Index 
Texts adopted
Thursday, 13 November 2014 - BrusselsFinal edition
Request for waiver of the immunity of Ana Gomes
 Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: application EGF/2014/007 IE/Andersen Ireland – Ireland
 Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: application EGF/2014/009 EL/Sprider Stores – Greece
 Conclusion of an association agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Moldova
 Association Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Moldova ***
 Peace process in Northern Ireland
 Turkish actions creating tensions in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus
 Humanitarian situation in South Sudan

Request for waiver of the immunity of Ana Gomes
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European Parliament decision of 13 November 2014 on the request for waiver of the immunity of Ana Gomes (2014/2045(IMM))
P8_TA(2014)0046A8-0025/2014

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the request for waiver of the immunity of Ana Gomes, forwarded on 18 June 2014 by the Deputy Attorney General of the Portuguese Republic in connection with criminal proceedings pending before the second section of the Lisbon Department of Investigation and Criminal Proceedings (ref. NUIPC 8773/13.4TDLSB), and announced in plenary on 3 July 2014,

–  having heard Ana Gomes in accordance with Rule 9(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to Article 8 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union, and Article 6(2) of the Act of 20 September 1976 concerning the election of the members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage,

–  having regard to the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 12 May 1964, 10 July 1986, 15 and 21 October 2008, 19 March 2010, 6 September 2011 and 17 January 2013(1),

–  having regard to Rules 5(2), 6(1) and 9 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A8-0025/2014),

A.  whereas the Deputy Attorney General of the Portuguese Republic has forwarded the request for the waiver of the parliamentary immunity of Ana Gomes, made by a public prosecutor of the Lisbon Department of Investigation and Criminal Proceedings in connection with allegedly defamatory statements made by Ms Gomes during a television debate; whereas the request has been made so that criminal proceedings may be instituted against Ms Gomes and the latter may be questioned in the context of those proceedings;

B.  whereas, according to Article 8 of the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union, Members of the European Parliament shall not be subject to any form of inquiry, detention or legal proceedings in respect of opinions expressed or votes cast by them in the performance of their duties;

C.  whereas Rule 6 of its Rules of Procedure stipulates that, in the exercise of its powers in respect of privileges and immunities, Parliament acts to uphold its integrity as a democratic legislative assembly and to secure the independence of its Members in the performance of their duties;

D.  whereas the Court of Justice has recognised that a statement made by a Member beyond the precincts of the European Parliament may constitute an opinion expressed in the performance of their duties as referred to in Article 8 of the Protocol, taking the view that it is not the place where a statement is made that matters, but the nature and content of the statement;

E.  whereas in modern democracies political debate takes place not only in Parliament but also through communications media, ranging from press statements to the Internet;

F.  whereas in the television broadcast in question, Ana Gomes spoke as a Member of the European Parliament to discuss matters in which she had taken an interest at European level, as shown, inter alia, by the questions for written answer to the Commission that she tabled to plenary;

G.  whereas in drawing attention to the decision of the Portuguese Government on the privatisation of the naval shipyards of Viana do Castelo – a decision which also led to an investigation by the European Commission on infringement of the EU rules on state aid –, she was fulfilling her mandate as a Member of the European Parliament;

1.  Decides not to waive the immunity of Ana Gomes;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this decision and the report of the committee responsible immediately to the competent authority of the Portuguese Republic and to Ana Gomes.

(1) Judgment of 12 May 1964 in Case 101/63, Wagner v Fohrmann and Krier (ECR 1964, p. 195); judgment of 10 July 1986 in Case 149/85, Wybot v Faure and others (ECR 1986, p. 2403); judgment of 15 October 2008 in Case  T-345/05, Mote v Parliament (ECR 2008, p. II-2849); judgment of 21 October 2008 in Joined Cases C-200/07 and C-201/07, Marra v De Gregorio and Clemente (ECR 2008, p. I-7929); judgment of 19 March 2010 in Case  T-42/06, Gollnisch v Parliament (ECR 2010, p. II-1135); judgment of 6 September 2011 in Case C-163/10, Patriciello (ECR 2011, p. I-7565).


Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: application EGF/2014/007 IE/Andersen Ireland – Ireland
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Resolution
Annex
European Parliament resolution of 13 November 2014 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, in accordance with point 13 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management (application EGF/2014/007 IE/Andersen Ireland, from Ireland) (COM(2014)0616 – C8-0173/2014 – 2014/2098(BUD))
P8_TA(2014)0047A8-0024/2014

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2014)0616 – C8‑0173/2014),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (2014-2020) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006(1) (EGF Regulation),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020(2), and in particular Article 12 thereof,

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management(3) (IIA of 2 December 2013), and in particular point 13 thereof,

–  having regard to the trilogue procedure provided for in point 13 of the IIA of 2 December 2013,

–  having regard to the letter of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs,

–  having regard to the letter of the Committee on Regional Development,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A8-0024/2014),

A.  whereas the Union has set up legislative and budgetary instruments to provide additional support to workers who are suffering from the consequences of major structural changes in world trade patterns and to assist their reintegration into the labour market,

B.  whereas the Union’s financial assistance to workers made redundant should be dynamic and made available as quickly and efficiently as possible, in accordance with the Joint Declaration of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission adopted during the conciliation meeting on 17 July 2008, and having due regard for the IIA of 2 December 2013 in respect of the adoption of decisions to mobilise the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF),

C.  whereas the adoption of the EGF Regulation reflects the agreement reached between the Parliament and the Council to reintroduce the crisis mobilisation criterion, to increase Union financial contribution to 60 % of the total estimated cost of proposed measures, to increase efficiency for the treatment of EGF applications in the Commission and by the Parliament and the Council by shortening time for assessment and approval, to widen eligible actions and beneficiaries by introducing self-employed persons and young people and to finance incentives for setting up own businesses,

D.  whereas Ireland submitted application EGF/2014/007 IE/Andersen Ireland for a financial contribution from the EGF, following 171 redundancies in Andersen Ireland Limited, operating in the NACE Rev. 2 division 32 ('Manufacture of jewellery, bijouterie and related articles'), during the reference period from 21 October 2013 to 21 February 2014,

E.  whereas the application fulfils the eligibility criteria set up by the EGF Regulation,

1.  Notes that the Irish authorities submitted the application under the intervention criteria of Article 4(2) of the EGF Regulation, derogating from the criteria of Article 4(1)(a), which requires at least 500 workers being made redundant or self-employed persons' activity ceasing, over a reference period of four months in an enterprise in a Member State;

2.  Agrees with the Commission that the exceptional circumstances put forward by the Irish authorities, namely that the redundancies have a serious impact on regional employment and the local and regional economy, justify a derogation to the 500 redundancies threshold according to Article 4(2) of the EGF Regulation, and that, therefore, Ireland is entitled to a financial contribution under that Regulation;

3.  Notes that the Irish authorities submitted the application for EGF financial contribution on 16 May 2014, and that its assessment was made available by the Commission on 3 October 2014; welcomes the speedy evaluation period of less than five months;

4.  Considers that the 171 redundancies in Andersen Ireland Limited are linked to major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation, with the EU jewellery sector being outstripped four-fold by imports within 4 years (2008 to 2012), of which 95 % are from Asia;

5.  Notes that this is the first EGF application for workers made redundant in the sector of jewellery, bijouterie and related articles, a sector that also suffers from the increase in online sales and which could therefore be further weakened;

6.  Notes that these redundancies will further aggravate the unemployment situation in the region, as Andersen Ireland was a major employer in this mainly rural area which already had an unemployment rate (39,3 %) twice as high as the national average (19 %);

7.  Notes that, in addition to the redundant workers, the Irish authorities decided to provide personalised services co-financed by the EGF to up to 138 young people under the age of 25 not in employment, education or training (NEETs), increasing the number of targeted beneficiaries expected to participate in the measures to 276 persons; expresses its concerns about the uncertainty of the way the targeted NEETs are to be identified; calls on the Irish authorities to bear in mind the social criteria and to ensure that the selection of the recipients of EGF support fully respects the principles of non-discrimination and equal opportunities;

8.  Recalls that the proposed actions should be adapted to take into account the differences between the needs of dismissed workers and NEETs;

9.  Expects a separate list of financial measures for the targeted NEETs in the midterm review;

10.  Notes that training available for NEETs should be inclusive and should encompass all sections in society including disadvantaged groups;

11.  Welcomes the fact that, in order to provide workers with speedy assistance, the Irish authorities decided to initiate the implementation of the personalised services to the affected workers on 21 October 2013, well ahead of the final decision on granting the EGF support for the proposed coordinated package;

12.  Notes that the coordinated package of personalised services to be co-funded will seek to open the widest possible range of employment opportunities in an area where there are few expanding sectors or production sites and will require significant upskilling of the redundant workers;

13.  Notes the fact that the coordinated package of personalised services has been drawn up in consultation with the targeted beneficiaries and the representatives of the targeted beneficiaries as well as the social partners and welcomes the intention to establish a consultative forum to complement the work of the EGF Co-ordination Unit in order to afford the redundant workers with the opportunity to input on an ongoing basis to the implementation of the EGF programme;

14.  Welcomes the setting-up of an office of the EGF Co-ordination Unit in close proximity to the affected location which will serve as a one-stop shop for the workers and NEETs;

15.  Welcomes that a local open day for both affected redundant workers and NEETs was held to showcase the range of supports available under the programme and to enable prospective EGF beneficiaries to discuss options with service providers;

16.  Notes that the personalised services which are to be provided to workers made redundant consist of the following actions which combine to form a co-ordinated package of personalised services: occupational guidance and career planning support, EGF Training Grants, training and second level education programmes, third level education programmes, skillsnets training support, enterprise/self-employment support, income support including course expense contributions;

17.  Welcomes the idea of the skillsnets training support action amongst the proposed actions, where training is geared at reintegration into employment in companies operating in the same industrial sector or geographical area;

18.  Notes that the income support measures will be strictly limited to a maximum amount of 35 % of the overall package of personalised measures, as set out in the EGF Regulation;

19.  Notes the lack of clarity concerning the estimations of the amounts to be awarded as enterprise or self-employment support; considers that the number of actual beneficiaries may differ from the estimations resulting in a different distribution of the estimated total costs; points out the important role of the Local Enterprise Boards in providing soft services and hard support, and particularly in assessing the viability of the business proposals and granting the amounts of support, up to the maximum of EUR 15 000;

20.  Recalls that in line with Article 7 of the EGF Regulation, the design of the coordinated package of personalised services should anticipate future labour market perspectives and required skills and should be compatible with the shift towards a resource-efficient and sustainable economy;

21.  Welcomes that the principles of equality of treatment and non-discrimination will be respected in the access to the proposed actions and their implementation;

22.  Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

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

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

ANNEX

DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, in accordance with point 13 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management (application EGF/2014/007 IE/Andersen Ireland, from Ireland)

(The text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the final act, Decision 2014/877/EU.)

(1) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 855.
(2) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.
(3) OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.


Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: application EGF/2014/009 EL/Sprider Stores – Greece
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Resolution
Annex
European Parliament resolution of 13 November 2014 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, in accordance with point 13 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management (application EGF/2014/009 EL/Sprider Stores, from Greece) (COM(2014)0620 – C8-0183/2014 – 2014/2107(BUD))
P8_TA(2014)0048A8-0023/2014

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2014)0620 – C8‑0183/2014),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (2014-2020) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006(1) (EGF Regulation),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020(2), and in particular Article 12 thereof,

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management(3) (IIA of 2 December 2013), and in particular point 13 thereof,

–  having regard to the trilogue procedure provided for in point 13 of the IIA of 2 December 2013,

–  having regard to the letter of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs,

–  having regard to the letter of the Committee on Regional Development,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A8-0023/2014),

A.  whereas the Union has set up legislative and budgetary instruments to provide additional support to workers who are suffering from the consequences of major structural changes in world trade patterns and to assist their reintegration into the labour market,

B.  whereas the Union’s financial assistance to workers made redundant should be dynamic and made available as quickly and efficiently as possible, in accordance with the Joint Declaration of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission adopted during the conciliation meeting on 17 July 2008, and having due regard for the IIA of 2 December 2013 in respect of the adoption of decisions to mobilise the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF),

C.  whereas the adoption of the EGF Regulation reflects the agreement reached between the Parliament and the Council to reintroduce the crisis mobilisation criterion, to increase Union financial contribution to 60 % of the total estimated cost of proposed measures, to increase efficiency for the treatment of EGF applications in the Commission and by the Parliament and the Council by shortening time for assessment and approval, to widen eligible actions and beneficiaries by introducing self-employed persons and young people and to finance incentives for setting up own businesses,

D.  whereas the Greek authorities submitted application EGF/2014/009 EL/Sprider Stores on 6 June 2014 following the dismissal of 761 workers in Sprider Stores S.A., an enterprise which operated in the economic sector classified under NACE Rev. 2 division 47 ('Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles'),

E.  whereas the application fulfils the eligibility criteria set up by the EGF Regulation,

1.  Notes that the Greek authorities submitted the application under the intervention criterion of Article 4(1)(a) of the EGF Regulation, also known as the economic crisis criteria, which requires at least 500 workers being made redundant or self-employed persons' activity ceasing, over a reference period of four months in an enterprise in a Member State, including workers made redundant or self-employed persons' activity ceasing in its suppliers and downstream producers;

2.  Notes that the Greek authorities, taking into strong consideration the multiple benefits of this valuable budgetary instrument, submitted the application for EGF financial contribution on 6 June 2014, and that its assessment was made available by the Commission on 7 October 2014; welcomes the speedy evaluation period of less than five months;

3.  Agrees with the Commission that the intervention criteria set out in Article 4(1)(a) of the EGF Regulation are met and that, therefore, Greece is entitled to a financial contribution under that Regulation;

4.  Agrees that the events giving rise to the redundancies, namely the decrease in available household income ― due to the increase in the tax burden, decreasing salaries (of both private and public employees) and rising unemployment ― resulting in a huge drop of purchasing power and the drastic reduction in loans to enterprises and individuals due to the lack of cash in the Greek banks, are linked to the economic crisis and that Greece is therefore entitled to an EGF contribution;

5.  Notes that, to date, the retail sector has been the subject of another three EGF applications also based on the global financial and economic crisis; in this respect recommends that Commission evaluate the results of the other three EGF applications, in order to define reintegration programmes which have accomplished the best results;

6.  Notes that these redundancies will further aggravate the unemployment situation in the country, which has already deteriorated as a result of the economic and financial crisis and is the highest unemployment rate amongst the Member States; welcomes, however, the fact that during the last months the unemployment rate has stopped rising;

7.  Notes that, in addition to the 761 redundancies, the Greek authorities will provide personalised services co-financed by the EGF to up to 550 young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs) under the age of 30 on the date of submission of the application, given that 682 of the redundancies occur in NUTS level 2 regions, which are eligible under the Youth Employment Initiative;

8.  Notes that, in order to select the targeted NEETs, the Greek authorities will use concrete criteria aligned with those included in the Greek Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan (among others risk of exclusion, household income, education level, duration of unemployment), as well as expression of interests; notes that, for a first time in an application under the new EGF Regulation, some information is given about the selection of the NEETs to be included in the supporting measures; calls on the Greek authorities to bear in mind the social criteria and to ensure that the selection of the recipients of EGF support fully respects the principles of non-discrimination and equal opportunities;

9.  Considers that the information and publicity actions supported under this EGF application should result in a better awareness about the EGF contribution, and should also be successful in addressing the young unemployed in order to facilitate the selection procedure with expression of interest;

10.  Welcomes the fact that, in order to provide workers with speedy assistance, the Greek authorities decided to initiate the implementation of the personalised services to the affected workers on 1 September 2014, ahead of the final decision on granting the EGF support for the proposed coordinated package;

11.  Notes that the Greek authorities have indicated that the co-ordinated package of personalised services has been drawn up in consultation with the representatives of the targeted beneficiaries and the Federation of Private Employees in Greece and that the proposed application was discussed at two meetings in May 2014 with the social partners which were consulted on various issues related to the contents of the integrated package of measures; further on recommends that the Commission evaluate the content and the expected outcome of the integrated package of personalised services in the context of the evaluation referred to in paragraph 5, with the aim of identifying the best practice for future actions;

12.  Notes that the personalised services which are to be provided to workers made redundant as well as to the 550 NEETs consist of the following actions which combine to form a co-ordinated package of personalised services: occupational guidance and career planning supports, training, retraining and vocational training, contributions to business start-ups, job-search and training allowances, mobility allowances; notes that these services aim to help the targeted beneficiaries to identify their own skills and to establish a realistic career plan, and are conditional on their active participation in job-search or training activities;

13.  Recalls that the proposed actions should be adapted to take into account the differences between the needs of dismissed workers and selected NEETs;

14.  Notes that the maximum eligible amount of EUR 15 000 will be granted to 200 selected workers and NEETs as a contribution to setting up their own businesses; underlines that the aim of this measure is to promote entrepreneurship by providing funding to viable business initiatives, which should result in the creation of further workplaces in the medium term; notes that this maximum eligible amount will be granted upon compliance with specific conditions and according to the viability of the supported business start-ups;

15.  Notes that the income support measures will be strictly limited to a maximum amount of 35 % of the overall package of personalised measures, as set out in the EGF Regulation; and that these actions are conditional on the active participation of the targeted beneficiaries in job-search or training activities;

16.  Welcomes that the principles of equality of treatment and non-discrimination will be respected in the access to the proposed actions and their implementation;

17.  Recalls that, in line with Article 7 of the EGF Regulation, the design of the coordinated package of personalised services should anticipate future labour market perspectives and required skills and should be compatible with the shift towards a resource-efficient and sustainable economy;

18.  Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

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

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

ANNEX

DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, in accordance with point 13 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management (application EGF/2014/009 EL/Sprider Stores, from Greece)

(The text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the final act, Decision 2014/879/EU.)

(1) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 855.
(2) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.
(3) OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.


Conclusion of an association agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Moldova
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European Parliament non-legislative resolution of 13 November 2014 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of the Association Agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community and their Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Moldova, of the other part (09828/2014 – C8-0130/2014 – 2014/0083(NLE)2014/2817(INI))
P8_TA(2014)0049A8-0022/2014

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (09828/2014),

–  having regard to the draft Association Agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community and their Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Moldova, of the other part (17903/2013),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 217 and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a), and the second subparagraph of Article 218(8) thereof, as well as Article 218(7) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8-0130/2014),

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 September 2011 containing the European Parliament’s recommendations to the Council, the Commission and the EEAS on the negotiations between the EU and the Republic of Moldova on the Association Agreement(1),

–  having regard to its legislative resolution of 13 November 2014 on the draft decision(2),

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in the Eastern Neighbourhood and in particular those of 12 March 2014 on assessing and setting priorities for EU relations with the Eastern Partnership countries(3) and of 17 April 2014 on Russian pressure on Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries and in particular destabilisation of eastern Ukraine(4),

–  having regard to the Association Agenda between the European Union and the Republic of Moldova which was endorsed on 26 June 2014 by the Cooperation Council and replaced the ENP Action Plan of 22 February 2005,

–  having regard to Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union,

–  having regard to Rule 99(1), second subparagraph, of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on International Trade (A8-0022/2014),

A.  whereas in the last few years, thanks to the political determination of its government, the Republic of Moldova has made significant progress in reforms and in strengthening relations with the EU;

B.  whereas the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, the illegal annexation of Crimea and the role played by Russia represent a grave threat to European security and have changed the geopolitical order; whereas this also has implications for EU-Republic of Moldova relations;

C.  whereas the EaP has created a meaningful political framework for deepening relations, accelerating political association and furthering economic integration between the EU and the Republic of Moldova – two entities linked by strong geographical, historical and cultural ties – by supporting political and socio-economic reforms and facilitating approximation, particularly in light of Russia’s economic sanctions and destabilising actions against the Republic of Moldova;

D.  whereas the Republic of Moldova ratified the Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), on 2 July 2014 and certain provisions thereof have been applied on a provisional basis as from 1 September 2014, pending ratification by the Member States;

E.  whereas the conclusion of the Association Agreement is not an end in itself, but is part of a broader process of enhancing the European perspective of the Republic of Moldova politically, economically and socially; whereas the launch of the visa-free regime for Moldovan citizens, the conclusion of agreements in the areas of aviation, agriculture and civil protection on the participation by the Republic of Moldova in EU agencies and programmes and on common security and defence policy cooperation, and, most importantly, the signature of the EU‑Republic of Moldova Association Agreement represent a tangible expression of this process; whereas, to this end, the implementation of all agreements is essential;

F.  whereas the Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, Iurie Leanca, has made a statement on the intention of the Republic of Moldova to submit an application for membership of the European Union in 2015;

G.  whereas consensus across a large section of the political spectrum on EU‑Republic of Moldova relations and the priorities thereof can contribute to the better and swifter implementation of the Association Agenda, to the benefit of Moldovan citizens;

H.  whereas an inclusive and participatory national dialogue and a constructive approach at all levels of government and society is necessary for all regions and national minorities to play an active part in the decision-making process;

I.  whereas a strong information and communications campaign in both the EU and the Republic of Moldova can contribute to citizens better understanding the mutual benefits of the Association Agreement and the DCFTA;

J.  whereas regional frameworks, including the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly, constitute an additional forum in which to share experience, information and best practices on the implementation of the Association Agenda;

K.  whereas specific energy infrastructure projects can bring concrete benefits to citizens in terms of energy security and decreasing energy costs for the population while also fulfilling the objectives of the Energy Community;

L.  whereas trade restrictions on specific Moldovan products by the Russian Federation have heavily affected local producers and the Republic of Moldova’s economy at large;

M.  whereas earlier this year Russia staged military exercises in Moldova’s breakaway Transnistria region; whereas the parliament of Transnistria has reiterated its appeal to Moscow to be allowed to join the Russian Federation;

N.  whereas the creation of DCFTA between the EU and the Republic of Moldova represents one of the most significant mutual benefits of the agreement, bearing incontrovertible importance for trade and economic growth, jobs creation, prosperity and stability in the Republic of Moldova;

O.  whereas by having established a DCFTA with the EU, the Republic of Moldova will enhance its access to the EU market, thereby creating new opportunities for development and growth and benefiting Moldovan businesses and citizens directly; whereas the EU will benefit from smoother commercial flows and better investment conditions in the Republic of Moldova;

P.  whereas the DCFTA includes several provisions aimed at reforming the Republic of Moldova’s trade legislation and trade-related policies in line with, and on the basis of, the EU acquis, which will provide for the modernisation of the country’s economy and an improved and more predictable business environment, including for small and medium-sized enterprises;

Q.  whereas without strong administrative support from EU experts, it is very difficult for any Moldovan government to implement the agreed approximation of legislation to the EU acquis;

R.  whereas by granting autonomous trade preferences and, previously, GSP+ preferences, the EU has already afforded substantial benefits to the Moldovan economy and should continue to support the country in the future;

S.  whereas stronger political and economic ties will bring greater stability and prosperity to the whole European continent; whereas cooperation of this kind is based on common values in terms of human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, and is inspired by our vision of the unique value of each person;

T.  whereas the Association Agreement and the connected gradual integration of the Republic of Moldova into the EU’s policies should not exclude the Republic of Moldova from its traditional, historical and economic ties with other countries in the region but, on the contrary, should create conditions to make it possible for the country to draw maximum benefit from its potential;

1.  Warmly welcomes the signature of the Association Agreement, a strong sign of recognition of the reform efforts and ambitions of the Moldovan people and authorities and of the substantial progress achieved in the latest period; welcomes the additional assistance made available by the Commission through the ‘more for more’ mechanism in 2014 to acknowledge such positive developments in priority areas; recognises that the Association Agreement represents a significant step forward in EU-Republic of Moldova relations and a commitment to the path of political association and economic integration; stresses that full implementation thereof is key; urges the Member States, in this context, to proceed as swiftly as possible with the ratification of the Association Agreement;

2.  Stresses that the signature and ratification of the Association Agreement does not constitute a final goal in EU-Republic of Moldova relations and points out that pursuant to Article 49 TEU, the Republic of Moldova – like any other European state – has a European perspective and may apply to become a member of the European Union provided it adheres to the principles of democracy, respects fundamental freedoms and minority rights, and ensures the rule of law;

3.  Emphasises that the Association Agreement covers the entire internationally recognised territory of the Republic of Moldova, and is for the benefit of the whole population; stresses, therefore, the need to address in a timely and proper manner the social consequences of the associated reforms; calls on the Republic of Moldova to ensure that the reforms are anchored and deeply rooted in the institutional framework; highlights the need for a comprehensive information campaign geared at the public on the aims and content of the Association Agreement and the direct and concrete benefits for citizens arising from the implementation of the Association Agenda;

4.  Welcomes the Association Agenda, which includes concrete steps and conditionalities for achieving the overriding objectives of the Association Agreement and should be the guiding framework for EU-Republic of Moldova relations;

5.  Stresses that both the Republic of Moldova and the EU should be involved in the implementation of the Association Agenda, and that the priorities set out therein should receive appropriate technical and financial support so that the benefits of association are visible to Moldovan citizens as soon as possible; calls on the Commission to be guided by these priorities when programming financing for the Republic of Moldova; emphasises the need to improve absorption capacity in the Republic of Moldova in order to ensure the efficient implementation of projects and use of financing; outlines the importance of strengthening a mechanism for management, transparency and accountability in order to monitor the absorption and use of EU funds; calls on the parties to identify the training needs required to ensure that the Republic of Moldova is able to carry out its obligations under the Association Agreement and Association Agenda;

6.  Stresses the importance of strengthening the stability, independence and effectiveness of the institutions responsible for guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law and good governance, and of consolidating the system of protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms; notes, in this context, the significance of previous steps towards reform, such as strengthening the autonomy of the system for appointing judges, having a representative configuration of the Central Electoral Committee, and improving the effectiveness and independence of the Court of Auditors;

7.  Calls on the Moldovan authorities to ensure that the upcoming electoral process takes place according to the highest European and international standards and to adopt the necessary measures in order to facilitate the participation of Moldovans living abroad; urges the authorities to work closely with the OSCE/ODIHR, the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe and to address their recommendations; highlights the important role that political actors and parties play and the need to adopt an effective legislation that ensures transparency in party financing; is committed to ensuring the presence of election observers and will send its own election observation mission to observe the parliamentary elections of 30 November 2014;

8.  Notes the need to amend Article 78 of the Moldovan Constitution, on the election of the President, to avoid a resurgence of institutional deadlock which would be detrimental to the pace of reforms; urges that any constitutional reform be carried out in consultation with the Venice Commission and the relevant national stakeholders;

9.  Notes with satisfaction the progress made by the Republic of Moldova’s authorities in implementing the European reform agenda, including the reform of justice and law enforcement, as pointed out in the Commission’s report of 27 March 2014, the restructuration of the anti-corruption framework, the implementation of the human rights action plan and the action plan in support of the Roma people, the maintenance of its dialogue with Tiraspol and the continuation of challenging regulatory and sectoral reforms;

10.  Notes the progress achieved so far; calls on the authorities to continue with the effective implementation of the National Human Rights Action Plan, with particular regard to the human rights of the Roma people;

11.  Underlines, the need to tackle with renewed strength the reform of the judiciary, to ensure its independence and that of the law enforcement systems and to secure constitutional provisions for an independent judiciary, equality before the law and basic civil rights; stresses the need to intensify the fight against corruption at all levels, inter alia by fully implementing the legislative package adopted in 2013 and improving the track record of anti-corruption institutions; calls on the Moldovan authorities to ensure that the mechanisms belonging to the anti-corruption system, particularly the National Anti-Corruption Centre and the National Integrity Centre, are independent, fully functioning, properly financed and staffed, and free from undue influence;

12.  Calls on the Moldovan authorities to enhance transparency and accountability in the management of public finances, in the privatisation process and in public procurement, in order to ensure good governance, equal access and fair competition, and to strengthen further the supervision of the banking sector;

13.  Stresses the need to investigate properly and fully all allegations of violations of human rights, and in particular to tackle impunity and effectively prosecute perpetrators of ill-treatment and torture; urges the Commission, therefore, to provide assistance for government bodies to adequately address such violations with the necessary legal tools and social mechanisms aimed at the prevention of such crimes, and to work closely with civil society to help them assume an enhanced role in the protection of human rights;

14.  Highlights the importance of anti-discrimination legislation to ensure equality and protection for all minorities, in particular for ethnic, religious and LGBT minorities, and calls on the Moldovan authorities to remove all remaining discriminatory provisions; stresses the importance of the newly established Council for Preventing and Eliminating Discrimination and Ensuring Equality in the implementation of the Law Ensuring Equality of 2012;

15.  Calls on the government to provide adequate monitoring mechanisms and the resources necessary for the implementation of the legal guarantees for all national minorities and for broadening the scope of mother-tongue education for national and linguistic minorities ; stresses, furthermore, the importance for the government to conduct a dialogue with representatives of all ethnic minorities and provide technical and financial support for infrastructure improvements in the autonomous territorial unit of Gagauzia and the Taraklia district;

16.  Reiterates the need to strengthen and promote media freedom and plurality and to ensure the neutrality of publicly owned media, while also supporting independent media; expresses concern at the lack of transparency in media ownership and the concentrated nature of mass‑media ownership that weakens the plurality of the media landscape; urges the authorities, therefore, to facilitate a more competitive media market and ensure that all responsible agencies in the field of media comply with European standards on media freedom and pluralism;

17.  Welcomes Chapter 27 of the EU-Republic of Moldova Association Agreement which focuses specifically on cooperation in the protection and promotion of the rights of the child and calls on both parties to support the implementation of the relevant provisions of the Association Agenda;

18.  Fully supports the visa-free regime for Moldovan citizens, recalling that the Republic of Moldova was the first Eastern Partner to reach this objective; calls on the Moldovan authorities to continue to disseminate information regarding rights and duties in relation to visa liberalisation;

19.  Takes note of the improvement in the capacities of the customs and border guard services and the continued demarcation of the border with Ukraine; welcomes the work of the EU Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM) and the constructive cooperation of the Moldovan authorities;

20.  Calls on Chisinau and Comrat to continue to cooperate constructively in the spirit of trust and inclusive dialogue in order to successfully implement the Association Agreement and to establish a political environment that is conducive to further progress on the European path;

21.  Highlights the need to continue the work of professionalising and depoliticising central and local public administration, as this too will contribute greatly to the full implementation of the Association Agreement; calls on the Republic of Moldova to carry out the decentralisation strategy in an inclusive manner; points out the importance of effective local municipal authorities and adequate infrastructure in developing rural areas which is a pre-condition for reducing the rate of rural depopulation;

22.  Welcomes the political determination to fulfil the requirements of the Association Agreement and praises the modernisation efforts undertaken in the country; is aware, however, of the need to further consolidate democratic institutions and encourages the Government of the Republic of Moldova to continue to work hard on the implementation of the necessary measures; believes that political stability and enduring consensus on reforms, especially as regards the rule of law and independence from state institutions, are of paramount importance to Moldova’s European aspirations;

23.  Expects that the implementation of the Association Agreement/DCFTA will contribute to sustainable development and the smooth integration of the Moldovan economy into the world markets, stimulating its process of modernisation and creating better working conditions; urges the Commission to provide assistance and to advise Moldova on how to effectively deal with adaptation challenges in the short term, inter alia through cooperation with trade unions and the local business community;

24.  Continues to emphasise the need for a transparent business and investment environment, appropriate regulatory reform and the continuation of the privatisation process, in order to boost the competitiveness of the economy of the Republic of Moldova, encourage foreign direct investment and secure the sustainability of the measures taken to address the structural economic problems; highlights the need to extend value chains in agriculture as a pre-condition for economic and social development;

25.  Commends the Republic of Moldova’s determination and commitment to pursue closer economic ties with the EU by undertaking deep, complex and costly economic reforms; strongly believes that the DCFTA will have a long-term beneficial effect for the Republic of Moldova’s economy and will thus contribute to increasing the quality of life of its citizens;

26.  Underlines the fact that the success of the DCFTA is subject to the rapid, thorough and effective implementation by both parties of the commitments set out in the agreement; calls, in this respect, for the EU to provide the Republic of Moldova with all necessary financial and technical assistance, also with a view to alleviating short-term costs for the Republic of Moldova;

27.  Believes that parliamentary scrutiny is a fundamental condition for democratic support for EU policies; calls, therefore, on the Commission to facilitate in a timely manner the regular and detailed monitoring of the implementation of the DCFTA by Parliament;

28.  Notes that the DCFTA has been provisionally applied since 1 September 2014, following its signature on 27 June 2014 and Council Decision 2014/492/EU of 16 June 2014 on the signing and provisional application of the Association Agreement, based on a shared view of the EU institutions as regards the exceptional circumstances and the urgent need to support the country;

29.  Strongly deplores the continued use of trade by Russia as a means to destabilise the region by introducing several import bans on products from the Republic of Moldova, in violation of Russia’s WTO commitments; calls on the Russian Federation to respect fully the territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova and its European choice; supports fully the Commission’s initiatives aimed at countering the effects of the Russian embargo on Moldovan products, including by providing financial support and extending and deepening the autonomous trade preferences afforded to the Republic of Moldova;

30.  Welcomes the signature of the agreement on the participation of the Republic of Moldova in the Horizon 2020 framework programme on 1 July 2014; believes that cooperation under this framework will boost growth, innovation and competitiveness, creating new jobs and opportunities; calls for increased participation by the Republic of Moldova in Union programmes and agencies and for more twinning projects and student exchanges;

31.  Takes note of the recent revision of the energy strategy and calls on the Government of the Republic of Moldova to review and strengthen the 2013-2015 national action plan for energy efficiency, develop a credible and effective plan on renewable energy with a view to diversifying energy sources and align climate‑change policies and targets with those of the EU;

32.  Welcomes the opening of the Iași-Ungheni gas interconnector; calls on the Commission to intensify efforts in the construction of the Ungheni-Chisinau pipeline by, inter alia, facilitating co-financing by other international partners and strengthening financial support in order to finalise the project as soon as possible;

33.  Calls on Chisinau and Tiraspol to continue to engage constructively in order to find an effective solution for the settlement of the Transnistria issue and to take concrete steps to improve the livelihoods of the population; expresses disappointment that so far the ‘5+2’ framework has failed to offer a solution and demands a greater role for the EU, in particular by upgrading its status to that of a negotiating partner, and calls on all parties involved to use all instruments at their disposal to lay the foundations for constructive dialogue and to facilitate the rapid continuation of official talks; calls on the HR/VP and the EEAS to work proactively towards a comprehensive settlement that respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova and promotes confidence-building, working very closely with the competent structures of the OSCE; highlights the need to ensure that Transnistria, as an integral part of the Republic of Moldova, is covered by the reach and effects of the Association Agreement; encourages the Moldovan authorities, to this end, to reach out to the general population, the business community and civil society organisations; notes that any solution should be in line with and fully respect the principles of international law;

34.  Stresses the importance, in this respect, of enhancing people-to-people contacts at all levels in order to create the conditions for a sustained dialogue and further promote confidence-building with a view to stepping up the peace process and achieving reconciliation between the parties;

35.  Stresses the importance of its cooperation with the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova as a means of monitoring the implementation of the Association Agreement and Association Agenda;

36.  Calls on the Commission to step up the provision of assistance and expertise to civil society organisations in the Republic of Moldova in order to enable them to provide internal monitoring of, and accountability for, the reforms and commitments that the government has undertaken in the process of drafting and implementing legislation, as well as to help civil society enhance its organisational and advocacy capacity, its role in overseeing anti-discrimination and anti-corruption activities, and in general its role in fostering a culture of civic participation and volunteerism;

37.  Is concerned over Russia’s actions aimed at undermining the association process of the EU’s Eastern neighbours; reiterates its conviction that the association process of the EU’s Eastern partners is not a threat to Russia’s political and economic interests, and regrets that Russian leadership regards it as such; stresses that Russia’s concerns regarding the association process must be adequately addressed and explained, so as to ease fears of new geopolitical dividing lines on the European continent; notes that each country has every right to make its own political choices, but that the EU’s engagement with the Eastern partners aims to spread prosperity and increase political stability, from which the whole region will ultimately gain;

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

(1) OJ C 51 E, 22.2.2013, p. 108.
(2) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2014)0050.
(3) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0229.
(4) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0457.


Association Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Moldova ***
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 13 November 2014 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of the Association Agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community and their Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Moldova, of the other part (09828/2014 – C8-0130/2014 – 2014/0083(NLE))
P8_TA(2014)0050A8-0020/2014

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (09828/2014),

–  having regard to the draft Association Agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community and their Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Moldova, of the other part (17903/2013),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 217 and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a), Article 218(7) and Article 218(8), second subparagraph, of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8-0130/2014),

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 September 2011 containing the European Parliament's recommendations to the Council, the Commission and the EEAS on the negotiations between the EU and the Republic of Moldova on the Association Agreement(1),

–  having regard to its non-legislative resolution of 13 November 2014(2) on the draft decision,

–  having regard to Rule 99(1), first and third subparagraphs, Rule 99(2), and Rule 108(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on International Trade (A8-0020/2014),

1.  Gives its consent to conclusion of the agreement;

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

(1) OJ C 51 E, 22.2.2013, p. 108.
(2) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2014)0049.


Peace process in Northern Ireland
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European Parliament resolution of 13 November 2014 on the Northern Ireland peace process (2014/2906(RSP))
P8_TA(2014)0051B8-0218/2014

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Good Friday Agreement, also known as the Belfast Agreement, reached in multi-party negotiations and signed on 10 April 1998,

–  having regard to the Weston Park Agreement of 2001,

–  having regard to the Agreement reached in the multi-party negotiations held in St Andrews in Fife, Scotland, from 11 to 13 October 2006, between the two governments and all the major parties in Northern Ireland,

–  having regard to the Hillsborough Agreement of 2010,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1232/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 December 2010 concerning European Union financial contributions to the International Fund for Ireland (2007 to 2010)(1),

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas an end to all violent conflict within the European Union is essential;

B.  whereas talks between the political parties and the UK and Irish Governments resulted in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement (Belfast Agreement), which provided for the establishment of a devolved administration involving the establishment a power-sharing Assembly and Executive, a North/South Ministerial Council, a North/South Inter‑Parliamentary Association, a North/South Consultative Forum, a British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference, a British-Irish Council and an expanded British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body;

C.  whereas the European Union, alongside international partners such as the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, has played an important role in supporting the implementation of the peace process, inter alia through the International Fund for Ireland;

D.  whereas the progress made so far has been a powerful and positive example of conflict resolution, based on partnership, consent and the principles of equality of treatment, parity of esteem and mutual respect, which has had a positive impact on political relationships not only within Northern Ireland but also beyond;

E.  whereas the political institutions established under the Good Friday Agreement have operated successfully for a long period;

F.  whereas in the new political situation significant economic progress has been made, reducing unemployment, attracting inward investment and making Northern Ireland a venue of choice for international conferences, sporting events and cultural activities;

G.  whereas significant regional disparities remain with regard to social and economic development;

H.  whereas the peace process requires continuing efforts and whereas there have, however, been a number of political crises in recent years, including threats from rejectionist groups, which have now resulted in a stalling of the process, albeit with the Assembly and Executive still operational;

I.  whereas all-party talks chaired by former US diplomat and envoy for Northern Ireland Richard Haass, aimed at tackling some of the most divisive issues such as the use of flags and emblems, protests and parading, broke down in December 2013;

J.  whereas negotiations have resumed, aimed at solving outstanding issues;

K.  whereas the EU’s PEACE Programme is aimed at strengthening progress towards a peaceful and stable society and promoting reconciliation by assisting activities and projects which help to reconcile communities and contribute towards a shared society for everyone;

1.  Expresses concern at the fact that the implementation of the peace process has reached an impasse, and urges all parties to the process to work constructively towards a lasting resolution of the conflict and the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement and subsequent agreements for a long-lasting and enduring peace;

2.  Welcomes the initiative to convene all-party talks to overcome the current impasse, and underlines the necessity of agreement on outstanding issues in order to underpin the functioning and stability of the democratic institutions of Northern Ireland; encourages all parties to engage in these talks positively with a view to resolving all outstanding issues;

3.  Welcomes the appointment of Senator Gary Hart by President Obama’s Secretary of State John Kerry as his personal envoy;

4.  Is concerned that continued violent, criminal and anti-social activity by fringe elements is undermining the peace process; stresses the need to combat such criminal activity by tackling existing economic challenges such as unemployment and low incomes and living standards; stresses that the continuing level of violence and intimidation has to be overcome via the broad participation of respective communities with the support of all relevant agencies;

5.  Underlines, therefore, the urgent need to further encourage reconciliation and improve relationships between communities and also to boost economic and social development in order to consolidate the peace process; highlights, in this regard, support from the EU’s European Regional Development Fund and, in particular, the EUR 150 million for the PEACE Programme to tackle these priority issues in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland, to the benefit of all, north and south;

6.  Hopes that the Commission’s Northern Ireland Task Force will continue to play an important supportive role in the future;

7.  Emphasises that Parliament stands ready to offer any support that the parties concerned think would be of assistance to the peace process; invites the First Minister and deputy First Minister to address Parliament upon the successful completion of the all-party talks;

8.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Northern Ireland Executive, and the UK and Irish Governments.

(1) OJ L 346, 30.12.2010, p. 1.


Turkish actions creating tensions in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus
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European Parliament resolution of 13 November 2014 on Turkish actions creating tensions in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus (2014/2921(RSP))
P8_TA(2014)0052RC-B8-0211/2014

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 March 2014 on the 2013 progress report on Turkey(1),

–  having regard to the General Affairs Council conclusions of 17 December 2013,

–  having regard to the statement of 7 October 2014 by the spokesperson for the President of the European Council,

–  having regard to the Turkey Progress Report 2014, of 8 October 2014,

–  having regard to the European Council conclusions of 24 October 2014,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) and (4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas on 3 October 2014 Turkey issued a NAVTEX (Navigational Telex) directive, by which it ‘designated’ a large area within the southern part of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Republic of Cyprus as being reserved for seismic surveys to be conducted by the Turkish vessel Barbaros from 20 October to 30 December 2014; whereas these seismic surveys affect blocks that have been allocated by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus to the Italian company Eni and to the Korea Gas Corporation for the exploration of possible hydrocarbon reserves in the seabed soil;

B.  whereas, despite repeated calls by the EU, including in the Commission’s Turkey Progress Report 2014, Turkey continues to contest the existence of the Republic of Cyprus and the legitimacy of exploration and exploitation by the Republic of Cyprus of natural resources within its EEZ, thereby challenging the activity of a European company; whereas Turkey’s claims and actions have no legal foundation and are in direct conflict with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS);

C.  whereas the UNCLOS sets out a comprehensive legal framework establishing a regime of law and order, and rules governing all uses of the oceans and their resources; whereas the EU has ratified the UNCLOS, which is now an integral part of its acquis communautaire;

D.  whereas the EU has frequently reiterated that Turkey needs to commit itself unequivocally to good neighbourly relations and to the peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations;

E.  whereas Turkey’s actions within the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus coincide with the recent appointment of the new Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General, Espen Barth Eide, and are negatively affecting the negotiations aimed at reaching a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem;

1.  Urges Turkey to show restraint and act in accordance with international law; deplores the escalation of threats and unilateral action by Turkey against the Republic of Cyprus in relation to the EEZ; recalls the legality of the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus; calls on Turkey to respect and fully implement the declaration issued by the European Community and its Member States on 21 September 2005, including the provision that the recognition of all Member States is a necessary component of the accession process;

2.  Stresses that the Republic of Cyprus has the full and sovereign right to explore the natural resources within its EEZ, and that the Turkish maritime surveys must be seen as both illegal and provocative; demands that Turkish vessels operating in waters in and around the EEZ of Cyprus be withdrawn immediately;

3.  Stresses that Turkey’s actions constitute a violation of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus and of international law, including the UNCLOS; reiterates its call on the Turkish Government to sign and ratify the UNCLOS, which is part of the acquis communautaire, without further delay;

4.  Urges Turkey to revoke its NAVTEX immediately, and to refrain from any violations of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus;

5.  Calls on Turkey to respect the sovereignty of EU Member States over their territorial waters; reaffirms that the sovereign rights of the Member States include the right to enter into bilateral agreements and the right to explore and exploit their natural resources in accordance with the UNCLOS;

6.  Shares the UN’s view that any gas finds would benefit both communities in Cyprus if a lasting, political solution can be found to end the conflict; believes that, if properly managed, the discovery of significant hydrocarbon reserves in the region could improve economic, political and social relations between the two communities in Cyprus;

7.  Believes that the benefits of the discovery of significant hydrocarbon reserves should serve the entire region as a means to prosperity, wealth and a peaceful and better life for all living there, on the basis of international law;

8.  Supports the rights of the Republic of Cyprus to lodge formal complaints against violations within its sovereign territory or waters to the UN and the International Maritime Organisation;

9.  Reiterates the importance it attaches to the normalisation of relations between Turkey and all EU Member States, and is of the view that the continuation and/or repetition of these actions could have a negative impact on Turkey’s relations with the EU, including its accession process;

10.  Underlines the importance of stopping provocative actions within the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus and of refraining from making threats against the Republic of Cyprus; notes that these actions and threats undermine the continuation of negotiations for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem; calls for stability in this very sensitive region, in view of the challenges that lie ahead;

11.  Requests that the European External Action Service and the Commission closely follow Turkey’s activities within the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus and report back to Parliament;

12.  Expresses its continued commitment to, and support for, the reunification talks under UN auspices for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem; supports the efforts of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, to create the necessary conditions for de-escalation and the resumption of the talks;

13.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice‑President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, and the Government and Parliament of the Republic of Turkey.

(1) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0235.


Humanitarian situation in South Sudan
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European Parliament resolution of 13 November 2014 on the humanitarian situation in South Sudan (2014/2922(RSP))
P8_TA(2014)0053RC-B8-0213/2014

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on South Sudan, in particular that of 16 January 2014 on the situation in South Sudan(1),

–  having regard to the statements of 23 January 2014 and 10 May 2014 by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR), Catherine Ashton, on the situation in South Sudan,

–  having regard to the statements of 28 August 2014 and 31 October 2014 by the spokesperson for the VP/HR on the situation in South Sudan,

–  having regard to Council Decision 2014/449/CFSP of 10 July 2014 concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in South Sudan(2),

–  having regard to UN Security Council resolution 2155 (2014),

–  having regard to the interim report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the human rights situation in South Sudan, distributed for discussion by the panel for the 27th session of the UN Human Rights Council,

–  having regard to the Council declaration of 10 July 2014 on South Sudan,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 20 January 2014 and 17 March 2014 on South Sudan,

–  having regard to the statement of 25 September 2014 by the Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva,

–  having regard to the statement of 30 October 2014 by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon,

–  having regard to the statement of 20 October 2014 by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD),

–  having regard to the resolution issued by the 28th Extraordinary Summit of the IGAD Heads of State and Government on 7 November 2014,

–  having regard to the roadmap for Sudan and South Sudan set out in the communiqué of 24 April 2012 by the African Union Peace and Security Council, which is fully supported by the EU,

–  having regard to the interim report of the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan, presented on 26-27 June 2014 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea,

–  having regard to the revised Cotonou Agreement,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

–  having regard to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) and (4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas a political conflict started after Salva Kiir, the country’s president, accused his sacked vice-president, Riek Machar, of plotting a coup d’état against him; whereas Riek Machar has denied attempting such a coup;

B.  whereas, according to UN estimates, more than 10 000 people have died during months of fighting, and whereas extraordinary acts of cruelty and ethnic violence amounting to war crimes have been widely reported;

C.  whereas South Sudan is the world’s youngest and most fragile state and ranks second in the Commission’s humanitarian Global Vulnerability and Crisis Assessment Final Index;

D.  whereas the parties to the conflict in South Sudan started negotiations on 7 January 2014 in Addis Ababa, under the auspices of IGAD;

E.  whereas a ceasefire agreement was signed on 23 January 2014 and reconfirmed on 9 May 2014, but continues to be breached without any punitive measures being implemented;

F.  whereas peace talks have yielded little progress in terms of finding a lasting solution, and whereas the UN humanitarian aid coordinator has indicated that the chances of achieving sustainable peace at the political and intercommunity level are not good;

G.  whereas, however, on 7 November 2014 the South Sudanese Government and the armed opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army signed an agreement rededicating themselves to ceasing hostilities, at the risk of sanctions from the IGAD region if the agreement was not respected;

H.  whereas fighting between the forces of President Kiir and rebels loyal to Riek Machar has already resumed with the end of the rainy season and is likely to intensify during the dry season if there is no political solution;

I.  whereas UN Security Council resolution 2155 (2014) expresses deep concern over the large‑scale displacement of people and the deepening humanitarian crisis; whereas this humanitarian crisis risks affecting a much wider region in an area that is already prone to instability, with Sudanese rebel groups and Ugandan troops having already taken part in the fighting; whereas this instability can be addressed only if the root causes are tackled, including extreme poverty, climate change, EU and international geostrategic interests and interventions, unfair distribution of wealth and exploitation of resources;

J.  whereas the majority of the population live in widespread poverty despite the fact that the country is rich in oil and natural resources, with oil exports accounting for more than 70 % of GDP and about 90 % of government revenue; whereas revenues generated from the oil industry have fuelled violent conflicts;

K.  whereas the conflict has led to horrific sexual violence on an alarming scale, as outlined by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Bangura; whereas unconfirmed reports continue to circulate on the recruitment of child soldiers in South Sudan, and whereas children make up half the population of South Sudan;

L.  whereas the UN has declared the situation in South Sudan a level 3 emergency, the worst level of humanitarian crisis;

M.  whereas 3,5 million people in South Sudan have been reached with humanitarian assistance since the beginning of the year; whereas, thanks to a combination of local coping mechanisms and international humanitarian aid, famine has been avoided; whereas, however, the outlook as regards food security for the country is bleak if fighting resumes, especially in Bor and Bentiu, with 2,5 million people expected to continue facing crisis- and emergency‑level food insecurity; whereas women are especially vulnerable to food insecurity, as 57 % of households in the protection sites are headed by women; whereas leading aid agencies, including Oxfam, CARE and Cafod, have warned that parts of South Sudan could fall into famine early next year if fighting resumes;

N.  whereas an estimated 3,8 million South Sudanese people are in need of humanitarian assistance, 1,4 million are internally displaced and more than 470 000 are seeking refuge in neighbouring countries;

O.  whereas the most urgent humanitarian needs are food, clean water, healthcare, shelter, sanitation, hygiene, a response to epidemics (such as cholera, malaria, kala-azar and hepatitis), and protection; whereas increased psychosocial support is needed for survivors of sexual violence;

P.  whereas access to people in need continues to be hampered by hostilities and violence, which also target aid workers and supplies; whereas about 80 % of all healthcare and basic services are provided by non-governmental organisations;

Q.  whereas in September 2014 the Minister for Labour of South Sudan said that all foreign workers would have to leave by mid-October, a statement he later retracted;

R.  whereas the adoption of an ‘NGO bill’ aimed at limiting the space in which NGOs and civil society can work in South Sudan has been postponed to December 2014; whereas, if implemented, the draft ‘NGO bill’ could have major consequences for aid operations at this critical time when the international community is trying to prevent a famine from unfolding;

S.  whereas international humanitarian resources have been stretched to the limit by multiple and prolonged global crises; whereas the international community will not be able, either financially or operationally, to continue to respond to a long-lasting crisis;

T.  whereas the EU has provided more than one third (38 %) of all international contributions in response to the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan, with the Commission alone increasing its humanitarian aid budget for the crisis to over EUR 130 million in 2014;

U.  whereas the African Union has appointed a commission of inquiry to investigate the widely reported human rights atrocities;

V.  whereas on 10 July 2014 the EU announced a first round of targeted measures against individuals responsible for obstructing the peace process, breaching the ceasefire agreement and committing gross human rights violations; whereas the EU arms embargo against South Sudan has been maintained;

W.  whereas a democratic political solution should be found to the current conflict, paving the way for democratically agreed institutions to build the new state which came into being after the independence referendum; whereas sustainable peace, post-conflict state-building, and efforts to overcome fragility require a long-term perspective and solid, predictable and stable engagement on the part of the international community;

1.  Firmly denounces the alarming man-made disaster in South Sudan, which contradicts the values and purpose of the country’s liberation movement;

2.  Strongly condemns the resumption of violence and the repeated past violations of the cessation of hostilities agreement, which have caused deaths, injuries and damage among the civilian population and have displaced hundreds of thousands of people in South Sudan, a country that is already fragile and volatile; deplores the weak command and control of the armed forces, which increases the likelihood of further fragmentation of fighting forces, potentially leading to increased violence and non-compliance with peace agreements;

3.  Calls on the international community to honour its funding commitments to South Sudan and the region and to mobilise resources in order to respond immediately to the worsening humanitarian situation in South Sudan; welcomes, in this connection, the EU’s contribution to addressing the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan and asks the Member States to find a solution for funding the increasing number of crises, in line with their international commitments;

4.  Encourages the EU to reprogramme its development assistance in order to meet the most urgent needs of the South Sudanese people, and to support a transition towards peace and stability; welcomes, therefore, the suspension of development assistance through budget support for South Sudan, with the exception of actions which provide direct support to the population or direct support for democratic transition and humanitarian aid, and calls for the redirection of aid through NGOs and international organisations;

5.  Reiterates that long-term prospects for peaceful coexistence and development call for comprehensive institutional reforms to provide the country with a governing process that guarantees the rule of law; stresses that the post-conflict transition is likely to take years and to require a sustained and long-term commitment from the international community;

6.  Denounces the deterioration in relations between the humanitarian community and all parties to the conflict, including the illegal taxation of aid and the harassment and even killing of aid workers with impunity; notes that a number of foreign aid agencies have already withdrawn from South Sudan and that those which remain are struggling to meet the needs of displaced civilians;

7.  Insists that humanitarian aid and food assistance must be provided to the most vulnerable purely on a needs basis, and reminds all parties to the conflict in South Sudan of their obligation to recognise and respect the neutrality, independence and impartiality of humanitarian workers, to facilitate life-saving assistance to people in need, regardless of their political affiliations and ethnicity, and to stop immediately all harassment of aid workers, commandeering of humanitarian assets and diversion of aid; requests, also, that the ‘NGO bill’ be withdrawn or rejected;

8.  Insists that humanitarian aid, especially in the form of basic services and food assistance, should not be diverted to armed groups;

9.  Is deeply concerned by the food security situation in South Sudan, which has been caused by the conflict and worsened by recurrent natural disasters, and which is expected to deteriorate dramatically if fighting is renewed;

10.  Insists that a peace deal would allow people to return to deserted farms, reopen markets and rebuild their homes;

11.  Strongly condemns the extrajudicial and mass killings, deliberate targeting of civilians, human rights abuses (including those affecting refugees and displaced persons, women, people belonging to vulnerable groups, and journalists), arbitrary arrests and detentions, enforced disappearances, ill-treatment and torture carried out by all parties; takes the view that President Kiir and Riek Machar should do all they can to stop soldiers under their control from committing such abuses against the people;

12.  Urges the Commission, the Member States and the South Sudanese authorities to work with communities and women’s rights organisations to provide and promote access to quality education, sexual and reproductive rights and healthcare services for girls and women, including access to contraception and HIV/AIDS testing and treatment;

13.  Deplores the fact that the conflict has disrupted many basic social services, with hundreds of thousands of children out of school; is alarmed by the fact that children continue to bear the brunt of the violence, suffering from psychological distress and lacking access to services, including education; urges the parties to end the recruitment and use of children in armed forces and other grave violations against children;

14.  Is deeply worried about the ethnic dimension of the conflict; stresses that seeking power by means of violence or division along ethnic lines is contrary to the democratic rule of law;

15.  Calls for credible, transparent and comprehensive investigations that meet international standards – notably by the African Union commission of inquiry – in relation to all allegations of serious crimes by any party to the conflict; encourages the establishment of transitional justice mechanisms, with all the necessary international support, to promote both reconciliation and accountability; encourages the Government of South Sudan to accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court as soon as possible;

16.  Welcomes the strengthening of the human rights investigation capacity of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) with the support of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights;

17.  Supports, in this connection, the establishment of a special hybrid tribunal with international involvement to hold leaders accountable for the gross human rights violations committed by both sides of the conflict, as suggested by UN Secretary‑General Ban Ki-moon and recommended in a UNMISS human rights report;

18.  Recalls that humanitarian aid is vital, but cannot fix a political problem, and that the prime responsibility for protecting civilians lies with the government; calls, therefore, for the country’s wealth to be made directly available for the well-being of the South Sudanese people; urges all parties to honour the agreement and to engage constructively, through dialogue and cooperation, in the Addis Ababa peace talks, with a view to the full implementation of the ceasefire agreement and the rapid resumption of talks leading to the formation of a transitional government of national unity, which represents the only long-term solution, and to national reconciliation in the interests of the South Sudanese population as a whole;

19.  Deplores the fact that, despite IGAD’s continuous efforts to mediate peace talks with a view to establishing a transitional government of national unity, no significant progress has been made;

20.  Welcomes, nonetheless, the agreement reached on 7 November 2014 and calls for its immediate and full implementation; continues to support the mediation led by IGAD and its efforts to open the way for an inclusive political dialogue, and calls for the EU to continue to assist IGAD in both substantive and financial terms and to continue to contribute staff to the ceasefire monitoring and verification mechanism;

21.  Emphasises that building the appropriate institutions and legal framework to manage its oil wealth within its ethnic federalism is key to its peaceful development; calls on the EU, in particular, to support a long-term development strategy for South Sudan which enables the creation of a strong system of good governance, transparency and accountability (particularly as regards implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative), and the development of infrastructure, education, health and social welfare programmes which use oil and development aid revenues;

22.  Urges the South Sudanese authorities to make sure that oil revenues benefit the people; calls on the negotiating parties to include in the peace deal the issue of transparency and public scrutiny in the oil sector, in such a way as to allow the revenue from this resource to be used for the sustainable development of the country and to improve the livelihoods of its population;

23.  Regrets the ineffectiveness of the targeted sanctions imposed by the EU and calls for targeted sanctions to be imposed by IGAD, the African Union and the global community; supports the continuation of the arms embargo against South Sudan and urges the adoption of a UN arms embargo against South Sudan and the region as a whole;

24.  Supports, and views as essential, the participation of civil society in peace negotiations;

25.  Warns of the spillover and destabilising effects of the conflict on an already unstable region, especially as a result of the increasing number of refugees in neighbouring countries; calls, therefore, on all neighbours of South Sudan and on regional powers to work closely together to improve the security situation in the country and the region, and to find a way towards a peaceful, lasting political solution to the current crisis; stresses that cooperation with Sudan, in particular, would represent an improvement in relations;

26.  Calls for the establishment of a contact group involving key players on South Sudan as a way to reinforce the work of IGAD and ensure international cohesion;

27.  Welcomes the work of the EU Special Representative for the Horn of Africa, Alexander Rondos; recommends that all his efforts be directed to contributing to a lasting solution;

28.  Encourages the Government of South Sudan to ratify the Cotonou Agreement between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP);

29.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government of South Sudan, the Human Rights Commissioner of South Sudan, the National Legislative Assembly of South Sudan, the institutions of the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the Co-Presidents of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and the UN Secretary-General.

(1) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0042.
(2) OJ L 203, 11.7.2014, p. 100.

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