Index 
Texts adopted
Wednesday, 6 April 2011 - Strasbourg
Draft amending budget No 1/2011 – Section III – Commission
 Mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund - Floods in 2010 in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Romania
 EC-Comoros fisheries agreement ***
 Dispute settlement mechanism under the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the EC and Jordan ***
 EU-Morocco Agreement establishing a dispute settlement mechanism ***
 Dispute settlement mechanism under the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an Association between the EC and Egypt ***
 Participation of Ukraine in Union programmes ***
 Imports from Greenland of fishery products, live bivalve molluscs, echinoderms, tunicates and marine gastropods ***I
 Granting and withdrawing international protection ***I
 European statistics on tourism ***I
 Community financial measures for the implementation of the common fisheries policy and in the area of the Law of the Sea ***I
 Fisheries – Transitional technical measures ***I
 Estimates of revenue and expenditure for 2012
 European international investment policy
 Protection of Communities' financial interests – Fight against fraud
 Political parties at European level and rules regarding their funding
 Governance and partnership in the single market
 Single market for Europeans
 Single market for enterprises and growth

Draft amending budget No 1/2011 – Section III – Commission
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European Parliament resolution of 6 April 2011 on Council's position on Draft amending budget No 1/2011 of the European Union for the financial year 2011, Section III – Commission (07704/2011 – C7-0072/2011 – 2011/2022(BUD))
P7_TA(2011)0128A7-0115/2011

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and in particular Article 314 thereof and to the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community, and in particular Article 106a thereof,

–  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 thereof,

–  having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2011, as definitively adopted on 15 December 2010(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 Draft amending budget No 1/2011 of the European Union for the financial year 2011, which the Commission presented on 14 January 2011 (COM(2011)0009),

–  having regard to Council's position on Draft amending budget No 1/2011, which the Council established on 15 March 2011 (07704/2011 – C7-0072/2011),

–  having regard to Rules 75b and 75e of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A7-0115/2011),

A.  whereas Draft amending budget No 1/2011 to the general budget 2011 aims at mobilising the EU Solidarity Fund for an amount of EUR 182,4 million in commitment and payment appropriations in order to mitigate the effects of flooding resulting from heavy rainfall in Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia and Romania,

B.  whereas the purpose of Draft amending budget No 1/2011 is to formally enter this budgetary adjustment into the 2011 budget,

C.  whereas the Joint Statement on payment appropriations annexed to the budget for the financial year 2011 foresaw the submission of an amending budget ‘if the appropriations entered in the 2011 budget are insufficient to cover expenditure’,

D.  whereas the Council has decided to establish a ‘negative reserve’ as provided for by Article 44 of the Financial Regulation,

E.  whereas this Council's decision is only pragmatic, does not provide sustainable and financially sound solution for potential future unforeseen needs, and should therefore be considered as a one-off option,

F.  whereas the Council called on the Commission to present ‘as soon as possible’ a proposal for drawing upon the negative reserve,

G.  whereas the forthcoming Draft amending budget on the budgeting of the surplus for the financial year 2010 will provide a suitable and timely opportunity for drawing upon the negative reserve,

1.  Takes note of Draft amending budget No 1/2011;

2.  Is of the opinion that the EU Solidarity Fund should be mobilised as swiftly as possible following a natural catastrophe, and that applications for financial assistance, evaluation and drafting of the proposals, and adoption of relevant budgetary and legislative acts should be dealt with in an effective and fast-acting manner;

3.  Calls on the Commission, without prejudice to its right of initiative, to make use of the Draft amending budget on the budgeting of the surplus for the financial year 2010, as provided for by Article 15 of the Financial Regulation, in order to draw upon the negative reserve;

4.  Approves, without amendment, the Council's position on Draft amending budget No 1/2011 and instructs its President to declare that Amending budget No 1/2011 has been definitively adopted and to arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

5.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

(1) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 68, 15.3.2011.
(3) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.


Mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund - Floods in 2010 in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Romania
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Resolution
Annex
European Parliament resolution of 6 April 2011 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on mobilisation of the European Union Solidarity Fund, in accordance with 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(2011)0010 – C7-0023/2011 – 2011/2021(BUD))
P7_TA(2011)0129A7-0114/2011

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2011)0010 – C7-0023/2011),

–  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) (IIA of 17 May 2006), 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(2),

–  having regard to the Joint Declaration of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission, adopted during the conciliation meeting on 17 July 2008 on the Solidarity Fund,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets and the opinion of the Committee on Regional Development (A7-0114/2011),

1.  Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

2.  Recalls that point 26 of the IIA of 17 May 2006 foresees that where there is scope for reallocating appropriations under the heading requiring additional expenditure, the Commission shall take this into account when making the necessary proposal;

3.  Notes that the Commission, by calling for additional commitments and payments to cover the needs of the EUSF at this early stage of the year, found no possibility for redeployment nor reallocating within and between headings concerned;

4.  Is ready to consider the overall situation of payments in the context of the outturn of the 2010 Budget;

5.  Instructs its President to sign the decision with the President of the Council and arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

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

ANNEX

DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

on mobilisation of the European Union Solidarity Fund, in accordance with 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 text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the final act, Decision 2011/286/EU.)

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


EC-Comoros fisheries agreement ***
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 6 April 2011 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Protocol setting out the fishing opportunities and financial contribution provided for in the Partnership Agreement in the fisheries sector between the European Community and the Union of the Comoros (15572/2010 – C7-0020/2011 – 2010/0287(NLE))
P7_TA(2011)0130A7-0056/2011

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (15572/2010),

–  having regard to the draft Protocol setting out the fishing opportunities and financial contribution provided for in the Partnership Agreement in the fisheries sector between the European Community and the Union of the Comoros (15571/2010),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 43(2) and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C7-0020/2011),

–  having regard to Rules 81 and 90(8) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on Fisheries and the opinions of the Committee on Budgets and the Committee on Development (A7-0056/2011),

1.  Consents to conclusion of the protocol;

2.  Requests the Commission to send it the conclusions of the meetings and proceedings of the Joint Committee that is provided for in Article 9 of the Partnership Agreement in the fisheries sector between the European Community and the Union of the Comoros(1), the multiannual sectoral programme referred to in Article 7(2) of the Protocol and the findings of the annual assessments; calls for representatives of the European Parliament, acting as observers, to be given the opportunity to attend meetings and proceedings of the Joint Committee that is provided for in Article 9 of the Agreement; calls on the Commission to submit an implementation review of the Agreement to Parliament and the Council in the final year of application of the Protocol, before negotiations are opened on the renewal of the Agreement;

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

(1) Approved by Council Regulation (EC) No 1563/2006 of 5 October 2006 (OJ L 290, 20.10.2006, p. 6).


Dispute settlement mechanism under the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the EC and Jordan ***
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 6 April 2011 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of an Agreement in the form of a Protocol between the European Union and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan establishing a dispute settlement mechanism applicable to disputes under the trade provisions of the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an Association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, of the other part (13758/2010 – C7-0057/2011 – 2010/0173(NLE))
P7_TA(2011)0131A7-0067/2011

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (13758/2010),

–  having regard to the draft Agreement in the form of a Protocol between the European Union and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan establishing a dispute settlement mechanism applicable to disputes under the trade provisions of the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an Association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, of the other part (13974/2010),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 207(4), first subparagraph and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a)(v), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C7-0057/2011),

–  having regard to Rules 81 and 90(8) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on International Trade (A7-0067/2011),

1.  Consents to conclusion of the Agreement;

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


EU-Morocco Agreement establishing a dispute settlement mechanism ***
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 6 April 2011 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of an Agreement between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco establishing a Dispute Settlement Mechanism (13754/2010 – C7-0431/2010 – 2010/0181(NLE))
P7_TA(2011)0132A7-0066/2011

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (13754/2010),

–  having regard to the draft Agreement between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco establishing a Dispute Settlement Mechanism (13973/2010),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 207(4), first subparagraph and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a)(v), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C7-0431/2010),

–  having regard to Rules 81 and 90(8) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on International Trade (A7-0066/2011),

1.  Consents to conclusion of the Agreement;

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


Dispute settlement mechanism under the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an Association between the EC and Egypt ***
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 6 April 2011 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of an Agreement in the form of a Protocol between the European Union and the Arab Republic of Egypt establishing a dispute settlement mechanism applicable to disputes under the trade provisions of the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an Association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Arab Republic of Egypt, of the other part (13762/2010 – C7-0372/2010 – 2010/0229(NLE))
P7_TA(2011)0133A7-0068/2011

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (13762/2010),

–  having regard to the draft Agreement in the form of a Protocol between the European Union and the Arab Republic of Egypt establishing a dispute settlement mechanism applicable to disputes under the trade provisions of the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an Association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Arab Republic of Egypt, of the other part (13975/2010),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 207(4), first subparagraph and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a)(v), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C7-0372/2010),

–  having regard to Rules 81 and 90(8) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on International Trade (A7-0068/2011),

1.  Consents to conclusion of the Agreement;

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


Participation of Ukraine in Union programmes ***
PDF 191kWORD 31k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 6 April 2011 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Protocol to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement establishing a partnership between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and Ukraine, of the other part, on a Framework Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine on the general principles for the participation of Ukraine in Union programmes (13604/2010 – C7-0401/2010 – 2010/0218(NLE))
P7_TA(2011)0134A7-0063/2011

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (13604/2010),

–  having regard to the draft protocol to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement establishing a partnership between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and Ukraine, of the other part, concluded on 14 June 1994(1), on a Framework Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine on the general principles for the participation of Ukraine in Union programmes (13962/2010),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Articles 114, 168, 169, 172, 173(3), 188 and 192 and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C7-0401/2010),

–  having regard to Rules 81, 90(8) and 46(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A7-0063/2011),

1.  Consents to conclusion 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 and of Ukraine.

(1) OJ L 49, 19.2.1998, p. 3.


Imports from Greenland of fishery products, live bivalve molluscs, echinoderms, tunicates and marine gastropods ***I
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Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 6 April 2011 on the proposal for a Council decision laying down rules for imports into the European Union from Greenland of fishery products, live bivalve molluscs, echinoderms, tunicates, marine gastropods and by-products thereof (COM(2010)0176 – C7-0136/2010 – 2010/0097(COD))
P7_TA(2011)0135A7-0057/2011

(Ordinary legislative procedure - first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(2010)0176),

–  having regard to Article 203 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C7-0136/2010),

–  having regard to Article 294(3) and Article 43(2) and Article 204 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the Sole Article of Protocol (No 34) on Special Arrangements with Greenland, annexed to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs on the proposed legal basis,

–  having regard to the reasoned opinion submitted, within the framework of Protocol (No 2) on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, by the Italian Senate, asserting that the draft legislative act does not comply with the principle of subsidiarity,

–  having regard to Rule 55 and 37 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Fisheries (A7-0057/2011),

1.  Adopts the position at first reading hereinafter set out;

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, the Commission and the national parliaments.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 6 April 2011 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) No .../2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down rules for imports into the European Union from Greenland of fishery products, live bivalve molluscs, echinoderms, tunicates, marine gastropods and by-products thereof [Am. 1]

P7_TC1-COD(2010)0097


(Text with EEA relevance)

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 43(2) and Article 204 thereof, [Am. 2]

Having regard to the Sole Article of Protocol (No 34) on Special Arrangements with Greenland, annexed to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, [Am. 3]

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee(1),

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure(2),[Am. 2]

Whereas

(1)  Greenland is included in the list of overseas countries and territories set out in Annex II to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). In accordance with Article 198 of the TFEU, the purpose of association is to promote the economic and social development of the overseas countries and territories and to establish close economic relations between them and the Union as a whole.

(2)  Denmark and Greenland have requested that trade between the Union and Greenland in fishery products, bivalve molluscs, echinoderms, tunicates, marine gastropods and by-products derived from those sources that are originating in Greenland according to the provisions of Annex III to Council Decision 2001/822/EC of 27 November 2001 on the association of the overseas countries and territories with the European Community(3) be permitted in accordance with the rules on trade within the Union.

(3)  It is appropriate that such trade be conducted in compliance with Union rules on animal health and food safety laid down in the legal acts of the Union, as well as the rules on the common organisation of the market in fishery products.

(4)  Accordingly, Denmark and Greenland should undertake that consignments of products dispatched to the European Union from Greenland comply with the applicable Union rules concerning animal health, food safety and the common organisation of the market in fishery products. Eligible feed and food business operators should be registered and listed in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on official controls performed to ensure the verification of compliance with feed and food law, animal health and animal welfare rules(4).

(5)  The competent authority in Greenland has provided official assurances to the Commission in respect of the enforcement of compliance with the Union rules and animal health requirements for the products concerned. Those assurances cover, in particular, the application of the provisions laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1774/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 October 2002 laying down health rules concerning animal by-products not intended for human consumption(5), Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 laying down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin(6) and Council Directive 2006/88/EC of 24 October 2006 on animal health requirements for aquaculture animals and products thereof, and on the prevention and control of certain diseases in aquatic animals(7), and include a commitment to on-going compliance with the rules on trade within the Union.

(6)  Council Directive 96/23/EC of 29 April 1996 on measures to monitor certain substances and residues thereof in live animals and animal products(8) requires the establishment of national monitoring plans for aquaculture animals. Accordingly, those provisions should also apply to Greenland.

(7)  In order to permit the importation into the European Union from Greenland of products in accordance with the rules laid down in Union legal acts on trade within the Union, Denmark and Greenland should undertake to transpose and implement the relevant provisions in Greenland, before the date of adoption of this Regulation [Am. 1]. Denmark and Greenland should undertake to ensure that imports from third countries of the products concerned into Greenland comply with Union rules on animal health and food safety. Veterinary checks at border inspection posts in Greenland should be carried out in accordance with Council Directive 97/78/EC of 18 December 1997 laying down the principles governing the organisation of veterinary checks on products entering the Community from third countries(9). Veterinary checks at border inspection posts are carried out in close cooperation with customs officials. In order to simplify this task, it is appropriate to provide the competent authorities with the relevant references to the Combined Nomenclature (CN) set out in Annex I to Commission Decision 2007/275/EC of 17 April 2007 concerning lists of animals and products to be subject to controls at border inspection posts under Council Directives 91/496/EEC and 97/78/EC(10).

(8)  Council Directive 90/425/EEC of 26 June 1990 concerning veterinary and zootechnical checks applicable in intra- Community trade in certain live animals and products with a view to the completion of the internal market(11) provides for the introduction of a computerized system which links veterinary authorities with a view, in particular, to facilitating the rapid exchange of information relating to animal health and welfare between the competent authorities (Traces). Commission Decision 2004/292/EC of 30 March 2004 on the introduction of the Traces system(12) provides that the Member States are to use Traces from 1 April 2004. Traces is essential for the effective monitoring of trade in animals and products of animal origin and accordingly it should be used for the transmission of data on movements and trade in the products in Greenland.

(9)  Outbreaks of animal diseases listed in Council Directive 82/894/EEC of 21 December 1982 on the notification of animal diseases within the Community(13), are to be reported to the Commission via the Animal Disease Notification System (ADNS) in accordance with Commission Decision 2005/176/EC of 1 March 2005 laying down the codified form and the codes for the notification of animal diseases pursuant to Council Directive 82/894/EEC(14). For the products concerned, those provisions should also apply to Greenland.

(10)  Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety(15) establishes a rapid alert system for the notification of a direct or indirect risk to human health deriving from food or feed (RASFF). For the products concerned, these provisions should also apply to Greenland.

(11)  Before Greenland can carry out veterinary checks on products that are introduced into Greenland from third countries, an EU inspection should be carried out in Greenland to verify that border inspection posts in Greenland comply with the requirements laid down in Directive 97/78/EC, Commission Regulation (EC) No 136/2004 of 22 January 2004 laying down procedures for veterinary checks at Community border inspection posts on products imported from third countries(16) and Commission Decision 2001/812/EC of 21 November 2001 laying down the requirements for the approval of border inspection posts responsible for veterinary checks on products introduced into the Community from third countries(17).

(12)  Following the positive outcome of the said inspection, border inspection posts in Greenland should be listed in Commission Decision 2009/821/EC of 28 September 2009 drawing up a list of approved border inspection posts, laying down certain rules on the inspections carried out by Commission veterinary experts and laying down the veterinary units in Traces(18). In order to ensure effective control of the fishery products introduced in Greenland and in the European Union, it is appropriate for this Regulation [Am. 1] to apply as from the moment that border inspection posts in Greenland are listed in Decision 2009/821/EC.

(13)  The measures necessary for the implementation of this Regulation [Am. 1] should be adopted in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission's exercise of implementing powers(19),

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION [Am. 1]:

Article 1

Subject matter and scope

This Regulation [Am. 1] applies to fishery products, bivalve molluscs, echinoderms, tunicates and marine gastropods and to by-products derived from those sources (‘the products’), originating from Greenland or introduced into Greenland and then introduced into the European Union.

Article 2

Definitions

For the purposes of this Regulation [Am. 1], the following definitions shall apply:

   (a) ‘bivalve molluscs’ means molluscs as defined in point 2.1 of Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 853/2004;
   (b) ‘fishery products’ means products as defined in point 3.1 of Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 853/2004;
   (c) ‘by-products’ means animal by-products as defined in Article 2(1)(a) of Regulation (EC) No 1774/2002, derived from fishery products, bivalve molluscs, echinoderms, tunicates or marine gastropods;
   (d) ‘products originating from Greenland’ means products as defined in accordance with the provisions of Annex III to Decision 2001/822/EC.

Article 3

General rules concerning trade between the European Union and Greenland in fishery products, live bivalve molluscs, echinoderms, tunicates, marine gastropods and by-products thereof

1.  Member States shall authorise imports into the European Union of the products coming from Greenland, in accordance with Union legal acts on trade within the Union.

2.  The importation of the products into the Union shall be subject to the following conditions:

   (a) the effective transposition and implementation in Greenland of the applicable rules laid down in the legal acts of the Union concerning animal health, food safety and the common organisation of the market in fishery products, relating to the products;
   (b) the drawing up and keeping up to date in accordance with Article 31 of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 by the competent authority in Denmark and Greenland of a list of feed and food business operators which have been registered, ;
   (c) the compliance of consignments of products dispatched to the European Union from Greenland with the applicable rules laid down in the legal acts of the Union concerning animal health, food safety and the common organisation of the market in fishery products;
   (d) the correct application of the rules laid down in the legal acts of the Union concerning animal health and food safety and the common organisation of the market in fishery products to introduction of the products into Greenland.

Article 4

Monitoring plans for aquaculture animals

Denmark and Greenland shall submit for approval by the Commission monitoring plans for the detection of the presence of residues and substances in aquaculture animals in Greenland, in accordance with Directive 96/23/EC.

Article 5

Checks on products imported into Greenland from third countries

1.  Veterinary checks shall be carried out on consignments of the products introduced into Greenland from third countries in accordance with the rules laid down in Directive 97/78/EC.

To facilitate those veterinary checks, the Commission will provide to the competent authorities of Denmark and Greenland with references to the CN codes listed in Annex I to Commission Decision 2007/275/EC in respect of the products.

2.  Proposals for border inspection posts in Greenland shall be submitted to the Commission for approval in accordance with Article 6(2) of Directive 97/78/EC.

The list of border inspection posts approved for Greenland shall be included in the list of border inspection posts in the Member States, approved in accordance with Directives 91/496/EEC and 97/78/EC.

Article 6

Information system

1.  Data on movements and trade of the products concerned in Greenland shall be transmitted in the Danish language via Traces in accordance with Decision 2004/292/EC.

2.  The notification of aquatic diseases concerning the products in Greenland shall be transmitted via ADNS, in accordance with Directive 82/894/EEC and Decision 2005/176/EC.

3.  The notification of direct or indirect risks to human health deriving from the products in Greenland shall be transmitted via RASFF established by Regulation (EC) No 178/2002.

Article 7

Identification mark

Consignments of the products dispatched to the European Union from Greenland shall be marked with the identification mark for Greenland, ‘GL’, in accordance with the rules set out in Section I(B) of Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 853/2004.

Article 8

Confirmation of compliance with the conditions laid down in this Regulation[Am. 1]

Denmark and Greenland shall provide, before the date of application of this Regulation[Am. 1] referred to in Article 11, written confirmation that the necessary measures for the application of this Regulation [Am. 1] have been taken.

Article 9

Implementing measures

The measures necessary for the implementation of this Regulation[Am. 1] shall be adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 10.

Article 10

Committee procedure

1.  The Commission shall be assisted by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health established by Article 58 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002.

2.  Where reference is made to this paragraph, Article 5 of Regulation (EU) 182/2011 shall apply.

Article 11

Entry into force and applicability

This Regulation [Am. 1] shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States [Am. 1].

It shall apply from the date of listing in Decision 2009/821/EC of the first border inspection post in Greenland.

Done at

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

(1) OJ …
(2) Position of the European Parliament of 6 April 2011.
(3) OJ L 314, 30.11.2001, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 165, 30.4.2004, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 273, 10.10.2002, p. 1.
(6) OJ L 139, 30.4.2004, p. 55.
(7) OJ L 328, 24.11.2006, p. 14.
(8) OJ L 125, 23.5.1996, p. 10.
(9) OJ L 24, 30.1.1998, p. 9.
(10) OJ L 116, 4.5.2007, p. 9.
(11) OJ L 224, 18.8.1990, p. 29.
(12) OJ L 94, 31.3.2004, p. 63.
(13) OJ L 378, 31.12.1982, p. 58.
(14) OJ L 59, 5.3.2005, p. 40.
(15) OJ L 31, 1.2.2002, p. 1.
(16) OJ L 21, 28.1.2004, p. 11.
(17) OJ L 306, 23.11.2001, p. 28.
(18) OJ L 296, 12.11.2009, p. 1.
(19) OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13.


Granting and withdrawing international protection ***I
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 6 April 2011 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on minimum standards on procedures in Member States for granting and withdrawing international protection (recast) (COM(2009)0554 – C7-0248/2009 – 2009/0165(COD))
P7_TA(2011)0136A7-0085/2011

(Ordinary legislative procedure – recast)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2009)0554),

–  having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 63, first indent, points 1(d) and 2(a), of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C7-0248/2009),

–  having regard to the Commission Communication to Parliament and the Council entitled ‘Consequences of the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon for ongoing interinstitutional decision-making procedures’ (COM(2009)0665),

–  having regard to Article 294(3) and Article 78(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 28 April 2010(1),

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 28 November 2001 on a more structured use of the recasting technique for legal acts(2),

–  having regard to its resolution of 10 March 2009 on the future of the Common European Asylum System(3),

–  having regard to the letter of 2 February 2010 from the Committee on Legal Affairs to the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs in accordance with Rule 87(3) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to Rules 87 and 55 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A7-0085/2011),

A.  whereas, according to the Consultative Working Party of the legal services of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission, the proposal in question does not include any substantive amendments other than those identified as such in the proposal and whereas, as regards the codification of the unchanged provisions of the earlier acts together with those amendments, the proposal contains a straightforward codification of the existing texts, without any change in their substance,

1.  Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out, taking into account the recommendations of the Consultative Working Party of the legal services of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission;

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, the Commission and the national parliaments.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 6 April 2011 with a view to the adoption of Directive 2011/.../EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on minimum standards on procedures in Member States for granting and withdrawing international protection (recast)

P7_TC1-COD(2009)0165


THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 78(2) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee(4),

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure(5),

Whereas:

(1)  A number of substantive changes are to be made to Council Directive 2005/85/EC of 1 December 2005 on minimum standards on procedures for granting and withdrawing refugee status(6). In the interests of clarity, that Directive should be recast.

(2)  A common policy on asylum, including a Common European Asylum System, is a constituent part of the European Union's objective of establishing progressively an area of freedom, security and justice open to those who, forced by circumstances, legitimately seek protection in the Union.

(3)  The European Council, at its special meeting in Tampere on 15 and 16 October 1999, agreed to work towards establishing a Common European Asylum System, based on the full and inclusive application of the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951 relating to the status of refugees, as amended by the New York Protocol of 31 January 1967 (Geneva Convention), thus affirming the principle of non-refoulement and ensuring that nobody is sent back to persecution.

(4)  The Tampere Conclusions provide that a Common European Asylum System should include, in the short term, common standards for fair and efficient asylum procedures in the Member States and, in the longer term, Community rules leading to a common asylum procedure in the European Community.

(5)  Directive 2005/85/EC was a first measure on asylum procedures.

(6)  The first phase in the creation of a Common European Asylum System has now been achieved. The European Council of 4 November 2004 adopted the Hague Programme, which sets the objectives to be implemented in the area of freedom, security and justice in the period 2005-2010. In this respect the Hague Programme invited the European Commission to conclude the evaluation of the first phase legal instruments and to submit the second-phase instruments and measures to the Council and the European Parliament, with a view to their adoption before 2010. In accordance with the Hague programme, the objective to be pursued for the creation of the Common European Asylum System is the establishment of a common asylum procedure and a uniform status valid throughout the Union.

(7)  In the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum, adopted on 16 October 2008, the European Council noted that considerable disparities remain between one Member State and another concerning the grant of protection and called for new initiatives, including a proposal for establishing a single asylum procedure comprising common guarantees, to complete the establishment of a Common European Asylum System, provided for in the Hague Programme.

(8)  It is necessary for the resources of the European Refugee Fund and of the European Asylum Support Office to be mobilised, inter alia, to provide adequate support to the Member States' efforts relating to the implementation of the standards set in the second phase of the Common European Asylum System, in particular to those Member States which are faced with specific and disproportionate pressures on their asylum systems, due in particular to their geographical or demographic situation. It is also necessary that in Member States that receive a disproportionately large number of asylum applications in relation to the size of their population, financial support and administrative/technical support be mobilised immediately under the European Refugee Fund and the European Asylum Support Office respectively in order to enable them to comply with this Directive. [Am. 1]

(9)  In order to ensure a comprehensive and efficient evaluation of the international protection needs of applicants within the meaning of Directive […/.../EU] [on minimum standards for the qualification and status of third country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection and the content of the protection granted (the Qualification Directive)] the Union framework on procedures for granting international protection should be based on the concept of a single asylum procedure.

(10)  The main objective of this Directive is to develop further minimum standards for procedures in Member States for granting and withdrawing international protection with a view to establishing a common asylum procedure in the Union.

(11)  The approximation of rules on the procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection should help to limit the secondary movements of applicants for international protection between Member States, where such movement would be caused by differences in legal frameworks, and create equivalent conditions for the application of Directive […/.../EU] [the Qualification Directive] in Member States.

(12)  It is in the very nature of minimum standards that Member States should have the power to introduce or maintain more favourable provisions for third country nationals or stateless persons who ask for international protection from a Member State, where such a request is understood to be on the grounds that the person concerned is in need of international protection within the meaning of Directive […/.../EU] [the Qualification Directive].

(13)  This Directive respects the fundamental rights and observes the principles recognised in particular by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. In particular this Directive seeks to promote the application of Articles 1, 4, 18, 19, 21, 24 and 47 of the Charter and has to be implemented accordingly. [Am. 2]

(14)  With respect to the treatment of persons falling within the scope of this Directive, Member States are bound by obligations under instruments of international law to which they are party.

(15)  Member States are obliged to respect fully the principle of non-refoulement and the right to asylum, which includes access to an asylum procedure for any person who wishes to claim asylum and who is in their jurisdiction, including those under the effective control of a Union body or a body of a Member State. [Am. 3]

(16)  It is essential that decisions on all applications for international protection be taken on the basis of the facts and, in the first instance, by authorities whose personnel has the appropriate knowledge and receives the necessary training in the field of asylum and refugee matters. [Am. 4]

(17)  It is in the interest of both Member States and applicants for international protection to decide as soon as possible on applications for international protection, without prejudice to an adequate and complete examination.

(18)  The notion of public order may inter alia cover a conviction for committing a serious crime.

(19)  In the interests of a correct recognition of those persons in need of protection as refugees within the meaning of Article 1 of the Geneva Convention or as persons eligible for subsidiary protection, every applicant should have an effective access to procedures, the opportunity to cooperate and properly communicate with the competent authorities so as to present the relevant facts of his/her case and effective procedural guarantees to pursue his/her case throughout all stages of the procedure. Moreover, the procedure in which an application for international protection is examined should normally provide an applicant at least with the right to stay pending a final decision by the determining authority and, in the case of a negative decision, the time necessary for seeking a judicial remedy, and for so long as a competent court or tribunal so authorises, access to the services of an interpreter for submitting his/her case if interviewed by the authorities, the opportunity to communicate with a representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and with organizations providing advice or counselling to applicants for international protection, the right to appropriate notification of a decision, a motivation of that decision in fact and in law, the opportunity to consult a legal advisor or other counsellor, and the right to be informed of his/her legal position at decisive moments in the course of the procedure, in a language he/she understands or may reasonably be supposed to understand and, in the case of a negative decision, the right to an effective remedy before a court or tribunal. [Am. 5]

(20)  With a view to ensuring an effective access to the examination procedure, officials who first come into contact with persons seeking international protection, in particular those carrying out surveillance of land or maritime borders or conducting border checks, should receive instructions and necessary training on how to recognise, register and forward to the competent determining authority requests for international protection. They should be able to provide third country nationals or stateless persons who are present in the territory, including at the border, in the territorial waters or in the transit zones of the Member States, and wish to request international protection, with all relevant information as to where and how applications for international protection may be lodged. Where those persons are present in the territorial waters of a Member State, they should be disembarked in land and have their applications examined in accordance with this Directive. [Am. 6]

(21)  In addition, special procedural guarantees for vulnerable applicants, such as minors, unaccompanied minors, pregnant women, persons who have been subjected to torture, rape or other serious acts of violence, such as violence based on gender and harmful traditional practices, or disabled persons, should be laid down in order to create the conditions necessary for their effective access to procedures and presenting the elements needed to substantiate the application for international protection. [Am. 7]

(22)  National measures dealing with identification and documentation of symptoms and signs of torture or other serious acts of physical or mental violence, including acts of sexual violence, in procedures covered by this Directive should inter alia be based on the Manual on Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Istanbul Protocol).

(23)  With a view to ensuring substantive equality between female and male applicants, examination procedures should be gender sensitive. In particular, personal interviews should be organised in a way which makes its possible for both female and male applicants to speak about their past experiences in cases involving gender based persecution to an interviewer of the same sex if so requested, who has specific training on the issue of interviews regarding gender-based persecution. The complexity of gender related claims should be properly taken into account in procedures based on the safe third country concept, the safe country of origin concept or the notion of subsequent applications. [Am. 8]

(24)  The ‘best interests of the child’ should be a primary consideration of Member States when implementing this Directive, in line with the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

(25)  Procedures for examining international protection needs should be organised in a way that makes it possible for the determining authorities to conduct a rigorous examination of applications for international protection. [Am. 9]

(26)  Where an applicant makes a subsequent application without presenting new evidence or arguments, it would be disproportionate to oblige Member States to carry out a new full examination procedure. In these cases, Member States should be able to dismiss an application as inadmissible in accordance with the res judicata principle.

(27)  Many applications for international protection are made at the border or in a transit zone of a Member State prior to a decision on the entry of the applicant. Member States should be able to provide for admissibility and/or substantive examination procedures which make it possible to decide on applications made at the border or in transit zones at those locations.

(28)  A key consideration for the well-foundedness of an application for international protection is the safety of the applicant in his/her country of origin. Where a third country can be regarded as a safe country of origin, Member States should be able to designate it as safe and presume its safety for a particular applicant, unless he/she presents counter-indications.

(29)  Given the level of harmonisation achieved on the qualification of third country nationals and stateless persons as refugees, common criteria for designating third countries as safe countries of origin should be established.

(30)  The designation of a third country as a safe country of origin for the purposes of this Directive cannot establish an absolute guarantee of safety for nationals of that country. By its very nature, the assessment underlying the designation can only take into account the general civil, legal and political circumstances in that country and whether actors of persecution, torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment are subject to sanction in practice when found liable in the country concerned. For this reason, it is important that, where an applicant shows that there are valid reasons to consider the country not to be safe in his/her particular circumstances, the designation of the country as safe can no longer be considered relevant for him/her.

(31)  Member States should examine all applications on the substance, i.e. assess whether the applicant in question qualifies for international protection in accordance with Directive […/.../EU] [the Qualification Directive] except where this Directive provides otherwise, in particular where it can be ensured that another country would do the examination or provide effective protection. In particular, Member States should not be obliged to assess the substance of an application for international protection where a first country of asylum has granted the applicant refugee status or otherwise accessible and effective protection and the applicant will be readmitted to this country. Member States should proceed in this way only in cases where the applicant in question is safe in the third country concerned. [Am. 10]

(32)  Member States should also not be obliged to assess the substance of an application for international protection where the applicant, due to a sufficient connection to a third country as defined by national law, can reasonably be expected to seek protection in that third country, and there are grounds for considering that the applicant will be admitted or re-admitted to that country. Member States should only proceed on this basis where this particular applicant would be safe in the third country concerned. In order to avoid secondary movements of applicants, common principles for the consideration or designation by Member States of third countries as safe should be established.
[Am. 11]

(33)  With respect to the withdrawal of refugee or subsidiary protection status, Member States should ensure that persons benefiting from international protection are duly informed of a possible reconsideration of their status and have the opportunity to submit their point of view before the authorities can take a motivated decision to withdraw their status.

(34)  It reflects a basic principle of Union law that the decisions taken on an application for international protection and on the withdrawal of refugee or subsidiary protection status are subject to an effective remedy before a court or tribunal.

(35)  In accordance with Article 72 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, this Directive does not affect the exercise of the responsibilities incumbent upon Member States with regard to the maintenance of law and order and the safeguarding of internal security.

(36)  This Directive does not deal with procedures between Member States governed by Regulation (EU) No […/…] [establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person (The Dublin Regulation)].

(37)  Applicants with regard to whom Regulation EU No […/…] [the Dublin Regulation] applies should enjoy access to the basic principles and guarantees set out in this Directive and to the special guarantees pursuant to that Regulation.

(38)  The implementation of this Directive should be evaluated at regular intervals.

(39)  Since the objective of this Directive, namely to establish minimum standards on procedures in Member States for granting and withdrawing international protection cannot be sufficiently attained by the Member States and can therefore, by reason of the scale and effects of the action, be better achieved at Union level, the Union may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Directive does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve this objective.

(40)  In accordance with Articles 1 and 2 of the Protocol on the position of Denmark, annexed to the Treaty on European Union and to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Denmark does not take part in the adoption of this Directive and is not bound by it or subject to its application.

(41)  The obligation to transpose this Directive into national law should be confined to those provisions which represent a substantive change as compared with Directive 2005/85/EC. The obligation to transpose the provisions which are unchanged arises under Directive 2005/85/EC.

(42)  This Directive should be without prejudice to the obligations of the Member States relating to the time-limit for transposition into national law of the Directive set out in Annex II, Part B,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS DIRECTIVE:

CHAPTER I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1

Purpose

The purpose of this Directive is to establish minimum standards on procedures in Member States for granting and withdrawing international protection by virtue of Directive […/…/EU] [the Qualification Directive].

Article 2

Definitions

For the purposes of this Directive:

   (a) ‘Geneva Convention’ means the Convention of 28 July 1951 relating to the status of refugees, as amended by the New York Protocol of 31 January 1967;
   (b) ‘application’ or ‘application for international protection’ means a request made by a third country national or a stateless person for protection from a Member State, who can be understood to seek refugee or subsidiary protection status, and who does not explicitly request another kind of protection outside the scope of Directive […/.../EU] [the Qualification Directive], that can be applied for separately;
   (c) ‘applicant’ or ‘applicant for international protection’ means a third country national or stateless person who has made an application for international protection in respect of which a final decision has not yet been taken;
   (d) ‘applicant with special needs’ means an applicant who due to age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, physical or mental illnesses or consequences of torture, rape or other serious forms of psychological, physical or sexual violence is in need of special guarantees in order to benefit from the rights and comply with the obligations in accordance with this Directive; [Am. 13]
   (e) ‘final decision’ means a decision on whether the third country national or stateless person be granted refugee or subsidiary protection status by virtue of Directive […/.../EU] [the Qualification Directive] and which is no longer subject to a remedy within the framework of Chapter V of this Directive irrespective of whether such remedy has the effect of allowing applicants to remain in the Member States concerned pending its outcome;
   (f) ‘determining authority’ means any quasi-judicial or administrative body in a Member State responsible for examining applications for international protection and competent to take decisions at first instance in such cases, subject to Annex I;
   (g) ‘refugee’ means a third country national or a stateless person who fulfils the requirements of Article 2(d) of Directive […/.../EU] [the Qualification Directive];
   (h) ‘person eligible for subsidiary protection’ means a third country national or a stateless person who fulfils the requirements of Article 2(f) of Directive […/.../EU] [the Qualification Directive];
   (i) ‘international protection’ means the recognition by a Member State of a third country national or a stateless person as a refugee or a person eligible for subsidiary protection;
   (j) ‘refugee status’ means the recognition by a Member State of a third country national or a stateless person as a refugee;
   (k) ‘subsidiary protection status’ means the recognition by a Member State of a third country national or a stateless person as a person eligible for subsidiary protection;
   (l) ‘minor’ means a third country national or a stateless person below the age of 18 years;
   (m) ‘unaccompanied minor’ means a minor as defined in Article 2(l) of Directive […/.../EU] [the Qualification Directive];
   (n) ‘representative’ means a person appointed by the competent authorities to act as a legal guardian in order to assist and represent an unaccompanied minor with a view to ensuring the child's best interests and exercising legal capacity for the minor where necessary;
   (o) ‘withdrawal of international protection’ means the decision by a competent authority to revoke, end or refuse to renew refugee or subsidiary protection status of a person in accordance with Directive […/.../EU] [the Qualification Directive];
   (p) ‘remain in the Member State’ means to remain in the territory, including at the border or in transit zones, of the Member State in which the application for international protection  has been made or is being examined;
   (q) ‘new facts and circumstances’ means facts supporting the essence of the claim, which could contribute to the revision of an earlier decision. [Am. 15]

Article 3

Scope

1.  This Directive shall apply to all applications for international protection made in the territory, including at the border, in the territorial waters or in the transit zones of the Member States, and to the withdrawal of international protection.

2.  This Directive shall not apply in cases of requests for diplomatic or territorial asylum submitted to representations of Member States.

3.  Member States may decide to apply this Directive in procedures for deciding on applications for any kind of international protection falling outside the scope of Directive […/.../EU] [the Qualification Directive].

Article 4

Responsible authorities

1.  Member States shall designate for all procedures a determining authority which will be responsible for an appropriate examination of the applications in accordance with this Directive. Member States shall ensure that this authority has sufficient numbers of competent and specialized personnel at its disposal for carrying out its tasks within the prescribed time limits. To that end, Member States shall provide for initial and follow up training programmes for the personnel examining applications and taking decisions on international protection.

2.  The training referred to in paragraph 1 shall include, in particular:

   (a) substantive and procedural rules on international protection and Human Rights set out in relevant international and Union instruments, including the principles of non-refoulement and non-discrimination;
   (b) applicants with special needs, as defined in Article 2(d); [Am. 16]
   (c) gender, sexual orientation, trauma and age awareness, with particular attention being paid to unaccompanied minors; [Am. 17]
   (d) use of country of origin information;
   (e) interview technics, including cross-culture communication;
   (f) identification and documentation of signs and symptoms of torture;
   (g) evidence assessment, including the principle of the benefit of the doubt;
   (h) case law issues relevant to the examination of applications for international protection.

3.  However, Member States may provide that another authority is responsible for the purpose of processing cases pursuant to Regulation (EU) No […/…] [the Dublin Regulation].

4.  Where an authority is designated in accordance with paragraph 3, Member States shall ensure that the personnel of that authority have the appropriate knowledge and receive the necessary training to fulfil their obligations when implementing this Directive. [Am. 18]

5.  Applications for international protection made in a Member State to the authorities of another Member State carrying out border or immigration controls there shall be dealt with by the Member State in whose territory the application is made.

Article 5

More favourable provisions

Member States may introduce or maintain more favourable standards on procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection, insofar as those standards are compatible with this Directive.

CHAPTER II

BASIC PRINCIPLES AND GUARANTEES

Article 6

Access to the procedure

1.  Member States shall designate competent authorities responsible for the receipt and registration of applications for international protection. Without prejudice to paragraphs 5, 6, 7 and 8, Member States may require that applications for international protection be made in person and/or at a designated place.

2.  Member States shall ensure that a person who wishes to make an application for international protection has an effective opportunity to lodge the application with the competent authority as soon as possible. Where applicants are unable to lodge their application in person, Member States shall ensure that a legal representative is able to lodge the application on their behalf. [Am. 19]

3.  Member States shall ensure that each adult having legal capacity has the right to make an application for international protection on his/her own behalf.

4.  Member States may provide that an application may be made by an applicant on behalf of his/her dependants. In such cases Member States shall ensure that dependant adults consent to the lodging of the application on their behalf, failing which they shall have an opportunity to make an application on their own behalf.

Consent shall be requested at the time the application is lodged or, at the latest, when the personal interview with the dependant adult is conducted. Before consent is requested, each adult among these persons shall be informed in private of relevant procedural consequences and of his or her right to make a separate application for international protection.

5.  Member States shall ensure that a minor has the right to make an application for international protection either on his/her own behalf – if he/she is considered under national law as capable of bringing proceedings – or through his/her legal representative or the latter's authorised representative. In all other cases, paragraph 6 shall apply. [Am. 20]

6.  Member States shall ensure that the appropriate bodies referred to in Article 10 of Directive 2008/115/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals(7) have the right to lodge an application for international protection on behalf of an unaccompanied minor if, on the basis of an individual assessment of his/her personal situation, these bodies are of the opinion that the minor may have protection needs pursuant to Directive […/.../EU] [the Qualification Directive].

7.  Member States may determine in national legislation:

[Am. 21]

   (a) the cases in which a minor can make an application on his/her own behalf;
   (b) the cases in which the application of an unaccompanied minor has to be lodged by a representative as provided for in Article 21(1)(a).

8.  Member States shall ensure that border guards, police and immigration authorities, and personnel of detention facilities have instructions and receive necessary training for recognising, registering and forwarding applications for international protection. If these authorities are designated as competent authorities pursuant to paragraph 1, the instructions shall include an obligation to register the application. In other cases, the instructions shall require to forward the application to the authority competent for this registration together with all relevant information. [Am. 22]

Member States shall ensure that all other authorities likely to be addressed by someone who wishes to make an application for international protection are able to advise that person how and where he/she may make such an application and/or may require these authorities to forward the application to the competent authority.

9.  An application for international protection shall be registered by the competent authorities within 72 hours from the moment a person has expressed his/her wish to apply for international protection pursuant to subparagraph 1 of paragraph 8.

Article 7

Information and counseling at border crossing points and detention facilities

1.  Member States shall ensure that information on procedures to be followed in order to make an application for international protection is made available at:

   (a) border crossing points, including transit zones, at external borders; and
   (b) detention facilities.

2.  Member States shall provide for interpretation arrangements in order to ensure communication between persons who wish to make an application for international protection and border guards or personnel of detention facilities.

3.  Member States shall ensure that organisations providing legal assistance and/or representation to applicants for international protection have swift access to the border crossing points, including transit zones, and detention facilities ▌. [Am. 23]

Member States may provide for rules covering the presence of such organisations in the areas referred to in this Article, as long as they do not limit access by applicants to advice and counselling. [Am. 24]

Article 8

Right to remain in the Member State pending the examination of the application

1.  Applicants shall be allowed to remain in the Member State, for the sole purpose of the procedure, until the determining authority has made a final decision, including in cases where an applicant lodges an appeal, and for as long as a competent court or tribunal so authorises. This right to remain shall not constitute an entitlement to a residence permit. [Am. 25]

2.  Member States can make an exception only where a person makes a subsequent application as described in Article 34(7) or where they will surrender or extradite, as appropriate, a person either to another Member State pursuant to obligations in accordance with Council Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA of 13 June 2002 on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between Member States(8) or otherwise, or to a third country, with the exception of the country of origin of the applicant concerned, or to international criminal courts or tribunals.

3.  A Member State may extradite an applicant to a third country pursuant to paragraph 2 only where ▌an extradition decision will not result in direct or indirect refoulement in violation of international obligations of the Member State or expose the applicant to inhuman or degrading treatment upon arrival in the third country. [Am. 26]

Article 9

Requirements for the examination of applications

1.  Member States shall ensure that applications for international protection are neither rejected nor excluded from examination on the sole ground that they have not been made as soon as possible.

2.  Applications for international protection shall first be examined to determine whether applicants qualify as refugees. If not, they shall be examined to determine whether the applicants are eligible for subsidiary protection.

3.  Member States shall ensure that decisions by the determining authority on applications for international protection are taken after an appropriate examination. To that end, Member States shall ensure that:

   (a) applications are examined and decisions are taken individually, objectively and impartially;
   (b) precise and up-to-date information is obtained from various sources, such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the European Asylum Support Office and international human rights organisations, as to the general situation prevailing in the countries of origin of applicants and, where necessary, in countries through which they have transited, and that such information is made available to the personnel responsible for examining applications and taking decisions and, where the determining authority takes it into consideration for the purpose of taking a decision, to the applicant and his/her legal advisor; [Am. 27]
   (c) the personnel examining applications and taking decisions have the knowledge with respect to relevant standards applicable in the field of asylum and refugee law as well as human rights law and have completed the initial and follow-up training programme referred to in Article 4(1); [Am. 28]
   (d) the personnel examining applications and taking decisions are instructed and have the possibility to seek advice, whenever necessary, from experts on particular issues, such as medical, cultural, child, gender, religious or sexual orientation issues; [Am. 29]
   (e) the applicant and his/her legal advisor have access to information provided by the experts referred to in point (d). [Am. 30]

4.  The authorities referred to in Chapter V shall, through the determining authority or the applicant or otherwise, have access to the information referred to in paragraph 3(b), necessary for the fulfilment of their task.

5.  Member States shall provide for rules concerning the translation of documents relevant for the examination of applications.

Article 10

Requirements for a decision by the determining authority

1.  Member States shall ensure that decisions on applications for international protection are given in writing.

2.  Member States shall also ensure that, where an application is rejected or granted with regard to refugee and/or subsidiary protection status, the reasons in fact and in law are clearly stated in the decision and information on how to challenge a negative decision is given in writing at the time of issuing the decision and signed upon receipt by the recipient. [Am. 31]

[Am. 32]

3.  For the purposes of Article 6(4), and whenever the application is based on the same grounds, Member States may take one single decision, covering all dependants.

4.  Paragraph 3 shall not apply to cases where disclosure of particular circumstances of a person to members of his/her family can jeopardize the interests of that person, including cases involving gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or age based persecution. In such cases, a separate decision shall be issued to the person concerned. [Am. 33]

Article 11

Guarantees for applicants for international protection

1.  With respect to the procedures provided for in Chapter III, Member States shall ensure that all applicants for international protection enjoy the following guarantees:

   (a) they shall be informed in a language which they understand or may reasonably be supposed to understand of the procedure to be followed and of their rights and obligations during the procedure and the possible consequences of not complying with their obligations and not cooperating with the authorities. They shall be informed of the time-frame, as well as the means at their disposal for fulfilling the obligation to submit the elements as referred to in Article 4 of Directive […/.../EU] [the Qualification Directive]. This information shall be given in time to enable them to exercise the rights guaranteed in this Directive and to comply with the obligations described in Article 12; [Am. 34]
   (b) they shall receive the services of an interpreter for submitting their case to the competent authorities whenever necessary. Member States shall consider it necessary to provide these services at least when the determining authority calls upon the applicant to be interviewed as referred to in Articles 13, 14, 15, 16 and 31 and appropriate communication cannot be ensured without such services. In this case and in other cases where the competent authorities call upon the applicant, these services shall be paid for out of public funds;
   (c) they shall not be denied the opportunity to communicate with the UNHCR or with any other organisation providing legal advice or counselling to asylum seekers in accordance with national legislation of that Member State;
   (d) they shall be given notice in reasonable time of the decision by the determining authority on their application for international protection. If a legal advisor or other counsellor is legally representing the applicant, Member States may choose to give notice of the decision to him/her instead of to the applicant for international protection;
   (e) they shall be informed of the result of the decision by the determining authority in a language that they understand or may reasonably be supposed to understand when they are not assisted or represented by a legal advisor or other counsellor. The information provided shall include information on how to challenge a negative decision in accordance with the provisions of Article 10(2). [Am. 35]

2.  With respect to the procedures provided for in Chapter V, Member States shall ensure that all applicants enjoy equivalent guarantees to the ones referred to in paragraph 1(b), (c) and (d) of this Article.

Article 12

Obligations of the applicants for international protection

1.  Applicants for international protection shall be required to assist, to the extent of their physical and psychological capacities, in clarifying the situation and to reveal their identity, nationality and other elements referred to in Article 4(2) of Directive […/.../EU] [the Qualification Directive] to the competent authorities. If they are not in possession of a valid passport or a document in lieu of a passport, applicants shall be required to cooperate in obtaining an identity document. So long as applicants are permitted to remain in the Member State under international protection during the consideration of the application, they shall not be required to enter into contact with authorities of their country of origin if there is reason to fear persecution by that state. Member States may impose upon applicants other obligations to cooperate with the competent authorities insofar as these obligations are necessary for the processing of the application. [Am. 36]

2.  In particular, Member States may provide that:

   (a) applicants are required to report to the competent authorities or to appear before them in person, either without delay or at a specified time;
   (b) applicants have to hand over documents in their possession relevant to the examination of the application, such as their passports;
   (c) applicants are required to inform the competent authorities of their current place of residence or address and of any changes thereof as soon as possible. Member States may provide that the applicant shall have to accept any communication at the most recent place of residence or address which he/she indicated accordingly;
   (d) the competent authorities may search the applicant and the items he/she carries with him/her, provided the search is carried out by a person of the same sex who is sensitive to the applicant's age and culture and fully respects the principle of human dignity and physical and mental integrity; [Am. 37]
   (e) the competent authorities may take a photograph of the applicant; and
   (f) the competent authorities may record the applicant's oral statements, provided he/she has previously been informed thereof.

Article 13

Personal interview

1.  Before a decision is taken by the determining authority, the applicant shall be given the opportunity of a personal interview on his/her application for international protection in a language which he/she understands with a person competent under national law to conduct such an interview. Interviews on the admissibility of an application for international protection and on the substance of an application for international protection shall always be conducted by the personnel of the determining authority. [Am. 38]

Where a person has made an application for international protection on behalf of his/her dependants, each adult to whom the applicant relates must be given the opportunity to express his/her opinion in private and to be interviewed on his/her application.

Member States shall determine in national legislation the cases in which a minor shall be given the opportunity of a personal interview, taking due account of the child's best interests and special needs. [Am. 39]

2.  The personal interview on the substance of the application may be omitted where:

   (a) the determining authority is able to take a positive decision with regard to refugee status on the basis of evidence available; or
   (b) the determining authority is of the opinion that the applicant is unfit or unable to be interviewed owing to enduring circumstances beyond his/her control. When in doubt, the determining authority shall consult a medical expert to establish whether the condition is temporary or permanent. [Am. 40]

Where the determining authority does not provide the applicant with the opportunity for a personal interview pursuant to point (b), or where applicable, to the dependant, the determining authority shall ▌allow the applicant or the dependant to reschedule the personal interview and to submit further information. [Am. 41]

[Am. 42]

3.  The absence of a personal interview pursuant to paragraph 2(b) shall not adversely affect the decision of the determining authority.

4.  Irrespective of Article 25(1), Member States, when deciding on the application for international protection, may take into account the fact that the applicant failed to appear for the personal interview, unless he/she had good reasons for the failure to appear.

Article 14

Requirements for a personal interview

1.  A personal interview shall normally take place without the presence of family members unless the determining authority considers it necessary for an appropriate examination to have other family members present.

2.  A personal interview shall take place under conditions which ensure appropriate confidentiality.

3.  Member States shall take appropriate steps to ensure that personal interviews are conducted under conditions which allow applicants to present the grounds for their applications in a comprehensive manner. To that end, Member States shall:

   (a) ensure that the person who conducts the interview is qualified, trained and competent to take account of the personal and general circumstances surrounding the application, including the applicant's cultural origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or vulnerability; [Am. 43]
   (b) wherever possible, provide for the interview with the applicant to be conducted by a person of the same sex if the applicant concerned so requests;
   (c) select a competent interpreter who is able to ensure appropriate communication between the applicant and the person who conducts the interview and is required to comply with a code of conduct laying down the rights and duties of the interpreter. The communication need not necessarily take place in the language preferred by the applicant if there is another language which he/she understands and in which he/she is able to communicate clearly. Wherever possible, Member States shall provide an interpreter of the same sex if the applicant so requests; [Am. 44]
   (d) ensure that the person who conducts an interview on the substance of an application for international protection does not wear a uniform;
   (e) ensure that interviews with minors are conducted in a child-friendly manner and by a person with the necessary knowledge of the special needs and rights of minors. [Am. 45]

4.  Member States may provide for rules concerning the presence of third parties at a personal interview.

Article 15

Content of a personal interview

When conducting a personal interview on the substance of an application for international protection, the determining authority shall ensure that the applicant has an adequate opportunity to present elements needed to substantiate his/her application for international protection in accordance with Article 4(1) and (2) of Directive […/.../EU] [the Qualification Directive]. To that end, Member States shall ensure that:

   (a) questions addressed to the applicant are relevant to the assessment of whether he/she is in need of international protection in accordance with Directive […/.../EU] [the Qualification Directive];
   (b) the applicant has an adequate opportunity to give an explanation regarding elements needed to substantiate the application which may be missing and/or any inconsistencies or contradictions in his/her statements.

Article 16

Transcript and report of personal interviews

1.  Member States shall ensure that a transcript is made of every personal interview.

2.  Member States shall request the applicant's approval on the contents of the transcript at the end of the personal interview. To that end, Member States shall ensure that the applicant has the opportunity to make comments and/or provide clarifications with regard to any mistranslations or misconceptions appearing in the transcript.

3.  Where an applicant refuses to approve the contents of the transcript, the reasons for this refusal shall be entered into the applicant's file.

The refusal of an applicant to approve the contents of the transcript shall not prevent the determining authority from taking a decision on his/her application.

4.  Without prejudice to paragraphs 1 and 2, Member States may ensure that a written report is made of a personal interview, containing at least the essential information regarding the application, as presented by the applicant. In such cases, Member States shall ensure that the transcript of the personal interview is annexed to the report.

5.  Member States shall ensure that applicants have timely access to the transcript and, where applicable, the report of the personal interview before the determining authority takes a decision.

Article 17

Medico-legal reports

1.  Member States shall allow applicants, upon request, to have a medical examination carried out in order to support statements in relation to past persecution or serious harm. To that end, Member States shall grant applicants a reasonable period to submit a medical certificate to the determining authority.

2.  Without prejudice to paragraph 1, in cases where there are reasonable grounds to consider that the applicant suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, the determining authority, subject to the consent of the applicant, shall ensure that a medical examination is carried out.

3.  Member States shall provide for relevant arrangements in order to ensure that impartial and qualified medical expertise is made available for the purpose of a medical examination referred to in paragraph 2 and that the less invasive medical examination is selected when the applicant is a minor. [Am. 46]

4.  Member States shall provide for further rules and arrangements for identification and documentation of symptoms of torture and other forms of physical, sexual or psychological violence, relevant to the application of this Article.

5.  Member States shall ensure that persons interviewing applicants in accordance with this Directive receive training with regard to the identification of symptoms of torture.

6.  The results of medical examinations referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 shall be assessed by the determining authority along with other elements of the application. They shall, in particular, be taken into account when establishing whether the applicant's statements are credible and sufficient.

Article 18

Right to advice on procedural and legal aspects, legal assistance and representation [Am. 47]

1.  Applicants for international protection shall be given the opportunity to consult in an effective manner a legal advisor or other counsellor, admitted or permitted as such under national law, on matters relating to their applications for international protection, at all stages of the procedure, including following a negative decision.

2.  Member States shall ensure that free legal assistance and/or representation be granted on request, subject to the provisions of paragraph 3. To that end, Member States shall:

   (a) provide for free advice on procedural and legal aspects in procedures in accordance with Chapter III. This shall include, at least, the provision of information on the procedure to the applicant in the light of his/her particular circumstances, preparation of the necessary procedural documents, including during the personal interview, and explanations of reasons in fact and in law in the case of a negative decision. Such advice may be delivered by a qualified non-governmental organisation or by qualified professionals. [Am. 48]
   (b) provide for free legal assistance and representation in procedures in accordance with Chapter V. This shall include, at least, the preparation of the required procedural documents and participation in the hearing before a court or tribunal of first instance on behalf of the applicant. [Am. not concerning all languages]

3.  Member States may provide in their national legislation that free legal assistance and/or representation is granted:

   (a) only to those who lack sufficient resources; and/or
   (b) only for the services provided by legal advisors or other counsellors specifically designated by national law to assist and/or represent applicants for international protection. [Am. 50]

With respect to the procedures provided for in Chapter V, Member States may choose to only make free legal assistance and/or representation available to applicants insofar as such assistance is necessary to ensure their effective access to justice. Member States shall ensure that legal assistance and/or representation granted pursuant to this paragraph is not arbitrarily restricted. Member States may choose to grant such legal assistance and/or representation only if there is a sufficient prospect of success as assessed by the court. [Am. 51]

4.  Rules concerning the modalities for filing and processing requests for legal assistance and/or representation may be provided by Member States.

5.  Member States shall allow and facilitate the provision by non-governmental organisations of free legal assistance and/or representation to applicants for international protection in procedures provided for in Chapter III and/or Chapter V. [Am. 52]

6.  Member States may also:

   (a) impose monetary and/or time-limits on the provision of free legal assistance and/or representation, provided that such limits do not arbitrarily restrict access to legal assistance and/or representation;
   (b) provide that, as regards fees and other costs, the treatment of applicants shall not be more favourable than the treatment generally accorded to their nationals in matters pertaining to legal assistance.

7.  Member States may demand to be reimbursed wholly or partially for any expenses granted if and when the applicant's financial situation has improved considerably or if the decision to grant such benefits was taken on the basis of false information supplied by the applicant.

Article 19

Scope of legal assistance and representation

1.  Member States shall ensure that a legal advisor or other counsellor admitted or permitted as such under national law, and who assists or represents an applicant for international protection under the terms of national law, shall enjoy access to the information in the applicant's file upon which a decision is or will be made.

Member States may make an exception where disclosure of information or sources would jeopardise national security, the security of the organisations or person(s) providing the information or the security of the person(s) to whom the information relates or where the investigative interests relating to the examination of applications for international protection by the competent authorities of the Member States or the international relations of the Member States would be compromised. In these cases, Member States shall:

   (a) grant access to the information or sources in question at least to a legal advisor or counsellor who has undergone a security check, insofar as the information is relevant to the examination of the application or taking a decision to withdraw international protection;
   (b) make access to the information or sources in question available to the authorities referred to in Chapter V.

2.  Member States shall ensure that the legal advisor or other counsellor who assists or represents an applicant for international protection has access to closed areas, such as detention facilities and transit zones, for the purpose of consulting that applicant.

Member States may only limit the possibility of visiting applicants in closed areas where such limitation is, by virtue of national legislation, objectively necessary for the security, public order or administrative management of the area, or in order to ensure an efficient examination of the application, provided that access by the legal advisor or other counsellor is not thereby severely limited or rendered impossible.

3.  Member States shall allow the applicant to bring to the personal interview a legal advisor or other counsellor admitted or permitted as such under national law, or a qualified professional. [Am. 53]

4.  Member States may provide rules covering the presence of legal advisors or other counsellors at all interviews in the procedure, without prejudice to this Article or to Article 21(1)(b).

Member States may require the presence of the applicant at the personal interview, even if he/she is represented under the terms of national law by such a legal advisor or counsellor, and may require the applicant to respond in person to the questions asked.

The absence of a legal advisor or other counsellor shall not prevent the determining authority from conducting the personal interview with the applicant, without prejudice to Article 21(1)(b).

Article 20

Applicants with special needs

1.  In accordance with Article 21 of Directive […/…/EU] [laying down minimum standards for the reception of asylum seekers (the Reception Conditions Directive)], Member States shall establish procedures in national law with a view to identifying, as soon as an application for international protection is lodged, whether the applicant has special needs and indicating the nature of such needs. [Am. 54]

2.  Member States shall take appropriate measures to ensure that applicants with special needs are given the opportunity to present the elements of an application as completely as possible and with all available evidence. Where needed, they shall be granted time extensions to enable them to submit evidence or take other necessary steps in the procedure.

3.  In cases where the determining authority consider that an applicant has been subjected to torture, rape or other serious forms of psychological, physical or sexual violence as described in Article 21 of Directive […/…/EU] [the Reception Conditions Directive], the applicant shall be granted sufficient time and relevant support to prepare for a personal interview on the substance of his/her application. Particular attention shall be given to those applicants who did not mention their sexual orientation at the outset. [Am. 55]

4.  Article 28(6) and (7) shall not apply to the applicants referred to in paragraph 3 of this Article.

5.  In accordance with the conditions laid down in Article 18, applicants with special needs shall enjoy free legal assistance in all procedures provided for in this Directive. [Am. 56]

Article 21

Guarantees for unaccompanied minors

1.  With respect to all procedures provided for in this Directive and without prejudice to Articles 13, 14 and 15, Member States shall:

   (a) immediately take measures to ensure that a representative represents and assists the unaccompanied minor with respect to the lodging and the examination of the application. The representative shall be impartial and have the necessary expertise in the field of childcare. This representative can also be the representative referred to in Directive […/…/EU] [the Reception Conditions Directive]; [Am. not concerning all languages]
   (b) ensure that the representative is given the opportunity to inform the unaccompanied minor about the meaning and possible consequences of the personal interview and, where appropriate, how to prepare himself/herself for the personal interview. Member States shall ensure that a representative and/or a legal advisor or other counsellor admitted as such under national law or qualified professional are present at that interview and have an opportunity to ask questions or make comments, within the framework set by the person who conducts the interview. [Am. 58]

Member States may require the presence of the unaccompanied minor at the personal interview, even if the representative is present.

[Am. 59]

2.  Member States shall ensure that:

   (a) If an unaccompanied minor has a personal interview on his/her application for international protection as referred to in Articles 13, 14 and 15 that interview is conducted by a person who has the necessary knowledge of the special needs and rights of minors; [Am. 60]
   (b) an official with the necessary knowledge of the special needs and rights of minors prepares the decision by the determining authority on the application of an unaccompanied minor. [Am. 61]

3.  Subject to the conditions set out in Article 18, unaccompanied minors together with their appointed representative shall, with respect to all procedures provided for in this Directive, be granted free legal advice on procedural and legal aspects and free legal representation. [Am. 62]

4.  Member States may use medical examinations to determine the age of unaccompanied minors within the framework of the examination of an application for international protection, where, following his/her general statements or other relevant evidence, Member States still have doubts concerning his/her age. If those doubts persist after the medical examination, any decision shall always be for the benefit of the unaccompanied minor. [Am. 63]

Any medical examination shall be performed in full respect of the individual's dignity, selecting the most reliable and the less invasive exams and carried out by qualified and impartial medical experts. [Am. 65]

In cases where medical examinations are used, Member States shall ensure that:

   (a) unaccompanied minors are informed prior to the examination of their application for international protection, and in a language which they may reasonably be supposed to understand, of the possibility that their age may be determined by medical examination. This shall include information on the method of examination and the possible consequences of the result of the medical examination for the examination of the application for international protection, as well as the consequences of refusal on the part of the unaccompanied minor to undergo the medical examination; [Am. 66]
   (b) unaccompanied minors and/or their representatives consent to an examination to determine the age of the minors concerned; and
   (c) the decision to reject an application for international protection from an unaccompanied minor who refused to undergo this medical examination shall not be based ▌on that refusal. [Am. 67]

The fact that an unaccompanied minor has refused to undergo such a medical examination shall not prevent the determining authority from taking a decision on the application for international protection.

5.  Article 28(6) and (7), Article 30(2)(c), and Article 36 shall not apply to unaccompanied minors.

6.  The best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration for Member States when implementing this Article.

Article 22

Detention

1.  Member States shall not hold a person in detention for the sole reason that he/she is an applicant for international protection. Grounds and conditions of detention as well as guarantees available to detained applicants for international protection shall be in accordance with Directive […/…/EU] [the Reception Conditions Directive].

2.  Where an applicant for international protection is held in detention, Member States shall ensure that there is a possibility of speedy judicial review in accordance with Directive […/…/EU] [the Reception Conditions Directive].

Article 23

Detention of minors

The detention of minors shall be strictly prohibited in all circumstances. [Am. 68]

Article 24

Procedure in case of withdrawal of the application

1.  Insofar as Member States provide for the possibility of explicit withdrawal of the application under national law, when an applicant explicitly withdraws his/her application for international protection, Member States shall ensure that the determining authority takes a decision to ▌discontinue the examination, and explain to the applicant the consequences of the withdrawal. [Am. 69]

2.  Member States may also decide that the determining authority can decide to discontinue the examination without taking a decision. In this case, Member States shall ensure that the determining authority enters a notice in the applicant's file.

Article 25

Procedure in the case of implicit withdrawal or abandonment of the application

1.  When there is reasonable cause to consider that an applicant for asylum has implicitly withdrawn, or abandoned his/her application for asylum without reasonable cause, Member States shall ensure that the determining authority takes a decision to either discontinue the examination or reject the application on the basis that the applicant has not established an entitlement to refugee status in accordance with Directive [.../.../EU] [the Qualification Directive], if he/she in the addition to the above-mentioned reasons:

   has refused to cooperate, or
   has absconded illegally, or
   in all likelihood has no right to international protection, or
   originates from or has transited via a safe third country in accordance with Article 37. [Am. 103]

   (a) he/she has failed to respond to requests to provide information essential to his/her application in terms of Article 4 of Directive […/.../EU] [the Qualification Directive] or has not appeared for a personal interview as provided for in Articles 13, 14, 15 and 16, unless the applicant demonstrates within a reasonable time that his/her failure was due to circumstances beyond his control;
   (b) he/she has absconded or left without authorisation the place where he/she lived or was held, without contacting the competent authority within a reasonable time, or he/she has not within a reasonable time complied with reporting duties or other obligations to communicate.

For the purposes of implementing these provisions, Member States may lay down time-limits or guidelines.

2.  Member States shall ensure that the applicant who reports again to the competent authority after a decision to discontinue as referred to in paragraph 1 is taken, is entitled to request that his/her case be reopened . Only one request for a case to be reopened may be submitted during an asylum procedure. [Am. 70]

Member States shall ensure that such a person is not removed contrary to the principle of non-refoulement.

Member States may allow the determining authority to take up the examination at the stage where it was discontinued.

3.  This Article shall be without prejudice to Regulation (EU) No […/…] [the Dublin Regulation].

Article 26

The role of UNHCR

1.  Member States shall allow the UNHCR:

   (a) to have access to applicants for international protection, including those in detention and in airport or port transit zones;
   (b) to have access to information on individual applications for international protection, on the course of the procedure and on the decisions taken, provided that the applicant agrees thereto;
   (c) to present its views, in the exercise of its supervisory responsibilities under Article 35 of the Geneva Convention, to any competent authorities regarding individual applications for international protection at any stage of the procedure.

2.  Paragraph 1 shall also apply to an organization which is working in the territory of the Member State concerned on behalf of UNHCR pursuant to an agreement with that Member State.

Article 27

Collection of information on individual cases

For the purposes of examining individual cases, Member States shall not:

   (a) disclose information regarding individual applications for international protection, or the fact that an application has been made, to the alleged actor(s) of persecution or serious harm;
   (b) obtain any information from the alleged actor(s) of persecution or serious harm in a manner that would result in such actor(s) being ▌informed of the fact that an application has been made by the applicant in question, and would jeopardise the physical integrity of the applicant and his/her dependants, or the liberty and security of his/her family members still living in the country of origin. [Am. 71]

CHAPTER III

PROCEDURES AT FIRST INSTANCE

SECTION I

Article 28

Examination procedure

1.  Member States shall process applications for international protection in an examination procedure in accordance with the basic principles and guarantees of Chapter II.

2.  Member States shall ensure that such a procedure is concluded as soon as possible, without prejudice to an adequate and complete examination.

3.  Member States shall ensure that a procedure is concluded within 6 months after the application is lodged.

Member States may extend that time limit for a period not exceeding a further 6 months in individual cases involving complex issues of fact and law.

4.  Member States shall ensure that, where a decision cannot be taken within the time period referred to in subparagraph 1 of paragraph 3, the applicant concerned shall:

   (a) be informed of the delay; and
   (b) receive, upon his/her request, information on the reasons for the delay and the time-frame within which the decision on his/her application is to be expected.

The consequences of failure to adopt a decision within the time limits provided for in paragraph 3 shall be determined in accordance with national law.

5.  The determining authorities may prioritise an examination of an application for international protection in accordance with the basic principles and guarantees of Chapter II: [Am. 73]

   (a) where the application is likely to be well founded;
   (b) where the applicant has special needs, in particular unaccompanied minors; [Am. 74]
   (c) in other cases with the exception of applications referred to in paragraph 6.

6.  Member States may provide that an examination procedure in accordance with the basic principles and guarantees of Chapter II be accelerated if:

[Am. 76]

   (a) the applicant, in submitting his/her application and presenting the facts, has only raised issues that are not relevant to the examination of whether he/she qualifies as a refugee or a person eligible for subsidiary protection by virtue of Directive […/.../EU] [the Qualification Directive]; or
   (b) the applicant clearly does not qualify as a refugee or for refugee status in a Member State under Directive […/.../EU] [the Qualification Directive]; or [Am. 105]
   (c) the applicant is from a safe country of origin within the meaning of this Directive; or
   (d) the applicant has misled the authorities by presenting false information or documents or by withholding relevant information or documents with respect to his/her identity and/or nationality that could have had a negative impact on the decision; or
   (e) it is likely that, in bad faith, he/she has destroyed or disposed of an identity or travel document that would have helped establish his/her identity or nationality; or
   (f) the applicant has made clearly inconsistent, contradictory, improbable, insufficient or false representations which make his/her claim plainly unconvincing in relation to his/her having been the object of persecution referred to in Directive […/.../EU] [the Qualification Directive]; or [Am. 75]
   (g) the applicant has submitted a subsequent application which clearly does not raise any relevant new elements with respect to his/her particular circumstances or to the situation in his/her country of origin; or [Am. 107]
   (h) the applicant has failed without reasonable cause to make his/her application earlier, having had opportunity to do so; or [Am. 108]
   (i) the applicant is making an application merely in order to delay or frustrate the enforcement of an earlier or imminent decision which would result in his/her removal; or
   (j) the applicant has failed without good reason to comply with his/her obligations to cooperate in the examination of the facts of his/her case and the establishment of his/her identity referred to in Article 4(1) and (2) of Directive […/.../EU] [the Qualification Directive] or in Article 12(1) and (2)(a), (b) and (c) and Article 25(1) of this Directive; or [Am. 109]
   (k) the applicant entered the territory of the Member State unlawfully or extended his/her stay unlawfully and, without good reason, has either not presented himself/herself to the authorities and/or filed an application for asylum as soon as possible, given the circumstances of his/her entry; or [Am. 110]
   (l) the applicant may for serious reasons be considered a danger to the national security of the Member State, or the applicant has been forcibly expelled for serious reasons of public security and public order under national law. [Am. 77]

7.  In cases of unfounded applications, as referred to in Article 29, in which any of the circumstances listed in paragraph 6 of this Article apply, Member States may reject an application as manifestly unfounded following an adequate and complete examination.

8.  Member States shall lay down reasonable time limits for the adoption of a decision in the procedure at first instance pursuant to paragraph 6.

9.  The fact that an application for international protection was submitted after an irregular entry into the territory or at the border, including in transit zones, as well as the lack of documents on entry or the use of forged documents, shall not per se entail an automatic recourse to an accelerated examination procedure. [Am. 78]

Article 29

Unfounded applications

▌Member States shall only consider an application for international protection as unfounded if the determining authority has established that the applicant does not qualify for international protection pursuant to Directive […/.../EU] [the Qualification Directive]. [Am. 79]

SECTION II

Article 30

Inadmissible applications

1.  In addition to cases in which an application is not examined in accordance with Regulation (EU) [No …/…] [the Dublin Regulation], Member States are not required to examine whether the applicant qualifies for international protection in accordance with Directive […/.../EU] [the Qualification Directive] where an application is considered inadmissible pursuant to this Article.

2.  Member States may consider an application for international protection as inadmissible only if:

   (a) another Member State has granted refugee status;
   (b) a country which is not a Member State is considered as a first country of asylum for the applicant, pursuant to Article 32;
   (c) a country which is not a Member State is considered as a safe third country for the applicant, pursuant to Article 37;
   (d) the applicant has lodged an identical application after a final decision;
   (e) a dependant of the applicant lodges an application, after he/she has in accordance with Article 6(4) consented to have his/her case be part of an application made on his/her behalf, and there are no facts relating to the dependant's situation, which justify a separate application.

Article 31

Special rules on an admissibility interview

1.  Member States shall allow applicants to present their views with regard to the application of the grounds referred to in Article 30 in their particular circumstances before a decision to consider an application inadmissible is taken. To that end, the determining authority shall conduct a personal interview on the admissibility of the application. Member States may make an exception only in accordance with Article 35 in cases of subsequent applications. [Am. 80]

2.  Paragraph 1 shall be without prejudice to Article 5 of Regulation (EU) No […/…] [the Dublin Regulation].

3.  Member States shall ensure that the member of staff of the determining authority who conducts the interview on the admissibility of the application does not wear a uniform. [Am. 81]

Article 32

The concept of first country of asylum

provided that he/she will be readmitted to that country.

A country can be considered to be a first country of asylum for a particular applicant for international protection if:

   (a) he/she has been recognised in that country as a refugee and he/she can still avail himself/herself of that protection; or
   (b) he/she otherwise enjoys effective protection in that country, including benefiting from the principle of non-refoulement; [Am. 82]

In applying the concept of first country of asylum to the particular circumstances of an applicant for international protection Member States shall take into account Article 37(1).

The applicant shall be allowed to challenge the application of the concept of first country of asylum on the grounds that the first country of asylum in question is not safe in his or her particular case. [Am. 83]

[Am. 84]

SECTION III

[Am. 85]

Article 33

The safe country of origin concept

1.  A third country designated as a safe country of origin in accordance with this Directive may, after an individual examination of the application, be considered as a safe country of origin for a particular applicant only if:

   (a) he/she has the nationality of that country; or
   (b) he/she is a stateless person and was formerly habitually resident in that country;
   (c) and he/she has not submitted any serious grounds for considering the country not to be a safe country of origin in his/her particular circumstances and in terms of his/her qualification as a refugee or a person eligible for subsidiary protection in accordance with Directive […/.../EU] [the Qualification Directive].

2.  Member States shall lay down in national legislation further rules and modalities for the application of the safe country of origin concept.

SECTION IV

Article 34

Subsequent application

1.  Where a person who has applied for international protection in a Member State makes further representations or a subsequent application in the same Member State, that Member State shall examine these further representations or the elements of the subsequent application in the framework of the examination of the previous application or in the framework of the examination of the decision under review or appeal, insofar as the determining authority can take into account and consider all the elements underlying the further representations or subsequent application within this framework. [Am. 87]

2.  For the purpose of taking a decision on the admissibility of an application for international protection pursuant to Article 30(2)(d), Member States may apply a specific procedure as referred to in paragraph 3 of this Article, where a person makes a subsequent application for international protection:

   (a) after his/her previous application has been withdrawn by virtue of Article 24;
   (b) after a final decision has been taken on the previous application.

3.  A subsequent application for international protection shall be subject first to a preliminary examination as to whether, after the withdrawal of the previous application or after the decision referred to in paragraph 2(b) on this application has been reached, new elements or findings relating to the examination of whether he/she qualifies as a refugee or a person eligible for subsidiary protection by virtue of Directive […/.../EU] [the Qualification Directive] have arisen or have been presented by the applicant.

4.  If, following the preliminary examination referred to in paragraph 3, new elements or findings arise or are presented by the applicant which significantly add to the likelihood of the applicant qualifying as a refugee or a person eligible for subsidiary protection by virtue of Directive […/…/EU] [the Qualification Directive], the application shall be further examined in conformity with Chapter II.

5.  Member States may, in accordance with national legislation, further examine a subsequent application where there are other reasons why a procedure has to be re-opened.

[Am. 88]

6.  The procedure referred to in this Article may also be applicable in the case of a dependant who lodges an application after he/she has, in accordance with Article 6(4), consented to have his/her case be part of an application made on his/her behalf. In this case the preliminary examination referred to in paragraph 3 of this Article will consist of examining whether there are facts relating to the dependant's situation which justify a separate application.

7.  If, after the procedure relating to the initial application has been terminated pursuant to paragraph 2, the person concerned lodges a new application for international protection in the same Member State before a return decision has been enforced, and that new application does not lead to a further examination pursuant to this Article, that Member State may: [Am. 113]

   (a) make an exception to the right to remain in the territory, provided the determining authority is satisfied that a return decision will not lead to direct or indirect refoulement in violation of international and Community obligations of that Member State; and/or
   (b) provide that the application be subjected to the admissibility procedure in accordance with this Article and Article 30; and/or
   (c) provide that an examination procedure be accelerated in accordance with Article 28(6)(i).

In cases referred to in points (b) and (c) of the first subparagraph, Member States may derogate from the time limits normally applicable in the admissibility and/or accelerated procedures, in accordance with national legislation.

8.  Where a person with regard to whom a transfer decision has to be enforced pursuant to Regulation (EU) [No …/…] [the Dublin Regulation] makes further representations or a subsequent application in the transferring Member State, those representations or subsequent applications shall be examined by the responsible Member State, as defined in that Regulation , in accordance with this Directive.

Article 35

Procedural rules

1.  Member States shall ensure that applicants for international protection whose application is subject to a preliminary examination pursuant to Article 34 enjoy the guarantees provided for in Article 11(1).

2.  Member States may lay down in national law rules on the preliminary examination pursuant to Article 34. Those rules may, inter alia:

   (a) oblige the applicant concerned to indicate facts and substantiate evidence which justify a new procedure;
   (b) permit the preliminary examination to be conducted on the sole basis of written submissions without a personal interview, with the exception of cases referred to in Article 34(6).

The conditions shall not render impossible the access of applicants to a new procedure or result in the effective annulment or severe curtailment of such access.

3.  Member States shall ensure that:

   (a) the applicant is informed in an appropriate manner of the outcome of the preliminary examination and, in case the application will not be further examined, of the reasons for this and the possibilities for seeking an appeal or review of the decision;
   (b) if one of the situations referred to in Article 34(3) applies, the determining authority shall further examine the subsequent application in conformity with the provisions of Chapter II as soon as possible.

SECTION V

Article 36

Border procedures

1.  Member States may provide for procedures, in accordance with the basic principles and guarantees of Chapter II, in order to decide at the border or transit zones of the Member State on:

   (a) the admissibility of an application, within the meaning of Article 30, made at such locations; and/or [Am. 89]
   (b) the substance of an application in an accelerated procedure pursuant to Article 28(6).

2.  Member States shall ensure that a decision in the framework of the procedures provided for in paragraph 1 is taken within a reasonable time. When a decision has not been taken within four weeks, the applicant shall be granted entry to the territory of the Member State in order for his/her application to be processed in accordance with the other provisions of this Directive. The holding of applicants at Member States' borders or transit zones is equivalent to placing them in detention, as referred to in Article 22. [Am. 90]

3.  In the event of arrivals involving a large number of third country nationals or stateless persons lodging applications for international protection at the border or in a transit zone, which makes it practically impossible to apply there the provisions of paragraph 1, those procedures may also be applied where and for as long as these third country nationals or stateless persons are accommodated normally at locations in proximity to the border or transit zone.

SECTION VI

Article 37

The ▌safe third countries concept

1.  A third country may only be considered as a safe third country ▌where a person seeking international protection will be treated in accordance with the following principles and conditions in the third country concerned:

   (a) life and liberty are not threatened on account of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion;
   (b) there is no risk of serious harm as defined in Directive […/.../EU] [the Qualification Directive];
   (c) the principle of non-refoulement in accordance with the Geneva Convention is respected;
   (d) the prohibition of removal, in violation of the right to freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment as laid down in international law, is respected;
   (e) the possibility exists to request refugee status or another complementary form of protection comparable to that granted under Directive [.../.../EU] [the Qualification Directive] and, if granted such status or protection, to receive protection comparable to that afforded under that Directive;
   (f) it has ratified and observes the provisions of the Geneva Convention without any geographical limitations;
   (g) it has in place an asylum procedure prescribed by law; and
   (h) it has been so designated by the European Parliament and the Council in accordance with paragraph 2.

2.  The European Parliament and the Council shall, acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure, adopt or amend a common list of third countries that shall be regarded as safe third countries for the purposes of paragraph 1.

3.  The Member States concerned shall lay down in national law the modalities for implementing the provisions of paragraph 1 and rules requiring:

   (a) a connection between the person seeking international protection and the third country concerned on the basis of which it would be reasonable for that person to go to that country;
   (b) methodology by which the competent authorities satisfy themselves that the safe third country concept may be applied to a particular country or to a particular applicant. Such methodology shall include case-by-case consideration of the safety of the country for a particular applicant;
   (c) rules in accordance with international law, allowing an individual examination of whether the third country concerned is safe for a particular applicant which, as a minimum, shall permit the applicant to challenge the application of the safe third country concept on the grounds that the third country is not safe in his/her particular circumstances. The applicant shall also be allowed to challenge the existence of a connection between him/her and the third country in accordance with point (a).

4.  When implementing a decision ▌based on this Article, the Member States concerned shall ▌inform the applicant accordingly ▌.

5.  Where the safe third country does not re-admit the applicant for asylum, Member States shall ensure that access to a procedure is given in accordance with the basic principles and guarantees described in Chapter II.

6.  Member States shall not designate national lists of safe countries of origin or national lists of safe third countries. [Am. 91]

CHAPTER IV

PROCEDURES FOR THE WITHDRAWAL OF INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION

Article 38

Withdrawal of international protection

Member States shall ensure that an examination to withdraw the international protection of a particular person may commence when new elements or findings arise indicating that there are reasons to reconsider the validity of his/her international protection.

Article 39

Procedural rules

1.  Member States shall ensure that, where the competent authority is considering withdrawing the international protection of a third country national or stateless person in accordance with Article 14 or Article 19 of Directive […/.../EU] [the Qualification Directive], the person concerned shall enjoy the following guarantees:

   (a) to be informed in writing that the competent authority is reconsidering his or her qualification for international protection and the reasons for such a reconsideration; and
   (b) to be given the opportunity to submit, in a personal interview in accordance with Article 11(1)(b) and Articles 13, 14 and 15 or in a written statement, reasons as to why his/her international protection should not be withdrawn.

   (a) the competent authority is able to obtain precise and up-to-date information from various sources, such as, where appropriate, from the UNHCR and the European Asylum Support Office, as to the general situation prevailing in the countries of origin of the persons concerned; and
   (b) where information on an individual case is collected for the purposes of reconsidering the international protection, it is not obtained from the actor(s) of persecution or serious harm in a manner that would result in such actor(s) being directly informed of the fact that the person concerned is a beneficiary of international protection whose status is under reconsideration, nor jeopardise the physical integrity of the person and his/her dependants, or the liberty and security of his/her family members still living in the country of origin.

2.  Member States shall ensure that the decision of the competent authority to withdraw the international protection is given in writing. The reasons in fact and in law shall be stated in the decision and information on how to challenge the decision shall be given in writing.

3.  Once the competent authority has taken the decision to withdraw the international protection, Article 18, paragraph 2, Article 19, paragraph 1 and Article 26 are equally applicable.

4.  By derogation to paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of this Article, Member States may decide that the international protection shall lapse by law if the beneficiary of international protection has unequivocally renounced his/her recognition as a beneficiary of international protection.

CHAPTER V

APPEALS PROCEDURES

Article 40

The right to an effective remedy

1.  Member States shall ensure that applicants for international protection have the right to an effective remedy before a court or tribunal, against the following:

  (a) a decision taken on their application for international protection, including a decision:
   (i) to consider an application unfounded in relation to refugee status and/or subsidiary protection status,
   (ii) to consider an application inadmissible pursuant to Article 30,
   (iii) taken at the border or in the transit zones of a Member State as described in Article 36(1),
   (iv) not to conduct an examination pursuant to Article 37;
   (b) a refusal to re-open the examination of an application after its discontinuation pursuant to Articles 24 and 25;
   (c) a decision to withdraw international protection pursuant to Article 39.

2.  Member States shall ensure that persons recognized by the determining authority as eligible for subsidiary protection have the right to an effective remedy as referred to in paragraph 1 against a decision to consider an application unfounded in relation to refugee status.

The person concerned shall be entitled to the rights and benefits guaranteed to beneficiaries of subsidiary protection pursuant to Directive […/.../EU] [the Qualification Directive] pending the outcome of the appeal procedures.

3.  Member States shall ensure that the effective remedy referred to in paragraph 1 provides for a full examination of both facts and points of law, including an ex nunc examination of the international protection needs pursuant to Directive […/.../EU] [the Qualification Directive], at least in appeal procedures before a court or tribunal of first instance.

4.  Member States shall provide for minimum time-limits and other necessary rules for the applicant to exercise his/her right to an effective remedy pursuant to paragraph 1. [Am. 92]

The Member States shall set a minimum time limit of 45 working days during which applicants may exercise their right to an effective remedy. For applicants under the accelerated procedure referred to in Article 28(6), the Member States shall lay down a minimum time limit of thirty working days. The time limits shall not render impossible or excessively difficult the access of applicants to an effective remedy pursuant to paragraph 1. Member States may also provide for an ex officio review of decisions taken pursuant to Article 36. [Am. 93]

5.  Without prejudice to paragraph 6, the remedy provided for in paragraph 1 of this Article shall have the effect of allowing applicants to remain in the Member State concerned pending its outcome.

6.  In the case of a decision taken in the accelerated procedure pursuant to Article 28(6) and of a decision to consider an application inadmissible pursuant to Article 30(2)(d), and if, in such cases, the right to remain in the Member State pending the outcome of the remedy is not foreseen under national legislation, a court or tribunal shall have the power to rule whether or not the applicant may remain on the territory of the Member State, either upon request of the concerned applicant or acting on its own motion. [Am. 94]

This paragraph shall not apply to procedures referred to in Article 36.

7.  Member States shall allow the applicant to remain in the territory pending the outcome of the procedure referred to in paragraph 6. An exception may be made for subsequent applications which do not lead to a further examination pursuant to Articles 34 and 35, if a return decision pursuant to Article 3(4) of Directive 2008/115/EC has been taken, and for decisions in the procedure pursuant to Article 37 if this is provided for in national legislation. [Am. 117]

8.  Paragraphs 5, 6 and 7 of this Article shall be without prejudice to Article 26 of Regulation (EU) No […/…] [the Dublin Regulation].

9.  Member States shall lay down time-limits for the court or tribunal pursuant to paragraph 1 to examine the decision of the determining authority.

10.  Where an applicant has been granted a status which offers the same rights and benefits under national and Union law as the refugee status by virtue of Directive […/.../EU] [the Qualification Directive], the applicant may be considered as having an effective remedy where a court or tribunal decides that the remedy pursuant to paragraph 1 is inadmissible or unlikely to succeed on the basis of insufficient interest on the part of the applicant in maintaining the proceedings.

11.  Member States may also lay down in national legislation the conditions under which it can be assumed that an applicant has implicitly withdrawn or abandoned his/her remedy pursuant to paragraph 1, together with the rules on the procedure to be followed.

CHAPTER VI

GENERAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 41

Challenge by public authorities

This Directive does not affect the possibility for public authorities of challenging the administrative and/or judicial decisions as provided for in national legislation.

Article 42

Confidentiality

Member States shall ensure that authorities implementing this Directive are bound by the confidentiality principle as defined in national law, in relation to any information they obtain in the course of their work.

Article 43

Cooperation

Member States shall each appoint a national contact point and communicate its address to the Commission. The Commission shall communicate that information to the other Member States.

Member States shall, in liaison with the Commission, take all appropriate measures to establish direct cooperation and an exchange of information between the competent authorities.

Article 44

Report

No later than […], the Commission shall report to the European Parliament and the Council on the application and the financial cost of this Directive in the Member States and shall propose any amendments that are necessary. Member States shall send the Commission all the information and financial data that is appropriate for drawing up this report. After presenting the report, the Commission shall report to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of this Directive in the Member States at least every two years. [Am. 95]

Article 45

Transposition

Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with Articles […] by […] at the latest. They shall forthwith communicate to the Commission the text of those provisions and a correlation table between those provisions and this Directive.

Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with Article 28(3) by ...(9). They shall forthwith communicate to the Commission the text of those provisions and a correlation table between those provisions and this Directive. [Am. 96]

When Member States adopt those provisions, they shall contain a reference to this Directive or be accompanied by such a reference on the occasion of their official publication. They shall also include a statement that references in existing laws, regulations and administrative provisions to the Directive repealed by this Directive shall be construed as references to this Directive. Member States shall determine how such reference is to be made and how that statement is to be formulated.

Member States shall communicate to the Commission the text of the main provisions of national law covered by this Directive and a correlation table between those provisions and this Directive.

Article 46

Transitional provisions

Member States shall apply the laws, regulations and administrative provisions set out in paragraph 1 of Article 45 to applications for international protection lodged after […] and to procedures for the withdrawal of international protection started after […]. Applications submitted before […] and procedures for the withdrawal of refugee status initiated before […] shall be governed by the laws, regulations and administrative provisions in accordance with Directive 2005/85/EC.

Member States shall apply the laws, regulations and administrative provisions set out in paragraph 2 of Article 45 to applications for international protection lodged after […] Applications submitted before […] shall be governed by the laws, regulations and administrative provisions in accordance with Directive 2005/85/EC.

Article 47

Repeal

Directive 2005/85/EC is repealed with effect from [day after the date set out in the first paragraph of Article 45 of this Directive], without prejudice to the obligations of the Member States relating to the time-limit for transposition into national law of the Directive set out in Annex II, Part B.

References to the repealed Directive shall be construed as references to this Directive and shall be read in accordance with the correlation table in Annex III.

Article 48

Entry into force

This Directive shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Articles [...] shall apply from [day after the date set out in the first paragraph of Article 45].

Article 49

Addressees

This Directive is addressed to the Member States in accordance with the Treaties.

Done at ...

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

ANNEX I

Definition of ‘determining authority’

When implementing the provision of this Directive, Ireland may, insofar as the provisions of section 17(1) of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended) continue to apply, consider that:

   ‘determining authority’ provided for in Article 2(f) of this Directive shall, insofar as the examination of whether an applicant should or, as the case may be, should not be declared to be a refugee is concerned, mean the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner; and
   ‘decisions at first instance’ provided for in Article 2(f) of this Directive shall include recommendations of the Refugee Applications Commissioner as to whether an applicant should or, as the case may be, should not be declared to be a refugee.

Ireland will notify the Commission of any amendments to the provisions of section 17(1) of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended).
[Am. 85]

ANNEX II

Part A

Repealed Directive

(referred to in Article 47)

Council Directive 2005/85/EC

(OJ L 326, 13.12.2005, p. 13)

Part B

Time-limit for transposition into national law

(referred to in Article 47)

Directive

Time-limits for transposition

2005/85/EC

First deadline: 1 December 2007

Second deadline: 1 December 2008

ANNEX III

Correlation Table(10)

Directive 2005/85/EC

This directive

Article 1

Article 1

Article 2 (a)

Article 2 (a)

Article 2 (b)

Article 2 (b)

Article 2 (c)

Article 2 (c)

-

Article 2 (d)

Article 2 (d)

Article 2 (e)

Article 2 (e)

Article 2 (f)

Article 2 (f)

Article 2 (g)

-

Article 2 (h)

-

Article 2 (i)

Article 2 (g)

Article 2 (j)

-

Article 2 (k)

-

Article 2 (l)

Article 2 (h)

Article 2 (m)

Article 2 (i)

Article 2 (n)

Article 2 (j)

Article 2 (o)

Article 2 (k)

Article 2 (p)

Article 3 (1)

Article 3 (1)

Article 3 (2)

Article 3 (2)

Article 3 (3)

-

Article 3 (4)

Article 3 (3)

Article 4 (1) first subparagraph

Article 4 (1) first subparagraph

Article 4 (1) second subparagraph

-

-

Article 4 (2)

Article 4 (2)

Article 4 (3)

Article 4 (3)

Article 4 (4)

-

Article 4 (5)

Article 5

Article 5

Article 6 (1)

-

-

Article 6 (1)

-

Article 6 (2)

Article 6 (2)

Article 6 (3)

Article 6 (3)

Article 6 (4)

-

Article 6 (5)

-

Article 6 (6)

Article 6 (4)

Article 6 (7)

Article 6 (5)

-

-

Article 6 (8)

-

Article 6 (9)

-

Article 7 (1) to (3)

Article 7 (1)

Article 8 (1)

Article 7 (2)

Article 8 (2)

-

Article 8 (3)

Article 8 (1)

Article 9 (1)

-

Article 9 (2)

Article 8 (2) (a)

Article 9 (3) (a)

Article 8 (2) (b)

Article 9 (3) (b)

Article 8 (2) (c)

Article 9 (3) (c)

-

Article 9 (3) (d)

Article 8 (3)

Article 9 (4)

Article 8 (5)

Article 9 (5)

Article 9 (1)

Article 10 (1)

Article 9 (2), first subparagraph

Article 10 (2), first subparagraph

Article 9 (2), second subparagraph

-

Article 9 (3)

Article 10 (3)

-

Article 10 (4)

Article 10

Article 11

Article 11

Article 12

Article 12 (1)

Article 13 (1)

Article 12 (2) (a)

Article13 (2) (a)

Article 12 (2) (b)

-

Article 12 (2) (c)

-

Article 12 (3)

Article 13 (2) (b)

Article 12 (4) to (6)

Article 13 (3) to (5)

Article 13 (1) and (2)

Article 14 (1) and (2)

Article 13 (3) (a)

Article 14 (3) (a)

-

Article 14 (3) (b)

Article 13 (3) (b)

Article 14 (3) (c)

-

Article 14 (3) (d)

-

Article 14 (3) (e)

Article 13 (4)

Article 14 (4)

Article 13 (5)

-

-

Article 15

Article 14

-

-

Article 16

-

Article 17

Article 15 (1), (2) and (3) first subparagraph

Article 18 (1), (2) and (3) first subparagraph

Article 15 (3) (a)

-

Article 15 (3) (b)

Article 18 (3) (a)

Article 15 (3) (c)

Article 18 (3) (b)

Article 15 (3) (d)

-

Article 15 (3) second subparagraph

-

-

Article 18 (3) second subparagraph

Article 15 (4)

Article 18 (4)

-

Article 18 (5)

Article 15 (5)

Article 18 (6)

Article 15 (6)

Article 18 (7)

Article 16 (1)

Article 19 (1)

Article 16 (2)

Article 19 (2)

-

Article 19 (3)

Article 16 (3)

Article 19 (4)

Article 16 (4)

Article 19 (4)

-

Article 20 (1) to (3)

Article 17 (1)

Article 21 (1)

Article 17 (2) (a)

Article 21 (2) (a)

Article 17 (2) (b)

-

Article 17 (2) (c)

Article 21 (2) (b)

Article 17 (3)

-

Article 17 (4)

Article 21 (3)

-

Article 21 (4)

Article 17 (5)

Article 21 (5)

-

Article 21 (6)

Article 17 (6)

Article 21 (7)

Article 18

Article 22

Article 19

Article 23

Article 20

Article 24

Article 20 (1) (a) and (b)

Article 24 (1) (a) and (b)

Article 20 (2)

Article 24 (2)

-

Article 24 (3)

Article 21

Article 25

Article 22

Article 26

Article 23

Article 27

Article 23 (1)

Article 27 (1)

Article 23 (2), first subparagraph

Article 27 (2)

Article 23 (2), second subparagraph

-

-

Article 27 (3)

-

Article 27 (4)

Article 23 (3)

Article 27 (5)

Article 23 (4)

Article 27 (6)

Article 23 (4) (a)

Article 27 (6) (a)

Article 23 (4) (b)

-

Article 23 (4) (c) (i)

Article 27 (6) (b)

Article 23 (4) (c) (ii)

-

Article 23 (4) (d)

Article 27 (6) (c)

Article 23 (4) (e)

-

Article 23 (4) (f)

Article 27 (6) (d)

Article 23 (4) (g)

-

Article 23 (4) (h)

-

Article 23 (4) (i)

-

Article 23 (4) (j)

Article 27 (6) (f)

Article 23 (4) (k) to (n)

-

Article 23 (4) (o)

Article 27 (6) (e)

-

Article 27 (7)

-

Article 27 (8)

-

Article 27 (9)

-

Article 28

Article 24

-

Article 25

Article 29

Article 25 (1)

Article 29 (1)

Article 25 (2) (a) to (c)

Article 29 (2) (a) to (c)

Article 25 (2) (d) and (e)

-

Article 25 (2) (f) and (g)

Article 29 (2) (d) and (e)

-

Article 30

Article 26

Article 31

Article 27

Article 32

Article 27 (1) (a)

Article 32 (1) (a)

-

Article 32 (1) (b)

Article 27 (1) (b) to (d)

Article 32 (1) (c) to (e)

Article 27 (2) to (5)

Article 32 (2) to (5)

Article 28

-

Article 29

-

Article 30

Article 33

Article 30 (2) to (4)

-

-

Article 33 (2)

Article 30 (5)

Article 33 (3)

Article 30 (6)

Article 33 (4)

Article 31

Article 34

Article 31 (2)

-

Article 31 (3)

Article 34 (2)

Article 32 (1) to (7)

Article 35 (1) to (7)

-

Article 35 (8) and (9)

Article 33

-

Article 34

Article 36

Article 34 (1) and (2) (a)

Article 36 (1) and (2) (a)

Article 34 (2) (b)

-

Article 34 (2) (c)

Article 36 (2) (b)

Article 34 (3) (a) and (b)

Article 36 (3) (a) and (b)

Article 35 (1)

Article 37 (1) (a)

-

Article 37 (1) (b)

Article 35 (2) and (3) (a) to (f)

-

Article 35 (4)

Article 37 (2)

Article 35 (5)

Article 37 (3)

Article 36 (1) to (2)(c)

Article 38 (1) to 2(c)

Article 36 (2)(d)

-

Article 36(3)

-

Article 36(4)

Article 38(3)

Article 36(5)

Article 38(4)

Article 36(6)

Article 38(5)

Article 36(7)

-

Article 37

Article 39

Article 38

Article 40

Article 39

Article 41

Article 39 (1) (a)

Article 41 (1) (a)

-

Article 41 (1) (a) (i)

Article 39 (1) (a) (i)

Article 41 (1) (a) (ii)

Article 39 (1) (a) (ii)

Article 41 (1) (a) (iii)

Article 39 (1) (a) (iii)

-

Article 39 (1) (b)

Article 41 (1) (b)

Article 39 (1) (c) and (d)

-

Article 39 (1) (e)

Article 41 (1) (c)

-

Article 41 (2) and (3)

Article 39 (2)

Article 41 (4)

Article 39 (3)

-

-

Article 41 (5) to (8)

Article 39 (4)

Article 41 (9)

Article 39 (5)

Article 41(10)

Article 39 (6)

Article 41 (11)

Article 40

Article 42

Article 41

Article 43

-

Article 44

Article 42

Article 45

Article 43

Article 46

Article 44

Article 47

-

Article 48

Article 45

Article 49

Article 46

Article 50

Annex I

Annex I

Annex II

Annex II

Annex III

-

-

Annex III

-

Annex IV

(1) OJ C 18, 19.1.2011, p. 85.
(2) OJ C 77, 28.3.2002, p. 1.
(3) OJ C 87 E, 1.4.2010, p. 10.
(4) OJ C 18, 19.1.2011, p. 85.
(5) Position of the European Parliament of 6 April 2011.
(6) OJ L 326, 13.12.2005, p. 13.
(7) OJ L 348, 24.12.2008, p. 98.
(8) OJ L 190, 18.7.2002, p. 1.
(9)* Two years from the date of the transposition of this Directive.
(10) The correlation table has not been updated.


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Resolution
Text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 6 April 2011 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning European Statistics on tourism (COM(2010)0117 – C7-0085/2010 – 2010/0063(COD))
P7_TA(2011)0137A7-0329/2010

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2010)0117),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 338(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C7-0085/2010),

–  having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the contributions submitted by the Assembly of the Republic of Portugal and by the Italian Senate on the draft legislative act,

–  having regard to the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 22 March 2011 to approve Parliament's position, in accordance with Article 294(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Rule 55 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A7-0329/2010),

1.  Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out;

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, the Commission and the national parliaments.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 6 April 2011 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) No .../2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning European statistics on tourism and repealing Council Directive 95/57/EC

P7_TC1-COD(2010)0063


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EU) No 692/2011.)


Community financial measures for the implementation of the common fisheries policy and in the area of the Law of the Sea ***I
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Resolution
Text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 6 April 2011 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 861/2006 establishing Community financial measures for the implementation of the common fisheries policy and in the area of the Law of the Sea (COM(2010)0145 – C7-0107/2010 – 2010/0080(COD))
P7_TA(2011)0138A7-0017/2011

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2010)0145),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 43 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C7-0107/2010),

–  having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the contributions submitted by the Assembly of the Republic of Portugal and by the Italian Senate on the draft legislative act,

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 15 July 2010(1),

–  having regard to the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 11 March 2011 to approve Parliament's position, in accordance with Article 294(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Rule 55 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Fisheries (A7-0017/2011),

1.  Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out;

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, the Commission and the national parliaments.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 6 April 2011 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) No .../2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 861/2006 establishing Community financial measures for the implementation of the common fisheries policy and in the area of the Law of the Sea

P7_TC1-COD(2010)0080


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EU) No 693/2011.)

(1) OJ C 44, 11.2.2011, p. 171.


Fisheries – Transitional technical measures ***I
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Resolution
Text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 6 April 2011 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1288/2009 establishing transitional technical measures from 1 January 2010 to 30 June 2011 (COM(2010)0488 – C7-0282/2010 – 2010/0255(COD))
P7_TA(2011)0139A7-0024/2011

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2010)0488),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 43(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C7-0282/2010),

–  having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 19 January 2011(1),

–  having regard to the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 9 March 2011 to approve Parliament's position, in accordance with Article 294(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Rule 55 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Fisheries (A7-0024/2011),

1.  Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out;

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, the Commission and the national parliaments.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 6 April 2011 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) No .../2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 850/98 for the conservation of fishery resources through technical measures for the protection of juveniles of marine organisms and Council Regulation (EC) No 1288/2009 establishing transitional technical measures from 1 January 2010 to 30 June 2011

P7_TC1-COD(2010)0255


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EU) No 579/2011.)

(1) OJ C 84, 17.3.2011, p. 47.


Estimates of revenue and expenditure for 2012
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European Parliament resolution of 6 April 2011 on the estimates of revenue and expenditure of Parliament for the financial year 2012 - Section I - Parliament (2011/2018(BUD))
P7_TA(2011)0140A7-0087/2011

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 314 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  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 Article 31 thereof,

–  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),

–  having regard to its resolution of 9 March 2011 on the guidelines for the 2012 budget procedure – Sections I, II, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX and X(3),

–  having regard to the Secretary-General's report to the Bureau on drawing up Parliament's preliminary draft estimates for the financial year 2012,

–  having regard to the preliminary draft estimates drawn up by the Bureau on 23 March 2011 pursuant to Rules 23(7) and 79(1) of Parliament's Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the draft estimates drawn up by the Committee on Budgets pursuant to Rule 79(2) of Parliament's Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to Rule 79 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A7-0087/2011),

A.  whereas the current financial, economic and social situation of the Union obliges the institutions to respond with the quality and efficiency that is required and to employ strict management procedures so that savings should be achieved; considers that such savings should involve budget lines relating to Members of the European Parliament,

B.  whereas the institutions should be provided with sufficient resources, although, given the current economic context, those resources should be managed with rigour and efficiency,

C.  whereas it is particularly desirable for the Committee on Budgets and the Bureau to continue with the enhanced cooperation throughout the annual budget procedure under Rules 23 and 79 of Parliament's Rules of Procedure, which provide that the Bureau is responsible for taking financial, organisational and administrative decisions concerning the internal organisation of Parliament as well as for drawing up Parliament's preliminary draft estimates and the Committee on Budgets is responsible for the report to the plenary on Parliament's budget estimates in the context of the annual procedure,

D.  whereas the prerogatives of the plenary in adopting the estimates and the final budget will be fully maintained in accordance with the Treaty and the Rules of Procedure,

E.  whereas a pre-conciliation meeting between delegations of the Bureau and the Committee on Budgets took place on 15 March and 22 March 2011,

F.  whereas in a recent letter, the Commissioner responsible for budget called on all institutions to make every possible effort towards limiting expenditure in preparing their own estimates of expenditure for the Draft Budget 2012,

General Framework and overall budget

1.  Welcomes the so far good cooperation between the Bureau and the Committee on Budgets during the current budget procedure and the agreement between the Bureau and the Committee on Budgets during its pre-conciliation on 22 March 2011;

2.  Notes that the level of the Preliminary Draft Estimates for the 2012 budget, as suggested by the Secretary General to the Bureau, amounts to EUR 1 773 560 543, representing 20,26 % of heading 5 of the multiannual financial framework (MFF); notes that the rate of increase suggested is 5,20 % over the 2011 budget;

3.  Welcomes the fact that the Bureau adopted savings compared to the originally suggested Preliminary Draft Estimates in its Preliminary Draft Estimates for the 2012 budget as adopted at its meeting on 23 March 2011 after its pre-conciliation with the Committee on Budgets; confirms the proposal of the Bureau and sets the overall level of the Draft Estimates 2012 at EUR 1 724 575 043, representing 19,70 % of heading 5 of the MFF; notes that the rate of increase suggested is 2,30 % over the 2011 budget;

4.  Calls for a long-term review of the Parliament's budget; asks for future potential savings to be identified in order to reduce costs and create resources for the long-term running of the Parliament as part of the legislative authority;

5.  Reaffirms that in the light of the difficult economic and budgetary conditions in the Member States, the Parliament should show its budgetary responsibility and self-restraint by staying under the current inflation rate(4); following the interinstitutional line, enlargement-related needs are to be integrated either by a letter of amendment or an amending budget; the needs for the 18 new MEPs following the Lisbon Treaty will be also integrated by a letter of amendment or an amending budget;

6.  Furthermore urges the administration to present an objective evaluation of Parliament's budget with the aim of identifying savings throughout and present this evaluation to the Committee on Budgets in a timely fashion before the end of the budgetary procedure;

7.  Recalls that the ceiling for heading 5 of the MFF for the Union budget in 2012 is EUR 8 754 million;

8.  Is of the opinion that Parliament and the other institutions should show budgetary responsibility and self-restraint in the context of economic crisis and the heavy burden of public debt and restraint in times of ongoing national budgetary consolidation efforts without undermining the goal of legislative excellence;

Specific issues

9.  Encourages the Bureau to apply a stringent human resources management approach prior to the establishment of new posts within Parliament;

10.  Considers that the ongoing efforts to modernise and rationalise the administration and the proposals for 2012 should contribute to a reduction in the external provision of services and expects significant savings to be made here so as to achieve a level of expenditure comparable at least to that of 2010;

11.  Welcomes the Secretary General's proposal to continue to implement Parliament's environmental policy, to start an information campaign, to provide support for the multi-annual ICT strategy and to continue to modernise and rationalise the administration;

12.  Efforts to modernise and rationalise the administration must also include the security of the Parliament; requests a reserve of EUR 3 million, which would be lifted upon presentation of a viable concept for improvements and costs-plans; recalls, from the abovementioned resolution of 9 March 2011, that a thorough review should be implemented as to whether the right of freedom of access for European citizens to meet with their European representatives could be more effectively matched with the urgent need to provide security for those who work in the institutions; asks the Secretary-General to submit such a report by 30 June 2011;

13.  Recalls the importance of all the points mentioned in the guidelines for the 2012 budget such as the modernisation of the software application systems including the digital strategy with regard to the Web 2.0 tools and social networks, the cloud computing system and Wifi, information and communication policy, the knowledge management system, translation and interpretation, environmental policy and EMAS and active non-discrimination policies;

14.  Considers that in the implementation of the 2012 budget further savings should be achieved by reducing the consumption of, in particular, water, electricity and paper and that an effort should be made to reduce transportation costs related to official missions and travel;

15.  Highlights the need for constant and evenly distributed information to European citizens and asks its administration to constantly monitor existing and potential locations for its information offices, in particular where accommodation is offered free of charge;

16.  Requests that a thorough review be conducted of the current links between the European Parliament and national parliaments with a view to seeing how to improve the sectoral contacts between parliamentary committees in the European Parliament and the Member States to generate a more substantive and satisfactory dialogue;

Buildings in construction

17.  Recalls its position, in its abovementioned resolution of 9 March 2011, expressed in its resolution on the guidelines for the 2012 budget procedure; considers that early payment, with a view to reducing financing costs, remains one of the key priorities for the future; asks in this context for optimal use of the budget resources, the development of a medium- and long-term strategy seeking to find the best solution and taking into account the need to assess various options and alternative financing possibilities while respecting the principles of transparency and sound financial management;

18.  Reiterates that the European Parliament will consider additional funding only on the basis of necessary information regarding (1) the amount and the sources of the expected means of financing, (2) additional information regarding the legal implications, and provided that (3) all decisions relating to the project are subject to a proper decision-making procedure ensuring an open debate and transparency; takes note of the estimated total cost for setting up the House of European History, the estimated running costs and the staffing needs; asks the Bureau to reduce the estimated running costs; requests - in order to maintain a transparent and fruitful dialogue with the parties involved - to be presented with a business plan setting out the long-term business strategy of the House of European History and requests to be informed as soon as possible on the building project according to Article 179(3) of the Financial Regulation proposes a reserve of EUR 2 million until receipt of said business plan;

19.  Does not support the creation of a new budget line at this stage specifically for the House of European History; therefore requests that the EUR 1 million which has been allocated to the new item ‘3247’ (House of European History) be transferred to Chapter 10 1 (contingency reserve); considers, however, that any creation of such a line should be part of a transparent procedure and approved by the budgetary authority;

Final considerations

20.  Adopts the estimates for the financial year 2012 and recalls that the adoption of Parliament's position on the Draft Budget, as modified by the Council, will take place in October 2011, according to the procedure laid down by the Treaty;

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

(1) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
(2) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.
(3) Text adopted, P7_TA(2011)0088.
(4) Eurostat press release 41/2011, 16 March 2011.


European international investment policy
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European Parliament resolution of 6 April 2011 on the future European international investment policy (2010/2203(INI))
P7_TA(2011)0141A7-0070/2011

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 of 7 July 2010 entitled ‘Towards a comprehensive European international investment policy’ (COM(2010)0343), as well as to the Commission Proposal of 7 July 2010 for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing transitional arrangements for bilateral investment agreements between Member States and third countries (COM(2010)0344),

–  having regard to the Communication from the Commission of 3 March 2010 entitled ‘Europe 2020 – A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ (COM(2010)2020), and to the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 9 November 2010 entitled ‘Trade, Growth and World Affairs – Trade Policy as a core component of the EU's 2020 strategy’ (COM(2010)0612),

–  having regard to the Council Conclusions of 25 October 2010 on a comprehensive European international investment policy,

–  having regard to the updated OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises,

–  having regard to the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union on the failure by Member States to fulfil their obligations, and notably to the judgment of 3 March 2009 in Commission v Austria (Case C-205/06), the judgment of 3 March 2009 in Commission v Sweden (Case C-249/06), and the judgment of 19 November 2009 in Commission v Finland (Case C-118/07),

–  having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on International Trade and the opinions of the Committee on Development and the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (A7-0070/2011),

A.  whereas the Treaty of Lisbon brought foreign direct investment (FDI) under exclusive EU competence, as enshrined in Articles 3(1)(e), 206 and 207 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

B.  whereas since 1959 more than 1 200 bilateral investment treaties (BITs) have been concluded by the Member States at bilateral level and nearly 3 000 BITs have been concluded in total,

C.  whereas it is generally acknowledged that inward investment can improve host countries' competitiveness but adjustment assistance for low-skilled workers may be necessary in the case of outward investment; whereas it is the responsibility of any government to encourage the beneficial impacts of investments while preventing any harmful effects,

D.  whereas Articles 206 and 207 TFEU do not define FDI, whereas the Court of Justice of the European Union(1) has specified its understanding of the term FDI, on the basis of three criteria: it should be considered as a long-lasting investment, representing at least 10 % of the affiliated company's equity capital / shares and providing the investor with managerial control over the affiliated company's operations, whereas this definition is in line with those of the IMF and the OECD and is opposed to, in particular, portfolio investments and intellectual property rights; whereas it is difficult to distinguish clearly between FDI and portfolio investments and applying a rigid legal definition to investment practice in the real world will be hard,

E.  whereas some Member States use broad definitions of the term ‘foreign investor’, with a simple postal address deemed sufficient to determine the nationality of an enterprise, whereas this has enabled some enterprises to file suits against their own countries via BITs signed by third countries, whereas any European company should be able to rely on future EU investment agreements or free trade agreements (FTAs) with investment chapters,

F.  whereas the emergence of new countries with strong investment capacity as local or global powers has changed the classic view whereby the only investors were from developed countries,

G.  whereas after the first dispute settlement cases of the 1990s, and in spite of generally positive experiences, a number of problems became clear because of the use of vague language in agreements being left open for interpretation, particularly concerning the possibility of conflict between private interests and the regulatory tasks of public authorities, for example in cases where the adoption of legitimate legislation led to a state being condemned by international arbitrators for a breach of the principle of ‘fair and equitable treatment’,

H.  whereas the USA and Canada, which were among the first states to face such rulings, have adapted their model BITs in order to restrict the breadth of interpretation by the arbitration and ensure better protection of their public intervention domain,

I.  whereas the Commission has compiled a list of countries which will be privileged partners for the negotiation of the first investment agreements (Canada, China, India, Mercosur, Russia and Singapore),

J.   whereas the newly established European External Action Service (EEAS) shall also reinforce the EU's global presence and role, including the promotion and defence of the EU's trade goals, in the investment field,

1.  Acknowledges that, as a result of the Treaty of Lisbon, FDI now falls under the exclusive competence of the EU; notes that this new EU competence poses a double challenge, on one hand for managing the existing BITs and on the other hand for defining a European investment policy which meets the expectations of investors and beneficiary states but also the EU's broader economic interests and external policy objectives;

2.  Welcomes this new EU competence and calls on the Commission and the Member States to seize this opportunity to build with Parliament an integrated and coherent investment policy which promotes high-quality investments and makes a positive contribution to worldwide economic progress and sustainable development; takes the view that Parliament must be adequately involved in the shaping of the future investment policy and that this requires proper consultation on the mandates for upcoming negotiations, as well as regular meaningful briefings on the state of ongoing negotiations;

3.  Notes that the EU is an important economic bloc that carries considerable weight in negotiations; believes that a common policy on investment will meet the expectations of both investors and the states concerned and help increase the competitiveness of the EU and its businesses and to increase employment;

4.  Notes the need for a coordinated European framework, one that is designed to provide certainty and to encourage the promotion of the principles and objectives of the EU;

5.  Recalls that the current phase of globalisation has seen a dramatic increase in FDI, reaching in 2007, the year before investment was affected by the global economic and financial crisis, a record high of almost EUR 1 500 billion, with the EU being the largest source of FDI in the entire global economy; underlines, however, that in 2008 and 2009 investment has declined due to the global financial and economic crisis; stresses also that about 80 % of the total value of global FDI concerns cross-border mergers and acquisitions;

6.  Welcomes the Commission's Communication ‘Towards a comprehensive European international investment policy’ but stresses that, while focusing extensively on investor protection, it should better address the right to protect the public capacity to regulate and meet the EU's obligation to exercise policy coherence for development;

7.  Considers that investment can have a positive impact on growth and jobs, not only in the EU but also in developing countries, insofar as investors actively contribute to the development goals of the host states, i.e. by supporting the local economy through technology transfer and by utilising local labour and inputs;

8.  Calls on the Commission to bear in mind the lessons learnt on a multilateral, plurilateral and bilateral level, in particular regarding the failure of OECD negotiations on a Multilateral Agreement on Investment;

9.  Urges the Commission to develop the EU's investment strategy in a careful and coordinated manner drawing on the best practices of BITs; notes the divergence of content within Member State agreements and calls on the Commission to reconcile these divergences to provide a strong EU template for investment agreements, which would also be adjustable according to the level of development of the partner country;

10.  Calls on the Commission to issue non-mandatory guidance as expediently as possible, e.g. in the form of a template for BITs, that may be used by Member States to enhance certainty and consistency;

Definitions and scope

11.  Asks the Commission to provide a clear definition of the investments to be protected, including both FDI and portfolio investment; considers, however, that speculative forms of investment, as defined by the Commission, shall not be protected; insists that where intellectual property rights are included in the scope of the investment agreement, including these agreements where draft mandates have already been proposed, the provisions should avoid negatively impacting the production of generic medicines and must respect the TRIPS exceptions for public health;

12.  Notes with concern that negotiating a broad variety of investments would lead to mixing exclusive and shared competences;

13.  Calls for the introduction of the term ‘EU investor’ which would, reflecting the spirit of Article 207 TFEU, underline the significance of promoting investors from all Member States on equal terms, ensuring them conditions of functioning and protection of their investments on equal footing;

14.  Recalls that the standard EU Member State BIT uses a broad definition of ‘foreign investor’; asks the Commission to assess where this has led to abusive practices; asks the Commission to provide a clear definition of a foreign investor based on this assessment and drawing on the latest OECD benchmark definition of FDI;

Investor protection

15.  Stresses that investor protection for all EU investors must remain the first priority of investment agreements;

16.  Notes that the negotiation of BITs is a time-consuming process; calls on the Commission to invest in terms of its personnel and its material resources in the negotiation and conclusion of EU investment agreements;

17.  Considers that the request made by the Council in its conclusions on the Communication – that the new European legal framework should not negatively affect investor protection and guarantees enjoyed under the existing agreements – could create a risk of having any new agreement opposed, and could lead to the necessary balance between investor protection and the protection of the right to regulate – in an era of increased inward investment – being put at risk; considers, moreover, that such a formulation of the evaluation criterion may contradict the meaning and spirit of Article 207 TFEU;

18.  Believes that the need to identify best practices, to which the Council's conclusions also point, is a more sensible and more effective option, enabling the development of a consistent European investment policy;

19.  Considers that future investment agreements concluded by the EU should be based on the best practices drawn from Member State experiences and include the following standards:

   non-discrimination (national treatment and most favoured nation), with a more precise wording in the definition mentioning that foreign and national investors must operate ‘in like circumstances’ and allowing some flexibility in the MFN-clause in order not to obstruct regional integration processes in developing countries;
   fair and equitable treatment, defined on the basis of the level of treatment established by international customary law,
   protection against direct and indirect expropriation, giving a definition that establishes a clear and fair balance between public welfare objectives and private interests, and allowing for adequate compensation in accordance with the damages occurred in the event of illegitimate expropriation;

20.  Asks the Commission to assess the potential impact of the inclusion of an umbrella-clause in future European investment agreements and to present a report to both the European Parliament and the Council;

21.  Calls on the Commission to ensure reciprocity when negotiating market access with its main developed trading partners and the major emerging economies, while bearing in mind the need to exclude sensitive sectors and to maintain asymmetry in the EU's trading relations with developing countries;

22.  Notes that the expected improvement in certainty will help SMEs to invest abroad, and notes in this regard that the voice of SMEs must be heard during negotiations;

Protecting the right to regulate

23.  Stresses that future investment agreements concluded by the EU must respect the capacity for public intervention;

24.  Expresses its deep concern regarding the level of discretion of international arbitrators to make a broad interpretation of investor protection clauses, thereby leading to the ruling out of legitimate public regulations; calls on the Commission to produce clear definitions of investor protection standards in order to avoid such problems in the new investment agreements;

25.  Calls on the Commission to include in all future agreements specific clauses laying down the right of parties to the agreement to regulate, inter alia, in the areas of protection of national security, the environment, public health, workers' and consumers' rights, industrial policy and cultural diversity;

26.  Underlines that the Commission shall decide on a case-by-case basis on sectors not to be covered by future agreements, for example sensitive sectors such as culture, education, public health and those sectors which are strategically important for national defence, and asks the Commission to inform the European Parliament about the mandate it received in each case; notes that the EU should also be aware of the concerns of its developing partners and should not call for more liberalisation if the latter deem it necessary for their development to protect certain sectors, particularly public services;

Inclusion of social and environmental standards

27.  Stresses that the EU's future policy must also promote investment which is sustainable, respects the environment (particularly in the area of extractive industries) and encourages good quality working conditions in the enterprises targeted by the investment; asks the Commission to include, in all future agreements, a reference to the updated OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises;

28.  Reiterates, with regard to the investment chapters in wider FTAs, its call for a corporate social responsibility clause and effective social and environmental clauses to be included in every FTA the EU signs;

29.  Requests that the Commission assess how such clauses have been included in Member State BITs and how they could be included in future stand-alone investment agreements as well;

30.  Welcomes the fact that a number of BITs currently have a clause which prevents the watering-down of social and environmental legislation in order to attract investment and calls on the Commission to consider the inclusion of such a clause in its future agreements;

Dispute settlement mechanism and EU responsibility

31.  Believes that changes must be made to the present dispute settlement regime, in order to include greater transparency, the opportunity for parties to appeal, the obligation to exhaust local judicial remedies where they are reliable enough to guarantee due process, the possibility to use amicus curiae briefs and the obligation to select one single place of investor-state arbitration;

32.  Takes the view that, in addition to state-to-state dispute settlement procedures, investor-state procedures must also be applicable in order to secure comprehensive investment protection;

33.  Is aware that the EU cannot use existing International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)and United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) dispute settlement mechanisms since the EU as such is a member of neither organisation; calls on the EU to include a chapter on dispute settlement in each new EU investment treaty in line with the reforms suggested in this resolution; requests that the Commission and the Member States take up their responsibility as major international players to work towards the necessary reforms of the ICSID and UNCITRAL rules;

34.  Calls on the Commission to put forward solutions that enable small businesses to improve their funding of the high cost of dispute settlement procedures;

35.  Calls on the Commission to present, as soon as possible, a regulation on how responsibilities are to be divided between the EU and national levels, particularly in financial terms, in the event that the EU loses a case in international arbitration;

Choice of partners and powers of Parliament

36.  Endorses the principle that priority partners for future EU investment agreements shall be countries that have great market potential but where foreign investments need better protection;

37.  Notes that investment risk is generally higher in developing and least developed countries and that strong, effective investor protection in the form of investment treaties are key to protecting European investors and can improve governance, thereby bringing about the stable environment needed to increase FDI into these countries; notes that, for investment agreements to further benefit these countries, they should also be based on investor obligations in terms of compliance with human rights and anti-corruption standards as part of a broader partnership between the EU and developing countries for the purpose of reducing poverty; calls on the Commission to assess viable future partners, drawing on Member State best practices with BITs;

38.  Expresses its concern that FDI in least developed countries is extremely limited and tends to be concentrated in natural resources;

39.  Considers that in developing countries greater support should be given to local firms, notably through incentives for strengthening their productivity, engaging in closer cooperation and improving workforce skills – areas of considerable potential in terms of boosting economic development, competitiveness and growth in developing countries; encourages, likewise, the transfer of new, green EU technologies to developing countries, as the best way of promoting green and sustainable growth;

40.  Urges Parliament's position to be taken fully into account by the Commission and the Member States before investment negotiations are initiated, as well as during such negotiations; recalls the content of the Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the Commission and calls on the Commission to consult Parliament on draft negotiating mandates in good time to enable it to state its position, which must, in turn, be properly taken into account by the Commission and the Council;

41.  Stresses the need to include the role of the EEAS delegations in the strategy of the future investment policy, acknowledging their potential and local know-how as strategic assets in achieving the new policy goals;

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42.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and Commission, to the Member States, to the European Economic and Social Committee, and to the Committee of the Regions.

(1) Judgment of 12 December 2006 in Test Claimants in the FII Group Litigation v Commissioners of Inland Revenue (Case C-446/04).


Protection of Communities' financial interests – Fight against fraud
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European Parliament resolution of 6 April 2011 on the protection of the Communities' financial interests – Fight against fraud – Annual Report 2009 (2010/2247(INI))
P7_TA(2011)0142A7-0050/2011

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its resolutions on previous annual reports of the Commission and the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF),

–  having regard to the report of 14 July 2010 from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament entitled ‘Protection of the European Union's financial interests – Fight against fraud – Annual Report 2009’ (COM(2010)0382) and its accompanying documents (SEC(2010)0897 and SEC(2010)0898),

–  having regard to OLAF's Tenth Activity Report – Annual Report 2010(1),

–  having regard to the Annual Report of the Court of Auditors on the implementation of the budget concerning the financial year 2009, together with the institutions' replies(2),

–  having regard to the Annual Report of the Court of Auditors on the activities funded by the eighth, ninth and tenth European Development Funds (EDFs) concerning the financial year 2009, together with the Commission's replies(3),

–  having regard to Articles 319(3) and 325(5) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  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(4),

–  having regard to its declaration of 18 May 2010 on the Union's efforts in combating corruption(5), with a view to ensuring that EU funds are not subject to corruption,

–  having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A7-0050/2011),

General considerations

1.  Regrets that, in general, the Commission's report on the Protection of the European Union's financial interests – Fight against fraud – Annual Report 2009 (COM(2010)0382) (the ‘PIF report 2009’), presented in accordance with Article 325(5) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), does not provide information on the estimated level of irregularities and fraud in individual Member States, as it concentrates on the level of reporting, and it is therefore not possible to have an overview of the actual level of irregularities and fraud in the Member States and to identify and discipline those with the highest level of irregularities and fraud;

2.  Stresses that fraud is an example of purposeful wrongdoing and is a criminal offence, and that an irregularity is a failure to comply with a rule; regrets that the Commission's report fails to consider fraud in detail and deals with irregularities very broadly; points out that Article 325 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union relates to fraud, not irregularities, and calls for a distinction to be made between fraud and errors or irregularities;

3.  Points out that over the last few years techniques have been developed for measuring fraud as part of a broader attempt to combat corruption, and urges the Commission to boost these research efforts and to implement, initially as pilot projects, in cooperation with Member States, appropriate new methodologies which are being developed to measure the phenomena of irregularities and fraud;

4.  Calls on the Commission to exercise its responsibility in ensuring compliance by Member States in their reporting obligations with a view to providing reliable and comparable data on irregularities and fraud even if this requires the Commission to modify the penalty system for non-compliance with these reporting obligations;

5.  Deplores the fact that large amounts of EU funds are still wrongly spent and calls on the Commission to take appropriate action with a view to ensuring prompt recovery of those funds;

6.  Is concerned about the level of outstanding irregularities not recovered or declared unrecoverable in Italy at the end of the fiscal year of 2009;

7.  Calls on the Commission to hold Member States more accountable for the amount of irregularities that have yet to be recovered;

8.  Notes that Union legislation requires Member States to report all irregularities no later than two months after the end of the quarter in which an irregularity has been subject to a primary administrative or judicial finding and/or new information about a reported irregularity becomes known; calls on the Member States to make all the necessary efforts, including the streamlining of national administrative procedures, to meet the required deadlines and reduce the time gap between the identification and the reporting of an irregularity; calls on the Member States to act primarily as protectors of taxpayers' money in their efforts to combat fraud;

9.  Asks what steps the Commission has taken to combat the increase in suspected fraud, in number of cases and amounts as compared to the total number of cases of irregularities in the Member States of Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria;

10.  Is concerned at the suspiciously low suspected fraud rates in Spain and France, especially considering their size and the financial support received, as described by the Commission in the PIF report 2009, and therefore calls on the Commission to include detailed information on the applied reporting methodology and the fraud detection capability in these states;

11.  Calls on those Member States which have not yet ratified either the Convention of 26 July 1995 on the protection of the European Communities' financial interests(6) or its protocols(7) (the PIF instruments) i.e. the Czech Republic, Malta and Estonia, to proceed with the ratification of those legal instruments without delay; urges those Member States which have ratified the PIF instruments to step up their efforts to reinforce their national criminal legislation to protect the Union's financial interests, in particular by addressing the existing shortcomings revealed in the second report from the Commission on Implementation of the Convention on the Protection of the European Communities' financial interests and its protocols (COM(2008)0077);

12.  Welcomes the introduction in 2009 of the Irregularity Management System (IMS), an application developed and maintained by OLAF, and the positive developments it has brought about; is concerned that the Commission explains the increase in the number of cases reported and the financial impact by the use of new technological reporting; calls on the Commission to provide Parliament with a detailed methodology of the newly implemented technological reporting and to include it in next year's report; calls on the Member States to fully implement the IMS and to further improve their reporting compliance;

13.  Asks the Commission to include in its next year's report the amount of irregularities reported using the new technological reporting as against the traditional methods of reporting; calls on the Member States to improve the speed with which irregularities are reported;

14.  Reiterates its regret – given the serious doubts about the quality of the information provided by the Member States – that the Commission puts more effort into convincing the European Parliament of the need to introduce a ‘tolerable risk of error’ than into persuading Member States of the need for mandatory national management declarations duly audited by the national audit office and consolidated by the Court of Auditors; calls on the Commission, in cooperation with the Member States and by drawing up an appropriate report in line with the Treaty, to provide Parliament with a reasonable assurance that this objective has been attained and that action to combat fraud is being carried out properly;

Revenue: Own resources

15.  Is concerned about the amount of fraud as compared to irregularities in the Own Resources sector in the Member States Austria, Spain, Italy, Romania, and Slovakia, as fraud constitutes more than half the total amount of irregularities in each Member State; calls on the Member States to take all necessary measures, including close cooperation with European institutions, to address all causes of fraud relating to EU funds;

16.  Deplores the deficiencies in national customs supervision revealed by the Court of Auditors – in particular as regards the performance of risk analysis for the selection of traders and imports to be subject to customs controls – which increase the risk of irregularities remaining undetected and could lead to a loss of Traditional Own Resources (TOR); calls on the Member States to strengthen their customs supervision systems and on the Commission to provide the relevant support in that respect;

17.  Emphasises the fact that around 70 % of all customs import procedures are simplified, which means that they have a substantial impact on the collection of TOR and on the effectiveness of the common trade policy; finds unacceptable, in that context, the lack of effective controls on simplified procedures for imports in the Member States, as revealed in the Special Report of the Court of Auditors No 1/2010, and calls on the Commission to further investigate the effectiveness of controls for simplified procedures in the Member States, and in particular to investigate progress in the conduct by Member States of ex-post audits, and to present the results of such investigation to the Parliament by the end of 2011;

18.  Notes the outcome of investigations carried out by OLAF in the area of own resources; is deeply concerned at the scale of fraud involving merchandise imported from China, and urges the Member States to recover the sums in question without delay;

19.  Welcomes the successful outcome of the joint customs operation Diabolo II, involving customs officials from 13 Asian countries and 27 EU Member States, coordinated by the European Commission through OLAF;

20.  Welcomes the agreements the European Union and its Member States have concluded with tobacco manufacturers to combat the illicit tobacco trade; is of the opinion that it is in the EU's financial interest to continue working to combat cigarette smuggling, from which the annual loss of revenue for the EU budget is estimated at around EUR one billion; urges OLAF to continue playing a leading role in the international negotiations for a Protocol on the Elimination of the Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products under Article 15 of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which would help to combat illicit trade in the Union; and takes the view that the EUR 500 million to be paid by the two companies concerned – British American Tobacco and Imperial Tobacco – should also be used by the Commission and the Member States concerned to reinforce anti-fraud measures;

Expenditure: Agriculture

21.  Welcomes the Commission's conclusion that the overall reporting discipline in this policy group has improved and that compliance now stands at 95 %; calls on those Member States which still do not report in good time (Austria, Finland, the Netherlands, Slovakia and the United Kingdom) to remedy the situation promptly;

22.  Calls on the Commission to monitor closely the situation in Spain and Italy, which reported, respectively, the highest number of cases of irregularities and the highest amounts involved, and to report to the European Parliament on the specific measures undertaken in order to address the problems in those two Member States;

23.  Calls on the Commission to ascertain whether the disparity between higher expenditure and a minimum rate of reported irregularities, and the significant variation in the rates of irregularities reported (Estonia 88,25 %; Cyprus, Hungary, Latvia, Malta, Slovenia and Slovakia 0.00 %), are related to the effectiveness of the control systems, with a view to carrying out a review of those systems;

24.  Is deeply concerned at the Court of Auditors' finding that payments for the year 2009 in this policy group were affected by material error and that the supervisory and control systems were generally, at most, partially effective in ensuring the regularity of payments; deplores the finding of the Court of Auditors that, although the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS) is, in principle, well designed, its effectiveness is adversely affected by inaccurate data in the databases, incomplete cross-checks or incorrect or incomplete follow-up of anomalies; calls on the Commission to closely monitor the effectiveness of the supervisory and control systems in place in Member States to ensure that information on the irregularity rate per Member State represents a true and fair view of the actual situation; calls on the Commission to address the weaknesses in the effectiveness of IACS;

25.  Notes that final figures can only be established for those financial years that can be deemed finalised, and that in this light, to date, the most recent financial year that can be deemed finalised is 2004;

26.  Deplores the catastrophic situation regarding the overall recovery rate in this policy group, which in 2009 was 42 % of the EUR 1 266 million outstanding at the end of the 2006 financial year; is particularly concerned at the Court of Auditors' observation that the EUR 121 million recovered in the years 2007-2009 from the beneficiaries represents less than 10 % of total recoveries; finds that situation unacceptable and calls on the Member States to urgently address it; urges the Commission to take all necessary steps in order to put in place an effective system of recovery and to inform the European Parliament, in its next year's report on the protection of EU's financial interests, of the progress made;

Expenditure: Cohesion Policy

27.  Deplores the fact that the data contained in the PIF report 2009 does not provide a reliable picture of the number of irregularities and fraud in this policy group, as a high level of irregularities and/or fraud may simply be an indication of efficient reporting and/or anti-fraud systems;

28.  Is deeply concerned at the fact that payments for the year 2009 were found by the Court of Auditors to be affected by high material error (above 5 %);

29.  Notes that one important source of error in cohesion spending is a serious failure in applying public procurement rules; asks, therefore, the Commission to propose, without delay, new legislation to simplify and modernise these rules;

30.  Is deeply concerned at the Court of Auditors' finding that at least 30 % of the errors found by the Court in the 2009 sample could have been detected and corrected by the Member States prior to certifying the expenditure to the Commission on the basis of the information available to them; calls on the Member States to intensify their efforts in order to enhance their detection and correction mechanisms;

31.  Calls on the Commission to provide the European Parliament with information on the measures that have been taken with regard to the irregularities reported by the Member States and detected by the Commission in this policy group;

32.  Is not satisfied by a recovery rate exceeding 50 % for the programming period 2000-2006; urges the Member States to deploy further efforts for the recovery of irregular amounts and calls on the Commission to take action to ensure a higher recovery rate, given that the Commission implements the budget on its own responsibility, as stated in Article 317 TFEU;

Expenditure: Pre-accession funds

33.  Is deeply concerned  about  the suspected high fraud rate in Bulgaria for the Special Accession Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (SAPARD) in 2009, which – for the whole programming period – stands at 20 % and represents the highest rate seen in all funds analysed (Cohesion and Agriculture); notes  that  more suspected fraud cases were initiated by external controls/interventions than by internal/national ones; notes that the Commission exercised its obligations properly in suspending the payments from SAPARD in 2008 and lifted that suspension on 14 September 2009 after thorough checks; calls on the Commission to continue supervision of the Bulgarian authorities in order to further improve this situation;

34.  Notes that the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia and Slovenia reported a zero fraud rate for SAPARD, and questions the reliability of the reported information or the fraud detection capability of those States; underlines that similar zero or low level fraud rates could signify weaknesses in the control systems and vice versa; urges the Commission to provide data on effectiveness of control mechanisms and to implement, together with OLAF, stricter control on how EU money is spent;

35.  Finds unacceptable the very low recovery rate for suspected fraud in the pre-accession funds, which is only 4.6 % for the whole programming period, and calls on the Commission to put in place an efficient system in order to address this situation;

Public procurement, increased transparency and the fight against corruption

36.  Calls on the Commission, the relevant Union agencies and the Member States to take measures and provide resources to ensure that EU funds are not subject to corruption, to adopt dissuasive sanctions where corruption and fraud are found, and to step up the confiscation of criminal assets involved in fraud, tax evasion and money-laundering-related crimes;

37.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to design, implement and periodically evaluate uniform systems of procurement to prevent fraud and corruption, to define and implement clear conditions for participation in public procurement, and criteria on which public procurement decisions are made, and also to adopt and implement systems to review public procurement decisions at national level, to ensure transparency and accountability in public finances, and to adopt and implement risk management and internal control systems;

38.  Welcomes the Commission's Green Paper on the modernisation of EU public procurement policy ‘Towards a more efficient European Procurement Market’; calls on the Council and Commission to finalize the adoption of the reform of the basic EU public procurement rules (Directives 2004/17/EC and 2004/18/EC) by no later than the end of 2012;

39.  Following its request in its last year's report on the protection of the Communities' financial interests, urges OLAF to present in its next annual report a detailed analysis of the strategies and measures put in place by each Member State in the fight against fraud and for preventing and identifying irregularities in the spending of European funds, including where these are caused by corruption; considers that specific attention should be paid to the implementation of agricultural and structural funds; takes the view that the report, with 27 country profiles, should analyse the approach followed by national judicial and investigating bodies and the quantity and quality of controls performed, as well as statistics and reasons in the cases where national authorities did not file indictments following reports by OLAF;

40.  Following its request in the last year's report on the protection of the Communities' financial interests, urges the Council to complete the conclusion of the Cooperation Agreements with Liechtenstein in the shortest possible time and urges the Council to give the Commission a mandate to negotiate antifraud agreements with Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Switzerland;

41.  Urges the Commission to take action to ensure one-stop transparency of the beneficiaries of EU funds; calls on the Commission to design measures to increase the transparency of legal arrangements and a system whereby all beneficiaries of EU funds are published on the same website, independently of the administrator of the funds and based on standard categories of information to be provided by all Member States in at least one working language of the Union; calls on the Member States to cooperate with the Commission and provide it with full and reliable information regarding the beneficiaries of the EU funds managed by Member States; invites the Commission to evaluate the system of ‘shared management’ and provide Parliament with a report as a matter of priority;

o
o   o

42.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Court of Auditors, the OLAF Supervisory Committee and OLAF.

(1) http://ec.europa.eu/anti_fraud/reports/olaf/2009/en.pdf
(2) OJ C 303, 9.11.2010, p. 1.
(3) OJ C 303, 9.11.2010, p. 243.
(4) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
(5) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2010)0176.
(6) OJ C 316, 27.11.1995, p. 48.
(7) OJ C 313, 23.10.1996, p. 1, OJ C 151, 20.5.1997, p. 1 and OJ C 221, 19.7.1997, p. 11.


Political parties at European level and rules regarding their funding
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European Parliament resolution of 6 April 2011 on the application of Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003 on the regulations governing political parties at European level and the rules regarding their funding (2010/2201(INI))
P7_TA(2011)0143A7-0062/2011

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 10(4) of the Treaty on European Union and Article 224 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Article 12(2) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 on the regulations governing political parties at European level (political parties and their foundations as defined in Article 2(3) and (4) thereof) and the rules regarding their funding(1) (the Funding Regulation), particularly Article 12 thereof,

–  having regard to its resolution of 23 March 2006 on European political parties(2),

–  having regard to the Secretary-General's report to the Bureau of 18 October 2010 on party funding at European level, submitted pursuant to Article 15 of the Bureau decision of 29 March 2004(3) on implementing the Funding Regulation,

–  having regard to the Bureau note of 10 January 2011 as the revised version of the Bureau decisions taken on 13 December 2010,

–  having regard to Rules 210(6) and 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (A7-0062/2011),

A.  whereas Article 10(4) of the Treaty on European Union states that ‘political parties at European level contribute to forming European political awareness and to expressing the will of citizens of the Union’, while Parliament and the Council, in accordance with Article 224 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, lay down the regulations governing these parties and their political foundations and, in particular, the rules regarding their funding,

B.  whereas the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union states clearly that political parties at Union level contribute to expressing the political will of the citizens of the Union,

C.  whereas the European Union must function on the basis of the principle of ‘representative democracy’, as stated in Article 10(1) of the Treaty on European Union,

D.  whereas the foundations for European political parties were laid in the Treaties of Maastricht and Nice, which introduced the possibility of funding and thus gave them operational autonomy vis-à-vis the parliamentary groups,

E.  whereas in 2007, following a call by Parliament(4), the Commission presented a proposal introducing the funding of political foundations at European level (European political foundations), which was adopted in December 2007, with a view to supporting the European political parties in the debate on public policy issues and on European integration,

F.  whereas the 2007 amending Regulation(5) seeks to facilitate the integration process for European political parties by enabling the political parties within the Union to structure and organise themselves more effectively,

G.  whereas the 2007 amending Regulation considerably enhanced the role of the European political parties in elections to the European Parliament by stipulating that their expenditure could include funding for election campaigns; whereas, however, this option was restricted by the condition that the appropriations concerned should not be used for the direct or indirect funding of national political parties or candidates,

H.  whereas all the European political parties that are funded have signed a code of conduct, regarded by the Bureau as binding on all parties, laying down rules to be complied with during election campaigns,

I.  whereas the enhancement of the role of European political parties is necessarily tied to their involvement in elections to the European Parliament,

J.  whereas the 2007 amending Regulation calls for more formal recognition of the European political parties,

K.  whereas the 2007 amending Regulation is oriented towards the creation of fully organised and effective political parties at European and Member State level through a balanced process of institutionalisation,

L.  whereas the 2007 amending Regulation seeks to bring about the organisational convergence of political parties and their foundations at European level, while at the same time recognising the different tasks pursued by, respectively, political parties and political foundations,

M.  whereas this organisational convergence can be achieved only by establishing a common political, legal and fiscal status for the European political parties, although this must not entail any standardisation of the organisation of European political parties and their foundations, for which the European political parties and their foundations themselves have sole competence,

N.  whereas the requirement to adopt a legal statute for the European political parties and their political foundations based on the law of the European Union is a clear and substantial step towards enhancing democracy in the Union,

O.  whereas organisational and functional convergence and improvements to the funding process can be achieved only by adopting a uniform and common European statute for all European political parties and their political foundations based on the law of the European Union,

P.  whereas the regulation on political parties at European level does not draw a distinction between the recognition and the funding of political parties,

Q.  whereas the Bureau note of 10 January 2011 recommended tightening the criteria for the funding of European political parties; whereas this amounts to a restriction of party competition at European level as long as the criteria for the legal recognition and funding of political parties are identical,

R.  whereas the 2007 amending Regulation provides a clear legal and financial basis for the establishment of integrated political parties at European Union level in order to raise European awareness and effectively express the will of the citizens of the European Union,

S.  whereas the funding of European political parties is subject to the provisions of Title VI, ‘Grants’, of the Financial Regulation(6) and its Implementing Rules(7),

T.  whereas the Bureau, as the body responsible for implementing the Funding Regulation within Parliament, decided in 2006 on a number of significant improvements to the implementing rules, such as increasing the prefinancing option from 50 % to 80 % in order to simplify the procedure and improve the solvency of the beneficiaries, and relaxing the rules on transfers between chapters in the budgets of beneficiaries in order to enable them to adjust their budgets to changing political circumstances,

U.  whereas experience with the funding of European political parties and their affiliated European political foundations has shown that they need more flexibility and comparable conditions as regards the carrying-over of funds to the following financial year and the building-up of reserves from own resources over and above the prescribed minimum level of expenditure to be financed from their own funds,

V.  whereas the European political parties spend on average almost half of their budgets on centralised administration (staff, rent, etc.) and another quarter on meetings of (statutory and non-statutory) party bodies, the rest being spent on election campaigns and support for affiliated organisations,

W.  whereas the European political foundations have a different expenditure pattern, spending on average 40 % of their budgets on centralised administration and meetings and another 40 % on external services, such as studies, research, publications and seminars,

X.  whereas the main source of the European political parties' own resources is membership fees collected from the member parties, and whereas less than 5 % of their total income is made up of individual membership subscriptions and donations,

Y.  whereas the share of their total income accounted for by funding from the Union budget is higher in the case of the European political parties than in that of the European political foundations,

Z.  whereas donations do not yet represent a significant part of the funding, with only three parties and two foundations receiving donations on a regular basis in 2009,

AA.  whereas there is a potential conflict between, on the one hand, the aim of facilitating and speeding up funding, thus making it more effective, and, on the other, the aim of minimising the financial risk to the Union budget,

AB.  whereas during the period covered by this report, 2008-2011, no penalties have had to be imposed on any party or foundation funded,

AC.  whereas the European political parties and foundations have to acquire legal personality in accordance with the law of the Member State of their seat in order to be eligible for funding, and whereas they do not have a common legal status,

AD.  whereas the subsidies for European political parties and foundations are ‘grants’ within the meaning of Title VI of the Financial Regulation and its Implementing Rules, but their specific nature means that they are not comparable with any grant awarded and administered by the Commission; whereas this is reflected in a significant number of provisions in the Funding Regulation setting out exceptions; whereas this solution is not satisfactory,

The new political environment

1.  Notes that political parties – and their linked political foundations – are essential instruments of a parliamentary democracy, holding parliamentarians to account, helping to shape the political will of citizens, drawing up political programmes, training and selecting candidates, maintaining dialogue with citizens and enabling citizens to express their views;

2.  Stresses that the Treaty of Lisbon provides for this role of the political parties and their foundations with a view to creating a European polis, a political space at EU level, and a European democracy, of which the European Citizens' Initiative is a key constitutive element;

3.  Notes that the European political parties, as they stand, are not in a position to play this role to the full because they are merely umbrella organisations for national parties and not directly in touch with the electorate in the Member States;

4.  Notes with satisfaction, however, that the European political parties and political foundations have nevertheless become indispensable actors in the political life of the European Union, in particular by shaping and voicing the respective positions of the various ‘political families’;

5.  Emphasises the need for all European political parties to conform to the highest standards of internal party democracy (as regards the democratic election of party bodies and democratic decision-making processes, including for the selection of candidates);

6.  Takes the view that, once it has met the conditions for being regarded as a political party at EU level, a party may receive funding only if it is represented in the European Parliament by at least one of its members;

7.  Points out that political parties have rights, obligations and responsibilities and should therefore follow converging general organisational patterns; considers that this organisational convergence can only be achieved by establishing a common legal and fiscal status based on EU law for the European political parties and their political foundations;

8.  Is convinced that authentic legal status for the European political parties and a legal personality of their own, based directly on the law of the European Union, will enable the European political parties and their political foundations to act as representative agents of the European public interest;

9.  Takes the view that the European political parties should interact and compete on matters relating to common European challenges and the European Union and its development at three levels: regionally, nationally and at European level; considers that it is of the utmost importance for European political parties to be efficient and productive at EU and national level and beyond;

10.  Stresses the important challenges in terms of organisational capacity that the European political parties will have to face in the light of the reforms that may be made to the European electoral system (creation of an additional constituency, establishment of transnational lists), ;

11.  Notes that this is, in principle, in keeping with the idea of European political parties participating in referendum campaigns, when the referendums concerned are directly linked to issues relating to the European Union;

12.  Decides, therefore, to request the Commission to propose a draft statute for European political parties in accordance with Article 225 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;

13.  Notes that what is needed on a shorter-term basis is an improved regulatory environment for the European political parties and foundations, involving, as a first step, the adoption of the European statute;

Additional reform proposals

14.  Considers that Members sitting in regional parliaments or assemblies should be taken into account in connection with the fulfilment of the funding conditions only if the parliament or assembly in question is endowed with legislative powers;

15.  Points out that the award of funding and the closure of the accounts of the European political parties and foundations are bureaucratic and cumbersome procedures; considers that this stems to a great extent from the fact that funding payments are regarded as ‘grants’ within the meaning of the Financial Regulation, which is appropriate for the funding of projects or associations, but not for parties;

16.  Takes the view, therefore, that the Commission should propose the creation of a new title in the Financial Regulation devoted solely and tailored specifically to the funding of European parties and foundations; considers that the Funding Regulation should, as far as its implementation is concerned, refer to the provisions of this new title;

17.  Stresses that the self-financing of parties and foundations is a sign of vitality; believes that it should be encouraged by raising the present limit of EUR 12 000 per year for donations to EUR 25 000 per year/per donor, combined, however, with a requirement to disclose the donor's identity at the time of receipt, in accordance with the legislation in force and in the interests of transparency;

18.  Considers that requiring the submission of ‘annual work programmes’ as a precondition for funding is inappropriate for political parties; points out, moreover, that such a requirement does not exist in any EU Member State;

19.  Underlines the fact that the timing of funding is crucial if it is to fulfil its purpose; calls, as an exception to the implementing rules for the Financial Regulation, for the funding to be made available at the beginning of the financial year at 100 %, not 80 %; considers that in view of positive past experiences the risk to Parliament is negligible;

20.  Points out that the Financial Regulation stipulates that grants ‘may not finance the entire operating expenditure of the beneficiary body’; observes that complying with this rule is especially difficult for foundations and leads to evasive bookkeeping techniques (for example ‘contributions in kind’); points out that almost none of the funding schemes in Member States require partial self-financing, as this can disadvantage smaller or recently established parties;

21.  Points out that the independent resources that the European political parties are required to demonstrate could be reduced to 10 % of their total budget, in order to further enhance their development; at the same time, believes that their own resources in the form of physical resources should not exceed 7.5 % of their total budget;

22.  Notes that in the case of European political foundations the revision of the legal instrument should be taken as an opportunity to abolish the requirement to demonstrate that they have resources of their own;

23.  Points out that in the context of this revision the limitation imposed on European political foundations requiring them to use their funds within the European Union should be removed; thereby enabling the foundations to play a role both inside and outside the EU;

24.  Emphasises, however, that relaxing the funding regime would have to be counterbalanced by providing for sanctions in the Funding Regulation where they are currently lacking; these sanctions could take the form of financial penalties in the event of infringements of the rules concerning, for example, the transparency of donations; emphasises the need to lay down the same conditions governing the building-up of reserves from own resources above the limit and the carrying-over of funds for both European political parties and their affiliated European political foundations;

25.  Points out that since 2008 European political parties have been entitled to use sums received as grants for ‘financing campaigns conducted ... in the context of the elections to the European Parliament’ (Article 8, third paragraph, of the Funding Regulation); also points out, however, that they are prohibited from using these sums for financing ‘referendum campaigns’; believes, however, that if European political parties are to play a political role at EU level, they should have the right to participate in such campaigns as long as the subject of the referendum has a direct link with issues concerning the European Union;

26.  Invites the European political parties to start a process of considering the terms for direct individual membership and appropriate arrangements for individuals' direct or indirect participation in the internal activities and decision-making processes of the parties;

o
o   o

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

(1) OJ L 297, 15.11.2003, p. 1.
(2) OJ C 292 E, 1.12.2006, p. 127.
(3) Amended by Bureau decision of 1 February 2006 and 18 February 2008.
(4) Resolution of 23 March 2006 on European political parties, paragraph 14 (OJ C 292 E, 1.12.2006, p. 127).
(5) Regulation (EC) No 1524/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2007, OJ L 343, 27.12.2007, p. 5.
(6) Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002, OJ L 248, 16.9. 2002, p. 1.
(7) Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2342/2002 of 23 December 2002, OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 1.


Governance and partnership in the single market
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European Parliament resolution of 6 April 2011 on Governance and Partnership in the Single Market (2010/2289(INI))
P7_TA(2011)0144A7-0083/2011

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission Communication ‘Towards a Single Market Act for a highly competitive social market economy: 50 proposals for improving our work, business and exchanges with one another’ (COM(2010)0608),

–   having regard to the Commission Communication ‘Europe 2020 – a strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ (COM(2010)2020),

–   having regard to the Commission Communication ‘A single market for 21st century Europe’ (COM(2007)0724) and the accompanying Commission staff working document ‘The Single Market: review of achievements’ (SEC(2007)1521),

–   having regard to its resolution of 4 September 2007 on the Single Market review(1) and the Commission staff working document ‘The Single Market review: one year on’ (SEC(2008)3064),

–  having regard to the Commission Communication on ‘Smart Regulation in the European Union’ (COM(2010)0543),

–   having regard to the Commission's 27th Annual Report on Monitoring the Application of EU Law and to the accompanying Commission staff working document entitled ‘Situation in the different sectors’ (SEC(2010)1143),

–   having regard to the Commission Recommendation of 29 June 2009 on measures to improve the functioning of the single market(2),

–   having regard to the Council Conclusions of 10 December 2010 on the Single Market Act,

–   having regard to Professor Mario Monti's report to the Commission on revitalising the single market,

–   having regard to its resolution of 20 May 2010 on delivering a single market to consumers and citizens(3),

–   having regard to the Internal Market Scoreboard No 21 (2010), and to its resolutions of 9 March 2010(4) and 23 September 2008(5) on the Internal Market Scoreboard,

–   having regard to the Commission Communication on ‘A Europe of Results - Applying Community Law’ (COM(2007)0502),

–   having regard to Articles 258 to 260 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to Articles 7, 10 and 15 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–   having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection and the opinions of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the Committee on Legal Affairs (A7-0083/2011),

A.  whereas relaunching the Single Market requires the active support of all citizens, European institutions, Member States and stakeholders,

B.  whereas in order to gain the active support of all stakeholders, it is essential that during consultations and dialogue with the Commission, as well as in expert groups, effective representation of civil society and SMEs is ensured,

C.  whereas the proper dissemination, articulation and management of the various EU Institutions' consultations and reports (EU 2010, the Citizenship Report 2010, the Integrated Industrial Policy, the Digital Agenda for Europe, the Monti report, Parliament's Resolution on ‘delivering a Single Market to consumers and citizens’, the Gonzales and IMCO reports, etc.) are of particular importance for the successful relaunch of the Single Market,

D.  whereas a substantial gap still persists between the single market rules and the benefits that citizens and businesses can draw from them in practice,

E.  whereas the EU's average transposition deficit amounts to 1.7% when taking into account the cases in which the transposition time of a directive exceeds the deadline and in which infringement proceedings for non-conformity have been initiated by the Commission,

Introduction

1.  Welcomes with interest the Commission Communication ‘Towards a Single Market Act’, especially its third chapter and the global approach which it proposes in order to rebalance the single market between enterprises and citizens and to improve the democracy and transparency of the decision-making process; stresses that this approach seeks to guarantee the best balance between the proposals in the three parts of the communication;

2.  Considers that the three chapters of the Communication are equally important and interconnected, and should be dealt with in a consistent approach without isolating the different issues at stake from each other;

3.  Urges the Commission and the Council to reinforce the holistic approach to relaunching the Single Market, mainstreaming Single Market priorities to all policy areas which are crucial to achieving the Single Market for the benefit of European citizens, consumers and businesses;

4.  Believes that enhancement of European economic governance, implementation of the EU 2020 strategy and the relaunch of the Single Market are equally important for revitalising the European economy and should be seen in combination;

5.  Considers that a barrier-free and competitive single market should be completed in order to bring concrete advantages for workers, students, pensioners and citizens in general, and for businesses, particularly SMEs, in their daily lives;

6.  Calls on the Commission to indicate the implementation timetable for the Single Market Act and to publish regular updates of tangible progress in order to make the EU public more aware of the Act's implementation and highlight its benefits;

General Assessment
Strengthening political leadership and partnership

7.  Is convinced that one of the main challenges in relaunching the Single Market is ensuring political leadership, commitment and coordination; believes that comprehensive guidance from the highest political level is crucial for the relaunch of the Single Market;

8.  Suggests that the President of the Commission should be given the mandate to coordinate and supervise the relaunch of the Single Market, in close cooperation with the President of the European Council and the competent authorities in the Member States; urges the Presidents of the Commission and of the European Council to coordinate closely their respective actions that are to boost economic growth, competitiveness, the social market economy and sustainability in the Union;

9.  Highlights the enhanced role of the EP and the national parliaments under the Lisbon Treaty; urges that Parliament's role in the single market legislation process be strengthened; encourages national parliaments to engage with Single Market rules throughout the legislative cycle and participate in joint activities with the European Parliament, leading to a better synergy between the two parliamentary levels;

10.  Welcomes the Commission's approach which puts dialogue and partnership at the core of the renewed single market, and calls for strengthened efforts by all stakeholders to ensure that this approach is put into practice so that the single market can play its full role in promoting growth and a highly competitive market economy;

11.  Calls on the Commission jointly with the Presidency to organise a yearly Single Market Forum involving stakeholders from the EU institutions, Member States, civil society and business organisations to assess progress in relaunching the Single Market, exchange best practices and address the top concerns of European citizens; encourages the Commission to continue the exercise of identifying the top 20 single-market-related sources of dissatisfaction and frustration which citizens encounter; proposes that the Single Market Forum could be used by the Commission to present these problems and their respective solutions;

12.  Urges Member States' governments to take ownership of the relaunch of the Single Market; welcomes initiatives taken by Member States to optimise the way in which they deal with Single Market directives in terms of improving coordination, creating incentive structures and increasing the political importance given to transposition; considers it crucial, when discussing priorities for new legislation, to enhance focus on and incentives for timely and correct transposition, correct application and better enforcement of single market legislation;

13.  Notes that Single Market rules are frequently implemented by local and regional authorities; stresses the need for greater involvement of regional and local authorities in the construction of the single market, in accordance with the principles of subsidiarity and partnership, at all stages of the decision-making process; proposes, in order to emphasise this decentralised approach, the establishment of a ‘Territorial Pact of Local and Regional Authorities on the Europe 2020 Strategy’ in every Member State to create stronger ownership in the implementation of the EU 2020 Strategy;

14.  Believes that the ‘good governance’ of the single market must respect the role of the two advisory institutions existing at European level – the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – as well as that of the social partners;

15.  Emphasises that dialogue with the social partners and civil society is of the essence in restoring confidence in the single market; expects new and bold ideas from the Commission as to how this dialogue can actually be improved; demands that the social partners be involved and consulted in all relevant single market legislation affecting the labour market;

16.  Welcomes the intention of the Commission to enhance an open, transparent and regular dialogue with civil society;

17.  Calls on the Commission to publish a Green Paper on guidelines for the consultations of the EU institutions with representative associations and civil society, ensuring that these consultations are broad, interactive and add value to the proposed policies;

18.  Calls on the Commission to adapt dialogue and communication to the needs of ordinary citizens to the fullest extent possible, for example by making all its public consultations available in all EU official languages or by using language in such a way that the ordinary citizen can understand;

19.  Urges the Commission to launch an information and education campaign on the essence of the single market and the objectives set in order to increase its dynamism while incorporating the dimensions of social and regional cohesion; stresses the need for this communication campaign to favour better participation – and a better ability to participate – by each citizen, worker and consumer in bringing about a competitive, just and balanced market;

20.  Considers that the use of the new collaborative tools and approaches of Web 2.0 offers an opportunity to achieve more open, accountable, responsive and efficient governance of the Single Market;

Regulating the Single Market

21.  Takes the view that initiatives by single Member States cannot be effective without coordinated action at EU level, and that it is thus of fundamental importance that the European Union should speak with a strong single voice and implement common actions; considers that solidarity, on which the European social economy model is based, and the coordination of national responses have been crucial to avoiding protectionist measures of short duration by single Member States; expresses its concern that the re-emergence of economic protectionism at national level would most probably result in fragmentation of the internal market and a reduction in competitiveness, and therefore needs to be avoided; is concerned that the current economic and financial crisis could be used to justify reviving protectionist measures in various Member States, whereas the downturn calls for common safeguard mechanisms instead;

22.  Takes the view that progress in the internal market should not be based on the lowest common denominator; encourages the Commission, therefore, to take the lead and come forward with bold proposals; encourages the Member States to use the method of enhanced cooperation in areas where the process of reaching an agreement among 27 is not achievable; notes that other countries would be free to join these spearhead initiatives at a later stage;

23.  Believes that the overall efficiency and legitimacy of the Single Market suffers because of the complexity of Single Market governance;

24.  Considers that more attention should be paid to the quality and clarity of EU legislation in order to facilitate the implementation of the Single Market rules by the Member States;

25.  Considers that the use of regulations instead of directives where appropriate would contribute to a clearer regulatory environment and reduce the transaction costs associated with transposition; calls on the Commission to develop a more targeted approach to choosing legislative instruments, depending on the legal and substantial characteristics of the provisions to be implemented, while respecting the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality;

26.  Encourages the Commission and the Council to intensify their efforts to implement the Smart Regulation strategy to further enhance the quality of regulation, fully respecting the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality;

27.  Urges the Commission to continue independent ex-ante and ex-post evaluation of legislation with the participation of stakeholders to improve the effectiveness of legislation;

28.  Suggests that the Commission systematises and refines the SME test, taking into account the diversity of their situations, to evaluate the consequences of legislative proposals on these businesses;

29.  Believes that correlation tables contribute to better transposition and significantly facilitate enforcement of the Single Market rules; urges Member States to create and make publicly available correlation tables on all Single Market legislation; points out that in future Parliament may not include reports on compromise texts agreed with Council on the plenary agenda if provisions on correlation tables are not provided for;

Administrative coordination, problem-solving mechanisms and information

30.  Supports the proposals of the Single Market Act that aim at developing further administrative cooperation between the Member States, including extending the Internal Market Information (IMI) System to other relevant legislative areas taking into account the security and usability of the system; calls on the Commission to support Member States by providing training and guidance;

31.  Considers that local and regional authorities could be involved in developing and expanding the Internal Market Information System after thorough evaluation of the benefits and problems such an expansion of the system may cause;

32.  Stresses the importance of better communication and extension of the internal market information system as it is essential to provide SMEs in particular with clear information on the internal market;

33.  Welcomes the Commission's intention to cooperate with Member States to consolidate and strengthen informal problem solving tools like SOLVIT, the EU Pilot project and European Consumer Centres; calls on the Commission to come up with a roadmap regarding the development and interlinking of different problem-solving tools to ensure efficiency and user friendliness and avoid unnecessary overlaps; calls on the Member States to provide these problem-solving tools with adequate resources;

34.  Calls on the Commission to further develop and promote the Your Europe website so that it offers a single gateway to all the information and help services citizens and businesses need to make use of their rights in the single market;

35.  Calls on Member States to develop points of single contact under the Services Directive into user-friendly and easily accessible e-Government centres where businesses can obtain all the necessary information in the relevant EU languages, deal with all formalities and complete the necessary steps by electronic means in order to provide services in the respective Member State;

36.  Acknowledges the important role of EURES in facilitating the free movement of workers within the Union and ensuring close cooperation between national employment services; calls on the Member States to increase public awareness of this useful service to enable more EU citizens to fully benefit from employment opportunities across the EU;

37.  Calls on the national Parliaments, regional and local authorities and social partners to take an active part in communicating the benefits of the Single Market;

Transposition and enforcement

38.  Calls on the Commission to use all powers under the Treaties to improve transposition, application and enforcement of the rules of the Single Market to the benefit of European citizens, consumers and businesses; calls on the Member States to step up their efforts in order to fully and correctly implement Single Market rules;

39.  Believes that the infringement procedure remains a key tool to ensure the functioning of the single market, but stresses that consideration should be given to additional instruments which are less time-consuming and cumbersome;

40.  Calls on the Commission to resist any political interference and immediately launch infringement procedures where pre-litigation problem-solving mechanisms fail;

41.  Notes that the recent Court of Justice case law opens new scenarios for the Commission to pursue ‘general and structural infringements’ of Single Market rules by Member States;

42.  Calls on the Commission to make full use of the changes introduced by Article 260 of the TFEU which are designed to simplify and speed up the imposition of financial penalties in the context of infringement proceedings;

43.  Believes that the Commission should take a more active role in the enforcement of Single Market rules, by carrying out more systematic and independent monitoring in order to speed up and expedite infringement proceedings;

44.  Regrets that too many infringement proceedings take a long time before they are closed or brought before the Court of Justice; asks the Commission to set a benchmark of 12 months for the maximum average time taken to process infringements, from opening the file to sending the application to the Court of Justice; deeply regrets that such procedures have no direct effect on EU citizens or residents who may have been victims of lack of EU law enforcement;

45.  Asks the Commission to provide better information, in a transparent manner, about ongoing infringement procedures;

46.  Calls on the Commission to propose a benchmark for Member States' compliance with the rulings of the Court of Justice;

47.  Supports the Commission's initiatives to further improve the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), with a view to ensuring quick and efficient access to simple and low-cost out-of-court dispute resolution for consumers and enterprises in national and cross-border disputes involving both online and offline purchases; welcomes the consultation launched by the Commission; insists on the necessity of better information for citizens on the existence of ADR;

48.  Calls on the Commission to focus also on the prevention of disputes, for example through stronger measures that prevent unfair commercial practices;

49.  Welcomes the Commission's intention to launch a public consultation on a European approach to collective redress, and opposes the introduction of collective redress mechanisms along the lines of the US model, which contains strong economic incentives to bring unmeritorious claims to court;

50.  Notes that any proposal on collective redress for infringements of competition law must respect Parliament's view expressed in its resolution of 26 March 2009 on damages actions for breach of the EU antitrust rules; insists that Parliament must be involved in the adoption of any such act by means of the ordinary legislative procedure and calls on the Commission to consider the case for minimum standards in relation to the right to compensation for damage resulting from a breach of EU law more generally;

Monitoring, evaluation and modernisation

51.  Supports a focused and evidence-based approach to market monitoring and evaluation; invites the Commission to continue developing its market monitoring tools, such as that of the alert mechanism in the Services Directive, by improving methodology, indicators and data collection, whilst observing the principles of practicality and cost-effectiveness;

52.  Points out the need to evaluate the state of implementation of all Single Market legislation by Member States in a faster and clearer manner;

53.  Highlights the mutual evaluation provided for in the Services Directive as an innovative way of using peer pressure to improve the quality of transposition; supports where appropriate using mutual evaluation in other areas, e.g. in the area of free movement of goods;

54.  Encourages Member States to regularly review national rules and procedures which have an impact on free movement of services and goods in order to simplify and modernise national rules and remove overlaps; considers that the process of screening national law used for the implementation of the services directive could be an efficient tool in other areas to remove overlaps and unjustified national barriers to free movement;

55.  Urges the Commission to support the efforts of the public sector to adopt innovative approaches, exploiting new technologies and procedures and disseminating best practices in the public administration which will lower bureaucracy and embrace citizen-centred policies;

Key priorities

56.  Asks that each spring session of the European Council should be devoted to assessing the state of the Single Market, backed by a monitoring process;

57.  Calls on the Commission to publish a Green Paper on guidelines for the consultations of the EU institutions with representative associations and civil society ensuring that these consultations are broad, interactive, transparent and add value to the proposed policies;

58.  Urges Member States to create and make publicly available correlation tables on all Single Market legislation;

59.  Calls on the Member States to reduce the transposition deficit of Single Market Directives to 0.5%for outstanding legislation and 0.5% for incorrectly transposed legislation by the end of 2012;

60.  Calls on the Commission to submit a legislative proposal on the use of alternative dispute resolution in the EU by the end of 2011 and underlines the importance of its quick adoption;

o
o   o

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

(1) OJ C 187 E, 24.7.2008, p. 80.
(2) OJ L 176, 7.7.2009, p. 17.
(3) Texts Adopted, P7_TA(2010)0186.
(4) OJ C 349 E, 22.12.2010, p. 25.
(5) OJ C 8 E, 14.1.2010, p. 7.


Single market for Europeans
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European Parliament resolution of 6 April 2011 on a Single Market for Europeans (2010/2278(INI))
P7_TA(2011)0145A7-0072/2011

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, as incorporated into the Treaties by Article 6 of the EU Treaty,

–  having regard to Article 26 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which stipulates that ‘the internal market shall comprise an area without internal frontiers in which the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital is ensured in accordance with the provisions of the Treaties’,

–  having regard to Article 3(3) of the EU Treaty, which commits the Union to working for ‘a highly competitive social market economy, aiming at full employment and social progress, and a high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment’,

–  having regard to Article 9 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which stipulates that ‘in defining and implementing its policies and activities, the Union shall take into account requirements linked to the promotion of a high level of employment, the guarantee of adequate social protection, the fight against social exclusion, and a high level of education, training and protection of human health’,

–  having regard to Article 11 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which stipulates that ‘environmental protection requirements must be integrated into the definition and implementation of the Union policies and activities, in particular with a view to promoting sustainable development’,

–  having regard to Article 12 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which stipulates that ‘consumer protection requirements shall be taken into account in defining and implementing other Union policies and activities’,

–  having regard to Article 14 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Protocol 26 thereto on services of general (economic) interest,

–  having regard to the Commission Communication to the European Council entitled ‘Europe 2020, a strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ (COM(2010)2020),

–  having regard to the Commission Communication entitled ‘Towards a Single Market Act – for a highly competitive social market economy’ (COM(2010)0608),

–  having regard to the Commission Communication entitled ‘A citizen's agenda – delivering results for Europe’ (COM(2006)0211),

–  having regard to the Commission Communication entitled ‘A Single Market for 21st century Europe’ (COM(2007)0724) and the accompanying Commission staff working document entitled ‘The Single Market: review of achievements’ (SEC(2007)1521), Parliament's resolution of 4 September 2007 on the Single Market review(1) and the Commission staff working document entitled ‘The Single Market review: one year on’ (SEC(2008)3064),

–  having regard to the Commission Communication entitled ‘Opportunities, access and solidarity: towards a new social vision for the 21st century’ (COM(2007)0726), the Commission Communication on ‘Services of general interest, including social services of general interest: a new European commitment’ (COM(2007)0725) and Parliament's resolution of 27 September 2006 on the Commission White Paper on services of general interest(2),

–  having regard to the Commission Recommendation of 29 June 2009 on measures to improve the functioning of the single market(3) and the Commission Recommendation of 12 July 2004 on the transposition into national law of Directives affecting the internal market(4),

–  having regard to the Internal Market Scoreboard of July 2009 (SEC(2009)1007) and to Parliament's resolutions of 9 March 2010(5) and 23 September 2008(6) on the Internal Market Scoreboard,

–  having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee entitled ‘EU Consumer Policy strategy 2007-2013 – Empowering consumers, enhancing their welfare, effectively protecting them’ and Parliament's resolution of 20 May 2008 on the EU consumer policy strategy 2007-2013(7),

–  having regard to the Commission Communication of 28 January 2009 entitled ‘Monitoring consumer outcomes in the Single Market – Second edition of the Consumer Markets Scoreboard’ (COM(2009)0025) and to the accompanying Commission staff working document entitled ‘Second Consumer Markets Scoreboard’ (SEC(2009)0076),

–  having regard to the Commission Communication of 2 July 2009 on the enforcement of the consumer acquis (COM(2009)0330) and to the Commission report of 2 July 2009 on the application of Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council on cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws (the ‘Regulation on consumer protection cooperation’) (COM(2009)0336),

–  having regard to the Commission Communication on ‘Cross-border business-to-consumer e-commerce in the EU’ (COM(2009)0557),

–  having regard to its resolution of 9 March 2010 on consumer protection(8),

–  having regard to Professor Mario Monti's report to the Commission on revitalising the Single Market,

–  having regard to its resolution of 20 May 2010 on delivering a Single Market to consumers and citizens(9),

–  having regard to its resolution of 20 October 2010 on the financial, economic and social crisis(10);

–  having regard to the Commission Communication on ‘Youth on the Move’ (COM(2010)0477),

–  having regard to its resolution of 21 September 2010 on completing the internal market for e-commerce(11),

–  having regard to the Commission Communication entitled ‘EU Citizenship Report 2010: Dismantling the obstacles to EU citizens’ rights' (COM(2010)0603),

–  having regard to the report of the European Economic and Social Committee, Section for the Single Market, Production and Consumption, on ‘Obstacles to the European Single Market 2008’(12),

–  having regard to SOLVIT's 2008 annual report on the development and performance of the SOLVIT network (SEC(2009)0142), the Commission staff working paper of 8 May 2008 on an action plan on an integrated approach for providing Single Market Assistance Services to citizens and business (SEC(2008)1882) and Parliament's resolution of 9 March 2010 on SOLVIT(13),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 July 2008 setting out the requirements for accreditation and market surveillance relating to the marketing of products, which aims to create an overall framework of rules and principles for accreditation and market surveillance(14),

–  having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection and the opinions of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, the Committee on Legal Affairs, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the Committee on Petitions (A7-0072/2011),

A.  whereas a functioning Single Market is the key driver which will enable the European Union to reach its full potential in terms of competitiveness, smart, inclusive and sustainable growth, the creation of more and better jobs, efforts to create a level playing field for enterprises of all kinds, the establishment of equal rights for all European citizens and strengthening a highly competitive social market economy,

B.  whereas the Single Market Act concerns Europeans as active participants in the European economy,

C.  whereas the Single Market cannot be regarded in purely economic terms, but must be seen as being embedded in a wider legal framework conferring specific, fundamental rights on citizens, consumers, workers, entrepreneurs and businesses, particularly small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) of all kinds,

D.  whereas too many obstacles stand in the way of citizens wishing to study or work in or move to another Member State or shop cross-border and of SMEs wishing to establish themselves in another Member State or trade cross-border; whereas these obstacles stem, inter alia, from insufficiently harmonised national laws, low portability of social security rights and excessive red tape, which impedes the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital within the Union,

E.  whereas the completion of the Single Market requires a holistic vision to further strengthen its development, as the Monti report and the resolution on delivering a Single Market to consumers and citizens highlighted, involving the incorporation of all relevant policies into a single strategic market objective, encompassing not only competition policy, but also, inter alia, industrial, consumer, energy, transport, digital, environment, climate change, trade, regional, justice and citizenship policies, in order to reach a high level of integration;

F.  whereas the Single Market should offer European consumers more choices at lower prices, especially for those who live in less accessible areas, such as island, mountain and sparsely populated regions, and those who suffer from reduced mobility,

G.  whereas printed and online material published by the Commission is often either too abstract or too complex to truly engage citizens and reach a wide audience,

H.  whereas it is important that the Single Market Act should not consist of a series of isolated measures and that all the proposals must contribute to the achievement of a coherent objective,

Introduction

1.  Welcomes the Commission Communication entitled ‘Towards a Single Market Act’, and specifically Chapter II, ‘Restoring confidence by putting Europeans at the heart of the Single Market’, which contains 19 initiatives geared to the needs of European citizens;

2.  Considers that the Communication's proposals are generally in line with Parliament's expectations, but need to be further strengthened in order for citizens to be at the heart of the Single Market project;

3.  Deplores the fact that the Communication has been divided into three chapters focusing on Europeans, businesses and governance, rather than along subject-matter lines; points out that the competitiveness of the Single Market and its acceptance among citizens should not be regarded as contradictory, but as mutually reinforcing objectives; considers, however, that the three chapters of the Communication are equally important and interconnected, and should be dealt with by means of a consistent approach, taking into account proposals made and concerns expressed by stakeholders at EU level and in the Member States;

4.  Firmly believes that the Single Market Act needs to constitute a coherent and balanced package of measures, in keeping with the spirit of the Grech report (A7-0132/2010) and the Monti report, which lays the foundations for a Europe of Added Value for citizens and enterprises;

5.  Argues that the relaunching and deepening of the Single Market are essential in the context of EU policies to fight the effects of the financial and economic crisis, and as part of the EU 2020 strategy;

6.  Takes the view that Europeans have not yet fully exploited the potential of the Single Market in many areas, including the free movement of persons, goods and services, and that new incentives are needed in particular to ensure effective geographical labour mobility across Europe;

7.  Takes the view that the Single Market strategy should strengthen social welfare and workers' rights and ensure fair working conditions for all Europeans;

8.  Supports the Commission's idea of initiating, through the Single Market Act, a global and pragmatic debate throughout Europe on the benefits and costs of the internal market, and asks the Commission to ensure the effective application of internal market rules which reduce the administrative burden on citizens;

9.  Shares the conviction that the full realisation of the European Single Market should form the basis for the completion of the process of political and economic integration;

10.  Emphasises in particular the Commission's commitment, in this Communication, to promoting new approaches to sustainable development;

11.  Stresses that it is not just Single Market legislation which is implemented and applied poorly by the Member States, but also other legislation affecting the rights of European citizens and other legal residents; calls on the Member States to ensure better implementation of the Free Movement Directive (2004/38/EC) in particular;

12.  Considers that efforts to complete the Single Market need to concentrate on the concerns and rights of citizens, consumers , public-service users and businesses and bring them tangible benefits in order to restore their full confidence in the Single Market and make them more aware of the opportunities it offers;

13.  Urges the Member States and the Commission to join forces to put the Single Market message across to citizens and to ensure that its benefits are recognised and their rights as consumers are properly and widely understood and enforced; acknowledges, in that connection, the need for better communications strategies that truly engage the interest of the majority of citizens and for extensive, imaginative use to be made of modern technologies;

14.  Stresses that the Single Market for Europeans is primarily about jobs and creating new jobs and that it is vital to create an environment in which businesses and citizens can fully exercise their rights;

15.  Stresses that the Single Market offers great potential in terms of employment, growth and competitiveness and that strong structural policies must be adopted in order to exploit that potential to the full;

16.  Stresses that demographic challenges require a strategy which would help create jobs that fill the gaps in the EU labour market;

17.  Reiterates the view expressed in the resolution of 20 May 2010 on delivering a Single Market to consumers and citizens that the Commission ought to promote ‘consumer-friendly’ Single Market legislation, so as to ensure that consumer interests are fully taken into account in the workings of the Single Market;

18.  Points out that the confidence of citizens and consumers is crucial for the functioning of the Single Market and cannot be taken for granted, but needs to be nurtured; considers, in particular, that in order to deliver on their promises Member States and the EU institutions must ensure that the current Single Market framework operates to its full capacity; emphasises that citizens'confidence is just as indispensable for the successful completion of the Single Market as a favourable environment for enterprises; believes that economic integration should be accompanied by appropriate social, environmental and consumer protection measures, in order to achieve both objectives;

19.  Considers furthermore, that on the question of delivering added value for European citizens, Single Market proposals must respect the principles of subsidiarity and Member State sovereignty and promote exchanges of best practice between Member States;

20.  Emphasises the lack of direct communication with citizens and considers that the EU representations in the Member States must be mandated to respond immediately to negative and misleading reports in the media by presenting the facts, and should make further efforts to provide information on European legislation, projects and programmes, thereby also promoting informed debate on European issues; advocates, further, the extensive and imaginative use of modern technology, including role-playing videogames which young people can play in a competitive way at European level (e.g. as part of an EU competition for schools), while at the same time learning about how the economy and the EU work;

21.  Points out that the effectiveness and democratic legitimacy of the enlarged EU can and should be improved, since the support of European citizens for the EU is clearly being eroded; takes the view that too little time and effort is spent, or that an incorrect method is used, to bring the people of Europe together, which should be the EU's core task; calls, therefore, for more to be done by the Member States and the EU institutions to create support for the EU and to convince the European people of the importance of the EU's values and of the usefulness and benefits of the EU;

22.  Regards the fight against corruption and organised crime as essential to the proper functioning of the internal market and calls on the Commission and the Member States to continue their work in this field, using all available instruments, including the Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification;

23.  Stresses the need to take account of the aims of the Stockholm Programme, in particular open borders and the free movement of goods, capital, services and people, in drawing up the Single Market Act.

24.  Affirms that the Member States have a duty to adopt and implement European legislation on the internal market and on related European citizens' rights;

25.  Emphasises that the implementation of the Single Market must proceed with full respect for the rights of citizens and residents of the Union, as enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights;

26.  Believes that the petitions process can make a positive contribution to helping citizens take advantage of the internal market;

27.  Invites the Commission to adopt a clear and readily accessible ‘Citizens’ Charter' on the right to live and work anywhere in the EU, and to develop targeted, multilingual information about the everyday problems that citizens encounter when moving, shopping or selling across Europe and the social, health, consumer protection and environmental protection standards on which they can rely;

28.  Considers that the 19 actions proposed by the Commission should be prioritised according to their impact on job creation and their delivery of tangible benefits as well as their feasibility for European citizens in a realistic period of time;

29.  Recalls that in its resolution on the social economy it called for greater recognition for social economy enterprises, including the generalised integration of the concept into EU policies, intensified dialogue with social economy representatives, better business support measures and recognition in the context of the social dialogue; recalls that in the same resolution it called for national registers to take social economy enterprises into account and for specific statistics on the activities of social economy enterprises;

30.  Calls for the launch of a televised European competition for the ‘European cross-border business of the year’ to open people's eyes to the opportunities and benefits of the Single Market and to the potential of young people with ideas; considers that the attraction of seeing people from different parts of Europe getting together to develop a business plan, raise funding and start something positive together would help promote both the idea of Europe and the Single Market and the idea of entrepreneurship; further believes that following the winning business over the year - focusing also on its staff and their friends and families - could highlight the benefits and shortcomings of the Single Market, and the remedies for those shortcomings, in order to make people aware of what Europe is really about, also in human terms;

31.  Recalls the need to take account, under the EU's integrated policies, of the situation of regions with specific territorial characteristics, particularly the outermost regions as defined in Article 349 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, so that those regions and their enterprises, workforce and citizens can be fully integrated into the EU internal market and thus benefit fully from it; encourages the Commission to retain, and further develop, the specific provisions for these regions; recalls the need to establish the wider European neighbourhood action plan referred to in Commission Communication COM(2004)0343, as a complement to integration into the Single Market; calls, finally, for the proposals in the chapter entitled ‘Increasing solidarity in the Single Market’ to be expanded and bolstered, and, in particular, for due account to be taken of the impact of the Single Market in the most disadvantaged regions, in order to anticipate and support those regions' adjustment efforts;

General Assessment

32.  Calls on the Commission to take urgent action to encourage the mobility of citizens with a view to promoting sustainable growth, employment and social inclusion, and calls for the establishment of a ‘mobility scoreboard’ to measure mobility within the EU; in that connection, welcomes the Commission's initiatives on the recognition of professional qualifications, the ‘Youth on the Move’ initiative, the ‘European Skills Passport’, the proposal on the rights of air passengers, the initiative on access to certain basic banking services and the proposed initiative to improve the transparency and comparability of bank charges; suggests that the Commission, in its impact assessment, conducts a cost-benefit analysis and looks for synergies between the above-mentioned initiatives; calls on the Commission to increase and widen participation in mobility programmes, particularly among young people, and to raise these programmes' profile;

33.  Notes that issues relating to product safety and market surveillance are of the utmost importance to European citizens; welcomes, therefore, the Commission's multiannual action plan for the development of European market surveillance based on guidelines for customs control and for product safety, and urges the Commission to establish a Single Market surveillance system for all products, based on one legislative act covering both the GPSD and the Market Surveillance Regulation; calls on the Commission to play a more active role in coordination and sharing of best practice between national customs and market surveillance authorities in order to increase the effectiveness of border controls on goods imported from third countries;; calls on Member States and the Commission to deploy the resources needed to make market surveillance activities effective;

34.  Calls on the Commission to ask the Member States which are still imposing restrictions on their labour markets to review their transitional provisions in order to open up their labour markets to all European workers

35.  Considers that an influx of highly qualified migrants and seasonal workers would be beneficial for the European economy; calls on the Member States, therefore, to fast-track the removal of restrictions in force on their labour markets for all EU citizens; in addition, calls on the Commission to further develop immigration policy in respect of those groups, bearing in mind the need not to deprive countries of origin of their vital human resources, while simultaneously improving measures concerning the management of external borders and the prevention of illegal immigration;

36.  Reiterates that the principle of non-discrimination within the internal market does away with the requirement imposed on nationals of another Member State to supply original documents, certified copies, certificates of nationality or official translations of documents in order to obtain a service or more advantageous terms or prices;

37.  Takes the view that the Services Directive creates the fundamental framework for a higher degree of free movement of service providers, as well as aiming to strengthen the rights of consumers as recipients of services and enhance the availability of information, assistance and transparency with regard to service providers and their services;

38.  Calls on the Commission to put forward practical proposals to extend consumer protection against unfair commercial practices to small businesses;

39.  Welcomes the Commission's intention to propose a legislative initiative to reform the system for the recognition of professional qualifications; calls on the Commission to evaluate the acquis and publish a Green Paper by September 2011; draws attention to the need to guarantee the portability of pension rights; calls on Member States to coordinate their pension policies more effectively and to exchange best practices at European level;

40.  Calls for a clearer link to be established between secondary and higher education programmes and the needs of the job market and stresses the important role of apprenticeships; calls on the Commission to promote formal and informal learning; believes that professional cards could be a concrete measure to facilitate the mobility of professionals in the Single Market, at least in certain sectors; urges the Commission, ahead of its review, to carry out an assessment of the impact of the introduction of European professional cards, taking into consideration their benefits, added value, data protection requirements and costs;

41.  Considers that the Commission should sponsor a European skills exchange whereby small and medium-sized enterprises can benefit from the skills available in larger enterprises, thereby promoting synergies and mentoring;

42.  Welcomes the Commission's intention to adopt a Communication on energy priorities for the period to 2020/2030; calls on the Commission to tackle missing infrastructure links and facilitate the integration of renewable energy in order to develop a fully operational internal energy market;

43.  Welcomes the announcement of a legislative initiative on the implementation of the Posting of Workers Directive (96/71/EC) with a view to guaranteeing respect for posted workers' rights and clarifying the obligations of national authorities and businesses; calls on the Member States to remedy shortcomings in the implementation and enforcement of the directive;

44.  Welcomes the Commission's announcement of a measure to ensure access to certain basic banking services; notes that scrutiny measures applied to customers who are considered to represent higher risks for banks should be objectively justified and proportionate; welcomes the proposed initiative to improve the transparency and comparability of bank charges;

45.  Calls on the Commission to include in its programme key financial services initiatives (e.g. the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) and increased legal certainty regarding securities holdings) which are highly relevant to the Single Market; stresses that a fragmented payment system is an obstacle to cross-border trade; calls on the Commission to continue to improve the SEPA system in order to define a basic payment service available for all credit cards, increasing transparency in transaction costs and reducing interchange fees in the EU;

46.  Calls for measures to create an appropriate legal framework for foundations, mutual societies and associations so as to give them European status, to prevent legal uncertainty and to promote other social economy enterprises and other social projects; welcomes the Commission's intention to revise Regulation (EC) No 1435/2003 on the Statute for European Cooperative Societies, calls, as part of this revision, for the creation of a genuinely autonomous Statute;  stresses the need to improve cross-border access for social economy enterprises and maximise their entrepreneurial, social, cultural and innovative potential in the Single Market;

47.  Welcomes the Commission's intention to take account of the social impact of proposed legislation concerning the Single Market whenever necessary in order to make better informed and more evidence-based political decisions; encourages the Commission to propose a set of indicators which could be used to assess the social impact of legislation; considers that this impact assessment should be undertaken as part of an integrated assessment that considers all relevant impacts of a proposal (i.e. financial and environmental and on competitiveness, job creation and growth);

48.  Calls on the Commission, in the framework of the re-launch of a more competitive single market creating sustainable growth with more and better jobs, to ensure that all social rights are respected; considers that, to this end, the Commission should include a reference to social policies and rights in single market legislation, where justified in the light of the conclusions of an assessment of the social impact of proposed legislation; emphasises, in addition, that, where relevant, due account should be taken in single market legislation of new Articles 8 and 9 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the entry into force of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which provides a whole range of civil, political, economic and social rights to Europeans, as well as the right to negotiate, conclude and enforce collective agreements in accordance with national law and practices and with due respect for EU law;

49.  Welcomes the Commission's intention to put forward a legislative proposal on mortgage loans in order to respond to the current lack of consumer protection, the legal uncertainty surrounding mortgage loans and the insufficient comparability of the conditions and choices offered by mortgage loan providers, to guarantee the stability of the economic and financial system and to reduce barriers so that mortgage loans providers can do business and citizens can obtain a mortgage in another Member State;

50.  Deplores the fact that no action on roaming charges is envisaged in the Commission's Communication on the Single Market Act, despite the tangible nature of such measures and the high expectations of citizens in this area; urges the Commission to propose an extension of the existing roaming regulation both in time - to June 2015 - and in scope, introducing retail price caps for data roaming; takes the view that, in order to achieve the digital agenda goals, this initiative should be included in the scope of the Single Market Act; calls on the telecommunications sector to promote a business model based on flat-rate charges for data transmission, voice messaging and text message roaming throughout the EU;

51.  Calls on the Commission to take urgent measures to stabilise financial markets, ensure that those markets work for the benefit of the real economy and create an appropriately regulated and supervised single retail market, with the dual aim of achieving a high level of consumer protection and ensuring financial stability by avoiding bubbles, in particular with regard to real estate;

52.  Calls on the Commission to identify and eliminate the tax obstacles still faced by European citizens; calls for stronger action to prevent double taxation of European citizens;

53.  Welcomes the Commission's initiative to launch a public consultation on corporate governance and improving the transparency of the information provided by businesses on social and environmental matters and respect for human rights, but emphasises the importance of taking further specific steps to promote sound and responsible remuneration policies, adequate participation of women in management and executive boards, the valorisation of long-term shareholder commitment and the enhancement of employee consultation, participation and shareholding schemes; calls, in particular, for the promotion of employee shareholding schemes, the strengthening of long-term shareholder commitment and the promotion of information and consultation rights for employees and their representatives, together with boardroom participation rights; emphasises that increased transparency, good relations with staff, and production processes consistent with sustainable development are also in the interests of businesses, their owners and those who invest in them;

54.  Notes the Commission proposal concerning the social business initiative and recommends launching a consultation process on this project in order to assess the potential of this measure in terms of economic growth and job creation;

55.  Considers that the Single Market Act should propose ways in which the public sector can better involve businesses in promoting innovative arrangements for the provision of public services; calls on the Commission and the Member States, on the basis of their respective competences, to ensure that services of general economic interest (SGEI), including social services of general interest (SSGI), are secured within a framework of universal access, high quality, affordability and clear financing rules by providing public authorities with a ‘tool-kit’ to evaluate the quality of such services; believes that the Commission should take sector-specific initiatives using all options available, based on and consistent with Article 14 of and Protocol 26 to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, to ensure that SGEI and SSGI can be provided at an appropriate level, in keeping with the principle of subsidiarity;

56.  Calls on the Commission to facilitate the application of EU rules by clarifying the criteria governing the compatibility of state aid and public procurement in connection with social services of general interest (SSGI) with the internal market;

57.  Calls for strategic and appropriate use to be made of Structural Fund and Cohesion Fund resources, and for the expansion of the Trans-European Networks with a view to developing the Single Market;

58.  Draws particular attention to the added value of the TEN-T network, especially of those projects that are transnational in nature and which alleviate bottlenecks: points out that TEN-T provides an efficient framework for the movement of people and goods within the EU, and notes that the Europe 2020 Strategy recognises the European added value of speeding up strategic projects that cross borders, remove bottlenecks and support intermodal nodes (cities, ports, airports, logistical platforms);

59.  Supports the concept of a core network consisting of priority projects which adhere to these principles, which should then be the main beneficiaries of EU funding, and urges that EU-supported transport investment should be dovetailed with other related transport infrastructure projects that receive EU funding from other sources;

60.  Welcomes the introduction of real rights for passengers undertaking intra-EU travel in the aviation, rail, maritime and coach and bus sectors, and recognises that these rights are essential to facilitating the free movement of persons within the Single Market;

61.  Calls for a review of the enforcement of those rights in the aviation sector, to be followed, if necessary, by legislative proposals to clarify and consolidate those rights with a view to ensuring their uniform application throughout the European Union and to eliminate the risk of distorting competition within the Single Market both within and between transport modes; calls for these proposals to include adequate protection for consumers in such areas as package travel, bankruptcies and excessive charges for services;

62.  Points out that the existing legislative framework regulating air passengers' rights needs better enforcement measures, so that citizens, particularly persons with reduced mobility (PRM), can fully avail themselves of their rights; calls on the Commission to adopt a proposal amending the regulation on the rights of air passengers, in order to enhance consumer protection, (Ex AM 113( Or. EN) of FdRand a communication on the rights of passengers using all modes of transport, to be followed by legislative proposals;

63.  Calls on the Commission to take stock of the experience gained so far in the area of passenger rights, identify common patterns between modes and set out general policy guidelines for the coming years, focusing in particular on how to increase passengers' awareness of their rights and how to exercise them;

64.  Calls on the Commission to encourage the use of new technologies in an efficient, intelligent and sustainable transport system which aids the passenger by supporting the use of integrated ticketing;

65.  Emphasises the need to complete the Digital Single Market, and notes that its benefits will have a direct impact on the day-to-day lives of Europeans; calls for measures to promote e-health and universal access to broadband services at affordable prices; welcomes the proposal for a decision establishing a European Radio Spectrum Action Programme, in particular the freeing-up of the 800 MHz digital dividend band by 2013 so that the wireless broadband market can grow and ensure fast internet access for all citizens, particularly those living in less accessible parts of Europe, such as island, mountain, rural and sparsely populated areas;

66.  Urges Member States not to look at the Commission proposal on a horizontal anti-discrimination directive (COM(2008 0426) only in terms of costs, but also in terms of the potential benefits when people who previously did not feel safe and secure in certain areas start to access services there;

67.  Strongly supports the ‘25 actions to improve the daily life of EU citizens’ contained in the EU Citizenship report 2010 (COM(2010)0603), particularly those relating to increased protection for victims, suspects and accused persons;

68.  Welcomes the directive on patients' rights in cross-border healthcare and calls on Member States to implement it fully;

Key priorities

69.  Calls on the Commission to endorse the following list of proposals as key Parliament priorities:

o
o   o

   Calls on the Commission to take measures to increase the mobility of European citizens, in particular by publishing by September 2011 a Green Paper on the recognition of professional qualifications, including an assessment of the existing framework, and, if appropriate, to propose a legislative initiative to reform this framework in 2012, at the same time assessing the feasibility and the added value of EU-wide professional identity cards and a ‘European skills passport’ in 2011 and setting-up a ‘mobility scoreboard’ to measure mobility within the EU;
   Calls on the Commission to play a more active role in coordinating the activities of national market surveillance and customs authorities, in order to improve the effectiveness of border controls on goods imported from third countries, and to draw up in 2011 a multiannual action plan for the development of an effective European market surveillance system for all products, while allowing Member States flexibility in fulfilling their legal obligations;
   Urges the Commission to propose an extension of the existing roaming regulation both in time - to June 2015 - and in scope, introducing retail price caps for data roaming in order to reduce roaming costs for members of the public and businesses;
   Calls on the Commission to submit by June 2011 a legislative proposal on guaranteeing access to certain basic banking services and to improve the transparency and comparability of bank charges by the end of 2011;
   Calls on the Commission to come up with a legislative proposal to remove obstacles encountered by mobile workers in order to ensure the full portability of pension rights;

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

(1) OJ C 187 E, 24.7.2008, p.80.
(2) OJC 306 E, 15.12.2006, p. 277.
(3) OJ L 176, 7.7.2009, p. 17.
(4) OJ L 98, 16.4.2005, p. 47.
(5) OJ C 349 E, 22.12.2010, p. 25.
(6) OJ C 8 E, 14.1.2010, p. 7.
(7) OJ C 279 E, 19.11.2009, p. 17.
(8) OJ C 349 E, 22.12.2010, p. 1.
(9) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2010)0186.
(10) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2010)0376.
(11) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2010)0320.
(12) http://www.eesc.europa.eu/smo/news/Obstacles_December-2008.pdf.
(13) OJ C 349 E, 22.12.2010, p. 10.
(14) OJ L 218, 13.8.2008, p. 30.


Single market for enterprises and growth
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European Parliament resolution of 6 April 2011 on a Single Market for Enterprises and Growth (2010/2277(INI))
P7_TA(2011)0146A7-0071/2011

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission Communication ‘Towards a Single Market Act. For a highly competitive social market economy. 50 proposals for improving our work, business and exchanges with one another’ (COM(2010)0608),

–   having regard to its resolution of 20 May 2010 on delivering a Single Market to consumers and citizens(1),

–   having regard to Professor Mario Monti's report of 9 May 2010 ‘A new Strategy for the Single Market’,

–   having regard to the Commission Communication ‘Europe 2020 – a strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ (COM(2010)2020),

–   having regard to the Commission Communication ‘Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative. Innovation Union’ (COM(2010)0546),

–   having regard to the Commission Communication ‘Smart Regulation in the European Union’ (COM(2010)0543),

–   having regard to the Commission Communication ‘Digital Agenda for Europe’ (COM(2010)0245),

–   having regard to the Report ‘Evaluation of SMEs’ access to public procurement markets in the EU‘(2),

–   having regard to the Commission Communication ‘Cross-border business-to-consumer e-commerce in the EU’ (COM(2009)0557),

–   having regard to the Commission Recommendation of 29 June 2009 on measures to improve the functioning of the single market(3),

–   having regard to the Commission Communication ‘Public procurement for a better environment’ (COM(2008)0400),

–  having regard to the Commission Communication ‘Think Small First – A ’Small Business Act' for Europe (COM(2008)0394),

–   having regard to the Commission Communication ‘A single market for 21st century Europe’ (COM(2007)0724) and the accompanying Commission staff working document ‘The Single Market: review of achievements’ (SEC(2007)1521),

–   having regard to the Commission Communication ‘Opportunities, access and solidarity: towards a new social vision for 21st century Europe’ (COM(2007)0726),

–   having regard to the Commission Interpretative Communication on the application of Community law on Public Procurement and Concessions to Institutionalised Public-Private Partnerships (IPPP), C(2007)6661,

–  having regard to the Commission Communication ‘Time to move up a gear. The new partnership for growth and jobs’ (COM(2006)0030),

–   having regard to the Council Conclusions on the Single Market Act (SMA) of 10 December 2010,

–   having regard to its resolution of 21 September 2010 on completing the internal market for e-commerce(4),

–   having regard to its resolution of 18 May 2010 on new developments in public procurement(5),

–   having regard to its resolution of 9 March 2010 on the Internal Market Scoreboard(6),

–   having regard to its resolution of 3 February 2009 on pre-commercial procurement: driving innovation to ensure sustainable high-quality public services in Europe(7),

–   having regard to its resolution of 30 November 2006 on time to move up a gear – creating a Europe of entrepreneurship and growth(8),

–   having regard to the Commission Green Paper on the modernisation of EU public procurement policy (COM(2011)0015),

–   having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection and the opinions of the Committee on International Trade, the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, the Committee on Regional Development and the Committee on Legal Affairs (A7-0071/2011),

A.  whereas a single market based on free and fair competition is the EU's crucial economic reform goal and represents a key competitive advantage for Europe in the global economy,

B.  whereas one of the great advantages of the internal market has been the removal of barriers to mobility and the harmonisation of institutional regulations, fostering cultural understanding, integration, economic growth and European solidarity,

C.   whereas it is important to increase confidence in the Single Market at all levels and to eliminate existing barriers to enterprises entering business; whereas high administrative burdens discourage new entrepreneurs,

D.  whereas it is important that the Single Market Act does not consist of a series of measures isolated from each other, and that all proposals combine to contribute to the achievement of a coherent objective,

E.  whereas all enterprises are affected by market fragmentation, but SMEs are particularly vulnerable to the problems stemming from it,

F.  whereas the Single Market is often perceived to have mostly benefited large enterprises so far, despite SMEs being the EU's growth engine,

G.  whereas lack of innovation in the EU is a key factor for the low growth rates in recent years; whereas green technology innovation provides an opportunity to reconcile long-term growth and environmental protection,

H.  whereas, in order to achieve the EU 2020 strategy goals, the Single Market must provide the conditions for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth; whereas the Single Market should become a better environment for innovation and research by EU enterprises,

I.  whereas competition policy is an essential tool in ensuring that the EU has a dynamic, efficient and innovative internal market and is competitive on the global stage,

J.  whereas venture capital is an important source of finance for new innovative businesses; whereas there are barriers for venture capital funds wanting to invest in different EU Member States,

K.  whereas developing ICT and its broader use by EU enterprises are essential for our future growth,

L.  whereas e-commerce and e-services, including e-Government and e-Health services, are still underdeveloped at EU level,

M.  whereas the postal sector and the promotion of interoperability and cooperation among postal systems and services can have a significant impact on the development of cross-border e-commerce,

N.  whereas there are regulatory barriers to the efficient licensing of copyrights that lead to a high level of fragmentation of the market for audiovisual products, which is detrimental to EU businesses; whereas both businesses and consumers would benefit from the creation of a genuine Single Market for audiovisual products and services, respecting the fundamental rights of internet users,

O.  whereas counterfeiting and piracy reduce business confidence in e-commerce and fuel the fragmentation of intellectual property protection rules which stifles innovation in the Single Market,

P.  whereas differences in fiscal provisions may result in significant obstacles to cross-border transactions; whereas the coordination of national tax policies, as proposed by Mario Monti in his report, would bring substantial added value to enterprises and citizens,

Q.  whereas public procurement plays an important role in boosting economic growth, accounting for around 17% of the EU's GDP; whereas cross-border procurement accounts for a low share of the whole public procurement market, despite being an opportunity for EU firms; whereas SMEs still have limited access to public procurement markets,

R.  whereas services are a crucial sector for economic growth and employment, but the Single Market for services is still underdeveloped, particularly due to gaps and difficulties encountered by the Member States with respect to the implementation of the Services Directive,

Introduction

1.  Welcomes the Commission Communication ‘Towards a Single Market Act’; considers that the three chapters of the Communication are equally important and interconnected, and should be dealt with in a consistent approach without isolating the different issues at stake from each other;

2.  Emphasises, in particular, the Commission's commitment, in this Communication, to promoting new approaches towards sustainable development,

3.  Urges the Commission to conduct a financial audit of the EU's budget priorities for the next financial framework and to prioritise European added value projects able to enhance EU competitiveness and integration in the areas of research, knowledge and innovation;

4.  Stresses, particularly in view of the economic and financial crisis, the importance of the Single Market for the competitiveness of EU enterprises and for the growth and stability of European economies, calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure sufficient resources to improve the implementation of the single market rules, and welcomes the holistic approach used in the Communication; emphasises the complementary nature of the various measures contained in the Monti report, the coherence of which is not fully reflected in the SMA;

5.  Calls on the Commission, therefore, to submit an ambitious package of measures supported by a clear and coherent strategy to promote the competitiveness of the internal market; calls on the Commission to reconnect with the spirit of Mario Monti's report, which advocated promoting liberalisation and competition as well as improving fiscal and social convergence;

6.  Underlines the importance of improving the European Union's economic governance in order to create the economic conditions for enterprises to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the Single Market allowing them to grow and become more competitive, and calls for this linkage to be made explicit in the Single Market Act; calls on the Commission to pay close attention to the impact on the Single Market's internal cohesion of the growing economic divergence between the EU Member States;

7.  Emphasises the need to adopt an ambitious European industrial policy with the objective of strengthening the real economy and of achieving the transition to a more intelligent and sustainable one;

8.  Stresses that the external dimension of the European strategy, which also includes international trade, is assuming growing importance owing to the integration of markets and, therefore, that an appropriate external strategy can be genuinely useful with a view to sustainable growth, employment and a stronger single market for businesses, in line with the aims of the EU 2020 Strategy; stresses the need to transform the EU's trade policy into a true vehicle for sustainable development and the creation of more and better jobs; asks the Commission to develop a trade policy consistent with a strong, job-creating industrial policy;

9.  Observes that European Union policies on the Single Market and regional development are highly complementary and stresses that the progress of the internal market and further development of the Union's regions are interdependent, leading to a Europe marked by cohesion and competitiveness; welcomes the Commission's proposals aimed at deepening the single market; stresses that real and effective single market accessibility for all EU regions is a prerequisite for the free movement of people, goods, capital and services, and thus for a strong and dynamic Single Market; points out, in this connection, the essential role played by the Union's regional policy in terms of developing infrastructure and with regard to economically and socially coherent and balanced development of regions;

General Assessment
An innovative Single Market

10.  Calls on the Commission to adopt a consistent and balanced strategy in cooperation with the relevant stakeholders, with a view to fostering innovation and also supporting innovative business, as the best way to reward creation, and protecting fundamental rights, such as the right to privacy and the protection of personal data;

11.  Strongly supports the creation of an SME-friendly EU-wide patent and of a unified patent litigation system in order to make the Single Market a leader in innovation and boost European competitiveness; stresses that the translation of patents into many languages is an additional cost burden that would hinder innovation within the Single Market and that a compromise on language aspects should be reached as soon as possible;

12.  Supports the creation of EU project bonds in order to support long-term innovation and job creation in the Single Market and to finance the implementation of major cross-border infrastructure projects, particularly in the areas of energy, transport and telecommunications, supporting the ecological transformation of our economies; stresses the need for appropriate risk management structures and for full disclosure of all potential liabilities;

13.  Points out the importance of a fully operational internal market for energy in order to achieve increased autonomy in energy supply; considers that this could be achieved through a regional clustering approach, as well as through the diversification of energy routes and sources; underlines that Eastern European infrastructure should be enhanced to bring it into line with that of Western Member States; stresses that the internal energy market should contribute to maintaining energy prices affordable for both consumers and businesses; believes that, in order to achieve the EU's climate and energy objectives, a new approach is necessary in terms of applying adequate minimum duty rates on CO2 emissions and on energy content; highlights the need for further energy efficiency plans and measures to significantly increase energy savings; stresses the need to promote smart grids as well as renewable energies and to encourage local and regional authorities to exploit ICTs in their energy efficiency plans; calls for the Commission to closely monitor the implementation of the directives on energy-labelling, eco-design, transports, buildings and infrastructures, in order to ensure and implement a common European framework approach;

14.  Supports the initiative on the environmental footprint of products, and urges the Commission to quickly propose the establishment of a real common assessment and labelling system;

15.  Calls on the Commission to promote cross-border investment and to set up a framework to encourage venture capital funds to be invested effectively within the Single Market, to protect investors and to provide incentives for these funds to be invested in sustainable projects in order to achieve the ambitious objectives of the EU 2020 Strategy; invites the Commission to look into the possibilities of creating a European venture capital fund capable of investing in early-stage ‘proof of concept’ and business development prior to commercial investment; asks the Commission to carry out an annual assessment of public and private investment needs and how they are being, or should be, met within its proposals;

16.  Acknowledges the importance of public procurement, especially pre-commercial procurement, and the role it plays in stimulating innovation in the Single Market; encourages Member States to make use of pre-commercial procurement to give a decisive initial push to new markets for innovative and green technologies while improving the quality and effectiveness of public services; calls on the Commission and Member States to better communicate the existing possibilities for pre-commercial procurement to public authorities; calls on the Commission to explore how cross-border joint procurement can be facilitated;

17.  Urges Member States to increase efforts to pool innovation resources through the creation of innovation clusters and steps to encourage the participation of SMEs in EU research programmes; stresses the need for dissemination and cross-border exploitation of the results of scientific research and innovation;

A digital Single Market

18.  Welcomes the Commission's proposed revision of the e-Signatures Directive with a view to providing a legal framework for cross-border recognition and interoperability of secure e-authentication systems; emphasises the need for mutual recognition of e-identification and e-authentication across the EU and asks the Commission, in this regard, to tackle in particular problems relating to discrimination against recipients of services on grounds of nationality or place of residence;

19.  Considers that the White Paper on transport policy should focus on proposals to enhance sustainable transport modes, including intermodality; stresses the importance of the proposed e-mobility package aimed at using new technologies to support an efficient and sustainable transport system, especially through the use of integrated ticketing; calls on Member States to swiftly implement the directive on intelligent transport systems;

20.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to take the appropriate measures to enhance the confidence of businesses and citizens in e-commerce, namely by guaranteeing high-level consumer protection in this field ; emphasises that this could be achieved after a thorough evaluation of the Consumer Rights Directive and a thorough impact assessment of all the policy options in the Green paper on European Contract Law; points out that simplifying registration of domains across borders for online businesses, as well as improving secure online payment systems and facilitating cross-border debt recovery, would equally constitute useful measures to promote e-commerce across the EU;

21.  Stresses the imperative need to adapt EU Information and Communication Technology (ICT) standardisation policy to market and policy developments, with a view to achieving European policy goals requiring interoperability;

22.  Stresses the need to go beyond the existing barriers to cross-border e-commerce in the EU; emphasises the need for an active policy enabling the public and companies to benefit fully from this tool available to them, which can offer them quality products and services at competitive prices; believes that this is essential in the present climate of economic crisis, and that it would aid enormously in the completion of the Single Market, as a means of fighting rising inequality and protecting consumers who are vulnerable, live in remote locations or suffer from reduced mobility, as well as low-income groups and SMEs, to which integration into the world of e-commerce is particularly important;

23.  Underscores the potential for the EU's regions to play a considerable role in assisting the Commission's drive to create a digital Single Market; highlights, in this regard, the importance that should be placed on utilising the funds available to the EU's regions in order to overcome their lack of development in the fields of e-commerce and e-services, which could serve as a fruitful source of future growth in the regions;

24.  Considers that SMEs should be empowered to make extensive use of e-commerce in Europe; deplores the fact that the Commission will not be coming out with a proposal for a European system for the settlement of online disputes for digital transactions until 2012, twelve years after Parliament called for such an initiative in September 2000(9);

25.  Urges the Member States to fully implement the Third Postal Services Directive (2008/6/EC); stresses the need to guarantee universal access to high-quality postal services, avoid social dumping and promote interoperability and cooperation among postal systems and services, in order to facilitate efficient distribution and tracking of online purchases, which will boost consumer confidence as regards cross-border purchases;

26.  Stresses the need to create a Single Market for online audiovisual goods by promoting open ICT standards and to support innovation and creativity through efficient management of copyright, including the creation of a pan-European licensing system, with the aim of guaranteeing broader and fairer access to cultural goods and services for citizens and ensuring that rightholders receive adequate remuneration for their creative works and that the fundamental rights of internet users are respected; stresses the need to align online legislation on intellectual property rights with existing off-line legislation on intellectual property rights, especially on trademarks, so that consumers and businesses place more trust in e-commerce;

27.  Points out the need to strengthen the fight against online piracy to protect the rights of creators, while respecting the fundamental rights of consumers; points out that bodies and citizens must be properly informed about the consequences of counterfeiting and piracy; welcomes the initiative announced by the Commission aimed at combating trade mark and product piracy, and in particular the legislative proposals due for submission in 2011 seeking to adjust the legal framework to the new challenges of the internet and to strengthen measures by the customs authorities in this area; notes that in this connection synergies could also be achieved with the forthcoming action plan to enhance European market surveillance;

28.  Underlines also that the protection and enforcement of IPRs should be developed as part of a broader approach, taking into consideration the rights and needs of consumers and EU citizens, but which does not conflict with other internal and external EU policies such as promoting the information society, fostering education, health care and development in third countries and promoting biological and cultural diversity on an international scale;

A business-friendly Single Market

29.  Emphasises the need for effective implementation and completion of the financial supervisory package to achieve a sustainable internal market; calls for an assessment by the Commission to ensure that such implementation is undertaken throughout the EU and a correlation table published in a yearly basis; to that end, considers that best practices should be promoted amongst national and EU supervisory entities;

30.  Calls on the Commission to improve SMEs' access to capital markets by streamlining information available on different EU financing opportunities such as those provided by the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme, the European Investment Bank or the European Investment Fund and by making funding procedures easier, quicker and less bureaucratic; to that end recommends a much more holistic approach to the award of funding, in particular in view of supporting the transition towards a more sustainable economy;

31.  Believes that the pluralistic structure of the European banking market meets best the variety of financing needs of SMEs and that the diversity of legal models and business objectives improves access to finance;

32.  Highlights the economic importance of SMEs and micro-enterprises in the European economy; insists, therefore, on the need to ensure that the ‘think small first’ principle promoted by the ‘Small Business Act’ is well implemented and supports the Commission's measures aimed at removing the unnecessary administrative burdens on SMEs; suggests that SMEs with a specific growth potential, high wages and good working conditions should be supported and calls for a differentiation within the Small Business Act in order to bring it into line with Europe 2020;

33.  Draws attention to the importance of local businesses for social ties, employment and dynamism in disadvantaged areas, particularly urban districts facing difficulties or sparsely populated areas; calls for them to receive appropriate support under the Union's regional policy;

34.  Underlines the necessity of strengthening SMEs capabilities when it comes to project designing and proposal writing, including technical assistance and suitable education programmes;

35.  Calls for the adoption of a Statute for a European Private Company to facilitate the establishment and cross-border operation of small and medium-sized enterprises in the Single Market;

36.  Believes that the equity investors will be more encouraged to finance small and micro businesses in their start-up phase if more efficient exit routes are provided through national or pan-European growth stock markets that at present do not function adequately;

37.  Urges all Member States to fully implement the Goods Package;

38.  Points out the importance of interconnected business registers and calls on the Commission to develop a clear legal framework ensuring that information in such business registers is complete and correct;

39.  Recognises the important contribution to growth and job generation of the retail sector; calls on the Commission to include within the Single Market Act a proposal for a European retail Action Plan that identifies and addresses the numerous challenges faced by retailers and suppliers within the Single Market; considers that the Action Plan should be based on the conclusions of the work underway in Parliament on ‘a more efficient and fairer retail market’;

40.  Underlines the importance of removing unnecessary fiscal, administrative and legal barriers to cross-border activities; considers that a clearer VAT framework and reporting obligations for businesses are needed to encourage sustainable production and consumption patterns, limit adaptation costs, combat VAT fraud and enhance the competitiveness of EU firms;

41.  Welcomes the Commission's intention to publish a Green Paper on corporate governance and to launch a public consultation on the information on social, environmental and human rights aspects of investment by businesses; urges the Commission to come up with concrete proposals on private investments in order to create efficient incentives for long-term, sustainable and ethic investments, to better coordinate corporate fiscal policies and to encourage corporate responsibility;

42.  Welcomes the review of the Energy Tax Directive, with a view to better reflecting climate change objectives, provided that the tax burden does not fall unduly on vulnerable consumers;

43.  Warmly welcomes the Commission's initiative for a Directive introducing a common consolidated corporate tax base and stresses that this could reduce tax avoidance and evasion and increase the transparency and comparability of corporate tax rates, thus reducing the obstacles to cross-border activities;

44.  Calls on the Commission to make public procurement procedures more effective and less bureaucratic in order to encourage EU firms to participate in cross-border public procurement; stresses that further simplification is needed especially for local and regional authorities and to allow SMEs greater access to public procurement; urges the Commission to provide data regarding the level of openness of public procurement and to ensure reciprocity with other industrialised countries and major emerging economies; invites the Commission to look into new ways of improving the access for European enterprises to public procurement markets outside the EU, in order to ensure a level playing field for both European and foreign enterprises competing for the award of public contracts;

45.  Proposes, in more general terms, that future trade agreements negotiated by the Union should incorporate a chapter on sustainable development, drawing on the principles of CSR as defined by the 2010 update of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises;

46.  Calls on the Commission to develop greater coordination between SME-related measures at domestic and international level, and to identify and promote SMEs that have trade potential; takes the view that the Member States should do more to encourage SMEs to make use of existing initiatives and tools such as the market access database and the export helpdesk;

47.  Takes the view that the Commission should improve its efforts to facilitate cross-border banking, by removing all existing obstacles to the use of competing clearing and settlement systems and by applying common rules to trading;

48.  Considers that the Commission should sponsor a European skills exchange whereby small and medium-sized enterprises can benefit from the skills available in larger enterprises, thereby promoting synergies and mentoring;

49.  Calls for Commission proposals to revise the Accounting Directives in order to avoid costly and inefficient over-regulation, in particular for SMEs, so that their competitiveness and growth potential can be exploited more effectively;

A Single Market for services

50.  Stresses the need for full and proper implementation of the Services Directive, including the setting up of fully operational Points of Single Contact allowing for online completion of procedures and formalities, which can considerably reduce operational costs for enterprises and boost the Single Market for services; calls on the Commission and Member States to work together and take further steps in the development of the Single Market for services on the basis of the mutual evaluation process; urges the Commission to place special emphasis on the development of the Single Market for online services;

51.  Calls on the Commission to encourage the development of the business services sector and to take the necessary regulatory measures in order to protect businesses, especially SMEs, from unfair commercial practices by larger enterprises in the supply chain ; invites the Commission to define ‘manifestly unfair commercial practices’ in the supply chain, in consultation with the stakeholders, and to propose further action to prevent unfair commercial practices in respect of competition and freedom of contract; recalls its resolution of 16 December 2008 on misleading directory companies(10) and urges the Commission again to come up with a proposal to prevent the fraudulent practices of misleading business directories;

52.  Considers that any legislative proposal on services concessions should provide a legal framework that would ensure transparency, effective judicial protection for both economic operators and contracting authorities across the EU; asks the Commission, before proposing any legislation, to provide evidence that the general principles laid down in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (non-discrimination, principle of equal treatment and transparency) are not satisfactorily applied to services concessions in practice;

53.  Welcomes the Commission's intention to propose a legislative reform of the standardisation framework, also covering services; stresses that the standardisation of services should lead to the completion of the single market where this has been shown to be worthwhile, and in particular must take full account of the needs of SMEs; recognises the role of product standards for the functioning of the European internal market and regards standards as a key tool for promoting sustainable and high-quality goods and services for consumer and enterprises; calls for measures promoting transparency, cost reduction and improved involvement of stakeholders;

54.  Emphasises, in the interests of boosting regional competitiveness, the importance of ‘smart specialisation’ of regions; considers that the EU single market can only flourish as a whole when all actors and all regions – including SMEs in all sectors, including the public sector, the social economy and citizens themselves – are involved; considers also that not only a few high-tech areas, but all the regions of Europe and every Member State must be involved, each focusing on its own strengths (‘smart specialisation’) within Europe;

55.  Highlights the importance of the external dimension of the internal market and, in particular, of regulatory cooperation with main trading partners, whether at bilateral or multilateral levels, with the objective of promoting regulatory convergence, equivalence of third-country regimes and the wider adoption of international standards; encourages the Commission to examine the existing agreements with third parties that extend elements of the internal market beyond its borders as to their effectiveness in providing legal certainty for its potential beneficiaries;

Key Priorities
Creating an EU Patent and a unified litigation system

56.  Stresses that the creation of the EU Patent and of a unified litigation system, as well as an improved system for the management of copyright, is indispensable for supporting innovation and creativity within the Single Market (SMA proposals 1 and 2);

Financing innovation

57.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to take due account of the importance of innovation for strong and more sustainable growth and job creation by ensuring that innovation is properly financed, in particular through the creation of EU project bonds, especially in the areas of energy, transport and telecommunications, supporting the ecological transformation of our economies, and through a legislative framework to encourage venture capital funds to invest effectively throughout the EU; stresses that incentives should be provided for long-term investment in innovative and job-creating sectors (SMA proposals 15 and 16);

Stimulating e-commerce

58.  Urges the Commission to take all the necessary steps to enhance the confidence of businesses and consumers in e-commerce and stimulate its development in the Single Market; stresses that an EU Action Plan against counterfeiting and piracy as well as a framework directive on the management of copyrights are crucial to reach this objective (SMA proposals 2, 3 and 5);

Improving SMEs participation in the Single Market

59.  Highlights that further action is needed to make the Single Market a better environment for SMEs; considers that such action should include improving their access to capital markets, removing administrative and fiscal barriers to their cross-border activities by adopting a clearer VAT framework and a common consolidated corporate tax base, as well as the revision of the public procurement framework, to make procedures more flexible and less bureaucratic (SMA proposals 12, 17, 19 and 20);

Rationalising public procurement procedures

60.  Asks the Commission to review the legislation relating to public procurement and public and private partnership with a view to fostering smart, sustainable and inclusive growth within the Single Market and to stimulating cross-border public procurement; stresses the need for a clearer framework, providing legal certainty for both economic operators and contracting authorities; strongly encourages Member States to use pre-commercial public procurement in order to stimulate the market for innovative and green technologies; insists on the need to ensure reciprocity with industrialised countries and major emerging economies in the field of public procurement (SMA proposal 17 and 24);

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

(1) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2010)0186.
(2) http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sme/business-environment/files/smes_access_to_public_procurement_final_report_2010_en.pdf
(3) OJ L 176, 7.7.2009, p. 17.
(4) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2010)0320.
(5) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2010)0173.
(6) OJ C 349 E, 22.10.2010, p. 25.
(7) OJ C 67 E, 18.3.2010, p. 10.
(8) OJ C 316 E, 22.12.2006, p. 378.
(9) OJ C 146, 17.5.2001, p.101.
(10) OJ C 45 E, 23.2.2010, p. 17.

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