Index 
Texts adopted
Thursday, 14 September 2017 - StrasbourgFinal edition
Accessibility requirements for products and services ***I
 Cambodia, notably the case of Kem Sokha
 Gabon, repression of the opposition
 Laos, notably the cases of Somphone Phimmasone, Lod Thammavong and Soukane Chaithad
 Myanmar, in particular the situation of Rohingyas
 EU-Chile Agreement on trade in organic products ***
 Protocol to the EU-Chile Association Agreement (accession of Croatia) ***
 Modernisation of the trade pillar of the EU-Chile Association Agreement
 Extension of the European statistical programme to 2020 ***I
 European venture capital funds and European social entrepreneurship funds ***I
 Multi-annual plan for demersal stocks in the North Sea and the fisheries exploiting those stocks ***I
 Transparency, accountability and integrity in the EU institutions
 The future of the Erasmus+ programme
 A new skills agenda for Europe

Accessibility requirements for products and services ***I
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Amendments adopted by the European Parliament on 14 September 2017 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States as regards the accessibility requirements for products and services (COM(2015)0615 – C8-0387/2015 – 2015/0278(COD))(1)
P8_TA(2017)0347A8-0188/2017

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendment
Amendment 1
Proposal for a directive
Citation 1 a (new)
Having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and in particular to Article 26 thereof,
Amendment 2
Proposal for a directive
Recital 1
(1)  The purpose of this Directive is to contribute to the proper functioning of the internal market by approximating laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States, by eliminating barriers to the free movement of certain accessible products and services This will increase the availibility of accessible products and services on the internal market.
(1)  The purpose of this Directive is to contribute to the proper functioning of the internal market by approximating laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States and by eliminating barriers to the free movement of certain accessible products and services. This will increase the availability, and improve the accessibility and practicality, of information on accessible products and services in the internal market.
Amendment 3
Proposal for a directive
Recital 2
(2)  The demand for accessible products and services is high and the number of citizens with disabilities and/or functional limitations will increase significantly with the ageing of the European Union's population. An environment where products and services are more accessible allows for a more inclusive society and facilitates independent living.
(2)  The demand for accessible products and services is high and the number of persons with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities within the meaning of Article 1 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (“the Convention”), will increase significantly with the ageing of the Union’s population. An environment where products and services are more accessible allows for a more inclusive society and is a prerequisite for independent living.
Amendment 4
Proposal for a directive
Recital 2 a (new)
(2a)  “Universal accessibility”, “design for all” and “gender-perspective” should be ensured in products, tools, devices and services in order for them to be commonly used by persons with disabilities.
Amendment 5
Proposal for a directive
Recital 3
(3)  The disparities between the laws and administrative measures adopted by the Member States in relation to accessibility of products and services for persons with functional limitations including persons with disabilities create barriers to the free movement of such products and services and distort effective competition in the internal market. Economic operators, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), are particularly affected by those barriers.
(3)  The disparities between the laws and administrative measures adopted by the Member States in relation to the accessibility of some products and services for persons with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities, create barriers to their free movement and distort effective competition in the internal market. For other products, disparities are likely to increase due to the entry into force of the Convention. Economic operators, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), are particularly affected by those barriers.
Amendment 6
Proposal for a directive
Recital 5
(5)  Consumers of accessible products and recipients of accessible services are faced with high prices due to limited competition among suppliers. Fragmentation among national regulations reduces potential benefits from sharing experiences with national and international peers in responding to societal and technological developments.
(5)  Consumers of accessible products, and in particular of assistive technologies, and recipients of accessible services are faced with high prices due to limited competition among suppliers. Fragmentation among national regulations reduces potential benefits from sharing experiences with national and international peers in responding to societal and technological developments.
Amendment 7
Proposal for a directive
Recital 6
(6)  The approximation of national measures at Union level is therefore necessary for the proper functioning of the internal market in order to put an end to fragmentation in the market of accessible products and services, to create economies of scale, to facilitate cross-border trade and mobility, as well as to help economic operators to concentrate resources on innovation instead of using those resources for complying with fragmented legal requirements across the Union.
(6)  The approximation of national measures at Union level is therefore necessary for the proper functioning of the internal market in order to put an end to fragmentation in the market of accessible products and services, to create economies of scale, to facilitate cross-border trade, freedom of movement of products and services, and free movement of persons, including persons with disabilities, as well as to help economic operators to concentrate resources on innovation instead of using those resources for covering expenses arising from fragmented legislation.
Amendment 8
Proposal for a directive
Recital 8 a (new)
(8a)  Article 10 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) requires the Union to combat discrimination based on disability when defining and implementing its policies and activities. Article 19 TFEU gives the Union the power to adopt legal acts to combat such discrimination.
Amendment 9
Proposal for a directive
Recital 9
(9)  This Directive respects the fundamental rights and observes the principles recognised in particular by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. In particular, this Directive seeks to ensure full respect for the rights of persons with disabilities to benefit from measures designed to ensure their independence, social and occupational integration and participation in the life of the community and to promote the application of Article 26 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
(9)  This Directive respects the fundamental rights and observes the principles recognised in particular by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. In particular, this Directive seeks to ensure full respect for the rights of persons with disabilities, and older persons, to benefit from measures designed to ensure their independence, social and occupational integration and participation in the life of the community and to promote the application of Articles 21, 25 and 26 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
Amendment 250
Proposal for a directive
Recital 9 a (new)
(9a)   Better accessibility to products and services will improve the lives not only of persons with disabilities but also of persons with other permanent or temporary functional limitations, such as elderly persons, pregnant women and persons travelling with luggage. Therefore, it is essential that this Directive includes persons with disabilities as well as persons with temporary or permanent functional limitations, in order to ensure genuine benefits and an independent life for a wider portion of society.
Amendment 11
Proposal for a directive
Recital 9 b (new)
(9b)  The prevalence of disability in the Union is higher among women than among men. Women with disabilities are faced with multiple forms of discrimination and face substantial obstacles to the proper enjoyment of their basic rights and freedoms. These include physical, emotional, sexual, economic and institutional violence. They also include discrimination in access to education and employment, which can lead to social isolation and psychological trauma. Women are also disproportionately affected by disability as carers of family members with disabilities and experience discrimination by association more frequently than men. In view of the above, action is needed to ensure equal treatment and positive measures and policies for women with disabilities and mothers of children with disabilities is a fundamental human right and an ethical obligation.
Amendment 12
Proposal for a directive
Recital 10
(10)  The overall aim of the 'Digital Single Market Strategy', is to deliver sustainable economic and social benefits from a connected digital single market. Union consumers still do not enjoy the full benefits of prices and choice that the single market can offer, because cross-border online transactions are still very limited. Fragmentation also limits demand for cross-border e-commerce transactions. There is also a need for concerted action to make sure that new electronic content is also fully available to persons with disabilities. It is therefore necessary to harmonise accessibility requirements across the digital single market and to ensure that all Union citizens regardless of their abilities can enjoy its benefits.
(10)  The overall aim of the 'Digital Single Market Strategy', is to deliver sustainable economic and social benefits from a connected digital single market, facilitating trade and promoting employment within the Union. Union consumers still do not enjoy the full benefits of prices and choice that the single market can offer, because cross-border online transactions are still very limited. Fragmentation also limits demand for cross-border e-commerce transactions. There is also a need for concerted action to make sure that new electronic content is also fully available to persons with disabilities. It is therefore necessary to harmonise accessibility requirements across the digital single market and to ensure that all Union citizens regardless of their abilities can enjoy its benefits.
Amendment 13
Proposal for a directive
Recital 12 a (new)
(12a)   Article 4 of the Convention calls on State Parties to undertake or promote research and development of, and to promote the availability and use of new technologies, including information and communications technologies, mobility aids, devices and assistive technologies, suitable for persons with disabilities. The Convention also calls for priority to be given to affordable technologies.
Amendment 232
Proposal for a directive
Recital 12 b (new)
(12b)  In the rail transport sector, Directive (EU) 2016/797 of the European Parliament and of the Council1a and Commission Regulation (EU) No 1300/20141b (PRM TSI) explicitly refer to, and implement, the accessibility requirements set out in Article 9 of the Convention. Accordingly, accessibility for persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility in the rail transport sector is regulated under those instruments. In order to ensure consistency between Directive (EU) 2016/797 and Commission Regulation (EU) No 1300/2014, on the one hand, and this Directive on the other, any future revision of the PRM TSI should also take into account the accessibility requirements resulting from the European Accessibility Act.
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la Directive (EU) 2016/797 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2016 on the interoperability of the rail system within the European Union (OJ L 138, 26.5.2016, p. 44).
lb Commission Regulation (EU) No 1300/2014 of 18 November 2014 on the technical specifications for interoperability relating to accessibility of the Union's rail system for persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility (OJ L 356, 12.12.2014, p. 110)
Amendment 233
Proposal for a directive
Recital 13
(13)  The entry into force of the Convention in the Member States' legal orders entails the need to adopt additional national provisions on accessibility of products and services which without Union action would further increase disparities between national provisions.
(13)  The entry into force of the Convention in the Member States' legal orders entails the need to adopt additional national provisions on accessibility of products and services and on the built environment related to the provision of goods and services which without Union action would further increase disparities between national provisions.
Amendment 14
Proposal for a directive
Recital 13 a (new)
(13a)   In addition to the requirements laid down in this Directive, efforts should be made to implement and enforce Union legislation on the rights of passengers using air, rail, bus and inland-waterway transport. Such efforts should focus on intermodal aspects with a view to promoting barrier-free accessibility, including facets such as infrastructure and transportation vehicles.
Amendment 15
Proposal for a directive
Recital 13 b (new)
(13b)  The Commission should encourage urban authorities to integrate barrier-free accessibility to urban transport services in their Sustainable urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs), as well as to regularly publish lists of best practices regarding barrier-free accessibility to urban public transport and mobility.
Amendment 16
Proposal for a directive
Recital 15
(15)  The European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 – A Renewed Commitment to a Barrier-Free Europe33 – in line with the Convention, establishes accessibility as one of the eight areas of action, and aims at ensuring accessibility of products and services.
(15)  The communication of the Commission of 15 November 2010 European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 – A Renewed Commitment to a Barrier-Free Europe – in line with the Convention, establishes accessibility, which is a basic precondition for participation in society, as one of the eight areas of action, and aims to ensure the accessibility of products and services.
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33 COM(2010) 636.
Amendment 17
Proposal for a directive
Recital 16
(16)  Products and services falling within the scope of this Directive are the result of a screening exercise, carried out during the preparation of the Impact Assessment that identified those relevant products and services for persons with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities and older persons, for which Member States have adopted or are likely to adopt diverging national accessibility requirements.
(16)  Products and services falling within the scope of this Directive are the result of a screening exercise, carried out during the preparation of the Impact Assessment that identified those relevant products and services for persons with disabilities, for which Member States have adopted or are likely to adopt diverging national accessibility requirements.
Amendment 227
Proposal for a directive
Recital 16 a (new)
(16a)  Directive 2010/13/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council1a imposes a number of obligations on providers of audiovisual media services. It is therefore more appropriate to include accessibility requirements in that Directive.
However, as regards websites and mobile-based services, Directive 2010/13/EU only covers audiovisual media content. It is therefore appropriate to include the architecture of the websites and mobile-based services and all content not falling within the scope of Directive 2010/13/EU within the scope of this Directive.
This Directive should cover accessibility requirements for telephony services equipment and websites. This Directive should also cover accessibility requirements for telephony services unless they are addressed in another Union legal act providing at least the same level of protection as provided in this Directive. In the latter case, the Union legal act concerned should prevail over this Directive.

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1a Directive 2010/13/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 2010 on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the provision of audiovisual media services (OJ L 95, 15.4.2010, p. 1).
Amendment 19
Proposal for a directive
Recital 17
(17)  Each product and service has to comply with the accessibility requirements identified in Article 3 and listed in Annex I to be accessible for persons with disabilities and older persons. The e-commerce accessibility obligations also apply to the online sale of services under Article 1(2)(a) to (e) of this Directive.
(17)  Each product and service falling within the scope of this Directive and placed on the market after the date of application of this Directive should comply with the accessibility requirements set out in Article 3 and listed in Annex I to be accessible for persons with disabilities. The e-commerce accessibility obligations also apply to the online sale of services under points (a) to (e) of Article 1(2) of this Directive.
Amendment 20
Proposal for a directive
Recital 17 a (new)
(17a)  Even if a service, or part of a service, is subcontracted to a third party, the accessibility of that service should not be compromised and the service providers should comply with the obligations set out in this Directive. Service providers should also ensure proper and continuous training of their personnel in order to ensure that they are knowledgeable about how to use accessible products and services. That training should cover issues such as information provision, advice and advertising.
Amendment 21
Proposal for a directive
Recital 18
(18)  It is necessary to introduce the accessibility requirements in the least burdensome manner for the economic operators and the Member States, notably by only including in the scope the products and services which have been thoroughly selected.
(18)  On the one hand, it is necessary to introduce the accessibility requirements in the most effective and least burdensome manner for the economic operators and the Member States, notably by only including in the scope the products and services which have been thoroughly selected and which are placed on the market after the date of application of this Directive. On the other hand, it is necessary to enable economic operators to implement the accessibility requirements set out in this Directive efficiently, in particular by taking into account the lifetime of self-service terminals, ticketing machines and check-in machines. Also, the specific position of SMEs in the internal market should be taken into account. Additionally, microenterprises, due to their size, resources and nature, should not be required to comply with the accessibility requirements set out in this Directive or be obliged to use the procedure laid down in Article 12 in order to be exempted from the obligations of this Directive.
Amendment 22
Proposal for a directive
Recital 20 a (new)
(20a)  In order to ensure a better functioning of the internal market, national authorities should make use of the accessibility requirements set out in this Directive when applying the accessibility-related provisions in the Union legal acts referred to in this Directive. This Directive should however not change the compulsory or voluntary nature of the provisions in those other Union legal acts. This Directive should thus ensure that when accessibility requirements are used in accordance with those other acts, those requirements are the same across the Union.
Amendment 23
Proposal for a directive
Recital 21
(21)  The Commission’s proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council34 includes accessibility requirements for a specific set of public sector bodies’ websites. In addition, it proposes to establish the basis for a monitoring and reporting methodology of the compliance of the relevant websites with the requirements listed in that Directive. Both the accessibility requirements and the monitoring and reporting methodology included in that Directive are to apply to the public sector bodies' websites. With the purpose of, notably, ensuring that relevant authorities implement the same accessibility requirements independently of the type of regulated website, the accessibility requirements set out in this Directive should be aligned to those of the proposed Directive on the accessibility of public sector bodies’ websites. Activities of ecommerce of public sector websites not covered by that Directive, fall under the scope of this proposal, in order to ensure that the online sale of products and services is accessible for persons with disabilities and older persons, irrespective of their public or private sale.
(21)   Directive (EU) 2016/2102 of the European Parliament and of the Council34 includes accessibility requirements for websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies. However, that Directive contains a specific list of exceptions because making certain content of websites and mobile applications and certain types of websites and mobile applications fully accessible creates a disproportionate burden. In addition, it establishes the basis for a monitoring and reporting methodology of the compliance of the relevant websites and mobile applications with the requirements set out in that Directive. Both the accessibility requirements and the monitoring and reporting methodology included in that Directive are to apply to the public sector bodies' websites and mobile applications. With the purpose of, notably, ensuring that relevant authorities implement the same accessibility requirements independently of the type of regulated website and mobile applications, the accessibility requirements set out in this Directive should be aligned to those of Directive (EU) 2016/2102. Activities of ecommerce of websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies not covered by that Directive, fall within the scope of this Directive, in order to ensure that the online sale of products and services is accessible for persons with disabilities, irrespective of their public or private sale.
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34 Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the accessibility of public sector bodies' websites COM(2012) 721.
34 Directive (EU) 2016/2102 of the European Parliament and of the Council of of 26 October 2016 on the accessibility of the websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies (OJ L 327, 2.12.2016, p. 1).
Amendment 24
Proposal for a directive
Recital 22 a (new)
(22a)  Certain elements of the accessibility requirements laid down by this Directive, particularly those set out in Annex I relating to the provision of information, are already covered by existing legislative acts of the Union in the area of transport. Those acts include Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council 1a and Commission Regulation (EU) No 1300/20141b and Commission Regulation (EU) No 454/20111c as regards rail transport; Regulation (EU) No 181/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council1d as regards bus and coach transport; and Regulation (EU) No 1177/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council1e as regards maritime transport. To ensure regulatory consistency and predictability for the economic operators covered by those acts, the relevant requirements under this Directive should be deemed to have been complied with where the relevant parts of those acts are complied with. However, when the accessibility requirements are not covered by those acts, for example the requirement to make websites of airlines accessible, this Directive should apply.
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1a Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on rail passengers’ rights and obligations (OJ L 315, 3.12.2007, p. 14).
1b Commission Regulation (EU) No 1300/2014 of 18 November 2014 on the technical specifications for interoperability relating to accessibility of the Union's rail system for persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility (OJ L 356, 12.12.2014, p. 110).
1c Commission Regulation (EU) No 454/2011 of 5 May 2011 on the technical specification for interoperability relating to the subsystem ‘telematics applications for passenger services’ of the trans-European rail system (OJ L 123, 12.5.2011, p. 11).
1d Regulation (EU) No 181/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 concerning the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 (OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 1).
1e Regulation (EU) No 1177/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010 concerning the rights of passengers when travelling by sea and inland waterway and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 (OJ L 334, 17.12.2010, p. 1).
Amendment 25
Proposal for a directive
Recital 22 b (new)
(22b)  This Directive is intended to complement existing sectorial Union legislation by covering aspects not yet covered by that legislation.
Amendment 26
Proposal for a directive
Recital 22 c (new)
(22c)  The determination of the scope of this Directive with regard to air, bus, rail and waterborne passenger transport services should be based on the existing sectorial legislation relating to passenger rights. Where this Directive does not apply to certain types of transport services, Member States should be able to encourage service providers to apply the relevant accessibility requirements provided for in this Directive.
Amendments 223 and 228
Proposal for a directive
Recital 23
(23)  In some situations, common accessibility requirements of the built environment would facilitate the free movement of the related services and of persons with disabilities. Therefore, this Directive enables Member States to include the built environment used in the provision of the services under the scope of this Directive, ensuring compliance with the accessibility requirements set in Annex X.
(23)  In some situations, accessibility of the built environment is a precondition for the proper enjoyment of the related services by persons with disabilities. Therefore, this Directive should oblige Member States to include the built environment used in the provision of the services under the scope of this Directive, ensuring compliance with the accessibility requirements set out in Annex X.
However, accessibility requirements should only be applicable when constructing new infrastructure or when undertaking substantial renovations.

Amendment 28
Proposal for a directive
Recital 23 a (new)
(23a)   It is not necessary for this Directive to amend existing Union law that provides for voluntary compliance with accessibility requirements.
Amendment 29
Proposal for a directive
Recital 24
(24)  It is necessary to provide that, for legislative acts of the Union establishing accessibility obligations without providing accessibility requirements or specifications, accessibility is defined by reference to the accessibility requirements of this Directive. That is the case of Directive 2014/23/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council35, Directive 2014/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council36, and Directive 2014/25/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council,37 which require that technical specifications and technical or functional requirements of the concessions, works or services falling within their scope take into account accessibility criteria for persons with disabilities or "design for all" users.
(24)  It is necessary to provide that, for legislative acts of the Union establishing accessibility obligations without providing accessibility requirements or specifications, accessibility is defined by reference to the accessibility requirements of this Directive. Those acts include Directive 2014/23/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council35, Directive 2014/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council36, and Directive 2014/25/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council37, which require that technical specifications and technical or functional requirements of the concessions, works or services falling within their scope take into account accessibility criteria for persons with disabilities or "design for all" users.
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35 Directive 2014/23/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on the award of concession contracts (OJ L 94, 28.3.2014, p. 1).
35 Directive 2014/23/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on the award of concession contracts (OJ L 94, 28.3.2014, p. 1).
36 Directive 2014/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on public procurement and repealing Directive 2004/18/EC (OJ L 94, 28.3.2014, p. 65°.
36 Directive 2014/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on public procurement and repealing Directive 2004/18/EC (OJ L 94, 28.3.2014, p. 65).
37 Directive 2014/25/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on procurement by entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors and repealing Directive 2004/17/EC (OJ L 94, 28.3.2014, p. 243).
37 Directive 2014/25/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on procurement by entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors and repealing Directive 2004/17/EC (OJ L 94, 28.3.2014, p. 243).
Amendment 30
Proposal for a directive
Recital 24 a (new)
(24a)  The obligation to ensure accessibility of the transport infrastructure on the Trans-European Transport Network is established in Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council1a. The accessibility requirements provided for in this Directive should also apply to certain elements of the transport infrastructure regulated by that Regulation, to the extent that the products and services covered by this Directive are concerned and the infrastructure and the built environment related to those services are intended to be used by passengers.
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1a Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on Union guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network and repealing Decision No 661/2010/EU (OJ L 348, 20.12.2013, p. 1).
Amendment 31
Proposal for a directive
Recital 24 b (new)
(24b)  It is not, however, appropriate for this Directive to change the compulsory or voluntary nature of the provisions in those other legislative acts of the Union such as Article 67 of Directive 2014/24/EU on contract award criteria, which contracting authorities can use to determine the most economically advantageous tender. If they are deemed to be linked to the subject matter of the procurement in question, it is possible for potential social aspects to be included. This Directive should therefore ensure that, when accessibility requirements are used in accordance with those other legislative acts of the Union, those requirements are the same across the Union.
Amendment 32
Proposal for a directive
Recital 25
(25)  Accessibility should be achieved by the removal and prevention of barriers, preferably through a universal design or "design for all" approach. Accessibility should not exclude the provision of reasonable accommodation when requested by national or Union law.
(25)  Accessibility should be achieved by the removal and prevention of barriers, preferably through a universal design or "design for all" approach. According to the Convention, that approach "means the design of products, environments, programmes and services to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design". In line with the Convention, "'Universal design' is not to exclude assistive devices for particular groups of persons with disabilities where this is needed". Accessibility should not exclude the provision of reasonable accommodation when requested by national or Union law.
Amendment 33
Proposal for a directive
Recital 25 a (new)
(25a)  The fact that a product or a service falls within the scope of this Directive does not automatically mean that it falls within the scope of Council Directive 93/42/EEC1a.
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1aCouncil Directive 93/42/EEC of 14 June 1993 concerning medical devices (OJ L 169, 12.7.1993, p. 1).
Amendment 34
Proposal for a directive
Recital 25 b (new)
(25b)  When identifying and classifying those needs of persons with disabilities that the product or service is intended to meet, the principle of universal design should be interpreted in accordance with the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities General Comment No. 2(2014) on Article 9 of the Convention.
Amendment 35
Proposal for a directive
Recital 27
(27)  This Directive should be based on Decision No 768/2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council38 as it concerns products already subject to other Union acts, this way ensuring the consistency of Union legislation.
(27)  This Directive should be based on Decision No 768/2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council38 as it concerns products already subject to other Union acts, this way ensuring the consistency of Union legislation. However, it is not appropriate for this Directive to include the safety-related provisions of that Decision, such as those relating to recalls, since a non-accessible product is not a dangerous product.
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38 Decision No 768/2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 July 2008 on a common framework for the marketing of products, and repealing Council Decision 93/465/EEC (OJ L 218, 13.8.2008, p. 82).
38 Decision No 768/2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 July 2008 on a common framework for the marketing of products, and repealing Council Decision 93/465/EEC (OJ L 218, 13.8.2008, p. 82).
Amendment 36
Proposal for a directive
Recital 28
(28)  All economic operators intervening in the supply and distribution chain should ensure that they make available on the market only products which are in conformity with the accessibility requirements of this Directive. It is necessary to provide for a clear and proportionate distribution of obligations which correspond to the role of each operator in the supply and distribution process.
(28)  All economic operators falling within the scope of this Directive and intervening in the supply and distribution chain should ensure that they make available on the market only products which are in conformity with the accessibility requirements of this Directive. It is necessary to provide for a clear and proportionate distribution of obligations which correspond to the role of each operator in the supply and distribution process.
Amendment 37
Proposal for a directive
Recital 29
(29)  Economic operators should be responsible for the compliance of products and services, in relation to their respective roles in the supply chain, so as to ensure a high level of protection of accessibility and to guarantee fair competition on the Union market.
(29)  Economic operators should be responsible for the compliance of products and services, in relation to their respective roles in the supply chain, so as to achieve improved accessibility and to guarantee fair competition on the Union market.
Amendment 38
Proposal for a directive
Recital 30
(30)  The manufacturer having detailed knowledge of the design and production process is best placed to carry out the complete conformity assessment procedure. The obligations for conformity assessment should rest with the manufacturer.
(30)  The manufacturer having detailed knowledge of the design and production process is best placed to carry out the complete conformity assessment. However, the responsibility for that assessment should not rest solely with the manufacturer. A strengthened market surveillance authority could play a crucial role in the assessment procedure.
Amendment 39
Proposal for a directive
Recital 32
(32)  Importers should ensure that products from third countries entering the Union market comply with the accessibility requirements of this Directive and in particular that appropriate conformity assessment procedures have been carried out by manufacturers with regard to those products.
(32)  Importers should ensure that products from third countries entering the Union market comply with the accessibility requirements of this Directive, providing all the necessary information to the relevant market surveillance authority to enable appropriate conformity assessment procedures to be carried out with regard to those products.
Amendment 40
Proposal for a directive
Recital 36
(36)  For reasons of proportionality, accessibility requirements should only apply to the extent that they do not impose a disproportionate burden on the economic operator concerned, or require a change in the products and services which would result in their fundamental alteration in accordance with the specified criteria.
(36)  For reasons of proportionality, accessibility requirements should not impose a disproportionate burden on the economic operator concerned, or require a change in the products and services which would result in their fundamental alteration in accordance with the specified criteria. Control mechanisms nevertheless have to be in place in order to verify entitlement to exceptions to the applicability of accessibility requirements.
Amendment 41
Proposal for a directive
Recital 36 a (new)
(36a)   When assessing whether compliance with accessibility requirements imposes a disproportionate burden on the economic operators, account should be taken of the size, resources and nature of those economic operators and their estimated costs and benefits of compliance compared to the estimated benefit for persons with disabilities. That cost-benefit analysis should take into account inter alia the frequency and duration of use of the specific product or service, including the estimated number of persons with disabilities using the specific product or service, the life span of the infrastructure and products used in the provision of a service and the extent of alternatives that are available free of charge, including from passenger transport service providers. When assessing whether compliance with accessibility requirements imposes a disproportionate burden, only legitimate reasons should be taken into consideration. Lack of priority, time or knowledge should not be considered to be legitimate reasons.
Amendment 42
Proposal for a directive
Recital 39
(39)  In order to facilitate conformity assessment with applicable requirements it is necessary to provide for a presumption of conformity for products and services which are in conformity with voluntary harmonised standards that are adopted in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 1025/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council39 for the purpose of expressing detailed technical specifications of those requirements. The Commission has already issued a number of standardisation requests to the European standardisation organisations on accessibility which would be relevant for the preparation of harmonised standards.
(39)  In order to facilitate conformity assessment with applicable accessibility requirements it is necessary to provide for a presumption of conformity for products and services which are in conformity with voluntary harmonised standards that are adopted in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 1025/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council39 for the purpose of expressing detailed technical specifications of those requirements. The Commission has already issued a number of standardisation requests to the European standardisation organisations on accessibility which would be relevant for the preparation of harmonised standards.
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39 Regulation (EU) No 1025/2012 of 25 October 2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on European standardisation, amending Council Directives 89/686/EEC and 93/15/EEC and Directives 94/9/EC, 94/25/EC, 95/16/EC, 97/23/EC, 98/34/EC, 2004/22/EC, 2007/23/EC, 2009/23/EC and 2009/105/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Council Decision 87/95/EEC and Decision No 1673/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 316, 14.11.2012, p. 12).
39 Regulation (EU) No 1025/2012 of 25 October 2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on European standardisation, amending Council Directives 89/686/EEC and 93/15/EEC and Directives 94/9/EC, 94/25/EC, 95/16/EC, 97/23/EC, 98/34/EC, 2004/22/EC, 2007/23/EC, 2009/23/EC and 2009/105/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Council Decision 87/95/EEC and Decision No 1673/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 316, 14.11.2012, p. 12).
Amendment 43
Proposal for a directive
Recital 39 a (new)
(39a)  Regulation (EU) No 1025/2012 provides for a procedure for formal objections to harmonised standards that are considered not to comply with the requirements of this Directive.
Amendment 44
Proposal for a directive
Recital 40
(40)  In the absence of harmonised standards and where needed for market harmonisation purposes, the Commission should be able adopt implementing acts establishing common technical specifications for the accessibility requirements set in this Directive.
(40)  European standards should be market-driven, take into account the public interest, as well as the policy objectives clearly stated in the Commission’s request to one or more European standardisation organisations to draft harmonised standards, and be based on consensus. Recourse to technical specifications should therefore only be a last resort. The Commission should be able to adopt technical specifications for instance when the standardisation process is blocked due to a lack of consensus between stakeholders, creating undue delays in the establishment of a requirement which would, without the adoption of an appropriate standard, be impossible to implement, such as interoperability. The Commission should leave enough time between the adoption of a request to one or more European standardisation organisations to draft harmonised standards and the adoption of a technical specification related to the same accessibility requirement. The Commission should not be allowed to adopt a technical specification if it has not previously tried to have the accessibility requirements covered through the European standardisation system. The Commission should not use the procedure for adoption of technical specifications to circumvent the European standardisation system.
Amendment 45
Proposal for a directive
Recital 40 a (new)
(40a)  With a view to establishing harmonised standards and technical specifications that meet the accessibility requirements set out in this Directive for the products and services in the most efficient way, the Commission should, where this is feasible, involve European umbrella organisations of persons with disabilities and all other relevant stakeholders in the decision making process.
Amendment 46
Proposal for a directive
Recital 42 a (new)
(42a)  When carrying out market surveillance of products, market surveillance authorities should review the assessment in cooperation with persons with disabilities and the organisations that represent them and their interests.
Amendment 47
Proposal for a directive
Recital 44
(44)  The CE marking, indicating the conformity of a product with the accessibility requirements of this Directive, is the visible consequence of a whole process comprising conformity assessment in a broad sense. This Directive should follow the general principles governing the CE marking of Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council40 setting out the requirements for accreditation and market surveillance relating to the marketing of products.
(44)  This Directive should follow the general principles of Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council40 setting out the requirements for accreditation and market surveillance relating to the marketing of products. In addition to the declaration of conformity, the manufacturer should inform consumers in a cost-effective manner about the accessibility of their products by including a notice on the packaging.
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40 Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 July 2008 setting out the requirements for accreditation and market surveillance relating to the marketing of products and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 339/93 (OJ L 218, 13.8.2008, p. 30).
40 Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 July 2008 setting out the requirements for accreditation and market surveillance relating to the marketing of products and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 339/93 (OJ L 218, 13.8.2008, p. 30).
Amendment 48
Proposal for a directive
Recital 45
(45)  In accordance with Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 by affixing the CE marking to a product, the manufacturer declares that the product is in conformity with all applicable accessibility requirements and that he takes full responsibility therefor.
(45)  The non-compliance of a product with the accessibility requirements set out in Article 3 should not per se constitute a serious risk within the meaning of Article 20 of Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 .
Amendment 49
Proposal for a directive
Recital 48
(48)  Member States are expected to ensure that market surveillance authorities check the compliance of the economic operators with the criteria referred to in Article 12 (3) in accordance with Chapter V.
(48)  Member States are expected to ensure that market surveillance authorities check the compliance of the economic operators with the criteria referred to in Article 12(3) in accordance with Chapter V and that they hold regular consultations with organisations representing persons with disabilities.
Amendment 50
Proposal for a directive
Recital 48 a (new)
(48a)  National databases containing all relevant information on the degree of accessibility of the products and services listed in this Directive would allow better inclusion of persons with disabilities, and their organisations in the market surveillance.
Amendment 51
Proposal for a directive
Recital 49
(49)  Member States are expected to ensure that competent authorities indicated in Article 22 notify the Commission of the use of the exceptions referred to in Article 22 (1) as well as include the assessment referred to in paragraph (2) in accordance with Chapter VI.
(49)   Member States should ensure that competent authorities notify the Commission of the use of the exceptions laid down in Article 22. The initial assessment performed by the competent authorities concerned should be submitted to the Commission upon its request. When assessing whether compliance with accessibility requirements imposes a disproportionate burden on the competent authorities, account should be taken of the size, resources and nature of those competent authorities and the estimated costs and benefits of compliance compared to the estimated benefit for persons with disabilities. That cost-benefit analysis should take into account inter alia the frequency and duration of use of the specific product or service, including the estimated number of persons with disabilities using the specific product or service, the life span of the infrastructure and products used in the provision of a service and the extent of alternatives that are available free of charge, including from passenger transport service providers. When assessing whether compliance with accessibility requirements imposes a disproportionate burden, only legitimate reasons should be taken into consideration. Lack of priority, time or knowledge should not be considered to be legitimate reasons.
Amendment 52
Proposal for a directive
Recital 50
(50)  A safeguard procedure should be set up which applies only in the event of disagreement between Member States over measures taken by a Member State under which interested parties are informed of measures intended to be taken with regard to products not complying with the accessibility requirements of this Directive. It should allow market surveillance authorities, in cooperation with the relevant economic operators, to act at an earlier stage in respect of such products.
(50)  A safeguard procedure should be set up which applies only in the event of disagreement between Member States over measures taken by a Member State under which interested parties are informed of measures intended to be taken with regard to products not complying with the accessibility requirements of this Directive. It should allow market surveillance authorities, in cooperation with organisations representing persons with disabilities, as well as with the relevant economic operators, to act at an earlier stage in respect of such products.
Amendment 53
Proposal for a directive
Recital 51 a (new)
(51a)  In order to ensure the proper application of the proportionality principle with regard to the obligations concerning the identification of economic operators and the criteria to be used when assessing whether compliance with an obligation under this Directive would impose a disproportionate burden, the power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 TFEU should be delegated to the Commission to define the period during which economic operators have to be able to identify any economic operator who has supplied them with a product or to whom they have supplied a product and to further specify the criteria that are to be taken into account for all products and services covered by this Directive when assessing whether the burden is to be considered disproportionate, without modifying those criteria. That period should be specified in proportion to the life cycle of the product. It is of particular importance that the Commission carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level, and that those consultations be conducted in accordance with the principles laid down in the Interinstitutional Agreement of 13 April 2016 on Better Law-Making1a. In particular, to ensure equal participation in the preparation of delegated acts, the European Parliament and the Council receive all documents at the same time as Member States' experts, and their experts systematically have access to meetings of Commission expert groups dealing with the preparation of delegated acts.
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1a OJ L 123, 12.5.2016, p. 1.
Amendment 54
Proposal for a directive
Recital 51 b (new)
(51b)  Member States should ensure that adequate and effective means exist to ensure compliance with this Directive and thus establish appropriate control mechanisms, such as a posteriori control by the market surveillance authorities, in order to verify that the exemption from the accessibility requirements application is justified. When dealing with complaints related to accessibility, Member States should comply with the general principle of good administration, and in particular with the obligation of officials to ensure that a decision on each complaint is taken within a reasonable time-limit.
Amendment 55
Proposal for a directive
Recital 52 a (new)
(52a)  Member States should ensure that effective and rapid remedies are available against decisions taken by contracting authorities and contracting entities as to whether a particular contract falls within the scope of Directives 2014/24/EU and 2014/25/EU. Given the existing legal framework concerning remedies in the areas covered by Directives 2014/24/EU and 2014/25/EU, those areas should be excluded from the provisions of this Directive relating to enforcement and penalties. Such exclusion is without prejudice to the obligations of Member States under the Treaties to take all measures necessary to guarantee the application and effectiveness of Union law.
Amendment 56
Proposal for a directive
Recital 53 a (new)
(53a)  The accessibility requirements under this Directive should apply to products placed on the Union market after the date of application of the national measures transposing this Directive, including used and second-hand products imported from a third country and placed on the Union market after that date.
Amendment 57
Proposal for a directive
Recital 53 b (new)
(53b)  However, public contracts for supplies, works or services which are subject to Directive 2014/24/EU or Directive 2014/25/EU, and which were awarded before the date of application of this Directive, should continue to be performed in accordance with the accessibility requirements, if any, specified in those public contracts.
Amendment 58
Proposal for a directive
Recital 53 c (new)
(53c)  In order to give service providers sufficient time to adapt to the requirements laid down in this Directive, it is necessary to provide for a transitional period, during which products used for the provision of a service do not need to comply with the accessibility requirements laid down in this Directive. Given the cost and long life cycle of automatic teller machines, ticketing machines and check-in machines, it is appropriate to provide that, when such machines are used in the provision of services, they may continue to be used until the end of their economically useful life.
Amendment 59
Proposal for a directive
Recital 54 a (new)
(54a)  The deployment of applications providing information based on spatial data services contributes to the independent and safe movement of persons with disabilities. The spatial data used by such applications should make it possible to provide information adapted to the specific needs of persons with disabilities.
Amendment 60
Proposal for a directive
Article - 1 (new)
Article -1
Subject matter
This Directive aims to eliminate and prevent barriers arising from divergent requirements for accessibility to the free movement of products and services covered by this Directive in the Member States. It also aims to contribute to the proper functioning of the internal market by approximating the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States as regards the accessibility requirements for certain products and services.
Amendment 61
Proposal for a directive
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – introductory part
1.  Chapters I, II to V, and VII apply to the following products:
1.  Chapters I, II to V, and VII apply to the following products placed on the Union market after ... [the date of application of this Directive]:
Amendment 62
Proposal for a directive
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  general purpose computer hardware and operating systems;
(a)  general purpose computer hardware and its embedded operating systems intended for use by consumers;
Amendment 63
Proposal for a directive
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point b – point iii a (new)
(iiia)  payment terminals;
Amendment 64
Proposal for a directive
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point c
(c)  consumer terminal equipment with advanced computing capability related to telephony services;
(c)  consumer terminal equipment related to telephony services;
Amendment 65
Proposal for a directive
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point d
(d)  consumer terminal equipment with advanced computing capability related to audio-visual media services.
(d)  consumer terminal equipment related to audiovisual media services;
Amendment 66
Proposal for a directive
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point d a (new)
(da)  e-book readers.
Amendment 67
Proposal for a directive
Article 1 – paragraph 2 – introductory part
2.  Chapters I, II to V, and VII, apply to the following services:
2.  Without prejudice to Article 27, Chapters I, II to V, and VII, apply to the following services provided after ... [the date of application of this Directive]:
Amendment 68
Proposal for a directive
Article 1 – paragraph 2 – point -a (new)
(-a)  operating systems when they are not embedded in the computer hardware and are provided as intangible property to consumers;
Amendment 69
Proposal for a directive
Article 1 – paragraph 2 – point a
(a)  telephony services and related consumer terminal equipment with advanced computing capability;
(a)  telephony services and related consumer terminal equipment;
Amendment 70
Proposal for a directive
Article 1 – paragraph 2 – point b
(b)  audiovisual media services and related consumer equipment with advanced computing capability;
(b)  websites and mobile device-based services of audiovisual media services;
Amendments 235, 236, 237, 238, 239 and 253
Proposal for a directive
Article 1 – paragraph 2 – point c
(c)  air, bus, rail and waterborne passenger transport services;
(c)  air, bus, rail and waterborne passenger transport, mobility and their intermodal connection services, including public urban transport such as underground, rail, tramway, trolleybus and bus related to:
(i)  self-service terminals, located within the territory of the Union, including ticketing machines, payment terminals and check-in machines;
(ii)   websites, mobile device-based services, smart ticketing and real-time information;
(iii)   vehicles, the related infrastructure and the built environment, including step-free access on all public stations;
(iv)   fleets of taxis and hire cars include an adequate proportion of adapted vehicles.
Amendment 71
Proposal for a directive
Article 1 – paragraph 2 – point d
(d)  banking services;
(d)  consumer banking services;
Amendment 72
Proposal for a directive
Article 1 – paragraph 2 – point e
(e)  e-books;
(e)  e-books and related equipment used in the provision of those services provided by the service provider and access thereto;
Amendment 240
Proposal for a directive
Article 1 – paragraph 2 – point f a (new)
(fa)   tourism services, including the provision of accommodation and catering.
Amendment 73
Proposal for a directive
Article 1 – paragraph 3 – point a
(a)  public contracts and concessions which are subject to Directive 2014/23/EU42 Directive 2014/24/EU and Directive 2014/25/EU.
(a)  public contracts and concessions which are subject to Directive 2014/23/EU, Directive 2014/24/EU and Directive 2014/25/EU, conceived or granted after ... [the date of application of this Directive];
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42 Directive 2014/23/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on the award of concession contracts (OJ L 94, 28.3.2014, p. 1)
Amendment 74
Proposal for a directive
Article 1 – paragraph 3 – point b
(b)  the preparation and implementation of programmes under Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down common provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund;43 and Regulation (EU) No 1304/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council.44
(b)  the preparation and implementation of programmes under Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council43 and Regulation (EU) No 1304/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council44, adopted or implemented after ... [the date of application of this Directive];
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43 Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 laying down common provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 ( OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 320).
43 Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 laying down common provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 320).
44 Regulation (EU) No 1304/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the European Social Fund and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1081/2006.
44 Regulation (EU) No 1304/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the European Social Fund and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1081/2006 (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 470).
Amendment 75
Proposal for a directive
Article 1 – paragraph 3 – point c
(c)  tender procedures for public passenger transport services by rail and by road under Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council. 45
(c)  public service contracts which, after .... [the date of application of this Directive], are awarded either through competitive tendering procedures or directly for public passenger transport services by rail and by road under Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council45;
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45 Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on public passenger transport services by rail and by road and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) Nos 1191/69 and 1107/70 (OJ L 315 of 3.12.2007, p.1).
45 Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on public passenger transport services by rail and by road and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) Nos 1191/69 and 1107/70 (OJ L 315, 3.12.2007, p. 1).
Amendment 76
Proposal for a directive
Article 1 – paragraph 3 – point d
(d)  transport infrastructure in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council.46
(d)  transport infrastructure in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013, designed or constructed after ... [the date of application of this Directive];
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46 Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on Union guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network (OJ L 348, 20.12.2013, p.1).
Amendment 79
Proposal for a directive
Article 1 – paragraph 3 a (new)
3a.  This Directive does not apply to the following content of websites and mobile device-based applications:
(a)  office file formats published before ... [the date of application of this Directive];
(b)  online maps and mapping services, if essential information is provided in an accessible digital manner for maps intended for navigational use;
(c)  third-party content that is neither funded nor developed by, nor under the control of, the economic operator or competent authority concerned;
(d)  content of websites and mobile device-based applications qualifying as archives, meaning that they only contain content that is not updated or edited after ... [the date of application of this Directive].
Amendment 80
Proposal for a directive
Article 1 a (new)
Article 1a
Exclusion of microenterprises
This Directive does not apply to microenterprises that manufacture, import or distribute products and services that fall within its scope.
Amendment 81
Proposal for a directive
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 1
(1)  “accessible products and services” are products and services that are perceptible, operable and understandable for persons with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities, on an equal basis with others;
(1)  “accessible products and services” means products and services that are capable of being perceived, operated and understood by persons with disabilities and are sufficiently robust for them to use;
Amendment 82
Proposal for a directive
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 2
(2)  “universal design” referred to also as “design for all” means the design of products, environments, programmes and services to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialised design; “universal design” does not exclude assistive devices for particular groups of persons with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities where this is needed;
deleted
Amendment 83
Proposal for a directive
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 5 a (new)
(5a)  "service" means a service as defined in point 1 of Article 4 of Directive 2006/123/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council1a;
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1a Directive 2006/123/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on services in the internal market (OJ L 376, 27.12.2006, p. 36).
Amendment 84
Proposal for a directive
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 5 b (new)
(5b)  "service provider" means any natural or legal person who offers or provides a service which is directed towards the Union market;
Amendment 85
Proposal for a directive
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 16 a (new)
(16a)  "SME" means a small or medium-sized enterprise as defined in Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC1a;
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1a Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 concerning the definition of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (OJ L 124, 20.5.2003, p. 36).
Amendment 86
Proposal for a directive
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 19
(19)  “recall” means any measure aiming at the return of a product that has already been made available to the end user;
deleted
Amendment 87
Proposal for a directive
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 20 a (new)
(20a)  "consumer banking services" means services enabling consumers to open and use payment accounts with basic features in the Union within the meaning of Directive 2014/92/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council1a;
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1a Directive 2014/92/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 on the comparability of fees related to payment accounts, payment account switching and access to payment accounts with basic features (OJ L 257, 28.8.2014, p. 214).
Amendment 88
Proposal for a directive
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 21
(21)  “e-commerce” means the online sale of products and services.
(21)  “e-commerce” means the online sale of products and services from business to consumers falling within the scope of Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council1a;
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1a Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2000 on certain legal aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce, in the Internal Market (Directive on electronic commerce) (OJ L 178, 17.7.2000, p. 1).
Amendment 89
Proposal for a directive
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 21 a (new)
(21a)  "air passenger transport services" means services provided by air carriers, tour operators and the managing bodies of airports as defined in points (b) to (f) of Article 2 of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council1a;
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1a Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air (OJ L 204, 26.7.2006, p. 1).
Amendment 90
Proposal for a directive
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 21 b (new)
(21b)  "bus passenger transport services" means services covered by Article 2(1) and (2) of Regulation (EU) No 181/2011;
Amendment 91
Proposal for a directive
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 21 c (new)
(21c)  "rail passenger transport services" means all rail passenger services covered by Article 2(1) and (2) of Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007;
Amendment 92
Proposal for a directive
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 21 d (new)
(21d)  "waterborne passenger transport services" means passenger services covered by Article 2(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1177/2010.
Amendment 337
Proposal for a directive
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 21 e (new)
(21e)  "assistive technology" means any item, piece of equipment or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities;
Amendment 93
Proposal for a directive
Article 3 – paragraph 3
3.  The following self-service terminals: Automatic Teller Machines, ticketing machines and check-in machines shall comply with the requirements set out in Section II of Annex I.
3.  The following self-service terminals: Automatic Teller Machines, ticketing machines, check-in machines and payment terminals shall comply with the requirements set out in Section II of Annex I.
Amendment 94
Proposal for a directive
Article 3 – paragraph 4
4.  Telephony services, including emergency services and the related consumer terminal equipment with advanced computing capability, shall comply with the requirements set out in Section III of Annex I.
4.  Telephony services, including emergency services and the related consumer terminal equipment, shall comply with the requirements set out in Section III of Annex I.
Amendment 95
Proposal for a directive
Article 3 – paragraph 5
5.  Audiovisual media services and the related consumer equipment with advanced computing capability shall comply with the requirements set out in Section IV of Annex I.
5.  Websites and mobile device-based services of audiovisual media services and the related consumer equipment shall comply with the requirements set out in Section IV of Annex I.
Amendment 244
Proposal for a directive
Article 3 – paragraph 6
6.  Air, bus, rail and waterborne passenger transport services, the websites, the mobile device-based services, smart ticketing and real-time information and Self-service terminals, ticketing machines and check-in machines used for provision of passenger transport services shall comply with the corresponding requirements set out in Section V of Annex I.
6.  Air, bus, coach, rail, shipping and intermodal passenger transport services, including services related to urban transport, mobility, and the built environment, the websites, the mobile device-based services, smart ticketing and real-time information and self-service terminals such as payment machines, check-in machines used for the provision of passenger transport services, services related to tourism, inter alia, accommodation services and catering service, shall meet the requirements of Section V of Annex I only if these requirements are not already covered by the following specific legislation: regarding rail transport, Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007, Regulation (EU) No 1300/2014 and Regulation (EU) No 454/2011; regarding bus and coach transport, Regulation (EU) No 181/2011; regarding maritime and inland waterway transport, Regulation (EU) No 1177/2010 ; and, regarding air transport, Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006.
Amendment 97
Proposal for a directive
Article 3 – paragraph 7
7.  Banking services, the websites, the mobile device-based banking services, self-service terminals, including Automatic Teller machines used for provision of banking services shall comply with the requirements set out in Section VI of Annex I.
7.  Consumer banking services, the websites, the mobile device-based banking services, self-service terminals, including payment terminals and Automatic Teller machines used for provision of those banking services shall comply with the requirements set out in Section VI of Annex I.
Amendment 98
Proposal for a directive
Article 3 – paragraph 8
8.  E-books shall comply with the requirements set out in Section VII of Annex I.
8.  E-books and related equipment shall comply with the requirements set out in Section VII of Annex I.
Amendment 224
Proposal for a directive
Article 3 – paragraph 10
10.  Member States may decide, in the light of national conditions, that the built environment used by clients of passenger transport services including the environment that is managed by service providers and by infrastructure operators as well as the built environment used by clients of banking services, and customer services centres and shops under the scope of telephony operators shall comply with the accessibility requirements of Annex I, section X, in order to maximise their use by persons with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities.
10.  Member States shall ensure that the built environment used by clients of passenger transport services including the environment that is managed by service providers and by infrastructure operators as well as the built environment used by clients of consumer banking services, and customer services centres and shops under the scope of telephony operators shall, as regards the construction of new infrastructure or substantial renovations to existing infrastructure, comply with the accessibility requirements set out in Section X of Annex I, in order to maximise their use by persons with disabilities. This shall be without prejudice to Union legal acts and national legislation for the protection of national treasures possessing artistic, historic and archaeological value.
Amendment 100
Proposal for a directive
Article 4 – paragraph 1
Member States shall not impede the making available on the market in their territory of products and services that comply with this Directive for reasons related to accessibility requirements.
Member States shall not impede for reasons related to accessibility requirements the making available on the market in their territory of products that comply with this Directive. Member States shall not impede for reasons related to accessibility requirements the provision of services in their territory that comply with this Directive.
Amendment 101
Proposal for a directive
Article 5 – paragraph 1
1.  When placing their products on the market, manufacturers shall ensure that the products have been designed and manufactured in accordance with the applicable accessibility requirements set out in Article 3.
1.  When placing their products on the market, manufacturers shall ensure that the products have been designed and manufactured in accordance with the applicable accessibility requirements set out in Article 3, unless those requirements are not achievable because the adaptation of the product concerned would require a fundamental alteration of the basic nature of that product or would impose a disproportionate burden for the manufacturer concerned as provided for in Article 12.
Amendment 102
Proposal for a directive
Article 5 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2
Where compliance of a product with the applicable accessibility requirements has been demonstrated by that procedure, manufacturers shall draw up an EU declaration of conformity and affix the CE marking.
Where compliance of a product with the applicable accessibility requirements set out in Article 3 has been demonstrated by that conformity assessment procedure, manufacturers shall draw up an EU declaration of conformity which shall clearly indicate that the product is accessible.
Amendment 103
Proposal for a directive
Article 5 – paragraph 4
4.  Manufacturers shall keep a register of complaints, of non-conforming products and products recalls, and shall keep distributors informed of any such monitoring.
4.  Manufacturers shall keep a register of complaints and of non-conforming products.
Amendment 104
Proposal for a directive
Article 5 – paragraph 7
7.  Manufacturers shall ensure that the product is accompanied by instructions and safety information in a language which can be easily understood by consumers and end-users, as determined by the Member State concerned.
7.  Manufacturers shall ensure that the product is accompanied by instructions in a language which can be easily understood by consumers and end-users, as determined by the Member State concerned.
Amendment 105
Proposal for a directive
Article 5 – paragraph 8
8.  Manufacturers who consider or have reason to believe that a product which they have placed on the market is not in conformity with this Directive shall immediately take the necessary corrective measures to bring that product into conformity, to withdraw it or recall it, if appropriate. Furthermore, where the product presents a risk related to accessibility, manufacturers shall immediately inform the competent national authorities of the Member States in which they made the product available to that effect, giving details, in particular, of the non-compliance and of any corrective measures taken.
8.  Manufacturers who consider or have reason to believe that a product which they have placed on the market is not in conformity with this Directive shall immediately take the necessary corrective measures to bring that product into conformity or to withdraw it, if appropriate. Furthermore, where the product is not in conformity with this Directive, manufacturers shall immediately inform the competent national authorities of the Member States in which they made the product available to that effect, giving details, in particular, of the non-compliance and of any corrective measures taken.
Amendment 106
Proposal for a directive
Article 5 – paragraph 9
9.  Manufacturers shall, further to a reasoned request from a competent national authority, provide it with all the information and documentation necessary to demonstrate the conformity of the product, in a language which can be easily understood by that authority. They shall cooperate with that authority, at its request, on any action taken to eliminate the risks posed by products which they have placed on the market and to ensure compliance with the requirements referred to in Article 3.
9.  Manufacturers shall, further to a request from a competent national authority, provide it with all the information and documentation necessary to demonstrate the conformity of the product, in a language which can be easily understood by that authority. They shall cooperate with that authority, at its request, on any action taken to ensure compliance with this Directive.
Amendment 107
Proposal for a directive
Article 6 – paragraph 2 – point a
(a)  further to a reasoned request from a competent national authority, provide that authority with all the information and documentation necessary to demonstrate the conformity of a product;
(a)  further to a request from a competent national authority, provide that authority with all the information and documentation necessary to demonstrate the conformity of a product;
Amendment 108
Proposal for a directive
Article 6 – paragraph 2 – point b
(b)  co-operate with the competent national authorities, at their request, on any action taken to eliminate the risks posed by products covered by their mandate.
(b)  co-operate with the competent national authorities, at their request, on any action taken to ensure compliance of products covered by their mandate with this Directive.
Amendment 109
Proposal for a directive
Article 7 – paragraph 2
2.  Before placing a product on the market importers shall ensure that the conformity assessment procedure set out in Annex II has been carried out by the manufacturer. They shall ensure that the manufacturer has drawn up the technical documentation required by that Annex, that the product bears the CE marking and is accompanied by the required documents and that the manufacturer has complied with the requirements set out in Article 5(5) and (6).
2.  Before placing a product on the market importers shall ensure that the conformity assessment procedure set out in Annex II has been carried out by the manufacturer. They shall ensure that the manufacturer has drawn up the technical documentation required by that Annex, that the product is accompanied by the required documents and that the manufacturer has complied with the requirements set out in Article 5(5) and (6).
Amendment 110
Proposal for a directive
Article 7 – paragraph 3
3.  Where an importer considers or has reason to believe that a product is not in conformity with the accessibility requirements referred to in Article 3, he shall not place the product on the market until it has been brought into conformity. Furthermore, where the product presents a risk, the importer shall inform the manufacturer and the market surveillance authorities to that effect.
3.  Where an importer considers or has reason to believe that a product is not in conformity with the accessibility requirements referred to in Article 3, he shall not place the product on the market until it has been brought into conformity. Furthermore, where the product is not in conformity with this Directive, the importer shall inform the manufacturer and the market surveillance authorities to that effect.
Amendment 111
Proposal for a directive
Article 7 – paragraph 5
5.  Importers shall ensure that the product is accompanied by instructions and information in a language which can be easily understood by consumers and other end-users, as determined by the Member State concerned.
5.  Importers shall ensure that the product is accompanied by instructions in a language which can be easily understood by consumers and other end-users, as determined by the Member State concerned.
Amendment 112
Proposal for a directive
Article 7 – paragraph 7
7.  Importers shall keep a register of complaints, of non-conforming products and product recalls, and shall keep distributors informed of such monitoring.
7.  Importers shall keep a register of complaints and of non-conforming products.
Amendment 113
Proposal for a directive
Article 7 – paragraph 8
8.  Importers who consider or have reason to believe that a product which they have placed on the market is not in conformity with the requirements referred to in Article 3 shall immediately take the necessary corrective measures to bring that product into conformity, to withdraw it or recall it, if appropriate. Furthermore where the product presents a risk, importers shall immediately inform the competent national authorities of the Member States in which they made the product available to that effect, giving details, in particular, of the non-compliance and of any corrective measures taken.
8.  Importers who consider or have reason to believe that a product which they have placed on the market is not in conformity with this Directive shall immediately take the necessary corrective measures to bring that product into conformity or to withdraw it, if appropriate. Furthermore, where the product is not in conformity with this Directive, importers shall immediately inform the competent national authorities of the Member States in which they made the product available to that effect, giving details, in particular, of the non-compliance and of any corrective measures taken.
Amendment 114
Proposal for a directive
Article 7 – paragraph 9
9.  Importers shall, further to a reasoned request from a competent national authority, provide it with all the information and documentation necessary to demonstrate the conformity of a product in a language which can be easily understood by that authority. They shall cooperate with that authority, at its request, on any action taken to eliminate the risks posed by products which they have placed on the market.
9.  Importers shall, further to a request from a competent national authority, provide it with all the information and documentation necessary to demonstrate the conformity of a product in a language which can be easily understood by that authority. They shall cooperate with that authority, at its request, on any action taken to ensure compliance of products which they have placed on the market with the accessibility requirements set out in Article 3.
Amendment 115
Proposal for a directive
Article 8 – paragraph 2
2.  Before making a product available on the market distributors shall verify that the product bears the CE marking, that it is accompanied by the required documents and by instructions and information in a language which can be easily understood by consumers and other end-users in the Member State in which the product is to be made available on the market and that the manufacturer and the importer have complied with the requirements set out in Article 5(5) and (6) and Article 7(4).
2.  Before making a product available on the market distributors shall verify that the product is in conformity with this Directive and is accompanied by the required documents and by instructions in a language which can be easily understood by consumers and other end-users in the Member State in which the product is to be made available on the market and that the manufacturer and the importer have complied with the requirements set out in Article 5(5) and (6) and Article 7(4).
Amendment 116
Proposal for a directive
Article 8 – paragraph 3
3.  Where a distributor considers or has reason to believe that a product is not in conformity with the accessibility requirements referred to in Article 3, they shall not make the product available on the market until it has been brought into conformity. Furthermore, where the product presents a risk, the distributor shall inform the manufacturer and the market surveillance authorities to that effect.
3.  Where a distributor considers or has reason to believe that a product is not in conformity with the accessibility requirements referred to in Article 3, they shall not make the product available on the market until it has been brought into conformity. Furthermore, where the product is not in conformity with this Directive, the distributor shall inform the manufacturer and the market surveillance authorities to that effect.
Amendment 117
Proposal for a directive
Article 8 – paragraph 5
5.  Distributors who consider or have reason to believe that a product which they have made available on the market is not in conformity with this Directive shall make sure that the necessary corrective measures are taken to bring that product into conformity, to withdraw it or recall it, if appropriate. Furthermore, where the product presents a risk, distributors shall immediately inform the competent national authorities of the Member States in which they made the product available to that effect giving details, in particular, of the non-compliance and of any corrective measures taken.
5.  Distributors who consider or have reason to believe that a product which they have made available on the market is not in conformity with this Directive shall make sure that the necessary corrective measures are taken to bring that product into conformity or to withdraw it, if appropriate. Furthermore, where the product is not in conformity with this Directive, distributors shall immediately inform the competent national authorities of the Member States in which they made the product available to that effect giving details, in particular, of the non-compliance and of any corrective measures taken.
Amendment 118
Proposal for a directive
Article 8 – paragraph 6
6.  Distributors shall, further to a reasoned request from a competent national authority, provide it with all the information and documentation necessary to demonstrate the conformity of a product. They shall cooperate with that authority, at its request, on any action taken to eliminate the risks posed by products which they have made available on the market.
6.  Distributors shall, further to a request from a competent national authority, provide it with all the information and documentation necessary to demonstrate the conformity of a product. They shall cooperate with that authority, at its request, on any action taken to ensure compliance of products which they have made available on the market with the accessibility requirements set out in Article 3.
Amendment 119
Proposal for a directive
Article 10 – paragraph 2
2.  Economic operators shall be able to present the information referred to in paragraph 1 for a period of 10 years after they have been supplied with the product and for a period of 10 years after they have supplied the product.
2.  Economic operators shall be able to present the information referred to in paragraph 1 for a certain period, which shall be at least five years, after they have been supplied with the product or after they have supplied the product.
Amendment 120
Proposal for a directive
Article 10 – paragraph 2 a (new)
2a.  The Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 23a supplementing this Directive in order to specify the period referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article. That period shall be in proportion to the life cycle of the product concerned.
Amendment 121
Proposal for a directive
Article 11 – paragraph 2
2.  Service providers shall prepare the necessary information in accordance with Annex III explaining how the services meet the accessibility requirements referred to in Article 3. The information shall be made available to the public in written and oral format, including in a manner which is accessible to persons with functional limitations and persons with disabilities. Service providers shall keep the information as long as the service is in operation.
2.  Service providers shall prepare the necessary information in accordance with Annex III explaining how their services meet the accessibility requirements referred to in Article 3. The information shall be made available to the public in a manner which is accessible to persons with disabilities. Service providers shall keep the information as long as the service is in operation.
Amendment 122
Proposal for a directive
Article 11 – paragraph 4
4.  Service providers shall, further to a reasoned request from a competent authority, provide it with all information necessary to demonstrate the conformity of the service with the accessibility requirements referred to in Article 3. They shall cooperate with those authorities, at their request, on any action taken to bring the service in conformity with those requirements.
4.  Service providers shall, further to a request from a competent authority, provide it with all information necessary to demonstrate the conformity of the service with the accessibility requirements referred to in Article 3. They shall cooperate with those authorities, at their request, on any action taken to bring the service in conformity with those requirements.
Amendment 339
Proposal for a directive
Article 12 – paragraph 3 – point b
(b)  the estimated costs and benefits for the economic operators in relation to the estimated benefit for persons with disabilities, taking into account the frequency and duration of use of the specific product or service.
(b)  the estimated additional costs and benefits for the economic operators in relation to the estimated benefit for persons with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities, taking into account the frequency and duration of use of the specific product or service.
Amendment 123
Proposal for a directive
Article 12 – paragraph 4
4.  The burden shall not be deemed disproportionate where it is compensated by funding from other sources than the economic operator’s own resources, whether public or private.
4.  The burden shall not be deemed disproportionate where it is compensated by funding from other sources than the economic operator’s own resources, made available for the purpose of improving accessibility, whether public or private.
Amendment 124
Proposal for a directive
Article 12 – paragraph 5
5.  The assessment of whether compliance with accessibility requirements regarding products or services imposes a fundamental alteration or disproportionate burden shall be performed by the economic operator.
5.  The initial assessment of whether compliance with accessibility requirements regarding products or services imposes a fundamental alteration or disproportionate burden shall be performed by the economic operator.
Amendment 230
Proposal for a directive
Article 12 – paragraph 5 a (new)
5a.  The Commission shall adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 23a to supplement paragraph 3 of this Article by further specifying the criteria that are to be taken into account for all products and services covered by this Directive when assessing whether the burden is to be considered to be disproportionate, without modifying those criteria.
When further specifying those criteria, the Commission shall not only take into account the potential benefits for persons with disabilities, but also those for persons with functional limitations.
The Commission shall adopt the first such delegated act covering all products and services falling within the scope of this Directive by ... [one year after the date of entry into force of this Directive].

Amendment 126
Proposal for a directive
Article 12 – paragraph 6
6.  Where the economic operators have used the exception provided for in paragraphs 1 to 5 for a specific product or service they shall notify the relevant market surveillance authority of the Member State in the market of which the product or service is placed or made available. Notification shall include the assessment referred to in paragraph 3. Microenterprises are exempted from this notification requirement but must be able to supply the relevant documentation upon request from a relevant market surveillance authority.
6.  Where the economic operators have used the exception provided for in paragraphs 1 to 5 for a specific product or service they shall notify the relevant market surveillance authority of the Member State in the market of which the product or service is placed or made available. The assessment referred to in paragraph 3 shall be submitted to the market surveillance authority upon its request. Microenterprises are exempted from this notification requirement but must be able to supply the relevant documentation upon request from a relevant market surveillance authority.
Amendment 127
Proposal for a directive
Article 12 – paragraph 6 a (new)
6a.  The Commission shall adopt implementing acts establishing a model notification for the purposes of paragraph 6 of this Article. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 24(1a). The Commission shall adopt the first such implementing act by ... [two years after the date of entry into force of this Directive].
Amendment 128
Proposal for a directive
Article 12 – paragraph 6 b (new)
6b.  A structured dialogue shall be established between relevant stakeholders, including persons with disabilities and their representative organisations, and the market surveillance authorities to ensure that adequate principles for the assessment of the exceptions are established in order to ensure that they are coherent.
Amendment 129
Proposal for a directive
Article 12 – paragraph 6 c (new)
6c.  Member States are encouraged to provide incentives and guidelines to microenterprises to facilitate the implementation of this Directive. The procedures and guidelines shall be developed in consultation with relevant stakeholders, including persons with disabilities and their representative organisations.
Amendment 130
Proposal for a directive
Chapter IV – title
Harmonised Standards, common technical specifications and Conformity of products and services
Harmonised Standards, technical specifications and conformity of products and services
Amendment 131
Proposal for a directive
Article 13 – paragraph 1
Products and services which are in conformity with harmonised standards or parts thereof the references of which have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union, shall be presumed to be in conformity with the accessibility requirements covered by those standards or parts thereof, referred to in Article 3.
1.   Products and services that meet the harmonised standards or parts thereof the references of which have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union, shall be presumed to be in conformity with the accessibility requirements, referred to in Article 3, that are covered by those standards or parts thereof.
Amendment 132
Proposal for a directive
Article 13 – paragraph 1 a (new)
1a.  The Commission shall, in accordance with Article 10 of Regulation (EU) No 1025/2012, request one or more European standardisation organisations to draft harmonised standards for each of the accessibility requirements of products set out in Article 3. The Commission shall adopt those requests by ... [two years after the date of entry into force of this Directive].
Amendment 133
Proposal for a directive
Article 13 – paragraph 1 b (new)
1b.  The Commission may adopt implementing acts establishing technical specifications that meet the accessibility requirements set out in Article 3. However, it shall only do so if the following conditions are met:
(a)  no reference to harmonised standards has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 1025/2012;
(b)  the Commission has adopted a request referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article; and
(c)  the Commission notes undue delays in the standardisation procedure.
Before adopting implementing acts referred to in the first subparagraph, the Commission shall consult the relevant stakeholders, including organisations representing persons with disabilities.
Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 24(2) of this Directive.
Amendment 134
Proposal for a directive
Article 13 – paragraph 1 c (new)
1c.  Where no references to the harmonised standards referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union, products and services that meet the technical specifications referred to in paragraph 1b of this Article or parts thereof shall be deemed to be in conformity with the accessibility requirements set out in Article 3 that are covered by those technical specifications or parts thereof.
Amendment 135
Proposal for a directive
Article 14
Article 14
deleted
Common technical specifications
1.  Where no reference to harmonised standards has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 1025/2012, and where further detail for the accessibility requirements of certain products and services would be needed for harmonisation of the market, the Commission may adopt implementing acts establishing common technical specifications ('CTS') for the accessibility requirements set out in Annex I to this Directive. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 24(2) of this Directive.
2.  Products and services which are in conformity with the CTS referred to in paragraph 1 or parts thereof shall be deemed to be in conformity with the accessibility requirements referred to in Article 3, covered by those CTS or parts thereof.
Amendment 136
Proposal for a directive
Article 15 – paragraph 2
2.  The EU declaration of conformity shall have the model structure set out in Annex III to Decision No 768/2008/EC. It shall contain the elements specified in Annex II to this Directive and shall be continuously updated. The requirements concerning the technical documentation shall avoid imposing any disproportionate burden for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. It shall be translated into the language or languages required by the Member State in the market of which the product is placed or made available.
2.  The EU declaration of conformity shall have the model structure set out in Annex III to Decision No 768/2008/EC. It shall contain the elements specified in Annex II to this Directive and shall be continuously updated. The requirements concerning the technical documentation shall avoid imposing any disproportionate burden for small and medium-sized enterprises. It shall be translated into the language or languages required by the Member State in the market of which the product is placed or made available.
Amendment 137
Proposal for a directive
Article 15 – paragraph 3
3.  Where a product is subject to more than one Union act requiring an EU declaration of conformity, a single EU declaration of conformity shall be drawn up in respect of all such Union acts. That declaration shall contain the identification of the acts concerned including the publication references.
3.  Where a product is subject to more than one Union act requiring an EU declaration of conformity, the EU declaration of conformity shall be drawn up in respect of all such Union acts. That declaration shall contain the identification of the acts concerned including the publication references.
Amendment 138
Proposal for a directive
Article 15 – paragraph 4 a (new)
4a.  In addition to the EU declaration of conformity, the manufacturer shall include a notice on the packaging informing consumers in a cost-effective, simple and precise way that the product incorporates accessibility features.
Amendment 139
Proposal for a directive
Article 16
Article 16
deleted
General principles of the CE marking of products
The CE marking shall be subject to the general principles set out in Article 30 of Regulation (EC) No 765/2008.
Amendment 140
Proposal for a directive
Article -17 (new)
Article -17
National database
Each Member State shall establish a publicly accessible database to register non-accessible products. Consumers shall be able to consult and log information about non-accessible products. Member States shall take the necessary measures to inform consumers or other stakeholders of the possibility of lodging complaints. An interactive system between national databases shall be envisaged, where possible under the responsibility of the Commission or the relevant representative organisations, so that information on non-accessible products can be disseminated across the Union.
Amendment 141
Proposal for a directive
Article 18 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2
Member States shall ensure that the public is informed of the existence, responsibilities and identity of the authorities referred to in the first subparagraph. Those authorities shall make the information available in accessible formats upon request.
Member States shall ensure that the public is informed of the existence, responsibilities and identity of the authorities referred to in the first subparagraph. Those authorities shall make available the information on their own work and on the decisions that they have taken in accessible formats upon request by the members of the public concerned.
Amendment 142
Proposal for a directive
Article 19 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1
Where the market surveillance authorities of one Member State have taken action pursuant to Article 20 of Regulation (EC) No 765/2008, or where they have sufficient reason to believe that a product covered by this Directive presents a risk related to accessibility aspects covered by this Directive, they shall carry out an evaluation in relation to the product concerned covering all the requirements laid down in this Directive. The relevant economic operators shall fully cooperate with the market surveillance authorities.
Where the market surveillance authorities of one Member State have taken action pursuant to Article 20 of Regulation (EC) No 765/2008, or where they have sufficient reason to believe that a product covered by this Directive is not in conformity with this Directive, they shall carry out an evaluation in relation to the product concerned covering all the relevant requirements laid down in this Directive. The relevant economic operators shall fully cooperate with the market surveillance authorities.
Amendment 143
Proposal for a directive
Article 19 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2
Where, in the course of that evaluation, the market surveillance authorities find that the product does not comply with the requirements laid down in this Directive, they shall without delay require the relevant economic operator to take all appropriate corrective action to bring the product into compliance with those requirements, to withdraw the product from the market, or to recall it within a reasonable period, commensurate with the nature of the risk, as they may prescribe.
Where, in the course of that evaluation, the market surveillance authorities find that the product does not comply with the requirements laid down in this Directive, they shall without delay require the relevant economic operator to take all appropriate corrective action to bring the product concerned into compliance with those requirements. If the relevant economic operator fails to take any adequate corrective action, the market surveillance authorities shall require that economic operator to withdraw the product from the market within a reasonable period.
Amendment 144
Proposal for a directive
Article 19 – paragraph 4
4.  Where the relevant economic operator does not take adequate corrective action within the period referred to in the second subparagraph of paragraph 1, the market surveillance authorities shall take all appropriate provisional measures to prohibit or restrict products being made available on their national markets, to withdraw the product from that market or to recall it. The market surveillance authorities shall inform the Commission and the other Member States, without delay, of those measures.
4.  Where the relevant economic operator does not take adequate corrective action within the period referred to in the second subparagraph of paragraph 1, the market surveillance authorities shall take all appropriate provisional measures to prohibit or restrict products being made available on their national markets or to withdraw the product from that market. The market surveillance authorities shall inform the Commission and the other Member States, without delay, of those measures.
Amendment 145
Proposal for a directive
Article 19 – paragraph 5 – introductory part
5.  The information referred to in paragraph 4 shall include all available details, in particular the data necessary for the identification of the non-compliant product, the origin of the product, the nature of the alleged non-compliance and the risk involved, the nature and duration of the national measures taken and the arguments put forward by the relevant economic operator. In particular, the market surveillance authorities shall indicate whether the non-compliance is due to any of the following:
5.  The information referred to in paragraph 4 shall include all available details, in particular the data necessary for the identification of the non-compliant product, the origin of the product, the nature of the alleged non-compliance, the nature and duration of the national measures taken and the arguments put forward by the relevant economic operator. In particular, the market surveillance authorities shall indicate whether the non-compliance is due to any of the following:
Amendment 146
Proposal for a directive
Article 19 – paragraph 5 – point a
(a)  the failure of the product to meet requirements relating to those set out in Article 3 of this Directive, or
(a)  the failure of the product to meet relevant requirements set out in Article 3, or
Amendment 147
Proposal for a directive
Article 19 – paragraph 8
8.  Member States shall ensure that appropriate restrictive measures are taken in respect of the product concerned, such as withdrawal of the product from their market, without delay.
8.  Member States shall ensure that appropriate and proportionate restrictive measures are taken in respect of the product concerned, such as withdrawal of the product from their market, without delay.
Amendment 148
Proposal for a directive
Article 20 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1
Where, on completion of the procedure set out in Article 19(3) and (4), objections are raised against a measure taken by a Member State, or where the Commission considers a national measure to be contrary to Union legislation, the Commission shall without delay enter into consultation with the Member States and the relevant economic operator or operators and shall evaluate the national measure. On the basis of the results of that evaluation, the Commission shall decide whether the national measure is justified or not.
Where, on completion of the procedure set out in Article 19(3) and (4), objections are raised against a measure taken by a Member State, or where the Commission has reasonable evidence to suggest that a national measure is contrary to Union legislation, the Commission shall without delay enter into consultation with the Member States and the relevant economic operator or operators and shall evaluate the national measure. On the basis of the results of that evaluation, the Commission shall decide whether the national measure is justified or not.
Amendment 149
Proposal for a directive
Article 20 a (new)
Article 20a
Working Group
1.  The Commission shall establish a working group.
That working group shall consist of the representatives of the national market surveillance authorities and the relevant stakeholders, including persons with disabilities and their representative organisations.
2.  The working group shall perform the following tasks:
(a)  facilitating the exchange of information and best practices among the market surveillance authorities;
(b)  ensuring coherence in the application of the accessibility requirements set out in Article 3;
(c)  expressing an opinion on exceptions from the accessibility requirements set out in Article 3 in cases that are considered to be necessary, after receiving the Commission request.
Amendment 151
Proposal for a directive
Article 21 – paragraph 1 – point c
(c)  When establishing the accessibility requirements related to social and quality criteria established by competent authorities in tender procedures for public passenger transport services by rail and by road under Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007;
deleted
Amendments 247 and 281
Proposal for a directive
Article 21 – paragraph 1 – point d a (new)
(da)   where applicable, to all relevant Union legislation or to the provisions in Union legislation referring to accessibility for persons with disabilities;
Amendment 282
Proposal for a directive
Article 21 – paragraph 1 – point d b (new)
(db)   when the Union co-finances barrier-free accessible transport and telecommunication infrastructure projects under the CEF, the Structural Funds, or the EFSI, projects supporting or including accessibility components shall be prioritised.
Amendment 152
Proposal for a directive
Article 22 – paragraph 1
1.  Accessibility requirements referred to in Article 21 apply to the extent that they do not impose a disproportionate burden on the competent authorities for the purposes of that Article.
1.  Accessibility requirements referred to in Article 21 apply to the extent that they do not impose a disproportionate burden on the competent authorities or the operators contracted by them for the purposes of that Article.
Amendments 226 and 257
Proposal for a directive
Article 22 – paragraph 2 – point b
(b)  the estimated costs and benefits for the competent authorities concerned in relation to the estimated benefit for persons with disabilities, taking into account the frequency and duration of use of the specific product or service;
(b)  the estimated costs and benefits for the competent authorities concerned in relation to the estimated benefit for persons with functional limitations and persons with disabilities, taking into account the frequency and duration of use of the specific product or service.
Amendment 153
Proposal for a directive
Article 22 – paragraph 3
3.  The assessment of whether compliance with accessibility requirements referred to in Article 21 imposes a disproportionate burden shall be performed by the competent authorities concerned.
3.  The initial assessment of whether compliance with accessibility requirements referred to in Article 21 imposes a disproportionate burden shall be performed by the competent authorities concerned.
Amendment 231
Proposal for a directive
Article 22 – paragraph 3 a (new)
3a.  The Commission shall adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 23a to supplement paragraph 2 of this Article by further specifying the criteria that are to be taken into account for all products and services covered by this Directive when assessing whether the burden is to be considered disproportionate, without modifying those criteria.
When further specifying those criteria, the Commission shall not only take into account the potential benefits for persons with disabilities, but also those for persons with functional limitations.
The Commission shall adopt the first such delegated act covering all products and services falling within the scope of this Directive by ... [one year after the date of entry into force of this Directive].

Amendment 155
Proposal for a directive
Article 22 – paragraph 4
4.  Where a competent authority has used the exception provided for in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 for a specific product or service it shall notify the Commission thereof. The notification shall include the assessment referred to in paragraph 2.
4.  Where a competent authority has used the exception provided for in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 for a specific product or service, it shall notify the Commission thereof. The assessment referred to in paragraph 2 shall be submitted to the Commission upon its request.
Amendment 156
Proposal for a directive
Article 22 – paragraph 4 a (new)
4a.  If the Commission has reason to doubt the decision of the competent authority concerned, the Commission may request the working group referred to in Article 20a to verify the assessment referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article and issue an opinion.
Amendment 157
Proposal for a directive
Article 22 – paragraph 4 b (new)
4b.  The Commission shall adopt implementing acts setting out a model notification for the purposes of paragraph 4 of this Article. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 24(1a). The Commission shall adopt the first such implementing act by ... [two years after the date of entry into force of this Directive].
Amendment 158
Proposal for a directive
Chapter VII – title
IMPLEMENTING POWERS AND FINAL PROVISIONS
DELEGATED ACTS, IMPLEMENTING POWERS AND FINAL PROVISIONS
Amendment 159
Proposal for a directive
Article 23 a (new)
Article 23a
Exercise of the delegation
1.  The power to adopt delegated acts is conferred on the Commission subject to the conditions laid down in this Article.
2.  The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 10(2a), Article 12(5a) and Article 22(3a) shall be conferred on the Commission for an indeterminate period of time from .... [date of entry into force of this Directive].
3.  The delegation of power referred to in Article 10(2a), Article 12(5a) and Article 22(3a) may be revoked at any time by the European Parliament or by the Council. A decision to revoke shall put an end to the delegation of the power specified in that decision. It shall take effect on the day following the publication of the decision in the Official Journal of the European Union or at a later date specified therein. It shall not affect the validity of any delegated acts already in force.
4.  Before adopting a delegated act, the Commission shall consult experts designated by each Member State in accordance with the principles laid down in the Interinstitutional Agreement of 13 April 2016 on Better Law-Making.
5.  As soon as it adopts a delegated act, the Commission shall notify it simultaneously to the European Parliament and to the Council.
6.  A delegated act adopted pursuant to Article 10(2a), Article 12(5a) and 22(3a) shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed either by the European Parliament or by the Council within a period of two months of notification of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by two months at the initiative of the European Parliament or of the Council.
Amendment 160
Proposal for a directive
Article 24 – paragraph 1 a (new)
1a.  Where reference is made to this paragraph, Article 4 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 shall apply.
Amendment 161
Proposal for a directive
Article 25 – paragraph 2 – introductory part
2.  The means referred to paragraph 1 shall include:
2.  The means referred to in paragraph 1 shall include:
Amendment 162
Proposal for a directive
Article 25 – paragraph 2 – point a
(a)  provisions whereby a consumer may take action under national law before the courts or before the competent administrative bodies to ensure that the national provisions transposing this Directive are complied with;
(a)  the possibility, for the consumer directly affected by the non-conformity of a product or service, to take action under national law before the courts or before the competent administrative bodies to ensure that the national provisions transposing this Directive are complied with;
Amendment 163
Proposal for a directive
Article 25 – paragraph 2 – point b
(b)  provisions whereby public bodies or private associations, organisations or other legal entities which have a legitimate interest, in ensuring that the provisions of this Directive are complied with, may take action under national law before the courts or before the competent administrative bodies on behalf of consumers to ensure that the national provisions transposing this Directive are complied with.
(b)  the possibility, for the public bodies or private associations, organisations or other legal entities which have a legitimate interest, in ensuring that the provisions of this Directive are complied with, to take action under national law before the courts or before the competent administrative bodies on behalf of consumers to ensure that the national provisions transposing this Directive are complied with. That legitimate interest could be the representation of consumers that are directly affected by the non-conformity of a product or service;
Amendment 164
Proposal for a directive
Article 25 – paragraph 2 – point b a (new)
(ba)  the possibility, for the consumer directly affected by the non-conformity of a product or service, to use a complaint mechanism; that mechanism could be handled by an existing body such as a national ombudsman.
Amendment 165
Proposal for a directive
Article 25 – paragraph 2 a (new)
2a.  Member States shall ensure that, prior to an action being brought before the courts or before the competent administrative bodies, as referred to in points (a) and (b) of paragraph 1, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms are in place to resolve any alleged non-compliance with this Directive which has been reported by means of a complaint mechanism referred to in point (ba) of paragraph 2.
Amendment 166
Proposal for a directive
Article 25 – paragraph 2 b (new)
2b.  This Article shall not apply to contracts which are subject to Directives 2014/24/EU or 2014/25/EU.
Amendment 288
Proposal for a directive
Article 26 – paragraph 2
2.  The penalties provided for shall be effective, proportionate and dissuasive.
2.  The penalties provided for shall be effective, proportionate and dissuasive, but shall not serve as an alternative to the fulfilment by economic operators of their obligation to make their products or services accessible. Those penalties shall also be accompanied by effective remedial action in case of non-compliance of the economic operator.
Amendment 168
Proposal for a directive
Article 26 – paragraph 4
4.  Penalties shall take into account the extent of the non-compliance, including the number of units of non-complying products or services concerned, as well as the number of people affected.
4.  Penalties shall take into account the extent of the non-compliance, including its seriousness, and the number of units of non-complying products or services concerned, as well as the number of people affected.
Amendment 169
Proposal for a directive
Article 27 – paragraph 2
2.  They shall apply those provisions from [… insert date - six years after the entry into force of this Directive].
2.  They shall apply those provisions from ... [five years after the entry into force of this Directive].
Amendment 170
Proposal for a directive
Article 27 – paragraph 2 a (new)
2a.  Without prejudice to paragraph 2b of this Article, Member States shall provide for a transitional period of five years after ... [six years after the date of entry into force of this Directive] during which service providers may continue to provide their services using products which were lawfully used by them to provide similar services before that date.
Amendment 171
Proposal for a directive
Article 27 – paragraph 2 b (new)
2b.  Member States may provide that self-service terminals lawfully used by service providers for the provision of services before .... [six years after the date of entry into force of this Directive] may continue to be used in the provision of similar services until the end of their economically useful life.
Amendment 172
Proposal for a directive
Article 27 – paragraph 5
5.  Member States using the possibility provided for in Article 3(10) shall communicate to the Commission the text of the main provisions of national law which they adopt to that end and shall report to the Commission on the progress made in their implementation.
5.  Where appropriate, Member States shall communicate to the Commission the text of the main provisions of national law which they adopt to the end of Article 3(10) and shall report to the Commission on the progress made in their implementation.
Amendment 173
Proposal for a directive
Article 28 – paragraph 1
By […insert date - five years after the application of this Directive], and every five years thereafter, the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions a report on the application of this Directive.
-1.   By ... [three years after the date of the application of this Directive], and every five years thereafter, the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions a report on the application of this Directive.
Amendment 174
Proposal for a directive
Article 28 – paragraph 1
1.  The report shall, inter alia, address in the light of social, economic and technological developments the evolution of the accessibility of products and services and the impact on economic operators and persons with disabilities, identifying where possible, areas for burden reduction, with a view to assessing the need to review this Directive.
1.  Those reports, drawn up on the basis of the notifications received in accordance with Article 12(6) and Article 22(4), shall assess whether this Directive has achieved its objectives, in particular with regard to enhancing the free movement of accessible products and services. In addition, those reports shall in the light of social, economic and technological developments, address the evolution of the accessibility of products and services, the need to include new products and services within the scope of this Directive, or the need to exclude certain products or services from the scope of this Directive as well as the impact of this Directive on economic operators and persons with disabilities, identifying where possible, areas for burden reduction, with a view to assessing the need to review this Directive.
Amendment 175
Proposal for a directive
Article 28 – paragraph 2
2.  Member States shall communicate to the Commission in due time all the information necessary for the Commission to draw up such a report.
2.  Member States shall communicate to the Commission in due time all the information necessary for the Commission to draw up such reports.
Amendment 176
Proposal for a directive
Article 28 – paragraph 3
3.  The Commission’s report shall take into account the viewpoints of the economic stakeholders and relevant non-governmental organisations, including organisations of persons with disabilities and those representing older persons.
3.  The Commission’s report shall take into account the viewpoints of the economic stakeholders and relevant non-governmental organisations, including organisations of persons with disabilities.
Amendment 177
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section I – Part A (new)
A.  Operating systems
1.  The provision of services in order to maximise their reasonably foreseeable use by persons with disabilities shall be achieved by meeting the functional performance requirements set out in Part C, and shall include:
(a)  information about the functioning of the service concerned and about its accessibility characteristics and facilities; and
(b)  electronic information, including the websites necessary for the provision of the service concerned.
Amendment 178
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section I – Part B (new)
B.  General-purpose computer hardware and its embedded operating systems
Amendment 180
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section I – point 2
[.....]
deleted
Amendment 181
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section I – Part C (new)
C.  Functional performance requirements
In order to make accessible their design and user interface products and services shall be designed, where applicable, as follows:
(a)  Usage without vision
Where the product provides visual modes of operation, it shall provide at least one mode of operation that does not require vision.
(b)  Usage with limited vision
Where the product provides visual modes of operation, it shall provide at least one mode of operation that enables users to operate the product with limited vision; which can be achieved for instance via features related to flexible contrast and brightness, flexible magnification without loss of content or functionalities, flexible ways to separate and control foreground from background visual elements and flexible control over the field of vision required.
(c)  Usage without perception of colour
Where the product provides visual modes of operation, it shall provide at least one mode of operation that does not require user perception of colour.
(d)  Usage without hearing
Where the product provides auditory modes of operation, it shall provide at least one mode of operation that does not require hearing.
(e)  Usage with limited hearing
Where the product provides auditory modes of operation, it shall provide at least one mode of operation with enhanced audio features; which can be achieved for instance for user control of volume and flexible ways to separate and control foreground from background sound where voice and background are available as separate audio streams.
(f)  Usage without vocal capability
Where the product requires vocal input from users, it shall provide at least one mode of operation that does not require them to generate vocal output. Vocal output includes any orally-generated sounds like speech, whistles or clicks.
(g)  Usage with limited manipulation or strength
Where the product requires manual actions, it shall provide at least one mode of operation that enables users to make use of the product through alternative actions not requiring fine motor control and manipulation, hand strength or operation of more than one control at the same time.
(h)  Usage with limited reach
Where the products are freestanding or installed, the operational elements shall be within reach of all users.
(i)  Minimising the risk of triggering photosensitive seizures
Where the product provides visual modes of operation, it shall avoid modes of operation that are known to trigger photosensitive seizures.
(j)  Usage with limited cognition
The product shall provide at least one mode of operation incorporating features that make it simpler and easier to use.
(k)  Privacy
Where the product incorporates features that are provided for accessibility, it shall provide at least one mode of operation that maintains privacy when using those product features that are provided for accessibility.
Amendment 182
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section I – Part D (new)
D.  Support services
Where available, support services shall provide information on the accessibility of the product and its compatibility with assistive technologies, in accessible modes of communication for persons with disabilities.
Amendments 183 and 291
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section II – title
Self-service terminals: Automatic Teller Machines, ticketing machines and check- in machines
Self-service terminals: Automatic Teller Machines, ticketing machines, check- in machines and payment terminals
Amendments 184, 291,299 and 342
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section II – point 1
1.  Design and production:
1.  Design and production:
The design and production of products in order to maximise their foreseeable use by persons with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities and those with age related impairments, shall be achieved by making accessible the following:
The design and production of products in order to maximise their reasonably foreseeable use by persons with disabilities shall be achieved by meeting the functional performance requirements set out in Part C of Section I. In that regard, products shall not require an accessibility feature to be activated in order to enable a user who needs the feature to turn it on.
The design and production of products shall be made accessible, including the following:
(a)  the information on the use of the product provided on the product itself (labelling, instructions, warning), which:
(a)  the information on the use of the product provided on the product itself (the labelling, instructions and warning);
(i)  must be available by more than one sensory channel;
(ii)  must be understandable
(iii)  must be perceivable;
(iv)  shall have an adequate size of fonts in foreseeable conditions of use;
(b)  the user interface of the product (handling, controls and feedback, input and output) in accordance with point 2;
(b)  the user interface of the product (handling, controls and feedback, input and output);
(c)  the functionality of the product by providing functions aimed to address the needs of persons with functional limitations, in accordance with point 2;
(c)  the functionality of the product by providing functions aimed to address the needs of persons with disabilities, which must be achieved by allowing for the use of personal headsets, where a timed response is required, by alerting the user by more than one sensory channel and by giving the possibility to extend the time permitted and by having an adequate contrast and tactilely discernible keys and controls;
(d)  the interfacing of the product with assistive devices.
(d)  when relevant, compatibility with assistive devices and technologies available at Union level, including hearing technologies such as hearing aids, telecoils, cochlear implants and assistive listening devices.
Amendment 185
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section II – point 2
[....]
deleted
Amendment 186
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section III – title
Telephony services, including emergency services and the related consumer terminal equipment with advanced computing capability
Telephony services, including emergency services and the related consumer terminal equipment
Amendments 187, 292 and 300
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section III – Part A – point 1
1.  The provision of services in order to maximise their foreseeable use by persons with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities, shall be achieved by:
1.  The provision of services in order to maximise their reasonably foreseeable use by persons with disabilities shall be achieved by meeting the functional performance requirements set out in Part C of Section I, and shall include:
(a)  ensuring the accessibility of the products they use in the provision of the service, in accordance with the rules laid down in point B on "Related terminal equipment with advance computing capability used by consumers"
(a)  the products the service providers use in the provision of the service concerned, in accordance with the rules laid down in Part B of this Section;
(b)  providing information about the functioning of the service and about its accessibility characteristics and facilities as follows:
(b)  information about the functioning of the service concerned and about its accessibility characteristics and facilities;
(i)  the information content shall be available in text formats that can be used to generate alternative assistive formats to be presented in different ways by the users and via more than one sensory channel,
(ii)  alternatives to non-text content shall be provided;
(iii)   the electronic information, including the related online applications needed in the provision of the service shall be provided in accordance with point (c).
(ba)   electronic information, including the related online applications needed in the provision of the service concerned;
(c)  making websites accessible in a consistent and adequate way for users’ perception, operation and understanding, including the adaptability of content presentation and interaction, when necessary providing an accessible electronic alternative; and in a way which facilitates interoperability with a variety of user agents and assistive technologies available at Union and international level;
(c)  making websites accessible in a consistent and adequate way for users’ perception, operation and understanding, including the adaptability of content presentation and interaction, when necessary providing an accessible electronic alternative; and in a way which facilitates interoperability with a variety of user agents and assistive technologies available at Union and international level;
(ca)  mobile-based apps;
(d)  providing accessible information to facilitate complementarities with assistive services;
(d)  information to facilitate complementarities with assistive services;
(e)  including functions, practices, policies and procedures and alterations in the operation of the service targeted to address the needs of persons with functional limitations.
(e)  functions, practices, policies, procedures and alterations in the operation of the service targeted to address the needs of persons with disabilities and ensure interoperability; which must be achieved by supporting voice, video and real time text communication, alone or in combination (total conversation), between two users, or between a user and an emergency service.
Amendment 344
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section III – Part A – point 1 a (new)
1a.   Support services
Where available, support services (help desks, call centres, technical support, relay services and training services) shall provide information on the accessibility of the service and its compatibility with assistive technologies, in accessible modes of communication for users with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities.
Amendments 188 and 292
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section III – Part B – title
B.  Related terminal equipment with advance computing capability used by consumers:
B.  Related terminal equipment used by consumers:
Amendments 189, 292 and 301
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section III – Part B – point 1
1.  Design and production:
1.  Design and production:
The design and production of products in order to maximise their foreseeable use by persons with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities and those with age related impairments, shall be achieved by making accessible the following:
The design and production of products in order to maximise their reasonably foreseeable use by persons with disabilities shall be achieved by meeting the functional performance requirements set out in Part C of Section I, and shall include:
(a)  the information on the use of the product provided on the product itself (labelling, instructions, warning), which:
(a)   the information on the use of the product provided on the product itself (the labelling, instructions and warning);
(i)  must be available by more than one sensory channel;
(ii)  must be understandable
(iii)  must be perceivable;
(iv)  shall have an adequate size of fonts in foreseeable conditions of use;
(b)  the packaging of the product including the information provided in it (opening, closing, use, disposal);
(b)  the packaging of the product including the information provided in it (opening, closing, use, disposal);
(c)  the product instructions for use, installation and maintenance, storage and disposal of the product which shall comply with the following:
(c)  the product instructions for use, installation and maintenance, storage and disposal of the product;
(i)  content of instruction shall be available in text formats that can be used for generating alternative assistive formats to be presented in different ways and via more than one sensory channel, and
(ii)  instructions shall provide alternatives to non-text content;
(d)  the user interface of the product (handling, controls and feedback, input and output) in accordance with point 2;
(d)  the user interface of the product (handling, controls and feedback, input and output);
(e)  the functionality of the product by providing functions aimed to address the needs of persons with functional limitations, in accordance with point 2;
(e)  the functionality of the product by providing functions aimed to address the needs of persons with disabilities and ensure interoperability; which must be achieved by supporting high fidelity audio, a video resolution enabling sign language communication, real time text alone or in combination with voice and video communication or by ensuring effective wireless coupling to hearing technologies;
(f)  the interfacing of the product with assistive devices.
(f)  the interfacing of the product with assistive devices.
Amendment 190
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section III – Part B – point 2
[....]
deleted
Amendment 346rev
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section III –Part B – point 2 a (new)
2a.   Support services:
Where available, support services (help desks, call centres, technical support, relay services and training services) shall provide information on the accessibility of the product and its compatibility with assistive technologies, in accessible modes of communication for users with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities.
Amendment 191
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section IV – title
Audiovisual media services and the related consumer equipment with advance computing capability
Websites and online applications of audiovisual media services and the related consumer equipment
Amendment 192
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section IV – Part A – title
A.  Services:
A.  Websites and online applications:
Amendment 193
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section IV – Part A – point 1
1.  The provision of services in order to maximise their foreseeable use by persons with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities, shall be achieved by:
1.   The provision of services in order to maximise their reasonably foreseeable use by persons with disabilities shall be achieved by meeting the functional performance requirements set out in Part C of section I, and shall include:
(a)   ensuring the accessibility of the products they use in the provision of the service, in accordance with the rules laid down in point B on "Related terminal equipment with advance computing capability used by consumers"
(a)  making websites accessible in a consistent and adequate way for users’ perception, operation and understanding, including the adaptability of content presentation and interaction, when necessary providing an accessible electronic alternative; and in a way which facilitates interoperability with a variety of user agents and assistive technologies available at Union and international level;
(b)   providing information about the functioning of the service and about its accessibility characteristics and facilities as follows:
(b)   mobile device-based applications.
(i)  the information content shall be available in text formats that can be used to generate alternative assistive formats to be presented in different ways by the users and via more than one sensory channel,
(ii)  alternatives to non-text content shall be provided;
(iii)  the electronic information, including the related online applications needed in the provision of the service shall be provided in accordance with point (c).
(c)  making websites accessible in a consistent and adequate way for users’ perception, operation and understanding, including the adaptability of content presentation and interaction, when necessary providing an accessible electronic alternative; and in a way which facilitates interoperability with a variety of user agents and assistive technologies available at Union and international level;
(d)  providing accessible information to facilitate complementarities with assistive services;
(e)  including functions, practices, policies and procedures and alterations in the operation of the service targeted to address the needs of persons with functional limitations.
Amendment 194
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section IV – Part B – title
B.  Related consumer equipment with advance computing capability:
B.  Related consumer equipment:
Amendments 195 and 293
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section IV – Part B – point 1
1.  Design and production:
1.  Design and production:
The design and production of products in order to maximise their foreseeable use by persons with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities and those with age related impairments, shall be achieved by making accessible the following:
The design and production of products in order to maximise their reasonably foreseeable use by persons with disabilities shall be achieved by meeting the functional performance requirements set out in part C of Section I, and shall include:
(a)  the information on the use of the product provided in the product itself (labelling, instructions, warning), which:
(a)  the information on the use of the product provided on the product itself (the labelling, instructions and warning);
(i)  must be available by more than one sensory channel;
(ii)  must be understandable
(iii)  must be perceivable;
(iv)  shall have an adequate size of fonts in foreseeable conditions of use;
(b)  the packaging of the product including the information provided in it (opening, closing, use, disposal);
(b)  the packaging of the product including the information provided in it (opening, closing, use, disposal);
(c)  the product instructions for use, installation and maintenance, storage and disposal of the product which shall comply with the following:
(c)  the product instructions for use, installation and maintenance, storage and disposal of the product;
(i)  content of instruction shall be available in text formats that can be used for generating alternative assistive formats to be presented in different ways and via more than one sensory channel, and
(ii)  instructions shall provide alternatives to non-text content;
(d)  the user interface of the product (handling, controls and feedback, input and output) in accordance with point 2;
(d)  the user interface of the product (handling, controls and feedback, input and output);
(e)  the functionality of the product by providing functions aimed to address the needs of persons with functional limitations, in accordance with point 2;
(e)  the functionality of the product by providing functions aimed to address the needs of persons with disabilities; which can be achieved for instance by supporting the possibility to select, personalise and display access services such as subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing, audio description, spoken subtitles and sign language interpretation, by providing means for effective wireless coupling to hearing technologies or by providing the user controls to activate access services for audiovisual services to the user at the same level of prominence as the primary media controls;
(f)  the interfacing of the product with assistive devices.
(f)  the interfacing of the product with assistive devices.
Amendment 196
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section IV – Part B – point 2
[....]
deleted
Amendments 197 and 308
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section V – title
Air, bus, rail and waterborne passenger transport services; websites used for provision of passenger transport services; mobile device-based services, smart ticketing and real time information; Self-service terminals, ticketing machines and check-in machines used for provision of passenger transport services
Air, bus, coach, rail and waterborne passenger transport services; websites used for provision of passenger transport services; mobile device-based services, smart ticketing and real time information; self-service terminals, including payment terminals, ticketing machines and check-in machines used for provision of passenger transport, mobility and tourism services.
Amendments 198, 294/rev, 303, 311, 315 and 316
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section V – Part A – point 1
1.  The provision of services in order to maximise their foreseeable use by persons with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities, shall be achieved by:
1.   The provision of services in order to maximise their reasonably foreseeable use by persons with disabilities shall be achieved by meeting the functional performance requirements set out in Part C of Section I, and shall include:
(a)  providing information about the functioning of the service and about its accessibility characteristics and facilities as follows:
(a)  information about the functioning of the service concerned and about its accessibility characteristics and facilities;
(i)  the information content shall be available in text formats that can be used to generate alternative assistive formats to be presented in different ways by the users and via more than one sensory channel,
(ii)   alternatives to non-text content shall be provided;
(aa)  information on how to use the accessibility features of the service including accessibility of vehicles and surrounding infrastructure and built environment shall be listed and explained and information about assistance shall be provided, in accordance with Regulations (EC) No 1107/2006, (EU) No 1177/2010, (EC) No 1371/2007 and (EU) No 181/2011;
(iii)   the electronic information, including the related online applications needed in the provision of the service shall be provided in accordance with point (b).
(ab)   electronic information, including the related online applications needed in the provision of the service concerned shall be provided in accordance with point (b);
(b)  making websites accessible in a consistent and adequate way for users’ perception, operation and understanding, including the adaptability of content presentation and interaction, when necessary providing an accessible electronic alternative, and in a way which facilitates interoperability with a variety of user agents and assistive technologies available at Union and international level;
(b)  making websites including online applications needed for the provision of the passenger transport, tourism, accommodation and catering services, accessible in a consistent and adequate way for users’ perception, operation and understanding; this includes the adaptability of the contents presentation and interaction, with the provision of an accessible electronic alternative when necessary, in a robust way that facilitates interoperability with a variety of user agents and the assistive technologies available at Union and international level;
(ba)  making mobile-based services including mobile applications needed in the provision of the service accessible in a consistent and adequate way for users’ perception, operation and understanding, including the adaptability of content presentation and interaction, when necessary providing an accessible electronic alternative; and in a robust way which facilitates interoperability with a variety of user agents and assistive technologies available at Union and international level;
(c)  including functions, practices, policies and procedures and alterations in the operation of the service targeted to address the needs of persons with functional limitations.
(c)  including functions, practices, policies, procedures and alterations in the operation of the service targeted to address the needs of persons with disabilities, including making mobile-based services, including mobile applications needed in the provision of the service, accessible in a consistent and adequate way for users’ perception, operation and understanding, including the adaptability of content presentation and interaction, when necessary providing an accessible electronic alternative; and in a robust way which facilitates interoperability with a variety of user agents and assistive technologies available at Union and international level;
This concerns services such as smart ticketing (electronic reservation, booking of tickets, etc.), real-time passenger information (timetables, information about traffic disruptions, connecting services, onwards travel with other transport modes, etc.), and additional service information (e.g. staffing of stations, lifts that are out of order or services that are temporarily unavailable).
(ca)  mobile device-based services, smart ticketing and real-time information.
Amendment 199
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section V – Part B
B.  Websites used for the provision of passenger transport services:
deleted
(a)  Making websites accessible in a consistent and adequate way for users’ perception, operation and understanding, including the adaptability of content presentation and interaction, where necessary providing an accessible electronic alternative; and in a way which facilitates interoperability with a variety of user agents and assistive technologies available at Union and international level.
Amendment 200
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section V – Part C
C.   Mobile device-based services, smart ticketing and real time information:
deleted
1.  The provision of services in order to maximise their foreseeable use by persons with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities, shall be achieved by:
(a)  providing information about the functioning of the service and about its accessibility characteristics and facilities as follows:
(i)  the information content shall be available in text formats that can be used to generate alternative assistive formats to be presented in different ways by the users and via more than one sensory channel,
(ii)  alternatives to non-text content shall be provided;
(iii)  the electronic information, including the related online applications needed in the provision of the service shall be provided in accordance with point (b).
(b)  making websites accessible in a consistent and adequate way for users’ perception, operation and understanding, including the adaptability of content presentation and interaction, when necessary providing an accessible electronic alternative; and in a way which facilitates interoperability with a variety of user agents and assistive technologies available at Union and international level;
Amendment 201
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section V – Part D – title
D.  Self-service terminals, ticketing machines and check-in machines used for provision of passenger transport services:
D.  Self-service terminals, including payment terminals, ticketing machines and check-in machines used for provision of passenger transport services:
Amendments 202 and 327
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section V – Part D – point 1
1.  Design and production:
1.  Design and production:
The design and production of products in order to maximise their foreseeable use by persons with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities and those with age related impairments, shall be achieved by making accessible the following:
The design and production of products in order to maximise their reasonably foreseeable use by persons with disabilities shall be achieved by meeting the functional performance requirements set out in Part C of Section I, and shall include:
(a)  the information on the use of the product provided on the product itself (labelling, instructions, warning), which:
(a)  the information on the use of the product provided on the product itself (the labelling, instructions and warning);
(i)  must be available by more than one sensory channel;
(ii)  must be understandable
(iii)  must be perceivable;
(iv)  shall have an adequate size of fonts in foreseeable conditions of use;
(b)  the user interface of the product (handling, controls and feedback, input and output) in accordance with point 2;
(b)  the user interface of the product (handling, controls and feedback, input and output);
(c)  the functionality of the product by providing functions aimed to address the needs of persons with functional limitations, in accordance with point 2;
(c)  the functionality of the product by providing functions aimed to address the needs of persons with disabilities;
(d)  the interfacing of the product with assistive devices
(d)  the compatibility of the product with assistive devices and technologies, including hearing technologies, such as hearing aids, telecoils, cochlear implants, and assistive listening devices; the product shall also allow for the use of personal headsets.
Amendment 352
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section V – Part D – point 1 a (new)
1a.  Support services
Where available, support services (help desks, call centres, technical support, relay services and training services) shall provide information on the accessibility of the product and its compatibility with assistive technologies, in accessible modes of communication for users with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities.

Amendment 203
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section V – Part D – point 2
[....]
deleted
Amendment 204
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section VI – title
Banking services; websites used for provision of banking services; mobile device-based banking services; self service terminals, including Automatic Teller machines used for provision of banking services
Consumer banking services; websites used for provision of banking services; mobile device-based banking services; self-service terminals, including payment terminals and Automatic Teller machines used for provision of banking services
Amendments 205, 295 and 304
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section VI – Part A – point 1
1.  The provision of services in order to maximise their foreseeable use by persons with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities, shall be achieved by:
1.  The provision of services in order to maximise their reasonably foreseeable use by persons with disabilities shall be achieved by meeting the functional performance requirements set out in Part C of Section I, and shall include:
(a)  ensuring the accessibility of the products they use in the provision of the service, in accordance with the rules laid down in point D:
(a)  the products the service providers use in the provision of the service concerned, in accordance with the rules laid down in Part D of this Section;
(b)  providing information about the functioning of the service and about its accessibility characteristics and facilities as follows:
(b)  information about the functioning of the service and about its accessibility characteristics and facilities. This information shall be understandable, without exceeding a level of complexity superior to level B2 (upper intermediate) of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference for Languages;
(i)  the information content shall be available in text formats that can be used to generate alternative assistive formats to be presented in different ways by the users and via more than one sensory channel,
(ii)  alternatives to non-text content shall be provided;
(iii)   the electronic information, including the related online applications needed in the provision of the service shall be provided in accordance with point (c).
(ba)  electronic information, including the related websites and online applications needed in the provision of the service concerned, and including information on electronic identification, security and payment methods.
(c)  making websites accessible in a consistent and adequate way for users’ perception, operation and understanding, including the adaptability of content presentation and interaction, when necessary providing an accessible electronic alternative; and in a way which facilitates interoperability with a variety of user agents and assistive technologies available at Union and international level;
(d)  including functions, practices, policies and procedures and alterations in the operation of the service targeted to address the needs of persons with functional limitations.
(d)  functions, practices, policies, procedures and alterations in the operation of the service targeted to address the needs of persons with disabilities;
(da)  mobile device-based banking services.
Amendment 206
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section VI – Part B
B.  Websites used for provision of banking services:
deleted
The provision of services in order to maximise their foreseeable use by persons with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities, shall be achieved by:
(a)  making websites accessible in a consistent and adequate way for users’ perception, operation and understanding, including the adaptability of content presentation and interaction, when necessary providing an accessible electronic alternative; and in a way which facilitates interoperability with a variety of user agents and assistive technologies available at Union and international level;
Amendment 207
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section VI – Part C
C.   Mobile device-based banking services:
deleted
1.  The provision of services in order to maximise their foreseeable use by persons with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities, shall be achieved by:
(a)  providing information about the functioning of the service and about its accessibility characteristics and facilities as follows:
(i)  the information content shall be available in text formats that can be used to generate alternative assistive formats to be presented in different ways by the users and via more than one sensory channel,
(ii)alternatives to non-text content shall be provided;
(iii)  the electronic information, including the related online applications needed in the provision of the service shall be provided in accordance with point (b).
(b)  making websites accessible in a consistent and adequate way for users’ perception, operation and understanding, including the adaptability of content presentation and interaction, when necessary providing an accessible electronic alternative; and in a way which facilitates interoperability with a variety of user agents and assistive technologies available at Union and international level;
Amendment 208
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section VI – Part D – title
D.  Self-service terminals, including Automatic Teller machines used for provision of banking services’
D.  Self-service terminals, including payment terminals, Automatic Teller machines used for provision of consumer banking services
Amendment 209
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section VI – point D – point 1
1.  Design and production
1.  Design and production
The design and production of products in order to maximise their foreseeable use by persons with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities and those with age related impairments, shall be achieved by making accessible the following:
The design and production of products in order to maximise their foreseeable use by persons with disabilities, shall be achieved by meeting the functional performance requirements set out in Part C of Section I, and shall include:
(a)  the information on the use of the product provided in the product itself (labelling, instructions, warning), which:
(a)  the information on the use of the product provided on the product itself (the labelling, instructions and warning);
(i)  must be available by more than one sensory channel;
(ii)  must be understandable
(iii)  must be perceivable;
(iv)  shall have an adequate size of fonts in foreseeable conditions of use;
(b)  the user interface of the product (handling, controls and feedback, input and output) in accordance with point 2;
(b)  the user interface of the product (handling, controls and feedback, input and output);
(c)  the functionality of the product by providing functions aimed to address the needs of persons with functional limitations, in accordance with point 2;
(c)  the functionality of the product by providing functions aimed to address the needs of persons with disabilities;
(d)  the interfacing of the product with assistive devices.
(d)  the interfacing of the product with assistive devices.
Amendment 356
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section VI – Part D – point 1 a (new)
1a.  Support services
Where available, support services (help desks, call centres, technical support, relay services and training services) shall provide information on the accessibility of the product and its compatibility with assistive technologies, in accessible modes of communication for users with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities.

Amendment 210
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section VI – Part D – point 2
[....]
deleted
Amendment 211
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section VII – title
E-books
E-books and related equipment
Amendment 305
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section VII – Part A – point 1
1.  The provision of services in order to maximise their foreseeable use by persons with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities, shall be achieved by:
(a)  ensuring the accessibility of the products they use in the provision of the service, in accordance with the rules laid down in point B “Products”;
b)  providing information about the functioning of the service and about its accessibility characteristics and facilities as follows:
(i)  the information content shall be available in text formats that can be used to generate alternative assistive formats to be presented in different ways by the users and via more than one sensory channel,
(ii)  alternatives to non-text content shall be provided;
(iii)  the electronic information, including the related online applications needed in the provision of the service shall be provided in accordance with point (c).
(c)  making websites accessible in a consistent and adequate way for users’ perception, operation and understanding, including the adaptability of content presentation and interaction, when necessary providing an accessible electronic alternative; and in a way which facilitates interoperability with a variety of user agents and assistive technologies available at Union and international level;
(d)  providing accessible information to facilitate complementarities with assistive services;
(e)  including functions, practices, policies and procedures and alterations in the operation of the service targeted to address the needs of persons with functional limitations.
1.  The provision of services in order to maximise their reasonably foreseeable use by persons with disabilities shall be achieved by meeting the functional performance requirements set out in this Directive, and shall include:
(a)  the products the service providers use in the provision of the service concerned, in accordance with the rules laid down in Part B of this Section;
b)  information about the functioning of the service and about its accessibility characteristics and facilities, and provide available information (metadata) on accessibility features of products and services;
(ba)   electronic information, including the related online applications and the e-book device, needed in the provision of the service concerned;
(c)  making websites and mobile device-based applications accessible in a consistent and adequate way for users’ perception, operation and understanding, including the adaptability of content presentation and interaction, when necessary providing an accessible electronic alternative; and in a way which facilitates interoperability with a variety of user agents and assistive technologies available at Union and international level;
(d)  providing accessible information to facilitate complementarities with assistive services;
(e)  including functions, practices, policies, procedures and alterations in the operation of the service targeted to address the needs of persons with disabilities, which must be achieved by ensuring the navigation throughout the document, such as by means of dynamic layouts, the possibility to synchronize text and audio content, text-to-speech technology, allowing alternative renditions of the content and its interoperability with a variety of assistive technologies, in such a way that can be perceivable, understandable, operable and maximizes compatibility with user agents.
Amendment 358
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section VII – Part B – point 1
1.  Design and production: The design and production of products in order to maximise their foreseeable use by persons with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities and those with age related impairments, shall be achieved by making accessible the following:
1.  Design and production: The design and production of products in order to maximise their foreseeable use by persons with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities, shall be achieved by complying with the following accessibility requirements:
(a)  the information on the use of the product provided on the product itself (labelling, instructions, warning), which:
(a)   the information on the use of the product provided on the product itself (labelling, instructions, warning), which shall be provided in multiple accessible formats and which:
(i)  must be available by more than one sensory channel;
(i)  shall be available by more than one sensory channel;
(ii)  must be understandable;
(ii)  shall be understandable;
(iii)  must be perceivable;
(iii)  shall be perceivable;
(iv)  shall have an adequate size of fonts in foreseeable conditions of use;
(iv)  shall have an adequate size of fonts with sufficient contrast between the characters and their background in order to maximise its readability in foreseeable conditions of use;
(b)  the packaging of the product including the information provided in it (opening, closing, use, disposal);
(b)  the packaging of the product including the information provided in it (opening, closing, use, disposal) and an indication of the brand, the name and the type of the product which:
(i)  shall meet the requirements laid down in point a;
(ii)  shall in a simple and precise way inform the users how the product incorporates accessibility features and its compatibility with assistive technology;
(c)  the product instructions for use, installation and maintenance, storage and disposal of the product which shall comply with the following:
(c)  the instructions for the use, installation and maintenance, storage and disposal of the product, whether provided separately or integrated within the product, which shall comply with the following:
(i)  content of instruction shall be available in text formats that can be used for generating alternative assistive formats to be presented in different ways and via more than one sensory channel;
(i)  shall be made available in accessible web format and electronic non-web document format that is both perceivable and operable; and
(ii)  the instructions shall provide alternatives to non-text content;
(ii)  the manufacturer shall list and explain how to use the accessibility features of the product and its compatibility with assistive technologies;
(d)  the user interface of the product (handling, controls and feedback, input and output) in accordance with point 2;
(d)  the user interface of the product (handling, controls and feedback, input and output) in accordance with point 2;
(e)  the functionality of the product by providing functions aimed to address the needs of persons with functional limitations, in accordance with point 2;
(e)  the functionality of the product by providing functions aimed to address the needs of persons with functional limitations, in accordance with point 2;
(f)  the interfacing of the product with assistive devices.
(f)   when relevant, compatibility with assistive devices and technologies.
Amendment 214
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section VII – Part B – point 2
[...]
deleted
Amendments 215, 296, 306 and 359
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section VIII – Part A – point 1
1.  The provision of services in order to maximise their foreseeable use by persons with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities, shall be achieved by:
1.  The provision of services in order to maximise their reasonably foreseeable use by persons with disabilities shall be achieved by meeting the functional performance requirements set out in Part C of Section I, and shall include:
(a)  providing information about the functioning of the service and about its accessibility characteristics and facilities as follows:
(a)  information about the functioning of the service concerned and about its accessibility characteristics and facilities;
(i)  the information content shall be available in text formats that can be used to generate alternative assistive formats to be presented in different ways by the users and via more than one sensory channel,
(ii)  alternatives to non-text content shall be provided;
(iii)   the electronic information, including the related online applications needed in the provision of the service shall be provided in accordance with point (b).
(aa)  electronic information, including the related online and mobile applications and websites, and including information on the electronic identification, security and payment methods, needed in the provision of the service concerned shall be provided in accordance with point (b).
(b)  making websites accessible in a consistent and adequate way for users’ perception, operation and understanding, including the adaptability of content presentation and interaction, when necessary providing an accessible electronic alternative; and in a way which facilitates interoperability with a variety of user agents and assistive technologies available at Union and international level;
(b)  making websites accessible in a consistent and adequate way for users’ perception, operation and understanding, including the adaptability of content presentation and interaction, when necessary providing an accessible electronic alternative; and in a way which facilitates interoperability with a variety of user agents and assistive technologies available at Union and international level;
(ba)  mobile device-based e-commerce services.
Amendment 360
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section VIII – Part A – point 1 a (new)
1a.  Support services: where available, support services (help desks, call centres, technical support, relay services and training services) shall provide information on the accessibility of the service and its compatibility with assistive technologies, in accessible modes of communication for users with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities.
Amendment 335
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – section VIII a (new)
SECTION VIIIa
Accommodation services
Services
1.  The provision of services in order to maximise their foreseeable use by persons with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities, shall be achieved by:
(a)  providing information about the functioning of the service and about its accessibility characteristics and facilities as follows:
(i)  making them available in an accessible web format and by making them perceivable, operable, understandable and robust in accordance with point (b);
(ii)  listing and explaining how to use the accessibility features of the service and its complementarity with a variety of assistive technologies.
(b)  making websites and online applications needed for the provision of the service accessible in a consistent and adequate way for users' perception, operation and understanding, including the adaptability of content presentation and interaction, when necessary providing an accessible electronic alternative; and in a robust way which facilitates interoperability with a variety of user agents and assistive technologies available at Union and international level;
(c)  making mobile-based services including mobile applications needed for the provision of e-commerce services accessible in a consistent and adequate way for users' perception, operation and understanding, including the adaptability of content presentation and interaction, when necessary providing an accessible electronic alternative; and in a robust way which facilitates interoperability with a variety of user agents and assistive technologies available at Union and international level;
(d)  making electronic identification, security and payment methods needed for the provision of the service understandable, perceivable, operable and robust without undermining the security and privacy of the user;
(e)  making the built environment accessible to persons with disabilities in accordance with the requirements of Section X, including:
(i)  all common areas (reception, entrance, leisure facilities, conference rooms, etc.).
(ii)  rooms, in accordance with the requirements of Section X; the minimum number of accessible rooms per establishment shall be:
–  1 accessible room, for establishments with less than 20 rooms overall
–  2 accessible rooms, for establishments with more than 20 but fewer than 50 rooms
–  1 supplementary accessible room for every additional 50 rooms.
2.  Support services
Where available, support services (help desks, call centres, technical support, relay services and training services) shall provide information on the accessibility of the service and its compatibility with assistive technologies and services, in accessible modes of communication for users with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities.

Amendment 216
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section IX – Part A – point 1
1.  Design and production
1.  Design and production
The design and production of products in order to maximise their foreseeable use by persons with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities and those with age related impairments, shall be achieved by making accessible the following:
The design and production of products in order to maximise their foreseeable use by persons with disabilities and those with age-related impairments shall be achieved by meeting the functional performance requirements set out in Part C of Section I, and shall include:
(a)  the information on the use of the product provided in the product itself (labelling, instructions, warning), which:
(a)  the information on the use of the product provided in the product itself (labelling, instructions, warning);
(i)  must be available by more than one sensory channel;
(ii)  must be understandable;
(iii)  must be perceivable;
(iv)  shall have an adequate size of fonts in foreseeable use conditions;
(b)  the packaging of the product including the information provided in it (opening, closing, use, disposal);
(b)  the packaging of the product including the information provided in it (opening, closing, use, disposal);
(c)  the product instructions for use, installation and maintenance, storage and disposal of the product which shall comply with the following:
(c)  the product instructions for use, installation and maintenance, storage and disposal of the product;
(i)  content of instruction shall be available in text formats that can be used for generating alternative assistive formats to be presented in different ways and via more than one sensory channel, and
(ii)  instructions shall provide alternatives to non-text content;
(d)  the user interface of the product (handling, controls and feedback, input and output) in accordance with point 2;
(d)  the user interface of the product (handling, controls and feedback, input and output);
(e)  the functionality of the product by providing functions aimed to address the needs of persons with functional limitations, in accordance with point 2;
(e)  the functionality of the product by providing functions aimed to address the needs of persons with disabilities;
(f)  the interfacing of the product with assistive devices.
(f)  the interfacing of the product with assistive devices.
Amendments 217 and 297/rev
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section IX – Part A – point 2
[...]
deleted
Amendment 218
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section IX – Part B – point 1
1.  The provision of services in order to maximise their foreseeable use by persons with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities, shall be achieved by:
1.  The provision of services in order to maximise their reasonably foreseeable use by persons with disabilities shall be achieved by meeting the functional performance requirements set out in Part C of Section I, and shall include:
(a)  making accessible the built environment where the service is provided, including transport infrastructure, in accordance with Part C, without prejudice to national and Union legislation for the protection of national treasures possessing artistic, historic or archaeological value;
(a)  the built environment where the service is provided, including transport infrastructure, in accordance with Part C, without prejudice to national and Union legislation for the protection of national treasures possessing artistic, historic or archaeological value;
(b)  making facilities accessible, including vehicles, crafts and equipment needed for the delivery of the service as follows:
(b)  facilities, including vehicles, crafts and equipment needed for the delivery of the service as follows:
(i)  the design of its built space shall follow the requirements under Part  C in relation to boarding, disembarking, circulation and use;
(i)  the design of its built space shall follow the requirements set out in Part  C in relation to boarding, disembarking, circulation and use;
(ii)  the information shall be available in different ways and via more than one sensory channel;
(iii)  alternatives to non-text visual content shall be provided.
(c)  ensuring the accessibility of the products used in the provision of the service, in accordance with the rules laid down in Part A;
(c)  the products used in the provision of the service, in accordance with the rules laid down in Part A;
(d)  providing information about the functioning of the service and about its accessibility characteristics and facilities as follows:
(d)  information about the functioning of the service and about its accessibility characteristics and facilities;
(i)  the information content shall be available in text formats that can be used for generating alternative assistive formats to be presented in different ways by the users and via more than one sensory channel,
(ii)  alternatives to non-text content shall be provided;
(iii)  the electronic information, including the online related applications needed in the provision of the service shall be provided in accordance with point (e).
(e)   making websites accessible in a consistent and adequate way for users’ perception, operation and understanding, including the adaptability of content presentation and interaction, when necessary providing an accessible electronic alternative; and in a way which facilitates interoperability with a variety of user agents and assistive technologies available at Union and international level;
(e)  making websites and mobile-based devices accessible in a consistent and adequate way for users’ perception, operation and understanding, including the adaptability of content presentation and interaction, when necessary providing an accessible electronic alternative; and in a way which facilitates interoperability with a variety of user agents and assistive technologies available at Union and international level;
(f)  providing accessible information to facilitate complementarities with assistive services;
(f)  information to facilitate complementarities with assistive services;
(g)  including functions, practices, policies and procedures and alterations in the operation of the service targeted to address the needs of persons with functional limitations.
(g)  functions, practices, policies and procedures and alterations in the operation of the service targeted to address the needs of persons with disabilities.
Amendment 219
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section IX – Part C – point 1 – introductory part
1.  The accessibility to persons with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities, of the built environment for its foreseeable use in an independent manner, shall include the following aspects of areas intended for public access:
1.  The accessibility to persons with disabilities of the built environment for its foreseeable use in an independent manner, shall include the following aspects of areas intended for public access:
Amendment 220
Proposal for a directive
Annex I – Section X – point 1 – introductory part
The accessibility to persons with functional limitations, including persons with disabilities, of the built environment where the service is provided, referred to in Article 3(10) for its foreseeable use in an independent manner, shall include the following aspects of areas intended for public access:
The accessibility to persons with disabilities of the built environment where the service is provided, referred to in Article 3(10) for its foreseeable use in an independent manner, shall include the following aspects of areas intended for public access:
Amendment 221
Proposal for a directive
Annex II – paragraph 4 – point 4.1
4.1.  The manufacturer shall affix the CE marking referred to in this Directive to each individual product that satisfies the applicable requirements of this Directive.
deleted

(1) The matter was referred back for interinstitutional negotiations to the committee responsible, pursuant to Rule 59(4), fourth subparagraph (A8-0188/2017).


Cambodia, notably the case of Kem Sokha
PDF 167kWORD 45k
European Parliament resolution of 14 September 2017 on Cambodia, notably the case of Kem Sokha (2017/2829(RSP))
P8_TA(2017)0348RC-B8-0506/2017

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Cambodia,

–  having regard to the local EU statements of 5 September 2017 on the closure of the Cambodia Daily, of 30 June 2017 on the release of five human rights defenders, and of 22 February 2017 on the political situation in Cambodia, and to the statements by the Spokesperson of the EU Delegation of 3 September 2017 and 25 August 2017 on restrictions of the political space in Cambodia,

–  having regard to the report of 5 September 2016 and the statement of 18 August 2017 by the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia,

–  having regard to the UN Human Rights Committee’s concluding observations of 27 April 2015 on the second periodic report of Cambodia,

–  having regard to the report of March 2017 by ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966,

–  having regard to the 2008 EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders,

–  having regard to the 1997 Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and the Kingdom of Cambodia,

–  having regard to the International Labour Organisation Convention on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise,

–  having regard to the resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly on 8 March 1999 on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognised Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms,

–  having regard to the 1991 Paris Peace Accords, in Article 15 of which a commitment to uphold human rights and fundamental freedoms in Cambodia, including on the part of international signatories, is enshrined,

–  having regard to the Cambodian Constitution, in particular Article 41 thereof, which enshrines the rights and freedoms of expression and assembly, Article 35 thereof on the right to political participation, and Article 80 thereof on parliamentary immunity,

–  having regard to Rules 135(5) and 123(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas there is an increasing number of arrests of political opposition members, human rights activists and civil society representatives being carried out in Cambodia;

B.  whereas Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha was arrested on 3 September 2017, in a move that appears to have been carried out with no respect for the guarantees of due process, including respect for his parliamentary immunity;

C.  whereas Kem Sokha faces charges of ‘colluding with foreigners’ under Article 443 of Cambodia’s penal code, which is considered an act of treason by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court; whereas he could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted;

D.  whereas, reportedly, Kem Sokha was arrested without a warrant, and has not had access to a lawyer; whereas he has been charged on the basis of a video of a speech he gave in 2013 and which has been publicly available ever since; whereas human rights organisation have expressed concern that statements by the Cambodian Government put in jeopardy his right to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence;

E.  whereas former Khmer Rouge army commander and current Prime Minister Hun Sen has been in power for over 30 years; whereas Sam Rainsy, the former president of the leading opposition party, the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), remains in a self-imposed exile driven by previous prosecutions on trumped-up politically motivated charges;

F.  whereas at the local elections which took place on 4 June 2017, the CNRP gained considerable ground on 2012, despite fundamental flaws in the electoral process, most notably the intimidation of free media and critical citizens, no equitable access to radio and television for the opposition, control of election-related institutions by the ruling party, death threats against opposition candidates, and the lack of an independent dispute settlement mechanism; whereas the general elections are scheduled for July 2018;

G.  whereas two other opposition legislators have also been imprisoned and at least eight more have criminal charges pending against them; whereas 11 opposition party members and supporters are currently serving prison terms ranging from seven to 20 years on trumped-up charges for leading or participating in an insurrection in connection with a July 2014 demonstration;

H.  whereas amendments passed by the Cambodian parliament in 2017 to the Law on Political Parties allow parties to be dissolved if their leaders hold criminal convictions; whereas the Cambodian Ministry of the Interior holds sweeping powers to suspend political parties based on vaguely-defined criteria; whereas on 11 September 2017, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen threatened the dissolution of the CNRP if it continues to back detained leader Kem Sokha;

I.  whereas an arrest warrant has been issued for the head of the youth group of the CNRP;

J.  whereas the arrest of Kem Sokha took place against a backdrop of increasing restrictions on NGOs, human rights organisations and civil society, including tax and regulatory probes, intimidation and threats of violence; whereas the 2015 Law on Associations and Non-governmental Organisations (LANGO) has been heavily criticised by the international community for its wide-ranging and arbitrary powers to repress NGOs;

K.  whereas a significant number of radio stations airing programming from other reputable radio stations have been closed in recent weeks; whereas these stations have been closed by the government for violations as ‘outside programmes without requesting authorisation’; whereas their closure severely limits access to independent media broadcasts, particularly outside Phnom Penh; whereas these independent media outlets have been covering politically sensitive topics such as corruption, illegal logging and human rights violations;

L.  whereas in April 2016 five human rights defenders of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) were detained for over 400 days on charges of bribery in connection with a case against Kem Sokha, and are currently awaiting trial; whereas the land rights activist Tep Vanny has been repeatedly targeted and harassed by the authorities and is currently serving a jail sentence on politically motivated charges;

M.  whereas on 4 September 2017, the Cambodia Daily, an independent newspaper founded in 1993, was forced to close after it received a tax bill amounting to USD 6,3 million;

N.  whereas on 23 August 2017, the Cambodian Government announced the expulsion under the LANGO of the non-governmental, US-based National Democratic Institute (NDI), and ordered its international staff to leave the country within seven days;

O.  whereas the Cambodian Government recently put the Situation Room, a consortium of NGOs that worked together as the election watchdog, under investigation for allegedly violating the new law on non-governmental groups and for serving as a base for a possible ‘colour revolution’ to topple the government;

1.  Expresses its deep concerns about the worsening climate for opposition politicians and human rights activists in Cambodia, and condemns all acts of violence, politically motivated charges, arbitrary detention, questioning, sentences and convictions in respect of these individuals;

2.  Strongly condemns the arrest of CNRP President Kem Sokha on a number of charges that appear to be politically motivated; calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Kem Sokha, for all charges against him to be dropped, and for an end to threats of arrest against other opposition lawmakers;

3.  Deplores the public statements made by the Prime Minister and high-ranking officials about Kem Sokha’s supposed guilt, which breach the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial, to which he is entitled under Cambodian and international human rights law; appeals to the Prime Minister to protect the parliamentary immunity of Members of Parliament;

4.  Urges the Cambodian authorities to revoke the arrest warrant for, and drop all charges against, opposition leader and lawmaker Sam Rainsy, and to release and drop charges against other opposition officials and human rights defenders who have been convicted, charged, and imprisoned, notably National Assembly Member Um Sam An, Senator Hong Sok Hour and land rights activist Tep Vanny;

5.  Urges the Cambodian Government to guarantee the freedoms of expression and the media in the country, while any tax or other issues should be resolved through appropriate due process; urges the government to reinstate the radio stations that have been closed down; expresses its concern about the closure of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) without due process;

6.  Urges the Cambodian Government to ensure due process in all measures taken, including the right to appeal, and to respect the rights to freedom of association and expression;

7.  Calls on the Cambodian Government to work towards strengthening democracy and the rule of law and to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, which include full compliance with the constitutional provisions concerning pluralism and freedom of association and expression;

8.  Reminds the Cambodian Government that it has to fulfil its obligations and commitments regarding democratic principles and fundamental human rights, which are an essential element of the Cooperation Agreement;

9.  Expresses its serious concern at ongoing land-grabbing, and the recent launch by the Cambodian Government of a limited and partial compensation scheme; calls on the Cambodian Government to resume dialogue with partners, including the European Union and civil society, with a view to establishing comprehensive and inclusive compensation;

10.  Stresses that a credible democratic process leading up to the National Assembly election in July 2018 requires an environment in which political parties, civil society and the media are able to carry out their legitimate roles without fear and without being subjected to threats or arbitrary restrictions;

11.  Urges the Cambodian Government to implement the recommendations of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and to engage meaningfully with the upcoming Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia;

12.  Highlights the importance of EU and international election observation missions and their contribution to fair and free elections; calls on the National Election Committee of Cambodia (NEC) and the relevant government authorities to ensure that all eligible voters, including migrant workers and detainees, have access to, and sufficient time to take advantage of, registration opportunities;

13.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission the Vice President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the European External Action Service, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Government and National Assembly of Cambodia.


Gabon, repression of the opposition
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European Parliament resolution of 14 September 2017 on Gabon: repression of the opposition (2017/2830(RSP))
P8_TA(2017)0349RC-B8-0512/2017

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Gabon, notably that of 2 February 2017 on the rule of law crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Gabon(1),

–  having regard to the joint statement issued on 24 September 2016 by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) and the Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, following the announcement by the Gabonese Constitutional Court of the official results of the 2016 presidential election,

–  having regard to the press release issued by the African Union on 1 September 2016 condemning the violence and calling for the peaceful resolution of the post-electoral conflict in Gabon,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of June 2017 on a renewed impetus for the Africa-EU Partnership,

–  having regard to the joint statement of 11 September 2016 on Gabon by the spokespersons of the VP/HR, Federica Mogherini, and the Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica,

–  having regard to the EU’s intervention of 9 March 2017 at the 34th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, under Item 2 of the Interactive Dialogue with the High Commissioner,

–  having regard to Resolution 359(LIX) 2016 of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Human Rights Situation in the Gabonese Republic of 4 November 2016,

–  having regard to the Gabonese Constitution,

–  having regard to the revised Cotonou Partnership Agreement,

–  having regard to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights of June 1981,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of December 1966,

–  having regard to the final report of the EU Electoral Observation Mission,

–  having regard to the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance,

–  having regard to Rules 135(5) and 123(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the August 2016 presidential elections in Gabon raised allegations of a rigged vote; whereas in the days following the elections, the country’s parliament was razed by fire and several protesters were killed and hundreds arrested; whereas although the security situation has largely stabilised, political and social tensions remain high across the country and are compounded by a poor economic situation;

B.  whereas one of the characteristics of a democracy is respect for the constitution, which underlies the state, the institutions and the rule of law; whereas peaceful, credible and transparent elections in Gabon would have contributed greatly to addressing the challenge of democratic progress and alternation of power faced by the Central African region; whereas Gabon’s parliamentary elections, originally scheduled for December 2016, have been postponed twice to April 2018, beyond the constitutional deadline;

C.  whereas in Gabon since, in particular the post-electoral violence in August 2016, during which arrests, killings and enforced disappearances took place, as has been reported by several international and non-governmental organisations; whereas Gabon has witnessed an increase in political violence, especially in the capital, Libreville, where several homes belonging to members of the political opposition were reportedly attacked;

D.  whereas the authorities have clamped down on members of the opposition and of civil society opposing the power in place; whereas human rights groups continuously report on the worsening situation with regard to human rights and freedom of expression and assembly, including the use of excessive force against peaceful demonstrators, arbitrary arrests and detentions, and politically motivated trials;

E.  whereas numerous allegations before and after the 2016 elections have linked Ali Bongo’s regime to human rights violations such as arbitrary arrest and long-term detention in inhuman conditions, torture, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances of civilians and journalists who have expressed opposition to his regime or his re-election;

F.  whereas Gabon is a party to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, is in the process of implementing its provisions into national law and has the obligation to share with the United Nations information concerning the progress made since the ratification of the Convention in 2011 and about the post-electoral events in 2016; whereas the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances is currently considering Gabon’s report and reviewing the progress of this implementation;

G.  whereas President Ali Bongo launched a ‘national dialogue’ as part of efforts to resolve the crisis sparked by his re-election, which was attended by representatives from 1 200 groups from civil society, and around 50 political parties according to Prime Minister Emmanuel Issoze Ngondet; whereas the talks were boycotted by Jean Ping and other main opposition leaders;

H.  whereas on 18 August 2017 presidential candidate Jean Ping launched an appeal to the people of Gabon for ‘civil disobedience’ and called for the president to be ousted;

I.  whereas dozens of people have been detained in recent weeks on the fringes of peaceful, unauthorised demonstrations in support of Jean Ping, and several of them remain in detention;

J.  whereas on 2 September 2017, political opposition leader and former presidential candidate Jean Ping and the leaders of more than twenty opposition parties were prevented from leaving the country without having been notified of this restriction and without any list of individuals affected having been published; whereas this measure was lifted on 8 September 2017;

K.  whereas the government has forbidden political opponents who contest the victory of Ali Bongo to speak in public and private media;

L.  whereas individual cases targeting several high-profile Gabonese individuals have been filed before French courts with regard to serious human rights violations and ‘ill-gotten gains’ (biens mal-acquis);

M.  whereas the French judiciary has just concluded an investigation into ill-gotten gains from Gabon invested in France and has identified and seized goods worth between EUR 50 and 60 million following complaints filed by the French branch of Transparency International and a Gabonese national; whereas the inquiry revealed that a bank account used to acquire goods in France for the Bongo family also received a payment of EUR 1,3 million;

N.  whereas the EU Election Observation Mission (EOM), invited by the Gabonese Government to monitor the presidential elections, concluded in its final report that the election process, and specifically the consolidation of the election results and the appeals process, lacked transparency; whereas the EOM concluded that these anomalies call into question the integrity of the process of consolidating the results and the final result of the election;

1.  Recalls that Gabon made a commitment under the Cotonou Agreement to respect democracy, the rule of law and human rights principles, which include freedom of expression, assembly and access to the media, good governance and transparency in political office;

2.  Reminds Gabon of its duties and responsibilities as a State Party, including to provide clear and tangible information on the reforms undertaken since the ratification, on the post-electoral violence, and on action taken to establish the truth and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice;

3.  Underlines the fundamental role the opposition plays in a democratic society; strongly condemns the pressure and intimidation being exerted on the opposition in Gabon; deems it unacceptable that several leaders of the Gabon opposition, including the candidate in the 2016 presidential election, Jean Ping, were denied temporarily the right to leave the country; recalls that Gabonese law provides for this exceptional measure only for persons under criminal investigation; considers this measure, therefore, to be of an arbitrary nature;

4.  Strongly condemns the constant threats, attacks, use of force and severe restrictions and intimidations faced by the opposition, human rights defenders and journalists in Gabon; calls on the authorities to respect the opposition’s right to a peaceful protest and immediately release anyone still wrongfully held, to stop all harassment, intimidation and persecution of the opposition and to take concrete measures in order to guarantee freedom of expression;

5.  Urges the Government of Gabon to conduct a thorough and expeditious reform of the electoral framework, taking account of the recommendations made by the EU EOM, in order to improve it and make it fully transparent and credible; stresses that the Gabonese authorities must guarantee full and sincere cooperation with all relevant national and international stakeholders in order to ensure that the next parliamentary elections, already overdue, are fully transparent and credible and take place in a free, democratic, inclusive and peaceful environment;

6.  Recognises that an Intensified Political Dialogue between the EU and Gabon is ongoing, in accordance with the provisions of the Cotonou Agreement; urges all parties involved to cooperate fully and to work towards a tangible success of this process;

7.  Voices reservations about the inclusivity and therefore the credibility and relevance of the national dialogue initiated by the government; notes that Jean Ping and his Coalition for the New Republic declined to take part in the dialogue;

8.  Believes that the current deep political and social divisions in Gabon require a clear political response in order to preserve the stability of the country, to increase Gabonese citizens’ confidence and to give real legitimacy to the institutions; calls for an international inquiry, led by the UN, into the elections and the abuses that have been committed since, in order to determine how to establish a political dialogue enabling the crisis to be resolved, while guaranteeing the democratic rights of the Gabonese people;

9.  Strongly urges France in particular, owing to its strong and historic ties to Gabon, to make use of all its political and economic leverage towards the Gabonese Government and to play a constructive role in the EU institutions in this regard;

10.  Calls on the Delegation of the European Union to Gabon to continue its close monitoring of developments in Gabon and to use all appropriate tools, instruments and the Intensified Political Dialogue to promote the essential elements of the Cotonou Agreement and to support pro-democracy movements;

11.  Calls on the VP/HR, the Commission and the Member States to review their policies towards Gabon and to consider targeted sanctions for individuals responsible for the electoral fraud and the subsequent violence perpetrated in Gabon;

12.  Reiterates its call on the Gabonese Government to put in place a judicial regime and a sanction regime which would ensure that arrests and sentences are proportionate to the seriousness of the crime;

13.  Urges the government to respond concretely to the concerns of the international community by launching a prompt, genuinely inclusive, transparent and impartial consultative forum for dialogue; calls also on the opposition to assess the credibility of such a process;

14.  Calls on all political actors to show responsibility and restraint, and in particular to refrain from inciting violence;

15.  Calls on the participants of the next EU-Africa Summit in Abidjan to put the situation in Gabon on the agenda and to remind Gabon of its commitments towards human rights, democracy and the rule of law;

16.  Welcomes the investigation conducted in France on the ill-gotten gains from Gabon and expresses its hope that all those involved in illegal activities will be brought to justice; calls for the utmost transparency regarding the EUR 1,3 million payment made into a French bank account linked to the Bongo family;

17.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the African Union, the President and Parliament of Gabon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the UN Human Rights Council and the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.

(1) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0017.


Laos, notably the cases of Somphone Phimmasone, Lod Thammavong and Soukane Chaithad
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European Parliament resolution of 14 September 2017 on Laos, notably the cases of Somphone Phimmasone, Lod Thammavong and Soukane Chaithad (2017/2831(RSP))
P8_TA(2017)0350RC-B8-0513/2017

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Laos,

–  having regard to the outcome of the 8th meeting of the European Union-Lao PDR Joint Committee held in Vientiane on 17 February 2017,

–  having regard to the statement by the Delegation of the European Union to the Lao PDR made in Vientiane on the World Freedom of the Press Day, 3 May 2017,

–  having regard to the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders of 1998,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966,

–  having regard to the Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic of 1 December 1997,

–  having regard to the ASEAN Charter,

–  having regard to Rules 135(5) and 123(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas in March 2017 three Lao workers, Mr Somphone Phimmasone, Mr Soukane Chaithad and Ms Lod Thammavong, were sentenced to prison terms of between 12 and 20 years and the equivalent of tens of thousands of euros in fines for criticising the government on social media in relation to alleged corruption, deforestation, and human rights violations, while working in Thailand; whereas the three also stood accused of participating in an anti-government demonstration outside the Lao Embassy in Thailand in December 2015;

B.  whereas on 25 May 2016, state-run TV showed Phimmasone, Chaithad, and Thammavong in custody at police headquarters in Vientiane; whereas the news report said the three had been arrested for threatening national security by using social media to tarnish the Government’s reputation;

C.  whereas Mr Sombath Somphone, a civil society activist, was stopped by Vientiane police in 2012 and has not been accounted for since; whereas in the case of Mr Sompawn Khantisouk, an entrepreneur active on conservation issues, who was subjected to forced disappearance in 2007, no progress on his whereabouts has been made to date; whereas Mr Bounthanh Thammavong, a Polish national, was sentenced in 2015 to four and a half years in prison for online criticism of the Government;

D.  whereas severe restrictions are placed on civil society space in Laos; whereas Laos was ASEAN’s chair in 2016, but refused to host the traditional parallel civil society meeting, obliging the ASEAN People’s Forum to meet in Timor-Leste instead;

E.  whereas the Government of Laos has taken no significant steps to improve the poor human rights situation, including the treatment of minorities, and continues to severely restrict freedom of speech, association, and peaceful assembly; whereas the lack of fair trial standards, judicial corruption and entrenched impunity for human rights violations continue unhampered;

F.  whereas the Lao authorities continue to harass and repress religious minorities, particularly Christians; whereas there have been numerous cases of confiscation of property, arson attacks against churches and homes, beatings of Christians for celebrating Christmas, and forced renunciations of the Christian faith;

G.  whereas Laos has signed but not ratified the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance;

H.  whereas there is a lack of media plurality in Laos and existing media output is strictly controlled by the state; whereas the media law of 2008 was amended in November 2016, introducing further constraints preventing media criticism of government policies and requiring journalists to submit their reports to a government censor before publication;

I.  whereas in 2014 the Government of Laos issued a decree prohibiting online criticism of the Government and the ruling Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP);

1.  Strongly condemns the prison sentences against Somphone Phimmasone, Soukane Chaithad and Lod Thammavong, and calls for their immediate release;

2.  Notes with concern that these verdicts add to a list of arrests and forced disappearances of activists and protesters who have expressed critical views on issues ranging from land disputes to allegations of corruption and abuse of power;

3.  Reiterates its call on the Government of Laos to stop the harassment and arbitrary arrest and detention of human rights defenders, independent journalists and social activists, and to respect the rights of free expression and association and the rights of minorities; reminds Laos of its international obligations under the human rights treaties it has ratified;

4.  Urges the Laotian Government to respect its international commitments and protect freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance which Laos signed in 2008;

5.  Is gravely concerned at the widespread human rights abuses, including enforced disappearances and absence of fair trial; calls on the Lao authorities to meet their international human rights obligations by immediately accounting for the whereabouts of at least 10 missing individuals, including Sombath Somphone and Sompawn Khantisouk, and providing details of the charges brought and evidence produced against imprisoned activists;

6.  Calls for transparent, thorough and impartial investigations into all pending cases of enforced disappearance, the disclosure of information on the whereabouts of the disappeared, and the prosecution of the perpetrators;

7.  Condemns the persecution of religious minorities, in particular Christians; calls on the Government to immediately cease any activities aimed at Christians and to bring to justice those responsible for arson attacks and beatings;

8.  Calls on the Lao authorities to allow specialised UN agencies and representatives of humanitarian organisations unrestricted access, so that they can visit political prisoners and all ethnic and religious minorities in Laos;

9.  Calls on the Lao Government to take measures to promote a multi-party political system and ensure the right of individuals to stand for election without the approval of the LPRP;

10.  Supports efforts to increase levels of internet connectivity in Laos; urges the Government of Laos to foster an environment supportive of freedom of expression and to cease the monitoring and targeting of individuals online; urges the Government in this regard to repeal the repressive elements of the 2015 Law on Prevention and Combating of Cybercrime;

11.  Calls on the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to urgently raise the case of Somphone Phimmasone, Lod Thammavong and Soukane Chaithad with the Government of Laos; calls on the EU Delegation to Laos to closely monitor the human rights situation in the country and, specifically, to be present at any proceedings held against Phimmasone, Thammavong and Chaithad, and to continue to raise the cases of jailed and missing individuals with the Lao authorities;

12.  Calls on the EEAS to put these issues high on the agenda of the future meetings of the EU-Lao PDR Joint Committee and of the next Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit, to be held in Brussels in 2018;

13.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government and Parliament of Laos, the Secretary-General of ASEAN and the UN Human Rights Council.


Myanmar, in particular the situation of Rohingyas
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European Parliament resolution of 14 September 2017 on Myanmar, in particular the situation of Rohingyas (2017/2838(RSP))
P8_TA(2017)0351RC-B8-0525/2017

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Myanmar and on the situation of Rohingya Muslims, in particular those of 7 July 2016(1) and of 15 December 2016(2), and to its resolutions of 16 March 2017 on EU priorities for the UN Human Rights Council sessions in 2017(3) and of 13 June 2017 on statelessness in South and South East Asia(4),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on the EU strategy with Myanmar/Burma of 20 June 2016,

–  having regard to the joint communication of 1 June 2016 by the Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) to the European Parliament and the Council entitled ‘Elements for an EU strategy vis-à-vis Myanmar/Burma: A Special Partnership for Democracy, Peace and Prosperity’ (JOIN(2016)0024),

–  having regard to the statement of 30 March 2016 by VP/HR Federica Mogherini on the entry into office of the new Government of the Union of Myanmar,

–  having regard to the statement of 2 December 2016 by the spokesperson of the VP/HR on the recent escalation of violence in Myanmar, and to the statement of 6 September 2017 by the VP/HR on the situation in Rakhine State,

–  having regard to the joint press release of 25 November 2016 on the third EU-Myanmar Human Rights Dialogue,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 4 December 2015 on statelessness,

–  having regard to the recent briefings of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar of 29 and 18 November 2016 respectively, on the deteriorating human rights situation in northern Rakhine State,

–  having regard to the OHCHR report entitled ‘Situation of human rights of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar’, of 20 June 2016 and to the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar of 18 March 2016,

–  having regard to the 1951 UN Convention on the Status of Refugees and to the 1967 Protocol thereto,

–  having regard to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness,

–  having regard to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Global 2014-24 Action Plan to End Statelessness of November 2014,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of 1948,

–  having regard to the end-of-mission statement of 20 January 2017 by the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, concluding that ‘the situation is now worse than at any point in the past few years’,

–  having regard to the final report of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State of August 2017,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966 and to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966,

–  having regard to the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Charter,

–  having regard to Rules 135(5) and 123(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), more than 300 000 Muslim Rohingya fleeing violence in Rakhine State have sought refuge in Bangladesh over the past two weeks;

B.  whereas Rakhine State in Myanmar is home to approximately one million Rohingya, a predominantly Muslim minority group facing repression and continued serious human rights violations, including threats to life and security, denial of the rights to health and education, forced labour, sexual violence and limits to their political rights;

C.  whereas the Rohingya people have been officially stateless since the 1982 Burmese Citizenship Law was enacted, which has led to severe restrictions on freedom of movement and has confined them to camps;

D.  whereas a group of Rohingya insurgents staged an attack on police posts and an army base in Rakhine State on 25 August 2017; whereas this resulted in a significant military counteroffensive, with serious and large-scale human rights violations, including killings, rape and torture; whereas human rights organisations, notably Human Rights Watch, using satellite imagery, have reported large-scale destruction of homes and other buildings in parts of northern Rakhine State currently inaccessible to NGOs and independent observers;

E.  whereas under the current Constitution of Myanmar the military retains autonomy from civilian oversight and extensive power over the government and national security;

F.  whereas those fleeing Myanmar, many of whom are women and children, travel through treacherous routes, facing gun fire and dangerous paths, as well as starvation and a lack of medical assistance; whereas dozens have died en route; whereas Bangladesh Coast Guards personnel have found the bodies of at least 20 people fleeing;

G.  whereas Bangladesh has lodged a complaint against the Myanmar authorities about the laying of landmines across a section of its border with Bangladesh which would prevent the return of Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence;

H.  whereas the international staff members of the UN and international non-governmental organisations are prohibited from entering the areas affected by the conflict, and whereas UN agencies are unable to deliver humanitarian aid, including food, water and medicine to the Rohingya;

I.  whereas on 10 September 2017 the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Raad Al Hussein, announced that the situation in Myanmar ‘seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing’;

J.  whereas China and Russia blocked the adoption of a statement by the UN Security Council on the situation of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar in March 2017;

1.  Strongly condemns all the attacks in Rakhine State; is gravely concerned about the increasing gravity and scale of human rights violations, including killings, violent clashes, destruction of civilian property and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians;

2.  Strongly urges the military and security forces to immediately cease the killings, harassment and rape of the Rohingya people, and the burning of their homes;

3.  Recalls that the Myanmar authorities have a duty to protect, without discrimination, all civilians from abuse, and to investigate grievous human rights violations and prosecute those responsible, in accordance with human rights standards and obligations;

4.  Calls on the Myanmar authorities to grant immediate and unhindered access to independent monitors, international human rights organisations, journalists and other international observers, and the United Nations, notably the UN Fact-Finding Mission established by the UN Human Rights Council in March, with a view to ensuring independent and impartial investigations into allegations of serious human rights violations by all parties;

5.  Urgently calls for humanitarian aid organisations to be granted access to all conflict areas and displaced people, without discrimination, to allow aid workers to assist people in danger;

6.  Calls on the Government of Myanmar to immediately remove all landmines on the border with Bangladesh;

7.  Urges the Government of Myanmar, and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi in particular, to condemn unequivocally all incitement to racial or religious hatred and to combat social discrimination and hostilities against the Rohingya minority; urges the Government of Myanmar, furthermore, to uphold the universal right to freedom of religion or belief; reminds the State Counsellor to push for the implementation of the recommendations given in the final report of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, which was drawn up at her own request; deplores the dramatic deterioration of the situation since the statement of 18 May 2015 by the spokesperson of Ms Suu Kyi’s party that the Government of Myanmar should restore citizenship to the Rohingya minority;

8.  Reminds 1990 Sakharov Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi that the prize is awarded to those who defend human rights, safeguard the rights of minorities and respect international law, among other criteria; draws attention to the need to consider whether the Sakharov Prize could be revoked in cases where laureates violate those criteria after the prize has been awarded;

9.  Acknowledges the effort by Bangladesh, in the face of this humanitarian catastrophe, to facilitate protection for hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees; strongly encourages the authorities of Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries to admit all those fleeing violence in Rakhine State, and to respect the principle of non-refoulement; calls on the Commission and the Member States to increase financial and material support for these refugees;

10.  Recalls its recommendation that the governments of the countries dealing with the influx of Rohingya refugees cooperate closely with the UNHCR, which has the technical expertise to screen for refugee status and the mandate to protect refugees and stateless people; calls for the EU and UN to support Myanmar’s neighbouring countries in this regard;

11.  Calls furthermore on ASEAN and regional governments to take immediate action to increase pressure on the Myanmar Government to halt rights abuses, protect all civilians in Rakhine State and lend support to refugees fleeing;

12.  Supports efforts to intensify a political process based on implementing the Annan recommendations; calls on the UN Security Council and General Assembly to adopt effective diplomatic and political measures to ensure compliance by the Government of Myanmar with its obligations vis-à-vis the Rohingya minority in terms of ensuring protection and access to aid; calls in this regard for a resolution of the UN General Assembly and Security Council condemning the rights abuses, insisting on access to Rakhine State and demanding accountability for the serious violations of international law by all parties; further calls for a resolution to be adopted at the September 2017 UN Human Rights Council extending the mandate of the Fact-Finding Mission;

13.  Urges China and other international and regional actors to use all channels to demand an end to the atrocities and bring about a peaceful resolution;

14.  Calls on the VP/HR and the EU Member States to significantly increase their pressure on the Myanmar Government and security forces to halt the rights abuses, to fully cooperate with UN investigators and international humanitarian agencies and to ensure accountability for grave violations of international law; calls in this regard for the VP/HR and the EU Member States to take an active role in supporting immediate action at UN level and making clear that the EU stands ready to consider targeted punitive sanctions against individuals and entities, and to consider consequences in the context of the trade preferences Myanmar enjoys, should grave violations in international law continue with impunity;

15.  Calls on the VP/HR to report back to Parliament on EU initiatives at the UN and in the context of the EU Foreign Affairs Council;

16.  Calls for the EU and its Member States to welcome reporting and statements from Rohingya representatives on the situation on the ground;

17.  Supports efforts to have independent and UN-led monitors on the ground to alleviate the humanitarian crisis; calls on the Myanmar authorities to grant immediate and unhindered access to independent monitors, notably the UN Fact-Finding Mission established by the UN Human Rights Council in March 2017;

18.  Supports the establishment of an office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Myanmar with a full mandate;

19.  Calls for the EU and its Member States to support the UNHCR Global 2014-24 Action Plan to End Statelessness;

20.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Government and Parliament of Myanmar, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the EU Member States, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the UN Human Rights Council.

(1) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0316.
(2) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0506.
(3) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0089.
(4) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0247.


EU-Chile Agreement on trade in organic products ***
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 14 September 2017 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Chile on trade in organic products (05530/2017 – C8-0144/2017 – 2016/0383(NLE))
P8_TA(2017)0352A8-0257/2017

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (05530/2017),

–  having regard to the draft Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Chile on trade in organic products (05551/2017),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 207(4), first subparagraph, Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a)(v) and Article 218(7) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8-0144/2017),

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

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on International Trade and the opinion of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (A8-0257/2017),

1.  Gives its consent to conclusion of the agreement;

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


Protocol to the EU-Chile Association Agreement (accession of Croatia) ***
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 14 September 2017 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union and its Member States, of the Third Additional Protocol to the Agreement establishing an association between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Chile, of the other part, to take account of the accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union (06750/2017 – C8-0225/2017 – 2017/0042(NLE))
P8_TA(2017)0353A8-0277/2017

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (06750/2017),

–  having regard to the Third Additional Protocol to the Agreement establishing an association between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Chile, of the other part, to take account of the accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union (06905/2017),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 217 and Article 218(6) second subparagraph, point (a)(i) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8-0225/2017),

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

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on International Trade (A8-0277/2017),

1.  Gives its consent to conclusion of the protocol;

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


Modernisation of the trade pillar of the EU-Chile Association Agreement
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European Parliament recommendation of 14 September 2017 to the Council, the Commission and the European External Action Service on the negotiations of the modernisation of the trade pillar of the EU-Chile Association Agreement (2017/2057(INI))
P8_TA(2017)0354A8-0267/2017

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Agreement establishing an association between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Chile, of the other part, which was concluded in 2002, and to its trade pillar which entered into force on 1 February 2003(1) (hereafter the AA),

–  having regard to the outcome of the sixth EU-Chile Association Council meeting held in April 2015(2),

–  having regard to the Final Declaration adopted by the Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) on 5 October 2016(3),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 14 October 2015 entitled ‘Trade for All – Towards a more responsible trade and investment policy’ (COM(2015)0497) and to the Commission reflection papers of May 2017 on ‘Harnessing Globalisation’(4) and of April 2017 on ‘Social Dimension of Europe’(5),

–  having regard to the judgments and opinions of the Court of Justice of the European Union (C-350/12 P, 2/13, 1/09) and the decision of the European Ombudsman of 6 January 2015 closing her own-initiative inquiry OI/10/2014/RA on dealing with information and access to documents(6), and having regard to the Opinion 2/15 of the Court of Justice of 16 May 2017,

–  having regard to its resolution of 3 February 2016 containing the European Parliament’s recommendations to the Commission for the negotiations for the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA)(7),

–  having regard to the amendments that it adopted on 4 July 2017(8) on the proposal for a directive on the disclosure of income tax information by certain undertakings and branches,

–  having regard to its resolutions of 5 July 2016 on the implementation of the 2010 recommendations of Parliament on social and environmental standards, human rights and corporate responsibility(9), and of 25 November 2010 on international trade policy in the context of climate change imperatives(10),

–  having regard to its EPRS study on ‘The effects of human rights related clauses in the EU-Mexico Global Agreement and the EU-Chile Association Agreement’(11),

–  having regard to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy and the ILO Decent Work Agenda,

–  having regard to the 2015 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Paris Agreement), which entered into force on 4 November 2016(12), and which Chile has also ratified,

–  having regard to the Joint Declaration of the EU-Chile Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) of 3 November 2016(13),

–  having regard to Article 21 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and Articles 8, 207(3) and 217 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to the draft negotiating guidelines adopted by the Commission on 24 May 2017,

–  having regard to the article on Chile in the yearbook of the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) entitled ‘The Indigenous World 2016’(14),

–  having regard to Rule 108(4) and 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on International Trade (A8-0267/2017),

A.  whereas the ‘Trade for All’ strategy states that the ‘Commission must pursue a trade policy that benefits society as a whole and promotes European and universal standards and values alongside core economic interests, putting a greater emphasis on sustainable development, human rights, tax evasion, consumer protection, and responsible and fair trade’;

B.   whereas the EU and Chile are close partners with common values and a shared commitment to promoting effective multilateral trade governance and respect for human rights, as well as shared prosperity and security within a rules-based global system; whereas the Union is Chile’s third biggest trading partner; whereas Chile, for its part, is an important regional player and one of South America’s fastest-growing economies in recent decades, and reform efforts in the country are still ongoing;

C.  whereas the current AA, including its trade pillar, was concluded in 2002 and has been greatly beneficial to both parties since its implementation in 2003, doubling trade in goods and seeing an increasing trade in services and investments(15); considering, however, that both the EU and Chile have concluded more modern and ambitious trade agreements since;

D.  whereas in 2016 the EU exported goods to Chile to a value of more than EUR 8,6 billion, while Chile exported goods to the EU to a value of EUR 7,4 billion; whereas in 2015 the value of the EU’s trade in services with Chile accounted for EUR 3,8 billion and Chile’s EUR 2 billion; whereas the EU’s stocks of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Chile accounted for EUR 42,8 billion(16);

E.  whereas the current AA does not include, inter alia, separate chapters on investment, SMEs, intellectual property rights (IPR), energy and gender, nor does it include a trade and sustainable development chapter (TSDC), including obligations to enforce labour and environmental standards, and the promotion of best practices in areas such as corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability assurance;

F.  whereas any EU trade negotiation must preserve the right and ability of governments to regulate in the public interest, such as the protection and promotion of public health, social services, social and consumer protection, public education, safety, environment, animal welfare, public morals, privacy and data protection, and the promotion and protection of cultural diversity;

G.  whereas any EU trade negotiation must guarantee the highest levels of social, labour and environmental protection achieved by the parties, and may serve as a tool to promote an agenda of social justice and sustainable development, both in the EU and throughout the world; whereas the modernisation of the AA should be seen as an opportunity for the EU and its Member States to further promote common high standards and commitments in their trade agreements, especially in the areas of labour rights, environmental protection, consumer rights and public welfare; whereas the Commission has announced a reflection on different ways to enforce these commitments which will also consider a sanctions-based mechanism;

H.  whereas the EU-Chile JCC, comprising civil society organisations from both parties, held its first meeting on 4 and 5 October 2016 with a view to monitoring the implementation of the existing AA, as well as the negotiations for its update, by channelling the input from civil society and promoting dialogue and cooperation between the EU and Chile beyond governmental channels; whereas the significant delay in establishing the JCC must not be repeated with respect to the modernised agreement; whereas once the modernised agreement enters into force, the participation of civil society must be based on clear structures, a balance of membership and reporting mandates;

I.  whereas the EU and Chile have been engaged in plurilateral negotiations to further liberalise trade in services (TiSA);

J.  whereas Chile is not a party, but an observer, to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA), and is not participating in the plurilateral negotiations on an Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA);

K.  whereas Article 45 of the 2002 EU-Chile AA includes provisions in the cooperation chapter specifying that it should ‘contribute to strengthening policies and programmes that improve, guarantee and extend the equitable participation of men and women in all sectors of political, economic, social and cultural life’;

L.  whereas Chile is a signatory to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), the future of which appears currently uncertain, has signed FTAs with all TPP signatories and is widely considered a stable and reliable partner;

M.  whereas in 2010 Chile became the first South American country to become a member of the OECD and has a sound macroeconomic framework;

N.  whereas it is important to maximise the opportunities offered by the modernisation of the AA’s trade pillar in the most inclusive manner for businesses, in particular SMEs, and citizens in both EU and Chile; whereas more could be done in this regard, including, inter alia, the dissemination of accessible information, which could trigger an important multiplying effect of benefits for the parties of the AA;

O.  whereas Chile has bilateral investment treaties (BITs) with 17 EU Member States, the content of which does not reflect the latest developments and best practice in investment policy, and which would be replaced and cease to apply once an agreement containing an investment chapter between the Union and Chile enters into force;

P.  whereas disproportionately strict conditions in Chilean legislation, with which EU fishing vessels must comply, impede those vessels when using port facilities in Chile in order to land, tranship, refuel or obtain fishing gear;

Q.  whereas the current export pattern of Chile contrasts sharply with the European export pattern, as it is heavily dominated by exports of raw materials, such as copper, fruit and vegetables;

1.  Recommends the following to the Council, the Commission and the EEAS:

   (a) to ensure that the European Parliament receives full, immediate and accurate information throughout the negotiations for the purposes of its role of deciding whether or not to grant consent to the conclusion of the modernised AA with Chile, including the agreement’s trade pillar; to bear in mind that, while AAs struck in accordance with Article 217 TFEU are traditionally of a mixed nature and cover areas beyond common commercial policy, following the opinion of the Court of Justice on the EU-Singapore FTA, a deep reflection on the path forward of the modernisation of the EU-Chile AA is necessary, in order to separate and safeguard the areas of exclusive and shared competence in trade, and to fully respect the distribution of competences between the Union and its Member States throughout the negotiation process, as well as with a view to the signature and conclusion of the agreements; to conclude, therefore, two separate agreements, clearly distinguishing between a trade and investment agreement which only contains issues under the Union’s exclusive competence and a second agreement which covers subjects whose competences are shared with Member States;
   (b) to note that both the EU and Chile have concluded more modern, ambitious and comprehensive trade agreements since their bilateral AA entered into force and that a number of areas remain unaddressed by it, which are important to ensure that it contributes to shared growth, equal opportunities, decent jobs and sustainable development, including the respect and promotion of labour and environmental standards, animal welfare, and gender equality for the benefit of citizens on both sides;
   (c) to consider it important and necessary to seek to modernise the EU-Chile AA to take into account the economic and political development over the last 15 years, in particular its trade component, in the spirit of reciprocity, mutual benefit and balance, and to note the consistent support for a modernisation expressed by the EU-Chile JPC, as well as the fact that the JCC welcomed the steps taken towards an update;
   (d) to recall that globalisation and trade policy have recently been the subject of intense debate in Europe and elsewhere, because of the potentially unequal distribution of its gains; to consider that it is necessary to anticipate trends and possible consequences, to guarantee a more inclusive distribution of the benefits of trade and to provide adequate protection to those who do not benefit from the agreement and who may be disadvantaged in the subsequent process; to develop policy action, therefore, primarily at national but also Union level in other spheres, beyond the provisions of the trade agreements themselves, ranging from industrial, fiscal and social policies;
   (e) to recall the importance of the multilateral agenda and that any bilateral negotiation must not undermine the ambition to achieve progress multilaterally; to consider that reinforced bilateral relations and joint cooperation between the EU and Chile should also facilitate greater collaboration and synergy among the parties in multilateral and plurilateral settings; to encourage, in this regard, full participation of Chile in the negotiations for the WTO EGA and the WTO Revised GPA;
   (f) to put shared values at the core of the modernisation process and to continue the practice of including a human rights clause, as is done in all AAs;
   (g) to ensure that a modernised AA guarantees, throughout the entire text, and enshrines explicitly and unequivocally, the right and ability of the parties to adopt and apply their own laws and regulations in the public interest, in order to achieve legitimate public policy objectives such as the protection and promotion of human rights, including access to water, public health, social services, public education, safety, the environment, public morals, social or consumer protection, privacy and data protection, and the promotion and protection of cultural diversity; to ensure that no investor claim can successfully undermine these objectives; to underline, in this regard, that the EU’s FTAs do not aim to restrict the legitimate interests of the Union, its Member States or sub-federal entities to regulate in the public interest;
   (h) on the negotiations on trade in goods, to seek ambitious improvements to market access across tariff lines, lifting unnecessary barriers, including with regard to access to port facilities for EU vessels, while respecting that there are a number of sensitive agricultural, manufacturing and industrial products which should be given appropriate treatment, for example though tariff-rate quotas (TRQs), adequate transition periods or outright exclusion, if necessary; to include a usable and effective bilateral safeguard clause enabling the temporary suspension of preferences, if, as a result of the entry into force of the modernised AA, a rise in imports causes or threatens to cause serious injury to sensitive sectors;
   (i) to include in its negotiating directives the objective to simplify rules of origin and customs procedures with a view to adapting them to the reality of increasingly complex global value chains; to ensure that a modernised AA includes anti-fraud provisions and measures, and commitments to standardise customs’ rules and practices, with a view to increasing transparency, effectiveness, legal certainty and cooperation between customs authorities, while modernising and simplifying procedures, as enshrined in the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and the revised Kyoto Convention;
   (j) on trade in services, to consider that the potential of the service sector is not fully accomplished in the current AA, and that a modernised AA should address unnecessary barriers for the purposes of market access and national treatment; to consider that commitments should be taken by building on the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and that rules should be updated as necessary to account for new developments; to exclude audiovisual services from the scope of application of the agreement; to ensure and explicitly foresee that the modernised AA does not hinder the parties’ ability to define, regulate, provide and support public services in the public interest, that it will by no means require governments to privatise any service, neither will it prevent governments from providing public services previously supplied by private service suppliers or from bringing back under public control services that governments have previously chosen to privatise, nor will it preclude governments from expanding the range of services they supply to the public by excluding any clauses, provisions or commitments that would undercut the necessary flexibility to bring current and future services of general economic interest back into public control;
   (k) to ensure that a modernised agreement establishes the necessary steps providing for increased regulatory transparency and mutual recognition, including provisions to ensure impartiality and respect for the highest standards of protection with regard to requirements, qualifications and licences, and to foresee, in this regard, institutional mechanisms for consultation that involve various stakeholders such as SMEs and civil society organisations;
   (l) to ensure that, while commitments are made to facilitate the entry and stay of natural persons for business purposes, foreign service-providers have to comply with EU and Member State social and labour legislation, and with applicable collective agreements when workers benefit from Mode 4 commitments;
   (m) to ensure that ambitious regulatory cooperation and the harmonisation of standards remain voluntary, respect the autonomy of regulatory authorities, are based on enhanced information exchange and administrative cooperation with a view to identifying unnecessary barriers and administrative burdens, and preserve the precautionary principle; to recall that regulatory cooperation must aim to benefit governance of the global economy by intensified convergence and cooperation on international standards, guaranteeing the highest level of consumer, environmental, social and labour protection;
   (n) to consider that the modernised AA include for financial services a prudential carve-out building upon that contained in the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) to enshrine the policy space for the parties to regulate their financial and banking sectors with a view to ensuring the stability and integrity of the financial system; to include safeguard measures and general exceptions with regard to capital movements and payments, to be applied when these may cause, or threaten to cause, serious difficulties for the smooth operation of the economic and monetary union or the balance of payments of the EU;
   (o) to include provisions on tax good governance and transparency standards that reaffirm the parties’ commitment to implementing international standards in the fight against tax fraud, evasion and avoidance, in particular the relevant OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting recommendations, and that include requirements for automatic exchanges of information and the establishment of public registers of beneficial ownership for business trusts and concrete provisions in the chapters on financial services, capital movement and establishment, towards the exclusion of undetected tax planning by corporations;
   (p) to recall that corruption undermines human rights, equality, social justice, trade and fair competition, impeding economic growth; to explicitly commit the parties, through the inclusion of a specific section outlining clear and strong commitments and measures, to combat corruption in all its forms and to implement international standards and multilateral anti-corruption conventions;
   (q) to consider that strong provisions on the opening of public procurement, promoting the most advantageous tender principle which includes social, environmental and innovative criteria, simplified procedures and transparency for bidders, including effective access for those from other countries, can also be effective tools to combat corruption and foster integrity in public administration, while providing value for money to taxpayers; to deliver in a modernised AA improved access to public procurement markets, including at sub-central level, and transparent procedures based on national treatment, impartiality and fairness;
   (r) to ensure that investment policy includes good governance and investment facilitation, and to develop and enshrine investors’ obligations while improving the protection of investors;
   (s) to ensure that the negotiating directives instruct the Commission to negotiate a modern investment chapter, taking into account best practices internationally, such as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development and the latest opinion of the Court of Justice on the EU-Singapore FTA;
   (t) to make progress towards a necessary international reform of the dispute settlement regime; to seek a commitment by all parties to prioritise recourse to competent courts and replace investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) with a public investment court system (ICS) with an appeal mechanism, strict rules on conflict of interest and an enforceable code of conduct; to consider investors’ obligations and to preserve the right to regulate to achieve legitimate public policy objectives such as those related to health and water distribution, as well as labour and environmental protection; to aim to prevent frivolous litigation and include all democratic procedural guarantees, such as the right to non-discriminatory access to justice (with particular attention to SMEs), judicial independence, and transparency and accountability, while working towards the establishment of a multilateral investment court (MIC);
   (u) to ensure that the modernised AA contains a robust and ambitious TSDC that includes binding and enforceable provisions which are subject to suitable and effective dispute settlement mechanisms, which consider, among various enforcement methods, a sanctions-based mechanism, and which enable social partners and civil society to participate appropriately; to consider that the TSDC should cover, inter alia, the parties’ commitment to adopting and maintaining in their national laws and regulations the principles enshrined in core ILO conventions and to implementing up-to-date ILO instruments effectively, especially the governance conventions, the Decent Work Agenda, ILO Convention No 169 on the rights of indigenous peoples, the Convention on Equal Opportunities and Equal Treatment for Men and Women Workers, the Convention on Domestic Workers, and the Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention, labour standards for migrant workers, and CSR, including the uptake of sectoral OECD guidelines and UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and a procedure whereby the social partners and civil society assembled in the JCC can call for the launch of government consultations;
   (v) to ensure, with reference to the progress achieved by Chile in bilateral trade negotiations with Uruguay and Canada, that the parties include a specific chapter on trade and gender equality and women’s empowerment, beyond the parties’ adherence to and respect for international human rights, labour and social standards, foreseeing active measures aiming to enhance opportunities for women to benefit from the opportunities provided by the AA; to provide for measures aimed at, inter alia, a better work-family life balance and access to social and health services; to ensure, inter alia, that the parties commit to collecting disaggregated data allowing for thorough ex ante and ex post analysis on the impact of the modernised AA on gender equality; to pursue an enhanced participation of women enterprises (particularly micro-enterprises and SMEs) in public procurement, building on the experience of the Chilean Ministry of Gender Equality which, in 2015, established a supporting programme to strengthen women entrepreneurs’ participation as suppliers in the public procurement market of ‘Chile Compras’; to support the internationalisation of women enterprises and the participation of women in Mode 4 opportunities; to ensure the inclusion of gender equality expertise in the negotiating teams and periodic discussions on the implementation of this chapter within the JCC, which should also integrate organisations that promote gender equality;
   (w) to include, moreover, a comprehensive chapter on micro-enterprises and SMEs foreseeing substantial progress in terms of trade facilitation, the elimination of trade barriers and unnecessary administrative burdens, as well as active measures aiming to ensure that the resulting opportunities are sufficiently usable and communicated to all main and potential actors (i.e. though the establishment of single windows, dedicated websites and the publication of sectoral guidebooks with information on procedures and new opportunities for trade and investment);
   (x) to include an energy chapter that would cover, inter alia, renewable energy and raw materials; to acknowledge the importance of the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements, notably the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, to include trade-related provisions and commitments to engage in international instruments, negotiations and mutually supportive trade and environmental policies responding to the objectives of the circular economy, including commitments on green growth, and to support and further promote trade and investment in environmental goods and services and renewable energies, as well as climate-friendly technologies;
   (y) to adopt negotiating directives which reinforce the animal welfare provisions included in the current AA through the establishment of effective bilateral cooperation on the matter and conditional liberalisation for when animal welfare is put at risk in the production of certain products;
   (z) to adopt negotiating directives that spell out requirements to address enforcement of competition law, provisions on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures, to reflect the principles of transparency, procedural fairness and non-discrimination as well as rules regarding subsidies;
   (aa) to bear in mind that any trade agreement must enshrine consumer welfare as one of the overall objectives and to ensure that the AA commits the parties to a high level of consumer safety and protection, and adherence to the highest international standards, and to develop coherent best practice, particularly regarding the protection of consumers in the fields of financial services, product labelling and e-commerce;
   (ab) to accept that the negotiations must result in strong and enforceable provisions covering the recognition and protection of all forms of intellectual property rights, including ambitious provisions on geographical indications (GIs) building upon but extending those contained in the existing AA, ensuring better market access, an enhanced enforcement and the possibility to add new GIs; to ensure that the revised AA includes an IPR chapter that guarantees the necessary flexibility and that IPR-related provisions do not undermine access to affordable, essential medicines and medical treatment under domestic public health programmes; to ensure that this chapter goes beyond the provisions of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS);
   (ac) to ensure that the parties guarantee the highest possible level of transparency and participation, ensuring that the objectives of the negotiations are fulfilled, and that this involves constant and duly informed dialogues with all the parties concerned, which comprise both stakeholders, such as business and trade unions, and civil society, including indigenous representatives; to involve systematically, in this regard, both the competent parliamentary bodies, particularly the EU-Chile JPC and the JCC, throughout the full life cycle of the AA, from negotiations to implementation and evaluation, and to support, with regard to the implementation phase, the creation of an official Chilean civil society participation body reflecting the pluralism of Chilean society, attaching particular attention to its indigenous peoples; to ensure to this end, without undermining the EU’s negotiating strategy, together with Chile, that all relevant information is published in the most accessible way to the general public, including fact sheets translated into Spanish as the shared official language;
   (ad) to bear in mind Parliament’s calls for mandates for trade negotiations to be made accessible to the public and to publish the negotiating directives for the modernisation of the AA immediately after their adoption;
   (ae) to ensure that the AA provides the necessary mechanisms so that it is respected in practice during implementation, including a modern, effective state-to-state dispute settlement mechanism;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this recommendation to the Council, the Commission, the EEAS, the Governments and Parliaments of the Member States, and to the Government and Parliament of the Republic of Chile.

(1) OJ L 352, 30.12.2002, p. 3.
(2) Council Press Release 197/15, 21.4.2015.
(3) http://www.eesc.europa.eu/?i=portal.en.events-and-activities-eu-chile-jcc-01-declaration
(4) https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/reflection-paper-globalisation_en.pdf
(5) https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/reflection-paper-social-dimension-europe_en.pdf
(6) https://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/en/cases/decision.faces/en/58668/html.bookmark
(7) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0041.
(8) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0284.
(9) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0298.
(10) OJ C 99 E, 3.4.2012, p. 94.
(11) http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_STU%282017%29558764
(12) http://unfccc.int/files/essential_background/convention/application/pdf/english_paris_agreement.pdf
(13) http://www.europarl.europa.eu/cmsdata/113103/1107500EN.pdf
(14) http://www.iwgia.org/publications/search-pubs?publication_id=740
(15) http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/countries-and-regions/countries/chile/
(16) http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2006/september/tradoc_113364.pdf


Extension of the European statistical programme to 2020 ***I
PDF 242kWORD 46k
Resolution
Text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 14 September 2017 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) No 99/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European statistical programme 2013-17, by extending it to 2018-2020 (COM(2016)0557 – C8-0367/2016 – 2016/0265(COD))
P8_TA(2017)0355A8-0158/2017

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2016)0557),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 338(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8‑0367/2016),

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

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

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

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 14 December 2016(1),

–  after consulting the Committee of the Regions,

–  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 15 June 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 Economic and Monetary Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (A8-0158/2017),

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 14 September 2017 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) 2017/… of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) No 99/2013 on the European statistical programme 2013-17, by extending it to 2020

P8_TC1-COD(2016)0265


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EU) 2017/1951.)

(1) OJ C 75, 10.3.2017, p. 53.


European venture capital funds and European social entrepreneurship funds ***I
PDF 241kWORD 45k
Resolution
Text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 14 September 2017 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) No 345/2013 on European venture capital funds and Regulation (EU) No 346/2013 on European social entrepreneurship funds (COM(2016)0461 – C8-0320/2016 – 2016/0221(COD))
P8_TA(2017)0356A8-0120/2017

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2016)0461),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 114 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8‑0320/2016),

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

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Central Bank of 12 September 2016(1),

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 14 December 2016(2),

–  having regard to the provisional agreement approved by the responsible committee under Rule 69f(4) of its Rules of Procedure and the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 29 June 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 Economic and Monetary Affairs (A8-0120/2017),

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 14 September 2017 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) 2017/… of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) No 345/2013 on European venture capital funds and Regulation (EU) No 346/2013 on European social entrepreneurship funds

P8_TC1-COD(2016)0221


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EU) 2017/1991.)

(1) OJ C 394, 26.10.2016, p. 2.
(2) OJ C 75, 10.3.2017, p. 48.


Multi-annual plan for demersal stocks in the North Sea and the fisheries exploiting those stocks ***I
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Amendments adopted by the European Parliament on 14 September 2017 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing a multi-annual plan for demersal stocks in the North Sea and the fisheries exploiting those stocks and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 676/2007 and Council Regulation (EC) No 1342/2008 (COM(2016)0493 – C8-0336/2016 – 2016/0238(COD))(1)
P8_TA(2017)0357A8-0263/2017

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendment
Amendment 2
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 4
(4)  The objectives of the CFP are, amongst others, to ensure that fishing and aquaculture are environmentally sustainable in the long-term, to apply the precautionary approach to fisheries management, and to implement the ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management.
(4)  The objectives of the CFP are, amongst others, to ensure that fishing and aquaculture are environmentally sustainable in the long-term, to apply the precautionary approach to fisheries management to ensure that stocks of harvested species are restored and maintained at levels above those that can produce MSY, and to implement the ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management.
Amendment 3
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 4 a (new)
(4a)  Regarding the exploitation of living marine biological resources, Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 includes as an explicit goal the restoration and maintenance of populations of harvested species above levels capable of producing MSY. Therefore, in accordance with Article 2(2) thereof, the corresponding exploitation rate is to be achieved by 2015 where possible and, on a progressive, incremental basis at the latest by 2020 for all stocks, and should be maintained thereafter.
Amendment 4
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 5
(5)  For the achievement of the objectives of the CFP, a number of conservation measures are to be adopted as appropriate in any combination thereof, such as multi-annual plans, technical measures, fixing and allocation of fishing opportunities.
(5)  For the achievement of the objectives of the CFP, a number of conservation measures are to be adopted as appropriate in any combination thereof, such as multi-annual plans, technical measures, fixing and allocation of fishing opportunities in full accordance with the best available scientific advice.
Amendment 5
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 6
(6)  Pursuant to Articles 9 and 10 of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013, multi-annual plans are to be based on scientific, technical and economic advice and contain objectives, quantifiable targets with clear timeframes, conservation reference points and safeguards.
(6)  Pursuant to Articles 9 and 10 of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013, multi-annual plans are to be based on scientific, technical and economic advice and contain objectives, quantifiable targets with clear timeframes, conservation reference points, objectives and safeguards, goals for stock conservation and technical measures to be taken to achieve the targets for the maximum possible avoidance of and reduction of unwanted catches as set out in Article 15 thereof.
Amendment 6
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 6 a (new)
(6a)   In addition, the Commission may be empowered to establish fish stock recovery areas in a multi-annual plan pursuant to Article 8(3) of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013.
Amendment 7
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 9 a (new)
(9a)   Some stocks of common interest are also exploited by third countries, which makes it very important that the Union should consult those third countries in order to ensure that the stocks concerned are managed sustainably. In the absence of a formal agreement, the Union should do everything in its power to agree common arrangements for the fishing of those stocks in order to facilitate sustainable management, in which connection equal terms for the Union’s market operators should be secured, enforced and promoted.
Amendment 8
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 10
(10)  The objective of this plan should be to contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the CFP, and especially reaching and maintaining MSY for the stocks concerned, contributing to the implementation of the landing obligation for demersal stocks subject to catch limits and contributing to the implementation of the ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management.
(10)  The objective of this plan should be to contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the CFP, and especially restoring and maintaining fish stocks above levels of biomass capable of producing MSY contributing to the implementation of the landing obligation for demersal stocks subject to catch limits as well as implementation and achievement of the socio-economic aspects of the CFP and contributing to the implementation of the ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management by minimising the negative effects of fishing on the marine ecosystem.
Amendment 9
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 10 a (new)
(10a)   This plan should also contribute to the achievement of good environmental status, as laid down in Directive 2008/56/EC, and to the achievement of favourable conservation status for habitats and species as required by Directive 2009/147/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council1a and Council Directive 92/43/EEC1b respectively.
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1a Directive 2009/147/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on the conservation of wild birds (OJ L 20, 26.1.2010, p. 7).
1b Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (OJ L 206, 22.7.1992, p. 7).
Amendment 10
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 11
(11)  Article 16(4) of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 requires that fishing opportunities be fixed in accordance with the targets set out in the multi-annual plans.
(11)  Article 16(4) of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 requires that fishing opportunities be fixed in accordance with the objectives set out in Article 2(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 and comply with the targets, time-frames and margins established in the multi-annual plans.
Amendment 11
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 11 a (new)
(11a)   In accordance with Article 33(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013, stocks managed jointly with third countries are to be managed wherever possible with joint agreements in line with the objectives laid down in Article 2(2) thereof. In addition, the goals set out in Articles 1 and 2 of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 as well as the definitions set out in Article 4 thereof should apply to such agreements.
Amendment 12
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 14
(14)  Where the targets relating to MSY are not available, the precautionary approach should apply.
(14)  Where the targets relating to the maximum sustainable yield are not available, the multi-annual plan should establish measures on the basis of the precautionary approach to fisheries management as defined in point 8 of Article 4(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013. Those measures must guarantee a degree of conservation of the relevant stocks that is at least comparable to exploitation rates in accordance with the maximum sustainable yield, as set out in Article 9(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013.
Amendment 13
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 14 a (new)
(14a)  Recreational fisheries can have a significant impact on fish resources. Member States are to collect catch data of recreational fisheries, in accordance with legal requirements on data collection. Where such fisheries have a significant negative impact on resources, the plan should provide for the possibility to decide on specific management measures in line with the principle of proportionality. Any management and technical measures concerning recreational fisheries at Union level should be proportionate to the objectives aimed for.
Amendment 14
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 16
(16)  For Norway lobster functional units for which they are available, it is appropriate to use the following trigger abundance levels: minimum abundance (Abundancebuffer) that corresponds to the Bbuffer reference point defined in the Long Term Management Plan for North Sea Nephrops by the North Sea Advisory Council42 and the limit abundance (Abundancelimit) that corresponds to abundance MSY Btrigger (equivalent to Blim) as defined by ICES7.
(16)  For Norway lobster functional units for which they are available, it is appropriate to use ICES-advised minimum abundance (Abundancebuffer) and limit abundance (Abundancelimit) as trigger abundance levels.
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42 A Long Term Management Plan for North Sea Nephrops
Amendment 15
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 17
(17)  Appropriate safeguard measures should be envisaged in case the stock size falls below these levels. Safeguard measures should include the reduction of fishing opportunities and specific conservation measures when scientific advice states that remedial measures are needed. These measures should be supplemented by all other measures, as appropriate, such as Commission measures in accordance with Article 12 of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 or Member State measures in accordance with Article 13 of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013.
(17)  Appropriate safeguard measures should be envisaged in case the stock size falls below these levels. Safeguard measures should include the reduction of fishing opportunities and specific conservation measures when the best available scientific advice states that remedial measures are needed. These measures should be supplemented by all other measures, as appropriate, such as Commission measures in accordance with Article 12 of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 or Member State measures in accordance with Article 13 of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013.
Amendment 16
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 19
(19)  It is appropriate to set the TAC for Norway lobster in ICES zones IIa and IV as the sum of the catch limits established for each functional unit and of the statistical rectangles outside the functional units within that TAC area. However, this does not preclude the adoption of measures to protect specific functional units.
(19)  It is appropriate to define a separate TAC for Norway lobster for each functional unit wherever possible. Separate measures to protect the respective functional units may be taken.
Amendment 17
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 20
(20)  In order to comply with the landing obligation established by Article 15(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013, the plan should provide for additional management measures.
(20)  In order to comply with the landing obligation established by Article 15(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013, the plan should provide for other conservation measures, in particular measures to gradually eliminate discards, taking into account the best available scientific advice, or to minimise the negative impact of fishing on the ecosystem, to be further specified, where appropriate, in accordance with Article 18 of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013.
Amendment 18
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 25
(25)  Thresholds should be established for the demersal stocks that a fishing vessel is required to land in a designated port or a place close to the shore, in accordance with Article 43 of Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009. Moreover, when designating these ports or places close to the shore, Member States should apply the criteria provided in Article 43(5) of that Regulation in such a way as to ensure effective control of the stocks covered by this Regulation.
(25)  Thresholds should be established for the demersal stocks that a fishing vessel is required to land in a designated port or a place close to the shore, in accordance with Article 43 of Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009. Moreover, when designating those ports or places close to the shore, Member States should apply the criteria provided for in Article 43(5) of that Regulation in such a way as to ensure effective control of the landing of catches covered by this Regulation.
Amendment 19
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 26
(26)  In accordance with Article 10(3) of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 provisions should be established for the periodical assessment by the Commission of the adequacy and effectiveness of the application of this Regulation. Such assessment should follow and be based on periodic evaluation of the plan based on scientific advice: the plan should be evaluated every five years. This period allows for the full implementation of the landing obligation, and for regionalised measures to be adopted, implemented and to show effects on the stocks and fishery. It is also the minimum required period by scientific bodies.
(26)  In accordance with Article 10(3) of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 provisions should be established for the periodical assessment by the Commission of the adequacy and effectiveness of the application of this Regulation. Such assessment should follow and be based on periodic evaluation of the plan based on the best available scientific advice: the plan should be evaluated by ... [three years after the date of entry into force of this Regulation], and every five years thereafter. This period allows for the full implementation of the landing obligation, and for regionalised measures to be adopted, implemented and to show effects on the stocks and fishery. It is also the minimum required period by scientific bodies.
Amendment 20
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1
1.  This Regulation establishes a multi-annual plan ("plan") for the demersal stocks in waters of Union waters of ICES zones IIa, IIIa and IV ("North Sea") and the fisheries exploiting those stocks.
1.  This Regulation establishes a multi-annual plan ("plan") for the demersal stocks in waters of Union waters of ICES zones IIa, IIIa and IV ("North Sea" refers to those three zones) and the fisheries, including recreational fisheries, exploiting those stocks.
Amendment 22
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 2 a (new)
2a.   Where, on the basis of scientific advice or of a request from the Member States concerned, the Commission considers that the list referred to in Article 2 needs to be adjusted, the Commission may submit a proposal for the amendment of that list.
Amendment 23
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 2 b (new)
2b.   This Regulation also sets out details for the implementation of the landing obligation for all species provided for in Article 15(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013, other than the stocks already referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article.
Amendment 24
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 1
(1)  "demersal stocks" means those roundfish and flatfish species and Norway lobster that live at or near the bottom of the water column.
(1)  “demersal stocks” means: those roundfish, flatfish and cartilaginous fish species, Norway lobster (Nephrops Norvegicus) and Northern prawn (Pandalus borealis) that live at or near the bottom of the water column.
Amendment 25
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 1 a (new)
(1a)  “Best available scientific advice” means scientific advice which has been reviewed by ICES or STECF and is supported by the most up-to-date data available and which meets all the requirements set out in Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013, in particular Article 25 thereof.
Amendment 26
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 1 b (new)
(1b)   “FMSY range” means a range calculated by ICES delivering no more than a 5 % reduction in long-term yield compared to the maximum sustainable yield. The ICES advice rule indicates that, when spawning stock biomass is below the minimum spawning stock biomass reference point (MSY Btrigger), F is to be reduced to a value which does not exceed an upper limit equal to the FMSY point value multiplied by the spawning stock biomass in the TAC year divided by MSY Btrigger.
Amendment 27
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 1 c (new)
(1c)   “MSY Flower” and “MSY Fupper” mean the lowest and highest value within the FMSY range.
Amendment 28
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 2
(2)  "Group 1": means demersal stocks for which targets as FMSY ranges and safeguards linked to biomass are established in this plan as follows:
(2)  “Group 1” means demersal stocks for which targets as FMSY ranges and safeguards linked to biomass are established in this plan, as listed in Annexes I and II, as follows.
(a)  Cod (Gadus morhua) in Subarea IV and Divisions VIId and IIIa West (North Sea, Eastern Channel, Skagerrak), hereafter referred to as North Sea cod;
(a)  Cod (Gadus morhua) in Subarea IV (North Sea) and Divisions VIId (Eastern Channel) and IIIa West (Skagerrak), hereafter referred to as cod in Subarea IV and Divisions VIId and IIIa West;
(b)  Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) in Subarea IV and Divisions VIa and IIIa west (North Sea, West of Scotland, Skagerrak) hereafter referred to as haddock;
(b)  Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) in Subarea IV (North Sea) and Divisions VIa (West of Scotland) and IIIa west (Skagerrak) hereafter referred to as haddock in Subarea IV and Divisions VIa and IIIa West;
(c)  Plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) in Subarea IV (North Sea) and Division IIIa (Skagerrak), hereafter referred to as North Sea plaice;
(c)  Plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) in Subarea IV (North Sea) and Division IIIa (Skagerrak), hereafter referred to as plaice in Subarea IV and Division IIIa;
(d)  Saithe (Pollachius virens) in Subareas IV and VI and Division IIIa (North Sea, Rockall and West of Scotland, Skagerrak and Kattegat), hereafter referred to as saithe;
(d)  Saithe (Pollachius virens) in Subareas IV (North Sea) and VI (West of Scotland and Rockall) and in Division IIIa (Skagerrak and Kattegat), hereafter referred to as saithe in Subareas IV and VI and Division IIIa;
(e)  Sole (Solea solea) in Subarea IV (North Sea), hereafter referred to as North Sea sole;
(e)  Sole (Solea solea) in Subarea IV (North Sea), hereafter referred to as sole in Subarea IV;
(f)  Sole (Solea solea) in Division IIIa and Subdivisions 22–24 (Skagerrak and Kattegat, Western Baltic Sea), hereafter referred to as Kattegat sole;
(f)  Sole (Solea solea) in Division IIIa (Skagerrak and Kattegat) and Subdivisions 22–24 (Western Baltic Sea), hereafter referred to as sole in Division IIIa and Subdivisions 22-24;
(g)  Whiting (Merlangius merlangus) in Subarea IV and Division VIId (North Sea and Eastern English Channel), hereafter referred to as North Sea whiting.
(g)  Whiting (Merlangius merlangus) in Subarea IV (North Sea) and Division VIId (Eastern English Channel), hereafter referred to as whiting in Subarea IV and Division VIId;
(ga)  Anglerfish (Lophius piscatorius) in Division IIIa (Skagerrak and Kattegat) and Subareas IV (North Sea) and VI (West of Scotland and Rockall);
(gb)  Northern Prawn (Pandalus borealis) in Divisions IVa East and IIIa.
The Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 18 of this Regulation and Article 18 of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 in order to amend the list of stocks in Group 1, as set out in the first paragraph of this point and in Annexes I and II to this Regulation, in accordance with the best available scientific advice.
Amendment 29
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 3 – introductory part
(3)  “Group 2” means Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus) functional units (FU) for which targets as FMSY ranges and safeguards linked to abundance are established in this plan consisting of:
(3)  “Group 2” means Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus) functional units (FU) for which targets as FMSY ranges and safeguards linked to abundance are established in this plan, as set out in Annexes I and II, consisting of:
Amendment 32
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 8 a (new)
(8a)   The stocks concerned shall only be amended on the basis of the best available scientific advice.
Amendment 33
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 10
10.  “MSY Btrigger” means the spawning stock biomass reference point below which specific and appropriate management action is to be taken to ensure that exploitation rates in combination with natural variations rebuild stocks above levels capable of producing MSY in the long term.
10.  “MSY Btrigger” means the spawning stock biomass reference point below which specific and appropriate management action is to be taken to ensure that exploitation rates in combination with natural variations rebuild stocks above levels capable of producing maximum sustainable yield in the long term.
Amendment 34
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 10 a (new)
(10a)   “Recreational fisheries” means non-commercial fishing activities exploiting marine living biological resources for recreation, tourism or sport.
Amendment 35
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 1
1.  The plan shall contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the common fisheries policy listed in Article 2 of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013, in particular by applying the precautionary approach to fisheries management, and shall aim to ensure that exploitation of living marine biological resources restores and maintains populations of harvested species above levels which can produce the maximum sustainable yield.
1.  The plan shall contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the common fisheries policy listed in Article 2 of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013, in particular by applying the precautionary approach to fisheries management as defined in point 8 of Article 4(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013, as well as contribute to a fair standard of living for those who depend on fishing activities, bearing in mind socio-economic aspects, and shall aim to ensure that exploitation of living marine biological resources restores and maintains populations of harvested species above levels which can produce the maximum sustainable yield. The level of fishing which allows the maximum sustainable yield is to be achieved, as quickly as possible and, on a gradual, incremental basis by 2020 at the latest for all stocks covered by this Regulation under all circumstances, and it is to be maintained from that point in time. For stocks where no scientific advice and data exist, the targets set out in Article 9(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 are to be met. Those targets ensure that the relevant stocks will be preserved at a level which is at least comparable with the targets for the highest sustainable yield.
Amendment 37
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 3
3.  The plan shall implement the ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management in order to ensure that negative impacts of fishing activities on the marine ecosystem are minimised. It shall be coherent with Union environmental legislation, in particular with the objective of achieving good environmental status by 2020 as set out in Article 1(1) of Directive 2008/56/EC.
3.  The plan shall implement the ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management in order to ensure that negative impacts of fishing activities on the marine ecosystem, particularly threatened habitats and protected species including marine mammals and seabirds, are minimised. The plan shall complement and be consistent with the ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management as defined in point 9 of Article 4(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013, with Union environmental legislation, in particular with the objective of achieving good environmental status by 2020 as set out in Article 1(1) of Directive 2008/56/EC, and with the targets and rules laid down in Directives 2009/147/EC and 92/43/EEC. Furthermore, the plan shall provide for measures designed to mitigate adverse socio-economic impacts and enable operators to acquire more economic visibility in the long term.
Amendment 38
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 3 a (new)
3a.   The plan shall contribute to ensuring that stocks managed jointly with third countries pursuant to Article 33(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 are managed in line with the objectives set out in Article 2(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013, and that the total fishing opportunities do not exceed the ranges set out in Annex I to this Regulation.
Amendment 39
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 3 b (new)
3b.   The plan shall take account of the Union’s bilateral relations with third countries. Future bilateral agreements with third countries shall take account of the plan.
Amendment 40
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 4 – point b
(b)  contribute to the fulfilment of other relevant descriptors contained in Annex I to Directive 2008/56/EC in proportion to the role played by fisheries in their fulfilment.
(b)  the fulfilment of other relevant descriptors contained in Annex I to Directive 2008/56/EC in proportion to the role played by fisheries in their fulfilment.
Amendment 41
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 – paragraph 4 a (new)
4a.   All measures in the plan shall be taken on the basis of the best available scientific advice in accordance with point 1a of Article 2 of this Regulation. The best available scientific advice shall be reviewed by ICES or STECF by the time at which those measures are proposed by the Commission in accordance with Articles 4, 5, 6 and 18 of this Regulation, and with Article 16 of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013.
Amendment 42
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 1
1.  The target fishing mortality shall be achieved as soon as possible, and on a progressive, incremental basis by 2020 for the stocks of Groups 1 and 2, and shall be maintained thereafter within the ranges set out in Annex I.
1.  The target fishing mortality shall be achieved as soon as possible, and on a progressive, incremental basis by 2020 for the stocks of Groups 1 and 2, and shall be maintained thereafter within the ranges set out in Annex I and shall comply with the goals set out in Article 3(1).
Amendment 43
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 2
2.  In accordance with Article 16(4) of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013, fishing opportunities shall comply with the target fishing mortality ranges set out in Annex I, column A to this Regulation.
2.  In accordance with Article 16(4) and Article 17 of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013, fishing opportunities shall be established in line with the objectives and targets set out in the plan and with the best available scientific advice and shall comply with the target fishing mortality ranges set out in Annex I, column A to this Regulation.
Amendment 44
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 3
3.  Notwithstanding paragraphs 1 and 2, fishing opportunities may be fixed at levels corresponding to lower levels of fishing mortality than those set out in Annex I, column A.
3.  Notwithstanding paragraphs 1 and 2, fishing opportunities may be fixed at levels corresponding to lower levels of fishing mortality than those set out in Annex I.
Amendments 83 and 99
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 4
4.  Notwithstanding paragraphs 2 and 3, fishing opportunities for a stock may be fixed in accordance with the fishing mortality ranges set out in Annex I, column B, provided that the stock concerned is above the minimum spawning biomass reference point set out in Annex II, column A:
deleted
(a)  if, on the basis of scientific advice or evidence, it is necessary for the achievement of the objectives laid down in Article 3 in the case of mixed fisheries;
(b)  if, on the basis of scientific advice or evidence, it is necessary to avoid serious harm to a stock caused by intra- or inter-species stock dynamics; or
(c)  in order to limit variations in fishing opportunities between consecutive years to not more than 20%.
Amendment 48
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 4 a (new)
4a.   Fishing opportunities shall in any event be fixed in such a way as to ensure that there is less than a 5 % probability of the spawning stock biomass falling below the limit spawning stock biomass reference point (Blim) set out in particular in Annex II, column B.
Amendment 49
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 4 b (new)
4b.   Where, on the basis of the best available scientific advice, the Commission considers that the fishing mortality ranges set out in Annex I no longer correctly express the objectives of the plan, the Commission may as a matter of urgency submit a proposal for amendment of those ranges.
Amendment 50
Proposal for a regulation
Article 5 – paragraph 1
1.  Fishing opportunities for the stocks of Groups 3 and 4 shall be consistent with scientific advice related to maximum sustainable yield.
1.  Fishing opportunities for the stocks of Groups 3 and 4 shall be consistent with the best available scientific advice related to maximum sustainable yield.
Amendment 51
Proposal for a regulation
Article 5 – paragraph 2
2.  In the absence of scientific advice on fishing mortality rate consistent with maximum sustainable yield, fishing opportunities shall be consistent with scientific advice to ensure the sustainability of the stocks in line with the precautionary approach.
2.  In the absence of scientific advice and data on the fishing mortality rate consistent with maximum sustainable yield, fishing opportunities and measures shall be decided on in line with the precautionary approach to fisheries management as defined in point 8 of Article 4(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013, and in keeping with the targets set out in Article 3(1) of this Regulation.
Amendment 52
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6 – paragraph 1
Stocks of Group 5 shall be managed based on the precautionary approach in line with scientific advice.
Stocks of Group 5 shall be managed based on the precautionary approach to fisheries management as defined in point 8 of Article 4(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 and in accordance with the best available scientific advice and with the targets set out in Article 3(1) and Article 3(3) of this Regulation. The absence of adequate scientific information shall not justify postponing or failing to take management measures to conserve marine biological resources.
Amendment 53
Proposal for a regulation
Article 8 – paragraph 1
1.  When scientific advice indicates that for a given year the spawning biomass of any of the stocks in Group 1 is below the MSY Btrigger or that the abundance of any of the functional units in Group 2 is below the Abundancebuffer set out in Annex II, column A, all appropriate remedial measures shall be adopted to ensure rapid return of the stock or functional unit concerned to levels above those capable of producing maximum sustainable yield. In particular, by way of derogation from Article 4(2) fishing opportunities shall be set at levels consistent with a fishing mortality, taking into account the decrease in biomass or abundance, that is reduced below the range laid down in Annex I, column A.
1.  When the best available scientific advice indicates that for a given year the spawning biomass of any of the stocks in Group 1 is below the MSY Btrigger or that the abundance of any of the functional units in Group 2 is below the Abundancebuffer set out in Annex II, column A, all appropriate remedial measures shall be adopted to ensure rapid return of the stock or functional unit concerned to levels above those capable of producing maximum sustainable yield. In particular, by way of derogation from Article 4(2) fishing opportunities shall be set at levels consistent with a fishing mortality, taking into account the decrease in biomass or abundance, that is reduced below the range laid down in Annex I, column A in proportion to the decrease in biomass, following the ICES advice rule. The ICES advice rule referred to in point 1b of Article 2 shall apply.
Amendment 54
Proposal for a regulation
Article 8 – paragraph 2
2.  When scientific advice indicates that the spawning stock biomass of any of the stocks concerned is below the Blim or the abundance of any of the Norway lobster functional units is below Abundancelimit as set out in Annex II, column B to this Regulation, further remedial measures shall be taken to ensure rapid return of the stock or functional unit concerned to levels above the level capable of producing maximum sustainable yield. In particular, those remedial measures shall include, by way of derogation from paragraphs 2 and 4 of Article 4, suspending the targeted fishery for the stock concerned and the adequate reduction of fishing opportunities.
2.  When the best available scientific advice indicates that the spawning stock biomass of any of the stocks concerned is below the Blim or the abundance of any of the Norway lobster functional units is below Abundancelimit as set out in Annex II, column B to this Regulation, further remedial measures shall be taken to ensure rapid return of the stock or functional unit concerned to levels above the level capable of producing maximum sustainable yield. In particular, those remedial measures shall include, by way of derogation from paragraphs 2 and 4 of Article 4, suspending the targeted fishery for the stock concerned and the adequate reduction of fishing opportunities.
Amendment 55
Proposal for a regulation
Article 8 – paragraph 2 a (new)
2a.   When the best available scientific advice indicates that for a given year the spawning stock biomass of any of the stocks to which this Regulation applies is below MSY Btrigger, all appropriate remedial measures shall be adopted to ensure rapid return of the stock to levels above those capable of producing maximum sustainable yield, and fishing mortality shall be reduced on a linear basis in proportion to the decrease in biomass in accordance with the ICES advice rule. The ICES advice rule referred to in point 1b of Article 2(1) shall apply.
Amendment 56
Proposal for a regulation
Article 8 – paragraph 2 b (new)
2b.   When the best available scientific advice indicates that the spawning stock biomass of any of the stocks to which this Regulation applies is below Blim or another relevant limit, additional remedial measures shall be adopted to ensure rapid return of the stock to levels above those capable of producing maximum sustainable yield. In particular, the remedial measures may involve a suitable reduction of fishing opportunities or suspension of the targeted fishery of the stock.
Amendment 57
Proposal for a regulation
Article 8 – paragraph 2 c (new)
2c.   Remedial measures referred to in this Article may include:
(a)  emergency measures in accordance with Articles 12 and 13 of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013;
(b)  measures pursuant to Articles 11 and 11a of this Regulation.
The choice of measures referred to in this Article shall be made in accordance with the nature, seriousness, duration and repetition of the situation where the spawning stock biomass is below the levels referred to in paragraph 1.
Amendment 58
Proposal for a regulation
Article 9 – title
Specific conservation measures for Groups 3 to 7
Specific conservation measures
Amendment 84
Proposal for a regulation
Article 9 – paragraph 1 – introductory part
When scientific advice indicates that remedial action is required for the conservation of any of the demersal stocks of Groups 3 to 7, or when the spawning biomass of any of the stocks in Group 1 or abundance of any of the functional units in Group 2 for a given year is below the conservation reference points set out in Annex II, column A to this Regulation, the Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 18 of this Regulation and Article 18 of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 regarding:
When scientific advice indicates that additional action is required to ensure that any of the fisheries to which this Regulation applies is managed in accordance with Article 3 of this Regulation, the Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 18 of this Regulation and Article 18 of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013. Notwithstanding Article 18(1) and (3) the Commission may adopt delegated acts in the absence of a joint recommendation referred to in those paragraphs. These delegated acts shall include measures regarding:
Amendment 60
Proposal for a regulation
Article 9 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  characteristics of fishing gear, in particular mesh size, hook size, construction of the gear, twine thickness, size of the gear or use of selectivity devices to ensure or improve selectivity;
(a)  defining the characteristics and specifications of fishing gear, in particular mesh size, hook size, construction of the gear, twine thickness, size of the gear or use of selectivity devices to ensure or improve selectivity, particularly with a view to reducing unwanted by-catches;
Amendment 61
Proposal for a regulation
Article 9 a (new)
Article 9a
Designation of spawning grounds and stock recovery areas
By 2020 at the latest, Member States shall designate spawning grounds and areas where there is clear evidence of heavy concentrations of fish below minimum conservation reference size, and they shall draft joint recommendations in line with Article 12(2) of this Regulation with a view to establishing stock recovery areas for stocks to which this Regulation applies.
Amendment 62
Proposal for a regulation
Article 10 – title
Total allowable catches
Fishing opportunities
Amendment 63
Proposal for a regulation
Article 10 – paragraph 1 a (new)
1a.   Member States shall take into account objective and transparent criteria pursuant to Article 17 of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 when allocating quotas.
Amendment 64
Proposal for a regulation
Article 10 – paragraph 1 b (new)
1b.   Member States shall enable the exchange of quotas pursuant to Article 33(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 in the context of the joint management of stocks with third countries.
Amendment 65
Proposal for a regulation
Article 10 – paragraph 2
2.  Without prejudice to Article 8, the TAC for the stock of Norway lobster in ICES zones IIa and IV shall be the sum of the catch limits of the functional units and of the statistical rectangles outside the functional units.
2.  For the stock of Norway lobster in ICES zones IIa and IV, catch limits for each functional unit and a joint TAC for the statistical rectangles outside the functional units shall be established.
Amendment 66
Proposal for a regulation
Article 10 a (new)
Article 10a
Impact of recreational fisheries
1.  All available data on catches by recreational fisheries shall be examined in order to assess their likely impact on the stocks of regulated species.
2.  The Council shall consider the assessment provided for in the first paragraph. For those stocks for which recreational catches are considered to be significant, the Council shall, when setting fishing opportunities, take account of recreational catches by, inter alia:
(a)  considering the sum of estimates of catches by recreational fisheries, derived from the best available scientific advice, and the best available scientific advice on commercial fishing opportunities as total catch which corresponds to the target fishing mortality;
(b)  imposing restrictions on recreational fisheries, including daily bag limits and closed seasons; or
(c)  other means which are deemed appropriate.
Amendment 67
Proposal for a regulation
Article 11 – title
Provisions linked to the landing obligation for Groups 1 to 7
Provisions linked to the landing obligation
Amendment 68
Proposal for a regulation
Article 11 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  exemptions from the application of the landing obligation for species for which scientific evidence demonstrates high survival rates, taking into account the characteristics of the gear, of the fishing practices and of the ecosystem, to facilitate the implementation of the landing obligation; and
(a)  exemptions from the application of the landing obligation for species for which the best available scientific advice demonstrates high survival rates, taking into account the characteristics of the gear, of the fishing practices and of the ecosystem, to facilitate the implementation of the landing obligation; and
Amendment 69
Proposal for a regulation
Article 11 – paragraph 1 – point c
(c)  specific provisions on documentation of catches, in particular for the purpose of monitoring the implementation of the landing obligation; and
(c)  specific provisions on documentation of catches, in particular for the purpose of monitoring and controlling in order to ensure a level playing field by ensuring full compliance with the landing obligation; and
Amendment 70
Proposal for a regulation
Article 11 – paragraph 1 a (new)
The measures set out in the first paragraph of this Article shall contribute to achieving the objectives set out in Article 3 of this Regulation, in particular the protection of juvenile fish and spawning fish.
Amendment 71
Proposal for a regulation
Article 11 a (new)
Article 11a
Technical measures
1.  The Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 18 of this Regulation and Article 18 of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 regarding the following technical measures:
(a)  specifications of characteristics of fishing gears and rules governing their use, to ensure or improve selectivity, to reduce unwanted catches or to minimise the negative impact on the ecosystem;
(b)  specifications of modifications or additional devices to the fishing gears, to ensure or improve selectivity, to reduce unwanted catches or to minimise the negative impact on the ecosystem;
(c)  limitations or prohibitions on the use of certain fishing gears and on fishing activities, in certain areas or periods to protect spawning fish, fish below the minimum conservation reference size or non-target fish species, or to minimise the negative impact on the ecosystem; and
(d)  the fixing of minimum conservation reference sizes for any of the stocks to which this Regulation applies, to ensure the protection of juveniles of marine organisms.
2.  The measures referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall contribute to the achievement of the objectives set out in Article 3.
Amendment 97
Proposal for a regulation
Article 12 – paragraph 2
2.   For the purpose of paragraph 1 of this Article, Member States having direct management interest may submit joint recommendations in accordance with Article 18(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 for the first time not later than twelve months after the entry into force of this Regulation and thereafter twelve months after each submission of the evaluation of the plan in accordance with Article 17. They may also submit such recommendations when deemed necessary by them, in particular in the event of an abrupt change in the situation for any of the stocks to which this Regulation applies. Joint recommendations in respect of measures concerning a given calendar year shall be submitted no later than 1 July of the previous year.
2.  For the purpose of paragraph 1 of this Article, Member States having direct management interest may submit joint recommendations in accordance with Article 18(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 for the first time not later than twelve months after the entry into force of this Regulation and thereafter twelve months after each submission of the evaluation of the plan in accordance with Article 17. They may also submit such recommendations when deemed necessary by them, in particular in the event of an abrupt change in the situation for any of the stocks to which this Regulation applies. Joint recommendations in respect of measures concerning a given calendar year shall be submitted no later than 1 July of the previous year.
Notwithstanding Article 18(1) and (3) of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013, the Commission may adopt delegated acts also in the absence of a joint recommendation as referred to in those paragraphs.
Amendment 74
Proposal for a regulation
Article 17 – paragraph 1
No less than five years after the entry into force of this Regulation, and every five years thereafter, the Commission shall ensure an evaluation of the impact of the plan on the stocks to which this Regulation applies and on the fisheries exploiting those stocks. It shall submit the results of this evaluation to the European Parliament and to the Council.
No less than three years after the entry into force of this Regulation, and every five years thereafter, the Commission shall ensure an evaluation of the impact of the plan on the stocks to which this Regulation applies and on the fisheries exploiting those stocks, as well as the extent to which the objectives of this Regulation have been met, including the recovery of fish stocks above levels capable of producing the maximum sustainable yield and the progress towards good environmental status. It shall submit the results of this evaluation to the European Parliament and to the Council. The Commission may report, where this is considered necessary, at an earlier date.
The Commission shall report annually to the European Parliament and to the Council on progress in achieving the objectives of this Regulation and on the situation of fish stocks in the waters and for the stocks covered by this Regulation, as early as possible following the adoption of the yearly regulation fixing the fishing opportunities available in Union waters and in certain non-Union waters. That report shall be annexed to the annual report referred to in Article 50 of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013.
That report shall contain:
(a)  the comprehensive scientific advice on the basis of which the fishing opportunities were fixed; and
(b)  a scientific justification demonstrating that the fishing opportunities fixed are in line with the objectives and provisions of this Regulation, in particular the fishing mortality targets.
Amendment 75
Proposal for a regulation
Article 18 a (new)
Article 18a
Support from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund
Temporary cessation measures adopted in order to achieve the objectives of the plan shall be deemed as temporary cessation of fishing activities for the purposes of points (a) and (c) of Article 33(1) of Regulation (EU) No 508/2014.
(This Article should appear in Chapter X)
Amendment 85
Proposal for a regulation
Annex I

Text proposed by the Commission

1. Group 1

Stock

Target fishing mortality range consistent with achieving maximum sustainable yield (FMSY)

Column A

Column B

North Sea cod

0.22 – 0.33

0.33 – 0.49

Haddock

0.25 – 0.37

0.37 – 0.52

North Sea plaice

0.13 – 0.19

0.19 – 0.27

Saithe

0.20 – 0.32

0.32 – 0.43

North Sea sole

0.11 – 0.20

0.20 – 0.37

Kattegat sole

0.19 – 0.22

0.22 – 0.26

North Sea whiting

Not defined

Not defined

2. Group 2

Norway lobster functional unit (FU)

Target fishing mortality range consistent with achieving maximum sustainable yield (FMSY) (as harvest rate)

Column A

Column B

Division IIIa FU 3 and 4

0.056 – 0.079

0.079 – 0.079

Farn Deeps FU 6

0.07 – 0.081

0.081 – 0.081

Fladen Ground FU 7

0.066 – 0.075

0.075 – 0.075

Firth of Forth FU 8

0.106 – 0.163

0.163 – 0.163

Moray Firth FU 9

0.091 – 0.118

0.118 – 0.118

Amendment

1.  Group 1

Figures in the table come from the most recent ICES Special Request Advice, the “EU request to ICES to provide FMSY ranges for selected North Sea and Baltic Sea stocks”

STOCK

Target fishing mortality ranges consistent with achieving maximum sustainable yield (FMSY)

Cod in Subarea IV and Divisions VIId and IIIa West

FMSY lower - FMSY

 

Haddock in Subarea IV and Divisions VIa and IIIa West

FMSY lower - FMSY

 

Plaice in Subarea IV and Division IIIa

FMSY lower - FMSY

 

Saithe in Subareas IV and VI and Division IIIa

FMSY lower - FMSY

 

Sole in Subarea IV

FMSY lower - FMSY

 

Sole in Division IIIa and Subdivisions 22-24

FMSY lower - FMSY

 

Whiting in Subarea IV and Division VIId

FMSY lower - FMSY

 

Anglerfish in Division IIIa and Subareas IV and VI

FMSY lower - FMSY

 

Northern Prawn in Divisions IVa East and IIIa

FMSY lower - FMSY

 

2.  Group 2

Figures in the table come from the most recent ICES Special Request Advice, the “EU request to ICES to provide FMSY ranges for selected North Sea and Baltic Sea stocks”

Norway lobster functional unit (FU)

Target fishing mortality ranges consistent with achieving maximum sustainable yield (FMSY) (as harvest rate)

 

Column A

 

Division IIIa FU 3 and 4

FMSY lower - FMSY

 

Farn Deeps FU 6

FMSY lower - FMSY

 

Fladen Ground FU 7

FMSY lower - FMSY

 

Firth of Forth FU 8

FMSY lower - FMSY

 

Moray Firth FU 9

FMSY lower - FMSY

 

Amendment 77
Proposal for a regulation
Annex II
Annex II
Annex II
Conservation reference points
Conservation reference points
(as referred to in Article 7)
(as referred to in Article 7)
1.  Group 1
1.  Group 1
STOCK
Minimum spawning stock biomass reference point (in tonnes) (MSY Btrigger)
Limit biomass reference point (in tonnes) (Blim)

STOCK
Minimum spawning stock biomass reference point (in tonnes) (MSY Btrigger)
Limit biomass reference point (in tonnes) (Blim)




Column A
Column B

North Sea cod
165 000
118 000

Cod in Subarea IV and Divisions VIId and IIIa West
165 000
118 000

Haddock
88 000
63 000

Haddock in Subarea IV and Divisions VIa and IIIa West
88 000
63 000

North Sea plaice
230 000
160 000

Plaice in Subarea IV and Division IIIa
230 000
160 000

Saithe
200 000
106 000

Saithe in Subareas IV and VI and Division IIIa
150 000
106 000

North Sea sole
37 000
26 300

Sole in Subarea IV
37 000
26 300

Kattegat sole
2 600
1 850

Sole in Division IIIa and Subdivisions 22-24
2 600
1 850

North Sea whiting
Not defined
Not defined

Whiting in Subarea IV and Division VIId
Not defined
Not defined





Anglerfish in Division IIIa and Subareas IV and VI
Not defined
Not defined





Northern Prawn in Divisions IVa East and IIIa
Not defined
Not defined

2.  Group 2
2.  Group 2
Norway lobster functional unit (FU)
Minimum abundance reference point (in millions) (Abundancebuffer)
Limit abundance reference point (in millions) (Abundancelimit)

Norway lobster functional unit (FU)
Minimum abundance reference point (in millions) (Abundancebuffer)
Limit abundance reference point (in millions) (Abundancelimit)




Column A
Column B

Division IIIa FU 3 and 4
NA
NA

Division IIIa FU 3 and 4
NA
NA

Farn Deeps FU 6
999
858

Farn Deeps FU 6
999
858

Fladen Ground FU 7
3 583
2 767

Fladen Ground FU 7
3 583
2 767

Firth of Forth FU 8
362
292

Firth of Forth FU 8
362
292

Moray Firth FU 9
262
262

Moray Firth FU 9
262
262

Amendment 78
Proposal for a regulation
Annex II a (new)
Annex II a
Prohibited species
(a)   starry ray (Amblyraja radiata);
(b)   the following species of sawfish:
(i)   narrow sawfish (Anoxypristis cuspidata);
(ii)   dwarf sawfish (Pristis clavata);
(iii)   smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata);
(iv)   largetooth sawfish (Pristis pristis);
(v)   green sawfish (Pristis zijsron);
(c)   basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) and white shark (Carcharodon carcharias);
(d)   common skate (Dipturus batis) complex (Dipturus cf. flossada and Dipturus cf. intermedia);
(e)   smooth lanternshark (Etmopterus pusillus) in Union waters of ICES Subarea IV and ICES Division IIIa;
(f)   reef manta ray (Manta alfredi);
(g)   giant manta ray (Manta birostris);
(h)   the following species of Mobula rays:
(i)   devil fish (Mobula mobular);
(ii)   Mobula rochebrunei;
(iii)   spinetail mobula (Mobula japanica);
(iv)   smoothtail mobula (Mobula thurstoni);
(v)   longhorned mobula (Mobula eregoodootenkee);
(vi)   Munk’s devil ray (Mobula munkiana);
(vii)   Chilean devil ray (Mobula tarapacana);
(viii)   shortfin devil ray (Mobula kuhlii);
(ix)   lesser devil ray (Mobula hypostoma);
(i)   thornback ray (Raja clavata) in Union waters of ICES Division IIIa;
(j)   guitarfishes (Rhinobatidae);
(k)   angel shark (Squatina squatina);
(l)   salmon (Salmo salar) and sea trout (Salmo trutta) when fishing with any towed net within the waters outside the six-mile limit measured from Member States’ baselines in ICES Subareas II and IV (Union waters);
(m)   berried female crawfish (Palinuridae spp.) and berried female lobster (Homarus gammarus) except when used for direct restocking or transplantation purposes.

(1) The matter was referred back for interinstitutional negotiations to the committee responsible, pursuant to Rule 59(4), fourth subparagraph (A8-0263/2017).


Transparency, accountability and integrity in the EU institutions
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European Parliament resolution of 14 September 2017 on transparency, accountability and integrity in the EU institutions (2015/2041(INI))
P8_TA(2017)0358A8-0133/2017

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its decision of 15 April 2014 on the modification of the interinstitutional agreement on the Transparency Register(1),

–  having regard to the Treaty on European Union (TEU), in particular Articles 9 and 10,

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

–  having regard to its resolution of 8 May 2008 on the development of the framework for the activities of interest representatives (lobbyists) in the European institutions(2),

–  having regard to the Commission’s decision of 25 November 2014 not to meet unregistered lobbyists and to publish information on lobby meetings,

–  having regard to its resolution of 11 March 2014 on public access to documents (Rule 104(7)) for the years 2011-2013(3),

–  having regard to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Principles for Transparency and Integrity in Lobbying,

–  having regard to its decision of 13 December 2016 on the general revision of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure(4),

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on International Trade, the Committee on Budgetary Control, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, the Committee on Legal Affairs and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A8-0133/2017),

A.  whereas the Union ‘shall observe the principle of the equality of its citizens, who shall receive equal attention from its institutions’ (Article 9 of the TEU); whereas ‘every citizen shall have the right to participate in the democratic life of the Union’ and ‘decisions shall be taken as openly and as closely as possible to the citizen’ (Article 10(3) of the TEU and expressed similarly in the 13th recital in the preamble thereto and Articles 1(2) and 9 thereof); whereas ‘the Union’s institutions, bodies, offices and agencies shall conduct their work as openly as possible’ (Article 15(1) of the TFEU);

B.  whereas the EU institutions have already made progress in becoming more open and are in most respects already ahead of national and regional political institutions in terms of their transparency, accountability and integrity;

C.  whereas dialogue between law-makers and society is an essential part of democracy, as is representation of interests, and whereas the adequate representation of different interests in the legislative process provides Members with information and expertise and is crucial for the proper functioning of pluralistic societies;

D.  whereas, in view of the growing distance between the EU and its citizens and the need to increase media interest in EU affairs, the EU institutions must strive for the highest possible standards of transparency, accountability and integrity; whereas these principles are key and complementary components in promoting good governance within the EU institutions and in ensuring greater openness in the functioning of the EU and its decision-making process, and whereas these should be the leading principles of the culture within the institutions;

E.  whereas citizens’ trust in the EU institutions is fundamental for democracy, good governance and effective policy-making; whereas there is a need to reduce accountability gaps within the EU and to move towards more collaborative modes of scrutiny which combine democratic oversight, control and auditing activities, while also providing more transparency;

F.  whereas non-transparent, one-sided interest representation can lead to a risk of corruption and may pose a significant threat and serious challenge to the integrity of policy-makers and to public trust in the EU institutions; whereas corruption has significant financial consequences and constitutes a serious threat to democracy, the rule of law and public investment;

G.  whereas a legal act as a new basis for a mandatory Transparency Register necessitates a legal definition of the activities falling under the remit of the register, which would help clarify existing ambiguous definitions and interpretations of transparency, integrity and accountability;

H.  whereas in some Member States national transparency registers have already been established;

I.  whereas, in accordance with the requirement of transparency laid down in Article 15(3) of the TFEU in conjunction with Article 42 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the settled case-law of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU), all citizens of the Union have the right of access to documents of the Union’s institutions, bodies and other agencies(5);

Making the Transparency Register as mandatory as possible

1.  Welcomes the decision of its Bureau to request that its administration develop a template for all rapporteurs and draftspersons for opinions to produce a voluntary legislative footprint, setting out what interest representatives and organisations they have consulted; the template should be also provided as an IT tool;

2.  Recalls its revision of the Rules of Procedure of 13 December 2016, according to which Members should adopt the systematic practice of only meeting interest representatives that have registered in the Transparency Register, and calls for meetings between interest representatives and Secretary-Generals, Director-Generals and Secretary-Generals of political groups to be included; asks Members and their staff to check whether the interest representatives they intend to meet are registered and, if not, ask them to do so as soon as possible prior to the meeting; urges the Council to introduce a similar provision which includes permanent representations; deems it necessary to oblige registrants in the Transparency Register to produce documents to demonstrate that the information submitted is accurate;

3.  Recalls the definitions of what constitutes a ‘meeting with interest representatives’ set out in the Commission’s decision of 25 November 2014 on the publication of meetings; recalls the provisions on what information may be withheld under Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001; believes that the provisions on such meetings should not be restricted to ‘bilateral’ ones, and should include those with international organisations;

4.  Believes that rapporteurs, shadow rapporteurs and committee chairs should publish their meetings with interest representatives falling under the scope of the Transparency Register regarding files under their responsibility through a legislative footprint and that any exceptions should protect the life and liberty of informants acting in good faith;

5.  Calls on its Bureau to create the necessary means to enable Members to publish on their Parliament online profiles their meetings with interest representatives if they wish to do so;

6.  Calls on the Commission to extend to all relevant Commission staff (from Head of Unit level and above) the practice of meeting only organisations or self-employed individuals that are registered in the Transparency Register;

7.  Urges the Commission to publish meetings of all relevant Commission staff involved in the EU’s policy-making process with external organisations, while taking account of necessary data protection rules; for other staff present at these meetings, reference to the unit or service should be published;

8.  Supports the Commission’s call for the EU institutions and their staff, and its agencies, to refrain from inviting as speakers unregistered interest representatives falling within the scope of the Transparency Register, from giving their events patronage or hosting such events on EU premises and from allowing them to participate in Commission advisory bodies;

9.  Calls on the Commission to make all information on interest representation towards the EU institutions, declarations of interest, confirmed conflicts of interest and expert groups easily accessible to the public through an online one-stop shop;

10.  Encourages the Commission to develop measures to achieve a better balance by empowering underrepresented interests;

11.  Considers that, among the Members of the European Parliament, those appointed rapporteur, shadow rapporteur or committee chair have a special responsibility to be transparent about their contacts with interest representatives in view of their role in EU legislation;

12.  Believes that entities registered in the Transparency Register should, in a timely manner, introduce mandatory updates in the register on expenditure for activities falling within the remit of the register by its registrants when this expenditure exceeds the level set for the category in question;

13.  Believes all registered entities should be obliged to publish in the Transparency Register a list of all donors and their corresponding donations exceeding EUR 3 000, indicating both the nature and the value of the individual donations annually; single donations of a value exceeding EUR 12 000 must be reported immediately;

14.  Reiterates its longstanding call to back up the EU Transparency Register with a legislative act, if it is not possible to close all loopholes and achieve a fully mandatory register for all interest representatives with an interinstitutional agreement; considers that the proposal for this legal act could take into account the progress achieved by changes in the interinstitutional agreement and Parliament’s Code of Conduct; reminds the Commission of its call in its decision of 15 April 2014 for an appropriate legislative proposal on a mandatory transparency register to be submitted pursuant to Article 352 of the TFEU by the end of 2016;

15.  Reiterates its call on the Council, including its preparatory bodies, to join the Transparency Register as soon as possible; calls on all Member States to introduce legislation advancing the transparency of interest representation; calls on the Member States to introduce rules whereby interest representatives should make transparent where their contacts with national politicians and public administration are aimed at influencing European legislation;

Transparency, accountability and integrity in dealing with interest representatives

16.  Recalls its decision of 13 December 2016 to withdraw privileges from those who are unwilling to cooperate with inquiries or hearings and committee meetings which have a fact-finding mission; calls on the Commission to further amend the code of conduct for registered entities to incentivise them not to provide, in utmost good faith, insufficient or misleading information during such hearings or committees; considers that entities registered in the Transparency Register should be prohibited under the code of conduct from employing individuals or organisations disguising the interests or the parties they serve;

17.  Considers that professional consultancies, law firms and self-employed consultants should indicate the exact volume of the activities covered by the register, while acknowledging that certain individuals may be hindered by national legislation in some Member States from meeting the requirements of the Transparency Register;

18.  Insists that registered entities, including law firms and consultancies, should declare in the Transparency Register all clients on whose behalf they perform interest representation activities that fall within the remit of the Transparency Register; welcomes the decisions taken by various bars and law societies in recognising the differences between court-related activities of lawyers and other activities falling within the scope of the Transparency Register; moreover, invites the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe to encourage its members to adopt similar measures, while acknowledging that certain individuals may be hindered by national legislation in some Member States from meeting the requirements of the Transparency Register;

19.  Notes that, in some Member States, statutory provisions exist on the rules governing the exercise of professions, which in particular objectively prevent law firms from registering themselves in the Transparency Register and in the process revealing the information about their clients which the register requires; also perceives, however, a substantial risk in that such statutory provisions may also be abused to avoid publishing information required for proper entry in the register; welcomes, in this connection, the perceptible readiness of lawyers’ professional organisations to work in partnership to ensure that, in the interests of their profession, such withholding of information is confined exclusively to what the law objectively permits; calls on the Commission and the President of the European Parliament to secure a practical outcome from this readiness and to enshrine a result in the modified agreement as soon as possible;

20.  Asks the Bureau, in accordance with Article 15 of the TFEU and Article 11 of the TEU, to require registration prior to access to Parliament’s premises for non-registered organisations or individuals that undertake activities falling within the remit of the Transparency Register; considers that visitor groups should be exempted from this; emphasises that Parliament, as the chamber representing European citizens, should retain an open-door policy towards citizens and that no unnecessary obstacles should be created which could discourage citizens from visiting its premises;

21.  Regrets that, according to Transparency International, more than half of the entries in the EU’s lobbying disclosure register in 2015 were inaccurate, incomplete or meaningless;

22.  Asks its Bureau and its Secretary-General to ease the reactivation process necessary for lobby badges by setting up a designated reactivation facility with a view to avoiding excessive waiting times to gain entry to premises; calls for the removal of the restriction of not more than four pass holders being able to access Parliament’s premises at the same time;

23.  Recalls its decision of 13 December 2016 as regards entourage passes, and calls on its Secretary-General to amend the rules governing passes and authorisations granting access to Parliament’s premises as of 13 December 2013 to oblige anyone over the age of 18 applying for an entourage pass to sign a document guaranteeing that they will not engage in activities falling within the scope of the Transparency Register;

24.  Believes it to be necessary, as a matter of urgency, to introduce a proper monitoring system for submissions in order to ensure that the information that registrants provide is meaningful, accurate, up-to-date and comprehensive; calls in this regard for a substantial increase in the resources of the Transparency Unit within the European Parliament and the Joint Transparency Register Secretariat;

25.  Believes that declarations of registered entities should be checked by the Transparency Unit and the Joint Transparency Register Secretariat each year on the basis of random sampling in sufficient numbers so as to provide meaningful, accurate, up-to-date, comprehensive data;

26.  Believes, with reference to Articles 4(2) and 5(2) of the TEU, that democratically elected and controlled state institutions at national, regional and local level and their representations towards the EU institutions, as well as their internal bodies and formal and informal associations and umbrella organisations composed exclusively thereof, should not fall under the EU Transparency Register if they act in the public interest, as they are part of the EU’s multi-level system of governance;

Defending integrity against conflicts of interest

27.  Calls on those EU institutions and bodies which still do not have a code of conduct to develop such a document as soon as possible; considers it regrettable that the Council and the European Council have still not adopted a code of conduct for their members; urges the Council to introduce a specific code of ethics, including sanctions, which addresses the risks specific to national delegates; insists that the Council must be just as accountable and transparent as the other institutions; calls also for a code of conduct for members and staff of the EU’s two advisory bodies, the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee; calls on the EU agencies to adopt guidelines for a coherent policy on the prevention and management of conflicts of interest for members of the management board and directors, experts in scientific committees, and members of boards of appeal, and to adopt and implement a clear policy on conflicts of interest, in accordance with the Roadmap on the follow-up to the Common Approach on EU decentralised agencies;

28.  Believes that all EU officials, including temporary agents, accredited parliamentary assistants, contract agents and national experts, should be encouraged to attend training on how to deal with interest representatives and conflicts of interest ;

29.  Underlines the need to enhance integrity and improve the ethical framework through clear, reinforced codes of conduct and ethical principles, so as to allow the development of a common and effective culture of integrity for all EU institutions and agencies;

30.  Recognises that the ‘revolving door’ effect can be detrimental to relations between the institutions and interest representatives; calls for the EU institutions to develop a systematic and proportional approach to this challenge; considers that all regulation regarding ‘revolving doors’ should also be applied to the President of the Council;

31.  Calls for strengthening the restrictions on former Commissioners by extending the ‘cooling-off period’ to three years and making it binding for at least all activities falling within the remit of the Transparency Register;

32.  Believes that decisions on senior officials’ and former Commissioners’ new roles must be taken by an authority appointed as independently as possible of those affected by its decisions;

33.  Requests that all EU institutions should disclose, on an annual basis, in line with EU data protection rules, information about senior officials who have left the EU administration and the roles they have taken up;

34.  Takes the view that consideration should be given to an 18-month cooling-off period at the end of the appointment of external and ad hoc members of the Regulatory Scrutiny Board in the context of better law-making and of members of the Board of Directors of the European Investment Bank, whereby, during this period, they must not lobby members of the EIB governing bodies and Bank staff for their business, client or employer;

Integrity and balanced composition of expert groups

35.  Welcomes the Commission’s intention to follow up on the Ombudsman’s recommendations against conflicts of interest in expert groups, and explicitly supports the publication of a sufficiently detailed CV of each expert appointed in her or his personal capacity on the expert groups register, and of a declaration of interests of each expert appointed in his or her personal capacity on the expert groups register;

36.  Supports the Ombudsman’s call for entry in the Transparency Register to be made a requirement for appointment to expert groups for those Members who are not government officials and do not receive all or the vast majority of their other income from state institutions such as universities, assuming that the latter do not receive funding from interest representatives and economic and commercial stakeholders;

37.  Believes that a provision containing general criteria for the delimitation of economic and non-economic interests as recommended by the Ombudsman and based on the experts’ declarations of interest would help the Commission to pick experts representing interests with a better balance;

38.  Urges the Commission to make all minutes of expert group meetings available to the public on its website, including the diversity of opinions represented;

39.  Urges the Commission to make sure that consultations explore open questions instead of merely seeking to confirm a chosen policy direction;

Integrity of the European elections

40.  Believes that, under European electoral law, nominations of candidates within parties must be carried out democratically, in secret and with a proper say for Members, and that persons convicted by a final judgment of corruption against the EU’s financial interests or within Member States should forfeit the right to stand for election for a period commensurate with the seriousness of the offence; notes that this disqualification procedure is already in place in some Member States; considers that a new instrument, such as a directive, could establish common minimum standards for different practices and legal frameworks within the different Member States regarding disqualification on account of corruption;

Strengthening the legal accountability of Commissioners

41.  Calls on the Commission to draw on the good practice of Member States with laws for ministers by submitting a legislative proposal laying down the transparency obligations and rights of Commissioners, in accordance with the codecision procedure;

42.  Calls for the decision fixing the remuneration of Commissioners, including their salaries, which has been taken exclusively by the Council since the European Communities were founded, to be transferred to the codecision procedure;

43.  Points out that some Member States do not have laws on ministers that exclude the possibility of office-holders being sole or part-owners of businesses;

Conflicts of interest in shared management and in third countries in connection with the management of EU funds

44.  Sees a serious conflict of interest in the possibility that businesses owned by EU office-holders may apply for EU funds or may receive such funds as subcontractors, while the owners and office-holders themselves bear responsibility for both the proper use of funds and for controlling their use;

45.  Calls on the Commission to incorporate a clause in all future EU laws on payments to the effect that businesses owned by office-holders in the EU Member States and in third countries may not apply for or receive any EU funding;

Realising the objective of full access to documents and transparency for the purposes of accountability in the legislative process

46.  Recalls its calls on the Commission and the Council in its resolution of 28 April 2016 on public access to documents for the years 2014-2015(6), in which it:

   called for the scope of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 to be broadened to include all the European institutions it currently does not cover, such as the European Council, the European Central Bank, the Court of Justice and all the EU bodies and agencies,
   called for full compliance with the obligation by the institutions, agencies and other bodies to keep complete registers of documents, as provided for in Articles 11 and 12 of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001,
   considered that documents created in trilogues such as agendas, summaries of outcomes, minutes and general approaches in the Council are related to legislative procedures and should not, in principle, be treated differently from other legislative documents and should be made directly accessible on Parliament’s website,
   called for a common interinstitutional register, including a dedicated joint database on the state of play of legislative files for which works are under way as agreed in the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-Making,
   called on the Council to publish minutes of the meetings of Council working groups and other documents,
   called on the Commission to set up a register of all second-level legislation, in particular for delegated acts, and noted that work on its creation was under way as agreed in the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-Making,
   expressed its belief in the need to introduce an independent oversight authority for the classification and declassification of documents,
   called for agendas and feedback notes of the meetings of Parliament’s Committee Coordinators, Bureau and Conference of Presidents to be made available, and, in principle, for all documents referred to in those agendas to be made available too, by publishing them on Parliament’s website;

Transparency of the external representation and negotiations of the EU

47.  Welcomes the recent case law by the European Court of Justice which reinforces Parliament’s right to information on international agreements, and the commitment by the institutions to follow up on paragraph 40 of the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-Making by negotiating improved cooperation and information-sharing; takes note that the negotiations started at the end of 2016 and, in this respect, calls on the Council, the Commission and the European External Action Service to genuinely commit and make all necessary efforts to reach an agreement as soon as possible with Parliament on improved cooperation and information-sharing with Parliament throughout the whole life-cycle of international agreements, as this would help to increase the legitimacy and democratic scrutiny of the EU’s external action;

48.  Notes that, even though an interinstitutional cooperation agreement exists between Parliament and the Commission, an equivalent arrangement does not exist between Parliament and the Council;

49.  Stresses recent efforts by the Commission to increase the transparency of trade negotiations; believes, nevertheless, that the Council and the Commission should still improve their working methods to cooperate better with Parliament as regards access to documents, information and decision-making for all issues and negotiations related to common commercial policy (such as information relating to negotiations – including scoping, mandates and evolution of negotiations – the mixed or exclusive nature of trade agreements and their provisional application, activities and decisions taken by bodies created by trade and/or investment agreements, expert meetings, and delegated and implementing acts); regrets, in this regard, that the Council has not made available to the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and the public the negotiating mandates for all agreements currently under negotiation, but welcomes the fact that, finally, after one year of negotiations between the Commission and Parliament on access to documents related to negotiations on the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) an operational agreement has been reached to grant access to all MEPs, making the TTIP negotiations the most transparent so far; welcomes, in this respect, the ambition of the Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade to use the current transparency initiative on TTIP as a model for all trade negotiations, as outlined in the trade strategy ‘Trade for All’ and to implement this;

50.  Stresses that, as pointed out by the CJEU, imperatives for transparency derive from the democratic nature of governance within the EU, and that, where confidential information is beyond the reach of public access, as in the case of trade negotiations, it must be available to parliamentarians who scrutinise trade policy on behalf of citizens; considers therefore that access to classified information is essential for scrutiny by Parliament, which in return should abide by its obligation to manage such information properly; considers that there should be clear criteria for labelling documents as ‘classified’ to avoid ambiguity and arbitrary decisions, and also that the document should be declassified as soon as its classification is no longer necessary; calls on the Commission to assess whether a negotiating document can be made public as soon as the document in question has been finalised internally; notes that the case-law of the CJEU makes it clear that where a document originating in an EU institution is covered by an exception to the right to public access, the institution must clearly explain why access to this document could specifically and effectively undermine the interest protected by the exception, and that this risk must be reasonably foreseeable and not purely hypothetical; calls on the Commission to implement the recommendations of the European Ombudsman of July 2014 with particular regard to access to documents for all negotiations and on publishing meeting agendas and records of meetings held with individuals and organisations falling within the remit of the Transparency Register; calls on the Commission to inform Parliament and the public of draft agendas for negotiating rounds prior to the negotiations, final agendas and reports after negotiations;

51.  Believes that the EU must take the lead in furthering the transparency of trade negotiations, not only for bilateral processes, but also for plurilateral and multilateral processes where possible, with no less transparency than the negotiations organised in the framework of the World Trade Organisation (WTO); stresses, however, that the Commission must also persuade its negotiating partners to increase transparency at their end, to make sure that this is a reciprocal process in which the EU’s negotiating position is not compromised and to include the aspired level of transparency in its scoping exercises with potential negotiating partners; stresses that increased transparency is in the interest of all the EU’s negotiating partners and stakeholders worldwide, and that it can strengthen global support for rules-based trade;

52.  Recalls the importance for the common commercial policy legislative process to rely on Union statistics consistent with Article 338(2) of the TFEU and on impact assessments and sustainability impact assessments conforming to the highest standards of impartiality and reliability, a principle which should lead all respective revisions in the framework of the Commission’s ‘Better Regulation’ policy; considers that sector-by-sector impact assessments would provide EU trade agreements with a higher level of reliability and legitimacy;

53.  Reiterates its calls on the Commission in its resolution of 12 April 2016(7) to draft a European code of conduct on transparency, integrity and accountability, designed to guide the actions of EU representatives in international organisations/bodies; calls for better policy coherence and coordination among the global institutions through the introduction of comprehensive standards of democratic legitimacy, transparency, accountability and integrity; takes the view that the EU should streamline and codify its representation in multilateral organisations/bodies with a view to increasing the transparency, integrity and accountability of the Union’s involvement in these bodies, its influence and the promotion of the legislation it has adopted through a democratic process; calls for the adoption of an interinstitutional agreement with the aim of formalising dialogues between EU representatives and Parliament, to be organised with the European Parliament for the purpose of establishing guidelines regarding the adoption and coherence of European positions in the run-up to major international negotiations;

Transparency and accountability in the domain of public spending

54.  Believes that the data on budget and spending within the EU should be transparent and accountable through publication, including at the level of Member States as regards shared management;

Transparency and accountability of economic governance in the euro area

55.  Believes that decisions taken in the Eurogroup, in the Economic and Financial Committee, ‘informal’ Ecofin Council meetings and Euro summits must be institutionalised, where necessary, and become transparent and accountable, including through the publication of their agendas and minutes, finding a balance between desirable transparency and the necessary protection of the financial, monetary or economic policy of the Union or a Member State;

Transparency and accountability concerning the EU budget

56.  Notes that in 2014 a total of 40 cases into EU staff and members of the institutions were concluded; underlines that this figure is low and illustrates that fraud and corruption are not endemic within the EU institutions(8);

57.  Highlights that in 2014 the highest number of potential fraud cases reported to the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) relate to the use of European Structural Funds (549 of 1 417 allegations); underlines that OLAF recommended the financial recovery of EUR 476,5 million in structural funds in 2014; notes that EUR 22,7 million were recovered by the relevant authorities following OLAF’s recommendations in 2014; calls on the Member States to prioritise the proper allocation of EU funds and to maximise efforts to recover them when they are not properly allocated(9);

58.  Calls on the Commission to submit a revision of the so-called six-pack and two-pack in order to provide Parliament with greater scrutiny powers over the adoption of key documents of the European Semester, and particularly effective means to guarantee respect for the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality;

59.  Calls on the Eurogroup to include Parliament in monitoring the implementation of the contractual conditions agreed with beneficiaries of financial assistance granted by the European Stability Mechanism;

Protection of whistleblowers and the fight against corruption

60.  Welcomes the European Ombudsman’s investigation into whether the EU institutions are living up to their obligation of introducing internal whistleblowing rules; regrets the Ombudsman’s finding that some EU institutions have not yet properly implemented rules to protect whistleblowers; points out that to date only Parliament, the Commission, the Ombudsman’s Office and the Court of Auditors have adopted such rules; calls for a study by Parliament into a mechanism to protect Accredited Parliamentary Assistants in the event they become ‘whistleblowers’;

61.  Considers effective whistleblower protection to be a key weapon in the fight against corruption and therefore reiterates its call of 25 November 2015(10) on the Commission “to propose, by June 2016, an EU legislative framework for the effective protection of whistleblowers and the like”(11), taking into account the assessment of the rules at national level in order to provide for minimum rules for protecting whistleblowers;

62.  Calls on the Commission to apply the measures pertaining to discretion and exclusion in respect of public procurement strictly, with proper background checks being carried out in every instance, and to apply the exclusion criteria in order to debar companies in the event of any conflict of interest, this being essential to protect the credibility of the institutions;

63.  Believes that whistleblowers have too often found more prosecution than support even in the EU institutions; calls on the Commission to propose an amendment to the regulation governing the Ombudsman’s Office and to add to her remit being a focal point for whistleblowers who find themselves victims of ill-treatment; calls on the Commission to propose an appropriate increase in the budget of the Ombudsman’s Office to allow this new demanding task to be put into effect;

64.  Calls for the EU to advance its application for membership of the Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) as soon as possible, and for Parliament to be kept up to date with the progress of this application; calls on the Commission to include in the report an overview of the greatest corruption problems in the Member States, policy recommendations to tackle them and follow-up measures to be taken by the Commission, taking specific account of the detrimental impact of corrupt activities on the functioning of the internal market;

65.  Believes that persons convicted by a final judgment of corruption in the EU or companies led or owned by persons who committed acts of corruption or misappropriation of public funds for the benefit of their company and have been convicted by a final judgment on those grounds should, for at least three years, be effectively banned from entering into procurement contracts with the European Union and from benefiting from EU funds; calls on the Commission to revise its debarment system; stresses that companies excluded from tendering for EU funds by the Commission should be publicly listed by default to better protect EU financial interests and allow scrutiny by the wider public;

66.  Notes that since becoming an approved member of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) on 12 November 2008, the European Union has not participated in the review mechanism provided for under the Convention, nor has it taken the first step of completing a self-assessment of how it is implementing its obligations under the Convention; calls on the European Union to fulfil its obligations under the UNCAC by completing a self-assessment of how it is implementing its obligations under the Convention and participating in the peer-review mechanism; calls on the Commission to publish its next EU Anti-Corruption Report as soon as possible and to include a chapter on the EU institutions in its EU Anti-Corruption Reports; calls for the Commission to carry out further analysis at the level of both the EU institutions and the Member States of the environment in which policies are implemented, in order to identify inherent critical factors, vulnerable areas and risk factors conducive to corruption;

67.  Recalls its position of 16 April 2014 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the fight against fraud to the Union’s financial interests by means of criminal law(12), and calls for a rapid decision in this regard;

Integrity in EU regulation

68.  Calls on the Commission to explore systemic safeguards with a view to avoiding conflicts of interest in the area of the regulation of industry products and policy enforcement; calls on the Commission to address the current structural conflict of interests in the public risk assessment of regulated products, namely the situation in which the assessment of these products is largely or entirely based on studies performed by applicants or third parties paid by them, while independent research is all too often disregarded or dismissed; insists that producers should still provide studies, with cost-sharing between large companies and SMEs based on relative market share to ensure fairness, but that all assessors should be obliged to fully take into account peer-reviewed independent science in their assessments; calls on the Commission, in particular, to review its communication of 2002 on general principles and standards for consultation of interested parties; suggests, in order to address issues arising from the selective suppression of unfavourable research findings, that the prior registration of scientific studies and trials, specifying their scope and expected date of conclusion, could be a condition for input into regulatory and policy processes; emphasises, in the interests of sound and independent scientific advice for policy-making, the importance of adequate resources for the development of in-house expertise within the EU’s specialised agencies, including the opportunity to conduct publishable research and testing, thus enhancing the attractiveness of public services in regulatory advice roles without disrupting scientists’ academic career prospects;

Strengthening the parliamentary accountability of the Commission and its agencies

69.  Calls on the Commission to draw up a regulation relating to all EU agencies, under which Parliament will be granted codecision powers in the appointment or dismissal of directors of such agencies and a direct right to question and hear them;

70.  Highlights the need for independent experts in the EU agencies and for greater importance to be placed on eliminating conflicts of interest within the panels of the agencies; notes that at present experts from a number of agencies, including the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), are not paid; calls for experts in regulatory agencies representing for example non-profit organisations or academics to receive adequate compensation; emphasises the importance of adequate resources for the development of in-house expertise within the EU’s specialised agencies;

71.  Calls on EFSA, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to urgently revise their independence policies so as to explicitly guarantee their strict independence from the economic sectors they are regulating and to avoid conflicts of interest among their staff and experts;

72.  Supports the practice of national parliaments inviting Commissioners in order to question them;

73.  Recalls that the power to set up committees of inquiry is an intrinsic feature of parliamentary systems around the world, and that the Treaty of Lisbon provides for a special legislative procedure for the adoption of a regulation on the right of inquiry in Article 226(3) of the TFEU; stresses that, in accordance with the principle of sincere cooperation, Parliament, the Council and the Commission should agree on the adoption of a new regulation;

74.  Calls for a rapid decision of the Council and the Commission on Parliament’s proposal of 23 May 2012 for a regulation of the European Parliament on the detailed provisions governing the exercise of Parliament’s right of inquiry(13);

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

(1) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0376.
(2) OJ C 271 E, 12.11.2009, p. 48.
(3) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0203.
(4) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0484.
(5) Judgment of the Court of Justice of 21 September 2010, Kingdom of Sweden v Association de la presse internationale ASBL (API) and European Commission (C-514/07 P), Association de la presse internationale ASBL (API) v European Commission (C-528/07 P) and European Commission v Association de la presse internationale ASBL (API) (C-532/07 P), Joined cases C-514/07 P, C-528/07 P and C-532/07 P, ECLI:EU:C:2010:541.
(6) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0202.
(7) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0108.
(8) The OLAF report 2014, Fifteenth report of the European Anti-Fraud Office, 1 January to 31 December 2014.
(9) Ibid.
(10) See resolution of 25 November 2015 on tax rulings and other measures similar in nature or effect (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0408).
(11) Ibid., par. 144..
(12) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0427.
(13) OJ C 264 E, 13.9.2013, p. 41.


The future of the Erasmus+ programme
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European Parliament resolution of 14 September 2017 on the future of the Erasmus+ programme (2017/2740(RSP))
P8_TA(2017)0359B8-0495/2017

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Articles 165 and 166 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, in particular Article 14 thereof,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1288/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing ‘Erasmus+’: the Union programme for education, training, youth and sport and repealing Decisions No 1719/2006/EC, No 1720/2006/EC and No 1298/2008/EC(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 2 February 2017 on the implementation of Regulation (EU) No 1288/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing ‘Erasmus+’: the Union programme for education, training, youth and sport and repealing Decisions No 1719/2006/EC, No 1720/2006/EC and No 1298/2008/EC(2),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 April 2016 on Erasmus+ and other tools to foster mobility in vocational education and training (VET) – a lifelong learning approach(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 19 January 2016 on the role of intercultural dialogue, cultural diversity and education in promoting EU fundamental values(4),

–  having regard to the question to the Commission on the future of the Erasmus+ programme (O-000062/2017 – B8-0326/2017),

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

A.  whereas, in the current context, the 30th anniversary of the Erasmus+ programme should be not only a moment for celebration, but also an opportunity to reflect on how the programme can be made more accessible and inclusive, and improve the development of European citizens and organisations active in the fields of education, training, youth and sport;

B.  whereas education is a fundamental human right and a public good which should be accessible to all applicants, especially students with a lower income;

1.  Stresses that Erasmus is one of the most successful EU programmes and an essential tool to support activities in the fields of education, training, youth and sport, and in bringing Europe closer to its citizens; acknowledges the extremely positive impact it has had on the personal and professional lives of more than 9 000 000 participants in and outside Europe, including in neighbouring and candidate countries, over the last 30 years;

2.  Underlines the role of Erasmus+, which, through mobility and strategic collaboration, has contributed to enhancing the quality of education and training institutions in the EU, increasing the competitiveness of the European education sector, creating a strong European knowledge economy and achieving the Europe 2020 goals;

3.  Believes that the Erasmus+ programme and its successor should focus, in particular, on lifelong learning and mobility, covering formal, non-formal and informal education, and that, in so doing, it can support the development of skills and key competences for personal, social and professional fulfilment, which goes together with the promotion of democratic values, social cohesion, active citizenship and the integration of migrants and refugees in enabling a wider intercultural dialogue;

4.  Emphasises the need for a coherent approach to education, training, youth and sport policies across learning sectors, in particular through cross-action opportunities and synergies with other EU funds and programmes; notes, in this respect, that the upcoming renewal of the framework for European cooperation in the youth field is an ideal opportunity to align the priorities of the successor of Erasmus+ with the new EU Youth Strategy and other EU-funded programmes;

5.  Believes that Erasmus+ should also be viewed as a key instrument of the EU strategy to promote the sustainable development goals worldwide;

6.  Notes, given the high rate and importance of mobility between educational establishments and organisations on the continent and in the UK, that the Brexit negotiations should bring about a mutually satisfying agreement on the status of EU students and teachers participating in Erasmus+ mobility schemes in the UK and vice-versa;

Youth unemployment and personal and social fulfilment

7.  Is of the opinion that the Erasmus+ programme has evolved significantly, enabling more participants to benefit from the programme and helping them to improve their knowledge and close their skills and competency gaps, in particular with the extension of Erasmus+ to the volunteering, informal and non-formal education and training sectors and the expansion of its geographic scope beyond the EU;

8.  Recognises that mobile higher education students are twice as likely to be in employment one year after graduation than their non-mobile peers and that almost 90 %(5) of all vocational education and training (VET) learners on mobility programmes say that their employability has increased as a result of this experience; notes with regret, however, that young people are most at risk of unemployment; recognises the need, therefore, for Erasmus+ to lend strong support to actions geared towards delivering better employment opportunities;

9.  Stresses that volunteering encourages the development of civic participation and active citizenship, while also helping to boost participants’ chances of finding a job; stresses, therefore, that funding under the Erasmus+ programme should be part of a wider policy strategy aimed at creating in Europe an environment conducive to volunteering, not duplicating but strengthening existing successful initiatives; recalls, however, that potential quality jobs can never be replaced with unpaid volunteering activities;

10.  Outlines the fact that Erasmus+ should focus on innovation and development and place a greater emphasis on enhancing key skills and competences, such as self-confidence, creativity, entrepreneurship, adaptability, critical thinking, communication skills, team work and the ability to live and work in a multicultural environment; highlights the fact that those competences can be developed more fully through a balanced combination of formal, non-formal and informal learning, and that the acquisition of key competences is vital from a very young age and should be enhanced further through increased investment in actions targeting mobility during the earlier stages of education and training;

11.  Notes that Erasmus+ should foster stronger links between educational and training establishments and the business community in order to increase the skills and employability of its participants and the competitiveness of the European economy;

12.  Emphasises the role of Erasmus+ VET in helping participants to develop skills and acquire the experience required in the labour market, thus contributing to higher employability and social integration; encourages improvements to Erasmus+ VET with a view to making it more modern, accessible, simplified and fit for the digital age;

13.  Recognises the high potential for expanding the mobility of VET learners to short-term and longer-duration (Erasmus Pro) placements to reinforce the EU’s contribution to the fight against youth unemployment; urges the Commission and the Member States to reinforce the opportunities for VET learner mobility and the professional apprenticeship dimension of the programme, both in recognition of the inherent value of apprenticeships and to foster national reforms to develop professional training and qualifications further and promote their recognition; reaffirms, at the same time, that an internship is a formative opportunity that is not a substitute for paid employment;

Social inclusion and accessibility

14.  Regrets that fewer than 5 % of young Europeans benefit from the programme on account of socio-economic factors, limited funding, growing inequalities between and within Member States and the complexity of application processes and administrative management; calls on the Commission and the Member States to make the programme more open and accessible, delivering more for the final beneficiaries and maximising support, in particular for people from disadvantaged backgrounds and those with special needs;

15.  Urges the Commission and the Member States to make Erasmus+ even more inclusive in order to reach more young people through different tools, digital in particular, and organisations, including formal and non-formal educational institutions at all levels, youth organisations, arts and grassroots sports organisations, volunteer organisations and other civil society stakeholders, by mainstreaming the Inclusion and Diversity Strategy through the programme and targeting those with special needs and fewer opportunities;

16.  Recalls that a lack of coordination and portability of rights among EU social systems represents a serious barrier to the mobility of people with disabilities, despite efforts to make the Erasmus+ programmes and other mobility initiatives more inclusive; calls on the Commission and the Member States to strengthen collaboration and thus improve the mobility of vulnerable people;

17.  Acknowledges that one of the main obstacles to involving more students in higher education mobility is the lack of clarity and consistency in the recognition of European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) credits gained during the mobility period; calls on the Member States and competent authorities, higher education institutions in particular, to fully implement learning agreements as a mandatory part of the mobility process and to ensure the smooth recognition of ECTS credits gained during Erasmus+ higher education mobility periods;

18.  Believes that the younger generations should have better opportunities to design the future of the programme, as they are best placed to enhance its vision and take it to the next level, in accordance with their current and future needs and the challenges they face when working, volunteering and studying;

19.  Encourages a certain degree of flexibility when designing the new programme to ensure that it is in a position to respond quickly to emerging challenges and strategic priorities at European and international level; highlights the fact that all new initiatives should complement existing ones and should be equipped with a budget that is sufficient to ensure their effective functioning;

European identity and active citizenship

20.  Firmly believes that the Erasmus+ programme should continue to stimulate active citizenship, civic education and intercultural understanding and develop a sense of European identity; insists, therefore, that all education and training and formal and non-formal learning mobility activities financed by Erasmus+ also raise young people’s awareness of the added value of European cooperation in the field of education and encourage them to engage in European issues;

21.  Believes that, where appropriate, incorporating educational mobility as part of higher education and vocational training programmes could be beneficial for both students’ personal and career development and the promotion of intercultural understanding;

22.  Calls on the Commission to develop a European student eCard giving students Europe-wide access to services;

Financing of the programme

23.  Regrets that the low success rate of projects launched under some Erasmus+ actions, limited grants and high demand for programme participation may jeopardise the success of Erasmus+ as a flagship EU programme; strongly believes that Erasmus+ should ultimately be targeted towards all young people and that these higher sights for the next Erasmus+ programming period must be matched by significant additional funding which should be reflected in an increased budget so as to unlock the full potential of the programme; calls, therefore, on the Member States, the Commission and relevant stakeholders to generate stronger and more visible support for the Erasmus programme in anticipation of the upcoming multiannual financial framework (MFF) negotiations;

24.  Stresses the importance of the smooth introduction of the new Erasmus+ programme, with a strategically planned budget from the outset; encourages the use of regional and social funds to increase the financial contribution of Member States to Erasmus+ mobility grants; recalls that the consistent application of programme rules across the national agencies, including compliance with shared quality standards and project evaluation and administrative procedures, is essential for guaranteeing the coherent implementation of the Erasmus+ programme;

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o   o

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

(1) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 50.
(2) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0018.
(3) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0107.
(4) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0005.
(5) Erasmus+ dashboard, data extracted on 28 March 2017; see: http://www.ecvet-secretariat.eu/en/system/files/documents/3727/eu-vet-policy-context.pdf, p. 29.


A new skills agenda for Europe
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European Parliament resolution of 14 September 2017 on a new skills agenda for Europe (2017/2002(INI))
P8_TA(2017)0360A8-0276/2017

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Articles 165 and 166 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and in particular Articles 14 and 15 thereof,

–  having regard to UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ratified by the EU in 2010,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 12 May 2009 on a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (‘ET 2020’)(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 6 July 2010 on promoting youth access to the labour market, strengthening trainee, internship and apprenticeship status(2),

–  having regard to the Council recommendation of 19 December 2016 on Upskilling Pathways: New Opportunities for Adults(3),

–  having regard to the Council recommendation of 15 February 2016 on the integration of the long-term unemployed into the labour market(4),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 20 May 2014 on effective teacher education,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 20 May 2014 on quality assurance supporting education and training,

–  having regard to the Council recommendation of 22 April 2013 on establishing a Youth Guarantee(5),

–  having regard to the Council recommendation of 20 December 2012 on the validation of non-formal and informal learning(6),

–  having regard to the Council recommendation of 28 June 2011 on policies to reduce early school leaving(7),

–  having regard to the Council resolution of 28 November 2011 on a renewed European agenda for adult learning(8),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 15 June 2011 on early childhood education and care: providing all our children with the best start for the world of tomorrow,

–  having regard to the Council resolution of 15 November 2007 on the new skills for new jobs(9),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on reducing early school leaving and promoting success in school(10),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 17 February 2013 on investing in education and training – a response to ‘Rethinking Education: Investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes’ and the ‘2013 Annual Growth Survey’(11),

–  having regard to the recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2008 on the establishment of the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning(12) (EQF-LLL),

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 September 2016 on creating labour market conditions favourable for work-life balance(13),

–  having regard to the references made to digital skills in 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 20 November 2012 entitled ‘Rethinking Education: Investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes’ (COM(2012)0669),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 April 2016 on Erasmus+ and other tools to foster mobility in VET – a lifelong learning approach(14),

–  having regard to its resolution of 19 January 2016 on skills policies for fighting youth unemployment(15),

–  having regard to its resolution of 8 July 2015 on the Green Employment Initiative: Tapping into the job creation potential of the green economy(16),

–  having regard to its resolution of 8 September 2015 on promoting youth entrepreneurship through education and training(17),

–  having regard to its resolution of 10 September 2015 on creating a competitive EU labour market for the 21st century: matching skills and qualifications with demand and job opportunities, as a way to recover from the crisis(18),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on the European Pact for gender equality for the period 2011-2020(19),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on the role of early childhood education and primary education in fostering creativity, innovation and digital competence,

–  having regard to the draft Council conclusions of 20 February 2017 on Enhancing the Skills of Women and Men in the EU Labour Market(20),

–  having regard to its resolution of 19 January 2016 on the role of intercultural dialogue, cultural diversity and education in promoting EU fundamental values(21),

–  having regard to the Commission Social Europe guide of March 2013 on ‘Social Economy and Social Entrepreneurship’(22),

–  having regard to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Decent Work Agenda,

–  having regard to its resolution of 25 November 2015 on the EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work 2014-2020(23),

–  having regard to European Economic and Social Committee Opinion SOC/546 of 22 February 2017,

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

–  having regard to the joint deliberations of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the Committee on Culture and Education under Rule 55 of the Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the Committee on Culture and Education and the opinion of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (A8-0276/2017),

A.  whereas the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union enshrines the right to access to vocational training and life-long learning;

B.  whereas skills have a strategic importance for employability, growth, innovation and social cohesion, and whereas the level of complexity of jobs is increasing across all sectors and occupations and there is inflation in relative skills demand, even for low-skilled jobs;

C.  whereas the skills and know-how of our societies are the sole basis for prosperity and for safeguarding our social achievements;

D.  whereas a low-skilled population faces an increased risk of unemployment and social exclusion;

E.  whereas, countries with the highest share of adults displaying low levels of proficiency in basic skills and digital skills have lower levels of labour productivity and ultimately lower prospects for growth and competitiveness;

F.  whereas the European Parliament shares and supports the Commission’s efforts to invest in human capital as a key resource for the EU’s competitiveness, and whereas the quality of teachers is a prerequisite for the quality of education;

G.  whereas many low-skilled jobs now require greater literacy, numeracy and other basic skills and even low-skilled jobs within the service sector increasingly include more demanding non-routine tasks(24);

H.  whereas, according to the latest Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), about 70 million European adults lack basic skills such as reading, writing and numeracy, which represents an obstacle to those people finding a decent job and living standard;

I.  whereas by 2025, 49 % of all job openings (including both new and replacement jobs) in the EU will require high-level qualifications, 40 % – medium-level qualifications, while only 11 % – low-level or no qualifications(25);

J.  whereas expanding access to lifelong learning can open up new possibilities for active inclusion and enhanced social participation, especially for the low skilled, the unemployed, people with special needs, older persons and migrants;

K.  whereas Member States need to find ways to protect or promote longer term investment in education, research, innovation, energy and climate action and invest in the modernisation of education and training systems, including lifelong learning;

L.  whereas the EU is a platform best positioned to share best practices and support mutual learning among Member States;

M.  whereas Articles 165 and 166 TFEU make the Member States responsible for general education, including higher education and vocational training;

N.  whereas cooperation in the area of education at EU level is voluntary, which marks a fundamental difference between education and employment, a policy area which is on a much more firmly Community footing;

O.  whereas, skills and competences go hand in hand and therefore the link between them should be further strengthened in the New Skills Agenda;

P.  whereas, the development of future-oriented sectors has a determinant role in the types of skills needed;

Q.  whereas a European skills and jobs survey has revealed that about 45 % of the EU’s adult workers believe that their skills can either be better developed or utilised at work;

R.  whereas, according to the ILO, between 25 and 45 percent of the European workforce are either under- or over-qualified for the jobs they do; whereas this situation is largely due to the fast pace of change in the structure of Member State economies;

S.  whereas skills mismatches is a worrying phenomenon affecting individuals and businesses, creating skill gaps and skill shortages and is one of the causes of unemployment(26); whereas 26 % of EU adult employees lack the skills they need for their job;

T.  whereas, more than 30 % of highly qualified young people are in jobs that do not match their skills and aspirations, while 40 % of European employers say they are unable to find people with the skills they require in order to grow and innovate;

U.  whereas, currently, almost 23 % of the population aged 20-64 have a low level of education (pre-primary, primary or lower secondary education); whereas low-qualified individuals have fewer employment opportunities and are also more vulnerable to being in insecure jobs and are twice as likely as highly qualified people to experience long-term unemployment(27);

V.  whereas low-qualified individuals not only have diminished employment opportunities, but are also more vulnerable to long-term unemployment and have more difficulties in obtaining access to services and participating fully in society;

W.  whereas, individuals often possess skills which are not identified, exploited or properly rewarded; whereas skills acquired outside formal settings, through work experience, volunteering, civic engagement or other relevant experience are not necessarily recorded in a qualification or documented and are therefore being undervalued;

X.  whereas cultural and creative industries (CCIs) contribute to social well-being, innovation, employment and stimulate the EU’s economic development while employing more than 12 million people in the EU, which is 7,5 % of all persons employed in the total economy and contribute to the economy with 5,3 % of the total EU Gross Value Added and a further 4 % of nominal EU Gross Domestic Product generated by the high-end industries(28);

Y.  whereas equality between women and men is a fundamental principle of the EU enshrined in the Treaties and is one of the objectives and responsibilities of the Union; whereas mainstreaming the principle of equality between women and men in all its activities, such as access to education and training, is a specific mission of the Union;

Z.  whereas, at EU level, NEETs (not in employment, education or training) are considered to be one of the most vulnerable groups in the context of youth unemployment; whereas women are 1,4(29) times more likely to become NEETs than men on average, further highlighting issues of gender discrimination and equality from a young age;

AA.  whereas social and emotional skills together with cognitive skills are important for individual well-being and success;

AB.  whereas access to high-quality formal, informal and non-formal education, as well as learning and training opportunities, must be a right for everyone at every stage of life so that they can acquire transversal skills such as numeracy, digital and media literacy, critical thinking, social skills, foreign language proficiency and relevant life skills; whereas, in this respect, it is necessary to allow workers time off for personal and training development in the context of life-long learning;

AC.  whereas it is essential that skills aim not only to increase employability but also to bolster the capacity for civic participation and the esteem for democratic values and tolerance, not least as a tool for preventing radicalisation and intolerance of every kind;

AD.  whereas in a fast changing, more globalised and digitised world, transversal and transferable skills such as social skills, intercultural skills, digital skills, problem solving, entrepreneurship and creative thinking are key;

AE.  whereas digital transformation is still ongoing and societal and labour market needs are constantly evolving;

AF.  whereas digital empowerment and self-confidence are an essential prerequisite for building strong societies and helping unity and integration within the EU;

AG.  whereas, nowadays, our education and training systems are facing a significant digital transformation, which is impacting teaching and learning processes; whereas effective digital skills provision is essential to ensure the workforce is prepared for the current and future technological changes;

AH.  whereas, despite a recent increase in the number of people participating in digital education or training in the EU, there is still much to be done to align the European economy to the new digital era and close the gap between the number of job seekers and the number of unfilled jobs;

AI.  whereas there is a need to incorporate new digital transformations into education systems in order to continue to help people become critical, confident and independent; whereas however this must be done symbiotically with the subjects that are already being taught;

AJ.  whereas a future-proofed skills agenda should be included in a broader reflection on occupational literacy in the context of the growing digitisation and robotisation of European societies;

AK.  whereas transversal competences such as civic and social competences as well as citizenship education should be emphasised alongside language, digital and entrepreneurial skills;

AL.  whereas entrepreneurship skills need to be understood in a broader context, as possessing a sense of initiative in terms of participation in social actions and as possessing an entrepreneurial mind-set, and whereas these should therefore be further emphasised in the New Skills Agenda as life skills which benefit individuals in their personal and professional life, while also benefiting communities;

AM.  whereas in order to ensure smart, sustainable and inclusive economic growth and jobs for young people, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) proficiency must be fostered in the EU;

AN.  whereas the demand for STEM professionals and associate professionals is expected to grow by around 8 % between now and 2025, much higher than the average 3 % growth forecast for all occupations; whereas employment in STEM-related sectors is also expected to rise by around 6,5 % between now and 2025(30);

AO.  whereas the poor image and fading attractiveness of vocational education and training (VET) together with low-quality VET in some Member States discourages students from taking up careers in promising fields and sectors with labour force shortages;

AP.  whereas, when dealing with the issue of skills, in particular skills mismatches and job opportunities, the specific challenges faced by rural areas must be taken into account;

AQ.  whereas the green sector was one of the main net creators of jobs in Europe during the recession and should be further promoted in the New Skills Agenda;

AR.  whereas an ageing population in Europe increases demand for healthcare professionals, social care and medical services;

AS.  whereas families play a key role in helping children to learn basic skills;

Developing skills for life and skills for jobs

1.  Welcomes the Commission communication entitled ‘A New Skills Agenda for Europe – Working together to strengthen human capital, employability and competitiveness’ adopted in June 2016;

2.  Acknowledges that education and training are Member State competences and that the EU can only support, coordinate or supplement the actions of the Member States;

3.  Considers that the EU needs a paradigm shift in the goals and functioning of the education sector; agrees with the focus on upgrading European education and training systems in line with the fast changing economic, technological and societal environment, ensuring access to quality education at all stages;

4.  Notes that, while skills needs are dynamic, the main focus of the skills package is the immediate needs of the labour market; highlights in this respect the importance of working in close collaboration with the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) in order to anticipate skills needs and to develop a pan-European skills needs forecasting tool and lifelong learning, with a view to adapting to new situations in the labour market and to enhancing the adaptability of individual, active citizenship and social inclusion;

5.  Calls on the Member States to focus not only on employability skills, literacy, numeracy, digital and media literacy, but also on skills that are more broadly relevant to society such as transferable, transversal and soft skills (leadership, social and intercultural skills, management, entrepreneurial and financial education, volunteering, foreign languages proficiency, negotiation) in their education and training programmes and curricula, and to prioritise the further development of those capabilities in VET programmes also, together with the enhancement of European craftsmanship;

6.  Calls for everyone to have the right to have real access to skills, at every stage of life, in order for them to acquire fundamental skills for the 21st century;

7.  Recognises the value of the internationalisation of education and the increasing number of students and staff members who participate in mobility programmes; underlines, in this respect, the value of Erasmus+;

8.  Notes furthermore that various studies show that mobility equips people with specific professional skills as well as transversal and transferable sets of skills, like critical thinking and entrepreneurship, and provides them with better career opportunities; recognises that the current EU budget dedicated to learning mobility might not be sufficient to achieve the goal of 6 % of learning mobility by 2020;

9.  Encourages the Member States to further develop the possibility for inter-sectorial mobility among schools as a whole; emphasises that VET learning mobility needs increased support and promotion and that special attention should be devoted to cross-border regions in the context of mobility;

10.  Points out that education and training should contribute to the personal development and growth of young people in order to make them proactive and responsible citizens, ready to live and work in a technologically advanced and globalised economy, and should provide them with the key set of competences for lifelong learning, defined as a combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for personal fulfilment and development, active citizenship and employment;

11.  Stresses that quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) are crucial prerequisites for the development of skills;

12.  While noting that the responsibility for providing education and care lies with the Member States, calls on them to enhance quality and broaden access to ECEC and to address the lack of sufficient infrastructure offering quality and accessible childcare for all income levels as well as to consider granting free access for families living in poverty and social exclusion;

13.  Underlines that creativity and innovation are becoming driving factors in the EU’s economy and should be mainstreamed in the national and European policy strategies;

14.  Welcomes the objective of the New Skills Agenda to make VET a first choice for learners, responsive to labour market demand and related to future work requirements through the participation of employers in the design and delivery of the courses;

15.  Encourages Member States to go beyond promoting the ‘right occupational skills’ and to also focus on those aspects of education that are more work-based and more practical, and that foster an entrepreneurial mind-set, innovativeness and creativity, support people to think critically, understand the concept of sustainability, while esteeming fundamental rights and values such as human dignity, freedom, democracy, tolerance, respect, and to fully participate in the democratic process and social life as open-minded citizens;

16.  Is however of the opinion that there is a need to adopt a holistic approach to education and skills development, which puts the learner at the centre of the process as well as to ensure sufficient investment in lifelong learning policies; believes furthermore that education and training must be accessible and affordable for all and more efforts are needed to include the most vulnerable groups;

17.  Calls on the Member States to ensure that civil society, experts, and families, who have experience of reality on the ground, are involved more actively in the debate on the necessary life skills;

18.  Encourages Member States to also focus on tackling gender stereotypes as women represent 60 % of recent graduates; highlights that their employment rate however remains below that of men and that they are under-represented in many sectors;

19.  Encourages the Member States to better match the skills with the jobs in the labour market and in particular to put in place quality apprenticeships which help people to be flexible in their education paths and later in the labour market;

20.  Recognises the value of dual education(31) systems, but points out that a system used in one Member State cannot be blindly copied by another Member State; calls for exchanges of best practice models involving the social partners;

21.  Recalls, in this respect, the need for enhanced cooperation among the Member States to learn from best practices which lead to lower unemployment rates, such as apprenticeships and lifelong learning;

22.  Points to the role of Cedefop, one of whose main tasks is to bring together political leaders, social partners, researchers, and practitioners for the purpose of exchanging ideas and experience, including via the development of sector‑specific platforms;

23.  Underlines that culture, creativity and arts significantly contribute to personal development, employment and growth across the EU, carrying innovation, stimulating cohesion, strengthening intercultural relations, mutual understanding and preserving European identity, culture and values; calls on the Commission and the Member States to strengthen their support for CCIs in order to unleash and fully explore their potential;

24.  Underlines that the current arrivals of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers to the EU require the establishment of a more sustained approach directed towards third-country nationals including the assessment of their skills, competences and knowledge, which need to be made visible, as well as the establishment of a mechanism for skills recognition and validation;

25.  Recalls that newcomers bring new skills and knowledge with them, and calls for the development of tools providing multilingual information about the existing opportunities for formal and informal learning, professional training, traineeships and voluntary work; believes it important to foster intercultural dialogue in order to make it easier for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers to enter the labour market and become integrated into society;

26.  Welcomes the Commission proposals concerning the Skills Profile Tool for third-country nationals and hopes for rapid progress in this endeavour; recommends that the New Skills Agenda for Europe, in its approach to migrants’ skills, be consistent with the Action Plan on the Integration of Third-Country Nationals; stresses that a more comprehensive approach to the up-skilling of migrants should be taken, including through social entrepreneurship, civic education and informal learning, and that focus should not be limited to transparency, comparability and the early profiling of migrants’ skills and qualifications;

27.  Believes that coordinated action is required in order to counter ‘brain drain’ by identifying appropriate means of making use of the skills available, with a view to guarding against the loss of human capital by Member States;

28.  Recalls that investing in the capacity of education today will determine the quality of jobs now and in the future, the qualifications of workers, social well-being and democratic participation in society;

29.  Calls on the Member States to address the issue of population ageing by encouraging the development of skills related to health, well-being and sickness prevention;

The role of education in tackling unemployment, social exclusion and poverty

30.  Considers that the EU’s competitiveness, economic growth and social cohesion largely depend on education and training systems that prevent people from falling behind;

31.  Insists that education and training are not only key factors in enhancing employability, but also in fostering personal development, social inclusion and cohesion, active citizenship and therefore believes that equal access to quality education and adequate investment in skills and competences are crucial to tackling the high unemployment rate and social exclusion, especially among the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups (NEETs, the long-term unemployed, the low skilled, refugees, and people with disabilities); recalls that a genuine forecasting of future skills needs is paramount in this respect;

32.  Regrets with concern that investment in education is still lagging behind and that successive cuts in education budgets most affect those students and adults coming from a disadvantaged socio-economic background;

33.  Is deeply concerned about the fact that between 2010 and 2014 investment in education and training fell by 2,5 % in the EU as a whole(32); stresses that in order for education to fulfil its role in tackling unemployment, social exclusion and poverty, properly resourced public education systems are essential;

34.  Stresses, as stated by the OECD(33), that more educated people contribute to more democratic societies and sustainable economies, and are less dependent on public aid and less vulnerable to economic downturns; points out therefore that investment in quality education and innovation are not only key to combating unemployment, poverty and social exclusion, but also for the EU to compete successfully in the global markets; calls on the Commission and the Member States to restore public investment to, at least, pre-crisis levels, in early, primary and secondary education for all, and in particular for children from disadvantaged backgrounds;

35.  Points out that access to learning and training opportunities must be a right for everyone, at every stage of life, to acquire transversal skills such as, numeracy, digital and media literacy, critical thinking, social skills and relevant life skills; is of the opinion that the New Skills Agenda is a step in the right direction encouraging shared commitment towards a common vision about the critical importance of lifelong learning policies;

36.  Stresses the role of external associations and NGOs in providing children with other skills and social competences, such as in the arts and manual activities, in helping their integration, better understanding of their environment, solidarity in learning and living, and improving the learning competences of whole classes;

37.  Recalls that people with disabilities have special requirements, and thus need appropriate support in order to acquire skills; calls on the Commission and the Member States when implementing the New Skills Agenda to adopt an inclusive approach in designing their education and training policies, including by means of teaching support personnel as well as making information on skills, training and financing options available and accessible to as many groups of people as possible, taking into account the wide variety of disabilities; maintains that, with a view to supporting their participation in the labour market, entrepreneurship is a feasible option for many people with disabilities; points to, in this regard, the importance of improving the digital skills of people with disabilities as well as the crucial role played by accessible technology;

38.  Notes that while there is increased recognition of the potential of quality early education and care in reducing early school leaving and in laying a solid foundation for further learning, the New Skills Agenda lacks a forward-looking vision for the earlier phases of education; calls on the Member States, therefore, to both invest in high-quality ECEC in order to enhance quality and to broaden access to it, and to also adopt measures aimed at reducing early school leaving;

39.  Calls on the Member States to endorse in particular the 2014 quality framework on ECEC(34) and insists that relevant programmes must be available to give all young people who have dropped out of primary or secondary school a second chance; considers the completion of secondary education desirable;

40.  Points out that education should not only provide skills and competences relevant to job market needs, but should also contribute to the personal development and growth of young people in order to make them proactive and responsible citizens;

41.  Calls on the Member States to channel investments into inclusive education which responds to societal challenges and ensures equal access and opportunities for all, including for young people from different socio-economic backgrounds as well as vulnerable and disadvantaged groups;

42.  Calls on the Member States to expand second chance education and training opportunities to better integrate groups at risk in the labour market;

43.  Welcomes the Commission proposals for actions on skills development to reduce disparity in education and disadvantages throughout the lifetime of a person, thereby enabling European citizens to fight effectively against unemployment and ensure competitiveness and innovation in Europe, but draws attention to a number of administrative obstacles which are slowing progress in attaining those objectives in relation to the mobility of professionals, recognition of qualifications and the teaching of professional qualifications;

44.  Calls, to that end, for Member States to ensure that the Internal Market Information System (IMI) functions properly, facilitates better exchanges of data and enhances better administrative cooperation without creating unnecessary administrative burdens, to introduce simpler and faster procedures for the recognition of professional qualifications and continuous professional development requirements of qualified professionals planning to work in another Member State, and to prevent discrimination of all kinds;

45.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States, in particular, to facilitate access to skills development for vulnerable citizens by assessing the need to establish specific tools, such as local EU information centres and specific indicators within the Key Competences Framework to take account of the needs of disadvantaged groups;

Boosting lifelong learning opportunities

46.  Underlines the importance of lifelong learning for the self-development of workers, including staying up to date with ever-changing working conditions(35) and of creating opportunities for all in order to foster a culture of learning at all ages in Europe; encourages the Commission and the Member States to promote and invest in lifelong learning in particular in countries with a participation rate below the 15 % benchmark;

47.  Notes with concern the unacceptable situation of 70 million Europeans lacking basic skills; welcomes therefore the establishment of the initiative ‘Upskilling Pathways’ and insists on its swift implementation and monitoring; calls furthermore on the Commission and the Member States to encourage a continuous approach to up-skilling, re-training and lifelong learning, by introducing diverse schemes for enlarged access and motivation, tailored to the individual needs of each Member State, for both unemployed individuals and those who are employed;

48.  Considers that the initiative ‘Upskilling Pathways’ should involve the individualised assessment of learning needs, a quality learning offer and systematic validation of the skills and competences acquired, enabling their easy recognition on the labour market; points to the need to ensure widespread access to broadband in order to enable digital literacy; finds regrettable that the European Parliament was not involved in the shaping of the initiative;

49.  Stresses that sectoral and specific skills development must be a shared responsibility between education providers, employers and trade unions and therefore Member States should ensure a close dialogue with social partners; insists that all relevant actors in the labour market should be involved in the training process, design and delivery in order to equip people with the necessary skills throughout their careers, and in order for businesses to be competitive while also boosting personal development, quality employment, career perspectives and development;

50.  Underlines that there is a need to develop complex education and training systems to provide learners with different types of skills: basic skills (literacy, numeracy and digital skills); advanced generic skills (such as problem solving and learning); professional, technical, occupation-specific or sector-specific skills; and socio-emotional skills;

51.  Underlines that understanding the specific needs of low-skilled individuals and providing them with tailor-made training is an essential step in designing more effective training programmes; recalls that responsiveness and adaptability in light of experience acquired and changing circumstances are crucial elements of an effective education process;

52.  Insists that the outreach and guidance to people in disadvantaged situations, including those with disabilities, the long-term unemployed and under-represented groups, that may not be aware of the benefits of raising their skills levels or of opportunities for re-skilling or up-skilling, is of key importance to the success of such an initiative;

53.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States for targeted action in terms of re-skilling and validating the skills of parents returning to work following a period taking care of family dependants;

54.  Calls for the active involvement of and dialogue with all relevant stakeholders not only at national and European level, but also at the local and regional level in order to meet the real labour market situations and needs;

55.  Recalls the need to include lifelong learning in the broader context of occupational literacy;

Strengthening connections between education and employment

56.  Recalls that closing the skills gap and mismatches in the labour market and promoting opportunities for social mobility, including for vocational training and apprenticeships, is essential to promote sustainable growth, social cohesion, jobs creation, innovation and entrepreneurship, in particular for SMEs and crafts; encourages the Member States, therefore, to promote professional learning in accordance with economic demands;

57.  Stresses the need to strive for a more flexible, individual and personalised(36) approach to career development and lifelong education and training across one’s personal career and development path, and recognises the role that both public and private stakeholders can play in providing this, while recognising that guidance and counselling which address individual needs and preferences and focus on the evaluation and expansion of individual skills must be a core element of education and skills policies from an early stage;

58.  Calls on the Member States together with the social partners to develop and put in place policies that provide for educational and training leave, as well as in-work training; calls on them to make learning inside and outside work, including paid training leave, accessible to all workers and in particular to those in disadvantaged situations, and with an emphasis on women employees;

59.  Underlines that any skills policy should take into consideration not only ongoing transformations in the labour market but also ensure that the policy is universal enough in scope to develop the ability of workers to learn and to facilitate their adaptation to challenges in the future;

60.  Stresses that skills development must be a shared responsibility between education providers and employers; insists that the industry/employers should be involved in providing and training people with the necessary skills in order for businesses to be competitive and at the same time boost people’s self-confidence;

61.  Reiterates that to enhance employability, innovation and active citizenship, including eco-citizenship, basic skills must go hand in hand with other key competences and attitudes: creativity, nature-awareness, a sense of initiative, foreign language competences, critical thinking, including through e-literacy and media literacy, and skills reflecting growing sectors;

62.  Emphasises the huge innovation and employment potential of renewable energy sources and the search for greater resource and energy efficiency; calls on the Commission and the Member States, in view of the education and employment opportunities, to take energy and environmental issues into account when implementing the New Skills Agenda;

63.  Stresses the need to implement tailor-made support for on-the-job learners, apprentices and employees to ensure the inclusion of all individuals in the labour market;

64.  Recognises the importance of fostering work-based learning apprenticeships and internships as one of the tools for further facilitating the integration of individuals into the labour market, i.e. by establishing bridges/competence exchanges between generations;

65.  Notes that apprenticeships, traineeships and specific skills training are considered to be the most effective types of training in terms of preventing young people from returning to NEET status; notes that it has been highlighted that having a dual system of vocational and academic education and training reduces the NEET group by enabling more young people to be retained in education/training and by helping to make them more employable and more likely to progress more smoothly into employment/a career; stresses that macro-economic analysis reports that a combination of a dual education and training system and active labour market policies get the best results;

66.  Calls on the Member States to provide support for work-based, inter-company training and skill development for SMEs;

67.  Asks for concrete measures to be put in place in order to facilitate the transition of young people from education to work by ensuring quality and paid internships and apprenticeships providing them with practical on-the-spot training, as well as cross-border exchange programmes such as Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs, giving young people the possibility of putting their knowledge and talents into practice and having an adequate set of social and economic rights and access to adequate employment and social protection, as defined by national legislation and practice, equal to adult workers; calls on the Member States to provide special support to SMEs so that they too are able to take on interns and work-study (alternance) trainees;

68.  Calls on the Member States to ensure a quality framework that does not allow internships and apprenticeships to be used as a cheap or free labour; points out that an understanding of core health and safety standards and rights in the workplace is also important in developing quality employment and preventing exploitation; calls, to this end, on the Member States to establish national legal quality frameworks on internships and apprenticeships, ensuring in particular employment protection and adequate social security coverage;

69.  Calls on the Commission to present a Quality Framework for Apprenticeships and on the Member States to endorse it(37);

70.  Believes that, in order to anticipate future skills needs, civil society, especially youth and community organisations, social partners, education and training providers as well as special support services must be actively involved at all levels, in particular in designing, implementing and evaluating vocational qualification programmes, which provide a real and effective transition from formal education to work-based learning and quality employment;

71.  Stresses the need to ensure that qualifications are meaningful to employers by involving labour market actors in their design;

The key role of non-formal and informal learning

72.  Insists on the importance of validating non-formal and informal learning to reach out and empower learners; recognises that this is particularly evident in the case of those in vulnerable or disadvantaged situations, such as low-skilled workers or refugees who are in need of priority access to validation arrangements;

73.  Regrets that employers and formal education providers do not sufficiently recognise the value and relevance of skills, competences and knowledge acquired through non-formal and informal learning; stresses, in this regard, the need to work on overcoming the lack of awareness on validation among all relevant stakeholders;

74.  Recognises that the lack of comparability and coherence between the validation approaches of EU countries, especially for VET, represents an additional barrier; acknowledges, furthermore, that the provision of real access, recognition and financial support remains a real challenge especially for disadvantaged groups, such as low-skilled individuals who are in need of priority access to validation;

75.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to raise awareness of validation possibilities; welcomes, in this regard, the progress made in the last few years in the context of the implementation of the Council recommendation on validation of non-formal and informal learning by 2018; is, however, of the opinion that further efforts are needed in establishing relevant legal frameworks and creating comprehensive validation strategies in order to enable validation;

76.  Recalls that many existing European transparency tools such as the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and the European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) have been developed in isolation; emphasises that, in order to allow individuals to better measure their progress and opportunities, and capitalise on the learning outcomes gained in different contexts, they need to be better coordinated and supported by quality assurance systems and embedded in a framework of national qualifications in order to build trust across sectors and actors, including employers;

77.  Insists on the need to refocus on the role of non-formal education, which is key for the empowerment of people and especially for the more vulnerable and disadvantaged people, including people with special needs and disabled people, those who are low skilled and who have limited opportunities to access formal education; believes that non-formal education providers and NGOs are in a good position to reach out to the disadvantaged groups who are out of the formal education system and should be better supported in their role, in order to ensure that those most in need benefit from the New Skills Agenda;

78.  Recognises the importance of volunteering as one of the tools for acquiring knowledge, experience and skills for enhancing employability and gaining professional qualifications;

79.  Stresses that non-formal learning, including through volunteering, has a crucial role to play in stimulating the development of transferable knowledge, intercultural competences and life skills such as team work, creativity and a sense of initiative while reinforcing self-esteem and motivation to learn;

80.  Further emphasises the importance of informal educational programmes, arts and sports activities and intercultural dialogue, with a view to actively involving citizens in societal and democratic processes and making them less vulnerable to propaganda leading to radicalisation; stresses that informal and non-formal learning play a key role in efforts to include those who have the greatest difficulty in finding work and are therefore vulnerable; calls, in this respect, on the Member States for the full and timely implementation of the Council Recommendation of 20 December 2012 on the validation of non-formal and informal learning;

81.  Underlines the value of transversal skills acquired through sports as part of non-formal and informal learning, and further stresses the link between sports employability, education and training;

82.  Underlines that informal and non-formal settings also provide opportunities for active promotion of the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination, for learning about citizenship, sustainability and human rights, including women’s and children’s rights;

83.  Calls on the Member States to introduce procedures for the recognition of informal and non-formal education, drawing on the best practices of Member States who have already introduced tools of that kind, to ensure that the upskilling pathways are a success(38); notes, in this regard, the importance of policy response aimed at groups furthest from the labour market;

84.  Highlights that informal and non-formal settings, widely used in the context of community education and work with groups under-represented in mainstream academic and adult education provision, play a key role for the inclusion of marginalised and vulnerable people; affirms, in this context, the need to take into account the perspective and needs of women and girls, people with disabilities, LGBTI people, migrants and refugees and people from ethnic minorities;

85.  Stresses the importance of career guidance in supporting low-skilled individuals; notes in this regard the importance of the capacity and quality of the Member States’ public and private employment services;

86.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to consider introducing common tools for the assessment of skills as part of the Europass scheme;

87.  Calls on the Member States to further develop their validation systems and increase awareness of available validation services; encourages them to build more accessible, attractive and open pathways to further education, e.g. by continuing VET;

Fostering digital, STEM and entrepreneurial skills

88.  Draws attention to the fact that in today’s society, ensuring basic digital skills is an essential prerequisite for personal and professional fulfilment, but is of the opinion that further efforts are needed in equipping people with more specific digital competences in order to be able to use digital technologies in an innovative and creative way;

89.  Points to the need to identify the skills required for new-technology jobs and to promote the acquisition of the digital skills sought by mid-cap, micro, small and medium-sized businesses; draws attention in particular to the fact that, in the digital era, the acquisition of skills takes place in a context of swift change that can destabilise jobs markets and to the consequent need for lifelong learning to help people adjust to change;

90.  Believes that greater importance should be given to STEM education with a view to improving digital learning and teaching; highlights the close link between creativity and innovation, and therefore calls for the inclusion of the arts and creative learning in the STEM learning agenda, as well as considers that girls and young women should be encouraged from an early age to study STEM subjects;

91.  Insists on the need to incorporate new technologies in the teaching and learning process as well as to facilitate education through hands-on and real-life experiences, taking into account age-appropriate ICT and media curricula, that respect child development and wellbeing, and that provides early guidance in the responsible use of technology and fosters critical thinking in order to equip people with the right set of skills, competences and knowledge, and to ensure the development of the full range of digital skills that individuals and companies need in an increasingly digital economy; recalls the need to encourage girls and young women to pursue ICT studies;

92.  Stresses, furthermore, the need for a more collaborative, coordinated and targeted approach for the development and implementation of digital skills strategies;

93.  Encourages the Commission, to that end, to increase the funding under the European Framework Programmes, as well as the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), fostering inclusive, innovative and reflective European societies, to get all citizens, in particular those with precarious socio-economic backgrounds or living in remote areas, persons with disabilities, the elderly and the unemployed, to fully participate in society and the labour market;

94.  Welcomes the Commission’s proposal to urge Member States to draw up comprehensive national strategies for digital skills with special attention being paid to closing the digital divide, in particular for older persons; points out however that in order for these strategies to be effective, there is a need to ensure lifelong learning opportunities for educational staff, strong pedagogical leadership and innovation at all levels of education, tailored to each level, that is based on a clear vision for an age-and development-appropriate media pedagogy, as well as initial and continuous teacher training and upskilling and an exchange of best practices;

95.  Underlines that media literacy allows citizens to have a critical understanding of different forms of media, thereby increasing and enhancing the resources and opportunities offered by ‘digital literacy’;

96.  Calls on the Member States to reinforce their efforts to improve media literacy in school curricula and institutions of cultural education, and to develop initiatives at national, regional or local level covering all levels of formal, informal and non-formal education and training;

97.  Reiterates that the set of digital skills must include digital and media literacy, as well as critical and creative thinking, in order for learners to become not only users of technologies but active creators, innovators and responsible citizens in a digitised world;

98.  Calls on the Member States to make available opportunities for ICT training and the development of digital skills and media literacy at all levels of education; underlines, in this regard, the importance of open educational resources (OER) which ensure access to education for all;

99.  Stresses the need to include elements of entrepreneurial learning, including social entrepreneurship, at all levels of education and across various subjects, since fostering entrepreneurial spirit among the young at an early stage will increase employability, support the fight against youth unemployment, as well as encourage creativity, critical thinking and leadership skills useful for setting up social projects and contributing to local communities; further emphasises the importance of learning from experience and the concept of ‘positive failures’ in this context;

100.  Considers that entrepreneurship education should include a social dimension since it boosts the economy while simultaneously alleviating deprivation, social exclusion and other societal problems, and address such subjects as fair trade, social enterprise, and alternative business models, such as co-operatives, in order to strive towards a more social, inclusive and sustainable economy;

101.  Recalls that the creative industries are among the most entrepreneurial and fast growing sectors, and creative education develops transferable skills such as creative thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, and resourcefulness; acknowledges that arts and media sectors are of particular appeal to young people;

102.  Points out that entrepreneurship requires the development of transversal skills such as creativity, critical thinking, teamwork and a sense of initiative, which contribute to young people’s personal and professional development and facilitate their transition into the job market; believes there is a need, therefore, to facilitate and encourage participation by entrepreneurs in the educational process;

103.  Urges active dialogue, data-sharing and cooperation between the academic community, other educational and training institutions or actors, social partners and the world of work, aimed at developing educational programmes which equip young people with the requisite skills and competences and knowledge;

Modernising VET and focus on the value of work-based learning

104.  Calls on the Commission, the Member States and the social partners to develop and put in place policies that provide for educational and training leave, as well as in-work vocational training and life-long learning, including in Member States other than their own; calls on them to make learning inside and outside work, including paid study opportunities, accessible to all workers and in particular to those in disadvantaged situations, and with an emphasis on women employees in sectors where women are structurally under-represented(39);

105.  Reiterates the importance of vocational education and training (VET), as a relevant type of education not only for enhancing employability and clearing the pathway to professional qualifications, but also leading to equal opportunities for all citizens, including from socially vulnerable and disadvantaged groups;

106.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure adequate investment in VET, to guarantee that it is more relevant to learners, employers and society in a holistic and participatory educational approach, and to tailor it to labour market needs by making it an integral part of the education system via a participatory, integrated and coordinated approach, and to guarantee high qualification standards and quality assurance in this regard; underlines the need for closer collaboration between VET and higher education providers in order to ensure the successful transition of VET graduates to higher education;

107.  Regards efforts to ease the transition between academic and vocational education as essential;

108.  Underlines the need to strengthen the vocational and career guidance practices both in the education system and the adult education towards skills and competences needed within countries perspective branches and sectors with high added value and investment potential;

109.  Welcomes the initiatives taken by the Commission to promote VET education; recognises that VET mobility has not yet reached its potential; considers that additional funding to VET institutions could contribute to enhancing VET mobility as well as increasing the quality, relevance and inclusiveness of VET education;

110.  Highlights the need to investigate the possibility for inter-sectorial mobility not only in the VET teacher profession but also among schools as a whole;

111.  Maintains that the main responsibility for the quality of VET education lies at the Member State and regional level; calls for the Commission to promote VET and to facilitate the exchange of best practices;

112.  Calls on the Member States to rebrand VET, with adequate investment and qualified staff, reinforcing the link to the labour market, employers and creating the awareness of VET as a valuable education and career path;

113.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to increase the attractiveness and status of VET and VET mobility as an important choice in one’s personal career path, by making sure that young people and their families have access to information and guidance on VET options, that sufficient investments are made in increasing the quality and relevance of VET education, that it is accessible and affordable for all, and that more bridges are made between academic education and VET as well as promoting gender balance and non-discrimination in VET programmes;

114.  Calls for specific targets such as the implementation of a fully operational credit transfer system and recognition by using ECVET;

115.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States, with a view to reducing the number of people dropping out of education or training and the number of NEETs, to develop and compare the best experiences of the partnerships between education and vocational training; recommends doing this by means of cooperation between secondary schools and undertakings, including by means of apprenticeships, in order to create second-chance opportunities, achieve greater integration between systems and tailor skills better to actual needs;

116.  Encourages the Member States to establish quality dual-education and vocational training systems in coordination with local and regional economic actors, following an exchange of best practices and in line with the specific nature of each educational system, with a view to overcoming the existing and future skills mismatches;

117.  Calls on the Member States to improve data collection mapping of the career trajectories of VET learners in order to better address their employment prospects, assess the quality of VET education and inform students’ career choices;

118.  Recalls that more support for learners’ and teachers’ mobility is needed; calls, therefore, on the Member States to include mobility support in their national programmes in order to assist a large share of young people in benefiting from an experience abroad;

Teachers and trainers

119.  Believes teachers and trainers play a key role in learners’ performance; emphasises therefore the need to invest and support the initial and continuous professional development of teachers of all educational sectors as well as the need to ensure quality employment and to establish lifelong career guidance services, which must be an ongoing priority throughout the EU;

120.  Stresses that improving the status of and upskilling all teachers, trainers, mentors and educators in order to expand their skills would be a prerequisite for the delivery of the New Skills Agenda and that further efforts have to be made to attract young people to work in the education system and to motivate teachers to stay in the profession, including by improving retention policies; notes that this requires consideration for and the valorisation of teachers, attractive remuneration and working conditions, better access to further training during working time especially in digital didactics, as well as measures to protect against and prevent violence and harassment in educational institutions; calls on the Member States to encourage more gender equality in the teaching profession; underlines that enhancing innovative teaching and learning practices and facilitating mobility and exchange of best practices could be one step towards this goal;

121.  Recalls that in some Member States teachers’ education has been significantly affected by the economic and financial crises; underlines the importance of investing in teachers, trainers and educators and equipping them with new skills and teaching techniques in line with technological and societal developments;

122.  Calls on the Member States to invest strongly into teachers’ lifelong learning, including practical experience abroad, and to ensure their continuous professional development as well as to help them to develop new skills such as ICT skills, entrepreneurial skills and inclusive education know-how; emphasises, in this respect, that adequate paid training days should be provided for the upskilling of all educational staff;

123.  Stresses the need to develop VET teachers’ competences to deliver entrepreneurial skills to students in close cooperation with the SMEs; stresses in this regard the promotion of flexible recruitment practices (e.g. teachers with industry experience);

124.  Recommends the Member States to provide incentives to recruit candidates for the teaching profession with high-level competencies and to reward effective teachers;

The implementation of the New Skills Agenda: challenges and recommendations

125.  Calls on the Commission to work closely with Cedefop in order to better estimate and anticipate future skill needs and adapt them better to the jobs available on the labour market;

126.  Stresses the need for the New Skills Agenda to be further elaborated, implemented and monitored in cooperation with all relevant stakeholders, including social partners, civil society organisations and non-formal education providers, employment services and local authorities; calls on the Commission to foster the promotion of broader partnerships with these stakeholders;

127.  Calls on the Commission and on the Member States during the implementation of the initiative to place great emphasis on the coordination of various organisations directly or indirectly involved in skills development, such as ministries, local authorities, public employment and other agencies, education and training institutions, and non-governmental organisations;

128.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to continue to make VET more visible and to enhance its quality and attractiveness; calls on the Commission to encourage Member States to set further targets to encourage work-based learning in VET programmes;

129.  Calls for stronger collaboration between VET and higher education providers to bridge the existing gap to ensure the successful transition of VET graduates to higher education; recommends, in this regard, learning from the best practices in various Member States which have efficient dual education systems;

130.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to adopt a coordinated and integrated approach to social, education and employment policies in order to allow the constant development and adjustment of VET and enable people having completed this path to make the transition to higher levels of education and training;

131.  Highlights the need to improve the understanding and comparability of different qualifications across Member States; welcomes the proposed revision and further development of EQF and calls for a strengthened cooperation between Member States and all stakeholders; calls for greater consistency between EU qualification instruments – namely the EQF, ECVET and EQAVET;

132.  Calls on the Member States to continue to focus on offering opportunities to their citizens, of all ages, to develop their digital skills and competences while fostering the digital transformation of the economy and society and re-shaping the way people learn, work and do business as well as the wider societal implications of these changes; calls on the Member States, in this regard, to take note of the Commission’s intention to focus on the positive aspects of this transformation via the EU e-skills strategy; calls for further involvement of civil society and social partners in the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition;

133.  Agrees with the Blueprint for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills provided by the Commission in the framework of the pilot programme for six sectors and encourages its continuation;

134.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to continue to focus on digital skills, in particular the digital transformation of the economy and re-shaping the way people work and do business, and takes note of the Commission’s intention to focus on the positive aspects of this transformation via the EU e-skills strategy;

135.  Calls on the Member States to include early entrepreneurship education(40), including social entrepreneurship, as part of the curriculum in order to develop an individual entrepreneurial mind-set in their citizens as a key competence which supports personal development, active citizenship, social inclusion and employability;

136.  Encourages the Commission to develop equivalent competence frameworks for other key competences such as the competence of financial literacy in the same way as for digital and entrepreneurial skills;

137.  Is of the opinion that, in order for the proposed ‘Upskilling Pathways’ initiative to make a tangible difference, it is important to take account of the experience of the implementation of the Youth Guarantee; believes, in particular, that it should aspire to ensure faster implementation, have an integrated approach with accompanying social services, and foster better cooperation with social partners, such as trade unions and employers’ association, and other stakeholders;

138.  Believes that equipping people with a minimum set of skills is important, but not enough as it is crucial to ensure that every individual is encouraged to acquire advanced skills and competences in order to better adapt to the future, especially in the case of vulnerable groups who are at risk of precarious employment;

139.  Regrets the lack of dedicated funding for the implementation of the proposals, which may prove a significant obstacle to taking actions that make a real difference at national level, but is of the opinion that Member States should be encouraged to take full advantage of the existing sources of funding that are available to support the implementation of the Agenda, especially the European Social Fund; highlights that the proposed sources of funding – namely the ESF and Erasmus+ – are already being committed at national level; calls therefore on the Commission to encourage Member States to invest more in, as well as encourage, efficient spending on skills as important human capital investments which bring not only social but economic returns;

140.  Calls on the Commission and Member States to make funding available in order to bridge the existing technological and digital gap between educational and training institutions which are well equipped and those which are not and to support teachers’ and trainers’ up-skilling in technology in order to keep pace with today’s increasingly digital world, as part of the national strategies for digital skills;

141.  Strongly recommends addressing the digital divide, and giving equal opportunities for all to access digital technologies, as well as the competences, attitudes and motivation needed for digital participation;

142.  Asks the Commission and the Member States to work, as well, on issues such as underachievement of pupils in some fields of study, the low participation rates in adult learning, early school leaving, social inclusion, civic engagement, gender gaps and employability rates of graduates;

143.  Calls on the Member States to foster cooperation and reinforce synergies between formal, non-formal and informal education providers, regions and local authorities, employers and civil society, in consultation with the social partners, with a view to reaching a wider group of low-skilled workers in order to better take into account their specific needs;

144.  Calls for enabling a greater flexibility in learning, in relation to location, delivery and learning methods that would serve to attract and meet the needs of a diverse range of learners, enhancing therefore the learning opportunities for all people;

145.  Welcomes the proposed revision of the key competences framework which offers a valuable reference and provides common understanding for the development of transversal skills, and calls for its impact to be reinforced on a national level, including in curricula and teacher training; calls on the Commission to ensure that the key competences framework is coupled with the 2012 Council Recommendation on the recognition of non-formal and informal learning;

146.  Welcomes the planned revision of the European Qualifications Framework, which should help improve the readability of existing skills and qualifications in the various countries of the EU; stresses that such a tool is essential for the development of professional mobility, particularly in border areas, and stresses the need to ensure greater visibility of skills, competences and knowledge, acquired through non-formal and informal learning;

147.  Calls on the Member States to have a broad approach in implementing the upskilling pathways, providing diverse opportunities that take into account concrete needs at local, regional and sectorial level (for example intercultural, civic, ecological, linguistic, health, family skills), and should go beyond basic skills provision;

148.  Calls on the Commission to support Member States’ efforts through mutual learning activities and the exchange of good policy practices;

149.  Welcomes and encourages the revision of the Europass Framework, particularly the move from using Europass as a document-based facility to a service-based platform, and the effort to make more visible the different type of learning and skills, in particular those acquired outside the formal education;

150.  Believes that the revision should ensure that disadvantaged groups such as people with disabilities, low-skilled people, senior citizens or the long-term unemployed could benefit from the tools and considers it crucial to ensure its accessibility to persons with disabilities;

151.  Believes that gender disparities in relation to skills development should be better reflected in the New Skills Agenda;

152.  Welcomes the initiative to introduce a system of graduate tracking in order to provide a more evidence-based and relevant approach to designing curricula and learning offers; calls for a similar system for large-scale tracking of VET graduates;

153.  Calls for continuous and increased support for Erasmus+ mobility programme offering and promoting inclusive learning and training opportunities for young people, educators, volunteers, apprentices, interns and young workers;

154.  Calls on the Commission to analyse the national qualification schemes and suggests adjusting them to match the changing needs of the new emerging professions; underlines the need for Member States to support the teaching profession by facilitating access to information on state‑of‑the‑art technologies and recalls, to that end, the eTwinning platform developed by the Commission;

155.  Calls on the Commission to announce a European Year of Adult Learning, which will help to raise awareness of the value of adult education and ‘active ageing’ across Europe, and to allow enough time for its preparation at EU and national level;

156.  Calls on the Commission to organise an annual ‘European Skills Forum’ to enable relevant authorities, education institutions, practitioners, students, employers and employees to exchange best practice on skills forecasting, development and validation;

o
o   o

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

(1) OJ C 119, 28.5.2009, p. 2.
(2) OJ C 351 E, 2.12.2011, p. 29.
(3) OJ C 484, 24.12.2016, p. 1.
(4) OJ C 67, 20.2.2016, p. 1.
(5) OJ C 120, 26.4.2013, p. 1.
(6) OJ C 398, 22.12.2012, p. 1.
(7) OJ C 191, 1.7.2011, p. 1.
(8) OJ C 372, 20.12.2011, p. 1.
(9) OJ C 290, 4.12.2007, p. 1.
(10) OJ C 417, 15.12.2015, p. 36.
(11) OJ C 64, 5.3.2013, p. 5.
(12) OJ C 111, 6.5.2008, p. 1.
(13) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0338.
(14) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0107.
(15) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0008.
(16) OJ C 265, 11.8.2017, p. 48.
(17) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0292.
(18) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0321.
(19) https://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/lsa/119628.pdf
(20) http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-6268-2017-INIT/en/pdf
(21) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0005.
(22) Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (ISBN: 978-92-79-26866-3); http://www.euricse.eu/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/social-economy-guide.pdf.
(23) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0411.
(24) European Commission (2016), Analytical underpinning for a New Skills Agenda for Europe (SWD(2016)0195).
(25) Cedefop, forthcoming in EC, 2016.
(26) http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/events-and-projects/projects/assisting-eu-countries-skills-matching
(27) See SWD(2016)0195.
(28) Boosting the competitiveness of cultural and creative industries for growth and jobs, 2015.
(29) Society at a Glance 2016 – OECD Social Indicators.
(30) Cedefop, Rising STEMs Database, March 2014.
(31) A dual education system combines apprenticeships in a company with vocational education at a vocational school in one course.
(32) Education and Training Monitor 2016.
(33) https://www.oecd.org/education/school/50293148.pdf
(34) Eurofound (2015), Early childhood care: working conditions, training and quality of services – A systematic review.
(35) See texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0338.
(36) The shift to learning outcomes – Policies and Practices in Europe – Cedefop.
(37) To be built on the Opinion of the Advisory Committee on Vocational Training on ‘A Shared Vision for Quality and Effective Apprenticeships and Work-based Learning’ adopted on 2 December 2016.
(38) Council Recommendation of 19 December 2016.
(39) See texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0338.
(40) European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice, 2016. Entrepreneurship Education at School in Europe. Eurydice Report.

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