Index 
Texts adopted
Wednesday, 24 October 2007 - Strasbourg
Service of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters ***II
 Agreement between the EC and Bosnia and Herzegovina on readmission *
 Agreement between the EC and Bosnia and Herzegovina on short-stay visas *
 Agreement between the EC and Serbia on readmission *
 Agreement between the EC and Serbia on short-stay visas *
 Agreement between the EC and Montenegro on readmission *
 Agreement between the EC and Montenegro on short-stay visas *
 Agreement between the EC and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on readmission *
 Agreement between the EC and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on short-stay visas *
 Agreement between the EC and Albania on short-stay visas *
 Immunity and privileges of Gian Paolo Gobbo
 Mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund
 Draft amending budget No 6/2007
 Protocol amending TRIPS ***
 Verbatim reports (amendment of Rule 173)
 European Statistical Governance Advisory Board ***I
 European Statistical Advisory Committee ***I
 Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning ***I
 Batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators (implementing powers conferred on the Commission) ***I
 Communication Infrastructure for the Schengen Information System environment (regulation ) *
 Mutual assistance and cooperation between customs administrations *
 Thematic strategy on the sustainable use of pesticides
 Conventional energy sources and energy technology
 Community Strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from passenger cars and light-commercial vehicles
 Taxation and customs policies and the Lisbon Strategy
 Tobacco smoke: policy options at EU level
 Turkey

Service of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters ***II
PDF 192kWORD 31k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 24 October 2007 on the Council common position for adopting a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the service in the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters ("Service of documents") and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1348/2000 (8703/5/2007 – C6-0217/2007 – 2005/0126(COD))
P6_TA(2007)0446A6-0366/2007

(Codecision procedure: second reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Council common position (8703/5/2007 – C6-0217/2007),

–   having regard to its position at first reading(1) on the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2005)0305),

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

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

–   having regard to the recommendation for second reading of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A6-0366/2007),

1.  Approves the common position;

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

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

4.  Instructs its Secretary-General to sign the act, once it has been verified that all the procedures have been duly completed, and, in agreement with the Secretary-General of the Council, to have it published in the Official Journal of the European Union;

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

(1) OJ C 303 E, 13.12.2006, p. 69.


Agreement between the EC and Bosnia and Herzegovina on readmission *
PDF 191kWORD 30k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 24 October 2007 on the proposal for a Council decision concerning the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and Bosnia and Herzegovina on readmission (COM(2007)0425 – C6-0299/2007 – 2007/0142(CNS))
P6_TA(2007)0447A6-0385/2007

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the proposal for a Council decision (COM(2007)0425),

–   having regard to Articles 63(3)(b) and 300(2), first subparagraph, first sentence, of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Article 300(3), first subparagraph, of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which to Council consulted Parliament (C6-0299/2007),

–   having regard to Rules 51 and 83(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A6-0385/2007),

1.  Approves the conclusion of the Agreement;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Agreement between the EC and Bosnia and Herzegovina on short-stay visas *
PDF 192kWORD 31k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 24 October 2007 on the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and Bosnia and Herzegovina on the facilitation of issuance of short-stay visas (COM(2007)0423 – C6-0296/2007 – 2007/0140(CNS))
P6_TA(2007)0448A6-0384/2007

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the proposal for a Council decision (COM(2007)0423),

–   having regard to Articles 62(2)(b)(i) and (ii) and 300(2), first subparagraph, first sentence, of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Article 300(3), first subparagraph, of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which to Council consulted Parliament (C6-0296/2007),

–   having regard to Rules 51 and 83(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A6-0384/2007),

1.  Approves the conclusion of the Agreement;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Agreement between the EC and Serbia on readmission *
PDF 190kWORD 30k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 24 October 2007 on the proposal for a Council decision concerning the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of Serbia on readmission (COM(2007)0438 – C6-0298/2007 – 2007/0153(CNS))
P6_TA(2007)0449A6-0386/2007

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the proposal for a Council decision (COM(2007)0438),

–   having regard to Articles 63(3)(b) and 300(2), first subparagraph, first sentence, of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Article 300(3), first subparagraph, of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C6-0298/2007),

–   having regard to Rules 51 and 83(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A6-0386/2007),

1.  Approves the conclusion of the Agreement;

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


Agreement between the EC and Serbia on short-stay visas *
PDF 189kWORD 30k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 24 October 2007 on the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of Serbia on the facilitation of issuance of short-stay visas (COM(2007)0422 – C6-0295/2007 – 2007/0144(CNS))
P6_TA(2007)0450A6-0387/2007

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the proposal for a Council decision (COM(2007)0422),

–   having regard to Articles 62(2)(b)(i) and (ii) and 300(2), first subparagraph, first sentence, of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Article 300(3), first subparagraph, of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which to Council consulted Parliament (C6-0295/2007),

–   having regard to Rules 51 and 83(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A6-0387/2007),

1.  Approves the conclusion of the Agreement;

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


Agreement between the EC and Montenegro on readmission *
PDF 188kWORD 31k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 24 October 2007 on the proposal for a Council decision concerning the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of Montenegro on readmission (COM(2007)0431 – C6-0301/2007 – 2007/0146(CNS))
P6_TA(2007)0451A6-0380/2007

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the proposal for a Council decision (COM(2007)0431),

–   having regard to Articles 63(3)(b) and 300(2), first subparagraph, first sentence, of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Article 300(3), first subparagraph, of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C6-0301/2007),

–   having regard to Rules 51 and 83(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A6-0380/2007),

1.  Approves the conclusion of the Agreement;

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


Agreement between the EC and Montenegro on short-stay visas *
PDF 189kWORD 31k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 24 October 2007 on the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of Montenegro on the facilitation of issuance of short-stay visas (COM(2007)0426 – C6-0297/2007 – 2007/0149(CNS))
P6_TA(2007)0452A6-0379/2007

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the proposal for a Council decision (COM(2007)0426),

–   having regard to Articles 62(2)(b)(i) and (ii) and 300(2), first subparagraph, first sentence, of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Article 300(3), first subparagraph, of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C6-0297/2007),

–   having regard to Rules 51 and 83(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A6-0379/2007),

1.  Approves the conclusion of the Agreement;

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


Agreement between the EC and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on readmission *
PDF 190kWORD 31k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 24 October 2007 on the proposal for a Council decision concerning the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on readmission (COM(2007)0432 – C6-0300/2007 – 2007/0147(CNS))
P6_TA(2007)0453A6-0381/2007

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the proposal for a Council decision (COM(2007)0432),

–   having regard to Articles 63(3)(b) and 300(2), first subparagraph, first sentence, of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Article 300(3), first subparagraph, of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C6-0300/2007),

–   having regard to Rules 51 and 83(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A6-0381/2007),

1.  Approves the conclusion of the Agreement;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.


Agreement between the EC and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on short-stay visas *
PDF 190kWORD 32k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 24 October 2007 on the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on the facilitation of issuance of short-stay visas (COM(2007)0421 – C6-0294/2007 – 2007/0159(CNS))
P6_TA(2007)0454A6-0383/2007

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the proposal for a Council decision (COM(2007)0421),

–   having regard to Articles 62(2)(b)(i) and (ii) and 300(2), first subparagraph, first sentence, of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Article 300(3), first subparagraph, of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C6-0294/2007),

–   having regard to Rules 51 and 83(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A6-0383/2007),

1.  Approves the conclusion of the Agreement;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.


Agreement between the EC and Albania on short-stay visas *
PDF 190kWORD 31k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 24 October 2007 on the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of Albania on the facilitation of issuance of short-stay visas (COM(2007)0413 – C6-0293/2007 – 2007/0148(CNS))
P6_TA(2007)0455A6-0382/2007

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the proposal for a Council decision (COM(2007)0413),

–   having regard to Articles 62(2)(b)(i) and (ii) and 300(2), first subparagraph, first sentence, of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Article 300(3), first subparagraph, of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C6-0293/2007),

–   having regard to Rules 51 and 83(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A6-0382/2007),

1.  Approves the conclusion of the Agreement;

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


Immunity and privileges of Gian Paolo Gobbo
PDF 111kWORD 34k
European Parliament decision of 24 October 2007 on the request for consultation on the immunity and privileges of Gian Paolo Gobbo (2007/2014(IMM))
P6_TA(2007)0456A6-0367/2007

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the request made by the judge at the preliminary hearing before the District Court of Verona (Italy) for consultation on the parliamentary immunity of Gian Paolo Gobbo, in connection with criminal procedure No. 81/96 R.G.N.R., announced in plenary sitting on 18 January 2007,

–   having heard Gian Paolo Gobbo in accordance with Rule 7(3) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to Articles 9 and 10 of the Protocol of 8 April 1965 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Communities and Article 6(2) of the Act of 20 September 1976 concerning the election of the members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage,

–   having regard to the judgments of 12 May 1964 and 10 July 1986(1) of the Court of Justice of the European Communities,

–   having regard to Article 68 of the Constitution of the Italian Republic,

–   having regard to Article 3 of Italian Law No. 140 of 20 June 2003,

–   having regard to Rules 6(1) and 7(13) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A6-0367/2007),

A.   whereas Gian Paolo Gobbo is a Member of the European Parliament whose credentials were verified by Parliament on 15 January 2007,

B.   whereas Mr Gobbo is charged – along with many other people, of whom some have been identified and others have not – with the offence of promoting, setting up, leading and participating in a paramilitary association with political objectives, under the title of 'the Greenshirts',

C.   whereas, according to the Italian Prosecutors' Office, the Greenshirts' aim was to set up a hierarchically organised body which was trained to take collective action of a violent or threatening nature and was also used to intimidate any members of the movement who were opposed to the political directives issued by its leaders and prevent them from engaging in debate inside the movement, thus helping to impose a definite political line on the 'Lega Nord' movement by silencing any expression of dissent within it,

D.   whereas Article 9 of the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities only accords Members full protection from legal proceedings in respect of opinions expressed and votes cast by them in the performance of their duties,

E.   whereas participating in a semi-military-style uniformed association which apparently gave the impression that it would seek to achieve its objectives through the potential or actual use of force is clearly contradictory to, and incompatible with, the role and responsibilities attaching to a parliamentary mandate and cannot therefore be regarded as a legitimate exercise of freedom of speech or as constituting, in general, the normal performance of the duties of members belonging to an elected assembly representing citizens,

F.   whereas, pursuant to Article 10 of the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities, which is the sole provision applicable, during the sessions of the European Parliament its Members enjoy in the territory of their own State the immunities accorded to members of their national parliament; whereas this does not prevent the European Parliament from exercising its right to waive the immunity of one of its Members,

G.   whereas under Article 68 of the Italian Constitution, members of the Italian Parliament do not enjoy immunity from criminal prosecution, except in respect of opinions expressed or votes cast by them in the exercise of their functions, which is not the case in the present instance,

1.  Considers that parliamentary immunity within the meaning of Article 9 of the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Communities and, in so far as it is relevant, Article 68, first subparagraph, of the Italian Constitution does not cover the facts alleged against Mr Gian Paolo Gobbo, and therefore decides not to defend his immunity and privileges;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this decision, and the report of its committee responsible, immediately to the appropriate authorities of the Italian Republic.

(1) Case 101/63 Wagner v Fohrmann and Krier [1964] ECR 195 and Case 149/85 Wybot v Faure and others [1986] ECR 2391.


Mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund
PDF 113kWORD 37k
Resolution
Annex
European Parliament resolution of 24 October 2007 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund according to point 26 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management (COM(2007)0526 - C6-0286/2007 - 2007/2179(ACI))
P6_TA(2007)0457A6-0393/2007

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and to the Council (COM(2007)0526 - C6-0286/2007),

–   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management(1), and in particular point 26 thereof,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A6-0393/2007),

1.  Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

2.  Instructs its President to arrange for publication of that decision in the Official Journal of the European Union;

3.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution, including its annex, to the Council and Commission.

ANNEX

DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

of 24 October 2007

on the mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund according to point 26 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management(2), and in particular point 26 thereof,

Having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 2012/2002 of 11 November 2002 establishing the European Union Solidarity Fund(3),

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,

Whereas:

(1)  The European Union has created a European Union Solidarity Fund (the "Fund") to show solidarity with the population of regions struck by disasters.

(2)  The Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 allows the mobilisation of the Fund within the annual ceiling of EUR 1 billion.

(3)  Regulation (EC) No 2012/2002 contains the provisions whereby the Fund may be mobilised.

(4)  Germany and France submitted applications to mobilise the Fund, concerning two disasters caused by a major storm and a tropical cyclone respectively,

HAVE DECIDED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

For the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2007, the European Union Solidarity Fund shall be mobilised to provide the sum of EUR 172 195 985 in commitment and payment appropriations.

Article 2

This Decision shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Done at Strasbourg, 24 October 2007

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

(1) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p.1.
(2) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 311, 14.11.2002, p. 3.


Draft amending budget No 6/2007
PDF 201kWORD 35k
European Parliament resolution of 24 October 2007 on Draft amending budget No 6/2007 of the European Union for the financial year 2007, Section III - Commission (13851/2007 – C6-0351/2007 – 2007/2178(BUD))
P6_TA(2007)0458A6-0401/2007

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to Article 272 of the EC Treaty and Article 177 of the Euratom Treaty,

–   having regard to Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(1), and particularly Articles 37 and 38,

–   having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2007, as finally adopted on 14 December 2006(2),

–   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management(3),

–   having regard to Preliminary draft amending budget No 6/2007 of the European Union for the financial year 2007, which the Commission presented on 13 September 2007 (COM(2007)0527),

–   having regard to Draft amending budget No 6/2007, which the Council established on 17 October 2007 (13851/2007 – C6-0351/2007),

–   having regard to Rule 69 of and Annex IV to its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A6-0401/2007),

A.   whereas Draft amending budget No 6/2007 covers the following items:

   The mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund for an amount of EUR 172 200 000 in commitment appropriations relating to a major storm in Germany in January 2007, and a tropical cyclone in France (La Réunion) in February 2007.
   The creation of a new budget article 14 03 03 to support financial obligations stemming from the accession of the European Communities to the World Customs Organisation.
   The mobilisation of new funds for an amount of EUR 35 500 000 in commitment appropriations on Item 26 01 50 07 to pay damages to applicants following the Court of First Instance's final judgments in Cases T-45/01 and T-144/02, Sanders and others and Eagle and others v Commission on 12 July 2007. The corresponding payment appropriations will be redeployed.
   The integration into the budget 2007 of the necessary technical adjustments following the adoption of Council Decision 2007/162/EC, Euratom of 5 March 2007 establishing a Civil Protection Financial Instrument(4), and the adoption of Regulation (EC) No 614/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 May 2007 concerning the Financial Instrument for the Environment (LIFE+)(5).

B.   whereas the purpose of Draft amending Budget No 6 is to formally enter these budgetary resources and technical adjustments into the 2007 budget,

1.  Takes note of Draft amending budget No 6/2007;

2.  Approves Draft amending budget No 6/2007 unamended;

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

(1) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1. Regulation as amended by Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1995/2006 (OJ L 390, 30.12.2006, p. 1).
(2) OJ L 77, 16.3.2007, p. 1.
(3) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 71, 10.3.2007, p. 9.
(5) OJ L 149, 9.6.2007, p. 1.


Protocol amending TRIPS ***
PDF 191kWORD 30k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 24 October 2007 on the proposal for a Council decision on the acceptance, on behalf of the European Community, of the Protocol amending the TRIPS Agreement, done at Geneva on 6 December 2005 (8934/2006 – C6-0359/2006 – 2006/0060(AVC))
P6_TA(2007)0459A6-0403/2007

(Assent procedure)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the proposal for a Council decision (8934/2006),

–   having regard to the Protocol amending the TRIPS Agreement, done at Geneva on 6 December 2005,

–   having regard to the request for assent submitted by the Council pursuant to Article 300(3), second subparagraph, in conjunction with Article 133(5) and Article 300(2), first subparagraph, first sentence, of the EC Treaty (C6-0359/2006),

–   having regard to Rules 75 and 83(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on International Trade and the opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A6-0403/2007),

1.  Gives its assent to the acceptance of the protocol;

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


Verbatim reports (amendment of Rule 173)
PDF 108kWORD 41k
European Parliament decision of 24 October 2007 on amendment of Rule 173 and insertion of Rule 173a of Parliament's Rules of Procedure on verbatim reports and audiovisual record of proceedings (2007/2137(REG))
P6_TA(2007)0460A6-0354/2007

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the letter from its President of 12 April 2007,

–   having regard to Rules 201 and 202 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (A6-0354/2007),

1.  Decides to amend its Rules of Procedure as shown below;

2.  Points out that the amendment will enter into force on the first day of the next part-session;

3.  Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Council and the Commission, for information.

Present text   Amendments
Amendments 2, 7 and 8
Rule 173
1.  A verbatim report of the proceedings of each sitting shall be drawn up in the official languages.
1.  A verbatim report of the proceedings of each sitting shall be drawn up in all official languages.
2.  Speakers shall be required to return typescripts of their speeches to the Secretariat not later than the day following that on which they received them.
2.  Speakers shall be required to return corrections to typescripts of their speeches to the Secretariat within one week.
3.  The verbatim report shall be published as an annex to the Official Journal of the European Union.
3.  The verbatim report shall be published as an annex to the Official Journal of the European Union.
4.  Members may request extracts of the verbatim report to be translated at short notice.
Amendments 3, 6 and 9
Rule 173 a (new)
Rule 173a
Audiovisual record of proceedings
Immediately after the sitting, an audiovisual record of the proceedings, including the soundtrack from all interpretation booths, shall be produced and made available on the Internet.

European Statistical Governance Advisory Board ***I
PDF 192kWORD 35k
Resolution
Text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 24 October 2007 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Statistical Governance Advisory Board (COM(2006)0599 – C6-0348/2006 – 2006/0199(COD))
P6_TA(2007)0461A6-0327/2007

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2006)0599),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 285 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0348/2006),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (A6-0327/2007),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend the proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

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

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 24 October 2007 with a view to the adoption of Decision No .../ 2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Statistical Governance Advisory Board

P6_TC1-COD(2006)0199


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position at first reading corresponds to the final legislative act, Decision No 235/2008/EC.)


European Statistical Advisory Committee ***I
PDF 191kWORD 35k
Resolution
Text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 24 October 2007 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council setting up a European Advisory Committee on Community Statistical Information Policy (COM(2006)0653 – C6-0379/2006 – 2006/0217(COD))
P6_TA(2007)0462A6-0328/2007

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2006)0653),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 285 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0379/2006),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (A6-0328/2007),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend the proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

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

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 24 October 2007 with a view to the adoption of Decision No .../2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Statistical Advisory Committee and repealing Council Decision 91/116/EEC

P6_TC1-COD(2006)0217


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position at first reading corresponds to the final legislative act, Decision No 234/2008/EC.)


Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning ***I
PDF 195kWORD 30k
Resolution
Text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 24 October 2007 on the proposal for a recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning (COM(2006)0479 – C6-0294/2006 – 2006/0163(COD))
P6_TA(2007)0463A6-0245/2007

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2006)0479),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Articles 149(4) and 150(4) of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0294/2006),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Culture and Education, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (A6-0245/2007),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend the proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

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

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 24 October 2007 with a view to the adoption of Recommendation 2008/.../EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning

P6_TC1-COD(2006)0163


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position at first reading corresponds to the final legislative act, Recommendation 2008/.../EC.)


Batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators (implementing powers conferred on the Commission) ***I
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Resolution
Text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 24 October 2007 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2006/66/EC on batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators, as regards the implementing powers conferred on the Commission (COM(2007)0093 – C6-0088/2007 – 2007/0036(COD))
P6_TA(2007)0464A6-0232/2007

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2007)0093),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 175(1) of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0088/2007),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (A6-0232/2007),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

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

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 24 October 2007 with a view to the adoption of Directive 2008/.../EC of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2006/66/EC on batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators, as regards the implementing powers conferred on the Commission

P6_TC1-COD(2007)0036


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position at first reading corresponds to the final legislative act, Directive 2008/12/EC.)


Communication Infrastructure for the Schengen Information System environment (regulation ) *
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 24 October 2007 on the proposal for a Council regulation on the installation, operation and management of a Communication Infrastructure for the Schengen Information System (SIS) environment (COM(2007)0311 – C6-0216/2007 – 2007/0108(CNS))
P6_TA(2007)0465A6-0358/2007

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal (COM(2007)0311),

–   having regard to Article 66 of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Article 67 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C6-0216/2007),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A6-0358/2007),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.  Considers that the indicative financial reference amount indicated in the Commission proposal must be compatible with the ceiling of heading 3a of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and points out that the annual amount will be decided within the annual budgetary procedure in accordance with the provisions of point 38 of the Interinstitutional Agreement between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management of 17 May 2006(1);

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

4.  Calls on the Council to notify Parliament if it intends to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

5.  Calls on the Council to consult Parliament again if it intends to amend the Commission proposal substantially;

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

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendments by Parliament
Amendment 1
Recital 7
(7)  The SISNET Agreement also provides networking and associated security services for VISION, a network supporting visa consultation procedures between central authorities of Member States according to Article 17 (2) of the Schengen Convention, but it is out of the scope of this proposal since the Council, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 789/2001 of 24 April 2001 reserving to the Council implementing powers with regard to certain detailed provisions and practical procedures for examining visa applications, is the body competent for implementing the amendments necessary for migrating VISION to another communication infrastructure.
(7)  The SISNET Agreement also provides networking and associated security services for VISION, a network supporting visa consultation procedures between central authorities of Member States according to Article 17 (2) of the Schengen Convention. In actual fact, VISION is in principle out of the scope of this proposal since the Council, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 789/2001 of 24 April 2001 reserving to the Council implementing powers with regard to certain detailed provisions and practical procedures for examining visa applications, is the body competent for implementing the amendments necessary for migrating VISION to another communication infrastructure. Notwithstanding Regulation (EC) No 789/2001 and in order to preserve the coherence and consistency of SIS1+, the Commission should integrate VISION into the new communication network s-Testa and exercise implementing powers.
Amendment 9
Article 1, paragraph 5
5.  The costs of installing, operating and managing the Communication Infrastructure shall be borne by the general budget of the European Union.
5.  The costs of installing, operating and managing the Communication Infrastructure shall be borne by the general budget of the European Union. Each Member State shall be responsible for bearing the costs incurred by the national database and the costs of its connection to the SIS or s-Testa communication infrastructure.
Amendment 2
Article 1, paragraph 5 a (new)
5a.  The SIS was set up under Title IV of the Schengen Convention. However, following the integration of the Schengen acquis into the Treaties and the allocation of its legal basis, any modification will require a new legal instrument which will have to be adopted in accordance with Article 67(2), indent 2, of the EC Treaty.
Amendment 3
Article 3, paragraph 3
3.  The Council shall coordinate Member States' test activities and validate the test results and keep the Commission informed.
3.  The Council shall coordinate Member States' test activities and validate the test results, keeping the Commission and the European Parliament informed.
Amendment 10
Article 5, paragraph 1 a (new)
1a.  The contract referred to in paragraph 1 shall comply with the provisions of Articles 88 to 107 of Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002.
Amendment 4
Article 5, paragraph 2
2.  The costs incurred by the bodies referred to in paragraph 1 for the execution of the tasks referred to in paragraph 1shall be borne by the general budget of the European Union.
2.  The costs incurred by the bodies referred to in paragraph 1 for the execution of the tasks referred to in paragraph 1shall be borne by the general budget of the European Union, in accordance with Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 as amended by Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1995/2006 of 13 December 2006.
Amendment 5
Article 5, paragraph 2 a (new)
2a.  The Commission shall inform the European Parliament and the Council of the terms of the contract referred to in paragraph 1 and which national body is the contractor.
Amendment 6
Article 5 a (new)
Article 5a
Security
The Commission shall adopt the necessary measures (including the adoption of a security plan) relating to the Communication Infrastructure.
Amendment 11
Article 7, paragraph 2
2.  The remainder of the budget established by Council Decision 2000/265/EC, at the date set in accordance with Article 4(1) shall be refunded to the Member states. The amounts to be repaid shall be calculated on the basis of the contributions from the Member States as laid down in Article 26 of Council Decision 2000/265/EC.
2.  The remainder of the budget established by Council Decision 2000/265/EC at the date set in accordance with Article 4(1) shall be used by the Commission to develop the Communication Infrastructure.
Amendment 7
Article 9, paragraph 2
2.  The application of this Regulation is subject to notification of the Deputy Secretary-General of the Council to the Commission that no agreement or contract has been concluded for the provision of networking and security services for the exchange of data referred to in Article 1 (1) pursuant to Council Decision 2007/149/EC and Council Decision 2000/265/EC.
2.  This Regulation shall be applicable as from the date of its publication and after notification of the Deputy Secretary-General of the Council to the Commission that no agreement or contract has been concluded for the provision of networking and security services for the exchange of data referred to in Article 1 (1) pursuant to Council Decision 2007/149/EC and Council Decision 2000/265/EC.

(1) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.


Mutual assistance and cooperation between customs administrations *
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 24 October 2007 on the recommendation for a Council decision concerning the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the Convention of 18 December 1997, drawn up on the basis of Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union, on mutual assistance and cooperation between customs administrations (COM(2007)0216 – C6-0170/2007 – 2007/0073(CNS))
P6_TA(2007)0466A6-0352/2007

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission recommendation to the Council (COM(2007)0216),

–   having regard to Article 3(4) of the Act of Accession of Bulgaria and Romania, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C6-0170/2007),

–   recalling the efforts of consecutive Bulgarian and Romanian governments to meet the respective benchmarks provided for the activation of the simplified accession procedure,

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (A6-0352/2007),

1.  Approves the Commission recommendation;

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

3.  Asks the Council to consult Parliament again if it intends to amend the Commission recommendation substantially;

4.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission and to the Governments of Bulgaria and Romania.


Thematic strategy on the sustainable use of pesticides
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European Parliament resolution of 24 October 2007 on a Thematic Strategy on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides (2007/2006(INI))
P6_TA(2007)0467A6-0291/2007

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: "A Thematic Strategy on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides" (COM(2006)0372),

–   having regard to Decision No 1600/2002/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 July 2002 laying down the Sixth Community Environment Action Programme(1),

–   having regard to the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for Community Action to achieve a sustainable use of pesticides (COM(2006)0373),

–   having regard to the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market (COM(2006)0388),

–   having regard to the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning statistics on plant protection products (COM(2006)0778),

–   having regard to Article 175 of the Treaty,

–   having regard to Article 6 of the Treaty, by virtue of which environmental protection must be integrated into the definition and implementation of the Community policies in particular with a view to promoting sustainable development,

–   having regard to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 February 2005 on maximum residue levels of pesticides in or on food and feed of plant and animal origin (2),

–   having regard to Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy(3) ('Framework Directive on water policy'), Council Directive 98/83/EC of 3 November 1998 on the quality of water intended for human consumption(4), Council Directive 75/440/EEC of 16 June 1975 concerning the quality required of surface water intended for the abstraction of drinking water in the Member States(5) and Directive 2006/118/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on the protection of groundwater against pollution and deterioration(6),

–   having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) and establishing a European Chemicals Agency(7) and Directive 2006/121/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 amending Council Directive 67/548/EEC on the approximation of laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances in order to adapt it to Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006(8),

–   having regard to Directive 2004/35/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage(9), Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora(10) and Council Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the conservation of wild birds(11),

–   having regard to the synthesis report of the Commission and of the Dutch ministries of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment and of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries entitled "Possibilities for Future EU Environmental Policy on Plant Protection Products" (1997),

–   having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the opinion of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (A6-0291/2007),

A.   whereas the use of plant protection products (PPPs) in the EU between 1992 and 2003 remained significant and has not decreased despite the proactive policies successfully pursued in some Member States to reduce the use of farm pesticides,

B.   whereas undesirable amounts of certain pesticides can still be found in the environment, in particular in soil and water; whereas residues exceeding regulatory limit values are still found in agricultural produce,

C.   whereas although the benefits which derive from the use of pesticides and the role they play in ensuring an efficient and sustainable competitive agricultural production in Europe are undeniable, the general public should be better informed on the possible health and environmental risks and short and long-term adverse effects related to their use;

D.   whereas continued use of pesticides should be possible only if the precautionary principle is upheld with regard to both human health and the protection of the water and land ecosystem; whereas this means that pesticides should not be used before all impact assessments regarding health and the environment have been carried out; and whereas comparing data and best practices in use reduction in the different Member States should be encouraged and taken into account as a point of reference,

E.   whereas a transparent system for reporting and monitoring pesticide use and residue levels in products, including the development of appropriate indicators, is lacking;

1.  Acknowledges the need for a European legal framework in the field of pesticide use as legislation in force has not proved sufficient to achieve the prevention of the hazards and risks to health and environment posed by the use of pesticides;

2.  Considers it important to adopt new legislation based on an approach more firmly centred on reducing pesticide use and more ambitious in terms of environmental performance, through the provision of meaningful support for organic farming and integrated production methods;

3.  Welcomes the Thematic Strategy on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides ('Thematic Strategy') which identifies the shortcomings of current Community legislation and proposes to regulate the use phase to "fill the gap" between the placing of PPPs on the market on the one hand and the end of life-cycle of such products on the other;

4.  Points out that the EU has now adopted more than a dozen legal acts which directly or indirectly regulate the use of PPPs; stresses, however, that the proposed provisions governing the use of PPPs are leading in the right direction;

5.  Notes that the Thematic Strategy covers only PPPs, which constitute only a part of pesticides; calls on the Commission forthwith to include pest control products (biocidal product types 14-19) as defined in Annex V to Directive 98/8/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 1998 concerning the placing of biocidal products on the market(12) within the scope of the Thematic Strategy, as they pose similar risks to human health and the environment, and urges the Commission to extend the scope of the Thematic Strategy to include other biocides as soon as possible;

6.  Considers it essential to improve the behaviour of pesticide users in order to avoid misuse, overuse and poisoning accidents; welcomes the creation of a system of training and education for professional pesticide users, for which the Commission should draw up guidelines which take account of the differences which exist between the various European regions; considers that certification and training must be a prerequisite for the employment of professional pesticide users and that ongoing professional development should also be provided, in order to update their technical skills and knowledge and to ensure safe and effective use of pesticides; suggests that advisory services to farmers be set up or enhanced in order to increase their awareness concerning safe use of pesticides and encourage the exchange of good practices;

7.  Calls on the Commission to consider, in accordance with the polluter-pays principle, suitable ways of involving manufacturers of PPPs and/or their active agents in the work of dealing with or remedying the damage to human health or the environment which might be caused by the use of PPPs;

8.  Recommends that the sale and distribution of pesticides be performed under the supervision of a qualified professional or practitioner, and that those transactions be recorded in a register to ensure adequate control of the marketing and use of such products;

9.  Stresses that minimisation of the hazards and risks to health and environment from the use of pesticides cannot be effectively achieved without a constructive dialogue and capacity building, including financial stimulation, with third countries together with stringent checks on products imported into the EU to ensure a level playing field for competition;

10.  Calls on the Commission to formulate a protection and cooperation policy vis-à-vis the EU's neighbours, on the use of pesticides and PPPs;

11.  Emphasises the importance of the media's role in informing the general public, and non-professional users of pesticides in particular, about pesticide issues; and suggests that public information and awareness-raising campaigns be devised;

12.  Welcomes in general the measures chosen by the Commission; stresses, however, that ambitious National Action Plans of the Member States are key elements in the whole process;

13.  Regrets, furthermore, that the Commission opted for the exclusion of quantitative and qualitative criteria in the National Action Plans, thus reducing their level of ambition;

14.  Stresses that without quantitative use reduction targets in the National Action Plans, the notion "reduction of hazards, risks and dependence on pesticides" is very imprecisely and ambiguously defined, and will not push the Member States to lower the amount of pesticides used or to prioritise non-chemical alternatives for plant protection and pest and crop management;

15.  Suggests that the Commission should combine the elimination of hazards, risks and dependence on pesticides with quantitative criteria in the National Action Plans, by stipulating that Member States must set their own national targets, timetables and criteria for reducing pesticide use, taking into account the positive experience from some Member States which already use quantitative reduction targets, which has demonstrated that pesticide use can be reduced without significant costs to farmers;

16.  Stresses that a commitment to curb the use of PPPs to make them less dangerous and to seek alternative plant protection products, resources and methods which are more environmentally friendly and less harmful to humans and animals will, in addition to environmental and public health benefits, improve the quality of European agricultural products and increase their added value as a result of widespread public awareness and consumer sensitivity regarding these issues;

17.  Agrees that National Action Plans should be adapted to the specific climatic, agricultural and pest conditions of each Member State, where certain specific treatments are necessary and particularly in the case of minor crops;

18.  Hopes that the Commission will specify the Community financial aid that can be harnessed by Member States to conduct studies, compile databases and enhance knowledge concerning pesticides;

19.  Welcomes the statement by the Commission that the most important expected outcome of the Thematic Strategy is the reduction of the negative impacts of pesticide use on human health;

20.  Regrets that, although pesticides are linked to immunological effects, endocrine-disrupting effects, neurotoxic disorders and cancer(13), health is only marginally mentioned in the Thematic Strategy;

21.  Emphasises that substances which are carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction, or persistent, bio-accumulative or toxic, or which show endocrine disrupting properties, must not be approved as active substances in pesticides;

22.  Points out that foetuses, infants, children as well as pregnant women, the elderly, the chronically sick and those with pre-existing medical problems, as well as users of pesticides and rural residents and communities, are more vulnerable and more exposed to pesticides, especially to cumulative effects of different types of pesticides, than the rest of the population;

23.  Points out that prior authorisation of a PPP is a precondition for its use and that such authorisation is based on a scientific assessment of the PPP and its active agents in the course of which the product is tested to determine what risks it poses, when properly used, to human and animal health and the environment;

24.  Considers it essential to conduct further research into the health effects of pesticide use, and particularly of combined and cumulative use;

25.  Warmly welcomes the banning of substances on the basis of their intrinsic hazards and the so-called "substitution principle" whereby the more dangerous substances will be removed from the market where safer, including non-chemical, alternatives exist;

26.  Calls on the Commission, working together with the Member States and the industry, to take measures to prevent the import and marketing of counterfeit and/or unauthorised PPPs;

27.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that when levels of pesticides which exceed the relevant limit values are found on and in imported foodstuffs the same measures are taken and the same penalties are imposed as in the case of products manufactured in the EU; calls for immediate steps to be taken to ensure that sufficiently frequent checks are carried out on imported goods (which are generally subject to less strict legislation on the use of PPPs meaning that there is a higher risk of illegal residue levels) in all Member States in the same way, so that European farmers and manufacturers are not placed at a disadvantage and a level playing field is established within the EU;

28.  Calls for appropriate controls and a ban on imports into the EU of foodstuffs produced using PPPs and pesticides whose use and marketing are not permitted in the EU;

29.  Calls for coordinated systems for the collection of information on the production, import, export, sale, distribution and use of generally available pesticides;

30.  Believes that designation of zones, including drinking water catchment protection areas, with reduced or zero pesticide use and enhanced protection of the aquatic environment from pollution by pesticides are necessary in order to avoid unwanted exposure; considers that "buffer zones" of appropriate width taking account of the different agricultural, geographical and weather conditions should be established; considers that the use of pesticides should be prohibited in and around urban residential areas, public parks, sports grounds, school grounds and children's playgrounds, as the Commission has recognised that the risks to the general public from exposure to pesticides in such areas are high;

31.  Notes the contamination of European groundwater and surface waters by pesticides and stresses the need to strengthen the cohesion of the Thematic Strategy with the Framework Directive on water policy; points out that water purifying, however, is mostly carried out only for human consumption, whereas the rest of the contaminated water gets into the human body from flora and fauna, giving rise subsequently to high treatment costs;

32.  Recognises that the ban on aerial spraying is inevitable; considers, however, that spraying can be used where it presents clear environmental advantages or where there are no viable alternatives, but that at the same time it should be obligatory to notify the general public about the time of spraying, the amounts and the type of pesticide;

33.  Calls on the Commission to speed up Community harmonisation of maximum residue levels, as the current situation means that there is an uneven playing field within the EU, hampering trade and confusing consumers;

34.  Urges the Commission to set maximum residue levels as low as possible unless it can be proved that even the best techniques and methods available cannot prevent residue below a certain level; in this regard calls for Member States to improve the monitoring of pesticide concentrations in food products and environmental media;

35.  Welcomes the proposed invitation to Member States to eliminate provisions allowing Member States to apply reduced VAT rates for pesticides; considers that the Commission should help Member States to introduce appropriate support measures for farmers, to be financed under rural development;

36.  Calls on the Commission to support the Member States in setting up a system of taxes or levies in order to influence - quantitatively and qualitatively - pesticide use;

37.  Insists that the Commission propose clear definitions and minimum criteria for IPM, taking into account the increasing percentage of areas under organic farming in Europe and applying compulsory general and crop-specific IPM standards to all cultivated land except land under organic farming;

38.  Acknowledges that numerous environmental concerns have been integrated into the various regulations which make up the Common Agricultural Policy, thereby making agricultural production methods more environment-friendly;

39.  Points to the need for the dissemination of farming practices promoting the use of lower pesticide doses (among other things, integrated production and organic farming), which will contribute to an overall decrease in pesticide use;

40.  Urges the Member States to promote low pesticide-input farming and organic farming, and ensure that professional users of pesticides shift towards a more environment-friendly use of all available crop protection methods, giving priority to non-chemical methods of plant protection and pest and crop management, for example crop rotation and weeding rather than to systematic use of pesticides;

41.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to make adequate resources available for resistance research, for the cultivation and supply of a wide range of crops with various resistance characteristics, for research into crop rotation and soil cultivation methods to combat pests and plant diseases and for innovations in the area of plant protection, including non-chemical alternatives;

42.  Stresses that global warming is likely to lead to increased pest populations which may increase the frequency and the intensity of outbreaks; in this respect calls for examination of impacts of climate change not only on agricultural production but also in the context of environmental protection;

43.  Calls on the Member States to ensure the safe storage and handling of pesticides, and that unused, past-expiry pesticides and empty packaging are collected in a controlled way and obsolete pesticides are treated in accordance with the rules for hazardous waste;

44.  Calls for existing Community funding to be used for the safe disposal of obsolete pesticides, given that within the EU more than 200 000 tonnes of pesticides are still being stored in both underground dumps and open-air stockpiles;

45.  Recognises that well-maintained application equipment is essential for reducing the adverse impacts of pesticides on health and the environment, particularly as regards the workers, farmers and residents concerned, and stresses that application equipment must be regularly checked;

46.  Urges the Commission to take into account the extremely worrying issue of mortality amongst domestic bees - a problem associated with the use of certain systemic insecticides (containing the active substances Fipronil and Imidacloprid) in order to treat sunflower and maize seeds;

47.  Stresses the need to amend European trading standards relating to the shape, size and aesthetic qualities of fresh fruit and vegetables, which encourage the intensive use of pesticides;

48.  Urges the Commission to design the Thematic Strategy as an umbrella for existing and future legislation; suggests proposing an enforceable mix of instruments that are not contradictory but complementary to each other;

49.  Welcomes the fact that, on the basis of the Thematic Strategy, the Commission has put forward a comprehensive Community legal framework for measures designed to bring about the sustainable use of PPPs;

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

(1) OJ L 242, 10.9.2002, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 70, 16.3.2005, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 327, 22.12.2000, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 330, 5.12.1998, p. 32.
(5) OJ L 194, 25.7.1975, p. 26.
(6) OJ L 372, 27.12.2006, p. 19.
(7) OJ L 396, 30.12.2006, p. 1.
(8) OJ L 396, 30.12.2006, p. 850. Corrigendum published in OJ L 136, 29.5.2007, p. 281.
(9) OJ L 143, 30.4.2004, p. 56.
(10) OJ L 206, 22.7.1992, p. 7.
(11) OJ L 103, 25.4.1979, p. 1.
(12) OJ L 123, 24.4.1998, p. 1.
(13) Commission Communication entitled 'European Environment and Health Strategy', COM(2003)0338, p. 5.


Conventional energy sources and energy technology
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European Parliament resolution of 24 October 2007 on Conventional energy sources and energy technology (2007/2091(INI))
P6_TA(2007)0468A6-0348/2007

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission Communication entitled "An Energy Policy For Europe" (COM(2007)0001),

–   having regard to the Commission Communication entitled "Sustainable power generation from fossil fuels: aiming for near-zero emissions from coal after 2020" (COM(2006)0843),

–   having regard to the Commission Communication entitled "Nuclear Illustrative Programme Presented under Article 40 of the Euratom Treaty for the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee" (COM(2006)0844),

–   having regard to the Commission Communication entitled "Towards a European Strategic Energy Technology Plan" (COM(2006)0847),

–   having regard to its resolution of 10 May 2007 on Assessing Euratom – 50 Years of European nuclear energy policy(1),

–   having regard to its resolution of 14 December 2006 on A European strategy for sustainable, competitive and secure energy − Green paper(2),

–   having regard to its resolution of 1 June 2006 on Energy efficiency or doing more with less − Green Paper(3),

–   having regard to its resolution of 23 March 2006 on security of energy supply in the European Union(4),

–   having regard to the conclusions of the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council of 23 November 2006 on an "Action Plan for Energy Efficiency",

–   having regard to the Presidency Conclusions of the European Council of 8-9 March 2007 on the adoption of the European Council Action Plan for the period 2007-2009 "An Energy Policy for Europe",

–   having regard to the motion for a Resolution on clean technology for coal by Salvador Garriga Polledo, pursuant to rule 113 of the Rules of Procedure (B6-0143/2007),

–   having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the opinions of the Committee on Development, the Committee on International Trade, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the Committee on Regional Development (A6-0348/2007),

A.   whereas the EU's high level of dependency on energy imports means that energy policy is becoming increasingly centred on issues relating to security of supply, renewable energy sources, energy saving, energy efficiency and diversification of the energy supply,

B.   whereas conventional energy sources, namely coal, oil, gas, and nuclear energy, will continue to play an important role in energy supply,

C.   whereas, unless preventive measures are taken, the EU's dependency on imports of fossil fuels will increase to 65% of total consumption by 2030, and whereas gas and oil supplies are dogged by uncertainty due to geopolitical risks and growing competition in terms of demand,

D.   whereas the conversion of the coal sector is having significant economic and social effects in regions that have few alternatives in terms of the diversification of economic activity and job creation,

E.   whereas cars with an electric drive-train offer the potential for significant improvements in efficiency when charged with electricity from a low carbon source,

F.   whereas dependency on oil could be reduced incidentally as a result of the adoption of measures to tackle the significant greenhouse gas emissions of cars,

G.   whereas gross power production in the EU is derived from the various energy sources as follows: nuclear energy 31%, coal 29%, gas 19%, renewables 14% and oil 5%,

H.   whereas the continued use of fossil fuels requires further efforts to be made in combating climate change,

I.   whereas the EU has set ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets as a key part of its policy to combat climate change,

J.   whereas conventional sources of energy can be used to produce fuels,

K.   whereas, in the context of the restructuring of hard coal mining in the EU, it makes sense, even from the point of view of security of supply, to maintain the present level of access to the substantial domestic reserves that exist,

L.   whereas Community legislation such as Directive 2001/77/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 September 2001 on the promotion of electricity produced from renewable energy sources in the internal electricity market(5) has been instrumental in spurring technological development and private sector R&D investment,

Overview

1.  Welcomes the Commission's abovementioned communications on sustainable power production from fossil fuels, on the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan and on the Nuclear Illustrative Programme;

2.  Stresses that improving energy efficiency makes a major contribution to sustainability and security of supply, while at the same time improving export opportunities for EU producers;

3.  Considers it important, in view of the increasing scarcity of resources, to diversify energy sources; also notes the importance for security of supply of nuclear fission and the possible future importance, for some countries, of nuclear fusion; draws attention to the importance for security of supply of regional resource use;

4.  Believes that further improvements in the efficiency of fossil fuel power plant technology are essential, as are further improvements in the safety standards of nuclear power plants, the rapid development of nuclear fusion technology and corresponding increases in research funding;

5.  Calls on the Member States and regional and local authorities to diversify and decentralise energy generation using the most appropriate resources in all the various regions of the EU and taking account of specific regional characteristics;

6.  Notes that increased access to sustainable energy is key to the ability of developing countries to achieve their Millennium Development Goals and that an estimated two billion people currently suffer from energy constraints that limit their opportunities for economic development and a better standard of living;

7.  Emphasises that market distortions will continue to be seen in the internal energy market until the polluter-pays principle laid down in Article 174(2) of the EC Treaty is applied to energy policy; urges the Member States once again, therefore, to internalise within energy prices all external costs, including all environmental and follow-up costs;

8.  Points out that energy prices must take into account the real external costs of energy production, including those relating to environmental protection;

9.  Considers that the successful reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector can only be achieved on the basis of increased use of low carbon technologies such as nuclear energy, clean coal and renewables;

Energy technology

10.  Insists that sustainable energy supplies to the EU can only be achieved with significant research efforts and changes in consumer behaviour;

11.  Welcomes the EU-US Transatlantic Economic Council, part of the EU-US Transatlantic Economic Partnership signed in Washington DC on 30 April 2007, which will help to build greater transatlantic understanding in relation to energy related topics; highlights the need to strengthen relations with regard to energy-related subjects, something which must also involve legislative aspects;

12.  Notes that Europe leads the world in R&D in innovative energy technologies, including energy efficiency and renewables, and is, in particular, a leader in the area of nuclear fusion technologies;

13.  Urges the Commission, the Member States, the regions, and other stakeholders to utilise the opportunities offered by cohesion policy and to invest in new energy technologies, both in renewable energy sources and in sustainable fossil fuel technologies ("low-emission power plants");

14.  Urges the Member States and regional authorities to take measures to improve energy security by means of enhanced direct cooperation in the energy sector, particularly in border regions;

15.  Recommends strong investment in innovation and applied research and capital investment in intelligent energy networks and smart grid technologies;

16.  Notes that states and regions outside the EU are currently making massive investments in R&D which might threaten Europe's leading position in technology in the medium term, but that over-concentration of funding in any one field should be avoided; given the global responsibility to combat climate change, stresses that it would be undesirable for developing countries to lag behind in the deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) and emphasises the overriding importance of close cooperation with China and India in this regard;

17.  Stresses that the EU's lead in the field of technology, stemming from the research efforts made by the EU and the Member States, strengthens the competitiveness of its industry and creates jobs in the EU;

18.  Calls on the EU, the Member States and businesses, in line with the principle of subsidiarity, to redouble their efforts in R&D in the field of energy, particularly with a view to enhancing the efficiency of energy production and supply, reducing environmental consequences, improving the safety of existing technologies, developing storage techniques for renewables and developing new generations of nuclear reactors and new energy technologies, including nuclear fusion;

19.  Recommends that, as regards resources that are in limited supply and that will remain critical for the energy safety and independence of Member States over the coming years, the forthcoming European Strategic Energy Technology Plan should favour technological developments that optimally exploit their potential in order to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions;

20.  Notes that the targets for 2020 of a minimum of 20% renewable energy in the EU's energy consumption and a 20% improvement in energy efficiency put Europe on a course towards achieving much higher penetrations of renewables and greater deployment of energy-efficient technology in the longer term; considers it vital that the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan take full account of this long-term shift towards the use of renewable energy technology and improved energy performance in all sectors of the economy;

21.  Welcomes the Commission's announcement that it intends to submit the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan to the 2008 Spring European Council; however, questions where the funding for the Plan will come from;

22.  Calls on the Commission to support synthetic fuels technology, in view of its potential to reinforce security of energy supply and reduce emissions from the road transport sector in the EU;

23.  Notes that public funding to support start-ups for new energy technologies should be appropriate in amount, should take into account their level of commercial viability and should end at the latest once the new technologies thus supported have become competitive;

24.  Draws attention to the need, highlighted by the Council, to ensure that the most efficient available technology is used when new capacity is built and that greater use is made of combined heat and power (CHP), district heating and cooling and industrial residual heat;

25.  Stresses that it would be in the interests of combating climate change to meet, as a minimum requirement, the Lisbon objectives and to propose an internationally agreed minimum percentage of budget revenue to be earmarked for research;

Fossil Fuels

26.  Emphasises that fossil fuels will remain highly important to ensuring the EU's security of energy supply and stresses the value of natural gas as the fossil fuel with the lowest carbon content;

27.  Stresses that fossil fuels will have to be used in the long term for electricity production until basic needs can be met from renewables;

28.  Stresses the contribution which can be made to security of supply by indigenous energy sources, particularly the large coal reserves and the substantial untapped oil and gas reserves in some Member States and Norway; recommends that future energy generation sites be fitted with CCS technology where technically possible; believes that applicable legal and administrative rules should be commensurate with optimum production conditions;

29.  Considers that greater efforts must be made to curb emissions from fossil fuel power production and to increase its efficiency, inter alia, by supporting the development of CHP; notes, nevertheless, that some European power stations are already among the most efficient in the world;

30.  Calls on the Commission to encourage investments in combined heat and power production; notes that highly efficient CHP can achieve double the efficiency of a normal coal-fired condensing plant;

31.  Regards it as unwise, from the point of view of security of supply and cost-efficiency, to hamper the construction of the most modern and efficient coal-fired power stations by giving the wrong market incentives;

32.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that the emissions trading system does not prevent the replacement of existing plants with modern plants − including nuclear power stations − that have a lesser impact on the climate;

33.  Calls for further improvements to be made to the Kyoto Protocol Clean Development Mechanism so that it can fulfil its purpose of enabling the transfer of efficient, clean and appropriate energy technologies to developing countries;

34.  Calls on the Commission, when checking the operation of the emissions trading system, to ensure that proper account is taken of the specific problem of the heat generation market, which largely consists of individual burners (boilers) fired by fossil fuels and which, given the small size of the burners, is not covered by the emissions trading system;

35.  Calls for existing fossil fuel-fired power plants to improve their energy efficiency and environmental performance;

36.  Notes that CCS technology is linked to losses of efficiency in power stations and that technical, environmental and legal issues relating to the storage of CO2 represent challenges which can only be met by means of research and political initiatives; believes, however, that it is important that CCS technology devices should be fitted to fossil fuel plants at the earliest practical opportunity;

37.  Is convinced that the most effective way of ensuring that greenhouse gases do not have an impact on climate change is to bring about a swift, substantial reduction in the production of such gases; in that connection, believes that CCS technology represents only one of the means which could be used to address the issue of climate change;

38.  Notes that CCS is not necessarily a viable option for small power stations, which generate only relatively small amounts of energy and exist mainly for security of supply purposes;

39.  In connection with CCS technology, calls for research also to be carried out in order to minimise efficiency losses, to promote safe CO2 storage and to clarify chemical and biological processes for CO2 capture;

40.  Urges the commissioning of comprehensive geological mapping in order to identify the potential for safe CO2 storage and the most appropriate sites;

41.  Stresses that, while CCS is partly based on tried and tested individual technological components, it is not underpinned by an overall plan that is proven on an industrial scale;

42.  Points to the lack of adequate information on the effects of CO2 storage on geological strata,

43.  Regards it as unhelpful to impose mandatory requirements for CO2-free power production in all power stations since, by the time the technology is developed and ready to be used, the EU emissions trading system will steer the deployment of CCS technology; nevertheless encourages industry to bear in mind the concept of "capture ready" when developing new fossil fuel power plants;

44.  Calls on the Commission rapidly to submit a proposal for legislation on CCS so as to respond to the legal issues surrounding the storage and transportation of CO2 and thus establish the basis for investment security in connection with such projects;

45.  Calls on the Commission to assess the potential risks from CCS and lay down requirements for the licensing of CCS activities and for adequately managing the risks and consequences identified;

46.  Insists that, while the possibilities for geological storage as part of CCS technology are being studied, it must be ensured that CO2 is stored safely and permanently in locations that do not allow leakages of carbon back into the atmosphere;

47.  Takes the view that demonstration projects relating to clean-coal technologies must be carried out in areas where there is a tradition of coal mining and which are suffering the consequences of conversion plans and have been affected by the financial framework 2007-2013;

48.  Calls on the Commission to lay down as soon as possible clear political guidelines for the further promotion of research into CCS technology, to explore ways in which CCS can be used in connection with commercial electricity generation and to submit proposals for avoiding inconsistencies between the application of CCS procedures and the emissions trading system, while at the same time ensuring that these guidelines and proposals do not hamper the development of renewable energies or efforts to increase energy efficiency;

49.  Stresses the importance of informing residents in areas with coal-fired plants of their inherent dangers and points out the value of publishing plans to modernise existing power plants and reduce their environmental impact;

50.  Recognises the fact that, at the current stage of technological progress, it is estimated that electricity from CCS solutions will be as expensive as electricity from renewable sources;

51.  Stresses the importance of closer cooperation between the Commission and the private sector in making clean coal technology more feasible;

52.  Stresses that, while greater R&D funding for CCS is needed, this must not be at the expense of funding for research into renewable energy;

53.  Urges the Commission and the Member States to launch information campaigns on CCS technologies involving stakeholders and policy makers;

54.  Warns against unilateral dependence on particular gas suppliers or supply routes, and stresses the importance of liquefied natural gas in the context of the diversification of gas imports;

55.  Urges the Commission to carry out more extensive geological research aimed at finding new deposits of fossil fuels within the territory of the Member States;

56.  Regrets that the Commission did not discuss in more detail security of oil supply in the context of the energy package, and calls on it to issue a communication on this topic;

57.  Points out that fossil fuels represent an important substratum which could be the basis for the large-scale production of hydrogen, both as an energy carrier and as a fuel;

58.  Is concerned by the extensive construction of coal-fired power stations in China and India (which, as developing countries, are not bound by the Kyoto Protocol), stressing that China is expected to exceed the United States' CO2 emissions during 2007; notes, however, that China and India are seeking to diversify energy sources; emphasises the export potential for EU clean-energy technologies; stresses that, in order to encourage reduced carbon emissions, whilst sustaining economic growth, clean-energy technology, accompanied by capacity building, must be a priority of EU infrastructure investment in the developing world;

59.  Supports the Commission's collaboration with China, notably the 2005 EU-China Partnership on Climate Change and the subsequent 2006 Memorandum of Understanding on Co-operation on Near-Zero Emissions Power Generation Technology, which should encourage the development of clean energy technologies; calls on the Commission to work with China to draw up a roadmap for clean energy technology development in China and to identify the key actions and milestones for the development and deployment of clean energy technologies in that country; urges the Commission to establish similar relationships with other emerging economies, notably those of India and Brazil, which may also have extensive coal reserves;

60.  Notes the findings of a 2005 International Energy Agency study which found that the deployment of some technologies within non-OECD countries could prove much more cost-effective and could be particularly significant where there are major differences between countries' geology and natural resources; considers that, where this is the case, countries could consider including financial support for developing countries to help them meet national deployment targets; stresses that the ability to trade deployment instruments across borders would therefore improve efficiency, ensuring that deployment takes place where it is most cost-effective;

61.  Calls on the Commission to support the World Bank's and the Regional Development Banks' efforts to create an energy investment framework, addressing cost, risk and the institutional and informational barriers to scaling up public-private-partnerships supporting low carbon and carbon free technology; calls on the Commission to evaluate the various mechanisms designed to facilitate research and development collaboration, such as the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate and the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum and other technology transfer objectives; calls on the Commission to develop assessment criteria for international financing, information sharing and research and development mechanisms based on their ability to contribute to long-term, low-carbon and carbon free technological development;

62.  Urges the Commission to gauge the territorial impact of its energy policy proposals and to pass on its findings to the Member States;

63.  Given the urgency of the situation, calls for an immediate increase in support to developing countries for the use of clean coal technologies that have been proven to be viable and effective;

64.  Supports the promotion of projects and technologies that improve energy efficiency and energy security in developing countries and that are adjusted specifically to needs and conditions in those countries, such as teaching people how to produce their own energy-efficient stoves, which can help both to create employment and to combat further desertification and climate change and can also improve health;

Nuclear Energy

65.  Welcomes the Illustrative Nuclear Programme for the Community, which forms the basis for a comprehensive discussion of the nuclear option for Europe;

66.  Emphasises that nuclear energy is indispensable if basic energy needs are to be met in Europe in the medium term;

67.  Supports the proposal of the March 2007 European Council for an unbiased debate on the opportunities and risks presented by nuclear energy;

68.  Points out that research funding in the nuclear energy sphere today is largely concentrated in the area of safety-related technology;

69.  Acknowledges the fact that nuclear energy is an important component of power supply in 15 of the 27 Member States, and thus for the Union as whole, providing one third of the total EU electricity supply;

70.  Notes that, in the EU, nuclear energy generation has been developed industrially on a large scale over the last four decades, with ever-improving levels of reliability and safety;

71.  Notes that Finland, France, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Lithuania (with the collaboration of Latvia and Estonia), the United Kingdom, Poland and the Czech Republic are building new nuclear power plants or are planning to build them or are investigating such a possibility;

72.  Notes that nuclear energy is currently the largest low-carbon energy source in Europe and stresses its potential role in combating climate change;

73.  Refers to the 3rd IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report which listed nuclear energy as one way of reducing climate change;

74.  Notes that the decision of each Member State for or against nuclear energy remains in its exclusive competence, but may have an impact on electricity price trends in other Member States;

75.  Calls on the Commission to propose measures designed to maintain in the EU the high level of skills required if the nuclear energy option is to remain a viable one;

76.  Notes that short and medium term decisions on the use of nuclear power will also directly affect the climatic goals that the EU might realistically set; notes that abandoning nuclear power will make it impossible to achieve the objectives set regarding reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and the combating of climate change;

77.  Recalls that the Member States which use nuclear energy have committed themselves to complying with international security and non-proliferation standards, and acknowledges in this connection the particular importance of the Euratom Treaty;

78.  Welcomes the establishment of a high-level group on Nuclear Safety and Waste Management and views the founding of the European Nuclear Energy Forum as an important stakeholder platform for discussing a roadmap for nuclear investment which will foster transparent, properly documented and balanced dialogue on all the issues relating to the use and deployment of that form of energy;

79.  Welcomes the Commission's call for the imposition in the EU of common reference levels for nuclear safety; in that connection, urges that, on the basis of a best practice peer review, these reference levels should reflect the highest possible safety standards;

80.  Emphasises the importance of the Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform launched in September 2007 in establishing a strategic European research agenda for nuclear fission;

81.  Stresses that known global uranium reserves are estimated to be sufficient for more than 200 years, and that these reserves make feasible some future options to diversify political risks to security of supply or make it possible to reach compromises between risk, price and location in selecting sources of nuclear fuels;

82.  Stresses that the developments envisaged in the framework of the Generation IV International Forum, of which the European Atomic Energy Community is a member, suggest that nuclear energy has a long-term future thanks to the fact that it relies extensively on a use of resources which allows the timescale for developing the potential applications of nuclear energy to extend over thousands of years and which will very significantly reduce the volume and radioactivity of the waste ultimately produced;

83.  Endorses the Commission's statements on the competitiveness of nuclear energy and notes that a majority of the Community funding under the Seventh Euratom Research Framework Programme is allocated to safety and nuclear fusion; points out that, in order to best meet the EU's strategic criteria, Community efforts should be combined with research designed to develop a new generation of sustainable nuclear technology;

84.  Points out that nuclear energy generation will be largely unaffected by any fluctuations in the price of uranium, since the cost of that fuel has little impact on the price of electricity;

85.  In view of the long investment lead times, stresses the need for a stable legal and political framework;

86.  Refers to the 2006 Eurobarometer survey which indicated that the level of people's knowledge has a major influence on their attitude to nuclear energy; stresses therefore the importance of an open public dialogue on nuclear energy in every Member State in order to stimulate public awareness of the positive and negative effects of nuclear power before any political decisions are taken;

87.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to finally make progress on the issue of final disposal in order to bring an end to the interim storage of waste close to the earth's surface;

88.  Recalls that generation IV reactors are expected to improve the efficient use of fuel and reduce the quantity of waste; calls therefore on the Commission and the Member States to focus on the development of structural materials and on optimising the use of nuclear fuel, as well as to support projects aimed at developing prototypes of generation IV reactors;

89.  Notes that the use of nuclear energy can create synergies with renewables, for example by providing original methods for the effective and economic production of hydrogen or biofuels;

90.  Recalls that dozens of nuclear power plants are planned or being built worldwide, and that it is vital for European companies to be involved in their construction, both from the point of view of industrial strategy and in order to promote the most stringent possible safety principles throughout the world;

91.  Notes, finally, the role of the Euratom Loans and calls on the Member States to continue to permit the use of this important instrument in the future;

o
o   o

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

(1) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0181.
(2) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2006)0603.
(3) OJ C 298 E, 8.12.2006, p. 273.
(4) OJ C 292 E, 1.12.2006, p. 112.
(5) OJ L 283, 27.10.2001, p. 33.


Community Strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from passenger cars and light-commercial vehicles
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European Parliament resolution of 24 October 2007 on the Community Strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from passenger cars and light-commercial vehicles (2007/2119(INI))
P6_TA(2007)0469A6-0343/2007

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the results of the review of the Community Strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from passenger cars and light-commercial vehicles (COM(2007)0019),

–   having regard to the impact assessment (IA) relating to the abovementioned Communication (SEC(2007)0060),

–   having regard to the Sixth Community Environmental Action Programme (6th EAP)(1),

–   having regard to the Sixth(2) and Seventh(3) Framework Programmes for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration Activities,

–   having regard to its resolution of 16 November 2005 on "Winning the Battle Against Global Climate Change"(4),

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on "Limiting Global Climate Change to 2 degrees Celsius: The way ahead for 2020 and beyond" (COM(2007)0002),

–   having regard to its resolution of 14 February 2007 on climate change(5),

–   having regard to the Presidency Conclusions of the European Council of 8 and 9 March 2007 on the Renewed EU Sustainable Development Strategy (June 2006) and on the role of environmental technologies and eco-innovation in achieving the aims of the Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs,

–   having regard to the report of the European Climate Change Programme of 31 October 2006 entitled "Review and analysis of the reduction potential and costs of technological and other measures to reduce CO2 emissions from passenger cars" (6),

–   having regard to Directive 1999/94/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 1999 relating to the availability of consumer information on fuel economy and CO2 emissions in respect of the marketing of new passenger cars(7),

–   having regard to Directive 98/70/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 October 1998 relating to the quality of petrol and diesel fuels(8) and the Commission proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 98/70/EC and introducing a mechanism to monitor and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the use of road transport fuels (COM(2007)0018),

–   having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the opinions of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (A6-0343/2007),

A.   whereas some 19% of European Union CO2 emissions are produced by passenger cars and light-commercial vehicles, with absolute volumes continuing to grow principally because of the increasing number and growing power of new cars,

B.   whereas the most cost-efficient and effective policy option for reducing overall CO2 emissions from passenger transport is to increase the share of public transport;whereas it is therefore important that measures are taken to stimulate and to improve the quality and scope of public transport, in order to make the switch from personal vehicles to public transport more attractive and thereby decrease total CO2 emissions made by commuters;

C.   whereas driver behaviour and infrastructure measures have until now been neglected in EU strategy to reduce CO2 from cars, but have a high potential in terms of CO2 avoidance,

D.   whereas road transport accounts for 60% of all the oil used in the EU, with inefficient use of fuel increasing the threat to energy security and contributing to high running costs and the depletion of world oil reserves,

E.   whereas legislative measures are now required in order to promote the design and technological changes necessary if the sector is to help the EU meet its target of reducing CO2 emissions by at least 20% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels,

F.   whereas the voluntary approach has proved a failure as it seems clear that the car industry will fail to meet its voluntary commitment of 140 g CO2/km in 2008; whereas the target of 120 g CO2 /km was first proposed in 1995 and endorsed by Council and Parliament in 1996, with a deadline for delivery in 2005 and by 2010 at the latest,

G.   whereas, in its communication entitled 'A Competitive Automotive Regulatory Framework for the 21st Century' (COM(2007)0022), the Commission outlines the key elements for the future strategy for reducing CO2 emissions from motor vehicles on the basis of an integrated approach aimed at achieving the EU's target of 120 g/km of CO2 by 2012 via a combination of interventions by the Union and the Member States,

H.   whereas action is required in order to reduce CO2 emissions from passenger cars through an integrated approach comprising engine measures, complementary measures, biofuels, eco-driving and infrastructure measures,

I.   whereas absolute CO2 emissions from cars depend on the complex interplay between engine efficiency, carbon intensity of fuels, driver behaviour, mileage driven, infrastructure quality/congestion and CO2 efficiency of components,

J.   whereas it has been shown that a significant reduction in CO2 emissions would be achieved by consistent compliance with speed limits in all Member States,

K.   whereas affordability and fleet renewal are absolutely key to improving the CO2, air quality and safety performance of cars on the road,

L.   whereas taxation and labelling have failed to contribute to the EU's 3-pillar strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from cars,

M.   whereas it is of key importance to adopt binding and clearly defined CO2 passenger car emission objectives in the interest both of the smooth functioning of the internal market in the motor industry and of providing consumers with comprehensive information enabling them to make an informed decision regarding vehicle purchases, thereby contributing significantly to the reduction of CO2 emissions,

N.   whereas Directive 1999/94/EC has been insufficiently effective and Member States have failed to transpose it in a uniform manner,

O.   whereas it can be noted that for a number of products (e.g. electrical and household equipment) energy efficiency categories have been introduced successfully, which offer European consumers practical assistance in their purchasing decisions through easily understandable letter or colour coding, thereby enabling them to save energy and reduce CO2 emissions,

P.   whereas a contribution towards CO2 reduction must be made by all classes of vehicle categories, since market volume too, above all, is significant in terms of reducing CO2,

Q.   whereas the Lisbon Strategy's sustainable growth and employment objectives should be firmly pursued by avoiding measures which would increase pressure to cut jobs in Europe in the motor industry and jeopardise its international competitiveness,

Timetable and targets

1.  Recognises that manufacturers require between five and seven years to make changes to vehicle design in the most economical manner and, acknowledging that average emissions from cars placed on the EU market in 2008 are likely to be in excess of 150g CO2/km, therefore welcomes the Commission's plan to submit an EU legislative framework for CO2 emissions reduction including binding measures for improving the fuel economy of light vehicles by improving engine technology, other technological improvements and the use of biofuels; recalls that the EU average fleet target of 120 g CO2/km per passenger car was endorsed by the Council in 1996 and Parliament in 1997, with an initial target date of 2005 and a final deadline in 2010;

2.  Insists that the proposed use of "complementary measures" to achieve the previously agreed emissions target of 120g CO2/km be made possible through quantifiable standards and believes that legislation should set clear and measurable targets for emissions reductions to be achieved through technical means;

3.  Proposes that binding annual emissions targets should be set with effect from 2011 with the objective of promoting technical improvements to vehicles in order to ensure that, by these means alone, average emissions from all passenger cars placed on the EU market in 2015 do not exceed 125g CO2/km;

4.  Calls on the Commission to present concrete legislative proposals and measures that ensure that emission reductions of at least 10g CO2/km can be achieved by means of the complementary measures taken as part of the integrated approach, in order to reach the overall target value of 120g CO2/km;

5.  Insists that from 1 January 2020 average emissions should not exceed 95g CO2/km, and believes that the EU should provide support for the necessary promotion of innovation through the Seventh Framework Programme for Research; emphasises the need for intensive promotion of research and development of zero-emission vehicles, such as electrically propelled vehicles;

6.  Recalls its abovementioned resolution of 16 November 2005, calling for "mandatory limits for CO2 emissions from new vehicles in the order of 80-100 g CO2/km for new vehicles in the medium term"; supports the Commission's intention of promoting research, development and demonstration of advanced technologies, particularly to achieve more ambitious targets in 2020; calls on the Commission to evaluate the possibility of gradual reductions beyond 2012 through the use of lighter materials in vehicle manufacture, while ensuring that the current law is complied with and road safety for passengers and vulnerable users is not compromised;

7.  Points out that there is already high-volume series production of low-emission space-saving cars for local use ('Gentlecars'), with values lower than 90g CO2/km, and therefore calls on the Commission to support, in tandem with all other measures, action to ensure that Gentlecars are used as often as possible instead of high CO2 emission vehicles;

8.  Believes that longer term targets should be confirmed or reviewed by the Commission no later than 2016, following a detailed cost-benefit impact assessment and owing to the post-Kyoto agreement, and anticipates that these targets will possibly require further emissions reductions to 70g CO2/km or less by 2025;

9.  Calls on the Commission to take into account technical feasibility, cost-efficiency, environmental impact and affordability over the vehicle life-cycle of new cars when adopting any binding legislative measures which might influence the pace of vehicle fleet renewal;

10.  Notes that Community law regulates a market of 17 to 18 million vehicles per year, which is equivalent to the passenger car market in the United States; expects that an ambitious EU greenhouse gas emissions reduction policy will stimulate knowledge-based economic growth and job creation in the automotive supply industry and will have a positive influence worldwide in terms of reducing transport emissions;

11.  Recommends, in view of the difficulty that some specialist manufacturers may have in reducing average emissions across the limited range of cars they produce within the timescales envisaged, that each manufacturer or importer should have the right to exclude 500 identified vehicles annually from inclusion in the data used to determine average emissions, subject to the emissions and fuel economy of such vehicles being labelled and advertised to consumers in accordance with the usual legal requirements;

12.  Recommends, in addition, in view of the difficulty that some low-volume manufacturers (producing up to 300 000 units) and new entrants with a market share of less than 1% may have in reducing average emissions across the limited range of cars they produce within the time-schedule envisaged, that the Commission should consider incorporating proposals in the legislation that will provide those specialist manufacturers with ambitious reduction targets;

13.  Notes the important role played by specialist manufacturers of premium and high performance cars in pioneering advanced technologies, in sustaining high quality employment, in generating global sales and in benefiting the European economy, and notes that the know-how of such manufacturers should contribute substantially to reducing CO2 emissions from cars;

14.  Insists that any rules must safeguard the internal market and that Member States should implement EU rules on a common date and with common methods so as to avoid market disruption and fragmentation.

Sharing the task between manufacturers

15.  Recognises the large variation in consumer preferences regarding passenger cars and the different composition of manufacturers" fleets; insists that CO2 reductions must be achieved for all cars placed on the market and therefore some differentiation based on a utility parameter should be allowed but that this should not neutralise the incentive to shift towards lower emission vehicles or disadvantage early achievers;

16.  Stresses the importance of allowing particular vehicles to exceed emission limits to avoid excessive disruptions to the car market but seeks to provide strong incentives to bring about emission reductions, and therefore proposes that the setting of 2012 and 2020 targets for the reduction of average emissions, and interim annual targets, shall be achieved by reference to a limit value curve for all vehicles sold by manufacturers and importers that should take, as its starting point, the profile of the new passenger car fleet as of 1 January 2009;

17.  Recommends that the limit value curve be defined by a mathematical formula expressed as a function linking each vehicle's CO2 emissions with its footprint (track width times wheel base);

18.  Calls on the Commission to ensure adequate efforts for all manufacturers and incentives for reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the vehicle fleet; considers, however, that any future scheme should not reward, either directly or indirectly, manufacturers of historically more polluting vehicles, that vehicles with higher CO2 emissions must also be required to make a greater contribution to reducing CO2, and that the scheme should reward the most advanced technologies and alternative fuels according to their greenhouse gas performance (hybrids, hydrogen, electric vehicles or other alternative fuels);

19.  Calls on the Commission after having taken account of the views of stakeholders to present proposals for consideration by Parliament and the Council to ensure that the design of the curve takes into account the differences between car sizes and the technological costs of achieving emission reductions and the affordability of new cars for different types of customers ensuring both diversity and social equity;

20.  Notes the different legislative options for achieving the target; considers it essential, as the Commission states in its Communication, "to ensure … reduction targets which are equitable to the diversity of the European automobile manufacturers" but also to effectively reward best performance in vehicle efficiency;

21.  Proposes the introduction on 1 January 2011 of a new closed market mechanism, the Carbon Allowance Reductions System (CARS), through which manufacturers and importers will be required to pay financial penalties in proportion to any exceedance per car sold of the emissions limits and that these penalties may be offset by redeemable credits awarded to newly registered passenger cars of the same manufacturer with emissions below the limit value curve; considers that the penalties/excess g CO2/km should be higher than the rewards;

22.  Insists that any system of tradable quotas between vehicle manufacturers should be kept separate from the EU emission trading scheme, or any other outside carbon credit or compensation scheme;

23.  Calls on the Commission to include specific credits for early action for the introduction of ultra low CO2 technologies such as hydrogen, fuel cell, and plug-in vehicles which should allow each vehicle of this type introduced between now and the first year of implementation to be counted under the CO2 monitoring procedure as equivalent to (for example) forty conventional vehicles, with diminishing credits for subsequent years;

24.  Believes that the penalties should be set in a predictable and stringent way for industry and suggests that the Commission should make appropriate proposals for the level of penalties/credits expressed in EUR/g CO2;

25.  Accepts that the limit value curve and the level of penalties may have to be adjusted periodically, both to take account of developments in vehicle technology and to curb any slackening in the rate of emissions reductions;

26.  Recommends that the receipts from financial penalties be used both for research and development for CO2 emissions reduction and for aiding local public transport;

27.  Believes that the price of credits, after initial setting by the Commission, shall be determined by the market and that, in order to provide manufacturers and importers with more flexibility and a wider range of options, credits may be carried forward into following years or sold or transferred to other companies or business units within the scheme;

28.  Calls for the information on emission performance per vehicle and per manufacturer to be made available to the public in an easily accessible format to ensure transparency and facilitate comparison between vehicles and manufacturers;

29.  Recommends that manufacturers and importers should be able to make use of flexibilities such as group averaging, credits for renewable fuel vehicles and banking, and determine whether they wish the recognised trading entity to be the corporate body or the various subsidiary companies or business units directly responsible for production of the vehicles concerned;

Testing, data monitoring and vehicle specifications

30.  Insists that total greenhouse gas emissions per vehicle should be addressed, including emissions attributable to air conditioning systems; furthermore, urges the Commission to make proposals to update test cycles to reflect better real driving conditions;

31.  Advocates the revision of the test procedures to better imitate actual driving conditions, and calls for amendments to the European drive cycle to take account of technological developments such as the installation of sixth gears;

32.  Encourages the Commission to introduce new measurements and standards that can allow a fixed value to be attached for the purpose of associating CO2 emissions reduction with helpful improvements such as gear shift indicators, use of econometers, high efficiency air conditioning, improved lubricants, "start /stop systems at idle", low rolling resistance tyres and tyre pressure monitoring systems the use of which may depend upon individual driver behaviour; also recommends the introduction of technology in vehicles to encourage environmentally aware driver behaviour such as displays showing fuel consumption and cost for the current journey alongside the corresponding figures for frequently travelled routes, active speed limit warning devices and driver aids to control speeds, including speed-limiters;

33.  Calls on the Council to review testing procedures to determine whether conformity of production rules are being respected and to ensure that there can be no variance in the approach taken by the certified bodies in different Member States;

34.  Stresses the priority of addressing the urgent issues of energy security and the need to reduce Europe's dependency on imported fuel, to cut CO2 emissions through improvements in vehicle efficiency, and to improve road safety;

35.  Considers that any energy-saving measure that involves lower fuel consumption will have highly beneficial effects for the security of energy supply, by reducing both Community dependence on imports of primary energy sources and the international prices of hydrocarbons;

Advertising and labelling

36.  Having no confidence in the likely effectiveness of the proposed voluntary agreement on the advertising of new cars, calls on the Commission to make a proposal to amend Directive 1999/94/EC and introduce legal requirements for the labelling, advertising and marketing of new cars within the EU internal market, particularly with a view to ensuring that it is properly transposed so as to provide comprehensive and comprehensible consumer information;

37.  Recommends that mandatory and uniform minimum requirements should be set for the display of information relating to the fuel economy (l/100 km) and CO2 emissions (g/km) of new cars on vehicles and in advertising, in all marketing and promotional literature and in showrooms in a conspicuous, user-friendly and possibly colour-coded format for the purposes of comparison; regards the A-G format used for comparing the energy efficiency of certain electrical products as a model for the information displays required;

38.  Calls on the Commission to propose rules with similar objectives to cover areas not covered by current legislation, such as TV, radio and Internet-based material as well as advertisements for nearly new cars;

39.  Suggests that legislation requiring health warnings to be displayed on cigarette packs provides a useful example, and proposes that a minimum of 20% of the space devoted to the promotion of new cars through advertising, marketing literature, or point-of-sale displays in showrooms, should provide information on fuel economy and CO2 emissions in an approved format;

40.  Recommends that air conditioning test results be included in the fuel consumption information in all marketing and promotional literature and in showrooms;

41.  Suggests that a binding code for advertising be introduced which outlaws false green claims and, in order to promote strong consumer demand for vehicles with low CO2 emissions, recommends the introduction of an environmental performance "green star" rating system taking into account all aspects of environmental performance, including CO2 emissions (g/km) and emissions of other pollutants, fuel consumption (l/100 km), weight, aerodynamics, space efficiency, noise and environmental driving aids;

Promoting consumer demand

42.  Recognises the considerable role that Member States can play in encouraging consumer demand for lower emissions public-transport and private vehicles, and calls for the preparation of national action plans indicating measures intended to be taken in this regard;

43.  Supports in particular the use of fiscal measures, and encourages Member States to introduce both purchase and circulation taxes on vehicles with above average emissions;

44.  Recognises that the age of car fleets and driving at excessive speeds affect emissions; calls on the Commission and Member States to introduce economic incentives for retiring old cars and to ensure that part of vehicle taxes is variable depending on CO2 emissions and other pollutants; points out that, with the gradual introduction of technologies with zero CO2 emissions, the CO2-related tax component should, in the long term, disappear;

45.  Calls, with a view to preventing the fragmentation of the internal market, for EU-wide definitions of CO2 emission values, which can be used by Member States in setting emission-related tax incentives, to be established;

46.  Supports CO2-based taxation of cars and alternative fuels so as to set the right incentives for consumers and industry;

Light-commercial duty vehicles (N1) and other categories

47.  Supports the Commission's intention to regulate CO2 emissions of light-commercial vehicles and urges the Commission to bring forward proposals at the same time as those planned for passenger cars;

48.  Recognises that light-commercial vehicles have different characteristics and a different market compared to passenger cars; notes the lack of data on average emissions from this sector and the costs of bringing about reductions but believes that so far as possible the standards and requirements should match those required of passenger cars;

49.   Recalls that the European Parliament has invited the Commission on several occasions to consider CO2-limiting measures for all road vehicle categories and therefore urges the Commission to put forward appropriate regulatory proposals for heavy duty vehicles and two wheelers by 1 January 2009 at the latest;

Complementary measures

50.  Believes that measures that may help reduce vehicle CO2 emissions, but for which an absolute value cannot be attached, should be regarded as entirely supplementary and should not be included within the legislation currently proposed;

51.  Believes that flanking measures involving encouragement of more efficient driving, biofuels and, in particular, improvement of traffic management systems can make a contribution towards minimising CO2 emissions;

52.  Encourages Member States to reduce the volume of goods carried by heavy goods vehicles in favour of rail and waterway transport, which would have an impact in terms of lower pollutant emissions and would also reduce demand for oil;

53.  Fears that the increased use of biofuels risks increasing the price of food and feed, seriously affecting people on very low incomes and accelerating the destruction of tropical rainforests, and calls on the Commission to propose strict certification rules for imported biofuels so as to avoid any negative social and ecological impact;

54.  Believes in any case that the benefits of biofuels in reducing CO2 emissions should be considered within the context of revisions to Directive 98/70/EC;

55.  Insists that certification be developed for sustainably produced biofuels; calls on the Commission, in a legislative proposal, to allow only sustainable-status-certified biofuels to count towards meeting emission limit targets; stresses that second-generation biofuels derived from plants or plant fractions which are not in direct competition with food uses and provide greater efficiency must be expanded and given even more support;

56.  Recommends that further fuel efficiency targets be set beyond 2012 to continue reducing vehicle emissions whilst providing greater certainty to all stakeholders;

57.  Calls on the Commission to consider the role and potential of gaseous alternative fuels, such as liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas, which can contribute to the immediate reduction of CO2 emissions and to the diversification of the energy supply;

58.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to bear in mind the need for in-depth knowledge of the new technologies for motor vehicles and, in particular, to provide training courses for specific groups (such as engineering workshops and technical services);

59.  Calls on the Commission to immediately start preparing an EU-wide eco-driving campaign as part of the strategy to reduce CO2 from cars;

60.  Calls on the Commission to report to the European Parliament on how the CO2 benefits from eco-driving can be made monitorable and, if the Commission believes that this is not the case, explain why the Commission is financing the ECODRIVEN project that aims at quantified CO2 reductions through eco-driving;

61.  Supports the principle that undergoing a course in eco-driving should become a mandatory requirement for possession of a driving licence;

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

(1) OJ L 242, 10.9.2002, p.1.
(2) OJ L 232, 29.8.2002, p.1.
(3) OJ L 412, 30.12.2006, p.1.
(4) OJ C 280 E, 18.11.2006, p.120.
(5) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0038.
(6) http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/automotive/projects/report_co2_reduction.pdf
(7) OJ L 12, 18.1.2000, p. 16. Directive as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003 (OJ L 284, 31.10.2003, p. 1).
(8) OJ L 350, 28.12.1998, p. 58. Directive as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003.


Taxation and customs policies and the Lisbon Strategy
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European Parliament resolution of 24 October 2007 on the contribution of taxation and customs policies to the Lisbon Strategy (2007/2097(INI))
P6_TA(2007)0470A6-0391/2007

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on The contribution of taxation and Customs policies to the Lisbon Strategy (COM(2005)0532),

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee on Coordinating Member States' direct tax systems in the Internal Market (COM(2006)0823),

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee on Exit taxation and the need for co-ordination of Member States' tax policies (COM(2006)0825),

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee entitled, Towards a more effective use of tax incentives in favour of R&D (COM(2006)0728),

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee on Implementing the Community Lisbon Programme: Progress to date and next steps towards a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB) (COM(2006)0157),

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee on Tax treatment of Losses in Cross-Border Situations (COM(2006)0824),

–   having regard to its position of 10 March 2004 on the proposal for a Council directive amending Directive 90/434/EEC of 23 July 1990 on the common system of taxation applicable to mergers, divisions, transfers of assets and exchanges of shares concerning companies of different Member States(1),

–   having regard to its resolution of 13 December 2005 on taxation of undertakings in the European Union: a common consolidated corporate tax base(2),

–   having regard to its resolution of 29 March 2007 on the future of the European Union's own resources(3),

–   having regard to the informal Ecofin Council meetings on 10 and 11 September 2004 and on 7 and 8 April 2006,

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee on Tackling the corporation tax obstacles of small and medium-sized enterprises in the Internal Market - outline of a possible Home State Taxation pilot scheme (COM(2005)0702),

–   having regard to the Commission's European Tax Survey (SEC(2004)1128,

–   having regard to the Presidency conclusions following the Lisbon European Council of 23 and 24 March 2000, the Stockholm European Council of 23 and 24 March 2001, the Barcelona European Council of 15 and 16 March 2002 and the Brussels European Councils of 22 and 23 March 2005, 15 and 16 December 2005 and 23 and 24 March 2006,

–   having regard to the OECD report on harmful tax competition: An Emerging Global Issue, 1998,

–   having regard to the Commission report on Structures of the taxation systems in the European Union, 2006,

–   having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (A6-0391/2007),

A.   whereas the national tax systems need increasingly to take into account the globalisation of the economy and the need to accumulate human capital in a knowledge-based society,

B.   whereas the existence of 27 different tax systems in the European Union constitutes an impediment to the smooth functioning of the internal market, causes significant additional costs for cross-border trade and business in terms of administration and compliance, hinders corporate restructuring, renders EU undertakings less competitive at a global level, and leads to cases of double-taxation,

C.   whereas Parliament's resolution of 29 March 2007 on the future of the European Union's own resources stresses that any future system of own resources in the European Union must respect the principles of Member States' fiscal sovereignty as well as fiscal neutrality, and also mentions, as a possible long-term option for the future of the European Union's own resources, the imposition of a Community tax or new national taxes which would directly benefit the European Union,

D.   whereas tax competition in the European Union has led - and continues to lead - to EU-wide economic gains by way of a dynamic corporate environment, but that appropriate EU-level tax coordination, which does not attempt to harmonise tax rates, can contribute to the benefits of tax competition being even more widely shared between undertakings, their employees and consumers,

E.   whereas there are certain countries within the European Union in which tax revenue from capital has increased due to greater general economic growth and, in particular, on account of the launching of many new companies and their significant profit growth, in contrast to those countries in which revenue capacity has decreased following slower growth,

F.   whereas overall taxation levels in the different Member States vary between 28,4 and 50,5 % of GDP, the corollary of which is that there are different levels of impact as regards the economy,

G.   whereas given the impact of R&D on growth and jobs, it is necessary to examine a more effective use of tax incentives for R&D,

H.   whereas achieving the objectives of the Lisbon Strategy necessitates increased coordination of Member States' fiscal policy; whereas Europe must build a distinctive economic and social framework, which transforms a competitive advantage due to a diversity of cultural heritage and intellectual capital into innovation-driven productivity growth,

I.   whereas elements in the current fragmentation of tax systems constitute loopholes enabling tax evasion; whereas the tax revenue lost by fraud and tax evasion is estimated to amount to between EUR 200 and EUR 250 billion as regards VAT alone,

J.   whereas the accurate measure of a tax burden is the effective tax rate, which comprises the nominal tax rate and a tax base,

K.   whereas energy taxation is a useful tool in that it both applies the 'polluter pays' principle and achieves a reduction of pollution at source; whereas there is an urgent need to address the ever growing environmental impact of traffic in order to address climate change,

L.   whereas energy taxation and the EU Emissions Trading System are two significant economic instruments in use which address energy consumption and CO2 emissions,

The contribution of taxation policy to the Lisbon Strategy

1.  Recalls that decisions linked to fiscal policy, such as the provision of fiscal incentives to undertakings, are the main instrument for developing and increasing the number of jobs, but also for increasing R&D investment and environmentally friendly technologies; stresses, however, that if fiscal policy is to make a substantive contribution to the Lisbon Strategy, the constant monitoring of the manner of redistributing additional revenue generated by such tax relief for undertakings is needed, with a view to ensuring that the additional revenue is in fact used to boost innovation and more energy-efficient technology;

2.  Notes the trend in declining corporate tax rates in the European Union as well as in other OECD countries, which reflects increasing global competition, structural change and development in financial markets, notes however that the overall level of taxation in Europe remains higher in comparison to that of other OECD countries; also draws attention to the fact that public revenue as a whole has increased despite declining effective rates of corporate tax; notes the need for a coordinated fiscal framework, including corporate tax arrangements, which should be favourable to companies, in particular SMEs, and geared to renewing growth and generating employment;

3.  Regards it as necessary to set up a public finance policy environment that is favourable to growth and employment in the economy, and to promote healthy tax competition in the European Union so that the tax burden is widely shared by employees and consumers, businesses and those deriving income from capital; points out that the European Union must promote tax arrangements to encourage the creation of new businesses and technological innovation;

4.  Underlines that, in general, tax systems in the Member States have gone too far in applying relatively high rates to low tax brackets, which discourages risk-taking and the establishment of start-ups;

5.  Considers that it is possible to have competitive tax arrangements without undermining state funding, as seen in those European countries that have in the last decade succeeded in increasing their tax revenue through tax cuts accompanied by a widening of tax bases, while controlling expenditure, thereby reducing their deficits;

6.  Welcomes the Commission's intention to develop solutions for problems arising from transfer pricing rules in the European Union;

7.  Welcomes the Commission's proposed pilot project to apply the principle of home state taxation to corporate tax paid by SMEs;

8.  Recognises the difficulties facing SMEs in the European Union and other OECD countries in financing their projects and endorses the provision of fiscal incentives to encourage SMEs to take more advantage of intermediary financing mechanisms, such as, inter alia, entrepreneurial share capital and business angel networks;

9.  Draws attention to the shortfall in public revenue caused in the European Union by tax fraud and urges the Commission and the Member States to take further action to combat tax fraud;

10.  Takes the view that in order effectively to combat tax evasion and tax fraud, a radical change is needed in the way that fiscal services operate based on modern organisational and sound administration principles and stresses that the Commission should take significant initiatives to support coordination at Community level in this sector;

11.  Considers that VAT relief for community-oriented public or semi-public undertakings must be retained; believes that a one-stop-shop for companies to deal with their EU-wide VAT obligation must be introduced;

12.  Calls on the Member States to seek to ensure greater fairness in the distribution of fiscal burdens and through better structure and targeting of the expenditure side of the budget;

13.  Criticises the upward trend of VAT rates in the European Union, which has a regressive effect and reduces consumer demand; stresses that experience in some Member States has shown that greater revenue is generated when the tax base is widened, when employment growth causes an increase in consumption and when the conditions are right for black economy activities to become regularised, a process that would be endangered by an increase in VAT rates;

14.  Reiterates its support for experimenting with lower VAT rates for labour-intensive services as a structural element of the VAT system, with flexibility for Member States to apply such rates in sectors of proximity services that are mainly local and do not distort cross-border competition;.

15.  Supports the Commission's efforts to gear fiscal policy towards more ambitious environmental objectives; considers that such action can promote greater research into, and a greater application of, environmental technologies, thereby developing the European Union's competitive potential in this field; stresses, however, that action must be taken to avoid placing an even greater burden on poorer households;

16.  Notes that there is a need for an entirely new approach regarding excise duty policy; stresses that a policy line that is oriented to the determination of the minimum tax rate at the Community level should be rejected and that a generic code of conduct should instead be adopted, with the objective of encouraging Member States to approximate more closely their highly divergent rates of excise duty;

17.  Believes that fiscal policy should generally contribute to requiring industry to internalise external costs but considers it appropriate to retain or introduce tax and other incentives to promote clean, non-fossil-based energy sources;

18.  Considers that an increase in fuel taxes would have a positive environmental impact if economical and attractive means of mass transport were available;

19.  Believes that countries that are in the process of catching up are faced with higher external costs, for which they should not be penalised;

20.  Stresses the need to continue reducing taxes on employment as an important tool by which to achieve the Lisbon Strategy objective of an employment rate of 70 %;

21.  Considers it important for the completion of the internal market to simplify customs legislation and to rationalise customs procedures with the purpose of reducing the administrative cost for enterprises engaged in cross-border transactions, maintaining a simplification of enterprises' cross-border compliance obligations; supports moving towards a simplified system for levying VAT on cross-border sales in the European Union, for example, by implementing the reverse charge mechanism;

Common consolidated corporate tax base

22.  Supports the Commission's efforts to establish a pan-European and uniform common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB); notes that a CCCTB will lead to greater transparency by enabling companies to operate according to the same rules abroad as at home, will increase cross-border trade and investment, and will significantly reduce administrative costs and the possibility of tax evasion and fraud; considers it necessary to introduce measures specifically designed to reduce tax compliance costs faced by SMEs, such as home state taxation provisions;

23.  Notes that the CCCTB is a policy which may be conducted under the enhanced cooperation mechanism, as already provided for in the Treaties;

24.  Recalls that the CCCTB will involve common rules regarding the tax base and will in no way affect the freedom of Member States to continue setting their own tax rates;

25.  Welcomes the Commission's intention to launch the CCCTB in the framework of enhanced cooperation; points out, however, that this is a second-best solution, as the benefits of transparency and lower administrative costs may be partly mitigated in the absence of a comprehensive Community-wide system;

26.  Welcomes the Commission's view that the CCCTB must be uniform and simplify the situation and recommends, while defining a framework of common standards, the development of a mechanism of allocating revenues among the Member States concerned; considers, furthermore, that in order to establish a genuinely common unified tax base, it is also important to create comparable or, at best, common registration documentation for cross-border economic activities;

27.  Welcomes the Commission communication, Towards more effective use of tax incentives in favour of R&D, and highlights the need to share best practices and clarify, to a maximum degree, the compatibility of such incentives with Community law;

28.  Stresses that green taxation is a flexible policy instrument for achieving a given pollution target, for providing incentives for technological innovation and for further reducing pollutant emissions;

29.  Encourages the Commission to address the issues relating to the consolidation of accounts, taxation and tax administration of the large groups operating across borders;

Towards a more effective use of tax incentives in favour of research and development

30.  Considers that tax incentives to encourage R&D activities are of great importance for achieving the Lisbon Strategy objectives, such as increasing R&D spending in Europe, in particular as regards facilitating R&D+i activities for SMEs; notes, however, that such tax incentives should not be used as indirect subsidies to national firms;

31.  Is convinced that tax policy should be drawn up in such a way as to induce productivity-led growth in all sectors of the economy by allowing a taxpayer to either deduct or claim tax depreciation in respect of R&D expenditure;

32.  Believes that the technological gap among Member States means that there are differences in tax policy and that action should only be taken at Community level when action by individual Member States cannot provide an effective solution; is of the opinion that the promotion of good practices for the design of R&D tax initiatives and better co-ordination of tax policy would help Member States meet the Lisbon Strategy objectives;

Exit taxation

33.  Urges the Commission to adopt a more proactive strategy with regard to offshore financial centres;

34.  Supports the Commission's view that when assets are transferred to a third country, it is justified, because of the lack of cross-border administrative cooperation, to require taxes to be payable at the time of exit;

Tax treatment of losses in cross-border situations

35.  Notes that cases concerning taxation are frequently brought before the Court of Justice of the European Communities and that this is mainly because of the lack of transparency and the high level of complexity of the taxation systems in Europe and calls, therefore, for a simplification of tax codes across the European Union; believes that, in situations involving cross-border losses by foreign subsidiaries, the double taxation of parent companies must be avoided, fiscal competence must be fairly distributed among Member States, losses should not be offset twice, and tax avoidance must be prevented;

36.  Notes that without channels of cross-border loss relief, firms will seek to ensure that their profits are taxed in countries where the size of the home market is sufficient to generate enough profit to offset possible losses abroad;

37.  Considers that it is necessary to work towards a system of cross-border loss relief, both for companies and groups with units abroad; takes note of the Commission communication on tax treatment of losses in cross-border situations;

38.  Regards the Commission communication on tax treatment of losses in cross-border situations as a basis for further discussion, specifically as regards the possible solutions, pending the application of the CCCTB, identified in the communication as regards implementing a system of loss relief and recapture by the host Member State;

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

(1) OJ C 102 E of 28.4.2004, p. 569.
(2) OJ C 286 E, 23.11.2006, p. 229.
(3) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0098.


Tobacco smoke: policy options at EU level
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European Parliament resolution of 24 October 2007 on the Green Paper 'Towards a Europe free from tobacco smoke: policy options at EU level' (2007/2105(INI))
P6_TA(2007)0471A6-0336/2007

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission's Green Paper 'Towards a Europe free from tobacco smoke: policy options at EU level' (COM(2007)0027),

–   having regard to the 2003 WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC),

–   having regard to the 2004 WHO European strategy for smoking cessation policy,

–   having regard to the 2007 WHO policy recommendations on protection from exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke,

–   having regard to the Commission statement before the Parliament concerning tobacco additives in the context of the negotiations on REACH and concerning the European Parliament's amendments on tobacco additives(1),

–   having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (A6-0336/2007),

A.   whereas tobacco smoke is a complex toxic mixture of more than 4 000 substances, including poisons such as hydrogen cyanide, ammonia and carbon monoxide, as well as 50 substances proven to be carcinogenic,

B.   whereas in the European Union alone at least 650 000 people die each year as a consequence of smoking,

C.   whereas it has been scientifically proven that tobacco smoke and smokeless tobacco products cause serious damage to health and premature death,

D.   whereas tobacco smoke damages the airways, resulting in irritations of the mucous membrane, coughing, hoarseness, shortness of breath, impaired lung function, the development and aggravation of asthma and of pneumonia, bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and damage to the arteries is so severe as to cause heart attacks and strokes, and more than doubles the risk of blindness through age-related macular degeneration (AMD),

E.   whereas exposure to tobacco smoke in general or in the workplace is proven to substantially increase the risk of lung cancer and employees of catering establishments in which smoking is permitted are, for instance, 50% more likely to develop lung cancer than employees not exposed to tobacco smoke,

F.   whereas in the European Union an estimated 80 000 people die from passive smoking each year,

G.   whereas children are particularly vulnerable to tobacco pollution, e.g. in the home and in private transport,

H.   whereas exposure to tobacco pollution during pregnancy can result in a higher risk of deformities, miscarriages, still and premature births, stunted growth of the foetus, smaller head circumference and a lower birth weight and there is a link between passive smoking and middle ear infections, impaired lung function, asthma and sudden infant death syndrome,

I.   whereas the European Union and 25 of the 27 Member States have already signed and ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), in the preamble to which reference is made to the WHO Constitution which states that the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental human rights and Article 8 of which lays down an obligation to provide protection from exposure to tobacco smoke,

J.   whereas the most benefit for society and the economy will be best achieved when smoke-free areas are complemented with effective smoking cessation policies at EU and/or Member State level, such as: (a) effective cessation promotion programmes in educational institutions, health care facilities, workplaces and sporting environments and increased access to cessation therapies (both behavioural and pharmacological) for persons who wish to stop smoking, (b) diagnosis and treatment of tobacco dependence in national health and education programmes, and (c) collaboration to facilitate accessibility and affordability as agreed in Article 14 of the FCTC,

K.   whereas a responsible policy has a duty to create an environment in which smoking is no longer seen as normal, that encourages people to cut down on or give up smoking, that supports them in the cessation process and that prevents children and young people from taking up smoking,

L.   whereas only a full smoking ban in all enclosed workplaces, including catering and drinking establishments, and all public buildings and transport can protect the health of employees and non-smokers and make it considerably easier for smokers to give up,

M.   whereas the catering industry has not suffered any noticeable loss in revenue in the countries in which a full smoking ban has been introduced,

N.   whereas the World Bank has demonstrated the cost-effectiveness of taxation measures to reduce the demand for tobacco products and to reduce overall tobacco consumption, in its 1999 report "Curbing the epidemic: Governments and the economics of tobacco control", and the WHO has also stressed that taxation has the greatest impact,

O.   whereas the WHO's European Strategy for Smoking Cessation Policy affirms that smoking cessation interventions (both behavioural and pharmacological) are an important and cost-efficient component of a comprehensive tobacco control strategy which will save health systems considerable expense in the future,

P.   whereas it is known that tobacco consumption costs European economies hundreds of billions annually,

Q.   whereas the costs to health systems resulting from tobacco consumption are borne by the population in general and not by those responsible for creating them,

R.   whereas it is unacceptable that certain Member States encourage the purchase of tobacco products by low taxation rates in their countries so as to increase their overall tax income,

S.   whereas almost 70% of the EU population are non-smokers, 27% smoke cigarettes, 5% smoke rolling cigarettes and 1% smoke cigars or a pipe,

T.   whereas 86% of EU citizens are in favour of a ban on smoking at work, 84% in other public places, 77% in restaurants and 61% in bars and pubs,

U.   whereas target-group-specific education, particularly of young people, pregnant women and parents, helps to reduce tobacco consumption,

1.  Welcomes the Commission's Green Paper as a starting point for a responsible European policy to protect citizens from harmful tobacco smoke;

2.  Welcomes the action taken by those Member States that have already adopted effective measures to ensure protection from passive smoking;

3.  Renews its call to the Commission, as issued in its resolution of 23 February 2005 on the European Environment and Health Action Plan 2004-2010(2), to classify environmental tobacco smoke in the Dangerous Substances Directive(3) a class 1 carcinogen as soon as possible so as to bring environmental tobacco smoke under the scope of the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive(4);

4.  Calls on the Commission to list and quantify the concrete harmful effects of smoking among youth in the Member States with a view to subsequently formulating European objectives for Member States aimed at curbing the uptake and consumption of tobacco among young people, with Member States committing themselves to reduce smoking among youth by at least 50% by 2025,

5.  Without prejudice to any obligations imposed by Community legislation, stresses that the Member States are free to determine the form of the measures to be taken at national level, but that they should report to the Commission, both at the mid-point and at the end of the set period referred to in paragraph 4, on the progress made in reducing the harmful effects of smoking among youth,

6.  Notes that the Commission has a supporting role to play in the achievement of the European objectives by helping the Member States to exchange knowledge and best practices and to carry out European research on combating the harmful effects of smoking among youth;

7.  Calls on the Commission to submit a proposal for an amendment of the Framework Directive on Workplace Safety and Health(5) requiring all employers to ensure that the workplace is free from tobacco smoke;

8.  Calls on the Member States to introduce, within two years, an unrestricted smoking ban in all enclosed workplaces, including catering establishments, and in all enclosed public buildings and transport in the European Union; calls on the Commission, if the objectives referred to are not attained by all Member States, to submit a proposal to Parliament and the Council by 2011 for rules on the protection of non-smokers in the field of employment protection, while recognising the Member States" existing national provisions;

9.  Calls on the Member States that introduced a full smoking ban in public places, bars and restaurants to create and sign up to a voluntary charter declaring a 'European smoke free zone', thus creating a spearhead of Member States who have already adopted a full smoking ban on the basis of voluntary membership, and calls on the charter members to consider eventually giving this voluntary charter legislative status through the enhanced cooperation procedure;

10.  Calls on the Member States to prohibit smoking on public playgrounds within two years;

11.  Calls on the Commission to produce a report on the cost incurred by national health systems and the European Union economy as a result of smoking and the effects of tobacco smoke pollution;

12.  Calls on the Commission to present a proposal, by 2008 if possible, for an amendment of Directive 2001/37/EC(6) on tobacco products, containing at least the following:

   an immediate ban on all addiction-enhancing additives,
   an immediate ban on all additives shown by existing toxicological data to be carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic to reproduction as such or upon pyrolysis (burning at a temperature of between 600 and 950°C),
   the introduction of a detailed registration, evaluation and authorisation procedure for tobacco additives, and complete on-pack labelling of all tobacco additives,
   an automatic ban on all additives for which manufacturers and importers of tobacco products do not have complete data sets by the end of 2008 (including lists of all ingredients by brand name and type, along with their quantities and toxicological data),
   a requirement for manufacturers to make publicly available all existing toxicological data on the additives and ingredients in tobacco smoke, including pyrolysis products (public and in-house data),
   the development of a compendium of tobacco additives and substances in tobacco smoke and the provision of consumer information in this respect,
   introduction of a financing system that makes tobacco product manufacturers liable for all costs of developing and maintaining assessment and supervisory structures (e.g. independent laboratories, staff and scientific investigations),
   application of product liability in respect of manufacturers and introduction of manufacturer liability for the financing of all health costs arising from tobacco consumption;

13.  Calls on the Commission to support a comprehensive tobacco control and smoking cessation strategy and to examine further EU-wide measures towards a Europe free from tobacco smoke, such as:

   an EU-wide ban on the use of tobacco in the presence of minors in private transport,
   an EU-wide ban on the sale of tobacco products to young people under 18,
   the granting of a permit for the installation of cigarette vending machines only if the machines will be inaccessible to minors,
   the removal of tobacco products from self-service displays in retail outlets,
   a ban on distance sales of tobacco products to young people under 18 (e.g. over the Internet),
   promotion of preventive measures and antismoking campaigns for young people,
   a ban on Internet advertising of tobacco products,
   encouraging Member States to introduce inflation-proof taxation on all tobacco products,
   an EU-wide high minimum level of taxation of tobacco products,
   stronger controls against tobacco smuggling;

14.  Calls on the Commission to investigate what fiscal measures could help to reduce tobacco consumption, particularly by young people, and calls on the Commission to make a recommendation to the Member States on the basis of this investigation;

15.  Calls on all Member States to stop encouraging the purchase of tobacco products by maintaining low taxation rates in their countries;

16.  Welcomes Italy's decision to ban all transports of unlabelled cigarettes as a way to combat smuggling and facilitate determination of origin;

17.  Calls on the Commission to submit proposals to amend Directive 2001/37/EC so as to remove the requirement to display tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide yields on cigarette packs, which currently provides smokers with a misleading comparison;

18.  Calls on the Commission to submit proposals to amend Directive 2001/37/EC so as to include a renewed library of larger, hard-hitting picture warnings mandatory on all tobacco products sold in the European Union, and for such warnings to appear on both sides of the tobacco packs; considers that all warnings should also include clear contact details to help smokers quit such as a relevant free phone number or website;

19.  In particular, calls on the Commission to recommend the inclusion of a warning on the link between smoking and blindness in its revision of Directive 2001/37/EC, since several recent scientific studies have produced robust and consistent evidence that smoking causes sight loss through age-related macular degeneration; such warnings should appear in the list of warnings for use on tobacco products with appropriate graphic images to support this message;

20.  Calls on the Member States to help smokers who want to quit smoking by means of supporting measures, e.g. smoking cessation interventions such as:

   increased access to cessation therapies - both pharmacological (e.g. nicotine replacement therapy) and behavioural (counselling) - through reimbursement and interventions of healthcare providers;
   increased affordability of smoking cessation products (e.g. nicotine replacement products) through a reduced VAT rate;

21.  Points out that according to the 2004 WHO European strategy for smoking cessation policy intensive counselling of more than 10 minutes by a physician has the highest success rate in achieving long-term abstinence; therefore calls on Member States to embed counselling to end nicotine dependence into the national health care system by encouraging and training primary care professionals to intervene by systematically asking patients about smoking, to advise smokers to stop, and to reimburse them for such intensive counselling;

22.  Calls on the Member States to conduct information and education campaigns concerning healthy lifestyles tailored to all age ranges and social groups in order to enable people to shoulder responsibility for themselves and, where applicable, their children;

23.  Considers that such smoking cessation measures should ensure that smokers, particularly the young and those economically less well off, have access to affordable smoking cessation products and treatments, including counselling, so as to ensure that there are no inequalities whereby less-advantaged members of society are discouraged from using them;

24.  Considers that information on how to stop smoking, including free phone numbers or a website address, should be visibly available in all outlets where tobacco products are sold;

25.  Encourages the Commission to continue to implement support measures at EU level, e.g. awareness-raising measures; considers that developing the skills of doctors and other health care personnel should be an important field, to which priority is assigned;

26.  Calls on the Commission urgently to investigate the health risks associated with consumption of snus and its impact on the consumption of cigarettes;

27.  Calls, as one arm of the budgetary authority, for the financing of these awareness-raising measures, which is currently assured by the Community Tobacco Fund, to continue to be guaranteed when the fund is phased out;

28.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to include tobacco control as a key priority in their health and development work and to work with low-income countries to ensure that all necessary funding and technical assistance is made available so that the EU's ACP partners are able to comply with their obligations under the FCTC; calls on the Commission to always promptly pay all financial commitments linked to the FCTC and related initiatives in the UN system;

29.  Calls on Italy and the Czech Republic to ratify the FCTC as soon as possible;

30.  Condemns the disregard shown by some Members and staff of the European Parliament for the restrictions on smoking in the European Parliament, e.g. by smoking in staircases or in the open Members' bar in Strasbourg;

31.  Calls on the Bureau, in the light of its duty to set an example, to adopt a smoking ban with no exemptions in all parts of the European Parliament with immediate effect; calls for a rigorous enforcement of this ban;

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

(1) Texts adopted of 13.12.2006, P6_TA(2006)0552.
(2) OJ C 304 E, 1.12.2005, p. 264.
(3) Council Directive 67/548/EEC of 27 June 1967 on the approximation of laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances (OJ L 196, 16.8.1967, p. 1).
(4) Directive 2004/37/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work (OJ L 158, 30.4.2004, p. 50).
(5) Council Directive 89/391/EEC of 12 June 1989 on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work (OJ L 183, 29.6.1989, p. 1).
(6) Directive 2001/37/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2001 on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco products (OJ L 194, 18.7.2001, p. 26.)


Turkey
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European Parliament resolution of 24 October 2007 on EU-Turkey relations
P6_TA(2007)0472B6-0376/2007

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to its resolution of 15 December 2004 on the 2004 regular report and the recommendation of the European Commission on Turkey's progress towards accession(1),

–   having regard to its resolution of 28 September 2005 on the opening of negotiations with Turkey(2),

–   having regard to its resolution of 27 September 2006 on Turkey's progress towards accession(3),

–   having regard to its resolutions of 16 March 2006 on the Commission's 2005 enlargement strategy paper(4) and of 13 December 2006 on the Commission's Communication on the Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges 2006-2007(5),

–   having regard to the Negotiating Framework for Turkey of 3 October 2005,

–   having regard to Council Decision 2006/35/EC of 23 January 2006 on the principles, priorities and conditions contained in the Accession Partnership with Turkey(6) ("the Accession Partnership"),

–   having regard to the Turkey 2006 Progress Report of the Commission (SEC(2006)1390),

–   having regard to the Commission Communication to the European Parliament and the Council on the enlargement strategy and main challenges 2006-2007 (COM(2006)0649),

–   having regard to Rule 103(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas accession negotiations with Turkey were opened on 3 October 2005 after approval by the Council of the Negotiating Framework, and whereas the opening of those negotiations is the starting point for an open-ended process,

B.   whereas Turkey has committed itself to reforms, good neighbourly relations and progressive alignment with the EU, and whereas these efforts should be viewed as an opportunity for Turkey itself to modernise,

C.   whereas full compliance with all the Copenhagen criteria and EU integration capacity, in accordance with the conclusions of the December 2006 European Council meeting, remain the basis for accession to the EU,

D.   whereas Turkey has not yet fully implemented the provisions stemming from the EC-Turkey Association Agreement and its Additional Protocol,

E.   whereas, after a wave of reforms introduced between 2002 and 2004, the pace of reforms in Turkey has slowed down; whereas on 17 April 2007 the Turkish Government adopted its 'Programme for Alignment with the EU Acquis 2007-2013', and whereas on 31 August 2007 the new Turkish Government presented its programme, which includes strengthening the economy, drafting a new constitution and accelerating the reforms needed to bring Turkey closer to the EU,

1.  Calls on the Commission to identify in its regular report those subjects which have to be addressed by Turkey as a matter of priority, focusing on the achievement of the short-term and medium-term priorities set out in the Accession Partnership, and to pay particular attention to the subjects highlighted in this resolution; expects the Commission to fully utilise all appropriate means to support the reform process efficiently, reminding Turkey that honouring its commitments within the timetable set by the Accession Partnership is of paramount importance to its credibility;

2.  Congratulates Turkey on having held free and fair elections, as indicated by the Election Assessment Mission deployed by the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and a delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe; welcomes the election of a Turkish Grand National Assembly in which all the regions are represented and in which the participation of women has increased, and encourages the newly elected deputies to commit themselves to further strengthening democracy in Turkey;

3.  Welcomes the election of the new President as a sign of the strength of Turkish democracy; calls upon President Abdullah Gül to promote pluralism and the unity of the Turkish people in a secular state on its way to difficult but necessary reforms;

4.  Expects the new Turkish Government, which benefits from a strong mandate and popular trust, to accelerate the process of reforms in order to fulfil the commitments defined in the Accession Partnership; encourages the government to search for a broad consensus within the Turkish parliament and with Turkish civil society on constitutional and institutional matters; recalls that the development of Turkey into a democratic and prosperous state governed by the rule of law together with the uniform application of legal norms are of strategic importance for Turkey, its society and the EU; welcomes in this respect the commitment of the new government to enhance the reform process in the coming months and years;

5.  Welcomes the intention of the new Turkish Government to adopt a new and civilian constitution which will protect fundamental human rights and freedoms; underlines the need to ensure that the new constitution establishes a system of checks and balances guaranteeing the democratic and secular character of the Turkish State; calls on all parties to support an open and consensual constitutional process; recalls in this context its earlier recommendation on the electoral threshold; stresses that constitutional plans should not postpone urgently needed reforms, especially on Article 301 of the Penal Code;

6.  Welcomes the positive economic development of Turkey in recent years; considers it, however, vital to increase employment and to develop a reform strategy which will reinforce the social cohesion of the Turkish society;

7.  Welcomes the efforts made by the Turkish Government to align itself with the EU energy acquis and supports the opening of negotiations on the energy chapter as soon as technical preparations are completed; encourages Turkey to join, as a full member, the European Energy Community, and thus to further strengthen energy cooperation between the EU and Turkey, with a view to reinforcing the energy supply security and supporting the use of renewable energy resources and the investments in energy efficiency; underlines the importance of Turkey as a transit hub for the diversification of gas supplies to the EU; emphasises that energy projects involving Turkey in the South Caucasus should be open to all countries of that region, which are part of the EU's neighbourhood policy;

8.  Notes that Turkey's geo-strategic position in the region and its role in transportation and logistics will become more important in the coming years; calls on the Commission to issue a specific report on the latest developments and future challenges;

9.  Is concerned about the repeated interference by the Turkish armed forces in the political process; stresses that further efforts are needed to ensure full and effective civilian control over the military; underlines that the formulation and implementation of the national security strategy should be supervised by the civilian authorities; calls for the establishment of full parliamentary oversight of military and defence policy and all related expenditure; calls moreover for parliamentary supervision over the country's secret services, gendarmerie and police;

10.  Welcomes the EU-Turkey Civil Society Dialogue, and asks the Commission to report on the activities that have been carried out within that framework; underlines the importance of increased contacts between the civil societies in Turkey and the EU; calls on the Commission to provide targeted support to civil society, to be more present in different regions of Turkey, and in this context to pay particular attention to the south-east; calls on the new Turkish Government to involve Turkish civil society, an important promoter of democracy in Turkey, more intensively in the reform process;

11.  Refers to its above-mentioned resolution of 27 September 2006, in particular those of its paragraphs which concern the reforms needed to improve the functioning of the judiciary and the combating of corruption, respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms, protection of women's rights, implementation of the zero-tolerance-to-torture policy and the protection of minority, religious and cultural rights; awaits, before assessing the progress made in implementing such reforms, the results of the intensified monitoring of the political criteria announced by the Commission in its last enlargement strategy; calls on the Commission to publish those results in its forthcoming progress report;

12.  Urges the new Turkish Government to fully implement the provisions stemming from the EC-Turkey Association Agreement and its Additional Protocol; recalls that the non-fulfilment of Turkey's commitments as referred to in the Accession Partnership will continue seriously to affect the process of negotiations;

13.  Deplores the fact that a number of people are still being prosecuted under Article 301 of the Penal Code; strongly condemns the recent conviction of Saris Seropyan and Arat Dink under this article; urges the government and the newly elected parliament to make sure that all provisions of the Penal Code allowing for arbitrary restrictions on the expression of non-violent opinions are removed and that freedom of expression and freedom of the press are guaranteed; regards this as a top priority for the new government;

14.  Stresses the need to adopt without delay a Law on Foundations that addresses the current legal uncertainty regarding the status of religious minorities and sets a clear legal framework enabling them to exercise their religion freely by allowing them, inter alia, to own property and train clergy; shares the concern expressed by the Council on 24 July 2007 over the recent ruling of the Turkish Court of Cassation with regard to the Ecumenical Patriarchate; urges the new Turkish Government to bring its approach towards religious minorities into line with principles of freedom of religion as defined by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights; calls on the Commission to raise these issues with the new government; also invites the Commission to indicate how the Pre-Accession Instrument established by Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006(7) can be used for the protection of the Christian heritage;

15.  Strongly condemns the murders of Hrant Dink, of the Christian priest Andrea Santoro, and of three Christians in Malatya, the terrorist attack in Ankara and all other acts of politically or religiously motivated violence; expects the Turkish authorities to fully investigate these cases and to bring all those responsible to justice; underlines the urgent need to combat efficiently all types of extremism and violence and to ban them from all levels of public life in Turkey; calls on the Turkish Government to increase the protection of those groups, minorities or individuals who feel exposed to threats and discrimination;

16.  Calls on the new government to take concrete measures to ensure that full trade union rights are respected, in line with European and International Labour Organization standards; encourages it to support intensification of the social dialogue between employers associations and trade unions; asks the Commission to address this subject with the new government;

17.  Welcomes the fact that a considerable number of women in Turkey hold important positions in the economy and in the academic world, and that more women have been elected to the Turkish parliament than hitherto; underlines that accessibility of education, equal treatment and economic empowerment of women are keys to further economic growth and prosperity in Turkey; regrets that violations of women's rights, and in particular so-called 'honour crimes', remain a matter of serious concern; urges the Commission, therefore, to stress to the new government the need to strengthen its efforts to eradicate violence and discriminatory practices against women, and stresses that those efforts should include, inter alia, a sustained public campaign and provision of more shelters for women in distress;

18.  Points to the need for a comprehensive strategy for the socio-economic development of the south-east of Turkey; calls on the Commission to indicate in which way the Pre-Accession Instrument can be used to support efforts that will have to be made by the new Turkish Government to develop the south-east of the country, and to coordinate this assistance with that provided by other international financial institutions;

19.  Is concerned about the consequences of the social, ecological, cultural and geopolitical problems of the Turkish Southeastern Anatolia Project, in which water barrage projects have a direct impact on the water supply of the neighbouring countries; calls on the Commission to monitor closely, in its regular report, the development of trans-boundary water cooperation in line with international conventions, nature and environmental protection directives and the Water Framework Directive(8), and to promote the application of EU environmental standards to large scale mining and water barrage projects;

20.  Urges the new government to launch a political initiative favouring a lasting settlement of the Kurdish issue, and to work, with the constructive involvement of the newly elected representatives in the Turkish Grand National Assembly and the elected mayors and civil society in the south-east, towards significant improvements in social, economic and cultural life; welcomes President Gül's initiative to visit the south-east of Turkey for the first time;

21.  Strongly condemns the violence perpetrated by the Kurdistan Workers" Party (PKK) and other terrorist groups on Turkish soil; expresses its solidarity with Turkey in its fight against terrorism and repeats its call on the PKK to declare and respect an immediate and unconditional ceasefire; underlines the need to pursue the fight against terrorism in proportion to the threat posed and with full commitment to the observance of international legal instruments and standards; stresses that there can never be an excuse for any kind of violence against civilians;

22.  Is deeply concerned about the consequences of a possible cross-border military action by Turkish troops in Northern Iraq; appeals to Turkey to refrain from engaging in any disproportionate military operations violating Iraq´s territory, and urges Turkey and Iraq to step up military and police cooperation to effectively prevent terrorist activities from Northern Iraq in order to de-escalate the tense situation at the Turkish-Iraqi border; calls on the Council to press for concrete cooperation between Turkey and the Kurdish Regional Government of Iraq, which should shoulder its responsibility to prevent terrorist attacks from northern Iraq;

23.  Attaches great importance to Turkey's commitment to good neighbourly relations, in line with the requirements set out in the Negotiating Framework; reiterates its expectation that Turkey ends any economic blockade and border closure and refrains from threats or tension-prone military activities in relation to neighbouring countries; reiterates its call upon Turkey to engage in serious and intensive efforts for the resolution of outstanding disputes with all its neighbours, in accordance with the UN Charter and other relevant international conventions, and including a frank and open discussion on past events; reiterates its call upon the Turkish and Armenian Governments to start a process of reconciliation in respect of the present and the past, and calls on the Commission to facilitate the Turkish-Armenian reconciliation while taking advantage of regional cooperation realised within the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Black Sea Synergy Policy;

24.  Regrets that no substantial progress has been made in reaching a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus question; reiterates its call on both parties to adopt a constructive attitude with a view to achieving a comprehensive settlement within the UN framework, based on the principles upon which the EU is founded; in this regard, recalls its previous resolutions stating that the withdrawal of Turkish forces would facilitate the negotiation of a settlement;

25.  Welcomes the establishment of an instrument of financial support to encourage the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community; calls on the Commission to report specifically on the implementation and effectiveness of that instrument;

26.  Stresses the importance of Turkey's potential with regard to the Black Sea region, the South Caucasus and the Central Asian region in bringing stability, democratic governance, mutual confidence and prosperity to those regions, in particular through regional cooperation projects; stresses Turkey's role in the Middle East; calls upon the Commission to strengthen its cooperation with the Turkish Government concerning the EU's policy towards those regions;

27.  Reminds the Commission of its request for a follow-up to the impact study presented in 2004, and asks to be provided with it in 2007;

28.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and and the Government and Parliament of Turkey.

(1) OJ C 226 E, 15.9.2005, p. 189.
(2) OJ C 227 E, 21.9.2006, p. 163.
(3) OJ C 306 E, 15.12.2006, p. 284.
(4) OJ C 291 E, 30.11.2006, p. 402.
(5) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2006)0568.
(6) OJ L 22, 26.1.2006, p. 34.
(7) OJ L 210, 31.7.2006, p. 82.
(8) Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy (OJ L 327, 22.12.2000, p. 1).

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