Index 
Texts adopted
Wednesday, 15 March 2017 - StrasbourgFinal edition
EU-Brazil Agreement: modification of concessions in the schedule of Croatia in the course of its accession ***
 Launch of automated data exchange with regard to vehicle registration data in Denmark *
 Launch of automated data exchange with regard to DNA data in Greece *
 Food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection products ***II
 Use of the 470-790 MHz frequency band in the Union ***I
 Obstacles to EU citizens’ freedom to move and work in the Internal Market
 Commission’s approval of Germany’s revised plan to introduce a road toll
 Guidelines for the 2018 budget – Section III

EU-Brazil Agreement: modification of concessions in the schedule of Croatia in the course of its accession ***
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 15 March 2017 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Union and the Federative Republic of Brazil pursuant to Article XXIV:6 and Article XXVIII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994 relating to the modification of concessions in the schedule of the Republic of Croatia in the course of its accession to the European Union (13037/2016 – C8‑0490/2016 – 2016/0307(NLE))
P8_TA(2017)0078A8-0052/2017

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (13037/2016),

–  having regard to the draft Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Union and the Federative Republic of Brazil pursuant to Article XXIV:6 and Article XXVIII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994 relating to the modification of concessions in the schedule of the Republic of Croatia in the course of its accession to the European Union (13038/2016),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with the first subparagraph of Article 207(4) and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a)(v), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8‑0490/2016),

–  having regard to Rule 99(1) and (4) and Rule 108(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on International Trade (A8‑0052/2017),

1.  Gives its consent to conclusion of the agreement;

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


Launch of automated data exchange with regard to vehicle registration data in Denmark *
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 15 March 2017 on the draft Council implementing decision on the launch of automated data exchange with regard to vehicle registration data in Denmark (12212/2016 – C8-0476/2016 – 2016/0815(CNS))
P8_TA(2017)0079A8-0051/2017

(Consultation)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Council draft (12212/2016),

–  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 (C8‑0476/2016),

–  having regard to Council Decision 2008/615/JHA of 23 June 2008 on the stepping up of cross-border cooperation, particularly in combating terrorism and cross-border crime(1), and in particular Article 33 thereof,

–  having regard to its resolution of 10 October 2013 on strengthening cross-border law-enforcement cooperation in the EU: the implementation of the ‘Prüm Decision’ and the European Information Exchange Model(2),

–  having regard to its resolution of 9 July 2015 on the European Agenda on Security(3),

–  having regard to Rule 78c of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A8-0051/2017),

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 210, 6.8.2008, p. 1.
(2)Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0419.
(3)Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0269.


Launch of automated data exchange with regard to DNA data in Greece *
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 15 March 2017 on the draft Council implementing decision on the launch of automated data exchange with regard to DNA data in Greece (12211/2016 – C8-0477/2016 – 2016/0816(CNS))
P8_TA(2017)0080A8-0053/2017

(Consultation)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Council draft (12211/2016),

–  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 (C8‑0477/2016),

–  having regard to Council Decision 2008/615/JHA of 23 June 2008 on the stepping up of cross-border cooperation, particularly in combating terrorism and cross-border crime(1), and in particular Article 33 thereof,

–  having regard to Rule 78c of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A8-0053/2017),

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 210, 6.8.2008, p. 1.


Food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection products ***II
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 15 March 2017 on the Council position at first reading with a view to the adoption of a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on official controls and other official activities performed to ensure the application of food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection products, amending Regulations (EC) No 999/2001, (EC) No 396/2005, (EC) No 1069/2009, (EC) No 1107/2009, (EU) No 1151/2012, (EU) No 652/2014, (EU) 2016/429 and (EU) 2016/2031 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Council Regulations (EC) No 1/2005 and (EC) No 1099/2009 and Council Directives 98/58/EC, 1999/74/EC, 2007/43/EC, 2008/119/EC and 2008/120/EC, and repealing Regulations (EC) No 854/2004 and (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Council Directives 89/608/EEC, 89/662/EEC, 90/425/EEC, 91/496/EEC, 96/23/EC, 96/93/EC and 97/78/EC and Council Decision 92/438/EEC (Official Controls Regulation) (10755/1/2016 – C8-0015/2017 – 2013/0140(COD))
P8_TA(2017)0081A8-0022/2017

(Ordinary legislative procedure: second reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Council position at first reading (10755/1/2016 – C8‑0015/2017),

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 16 October 2013(1),

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of 29 November 2013(2),

–  having regard to its position at first reading(3) on the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2013)0265),

–  having regard to Article 294(7) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Rule 67a of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the recommendation for second reading of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (A8-0022/2017),

1.  Approves the Council position at first reading;

2.  Notes that the act is adopted in accordance with the Council position;

3.  Instructs its President to sign the act with the President of the Council, in accordance with Article 297(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;

4.  Instructs its Secretary-General to sign the act, once it has been verified that all the procedures have been duly completed, and, in agreement with the Secretary-General of the Council, to arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

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

(1) OJ C 67, 6.3.2014, p. 166.
(2) OJ C 114, 15.4.2014, p. 96.
(3) Texts adopted: P7_TA(2014)0380.


Use of the 470-790 MHz frequency band in the Union ***I
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Resolution
Text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 15 March 2017 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the use of the 470-790 MHz frequency band in the Union (COM(2016)0043 – C8-0020/2016 – 2016/0027(COD))
P8_TA(2017)0082A8-0327/2016

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2016)0043),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 114 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8-0020/2016),

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

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 26 May 2016(1),

–  after consulting the Committee of the Regions,

–  having regard to the provisional agreement approved by the responsible committee under Rule 69f(4) of its Rules of Procedure and the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 20 January 2017 to approve Parliament’s position, in accordance with Article 294(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the opinion of the Committee on Culture and Education (A8-0327/2016),

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

2.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it replaces, substantially amends or intends to substantially amend its proposal;

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 15 March 2017 with a view to the adoption of Decision (EU) 2017/… of the European Parliament and of the Council on the use of the 470-790 MHz frequency band in the Union

P8_TC1-COD(2016)0027


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Decision (EU) 2017/899.)

(1) OJ C 303, 19.8.2016, p. 127.


Obstacles to EU citizens’ freedom to move and work in the Internal Market
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European Parliament resolution of 15 March 2017 on obstacles to EU citizens’ freedom to move and work in the internal market (2016/3042(RSP))
P8_TA(2017)0083B8-0179/2017

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 3(2) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU),

–  having regard to Titles IV and V and Articles 4(2)(a), 20, 21, 26, 45-48 and 153 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to Articles 5(2), 30, 31 and 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the coordination of social security systems(1),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 987/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2009 laying down the procedure for implementing Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems(2),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 492/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2011 on freedom of movement for workers within the Union(3),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) 2016/589 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 April 2016 on a European network of employment services (EURES), workers’ access to mobility services and the further integration of labour markets, and amending Regulations (EU) No 492/2011 and (EU) No 1296/2013(4),

–  having regard to Directive 96/71/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 1996 concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services(5),

–  having regard to Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States amending Regulation (EEC) No 1612/68 and repealing Directives 64/221/EEC, 68/360/EEC, 72/194/EEC, 73/148/EEC, 75/34/EEC, 75/35/EEC, 90/364/EEC, 90/365/EEC and 93/96/EEC(6),

–  having regard to Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 September 2005 on the recognition of professional qualifications(7),

–  having regard to Directive 2011/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2011 on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare(8),

–  having regard to Directive 2013/55/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 November 2013 amending Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications and Regulation (EU) No 1024/2012 on administrative cooperation through the Internal Market Information System (‘the IMI Regulation’)(9),

–  having regard to Directive 2014/54/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 on measures facilitating the exercise of rights conferred on workers in the context of freedom of movement for workers(10),

–  having regard to Directive 2014/67/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 on the enforcement of Directive 96/71/EC concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services and amending Regulation (EU) No 1024/2012 on administrative cooperation through the Internal Market Information System (‘the IMI Regulation’)(11),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 2 July 2009 on guidance for better transposition and application of Directive 2004/38/EC on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States (COM(2009)0313),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 25 November 2013 entitled ‘Free movement of EU citizens and their families: Five actions to make a difference’ (COM(2013)0837),

–  having regard to the 2017 EU Citizenship Report of 24 January 2017, entitled ‘Strengthening Citizens’ Rights in a Union of Democratic Change’ (COM(2017)0030),

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 December 2011 on freedom of movement for workers within the European Union(12),

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 January 2014 on social protection for all, including self-employed workers(13),

–  having regard to its resolution of 16 January 2014 on respect for the fundamental right of free movement in the EU(14),

–  having regard to Rule 216(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the Committee on Petitions has received several petitions raising concerns about the different obstacles encountered by EU citizens in exercising their freedom of movement;

B.  whereas the non-recognition by some Member States of LGBTI marriage or legal union can be an obstacle to the freedom of movement in the Union of these people and their partners, preventing them from accessing some social benefits or public services in those countries;

C.  whereas a hearing on obstacles to EU citizens’ freedom to move and work in the internal market, as presented by petitioners, was held in the Committee on Petitions meeting of 11 October 2016;

D.  whereas freedom of movement constitutes a fundamental right of EU citizens and is essential for the social and economic cohesion within the Union, aimed at ensuring full employment and social progress;

E.  whereas this freedom of movement for workers has been violated by several Member States, a point raised by several petitioners; whereas mobile EU citizens sometimes avoid accessing health services for fear of expulsion, which effectively limits their fundamental right of access to healthcare;

F.  whereas the economic crisis and the measures to combat it have increased socioeconomic inequalities and the number of economic migrations within the EU; whereas this ought to be duly taken into account and specific coordinative measures established by both the home and host Member States and the EU institutions concerned;

G.  whereas the mobility of workers in the EU can be a challenge to national labour markets, which requires targeted solutions, but it can also contribute to making them fairer, provided that the fundamental rights of workers are fully protected;

H.  whereas Member States and the EU institutions share the responsibility for making the principles of free movement work to the benefit of citizens, growth, economic and social development and employment and for ensuring more effective transposition and implementation of the relevant EU legal framework;

I.  whereas in some instances the social security of mobile EU workers and their families is marked by inequalities and contingencies;

J.  whereas social security rights should be enjoyed without discrimination against permanent, seasonal or cross-border workers and by those who pursue their activities for the purpose of providing services;

K.  whereas using promissory notes in employment relationships may lead to an unfair and discriminatory situation for workers and impede them from enjoying their right to freedom of movement in the internal market;

L.  whereas petitioners are concerned about the lack of broadband connectivity, especially in remote, rural and mountainous areas, and the mismatches between advertised and actual broadband speeds, which impinges on the level of consumer protection in the internal market and creates obstacles to the access of information and services;

1.  Calls on the Member States, in compliance with the subsidiarity principle, to remove any discriminatory practices and unnecessary barriers from their rules for EU citizens and their family members, including non-EU family members, so that they benefit from the entry and residence rights in their territories, as well as from their social rights, while making their administration more efficient with a view to facilitating labour mobility in the EU;

2.  Expresses its deepest concern at the practice by some Member States, in breach of the principle of freedom of movement of workers, of expelling European citizens who have been employed there shortly after the expiration of their employment contract;

3.  Calls on the Commission to clarify, update and expand its guidance for better transposition and application of Directive 2004/38/EC in order to notably include the recent rulings from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) (Cases C-456/12(15) and C-457/12(16)); recommends the use of the transposition implementation plans (TIPS) to ensure complete and proper application;

4.  Stresses the principle of equal pay for equal work, and deplores the fact that some Member States deny social protection to EU non-national workers; urges the Member States to comply with current EU legislation and the fundamental principles of labour law in order to protect all EU workers; calls for existing conditions to be better defined to allow EU citizens and third-country-national family members to benefit from their social rights;

5.  Welcomes the creation of the Electronic Exchange of Social Security Information (EESSI), which helps social security bodies across the EU exchange information faster and more securely; calls for the Member States to improve their technological capacity to adapt to the new type of information exchange; calls for the possibilities for fostering cross-national collective agreements and the creation of European platforms promoting good practices to be assessed;

6.  Calls on the Member States to establish single national websites as provided for in Directive 2014/67/EU; calls on the Commission and the Member States to improve their guidance and counselling activities to further strengthen citizens’ freedom to move, work and study in other Member States and to raise public awareness; calls on the Commission to improve the effectiveness of tools created to offer information on job and learning opportunities across the EU, such as EURES and PLOTEUS, and to further raise public awareness about them; takes note of the new EURES Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/589), aimed at making EURES an effective employment tool through fair intra-EU labour mobility; stresses that better consular assistance and cooperation helps raise awareness of individuals’ personal status and protect the fundamental rights of mobile workers or students, and facilitates their smooth integration in the host Member State;

7.  Invites the Member States to deliver clear guidelines and proper training for the civil servants and administrative employees involved in the implementation of the social rights of EU and non-EU citizens, workers and their family members legally residing in the EU;

8.  Calls for the SOLVIT service to be enhanced, for instance with the creation of a helpline, and for the reinforcement of any other competent authorities to which EU citizens can address their specific inquiries concerning the internal market, to allow them and their family members to receive timely information and support when facing barriers in exercising their right to free movement;

9.  Calls for improvements in the collection and processing of statistical data on the number of citizens using the portability of their social rights from one Member State to another in order to further improve coordination between Member States and reinforce EU citizens’ rights with policy solutions to achieve higher levels of social protection;

10.  Calls for better harmonisation of the interpretation of ‘habitual residence’;

11.  Deplores the fact that the failure to aggregate social security entitlements creates barriers for EU residents, and calls on the Member States to fully and effectively implement Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems and Regulation (EC) No 987/2009 laying down the procedure for implementing Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems in order to ensure the portability of social security benefits (e.g. state pensions, health insurance, unemployment benefits and family benefits) and consequently reduce barriers to labour mobility in the EU; calls for resolute effective steps towards a coordinated system of aggregated social contributions and benefits for every individual across the EU, such as a social security card aimed at facilitating the traceability of social security contributions and entitlements(17);

12.  Calls on the Member States to implement as a matter of urgency the European Disability Card, which would facilitate the travel and movement of persons with disabilities from one Member State to another;

13.  Deplores the exclusion of EU citizens from another Member State’s national public health system, as it is a right defined in Directive 2011/24/EU on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare, in Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems and in the related CJEU case law(18);

14.  Asks for better coordination in the EU taxation framework in order to eliminate double taxation, among other relevant issues such as preventing fiscal dumping;

15.  Notes the increasing number of cross-border child-custody matters, stemming from the free movement of people; calls for greater consular and judicial cooperation on child-custody cases among Member States; welcomes the ongoing revision of the Brussels IIa Regulation;

16.  Condemns the practice of using blank promissory notes in employment relationships, which enables employers to claim potential damages more easily and avoid lengthy litigation in labour courts, while reversing the burden of proof as regards guilt and the amount of the damage; stresses that these blank promissory notes impede citizens from enjoying their right of freedom of movement in the internal market; calls on the Member States to adopt legislation prohibiting the use of blank promissory notes in employment relationships across the EU; urges the Commission to issue a recommendation to Member States on the need for the use of blank promissory notes in employment relationships to be strictly prohibited;

17.  Is concerned about the difficulties encountered by petitioners in getting their professional qualifications recognised across Europe; calls for further standardisation of academic titles and continuous education diplomas by Member States, systemic use of the Internal Market Information System (IMI) to ensure better administrative cooperation and simpler and faster procedures for the recognition of professional qualifications and of continuous professional development requirements needed by qualified professionals planning to work in another Member State, avoiding any kind of discrimination, in line with the settled case-law of the Court of Justice, while respecting the requirements of the host country in full compliance with Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications;

18.  Is convinced that mobility should be coordinated in a broad regulatory process aimed at guaranteeing stable quality jobs with effective social rights, effectively tackling all forms of discrimination and precariousness;

19.  Believes that the EU and its Member States must successfully address the lack of employment opportunities and inadequate social protection in workers’ home regions to ensure that mobility is voluntary;

20.  Calls on the Commission to ensure the effective monitoring and implementation of the Telecoms Single Market Regulation, which will include provisions for customers to be informed about the minimum, normally available, maximum and advertised broadband speeds; supports awareness-raising campaigns in this regard that aim at eradicating misleading advertisements;

21.  Calls on the Member States to fully implement Directive 2011/24/EU on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare and to ensure efficient and timely reimbursement of cross-border healthcare, including the reimbursement of medicines that could constitute a means of arbitrary discrimination or an unjustified obstacle to free movement;

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

(1) OJ L 166, 30.4.2004, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 284, 30.10.2009, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 141, 27.5.2011, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 107, 22.4.2016, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 18, 21.1.1997, p. 1.
(6) OJ L 158, 30.4.2004, p. 77.
(7) OJ L 255, 30.9.2005, p. 22.
(8) OJ L 88, 4.4.2011, p. 45.
(9) OJ L 354, 28.12.2013, p. 132.
(10) OJ L 128, 30.4.2014, p. 8.
(11) OJ L 159, 28.5.2014, p. 11.
(12) OJ C 168 E, 14.6.2013, p. 88.
(13) OJ C 482, 23.12.2016, p. 48.
(14) OJ C 482, 23.12.2016, p. 114.
(15) Judgment of the Court (Grand Chamber) of 12 March 2014, O. v Minister voor Immigratie, Integratie en Asiel and Minister voor Immigratie, Integratie en Asiel v B., ECLI:EU:C:2014:135.
(16) Judgment of the Court (Grand Chamber) of 12 March 2014, S. v Minister voor Immigratie, Integratie en Asiel and Minister voor Immigratie, Integratie en Asiel v G., ECLI:EU:C:2014:136.
(17) Pilot Project: Social security card (2016_04.037717_3) implemented in 2016 and early 2017 through the feasibility study on a ‘European mobility portal on social security – Social security at your fingertips’.
(18) E.g.: Judgment of the Court of 28 April 1998, Kohll v Union des caisses de maladie, C-158/96, ECLI:EU:C:1998:171; Judgment of the Court of 28 April 1998, Decker v Union des caisses de maladie, C-120/95, ECLI:EU:C:1998:167; or Judgment of the Court (Grand Chamber) of 12 April 2005, Heirs of Annette Keller v Instituto Nacional de la Seguridad Social (INSS) and Instituto Nacional de Gestión Sanitaria (Ingesa), Case C-145/03, ECLI:EU:C:2005:211.


Commission’s approval of Germany’s revised plan to introduce a road toll
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European Parliament resolution of 15 March 2017 on the Commission’s approval of Germany’s revised plan to introduce a road toll (2017/2526(RSP))
P8_TA(2017)0084B8-0180/2017

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission’s White Paper entitled ‘Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system’ (COM(2011)0144),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on Union guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network and repealing Decision No 661/2010/EU(1),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 20 July 2016 on a European strategy for low-emission mobility (COM(2016)0501),

–  having regard to the adoption by the German Bundestag on 27 March 2015 of the legislative proposal ‘Entwurf eines Gesetzes zur Einführung einer Infrastrukturabgabe für die Benutzung von Bundesfernstraßen’ and the ‘Zweites Gesetz zur Änderung des Kraftfahrzeugsteuergesetzes und des Versicherungsteuergesetzes’,

–  having regard to the approval by the German Bundesrat on 8 May 2015 of the ‘Gesetz zur Einführung einer Infrastrukturabgabe für die Benutzung von Bundesfernstraßen’ and the ‘Zweites Gesetz zur Änderung des Kraftfahrzeugsteuergesetzes und des Versicherungsteuergesetzes’,

–  having regard to the infringement procedure on the introduction by Germany of a new road charging scheme for private vehicles (‘Pkw-Maut’), launched by the Commission on 18 June 2015,

–  having regard to the agreement of 1 December 2016 between the President of the Commission and the German Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, concerning a German car toll system (‘Pkw-Maut’),

–  having regard to Directive 1999/62/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 1999 on the charging of heavy goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures(2) and its upcoming revision as part of the Commission’s road initiative in 2017,

–  having regard to Directive 2004/52/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the interoperability of electronic road toll systems in the Community(3) and its upcoming revision as part of the Commission’s road initiative in 2017,

–  having regard to the principle of non-discrimination as enshrined in Article 18 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and EU law which prohibits discrimination on the grounds of nationality,

–  having regard to the question to the Commission on the Commission’s approval of Germany’s revised plan to introduce a road toll (O-000152/2016 – B8‑0201/2017),

–  having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on Transport and Tourism,

–  having regard to Rules 128(5) and 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas it is currently under review whether the intended German road toll system on light-duty vehicles (LDVs) is in line with standing European Union policies;

B.  whereas a reimbursement system directly or indirectly based on nationality is discriminatory, contradicts guiding principles of the European Union, hampers cross-border mobility and weakens the European single market;

C.  whereas the intended German toll system is possibly contrary to the ‘non-discrimination’, ‘user pays’ and ‘polluter pays’ principles;

D.  whereas national toll systems introducing fees indirectly or directly based on nationality would be contrary to EU law;

E.  whereas national toll systems have, in particular, a negative impact on citizens in border regions having to deal with different toll systems and the associated costs, hinder the free flow of cross-border traffic and create unnecessary obstacles to further European integration;

F.  whereas consequential additional administrative burdens would result in higher costs and possibly non-transparent procedures, reducing the intended additional means for investment in infrastructure;

1.  Acknowledges that transport represents a crucial sector for economic growth by ensuring efficient and affordable mobility of citizens and goods within and beyond the European Union;

2.  Points out that the Commission and the Member States should invest adequately in transport infrastructure;

3.  Urges the Commission to implement standing policies, as stipulated in – among other things – the 2011 White Paper on transport;

4.  Stresses that road infrastructure charging can play a vital role in the modal shift and in financing maintenance and development of sustainable, safe, secure, efficient and future-oriented road infrastructure in the European Union;

5.  Stresses that road charging systems for any type of motor vehicle should be electronic and distance-based and should comply with the ‘user pays’ and ‘polluter pays’ principles, as enshrined in EU policies and EU legislation, in order to ensure the internalisation of external costs related to road transport;

6.  Points out the need to obtain an improved quality of service on road infrastructure, in particular in terms of safety, as well as significant reduction of congestion;

7.  Encourages the Commission to include external costs from climate change and accidents, not covered by insurance, when proposing new legislation, such as the revision of the Eurovignette Directive; underlines, furthermore, that legislation on the internalisation of external costs must apply on all roads and exclude unfair competition between the different transport modes;

8.  Points out that an ongoing infringement procedure against Germany, which addresses the indirect discrimination based on nationality, has been put ‘on hold’ until further notice without proper legal reasoning, by means of an informal political agreement between the President of the Commission and the German Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure;

9.  Stresses that the introduction of national road charging systems should not hinder the market access, growth, competitiveness and flexibility of transport and cross-border transport operators in the EU, in order to ensure further development and integrity of the European single market;

10.  Calls on the Commission to provide and disclose relevant information from the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) on the analysis of the new measures for the ‘Pkw-Maut’ presented by the German authorities and its compliance with EU law;

11.  Underlines that a key requirement for non-discriminatory road charges is that all users pay the same charge for using the same roads; stresses that any national road charging system that directly discriminates on grounds of nationality or is combined with national tax measures to the benefit only of nationals, e.g. a deduction from the national vehicle tax, thus pursuing the objective of primarily charging foreign users, constitutes a violation of the non-discrimination principle enshrined in Article 18 of the TFEU; recalls that the Commission, as guardian of the Treaties, must monitor the correct implementation and application of the law following its adoption;

12.  Calls on the Commission to present to Parliament the agreement entered into with the German Government, pointing out the major differences with the national legislation brought to the Court and reasoning on how it complies with Treaty provisions and EU law;

13.  Is of the opinion that the German road toll system (‘Pkw-Maut’) of December 2016 still contains elements that represent a breach of Union law and violate fundamental principles of the Treaties, in particular discrimination based on nationality;

14.  Stresses the need for common rules to establish a coherent, fair, non-discriminatory and harmonised framework for road charging systems for all types of vehicles in the European Union;

15.  Urges the Commission to consider the revision of the legislation and harmonised framework regarding the Eurovignette and the European Electronic Toll Service (EETS) as an opportunity to establish such a framework and to monitor and boost proper enforcement of this legislation;

16.  Points out that interoperability of electronic toll systems plays a key role in facilitating cross-border transport and that Member States acting alone create fragmentation and hamper a single European transport area;

17.  Requests that the Commission provide all the legal and technical details of the agreement of 1 December 2016 between the President of the Commission and the German Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, and clarify all relevant legal and political aspects regarding why the agreement of 1 December 2016, which still does not impose an additional burden on German users and thus maintains an indirect discrimination based on nationality, has been considered as a sufficient basis to put on hold the infringement procedure against Germany, which was launched based on exactly the same discrimination concerns, and that it keep Parliament adequately informed thereof;

18.  Calls on the Commission to monitor the process closely;

19.  Calls on the Commission to keep Parliament involved in every step of the process by means of a structured dialogue;

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

(1) OJ L 348, 20.12.2013, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 187, 20.7.1999, p. 42.
(3) OJ L 166, 30.4.2004, p. 124.


Guidelines for the 2018 budget – Section III
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European Parliament resolution of 15 March 2017 on general guidelines for the preparation of the 2018 budget, Section III – Commission (2016/2323(BUD))
P8_TA(2017)0085A8-0060/2017

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 314 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Article 106a of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community,

–  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(1),

–  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(2) (hereinafter ‘the Interinstitutional Agreement’),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(3),

—  having regard to Council Decision 2014/335/EU, Euratom of 26 May 2014 on the system of own resources of the European Union(4),

–  having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2017(5) and the joint statements agreed between Parliament, the Council and the Commission annexed thereto(6),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 21 February 2017 on the 2018 budget guidelines (6522/2017),

–  having regard to Rule 86a of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A8-0060/2017),

A.  whereas 2018 will mark the fifth year of the 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework (MFF);

B.  whereas the internal economic and social context as well as external challenges and political uncertainties are likely to uphold the pressure on the 2018 EU budget;

C.  whereas the budgetary reaction to immediate challenges and crises must go hand in hand with sustainable answers that invest in the Union’s common future;

A budget for sustainable growth, jobs and security

1.  Welcomes the important role played by the EU budget in delivering concrete answers to the challenges the EU is facing; stresses that decent, quality and stable jobs, particularly for young people, economic growth and socio-economic convergence, migration, security and tackling populism, as well as climate change, are the main concerns at EU level and that the EU budget remains part of the solution to these issues; stresses that solidarity must remain an underlying principle of the EU budget; underlines that only a strong and targeted EU budget with genuine European added value will benefit all Member States and EU citizens alike; expects the Commission to put forward a draft 2018 budget that enables the EU to continue to generate prosperity through growth and jobs and ensures the safety of its citizens;

2.  Believes that, while maintaining budget discipline, the EU budget must be equipped with the tools to enable it to respond to multiple crises simultaneously, a certain level of flexibility thus being required; is of the opinion that, while growth and jobs continue to remain the core priorities of the EU budget, obtaining sustainable progress and development in these fields has to be accomplished in parallel to addressing EU citizens’ concerns regarding safety and security; reiterates its call for thematic concentration when setting priorities for the 2018 EU budget;

Research, infrastructure and SMEs as key enablers of growth and jobs

3.  Underlines that enhancing the competitiveness of the EU economy, infrastructure, well-funded research, support for developing skills and the continued commitment of the EU to strengthening investment are key to ensuring economic growth and job creation; believes that the creation of socially and environmentally sustainable and well-paid jobs must be one of the main priorities of the EU budget; argues that jobs are created mainly by the private sector, and that adequate budgetary support therefore needs to be devoted to boosting investment in both private and public sectors, with special attention to SMEs; consequently underlines the importance of Heading 1a, which delivers real added value for European citizens and businesses, and calls for an appropriate level of funding for this heading to be ensured;

4.  Stresses that investment in research and innovation, including support for start-ups, represents a precondition for achieving genuine competitiveness in the EU and for ensuring an innovative and competitive EU economy on a global level; regrets the fact that, as a result of an inadequate EU funding in the field of research and innovation there is an alarmingly low success rate for applications, and that several high-quality projects in the field of research and innovation are being left without EU funding; notes that many interested parties, including SMEs, are being deterred from submitting Horizon 2020 project proposals; calls in this respect for an appropriate level of appropriations to be ensured for Horizon 2020, while continuing with its simplification agenda; underlines that an enhanced budget for Horizon 2020 should not be at the expense of other research programmes;

5.  Recognises the fact that SMEs remain the backbone of the European economy and will continue to play a decisive role in creating jobs and growth across the EU; considers also that SMEs are the main source of job creation and therefore need an appropriate access to finance; calls in this respect for COSME appropriations to be increased, taking into account the success of this programme; stresses the importance of strengthening the COSME programme in the new MFF in order to provide SMEs with more substantial support from the EU; believes that establishing synergies with other financial instruments would lead to better results;

6.  Strongly supports the further development and enhancement of interoperability of European infrastructure networks; considers that the financing of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is vital to achieving these objectives, and calls on the Commission to ensure an appropriate level of funding in 2018;

7.  Underlines the important role and potential of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) in reducing the investment gap which still exists in Europe, and recognises the positive results achieved so far; welcomes also the Commission proposal for extending the EFSI until 2020, which should aim to further improve its functioning, including application of the additionality principle and of geographical balance, for which further efforts are needed; underlines that the selection of projects financed through EFSI should be based on quality and demand-driven; welcomes the Commission’s intention to reinforce the role of the European Investment Advisory Hub in terms of providing more targeted local technical assistance across the EU and also to enhance geographical balance; also calls on the Commission to regularly analyse the added value of EFSI through impact assessment of the effects of the fund;

Education and youth employment – prerequisites for the success of the younger generation

8.  Considers education to be a prerequisite for sustainable, well-paid and stable jobs; underlines the importance of mobility as a means of enabling young Europeans to take advantage of people’s variety of skills while expanding opportunities for education, training and employment; welcomes in this respect the role played by Erasmus+ in facilitating the intra-European mobility of young students, apprentices and volunteers; believes that, especially in times of rising nationalism and populism, it is important to facilitate natural interaction between different European nations and cultures in order to enhance European consciousness and identity; calls, in this context, for the funding for the Erasmus+ programme to be further increased in 2018;

9.  Underlines that youth unemployment is one of the main concerns at European level, having a particularly high social impact, especially in the Union’s poorest regions, and that it puts at risk an entire generation of young Europeans, undermining long-term economic growth; stresses that, as part of the conciliation agreement for the 2017 EU budget, an allocation of EUR 500 million will be granted to the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI), through an amending budget in 2017; considers YEI to be a fundamental contribution to the Union's priority objective of jobs and growth, and remains firmly committed to securing adequate funding for fighting youth unemployment and continuing YEI up to the end of the current MFF, while at the same time improving its functioning and implementation; stresses in this respect the importance of the EU Youth Strategy;

10.  Takes positive note of the proposal to launch an ‘18th Birthday Interrail Pass for Europe’; underlines that this project has the potential to boost European consciousness and identity; stresses, however, that the project should not be financed at the expense of other successful EU programmes, notably in the field of youth and culture, and should be as socially inclusive as possible and contain provisions for including residents of Europe’s peripheral islands; asks the Commission to assess the potential cost and funding sources of this initiative and put forward relevant proposals;

Traditional EU budget priorities as investment policies

11.  Strongly supports regional policy as one of the main investment instruments of the EU budget ensuring economic, social and territorial cohesion; underlines that this policy generates growth and jobs in all Member States; is concerned, however, at the unacceptable delays in implementation of operational programmes at EU level under the current MFF, which have led so far to lower investment that has failed to contribute sufficiently to growth and job creation or to reducing economic, social and territorial disparities within and between European regions; calls on the Commission to identify the causes of the delays and on the Member States to cooperate in order to tackle them, in particular so as to ensure that the designation of managing, auditing and certifying authorities is concluded and implementation is sharply accelerated;

12.  Recognises the importance of the European agricultural sector in maintaining food security and managing biodiversity in the EU; expresses its full support for the farmers affected by the Russian embargo, avian flu, the dairy sector crisis and the meat crisis; calls on the Commission, therefore, to continue to support farmers across Europe in coping with unexpected market volatility and in securing safe and quality food supplies; requests that suitable attention be paid to small-scale farming and fisheries;

Internal challenges

13.  Is convinced that, under the current circumstances, the EU budget has proven to be insufficient to deal with the effects of the migratory and refugee crisis and corresponding humanitarian challenges or with the challenges in the security area such as increasing international terrorism; underlines that, on this basis, a sustainable solution must be found to this issue, as it has been demonstrated by the repeated mobilisation of special instruments such as the flexibility instrument that the EU budget was not initially designed to address crises of such magnitude; points out that a coherent strategy for tackling the migratory and refugee crisis, including clear, measurable and comprehensible objectives, has to be adopted; recalls, however, that the need to mobilise supplementary means to face these challenges should not take precedence over other important Union policies, for example in the field of jobs and growth;

14.  Welcomes the role played by instruments such as the Internal Security Fund (ISF) and the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) in addressing the effects of the migratory and refugee crisis and corresponding humanitarian challenges, and calls for adequate budgeting in the coming years for these funds; reiterates the importance of the principle of burden-sharing among Member States in financing the efforts needed to adequately provide for refugees; welcomes also the role of the EU agencies in the area of justice and home affairs, such as Europol, the European Border and Coast Guard, EASO, Eurojust, the Agency for Fundamental Rights and eu-LISA, and calls, in this context, for their mandate to be executed on the basis of enhanced budgeting and staffing; is convinced that the EU needs to invest more in the strengthening and the management of its borders, enhancing cooperation between law enforcement agencies and national authorities and fighting terrorism, radicalisation and serious and organised crime by improving integration measures and practices, ensuring the interoperability of information systems, and guaranteeing sound return operations for those not entitled to international protection while fully respecting the principle of non-refoulement;

15.  Underlines that the current budget of the ISF (approximately EUR 700 million in commitments) is not sufficient for tackling the security challenges stemming from international terrorism; calls, therefore, for reinforced financial resources for bringing the security infrastructure up to a more adequate and modern level;

16.  Recalls the importance of European agencies in ensuring the implementation of the European legislative priorities and thereby accomplishing EU policy objectives, such as those related to competitiveness, growth, employment and to managing the current migration and refugee crisis; insists, therefore, that adequate financial and human resources be provided for both administrative and operational expenditure in order to allow the agencies to fulfil their assigned tasks and deliver the best possible results; with regard to the increases in staffing and appropriations for agencies since the 2014 budget, underlines the fact that these are regarded as part of new policy developments and legislation which do not enter in the calculation of the 5 % staff reduction target; stresses, therefore, that the 2018 budget should not foresee any further reductions in the European agencies’ establishment plans beyond the 5 % agreed on for each institution and body of the European Union in the framework of the Interinstitutional Agreement;

17.  Strongly supports initiatives in the field of defence research aimed at encouraging better cooperation between Member States and achieving synergy effects in the area of defence; stresses, however, that this activity should be endowed with fresh resources, as it is a new political initiative with a significant impact on the EU budget; calls, moreover, for the exploration of all possibilities for the financing of a defence research programme with a dedicated budget within the next MFF; recalls that, while the provisions enshrined in the Treaties must be respected, strengthened cooperation in the field of defence is a necessary option in order to meet the security challenges that the EU is facing, which are generated by prolonged instability in the Union’s neighbourhood and uncertainty regarding the commitment of certain of the EU’s partners to the objectives of NATO; underlines, furthermore, the need for improved competitiveness and innovation in the European defence industry that can contribute to stimulating growth and job creation; calls on the Member States to ensure adequate budgeting in order to tackle external challenges in a more congruent way; takes note of the establishment of the European Defence Fund, with its research and capability windows;

18.  Underlines that the EU budget must support the fulfilment of the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the EU’s own long-term climate goals by achieving the 20 % climate spending target in the 2014-2020 MFF; notes with concern that the EU’s 2020 biodiversity targets will not be met without substantial additional efforts; stresses, therefore, the importance of mainstreaming biodiversity protection across the EU budget, with particular focus on the LIFE programme and the Natura 2000 network;

External challenges

19.  Stresses that the EU budget is also an instrument of external solidarity, providing urgent assistance in humanitarian and civilian crises by offering support to countries in need; recalls that the challenges of poverty eradication and sustainable development have been confirmed as a key priority for the EU and its Member States; reiterates, in this context, the EU commitment to contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to achieving the 0,7°% ODA/GNI target within the time frame of the post-2015 agenda; highlights that, in the long-term, development aid yields a return on investment in the form of increased trade and GDP growth in Europe;

20.  Reaffirms its conviction that in order to tackle the root causes of the current migratory and refugee crisis and the corresponding humanitarian challenges, the EU needs to step up its role through investment in the countries of origin of the migratory flows; calls on the Commission in this regard to design a roadmap to tackle the migratory crisis in an effective way; stresses that greater strategic adjustment of all instruments of development policy is needed to ensure steady economic and social development while not undermining the implementation of the existing external policies; notes that investment in infrastructure, housing, education and medical services and support for SMEs, with a particular focus on job creation, social protection and inclusion, are part of the solution for tackling the root causes of migration; welcomes, therefore, as part of the solution to these challenges, the External Investment Plan (EIP), as a coherent and coordinated framework for promoting investment in Africa and in the Neighbourhood countries, keeping in mind that it needs to be fully aligned with and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals; expects that the EIP will promote sustainable development without compromising human rights, climate change mitigation or good governance, and that transparent management of the European Fund for Sustainable Development and its projects will be ensured;

21.  Notes that the current trend on the Commission’s part to resort to satellite budgetary mechanisms such as the Facility for Refugees in Turkey, trust funds and other similar instruments has not proved a success in all cases; is concerned that the establishment of financial instruments outside the Union budget undermines the transparent management of the budget and hampers the right of Parliament to exercise effective scrutiny of expenditure; maintains, therefore, its position that the ad hoc external financial instruments which have emerged in recent years must be incorporated into the EU budget, with Parliament having full scrutiny over the implementation of these instruments; stresses, however, that these instruments should not be financed at the expense of other existing external instruments; takes note of the divergence between Member States’ promises and their actual contribution to these funds, and urges the Member States to stand by their promises to match the contributions of the EU;

22.  Underlines that one of the conditions for preserving stability and prosperity in the EU is a stable EU neighbourhood; calls on the Commission, therefore, to ensure that priority is given to investment in the EU Neighbourhood in order to support efforts to tackle the main issues that this area is facing, namely the migratory and refugee crisis and corresponding humanitarian challenges in the Southern Neighbourhood, and Russian aggression in the Eastern Neighbourhood; reiterates that supporting countries which are implementing association agreements with the EU is pivotal to facilitating political and economic reforms, but stresses that such support should apply as long as those countries meet the eligibility criteria, especially as regards the rule of law and enforcing democratic institutions;

Sufficient payment appropriations resulting in increased credibility for the EU

23.  Reiterates its previous calls for providing the EU budget with an adequate level of payment appropriations in order to allow it to fulfil its main purpose as an investment budget; is convinced that this role cannot be fulfilled if the EU fails to deliver on its commitments and thus endangers its credibility;

24.  Stresses that delays in the implementation of the 2014-2020 programmes under shared management led to a drop in payment claims for 2016 and 2017; is particularly concerned at the possible reconstitution of a backlog of unpaid bills towards the end of the current MFF period, and recalls the unprecedented level of EUR 24,7 billion reached at the end of 2014; welcomes the fact that the Commission, on the occasion of the MFF mid-term revision, provided for the first time a payment forecast until 2020, but stresses that this needs to be duly updated every year, in order to allow the budgetary authority to take the necessary measures in time;

25.  Underlines that, despite a final agreement on the MFF mid-term revision not yet having been reached, several positive elements of the revision that are currently under negotiation – notably in terms of increased flexibility – might prove to be instrumental in preventing and responding to a future payment crisis; believes that if the implementation of cohesion policy were to accelerate as anticipated the increased flexibility might be needed already next year, in order to ensure an adequate level of payment appropriations in the EU budget in response, and to avoid the accumulation of unpaid bills under cohesion policy at the end of the year;

26.  Notes and regrets the fact that corporate tax fraud and tax avoidance have caused huge losses of tax income for Member States, and therefore a reduction in their contributions to the EU budget; considers moreover that such unfair tax competition in some cases means GDP transfer from one Member State to another and GNI transfer to non-EU tax havens, thus reducing aggregate Member State contributions to the EU budget;

27.  Reiterates its long-standing position that the payments of special instruments (the Flexibility Instrument, the EU Solidarity Fund, the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund and the Emergency Aid Reserve) must be counted over and above the MFF payment ceiling, as is the case for commitments; underlines, in the context of the ongoing MFF mid-term revision, the potential progress achieved on the issue of budgeting the payments of the MFF special instruments with the revision of the 2014 Contingency Margin decision, even if the matter was not unequivocally resolved;

Looking forward

28.  Underlines that according to the MFF regulation, the Commission will put forward by the end of 2017 its proposals for the post-2020 MFF, which should take into account the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the EU which will impact on the post-2020 MFF; stresses that this decision makes it impossible to proceed with business as usual; attaches the utmost importance to the process leading up to the establishment of the new financial framework and a reformed and more efficient EU budget, and expects this to be commensurate to the challenges the Union is facing and to the commitments it has already entered into; calls for a swift and positive conclusion to the ongoing mid-term MFF revision that can ensure both the necessary adjustment of the current financial framework and the degree of additional flexibility of the EU budget that is indispensable for attaining the Union’s objectives;

29.  Underlines that the predictability and long-term sustainability of the EU budget is a prerequisite for a strong and stable European Union; stresses the need to align the duration of the MFF with the political cycles of both Parliament and the Commission; draws attention to the fact that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will provide an opportunity to address the long-standing issues which have prevented the EU budget from reaching its real potential, especially as regards the revenue side, in order to phase out all rebates and correction mechanisms; reaffirms its position in favour of an in-depth reform of EU own resources, and welcomes in this respect the presentation of the final report of the High-Level Group on Own Resources (HLGOR); invites all involved parties to draw the appropriate conclusions from this report and to analyse the feasibility of implementing the recommendations of the HLGOR that would help make the EU budget more stable, simple, autonomous, fair and predictable; expects that any new own resources should lead to a reduction in Member States’ GNI contributions; welcomes the conclusion of the HLGOR regarding the fact that the EU budget needs to focus on areas bringing the highest European added value and regarding the ‘juste retour’ approach, which should end, as it has been shown by the report that all Member States benefit from the EU budget, irrespective of their ‘net balance’;

30.  Encourages the Commission to continue developing and implementing the ‘EU budget focused on results’ strategy; underlines, in this regard, the importance of simplifying rules, streamlining the monitoring process and developing relevant performance indicators;

31.  Stresses that the principle of gender equality should be mainstreamed, wherever possible, as a horizontal policy objective in all titles of the EU budget;

32.  Stresses the importance of Parliament being fully involved in all budget-related matters, as the sole institution democratically elected by EU citizens;

33.  Calls on the Council to live up to its political statements and cooperate to ensure that the EU is equipped with an adequate budget;

o
o   o

34.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Court of Auditors.

(1) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.
(2) OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 168, 7.6.2014, p. 105.
(5) OJ L 51, 28.2.2017.
(6) Texts adopted of 1.12.2016, P8_TA(2016)0475.

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