Index 
Texts adopted
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 - Strasbourg
Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance ***I
 Fruit juices and certain similar products intended for human consumption ***I
 Use of phosphates and other phosphorous compounds in household laundry detergents ***I
 EU-Morocco fisheries partnership agreement ***
 Numerical strength of standing committees
 Numerical strength of delegations
 Appointment of a Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank: Mr Coeuré
 Future protocol setting out the fishing opportunities and financial compensation provided for in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Community and the Kingdom of Morocco
 Impact of the financial crisis on the defence sector
 EU-Russia summit
 European Neighbourhood Policy
 EU counter-terrorism policy: main achievements and future challenges

Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance ***I
PDF 192kWORD 33k
Resolution
Text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 14 December 2011 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 establishing an Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) (COM(2011)0446 – C7-0208/2011 – 2011/0193(COD))
P7_TA(2011)0566A7-0397/2011

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2011)0446),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 212(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union , pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C7-0208/2011),

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

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A7-0397/2011),

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 14 December 2011 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) No .../2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 establishing an Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA)

P7_TC1-COD(2011)0193


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EU) No 153/2012).


Fruit juices and certain similar products intended for human consumption ***I
PDF 196kWORD 43k
Resolution
Text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 14 December 2011 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Directive 2001/112/EC relating to fruit juices and certain similar products intended for human consumption (COM(2010)0490 – C7-0278/2010 – 2010/0254(COD))
P7_TA(2011)0567A7-0224/2011

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2010)0490),

–  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 (C7-0278/2010),

–  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 18 November 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 the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the opinion of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (A7-0224/2011),

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 14 December 2011 with a view to the adoption of Directive 2012/.../EU of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Directive 2001/112/EC relating to fruit juices and certain similar products intended for human consumption

P7_TC1-COD(2010)0254


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Directive 2012/12/EU).

(1) OJ C 84, 17.3.2011, p. 45.


Use of phosphates and other phosphorous compounds in household laundry detergents ***I
PDF 196kWORD 38k
Resolution
Text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 14 December 2011 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 648/2004 as regards the use of phosphates and other phosphorus compounds in household laundry detergents (COM(2010)0597 – C7-0356/2010 – 2010/0298(COD))
P7_TA(2011)0568A7-0246/2011

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2010)0597),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 114 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C7-0356/2010),

–  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 15 March 2011(1),

–  having regard to the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 15 November 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 the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the opinion of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (A7-0246/2011),

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 14 December 2011 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) No .../2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 648/2004 as regards the use of phosphates and other phosphorous compounds in consumer laundry detergents and consumer automatic dishwasher detergents

P7_TC1-COD(2010)0298


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EU) No 259/2012).

(1) OJ C 132, 3.5.2011, p. 71.


EU-Morocco fisheries partnership agreement ***
PDF 192kWORD 30k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 14 December 2011 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of a Protocol between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco setting out the fishing opportunities and financial compensation provided for in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Community and the Kingdom of Morocco (11226/2011 – C7-0201/2011 – 2011/0139(NLE))
P7_TA(2011)0569A7-0394/2011

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (11226/2011),

–  having regard to the draft Protocol between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco setting out the fishing opportunities and financial compensation provided for in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Community and the Kingdom of Morocco (11225/2011),

–  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 (C7-0201/2011),

–  having regard to Rules 81 and 90(7) 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 (A7-0394/2011),

1.  Declines to consent to conclusion of the Protocol;

2.  Instructs its President to notify the Council that the Protocol cannot be concluded;

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


Numerical strength of standing committees
PDF 109kWORD 32k
European Parliament decision of 14 December 2011 on the numerical strength of the standing committees (2011/2838(RSO))
P7_TA(2011)0570B7-0619/2011

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the proposal by the Conference of Presidents,

–  having regard to its decision of 15 July 2009 on the numerical strength of the committees(1),

–  having regard to Rule 183 of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas there is a need for continuity in its business,

B.  whereas, following the entry into force of the protocol amending Protocol No 36 on transitional provisions, new Members are entitled to sit in the European Parliament and on its bodies in full enjoyment of their rights,

1.  Decides to amend the number of members of parliamentary committees as follows:

Committee on Foreign Affairs: 76 members

Committee on Development: 30 members

Committee on International Trade: 29 members

Committee on Budgets: 44 members

Committee on Budgetary Control: 30 members

Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs: 48 members

Committee on Employment and Social Affairs: 51 members

Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety: 68 members

Committee on Industry, Research and Energy: 60 members

Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection: 41 members

Committee on Transport and Tourism: 46 members

Committee on Regional Development: 50 members

Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development: 44 members

Committee on Fisheries: 24 members

Committee on Culture and Education: 32 members

Committee on Legal Affairs: 25 members

Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs: 60 members

Committee on Constitutional Affairs: 25 members

Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality: 35 members

Committee on Petitions: 35 members

and to amend the number of members of parliamentary subcommittees as follows:

Subcommittee on Human Rights: 31 members

Subcommittee on Security and Defence: 31 members

   2. Decides, with reference to the decision of the Conference of Presidents of 9 July 2009 relating to the composition of Committee Bureaux, that the Committee Bureaux may consist of up to four vice-chairs;
   3. Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Council and the Commission, for information.

(1) OJ C 224 E, 19.8.2010, p. 34.


Numerical strength of delegations
PDF 102kWORD 32k
European Parliament decision of 14 December 2011 on the numerical strength of the interparliamentary delegations, delegations to joint parliamentary committees and delegations to parliamentary cooperation committees and multilateral Parliamentary Assemblies (2011/2839(RSO))
P7_TA(2011)0571B7-0620/2011

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the proposal by the Conference of Presidents,

–  having regard to its Decision of 14 September 2009 on the numerical strength of the interparliamentary delegations, delegations to joint parliamentary committees and delegations to parliamentary cooperation committees and multilateral Parliamentary Assemblies(1),

–  having regard to Rule 198 of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas there is a need for continuity in its business,

B.  whereas, following the entry into force of the protocol amending Protocol No 36 on transitional provisions, new Members are entitled to sit in the European Parliament and on its bodies in full enjoyment of their rights,

1.  Decides to amend the number of Members in the interparliamentary delegations as follows:

Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula: 18 members

Delegation for relations with India: 28 members

Delegation for relations with the Korean Peninsula: 17 members

Delegation for relations with South Africa: 17 members

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

(1) OJ C 224 E, 19.8.2010, p. 36.


Appointment of a Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank: Mr Coeuré
PDF 194kWORD 30k
European Parliament decision of 14 December 2011 on the Council recommendation for appointment of a Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank (17227/2011 – C7-0459/2011 – 2011/0819(NLE))
P7_TA(2011)0572A7-0443/2011

(Consultation)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Council's recommendation of 1 December 2011 (17227/2011),

–  having regard to Article 283(2), second subparagraph of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the European Council consulted Parliament (C7-0459/2011),

–  having regard to Rule 109 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (A7-0443/2011),

A.  whereas, by letter of 1 December 2011, the European Council consulted the European Parliament on the appointment of Benoît Coeuré as a Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank for a term of office of eight years;

B.  whereas Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs then proceeded to evaluate the credentials of the nominee, in particular in view of the requirements laid down in Article 283(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and in the light of the need for full independence of the European Central Bank pursuant to Article 130 TFEU, and whereas in carrying out this evaluation, the committee received a curriculum vitae from the candidate as well as his replies to the written questionnaire that was sent to him;

C.  whereas the committee subsequently held a one-and-a-half-hour hearing with the nominee on 12 December 2011, at which he made an opening statement and then responded to questions from the members of the committee;

1.  Delivers a favourable opinion on the Council recommendation to appoint Benoît Coeuré as a Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this decision to the European Council, the Council and the governments of the Member States.


Future protocol setting out the fishing opportunities and financial compensation provided for in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Community and the Kingdom of Morocco
PDF 112kWORD 35k
European Parliament resolution of 14 December 2011 on the future Protocol setting out the fishing opportunities and financial compensation provided for in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Community and the Kingdom of Morocco (2011/2949(RSP))
P7_TA(2011)0573RC-B7-0692/2011

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Community and the Kingdom of Morocco (Council Regulation (EC) No 764/2006 of 22 May 2006(1)),

–  having regard to the draft Protocol between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco setting out the fishing opportunities and financial compensation provided for in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Community and the Kingdom of Morocco (11225/2011),

–  having regard to the consent procedure pursuant to Article 43(2) and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C7-0201/2011),

–  having regard to the opinions of the Committee on Development and the Committee on Budgets annexed to the recommendation of the Committee on Fisheries (A7-0394/2011),

–  having regard to the explanatory statement forming part of the recommendation of the Committee on Fisheries (A7-0394/2011), which outlines the shortcomings of the current one-year Protocol,

–  having regard to Rules 115(5) and 110(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas, according to the external ex-post evaluation report ordered by the Commission, the current Protocol has a clearly unsatisfactory cost-benefit ratio as a result of the low rate of utilisation of the negotiated fishing opportunities, overfishing and a failure to address ecological and social issues;

B.  whereas any future Protocol to be negotiated by the Commission must address the serious problems related to the previous and current protocols;

C.  whereas the Fisheries Partnership Agreements should seek to achieve economic and social objectives, on the basis of close scientific and technical cooperation, in order to ensure the sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources;

1.  Calls on the Commission to move the negotiations on a new Protocol forward in order to rule out any situation in which the Protocol has to be applied provisionally because Parliament has not yet given its consent;

2.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that any future Protocol is economically, ecologically and socially sustainable and mutually beneficial;

3.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that the principle that EU vessels may only be granted access to surplus stocks is adhered to in all future Protocols; emphasises, in particular, that there must be a rigorous assessment of all stocks;

4.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that under the future Protocol fishing opportunities are adjusted in line with scientific advice and stock assessments and with fishing-sector needs; insists, further, that decisions on technical measures and fishing opportunities must be taken on the basis of scientific advice, in consultation with fishermen;

5.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that any future Protocol contributes to the development of the Moroccan fisheries management system, including control and surveillance, scientific research, development of local fleets, training, etc.;

6.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that the sectoral support is more effectively utilised, and insists that monitoring must be more effective; believes that the Fisheries Partnership Agreement must include effective oversight mechanisms to ensure that funds earmarked for development, and in particular for infrastructure improvements in the fisheries sector, are used properly;

7.  Calls on the Commission to take any steps required in order to obtain the necessary data on the implementation of the Protocol and thus make the legislative procedure more transparent;

8.  Calls on the Commission to introduce in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement a clause on compliance with human rights, as called for in its resolution of 25 November 2010 on human rights and social and environmental standards in international trade agreements(2);

9.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that the future Protocol fully respects international law and benefits all the local population groups affected;

10.  Calls on the Commission to provide Parliament with a detailed written report outlining the degree to which Parliament's wishes have been taken into account in the future Protocol;

11.  Calls on the Commission, further, to respect the interinstitutional framework agreement and the European Parliament's role, in accordance with the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty;

12.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Member States and the Government of Morocco.

(1) OJ L 141,29.5.2006, p. 1.
(2) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2010)0434.


Impact of the financial crisis on the defence sector
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European Parliament resolution of 14 December 2011 on the impact of the financial crisis on the defence sector in the EU Member States (2011/2177(INI))
P7_TA(2011)0574A7-0428/2011

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Title V of the Treaty on European Union, and in particular to Articles 21, 42, 45 and 46, as well as to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Protocol No 10 thereto,

–  having regard to the European Security Strategy (ESS) entitled ‘A secure Europe in a better world’, adopted by the European Council on 12 December 2003, as well as to the report on its implementation entitled ‘Providing security in a changing world’, drafted under the responsibilities of the EU High Representative and endorsed by the European Council on 11-12 December 2008,

–  having regard to the objectives set by the European Council in December 2008 in order to enhance European military capabilities,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 1 December 2011, 23 May 2011, 31 January 2011 and 9 December 2010, on the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), on pooling and sharing of military capabilities, on the CSDP, and on military capability development respectively,

–  having regard to Council Decision 2011/411/CFSP of 12 July 2011 defining the statute, seat and operational rules of the European Defence Agency and repealing Joint Action 2004/551/CFSP(1),

–  having regard to the High Representative's Report on CSDP, presented during the Foreign Affairs Council of 18 July 2011,

–  having regard to Directive 2009/43/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 May 2009 simplifying terms and conditions of transfers of defence-related products within the Community(2),

–  having regard to Directive 2009/81/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 on the coordination of procedures for the award of certain works contracts, supply contracts and service contracts by contracting authorities or entities in the fields of defence and security, and amending Directives 2004/17/EC and 2004/18/EC(3),

–  having regard to its resolutions of 11 May 2011 on the development of the common security and defence policy following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty(4), of 23 November 2010 on civilian-military cooperation and the development of civilian-military capabilities(5), and of 10 March 2010 on the implementation of the European Security Strategy and the Common Security and Defence Policy(6), as well as to its previous resolutions on European Security and Defence Policy,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (A7-0428/2011),

General considerations

1.  Notes with concern the culmination of a trend in recent years of cuts in the defence budgets of the majority of EU Member States in the wake of the financial, economic and debt crisis, and the potential negative impact of these measures on their military capabilities and, therefore, on the ability of the EU to effectively take over its responsibilities in peace keeping, conflict prevention and the strengthening of international security, in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter, should the Member States fail to make up for these losses through increased European cooperation and coordination; underlines, in this regard, that defence constitutes a public good that affects the security of all European citizens and that all Member States need to contribute in a spirit of cooperation, burden sharing and cost-effectiveness;

2.  Warns that uncoordinated defence budget cuts could result in the complete loss of certain military capabilities in Europe; welcomes and supports, therefore, the Council's encouragement to the Member States to exchange information, as appropriate, and enhance transparency on current and forthcoming defence budget cuts, and calls for an impact assessment of these budget cuts for the development of capabilities in support of CSDP; recalls that the intervention in Libya clearly demonstrated that even a coalition of European countries is unable to carry out an operation of this kind without US support;

3.  Notes the continuing disproportionate reliance on the United States in defence matters, given that the US share of all defence spending in the North Atlantic Alliance has risen to 75 %, and the need therefore for European allies to increase their share of the defence burden; notes with concern that recent budget cuts are in addition to a pattern of Member States under-investing and under-spending in the fields of security and defence for over a decade;

4.  In an increasingly complex and unpredictable security environment, urges all EU Member States to cooperate more closely and coordinate actions against the common threats identified in the European Security Strategy (ESS), assuming fully their part of responsibility for peace and security in Europe, its neighbourhood and the wider world; while recognising that not all threats are of a military nature and that the EU has a variety of instruments at its disposal for crisis prevention and management, such as its civilian capabilities and technical assistance instruments, reminds the Member States of their repeated commitments, including in the Treaty and European Council conclusions, to improve their military capabilities, and calls on them to make sure these commitments are met;

5.  Reiterates its view that a reinforced European defence capability will enhance the strategic autonomy of the EU and provide an important contribution to collective security in the context of NATO and other partnerships; emphasises the potential of the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty in this respect and urges the Member States to implement permanent structured cooperation, to define the conditions for the application of the solidarity and mutual defence clauses, and to make full use of the European Defence Agency;

6.  Without disregarding different level of ambition, points out that the Member States collectively spend about EUR 200 billion a year on defence, which is only about a third of the US defence budget but still a considerable amount demonstrating the costs of non-Europe in the defence area;

7.  Deplores the way in which most of these funds are spent, based on uncoordinated national defence planning decisions, which results not only in persistent capability gaps, but often also in wasteful overcapacities and duplications, as well as fragmented industry and markets, which leads to the EU not having either the visibility, resources or reach of EUR 200 billions' worth of spending;

8.  Considers that the economic and financial crisis can be used as an opportunity for the integration of EU defence policies, as it can provide the impetus for finally creating and implementing ambitious reforms long in the making;

9.  Given the above, urges the Member States to accept that increased cooperation is the best way forward and that, in particular through (A) better coordination of defence planning, which includes harmonisation of military requirements and measures to increase interoperability, (B) pooling and sharing of certain capabilities and support structures, (C) enhanced cooperation in research and technological development, (D) facilitating industrial collaboration and consolidation, and (E) optimisation of procurement and removing market barriers, the Member States can develop capabilities in a more cost-efficient way, and this without adverse effects on their sovereignty;

10.  Stresses that the EU has at its disposal tools and mechanisms that can assist the Member States in achieving this, as set out below, including through the identification of areas where more funding could be provided at European level (F);

11.  Recognises that, regardless of the above, maintaining an adequate manufacturing and technological base and ensuring security of supply are fundamental national defence matters which should not be governed solely by financial objectives;

12.  Considers that a major focus of all EU efforts on defence in reaction to the financial crisis should be the European Defence Agency (EDA), which has the potential to cover a wide area of policy overhauls and planning, yet is unable to do so in its current format; calls for an upgrade of the format of the EDA, considering that an increase in its budget, personnel, areas of responsibility and overall powers would be cost-effective in the long run, enabling it to work better on the optimisation of the EU defence sector, with a specific task of avoiding costly duplications and financially unsustainable defence policies;

(A)Better coordination of defence planning

13.  Reiterates its call on the Member States to conduct systematic security and defence reviews in accordance with common criteria and a harmonised timetable; suggests that this could be developed into a regular exercise which is linked to budgetary procedures – a sort of ‘European semester’ of security and defence reviews;

14.  Stresses that the point of such coordinated reviews would be to end the culture of isolation in national defence planning and to establish a platform for structured discussion, allowing the Member States to consider the bigger picture – the European perspective – before they take key strategic decisions on their defence capabilities; underlines that the initiative should complement, for the Member States concerned, their coordination within the NATO Defence Planning Process;

15.  Calls again for an EU White Paper on security and defence that would develop and implement the European Security Strategy, better defining the EU's security and defence objectives, interests and needs in relation to the means and resources available, while also taking into account non-traditional aspects of security; emphasises that it should be drafted and regularly updated on the basis of the national reviews, while at the same time providing a reference for them, linking national defence planning with a common security outlook and threat assessment; stresses that such a White Paper, by setting out a common vision of challenges and solutions, will build trust and provide focused strategic guidance on the form that EU forces should take;

16.  Recalls that the Lisbon Treaty has reinforced the role of the European Defence Agency (EDA) in supporting the Member States in their efforts to improve the military capabilities for the Common Security and Defence Policy; suggests, therefore, that the Member States ask the Agency to examine how to improve coordination of defence planning in Europe; recalls, furthermore, that the Treaty tasks the EDA to evaluate the observance of capability commitments and to promote the harmonisation of operational needs, and calls for better execution of these tasks; recommends that, as a first step in the ‘European semester’ exercise, the Member States could submit their draft national security and defence reviews to the EDA for advice, to assess them in particular in the light of the capability priorities set by the EDA steering board in the Capability Development Plan, as well as of the plans of the other Member States and of the NATO Defence Planning Process; believes that, in the very short term, the EDA should also play an important role in defining a European capabilities and armaments policy;

17.  Takes the view that, as the next step, the Member States should go through a process of mutual consultations in order to harmonise their military requirements and examine all options for increasing cost-efficiency through EU-level, regional, bilateral or other arrangements;

18.  Urges the Member States also to address within such a process the existing overcapacities, especially as regards equipment and personnel of lesser priority in operations;

(B)Pooling and sharing of capabilities

19.  Is firmly convinced that pooling and sharing of capabilities is not an option any more, but a necessity; supports the Member States in their efforts to identify the most promising projects, as part of the process initiated at the September 2010 ministerial meeting in Ghent and in line with the November 2010 German-Swedish initiative, while recognising that pooling and sharing cannot replace the actual development of capabilities, but will enhance and improve it; takes note of the first set of projects facilitated by the EDA and endorsed by the Council on 1 December 2011, and calls on the Member States and the EDA to present details of the progress made towards concrete results and to define further opportunities by spring 2012 at the latest; urges the Member States, in particular the Weimar Triangle, but also the Weimar Plus formation, to make pooling and sharing a success by acting as a political driving force;

20.  Stresses that, in particular in areas such as strategic and tactical transportation, logistical support, maintenance, space capabilities, cyber defence, medical support, education and training, as well as certain niche capabilities, Member States can greatly profit from pooling or sharing of some functions and assets without creating significant dependencies that would limit their sovereign decision-making; strongly encourages initiatives addressing capability gaps in areas such as transport helicopters, air-to-air refuelling, maritime surveillance, unmanned vehicles, protection against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear risks, countering improvised explosive devices (IEDs), satellite communication, command and control systems, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) sensors and platforms, including alternatives to satellite systems, such as High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) UAVs, as well as the necessary green technologies required to achieve high operational autonomy and cost effectiveness;

21.  Stresses that pooling resources must go hand in hand with enhanced specialisation where Member States giving up certain capabilities can be confident that others will provide them and recognises that this will require serious political commitment by national governments;

22.  Invites the Member States to make creative use of the different pooling and sharing models that can be identified, such as (1) pooling through joint ownership, (2) pooling of nationally owned assets, (3) pooling of procurement, or (4) role- and task-sharing, and of combinations thereof as appropriate, and calls for quick progress especially in the areas mentioned above;

23.  First, on ‘joint ownership’, calls on the Member States to explore the possibilities for certain equipment to be jointly acquired by consortia of participating countries or by the EU itself, taking inspiration from initiatives such as the Strategic Airlift Capability implemented under NATO, the NATO AWACS programme or the EU's Galileo, or to search for possibilities of EU funding or co-funding of equipment acquired by consortia of Member States; stresses the potential of joint ownership for the most expensive equipment, such as for space capabilities, UAVs or strategic transport aircraft;

24.  Second, on the ‘pooling of assets owned nationally’, views the European Air Transport Command (EATC) initiative of four Member States as a particularly useful example, where the use of existing capabilities is optimised by the transfer of some competencies to a common structure, while maintaining fully national ownership of assets; considers this model of pooled, but separable, capabilities to be well adapted also to other areas of operational support, such as transport helicopters, maritime patrol aircraft and military sealift assets; believes that any delegation of competences to an integrated structure needs to be flexible and should not require all participants to delegate the same set of competences, to avoid the risk of settling for the lowest common denominator; considers it desirable, however, that Member States provide national capabilities in the full range of the tasks of EATC;

25.  Third, with respect to the ‘pooling of procurement’, such as in the A400M programme, highlights the potential benefits of joint procurement in terms of economies of scale, building a viable industrial base, interoperability, and subsequent possibilities of pooling and sharing in in-service support, maintenance and training; deplores the fact that these benefits are often lost due to differences in requirements and work-share agreements as in the case of the Eurofighter programme; in order to realise fully the potential savings, stresses the importance of maintaining a common configuration of jointly procured equipment through its entire life cycle in order to facilitate joint in-service support; invites the Member States also to consider the pooling of outsourced services;

26.  Fourth, concerning ‘role and task sharing’, considers that positive examples exist in initiatives such as the French-Belgian cooperation in fighter pilot training, the UK-French agreement on the sharing of aircraft carriers, the French-German initiative on helicopter pilot training, or the Belgian-Dutch navy cooperation, where a number of national support structures are shared with the partner; highlights especially the opportunities in the area of education, training and exercises, and especially in sharing military academies, test and evaluation facilities and facilities for pilot training; in the case of some niche capabilities, considers role- and task-sharing the only viable way for most Member States to ensure access to some rare capabilities such as CBRN units or hospital aircraft;

27.  Recalls the important role of the EDA, as defined by the Treaty, in proposing multilateral projects, coordinating Member States' programmes and managing R&T cooperation programmes; highlights the EDA-run projects that are already operational, such as the Helicopter Training Programme and the deployable forensic laboratory to counter IEDs and its application in Afghanistan, and calls for more progress on other initiatives such as the European Air Transport Fleet (EATF); urges the Member States to use the potential the Agency offers in terms of administrative and legal support and to entrust it with the management of their cooperation initiatives and underlines the need for the EDA to be given the means to deal with an increase of its responsibilities;

28.  Recognises bilateral and regional initiatives such as the 2010 UK-French defence agreements, the Nordic Defence Cooperation and the Baltic Defence Cooperation as important steps for rationalising the use of resources and fill short-term capability gaps; notes the proposals for similar cooperations in other regions, such as among the Visegrád Group countries; takes the view, however, that significant structural gaps remain which need to be addressed in a coordinated fashion at EU level and that, therefore, at a certain point these bilateral or regional arrangements need to be integrated into the wider European perspective, making sure that they contribute to the development of CSDP and do not, in any way, run counter it; in this context, believes that the EDA should be given a role in ensuring overall coherence of efforts and encourages further reflection on how the Treaty provisions on the Permanent Structured Cooperation could be used to provide an overall coordination framework;

29.  Considers that a civil-military EU Operational Headquarters, for which it has repeatedly called, would not only substantially enhance the EU's capacity to support international peace and security, but would in the long run also generate savings for the national budgets in the logic of pooling and sharing; stresses that political guidance by the Vice-President / High Representative is needed and calls on the Vice-President / High Representative to continue work based on the ‘Weimar initiative’ and to investigate legal options for the establishment of an autonomous operational planning and conduct capability comprising two separate (civilian and military) chains of command, in line with the model presented to the Council in July 2011, as soon as possible;

30.  Welcomes the ‘Smart Defence’ initiative within NATO and reaffirms the importance of continuous coordination and deconfliction between the EU and NATO at all levels to avoid unnecessary duplication; stresses that an intensification of EU-NATO practical cooperation, in particular concerning the responses to the challenges of the financial crisis, is a must; calls in particular on the EDA and the Allied Command Transformation to cooperate closely to make sure that pooling and sharing projects of both organisations are complementary and are always implemented in the framework with the most added value;

31.  Notes the potential for pooling of cyber defence assets, given the integration of European cyber systems, and the need to address the need for more EU coordination in this area;

(C)Supporting defence research and technological development

32.  Recalls the importance of research and innovation in the security and defence sector as the basis for the competitiveness and resilience of the European defence industry, and its importance for the achievement of the Europe 2020 goals of sustainable growth; points out that current research and technology (R&T) efforts will be determining in mastering future technological advances; deplores the fact that only about 1 % of EU countries' overall defence spending goes to R&T, while more than 50 % continues to be spent on personnel, and in particular that for most Member States this is well below 1 %; urges the Member States to exclude R&T from their spending cuts as a matter of priority;

33.  Regrets the fact that the potential of economies of scale from collaborative projects remains largely unused, with about 85 % of R&T expenditure still spent nationally and the large majority of the rest spent at bilateral and not multinational level, having as consequence the fragmentation among Member States; recalls that European Ministers of Defence agreed in November 2007 collective benchmarks to increase defence R&T spending to 2 % of all defence expenditure and to bring European collaborative defence R&T spending to a level of 20 %;

34.  Highlights the fundamental role of the EDA in coordinating and planning joint defence research activities; stresses the benefits of research cooperation in terms of improved interoperability, and eventually greater homogeneity among the equipment and capabilities of the national armed forces, since research is the first phase of any equipment programme;

35.  Recalls the ever growing number of technologies with dual-use applications, and therefore the importance of increasing complementarities and synergies between European defence and civilian security research programmes; encourages the EDA and the Commission to pursue their coordination within the European Framework Cooperation, in order to maximise synergies with the ‘Security’ theme of the Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development, in particular in areas such as CBRN protection, counter improvised explosive devices, unmanned aerial systems, maritime surveillance, information management and processing, and cyber defence;

36.  Stresses in particular that security research needs to be maintained as an independent component in the next Horizon 2020 Programme; takes the view that the scope of the ‘Security’ theme should be expanded to reflect the necessity for innovation and technology transfer between the civil and the defence industry, but maintains that, while taking due account of any relevant defence-related requirements in the programmes and projects, the theme should keep its civilian focus;

37.  Points out that, just as the results of civilian research often have defence applications, the spin-offs from defence research frequently benefit the whole of society; recalls in particular the examples of the internet and GPS; takes the view that, in the long run, more specific focus on defence research could be envisaged in the next Framework Programmes, in order to stimulate European collaborative research and help bring together dispersed national funds;

38.  Stresses, however, that no resources must be transferred from civilian research and that any EU-funded defence research activity should first of all follow the objective of the development of EU crisis management capabilities and focus on research with dual applications;

39.  Recalls that, as specified in the legal basis of the 7th Framework Programme (FP7), research activities supported by the FP7 should respect fundamental ethical principles, including those reflected in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union; calls on the Commission to improve the way in which it enforces ethical principles in the evaluation of eligibility criteria for participation in the FP7 research programmes in the area of ‘security’; also calls on the Commission to make an ethical and societal impact assessment a standard element of each project to be financed under the FP7 and future research programmes;

40.  Points out the provision of Article 185 TFEU allowing an EU contribution to existing research and development programmes undertaken by a group of Member States; believes that the possibility could be explored of using this article to speed up the development of capabilities needed for CSDP missions and operations;

41.  Recalls also the equally important synergies to be sought with European space programmes, and encourages further coordination between the EDA, the Commission and the European Space Agency within the European Framework Cooperation, in particular on space-based Earth observation and space situational awareness; calls for close coordination of the MUSIS, GMES and EDRS programmes for Earth observation and for the harmonisation of standards for civilian and military spatial data infrastructures; demands that the GMES project continue to be funded from the EU budget under the next Multiannual Financial Framework (2014-2020);

(D)Building a European defence technological and industrial base

42.  Recalls the need to progress in the consolidation of the European defence technological and industrial base, as, in the face of increasing sophistication of technologies, growing international competition, and decreasing defence budgets, in no EU Member State can the defence industry any longer be sustainable on a strictly national basis; deplores the fact that, while a certain level of concentration has been achieved in the European aerospace industries, the land and naval equipment sectors are still overwhelmingly fragmented along national lines; warns Member States against the possibility that reductions in defence investment will expose European defence industries and technological innovation to the risks of being overtaken by the control of third powers with different strategic interests;

43.  Considers that a harmonisation of military requirements, through a process of coordinated security and defence reviews as described under (A), should lead to a harmonisation of equipment acquisition among the EU Member States, which is the first prerequisite for creating conditions on the demand side for a successful transnational restructuring of the defence industry in Europe;

44.  While recognising that one of the likely consequences of restructuring will be the abandonment of some non-viable national industrial capacities, stresses that any medium and long term plans for such restructuring should be aimed at having the least impact on employment; recommends, therefore, greater reorientation and synergies, based on more specialisation, interoperability and complementarity; calls for a better use of EU funding, such as the European Social Fund and European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, to support anticipation and adaptation to change;

45.  Stresses that promoting a European defence technological and industrial base can create sustainable jobs for European citizens in EU defence industries;

46.  In the context of industry restructuring, highlights also the importance of ensuring that security of supply is not put at risk; calls on the Member States and the Commission to rapidly develop a comprehensive and ambitious EU-wide security-of-supply regime based on a system of mutual guarantees; urges the Member States, as first steps towards this objective, to fully exploit the potential of the Directive on transfers and to speed up work to operationalise the 2006 Framework Arrangement for Security of Supply in Circumstances of Operational Urgency;

47.  Encourages the EDA to further develop a common European view on key industrial capabilities that have to be preserved or developed in Europe; as part of this effort, invites the Agency to analyse dependencies on non-European technologies and sources of supply for European strategic autonomy and make concrete recommendations for Member States, in line with the work of the European Commission which also has certain programmes aimed at reducing European supply dependency and energy dependency;

48.  Believes that collaborative armaments programmes, such as those initiated by the EDA and managed by the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR), represent a vital tool for reducing development costs, supporting industry consolidation, fostering standardisation and interoperability, and boosting global competitiveness; highlights the EDA's role in facilitating the translation of capability needs into cooperative programmes and identifying opportunities to cooperate early in the life cycle; calls on the EDA to continue work on the Collaborative Database for matching national projects as cooperative opportunities and encourages the Member States to populate this database; calls on the EDA to present a Guide to Armaments Cooperation Best Practice, as provided for in its European Armaments Cooperation Strategy;

49.  Urges the Member States to avoid rigid work-share agreements in joint armaments programmes, noting the adverse effects of the principle of ‘juste retour’ in terms of inefficient work distribution, leading to slower implementation and higher costs; calls for the ‘juste retour’ principle to be replaced with a much more flexible concept of ‘global balance’, which allows effective EU-wide competition for the selection of contractors, provided that a minimum balance is achieved in order to ensure that small and medium-sized enterprises can compete on an equal footing with large enterprises; welcomes the fact that ‘global balance’ is used in the EDA's joint investment programme on force protection, and calls on the Agency to implement this concept over the whole spectrum of its activities, with the final aim of complying with the level playing field within the European defence equipment market and taking account of the interests of small and medium enterprises;

50.  Invites the Member States to make use of OCCAR's management experience for the implementation of joint programmes, as prepared by the EDA, and urges the EDA and OCCAR to conclude an administrative arrangement on their cooperation; recalls that any EU Member State may join OCCAR if it is its will and if it fulfils the membership criteria;

51.  Calls on the Commission and Member States to cooperate with one another to ensure cyber security, as an integral facet of the defence sector;

52.  Notes that there is as yet no European-level legal definition of the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB) and invites the Commission and the EDA to analyse possible criteria of such a definition and their impact; stresses in this regard that one of the important criteria could be the technological added value generated by the location of design offices on EU Member States' territory; encourages the Member States to consider setting out a Defence Industrial Headline Goal to provide a clear long-term vision for the development of the EDTIB;

53.  Notes the importance – for a competitive European defence industry – of transatlantic industrial cooperation, which can facilitate access to new technologies, promote advanced products development and provide incentives to reduce costs and shorten the production cycle; notes also the potential of cooperation with other external partners;

(E)Establishing a European defence equipment market

54.  Recalls that, in order to increase the competitiveness of the European defence industry, as well as to make sure that the interests of the taxpayer are adequately safeguarded, Member States urgently need to improve the transparency and openness of their defence markets; considers that Directive 2009/81/EC on defence and sensitive security procurement strengthens the single market by reducing the diversity of procurement rules in the defence sector and by opening up national markets to greater competition, and recalls that the deadline for the transposition of the directive expired on 21 August 2011; calls on the Commission to report in due time on the transposition measures taken by the Member States, and to take all necessary action to ensure timely and consistent transposition and correct implementation;

55.  Stresses that the directive is tailor-made to the specificities of defence and security procurement contracts, and that, consequently, any exemption of contracts from EU law on the basis of Article 346 TFEU can be deemed legal only in exceptional and duly substantiated cases in order to safeguard essential national security interests; calls on the Commission to ensure that the directive, as well as the derogation under Article 346 TFEU, are correctly applied; underlines that this would benefit from an evaluation by the Commission reporting on good practices as well as cases of misapplication of the new rules;

56.  Stresses that, in line with the on-going efforts aimed at modernising and streamlining the overall European public procurement framework, the objectives of administrative simplification and burden reduction should be reflected in the practical application of the directive, and that, in order to facilitate cross-border tendering, there is a need to review incompatible or disproportionate technical requirements that constitute barriers to the internal market; recalls, furthermore, that potential subcontractors should not be discriminated against on the grounds of nationality;

57.  Recalls that the regime established by the EDA's Code of Conduct on Defence Procurement and the Code of Best Practice in the Supply Chain is only applicable to contracts covered by the derogation under Article 346 TFEU; invites the EDA and the Commission to reassess the relevance of this regime following the entry into force of the Directive on defence procurement;

58.  Urges the Member States to set as a top priority the fight against corruption in defence procurement, namely by adequate implementation of the Directive, deploring the devastating effects of corruption especially in terms of inflated costs, acquisition of unnecessary, inadequate or non-optimal equipment, obstruction to joint procurement and collaborative programmes, hindering market opening and resulting in heavy burden on national budgets; in addition to generalising transparent and competitive public procurement procedures, strongly advises following the recommendations of the NATO/DCAF Building Integrity and Reducing Corruption in Defence compendium of best practices; highlights positive examples such as the concept of ‘defence integrity pacts’ between government and bidders with the participation of independent monitors, or systematic parliamentary oversight of all stages in procurement procedures above a certain ceiling as practised in several Member States;

59.  Stresses that offset requirements can in principle only be justified if they are necessary for the protection of essential security interests in accordance with Article 346 TFEU, and that they should be consistent with the principles of transparency and must especially not cause risks of corruption or disrupt the functioning of the European defence equipment market;

60.  Calls on the Member States, the EDA and the Commission to work together towards the gradual phasing-out of offset requirements, while fostering the integration of smaller Member States' industries into the European defence technological and industrial base by other means than offsets;

61.  Calls on the Commission and the EDA to look into ways also to address other market-distorting practices, such as state aid and export support, building on the EDA Level Playing Field initiative;

62.  Considers that, in the current budgetary context, the principle of European preference in the procurement of defence equipment can be seen as a form of European solidarity; invites the Commission and the EDA to present a cost-benefit analysis of a procedure of European preference for certain types of defence equipment in respect of which it is important to retain strategic independence and where there is no reciprocity of access to the markets of third countries; highlights the importance of ensuring greater access to third-country markets for European defence products;

63.  Recalls that the administrative burden of licensing obligations in intra-EU trade in defence products has had an inhibiting effect on industry consolidation and has been a major obstacle to transnational collaborative armaments programmes; recalls that the deadline for the transposition of Directive 2009/43/EC on transfers of defence-related products within the EU expired on 30 June 2011 and that the Member States are required to apply the new rules from 30 June 2012; calls on the Commission to report in due time on the transposition measures taken by the Member States, and to take all necessary action to ensure correct implementation;

64.  Urges the Member States to make best use of the new general licences for deliveries to other Member States' armed forces as an important instrument for improving EU-wide security of supply;

65.  Stresses that the success of the Directive, in particular as regards licences for transfers between companies, largely depends on the confidence that the Member States have in each other's export controls; urges the Member States to comply strictly with the obligations set out in Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP defining common rules governing control of exports of military technology and equipment, and to make sure they rigorously assess all licence applications against all the eight criteria as required; calls on the Vice-President/High Representative to evaluate Member States' compliance, in the context of the review of the Common Position, in light of both trade and foreign policy considerations, including the respect of human rights and democratic principles in importing countries;

66.  Reiterates the fundamental importance of standardisation of defence equipment for the establishment of a single European defence market, as well as for ensuring interoperability and facilitating cooperation on armaments programmes, pooling and sharing projects, and operations alike; encourages the EDA, the Commission and the European Standards Organisations (CEN, CENELEC, ETSI), in cooperation with the industry and the NATO Standardisation Agency in particular, to speed up work on reducing divergence in standards in defence and security industries, and between civilian and military equipment; promotes the use and further development of the European Defence Standards Information System and of the European Handbook For Defence Procurement;

67.  Calls on the Member States and the Commission to introduce pan-European certification for security and defence products to end the unsustainable situation whereby separate testing is required in each Member State; points out that this time-consuming and burdensome process significantly drives up manufacturers' costs, damaging their competitiveness to a point which is prohibitive for smaller companies in particular; supports the EDA's work on military airworthiness and encourages the Member States to speed up work on the formation of a European Military Joint Airworthiness Organisation as the military counterpart to the European Air Safety Agency;

68.  Stresses that the above mentioned standardisation and consolidation should be part of an EU- and not an industry-driven process to the benefit of the European interests and the real needs of the society, and that participation in common EU programmes and synergies should be - in principle - open to all Member States;

(F)Finding new forms of EU-level funding

69.  Is convinced that, especially in the context of the adoption of the new Multiannual Financial Framework, reflection needs to be undertaken on the possibilities for the EU budget to assist the Member States in achieving the goals of the Common Security and Defence Policy in a more cost-efficient way;

70.  As set out under (C) above, calls for the reinforcement and extension of security research under the Research Framework Programme, for the use of Article 185 TFEU to co-fund existing research and development programmes, as well as for the preparation of a new theme for defence research with civil-military applications in order to stimulate collaborative defence research;

71.  Takes the view that EU funds should be used to foster cooperation in education and training, encouraging the creation of networks between the defence industry, research institutes and academia; calls for the necessary arrangements to be made to allow the payment of stipends to cadets participating in the ‘military Erasmus’ programme from the EU budget, in order to give them equal treatment with students at civilian higher education institutions and thus facilitate the development of a common security culture and approach;

72.  Recommends funding of the activities of the European Security and Defence College, focused on the training of civilian and military experts in crisis management and CSDP, and promoting a common security culture in the EU, from the Instrument for Stability;

73.  Encourages further development of the role of the College as a forum for cooperation between national defence academies and civilian security training institutions, in order also to identify and develop cost-saving pooling and sharing projects between them; calls on the Member States to transform it into a real academic institution, and, given its strong civilian-military focus, suggests it be funded by the EU under the next Multiannual Financial Framework;

74.  Calls on all relevant actors to assess whether EU-owned assets along the Galileo model, as set out under (B), could be a viable and cost-effective option, especially in areas such as strategic and tactical transport or surveillance;

75.  Urges the Member States to increase the budget of the EDA as a matter of priority, recognising the Agency's added value in compensating, through cooperation, for cuts decided at national level; deplores the fact that the Council Decision on the EDA has not provided the Agency with a multiannual budgetary framework comparable to the EU's general budget;

76.  Points out that the EU Satellite Centre, operating with a modest budget, has demonstrated its efficiency and added value throughout a variety of security and defence operations; recalls the growing demand for satellite imagery, including in the wake of the recent events in Northern Africa; calls on the Member States to provide the Centre with a more important budget, and, given in particular its civil-military uses, takes the view that it should be funded from the EU budget;

77.  Welcomes the efforts of the Polish Council Presidency in reviewing the ATHENA mechanism; encourages the Member States to increase their efforts in finding an agreement on common financing; invites the Member States to consider, as part of the review of the ATHENA mechanism, the possibility of extending the mechanism to provide also common funding for actions or acquisitions which support the aim of greater cost efficiency in European defence, but cannot be financed from the EU budget, notably a common financing of provided equipment;

o
o   o

78.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the High Representative/Vice-President, the Council, the Commission, the Parliaments of the EU Member States, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and the Secretary-General of NATO.

(1) OJ L 183, 13.7.2011, p. 16.
(2) OJ L 146, 10.6.2009, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 216, 20.8.2009, p. 76.
(4) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0228.
(5) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2010)0419.
(6) OJ C 349 E, 22.12.2010, p. 63.


EU-Russia summit
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European Parliament resolution of 14 December 2011 on the upcoming EU-Russia Summit on 15 December 2011 and the outcome of the Duma elections on 4 December 2011
P7_TA(2011)0575RC-B7-0693/2011

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Russia, in particular its resolutions of 9 June 2011 on the EU-Russia summit on 9-10 June 2011(1) and of 17 June 2010 on the EU/Russia Summit(2),

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on EU/Russia relations, including the resolution of 7 July 2011 on the preparations for the Russian State Duma elections in December 2011(3), in addition to its resolution of 16 December 2010 on the Annual Report on Human Rights in the World 2009 and the European Union's policy on the matter,(4)

–  having regard to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between the EU and the Russian Federation(5), and the negotiations initiated in 2008 on a new EU-Russia agreement, as well as to the ‘Partnership for Modernisation’ initiated in 2010,

–  having regard to the objective shared by the EU and Russia, set out in the joint statement issued following the 11th EU-Russia Summit held in St Petersburg on 31 May 2003, of creating a common economic space, a common space of freedom, security and justice, a common space of cooperation in the field of external security and a common space of research and education, including cultural aspects (the ‘four common spaces’),

–  having regard to the joint Final Statement and Recommendation of the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee meeting of 19-20 September 2011 in Warsaw,

–  having regard to the joint statement of the Russia-EU Permanent Partnership Council on Freedom, Security and Justice meeting on 11 October 2011 in Warsaw,

–  having regard to the remarks of VP/HR Catherine Ashton at the 8th meeting of the EU-Russia Permanent Partnership Council of 17 November 2011 in Moscow,

–  having regard to the latest EU-Russia Human Rights Dialogue of 29 November 2011,

–  having regard to the Statement by VP/HR Catherine Ashton on the Duma elections in the Russian Federation of 6 and 7 December 2011,

–  having regard to the preliminary conclusions of 5 December presented by the OSCE, Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR), the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) following the international election observation for the State Duma elections on 4 December 2011,

–  having regard to the agenda of the EU-Russia Summit in Brussels on 15 December 2011,

–  having regard to Rule 110(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the EU and Russia are mutually interdependent both economically and politically; whereas therefore enhanced cooperation and good-neighbourly relations between the EU and Russia are of major importance for the stability, security and prosperity of Europe and beyond; whereas the European Union continues to be committed to further deepen and develop relations between itself and Russia, based on a deep commitment to democratic principles; whereas the conclusion of a Strategic Partnership Agreement between the EU and the Russian Federation remains of the utmost importance for building a genuine strategic partnership;

B.  whereas security of energy supply is one of the biggest challenges for the EU and one of the major fields of cooperation with Russia; whereas it is of the utmost importance for the EU to speak with one voice and to show strong internal solidarity;

C.   whereas Russia as a permanent member of the UN Security Council has joint responsibility with the other members for maintaining global stability; whereas many challenges at international level – in particular those in the common neighbourhood (South Caucasus and Republic of Moldova), in North Africa, Syria, the Middle East and Iran, terrorism, energy security, climate change and the financial crises – can be met only through a coordinated approach which includes Russia;

D.  whereas the Russian Federation is a full member of the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and has therefore committed itself to the principles of democracy and respect for fundamental rights; whereas concerns remain regarding the human rights situation, the rule of law, independence of the judiciary and the repressive measures taken against journalists and the opposition;

E.  whereas 2011 represents the 20th anniversary of the dissolution of the USSR, which was a major milestone for European history; whereas the contribution to these events by those who actively opposed totalitarianism and who contributed to the liberation from it should be recognised;

F.  whereas on 12 April 2011 the European Court of Human Rights expressed its criticism of the cumbersome registration procedures for political parties in Russia, which do not comply with the election standards set by the Council of Europe and the OSCE; whereas serious concerns remain regarding the difficulties faced by political parties in taking part in elections, which effectively constrain political competition and pluralism in Russia and undermine the legitimacy of elections;

G.  whereas numerous irregularities were reported on election day, including multiple voting (so-called ‘bus carousels’), obstruction of party observers, and ballot box stuffing; whereas the police detained hundreds of opposition activists who attempted to hold rallies on 4 December 2011 and the following days in Moscow, St Petersburg and other Russian cities to protest against the running of the elections;

H.  whereas on 10 December 2011 at least 50 000 people rallied in Bolotnaya Square in Moscow calling for the cancellation of the results of the 4 December 2011 elections, new elections, the resignation of the Electoral Commission chief, an investigation into the alleged ballot-rigging and the immediate release of arrested protesters; whereas similar demonstrations took place in other Russian cities;

I.   whereas one year has passed since the European Parliament called on the Council, ‘in the absence of positive moves from the Russian authorities to cooperate and investigate the case of Sergei Magnitsky, to insist that the Russian authorities bring those responsible to justice and to consider imposing an EU entry ban’, and also encouraged ‘EU law enforcement agencies to cooperate in freezing bank accounts and other assets of the Russian officials in all EU Member States’;(6)

1.  Reaffirms its belief that Russia remains one of the European Union's most important partners in building strategic cooperation, sharing not only economic and trade interests but also the objective of acting closely together at global level;

2.  Calls on the EU and Russia to take the opportunity of the upcoming summit to speed up the negotiations on a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement; reiterates its support for a comprehensive, legally binding agreement that covers political, economic and social issues and which includes all areas related to democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights; reiterates its view that democracy and human rights must be an integral part of this agreement with regard, in particular, to the definition and inclusion of an effective and operative human rights clause;

3.  Calls for greater effort to be made to progress the EU-Russia Partnership for Modernisation; underlines its confidence that the Partnership for Modernisation will promote reform and give renewed momentum to the EU-Russia relationship and develop the mutually beneficial cooperation on trade, the economy and energy security, while contributing to the global economic recovery; takes the view that the Partnership for Modernisation must go hand in hand with an ambitious process of domestic reforms that include the consolidation of democratic institutions and of a reliable legal system; calls in this regard on the EU and the Russian Government to define the necessary steps to be taken in order to achieve these goals;

4.  Welcomes the completion of the negotiations on Russia's accession to the WTO, which will help to create a more level playing field for business communities on both sides and will facilitate and liberalise trade in the global economy; stresses that, with accession, Russia has the legal obligation to fulfil all WTO rules including the renunciation of protectionist measures; expresses in this context its concern regarding the Russia-Kazakhstan-Belarus customs union, which has led to higher consolidated tariffs; expresses its conviction that Russia's membership of the WTO will also prove an important stepping stone for deepening bilateral economic integration, including through the conclusion of the ongoing negotiations on the New Agreement;

5.  Stresses the importance of intensifying the energy partnership with Russia; reiterates that the supply of natural resources must not be used as a political tool; underlines the mutual importance of collaboration in the field of energy, which represents an opportunity for further trade and economic collaboration in an opened and transparent market with full understanding for the EU's need for diversification of channels of transportation and energy providers; stresses that the principle of interdependence and transparency should be the basis of such cooperation together with equal access to markets, infrastructure and investment and a legally binding energy framework which guarantees reliable and secure energy supply based on equal standards to all EU Member States;

6.  Calls on the Council and the Commission to ensure that the principles of the Energy Charter Treaty and the Transit Protocol annexed thereto are included in a new Partnership Agreement between the EU and Russia; welcomes the signature in February 2011 of an updated Early Warning Mechanism to further improve coordination in case of supply or demand emergencies;

7.  Underlines that the EU should broaden its cooperation with Russia in the field of energy to areas such as energy efficiency and research into renewable energy technologies; reiterates that intergovernmental and commercial agreements in the field of energy between Russia and entities in the EU have to conform to the legal obligations of both sides;

8.  Urges the Russian Federation to step up its contribution to addressing climate change, through domestic greenhouse gas reductions and its participation in the international negotiations for a comprehensive post-2012 climate policy framework under UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol; in this context stresses that, to achieve the necessary reductions by 2020 compared to 1990 emissions for Annex I countries, all industrialised countries need to commit themselves to targets that represent significant reductions from current emission levels and increasing carbon capture in forests;

9.  Calls on Russia to ratify and comply immediately with the UNECE (Espoo) Convention and recalls Russia's commitment to develop unified standards for environmental impact assessments on transboundary projects;

10.  Acknowledges the joint conclusions of 11 October 2011 announcing the finalisation of the list of Common Steps towards visa-free regimes and supports its official approval and subsequent implementation; recalls the importance of ensuring regional coherence in the approach adopted towards visa liberalisation with Russia and the Eastern Partnership countries; welcomes the finalisation of the negotiations on amendments to the existing 2006 Russia-EU Visa Facilitation Agreement and the establishment of the EU-Russia Migration Dialogue; stresses the importance of the effective implementation of the Russia-EU readmission agreement; calls for further cooperation on illegal immigration, improved controls at cross-border checkpoints and information exchange on terrorism and organised crime;

11.  Welcomes the proposal to simplify local border traffic in the Region of Kaliningrad Oblast and outlines that this will contribute to further promoting the strategic partnership between the EU and Russia, in line with the priorities set out in the Roadmap of the Common Space on Freedom, Security and Justice;

12.  Takes note of the result of the Duma election on 4 December 2011; stresses that the running of the election showed that Russia does not meet election standards as defined by the OSCE; expresses its deep concern with regard to reports of fraud and the preliminary findings of the OSCE/ODIHR report on procedural violations, lack of media impartiality, harassment of independent monitors and lack of separation between party and state;

13.  Reiterates that the cumbersome registration process led to the exclusion of several opposition parties and has seriously undermined freedom of association, political competition and pluralism from the beginning;

14.  Condemns actions taken by the Russian authorities against ‘Golos’, a Russian monitoring group, after it established a special website for registering election fraud and irregularities;

15.  Welcomes the demonstrations in Russia as an expression of the will of the Russian people for more democracy; condemns the crackdown by the police on peaceful demonstrations protesting about election irregularities and fraud reported by international observers; urges the Russian authorities to respect freedom of assembly and expression, to leave peaceful demonstrators unharmed and to release immediately and unconditionally all peaceful demonstrators that have been arrested in the context of the elections; calls for an immediate and full investigation of all reports of fraud and intimidation, and penalties for those found responsible, and hopes that President Medvedev's order to investigate this proves substantial and transparent;

16.  Notes the recent calls for an annulment of the 4 December 2011 State Duma elections; calls on the Russian authorities to address thoroughly all cases of electoral malfeasance with a view to penalising the officials involved and rerun the voting where irregularities have occurred;

17.  Calls for new free and fair elections to be held after registration of all opposition parties;

18.  Calls on the President of the European Council, the President of the Commission and the VP/HR to raise the elections of 4 December 2011 at the summit, urging Russia to respect its international obligations stemming, in particular, from Russia's membership of the Council of Europe and the OSCE; calls on the Council of Europe and the OSCE to make an assessment of Russia's compliance with the obligations stemming from its membership of these organisations;

19.  Urges the Russian authorities to address the findings of the OSCE/ODIHR observation report, to reform electoral laws in line with OSCE and Council of Europe standards in cooperation with the Venice Commission and to comply with those standards in practice in order to guarantee free and democratic presidential elections in 2012 with equal opportunities for opposition candidates; calls on Russia to create the possibility for sufficient and efficient observation of the elections, in accordance with the OSCE/ODIHR and Council of Europe standards;

20.  Reiterates its concern over the human rights situation in Russia and the lack of rule of law and an independent judiciary; expresses serious concern especially with regard to the case of Sergei Magnitsky, including the failure to punish those proven guilty of his death; takes note of the report released in July 2011 by President Medvedev's Human Rights Council which provided evidence that Sergei Magnitsky's arrest was unlawful and that his detention was marked by beatings and torture aimed at extracting a confession of guilt; notes that the US State Department, the UK Foreign Office and the Dutch Parliament decided in 2011 to impose visa bans on some 60 Russian officials believed to be connected to the death of Sergei Magnitsky as a result of the Russian authorities' inaction;

21.  Calls on the Investigative Committee to lead a comprehensive and thorough investigation without taboo, to promptly present concrete conclusions and to take all actions necessary to bring those responsible to justice; calls in case of further inaction by the Russian authorities for the Council to take into consideration actions such as an EU-wide travel ban and a freeze on the financial assets of those found guilty of the torture and death of Sergei Magnitsky as well as covering up the case;

22.  Underlines the importance of the continuous exchange of views on human rights with Russia within the EU-Russia Human Rights Consultations as a way to consolidate the parties' interoperability in all the fields of cooperation and demands an improvement in the format of these meetings in order to gain effectiveness, with special attention for common action against racism and xenophobia, and to open this process to an effective input from the European Parliament, the State Duma and human rights NGOs, whether the dialogue takes place in Russia or in an EU Member State;

23.  Condemns the recent proposals to criminalise public information about sexual orientation and gender identity in various Russian regions and at federal level;

24.  Calls on the Vice-President/High Representative and the Commission to pursue joint initiatives with the Russian Government aimed at strengthening security and stability in the common neighbourhood; calls on Russia to actively contribute to the solving of the ‘frozen conflicts’ in its neighbourhood and to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states involved in ‘frozen conflicts’;

25.  Reiterates Russia's obligation to fully implement the Six-point Ceasefire Agreement, including respect for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity; welcomes Russian readiness to move forward on a framework agreement in the field of crisis management operations; calls, in this respect, on the Russian authorities to be consistent and allow, therefore, the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia to have access to the occupied territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in compliance with the 2008 Ceasefire Agreement;

26.  Supports the OSCE Minsk Group and its Co-Chair in its efforts with regard to the resolution of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh;

27.  Welcomes the restarting of negotiations within the 5+2 format with regard to the Transnistrian conflict and takes note of the first official meeting on 1 December 2011, which, it is to be hoped, will be the start of a solution to the conflict;

28.  Considers that Russia, which has veto power in the UN Security Council, must live up to its responsibilities in international crises; stresses that challenges on an international level, in particular with regard to Syria and Iran, cannot be solved without a coordinated approach which includes Russia; calls on Russia to take a more constructive approach, especially with regard to UN Security Council resolutions; calls on Russia to join the global efforts to block Iran's attempts to enrich uranium and other nuclear activities aiming at building nuclear weapons; calls on the Russian authorities to endorse the international sanctions against Iranian entities in response to the storming of the British Embassy;

29.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government and Parliament of the Russian Federation, the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

(1) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0268.
(2) OJ C 236 E, 12.8.2011, p. 101.
(3) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0335.
(4) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2010)0489.
(5) OJ L 327, 28.11.1997, p. 1.
(6) See the abovementioned resolution of 16 December 2010.


European Neighbourhood Policy
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European Parliament resolution of 14 December 2011 on the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy (2011/2157(INI))
P7_TA(2011)0576A7-0400/2011

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Joint Communications of the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of 25 May 2011 on A new response to a changing Neighbourhood (COM(2011)0303) and of 8 March 2011 on A partnership for democracy and shared prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean (COM(2011)0200),

–  having regard to the Commission Communications of 11 March 2003 on Wider Europe - Neighbourhood: A New Framework for Relations with our Eastern and Southern Neighbours (COM(2003)0104), of 12 May 2004 on European Neighbourhood Policy - Strategy Paper (COM(2004)0373), of 4 December 2006 on Strengthening the ENP (COM(2006)0726), of 5 December 2007 on A Strong European Neighbourhood Policy (COM(2007)0774), of 3 December 2008 on Eastern Partnership (COM(2008)0823), of 20 May 2008 on The Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean (COM(2008)0319), of 12 May 2010 on Taking Stock of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) (COM(2010)0207) and of 24 May 2011 on ‘A dialogue for migration, mobility and security with the southern Mediterranean countries’ (COM(2011)0292),

–  having regard to the development of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) since 2004, and in particular to the Commission's progress reports on its implementation,

–  having regard to the Action Plans adopted jointly with Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority and Tunisia, and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova, and to the Association Agenda with Ukraine,

–  having regard to the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions on ENP of 26 July 2010 and 20 June 2011 and to the Foreign Affairs Council (Trade) conclusions of 26 September 2011,

–  having regard to the conclusions of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Foreign Ministers' meeting of 13 December 2010,

–  having regard to the Joint Declarations of the Prague Eastern Partnership Summit of 7 May 2009 and of the Warsaw Eastern Partnership summit of 29-30 September 2011,

–  having regard to the Barcelona Declaration establishing a Euro-Mediterranean Partnership adopted at the Euro-Mediterranean Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs held on 27 and 28 November 1995,

–  having regard to the approval of the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) by the Brussels European Council of 13 and 14 March 2008,

–  having regard to the Declaration of the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean, held in Paris on 13 July 2008,

–  having regard to the conclusions of the EU-Morocco Association Council of 13 October 2008, which granted advanced status to Morocco,

–  having regard to the conclusions of the EU-Jordan Association Council of 26 October 2010, which granted advanced status to Jordan,

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1638/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 2006 laying down general provisions establishing a European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI)(1),

–  having regard to its Declaration of 27 September 2011 on the establishment of Euro-Mediterranean Erasmus and Leonardo da Vinci programmes(2),

–  having regard to the European Court of Auditors Special Report No 13/2010, entitled ‘Is the new European Neighbourhood Policy Instrument successfully launched and achieving results in the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia)?’,

–  having regard to Council Decision 2011/424/CFSP of 18 July 2011 appointing a European Union Special Representative for the Southern Mediterranean region(3) and Council Decision 2011/518/CFSP of 25 August 2011 appointing the European Union Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia(4),

–  having regard to its resolutions of 7 April 2011 on Review of the European Neighbourhood Policy – Eastern Dimension(5) and on Review of the European Neighbourhood Policy – Southern Dimension(6),

–  having regard to its resolutions of 19 January 2006 on the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP)(7), of 15 November 2007 on strengthening the ENP(8), of 6 July 2006 on the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument(9), of 5 June 2008 on the annual report from the Council to the European Parliament on the main aspects and basic choices of the CFSP(10), of 19 February 2009 on the review of the ENPI(11), of 19 February 2009 on the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean(12), of 17 January 2008 on a Black Sea Regional Policy Approach(13), of 20 January 2011 on an EU Strategy for the Black Sea(14), of 20 May 2010 on the Union for the Mediterranean(15), of 20 May 2010 on the Need for an EU Strategy for the South Caucasus(16), of 9 September 2010 on the situation of the Jordan River, with special regard to the Lower Jordan River area(17), of 3 February 2011 on the situation in Tunisia(18), of 17 February 2011 on the situation in Egypt(19), of 10 March 2011 on the Southern Neighbourhood, and Libya in particular, including humanitarian aspects(20) and of 7 July 2011 on Syria, Yemen and Bahrain in the context of the situation in the Arab World and North Africa, of 15 September 2011 and of 20 January 2011 on the situation in Belarus and all its previous resolutions on Belarus, and of 15 September 2011 on the situation in Libya(21) and the situation in Syria(22),

–  having regard to the recommendations adopted by the committees of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean (PA-UfM) at its seventh plenary session, held in Rome on 3 and 4 March 2011,

–  having regard to the Constituent Act of the EU-Neighbourhood East Parliamentary Assembly (EURONEST) of 3 May 2011,

–  having regard to the conclusions of the inaugural meeting of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) held in Barcelona on 21 January 2010,

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 May 2011 on the Cultural dimensions of the EU's external actions(23),

–  having regard to the European Agenda for Culture in a Globalising World (COM(2007)0242),

–  having regard to Articles 8 and 21 of the Treaty on European Union,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Development, the Committee on Budgets, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, the Committee on Regional Development, the Committee on Culture and Education, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (A7-0400/2011),

A.   whereas respect for and promotion of democracy and human rights – particularly women's, children's and minority rights – justice and the rule of law, fundamental freedoms – including freedom of speech, conscience, religion or belief, sexual orientation, association and the media, including unrestricted access to information, communication and internet – strengthening of civil society, security – including peaceful conflict resolution and good neighbourly relations -, democratic stability, prosperity, the fair distribution of income, wealth and opportunities, social cohesion, the fight against corruption and the promotion of good governance and sustainable development are founding principles and aims of the EU which must constitute common values at the core of the ENP review;

B.   whereas it is in the highest interest of the EU to be ambitious in economic cooperation and adopt a mutually beneficial, responsible and flexible strategy based on support for democratic transitions and defence of human rights, learning from the failures and the mistakes of EU and Member States' policy with regard, in particular, to the complacent approach towards the authoritarian regimes of the Southern neighbourhood, from which the lesson has been learnt that the overall EU-ENP should be value-based;

C.   whereas, in this new context, relations with these countries should be given fresh impetus, based on cooperation focusing on democracy and prosperity on both shores of the Mediterranean, and not only security and migration control;

D.   whereas the Union for the Mediterranean was established with the ambitious objective of being a permanent instrument for strengthening relations with the Southern neighbourhood countries, replacing the former Barcelona Process with the intention of reinforcing and raising the profile of its work;

E.   whereas the cooperation in the framework of the EURONEST Parliamentary Assembly aims at bringing positive effects by serving as a platform to exchange views, find common positions on global challenges of our times with respect to democracy, politics, economics, energy security, and social affairs, as well as strengthen ties between the countries of the region and with the EU;

F.   whereas Article 49 of the TFEU stipulates that any European State which respects the values the EU is based upon, namely democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and is committed to promoting them, may apply to become a member of the Union;

G.   whereas strengthened relations require a clear and proven commitment towards reform with the aim of making tangible progress in fulfilment of predefined benchmarks;

H.   whereas the EU should provide itself with flexible and properly funded instruments in order to match its ambitions and events in the regions, emphasising optimum use of existing financial instruments;

I.   whereas the effects of the economic and financial crisis have come on top of the existing political and social challenges in the partner countries, particularly in relation to the problem of unemployment; whereas it is in the common interest of these countries and the EU to bring down unemployment rates in the region and to offer its people, particularly women, young people and the rural population, hope for the future;

J.   whereas the European Parliament gives its support for the establishment of Euro-Mediterranean Erasmus and Leonardo da Vinci programmes through its declaration of 27 September 2011;

1.  Welcomes the Joint Communications of the Commission and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on ‘A new response to a changing Neighbourhood’ and ‘A partnership for democracy and shared prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean’ and the approach presented therein, in particular regarding the principles of mutual accountability and shared commitment to universal values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, as well as conditionality, a tailor-made approach towards the partner countries, the advancing of multilateral and sub-regional cooperation, and the principle of further involving societies within the ENP policy;

2.  Acknowledges the European aspirations and the European choice of some partners and their commitment to build deep and sustainable democracy and stresses the necessity of setting a new and distinct relationship between the EU and EaP countries, supporting their work to consolidate sustainable democracies and market-economies;

3.  Insists, however, that tangible and credible incentives should be given to the neighbourhood countries to engage in the common goal of building deep democracy, and that differentiation based on each country's political, economic and social realities, performance and achievements should be predicated on clearly defined criteria and assessable and regularly monitored benchmarks for each individual partner country; calls in this regard on the Commission and the EEAS to consider the benchmarks laid down in the Joint Communication as objectives to be achieved and that, for assessing the progress made, these objectives require more specific, measurable, achievable, time bound benchmarks, the departing point of which is different for the Southern and Eastern neighbourhood; is of the opinion that a result-oriented policy needs a clearer methodology of benchmarking and underlines, in this context, the importance of setting up appropriate follow-up mechanisms to assess the progress of ENP countries; stresses that this approach has to be reflected in the structure of the ENP Action Plans and in the corresponding annual progress reports;

4.  Believes that the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy creates an opportunity for the EU to effectively meet its objectives and respect its values as laid down in Articles 2, 3, 6, 8 and 21 of the TEU;

5.  Stresses that while EU policy in the field of development cooperation falls within the framework of the principles and objectives of its external action – and therefore, in this case, of the European Neighbourhood Policy – the EU nevertheless has a constitutional obligation, enshrined in the second subparagraph of Article 208(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, to take account of the objectives of development cooperation in the policies that it implements which are likely to affect developing countries; calls, therefore, on the Commission and the EEAS never to lose sight of these objectives, which are the reduction and, in the long term, the eradication of poverty, in their implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy, both in the eastern neighbourhood partner countries and in those in the southern neighbourhood;

6.  Supports the consolidation in the ENP of previously separated strands of foreign and assistance policy; looks for a strengthened network of institutional arrangements which is stable, economical and purposefully dedicated to developing closer economic integration and political association among all those involved, including the alignment of values within all international fora – especially the United Nations – with those of the European Union;

Deep democracy and partnership with societies

7.  Although the EU does not seek to impose a model or a ready-made recipe for political reforms, underlines that the ENP is based on shared values, joint ownership, mutual accountability and respect and the commitment to democracy, human rights, the rule of law, the fight against corruption, the market economy and good governance;

8.  Underlines the importance of active and independent civil society organisations, including the social partners, for democracy; emphasises the importance of dialogue with, and proper European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) funding for, the civil society organisations, stresses that the partnership between the EU and the ENP countries and their respective civil societies should be strengthened in order to help build functioning democracies, foster reforms and sustainable economical growth; emphasises that these partnerships with civil society must be inclusive, including in particular representatives of women's organisations and minority groups; calls on the EEAS and the Commission to support parliaments, local and regional authorities, and civil society in their efforts to play their proper role in defining ENP strategies, holding governments to account, monitoring and assessing past performance and achieved results;

9.  Stresses the importance of building a partnership with civil societies as a means to promote change and democratisation; in this context, takes note of the allocation of EUR 22 million to the Civil Society Facility (CSF) for the period 2011-2013 and looks forward to the Facility being more substantially funded in the next Multiannual Financial Framework; calls on the EEAS and the Commission to better explain the scope and objectives of a potential CSF and calls for a greater clarification of the CSF in terms of complementarities with the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) and the ENPI; notes that instruments should also be identified to concretely support religious and ethnic minorities in the areas covered by the initiative; recommends that this Facility be used to improve the work of the Civil Society Forum within the Eastern Partnership and to potentially build up such a forum also for the Southern partners;

10.  Welcomes the proposal for a European Endowment for Democracy (EED), which is a timely response to the clamour for democracy by the populations of our neighbouring countries; underlines that it should be a flexible, fast and targeted mechanism for support and should complement already existing EU instruments and the exemplary work of longstanding European political or non-political foundations and civil society organisations, bearing in mind that tangible results should be an objective of this initiative; stresses that the Endowment should not hinder or duplicate the action already being taken by these foundations, or as part of existing European programmes, such as the EIDHR; stresses that its scope and organisation should be clearly defined and that its structures and procedures should be light and straightforward; calls upon the EEAS, the Commission and the (Polish) Presidency to present a clear demarcation of the competences of a future EED in relation to these instruments and frameworks; insists on a right of scrutiny and the involvement of the European Parliament in its governance structure, to help determine the annual objectives, priorities, expected results, and financial allocations in broad terms and to be part in the monitoring of activities; expresses some concerns about the fact that this future fund could be financed, fully or in part, outside of the EU budget and reaffirms the right of the budget authority to monitor and scrutinise the implementation of this fund; requests therefore, a clarification from the Commission and the Council on the issue;

11.  Calls on the EEAS and the Commission, under their new ‘more for more’ performance-based approach, to continue to encourage all types of political reform, taking into account the needs and level of economic growth and social development of each partner country; calls on them to provide a clear and adequate methodology and detailed benchmarks to assess the record of the ENP countries concerning respect for and promotion of democracy and human rights (including in particular freedom of speech, conscience, religion, association and the media) and to deliver regular sufficiently detailed reports, which should be the basis for the allocation of funds under the new performance-based approach ‘more for more’; asks for these evaluations to be included in the ENP progress reports and to be presented annually to its Committee on Foreign Affairs; insists on the need to systematically include civil-society organisations at all stages of the review process; takes the view that this performance-based approach also means ‘less for less’ and reiterates its call for effective implementation of the Human Rights and Democracy Clause in EU agreements with third countries;

12.  Invites the EEAS and the Commission to provide more information on the way to implement the principle of mutual accountability;

13.  Considers that human rights situations should be continuously monitored – with particular regard to the rights of children, women and minorities – and human rights dialogues conducted with all partner countries and that an annual assessment of the situation as well as the outcomes of the dialogues should be included in the annex to the annual progress report of each partner country with a clear mechanism to reconsider and progressively limit bilateral cooperation if human rights violations are confirmed; underlines that the approach towards various partner countries regarding the human rights situation has to be credible;

14.  Calls on the EU and the Member States to focus their cooperation within the ENP on twinning EU democratic actors such as trade unions, NGOs, relevant employers' organisations, farmers, women, participants in religious dialogue, consumers, youth, journalists, teachers, local government bodies, universities, students, climate change actors and their emerging counterparts in ENP countries;

15.  Stresses that freedom of expression and media independence and pluralism are cornerstones of a solid and sustainable democracy and of common values; underlines the importance of independent, sustainable and accountable public media services, to provide quality, pluralistic and diverse content, recalling that free and independent public media always play a crucial role in deepening democracy, in maximising the involvement of civil society in public affairs and in empowering citizens on the path to democracy;

16.  Strongly supports and calls for the free flow of information, for conditions to be ensured that allow journalists to work effectively and freely without political, economic or other pressure, and for the construction of infrastructure which will make it possible to develop modern electronic technology; welcomes the declaration of access to the internet as a human right by the UN on 6 June 2011; in this regard urges the EEAS and the Commission to create special tools for assisting civil societies, organisations and individuals in the ENP countries to have unhindered access to the internet and other forms of electronic communications technologies;

17.  Underlines that in the ongoing processes of democratic transitions in the Arab Spring countries, the participation of women, young people and civil society and the functioning of free and independent media will be crucial and urges the EU to increase support to train and organise those actors, including by inviting them to observe elections and the functioning of democratic institutions within the EU;

18.  Considers that full and effective respect for the freedom of religion (at individual, collective, public, private and institutional level) should be identified as a priority, particularly for all religious minorities present in the region, together with the need to provide specific assistance for these groups;

19.  Stresses, in particular, the importance of promoting the rights of the child and ensuring child protection, as enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty;

20.  Urges support for the development of democratically oriented political parties in those neighbourhood countries which are still striving towards democracy, as well as creation of NGOs and civil society organisations;

21.  Underlines the importance of women being well-represented in parliament, ministries, top government posts, in decision-making positions in the public and local administration and in the management of public companies; encourages the ENP partner countries to adopt and mainstream gender equality policies and to adopt action plans for gender equality;

22.  Welcomes the work of the High-Level EU Advisory Group to the Republic of Armenia and the launch of a similar group in Moldova; encourages the VP/HR and the Commission to offer such assistance to all Eastern Partners making sure, as in the case of Armenia, that the parliamentary dimension is covered; requests the upgrade of this EU instrument and recommends the EEAS to be directly in charge of the recruitment as well as management of advisors in order to guarantee the most adequate transfer of EU knowledge to the Eastern Partnership countries;

23.  Calls on the EC to enhance the visibility of the EaP and UfM projects in the partner countries and make them more understandable to their citizens, demonstrating the added value of cooperation with the EU;

24.  Recalls that the EU's engagement with its neighbours should be conditional on their democratic progress and respect for human rights; therefore calls on the international community to freeze its financial assistance, as well as that of the International Financial Institutions to which its members belong, to the Belarusian regime until all detained and arrested opposition leaders, journalists, presidential candidates and their supporters are released and cleared of charges and rehabilitated;

25.  Endorses the current EU official approach of sanctioning the Belarusian authorities, while striving to strengthen ties with civil society and the people in Belarus; in this respect urges the European Union to reorient towards society and increase its assistance to Belarus in order to address the needs of the population, strengthen financial and technical support to democratic opposition, human rights defenders and civil society organisations including those that are unregistered, as well as to students and free media;

Sustainable economic and social development

26.  Stresses that sustainable democracy, functioning and de-bureaucratised institutions, the rule of law and quality education not only promote political stability, social welfare and cohesion but also stimulate economic growth by improving the business environment and attracting investment, allowing new SMEs to emerge and fostering trade, the green economy and tourism, all of which generate new jobs and new opportunities; underlines the need to create an environment conducive to investment, with stability, legal security and the fight against corruption at its core; calls, therefore, on the EU to encourage structural reforms in the economic, social and legal arenas as part of its support for democratic transitions noting emphatically the close interweaving of democratic and socio-economic development; welcomes the Commission's flagship initiatives on SMEs and on regional energy markets and energy efficiency; believes that these efforts should be reflected in the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF);

27.  Stresses that immediate measures, such as cofinancing of already identified flagship or pilot projects or other concrete economic projects of strategic importance, which can be implemented on the ground rapidly, with unquestionable tangible results, should be promptly undertaken to alleviate the situation of the countries currently facing significant socioeconomic crises, with special regard to partner countries where democratic transition aggravates economic difficulties; underlines that such EU-financed measures can only be taken if all parties involved commit themselves to verifiable compliance in each specific case with the social, environmental and labour standards applicable internationally and in the EU and if these measures bring an immediate improvement to the social situation of citizens in the ENP countries;

28.  Strongly supports the promotion of sub-regional cooperation and cross-border projects and stresses the importance of developing complementary partner-to-partner bilateral and multilateral economic cooperation, which would bring tangible benefits for citizens and improve the political climate in the region; emphasises that such sub-regional economic cooperation must be part of a wider integration plan encouraging the development of sub-regional projects in the areas of mobility, social and environmental protection, culture and education; places particular emphasis on the importance of encouraging the development of ‘South-South’ and ‘East-East’ trade and economic integration among the countries concerned; considers that improvements in such cooperation among the partners would be a signal of commitment towards the European values of good neighbourhood relations and mutually beneficial partnerships;

29.  Urges the Commission to support administrative capacity building in employment and social affairs, paying special attention to building capacity in legal services, which will ensure better preparation for leading the reforms;

30.  Emphasizes the importance of trade unions and social dialogue as part of the democratic development of the ENP partner countries; encourages them to strengthen labour and trade union rights; points out the important role social dialogue can have in regard to the socio-economic challenges in the regions;

31.  Recalls the necessity of ensuring that the minimum wage according to national practices provides an adequate standard of living for workers and their families and that deductions from wages should not deprive employees and their dependants of their very means of subsistence;

32.  Notes that adequate time should be foreseen for notices of termination of employment, taking into account the employee's length of service;

33.  Emphasises that the Union must afford special importance to decentralised cooperation at local level, by means of small-scale projects providing immediate and tangible improvements to the quality of life of citizens in neighbouring countries, thereby helping consolidate the progress made towards democracy across the entire territory of these countries;

34.  Calls on the Commission to embrace the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) as the guiding policy framework for medium-term pro-poor economic growth and the equitable distribution of wealth according to the needs of the country;

Association agreements

35.  Underlines the opportunity that negotiations on Association Agreements provide to boost reforms; stresses that all the components should be linked in order for the EU to deepen its relationship in a comprehensive and coherent manner; believes that they should therefore include concrete conditions, timetables and performance benchmarks which should be regularly monitored; stresses the need to include in these agreements real and tangible incentives for the partners to make the reform path more attractive;

36.  States that differentiation should be applied to trade in good and services, invites ENP partner countries to move forward on creating the conditions that will allow the establishment of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (DCFTAs) and calls on the EU to assist them in their reform efforts and to open its internal market, subject to the necessary alignment of safety and quality specifications, to European standards, and to engage with them in a mutually beneficial process of gradual, balanced opening of their markets; underlines that the EU should also assess the political, social and environmental circumstances of each country with reference to their participation in the future DCFTA and eventually define gradual steps in its implementation, ensuring that international conventions on labour laws and child labour are monitored; stresses that trade ties, especially DCFTAs, should be, through their requirements, viewed as a means to enhance the commitment towards democratic values of the ENP countries, as part of the conditionality principle; supports, in parallel, full membership of the WTO for all Eastern Partnership States;

37.  Notes that a European perspective, including Article 8 of the Treaty on European Union and the membership aspirations of Eastern Partnership countries pursuant to article 49 of the TEU, constitutes a driving force for reforms in these countries and further strengthens their commitment to shared values and principles such as democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights and good governance; believes that the conclusion of Association Agreements can be an important step towards further political engagement and a stronger relationship with Europe, through the exchange of good practices and consolidated political and economic dialogue;

38.  Reaffirms that, for the Southern partnership, the aim is to bring the two shores of the Mediterranean closer together with a view to establishing an area of peace, democracy, security and prosperity for their 800 million inhabitants, and to provide the EU and its partners with an effective bilateral and multilateral framework enabling them to overcome democratic, social and economic challenges, to promote regional integration, in particular in relation to trade, and to ensure their co-development for the benefit of all, and to assist the partners in building democratic, pluralistic and secular states, namely through institutional capacity building programmes, as well as to develop mutually beneficial balanced and ambitious arrangements for trade in goods and services, preceded by the relevant impact assessments, that can lead to DCFTAs, which will surely represent the first step towards a big ‘Euro-Mediterranean Economic Space’, which could also help to alleviate the economic problems of our neighbouring partners in the South and facilitate South-South integration; calls on the Commission and the Council to facilitate the implementation of the six packages of measures outlined in the Commission document of 30 March 2011 concerning the monitoring of trade and investment initiatives for the benefit of partners on the Southern shore of the Mediterranean;

39.  Wishes that objective, binding criteria for granting ‘advanced status’ be defined; stresses the need to clarify the rights and duties arising from this bilateral commitment, both for partner countries and for the EU;

40.  Stresses that the contractual relations with all ENP countries contain arrangements for a regular forum to address human rights issues, in the form of subcommittees on human rights; calls on the EEAS to make full use of these arrangements and involve existing subcommittees in any negotiations;

Sectoral cooperation

41.  Stresses that the EU should foster synergies between European external and internal policies, particularly through the approximation of legislation aimed at job creation, poverty reduction, modernisation of labour policies, energy security and efficiency, development of renewable sources and environmental sustainability, improvement of social protection, wealth creation and justice, and facilitating trade in line with the principle of diversification;

42.  Believes that sharing a common area means sharing responsibilities fairly, and calls for closer cooperation, in particular with regard to all policies and issues entailing a cross-border dimension; calls, therefore, for the regional and cross-border dimensions of sectoral cooperation to be strengthened;

43.  Welcomes the increased interaction of partner countries in EU agencies in various areas; calls on the Commission to present a clear and comprehensive list of relevant agencies and programmes in which neighbouring countries could participate, together with an overview of the form, financial contribution and method of such differentiated participation;

44.  Supports further cooperation in sectors such as industry, SMEs, research, development and innovation, ICT including security of IT systems, space, and tourism and stresses the benefits of joint research programming initiatives by the EU and its neighbours; welcomes the Commission's proposals concerning the development of a common knowledge and innovation space and of a digital economy based on ICT, and calls on the Member States and neighbouring countries to reaffirm their commitment to progress towards this development; reiterates the importance of effective trade and investment facilitation mechanisms between the EU and its neighbouring countries in order to reinforce trade partnerships and allow economic operators, especially SMEs, to access adequate, reliable information on trade and investment conditions in partner countries;

45.  Welcomes the reinforcement of the energy cooperation dimension of the ENP; underlines the importance of sharing the EU experience on energy sector reforms with neighbouring countries; considers it necessary to step up energy efficiency and the promotion of renewable energy; calls for security of energy supply through the diversification of sources and demand management, deeper engagement with main suppliers and transit states and coordination on nuclear safety measures, particularly in regions that are prone to high seismic activity, together with increased transparency so as to ensure that full compliance with environmental and international nuclear safety agreements remains an EU energy policy priority and that both Eastern and Southern neighbours remain a key focus of the coordinated EU external energy policy; calls for effective measures to ensure that the principle of solidarity is applied in the field of energy;

46.  Welcomes the proposal for the creation of a European Energy Community and believes that it could be an important step towards cooperation with our neighbours; stresses the importance of the role played by the Southern neighbourhood countries in supplying energy to various Member States; highlights the need to foster Euro-Mediterranean interconnections in the gas and electricity sectors; emphasises the strategic significance of the Nabucco project and of its swift implementation, as well as of liquefied natural gas (LNG) transportation under the AGRI project; calls on the Commission to encourage, including through investment, the construction, upgrading and development of smart energy networks and infrastructure interconnections with EU neighbours;

47.  Draws attention, furthermore, to the supporting role which the EU could play in tackling environmental problems in neighbouring countries, particularly in eliminating large stocks of ‘obsolete pesticides’, which can cause large-scale chemical pollution;

48.  Supports further cooperation in the transport sector, including by linking the infrastructure network of EU and partner countries more tightly in order to facilitate exchanges of people and goods, which can be achieved through closer market integration and improved infrastructure links;

49.  Considers international, regional and interregional cultural cooperation based on a genuine dialogue between cultures and including all sectors of society (cultural authorities, institutions, organisations and associations) to be essential; calls on the EEAS and the Commission to coordinate strategic deployment of the cultural aspects of external policy, seeking complementarities with the Member States' external cultural policies;

50.  Strongly reaffirms the connection between, on the one hand, exchange and cooperation between the EU and ENP countries in the fields of culture, education and sport and, on the other hand, the building and strengthening of an open civil society, democracy, the rule of law and the spread of fundamental freedoms and human rights; stresses that mutual cooperation in these areas constitutes an added value for both EU and ENP countries;

51.  Believes that fostering participation in EU cultural programmes can benefit material and non-material development in ENP countries, and stresses, therefore, the importance of programmes such as Media Mundus and of projects run under the auspices of the Union for the Mediterranean and of the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme; points out, furthermore, that cultural programmes and programmes to promote mobility should also focus on the mobility of artists and those pursuing artistic studies; advocates the establishment of a cultural visa for artists and other culture professionals from ENP countries; calls also on the Commission to propose a short-stay visa initiative with the aim of eliminating obstacles to mobility in the cultural sector;

52.  Stresses the importance of strengthening, within the ENP framework, cooperation for the development of sport in the countries concerned, in view of the educational value of sporting activities; calls on the European institutions and the Member States to work for the free movement of athletes worldwide, beginning with those from the ENP countries;

53.  Urges an assessment of existing programmes with a view to ensuring efficient use of resources in order to meet the EU's goals and objectives; supports streamlining internal operations within the Commission in relation to the different existing programmes and projects dealing with culture and education;

54.  Stresses the added value of the Tempus IV programme in promoting cooperation and seeking to modernise the education systems of the countries adjoining the EU, and calls on the Commission to provide support for the programme with a view to the next MFF;

55.  Hopes that partner countries will become more actively involved in the work of the European Training Foundation and the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency;

56.  Notes that strengthening the Youth dimension of the Eastern Partnership and Union for Mediterranean is an important investment in the future of EU - ENP relations with great potential for years to come and in the democratisation of those partners and harmonisation of their legislation with European standards; reiterates that additional funding allocated to the Erasmus Mundus and Youth in Action for 2012 within the EU Budget for 2012 should foster cooperation between higher education institutions, improve exchanges of academic staff and students, and build networks enhancing the capacity of NGOs in the field of youth in Europe and European Neighbourhood Policy countries;

57.  Believes that the Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI) provides a unique platform and opportunity for strengthening cooperation in the area of higher education and student mobility with our Southern neighbours, at a time when it is of particularly vital importance to deepen the relations with the Southern partnership countries, especially with their younger generations; underlines, in this respect, that the EMUNI's potential should be developed as much as possible;

58.  Calls on the Commission to take over Parliament's proposal, produced in the wake of the Arab Spring, to establish a Euro-Mediterranean Erasmus programme, an initiative which – assuming that it were successful – would be suitable to extend to the neighbourhood as a whole; at this stage deplores the inadequacy of the Commission proposals, which, notwithstanding the Commission's statements on 27 September 2011, in reality provide only for a very modest increase in the number of Erasmus Mundus scholarships;

59.  Calls on the Commission to take over Parliament's proposal, produced in the wake of the Arab Spring, to establish a Euro-Mediterranean Leonardo da Vinci programme aimed at encouraging the mobility of young people wishing to acquire vocational training abroad, the object being to help combat the youth unemployment endemic to the Southern Mediterranean;

60.  Reaffirms its great support for the EU-funded project of ENP scholarships to the university graduates from the ENP and the EU at the College of Europe; believes that this will allow the preparation of future European and neighbouring countries' interlocutors who are fully and professionally acquainted with the substance and spirit of EU policies, law and institutions, for EU-ENP-related jobs; calls on partner countries whose citizens were granted such a scholarship to use their knowledge and experience by engaging them in the national administration and proposing them adequate working conditions;

61.  Stresses the important role played by local authorities in the democratic development of our partner countries; therefore calls on the Commission to strengthen and increase the TAIEX (Technical Assistance and Information Exchange Instrument) and twinning programmes with the local authorities in EU and partner countries;

Mobility

62.  Recalls that the EU should improve the management and maximise the mutual benefits of migration for development, inter alia by providing better conditions for the establishment of legal migrants in the EU and dealing with the root causes of irregular migration in the partner countries; considers that the EU needs to favour legal labour migration by concluding mobility partnerships, which take account of the demographic, sociological and occupational balance on both sides, and encouraging exchanges of specialists between the EU and third countries; calls upon the Member States to view the mobility debate as an important element of the Neighbourhood Policy that should not be steered primarily by security concerns; stresses the importance of combating illegal immigration and bringing organisations guilty of people-trafficking to justice;

63.  Believes that the EU should advance its work on visa facilitation and readmission agreements on a parallel basis in the utmost transparency with a view to moving – gradually and on a case-by-case basis, once all conditions are met – to a visa-free regime; also calls for the material conditions for the issue and renewal of visas to be more respectful of human rights; stresses in this respect that youth and student mobility should be treated as a priority; stresses also that the Eastern Partnership countries should benefit from a privileged EU offer on visa liberalisation in terms of calendar and substance; underlines that the provisions on asylum must be fully in line with international obligations and commitments and EU standards, especially in the human rights field;

64.  Recalls, in this connection, that the Member States must uphold the principle of ‘non-refoulement’ and make every effort to facilitate the development of an accessible, fair and protective EU asylum system;

65.  Calls on the Member States and the EU to ratify the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime; considers that the review of the ENP should facilitate the adoption of specific measures in these fields; agrees with the Commission's observations concerning the situation with regard to migration for family reasons, and welcomes its forthcoming Green Paper on the subject;

66.  Underlines the importance of paying particular attention to young people, and emphasises the need to enhance synergies between Youth on the Move and ENP; stresses that the EU should increase cooperation in the field of academic education and vocational training, immediately broadening and increasing scholarship programmes and mobility of students, graduates, teachers and academics by promoting exchanges between higher education and training institutions, along with public-private partnerships in the field of research and enterprises; considers it essential to develop more flexible, accelerated procedures for issuing visas to participants in such programmes; emphasises the need to advance the work on mutual recognition of qualifications and education systems with ENP partner countries especially on the approximation of Higher Education Diplomas and standards to the European Higher Education Area; stresses the strong need for a structured information policy towards the citizens of the ENP partners concerning the possibility of participation in EU programmes;

67.  Calls on the Council and the Commission to set up a structured dialogue with third country authorities in order to develop a win-win approach to mobility, to ease visa formalities, to make greater use of the opportunities offered by the EU Visa Code while improving and harmonising its application in order to guarantee equal and fair conditions for applicants in all Member States, focusing in particular on the effects of the interdependence between development aid, security, regular migration and irregular migration as defined in the Global Approach to Migration; calls for special attention to be paid to ensuring that partner countries do not suffer from a ‘brain drain’;

68.  Calls on the EU to enhance the accessibility and channelling of EU funds into projects aimed at informing migrants of their rights and responsibilities and at protecting their rights, with particular reference to the rights of unaccompanied minors, women and other vulnerable groups; asks the Commission therefore to provide Parliament with a detailed report on the use of EU funds earmarked for neighbouring countries, including under the Commission's thematic programme for cooperation with third countries in the areas of migration and asylum;

Regional dimension

69.  Reiterates its firmly held view that the European Neighbourhood Policy will not be wholly effective unless synergy is created between its bilateral and multilateral dimensions; considers it essential, therefore, to strengthen the multilateral component of the ENP, to which a more substantial proportion of funding should be allocated under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument;

70.  Welcomes the proposal to use the multilateral framework more strategically in order to advance bilateral relations between the partners and expects concrete measures aimed at putting this proposal into practice; looks forward in this regard with great interest to the roadmap with objectives, instruments and actions announced by the HR/VP and the Commission by the end of the year;

71.  Believes that the multilateral dimension of the EaP should be further strengthened and developed, including the Civil Society Forum; notes the importance of establishing a constructive dialogue with Turkey and Russia on regional issues of common interest and particularly as far as security issues are concerned;

72.  Points out that the role of regions is crucial to ensure the success of long-term social and economic reforms and guarantee sustainable development; underlines that the ENP should be considered broadly in order to fuel the economic development of bordering areas; considers that the territorial cooperation principles apply also to external borders and are a key tool to improve EU economic development as well as the EU's overall ENP political goals; is of the opinion that the new ENP approach must allow the EU's macro-regional strategies and that the potential of the EU macroregions which include EU neighbouring countries should be fully used for better coordination of priorities and projects of common interest to the EU and the ENP countries in order to achieve mutually positive results and to optimise invested resources;

73.  Stresses the outstanding role of Euroregions for the achievement of the cohesion policy goals and encourages the Commission to promote and help their development, particularly in border regions, in order to boost Euroregions' role within the ENP policy;

74.  Stresses the high potential of European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation (EGTCs) involving regions beyond the external borders; encourages specific agreements with neighbouring third countries with regard to the introduction of national laws allowing EGTC structures under their national laws and inter-state agreements enabling local and regional authorities of third countries to participate in EGTCs;

75.  Considers that the future ENP should take into account the role of the outermost regions in the EU external relations policy; notes that they represent a real opportunity to influence EU external policy since they allow the EU on the one hand to have closer relations with a large number of third countries and on the other hand to tackle complex issues like irregular migration; calls on the Commission to provide greater flexibility as regards innovative funding opportunities for selected cohesion policy projects so as to enable these to become established in, and benefit, both European regions and those in non-member countries;

76.  Emphasises the importance of a wider geographical and strategic approach when looking at the ENP with a view to the future, recalling that, following the European Parliament's Resolution of 19 January 2006 on the ENP, the EU established in November 2007 specific policies on Atlantic island countries neighbouring EU outermost regions adjacent to the European continent, where special questions of geographical proximity, cultural and historical affinity and mutual security were found to be relevant; welcomes the high level of results achieved and the dynamism of the specific policies already implemented, namely the EU-Cape Verde Special Partnership; and calls on the EU to further strengthen its dialogue and policy convergence with these countries and to support their efforts to consolidate political, social and economic reforms;

77.  Understands that the Commission's DG Regional Development possesses vast experience of the management of the ERDF and is convinced that it would be in the interest of ENPI goals to draw on DG Regio's advice regarding the management of funds; therefore believes that the management of these financial tools in relation to CBC programmes should be returned to DG Regio, which was responsible for it in the past;

78.  Welcomes the Joint Declaration of the Warsaw Eastern Partnership Summit of 30 September 2011, as well as the Declaration on the situation in Belarus, in particular regarding the principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law, the commitment to deeper bilateral engagement, both economic and political, including the willingness to progress in the Association Agreement negotiations, the strengthening of the multilateral co-operation among partners and the facilitation of mobility and the commitment to stepping up its implementation with clear benefits to the societies of partner countries;

79.  Believes that the strengthening of the Eastern Partnership will be central for the development of EU border regions; stresses that the Eastern Partnership and regional development must work hand in hand and should encourage bi- and multilateral cooperation, such as free trade agreements, as well as properly funded joint projects, such as cultural and civil society exchanges;

80.  Stresses the importance of further fostering regional cooperation in the Black Sea space and developing further the EU Black Sea Strategy; highlights the complementarity between EU Black Sea policies and the Eastern Partnership; calls on the Commission and the EEAS to make positive use of the differing approaches of the two initiatives and to clarify, at all levels, how this substantial degree of complementarity is to be put to good use;

81.  Stresses the importance of the Union for the Mediterranean as a permanent forum for dialogue and cooperation and an instrument for the promotion of democracy; urges the (upcoming) co-presidency of Union for the Mediterranean to remain committed to the ambitious objectives initially set up and to contribute to the effective implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy in the Mediterranean region; takes the view that the UfM should promote sound economic, social and democratic development and create a strong and common basis for a close regional cooperation between the EU and its Southern neighbours; welcomes the opportunity offered by the UfM to strengthen complementarity between bilateral policies and regional policies, in order to achieve more effectively the goals of Euro-Mediterranean cooperation, based on the mutual recognition of common values and on the establishment of an area of peace, security, and prosperity; welcomes in particular the commitment of the new Secretary General of the Union to work and bring forward UfM projects in the areas of democracy and civil society; regarding the current state of play, welcomes the increase in the overall budget of the Neighbourhood Investment Facility;

82.  Notes that the multilateral component of the ENP should serve to aid the early, effective launch of tangible UfM projects to pave the way for a shared process of development and integration, not least by cofinancing feasibility studies and supporting the wider use of concessional loans;

83.  Calls on the Commission and the EEAS to explore opportunities for an institutional interlink between the ENP and the neighbourhood policies of key regional players, above all Turkey; recalls Ankara's ambition to inspire and assist democratic transitions and socio-economic reforms in the Southern neighbourhood; notes that participation of Turkish institutions and non-governmental organizations in ENP instruments would generate unique synergy effects, especially in areas such as institution-building and civil society development; believes that practical cooperation ought to be complemented by a structured dialogue between the EU and Turkey in order to coordinate their respective neighbourhood policies; recommends that a similar offer of cooperation in the ENP framework should, in principle, be extended to Russia and other relevant stakeholders;

The EU and conflict resolution

84.  Recalls that peaceful resolution of regional military conflicts, including so called frozen ones, is the essential precondition for democracy consolidation, respect for human rights, prosperity and economic growth, and thus should be of the highest interest to the EU;

85.  Recalls that the EU should get more involved and play a more active, coherent and constructive role in the resolution of regional conflicts, inter alia via the EEAS, by developing more confidence-building measures, reconciliation and mediation, considering new pragmatic and innovative approaches, including launching public communication strategies in partner countries, promoting a European civilian peace corps and local mediation actions, supporting civic culture - especially children's and young people's training, education and participation - and inter and intra-community dialogue, involving civil society organisations, developing cross-border projects, and strengthening good-neighbourly relations; points to the vital importance of intensifying political cooperation for the purposes of security and combating terrorism and individual forms of extremism;

86.  Believes that intercultural and inter-religious dialogue is crucial to enhancing mutual understanding, respect, solidarity and tolerance with and among the neighbourhood partner countries; calls for the proposed new ENP instruments to give particular consideration to their promotion;

87.  In the context of the aftermath of the revolutions in the North of Africa, stresses the importance of providing support to transitional justice and urges all partner countries to cooperate with international justice, namely the ICC;

88.  Insists on the need to keep a regional approach and welcomes the decision both to appoint an EUSR for the South Caucasus and for the Southern Mediterranean Region and to establish a task force for the Southern Mediterranean; takes the view that a similar task force for the South Caucasus should be considered; stresses the need to ensure that the proactive role of the EU in the 5+2 talks on Transnistria is adequately resourced, especially since the termination of the mandate of the EU Special Representative;

89.  Maintains that regional conflicts cannot be understood unless their cultural context is taken into account; calls for a coherent strategy to be implemented along the lines of the Blue Shield strategy, which gives culture a role in conflict prevention and the restoration of peace;

90.  Welcomes the work that international organisations, particularly the OSCE and UN agencies, carry out on the ground in conflict and post-conflict situations and in promoting sustainable development throughout the neighbourhood, notably the long-standing commitment of UNRWA to Palestinian refugees;

91.  Supports the EU's humanitarian action and action for development and peace in the eastern neighbourhood partner countries, and in particular its important contribution to UNRWA; regrets, however, that this action is not yet accompanied by a strengthening of the EU as a leading political actor in the Middle East; urges the EEAS and the Commission to do their utmost to give the EU's presence and action in the region a political weight which matches its decisive commitment to humanitarian aid and development aid;

Parliamentary dimension

92.  Stresses that the European Parliament plays an important role, through its parliamentary delegations and its delegations to parliamentary assemblies, in strengthening political dialogue and promoting fully-fledged freedoms, democratic reforms and the rule of law in its neighbouring partner countries and underlines that these contacts could also be a way to assess the fulfilment of the forthcoming criteria and to make the necessary adjustments to bilateral and multilateral cooperation arrangements in the light of events and the progress achieved;

93.  Reaffirms that the multilateral parliamentary assemblies, such as EURONEST and the PA-UfM, are crucial vectors of confidence- and coherence-building between the EU and the partner countries and among the partner countries themselves, and therefore greatly contribute to the achievement of the goals of the Eastern Partnership and the Union for the Mediterranean; calls on the EEAS and the Commission to associate EURONEST members to the maximum extent possible with the multilateral structures and platforms of the EaP; insists on the need to recognise the PA-UfM as a legitimate parliamentary institution of the UfM; emphasises that a fully-fledged secretariat will impart increased coherence to EURONEST's and PA-UfM's work and consistency with the ENP programmes planned for the Eastern and Southern regional dimension;

94.  Calls on the EC to provide enhanced financial, technical and expert support to the EaP countries' national parliaments' administrations within the Comprehensive Institution Building programme in order to strengthen their efficiency, transparency and accountability, which is crucial if the parliaments are to play their proper role in the democratic decision making processes;

95.  Confirms its openness to welcome representatives of the Belarusian Parliament in EURONEST as soon as parliamentary elections in Belarus are considered democratic by the international community, including the OSCE;

Funding

96.  Welcomes the proposal for the new European Neighbourhood Instrument and the increase of funding for the ENP, as requested in its previous resolutions; considers that the distribution of funds should be flexible and adequate for both regions while keeping the regional balance, with an approach that is driven by performance and centred on commitments and progress as regards reforms in partner countries, as well as on their needs and capacities; notes that more flexibility and simplification should respect the right of democratic scrutiny and be accompanied by increased supervision of the spending;

97.  Considers that maintaining a reasonable balance between East and South components is important, especially since Eastern neighbouring countries are in the process of implementing Eastern Partnership related programmes and reforms and have an EU perspective; believes, however, that this balance cannot be considered permanently fixed; fully supports the principle of differentiated and performance-driven flexible financial assistance, based on real needs, absorption capacity and targets attained;

98.  Considers that the review of the ENI must be consistent with, and be conducted in the context of, the current evaluation of the 2007-2013 MFF and the negotiations on the post-2013 period, with the aim of not reopening negotiations on the financing of neighbourhood policy during 2012 and 2013;

99.  Demands a sizeable increase in the Heading 4 ceiling of the EU budget for the European Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument, given that over the last years despite some progress in promoting enhanced cooperation and progressive economic integration between the European Union and the partner countries, more needs to be done as new challenges and areas for cooperation emerge;

100.  Underlines that the reallocation of appropriations needed for the increased funding for the ENP should be based on clear priorities and should therefore not be to the detriment of the Union's only crisis response and peace-building tool, the Instrument for Stability, as proposed by the Commission; emphasises that the funding of the ENP should not be affected by the current sovereign debt crisis;

101.  Regrets that a high percentage of the ENP funds available are spent on consultancy instead of going to projects and programmes and calls, in this respect, for a quick rebalance in their use under the new instrument;

102.  Highlights the importance, in cases where the EU has mobilised humanitarian aid, of ensuring a suitable transition between rehabilitation, reconstruction and development in order to remedy some of the destructive consequences of the revolutions;

103.  Considers that the CSF could be envisaged as an integral part of ENI; suggests considering the idea of redirecting the management of the ENI funds to the CSF if states fail to meet the conditions for financing due to unsatisfactory performance;

104.  Emphasises the critical role of the ENI in supporting EU macro-regional strategies, such as the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, by providing funding for the external dimension of these strategies, most importantly activities which involve neighbouring countries;

105.  Emphasises that the allocation of resources should be based on a limited number of clearly defined priorities and measurable objectives, in agreement with partner countries, taking into account their needs and based on clear conditionality and on the progress already achieved; underlines that budget support should be used only where there are guarantees for sound budgetary management and that the full range of available tools should be used to better reflect the priorities; outlines, in this context, the need for enhanced public procurement legislation and public finances management of the ENP countries;

106.  Underlines the need for a consistent approach in the assistance provided to neighbouring countries by each individual EU Member State and the EU within the ENP framework; favours every mechanism that would help to coordinate and streamline the action of the different EU donors in the ENP countries, without adding unnecessary bureaucratic layers;

107.  Points out that although aid can act as a leverage for ENP countries, it is not enough to guarantee sustainable and lasting development; therefore calls on ENP countries to strengthen and mobilise their domestic resources, set up transparent taxation systems, involve the private sector, local governments and civil society effectively in the ENP agenda and aim for their greater ownership of ENP projects;

108.  Welcomes the decision of the G8 member countries to increase loan facilities for Southern partnership countries which have embarked on a democratic transition; considers that the commitments entered into in the ‘Deauville Partnership’ on 27 May 2011 are likely to encourage financial mobilisation in support of democracy and development in the EU's partner countries;

109.  Calls, in the light of the Arab Spring as well as the retreat from democracy in some of the Eastern partnership countries, for a specific self-critical evaluation of the financial instruments used in the past within the ENPI, with regard to their functioning in the fields of democracy, human rights, governance, fighting corruption, institution-building and support to civil society; believes that the EU must assume a newer approach enhancing cooperation for conflict prevention;

110.  Is of the firm conviction that financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA must also be examined in the context of this review and be subject to long-term programming, as an integral part of the Neighbourhood Policy; does not consider the argument valid that the political instability in the region and the specificities of the peace process only allow provisional programming and case-by-case reinforcement;

111.  Calls, given the current pressing needs, especially in the Southern neighbourhood, for a swift agreement between the European Parliament and the Council on the proposal for reinforcing the Neighbourhood Instrument over the period 2012 to 2013; calls furthermore on Member States to promptly fulfil their bilateral pledges to the Southern Mediterranean and Eastern Partnership;

112.  Insists that the Council should adopt without further delay the legislative proposal to amend Article 23 of the ENPI Regulation presented by the Commission in May 2008 and adopted by Parliament on 8 July 2008, which would make it possible to reinvest funds returned following past operations; recalls that this measure is already considered as a given and is reflected in the proposal for financing the review of the ENP in the 2011-2013 budget; calls on the Commission to consider alternative ways to ensure additional risk capital funds to be immediately made available through the EIB, for both the Southern and the Eastern dimensions;

113.  Welcomes the work carried out by the European Investment Bank, in particular through the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and underlines the importance of and the need for more synergies with other national and international financial institutions also active in these countries; supports the modification of the EBRD's statutes in order for the Southern neighbourhood partners also to be eligible for its assistance and wishes to ensure that the EIB and the EBRD, whose capital is for the most part, in both cases, of European origin, are brought into a fruitful relationship based on cooperation, not driven by competition;

o
o   o

114.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, the EEAS, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the ENP countries and the Secretary-General of the Union for the Mediterranean.

(1) OJ L 310, 9.11.2006, p. 1.
(2) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0413
(3) OJ L 188, 19.7.2011, p. 24.
(4) OJ L 221, 27.8.2011, p. 5.
(5) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0153.
(6) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0154.
(7) OJ C 287 E, 24.11.2006, p. 312.
(8) OJ C 282 E, 6.11.2008, p. 443.
(9) OJ C 303 E, 13.12.2006, p. 760.
(10) OJ C 285 E, 26.11.2009, p. 11.
(11) OJ C 76 E, 25.3.2010, p. 83.
(12) OJ C 76 E, 25.3.2010, p. 76.
(13) OJ C 41 E, 19.2.2009, p. 64.
(14) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0025.
(15) OJ C 161 E, 31.5.2011, p. 126.
(16) OJ C 161 E, 31.5.2011, p. 136.
(17) OJ C 308 E, 20.10.2011, p. 81.
(18) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0038.
(19) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0064.
(20) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0095.
(21) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0386.
(22) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0387.
(23) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0239.


EU counter-terrorism policy: main achievements and future challenges
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European Parliament resolution of 14 December 2011 on the EU Counter-Terrorism Policy: main achievements and future challenges (2010/2311(INI))
P7_TA(2011)0577A7-0286/2011

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights, to Articles 2, 3 and 6 of the Treaty on European Union, and to the relevant Articles of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to the 2003 European Security Strategy(1) and its implementation report of 2008(2),

–  having regard to Council Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA of 13 June 2002 on combating terrorism(3) as amended by Framework Decision 2008/919/JHA(4), and notably Article 10 thereof on the protection and assistance of victims,

–  having regard to the 2005 EU Counter-Terrorism Strategy(5),

–  having regard to the EU Strategy for Combating Radicalisation and Recruitment to Terrorism(6),

–  having regard to the Stockholm Programme - An Open and Secure Europe Serving and Protecting Citizens(7), and the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of Regions of 20 April 2010 on Delivering an area of freedom, security and justice for Europe's citizens: Action Plan Implementing the Stockholm Programme (COM(2010)0171),

–  having regard to the Europol EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report for 2011 (TE-SAT 2011),

–  having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 20 July 2010 on the EU Counter-Terrorism Policy: main achievements and future challenges (COM(2010)0386),

–  having regard to the Opinion of the European Data Protection Supervisor of 24 November 2010 on the Communication on the EU Counter-Terrorism Policy: main achievements and future challenges(8),

–  having regard to the Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on the Communication on the EU Counter-Terrorism Policy: main achievements and future challenges(9),

–  having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the EU Internal Security Strategy in Action: Five steps towards a more secure Europe (COM(2010)0673),

–  having regard to the 1983 Council of Europe Convention on the Compensation of Victims of Violent Crimes (CETS No. 116), the 2005 Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (CETS No. 196), the 2005 Council of Europe Guidelines on the Protection of Victims of Terrorist Acts, the 2006 Council of Europe Recommendation (2006)8 on Assistance to Crime Victims, and the 2011 Commission proposal for a Directive establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime (COM(2011)0275),

–  having regard to the mid-term review of the 7th Framework Programme for Research and to the Green Paper entitled ‘From challenges to opportunities: towards a common strategic framework for EU research and innovation funding’,

–  having regard to its various resolutions related to counter-terrorism,

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 2580/2001 of 27 December 2001 on specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities with a view to combating terrorism(10), and to Council Common Position 2001/931/CFSP of 27 December 2001 on the application of specific measures to combat terrorism(11),

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Legal Affairs (A7-0286/2011),

A.  whereas after the atrocious attacks of 11 September 2001 the first decade of the 21st century has been marked by the ‘War on Terrorism’, especially with regard to the U.S. approach; whereas, although these attacks or other attacks of similar magnitude did not take place on European soil, the planning and preparation of the attacks took place partially in Europe, and many Europeans felt them to be an attack on their values and their way of life;

B.  whereas the European Union has been a greater target for, and victim of, terrorism in the 21st century and faces an ever present threat;

C.  whereas severe terrorist attacks on EU soil since the 9/11 attacks in the United States, including the 2004 terrorist attacks in Madrid and the 2005 attacks in London,  have had a significant impact on the sense of common security among EU citizens;

D.  whereas the Europol 2011 EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT 2011) indicates that the threat of terrorist attacks in the EU remains serious, and that the links between terrorism and organised crime appear to be growing, and points to the fact that there is a decreasing trend of terrorist attacks claimed or attributed to separatist terrorist organisations as compared with 2006, although they still account for the majority of overall terrorist attacks in the EU;

E.  whereas the Stockholm Programme identifies two threats to internal security – international terrorism and organised crime – which, in many cases, operate in the same areas of activity, such as arms and drugs trafficking for example;

F.  whereas terrorism is not a recent phenomenon; whereas in recent decades terrorism has taken new forms such as cyber–terrorism, and terrorist networks have become more complex in structure, means and financing, thus making the terrorist threat all the more complex; whereas counter-terrorism has always been part of the sphere of competence of the Member States and of regular law enforcement action; whereas the 9/11, Madrid and London attacks led to a fundamental change in perception of the terrorist phenomenon and in the methods and instruments used to fight terrorism; and whereas as a result of those attacks terrorism became a matter affecting the security of the whole European Union and not just the national security of the Member States, with a very different legal framework;

G.  whereas, in spite of the lack of unambiguous international definitions of terrorism, the EU has defined terrorist offences in Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA;

H.  whereas international cooperation is essential to deprive terrorism of its financial, logistical and operational bases;

I.  whereas although experiences of terrorism, as well as threat levels, vary across the EU Member States, a common EU approach is needed since terrorist operations are often pan-European and terrorists make use of European diversity in laws and anti-terrorism capabilities and the abolition of border controls when committing their acts;

J.  whereas EU citizens and other persons also want their safety and security guaranteed within the EU and elsewhere and the EU has an important role to play in this regard;

K.  whereas terrorist acts seriously jeopardise human rights, threaten democracy, aim to destabilise legitimately constituted governments, undermine pluralistic civil societies and challenge everyone's ideal of leading a life free from fear;

L.  whereas the aim of counter-terrorism policies should be to combat the objectives of terrorism and the execution of terrorist acts, which seek to destroy the fabric of free, open and democratic societies; whereas the prime objective of counter-terrorism must be to protect and strengthen that fabric of democratic societies by strengthening civil liberties and democratic scrutiny, by ensuring the security and safety of European citizens, by identifying the parties responsible for perpetrating terrorism and prosecuting them, and by responding to the consequences of a terrorist attack through inclusion policies, cross-border judicial and police cooperation and an effective and coordinated strategy at EU level; whereas the effectiveness of counter-terrorism policies must be measured against these aims; and whereas the counter-terrorism approach most likely to succeed is that of focusing on prevention of violent extremism and escalation;

M.  whereas the European Union's counter-terrorism strategy should therefore address not only the consequences of terrorism but also its causes;

N.  whereas the fight against violent extremism is an essential element in the prevention and suppression of terrorism;

O.  whereas counter-terrorism means countering all forms of terrorism, including cyber-terrorism, narco-terrorism and the interconnectability of terrorist groups with and within multiple criminal operations, as well as the tactics it uses to be operational such as illegal funding, financial extortion, money laundering and disguising terrorist groups operations under assumed legal entities or institutions;

P.  whereas terrorism is a State problem and it is therefore the task of democratic institutions to draw up and preserve the main lines of counter-terrorism policy in a search for the widest possible political and social consensus; whereas the democratic fight against terrorism, necessarily within the bounds of the constitutional state and the rule of law, is a matter for all the political parties represented in democratic institutions, whether they be in government or opposition; and whereas this makes it advisable to preserve the definition of the counter-terrorism policy, according to which it is in any democratic society a matter for governments, arising from the lawful confrontation between political parties and thus from electoral competition;

Q.  whereas it is reasonable to measure the costs and benefits of counter-terrorism policies, as policy-makers should know if their decisions are having the desired impact and citizens have a right to hold their elected representatives to account;

R.  whereas ten years after the attacks that shook the world it is time to take stock of achievements in fighting terrorism; whereas evaluation allows for more efficient and effective policy-making and in any modern democracy policy decisions must be subject to frequent evaluation and review;

S.  whereas remarkably little has been done to assess to what degree EU counter-terrorism policies have achieved the stated objectives; whereas Parliament has repeatedly called for a thorough evaluation of EU counter-terrorism policies, as evaluation and assessment are preconditions for the transparency and accountability of policy-makers; and whereas the absence of proper evaluation of EU counter-terrorism policies is mainly due to the fact that a large part of it is conducted in the area of intelligence and security policies, where there is a tradition of secrecy;

T.  whereas terrorist attacks have repeatedly aimed at causing mass causalities, challenging available institutional capacities;

U.  whereas terrorists target innocent civilians in order to achieve their objective of destroying democracy; whereas those who have suffered injury, damage or loss of their loved ones in terrorist attacks are entitled to our support and solidarity, and to receive reparation, compensation and assistance;

V.  whereas it is vital that justice be done, that the guilty ones are brought to trial and that terrorist crimes do not go unpunished, whereas the position of victims as witnesses in judicial proceedings needs special attention;

W.   whereas accountability and responsibility are essential factors for the democratic legitimacy of counter-terrorism policies, whereas mistakes, unlawful actions and violations of international law and human rights law must be investigated and judicially prosecuted;

X.   whereas counter-terrorism measures must respect the rights enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and any measure adopted in this field has a reciprocal impact on civil liberties;

Y.  whereas mass surveillance has become a key feature of counter-terrorism policies and whereas the large-scale collection of personal data, detection and identification technologies, tracking and tracing, data mining and profiling, risk assessment and behavioural analysis are all used for the purpose of preventing terrorism; whereas these instruments entail the risk of shifting the burden of proof to the citizen; whereas the effectiveness and success rates of these instruments for the prevention of terrorism are dubious; and whereas the sharing of information between agencies is inadequate;

Z.  whereas public authorities are making more and more use of data collected for commercial or private purposes; whereas private companies in various sectors are obliged to retain and provide personal data from their customer databases; whereas the costs connected with the storage and retrieval of data (both infrastructure investments and operational costs) are considerable;

AA.  whereas there is an urgent need for a uniform legal definition of the concept of ‘profiling’ based on the relevant fundamental rights and data protection standards in order to reduce uncertainty as to which activities are prohibited and which are not;

General considerations

1.  Welcomes the Commission Communication and reiterates that it must be linked to the EU's forthcoming internal security strategy; regrets, however, that its scope is rather narrow, is limited to the implementation of agreed policy measures and does not cover national counter-terrorism policies or national measures that transpose policies agreed at European or international level, as well as the fact that there has not been a more thorough investigation of possible legal loopholes or the possible overlapping or duplication of counter-terrorism actions and instruments adopted at EU level; stresses the importance of a consistent approach, at EU and Member State level, to initiatives adopted in the field of internal security, with particular reference to terrorism and organised crime;

2.  Also deplores the fact that the Communication does not sufficiently cover and develop in greater detail the measures taken by DGs other than JLS (such as TRAN, ENTER or MARKT) and that it does not give a clear idea how the measures interact and where there are overlaps or gaps; is of the opinion that all the above levels must also be considered, as European, national and international measures are complementary, and assessing individual measures does not provide a complete picture of the impact of counter-terrorism policies in Europe;

3.  Regrets that the opportunity was missed to explain how certain EU counter-terrorism instruments such as data retention, PNR and the Swift Agreement fit into the EU counter-terrorism strategy;

4.  Believes that the Charter of Fundamental Rights should always be the compass for EU policies in this field and for Member States in the implementation thereof, as well as in cooperation with third parties and third countries;

5.  Emphasises the need for the European Union, its Member States and its partner countries to base their strategy for combating international terrorism on the rule of law and respect for fundamental rights; underlines, furthermore, that the Union's external actions to combat international terrorism should in the first place be aimed at prevention, and highlights the need to promote dialogue, tolerance and understanding among different cultures, civilisations and religions;

6.  Recalls that counter-terrorism policies should meet the standards set with regard to necessity, effectiveness, proportionality, civil liberties, the rule of law and democratic scrutiny and accountability that the Union has committed itself to uphold and develop, and that assessing whether these standards are met must be an integral part of an evaluation of all EU counter-terrorism efforts; considers that these policies must be developed in accordance with the provisions of EU primary law and, in particular, give priority to respecting the rights enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union;

7.  Reaffirms that restrictive measures to seize, confiscate or freeze assets and funds linked to natural or legal persons and organisations involved or implicated in terrorist acts, can be useful as a counter-terrorism tool, but that they must comply fully with Article 75 of the TFEU and the Charter of Fundamental Rights;

8.  Considers that prevention, tracking and prosecution of terrorist activities are critical policies at EU level and must be part of a systematic approach based not on emergency norms but on a coherent, necessity-founded strategy, must be purpose- and cost-effective and must avoid duplication of measures and function creep on the part of competent institutions, agencies and bodies;

9.  Underlines the fact that the evaluation of ten years of EU counter-terrorism policies should result in clearly defined policy objectives;

10.  Takes the view that terrorism is a phenomenon that is constantly evolving and should be met by a counter-terrorism policy that can address this fact;

11.  Considers the decision to deepen and develop the four main strands of the counter-terrorism strategy – prevent, protect, pursue and respond – to be a good one;

12.  Believes that prevention, investigation and prosecution of terrorist activities should be based on the reinforcement of judicial and police cooperation at EU level, coupled with full parliamentary scrutiny and full and timely completion of the roadmap for a high-level set of uniform procedural guarantees;

13.  Considers that training and awareness-raising among judicial and police authorities must be a priority in order to improve readiness across the European Union in the fight against terrorism;

14.  Points out in that regard the importance of cooperation by Member States with OLAF and with other EU agencies such as Europol, Eurojust and CEPOL;

15.  Invites the Commission to fully assess the set of counter-terrorism policies and measures adopted and focus on future challenges, including the reform of Europol and Eurojust in the light of the new potentialities offered by the Lisbon Treaty, the need for uniform standards for obtaining evidence and conducting investigations, full implementation of joint investigation teams, a stronger EU framework for judicial and police training, and proper inclusion and integration policies;

16.  Takes the view that counter-terrorism measures must be commensurate with the threat level and that they must be adjusted in response to both an increase and a decrease in threat level; notes that counter-terrorism measures, in terms of both new government powers and agencies, must be designed in such a way that they can be scaled up as well as down, depending on the situation;

17.  Recalls that radicalisation and recruitment pose the most significant and continuous long-term threat, as stressed in the Commission's Communication, and thus constitute the axis on which the EU must focus its counter-terrorism prevention strategies at the very beginning of the chain; stresses that investment in anti-racism and anti-discrimination policies constitutes a crucial instrument with which to tackle and prevent radicalisation and recruitment of potential terrorists;

18.  Recalls the important contribution of many NGOs and civil society, often co-financed by the EU and its Member States, towards socio-economic development, peace building, nation building and democratisation, all essential in countering radicalisation and recruitment;

19.  Calls for the creation of a comprehensive strategy on the interconnection between international organised crime, drug trafficking and terrorism; and encourages continuous analysis of new trends and traits in diversification, radicalisation and recruitment, and those related to the role of international non-governmental organisations in terrorism financing;

20.  Calls, in that context, on the Commission and the Member States to prevent the rise of extremism;

21.  Draws attention to the need to expand and develop existing and new counter-terrorism related strategic partnerships with countries outside Europe, as long as these partnerships respect human rights; emphasises the strategic cooperation between the Union and the US and points out the need for cooperation with other partners, reiterating the importance the Union attaches to the protection of citizens' personal data and their human and civil rights;

22.  Underlines that counter-terrorism is an integral part of the Union's relations with third countries; asks for an increase in the funding of counter-terrorism assistance measures in the next Instrument for Stability in order to prevent state failure; agrees, in this respect, with the priority areas being South Asia, in particular Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Sahel region (Mauretania, Mali, Niger), Somalia and Yemen; welcomes the presentation of the European Union Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel on 21 March 2011 and calls on the Council to adopt the Strategy in consultation with the European Parliament; welcomes the insertion of counter-terrorism clauses in international agreements;

23.  Calls on the Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Council to quickly implement arrangements for the solidarity clause introduced by the Lisbon Treaty;

24.  Insists on the importance of defining a uniform set of standards for the specific protection and support of victims of terrorism,  including witnesses, including in the framework of the proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime (COM(2011)0275);

Evaluation and mapping exercise

25.  Stresses that a proper evaluation of ten years of counter-terrorism policies should focus on examining whether the measures taken to prevent and combat terrorism in the EU have been evidence-based (and not based on assumptions), needs-driven, coherent and part of a comprehensive EU counter-terrorism strategy , based on an in-depth and complete appraisal, to be carried out in line with Article 70 of the TFEU, with the Commission reporting back to a Joint Parliamentary Meeting of the European Parliament and national parliamentary committees responsible for overseeing counter-terrorism activities within six months of the study being commissioned, drawing upon reports to be requested from relevant organisations and agencies such as Europol, Eurojust, the Fundamental Rights Agency, the European Data Protection Supervisor, the Council of Europe and the United Nations;

26.  Advocates a holistic and comprehensive approach to counter-terrorism policy in the form of alignment of the European Security Strategy and the Internal Security Strategy and a strengthening of existing coordination mechanisms between Justice and Home Affairs Council structures, agencies and the European External Action Service; stresses that good intelligence is crucial to combating terrorism and that the EU is uniquely well placed to facilitate intelligence-sharing among Member States provided there is a proper legal base for such cooperation, and that it is embedded in regular decision making procedures, but that this must be subject to the same standards of accountability that apply in the Member States; points out accordingly that human intelligence, over and above all technical means available, remains indispensable in tackling terrorist networks and in the timely prevention of attacks;

27.  Calls on the Commission to produce a full and detailed evaluation, on the basis of publicly available information and information provided by the Member States in the context of Article 70 TFEU, including at least the following items:

   (a) A clear analysis of the response to the terrorist threat, based on the definition laid down in Council Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA of 13 June 2002 on combating terrorism, as well as of the framework of counter-terrorism measures to address this threat in terms of effectiveness, gaps in security, prevention, prosecution and increased security in Europe, including the effectiveness of the EU agencies and the proportionality thereof;
   (b) Facts, figures and trends relating to terrorist activity and counter-terrorism activity;
   (c) A full overview of the accumulated impact of counter-terrorism measures on civil liberties and fundamental rights, measures by third countries with a direct impact in the EU and all measures taken in this field in connection with external relations, as well as the case law of the ECHR, the European Court of Justice and national courts;

28.  Calls on the Commission to map out which measures have objectives other than counter-terrorism, or where further objectives were added to the initial purpose of counter-terrorism (mission creep and function creep), such as law enforcement, immigration policies, public health or public order;

29.  Calls on the Commission to draw up a complete and detailed map of all existing counter-terrorism policies in Europe, with a special focus on EU legislation and how it has been transposed and implemented at EU level; at the same time, calls on the Member States to carry out a comprehensive evaluation on their counter-terrorism policies, with a particular focus on interaction with EU policies, overlap and gaps, in order to cooperate better in the evaluation of EU policies – including by providing correlation tables that identify which provisions of Member States' laws transpose the provisions of EU acts and by providing their input within the given deadlines, as in the case of the Data Retention Directive;

30.  Calls on the Commission to produce a full and detailed report, on the basis of publicly available information and information provided by the Member States in the context of Article 70 TFEU, on all resources spent by the European Union, the EU Member States and private companies on measures with counter-terrorism objectives, directly or indirectly, including those measures specifically aimed at counter-terrorism activities, at IT counter-terrorism related staff, systems and databases, at the protection of fundamental rights and data protection, democracy and the rule of law, at funding counter-terrorism related research, and on the development of the relevant EU budget lines since 2001, also specifying the resources allocated to this area by third countries;

31.  Calls on the Commission to ascertain whether counter-terrorism measures are being implemented properly and to report regularly to the Parliament and the Council on its findings;

32.  Calls on the Commission to carry out a study into the costs of counter-terrorism policies borne by the private sector, as well as an overview of sectors benefiting from counter-terrorism policies;

Democratic scrutiny and accountability

33.  Calls on the Commission to carry out a study to establish if counter-terrorism policies are subject to effective democratic scrutiny, on the basis of publicly available information and information provided by the Member States in the context of Article 70 TFEU, including at least the following issues:

   (a) a detailed assessment establishing if either national parliaments or the European Parliament had full rights and the means of scrutiny, such as access to information, sufficient time for a thorough procedure, and rights to modify the proposals on counter-terrorism measures, including measures agreed in international governmental and non-governmental bodies, non-legislative EU(-funded) activities, such as research programmes and measures adopted by third countries with an extraterritorial effect in the EU;
   (b) the need for the review of counter-terrorism measures to include a thorough proportionality test;
   (c) the provision of an overview of the classification of documents, trends in the use of classification, and data on access granted to counter-terrorism documents;
   (d) an overview of the instruments for democratic scrutiny of cross-border cooperation by intelligence agencies, and more specifically of SitCen, the Watch-Keeping Capability, the Crisis Room, the Council's Clearing House and COSI;

  34. Calls in addition, where counter-terrorism measures are concerned, for the proportionality principle to be taken into account and the fundamental rights of citizens to be observed, bearing in mind that all such measures must comply with the law and the rule of law;

35.  Calls on the Commission, the Member States and the competent legal authorities to investigate any unlawful action or violation of human rights, international law and the legal order where there is any evidence or suspicion of such action or violation, and calls on the Member States to ensure their rectification;

36.  Looks forward to the conclusions of the EP TDIP Committee follow-up report on alleged transportation and illegal detention of prisoners in European countries by the CIA, and calls for the implementation of all relevant EP recommendations;

37.  Stresses that the EU must help the U.S. in finding appropriate solutions to the issues of closing Guantánamo and ensuring its inmates receive a fair trial;

38.  In this context, urges the Council and the Commission, when revising the blacklisting and asset-freezing measures, to consider particularly the position of NGOs and civil society so as to ensure that NGOs are not listed ‘by association’ and that they are not unduly hampered in working with their partner organisations;

39.  Is aware of the Commission appeal against the General Court judgment in the latest case of Kadi v. Commission; calls on all actors to carry out a thorough revision of the sanctions regime and ensure it is fully in line with international human rights standards and the rule of law, in accordance with all relevant case law; takes the view that those targeted by sanctions should be given the information that substantiates their targeting and be entitled to effective judicial remedy;

40.  Calls on the Commission and the Council to investigate the collection of personal data – if such collection has taken place – for law enforcement purposes without an adequate legal base or by applying irregular, or even illegal, procedures;

Monitoring and profiling

41.  Urges the Commission to conduct a compulsory proportionality test and a full impact assessment for each proposal involving the large-scale collection of personal data, detection and identification technologies, tracking and tracing, data mining and profiling, risk assessment and behavioural analysis or similar techniques;

42.  Underlines the need to improve the use of data: the collection of data should only be allowed after the principle of necessity, and the non-existence of a possible overlap with other existing measures and the non-existence of possible less intrusive measures have been explicitly demonstrated, and only on the basis of strict purpose limitation and data minimisation, and when sharing and processing of data are drastically improved;

43.  Calls on the European Data Protection Supervisor and the Fundamental Rights Agency to report on the level of protection of fundamental rights and personal data in the field of EU Counter-Terrorism Policy;

44.  Urges the Commission and the Council to clarify fully the division of labour between the Counter-Terrorism Coordinator and the High Representative;

45.  Calls on the Counter-Terrorism Coordinator to draw up a report on the use of human intelligence and its cooperation with foreign intelligence services in European counter-terrorism policies;

46.  Calls on the Commission to launch proposals for strengthening the protection of civil liberties, transparency and democratic scrutiny in the context of counter-terrorism policies, such as improving access to documents by creating an EU Freedom of Information Act and strengthening the Fundamental Rights Agency, the EDPS and the Article 29 WP;

47.  Calls on the Commission to propose amendments to the Council Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA on combating terrorism, amended last in 2008, with a view to raising the standard of protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, inter alia by updating the definition of terrorist offences, and to link it better to the existing EU-level Human Rights instruments, particularly the Charter of Fundamental Rights;

48.  Calls on the Commission to incorporate a uniform legal definition of the concept of ‘profiling’;

49.  Calls on the Commission to put forward a proposal for a legislative framework for data protection, including the Common Foreign Security Policy, on the basis of Article 16 of the TFEU and without prejudice to the specific rules laid down in Article 39 TEU;

o
o   o

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

(1) A Secure Europe in a Better World - The European Security Strategy, Approved by the European Council held in Brussels on 12 December 2003 and drafted under the responsibilities of the EU High Representative Javier Solana
(2) Report on the Implementation of the European Security Strategy - Providing Security in a Changing World, S 407/08
(3) OJ L 164, 22.6.2002, p. 3.
(4) OJ L 330, 9.12.2008, p. 21.
(5) Council Document 14469/4/2005.
(6) Council Document 14781/1/2005. The Strategy was revised in November 2008. Council Document 15175/2008.
(7) OJ C 115, 4.5.2010, p. 1.
(8) OJ C 56, 22.2.2011, p. 2.
(9) SOC 388 - CESE 800/2011.
(10) OJ L 344, 28.12.2001, p. 70.
(11) OJ L 344, 28.12.2001, p. 93.

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