Index 
Texts adopted
Thursday, 1 June 2017 - BrusselsFinal edition
Request for waiver of the immunity of Béla Kovács
 Rates of value added tax applied to books, newspapers and periodicals *
 Internet connectivity for growth, competitiveness and cohesion: European gigabit society and 5G
 Protection of vulnerable adults
 Introduction of temporary autonomous trade measures for Ukraine ***I
 Uniform format for visas ***I
 Multiannual Framework for the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights for 2018-2022 ***
 Multiannual Framework for the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights for 2018-2022 (Resolution)
 Digitising European industry
 The new European Consensus on Development - our world, our dignity, our future
 Resilience as a strategic priority of the EU external action
 Combating anti-semitism
 High-level UN Conference to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (UN Ocean Conference)

Request for waiver of the immunity of Béla Kovács
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European Parliament decision of 1 June 2017 on the request for waiver of the immunity of Béla Kovács (2016/2266(IMM))
P8_TA(2017)0232A8-0203/2017

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the request for waiver of the immunity of Béla Kovács, forwarded on 19 September 2016 by Dr Péter Polt, the Prosecutor General of Hungary, in connection with criminal proceedings initiated by the Central Investigating Chief Prosecution Office against him and announced in plenary on 3 October 2016,

–  having invited Mr Kovács to be heard on 12 January, 30 January and 22 March 2017, in accordance with Rule 9(6) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to Articles 8 and 9 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union, and Article 6(2) of the Act of 20 September 1976 concerning the election of the members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage,

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

–  having regard to Article 4(2) of the Fundamental Law of Hungary, Sections 10(2) and 12(1) of Act LVII of 2004 on the Status of the Hungarian Members of the European Parliament and Section 74(1) and (3) of Act XXXVI of 2012 on the National Assembly,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A8-0203/2017),

A.  whereas the Prosecutor General of Hungary has requested the waiver of the immunity of a Member of the European Parliament, Béla Kovács, in order that investigations can be carried out to verify whether a charge will lie against him with regard to the crimes of budget fraud resulting in substantial financial loss in accordance with Section 396(1)(a) of the Hungarian Criminal Code and of the multiple use of forged private documents in accordance with Section 345 of the Criminal Code; whereas, according to that Section, any person who uses a falsified or forged private document or a private document with untrue contents for providing evidence for the existence, the changing or termination of a right or obligation, is guilty of a misdemeanour punishable by imprisonment not exceeding one year;

B.  whereas, according to Article 9 of the Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union, Members of the European Parliament shall enjoy, in the territory of their own State, the immunities accorded to members of their parliament;

C.  whereas, according to Article 4(2) of the Fundamental Law of Hungary, Members of Parliament shall be entitled to immunity; whereas, according to Section 10(2) of Act LVII of 2004 on the Status of the Hungarian Members of the European Parliament, Members of the European Parliament are entitled to immunity equal to the immunity of Members of the Hungarian parliament, and according to Article 12(1), the decision to suspend the immunity of a Member of the European Parliament shall fall within the competence of the European Parliament; whereas, under Article 74(1) of Act XXXVI of 2012 on the National Assembly, criminal proceedings or, in the absence of a voluntary waiver of immunity in the case concerned, misdemeanour proceedings can only be applied against the Member with the prior consent of the National Assembly; whereas, according to Article 74(3) of the same law, until the submission of the indictment, the motion for the suspension of immunity shall be submitted by the Prosecutor General;

D.  whereas, according to Article 21(1) and (2) of Decision 2005/684/EC, Euratom of the European Parliament of 28 September 2005 adopting the Statute for Members of the European Parliament(2), Members shall be entitled to assistance from personal staff whom they may freely choose and Parliament shall meet the expenses actually incurred by Members in employing such personal staff;

E.  whereas, according to Article 34(4) of the Decisions of the Bureau of 19 May and 9 July 2008 concerning implementing measures for the Statute for Members of the European Parliament, expenses incurred in connection with traineeship agreements, on the basis of the conditions laid down by the Bureau, may also be defrayed ;

F.  whereas, according to Article I(1) of the Decision of the Bureau of 19 April 2010 on the Rules concerning Members’ Trainees, Members of the European Parliament may, with a view to contributing to European education and vocational training and to promoting a better understanding of the way in which the institution functions, offer traineeships in Brussels and Strasbourg during plenary sittings or in the course of their activities as Members in the country in which the Member concerned was elected in each case;

G.  whereas, according to Article 5(1) and (2) of the Rules on Trainees, specific arrangements in relation to the traineeship shall be included in a written traineeship agreement signed by both the Member and the trainee; whereas the agreement shall include a clause stating explicitly that the European Parliament may not be deemed to be a party to the agreement; whereas, pursuant to Article 5(4), expenses relating to traineeships, including scholarships and the cost of the insurance cover if paid by the Member, are defrayable from the Parliamentary Assistance Allowance, in accordance with Article 33(4) of the Implementing Measures, within the limits of that allowance;

H.  whereas, according to the last sentence of Article 1(1) of the Rules on Trainees, the scholarship granted to a trainee must not be such as to constitute in reality a disguised form of remuneration; whereas, according to Article 7(1), throughout the traineeship, trainees shall be under the sole responsibility of the Member to whom they are attached;

I.  whereas in this case Parliament has found no evidence of fumus persecutionis, that is to say, a sufficiently serious and precise suspicion that the request for waiver was made in connection with proceedings brought with the intention of causing political damage to the Member concerned;

J.  whereas the decision of the former President of Parliament to impose the penalty of a reprimand for Mr Kovács’ violation of Article 1(a) of the Code of Conduct(3) cannot be regarded as being tantamount to a judicial judgment constituting res judicata on the matters to which the criminal proceedings initiated by the Central Investigating Chief Prosecution Office relate; whereas, consequently, there is no violation of the principle ne bis in idem; whereas consequently, the sanction imposed by the former President of Parliament under the Code of Conduct does not prevent criminal proceedings being instituted or conducted in Hungary to see whether a charge will lie against him;

1.  Decides to waive the immunity of Béla Kovács;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this decision and the report of its committee responsible immediately to the competent authority of Hungary and to Béla Kovács.

(1) Judgment of the Court of Justice of 12 May 1964, Wagner v Fohrmann and Krier, 101/63, ECLI:EU:C:1964:28; judgment of the Court of Justice of 10 July 1986, Wybot v Faure and others, 149/85, ECLI:EU:C:1986:310; judgment of the General Court of 15 October 2008, Mote v Parliament, T-345/05, ECLI:EU:T:2008:440; judgment of the Court of Justice of 21 October 2008, Marra v De Gregorio and Clemente, C‑200/07 and C-201/07, ECLI:EU:C:2008:579; judgment of the General Court of 19 March 2010, Gollnisch v Parliament, T-42/06, ECLI:EU:T:2010:102; judgment of the Court of Justice of 6 September 2011, Patriciello, C‑163/10, ECLI:EU:C:2011:543; judgment of the General Court of 17 January 2013, Gollnisch v Parliament, T-346/11 and T-347/11, ECLI:EU:T:2013:23.
(2) OJ L 262, 7.10.2005, p. 1.
(3) See Annex I to the Rules of Procedure, Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament with respect to financial interests and conflicts of interest.


Rates of value added tax applied to books, newspapers and periodicals *
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 1 June 2017 on the proposal for a Council directive amending Directive 2006/112/EC, as regards rates of value added tax applied to books, newspapers and periodicals (COM(2016)0758 – C8-0529/2016 – 2016/0374(CNS))
P8_TA(2017)0233A8-0189/2017

(Special legislative procedure – consultation)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(2016)0758),

–  having regard to Article 113 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C8‑0529/2016),

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Culture and Education (A8-0189/2017),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.  Calls on the Commission to alter its proposal accordingly, in accordance with Article 293(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;

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

4.  Asks the Council to consult Parliament again if it intends to substantially amend the Commission proposal;

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

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendment
Amendment 1
Proposal for a directive
Recital -1 (new)
(-1)   The difference between expected VAT revenues and VAT actually collected (the so-called 'VAT gap') in the Union was approximately EUR 170 billion in 2013 and cross-border fraud amounts to a VAT revenue loss in the Union of approximately EUR 50 billion a year, all of which makes VAT an important issue to be addressed at Union level.
Amendment 2
Proposal for a directive
Recital 1
(1)  Council Directive 2006/112/EC7 provides that Member States may apply reduced rates of value added tax (VAT) to publications on any means of physical support. However, a reduced VAT rate cannot be applied to electronically supplied publications, which have to be taxed at the standard VAT rate.
(1)  Council Directive 2006/112/EC7 provides that Member States may apply reduced rates of value added tax (VAT) to publications on any means of physical support. However, a reduced VAT rate cannot be applied to electronically supplied publications, which have to be taxed at the standard VAT rate, thereby creating a disadvantage for electronically supplied publications and holding back the development of this market. That comparative disadvantage could impede the development of the digital economy in the Union.
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7 Council Directive 2006/112/EC of 28 November 2006 on the common system of value added tax (OJ L 347, 11.12.2006, p. 1).
7 Council Directive 2006/112/EC of 28 November 2006 on the common system of value added tax (OJ L 347, 11.12.2006, p. 1).
Amendment 3
Proposal for a directive
Recital 1 a (new)
(1a)  In its resolution of 13 October 2011 on the future of VAT7a, the European Parliament recalled that one of the key features of VAT is the principle of neutrality and, for that reason, it argued that ‘all books, newspapers and magazines, regardless of format, should be treated in exactly the same way’.
_________________
7a Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0436.
Amendment 4
Proposal for a directive
Recital 2
(2)  In line with the Commission's Digital Single Market Strategy8 and in order to keep abreast of technological progress in a digital economy, Member States should be enabled to align the VAT rates for electronically supplied publications with lower VAT rates for publications on any means of physical support.
(2)  In line with the Commission's Digital Single Market Strategy8, its ambition to ensure Europe’s global competitiveness and world leadership in the digital economy, Member States should be enabled to align the VAT rates for electronically supplied publications with lower VAT rates for publications on any means of physical support, thereby stimulating innovation, creation, investment and the production of new content, and facilitating digital learning, knowledge transfer and the access to, and promotion of, culture in the digital environment.
____________
_____________
8 COM(2015)0192 final
8 COM(2015)0192 final.
Amendment 5
Proposal for a directive
Recital 2 a (new)
(2a)  Allowing Member States to apply reduced, super-reduced or zero rates to printed publications and electronic publications should ensure the transfer of economic benefits to consumers, thereby promoting reading, and to publishers, thereby encouraging investment in new content and, in the case of newspapers and magazines, reducing reliance on advertising.
Amendment 6
Proposal for a directive
Recital 3
(3)  In the Action Plan on VAT9 , the Commission outlined that electronically supplied publications should be able to benefit from the same preferential VAT rate treatment as publications on any means of physical support. To achieve this aim, this needs to include the possibility for all Member States to apply to the supply of books, newspapers and periodicals either a reduced VAT rate or lower reduced VAT rates including the possibility of granting exemptions with deductibility of the VAT paid at the preceding stage.
(3)  In the Action Plan on VAT9 , the Commission outlined that electronically supplied publications should be able to benefit from the same preferential VAT rate treatment as publications on any means of physical support. To achieve this aim, this needs to include the possibility for all Member States to apply to the supply of books, newspapers and periodicals either a reduced VAT rate or lower reduced VAT rates including the possibility of granting exemptions with deductibility of the VAT paid at the preceding stage. That proposal is in line with the objective of granting Member States more freedom to set their own VAT rates within a definitive destination-based VAT system.
_________________
_________________
9 COM(2016)0148 final
9 COM(2016)0148 final.
Amendment 7
Proposal for a directive
Recital 3 a (new)
(3 a)   In line with the Action Plan on VAT, this Directive aims at simpler, more fraud-proof and business-friendly VAT systems across the Member States, as well as keeping pace with today's digital and mobile economy.
Amendment 8
Proposal for a directive
Recital 5
(5)  In order to prevent an extensive use of reduced VAT rates to audio-visual content, Member States should be enabled to apply a reduced rate to books, newspapers and periodicals, only if these publications, both on any means of physical support or electronically supplied, do not wholly or predominantly consist of music or video content.
(5)  In order to prevent an extensive use of reduced VAT rates to audio-visual content, Member States should be enabled to apply a reduced rate to books, newspapers and periodicals, only if these publications, both on any means of physical support or electronically supplied, do not wholly or predominantly consist of music or video content. Taking into account the importance of facilitating access to books, newspapers and periodicals for persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print-disabled within the meaning of Directive ... of the European Parliament and of the Council9a, adapted and audio electronic books, newspapers and periodicals are to be understood as not wholly or predominantly consisting of music or video content. Therefore, reduced VAT rates could also be applied to those formats.
__________________
9a Directive ... of the European Parliament and of the Council on certain permitted uses of works and other subject-matter protected by copyright and related rights for the benefit of persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled and amending Directive 2001/29/EC on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society (COM(2016)0596 final, 2016/0278(COD)) (OJ ..., p. ...).
Amendment 9
Proposal for a directive
Recital 5 a (new)
(5 a)   Granting freedom to Member States to apply reduced or super-reduced VAT rates for e-books, e-newspapers and e-periodicals could provide an opportunity for new profit margins for publishers and for investment in new content, compared to the current model which depends heavily on advertisement. A more general reflection on the funding model of e-content should also be started at Union level.
Amendment 10
Proposal for a directive
Recital 6 a (new)
(6a)  The flexibility granted to Member States in the context of the current proposal in no way prejudges the definitive VAT regime to be rolled out and in the context of which any increase in flexibility will have to be balanced against the impact on the functioning of the single market, the scope for VAT fraud, the rise in business costs and the risk of unfair competition.
Amendment 11
Proposal for a directive
Recital 6 b (new)
(6b)  Although this Directive allows Member States to rectify a situation of unequal treatment, it does not remove the need for a more coordinated, efficient and simpler system of reduced VAT rates with fewer exceptions.
Amendment 12
Proposal for a directive
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 3
Directive 2006/112/EC
Annex III – point 6
(6)  the supply, including on loan by libraries, of books, newspapers and periodicals, other than publications wholly or predominantly devoted to advertising and other than publications wholly or predominantly consisting of music or video content;
(6)  the supply, including on loan by libraries, of books, newspapers and periodicals, other than publications wholly or predominantly devoted to advertising and other than publications wholly or predominantly consisting of music or video content; including brochures, leaflets and similar printed matter, children’s picture, drawing or colouring books, music printed or in manuscript form, maps and hydrographic or similar charts.
Amendment 13
Proposal for a directive
Article 2 a (new)
Article 2 a
Monitoring
The European Commission shall, by ... [three years after the entry into force of this Directive], produce a report identifying the Member States that have adopted similar reduced or super-reduced VAT rates for books, newspapers and periodicals and their electronic equivalent, and evaluate the impact of those measures in terms of budgetary implications and development of the cultural sector.

Internet connectivity for growth, competitiveness and cohesion: European gigabit society and 5G
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European Parliament resolution of 1 June 2017 on internet connectivity for growth, competitiveness and cohesion: European gigabit society and 5G (2016/2305(INI))
P8_TA(2017)0234A8-0184/2017

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 14 September 2016 entitled ‘Connectivity for a Competitive Digital Single Market – Towards a European Gigabit Society’ (COM(2016)0587) and the accompanying Commission staff working document (SWD(2016)0300),

–   having regard to Article 9 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 14 September 2016 entitled ‘5G for Europe: An Action Plan’ (COM(2016)0588) and the accompanying Commission staff working document (SWD(2016)0306),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal of 14 September 2016 for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Electronic Communications Code (COM(2016)0590),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal of 14 September 2016 for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulations (EU) No 1316/2013 and (EU) No 283/2014 as regards the promotion of Internet connectivity in local communities (COM(2016)0589),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal of 14 September 2016 for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (COM(2016)0591),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 6 May 2015 entitled ‘A Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe’ (COM(2015)0192) and the accompanying Commission staff working document (SWD(2015)0100),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 2 July 2014 entitled ‘Towards a thriving data-driven economy’ (COM(2014)0442),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 19 April 2016 entitled ‘Digitising European Industry – Reaping the full benefits of a Digital Single Market’ (COM(2016)0180),

–  having regard to Decision No 243/2012/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2012 establishing a multiannual radio spectrum policy programme(1),

–  having regard to the annex to the Commission communication of 2 October 2013 entitled ‘Regulatory Fitness and Performance (REFIT): results and next steps’ (COM(2013)0685),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 19 April 2016 entitled ‘ICT standardisation priorities for the Digital Single Market’ (COM(2016)0176),

–  having regard to its resolution of 19 January 2016 on Towards a Digital Single Market Act(2),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal of 2 February 2016 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),

–  having regard to the European Council Conclusions of 28 June 2016 (EUCO 26/16),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 25 September 2013 entitled ‘Opening up Education: Innovative teaching and learning for all through new Technologies and Open Educational Resources’ (COM(2013)0654),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 26 October 2016 entitled ‘Space Strategy for Europe’ (COM(2016)0705),

–  having regard to Directive 2013/35/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 on the minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents (electromagnetic fields) (20th individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16(1) of Directive 89/391/EEC) and repealing Directive 2004/40/EC(3),

–  having regard to the European Economic and Social Committee’s opinion on the Commission communication entitled ‘Connectivity for a Competitive Digital Single Market – Towards a European Gigabit Society’,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the opinions of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, the Committee on Transport and Tourism, the Committee on Regional Development and the Committee on Culture and Education (A8-0184/2017),

A.  whereas 5G will be a key building block of the gigabit society, representing the standard for the future in mobile communication technologies, and an engine for innovation, bringing disruptive economic change and creating new use cases, high-quality services and products, revenue streams and business models and opportunities, and whereas it is expected to boost the competitiveness of industries and should provide consumer satisfaction;

B.  whereas European leadership in 5G technology is essential to economic growth and for maintaining global competitiveness, which in turn requires European coordination and planning, and whereas lagging behind means risking jobs, innovation and knowledge;

C.  whereas 5G and 5G applications will reinvent business models by providing very high speed connectivity, which will unlock innovation in all sectors, not least transport, energy, finance and health; whereas, in this regard, Europe cannot afford to lag behind, as 5G will be the engine for future growth and innovation;

D.  whereas the architecture of 5G networks will be substantially different to that of previous generations in order to meet the expected business and performance requirements for Very High Capacity (VHC) networks, especially with regard to latency, coverage and reliability;

E.  whereas the 5G architecture will lead to an increased convergence between mobile and fixed networks; whereas, therefore, the deployment of VHC fixed networks will contribute to the backhaul needs of a dense 5G wireless network as close as possible to the end user;

F.  whereas the future of European society and the European economy will strongly rely on 5G infrastructure, the impact of which will go far beyond existing wireless access networks, with the aim of providing high-quality and faster communication services which are affordable for all and available everywhere and at all times;

G.  whereas digitalisation is accelerating at great speed and at a global level, requiring investments in high-quality communication networks with universal coverage; whereas, in this regard, there is a need for timely availability of the radio spectrum capable of meeting those demands;

H.  whereas mobile and wireless connectivity for every citizen is becoming increasingly important as innovative services and applications are being used on the go, and whereas a future-oriented digital policy must take this into account;

I.  whereas the 5G network’s rollout will be conducted mainly through private investments and will require the European Electronic Communications Code to create a regulatory environment that promotes certainty, competition and investment; whereas it will require the streamlining of administrative conditions, for example for the deployment of small cells for strict and timely spectrum harmonisation and VHC network development, as currently proposed in the European Electronic Communications Code;

J.  whereas public initiatives, such as the Commission’s 2013 Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiative, backed by EUR 700 million of public funding to enable 5G in Europe by 2020, need to be complemented by a competitive market with future-proof access regulation and spectrum coordination, which will spur innovation and the necessary private infrastructure investments;

K.  whereas the deployment of 5G must be carried out in a manner that complements, and not at the expense of, other projects that are geared towards boosting connectivity in the most rural and remote parts of Europe;

L.  whereas the implementation of 5G and the gigabit society requires an explicit timetable, a demand-driven, future-proof and technology-neutral approach based on assessments per region and sector, Member State coordination, cooperation with all stakeholders and adequate investments in order to fulfil all conditions within the required time frame and make it a reality for all EU citizens;

I.5G vision – demands for a generational shift

1.  Welcomes the Commission’s proposal to draw up a 5G Action Plan aimed at making the EU a world leader in the deployment of standardised 5G networks from 2020 to 2025 as part of a wider developed strategy for a European gigabit society which is technologically more competitive and inclusive; takes the view that in order to achieve this, adequate coordination among the Member States is crucial, so as to prevent the same kinds of delays in the rollout of 5G that were experienced with 4G, which have resulted in the fact that today 4G coverage stands at 86 % and only 36 % in rural areas;

2.  Highlights that, according to the Commission, the action plan to deploy 5G across the EU has the ‘potential to create two million jobs’, and could boost the European economy and combat high unemployment rates, especially among young people;

3.  Emphasises that the 5G PPP is currently one of the world’s most cutting-edge initiatives involving 5G and the new applications deriving from it; takes the view that although fostering synergies in R&D and industrial development is positive, given the impact that the rollout of 5G will have on society, it would be right for membership of the PPP to be opened up to consumer and civil society representatives as well;

4.  Stresses that an ambitious and forward-looking timeline for spectrum allocation within the Union is of utmost importance if Europe is to be in the lead regarding the development of 5G technology; welcomes, in this regard, the actions proposed by the Commission in the communication entitled ‘5G for Europe: An Action Plan’, and considers these actions to be a minimum requirement for the successful launch of 5G in the Union;

5.  Stresses that private investments should be supported by an infrastructure-oriented policy and regulatory environment tailored to predictability and certainty and aimed at promoting competition to the benefit of the end users, and should not be delayed by overly ambitious public schemes that may impede 5G rollout;

6.  Underlines the importance of cooperation between academia, research institutions, the private sector and the public sector on research and development concerning 5G mobile communications; points to the 5G PPP as a positive example in this regard and encourages the Commission to continue involving all relevant sectors in the process;

7.  Believes that Europe will benefit from further transformation towards the digital economy in terms of wider coverage, connectivity and faster speeds, and that the digital economy’s contribution to total GDP growth will be 40 % up to 2020, with a growth rate 13 times faster than that of total GDP;

8.  Welcomes and endorses the gigabit society medium-term objectives of attaining network speeds of at least 100 Mbps for all European consumers, upgradable to 1 Gbps and increasing in the long term to 100 Gbps for the main socio-economic drivers, such as public services providers, digitally intensive businesses, major transport hubs, financial institutions, hospitals, education and research; calls for the deployment of fibre backhaul infrastructure, competition for driving investment and high-quality end user experiences to be prioritised; recalls that the Union is lagging behind its 2020 Digital Agenda connectivity targets, with the lagging behind of rural and remote areas being particularly worrisome;

9.  Stresses the need to ensure that a maximum number of EU citizens can benefit from gigabit society connectivity, including those living in remote areas;

10.  Strongly supports efforts towards ensuring access to the 5G network along intermodal journeys on the basis of public transport networks linked to the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and the trans-European transport networks (TEN-T) by 2025, and expects that full access throughout the EU will follow, in both urban and rural areas and at major tourist centres and attractions;

11.  Notes that further improvement in coverage of the fourth generation of mobile networks/LTE is still needed as the European Union is lagging behind the USA, South Korea and Japan in this regard, and that the 5G Action Plan should be an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of the 4G rollout;

12.  Points out that 5G radio access will need to be able to operate over a very wide frequency range from below 1 GHz up to 100 GHz, and including backhaul up to 300 GHz; notes that frequencies of 3-6 GHz and above 6 GHz should deliver extreme data rates and extreme capacity in dense areas; acknowledges that 5G systems in high frequency bands require a very dense network infrastructure based on small-cell access to sites, which will require choices in relation to the spectrum bands to be used or the possibility of sharing spectrum bands;

13.  Stresses that download speeds alone will not be sufficient to meet the future connectivity demand of the gigabit society, which will require an infrastructure objective regarding VHC networks, as these networks meet the highest standards in terms of upload as well as download speeds, latency and resilience;

14.  Stresses that a coherent European spectrum strategy, including coordinated national roadmaps and timetables, is needed in order to meet the challenges of 5G, addressing human, machine-to-machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) communications at various levels: connection speed, mobility, latency, ubiquity, duty cycle, reliability, accessibility, etc., and to ensure a smooth transition period towards 5G in all Member States;

15.  Points out that the rollout of 5G wireless networks requires VHC backhaul and flexible and efficient use of all available non-contiguous parts of the spectrum, including the 700 Mhz band, for widely different network deployment scenarios, which will require the development of innovative spectrum licensing models and a clear emphasis on harmonising the available spectrum bands on a regional basis;

16.  Acknowledges the importance of licensed spectrum bands to ensure long-term network investment and guarantee better quality of services, by enabling steady and reliable spectrum access, while also underlining the need for better legal protection for unlicensed spectrum bands and various methods of sharing spectrum bands;

17.  Points out that a lack of coordination constitutes a substantial risk in terms of 5G deployment, as gaining critical mass is crucial for attracting investments and thus reaping the full benefits of 5G technology;

18.  Notes that all sector players should benefit from a predictable level playing field that drives competition and should enjoy the flexibility to design their own networks, choosing their investment models and the combination of technologies which should ensure complete functionality for 5G deployment objectives, such as FTTH, cable, satellite, Wi-Fi, WiGig, G.fast, 2G, Massive MIMO, or any other rapid development technologies, provided that they will help connect all Europeans to VHC networks according to their real needs; notes that 5G deployment will require much more fibre in a denser wireless network;

19.  Notes the Commission’s communication on ‘Connectivity for a Competitive Digital Single Market’ and its ‘5G for Europe Action Plan’, which present an exciting opportunity for Member States to enable their cultural and creative innovators, in particular SMEs, to compete further on the global stage and showcase their entrepreneurial and innovative talent;

II.Enabling gigabit society benefits

20.  Believes that 5G is more than an evolution of mobile broadband and that it will be a key enabler of the future digital world as the next generation of ubiquitous ultra-high broadband infrastructure that will support the transformation of processes in all economic sectors (public sector, education, converged media content delivery, healthcare, research, energy, utilities, manufacturing, transportation, the automotive industry, audiovisual, virtual reality (VR), online gaming and so forth) and provide affordable, agile, flexible, interactive, reliable and highly personalised services that should improve every citizen’s life;

21.  Notes that the European fragmentation in the rollout of 4G, still visible in the major differences between Member States as illustrated by the 2015 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), has resulted in a lack of digital competitiveness vis-à-vis the USA, China, Japan, South Korea and emerging economies; in this regard, underlines that while Europe is progressing in terms of digital development, the pace is slowing down, which constitutes a long-term risk to necessary investments and to the attractiveness of the European business environment;

22.  Recalls that the ultimate beneficiaries of the introduction of 5G should be the end users and that any decision made in the rollout of 5G technologies should always remain oriented towards this ultimate purpose of offering affordable, trustworthy and high-quality services;

23.  Notes that public and private sector investment bring a multiplier effect across the economy and that this is likely to create up to 2,3 million jobs directly and indirectly in the 28 Member States when 5G is fully deployed;

24.  Notes that the deployment of 5G technologies in Europe is expected to have benefits that extend far beyond the mobile industry, as well as trickle-down effects amounting to EUR 141,8 billion annually by 2025;

25.  Stresses that the success of a rapid EU-wide 5G rollout depends on the development of demand-driven new business models; highlights that there is a myriad of initiatives contributing to the requirements clarification for 5G, which makes it difficult for vertical industries to contribute to the process; stresses, therefore, that vertical industries need to be actively engaged in the requirements process in an efficient manner;

26.  Stresses that fair competition and a level playing field for market participants are key necessities for the deployment of the gigabit society by market participants; believes that the principle of ‘same services, same risk, same rules’ should apply in this respect;

27.  Believes that the Commission and the Member States, together with all relevant stakeholders, should consider measures on how to incentivise advanced trials and test beds in order to accelerate innovation in 5G applications;

28.  Notes that a gigabit society should tackle the digital divide and improve internet take-up; notes that continued investment is still needed in rolling out existing and future technologies, including satellite technologies, in rural and remote areas; highlights that a smart combination of private and public investments is necessary to tackle the digital divide of rural and remote areas; stresses that lessons learnt in the past should be used to address disparities between Member States, regions and dense and remote populations, supporting a balanced geographical development;

29.  Points to the fact that while the digital divide is present between cities and rural areas, it is also highly present between Member States; stresses, in this regard, the importance of a competitive legislative framework and initiatives which encourage investments in infrastructure, increase the diversity of actors and strengthen European coordination;

30.  Points out that 5G will be the cornerstone in realising the vision of the Networked Society and will increase the possibilities for living, studying and working in the European Union, which is a prerequisite for people and companies to fully benefit from the digital revolution;

31.  Considers that facilitating deployments of 5G small cells consistent with the WiFi4EU Regulation will contribute to reducing the digital and technological divide and increasing 5G service availability to all citizens;

32.  Stresses that Europe has to keep pace with technological developments and opportunities, which are provided by more efficient ICT technologies to support socio-economic development in today’s underdeveloped regions;

33.  Stresses that in order to benefit from the full service potential of the 5G technological mobile standard, a dense fibre network is the indispensable backhaul infrastructure;

34.  Welcomes the WiFi4EU initiative to promote free and universal access to the internet in local communities by means of an EU-funded scheme implemented by the Member States; notes that the WiFi4EU initiative aims to promote digital inclusiveness across regions by allocating funds in a geographically balanced way while also paying attention to the quality of users’ service experience; notes that access speeds are increasing, and that as usage across multiple wireless devices grows, WLAN will need to match end-to-end connectivity demands; believes that a policy framework with specific priorities is needed to overcome the obstacles that the market alone cannot cover;

35.  Calls on the Commission to pay special attention to indoor coverage in its 5G Action Plan, considering that a large number of 5G applications will be used inside homes and offices; recalls the poor building penetration of higher frequency networks; recommends the assessment of additional technologies to ensure good indoor coverage, such as Massive MIMO, indoor repeaters and WiGig high-speed Wi-Fi applications;

36.  Stresses that the development of 5G technologies is a cornerstone for transforming the ICT network infrastructure towards all-encompassing smart connectivity: smart cars, smart grids, smart cities, smart factories, smart governments and beyond; believes that ultrafast broadband and intelligent, efficient network features that achieve near-instantaneous connectivity between people, human-to-machine and connected machines will come to redefine end user connectivity, which will be enabled by network paradigms such as mesh networks, hybrid networks, dynamic network slicing and softwarisation technologies;

37.  Underlines that high energy performance targeting reduced network energy consumption is a critical requirement of 5G; emphasises that this element is crucial to reduce operational costs, to facilitate network connectivity in rural and remote areas and to provide network access in a sustainable and resource-efficient way;

38.  Stresses that 5G deployment requires the significant upgrade of fixed networks and the densification of mobile networks in line with gigabit society targets, especially in solutions for e-health;

39.  Emphasises that the audiovisual sector is one of the key drivers for the success of 5G in Europe, providing jobs and economic growth, and that its progress can make a strong and positive impact on the audiovisual media value chain, including content production, innovation, distribution and the user environment; calls on the Commission and Member States, therefore, to take into account the needs and specificities of this sector, in particular those related to broadcasting;

40.  Notes that once networked, vehicles are consistently safer (with fewer accidents), greener (with less emissions) and contribute to more predictable travel patterns; therefore supports the idea of introducing an EU-wide target for all vehicles available on the EU market to become 5G-enabled and to feature on-board ITS equipment; strongly supports the goal of 5G-enabling base-station networked ambulances and other emergency vehicles (police cars, fire engines) for ongoing and uninterrupted coverage during interventions;

41.  Notes the benefits of reliable and uninterrupted 5G coverage for road safety, enabling connected and digital means of control, such as smart tachographs and e-documents, for heavy goods vehicles;

42.  Believes that 5G should enable new affordable and high-quality services, connect new industries and ultimately improve the customer experience for increasingly sophisticated and demanding digital users; highlights that 5G can offer solutions to important societal challenges through its ability to significantly cut the energy use of mobile devices and through its potential to transform sectors such as health and transport;

43.  Welcomes the Connecting Europe Broadband Fund, a fund for broadband infrastructure open to participation of National Promotional Banks and Institutions and of private investors, which will be a step further to bring infrastructure investments to underserved less populated and rural and remote areas;

44.  Considers that the development and improvement of digital skills is crucial and should take place through major investment in education – including vocational, entrepreneurial and further training, as well as retraining – and through the comprehensive participation of all relevant stakeholders, including social partners, with three main objectives: to retain and create technological jobs by training a highly skilled workforce, to support citizens in taking control of their digital existence by providing the necessary tools and to end digital illiteracy, which is a cause of digital divide and exclusion;

45.  Considers that the Union should establish and make available 5G skills development curricula in partnership with EIT Digital, with an emphasis on start-ups and SMEs in order for them to reap the benefits of 5G deployment;

46.  Stresses that the development of 5G networks will foster rapid technological changes permitting the full deployment of the digital sector, smart technology, the Internet of Things and advanced manufacturing systems;

47.  Emphasises the importance of 5G for enabling European global leadership in providing high-end research infrastructure, which could make Europe the centre for excellent research;

III.Policy approach

48.  Welcomes the Commission initiative to reinforce the Investment Plan for Europe within financing instruments (EFSI, CEF) earmarked to finance strategic objectives for gigabit connectivity until 2025;

49.  Emphasises that all decisions related to the Digital Single Market, including spectrum allocation, connectivity targets and 5G deployment, must be formulated based on future needs and how the market is expected to develop over the next 10-15 years; stresses, in this regard, that a successful 5G deployment will be key to economic competitiveness, which can only be achieved through far-sighted European legislation and policy coordination;

50.  Stresses that policies on the gigabit society and 5G should be proportionate, frequently revised and in accordance with the ‘Innovation Principle’, so that potential effects on innovation will be part of the impact assessment;

51.  Calls on the Commission to ensure, maintain and develop long-term financing for the 5G Action Plan and the network modernisation at the appropriate level within the horizon of the next Multiannual Financial Framework 2020-2027 and particularly the next RTD&I Framework; underlines the importance of cooperation between academia, research institutions, the private sector and the public sector on research and development concerning 5G mobile communications; points to the 5G PPP as a positive example in this regard; points out that, according to the Commission, an investment of EUR 500 billion will be required over the next decade in order to reach the connectivity targets, although it also estimates that there is an investment shortfall of EUR 155 billion; takes the view, therefore, that top priority needs to be given to ensuring that there is sufficient investment triggered by competition for the deployment of digital infrastructure, as that deployment is imperative in order to enable citizens and businesses to reap the benefits of the development of 5G technology;

52.  Urges all Member States to implement rapidly the provisions in Directive (EU) 2016/1148 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 2016 concerning measures for a high common level of security of network and information systems across the Union(4), with the aim of ensuring an adequate level of security in making this plan efficient and sustainable;

53.  Believes that the best path towards the gigabit society lies in a future-proof, pro-competitive and technology-neutral approach supported by a broad range of investment models such as public-private or co-investments; notes that co-investment and other forms of collaborative investment and long-term commercial access arrangements for very high capacity networks can help to pool resources, enable different flexible frameworks and lower deployment costs;

54.  Calls on the Member States to implement the 5G Action Plan fully through coherent, inclusive and timely action in regions and cities in order to encourage and incentivise cross-sector innovation and foster an economic industry-wide cooperative framework;

55.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to take the lead in promoting intersectoral, cross-lingual 5G and cross-border interoperability and supporting privacy-friendly, reliable, secure services as industry and society at large become increasingly more dependent on digital infrastructure for their business and services, and to consider economic and geographic national circumstances as an integral part of a common strategy;

56.  Calls for efforts on standardisation to be stepped up with a view to ensuring that Europe plays a leading role in setting technology standards allowing for the deployment of 5G networks and services; believes that the European standardisation bodies should play a special role in this process; notes that each sector should work out its own roadmap for standardisation, relying on industry-led processes, with a strong will to reach common standards that have the potential to become worldwide standards; calls on the Commission and the Member States to incentivise investments in research and development and European standardisation;

57.  Stresses that 5G has the potential to revolutionise access to, and dissemination of, content and to substantially enhance the user experience, while at the same time allowing the development of new forms of cultural and creative content; highlights, in this context, the need for effective measures to fight piracy and a comprehensive approach to improve the enforcement of intellectual property rights to ensure easy routes to legal content for consumers;

58.  Strongly encourages increased experimentation with 5G technologies; supports the development of integrated solutions and tests followed by cross-industry trials of large-scale pilots in response to demand for services in the gigabit society; calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure sufficient unlicensed frequency bands to stimulate experiments conducted by the industry; asks the Commission to consider setting a concrete and appealing target as a framework for private sector experimentation with 5G technologies and products;

59.  Stresses the need to take account of the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines, formally recognised by the WHO, in order to avoid inconsistency and fragmentation and to ensure consistent wireless network deployment conditions on the European Digital Single Market;

60.  Highlights that the development of the gigabit society requires clear, common EU rules that are future-oriented and pro-competitive in order to drive investment and innovation and preserve affordability and consumer choice; stresses that infrastructure-based competition offers the potential for efficient regulation and allows for a fair long-term return on investments; encourages the Member States to simplify the administrative procedures for accessing physical infrastructure;

61.  Underlines the need to establish an innovation-friendly environment for digital services, especially in the area of big data and IoT, broadening consumer choice whilst increasing trust and promoting the take-up of digital services, through efficient and streamlined rules, and focusing on the needs of the users and characteristics of services, irrespective of the kind of provider;

62.  Stresses that National Broadband Plans need to be reviewed and, where appropriate, revised carefully, target all 5G areas, maintain a multi-technology, competitive approach, support regulatory certainty and maximise the scope of innovation and coverage, with one of the targets being to bridge the digital divide;

63.  Calls on the Commission to assess the National Broadband Plans to identify gaps, and to formulate country-specific recommendations for further action;

64.  Welcomes the Commission initiative to establish the Participatory Broadband Platform to ensure the high-level engagement of public and private entities, as well as local and regional authorities;

65.  Emphasises that ensuring internet access and guaranteeing high-speed, reliable, low- latency and low-jitter internet connectivity are essential for digitising processes and the value chain in the tourism sector, as well as for the development and deployment of transport technologies such as Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS), River Information Services (RIS) and European Rail Traffic Management Systems (ERTMS);

66.  Recalls that SMEs would benefit greatly from competitive access to 5G solutions; calls on the Commission to detail its action plans to facilitate the participation of SMEs and start-ups in experimentation with 5G technologies and to ensure them access to the 5G Participatory Broadband Platform;

67.  Supports EU-level initiatives to ensure greater spectrum coordination between Member States and long-term licence durations, which will increase the stability and certainty of investments; notes that the decisions on these issues should be taken at the same time in all Member States to adopt binding guidance on certain conditions of the assignment process, such as the deadlines for spectrum allocation, spectrum sharing and jointly organised auctions, with the ambition of promoting trans-European networks; points out that the competitive nature of mobile telecoms markets in the European Union is crucial in the generation shift to 5G;

68.  Calls on the EU to coordinate efforts within the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) with a view to ensuring coherent EU policy; stresses that European spectrum harmonisation needs for 5G beyond 2020 should be finalised before the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19), with due protection of the existing services relied upon today and in line with decisions taken at the WRC-15;

69.  Stresses that the definition of VHC networks laid down in the European Electronic Communications Code should comply with the principle of technological neutrality provided such technologies meet the needs for quality of network services that industrial and consumer applications will require in the future;

70.  Calls on the Commission to establish an annual progress review and draw up recommendations on the 5G Action Plan, and inform Parliament of the results;

o
o   o

71.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Member States.

(1) OJ L 81, 21.3.2012, p. 7.
(2) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0009.
(3) OJ L 179, 29.6.2013, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 194, 19.7.2016, p. 1.


Protection of vulnerable adults
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Resolution
Annex
European Parliament resolution of 1 June 2017 with recommendations to the Commission on the protection of vulnerable adults (2015/2085(INL))
P8_TA(2017)0235A8-0152/2017

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 225 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Articles 67(4) and 81(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and more particularly Article 3 thereof which guarantees everyone the right to physical and mental integrity, and Article 21 thereof on non-discrimination,

–  having regard to its resolution of 18 December 2008 with recommendations to the Commission on cross-border implications of the legal protection of adults(1),

–  having regard to the European Added Value Assessment of September 2016 drawn up by the European Parliamentary Research Service (PE 581.388),

–  having regard to the Hague Convention of 13 January 2000 on the International Protection of Adults (‘the Hague Convention’),

–  having regard to the UN Convention of 13 December 2006 on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (‘the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities’),

–  having regard to Recommendation No R (99) 4 of 23 February 1999 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on principles concerning the legal protection of incapable adults (‘Recommendation No R (99) 4 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe’),

–  having regard to Recommendation CM/Rec(2009)11 of 9 December 2009 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on principles concerning continuing powers of attorney and advance directives for incapacity ( ‘Recommendation CM/Rec(2009)11 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe’),

–  having regard to Rules 46 and 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A8-0152/2017),

A.  whereas it is essential for the Union to move closer to its citizens and to address matters of direct concern to them, guaranteeing respect for fundamental rights, without discrimination or exclusion;

B.  whereas the protection of vulnerable adults exercising their freedom of movement within the Union is a cross-border issue and therefore affects all Member States; whereas this issue demonstrates the importance of the role which the Union and its Parliament must play in responding to the problems and difficulties which European citizens encounter in the exercise of their rights, particularly in cross-border situations;

C.  whereas the protection of vulnerable adults is closely linked to respect for human rights; whereas every vulnerable adult, like any European citizen, must be considered to be a holder of rights and capable of making free, independent and informed decisions within the limits of his or her capacity, not simply a passive recipient of care and attention;

D.  whereas the vulnerability of adults and the differing regulations governing their legal protection must not constitute obstacles to the right of free movement of persons;

E.  whereas demographic change and increased life expectancy have led to an increase in the number of elderly people who by reason of age-related illnesses are not in a position to protect their interests; whereas there are also other circumstances that are independent of age, such as mental and physical disabilities, and that may also be innate, and in which an adult’s capacity to protect his or her interests can be affected;

F.  whereas problems have developed as a result of the increasing movement between Member States of expatriates and retired persons, including vulnerable and potentially vulnerable persons;

G.  whereas differences exist between the Member States’ legal provisions concerning jurisdiction, applicable law and the recognition and enforcement of protection measures for adults; whereas the diversity of applicable laws and the multiplicity of competent jurisdictions may affect the right of vulnerable adults to move freely and to reside in the Member State of their choice, as well as to have adequate protection for their property where such property is located in more than one country;

H.  whereas differences also persist between the Member States’ legal provisions on protection measures, despite the progress made in this area in line with Recommendation No R (99) 4 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe;

I.  whereas point (a) of Article 1(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(2) excludes the status and legal capacity of natural persons from the scope of that Regulation;

J.  whereas the Hague Convention constitutes a particularly appropriate set of international legal rules to address cross-border problems concerning vulnerable adults; whereas, despite the time which has elapsed since the adoption of that Convention, few Member States have yet ratified it; whereas this delay in ratifying the Convention is compromising the protection of vulnerable adults in cross-border situations in the Union; whereas it is therefore essential, in the interests of efficiency, to act at Union level in order to guarantee the protection of vulnerable adults in cross-border situations;

K.  whereas a vulnerable adult is a person who has reached the age of 18 years and who, by reason of an impairment or insufficiency of his or her personal faculties, is not in a position to protect his or her interests (personal affairs and/or personal property, whether temporarily or permanently);

L.  whereas consideration should be given to the provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; whereas the Union and the Member States are parties to that Convention;

M.  whereas when defining its policies the Union must ensure that the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality are complied with;

N.  whereas Union action in the area of protection of vulnerable adults should seek principally to ensure the circulation, recognition and enforcement by Member States’ authorities of protection measures for a vulnerable adult taken by the authorities of another Member State, including the dissemination and recognition of mandates, and to enhance communication and cooperation between Member States in that regard;

O.  whereas ‘protection measures’ should be taken to mean in particular the measures envisaged in Article 3 of the Hague Convention;

P.  whereas ‘incapacity mandate’ should be taken to mean the powers of representation granted by an adult with legal capacity by means of an agreement or unilateral act which take effect when that person is no longer in a position to protect his or her interests;

Q.  whereas clear and precise information on national legislation concerning incapacity and protection of vulnerable adults should be made more accessible to citizens so that they can make informed decisions by themselves;

R.  whereas timely access by the various administrative and legal authorities concerned to information relating to the legal situation of adults subject to a protection measure or an incapacity mandate could improve and strengthen the protection of such persons;

S.  whereas the establishment in each Member State of files or registers listing administrative and judicial decisions prescribing protection measures for a vulnerable adult, as well as incapacity mandates, where such mandates are provided for in the national legislation, could be used to facilitate timely access by all administrative and legal and authorities concerned to information on the legal situation of vulnerable adults and to ensure greater legal certainty; whereas the confidentiality of such registers should be duly guaranteed, in accordance with Union law and national legislation concerning the protection of privacy and the protection of personal data;

T.  whereas protection measures taken by the authorities of one Member State should automatically be recognised in other Member States; whereas, notwithstanding the foregoing, it may be necessary to establish grounds to refuse recognition and enforcement of a protection measure; whereas the duly circumscribed grounds on which the national authorities would be permitted to refuse to recognise and enforce a protection measure taken by the authorities of another Member State should be restricted to the protection of public order in the requested State;

U.  whereas effective mechanisms could be introduced to ensure the recognition, registration and use of mandates in anticipation of incapacity throughout the Union; whereas a single mandate-in-anticipation-of-incapacity form should be created at Union level in order to ensure that such mandates are effective in all Member States;

V.  whereas single Union forms should be introduced to foster the provision of information on decisions concerning the protection of vulnerable adults and on the circulation, recognition and enforcement of those decisions; whereas legal certainty requires that any person who is given responsibility for protecting the person or the property of a vulnerable adult may, upon his request, be issued within a reasonable time with a certificate specifying his or her capacity, status and the powers which have been conferred on him or her;

W.  whereas a decision handed down in a Member State which is enforceable in that Member State should be enforceable in other Member States without any declaration of enforceability being required;

X.  whereas mechanisms should be introduced which provide for cooperation among the Member States with a view to promoting and facilitating communication between the competent authorities and the forwarding and exchange of information concerning vulnerable adults; whereas designating a central authority for each Member State, like that provided for in the Hague Convention, could be a valid way of helping to achieve this aim;

Y.  whereas certain protection measures proposed by the authorities of a Member State concerning a vulnerable adult, including the placing of the adult in an establishment situated in another Member State, could have logistical and financial implications for another Member State; whereas, in such cases, it would be helpful to set up mechanisms for cooperation between the authorities of the Member States concerned so that they can agree on the desirability of sharing the costs of the protection measure;

Z.  whereas the existence of such central authorities should not prevent the administrative and judicial authorities of the Member States from communicating directly with each other when they regard such communication as being more effective;

AA.  whereas the time which has elapsed since the Parliament adopted its resolution of 18 December 2008 is expected to have enabled the Commission to obtain sufficient information concerning the entry into force of the Hague Convention in the Member States which have ratified it and to draw up the report called for by Parliament in that resolution;

1.  Applauds those Member States which have signed and ratified the Hague Convention, and encourages those Member States which have not yet signed or ratified it to do so as quickly as possible; calls on the Commission to exert political pressure on the Council and the Member States with a view to increasing the number of ratifications by the end of 2017;

2.  Notes that the proposal for a regulation which is the subject of the recommendations set out in the Annex would not replace the Hague Convention; it would support the Convention and encourage Member States to ratify and implement it;

3.  Notes that the protection of vulnerable adults, including those with disabilities, requires a comprehensive set of specific and targeted actions;

4.  Calls on the Member States to make sure that the protection measures for which their national law makes provision can be tailored to the circumstances of each vulnerable adult, so that the competent national authorities can take proportionate, individual protection measures accordingly, thereby ensuring that Union citizens are not stripped of rights that they are still capable of exercising; notes that in most cases of persons with disabilities legal incapacity is due to disability and not to age;

5.  Reminds the Commission and the Member States that not all vulnerable adults are necessarily vulnerable by virtue of their advanced age, and calls on the Commission and the Member States to take measures to strengthen the legal protection and rights not only of elderly vulnerable adults, but also of adults who are or have become vulnerable and who by virtue of a serious mental and/or physical disability are not in a position to protect their own interests; considers in this respect that it would be extremely worthwhile to establish procedures for the exchange and comparison of good practices among the Member States, taking forms of protection and safeguard as the starting point;

6.  Urges the Member States to promote self-determination for adults by introducing into their national law legislation on mandates in anticipation of incapacity, drawing on the principles set out in Recommendation CM/Rec(2009)11 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe;

7.  Calls on the Member States to pay particular attention to the needs of the most disadvantaged vulnerable adults and to put measures in place aiming to ensure that they do not suffer discrimination as a result of their condition; in that connection, calls on the Member States which recognise incapacity mandates in their legislation, or decide to introduce them to ensure that their laws do not impose fees or formalities which would, in an unreasonable way, prevent disadvantaged adults from being the subject of a mandate in anticipation of incapacity, irrespective of their financial situation;

8.  Calls on the Commission to initiate, maintain and fund projects designed to make Union citizens aware of the Member States’ laws on vulnerable adults and protection measures concerning them; calls on the Member States to take appropriate measures and actions to provide all persons on their territory with easily accessible and sufficient information about their national laws and the services available in the area of the protection of vulnerable adults;

9.  Deplores the fact that the Commission has failed to act on Parliament’s call that it should submit to Parliament and the Council in due course a report setting out details of the problems encountered and the best practices noted in connection with the application of the Hague Convention, a report which should also have outlined proposals for Union measures to clarify the procedures, or create new procedures, for applying the Convention; takes the view that that report could have addressed the practical problems encountered by the Commission in obtaining information on the application of the Hague Convention;

10.  Calls on the Commission to submit to Parliament and the Council, before 31 March 2018, on the basis of Article 81(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, a proposal for a regulation designed to improve cooperation among the Member States and the automatic recognition and enforcement of decisions on the protection of vulnerable adults and mandates in anticipation of incapacity, following the recommendations set out in the Annex hereto;

11.  Confirms that the recommendations are consistent with fundamental rights and the principle of subsidiarity; stresses in this respect the importance of giving expression, among national best practices, to the outcomes of work done by local communities and by local authorities;

12.  Considers that the requested proposal does not have financial implications;

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

ANNEX TO THE RESOLUTION:

RECOMMENDATIONS AS TO THE CONTENT OF THE PROPOSAL REQUESTED

A.   PRINCIPLES AND AIMS OF THE PROPOSAL

1.  Foster the provision of information about the administrative and judicial decisions concerning vulnerable adults who are the subject of protection measures as defined by the Hague Convention of 13 January 2000 on the international protection of adults, and facilitate the circulation, recognition and enforcement of such decisions.

2.  Set up national files concerning or registers of, on the one hand, administrative and judicial decisions setting out protection measures in respect of vulnerable adults and, on the other hand, the relevant mandates in anticipation of incapacity, where such mandates exist, in order to guarantee legal certainty and facilitate the circulation of, and prompt access by the competent authorities and judges to, information concerning the legal situation of persons who are the subject of a protection measure.

3.  Implement specific and appropriate measures to foster cooperation among the Member States, drawing on the instruments available under the Hague Convention, including the designation of central authorities responsible for facilitating communication among the competent Member State authorities and coordinating the forwarding and exchange of information concerning the administrative and judicial decisions in respect of adults who are the subject of protection measures.

4.  Ensure that the sharing between Member States of information concerning the protection status of vulnerable adults, and the access to files and registers containing details of protection measures and mandates in anticipation of incapacity, is organised in a manner which is entirely consistent with the principle of confidentiality and the rules on the protection of the personal data of the adults concerned.

5.  Introduce single Union forms designed to foster the provision of information about administrative and judicial decisions in respect of vulnerable adults and the circulation, recognition and enforcement of decisions concerning them. The Commission could draw on the model forms recommended by the Special Commission of a Diplomatic Character of the Hague Conference on Private International Law and included in the proceedings of the session of September-October 1999 on the protection of adults.

6.  Grant any person who is given responsibility for protecting the person or the property of a vulnerable adult the right to obtain within a reasonable period a certificate, which would be valid in all the Member States, specifying his or her status and the powers which have been conferred on him or her.

7.  Foster the automatic recognition in the Member States of protection measures taken by the authorities of a Member State, without prejudice to the introduction, as an exception and in keeping with Articles 3 and 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, of legal safeguards to protect public order in the Member States requested to recognise such protection measures, which may justify the non-recognition and non-enforcement of such protection measures by those Member States.

8.  Foster the enforcement in the Member States of protection measures taken by the authorities of a Member State, without a declaration establishing the enforceability of such measures being required.

9.  Foster consultation and coordination among the Member States in cases in which the enforcement of a decision proposed by the authorities of a Member State could have logistical and financial implications for another Member State, so that the Member States concerned can reach agreement on the sharing of the costs associated with the protection measure. The consultation and coordination should always be conducted in a manner consistent with the interests of the vulnerable adult concerned and in full respect of his or her fundamental rights. The authorities concerned could submit proposals for alternative measures to the competent administrative or judicial authority, on the understanding that the final decision would rest with the authority in question.

10.  Introduce single mandate-in-anticipation-of-incapacity forms in order to facilitate the use of such mandates by the persons concerned, the well-informed consent for which should be verified by the relevant authorities, and ensure that such mandates can circulate, and be recognised and enforced.

B.   ACTION TO BE PROPOSED

1.  Calls on the Commission to submit to Parliament and the Council, before 31 March 2018, pursuant to Article 81(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, a proposal for a regulation designed to improve cooperation among the Member States, and the automatic recognition and enforcement of decisions on the protection of vulnerable adults and mandates in anticipation of incapacity.

(1) OJ C 45 E, 23.2.2010, p. 71.
(2) Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (OJ L 351, 20.12.2012, p. 1).


Introduction of temporary autonomous trade measures for Ukraine ***I
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Amendments adopted by the European Parliament on 1 June 2017 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the introduction of temporary autonomous trade measures for Ukraine supplementing the trade concessions available under the Association Agreement (COM(2016)0631 – C8-0392/2016 – 2016/0308(COD))(1)
P8_TA(2017)0236A8-0193/2017

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendment
Amendment 1
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 2
(2)  In view of the economic reform efforts undertaken by Ukraine, and in order to support the development of closer economic relations with the European Union, it is appropriate to increase the trade flows concerning the import of certain agricultural products and to grant concessions in the form of autonomous trade measures in selected industrial products in line with the acceleration of the elimination of customs duties on trade between the European Union and Ukraine.
(2)  With a view to enhancing the economic and political reform efforts undertaken by Ukraine, and in order to support and accelerate the development of closer economic relations with the Union, it is appropriate and necessary to increase the trade flows concerning the import of certain agricultural products and to grant concessions in the form of autonomous trade measures in selected industrial products in line with the acceleration of the elimination of customs duties on trade between the Union and Ukraine.
Amendment 2
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 3
(3)  The autonomous trade measures would be granted in the form of zero-tariff quotas for products listed in Annexes I and II in addition to the preferential tariff-rate quotas set out in the Agreement, and the partial or full removal of import duties on industrial products listed in Annex III;
(3)  After the publication by the Commission of its analysis on the potential impact of this Regulation, which should consider the potential final beneficiaries of the autonomous trade measures contained in this Regulation and focus particularly on small and medium-sized producers in Ukraine, the autonomous trade measures should be granted for products that are assessed to be beneficial in light of that analysis. Those autonomous trade measures should take the form of zero-tariff quotas for products listed in Annexes I and II in addition to the preferential tariff-rate quotas set out in the Association Agreement, and the partial or full removal of import duties on industrial products listed in Annex III.
Amendment 3
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 4
(4)  In order to prevent any risk of fraud, the entitlement to benefit from the additional zero-tariff quotas should be conditional on the compliance by Ukraine with the relevant rules of origin of products concerned and the procedures related thereto as well as involvement in close administrative cooperation with the European Union as provided for by the Agreement;
(4)  In order to prevent any risk of fraud, the entitlement to benefit from the additional zero-tariff quotas for products listed in Annexes I and II and the partial or full removal of import duties on industrial products listed in Annex III should be conditional on the compliance by Ukraine with all the relevant conditions for obtaining benefits under the Association Agreement, including the rules of origin of products concerned and the procedures related thereto as well as involvement in close administrative cooperation with the Union as provided for by that Agreement.
Amendment 4
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 9
(9)  Article 2 of the Association Agreement provides that the respect for democratic principles, human rights and fundamental freedoms and respect for the principle of the rule of law, constitute essential elements of that Agreement. It is appropriate to introduce the possibility to temporarily suspend the preferences in case of failure to respect the fundamental principles of human rights, democracy and the rule of law by Ukraine.
(9)  Articles 2 and 3 of the Association Agreement provide that respect for democratic principles, human rights, and fundamental freedoms and the principle of the rule of law, as well as efforts to combat corruption and organised crime, and measures to promote sustainable development and effective multilateralism, constitute essential elements of relations with Ukraine, which are governed by that Agreement. It is appropriate to introduce the possibility to temporarily suspend the preferences in the case of failure by Ukraine to respect the general principles of the Association Agreement, as has been done in other association agreements signed by the Union.
Amendment 5
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 9 a (new)
(9a)  The Commission’s annual report on the implementation of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement should include a detailed assessment of the implementation of the temporary autonomous trade measures provided for in this Regulation.
Amendment 6
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – introductory part
Entitlement to benefit from the tariff-rate quotas introduced by Article 1 shall be subject to:
Entitlement to benefit from the tariff-rate quotas and preferential customs duties on importation introduced by Article 1 shall be subject to:
Amendment 7
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  compliance with the rules of origin of products and the procedures related thereto as provided for in the Association Agreement, and notably in Protocol I concerning the definition of the concept of "originating products" and methods of administrative co-operation, and in Protocol II on mutual administrative assistance in customs matters;
(a)  compliance with the rules of origin of products and the procedures related thereto as provided for in the Association Agreement, and notably in Protocol I concerning the definition of the concept of "originating products" and methods of administrative co-operation, and in Protocol II on mutual administrative assistance in customs matters; as regards products manufactured in, or shipped from, territory not under the effective control of the Government of Ukraine, the submission of a movement certificate EUR.1, as referred to in Article 16(1)(a) of Protocol I to the Association Agreement, which shall be issued by the customs authorities of the Government of Ukraine, after having carried out an inspection of the exporter’s accounts at the exporter’s premises and any other checks considered appropriate, in accordance with Article 17(5) and Article 33 of that Protocol, including assessing whether there are reasonable grounds to suspect that economic operators benefiting from the temporary autonomous trade measures are undermining the fight against corruption or are engaged in illegal economic activities;
Amendment 8
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point b
(b)  abstention by Ukraine from introducing new duties or charges having equivalent effect and new quantitative restrictions or measures having equivalent effect for imports originating in the Union or from increasing existing levels of duties or charges or from introducing any other restrictions from the day of the entry into force of this Regulation;
(b)  abstention by Ukraine from introducing new duties or charges having equivalent effect and new quantitative restrictions or measures having equivalent effect for imports originating in the Union or from increasing existing levels of duties or charges or from introducing any other restrictions, including discriminatory internal administrative measures, from the day of the entry into force of this Regulation;
Amendment 9
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point c
(c)  respect for democratic principles, human rights and fundamental freedoms and respect for the principle of the rule of law provided for in Article 2 of the Association Agreement.
(c)  respect for democratic principles, human rights and fundamental freedoms and respect for the principle of the rule of law as well as continued and sustained efforts with regard to the fight against corruption and illegal activities provided for in Articles 2, 3 and 22 of the Association Agreement.
Amendment 10
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point c a (new)
(ca)   continued respect for obligations to cooperate on matters related to employment, social policy and equal opportunities in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title IV (Trade and Sustainable Development) and Chapter 21 of Title V (Cooperation on employment, social policy and equal opportunities) of the Association Agreement, and the goals set out in Article 420 thereof.
Amendment 11
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 1
Where the Commission finds that there is sufficient evidence of failure to comply with the conditions set out in Article 2 it may suspend in whole or in part the preferential arrangements provided for in this Regulation, in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 5(2).
Where the Commission finds that there is sufficient evidence of failure to comply with the conditions set out in Article 2 of this Regulation, it may suspend in whole or in part the preferential arrangements provided for in this Regulation, in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 5(2).
Amendment 12
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 1 a (new)
Where a Member State requests that the Commission suspend any of the preferential arrangements on the basis of failure to comply with the conditions set out in Article 2(b), the Commission shall provide a reasoned opinion within two months of such request on whether the claim of failure to comply is substantiated. If the Commission concludes that the claim is substantiated, it shall initiate the procedure referred to in the first paragraph of this Article.
Amendment 13
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 1
1.  Where a product originating in Ukraine is imported on terms which cause, or threaten to cause, serious difficulties to a Community producer of like or directly competing products, Common Customs Tariff duties on such product may be reintroduced at any time by the Council acting by qualified majority on a proposal from the Commission.
1.  Where a product originating in Ukraine is imported on terms which cause, or threaten to cause, serious difficulties to a Union producer of like or directly competing products, Common Customs Tariff duties on such product may be reintroduced at any time.
Amendment 14
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 1 a (new)
1a.  The Commission shall closely monitor the impact of this Regulation on Union producers with regard to the products listed in Annex I and II, including with regard to prices on the Union market and taking into account relevant available information on Union producers, such as market share, production, stocks, production capacities and capacity utilisation rates.
Amendment 15
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 2
2.  At the request of a Member State or on the Commission’s initiative, the Commission shall take a formal decision to initiate an investigation within a reasonable period of time. Where the Commission decides to initiate an investigation, it shall publish a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union announcing the investigation. The notice shall provide a summary of the information received and state that any relevant information should be sent to the Commission. It shall specify the period, which shall not exceed four months from the date of publication of the notice, within which interested parties may make their views known in writing
2.  At the request of a Member State, any legal person or any association not having legal personality, acting on behalf of Union industry, meaning all or a major proportion of Union producers of like or directly competing products, or on the Commission’s own initiative, if it is apparent to the Commission that there is sufficient prima facie evidence, the Commission shall take a formal decision to initiate an investigation within a reasonable period of time. For the purposes of this Article, ’major proportion’ means Union producers whose collective output constitutes more than 50 % of the total Union production of the like or directly competing products produced by that portion of the Union industry expressing either support for or opposition to the request and no less than 25 % of total production of the like or directly competing products produced by the Union industry. Where the Commission decides to initiate an investigation, it shall publish a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union announcing the investigation. The notice shall provide a summary of the information received and state that any relevant information should be sent to the Commission. It shall specify the period, which shall not exceed four months from the date of publication of the notice, within which interested parties may make their views known in writing.
Amendment 16
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 6
6.  The Commission shall take a decision within three months, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 5. Such decision shall enter into force within one month as from its publication.
6.  The Commission shall take a decision within three months, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 5. Such decision shall enter into force within one month as from its publication. The Common Customs Tariff duties shall be reintroduced for as long as necessary to counteract the deterioration in the economic and/or financial situation of Union producers, or for as long as the threat of such deterioration persists. The period of reintroduction shall not exceed one year, unless it is extended in duly justified circumstances. Where the facts as finally established show that the conditions set out in Article 4(1) are not met, the Commission shall adopt an implementing act terminating the investigation and proceedings in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 5(2).
Amendment 17
Proposal for a regulation
Article 5 a (new)
Article 5a
Assessment of the implementation of the autonomous trade measures
The Commission’s annual report on the implementation of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement shall include a detailed assessment of the implementation of the temporary autonomous trade measures provided for in this Regulation and shall include, insofar as appropriate, an assessment of the social impact of those measures in Ukraine and in the Union. Information on the utilisation of agriculture-related tariff-rate quotas shall be made available via websites of the Commission.
Amendment 18
Proposal for a regulation
Annex I – table – row 4

Text proposed by the Commission

09.6752

2002

Tomatoes prepared or preserved otherwise than by vinegar or acetic acid

 

5 000

Amendment

deleted

Amendment 19
Proposal for a regulation
Annex II – table – row 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Common wheat, spelt and meslin, flour, groats, meal and pellets

1001 99 00, 1101 00 15, 1101 00 90, 1102 90 90, 1103 11 90, 1103 20 60

100 000 tons/year

Amendment

deleted

Amendment 20
Proposal for a regulation
Annex II – table – row 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Maize, other than seed, flour, groats, meal, pellets and grains

1005 90 00, 1102 20, 1103 13, 1103 20 40, 1104 23

650 000 tons/year

Amendment

Maize, other than seed, flour, groats, meal, pellets and grains

1005 90 00, 1102 20, 1103 13, 1103 20 40, 1104 23

650 000 050 kilograms/year

Amendment 21
Proposal for a regulation
Annex III – table – row 3

Text proposed by the Commission

3102 10 10

Urea, whether or not in aqueous solution, containing more than 45% by weight of nitrogen on the dry anhydrous product (excl. that in pellet or similar forms, or in packages with a gross weight not exceeding 10 kg).

3%

Amendment

deleted

(1) The matter was referred back for interinstitutional negotiations to the committee responsible, pursuant to Rule 59(4), fourth subparagraph (A8-0193/2017).


Uniform format for visas ***I
PDF 238kWORD 42k
Resolution
Text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 1 June 2017 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1683/95 of 29 May 1995 laying down a uniform format for visas (COM(2015)0303 – C8-0164/2015 – 2015/0134(COD))
P8_TA(2017)0237A8-0028/2016

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2015)0303),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 77(2)(a) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8‑0164/2015),

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

–  having regard to the provisional agreement approved by the committee responsible under Rule 69f(4) of its Rules of Procedure and the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 3 May 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 Rule 59 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A8-0028/2016),

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 1 June 2017 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) 2017/... of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1683/95 laying down a uniform format for visas

(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EU) 2017/1370.)


Multiannual Framework for the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights for 2018-2022 ***
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 1 June 2017 on the draft Council decision establishing a Multiannual Framework for the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights for 2018–2022 (14423/2016 – C8-0528/2016 – 2016/0204(APP))
P8_TA(2017)0238A8-0177/2017

(Special legislative procedure – consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (14423/2016),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 352 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8‑0528/2016),

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

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A8-0177/2017),

1.  Gives its consent to the draft Council decision;

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


Multiannual Framework for the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights for 2018-2022 (Resolution)
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European Parliament resolution of 1 June 2017 on the Multiannual Framework for 2018-2022 for the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (2017/2702(RSP))
P8_TA(2017)0239B8-0384/2017

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision establishing a Multiannual Framework for the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights for 2018–2022 (14423/2016),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 352 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8-0528/2016),

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A8-0177/2017), submitted under Rule 99(1) and (4) of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to its position of 13 December 2012 on the draft Council decision establishing a Multiannual Framework for 2013-2017 for the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (10449/2012 – C7-0169/2012 – 2011/0431(APP))(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 December 2016 on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union in 2015(2),

–  having regard to the statements by the Commission and the Council of 31 May 2017 on the Multiannual Framework for 2018-2022 for the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights,

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

A.  whereas the European Union is committed to guaranteeing the rights proclaimed in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union;

B.  whereas the draft Council decision establishing a Multiannual Framework for the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights for 2018-2022, submitted to Parliament for consent, includes eight thematic areas: victims of crime and access to justice; equality and discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation, or on the grounds of nationality; information society and, in particular, respect for private life and protection of personal data; judicial cooperation, except in criminal matters; migration, borders, asylum and integration of refugees and migrants; racism, xenophobia and related intolerance; rights of the child; and integration and social inclusion of Roma with a focus on anti-Gypsyism;

C.  whereas including the area of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters in the Multiannual Framework would not only reflect the needs on the ground, but would also allow the Agency to provide comprehensive analysis on its own initiative in areas that are of obvious relevance to fundamental rights, especially given the recent and ongoing legislative developments at EU level in this field;

D.  whereas following the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters have become part of Union law and are therefore covered by the scope of the tasks of the Agency, as all areas falling within the competences of the Union, under Article 3(1) of Council Regulation (EC) No 168/2007;

E.  whereas even if police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters are not included in the Council Decision establishing a Multiannual Framework, the Agency will be able to continue to carry out its tasks in these areas upon request from Parliament, the Council or the Commission, under Article 5(3) of Council Regulation (EC) No 168/2007;

F.  whereas the establishment of the Agency’s Multiannual Framework for 2018-2022 is necessary to ensure continuity in its activities and whereas the lack of a new Multiannual Framework in place by the beginning of 2018 would entail that the Agency could only work if there is a specific request from an institution and not on its own initiative;

1.  Regrets the lack of agreement in the Council as regards the inclusion of the proposed thematic areas of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters in the new Multiannual Framework;

2.  Reiterates the importance of the work of the Agency and its key role in the promotion of fundamental rights across the EU;

3.  Considers that one of the fundamental aspects of the work of the Agency is to continue providing support relating to respect for fundamental rights in the domain of Union law, thus requiring that the activities of the Agency do not suffer interruption;

4.  Welcomes the Commission and Council statements and insists on the need to improve the working procedures for the governance and the functioning of the Agency and to clarify that the Agency’s competences also include the ‘ex-third pillar’ matters of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters;

5.  Takes note of the divergent opinions of the Commission and Council on the interpretation of the Agency’s founding Regulation, and calls on both institutions to reach an agreement as soon as possible;

6.  Invites the Commission, following the external evaluation of the Agency in 2017, to present a proposal for amendments to Regulation (EC) No 168/2007 which it considers necessary to improve the procedures for the governance and the functioning of the Agency and to align the Regulation with the Lisbon Treaty, as provided for in Article 31(2) of that Regulation;

7.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights.

(1) OJ C 434, 23.12.2015, p. 262.
(2) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0485.


Digitising European industry
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European Parliament resolution of 1 June 2017 on digitising European industry (2016/2271(INI))
P8_TA(2017)0240A8-0183/2017

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 173 (Title XVII) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which concerns EU industrial policy and refers, among other things, to the competitiveness of the Union’s industry,

–  having regard to Articles 9, 11 and 16 TFEU,

–   having regard to Protocol No 1 on the role of national parliaments in the European Union,

–   having regard to Protocol No 2 on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 19 April 2016 entitled ‘Digitising European Industry – Reaping the full benefits of a Digital Single Market’ (COM(2016)0180),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 19 April 2016 entitled ‘European Cloud Initiative – Building a competitive data and knowledge economy in Europe’ (COM(2016)0178),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 19 April 2016 entitled ‘ICT Standardisation Priorities for the Digital Single Market’ (COM(2016)0176),

–  having regard to the Commission staff working document of 19 April 2016 entitled ‘Quantum technologies’ (SWD(2016)0107),

–  having regard to the Commission staff working document of 19 April 2016 entitled ‘Advancing the Internet of Things in Europe’ (SWD(2016)0110),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 2 July 2014 entitled ‘Towards a thriving data-driven economy’ (COM(2014)0442),

–  having regard to its resolution of 19 January 2016 entitled ‘Towards a Digital Single Market Act’(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 9 March 2011 entitled ‘An Industrial Policy for the Globalised Era’(2),

–  having regard to its resolution of 16 June 2010 on EU 2020(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 June 2010 on Community innovation policy in a changing world(4),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 28 October 2010 entitled ‘An Integrated Industrial Policy for the Globalised Era – Putting Competitiveness and Sustainability at Centre Stage’ (COM(2010)0614),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 3 March 2010 entitled ‘Europe 2020 – A Strategy for Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth’ (COM(2010)2020),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 6 October 2010 entitled ‘Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative: Innovation Union’ (COM(2010)0546),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 4 July 2007 entitled ‘Mid-term review of industrial policy – A contribution to the EU’s Growth and Jobs Strategy’ (COM(2007)0374),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 6 May 2015 entitled ‘A Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe’ (COM(2015)0192), the accompanying Commission staff working document (SWD(2015)0100) and the subsequent legislative and non-legislative proposals,

–  having regard to the proposal of 11 September 2013 for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down measures concerning the European single market for electronic communications and to achieve a Connected Continent, and amending Directives 2002/20/EC, 2002/21/EC and 2002/22/EC and Regulations (EC) No 1211/2009 and (EU) No 531/2012 (COM(2013)0627),

–  having regard to the proposal of 26 March 2013 for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on measures to reduce the cost of deploying high-speed electronic communications networks (COM(2013)0147),

–  having regard to the proposal of 7 February 2013 for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning measures to ensure a high common level of network and information security across the Union (COM(2013)0048),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 10 October 2012 entitled ‘A Stronger European Industry for Growth and Economic Recovery’ (COM(2012)0582),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 22 January 2014 entitled ‘For a European Industrial Renaissance’ (COM(2014)0014),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 3 October 2012 entitled ‘Single Market Act II – Together for new growth’ (COM(2012)0573),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 13 April 2011 to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions entitled ‘Single Market Act: Twelve levers to boost growth and strengthen confidence’ (COM(2011)0206),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 27 October 2010 to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions entitled ‘Towards a Single Market Act: For a highly competitive social market economy – 50 proposals for improving our work, business and exchanges with one another’ (COM(2010)0608),

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 10 January 2017 to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions entitled ‘Building a European Data Economy’ (COM(2017)0009),

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 January 2014 on reindustrialising Europe to promote competitiveness and sustainability(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 10 December 2013 on unleashing the potential of cloud computing in Europe(6),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 September 2013 entitled ‘The Digital Agenda for Growth, Mobility and Employment: time to move up a gear’(7),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 June 2012 entitled ‘Critical information infrastructure protection ‒ achievements and next steps: towards global cyber-security’(8),

–   having regard to its resolution of 13 December 2016 on a coherent EU policy for cultural and creative industries(9),

–  having regard to its resolution of 5 May 2010 entitled ‘A new Digital Agenda for Europe: 2015.eu’(10),

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 June 2010 on the Internet of Things(11),

–   having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 14 July 2016, entitled ‘Industry 4.0 and digital transformation: Where to go’,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the opinions of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, the Committee on Transport and Tourism and the Committee on Culture and Education (A8-0183/2017),

A.  whereas energetic efforts with concrete policies, actions and incentives to reindustrialise the EU and its Member States should be pursued with the aim of combining competitiveness and sustainability, quality job creation and inclusiveness; recalling the EU’s target that 20 % of Union GDP should be based on industry by 2020, which must necessarily take into account the structural transformation of the industrial sector resulting from digital disruption and the emergence of new business models;

B.  whereas European industry represents the basis of Europe’s economy and wealth, and is facing major challenges arising from faster globalisation and innovation trends;

C.  whereas the digitisation of industrial manufacturing helps increase the resilience, energy and resource efficiency, innovation sustainability and competitiveness of our economies, thus transforming business models, manufacturing, products, processes and value creation and having a fundamental impact on the balance of opportunities and challenges for European industries and workers;

D.  whereas Europe, in view of its industrial heritage, its network of industrial sectors and value chains, its innovative strengths, strategic public investment in research and development (R&D), availability of private investment, efficient administration, its skilled labour force and its integration of industrial development with societal challenges, and the fact that it has over 30 national and regional initiatives for digitising industry, has a strong base from which to become a leader in the digital transformation; whereas there is an opportunity for the strengthening of EU industry if we manage to build fully integrated value chains for digitally enhanced industrial products and product-service bundles;

E.  whereas 5G will fundamentally transform our economies, putting digitisation at the centre of industrial development and social services;

F.  whereas it is imperative for a successful European industrial strategy to create a digital single market that boosts economic growth and employment in a socially conscious manner;

G.  whereas a well-designed technology-neutral strategy for digitisation of industrial manufacturing, which increasingly links people and machines as well as services across borders within the whole global value chain, is an important stepping-stone for increasing the resilience, sustainability and competitiveness of our economy and creating new jobs;

H.  whereas digitisation should tap into the potential of increasing efficient use of resources, energy and capital, thus contributing to a more integrated circular economy, lower material intensity and greater industrial symbiosis;

I.  whereas digitisation can boost the tourism industry to the benefit of travellers and their mobility, enabling, inter alia, easy access to real-time information and a wide variety of services;

J.  whereas well-developed language technologies can help industry to overcome language barriers that are obstacles to the development of the digital market;

K.  whereas digitisation creates new opportunities in the transport sector for manufacturers, operators, investors, workers and passengers, and is a precondition for the transport industry to remain both competitive and operational and increase its efficiency, and for transport services to become more sustainable and better-performing;

L.  whereas digitisation can contribute to safer working conditions, to greater product safety, and to the individualisation and decentralisation of production;

M.  whereas a large gender gap exists in employment and training in the ICT sector, with strong negative implications for equality in the labour market;

N.  whereas digitisation and the individualisation and decentralisation of production will lead to changing working conditions and will have a range of social effects; whereas safe and decent working conditions and high standards of product safety must remain a shared concern;

O.  whereas there are many studies highlighting that digitisation in industrial manufacturing will bring changes to labour market demand and employment in Europe; whereas this may have an impact on existing rules governing workers’ rights and participation; whereas it is clear that there is a need to meet these changes by training the workforce in new ICT skills and increasing digital skills in society as a whole;

Developing an integrated Industrial Digitalisation Strategy (IDS) for the EU

1.  Welcomes the Commission’s communication on digitising European industry;

2.  Strongly believes that an IDS is of critical importance in contributing to solving Europe’s most pressing economic and societal challenges, by:

   (a) strengthening economic dynamic, social and territorial cohesion and resilience vis-à-vis technological transformations and disruptions, through the modernisation and interconnection of Europe’s industries and economic value chains and through increasing public and private investments in the real economy, and providing investment opportunities in a context of sustainable modernisation;
   (b) fostering quality job creation and reshoring opportunities, improving working standards and the attractiveness of industrial sector jobs, contributing to providing consumers with more opportunities and information, pursuing a socially conscious transformation and an inclusive labour market with more diverse job models and work time schemes, and better conditions and integration of employment and lifelong learning;
   (c) making more efficient use of resources and reducing the material intensity of manufacturing industry thanks to a strengthened European circular economy, recalling that this is critical for the material conditions of a European high-tech sector, as well as for digitised industrial production and its products;
   (d) strengthening European cohesion through a reliable and ambitious European investment policy (paying particular attention to rolling out state-of-the-art digital infrastructure), utilising diverse European financing instruments including EFSI, regional funds, Horizon 2020 and others, as well as ensuring a coordinated, technology-neutral European industrial policy based on fair competition between a plurality of actors, innovation and sustainable modernisation, and technological, social and business model innovation that boosts the digital single market and the integration and modernisation of all European industry;
   (e) supporting Europe’s goals in climate policy by increasing energy and resource efficiency as well as the circularity of industrial production, reducing emissions, and making the sustainability of industry go hand in hand with competitiveness;
   (f) strengthening economic, policy and social innovation through the principles of openness and accessibility of public and private data and information, while always protecting sensitive data in exchanges between businesses, workers and consumers and allowing for the better integration of economic sectors of all types and any policy fields, including creative and cultural industries;
   (g) improving the livelihoods of citizens in urban and non-urban areas and their awareness of and ability to take advantage of the opportunities offered by digitisation;
   (h) stimulating technological and social innovation in EU research through an industrial digitisation policy with a clear focus and vision;
   (i) improving energy security and reducing energy consumption through a digitised, more flexible and efficient industrial production that will allow better energy demand management;
   (j) partnering with other macro-regions in the world in developing innovative and fair digital open markets;
   (k) being aware of the need for a fairer and more effective European taxation policy, clarifying questions such as tax base in an era of globally connected digital markets and digitised production;
   (l) attracting investment and leading researchers and expertise at world level, thus contributing to economic growth and European competitiveness;
   (m) supporting new business models and innovative start-ups driven by digitisation and technological development;

3.  Stresses the importance of creating a competitive business environment that facilitates private investment, an enabling regulatory framework that avoids bureaucratic road-blocks, a build-up of state-of-the-art European digital infrastructure, and an EU coordination structure for the digitisation of industry that facilitates the coordination of national, regional, and of U-wide initiatives and platforms on industrial digitisation; calls on the Commission to ensure achievement of the 20 % target for industry’s share of GDP by 2020; stresses that in order to allow the EU to exert global industrial leadership, the digitisation of industry needs to be linked to a broader EU industrial strategy; underlines the importance of advancing digitisation particularly in those Member States, regions and sectors that are lagging behind and among those people who are affected by the digital divide; welcomes in this regard the proposed high-level Roundtable and European Stakeholder Forum; underlines the importance of cooperation between relevant actors, and expects that, besides industry leaders and social partners, academia, SMEs, standardisation organisations, policymakers, public administrations at national and local level and civil society will also be invited to play an active role;

4.  Asks the Commission to continue its important work in examining manufacturing and digitisation trends, as well as trends in non-technical disciplines (such as law, policy, administration, communications, etc.), studying pertinent development in other regions, identifying new key technologies and striving to ensure that European leadership in these areas is maintained and new trends are integrated into policies and actions while taking into account the concepts of security by design and privacy by design and by default, and examining whether this work could be done via a specific industrial foresight network including national research and technology organisations (RTOs);

5.  Welcomes the Commission communication on ‘Digitising European Industry - Reaping the full benefits of a Digital Single Market’ (COM(2016)0180), but regrets that, as its focus on the transport sector is limited to connected and automated driving, it does not sufficiently address all existing challenges; recalls that although connected and automated vehicles represent one of the most exciting upcoming digital transformations in the sector, there is potential for digitisation in all modes of transport, in both operational and administrative processes and throughout the value chain from manufacturers to passengers and freight, as well as for coordination with all the new technologies used in the sector, such as the European global satellite-based navigation systems EGNOS and Galileo, from which results can be expected in the near future; asks the Commission to focus on digital transformations in all modes of transport, including transport- and tourism- related services;

6.  Points out that the digitisation process has not been beneficial to the same extent throughout the transport sector, and that this has created a detrimental fragmentation within the internal market, both between different modes of transport and within the same mode; underlines that there are significant and increasing disparities between Member States in transport competitiveness and digitisation, reflected also between regions, companies and SMEs; believes that developing a coordinated IDS for the EU could help overcome such fragmentation and disparities and attract investment in digital projects; stresses that the objective should not be just another policy paper but a real strategy reflecting innovation trends and market potential, the implementation of which would be continuously evaluated;

7.  Considers that an IDS will contribute to solving some of the most pressing challenges in the transport and tourism sectors; calls on the Commission, therefore, to further support digitisation in order to:

   (a) improve the overall safety, quality and environmental performance of the transport sector;
   (b) improve barrier-free accessibility for everyone, including older people and persons with reduced mobility or disabilities, and develop awareness of alternative mobility solutions providing passengers with more choices, more user-friendly and customised products and more information, throughout the EU and in both urban and less developed regions;
   (c) reduce transport costs such as maintenance costs, and improve the efficiency of the use of existing transport infrastructure capacity (e.g. platooning, cooperative intelligent transport systems (C-ITS), the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) and River Information Services (RIS));
   (d) improve competitiveness by fostering the emergence of new players, especially SMEs and start-ups, in order to challenge existing monopolies;
   (e) facilitate the proper and harmonised enforcement of EU legislation, through the development of traffic management systems, intelligent transport systems, digital tachographs, electronic toll systems, etc., and create regulatory frameworks suitable for real new situations that may arise from the application of advanced technologies;
   (f) cut administrative burdens for small and medium-sized transport operators and start-ups, for instance in the freight and logistics sector, by simplifying administrative procedures, providing for cargo tracking and tracing, and optimising schedules and traffic flows;
   (g) continue safeguarding passenger rights, including data protection, also in multimodal journeys;
   (h) diminish the problems related to information asymmetry in the transport market;
   (i) foster the attractiveness and development of the tourism sector, which helps generate around 10 % of European GDP, and of creative industries in urban, rural and outermost areas, for instance through a better integration of mobility and tourism services, including to lesser-known destinations;

8.  Points out that uninterrupted and high-performance connectivity is a precondition for fast, safe and reliable connections for all transport modes and for further digitisation of the transport sector; regrets the great fragmentation of digital coverage within the EU; considers that investments in broadband and the fair allocation of spectrum are crucial for the digitisation of the transport sector; highlights in this respect the need to have a cross-sectorial vision, for instance covering electronics, telecoms, transport and tourism; calls on the Commission and the Member States to meet their commitment to provide such a type of connectivity for main transport paths and hubs no later than 2025 and to initiate full coverage all over the EU;

Creating conditions for successful industrial digitisation: infrastructure, investment, innovation and skills

9.  Underlines that an IDS offers the opportunity to advance innovation, efficiency and sustainable technologies that raise competitiveness and modernise the EU’s industrial base, as well as removing obstacles to the development of the digital market; stresses that an integrated industrial digitisation must be based on strong enabling conditions ranging from a first-rate, future-proof digital infrastructure, R&D and an investment-supportive environment to an appropriate up-to-date innovation-nudging legislative framework, a deepened digital single market, high levels of skills and entrepreneurship, and a strengthened social dialogue;

10.  Highlights the need to advance public and private investment in high-speed connectivity, for example through 5G, fibre optics, navigation and satellite communications infrastructure, in order to ensure a robust digital infrastructural backbone in the urban and industrial areas; highlights the importance of harmonisation in spectrum allocation, aimed at increasing demand for connectivity and enhancing the predictability of the network investment environment; highlights the need to establish leadership in digital industrial value chains and key technologies such as 5G, quantum technologies, high-performance computing, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, big data analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, automation (including Highly-Automated Driving) and Distributed Ledger Technology; in this regard, supports the Commission working documents accompanying its communication;

11.  Recognises the opportunities and challenges related to the digitisation of industry; notes the positive effects that the digitisation of industry has as it increases flexible working arrangements that can create a better work-life balance, diversify choices through mobile telework, and allow people from rural and isolated areas to join the labour market (provided they are equipped with the necessary infrastructure), thereby fostering economic growth; recognises, at the same time, that the digitisation-driven trend towards increased flexibility may increase the danger of unstable and precarious employment; stresses that new forms of work must not be used to circumvent existing labour and social legislation as regards the protection of workers’ and consumer rights; points out that traditional industries and businesses in the platform economy must be on an equal footing;

12.  Notes that the digital transformation in the transport and tourism sectors, in particular the development of the on-demand and collaborative economies, contributes to considerably reshaping passengers’ and consumers’ behaviour as regards mobility and tourism, as well as to the need for infrastructure adaptation; invites the Commission to assess the effects of digitisation in transport, mobility and tourism services, with particular emphasis on the behaviour and choices of the users of those services, and to further unleash the potential of this societal change;

13.  Notes that growing digitisation in the distribution of travel tickets means that more information is readily available to consumers over the internet, but increasingly in a way that makes it difficult to compare offers; considers that it is therefore necessary to reinforce transparency and neutrality safeguards in distribution, and particularly internet distribution, so that consumers can make informed choices based on reliable information, regarding not only price but other parameters as well, including quality of service and ancillary offers; believes that such transparency will both promote competition and support the development of multimodal transport;

14.  Believes that digitisation should provide consumers with more choice, more user-friendly and customised products, and more information, in particular on the quality of products or services;

15.  Points out that the impact of language barriers on industry and its digitisation has not been adequately considered or evaluated in documents on the digital market; urges the Commission and the Member States to promote the development of language technologies that will, alongside the digitisation of industry, reduce the fragmentation of the European market;

16.   Stresses that special support for ‘analogue’ multilingualism in Europe is beneficial both in terms of digitising European industry and teaching comprehensive digital skills; stresses, therefore, that considerably more attention must be paid to basic research on statistical, intelligent and machine-supported translation and learning software;

17.  Underlines that regions need to focus on their productive strengths and foster their development through Smart Specialisation, Smart Chains and clusters; believes that clusters and synergies between SMEs, industrial and social players, the skilled crafts sector, start-ups, academia, research centres, consumer organisations, the creative industry sector, finance and other stakeholders can be successful models in advancing digital manufacturing and innovation; encourages research, innovation and structural cohesion in the EU; stresses the importance of accelerator programmes and venture capital to help the scale-up of start-ups; notes the importance of utilising digitisation for advancing business model innovations such as ‘pay-per-output’ systems and mass customisation;

18.  Believes that particular attention should be paid to the specific problems faced by SMEs in circumstances where the relative gains from digitisation efforts, in terms of energy, resource efficiency and production efficiency, would be the highest; favours the strengthening of SME associations and their outreach via digitisation programmes, the development of centres for applied sciences with a focus on digitisation, and co-funding for SMEs’ in-house R&D; considers that attention should be paid to data ownership and data access, and to developing a European programme for digital apprenticeship;

19.  Welcomes the establishment of the Smart Specialisation Platform for Industrial Modernisation, and, particularly, the Commission’s proposal, included in the Action Plan on digitisation of industry, to create a network of Competence Centres (CCs) and Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) to strengthen industrial digitisation and digital innovation for SMEs in all regions; notes that the skilled crafts sector should not be ignored in this regard; calls on the Commission to particularly drive forward the establishment of DIHs and digital competence centres in less digitised European regions; calls on the Commission to provide more funding for DIHs through different European resources (Horizon 2020, Structural Funds, etc.), to support Member States’ efforts and strategies aimed at developing a national DIH network, and to consider experimenting with a ‘sandbox’ approach in which cross-sectorial experiments in a controlled environment will not be blocked by standing regulation; calls on Member States to increase transnational cooperation among their DIHs; believes that designated DIHs should specialise in industrial digital innovations contributing to tackling Europe’s societal challenges; believes, in this regard, that Horizon 2020 funding for the DIHs could be combined with funding from that programme for societal challenges; notes the option of ICT innovation vouchers for SMEs as regards accessing advice, best-practice sharing and DIH expertise;

20.  Notes the important role of cities and local governments in developing new business models and providing digital infrastructure and support for SMEs, and other industrial actors, as well as the immense opportunities that digital-industrial innovation holds for cities, for example via zero-waste local manufacturing, closer integration of industrial production and local and urban logistics and transport, as well as energy production, consumption, manufacturing and 3D printing; considers that cities should also be able to access the DIHs; asks the Commission to look into local, national and international best practices and to foster their exchange; welcomes the publication of a European Digital City Index and initiatives to promote data and systems interoperability among European cities; notes that the SMART Cities initiative plays a role in this context; highlights the positive experience of regional advisory fora;

21.  Highlights the role that public procurement and legal requirements for registration of business and reporting business activity or disclosure can play in advancing new industrial digital technology; asks the Commission to consider how public procurement could be employed as an innovation-pull mechanism; asks the Commission to include a digital check in its REFIT Programme, so as to ensure that regulations are up to date for the digital context, and to facilitate exchange of best practices between public authorities on the use of the innovation criteria in public tenders; recommends accelerating the adaptation of the legal and technological environment, such as IPv6 transition, to the needs of industry digitisation and Internet of Things take-off;

22.  Stresses the importance of unlocking sufficient public and private finance for the digitisation of Europe’s industry, with a better use of the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI); believes that this must be significantly scaled up and public investments into digital infrastructure must be increased; underlines the centrality of financing from private and collaborative platforms; asks the Commission to establish a Finance Roundtable for Industrial Digitisation which will study the matter and come up with innovative financing proposals; regrets that the resources allocated to digital policies in the EU budget are too scarce to make a real impact; recognises the need to boost the European economy through productive investments: considers that the availability of existing European financial instruments, such as the European Structural and Investment Funds and Horizon 2020, should ensure that this objective is achieved; believes that the combination of these funds should be coherent with national resources and state aid regulations; recognises the role played by public-private partnerships and joint undertakings;

23.  Calls on the Member States, in order to support an efficient industrial digitisation, to provide fiscal incentives for businesses and enterprises realising digital and smart production systems;

Securing European technology leadership and security in industrial digitisation: mergers and acquisitions (M&A), cybersecurity, data flows, standardisation

24.  Recognises the imperative need to strengthen R&D; calls on the Commission to support both in-house and external R&D efforts and to foster innovation networks and cooperation between start-ups, established corporate players, SMEs, universities, etc., in a digital ecosystem; asks the Commission to study how to maximise the transfer to the market of Horizon 2020 research results and their exploitation by European companies; requests the Commission to increase the proportion of Horizon 2020 research projects generating patents and IPRs and to report thereon;

25.  Emphasises the importance of safeguarding sensitive European technologies and know-how which form the basis of future industrial strength and economic resilience; highlights the potential risks in regard to strategic state and industrial policy-driven foreign direct investment (FDI), particularly by state-owned enterprises by means of M&A; highlights the fact, regarding FDI, that some external investors have been increasingly interested in acquiring sensitive European technologies via M&A; welcomes the Commission’s initiative of studying the experience of the CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States); underlines that equal market access for investment should be enforced by establishing global rules;

26.  Stresses that developments in regard to automation, robotics and the application of artificial intelligence in production, as well as the deep integration of technical components of different origin, are raising new questions as regards liability for products and production facilities; calls on the Commission to clarify as soon as possible the safety and liability rules for autonomously acting systems, including the conditions for testing;

27.  Recognises that openness and connectivity also have potential effects on vulnerability as regards cyberattacks, sabotage, manipulation of data or industrial espionage, and underlines in this context the importance of a common European cybersecurity approach; recognises the need to raise awareness on enhancing cybersecurity; considers cyber-resilience as a crucial responsibility for business leaders and national and European industrial and security policymakers; believes that producers are responsible for ensuring safety and cybersecurity standards as core design parameters in all digital innovations according to the available state-of-the-art technology and the principles of ‘secure by design’ and ‘secure by default’, but that under certain conditions and criteria this producer responsibility can be deviated from; notes that cybersecurity requirements for the IoT and IT security standards, for example based on the reference architecture RAMI4.0 and ICS, would strengthen European cyber-resilience; believes that the European standardisation bodies have a special role to play here and should not be sidelined; asks the Commission to study different models for advancing cybersecurity for the IoT; calls on public institutions, however, to make cybersecurity requirements mandatory for public procurement with regard to IT equipment and IoT products; considers that offering cybersecurity checks and advice to SMEs for their digitised industrial products is of great importance; believes that best-practice sharing between EU Member States could facilitate European cyber-resilience in that regard;

28.  Believes that there should be common criteria for critical infrastructure and its digital security, and that the EU directive on security of network and information systems (NIS Directive) marks the first step towards achieving a high common level of security for network and information systems within the Union; calls on the Commission to push for its consistent and timely transposition by the Member States; stresses the need to strengthen the role that the governing bodies referred to in the NIS Directive have in establishing trust in future technologies; notes that cyberthreat monitoring mechanisms and horizon scanning should be recognised as important for the security of the EU’s digital industries, with special emphasis on protecting SMEs and consumers;

29.  Stresses that specific attention has to be paid to questions of collecting and accessing industrial or production-related data and information; underlines that in this regard particular emphasis has to be put on the principles of data sovereignty, open and standardised access and availability of data, on strengthening innovation and productivity, new services and business models, and on security auditability, while allowing for fair competition; stresses that new forms of regulation of data ownership and access to data need to be addressed very carefully and may only be introduced following extensive consultation with all relevant stakeholders; believes that both innovation and the privacy concerns of workers and consumers have to be protected and safeguarded in line with the general data protection regulation; stresses in addition that disclosure of and access to information for public interest and scientific purposes should be promoted; notes the Commission’s proposal for a data economy in this regard in order to promote a common European data market; considers that in the ongoing debate on the data regime two essential aspects must be underlined with a view to fostering the development of technical solutions for reliable identification and exchange of data, i.e., on the one hand, default contract rules, and on the other, introducing an unfairness check in B2B contractual relations;

30.  Stresses that the European Cloud Initiative, together with the legislative proposal for the free flow of data, which aim to remove unjustified data location restrictions, have the potential to further incentivise the process of digitisation of European industry, especially SMEs and start-ups, and to avoid fragmentation in the EU single market; calls on the Commission to monitor the adoption and coherent implementation of the European Cloud Initiative in order to enable the fair, swift, trustworthy and seamless flow and use of data; reminds the Commission of its commitment in its communication to present a legislative proposal on the free flow of data within the EU, in order to remove or prevent unjustified localisation requirements in national legislation or regulation;

31.  Strongly believes that, especially in the transport sector, open data, big data and data analytics remain essential elements for reaping the full benefits of the Digital Single Market and fostering innovation; regrets that initiatives to facilitate the flow of data remain fragmented; stresses that more legal certainty, especially in terms of ownership and responsibility, is needed, on a basis of full respect for privacy and data protection;

32.  Recognises the potential of digitising industry for the purposes of sectoral data retrieval and governance by public and semi-public authorities and market participants;

33.  Underlines the role of integrating openness of architecture as a design principle of digital components;

34.  Recognises the importance of protecting technical know-how as regards the exchange and interlinkage of industrial-digital components while at the same time allowing and furthering interoperability and end-to-end connectivity;

35.  Stresses that European leadership in industrial digitisation requires a strong standardisation strategy, to be coordinated with the Member States and the Commission, including interoperability in the digital domain; emphasises the important and unique make-up of Europe’s standardisation bodies, with their inclusive and consensus-based approach integrating societal stakeholders and, particularly, SMEs; calls on the Commission to promote the development of open standards, and welcomes its intention to guarantee access to and efficient licensing of standard essential patents under FRAND (fair, reasonable, non-discriminatory) ,conditions and recognises that this is essential for promoting innovation and R&D in the EU; believes that the circular economy could be a major driver for a coherent standardisation of communication flows along industrial value chains; calls for an EU-wide coordinated approach through the European standards organisations (CEN, CENELEC and ETSI) in relation to international fora and consortia; believes that it is desirable to aim for global and universal standards, but also underlines that there is willingness to proceed with European standards should international cooperation in standardisation fora be proceeding unconstructively; considers interoperability necessary in particular in the domain of the IoT so as to ensure that the development of new technologies improves opportunities for consumers, who should not be locked in with only a few specific suppliers;

36.  Stresses that trade barriers in the field of digitisation hinder the international activity of European industry and harm European competitiveness; believes that fair trade agreements between the EU and third countries can strongly contribute to common international rules in the field of data protection, data flows and data use and standardisation;

The social dimension: skills, education and social innovation

37.  Believes that great efforts with regard to education, taxation and social security systems have to be undertaken in order to integrate the transformative effects into our European social and economic models; highlights that the digital transformation of industry is having a big societal impact, ranging from employment, working conditions and workers’ rights to education and skills, eHealth, the environment and sustainable development; stresses the need to pursue security within this change; calls on the Commission to adequately assess and address the social effects of industrial digitisation and, as appropriate, to propose further measures to close the digital divide and promote an inclusive digital society while boosting European competitiveness;

38.  Recalls that the Court of Justice of the European Union has defined the concept of ‘worker’ on the basis of an employment relationship characterised by certain criteria such as subordination, remuneration and the nature of work(12); calls for legal certainty on what constitutes ‘employment’ in the digital labour market in order to ensure compliance with labour and social legislation; states that all workers in the platform economy are either employed or self-employed, on the basis of the primacy of facts, and should be classified accordingly, regardless of the contractual situation;

39.  Stresses that education, training and lifelong learning are the cornerstone of social cohesion in a digital society; stresses that Europe faces a digital gap in this regard; calls for the implementation of a skills guarantee, after consultation and with participation of the social partners, and calls on the Member States to find ways to satisfy citizens’ needs for continuous (re-)training, uptraining and lifelong learning in order to ensure a smooth transition to a smart economy; emphasises the importance of ensuring the promotion and recognition of digital skills, and of the new trend towards ‘multi-skilling’; believes that employers should make use of the European Social Fund for such training and in order to promote a digital toolbox for upskilling in collaboration with industry and the social partners; welcomes the development of teaching material and sector-specific curricula; asks the EC to study options for establishing a certification system for continued education programmes for digital skills;

40.  Underlines that digital skills must be integrated into national education curricula; notes that examples of initiatives supported by the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA), such as the European Cyber Security Month and the European Cyber Security Challenge, should be further developed in pursuit of this goal; emphasises the importance of specialised teacher training for digital skills and that digital skills should be taught to all children; calls on the Member States to ensure that all schools are equipped with Wi-fi and up-to-date IT material; notes that coding also plays an important role; calls for the exchange of best practices between Member States with a view to learning from established practices such as the Fit4Coding programme, digital academy initiatives, e-learning programmes, or coding schools such as Webforce3; asks the Commission to promote the integration of digital skills testing in the IGCU/Pisa studies so as to allow competition and comparison between EU Member States; calls on the Member States, in cooperation with the Commission, to devise interdisciplinary study programmes aimed at integrating several competences, such as IT together with business management or engineering and data sciences; stresses that all Member States should develop comprehensive national digital skills strategies with targets, as they have been invited to do by the Commission; stresses the key role that the social partners and other stakeholders can play in the development and implementation of such strategies; notes that so far only half of EU Member States have created national coalitions for digital jobs; stresses that a specific budget line supporting the activities of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition would strengthen the dissemination of information and further activities;

41.  Emphasises the importance of investing in the digitisation of vocational training and the skilled crafts sector; highlights that digital skills also need to be combined with engineering skills and the promotion of education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM subjects), as well as the promotion of soft skills such as communications, team coordination and cross-sectoral thinking;

42.  Demands that the gender perspective be incorporated in all digital initiatives, ensuring that the ongoing digital transformation also becomes a driving force for gender equality; emphasises the need to address the severe gender gap within the ICT sector, since this is essential for Europe’s long-term growth and prosperity;

43.  Notes the potential of digitisation with regard to the accessibility of social services and other public services, as well as the inclusion of persons with disabilities and persons with limited mobility in the labour market; stresses, in particular, the importance of teleworking in this context;

44.  Points out that, as evidenced by the Europeana initiative, the digitisation of European works represents a significant opportunity to improve their accessibility, distribution and promotion, and that digital innovation can provide the impetus for a revolution in how cultural goods are exhibited and accessed; stresses the importance of promoting in particular the use of 3D technologies for data collection and the reconstruction of destroyed cultural goods and heritage; emphasises the need to guarantee funding for the digitisation, preservation and online availability of the European cultural heritage;

45.  Regrets the fact that historical and cultural sites are often not easily accessible for those with a disability, and highlights the opportunities that a stronger digital cultural platform presents in improving engagement and making cultural experiences, sites and artefacts throughout Europe more accessible regardless of geographical location;

46.  Encourages research on, and the development of, assistive technologies which could be used and become new industrial products for the inclusion of disabled people;

47.  Favours the establishment of a regular exchange of best practices, a biannual progress review, and recommendations on the digitisation of industry;

o
o   o

48.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Member States.

(1) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0009.
(2) OJ C 199 E, 7.7.2012, p. 131.
(3) OJ C 236 E, 12.8.2011, p. 57.
(4) OJ C 236 E, 12.8.2011, p. 41.
(5) OJ C 482, 23.12.2016, p. 89.
(6) OJ C 468, 15.12.2016, p. 19.
(7) OJ C 93, 9.3.2016, p. 120.
(8) OJ C 332 E, 15.11.2013, p. 22.
(9) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0486.
(10) OJ C 81 E, 15.3.2011, p. 45.
(11) OJ C 236 E, 12.8.2011, p. 24.
(12) See CJEU C-596/12, paragraph 17, and CJEU C-232/09, paragraph 39.


The new European Consensus on Development - our world, our dignity, our future
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European Parliament resolution of 1 June 2017 on a joint statement by the Parliament, the Council and the representatives of the governments of the Member States meeting within the Council, and the Commission on the new European Consensus on Development – Our World, Our Dignity, Our Future (2017/2586(RSP))
P8_TA(2017)0241B8-0390/2017

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the agreement reached by the Foreign Affairs Council (Development), the Commission and Parliament on a new European Consensus on Development – Our World, Our Dignity, Our Future(1),

–  having regard to the European Consensus on Development of December 2005(2),

–  having regard to Article 21 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and to Article 208 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, entitled ‘Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, adopted at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit of 25 September 2015 in New York,

–  having regard to the Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy, published in June 2016,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 22 November 2016 entitled ‘Proposal for a new European Consensus on Development – Our World, Our Dignity, Our Future’ (COM(2016)0740),

–  having regard to its previous resolutions, including that of 22 November 2016 on increasing the effectiveness of development cooperation(3) and that of 14 February 2017 on the revision of the European Consensus on Development(4),

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

1.  Welcomes the Commission’s proposal to revise the 2005 European Consensus on Development in order to reflect the new global development context following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as changes in the EU’s legal and institutional structure since the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty;

2.  Stresses the importance of the new European Consensus on Development as a key strategic document setting out a common vision, values and principles for the EU and its Member States regarding the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in their development cooperation policies;

3.  Welcomes the clear recognition by the new Consensus that the primary objective of EU development policy is the reduction and, in the long term, the eradication of poverty in line with Article 208 TFEU; reiterates that this should be done fully in line with the principles of effective development cooperation: ownership of development priorities by developing countries, focus on results, inclusive partnerships, and transparency and accountability;

4.  Insists on the need for accountability mechanisms for the monitoring and implementation of the SDGs and the 0,7 % ODA/GNI (Official Development Assistance/Gross National Income) objectives; calls for the EU and its Member States to submit a timeline on how to gradually achieve these goals and objectives, and for progress to be reported annually to Parliament;

5.  Endorses the joint statement by the Parliament, the Council and the representatives of the governments of the Member States meeting within the Council, and the Commission on the new European Consensus on Development – Our World, Our Dignity, Our Future;

6.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the European External Action Service.

(1) See Council document 9459/2017.
(2) OJ C 46, 24.2.2006, p. 1.
(3) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0437.
(4) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0026.


Resilience as a strategic priority of the EU external action
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European Parliament resolution of 1 June 2017 on resilience as a strategic priority of the external action of the EU (2017/2594(RSP))
P8_TA(2017)0242B8-0381/2017

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 21 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), and Articles 208, 210 and 214 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to the EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy (EUGS) published in June 2016,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 3 October 2012 entitled ‘The EU approach to resilience: learning from food security crises’ (COM(2012)0586) and the staff working document of 19 June 2013 entitled ‘Action plan for resilience in crisis-prone countries 2013-2020’ (SWD(2013)0227),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 28 May 2013 on the EU approach to resilience,

–  having regard to UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/70/1 of 25 September 2015 on ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’,

–  having regard to the Conference of the Parties decision 1/CP.21 related to entry into force of the Paris Agreement on climate change,

–  having regard to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 adopted at the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held from 14 to 18 March 2015 in Sendai, Japan,

–  having regard to the Commission staff working document of 16 June 2016 entitled ‘Action Plan on the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030: A disaster risk-informed approach for all EU policies’ (SWD(2016)0205),

–  having regard to the Report of the United Nations Secretary-General of 23 August 2016 on the Outcome of the World Humanitarian Summit (A/71/353),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 26 April 2016 entitled ‘Lives in Dignity: from Aid-dependence to Self-reliance Forced Displacement and Development’ COM(2016)0234),

–  having regard to its previous resolutions, in particular those of 11 December 2013 on the EU approach to resilience and disaster risk reduction in developing countries: learning from food security crises(1), of 16 December 2015 on preparing for the World Humanitarian Summit: Challenges and opportunities for humanitarian assistance(2), and of 14 February 2017 on the revision of the European Consensus on Development(3),

–  having regard to the question to the Commission on resilience as a strategic priority of the external action of the EU (O-000033/2017 – B8-0313/2017),

–  having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on Development,

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

A.  whereas, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 1.6 billion people live in 56 countries identified as fragile(4); whereas situations of fragility have largely man-made causes; whereas situations of fragility increase the vulnerability of populations due to various factors, including conflict and insecurity, lack of access to healthcare, forced displacement, extreme poverty, inequality, food insecurity, economic shocks, poor governance and weak institutions, corruption and impunity, and natural disasters exacerbated by the impact of climate change; whereas fostering resilience is particularly important in situations of fragility, which the OECD defines along five different but interlinked dimensions; economic, environmental, political, security and societal;

B.  whereas the concept of resilience has been used in the policies of the EU and other international organisations for a number of years and appears to be broadening; whereas the 2013 Council conclusions on resilience define this as ‘the ability of an individual, a household, a community, a country or a region to prepare for, to withstand, to adapt, and to quickly recover from stresses and shocks without compromising long-term development prospects’;

C.  whereas the EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy (EUGS) identifies ‘State and Societal Resilience to our East and South’ as one of the five priorities for the EU’s external action and defines resilience as ‘the ability of states and societies to reform, thus withstanding and recovering from internal and external crises’; whereas the EUGS affirms that ‘a resilient society featuring democracy, trust in institutions and sustainable development lies at the heart of a resilient state’;

D.  whereas the EUGS further states that the EU will ‘adopt a joined-up approach to its humanitarian, development, migration, trade, investment, infrastructure, education, health and research policies’ and will, inter alia, pursue tailor-made policies to support inclusive and accountable governance, promote human rights, pursue locally owned rights-based approaches to the reform of the justice, security and defence sectors, support fragile states, fight poverty and inequality and promote sustainable development, deepen relations with civil society, promote energy and environmental sector reform policies and support sustainable responses to food production and the use of water;

E.  whereas a multifaceted approach to resilience is needed in the EU’s external action, and whereas this can be fostered by increasing, in line with the principle of policy coherence for development, in particular development aid and, where appropriate, humanitarian assistance, together with environmental-related policies, with a clear focus on reducing vulnerability and disaster risks, as a crucial means of reducing humanitarian needs; whereas the EU’s foreign policy also has a central role to place in promoting resilience, notably by promoting sustainable development, human rights and political dialogue while fostering early-warning systems and working for the prevention of social and economic shocks such as starvation, a rise in inequalities, human rights violations and violent conflict, and for conflict resolution when this occurs;

F.  whereas the EU should promote an integrated approach to its external action while at the same time enhancing its contribution to sustainable development and recognising each policy’s mandate and objectives, as recognised in the Treaties; whereas this is particularly important in crisis situations and with regard to the EU’s humanitarian action, which cannot be considered a crisis management tool and needs to be fully guided by humanitarian aid principles, as reflected in the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid, and aim at a coherent, effective and quality humanitarian response; whereas the EU should continue to promote respect for human rights and international humanitarian law by all parties to a conflict;

G.  whereas humanitarian action should follow a set of internationally recognised standards and principles as they are encapsulated in the ‘Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organisations in Disaster Relief’ and broadly incorporated in the ‘Humanitarian Charter’;

H.  whereas fostering resilience needs to be understood as a long-term effort embedded in the promotion of sustainable development, which will only be sustainable if it is resilient to shocks, stresses and change; whereas, as part of the EU’s foreign policy and development cooperation programmes, promoting resilience needs to be context-specific and seek to contribute to strengthening national resilience strategies owned by partner countries’ governments, which are also accountable to their populations;

I.  whereas understanding risk, strengthening risk governance and investing in early-warning and early-response systems, prevention and disaster risk reduction, in line with the priorities of the Sendai Framework, are essential in achieving resilience and therefore essential for the fulfilment of the SDGs;

J.  whereas a focus on people should remain central to the EU’s approach to resilience, including by, wherever possible, working with bodies and building capacities to support this focus at national, regional and local levels and by recognising and supporting the central role of civil society organisations and local communities;

K.  whereas natural or man-made disasters affect women, girls, boys and men differently, with gender-based inequalities exacerbating the impact of stresses and shocks and impeding sustainable development;

L.  whereas women and girls suffer the most in crises and conflicts; whereas women and girls are disproportionately exposed to risk, with an increased loss of livelihoods, security, and even lives, during and in the aftermath of disasters; whereas women and girls face heightened risks due to displacement and the breakdown of normal protection structures and support; whereas in crisis-related contexts the likelihood of rape, sexual exploitation and risky behaviour greatly increases the likelihood of unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections and reproductive health complications;

M.  whereas empowering women is key in order to foster resilience; whereas in order for programmes to be effective, comprehensive and sustainable, they need to build and enhance resilience and must involve women, while addressing specific abilities and coping mechanisms;

N.  whereas the family represents a major institution for carrying out essential production, consumption, reproduction and accumulation functions associated with the social and economic empowerment of individuals and societies; whereas families and their members build caring support systems and their resilient behaviour can be reflected in the maintenance of normal development of optimism, resourcefulness and determination despite adversity; whereas these strengths and resources enable individuals to respond successfully to crises and challenges;

O.  whereas the EU’s approach to resilience in its external action should pay special attention to the needs of the most vulnerable parts of the population, including the poorest, minorities, forcibly displaced populations, women, children, migrants, people living with HIV, LGBTI persons, people with disabilities and the elderly;

1.  Welcomes the recognition of the importance of promoting resilience in the EUGS by making it a strategic priority of the external action of the EU; welcomes the positive contribution that increased political, diplomatic and security attention to promoting resilience can have in partner countries, but underlines that resilience cannot be reduced to these dimensions;

2.  Reaffirms the need for EU Member States to respect their Official Development Assistance commitments and strengthen resilience through their strategy and planning processes as regards development and humanitarian aid; underlines in that matter the importance of the OECD’s resilience systems analysis framework, which helps to translate strategies into more effective cross-sectoral and multidimensional programme plans;

3.  Considers that the current EU approach to resilience, including commitments to address the underlying causes of crises and vulnerability, as set out in the 2012 Commission communication and the 2013 Council conclusions, remains fundamentally valid and should be continued, while recognising the need to incorporate lessons learnt from the implementation of this policy into the new joint communication; wonders how the communication will take into account elements from evaluations, as a major evaluation is only planned to take place in 2018; believes that the 2013-2020 Action Plan for Resilience should be fully implemented;

4.  Stresses the multidimensional – human, economic, environmental, political, security and societal – nature of resilience, and welcomes the fact that this concept is becoming an important one in the EU’s foreign and security policy, development cooperation and humanitarian assistance; highlights that the distinct mandate and objectives of each policy need to be respected, while also promoting greater coherence between policies towards sustainable development; recalls the importance of ensuring the principle of Policy Coherence for Development in all EU external action by ensuring that EU policies do not undermine developing countries’ efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals;

5.  Underlines in particular the special position of humanitarian assistance, as this must be guided solely by needs and implemented with utmost respect for the fundamental humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence and the respect for human rights enshrined in the Geneva Conventions and the additional protocols thereto; stresses that respect for humanitarian principles is essential to obtain access to populations in need and for the protection of humanitarian actors;

6.  Welcomes the fact that the provision of humanitarian aid by the EU and the Member States should not be subject to restrictions imposed by other partner donors regarding necessary medical treatment, including access to safe abortion for women and girls who are victims of rape in armed conflicts, but should instead comply with international humanitarian law;

7.  Highlights the fact that building resilience in partner countries is a long-term process and that it therefore needs to be integrated into development programmes that are inclusive of the most vulnerable segments of the population and into financial commitments; stresses that the new joint communication should recognise this and support the promotion of resilience as an essential element of the sustainable development strategies of partner countries, particularly in fragile states; notes that these strategies need to be context specific and in line with the internationally agreed principles of development effectiveness: ownership of development priorities by partner countries receiving support (including alignment with national development strategies), focus on results, inclusive partnerships, and transparency and accountability; underlines in this regard the important monitoring and scrutiny role of the European Parliament, of national parliaments and of civil society;

8.  Urges the Commission to integrate resilience and its multidimensional nature as a core element into its policy dialogue with developing countries;

9.  Highlights the overall importance of joint programming of the EU’s resilience-related actions in its humanitarian and development assistance to ensure maximum complementarity and less aid fragmentation, and to ensure that short-term actions lay the groundwork for medium- and long-term interventions;

10.  Stresses the importance of providing technical assistance to least developed countries (LDCs) and fragile states, in particular in the areas of sustainable land management, ecosystem conservation and water supply, these being fundamental to achieving benefits for both the environment and the people who depend on it;

11.  Recalls that poor people are the ones who are most likely to continue to feel the significant consequences of disasters in terms of income and welfare; insists that the primary and overarching objective of EU development cooperation therefore be the eradication of poverty in the context of sustainable development, in order to ensure dignity and a decent life for all;

12.  Stresses the importance of disaster risk reduction in building resilience; calls for the EU to ensure that its promotion of resilience in the new joint communication is aligned with the commitments and targets made in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and that are being implemented through the European Commission Sendai Action Plan promoting a disaster-risk-informed approach for all EU policies, and to ensure that sufficient resources are devoted to this priority; stresses that risk management is essential to achieve sustainable development and calls for the development of inclusive local and national disaster risk reduction strategies and the development of an all-of-society and all-hazards approach in disaster risk management, with a view to reducing vulnerability and increasing resilience; calls for the links between disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and urban policies and initiatives to be reinforced;

13.  Calls for personal and community resilience and a focus on vulnerable groups – including the poorest in society, minorities, families, women, children, migrants, people living with HIV, LGBTI persons, people with disabilities and the elderly – to remain central to the promotion of resilience in the external action of the EU; highlights the central role played by civil society and local communities in building resilience; underlines also the importance of collecting and disseminating disaggregated data to understand and address the situation of vulnerable groups;

14.  Points out that efficient resilience building must recognise the importance of families and support their capacity to absorb shocks;

15.  Calls for gender-responsive programming that strengthens the participation of women and addresses women’s concerns in developing their resilience to disasters and climate change, and that ensures women’s rights, including property rights and land tenure security, including as regards water, forests, housing and other assets;

16.  Calls for further efforts to increase women and girl´s access to health and sexual health education, family planning, prenatal care and sexual and reproductive health and rights, notably to address the largely unachieved Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5 on maternal health, including reducing infant and child mortality and avoidance of high-risk births;

17.  Underlines the importance of access to healthcare and services, as well as water, sanitation and hygiene, in emergency situations, as well as long-term community health planning;

18.  Notes the particular challenge which forced and protracted displacement represents for many fragile and conflict-affected countries and their neighbours; underlines that the protection of displaced persons must be guaranteed unconditionally and that building the resilience and self-reliance of affected populations and their host communities is of the utmost importance, as outlined in the Commission communication ‘Lives in Dignity’; recalls the importance of self-reliance in fostering dignity and resilience;

19.  Stresses the need to expand the Refugee Convention and the Kampala Convention to protect and assist displaced people around the world, as well as people affected by other forms of violence, such as human trafficking and gender violence, since they may have a well-founded fear of persecution or be at risk of serious harm;

20.  Recognises state resilience as an important dimension of resilience and underlines that the resilience and stability of countries is directly derived from respect for human rights, the strength of democracy, the rule of law and good governance, trust in institutions, and accountability to the country’s citizens, but, above all, from involving citizens, individually and in associations, in identifying possible solutions – objectives which, each and every one, must be promoted and defended in the implementation of the EUGS; stresses the importance of boosting essential public services, such as education, health, water and sanitation, in order to enhance resilience;

21.  Underlines that the concept of resilience in the external action of the EU should maintain a global geographic scope; notes that fostering resilience should be an objective of the promotion of human rights and sustainable development in partner countries and not be limited to geographic areas facing security crises with an immediate impact on the EU; stresses that promoting resilience should in any case prioritise and pay particular attention to LDCs, fragile states and countries subject to recurring and seasonal crises, while addressing the underlying causes of crises, notably through support for prevention and preparedness activities;

22.  Emphasises the importance of early-warning systems and early-response capabilities as a mechanism to promote resilience, and calls for the EU to increase its efforts in this area, notably by promoting closer cooperation between different actors on the ground, particularly in EU delegations, and developing joint analyses in fragile contexts and exchanges within natural-disaster-prone regions facing similar hazards, which would allow a better understanding and a more coordinated response across EU policies and between EU institutions and Member States;

23.  Calls for sufficient resources to be devoted to the promotion of resilience, in line with its place as one of the strategic priorities of the EU; would welcome a strategic reflection ahead of the next multi-annual financial framework of how the EU can use existing external financing instruments and innovative mechanisms more effectively, while continuing to align them with internationally agreed development effectiveness principles, in order to systematically embed resilience within development and assistance strategies and programmes; stresses that actions can be financed from different instruments working in a complementary manner and underlines that resources drawn from development cooperation instruments need to maintain poverty reduction as their central objective;

24.  Underlines the need to strengthen and develop education in the context of disasters and crises and to improve the dissemination, compilation and communication of information and knowledge that will help build community resilience and promote behavioural changes and a culture of disaster preparedness;

25.  Encourages increased collaboration between the public and private sectors on resilience; recalls, in this context, the importance of the Commission communication on ‘A Stronger Role of the Private Sector in Achieving Inclusive and Sustainable Growth in Developing Countries’; calls on the Commission to further facilitate the involvement of the private sector by creating incentives and the right environment for private entities to get involved in building resilience and reducing risks in partner countries;

26.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

(1) OJ C 468, 15.12.2016, p. 120.
(2) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0459.
(3) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0026.
(4) OECD (2016), States of Fragility 2016: Understanding violence, OECD publishing, Paris.


Combating anti-semitism
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European Parliament resolution of 1 June 2017 on combating anti-Semitism (2017/2692(RSP))
P8_TA(2017)0243B8-0383/2017

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Treaty on European Union (TEU), and in particular the preamble, second indent, fourth to seventh indents, and Article 2, the second subparagraph of Article 3(3) and Article 6 thereof,

–  having regard to Article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union of 7 December 2000,

–  having regard to Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA of 28 November 2008 on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law(1),

–  having regard to Directive 2012/29/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2001/220/JHA(2),

–  having regard to the adoption in 2015 of the European Agenda on Security,

–  having regard to Council of Europe Resolution 2106 (2016) of 20 April 2016 on ‘Renewed commitment in the fight against antisemitism in Europe’,

–  having regard to the conclusions of the Commission’s First Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights, held in Brussels on 1 and 2 October 2015 under the title ‘Tolerance and respect: preventing and combating anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim hatred in Europe’,

–  having regard to the appointment in December 2015 of a Commission Coordinator on Combating Anti-Semitism,

–  having regard to the establishment in June 2016 of the EU High Level Group on combating racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance,

–  having regard to the Code of Conduct on countering illegal hate speech online agreed on 31 May 2016 between the Commission and leading IT companies as well as with other platforms and social media companies,

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 December 2016 on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union in 2015(3),

–  having regard to the targeted violent and terrorist attacks against members of the Jewish community which have occurred in recent years in several Member States,

–  having regard to the prime responsibility of governments for the security and safety of all their citizens, and therefore their primary responsibility for monitoring and preventing violence, including anti-Semitic violence, and prosecuting the perpetrators,

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

A.  whereas the number of anti-Semitic incidents in EU Member States has risen significantly in recent years, as reported by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), among other bodies;

B.  whereas it has been reported that targeted security measures, once put in place, have helped to prevent and decrease the number of violent anti-Semitic attacks;

C.  whereas combating anti-Semitism is a responsibility for society as a whole;

1.  Stresses that hate speech and all kinds of violence against European Jewish citizens are incompatible with the values of the European Union;

2.  Calls on the Member States and the Union institutions and agencies to adopt and apply the working definition of anti-Semitism employed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)(4) in order to support the judicial and law enforcement authorities in their efforts to identify and prosecute anti-Semitic attacks more efficiently and effectively, and encourages Member States to follow the example of the UK and Austria in this regard;

3.  Calls on the Member States to take all necessary steps to actively contribute to ensuring the security of their Jewish citizens and Jewish religious, educational and cultural premises, in close consultation and dialogue with Jewish communities, civil society organisations, and anti-discrimination NGOs;

4.  Welcomes the appointment of the Commission Coordinator on Combating Anti-Semitism, and urges the Commission to provide all the necessary tools and support to make this function as effective as possible;

5.  Calls on the Member States to appoint national coordinators on combating anti-Semitism;

6.  Encourages members of national and regional parliaments and political leaders to systematically and publicly condemn anti-Semitic statements and to engage in counter- speech and alternative narratives, and to set up cross-party parliamentary groups against anti-Semitism so as to strengthen the fight across the political spectrum;

7.  Stresses the important role of civil society organisations and education in preventing and combating all forms of hatred and intolerance, and calls for increasing financial support;

8.  Calls on the Member States to encourage the media to promote respect for all faiths and appreciation of diversity, as well as training for journalists concerning all forms of anti-Semitism, in order to address possible bias;

9.  Calls on those Member States where there has as yet been no invocation of motives based on race, national or ethnic origin or religion or belief as constituting an aggravating factor in a criminal offence to remedy this as quickly as possible, and to act to have the Council Framework Decision on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law fully and properly implemented and enforced, so as to ensure that anti-Semitic acts are prosecuted by the Member States’ authorities in the online as well as in the offline environment;

10.  Insists on the need to provide enforcement authorities with targeted training on combating hate crime and discrimination, and on the need to set up dedicated anti-hate crime units in police forces where such units do not yet already exist, and calls on EU agencies and international organisations to assist Member States in providing such training;

11.  Encourages cross-border cooperation at all levels in the prosecution of hate crimes, and above all in the prosecution of serious criminal acts such as terrorist activities;

12.  Calls for the EU and its Member States to step up efforts to ensure that a comprehensive and efficient system is put in place for the systematic collection of reliable, relevant and comparable data on hate crimes, disaggregated by motivation and including acts of terrorism;

13.  Calls on the Member States, regarding the Code of Conduct agreed between the Commission and leading IT companies, to urge online intermediaries and social media platforms to take expeditious action to prevent and combat anti-Semitic hate speech online;

14.  Highlights that schools offer a unique opportunity to transmit the values of tolerance and respect, since they reach out to all children from an early age;

15.  Encourages the Member States to promote the teaching about the Holocaust (the Shoah) in schools and to ensure that teachers are adequately trained for this task and equipped to address diversity in the classroom; also encourages the Member States to consider reviewing school textbooks to ensure that Jewish history and contemporary Jewish life are presented in a comprehensive and balanced way and that all forms of anti-Semitism are avoided;

16.  Asks the Commission and the Member States to increase financial support for targeted activities and educational projects, to build up and strengthen partnerships with Jewish communities and institutions, and to encourage exchanges between children and young people of different faiths via joint activities, launching and supporting awareness-raising campaigns in that regard;

17.  Calls on the Commission to closely liaise with international actors such as UNESCO, the OSCE and the Council of Europe, as well as other international partners, in order to combat anti-Semitism at international level;

18.  Calls on the Commission to request advisory status within the IHRA;

19.  Encourages each Member State to officially commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January;

20.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the EU Member States and candidate countries, the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the United Nations.

(1) OJ L 328, 6.12.2008, p. 55.
(2) OJ L 315, 14.11.2012, p. 57.
(3) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0485.
(4) http://ec.europa.eu/newsroom/just/item-detail.cfm?item_id=50144


High-level UN Conference to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (UN Ocean Conference)
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European Parliament resolution of 1 June 2017 on the High-Level UN Conference to Support the Implementation of SDG 14 (UN Ocean Conference) (2017/2653(RSP))
P8_TA(2017)0244B8-0382/2017

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on the Common Fisheries Policy(1) and to its objectives,

–  having regard to the upcoming High-Level UN Conference to Support the Implementation of SDG 14 (UN Ocean Conference), to be convened at UN headquarters from 5 to 9 June 2017,

–  having regard to the fourth high-level ‘Our Ocean’ conference, to be held by the European Union in Malta on 5 and 6 October 2017,

–  having regard to the Ministerial Conference on Mediterranean Fisheries held in Malta on 30 March 2017,

–  having regard to the joint communication of the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 10 November 2016 entitled ‘International Ocean Governance: an agenda for the future of our Oceans’ (JOIN(2016)0049),

–  having regard to the oral question to the Commission on the High-Level UN Conference to Support the Implementation of SDG 14 (UN Ocean Conference) (O-000031/2017 – B8‑0311/2017),

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

A.  whereas the oceans and seas are central to our lives, welfare and future; whereas the current rapid decline in ocean health - with the warming and acidification of oceans, the bleaching of corals, increasing pressure on fish stocks, and increasing amounts of marine litter - is alerting us that the time has come for action to mobilise the necessary leadership to protect our oceans;

B.  whereas Commissioner Vella has called for more EU action and engagement to protect our seas and oceans;

C.  whereas the threats to ecosystems and fishing grounds posed by activities linked to Blue Growth, such as seabed mining, oil prospecting and tidal and wave power, together with the risks that these activities entail, are uncertain, transcend borders and affect traditional fishing areas;

D.  whereas small-scale and artisanal fishers’ access to markets and resources is a priority of the UN Agenda 2030; whereas fishers should have a voice in all decision-making phases of fisheries policies;

E.  whereas artisanal fisheries account for more than 90 % of fishing workers, around half of whom are women, and approximately 50 % of global fish catches; whereas as stated in the FAO Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication, artisanal fisheries are a valuable source of animal protein for billions of people worldwide and often support local economies in coastal communities;

1.  Welcomes the initiative taken in convening the High-Level UN Conference to focus attention on the need to act globally to reduce the adverse impact of human activities on the oceans;

2.  Notes that despite the world’s commitment to curb overfishing by 2015, made in 2002 at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, 31,4 % of the world’s fish stocks are still overfished; recalls that overfishing is a serious threat not only to entire marine ecosystems but also to food security and to the economic and social sustainability of coastal communities worldwide;

3.  Is concerned that ocean acidification caused by increasing levels of carbon dioxide has serious negative impacts on many marine organisms; stresses the need to develop effective adaptation and cross-sectorial mitigation measures in order to build resilience to ocean acidification and harmful impacts of climate change, on the oceans as well as on coastal ecosystems;

4.  Stresses the need for an ecosystem-based and precautionary approach as enshrined in the Treaties and the Common Fisheries Policy to be implemented in global fisheries management, so as to rebuild and maintain exploited fish stocks above levels that can produce the maximum sustainable yield;

5.  Calls for any decision on fisheries subsidies to take into account the specificities of artisanal and small-scale fisheries, their local character and their fundamental role in ensuring food sovereignty and the economic and social survival of coastal communities;

6.  Encourages states to assume their respective responsibilities as flag, coastal, port and market states, in particular by:

   flag state - full implementation of the international and national management measures to ensure that vessels flying their flag respect the rules;
   coastal state - ensuring sustainable fishing in waters under their jurisdiction and controlling access to those waters in order to prevent illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing;
   port state - ratification and full implementation of the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) Port State Measures Agreement;
   market state – taking measures to ensure better coordination between the fight against IUU fishing and trade and market policy;

7.  Stresses the importance of conserving at least 10 % of coastal and marine areas, in line with UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14.5;

8.  Stresses the importance of UN SDG 14.7 in terms of increasing the economic benefits for small island developing states and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through the sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism;

9.  Calls for enhanced sustainable fisheries management, including through the implementation of science-based management measures;

10.  Calls for reinforced regional cooperation among all states in fisheries management for a sustainable and equitable exploitation of migratory species, especially regarding scientific stock assessments, monitoring, surveillance and control of fishing activities as called for by the UN Fish Stocks Agreement of 1995 and the three Review Conferences of 2006, 2010 and 2016; believes that all commercially exploited species should be covered by Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) with increased powers to efficiently enforce management decisions and sanctions;

11.  Calls on the Commission and the Council to promote further the principles and objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy;

12.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, to the governments and parliaments of the Member States, and to the Secretariat of the UNFCCC with the request that it be circulated to all non-EU Parties.

(1) OJ L 354, 28.12.2013, p. 22.

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