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Procedure : 2012/2688(RSP)
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Texts tabled :

RC-B7-0346/2012

Debates :

PV 04/07/2012 - 4
CRE 04/07/2012 - 4

Votes :

PV 04/07/2012 - 7.17
CRE 04/07/2012 - 7.17
PV 11/09/2012 - 10.16
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2012)0319

Texts adopted
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Tuesday, 11 September 2012 - Strasbourg
Preparation of the Commission work programme 2013
P7_TA(2012)0319RC-B7-0346/2012

European Parliament resolution of 11 September 2012 on the Commission Work Programme for 2013 (2012/2688(RSP))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the forthcoming Communication on the Commission Work Programme for 2013,

–  having regard to the existing Framework Agreement on relations between Parliament and the Commission and, in particular, Annex 4 thereto,

–  having regard to its resolution of 4 July 2012 on the June 2012 European Council meeting(1),

–  having regard to Rule 35(3) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the scale and nature of the sovereign debt, financial and economic crisis are testing the governance of the European Union as never before;

B.  whereas the EU is at a critical point and the crisis will not be overcome without a significant deepening of European integration, in particular in the euro area, with a corresponding reinforcement of democratic control and accountability;

C.  whereas the role of the Commission is to promote the general interest of the Union, to take appropriate initiatives to that end, to ensure the application of the Treaties, to oversee the implementation of Union law, to exercise coordinating, executive and management functions and to initiate legislation;

PART 1

1.  Urges the Commission to use all its powers to the full and to provide the political leadership required to meet the numerous challenges thrown up by the continuing crisis, while aiming to achieve financial stability and economic recovery based on increased competitiveness and a sustainable, effective and socially just anti-crisis agenda;

2.  Recalls its demand of 4 July 2012 that the Commission table a package of legislative proposals by September, in line with the Community method, on the basis of the four building blocks identified in the report entitled ‘Towards a Genuine Economic and Monetary Union’;

3.  Insists that the Commission play a full part in formulating the reports to the European Council meetings in October and December 2012, which must establish a clear roadmap and schedule for the consolidation of economic and monetary union, including an integrated financial, fiscal and economic policy framework, and which must lead in due course to a stronger political union, and in particular to greater democratic accountability and legitimacy on the basis of Treaty change;

4.  Points to Parliament's position on the ‘two-pack’ legislation, which will strengthen budgetary surveillance and enhance budgetary policy in the euro area and which contains provisions allowing for a differentiated path for budgetary consolidation in the event of a severe economic downturn;

5.  Urges the Commission to put forward proposals to implement the commitments outlined in the Compact for Growth and Jobs, notably with a view to stimulating sustainable growth-oriented investment, improving the competitiveness of a European economy geared towards the Europe 2020 objectives, in particular those of resource efficiency and sustainability, and deepening the single market; calls on the Commission to use its Work Programme for 2013 to set out a detailed growth agenda which focuses on encouraging business and entrepreneurs to develop the industries and services that will deliver long-term jobs and prosperity; stresses, in this context, the importance of significantly scaling up European project bonds on the basis of cooperation between the EU budget and the European Investment Bank;

6.  Points, furthermore, to the need for a sustained and symmetrical reduction of excessive macro-economic imbalances and calls for concrete changes in EU tax law to tackle all aspects of tax havens and fiscal evasion;

7.  Calls on the Commission to do its utmost to facilitate the speedy adoption of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and the related multiannual legislative programmes, with full involvement of Parliament and due respect for its co-decision rights; strongly supports the commitment to make the EU budget a catalyst for growth and jobs around Europe; calls on the Commission, in this connection, to defend its proposal to ensure that the Union's budget reflects more directly its needs and political objectives;

8.  Insists, however, that the reform of the own-resources system, including the creation of new own resources, is an essential element without which the prospects for an agreement on the new MFF are poor; asks the Commission to support the request by several Member States for enhanced cooperation in this area; underlines the desirability, nevertheless, of reaching an overall agreement by the end of this year;

9.  Urges the Commission to improve the coherence of its legislative programme, to raise the quality of its legislative drafting, to strengthen its impact assessment of draft laws, to propose wherever appropriate the use of correlation tables with a view to better transposition of EU law, and to back Parliament in its negotiations with the Council on the use of delegated implementing acts; reiterates its repeated calls for the 2003 Interinstitutional Agreement on better lawmaking to be renegotiated;

10.  Calls on the Commission to take due note of the sector-specific positions of Parliament as set out in Part 2 below;

PART 2
Implementation

11.  Emphasises the importance of the proper and timely implementation of EU law through national legislation, and urges the Commission, if necessary, to open infringement proceedings in order to ensure proper transposition and effective enforcement;

12.  Urges the Commission to propose the introduction of compulsory national management declarations, signed at the appropriate political level, covering EU funds under shared management; urges continued action on simplifying the EU's programmes, particularly in the field of research and innovation; calls on the Commission to monitor closely the use of financial engineering instruments (FEIs); calls for systematic, regular and independent evaluations, to ensure that all spending is achieving the desired outcomes in a cost-effective manner;

13.  Expects the Commission to submit in good time the draft amending budgets necessary to ensure that payment levels are in line with the measures agreed at the June 2012 European Council to stimulate growth and are sufficient to honour outstanding commitments;

Single market

14.  Calls on the Commission to continue to focus on improving the governance of the single market, to renew its drive to achieve administrative simplification, to give due consideration to proposing, where appropriate, regulations rather than directives in order to ensure the proportionality of proposed measures, and to monitor progress with a view to the full implementation of the single market acquis, especially in the services sector, including the possibility of ‘fast-track’ infringement procedures; stresses that due account must be taken of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of the single market;

15.  Looks forward to the Commission's Single Market Act II proposals for priority actions to boost growth, employment and confidence in the single market; encourages the use of enhanced cooperation where appropriate and necessary;

16.  Calls on the Commission to be more systematic in assessing the impact of its proposals on SMEs, on which Europe relies for many new jobs; urges the Commission, in this regard, actively to discourage the ‘gold-plating’ of EU law at national level, which distorts the level playing field in the internal market; calls for the bureaucratic burden to be further reduced;

17.  Confirms its support for the Commission's emphasis on the digital agenda; urges proposals to provide more cross-border services to consumers throughout the EU;

18.  Recalls the need for a solid revision of the General Product Safety Directive (Directive 2001/95/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council(2)) that guarantees consumer health and safety but also facilitates trade in goods, especially for SMEs; calls on the Commission to propose a cross-cutting regulation on market surveillance for all products; calls, furthermore, for effective redress in retail financial services and a common horizontal, coordinated approach in order to protect consumers;

19.  Urges the Commission to improve its regulatory behaviour towards SMEs and micro-enterprises by tailoring legislation to SME needs and also furthering the introduction of appropriate exemptions;

20.  Urges the Commission to pursue its copyright reform, which should be fit for the internet environment and based on social legitimacy, with due respect for fundamental rights, including the completion of industrial property rights reform to boost Europe's growth and job creation; calls on the Commission to take account of the legal problems that came to light in the controversy surrounding the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) when presenting its proposal on the revision of EU trademark law;

Climate, environment, energy and transport

21.  Insists on the need to implement the roadmap to a resource-efficient Europe in order to create incentives for the development of the green economy, the fostering of biodiversity and the fight against climate change, including the integration of resource-efficiency measures as envisaged in the Europe 2020 strategy;

22.  Believes that the European Semester must provide the opportunity for each Member State to account for its own commitments regarding the EU 2020 strategy, the Euro Plus Pact, the Single Market Act and other major EU objectives;

23.  Calls on the Commission to bring forward without delay proposals to address the weaknesses of the current Emissions Trading System in order to prevent its collapse;

24.  Calls on the Commission to present a detailed action plan of measures designed to achieve a fully integrated and interconnected single market in energy, and emphasises the importance of providing the EU with a modern grid infrastructure;

25.  Calls on the Commission to implement the Roadmap for moving to a competitive low-carbon economy in 2050, including mid-term milestones;

26.  Requests that the Commission draw up a strategy to address the impact of rising energy prices on members of society;

27.  Believes that the crisis should be used as an opportunity to transform our development model of society with a view to creating a highly efficient, renewable-based and climate-resilient economy; underlines the need for the Commission to come forward with proposals for a 2030 energy and climate package based on the current three pillars, i.e. greenhouse gas reductions, renewable energy sources and energy efficiency;

28.  Supports the Commission's emphasis on the need to modernise Europe's multimodal transport network, which is vital for the success of the internal market; calls on the Commission to stick to its commitment to railways and to extend the competences of the European Railway Agency in the field of safety certification and harmonisation of rolling stock;

29.  Regrets the failure to implement in full the Single European Sky initiative, and calls on the Commission to renew its efforts in this regard;

Cohesive and inclusive societies – Citizens' Europe

30.  Strongly welcomes the Commission's focus on youth employment and its proposals to expand the Union's capacity to boost education and training; expects, as part of the umbrella communication on the employment package, clear targets and timetables and concrete proposals in the areas of youth mobility, the ‘Youth Guarantee’, the quality framework for internships, language skills and youth entrepreneurship, in order to fight high youth unemployment; also expects concrete measures to reduce poverty, reform the labour market and establish social standards, so that a balanced ‘flexicurity’ approach can be implemented in those Member States that so desire, and calls for greater emphasis to be placed on the employment of disabled people in the context of an ageing society;

31.  Stresses the importance of investment in human capital and research and development, and of adequate education and training to facilitate professional mobility; also calls for further work on the issues of violence against women and human trafficking;

32.  Reiterates its call for a strong EU-wide cohesion policy post-2013, which must streamline existing funds and programmes, ensure adequate financing, be based on multi-level governance and be closely aligned with the objectives of the EU 2020 strategy; insists on the need to improve the efficiency and responsiveness of the Solidarity Fund and expects proposals to that end; is convinced that it is possible to find, by appropriate means, common ground for the EU cohesion and research and development policies, which ought to be targeted towards growth and competitiveness while respecting the principles of economic, social and territorial cohesion as well as excellence;

33.  Supports initiatives at Union level to complement national efforts in increasing micro-credit and boosting social entrepreneurship which delivers services that are not sufficiently provided by the public or private sectors;

34.  Welcomes the more robust approach taken by the Commission to protecting the rule of law and fundamental rights across the Union; calls for a review of the Fundamental Rights Agency in order to guarantee effective monitoring and implementation of the Charter of Human Rights and align it with the Lisbon Treaty; supports the Commission in its negotiation of the EU's accession to the European Convention on Human Rights;

35.  Calls on the Commission to examine the implementation of the Racial Equality Directive (Council Directive 2000/43/EC(3)) and the transposition of the Framework decision on combating racism and xenophobia (Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA(4)), and considers it regrettable that the EU framework for national Roma integration strategies is not legally binding;

36.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that freedom of movement of persons is secured and that the Schengen acquis is fully respected; stresses the need to replace inadequate peer review by Member States and calls for the Commission to take full responsibility for the supervision of the Schengen rules; welcomes the Commission's support for its position on the legal basis for the Schengen rules;

37.  Considers regrettable the absence of a legislative proposal on enhanced intra-EU solidarity in the field of asylum; calls for a legislative proposal to establish a common European asylum system combining responsibility and solidarity;

38.  Underlines the importance of adopting the regulation on a general framework for data protection and the directive on data protection in the field of prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution of criminal offences in order to ensure that any further counter-terrorism measures uphold high standards of privacy and data protection; calls on the Commission to bring forward its review of the Data Retention Directive (Directive 2006/24/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council(5));

39.  Strongly supports the Commission's emphasis on implementing citizen-friendly initiatives in the context of the proposal for a decision on the European Year of Citizens (2013) (COM(2011)0489) so as to further strengthen citizens' awareness of the benefits deriving from European citizenship;

Agriculture and fisheries

40.  Takes note of the ongoing reform of the Common Agricultural Policy; welcomes the Commission's commitment to promoting a balanced and integrated approach which safeguards both the sustainable and efficient production of high-quality and affordable food and respect for the environmental and heritage value of the countryside; urges that the CAP be closely aligned with the Europe 2020 strategy in order to encourage innovation in farming and enhance the sustainability, fairness and competitiveness of European agriculture at local and regional levels;

41.  Stresses that the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy must be ambitious in order to achieve sustainable and healthy long-term fish stocks; urges the Commission to ensure that Article 43(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) is the legal basis for its proposals and to limit the use of Article 43(3) to proposals strictly connected to the setting and allocation of fishing opportunities; recalls its opposition to the practice of discards and to ill-judged and costly measures aimed at reducing fleet capacity;

Foreign and development policies

42.  Calls for the Commission and the European External Action Service to work together to propose well-coordinated initiatives to the Council in the field of common foreign and security policy; urges the Commission to unite all its relevant activities and services, including development policy, with a view to attaining the international objectives of the Treaty of Lisbon and, in particular, Article 208 TFEU, which relates to policy coherence for development (PCD), while remaining faithful to the values on which the Union itself was built;

43.  Expects legislative initiatives to revise the legal bases for the next generation of external financial assistance instruments, using to the full the system of delegated acts; calls for more flexibility in disbursing financial assistance in crisis situations;

44.  Expects the Commission to support the enlargement of the Union to include any European country which respects the Union's values and is committed to promoting them, while taking into account the requirement for accession countries to fulfil the Copenhagen criteria and the Union's capacity for integration; believes that the Union would lose moral authority and political credibility worldwide were it to close its doors to its neighbours; expects the Commission to continue its work on the ongoing accession negotiations;

45.  Calls on the Commission to apply an enhanced outcomes-oriented development policy ensuring greater aid effectiveness and guaranteeing tighter policy coherence and greater donor coordination at national, EU and global level and, increasingly, with emerging global development players; insists on the need to set up a dedicated trust fund to address the problem of malnutrition in developing countries and to open a consultation process on the phenomenon of land grabbing; urges the Commission to ensure greater EU aid effectiveness in the light of possible post-2015 Millennium Development Goals;

Trade

46.  Considers the reciprocal and balanced openness of markets to be a strategic policy instrument for the EU's internal growth and employment; underlines the importance of involving Parliament at all stages of negotiations and remains committed to a multilateral approach to international trade; stresses the importance of the fight against protectionism at the multilateral level and through all trade agreements;

47.  Supports the Commission's efforts in all ongoing bilateral and regional trade negotiations; recognises the need for continuing progress in reaching bilateral free trade agreements with significant partners;

48.  Stresses the importance it attaches to the mainstreaming of human rights, social and environmental standards and corporate social responsibility in all international policy, together with clear rules requiring responsible behaviour by European companies;

o
o   o

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

(1) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0292.
(2) OJ L 11, 15.1.2002, p. 4.
(3) OJ L 180, 19.7.2000, p. 22.
(4) OJ L 328, 6.12.2008, p. 55.
(5) OJ L 105, 13.4.2006, p. 54.

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