Go back to the Europarl portal

Choisissez la langue de votre document :

 Index 
 Previous 
 Next 
 Full text 
Procedure : 2000/2057(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A5-0250/2000

Texts tabled :

A5-0250/2000

Debates :

Votes :

Texts adopted :

P5_TA(2000)0417

Texts adopted
Wednesday, 4 October 2000 - Strasbourg
Enlargement of the European Union
P5_TA(2000)0417A5-0250/2000

European Parliament resolution on the enlargement of the European Union (COM(1999) 500 - C5-0341/2000 - 2000/2171 (COS) )

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the Commission's composite paper relating to the reports on progress towards accession by each of the candidate countries (COM(1999) 500 - C5-0341/2000 ),

-  having regard to Rule 47(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

-  having regard to the contributions of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (2000/2057/INI), the Committee on Legal Affairs and the Internal Market (2000/2120/INI), the Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy (2000/2149/INI), the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (2000/2121/INI), the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy (2000/2080/INI and 2000/2081/INI), the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (2000/2122/INI), the Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism (2000/2123/INI and 2000/2124/INI) and the Committee on Women's Rights and Equal Opportunities (2000/2125/INI),

-  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy and the opinions of the Committee on Budgets, the Committee on Budgetary Control, the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, the Committee on Citizens' Freedoms and Rights, Justice and Home Affairs, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, the Committee on Fisheries and the Committee on Culture, Youth, Education, the Media and Sport (A5-0250/2000 ),

A.  whereas the unification of a Europe which was divided by the Soviet occupation of Central and Eastern Europe in an area of peace, security, prosperity and stability remains the historic task of the European Union and the overarching goal of its policies,

B.  whereas overcoming economic and social differences between the current Member States and the future Member States is the most significant challenge for the Union, which can be met only through cooperation among all Member States on a footing of equal rights and through common solidarity,

C.  whereas, both for the current Member States and for the candidate countries preparing to join, enlargement offers advantages in terms of strengthening the area of freedom, security and justice, providing a boost to economic growth and attracting investment from outside, thereby strengthening Europe's place in the world,

D.  whereas the Helsinki European Council reached a similar conclusion to the European Parliament concerning the opening of accession negotiations with all the candidate countries from Central and Eastern Europe and has thus eliminated their division into two groups,

E.  whereas the conclusions of Helsinki have underlined the principle of full differentiation within the negotiation process and thus emphasised that each country ought to be judged according to its own progress and merits,

F.  whereas the changes taking place in the candidate countries have led to social problems and in particular to marked social stratification and in some cases high unemployment,

G.  whereas accession to the Union requires not only a political decision but also involves fundamental legal and political adaptations in the candidate countries,

H.  whereas therefore the pre-accession strategy remains an important part of the overall accession process, including as its guiding principle the fulfilment of the political, economic and acquis criteria of Copenhagen,

I.  whereas progress in negotiations must go hand in hand with progress in incorporating the acquis into legislation and actually implementing and enforcing it,

J.  whereas the Union Member States have the duty of swiftly laying down and implementing the reforms required for enlargement,

K.  whereas enlargement is not a one-way process of duties and responsibilities, but also requires the EU and its Member States to make substantial efforts to prepare for the impact of an enlarged Union, both in its sectoral policies and their implementation and in the way in which it organises itself,

L.  whereas if the forthcoming enlargement of the Union is to succeed, fundamental reforms are needed, in particular greater transparency and closeness to the citizen, an active policy to overcome high unemployment, convergence of social standards, and Union funding procedures based on solidarity,

M.  whereas simultaneously with the on-going enlargement process, the EU should develop a wider pan-European cooperation by taking into account the situation in the Balkans, the relations with Russia and Ukraine, the Northern dimension as well as the challenges of deepening cooperation in the Mediterranean,

N.  whereas, pursuant to Article 49 TEU, Parliament must give its assent to any enlargement by an absolute majority of its component members; whereas this responsibility implies the fullest appraisal of the outcome of the accession negotiations,

1.  Welcomes the progress made in the accession negotiations with all candidate countries and calls on the Commission and the Council to ensure that the principle of differentiation is fully implemented in the negotiation process so that each acceding country can be treated as an individual case according to the progress that it has achieved;

2.  Reiterates its view that the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) must strengthen the institutional framework of the Union and make it more efficient, transparent and democratic, thus enabling the Union to be ready from the beginning of 2003 to enlarge without endangering the deepening of the Union; ideally the ongoing IGC will be the fínal one before the first wave of candidate countries is accepted into the Union. As a minimum, the European Council should immediately rule out the possibility that any further institutional reforms are considered as preconditions for enlargement; calls for the candidate countries to be involved to a greater extent in the discussions on the decisions to be taken at the Conference;

3.  Insists that after the conclusion of the Intergovernmental Conference, a clear accession scenario should be established, based on a detailed assessment of the countries' performances; proposes that the EU institutions, the Member States and the candidate countries with which negotiations have been started, do everything in their power to ensure that the European Parliament can give its assent to the first accession treaties before the European Parliament elections in 2004, in order that these countries might have the prospect of participating in those elections, and to the subsequent treaties during the course of the next parliamentary term;

4.  Emphasises that transition periods are necessary but that it is very important to keep them as short and limited as possible in order not to endanger the cohesion of the EU and the proper functioning of the single market; these transition periods should be tailored to the needs of individual candidate countries, enabling them to adjust at a controlled and measured pace to the rigours of a competitive market economy;

5.  Calls on the Commission to maintain the momentum of the pre-accession strategy with all candidate countries and highlights the importance of the activities being undertaken within that strategy; this should enable each candidate country to match the commitments given in the negotiations with tangible results, in particular as regards building the administrative infrastructure for the implementation and enforcement of the acquis in the future member states;

6.  Calls on the candidate countries to make further efforts to strengthen their administrative capacities for implementing and enforcing the EU acquis in advance of accession and for the uptake of aid;

7.  Notes that, although legislative measures have been adopted in some cases, rules and regulations governing the audiovisual media and intellectual property are still way out of step with the acquis communautaire and/or need to be aligned with the requirements of the acquis ;

8.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that award procedures for EU-funded projects in the candidate countries conform to the same high standard of regularity, transparency, and dispatch as in the EU itself, thereby guaranteeing that resources will be put to proper use;

9.  Calls on all candidate countries to continue building up effective financial control and audit procedures in order to thoroughly monitor the use of the pre-accession funds;

10.  Expects the candidate countries to take all necessary measures in the fight against corruption and organised crime and supports their efforts in this area;

11.  Notes that despite progress in the reform of the courts and the police forces in the candidate countries, significant improvements are still needed in terms of the way in which democracy operates, the independence of the judiciary, coordination between departments and the qualifications of officials, for example in the fight against economic and financial crime;

12.  Recalls that pursuant to Article 49 TEU and the Copenhagen criteria, candidate countries must satisfy in full the requirements concerning respect for democracy and human rights and incorporation of the acquis communautaire ;

13.  Considers reform of the Dublin Convention to be an important element of the EU's internal preparations for enlargement because it is needed in order to prevent a disproportionately high number of applications for asylum being made in the future Member States on account of their geographical location;

14.  Points out that adoption of the EC acquis in the area of equality is a sine qua non for accession since it is a question essentially of human rights and that the necessary institution building in this area is a vital pre-requisite to full implementation of the acquis ;

15.  Emphasises that minorities in candidate countries should be treated in full compliance with the principles set out in the conventions of the Council of Europe, the UN and the OECD. In particular, the rights and treatment of those groups cited in Article 13 EC should be taken into account when assessing the fulfilment of the Copenhagen criteria;

16.  Calls on the Commission to make sufficient PHARE funds available to help the candidate countries to tackle Roma-related and child protection problems by enhancing national PHARE-funded programmes with a multi-country programme which should be administered in close association with the Roma communities and local authorities, and in cooperation with other European organisations;

17.  Welcomes the fact that the Commission has developed and is implementing an information strategy on the benefits of EU enlargement but points out that it must also assign the necessary staff to the departments concerned; invites the candidate countries and the Member Sates to coordinate their own information campaigns; believes that for an effective public debate to take place, greater transparency and democratic control of accession negotiations are needed; therefore calls upon the Council and the Commission to provide for timely information and adequate consultation of Parliament on the progress of negotiations;

18.  Is considering to this effect the possibility of opening European Parliament information offices in the capitals of the candidate countries in cooperation with the Commission offices in order to support the process of public debate on questions relating to EU accession;

19.  Supports the Commission's attempts to deal with the particular problems of structurally weak border regions on both sides of the frontiers now separating the fifteen Member States and the candidate countries and thus prevent socio-economic and political fault-lines from posing a long-term obstacle to accession and integration;

20.  Calls on the candidate countries to seek more actively to cooperate among themselves and set up regional cooperation machinery; calls on the Commission to bolster existing moves to foster such cooperation and provide the resources required to fund it;

21.  Underlines the significance of enlargement for the economy of the current Member States, the fact that the political and macroeconomic gains of enlargement will more than meet the extra costs of enlargement for those Member States, and that the EU already now enjoys from a growing trade surplus with the candidate countries;

22.  Emphasises that acceptance of the provisions laid down regarding Economic and Monetary Union rules out any possibility of opting out and represents a commitment to a global, irreversible political project, which necessarily presupposes real economic convergence and an approach to EMU which does not mean mere membership of a currency area but which entails genuine coordination of economic and social policies;

23.  Considers that the independence of the Court of Auditors or its equivalent in each candidate country must be safeguarded and that, prior to accession, it must be granted and guaranteed the means of enforcing its findings; encourages the continuation and furthering of the contacts between the institutions responsible for financial control in the candidate countries and those in the Member States; encourages the development of the twinning programmes in the framework of technical assistance, in accordance with the needs expressed by the candidate countries, and the continuation of the seminars organised by the Commission; expects the candidate countries on accession to do their utmost to achieve the same level of protection of the EU's financial interests as that provided by the 15 current Member States; expects the candidate countries to become fully involved as of now in combating fraud affecting the financial interests of the European Union and to ensure that the introduction, as soon as possible, of systems aimed at combating fraud appears in their national programmes for the adoption of the acquis communautaire (PNAA, revised annually); considers that those candidate countries which have not yet done so should sign and ratify as soon as possible the international conventions and protocols on protection under criminal law; expects the candidate countries to carry out, before their accession, the reforms necessary for the smooth operation of the system of collecting own resources and adopt the harmonised calculation of GNP;

24.  Considers that existing budget commitments will prove insufficient to ensure success in the long term of this historic enlargement unless there is either a radical reform of existing expenditure policies, such as the CAP, or a review of its own resource ceilings;

25.  Points out that the enlargement will strain the EU budget, but can clearly remain within the own resources ceiling of 1.27% of the GNP for payments until 2006; stresses the need to finance the enlargement within the framework given by the Interinstitutional Agreement of 6 May 1999(1) ;

26.  Urges the Commission to take into consideration the budgetary consequences of an enlargement which takes place other than as expected in 1999 by the Berlin European Council and by Parliament, in particular as regards the dates of accession and the order in which the candidate countries will join the Union; requests the Commission to develop scenarios for the adjustment of the Financial Perspective (use of heading 8), in particular for the case in which more than six new Member States join the EU before 2006, and for the case in which the first candidate countries join the Union later than 2002; urges the Commission to examine the economic and budgetary consequences of enlargement beyond the period of the financial framework 2000 - 2006, which was based on the assumption of six Member States joining the Union; points out that the next long-term budget calculations will have to be made on the basis of full participation by up to 13 new Member States, which will inter alia require that agricultural and regional policies have been completely reformed;

27.  Underlines the importance of other political, cultural, social and economic aspects of enlargement, which are difficult to estimate in figures, such as positive effects on competition, environment, democracy and peace, a prospect of increased growth and of a single currency for the biggest common market worldwide (in the longer term); calls on the Commission to draw up a report on the "cost of non-enlargement";

28.  Proposes that the prospect of participation in a new European area based on trade, security, protection of the environment and fundamental rights be opened up to countries with which accession is not being negotiated at present ; participation in such an area must not preclude eventual membership of the EU;

29.  Intends eventually to deliver opinions separately on the Member States' position papers and the provisional outcome of the negotiations;

Convergence and stability in the countries which are candidates for enlargement

30.  Stresses that the initial years following accession will mean a major challenge for the economies of the new Member States, particularly as a result of the inevitable changes which will affect their financial, economic and social structures, and that the phase of adoption of the euro, which will bring its own constraints, represents a subsequent stage in the successful transition to a market economy in accordance with the Copenhagen criteria;

31.  Notes the apparently beneficial effects of the various policies for reducing inflation and anchoring exchange rates already carried out in many candidate countries, but emphasises the need for pragmatic approaches to be adopted in order to allow the appropriate adjustments, to ensure that reform is carried out gradually and in a sustainable way during the pre-accession phase and to safeguard the credibility of the currencies in the medium term, and encourages a policy of preventing risks of external imbalances and exchange rate crises;

32.  Notes that full participation within EMU including voting rights can only occur after compliance with all the Treaty's provisions, but recognises nevertheless that some candidate countries may want to move further and faster towards imposing the rules and reaping the advantages of EMU;

33.  Calls on the Commission to carry out a detailed assessment of progress in respect of the Copenhagen economic criteria, including the criteria of a functioning market economy, a stable legal framework for the economy, and the reform of business law and of the arrangements for state aid;

34.  Stresses the need to strengthen banking and financial systems, in particular by means of international cooperation in order, inter alia , to improve the reliability of banking supervision; furthermore, advocates the development of tools such as credit information centres (central checking of risks) in order in particular to reduce discrimination against small and medium-sized businesses with regard to access to finance;

35.  Calls on the Commission to consider, depending on the individual country, the introduction of transitional periods for the liberalisation of capital movements, in particular short-term capital movements, in the same way as for the free movement of goods and persons, emphasising the significant risks of financial instability for banking systems and for the real economy;

36.  Proposes the introduction of an institutionalised framework to encourage, during the pre-accession phase, exchanges of information between ministries of finance and central banks of the candidate countries and the competent institutions of the Union; this could take the form of periodic meetings on the occasion of meetings of the Economic and Financial Committee and the Economic Policy Committee, at which 'pre-convergence programmes' would be presented on the basis of harmonised indicators and statistics; the Commission would report periodically to Parliament on the results achieved in the implementation of such programmes;

37.  Advocates, in the light of the exceptional needs of these countries with regard to infrastructure, the development of human resources and the environment, that public investment expenditure be identified in the assessment of the management of their public finances, observing that there is a significant budgetary margin of manoeuvre in the majority of these countries as a result of markedly higher growth rates than in the European Union;

38.  Calls on the authorities of the candidate countries which have not already done so to introduce, as soon as possible, exchange rate policies linked to the euro and to examine in detail, together with the authorities of the European Union, the challenges and risks posed by the partial monetary integration which will result from the increasing use of the euro as a parallel currency;

39.  Calls on the Commission to report to it twice a year on the progress of the negotiations, and asks that the mutual provision of information in particular by the parliaments of the Member States and of the candidate countries be strengthened;

State of legislation in the candidate countries and its implementation in areas relating to the single market

40.  Will assume its full responsibility, in ratifying each accession agreement, not only for the operation of the internal market but also for the social and economic situation in the EU and in the candidate countries, and reserves the right to carry out an independent review of compliance with the Copenhagen criteria and the appropriateness, in terms of Parliament's expectations, of the agreements concluded;

41.  Recalls that the Copenhagen European Council made "the capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union" a precondition for membership; notes in this connection that the GDP of the candidate countries still amounts to only 7% of the GDP in the EU-15, even though their population is 21% of that in the EU; is fully aware that the opening of a single market among regions with such widely differing structures is an undertaking unprecedented in economic history; calls on the Commission to submit a detailed economic analysis to enable it to assess this criterion;

42.  Considers that the progress of economic integration should be guided in an intelligent manner which does justice to the problems, in order to avoid rejection on either side; regards the transitional arrangements as a flexible and appropriate instrument for avoiding convergence problems, particularly as regards the free movement of workers and services; calls on the Commission to ensure, in the framework of the accession strategy, that the level of State aids remains close to that allowed under the acquis ;

43.  Warns against underestimating the effects of the emerging division of labour between the current Member States and the candidate countries; is convinced that the accompanying acceleration of structural change will result in a "win-win" situation benefiting both sides; however, regards it as a responsibility of the EU to cushion the effect of market integration problems (e.g. in particular industries or border areas), as was done through the Integrated Mediterranean Programmes at the time of the enlargement to the South;

44.  Emphasises that there is a direct link in the internal market between granting fundamental freedoms and compliance with minimum standards, e.g. in the fields of social security, the environment, consumer protection, health and competition; calls in consequence for due account to be taken of this link in the accession negotiations in order to prevent economic and social distortions;

45.  Welcomes the progress made in adapting the legal systems of the candidate countries to EU single market provisions and calls on all candidate countries not to relax their efforts in this direction; calls on the Commission to use the scoreboard to monitor effective transposition of European directives in national legislation when the candidate countries accede;

46.  Insists that the adoption of EU law will only satisfy European requirements if it is effectively enforced on a regular basis by administration, legal controls, market supervision etc; is very concerned about the deficits in this area, which must at all costs be eliminated before accession takes place;

47.  Considers an efficient judicial system with independent courts, a sufficient number of trained judges, judgments given in a reasonable time and enforceability of judgments as one of the essential preconditions for the candidate countries" entry into the internal market, because the equitable protection of the rights of economic operators is essential in the interest of fair trade; notes that the candidate countries have much ground to make up in guaranteeing legal certainty;

48.  Sets particular store by the Copenhagen criterion of "guaranteeing…the rule of law", which naturally rules out any discrimination against EU citizens through laws currently in force; refers in particular to the freedom of establishment and the freedom to purchase land;

49.  Is concerned about the lack of transparency in accession negotiations in the field of the internal market both towards the public and towards the European Parliament and national parliaments; fears, in view of the immense implications of the decisions to be taken, that there will therefore be a further drop in support for eastward enlargement among the citizens of the European Union if they are left in the dark for years about the progress of negotiations; calls on the governments of the Member States, the Council of Ministers and the Commission to publicise the official positions on the individual chapters of the accession negotiations and to enter into a debate on the matter, as is being done in exemplary fashion in certain candidate countries; points to the fact that properly streamlined commercial communications are a key factor in the sound functioning of the internal market and stresses the importance of mutual recognition between the Member States;

The implications of enlargement for industry, external trade, research and energy

50.  Considers that, in the field of industrial policy, the candidate countries essentially face two challenges, namely those of aligning their law with Community law (the acquis communautaire ) and increasing the competitiveness of their industries; stresses that the alignment of their laws with Community law is not confined to the adoption of legislation but must be accompanied by development of the rule of law such as to provide sufficient legal certainty for all investors; stresses furthermore that progress in tackling these tasks is at the same time a yardstick for determining the moment of accession of the individual candidate countries;

51.  Proposes, as regards the enhancement of competitiveness and of social and economic cohesion, a concerted effort in the pre-accession period, covering:

   -
specific measures designed to speed up the adjustment of industrial structures and encourage the development of new undertakings, especially SMEs,
   -
measures to improve and simplify the legal framework, incorporating rules on product specification, market access, competition and financing and environmental standards, particularly for emissions in all fields of industry and not only the energy sector,
   -
appropriate measures complementary to industrial policy, such as the provision of a stable macroeconomic environment, increasing human resources, social dialogue, a viable social protection system, active labour market policies and adequate infrastructure;
   -
measures to promote the creation of a non-discriminatory area of communication;

52.  Considers it imperative, in the interests of successful industrial adjustment in order to create or maintain a climate conducive to investment, that five requirements should be met: adequate financing of programmes, efficient capital markets, priority to new technologically advanced enterprises over the partially obsolete industrial complexes, equal competitive conditions for all businesses, irrespective of whether they are publicly or privately owned, and steps to combat corruption; however, the PHARE programme, partly due to its current management and priorities, has not yet been an overwhelming success; calls upon the Commission to submit to the European Parliament a separate "progress report" concentrating on the following chapters of negotiation: industrial policy, small- and medium-sized undertakings, telecommunications, the audiovisual sector and media and internet related industries, by analysing the scale of restructuring and the cost of financing required, and possible derogations from competition rules, e.g. for public-service broadcasting, if they are deemed necessary;

53.  Is convinced that the "export potential" of the candidate countries will increase if industrial adjustment is maintained, R and D takes account of specific needs and exportable sectors and the emergence of new enterprises is encouraged; recognises, however, that the Europe Agreements between the EU and the CEEC candidate countries have boosted trade liberalisation between the candidate countries and the EU, and have provided a useful framework for the alignment of candidate countries" rules and laws in the field of capital movements, industrial and intellectual property rights and public procurement;

54.  Hopes that the Council and Commission will formally refer to it the recently concluded trade agreements and that the Commission will submit to it an analysis of the Free Trade Agreements already concluded with the candidate countries, paying attention to their compatibility with the EU common commercial policy during the preparatory phase; draws attention to the fact that the Commission has not presented to Parliament any quantitative assessment of the potential impact of the enlargement on "trade creation" and "trade diversion"; would also like to receive an analysis of likely changes in direct investment from third countries in the current Member States and the candidate countries as a result of enlargement;

55.  Stresses that the EU trade strategy is based on mutual opening of markets and integration of global markets, and that after accession it will no longer be possible to pursue trade policies outside the common commercial policy; expects the candidate countries even before accession to coordinate their trade policies with the EU's common commercial policy, in particular to adopt more effective measures to harmonise trade relations with third countries by means of common approaches within the WTO and international financial organisations (IMF and World Bank) and to prepare for accession by making further tariff reductions; recognises also the recent close cooperation of some candidate countries with the EU in this field; calls on the Commission to assist the candidate countries in their efforts to open markets further;

56.  Stresses the fact that the fifth enlargement of the EU coincides with the emergence of the information society; draws attention to the benefits arising from further growth expected to result from the creation of a "common information area"; stresses the need for greater efforts to improve the application of information technology to old and new sectors in the candidate countries, ensuring accessibility for a broad base of users and the provision of universal services; believes that the public sector should be exemplary in applying information technologies, which may contribute substantially to transparency, simplification and acceleration of state administration in the candidate countries;

57.  Calls upon the Commission to submit to Parliament information with regard to new-technology-related sectors (internet, biotech, space etc) and the fields of science and research and telecommunication discussed by the Commission with the candidate countries, and with regard to whether the traditional method of "call for tenders" and "competition for research funding" from the EU budget is suited to, and efficient for, the 13 candidate countries while the latter are in an on-going process of transformation which requires social, economic and environmental research to be strengthened;

58.  Draws attention to the particular sensitivity of the energy sector, as energy consumption in the candidate countries used to be largely cost-free and the establishment of a pricing system is therefore particularly difficult, although it is also extremely important from the point of view of environmental protection and reducing energy production; observes that integrating candidate countries into the internal market entails the complete transposition and implementation of the directives on the internal market in electricity and gas, as well as the reserve requirements for oil stocks and adoption of the safety standards which apply within the EU for the operation of nuclear power stations, their possible decommissioning and the disposal of fuel, including its transport;

59.  Calls on the Commission to give an overview of existing studies and if necessary to undertake an in-depth study of the following aspects of energy:

   (a)
quantitative estimate of the modernisation of the energy industries in the CEEC candidate countries, and the resources and time required to achieve a similar energy intensity and level of renewables production as in the EU;
   (b)
an assessment of the simulation of emission trading models and their impact on the energy sector of the candidate countries;
   (c)
the potential maximum contribution of the EU budget through programmes such as SAVE, JOULE, THERMIE, ALTENER etc. to all 13 candidate countries, or other sources of financing and how such assistance could be coordinated;

Employment and social aspects in the candidate countries

60.  Welcomes and acknowledges the tremendous efforts which the CEECs have made to modernise their economic and social structures; trusts that the necessary reforms will not result in social hardship and calls on the Commission to launch its information campaign on enlargement immediately; points out with concern that the growth rates in the CEECs are not up to the expectations of the economic research institutions as forecast in 1997 and that internal social disparities are increasing, which means that the convergence of income is highly likely to progress significantly more slowly - some candidate countries even experienced negative growth; therefore calls for economic and social policy measures to be taken, starting during the pre-accession period, in order to enhance social and economic cohesion and to avoid negative impacts resulting from considerable differences in income within and between Member States; also calls for initiatives in order to be able to fund domestic investments and investments from abroad and thus accelerate the convergence of per capita income;

61.  Requests that, despite the need to ensure balanced national budgets in the CEECs, investments in public and social infrastructure must not be endangered but on the contrary should be encouraged;

62.  Believes that social protection represents not only a budgetary burden but also a productive factor and a cornerstone for the European social model; notes that social expenditure has an important function in the process of structural change, thus supporting the growth and the convergence of income; stresses that the four social protection objectives (income through work, unemployment benefits, pensions and health care) are valid for the EU as well as the CEECs; stresses that the four objectives (set out in the Communication of the Commission (COM(1999) 347 ) and taken up in the Council Conclusions(2) ) have to be realised through sustainable financing as well as administrative performance; considers it essential in view of accession that companies based in the EU comply with its social and environmental standards when operating and/or investing in the candidate countries; asks the Commission to negotiate a 'code of conduct', following the example of the code of conduct on social and ecological aspects for multinationals adopted by the OECD; calls on the Commission to ensure that EU-funded programmes and projects aimed at restructuring the industrial sector integrate aspects of employment, social protection, equality between men and women and respect for the environment pursuant to Article 2 TEU;

63.  Requests that, given the important role of the social partners and regional actors in the field of employment and social affairs, greater efforts be made to develop the social dialogue further, in order to contribute to democratic development, the development of social security systems, health and pension systems and health and safety at work, as well as to guarantee equal opportunities and equal treatment and non-discrimination by labour market policy; similarly recognises the importance of civil society in promoting social inclusion and calls for the development and strengthening of non-governmental organisations and of civil dialogue;

64.  Points out that labour participation rates in the CEECs are generally lower than in the EU, particularly for women; points out that in the CEECs labour market institutions and National Action Plans of employment have to be developed, or be developed further, which enable a more rapid structural change; therefore calls on the CEECs to adapt their qualification profiles and education and training arrangements to the new European economic conditions and education systems, in order to promote growth and convergence; also demands that gender mainstreaming and issues relating to minors be given particular importance in these policy measures;

65.  Considers that if the integration process is well prepared, significant migration from the CEECs into the EU is not to be expected; is convinced, however, that in order to maintain social cohesion as well as social peace in an enlarged EU, social exclusion and poverty in the CEECs have to be reduced drastically; points out that measures must be taken to head off and contain social tensions in the border regions between the EU and the CEECs, due to the strongly divergent standards of living and levels of income;

66.  Calls on the Commission, as a matter of urgency, to fund the planned, specific cross-border support measures in the border regions in the EU confronted with commuters due to the divergent income levels, price levels and standards of living;

67.  Refers to the agreed transition periods in previous rounds of enlargement of the EU and to its resolution of 4 December 1997(3) on the Communication of the Commission 'Agenda 2000 - for a stronger and wider Union' (COM(97) 2000 - C4-0371/97 );

68.  Notes that Council Directive 2000/43/EC implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin(4) is part of the acquis communautaire ; insists that policy measures be taken to combat discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin, both in the EU and the CEECs; notes also that the non-discrimination clause Article 13 EC belongs to the acquis communautaire and that legislation derived from this article must be fully implemented in both the EU and the CEECs;

69.  Asks for a detailed study of the causes of or the reasons for under-five mortality (especially in Romania), demographic shrink and lower life expectation (especially in Romania, Hungary and the Baltic states), and, on the basis of the conclusions thereof, for special support to be given, in partnership with the World Health Organisation, to the child health policies in place in those countries; furthermore asks for similar studies into the situation of disabled people in institutions, and into the general treatment of the Roma peoples, all of which will require further attention by the candidate countries as well as external support from the existing EU15;

Environmental aspects of the enlargement negotiations

70.  Calls on the candidate countries to give the highest priority to the transposition of the environmental acquis into their national legislation with accomplishment at the latest by the day of accession; EU environmental directives which can be implemented at low cost (e.g. Environmental Impact Assessment, Environmental Information, Animal Welfare legislation, Habitat and Birds Directives), should apply from day one of accession; considers it essential to accord special priority to implementing the acquis in the remaining environmental problem areas (such as water and atmospheric pollution and waste treatment); considers that transition periods for the implementation of parts of the environmental acquis that involve a high level of financial expenditure should be limited to a maximum of five years, provided the risks to the environment or human health do not call for swifter action, and only in exceptional, very well founded cases should it be possible for transition periods longer than five years to be negotiated after the Commission has consulted the European Parliament and established to Parliament=s satisfaction that such a request is reasonable; the approval of exceptions should be conditional on a dependable timetable, action plan and funding strategy;

71.  Insists that, in the likely event that transition periods are granted to the new Member States in the field of the environment, realistic interim targets should be stipulated in the accession treaties, and that not meeting these targets should be treated as regular infringement of Community law;

72.  Considers insufficient the information provided by the Commission in the Enlargement Report concerning AQuality of Life and Environment”; calls on the candidate countries to forward annually to the European Parliament their National Programmes for the Adoption of the acquis , including precise timetables and detailing progress made with legislative processes; insists that during the pre-accession period the Commission report yearly on the situation of the environment to the European Parliament, including the results of implementation of the acquis , and relate these reports to interim targets with the purpose of identifying the precise extent of the progress made by the individual candidate countries; calls on NGOs active in environmental policy to assist the European Parliament in identifying potential or real deficiencies in the performance of accession countries by submitting reports assessing the situation before the end of 2001, and annually thereafter;

73.  Asks that EU pre-accession aid for environmental purposes to the candidate countries be doubled by 2006; emphasises that EU financial instruments such as Phare, ISPA (Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-Accession) and SAPARD (Support for Agriculture and Rural Development) should be interlinked and should offer stronger support for sustainable development; insists that the EUR 5 million limit for ISPA funding be removed in order to give small, innovative projects a chance and that EU-funded projects and programmes not only give due regard to the welfare and conservation of animals but also create the conditions for good livestock farming that takes account of the animals' natural behaviour and for minimising the transport of animals by ensuring that they are slaughtered as near as possible to where they have been reared; considers also that no transitional arrangements should be accepted in the sphere of animal welfare;

74.  Considers it essential that companies based in the EU comply with EU environmental standards when operating and/or investing in the candidate countries, asks the Commission to negotiate such an 'environmental code of conduct' with UNICE; emphasises that all EU pre-accession aid should be compatible with the EU approach of integrating environmental considerations into other policies and to this end requests the Commission to make and publish environmental impact assessments of all EU-financed pre-accession projects and plans, including loans from the EIB, prior to putting these funds into operation, and demands that in making such loans within the candidate countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the EIB greatly improve the transparency of its practices and general policies on providing information to the public; calls on the competent authorities to examine ways in which more funding can be made available for the direct support of nature conservation both before and after accession, for example by broadening the criteria under which ISPA funds can be allocated to environmental projects so that these criteria include nature conservation activities, particularly the identification of suitable sites for Natura 2000 and the subsequent management of such sites;

75.  Stresses the importance of strong commitment on the part both of the candidate countries and of the EU in the field of environment and nuclear safety; recalls that nuclear power reactors of first generation Soviet design are considered as 'high risk' for Europe in general; urges the candidate countries to fulfil their obligations concerning their closure; is of the opinion that these nuclear reactors should be closed down at the latest by the time of accession; supports the Commission's plan for EU funding for scientific and technical cooperation to assist with the decommissioning of nuclear facilities; acknowledges the need to provide social support for displaced workers; calls on international financial institutions as the EIB and the EBRD to provide multi-lateral strategic investment and bilateral financial assistance in the realisation of energy saving projects and the development of renewable energy sources in the candidate countries;

76.  Calls on the Commission, as well as the Council and the governments of both the existing Member States and the candidate countries, to work to increase awareness and understanding in the candidate countries of the importance of environmental protection and nature conservation in general and Natura 2000 in particular on the part of both official bodies and the general population; calls for effective administration to be developed at local, regional and national level to ensure that environmental legislation is implemented properly; encourages greater public participation and the involvement of environmental and animal welfare NGOs in the accession process, recognising that environmental protection and conservation depend not only on laws and regulations but on the existence of active and independent non-governmental organisations organised locally, regionally, nationally and at European and international levels, as well as on a high level of concern, awareness and knowledge on the part of the general public, experts and politically responsible decision-makers; suggests that partnerships between the candidate countries' and the Member States' administrations be intensified;

77.  Considers better coordination between the requirements of economic growth and the environment to be an extremely important principle; stresses that integration of environmental policy into other fields of policy is a basic premise; calls, therefore, on the competent authorities to ensure that EU-funded projects and programmes, for example those aimed at the modernisation of infrastructure, particularly in the fields of energy and transport, give due regard to environmental considerations, taking account, inter alia, of use of renewable energy sources, the development of efficient public transport, especially by rail, and in particular the preservation of the extensive biodiversity of the candidate countries and integral natural areas and that environmentally destructive projects be disqualified; recognise that this biodiversity is a priceless asset which on the accession of the candidate countries will become part of the irreplaceable heritage of the European Union; recognise in practice that the biodiversity and the rich natural and cultural heritage of rural areas in the candidate countries could form the potential foundation of social and economic strategies based upon sustainable development; encourage activities which tend to minimise any harmful impact on landscape and nature, and maximise benefits, whilst preserving a rural population as well as biodiversity; establish to this end clear links between National Rural Development Plans and funds granted under SAPARD, and the priorities of the Birds and Habitats Directives, with particular regard to Natura 2000 sites, which should be the target of pilot agri-environment programmes;

78.  Urges the candidate countries, in cooperation with the Commission, to ensure that Natura 2000 sites are identified before accession, and to devise a system whereby the annexes of the two relevant directives are amended at the earliest possible opportunity to take into account species and habitat types which are not represented in the EU 15, as well as the fact that in many candidate countries a large part of the territory already enjoys protected status and should continue to do so; in this regard asks that under no circumstances should EU accession lead to a reduction in the total size of protected areas or the protection status of these areas, especially with regard to integral natural areas;

79.  Further urges all parties concerned to recognise that nature protection is not achievable solely through the identification and protection of designated areas, but must also be based on general policies which stimulate sustainable economic activity both in the countryside and in urban areas (including recreational pursuits), encourage environmentally friendly agriculture and forestry and the development of the urban and industrial environments, integrate environmental considerations into the broad range of public policy wherever appropriate, most obviously in relation to transport and energy, reduce overall levels of air- and water-based pollution, preserve soil quality and other natural resources, and discourage forms of economic activity which lead to the destruction of valuable habitats (such as the draining of wetlands); to this end seek ways to avoid the reproduction of problems characteristic of the EU 15, problems associated with intensive farming, monoculture, displacement of agricultural labour, and a failure to take into account the general and economic value of biodiversity; such ways to include, inter alia, the broad exploitation of possibilities to counter such tendencies (and to encourage, for example, the survival of rural communities, smallholdings, traditional and ecologically friendly methods of field division - such as hedges, water channels and dry stone walls - rare breeds of domestic animal, and ecological corridors) offered by existing budgetary measures such as the EAGGF and the Community Instrument LEADER;

Health and consumer protection aspects of the negotiations for enlargement
Public health

80.  Calls on the Commission to work closely with the candidate countries and the WHO Europe Office to monitor progress towards physical, mental, neurological and environmental health reforms and towards meeting the broad acquis communautaire relating to health and to encourage the development of statistics and outcome measurements so that individual countries can be more accurately compared;

81.  Considers the PHARE programme to be a useful tool to support progress in the candidate countries and that it could do more in the field of public health; that the countries should be encouraged and enabled to play a full part in the Centre and Network for the monitoring, surveillance and control of drug addiction and communicable diseases respectively; that they should participate fully in the research programmes relevant to health and in the Community public health programmes; and that the Commission should be proactive in encouraging and supporting applications from the countries to join such programmes, and furthermore urges the Commission to ensure that funds reach their recipients more rapidly than was the case under its predecessor. Believes the Commission must consult with the candidate countries and determine whether they need assistance, and if so what sort, to attain without undue delay adequate standards for blood and blood product safety and quality;

82.  Believes that the increase in social inequalities and the increasing dependency ratio are major challenges for the health sector of the candidate countries; believes furthermore that, within a more market orientated context, there is a need for appropriate regulation in the health systems; calls therefore on the candidate countries to develop health systems safeguarding those basic elements which characterise all EU Member States: access to good quality healthcare irrespective of income; a properly regulated market; quality; cost-effectiveness; accountability, self-regulation and participation; believes that special attention should be paid to enhanced health education and family planning;

83.  Believes that the candidate countries need to be aware of the new acquis communautaire for physical and mental health deriving from Article 152 EC and calls on the Commission to do its utmost to consult with the candidate countries during the preparatory phases of any new draft Community instrument in the field of public health and health promotion;

84.  Believes the European Investment Bank has a particularly important role to play as partner in the health field with the candidate countries and that the Commission should work with the Bank and with candidate country governments to encourage this and should also work with the WHO to provide a data bank on collaborative and assistance projects of a bilateral and multilateral nature in each of the candidate countries, so as to ensure efficient use of resources and to avoid duplication; notes the importance of the awareness of gender in public health policy and the specific need for statistics disaggregated by sex;

Consumer protection

85.  Welcomes the result of the negotiations with the candidate countries of the "Luxembourg group" on consumer policy and appreciates that all of the countries within this group have accepted the acquis communautaire on consumer policy and that none have requested derogations or transitional periods; encourages the candidate countries of the "Helsinki group" to follow this example during the forthcoming negotiations;

86.  Regrets, however, that despite these legislative advances, there is still a poor understanding of the importance of consumer policy and consumer rights in a civil society, as well as of the specific importance of consumer organisations, both within governments and among the population at large;

87.  Believes that after the transposition of the acquis communautaire into national legislation, the main problems of consumer policy in the candidate countries remain in areas such as effective enforcement of legislation, transparency, access to justice for consumers, independent consumer representation bodies and consumer information;

88.  Calls on the Commission and the candidate countries to improve the implementation of consumer policy and, in particular, to institute effective consultation mechanisms, to resolve the problem of support to consumer NGOs and to encourage efforts for education in schools and information of the population regarding consumer rights and obligations; also, the Commission and the candidate countries should, while and after transposing the acquis communautaire, pay special attention to issues concerning Community-wide regulation of food safety and nutrition, telecommunication services, financial services and product safety in the widest possible sense; in addition, the greatest possible account must continually be taken of food safety and food policy, especially as this is of great importance for the operation of the internal market;

89.  Calls on the Commission to work closely with the candidate countries to establish an ongoing regional initiative for training and promoting dialogue and understanding for all actors in the field of consumer policy - judiciary, government, industry and NGOs;

Agricultural and Fisheries Aspects of Enlargement

90.  Reaffirms its desire to see further countries admitted to the European Union; points in this connection to the positive experiences of previous accessions; is, however, of the opinion that, in the agricultural and fisheries sectors, further efforts must be made both by the current EU, as regards its ability to absorb new Member States, and by the candidate countries, as regards their readiness for accession;

91.  Welcomes the efforts already made in the Luxembourg and Helsinki group countries to facilitate structural change in their farm sectors; assumes that they will continue along this path and that the pre-accession aid provided under SAPARD can help them do so;

92.  Notes with concern that the data available on the candidate countries' farm sectors is still lacking and calls therefore for additional resources to be allocated in the 2001 budget so as to support the candidate countries adequately in developing an effective agricultural statistics system and in collecting data, as up-to-date and reliable agricultural data is essential for making an objective assessment of developments in those countries;

93.  Calls on the Commission to take account during its negotiations of the macroeconomic equilibrium within the current EU and within the candidate countries and also of the financial and structural guidelines contained in the decisions of the 1999 Berlin European Council; considers that assistance to farmers in the candidate countries should be restricted to measures aimed at structural reform of the agricultural sector; stresses also the need to ensure that, following accession, farmers are entitled to income support in the form of direct payments designed to compensate for price falls only where they actually suffer a loss of income and where immediate structural change is not possible, but not in cases where prices on domestic markets are rising because of continuing inflation and internal demand for agricultural produce;

94.  Asks the Commission, in view of the possible extension of the system of income support to the Central and Eastern European countries, to provide the European Parliament with an estimate of the possible cost per land and per sector involved in those countries in case the current Common Agricultural Policy is applied;

95.  Asks the Commission to provide it with an estimate of the probable cost of implementing the common fisheries policy in the candidate countries, particularly in connection with the adjustment of administrative structures;

96.  Supports the idea of determining the level of production/fishing quotas for each product group concerned on the basis of historical production data for a reference period to be specified and asks the candidate countries to supply data on the corresponding quantities for the period 1995-1999;

97.  Confirms the importance of rural areas in Europe as a whole and therefore hopes that accession to the European Union by candidate countries in Eastern and Central Europe will not be accompanied by social dislocation as a result of an exodus from rural areas and unemployment; takes the view, therefore, that in particular the recently created second pillar of agricultural policy, i.e. rural development, must be further strengthened; calls on the Commission, therefore, to offer the candidate countries, as an alternative to entitlement to direct payments, rapid and ample access to funds earmarked for rural development; calls on the Commission also to bear in mind that enlargement must not call into question the current level of aid to farmers in the EU 15, and in particular its outermost regions;

98.  Calls for the acquis communautaire , and especially veterinary and phytosanitary legislation, as well as animal welfare regulations, to be adopted in full by the candidate countries; recognises that, for these sectors and for certain other specific, particularly complex, sectors subject to common organisation of the market, the candidate countries should submit detailed plans for early, pre-accession implementation of the Community's agricultural legislation; considers, however, that there will be a need for transitional arrangements in some cases, although their scope must be kept to a minimum and they must be granted for as short a period as possible; asks the Commission to facilitate the participation of representatives of the candidate countries in meetings of the veterinary and phytosanitary committees of the European Union;

99.  Reaffirms the importance of implementing the pre-accession strategy in order to gradually liberalise the trade in agricultural produce before enlargement; stresses the need to reduce, prior to enlargement, the tariff and non-tariff barriers that exist in some candidate countries, many of whose products enjoy preferential access to the Community market, so that Community agricultural produce has non-discriminatory access to their markets and trade develops in a balanced manner;

100.  Calls for the European Parliament to be granted full powers of codecision on agricultural policy and the agricultural budget before any new Member State is admitted to the European Union;

Enlargement and Regional Policy

101.  Emphasises the importance of enlargement in establishing a European Union extending beyond its former geographical frontiers and guided by common rules and values as well as by the principle of solidarity with a view to strengthening economic and social cohesion, consolidating democracy and safeguarding human rights over the whole of the European territory; reiterates the need for the EU to continue undertaking economic and structural reforms to enhance competitiveness and sustainable development of the regions;

102.  Recalls that the European Union must respond appropriately to an enlargement which will increase considerably the number of disadvantaged regions; draws attention to the risk of uneven growth in the various regions of the candidate countries in the wake of both certain candidate countries' internal policies and the effects of the market and of investment by the Member States and, therefore, calls on the Commission to revise the criteria governing the award of structural aid with the aim of ensuring that both the candidate countries and the current Member States receive appropriate support for their disadvantaged regions; calls on the European Union to retain the cohesion criteria as they apply to the EU 15, regardless of any statistical changes in average income in the EU brought about by the enlargement;

103.  Notes that all candidate countries are willing to fully implement the acquis communautaire by the time they join the Union; notes however that the screening process indicated severe shortcomings concerning the absence of data on the part of certain candidate countries and the absence of defined statistical units and, more importantly, concerning the necessary administrative capacities to be able to efficiently manage the financial appropriations of the Structural Funds; calls, therefore, on the Commission to take particular account of this situation in the pre-accession strategy;

104.  Urges the candidate countries to press on with the process of decentralisation and regionalisation and to continue regional cooperation, with due account taken of the development and strengthening of local authorities with the aim of establishing administrative structures at a level close to citizens; calls on the Commission and the candidate countries, in this connection, to launch interregional and crossborder cooperation between the candidate countries themselves, and between those countries and their neighbours in the EU, thus enabling the EU to introduce programmes allowing those countries to work together more closely on a regional basis;

105.  Urges the candidate countries to decisively strengthen the administrative capacities with responsibility for regional policy implementation (national regional policies and EU pre-accession aid), and, in particular, to step up preparatory training and knowledge transfer, with a view to an immediate takeover of the acquis communautaire after enlargement and a rapid implementation of Structural Funds programmes in compliance with EU rules on programming, monitoring, evaluation, financial management and control;

106.  Considers the reinforced pre-accession approach to be an initial basis in order to prepare candidate countries for enlargement and underlines the importance of further development of the 'institution-building' component in the framework of the PHARE programme with regard to including the local and regional level in the institution-building measures; encourages candidate countries' and Member States' administrations, and especially the administrations of those Member States which are Structural Fund participants and recipients, to fully participate in these activities designed to ensure improvement of administrative capacities, knowledge transfer and acquisition of experience in adapting and implementing the acquis communautaire ;

107.  Expresses its concern that the existing financial perspective is not sufficient to meet the challenges of regional policy and economic and social cohesion arising from an enlarged Union; calls on the Commission to submit annual progress reports to the European Parliament and the Council, drawn up on a regional basis, outlining whether or to what extent funding has been properly used in the enlargement countries, so that the proper use of commitment appropriations serves to strengthen the pre-accession aid with a view to more rapidly addressing infrastructure investment needs in the candidate countries and making candidate countries familiar with the absorption of financial appropriations, gradually increasing to the post-accession level; considers that the appropriations for pre-accession aid for Cyprus and Malta should be transferred from Chapter 4 (External Relations) to Chapter 7 (Pre-accession Aid) of the Community budget to ensure that the provisions in force are uniform for all candidate countries and that an even-handed approach is adopted;

108.  Considers that the INTERREG, ISPA, PHARE and MEDA cooperation programmes can make a substantial contribution to regional development and calls on candidate countries which may have differences with neighbouring countries which are members of the European Union to bring their positions on each issue into line with the changed circumstances so as to establish the climate of trust necessary to develop and extend cooperation at all levels and promote the interests of all parties concerned; urges the Commission to scrutinise critically the implementation of the pre-accession programmes, in particular ISPA, with a view to supervising the use of structural funding in the candidate countries after their accession, thereby drawing on the experience gained during German reunification;

109.  Considers that the European Spatial Development Perspective must be taken into account during the enlargement process, in a manner consistent with the subsidiarity principle, and tied clearly to regional policy, with a view to the reform of the Structural Funds in 2006, in order to provide an adequate response to the development needs of the enlarged Union; calls on the Commission, in this connection, to analyse the impact of the enlargements on employment, cohesion and economic migration with a view to taking prompt measures to prevent the emergence of regional imbalances;

110.  Looks forward to the submission of the second cohesion report in late 2000 so that, on that basis, and in conjunction with the Commission, conclusions can be drawn for the continuation of European cohesion policy following the enlargement;

Enlargement and Transport and Tourism
General

111.  Calls on the candidate countries to create as soon as possible an effective administrative structure to permit the actual application of the acquis communautaire (technical, fiscal, social and environmental and safety provisions), which will be fully transposed by the date of accession, and monitoring of its application. Transitional periods and derogations - if required at all - should be short, clearly defined, necessary and justified. No transitional periods should be permitted in the case of safety and environmental standards. Particular attention should be paid to twinning arrangements, whereby experienced staff from the Member States can be made available to the candidate countries;

112.  Stresses the need to complete and extend the trans-European networks, which should help the candidate countries to equip themselves with a modern transport infrastructure and proposes that the TINA report should be used as a basis for this; further emphasises that it is the EU's objective to strengthen the competitiveness of disadvantaged regions by improving the TEN transport network while integrating, in the best possible way, national and regional transport systems; stresses the importance of according priority to traffic safety measures in the candidate countries; emphasises the need also to close the many existing gaps in the current Member States in the eastbound trans-European network;

113.  Welcomes the funds provided through PHARE and ISPA and other EU programmes; calls for support for SMEs; is aware, however, that a very much greater volume of investment will be needed for the development of infrastructure, which will have to come in particular from private investors and public-private partnerships; the existing financing strategy will therefore need to be revised;

Road transport

114.  Calls on the Commission, firstly, to ensure that in the road haulage sector new Member States actually apply the Community's employment, social and fiscal legislation and, secondly, to submit to Parliament and the Council proposals on how to prevent disruption of the market in the European Union and in the candidate countries owing to differences in wage costs and non-wage labour costs that are likely to persist; takes the view that consideration should be given to whether transitional arrangements might be suitable and appropriate both for the European Union and for the individual Member States as from the date of accession; if necessary, a phased approach should keep social tensions in the Member States and candidate countries to a minimum; the aim of pan-European transport policy before and after the accession of the candidate countries must be to shift freight traffic in particular onto the railways as far as possible, but special transit arrangements cannot be ruled out, in particular during transitional periods;

Rail transport

115.  Calls on the Commission, the Member States and the candidate countries to attach greater importance to road transport in Europe as part of an environment-friendly transport policy; measures should be taken by the EU and by the candidate countries to do everything possible to ensure that the rail infrastructure that still exists in the candidate countries can be properly used and developed and to ensure that the railways can survive in the new larger European internal market - first and foremost, close attention should be paid to the interoperability of the rail network; calls also for a restructuring of railway companies in those countries where this has not yet taken place, to ensure appropriate, non-discriminatory access to infrastructure;

Intermodal transport

116.  Calls on the Commission to pay greater attention to intermodal transport, which provides the most appropriate and most environment-friendly combination of the various modes of transport; obstacles to such an intermodal system (lack of interfaces, lack of coordination of transport modes) should be eliminated;

Internal waterway transport

117.  Recommends that inland waterway transport should be included to a greater extent in the pan-European corridors; inland ports should be developed as intersections for all modes of transport. The Danube, in particular, as an important link between northern and western Europe and the Black Sea and other major waterways in cross-border transport should in the long term be fully integrated, hence also in the candidate countries, into the TEN networks. ISPA funds should also be made available for the development of inland waterways;

Sea transport

118.  Considers that, with a view to the creation of the world's largest fleet, measures should be taken to promote both the development of a modern, flag-state administration and effective port state control and expressly emphasises the need to enforce the highest possible safety and environmental standards;

Air transport

119.  Calls on the Member States, as flying is the safest form of transport, without delay, firstly to implement the measures to be adopted by the EU by the end of this year for boosting the effectiveness of airspace management and, secondly, to participate forthwith in the work of the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) which is currently being set up;

Tourism

120.  Calls on the Member States and the candidate countries to attach more importance to tourism so that Europe remains the leading tourist destination, taking into account the major economic potential of this sector and its positive impact on the job market; further urges the candidate countries to make effective use of the resources available to them within the framework of the PHARE, ISPA, SAPARD and INTERREG programmes also in the tourism sector; considers that tourism requires greater coordination with other policy areas, in particular transport;

Enlargement and Equal Opportunities

121.  Points out that adoption of the Community acquis in the area of equality is a sine qua non for accession since it is essentially a question of human rights and that the necessary institution building in this area is a vital prerequisite to full implementation of the acquis ; calls on the Commission, in its negotiations with the candidate countries, to insist on an absolute guarantee of full implementation of the acquis communautaire in the area of women's rights and equal opportunities, and to involve these countries and the respective NGOs until accession as far as possible in the ongoing and future developments in this policy area;

122.  Calls on the governments of all the candidate countries to provide precise information or to confirm their legislative timetable for transposition and implementation of individual directives as the enactment of legislation on equal opportunities and non-discrimination must be complemented by adequate enforcement mechanisms; recommends, in this regard, strengthening parliamentary dialogue between the European Parliament and national parliaments of the Union and those of the candidate countries; requests the Commission to provide sufficient expertise and financial means, when needed, to facilitate this process of implementation and enforcement;

123.  Requests the Commission to call on and help the governments of all candidate countries to put in place procedures for the collection and dissemination of gender-disaggregated statistics relevant to gender, compatible with those used in the EC, to raise awareness of problems and facilitate comparison as well as serving as a benchmark for improvement;

124.  Calls on the governments of the candidate countries to improve women's effective access to information on their legal rights and to encourage women in the candidate countries to claim and test their rights before tribunals and courts to establish solid legal precedents for equality, and to raise awareness amongst the judiciary, practising lawyers and legal advisers, politicians and the public about gender issues;

125.  Calls on the governments of all the candidate countries to encourage and support the development of an active civil society, including NGOs representing women, for example by means of information and education programmes on international standards of protection of women's rights; urges the Commission to take all possible steps to ensure effective cooperation between NGOs in the EC and the candidate countries, and to involve the latter in the accession process; calls on the Commission to promote and support the exchange of information between the candidate countries and EU Member States, including at trade union and organisation level, so as to bring people concerned with specific problems together and improve mutual understanding and their ability to learn from each other;

126.  Calls on all public and private institutions in the candidate countries to ensure mainstreaming of equal opportunities across the policy spectrum so that women's issues are not treated in isolation but integrated into all areas of social and economic life; calls on the governments of the candidate countries to establish or strengthen the so-called 'national machineries' [cf. Beijing Platform for Action and Beijing +5 final Outcome Document[ in order to stimulate and monitor such gender mainstreaming;

127.  Calls on the social partners in the candidate countries to establish and secure employment policies and practices based on gender equality and equal opportunities, especially as regards equal pay for men and women for work of equal value; requests the Commission to negotiate with UNICE and other representative employers organisations a code of conduct for EC companies operating in those countries;

128.  Calls on the Commission to actively encourage all the candidate countries to participate in Community programmes on equal opportunities and in particular in the forthcoming 5th Framework Programme on gender equality (2001-2005) as well as the STOP and DAPHNE programmes to combat violence against women;

129.  Calls on the governments of all the candidate countries to adopt and implement a comprehensive gender-sensitive employment strategy in order to eliminate sex-discrimination and (horizontal and vertical) sex-segregation on the labour-market, including a comprehensive range of services (public or private) which will facilitate the integration of professional and family life, especially in the area of child-care facilities, as well as adequate vocational training;

130.  Calls on the governments of all the candidate countries to implement measures and laws to eliminate all forms of trafficking in women and to tackle the issue of domestic violence, including legislation against the marital rape of women; calls on the governments of all the candidate countries and on the Commission to promote training and awareness-raising of police and judiciary, to support NGOs which fight trafficking both in candidate countries and in the EU and to strengthen cooperation between the EU and the candidate countries, in particular by making sufficient financial means available to facilitate this cooperation;

o
o   o

131.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission and to the parliaments of the Member States and the parliaments and governments of the candidate countries with which accession negotiations have been opened.

(1) OJ C 172, 18.6.1999, p. 1.
(2) OJ C 8, 12.1.2000, p. 7.
(3) OJ C388, 22.12.1997, p. 17.
(4) OJ L 180, 19.7.2000, p. 22.

Legal notice - Privacy policy