Index 
Texts adopted
Tuesday, 6 October 2015 - Strasbourg
ILO Forced Labour Convention: judicial cooperation in criminal matters ***
 Subjecting 4-methylamphetamine to control measures *
 Subjecting 5-(2-aminopropyl)indole to control measures *
 Subjecting 25I-NBOMe, AH-7921, MDPV and methoxetamine to control measures *
 Subjecting 4,4'-DMAR and MT-45 to control measures *
 Mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund: disasters in Bulgaria and Greece in 2015
 Possible extension of geographical indication protection of the EU to non-agricultural products
 Common provisions on European Structural and Investment Funds: specific measures for Greece ***I
 Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: application EGF/2015/002 DE/Adam Opel - Germany
 Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: application EGF/2015/003 BE/Ford Genk - Belgium
 Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: application EGF/2015/004 IT/Alitalia - Italy
 The role of local authorities in developing countries in development cooperation

ILO Forced Labour Convention: judicial cooperation in criminal matters ***
PDF 240kWORD 59k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 6 October 2015 on the draft Council decision authorising Member States to ratify, in the interests of the European Union, the Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930, of the International Labour Organisation as regards Articles 1 to 4 of the Protocol with regard to matters relating to judicial cooperation in criminal matters (06731/2015 – C8-0078/2015 – 2014/0258(NLE))
P8_TA(2015)0325A8-0226/2015

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (06731/2015),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 82(2) and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a)(v) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8‑0078/2015),

–  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 Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A8-0226/2015),

1.  Gives its consent to the draft Council decision;

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


Subjecting 4-methylamphetamine to control measures *
PDF 240kWORD 59k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 6 October 2015 on the draft Council implementing decision on subjecting 4-methylamphetamine to control measures (10010/2015 – C8-0182/2015 – 2013/0021(NLE))
P8_TA(2015)0326A8-0265/2015

(Consultation)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Council draft (10010/2015),

–  having regard to Article 39(1) of the Treaty on European Union, as amended by the Treaty of Amsterdam, and Article 9 of Protocol No 36 on Transitional Provisions, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C8-0182/2015),

–  having regard to Council Decision 2005/387/JHA of 10 May 2005 on the information exchange, risk-assessment and control of new psychoactive substances(1), and in particular Article 8(3) thereof,

–  having regard to Rule 59 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A8-0265/2015),

1.  Approves the Council draft;

2.  Calls on the Council to notify Parliament if it intends to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

3.  Asks the Council to consult Parliament again if it intends to substantially amend the text approved by Parliament;

4.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission.

(1)OJ L 127, 20.5.2005, p. 32.


Subjecting 5-(2-aminopropyl)indole to control measures *
PDF 239kWORD 59k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 6 October 2015 on the draft Council implementing decision on subjecting 5-(2-aminopropyl)indole to control measures (10012/2015 – C8-0186/2015 – 2013/0207(NLE))
P8_TA(2015)0327A8-0263/2015

(Consultation)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Council draft (10012/2015),

–  having regard to Article 39(1) of the Treaty on European Union, as amended by the Treaty of Amsterdam, and Article 9 of Protocol No 36 on Transitional Provisions, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C8-0186/2015),

–  having regard to Council Decision 2005/387/JHA of 10 May 2005 on the information exchange, risk-assessment and control of new psychoactive substances(1), and in particular Article 8(3) thereof,

–  having regard to Rule 59 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A8-0263/2015),

1.  Approves the Council draft;

2.  Calls on the Council to notify Parliament if it intends to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

3.  Asks the Council to consult Parliament again if it intends to substantially amend the text approved by Parliament;

4.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission.

(1)OJ L 127, 20.5.2005, p. 32.


Subjecting 25I-NBOMe, AH-7921, MDPV and methoxetamine to control measures *
PDF 245kWORD 60k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 6 October 2015 on the draft Council implementing decision on subjecting 4-iodo-2,5-dimethoxy-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)phenethylamine (25I-NBOMe), 3,4-dichloro-N-[[1-(dimethylamino)cyclohexyl]methyl]benzamide (AH-7921), 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and 2-(3-methoxyphenyl)-2-(ethylamino)cyclohexanone (methoxetamine) to control measures (10011/2015 – C8-0185/2015 – 2014/0183(NLE))
P8_TA(2015)0328A8-0264/2015

(Consultation)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Council draft (10011/2015),

–  having regard to Article 39(1) of the Treaty on European Union, as amended by the Treaty of Amsterdam, and Article 9 of Protocol No 36 on Transitional Provisions, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C8-0185/2015),

–  having regard to Council Decision 2005/387/JHA of 10 May 2005 on the information exchange, risk-assessment and control of new psychoactive substances(1), and in particular Article 8(3) thereof,

–  having regard to Rule 59 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A8-0264/2015),

1.  Approves the Council draft;

2.  Calls on the Council to notify Parliament if it intends to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

3.  Asks the Council to consult Parliament again if it intends to substantially amend the text approved by Parliament;

4.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission.

(1)OJ L 127, 20.5.2005, p. 32.


Subjecting 4,4'-DMAR and MT-45 to control measures *
PDF 242kWORD 59k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 6 October 2015 on the draft Council implementing decision on subjecting 4-methyl-5-(4-methylphenyl)-4,5-dihydrooxazol-2-amine (4,4'-DMAR) and 1-cyclohexyl-4-(1,2-diphenylethyl)piperazine (MT-45) to control measures (10009/2015 – C8-0183/2015 – 2014/0340(NLE))
P8_TA(2015)0329A8-0262/2015

(Consultation)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Council draft (10009/2015),

–  having regard to Article 39(1) of the Treaty on European Union, as amended by the Treaty of Amsterdam, and Article 9 of Protocol No 36 on Transitional Provisions, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C8-0183/2015),

–  having regard to Council Decision 2005/387/JHA of 10 May 2005 on the information exchange, risk-assessment and control of new psychoactive substances(1), and in particular Article 8(3) thereof,

–  having regard to Rule 59 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A8-0262/2015),

1.  Approves the Council draft;

2.  Calls on the Council to notify Parliament if it intends to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

3.  Asks the Council to consult Parliament again if it intends to substantially amend the text approved by Parliament;

4.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission.

(1)OJ L 127, 20.5.2005, p. 32.


Mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund: disasters in Bulgaria and Greece in 2015
PDF 245kWORD 63k
Resolution
Annex
European Parliament resolution of 6 October 2015 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on mobilisation of the European Union Solidarity Fund, in accordance with point 11 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 (disasters in Bulgaria and Greece in 2015) (COM(2015)0370 – C8-0198/2015 – 2015/2151(BUD))
P8_TA(2015)0330A8-0253/2015

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2015)0370 – C8‑0198/2015),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 2012/2002 of 11 November 2002 establishing the European Union Solidarity Fund(1),

–  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 10 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), and in particular point 11 thereof,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A8-0253/2015),

1.  Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

2.  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;

3.  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 EU Solidarity Fund

(The text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the final act, Decision (EU) 2015/1872.)

(1) OJ L 311, 14.11.2002, p. 3.
(2) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.
(3) OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.


Possible extension of geographical indication protection of the EU to non-agricultural products
PDF 199kWORD 92k
European Parliament resolution of 6 October 2015 on the possible extension of geographical indication protection of the European Union to non-agricultural products (2015/2053(INI))
P8_TA(2015)0331A8-0259/2015

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS),

–  having regard to the Commission Green Paper entitled ‘Making the most out of Europe’s know-how: a possible extension of geographical indication protection of the European Union to non-agricultural products’ (COM(2014)0469),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012(1) on agricultural products and foodstuffs, the ‘Quality Regulation’,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013(2) on wine or vine products, the ‘Single CMO Regulation’,

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 110/2008(3) on spirit drinks,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 251/2014(4) on aromatised wine products,

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of 12 February 2015,

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 18 February 2015,

–  having regard to the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union regarding geographical indications;

–  having regard to the Geneva Act to the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin of 31 October 1958, revised in Stockholm on 14 July 1967 and 28 September 1979, regarding intellectual property and guaranteeing the protection of products marketed internationally and widely reputed for the characteristics of their specific geographical area of origin,

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, the Committee on International Trade, and the Committee on Culture and Education (A8-0259/2015),

A.  whereas agricultural products of a specific geographical origin which have certain qualities or are made according to traditional methods may be afforded EU-wide unitary geographical indication (GI) protection;

B.  whereas the WTO defines geographical indications as ‘indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a [WTO] Member, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin’;

C.  whereas high-quality traditional European products based on traditional know-how and techniques form part of the EU’s cultural heritage, and are an essential element to be preserved within the economy and society of many of Europe’s regions, in that they generate activities directly linked to local ways of life, especially in rural areas, and help increase the overall attractiveness of an area, preserve local identities and promote their distinctiveness, with benefits for tourism, culture, employment and trade;

D.  whereas such products could help develop new strategies to support entrepreneurship at local and regional level and promote the maintenance of infrastructure and the development of new, skilled employment with links to local areas, with particular reference to rural areas, depressed areas and the most marginal regions, in many of which employment is dependent on typical locally-made products, imparting a fresh impetus to vocational and craft training closely connected to the development of localities and production areas, while also conserving and promoting the unique and diverse heritage of each region;

E.  recalls that non-agricultural products are an integral part of our identity and are an important element of the Member States’ cultural heritage; emphasises that one of the main challenges faced by this sector is the gradual extinction of traditional skills and crafts, and that the GI protection of non-agricultural products could function as an incentive to preserve this cultural heritage and traditional know-how, and also to guarantee fair remuneration for producers and the originality and widest possible availability of these products;

F.  whereas the reputation of a geographical indication is an intangible common asset which if not protected may be used freely and without restriction, causing its value to fall and even leading to the loss of the product itself;

G.  whereas geographical indications can have great economic potential, and affording them proper protection can bring significant benefits, especially for SMEs and EU regions;

H.  whereas Europe’s regions can boast a wealth of non-agricultural products resting on a very high standard of traditional skills and handcrafts that have helped build their reputation and represent an integral part of the regional and local culture;

I.  whereas public authorities should protect, foster (when so requested by the private sector), and promote European traditional quality products and their geographical indications;

J.  whereas the quality, reputation and other characteristics of a product can be determined by its origin; whereas certain practices involving the misuse of names can seriously damage a product’s reputation as determined by its origin;

K.  whereas because traditional European products are of high quality, and are consequently sought after, their names are open to misuse, to the detriment of both consumers and producers;

L.  whereas proper Europe-wide protection of the geographical indications used to designate non-agricultural products, watching over and monitoring their use and fighting fraud, could help stamp out counterfeiting, avoid unfair competition, and prevent consumers from being deceived;

M.  whereas consumers are showing a growing interest not just in product safety, but also in the origins of products, their authenticity and the methods by which they are produced;

N.  whereas consumers should be able to make informed choices when purchasing goods by being able to identify the origin and quality of the products;

O.  whereas the national laws currently protecting non-agricultural products give rise to different degrees of protection in Member States, which is not in conformity with the aims of the internal market, and is causing difficulties for their effective protection in Europe and in Member States where they are not covered by national legislation, thus pointing up the need for a single system for the protection of geographical indications throughout the EU;

P.  whereas harmonised European legislation could only benefit the EU in international trade negotiations;

Q.  whereas the lack of a unitary EU system for the protection of geographical indications relating to non-agricultural products creates an inadequate and highly fragmented situation in Europe, arising from the fact that some Member States offer no specific protection and others have different definitions, procedures and levels of protection within national and local, sectoral or transversal rules, which have distorting effects that hamper both the harmonious development of the common market and homogeneous protection and effective competition on equal terms, prevent consumers from receiving accurate, truthful and comparable information allowing them to make better-informed decisions, and constitute an obstacle to consumer protection;

Introduction

1.  Welcomes the Commission’s initiative of consulting stakeholders in order to determine whether EU geographical indication (GI) protection could be extended to cover non-agricultural products, as well as the outcome of the consultation which was concluded in October 2014 and clearly favours an EU system of protection based on geographical indications for non-agricultural products;

2.  Believes that a protection instrument should be established at European level, as part of a broader strategy for promoting high-quality EU products, based on a stronger commitment from the EU institutions to treat manufacturing and craft industries as a driving force for growth and the completion of the single market, thus enhancing the prestige of locally based manufacturing and handicraft production, supporting local economic development and employment in the areas concerned, boosting tourism, and strengthening consumer confidence;

3.  Calls on the Commission to propose without delay a legislative proposal with the aim of establishing a single European system of protection of geographical indications for non-agricultural products, following the results of the stakeholder consultation already carried out, as well as further analyses, and ensuring that the effects of the new system on producers, their competitors, consumers and Member States are fully considered;

4.  Emphasises that the introduction of such an instrument will need to be accompanied by information and communication campaigns to familiarise producers and consumers with the new type of GI;

5.  Is strongly convinced that extending protection of geographical indications to non-agricultural products could have many and varied positive effects for citizens, consumers, producers and the whole European economic and social fabric;

6.  Considers that this system could, in particular, protect consumers more effectively, enhance their trust in labelled products, and help them make better-informed choices about buying products by increasing transparency and eliminating the confusion caused by misleading names or descriptions, particularly if the existence of such a system is efficiently communicated; believes it could also contribute to improving traceability and providing more information about quality, origin and production methods and conditions, not least on account of the growing consumer interest in such matters;

Benefits of a uniform protection at EU level

7.  Recalls that it would be highly recommended for the EU to adopt legislation on non-agricultural GIs, in order to fully exploit the positive economic effects of protecting the distinctiveness and quality of such products, provide consumers with reliable information on their place and method of production, and preserve the know-how and jobs relating to them;

8.   Considers that such legislation can foster innovation in traditional production processes and the creation of new start-ups for traditional products, and also contribute to the sustainability of jobs created in poorly developed areas, in particular by providing small enterprises and micro-enterprises, which are the source of close to 80 % of typical locally-made products that could be protected under the geographical indications system, with both an opportunity to boost sales by means of more effective marketing operations and an incentive to cooperate more closely, given the collective nature of the scheme;

9.  Points out that it could help to effectively combat counterfeiting, fraudulent use of names of geographical origin, and other unfair practices which mislead the final consumer and cause harm, most of all, to the micro-enterprises and SMEs which legitimately produce the vast majority of the products that could potentially receive protection and currently do not have the legal or financial means to defend their interests, with this also having an adverse impact on their exports;

10.  Considers that such protection promotes and facilitates access to the common market and markets outside the EU for European craft products, which are the fruit of traditional knowledge and skills that help to conserve valuable know-how characterising entire social and local communities, and also represent a significant element in the historical, cultural, economic and social heritage of Europe;

11.  Considers that uniform GI protection for non-agricultural products would stimulate technological and economic development at regional and local level by increasing the number of people employed in producing traditional products;

12.  Underlines that uniform GI protection would contribute not only to the promotion of traditional products, but also to the recognition of the quality of the raw materials used in these products and the need for excellence at all stages of the production process;

13.  Points out that GIs provide an assurance of product quality for consumers, as well as being a recognition of know-how and a means of protection for producers;

14.  Stresses that the recognition of protection of non-agricultural GIs and traditional, high-quality know-how is both a defensive and offensive interest in the framework of the common commercial policy, and that it can be an effective tool to support micro, small and medium-sized businesses and manufacturers (SMEs), countering imitation and counterfeit products and ensuring a more socially, economically and environmentally sustainable approach to economic development inside and outside the EU, as well as fair competition and consumer protection, thus making it possible to identify more effectively product authenticity and quality; considers that recognising unitary protection of non-agricultural GIs would also contribute to building social capital in the regions of production;

15.  Considers that a uniform EU system could increase the attractiveness of the heritage-related professions;

16.  Stresses that preserving traditional know-how and production can help stop the depopulation and destruction of rural areas and the flow of young people leaving these areas;

17.  Highlights the importance of the cultural, educational, social and sustainable components of the non-agricultural products that will be included in this process, and stresses the need to preserve, pass on and develop the traditional know-how and skills associated with them, and to foster closer cooperation with the creative industries, not least with a view to highlighting the quality of the materials used and of the end products; calls for the use of the name or logo to be accessible to all producers from the given area who manufacture the product in the way prescribed;

18.  Stresses that protection for the geographical indications of non-agricultural products will help preserve the cultural and artistic heritage constituted by Europe’s local and regional traditions;

19.  Acknowledges the crucial role of SMEs which invest in high-quality traditional know-how and offer local employment and apprenticeships for the training of skilled professionals who play a major part in passing on traditional production methods; recognises the importance of investing in education and training in this field, and encourages Member States to make optimal use of the available EU funding and programmes for the support of vocational training for specialists involved in the production and promotion of environment-friendly local and regional artisanal and industrial products;

20.  Encourages the Member States to exchange good practices in creating and supporting initiatives aimed at stimulating the traditional artisanal sector, which could in turn increase awareness of local cultural heritage and stimulate the development of rural areas;

21.  Highlights the fact that a well-known GI could help to better promote the European cultural itineraries;

22.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote transregional and transnational cooperation and the pooling of best practices among non-agricultural product clusters and related sectors;

23.  Stresses the importance of geographical indications (GIs) in the broader spectrum of intellectual property rights, as a way of protecting the value of the local, including infrastructure and employment, improving regional development and enhancing traceability, transparency and consumer information;

24.  Notes that industrial and handicraft products connected with their origins or rooted in their territory are central to the economy and society in many of Europe’s regions, in that they generate non-relocatable activities directly linked to local ways of life, especially in rural areas; stresses that the adoption at European level of a system to protect industrial and handicraft products connected with their origin or rooted in their territory would allow the originality of our industrial and handicraft products to be maintained and prevent product standardisation;

Relations with third countries

25.  Considers that open-ended lists of all products, both agricultural and non-agricultural, that are protected by geographical indications should be incorporated into future EU trade agreements with non-member countries;

26.  Considers that there would also be positive effects on trade relations which the EU maintains or is negotiating with third countries, thus enabling the EU to achieve equal protection for such European products also within the framework of international trade negotiations;

27.  Believes that the extension of protection for EU geographical indications to non-agricultural products would be a way to stimulate European exports and gain market share while achieving international recognition of the products in question and developing their high-quality image and reputation through trade and trade negotiations;

28.  Believes that the protection of non-agricultural GIs at EU level would strengthen the Union’s hand in the WTO in calling for an increase in the standard level of protection, and could positively renew the discussions on the creation of a multilateral GI register within the Doha Development Agenda, while being fully in line with the TRIPS Agreement;

29.  Believes that the protection of non-agricultural GIs must be accompanied by a more effective strategy for the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in third countries, with a view to stepping up measures to combat counterfeit or imitation products;

30.  Considers that uniform protection of geographical indications for non-agricultural products in the EU could be an advantage in negotiating trade agreements with third countries and, conversely, stresses that some of our major partners, such as India and China, have already introduced systems to protect such geographical indications;

31.  Calls on the Commission to include in its upcoming communication on the EU’s trade and investment strategy a coherent and well-prepared strategy for all GIs, which ensures that they are observed and recognised;

32.  Takes the view that extending the scope of the geographical indication protection system to cover non-agricultural products could help make the EU’s position in this area still stronger and more consistent, both in bilateral trade negotiations and in multilateral forums, the ultimate aim being to provide a high level of protection for all high-quality European products outside the EU; considers, in particular, that both agricultural and non-agricultural products protected by geographical indications should be fully taken into account in negotiations on future EU trade agreements; believes that a comprehensive EU geographical indications system would foster commercial expansion and make it easier to carry out joint promotional campaigns outside the EU;

General principles

33.  Stresses the importance of geographical indications (GIs) as an important tool for enhancing traceability, transparency and the provision of information to consumers and raising the profile of EU regions and localities in a more socially and environmentally sustainable approach to economic development, as well as developing the key role played by GIs in EU trade policy;

34.  Is convinced that the system must be based on best practices and transparent and non-discriminatory principles, and that it can be an effective tool for countering imitation and counterfeit products and ensuring a more socially, economically and environmentally sustainable approach to economic development inside and outside the EU, as well as enhancing consumer protection;

35.  Calls on the Commission to apply the lessons learned from the experience gained in the agricultural and food sectors, with the aim of creating a system which is based on best practices and non-discriminatory principles and is transparent, effective, responsive and free of unnecessary administrative burdens and deterrent costs for producers who voluntarily decide to register a product under a geographical indication scheme; is of the opinion, furthermore, that such a system should ensure strict controls and the greatest possible transparency, and should include appropriate means of dealing with fraud; calls on the Commission, in this regard, to apply a non-sectoral approach to any system of protection;

36.  Considers that the new system, as happened in the past with agri-food products, should represent a guarantee which is intuitively perceptible to consumers who seek high-quality products in terms of authenticity and origin which have a strong link to the geographical area concerned and are supported by reliable and clear information; believes that the effectiveness of such a single European system of protection of geographical indications will depend on whether all necessary information reaches producers and consumers; stresses that the system must be transparent and must ensure accessible protection, as this is of key importance to consumer and producer confidence;

37.  Takes the view that, under the new EU legislative framework for procurement, a product quality and origin certification system could be of use to contracting authorities in connection with technical specifications, certification and award criteria, in particular at local and regional level;

38.  Calls for such products to be made a central focus of regional development, research and innovation projects and Horizon 2020 and cohesion funding;

39.  Is of the opinion that an EU-level system of GI protection for non-agricultural products which is coherent, simple and transparent and is not bureaucratically and financially burdensome, thus allowing SMEs in particular to access it, would enable the EU to achieve equal protection for such European products outside the EU in the framework of international trade negotiations, and would create a significant advantage in negotiating free trade agreements, bilaterally with the Union’s trading partners and multilaterally within the WTO;

40.  Is of the opinion that the creation of a single EU-level protection of non-agricultural GIs that includes common definitions, registration procedures and costs, the scope of protection and the means of enforcement, and the establishment of a trustworthy authority responsible for deciding on the granting of non-agricultural GI status, recognised at EU level, without lowering the standards of protection that already exist in 15 Member States, would be the best way to be more effective, both within the EU and in negotiations with third countries;

Scope

41.  Maintains that a link with the territory of production is essential in order to identify the special know-how and designate the quality, authenticity and characteristics of the product;

42.  Favours a broad definition that would make it possible to recognise the link between a product and the area covered by the GI; considers that an EU-level system of protection should have an expanded scope enabling the inclusion of names which, though not geographical, are unambiguously associated with a given place;

43.  Believes that the protection scheme should include non-verbal signs and symbols that are unmistakably associated with a particular region;

44.  Maintains that the label/distinguishing sign/mark/logo for non-agricultural GIs should be simple and easily recognisable, should reflect the regional/local identity of the goods, and should be expressed in at least the language of the product’s place of origin and that of the country into which it is imported;

45.  Points out that some indications, for instance generic terms or homonyms, have to be excluded from GI protection; notes in addition that the exceptions set out in Article 6(1), (3) and (4) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 on agricultural GIs could serve as an example;

Registration process

46.  Believes there should be a compulsory registration procedure, as this would provide greater security, especially as regards the enforcement of rights in the event of a dispute; calls on the Commission to propose the most efficient, simple, useful and accessible mechanism for registration of products, and to ensure that the system provides affordable, clear and transparent registration, modification and cancellation procedures, thus providing legal guarantees for stakeholders; calls on the Commission to carry out a thorough assessment with a view to minimising the financial and administrative work burden for stakeholders;

47.  Stresses that this system must be accompanied by the creation of a single standardised and public European register for non-agricultural products benefiting from geographical indication protection, with a view to fostering craft products and informing and protecting both consumers and producers, whilst avoiding any unnecessary administrative burden;

48.  Stresses, further, that such a system should be characterised by a cross-cutting approach in order to maximise its economic and social impact, and that it should significantly enhance the existing link between products and their area of origin, and improve transparency, in order to increase the credibility and authenticity of a product, guarantee its origin, and contribute to improving its traceability; points to the need for regular checks to be carried out once geographical indication status has been granted, in order to make sure that the criteria on which that status was based are still being met;

49.  Believes that registration should take place in two stages: firstly, on-the-spot checks should be made by national or regional authorities to ascertain that specific characteristics are not being interfered with; and secondly, there should be a single European registration system to ensure compliance with common criteria in all parts of the EU;

50.  Proposes that the Commission examine the possibility of also transferring, in this context, the registration of agricultural GIs to the OHIM; proposes that the above system be managed at EU level by the OHIM;

51.  Maintains that the system should keep costs and red tape for businesses to a minimum, while offering sufficient guarantees to consumers and helping them in making better- informed choices about buying products;

52.  Considers that under a scheme of the type described above, establishing GIs should be a matter for the businesses concerned, which should, in particular, be called upon to draw up the specifications that the GIs would have to meet;

53.  Believes that the criteria encompassed within product specifications should be handled in a flexible way so as to ensure that developments in production processes and future innovations are not only prevented but encouraged, provided the quality and authenticity of the final product are not affected;

54.  Believes that specifications should include at least the following criteria: raw materials used, description of the production process, proof of the link with the territory, and elements of corporate social responsibility;

55.  Proposes that producers and their associations and chambers of commerce should be the stakeholders authorised in the first place to apply for registration of a GI for non-agricultural products;

56.  Considers that producers could be asked to pay a contribution in order to obtain a GI, provided such contributions take the form of one-off payments, are fair in relation to the costs incurred, and are enforced uniformly throughout the EU;

Control measures

57.  Believes there should also be provision for the requisite resources to make the protection afforded by such an instrument effective in practice whatever the means of product distribution in cases of misuse; emphasises the need to ensure that GIs are equally well protected in the digital marketplace;

58.  Stresses the relevance of quality checks, in the light of the significant differences existing between agricultural and non-agricultural products (e.g. number of producers);

59.  Advocates, in addition, that an inspection, infringement and penalty scheme be set up to monitor geographical indications on products marketed in Europe;

60.  Considers that, to maximise the GI protection of non-agricultural products, the ban on incorrect use of GIs should apply, not only where there is a risk of consumers being misled or where there is any unfair competition, even in cases where a product’s actual origin is clearly indicated; proposes, therefore, that the additional protection provided for in Article 23 of the TRIPS Agreement, initially applicable only to wines and spirits, be extended to cover the GIs of non-agricultural products;

61.  Suggests the introduction of a procedure, open to interested parties, whereby the registration of GIs can be contested;

62.  Considers that this would make it easier to establish effective oversight procedures, thus giving consumers and producers the chance to protect themselves against counterfeiting, imitation and other illegal practices;

Coexistence with prior rights

63.  Considers that any future geographical indications must be allowed to coexist with rights already associated with the product, and should take account of current best practices at national and local level in the EU;

64.  Maintains that the relationship between trademarks and GIs will need to be clearly defined so as to avert conflicts;

65.  Suggests that the rules on the relationship between trademarks and GIs should apply to the GI protection of non-agricultural products;

66.  Proposes that those Member States which already provide protection should be allowed the necessary time to ensure compliance, while at the same allowing transitional arrangements to be applied, providing for a coexistence of the two systems before moving towards an EU mechanism;

o
o   o

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

(1) OJ L 343, 14.12.2012, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 671.
(3) OJ L 39, 13.2.2008, p. 16.
(4) OJ L 84, 20.3.2014, p. 14.


Common provisions on European Structural and Investment Funds: specific measures for Greece ***I
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Resolution
Text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 6 October 2015 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down common provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund as regards specific measures for Greece (COM(2015)0365 – C8-0192/2015 – 2015/0160(COD))
P8_TA(2015)0332A8-0260/2015

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2015)0365),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 177 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8‑0192/2015),

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

–  after consulting the European Economic and Social Committee,

–  after consulting the Committee of the Regions,

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee on Budgets on the proposal's financial compatibility,

–  having regard to the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 16 September 2015 to approve Parliament’s position, in accordance with Article 294(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the letter from the Committee on Fisheries,

–  having regard to Rules 59, 50(1) and 41 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Regional Development and the opinion of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (A8-0260/2015),

A.  Whereas the proposed amending Regulation is an exceptional measure, aimed at providing immediate support to Greece by enabling it to access and use before the end of 2015 Union funding for cohesion policy still available from the 2007-2013 programming period, and therefore its adoption is urgent;

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

2.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 6 October 2015 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) 2015/... of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 as regards specific measures for Greece

P8_TC1-COD(2015)0160


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EU) 2015/1839.)


Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: application EGF/2015/002 DE/Adam Opel - Germany
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Resolution
Annex
European Parliament resolution of 6 October 2015 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/2015/002 DE/Adam Opel, from Germany) (COM(2015)0342 – C8-0249/2015 – 2015/2208(BUD))
P8_TA(2015)0333A8-0273/2015

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2015)0342 – C8‑0249/2015),

–  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 (A8-0273/2015),

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 or of the global financial and economic crisis 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 to 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 the 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 the 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 Germany submitted application EGF/2015/002 DE/Adam Opel for a financial contribution from the EGF following 2 881 redundancies in Adam Opel AG, operating in the NACE Rev. 2 division 29 ('Manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers')(4) and 1 supplier;

E.  whereas the application fulfils the eligibility criteria set down by the EGF Regulation;

1.  Agrees with the Commission that the conditions set out in Article 4(1)(a) of the EGF Regulation are met and that, therefore, Germany is entitled to a financial contribution of EUR 6 958 623 under that Regulation;

2.  Notes that the German authorities submitted the application for a financial contribution from the EGF on 26 February 2015, and that its assessment was finalised by the Commission on 14 July 2015 and notified to the Parliament on 1 September 2015; welcomes the speedy evaluation period of less than five months;

3.  Notes that in Western Europe car sales have dropped dramatically and have reached a 20-year record low(5) and highlights that the number of cars sold in Europe is the lowest since 1997; concludes that those events are directly linked to the global financial and economic crisis addressed in Regulation (EC) No 546/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council(6); further underlines that manufacturers of small and medium-sized vehicles of the medium-price segment have been hit particularly hard and that Adam Opel AG, being one of the major players in the medium-price segment of small and medium-sized vehicles, has thus been hit particularly hard by the crisis, while sales of economy as well as of premium or luxury vehicles were not so affected by the crisis;

4.  Notes that the number of newly registered cars in the EU and EFTA Member States saw a drop of 25 % between 2007 and 2013 (from more than 16 million newly registered cars down to 12 million, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association); highlights in this respect that sales of Opel/Vauxhall-branded cars in Europe dropped dramatically and fell by 39 % between 2007 and 2013;

5.  Notes furthermore that Adam Opel AG was disadvantaged by the owning enterprise General Motors, which allowed Opel to sell only within Europe, thus excluding Opel from emerging markets on other continents; is of the opinion that austerity policies imposed in European countries contributed to the dramatic drop in sales by Opel/Vauxhall;

6.  Notes that these redundancies will have a significant adverse impact on the local economy in Bochum; recalls that Bochum is a city in the Ruhr area, a highly urbanised industrial area in the German Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia, which, like other traditional coal-mining and steel producing regions, has been facing tremendous structural challenges since the 1960s; highlights that the unemployment rate in the Ruhr area is already far above the German average;

7.  Recalls that Bochum has already been supported by the EGF after Nokia stopped the production of cell phones, with a loss of more than 1 300 jobs; notes that Outukumpu intends to stop the production of stainless steel in Bochum at the end of 2015, which will lead to a further deindustrialisation of the city and a worsening of the local and regional labour situation;

8.  Notes that, to-date, the NACE Revision 2 Division 29 sector (Manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers) has been the subject of 21 EGF applications, 11 of which were based on trade related globalisation and 10 on the global financial and economic crisis; recalls in this context EGF application EGF/2010/031/General Motors Belgium, which was a consequence of Opel's closure of its production facility in Antwerp, Belgium;

9.  Welcomes the fact that, in order to provide workers with speedy assistance, the German authorities decided to initiate the implementation of the personalised services to the affected workers on 1 January 2015, well ahead of the decision and even the application on the granting of EGF support for the proposed coordinated package;

10.  Notes that dismissed workers can benefit from a range of measures aimed at re-integrating them into the labour market; considers that the estimated number of participants in business start-up advisory service is low, at only 25 estimated beneficiaries;

11.  Welcomes that the management and control of this application will be administered by the same bodies which administer the European Social Fund within the Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs and which also administered the previous EGF contributions;

12.  Notes that Germany is planning the following measures for the redundant workers covered by this application: vocational training measures (Qualifizierungen), career guidance (Berufsorientierung), peer groups/workshops, business start-up advisory service (Existenzgründerberatung), job search (Stellenakquise)/job fairs (Jobmessen), follow-up mentoring and advisory services (Nachbetreuung und - beratung) and training allowances (Transferkurzarbeitergeld);

13.  Notes that the coordinated package of personalised services has been drawn up in consultation with the social partners through the creation of transfer companies;

14.  Notes that the authorities plan to utilise the maximum allowed 35 % of total costs for the coordinated package of personalised services on allowances and incentives in the form of a training allowance (Transferkurzarbeitergeld) constituting 60 % or 67 % of the worker's previous net income, depending on the household situation of the beneficiary;

15.  Emphasises that funding provided for training allowances (in the present case Transferkurzarbeitergeld) must not replace the legal obligation of the Member State or the former employer; calls on both the Commission and the Member State to provide clear and coherent information to specify to what extent Transferkurzarbeitergeld constitutes a legal obligation once the Transfergesellschaft has been set up; requests coherence in both funding practice and information to the Parliament; expects, therefore, the Commission to provide a thorough and coherent analysis and details of the elements that go beyond the legal obligations of the Member States; reiterates its position that EGF funding should be used for ‘Transferkurzarbeitergeld’ in order to enable the transfer company to go beyond what it could normally do for the workers, by providing more personalised and in-depth measures than would be possible without EGF support; emphasises that Parliament will continue to monitor that the EGF is not used to replace the obligations of a Member State or a company;

16.  Calls on the Commission to establish a consistent approach in case of applications including the “Transferkurzarbeitergeld” measure, by consistently defining it in each application and thoroughly checking and citing evidence that the specific measure is indeed eligible for EGF funding as laid down in Article 7 of the EGF Regulation and does not in any way substitute passive social protection measures and that the risk of double financing is excluded;

17.  Notes that the social partners agreed on the creation of three transfer companies in order to carry out the measures for the dismisses workers, which is in line with the practice in Germany; welcomes that the workers dismissed in the supplier company (Johnson Controls Objekt Bochum GmbHCo. KG) will also be able to participate in the measures carried out by the transfer companies;

18.  Recalls the importance of improving the employability of all workers by means of adapted training and the recognition of skills and competences gained throughout a worker's professional career; expects the training on offer in the coordinated package to be adapted not only to the needs of the dismissed workers but also to the actual business environment;

19.  Reminds 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;

20.  Notes that the information provided on the coordinated package of personalised services to be funded from the EGF includes information on complementarity with actions funded by the Structural Funds; stresses that the German authorities confirm that the eligible actions do not receive assistance from other Union financial instruments; reiterates its call to the Commission to present a comparative evaluation of those data in its annual reports in order to ensure full respect for the existing regulations and that no duplication of Union-funded services can occur;

21.  Appreciates the improved procedure put in place by the Commission, following the Parliament's request for the accelerated release of grants; notes the time pressure that the new timetable implies and the potential impact on the effectiveness of case instruction;

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 (application from Germany - EGF/2015/002 DE/Adam Opel)

(The text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the final act, Decision (EU) 2015/1871.)

(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.
(4) Regulation (EC) No 1893/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 establishing the statistical classification of economic activities NACE Revision 2 and amending Council Regulation (EEC) No 3037/90 as well as certain EC regulations on specific statistical domains (OJ L 393, 30.12.2006, p. 1).
(5)European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), The Automobile Industry Pocket Guide 2014-2015, p. 57f.
(6) Regulation (EC) No 546/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2009 amending Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 on establishing the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (OJ L 167, 29.6.2009, p. 26).


Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: application EGF/2015/003 BE/Ford Genk - Belgium
PDF 263kWORD 74k
Resolution
Annex
European Parliament resolution of 6 October 2015 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on 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/2015/003 BE/Ford Genk, from Belgium) (COM(2015)0336 – C8-0250/2015 – 2015/2209(BUD))
P8_TA(2015)0334A8-0272/2015

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2015)0336 – C8‑0250/2015),

–  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 (A8-0272/2015),

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 or of the global financial and economic crisis 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 to 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 the 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 the 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 Belgium submitted application EGF/2015/003 BE/Ford Genk for a financial contribution from the EGF following 5 111 redundancies of which 3 701 workers were made redundant in Ford Genk, operating in the NACE Rev. 2 division 29 ('Manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers')(4) and 1 180 in 11 suppliers and downstream producers, whereas the estimate number of 4 500 redundant workers are expected to participate in the measures;

E.  whereas the application fulfils the eligibility criteria set down by the EGF Regulation;

1.  Agrees with the Commission that the conditions set out in Article 4(1)(a) of the EGF Regulation are met and that, therefore, under that Regulation Belgium is entitled to a financial contribution of EUR 6 268 564 from the total costs of EUR 10 447 607;

2.  Notes that the Belgian authorities submitted the application for a financial contribution from the EGF on 24 March 2015, and that its assessment was finalised by the Commission on 14 July 2015 and notified to Parliament on 1 September 2015; welcomes the speedy evaluation period of less than five months;

3.  Notes that the production of passenger cars decreased by 14,6 % in the EU-27 between 2007 and 2012 and that in the same period China more than doubled its market share in passenger car production; concludes that those events are directly linked to major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation;

4.  Recalls that a first wave of dismissals in Ford Genk in 2013 gave way to a first EGF application also based on globalisation, which is currently being implemented(5) and that this second application relates to the redundancies at the Ford Genk plant carried out in 2014 up to the final closure of the facility in December 2014;

5.  Notes that the Belgian car industry has suffered a production decline of 15,58 % as global production increased by 18,9 %;

6.  Recalls that Ford Genk has been the largest employer in the province of Limburg; notes that redundancies cause considerable damage to the Limburg economy with a total loss of more than 8 000 jobs (including indirect job losses), most of which are Union citizens between 30 and 54 years of age, a rise in the unemployment rate of between 1,8 and 2 percentage points (up to a 29,4 % increase in the region's unemployment rate from 6,8 % to 8,8 %), a reduction in GDP of between 2,6 % and 2,9 % and a potential drop in labour productivity of 10,9 %, due to the high importance of the automotive industry for labour productivity in the region;

7.  Notes that, to-date, the NACE Revision 2 Division 29 sector (Manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers) has been the subject of 22 EGF applications, 12 of which were based on trade related globalisation and 10 on the global financial and economic crisis; recommends, therefore, that the Commission makes a study on the Asian and South American markets in order for the EU manufacturers to learn more about the new import licensing requirements and how to be more present and competitive on these markets;

8.  Welcomes the fact that, in order to provide workers with speedy assistance, the Belgian authorities decided to initiate the implementation of the personalised services to the affected workers on 1 January 2015, well ahead of the decision and even the application on the granting the EGF support for the proposed coordinated package;

9.  Notes that Belgium is planning three types of measures for the redundant workers covered by this application: (i) individual job search assistance, case management and general information services, (ii) training and re-training, and (iii) allowances and incentives;

10.  Welcomes that dismissed workers can benefit from a large variation of proposed measures, containing a number of actions for individual job search assistance, case management and general information services; training and re-training, also provided by the former employer;

11.  Notes that the coordinated package of personalised services has been drawn up in consultation with the targeted beneficiaries, their representatives, social partners, local, regional and national public employment bodies and training institutions as well as the company;

12.  Recalls the importance of improving the employability of all workers by means of adapted training and the recognition of skills and competences gained throughout a worker's professional career; expects the training on offer in the coordinated package to be adapted not only to the needs of the dismissed workers but also to the actual business environment;

13.  Stresses that vocational training measures should aim to improve workers’ employability and should be adapted to the actual labour market demands; notes at the same time that the training and re-training measures should recognise and also build upon the specific skills and competences that the affected workers have acquired in the automotive and its supplying industry;

14.  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;

15.  Notes that the information provided on the coordinated package of personalised services to be funded from the EGF includes information on complementarity with actions funded by the Structural Funds; stresses that the Belgian authorities confirm that the eligible actions do not receive assistance from other Union financial instruments; reiterates its call to the Commission to present a comparative evaluation of those data in its annual reports in order to ensure full respect for the existing regulations and that no duplication of Union-funded services can occur;

16.  Welcomes that the authorities plan to utilise most of the available funds for personalised services and only 4,94 % of the total costs for the coordinated package of personalised services will be used for allowances and incentives, which remains much below the maximum allowed 35 %;

17.  Appreciates the improved procedure put in place by the Commission, following the Parliament's request for the accelerated release of grants; notes the time pressure that the new timetable implies and the potential impact on the effectiveness of case instruction;

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 (application from Belgium - EGF/2015/003 BE/Ford Genk)

(The text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the final act, Decision (EU) 2015/1869.)

(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.
(4) Regulation (EC) No 1893/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 establishing the statistical classification of economic activities NACE Revision 2 and amending Council Regulation (EEC) No 3037/90 as well as certain EC regulations on specific statistical domains (OJ L 393, 30.12.2006, p. 1).
(5)EGF/2013/012 BE/Ford Genk (COM(2014)0532).


Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: application EGF/2015/004 IT/Alitalia - Italy
PDF 264kWORD 72k
Resolution
Annex
European Parliament resolution of 6 October 2015 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/2015/004 IT/Alitalia, from Italy) (COM(2015)0397 – C8-0252/2015 – 2015/2212(BUD))
P8_TA(2015)0335A8-0274/2015

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2015)0397 – C8‑0252/2015),

–  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 (A8-0274/2015),

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 or of the global financial and economic crisis 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 to 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 set the 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 the 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 Italy submitted application EGF/2015/004 IT/Alitalia for a financial contribution from the EGF following 1 249 redundancies in Gruppo Alitalia, operating in the NACE Rev. 2 division 51 ('Ait transport')(4) in the NUTS(5) level 2 region of Lazio, and whereas an estimated 184 redundant workers are expected to participate in the measures;

E.  whereas the application fulfils the eligibility criteria set down by the EGF Regulation;

1.  Agrees with the Commission that the conditions set out in Article 4(1)(a) of the EGF Regulation are met and that, therefore, Italy is entitled to a financial contribution of EUR 1 414 848 under that Regulation;

2.  Notes that the Italian authorities submitted the application for a financial contribution from the EGF on 24 March 2015, and that its assessment was finalised by the Commission on 7 August 2015 and notified to Parliament on 1 September 2015; welcomes the speedy evaluation period of less than five months;

3.  Notes that the international air transport market has undergone serious economic disruption, in particular a decline in the Union’s market share and a huge increase in the number of passengers carried by Gulf and Turkish carriers that has occurred at the expense of European companies such as Alitalia;

4.  Recalls that, although employment in Lazio has been affected by the effects of the economic and financial crisis to a lesser extent then employment at national level, each additional increase in unemployment puts the CIG(6) benefit system under pressure;

5.  Notes that, to date, the NACE Revision 2 Division 51 sector (Air transport) has been the subject of one other EGF application(7) which was also based on trade related globalisation;

6.  Welcomes the focus on active job search and training measures proposed by the Italian authorities, including the re-employment scheme targeting dismissed workers over 50 years of age;

7.  Welcomes the fact that, in order to provide workers with speedy assistance, the Italian authorities decided to initiate the implementation of the personalised services to the affected workers on 1 April 2015, well ahead of the decision on the granting of EGF support for the proposed coordinated package;

8.  Notes that actions under Article 7(4) of the EGF Regulation - preparatory activities, management, information and publicity and control and reporting - represent a relatively high share of the total costs (3,99 %);

9.  Regrets that, out of 1 249 eligible beneficiaries, only 184 (14,7 %) are targeted by the proposed measures which represents a very low proportion of all dismissed employees;

10.  Appreciates that all 184 targeted beneficiaries are expected to benefit from the personalised services;

11.  Notes that Italy is planning five types of measures for redundant workers covered by this application: (i) intake and skill assessment, (ii) active job search support, (iii) training, (iv) reimbursement of mobility costs, and (v) hiring benefits for over 50s;

12.  Notes that allowances and incentives are limited to mobility costs and hiring benefits and will stay below the allowed maximum amount of 35 % of the total costs for the coordinated package of personalised services, as set out in the EGF Regulation;

13.  Welcomes the hiring benefits for workers over 50 years of age; considers that the way the payment benefits are differentiated will incentivise hiring the concerned workers with better conditions;

14.  Notes that the coordinated package of personalised services has been drawn up in consultation with the social partners, the accredited agencies which provide job search support and the workers;

15.  Welcomes that the accredited agencies providing active job-search support to the workers are paid on the basis of the results achieved;

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

17.  Recalls the importance of improving the employability of all workers by means of adapted training and the recognition of skills and competences gained throughout a worker's professional career; expects the training on offer in the coordinated package to be adapted not only to the needs of the dismissed workers but also to the actual business environment;

18.  Notes that the information provided on the coordinated package of personalised services to be funded from the EGF includes information on complementarity with actions funded by the Structural Funds; stresses that the Italian authorities confirm that the eligible actions do not receive assistance from other Union financial instruments; reiterates its call to the Commission to present a comparative evaluation of those data in its annual reports in order to ensure full respect for existing regulations and that no duplication of Union-funded services can occur;

19.  Appreciates the improved procedure put in place by the Commission, following the Parliament's request for the accelerated release of grants; notes the time pressure that the new timetable implies and the potential impact on the effectiveness of case instruction;

20.  Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

21.  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;

22.  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 (application from Italy - EGF/2015/004 IT/Alitalia)

(The text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the final act, Decision (EU) 2015/1870.)

(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.
(4) Regulation (EC) No 1893/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 establishing the statistical classification of economic activities NACE Revision 2 and amending Council Regulation (EEC) No 3037/90 as well as certain EC regulations on specific statistical domains (OJ L 393, 30.12.2006, p. 1).
(5) Commission Regulation (EU) No 1046/2012 of 8 November 2012 implementing Regulation (EC) No 1059/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of a common classification of territorial units for statistics (NUTS) as regards the transmission of the time series for the new regional breakdown (OJ L 310, 9.11.2012, p. 34).
(6)Cassa Integrazione Guadagno (CIG) is a benefit designed to ensure a certain level of income to workers prevented for undertaking his/her assignment. CIG is triggered in case of reduction or discontinuation of production activities due to restructuring, enterprise's reorganization, corporate crisis and bankruptcy proceedings which have serious consequences on the labour market at local level. CIG is a tool that prevents workers to be made redundant by allowing enterprises to avoid the cost of labour temporarily not needed, while waiting to resume normal production activities. However CIG is often the prelude to mobilità.
(7)EGF/2013/014 FR/Air France (COM(2014)0701).


The role of local authorities in developing countries in development cooperation
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European Parliament resolution of 6 October 2015 on the role of local authorities in developing countries in development cooperation (2015/2004(INI))
P8_TA(2015)0336A8-0232/2015

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the United Nations Millennium Declaration of 8 September 2000,

–  having regard to the report adopted in July 2014 by the UN Open Working Group for Sustainable Development Goals,

–  having regard to its resolution of 25 November 2014 on the EU and the global development framework after 2015(1),

–  having regard to the report adopted on 8 August 2014 by the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing,

–  having regard to the Ministerial Declaration of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, of July 2014,

–  having regard to the United Nations ‘Millennium Development Goals Report 2014’,

–  having regard to the outcome document of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC) High-Level Meeting in Mexico City, of April 2014,

–  having regard to the report ‘Dialogue on localizing the Post-2015 Development Agenda’ prepared by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Global Taskforce(2) and UN Habitat, of 31 October 2014,

–  having regard to the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) 2014 report ‘Delivering the Post-2015 Development Agenda: opportunities at the national and local levels’,

–  having regard to the 2014 Human Development Report of the UNDP entitled ‘Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience’,

–  having regard to the UN Secretary General’s Synthesis Report on the Post-2015 Agenda,

–  having regard to the UN ‘Gender Chart 2012’, which measures improvements regarding the gender equality aspects of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),

–  having regard to the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992 and to the report of its follow-up Conference on Sustainable Development, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 20 to 22 June 2012,

–  having regard to the May 2013 report of the UN High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda,

–  having regard to the June 2012 report of the UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda to the UN Secretary General, entitled ‘Realising the future we want for all’,

–  having regard to the Istanbul Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2011-2020,

–  having regard to the declaration and action plan adopted at the High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness held in Busan, South Korea, in December 2011,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the human rights legal framework,

–  having regard to the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action,

–  having regard to the 1986 Declaration on the Right to Development,

–  having regard to the European Consensus on Development(3) and the EU Code of Conduct on Complementarity and Division of Labour in Development Policy(4),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 15 May 2013 entitled ‘Empowering Local Authorities in partner countries for enhanced governance and more effective development outcomes’ (COM(2013)0280),

–  having regard to its resolution of 22 October 2013 on local authorities and civil society: Europe’s engagement in support of sustainable development(5) and to the Council conclusions of 22 July 2013 on local authorities in development,

–  having regard to Article 7 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which reaffirms that the EU ‘shall ensure consistency between its policies and activities, taking all of its objectives into account’,

–  having regard to Article 208 TFEU, which stipulates that ‘the Union shall take account of the objectives of development cooperation in the policies that it implements which are likely to affect developing countries’,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 5 February 2015, entitled ‘A Global Partnership for Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development after 2015’ (COM(2015)0044),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 2 June 2014, entitled ‘A decent life for all: from vision to collective action’ (COM(2014)0335),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 13 May 2014, entitled ‘A stronger role of the private sector in achieving inclusive and sustainable growth in developing countries’ (COM(2014)0263),

–  having regard to the Commission staff working document of 30 April 2014, a toolbox entitled ‘A right-based approach, encompassing all human rights for EU development Cooperation’ (SWD(2014)0152),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 27 February 2013, entitled ‘A decent life for all: Ending poverty and giving the world a sustainable future’ (COM(2013)0092),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 12 September 2012, entitled ‘The roots of democracy and sustainable development: Europe’s engagement with civil society in external relations’ (COM(2012)0492),

–  having regard to the Commission’s public consultations on the preparation of an EU position, entitled ‘Towards a Post-2015 Development Framework’, which ran from 15 June to 15 September 2012,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 8 October 2008, entitled ‘Local authorities: actors for development’ (SEC(2008)2570),

–  having regard to the joint statement by the Council and the representatives of the governments of the Member States meeting within the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission on the European Union Development Policy entitled ‘The European Consensus’(6),

–  having regard to the European Charter on Development Cooperation in Support of Local Governance launched during the European Development Days, on 16 November 2008,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 12 April 2005 entitled ‘Policy Coherence for Development’ (COM(2005)0134), and the conclusions of the 3166th Foreign Affairs Council meeting of 14 May 2012, entitled ‘Increasing the Impact of EU Development Policy: an Agenda for Change’,

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of 24 February 2015 entitled ‘A decent life for all: from vision to collective action’,

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of 9 October 2013 entitled ‘Empowering local authorities in partner countries for enhanced governance and more effective development outcomes’,

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of the 9 June 2010 entitled ‘Spring package: EU action plan for achieving the Millennium Development Goals’,

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of 22 April 2009 entitled ‘Local authorities: actors for development’,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 233/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2014 establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation for the period 2014-2020(7),

–  having regard to its position of 2 April 2014 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Year of Development (2015)(8),

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 June 2013 on the Millennium Development Goals – defining the post-2015 framework(9),

–  having regard to the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions of 19 May 2014 on a rights-based approach to development cooperation, encompassing all human rights,

–  having regard to the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions of 12 December 2013 on financing poverty eradication and sustainable development beyond 2015,

–  having regard to the Joint ACP-EU Declaration on the Post-2015 Development Agenda of 20 June 2014,

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Development (A8-0232/2015),

A.  whereas local authorities (LAs), being essential state and institutional actors as regards local governance, the emergence of grassroots democracy and sustainable territorial development on the basis of local-community involvement and its democratic expression, will have an essential role to play in achieving the post-2015 objectives;

B.  whereas LAs play a crucial role in the definition, organisation and achievement of development objectives;

C.  whereas LAs are a strong interface between community and national and global goals in a post-2015 agenda;

D.  whereas LAs play a crucial role in safeguarding vulnerable populations in fragile states in crisis and in middle-income countries;

E.  whereas the new global sustainable development framework offers an opportunity to secure the broad involvement of civil society organisations (CSOs), local authorities and national parliaments; whereas the empowerment of LAs and CSOs is absolutely essential to ensuring correct, transparent and accountable governance;

F.  whereas the EU has been deeply involved in supporting LAs in developing countries, aiming to contribute to poverty reduction and the achievement of the MDGs but also to mainstream democratic governance at local level;

G.  whereas representatives of sub-national governments and LAs have contributed to the sessions of the UN General Assembly’s Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (OWG), and the Global Taskforce has co-led UN consultations on ‘localising the post-2015 development agenda’ with the UNDP and UN-Habitat;

H.  whereas the UN Secretary-General’s Synthesis Report on the Post-2015 Development Agenda reiterates the need for the new development agenda to be transformative, universal, people-centred, and built on the principles of human rights and the rule of law; whereas the Secretary-General calls for innovative partnerships, including LAs, to be the main actors implementing this agenda at the level closest to citizens;

I.  whereas most critical objectives and challenges of the post-2015 global development agenda will depend on local action and strong partnerships;

J.  whereas the world’s population is projected to grow from around 7 billion people to 9,3 billion people by 2050, with the major part of this growth expected in developing countries, particularly in urban areas; whereas excessive urbanisation is undermining the sustainability of development in all its dimensions;

K.  whereas two and half billion new urban inhabitants will need to have access to education, health services, jobs, food, sanitation, transport, housing and electricity; whereas this poses key challenges for local and regional authorities and municipalities which are responsible for providing those services;

L.  whereas the Rio Declaration stresses that indigenous people and their communities have a vital role in environmental management and development; whereas governments should recognise and duly support their identity, culture and interests, and enable their effective participation in the achievement of sustainable development;

M.  whereas poverty reduction is uneven, and inequalities between and within countries, which have increased in both developed and developing countries, represent a major development challenge;

N.  whereas violent conflicts and humanitarian crises continue to obstruct development efforts; whereas vulnerable groups such as women, children, and the elderly are harder hit by military conflicts and crises and local authorities are key frontline actors in conflict prevention and management;

O.  whereas additional efforts are still needed to halve the percentage of people suffering from hunger, as 162 million young children are exposed to malnutrition; whereas hidden hunger can be defined as micronutrient deficiency, which can cause irreversible effects on health and socio-economic consequences linked to a reduction in people’s productivity;

P.  whereas climate change and environmental degradation threaten poverty reduction and constitute a major challenge for local authorities, as they affect local communities in the first instance;

Q.  whereas more new and decent jobs need to be created in order to respond to demographic growth on a global scale; whereas the private sector is a major generator of jobs, both in developed and developing countries, and can thus be an essential partner in the fight against poverty;

R.  whereas aid continues to play a unique role in poverty reduction and as a game-changer in developing countries; whereas it must be better targeted so as to meet the needs of the most vulnerable populations; whereas aid alone is not enough, and use must therefore be made of innovative financing;

S.  whereas the mobilisation of international, public and private finances will be crucial for the promotion of sustainable local development;

T.  whereas the EU and its Member States, as the largest official development assistance donors, but also key policy-setters and actors on decentralised cooperation, should thus remain the driving force during the next phase of negotiations under the UN framework, especially regarding the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals;

U.  whereas Article 208 TFEU establishes that eradication of poverty is the primary objective of EU development policy and establishes policy coherence for development;

I.Local authorities (LAs) as actors for development and the role of the European Union

1.  Recalls that the Busan Partnership provides an expanding forum for new development actors such as local and regional actors;

2.  Stresses that the new guidelines set out in the Commission's communication on LAs and on recognising their role as state stakeholders represent a major step forward for the European Union’s new development agenda;

3.  Highlights the need for these new guidelines to be translated into the effective implementation of European cooperation, both in terms of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) and in terms of the Development Cooperation Instrument;

4.  Stresses that strategic planning at national and local level is absolutely essential to the promotion and integration of the three main dimensions of development: the social, economic and environmental dimensions;

5.  Welcomes the support given to strengthening LAs’ capacities through the local authorities thematic line – particularly the support given to strengthening the coordination structures of LAs at national, regional and EU-wide levels – and the establishment of a partnership at EU level;

6.  Recognises the important role LAs have in developing countries; encourages the establishment of partnership arrangements between LAs in EU Member States and LAs in developing countries in areas such as training and human capacity to allow for greater benefits such as better environmental planning;

7.  Feels that these coordination structures play an essential role in terms of providing technical and methodological support for the development of local capacities by facilitating the exchange of know-how in order to support the decentralisation process and the provision of basic services; feels that they are also a suitable forum for political dialogue and for making the voice of LAs heard at all levels of government;

8.   Urges the EU to promote decentralised cooperation as a way of implementing the development framework post 2015; to this end, calls on the Commission to consider the possibility of making decentralisation a priority funding sector for its external aid financing instruments, starting with the DCI and the EDF, and to step up efforts to include LAs as full stakeholders in the implementation of the 11th EDF in partner countries, regions, and in relation to sectorial and budgetary assistance; calls on the Member States to accord an appropriate role in their development programmes to LAs and to coordinate their activities with those of the Commission and of other Member States;

II.Political dialogue, mobilisation of financial resources and presentation of accounts

9.  Stresses the need to ensure a fairer transfer of resources from national level to sub-regions, towns and municipalities;

10.  Stresses the need, as part of the ongoing process of decentralisation, to encourage national governments to transfer part of their national budget resources to regional and local government levels; feels, to this end, that greater support should be given to strengthening the financial and budgetary capacities of LAs, including through their associations;

11.  Believes it essential that some European budgetary assistance be allocated to funding local authorities;

12.  Stresses the importance of establishing, as part of European cooperation, a genuine political dialogue among local authorities that would make it possible to assess current progress, difficulties and prospects for improving the effectiveness of assistance at local level;

13.  Calls for the institutionalisation of this dialogue while drawing on existing coordination structures within the different cooperation frameworks;

III.Role of local authorities in the implementation of the MDGs: lessons learned

14.  Underlines that the MDGs revealed the crucial role of LAs in the fight against poverty and in the delivery of community services, such as water and sanitation, primary healthcare and education;

15.  Welcomes the spread of decentralised development cooperation initiatives and the use of mechanisms for cooperation among cities;

16.  Stresses the need to allocate additional resources to strengthening the capacities of decentralised authorities so that they can provide high-quality public services, guarantee equality of opportunity and build social cohesion;

17.  Regrets that the MDGs did not take sufficient account of the importance of the local dimension for development; regrets that development programmes do not take sufficient account of the cultural dimension, which is vital to understanding the local context; calls for consideration to be given to the cultural dimension in local, national and international poverty reduction strategies;

18.  Regrets that the current MDGs are lacking in clarity as regards tailoring global targets to national and local dynamics;

IV.Definition of the post-2015 development agenda: challenges and opportunities

19.  Considers that the post-2015 process should provide a clear vision for an implementation of Rio+20 outcomes that recognises the role of LAs;

20.  Stresses the importance of setting reliable targets and indicators for the Sustainable Development Goals that match the contexts, needs and worries of local populations; calls on the EU to strengthen the role of LAs and to take their expertise into consideration in other SDGs;

21.  Calls on the EU to continue to give particular attention to LAs in development planning, implementation and financial aid flows; stresses that this would require a truly participatory process, conducted early on in the development phase, and that, with this in mind, decentralised public aid must be recognised and reinforced; underlines the need to ensure their increased participation in defining development strategies;

22.  Calls on the Union to ensure that LAs are better represented in international negotiations on the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda at the International Conference on Financing for Development and at the COP21 international climate conference;

23.  Calls on the EU to continue to support an autonomous goal on cities and human settlements;

V.Need for a renewed effective global partnership (with CSOs, the private sector, etc.)

24.  Calls on the EU to contribute to strengthening multi-stakeholder partnerships, localising the implementation of the post-2015 agenda;

25.  Calls for a clear definition and division of responsibilities among partners;

VI.Partnerships with the private sector

26.  Recalls that the public sector will be a key enabler and implementer of the new global development agenda and underlines that mobilisation of public revenue and reinforcement of the fiscal system based on people’s taxpaying capacity and fair returns for transparent exploitation of natural resources will be vital for its effectiveness;

27.  Reiterates the need to support the emergence of a middle class through the promotion of private entrepreneurship by young people and women in particular;

28.  Stresses the importance of empowering local, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in job creation and promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth, notably through public-private policies;

29.  Reiterates the need to implement effective accountability mechanisms and to define mandatory social and environmental safeguards;

VII.Partnership with civil society

30.  Considers that the post-2015 global development agenda needs to change the role and impact of CSOs; believes that Member States should work closely with CSOs by setting up mechanisms for regular dialogue, which should be sufficiently effective to receive positive feedback from civil society;

VIII. Supporting domestic accountability and capacity building

31.  Stresses that governments must be accountable both to domestic stakeholders and to the international community;

32.  Underlines the importance of transparency and the promotion of multi-stakeholder dialogues in strengthening the participation of local cultures, indigenous peoples, migrants and minorities;

33.  Considers that strong efforts need to be made to improve the capacity of LAs to deliver public services;

34.  Stresses the importance of promoting good governance at local level by promoting the principles of accountability, transparency, participation, responsiveness and the rule of law;

35.  Encourages the creation of local consultation platforms as part of budgetary planning;

36.  Stresses the urgent need to reform official data collection services;

IX.Indigenous peoples and development planning

37.  Stresses that indigenous people should be deeply engaged in the preparation of local and regional development and investment plans;

38.  Calls on national governments and LAs to: (a) strengthen local legislation to establish recognition of traditional land tenure arrangements; (b) cooperate with traditional authorities in managing natural resources; (c) address the gender and intergenerational issues that exist among indigenous peoples; (d) protect indigenous knowledge; (e) strengthen the capacity of indigenous peoples to participate in development planning;

X.Transfer of technology

39.  Stresses that national governments and LAs should create an enabling environment for the transfer of technologies;

40.  Considers that such cooperation should also include longer-term investments;

XI.Cities and human settlements

41.  Applauds the mobilisation and commitment of African cities in the preparations for the Habitat III United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development; calls on the Commission to support these mobilisation processes and to factor support for the management of a sustainable urbanisation process into its partnership plans;

42.  Welcomes the decision of the OWG to include a stand-alone goal regarding urban sustainable development;

43.  Underlines the importance of adopting a territorial approach to address issues such as waste management and urban poverty, reducing inequalities, empowering citizens, inclusive and participatory democracy, innovative infrastructure design, service provision, land management, the contribution of cities to global environmental change and their impact on ecosystems, reducing risks of natural disasters and energy use, etc.;

44.  Stresses the importance of supporting developing and least developed countries, including through financial and technical assistance;

XII.Good governance and the fight against corruption

45.  Stresses that international cooperation to tackle illicit financial flows should be stepped up to ensure a level playing field in the area of taxation of local and international companies;

46.  Stresses that decentralising power is an effective means of combatting corruption, including corruption originating from multinational companies, and of contributing to modernisation of public administration and responding to people’s needs through economic and social reforms;

XIII. Strengthening the mobilisation of resources

47.  Stresses that creative and equitable financing mechanisms need to be explored;

48.  Stresses the paramount importance of the mobilisation of national resources at local level in the success of the post‑2015 agenda, as it is a key factor in the implementation of both national and local development strategies and policies; stresses, in this context, the urgent need to consolidate LA capacities in partner countries in the area of municipal taxation and budgetary planning; welcomes the gradual introduction of local finance observatories, which deserve greater support from the European Union;

49.  Considers that it is more effective to act at local level in order to improve living conditions for communities, especially in rural areas, and that one important challenge for LAs and national authorities is to encourage progressive reintegration of the informal sector without discouraging innovation;

50.  Calls on the World Bank and the international financial institutions to update environmental and social safeguard policies;

51.  Recalls that local governments are on the frontline to deal with an increasing number of crises, but that most of the time they lack the capacity, and the means, to develop an effective response;

52.  Calls on the Commission to encourage the mobilisation of innovative sources of financing for decentralised cooperation, including loan‑grant blending instruments, not yet adjusted to meeting the specific needs of LAs;

53.  Urges the European Union to hence bolster the decentralised budgets that are a prerequisite for local development;

o
o   o

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

(1) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2014)0059.
(2) The Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments for the Post-2015 Development Agenda towards HABITAT III.
(3) OJ C 46, 24.2.2006, p. 1.
(4) Council Conclusions 9558/07, 15.5.2007.
(5) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0432.
(6) OJ C 46, 24.2.2006, p. 1.
(7) OJ L 77, 15.3.2014, p. 44.
(8) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0269.
(9) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0283.

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