Index 
Texts adopted
Thursday, 29 September 2011 - Strasbourg
Amendment of Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 establishing the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund ***I
 Situation in Palestine
 Rio+20 earth summit
 Future of the European Globalisation Fund
 Establishment of a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps
 Civilian invalids of war

Amendment of Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 establishing the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund ***I
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Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 29 September 2011 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 establishing the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (COM(2011)0336 – C7-0161/2011 – 2011/0147(COD))
P7_TA(2011)0428A7-0308/2011

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2011)0336),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 175, third paragraph, of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C7-0161/2011),

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

–  after consulting the European Economic and Social Committee,

–  after consulting the Committee of the Regions,

–  having regard to Rule 55 and 46(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (A7-0308/2011),

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 29 September 2011 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) No .../2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 establishing the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund

P7_TC1-COD(2011)0147


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 the third paragraph of Article 175 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

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

After consulting the European Economic and Social Committee,

After consulting the Committee of the Regions,

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure(1),

Whereas:

(1)  Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006(2) has established the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (‘EGF’) to enable the Union to provide support and show solidarity to workers made redundant as a result of major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation.

(2)  As part of the response to the financial and economic crisis Regulation (EC) No 546/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2009(3) amended the Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 by providing, in particular, for a temporary derogation aimed at broadening its scope to cover crisis-related redundancies and a temporary increase in the EGF co-financing rate.

(3)  In the light of the current economic and financial situation in the Union, it is appropriate to extend this derogation before its expiry on 30 December 2011.

(4)  Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 should therefore be amended accordingly.

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

Article 1

In Article 1(1a) of Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 the second subparagraph is replaced by the following:"

This derogation shall apply to all applications submitted by 31 December 2013.

"

Article 2

This Regulation 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.

Done at

For the European Parliament

The President

For the Council

The President

(1) Position of European Parliament of 29 September 2011.
(2) OJ L 48, 22.2.2008, p. 82.
(3) OJ L 167, 29.6.2009, p. 26.


Situation in Palestine
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European Parliament resolution of 29 September 2011 on the situation in Palestine
P7_TA(2011)0429RC-B7-0525/2011

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on the Middle East,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on the Middle East Peace Process of 8 December 2009, 13 December 2010, and 18 July 2011,

–  having regard to the Charter of the United Nations,

–  having regard to pertinent UN resolutions, UN General Assembly Resolutions 181 (1947) and 194 (1948), and UN Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003), and 1850 (2008),

–  having regard to the Middle East Quartet statements and in particular that of 23 September 2011,

–  having regard to Rule 110 (2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas on the occasion of the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the President of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, asked for recognition of Palestinian statehood and membership of the UN;

B.  whereas Palestine is a non-member permanent observer entity at the UN General Assembly;

C.  whereas, in its Resolution 181 of 29 November 1947, the UN General Assembly called for the creation of two states on the territory of the former Mandate for Palestine;

D.  whereas the EU has repeatedly confirmed its support for the two-state solution with the State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security, called for the resumption of direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, and declared that no changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties should be recognised;

E.  whereas, according to assessments of the World Bank, the IMF and the UN, the Palestinian Authority is above the threshold for a functioning state in the key sectors they studied, and Palestinian institutions compare favourably with those in established states;

F.  whereas the right of Palestinians to self-determination and to have their own state is unquestionable as is the right of Israel to exist within safe borders;

G.  whereas the ‘Arab Spring’ has made it even more urgent to find a solution to the Israeli – Palestinian conflict, which is in the fundamental interest of the parties involved, of all the peoples in the region and of the international community;

H.  whereas at the informal meeting on 2 and 3 September 2011 Ministers of Foreign Affairs of EU Member States presented different positions when discussing the Middle East peace process and the relevant diplomatic initiatives envisaged during the September Session of the United Nations General Assembly;

1.  Calls on the High Representative/Vice-President of the Commission and the governments of the EU Member States to continue their efforts to find a common EU position on the request by the Palestinian Authority for UN membership, and to avoid divisions among Member States;

2.  Supports and calls on Member States to be united in addressing the legitimate demand of the Palestinians to be represented as a state at the United Nations as a result of negotiations to be concluded during the current 66th session of the UN General Assembly;

3.  Calls, at the same time, on the international community, including the EU and its Member States, to reconfirm their strong commitment to the security of the State of Israel;

4.  Reiterates its strong support for the two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as capital of both states, with the State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security;

5.  Acknowledges and welcomes the success of state-building efforts by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, which have been supported by the EU and endorsed by various international actors;

6.  Stresses again that peaceful and non-violent means are the only way to achieve a sustainable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict;

7.  Stresses that direct negotiations leading to a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians should be resumed without delay and according to the deadlines called for by the Quartet, in order to overcome the unacceptable status quo; stresses again that all steps that may undermine the prospects of a negotiated agreement should be avoided and that no changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties should be accepted; insists on the fact that any resulting resolution should not affect the dignity of either side; calls on the Israeli Government to stop all construction and extension of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem; calls for a cessation of rocket attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip and insists on the need for a permanent truce;

8.  Urges the EU and its Member States to have a united position and to continue to play a more active role, also within the Quartet, in the efforts aimed at achieving a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians; stresses the central role of the Quartet and fully supports the High Representative in her efforts for the Quartet to create a credible perspective for the re-launching of the peace process;

9.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the President of the UN General Assembly, the governments and parliaments of members of the UN Security Council, the Middle East Quartet Envoy, the Knesset and the Government of Israel, the President of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian Legislative Council.


Rio+20 earth summit
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European Parliament resolution of 29 September 2011 on developing a common EU position ahead of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)
P7_TA(2011)0430B7-0522/2011

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), to be held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012, which will focus on two themes: ‘a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication’ and ‘the institutional framework for sustainable development’,

–  having regard to the questions to the Commission and to the Council on the EU's objectives for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) to be held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012 (O-000181/2011 - B7-0436/2011, O-000182/2011 - B7-0437/2011),

–  having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions entitled ‘Rio+20: towards the green economy and better governance’ (COM(2011)0363),

–  having regard to the outcomes of the Conference on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan 2010,

–  having regard to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol,

–  having regard to the United Nations Millennium Declaration of 8 September 2000, which set out the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as objectives established jointly by the international community for the elimination of poverty,

–   having regard to The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) global initiative endorsed by G8+5 leaders in June 2007 and its published results in 2009 and 2010,

–   having regard to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Reports,

–  having regard to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,

–  having regard to the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) report adopted in 2008,

–   having regard to the report ‘Agro-ecology and the right to food’ by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food presented before the UN Human Rights Council on 8 March 2011,

–  having regard to Rules 115(5) and 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas although progress towards sustainable development has been made since the Rio Summit in 1992 and the Johannesburg Summit in 2002, considerable implementation gaps and challenges still remain, while many commitments by the international community have not yet been fully met;

B.  whereas the three objectives of the Rio+20 Summit will be to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, to assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, and to address new and emerging challenges;

C.  whereas synergies between the three Rio Conventions on Biodiversity (CBD), Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Desertification (UNCCD) should be enhanced;

D.  whereas as many as 1,4 billion people still live in extreme poverty, half of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa; whereas one sixth of the world's population is undernourished while food insecurity is on the rise and unemployment or underemployment remain the reality for a large proportion of the population in the developing countries; whereas 70 % of the people living on under one dollar a day are women;

E.  whereas climate change poses a serious threat to poverty reduction, human rights, peace and security and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in many developing countries;

F.  whereas the world population is expected to rise to at least 9 billion in 2050, putting even greater demands on the limited supply of natural resources and on the capacity to manage the resulting waste streams;

G.  whereas the ever growing need for water, land and forest, has led to the increasing depletion and degradation of these resources; whereas biodiversity loss, overfishing, ecosystem degradation and deforestation continue at an alarming rate;

H.  whereas the levels of global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise;

I.  whereas the world's oceans play a central role in global climate processes notably in terms of carbon sequestration, are a major source of energy, are home to a wealth of biodiversity, are an important means of transportation, provide sustainable livelihoods as well as the essential elements for life, including food, medicines, and freshwater; whereas climate change, unsustainable fishing practices, and the rampant destruction of marine ecosystems, habitats and species, among other impacts, are threatening the oceans' ability to continue to provide these services;

J.  whereas 80 % of global fisheries are either fully exploited or over exploited and approximately 20 % of the world population are directly dependent on fisheries for their primary source of protein.

K.  whereas environmental disasters are leading to a growing number of displaced persons; whereas it is necessary to establish an international status for climate and environmental refugees;

L.  whereas women and children are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, especially in developing and least developed countries; whereas a great number of women are still marginalised and suffer from discrimination;

M.  whereas the challenges lying ahead are not stand-alone issues but are mutually related and interdependent; whereas Rio+20 is the only multilateral forum addressing all three pillars of sustainable development and therefore assuring a holistic approach;

N.  whereas the UNEP's concept of a triple helix approach could provide a good basis for discussion;

O.  whereas affordable solutions to the multiple sustainability challenges are available; whereas, for example, the return on investments in maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services is up 200-fold;

P.  whereas limits to GDP as an indication for human well-being and development are widely recognised;

Q.  whereas there is a need to promote sustainable consumption and production;

R.  whereas there is a need to promote a socially inclusive, healthy, safe and just society with respect for fundamental rights and cultural diversity that creates equal opportunities and combats discrimination in all its forms;

S.  whereas good environmental governance goes beyond institutional arrangements comprising transparency, accountability and civil society involvement; whereas the Rio Declaration Principle 10 confirms environmental issues are best handled with the participation of all concerned citizens and highlights the need to provide access to information concerning the environment, the right to participate in decision-making processes and effective access to judicial and administrative proceedings;

T.  whereas over the past twenty years, radical changes in the geo-political world, with some developing countries now being major economic and political players, have led to a new balance of power and influence, entailing new roles and new responsibilities;

U.  whereas contributions should be submitted to the UN before 1 November 2011, as input to negotiations starting early in 2012;

1.  Welcomes the decision of the UN General Assembly in Resolution 64/236 to convene a United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development at the highest possible level in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012, which represents a unique opportunity for world leaders to set the sustainability agenda for the next 10 years while reaffirming the need for global solidarity; calls for countries to be represented at the level of Heads of States and/or Governments;

2.  Welcomes the Communication from the Commission entitled ‘Rio+20: towards the green economy and better governance’; considers, however, that an emphasis on the green economy and private sector should not divert attention from the need to empower citizens and promote good environmental governance beyond institutional arrangements; highlights that the EU can share important experiences in this regard in implementing Rio Principle 10;

3.  Calls on the Commission and the Council to ensure that a strong and unified EU position is submitted to the UN before 1 November 2011, as input to negotiations starting early in 2012;

4.  Underlines that sustainable development must be at the forefront in all EU processes and policies if the EU is to be consistent domestically and with its international aspirations;

5.  Underlines that the Rio+20 Summit represents a crucial opportunity to reinforce the political commitment for sustainable development at global level and the partnerships between industrialised and developing countries;

6.  Emphasises that there is a crucial need to inject greater urgency and dynamism into the implementation and the international governance of sustainable development policies which are making slow progress;

7.  Calls on the Commission and the Council to ensure that the Rio+20 Summit does not only result in statements of good will, but in tangible actions and accountable targets and ways of measuring them, which are needed to trigger the synergy among the elements of sustainable development;

8.  Concerning the focus given to the ‘green economy’ as one of the two main themes of the Summit, insists that a ‘green economy’ be understood as the entire economy functioning within the limits of sustainability in respect to biodiversity, maintaining ecosystem services, climate protection and use of natural resources; stresses that more focus should be given to human, environmental and natural capital and that sustainable development is more than just green economy;

9.  Stresses that the Rio+20 Summit should focus on strengthening the links between the environment, economic and social agendas, shifting the view from seeing them as three independent pillars to a more coherent and interdependent approach;

10.  Is of the opinion that the response to tackle the challenges ahead is not slowing growth but rather promoting sustainable growth and a green economy, which offer opportunities to all countries, irrespective of their level of development and the structure of their economies;

11.  Highlights the need for addressing new and emerging challenges, such as the scarcity of resources and its role in conflicts;

12.  Underlines that equity is the foundation stone of the paradigm shift which needs to be achieved and that this should be assured on a global scale, thus enabling less and least developed countries, with the help of developed countries, to tunnel under the normal development curve and to emerge at a higher status in terms of human well-being, but also in the form of intra-country equity and intergenerational equity;

13.  Underlines that the Rio+20 summit should set specific and concrete goals and ways of measuring and monitoring them, and calls for a Green Economy Roadmap to be adopted in this respect;

14.  Stresses that in order to enable the transition towards a green economy in the context of poverty eradication, it is necessary to link environmental protection and human rights and to address the following three interlinked policy dimensions:

   investing in the sustainable management of key resources and natural capital on the basis of a coordinated effort in R&D,
   establishing the right market and regulatory conditions inspired by the principle of equity,
   improving governance and the involvement of civil society and the private sector;

15.  Emphasises the need to include the principle of a common but differentiated approach, the precautionary principle, the polluter pays principle and extended producer responsibility to promote a fair share of responsibilities towards global sustainable development; emphasises that green growth policies should aim at win-win solutions by fostering entrepreneurship, competitiveness and innovation across all sectors and focusing on areas where improvements are most economically efficient and environmentally effective;

16.  Underlines that a green economy must be focused on decoupling economic activity from resource use and environmental degradation;

17.  Calls on the Commission and the Council to ensure that the Rio+20 Summit tries to find a solution to the persistent and widening equity gaps at global and national level due to the present economic model;

18.  Reiterates its conviction that the safest, most practical and most readily available solutions for the combined problems of climate change, biodiversity loss and desertification consist in protecting and expanding natural ecosystems;

19.  Emphasises that the Rio+20 Summit should discuss an integrated approach to address the multiple challenges such as poverty eradication, health, food, employment, gender equality, climate change and energy supply; highlights that those problems cannot be solved in isolation and that there is no ‘silver bullet’ solution which makes cooperation ever more important; highlights, in this respect, the indispensable role of healthy and natural ecosystems in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals;

20.  Calls on the Rio+20 Summit to insist on rapid progress in ensuring the effectiveness of the existing international legal framework for the protection of the environment by encouraging States to join existing international instruments and signatory countries to proceed with their speedy ratification;

Actions in resources and natural capital

21.  Stresses that the transition towards a green economy requires urgent action as regards ecosystems protection, efficient and sustainable resources and natural capital, while promoting sustainable consumption and production; highlights the need to pursue current initiatives on capacity building;

22.  Reiterates that the concept of a ‘green economy’ advocated by the Commission will not automatically bring prosperity for the poor and achieve the MDGs unless economies are properly managed, natural capital effectively and equitably governed and access to distribution equally guaranteed for present and future generations;

23.  Stresses the need to achieve and implement plans for sustainable production and consumption and keep the impacts of the use of natural resources well within safe ecological limits;

24.  Emphasises that the fair and equitable access to, and distribution of, resources for present and future generations is a crucial precondition for development and poverty eradication, and that developing countries, as well as regional and local authorities, should be enabled to profit from their natural resources in the most sustainable and inclusive way; stresses that it is paramount that all countries participate in this in order to create sustainable societies; highlights that the poorest countries and the poorest segments of the world's population will be most affected by the impacts of climate change and thus need support for adaptation, especially to take into account the needs and knowledge of women and the most vulnerable populations;

25.  Underlines the importance of assessing resources, natural capital and ecosystem services at their real value, while not commodifying natural systems; calls for the establishment of natural capital accounting processes and their integration into economic accounting structures and political decision-making processes;

26.  Considers it part of the industrialised countries' responsibility to support developing countries in their pursuit towards development and to enable them not to commit the same mistakes as regards natural resources and a non-sustainable way of development;

27.  Stresses that the extraction and use of resources have a big impact on the environment and local communities; urges the Commission to integrate the concept of internalisation of external costs on the environment and communities into the discussions and negotiations at Rio+20;

28.  Stresses the urgent need to address scarce resources, such as raw materials, their sustainable use and recycling opportunities, but also to improve research in, access to and dissemination of technologies for efficient resource use;

Water

29.  Emphasises that the Rio+20 Summit needs to renew its commitment towards promoting the protection of water resources and the sustainable management of water as a public good; considers that establishing international partnerships in this regard could help to achieve this goal, especially through climate change adaptation programmes aimed at capturing water where it falls;

30.  Stresses that the United Nations General Assembly resolution of 28 July 2010 recognises access to drinking water as a human right and calls for special protection for water as an element particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, which could lead to a decline in the quantity and quality of water available, particularly drinking water;

31.  Calls on the Rio + 20 summit to ensure that the human right to water and sanitation is globally achieved;

32.  Underlines the importance of integrated river basin management, and calls for a strengthening of policies to improve water access, retention times, quality and efficiency, as well as of cross-border cooperation in transboundary river basins;

Marine environment and oceans

33.  Emphasises the need to improve the governance, and strengthen the protection, of the marine environment, marine biodiversity and oceans; considers that seas and oceans should become one of the key pillars of the Rio Framework, alongside climate and biodiversity protection;

34.  Invites the Rio+20 Summit to launch specific negotiations in order to adopt international legal instruments for:

Such instruments should establish the legal framework for multi-purpose marine protected areas, environmental impact assessments and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from the utilization of genetic and other resources. They should also establish surveillance and enforcement mechanisms;

   the control of land-based pollution of seas and oceans,
   sustainable management and assessment of human activities in areas beyond national jurisdiction, and
   the conservation of marine biodiversity and introduction and recognition of marine protected areas in international waters.

35.  Calls for the speedy establishment of a global marine ecosystem monitoring system to track changes in marine ecosystems and fisheries resources;

36.  Considers that a strong commitment should be made to the sustainable management of fisheries, notably by: sustainable catch programmes, securing renewed political commitment to implement international agreements on the conservation and sustainable management of living marine resources; agreeing on a process of reviewing implementation to ensure that fisheries are authorised to proceed only if they are being managed in accordance with international obligations; and strengthening Regional Fisheries Management Organisations and introducing good practices in terms of institutions, transparency and accountability, and surveillance and enforcement mechanisms;

37.  Insists on the need to apply the precautionary principle and an ecosystem approach to any activity impacting the living environment;

Energy

38.  Points to the increasing scarcity of conventional fossil energy sources, such as oil, natural gas or coal; reiterates their contribution to the greenhouse gas effect, while non-conventional sources should be subject to environmental and productivity impact assessment;

39.  Warns against any offshore oil exploration and extraction operations in environmentally fragile areas like the Arctic zone to facilitate the transition to carbon-free energy production internationally and opposes oil extraction from tar sands and oil shale;

40.  Underlines that the transition towards a green economy requires a radical transformation of the energy sector in order to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency and also universal access to energy also for the poor and to foster electrification, especially in least developed countries; emphasises the need for renewable energy technology and (cross-sectoral) technology and know-how transfer, particularly to support small-scale and local renewable energy use, in order not to hinder their right to development;

41.  Calls for global targets and measures to increase the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency worldwide;

42.  Believes that renewable energy and energy efficiency have the potential to mitigate climate change, contribute to social and economic development, improve security of supply and provide environmental and health benefits;

43.  Calls on the Rio + 20 summit to ensure that the sustainability of biofuel and bioenergy products is guaranteed, and underlines in this regard that human rights and environmental protection must be fully respected;

44.  Considers that the short timeframes used in the current GHG LULUCF accounting methodology compromise achievements in GHG savings; calls for the revision of this methodology so as to safeguard the adaptive capacity of natural ecosystems;

45.  Considers that the external costs of energy supply should be reflected in the price of energy;

46.  Recalls, having regard to the Fukushima catastrophe, the absolute necessity of ensuring the highest level of nuclear safety within the EU and of promoting these requirements at international level;

Agriculture and food security

47.  Stresses that access to adequate and healthy food is a basic human right and thus calls for strong, coordinated action against the man-made root causes of hunger and for guaranteed food sovereignty for developing countries;

48.  Emphasises that there is an urgent need to promote small-scale, sustainable, organic agriculture in the context of poverty eradication, recognizing that appropriate low impact, multifunctional farming systems employing traditional seed stands already exist and should be promoted;

49.  Believes that the livestock sector is a key part of the green economy, that implementing humane and sustainable livestock farming practices is vital and that improving and safeguarding livelihoods plays an important role in reducing the impact of climate change, especially in developing countries and rural areas;

50.  Shares the Commission's view that existing initiatives promoting sustainable agriculture that build on multilateral actions (such as the FAO), regional, national and local activities (such as organic and high-natural-value farming, energy-efficient greenhouses, sustainable animal housing, precision agriculture, CO2 neutral agricultural entrepreneurship, biomass and manure fermentation) as well as business activities should be strengthened, and that, in addition, new initiatives and partnerships should be launched under the governance arrangements of the Committee for World Food Security to make the consumption and production of food more sustainable, promote community resilience and decrease hunger;

51.  Asks for global measures to create greater transparency in the commodity market and to stop financial speculation that contributes to high food price volatility and subsequent global food crises, by adopting the recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food; notes with concern the global trends in large-scale land acquisition by foreign entities in developing countries; stresses the need to arrest this trend in order to ensure food security and protect the rights of smallholders and indigenous communities;

52.  Regrets the slow progress of negotiations and commitments in the context of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD); considers that soil is a scarce resource and that land degradation and land use change require a global response; calls for concrete action, efficient measures and monitoring, especially as regards the production of biofuels;

53.  Underlines the vital importance of using the full potential and securing the property rights of small and indigenous producers and family farms, which are responsible for the majority of the world's food supply and need specific support for production and access to the market;

54.  Underlines the need for applied research and innovation in the area of agriculture in order to stimulate sustainable solutions, such as precision agriculture, which decreases the need for irrigation and plant protection products;

55.  Concurs with the recommendations of the FAO, IFAD, IMF, OECD, UNCTAD,WFP, the World Bank, the WTO, IFPRI and the UN HLTF to the G20 for states to remove provisions in current national policies that subsidise or mandate biofuels production or consumption, at least until guarantees for removing the competition with food production, biodiversity and climate protection are in place;

Forests

56.  Highlights that deforestation and forest degradation result in environmental and social damage which is hard to reverse, such as long-term disruption of water conditions, steppe-formation and desertification, climate change and biodiversity loss, rural poverty, and conflict over land, resource access, rights and benefits, the overall economic costs of which far exceed expenditure on protection and improvement measures; considers that the Rio+20 Summit should have as a goal to ensure participative forest governance, fair and equitable benefit-sharing and the conservation and sustainable use of forests globally;

57.  Highlights the need to promote sustainable forest management and combat deforestation, inter alia through closing markets to illegally or unsustainably harvested timber; underlines the need to establish partnerships with governments, local communities and indigenous groups, civil society and the private sector in order to achieve this goal;

58.  Emphasises in this context the need to meet the Nagoya commitment to at least halve, and where feasible bring close to zero, the rate of loss of all natural habitats, including forests, by 2020;

59.  Believes that the design of REDD+ instrument under UNFCCC should ensure respect of, and contribute to, overall forest protection objectives and targets, and that, for example, specific infrastructures should be developed for satellite and in situ observation to assess that carbon is collected in a preserved forest, as well as respect of human rights and the relevant provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity; calls therefore for greater transparency in the allocation of the relevant funds and more robust monitoring; stresses that the design of REDD+ mechanism should ensure significant benefits for biodiversity and vital ecosystem services beyond climate change mitigation and should contribute to strengthening the rights and improving the livelihood of forest-dependent people, particularly of indigenous and local communities;

60.  Expresses its concern concerning the new Forest Code to be adopted by the Brazilian Senate, which will exacerbate deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, thus hindering international climate change mitigation efforts;

61.  Urges the host nation Brazil to make a clear commitment to protect the Amazon forest and stem criminal harassment of representatives of civil society pursuing environmental protection;

62.  Calls on the Commission to make available in time for the Rio+20 Summit a study assessing the impact of EU consumption of food and non-food products on deforestation; calls for the study to also assess the impacts of existing EU policies and legislation on deforestation and outline new policy initiatives to address the identified impacts;

Chemicals and hazardous substances

63.  Supports the Commission's view that the time is ripe to establish a more robust and coherent international regime for governing the use of chemicals and hazardous substances, and that the Rio+20 Summit should set about achieving this aim, calling for the EU legislation on REACH as a model to be adopted by as many countries as possible;

Waste management

64.  Highlights the fact that good waste management not only minimises environmental impacts but also provides a source of reusable and recycled materials, and employment;

65.  Emphasis that many resources that are currently land-filled, incinerated or have a negative impact on the environment and local communities can be re-used and recycled; stresses that serious effort should be put into the recycling of these resources to give added value to local societies through jobs and innovation, and that recycling and re-use prevent the destruction of natural habitats and local societies;

Developing conditions to stimulate markets and investing in human capital

66.  Stresses the need to integrate biodiversity, ecosystem services and natural resources into national accounts and all development / poverty eradication plans and strategies;

Environmentally harmful subsidies

67.  tresses the urgent need to tackle environmentally harmful subsidies and to develop and implement positive incentives for benefiting from, and conservation of, biodiversity;

68.  Welcomes in that regard the greater attention paid to the greening of the CAP in the CAP reform proposals;

69.  Calls on the Rio+20 Summit to launch a series of coordinated actions by countries aimed at identifying and phasing out all environmentally harmful subsidies by 2020, in line with Nagoya commitments;

Regulatory and market-based instruments

70.  Stresses that the use of regulatory instruments, on both a national and international level, along with market-based instruments, will play a crucial role in the general sustainability of our society; highlights in this context the urgency of addressing the climate impact of international shipping and aviation and highlights the example of the EU and its 20-20-20 objectives, as well as its progressive environmental policies and standards in general;

71.  Underlines that a clear, reliable and comprehensive regulatory framework is needed to enable actors to shift the economic rationale towards an efficient, responsible and green economy;

72.  Calls for a tax on financial transactions to be established at international level;

73.  Underlines that fiscal reforms designed to shift the tax burden from labour to resource use and pollution can help create a win-win outcome for both employment and the environment, as the shift makes resource efficiency, recycling and re-use more attractive and thereby provides more opportunities for jobs;

74.  Calls on the EU Commission to promote the inclusion of environmental aspects in international trade negotiations;

Financing

75.  Emphasises that the transition towards a global green economy will require large-scale financial investment; underlines that public money alone will not be enough, and that public funding will have to catalyse and leverage much greater private investment; emphasises the need to promote innovation and new technologies by also improving access to finance;

76.  Invites the Rio+20 Summit to recommend reform of existing financing strategies and to establish new public-private financing schemes and partnerships as needed;

77.  Believes that developing countries need a stable long-term framework of financial support, capacity building and technology transfer to promote sustainable development and allow them to skip the energy and carbon-intensive development path followed by the industrialised countries;

78.  Calls on the Rio + 20 summit to strengthen measures and increase the resources available for global environmental risk mitigation and disaster risk reduction mechanisms;

79.  Underlines that Official Development Aid (ODA) should be better monitored, including the use of alternative measures for commitments to development, such as the OECD country programmable aid or the Commitment to Development Index, so as to ensure compliance with multilateral environmental agreements and contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, as well as to wider green economy objectives;

80.  Considers it crucial that the poorest countries have access to innovative forms of financing to close the equity gap which these countries experience;

81.  Calls for monitoring of the effects of the financing on gender balance in order to ensure gender-sensitive financing;

Empowering citizens

82.  Considers it of the utmost importance to continue to empower citizens in environmental governance and calls for progress in Rio+20 on ensuring the effective global implementation of Rio Principle 10; considers that the EU has important experience to offer in international discussions with over 10 years of implementation of the Aarhus Convention;

83.  Calls for the provisions of Aarhus Convention to be expanded beyond UN ECE through a global Convention or by opening the Aarhus Convention to parties outside UN ECE;

84.  Recommends a comprehensive approach to the respect of human rights principles, whilst implementing policies towards sustainable development; stresses the need to provide an adequate level of protection for peoples most affected by climate change;

85.  Emphasises that any regulatory instrument can only be successful if it is combined with information and education; is furthermore of the opinion that changes of values and behaviour in bottom-up approaches are of the utmost importance, and specifically calls for initiatives mobilising young people, as it is the next generation who will be affected by the consequences of our actions;

Training

86.  Stresses the need to support education and training programmes, in particular for young people, in all countries; believes that the promotion of new skills will help to create new jobs in the global labour market, generating positive multiplying effects at social level;

Technologies

87.  Highlights the importance of R&D and innovation, and the need for scientific and technological cooperation;

88.  Acknowledges that technological innovation, assessment and transfer is essential to meet environmental, economic and social challenges; underlines also, however, that technological development cannot be the only solution to environmental problems or for poverty eradication;

89.  Stresses that innovation is more than technical innovation – social innovation gives new and effective solutions to pressing social needs created by individuals or organisations with a social, and not necessarily a commercial, imperative; stresses further that social innovation provides an opportunity for citizens, in any role, to enhance their working and life environment, thus aiding the empowerment of civil society globally and providing the opportunity to have civil society participate in the protection and sustainable use of natural resources;

90.  Expresses its opposition to proposals for large scale geo-engineering;

91.  Recalls that the protection of knowledge, innovations and the practices of indigenous and local communities is an explicit part of the original Rio Summit Agreements, providing time-tested, safe and resilient ways of working with nature;

92.  Stresses that the introduction of new and emerging technologies must not compromise the goals of just and sustainable development and poverty eradication; emphasises that technologies can have different environmental, social and economic impacts, and without proper oversight some technologies can lead to unsustainable exploitation of natural resources (such as water, land, biomass), increases in poverty and other detrimental social effects;

93.  Supports therefore the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity Building on environment-related technology as well as the goals for the evaluation and transfer of environmentally sound technologies; asks for the creation of capacity within the UN system to monitor, evaluate and provide information about new technologies to integrate a broader concept of sustainability and promote sustainable development of products and processes in all areas;

Measuring progress

94.  Calls for urgent studies to develop a new set of metrics to measure progress towards equity and sustainable development;

95.  Underlines that the Rio+20 Summit should deliver an alternative model to measure growth and welfare ‘beyond GDP’, building on initiatives such as the international system for integrated environmental and economic accounting (SEEA), the Human Development Index, and the OECD's ‘Measuring the Progress of Societies’ project; underlines that it is necessary in order to measure progress in a broad sense, which encompasses economic, environmental and social dimensions; calls therefore for the adoption of clear and measurable indicators that take account of climate change, biodiversity, resource efficiency and social inclusion;

96.  Calls for a broad discussion on the inclusion of these indicators internationally in commonly used processes to evaluate public and private progress;

97.  Calls for the recognition of the principle of non-regression in the context of environmental protection as well as fundamental rights;

Improve governance and private sector involvement

98.  Stresses the urgent need to improve sustainable development governance;

99.  Takes the view that UNEP needs to be strengthened inside the UN system, for example by transforming UNEP into a UN Specialized Agency (such as the ILO), as this would be the best way forward to improve international environmental governance and make progress towards global sustainable development; refers in this context however to all options identified by the Helsinki-Nairobi outcome;

100.  Calls for the establishment, under the auspices of UNEP, of a dedicated panel of scientists to be modelled on the International Panel on Climate Change and tasked with reviewing and assessing cross-sectorally the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of biodiversity and sustainability;

101.  Reiterates its proposal for an international environmental court so that global environmental legislation becomes more binding and enforceable, or at least an international authority, such as an ombudsman with mediation powers;

102.  Calls on the Rio+20 Summit to launch a strategy for strengthening coherence between the different multilateral environmental agreements; stresses, in this regard, the need for a coordinated approach between the three Rio Conventions (Biodiversity, Climate Change and Desertification) as they are intrinsically linked, operate in the same ecosystems and address interdependent issues;

103.  Emphasises the need to involve global, national and local actors in the implementation processes;

104.  Stresses the need to step up the involvement of finance ministers, economy ministers, development ministers, environment ministers and others in sustainable development policies;

105.  Calls on the Rio+20 Summit to strengthen the engagement of the key stakeholders, including the private sector; underlines that business and civil society, and in particular NGOs, social movements and indigenous communities, need to play a prominent role;

106.  Underlines the importance of business and civil society working together within developing and developed countries in order to deliver tangible results;

107.  Stresses the importance of involving citizens; calls for awareness raising and the provision of more information on sustainable consumption, and for incentives to be introduced and promoted in order to change values and behaviour and facilitate responsible decisions by both citizens and industries;

108.  Stresses the need for action to trigger behavioural change towards a sustainable consumption model;

109.  Underlines that all major stakeholders should have full, open and fair access to all negotiations, intersessional and preparatory meetings for Rio+20;

110.  Believes that parliamentary representatives ought to play an active role in connection with the conference; ideally, the European Parliament ought to be formally associated with the conference and be given equivalent status to the Commission delegation or at least the same status as it has enjoyed at other conferences;

o
o   o

111.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of Member States and to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.


Future of the European Globalisation Fund
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European Parliament resolution of 29 September 2011 on the future of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund
P7_TA(2011)0431B7-0521/2011

The European Parliament,

–  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), which established the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on establishing the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund(2),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 546/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2009 amending Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 on establishing the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund(3),

–  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 the Commission communication entitled ‘A Budget for Europe 2020’ (COM(2011)0500),

–  having regard to the Commission's annual reports on the activities of the EGF,

–  having regard to the stakeholder conferences held by the Commission in January and March 2011 with Member States and representatives of the social partners, concerning the future of the EGF,

–  having regard to the resolutions it has adopted since January 2007 on the mobilisation of the EGF, including the comments of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL) on the respective applications,

–  having regard to its resolution of 7 September 2010 on the funding and functioning of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund(5), including the opinion of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL) of 25 June 2010,

–  having regard to its resolution of 8 June 2011 entitled ‘Investing in the future: a new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for a competitive, sustainable and inclusive Europe’(6),

–  having regard to the deliberations of the EMPL Committee's special working group on the EGF,

–  having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the EGF was put in place to support measures for those workers most adversely hit by mass redundancies caused by globalisation or by the financial and economic crisis in the European Union, with the aim of promoting labour market reintegration;

B.  whereas, in the vast majority of cases, the EGF has been mobilised for redundancies caused by the financial and economic crisis;

C.  whereas the Commission is proposing to extend until the end of 2013 the temporary derogation allowing the EGF to be used to support workers made redundant as a result of the global financial and economic crisis;

D.  whereas the EGF was designed as a tool for rapid intervention in the event of mass redundancies, with a view to preventing long-term unemployment in difficult labour market conditions; whereas the original aim of the EGF as an instrument was to alleviate, within a short timeframe, acute and unforeseen labour market problems caused by the dismissal of a large number of workers either from big companies or from SMEs operating in a particular sector and in a particular region; reiterates, at the same time, that the long-term Europe 2020 objectives aimed at increasing employment and employability rates are supported by the European Social Fund (ESF);

E.  whereas the lengthy procedure for mobilising the EGF has been identified as a major shortcoming of the relevant regulation;

F.  whereas some Member States have struggled to use the EGF owing to difficulties in finding national matched funding;

G.  whereas the EGF has contributed to the piloting of innovative measures designed to boost workers' employability;

H.  whereas the current EGF Regulation has proven flexible enough to be applied in different labour market systems and contexts across the EU;

I.  whereas the EGF has financed measures complementary to those financed by the ESF, along with allowances granted during training and retraining;

1.  Recalls that the EGF was set up with the aim of demonstrating the EU's solidarity with workers affected by mass redundancies resulting from globalisation, and that in 2009 it was extended – as part of the Recovery Plan – to cover dismissals caused by the financial and economic crisis as well;

2.  Recognises the added value of the EGF as a rapid intervention instrument with limited scope to co-finance active labour market measures to help workers having lost their jobs to re-enter the labour market; stresses also that in future the focus should be on sustainable labour market policies; encourages the Member States to use the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund to pursue EU objectives and promote new skills, including in connection with new, sustainable, high-quality ‘green’ jobs;

3.  Is pleased that the EGF was able to support about 10% of all dismissed workers in the EU during the 2009-2010 period, and notes that 40% of workers targeted by the EGF in 2009 were successfully reintegrated into the labour market despite the negative effects of the financial and economic crisis on labour markets;

4.  Supports the Commission's proposal to continue the EGF beyond the current MFF, and asks for urgent clarification as to the situation with regard to farmers and those on fixed-term contracts;

5.  Calls for the renewed EGF to be closely linked to a European framework for restructuring necessary in order to anticipate and manage transition;

6.  Takes the view that the greatest added value a renewed EGF could provide would be effective support for the training and retraining of workers with a view to reintegrating them into employment in difficult labour market situations resulting from unforeseen restructuring of companies or sectors which creates or aggravates skills mismatches; underlines that such an instrument would provide a valuable complement to those measures financed by the ESF which are aimed predominantly at adapting to global challenges with a view to sustainable economic growth; underlines, further, that on the one hand this instrument would ensure EU solidarity with workers adversely affected by restructuring, and that on the other hand all Member States could benefit from its timely, targeted and tailored intervention in order to prevent long-term unemployment;

7.  Is of the opinion that introducing faster intervention procedures so as to enable the EGF to be mobilised more efficiently and quickly is the main challenge for the future;

8.  Takes into account the Commission's efforts to present viable solutions with a view to reducing the length of the application and mobilisation procedure to a maximum of six months between the application date and the transfer of funds to the Member State concerned, in accordance with the legislative and budget procedures currently laid down for the EGF; notes, however, the lack of progress made in the four years in which the EGF has been operational, and urges the Member States to speed up its operation by front-loading the measures within its scope without disadvantaging those Member States facing budgetary difficulties;

9.  Urges that the future EGF have a strong focus on innovation, in line with the Europe 2020 strategy objectives, and asks the Commission to put forward proposals whereby a local, regional or national crisis leading to substantial job losses could also be considered under the EGF;

10.  Underlines that the Commission has to ensure that the measures adopted are coherent and compatible with the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy, and to use part of its technical assistance budget to promote and disseminate best practices and mutual learning between the Member States;

11.  Urges the Commission to ensure coherence between EGF interventions and action targeting companies and sectors in the area of EU competition rules and industrial policy;

12.  Calls for improvements in the future EGF Regulation to ensure that the Fund does not generate moral hazard effects for multinational companies;

13.  Stresses that the social partners and local authorities should be heavily involved in the application procedure and, above all, the design of the coordinated package of measures; reiterates that the social partners should participate in monitoring implementation and evaluating the outcomes for workers;

14.  Urges the Commission to investigate ways of ensuring that EGF funding is not used indirectly by multinational companies showing a net profit to reduce the cost to them of handling restructuring in a socially responsible way and to evade their responsibilities; calls on the Commission to establish an EU framework for anticipation and management of change and restructuring in which these companies are held financially responsible for re-employment measures;

15.  Urges the Commission to identify the reasons that some Member States have not yet made use of the EGF even though mass redundancies have occurred, and to propose solutions accordingly in order to ensure that EGF funding is distributed in line with the Union's objective of promoting economic, social and territorial cohesion, and solidarity among Member States (Article 3 TEU);

16.  Stresses that the EGF should continue to fund only those active labour market measures which are additional to the measures provided for under national law in the event of mass redundancies; proposes, furthermore, that in future the allowances supported by the EGF should always be coupled with training or retraining measures also financed by the EGF, and that they should not replace allowances provided for under national or Community law or collective agreements;

17.  Requests the Commission to investigate the possibility of aligning the co-financing rate of the EGF with the one applicable to the Structural Funds in the Member State concerned;

18.  Calls for applications to provide information on co-financing sources;

19.  Urges the Commission to monitor the implementation process more closely in order to ensure that the outcomes of the measures are equally beneficial for all workers, and to compile a data base of best practices and models;

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

(1) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 406, 30.12.2006, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 167, 29.6.2009, p. 26.
(4) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
(5) Text adopted, P7_TA(2010)0303.
(6) Text adopted, P7_TA(2011)0266.


Establishment of a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps
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Declaration of the European Parliament of 29 September 2011 on the establishment of a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps
P7_TA(2011)0432P7_DCL(2011)0025

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Rule 123 of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, in Article 214(5), provides that: ‘In order to establish a framework for joint contributions from young Europeans to the humanitarian aid operations of the Union, a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps shall be set up’,

B.  whereas the Commission issued a Communication on 23 November 2010 on ‘How to express EU citizens’ solidarity through volunteering: First reflections on a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps (EVHAC)‘,

C.  whereas 2011 is the European Year of Volunteering,

1.  Declares that humanitarian action is a fundamental expression of the European value of solidarity;

2.  Stresses that the long European tradition of volunteering is an indispensable part of our common European identity;

3.  Stresses that the EVHAC will bring added value to European citizens by encouraging their active participation and contributing to a more cohesive society;

4.  Calls on the European Parliament and the Council to determine the rules and procedures for the operation of the Corps in response to disasters and to work on setting up the Corps promptly;

5.  Considers that the key components of the Voluntary Service should be the identification and selection of volunteers and their training and deployment;

6.  Emphasises that the Voluntary Service should be demand-driven and needs-based and that security must be of paramount importance;

7.  Instructs its President to forward this declaration, together with the names of the signatories(1), to the Commission, the Council and the parliaments of the Member States.

(1) The list of signatories is published in Annex 1 to the Minutes of 29 September 2011 (P7_PV(2011)09-29(ANN1)).


Civilian invalids of war
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Declaration of the European Parliament of 29 September 2011 on civilian invalids of war
P7_TA(2011)0433P7_DCL(2011)0021

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Stockholm Programme adopted by the European Council in December 2009,

–  having regard to Rule 123 of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the European Union has long been a promoter of international peace and of prevention of landmine use,

B.  whereas civilian invalids of war, victims of land mines and other leftover weaponry and victims of terrorism in the Member States and in candidate countries face ongoing health and socio-economic difficulties which need to be addressed in a comprehensive, coordinated manner,

1.  Considers that Europe should set an example for the rest of the world by recognising and addressing the long-term needs of the victims of terrorist attacks and of civilian invalids of war and giving them a special status;

2.  Calls on the Commission to take appropriate steps to ensure that the ongoing medical and societal needs of civilian invalids of war and victims of terrorism are met without discrimination in the EU, with the aim of helping such persons to lead a dignified life in their own environment;

3.  Instructs its President to forward this declaration, together with the names of the signatories(1), to the Council and Commission and to the parliaments of the Member States.

(1) The list of signatories is published in Annex 2 to the Minutes of 29 September 2011 (P7_PV(2011)09-29(ANN2)).

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