter Migranten sind die Symptome der irrsinnigen Klima- und Migrationspolitik, mit der sich die deutsche Regierung gegen die Naturgesetze der Ökonomie stemmt.

Deutschland, so höhnt der Daily Telegraph am Aschermittwoch, braucht wahrlich keinen Karneval mehr. Denn die Narren sitzen im Bundestag und verteilen das hart erarbeitete Geld der Deutschen in alle Welt. Die deutsche Politik hat verlernt, dass das Volk kein Rohstoff ist, sondern der Souverän und die Politik sein Diener. Doch im Narrenschiff Deutschland glauben die Irrfahrer immer noch, Indien im Westen zu finden.

 
  
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  Clare Daly (The Left). – Mr President, last week, people from across Dublin gathered on Sandymount beach to fly flags, kites and read this poem from Refaat Alareer, Palestinian writer and teacher: ‘If I must die / you must live / to tell my story / to sell my things / to buy a piece of cloth / and some strings, / (make it white with a long tail) / so that a child, somewhere in Gaza / while looking heaven in the eye / awaiting his dad who left in a blaze – / and bid no one farewell / not even to his flesh / not even to himself – / sees the kite, my kite you made, flying up / above / and thinks for a moment an angel is there / bringing back love / If I must die / let it bring hope / let it be a tale’.

Well, he shouldn’t have died or been murdered. Neither should any of the others. But millions will tell their tale and not just hope, but organise for justice and peace for Palestine and Gaza.

 
  
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  Victor Negrescu (S&D). – Domnule președinte, județul Alba merită mai mult și poate mult mai bine. De 20 de ani nu există nicio viziune reală de dezvoltare. Actuala mafie care controlează județul Alba folosind practicile din anii ’90 se impune prin amenințări și abuzuri. Am propus un plan detaliat pentru Alba, care să aducă în județ peste 1,5 miliarde de euro în următorii zece ani. Vom construi noi unități medicale, vom dezvolta infrastructura din Munții Apuseni, vom reduce prețul la apă și gunoi, vom crea locuri de muncă bine plătite în toate zonele județului.

PSD s-a luptat mereu pentru Alba. Noi suntem inițiatorii secției de radioterapie din Alba Iulia, ai heliportului pentru intervenții de urgență din Apuseni, ai parcului industrial din Sebeș, ai proiectelor de autostrăzi din județ, ai Centrului de tineret din Teiuș. Tot noi am reușit, prin alocări directe, folosind inclusiv bani europeni sau programul de dezvoltare locală, să finanțăm fiecare comunitate, inclusiv infrastructura din Alba Iulia sau proiectele din cadrul Centenarului Marii Uniri. PSD este alternativa reală și credibilă la PNL în județul Alba și vom demonstra cu profesionalism că putem să dezvoltăm județul și să îl facem mai bine cunoscut la nivel național și european.

 
  
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  Vlad-Marius Botoş (Renew). – Domnule președinte, domnule comisar, stimați colegi, momentul aderării României la Uniunea Europeană a fost un moment simțit ca o sărbătoare de toți românii. A fost văzut ca o întoarcere acasă. Mai aveam totuși pași de făcut, unul fiind cel al intrării României în spațiul Schengen, al liberei circulații, pasul care ne permite să fim europeni cu drepturi depline.

Modul în care procesul acesta a fost amânat de la un an la altul, de la o întâlnire de Consiliu la alta, chiar dacă România îndeplinește toate condițiile necesare aderării, a dus la creșterea neîncrederii în instituțiile europene, ceea ce este periculos exploatat acum de partidele populiste și extremiste. Este absolut necesar ca pasul făcut în decembrie anul trecut, cel de aderare parțială, cu aeroporturile și fluvială, să fie urmat de aderarea integrală terestră, imediat ce noile condiții sunt îndeplinite. Va fi datoria noastră și a Comisiei Europene, a Parlamentului European, să ne asigurăm că interesele partidelor populiste și extremiste din statele membre nu vor fi mai presus de interesele cetățenilor europeni.

 
  
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  Malte Gallée (Verts/ALE). – Herr Präsident! Ich möchte mich heute mal an die Landwirte wenden. Ich glaube, es ist ein wirklich guter Zeitpunkt, dass Sie sich mal überlegen, wer eigentlich hier Ihre Verbündeten sind und wer Sie eigentlich nur instrumentalisiert. Eines möchte ich Ihnen sagen: Wenn Ihre Kolleginnen und Kollegen – oder die, die vorgeben, es zu sein – Polizei-Barrikaden durchbrechen oder meine Freundinnen und Freunde daran hindern, ihre Versammlung in Hirschaid durchzuführen, dann ist eine Grenze überschritten.

Eines ist ganz klar: In diesem Haus können Sie ganz genau sehen, wer an Ihrer Seite steht bei den Abstimmungen. Schauen Sie: Wer stimmt denn für die Gemeinsame Agrarpolitik? Wer ist denn für die Importe von Produkten, die mit Pestiziden belastet sind, die bei uns in der EU verboten sind? Wer treibt denn das EU—Mercosur—Abkommen voran? Das sind die Konservativen – und wir Grüne stehen an Ihrer Seite!

Und nicht zuletzt: Wer hat denn eigentlich in Deutschland dafür gesorgt, dass Sie massenhaft PV—Anlagen auf Ihren Dächern haben und massiv viel Geld bekommen? Also wir stehen an Ihrer Seite im Kampf gegen die Discounter. Wir stehen für faire Preise, damit Sie von Ihrer Arbeit gut leben können, und gegen das Höfesterben. Bitte sehen Sie das auch. Die Tür ist weiter offen.

 
  
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  Gilles Lebreton (ID). – Monsieur le Président, chers collègues, le 13 février dernier, le Conseil d’État français a modifié les règles d’évaluation du pluralisme de l’information pour les chaînes de télévision. Jusqu’à présent, il ne prenait en compte que l’équilibre des temps de parole accordés aux personnalités politiques. Désormais, il ordonne de prendre aussi en compte les interventions des chroniqueurs, animateurs et invités. C’est extrêmement inquiétant pour la liberté d’expression, car ces nouvelles consignes tendent à obliger les chaînes de télévision à ficher tous leurs intervenants en fonction de leurs opinions politiques présumées afin d’opérer un tri entre eux. Cette exigence d’un fichage généralisé n’est pas digne d’une démocratie.

Il y a encore pire. Ces nouvelles règles ont été posées à l’occasion d’une affaire concernant CNews, c’est-à-dire la chaîne de télévision la plus critique vis à vis du pouvoir en place. En s’en prenant à elle, le Conseil d’État donne la fâcheuse impression que la justice manque d’objectivité et que son but n’est pas d’assurer le pluralisme de l’information, mais au contraire d’imposer le conformisme et le politiquement correct.

 
  
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  Younous Omarjee (The Left). – Monsieur le Président, l’histoire se répète tristement. Le grand retour de l’austérité nous ramène dix ans en arrière à cette funeste troïka, cette mauvaise tragédie grecque écrite à Berlin et à Bruxelles. Derrière les réformes dites «structurelles» se cache un plan bien plus sombre: affaiblir l’État, les services publics, détruire l’État providence pour faire place nette pour les marchés. En réalité, l’ordolibéralisme, c’est la volonté de mettre un point final à l’histoire du progrès social en Europe.

En France, cette déconstruction est engagée et elle s’accompagne d’une régression sociale et d’une répression sociale sans précédent, comme en témoigne la réforme annoncée du marché du travail, d’une violence inédite et assumée. Tenez-le-vous pour dit: en France, la guerre sociale est bien déclarée sous les applaudissements de McKinsey et de BlackRock.

 
  
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  Γεώργιος Κύρτσος (Renew). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, έναν χρόνο μετά το σιδηροδρομικό δυστύχημα στα Τέμπη με 57 νεκρούς και 85 τραυματίες, δεν έχει γίνει τίποτα ουσιαστικό στην κατεύθυνση της κάθαρσης, της δικαίωσης των θυμάτων και των οικογενειών τους.

Η εφημερίδα Καθημερινή, φίλα διακείμενη προς την κυβέρνηση Μητσοτάκη, υπογραμμίζει στο κύριο άρθρο της: «Η Επιτροπή της Βουλής που συστήθηκε για να ερευνήσει την υπόθεση, αναλώθηκε πάλι σε ένα παιχνίδι εντυπώσεων, προσβλητικά ρηχό για τις οικογένειες των θυμάτων, αλλά και την κοινή γνώμη που απαιτεί απαντήσεις». Και καταλήγει το κύριο άρθρο της Καθημερινής: «Να δείξει η Πολιτεία εμπράκτως ότι μαθαίνει από τις αποτυχίες της».

Οι συγγενείς των θυμάτων συγκέντρωσαν ήδη 700 000 υπογραφές υπέρ της κάθαρσης και της απόδοσης ευθυνών σε όσους καλύπτει η κυβέρνηση. Το Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο πολύ σωστά συμπεριέλαβε τον απαράδεκτο χειρισμό της τραγωδίας των Τεμπών στο ψήφισμα για την υποβάθμιση του κράτους δικαίου στην Ελλάδα με ευθύνη της κυβέρνησης.

 
  
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  Luke Ming Flanagan (The Left). – Mr President, for years, I’ve supported the idea of farmers being paid to produce a basket of public goods: clean water, carbon sequestration, biodiversity regeneration. The nature restoration law was the prime opportunity to make this happen. But sadly, this law doesn’t do that.

In the supermarket of public goods, under this regulation, the farmer will be met at the cash desk with a customer that has no money. The farmer will be told by the customer as they walk out of the shop, ‘Sure, we’ll tell you what these public goods are worth in 2028. Don’t worry, it’ll all work out.’ It won’t, though, because when 2028 comes, we already know that there is no money. Nothing.

Would any of you work today on the promise that you might get paid in 2028? No, you wouldn’t, because you’re not stupid. So why expect others to? This law simply won’t work, because there will be no transition without a just transition.

 
  
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  João Pimenta Lopes (The Left). – Senhor Presidente, no dia 20 de fevereiro assinalou—se o Dia Mundial da Justiça Social, em contraste com o aprofundar das desigualdades a que assistimos.

Em Portugal, 5 % da população detém 42 % da riqueza. No ano passado, os pedidos de despejo aumentaram 17 % face a 2022. Estamos perante crescentes injustiças sociais na habitação, nos salários, nas pensões a que é urgente dar resposta.

Injustiças que afetam particularmente os idosos, faixa etária especialmente vulnerável. São 400 000 idosos em risco de pobreza, com reformas até 551 €, como confirmam tantos e tantos testemunhos na rua que nos alertam para a pensão de miséria depois de uma vida inteira a trabalhar.

É urgente aumentar reformas e pensões, reforçar as prestações sociais. É urgente o reforço da rede de equipamentos e serviços de apoio, garantir o acesso à saúde, à habitação. É urgente travar o aumento do custo de vida. É urgente reduzir a idade da reforma.

São necessárias políticas de efetiva justiça social que dignifiquem o envelhecimento, assegurando qualidade de vida, bem—estar físico e psicológico, fruição dos tempos livres e acompanhamento adequado.

 
  
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  Chris MacManus (The Left). – Mr President, this weekend I attended the Irish Skipper Expo, which brought together fishermen with fishing and coastal stakeholders from across Ireland. The message I kept hearing was that Dublin and Brussels are not doing enough to ensure the survival of the Irish fishing sector, which has taken real blows between Brexit and the COVID pandemic.

There is a real fear that there is more to come, as the EU negotiates deals that could offer third countries even more access to our pelagic fish stocks, such as mackerel. We need the Irish Government to stand up and demand improved fishing opportunities for our fishing sector. Solutions do exist for improved fishing opportunities, such as quotas for species new to our waters, like bluefin tuna.

A chairde, we are an island nation, and it is time for the Irish Government to stand up for our fishermen.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Damit ist dieser Tagesordnungspunkt geschlossen.

 

23. Agenda of the next sitting
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  Der Präsident. – Die nächste Sitzung findet morgen, 27. Februar 2024, um 9.00 Uhr statt. Die Tagesordnung wurde veröffentlicht und ist auf der Website des Europäischen Parlaments verfügbar.

 

24. Approval of the minutes of the sitting
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  Der Präsident. – Das Protokoll dieser Sitzung wird dem Parlament morgen zu Beginn der Nachmittagssitzung zur Genehmigung vorgelegt.

 

25. Closure of the sitting
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(Die Sitzung wird um 22.10 Uhr geschlossen)

 
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