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 Index 
Texts adopted
Thursday, 15 February 2001 - Strasbourg
Reorganisation and winding-up of insurance undertakings ***II
 Application of social security schemes ***I
 Free movement of persons
 EC/Mexico Agreement *
 Unauthorised entry, movement and residence *
 Unauthorised entry, movement and residence *
 Aid system for cotton *
 Aid system for cotton *
 Financing of quality and marketing improvement plans *
 Industrial restructuring and mergers
 Action taken on EIB annual report
 Economic growth
 The Union and Macau beyond 2000
 European research area guidelines (2002-2006)
 Situation in Kosovo
 Situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
 Human rights: Religious freedoms in the People's Republic of China
 Human rights: Laos
 Human rights: Guinea
 Human rights: Nigeria
 Human rights: Freedom of expression in Pakistan
 Situation in Chechnya
 Natural disasters : Earthquake in India
 Natural disasters: Floods in Portugal

Reorganisation and winding-up of insurance undertakings ***II
European Parliament legislative resolution on the Council common position for adopting a European Parliament and Council directive on the reorganisation and winding-up of insurance undertakings (8975/3/2000 - C5-0521/2000 - 1986/0080(COD) )
P5_TA(2001)0083A5-0019/2001

(Codecision procedure: second reading)

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the Council common position (8975/3/2000 - C5-0521/2000 )(1) ,

-  having regard to its position at first reading(2) on the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(1986) 768 )(3)

-  having regard to the amended Commission proposal to the Council (COM(1989) 394 )(4) ,

-  having regard to Article 251(2) of the EC Treaty,

-  having regard to Rule 78 of its Rules of Procedure,

-  having regard to the recommendation for second reading of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (A5-0019/2001 ),

1.  Approves the common position;

2.  Notes that the act is adopted in accordance with the common position;

3.  Instructs its President to sign the act with the President of the Council pursuant to Article 254(1) of the EC Treaty;

4.  Instructs its Secretary-General duly to sign the act and, in agreement with the Secretary-General of the Council, to have it published in the Official Journal of the European Communities;

5.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.

(1) OJ C 344, 1.12.2000, p. 23.
(2) OJ C 96, 17.4.1989, p. 98.
(3) OJ C 71, 19.3.1987, p. 5.
(4) OJ C 253, 6.10.1989, p. 3.


Application of social security schemes ***I
Text
Resolution
Proposal for a European Parliament and Council regulation amending Council Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 on the application of social security schemes to employed persons, to self-employed persons and to members of their families moving within the Community and Council Regulation (EEC) No 574/72 laying down the procedure for implementing Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 (COM(2000) 186 - C5-0217/2000 - 2000/0070(COD) )
P5_TA(2001)0084A5-0026/2001

The proposal was amended as follows:

Text proposed by the Commission (1)   Amendments by Parliament
(Amendment 1)
Recital 3
   (3) It is appropriate to clarify that benefits of the Austrian statutory pre-retirement scheme are to be granted according to the provisions of Title III Chapter 3 of Regulation (EEC) 1408/71.
   (3) It is appropriate to clarify that benefits of the Austrian statutory special assistance scheme are to be granted according to the provisions of Title III Chapter 3 of Regulation (EEC) 1408/71.
(Amendment 2)
Article 1
Annexes IV and VI to Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 are amended in accordance with the Annex to this Regulation.
Annexes IIa , IV and VI to Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 are amended in accordance with the Annex to this Regulation.
(Amendment 4)
Article 3, 1st paragraph a (new)
Article 1, as far as the changes to Section "E. France" of Annex IV, Part C, and Annex VI to Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 are concerned, shall apply as from 1 January 2000.
(Amendment 5)
Annex, introduction
Annexes IV and VI to Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 are amended as follows:
Annexes IIa, IV and VI to Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 are amended as follows:
(Amendment 6)
ANNEX (-1) (new)
Annex IIa Section O (Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71)
   - 1. In Annex IIa, Section 'O. United Kingdom'is amended as follows:
   (a) point (c) is replaced by the following text:
“(c) Working Families" Tax Credit (Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992, section 123 (1) (b), Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992, section 122 (1)(b), and Tax Credits Act 1999).”
   (b) point (g) is replaced by the following text:
“(g) Disabled Person's Tax Credit (Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992, section 123 (1)(c), Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992, section 122 (1)(c), and Tax Credits Act 1999).”
(Amendment 7)
ANNEX (1)
Annex IV (C)(E) (Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71)
"All applications for pension benefits or survivor's benefits under supplementary pension schemes for employees."
"All applications for pension benefits or survivor's benefits under supplementary pension schemes for employees, with the exception of applications for old-age pensions or a survivor's pension under the supplementary pension scheme for flying personnel employed in civil aviation ."
European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a European Parliament and Council regulation amending Council Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 on the application of social security schemes to employed persons, to self-employed persons and to members of their families moving within the Community and Council Regulation (EEC) No 574/72 laying down the procedure for implementing Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 (COM(2000) 186 - C5-0217/2000 - 2000/0070(COD) )
P5_TA(2001)0084A5-0026/2001

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2000) 186 )(2) ,

-  having regard to Article 251(2) and Articles 42 and 308 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C5-0217/2000 ),

-  having regard to Rule 67 of its Rules of Procedure,

-  having regard to the report of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (A5-0026/2001 ),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.  Asks to be consulted again should the Commission intend to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.

(1) OJ C 274 E, 26.9.2000, p. 113.
(2)OJ C 274 E, 26.9.2000, p. 113.


Free movement of persons
European Parliament resolution on the free movement of persons (Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71) - legal basis
P5_TA(2001)0085B5-0090/2001

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the appeal made to the Commission in 1992 by the Edinburgh European Council concerning simplification and coordination of the Community legislation in force,

-  having regard to the proposal submitted by the Commission in 1998 for the reform of Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71,

-  having regard to the conclusions of the Tampere European Council of 1999 concerning the legal status of third-country nationals legally residing in the Member States,

-  having regard to the Commission proposal for the amendment of Regulations (EEC) Nos 1408/71 and 1612/1968 with a view to the rationalisation and modernisation of the existing provisions relating to the residence of third-country workers,

-  having regard to the state of progress in Council concerning the proposal for the modernisation and simplification of Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 on coordination of the social security arrangements for migrant workers and other categories of migrant with a view to ensuring their freedom of movement,

-  having regard to its resolution of 17 January 2001 on the situation of frontier workers(1) ,

A.  whereas everyone exercising the right to freedom of movement within the European Union must be protected by a social security regime,

B.  whereas the internal market will only be completed when the free movement of persons is also guaranteed in addition to the free movement of goods, services and capital,

C.  whereas, in order for the labour market to function smoothly, a coordinated approach is needed to the protection of persons wishing to take advantage of freedom of movement,

D.  whereas, on the specific question of the cross-border labour market, the elimination of the existing obstacles will encourage the practice of working in another Member State,

E.  whereas, in a field related to the 'Europe of the citizens', it is essential that the legal basis chosen should permit the full involvement of the Parliament elected by the citizens of the Union,

1.  Urges the Council to recognise Articles 42 and 308 of the EC Treaty as the legal basis for the simplification of Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 and its extension to third-country nationals, thus offering the citizens of the Union the possibility of being closely associated, by means of Parliament, with the drafting of legislation affecting them;

2.  Calls on the Council to take all possible steps to adopt, as rapidly as possible, a common position on the Commission proposal for the extension of Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 to third-country nationals legally residing in the EU;

3.  Deplores the Council's failure to date to undertake a thorough reform of Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71, given that this regulation is a cornerstone of the 'Europe of the citizens';

4.  Will not deal with any other modification updating Regulation (EEC) 1408/71 as a result of changes to national legal provisions until the Council has completed its plans for the simplification and revision of that Regulation;

5.  Calls on the Council, accordingly, to speed up its examination of the remaining chapters of the proposal for a regulation, with a view to making a final proposal as soon as possible;

6.  Recalls, in this connection, that under the Treaties Parliament participates in this legislative activity on the basis of codecision;

7.  Calls on the Council and Commission to take active steps to examine the question of the elimination of the social security and taxation obstacles which now affect frontier workers, especially in the context of enlargement; recalls, in this context, the points made in its abovementioned resolution of 17 January 2001;

8.  Calls on the Commission to examine the implications of enlargement for the implementation of Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71, and to inform Parliament of its conclusions;

9.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the social partners at Union level.

(1) Texts Adopted, Item 8.


EC/Mexico Agreement *
European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a Council decision establishing the Community position within the EC-Mexico Joint Council with a view to the adoption of a decision implementing Articles 6, 9, 12(2)(b) and 50 of the Economic Partnership, Political Coordination and Cooperation Agreement (COM(2000)739 - C5-0698/2000 - 2000/0296(CNS) )
P5_TA(2001)0086A5-0036/2001

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the proposal from the Commission to the Council (COM(2000)739 ),

-  having regard to Articles 44(1), 47(2), last sentence, 55, 56 to 59, 71 and 80(2) of the EC Treaty,

-  having been consulted by the Council pursuant to Article 300(3), first subparagraph, of the EC Treaty (C5-0698/2000 ),

-  having regard to Rule 67 and Rule 97(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

-  having regard to the report of the Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy (A5-0036/2001 ),

1.  Approves the establishing of the Community position;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the United Mexican States.


Unauthorised entry, movement and residence *
Text
Resolution
Initiative of the French Republic with a view to the adoption of a Council Directive defining the facilitation of unauthorised entry, movement and residence (10675/2000 - C5-0427/2000 - 2000/0821 (CNS) )
P5_TA(2001)0087A5-0315/2000

The initiative was rejected.

European Parliament legislative resolution on the initiative of the French Republic with a view to the adoption of a Council Directive defining the facilitation of unauthorised entry, movement and residence (10675/2000 - C5-0427/2000 - 2000/0821(CNS) )
P5_TA(2001)0087A5-0315/2000

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the initiative of the French Republic (10675/2000(1) ),

-  having regard to Article 61(a) and Article 63(3)(b) of the EC Treaty,

-  having been consulted by the Council pursuant to Article 67 of the EC Treaty (C5-0427/2000 ),

-  having regard to Rule 67 of its Rules of Procedure,

-  having regard to the report of the Committee on Citizens' Freedoms and Rights, Justice and Home Affairs (A5-0315/2000 ),

1.  Rejects the initiative of the French Republic;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission and to the Government of the French Republic.

(1) OJ C 253, 4.9.2000, p. 1.


Unauthorised entry, movement and residence *
Text
Resolution
Initiative of the French Republic with a view to the adoption of a Council Framework Decision on the strengthening of the penal framework to prevent the facilitation of unauthorised entry and residence (10676/2000 - C5-0426/2000 - 2000/0820(CNS) )
P5_TA(2001)0088A5-0315/2000

The initiative was rejected.

European Parliament legislative resolution on the initiative of the French Republic with a view to the adoption of a Council Framework Decision on the strengthening of the penal framework to prevent the facilitation of unauthorised entry and residence (10676/2000 - C5-0426/2000 - 2000/0820(CNS) )
P5_TA(2001)0088A5-0315/2000

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the initiative of the French Republic (10676/2000(1) ),

-  having regard to Article 34(2)(b) and Articles 29 and 31(e) of the EU Treaty,

-  having been consulted by the Council pursuant to Article 39(1) of the EU Treaty (C5-0426/2000 ),

-  having regard to Rules 106 and 67 of its Rules of Procedure,

-  having regard to the report of the Committee on Citizens" Freedoms and Rights, Justice and Home Affairs (A5-0315/2000 ),

1.  Rejects the initiative of the French Republic;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission and to the Government of the French Republic.

(1) OJ C 253, 4.9.2000, p. 6.


Aid system for cotton *
Text
Resolution
Proposal for a Council regulation adjusting, for the sixth time, the system of aid for cotton introduced by Protocol 4 annexed to the Act of Accession of Greece (COM(1999) 492 - C5-0048/2000 - 1999/0201(CNS) )
P5_TA(2001)0089A5-0022/2001

The proposal was approved

European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a Council regulation adjusting, for the sixth time, the system of aid for cotton introduced by Protocol 4 annexed to the Act of Accession of Greece (COM(1999) 492 - C5-0048/2000 - 1999/0201 (CNS) )
P5_TA(2001)0089A5-0022/2001

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(1999) 492 ),

-  having been consulted by the Council (C5-0048/2000 )(1) ,

-  having regard to Rule 67 of its Rules of Procedure,

-  having regard to the report of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (A5-0022/2001 ),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal;

2.  Calls on the Council to notify Parliament should it intend to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

3.  Calls for the conciliation procedure to be initiated should the Council intend to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

4.  Asks to be consulted again if the Council intends to amend the Commission proposal substantially;

5.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.

(1) In the light of Protocol 4 on cotton (OJ L 291, 19.11.1979, p. 174), annexed to the Act of Accession of Greece.


Aid system for cotton *
Text
Resolution
Proposal for a Council regulation on production aid for cotton (COM(1999) 492 - C5-0049/2000 - 1999/0202(CNS) )
P5_TA(2001)0090A5-0022/2001

The proposal was amended as follows:

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendments by Parliament
(Amendment 1)
Recital 1
   (1) Examination of the operation of the aid scheme provided for in paragraph 11 of Protocol 4 reveals a need to maintain the existing arrangements for cotton, but with certain adjustments .
   (1) Examination of the operation of the aid scheme provided for in paragraph 11 of Protocol 4 reveals a vital need to improve the existing arrangements for cotton, so as to be able to safeguard cotton growing in the European Union, maintain cotton farmers' income levels and enable the ginning industry to continue to operate. Certain adjustments should nevertheless be made in order to increase their effectiveness.
(Amendment 3)
Recital 4a (new)
(4a) The guaranteed national quantities of unginned cotton should be adjusted as closely as possible to actual production in each Member State with a view to obviating distortions in the operation of the budgetary stabiliser, together with pressure on holdings whose activities are unprofitable, as is often the case in structurally disadvantaged areas.
(Amendment 4)
Recital 7
   (7) The percentage reduction in the guide price which now applies, equal to half the overrun in the national guaranteed quantity, may under certain circumstances threaten budgetary discipline. That percentage should therefore be increased .
   (7) The percentage reduction in the guide price which now applies, equal to half the overrun in the national guaranteed quantity, has proved an effective budgetary stabiliser and has enabled Community cotton production to be maintained despite major fluctuations in the world market for cotton fibre . That percentage should therefore be maintained .
(Amendment 5)
Recital 10
   (10) Contractual relations between producers and ginning undertakings should not be regulated at Community level. The principle of common consent between the contracting parties should be maintained but spelt out in greater detail.
   (10) Contractual relations between producers and ginning undertakings should not be regulated at Community level. Unginned cotton prices should be adjusted on the basis of technical scales of increases and reductions approved by the Member States and drawn up by interbranch organisations recognised by each Member State. In cases where no interbranch organisations exist or where those that do exist have failed to draw up such technical scales, the Member States shall adopt technical scales for increasing and reducing unginned cotton prices, which shall be applied to all batches delivered.
(Amendment 6)
Recital 13
   (13) The cultivation of cotton in regions not suited to it is likely to have harmful effects on the environment as well as on the agricultural economy of those regions where this crop is important. In order to take account of environmental objectives, the Member States should determine and adopt the appropriate environmental measures to regulate the use of agricultural land for cotton production . In future, the Member States must introduce measures to restrict the crop under objective environmental criteria and remind producers of the need to comply with the legislation in force. The Member States should draw up a report on the impact on the cotton sector of national environmental measures at a time when an assessment is possible.
   (13) The cultivation of cotton is largely confined to a small number of regions, in which it plays a decisive role in both environmental and social and economic terms . In order to take account of environmental objectives, the fact that cotton growing is concentrated in certain areas would make it easier to introduce collective measures to be taken by producers' organisations to reduce the use of irrigation water and of fertilisers and plant protection products, subject to appropriate incentives . In future, the Member States must introduce measures to regulate the crop under objective environmental criteria with a view to ensuring that compliance with the legislation in force is compatible with the economic and social role which cotton plays in specific regions . The Member States should draw up a report on the impact on the cotton sector of national environmental measures at a time when an assessment is possible.
(Amendment 7)
Recital 13a (new)
(13a) Action should be taken to encourage the introduction of environmental measures with a view in particular to saving irrigation water, reducing the use of fertilisers and plant protection products, managing waste plastics and developing and implementing integrated or organic production techniques. Given the small average size of cotton holdings, collective measures should be encouraged through the provision of a support system.
(Amendment 8)
Recital 13b (new)
(13b) Following the adoption of Council Regulation (EC) No 1257/1999(1 ), regulation of producers' organisations must be based on the specific rules for each production sector, which do not currently exist for the cotton sector, despite the fact that producers' organisations should play a fundamental role in the centralisation of supply and the implementation of collective measures, particularly environmental measures.
___________________
1 OJ L 160, 26.6.1999, p. 80.
(Amendment 9)
Article 3, 1st subparagraph
   1. The guide price shall be set at EUR 106.30 per 100 kg of unginned cotton.
   1. The guide price shall be set at EUR 117 per 100 kg of unginned cotton.
(Amendment 10)
Article 3(2)
   2. The minimum price shall be set at EUR 100.99 per 100 kg of unginned cotton for the quality selected for the ex holding guide price.
   2. The minimum price shall be set at EUR 111 per 100 kg of unginned cotton for the quality selected for the ex holding guide price.
(Amendment 11)
Article 6, 1st and 2nd indents
   - 782 000 tonnes for Greece,
   - 1 200 000 tonnes for Greece,
   - 249 000 tonnes for Spain,
   - 350 000 tonnes for Spain,
(Amendment 12)
Article 7
Without prejudice to Article 8, if during a marketing year the sum of actual production in Spain and Greece exceeds 1 031 000 tonnes, the guide price referred to in Article 3(1) shall be reduced for that marketing year in any Member State where actual production exceeds the guaranteed national quantity. The guide price shall be reduced for the Member State concerned by a percentage equal to 60% of the percentage by which its guaranteed national quantity has been exceeded.
Without prejudice to Article 8, if during a marketing year the sum of actual production in Spain and Greece exceeds 1 550 000 tonnes, the guide price referred to in Article 3(1) shall be reduced for that marketing year in any Member State where actual production exceeds the guaranteed national quantity. The guide price shall be reduced for the Member State concerned by a percentage equal to 50% of the percentage by which its guaranteed national quantity has been exceeded.
However, if actual production in either Spain or Greece is lower than its guaranteed national quantity, the difference between the total actual production of the two Member States and 1 031 000 tonnes shall be expressed as a percentage of the guaranteed national quantity that has been exceeded, and the guide price shall be reduced by 60% of that percentage.
However, if actual production in either Spain or Greece is lower than its guaranteed national quantity, the difference between the total actual production of the two Member States and 1 550 000 tonnes shall be expressed as a percentage of the guaranteed national quantity that has been exceeded, and the guide price shall be reduced by 50% of that percentage.
(Amendment 13)
Article 8, 2nd paragraph, 2nd indent
   - or the amount of aid calculated after application of Article 7 on the basis of 1 120 000 tonnes of unginned cotton subdivided into a guaranteed national quantity of 270 000 tonnes for Spain and 850 000 tonnes for Greece.
   - or the amount of aid calculated after application of Article 7 on the basis of 1 639 000 tonnes of unginned cotton subdivided into a guaranteed national quantity of 371 000 tonnes for Spain and 1 268 000 tonnes for Greece.
(Amendment 14)
Article 11(a), 2nd indent
   - if the quality of the cotton delivered differs from the quality referred to in Article 3(2), the price agreed will be adjusted by common consent between the contracting parties in proportion to the effect of that difference in quality on the price of the ginned product in relation to the price referred to in Article 5;
   - if the quality of the cotton delivered differs from the quality referred to in Article 3(2), the price agreed will be adjusted on the basis of a technical scale of increases and reductions adopted under an interbranch agreement approved by each Member State and drawn up by an interbranch organisation recognised by each Member State in proportion to the effect of that difference in quality on the price of the ginned product in relation to the price referred to in Article 5;
   - in cases where there is no interbranch agreement on which to base such an adjustment, the price will be adjusted on the basis of a technical scale adopted by the Member State concerned for increasing and reducing the price of unginned cotton on the basis of its quality. That scale shall be applied to all quantities covered by a contract;
(Amendment 20)
Article 16(3)
   3. The Member States shall, where appropriate, restrict the areas eligible for the production aid for unginned cotton on the basis of objective criteria relating to:
   3. The Member States shall, where appropriate, adopt measures to adjust the areas eligible for the production aid for unginned cotton to the opportunities available under the current legislation on the basis of objective criteria relating to:
   - the agricultural economy of those regions where cotton is a major crop,
   - the agricultural economy of those regions where cotton is a major crop,
   - the jobs dependent on cotton production,
   - the structure of cotton production,
   - the opportunities available for substitute crops in agricultural and economic terms,
   - the soil and climate in the areas in question,
   - the soil and climate in the areas in question,
   - the management of irrigation water,
   - the management of irrigation water,
   - rotation systems and cultivation methods likely to improve the environment.
   - rotation systems and cultivation methods likely to improve the environment.
(Amendment 16)
Article 16a (new)
Article 16a
   1. For the purposes of this Regulation, 'producers' organisation' means any legal person:
   (a) set up at the initiative of the cotton producers themselves,
   (b) whose main objective is to:
   (i) plan production and adjust it to demand, particularly in terms of quantity and quality;
   (ii) foster the centralisation of supply and the marketing of its members' products;
   (iii) reduce production costs;
   (iv) introduce collective measures to reduce the crop's environmental impact, with particular reference to reducing the use of irrigation water, fertilisers and plant protection products;
   (c) whose statutes contain provisions covering:
   (i) implementation of the rules adopted by the producers' organisation, governing production, marketing and environmental protection;
   (ii) the levying of financial contributions from members to fund the producers' organisation and provide monies for the operating fund referred to in Article 16c;
   (iii) rules ensuring that the organisation's members have democratic control over the organisation and its decision-making;
   (iv) penalties for failure to comply with the obligations laid down in the statutes, with particular reference to non-payment of financial contributions and failure to observe the rules governing the producers' organisation;
   (v) rules governing the intake of new members, with particular reference to a minimum period of membership;
   (vi) accounting and budgetary rules required for the running of the organisation.
   2. The Member States shall recognise as producers' organisations for the purposes of this Regulation all producer groups which apply for such recognition, on condition that they:
   (a) meet the requirements set out in paragraph 1 and provide, among other supporting documents, proof that they comprise a minimum number of producers and control a minimum volume of merchantable product;
   (b) provide adequate guarantees as to the implementation, duration and effectiveness of their activities;
   (c) give their members a genuine opportunity to obtain the technical assistance they require in order to use environment-friendly farming methods.
(Amendment 17)
Article 16b (new)
Article 16b
   1. The Member States shall:
   (a) decide whether to grant recognition within three months of the lodging of an application with all supporting documents;
   (b) notify the Commission, within two months, of any decision to grant, refuse or withdraw recognition.
   2. The Commission shall carry out checks to verify compliance with the provisions of Article 16a and paragraph 1(b) of this article and, depending on the outcome of those checks, may ask the Member States to withdraw recognition.
(Amendment 18)
Article 16c (new)
Article 16c
   1. In accordance with the provisions of this article, Community financial aid shall be granted to producers' organisations which set up an operating fund.
Monies for that fund shall come from the financial contributions made by the member producers taking part in the operating programme and the financial aid referred to in paragraph 1. If, under exceptional circumstances, the volume of production brought to market is less than 70% of that in the reference period corresponding to the previous year's operating fund, the latter shall be taken into account.
   2. The operating fund referred to in paragraph 1 shall be used to finance an operating programme submitted to the competent national authorities and approved by them in accordance with the provisions of Article 16d(1).
   3. The operating programme referred to in paragraph 2 shall include measures to ensure the use by members of environment-friendly practices, which shall cover both farming methods and the management of the materials used, and, in particular, one or more of the following:
   - reducing the use of irrigation water,
   - reducing the use of fertilisers and plant protection products,
   - formulating and implementing integrated or organic production methods and
   - waste plastics management.
   4. The financial aid referred to in paragraph 1 shall be equal to the amount of the financial contributions referred to in that paragraph which have been paid up, and shall cover no more than 50% of the expenditure actually incurred pursuant to paragraph 2.
Such financial aid shall, nonetheless, be subject to a ceiling of 4.5% of the value of the production brought to market by each producers' organisation.
(Amendment 19)
Article 16d (new)
Article 16d
   1. The operating programme referred to in Article 16c(2) shall be submitted to the competent national authorities which shall approve or reject it or require that it be amended in accordance with the provisions of this Regulation.
The Member States shall lay down national guidelines for drawing up the general conditions relating to the measures referred to in Article 16c(3). They shall submit a draft of such guidelines to the Commission, which, should it consider that the draft will not allow the objectives laid down in Article 174 of the Treaty and in the Community Programme of policy and action in relation to the environment and sustainable development to be achieved, may request that it be amended within a period of three months.
   2. Before the end of each year at the latest, producers' organisations shall notify the Member State of the projected size of the fund for the following year and submit appropriate supporting documents based on the forecasts for the operating programme, the expenditure for the current year and, where appropriate, for the previous years, as well as, where necessary, the production estimates for the following year. No later than 1 January of the following year, the Member State shall notify the producers' organisation of the projected amount of financial aid, subject to the limits laid down in Article 16c(4).
The financial aid shall be disbursed against expenditure incurred in respect of the measures in the operating programme. In respect of such measures, payments on account may be granted, subject to the deposit of a guarantee or bond.
At the beginning of each year and no later than 31 January, the producers' organisation shall notify the Member State of the final amount of the expenditure incurred the previous year and forward the necessary supporting documents, with a view to receiving the balance of the Community financial aid.
   3. The operating programmes shall be multiannual, as shall the financing thereof by producers and producers' organisations on the one hand and Community funds on the other, with a minimum duration of three years and a maximum duration of five.
   4. By submitting an operating programme to a Member State, producers' organisations undertake to submit to national and Community checks covering, in particular, the sound management of public monies.
European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a Council regulation on production aid for cotton (COM(1999) 492 - C5-0049/2000 - 1999/0202(CNS) )
P5_TA(2001)0090A5-0022/2001

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(1999) 492 ),

-  having been consulted by the Council (C5-0049/2000 )(1) ,

-  having regard to Rule 67 of its Rules of Procedure,

-  having regard to the report of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (A5-0022/2001 ),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.  Calls on the Commission to alter its proposal accordingly, pursuant to Article 250(2) of the EC Treaty;

3.  Calls on the Council to notify Parliament should it intend to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

4.  Calls for the conciliation procedure to be initiated should the Council intend to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

5.  Asks to be consulted again if the Council intends to amend the Commission proposal substantially;

6.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.

(1) In the light of Protocol 4 on cotton (OJ L 291, 19.11.1979, p. 174), annexed to the Act of Accession of Greece.


Financing of quality and marketing improvement plans *
Text
Resolution
Proposal for a Council regulation extending for a period of up to one year the financing of certain quality and marketing improvement plans approved under Title IIa of Regulation (EEC) No 1035/72 (COM(2000) 623 - C5-0533/2000 - 2000/0252(CNS) )
P5_TA(2001)0091A5-0035/2001

The proposal was amended as follows:

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendments by Parliament
(Amendment 1)
Title
Proposal for a Council Regulaiton extending for a period of up to one year the financing of certain quality and marketing improvement plans approved under Title IIa of Regulation (EEC) No 1035/72
Proposal for a Council Regulation extending the financing of certain quality and marketing improvement plans approved under Title IIa of Regulation (EEC) No 1035/72 and the direct aid for hazelnuts approved under Article 55 of Regulation (EC) No 2200/96
(Amendment 4)
Recital 1
   (1) Title IIa of Council Regulation (EEC) No 1035/72 of 18 May 1972, on the common organisation of the market in fruit and vegetables, provides for various specific measures to make good the inadequacy of production and marketing facilities for certain nuts and locust beans. Aid is provided to producer organisations which have received specific recognition and which have submitted a plan approved by the competent authority for improving the quality and the marketing of their produce.
   (1) Title IIa of Council Regulation (EEC) No 1035/72 of 18 May 1972, on the common organisation of the market in fruit and vegetables, provides for various specific measures to guard against the cessation of crop-growing, make good the inadequacy of production and marketing facilities for certain nuts and locust beans and cope with the strong competition from imports from third countries resulting from the erosion of Community preference . Aid is provided to producer organisations which have received specific recognition and which have submitted a plan approved by the competent authority for improving the quality and the marketing of their produce.
(Amendment 5)
Recital 1a (new)
(1a) Nut and locust bean crops have a highly beneficial impact on employment, the environment and the landscape and enable farms to diversify and survive, while at the same time impeding the spread of desertification.
(Amendments 2 and 3)
Recital 1b (new)
(1b) The European Parliament expressed its view on support measures for nuts and locust beans in its resolution of 16 June 2000(1 ) and its position of 26 October 2000(2 ) in which it approved amendments to the proposal for a Council Regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 2200/96 on the common organisation of the market in fruit and vegetables(3 ).
_______________
( 1 ) OJ C …..
( 2 ) OJ C …..
( 3 ) OJ C 337 E, 28.11.2000, p. 207.
(Amendment 6)
Recital 1c (new)
(1c) In paragraph 2 of its resolution of 16 June 2000 the European Parliament specifically advocated extending the aid granted to nut and locust bean producers, including measures aimed at improving quality and marketing, and flat-rate direct aid for hazelnut cultivation, until such time as a new support regime is approved.
(Amendment 7)
Recital 1d (new)
(1d) In paragraph 1 of its resolution of 16 June 2000 the European Parliament also urged the Commission and the Council to adopt as soon as possible support measures for the Community's production of nuts and locust beans, including flat-rate aid per hectare aimed at guaranteeing the preservation of existing income levels for producers in that sector.
(Amendment 8)
Recital 1e (new)
(1e) Article 55 of Council Regulation (EC) No 2200/96 of 28 October 1996 on the common organisation of the market in fruit and vegetables(1 ) grants flat-rate aid for hazelnuts harvested during the 1997/1998, 1998/1999 and 1999/2000 marketing years to recognised producer organisations which implement a quality improvement and marketing plan for their produce or an operational plan to cope with the particularly unfavourable circumstances affecting that sector.
_____________
( 1 ) OJ L 297, 21.11.1996, p. 1, last amended by Regulation (EC) No 1257/1999 (OJ L 160, 26.6.1999, p. 80).
(Amendment 9)
Recital 2
   (2) Regulation (EEC) No 1035/72 was repealed by Council Regulation (EC) No 2200/96(1 ) . However, as specified by Article 53 of Regulation (EC) No 2200/96, any rights acquired by producer organisations in application of Title IIa of Regulation (EEC) No 1035/72 are maintained until exhausted.
_______________
( 1 )OJ L 297, 21.11.1996, p. 1, last amended by Regulation (EC) No 1257/1999 (OJ L 160, 26.6.1999, p. 80).
   (2) Regulation (EEC) No 1035/72 was repealed by Regulation (EC) No 2200/96, with no provision being made for the specific measures for nuts and locust beans to remain in place . However, Article 53 of Regulation (EC) No 2200/96 merely specifies that any rights acquired by producer organisations in application of Title IIa of Regulation (EEC) No 1035/72 are maintained until exhausted.
(Amendment 10)
Recital 2a (new)
(2a) The general measures provided for in Regulation (EC) No 2200/96 constitute an inadequate and inappropriate response to the specific needs with regard to nuts and locust beans. Nonetheless, there is sufficient financial margin in the COM in fruit and vegetables to fund the modest degree of support required for the Community's nut and locust bean production.
(Amendment 11)
Recital 3
   (3) The specific aid granted towards the drawing up and implementation of the quality and marketing improvement plan as specified in Article 14(d)(2) of Regulation (EEC) No 1035/72 is restricted to a period of 10 years and the maximum level of aid degressive to allow a progressive shift of financial responsibility on to the producers .
   (3) The specific aid granted towards the drawing up and implementation of the quality and marketing improvement plan as specified in Article 14(d)(2) of Regulation (EEC) No 1035/72 is restricted to a period of 10 years and the maximum level of aid remains constant for the final five years, with Community co-financing of 45% and a contribution from the Member State of 10%, so as to control Community spending and give responsibility to the Member States and producer organisations .
(Amendment 12)
Recital 4
   (4) A number of plans expired in 2000, having completed the 10th year.
   (4) A number of plans expired in 2000, having completed the 10th year, while others are due to expire in 2001. Specific aid for hazelnuts ended in the 1999/2000 marketing year .
(Amendment 13)
Recital 5
   (5) Regulation (EC) No 2200/96 provides that the Commission shall send the Council a report on the operation of this Regulation. This report shall include an assessment of the results of the specific measures for nuts and locust beans carried out under Title IIa of Regulation (EEC) No 1035/72 and may provide for further support measures. Until such time, those producer organisations whose improvement plans expire in 2000, and who continue to fulfil the recognition criteria, may request continued financing of their plans within the 2001 budget .
   (5) Regulation (EC) No 2200/96 provides that the Commission shall send the Council a report on the operation of this Regulation. This report shall include an assessment of the results of the specific measures for nuts and locust beans and should provide for further support measures. Until such time, those producer organisations whose improvement plans expire in 2000 or 2001 , and who continue to fulfil the recognition criteria, may request continued financing of their plans. Likewise, those producer organisations in the hazelnut sector which meet the requirements set out in Article 55 of Regulation (EC) No 2200/96 may request flat-rate aid for the 2000/2001 and 2001/2002 marketing years. On the basis of a Commission proposal, the Council, after consulting the European Parliament, should decide to extend these measures for the period required, until such time as the replacement support measures for this sector enter into force.
(Amendment 14)
Recital 6
   (6) Only aid applications in respect of work carried out until 15.6.2001 qualify for financing within the 2001 budget .
   (6) As regards quality and marketing improvement plans, only aid applications in respect of work carried out until 31.12.2002 qualify for financing.
(Amendment 15)
Recital 8
   (8) The above-mentioned period of up to one year is not sufficient to complete work of grubbing operations followed by replanting and/or varietal reconversion. The maximum aid per hectare therefore should be paid in respect of other operations as specified in Article 2(1) third subparagraph and paragraph 2 of Council Regulation (EEC) No 790/89.
   (8) The above-mentioned period of two years is not sufficient to complete work of grubbing operations followed by replanting and/or varietal reconversion. The maximum aid per hectare therefore should be paid in respect of other operations as specified in Article 2(1) third subparagraph and paragraph 2 of Council Regulation (EEC) No 790/89.
(Amendment 16)
Recital 8a (new)
(8a) At present the COM in fruit and vegetables does not take account of chestnut and pistachio nut production. These two products ought thus to be included in Annex I of Regulation (EC) No 2200/96, so that producers in these sectors may benefit from the standardisation and structuring process in producer organisations.
(Amendment 17)
ARTICLE 1
Recognised producer organisations engaged in the production and marketing of nuts and/or locust beans as specified in Article 14(a) of Regulation (EEC) No 1035/72 whose quality and marketing improvement plans were approved in 1990 may request continued financing of their plans for a further period of up to one year subject to the rules laid down in this regulation.
Recognised producer organisations engaged in the production and marketing of nuts and/or locust beans as specified in Article 14(a) of Regulation (EEC) No 1035/72 whose quality and marketing improvement plans were approved in 1990 and 1991 may request continued financing of their plans for a further period of two years and one year respectively, subject to the rules laid down in this regulation.
(Amendment 18)
ARTICLE 1a (new)
Article 55 (Regulation (EC) No 2200/96)
Article 1a
Article 55 of Regulation (EC) No 2200/96 is replaced by the following:
"Article 55
For hazelnuts produced in the 1997/1998, 1998/1999, 1999/2000, 2000/2001 and 2001/2002 marketing years, aid of EUR 15/100 kg shall be granted to producer organisations recognised pursuant to Regulation (EEC) No 1035/72 or to this Regulation which have implemented a quality improvement plan within the meaning of Article 14d of Regulation (EEC) No 1035/72 or an operational plan within the meaning of this Regulation."
(Amendment 19)
ARTICLE 1b (new)
Article 55a (new) (Regulation (EC) No 2200/96)
Article 1b
The following Article is inserted after Article 55 in Regulation (EC) No 2200/96:
"Article 55a
The Commission shall submit proposals for incorporating the specific measures applicable to nuts and locust beans into this Regulation."
(Amendment 20)
ARTICLE 2
The aid shall be paid in regard to, and limited to, those areas for which an aid application has been submitted in respect of the 10th year of the plan and is limited to a maximum of EUR 241,50 per hectare as set in Article 2(1) third subparagraph and 2(2) of Regulation (EEC) No 790/89. It shall apply for a period of up to one year immediately following the expiry of the 10th year of the plan and up to a latest date of 15.6.2001 .
The aid for quality and marketing improvement plans shall be paid in regard to, and limited to, those areas for which an aid application has been submitted in respect of the 10th year of the plan and is limited to a maximum of EUR 241,50 per hectare as set in Article 2(1) third subparagraph and 2(2) of Regulation (EEC) No 790/89. For those improvement plans approved in 1990 it shall apply for a period of two years, and for those approved in 1991 it shall apply for a period of one year immediately following the expiry of the 10th year of the plan and up to a latest date of 31.12.2002 .
Requests for extended financing of a plan in accordance with Article 1 are equivalent to the acceptance by the producer organisation to apply its plan as approved for the 10th year for a further period of up to one year .
Requests for extended financing of a plan in accordance with Article 1 are equivalent to the acceptance by the producer organisation to apply its plan as approved for the 10th year for the further period set out in the previous paragraph .
(Amendment 21)
ARTICLE 3a (new)
Article 3a
On the basis of a Commission proposal, the Council, after consulting the European Parliament, shall decide to extend the measures provided for in this Regulation for the period required, until such time as the replacement support measures for this sector enter into force.
(Amendment 22)
ARTICLE 3b (new)
Article 3b
The proposals which the Commission submits on permanent support measures for the nut and locust bean sector shall include flat-rate aid per hectare aimed at guaranteeing the preservation of existing income levels for producers in that sector.
European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a Council regulation extending for a period of up to one year the financing of certain quality and marketing improvement plans approved under Title IIa of Regulation (EEC) No 1035/72 (COM(2000) 623 - C5-0533/2000 - 2000/0252(CNS) )
P5_TA(2001)0091A5-0035/2001

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(2000) 623 ),

-  having been consulted by the Council pursuant to Article 37 of the EC Treaty (C5-0533/2000 ),

-  having regard to Rule 67 of its Rules of Procedure,

-  having regard to the report of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (A5-0035/2001 ),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.  Calls on the Commission to alter its proposal accordingly, pursuant to Article 250(2) of the EC Treaty;

3.  Calls on the Council to notify Parliament should it intend to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

4.  Asks to be consulted again if the Council intends to amend the Commission proposal substantially;

5.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.


Industrial restructuring and mergers
European Parliament resolution on the social consequences of industrial restructuring
P5_TA(2001)0092B5-0089/2001

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to Articles 127 and 136 of the EC Treaty,

-  having regard to Council Directive 94/45/EC of 22 September 1994 on European Works Councils(1) ,

-  having regard to Council Directive 98/59/EC of 20 July 1998 on collective redundancies(2) (consolidated version of Directives 75/129/EEC and 92/56/EEC ),

-  having regard to the conclusions of the special European Council in Lisbon of 23 and 24 March 2000 and the European Parliament resolutions thereon,

-  having regard to its opinion of 14 April 1999 on the proposal for a Council directive establishing a general framework for informing and consulting employees in the European Community (COM(1998) 612 - C4-0706/1998 - 1998/0315(SYN) )(3) ,

-  having regard to Parliament's resolution of 19 November 1997 on the Davignon report of the Group of Experts on 'European Systems of Worker Involvement' (C4-0455/1997 )(4) ,

-  having regard to its resolutions of 28 October 1999(5) and 17 February 2000(6) on company restructuring in Europe,

A.  whereas the European Council in Nice confirmed the indissoluble link between economic performance and social progress,

B.  whereas companies should be as free as possible to make management decisions which secure the commercial growth of their undertakings and so help tackle the problem of structural long-term unemployment in Europe, while taking full account of the impact of their decisions,

C.  whereas the European Social Agenda agreed in Nice emphasised the need to involve workers more in managing change and to combine worker security with flexibility for undertakings in a context of growing interdependence of European economies and changes in the working environment and in work relations,

D.  whereas a series of major companies operating in both new technology sectors, such as telecommunications, and more traditional industries, such as food, steel, textiles, chemicals and motor vehicles, have undergone major restructuring in recent months, resulting in thousands of jobs being lost across the EU,

E.  whereas such company restructuring often involves the largest employer in a given region and the job losses therefore have an impact not only on the individual employees concerned, but also on the social and economic cohesion of the whole province or region,

F.  whereas the collective redundancies directive lays down that, where an employer is contemplating collective redundancies, he shall begin consultations with the workers' representatives in good time with a view to reaching an agreement,

G.  whereas the works councils directive lays down procedures for informing and consulting employees in companies operating in more than one Member State,

H.  whereas many of the recent examples of company restructuring have taken place without informing employees and without consultation or adequate notice for alternatives to be sought which might have lessened the harmful social consequences of restructuring,

I.  whereas in some cases the companies in question have been recipients of state aid, fiscal incentives or Community funding aimed at boosting employment in specific regions or sectors,

1.  Calls on the Commission to verify, whenever necessary, whether undertakings or groups of undertakings have acted in accordance with Directives 98/59/EC and 94/45/EC;

2.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to adopt a more proactive approach to industrial restructuring and its social consequences, with a view to avoiding any harmful impact on levels of employment and working conditions, social and economic cohesion or the level of competitiveness of Community industry;

3.  Stresses the need for continuous social dialogue ahead of restructuring, at undertaking, sectoral and regional level;

4.  Welcomes the role of the proposed "European Monitoring Centre on Industrial Change" within the Dublin Foundation, which may provide new ways for employers and workers to make proposals for socially sustainable solutions in concrete cases of restructuring;

5.  Regrets that, in many recent instances of company restructuring, the existing Community provisions on collective redundancies, transfers of undertakings and informing and consulting employees in European works councils appear not to have been fully complied with, and calls for a thorough investigation by the relevant authorities into each case concerned;

6.  Believes that the current climate of industrial change necessitates a review and an updating of existing legislation, and calls therefore:

   (a)
on the Commission to bring forward urgently before the end of 2001 a revision of the European works councils directive, with particular attention to the need for sanctions for non-compliance with the directive;
   (b)
on the Commission to proceed immediately with the publication of its review of the collective redundancies directive, as announced in the European Social Agenda agreed at Nice, with a view to amending the directive if it is found not to have been effective in protecting workers;
   (c)
on the Council to adopt without further delay its common position on the framework directive on informing and consulting employees, taking into account the amendments adopted by Parliament at first reading;
   (d)
on the Commission to carry out a review of the directive on transfers of undertakings, on the basis of which a proposal for amendment to the directive should be presented which provides for sanctions for non-compliance with the directive;

7.  Calls on the Commission and the European social partners to come to an agreement on the introduction by large European companies of annual "managing change reports" on employment and working conditions, prepared in cooperation with the employees" representatives;

8.  Believes that all Community provisions laying down practical arrangements for informing and consulting employees must allow for information and consultation at the planning stage of any proposed restructuring so as to ensure that the consultation is effective and an influence can be exerted on the decision-making process;

9.  Recalls its position adopted at first reading on the framework directive on informing and consulting employees, whereby Member States should ensure that, where a decision will have considerable adverse consequences for employees, the final decision may be postponed for an appropriate period at the request of the employees' representatives so that consultations may continue with the aim of avoiding or mitigating such adverse consequences, and calls on Member States to apply this when implementing any of the Community provisions covering information and consultation of employees;

10.  Insists that Article 127 of the EC Treaty, which states that the objective of a high level of employment must be taken into consideration in all Community policies and activities, applies also to competition policy and welcomes the statement by the Commission in the European Parliament that it will take more account of this in its internal procedures when approving mergers between companies based in Member States;

11.  Reiterates its call to the effect that the granting of Community and national aid to undertakings should help achieve the aims of the long-term safeguarding of jobs in recipient undertakings and of promoting regional development and calls for it to be made possible to require undertakings to repay such aid if they do not fulfil the associated conditions;

12.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the social partners.

(1) OJ L 254, 30.9.1994, p. 64.
(2) OJ L 225, 12.8.1998, p. 16.
(3) OJ C 219, 30.7.1999, p. 223.
(4) OJ C 371, 8.12.1997, p. 83.
(5) OJ C 154, 5.6.2000, p. 139.
(6) OJ C 339, 29.11.2000, p. 280.


Action taken on EIB annual report
European Parliament resolution on action taken on the EIB annual report (2000/2173(INI))
P5_TA(2001)0093A5-0023/2001

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to Articles 266 and 267 of the Treaty establishing the European Investment Bank and the Protocol on the Statute of the Bank annexed to the Treaty,

-  having regard to the European Investment Bank's 42nd Annual Report (1999),

-  having regard to the reports of the EIB's own Operations Evaluation department,

-  having regard to the own-initiative opinion of the Economic and Social Committee on the role of the EIB in European regional policy (CES 1001-2000),

-  having regard to the conclusions of the Dublin (1998), Cologne (1999), Helsinki (1999) and Lisbon (2000) European Councils,

-  having regard to its resolution of 18 May 2000 on the Commission's recommendation for the broad guidelines of the economic policies of the Member States and the Community (drawn up pursuant to Article 99(2) of the Treaty establishing the European Community) (COM(2000) 214 - C5-0218/2000 - 2000/2119(COS) )(1) ,

-  having regard to its resolution of 3 October 2000 on the Commission communication "Risk capital: Implementation of the action plan - Proposals for moving forward” (COM(1999) 493 - C5-0320/1999 - 1999/2208(COS) )(2) ,

-  having regard to its resolution of 26 October 2000 on the communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on EU policies and measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions: Towards a European Climate Change Programme (ECCP) (COM(2000) 88 - C5-0192/2000 - 2000/2103(COS) )(3) ,

-  having regard to the speech by Mr Maystadt, President of the EIB, to the Committee on Budgetary Control on 10 July 2000,

-  having regard to Rule 163 of its Rules of Procedure,

-  having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (A5-0023/2001 ),

A.  whereas the EIB was set up by the Treaty establishing the European Communities as their primary financing institution for achieving their objectives, and whereas this function has been strengthened by the European Union,

B.  whereas the EIB's contribution to the objectives of the Union was reaffirmed by the Helsinki, Berlin and Cologne (1999) European Councils, and also by the Lisbon (2000) European Council,

C.  whereas outstanding loans against own resources and guarantees stood at EUR 179.1 billion in 1999,

D.  whereas loans granted in 1999 showed an 8% increase over the previous year, amounting to EUR 31.8 bn, of which EUR 27.8 bn (87%) was accounted for by EU countries, EUR 2.4 bn by the candidate countries (including Cyprus, but excluding Turkey), EUR 0.8 bn by Euro-Mediterranean Partnership countries (excluding Cyprus), EUR 0.3 bn by ACP countries, EUR 0.46 bn by other Third World countries and EUR 0.06 bn by the Balkans, i.e. 120 countries in total,

E.  whereas activities outside the Union are mainly those commissioned by the Union and the Member States; whereas they are concerned essentially with incorporating the acquis communautaire in the candidate countries through renewing the pre-accession facility, support for, and development and privatisation of, industry and greater support for the local banking sector,

F.  whereas the EIB's main activities are within the European Union; whereas the bank plays a major role in the development and financing of a European investment policy,

G.  whereas within the European Union and the candidate countries it has to ensure compliance with the acquis communautaire, while acting primarily on its own initiative, using its own resources or funds raised on the market,

H.  whereas in other countries it acts under mandate from the Commission and manages funds from the European Union budget or guaranteed by the European Union,

I.  whereas, in respect of its non-mandate activities, it essentially enjoys the advantage on the capital markets of an AAA rating and the guarantees that the European Union is able to provide,

J.  whereas, moreover (but only in the case of environmental investments in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership), the European Union grants a 3% interest subsidy,

K.  whereas in January 1999 the EIB Board of Directors adopted a Corporate Operational Plan (COP) covering the period 1999-2000; whereas the COP lays down three 'top priorities' (promoting regional development and Union cohesion, human capital (health and education) and venture capital finance for SMEs) and two 'high priorities' (trans-European networks and the environment and close links with the banking sector),

L.  whereas the Corporate Operational Plan provides that financing decisions must be based on three 'pillars' (consistency between each operation and the Union's priority objectives, the quality and soundness of the investment concerned and the particular financial benefits obtained by the use of EIB funds),

M.  whereas the European Union has set itself the goal of becoming the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, and whereas that goal entails substantial public and private as well as technical, human and environmental investment;whereas the European Parliament has also stressed the particular importance of financing risk capital and SMEs from the EIB's own funds,

N.  whereas the European Union has also set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions which will become binding within eight years; whereas Parliament has already predicted that, as things stand at present, those targets are unlikely to be met, owing to the current rate of growth and the impact of that growth on CO2 emissions,

O.  whereas EIB activity constitutes the primary means available to the European Union for making investments, inter alia in the three areas indicated,

P.  whereas the EIB's important position within the Union's institutional framework, the volume of lending that it manages (some of it derived from the Union's budget), the impact of its activities with regard to economic, regional and social cohesion and the environment, justify close monitoring by the Union's institutions in particular by the European Court of Auditors and OLAF, and by civil society,

Q.  whereas the EIB emphasises that its status as a financial institution makes it subject to the banking sector's traditional methods of internal and external scrutiny, and in particular its Audit Committee; whereas, of course, when it mobilises Community resources (loans under mandate and subsidised loans) it is also subject to scrutiny by the Court of Auditors; whereas its President nonetheless indicated by letter to Parliament, the Council and the Commission, in November 1999, his willingness to cooperate with OLAF; whereas a judgment of the European Court of Justice is pending, which will determine precisely how much EIB activity must fall within the remit of OLAF,

R.  whereas the NGOs making up the CEE Bankwatch Network are alarmed by the lack of transparency in the justifications for the projects supported by the EIB and the lack of public debate concerning their evaluation, both in advance and after the event, and consider that the EIB lacks the will and the staff to evaluate the economic, environmental and social impact of its projects; whereas this last criticism has been confirmed by the recent publication of the initial reports by the EIB's Operations Evaluation department (responsible for carrying out ex-post evaluations), which stress that most of the projects examined lack advance impact assessments and justifications, and even more projects lack ex-post evaluations of the results obtained; whereas, when such evaluation is possible, it all too often reveals that the projects carried out have had no positive impact; whereas consistency with the Union's priority objectives is rarely included explicitly in justifications; whereas many of the projects supported by the EIB would easily have found other sources of funding; whereas, all in all, the 'three pillars' of the COP are hardly complied with,

S.  whereas the EIB's activities are aimed at having a positive effect on the EU's objectives for growth and employment as part of the Luxembourg process; noting that few data are available for a thorough evaluation of such effects to enable conclusions to be drawn in respect of future policy; wondering therefore whether there is sufficient expertise present in the Board of Governors, the Board of Directors, the Management Committee and the other management levels of the Bank with regard to the effectiveness of employment policy,

T.  whereas the same concerns are even more marked in the case of EIF global loans and investments, which are spread across tens of thousands of small projects, the EIB's response to which is that it is the responsibility of the banks and investment funds to report to it whether projects financed are consistent with the Union's objectives,

1.  Congratulates the EIB on its increasingly tangible contribution to the efforts of the European Union to achieve growth, full employment, inter-regional and social cohesion, which now extends to cover the candidate countries;

2.  Welcomes the setting up of the Balkan Task Force in June 1999; suggests that the EIB negotiates, with each candidate country and with the Balkan countries, a strategic investment plan designed to incorporate subsequent projects within an overall medium-term perspective, taking into account the reciprocal commitments between the European Union and the country concerned;

3.  Expresses its warm approval of the 1999-2000 plan and of its three priorities and pillars; believes that the EIB can assign a higher priority to the environmental objectives defined in the Kyoto Treaty;

4.  Calls on the EIB to carry out more in-depth research into the actual contribution by EU and EIB investments to regional and environmental development:

5.  Calls on the EIB to assign priority to the financing of trans-European networks, which are an essential infrastructure element in developing a market economy based on social cohesion; calls on the EIB to invest more in the renewable energy sector and to make avoidance of CO2 emissions a major factor in the choice of programmes to support;

6.  Calls on the Member States and the associated States to take account of the Union's objectives right from the start and to involve the EIB from the earliest stages; calls on the Commission and the Council swiftly to extend the mechanism for subsidising interest rates that the EIB enjoys (to apply to all the candidate countries initially, and then to the European Union) to all transport projects (in particular transport by rail and water) and renewable energy production projects where these are likely to further compliance with the Kyoto undertakings; suggests that the EIB and the Commission, together with the ECB, explore ways of refinancing the investments made necessary by the Kyoto criteria at exceptionally low rates;

7.  Calls for more coordination with the EBRD on projects in accession countries and in other Eastern European countries in order to harmonise assessment procedures, environmental impact criteria and social policies;

8.  Calls on the EIB to concentrate its support for employment and new technology in the form of funding for infrastructure (information highways) and for the training of human capital;

9.  Calls on the EIB to ensure that adequate risk capital is available for SMEs in all sectors which have problems attracting risk capital via the stock exchange.

10.  Calls on the EIB and the EIF to focus attention on the social economy sector and on the investments necessary to develop 'local services' which, given an increasing demand for third-party services for caring and domestic activities, are of considerable importance for an optimal degree of participation in the labour market;

11.  Takes the view that the Community resources at the disposal of the EIB should be scrutinised by the Court of Auditors for effectiveness and lawfulness of expenditure; calls on the EIB, the Commission and the Court of Auditors to cooperate closely where Community funding is involved; believes that, as a bank, the EIB should be subject to proper prudential banking supervision, and subject to the same prudential rules as commercial banks; welcomes the willingness of the President of the EIB to cooperate with OLAF;

12.  Welcomes the move towards disclosure of information announced by the EIB; congratulates the EIB on the publication of the reports by its Operations Evaluation department and calls on it to make them available on its web site; calls on the EIB to be guided by the best practice followed by international financial institutions (the World Bank, the EBRD) in their relations with non-governmental organisations and the social partners upstream and downstream of the projects that they finance, and to involve them in the public debate about decisions regarding technical options and in the medium-term evaluation of the results achieved;

13.  Calls on the EIB to strengthen its project evaluation staff and to establish in its structure a department responsible for environmental impact screening and assessment of projects during the course of their appraisal and during their implementation in order to ensure enforcement of local legislation and to foster the benefits for the environment;

14.  Acknowledges that the reform of the links between the EIB and the EIF can only serve to increase the flexibility of the EIF and its scope for initiative; calls on the EIB and the EIF, however, to tighten their control over the use of global loans and of their own funds invested, so as to improve their evaluation of the consistency thereof with the 'priorities' and 'pillars' of the COP; suggests, to that end, that they make use of the methods of delegated certification and evaluation;

15.  Recommends that the EIB create capacity within its supervisory and management structures for more expertise and more input from the point of view of the labour market and employment policy, firstly by requesting Member States to take these aspects into account when filling vacancies and, secondly, by actively seeking advice from the two sides of industry and civil society;

16.  Calls on the EIB as an institution of the European Union and supporter of Community policies as well as on the Member States to appoint and employ women and men in equal numbers in all EIB bodies and staff departments;

17.  Regrets that the great majority of the information on the EIB's website is available only in English and French; draws attention to the fact that not all potential clients, particularly those active in small and medium-sized enterprises, can master those languages; calls on the EIB to rectify this situation and to make all information on the website available in all official languages of the European Union;

18.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the EIB, the Council, the Commission and the parliaments of the Member States.

(1) Texts Adopted, Item 3.
(2) Texts Adopted, Item 9.
(3) Texts Adopted, Item 11.


Economic growth
European Parliament resolution on the impact of liberalisation and the economic reform process on economic growth in the European Union (2000/2172(INI))
P5_TA(2001)0094A5-0020/2001

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the conclusions of the extraordinary European Council of 23 and 24 March 2000 in Lisbon concerning the transition to a competitive, dynamic and knowledge-based economy with full employment, and the strengthening of social cohesion,

-  having regard to its resolution of 18 May 2000(1) on the Commission's recommendation for the broad guidelines of the economic policies of the Member States and the Community (drawn up in conformity with Article 99(2) of the Treaty establishing the European Community) (COM(2000) 214 - C5- 0218/2000 - 2000/2119 (COS) ),

-  having regard to Rule 163 of its Rules of Procedure,

-  having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (A5-0020/2001 ),

A.  whereas one of the objectives of the Member States and the institutions is to apply the principle of a social market economy, which allows the development of competition and optimum allocation of resources, and which provides a good foundation for the Union's new strategic goal of becoming the most dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world capable of sustainable growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion,

B.  whereas the Commission is counting on a large-scale economic recovery with favourable growth prospects and a real growth rate of 3% a year for the Member States of the Union as a whole,

C.  aware that globalisation and the rapid development of the new economy pose a major challenge to the Union and its Member States, which will entail a radical overhaul of its economic and social structures,

D.  whereas, despite the positive economic developments of recent years and the good prospects for the future, it is vital to continue the balanced process of liberalisation and regulation,

E.  whereas this approach is now widely accepted by both political decision-makers and economic operators in the Member States, but it is vital that this strategy should not be pursued at the expense of acquired social rights in Europe and the employment situation,

F.  whereas good public services, such as health care and education, are vital not only for the well-being of citizens but also for the effective functioning of private enterprises,

G.  recalling that under the decisions taken in Lisbon the Union has set itself a new strategic goal to be achieved by 2010, namely to make the European economy the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world capable of sustainable economic growth, greater social cohesion in relation to international markets and hence job creation,

1.  Endorses entirely the Council's aim of making the EU the most dynamic area in the world by 2010, and finds that a concerted effort to make Europe more competitive requires further balanced liberalisation and regulation and speedy adoption of the legal and administrative instruments needed to put the necessary reforms in place;

2.  Finds that statistical indicators and benchmarking can be useful tools in attempts to increase European dynamism, but stresses that new statistics are of limited use if countries are not also ready to learn from each other; notes for example that those countries which have the most deregulation and labour market flexibility in Europe are also the ones that have enjoyed big declines in unemployment and above-average growth;

3.  Points out also that the economic performance of European businesses is still affected by over-regulation and bureaucratic obstacles and, in many cases, by the lack of a service and infrastructure network allowing the development of small and medium-sized enterprises;

4.  Finds that the starting up of new businesses is unnecessarily complicated, time-consuming and costly in Europe, calls for simplifications in this field along with a private company statute that would enable SMEs to work across borders more easily;

5.  Considers that the European economy is still over-characterised by structural weaknesses such as a high rate of unemployment, the ageing of the population and a significant technology gap vis-à-vis the United States, especially as far as the new technologies are concerned;

6.  Considers that the ageing of the population means that new ways have to be found of increasing participation in the labour market, especially among women and older workers;

7.  Is concerned that Internet penetration is very uneven within the Union, with penetration levels close to 40 percent in Sweden and Finland and below ten percent in southern Member States; finds that accelerated investments in information technology, and lower access costs, are needed if Europe is going to enjoy the benefits of 'the new economy';

8.  Deplores the fact that in some Member States over-regulation is accompanied by a slow and inefficient bureaucracy, which is preventing economic activity from flourishing;

9.  Considers that one of the major factors in achieving the goal set at Lisbon will be to continue the balance between liberalisation and regulation policies at national and European level, not least by means of coordinated policies at Union level and the early adoption of the necessary legislative and administrative instruments;

10.  Welcomes the progress achieved in a careful liberalisation process in most Member States, particularly in the air transport, telecommunications and gas and electricity supply sectors; stresses also the need to continue this process in such sectors as transport, gas, electricity, postal services and financial services; believes it is also necessary to continue this process in the field of rail transport for both goods and passengers, while ensuring that current safety levels are maintained;

11.  Considers, nonetheless, that there has been insufficient liberalisation in the services sector and that government participation in ownership, when combined with management that is bureaucratic or based on vote-catching in certain areas, may adversely affect the development of a competitive market that is effective and of benefit to European businesses and consumers;

12.  Considers that it is therefore essential to continue the liberalisation process not only by continuing privatisations but also by simplifying the legislative and administrative framework, without this leading to a deterioration in the quality of services provided or an unwarranted increase in costs and without restricting the political accountability of the government entities concerned;

13.  Considers that labour market reform must continue, above all through the development of a life-long training policy so that the flexibility and mobility of labour is accompanied by greater opportunities for employability based on job skills, as on the one hand there is a significant gap between the needs of enterprises and the supply of skilled labour and, on the other, the persistence of long-term unemployment and the process of exclusion is still hitting less skilled and older workers harder;

14.  Believes that it is high time for labour market reforms that promote mobility and make it worthwhile for the unemployed to take up job offers, as increases in labour supply will help increase employment and make it easier to deal with the shortage of labour that is already appearing in some countries and in certain sectors;

15.  Believes that labour market flexibility must be combined with increased investments in people and with education and training systems adapted to the demands of the knowledge society and people's possibilities of lifelong learning;

16.  Advocates that enterprises should take on a greater role in the sphere of vocational training and apprenticeships, as public and private education centres have an accumulated backlog to make up in relation to the ever more rapid development of new technologies and given the trend towards a slowdown in public and private efforts in the sphere of lifelong training due, inter alia, to the growing instability of employment relationships and conditions of employment; considers that, only with an exceptional effort, with joint participation by the Member States and the European Union, education systems, enterprises and workers will it be possible, even in financial terms, to take on the challenges that none of them is in a position to meet alone;

17.  Points out that it is necessary to reduce the legislative, administrative and tax barriers to the development of synergies between businesses, training centres, schools, the universities and research centres, which can encourage a better match between scientific research and innovation, between life-long training policies and skilled labour, and ensure that the European economic system is fully competitive and put European businesses in a better position to compete on international markets;

18.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1) Texts adopted, Item 3.


The Union and Macau beyond 2000
European Parliament resolution on the communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament: The European Union and Macau: beyond 2000 (COM(1999) 484 - C5-0169/2000 - 2000/2099(COS) )
P5_TA(2001)0095A5-0017/2001

The European Parliament

-  having regard to the communication from the Commission (COM(1999) 484 - C5-0169/2000 ),

-  having regard to the decisions of the Cologne European Council (3-4 June 1999) and the Helsinki European Council (10-11 December 1999),

-  having regard to its resolution of 16 December 1999 on Macau(1) ,

-  having regard to its resolution of 12 June 1997 on the communication from the Commission on a long-term policy for China-Europe relations (COM(1995) 279 - C4-0288/1995 )(2) ,

-  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy and the opinion of the Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy (A5-0017/2001 ),

A.  noting the exemplary negotiations between Portugal and the People's Republic of China, which resulted in the 1987 Joint Sino-Portuguese Declaration and the principles underlying the 1993 Basic Law of the Macau Special Administrative Region, hereinafter referred to as the Macau SAR,

B.  stressing the importance of the 1987 Joint Declaration and the 1993 Basic Law, which are the main instruments defining the specific character of the Macau SAR and which guarantee respect for the current economic, cultural and social systems and the granting of independent executive, legislative and judicial powers, including the final court of appeal,

C.  welcoming the fact that the Macau SAR has been provided with a modern legal system which guarantees fundamental rights and freedoms, including an express ban in the penal code on the application of the death penalty,

D.  welcoming the agreement on the application of the International Pact on Civil and Political Rights (IPCPR) and the International Pact on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (IPESCR),

E.  whereas Macau will be able to make a significant contribution to relations between the European Union and the People's Republic of China, and with other countries in the region, thanks to its specific culture and its modern system of infrastructure and prospering economy, in which services are playing an increasingly important part,

F.  welcoming the Commission's commitment to follow closely the process of transition and help to ensure the consolidation of the 'one country, two systems' principle; applauding, in particular, the proposal to publish a report on relations between the European Union and Macau,

G.  welcoming the positions taken at the Cologne Council and the Helsinki Council, which expressed Europe's support for Macau and underlined the importance of fully applying the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law,

H.  stressing the importance of the remaining in force of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and Macau, which has been in force since 1 January 1993 - as well as the preservation of the structures created by that agreement, particularly the annual Joint Committee - and which is strengthening relations between the two sides and reinforcing the degree of autonomy enjoyed by the Macau SAR,

I.  whereas the work of Macau's economic and trade office to the European Union, based in Brussels, has played a decisive role in consolidating relations between the two sides,

1.  Welcomes the peaceful way in which the transferral of administration in the Macau Special Administrative Region took place;

2.  Considers that Macau is continuing to play an important role following its integration into China as a Special Administrative Region, remaining, for the European Union, a stable economic centre in the Asia-Pacific region;

3.  Appeals to the Chief Executive of the Macau SAR, within the framework of the powers granted to him, to ensure that the Basic Law is complied with, recalling that its full application offers the best guarantees for the future of Macau, in the knowledge that the European Union is closely following the SAR's development;

4.  Appeals to the Government of the Macau SAR to prepare and submit to the United Nations the reports provided for under the International Pact on Civil and Political Rights (IPCPR) and the International Pact on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (IPESCR);

5.  Reiterates its endorsement of the abovementioned communication from the Commission;

6.  Welcomes the Commission's intention to publish annual reports on EU-Macau relations and requests the Commission to issue its first report within three months following the adoption of Parliament's resolution, so as to provide an updated evaluation of the situation in Macau, in the expectation that it will provide a firm basis for the consolidation of relations between the European Union and Macau and clearly signal the importance of Macau's autonomy;

7.  Approves the Commission's intention to maintain the Macau issue as one of the topics of dialogue between the EU and China;

8.  Stresses that the Union is in a position to make a vital contribution to safeguarding the high degree of autonomy enjoyed by the Macau SAR and its specific character, which are inherent to respect for the 'one country, two systems' principle;

9.  Urges the Council, in this connection, to continue its support for the Macau SAR;

10.  Calls on the European Union to make active use of the instruments available to it, including political dialogue, joint actions, common positions and, in particular, cooperation measures;

11.  Encourages the European Union to strengthen the basis of the dialogue with the SAR authorities, in particular by sending representatives of its institutions to Macau;

12.  Encourages the European Union to promote cooperation activities with Macau, in particular in the area of legal training and cooperation, financial services, the development of public administration and the promotion of tourism, in the knowledge that Macau represents a springboard for developing cooperation between the European Union and the other countries in the region;

13.  Reiterates its belief that the continuation of the 1993 European Union-Macau Trade and Cooperation Agreement represents a fundamental instrument for permanent dialogue between the two sides, whilst safeguarding the protection of human rights enshrined in the preamble to the Agreement;

14.  Calls for a dynamic approach to the activities of and the results of the decisions taken by the Macau-European Joint Committee, a body which meets annually under the 1993 Trade and Cooperation Agreement;

15.  Welcomes the existence of good relations between Macau and Hong Kong in view of the fact that the two areas are applying the "one country, two systems" principle and are members of the WTO;

16.  Emphasises that it is necessary to facilitate European investment in the SAR of Macau, through Community measures and programmes that are already available or, where appropriate, through new ones;

17.  Calls on the European companies which are developing operations in Macau, and via Macau in China, to observe basic ILO labour standards in their operations and asks the Commission to monitor developments in this area;

18.  Asks the Commission to appoint an EC-Macau cooperation officer to Macau, as announced in its abovementioned communication, to contribute to the coordination of bilateral cooperation, in order to demonstrate its commitment to consolidating relations between the two sides;

19.  Appeals to the Macau economic and trade delegation to the European Union to intensify its activity, boost its relations with the European institutions and give a visible demonstration of its commitment to the consolidation of Macau-EU relations;

20.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the Member States, the Government and Legislative Assembly of the Macau SAR and the Government of the People's Republic of China.

(1) OJ C 296, 18.10.2000, p. 190.
(2) OJ C 200, 30.6.1997, p. 158.


European research area guidelines (2002-2006)
European Parliament resolution on the Commission communication to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions - Making a reality of the European Research Area: Guidelines for EU research activities (2002-2006) (COM(2000) 612 - C5-0738/2000 - 2000/2334(COS) )
P5_TA(2001)0096A5-0052/2001

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the communication from the Commission (COM(2000) 612 - C5-0738/2000 ),

-  having regard to its resolution of 18 May 2000 on the communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions 'Towards a European Research Area' (COM(2000) 6 - C5-0115/2000 - 2000/2075(COS) )(1) ,

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

-  having regard to the report of the Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy and the opinions of the Committee on Culture, Youth, Education, the Media and Sport and Committee on Women's Rights and Equal Opportunities (A5-0052/2001 ),

A.  whereas the European Union, at the meeting of the European Council in Lisbon of 23 and 24 March 2000, set itself the strategic goal for the first decade of the 21st century of becoming the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world and, in so doing, identified the need for better R&D policy as one of the key elements of the overall strategy for the achievement of that goal,

B.  whereas the Lisbon goal cannot be achieved by Community action alone, or by Member States acting alone, but requires genuine cooperation between European Union research activities and Member States' research activities as well as sufficient coordination between research, development and innovation and between the educational systems of Member States,

C.  whereas, pursuant to Article 166 of the Treaty establishing the European Community, all the activities of the Community in the area of research and technological development are to be set out in the multiannual Framework Programme, to be adopted by the Council acting in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 251 of the same Treaty after consulting the Economic and Social Committee,

D.  whereas the Treaty establishing the European Community includes a provision that research and technological development should be aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of European industry and at growth in employment,

E.  whereas the Framework Programme is an important instrument for creating the Research Area,

F.  whereas the opportunities and uncertainties generated by research at the limits of knowledge must be the subject of public debate, democratic accountability and stringent parliamentary scrutiny,

G.  whereas there is a problem in most Member States of failure to recruit adequate numbers of engineering students in physics, chemistry and other scientific disciplines,

H.  whereas although the R&D budget is an important factor, it is not the sole factor determining economic growth and greater employment,

I.  whereas thanks in part to macro-economic measures such as the introduction of the euro, the curbing of inflation and low interest rates, Europe's economy has developed on a broad front and is playing a leading role in countless economic sectors and is therefore less susceptible to the impact of recession in any particular sector,

J.  whereas economic results could be better than in the US if there were greater cooperation in the EU on the basis of common European objectives,

K.  whereas the European Union is on the eve of the accession of new Member States and whereas per capita GNP is significantly lower in those countries than the EU average, with the result that differences in the European Union in competitiveness, research capability and innovative force will increase,

L.  whereas the international role of European research, particularly in developing countries, must be maintained and enhanced,

M.  whereas it is necessary to foster a greater understanding of research and innovation on the part of the public at large and whereas innovation and research must not be neglected in other non-technological fields such as management, economic and social sciences and human sciences,

N.  whereas major research projects such as those referred to in the report 'Making a reality of the European Research Area' do not, by definition, contribute more to growth in jobs and the economy than smaller research projects, and whereas maintaining fundamental high-grade research is essential,

O.  whereas a restrictive use of the resources available for major projects in a framework of exploiting to the full networks of excellence within a very limited series of priorities may exclude research groups of a modest size or SMEs with a great potential for creating European added value,

P.  having regard to the need to add a European innovation area to the European Research Area,

Q.  whereas the mobility of researchers in the European Research Area is an essential instrument for ensuring the establishment of that area,

R.  having regard to the need for transparency in the field of research and the importance of dialogue with civil society and of taking into account the issues of science and society and science and governance,

S.  whereas the European Research Area is at the very heart of the approach which must prevail when the sixth Framework Programme is introduced, with a view to giving it real European 'added value', in particular as regards basic research and future technologies,

T.  whereas the human and social sciences (history, philosophy, geography, sociology, psychology, linguistics, legal sciences, etc.) are a necessary part of political and cultural integration in a Europe which, besides being the home of industrial and technological innovation, is the place in which hundreds of millions of European citizens live, speak, interact and travel,

U.  whereas the human and social sciences enjoy unique standing in the plans for a European Research Area by virtue of the potential contribution they can make to other disciplines, rather than as an area of research in their own right,

V.  whereas research into new information and communication technologies must be geared towards promoting technologies which grant access for all to these new tools; whereas the average level of domestic Internet access in Europe still stands at less than 30%,

W.  whereas the new technologies and the Internet harbour great potential as regards access to knowledge, quality of life and human progress, as well as constituting means of developing and fostering Europe's cultural and linguistic diversity,

General remarks

1.  Welcomes the Commission communication "Making a reality of the European Research Area” as the starting point of an in-depth political and scientific debate on establishing a genuine European Research and Innovation Community, and proposes that - in addition to the measures already taken by the Commission - the outcome of the "Futures Project” and the working paper "Emerging Thematic Priorities for Research in Europe” carried out by the Joint Research Centre's Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) and the results printed in "Key Figures 2000" should also be used to steer that debate;

2.  Welcomes the launch of the GEANT (Gigabit European Academic NeTwork) project, which will link European research and educational networks with a capacity of 2.5 gigabits per second; calls on the Member States and the Commission, with the help of the European Investment Bank, to pursue their efforts to put in place a high-speed European research network with a capacity of 100 gigabits per second, without which a dynamic, knowledge-based economy resistant to competition will not be possible;

Framework Programme

3.  Notes that the Framework Programme has made an effective contribution to improving the competitiveness of European industry, but that in the Member States of the European Union there are major differences with regard to investments, risk capital, spending on research, spending on education and the structure of research; calls, consequently, on the Member States significantly to increase their research spending;

4.  Points out that, in addition to strengthening the competitiveness of industry in the European Union, Community support for research and development must also contribute towards improving the environment, health, employment, quality of life and prosperity and, more generally, sustainability in the European Union;

5.  Expects the international role of EU research, especially with regard to developing countries, to be included within the European Research Area objectives;

6.  Is of the opinion that the positive features of the Framework Programme need to be retained because they may make a substantial contribution to economic growth and employment, as well as sustainability, that the know-how available should be better converted into new products, social progress, quality of life and an improvement in public health, and that greater emphasis should be placed on removing the barriers still inhibiting businesses in the European Union;

7.  Takes the view that, in addition to inventorising the research and know-how requirements of interested parties, policy criteria need to be defined by the European Commission as the basis for compiling a list of research priorities for creating the European Research Area; approval of this list should come under the codecision procedure;

8.  Considers that the criteria referred to in the previous paragraph should include, in particular, promoting the competitiveness of the European production system, boosting the knowledge society, improving the health and quality of life of European citizens, guaranteeing sustainable development and solving the most acute social problems facing the Union (i.e. the ageing of the population, drug-trafficking and the use of drugs, etc.), all this to be seen in a long-term perspective for carrying out measures during the coming five years and to prevent the emergence of insoluble problems in the future;

9.  Notes that in view of the importance of the SME sector in Europe at least 10% of Community research funding should be allocated to SME-related research;

10.  Urges the Commission to consider the further reduction of specific programmes as well as research priorities in the next Framework Programme in order to concentrate on a few issues for which substantial finances would then be available, to facilitate monitoring and in particular to encourage integrated projects by large enterprises with SMEs and research institutes;

11.  Considers it necessary to develop a more flexible approach to the EU decision-making process with regard to the Framework Programme as well as the specific programmes and invites the Commission to consider in particular possibilities for the setting up of "reserves" to be used for specific issues which might occur in the course of the European research programmes; this could lead to successive decisions on specific topics instead of an overall decision on all specific programmes and their content at the beginning of the Framework Programme; the decision-making process would be disentangled and could be kept closer to the most recent developments in the respective technology areas, with codecision being retained;

12.  Expects that, in the spirit of the democratic scrutiny of European policy on research and technological development, the Commission and Council will seek and take full account of the opinion of the European Parliament on matters relating to nuclear science and technology in the European Research Area that are paid by the Community budget; nuclear research policy and the Euratom programme are to be reconsidered by Parliament and the Council; generally speaking research in the field of energy is to be envisaged in a context of sustainable development (Euratom, ITER, nuclear fusion etc.); finally, the scientific principles on which radiation protection is based must be reconsidered;

13.  Expects that the Council and the Commission will involve Parliament in the decision-making on post-ECSC Treaty regulatory provisions, in particular on establishing a Coal and Steel Research Fund;

14.  Takes the view that one of the objectives of the sixth Framework Programme must be to eliminate the obstacles that prevent women from having scientific careers at an equivalent level to those of men, and calls on the Member States to ensure that there is a better gender balance on recruitment and promotion boards and in the scientific committees that decide on research policy;

15.  Urges the Member States and the Commission to include the human and social sciences as fully-fledged disciplines under the sixth Framework Research Programme and as a field of research with high added value in the process of establishing a European Research Area;

16.  Strongly encourages the Commission and the Member States to renew and strengthen the "multimedia content and tools" and "city of tomorrow and cultural heritage" key actions, which feature in the fifth Framework Research Programme;

17.  Proposes that the Marie Curie Mobility Programme be strengthened under the Sixth Framework Research Programme, primarily by means of the introduction of return fellowships designed to help scientists compelled to leave Europe to return;

New instruments

18.  Approves the idea of introducing new research policy instruments in order to create the European Research Area and to improve the effectiveness and performance of the Framework Programme, provided that these instruments

   -
promote genuine cooperation and coordination between EU research actions and Member State activities, as well as between the activities of the various Member States;
   -
are integrated, as far as the EU's participation is concerned, in the Framework Programme, and
   -
present equality of opportunity to all Member States and to members of the scientific community, so as to prevent the threat of one specific application of the instruments known as "major projects", "networks of excellence" and "concentration" from excluding either public or private research groups which have proven ability to create European added value;
   -
promote close coordination of research policies in accordance with Article 165 of the Treaty, in order to guarantee greater consistency of Community research policy;
   -
make material and virtual infrastructure available to researchers on a Union scale,
   -
develop and enhance the mobility of researchers;

19.  Calls, in close association with the Committee on Budgetary Control, for a dramatic reduction in the red tape that obstructs research project applications and financing;

20.  Expresses the strongest possible reservations concerning the desired 'variable geometry' between the EU and some Member States, pursuant to Article 169 of the Treaty establishing the European Community; insists that the overall effect of the use of this instrument should be non-discriminatory as between larger and smaller Member States, and that the specific proposals for actions in this category be inserted in the Framework Programme;

21.  Stresses that the financial resources applied to the Framework Programme should in future reflect the new objectives and the new instruments, as well as the perspective of enlargement, while ensuring greater impact by increased concentration on major useful and achievable objectives;

22.  Approves the development of 'networks of excellence', provided that they promote cooperation between universities, research centres, industry and SMEs, and that they do not focus exclusively on large-scale projects, but believes that this concept should be made clear in the proposal for the Sixth Framework Directive;

23.  Proposes the setting up, with the assistance of the Joint Research Centres, of a mobile and partly virtual EU Exhibition so that researchers from the Member States, pupils, students and prospective researchers can become familiarised with the research objectives of the European Union and the results of various research projects within universities and industry in the EU and the candidate Member States;

24.  Calls on the Commission to define clearly the role and tasks of the Joint Research Centre in the structuring and launching of the European Research Area;

25.  Stresses the need to create partnerships on the basis of joint projects or projects which complement the major 'intergovernmental' programmes such as Eureka and COST;

26.  Draws attention to the need for a flexible research policy that will allow multiple variations in the coordination of research programmes and projects; this should include action to promote synergies with national institutions and independent and private bodies for research financing; it should include European measures in the areas of education and mobility, including programmes still to be established, in particular European Fellowship, European Post-Doctorate and European Junior-Research Programmes;

Other measures

27.  Recommends that the Member States improve coordination of research and academic education and calls on the Commission to act as a catalyst in this respect;

28.  Urges Member States to collaborate urgently on ways to improve the recruitment of EU science and engineering students;

29.  Is of the opinion that in addition to greater cooperation between Member States, researchers and research groups, the objective should be promoting cooperation between companies, universities and public research centres, as has been happening in the previous Framework Programmes; also notes that coordination at programme level calls for new forms of European cooperation: inter-agency or intermediary cooperation, i.e. between both national research institutes and research-funding bodies in the Member States;

30.  Stresses that the European Union and the Member States must create the framework for better access for industry to research results, so that they can convert this know-how to innovation; hopes that evaluation studies will be conducted in this area, and that best-practice examples will become available; considers that proposals for disseminating the results are an essential assessment point;

31.  Welcomes the ongoing commitment towards enhancing the role of women in science and urges the collection of relevant data so that progress can be adequately measured;

32.  Recommends that the Structural Funds should envisage, among their objectives, fostering the knowledge economy and the knowledge infrastructure so that all Member States can make an optimum contribution to the growth of the economic parameters in the European Union;

33.  Recommends that the Commission set up a task force to chart the research and innovation structure of the new Member States, thereby improving integration of this structure in the European Union's research networks;

34.  Urges the Commission to forward to the European Parliament as soon as possible, and not later than on submission of the communication on the Sixth Research Framework Programme, the detailed proposals on the European Research Area;

35.  Urges the Commission to forward as soon as possible a communication on the implementation of the JRC mission statement, to include methods, managerial structure, administrative procedures, human resources, coordination with national research institutes, requirements and JRC management;

36.  Urges the Commission, in its communication on the decisions on the Sixth Research Framework Programme, to explain the new administrative procedures and the impact on organisational administration of the underlying concept of the European Research Area, including the question of the outsourcing of certain functions;

37.  Urges the Commission, in its communication on the Sixth Research Framework Programme, to clarify the comitology questions that arise from the underlying concept of the European Research Area, having regard in particular to participation by the European Parliament;

38.  Urges the Commission, in its communication on the Sixth Research Framework Programme, to submit a financial breakdown for the different approaches and programmes, including investments in connection with the European Research Area;

39.  Stresses the need to facilitate patent applications by researchers; points out that the introduction of a Community patent must include a balanced language regime and not jeopardise the functions of patent authorities in the Member States;

40.  Calls for the expansion of international research cooperation under uniform management;

41.  Calls on the Commission to draw up an inventory of the legal obstacles which in the Member States stand in the way of the establishment of the European Research Area and to propose legislative or regulatory harmonisation measures to remedy them;

42.  Reiterates its demand for a more complete and updated set of statistics on involvement of women in different fields of science and research and to investigate more in depth the reasons for the discrepancy between the number of women graduating in scientific disciplines and the number who are successful in obtaining professional posts; calls for continuation of the work undertaken by the Commission to coordinate benchmarking exercises aimed at assessing the effectiveness of European research policies among Member States and in relation to the rest of the world as far as women 's participation in science is concerned;

43.  Welcomes the continuing action by the Commission and the Member States to increase the role and number of women in the European research effort by developing measures to implement true mainstreaming in the European Research Area; stresses the importance of continuing the strategy of research by, for and on women and in this respect mainstreaming gender equality in all aspects of the European Research Area;

44.  Advocates forging further links by developing a system for the recognition and equivalence of diplomas and training, so as to encourage mobility amongst students and researchers on the one hand and make it easier for European citizens to enter the labour market on the other;

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45.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1) Texts Adopted, Item 13.


Situation in Kosovo
European Parliament resolution on the situation in Kosovo
P5_TA(2001)0097RC-B5-0104/2001

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Kosovo and the former Yugoslavia, in particular its resolution of 14 December 2000(1) ,

-  having regard to UN Security Council Resolution 1244 of 10 June 1999,

-  having regard to the statement of the President of the UN Security Council of 30 January 2001 on this subject,

-  having regard to the Zagreb Summit Final Declaration of 24 November 2000,

A.  recalling the European Union's efforts to find a peaceful and sustainable solution to the crisis in Kosovo and democratic development in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY),

B.  underlining the financial assistance provided by the European Union for the reconstruction of Kosovo and the need for a peaceful environment and respect between the different ethnic communities, which should permit the economic and social development of the area,

C.  expressing its concern about the latest armed attack by ethnic Albanian extremists and others in the Presevo area of south-eastern Serbia which endangers the peaceful solution of the crisis in the area and threatens the stability and respect for the sovereignty of the bordering countries,

D.  concerned by the escalation of the nationalistic fervour which runs strong among certain groups of ethnic Albanians,

E.  underlining the Yugoslav authorities' proposal to start talks with their Albanian counterparts with a view to reaching an agreement and stopping the fighting,

F.  concerned by the continuing presence of heavily armed UCK troops and their refusal to lay down their arms,

G.  expressing its great concern over the recent attacks on the peacekeeping forces, which are increasing in the area,

1.  Condemns the continuing provocations in the area and points out that any attempt at nationalistic escalation in Kosovo and Presevo will destroy the fragile balance in the area; calls upon the Albanian extremists to retreat from their extreme nationalistic claims;

2.  Calls on the leaders of the Albanians in southern Serbia to give a positive response to the Serbian and Yugoslav governments' plan to appoint a negotiating delegation with a view to finding a peaceful solution to the situation as soon as possible and to supporting the measures planned by the FRY and Serbian governments to improve the living conditions of Albanian citizens in southern Serbia;

3.  Calls once more on the Council and the Commission to make every effort to ensure that the authorities in Belgrade immediately hand over the Kosovar prisoners still held in Serbia to the UNMIK (United Nations Interim Mission in Kosovo) authorities;

4.  Urges the multinational KFOR peacekeeping force in Kosovo to reinforce control on the border with Serbia, preventing further incursions by ethnic Albanian extremists;

5.  Welcomes the recent plan of the Serbian and Yugoslav Governments for solving the crisis in southern Serbia, as first announced by the president of the joint coordinating group, Nebosja Covic, as a constructive step towards a peaceful solution of the problems in southern Serbia and encourages the commitment of the Serbian and Yugoslav Governments to this new approach;

6.  Welcomes the extension of EU assistance to the troubled municipalities in southern Serbia and calls for quick delivery of this assistance as an important contribution to stabilising institutions and to confidence and peace in this area;

7.  Considers it important that peace be preserved in the area and welcomes the enhanced presence of European Union monitors;

8.  Recalls that any solution to the crisis should respect the existing borders of the states in the area; calls, therefore, for strict application of all parts of UN Resolution 1244, including effective control of administrative borders by the international forces deployed in Kosovo;

9.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative of the CFSP, the Serbian and Yugoslav Governments, NATO and UNMIK.

(1) Texts Adopted, Item 17.


Situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
European Parliament resolution on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
P5_TA(2001)0098RC-B5-0105/2001

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the Council Declaration of 22 January 2001 on the assassination of President Laurent-Désiré Kabila,

-  having regard to the common position adopted by the Council on 29 January 2001 on the implementation of the Lusaka accords and the peace process in the DRC,

A.  noting the appointment of Joseph Kabila as Head of State following the assassination of President Kabila on 16 January 2001,

B.  having regard to the Lusaka Agreement, signed in 1999 by the governments in the region and by the DRC and the various rebel movements, which provides for a cease-fire monitored by the UN, the disarmament of all armed groups, the withdrawal from the DRC of all foreign forces and the opening of a national dialogue between the government and the armed and non-armed opposition,

C.  whereas the new President has stated that he wishes to cooperate with the United Nations and the MONUC and has accepted the mediation of Sir Ketumile Masire, former President of Botswana, as a facilitator,

D.  whereas the DRC has vast mining reserves which are coveted by neighbouring countries and by international companies thus serving to fuel the war, whose victims are the civilian population,

E.  whereas respect for human rights and democracy must be the cornerstone of national reconciliation and reconstruction,

1.  Condemns the assassination of the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo;

2.  Condemns in the strongest terms all acts of violence perpetrated against the civilian population and calls on the warring parties to respect fundamental human rights;

3.  Reaffirms that lasting peace in the DRC can be achieved only through a negotiated peace settlement which is fair to all parties and through respect for the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of the DRC and for democratic principles and human rights in all states of the region;

4.  Reiterates its strong support for the Lusaka Agreement as the consensual basis for peace in the DRC and in the region; urges all parties involved to comply fully with UN Security Council Resolution 1304 and with the Lusaka Peace Agreement;

5.  Calls on the new Head of State to make a firm commitment to the democratisation of the country, to lift the ban on political parties and to agree to a timetable for the opening of the inter-Congolese dialogue and the holding of free elections, to be proposed by the facilitator;

6.  Welcomes the diplomatic efforts undertaken by Joseph Kabila in order to end the war and to speed up a process of reconstruction in the DRC;

7.  Urges all countries in the Great Lakes region to refrain from activities directed against a neighbouring country; strongly urges the simultaneous withdrawal of all foreign troops from the DRC;

8.  Welcomes the recent decision of the United Nations to increase the number of UN observers in the DRC;

9.  Calls on the Council and Commission to support efforts to implement the Lusaka Agreement and to take all the necessary political and economic measures, without delay, to ensure the proper implementation of that agreement;

10.  Urges all parties concerned to cooperate fully with the expert panel mandated by the UN to investigate the illegal exploitation of natural resources and other forms of wealth in the DRC;

11.  Calls on the Member States to honour their commitments with regard to the control of arms exports and preventing illegal arms sales and the trafficking by means of which they are funded;

12.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the Member States, the UN Secretary-General, the OAU, the Government of the DRC and the countries involved in the war in Congo (Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia).


Human rights: Religious freedoms in the People's Republic of China
European Parliament resolution on freedom of religion in the People's Republic of China
P5_TA(2001)0099RC-B5-0106/2001

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to its previous resolutions on the human rights situation in China, on Tibet and on the Union's priorities and recommendations for the March 2001 session of the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva,

-  having regard to the conclusions of the EU-PRC summit meeting of 21 December 1999 and the Council conclusions of 22 January 2001 on the EU-PRC dialogue on human rights,

-  having regard to Article 18 on freedom of religion of the United Nations" Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

A.  whereas, in its report (COM(2000) 552 ) on the implementation of the communication "Building a comprehensive partnership with China", the Commission notes that the situation in China has regressed in terms of respect for civil, political and religious rights, a finding which is endorsed in the conclusions of the General Affairs Council of 22 January 2001,

B.  whereas, ever since making it compulsory for places of worship to be registered in 1994, the authorities of the PRC have been unceasing in their efforts to further limit the exercise of the freedom of religion,

C.  whereas State control over religion is already evident in the restricted number of religions that are officially recognised, and whereas any religious activity that has not been registered by the official associations is regarded as illegal,

D.  whereas, although the zeal with which the policy of repressing religious activity is enforced varies depending on the attitude of the local governments, in the supposedly autonomous Region of Tibet that policy is pursued systematically and implacably,

E.  whereas the religious, cultural and national heritage of the Tibetan people is threatened with extinction,

F.  whereas the Falun Gong organisation was officially declared illegal in China on 22 July 1999, an arrest warrant was issued for its founder, Li Hung-Zhi on 29 July 1999, and in the last two years, according to reports, some 50 000 members of the Falun Gong movement have been arrested, of whom almost 25 000 are now in prison, have been sent to forced labour camp or have been forcibly committed to mental hospitals, while to date 137 of them have died after being ill-treated or tortured in the course of their arrest or detention,

G.  noting that since 1989, when the Vatican set up its own Bishops" Conference, tensions between the authorities in Beijing and the non-official Catholic Church have increased significantly and many prominent members of the clergy of the non-official Catholic Church are still in prison, or have had restrictions placed on their freedom of movement, as a result of their refusal to support the official Church,

H.  drawing attention to the policy of expulsion and systematic arrest of foreign Protestant priests and the harassment to which members of unregistered Protestant churches are subjected by the administrative authorities,

I.  condemning the destruction of mosques and the arrest of persons who have taught the Koran without having received prior authorisation from the authorities,

1.  Calls on China to release all those detained or imprisoned for peacefully exercising their internationally recognised rights to freedom of belief, religion and conscience;

2.  Calls for the constitutional right to freedom of religion and belief to be fully guaranteed, together with the exercise of the associated rights of freedom of conscience, freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of assembly;

3.  Regrets that, after having signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the PRC has still not finalised the ratification and implementation processes;

4.  Reiterates its condemnation of the continued and severe violation of human rights in Tibet and the ongoing discrimination practised against the Tibetan people by the PRC authorities on the basis of race or ethnic origin or religious, cultural or political beliefs;

5.  Invites the PRC government to allow Falun Gong practitioners to practise their fundamental right to freedom of conscience, expression, association and assembly in accordance with the PRC constitution;

6.  Calls for the European Union and its Member States to submit a resolution to the United Nations" Commission on Human Rights at its meeting in Geneva to condemn all violations of religious rights and, in particular, those directed against Tibetan and Mongolian Buddhists, certain Christian churches and certain Muslim communities and adherents of the Falun Gong movement;

7.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the parliaments of the Member States, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the PRC Government and Parliament.


Human rights: Laos
European Parliament resolution on the human rights situation in the Lao People's Democratic Republic
P5_TA(2001)0100RC-B5-0107/2001

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to its earlier resolutions on the Lao People's Democratic Republic,

-  having regard to the framework agreement between the European Union and the Lao PDR signed on 29 April 1997, which lays the foundations for cooperation between the two parties,

-  having regard to the Vientiane Declaration adopted at the 13th ASEAN-EU Ministerial meeting on 11 and 12 December 2000,

A.  whereas Laos is coordinating relations between the European Union and ASEAN until 2002 and therefore has a key role to play in promoting the Vientiane Declaration, in particular the provisions under which the signatory States "commit themselves to promote and protect all human rights',

B.  having regard to the numerous international reports detailing serious and repeated human rights violations in Laos, in particular the arbitrary detention of political prisoners in conditions which represent an attack on human dignity and the integrity of the person and the repression of demonstrations calling for respect for fundamental rights, the principle of free elections, a multiparty system and democracy,

C.  having regard to the cases of political prisoners, including Thongsouk Saysangkhi (who died in prison in 1998), Latsami Khamphoui and Feng Sakchittaphong, the leaders of the movement of 26 October 1999, Thongpraseuth Keuakoun, Kamphouvieng Sisa-At, Seng-Aroun Phengphanh, Bomvanh Chanmanivong and Keochay, and the leader of the march of 17 November 2000, Phommachanh Phannorath, who are still being detained without trial and in conditions which are a violation of international rules,

D.  welcoming the Lao Government's signature on 7 December 2000 of two United Nations conventions on human rights, one relating to civil and political rights and the other to economic, social and cultural rights,

E.  whereas real change towards democracy is one of the preconditions for achieving peaceful national reconciliation and development in Laos,

1.  Calls on the Laotian authorities to ratify and implement the two UN human rights conventions as soon as possible;

2.  Calls on the Government of the Lao PDR to release all prisoners of conscience and to guarantee that they can exercise fully their fundamental political, civil and religious rights;

3.  Calls on the Laotian authorities to promote the principle of national reconciliation and to undertake changes necessary for the move towards democracy;

4.  Calls on the Laotian authorities to guarantee freedom of the press in all its forms, including the circulation of information on the Internet;

5.  Instructs its delegation responsible to bring up these subjects at the next EU-Lao PDR interparliamentary meeting;

6.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the President of the Lao DPR.


Human rights: Guinea
European Parliament resolution on the situation in Guinea
P5_TA(2001)0101RC-B5-0098/2001

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to its previous resolutions on Guinea,

A.  having regard to the UN, OAU and ECOWAS Charters on the inviolability of frontiers,

B.  whereas since September 2000 Guinea has been subjected to a series of armed attacks perpetrated by troops entering from Liberia and Sierra Leone,

C.  whereas the Government of Guinea has accused Liberia of being behind these attacks, which are allegedly being carried out by the Sierra Leonean Revolutionary United Front rebels and Guinean dissidents; whereas the Guinean army has organised hot pursuit of the RUF rebels retreating to Sierra Leone, in which some civilians have been reported to have died,

D.  whereas these attacks have cost the lives of thousands of civilians and caused extensive material damage, in particular the destruction of the town of Guekedou,

E.  whereas approximately 500 000 refugees from neighbouring Sierra Leone and Liberia and 70 000 internally displaced Guineans are living in Guinea, in particular in the border zone between Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia,

F.  whereas 250 000 of them are directly confronted with the growing instability in this border zone, which has already resulted in a considerable death toll since September 2000; whereas these people are victims of the warfare between the Guinean army and rebels entering Guinea from neighbouring countries,

G.  deeply shocked at the murders of UNHCR personnel, which have forced humanitarian organisations to withdraw owing to lack of security,

H.  whereas humanitarian organisations have been unable to distribute food consignments for five months; whereas the United Nations Refugee Agency is still unable to reach a large group trapped in an area known as the Parrot's Beak close to Guinea's border with Sierra Leone and Liberia,

I.  deploring the statements by the Guinean authorities attacking refugees, which have resulted in arrests and violence,

J.  whereas militia groups allied with the Conakry government are allegedly taking on some security roles previously discharged by the regular armed forces; whereas these militia are committing banditry and are confiscating vehicles, food and fuel belonging to NGOs and international relief organisations,

K.  whereas the meeting of the ECOWAS Defence and Security Commission, held in Abuja on 27 December, decided to secure the borders between Guinea and Sierra Leone and Guinea and Liberia with West African troops; whereas the force's mandate includes also ensuring security for humanitarian agencies and refugees,

L.  whereas Guinea has for almost ten years provided aid and shelter for refugees from Sierra Leone and Liberia; whereas UNHCR and the International Organisation for Migration are helping thousands of refugees to return to Sierra Leone, where transit centres are rapidly filling up,

M.  whereas the leader of the main opposition party, Alpha Condé, has now been in prison for two years following an iniquitous trial that failed to comply with international rules of fair trial as laid down in international treaties,

N.  whereas the above trial is proof of flagrant violations of human rights and refusal to respect democratic principles, and attests to a worrying deterioration in the political situation in Guinea,

1.  Strongly condemns the violent cross-border incursions, and urges all parties involved in these attacks to refrain from all forms of violence, to facilitate the work of the international relief organisations and to respect the human rights of the refugees and the civilian population;

2.  Reaffirms Guinea's right to have its territorial integrity respected, and urges all countries in this region to refrain from activities directed against a neighbouring country; asks all neighbouring countries to refrain from supporting groups fighting against the Conakry regime and/or making incursions into Guinea's territory;

3.  Welcomes Guinea's continued willingness to provide aid and shelter for refugees from the whole region, despite these armed attacks, but calls also on the Guinean government to stop harassing refugees and to punish those responsible for violence against refugees;

4.  Welcomes the setting up by Guinea and Sierra Leone of a joint body to avoid civilian casualties during hot pursuits of RUF rebels by the Guinean army, and urges both countries to cooperate fully on this body; urges the Guinean army to avoid civilian targets;

5.  Welcomes the initiatives by ECOWAS to restore peace in the region and urges the full deployment - as soon as possible - of the ECOWAS Force in the border zone between Guinea and Sierra Leone and Guinea and Liberia;

6.  Calls on Member States to support ECOWAS in its efforts to restore peace to the sub-region;

7.  Calls on the Commission to step up its humanitarian aid efforts to assist refugees, and to share more actively with UNHCR the task of returning refugees to their countries of origin;

8.  Considers that respect for human rights and democratic principles must serve as the cornerstone of the stabilisation and pacification process in the sub-region;

9.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the OAU, ECOWAS, the Co-Presidents of the ACP-EU Joint Assembly and the governments of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.


Human rights: Nigeria
European Parliament resolution on human rights in Nigeria
P5_TA(2001)0102RC-B5-0109/2001

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the CFSP statement of 30 January 2001 on corporal punishment in Zamfara state (Nigeria),

A.  deeply concerned by the case of the young girl, Bariya Ibrahim Magazu, who was sentenced to a hundred lashes on 19 January 2001 at the Higher Sharia court of Tsafe, in the state of Zamfara, Nigeria, for having sexual relations outside of marriage,

B.  whereas since 1999 eight northern states of Nigeria have introduced Islamic law, creating severe problems in relations between the different communities in those states,

C.  whereas the Nigerian Constitution adopted in 1999 guarantees total freedom of belief,

1.  Condemns the flogging of an underage girl, sentenced under Zamfara state legislation, and stresses that she received this punishment while an application for leave to appeal was still pending before the courts;

2.  Considers flogging a cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment which contravenes the Nigerian Constitution and the international conventions on human rights to which Nigeria is party;

3.  Urges the authorities to allow defendants sentenced to corporal punishment to exercise their full rights of appeal to higher courts and not to obstruct their attempts to do so on procedural grounds;

4.  Stresses the peaceful and legal action taken by both Muslim and Christian human rights groups in Nigeria on these issues;

5.  Calls on the European Union to improve the dialogue with Nigeria, with a view to strengthening the existing processes in Nigeria towards the consolidation of democracy and respect for human rights and religious freedoms;

6.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Nigerian Government and Parliament.


Human rights: Freedom of expression in Pakistan
European Parliament resolution on the arrest of seven journalists and freedom of expression in Pakistan
P5_TA(2001)0103RC-B5-0110/2001

The European Parliament,

A.  expressing deep concern at news that seven journalists face the death penalty for blasphemy after Pakistan's military regime closed down an English-language newspaper for publishing a reader's letter,

B.  whereas hundreds of protesters from a right-wing Islamic party set fire to the printing presses of the 'Frontier Post' in the Peshawar newspaper's offices,

C.  whereas the staff of this newspaper are being held under Pakistan's blasphemy law, which demands the death penalty for such cases,

D.  whereas the record on freedom of the press in Pakistan, particularly since the 1999 coup which brought General Musharraf to power, is extremely poor,

E.  whereas Pakistan, which is characterised by extreme poverty and severe social inequality, is continuing to suffer the effects of a long period of political instability,

1.  Calls on the Pakistani authorities to release the accused journalists;

2.  Urges the Pakistani military junta to take urgent steps to re-establish the rule of law and democratic liberties in Pakistan and to abolish the death penalty;

3.  Calls on the Musharraf government to revoke the Provisional Constitution Order that suspends the constitution and undermines the independence of the judiciary;

4.  Calls for all Pakistani citizens to enjoy equality of treatment and the right to the secure exercise of freedom of religion and with regard to religion;

5.  Points out that the existing blasphemy laws in Pakistan are prone to manipulation and misuse;

6.  Expresses strong dissatisfaction with President Musharraf's statement publicly condemning the newspaper before any investigation was carried out;

7.  Calls on the Commission to establish cooperation programmes that actively support local human rights NGOs and civil society groups;

8.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the Member States, the Government of Pakistan, the SAARC and the UN.


Situation in Chechnya
European Parliament resolution on the situation in Chechnya
P5_TA(2001)0104RC-B5-0097/2001

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to its resolutions of 7 October 1999(1) , 18 November 1999(2) , 20 January 2000(3) , 17 February 2000(4) , 16 March 2000(5) and 13 April 2000(6) ,

-  having regard to Council of Europe Recommendation 1444 (2000) of 27 January 2000 on restoration of the rule of law, respect for human rights and democracy in Chechnya,

-  having regard to Council of Europe Recommendation 1456 (2000) of 6 April 2000 on the implementation by Russia of Recommendation 1444 (2000),

-  having regard to the visit of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, to the Russian Federation, Dagestan, Ingushetia and Chechnya,

-  having regard to the conclusion of the OSCE summit in Istanbul,

A.  deeply concerned at the reports by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Russian, Chechen and international human rights organisations of grave and large-scale violations of international humanitarian law in Chechnya, in particular, extra-judicial executions, arrests and disappearances, illegal detention of civilians in prison, concentration camps (designated as 'filtration camps') and secret holding centres where ill-treatment and torture are inflicted on a daily basis as part of the systematic extortion from the families of these 'hostages' of the largest possible sums of money for their release,

B.  extremely concerned at the living conditions of Chechen populations, often deprived of drinking water, food and electricity,

C.  alarmed at the situation inside the refugee camps in the neighbouring regions, especially in the Republic of Ingushetia,

D.  deplores the delays and inadequacies in the implementation of EU humanitarian action in Chechnya and the neighbouring republics, where hundreds of thousands of displaced Chechens have sought refuge,

E.  deeply concerned about the deaths of detainees at the Chernokozovo detention facility, the Internat facility at Urus-Martan, and the Khankala military base, from which the standards set forth in the United Nations Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-Legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions are totally absent,

F.  denouncing the fact that most of the commitments made by Moscow to the international community have not been honoured up to now,

G.  whereas President Aslan Maskhadov and the elected parliament have been recognised by both the OSCE and the government of the Russian Federation,

H.  deeply concerned by the environmental damage caused by the war in Chechnya and by the lack of appropriate measures to remedy the situation,

1.  Calls on the two parties to the conflict to declare an immediate cease-fire;

2.  Calls on the President and Government of the Russian Federation to open negotiations with the legitimate representatives of the Republic of Chechnya in the presence of international bodies;

3.  Urges all the involved parties to respect fundamental human rights and allow relief workers, independent observers, journalists and the civilian population to move freely;

4.  Emphasises the need for an independent commission to look into allegations of war crimes committed by both sides of the conflict;

5.  Urges the Russian authorities to allow unrestricted access to detainees and detention facilities by representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Assistance Group of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and representatives of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; and to facilitate prompt visits by the concerned UN bodies;

6.  Urges once again Commissioner Poul Nielson to visit Chechnya and the Republic of Ingushetia to make a detailed assessment of all humanitarian aid needs, in order to make available as soon as possible the aid needed to avoid a humanitarian disaster, in particular in the regions neighbouring the Republic of Ingushetia, where over 200 000 Chechen refugees are living;

7.  Calls upon the Russian authorities to provide the necessary conditions to the international humanitarian NGOs to enter the refugee camps and to distribute direct survival assistance to the displaced people;

8.  Calls upon the Council to remind the Russian government that the acknowledgement of human rights is the foundation of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement;

9.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the President, Government and Parliament of the Russian Federation, the President, Government and Parliament of Chechnya and the UN Secretary-General.

(1) OJ C 107, 13.4.2000, p. 102.
(2) OJ C 189, 7.7.2000, p. 243.
(3) OJ C 304, 24.10.2000, p. 205.
(4) OJ C 339, 29.11.2000, p. 277.
(5) OJ C 377, 29.12.2000, p. 358.
(6) OJ C 40, 7.2.2001, p. 420.


Natural disasters : Earthquake in India
European Parliament resolution on the earthquake in India
P5_TA(2001)0105RC-B5-0112/2001

The European Parliament,

A.  whereas on 26 January 2001 the State of Gujarat in the west of India was hit by a devastating earthquake which killed thousands of people,

B.  whereas up to 1.2 million people have lost their homes and are currently displaced in the country,

C.  whereas the priority is to prevent epidemics and give assistance to the injured and homeless,

D.  welcoming the efforts by the Indian authorities in implementing humanitarian assistance in the regions of Gujarat devastated by the earthquake,

1.  Expresses its solidarity with the families of the victims and its deepest sorrow and regret to the Indian people, and takes note that this also affects many of the relatives who reside in EU Member States;

2.  Welcomes the decision of the Commission to release emergency aid of EUR 13 million to help victims of the disaster;

3.  Welcomes the multilateral emergency aid effort by the international community; calls on the Commission and Member States to coordinate their actions in the delivery of humanitarian aid to India;

4.  Stresses that part of the responsibility must be borne by builders who sacrificed the safety of buildings to profit; calls on the Indian authorities to prosecute those responsible for faults in buildings and to adopt adequate legislation on the safe construction of buildings;

5.  Calls on the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to provide a rapid response to the loan requests of the Indian Government and for consideration to be given to the long-term reconstruction needs of the region;

6.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the Parliament and Government of India and the Government of the Indian state of Gujarat.


Natural disasters: Floods in Portugal
European Parliament resolution on the floods in Portugal
P5_TA(2001)0106RC-B5-0093/2001

The European Parliament,

A.  whereas severe weather conditions have battered Portugal this winter, particularly the storms which struck the north and centre of the country, especially over the weekend of 26 to 28 January,

B.  whereas these storms caused loss of human life and great personal suffering, and destroyed or damaged the homes, property and equipment of thousands of families,

C.  whereas massive material damage has been caused, in the shape of the destruction of transport, industrial and commercial infrastructure, telecommunications and energy networks, and farming, fisheries and economic activity in general have been severely affected,

D.  whereas the cost of the damage is estimated in billions of escudos,

E.  whereas the national and local Portuguese authorities are faced with an enormous task of reconstruction in the regions affected, as well as the need to find immediate solutions to the health and housing problems of hundreds of families and provide support for badly hit economic sectors such as agriculture and trade,

F.  whereas the Commission has already announced its willingness to commit itself to providing adequate support for tackling the social and economic problems caused by the storm damage,

1.  Voices its sympathy with the victims" families, and its solidarity with those who have lost their homes and possessions, and all those affected, especially in the river valleys of the Douro, Mondego and Tagus;

2.  Praises the efforts made by the various Portuguese bodies involved in helping the flood victims, and particularly the firemen, military units and volunteers" organisations;

3.  Calls on the Commission, in collaboration with the Portuguese Government and the local authorities, to provide exceptional financial aid to supplement the funds made available by the authorities in Portugal to tackle the urgent requirements of the worst-hit local populations, rebuild the infrastructures which have been destroyed and help economic activity to recover;

4.  Urges, in line with its previously adopted positions, the Commission and the Governments of the Member States to respond to the urgent need, when emergencies or natural disasters occur, for specific preventive and aid measures, including the provision of adequate human and technical operational resources;

5.  Calls on the Member States to respond to the ever more urgent need to reverse the present trend towards the destruction of ecosystems, to undertake long-term environmental repairs, including to rivers and riverbeds and to irrigation systems, dykes and dams;

6.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and Commission, to the Portuguese Government and the Assembly of the Portuguese Republic, and to the local councils concerned.

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