Go back to the Europarl portal

Choisissez la langue de votre document :

 Full text 
Procedure : 2003/2530(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Select a document :

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

Texts adopted :


Texts adopted
PDF 123kWORD 35k
Thursday, 27 March 2003 - Brussels
Outcome of the European Council (Brussels, 20/21 March 2003)

European Parliament resolution on the outcome of the European Council (Brussels, 20/21 March 2003) concerning the Lisbon strategy

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Presidency Conclusions of the Brussels European Council of 20-21 March 2003 concerning the Lisbon strategy and its implementation,

–   having regard to the Lisbon European Council conclusions of 23 and 24 March 2000, the Göteborg European Council conclusions of 15 and 16 June 2001, the Barcelona European Council conclusions of 15 and 16 March 2002 and the conclusions of 16 September 2002 on the outcome of the World Summit on Sustainable Development,

–   having regard to the Tripartite Social Summit held in Brussels prior to the Spring European Council on 20 March 2003,

A.   whereas the intended purpose of the Spring European Council is to take stock of progress in meeting the strategic Lisbon goal, which has fallen considerably behind schedule and risks missing many of the target dates set in Lisbon,

B.   whereas the outcome of the war in Iraq, together with the humanitarian and reconstruction needs, is as yet unknown, and the consequences for the world economy and the multilateral trading system have yet to unfold,

C.   whereas it is of great importance for the new Member States to be fully integrated in the modernisation of the European economic, social and environmental model, and its strategy for sustainable development, with respect to the implementation of the objectives and mechanisms of the Lisbon strategy,

1.  Agrees with the European Council that promoting sustainable growth, creating more and better jobs, competitiveness, and modernising the European social model must remain firmly at the top of the Union's agenda; notes the way in which the European Council has taken steps to introduce a more operational approach towards achieving the economic, social and environmental objectives for 2010, although there remains a gap between strategic goals and concrete actions;

2.  Reiterates that, to restore credibility to the Lisbon strategy, this must be followed through by determined action, especially by larger Member States, to advance in parallel the four priority objectives laid down by the European Council, and which the European Parliament can support;

3.  Reiterates its support for the Lisbon strategy, and points out that much has to be done to ensure that all programming is dovetailed together in a way which brings the accession countries fully into the common endeavour; points to the need to pay more attention to the scoreboard of Member States' progress in fulfilling their Lisbon agenda commitments, and therefore calls for a detailed roadmap from the Commission by October 2003, indicating how the agreed objectives will be reached by 2010;

4.  Takes the view that the current Employment Strategy, as recently reshaped to include the quality of jobs and to strike the right balance between flexibility and security, is an efficient instrument to foster employment in the European Union; believes, furthermore, that the Employment Committee (EMCO), established in accordance with Article 130 of the EC Treaty, is best placed to assess employment issues;

5.  Considers, therefore, that there was no need to create a new Task Force on Employment; calls on the Council to limit the remit of such a task force, for example to identifying practical reform measures to be addressed without delay, and to report to the EP about its work;

6.  Stresses its commitment to the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) and supports the intelligent and flexible application of the Pact in the ways proposed by the Commission, in particular the stronger emphasis on overall debt levels of individual Member States, taking into account public investment requirements - especially when those investments are considered by the Commission to be consistent with the Lisbon and Stockholm strategy and, for that reason, of common interest;

7.  Emphasises the vital importance of SMEs for the economic fabric of the Member States and encourages, accordingly, all measures to foster entrepreneurship in the European Union; stresses, in this context, the importance of implementing rapidly the recommendations of the European Charter for Small Enterprises as well as the Action Plan for 'Simplifying and improving the regulatory environment'; agrees with the Council that all major draft legislation should be subject to a comprehensive impact assessment taking account of the three pillars of the Lisbon strategy and considered separately by the Competitiveness Council;

8.  Reiterates its support for the Lisbon strategy, but believes that the open method of coordination and peer review are not sufficient on their own to bring about the dynamic structural changes required;

9.  Takes note of the application of the open method of coordination in support of research and innovation policy, in the expectation of seeing more concrete evidence of progress towards the goal of earmarking 3% of GDP for R&D and encouraging innovative and effective links between research and new business opportunities; recognises that remedial action must be taken to create the conditions which ensure that our scientists and innovative companies stay in Europe, drawing attention to the importance of basic research, which supplies the fundamental scientific knowledge vital to innovation;

10.  Fully endorses the European Council's call for effective application by Member States of legislation already agreed for strengthening the internal market and for connecting Europe, in order to establish certainty and clarity for business and investment across Europe; the creation of a significant number of Europe-wide and national public-private partnership investment projects (operating in such areas as education and training, lifelong learning, research, environmentally friendly production, information and frontier technologies, telecommunications, energy and transportation networks) will be of great importance for the future of the European economy;

11.  Regrets the absence of concrete progress in the field of environmental indicators for sound assessment of sustainable development, including the adoption of quantified sectoral environmental targets within the Cardiff process and the adoption of a mechanism to evaluate the implementation of the outcome of the Johannesburg Summit;

12.  Encourages Member States, when carrying out the EU's climate change policy aimed at implementing the Kyoto Protocol, to follow the same integrated approach adopted at EU level; strongly supports the call issued by the European Council to other parties, and especially the Russian Federation, to ratify the Kyoto Protocol as soon as possible, as this will allow its entry into force, and welcomes the forthcoming visit to the Duma by a specific EP delegation on this subject;

13.  Welcomes the agreement on the energy tax directive which will set a minimum excise duty level for oil products, gas, electricity and coal; is deeply concerned, however, that the European Council had to postpone again the final agreement on the tax package;

14.  Welcomes the commitments on environmental liability, greenhouse gas emission reduction and intelligent energy; urges the Council again, however, to promote the removal of subsidies that have negative effects on the environment and to take steps to develop an ambitious EU plan for the development of clean technologies;

15.  Points out that the fight against poverty and social exclusion is a vital objective of the integrated strategy and insists it is essential to coordinate efforts to improve and safeguard social protection systems organised and financed in accordance with high social principles and standards; welcomes the European Council's commitment to keep up the momentum of pension reform by Member States, given the interaction between pension reform, employment policy, sound public finances and social cohesion;

16.  In the context of education, draws attention to the emphasis on education and vocational training for enhancing skills, languages, digital literacy and lifelong learning; the commitments must be matched by concrete measures through the Skills and Mobility Action Plan, the European Structural Funds and other programmes that may be proposed, together with the rapid reform of Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71(1) on the application of social security schemes;

17.  Welcomes the European Council's firm statement on the need for concrete measures to speed up reforms of tax and benefit systems and of the labour market, especially by improving wage formulation systems, modernising employment legislation and integrating underemployed sections of the population which suffer discrimination, as defined under Article 13 of the EC Treaty, which covers gender, disability, race, age, religion and sexual orientation, and invites the Commission and the Council to develop these ideas further; calls on the Member States fully to implement Directive 2002/73/EC(2);

18.  Welcomes the formal establishment of the Tripartite Social Summit prior to the Spring European Council, since the social partners can play an important role in implementing the Lisbon agenda, for example in the areas of lifelong learning and investment in human capital; underlines that this role must be strengthened; reiterates the contribution made by the voluntary sector and non-standard forms of business organisation to increasing employment and delivering other public policy objectives;

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

(1) OJ L 149, 5.7.1971, p. 2.
(2) European Parliament and Council Directive 2002/73/EC of 23 September 2002 amending Council Directive 76/207/EEC on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women as regards access to employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions (OJ L 269, 5.10.2002, p. 15).

Legal notice - Privacy policy