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Texts adopted
Thursday, 15 March 2001 - Strasbourg
Swaps arrangements and forward rate agreements ***I
 Life assurance (recast version) ***I
 Stockholm European Council
 Conflict prevention and crisis management
 Situation on the border between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia/Kosovo and the Former Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)
 Financial services
 State of European economy
 EU election assistance and observation
 Common strategy on Ukraine
 Internet - International and European policy issues
 Work of ACP/EU Assembly (2000)
 Biotechnology industry
 Access to medicines for AIDS patients in the Third World
 Situation in Afghanistan including the destruction of its cultural heritage
 Human rights: Situation in Zimbabwe
 Human rights: Children kidnapped by their parents
 Human rights: Cabinda
 Human rights: Situation in Kalimantan
 Human rights: Situation in Turkmenistan
 Trade in light weapons
 Disasters: Floods in Mozambique
 Disasters: Humanitarian disaster in Mongolia

Swaps arrangements and forward rate agreements ***I
Proposal for a European Parliament and Council regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2223/96 on the reclassification of settlements under swaps arrangements and under forward rate agreements (COM(1999) 749 - C5-0018/2000 - 2000/0019(COD) )

The proposal was amended as follows:

Text proposed by the Commission (1)   Amendments by Parliament
Amendment 1
Recital 5a (new)
(5a) A specific treatment of these flows should be defined for the data transmitted under the excessive deficit procedure,
Amendment 2
ANNEX 2a (new)
Annex A, Annex IVa (new) (Regulation (EC) No 2223/96)
2a. The following Annex IVa is added:
Annex IVa
For the purpose of the Member States" reports to the Commission under the excessive deficit procedure laid down in Council Regulation (EC) No 3605/93 of 22 November 1993 on the application of the Protocol on the excessive deficit procedure annexed to the Treaty establishing the European Community(1 ) “government deficit” is the balancing item “net borrowing/net lending” of general government, including streams of interest payments resulting from swaps arrangements and forward rate agreements. This balancing item is classified under code B.9. For this purpose, interest includes the abovementioned flows and is classified under code D.41.
(1 ) OJ L 332, 31.12.1993, p. 7, Regulation amended by Regulation (EC) No 475/2000 (OJ L 58, 3.3.2000, p. 1.).
European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a European Parliament and Council regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2223/96 on the reclassification of settlements under swaps arrangements and under forward rate agreements (COM(1999) 749 - C5-0018/2000 - 2000/0019(COD) )

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(1999) 749 )(2) ,

-  having regard to Article 251(2) of the EC Treaty and Article 285 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C5-0018/2000 ),

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

-  having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (A5-0071/2001 ),

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 116 E, 26.4.2000, p. 63.
(2) OJ C 116 E, 26.4.2000, p. 63.

Life assurance (recast version) ***I
Proposal for a European Parliament and Council directive concerning life assurance (recast version) (COM(2000) 398 - C5-0351/2000 - 2000/0162(COD) )

The proposal was approved.

European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a European Parliament and Council directive concerning life assurance (recast version) (COM(2000) 398 - C5-0351/2000 - 2000/0162(COD) )

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2000) 398 (1) ),

-  having regard to Article 251(2) and Articles 47(2) and 55 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament(C5-0351/2000 ),

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

-  having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and the Internal Market (A5-0072/2001 ),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal;

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 365 E, 19.12.2000, p. 1

Stockholm European Council
European Parliament resolution on preparatory work for the Stockholm European Council

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the conclusions of the Lisbon European Council of 23-24 March 2000, which set out the strategic goal for the European Union 'to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world capable of sustainable growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion',

-  having regard to the subsequent legislative proposals and to various documents submitted by the Commission and Council to the European Council and, in particular, to the Commission summary report 'Realising the European Union's potential: consolidating and extending the Lisbon strategy', and the Commission communication on structural indicators (COM(2000) 594 ),

A.  whereas the Lisbon European Council's guidelines are based on strengthening the social market economy by means of a complementary approach of sustainable growth and structural reforms, full employment and social policies with cumulative gains for each policy field,

B.  whereas the Stockholm European Council will the first of the annual meetings for ensuring overall coherence and the effective monitoring of progress towards the strategic goal, and whereas, therefore, the Lisbon Strategy must be updated in Stockholm,

C.  whereas the European Union, while making progress in purely economic terms, has not yet managed to make its economy sustainable, as called for in Article 6 of the Treaty, and whereas this would require an integrated approach to economic, social and environmental policy,

General consideration of the strategy and aims agreed at Lisbon

1.  Endorses the political message of the Commission's summary report that Member States must bridge the gap between the commitments entered into in Lisbon and their implementation on the ground; underlines, in this context, that it will be still essential for Europe to continue with a balanced and interconnected policy mix, wherein progress in each policy field is mutually supportive;

2.  Expects, therefore, that the European Council will adopt a self-critical stance in Stockholm; underlines that it is still essential for Europe to retain the overall aim of 3% growth and the goal of full employment, with the support of macroeconomic stability and galvanised growth factors;

3.  In the light of its assessment, calls upon the European Council to focus on achieving tangible results from a balanced process of liberalisation as well as structural reforms and on improved business climate, more and better jobs, improved education and training, and greater social cohesion;

4.  Considers that the economic and social approach of the 'Lisbon strategy' must include the environmental dimension for all policy fields concerned ('mainstreaming'); calls, therefore, for the development of a strong analytical basis for environmental impact assessment with a view to achieving sustainable development;

5.  Advises against setting too many targets, which may prove not only contradictory or produce perverse effects but may also serve to reduce the margin of manoeuvre of Member States in achieving the strategic goal; calls on the European Council and Member States to maintain the Commission's proposal of twenty-eight structural indicators plus seven general economic background indicators; however, calls for an annual update and for more qualitative information which will provide for a full picture of economic progress and social cohesion;

6.  Considers that statistical indicators and benchmarking may be useful tools in the effort to make Europe more dynamic; but warns that the statistical burden on business and the economy must be reduced; expects, therefore, the development of a modular statistical accounting system in the medium-term;

7.  Expects, in this context, that the key economic and employment policy instruments, notably the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines, the report on the functioning of the internal market (Cardiff Report) and the European Employment Guidelines, will be given a new direction in the light of the annual guidelines from the European Spring Council;

Economic reforms

8.  Underlines the importance of the Stability and Growth Pact in sustaining steady growth, low inflation and sound public finances in all Member States, since reform is more readily achievable when economies are performing well;

9.  Believes, therefore, that public and private investment, providing high-quality infrastructure, are important in order to create a competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy; calls, therefore, for recommendations on the use, quality and necessary redirection of public spending in its contribution to sustainable economic development and employment;

10.  Calls on the European Council to bring a sense of urgency into the internal market issues pending before the Council; considers that the European Council should instruct the Council of Ministers immediately to arrive at a common position on deadlines for completing the internal market in postal services, electricity and gas; at the same time urges it to assess their environmental and social impact;

11.  Stresses that the single market must be completed and enterprise encouraged and not unduly hindered, through regulation, taxation and legislation; against the background of the Commission Interim Report on reducing regulatory burdens (via business impact assessment etc.), reminds the European Council of the commitments set out in the European Charter for Small Enterprises which it endorsed in June 2000;

Modernising labour markets

12.  Welcomes the creation of an estimated 2.6 million new jobs in the last three years but points out that the level of unemployment, especially in most of the larger Member States, remains unacceptably high; expects, therefore, that the Stockholm European Council will lay down specific time-tables for outstanding and necessary initiatives, such as ambitious intermediate targets for a significant rise in the employment rate;

13.  Endorses the Commission's proposal for a high-level task-force to look at cross-border mobility; considers that membership of this task-force must be broadly based, so that it may propose feasible ways of tackling the main barriers to mobility and the fiscal burden on labour as well as of reducing unemployment, especially of the long-term unemployed, women, young people, disabled and older workers, by appropriate measures already identified by Parliament and Commission;

14.  Notes with satisfaction that improving the quality of employment will assist in keeping both women and people approaching the traditional retirement age in the labour market, thereby making a significant contribution to economic growth; believes that the adaptation of the Community legislative framework related to new forms of work (teleworking, home-working, part-time, fixed-term contract and atypical work in general, including self-employment) must be a priority in order to combine flexibility and security on a new European labour market;

15.  Expects that great attention will also be paid to demographic trends and to the situation of European labour markets by developing relevant national and European legislative and analytical frameworks for the modernising of pension systems, including legal, fiscal, insurance and social aspects, as well as with a view to a better reconciliation of working and family life;

Innovation and training

16.  Agrees with the Commission in deploring the slow progress being made in areas such as the Community patent and the lifelong learning strategy; calls, furthermore, on the European Council to break the deadlock over the second phase of development of Galileo (the European satellite navigation system) and to address the issue of State aid designed to encourage risk capital;

17.  Agrees that, in the field of information technology, all elements of the telecommunications package, including the eEurope Action Plan, must be adopted this year; urges progress in the field of biotechnology, while the European Council must recognise that certain moral and ethical issues arise from the application of this technology on which a Temporary Committee of Parliament will be reporting;

18.  Recalls the need to coordinate research activities and policies as the key component of the new economy with the Commission playing an active role; considers that specific measures must be taken to develop a network of European centres of research and to facilitate the dissemination and exchange of research findings, which contribute to the quality of life, as well as to increase the percentage of GDP spending on R&D to at least 3%;

19.  Regrets that, as regards the future objectives of education systems, it was given no opportunity to comment on the Commission and Council reports; advocates improving education and lifelong learning systems by making them more responsive to individual needs; considers that a wide range of public and private establishments must be available in order to facilitate access for all to education and training systems;

20.  Stresses the importance of developing a comprehensive information, new technology and communications policy, which promotes high-quality infrastructure, encourages competitive growth, access and choice, with the objective of avoiding 'digital divide' in a dynamic knowledge-based society;

Social cohesion

21.  Calls on the European Council to regain the momentum lost for modernising the European social model, using methods where privately and publicly financed solutions are developed in a complementary approach for achieving social cohesion;

22.  Believes that, as regards the fight against social exclusion and poverty, efforts must remain in line with the European Social Agenda and the new method of open coordination, which must lead to improved policies and structures to resolve the difficulties encountered young people and the less-privileged such as the disabled, the elderly and legally-resident immigrants;

23.  Calls on the European Council to launch appraisals, by national and regional authorities, of the present system of Structural Funds, so that discussions can begin with Parliament and the Commission on laying the foundations for a policy on cohesion in an enlarged Union;

24.  Calls on the European Council to promote the creation of special measures to support the outermost regions of the European Union;

Post-Stockholm perspectives

25.  Takes the view that the Stockholm European Council, and subsequent Spring European Councils, must continue along the path laid down in Lisbon and extend the project to the applicant countries;

26.  Calls on the European Council to follow the lead given in the Commission's summary report and adopt a more structured working method for better cooperation between the Community institutions, with a full role for the European Parliament, in order to create the conditions for the successful attainment of the strategic goal;

27.  Calls on the European Council and the Commission to launch a process of broad consultation before every Spring Summit in order to listen to representatives of the social partners and of civil society in all Member States; believes that the social partners could play a more important role in the implementation of this strategy by launching negotiations at EU and national level;

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28.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the European Council, the Council, the Commission, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and of the applicant countries.

Conflict prevention and crisis management
European Parliament resolution on developing the Union's capabilities in conflict prevention and civil crisis management

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to its recommendation of 10 February 1999 on the creation of a European Civil Peace Corps(1) ,

-  having regard to its resolution of 15 June 2000 on the establishment of a common European security and defence policy with a view to the European Council in Feira(2) ,

-  having regard to its resolution of 30 November 2000 on the establishment of a common European security and defence policy after Cologne and Helsinki(3) ,

-  having regard to its position of 17 January 2001 on the proposal for a Council regulation creating the rapid reaction facility (COM(2000) 119 - C5-0272/2000 - 2000/0081(CNS) )(4) ,

-  having regard to the report presented to the Nice European Council by the Secretary-General/High Representative for the CFSP and the Commission, entitled 'Improving the Coherence and Effectiveness of European Union Action in the Field of Conflict Prevention',

-  having regard to the Council Decision of 22 May 2000 setting up a committee for civilian aspects of crisis management(5) ,

-  having regard to the Council Decisions of 22 January 2001 setting up the permanent bodies of the CESDP(6) , in particular the PSC (Political and Security Committee), which will play a central role in the definition of and follow-up to the EU's response to crises,

-  having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 381/2001 of 26 February 2001 creating a rapid-reaction mechanism(7) ,

A.  whereas the aim of the common European security and defence policy (CESDP) developed and put in place at the Cologne, Helsinki, Feira and Nice European Councils is to enable the European Union to take crisis management action in situations where its security, interests or values are threatened,

B.  whereas recourse to military means, by express order of the United Nations Security Council, should be contemplated only when all other methods have failed, which means that the European Union must be able to detect potential crisis situations sufficiently early to enable it to put in place measures designed to prevent them from descending into instability or open conflict,

C.  whereas the Feira European Council identified four priority areas (police, strengthening the rule of law, strengthening civilian administration and civil protection) in which the Union must develop its capabilities in crisis management by civilian means, both in United Nations and OSCE operations and in the EU's own initiatives,

D.  whereas negotiations with NATO should continue in order to allow the European Union to make use of NATO assets in conflict prevention and civil crisis management when necessary,

E.  whereas the Nice European Council laid down guidelines for the Swedish Presidency on this issue with a view to its:

establishing and endorsing the crisis management facility created,
continuing the work begun at Feira on the civilian aspects of crisis management, including the development of capacity for planning and conducting police operations,
identifying possible areas for cooperation between the EU and the United Nations in crisis management and the ways in which this might be achieved,
drawing up proposals to make Union action in the field of conflict prevention more consistent and effective,

F.  whereas the division of responsibilities leads to a weakening of the EU's capacities for conflict prevention and therefore it is necessary to reiterate that, in the long term, the role and function of the Commissioner for External Relations and of the High Representative for the CFSP should be exercised by a Vice-President of the Commission who maintains special relations with Council;

1.  Calls on the Commission and Council to treat conflict prevention as a priority since, in addition to the obvious human and environmental suffering involved, it is less costly to prevent conflict than to repair the damage it causes;

2.  Notes that the European Union already has a wide range of conflict prevention and crisis management tools, including diplomatic channels, fact-finding missions, special representatives, financial assistance, humanitarian aid, support for electoral processes, assistance to local police, border controls, mine-clearing operations, sanctions and, shortly, a European police force and the European rapid reaction force;

3.  Notes also that the European Union has at its disposal a full range of possibilities to stem the flow of arms to regions of conflict in accordance with its code of conduct on arms exports as well as in accordance with its programmes to stop the proliferation of small arms;

4.  Considers, however, that it would be useful to itemise all the instruments at the disposal of the European Union and its Member States with a view to highlighting possible deficiencies, making the necessary modifications and enabling them to be used in the most judicious manner possible according to the type of crisis and the specific features of the region concerned;

5.  Invites the Presidency and the Council to follow up to this end the recommendations set out in its aforementioned recommendation of 10 February 1999, preferably before the end of this year;

6.  Calls for the European Union's capacity for information-gathering, provision and analysis to be improved, in particular through shared use of the resources of the Council (the PPEWU and situation centre), Commission (delegations in third countries) and the Member States, together with the Torrejón satellite centre and the Institute for Security Studies;

7.  Considers it essential to involve NGOs, civil society and the independent media in conflict-prevention and crisis-management policy, since they are key sources of information and experience, but that other sources should also play a part; for instance, it would be appropriate to complete the training in international humanitarian law aspects of all those involved in the management and execution of peace-keeping operations;

8.  Maintains that the best method of preventing conflict is to tackle its root causes, to which end the European Union must cooperate closely with existing international and regional organisations (the UN, NATO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and financial institutions such as the IMF and World Bank), and with NGOs;

9.  Notes, further, that the Union's policy of concluding agreements with third countries - particularly association and partnership agreements - is an effective conflict prevention tool;

10.  Calls on the Commission and Council to lay down, under the aegis of the PSC, ground rules to enable the Union and its Member States to plan for coordinated action to prevent conflicts and manage crises while respecting the remit of each as defined in the Treaties;

11.  Notes that conflict prevention calls for the coordinated use of all the instruments at the disposal of the EU; asks the Commission, within the limits of its powers, to take the lead in this respect and play a central role in crisis prevention, as most of the instruments to be used fall within the scope of the first pillar;

12.  Calls on the Member States to provide the necessary means and resources to enable the European Union to develop rapidly operational capacity in the four areas set out at Feira; notes that this will depend, inter alia, on the prior establishment of specific objectives, and possibly a timetable, as occurred in the discussions on police;

13.  Calls on the Commission and the Council, during the annual debate on the CFSP, to present it with an annual report on the progress made in conflict prevention and crisis management by civilian means;

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

(1) OJ C 150, 28.5.1999, p.164.
(2) OJ C 67, 1.3.2001, p. 283.
(3) Texts Adopted, Item 10.
(4) Texts Adopted, Item 7.
(5) OJ L 127, 27.5.2000, p. 1.
(6) OJ L 27, 30.1.2001, p. 1-7.
(7) OJ L 57, 27.2.2001, p. 5

Situation on the border between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia/Kosovo and the Former Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)
European Parliament resolution on the incidents on the border between the FRY/Kosovo and FYROM and the situation in the region

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Kosovo and the former Yugoslavia, in particular its resolutions of 14 December 2000(1) and 15 February 2001(2) ,

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

-  having regard to the statements of the President of the UN Security Council of 30 January 2001 and 7 March 2001 on the issue,

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

-  having regard to the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM),

-  having regard to the statements by the Swedish Presidency, in particular the declarations on behalf of the EU of 6 and 9 March 2001 on the violent attacks near the village of Tanusevci, the joint EU/OSCE statement of 6 March 2001, the statement by the High Representative of the CFSP, Javier Solana, of 5 March 2001, as well as statements by the Secretary-General of NATO,

-  having regard to the statement of the Presidency of the Permanent Council of the OSCE on FYROM of 6 March 2001,

-  having regard to the NATO Council decision of 8 March 2001,

A.  recalling the efforts of the European Union for a peaceful and sustainable solution to the long-lasting crisis in south-east Europe, and its financial assistance to the reconstruction and the economic development of the region,

B.  extremely alarmed by the escalating tension on the border between FYROM and the FRY/Kosovo, in particular in the area around the village of Tanusevci in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and by the attacks by ethnic Albanian extremists against the police and the soldiers of FYROM and the KFOR forces,

C.  deeply concerned that the situation on the border between FYROM and the FRY/Kosovo could destabilise the internal situation in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and endanger the peaceful development of the whole area,

D.  pointing out that ethnic Albanian separatists seem to be based in southern Kosovo safe havens, in a region which should be under the control of KFOR,

E.  highly concerned by the continuing presence in Kosovo of heavily armed irregular troops and their refusal to lay down their weapons, and by the escalation of the nationalist fervour which runs strong among certain groups of ethnic Albanians,

F.  reiterating that the government of Mr Georgievski has made considerable tangible progress in guaranteeing the fundamental rights of the ethnic Albanian minority in FYROM,

G.  having regard to the decision of NATO to tighten border controls and to allow the return of Yugoslav security forces to patrol the buffer security zone,

H.  having regard to the Action Plan adopted by the government of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the main elements of which are measures to prevent the conflict spilling over both sides of the border,

I.  deploring the decision by some political leaders of the HDZ Party in Bosnia and Herzegovina to destroy the Croat-Muslim Federation and to create a separate state in violation of the Dayton/Paris agreements,

J.  taking note of the debate in Montenegro about a referendum concerning the independence of Montenegro,

1.  Expresses its sympathy with the relatives of the victims;

2.  Condemns the violence of the Albanian extremists on the border between FYROM and the FRY and their armed acts of provocation in the territory of FYROM, whose integrity and sovereignty must be respected;

3.  Condemns the continuing attacks against the peacekeeping forces in the area, which are determined to guarantee peace and stability in the area, and urges KFOR to enforce its measures along the FRY/Kosovo and FYROM border;

4.  Calls on the Albanian parties in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to continue their policy of condemning the attacks by ethnic Albanian extremists and to cooperate with the government in Skopje;

5.  Calls on all political leaders and local authorities in Kosovo to isolate the forces behind these attacks and shoulder their responsibility for peace and stability in the region;

6.  Welcomes the restrained reaction of the FYROM government and strongly encourages its responsible approach and its commitment to resolving the crisis by political and diplomatic means;

7.  Welcomes the recent release of 99 Kosovar prisoners by the Belgrade authorities, but urges them to hand over immediately to UNMIK all the other Kosovars still detained in Serbia;

8.  Welcomes the signing on 23 February 2001 of the border demarcation agreement between the FRY and FYROM, and calls on the other countries of the region to follow this example;

9.  Calls on the European Union to support the government of FYROM in its difficult task of preserving the peace and finding a political solution to the crisis;

10.  Urges the KFOR peacekeeping forces in Kosovo to protect the border from the Kosovo side and to prevent the intrusion of ethnic Albanian extremists into the border area, if necessary by military means, and to take a more active approach by arresting these extremists and handing them over to UNMIK;

11.  Welcomes the short-term ceasefire agreement signed by the ethnic Albanian extremists and the Serbian government in the Presevo valley in southern Serbia, and encourages them to continue negotiations in order to reach a final agreement;

12.  Welcomes the presence of European Union monitors in southern Serbia, but believes that their numbers should be increased and their presence extended to the northern part of FYROM;

13.  Calls for respect of the existing borders of the states in south-east Europe; therefore demands the strict application of the UN resolution 1244 in all parts;

14.  Calls on all responsible parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina to refrain from destroying or weakening the state structures of their country and to participate fully in the state-building process; supports the decisions taken by the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina;

15.  Calls on all responsible parties in Montenegro to take into account the fragile balance of power and peace in the region and to refrain from unilateral action which may endanger this situation;

16.  Reminds all parties concerned that without an environment of stability, peace and cooperation there is no possibility of effective European Union financial assistance;

17.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the High Representative of the CFSP, the government of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, NATO, UNMIK, the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the government of Montenegro.

(1) Texts Adopted, Item 17.
(2) Texts Adopted, Item 13.

Financial services
European Parliament resolution on the final report of the Committee of Wise Men on the regulation of European securities markets

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the final report of the Committee of Wise Men on the regulation of European securities markets of 15 February 2001(1) ,

-  having regard to its resolutions of 13 April 2000 on the Commission communication on implementing the framework for financial markets: Action plan(2) and of 17 November 2000 on the evaluation of Directive 89/299/EEC on the own funds of banks(3) ,

A.  whereas this resolution constitutes a first response to the final report of the Committee of Wise Men's report, and the final report must be the subject of a report drawn up by the competent committee of Parliament,

B.  whereas the creation of a genuine single market in financial services would result in very significant benefits for EU citizens, providing cheaper financial products for consumers, a better return on savings for investors and cheaper and more readily available risk capital and finance for business and enterprise,

C.  whereas the Lamfalussy Report makes a range of suggestions about the working practices of the three EU institutions, including criticising the Council for delay in agreeing legislation and calling on the Commission to improve its poor record on enforcement of legislation,

D.  whereas the Treaty does not provide for any specific procedure for the adoption of 'second level' legislative acts, and the comitology procedure is limited to the adoption of execution and implementation measures,

E.  whereas Parliament must always be in a position to exercise in their entirety the prerogatives granted to it by the Treaty, and in particular the parallelism of the European Parliament-Council decision-making process which is found in the codecision procedure must be fully preserved,

F.  whereas the analysis of the blockages in the decision-making process is mistaken, as in the great majority of cases the Council is solely responsible for the situation, and the European Parliament cannot be attributed a significant share of responsibility,

G.  whereas the Wise Men's report does not constitute a legally binding document,

1.  Welcomes the final report of the Committee of Wise Men on the regulation of European securities markets; shares its analysis with regard to the benefits of an integrated European financial market, and its commitment to creating the necessary regulatory environment to achieve this objective; further notes the importance of the report given the leverage effects of financial markets on competitiveness, growth and employment;

2.  Believes that EU legislation on securities markets has often been too rigid and inflexible and difficult to adapt to changing market conditions; believes that it is vital for consumer protection to keep legislation up to date since it is dangerous to be regulating yesterday's markets; further believes that ensuring that legislation is kept up to date is also vital for creating a flourishing single market in securities, which encourages innovation and which gives consumers and investors a genuine choice between products and service-providers from across the EU;

3.  Welcomes the wide-ranging consensus amongst the Commission, Council and market practitioners over the majority of the recommendations in the Lamfalussy Report; believes that the EU has an important political opportunity to reform and update the legislative process on securities matters and that, if at all possible, this opportunity should be seized by Parliament, the Council and the Commission; calls upon all three institutions to make every effort to reach an interinstitutional agreement which will address the problems identified in the Lamfalussy Report;

4.  Recalls its emphasis on the need for full transparency by all actors in any new approach to securities regulation, and the importance of ensuring that the proposed Regulators and Securities Committees are democratically accountable; therefore urges the Council to accelerate and open up its own decision-making procedures, which too often hold up the decision-making process; stresses the need for an agreement on specific and detailed transparency measures, such as publication of proposals and amendments suggested to these Committees at the time they are tabled and publication of the full minutes of each meeting;

5.  Recalls that the measures for implementing the Financial Services Action Plan are to be adopted under the codecision procedure, which can be easily accelerated thanks to a fast-track procedure, i.e. at first reading; emphasises that the legislative proposals at Level 1 could contain not only broad principles but also the foreseen implementing measures in an annex;

6.  Stresses that proposals for adapting or updating implementing measures submitted by the Commission to the EU Securities Committee must be forwarded at the same time to the European Parliament and the Council; asks for a three-month period for both institutions to consider them; asks the Commission to withdraw its proposals if Parliament or the Council should deliver a negative opinion and to submit a legislative proposal under the codecision procedure;

7.  Calls on the Commission to build on the report's conclusions by bringing forward the substantive measures which are needed to achieve an integrated securities market, and in particular with regard to investor protection, competition and SMEs, as outlined in the initial report and before Parliament;

8.  Notes that the Wise Men identified poor implementation and enforcement of legislation as a major barrier to the creation of a single market in financial services and hence advocated greater EU involvement in implementation via closer and more formalised cooperation between regulators; notes also that the report strongly emphasised the necessity of identifying the most important measures needed to implement the single market in financial services and set out a list of priority measures;

9.  Believes that the creation of a Committee of European Regulators should lead to better and more consistent implementation of legislation and faster convergence between different rules across the EU; believes, for example, that there is a much greater chance of attaining convergence or eventual harmonisation of conduct of business and advertising rules if regulators work closely together in a new EU committee of the type proposed by the Lamfalussy Group; peer review, benchmarking and the spread of best practice will be enhanced by the new structure and should drive forward the convergence process;

10.  Believes that the European Parliament should take a close interest in monitoring how EU legislation is implemented and welcomes the proposal in the Lamfalussy Report that the new Regulators Committee should report regularly to the European Parliament to account for its record on implementing legislation;

11.  Recognises that the Lamfalussy proposals give the European Parliament two legally binding methods of controlling the activities of the Securities Committee: firstly, the European Parliament would define and limit the scope of delegation and the remit of the Committee in relation to each and every directive; secondly, if the European Parliament believed that the Securities Committee had acted improperly, it could refuse to delegate any powers under subsequent legislation; recognises the importance of these sanctions but believes that further safeguards are desirable in order to ensure that the Securities Committee is subject to proper parliamentary oversight and democratic scrutiny;

12.  Demands that if a new approach to the regulation of securities markets is introduced which confers on the Commission, assisted by a regulatory committee of the Member States, the power to adopt implementing measures, the European Parliament must be provided with a binding 'call back' or similar appeal mechanism to refer the matter back to the Commission; considers that this is highly desirable in order to maintain the parallelism of the codecision procedure and ensure effective parliamentary oversight of the Securities Committee;

13.  Stresses that it is important that both the EU Securities Regulators Committee and the EU Securities Committee be established under the codecision procedure;

14.  Believes that a new interinstitutional agreement based on this approach could be rapidly negotiated and agreed pending the review in 2004, which would enable the new approach to be used to create an integrated securities market by 2003;

15.  Proposes therefore that negotiations at the highest level between the three institutions should begin as soon as possible, with a view to reaching an agreement which is acceptable to all three institutions;

16.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the European Council and the Forum of European Securities Commissions (FESCO).

(1) http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/internal_market/en/finances/general/lamfalussy.htm
(2) OJ C 40, 7.2.2001, p. 453.
(3) Texts Adopted, Item 1.

State of European economy
European Parliament resolution on the state of the European economy, report preparatory to the Commission recommendation on the broad economic policy guidelines (2001/2008(INI))

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the Commission's Autumn 2000 Forecasts for 2000-2002,

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

-  having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (A5-0082/2001 ),

A.  whereas the main economic indicators of the European Union economy, from average GDP growth to the employment rate, continue to show positive trends, although not as good as estimated,

B.  whereas the economic situation in the European Union remains the best in the last ten years as the forecasts for growth remain around 3%, despite a slowdown compared to the growth rate of 3.4 % for 2000, mainly caused by the abrupt increase in oil prices,

C.  whereas, for the second year, the annual growth rate of the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) in the euro area will go beyond the 2% limit fixed by the European Central Bank (2.4 % in 2000 and an estimated 2.2% in 2001), mainly because of a significant rise in imports, fuelled by oil prices and by the exchange rate of the euro,

D.  whereas the Commission's autumn forecast shows a decrease in investments for the current year from 5.3% to 4.9% of GDP,

E.  whereas the current pace of employment growth gave rise in 2000 to the creation of 2.6 million jobs, even if this will decrease in the next few years and unemployment is expected to continue to decline and fall to under 8% by the end of 2002,

F.  whereas present demographic trends make an appropriate reform of social security systems in an efficient and safe way necessary, taking into account medium-term economic developments and the protection of the employment of older workers as well as the increase in the number of people in employment, inter alia by providing incentives for older workers to opt to extend their working lives,

G.  whereas prospects for further growth and additional job creation and a better activity rate will be fostered by promoting public and private investments in the fields of new technologies, environmental protection, energy efficiency and education, through the implementation of an appropriate legal and fiscal framework,

H.  whereas the introduction of the euro coins and notes on January 2002 in twelve Member States will create a European home market, this being defined as market with a single currency,

I.  whereas there is increasing evidence of a slowing down of the United States economy, which could in the medium term reduce exports from the European Union and influence its growth rate, as could the higher external value of the euro;

J.  whereas the impact of the "new economy” and more particularly of the information and communication technologies (ICTs) on the Union's economic growth is positive although difficult to quantify in terms of productivity,

1.  Considers that the economic and monetary policy of the European Union and its Member States should be guided by the principles of a social market economy, capable of incorporating the policies required for environmental sustainability;

2.  Considers that freedom and democracy, competition, price stability and sustainable growth, subsidiarity, solidarity, private property, full employment and social cohesion together with a functioning legal framework are the main elements of this economic system;

3.  Notes that competition in free and open markets within a proper legal framework, which takes into account social and environmental issues, leads to positive social results;

4.  Welcomes the fact that, for the first time, the Commission has included in its review a chapter on “economic growth and environmental sustainability”; urges the Council to give appropriate follow-up to the statements therein;

5.  Demands that all necessary steps be taken so that the inflation rate can be kept below two percent in the second half of this year;

6.  Believes that price stability and non-inflationary and ecologically sustainable growth leading to full employment within a reasonable time should remain the main objective of the European Union's economic and monetary policy;

7.  Believes that policy should be geared, on the one hand, towards stable and more diverse energy supplies and, on the other, towards reducing energy requirements and energy dependence;

8.  Considers that a balanced liberalisation of telecommunications, mail, energy and railways should continue;

9.  Calls for the improvement of the conditions for the promotion of investments, including a trans-European network policy;

10.  Notes that clear price signals are needed, using market-based instruments like taxes, charges, and tradable emission permits, to reduce the pollution caused by economic activity and to fulfil the commitments made by the EU and the individual Member States at Kyoto;

11.  Calls for the speeding-up of the implementation of an appropriate legislative and administrative framework for ICTs related investments in order to make a substantial contribution to the productivity rate;

12.  Calls on the Member States to ensure that education and training are adequately tailored to the demands of the international knowledge economy;

13.  Calls for structural reforms on the markets for goods, services, capital and labour to be speeded up and intensified in order to increase production potential and productivity in the EU and, at the same time, to permit a policy mix to help offset the impact of possible negative demand on the part of the USA on the EU's internal market through an increase in domestic demand;

14.  Insists on the need to adapt the present social security systems with a view to ensuring they perform safely and effectively and to removing obstacles to the free movement of workers;

15.  Calls for a policy to provide the European economy with the necessary human resources and labour supply, with consistent investments in the field of education and of new technologies, which will require exceptional and concerted efforts on the part of the European Union, the Member States, undertakings and workers to achieve, partly on the basis of the new climate of cooperation between teaching centres, universities and undertakings, the setting up and operation of a system of education and training for workers in every type of employment, irrespective of age, throughout their working lives;

16.  Calls for a more flexible labour market since this can make an important contribution towards improving the competitive position of weak regions and sectors in particular;

17.  Notes with approval progress towards real convergence among the economies of the Member States and instructs the Council and the Commission to spare no effort towards further improvements in this crucial area;

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

EU election assistance and observation
European Parliament resolution on the Commission communication on EU Election Assistance and Observation (COM(2000) 191 - C5-0259/2000 - 2000/2137 (COS) )

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the Commission communication (COM(2000) 191 - C5-0259/2000 ),

-  having regard to Articles 3, 6, 11 of the Treaty on European Union and Articles 3, 177 of the EC Treaty,

-  having regard to Article 21.3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the OSCE Commitments, agreed upon in Copenhagen in 1990;

-  having regard to Article 17(2) of the Cotonou Agreement,

-  having regard to the EU guidelines on common criteria for the selection of electoral observers(1) and the EU guidelines on electoral observation(2) ,

-  having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 975/1999 of 29 April 1999 laying down the requirements for the implementation operations which contribute to the general objective of developing and consolidating democracy and the rule of law and to that of respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms(3) and Council Regulation (EC) No 976/1999 of 29 April 1999 laying down the requirements for the implementation of Community operations, other than those of development cooperation, which, within the framework of Community cooperation policy, contribute to the general objective of developing and consolidating democracy and the rule of law and to that of respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms in third countries(4) ,

-  having regard its resolution of 16 March 2000 on the Annual Report on International Human Rights and EU Human Rights Policy(5) ,

-  having regard to its resolution of 19 December 1997 on the Commission report on the implementation of measures intended to promote observance of human rights and democratic principles (6) and on setting up a single coordinating structure with the Commission responsible for human rights and democratisation(7) ,

-  having regard to its implementing provisions governing the work of delegations,

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

-  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy and the opinions of the Committee on Budgets and the Committee on Development and Cooperation (A5-0060/2001 ),

A.  whereas the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that the right to elect freely chosen representatives in secret, periodically held, and genuine elections, on the basis of universal and equal suffrage, is one which all citizens should enjoy, and is an essential element of democracy and the rule of law, to which the European Union is committed in its Treaties,

B.  whereas election observation and election assistance are key elements of the EU global strategy for the respect of human rights, the strengthening of democracy and the rule of law and the promotion of development in its relations with third countries,

C.  whereas the election period is a democratic expression of political pluralism and must be organised in accordance with internationally recognised standards,

D.  whereas although the number of elections world-wide has been increasing over the last decade, and 60% of the world's countries have now held elections within that period, the fact remains that many governments describe themselves as democratic despite the fact that this flies in the face of social realities, while in many countries democracy remains new and fragile, particularly in the developing world and whereas some developing countries are lacking adequate provisions in their constitutions to guarantee the political rights of all their citizens,

E.  whereas the Cotonou Agreement gives a mandate to the EU/ACP Joint Parliamentary Assembly, which includes 77 Members of the European Parliament, to promote democratic processes through dialogue and consultation,

F.  whereas promotion of democracy through electoral support has to be based on prior long-term observation of the political environment of the country in question and scrutiny of elections must be part of a continuous process of observations,

G.  whereas the scrutiny of elections is mainly aimed at strengthening the legitimacy of the electoral process, increasing public confidence in the elections, avoiding electoral fraud, better protecting human rights and contributing to conflict solution,

H.  whereas the European Parliament ought to assume a prominent role in the EU's scrutiny of elections, given its democratic legitimacy and specific expertise, and whereas its doing so raises the political profile of such missions,

I.  whereas the Commission's communication follows up Parliament's request to evaluate EU participation in international electoral observation and to strengthen the role of the EU and the European Parliament in such operations,

J.  whereas lessons learned from the past have led the Commission to present a systematic plan for its future action in the area of electoral assistance and election observation, in order to act in a more coordinated and coherent way,

K.  whereas this new EU strategy includes adequate instruments, sufficient funding, the best use of resources, visibility of action, the definition of the role of the European Parliament and a much better coordination between Council, Commission and European Parliament on one side, and between the EU institutions and the relevant international organisations on the other,

L.  whereas, since the entry into force of Council's Regulations for human rights and democracy, the political and financial decision both to provide election assistance and to send EU observers must be taken under the first pillar, on the basis of Commission proposals,

M.  whereas the importance of the decision as to whether or not to observe an election reinforces the need for international organisations to adopt a consistent and credible approach to this question, which will ultimately strengthen the message sent by the international community,

1.  Welcomes the Commission's communication and hopes that the communication will be the first step towards a well-defined EU strategy for electoral assistance and election observation putting an end to eight years of ad hoc interventions and giving a higher profile to its action;

2.  Confirms its own determination to fully support the evolution of democratic processes, by using all instruments and policies at its disposal;

3.  Recognises the important role of the European Union in the organisation and effective observation of competitive, multiparty elections;

EU Coordination

4.  Considers it vital, for the success of any EU election observation mission, that close coordination take place between the Commission, the Council Presidency, the diplomatic missions of the Member States in third countries, the EU Electoral Unit, and the EP delegation;

5.  Underlines its decisional autonomy but considers it essential, in order to apply a common approach, that the decisions on the EP and EU election observation missions should be taken every six months in the framework of consultation machinery formally laid down between Parliament, Commission and Council;

6.  Requests that the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission agree furthermore on a set of rules as regards their respective roles and responsibilities in election assistance and observation, possibly in the framework of a memorandum of understanding; to this end, calls on its President to initiate formally the necessary procedures;

7.  Stresses that the regular presidential trilogue should be a forum to discuss questions related to the participation of EU observers, and in particular of MEPs, in election observation;

8.  Calls on the Commission to involve Parliament from the earliest possible moment in the preparation of election observation, including joint assessment missions, the definition of the nature of any EU participation and, in particular, the appointment and definition of the mandate of the Head of the EU Observation Mission;

9.  Recommends, in order to maximise the EU's profile and visibility, that the Union should appoint one Chief Observer per mission, who will have the necessary expertise, will preferably be a Member of the European Parliament and will bear prime responsibility for communications with the media;

10.  Stresses that the European Parliament should investigate the adoption of guidelines to cover the nomination of Heads of Observer Missions, but should accept that the present informal approach which has produced three EP Heads of Mission is satisfactory so far;

EP Organisation

11.  Suggests the establishment of an EP "Election Coordination Group" composed of representatives of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy, the Committee on Development and Cooperation, the European Parliament members of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and representatives of the Interparliamentary Delegations;

12.  Suggests that the "Election Coordination Group" examine all questions related to the planning, organisation, evaluation and follow-up of the European Parliament's observation missions, ensuring adequate cooperation with the Council and Commission, and coordination with the relevant international organisations; believes that in view of the subject matter secretariat back-up should be provided by expanding the existing Human Rights Unit, with an appropriate number of additional staff;

13.  Believes that, whilst MEPs will usually only be present for a limited period, their role will, by definition, be different from other short-term observers because, as elected parliamentarians, they provide a particular political perspective, expertise and experience;

14.  Recognises that the Council adopted criteria on 28 June 1998 which provide a good basis for determining EU involvement in election observation and assistance, and decides to review the provisions in force and similarly adopt clear and transparent criteria for determining its own involvement and further calls for decisions to support and observe elections to be taken on a case by case basis;

15.  Notes that the democracy process is a steady process starting from the lowest local and regional level and that it may be important to observe also elections following the first democratic elections;

16.  Recommends that the European Parliament's missions for election observation should be authorised by the Conference of Presidents on the basis of a half-yearly timetable submitted by the "Election Coordination Group", in order to ensure adequate time for preparation of the European Parliament's election observation missions;

17.  Recommends, as a general rule, that Parliament should participate in EU electoral observation missions and should, whenever appropriate, participate in election observation under the umbrella of the relevant international organisations;

18.  Recommends, in this connection, examining the possibility of sending an observer mission even if this is requested only by a minority, by part of a minority or by consolidated associations of citizens;

19.  Recommends, in order to facilitate decision-making in particularly sensitive political situations, the sending of an ad hoc delegation to carefully examine the situation in the country concerned before the final decision is taken whether to observe these particular elections;

20.  Notes that only the EP can determine the size and composition of an EP election observation mission and that only the EP can determine the duration of the mission;

21.  Considers it vital, for both representation and visibility, that a minimum number of participants should be established for EP delegations, broken down according to membership of committees and political groups which would be increased subject to the significance of the mission;

22.  Considers also that the missions should cover all phases of observation including the preparations for the elections in the country, the election campaign, the counting of votes, and the official declaration of the results;

23.  Takes the view that as irregularities in election campaigns mostly occur during the run-up to the elections, the European Parliament should, as far as possible, coordinate monitoring at this stage of the elections with the Commission and the Council; proposes that Members of the European Parliament consider being present in the country during the preparations in order to gain more insight into the conduct of elections;

24.  Considers it important that European Parliament delegations to observe elections should, whenever possible, have a gender balance;

25.  Requests that members of the Committee on Development and, in the case of ACP countries, European Parliament members of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly should participate in the observation of elections in developing countries;

26.  Requests that, in view of the spirit of the Cotonou Agreement, the desire of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly to send an observer group consisting of representatives from both sides should, if appropriate, be respected;

27.  Recommends that the composition of the ad hoc delegation take account of the special knowledge of Members; stresses the importance of adequate information for the EP delegation about the pre-electoral situation, both from the Commission and the Council before departure and on the spot, possibly completed by a special briefing on the election observation procedures by the Head of the (EU) Observation Mission;

28.  Points out that it is extremely desirable for members of a European Parliament observation mission to be thoroughly prepared for their task as observers before the mission starts;

29.  Suggests that international election experts should assist Parliament in pre-election advice and could also give training for European Parliament's desk officers engaged in external policy;

EU Capacity

30.  Calls, in view of the highly political dimension of EU missions to observe elections, for an adequately staffed election unit to be set up within the Commission as the main contact for Parliament and the Council, which on account of the political dimension should fall under the DG RELEX and not be located within the European Aid Cooperation Office, which has executive and administrative responsibilities, and which should ensure a systematic and coordinated EU strategy for participation in the observation of elections;

31.  Calls on the Commission to select carefully the organisations providing technical and logistical coordination and observers; recommends strongly that the EU criteria for the selection of electoral observers should be respected and stresses, in particular, the importance of the responsibility of observers towards the EU in EU election operations; calls on the Commission to conclude long-term contracts with organisations that have proved to correspond to EU requirements;

32.  Urges the Commission to improve the EU's visibility and representation when it participates in the observation of elections, for example by improving the composition and terms of reference of the election observation team and deploying a media/public relations adviser with EU experience in order to ensure the requisite press and media attention; considers that appropriate and generous use of the EU logo and other EU symbols is to be recommended;

Country Assessment and Sustainable Support

33.  Stresses that the EU's involvement in election observation has to be completed by sustainable long-term support in the democracy process in which the EU assists political and social forces in the country concerned in setting up an agenda of priorities and needs for the proper organisation of elections, including the right timing and the commitment to invite EU observers;

34.  Stresses that, in view of the often broad framework, election assistance must start as early as two years before the actual observation of elections;

35.  Calls on all developing countries to guarantee in their constitutions the political rights of all their citizens in order to allow through the electoral process the development and expression of a pluralistic society;

36.  Stresses that, in the framework of the parliamentary dialogue, the European Parliament should enhance its political role by becoming involved in setting up the "democracy gap” agenda;

37.  Recommends that discussions about the strategic priorities in the area of human rights and democracy promotion, including EU involvement in election operations, should be part of the future common agenda between the Council, Commission and Parliament;

38.  Calls on the Commission to develop coherent country strategy papers, which include provisions to assist in and/or observe elections; stresses that electoral support and development aid should be linked and conditionality renewed;

39.  Stresses the importance of a prior thorough and systematic analysis of the political conditions, the practicability and, in particular, the political usefulness of EU involvement in electoral operations;

40.  Asks that the country reports of the EU's diplomatic missions and the Commission's delegations in third countries and the assessment mission reports should be made available to Parliament on request, in order to provide sound information about the country holding elections, and underlines the importance of adequate reporting about the election process itself and the post-election period;

41.  Suggests that the Commission, in order to facilitate country assessment, establish partnerships with independent organisations which have acquired acknowledged expertise and experience in the field of democracy support, in particular election observation and election assistance;

Election Assessment

42.  Considers it necessary to adopt clear and transparent criteria for assessing electoral processes as regards respect for human rights, the rule of law and the democratisation of society in general;

43.  Stresses that merely to use the words "free and fair” as a verdict on an election is often inadequate and that other criteria should be included before an election is declared as having been in accordance with democratic principles; believes that standards of assessment of election processes need to be applied with flexibility and consistency;

44.  Considers that the election assessment made by the EU Observation Mission must be exclusively based on the findings of the electoral process, without being subject to any interference from Member States;

45.  Calls on the Commission to formulate guidelines and standards for a proper assessment of EU electoral support, notably concerning pertinence, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability, possibly taking into account analysis by local stakeholders and independent electoral experts;

46.  Recommends that the European Parliament's observer delegation should coordinate and if possible issue the preliminary statement jointly with the EU Chief Observer, and in case of non- EU missions, where applicable, with other observing delegations; considers, however, that its special role should be emphasised by presenting a final report, focusing on the political consequences for future EU policy towards the country concerned;

47.  Calls on the Commission and the Council to assess the election process, in particular in the case of major elections observed by the EU, in the framework of a statement in plenary and on the basis of the final reports of the Head of Mission and the EP delegation, in order to take due account of Parliament's political assessment of the observed election and at the same time to increase visibility of the EU action;

48.  Urges consideration of an amendment to the rules of procedure which would allow MEP Heads of Mission to address Plenary;

49.  Decides to uphold the serious commitment that constitutes election observation by also closely monitoring post-election developments - central to the credibility to the electoral process - and taking them into consideration in future relations with the country concerned and urges the Commission to do likewise;

50.  Recommends that the EU annual report on human rights should include more detailed information about EU electoral operations and their effectiveness,

51.  Recommends that the future agenda of the annual Human Rights Forum should include discussions about lessons learned in election observation, with the active participation of Members of European Parliament who have taken part as observers,

International Coordination

52.  Stresses the importance of avoiding overlapping and duplication of effort between different organisations involved in monitoring elections in a country and observes that the EU's involvement should not be an end in itself where other election monitoring organisations are represented;

53.  Calls on the Commission to establish partnership agreements with relevant international organisations such as the OSCE, the Council of Europe, and the United Nations for election observation and assistance missions, in order to ensure better cooperation, coordination of working methods and EU/EP visibility;

54.  Recommends that the Commision organise a conference to this end with the participation of Parliament, Council and Member States and the relevant international organisations;

55.  Calls on the Commission, in cooperation with other international organisations, to draw up common criteria for assessing the electoral process; stresses, however, that such partnership agreements must guarantee the EU the necessary political manoeuvrability required to make an independent assessment free of constraint from any international organisations;

56.  Suggests, where applicable, that the EP delegation should co-chair the international election observation mission jointly with other parliamentary delegations, such as from the OSCE or the Council of Europe; recommends regular consultations between the European Parliament and these organisations;

57.  Stresses the importance of agreeing, where applicable, on a coordinating body in a particular election operation for all international organisations involved; suggests as a rule, that, particularly if the EU is the major donor, it should coordinate and take the political lead for the overall assessment of the elections;

58.  Insists that, once the EU decides to assist and observe an electoral process, the necessary arrangements must be made, together with international partners, to ensure a clear acknowledgement of the EU's financial contribution;

59.  Recommends that international cooperation should include joint assessment missions, with the participation of the European Parliament, in order to verify minimum conditions for the credibility of the electoral process and the requirements for the proper conduct of observation;

60.  Recommends that international cooperation should include long-term planning, information gathering, briefing and training, joint deployment, uniform analysis and reporting methodology and sharing critical resources;

61.  Stresses the role of national observers and civil rights organisations in the electoral process, both in itself and as part of the learning process leading to the stabilisation of democracy in the countries concerned; calls on the Commission, therefore, to help develop their capacities by means of technical assistance and training progammes;

62.  Stresses furthermore the importance of providing necessary information to domestic observers about the role and the nature of international observer delegations;

63.  Notes with satisfaction the increasingly important role of civil society in the promotion of democratic values and calls therefore for it to be drawn more than at present into a cooperative relationship which is not restricted to the election period but also focuses on the development of democratic traditions;

Budgetary Questions

64.  Welcomes the fact that a heading related to election monitoring and support, which is a clear priority of the "European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights”, has been maintained under this chapter and suggests further consolidation of appropriations under the specific budget line;

65.  Calls on the Commission to earmark an adequate amount of funds in each geographical budget line for electoral support;

66.  Considers that annexing a detailed breakdown of EDF appropriations to the general budget, including contributions to electoral assistance, would be an important step towards budgetary unity;

67.  Calls on the Commission to submit regular evaluation reports of its actions, including co-funding with other actors and the cost-effectiveness of its electoral operations;

68.  Recommends the systematic electronic transmission of data about project implementation and recalls in this context Parliament's request for the establishment of a "European Network for Human Rights and Democracy”;

o   o

69.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.

(1) Council Decision 8728/99 - PESC 165 - COHOM 4, 28.5.1999.
(2) Council Decision 9262/98 - PESC 157 - COHOM 6, 3.6.1998.
(3) OJ L 120, 8.5.1999, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 120, 8.5.1999, p. 8.
(5) OJ C 377, 29.12.2000, p. 336.
(6) OJ C 14, 19.1.1998, p. 399.
(7) OJ C 14, 19.1.1998, p. 402.

Common strategy on Ukraine
European Parliament resolution on the Common Strategy of the European Union on Ukraine (C5-0208/2000 - 2000/2116(COS) )

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the Common Strategy of the European Union on Ukraine, adopted by the European Council in Helsinki on 11 December 1999 (C5-0208/2000 )(1) ,

-  having regard to the work programmes for the implementation of the Common Strategy of the Portuguese and French Council Presidencies,

-  having regard to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between the European Union and Ukraine, which entered into force on 1 March 1998,

-  having regard to the press statement of the EU-Ukraine Cooperation Council issued after its meeting on 23 May 2000 and to the corresponding statements from its two previous meetings,

-  having regard to the Joint Statement of the EU-Ukraine summit on 15 September 2000 and the two previous summits after the entry into force of the PCA,

-  having regard to the Swedish Presidency's statement of 7 February 2001 on the general situation in Ukraine and the disappearance of the journalist Georgiy Gongadze,

-  having regard to the Action Plan for the Development of Relations Between the EU and Ukraine adopted by the Council on 6 December 1996 and its resolution of 12 March 1998(2) on the preceding Commission communication on this Action Plan,

-  having regard to the report by the Secretary-General/High Representative issued on 30 January 2001 on the Common Strategies (14871/2000),

-  having regard to its assent of 30 November 1995(3) on the proposal for a Council and Commission Decision on the conclusion of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Ukraine,

-  having regard to Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union,

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

-  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy and the opinions of the Committee on Citizens' Freedoms and Rights, Justice and Home Affairs and the Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy (A5-0083/2001 ),

A.  whereas Ukraine by virtue of its size, geographical location, deep historical, cultural, spiritual, economic and other links to Central and Western Europe as well as to Russia, its contributions to the development of regional, Europe-wide and transatlantic cooperative structures and its strong ambition to deepen its relations to the EU and to EU candidate countries plays a key role for peace, stability and prosperity in post-cold-war Europe,

B.  whereas Ukraine is an active member of the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe,

C.  whereas Ukraine occupies an important place in the Central European Initiative and in co-operation in the Black Sea region, plays a key role in the so called GUUAM group composed of Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Moldova and selectively participates in activities of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS),

D.  whereas Ukraine takes an active part in the Black Sea Cooperation Organisation (BSCO) and in the Black Sea Cooperation Bank based in Thessaloniki,

E.  whereas Ukraine has made important contributions to the safeguarding of peace and stability, in particular by ridding itself of nuclear weapons, engaging in the search for a solution to the problems in Transdniestria and contributing to peacekeeping forces in ex-Yugoslavia; whereas Ukraine is also an active participant in NATO's Partnership for Peace Programme,

F.  whereas the EU is building up capacity for crisis management and the European Council has declared that Ukraine is a country that may be invited to take part in EU-led operations; whereas Ukraine is very interested in becoming involved in the EU's preparations in this regard, wishes to see arrangements for consultation on and participation in crisis management operations developed and may make valuable contributions,

G.  whereas Ukraine has a big defence industry and is an important arms exporter; whereas it has asked for assistance in harmonising its export controls with those of the EU and is considering the possibility of aligning itself with the EU's Code of Conduct on Arms Exports; whereas this should be encouraged,

H.  acknowledging the Ukraine's signature of the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty,

I.  whereas relations between ethnic Ukrainians and the large Russian minority generally do not give cause for concern, but some tensions have emerged in Lviv and Western Ukraine; whereas the harmonious development of relations between Ukrainians, Russians, Tatars, Roma and all other ethnic groups represented in the population must be ensured,

J.  whereas the accession of Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania to the EU will give the EU and Ukraine a common border and further increase the significance of EU-Ukraine relations; whereas the Schengen border will divide an ethnically mixed area and will therefore give rise to problems in terms of the coexistence of the local population; whereas a number of questions on visa rules and border management will have to be answered,

K.  whereas this must be done in a way that reconciles the need to prevent illegal immigration and combat international crime, including trafficking in drugs, arms, sex and human beings and smuggling of counterfeit goods and other items, with that of promoting trade, cooperation and human contacts and avoids harming mutual perceptions,

L.  whereas progress in stopping similar flows into Ukraine over its other borders and curbing organised crime activities within Ukraine are important for future relations with the EU; whereas migration problems should be addressed with comprehensive measures which must not infringe the rights of refugees as established in international conventions,

M.  whereas trafficking in girls and women for sexual exploitation from Ukraine to EU countries has become widespread and thereby developed into a very serious social problem both in Ukraine and the EU,

N.   whereas large numbers of illegal immigrants come to Ukraine and neighbouring states are reluctant to conclude re-admission agreements,

O.   whereas the EU and EU candidate countries have significant trade interests in Ukraine, including the purchase of gas from Russian and other producers which passes in transit through Ukraine,

P.   whereas the Commission recently decided in the context of EU's anti-dumping policy to apply a regime which opens the way to more favourable treatment of Ukrainian firms working under market conditions,

Q.   whereas the dramatic decline of the Ukrainian economy since 1991 has caused a sharp deterioration in living conditions which, if it continues, could put social cohesion at risk; whereas conversely, an economic recovery could considerably improve the internal situation as well as external relations,

R.   whereas a stable Ukraine making rapid economic progress and engaged in mutually beneficial cooperation with the EU and with Russia and other neighbours is very much in the EU's interest,

S.  whereas investments from EU Member States should not bypass the Ukrainian economy but should rather be encouraged and even guaranteed by the EU and Ukraine; whereas investments in the Ukrainian agriculture, agroindustrial complex, SMEs, banking system, transport, energy and telecommunications are very important for both the EU and Ukraine,

T.   whereas power struggles between the President and the Parliament and between different factions within the Parliament have in the past blocked reform efforts for long periods, with very serious consequences for the country's economy; whereas the risk of new crises of this kind still exists,

U.   whereas the last parliamentary and presidential elections, in 1998 and 1999 respectively, failed to meet many conventional standards for democratic elections,

V.  whereas there is need for improvement in the human rights situation and the freedom of the media; whereas the murder of the journalist Georgiy Gongadze, editor of the critical Internet newspaper Ukrainska Pravda, and the inexplicably slow and inefficient police investigation into the matter constitute particularly serious elements in this picture,

W.  whereas the development and the support of a strong civil society is a basic element which should be duly taken into account in EU programmes, having regard in particular to the political instability of the country,

X.   whereas relations between the political and the business elites should be clarified and put on a proper footing,

Y.   whereas the achievement of greater stability within and between the different branches of government, the strengthening of the rule of law, substantive progress in the fight against corruption and unsound business practices as well as fair and predictable taxation are also indispensable for the creation of an environment which stimulates investments and produces economic growth,

Z.   whereas Ukraine has taken the remaining reactor at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant out of production and the EU, its Member States and other donors support the rebuilding of the sarcophagus around the damaged reactor at the same site, as well as the completion of the 'K2' and 'R4' reactors, as replacement capacity for the newly decommissioned one,

AA.   whereas Ukraine is heavily dependent on imported energy; whereas Ukrainian-Russian relations in the energy area have been very problematic, with the accumulation of billion dollar arrears in payments for deliveries from Russia and allegations of large-scale unauthorised use of gas intended for foreign markets in transit through Ukraine; whereas arrangements which should prevent new disputes on energy deliveries and payments in the year 2001 have recently been agreed upon and these arrangements may form part of a more comprehensive redefinition of the Ukrainian-Russian relationship,

AB.  whereas agriculture is of the utmost importance in the Ukrainian economy and approximately one third of the Ukrainian population lives in rural areas; whereas however agricultural production is not very efficient in spite of favourable climate and soil conditions; whereas that sector must undergo urgent reforms in ownership structure and production methods,

AC.   whereas the EU assists Ukraine through the TACIS programme and has pledged further macro-financial assistance, once International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditions have been met; whereas EU Member States also provide assistance through the IMF and through bilateral programmes,

AD.   whereas technical assistance under the TACIS Indicative Programme for Ukraine 2000-2003 is focused on the three main areas of (1) institutional, legal and administrative reform, (2) the private sector and assistance to economic development and (3) addressing the social consequences of transition,

AE.   whereas direct people-to-people contacts should be promoted through a much wider use of exchange and twinning programmes, study opportunities in the EU and other arrangements,

AF.   whereas an International Science and Technology Centre has been set up in Kiev to help Ukraine make the best use of the knowledge of its scientists and prevent the spread of know-how on weapons of mass destruction to states and non-state actors representing an international safety risk,

AG.   whereas the longstanding idea of concluding a Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Ukraine should rapidly be realised,

AH.   whereas successful further development of the EU-Ukraine relationship presupposes both strong commitment on both sides and a realistic view on what can be achieved in the short and medium term; whereas in the absence of such a view, frustrations, backlashes and diminished support for the deepening of the partnership may be difficult to avoid,

AI.   whereas success in this regard will be closely linked to the progress of political, social, administrative and economic reforms in Ukraine and investments by EU companies in Ukraine on a bigger scale is likely to provide additional impetus once these reforms have created a stable and predictable environment,

AJ.   whereas first of all the PCA must be correctly implemented and the possibilities therein should be fully exploited, but a clearer perspective of further deepening EU-Ukraine relations is also needed,

AK.   whereas an indication of under what conditions the EU would be ready to conclude a free trade agreement and consider an association agreement could stimulate Ukrainian reform efforts; whereas both sides should aim at achieving very significant facilitation of bilateral trade, ideally free trade, no later than at the time of the first accessions of candidate countries to the EU,

AL.   whereas Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union lays down that any European State which respects the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law may apply to become a member of the Union; whereas Ukraine should be considered a potential candidate for accession to the EU at some point in the future,

AM.  whereas the European Parliament has considered that the EU should develop a wider pan-European cooperation by taking into account the situation in the Balkans, the relations with Russia and Ukraine, the Northern Dimension as well as the challenges of deepening cooperation in the Mediterranean; whereas it has proposed that the prospect of participation in a new European area based on trade, security, protection of the environment and fundamental rights be opened up to countries with which accession is not being negotiated at present, stressing that participation in such an area must not preclude eventual membership of the EU,


1.  Expresses its support for the Common Strategy on Ukraine adopted by the European Council on 11 December 1999 in Helsinki;

2.  Underlines Ukraine's key role in post-cold-war Europe and recognises the importance of harmonious development of its relations to all of its neighbours; emphasises therefore the importance of the Common Strategy and considers it essential that it be implemented promptly and comprehensively in order to avoid a new divide in Europe; at the same time supports the conclusion of the High Representative that the common strategies will become more credible if their goals become more specific, if priorities are clearly formulated, if there is a vision on added value and if sufficient means are available for implementation;

3.  Recognises that the proposed measures are necessary and takes a highly positive view of the overall strategy adopted with the objective of ensuring that both the European Union and its Member States coordinate all aspects of their policy towards Ukraine in a coherent and complementary manner;

4.  Warmly welcomes Ukraine's strong ambition to deepen its general relationship with the EU and considers that the EU could prepare a road map for this, indicating what each step would presuppose, in particular in terms of Ukrainian internal reforms;

5.  Declares a strong wish to see Ukraine finally succeed in its transition process and create ever better living conditions for the whole of its population; points to the success achieved by other ex-communist countries as examples of what determined reform efforts can bring; is convinced that this will increase the capacity of the Ukraine to act independently;

6.  Emphasises that nothing can replace determined internal reform efforts, but points out that the EU should continue to offer support, inter alia through increased technical assistance, improved access to the EU market and as soon as possible a free trade agreement, support for WTO membership preparations and renewed macro-financial assistance when conditions have been met;

7.  Underlines the importance of the parliamentary dimension in promoting ever closer ties between the Ukraine and the EU; considers the present parliamentary co-operation to be insufficient to enable a real and fruitful working relationship; welcomes the proposed dialogue between the Latvian, Ukrainian and European Parliaments;

8.  Stresses that large-scale private investment is an essential pre-requisite for the development of the Ukraine, and therefore believes that providing a political and economic framework for private business to thrive and for encouraging inward investment is of the utmost priority for the Ukrainian authorities;

9.  Believes that, given the scope and nature of the common strategy on Ukraine, priority should be given to supporting the efforts of Ukraine to reform its internal structures so that an institutional and regulatory framework, conducive to promoting sustainable economic development, trade, and investment and improving the efficiency of industry, in particular, the agricultural and energy sectors, while improving the level of environmental protection, in particular as concerns pollution from industry, be established as soon as possible;

10.  Insists on the principle that Community technical assistance implemented either through the TACIS support programmes, or TEMPUS and DEMOCRACY projects, or macro-financial assistance, or any future measure, should add value to the economic transition process in Ukraine, and not be wasted on unnecessary consultative fees and studies;

Political situation in Ukraine

11.  Deplores the fact that the last parliamentary and presidential elections were not up to international standards for democratic elections and regrets that the media are not exercising their proper role in a democratic society; calls for more active support of the EU in this area;

12.  Regrets that a state genuinely governed by the rule of law has not yet been consolidated in Ukraine and urges, therefore, the Council, Commission and Member States of the Union to provide coordinated and coherent support for all measures leading to democratically acceptable elections and the creation of an independent judiciary, a professional and efficient administration and media free from all interference;

13.  Stresses the need for Ukraine to adopt all the necessary legal and operational measures to combat discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation, as well as discrimination in the field of employment;

14.  Is deeply concerned about the murder of the journalist Georgiy Gongadze and underlines the importance of a proper and transparent police investigation and of adequate handling by the judiciary of this case; remains concerned about the allegations of official involvement in this case;

15.  Is concerned that freedom of the press as a fundamental aspect of democracy has not yet been fully established in Ukraine and that the media must continue to work in an insecure environment; calls on the Ukrainian Government and its authorities to ensure that journalists can carry out their work unhindered, that broadcasting licences are issued in a way that does not restrict pluralism and that, in general, they create irreversible democratic structures in the media;

16.  Congratulates the Ukrainian authorities on the abolition of the death penalty in their penal code, in accordance with the European Convention on Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, signed in Rome on 4 November 1950, and with Protocol No 6 to that Convention;

17.  Strongly hopes that the different branches of government will be able to maintain the present rate of economic reform, or further increase it;

18.  Invites all relevant forces in the Ukraine to settle the outstanding constitutional issues in such a way that there is the right democratic balance between the executive and legislative branches of the government;

Economic situation and EU-Ukraine economic relations

19.  Considers that Ukraine's economic problems are essentially the result of a very slow and difficult transition process, partly due to the emergence of business interests with privileged or corrupt relations to the country's governing institutions or individual members thereof; is aware of the role in facilitating an economic upturn that the EU can play through its commercial policy and by becoming an important source of investment; warns, however, against every tendency to regard EU-integration as a panacea for the Ukrainian economy;

20.  Takes the view that an extension of financial support should result in the intensification of bilateral projects which would also promote economic consolidation in the transport, telecommunications and financial sectors;

21.  Calls on the Commission, the European Investment Bank, the EBRD, the World Bank, other international financial institutions, and the Ukrainian government to establish a foreign investments insurance and export promotion agency in Ukraine;

22.  Encourages Ukraine to speed up reform in the agricultural sector and complete the transition to private ownership of the land; proposes that the Commission study the possibility of supporting individual farmers and cooperatives with appropriate micro-credit schemes, in addition to offering them technical advice;

23.  Calls on the Commission to establish a political dialogue with Ukraine on the production of biofuel (biodiesel, ethanol etc.) in Ukraine and its further supply to the EU;

24.  Calls on the Commission to encourage and foster investments into the hydro, solar and wind energy sector in Ukraine, which have a special value for the creation of energy substitute capacity and cover the energy deficit in Ukraine created by the closure of Chornobyl;

25.  Warmly welcomes the definitive closure of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant and supports the granting of the Euratom 'K2R4' loan as part of the implementation of the 1995 Memorandum; calls for regular reporting on the decommissioning of the Chornobyl site and the repairs of the Shelter of Reactor IV; asks the Commission to present a report on the health conditions in the areas, especially in Belarus, that were contaminated in 1986; asks the Commission to support the Ukraine in addressing the issue of mass unemployment and other social problems in the Chornobyl region;

26.  Reiterates its position that Community financing of nuclear plants should be conditional upon the following criteria:

A safety level equivalent to Western-type nuclear power operational and design safety,
An agreed environmental action plan, which will be implemented by the recipient country satisfactorily,
Decreasing energy dependency on third countries;

27.  Insists that the Commission give priority to support of the nuclear regulatory authority and monitor its independence and capability in terms of resources and staffing, and to the continuing efforts to deal with the serious environmental and health consequences of the Chornobyl disaster;

28.  Urges the Commission, in collaboration with the EBRD and the World Bank, to agree a global energy plan with the Ukraine Government. Such a plan should include, inter alia, upgrading thermal power plants, the creation of a viable coal industry, and an effective energy efficiency strategy;

29.  Emphasises, however, that the most important path to be pursued when addressing Ukraine's energy problems is rapid creation of reasonable conditions in the energy market, such as more rational distribution, energy-saving, a market approach and diversification;

30.  Considers that the recent Ukrainian idea of transferring to an international consortium the management of the Ukrainian pipeline through which Russian gas is relayed to Central and Western Europe should be further explored in order to guarantee continued gas transport via Ukraine; completing the Odessa-Brody pipeline should also be considered;

31.  Calls on the Council and the Commission to increase their support for the development of Ukraine's transport and communications networks; calls on the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to exhaust all the possibilities of obtaining additional funds for the development of these systems;

32.  Calls on the Commission to extend the measures for disseminating information on the European Union in Ukraine and to examine the possibilities of broadcasting Euronews in Ukraine;

33.  Calls upon the Commission to submit to Parliament and Council the conclusions of the study commissioned by the Common Strategy, on a possible EU-Ukraine Free Trade Area (FTA) as foreseen in the March 1998 Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), and requests the Commission to undertake an impact assessment;

34.  Supports Ukraine's application to accede to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) although unprepared accession will not be in the interests of Ukraine or the EU; requests the Commission to report on the issues to be addressed before WTO accession can take place.

Technical assistance

35.  Believes that Community technical assistance should be geared towards improving Ukraine's VAT system, consolidating the system of cash collection in the energy sector, developing the underdeveloped capital markets and enforcing clear property rights, and addressing in general the endemic corruption problems;

36.  Considers the main focuses of the TACIS programme for Ukraine appropriate; calls, however, for the strengthening of the TACIS democracy programme in order to support effectively and facilitate the development of civil society, promotion of independent media and development of exchange and twinning programmes; asks the Commission to improve coordination between the TACIS and PHARE programmes in the context of cross-border cooperation between the EU candidate countries and Ukraine;

37.  Stresses the importance of developing cooperation beyond the future EU external border with Ukraine in order to relieve pressure on the population in the border areas;

38.  Calls on the Commission to improve cooperation with Ukraine on the European Global Navigation Satellite System by concluding a cooperation agreement to develop this system;

39.  Calls on the Commission to assist in establishing a national monitoring system on greenhouse emissions in Ukraine;

Justice and Home Affairs

40.  Welcomes the fact that Community programmes forming part of TACIS paid particular attention to promoting the rule of law in Ukraine during 2000;

41.  Advocates the continuation of the appropriate TACIS programmes which are supported by the Council of Europe and aimed at promoting respect for human rights among the Ukrainian authorities and media;

42.  Urges Ukraine to adopt the necessary legislative and operational measures to guarantee an adequate level of data protection comparable to that required in the European Union;

43.  Calls on Ukraine to sign, ratify and apply the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organised Crime;

44.  Supports the European Union measures to assess the scale of illegal immigration;

45.  Stresses that cooperation in border management and the adjustment of Ukraine's visa policy in accordance with EC provisions should take full account of traditional economic and cultural relations between Ukraine and its neighbouring countries, whereas solutions for flexible forms of movement of individuals in border areas should be found;

46.  Underlines that cooperation in the area of justice and home affairs should be expanded as improvement of the police and judiciary in Ukraine creates the necessary conditions;

47.  Considers that for the time being, the EU cannot agree to visa-free entry into its territory for Ukrainian citizens; stresses, however, that multiple-entry visas should be widely used, fees be kept very low and the general level of service to applicants high; insists that the EU increase its support to the Ukraine in improving its border control system;

48.  Urges that the European Union, in accordance with Article 31(e) of the EU Treaty, should adopt the necessary measures to classify as crimes, with the corresponding penalties, activities linked to trafficking in women, whose victims and exploitation networks have increasingly been of Ukrainian origin in recent years;

49.  Calls on the Commission to study ways of combating in a more effective way trafficking in girls and women from Ukraine for sexual exploitation and urges the Member States and, in particular, the habitual countries of destination, to take practical action and intervene effectively on their own territory to assist the Ukrainian authorities in combating this unacceptable practice;

50.  Calls on Ukraine to sign and ratify the Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees, along with other international conventions on the protection of immigrants, and to apply them immediately; stresses that this is indispensable to improve EU-Ukraine cooperation on the admission of refugees;

Foreign policy issues

51.  Welcomes Ukraine's interest in having a role in EU-led crisis management operations and calls on the Council and relevant committees to discuss with Ukraine what forms this may take;

52.  Underlines the importance of the Ukraine as a partner in finding solutions for regional problems such as the democratic deficit in Belarus or the Transdniestr conflict;

53.  Calls on the Council and the Commission to assist Ukraine in harmonising its export controls with those of the EU and aligning itself with the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports; calls for closer co-operation in the areas of space technology and aviation;

Other issues

54.  Calls for rapid conclusion of a Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement with Ukraine and supports continued EU contributions to the International Science and Technology Centre headquartered in Kiev;

55.  Urges the Ukraine to ratify its signature of the Ottowa Mine Ban Treaty and to take steps to fulfil its obligations including the destruction of its considerable stocks of anti-personnel mines;

Pan-European policy of the EU

56.  Considers that the EU should pay more attention to the non-candidate countries of Eastern Europe; believes that a new European area based on market economy and free trade, protection of the environment, democracy, human rights and security should be created for them; points out that all European nations are eligible for EU membership if they fulfill the necessary political and economic criteria;

57.  Calls on the Council and the Commission to develop a comprehensive Pan-European policy for the Union by combining the enlargement process with both the bilateral and multilateral external relations of the Union; the EU should systematically utilise the OSCE and the Council of Europe for preparing the present and future candidate countries for membership and for promoting the goals of the CFSP and integration on the Pan-European level; the EU should improve cooperation and coordination with these organisations and NATO;

o   o

58.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the EU Member States and the President, government and parliament of Ukraine.

(1) OJ L 331, 23.12.1999, p. 1.
(2) OJ C 104, 6.4.1998, p. 226.
(3) OJ C 339, 18.12.1995, p. 42.

Internet - International and European policy issues
European Parliament resolution on the Commission communication to the Council and the European Parliament on 'The Organisation and Management of the Internet - International and European Policy Issues 1998-2000' (COM(2000) 202 - C5-0263/2000 - 2000/2140(COS) )

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the Commission communication (COM(2000) 202 - C5-0263/2000 ),

-  having regard to the Council resolution of 3 October 2000(1) ,

-  having regard to the Commission communication on the "Internet domain name system - Creating the .EU top level domain" (COM(2000) 421 ),

-  having regard to the Commission working document on the creation of the .EU top level domain (COM(2000) 153 ),

-  having regard to the conclusions of the Feira European Council meeting of 19 and 20 June 2000 (SN 200/1/2000),

-  having regard to its resolution of 16 March 2000 on the Commission communication on "eEurope - An Information Society For All: a Commission Initiative for the Special European Council of Lisbon, 23 and 24 March 2000" (COM(1999) 687 - C5-0063/2000 - 2000/2034(COS) )(2) ,

-  having regard to the Commission communication on "Internet Governance - Management of Internet names and addresses - Analysis and assessment from the European Commission of the United States Department of Commerce White Paper" (COM(1998) 476 ),

-  having regard to the declaration of the European Ministerial Conference held in Bonn from 6 to 8 June 1997, on global information networks,

-  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 opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs and the Internal Market (A5-0063/2001 ),

A.  whereas balanced international representation must be achieved within ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), so that due account may be taken of all five geographical areas covered by the organisation,

B.  whereas the European Union is at a competitive disadvantage with respect to North America as regards the infrastructure required for the expansion of the Internet, and whereas the developing countries have a very low connection rate,

C.  having regard to the threat posed by the digital divide,

D.  whereas the European Union can benefit from the creation of its own Top Level Domain (ccTLD), '.EU', and its inclusion in the Domain Name System following an application made to ICANN,

E.  whereas management of the Internet should be governed by general legislation, possibly involving forms of self-regulation, which, without jeopardising the sector's development, is capable of delivering uniformity and transparency so as to ensure operability and efficiency,

F.  whereas, as the ICANN GAC (Governmental Advisory Committee) stated when setting out the objectives which the organisation is to pursue, the allocation of domain names and addresses by ICANN must be carried out in a non-discriminatory and fully transparent manner,

G.  whereas the process of internationalising and democratising by ICANN must be completed with a view to making the organisation totally independent of national influences and ensuring that the creation of new gTLDs (generic Top Level Domains) is not affected by outside pressures,

H.  whereas the Union can give a new impetus to Internet management; whereas the Commission has a role to play in this connection, both with regard to the development of self-regulation, the possible framing of European legislation (where appropriate) and with a view to future international agreements,

I.  whereas the Commission plays a major role in the coordination of Internet management and in negotiations with the United States in this area,

J.  whereas the consultations between the Commission, the private sector and civil society regarding Internet management are also of major importance and should therefore be encouraged,

K.  whereas the provision of access to and the protection of data published on the Internet should be regulated,

L.  whereas the expansion of the Internet and the liberalisation of the telecommunications industry are interrelated,

1.  Welcomes the Commission communication;

2.  Emphasises the need for all five geographical areas covered by ICANN to be represented by democratically elected representatives on the organisation's Board of Directors;

3.  Points to the need to decide which EU entity, organisation or representative will negotiate, on behalf of the EU Members, with the international organisations responsible for the development of the Internet, including those negotiations on the future functioning of ICANN; considers that the Commission should be a leading authority, backed by the necessary resources, to negotiate with governments from the US and other parts of the world; insists that neither the Commission, nor the US Government, nor other governments should interfere in the organisation and management of the Internet, but they should give it sufficient independence and a legal basis at international level, so that it may be an independent network;

4.  Considers that the neutral role of ICANN must be reinforced by a strong presence from the European Union, working alongside the US and other governments, through the Governmental Advisory Committee;

5.  Supports the continuation of the self-regulatory basis of ICANN's operations, but emphasises that the EU must ensure that ICANN works within the principles of existing international codes, particularly the WIPO protocols;

6.  Hopes that all continents will be represented on the ICANN Board in the future, just as they are today;

7.  Points to the need to define the management structure of ICANN, an essential issue in order to guarantee the best possible results for its work; calls for the budgetary and financing arrangements for ICANN to be defined clearly and transparently to facilitate annual monitoring and guarantee its future viability, irrespective of the fact that ICANN is managed privately; considers that there should also be a transparent membership process when the corporation is being formed;

8.  Considers it necessary to guarantee the independence of ICANN from the US Government and to define the legal framework to which it must adhere in future, on the understanding that it is of paramount importance to maintain international neutrality if ICANN is to play a key role in the global development of the information society; considers, similarly, that all continents must be represented on it;

9.  Points out that the Union is lagging behind North America as regards telecommunications infrastructure;

10.  Emphasises that this situation is likely to place European economic operators working in the electronic commerce sector at a disadvantage with regard to their North American competitors, since it has an adverse effect on their costs;

11.  Notes that private investment is the primary source of funding for the establishment of European backbone transmission networks, which are essential to the development of the Internet in the Union given the steady increase in bandwidth applications; points out that the need for such investment has been acknowledged in connection with eEurope action and was confirmed by the European Council at its meeting in Feira in June 2000, but that public investment should be called upon principally where private investment is insufficient;

12.  Welcomes the action taken by the Commission with a view to creating a Top Level Domain (ccTLD) for the European Union, and calls on the Commission and the ICANN Board to ensure that '.EU' is created as soon as possible; considers that its registration procedures should provide a model for international best practice in this field;

13.  Supports the WIPO's arbitration service in respect of the registration of domain names which infringe trademarks and looks forward to organisations submitting proposals to combat other cases of registration not made in good faith which are an infringement of personal names, for example, or a misuse of geographical designations;

14.  Draws attention to the fact that, with a view to ensuring the development of the Internet within the Union, the Commission should develop, in conjunction with ICANN, effective codes of conduct (supported by legislation as appropriate), to cover the allocation and protection of domain names, action to combat fraud and cybersquatting, and access to personal data and the security and protection thereof; considers it necessary to define not only the arrangements for settling disputes between the US and the EU, but also a universal method which will not be subject to differing national regulations or to merely bilateral treaties;

15.  Notes that it took a long time to introduce the seven new domain names and that the time thus lost needs to be made up as quickly as possible; maintains, more generally, the need for a more transparent and democratic process when other new domain names are created in the future;

16.  Attaches priority to the achievement of an open and competitive environment for registration, supported by an international regulatory structure for domain name registration and registrar;

17.  Considers it necessary to establish clearly the scope of the responsibility of the national bodies administering the registers and of the service contractor, in the event of dispute; calls therefore on Member Governments to coordinate their Country Code top level domain registration policies and procedures, so that users are handled in a consistent manner and with effective dispute resolution policies, and further encourages the Commission to promote effective alternative dispute resolution procedures to reinforce the domain name registry codes of conduct;

18.  Calls on the Commission to address at the earliest opportunity the problem of disparities between national laws already in force or under preparation or discussion in the Member States; considers that, as a result of this review, the Commission should encourage self-regulation and legislation with the aim of fostering the development of the Internet in Europe by ensuring uniformity and transparency within the Union;

19.  Calls for a periodical evaluation of whether legislative action taken, or self-regulatory measures, have actually achieved the desired effect;

20.  Considers that the European regulatory strategies in the above areas should aim to become 'best practice' across the world Internet;

21.  Calls for the common Internet management standards to be included in the negotiating package up for discussion with the applicant countries, so as to ensure that those countries have the same legislation in this area as the rest of the Member States from the moment they join the EU;

22.  Draws attention to the link between the development of the Internet within the Union and liberalisation of the telecommunications industry and stresses the need for swift action to cut Internet access costs and extend flat-rate charging; calls therefore for the package of telecom proposals currently under discussion to be adopted at the earliest opportunity;

23.  Points to the importance of combating the digital divide by facilitating access to the Internet for the most disadvantaged sections of the population;

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

(1) OJ C 293, 14.10.2000, p.3.
(2) OJ C 377, 29.12.2000, p. 380.

Work of ACP/EU Assembly (2000)
European Parliament resolution on the proceedings of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly in 2000 (2000/2106(INI))

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the resolutions adopted by the Joint Assembly at its 30th session in Abuja (20 to 23 March 2000)(1) and by the Joint Parliamentary Assembly at its 1st session in Brussels (9 to 12 October 2000),

-  having regard to the Partnership Agreement between the African, Caribbean and Pacific States on the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, on the other part, signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000,

-  having regard to Part 2 (Institutional provisions) of that Agreement and in particular Article 17 (Joint Parliamentary Assembly) thereof,

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

-  having regard to the report of the Committee on Development and Cooperation (A5-0057/2001 ),

A.  whereas the significant events which have occurred in 2000 will leave their mark on the life and indeed the very identity of the Joint Assembly,

B.  whereas, building on the acquis established by the successive Lomé Conventions, the new Partnership Agreement - the Cotonou Agreement - transforms the relationship between the ACP States and the Community and its Member States,

C.  whereas partnership, and in particular political dialogue, is the cornerstone of the Cotonou Agreement; whereas all the partners, proceeding openly and honestly on the basis of that dialogue, should be in a position to make use of the Agreement to address any matter of common concern or general interest,

D.  whereas, in addition to the spheres of cooperation already encompassed within the successive Lomé Conventions, dialogue and political consultation are now to extend into new areas, namely peace and security questions, conflict prevention, management, and resolution, good governance, eradication of corruption, and emigration issues,

E.  whereas the Agreement contains innovative provisions to foster participatory approaches intended to ensure that civil society and economic and social players can help to shape the strategies and priorities that have hitherto fallen entirely within the province of governments; whereas it will consequently be necessary to seek ways of proceeding to reconcile the responsibilities of the different State institutional authorities with recognition of the growing role of non-State actors in the development process,

F.  having regard to the proposals drawn up by the representatives of economic and social sectors in the ACP and EU States to enable the provisions of the Cotonou Agreement to be brought genuinely to bear on the participation of non-State actors,

G.  whereas the Agreement strengthens the role of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly for the purposes of its implementation, explicitly requiring it to promote democratic processes through dialogue and consultation, thus giving expression to the resolve of both parties to cement their especially close relations on a footing of shared democratic values,

H.  whereas the Assembly will have to amend its Rules of Procedure to allow for the new responsibilities falling to it, because it will be called upon to act as a parliamentary body, promote democratic processes, engage in dialogue with civil society, and hold regional and subregional meetings,

1.  Applauds the significant contribution of the Joint Assembly to the discussions on the future of ACP-EU cooperation and its instrumental role in ensuring the success of the negotiations that led to the signing of the Cotonou Agreement;

2.  Welcomes the new Agreement, which constitutes a 20-year compact and strengthens the role of the Parliamentary Assembly as a factor that can make for its effective implementation;

3.  Calls on the national parliaments of the ACP States and the European Union Member States to ratify the Cotonou Agreement immediately;

4.  Welcomes the fact that good governance is a fundamental element of the Agreement, in keeping with the position of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly;

5.  Believes that the adjustments required to fit the Parliamentary Assembly into the new context created by the Cotonou Agreement should be used as an opportunity to begin a discussion with a view to redefining the Assembly's tasks and sphere of action and assessing its mode of operation;

6.  Maintains that the name, "Joint Parliamentary Assembly", introduced in the new Agreement cannot be regarded merely as a piece of rhetoric, but rather stands for the determination to make the Assembly a parliamentary body, which can contribute to overseeing compliance with the provisions of the Agreement by the governments of the EU and ACP signatory States and the Commission, promoting democratic processes through dialogue and consultation, working towards attaining the fundamental goals of cooperation and facilitating consolidation of the parliamentary dimension, the force and the democratic authenticity of the Agreement;

7.  Believes that, to give practical expression to the parliamentary nature of the Assembly, the European Parliament representatives must be encouraged to show greater commitment, the ACP representatives enabled to play a more active part on equal terms, and rules laid down whereby the attendance of delegates other than Members of Parliament would be deemed to constitute an absolute exception;

8.  Notes that in principle all delegates participating in votes must be members of their national parliaments or the European Parliament; considers that representatives who are not members of a parliament should participate only in exceptional circumstances after approval by the Joint Parliamentary Assembly;

9.  Considers it preferable to limit the number of plenary sittings in order to do more work in smaller committees where there would be more room for political dialogue;

10.  Considers that membership of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly should be determined for a fixed period, it being understood that the European Parliament and ACP parliaments could, at any time during that period, change the composition of their delegations, should circumstances so require;

11.  Considers it vital for the Joint Parliamentary Assembly to establish the conditions to be satisfied to enable it to assess and monitor democratic processes and to make them the subject of permanent dialogue;

12.  Considers that it is essential for the new "parliamentary" status of the Assembly to be accompanied by new parliamentary working methods and that, in consequence, in the discussion of appropriate Rules of Procedure, a new set of arrangements should be developed which will highlight the parliamentary character of the Assembly;

13.  Takes the view that formulae should be considered which will make it possible to redress the existing imbalance between the European representatives, who come from different political groups, with one person, one vote, and the ACP countries which are represented on a one-country, one-vote basis;

14.  Considers it important, therefore, to determine whether voting by separate houses might be abolished and a system introduced to reflect the political diversity of the ACP members, along the lines of the arrangements for the European members, whereby opposition Members of Parliament would be permitted to serve in the ACP delegations and members of the Assembly could form alliances based on political ideology, irrespective of their ACP or European nationality;

15.  Notes that the Joint Parliamentary Assembly has called for a clearly defined role for civil society both as regards general implementation of the Agreement and more specifically for the purposes of devising, framing, carrying out, and assessing development programmes; urges the ACP-EU partners to consider as soon as possible what practical means might be employed to bring this about; likewise believes that the Assembly itself will have to lay down criteria with a view to selecting actors to take part in its projected dialogue;

16.  Points to the importance of civil society in the ACP countries in the context of sustainable development and to the consequent need for its targeted involvement in development policy measures from the planning stage through to implementation, which includes continuing dialogue with non-governmental organisations on the development policy objectives being pursued;

17.  Points out that the fact that the political dimension has been fully encompassed within the Partnership Agreement constitutes a significant innovation; points to the need for the political dialogue to be established officially and to take shape at regular top-level meetings between the ACP and EU countries; notes in this connection that the Joint Parliamentary Assembly will be called upon to act as the prime mover of the dialogue, especially since the Cotonou Agreement includes specific guidelines regarding the promotion of democratic processes;

18.  Considers that the inclusion of conflict prevention, management, and resolution lays the foundations for joint action to stabilise and pacify troubled regions in the ACP area; deplores the fact, however, that the text of the Agreement has omitted the European Parliament proposal for a conflict prevention procedure to be incorporated in every national or regional indicative programme;

19.  Takes the view that the Joint Parliamentary Assembly must approach the debate on conflict prevention by tackling structural factors such as economic inequalities, social injustice, control of natural resources etc., with a view to establishing a genuine conflict prevention policy;

20.  Notes the new provision of the Cotonou Agreement whereby the ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly may hold regional meetings, opening up the possibility of entering into dialogue with all the relevant political groupings in a region and also of involving non-governmental players; considers that, in this context, a basis for regional cooperation which is also in line with the wishes of the ACP countries must be created in the framework of the new Rules of Procedure;

21.  Takes the view that the regional meetings of the JPA must be held after a thoroughgoing debate establishing a clear definition of their objectives and operational rules and with the involvement where applicable of the regional parliaments, with a view to ensuring that the work of these meetings is followed up;

22.  Calls on the governing bodies of the European Parliament and its political groups, as well as on the Members of the European Parliament who serve in the Joint Parliamentary Assembly, to ensure that the Assembly is granted the political importance it deserves as the foremost forum in which cooperation is pursued with representatives of developing countries and peoples; calls likewise on the leaders of the political groups to appoint members to the Assembly who are genuinely interested in development issues and committed to working for the Assembly as a matter of unquestionable priority;

23.  Proposes that the annual session which the ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly holds in Europe should take place in a different EU capital every year, for instance in the country holding the Council presidency, since this will enable Assembly proceedings to be brought to wider notice among Community citizens, as well as affording an opportunity for the ACP representatives to become more familiar with the EU Member States;

24.  Notes that the European Development Fund is of crucial importance to the implementation of the Cotonou Agreement and concludes that the opinions of the European Parliament and the Council differ as to the operation, interpretation and democratic accountability of the European Development Fund; proposes placing the European Development Fund on the agenda of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly each year with a view to informing members of the Assembly of the European Parliament's view regarding the achievement aims adopted in the context of this particular budget item, and to promoting a further exchange of views;

25.  Believes that the efficiency of the Parliamentary Assembly should be enhanced through the setting-up of parliamentary committees meeting in parallel during the week of the Parliamentary Assembly session and if necessary in the period between the sessions; considers that the results of their activities would need to be validated by the Parliamentary Assembly at the end of each session; considers that these committees will allow for an in-depth treatment of the issues and better communication between the parliamentarians;

26.  Considers that topics of discussion for these parliamentary committees could be "Democracy, Good Governance and Violent Conflict", "Budget", "Trade", "Education and Health", "Agriculture and Food Safety", "Information Technology, Infrastructure and Transportation";

27.  Points out that the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly could perform a very useful role in coordinating the views of those representing EU peoples and representatives of partner countries with the aim of making cooperation effective and working out agreed platforms for action in bodies such as the WTO and other similar international - but not only intergovernmental - organisations; considers from that point of view that the ACP-EU Assembly should explore the desirability and feasibility of establishing a world parliament in conjunction with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) based on fair representation of the developing countries;

28.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the ACP-EU Council of Ministers, the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, the parliaments of the Member States, the parliaments of the ACP States and the Commission.

(1) OJ C 263, 13.9.2000, p.17.

Biotechnology industry
European Parliament resolution on the Future of the Biotechnology Industry (2000/2100(INI))

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the Presidency Conclusions of the Lisbon European Council of 23-24 March 2000(1) ,

-  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) )(2) ,

-  having regard to its position of 12 April 2000 on the Council common position for adopting a European Parliament and Council directive on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms and repealing Council Directive 90/220/EEC (11216/1/1999 - C5-0012/2000 - 1998/0072(COD) )(3) ,

-  having regard to European Parliament and Council Decision No 182/1999/EC of 22 December 1998 on the fifth framework programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (1998 to 2002)(4) ,

-  having regard to the Communication of the Commission on 'Making a reality of the European Research Area: Guidelines for EU research activities (2002-2006)' [COM(2000) 612 [,

-  having regard to Directive 98/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 1998 on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions(5) ,

-  having regard to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity of 29 January 2000, signed by the European Community on 24 May 2000,

-  having regard to the European Charter of Fundamental Rights proclaimed by the European Council in December 2000,

-  having regard to the European Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine of the Council of Europe, signed on 4 April 1997,

-  having regard to the document of the OECD entitled "Intellectual Property Practices in the Field of Biotechnology” of 1 February 1999(6) ,

-  having regard to Rule 163 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 the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy and the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (A5-0080/2001 ),

A.  whereas the Lisbon European Council set the European Union the new strategic goal of becoming the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion,

B.  whereas developments in biotechnology may carry benefits for health care, agriculture, the protection and restoration of our environment, and in helping to combat the problems brought about by population growth and changing environmental conditions in the developing world,

C.  whereas biotechnology has the ability to increase our understanding of living organisms and natural processes and of opening the possibility of designing more sustainable solutions to food production, the treatment of disease and industrial production,

D.  whereas applications of biotechnology are likely to develop rapidly over the next few years and have major economic, industrial and social implications in Europe and globally,

E.  whereas the policy of encouraging high-tech knowledge-based industries is especially relevant to the biotechnology industry, which has been singled out as an area with great potential for growth and for creating prosperity and employment, and whereas action taken by some Member States and regions to help the industry prosper has had positive results,


F.  whereas there needs to be in place a legal and regulatory framework which is efficient, transparent, effective and predictable at EU and national levels in order for the industry to operate and develop in an orderly manner,

G.  whereas GM health care and plant products necessarily have to pass very stringent tests to be authorised, but the present authorisation process is slow, cumbersome and inefficient and lacks transparency,

H.  whereas biotechnology is not a narrowly specific sector but crosses boundaries in science and industry (molecular biology, chemistry, physics, medicine, informatics, pharmaceuticals, agriculture) and therefore involves several departments in the Commission and Member State governments,

I.  whereas the success of biotech start-ups would be greatly increased by provision of high quality infrastructure and support and advice networks,

J.  whereas it is necessary for biotechnology research to be given an ethical dimension because of the implications it may have, in particular, for the field of genetics,

Industry, research and employment

K.  whereas basic research, applied research and development are essential to this industry and the costs of these are considerable and long-term,

L.  whereas many biotechnology companies are SMEs which need incentives to invest in research, to have access to research funding and encouragement to co-operate and collaborate with universities and industry, including internationally,

M.  whereas patents and intellectual property rights are essential to encourage research, innovation, investment and placing products on the market,

N.  whereas the success of the industry in the US has benefited greatly from attracting scientists, entrepreneurs and experienced managers from around the world including from the EU,

O.  whereas there is a shortage of skilled persons in European science, information technology, business and finance,


P.  whereas European financial markets have improved but are still inadequate as regards initial funding for high-risk start-up companies and providing exit facilities for early-stage investors; whereas the European Investment Bank and its European Investment Fund (EIF) the Innovation 2000 Initiative, have nonetheless contributed much,

Q.  whereas financial and fiscal incentives are important for the encouragement of innovation and marketing in biotechnology,

Health care

R.  whereas the pharmaceutical market in Europe is not sufficiently open and competitive and thereby discourages innovation and reduces consumer choice and public health standards,

S.  whereas a clear assessment of the current situation of the health care biotechnology industry in Europe is required, similar to that carried out on the pharmaceutical industry as a whole and whereas the importance of biotechnology requires a dialogue between interested parties,

T.  whereas Regulation (EC) No 141/2000 of the European Parliament and the Council of 16 December 1999 on orphan medicinal products has been shown to be a powerful piece of legislation able to promote innovation in health care biotechnology and the development of new drugs for patients with rare diseases,

Environment, agriculture and food

U.  whereas in some cases GM plants cannot be isolated, and controlled environmental assessments in laboratory and field are essential to promote understanding of their impact,

V.  whereas organic production of food is not at present a viable alternative for adequately feeding and nurturing everyone in the EU and in the developing world at acceptable cost,

W.  whereas the present effective moratorium on GM plant introductions and trials damages SMEs more than multinationals which are better able to outlive the delays,


X.  whereas the de facto moratorium on genetically modified products has brought about a trade dispute with the United States of America where GM foods are not considered to be unacceptable or significantly different from conventional varieties,

Y.  whereas developing countries identify GM crops as one means of meeting the needs of their increasing populations, of countering desertification and water shortage and of eliminating disabilities such as blindness caused by Vitamin A deficiency,

Z.  whereas in applicant countries there is potential for biotechnology as long as EU-compatible legislation and regulatory frameworks are established,

AA.  whereas the Cartagena protocol established strict international regulations regarding the movement of GM crops across borders,

Public information and debate

AB.  whereas it is the responsibility of political decision-makers, as well as industry, to ensure that the benefits outweigh the risks, and to make information on the subject more accessible to the citizen,

AC.  whereas some developments and applications of this technology raise new and difficult ethical, religious, environmental and animal welfare concerns that need to be addressed,

AD.  whereas there is a cultural tendency to risk-aversion in Europe, especially in comparison to the USA, and this has an inhibiting effect on the European biotechnology industry,

AE.  whereas support from European citizens is essential for the industry to prosper and at present that support is sceptical, if not negative,


1.  Resolves to support the development of biotechnology in the European Union to the benefit of its citizens, with a higher quality of life in the form of a cleaner environment and improved health, and calls on the other EU institutions and Member States to do likewise;

2.  Expects the biotechnology industry to be placed prominently on the agenda of the next European Council; expects the European Council in Stockholm to designate biotechnology as an important economic sector and an integral part of the Lisbon process to create a competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy offering sustainable economic growth;

3.  Calls on the Commission to report on the present state of the biotechnology industry in the Member States and on this basis to develop an action plan for Bio-Europe to make the EU competitive for the biotechnology industry;

4.  Calls on the Commission to submit to the European Parliament and the Council this Action Plan, which is to be coordinated by DG Enterprise;

5.  Calls upon the Commission to revive the relevant Advisory and Scientific Committees; specifically urges the Commission to consult industry within the Advisory Committees prior to its proposals and to state the reasons for action taken contrary to the scientific advice of the Scientific Committees;

6.  Urges Member States to designate an enterprise orientated ministry to promote and co-ordinate biotechnology policy at national level; recommends also that the Commission co-ordinate, at European level, the biotechnology policies of the Member States;


7.  Considers the idea of the European Research Area very relevant to the biotechnology industry: notably the need to spend more on research at national level and co-ordinate efforts at EU level, to develop centres of excellence, to enhance infrastructure and encourage inter-disciplinary research;

8.  Supports continued and increased EU research funding of life sciences and other areas of potential advance in biotechnology and genetics;

9.  Calls on the Member States of the European Union to increase funding for universities for the creation of new degree courses, research doctorates and short degree courses in biotechnology and to upgrade those that already exist;

10.  Calls on the Member States to make the career of researcher attractive in both financial and social terms so as to reflect the important role they play in the progress of civil society; in particular, calls on the Member States to ensure that researchers receive salaries and recognition equivalent to and/or competitive with those in economically more advanced countries outside Europe;

11.  Sees the need to encourage young people to enter the field of biotechnology by offering more degree courses and research fellowships;

12.  Urges the streamlining of administrative procedures for EU-funded research programmes;

13.  Urges Member States to encourage collaboration and investment by industry in biotechnology research in universities and public institutes; while at the same time tax concessions are required to provide an incentive to enterprises; considers that the public sector should now assign priority to fundamental research;

Industry, employment and SMEs

14.  Supports moves to encourage academics and entrepreneurs to set up companies and to promote collaboration and mobility between universities, SMEs and industry by means of a helpful financial, fiscal and intellectual-property environment;

15.  Urges all Member States speedily to ratify Directive 98/44/EC on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions and to support moves towards a single EC patent;

16.  Urges Europe to attract top foreign scientists, managers and entrepreneurs by ample quotas for immigration and work permits;

17.  Stresses the role of regional government in providing infrastructure, networks, support and advice mechanisms and science-orientated education;

18.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that SMEs can participate fully in European research programmes;


19.  Welcomes the development of financial markets, in particular venture capital, but stresses the need for further steps to facilitate the funding of biotechnology start-ups;

20.  Urges, therefore, the creation and availability of new financial resources for start-ups at the early stage (seed stage) in order to increase the survival rate of start-ups;

21.  Urges further rationalisation of European stock markets so as to encourage investment in biotechnology and provide an exit route for early stage investors;

22.  Calls on Member States to introduce an environment friendly to risk-taking, inter alia by amending bankruptcy law, with tax incentives for science-related investment and the take-up of stock options;

Health care

23.  Believes that biotechnological industries have the potential to make a major contribution to human health and wellbeing; congratulates researchers in the field who have made enormous strides towards finding effective genetically based treatments for numerous conditions; further notes, however, that the promise of such techniques can be realised only if public concerns over safety, ethics and social justice are addressed.

24.  Reiterates its support for the European Medicines Evaluation Agency, but also welcomes the review of the authorisation and clinical trials procedures as a means to streamline the process;

25.  Urges the EMEA to institute a process of pre-approval discussions with developers of new medicines in order to ease the procedure and reduce costs;

26.  Calls on the European Commission to develop proposals for EU "fast track review" and "conditional approval" legislation that will facilitate patient access to innovative treatments for life-threatening, chronic, seriously debilitating or rare diseases;

27.  Believes that EU pharmaceutical markets throughout the development chain must be more competitive to encourage the development of new medical products,

28.  Calls on the Commission to carry out regular assessments of the current situation of the healthcare biotechnology industry in Europe and to put in place a regular dialogue with interested parties to discuss the future of the industry;

29.  Urges the Community and Member States to maintain their commitment to reducing the use of animals in medical experiments as rapidly as possible, inter alia by ensuring that biotechnology's potential to develop alternative testing techniques is fully exploited, while the development of new animal-based testing methods in pursuit of biotechnological research should be allowed only when no alternatives can be found and where the benefits are clear and substantial.

Environment, agriculture and food

30.  Strongly supports reducing the use of pesticides and herbicides through the application of biotechnology provided this reduction is reached through mechanism and technologies which do not pose new long- or short- term risks to the environment or human health;

31.  Supports efforts to develop biotechnological and genetic engineering procedures in the EU as one way of improving the economic viability of agriculture and food production in a manner which is at the same time environmentally sustainable; considers that the use of biotechnology and genetic engineering should be developed in a customer-based and environmentally sound manner with the aim of producing higher-quality and more diverse products, from which farmers who are currently facing viability problems will also derive more economic benefit;

32.  Opposes the view that, in medicine, gene technology and biotechnology are primarily associated with opportunities, whereas in agriculture they are primarily associated with risks. Is much more inclined to believe that in both areas there are major opportunities which should be taken advantage of, but also significant risks which need to be reduced by means of appropriate legislation.

33.  Points out the importance of field trials to assess environmental impact and of the legal protection of those undertaking these trials; calls on the Commission to develop tools for measuring the net environmental impact when new technology is introduced; calls on the Commission to perform comparative research to ascertain whether it is possible to attain more sustainable results with the aid of the new technology than by means of conventional intensive farming;

34.  Observes that the existing de facto moratorium particularly harms small and medium-sized enterprises which, unlike multinational corporations, are often unable to perform their research work in countries outside the EU;

35.  Welcomes the agreement reached between Council and Parliament in the conciliation committee on the amendment of the directive on the release of genetically modified organisms and the assurances given by the Commission in that connection with regard to labelling and traceability;

36.  Welcomes the establishment of the European Food Safety Authority which should restore consumer confidence, reduce international conflicts and have overall responsibility for the approval of GM products; stresses that the critical ingredients of any credible and successful system for assessing food safety are its technical-scientific competence in risk assessment and its independence from improper interference in decision-making in individual cases; emphasises that independence cannot be assured if decision-making remains in the hands of political bodies;

37.  Calls for obligatory mutagenicity, carcinogenicity and toxicity tests to be carried out on transgenic foods before they are placed on the market;

38.  Stresses the importance of informing the public truthfully and openly about the safety checks which are made and the extent of any residual risk;

39.  Affirms the right of EU citizens to information about food products and calls on the Commission to complete the rules on labelling of genetically modified organisms and to allow de minimis exceptions only where they are technically unavoidable;

40.  Emphasises the need to establish a centralised procedure for the assessment of GM products which is able to provide an authoritative EU wide scientific consensus on the risk assessment of new products; these assessments should form the basis for risk management decisions;

41.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to support research into biotechnological applications offering clear social or environmental benefits, including the development of genetically modified micro-organisms for use in water purification, soil restoration, replacing dangerous chemicals currently in use, and developing sustainable and environmentally friendly energy sources (including biogas, hydrogen and ethanol);

42.  Considers that in order to prevent centralisation which would render farmers dependent on large food businesses, sufficient publicly funded research must be ensured, R&D by small biotechnology enterprises and by plant-breeding institutes must be supported, and maximum competitiveness must be maintained at the various stages in the food chain;

43.  Considers that the use of new technologies, for example for medicinal purposes or other non-food production, affords new opportunities for production, particularly in regions where bulk production is not economically viable because of environmental conditions.

44.  Considers that the new crop varieties could alleviate the adverse impact of agriculture on the environment, and calls on the Commission to develop instruments for measuring the net environmental impact of introducing new technology.

45.  Calls on the Commission to assess carefully the phenomena, the cycles and the possible waste products resulting from biotechnological applications so that biotechnological products can be assessed at every stage, from initial research to actual use.

46.  Urges the authorities of the Community and Member States to outlaw techniques which could pose a threat to health or the environment, including the use of antibiotic-resistant genes that could spread into the environment.

International and enlargement

47.  Believes that biotech applications can help reduce agricultural, environmental and health problems in developing countries; therefore considers that they should be encouraged to develop their own biotech industries and supports their involvement in the prioritising of relevant EU research programmes and in trade debates;

48.  Believes that, in order to avoid a growing gap between rich and poor countries in utilising the benefits of biotechnology, the latter require technical assistance in order to develop their own skills, industries and markets;

49.  Urges the Commission to make an assessment of the biotechnology industry in applicant countries and of the adequacy of their regulatory arrangements;

50.  Supports involving of EU applicant countries in biotechnological research networks and debates;

51.  Urges the Commission to work on establishing an internationally agreed system of equivalence as regards the authorisation of GMOs in order to put in place a scientifically sound, economically viable and practical system safeguarding environmental protection, public health and the undisrupted international trade of such products;

52.  Calls for greater collaboration between the EMEA, the future EFA and the FDA in the area of biotechnologies and GM foods;

53.  Welcomes the EU-US biotechnology forum as a means to obviate and resolve disputes;

54.  Identifies the Codex Alimentarius as the forum in which disputes over biotechnologies are voiced;

Public information and debate

55.  Stresses the importance of improving the quality of scientific education and the level of knowledge in the field of biotechnology, not only in terms of fundamental principles but also of their applications to various sectors (such as the biomedical sector, the food industry and the environment), in both secondary schools and universities and among graduates in specific disciplines (medicine, biology, pharmacy, agriculture and industrial chemistry);

56.  Recommends that, in order to provide students with scientifically sound and objective information in the biotechnology field, the Member States should introduce university training courses for secondary school biology teachers;

57.  Calls on the industry to take an active role in informing the public of the benefits and risks of genetic engineering;

58.  Calls on Member States and the Commission to organise public fora on biotechnology in order to explain the benefits and to discuss the issues related thereto whereby all viewpoints are respected so that it may become possible to reach a common understanding between industry, the public and politicians on how we want to use this technology to the benefit of society;

59.  Wishes the technology to be exploited to the benefit of society in accordance with the fundamental values and ethical principles of European citizens, their culture and civilisation, and to this end sees the need to develop ethical guidelines;

60.  Acknowledges the valuable consultative role of the European Group of Ethics in Science and New Technologies;

61.  Stresses that the public's wish for ethically motivated limits on genetic engineering and biotechnology is justified and that the European Union has already set certain limits, for example in the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the directive on clinical tests and the Fifth Framework Programme of Research; undertakes, particularly after the conclusion of the work of the Temporary Committee on Human Genetics and Other New Technologies of Modern Medicine, to consider whether further limits are necessary and appropriate at European level;

62.  Stresses that personal genetic information belongs to fundamental privacy rights and therefore needs to be protected from access and further use by third parties such as insurance companies, employers, public authorities, commercial interest and others;

63.  Considers that the use of and access to personal genetic information by third parties should be debated with a view to legislation, which should particularly focus on protecting the individual's personal integrity and on the requirement to obtain the consent of the person concerned;

64.  Urges Member States to protect individuals" right to genetic confidentiality and ensure that genetic profiling is used for purposes beneficial to individual patients and society as a whole; there should be an exception to this general principle of confidentiality where the genetic fingerprints held in DNA databases are used to identify and convict criminals.

o   o

65.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, to the governments of the Member States and the candidate countries, and to the World Trade Organisation.

(1) Council Press Release, Lisbon, 24.3.2000.
(2) OJ C 59, 23.2.2001, p. 250.
(3) OJ C 40, 7.2.2001, p. 123.
(4) OJ L 26, 1.2.1999, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 213, 30.7.1998, p. 13.
(6) OECD, TD/TC/WP(98)15/FINAL.

Access to medicines for AIDS patients in the Third World
European Parliament resolution on access to drugs for HIV/AIDS victims in the Third World

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to its previous resolutions on AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases,

A.  whereas 95% of people infected with HIV live in the developing world, including more than 25 million in sub-Saharan Africa, one of the world's most infected regions,

B.  whereas over half of all new cases are amongst young people under the age of 25, who make up the most economically active part of the population, and each 15-year-old in South Africa has a 50% risk of becoming infected and dying from AIDS,

C.  whereas it is predicted that in South Africa, where 1 in 10 South Africans are HIV positive, HIV/AIDS will reduce life expectancy by 20 years by 2010, and whereas hundreds of thousands of South Africans die every year from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria,

D.  whereas anti-retroviral drugs have already reduced the number of AIDS deaths in Europe and the USA by 75%, but the price of these drugs keeps these medicines out of reach of millions of infected people, notably in Africa,

E.  whereas the Commission's February 2001 Communication on a Programme of Actions to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis includes a commitment to tiered pricing where developing countries pay the lowest possible price for medicines, an acknowledgement of the possibility of exploring the best use of compulsory licensing systems and a commitment to launch a debate in the WTO on reconciling the TRIPS agreements with the objectives of health protection in developing countries,

F.  whereas Article 31 of the WTO/TRIPS Agreement permits a country to enact national laws permitting the use of a patented product without the authorisation of the patent-holder (compulsory licensing) under certain specified circumstances,

G.  whereas many drugs are unaffordable because of patents which allow the companies a monopoly for 20 years from the date when the patent is filed,

H.  whereas the court case between 39 pharmaceutical companies and the South African Government over the terms of its 1997 Medicines Act has now been adjourned in order that the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of South Africa can provide the information requested by Judge Ngoepe,

I.  whereas the Kenyan Government has announced its intention to implement a law that would allow it to obtain cheap life-saving medicines, under the provisions of the current TRIPS Agreement,

J.  whereas the US has taken legal action in the framework of the TRIPS Agreement at the WTO against Brazil, which has shown that through improvements in its health care system, combined with the provision of generic medicines, it is possible to halve the mortality rate of people with AIDS, for allowing the national production of generic medicines,

K.  whereas the EU has asked the new US Administration to work with it on an initiative to get anti-AIDS drugs to the developing world at prices it can afford and this issue will be dealt with at the EU-US June 2001 Summit in Stockholm,

L.  whereas tropical diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and sleeping sickness kill millions of people each year, particularly because of the increase in resistance or the non-existence of treatments due to research having been abandoned simply on grounds of commercial profitability,

1.  Calls for the development of a system allowing developing countries equitable access to medicines and vaccines at affordable prices, while expressing its solidarity and support for the Governments of South Africa and Kenya in their struggle to use WTO-compliant legislation to gain access to the cheapest possible life-saving medicines;

2.  In this context welcomes the statement by Commissioner Lamy that the Commission supports the right of developing countries to use the safeguards in the WTO/TRIPS Agreement, including compulsory licensing, and the commitment by the Commission to launch a debate in the WTO on reconciling the TRIPS Agreement with objectives regarding health protection in developing countries;

3.  Calls on the pharmaceutical companies that issued a legal challenge to the South African 1997 Medicines Act to withdraw from the case;

4.  While respecting the intellectual property rights of the pharmaceutical industry, calls on the Commission to strengthen the ability of developing countries to resist the pressure to introduce more stringent patent laws than those currently required under the WTO TRIPS Agreement;

5.  Calls on the Commission to work with the Member States to show international leadership in the struggle for life-saving medicines by encouraging technology transfer and support for the strengthening and/or development of local production capacity;

6.  Calls for the current review of the TRIPS Agreement to ensure that the rights of developing countries to obtain the cheapest possible life-saving medicines, whether patented or generic, are guaranteed, and further calls on all the interested parties to actively engage in this process;

7.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the WTO, the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and the OAU.

Situation in Afghanistan including the destruction of its cultural heritage
European Parliament resolution on Afghanistan

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Afghanistan, including its resolution of 30 November 2000(1) ,

-  having regard to the UNESCO resolution on assistance to Afghanistan, adopted on 29 April 1999,

-  having regard to UN Security Council Resolution 1333/2000 of 19 December 2000,

-  having regard to the Council common positions of 22 January 2001(2) and 21 February 2001,

-  having regard to the Protocol to the 1954 Hague Convention on the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict,

A.  whereas the establishment of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan has led to systematic discrimination and constant repression, in particular against women, and extremely serious health problems,

B.  whereas Afghan women of all ages are being subjected to a system of segregation and oppression sanctioned by the law in all areas, whether private, economic or political,

C.  whereas a decree issued by the Taliban fundamentalist authorities has stated that the presence of statues in the country is contrary to Islam and has ordered the destruction of those statues, which are symbolic of several cultures and religions,

D.  whereas this decree represents an irreparable attack on the world historic and cultural heritage and on the Afghan identity,

E.  whereas there has been widespread condemnation from the international community, and in particular the Muslim world,

F.  noting with interest the criticism of these measures made by the Pakistani authorities,

G.  shocked at the continued forced displacements and massacres perpetrated against non-Pashtoon populations, in particular the Hazaras,

H.  having regard to the expansionist aspirations of the Taliban regime and, as a result, the exporting of terrorism beyond Afghanistan's borders, threatening peace and stability in Central Asia,

I.  whereas Afghanistan is faced with a tragic humanitarian situation, resulting from the combined effects of the war which is tearing the country apart and the drought affecting it,

J.  whereas Afghanistan is facing the threat of famine from droughts, and whereas it is one of the countries which will be most heavily affected by climate change,

K.  whereas, under the new Council common position, the Member States have undertaken:

to take the necessary measures to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1333/2000,
to help find a political solution to the conflict in Afghanistan, guaranteeing peace, stability and respect for human rights,
to supply effective humanitarian aid to the civilian population,

1.  Strongly condemns and expresses its deep indignation at the Taliban's decision to destroy the Bamiyan and the National Museum statues, this being an unprecedented offence against human civilisation and the feelings of Buddhists;

2.  Welcomes the strong reactions of the international community, including those of the Islamic Organisation for Education, Science and Culture and the Arab Group in UNESCO;

3.  Believes that this decision adds a further, shocking element to the appalling record of human rights abuses of the Taliban regime, well known for its politics of gender apartheid and systematic oppression of virtually every single individual liberty;

4.  Recognises again that Afghan women are the first victims of the regime imposed by the Taliban, recalls that women's rights form an integral and indivisible part of the universal rights of all human beings, and calls on the Council and the Commission to put forward proposals at the meeting of the UN Commission on Human Rights, due to be held in Geneva in 2001;

5.  Condemns the physical and psychological violence suffered by Afghan women and young girls, who are subjected to a system of segregation laid down by Taliban law, whose prohibitions are neither based on religion nor the result of local cultural traditions, but are part of a system of gender-based discrimination;

6.  Condemns the continued displacement and massacre of certain minority groups and, in particular, the murder of more than 300 Hazaras in the province of Bamiyan in January 2001;

7.  Is convinced that only stronger international pressure on the Taliban and the countries which support them - Pakistan and Saudi Arabia - can bring the Taliban regime to alter its policy, in particular vis-à-vis women;

8.  Calls, in particular, on Pakistan to close down the Taliban recruitment centres and their Islamic schools in Pakistan immediately;

9.  Welcomes the Council's new common position, calls on the Member States and the Council to ensure that it is applied in a consistent manner and reiterates its request to the Council to make a political contribution to restoring peace to Afghanistan inter alia by coordinating its initiatives with the neighbouring countries, especially Russia, India and Iran;

10.  Warmly welcomes the UN Security Council resolution and welcomes the entry into force of sanctions, given that the Taliban authorities have failed to respond to the demands made in that resolution;

11.  Calls on the Taliban authorities to apply immediately and unconditionally UN Security Council Resolutions 1333/2000 and 1267/1999;

12.  Calls on the United Nations to undertake adequate investigations into the killing of civilians, and urges the UN to promptly establish an independent commission of enquiry into human rights violations in Afghanistan, as requested by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson;

13.  Calls on Afghanistan's neighbours to keep their borders open to refugees and calls on the Commission and the Member States to provide host countries with support as a matter of urgency;

14.  Calls on the Commission to spare no effort to assist the population and insists again on the need to consider rapidly how an emergency food depot could be set up in Dushanbe for people in northern Afghanistan;

15.  Calls on the Commission to do everything within its power to ensure that NGOs can provide humanitarian aid to people in Afghanistan and that this aid is made available without discrimination to Afghan women;

16.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Taliban authorities, the Northern Alliance, and the governments of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, India, China, Russia, Iran, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, UNESCO and the Arab Group in UNESCO, the Islamic Organisation for Education and the United Nations Security Council.

(1) Texts Adopted, Item 11.
(2) OJ L 21, 23.1.2001, p. 1.

Human rights: Situation in Zimbabwe
European Parliament resolution on the situation in Zimbabwe

The European Parliament,

-  recalling its previous resolutions on the situation in Zimbabwe of 13 April 2000(1) , 18 May 2000(2) , and 6 July 2000(3) ,

A.  whereas the ongoing breakdown of the rule of law in Zimbabwe is the direct result of the renewed cycle of violence and intimidation initiated by President Mugabe against his political opponents,

B.  whereas Mrs Gloria Olds, the mother of murdered farmer Martin Olds, was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds on 4 March 2001,

C.  whereas the Zimbabwean police are treating the incident as a simple case of armed robbery and murder and are refusing to investigate any political motive for the attack, which is in line with previous refusals to investigate crimes that are suspected to have a political and Government-inspired motive,

D.  whereas Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay has been forced into retirement and will be replaced by Government nominee Godfrey Chidyausiku, and whereas Chief Justice Gubbay has received a written assurance that his formal retirement will be in July and that the independence of other judges will be respected,

E.  whereas a disproportionate share of redistributed land has gone to supporters of President Mugabe, and whereas this has compounded the problems of land ownership in Zimbabwe,

F.  whereas there is deep concern about the increasing use of the Law and Order Maintenance Act, which has been declared unconstitutional but has not yet been taken off the Statute Book,

G.  whereas free media and an independent judiciary are fundamental components of democracy, and whereas Zimbabwe has signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 19 of which enshrines the right to freedom of expression, and the Commonwealth Harare Declaration which includes a commitment to an independent judiciary,

H.  whereas the Commonwealth has decided to send a fact-finding team to Zimbabwe, to report back to the meeting of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group in London on 19 and 20 March 2001,

I.  whereas according to the Amani Trust in January and February 2001, 331 people were affected by violence in Zimbabwe, and of these 78.8% were farmers, farmworkers and civilians, 15.3% were MDC supporters, including people at rallies and MDC officials, and just 5.9% were Zanu-PF supporters, including officials and war veterans,

J.  whereas the Supreme Court ruled on 30 January 2001 that the attempt by the Government of Zimbabwe to ban the MDC challenging the June 2000 election results in 37 constituencies was unconstitutional,

K.  whereas the Government deficit is nearly 30% of GDP, hospitals and shops face severe shortages, it is estimated that Zimbabwe needs $ Zim 2.2 billion to pay for its monthly fuel imports, the country faces a potential food deficit of 120 000 tonnes of wheat and serious food shortages are already being forecast for Matabeleland, where there is no grain left,

L.  whereas the Government of Zimbabwe has been fuelling the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo by sending troops and equipment, and is spending a large part of its State budget in support of its military intervention in the DRC,

M.  whereas the Commission has started political dialogue with Zimbabwe under Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement,

N.  whereas the European Union, through its various aid programmes and budget allocations, committed EUR 127.9 million to Zimbabwe in the period 1996-2000,

1.  Strongly condemns all action taken by the Government of Zimbabwe to silence dissent, such as the recent crackdown on press freedoms, including a series of attacks on journalists and the independent press for which no-one has ever been charged, the intimidation and expulsion of BBC Correspondent Joseph Winter and Mercedes Sayagues, working for the South African Mail and Guardian, and the bomb attack on 28 January 2001 on the printing presses of the Daily News, Zimbabwe's only daily independent newspaper;

2.  Welcomes the statement on 12 February 2001 by Param Cumaraswamy, UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, on the forced resignation of Chief Justice Gubbay and allegations that the Government of Zimbabwe called upon judges to seek early retirement, and calls on the Government to comply with its obligations under international law and stop harassing and intimidating members of the judiciary;

3.  Condemns the sustained campaign of murder, violence, intimidation and harassment by President Mugabe and the ruling Zanu-PF Party against political opponents, farmworkers, white farmers and homosexuals;

4.  Condemns President Mugabe's decision on 6 October 2000 to grant amnesty to anyone liable to criminal prosecution for politically motivated crimes committed during the period 1 January 2000 to 31 July 2000, and calls for an urgent, thorough and impartial investigation of all serious crimes and other human rights abuses which occurred before, during and after the Elections in June 2000;

5.  Notes that the recent by-elections in Marondera West and Bikita West were marred by violence and intimidation;

6.  Urges the EU to increase pressure on the Government of Zimbabwe to respect its own land legislation and the tenure rights of both local and foreign investors, and further urges the Government of Zimbabwe to resolve the question of land distribution through legal, democratic, non-violent and transparent mechanisms;

7.  Calls on the Commission and Member States to suspend all development cooperation assistance which is currently being managed through the Zimbabwean Government and its agencies, until such time as democracy and the rule of law have been fully restored to that country;

8.  Calls on the Commission and Member States to identify overseas assets held by President Mugabe and his supporters;

9.  Calls on the Council and the Commission to consider targeted action against the Zimbabwean Government and to commence consultations under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement;

10.  Urges the EU to channel its social and poverty alleviation programmes only through Non-Governmental Organisations;

11.  Reiterates its call to the Zimbabwean Government to withdraw its armed forces from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and to devote its financial resources to improving the living conditions of its citizens;

12.  Recognises that the stability of Zimbabwe is particularly important at this time because of the forthcoming Presidential elections, which must be held by 31 March 2002;

13.  Notes that the preparation for these elections should include a commitment from the Government of Zimbabwe that election observers, including international observers, will be permitted, that the voters' role will be reviewed and that assistance will be given to those encouraging registration;

14.  Expresses its concern that Morgan Tsvangirai, President of the MDC, has been charged in the Magistrate's Court in Harare for his alleged call for President Mugabe to stand down, and further fears that this is an attempt to deprive him of the right to stand in Presidential elections;

15.  Condemns the treatment of Chief Justice Gubbay, and the death threats against the remaining judges, as unconstitutional action which is deliberately calculated to undermine the legal accountability of the government;

16.  Calls on the Member States, the Council and the Commission to increase the pressure on Zimbabwe by constantly conveying concerns on the human rights situation in the country in any diplomatic contacts with the Zimbabwean authorities;

17.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council and the Member State Governments and the Government and Parliament of Zimbabwe, the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, the Secretary-General of the OAU and the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.

(1) OJ C 40, 7.2.2001, p. 425.
(2) OJ C 59, 23.2.2001, p. 241.
(3) Texts Adopted, Item 13.

Human rights: Children kidnapped by their parents
European Parliament resolution on children abducted by their parents

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the Convention on the Rights of the Child,

-  having regard to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and notably Article 24 on the rights of the child,

-  having regard to the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on civil aspects of international child abduction,

-  having regard to the European Convention of 20 May 1980 on the recognition and enforcement of decisions concerning custody of children and the restoration of custody of children,

-  having regard to the Hague Convention of 19 October 1996 on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition, enforcement and cooperation in respect of parental responsibility and measures for the protection of children,

A.  whereas in September 1994 Marie de Brouwer (of Belgian nationality) left Belgium and separated from her husband Olivier Limet (also of Belgian nationality) to start a new life in Kenya; they have three children, Coraline (born 1986), Jim (born 1988) and Samuel (born 1992),

B.  whereas, on the basis of an agreement between the two parents, a ruling was handed down by the Belgian Justice of the Peace in February 1995; custody of the three children was given to the father, in Belgium, where they were born and grew up; the children would join their mother in Kenya for the holidays (6 weeks during the summer, 2 weeks at Christmas and Easter, and/or one week at the half terms),

C.  whereas the Court of First Instance of Nivelles, Belgium (1996) and the Brussels Court of Appeal (1997) upheld this ruling,

D.  whereas from 1995 to 1998 the children visited their mother for most of the school holidays,

E.  whereas since 9 August 1998 Mrs de Brouwer has refused to return the children to their father in Belgium and prevented any contact between the children on the one hand and their father and close relatives in Belgium on the other,

F.  whereas on 9 November 1999 the Criminal Court of Appeal in Brussels sentenced Marie de Brouwer to one year's imprisonment for child abduction and issued an international warrant for her arrest; whereas Marie de Brouwer is regarded by the Belgian authorities as a fugitive,

G.  whereas Marie de Brouwer requested Kenyan citizenship with the aim of avoiding the consequences of Belgian court decisions against her,

H.  whereas in 1999 a Kenyan court placed the three children "under its protection", although a number of decisions regarding custody of the children had previously been taken in Europe,

I.  welcoming the efforts made by the Belgian Government and its Foreign Minister, Mr Michel, the President of the Commission, Mr Prodi, and the European Parliament President's Mediator for transnationally abducted children, Mrs Banotti, MEP, to reach an amicable solution with the Kenyan authorities,

J.  thanking the President of Kenya, Mr Moi, for his promise to do his best to try and resolve this situation as soon as possible,

1.  Is extremely concerned about the numerous cases of international abduction of children by parents within the European Union and in the world at large;

2.  Strongly believes that the first custody orders of the country where the children were born and living should be respected in accordance with private international law;

3.  Strongly believes that every child has the right to maintain direct contact with both parents if separated from one or both;

4.  Regrets that only 47 countries have ratified the Hague Convention on child abduction, in some cases with reservations which effectively render the convention inoperative;

5.  Urges the Kenyan authorities to respect the first Belgian custody orders in accordance with private international law and do their utmost to bring this matter to a satisfactory conclusion as quickly as possible in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Hague Convention;

6.  Calls on the Council and the Commission to raise this case in meetings with Kenya at all levels;

7.  Calls on the United Nations Secretary-General to take steps to secure ratification of the Hague Convention without reservations by all members of the United Nations and to secure its application;

8.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the EU Presidency, the Council, the Commission, the Government of Kenya, the President of Kenya, Mr Moi, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Human rights: Cabinda
European Parliament resolution on the kidnapping of Portuguese citizens in Cabinda

The European Parliament,

A.  whereas on 24 May 2000 the Portuguese citizens Sérgio Alves Fidalgo, Manuel da Mota Nunes and Marco da Costa Santos were kidnapped in Cabinda (Angola) by the Cabinda Enclave Liberation Front (FLEC),

B.  whereas 9 March 2001 saw the disappearance of a further five Portuguese citizens (David Jesus Monteiro, Adriano Moreira Dias, Augusto da Nova, Gabriel Faria Pinto and Augusto Pires) who, according to the information currently available, have been kidnapped by the group known as FLEC-Renovada,

C.  whereas the individuals in question went to Cabinda in order to work and have no connection whatsoever with the on-going political conflict in Angola,

D.  whereas nine months have now gone by since the first kidnapping and whereas all the individuals concerned are being held hostage in order to put pressure on the Angolan Government, on Portugal and on the international community in general,

E.  concerned at the captivity of the Portuguese citizens in question (three of whom have been prisoners for nine months), which must be having a serious effect on their state of physical and mental health,

F.  whereas this constitutes a clear violation of human rights which no political demand can justify and which involves citizens of the European Union,0

G.  whereas the European Union attaches fundamental importance to the principle of respect for human rights and whereas, on account of its humanitarian significance, the release of the Portuguese hostages will certainly constitute a gesture which will be welcomed by the international community,

1.  Calls for the immediate and unconditional release of the Portuguese citizens who are being held hostage;

2.  Condemns the taking of hostages as a form of political action;

3.  Urges governments, international organisations and non-governmental organisations to cooperate in the initiatives which have been going on since the first kidnapping and to do all in their power to secure the release of the hostages by putting pressure on the kidnappers (who behave with impunity in their countries) in order to make them understand that acts of kidnapping and hostage-taking involving foreign citizens who have nothing whatsoever to do with local military and political conflicts are unacceptable as a means of exerting political pressure in order to seek satisfaction of whatever demands they are pursuing;

4.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Governments and Parliaments of the Member States, the Government and the National Assembly of the People's Republic of Angola, the UN and the leaders of the Cabinda Enclave Liberation Front (FLEC) and of FLEC-Renovada.

Human rights: Situation in Kalimantan
European Parliament resolution on the situation in Kalimantan

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to its resolution of 13 December 2000 on the Commission communication to the Council and European Parliament on developing closer relations between Indonesia and the European Union (COM(2000) 50 - C5-0288/2000 - 2000/2152(COS) )(1) ,

-  having regard to its previous resolutions on Indonesia and notably on the violence in Timor, Atjeh, the Moluccas and Irian Jaya,

A.  appalled by the violence in the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan, which has led to a large loss of life and property and led to a tragic flow of displaced persons,

B.  whereas this outbreak of violence is the latest in a series of periodic clashes and whereas the Suharto regime's policy of displacement and colonisation is to a large extent to blame for the situation,

C.  believing that the underlying grievances of the indigenous Dayak population over land and lack of political and economic opportunity must be adressed,

D.  whereas the Indonesian government has not yet been able to stop the violence in other regions of the country, resulting in a further increase in the numbers of displaced persons, who now total more than one million,

1.  Deeply regrets the extensive loss of life resulting from these intercommunal clashes, offers its condolences to the victims' families and urges the communities involved to halt the violence;

2.  Encourages the Indonesian authorities to continue their efforts to re-establish law and order, restore security and prevent any further violence not only in Kalimantan but also in Timor, Atjeh, the Moluccas and Irian Jaya;

3.  Calls on the Indonesian government to conduct the necessary administrative and judicial inquiries to ascertain the attitude taken by law enforcement officers during the massacres and whilst the refugees were leaving and calls on it to identify and bring to justice those who have caused regional unrest and human rights violations;

4.  Calls on the Indonesian authorities to take all possible steps to protect the Madurese and not to put obstacles in the way of international assistance to them and calls on the Commission urgently to come to the aid of 50 000 displaced persons who fled Kalimantan fearing the acts of violence;

5.  At the same time, calls on the Indonesian government to be sensitive to the concerns of the indigenous inhabitants of Kalimantan;

6.  Calls on the Commission to consider what aid it could provide to help combat poverty in Kalimantan and to ensure the development of this region;

7.  Asks all concerned groups in Indonesia to start negotiations on the solution of regional problems so as to prevent further bloodshed and mass population displacements;

8.  Invites the Council and the Commission to examine the possibility of helping the Indonesian government to restore security and confidence between the two communities in Kalimantan;

9.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Government of Indonesia.

(1) Texts Adopted, Item 13.

Human rights: Situation in Turkmenistan
European Parliament resolution on the situation in Turkmenistan

The European Parliament,

A.  having regard to Turkmenistan's membership of the OSCE,

B.  pointing out the principles set out by the OSCE in the 1990 Copenhagen Document, specifically with respect to the establishment of a free, independent and effective judicial system and the conditions of detainees,

C.  whereas Turkmenistan is virtually still based on a one-party system and lacks any effective instrument to guarantee freedom of expression, independent media, fair judicial procedure or respect for other basic human rights,

D.  stressing that Turkmenistan's human rights record is extremely poor with serious government abuses and severely restricted political and civil liberties,

E.  pointing out that the country's population, in spite of the existence of huge energy reserves, lives in grinding poverty,

F.   whereas only Islam and the Russian Orthodox church are accepted by the State, and other religious communities face discrimination and often persecution,

G.  whereas Shageldi Atakov, a Baptist minister, was arrested for his religious beliefs, sentenced to four years in prison and fined $12 000; drawing attention to the cases of Jevgeni Potolov, Alexander Frolov and Mukhamad Aimuradov, who all were arrested for their religious beliefs,

H.  whereas the government of Turkmenistan acknowledges that Shageldi Atakov could be released if he were willing to participate in a public ritual of repentance,

I.  whereas the European Union and its Member States signed a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Turkmenistan in 1998 and this agreement has not yet been ratified because of the situation in Turkmenistan,

J.  whereas the European Union signed an Interim Agreement with Turkmenistan in 1999 and it has not yet entered into force,

1.  Expresses its deep concern at the continued human rights violations committed in Turkmenistan;

2.  Urges the Turkmen authorities to review their judicial system and to comply fully with the OSCE's Copenhagen Document;

3.  Calls on the Turkmen authorities to respect the principle of freedom of religion;

4.  Welcomes the Turkmen government's decision to release Primukuli Tanrykuliev and Nurberdy Nurmamedov from prison, as part of a larger amnesty of 12 000 prisoners;

5.  Regrets deeply that no similar amnesty decisions have been taken with regard to Mukhamad Aimuradov and Shageldi Atakov, who have been in prison for several years;

6.  Condemns the unjust treatment of Shageldi Atakov and calls on the Turkmen authorities to release him immediately;

7.  Calls on the Turkmen government to allow the participation of international observers in this process;

8.  Calls on the Commission to monitor the human rights situation in the country closely and not to allow the Interim Agreement with Turkmenistan to enter into force as long as the human rights situation in this country does not improve;

9.  Urges the Commission to strengthen the TACIS democracy programme for Turkmenistan with a view to developing civil society, a real multi-party system and free and independent media;

10.  Asks its committee responsible to follow developments in Turkmenistan closely with a view to deciding on an appropriate time to report to Parliament on the conclusion of the EU-Turkmenistan Interim Agreement;

11.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the Member States of the European Union, the governments of the OSCE and the government of Turkmenistan.

Trade in light weapons
European Parliament resolution on the UN Conference on illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects to be held in July 2001

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to its resolutions of 19 January 1995(1) , 15 January 1998(2) , 14 May 1998(3) , 7 October 1999(4) and 5 October 2000(5) on an EU Code of Conduct on the export or transfer of arms and the resolution adopted by the ACP-EU Joint Assembly on 21 April 1998,

-  having regard to the Joint Action adopted by the Council on the European Union's contribution to combating the destabilising accumulation and spread of small arms and light weapons,

A.  noting with concern that the illegal spread and the misuse of small arms continue to undermine development and respect for human rights,

B.  welcoming the United Nations Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects as the first global initiative to tackle what has become internationally recognised as a serious humanitarian challenge,

C.  recognising that the UN Preparatory Committee of March 2001 will be of crucial importance for the success of the July Conference,

D.  welcoming the EU's preparation for the UN Conference, including the Plan of Action adopted by Disarmament Group CODUN in 2000 and presented to the UN Preparatory Committee,

E.  welcoming efforts already undertaken within the framework of other regional organisations and arrangements, such as the OSCE, the OAS and SADC, in particular the OSCE Document on Small Arms and Light Weapons and the negotiation of the Protocol against the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, their parts and components, and ammunition, and the Bamako declaration of 52 Member States of the Organisation of African Unity on small arms and light weapons,

F.  noting that states" obligations under international law relating to the transfer and use of small arms and light weapons are numerous and include inter alia the prohibition on transfers that would be used to commit serious violations of human rights or of international humanitarian law,

G.  recalling its view that restrictive export criteria, effective common mechanisms for the monitoring of end-use agreements, control of licensing agreements, binding rules to control arms brokering, and a maximum of transparency and parliamentary scrutiny of arms export policies, are all indispensable elements of a responsible and effective regime of arms export controls,

1.  Calls on all UN Member States, and on the EU Member States in particular, to consider the fight against the spread of illegal small arms and light weapons as a priority and to make a constructive contribution to the success of the UN Conference;

2.  Further urges the EU to ensure the inclusion of the following elements in the Programme of Action to be adopted at the July Conference:

a commitment to the negotiation of an international, legally binding convention on arms brokering and shipping;
global restrictive criteria for arms exports, based on states" existing commitments under international law;
effective measures to ensure and monitor the end-use of small arms, including measures to prevent loss, theft or corrupt sales of small arms from authorised stocks or the diversion of these weapons from their specified destination;
measures to improve public transparency and parliamentary scrutiny, including the creation of regional and international registers of information, such as on the manufacture, marking, transfer and procurement of small arms and light weapons;
measures to collect and destroy illegally held weapons and destroy surplus stocks;
effective measures to stop arms transfers likely to reach perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity and serious human rights abuses;

3.  Urges the UN members to agree on concrete measures to ensure and monitor the implementation of the Programme of Action to be agreed in July 2001 and to agree concrete measures for follow-up, such as mechanisms to ensure regular monitoring and reviews of progress, a review conference no later than 2004 and annual reports by governments on their implementation of the Programme of Action;

4.  Further calls on the Member States to continue their support for the close involvement of non-governmental organisations in the UN Conference and the March PrepCom meeting;

5.  Encourages UN Member States to develop a binding code of conduct at the national and regional level including the prohibition of arms transfers to government and non-state perpetrators that systematically violate human rights or international humanitarian law;

6.  Urges the Council to include in its dialogue on arms export with third countries the desirability of adhering to a code of conduct, such as that of the European Union;

7.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the UN Secretary-General.

(1) OJ C 43, 20.2.1995, p. 89.
(2) OJ C 34, 2.2.1998, p. 163.
(3) OJ C 167, 1.6.1998, p. 226.
(4) OJ C 107, 13.4.2000, p. 103.
(5) Texts Adopted, Item 6.

Disasters: Floods in Mozambique
European Parliament resolution on the floods in Mozambique

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to its resolution of 16 March 2000 on the catastrophic storms in Mozambique(1) ,

A.  having regard to the severe floods which are once again devastating various regions of Mozambique, in particular the provinces of Tete, Sofala and Zambeze, have caused the deaths of dozens of people and the disappearance of others, and have affected around 490 thousand people and made 81 thousand homeless,

B.  whereas the populations concerned are immediately being faced with extremely serious problems, such as shortages of drinking water and food, lack of fuel and the threat of epidemics of cholera or malaria, which can be as deadly as the floods,

C.  having regard to the disappearance of important road and communications infrastructure and energy networks and enormous losses in terms of agriculture and livestock,

D.  whereas since this environmental disaster began many Mozambican villages have been cut off from the outside world and they depend for their survival on emergency humanitarian aid delivered by air,

E.  whereas in the province of Sofala alone all twelve districts are affected and 80% of the roads are impassable,

F.  whereas because of the enormous economic, social and public health problems caused and the weakness of the economy it is impossible for the Mozambican authorities to make an adequate and swift response in order to tackle the present dramatic situation,

G.  whereas Mozambique is one of the most heavily indebted countries in the world and its foreign debt is growing,

H.  having regard to the commitments already made by the Commission and the EU Member States to helping the Mozambican authorities meet the needs of the population, rebuild infrastructure and develop economic activities,

1.  Expresses its sympathy with the people of Mozambique and backs the efforts made by the authorities and the population to tackle the floods;

2.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to step up the emergency aid to support the Mozambican authorities:

by meeting the population's most pressing needs, notably as regards health and basic care,
by providing seeds, since the sowing season will end in two months and without seeds the population will be without food until the end of the year,
during the phase of rebuilding, in particular, housing, schools, hospitals and communications and repairing the transport networks, whilst maintaining the cooperation and development programmes already under way;

3.  Urges the international community to provide more helicopters and boats and/or the money to buy them, in order to rescue the people who are still isolated;

4.  Calls for the mobilisation of essential international emergency aid and the adoption of economic and financial measures to assist the reconstruction of the affected regions and the recovery of the Mozambican economy, which has been hit so hard, in particular in view of Mozambique's foreign debt;

5.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to coordinate their aid in cooperation with third countries and multilateral organisations in such a way as to ensure that the aid really achieves its objectives;

6.  Considers that there is an urgent need to set up mechanisms and structures for European and international cooperation to facilitate prompt assistance for the populations affected, by mobilising the extraordinary technical resources currently available for genuinely humanitarian purposes;

7.  Calls on the Member States to draw up, in the Council and together with the Commission, a programme of structural aid to Mozambique, capable of preventing a repetition of these tragic floods every year;

8.  Suggests that any reconstruction project should take account of the need to reverse the current destruction of ecosystems, to bring about a long-term improvement in the environment, including the rivers and their beds, irrigation systems and the development of sustainable agriculture using production methods which avoid erosion;

9.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the parliaments of the Member States, the government and National People's Assembly of Mozambique, the Organisation of African Unity and the UN Secretary-General.

(1) OJ C 377, 29.12.2000, p. 356.

Disasters: Humanitarian disaster in Mongolia
European Parliament resolution on the humanitarian disaster in Mongolia

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the EU's Trade and Co-operation Agreement with Mongolia in place since 1993,

-  having regard to the support granted by the EU to Mongolia since 1993 in the framework of TACIS,

-  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1257/96 concerning humanitarian aid(1) , which created the mandate for ECHO to provide emergency assistance and relief to the victims of natural disasters,

-  having regard to the appeal for USD 8.7 million in international support for Mongolia issued by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation,

A.  deeply concerned about the life-threatening weather conditions in the Republic of Mongolia for the second winter in a row, which have already caused the death of over half a million head of livestock and put 12 million head of livestock and about 100 000 herder families at direct risk of starvation,

B.  whereas in rural areas the lives and means of subsistence of around 100 000 families of nomadic herdsmen are directly threatened, while in urban areas the problems caused by chronic malnutrition are already taking their toll,

C.  whereas the rearing of livestock and the utilisation of secondary products are the backbone of the Mongolian economy, which has already suffered a great deal as a result of the painful transition from a collectivised system to a market economy,

D.  noting that Mongolia has made important democratic and economic progress and that in this regard the country serves as a good example to other new independent countries to the south of Russia,

1.  Urges the Commission to rapidly provide urgent aid within the framework of ECHO;

2.  Calls to mind point 8 of the Commission's 2000 legislative programme, which was added through an amendment by Parliament and which called for emergency aid to Mongolia during the 2000 disaster caused by bad weather on the same scale as this year's extreme weather conditions;

3.  Points out that the overall amount of the aid promised will cover only a very small part of the estimated requirements;

4.  Calls upon the Commission to provide more structural support and economic assistance to Mongolia in addition to the humanitarian aid through ECHO, for example through the further development of Mongolia's market potential and its exports to third countries including the EU and more targeted programmes within the framework of TACIS;

5.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the FAO and the President, Government and Parliament of Mongolia.

(1) OJ L 163, 2.7.1996, p. 1.

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