Index 
Texts adopted
Thursday, 31 January 2019 - Brussels
Amendments to Parliament's Rules of Procedure
 Union Customs Code: inclusion of the municipality of Campione d'Italia and the Italian waters of Lake Lugano in the customs territory of the Union ***I
 Certain rules on direct payments and support for rural development in respect of the years 2019 and 2020 ***I
 Accession of the Dominican Republic to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction *
 Accession of Ecuador and Ukraine to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction *
 Accession of Honduras to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction *
 Accession of Belarus and Uzbekistan to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction *
 Association of the Overseas Countries and Territories with the European Union including relations between the EU, Greenland and Denmark *
 Annual Report 2017 on the protection of the European Union's financial interests - fight against fraud
 Implementation and functioning of the .eu top level domain name ***I
 Harmonisation of gross national income at market prices (GNI) ***I
 Genetically modified oilseed rapes Ms8, Rf3 and Ms8 × Rf3
 Genetically modified maize 5307 (SYN-Ø53Ø7-1)
 Genetically modified maize MON 87403 (MON-874Ø3-1)
 Genetically modified cotton GHB614 × LLCotton25 × MON 15985
 Situation in Venezuela
 Annual report on competition policy

Amendments to Parliament's Rules of Procedure
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European Parliament decision of 31 January 2019 on amendments to Parliament’s Rules of Procedure affecting Chapters 1 and 4 of Title I; Chapter 3 of Title V; Chapters 4 and 5 of Title VII; Chapter 1 of Title VIII; Title XII; Title XIV and Annex II (2018/2170(REG))
P8_TA(2019)0046A8-0462/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Rules 226 and 227 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (A8-0462/2018),

1.  Decides to amend its Rules of Procedure as shown below;

2.  Decides that the amendments shall enter into force on the first day of the next part-session with the exception of the amendments inserting the second subparagraph of paragraph 3e in Rule 11 and points 6 and 7 of the Code of appropriate behaviour for Members of the European Parliament in exercising their duties as well as the amendments to Rules 196 and 204, which shall enter into force at the opening of the first part-session following the next elections to the European Parliament due to be held in 2019;

3.  Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Council and the Commission, for information.

Present text   Amendment
Amendment 1
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 11 – title
Members' financial interests and standards of conduct
Standards of conduct
Amendment 2
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 11 – paragraph 1
1.  Parliament shall lay down rules governing the transparency of its Members' financial interests in the form of a Code of Conduct which shall be adopted by a majority of its component Members and attached to these Rules of Procedure as an annex4.
deleted
Those rules shall not otherwise prejudice or restrict Members in the exercise of their office or of any related political or other activity.
______________
4 See Annex I
Amendment 3
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 11 – paragraph 2
2.  Members should adopt the systematic practice of only meeting interest representatives that have registered in the Transparency Register established by means of the Agreement between the European Parliament and the European Commission on the transparency register5.
deleted
______________
5 Agreement of 16 April 2014 between the European Parliament and the European Commission on the transparency register for organisations and self-employed individuals engaged in EU policy- making and policy implementation (OJ L 277, 19.9.2014, p. 11).
Amendment 4
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 11 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1
The conduct of Members shall be characterised by mutual respect, be based on the values and principles laid down in the Treaties, and particularly in the Charter of Fundamental Rights, and shall respect the dignity of Parliament. Furthermore, it shall not compromise the smooth conduct of parliamentary business, the maintenance of security and order on Parliament's premises or the functioning of Parliament's equipment.
The conduct of Members shall be characterised by mutual respect and shall be based on the values and principles laid down in the Treaties, and particularly in the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Members shall respect Parliament’s dignity and shall not harm its reputation.
Amendment 5
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 11 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 2
In parliamentary debates, Members shall not resort to defamatory, racist or xenophobic language or behaviour, nor shall they unfurl banners.
deleted
Amendment 6
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 11 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 3
Members shall comply with Parliament's rules on the treatment of confidential information.
deleted
Amendment 7
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 11 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 4
Failure to comply with those standards and rules may lead to the application of measures in accordance with Rules 165, 166 and 167.
deleted
Amendment 8
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 11 – paragraph 3 a (new)
3a.  Members shall not compromise the smooth conduct of parliamentary business and shall not compromise the maintenance of security and order on Parliament’s premises or the functioning of its equipment.
Amendment 9
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 11 – paragraph 3 b (new)
3b.  Members shall not disrupt the good order of the Chamber and shall refrain from improper behaviour. They shall not display banners.
Amendment 10
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 11 – paragraph 3 c (new)
3c.  In parliamentary debates in the Chamber, Members shall not resort to offensive language.
Amendment 11
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 11 – paragraph 3 c (new) – interpretation
The assessment of whether the language used by a Member in a parliamentary debate is offensive or not should take into consideration, inter alia, the identifiable intentions of the speaker, the perception of the statement by the public, the extent to which it harms the dignity and reputation of Parliament, and the freedom of speech of the Member concerned. By way of example, defamatory language, “hate speech” and incitement to discrimination based, in particular, on any ground referred to in Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, would ordinarily constitute cases of “offensive language” within the meaning of this Rule.
Amendment 12
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 11 – paragraph 3 d (new)
3d.  Members shall comply with Parliament’s rules on the treatment of confidential information.
Amendment 13
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 11 – paragraph 3 e (new)
3e.  Members shall refrain from any type of psychological or sexual harassment and shall respect the Code of appropriate behaviour for Members of the European Parliament in exercising their duties which is attached to these Rules of Procedure as an annex 1a
Members may not be elected as office-holders of Parliament or one of its bodies, be appointed as rapporteur or participate in an official delegation or interinstitutional negotiations, if they have not signed the declaration relating to that Code.
____________________
1aThe Code of appropriate behaviour for Members of the European Parliament in exercising their duties, adopted by the Bureau on 2 July 2018, shall become an annex to these Rules.
Amendment 14
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 11 – paragraph 4
4.  The application of this Rule shall not otherwise detract from the liveliness of parliamentary debates, nor shall it undermine Members' freedom of speech.
deleted
It shall be based on full respect for Members’ prerogatives, as laid down in Union primary law and the Statute for Members.
It shall be based on the principle of transparency and be so undertaken that the relevant provisions are made clear to Members, who shall be informed individually of their rights and obligations.
Amendment 15
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 11 – paragraph 5
5.  Where a person employed by a Member, or another person for whom the Member has arranged access to Parliament's premises or equipment, fails to comply with the standards of conduct set out in paragraph 3, the penalties provided for in Rule 166 may, where appropriate, be imposed upon the Member concerned.
5.  Where a person working for a Member, or another person for whom the Member has arranged access to Parliament's premises or equipment, fails to comply with the standards of conduct set out in this Rule, this behaviour may, where appropriate, be imputable to the Member concerned.
Amendment 16
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 11 – paragraph 5 a (new)
5a.  The application of this Rule shall not otherwise detract from the liveliness of parliamentary debates, nor shall it undermine Members' freedom of speech.
Amendment 17
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 11 – paragraph 5 b (new)
5b.  This Rule shall apply, mutatis mutandis, in Parliament’s bodies, committees and delegations.
Amendment 18
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 11 – paragraph 6
6.  The Quaestors shall determine the maximum number of assistants who may be registered by each Member.
deleted
Amendment 19
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 11 – paragraph 7
7.  The code of conduct and the rights and privileges of former Members shall be laid down by a decision of the Bureau. No distinction shall be made in the treatment of former Members.
deleted
Amendments 20 and 75
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 11 a (new)
Rule 11a
Members’ financial interests and Transparency register
1.  Parliament shall lay down rules governing the transparency of its Members' financial interests in the form of a Code of Conduct which shall be adopted by a majority of its component Members and attached to these Rules of Procedure as an annex1a.
Those rules shall not otherwise prejudice or restrict Members in the exercise of their office or of any related political or other activity.
2.  Members should adopt the systematic practice of only meeting interest representatives that have registered in the Transparency Register established by means of the Agreement between the European Parliament and the European Commission on the transparency register1b.
3.  Members should publish online all scheduled meetings with interest representatives falling under the scope of the Transparency register. Without prejudice to Article 4(6) of Annex I, rapporteurs, shadow rapporteurs and committee chairs shall, for each report, publish online all scheduled meetings with interest representatives falling under the scope of the Transparency register. The Bureau shall provide for necessary infrastructure on Parliament's website.
4.  The Bureau shall provide the necessary infrastructure on Members’ online page on Parliament’s website for those Members who wish to publish a voluntary audit or confirmation, as provided for under the applicable rules of the Statute for Members and its implementing rules, that their use of the General Expenditure Allowance complies with the applicable rules of the Statute for Members and its implementing measures.
5.  These rules shall not otherwise prejudice or restrict Members in the exercise of their office or of any related political or other activity.
6.  The code of conduct and the rights and privileges of former Members shall be laid down by a decision of the Bureau. No distinction shall be made in the treatment of former Members.
__________________
1a See Annex I.
1b Agreement of 16 April 2014 between the European Parliament and the European Commission on the transparency register for organisations and self-employed individuals engaged in EU policy-making and policy implementation (OJ L 277, 19.9.2014, p. 11).
Amendment 88
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 32 – paragraph 5
5.   The President shall be notified in a statement when a political group is set up. That statement shall specify the name of the group and the names of its members and bureau members. It shall be signed by all members of the group.
5.  The President shall be notified in a statement when a political group is set up. That statement shall specify:
–  the name of the group,
–  a political declaration, setting out the purpose of the group, and
–  the names of its members and bureau members.
All members of the group shall declare in writing in an annex to the statement that they share the same political affinity.
Amendment 21
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 34 – paragraph 1 a (new)
1a.  Intergroups as well as other unofficial groupings shall be fully transparent in their actions and shall not engage in any activities which might result in confusion with the official activities of Parliament or of its bodies. They may not organise events in third countries that coincide with a mission of an official Parliament body, including an official election observation delegation.
Amendment 22
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 34 – paragraph 2
2.  Such groupings shall be fully transparent in their actions and shall not engage in any activities which might result in confusion with the official activities of Parliament or of its bodies. Provided that the conditions laid down in the rules adopted by the Bureau governing their establishment are complied with, political groups may facilitate their activities by providing them with logistical support.
2.  Provided that the conditions laid down in Parliament´s internal rules governing the establishment of such groupings are complied with, a political group may facilitate their activities by providing them with logistical support.
Amendment 23
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 34 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1 a (new)
Other unofficial groupings shall also be required to declare, by the end of the following month, any support, whether in cash or in kind, which Members have not declared individually in accordance with their obligations under Annex I.
Amendment 24
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 34 – paragraph 3 a (new)
3 a.  Only interest representatives who are registered in the Transparency register may participate in intergroup or other unofficial grouping activities organised on Parliament’s premises, for instance by attending meetings or events of the intergroup or other unofficial grouping, by offering support to it, or by co-hosting its events.
Amendment 25
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 34 – paragraph 4
4.  The Quaestors shall keep a register of the declarations referred to in paragraph 3. That register shall be published on the Parliament's website. The Quaestors shall adopt detailed rules on those declarations and shall ensure the effective enforcement of this Rule.
4.  The Quaestors shall keep a register of the declarations referred to in paragraph 3. The Quaestors shall adopt detailed rules on those declarations and their publication on Parliament’s website.
Amendment 26
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 34 – paragraph 4 a (new)
4a.  The Quaestors shall ensure the effective enforcement of this Rule.
Amendment 27
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 128 – paragraph 4
4.  One of the questioners may move the question in Parliament. The addressee shall answer.
4.  A Member designated in advance by the questioners shall move the question in Parliament. If that Member is not present, the question shall lapse. The addressee shall answer.
Amendment 28
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 130 – paragraph 1
1.  Any Member may put questions for written answer to the President of the European Council, to the Council, to the Commission or to the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in accordance with criteria laid down in an annex to these Rules of Procedure27. The content of questions shall be the sole responsibility of their authors.
1.  Any Member, a political group or a committee may put questions for written answer to the President of the European Council, to the Council, to the Commission or to the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in accordance with criteria laid down in an annex to these Rules of Procedure27. The content of questions shall be the sole responsibility of their authors.
________________________
____________________
27 See Annex II
27 See Annex II
Amendment 29
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 130 – paragraph 2
2.  Questions shall be submitted to the President. Issues concerning the admissibility of a question shall be decided by the President. The President's decision shall not be based exclusively on the provisions of the annex referred to in paragraph 1 but on the provisions of these Rules of Procedure in general. The questioner shall be notified of the President's reasoned decision.
2.  Questions shall be submitted in electronic form to the President. Issues concerning the admissibility of a question shall be decided by the President. The President's decision shall not be based exclusively on the provisions of the annex referred to in paragraph 1 but on the provisions of these Rules of Procedure in general. The questioner shall be notified of the President's reasoned decision.
Amendment 30
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 130 – paragraph 3
3.  Questions shall be submitted in electronic format. Each Member may submit a maximum of twenty questions over a rolling period of three months.
3.  Each Member, political group or committee may submit a maximum of twenty questions over a rolling period of three months. As a general rule, the questions shall be answered by the addressee within six weeks of being forwarded to it. However, any Member, political group or committee may every month designate one of its questions as a “priority question” to be answered by the addressee within three weeks of being forwarded to it.
Amendment 31
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 130 – paragraph 5
5.  If a question cannot be answered by the addressee within three weeks (priority question) or within six weeks (non-priority question) of being forwarded to the addressee, it may, at the request of the author, be placed on the agenda for the next meeting of the committee responsible.
5.  If a question was not answered by the addressee within the deadline provided for in paragraph 3, the committee responsible may decide to place it on the agenda for its next meeting.
Amendment 32
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 130 – paragraph 6
6.  Each Member may table one priority question per month.
deleted
Amendment 33
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 130 – paragraph 7
7.  Questions, and any answers, including their related annexes, thereto, shall be published on Parliament’s website.
7.  Questions, and answers, including their related annexes, thereto, shall be published on Parliament’s website.
Amendment 34
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 130a
Rule 130 a
deleted
Minor interpellations for written answer
1.   In minor interpellations, consisting in questions for written answer, the Council, the Commission or the Vice-President of the Commission/High-Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy may be asked by a committee, a political group or at least five per cent of Parliament’s component Members to provide Parliament with information on specifically designated issues.
Such questions shall be submitted to the President who, provided that the questions are in accordance with these Rules of Procedure generally and that they fulfil the criteria laid down in an annex to these Rules of Procedure28, shall ask the addressee to reply within two weeks; the President may extend this time limit in consultation with the questioners.
2.  Questions and answers shall be published on Parliament's website.
_____________________
28 See Annex II
Amendment 35
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 130b – title
Major interpellations for written answer with debate
Major interpellations for written answer
Amendment 36
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 130b – paragraph 1
1.  In major interpellations, consisting in questions for written answer with debate, those questions may be put to the Council, the Commission or the Vice-President of the Commission/High-Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy by a committee, a political group or at least five percent of Parliament’s component Members. Questions may include a brief explanatory statement.
1.  Major interpellations shall consist of questions for written answer put to the Council, the Commission or the Vice-President of the Commission/High-Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy by a political group.
Such questions shall be submitted in writing to the President who, provided that the questions are in accordance with these Rules of Procedure generally and that they fulfil the criteria laid down in an annex to these Rules of Procedure29, shall immediately inform the addressee of the question and ask the addressee to state whether it will be answered and, if so, when.
_____________________
29 See Annex II
Amendment 37
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 130b – paragraph 1 a (new)
1a.   The major interpellation shall be of general interest and shall be submitted in writing to the President. It shall not exceed 500 words. Provided that the major interpellation is in accordance with the provisions of the Rules in general, the President shall immediately transmit it to the addressee for a written answer.
Amendment 38
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 130b – paragraph 1 b (new)
1b.   There shall be maximum 30 major interpellations every year. The Conference of Presidents shall ensure a fair distribution of such interpellations among the political groups, and no political group shall submit more than one per month.
Amendment 39
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 130b – paragraph 1 c (new)
1c.  If the addressee fails to answer the major interpellation within six weeks of being forwarded to it, the interpellation shall, at the request of the author, be placed on the final draft agenda of Parliament in accordance with the procedure provided for in Rule 149 and subject to paragraph 3a.
Amendment 40
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 130b – paragraph 2
2.  On receipt of the written reply, the major interpellation shall be placed on the draft agenda of Parliament in accordance with the procedure provided for in Rule 149. A debate must be held if a committee, a political group or at least five per cent of Parliament’s component Members so demand.
2.  On receipt of the written answer, if Members or a political group or groups reaching at least the medium threshold so request, the major interpellation shall be placed on the final draft agenda of Parliament in accordance with the procedure provided for in Rule 149 and subject to paragraph 3a .
Amendment 41
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 130b – paragraph 3
3.  If the addressee refuses to answer the question or fails to do so within three weeks, the question shall be placed on the draft agenda. A debate must be held if a committee, a political group or at least five per cent of Parliament’s component Members so demand. Prior to the debate one of the questioners may be given leave to state supplementary reasons for the question.
deleted
Amendment 42
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 130b – paragraph 3 a
3a.  The number of major interpellations debated during the same part-session shall not exceed three. If debates are requested for more than three major interpellations during the same part-session, the Conference of Presidents shall include them in the final draft agenda in the order it has received those requests for debate.
Amendment 43
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 130b – paragraph 4
4.   One of the questioners may move the question in Parliament. One member of the institution concerned shall answer.
4.  A Member designated in advance by the author, or by those requesting the debate in accordance with paragraph 2, shall move the major interpellation in Parliament. If that Member is not present, the major interpellation shall lapse. The addressee shall answer.
Rule 123(2) to (5) concerning the tabling of, and voting on, motions for resolutions shall apply mutatis mutandis.
Rule 123(2) to (8) concerning the tabling of, and voting on, motions for resolutions shall apply mutatis mutandis.
Amendment 44
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 130b – paragraph 5
5.  Such questions, as well as the answers to them, shall be published on Parliament's website.
5.  Such interpellations, as well as the answers to them, shall be published on Parliament's website.
Amendment 45
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 165 – paragraph 1
1.  The President shall call to order any Member who disrupts the smooth conduct of the proceedings or whose conduct fails to comply with the relevant provisions of Rule 11.
1.  The President shall call to order any Member who breaches the standards of conduct defined in Rule 11 (3b) or (3c).
Amendment 46
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 165 – paragraph 2
2.  If the offence is repeated, the President shall call the Member to order a second time, and the fact shall be recorded in the minutes.
2.  If the breach is repeated, the President shall call the Member to order a second time, and the fact shall be recorded in the minutes.
Amendment 47
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 165 – paragraph 3
3.  If the disturbance continues, or if a further offence is committed, the Member may be denied the right to speak and may be excluded from the Chamber by the President for the remainder of the sitting. In cases of exceptional seriousness, the President may also resort to exclusion of the Member concerned from the Chamber for the remainder of the sitting immediately and without a second call to order. The Secretary-General shall, without delay, see to it that such disciplinary measures are carried out, with the assistance of the ushers and, if necessary, of Parliament's Security Service.
3.  If the breach continues, or if a further breach is committed, the Member may be denied the right to speak and may be excluded from the Chamber by the President for the remainder of the sitting. In cases of exceptional seriousness, the President may also resort to exclusion of the Member concerned from the Chamber for the remainder of the sitting immediately and without a second call to order. The Secretary-General shall, without delay, see to it that such disciplinary measures are carried out, with the assistance of the ushers and, if necessary, of Parliament's Security Service.
Amendment 48
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 165 – paragraph 5
5.  The President may decide to interrupt the live broadcasting of the sitting in the case of defamatory, racist or xenophobic language or behaviour by a Member.
5.  The President may decide to interrupt the live broadcasting of the sitting in the case of a breach of Rule 11(3b) or (3c) by a Member.
Amendment 49
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 165 – paragraph 6 – subparagraph 1
The President may order the deletion from the audiovisual record of the proceedings of those parts of a speech by a Member that contain defamatory, racist or xenophobic language.
The President may order the deletion from the audiovisual record of the proceedings of those parts of a speech by a Member that breach Rule 11(3b) or (3c).
Amendment 50
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 166 – paragraph 1
1.  In serious cases of disorder or disruption of Parliament in violation of the principles laid down in Rule 11, the President shall adopt a reasoned decision imposing the appropriate penalty.
1.  In serious cases of breach of Rule 11 (3a) to (5b), the President shall adopt a reasoned decision imposing upon the Member concerned the appropriate penalty in accordance with this Rule.
In relation to Rule 11 (3b) or (3c), the President may adopt a reasoned decision under this Rule regardless of whether or not an immediate measure within the meaning of Rule 165 had previously been imposed upon the Member concerned.
In relation to Rule 11 (3e), the President may only adopt a reasoned decision under this Rule following the establishment of the occurrence of a harassment in accordance with the applicable internal administrative procedure on harassment and its prevention.
The President may impose a penalty upon a Member in cases in which provision is made, by these Rules of Procedure or by a decision adopted by the Bureau under Rule 25, for the application of this Rule.
The Member concerned shall be invited by the President to submit written observations before the decision is adopted. In exceptional cases, the President may convene an oral hearing of the Member concerned.
That decision shall be notified to the Member concerned by registered letter or, in urgent cases, via the ushers.
After that decision has been notified to the Member concerned, any penalty imposed on a Member shall be announced by the President in Parliament. The presiding officers of the bodies, committees and delegations on which the Member serves shall be informed.
Once the penalty becomes final, it shall be published prominently on Parliament's website, and shall remain there for the rest of the parliamentary term.
Amendment 51
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 166 – paragraph 1 a (new)
1a.  The Member concerned shall be invited by the President to submit written observations before the decision is adopted. The President may decide to convene an oral hearing instead whenever it is more appropriate.
The decision imposing the penalty shall be notified to the Member concerned by registered letter or, in urgent cases, via the ushers.
After that decision has been notified to the Member concerned, any penalty imposed on a Member shall be announced by the President in Parliament. The presiding officers of the bodies, committees and delegations on which the Member serves shall be informed.
Once the penalty becomes final, it shall be published prominently on Parliament's website, and shall remain there for the rest of the parliamentary term.
Amendment 52
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 166 – paragraph 2
2.  When assessing the conduct observed, account shall be taken of its exceptional, recurrent or permanent nature and of its seriousness.
2.  When assessing the conduct observed, account shall be taken of its exceptional, recurrent or permanent nature and of its seriousness. Account shall also be taken, if applicable, of possible damage inflicted on the dignity and reputation of Parliament.
A distinction should be drawn between actions of a visual nature, which may be tolerated provided they are not offensive, defamatory, racist or xenophobic, and remain within reasonable bounds, and those which actively disrupt parliamentary activity.
Amendment 53
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 166 – paragraph 4
4.  The measures laid down in points (b) to (e) of paragraph 3 may be doubled in the case of repeated offences, or if the Member refuses to comply with a measure taken under Rule 165(3).
4.  The measures laid down in points (b) to (e) of paragraph 3 may be doubled in the case of repeated breaches, or if the Member refuses to comply with a measure taken under Rule 165(3).
Amendment 54
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 174 – paragraph 7
7.  The President may put other amendments to the vote collectively where they are complementary, unless a political group or Members reaching at least the low threshold have requested separate or split votes. Authors of amendments may also propose such collective votes where their amendments are complementary.
7.  The President may put other amendments to the vote collectively where they are complementary, unless a political group or Members reaching at least the low threshold have requested separate or split votes. Authors of amendments may also propose collective votes on their amendments.
Amendment 55
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 174 – paragraph 10
10.  Amendments in respect of which a roll-call vote has been requested shall be put to the vote individually.
10.  Amendments in respect of which a roll-call vote has been requested shall be put to the vote separately from other amendments.
Amendment 56
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 177 – interpretation
Any infringement of this Rule is considered as a serious case of disorder as referred to in Rule 166(1) and will have the legal consequences mentioned in that Rule.
Any infringement of this Rule is considered a serious breach of Rule 11(3b).
Amendment 57
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 196
Rule 196
Rule 196
Setting-up of standing committees
Setting-up of standing committees
Parliament shall, on a proposal from the Conference of Presidents, set up standing committees. Their responsibilities shall be defined in an annex to these Rules of Procedure52. That annex shall be adopted by a majority of the votes cast. Their members shall be appointed during the first part-session following the re-election of Parliament and again two and a half years thereafter.
Parliament shall, on a proposal from the Conference of Presidents, set up standing committees. Their responsibilities shall be defined in an annex to these Rules of Procedure52. That annex shall be adopted by a majority of the votes cast. Their members shall be appointed during the first part-session following the re-election of Parliament.
The responsibilities of standing committees can also be defined at a time other than that at which the committee is set up.
The responsibilities of standing committees can also be redefined at a time other than that at which the committee is set up.
_________________
_________________
52 See Annex V.
52 See Annex V.
Amendment 58
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 204 – paragraph 1
1.  At the first committee meeting after the appointment of committee members pursuant to Rule 199, the committee shall elect a bureau consisting of a Chair and of Vice-Chairs from among its full members in separate ballots. The number of Vice-Chairs to be elected shall be determined by Parliament upon a proposal by the Conference of Presidents. The diversity of Parliament must be reflected in the composition of the bureau of each committee; it shall not be permissible to have an all male or all female bureau or for all of the Vice-Chairs to come from the same Member State.
1.  At the first committee meeting after the appointment of committee members pursuant to Rule 199, and again two and a half years thereafter, the committee shall elect a bureau consisting of a Chair and of Vice-Chairs from among its full members in separate ballots. The number of Vice-Chairs to be elected shall be determined by Parliament upon a proposal by the Conference of Presidents. The diversity of Parliament must be reflected in the composition of the bureau of each committee; it shall not be permissible to have an all male or all female bureau or for all of the Vice-Chairs to come from the same Member State.
Amendment 59
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 210a – title
Procedure for the consultation by a committee of confidential information received by Parliament
Procedure for the consultation by a committee of confidential information in a committee meeting in camera
Amendment 60
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 210a – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1
Once the Chair of the committee has declared that the confidential procedure is to be applied, the meeting shall be attended only by members of the committee and by officials and experts who have been designated in advance by the Chair and whose presence is strictly necessary.
Once the Chair of the committee has declared that the confidential procedure is to be applied, the meeting shall be in camera and may be attended only by members of the committee, including substitute members. The committee may decide, in compliance with the applicable inter-institutional legal framework, that other Members may attend the meeting pursuant to Rule 206(3). The meeting may also be attended by those persons who have been designated in advance by the Chair, as having a need-to-know, in due respect of any restrictions stemming from the applicable rules governing the treatment of confidential information by Parliament. As regards the consultation of classified information at the level of CONFIDENTIEL UE/EU CONFIDENTIAL and above, or in case of specific limitations of access stemming from the interinstitutional legal framework, additional restrictions may apply.
Amendment 61
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 210a – paragraph 4
4.  Members or a political group or groups reaching at least the medium threshold in the committee which has applied the confidential procedure may request consideration of a breach of confidentiality. This request may be placed on the agenda of the next committee meeting. By a majority of its members, the committee may decide to submit the matter to the President for further consideration under Rules 11 and 166.
4.  Without prejudice to the applicable rules on breach of confidentiality in general, Members or a political group or groups reaching at least the medium threshold in the committee which has applied the confidential procedure may request consideration of a breach of confidentiality. This request may be placed on the agenda of the next committee meeting. By a majority of its members, the committee may decide to submit the matter to the President for further consideration under Rules 11 and 166.
Amendment 62
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 211 – title
Public hearings on citizens’ initiatives
Public hearings and debates on citizens’ initiatives
Amendment 63
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 211 – paragraph 7 a (new)
7 a.  Parliament shall hold a debate on a citizens' initiative published in the relevant register pursuant to point (a) of Article 10(1) of Regulation (EU) No 211/2011, at a part-session following the public hearing and shall, when placing the debate on its agenda, decide whether or not to wind up the debate with a resolution. It shall not wind up the debate with a resolution if a report on an identical or similar subject matter is scheduled for the same or the next part-session, unless the President, for exceptional reasons, proposes otherwise. If Parliament decides to wind up a debate with a resolution, the committee responsible for the subject matter or a political group or Members reaching at least the low threshold may table a motion for a resolution. Rule 123(3) to (8) concerning the tabling and voting of motions for resolutions shall apply mutatis mutandis.
Amendment 76
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 211 – paragraph 8
8.  In the event that the Commission fails to put forward a proposal for a legal act on a citizens' initiative, successfully submitted to it in accordance with Article 9 of Regulation (EU) No 211/2011, within a twelve-month period after issuing a positive opinion on it and setting out in a communication the action it intends to take, the committee responsible for the subject matter may organise a hearing in consultation with the citizen's initiative organisers and, if necessary, may activate the procedure laid down in Rule 46 with a view to exercising Parliament's right to request the Commission to submit an appropriate proposal.
8.  Following the Commission's communication setting out its legal and political conclusions on a specific citizens’ initiative, Parliament shall assess the actions taken by the Commission as a result of such communication. In the event that the Commission fails to submit an appropriate proposal on a citizens' initiative, the committee responsible for the subject matter may organise a hearing in consultation with the citizens' initiative organisers. Furthermore, Parliament may decide whether to hold a plenary debate and whether to wind up this debate with a resolution. The procedure set out in Rule 211(7a) shall apply mutatis mutandis. Parliament may also decide to exercise the right conferred on it by Article 225 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, thereby activating the procedure laid down in Rule 46.
Amendment 64
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 223a – title – footnote
61 Rule 223a shall only apply to European political parties and European political foundations within the meaning of Article 2 (3) and (4) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014. See also footnotes to Rules 224 and 225.
61 Rule 223a shall only apply to European political parties and European political foundations within the meaning of Article 2 (3) and (4) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014.
Amendment 65
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 223a – paragraph 2 a (new)
2a.   On the basis of the first subparagraph of Article 10(3) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014, a group of at least 50 citizens may submit a reasoned request inviting Parliament to request the verification mentioned in paragraph 2. That reasoned request shall not be launched or signed by Members. It shall include substantial factual evidence showing that the European political party or European political foundation in question does not comply with the conditions referred to in paragraph 2.
The President shall forward admissible requests from groups of citizens to the committee responsible for further examination.
Following that examination, which should take place within four months from the President’s referral, the committee responsible may, by a majority of its component members representing at least three political groups, submit a proposal to follow up the request and inform the President thereof.
The group of citizens shall be informed of the outcome of the committee’s examination.
Upon reception of the committee proposal, the President shall communicate the request to Parliament.
Following such a communication, Parliament shall, by a majority of the votes cast, decide on whether or not to lodge a request to the Authority for European political parties and European political foundations.
The committee shall adopt guidelines for the treatment of such requests from groups of citizens.
Amendment 89/rev
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 228 a (new)
Rule 228a
Gender Mainstreaming
The Bureau shall adopt a gender action plan aimed at incorporating a gender perspective in all Parliament’s activities, at all levels and all stages. The gender action plan shall be monitored bi-annually and reviewed at least every five years.
Amendment 66
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 229 – paragraph 3
These provisions shall not apply to petitions and communications that do not require a decision.
These provisions shall not apply to petitions, citizens’ initiatives and communications that do not require a decision.
Amendment 67
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Annex II – title
CRITERIA FOR QUESTIONS AND INTERPELLATIONS FOR WRITTEN ANSWER UNDER RULES 130, 130A, 130B, 131 AND 131A
CRITERIA FOR QUESTIONS AND INTERPELLATIONS FOR WRITTEN ANSWER UNDER RULES 130, 131 AND 131A

Union Customs Code: inclusion of the municipality of Campione d'Italia and the Italian waters of Lake Lugano in the customs territory of the Union ***I
PDF 121kWORD 44k
Resolution
Text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 31 January 2019 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) No 952/2013 laying down the Union Customs Code (COM(2018)0259 – C8-0180/2018 – 2018/0123(COD))
P8_TA(2019)0047A8-0368/2018

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2018)0259),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Articles 33, 114 and 207 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8‑0180/2018),

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

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 12 July 2018(1),

–  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 12 December 2018 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 the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (A8-0368/2018),

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 31 January 2019 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) 2019/… of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) No 952/2013 laying down the Union Customs Code

P8_TC1-COD(2018)0123


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EU) 2019/474.)

(1) OJ C 367, 10.10.2018, p. 39.


Certain rules on direct payments and support for rural development in respect of the years 2019 and 2020 ***I
PDF 123kWORD 43k
Resolution
Text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 31 January 2019 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulations (EU) No 1305/2013 and (EU) No 1307/2013 as regards certain rules on direct payments and support for rural development in respect of the years 2019 and 2020 (COM(2018)0817 – C8-0506/2018 – 2018/0414(COD))
P8_TA(2019)0048A8-0018/2019

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2018)0817),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Articles 42 and 43(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8‑0506/2018),

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

–  After consulting the European Economic and Social Committee,

–  having regard to the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 14 January 2019 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 Agriculture and Rural Development (A8-0018/2019),

A.  Whereas for reasons of urgency it is justified to proceed to the vote before the expiry of the deadline of eight weeks laid down in Article 6 of Protocol No 2 on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality;

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 31 January 2019 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) 2019/… of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulations (EU) No 1305/2013 and (EU) No 1307/2013 as regards certain rules on direct payments and support for rural development in respect of the years 2019 and 2020

P8_TC1-COD(2018)0414


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EU) 2019/288.)


Accession of the Dominican Republic to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction *
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 31 January 2019 on the proposal for a Council decision authorising Austria, Cyprus, Croatia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania and the United Kingdom to accept, in the interest of the European Union, the accession of the Dominican Republic to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (COM(2018)0526 – C8-0376/2018 – 2018/0276(NLE))
P8_TA(2019)0049A8-0451/2018

(Consultation)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the proposal for a Council decision (COM(2018)0526),

–  having regard to Article 38, fourth paragraph, of the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction,

–  having regard to Article 81(3) and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (b), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C8‑0376/2018),

–  having regard to the opinion of the Court of Justice(1) on the exclusive external competence of the European Union for a declaration of acceptance of an accession to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction,

–  having regard to Rules 78c and 108(8) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A8-0451/2018),

1.  Approves the authorisation for Austria, Cyprus, Croatia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania and the United Kingdom to accept, in the interest of the European Union, the accession of the Dominican Republic to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States, as well as to the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law.

(1) Opinion of the Court of Justice of 14 October 2014, 1/13, ECLI:EU:C:2014:2303.


Accession of Ecuador and Ukraine to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction *
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 31 January 2019 on the proposal for a Council decision authorising Austria to accept, in the interest of the European Union, the accession of Ecuador and Ukraine to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (COM(2018)0527 – C8-0375/2018 – 2018/0277(NLE))
P8_TA(2019)0050A8-0452/2018

(Consultation)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the proposal for a Council decision (COM(2018)0527),

–  having regard to Article 38, fourth paragraph, of the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction,

–  having regard to Article 81(3) and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (b), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C8‑0375/2018),

–  having regard to the opinion of the Court of Justice(1) on the exclusive external competence of the European Union for a declaration of acceptance of an accession to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction,

–  having regard to Rules 78c and 108(8) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A8-0452/2018),

1.  Approves the authorisation for Austria to accept, in the interest of the European Union, the accession of Ecuador and Ukraine to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States, as well as to the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law.

(1) Opinion of the Court of Justice of 14 October 2014, 1/13, ECLI:EU:C:2014:2303.


Accession of Honduras to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction *
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 31 January 2019 on the proposal for a Council decision authorising Austria and Romania to accept, in the interest of the European Union, the accession of Honduras to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (COM(2018)0528 – C8-0377/2018 – 2018/0278(NLE))
P8_TA(2019)0051A8-0457/2018

(Consultation)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the proposal for a Council decision (COM(2018)0528),

–  having regard to Article 38, fourth paragraph, of the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction,

–  having regard to Article 81(3) and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (b), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C8‑0377/2018),

–  having regard to the opinion of the Court of Justice(1) on the exclusive external competence of the European Union for a declaration of acceptance of an accession to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction,

–  having regard to Rules 78c and 108(8) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A8-0457/2018),

1.  Approves the authorisation for Austria and Romania to accept, in the interest of the European Union, the accession of Honduras to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States, as well as to the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law.

(1) Opinion of the Court of Justice of 14 October 2014, 1/13, ECLI:EU:C:2014:2303.


Accession of Belarus and Uzbekistan to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction *
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 31 January 2019 on the proposal for a Council decision authorising Austria, Luxembourg and Romania to accept, in the interest of the European Union, the accession of Belarus and Uzbekistan to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (COM(2018)0530 – C8-0378/2018 – 2018/0279(NLE))
P8_TA(2019)0052A8-0458/2018

(Consultation)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the proposal for a Council decision (COM(2018)0530),

–  having regard to Article 38, fourth paragraph, of the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction,

–  having regard to Article 81(3) and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (b), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C8‑0378/2018),

–  having regard to the opinion of the Court of Justice(1) on the exclusive external competence of the European Union for a declaration of acceptance of an accession to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction,

–  having regard to Rules 78c and 108(8) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A8-0458/2018),

1.  Approves the authorisation for Austria, Luxembourg and Romania to accept, in the interest of the European Union, the accession of Belarus and Uzbekistan to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States, as well as to the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law.

(1) Opinion of the Court of Justice of 14 October 2014, 1/13, ECLI:EU:C:2014:2303.


Association of the Overseas Countries and Territories with the European Union including relations between the EU, Greenland and Denmark *
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 31 January 2019 on the proposal for a Council Decision on the association of the overseas countries and territories with the European Union, including relations between the European Union, on the one hand, and Greenland and the Kingdom of Denmark, on the other (‘Overseas Association Decision’) (COM(2018)0461 – C8‑0379/2018 – 2018/0244(CNS))
P8_TA(2019)0053A8-0480/2018

(Special legislative procedure – consultation)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(2018)0461),

–  having regard to Article 203 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C8‑0379/2018),

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Development (A8‑0480/2018),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

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

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

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

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

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendment
Amendment 1
Proposal for a decision
Recital 6
(6)  This new Decision should highlight the specificities concerning the cooperation with Greenland, such as the objective to preserve the close and lasting links between the Union, Greenland and Denmark, the acknowledgement of the geostrategic position of Greenland, the importance of policy dialogue between Greenland and the Union, the existence of a Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the Union and Greenland and the potential cooperation on Arctic issues. It should respond to the global challenges allowing for the development of a proactive agenda and the pursuit of mutual interests, in particular, the increasing impact of climate change on human activity and the environment, maritime transport, natural resources, including raw materials and fish stocks, as well as research and innovation.
(6)  This new Decision should highlight the specificities concerning the cooperation with Greenland. The Council in 2003 agreed that the future relationship of the Union with Greenland after 2006 would be based on a comprehensive partnership for sustainable development which would include a specific fisheries agreement, negotiated according to the general rules and principles for such agreements. Indeed, the Joint Declaration by the European Union, on the one hand, and the Government of Greenland and the Government of Denmark, on the other, on relations between the European Union and Greenland, signed in Brussels on 19 March 2015, recalled the historical, political, economic and cultural links binding the Union to Greenland and stressed the need to step up relations and cooperation on the basis of mutual interests. The partnership established pursuant to this new decision should thus aim to preserve the close and lasting links between the Union, Greenland and Denmark and should enable global challenges to be overcome by developing a dynamic agenda and seeking mutual interests. The decision should stress the specific characteristics of cooperation with Greenland by acknowledging the geostrategic position of Greenland, the importance of political dialogue between Greenland and the Union, the existence of a Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the Union and Greenland and the potential cooperation on Arctic issues. It should, in particular, take account of the increasing impact of climate change on human activity and the environment, maritime transport, natural resources, including raw materials and fish stocks, as well as research and innovation.
Amendment 2
Proposal for a decision
Recital 16
(16)  Reflecting the importance of tackling climate change in line with the Union’s commitments to implement the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, this Programme will contribute to mainstream climate action in the Union’s policies and to the achievement of an overall target of 25 % of the Union´s budget expenditures supporting climate objectives. Actions under this Programme are expected to contribute 20 % of the overall financial envelope of the Programme to climate objectives. Relevant actions will be identified during the Programme's implementation and reassessed in the context of its mid-term evaluation and review processes.
(16)  Reflecting the importance of tackling climate change in line with the Union’s commitments to implement the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, this Programme will contribute to mainstream climate action in the Union’s policies and to the achievement of an overall target of 25 % of the Union´s budget expenditures supporting climate objectives. Actions under this Programme are expected to contribute 30 % of the overall financial envelope of the Programme to climate objectives. Relevant actions will be identified during the Programme's implementation and reassessed in the context of its mid-term evaluation and review processes.
Amendment 3
Proposal for a decision
Recital 18
(18)  The Union and the OCTs recognise the special importance of education and vocational training as a lever for the OCTs’ sustainable development.
(18)  The Union and the OCTs recognise the special importance of education and vocational training as a lever for the OCTs’ sustainable development, in particular in territories where the population’s general level of education is rather low.
Amendment 4
Proposal for a decision
Recital 19
(19)  The association between the Union and the OCTs should take into account and contribute to the preservation of the cultural diversity and identity of OCTs.
(19)  The association between the Union and the OCTs should take into account and contribute to the preservation of the cultural diversity and identity of OCTs. It should also pay particular attention to and contribute to promoting and upholding the rights of the OCTs’ indigenous peoples.
Amendment 5
Proposal for a decision
Recital 20
(20)  Trade and trade-related cooperation between the Union and the OCTs should contribute to the objective of sustainable economic development, social development and environmental protection.
(20)  Trade and trade-related cooperation between the Union and the OCTs should contribute to the objective of sustainable economic development, social development and environmental protection along with the lines of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Amendment 6
Proposal for a decision
Recital 21
(21)  This Decision should provide for more flexible rules of origin, including new possibilities of cumulation of origin. Cumulation should be possible not only with OCTs and Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) countries, but under certain conditions also for products originating in countries with which the Union is applying a free trade agreement as well as for products entering the Union duty-free and quota-free under the Union’s General System of Preferences, also subject to conditions. These conditions are necessary to prevent trade circumvention and ensure the proper functioning of the cumulation arrangements.
(21)  This Decision should provide for more flexible rules of origin, including new possibilities of cumulation of origin. Cumulation should be possible not only with OCTs and Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) countries, but under certain conditions also for products originating in countries with which the Union is applying a free trade agreement as well as for products entering the Union duty-free and quota-free under the Union’s General System of Preferences, also subject to conditions. These conditions are necessary for a trading union which is more robust and capable of preventing trade circumvention and ensure the proper functioning of the cumulation arrangements.
Amendment 7
Proposal for a decision
Considérant 25
(25)  Cooperation in the area of financial services between the Union and OCTs should contribute to building a safer, sounder, more transparent financial system that is essential to enhance global financial stability and to underpin sustainable growth. Efforts in that area should focus on convergence with internationally agreed standards and approximation of OCTs' legislation with Union acquis on financial services. Adequate attention should be paid to strengthening administrative capacity of OCTs' authorities, including in the area of supervision.
(25)  Cooperation in the area of financial services between the Union and OCTs should seek to tackle tax fraud, tax evasion and tax avoidance in order to contribute to building a safer, sounder, more transparent financial system that is essential to enhance global financial stability and to underpin sustainable growth. Efforts in that area should focus on convergence with internationally agreed standards and approximation of OCTs' legislation with Union acquis on financial services. Adequate attention should be paid to strengthening administrative capacity of OCTs' authorities, including in the area of supervision.
Amendment 8
Proposal for a decision
Recital 32
(32)  This Decision should make reference, where required, to [NDICI Regulation] (Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument) for the purpose of the implementation of the cooperation and thus ensuring coherence in the management across instruments.
deleted
Amendment 9
Proposal for a decision
Article 1 – paragraph 1
1.  This Decision establishes an association of the overseas countries and territories (OCTs) with the Union (the ‘association’), which constitutes a partnership, based on Article 198 TFEU, to support the OCTs’ sustainable development as well as to promote the values and standards of the Union in the wider world.
1.  This Decision establishes an association of the overseas countries and territories (OCTs) with the Union (the ‘association’), which constitutes a partnership, based on Article 198 TFEU, to support the OCTs’ sustainable development as well as to promote the values, principles and standards of the Union in the wider world.
Amendment 10
Proposal for a decision
Article 3 – paragraph 1
1.  The association between the Union and the OCTs shall be based on objectives, principles and values shared by the OCTs, the Member States to which they are linked and the Union.
1.  The association between the Union and the OCTs shall be based on objectives, principles and values shared by the OCTs, the Member States to which they are linked and the Union. It shall contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals as defined in Agenda 2030 and to the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Amendment 11
Proposal for a decision
Article 3 – paragraph 3
3.  In implementing this Decision, the partners shall be guided by the principles of transparency, subsidiarity and the need for efficiency and shall equally address the three pillars of OCTs’ sustainable development: economic development, social development and environmental protection.
3.  In implementing this Decision, the partners shall be guided by the principles of transparency, subsidiarity and the need for efficiency and shall equally address the three pillars of OCTs’ sustainable development: economic development, cultural and social development and environmental protection
Amendment 12
Proposal for a decision
Article 3 – paragraph 4
4.  The general objective of this Decision is to promote the economic and social development of the OCTs and to establish close economic relations between them and the Union as a whole. The association shall pursue this general objective by the enhancing the OCTs’ competitiveness, strengthening the OCTs’ resilience, reducing their economic and environmental vulnerability and the promoting of cooperation between them and other partners.
4.  In accordance with Article 3(5) and Article 21 of the Treaty on European Union and Article 198 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the general objective of this Decision is to promote the economic and social development of the OCTs and to establish close economic relations between them and the Union as a whole.
Amendment 13
Proposal for a decision
Article 3 – paragraph 5 – point a
(a)  to foster and support cooperation with OCTs,
deleted
Amendment 14
Proposal for a decision
Article 3 – paragraph 5 – point b
(b)  to support and to cooperate with Greenland in addressing its major challenges as the raising of education level and to contribute to the capacity of the administration of Greenland to formulate and implement national policies.
(b)  to support the OCTs in addressing the major challenges they face, including education for Greenland;
Amendment 15
Proposal for a decision
Article 3 – paragraph 5 – point b a (new)
(ba)  to strengthen the resilience of the OCTs by reducing their economic and environmental vulnerability;
Amendment 16
Proposal for a decision
Article 3 – paragraph 5 – point b b (new)
(bb)  to improve the competitiveness of the OCTs, including as regards social standards;
Amendment 17
Proposal for a decision
Article 3 – paragraph 5 – point b c (new)
(bc)  to promote cooperation between the OCTs and other partners.
Amendment 18
Proposal for a decision
Article 3 – paragraph 6
6.  In pursuing those objectives, the association shall respect the fundamental principles of liberty, democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms, the rule of law, good governance and sustainable development, all of which are common to the OCTs and the Member States to which they are linked.
6.  In pursuing those objectives, the association shall respect the fundamental principles of democracy, a rights-based approach encompassing all human rights and fundamental freedoms, the rule of law, good governance and sustainable development, all of which are common to the OCTs and the Member States to which they are linked. The same applies to the principle of non-discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, ethnic origin, religion, disability, age or sexual orientation and the principle of equality between men and women.
Amendment 19
Proposal for a decision
Article 4 – paragraph 1 a (new)
In the programming and implementation process, and in particular when adopting its guidelines, the Commission shall take due account of the limited administrative and human capacities of the OCTs.
Amendment 20
Proposal for a decision
Article 5 – paragraph 2 – point a
(a)  the economic diversification of OCTs' economies, including their further integration in world and regional economies; in the specific case of Greenland, the need to increase the skills of its labour force.
(a)  the sustainable diversification of OCTs' economies, including their further integration in world and regional economies; in the specific case of Greenland, the need to increase the skills of its labour force.
Amendment 21
Proposal for a decision
Article 5 – paragraph 2 – point a a (new)
(aa)   the promotion of a high-quality social model;
Amendment 22
Proposal for a decision
Article 5 – paragraph 2 – point e
(e)  the promotion of disaster risk reduction;
(e)  the promotion of disaster risk reduction, taking into account the priorities set out in the Sendai Framework for the period 2015‑2030;
Amendment 23
Proposal for a decision
Article 5 – paragraph 2 – point h a (new)
(ha)  Caribbean and Pacific issues.
Amendment 24
Proposal for a decision
Article 7 – paragraph 2
2.  To this end, the Union and the OCTs may exchange information and best practices or establish any other form of close cooperation and coordination with other partners in the context of the OCTs’ participation in regional and international organisations, where appropriate by means of international agreements.
2.  To this end, the Union and the OCTs may exchange information and best practices or establish any other form of close cooperation and coordination with other partners in the context of the OCTs’ participation in regional and international organisations, where appropriate by means of international agreements, in order to contribute to the smooth integration of the OCTs into their respective geographical environments.
Amendment 25
Proposal for a decision
Article 7 – paragraph 3
3.  The association aims at supporting cooperation between the OCTs and other partners in the areas of cooperation set out in Parts II and III of this Decision. In that respect, the objective of the association is to promote the cooperation between the OCTs and the outermost regions, referred to in Article 349 TFEU, their neighbouring ACP and non ACP states and territories. In order to achieve that objective, the Union shall improve coordination and synergies between the relevant Union programmes. The Union shall also endeavour to associate OCTs in its instances of dialogue with their neighbouring countries, whether they are ACP or non-ACP States or territories, and with the outermost regions, where appropriate.
3.  The association aims at supporting cooperation between the OCTs and other partners in the areas of cooperation set out in Parts II and III of this Decision. In that respect, the objective of the association is to promote the cooperation between the OCTs and the outermost regions, referred to in Article 349 TFEU, their neighbouring ACP and non ACP states and territories. In order to achieve that objective, the Union shall improve coordination and synergies between the relevant Union programmes. The Union shall associate OCTs in its instances of dialogue with their neighbouring countries, whether they are ACP or non-ACP States or territories, and with the outermost regions, where appropriate, by offering them observer status.
Amendment 26
Proposal for a decision
Article 7 – paragraph 4 – point aa (new)
(aa)  building the capacity of the OCTs to influence the adoption of regional strategies which take account of their specific characteristics, their potential and their European perspective;
Amendment 27
Proposal for a decision
Article 9 – title
Specific treatment
Specific treatment for isolated OCTs
Amendment 28
Proposal for a decision
Article 9 a (new)
Article 9a
Specific treatment for the least developed OCTs
1.  The association shall take into account the diversity of the OCTs in terms of their level of development and structural constraints.
2.  Specific treatment shall be laid down for the least developed OCTs.
3.  In order to enable the least developed OCTs to catch up and to address their permanent structural constraints, due account shall be taken of their specific characteristics when determining the volume of financial assistance and the conditions attached to it.
4.  The OCT regarded as the least developed is Wallis and Futuna.
Amendment 29
Proposal for a decision
Article 10 – paragraph 1
1.  The association shall be based on a broad dialogue and consultations on issues of mutual interest between the OCTs, the Member States to which they are linked and the Commission, and, if appropriate, the European Investment Bank (EIB).
1.  The association shall be based on a broad dialogue and consultations on issues of mutual interest between the OCTs, the Member States to which they are linked, the Commission and the European Parliament, and, if appropriate, the European Investment Bank (EIB).
Amendment 30
Proposal for a decision
Article 12 – title
Responsibilities of the non-governmental actors
Responsibilities of civil society and of the non-governmental actors
Amendment 31
Proposal for a decision
Article 12 – paragraph 1
1.  Non-governmental actors may play a role in the exchange of information and consultations concerning the cooperation, and in particular for the preparation and implementation of cooperation assistance, projects or programmes. They may receive a delegation of financial management powers for implementing such projects or programmes for the purpose of supporting local development initiatives.
1.  Civil society, the private sector and non-governmental actors may play a role in the exchange of information and consultations concerning the cooperation, and in particular for the preparation and implementation of cooperation assistance, projects or programmes. They may receive a delegation of financial management powers for implementing such projects or programmes for the purpose of supporting local development initiatives.
Amendment 32
Proposal for a decision
Article 13 – paragraph 3
3.  The dialogue shall enable the OCTs to take a full part in the implementation of the association.
3.  The dialogue shall enable the OCTs to take a full part in the implementation of the association, and also in the definition and implementation of the European Union’s regional strategies in the areas in which the OCTs are located.
Amendment 33
Proposal for a decision
Article 13 – paragraph 4
4.  The dialogue shall focus, inter alia, on specific political issues of mutual concern or of general significance for the attainment of the objectives of the association.
4.  The dialogue shall focus, inter alia, on specific political issues of mutual concern or of general significance for the attainment both of the objectives of the association and of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Amendment 34
Proposal for a decision
Article 13 – paragraph 5
5.  The dialogue with Greenland shall, in particular, provide the basis for broad cooperation and dialogue in areas concerning, inter alia, energy, climate change and environment, natural resources, including raw materials and fish stocks, maritime transport, research and innovation, as well as the Arctic dimension of those issues.
5.  The dialogue with Greenland shall, in particular, provide the basis for broad cooperation and dialogue in areas concerning, inter alia, education, energy, climate change and environment, nature, natural resources, including raw materials and fish stocks, maritime transport, research and innovation, as well as the Arctic dimension of those issues.
Amendment 35
Proposal for a decision
Article 13 – paragraph 5 a (new)
5a.  The dialogue with the Caribbean OCTs shall, in particular, serve to strengthen the European strategy in the Caribbean region and to foster cooperation on issues relating to biodiversity, climate change, sustainable resource management and disaster-risk prevention and management and the social dimension, as well as on promoting good governance, in particular in the area of taxation and the combating of organised crime.
Amendment 36
Proposal for a decision
Article 13 – paragraph 5 b (new)
5b.  The dialogue with the Pacific OCTs shall, in particular, serve to define and implement an ambitious European strategy in the Pacific region through a strengthening of the European presence, and to foster cooperation on issues such as sustainable marine and terrestrial resource management, climate change, energy, the environment and the blue economy.
Amendment 37
Proposal for a decision
Article 14 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  an OCTs-EU forum for dialogue (the ‘OCT-EU Forum’), shall meet annually to bring together OCTs' authorities, representatives of the Member States and the Commission. Members of the European Parliament, representatives of the EIB, and representatives of the outermost regions shall, where appropriate, be associated with the OCTs-EU Forum;
(a)  an OCTs-EU forum for political dialogue (the ‘OCT-EU Forum’), shall meet annually to bring together OCTs' authorities, representatives of the Member States, the Commission, the Council Presidency and the European Parliament. The association of OCTs (OCTA), representatives of the EIB, representatives of the outermost regions and representatives of third countries or territories neighbouring OCTs shall, where appropriate, be associated with the OCTs-EU Forum;
Amendment 38
Proposal for a decision
Article 14 – paragraph 1 – point b
(b)  on a regular basis, the Commission, the OCTs and the Member States to which they are linked shall hold trilateral consultations. These consultations shall be organised at least three times a year on the initiative of the Commission or at the request of the OCTs and of the Member States to which they are linked;
(b)  on a regular basis, the Commission, the OCTs and the Member States to which they are linked shall hold trilateral consultations. These consultations shall be organised at least four times a year on the initiative of the Commission or at the request of the OCTs and of the Member States to which they are linked;
Amendment 39
Proposal for a decision
Part II – Chapter 1 – title
ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES, CLIMATE CHANGE, OCEANS AND DISASTER REDUCTION
ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES, CLIMATE CHANGE, OCEANS AND DISASTER RISK REDUCTION
Amendment 40
Proposal for a decision
Article 15 – paragraph 1 – introductory part
In the context of the association, cooperation in the field of environment, climate change and disaster risk reduction may concern:
In the context of the association, cooperation in the field of environment, climate change, disaster risk reduction and strengthening resilience may concern:
Amendment 41
Proposal for a decision
Article 15 – paragraph 1 – point c
(c)  the promotion of sustainable resource use and resource efficiency, and encouragement to the decoupling of economic growth from environmental degradation; and
(c)  the promotion of sustainable resource use and resource efficiency, with a view to achieving a low carbon economy based on fair transition strategies; and
Amendment 42
Proposal for a decision
Article 16 – paragraph 1 – point e a (new)
(ea)   addressing issues linked to land degradation, including rising sea levels and soil contamination;
Amendment 43
Proposal for a decision
Article 17 – paragraph 1
In the context of the association, cooperation in the field of sustainable forest management may concern the promotion of the conservation and sustainable management of forests, including their role in the conservation of the environment from erosion and desertification control, afforestation and management of timber exports.
In the context of the association, cooperation in the field of sustainable forest management may concern the promotion of the conservation and sustainable management of forests, including their role in the conservation of the environment from erosion and desertification control, afforestation and management of timber exports and combating illegal logging.
Amendment 44
Proposal for a decision
Article 18 – paragraph 1 – point b
(b)  conciliation of economic and social activities such as fisheries and aquaculture, tourism, maritime transports and agriculture with the potential of marine and coastal zones in terms of renewable energy, raw materials, whilst taking into account impacts of climate change and human activities.
(b)  conciliation of economic and social activities such as fisheries and aquaculture, tourism, maritime transports and sustainable agriculture with the potential of marine and coastal zones in terms of renewable energy, raw materials, whilst taking into account impacts of climate change and human activities.
Amendment 45
Proposal for a decision
Article 23 – paragraph 1 – point c
(c)  the development and strengthening of environmental protection;
(c)  the development and strengthening of human rights and social and environmental protection;
Amendment 46
Proposal for a decision
Article 24 – paragraph 1 – point b
(b)  contributing to partners countries' efforts to pursue their commitments on climate change in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change;
(b)  contributing to partners countries' efforts to pursue their commitments on climate change in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals;
Amendment 47
Proposal for a decision
Part II – Chapter 4 – title
YOUTH, EDUCATION, TRAINING, HEALTH, EMPLOYMENT, SOCIAL SECURITY, FOOD SAFETY AND FOOD SECURITY
YOUTH, WOMEN, EDUCATION, TRAINING, HEALTH, EMPLOYMENT, SOCIAL SECURITY, FOOD SAFETY AND FOOD SECURITY
Amendment 48
Proposal for a decision
Article 32 – paragraph 2 a (new)
2a.  The Union and the OCTs shall cooperate to ensure that young people are actively involved in the labour market, in order to tackle youth unemployment.
Amendment 49
Proposal for a decision
Article 32 a (new)
Article 32a
Equality between men and women
1.  The Union shall seek to promote equality and equity between men and women in the OCTs, as well as the empowerment of women and equal political and economic opportunities for women.
2.  The association shall seek to protect the rights of women and girls, including against all forms of violence.
3.  The association shall also seek to protect the empowerment of women, particularly as regards the role they play in sustainable development and in the economy and finance.
All initiatives shall incorporate the gender dimension.
Amendment 50
Proposal for a decision
Article 33 – paragraph 1 – point b
(b)  the support to the OCTs in defining and implementing education and vocational training policies.
(b)  the support to the OCTs in defining and implementing education and vocational training policies; and
Amendment 51
Proposal for a decision
Article 33 – paragraph 1 – point b a (new)
(ba)   the support of the participation in and access of the OCTs to the Erasmus+ programme, by fostering and increasing the mobility of its potential beneficiaries from and to the OCTs;
Amendment 52
Proposal for a decision
Article 38 – title
Performing arts
Fine arts
Amendment 53
Proposal for a decision
Article 38 – paragraph 1 – introductory part
In the context of the association, cooperation in the field of performing arts may concern:
In the context of the association, cooperation in the field of fine arts may concern:
Amendment 54
Proposal for a decision
Article 38 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  the facilitation of increased contacts between practitioners of performing arts in areas such as professional exchanges and training including participation in auditions, development of networks and promotion of networking;
(a)  the facilitation of increased contacts between practitioners of fine arts in areas such as professional exchanges and training including participation in auditions, development of networks and promotion of networking through the provision of adequate financial support;
Amendment 55
Proposal for a decision
Article 38 – paragraph 1 – point a a (new)
(aa)  the promotion of OCT artistic productions in the Union;
Amendment 56
Proposal for a decision
Article 39 – paragraph 1 – introductory part
In the context of the association, cooperation in the field of tangible and intangible cultural heritage and historic monuments aims at allowing the promotion of exchanges of expertise and best practices through:
In the context of the association, cooperation in the field of tangible and intangible cultural heritage and historic monuments aims at allowing the promotion of exchanges of expertise and best practices and optimising the potential of such sites on a sustainable basis through:
Amendment 57
Proposal for a decision
Article 39 – paragraph 1 – point d a (new)
(da)  Improving knowledge of and the preservation and restoration of OCT tangible and intangible cultural heritage;
Amendment 58
Proposal for a decision
Part II – Chapter 6 – title
FIGHT AGAINST ORGANISED CRIME
PROMOTION OF THE RULE OF LAW
Amendment 59
Proposal for a decision
Article -40 a (new)
Article ‑40a
Promotion of the rule of law
1.   The association shall seek to promote the principles of democracy, the rule of law and respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms on which it is founded, through dialogue and cooperation between the Union and the OCTs.
2.   The OCTs, as outposts of the Union, are major players in disseminating the values and principles of the Union in their respective regions.
Amendment 60
Proposal for a decision
Article 41 – title
Fight against organised crime, trafficking in human beings, child sexual abuse and sexual exploitation, terrorism and corruption
Fight against and prevention of organised crime, trafficking in human beings, child sexual abuse and sexual exploitation, terrorism and corruption
Amendment 61
Proposal for a decision
Article 41 – paragraph 1 – introductory part
1.  In the context of the association, cooperation in the field of organised crime may include:
1.  In the context of the association, cooperation in the field of organised crime and its prevention may include:
Amendment 62
Proposal for a decision
Article 42 a (new)
Article 42a
Negotiation of trade agreements with third countries
Where the negotiation of a trade or fisheries agreement with third countries causes or threatens to cause serious harm to regional integration or to sensitive sectors in the OCTs, the Commission shall carry out an impact assessment, taking into consideration the cumulative impact of trade agreements on OCT economies. When completed, the Commission shall forward the results of this assessment to the European Parliament, the Council and the governmental and local authorities of the OCTs prior to the conclusion of the international agreements in question.
Amendment 63
Proposal for a decision
Article 53 – paragraph 2
2.  Trade-related cooperation shall aim to support the ultimate objectives of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the implementation of the Paris Agreement. It may also extend to cooperation on other trade related multilateral environmental agreements, such as the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species.
2.  Trade-related cooperation shall aim to support the ultimate objectives of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. It may also extend to cooperation on other trade related multilateral environmental agreements, such as the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species.
Amendment 64
Proposal for a decision
Article 59 – paragraph 1 – point 4
4.  aid granted through state resources by an OCT which distorts or threatens to distort competition by favouring certain undertakings in so far as it has a significant negative effect on trade or investment.
deleted
Amendment 65
Proposal for a decision
Article 70 – paragraph 1
The Union and the OCTs shall make their best endeavours to ensure that internationally agreed standards for regulation and supervision in the financial services sector and for the fight against tax evasion and avoidance are implemented and applied in their territory. Such internationally agreed standards are, inter alia, the Basel Committee’s ‘Core Principle for Effective Banking Supervision’, the International Association of Insurance Supervisors’ ‘Insurance Core Principles’, the International Organisation of Securities Commissions’ ‘Objectives and Principles of Securities Regulation’, the OECD’s ‘Agreement on exchange of information on tax matters’, the G20 ‘Statement on Transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes’, the Financial Stability Board’s ‘Key Attributes of Effective Resolution Regimes for Financial Institutions.
The Union and the OCTs shall make their best endeavours to ensure that internationally agreed standards for regulation and supervision in the financial services sector and for the fight against tax fraud, tax evasion and tax avoidance are implemented and applied in their territory. Such internationally agreed standards are, inter alia, the Basel Committee’s ‘Core Principle for Effective Banking Supervision’, the International Association of Insurance Supervisors’ ‘Insurance Core Principles’, the International Organisation of Securities Commissions’ ‘Objectives and Principles of Securities Regulation’, the OECD’s ‘Agreement on exchange of information on tax matters’, the G20 ‘Statement on Transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes’, the Financial Stability Board’s ‘Key Attributes of Effective Resolution Regimes for Financial Institutions or the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and the protocols thereto.
Amendment 66
Proposal for a decision
Article 72 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  adequate financial resources and appropriate technical assistance aimed at strengthening the OCTs’ capacities to formulate and implement strategic and regulatory frameworks;
(a)  adequate financial resources and appropriate technical assistance under this Decision aimed at strengthening the OCTs’ capacities to formulate and implement strategic and regulatory frameworks;
Amendment 67
Proposal for a decision
Article 72 – paragraph 1 – point b
(b)  long term financing to promote private sector growth;
(b)  long term financing under this Decision to promote private sector growth;
Amendment 68
Proposal for a decision
Article 72 – paragraph 1 – point c
(c)  where appropriate, other Union Programmes may contribute to actions established under this Decision, provided that the contributions do not cover the same costs. This Decision may also contribute to measures established under other Union Programmes, provided that the contributions do not cover the same costs. In such cases, the work programme covering those actions shall establish which set of rules shall be applicable.
(c)  additional financing through other Union Programmes to contribute to actions established under this Decision, provided that the contributions do not cover the same costs. In such cases, the work programme covering those actions shall establish which set of rules shall be applicable.
Amendment 69
Proposal for a decision
Article 72 – paragraph 1 a (new)
This Decision may also contribute to measures established under other Union programmes, provided that the contributions do not cover the same costs. In such cases, the work programme covering those actions shall specify which set of rules applies.
Amendment 70
Proposal for a decision
Article 73 – paragraph 1
1.  The financial envelope for the Programme for the period 2021-2027 shall be set at EUR 500 000 000 in current prices.
1.  The financial envelope for the Programme for the period 2021‑2027 shall be set at EUR 669 000 000 in current prices.
Amendment 71
Proposal for a decision
Article 74 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  ‘programmable aid’ means the non-repayable aid allocated to the OCTs in order to finance territorial, regional and intra-regional strategies and priorities set out in programming documents;
(a)  ‘programmable aid’ means the non-repayable aid allocated to the OCTs in order to finance territorial, regional and intra-regional strategies and priorities, where appropriate set out in programming documents;
Amendment 72
Proposal for a decision
Article 74 – paragraph 1 – point g
(g)  ‘intra-regional allocation’ means an amount - within the regional allocation - allocated for the programmable aid in order to finance intra-regional cooperation strategies and priorities involving at least one OCT and one or more outermost regions referred to in Article 349 TFEU and/or one or more ACP States and/or one or more non-ACP States or territories.
(g)  ‘intra-regional allocation’ means an amount - within the regional allocation - allocated for the programmable aid in order to finance intra-regional cooperation strategies and priorities involving the bodies referred to in Article 82 of this Decision.
Amendment 73
Proposal for a decision
Article 74-a (new)
Article 74a
General principle
Unless otherwise specified in this Decision, Union financial assistance shall be implemented in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council1a (‘Financial Regulation’) and with the objectives and principles of this Decision.
___________________
1a Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 July 2018 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union, amending Regulations (EU) No 1296/2013, (EU) No 1301/2013, (EU) No 1303/2013, (EU) No 1304/2013, (EU) No 1309/2013, (EU) No 1316/2013, (EU) No 223/2014 and (EU) No 283/2014 and Decision No 541/2014/EU and repealing Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 (OJ L 193, 30.7.2018, p. 1).
Amendment 74
Proposal for a decision
Article 75 – paragraph 3 – point a
(a)  be implemented with due regard to the OCTs respective geographical, social and cultural characteristics, as well as their specific potential;
(a)  be implemented with due regard to the OCTs’ respective demographic, geographical, economic and financial, environmental, social and cultural characteristics, as well as their specific potential;
Amendment 75
Proposal for a decision
Article 75 – paragraph 4 a (new)
4a.  Union funding may be provided through the types of financing envisaged by the Financial Regulation, and in particular:
(a)  grants;
(b)  procurement contracts for services, supplies or works;
(c)  budget support;
(d)  contributions to trust funds set up by the Commission, in accordance with Article 234 of the Financial Regulation;
(e)  financial instruments;
(f)  budgetary guarantees;
(g)  blending;
(h)  financial assistance;
(i)  remunerated external experts.
In the context of programmable aid, Union financial assistance shall mainly take the form of budget support for the OCTs.
Union financial assistance may also be provided, in accordance with the Financial Regulation, through contributions to international, regional or national funds, such as those established or managed by the EIB, by Member States, by partner countries and regions or by international organisations, with a view to attracting joint financing from a number of donors, or to funds set up by one or more donors for the purpose of the joint implementation of projects.
Union financial assistance shall be implemented by the Commission as provided for by the Financial Regulation, directly by Commission departments, Union delegations and executive agencies, by shared management with Member States or indirectly by entrusting budget implementation tasks to the entities listed in the Financial Regulation. Those entities shall ensure consistency with the Union’s external policy and may entrust budget implementation tasks to other entities in accordance with conditions equivalent to those applying to the Commission.
Actions financed may be implemented by means of parallel or joint co-financing. In the case of parallel co-financing, an action is split into a number of clearly identifiable components which are each financed by the various partners providing co-financing in such a way that the end-use of the financing can always be identified. In the case of joint co-financing, the total cost of an action is shared between the partners providing the co-financing and the resources are pooled in such a way that it is no longer possible to identify the source of financing for any given activity undertaken as part of the action. In such cases, the ex post publication of grant agreements and procurement contracts, as referred to in Article 38 of the Financial Regulation, shall comply with the rules of the entrusted entity, where appropriate.
Union funding shall not generate or activate the collection of specific taxes, duties or charges.
Amendment 76
Proposal for a decision
Article 75 a (new)
Article 75a
Carry-overs, annual instalments, commitment appropriations, repayments and revenue generated by financial instruments
1.  In accordance also with Article 12(2) of the Financial Regulation, unused commitment and payment appropriations under this Decision shall be automatically carried over and may be committed up to 31 December of the following financial year. The carried-over amount shall be used first in the following financial year. The Commission shall inform the European Parliament and the Council of carried over commitment appropriations in keeping with Article 12(6) of the Financial Regulation.
2.  In addition to the rules laid down in Article 15 of the Financial Regulation on making appropriations available again, commitment appropriations corresponding to the amount of decommitments made as a result of total or partial non-implementation of an action under this Decision shall be made available again to the benefit of the budget line of origin. For the purposes of this Decision, references to Article 15 of the Financial Regulation in Article 12(1)(b) of the Regulation laying down the Multiannual Financial Framework shall be understood as including a reference to this paragraph.
3.  Budgetary commitments for actions extending over more than one financial year may be broken down over several years into annual instalments, in keeping with Article 112(2) of the Financial Regulation.
The third subparagraph of Article 114(2) of the Financial Regulation shall not apply to these multiannual actions. The Commission shall automatically decommit any portion of a budgetary commitment for an action that by 31 December of the fifth year following that of the budgetary commitment has not been used for the purpose of pre-financing or making interim payments or for which no certified statement of expenditure or any payment request has been submitted.
Paragraph 2 of this Article shall also apply to annual instalments.
Amendment 77
Proposal for a decision
Article 76 – paragraph 1 – point b
(b)  institutional development, capacity building and integration of environmental aspects;
(b)  institutional development, capacity building and integration of environmental, gender and good governance aspects;
Amendment 78
Proposal for a decision
Article 77 – paragraph 2
2.  The Union shall support the efforts of the OCTs in developing reliable statistical data regarding those areas.
2.  The Union shall support the efforts of the OCTs in developing reliable, publicly accessible statistical data regarding those areas.
Amendment 79
Proposal for a decision
Article 77 – paragraph 3
3.  The Union may support OCTs in their efforts to improve comparability of their macroeconomic indicators.
3.  The Union may support OCTs in their efforts to improve comparability of their macroeconomic indicators, in particular by facilitating analysis of the OCTs’ GDP expressed as purchasing power parity where available.
Amendment 80
Proposal for a decision
Article 78 – paragraph 1
1.  On the initiative of the Commission, Union financing may cover support expenditure for the implementation of the Decision and for the achievement of its objectives, including administrative support associated with the preparation, follow-up, monitoring, control, audit and evaluation activities necessary for such implementation, as well as expenditure at headquarters and Union delegations for the administrative support needed for the programme, and to manage operations financed under this Decision, including information and communication actions, and corporate information and technology systems.
1.  On the initiative of the Commission, Union financing may cover support expenditure for the implementation of the Decision and for the achievement of its objectives, including administrative support associated with the preparation, follow-up, monitoring, control, audit and evaluation activities necessary for such implementation.
Amendment 81
Proposal for a decision
Article 79
Article 79
deleted
General principle
Unless otherwise specified in this Decision, Union financial assistance shall be implemented in accordance with the objectives and principles of this Decision, the Financial Regulation, and [NDICI Regulation] in particular, Title II, Chapter I with the exception of Articles 13, 14(1), 14(4), and 15, Chapter III with the exception of Articles 21(1), 21(2) (a) and (b) and 21(3), and Chapter V with the exception of Articles 31(1), 31(4), 31(6), 31(9) and 32(3). The procedure laid down in Article 80 of this Decision shall not apply to the cases referred to in Article 21 (2) (c) of [NDICI Regulation].
Amendment 82
Proposal for a decision
Article 79 a (new)
Article 79a
Adoption of programming documents
1.  In the context of the partnership between the Union and the OCTs, the OCTs’ authorities shall be responsible for the formulation and adoption of sectoral policies in the main areas of cooperation referred to in Part II of this Decision and shall ensure appropriate follow-up.
On that basis, each OCT shall prepare and present a programming document for the sustainable development of its territory. The programming document shall provide a coherent framework for cooperation between the Union and the OCT concerned that is consistent with the overall purpose and scope, objectives, principles and policies of the Union.
Each programming document shall set out:
–  a brief presentation of the OCT’s political, economic, social, cultural and environmental context;
–  a brief description of the OCT’s sustainable development strategy (Agenda 2030), identifying the priorities for the OCT and how it intends to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals;
–  the priority areas for Union financing;
–  the specific objectives;
–  the expected results;
–  clear and specific performance indicators;
–  the indicative financial allocations, both overall and per priority area;
–  an indicative timetable.
2.  The programming document shall build on experience and best practices and shall be based on consultations and dialogue with civil society, local authorities and other actors in order to ensure that they are properly involved and that due account is subsequently taken of the indicative programming document.
3.  A draft programming document shall be the subject of an exchange of views between the authorities of each OCT, the Member State to which they are linked and the Commission. The authorities in each OCT shall be responsible for finalising the programming document. The Commission shall lay down guidelines specifying the programming arrangements for the OCTs in such a way that the programming documents can be rapidly approved.
4.  Once finalised, the programming document shall be assessed by the Commission to determine whether it is consistent with the aims of this Decision and with the relevant Union policies, and whether it contains all the elements required to adopt the annual financing decision. The OCTs’ authorities shall provide all the necessary information, including the results of any feasibility studies, for that assessment.
5.  The programming document shall be approved in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 88(5) of this Decision.
That procedure shall also apply to substantial reviews which have the effect of modifying significantly the strategy or its programming.
The examination procedure shall not apply to non-substantial modifications to the indicative programming document, such as technical adjustments, reassigning funds within the indicative allocations per priority area, or increasing or decreasing the size of the initial indicative allocation by less than 20 %, provided that such modifications do not affect the priority areas and objectives set out in the indicative programming document. The Commission shall communicate such non-substantial modifications to the European Parliament and to the Council within one month of the date of adoption of the relevant decision.
Amendment 83
Proposal for a decision
Article 79 b (new)
Article 79b
Action plans and measures
1.  The Commission shall adopt annual or multiannual action plans or measures. Measures may take the form of individual measures, special measures, support measures or exceptional assistance measures. Action plans and measures shall specify for each action the objectives pursued, the expected results and main activities, the methods of implementation, the budget and any associated support expenditure.
2.  Action plans shall be based on programming documents.
3.  Action plans and measures shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 88(5) of this Decision. The procedure referred to in paragraph 1 shall not be required for:
(a)  action plans, individual measures and support measures for which Union funding does not exceed EUR 10 million;
(b)  technical modifications, provided such modifications do not substantially affect the objectives of the action plan or measure concerned, such as:
(i)  a change of implementation method;
(ii)  reassignments of funds between actions contained in an action plan;
(iii)  increases or reductions in the budget for action plans and measures of not more than 20 % of the initial budget and not exceeding EUR 10 million.
In the case of multiannual action plans and measures, the thresholds referred to in paragraph (3)(a) and (b)(iii) shall be applicable on a yearly basis. When adopted in accordance with this paragraph, action plans and measures, excluding exceptional assistance measures, and technical modifications shall be communicated to the European Parliament and to the Member States within one month of their adoption.
4.  Before adopting or extending exceptional assistance measures involving amounts not exceeding EUR 20 million, the Commission shall inform the Council of their nature and objectives and of the financial amounts envisaged. The Commission shall inform the Council before making significant substantive changes to exceptional assistance measures already adopted. The Commission shall take account of the relevant Council policy approach in connection with the planning and subsequent implementation of such measures, in the interests of consistency of the Union’s external action. The Commission shall keep the European Parliament duly informed, in a timely manner, about the planning and implementation of exceptional assistance measures pursuant to this Article, including the financial amounts envisaged, and shall also inform the European Parliament when making substantial changes or extensions to that assistance.
5.  On duly justified imperative grounds of urgency, such as crises resulting from natural or man-made disasters or immediate threats to democracy, the rule of law, human rights or fundamental freedoms, the Commission may adopt action plans and measures or modifications to existing action plans and measures in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 88(5).
Amendment 84
Proposal for a decision
Article 80
Article 80
deleted
Adoption of multiannual indicative programmes, action plans and measures
The Commission shall adopt, under this Decision, in the form of ‘single programming documents’, multiannual indicative programmes as referred to in Article 12 of [NDICI Regulation] together with the corresponding action plans and measures referred to in Article 19 of [NDICI Regulation] in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 88(5) of this Decision. That procedure shall also apply to reviews referred to in Article 14 (3) of [NDICI Regulation] which have the effect of significantly modifying the content of the multiannual indicative programme.
In the case of Greenland, action plans and measures as referred to in article 19 of [NDICI Regulation] may be adopted separately from the multiannual indicative programmes.
Amendment 85
Proposal for a decision
Article 81 – paragraph 1
1.  The OCTs public authorities shall be eligible for financial support provided for in this Decision.
1.  The public authorities of all the OCTs shall be eligible for financial support provided for in this Decision.
Amendment 86
Proposal for a decision
Article 81 – paragraph 2 – point e
(e)  actors of decentralised cooperation and other non-governmental actors from OCTs and from the Union, to enable them to undertake economic, cultural, social and educational projects and programmes in the OCTs in the framework of decentralised cooperation, as referred to in Article 12 of this Decision.
(e)  actors of decentralised cooperation and other non-governmental actors from OCTs and from the Union, to enable them to undertake economic, environmental, cultural, social and educational projects and programmes in the OCTs in the framework of decentralised cooperation, as referred to in Article 12 of this Decision.
Amendment 87
Proposal for a decision
Article 82 – paragraph 1 – point c – subpoint iii
(iii)  one or more regional bodies of which OCTs are members;
(iii)  one or more regional bodies or associations of which OCTs are members;
Amendment 88
Proposal for a decision
Article 83 – paragraph 1
1.  Natural persons from an OCT, as defined in Article 50, and, where applicable, the relevant public and/or private bodies and institutions in an OCT, shall be eligible for participation in and funding from Union programmes, subject to the rules and objectives of the programmes and possible arrangements applicable to the Member State to which the OCT is linked.
1.  Natural persons from an OCT, as defined in Article 50, and, where applicable, the relevant public and/or private bodies and institutions in an OCT, shall be eligible for participation in all Union programmes, including the European Union Solidarity Fund and funding from Union programmes, subject to the rules and objectives of the programmes and possible arrangements applicable to the Member State to which the OCT is linked.
Amendment 89
Proposal for a decision
Article 83 – paragraph 2 a (new)
2a.  The Commission shall ensure effective and efficient access for the OCTs to all Union programmes and cooperation instruments with other countries, providing for specific measures if necessary.
In addition, the Commission shall ensure the transparency of information and the visibility of calls for proposals launched under the various Union programmes through an up-to-date access portal dedicated to the OCTs.
Amendment 90
Proposal for a decision
Article 83 – paragraph 3
3.  The OCTs shall report to the Commission on this participation in the Union programmes, every year starting in 2022.
3.  On the basis of the information provided by the OCTs, the Commission shall draw up an annual report on their participation in Union programmes.
Amendment 91
Proposal for a decision
Article 86 – paragraph 2
To ensure effective assessment of progress of this Decision towards the achievement of its objectives, the Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 87 in order to amend Article 3 of Annex I to review or complement the indicators where considered necessary and to supplement this Decision with provisions on the establishment of a monitoring and evaluation framework.
To ensure effective assessment of progress of this Decision towards the achievement of its objectives, the Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 87 in order to determine the performance indicators provided for in Article 3 of Annex I or to review or complement them where considered necessary and to supplement this Decision with provisions on the establishment of a monitoring and evaluation framework.
Amendment 92
Proposal for a decision
Article 87 – paragraph 2
2.  The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 86 shall be conferred on the Commission for a period of five years from 1 January 2021. The Commission shall draw up a report in respect of the delegation of power not later than nine months before the end of the five-year period. The delegation of power shall be tacitly extended for periods of an identical duration, unless the Council opposes such extension not later than three months before the end of each period.
2.  The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 86 shall be conferred on the Commission for a period of five years from 1 January 2021. The Commission shall draw up a report in respect of the delegation of power not later than nine months before the end of the five-year period. The delegation of power shall be tacitly extended for periods of an identical duration, unless the Council opposes such extension not later than three months before the end of each period. The Council shall inform the European Parliament of its decision.
Amendment 93
Proposal for a decision
Article 87 – paragraph 4
4.  As soon as it adopts a delegated act, the Commission shall notify it to the Council.
4.  As soon as it adopts a delegated act, the Commission shall notify it to the Council and to the European Parliament.
Amendment 94
Proposal for a decision
Article 87 – paragraph 5
5.  A delegated act adopted pursuant to Article 86 shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed by the Council within a period of two months of notification of the act to the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the Council has informed the Commission that it will not object. That period shall be extended by two months at the initiative of the Council.
5.  A delegated act adopted pursuant to Article 86 shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed by the Council within a period of two months of notification of the act to the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the Council has informed the Commission that it will not object. That period shall be extended by two months at the initiative of the Council. If the Council intends to object, it shall inform the European Parliament a reasonable time before it takes the final decision, specifying the delegated act to which it intends to object and the reasons for its objection.
Amendment 95
Proposal for a decision
Article 90 – paragraph 1
This Decision shall apply in accordance with Council Decision 2010/427/EU46 .
The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy shall be responsible for the overall political coordination of the Union’s external action, ensuring the unity, consistency and effectiveness thereof.
__________________
46 Council Decision 2010/427/EU of 26 July 2010 establishing the organisation and functioning of the European External Action Service, OJ L 201, 3.8.2010, p. 30.
Amendment 96
Proposal for a decision
Article 92 – paragraph 2
It shall apply from 1 January 2021.
It shall apply from 1 January 2021 and shall expire on 31 December 2027.
Amendment 97
Proposal for a decision
Annex I – Article 1 – paragraph 1 – introductory part
1.  For the purposes of this Decision, for the seven-year period from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2027, the overall amount of the Union financial assistance of EUR 500 000 000 in current prices shall be allocated as follows:
1.  For the purposes of this Decision, for the seven-year period from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2027, the overall amount of the Union financial assistance of EUR 669 000 000 in current prices shall be allocated as follows:
Amendment 98
Proposal for a decision
Annex I – Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  EUR 159 000 000 in the form of grants for bilateral programmable support for long-term development of OCTs other than Greenland, in particular to finance the initiatives referred to in the programming document. This amount shall be allocated on the basis of the needs and performance of the OCTs in accordance with the following criteria: where appropriate, the programming document shall pay particular attention to actions aimed at strengthening governance and the institutional capacities of the beneficiary OCTs and, where relevant, the likely timetable of the envisaged actions. The allocation of this amount shall take into account the size of the population, the level of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the level of previous allocations and constraints due to the geographical isolation of OCTs as mentioned in Article 9 of this Decision.
(a)  81 % in the form of grants for bilateral programmable support for long-term development of all the OCTs, in particular to finance the initiatives referred to in the programming document.
This amount shall be allocated on the basis of the needs and performance of the OCTs in accordance with the following criteria: the size of the population, the level of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) based on GDP PPP if available, the level of previous allocations, constraints due to the geographical isolation of the OCTs as referred to in Article 9 of this Decision, the low level of development of the OCTs referred to in Article 9a of this Decision, the size of the territories and the climate and environmental challenges.
4 % for Aruba
1,5 % for Bonaire
5 % for Curaçao
48 % for Greenland
10,75 % for New Caledonia
10,85 % for French Polynesia
1,2 % for Saba
2 % for Saint Barthélémy
0,8 % for Sint Eustatius
7,5 % for Saint Pierre and Miquelon
2,5 % for Sint Maarten
0,4 % for the French Southern and Antarctic Territories
5,5 % for Wallis and Futuna
Amendment 99
Proposal for a decision
Annex I – Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point b
(b)  EUR 225 000 000 in the form of grant for the bilateral programmable support for long term development of Greenland in particular to finance the initiative referred to in the programming document.
deleted
Amendment 100
Proposal for a decision
Annex I – Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point c
(c)  EUR 81 000 000 shall be allocated to support OCT regional programmes of which EUR 15 000 000 could support intra-regional operations, Greenland being eligible only for the intra-regional operations. This cooperation will be implemented in coordination with Article 7 of this Decision, in particular regarding the areas of mutual interests referred to in Article 5 of this Decision and through consultation via the instances of the EU-OCTs partnership referred to in Article 14 of this Decision. It shall seek coordination with other relevant Union financial programmes and instruments and in particular the outermost regions referred to in Article 349 TFEU.
(c)  12 % shall be allocated to support OCT regional programmes of which EUR 30 000 000 could support intra-regional operations, Greenland being eligible only for the intra-regional operations. This cooperation will be implemented in coordination with Article 7 of this Decision, in particular regarding the areas of mutual interests referred to in Article 5 of this Decision and through consultation via the instances of the EU‑OCTs partnership referred to in Article 14 of this Decision. It shall seek coordination with other relevant Union financial programmes and instruments and in particular the outermost regions referred to in Article 349 TFEU.
Amendment 101
Proposal for a decision
Annex I – Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point d
(d)  EUR 22 000 000 for studies or technical assistance measures for all the OCTs including Greenland, in accordance with Article 78 of this Decision49.
(d)  3.5 % for studies or technical assistance measures for all the OCTs including Greenland, in accordance with Article 78 of this Decision.
__________________
49 Out of this amount, 9 725 000 EUR are reserved for the Commission to cover technical and/or administrative assistance and expenditure in support of the implementation of the EU programmes and/or actions, indirect research, direct research.
Amendment 102
Proposal for a decision
Annex I – Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point 2.1 – introductory part
(e)  EUR 13 000 000 to a non-allocated fund for all the OCTs including Greenland to inter alia:
(e)  3.5 % to a non-allocated fund for all the OCTs including Greenland to inter alia:
Amendment 103
Proposal for a decision
Annex I – Article 1 – paragraph 2
2.  The Commission, following a review, may decide on the allocation of any non-allocated funds mentioned in this Article.
2.  The Commission, following a review carried out before 2025, may decide, after consulting the Member States and the European Parliament, on the allocation of any non-allocated funds mentioned in this Article.
Amendment 104
Proposal for a decision
Annex I – Article 3 – paragraph 1 – introductory part
The achievement of the objectives set out in Article 3.5 of the Decision shall be measured by:
In keeping with the Sustainable Development Goals, a list of key performance indicators shall be developed in accordance with the procedure provided for in Article 86 and used to help assess the extent to which the Union has contributed to the achievement of the objectives set out in Article 3(5) of this Decision.
Amendment 105
Proposal for a decision
Annex I – Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point 1
1.  For OCTs, except Greenland, exports of goods and services as % of GDP and total Government revenue as % of GDP.
deleted
Amendment 106
Proposal for a decision
Annex I – Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point 2
2.  For Greenland, exports of goods and services as % of GDP and percentage of the fisheries sector in total exports.
deleted

Annual Report 2017 on the protection of the European Union's financial interests - fight against fraud
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European Parliament resolution of 31 January 2019 on the Annual Report 2017 on the protection of the European Union’s financial interests – fight against fraud (2018/2152(INI))
P8_TA(2019)0054A8-0003/2019

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Articles 310(6) and 325(5) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to its resolutions on previous annual reports of the Commission and of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF),

–  having regard to the report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 3 September 2018 entitled ‘29th Annual Report on the Protection of the European Union’s financial interests – Fight against fraud – 2017’ (COM(2018)0553) and the accompanying staff working documents ((SWD(2018)0381), (SWD(2018)0382), (SWD(2018)0383), (SWD(2018)0384), (SWD(2018)0385), and (SWD(2018)0386)),

–  having regard to the OLAF Report 2017(1) and the 2017 Activity Report of the OLAF Supervisory Committee,

–   having regard to Opinion No 8/2018 of the European Court of Auditors of 22 November 2018 on the Commission’s proposal of 23 May 2018 on amending OLAF Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 as regards cooperation with the European Public Prosecutor’s Office and the effectiveness of OLAF investigations,

–  having regard to the annual report of the European Court of Auditors on the implementation of the budget concerning the financial year 2017, together with the institutions’ replies,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013(2) of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 September 2013 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and the midterm review thereof, published by the Commission on 2 October 2017 (COM(2017)0589),

–  having regard to Directive (EU) 2017/1371(3) of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2017 on the fight against fraud to the Union’s financial interests by means of criminal law (PIF Directive),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU) 2017/1939(4) of 12 October 2017 implementing enhanced cooperation on the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012(5) of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002,

–  having regard to the 2015 Report commissioned by the Commission entitled ‘Study to quantify and analyse the VAT Gap in the EU Member States’ and the Commission communication of 7 April 2016 on an action plan on VAT entitled ‘Towards a single EU VAT area – Time to decide’ (COM(2016)0148),

–  having regard to the judgement of the Court of Justice in Case C-105/14(6), criminal proceedings against Taricco and Others,

–  having regard to the judgement of the Court of Justice in Case C-42/17(7), criminal proceedings against M.A.S. and M.B.,

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 February 2017 on the role of whistle-blowers in the protection of EU’s financial interests(8),

–  having regard to the progress report of 12 May 2017 on the implementation of the Commission communication entitled ‘Stepping up the fight against cigarette smuggling and other forms of illicit trade in tobacco products – A comprehensive EU strategy ((COM(2013)0324) of 6 June 2013)’ (COM(2017)0235),

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 6 June 2011 entitled ‘Fighting Corruption in the EU’ (COM(2011)0308),

–  having regard to the report coordinated by OLAF entitled ‘Fraud in Public Procurement – A collection of red flags and best practices’, published on 20 December 2017, and the OLAF handbook of 2017 on ‘Reporting of irregularities in shared management’,

–   having regard to 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(9),

–   having regard its resolution of 25 October 2018 on protection of EU’s financial interests – Recovery of money and assets from third countries in fraud cases(10),

–   having regard to the Commission EU Anti-corruption Report of 3 February 2014 (COM(2014)0038),

–  having regard to special report No 19/2017 of the European Court of Auditors entitled ‘Import procedures: shortcomings in the legal framework and an ineffective implementation impact the financial interests of the EU’,

–   having regard to opinion No 9/2018 of the European Court of Auditors concerning the proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the EU Anti-Fraud Programme,

–  having regard to the communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions entitled ‘A Modern Budget for a Union that Protects, Empowers and Defends. The multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027’ (COM(2018)0321),

–   having regard to its resolution of 4 October 2018 on fighting customs fraud and protecting EU own resources(11),

–   having regard to special report No 26/2018 of the European Court of Auditors of 10 October 2018 entitled ‘A series of delays in Customs IT systems: what went wrong?’,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A8-0003/2019),

A.  whereas de jure the Member States and the Commission have shared responsibility for implementing 74 % of the Union’s budget for 2017; whereas de facto, however, Member States spend those resources and the Commission is responsible for their supervision through its control mechanisms;

B.  whereas sound public spending and the protection of the EU’s financial interests should be key elements of EU policy in order to increase the confidence of citizens by ensuring that their money is used properly and effectively;

C.  whereas Article 310(6) of the TFEU states that ‘The Union and the Member States, in accordance with Article 325, shall counter fraud and any other illegal activities affecting the financial interests of the Union’;

D.  whereas achieving good performance with simplification processes involves regularly assessing inputs, outputs, outcomes and impacts through performance audits;

E.  whereas the diversity of legal and administrative systems in the Member States needs to be adequately addressed in order to overcome irregularities and combat fraud; whereas the Commission should therefore step up its efforts to ensure that the fight against fraud is implemented effectively and produces more tangible and more satisfactory results;

F.  whereas Article 325(2) of the TFEU states that ‘Member States shall take the same measures to counter fraud affecting the financial interests of the Union as they take to counter fraud affecting their own financial interests’;

G.  whereas the EU has a general right to act in the field of anti-corruption policies within the limits established by the TFEU; whereas Article 67 of the TFEU stipulates the Union’s obligation to ensure a high level of security, including through prevention and combating of crime and approximation of criminal laws; whereas Article 83 of the TFEU lists corruption as one of the particularly serious crimes with a cross-border dimension;

H.  whereas Article 325(3) of the TFEU states that ‘Member States shall coordinate their action aimed at protecting the financial interests of the Union against fraud’ and that ‘they shall organise, together with the Commission, close and regular cooperation between the competent authorities’;

I.  whereas corruption is widespread across the Member States and represents a serious threat to the financial interests of the union, which in turn poses a threat to trust in public administration;

J.  whereas VAT is an important revenue source for national budgets and whereas VAT-based own resources constituted 12,1 % of the total EU budget in 2017;

K.  whereas Council Resolution 6902/05 of 14 April 2005 on a comprehensive EU policy against corruption called on the Commission to consider all viable options, such as participation in GRECO or a mechanism to evaluate and monitor EU instruments in relation to the development of a mutual evaluation and monitoring mechanism;

L.  whereas systematic and institutionalised cases of corruption in certain Member States seriously harm the EU’s financial interests while also representing a threat to democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights;

M.  whereas the Special Eurobarometer Report 470 on corruption, published in December 2017, stated that overall perceptions and attitudes towards corruption remained stable compared to 2013, which indicates that no concrete results have been demonstrated in terms of improving the trust of EU citizens in their institutions;

Detection and reporting of irregularities

1.  Notes with satisfaction that the total number of fraudulent and non-fraudulent irregularities reported in 2017 (15 213 cases) was 20,8 % lower than in 2016 (19 080 cases) and that their value had decreased by 13 % (from EUR 2,97 billion in 2016 to EUR 2,58 billion in 2017);

2.  Points out that not all irregularities are fraudulent and that a clear distinction must be drawn between the errors committed;

3.  Notes the significant year-on-year decrease of 19,3 % in the number of irregularities reported as fraudulent, which continued the downward trend seen since 2014; hopes that the decrease reflects a genuine reduction in fraud and not deficiencies in terms of detection;

4.  Considers it advisable for Member States to cooperate more closely with regard to exchanges of information, in order both to improve data collection and enhance the effectiveness of controls;

5.  Deplores the fact that more than half of Member States have not adopted national anti-fraud strategies (NAFS); invites the Commission to encourage the remaining Member States to advance their adoption of NAFS;

6.  Calls again on the Commission to establish a uniform system for the collection of comparable data on irregularities and cases of fraud from the Member States in order to standardise the reporting process and ensure the quality and comparability of the data provided;

7.  Points out that many Member States do not have specific laws against organised crime, while its involvement in cross-border activities and sectors affecting the EU’s financial interests, such as smuggling or counterfeiting of currency, is constantly growing;

8.  Expresses concern regarding checks relating to financial instruments managed by intermediaries and weaknesses revealed in verification of beneficiaries’ registered offices; stresses the need to make the disbursement of direct and indirect loans conditional on the publication of country-by-country tax and accountancy data, and on the disclosure of information on beneficial ownership by the beneficiaries and financial intermediaries involved in financing operations;

Revenue – own resources

9.  Expresses its concern that according to the Commission’s statistics, the VAT gap in 2016 amounted to EUR 147 billion, which represents more than 12 % of total expected VAT revenue, and that the Commission estimates that intra-Community VAT fraud cases cost the Union around EUR 50 billion annually;

10.  Welcomes the Commission’s VAT action plan of 7 April 2016 aimed at reforming the VAT framework, and the 13 legislative proposals adopted by the Commission since December 2016 that address the shift towards a definitive VAT regime, removing VAT obstacles to e-commerce, reviewing the VAT regime for SMEs, modernising the VAT rates policy and addressing the VAT gap; notes that the ‘definitive system’ proposal could eradicate missing trader intra-community (MTIC) fraud, but would not enter into force before 2022; calls on the Member States to quickly implement the reform of the VAT system and take more immediate actions to control the damage in the meantime, including within the framework of Eurofisc, OLAF, EUROPOL and the future EPPO;

11.  Welcomes the judgment of the Court of Justice in the M.A.S. case (C-42/17), which requires Member States to ensure that effective and deterrent criminal penalties are adopted in cases of serious fraud affecting the EU’s financial interests in relation to VAT, in accordance with their obligations under Article 325(1) and (2) of the TFEU;

12.  Regrets that an investigation by OLAF into customs fraud in the United Kingdom concluded in 2017 revealed substantial VAT evasion in connection with imports into the UK through abuse of suspension of VAT payment, or so-called customs procedure 42 (CP42); welcomes the pre-infringement procedure against the UK launched by the Commission in May 2018; recalls that these losses are cumulatively estimated to be in range of EUR 3,2 billion for the period 2013-2016, which also represents a loss for the EU budget; is concerned that the newly adopted amendments to Council Regulation (EU) No 904/2010 of 7 October 2010 on administrative cooperation and combating fraud in the field of value added tax(12) as regards measures to strengthen administrative cooperation in the field of VAT might not be sufficient to thwart CP42 fraud and calls on the Commission to consider new strategies to track CP42 goods within the EU;

13.  Welcomes the amendment of Council Regulation (EU) No 904/2010, adopted on 2 October 2018, and hopes that stronger cooperation will efficiently address key aspects of cross-border fraud within the single market, such as MTIC fraud;

14.  Welcomes the adoption of the PIF Directive, which clarifies the issues of cross-border cooperation and mutual legal assistance between Member States, Eurojust, the EPPO and the Commission in tackling VAT fraud;

15.  Stresses, in this regard, the seriousness of the current situation concerning fraud involving the failure to pay VAT, in particular so-called carousel fraud; calls on all Member States to participate in all of Eurofisc’s fields of activity so as to facilitate the exchange of information to help combat fraud;

16.  Recalls that the Court of Justice has confirmed on several occasions that VAT is a financial interest of the Union, most recently in the Taricco case (C-105/14); notes however that OLAF very rarely carries out investigations into irregularities concerning VAT due to a lack of instruments; calls on the Member States to endorse the Commission’s proposal to provide new instruments to OLAF to deal with VAT cases, such as access to Eurofisc, VIES or bank account information;

17.  Notes the stable trend in the reported number of fraudulent and non-fraudulent cases linked to traditional own resources (TOR) (4 647 in 2016, 4 636 in 2017), as well as in the sums involved (EUR 537 million in 2016 and EUR 502 million in 2017); notes however the uneven distribution of irregularities among Member States, with Greece (7,17 %), Spain (4,31 %) and Hungary (3,35 %) clearly above the EU average of 1,96 % for non-collected TOR;

18.  Notes with great concern that tobacco smuggling to the EU has intensified in recent years and, according to estimates, represents an annual loss of EUR 10 billion in public revenue to the EU and Member States’ budgets, while at the same time it is a major source of organised crime, including terrorism; considers it necessary for Member States to step up their efforts to combat these illegal activities, for example by improving procedures for cooperation and the exchange of information between Member States;

19.  Believes that a combination of different detecting methods (release controls, post-release controls, inspections by anti-fraud services and others) is most efficient for detecting fraud and that the efficiency of each method depends on the Member State concerned, the efficient coordination of its administration and the ability of the Member States’ relevant services to communicate with each other;

20.  Finds it worrisome that some Member States regularly do not report a single case of fraud; invites the Commission to investigate the situation, as it considers the likelihood that those Member States are fraudless paradises to be rather low; calls on the Commission to run random spot checks in these countries;

21.  Notes with dismay that the average recovery rate for cases reported as fraudulent over the years 1989-2017 was only 37 %; invites the Commission to look for remedies to improve this appalling situation;

22.  Repeats its call on the Commission to report annually the amount of EU own resources recovered, following the recommendations made by OLAF, and to communicate the amounts still to be recovered;

EU Anti-Fraud Programme

23.  Welcomes the establishment of the EU Anti-Fraud Programme, which will be implemented by OLAF under direct management mode (COM(2018)0386), and calls for the grants to be managed electronically by means of the Commission’s eGrants management system, beginning with June 2019;

EPPO and its future relationship to OLAF

24.  Welcomes the decision of 22 Member States to proceed with the establishment of the EPPO through enhanced cooperation; calls on the Commission to incentivise the so-far reluctant Member States to join to the EPPO;

25.  Points out that the cooperation agreements between OLAF and the EPPO should ensure that there is a clear separation of powers in order to avoid double structures, conflicting competences and legal loopholes that arise through lack of competences;

26.  Welcomes the fact that the EU draft budget for 2019 includes, for the first time, appropriations for the EPPO (EUR 4,9 million) and insists on the importance of having appropriate staffing and budget for the EPPO; notes that only 37 staff posts are planned, which implies that after deducting the posts for 23 European Prosecutors, only 14 posts are envisaged for administrative tasks; considers that this is not realistic, in particular with regard to the two additional Member States that have recently decided to join the EPPO; requests, therefore, a frontloading of the staff increase planned for 2020 in order to help the EPPO to be fully operational by the end of 2020 as envisaged by the regulation;

27.  Welcomes the targeted proposal of the Commission for a revision of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013, primarily driven by the establishment of the EPPO; stresses that the future cooperation between OLAF and the EPPO should be based on close cooperation, efficient exchange of information and complementarity, while avoiding duplications or conflicted competences;

Fight against corruption

28.  Welcomes the Commission’s proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of the Union’s budget in case of generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law in the Member States; stresses that in order to provide an objective and systematic assessment, the Commission should regularly publish an assessment of threats to the rule of law, including risks of systemic corruption, in each Member State based on a set of indicators and independent reports;

29.  Stresses that after the creation of the EPPO, OLAF will remain the sole office responsible for protecting EU financial interests in the Member States that decided not to join the EPPO; highlights that according to Opinion No 8/2018 of the European Court of Auditors, the Commission proposal amending the OLAF regulation does not resolve the issue of low effectiveness of OLAF’s administrative investigations; underlines the importance of ensuring that OLAF remains a strong and fully functioning partner to the EPPO;

30.   Deplores the fact that the Commission no longer deems it necessary to publish the anti-corruption report; deplores the decision of the Commission to include anti-corruption monitoring within the European Semester economic governance process; takes the view that this has further reduced monitoring by the Commission, with data available for only very few countries; further regrets that this change of approach concentrates mostly on the economic impact of corruption and almost completely overlooks the other dimensions corruption can affect, such as the trust of citizens in public administration and even the democratic structures of the Member States; urges the Commission, therefore, to continue publishing its anti-corruption reports; reiterate its call on the Commission to engage in a more comprehensive and coherent EU anti-corruption policy, including an in-depth evaluation of the anti-corruption policies in each Member State;

31.  Reiterates 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;

32.   Deplores the fact that the Commission did not foster the EU’s participation in the Council of Europe Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO); calls on the Commission to restart negotiations with GRECO as soon as possible to assess in a timely manner its compliance with the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and to set up an internal evaluation mechanism for the EU institutions;

33.  Reiterates its call on the Commission to develop a system of strict indicators and easily applicable, uniform criteria based on the requirements set out in the Stockholm Programme, to measure the level of corruption in the Member States and to evaluate their anti-corruption policies; invites the Commission to develop a corruption index in order to rank the Member States; is of the opinion that a corruption index could provide a sound basis on which the Commission could establish its country-specific control mechanism when controlling the spending of EU resources;

34.  Recalls that the Commission does not have access to the information exchanged between Member States with a view to preventing and combating MTIC fraud, commonly called carousel fraud; is of the opinion that the Commission should have access to Eurofisc, in order to better control, assess and improve the exchange of data among Member States; calls on all Member States to participate in all of Eurofisc’s fields of activity so as to facilitate and accelerate information exchange with judicial and law enforcement authorities such as Europol and OLAF, as recommended by the European Court of Auditors; calls on the Member States and the Council to grant the Commission access to these data in order to foster cooperation, strengthen data reliability and fight cross-border crime;

Public procurement

Digitalisation

35.  Notes that a significant amount of public investment is spent through public procurement (EUR 2 trillion per year); emphasises the benefits of e-procurement in fighting fraud, such as savings for all parties, increased transparency, and simplified and shortened processes;

36.  Calls on the Commission to elaborate a framework for the digitalisation of all processes of implementation of EU policies (calls for proposals, application, evaluation, implementation, payment) to be applied by all Member States;

37.  Regrets the fact that only a few Member States are using new technologies for all the major steps of the procurement process (e-notification, e-access to tender documents, e-submission, e-evaluation, e-award, e-ordering, e-invoicing, e-payment); calls on the Member States to make all the forms of the public procurement process, as well as publicly accessible contract registers, available online in a machine readable format by July 2019;

38.  Calls on the Commission to develop incentives to create an electronic profile of contracting authorities for those Member States where such profiles are not available;

39.  Welcomes the Commission’s timetable for the rollout of e-procurement in the EU and calls on the Commission to follow up on it;

Prevention and early stages of the tender procedure

40.  Is of the opinion that prevention activities are very important in diminishing the level of fraud in the spending of EU money and that switching to e-procurement is a major step towards the prevention of fraud and the promotion of integrity and transparency;

41.  Welcomes the establishment of the Early Detection and Exclusion System (EDES) and believes that a combination of different detecting methods (controls) in the early stages of the tendering of projects is most efficient in fraud prevention, as it allows funds to be redirected to other projects;

42.  Welcomes the guidance prepared by the Advisory Committee for Coordination of Fraud Prevention (COCOLAF) on red flags and best practices in public procurement and irregularity reporting;

43.  Welcomes the simplification of the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the EU and believes that further simplification increases efficiency; hopes that other recipients of Union funds will benefit more from simplified cost options;

Import procedures

44.  Notes that customs duties make up 14 % of the EU budget and believes that their ineffective application and a lack of harmonised rules negatively affect the financial interests of the EU;

45.  Notes that the customs services of various Member States exchange information on suspected fraud in order to ensure compliance with customs regulations (mutual assistance); believes that such communication is easier in cases where the indication of the consignor is compulsory in the customs import declaration (SAD) and calls on the Commission to make this indication compulsory in all Member States by July 2019;

46.  Expresses concern with regard to customs inspections and the related collection of customs duties, which are an own resource for the EU budget; points out that inspections to verify that importers are complying with the rules on tariffs and imports are carried out by Member States’ own customs authorities, and calls on the Commission to ensure that inspections at the EU’s borders are appropriate and harmonised, thereby guaranteeing the Union’s security, safety and economic interests, and to commit to fighting trade in illegal and counterfeit goods in particular;

47.  Regrets that the implementation of the new IT systems for the customs union suffered a series of delays, meaning that some of the key systems will not be available at the 2020 deadlines set in the Union Customs Code; underlines that the swift transition to a paperless customs environment is key to ensuring that customs administrations work as if they were one entity; calls on the Commission and the Member States to contribute to the completion and financial sustainability of EU customs information systems;

48.  Welcomes the 11 joint customs operations of OLAF that successfully targeted various threats such as revenue fraud, illicit cash movements, counterfeit products, cigarette smuggling and narcotics; welcomes in addition the detection of irregularities following mutual assistance notices issued by OLAF, especially frauds involving solar panels;

49.  Underlines that harmonised and standardised customs controls at all points of entry are necessary because an imbalance in the performance of customs controls by Member States impedes the effective functioning of the customs union;

Expenditure

50.  Welcomes the significant drop in the number of cases (from 272 in 2016 to 133 in 2017) reported as fraudulent in rural development, and the consequent drop in the value of fraud from EUR 47 million to EUR 20 million: notes, however, the opposite trend occurring in direct support to agriculture, where the value of irregularities reported as fraudulent grew sharply from EUR 11 million to EUR 39 million and the average financial value involved in each case grew by 227 %; hopes that this does not constitute a negative trend;

51.  Expects that the simplification of administrative rules called for in the common provisions covering the period 2014-2020 will make it possible to reduce the number of non-fraudulent irregularities, identify fraudulent cases and improve access to EU funds for beneficiaries;

52.  Invites the Commission to continue its efforts at standardising the nomenclature of errors linked to expenditure, as data shows that different Member States declare the same errors under various categories (SWD(2018)0386);

53.  Underlines the fact that detection capability is a key feature in the context of the anti-fraud cycle, which contributes to the effectiveness and efficiency of the system for the protection of the EU budget; welcomes the fact, therefore, that the most active Member States in detecting and reporting potentially fraudulent irregularities were Poland, Romania, Hungary, Italy and Bulgaria, between them accounting for 73 % of irregularities reported as fraudulent in the common agricultural policy in the years 2013-2017; stresses, in this regard, that a single numerical assessment of the reports made may lead to an incorrect perception of the effectiveness of the controls; calls on the Commission, therefore, to continue supporting Member States with a view to ensuring that both the quality and number of controls are improved, and to share best practice in the fight against fraud;

54.  Notes that the number of irregularities not reported as fraudulent in cohesion and fisheries policies (5 129 cases in 2017) has returned to the levels of 2013 and 2014 (4 695 and 4 825 cases respectively) after a peak lasting two years;

55.  Points out that complete transparency in accounting for expenditure is essential, especially as regards infrastructure works financed directly through EU funds or financial instruments; calls on the Commission to provide for EU citizens to have full access to information on co-financed projects;

56.  Takes note of the fact that the number of reported irregularities in Pre-Accession Assistance (PAA) decreased further in 2017 and that with the phasing out of pre-accession programmes, the number of irregularities reported as fraudulent approached zero;

Problems identified and measures required

Better inspections

57.  Supports the Hercule III programme, which is a good example of the ‘best use of every euro’ approach; expects its post-2020 successor to be even more efficient;

58.  Hopes that the newly planned regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing, as part of the Integrated Border Management Fund, the instrument for financial support for customs control equipment, will further improve coordination and enhance cooperation for funding purposes between customs authorities and other law enforcement authorities, through improved EU-level partnership;

Transnational fraud

59.  Emphasises that a system enabling the authorities to exchange information would facilitate the cross-checking of accounting records for transactions between two or more Member States in order to prevent cross-border fraud in respect of the structural and investment funds, hence ensuring a cross-cutting and comprehensive approach to the protection of Member States’ financial interests; reiterates its request to the Commission to submit a legislative proposal on mutual administrative assistance in those areas of expenditure of EU funds where no provision is made for this;

60.  Is worried by the increasing threat and occurrence of transnational fraud detected by OLAF; welcomes the adoption of Parliament’s report of 25 October 2018 on protection of the EU’s financial interests – Recovery of money and assets from third-countries in fraud cases, and the anti-fraud clause successfully incorporated in the free trade agreement with Japan; calls on the Commission to generalise the practice of adding anti-fraud clauses to agreements signed between the EU and third countries;

Whistle-blowers

61.  Welcomes the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of persons reporting on breaches of Union law (COM(2018)0218); hopes that it will significantly improve the safety of whistle-blowers in the Union, leading to major improvement of the EU’s financial protection and the rule of law; hopes that it will enter into force in the very near future; calls on all EU institutions to implement the standards set in the directive in their own internal policies as soon as possible to ensure the highest level of protection of the financial interests of the Union; encourages the Member States to implement it into their national legal system with the widest possible scope;

62.  Emphasises the important role of whistle-blowers in fraud prevention, detection and reporting and the need to protect them;

Investigative journalism

63.  Is of the opinion that investigative journalism plays a key role in fostering the necessary level of transparency in the EU and the Member States, and that it must be encouraged and supported both by the Member States and the EU;

Tobacco

64.  Notes with concern that according to OLAF estimates, the illicit trade in cigarettes causes annual financial losses of over EUR 10 billion to the budgets of the Union and the Member States;

65.  Welcomes the entry into force, on 25 September 2018, of the World Health Organization (WHO) Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products following the 41st ratification, on 27 June 2018; welcomes the fact that the first Meeting of Parties to the Protocol took place from 8 to 10 October 2018; urges, however, the Member States which have not yet ratified the Protocol to do so as soon as possible; calls on the Commission to play an active role with a view to producing a comprehensive report setting out good practices and implementing experiments regarding tracking and tracing systems in the State Parties; calls on the Member States which have signed the Protocol but not yet ratified it, to do so;

66.  Recalls the decision of the Commission not to renew the PMI agreement, which expired on 9 July 2016; recalls that on 9 March 2016, Parliament asked the Commission not to renew, extend or renegotiate it beyond its date of expiry; believes that the three other agreements with tobacco companies (BAT, JTI, ITL) should not be renewed, extended or renegotiated; calls on the Commission to present a report by the end of 2018 on the feasibility of stopping the three remaining agreements;

67.  Calls on the Commission swiftly to come up with the new action plan and comprehensive EU strategy to fight the illicit tobacco trade, that was envisaged for late summer 2018;

68.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that the tracing system and security measures which have to be put in place by the Member States by 20 May 2019 for cigarettes and rolling tobacco and by 20 May 2024 for all other tobacco products (such as cigars, cigarillos and smokeless tobacco products) are consistent with the independence guidelines of the WHO Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products which the European Union ratified on 24 June 2016;

69.  Calls on the Commission to anticipate the hidden cloning risks of individual markings by the tobacco industry for the purpose of supplying the parallel market;

70.  Notes with concern that OLAF’s judicial recommendations have seen only limited implementation in the Member States; takes the view that such a situation is intolerable and calls on the Commission to urge the Member States to ensure full implementation of OLAF’s recommendations and to lay down rules to facilitate the admissibility of the evidence found by OLAF;

Investigations and the role of OLAF

71.  Welcomes the Commission’s proposal to empower OLAF to investigate value added tax matters; calls on the Commission that to establish a certain level of transparency of OLAF reports and recommendations after the closure of all European and national procedures; is of the opinion that after the adoption of the necessary changes to the OLAF regulation related to the establishment of EPPO, the Commission should prepare a more thorough and comprehensive modernisation of the OLAF framework;

72.  Deplores the inconsistency of the terminology in the OLAF reports, such as closed and concluded investigations; calls on the Commission and OLAF to implement a consistent terminology so that comparability over the years is guaranteed relating to the reporting and redress of fraud cases;

73.  Takes note of the ongoing issues with OLAF’s new Content Management Database (OCM); deplores in particular the fact that cases have been lost in the new database; welcomes the fact that the problem is a subject of top priority; invites the Commission to provide Parliament with an in-depth evaluation of the OCM IT project, in particular regarding project design, full costs, implementation, user experience and a list of issues encountered, as per the recommendations made by the OLAF Supervisory Committee(13);

74.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to jointly ensure that investigations by OLAF and by the Member States complement each other, that OLAF enjoys equal investigative powers in every Member State, including access to bank account information, and that evidence collected by OLAF is admissible as criminal evidence by the judiciaries of all Member States, as it is essential to the effective follow-up of OLAF investigations;

o
o   o

75.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Court of Auditors, the European Anti-Fraud Office and the European Anti-Fraud Office Supervisory Committee.

(1) OLAF, ‘Eighteenth report of the European Anti-Fraud Office, 1 January to 31 December 2017’, 5.10.2018.
(2) OJ L 248, 18.9.2013, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 198, 28.7.2017, p. 29.
(4) OJ L 283, 31.10.2017, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(6) Judgement of the Court of Justice (Grand Chamber) of 8 September 2015, Criminal proceedings against Ivo Taricco and Others, 105/14, ECLI:EU:C:2015:555.
(7) Judgement of the Court of Justice (Grand Chamber) of 5 December 2017, Criminal proceedings against M.A.S. and M.B., 42/17, ECLI:EU:C:2017:936.
(8) OJ C 252, 18.7.2018, p. 56.
(9) OJ L 94, 28.3.2014, p. 65.
(10) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0419.
(11) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0384.
(12) OJ L 268, 12.10.2010, p. 1.
(13) OLAF Supervisory Committee Opinion No 1/2018 on the OLAF preliminary draft budget for 2019.


Implementation and functioning of the .eu top level domain name ***I
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Resolution
Text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 31 January 2019 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the implementation and functioning of the .eu Top Level Domain name and repealing Regulation (EC) No 733/2002 and Commission Regulation (EC) No 874/2004 (COM(2018)0231 – C8-0170/2018 – 2018/0110(COD))
P8_TA(2019)0055A8-0394/2018

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2018)0231),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 172 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8‑0170/2018),

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

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 11 July 2018(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 19 December 2018 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 Industry, Research and Energy (A8-0394/2018),

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 31 January 2019 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) 2019/… of the European Parliament and of the Council on the implementation and functioning of the .eu Top Level Domain name, amending and repealing Regulation (EC) No 733/2002 and repealing Commission Regulation (EC) No 874/2004

P8_TC1-COD(2018)0110


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EU) 2019/517.)

(1) OJ C 367, 10.10.2018, p. 112.


Harmonisation of gross national income at market prices (GNI) ***I
PDF 121kWORD 43k
Resolution
Text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 31 January 2019 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the harmonisation of gross national income at market prices (GNI Regulation) repealing Council Directive 89/130/EEC, Euratom and Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1287/2003 (COM(2017)0329 – C8-0192/2017 – 2017/0134(COD))
P8_TA(2019)0056A8-0009/2018

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2017)0329),

–  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 (C8‑0192/2017),

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

–  having regard to the provisional agreement approved by the committee responsible under Rule 69f(4) of its Rules of Procedure and the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 5 December 2018 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 (A8-0009/2018),

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 31 January 2019 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) 2019/… of the European Parliament and of the Council on the harmonisation of gross national income at market prices and repealing Council Directive 89/130/EEC, Euratom and Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1287/2003 (GNI Regulation)

P8_TC1-COD(2017)0134


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EU) 2019/516.)


Genetically modified oilseed rapes Ms8, Rf3 and Ms8 × Rf3
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European Parliament resolution of 31 January 2019 on the draft Commission implementing decision amending Implementing Decision 2013/327/EU as regards the renewal of the authorisation to place on the market feed containing or consisting of genetically modified oilseed rapes Ms8, Rf3 and Ms8 × Rf3 pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (D059688/02 – 2019/2521(RSP))
P8_TA(2019)0057B8-0073/2019

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Commission implementing decision amending Implementing Decision 2013/327/EU as regards the renewal of the authorisation to place on the market feed containing or consisting of genetically modified oilseed rapes Ms8, Rf3 and Ms8 × Rf3 pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (D059688/02),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2003 on genetically modified food and feed(1), and in particular Articles 11(3) and 23(3) thereof,

–  having regard to the vote of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health referred to in Article 35 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, held on 3 December 2018, at which no opinion was delivered,

–  having regard to Articles 11 and 13 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers(2),

–  having regard to the opinion adopted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on 25 October 2017 and published on 28 November 2017(3),

–  having regard to the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 February 2017 amending Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers (COM(2017)0085, 2017/0035(COD),

–  having regard to its previous resolutions objecting to the authorisation of genetically modified organisms(4),

–  having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety,

–  having regard to Rule 106(2) and (3) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas, on 20 May 2016, Bayer CropScience AG submitted to the Commission an application, in accordance with Articles 11 and 23 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, for the renewal of the authorisation for the placing on the market of the products covered by Commission Decision 2007/232/EC(5) (‘the renewal application’);

B.  whereas Decision 2007/232/EC authorised the placing on the market of feed containing or consisting of genetically modified (GM) oilseed rapes (OSRs) Ms8, Rf3 and Ms8 × Rf3, and the scope of that authorisation also covered products containing or consisting of OSRs Ms8, Rf3 and Ms8 × Rf3, for uses other than food or feed, with the exception of cultivation;

C.  whereas, on 25 October 2017, EFSA adopted a favourable opinion in relation to the renewal application, in accordance with Articles 6 and 18 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003;

D.  whereas the Commission, at the request of the applicant, decided to amend the previous Commission Implementing Decision 2013/327/EU(6) so that the scope of products covered by Decision 2007/232/EC would be incorporated into it; whereas the draft Commission implementing decision thus amends Implementing Decision 2013/327/EU and repeals Decision 2007/232/EC; whereas the legitimacy of such an approach is questionable;

E.  whereas many critical comments were submitted by competent authorities during the three-month consultation period(7); whereas, among other things, Member States criticised the fact that the monitoring approach adopted by the applicant was not in line with the requirements of Annex VII to Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council(8) or with EFSA guidance documents, that the post-market environmental monitoring reports submitted by the applicant had fundamental shortcomings, and that they did not provide sound data to support the conclusion that there have been no adverse health or environmental effects associated with the import or use of GM OSRs Ms8, Rf3 and Ms8 x Rf3;

F.  whereas GM OSRs Ms8, Rf3 and Ms8 x Rf3 have been engineered to be resistant to the application of the herbicide glufosinate;

G.  whereas application of a complementary herbicide is part of regular agricultural practice in the cultivation of herbicide-resistant plants, and it can therefore be expected that these plants will be exposed to both higher and repeated doses, which will not only lead to a higher burden of residues in the harvest, and therefore the imported product, but may also influence the composition of the GM plant and its agronomic characteristics;

H.  whereas the use of glufosinate is no longer permitted in the Union as it has been classified as toxic to reproduction and thus falls under the cut-off criteria set out in Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council(9);

I.  whereas residues from spraying with herbicides are considered outside the remit of the EFSA Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms; whereas the impact of spraying GM OSRs Ms8, Rf3 and Ms8 x Rf3 with glufosinate has not been assessed; whereas information on residue levels of herbicides and their metabolites is essential for a thorough risk assessment of herbicide-tolerant GM plants;

J.  whereas Member States are not required to measure glufosinate residues on OSR imports in order to ensure compliance with maximum residue levels as part of the coordinated multiannual control programme of the Union for 2019, 2020 and 2021(10);

K.  whereas, in addition to the possibility that animals and humans in the Union will continue to be exposed to high residue levels of glufosinate present in this GM OSR, a competent authority expert also raised concerns about the metabolite N-acetyl-glufosinate, which is produced in the GM OSR Ms8xRf3, but not its non-GM counterpart(11); whereas, despite the fact that a 2013 study indicates that N-Ac-GLF may have neurotoxic effects, this was not evaluated as part of EFSA’s assessment;

L.  whereas the vote on 3 December 2018 of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health referred to in Article 35 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 delivered no opinion, and thus the authorisation was not supported by a qualified majority of Member States;

M.  whereas, in both the explanatory memoranda of its legislative proposals presented on, respectively, 22 April 2015 amending Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 as regards the possibility for the Member States to restrict or prohibit the use of GM food and feed on their territory and 14 February 2017 amending Regulation (EU) No 182/2011, the Commission deplored the fact that, since the entry into force of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, authorisation decisions have been adopted by the Commission without the support of the opinion of the Member States’ committee and that the return of the dossier to the Commission for final decision, which is very much the exception for the procedure as a whole, has become the norm for decision-making on GM food and feed authorisations; whereas that practice has, on several occasions, been deplored by President Juncker as not being democratic(12);

N.  whereas, on 28 October 2015, Parliament rejected at first reading(13) the legislative proposal of 22 April 2015 amending Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 and called on the Commission to withdraw it and submit a new one;

1.  Considers that the draft Commission implementing decision exceeds the implementing powers provided for in Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003;

2.  Considers that the draft Commission implementing decision is not consistent with Union law, in that it is not compatible with one of the aims of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, which is, in accordance with the general principles laid down in Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council(14), to provide the basis for ensuring a high level of protection of human life and health, animal health and welfare, and environmental and consumer interests, in relation to GM food and feed, while ensuring the effective functioning of the internal market;

3.  Calls on the Commission to withdraw its draft implementing decision;

4.  Calls on the Commission not to authorise the import, for food or feed, of any GM plant which has been made tolerant to a herbicide not authorised for use in the Union, in this case glufosinate;

5.  Calls on the Commission not to authorise any herbicide-tolerant GM plants without a full assessment of the residues from spraying with complementary herbicides, metabolites and commercial formulations as applied in the countries of cultivation;

6.  Calls on the Commission to fully integrate the risk assessment of the application of complementary herbicides and their residues into the risk assessment of herbicide-tolerant GM plants, regardless of whether the GM plant concerned is to be cultivated in the Union or is for import into the Union for food and feed;

7.  Reiterates its commitment to advancing work on the Commission proposal amending Regulation (EU) No 182/2011; calls on the Council to move forward with its work in relation to that Commission proposal as a matter of urgency;

8.  Calls on the Commission to suspend any implementing decision regarding applications for authorisation of GMOs until the authorisation procedure has been revised in such a way as to address the shortcomings of the current procedure, which has proven inadequate;

9.  Calls on the Commission to withdraw proposals for GMO authorisations if no opinion is delivered by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health, whether for cultivation or for food and feed uses;

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

(1) OJ L 268, 18.10.2003, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13.
(3) Assessment of genetically modified oilseed rape MS8 × RF3 for renewal of authorisation under regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 (application EFSA-GMO-RX-004), https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2017.5067
(4)–––––––––––––––––––––––———— Resolution of 16 January 2014 on the proposal for a Council decision concerning the placing on the market for cultivation, in accordance with Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, of a maize product (Zea mays L., line 1507) genetically modified for resistance to certain lepidopteran pests (OJ C 482, 23.12.2016, p. 110).Resolution of 16 December 2015 on Commission implementing decision (EU) 2015/2279 of 4 December 2015 authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize NK603 × T25 (OJ C 399, 24.11.2017, p. 71).Resolution of 3 February 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean MON 87705 × MON 89788 (OJ C 35, 31.1.2018, p. 19).Resolution of 3 February 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean MON 87708 × MON 89788 (OJ C 35, 31.1.2018, p. 17).Resolution of 3 February 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean FG72 (MST-FGØ72-2) (OJ C 35, 31.1.2018, p. 15).Resolution of 8 June 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize Bt11 × MIR162 × MIR604 × GA21, and genetically modified maizes combining two or three of those events (OJ C 86, 6.3.2018, p. 108).Resolution of 8 June 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision as regards the placing on the market of a genetically modified carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus L., line SHD-27531-4) (OJ C 86, 6.3.2018, p. 111).Resolution of 6 October 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision renewing the authorisation for the placing on the market for cultivation of genetically modified maize MON 810 seeds (OJ C 215, 19.6.2018, p. 76).Resolution of 6 October 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of genetically modified maize MON 810 products (OJ C 215, 19.6.2018, p. 80).Resolution of 6 October 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision concerning the placing on the market for cultivation of genetically modified maize Bt11 seeds (OJ C 215, 19.6.2018, p. 70).Resolution of 6 October 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision concerning the placing on the market for cultivation of genetically modified maize 1507 seeds (OJ C 215, 19.6.2018, p. 73).Resolution of 6 October 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified cotton 281-24-236 × 3006-210-23 × MON 88913 (OJ C 215, 19.6.2018, p. 83).Resolution of 5 April 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize Bt11 × 59122 × MIR604 × 1507 × GA21, and genetically modified maizes combining two, three or four of the events Bt11, 59122, MIR604, 1507 and GA21 pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 298, 23.8.2018, p. 34).Resolution of 17 May 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize DAS-40278-9, pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 307, 30.8.2018, p. 71).Resolution of 17 May 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified cotton GHB119 (BCS-GHØØ5-8) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ C 307, 30.8.2018, p. 67).Resolution of 13 September 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean DAS-68416-4, pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 337, 20.9.2018, p. 54).Resolution of 4 October 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean FG72 × A5547-127 pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 346, 27.9.2018, p. 55).Resolution of 4 October 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean DAS-44406-6, pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 346, 27.9.2018, p. 60).Resolution of 24 October 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision renewing the authorisation for the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize 1507 (DAS-Ø15Ø7-1) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 346, 27.9.2018, p. 122).Resolution of 24 October 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean 305423 × 40-3-2 (DP-3Ø5423-1 × MON-Ø4Ø32-6) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 346, 27.9.2018, p. 127).Resolution of 24 October 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified oilseed rapes MON 88302 × Ms8 × Rf3 (MON-883Ø2-9 × ACSBNØØ5-8 × ACS-BNØØ3-6), MON 88302 × Ms8 (MON-883Ø2-9 × ACSBNØØ5-8) and MON 88302 × Rf3 (MON-883Ø2-9 × ACS-BNØØ3-6) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 346, 27.9.2018, p. 133).Resolution of 1 March 2018 on the draft Commission implementing decision renewing the authorisation for the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize 59122 (DAS-59122-7) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0051).Resolution of 1 March 2018 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize MON 87427 × MON 89034 × NK603 (MON-87427-7 × MON-89Ø34-3 × MON-ØØ6Ø3-6) and genetically modified maize combining two of the events MON 87427, MON 89034 and NK603, and repealing Decision 2010/420/EU (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0052).Resolution of 3 May 2018 on the draft Commission implementing decision renewing the authorisation for the placing on the market of food and feed produced from genetically modified sugar beet H7-1 (KM-ØØØH71-4) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0197).Resolution of 30 May 2018 on the draft Commission implementing decision renewing the authorisation for the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize GA21 (MON-ØØØ21-9) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0221).Resolution of 30 May 2018 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize 1507 × 59122 × MON 810 × NK603, and genetically modified maize combining two or three of the single events 1507, 59122, MON 810 and NK603, and repealing Decisions 2009/815/EC, 2010/428/EU and 2010/432/EU pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0222).Resolution of 24 October 2018 on the draft Commission implementing decision renewing the authorisation for the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of or produced from genetically modified maize NK603 × MON 810 (MON-ØØ6Ø3-6 × MON-ØØ81Ø-6) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0416).Resolution of 24 October 2018 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of or produced from genetically modified maize MON 87427 × MON 89034 × 1507 × MON 88017 × 59122, and genetically modified maize combining two, three or four of the single events MON 87427, MON 89034, 1507, MON 88017 and 59122 and repealing Decision 2011/366/EU (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0417).
(5) Commission Decision 2007/232/EC of 26 March 2007 concerning the placing on the market, in accordance with Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, of oilseed rape products (Brassica napus L., lines Ms8, Rf3 and Ms8 × Rf3) genetically modified for tolerance to the herbicide glufosinate-ammonium (OJ L 100, 17.4.2007, p. 20).
(6) Commission Implementing Decision 2013/327/EU of 25 June 2013 authorising the placing on the market of food containing or consisting of genetically modified oilseed rape Ms8, Rf3 and Ms8 × Rf3, or food and feed produced from those genetically modified organisms pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 175, 27.6.2013, p. 57).
(7) Member State comments, Annex G, http://registerofquestions.efsa.europa.eu/roqFrontend/questionLoader?question=EFSA-Q-2016-00569
(8) Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 March 2001 on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms and repealing Council Directive 90/220/EEC (OJ L 106, 17.4.2001, p. 1).
(9) Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market and repealing Council Directives 79/117/EEC and 91/414/EEC (OJ L 309, 24.11.2009, p. 1).
(10) Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/555 of 9 April 2018 concerning a coordinated multiannual control programme of the Union for 2019, 2020 and 2021 to ensure compliance with maximum residue levels of pesticides and to assess the consumer exposure to pesticide residues in and on food of plant and animal origin (OJ L 92, 10.4.2018, p. 6).
(11) Member State comments, Annex G, p. 18, http://registerofquestions.efsa.europa.eu/roqFrontend/questionLoader?question=EFSA-Q-2016-00569
(12) See, for instance, his opening statement at the European Parliament plenary session on 15 July 2014, which was later included in the political guidelines for the next European Commission, or his State of the Union Address delivered on 14 September 2016.
(13) OJ C 355, 20.10.2017, p. 165.
(14) Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety (OJ L 31, 1.2.2002, p. 1).


Genetically modified maize 5307 (SYN-Ø53Ø7-1)
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European Parliament resolution of 31 January 2019 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of or produced from genetically modified maize 5307 (SYN-Ø53Ø7-1), pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (D059689/02 – 2019/2522(RSP))
P8_TA(2019)0058B8-0074/2019

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of or produced from genetically modified maize 5307 (SYN-Ø53Ø7-1), pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (D059689/02),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2003 on genetically modified food and feed(1), and in particular Articles 7(3) and 19(3) thereof,

–  having regard to the vote on 3 December 2018 of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health referred to in Article 35 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, at which no opinion was delivered,

–  having regard to Articles 11 and 13 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers(2),

–  having regard to the opinion adopted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on 16 April 2015 and published on 5 May 2015(3), and to the Statement complementing the EFSA Scientific Opinion on application (EFSA-GMO-DE-2011-95) for the placing on the market of genetically modified maize 5307 for food and feed uses, import and processing under Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 from Syngenta Crop Protection AG taking into consideration an additional toxicological study, adopted by EFSA on 7 March 2018 and published on 11 April 2018(4),

–  having regard to the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 February 2017 amending Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers (COM(2017)0085, 2017/0035(COD),

–  having regard to its previous resolutions objecting to the authorisation of genetically modified organisms(5),

–  having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety,

–  having regard to Rule 106(2) and (3) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas, on 7 April 2011, Syngenta Crop Protection AG submitted an application, through its affiliated company Syngenta Crop Protection NV/SA, in accordance with Articles 5 and 17 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, for the placing on the market of foods, food ingredients and feed containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified (GM) maize 5307 (‘the application’) to the national competent authority of Germany; whereas the application also covered the placing on the market of products containing or consisting of GM maize 5307 for uses other than food and feed, with the exception of cultivation;

B.  whereas GM maize 5307 produces a new insecticidal protein, eCry3.1Ab, which is toxic to certain beetles and weevils and which is derived from a fusion and rearrangement of toxins that naturally occur in soil bacteria known as Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt); whereas GM maize 5307 also expresses the protein phosphommanose isomerase (PMI), which is used as a selection marker;

C.  whereas EFSA concluded in its 2015 opinion that it was unable to complete its food/feed risk assessment owing to inadequacies in the 28-day toxicity study provided by the applicant, in particular because the datasets were from two separate experiments and because an insufficient number of animals were used(6);

D.  whereas the applicant later provided a new 28-day toxicity study; whereas, however, the second study did not meet all the requirements of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines on repeated dose 28-day oral toxicity studies in rodents(7), as requested by EFSA;

E.  whereas, in its 2018 statement, EFSA adopted a favourable opinion in relation to this application;

F.  whereas although Cry proteins (Bt toxins) have been recognised as having adjuvant properties, meaning that they may reinforce the allergenic properties of other foodstuffs, this was not analysed by EFSA; whereas that is problematic, because Bt toxins may be mixed with allergens in food and feed such as soybeans;

G.  whereas in the 28-day toxicity study accepted by EFSA, only the isolated protein was tested; whereas, however, it has been shown that the toxicity of Bt toxins can be enhanced through interactions with other compounds such as plant enzymes, other Bt toxins and residues from spraying with herbicides; whereas testing the Bt toxin alone and in isolated form does not allow, therefore, for any conclusions to be drawn on its health impact after consumption(8);

H.  whereas EFSA noted that the ‘applicant identified relevant similarities between the amino acid sequence of eCry3.1Ab and parasporins, which might act as cytotoxic proteins on mammalian cells’(9); whereas EFSA did not investigate that further;

I.  whereas many critical comments were submitted by Member State competent authorities during the three-month consultation period(10);

J.  whereas, according to one competent authority(11), expression levels of eCry3.1Ab in GM maize 5307 kernels exceed the default maximum residue level permitted, which is 0,01 mg/kg as set out in Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council(12);

K.  whereas the vote on 3 December 2018 of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health referred to in Article 35 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 delivered no opinion, meaning that the authorisation was not supported by a qualified majority of Member States;

L.  whereas, both in the explanatory memorandum of its legislative proposal presented on 22 April 2015 amending Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 as regards the possibility for the Member States to restrict or prohibit the use of genetically modified food and feed on their territory and in the explanatory memorandum of the legislative proposal presented on 14 February 2017 amending Regulation (EU) No 182/2011, the Commission deplored the fact that, since the entry into force of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, authorisation decisions have been adopted by the Commission without the support of the opinion of the Member States’ committee and that the return of the dossier to the Commission for final decision, which is very much the exception for the procedure as a whole, has become the norm for decision-making on genetically modified food and feed authorisations; whereas that practice has, on several occasions, been deplored by President Juncker as not being democratic(13);

M.  whereas, on 28 October 2015, Parliament rejected at first reading(14) the legislative proposal of 22 April 2015 amending Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 and called on the Commission to withdraw it and submit a new one;

1.  Considers that the draft Commission implementing decision exceeds the implementing powers provided for in Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003;

2.  Considers that the draft Commission implementing decision is not consistent with Union law, in that it is not compatible with the aim of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, which is, in accordance with the general principles laid down in Regulation (EC) No 178/2002(15), to provide the basis for ensuring a high level of protection of human life and health, animal health and welfare, and environmental and consumer interests, in relation to genetically modified food and feed, while ensuring the effective functioning of the internal market;

3.  Calls on the Commission to withdraw its draft implementing decision;

4.  Reiterates its commitment to advancing work on the Commission proposal amending Regulation (EU) No 182/2011; calls on the Council to move forward with its work in relation to that Commission proposal as a matter of urgency;

5.  Calls on the Commission to suspend any implementing decision regarding applications for authorisation of GMOs until the authorisation procedure has been revised in such a way as to address the shortcomings of the current procedure, which has proven inadequate;

6.  Calls on the Commission to withdraw proposals for GMO authorisations if no opinion is delivered by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health, whether for cultivation or for food and feed uses;

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

(1) OJ L 268, 18.10.2003, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13.
(3) Scientific Opinion on application (EFSA-GMO-DE-2011-95) for the placing on the market of genetically modified maize 5307 for food and feed uses, import and processing under Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 from Syngenta Crop Protection AG, https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2015.4083
(4) Statement complementing the EFSA Scientific Opinion on application (EFSA-GMO-DE-2011-95) for the placing on the market of genetically modified maize 5307 for food and feed uses, import and processing under Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 from Syngenta Crop Protection AG taking into consideration an additional toxicological study, https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/5233
(5)––––––––––––––––––––––––––– – Resolution of 16 January 2014 on the proposal for a Council decision concerning the placing on the market for cultivation, in accordance with Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, of a maize product (Zea mays L., line 1507) genetically modified for resistance to certain lepidopteran pests (OJ C 482, 23.12.2016, p. 110).Resolution of 16 December 2015 on Commission implementing decision (EU) 2015/2279 of 4 December 2015 authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize NK603 × T25 (OJ C 399, 24.11.2017, p. 71).Resolution of 3 February 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean MON 87705 × MON 89788 (OJ C 35, 31.1.2018, p. 19).Resolution of 3 February 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean MON 87708 × MON 89788 (OJ C 35, 31.1.2018, p. 17).Resolution of 3 February 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean FG72 (MST-FGØ72-2) (OJ C 35, 31.1.2018, p. 15).Resolution of 8 June 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize Bt11 × MIR162 × MIR604 × GA21, and genetically modified maizes combining two or three of those events (OJ C 86, 6.3.2018, p. 108).Resolution of 8 June 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision as regards the placing on the market of a genetically modified carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus L., line SHD-27531-4) (OJ C 86, 6.3.2018, p. 111).Resolution of 6 October 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision renewing the authorisation for the placing on the market for cultivation of genetically modified maize MON 810 seeds (OJ C 215, 19.6.2018, p. 76).Resolution of 6 October 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of genetically modified maize MON 810 products (OJ C 215, 19.6.2018, p. 80).Resolution of 6 October 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision concerning the placing on the market for cultivation of genetically modified maize Bt11 seeds (OJ C 215, 19.6.2018, p. 70).Resolution of 6 October 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision concerning the placing on the market for cultivation of genetically modified maize 1507 seeds (OJ C 215, 19.6.2018, p. 73).Resolution of 6 October 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified cotton 281-24-236 × 3006-210-23 × MON 88913 (OJ C 215, 19.6.2018, p. 83).Resolution of 5 April 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize Bt11 × 59122 × MIR604 × 1507 × GA21, and genetically modified maizes combining two, three or four of the events Bt11, 59122, MIR604, 1507 and GA21 pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 298, 23.8.2018, p. 34).Resolution of 17 May 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize DAS-40278-9, pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 307, 30.8.2018, p. 71).Resolution of 17 May 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified cotton GHB119 (BCS-GHØØ5-8) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ C 307, 30.8.2018, p. 67).Resolution of 13 September 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean DAS-68416-4, pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 337, 20.9.2018, p. 54).Resolution of 4 October 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean FG72 × A5547-127 pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 346, 27.9.2018, p. 55).Resolution of 4 October 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean DAS-44406-6, pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 346, 27.9.2018, p. 60).Resolution of 24 October 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision renewing the authorisation for the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize 1507 (DAS-Ø15Ø7-1) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 346, 27.9.2018, p. 122).Resolution of 24 October 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean 305423 × 40-3-2 (DP-3Ø5423-1 × MON-Ø4Ø32-6) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 346, 27.9.2018, p. 127).Resolution of 24 October 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified oilseed rapes MON 88302 × Ms8 × Rf3 (MON-883Ø2-9 × ACSBNØØ5-8 × ACS-BNØØ3-6), MON 88302 × Ms8 (MON-883Ø2-9 × ACSBNØØ5-8) and MON 88302 × Rf3 (MON-883Ø2-9 × ACS-BNØØ3-6) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 346, 27.9.2018, p. 133).Resolution of 1 March 2018 on the draft Commission implementing decision renewing the authorisation for the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize 59122 (DAS-59122-7) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0051).Resolution of 1 March 2018 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize MON 87427 × MON 89034 × NK603 (MON-87427-7 × MON-89Ø34-3 × MON-ØØ6Ø3-6) and genetically modified maize combining two of the events MON 87427, MON 89034 and NK603, and repealing Decision 2010/420/EU (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0052).Resolution of 3 May 2018 on the draft Commission implementing decision renewing the authorisation for the placing on the market of food and feed produced from genetically modified sugar beet H7-1 (KM-ØØØH71-4) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0197).Resolution of 30 May 2018 on the draft Commission implementing decision renewing the authorisation for the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize GA21 (MON-ØØØ21-9) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0221).Resolution of 30 May 2018 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize 1507 × 59122 × MON 810 × NK603, and genetically modified maize combining two or three of the single events 1507, 59122, MON 810 and NK603, and repealing Decisions 2009/815/EC, 2010/428/EU and 2010/432/EU pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0222).Resolution of 24 October 2018 on the draft Commission implementing decision renewing the authorisation for the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of or produced from genetically modified maize NK603 × MON 810 (MON-ØØ6Ø3-6 × MON-ØØ81Ø-6) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0416).Resolution of 24 October 2018 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of or produced from genetically modified maize MON 87427 × MON 89034 × 1507 × MON 88017 × 59122, and genetically modified maize combining two, three or four of the single events MON 87427, MON 89034, 1507, MON 88017 and 59122 and repealing Decision 2011/366/EU (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0417).
(6) EFSA opinion, 2015, p. 15, https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2015.4083
(7) EFSA statement, 2018, p. 4, https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/5233
(8) See analysis from the Institute for Independent Impact Assessment in Biotechnology, TESTBIOTECH, p. 3 for further details: https://www.testbiotech.org/sites/default/files/Testbiotech_Comment_Maize%205307.pdf
(9) EFSA opinion, 2015, p. 9, https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2015.4083
(10) cf. Annex G, Member State comments, http://registerofquestions.efsa.europa.eu/roqFrontend/questionLoader?question=EFSA-Q-2011-00310
(11) Member State comments, p. 95.
(12) Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 February 2005 on maximum residue levels of pesticides in or on food and feed of plant and animal origin and amending Council Directive 91/414/EEC (OJ L 70, 16.3.2005, p. 1).
(13) See, for example, the Opening Statement at the European Parliament plenary session included in the political guidelines for the next European Commission (Strasbourg, 15 July 2014) or in the State of the Union Address 2016 (Strasbourg, 14 September 2016).
(14) OJ C 355, 20.10.2017, p. 165.
(15) OJ L 31, 1.2.2002, p. 1.


Genetically modified maize MON 87403 (MON-874Ø3-1)
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European Parliament resolution of 31 January 2019 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of or produced from genetically modified maize MON 87403 (MON-874Ø3-1), pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (D059691/02 – 2019/2523(RSP))
P8_TA(2019)0059B8-0075/2019

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of or produced from genetically modified maize MON 87403 (MON-874Ø3-1), pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (D059691/02),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2003 on genetically modified food and feed(1), and in particular Articles 7(3) and 19(3) thereof,

–  having regard to the vote on 3 December 2018 of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health referred to in Article 35 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, at which no opinion was delivered,

–  having regard to Articles 11 and 13 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers(2),

–  having regard to the opinion adopted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on 8 March 2018 and published on 28 March 2018(3),

–  having regard to the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers (COM(2017)0085, 2017/0035(COD)),

–  having regard to its previous resolutions objecting to the authorisation of genetically modified organisms(4),

–  having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety,

–  having regard to Rule 106(2) and (3) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas on 26 June 2015, Monsanto Europe SA/NV submitted, on behalf of the Monsanto company, United States, an application, in accordance with Articles 5 and 17 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, for the placing on the market of foods, food ingredients and feed containing, consisting of or produced from genetically modified (GM) maize MON 87403 (‘the application’) to the national competent authority of Belgium, and whereas the application also covered the placing on the market of products containing or consisting of GM maize MON 87403 for uses other than food and feed, with the exception of cultivation;

B.  whereas maize MON 87403 is genetically modified to increase the biomass and yield of the ears (which become the corn cob for harvest) through insertion of a truncated gene sequence derived from another plant species (Arabidopsis thaliana); whereas this leads to the expression of a protein (AtHB17Δ113) which is intended to act in competition with a similar natural protein that controls gene regulation and growth of the plants;

C.  whereas many critical comments were submitted by competent authorities during the three-month consultation period(5); whereas the remarks included, inter alia, the observations that experimental data did not support the claim of increased yield for GM maize MON 87403, that it is not possible to conclude on the safety of the long-term reproductive or developmental effects of the whole food and/or feed, that the applicant’s proposal for an environmental monitoring plan does not meet the objectives defined in Annex VII to Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council(6) and, crucially, that the evidence provided was not considered sufficient to reassure consumers of the safety of GM maize MON 87403;

D.  whereas despite EFSA giving the green light as regards the safety of GM maize MON 87403, an independent analysis of EFSA’s evaluation shows that the exact molecular mechanisms involved in the expression of AtHB17Δ113, as well as how this results in the supposed intended effects and any possible side effects, remain poorly understood and require further research(7); whereas without comprehensive understanding of the genetic modification it is not possible to fully evaluate the associated risks;

E.  whereas the outcome of field trials performed by the applicant shows that the observed effects of the intended trait, i.e. increased biomass and yield of the ears, were not only very small but also inconsistent; whereas the EFSA Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (EFSA GMO Panel) acknowledged that ‘the change due to the intended trait is known to be of limited amplitude...which suggests that the manifestation of the trait may depend on environmental conditions in the field trials’(8);

F.  whereas the field trials were only performed in the United States; whereas if authorised for import into the Union, GM maize MON 87403 may be cultivated in a wide range of maize-producing countries, with vastly differing climatic and agronomic conditions and additional stressors such as water limitation or drought; whereas the impact of these stressors and conditions, which the EFSA GMO Panel acknowledges may impact the manifestation of the trait (and therefore also any unintended effects), has therefore not been adequately addressed;

G.  whereas, paradoxically, while the EFSA GMO Panel concluded that the compositional analysis (comparison of the composition of GM maize MON 87403 with a non-GM comparator based on field trial results) ‘did not identify issues requiring further assessment regarding food and feed safety and its environmental impact’, the panel also questioned ‘whether the compositional data obtained from the field trials would allow a thorough risk assessment’;

H.  whereas the potential risks posed by this GM maize to human and animal health and the environment have not been adequately examined by the EFSA GMO Panel; whereas it is unacceptable that the Commission proposes to authorise this GM maize on the basis of the EFSA opinion;

I.  whereas one of the studies referenced in the EFSA opinion was a study co-authored by an EFSA GMO Panel member and a scientist working for Syngenta(9); whereas it has been noted that references to this study were later removed from the EFSA opinion, while EFSA noted that their removal ‘does not materially affect the content or outcome’(10);

J.  whereas Parliament welcomes the fact that EFSA’s Executive Director has committed to ensuring that, in the future, EFSA staff members will no longer co-author scientific publications with industry-affiliated scientists, in order to avoid perceptions of inappropriate proximity to industry and in the interests of increasing consumer confidence in the Union food safety system(11); whereas it is of the utmost importance that all studies used by EFSA in its work are clearly referenced;

K.  whereas the vote on 3 December 2018 of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health referred to in Article 35 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 delivered no opinion, meaning that the authorisation was not supported by a qualified majority of Member States;

L.  whereas, both in the explanatory memorandum of its legislative proposal presented on 22 April 2015 amending Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 as regards the possibility for the Member States to restrict or prohibit the use of genetically modified food and feed on their territory and in the explanatory memorandum of the legislative proposal presented on 14 February 2017 amending Regulation (EU) No 182/2011, the Commission deplored the fact that, since the entry into force of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, authorisation decisions have been adopted by the Commission without the support of the opinion of the Member States’ committee and that the return of the dossier to the Commission for final decision, which is very much the exception for the procedure as a whole, has become the norm for decision-making on genetically modified food and feed authorisations; whereas that practice has, on several occasions, been deplored by President Juncker as not being democratic(12);

M.  whereas on 28 October 2015, Parliament rejected at first reading(13) the legislative proposal of 22 April 2015 amending Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 and called on the Commission to withdraw it and submit a new one;

1.  Considers that the draft Commission implementing decision exceeds the implementing powers provided for in Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003;

2.  Considers that the draft Commission implementing decision is not consistent with Union law, in that it is not compatible with the aim of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, which is, in accordance with the general principles laid down in Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council(14), to provide the basis for ensuring a high level of protection of human life and health, animal health and welfare, and environmental and consumer interests, in relation to genetically modified food and feed, while ensuring the effective functioning of the internal market;

3.  Calls on the Commission to withdraw its draft implementing decision;

4.  Reiterates its commitment to advancing work on the Commission proposal amending Regulation (EU) No 182/2011; calls on the Council to move forward with its work in relation to that Commission proposal as a matter of urgency;

5.  Calls on the Commission to suspend any implementing decision regarding applications for authorisation of GMOs until the authorisation procedure has been revised in such a way as to address the shortcomings of the current procedure, which has proven inadequate;

6.  Calls on the Commission to withdraw proposals for GMO authorisations if no opinion is delivered by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health, whether for cultivation or for food and feed uses;

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

(1) OJ L 268, 18.10.2003, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13.
(3) Assessment of genetically modified maize MON 87403 for food and feed uses, import and processing, under Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 (application EFSA‐GMO‐BE‐2015‐125), https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.2903/j.efsa.2018.5225
(4)––––––––––––––––––––––––––– – Resolution of 16 January 2014 on the proposal for a Council decision concerning the placing on the market for cultivation, in accordance with Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, of a maize product (Zea mays L., line 1507) genetically modified for resistance to certain lepidopteran pests (OJ C 482, 23.12.2016, p. 110).Resolution of 16 December 2015 on Commission implementing decision (EU) 2015/2279 of 4 December 2015 authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize NK603 × T25 (OJ C 399, 24.11.2017, p. 71).Resolution of 3 February 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean MON 87705 × MON 89788 (OJ C 35, 31.1.2018, p. 19).Resolution of 3 February 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean MON 87708 × MON 89788 (OJ C 35, 31.1.2018, p. 17).Resolution of 3 February 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean FG72 (MST-FGØ72-2) (OJ C 35, 31.1.2018, p. 15).Resolution of 8 June 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize Bt11 × MIR162 × MIR604 × GA21, and genetically modified maizes combining two or three of those events (OJ C 86, 6.3.2018, p. 108).Resolution of 8 June 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision as regards the placing on the market of a genetically modified carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus L., line SHD-27531-4) (OJ C 86, 6.3.2018, p. 111).Resolution of 6 October 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision renewing the authorisation for the placing on the market for cultivation of genetically modified maize MON 810 seeds (OJ C 215, 19.6.2018, p. 76).Resolution of 6 October 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of genetically modified maize MON 810 products (OJ C 215, 19.6.2018, p. 80).Resolution of 6 October 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision concerning the placing on the market for cultivation of genetically modified maize Bt11 seeds (OJ C 215, 19.6.2018, p. 70).Resolution of 6 October 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision concerning the placing on the market for cultivation of genetically modified maize 1507 seeds (OJ C 215, 19.6.2018, p. 73).Resolution of 6 October 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified cotton 281-24-236 × 3006-210-23 × MON 88913 (OJ C 215, 19.6.2018, p. 83).Resolution of 5 April 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize Bt11 × 59122 × MIR604 × 1507 × GA21, and genetically modified maizes combining two, three or four of the events Bt11, 59122, MIR604, 1507 and GA21 pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 298, 23.8.2018, p. 34).Resolution of 17 May 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize DAS-40278-9, pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 307, 30.8.2018, p. 71).Resolution of 17 May 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified cotton GHB119 (BCS-GHØØ5-8) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ C 307, 30.8.2018, p. 67).Resolution of 13 September 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean DAS-68416-4, pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 337, 20.9.2018, p. 54).Resolution of 4 October 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean FG72 × A5547-127 pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 346, 27.9.2018, p. 55).Resolution of 4 October 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean DAS-44406-6, pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 346, 27.9.2018, p. 60).Resolution of 24 October 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision renewing the authorisation for the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize 1507 (DAS-Ø15Ø7-1) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 346, 27.9.2018, p. 122).Resolution of 24 October 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean 305423 × 40-3-2 (DP-3Ø5423-1 × MON-Ø4Ø32-6) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 346, 27.9.2018, p. 127).Resolution of 24 October 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified oilseed rapes MON 88302 × Ms8 × Rf3 (MON-883Ø2-9 × ACSBNØØ5-8 × ACS-BNØØ3-6), MON 88302 × Ms8 (MON-883Ø2-9 × ACSBNØØ5-8) and MON 88302 × Rf3 (MON-883Ø2-9 × ACS-BNØØ3-6) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 346, 27.9.2018, p. 133).Resolution of 1 March 2018 on the draft Commission implementing decision renewing the authorisation for the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize 59122 (DAS-59122-7) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0051).Resolution of 1 March 2018 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize MON 87427 × MON 89034 × NK603 (MON-87427-7 × MON-89Ø34-3 × MON-ØØ6Ø3-6) and genetically modified maize combining two of the events MON 87427, MON 89034 and NK603, and repealing Decision 2010/420/EU (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0052).Resolution of 3 May 2018 on the draft Commission implementing decision renewing the authorisation for the placing on the market of food and feed produced from genetically modified sugar beet H7-1 (KM-ØØØH71-4) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0197).Resolution of 30 May 2018 on the draft Commission implementing decision renewing the authorisation for the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize GA21 (MON-ØØØ21-9) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0221).Resolution of 30 May 2018 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize 1507 × 59122 × MON 810 × NK603, and genetically modified maize combining two or three of the single events 1507, 59122, MON 810 and NK603, and repealing Decisions 2009/815/EC, 2010/428/EU and 2010/432/EU pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0222).Resolution of 24 October 2018 on the draft Commission implementing decision renewing the authorisation for the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of or produced from genetically modified maize NK603 × MON 810 (MON-ØØ6Ø3-6 × MON-ØØ81Ø-6) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0416).Resolution of 24 October 2018 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of or produced from genetically modified maize MON 87427 × MON 89034 × 1507 × MON 88017 × 59122, and genetically modified maize combining two, three or four of the single events MON 87427, MON 89034, 1507, MON 88017 and 59122 and repealing Decision 2011/366/EU (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0417).
(5) Member States’ comments: http://registerofquestions.efsa.europa.eu/roqFrontend/questionDocumentsLoader?question=EFSA-Q-2018-00222
(6) Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 March 2001 on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms and repealing Council Directive 90/220/EEC (OJ L 106, 17.4.2001, p. 1).
(7) Testbiotech comment on EFSA GMO Panel, 2018, Scientific opinion on the assessment of genetically engineered maize MON 87403 for food and feed uses, import and processing, from Monsanto: https://www.testbiotech.org/node/2210
(8) EFSA opinion, p. 3: https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.2903/j.efsa.2018.5225
(9) For details, see Testbiotech comment on EFSA GMO Panel, 2018, Scientific opinion on the assessment of genetically engineered maize MON 87403 for food and feed uses, import and processing, from Monsanto: https://www.testbiotech.org/node/2210
(10) See EFSA opinion, p. 2: https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.2903/j.efsa.2018.5225
(11) July 2018 letter from EFSA to Testbiotech: http://www.testbiotech.org/sites/default/files/EFSA_letter_Testbiotech_July_2018%20.pdf
(12) See, for example, the Opening Statement at the European Parliament plenary session included in the political guidelines for the next European Commission (Strasbourg, 15 July 2014) or in the State of the Union Address 2016 (Strasbourg, 14 September 2016).
(13) OJ C 355, 20.10.2017, p. 165.
(14) OJ L 31, 1.2.2002, p. 1.


Genetically modified cotton GHB614 × LLCotton25 × MON 15985
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European Parliament resolution of 31 January 2019 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of or produced from genetically modified cotton GHB614 × LLCotton25 × MON 15985 pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (D059692/02 – 2019/2524(RSP))
P8_TA(2019)0060B8-0076/2019

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of or produced from genetically modified cotton GHB614 × LLCotton25 × MON 15985 pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (D059692/02),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2003 on genetically modified food and feed(1), and in particular Articles 7(3) and 19(3) thereof,

–  having regard to the vote on 3 December 2018 of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health referred to in Article 35 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, at which no opinion was delivered,

–  having regard to Articles 11 and 13 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers(2),

–  having regard to the opinion adopted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on 7 March 2018 and published on 20 April 2018(3),

–  having regard to the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers (COM(2017)0085, 2017/0035(COD)),

–  having regard to its previous resolutions objecting to the authorisation of genetically modified organisms(4),

–  having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety,

–  having regard to Rule 106(2) and (3) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas, on 11 February 2011, Bayer CropScience AG submitted an application, in accordance with Articles 5 and 17 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, for the placing on the market of foods, food ingredients and feed containing, consisting of or produced from cotton GHB614 × LLCotton25 × MON 15985 and the subcombination LLCotton25 × MON 15985 (‘the application’) to the national competent authority of the Netherlands; whereas the application also covered the placing on the market of genetically modified (GM) cotton GHB614 × LLCotton25 × MON 15985 and the subcombination LLCotton25 × MON 15985 in products containing it or consisting of it for uses other than food and feed, with the exception of cultivation;

B.  whereas, on 7 March 2018, EFSA adopted a favourable opinion in relation to the application;

C.  whereas GM cotton GHB614 × LLCotton25 × MON 15985 expresses the 2mEPSPS protein, which confers tolerance to glyphosate-containing herbicides, the PAT protein, which confers tolerance to glufosinate-ammonium-based herbicides and the Cry1Ac and Cry1Ab2 proteins, which confer protection against certain lepidopteran pests; whereas, in addition, the plant produces proteins (NPTII and AAD) that confer resistance to antibiotics;

D.  whereas, while the human consumption of cottonseed oil may be relatively limited in Europe, it can be found in a wide variety of food products, including dressings, mayonnaise, fine bakery wares, chocolate spreads and chips(5);

E.  whereas cotton is fed to animals mainly in the form of cottonseed cake/meal or as full fat cottonseeds(6);

Residues and components of the complementary herbicides

F.  whereas application of the complementary herbicides, in this case glyphosate and glufosinate, is part of regular agricultural practice in the cultivation of herbicide-resistant plants and it can therefore be expected that they will be exposed to both higher and repeated doses, which will not only lead to a higher burden of residues in the harvest, and therefore in the imported product, but may also influence the composition of the GM plant and its agronomic characteristics;

G.  whereas the use of glufosinate is no longer permitted in the Union since 1 August 2018, as it has been classified as toxic to reproduction and thus falls under the cut-off criteria set out in Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council(7);

H.  whereas questions remain concerning the carcinogenicity of glyphosate; whereas EFSA concluded in November 2015 that glyphosate was unlikely to be carcinogenic and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) concluded in March 2017 that no classification was warranted; whereas, on the contrary, in 2015 the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen for humans;

I.  whereas, in general, according to the EFSA Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues, conclusions on the safety of residues from spraying GM crops with glyphosate formations cannot be drawn(8); whereas additives and their mixtures used in commercial formulations for spraying glyphosate can show a higher toxicity than the active ingredient alone(9);

J.  whereas the Union has already removed a glyphosate additive known as POE tallowamine from the market owing to concerns over its toxicity; whereas problematic additives and mixtures may, however, still be permitted in the countries where this GM cotton is cultivated (currently Japan);

K.  whereas information on residue levels of herbicides and their metabolites is essential for a thorough risk assessment of herbicide-tolerant GM plants; whereas residues from spraying with herbicides are considered outside the remit of the EFSA Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (EFSO GMO panel); whereas the impact of spraying GM cotton with herbicides has not been assessed, nor has the cumulative effect of spraying with both glyphosate and glufosinate;

L.  whereas Member States are not legally required to measure glyphosate or glufosinate residues on cotton imports in order to ensure compliance with maximum residue levels as part of the coordinated multiannual control programme of the Union for 2019, 2020 and 2021(10); whereas in the latest European Union report on pesticide residues in food, compiled by EFSA and based on the results of the coordinated multiannual programme as well as the individual programmes of Member States, there is no information on compliance of cotton with maximum residue levels for any pesticides(11); whereas, according to the latest data, it is therefore not known whether glyphosate or glufosinate residues on GM cotton GHB614 × LLCotton25 × MON 15985 comply with Union maximum residue limits;

Presence of toxic substance gossypol

M.  whereas gossypol is a naturally occurring toxic constituent of cotton; whereas the presence of the EPSPS protein may lead to higher levels of gossypol in GM plants containing this protein(12); whereas the EFSA GMO panel noted that the free gossypol in raw cottonseeds of GM cotton GHB614 x LLcotton25 x MON15985 were higher than in its non-GM comparator (7 200 mg/kg and 6 000 mg/kg respectively)(13), both of which were higher than the legal limit of 5 000 set in Directive 2002/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council for animal feed(14);

N.  whereas, according to a 2014 study on ‘Gossypol Toxicity from Cottonseed Products’ the most common toxic effect in animals is the impairment of male and female reproduction, causing serious economic losses to the livestock industry, as well as its interference with immune function, reducing an animal’s resistance to infections and impairing the efficiency of vaccines(15); whereas the EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain has described gossypol as an undesirable substance in animal feed(16);

O.  whereas the EFSA GMO panel states that the higher content of gossypol in cottonseed from GM cotton GHB614 x LLcotton25 x MON15985 compared to the non-GM comparator ‘is of no safety concern for animals and humans in practice because (i) the maximum content of free gossypol is regulated by European legislation, and (ii) bleached and refined cottonseed oil as well as flour produced from cottonseed, which may be directly consumed by humans, are essentially free from gossypol’(17); whereas EFSA did not evaluate cotton oil (for human consumption) nor cotton meal (for animal feed) as recommended by the current OECD Consensus document on compositional considerations for new varieties of cotton; whereas the statement that gossypol is subject to legal limits under Union legislation does not provide sufficient assurances that GM cotton GHB614 x LLcotton25 x MON15985 is safe for consumption;

Cry proteins and link to allergic reactions

P.  whereas GHB614 x LLcotton25 x MON15985 expresses two Bt toxins (the Cry1Ac and Cry1Ab2 proteins) which confer protection against certain lepidopteran pests; whereas although Cry1 proteins have been recognised as having adjuvant properties, meaning that they can possibly reinforce the allergenic properties of other foodstuffs, this was not analysed by EFSA;

Q.  whereas a 2017 scientific study on the possible health impacts of Bt toxins and residues from spraying with complementary herbicides concludes that specific attention should be paid to the herbicide residues and their interaction with Bt toxins(18); whereas this was not investigated by EFSA;

Antibiotic resistance

R.  whereas GHB614 x LLcotton25 x MON15985 produces proteins (NPTII and AAD) that confer resistance to antibiotics; whereas NPT11 confers resistance to neomycin and kanamycin; whereas AAD confers resistance to streptomycin; whereas all of these antimicrobials are classified as ‘critically important’ by the WHO(19);

S.  whereas Article 4(2) of Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council(20) requires that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) which contain genes expressing resistance to antibiotics in use for medical or veterinary treatment are taken into particular consideration when carrying out an environmental risk assessment and that the overall aim is to identify and phase out in GMOs antibiotic resistance marker genes (ARMGs) which may have adverse effects on human health or on environmental safety;

T.  whereas the EFSA GMO panel examined, in a 2004 opinion, the use of ARMGs in the selection of transgenic events in plants due to concerns that the use of such marker genes could potentially lead to increased resistance to antibiotics in humans and animals as a result of gene transfer from GM plants to bacteria;

U.  whereas, according to this 2004 opinion, the AAD gene belongs to group II of antibiotic resistance genes which ‘should be restricted to field trial purposes and should not be present in GM plants to be placed on the market’(21);

Comments from Member State competent authorities

V.  whereas many critical comments were submitted by competent authorities during the three-month consultation period, including, but not restricted to, the issues outlined above(22);

Lack of democracy in the decision-making process

W.  whereas the vote on 3 December 2018 of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health referred to in Article 35 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 delivered no opinion, meaning that the authorisation was not supported by a qualified majority of Member States;

X.  whereas, both in the explanatory memorandum of its legislative proposal presented on 22 April 2015 amending Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 as regards the possibility for the Member States to restrict or prohibit the use of genetically modified food and feed on their territory and in the explanatory memorandum of the legislative proposal presented on 14 February 2017 amending Regulation (EU) No 182/2011, the Commission deplored the fact that, since the entry into force of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, authorisation decisions have been adopted by the Commission without the support of the opinion of the Member State Committee and that the return of the dossier to the Commission for final decision, which is very much the exception for the procedure as a whole, has become the norm for decision-making on genetically modified food and feed authorisations; whereas that practice has, on several occasions, been deplored by President Juncker as not being democratic(23);

Y.  whereas, on 28 October 2015, Parliament rejected at first reading(24) the legislative proposal of 22 April 2015 amending Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 and called on the Commission to withdraw it and submit a new one;

1.  Considers that the draft Commission implementing decision exceeds the implementing powers provided for in Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003;

2.  Calls on the Commission to withdraw its draft implementing decision;

3.  Calls on the Commission not to authorise the import, for food or feed uses, of any genetically modified plant which has been made tolerant to a herbicide which is not authorised for use in the Union, in this case glufosinate;

4.  Calls on the Commission not to authorise any herbicide-tolerant GM plants without full assessment of the residues from spraying with complementary herbicides, metabolites and commercial formulations as applied in the countries of cultivation;

5.  Calls on the Commission to fully integrate the risk assessment of the application of complementary herbicides and their residues into the risk assessment of herbicide-tolerant GM plants, regardless of whether the GM plant concerned is to be cultivated in the Union or is for import into the Union for food and feed uses;

6.  Calls on the Commission not to authorise any GM plants which contain antimicrobial resistant genes;

7.  Reiterates its commitment to advancing work on the Commission proposal amending Regulation (EU) No 182/2011; calls on the Council to move forward with its work in relation to that Commission proposal as a matter of urgency;

8.  Calls on the Commission to suspend any implementing decision regarding applications for authorisation of GMOs until the authorisation procedure has been revised in such a way as to address the shortcomings of the current procedure, which has proven inadequate;

9.  Calls on the Commission to withdraw proposals for GMO authorisations if no opinion is delivered by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health, whether for cultivation or for food and feed uses;

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

(1) OJ L 268, 18.10.2003, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13.
(3) Assessment of genetically modified cotton GHB614 × LLCotton25 × MON 15985 for food and feed uses, under Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 (application EFSA‐GMO‐NL‐2011‐94), https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/5213
(4)–––––––––––––––––––––––———— – Resolution of 16 January 2014 on the proposal for a Council decision concerning the placing on the market for cultivation, in accordance with Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, of a maize product (Zea mays L., line 1507) genetically modified for resistance to certain lepidopteran pests (OJ C 482, 23.12.2016, p. 110).Resolution of 16 December 2015 on Commission implementing decision (EU) 2015/2279 of 4 December 2015 authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize NK603 × T25 (OJ C 399, 24.11.2017, p. 71).Resolution of 3 February 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean MON 87705 × MON 89788 (OJ C 35, 31.1.2018, p. 19).Resolution of 3 February 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean MON 87708 × MON 89788 (OJ C 35, 31.1.2018, p. 17).Resolution of 3 February 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean FG72 (MST-FGØ72-2) (OJ C 35, 31.1.2018, p. 15).Resolution of 8 June 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize Bt11 × MIR162 × MIR604 × GA21, and genetically modified maizes combining two or three of those events (OJ C 86, 6.3.2018, p. 108).Resolution of 8 June 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision as regards the placing on the market of a genetically modified carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus L., line SHD-27531-4) (OJ C 86, 6.3.2018, p. 111).Resolution of 6 October 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision renewing the authorisation for the placing on the market for cultivation of genetically modified maize MON 810 seeds (OJ C 215, 19.6.2018, p. 76).Resolution of 6 October 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of genetically modified maize MON 810 products (OJ C 215, 19.6.2018, p. 80).Resolution of 6 October 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision concerning the placing on the market for cultivation of genetically modified maize Bt11 seeds (OJ C 215, 19.6.2018, p. 70).Resolution of 6 October 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision concerning the placing on the market for cultivation of genetically modified maize 1507 seeds (OJ C 215, 19.6.2018, p. 73).Resolution of 6 October 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified cotton 281-24-236 × 3006-210-23 × MON 88913 (OJ C 215, 19.6.2018, p. 83).Resolution of 5 April 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize Bt11 × 59122 × MIR604 × 1507 × GA21, and genetically modified maizes combining two, three or four of the events Bt11, 59122, MIR604, 1507 and GA21 pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 298, 23.8.2018, p. 34).Resolution of 17 May 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize DAS-40278-9, pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 307, 30.8.2018, p. 71).Resolution of 17 May 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified cotton GHB119 (BCS-GHØØ5-8) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ C 307, 30.8.2018, p. 67).Resolution of 13 September 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean DAS-68416-4, pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 337, 20.9.2018, p. 54).Resolution of 4 October 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean FG72 × A5547-127 pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 346, 27.9.2018, p. 55).Resolution of 4 October 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean DAS-44406-6, pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 346, 27.9.2018, p. 60).Resolution of 24 October 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision renewing the authorisation for the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize 1507 (DAS-Ø15Ø7-1) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 346, 27.9.2018, p. 122).Resolution of 24 October 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean 305423 × 40-3-2 (DP-3Ø5423-1 × MON-Ø4Ø32-6) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 346, 27.9.2018, p. 127).Resolution of 24 October 2017 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified oilseed rapes MON 88302 × Ms8 × Rf3 (MON-883Ø2-9 × ACSBNØØ5-8 × ACS-BNØØ3-6), MON 88302 × Ms8 (MON-883Ø2-9 × ACSBNØØ5-8) and MON 88302 × Rf3 (MON-883Ø2-9 × ACS-BNØØ3-6) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (OJ C 346, 27.9.2018, p. 133).Resolution of 1 March 2018 on the draft Commission implementing decision renewing the authorisation for the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize 59122 (DAS-59122-7) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0051).Resolution of 1 March 2018 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize MON 87427 × MON 89034 × NK603 (MON-87427-7 × MON-89Ø34-3 × MON-ØØ6Ø3-6) and genetically modified maize combining two of the events MON 87427, MON 89034 and NK603, and repealing Decision 2010/420/EU (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0052).Resolution of 3 May 2018 on the draft Commission implementing decision renewing the authorisation for the placing on the market of food and feed produced from genetically modified sugar beet H7-1 (KM-ØØØH71-4) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0197).Resolution of 30 May 2018 on the draft Commission implementing decision renewing the authorisation for the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize GA21 (MON-ØØØ21-9) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0221).Resolution of 30 May 2018 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize 1507 × 59122 × MON 810 × NK603, and genetically modified maize combining two or three of the single events 1507, 59122, MON 810 and NK603, and repealing Decisions 2009/815/EC, 2010/428/EU and 2010/432/EU pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on genetically modified food and feed (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0222).Resolution of 24 October 2018 on the draft Commission implementing decision renewing the authorisation for the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of or produced from genetically modified maize NK603 × MON 810 (MON-ØØ6Ø3-6 × MON-ØØ81Ø-6) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0416).Resolution of 24 October 2018 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of or produced from genetically modified maize MON 87427 × MON 89034 × 1507 × MON 88017 × 59122, and genetically modified maize combining two, three or four of the single events MON 87427, MON 89034, 1507, MON 88017 and 59122 and repealing Decision 2011/366/EU (Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0417).
(5) EFSA opinion, p. 17 https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/5213
(6) EFSA opinion p. 18 https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/5213
(7) Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market and repealing Council Directives 79/117/EEC and 91/414/EEC (OJ L 309, 24.11.2009, p. 1).
(8) EFSA conclusion on the peer review of the pesticide risk assessment of the active substance glyphosate. EFSA Journal 2015;13 (11):4302, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.2903/j.efsa.2015.4302/epdf
(9) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3955666
(10) Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/555 of 9 April 2018 concerning a coordinated multiannual control programme of the Union for 2019, 2020 and 2021 to ensure compliance with maximum residue levels of pesticides and to assess the consumer exposure to pesticide residues in and on food of plant and animal origin (OJ L 92, 10.4.2018, p. 6).
(11) The 2016 European Union report on pesticide residues in food https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/5348
(12) https://www.testbiotech.org/node/2209 p. 2.
(13) EFSA opinion, p. 14, https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/5213
(14) Directive 2002/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 May 2002 on undesirable substances in animal feed (OJ L 140, 30.5.2002, p. 10) sets a maximum level on gossypol in cottonseed (as a feed material) of 5 000 mg/kg https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:02002L0032-20131227&from=ES
(15) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4033412/
(16) EFSA opinion, p. 15 https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/5213
(17) EFSA opinion, p. 15 https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/5213
(18) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5236067/
(19) p21 http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/255027/9789241512220-eng.pdf;jsessionid=11933F77EEEE4D6E7BD574889996C4E6?sequence=1
(20) Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 March 2001 on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms and repealing Council Directive 90/220/EEC (OJ L 106, 17.4.2001, p. 1).
(21) https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2004.48
(22) cf. Annex G, Member States comments http://registerofquestions.efsa.europa.eu/roqFrontend/questionDocumentsLoader?question=EFSA-Q-2018-00147
(23) See, for example, the Opening Statement at the European Parliament plenary session included in the political guidelines for the next European Commission (Strasbourg, 15 July 2014) or in the State of the Union Address 2016 (Strasbourg, 14 September 2016).
(24) OJ C 355, 20.10.2017, p. 165.


Situation in Venezuela
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European Parliament resolution of 31 January 2019 on the situation in Venezuela (2019/2543(RSP))
P8_TA(2019)0061RC-B8-0082/2019

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Venezuela, in particular those of 3 May 2018 on the elections in Venezuela(1), of 5 July 2018 on the migration crisis and humanitarian situation in Venezuela and at its terrestrial borders with Colombia and Brazil(2) and of 25 October 2018 on the situation in Venezuela(3),

–  having regard to the declaration of 26 January 2019 by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on behalf of the EU on the situation in Venezuela,

–  having regard to the declaration of 10 January 2019 by the VP/HR on behalf of the EU,

–  having regard to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC),

–  having regard to the Venezuelan Constitution, and in particular Article 233 thereof,

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

A.  whereas the elections held on 20 May 2018 were conducted without complying with the minimum international standards for a credible process and failed to respect political pluralism, democracy, transparency and the rule of law; whereas the EU, together with other regional organisations and democratic countries, recognised neither the elections nor the authorities put in place by this illegitimate process;

B.  whereas on 10 January 2019 Nicolás Maduro illegitimately usurped presidential power before the Supreme Court of Justice, in breach of the constitutional order;

C.  whereas on 23 January 2019 the legitimately and democratically elected President of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, was sworn in as the interim president of Venezuela, in accordance with Article 233 of the Venezuelan Constitution;

D.  whereas protests and massive demonstrations have taken place in Venezuela over the last few days; whereas dozens of deaths and several hundred people injured are being reported in the context of demonstrations and unrest; whereas casualties and serious human rights violations persist, resulting from acts of violence against and repression of social protests, illegal raids, arbitrary arrests, including of more than 70 minors, and stigmatisation and persecution of opposition activists; whereas new protests have been called for this past week;

E.  whereas the EU has repeatedly called for ‘the restoration of democracy and the rule of law in Venezuela through a credible political process’;

F.  whereas in 2017 the European Parliament awarded its Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to the democratic opposition and political prisoners in Venezuela;

G.  whereas the Venezuelan population is facing an unprecedented social, economic and democratic crisis, with more than 3 million people having migrated and the inflation rate exceeding 1 650 000 %;

H.  whereas international and regional partners, including the EU, have committed to help to create conditions for a peaceful, credible and inclusive political process among all relevant Venezuelan actors; whereas the EU has reiterated its willingness to keep the channels of communication open;

I.  whereas Nicolás Maduro has publicly rejected the possibility of holding new presidential elections in response to the request by the VP/HR on behalf of the EU for the urgent holding of free, transparent and credible presidential elections;

1.  Recognises Mr Guaidó as the legitimate interim president of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in accordance with the Venezuelan Constitution, as stated in Article 233 thereof, and expresses its full support for his roadmap;

2.  Requests that the VP/HR, together with the Member States, adopt a strong, unified stance, and recognise Juan Guaidó as the only legitimate interim president of the country until new free, transparent and credible presidential elections can be called in order to restore democracy; welcomes the fact that many democratic states have already recognised the new interim presidency;

3.  Calls for the EU and its Member States, if this decision is endorsed, to act in this regard and accredit those representatives to be appointed by the legitimate authorities;

4.  Strongly condemns the fierce repression and violence, resulting in killings and casualties; expresses its solidarity with the people of Venezuela and its sincere condolences to their families and friends; urges the de facto Venezuelan authorities to halt all human rights violations, to hold those responsible for them to account, and to ensure that all fundamental freedoms and human rights are fully respected;

5.  Condemns the detention of several journalists covering the situation in Venezuela and calls for their immediate release;

6.  Rejects any proposals or attempts to resolve the crisis that might entail the use of violence;

7.  Reiterates its full support to the National Assembly, which is the only legitimate democratic body of Venezuela and whose powers need to be restored and respected, including the prerogatives and safety of its members;

8.  Strongly supports the call by the UN Secretary-General for an independent and full investigation to be carried out into the perpetrated killings, in line with its previously adopted resolutions;

9.  Calls on the VP/HR to engage with the countries in the region and any other key actors with the aim of creating a contact group, as stated in the Council conclusions of 15 October 2018, which could mediate with a view to building an agreement on the calling of free, transparent and credible presidential elections based on an agreed calendar, equal conditions for all actors, transparency and international observation;

10.  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 legitimate interim President of the Republic and National Assembly of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the governments and parliaments of the Lima Group, the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly and the Secretary-General of the Organisation of American States.

(1) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0199.
(2) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0313.
(3) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0436.


Annual report on competition policy
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European Parliament resolution of 31 January 2019 on the Annual Report on Competition Policy (2018/2102(INI))
P8_TA(2019)0062A8-0474/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), in particular Articles 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 39, 42, 101 to 109, and 174 thereof,

–  having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, in particular Articles 35, 37 and 38 thereof,

–  having regard to the Commission report of 18 June 2018 on Competition Policy 2017 (COM(2018)0482) and to the Commission staff working document published as a supporting document on the same date,

–  having regard to Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 of 17 June 2014 declaring certain categories of aid compatible with the internal market in application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty(1),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 of 20 January 2004 on the control of concentration between the undertakings(2) (EC Merger Regulation),

–  having regard to the Commission white paper of 9 July 2014 entitled ‘Towards more effective EU merger control’ (COM(2014)0449),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 March 2017 to empower the competition authorities of the Member States to be more effective enforcers and to ensure the proper functioning of the internal market (COM(2017)0142) (ECN+ Directive),

–  having regard to the Commission Notice of 19 July 2016 on the notion of State aid as referred to in Article 107(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C(2016)2946),

–  having regard to its resolution of 5 February 2014 on EU cooperation agreements on competition policy enforcement – the way forward(3),

–  having regard to the relevant Commission rules, guidelines, decisions, resolutions, communications and papers on the subject of competition,

–  having regard to its resolutions of 19 April 2018(4) and 14 February 2017(5) on the 2017 and 2016 annual reports on EU competition policy,

–  having regard to its study of July 2018 entitled ‘Competition issues in the area of financial technology (FinTech)’, commissioned by the Competition Working Group of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs,

–  having regard to the Commission’s answers to written questions E-000344-16, E-002666-16 and E-002112-16,

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 12 December 2018 on the Commission report of 18 June 2018 on Competition Policy 2017,

–  having regard of the Commission final report of 10 May 2017 on the e-commerce sector inquiry (COM(2017)0229),

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on International Trade and the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (A8-0474/2018),

A.  whereas competition policy has now been in place for over 60 years and whereas a strong and effective EU competition policy has always been a cornerstone of the European project;

B.  whereas tax evasion and tax avoidance create unfair competition, particularly affecting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);

C.  whereas money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion undermine the fair distribution of tax revenues in the Member States, and therefore distort competition in the internal market;

D.  whereas massive tax avoidance by high net worth individuals and enterprises not only penalises ordinary taxpayers, public finances and social spending, but also threatens good governance, macroeconomic stability, social cohesion and public trust in the institutions of the Union and the Member States;

E.  whereas certain governments and jurisdictions, including some within the EU, have specialised in or engaged in creating preferential tax regimes which distort competition to the benefit of multinational companies and high net worth individuals, who do not in fact have economic substance within these jurisdictions but are merely represented by shell companies;

1.  Considers that a competition policy aimed at ensuring a level playing field in all sectors is a cornerstone of the European social market economy and a key factor in guaranteeing the proper functioning of the internal market; welcomes the Commission report on Competition Policy 2017 as well as its efforts and activities to ensure the effective application of competition rules in the Union for the benefit of all EU citizens, especially those in weak consumer positions; calls on the Commission, furthermore, to continue ensuring the full enforcement of EU competition rules, with particular attention to the difficulties faced by SMEs, and to avoid the uneven application thereof in the Member States;

2.  Welcomes and further encourages the structured dialogue with the Commissioner for Competition and the efforts of the Commission to maintain close co-operation with the members of Parliament’s competent committee and its Working Group on Competition Policy; considers the Commission’s annual report on competition policy an indispensable exercise in terms of democratic scrutiny; recalls that in recent years Parliament has been involved through the ordinary legislative procedure in shaping the framework for competition rules, for example in the proposed ECN+ Directive; notes that Parliament should be given co-decision powers to shape the framework for competition rules and regrets that the democratic dimension of this area of Union policy has not been strengthened in recent treaty amendments;

3.  Welcomes and remains supportive of the ambitious agenda and priorities of the Commission’s DG Competition, while noting that important challenges remain, for example in the area of merger control, where the sheer number of mergers constitutes a challenge; notes that Commission decisions about mergers, antitrust and State aid are often subject to political discussion, and underlines that, while some examples of recent decisions are illustrated in this report, the overall picture is broader, and that Parliament’s intention is not to take a position on individual cases, since it is the role of the Commission to decide on when competition law is not being followed;

4.  Asks the Commission to analyse the potential harmful impact of the proposed Siemens / Alstom merger on the competitiveness of the European rail market and its adverse effects on rail users;

5.  Notes that the Commission made a legislative proposal to create a Pan-European Personal Pension Product (PEPP) in 2018, which would be a private pension fund;

6.  Stresses that the consumer is the chief beneficiary of effective competition in the European single market;

7.  Welcomes the truck cartel investigation; takes positive note of the fact that the Commission did not only look at the impact of the cartel between big truck makers on prices of trucks but also sanctioned them for working together to delay the introduction of cleaner trucks;

8.  Underlines the fact that competition rules are treaty based and, as enshrined in Article 7 of the TFEU, should be seen in the light of the wider European values underpinning Union legislation regarding social affairs, the social market economy, environmental standards, climate policy and consumer protection; takes the view that the application of EU competition law should address all market distortions, including those created by negative social and environmental externalities;

9.  Believes that competition policy should act as a catalyst to help promote energy transition across the EU, stimulate economic and social integration in Europe, encourage ecologically sustainable farming activities and limit the ability of large power companies to raise the price of energy supplies;

10.  Points out that even when products or services are supplied for free, most notably in the digital economy, consumers may still have to endure unjust behaviour, such as a degradation in quality, choice and innovation or extortive practices; takes the view that EU competition rules and enforcement should also cover a range of aspects beyond price-centric approaches and should account for broader considerations such as the quality of products or services, also in view of citizens’ privacy;

11.  Points out the enormous changes in markets resulting from continuing technological development which bring about both opportunities and challenges; emphasises, in this respect, the crucial role of competition policy in the further development of the digital single market; stresses the urgent need for a framework that while promoting data innovation and new business models, effectively addresses the challenges of the data-driven and algorithm economy; underlines, in particular, that several digital platforms with the ability to access and control ever-increasing data flows can generate economies of scale and considerable network externalities, and can lead to market failures through excessive concentration and rent extraction from abusive market power; welcomes, in this context, the appointment of special advisers to the Commissioner focusing on future challenges of digitalisation for competition policy, and awaits with interest their findings and recommendations for action; underlines the need for a common EU-wide approach on these issues;

12.  Underlines that users are often not aware of the extent to which their data is being used and passed on to third parties for marketing or commercial purposes; calls on the Commission, in line with Article 5(3) of Directive 2002/58/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 July 2002 concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector(6) (the ePrivacy Directive) to make sure that digital companies exploit personal data only after the subscriber or user concerned has given explicit consent, and that without this consent, data cannot been transferred to third parties with which the company or platform has an agreement; considers, therefore, that digital markets need to be assessed from a multi-disciplinary perspective, as anti-competitive behaviour can entail breaches of other areas of law such as data protection and consumer laws; stresses that an appropriate enforcement response would require that different competent authorities work together, in particular the competition, consumer and data protection authorities as suggested by the initiative of the European Data Protection Supervisor for a clearing house(7);

13.  Calls the Commission to organise a hearing with tech companies, inviting the CEOs of Google, Facebook and Apple to discuss in particular how consumers’ personal data is harvested and used by third countries; is concerned that users, regulators and sometimes even app developers and advertisers are unaware of the extent to which data flows from smartphones to digital advertising groups and other third parties; notes that data collected by third parties through smartphone apps can include anything from profile information such as age and gender to location details, including data about nearby cell phone towers or Wi-Fi routers, and information about every other app on a phone; believes the EU should empower individuals to understand the monopoly and concentration issues surrounding these tracking companies;

14.  Calls on the Commission, in this regard, to adjudge the control of data necessary for the creation and provision of services as a proxy for the existence of market power, including under its guidance on Article 102 TFEU, and to require interoperability between online platforms and social network providers; points also to the evolution of self-learning algorithms and artificial intelligence, in particular when provided to companies by third parties, and its impact on the nature of cartel activity; requests that the Commission provide detailed information on these issues in its next annual report on competition policy;

15.  Considers it important to ensure the proper functioning of Union collective redress mechanisms designed to secure adequate compensation for consumers affected by anti-competitive practices;

16.  Considers it necessary to guarantee the right to cross-border portability in order to prevent existing limitations to this right becoming entrenched as legitimate market practices; considers it important also to remove abusive and unjustified restrictions imposed on geographical grounds that provide inconsistent levels of supposed protection for intellectual property rights;

17.  Considers that the jurisdictional thresholds setting the starting point for an EU merger review, which are based on the turnovers of the target and acquiring entities, are not always appropriate for the digital economy, in which value is often, for advertising purposes, represented by the number of visitors to a website; suggests that these thresholds be revised and adapted in order to include, among others, factors such as the number of consumers impacted by mergers and the value of the related transactions;

18.  Underlines the fact that barriers to entry in some areas of the digital economy are becoming increasingly insurmountable, as the longer unjust behaviour is perpetuated, the harder it gets to reverse its anti-competitive effects; considers that interim measures can be a useful tool to ensure that competition is not harmed while an investigation is on-going; affirms, in this regard, that the Commission should make effective use of interim measures, while ensuring due process and the right of defence of undertakings under investigation; welcomes the commitment of the Commission to undertake an analysis of whether there are means to simplify the adoption of interim measures within two years from the date of transposition of the ECN+ Directive; recommends in this regard that the Commission learn from best practices in other jurisdictions;

19.  Calls on the Commission to take more ambitious steps to eliminate illegitimate obstacles to online competition in order to ensure barrier-free intra EU online shopping, monitor price caps in sectors such as online platforms for accommodation and tourism and ensure that consumers have cross-border access to a broad range of online goods and services at competitive prices; asks the Commission to carry out a sectoral inquiry into the advertising market in order to better understand the dynamics of online advertising and identify anti-competitive practices that need to be addressed under competition law enforcement, as has been done by some national authorities;

20.  Underlines the fact that digitalisation of the modern economy leads to changes in traditional economic logic; stresses, therefore, that any system for taxation must consider that digitalisation is the new normal for all parts of our economy; takes note of the Commission’s proposal on laying down rules on the taxation of the digital economy(8); stresses that digital taxation must tackle the asymmetries between the traditional economy and new digitally-based economic practices and avoid hindering digitalisation and innovation or creating artificial borders in the economy; underlines the importance of finding international solutions and common approaches to taxation in the digital economy; calls on the Commission to continue its efforts in international fora, namely at the OECD, to find such an agreement;

21.  Welcomes the Commission’s proposal on the digital services tax (COM(2018)0148) as a crucial measure to ensure that the digital sector pays its fair share of taxes until a permanent solution is adopted that will allow profits to be taxed where value is created;

22.  Reiterates that competition in the telecommunication sector is essential to driving innovation and investment in networks and that affordable prices and choice of services for consumers should be encouraged; considers that intra-EU calls still represent a great burden for businesses and customers and that the steps towards ending consumer charges for roaming in the EU are not sufficient if the single market is to be further deepened; acknowledges that incentives must be created to bring intra-EU calls into line with local calls by facilitating investments in a fully European or shared network; is of the view that policies should favour efficient investments in new networks, take into account the impact on consumers, and in doing so also prevent new digital divides between high- and low-income households; calls on the Commission to encourage broadband rollout by promoting a high level of competition and to ensure a high level of connectivity in the EU and a rapid deployment of 5G across the Union in order to secure the Union’s global competitiveness and attract investments; believes that when carrying out the above task, it is important for competition policy to take into account the specificities of broadband deployment in rural areas in order to serve the public interest and reverse the trend towards increasing technological disparities between rural and urban areas regarding access;

23.  Takes the view that current and savings accounts should not incur commissions for users unless they are linked to specific services;

24.  Welcomes the Commission’s antitrust decision to fine Google EUR 4,34 billion for illegal practices on Android mobile devices with a view to strengthening the dominance of Google’s search engine; calls on the Commission to conclude in 2019 the Google Shopping antitrust case that was launched in November 2010, eight years ago; reminds the Commission to conclude the investigation into Google’s treatment in its search results of other specialised Google search services, including the issues related to local search that Yelp raised in its recent complaint; recommends that the Directorate-General for Competition reflect on the length of digital antitrust cases and on the most appropriate tool for addressing them; notably, asks the Commission to consider the possibility of setting deadlines for antitrust cases, as it does in merger cases;

25.  Reiterates the need for the Commission also to consider the full structural unbundling of digital tech monopolies as a possible solution to enable the restoration of competition and a level playing field within the European digital market;

26.  Highlights that the effectiveness of competition law enforcement depends on the appropriate design and testing of remedies; stresses that consumer-facing remedies are important in restoring competitiveness in a market by helping consumers to make informed decisions and address status quo biases; is of the opinion that the Commission, when designing behavioural remedies, should incorporate behavioural economics as a supporting discipline, as some national authorities have done in recent years;

27.  Notes that the President of the Commission has committed to putting forward proposals to enhance tax cooperation between Member States through an obligation to answer group requests in tax matters, so that one Member State can provide all information necessary to enable others to prosecute cross-border tax evaders; notes that when a Member State’s actions are distorting competition within the internal market, Parliament and the Council, under certain circumstances and as outlined in Article 116 of the TFEU, can issue directives to eliminate the distortion;

28.  Acknowledges the Commission’s conclusion that Luxembourg had granted undue tax benefits to Engie of around EUR 120 million, and that the recovery procedure is still ongoing; regrets the fact that the Government of Luxembourg has decided to appeal the decision of the Commission;

29.  Takes notes of the decision of the Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, on the investigation concerning State aid to McDonald’s, which stated that the non-taxation of certain profits of McDonald's in Luxembourg does not constitute an illegal State aid; takes the view that current EU regulation is unfit to effectively combat double non-taxation and to stop the race to the bottom on corporate tax levels;

30.  Points out that in two recent cases, in spite of the conclusions of the Single Resolution Board (SRB) that resolution could not be justified on the grounds of public interest, the Commission approved State aid on the basis that it would mitigate economic disturbance at a regional level, thereby demonstrating two distinct interpretations of public interest; calls on the Commission to examine the discrepancies between the rules on State aid in the area of liquidation aid and the resolution regime under the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD), and following that to revise its 2013 Banking Communication accordingly;

31.  Observes that a number of studies(9) have demonstrated the hidden social cost and reduced product competition corresponding to higher levels of horizontal ownership concentration; calls on the Commission, therefore, to consider revising the Merger regulation in this sense and to provide guidelines on the use of Article 101 and 102 of the TFEU in such cases;

32.  Notes that temporary State aid to the financial sector for the stabilisation of the global financial system might have been necessary in the absence of resolution tools but that it must be now scrutinised and removed; regrets the insufficient nature of this scrutiny ; reiterates, therefore, its request for the Commission to examine whether banking institutions have, since the onset of the crisis, benefited from implicit subsidies and State aid through the provision of liquidity support from central banks; recalls the commitment made by Commissioner Vestager at the structured dialogue with Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs in November 2017 to reflect on possible distortions of competition arising from the ECB’s Corporate Sector Purchase Programme and to report back with a qualitative answer; emphasises in this regard that the notion of selectivity in State aid is an essential criterion that needs to be investigated thoroughly and further points to Article 4(3) of the Treaty on European Union, which contains the so-called principle of loyalty;

33.  Considers that it is a priority to ensure that State aid rules are strictly and impartially adhered to when dealing with future banking crises, so that taxpayers are protected against the burden of bank rescues;

34.  Welcomes the introduction by the Commission of an anonymous whistle-blower tool enabling the reporting of cartels or other types of illegal anti-competitive practices, thus increasing the likelihood of their detection and prosecution; notes the positive figures after the first months of use;

35.  Expresses its concern that growing concentration in the financial sector may reduce the degree of competition in the sector, and is also concerned at the lack of a genuine internal banking market and continuing fragmentation into national markets;

36.  Stresses that Europe needs a strong harmonised framework on reporting and corporate taxation for multinational companies, with public country-by-country reporting and a common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB); recalls that, in addition to cost reductions for both firms and the tax administrations of Member States, the adoption of these measures would solve the issue of transfer pricing and ensure fairer competition within the single market;

37.  Calls on the Commission to continue evaluating harmful tax measures in the Member States in the European Semester, and to fully assess the distortions of competition and spill-over effects on other jurisdictions;

38.  Calls on the Commission to continue and even expand its efforts as regards investigations into the abuse of dominant market positions to the detriment of consumers in the EU; requests that, simultaneously, the Commission monitor existing government monopolies and the lawfulness of concession tenders in order to prevent any excessive distortion of competition;

39.  Underlines the distortive effect State aid can have on the functioning of the internal market; recalls the strict requirements for the application of Article 107(3)(b) of the TFEU; notes that most decisions concerning antitrust issues and State aid are taken at national level; believes therefore that the Commission should monitor and take measures to ensure consistent policy within the internal market; calls on Commission to launch a roadmap for better targeted State aid; welcomes the constant efforts of the Commission to clarify the different aspects of the definition of State aid, as demonstrated in its Notice on the notion of State aid as referred to in Article 107(1) of the TFEU; notes in particular the efforts to clarify the notions of ‘undertaking’ and ‘economic activity’; observes nonetheless that it remains difficult to draw the line between economic and non-economic activities; further points out that it is the role of the European Court of Justice to ensure the proper interpretation of the Treaty; calls on the Commission to continue giving particular attention to the delivery of services of general economic interest (SGEI) including energy, transport and telecommunication, when applying EU State aid rules, in particular in the context of state support dedicated to isolated, remote or peripheral regions in the Union; underlines that when applying State aid in order to promote services of general interest the aim should be to benefit consumers and citizens rather than to strengthen vested interests;

40.  Underlines the fact that taxation remains primarily a national competence given the unanimity threshold in the Council and that the choice of policy thereby depends on the political view and orientation of the Member States’ respective national governments and parliaments; notes, however, that the taxation instrument can be used to grant implicit State aid to companies, which can create an un-level playing field in the internal market; underlines, therefore, the need to ensure that national tax policies do not distort fair competition and thereby that tax and competition policy are applied consistently within the internal market; welcomes the fact that the Task Force on State aid in the form of a tax advantages has become a permanent body; calls for the Task Force to be sufficiently equipped in human resources and investigation tools; calls for a clear state of play regarding the investigations on State aid on such issues including the number of cases being investigated; stresses that, within the internal market, new entrants and firms, including SMEs, that do not use aggressive tax practices, are penalised; welcomes the Commission’s in-depth investigations into anti-competitive practices such as selective tax advantages and excess profit ruling systems; welcomes in particular the guidance provided in the Commission notice on the notion of State aid covering tax rulings; calls on the Member States to abandon unfair competition practices based on unjustified tax incentives; calls for the Council to adopt the proposal on the CCCTB; regrets that under EU State aid rules, unpaid taxes recovered from beneficiaries of illegal tax aid are returned to the country that granted the aid; calls on the Commission to work on a solution to this problem; stresses that subsequent negotiations with the UK should include the respect of fair competition and a guarantee that the UK should not be able to grant State aid in the form of sweetheart tax deals;

41.  Underlines the far-reaching concentration of the food supply chain, whereby a couple of companies form an oligopoly on the global market of seeds and pesticides, to the detriment of consumers, farmers, the environment and biodiversity alike; points out that such a structure will make farmers even more technologically and economically dependent on a few globally integrated one-stop-shop platforms, produce limited seed diversity, re-direct trends in innovation away from the adoption of a production model which is respectful of the environment and biodiversity and ultimately, as a result of reduced competition, generate less innovation and a lower quality of end products; calls on the Commission, in view of diminished farm incomes affecting small farmers in particular, to channel its efforts towards ensuring decent earnings for farmers, especially those with small and medium-sized businesses;

42.  Regards it as essential for the Commission to monitor more closely the use of patents in agriculture;

43.  Welcomes initiatives such as the Smart Villages framework, which stimulates settlements to become more agile, make better use of their resources and take part more actively in the competition of the single market, as well as to improve their attractiveness and the quality of life of rural residents;

44.  Recognises the potential of blockchain technology for financial services; warns however that the use of this technology for fundraising must be regulated in order to avoid excessive dumping vis-a-vis regulated financial markets, risks for investors and money laundering risks; calls on the Commission, in this regard, to propose a regulatory framework for initial coin offerings (ICOs);

45.  Expresses concern about the recent approval of the merger of Bayer and Monsanto by the Commission and its acknowledgement that it disregarded in its decision goals enshrined in the TFEU, notably food safety and protection of consumers, the environment and the climate;

46.  Believes it to be important to take action against companies engaged in the marketing and distribution sectors of the agricultural production chain that distort the agricultural market to the detriment of farm incomes and consumer prices;

47.  Welcomes the approach taken by the Commission when assessing horizontal mergers to increasingly focus on innovation competition, particularly in mergers involving R&D-intensive markets, and notes that mergers should be assessed from the perspective of the entire internal market; asks the Commission furthermore to come forward with a review of the EC Merger Regulation, and to analyse to what extent it should be vested with the powers, much as a number of Member States are at present, to adopt measures to protect the European public order and the rights and principles of the TFEU and EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, including environmental protection;

48.  Reiterates the Commission’s preliminary conclusion that Google has abused its market dominance as a search engine by giving an illegal advantage to its products; stresses that a full-blown structural separation between the company’s general and specialised search services is needed in order to end this abuse.

49.  Notes that the European Court of Justice interprets article 101 of the TFEU as taking into account the different aims of the Treaties; underlines, however, that the narrow interpretation of Article 101 of the TFEU by the Commission’s horizontal guidelines has increasingly been considered an obstacle to the collaboration of smaller market players for the adoption of higher environmental and social standards; believes that the Commission should create legal certainty on the conditions under which collective arrangements of producers’ organisations, including cooperatives, their associations and inter-branch organisations that are made throughout the food supply chain for the purpose of sustainability and fair labour standards, would be assessed under competition law, and encourage such initiatives within competition policy; stresses that such an approach should not prevent the production of lower-priced goods, especially in sectors where consumers are more price-sensitive; stresses also the importance of the proportionality principle, meaning that limitation of competition cannot go beyond what is necessary to achieve the general interest;

50.  Highlights the commonly agreed aims and targets of the energy union and points specifically to the dimension of security, decarbonisation of the economy, solidarity and trust; underlines the importance of ensuring that European energy markets are built on the rule of law, competition, diversity of energy sources and suppliers, predictability and transparency and to prevent any market operator, established in the union or in a third country, from leveraging a dominant position to the detriment of competitors and consumers; calls, in this regard, for increased scrutiny of, and, where necessary, measures and imposed obligations against, such market operators; notes, in particular, that the strategy employed by certain energy companies of partitioning the EU gas market and by extension potentially breaking EU antitrust rules, needs to be properly addressed; further, recognises that the legally binding commitments undertaken by the Member States as part of the Paris Climate Agreement will not be realised without concrete state measures to promote and create incentives for and enable the production and use of renewable energy; takes note of the forthcoming revision of the guidelines on State aid and energy, which shall no longer exclude two of the sectors that benefit the most from state subsidies, namely nuclear energy and fossil fuel extraction, and provide for greater flexibility for consumer-generated renewable energy; highlights the importance of completing the energy union through the integration of markets, notably by investing in interconnectors where needed and based on market conditions and commercial potential, and by increasing the tradable capacity in existing interconnections; emphasises, therefore, that any State aid approval for capacity mechanisms must be subject to a strict necessity test including an examination of alternative measures, notably more efficient use of existing interconnectors; underlines that capacity mechanisms often represent considerable costs for consumers and function as a ‘hidden subsidy’, supporting unprofitable and polluting power stations, which makes it necessary to ensure that these schemes are not open to the most polluting assets when approving any State aid granted to them;

51.  Underlines the need for improved transparency when private-public partnerships are being envisaged, in order to undercut the possibility that these will be used by private sector partners to secure competitive advantages over their competitors;

52.  Welcomes the Commission’s investigation into pricing practices for life-saving medicines, particularly in the case involving Aspen;

53.  Stresses the importance of granting the same rights to all air carriers when flying to or from the EU; sadly acknowledges that this is not always the case for EU airlines operating outside the EU which are subject to unfair practices affecting competition; calls on the Commission to tackle anti-competitive practices that also undermine consumer protection legislation; stresses once again the importance of ensuring fair competition between EU air carriers and third country air carriers;

54.  Stresses the importance of a competitive transport sector; notes that the single market in transport remains to be complemented, with the rail sector being the most fragmented; welcomes the steps taken by the Commission in fostering completion and improved operation in the internal market for road passenger transport;

55.  Reaffirms that new infrastructure projects, including those connecting a Member State to a third country, must be the subject of Union legislation, notably with regard to rules on unbundling and market price formation;

56.  Underlines the importance of and the need for adequate financial and human resources in the Commission Directorate-General for Competition and in the national competent authorities as well as of the IT and digital expertise necessary to address the challenges posed by a data-driven and algorithm-based economy; supports, in this connection, the proposed competition strand of the single market programme under the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF);

57.  Underlines that the Commission, when making competition rulings, must regard the internal market as one single market, not as a number of independent local or national markets;

58.  Stresses that international cooperation is essential for the effective enforcement of competition law principles and the prevention of inconsistencies in remedies and outcomes of enforcement actions; believes in this respect that the best way to improve competition rules and practices worldwide is to engage in fair and transparent discussions; supports an active participation of the Commission, national and where applicable regional competition authorities in the International Competition Network;

59.  Welcomes, the ECN+ Directive, which will significantly improve the effective and consistent application of EU competition law across the Union by ensuring that national competition authorities have adequate tools, resources and safeguards for independence, including a transparent process for the election or nomination of their leadership, empowering them to impose dissuasive fines for competition infringements; appreciates the Commission’s early assistance provided to the Member States in relation to implementation of this directive;

60.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that any future trade agreements provide a level playing field, particularly as regards competition and State aid; stresses that State aid should be allowed only in exceptional and justified cases that are regulated by law, to avoid distorting competition on the market, while providing for exceptions and justifications related to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change; recalls that ‘as companies go global, so must competition enforcers’, not least since the spread of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and the emergence of the digital economy have led to excessive market and power concentration in some sectors; believes that global rules on competition and the highest level of coordination between the competition authorities, including with respect to the exchange of information in the course of competition proceedings, is a precondition for the development of global fair trade;

61.  Recalls that international trade and investment agreements should have a specific and strong competition chapter;

62.  Calls on the Commission to step up its efforts to show ambition in opening up international public procurement markets and in increasing European companies’ access to public-private partnerships in third countries; considers it necessary to reduce asymmetries in access to public procurement contracts between the Union and third countries, namely the US and China; calls on all EU trade partners to allow non-discriminatory access for European businesses and workers to their public procurement markets; welcomes the renewed discussion on the International Procurement Instrument (IPI),which establishes the necessary reciprocity in cases where trade partners restrict access to their procurement markets, and calls on the European Council to adopt it swiftly; supports the Commission’s efforts at opening up third countries’ public procurement markets through bilateral trade partnerships; recalls that companies operating in non-market conditions and driven by geopolitical considerations could beat virtually every competitor in European public procurement tenders; calls on the Commission to monitor public procurement tenders and prevent European businesses and workers from suffering from the unfair competition emanating from state-orchestrated companies;

63.  Points out that combating unfair trading practices, including through competition policy, is necessary to ensure a global level playing field which benefits workers, consumers and businesses, and is one of the priorities of the EU’s commercial strategy; emphasises that the reflection paper on harnessing globalisation states that the Union must take steps to restore fair conditions of competition; welcomes the inclusion of provisions on competition policies in the Economic Partnership Agreement with Japan and in the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Canada; regrets, however, that these provisions remain limited in scope and do not provide for effective enforcement and dispute resolution; draws attention to the importance of incorporating ambitious provisions on competition into all trade agreements and of enforcing their implementation with a view to guaranteeing fair rules;

64.  Welcomes the proposal for the establishment of a European framework for foreign direct investment screening; considers it a useful instrument for protecting European business of strategic interest from unfair trade practices that may harm security and public order, and for safeguarding respect for fair competition principles in the EU;

65.  Emphasises the importance of the anti-subsidy instrument in tackling unfair global competition and establishing a level playing field with EU State aid rules; regrets, in this context, that in 2017 the People’s Republic of China once again created the highest number of newly constituted trade barriers for European businesses and workers and was involved in the majority of European anti-subsidy cases;

66.  Is concerned about US customs policy and its impact on the competitiveness of European businesses; stresses that the Commission’s efforts to rebalance trade with the US should be firm, but balanced, proportionate and World Trade Organization (WTO)-compatible;

67.  Calls on the Commission to step up its efforts to promote fair competition, including by combating the unjustified use of tariff barriers and subsidies, in the global market through stronger cooperation with other countries at forums such as the WTO, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the G20 and the World Bank; recalls the work undertaken at the WTO between 1996 and 2004 on the interaction between trade and competition policy, and regrets that this issue has not been part of the WTO work programme since; stresses that provisions in WTO agreements such as Article IX of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) provide a basis for further cooperation among WTO members on competition matters; calls, therefore, for fresh progress to be made at the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference towards guaranteeing fair international competition;

68.  Expresses concern over the alleged inability of the WTO to tackle non-market economies and to address the competitive distortions provoked by subsidies and state intervention, in spite of strongly believing in the WTO’s fundamental role; welcomes the US, Japan and the EU’s tripartite action to reform it accordingly;

69.  Calls on the Commission to increase its support for SMEs in the EU to enable them both to protect and enforce their rights in the event of unfair commercial practices, i.e. dumping and subsidisation by non-EU countries; acknowledges in this context the Commission’s efforts to combat unfair competition in high-profile cases against well-known companies, but stresses that the enforcement of fair competition in the case of SMEs is also of the utmost importance;

70.  Stresses that the effective implementation of the sustainable development provisions of trade agreements is important for improving living conditions in partner countries and protecting European businesses from unfair competition; welcomes the introduction of environmental and social criteria in the reform of anti-subsidy and anti-dumping measures.

71.  Points out that EU competition policy is not achieving the desired results because, while it is applied with the aim of defending fair competition between all actors on the internal market, with special emphasis on the interests of consumers, the reality is that due to the inequalities within the food supply chain, agricultural producers face an unacceptable degree of pressure; considers that the interests of both consumers and agricultural producers should be placed on an equal footing;

72.  Takes the view that the specific characteristics of agricultural activities make collective organisations essential to strengthen the position of primary producers in the food chain and to enable the attainment of the objectives of the CAP, as defined under Article 39 of the TFEU, and that collective activities carried out by producer organisations and their associations – including production planning, sales negotiation and contractual arrangements – must therefore be considered compatible with Article 101 of the TFEU; stresses that bringing farmers together in producer organisations reinforces their position in the supply chain;

73.  Considers that the interbranch organisations model is a successful form of sectoral management, given that it provides a structure for – and organises exchanges between – all players in the sector, fairly represented within its structure, by making it possible to transmit economic and technical information, to enhance market transparency and to better distribute risks and benefits; considers that different, properly structured models of cooperation, such as the present one, should be facilitated by the CAP to ease the creation of interbranch organisations at European level;

74.  Considers that, in line with the current trend, the competences of producer and interbranch organisations need to be further strengthened so that farmers’ bargaining power could be balanced with the negotiating power of retailers in the food supply chain; considers that EU co-financing for the establishment and operation of these organisations should be increased;

75.  Calls on the Commission to facilitate the application of collective market management instruments in the event of a crisis, using tools that do not require public funds, such as product withdrawals carried out by means of agreements among food chain operators; points out that such a measure could be applied by the interbranch organisations themselves;

76.  Considers that the entry onto the European market of products from third countries which do not meet the same social, health and environmental standards creates unfair competition for European producers; calls, therefore, for the protection of vulnerable sectors and the systematic application of the principles of reciprocity and compliance as regards agricultural products in both future and ongoing trade negotiations; calls on the Commission to integrate this aspect into the Brexit negotiations;

77.  Emphasises that access to the EU’s internal market should be contingent on compliance with sanitary, phytosanitary and environmental standards; asks the Commission, in order to guarantee fair competition, to promote the equivalency of measures and controls between third countries and the EU in the area of environmental and food safety standards; notes that the highest standards of environmental and animal welfare can mean higher costs and hence that lowering standards can result in anti-competitive behaviour;

78.  Points out that climate disasters, which affect farmers, have an impact on the market and weaken farmers’ position in the food supply chain; recalls that EU anti-dumping rules(10) that apply, inter alia, to the agricultural sector consider that environmental dumping creates unfair competition; requests that the interests of European citizens demanding a sustainable and environment‑friendly society be taken into account; calls, therefore, on the Commission, taking into account the functioning of the single market and the benefits for society as a whole, to allow exemptions from competition rules to facilitate cooperation, both horizontally and vertically, in the context of sustainability initiatives;

79.  Stresses that the concept of a ‘fair price’ should not be regarded as the lowest price possible for the consumer, but instead must be reasonable and allow for the fair remuneration of all parties along the food supply chain; stresses that consumers have interests other than low prices alone, including animal welfare, environmental sustainability, rural development and initiatives to reduce antibiotic use and stave off antimicrobial resistance, etc.;

80.  Welcomes the fact that the Omnibus Regulation(11) creates a procedure under which a group of farmers can request a non-binding opinion from the Commission on the compatibility of a collective action with the general derogation from the competition rules referred to in Article 209 of Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) No 922/72, (EEC) No 234/79, (EC) No 1037/2001 and (EC) No 1234/2007 (Single CMO Regulation); calls on the Commission, in the light of the recommendation of the Working Party on Agricultural Markets, to clarify the scope of the general agricultural derogation and its overlap with the derogations provided for under Articles 149 and 152, and thus to define exceptions more precisely, so as to make any necessary suspension of the application of Article 101 TFEU applicable and achievable;

81.  Points out that the individual ceiling for de minimis aid in the agricultural sector was doubled in 2013 (from EUR 7 500 to EUR 15 000) in order to help cope with the surge in climatic, health and economic crises; points out that, at the same time, the national de minimis ceiling has been only marginally adjusted (from 0.75 % to 1 % of the value of national agricultural production), which has reduced states’ power to help farms in difficulty; supports, therefore, the Commission’s proposal to give more flexibility to the Member States and regions via the agricultural de minimis rules;

82.  Welcomes the developments brought about by the Omnibus Regulation, in order to facilitate the application of the provisions of Article 222 of the Single CMO Regulation, which allows for a temporary derogation from competition laws; calls, nevertheless, on the Commission to clarify the application of Articles 219 and 222 of the Single CMO Regulation with regard to taking steps in the event of market disturbances and severe market imbalances, given that the legal uncertainty currently surrounding both articles means that no one is applying them for fear of failing to comply with rules laid down by the competition authorities in the Member States;

83.  Recalls that significant horizontal and vertical restructuring has taken place, which has led to further consolidation in the already concentrated seed, agro-chemical, fertiliser, animal genetics and farm machinery sectors, as well as in processing and retailing; calls on the Commission to ensure, in this context and following the acquisition of Monsanto by the Bayer group, which together control approximately 24 % of the global pesticide market and 29 % of the global seed market, that the interests of EU farmers, citizens and the environment are protected.

84.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the national and where applicable regional competition authorities of the Member States, and the national parliaments of the Member States.

(1) OJ L 187, 26.6.2014, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 24, 29.1.2004, p. 1.
(3) OJ C 93, 24.3.2017, p. 71.
(4) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0187.
(5) OJ C 252, 18.7.2018, p. 78.
(6) OJ L 201, 31.7.2002, p. 37.
(7) ‘Privacy and competitiveness in the age of big data: The interplay between data protection, competition law and consumer protection in the Digital Economy’, preliminary opinion of the European Data Protection Supervisor, March 2014, https://edps.europa.eu/sites/edp/files/publication/14-03-26_competitition_law_big_data_en.pdf
(8) COM(2018)0147, COM(2018)0148 and C(2018)1650.
(9) Common Ownership by Institutional Investors and its Impact on Competition, OECD, 5-6 December 2017.
(10) COM(2013)0192.
(11) Regulation (EU) 2017/2393 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2017 amending Regulations (EU) No 1305/2013 on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), (EU) No 1306/2013 on the financing, management and monitoring of the common agricultural policy, (EU) No 1307/2013 establishing rules for direct payments to farmers under support schemes within the framework of the common agricultural policy, (EU) No 1308/2013 establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products and (EU) No 652/2014 laying down provisions for the management of expenditure relating to the food chain, animal health and animal welfare, and relating to plant health and plant reproductive material (OJ L 350, 29.12.2017, p. 15).

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