Index 
Texts adopted
Thursday, 28 November 2019 - StrasbourgFinal edition
Situation of freedoms in Algeria
 Cuba, the case of José Daniel Ferrer
 Haiti
 EU/USA Agreement on the allocation of a share in the tariff rate quota for imports of high-quality beef ***
 EU/USA Agreement on the allocation of a share in the tariff rate quota for imports of high-quality beef (resolution)
 Situation in Bolivia
 Climate and environmental emergency
 2019 UN Climate Change Conference (COP25)
 EU accession to the Istanbul Convention and other measures to combat gender-based violence
 Recent actions by the Russian Federation against Lithuanian judges, prosecutors and investigators involved in investigating the tragic events on 13 January 1991 in Vilnius
 Measures to address the impact on European agriculture of the WTO ruling on the Airbus dispute
 Crisis of the WTO Appellate Body
 On-going negotiations for a new EU-ACP Partnership Agreement

Situation of freedoms in Algeria
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European Parliament resolution of 28 November 2019 on the situation of freedoms in Algeria (2019/2927(RSP))
P9_TA(2019)0072RC-B9-0193/2019

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Algeria, in particular that of 30 April 2015 on the imprisonment of workers and human rights activists in Algeria(1), and to its resolution of 27 March 2019 entitled ‘Post-Arab Spring: way forward for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’(2),

–  having regard to the country update on Algeria in the EU Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2018, adopted by the European Council on 18 March 2019,

–  having regard to the 11th session of the EU-Algeria Association Council of 14 May 2018,

–  having regard to the third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on Algeria, adopted by the UN Human Rights Council at its 36th session on 21 and 22 September 2017,

–  having regard to the shared partnership priorities adopted under the revised European neighbourhood policy (ENP) by the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria and the European Union on 13 March 2017, which focus on the implementation of the constitutional review and the EU’s support to the progress of democracy and human rights in Algeria,

–  having regard to the EU-Algeria Association Agreement(3) and notably to Article 2 thereof, which stipulates that respect for democratic principles and fundamental human rights must constitute an essential element of the agreement and inspire the domestic and international policies of the parties thereto,

–  having regard to the Constitution of Algeria, revised on 7 February 2016, and in particular to Articles 2, 34 to 36, 39, 41, 42, 48 and 54 thereof,

–  having regard to the EU Guidelines on human rights defenders, on the death penalty, on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, on freedom of expression online and offline, and on human rights defenders, and to the new EU Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy, which aims to place the protection and surveillance of human rights at the heart of all EU policies,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and the UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief,

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

–  having regard to Algerian Law 12-06 on associations and to Ordinance 06-03 which regulates non-Muslim religious worship,

–  having regard to Rules 144(5) and 132(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas Algeria is a close neighbour and a key partner of the European Union and of the North-African region;

B.  whereas on 16 February 2019, ten days after Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced his candidacy for a fifth presidential term, peaceful protests known as the Hirak (Movement) began in Algeria; whereas on 2 April 2019 Bouteflika resigned; whereas the President of the Council of the Nation, Abdelkader Bensalah, assumed the office of acting Head of State; whereas the military leadership under Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaïd Salah has openly wielded power in the country since Bouteflika’s resignation;

C.  whereas Abdelaziz Bouteflika had been President since 1999; whereas the constitutional review of 2016 limited the maximum number of presidential terms served by future presidents to two; whereas the constitutional review could not be applied retroactively, which meant that Bouteflika was allowed to run for a fifth term; whereas the presidential election, originally scheduled for 18 April 2019, was initially postponed to 4 July 2019 and subsequently to 12 December 2019;

D.  whereas peaceful demonstrations took place throughout the country in February, March and April 2019, and then every Tuesday and Friday for the past 40 weeks; whereas in recent weeks, protestors have been holding night marches throughout the country;

E.  whereas the Hirak enjoys wide support and constitutes the largest protest movement in Algeria; whereas young people make up the majority of demonstrators; whereas demonstrators are demanding an end to corruption, the lack of opportunities for political engagement, high unemployment rates and the repression of demonstrations, and a more pluralistic and inclusive framework to prepare for free elections, as part of the broader political transition;

F.  whereas the 2019 World Press Freedom Index ranks Algeria 141st out of the 180 states surveyed, describes press freedom in the country as ‘under threat’ and notes that journalists face frequent persecution; whereas independent media organisations, citizen reporters on social media and other outlets face structural censorship from the Algerian authorities for any coverage regarded as in support of dissenting stances;

G.  whereas since January 2018 the Algerian authorities have closed down several churches, of which a vast majority are part of the Église protestante d’Algérie (EPA), the legally recognised umbrella organisation of Protestant churches in Algeria;

H.  whereas the editor-in-chief of the public radio station La Chaîne 3, Meriem Abdou, resigned on 23 February 2019 in protest against the biased treatment of the Hirak; whereas several other journalists have been arrested or subjected to intimidation, such as former France 24 Arabic correspondent Sofiane Merakchi, and the journalists Azeb El Sheihk and Abdelmouji Khelladi, in detention since 26 September 2019 and 14 October 2019 respectively;

I.  whereas on 4 March 2019, Nadia Madassi, who had presented Canal Algérie for the last 15 years, resigned amid allegations that she had been censored; whereas on 5 March 2019, the newspaper Echorouk and TV channel El Bilad were sanctioned by the Ministry of Communication for covering the demonstrations; whereas the ‘Algérie – Debout!’ Facebook group, with more than 500 000 members, was shut down and its founder and administrator Sofiane Benyounes was harassed and interrogated several times before being charged; whereas the publications Jeune Afrique, Tout Sur l’Algerie, Algérie Part, Interlignes, and Observ’Algérie have been censored;

J.  whereas Hirak protesters, human rights defenders, journalists and bloggers are increasingly targeted or arrested to prevent the exercise of their freedom of expression, association or peaceful assembly;

K.  whereas the Algerian chamber of lawyers (Union nationale des ordres des avocats, UNOA) has unanimously denounced the arrests of Hirak activists and the suppression of freedoms; whereas on 24 October 2019 around 500 lawyers demonstrated in Algiers to demand respect for the protestors’ right to due process and for the independence of the judiciary; whereas UNOA has put in place a committee to support the lawyers defending detained protestors and dissidents;

L.  whereas according to the Algerian League for the Defence of Human Rights (Ligue algérienne pour la défense des droits de l’homme, LADDH ) more than a hundred people have been arrested and detained in connection with the peaceful protests since the beginning of the Hirak; whereas the charges on which they are held – ‘undermining national unity and territorial integrity’, ‘inciting assembly’ and ‘weakening the morale of the army’ – are vague and violate international human rights standards;

M.  whereas 87-year-old Lakhdar Bouregaa – a veteran of the war of independence – was arrested on 29 June 2019 for criticising the chief of the army; whereas 22-year-old law student Nour el Houda Dahmani was released on 25 November 2019 after being sentenced to six months in prison following a student march on 17 September 2019 and has become an icon for the weekly student marches; whereas Ibrahim Daouadji and four other activists were arrested on 12 October 2019 for contesting a visit from the Minister of Youth;

N.  whereas Kamal Eddine Fekhar, a medical doctor, human rights defender, defender of the Amazigh At-Mzab community and former member of the LADDH, died in detention on 28 May 2019, following his arrest amid the large-scale protests, after 53 days on hunger strike, from what is believed to be the result of the conditions in which he was detained and medical negligence; whereas 22-year-old Ramzi Yettou died from injuries sustained after being brutally beaten by police in April 2019;

O.  whereas Karim Tabbou, leading opposition figure, former secretary-general of the historical opposition party the Socialist Forces Front (Front des forces socialistes, FFS) and now head of the unrecognised Social and Democratic Union party, was arrested on 12 September 2019; whereas he was released by the Tipaza Court on 26 September 2019, but less than 14 hours later was arrested again under a different jurisdiction (Sidi M’Hamed) but similar conditions and is now detained in de facto solitary confinement;

P.  whereas several members of the Rassemblement actions jeunesse (RAJ) association, including its founder Hakim Addad, its President Abdelouahab Fersaoui, and its members Massinissa Aissous, Djalal Mokrani, Ahmed Bouider, Kamel Ouldouali, Karim Boutata, Ahcene Kadi, Wafi Tigrine and Khireddine Medjani, were arrested during peaceful demonstrations in support of prisoners of conscience in Algeria;

Q.  whereas several protesters, such as Samir Belarbi, Fodil Boumala, Fouad Ouicher, Saida Deffeur and Raouf Rais, who remain in detention, and human rights defenders – including Said Boudour, Hamid Goura and Slimane Hamitouche – are being prosecuted for ‘weakening the morale of the army’;

R.  whereas on 11 November 2019 the court of Sidi M’Hamed in Algiers opened the trial of 42 activists, including a member of the People’s Provincial Assembly of Wilaya, Samira Messouci, charged with ‘compromising the integrity of the national territory’ for brandishing the Amazigh emblem; whereas this flag has been deployed alongside the national flag all over the country during the weekly demonstrations; whereas several tribunals in the country have released demonstrators arrested on the same charge;

S.  whereas the Algerian Constitution enshrines fundamental freedoms, including freedom of association, which is further defined by Law 12-06; whereas Law 12-06 requires that every association, including those that have already successfully registered, to register and obtain a registration receipt from the Ministry of the Interior before they can operate legally; whereas the applications for pre-registration of several civil society, non-governmental, religious and charitable organisations, such as the LADDH, EuromedRights, the RAJ, Amnesty International, the Protestant Association of Algeria, the National Commission for Non-Muslim Religious Groups and the Feminist Association for Personal Development and Exercise of Citizenship (AFEPEC), are still pending, despite their meeting all legal requirements; whereas they therefore lack official legal status;

T.  whereas under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Algeria has ratified, governments must ensure the right to freedom of religion, thought and conscience of everyone under their jurisdiction, and in particular religious minorities; whereas this right includes the freedom to exercise the religion or belief of one’s choice, whether publicly or privately, alone or with others;

1.  Strongly condemns the arbitrary and unlawful arrests, detainment and intimidation of and attacks on journalists, trade unionists, lawyers, students, human rights defenders and civil society and all peaceful protesters taking part in the peaceful Hirak demonstrations;

2.  Calls on the Algerian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all those charged for exercising their right to freedom of expression, notably Hakim Addad, Abdelouahab Fersaoui, Massinissa Aissous, Djalal Mokrani, Ahmed Bouider, Kamel Ould Ouali, Karim Boutata, Ahcene Kadi, Wafi Tigrine, Khireddine Medjani, Samir Belarbi, Karim Tabbou, Fodil Boumala, Lakhdar Bouregaa, Samira Messouci, Ibrahim Daouadji, Salah Maati, Sofiane Merakchi, Azeb El Cheikh, Fouad Ouicher, Saïda Deffeur and the other peaceful protesters, human rights defenders and journalists arbitrarily imprisoned, despite the fact that their activities are allowed under Algerian law, in line with the international human rights instruments which Algeria has ratified; calls on the Algerian authorities to lift the travel ban and probation imposed on Slimane Hamitouche, Abdelmonji Khelladi and Mustapha Bendjama;

3.  Calls on the Algerian authorities to put an end to any form of intimidation, including judicial and legislative harassment, criminalisation, and arbitrary arrests and detention, against peaceful protesters, human rights defenders, critical journalists and bloggers, and to take appropriate steps to ensure their physical and psychological protection, safety, security and the freedom to pursue their legitimate and peaceful activities; calls on the Algerian authorities to ensure and guarantee the right to freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly and media freedom, which is guaranteed by the Algerian Constitution and by the ICCPR, which Algeria has signed and ratified;

4.  Calls for an end to violations of the freedom to worship of Christians, Ahmadis and other religious minorities; reminds the Algerian Government that Ordinance 06-03 guarantees the free exercise of worship; calls on the Algerian authorities to reopen the church buildings concerned;

5.  Calls on the Algerian authorities to amend Act 91-19 of 2 December 1991 to remove all restrictions on peaceful demonstrations that are not absolutely necessary or proportionate in terms of the provisions of Article 21 of the ICCPR; expresses its concern that despite the provisions of the constitutional review of 2016, the decree of 18 June 2001, which prohibits demonstrations in the capital, has not been revoked and is being applied generally throughout the country;

6.  Calls on the Algerian authorities to effectively eliminate and prevent any form of excessive use of force by law enforcement officials while dispersing public gatherings; strongly condemns the excessive use of force that resulted in the death of Ramzi Yettou; calls on the Algerian authorities to conduct an independent investigation into all cases of excessive use of force by members of the security forces and to hold perpetrators to account;

7.  Highlights that an independent judiciary is one of the fundamental elements for the functioning of a democracy and calls on the Algerian authorities to foster and ensure judiciary independence;

8.  Calls on the European External Action Service, the Commission and the Member States to support civil society groups, human rights defenders, journalists and protesters, including by arranging prison visits, monitoring trials and issuing public statements, to support the UNOA Commission and other organisations acting in the defence of human rights, and to closely monitor the human rights situation in Algeria, using all available instruments, including the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights;

9.  Encourages the Algerian authorities to review Law 12-06 of 2012 on associations and to engage in a genuine and inclusive dialogue with civil society organisations in order to frame a new law that is in conformity with international human rights standards and the Algerian Constitution;

10.  Calls on the Algerian authorities to guarantee the full exercise of the freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief to all, which is guaranteed by the Algerian Constitution and the ICCPR;

11.  Expresses concern about the administrative hurdles that religious minorities are facing in Algeria, and notably regarding Ordinance 06-03; encourages the Algerian Government to revise Ordinance 06-03 to bring it further into line with the Constitution and with its international human rights obligations, namely Article 18 of the ICCPR;

12.  Welcomes the constitutional recognition of Tamazight as an official language in 2016 and encourages its practical implementation; calls for the immediate and unconditional release of the 42 protestors detained for brandishing the Amazigh flag;

13.  Calls for a solution to the crisis based on a peaceful and inclusive political process; is convinced that democratic reforms and a constructive and inclusive dialogue ensuring political, economic and social stability in Algeria could serve as way to relaunch a wealthy Arab Maghreb Union, which is important for successful cooperation between both sides of the Mediterranean;

14.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the EU Delegation in Algiers, the Government of Algeria, the UN Secretary-General, the UN Human Rights Council and the Council of Europe.

(1) OJ C 346, 21.9.2016, p. 106.
(2) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2019)0318.
(3) OJ L 265, 10.10.2005, p. 2.


Cuba, the case of José Daniel Ferrer
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European Parliament resolution of 28 November 2019 on Cuba, the case of José Daniel Ferrer (2019/2929(RSP))
P9_TA(2019)0073RC-B9-0200/2019

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Cuba, in particular those of 17 November 2004 on Cuba(1), of 2 February 2006 on the EU’s policy towards the Cuban Government(2), of 21 June 2007 on Cuba(3), of 11 March 2010 on prisoners of conscience in Cuba(4), of 5 July 2017 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA) between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Cuba, of the other part(5) and of 15 November 2018(6),

–  having regard to the PDCA between the European Union and Cuba signed in December 2016 and provisionally applied since 1 November 2017,

–  having regard to the second EU-Cuba Joint Council held on 9 September 2019 in Havana,

–  having regard to the second formal EU-Cuba Human Rights Dialogue, held under the EU-Cuba PDCA, on 3 October 2019 in Brussels,

–  having regard to the UN Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review on Cuba of May 2018,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and other international human rights treaties and instruments,

–  having regard to the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1984 and to which Cuba is a State Party,

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

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Cuba is a signatory,

–  having regard to Rules 144(5) and 132(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas on 1 October 2019 the opposition leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) José Daniel Ferrer was arbitrarily detained without any charges and was denied any outside contact for at least 72 hours;

B.  whereas the Cuban authorities have imprisoned, harassed and intimidated him for over a decade because of his peaceful political activism; whereas in 2018, he was held in solitary confinement for 10 days;

C.  whereas on 2 November 2019, Mr Ferrer smuggled out a letter stating he had been tortured and ill-treated, had his life put in danger while in detention, and had been denied proper medical attention; whereas according to information provided by his family on 15 November 2019, he is being held in Aguadores prison in Santiago de Cuba, where he was taken to a punishment cell; whereas on 7 November 2019, his wife saw him for a few minutes and confirmed that his health was in a critical state given that he had lost half of his body weight, which was also a result of a hunger strike that he had begun;

D.  whereas according to several NGOs, he is only one of some 120 political prisoners in Cuba; whereas many independent journalists, peaceful dissidents and human rights defenders, who are mostly members of the democratic opposition, are being persecuted, arbitrarily detained or held in jail in Cuba, in particular José Guía Piloto, Silverio Portal Contreras, Mitzael Díaz Paseiro, Orlando Zapata Tamayo, Eliecer Bandera Barrera, Edilberto Ronal Azuaga and Roberto de Jesús Quiñones Haces;

E.  whereas on 28 October 2019, Armando Sosa Fortuny – the longest detained Cuban political prisoner, who had spent 43 years in prison, died; whereas the Cuban authorities had not agreed to release him despite his declining health;

F.  whereas under international human rights standards, anyone who is arrested or detained must be informed of the reasons at the time of their arrest, and be brought before a judge without delay;

G.  whereas the Cuban Government’s actions are in breach of the provisions of Articles 1(5) and 22 of the PDCA between the European Union and Cuba signed in 2016, in which the Cuban Government undertakes to uphold and improve human rights;

H.  whereas on 5 July 2017, Parliament granted its consent to the PDCA; whereas Parliament’s consent clearly articulated its serious concerns about the human rights situation in Cuba, and includes a suspension clause in the event of a violation of human rights provisions;

I.  whereas the human rights dialogue between the EU and Cuba, led by the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, began in 2015, with the fifth round taking place on 9 October 2018; whereas on 3 October 2019, the EU and Cuba held their second formal Human Rights Dialogue; whereas it has not yielded any tangible results despite Cuba’s re-election to the UN Human Rights Council for the 2017-2019 period; whereas any political dialogue must include direct intensive dialogue with civil society and all opposition political actors with no restrictions;

J.  whereas at the time of the second EU- Cuba Joint Council meeting on 9 September 2019 in Havana, more than 100 activists were arbitrarily arrested; whereas the EU has remained silent over these actions, and it has also been silent with regard to Mr Ferrer’s case;

K.  whereas Parliament has awarded its Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to Cuban activists on three occasions: Oswaldo Payá in 2002, the Ladies in White in 2005 and Guillermo Fariñas in 2010; whereas Sakharov laureates and their relatives are still regularly harassed and intimidated and prevented from leaving the country and participating in international events;

L.  whereas human rights, freedom, and the dignity and interest of people are best represented and defended in a democracy;

1.  Condemns the arbitrary detention of José Daniel Ferrer and urgently calls on the Cuban authorities for his immediate release; requests that he be granted access to the lawyer of his choice, have contact with his family and have access to all documentation relating to his detention and the alleged grounds therefor;

2.  Denounces the torture and ill-treatment that Mr Ferrer has reported to have suffered in his letter; recalls that the Cuban authorities have a duty of preventing torture and ill-treatment and of ensuring a prompt and impartial investigation; urges the Cuban authorities to grant Mr Ferrer immediate access to the medical care of his choosing and to guarantee the provision of proper sanitary food and water;

3.  Reiterates its great concern over the continuous persecution, harassment, attacks against peaceful dissidents, independent journalists, human rights defenders and political opposition in Cuba; calls for the immediate end to these actions and for the release of all political prisoners and those arbitrarily detained solely on the grounds of exercising their freedom of expression and assembly; calls for better guarantees to the right to a fair trial and to the independence of the judiciary and to ensure that persons deprived of their liberty have access to an independent lawyer;

4.  Reiterates its call for the Member States, the EEAS and its delegation in Cuba to firmly and publicly condemn the arbitrary arrest of Mr Ferrer and the above-mentioned individuals and to take all necessary action to defend democracy and human rights;

5.  Expresses its regret that, despite the adopted PDCA, the situation of democracy and human rights has not improved; calls for the fulfilment of the binding obligations established under the PDCA between the EU and Cuba, and calls for clear benchmarks in this regard;

6.  Reiterates that the PDCA includes a provision for the suspension of the agreement that should be applied in the event of a violation of the provisions on human rights; insists therefore that the European Union closely follow and monitor respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in Cuba when implementing the PDCA, and submit regular reports relating thereto to Parliament; considers the imprisonment and treatment of José Daniel Ferrer and other political prisoners a ‘case of special urgency’, as set out in Article 85(3)(b) of the Agreement, and in this regard calls for the EU to call for an urgent meeting;

7.  Demands that the Cuban Government implement legal reforms in order to guarantee freedom of the press, association and demonstration, and launch the political reforms enabling free, fair and democratic elections that take account of the sovereign and freely expressed will of the Cuban people; urges the Cuban Government to align its human rights policy with the international standards defined in the charters, declarations and international instruments to which Cuba is a signatory and to allow civil society and opposition political actors to actively participate in political and social life, with no restrictions; calls on the Government to allow independent domestic and international human rights monitors to have unhindered access to Cuba to extend invitations to the UN Special Rapporteurs on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, of expression and on the situation of human rights defenders;

8.  Recalls that Cuba has had a moratorium on capital punishment since 2003; calls on the Cuban authorities to abolish the death penalty for all crimes; calls for a review of all death sentences to ensure that these trials adhere to international standards;

9.  Calls on the Cuban authorities to guarantee freedom of the media and freedom of expression, including by rescinding Decree 349, which limits the freedom of artistic expression, and to cease the harassment and detainment of independent journalists; calls on the Cuban Government to stop imposing online censorship and to stop blocking internet sites and restricting access to information;

10.  Regrets the fact that several European and Cuban civil society organisations were denied the possibility of participating in civil society dialogue, within the broader Human Rights Dialogue of the EU-Cuba PDCA that took place on 2 October 2019 as a result of the Cuban Government’s refusal to grant them approval; further calls for an institutionalised, formal, open and public dialogue with truly independent civil society to be established with the EU and Cuba, similar to those in place with other countries with which the EU has cooperation agreements;

11.  Calls on the new VP/HR to recognise the existence of political opposition to the Cuban Government and to support its inclusion in the political dialogue between the EU and Cuba; in this regard, calls on all Member State representatives to raise human rights concerns during visits with the Cuban authorities and to meet with the Sakharov Prize laureates when visiting Cuba in order to ensure the internal and external consistent application of the EU’s human rights policy, thereby strengthening the participation of independent civil society;

12.  Calls on the EEAS and the Commission to actively support civil society groups and individuals defending human rights in Cuba, including through arranging prison visits, trial monitoring and public statements; calls on the new VP/HR to report back to Parliament on the actions undertaken so far by the EU Delegation;

13.  Calls on the new VP/HR to demand that the Cuban authorities, after years of inaction, launch reforms leading to a democratic transformation of the country in line with the PDCA; points out that the current situation in Cuba undermines the principles on human rights and democracy on which the Agreement is based;

14.  Deeply regrets the fact that the Cuban authorities refuse to allow Parliament, its delegations and some political groups to visit Cuba despite Parliament granting its consent to the PDCA; calls on the authorities to immediately allow entry to the country;

15.  Denounces the Cuban Government’s interventionist attitude and requests that it cease all interference activities in various Latin American countries;

16.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Government and National Assembly of People’s Power of Cuba, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Commission, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the governments of the Member States of the CELAC countries.

(1) OJ C 201 E, 18.8.2005, p. 83.
(2) OJ C 288 E, 24.11.2006, p. 81.
(3) OJ C 146 E, 12.6.2008, p. 377.
(4) OJ C 349 E, 22.12.2010, p. 82.
(5) OJ C 334, 19.9.2018, p. 99.
(6) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0460.


Haiti
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European Parliament resolution of 28 November 2019 on Haiti (2019/2928(RSP))
P9_TA(2019)0074RC-B9-0214/2019

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Haiti, in particular those of 19 January 2011 on the situation in Haiti one year after the earthquake: humanitarian aid and reconstruction(1), and of 8 February 2018 on child slavery in Haiti(2),

–  having regard to the EU Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2018, and in particular the Haiti country update thereof, adopted by the Council on 13 May 2019,

–  having regard to the final report of the EU Election Follow-up Mission to Haiti between 19 and 23 November 2018,

–  having regard to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN OHCHR) annual report on the situation of human rights in Haiti, 1 July 2015 to 31 December 2016, of July 2017,

–  having regard to the MINUSTAH and UN OHCHR report on allegations of human rights violations and abuses of 13 and 14 November 2018 in the district of La Saline, Port-au-Prince,

–  having regard to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on Haiti adopted by the UN Human Rights Council at its 34th session on 17 March 2017,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 16 December 1966 and to which Haiti is a State Party,

–  having regard to the Cotonou Agreement,

–  having regard to the UN Declaration of Human Rights,

–  having regard to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, of which Haiti is a signatory,

–  having regard to UN Security Council Resolution 2476 (2019) of 25 June 2019,

–  having regard to the final report of the EU Election observation mission of 2015,

–  having regard to the Declaration by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on behalf of the European Union on the situation in Haiti of 7 November 2019,

–  having regard to the article published by Amnesty International on 31 October 2019, which provides evidence of excessive use of force against protesters,

–  having regard to the report of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs regarding the situation in Haiti of 1 October 2019,

–  having regard to the statement made by the Delegation of the European Union to Haiti on 28 May 2019,

–  having regard to Rules 144(5) and 132(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the government’s announcement in July 2018 that it would eliminate subsidies, allowing fuel prices to increase by up to 50 %, led to widespread protests and the worst civil unrest the country has seen in years; whereas this measure responded to the cuts agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in February 2018 in exchange for financial loans of USD 96 million to help the country pay its foreign debt;

B.  whereas the demonstrations organised by opposition leaders demanded the resignation of President Jovenel Moïse because of rampant inflation, allegations of systematic government corruption, which also involved former president Michel Martelly, and economic and food insecurity, without major attention paid to it by the outside world; whereas the demonstrations which began over a year ago in protest against corruption scandals involving Haitian authorities have claimed about a hundred victims and have escalated into a major conflagration; whereas corruption seems to be an endemic problem of Haitian society and politics;

C.  whereas the security forces repressed the protests using live ammunition and tear gas; whereas in February 41 people died and 100 were injured in the protests, according to the UN OHCHR; whereas according to the latest figures from the OHCHR between 15 September and 1 November 2019 at least 42 people died in similar protests, 19 of these having been killed by law enforcement, and 86 people were injured;

D.  whereas Haiti has been without a government since March 2019, hampering the country’s ability to access international aid funding and World Bank loans; whereas as of January 2020 Haiti will be without a Parliament on account of its failure to hold parliamentary elections in October 2019; whereas Mr Moïse has indicated his intention to introduce constitutional reforms strengthening the powers of the office of President;

E.  whereas no legal action has been taken despite the demonstrations; whereas this impunity and the lack of attention of the international community have further stoked the violence; whereas the protracted and continuing crisis has also had the consequence of further limiting access to healthcare, food, education and other needs, and has caused further shortages of electricity and fuel;

F.  whereas many communities still lack access to the electricity grid following the 2010 earthquake, and depend on electricity generators for their day-to-day needs; whereas the fuel price increase has limited economic opportunities further;

G.  whereas there is credible evidence that police armed with semi-automatic rifles have fired live ammunition during protests, in violation of international human rights law and standards on the use of force; whereas journalists are a target of continuous harassment and physical attacks; whereas Néhémie Joseph, a journalist with Radio Méga who covered the protests, was shot dead in his car on 11 October 2019, Associated Press photojournalist Chery Dieu-Nalio was shot in the face in September 2019, Radio Sans Fin reporter Pétion Rospide was shot dead in his car in June 2019, and journalist Vladjimir Legagneur disappeared in March 2018;

H.  whereas impunity has also prevailed in cases such as the massacre in La Saline, on the outskirts of the capital Port-au-Prince, where in October 2018 70 people were arbitrarily killed and 13 women were raped; whereas the government attributed the massacre to a war between gangs; whereas the Organisation of American States (OAS) and the UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH), based on information gathered the National Human Rights Network (RNDDH), attribute this massacre to an attempt by the President’s wife Martine Moïse and several government representatives to bribe the people of la Saline to stop the demonstrations against President Moïse, and allege that the massacre was the consequence of their refusal to accept the bribe; whereas human rights organisations in Haiti have called for an OAS mission to investigate the massacre;

I.  whereas the security situation in the country has declined drastically since October 2017, when the peacekeepers of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (UNSTAMIH) were replaced by the MINUJUSTH, whose staff have limited police training;

J.  whereas gender discrimination continues to be a serious concern in the country; whereas Haiti has a gender inequality index (GII) of 0,593, which places the country in the 142nd position out of 159 in the 2015 index; whereas discrimination, stigmatisation, exclusion and violence against LGBTI people are systemic and widespread in Haiti; whereas young girls receive little or no education; whereas laws criminalising rape and domestic violence were not adopted until 2005, the criminal code has not been revised since 1835, and women and girls often face unequal legal protection; whereas on 7 November 2019, 10 female detainees, including a 15-year-old girl, were raped at Gonaïves Civil Prison; whereas overcrowding, food shortages, lack of family visits, and other inhumane conditions have been widespread in the Haitian prison system since the start of the protests;

K.  whereas most children in Haiti have been unable to go to school since the beginning of the school year in September; whereas illiteracy and access to education are major problems in Haiti, since approximately one half of all Haitians age 15 and older are illiterate, and at least 350 000 children and young people remain out of primary and secondary school throughout the country;

L.  whereas the system of Restavèk, a modern form of slavery, is still a practice in which Haitian children from impoverished homes are sent by their parents to live with other families and work for them as domestic servants, often suffering abuse and mistreatment, with no access to schooling;

M.  whereas Haiti, ranked number 168 of the world’s countries in the UNDP Human Development Index, which is lower than its previous rankings, is in continuous need of humanitarian and development aid: whereas according to the World Bank, Haiti remains the poorest country in the Americas, and one of the most impoverished states in the world, with 59 % of the population living below the national poverty line, 24 % below the national extreme poverty line, and over 40 % of the population unemployed; whereas government corruption runs rampant, and Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2018 ranks Haiti 161st out of 180 states surveyed;

1.  Strongly condemns the repression of peaceful protests by the Haitian authorities, as well as the use of lethal force, arbitrary detainment, intimidation, harassment, and sexual violence; demands that the Haitian authorities immediately desist from the unlawful use of force, in particular firearms and live ammunition, against peaceful protesters, and safeguard the people’s right to demonstrate freely and peacefully; endorses the Haitian people’s demands for an end to corruption and impunity;

2.  Underlines that, to prevent further instability and suffering of the population, all parties involved must abstain from violence; calls on all sides to engage in a frank, open and inclusive inter-Haitian dialogue in order to better respond to the basic needs and aspirations of the population, and provide lasting solutions to the current political, economic and humanitarian crisis;

3.  Recalls that justice reform, and putting an end to prolonged pre-trial detention, and the fight against corruption must remain a priority, as identified in the last Universal Periodic Review; asks the international community to support the Haitian people to strengthen an independent and robust judicial system, which is able to bring perpetrators to court and punish them, regardless of their social status;

4.  Calls for an independent investigation into the massacre case of La Saline, into harassment and attacks on journalists, and into the deaths that have occurred mid-September 2019; demands that all perpetrators of crimes be brought to trial and punished; reaffirms the importance of the freedom of the media to report on the situation; urges all actors to refrain from targeting journalists, and allow them to report on the situation in the country; reiterates that the right to peaceful expression of opinion and of criticism must be guaranteed;

5.  Endorses the call for an independent OAS expert mission to be sent to Haiti for a longer period with the task of clarifying the multiple human rights violations in the country, and the aim of carrying out impartial, thorough, transparent and independent investigations, as well as improving accountability, providing justice and truth for families and surviving victims, as demanded by national human rights organisations;

6.  Rejects any attempt by some forces to reinstate dictatorship; underlines the urgent need for structural governance and economic reforms to restore faith in the country’s political system; highlights the need to eradicate systemic government corruption, clientelism, and the erosion of the rule of law;

7.  Calls on the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the EU Embassy in Port-au-Prince to support the full democratic stabilisation of the country, and to help to put an end to corruption and other forms of crime;

8.  Welcomes the establishment of the United Nation Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) by the UN Security Council on 16 October 2019, to be tasked with advising the Government of Haiti on improving political stability and good governance; asks the UN to continue to play an active role in a process of peace-keeping and preparing peace, without repeating errors of the past; calls on the UN and its member countries to effectively investigate cases of alleged sexual exploitation or sexual abuse by MINUSTAH peacekeeping forces and non-governmental organisations in Haiti, and to prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes, and provide support and compensation to the victims;

9.  Calls for the EU to strengthen and support the capacity of Haitian organisations to take the lead in deciding on the kind of assistance delivered to the country, as well as on its beneficiaries;

10.  Calls urgently on the Government of Haiti to allow humanitarian organisations unhindered access in order to carry out their operations, assist those in need, and distribute food and other vital aid;

11.  Calls for an end to the practice of Restavèk; calls for the Haitian Government to implement measures that ensure the registration and protection of children, both physically and psychologically, and to enforce schooling; calls for the EU to cooperate with the Haitian Government in order to implement a legislative framework to protect children’ rights;

12.  Stresses the need to combat violence against women and girls, to legislate against all forms of gender-based violence and to decriminalise abortion, which is currently prohibited in all circumstances, including in cases of sexual violence; considers it necessary to implement urgent measures to protect and support women and children who are victims of sexual abuse, such as medical and psychological care and specific social inclusion and rehabilitation programmes; condemns the gang rape of women detained in the prison of Gonaïves; demands a prompt, impartial, independent and effective investigation into the allegations; recalls that when states deprive people of their freedom, they are responsible for guaranteeing their integrity and protecting them from acts of violence;

13.  Condemns the anti-LGBT bills passed in 2017 which called for a ban on gay marriage and listed homosexuality, alongside child pornography, incest and the commercial sexual exploitation of children, as a reason to deny a citizen a certificate of good standing; expresses concern about the circumstances surrounding the death of Charlot Jeudy, President of the LGBTQI advocacy group Kouraj;

14.  Calls for the Haitian Government to put in a place an administrative system which guarantees that all new-born children are registered at birth and to ensure that measures are taken to register those who were not registered at birth;

15.  Calls for a systematic fight against violence against elderly people;

16.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Member States, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the ACP-EU Council of Ministers, the institutions of the Cariforum, the government and parliament of Haiti, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

(1) OJ C 136E, 11.5.2012, p. 46.
(2) OJ C 463, 21.12.2018, p. 40.


EU/USA Agreement on the allocation of a share in the tariff rate quota for imports of high-quality beef ***
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 28 November 2019 on the draft Council decision on the Conclusion of the Agreement between the United States of America and the European Union on the Allocation to the United States of a Share in the Tariff Rate Quota for High Quality Beef referred to in the Revised Memorandum of Understanding Regarding the Importation of Beef from Animals Not Treated with Certain Growth-Promoting Hormones and Increased Duties Applied by the United States to Certain Products of the European Union (2014) (10681/2019 – C9-0107/2019 – 2019/0142(NLE))
P9_TA(2019)0075A9-0038/2019

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (10681/2019),

–  having regard to the draft Agreement between the United States of America and the European Union on the Allocation to the United States of a Share in the Tariff Rate Quota for High Quality Beef referred to in the Revised Memorandum of Understanding Regarding the Importation of Beef from Animals Not Treated with Certain Growth-Promoting Hormones and Increased Duties Applied by the United States to Certain Products of the European Union (2014) (10678/2019),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 207(4), first subparagraph and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a)(v) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C9‑0107/2019),

–  having regard to its non-legislative resolution of 28 November 2019(1) on the draft decision,

–  having regard to Rule 105(1) and (4) and Rule 114(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development,

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on International Trade (A9-0038/2019),

1.  Gives its consent to the conclusion of the agreement;

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

(1) Texts adopted, P9_TA(2019)0076.


EU/USA Agreement on the allocation of a share in the tariff rate quota for imports of high-quality beef (resolution)
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European Parliament non-legislative resolution of 28 November 2019 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement between the United States of America and the European Union on the Allocation to the United States of a Share in the Tariff Rate Quota for High-Quality Beef referred to in the Revised Memorandum of Understanding Regarding the Importation of Beef from Animals Not Treated with Certain Growth-Promoting Hormones and Increased Duties Applied by the United States to Certain Products of the European Union (2014) (10681/2019 – C9-0107/2019 – 2019/0142M(NLE))
P9_TA(2019)0076A9-0037/2019

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (10681/2019),

–  having regard to the draft Agreement between the United States of America and the European Union on the Allocation to the United States of a Share in the Tariff Rate Quota for High-Quality Beef referred to in the Revised Memorandum of Understanding Regarding the Importation of Beef from Animals Not Treated with Certain Growth-Promoting Hormones and Increased Duties Applied by the United States to Certain Products of the European Union (2014) (10678/2019),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 207(4), first subparagraph, and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a)(v), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C9‑0107/2019),

–  having regard to its resolutions of 12 September 2018 on the state of EU-US relations(1), of 3 July 2018 on climate diplomacy(2) and of 14 March 2019 on climate change – a European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy in accordance with the Paris Agreement(3),

–  having regard to the Joint US-EU Statement of 25 July 2018 following President Juncker’s visit to the White House (Joint Statement)(4),

–  having regard to the Progress Report on the Implementation of the EU-US Joint Statement of 25 July 2018(5),

–  having regard to its legislative resolution of 28 November 2019(6) on the draft decision,

–  having regard to Rule 105(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on International Trade (A9-0037/2019),

A.  whereas the EU and the US have the largest bilateral trade and investment relationship, enjoy the most integrated economic relationship in the world, and share important values and political and economic interests, despite the current trade tensions;

B.  whereas in 2009, the EU and the US concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU, revised in 2014(7)) providing for an interim solution to a longstanding dispute in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) regarding measures imposed by the EU in 1989 on US exports of meat containing artificial beef growth hormones(8); whereas the MoU established a 45 000-tonne tariff rate quota (TRQ) on non-hormone-treated beef open to all qualifying suppliers in WTO member states;

C.  whereas in 2019, the Commission negotiated a new allocation of the TRQ with the US (35 000 tonnes to the US of the overall 45 000 tonnes), with the other suppliers (Australia, Uruguay and Argentina) agreeing to share the remaining part of the quota;

D.  whereas this agreement is to be seen in the light of the de-escalation of the trade tensions between the EU and the US agreed in the Joint US-EU Statement of 25 July 2018;

E.  whereas the US, invoking national security concerns, imposed in March 2018 additional tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium, and is threatening to apply similar tariffs against the imports of motor vehicles and automotive parts from the EU (under Section 232 of the US Trade Expansion Act of 1962);

F.  whereas the EU is challenging, at the WTO, the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on Spanish olives by the US(9);

G.  whereas the US imposed on 18 October 2019, based on the WTO arbitration decision circulated on 2 October 2019(10), in retaliation for illegal EU subsidies granted to the aircraft manufacturer Airbus, tariffs on USD 7,5 billion worth of EU imports, jeopardizing most of the EU agricultural sectors with tariff of 25 % rather than the industrial one, including aircraft with tariff of 10 %;

H.   whereas the European Parliament has repeatedly encouraged the EU to consider ways to further raise the level of ambition of the Paris Agreement and to mainstream climate ambition into all EU policies, including trade policy and urges the Commission to ensure that all trade agreements signed by the EU are fully compatible with the Paris Agreement;

1.  Welcomes this agreement with the US on the allocation of a share in the TRQ for high-quality beef as a solution to a longstanding trade dispute, as it sets a positive example of a negotiated solution between the EU and the US;

2.  Welcomes and acknowledges the fact that the other members of the WTO that export non-hormone-treated beef to the EU agreed to support this agreement by accepting that the vast majority of the quota would be allocated to the US; acknowledges the fact that, according to the Commission, no compensation has been provided to those WTO members for supporting the agreement;

3.  Notes that the agreement does not affect current levels of market access for beef to the EU market and that the overall EU market access quota of non-hormone-treated beef must not be increased; acknowledges that the agreement should not affect the technical characteristics of the quota, as defined in Annex 2 of Regulation (EU) No 481/2012(11), including the quality and traceability of products, in order to guarantee the highest possible level of protection for EU consumers; notes that the agreement does not affect the EU’s ban on imports of beef from animals treated with certain growth hormones;

4.  Supports the Commission in its efforts to find a fair and balanced solution in order to dilute current trade tensions, including through this agreement; stresses the importance of finding negotiated solutions; notes that the EU has done everything in its power to ease the current trade tensions; calls on the US to work with the EU in this regard; deplores the formal notification by the US on 4 November 2019 of its withdrawal from the Paris Agreement; recalls that the EU’s Common Commercial Policy must contribute to promote the realisation of the Paris Agreement;

5.   Stresses the importance of setting this agreement apart from other ongoing trade negotiations between the US and the EU in which the agricultural sector should not be included;

6.  Takes note of the lack of progress with the implementation of the Joint Statement, even though the EU is delivering on the objectives to de-escalate trade tensions, as set out therein;

7.  Regrets the fact that the US has so far refused to work with the EU on a fair and balanced solution for our respective aircraft industries in the context of the long-standing Airbus/Boeing dispute, and calls on the US to start negotiations to resolve it; is concerned about the measures taken by the US which affect the European aviation sector and numerous agri-food products; calls on the Commission to put in place support measures for European producers;

8.  Calls on the US to revoke its unilateral additional tariffs on steel and aluminium, and olives, and to withdraw its threat to impose additional tariffs on cars and car parts;

9.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, as well as to the governments and parliaments of the Member States and of the United States of America.

(1) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0342.
(2) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0280.
(3) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2019)0217.
(4) http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STATEMENT-18-4687_en.htm
(5) https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2019/july/tradoc_158272.pdf
(6) Texts adopted, P9_TA(2019)0075.
(7) Revised Memorandum of Understanding with the United States of America Regarding the Importation of Beef from Animals Not Treated with Certain Growth-Promoting Hormones and Increased Duties Applied by the United States to Certain Products of the European Union (OJ L 27, 30.1.2014, p. 2).
(8) Joint communication from the European Union and the United States on measures concerning meat and meat products (hormones) of 17 April 2014 (WT/DS26/29).
(9) Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties on Ripe Olives from Spain: Request for the establishment of a panel by the European Union of 17 May 2019 (WT/DS577/3).
(10) European Communities and Certain Member States – Measures Affecting Trade in Large Civil Aircraft: Recourse to Article 7.9 of the SCM Agreement and Article 22.7 of the DSU by the United States of 4 October 2019 (WT/DS316/42).
(11) Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 481/2012 of 7 June 2012 laying down rules for the management of a tariff quota for high-quality beef (OJ L 148, 8.6.2012, p. 9).


Situation in Bolivia
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European Parliament resolution of 28 November 2019 on the situation in Bolivia (2019/2896(RSP))
P9_TA(2019)0077RC-B9-0187/2019

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the statements of the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on the electoral process in Bolivia of 22 October 2019 and on the situation in Bolivia of 15 November 2019,

–  having regard to the statement of the Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Bolivia of 21 October 2019,

–  having regard to the statement of the Group of Auditors on the Electoral Process in Bolivia of 10 November 2019,

–  having regard to the statement of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet of 16 November 2019,

–  having regard to the constitutional referendum held in Bolivia on 21 February 2016,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Bolivia,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

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

–  having regard to the latest press statements issued by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on Bolivia, in particular those of 23 October, 12 November and 19 November 2019,

–  having regard to the Bolivian Constitution,

–  having regard to Rule 132(2) and (4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas on 20 October 2019, presidential and legislative elections took place in Bolivia in a highly polarised environment, given that President Evo Morales is a controversial figure and that controversy surrounded the acceptance of his candidacy;

B.  whereas, after failing to win a referendum to amend the Bolivian Constitution in 2016, Evo Morales ran for a fourth term in office with the approval of the Constitutional Court, a decision that showed a clear lack of independence of the judiciary in Bolivia;

C.  whereas after more than 80 % of the votes had been counted by the fast and secure system for the transmission of preliminary results (TREP), the Supreme Electoral Court stopped disclosing the preliminary results; whereas at this point the figures clearly indicated that there should be a second round of voting; whereas 24 hours later the Supreme Electoral Court ‘presented data with an inexplicable change in trend that drastically modified the fate of the election and generated a loss of confidence in the electoral process’, as stated by the OAS; whereas the Constitutional Tribunal ruled out the possibility of a second round of voting on the basis that the required percentage difference of 10 % between the top two candidates had been reached;

D.  whereas the actions of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal sparked disagreement and suspicion of fraud not only among supporters of the opposition candidates, but also from national and international observers and the majority of the international community;

E.  whereas President Morales publicly proclaimed himself the winner of the election, even before all official results had been transmitted and publicly announced;

F.  whereas statements by the OAS, the EU and the international community expressed grave concerns about the unjustified interruption of vote counting, indicating a possible biased approach by the Electoral Commission observers; whereas the recommendation of domestic and international interlocutors was to organise the second round of the election as a way out of the political crisis;

G.  whereas the unexpected interruption of vote counting and the proclamation of victory by President Morales resulted in massive protests and mobilisation by opposition supporters, as well as by supporters of President Morales himself; whereas these demonstrations have been a cause of great concern to the whole international community and have so far resulted in at least 32 people being killed, with hundreds more injured and over 600 arrested; whereas the country was suffering from food and fuel shortages that are having serious consequences on the civilian population due to street blockades by pro-Morales supporters; whereas there is concern over violence, allegations of unnecessary and disproportionate use of force by the security forces and the fracturing of society;

H.  whereas the body in charge of administrating the election lacked any credibility, with one of its members resigning during the counting; whereas the opposition did not recognise the result of the election conducted under such circumstances, and denounced the alleged electoral fraud;

I.  whereas the EU did not deploy a fully-fledged election observation mission but was only represented by a small technical team consisting of three lower-ranked officials;

J.  whereas with the aim of re-establishing trust, both the government and the electoral authorities accepted a technical binding audit by a professional team of the OAS; whereas this audit had the UN Secretary-General’s support;

K.  whereas on 10 November 2019 the OAS audit revealed major irregularities and manipulation during the poll, called for the annulment of the election result and recommended a new electoral process that should include new electoral authorities in order to ensure the conduct of credible elections;

L.  whereas after the presentation of the OAS audit report on 10 November 2019 calling for the electoral process to be annulled and re-run, many high-ranked state officials resigned, including the president, the vice-president, the Senate president and electoral body representatives; whereas Evo Morales and some other members of his government had to resign, leave the country and abandon their functions; whereas senior members of the armed forces suggested that former President Evo Morales should resign; whereas the armed forces and the police should refrain from influencing political processes and should be subject to civilian control;

M.  whereas Jeanine Áñez signed a controversial decree protecting the armed forces from prosecution as a result of actions they take in the name of restoring public order;

N.  whereas several resignations led Second Vice‑President Jeanine Áñez to assume the interim presidency in order to quickly call for new presidential elections, as this is the only democratic and constitutional way to resolve the current crisis;

O.  whereas both the lower and upper houses of the Bolivian Parliament unanimously approved legislation on 23 November 2019 that paves the way for a new presidential election, which was subsequently signed by interim President Áñez; whereas the approved legislation prohibits those who have served two consecutive terms as president from standing for re-election, hence making Evo Morales ineligible;

1.  Welcomes the approval by both houses of legislation to prepare the next presidential elections but believes that a return to stability in Bolivia requires a new election as soon as possible, and therefore supports the objective of appointing a new independent Electoral Court to guarantee transparent elections; calls on the interim authorities to take responsibility for the credibility of the procedure by organising properly conducted and inclusive elections where all political actors have the opportunity to compete in accordance with Bolivian law and the constitutional order;

2.  Denounces the lack of transparency and credibility of the Bolivian authorities and their attempt to commit fraud, thereby undermining the right of Bolivian citizens to freely and democratically elect their President; considers that the attempt at electoral fraud constitutes a grave crime; recalls that under Bolivian legislation, the election must be declared null and void and individuals and organisations involved in such illegal processes must be automatically excluded from electoral bodies;

3.  Expresses its firm rejection of the violence and destruction that followed the election of 20 October 2019, conveys its condolences to all family members of the victims and calls for those responsible to be brought to justice;

4.  Expresses its full support for and recognition of the work of the OAS electoral observers operating under the extremely difficult conditions in Bolivia;

5.  Welcomes the decision to withdraw the military from protest areas and repeal a law giving them broad discretion in the use of force; calls on the security forces to exercise proportionality and restraint in maintaining security and public order; calls for prompt, impartial, transparent and throughout investigations into the violence and for those responsible to be brought to justice;

6.  Calls on the new interim authorities to take the necessary steps to change the situation, restore trust and confidence, and, as their main purpose, to organise the electoral process; calls for a dialogue to be established with the aim of immediately organising a new democratic, inclusive, transparent and fair election, with a newly composed electoral body, as a way out of the current crisis, while avoiding political retaliation; calls on the caretaker government not to take any disruptive measures that could worsen the situation;

7.  Welcomes the mediation role played by the EU and the Catholic Church in contributing to an agreement between parties on conducting free, inclusive and transparent elections within the established time frame and in accordance with the Bolivian Constitution;

8.  Reiterates the fact that respect for the independence of the judiciary, political pluralism, and freedom of assembly and expression for all Bolivians, including the peasant indigenous nations and peoples, are fundamental rights and essential pillars of democracy and the rule of law;

9.  Demands that the new electoral process take place in the presence of credible and transparent international observers who are free to operate and share their independent observations;

10.  Expresses its readiness to assist in such an electoral process and calls on the VP/HR to deploy a fully-fledged EU election observation mission;

11.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Government of Bolivia, the Andean Parliament and the EUROLAT Assembly.


Climate and environmental emergency
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European Parliament resolution of 28 November 2019 on the climate and environment emergency (2019/2930(RSP))
P9_TA(2019)0078RC-B9-0209/2019

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol thereto,

–  having regard to the Agreement adopted at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP21) in Paris on 12 December 2015 (the Paris Agreement),

–  having regard to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD),

–  having regard to the latest and most comprehensive scientific evidence on the damaging effects of climate change provided in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) special report entitled ‘Global Warming of 1,5°C’, its fifth assessment report (AR5) and its synthesis report thereon, its special report on climate change and land, and its special report on the ocean and cryosphere in a changing climate,

–  having regard to the massive threat of loss of biodiversity described in the summary for policymakers of the global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, of 29 May 2019,

–  having regard to the 25th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP25), to be held in Madrid, Spain, from 2–13 December 2019,

–  having regard to the 26th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC to be held in December 2020 and the fact that all Parties to the UNFCCC need to increase their nationally determined contributions in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement,

–  having regard to the 15th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) to be held in Kunming, China, in October 2020, where Parties need to decide on the post-2020 global framework to halt biodiversity loss,

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 March 2019 on climate change – a European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy in accordance with the Paris Agreement(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 28 November 2019 on the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid, Spain (COP25)(2),

–  having regard to Rule 132(2) and (4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas immediate and ambitious action is crucial to limiting global warming to 1,5° C and avoiding massive biodiversity loss;

B.  whereas this action must be science-based and must involve citizens and all sectors of society and the economy, including industry, in a socially balanced and sustainable way; whereas it must support the competitiveness of our economies and be accompanied by strong social and inclusive measures to ensure a fair and equitable transition that supports job creation, while respecting the need for a high standard of welfare and high quality jobs and training;

C.  whereas no emergency should ever be used to erode democratic institutions or to undermine fundamental rights; whereas all measures will always be adopted through a democratic process;

1.  Declares a climate and environment emergency; calls on the Commission, the Member States and all global actors, and declares its own commitment, to urgently take the concrete action needed in order to fight and contain this threat before it is too late;

2.  Urges the new Commission to fully assess the climate and environmental impact of all relevant legislative and budgetary proposals, and ensure that they are all fully aligned with the objective of limiting global warming to under 1,5 °C, and that they are not contributing to biodiversity loss;

3.  Recognises its institutional responsibility to reduce its carbon footprint; proposes to adopt its own measures to reduce emissions, including replacing its fleet vehicles with zero-emissions vehicles, and calls on all the Member States to agree to a single seat for the European Parliament;

4.  Urges the new Commission to address the inconsistencies of current Union policies on the climate and environment emergency, in particular through a far-reaching reform of its agricultural, trade, transport, energy and infrastructure investment policies;

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

(1) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2019)0217.
(2) Texts adopted, P9_TA(2019)0079.


2019 UN Climate Change Conference (COP25)
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European Parliament resolution of 28 November 2019 on the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid, Spain (COP 25) (2019/2712(RSP))
P9_TA(2019)0079B9-0174/2019

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol thereto,

–  having regard to the Agreement adopted at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP21) in Paris on 12 December 2015 (the Paris Agreement),

–  having regard to the 24th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP24), the 14th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP14), and the third part of the first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA1.3), held in Katowice, Poland, from 2-14 December 2018,

–  having regard to the decision of the Bureau of the UNFCCC COP of 1 November 2019 to accept the proposal from the Government of Chile, as the incoming Presidency, to hold COP25 in Madrid, Spain from 2-13 December 2019,

–  having regard to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),

–  having regard to the Climate Action Summit organised by the UN Secretary-General and held on 23 September 2019,

–  having regard to its resolution of 25 October 2018 on the 2018 UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland (COP24)(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 March 2019 on climate change – a European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy in accordance with the Paris Agreement(2),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 28 November 2018 entitled ‘A Clean Planet for all – A European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern competitive and climate neutral economy’ (COM(2018)0773),

–  having regard to the European Council conclusions of 20 June 2019,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 4 October 2019,

–  having regard to the submission on 6 March 2015 by Latvia and the European Commission to the UNFCCC of the intended nationally determined contribution of the EU and its Member States,

–  having regard to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) special report on global warming of 1,5 °C, its fifth assessment report (AR5) and its synthesis report thereon, its special report on climate change and land, and its special report on the ocean and cryosphere in a changing climate,

–  having regard to the Global Commission on Adaptation’s flagship report on climate adaptation,

–  having regard to the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) ninth synthesis report of November 2018 (the emissions gap report 2018) and to its fourth adaptation gap report for 2018,

–  having regard to the European Environment Agency’s indicator assessment entitled ‘economic losses from climate-related extremes in Europe’, published on 2 April 2019,

–  having regard to the World Meteorological Organisation’s (WMO) statement on the state of the global climate in 2018 of March 2019 and to its 14th Greenhouse Gas Bulletin of 22 November 2018,

–  having regard to the Silesia Declaration on Solidarity and Just Transition, the Silesian Ministerial Declaration ‘Forests for Climate’ and the Driving Change Together Partnership for Electromobility and Zero Emission Transport, signed on the sidelines of the COP24 climate conference,

–  having regard to the summary for policymakers of the global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), of 29 May 2019,

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 November 2017 on an Action Plan for nature, people and the economy(3),

–  having regard to the high-level synthesis report on the latest climate science information convened by the Science Advisory Group of the UN Climate Action Summit 2019, entitled ‘United in Science’,

–  having regard to the Eurobarometer survey of April 2019 on climate change,

–  having regard to the question to the Council (O-000029/2019 – B9‑0055/2019) and to the Commission (O-000030/2019 – B9‑0056/2019) on the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid, Spain (COP 25),

–  having regard to Rules 136(5) and 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the Paris Agreement entered into force on 4 November 2016; whereas as of 19 November 2019, 187 of the 197 Parties to the UNFCCC had filed their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with the UN;

B.  whereas on 6 March 2015, the EU and its Member States submitted their intended nationally determined contribution to the UNFCCC, thereby committing to a binding target of at least a 40 % domestic reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels;

C.  whereas the commitments made so far by the signatories to the Paris Agreement will not be sufficient to achieve its common goal; whereas the current nationally determined contribution (NDC) submitted by the EU and its Member States is not in line with the goals set out in the Paris Agreement and needs to be revised;

D.  whereas the IPCC 1,5 °C report demonstrates that the impacts of temperature increase are likely to be significantly less severe at a 1,5 °C increase than at a 2° C increase;

E.  whereas the past four years – 2015 to 2018 – were the four warmest years on global record and 2018 saw a record high in global carbon emissions; whereas July 2019 was the hottest month on record and the year 2019 continues the current trend, putting 2015-2019 on track to be the hottest five years on record, according to the WMO;

F.  whereas according to the WMO, global CO2 concentration was 407,8 parts per million (ppm) in 2018, 2,2 ppm higher than in 2017, and CO2 concentrations are on track to reach or even exceed 410 ppm by the end of 2019;

G.  whereas climate strikes have taken place in 185 countries across the world as part of a global movement, with a record 7,6 million people taking to the streets in September 2019 for the largest climate mobilisation in history;

H.  whereas the preamble to the Paris Agreement recognises the ‘importance of ensuring the integrity of all ecosystems, including oceans’, and Article 4(1)(d) of the UNFCCC stresses that the Parties thereto shall promote sustainable management, and the conservation and enhancement of sinks and reservoirs of all greenhouse gases, including biomass, forests and oceans as well as other terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems;

I.  whereas Chile, as the incoming Presidency of COP25, has already indicated that it will highlight the role of the oceans in combating global warming, a decision that is all the more judicious after the publication by the IPCC of an alarming new report on ocean warming;

J.  whereas forests contribute substantially to climate change mitigation and adaptation; whereas around 10 % of the EU’s GHG emissions are absorbed by growing forests; whereas deforestation accounts for nearly 20 % of global GHG emissions, and is driven in particular by expanding industrial production of livestock, soy and palm oil, including those destined for the EU market; whereas the EU should reduce its indirect contributions to deforestation (‘embodied deforestation’), for which it bears a responsibility;

K.  whereas Parliament has now asked the Commission several times, including in its resolution on climate change of 14 March 2019, to examine CO2 pricing in sectors that are not yet covered by the EU emissions trading system (ETS);

L.  whereas climate change disproportionately affects developing countries, despite the fact that they emit far less CO2 than developed countries;

1.  Recalls that climate change is one of the most important challenges facing humanity and that all states and players worldwide must do their utmost to fight it; underlines that timely international cooperation, solidarity and a coherent and unwavering commitment to joint action is the only solution to fulfil our collective responsibility of safeguarding the entire planet;

2.  Acknowledges that the serious risks of climate change are at the heart of people’s concerns; recalls that according to the 2019 Eurobarometer survey, 93 % of EU citizens see climate change as a serious problem; welcomes the fact that people across the world, and the younger generation in particular, are increasingly active in fighting for climate action; welcomes their calls for greater collective ambition and swift action in order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and not to overshoot the 1,5 °C limit; urges national, regional and local governments, as well as the EU, to heed these calls;

3.  Acknowledges that public support is indispensable for the success of ambitious and inclusive EU climate policy and measures; considers that this should be reflected in the EU’s efforts to tackle climate change;

4.  Acknowledges that the burden of climate change is already, and will continue to be, overwhelmingly on the countries of the Global South, that the countries of the Global South are more vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change than the Global North, are already experiencing losses and damages, and also have less capacities to adapt, and that the countries of the Global South have contributed to the climate crisis considerably less than the Global North;

5.  Recalls that the preamble to the Paris Agreement acknowledges the ‘right to health’ as a key right; underlines that Article 4(1)(f) of the UNFCCC states that all Parties thereto should employ ‘appropriate methods, for example impact assessments, formulated and determined nationally, with a view to minimising adverse effects on the economy, on public health and on the quality of the environment, of projects or measures undertaken by them to mitigate or adapt to climate change’; considers that health should be included in national adaptation plans and national communications to the UNFCCC;

6.  Regrets the fact that the indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for climate change do not include health; notes, nonetheless, that the situation is being remedied in academic research initiatives by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and by the Secretariat of the UNFCCC; welcomes the adoption of the UN high-level political declaration of 23 September 2019 on universal health coverage;

7.  Recognises that it will be next to impossible to achieve most of the SDGs unless the climate and environment ambitions agreed to at COP21 are met;

8.  Highlights that the direct impacts of climate change are already being felt; underlines that according to the report by the Global Commission on Adaptation, climate change could push more than 100 million people into poverty by 2030 and crop yields could fall by 5-30 % by 2050, leaving especially vulnerable areas food insecure;

9.  Stresses that unmitigated warming is expected to reshape the global economy by reducing average global incomes by 23 % by 2100 and widening global income inequality; emphasises that in contrast to prior estimates, expected global losses are approximately linear in global mean temperature, with median losses many times larger than leading models indicate(4);

Scientific basis for climate action

10.  Underlines that the IPCC 1,5 °C special report represents the most comprehensive and up-to-date scientific assessment of mitigation pathways in line with the Paris Agreement; emphasises that according to the report, in order to have a good chance of keeping the global temperature increase below 1,5 °C by 2100 with no or limited overshoot, net-zero global GHG emissions will need to be achieved by 2067 at the latest, and annual global GHG emissions will need to be reduced to a maximum of 27,4 Gt CO2eq per year by 2030; stresses that in the light of these findings and in line with the Paris Agreement, the EU, as a global leader and together with other major global economies, needs to strive towards reaching net-zero GHG emissions as early as possible and by 2050 at the latest;

11.  Stresses that the IPCC special report on climate change and land underlines the particularly dramatic effects of global warming on land; expresses concern that human-induced land degradation, due mostly to unsustainable agricultural practices, and increasing land-use disturbances such as forest fires are further diminishing the capacity of land to act as a carbon sink; underlines that these dramatic consequences are expected to get worse if the prevailing global trends continue;

12.  Highlights the fact that the IPCC special report on the ocean and cryosphere in a changing climate underlines that climate mechanisms depend on the health of the ocean and marine ecosystems, which are currently affected by global warming, pollution, the overexploitation of marine biodiversity, rising sea levels, acidification, deoxygenation, marine heatwaves, the unprecedented melting of glaciers and sea ice, and coastal erosion; stresses, in addition, the report’s findings with regard to the aggravated risks to marine ecosystems, coastal communities and livelihoods; recalls that the ocean is part of the solution to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change; underlines that COP25 will be the first ever ‘Blue COP’; calls for the EU, therefore, to put the ocean high on the agenda of the European Green Deal and at the forefront of ongoing international negotiations on the climate;

13.  Expresses concern at the findings of the UNEP’s 2018 emissions gap report, most notably the fact that current unconditional NDCs are not remotely sufficient to keep to the Paris Agreement warming limit of well below 2 °C, and are instead projected to lead to estimated warming of 3,2 °C(5) by 2100, assuming that climate action continues consistently throughout the 21st century; highlights the high risk that with warming of 3,2 °C, certain tipping points are passed and massive additional warming is induced;

14.  Expresses concern at the findings of the high-level synthesis report (‘United in Science’) convened for the UN Climate Action Summit 2019, notably the fact that the growth of coal emissions resumed in 2017 and that annual growth of CO2 emissions from fossil fuels reached a new high in 2018, leading to alarming and unprecedented GHG concentrations in the atmosphere;

15.  Stresses that the current level of NDC ambition would need to be increased fivefold in order not to overshoot the 1.5 °C limit; highlights that this global ambition is still technically feasible, and would bring about numerous co-benefits for the environment and public health;

16.  Underlines that according to the WHO, climate change affects the social and environmental determinants of health – clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter – and that 250 000 additional deaths, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress, are expected every year between 2030 and 2050, with extreme high air temperatures contributing directly to deaths from cardiovascular and respiratory disease, particularly amongst the elderly and vulnerable individuals; stresses that through flood, heatwaves, drought and fires, climate change has a considerable impact on human health, including undernutrition, mental health, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and vector-borne infections; stresses that poorer standards of hygiene and limited access to drinking water and to health services are jeopardising the health of women, especially during pregnancy;

17.  Stresses that the IPBES 2019 global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services, the IPCC special report on climate change and land, the IPCC special report on the ocean and cryosphere in a changing climate, and the Global Commission on Adaptation’s flagship report recognise climate change as one of the main direct drivers of biodiversity loss and land degradation; underlines that the negative effects of climate change on nature and biodiversity, on ecosystem services, and on oceans and food security are projected to become increasingly significant in the decades to come;

18.  Reiterates that the strict conservation of high-carbon ecosystems such as peatlands, wetlands, rangelands, mangroves and intact forests is a response option with an immediate impact that can under no circumstances be replaced by afforestation, reforestation and restoration of degraded land, as these do not have an immediate impact;

19.  Points out that according to the IPBES global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services, one million species are now threatened with extinction; recalls the crucial role played by biodiversity in enabling humans to combat and adapt to global warming; is concerned about the impact of reduced biodiversity on our levels of resilience; underlines that the loss of biodiversity is not only an environmental issue, but also has wider societal and economic impacts;

An ambitious EU climate policy: the EU’s NDC and the long-term strategy

20.  Calls on all Parties to the UNFCCC, in cooperation with regions and non-state actors, to contribute constructively to the process to be put in place by 2020, when the NDCs will need to be updated to ensure that they are compatible with the long-term temperature goal of the Paris Agreement; acknowledges that current pledges are not sufficient to reach the goals of the Agreement; stresses, therefore, that global GHG emissions should peak as soon as possible and that all Parties, especially the EU and all G20 nations, should step up their efforts and update their NDCs by early 2020, as envisaged by the Paris Agreement;

21.  Welcomes the launch of the Climate Ambition Alliance during the UN Climate Action Summit 2019, which includes 59 Parties to the UNFCCC that have signalled their intention to submit enhanced NDCs by 2020, as provided for in the Paris Agreement, and 65 Parties, including the EU, that are working towards achieving net-zero GHG emissions by 2050; deplores the fact, however, that not all EU Member States were ready to support an increase in the level of ambition of the EU’s NDC, in spite of the European Parliament’s demands;

22.  Stresses the importance of the EU having an ambitious and inclusive climate policy in order to act as a credible and reliable partner on the global stage, and of maintaining the EU’s global climate leadership; underlines the need, therefore, for the EU to invest and make significant advances in research and industrially applicable innovations;

23.  Urges EU leaders once again, when meeting at the European Council on 12 and 13 December 2019, to support the EU’s long-term objective of attaining domestic net-zero GHG emissions as soon as possible and by 2050 at the latest; calls on the country holding the Presidency of the Council and the Commission to communicate this objective to the UNFCCC Secretariat as soon as possible thereafter; stresses that in order to reach domestic net-zero GHG emissions by 2050 in the most cost-efficient manner, and so as not to have to rely on carbon removal technologies that would entail significant risks for ecosystems, biodiversity and food security, the 2030 ambition level will need to be raised; underlines that nature-based solutions are a key tool for the EU to reach its GHG emissions reduction objectives; rues the September 2019 UN Climate Summit as an opportunity missed by the EU to set higher ambitions and show leadership for the achievement of the Paris Agreement; deems it of the utmost importance for the EU to send a clear message at COP25 that it stands ready to enhance its contribution to the Paris Agreement;

24.  Supports an update of the EU’s NDC with an economy-wide target of a 55 % reduction in domestic GHG emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels; calls on EU leaders, therefore, to support an increase in the level of ambition of the EU’s NDC; believes that this should be done while enshrining in EU law the target to reach climate neutrality as soon as possible and by 2050 at the latest; calls on other global economies to update their NDCs in order to bring about global effects;

25.  Expects the European Green Deal to set out a comprehensive and ambitious strategy for achieving a climate neutral Europe by 2050 at the latest, including the target of a 55 % reduction in domestic GHG emissions by 2030; calls on the Commission to adapt all of its relevant policies accordingly, in particular those on climate, agriculture and cohesion;

26.  Stresses that concrete implementing measures and enforcement at national and EU level are needed in order to realise the objectives of the Paris Agreement, such as the effective implementation of the 2030 renewable energy and energy efficiency targets;

27.  Emphasises that all climate policies should be pursued in line with the principle of a just transition and in close cooperation with civil society and social partners; considers, therefore, that stronger social partnerships and civil society engagement at both national and EU level are fundamental to achieving climate neutrality across all sectors of society in a fair, inclusive and socially sustainable manner; is of the opinion that nature-based solutions and the restoration and conservation of ecosystems and biological diversity are vital enablers of climate change mitigation and adaptation;

28.  Believes that as a means to ensure greater stability for markets, it will be beneficial for the EU to establish a further interim emissions reduction target by 2040, as this would provide additional stability and ensure that the net-zero GHG emissions target is met by 2050; recalls the need to regularly update such targets to ensure that they comply with the implementation of the Paris Agreement;

29.  Considers that the work on developing a reliable model for measuring climate impact based on consumption should be continued; takes note of the conclusion in the Commission’s in-depth analysis that the EU’s efforts to reduce emissions from its production are somewhat levelled off by imports of goods with a higher carbon footprint, but that the EU has nevertheless contributed significantly to the reduction of emissions in other countries because of the increased trade flow and improved carbon efficiency of its exports;

30.  Highlights that a stronger international framework is needed in order to protect global biodiversity, to arrest its current decline and to restore it as much as possible; believes that such a framework should be based on targets and firm commitments, comprising NDCs and other appropriate instruments, financial commitments and improved capacity-building assurances, as well as a five-yearly review mechanism, with an emphasis on an upward trajectory of ambition;

COP25 in Madrid, Spain

31.  Recognises the achievements of COP24 in Katowice, which reinforced the momentum for climate action and, with the completion of the Paris Agreement Work Programme (the Katowice Rulebook), delivered operational guidance for the Paris Agreement; notes, however, that some unfinished business from Katowice must be completed at COP25, namely on mechanisms under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement; considers, in addition, that several implementation decisions will need to be taken at COP25, specifically in the areas of mitigation, adaptation, transparency and support; looks forward to a successful outcome at COP25 of the review of the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage and of negotiations on the Gender Action Plan; recognises that there will be further discussions to agree common timeframes at COP25;

32.  Underlines the importance of establishing common implementation periods for NDCs, as although many Parties to the UNFCCC have 5 or 10-year timeframes, others have shorter implementation periods or none whatsoever; notes that continuing with conflicting timeframes could have a negative impact on future negotiations on climate ambition; believes that common implementation periods for NDCs would ensure that all Parties update and communicate their commitments in unison and improve the sum total of global efforts and make them easier to quantify; supports the introduction of a five-year common timeframe for all post-2030 NDCs which corresponds to the ambition cycle of the Paris Agreement and is without detriment to additional long-term commitments that the Parties may pursue domestically;

33.  Welcomes the fact that Chile is one of the most successful emerging countries in the transition to clean energy and, in particular, that it has overseen the highest increase in solar energy production in the world; believes that Chile’s commitments to addressing the climate emergency should inspire many countries in South America and around the world;

34.  Stresses that the global action that is undertaken over the next decade will have an impact on the future of humanity for the next 10 000 years; therefore calls on the Commission and all Parties under COP25 to take bold and ambitious measures;

35.  Recognises the role of cooperative approaches in delivering more ambitious mitigation and adaptation outcomes and in promoting sustainable development and environmental integrity; emphasises the need for these endeavours to deliver an overall reduction in emissions, and to avoid an increase in emissions within or between NDC periods; expresses concern at the limited progress achieved during the UNFCCC 50th intersessional meeting in Bonn on market and non-market mechanisms;

36.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to advocate for strict and robust international rules relating to Article 6 of the Paris Agreement; recognises the many problems that a great number of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI) projects under the Kyoto Protocol have posed for environmental integrity and sustainability; calls for the prevention of loopholes in accounting or double counting and regarding the additionality of emissions reductions; expresses concern at the potential use towards NDC targets of units issued under the Kyoto Protocol, as it would seriously undermine the environmental integrity of future mechanisms established under Article 6; underlines that emission rights traded under the new market mechanisms must be additional and increase the mitigation efforts of existing and future NDCs; supports putting a share of the proceeds from the Article 6 mechanisms towards the underfunded Adaptation Fund;

37.  Considers that COP25 should define a new level of ambition, both in terms of implementing the Paris Agreement and in relation to the next round of NDCs, which should reflect enhanced commitments to climate action across all sectors on land and in the oceans;

38.  Underlines the importance of the EU speaking with a single and unified voice at COP25 in order to uphold its political power and credibility; urges all Member States to support the EU’s mandate during negotiations and bilateral meetings with other actors;

The role of forests

39.  Recalls that the Paris Agreement requires all Parties to take action to conserve and enhance sinks, including forests; notes that halting deforestation and forest degradation and allowing forests to regrow would constitute at least 30 % of all the mitigation action needed to limit global warming to 1,5 °C; underlines that sustainably managed forests are enormously important in fighting climate change via increased CO2 sequestration by growing forests, carbon storage in wood products, and the substitution of fossil-based raw materials and energy, while at the same time reducing the risks of forest fires, pest infestations and diseases; stresses the importance of incentivising practices that maintain the natural carbon sinks, including primary forests and intact forest soils, which the Commission communication on stepping up EU action on forest restoration recognises as being irreplaceable;

40.  Calls on all Parties, including the EU and its Member States, to honour their international commitments, including inter alia those made within the framework of the UN Forum on Forests, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, the New York Declaration on Forests, and SDG 15, in particular target 15.2 thereof, the aim of which is to promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forest, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests, and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally by 2020; calls for greater efforts at all political levels to prevent the deterioration of forests in Europe and to restore their good condition where necessary; asks the Commission and the Member States to support measures for reforestation on degraded soils and those unsuitable for agricultural use;

41.  In view of the fundamental role played by forests in the fight against climate change and the challenges that some forest owners in Europe face because of extreme drought and pests, believes that the Commission should consider a framework of incentives in case sustainable forest management no longer has a business case;

Climate resilience through adaptation

42.  Welcomes the publication of the Commission report on the implementation of the EU strategy on adaptation to climate change, which shows that some progress has been made on each of the strategy’s eight individual actions; notes, however, that despite global efforts to reduce emissions, climate change impacts are inevitable and further action to adapt is vital; calls on the Commission, therefore, to revise the strategy in the light of the report’s conclusions that the EU remains vulnerable to climate impacts both within and beyond its borders; stresses the need for the insurance industry to invest in adaptation and for public and private investment in research and innovation; considers that protecting human health and safety, arresting the decline of biodiversity and land degradation, and promoting urban adaptation constitute priorities;

43.  Notes that Article 8 of the Paris Agreement (on Loss and Damage) states that the Parties should take a cooperative approach in relation to loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change; therefore highlights the importance of global supportive action in areas especially vulnerable to climate change impacts;

44.  Reiterates that adaptation action is an inevitable necessity for all countries if they are to minimise the negative effects of climate change and make full use of the opportunities for climate-resilient growth and sustainable development; stresses the need to develop uniform systems and tools to keep track of the progress and effectiveness of national adaptation plans and actions; regrets the fact that the Member States’ draft national energy and climate plans (NECPs) lacked ambition regarding energy efficiency and renewable energy targets; recalls that renewables including renewable marine energy, as an element of the circular economy, are part of the solution to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change; calls on the Member States to strengthen their national energy and climate plans in order to implement the Paris Agreement in full;

Climate finance and other means of implementation

45.  Welcomes the decision taken at COP24 that the Adaptation Fund should continue to serve the Paris Agreement; recognises the importance of this fund for those communities most vulnerable to climate change and therefore welcomes the new voluntary contribution of USD 10 million made by Member States to the fund for 2019;

46.  Recognises that 37 % of the EU budget currently goes towards the financing of the common agricultural policy (CAP), which could mobilise significant funds with regard to incentivising and rewarding climate- and environmentally friendly practices in agriculture;

47.  Reiterates that the CAP should no longer provide subsidies for activities that are harmful to the environment and the climate, including the draining of peatlands and the over-abstraction of water for irrigation, nor should it penalise the presence of trees in agricultural areas;

48.  Recognises that the EU and its Member States are the largest provider of public climate finance; welcomes the decision taken at COP24 to decide on a more ambitious target from 2025 onwards, beyond the current commitment to mobilise USD 100 billion per year as of 2020, but expresses concern that the actual pledges by developed countries are still falling a long way short of the collective goal of USD 100 billion per year; expects emerging economies to make a contribution, from 2025 onwards, to the higher amount of international climate financing in the future;

49.  Recognises that climate change is not a localised challenge and that climate impacts outside the EU have implications within the EU as well, as events such as hurricanes, droughts, floods and forest fires may have an impact on the EU’s food and water security and the supply chains of goods and services; calls on the Commission and the Member States to prioritise scaling up international climate finance for adaptation so as to bring it to the same level as climate finance for mitigation, and to provide climate finance for loss and damage;

50.  Stresses the importance of operationalising the global goal on adaptation and of mobilising major new funds for adaptation in developing countries; calls for the EU and its Member States to commit to a significant increase in the adaptation finance they provide; recognises the need for progress on the issue of loss and damage, for which additional resources should be raised through innovative sources of public finance under the Warsaw International Mechanism;

51.  Underlines the role of sustainable finance and considers it essential that the major international financial institutions swiftly adopt and develop green finance in order to bring about a successful decarbonisation of the global economy; underlines the need to implement the EU’s Action Plan on Sustainable Finance and welcomes the establishment of the International Platform on Sustainable Finance;

52.  Stresses, furthermore, the role of the private sector, including corporations and the financial markets, in the pursuit of sustainability goals; welcomes the efforts to introduce legislation on the sustainability of finance and urges the Commission to introduce transparency and accountability for investee companies, especially when it comes to undermining sustainability and human rights in developing countries;

53.  Welcomes the agreement reached by 196 governments at COP14 to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity to scale up investment in nature and people towards 2020 and beyond; underlines that economic growth can facilitate sustainable development only if it is decoupled from the degradation of biodiversity and nature’s capacity to serve people;

54.  Stresses that the EU’s budget should be consistent with its international commitments on sustainable development and its mid- and long-term climate and energy targets, and should not be counterproductive to these targets or hamper their implementation; calls on the Commission, therefore, to ensure climate and biodiversity proofing of EU investments and to put forward harmonised and binding rules where applicable; calls on the Commission to ensure that the next multiannual financial framework (MFF) is fully compliant with the Paris Agreement and that no spending should contravene it; stresses the importance of replenishing the Green Climate Fund (GCF), and encourages Member States to at least double their contributions for the initial resource mobilisation; welcomes the decision taken by the Board of Directors of the EIB to end financing for most fossil fuel energy projects from the end of 2021 and to gradually increase the share of its financing dedicated to climate action and environmental sustainability, to reach 50 % of its operations as of 2025; believes this is a first ambitious step towards the transformation of the EIB into a European Climate Bank; asks the Member States to apply the same principle when it comes to export credit guarantees; calls for specific public guarantees in favour of green investments, of green finance labels and fiscal advantages for green investment funds, and of issuing green bonds; stresses the need for more ambitious financing of research and industrially applicable innovation;

55.  Calls on the EIB to review its climate strategy in 2020 and adopt concrete and ambitious action plans to deliver on its commitment to align all its financing activities with the Paris Agreement, as well as to urgently align all its sector lending policies and guidelines to the objectives of the Paris Agreement;

56.  Stresses the importance of a just transition to a climate-neutral economy and the need for an anticipatory and participatory approach to ensure that citizens benefit from the transition and to support the most vulnerable regions and communities; sees the creation of a just transition fund as one of the tools that can be used, at EU level, to guarantee an inclusive and informed transition for the people and regions in the EU most affected by decarbonisation, such as coal mining regions in transition; acknowledges that compensation funds alone do not guarantee a just transition and that a comprehensive EU strategy for the development and modernisation of those EU regions and support for those at the forefront of the transition should be at the core of any transition policy; believes that the EU’s climate transition must be ecologically, economically and socially sustainable; calls for the EU and the Member States to put in place appropriate policies and financing in this regard, contingent on clear, credible and enforceable short and longer term economy-wide decarbonisation commitments from the Member States concerned, including the integration in their final NECPs of concrete policies aiming to phase out coal, other fossil fuels, and fossil fuel subsidies, in a timeframe consistent with the EU’s commitment to keep global warming in line with the long-term objectives of the Paris Agreement and the 2050 climate neutrality target;

57.  Believes that the democratisation of the energy system is crucial to the success of the sustainable energy transition; calls, therefore, for citizens’ rights and skills to be improved to enable them to participate in the production of safe and clean energy;

58.  Stresses the importance of entering into discussions with countries around the world that are currently dependent on the export of fossil fuels, with a view to determining how a strategy of joint energy and climate security could be implemented in a way that improves the future prospects of those regions;

59.  Believes that nuclear energy can play a role in meeting climate objectives because it does not emit greenhouse gases, and can also ensure a significant share of electricity production in Europe; considers nevertheless that, because of the waste it produces, this energy requires a medium- and long-term strategy that takes into account technological advances (laser, fusion, etc) aimed at improving the sustainability of the entire sector;

60.  Supports the work of the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action and encourages all governments to adopt the coalition’s commitment to align all policies and practices in the remit of finance ministries with the goals of the Paris Agreement and to adopt effective carbon pricing, as set out in the Helsinki principles;

61.  Reminds the Parties of the need to allocate sufficient resources in order to translate commitments into action and to implement the measures necessary to achieve the Paris Agreement objectives; supports the growing momentum for introducing a carbon adjustment mechanism at the EU’s borders for imports to the EU in order to create a level playing field of international trade and avoid carbon leakage;

Role of non-state actors

62.  Welcomes the determined and growing youth movement against climate change; highlights the importance of engaging in meaningful dialogue with young people and encouraging their participation in policymaking at all levels; welcomes the growing global mobilisation of an ever-broader range of non-state actors committed to climate action with concrete and measurable deliverables; highlights the critical role of civil society, the private sector and sub-state governments in influencing and driving public opinion and state action and in sharing knowledge and best practices on the development and implementation of mitigation and adaptation measures; calls for the EU, the Member States and all Parties to encourage, support and engage with non-state actors, who are increasingly becoming the frontrunners in the fight against climate change; considers, furthermore, that citizens should be involved and awareness should be raised;

63.  Stresses the crucial role of cities in implementing the objectives of the Paris Agreement, given that, according to the 2018 UN synthesis report on SDG 11 entitled ‘Tracking Progress towards Inclusive, Safe, Resilient and Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements’, they are the source of more than 70 % of all GHG emissions, waste and air pollution; welcomes the commitment of 102 cities at the UN Climate Action Summit to achieve climate neutrality by 2050; calls on the Parties to involve cities more closely in their emission reduction plans;

Openness, inclusiveness and transparency

64.  Stresses that the effective participation of all Parties is needed to pursue the objective of limiting the increase in the global average temperature to 1,5 °C, which in turn requires the issue of vested or conflicting interests to be addressed; reiterates, in this context, its support for the introduction of a specific conflict of interest policy as part of the UNFCCC; calls on the Commission and the Member States to take the lead in that process without compromising the aims and objectives of the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement;

65.  Underlines that 80 % of the people displaced by climate change are women and children, who are in general more impacted by and bear a greater burden of climate change than men, despite not being as involved in key decision-making on climate action; stresses, therefore, that the empowerment of all marginalised genders, as well as their full and equal participation in and leadership of international forums, such as the UNFCCC, and their involvement in national, regional and local climate action, are vital for the success and effectiveness of such action; believes that the EU and the Member States should fully support the implementation of the UNFCCC Gender Action Plan, in particular by mainstreaming the gender perspective into EU climate and development policies, and should promote the participation of indigenous women and women’s rights defenders in the UNFCCC process;

66.  Notes that the consequences of climate change for, inter alia, survival, nutrition and access to education, are particularly serious for the health, protection and development of children and adolescents; considers it necessary to take action to limit these detrimental effects;

Comprehensive effort by all sectors

67.  Advises the Commission to explore links and other forms of cooperation with stakeholders in the carbon markets of third countries and regions and to encourage the setting up of additional carbon markets and other carbon pricing mechanisms, which will bring extra efficiencies and cost savings and reduce the risk of carbon leakage by creating a global level playing field; calls on the Commission to establish safeguards to ensure that any links with the EU ETS will continue to deliver additional and permanent mitigation contributions and will not undermine the EU’s domestic GHG emissions commitments;

68.  Recalls that all sectors must contribute in order to achieve a climate-neutral economy and that the decarbonisation of the EU economy should not lead to a relocation of carbon emissions to third countries through carbon leakage, but should become a success for our economy and industry thanks to adequate investment, suitable instruments, and opportunities to develop the necessary breakthrough innovations and technology; believes in the success of market-based approaches; considers that carbon border adjustment measures need to be based on a feasibility study and need to be WTO-compliant;

69.  Takes note of the announcement by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen that the ETS will be extended to sectors not yet covered by the EU trading system; rejects a direct inclusion in the EU ETS scheme;

70.  Highlights that the transport sector is the only sector in which emissions have risen since 1990; stresses that this is not compatible with a long-term climate neutrality objective, which requires bigger and faster reductions in emissions from all sectors of society, including the aviation and maritime sectors; recalls that the transport sector will need to be fully decarbonised by 2050 at the latest; notes that the Commission’s analysis shows that the current global targets and measures envisaged by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), even if implemented in full, would fall short of the necessary emissions reductions, and that significant further action consistent with the economy-wide objective of net-zero GHG emissions is needed; considers that in order to ensure the consistency of NDCs with the economy-wide commitments required by the Paris Agreement, the Parties should be encouraged to include emissions from international shipping and aviation and to agree on and implement measures at international, regional and national level to reduce emissions from these sectors;

71.  Recalls that by 2020, global international aviation emissions are projected to be around 70 % higher than in 2005 and could even grow by a further 300-700 % by 2050; expresses concern about the level of ambition of ICAO’s Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), given the ongoing work on the standards and recommended practices to be followed when implementing the scheme from 2019 onward; stresses that the current standards are unsatisfactory and that further dilution of the CORSIA scheme is unacceptable; calls on the Commission and the Member States to do their utmost to strengthen CORSIA’s provisions and support the adoption of a long-term goal to significantly reduce the in-sector emissions of the aviation sector while safeguarding the EU’s legislative autonomy in implementing the ETS directive; stresses, moreover, the necessity of addressing non-carbon GHG emissions from aviation in EU and international schemes;

72.  Expresses its deep concern at the adoption of resolution A40-19 at the 40th ICAO Assembly and of the so-called exclusivity clause of CORSIA; urges Member States to file a formal reservation concerning this part of the resolution so as to preserve the Union’s legislative autonomy with regard to measures intended to reduce GHG emissions from the aviation sector;

73.  Recalls the legal obligation for the Commission to present a report to the European Parliament and to the Council, within 12 months of the adoption of the relevant instruments by ICAO and before CORSIA becomes operational, in which it shall examine, inter alia, the ambition and overall environmental integrity of CORSIA, including its general ambition in relation to the goals of the Paris Agreement; underlines that, as co-legislators, the European Parliament and the Council are the only institutions that can decide on any future amendment to the ETS Directive; stresses that any amendment of the ETS Directive should only be undertaken if it is consistent with the EU’s economy-wide GHG emission reduction commitment, which does not envisage the use of offset credits after 2020;

74.  Welcomes the growing support for an EU-wide coordinated approach for aviation pricing, and calls on the Commission to present as soon as possible an ambitious review of the Energy Taxation Directive in this regard, including an end to the tax exemptions currently applied to kerosene and maritime fuels;

75.  Recalls that CO2 emissions from shipping are projected to increase by 50 % to 250 % in the period to 2050; welcomes the agreement on the initial IMO strategy to reduce GHG emissions from ships as the sector’s first step in contributing to meeting the Paris Agreement’s temperature goal; urges the IMO to make swift progress on the adoption of short- and medium-term measures to help achieve the objectives of the strategy; stresses the importance and urgency of implementing short- and medium-term measures before 2023; calls for the EU, the Commission and the Member States to do their utmost in supporting the rapid designation of the Mediterranean Sea as a combined SOx and NOx emission control area as a crucial step forward to reducing shipping emissions in Europe; underlines that further measures and actions, including carbon pricing instruments, need to be explored immediately in order to address maritime emissions in line with the sector’s low emission transformation strategy; consequently expresses its belief that the EU and the Member States should closely monitor the impact and implementation of the initial IMO strategy; welcomes the proposal for an EU regulation in order to take appropriate account of the global data collection system for ship fuel oil consumption data (MRV) and the IMO global data collection system for fuel oil consumption of ships; recalls that the MRV is a first step that should ultimately enable the EU to adopt mandatory targets to reduce emissions; urges the Commission to propose, as soon as possible, additional EU actions as part of its 2050 decarbonisation strategy, such as the inclusion of the maritime sector in the ETS and the introduction of a ship efficiency standard and a ship label, and to propose a strategy for cooperating with other Parties willing to act as early as possible in order to reduce maritime emissions in line with the temperature target of the Paris Agreement;

76.  Highlights the fact that simple solutions to reduce emissions already exist, such as lowering speed limits or establishing emission control areas, which are provided for under the international MARPOL Convention; considers that the decarbonisation strategy and the European Green Deal should drive investment, ambitious research into zero-emission ships and green ships with eco-components, better waste and water management and the infrastructure improvements needed to enable a market ramp-up prior to 2030, such as the electrification of ports;

77.  Urges an increase into funding of research and market deployment of alternative fuels;

78.  Recalls that 23 % of global GHG emissions originate from agriculture; stresses that in order to ensure sufficient nutrition for a growing world population, investments in smart agricultural techniques and production methods are needed, such as capturing methane from manure, using fertilisers more efficiently, using biomass in cycles and improving the efficiency of meat and dairy production methods;

79.  Recalls that while agriculture is responsible for around 10 % of the EU’s GHG emissions, it has the potential to help the EU reduce its emissions through good soil management, agroforestry, the protection of biodiversity and other land management techniques; recognises that agriculture has the potential to make annual emission savings of about 3,9 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalents by 2050 – around 8 % of the current global GHG emissions;

80.  Notes that approximately 60 % of the world’s methane is emitted by sources such as agriculture, landfill sites, waste water facilities, and the production and pipeline transport of fossil fuels; recalls that methane is a potent GHG with a 100-year global warming potential and is 28 times more powerful than CO2; reminds the Commission of its legal obligation to explore, as soon as possible, policy options for rapidly reducing methane emissions as part of an EU strategic plan for methane; calls on the Commission to present the appropriate legislative proposals to Parliament and the Council to that effect within the first half of its mandate;

81.  Acknowledges the positive and significant role the agricultural sector can play in fighting climate change and underlines the importance of reforming the CAP to help farmers to develop and implement climate-smart agricultural practices, such as carbon sequestration and the recycling of carbon emissions;

82.  Underlines the important role of natural sinks in achieving GHG neutrality in the EU; calls on the Commission to develop a detailed EU strategy for the sustainable enhancement of natural sinks in line with the 2050 objective of GHG neutrality; encourages the Member States to cover this aspect thoroughly in their long-term strategies as required by Article 15(4)(b) of the Governance Regulation;

83.  Acknowledges the role attributed to carbon capture and storage (CCS) in most 1,5 °C scenarios in the IPCC 1.5 °C special report and the Commission’s communication on a clean planet for all;

84.  Supports greater action to deliver the targets set by the Member States under the Strategic Energy Technology Plan with a view to implementing commercial-scale CCS in EU energy and industrial sectors and developing a robust regulatory framework to aid the direct removal of CO2 from the atmosphere for safe storage by 2022;

85.  Deeply regrets the fact that fossil fuel subsidies are still increasing and amount to around EUR 55 billion per year in the EU; urgently calls on all of the Member States to integrate concrete policies, timelines and measures in their final NECPs to phase out all direct and indirect fossil fuel subsidies by 2020 so as to fulfil the EU’s global commitments and free up resources that could be used to achieve a climate neutral society; calls on all other Parties to take similar measures;

86.  Welcomes the entry into force of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol; believes it should give the EU fresh impetus to rapidly revise the F-gas Regulation to address known shortcomings that threaten the EU’s climate ambitions, such as the illegal trade in hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and insufficient action against the use of sulphur hexafluoride (SF6);

Industry and competitiveness

87.  Believes that economic prosperity, industrial competitiveness, sustainable development and climate policy should be mutually reinforcing; stresses that the EU should lead the way in the transition towards a net-zero GHG emissions economy by 2050, thereby securing a competitive advantage for EU industries;

88.  Stresses the utmost importance of achieving the Paris Agreement targets while at the same time keeping jobs and an industrial base inside the EU to give people in this sector a positive perspective and to show the world that industry and climate neutrality are not incompatible; strongly welcomes the commitment and efforts of many industrial players in Europe to become climate neutral and encourages those sectors or companies that are still hesitant to follow the many good examples;

89.  Welcomes, furthermore, the efforts and progress made so far by EU citizens, businesses and industries toward meeting the obligations of the Paris Agreement in line with the Katowice Rulebook; notes, however, that these efforts are insufficient to achieve a net-zero GHG economy by 2050; therefore encourages the Member States and their regions and municipalities, as well as businesses and industries, to set and actively pursue higher ambitions through the European Green Deal in order to tackle climate challenges and take full advantage of the opportunities generated by the Paris Agreement;

90.  Stresses that a stable and reliable legal framework and clear policy signals both at EU and global level facilitate and enhance climate-related investments and can contribute to preventing carbon lock-in; in this regard, underlines the importance of the proper and timely implementation of the ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ legislation and calls for the development of a long-term EU industrial policy strategy and an EU climate law, in line with the EU’s commitments under the Paris Agreement, designed to ensure the short- and long-term development of EU industry, in particular by supporting SMEs, generating quality jobs and enabling the ecological transition, while ensuring that EU industry is competitive on a global scale, that the EU achieves net-zero GHG emissions by 2050 and that no one is left behind;

91.  Welcomes the fact that several countries that are home to some of the major competitors of the EU’s energy-intensive industries have introduced carbon trading or other pricing mechanisms; encourages other countries to follow suit; calls for an extension of those mechanisms to all energy-intensive industries;

92.  Stresses the importance of increasing the number of quality jobs and skilled workers in EU industry in order to drive innovation and the transition towards sustainable production processes; underlines the need to assist coal- and carbon-intensive regions with a high share of workers in carbon-dependent sectors, to invest in those regions and to develop re-skilling and up-skilling programmes in order to attract new and innovative businesses, start-ups and industries with the aim of building a sustainable regional economy while making sure that no one is left behind;

93.  Highlights the fact that not all regions are starting on the same footing in the fight against climate change, that not all regions have the same tools and that the consequences differ accordingly; underlines, therefore, that a transition that takes into account the particularities of the most vulnerable regions, populations and sectors is essential;

Energy policy

94.  Highlights the central role of energy in the transition towards a net-zero GHG emissions economy;

95.  Underlines that during the course of the sustainable energy transition, the problem of energy poverty needs to be tackled by strengthening energy consumer rights, providing consumers with better information, enhancing energy efficiency measures in buildings, especially for low-income households, and addressing the issue in social policies;

96.  Stresses the importance of energy efficiency and renewable energy for the reduction of GHG emissions, energy security and the alleviation of energy poverty;

97.  Underlines that all sectors need to work together effectively in order to decarbonise the EU economy and reach net-zero GHG emissions; stresses that countries should be flexible about how they decarbonise their economies to make it easier to mitigate the social costs associated with the transition and win social acceptance and support;

98.  Considers that further integration of the EU internal energy market will play an essential role, particularly in achieving a net-zero GHG emissions economy;

99.  Recalls that the prioritisation of energy efficiency, in particular through the implementation of the energy-efficiency-first principle, and global leadership in renewables are two of the main goals of the EU’s Energy Union; underlines that the EU 2030 renewable energy target has been set at 32 % or above and its energy efficiency target at 32.5 % or above; highlights that these targets – although leading to greater GHG emission reductions than previously foreseen – are not in line with the 50-55 % reduction proposed by the new Commission President-elect or the aim to limit global warming to 1.5 °C; calls on the Commission and the Council to determine the additional efforts needed to boost renewable energy and energy efficiency in line with the GHG emissions reduction target; calls for the global promotion of energy efficiency measures and the timely deployment of renewable energy;

100.  Welcomes the rising share of renewable energy in the global energy supply, especially in the power sector; is concerned about the slow uptake of renewable energy for heating, cooling and transport, especially in the aviation and maritime sectors; is deeply concerned about the slowdown (since 2014) in the expansion of the overall renewable energy market share in the EU, which is jeopardising the EU’s energy and climate targets; stresses that in order to meet long-term sustainability goals, all sectors must increase their use of renewable energy;

Research, innovation, digital technologies and space policy

101.  Acknowledges the crucial role of science and science-based innovations if the fight against climate change is to be successful and the strategic goals of the Paris Agreement and any other ambitious climate programmes are to be fulfilled; stresses the necessity of EU leadership both in fighting climate change and promoting technological progress toward climate-resilient development;

102.  Stresses the importance of continuing and strengthening research and innovation in the areas of climate change mitigation, adaptation policies, resource efficiency, low-carbon and zero-emission technologies, the sustainable use of secondary raw materials (‘circular economy’) and the collection of climate change data to combat this phenomenon; stresses the need to prioritise funding for sustainable energy projects under the new Horizon Europe programme given the EU’s commitments within the Energy Union and under the Paris Agreement;

103.  Recalls that research, innovation and competitiveness constitute one of the five pillars of the EU’s Energy Union strategy; recalls, therefore, the fundamental role played by researchers in the fight against global warming and underlines the importance of close scientific cooperation between international partners in this regard;

104.  Recalls the fundamental role of digital technologies in supporting the energy and industrial transition, in particular in improving energy efficiency and savings and reducing emissions; stresses the climate benefits that the digitalisation of European industries can bring through the more efficient use of resources, including recycling and the reduction of material intensity; highlights the climate benefits of a full digitalisation of transmission and distribution networks and energy trading hubs, and of demand response programmes managed through software applications;

105.  Recognises the role of the new EU Space Programme in supporting the EU’s fight against climate change and its effects; recalls the crucial role that the data and information services of Copernicus, the European earth observation system, have played in monitoring the earth; stresses the importance of Copernicus in facilitating the international coordination of observation systems and related exchanges of data;

Climate change and development

106.  Recalls that according to the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights of 25 June 2019 on climate change and poverty, ‘climate change threatens to undo the last 50 years of progress in development, global health and poverty reduction’ and it is estimated that ‘developing countries will bear 75-80 % of the costs of climate change’;

107.  Stresses that developing countries are the most vulnerable and exposed to climate change and are less equipped to withstand its increasingly devastating impacts, including food and water crises, physical destruction caused by natural disasters, displacement and growing tensions over scarce resources; recalls that climate change has dramatic consequences on the long-term economic development of developing countries, and in particular least developed countries;

108.  Points to the example of the tropical cyclones Idai and Kenneth – the latter of which was the strongest cyclone ever to hit the African continent ­– which caused devastation in the Comoros, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe in the first half of 2019, leaving many people dead and more than two million people in immediate need of humanitarian aid, the cost of which was almost USD 400 million, largely met by the EU, with the cost of reconstruction being estimated at USD 3 billion;

109.  Points out that the resilience of infrastructure in developing countries will prove crucial to their ability to adapt to climate change; insists, therefore, on the need to encourage investment in resilient infrastructure in developing countries to help them withstand the increasing severity of natural disasters;

110.  Recalls its position that at least 45 % of the funding from the proposed 2021-2027 Neighbourhood and Development Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) should support climate and environmental objectives;

111.  Insists on a joined-up approach to the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, in both internal and external policies and with the utmost regard for the principle of policy coherence for development, notably in terms of development, trade, agriculture, energy and climate;

112.  Emphasises the interdependence of the climate, economy and society; underlines, in particular, the direct effects that climate change has on indigenous communities and the acute existential threat that many of them, including uncontacted communities, face; stresses that according to the IPCC, indigenous and traditional knowledge is a major resource for preventing climate change, not least because about 80 % of the world’s remaining biodiversity is found in the territories of indigenous peoples; is appalled by the recent killing of the indigenous leader Emrya Wajãpi in northern Brazil and welcomes the statement made by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on 29 July 2019 urging ‘the Government of Brazil to halt the invasion of indigenous territories and ensure the peaceful exercise of their collective rights to their land’, in line with ILO Convention 169;

113.  Calls on developed countries, including the EU Member States, to step up their support for knowledge-sharing, capacity-building and technology transfer to developing countries and thereby honour Articles 9-11 of the Paris Agreement and Articles 49, 116 and 120 of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development, while also delivering on their commitments in relation to SDG 17, including targets 17.6 to 17.8; to this end, highlights the positive potential of increasing EU investment in promising scientific research projects; calls, in addition, for the EU to encourage the adoption of a declaration comparable to the Doha Declaration of 2001 on the TRIPS Agreement and public health, in order to promote the lawful transfer of climate-friendly technology to developing countries;

114.  Points to the crucial importance of private investment and growth for the transition to climate-friendly infrastructure and production methods; stresses the need to maximise the contribution of such investment to climate action and to the pursuit of the SDGs, including through incentives and the promotion of public-private partnerships; considers that the External Investment Plan is an essential tool in this regard; emphasises, furthermore, that inclusive and sustainable development and growth are needed to enable developing countries to partake in the climate transition, inter alia by means of innovation strategies and technological advancement; is convinced that the EU should swiftly promote responsible and sustainable private financing, notably regarding human rights obligations and contributions to the domestic economies of developing countries; but warns against an overreliance on voluntary private sector efforts;

115.  Takes note of the increasing interest in developing standards for climate-friendly and sustainable investment and reiterates its concern that the proliferation of private sector initiatives renders comparison and verification difficult; welcomes, in this regard, the initiatives taken by the Commission and the international community to support investment in and policy dialogue on climate action in developing countries, such as the Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+) and the GCF; in this regard, encourages the Commission and the Member States to engage further in international fora, with a view to promoting efficiency and fairness in climate action investment;

Climate diplomacy

116.  Strongly supports the continuation and further strengthening of the EU’s political outreach and climate diplomacy, which is essential for mobilising climate action in partner countries and global public opinion; considers, however, that the efforts made have clearly been inadequate and that the human resources allocated by the Commission and the European External Action Service are far from sufficient; proposes, therefore, a drastic increase in human resources in this area; encourages the Commission and the Member States to approach EU climate diplomacy in a holistic manner by creating links between climate change and sustainable development, agriculture, conflict resolution, migration and humanitarian concerns in order to facilitate the global transition toward net-zero emissions, climate resilience, sustainable development and food and water security;

117.  Emphasises the deepening implications of climate change for international security and regional stability stemming from environmental degradation, loss of livelihood, climate-induced displacement and associated forms of unrest where climate change can often be regarded as a threat multiplier; urges the EU and the Member States, therefore, to work with their partners around the world to better understand, integrate, anticipate and manage the destabilising effects of climate change; encourages the implementation of an early warning programme for the major potential tipping points, which could undermine sustainable structures and ecosystems in bigger regions or continents;

118.  Welcomes the commitment to reducing GHG emissions and the concrete steps taken to this end in many parts of the world, such as the very ambitious commitments of many developing countries and small island states; regrets, however, the lack of ambition and the lack of debate on increasing NDCs in many major economies; recalls that the EU accounts for 9 % of global GHG emissions but is home to just 6.7 % of the world’s population, making it absolutely crucial that the EU demonstrates greater ambition, especially given its historical responsibility for climate change and the need to set a good example to the rest of the world; stresses that it will be impossible to achieve the Paris Agreement goals and avoid tipping points if increased ambition in other major economies does not follow;

119.  Asks the Commission to immediately analyse the possibility of taking additional steps to encourage other major economies to increase their NDCs, implement additional concrete measures and consider innovative approaches;

120.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to make use of all available instruments (e.g. international negotiations, trade and regional agreements, international partnerships) to promote and foster cooperation in the global transition toward net-zero emissions, climate resilience, sustainable development and food and water security;

121.  Stresses the need to mainstream climate ambition into all EU policies, including trade policy; calls on the Commission to ensure that all new trade and investment agreements signed by the EU are fully compatible with the Paris Agreement and the SDGs and that environmental and climate provisions are legally binding and enforceable; asks the Commission to carry out and publish a comprehensive assessment of the consistency of the existing and forthcoming agreements with the Paris Agreement; calls on the Commission to ensure that any trade agreement contains binding provisions regarding compliance with the Paris Agreement, including provisions concerning the management and sustainable preservation of forests; calls on the Commission to pay special attention to the lifecycle of traded goods from conception to consumption, to protect natural resources and to take into account the cumulated impacts, including on transport;

122.  Calls on the Commission and the Council to incorporate the Paris Agreement in trade agreements in order to incentivise trading partners to reach the goals set in the Paris Agreement; also calls on the Commission and the Council to revise trade agreements in order to incorporate ambitious climate obligations in these bilateral agreements and thus incentivise partners to adopt climate strategies in accordance with the Paris Agreement;

123.  Strongly welcomes Russia’s announcement that it will implement the Paris Agreement;

124.  Acknowledges the critical importance of the EU-US partnership for the achievement of the strategic goals of the Paris Agreement and other ambitious strategies; reiterates its regret, therefore, at the announcement by US President Donald Trump of his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement; strongly welcomes the continued mobilisation for climate action of major US states, cities, universities and other non-state actors under the ‘we are still in’ campaign; expresses the hope that the US will once again join the fight against climate change, and, in partnership with the EU, be at the forefront of negotiations for worldwide agreements on trade, industry and energy, in line with the Paris Agreement;

125.  Strongly deplores the lacklustre reaction by the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and the Brazilian Government to the unprecedented number and scale of forest fires in the Brazilian Amazon; believes that the EU and its Member States should do their utmost, through international cooperation and assistance, to combat the environmental devastation of the Amazon and other key areas in the global ecosystem and take into account the potential role of their own trade policies;

Role of the European Parliament

126.  Believes, since it must give its consent to international agreements and plays a central role in the domestic implementation of the Paris Agreement as co-legislator, that it should be an integral part of the EU delegation; expects, therefore, to be allowed to attend EU coordination meetings at COP25 in Madrid and to be guaranteed access to all preparatory documents from the moment negotiations begin;

o
o   o

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

(1) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0430.
(2) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2019)0217.
(3) OJ C 356, 4.10.2018, p. 38.
(4) Burke, M. et al., ‘Global non-linear effect of temperature on economic production’, Nature, Vol 527, pp. 235-239.
(5) UN Environment Programme, emissions gap report 2018, p. 21.


EU accession to the Istanbul Convention and other measures to combat gender-based violence
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European Parliament resolution of 28 November 2019 on the EU’s accession to the Istanbul Convention and other measures to combat gender-based violence (2019/2855(RSP))
P9_TA(2019)0080B9-0225/2019

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Treaty on European Union (TEU), the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–  having regard to the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, which opened for signature in Istanbul on 11 May 2011 (hereinafter the ‘Istanbul Convention’),

–  having regard to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action adopted by the Fourth World Conference on Women on 15 September 1995 and to the subsequent outcome documents adopted at the United Nations Beijing+5 (2005), Beijing +15 (2010) and Beijing +20 (2015) special sessions,

–  having regard to the provisions of the UN legal instruments in the sphere of human rights, in particular those concerning women’s rights,

–  having regard to the proposal for a Council decision of 4 March 2016 (COM(2016)0109),

–  having regard to Council Decision (EU) 2017/865 of 11 May 2017 on the signing, on behalf of the European Union, of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence with regard to matters related to judicial cooperation in criminal matters(1),

–  having regard to Council Decision (EU) 2017/866 of 11 May 2017 on the signing, on behalf of the European Union, of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence with regard to asylum and non-refoulement(2),

–  having regard to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 23 May 1969, and, in particular, to Articles 26 and 27 thereof,

–  having regard to the relevant case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR),

–  having regard to Directive 2012/29/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2001/220/JHA(3),

–  having regard to Directive 2011/99/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2011 on the European protection order(4) and to Regulation (EU) No 606/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 June 2013 on mutual recognition of protection measures in civil matters(5),

–  having regard to Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2011 on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA(6), and to Directive 2011/93/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2011 on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA(7),

–  having regard to Directive 2006/54/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 on the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation(8) and Council Directive 2004/113/EC of 13 December 2004 implementing the principle of equal treatment between men and women in the access to and supply of goods and services(9), which define and condemn harassment and sexual harassment,

–  having regard to its resolution of 4 April 2019 seeking an opinion from the Court of Justice on the compatibility with the Treaties of the proposals for the accession by the European Union to the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence and on the procedure for that accession(10),

–  having regard to its resolution of 11 September 2018 on measures to prevent and combat mobbing and sexual harassment at the workplace, in public spaces, and in political life in the EU(11),

–  having regard to its resolution of 26 October 2017 on combating sexual harassment and abuse in the EU(12),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 September 2017 on the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion, by the European Union, of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (COM(2016)01092016/0062(NLE))(13),

–  having regard to its resolution of 9 June 2015 on the EU Strategy for equality between women and men post 2015(14),

–  having regard to the EU guidelines of 8 December 2008 on violence against women and girls and combating all forms of discrimination against them,

–  having regard to the Commission staff working document of 3 December 2015 entitled ‘Strategic engagement for gender equality 2016-2019’ (SWD(2015)0278),

–  having regard to the report by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) of March 2014 entitled ‘Violence against women: an EU-wide survey’,

–  having regard to the Venice Commission opinion of 14 October 2019 on Armenia, on the constitutional implications of the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence,

–  having regard to Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA of 28 November 2008 on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law(15),

–  having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas gender equality is a core value of the EU; whereas the right to equal treatment and non-discrimination is a fundamental right enshrined in the Treaties and in the Charter of Fundamental Rights, and should be fully respected;

B.  whereas according to the Gender Equality Index of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), no EU country has yet fully achieved equality between women and men; whereas eliminating gender-based violence is a prerequisite to achieving this aim;

C.  whereas combating gender-based violence is one of the priorities in the EU’s Strategic engagement for gender equality 2016-2019;

D.  whereas, as defined by the Istanbul Convention, ‘violence against women’ is ‘understood as a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination against women and shall mean all acts of gender-based violence that result in, or are likely to result in, physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life’;

E.  whereas the term femicide was defined by the Follow-up Mechanism to the Belém do Pará Convention (MESECVI) as ‘the violent death of women based on gender, whether it occurs within the family, a domestic partnership, or any other interpersonal relationship; in the community, by any person, or when it is perpetrated or tolerated by the state or its agents, by action or omission’(16);

F.  whereas the Istanbul Convention stipulates that all its provisions, in particular measures to protect the rights of victims, ‘shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, gender, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, state of health, disability, marital status, migrant or refugee status, or other status’;

G.  whereas violence against women and gender-based violence, both physical and psychological, are widespread and affect women at all levels of society, regardless of age, education, income, social position or country of origin or residence;

H.  whereas gender-based violence is both a cause and a consequence of the structural inequalities experienced by women in many aspects of life – work, health, and access to financial resources, power and knowledge, as well as personal time management; whereas combating gender-based violence requires an understanding of its causes and contributing factors;

I.  whereas it is important to acknowledge structural or institutional violence, which can be defined as the subordination of women in economic, social and political life, when attempting to explain the prevalence of violence against women within our societies;

J.  whereas women across the EU are not equally protected against gender-based violence owing to differing policies and legislation across the Member States;

K.  whereas judicial systems often do not provide sufficient support to women; whereas, in many cases, the victim can be subjected to degrading comments by law enforcement officials or is in a position of dependence, which exacerbates their fear of reporting the violence;

L.  whereas the present decade is witnessing a visible and organised offensive at global and European level against gender equality and women’s rights, including sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR);

M.  whereas the 2014 survey by the FRA showed that one third of all women in Europe have experienced physical or sexual acts of violence at least once since the age of 15, that 55 % of women have been confronted with one or more forms of sexual harassment, 11 % have experienced cyber harassment, 1 in 20 (5 %) have been raped and more than one tenth have suffered sexual violence involving the use of force; whereas in many Member States over half of all female murder victims are killed by an intimate partner, relative or family member; whereas victims had reported their most serious incidents of partner violence to the police in only 14 % of cases, and the most serious incidents of non-partner violence in only 13 % of cases, which proves a vast ratio of underreporting; whereas the #metoo movement in recent years has encouraged women and girls to report cases of abuse, violence and harassment;

N.  whereas modern forms of slavery and human trafficking, which mainly affect women, remain persistent in the EU; whereas 71 % of all human trafficking victims worldwide are women and girls, and three out of four of these women and girls are sexually exploited(17);

O.  whereas online violence and harassment frequently has physical consequences, and creates a serious risk of provoking such violence by stimulating online users to imitate the violence and harassment they have been reading about and go on to perpetrate such acts;

P.  whereas some groups of women and girls, such as migrant women, women refugees and asylum seekers, women and girls with disabilities, LBTI women and Roma women, face intersecting and multiple forms of discrimination, and are therefore placed in an even more vulnerable situation of risk of gender-based violence and prevented from accessing justice and support and protection services, and from enjoying their fundamental rights;

Q.  whereas women victims of gender-based violence and their children often require special support and protection because of the high risk of repeat victimisation, intimidation and retaliation connected with such violence;

R.  whereas gender-based violence undermines human rights, social stability and security, public health, women’s educational and employment opportunities, as well as the well-being and development prospects of children and communities;

S.  whereas exposure to physical, sexual or psychological violence and abuse has a severe impact on victims, which may result in lasting physical, sexual, emotional or psychological harm or economic and financial damage;

T.  whereas impunity for the perpetrators of crimes against women still persists and must be eradicated by ensuring that perpetrators are prosecuted, and that women and girls who are survivors of violence receive proper support and recognition from the judicial system; whereas it is fundamental to provide training courses to service providers tackling violence against women, such as law enforcement officers, judges or policy-makers;

U.  whereas the EU must take all necessary measures, in cooperation with its Member States, to promote and protect the right of all women and girls to live free from violence, in both the public and the private spheres;

V.  whereas after eight years have elapsed since its approval, the Istanbul Convention has not yet been ratified by all Member States, or by the EU;

1.  Condemns all forms of gender-based violence and deplores the fact that women and girls continue to be exposed to psychological, physical, sexual and economic violence, including domestic violence, sexual harassment, cyber violence, stalking, rape, early and forced marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM), crimes committed in the name of so-called ‘honour’, forced abortion, forced sterilisation, sexual exploitation and human trafficking and other forms of violence which constitute a serious violation of their human rights and dignity; is deeply concerned about the phenomenon of femicide in Europe, which is the most extreme form of violence against women;

2.  Calls on the Council to urgently conclude the EU ratification of the Istanbul Convention on the basis of a broad accession without any limitations, and to advocate its ratification by all the Member States; calls on the Council and the Commission to ensure the full integration of the Convention into the EU legislative and policy framework; recalls that EU accession to the Istanbul Convention does not exempt Member States from national ratification of the Convention; calls on the Member States to speed up negotiations on the ratification and implementation of the Istanbul Convention and calls, in particular, on Bulgaria, Czechia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and the United Kingdom that have signed but not ratified the Convention to do so without delay;

3.  Strongly condemns the attempts in some Member States to revoke measures already taken in implementing the Istanbul Convention and in combating violence against women;

4.  Calls on the Member States to ensure proper implementation and enforcement of the Convention, and to allocate adequate financial and human resources to preventing and combating violence against women and gender-based violence, as well as to the protection of victims; urges the Member States to take the recommendations by the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO) into account and to improve their legislation to bring it more into line with the Istanbul Convention’s provisions;

5.  Stresses that the Istanbul Convention remains the international standard and key tool to eradicate the scourge of gender-based violence by following a holistic, comprehensive and coordinated approach placing the rights of the victim at the centre, by addressing the issues of violence against women and girls and gender-based violence, including domestic violence, from a wide range of perspectives, by providing for measures such as the prevention of violence, the fight against discrimination, through criminal law measures to combat impunity, through victim protection and support, the protection of children, the protection of women asylum seekers and refugees, by the introduction of risk assessment procedures and risk estimation and better data collection, as well as through awareness-raising campaigns or programmes, including in cooperation with national human rights and equality bodies, civil society and NGOs;

6.  Condemns the attacks and campaigns against the Istanbul Convention based on its deliberate misinterpretation and the false presentation of its contents to the public;

7.  Strongly affirms that the denial of sexual and reproductive health and rights services is a form of violence against women and girls, and stresses that the ECtHR has ruled on several occasions that restrictive abortion laws and lack of implementation violates the human rights of women;

8.  Highlights that awareness-raising campaigns combating gender stereotypes and patriarchal violence and promoting zero tolerance of harassment and gender-based violence are fundamental tools to combat this violation of human rights; believes that broader anti-discrimination-based educational strategies are a key tool to prevent all forms of violence, particularly gender-based violence, and especially in adolescence;

9.  Stresses that in order to be more effective, measures combating gender-based violence should be accompanied by actions aimed at promoting the empowerment and economic independence of women victims of violence;

10.  Asks the Commission and the Member States to ensure appropriate gender-sensitive training, procedures and guidelines which place the rights of the victim at the centre for all professionals dealing with the victims of all acts of gender-based violence in order to avoid discrimination, traumatisation or re-victimisation during judicial, medical and police proceedings; calls for such improvements in order to encourage the reporting rate of such crimes;

11.  Recalls its position in favour of a specific earmarking of EUR 193.6 million for actions preventing and combating all forms of gender-based violence and promoting the full implementation of the Istanbul Convention in the Rights and Values programme, and stresses the importance of allocating sufficient funding at Member State level as well;

12.  Reiterates its call on the Commission to revise, following an impact assessment, the EU framework decision on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law currently in force, in order to include incitement to hatred on grounds of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics;

13.  Calls on the Member States to ensure the full implementation and enforcement of the relevant legislation already in force;

14.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to improve the availability and comparability of quality disaggregated data on gender-based violence through cooperation with Eurostat, the EIGE and the FRA in line with the Convention’s obligations in relation to data collection and research; calls once again on the Commission to set up a European Monitoring Observatory on gender-based violence with accurate and comparable data (along the lines of the EIGE’s State Observatory on Violence against Women);

15.  Stresses the importance of establishing formal procedures for reporting sexual harassment in the workplace, and of dedicated training and awareness-raising campaigns as a means of enforcing the principle of dignity at work and implementing the zero tolerance approach as the norm; believes the European Institutions should lead by example in this regard;

16.  Calls on the President of the European Parliament, the Bureau and Parliament’s administration to continue working to ensure that the European Parliament is a workspace free from harassment and sexism, and to implement the following measures, in line with the demands adopted in the 2017 resolution on combating sexual harassment and abuse in the EU: 1) to commission an external audit of the two existing anti-harassment committees in the European Parliament and to publicly share the results thereof; 2) to recompose the anti-harassment bodies by including external legal, medical and therapeutic experts with full voting rights; and 3) to implement mandatory training courses on respect and dignity in the workplace for all MEPs and all categories of staff;

17.  Welcomes the Commission President-elect’s commitment to do more to crack down on gender-based violence, to better support victims, to make the EU’s accession to the Istanbul Convention a priority for the Commission and to use the opportunities afforded by the Treaty to add violence against women to the catalogue of EU-recognised crimes;

18.  Requests that the Commission add combating gender-based violence as a priority in the next European Gender Strategy by including appropriate policy and legislative and non-legislative measures therein;

19.  Calls on the Commission to submit a legal act on the prevention and suppression of all forms of gender-based violence, including violence against women and girls; in this regard, commits itself to exploring all possible measures, including on cyber violence, by making use of the right to legislative initiative enshrined in Article 225 of the TFEU;

20.  Calls on the Commission and on the Council to activate the ‘passerelle clause’ enshrined in Article 83(1) of the TFEU in order to include violence against women and girls and other forms of gender-based violence in the catalogue of EU-recognised crimes;

21.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the Member States, and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

(1) OJ L 131, 20.5.2017, p. 11.
(2) OJ L 131, 20.5.2017, p. 13.
(3) OJ L 315, 14.11.2012, p. 57.
(4) OJ L 338, 21.12.2011, p. 2.
(5) OJ L 181, 29.6.2013, p. 4.
(6) OJ L 101, 15.4.2011, p. 1.
(7) OJ L 335, 17.12.2011, p. 1.
(8) OJ L 204, 26.7.2006, p. 23.
(9) OJ L 373, 21.12.2004, p. 37.
(10) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2019)0357.
(11) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0331.
(12) OJ C 346, 27.9.2018, p. 192.
(13) OJ C 337, 20.9.2018, p. 167.
(14) OJ C 407, 4.11.2016, p. 2.
(15) OJ L 328, 6.12.2008, p. 55.
(16) https://www.oas.org/es/mesecvi/docs/DeclaracionFemicidio-EN.pdf
(17) https://www.un.org/en/events/endviolenceday/


Recent actions by the Russian Federation against Lithuanian judges, prosecutors and investigators involved in investigating the tragic events on 13 January 1991 in Vilnius
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European Parliament resolution of 28 November 2019 on recent actions by the Russian Federation against Lithuanian judges, prosecutors and investigators involved in investigating the tragic events of 13 January 1991 in Vilnius (2019/2938(RSP))
P9_TA(2019)0081RC-B9-0182/2019

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on the Russian Federation,

–  having regard to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (European Convention on Human Rights),

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

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

–  having regard to the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters,

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

–  having regard to the UN Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary,

–  having regard to the recent exchange of views in the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs on 12 November 2019(1),

–  having regard to Rule 132(2) and (4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas as a direct consequence of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the communist USSR annexed the Republic of Lithuania, in addition to other countries;

B.  whereas the Russian Federation, having made commitments under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights, and as a full member of the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Co‑operation in Europe, has committed itself to the principles of democracy, the rule of law and respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights;

C.  whereas between 11 and 13 January 1991 the armed forces of the USSR committed an act of aggression against the independent state of Lithuania and people who were peacefully trying to defend the Vilnius TV tower, which left 14 people dead and nearly 800 injured; whereas the suppressive actions of the Soviet armed forces continued until the attempted coup that took place in August 1991 in Moscow;

D.  whereas the bloodshed was denounced worldwide, including by the Head of the Supreme Council of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic during a mass demonstration in Moscow a few days later;

E.  whereas the Russian Federation, in the Treaty between the Republic of Lithuania and the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic on the Basis for Relations between States of 29 July 1991, recognised the restoration of the independent Republic of Lithuania on 11 March 1990;

F.  whereas the Russian Federation assumed the rights and obligations of the former Soviet Union and is its successor state;

G.  whereas, on 27 March 2019, the Vilnius Regional Court issued a ruling in the so-called ‘13 January case’, in which Dmitry Yazov, former Defence Minister of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Uskhopchik, the Soviet army’s former Vilnius garrison commander, Mikhail Golovatov, former commander of the KGB’s special forces and 64 Russian, Belarussian and Ukrainian citizens were found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity for their involvement in the act of aggression against the state of Lithuania;

H.  whereas all perpetrators of this attack were on trial in absentia, except for two, Yuri Mel and Gennady Ivanov, former Soviet army officers, and the defendants received sentences of up to 14 years in prison; whereas the judgments delivered in spring 2019 concern the tragic events following the Lithuanian declaration of independence of 11 March 1990 and the Soviet attempts to force Lithuania to revoke its declaration of independence, which started with an economic blockade in the first half of 1990 and culminated in a brutal effort to overthrow the Lithuanian Government in January 1991;

I.  whereas, in carrying out the pre-trial investigation for the 13 January case, the authorities of the Republic of Lithuania actively requested that the competent authorities of the Russian Federation provide legal assistance in these criminal proceedings, but the Russian Federation did not cooperate;

J.  whereas the Russian Federation is considered to be actively harbouring and protecting the chief executive officers and perpetrators of the acts of armed aggression against innocent and unarmed civilians, such as the chief military officer during the events of January 1991, Mikhail Golovatov, and is taking all possible measures to help them avoid liability;

K.  whereas the initial Russian reaction to the court ruling was negative, with the Russian State Duma claiming the trial to be ‘politically motivated’, ‘an attempt to rewrite history’ and the Russian Foreign Ministry announcing ‘not to leave it without further reactions’;

L.  whereas, between July 2018 and April 2019, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation initiated criminal proceedings against the prosecutors, investigators and judges of the Republic of Lithuania who were involved in investigating and judging the 13 January case , based on Articles 299 and 305 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, which provide for criminal liability for ‘bringing a knowingly innocent person to criminal responsibility’ and for ‘the delivery by a judge (judges) of a knowingly unjust judgment, decision or any other juridical act’;

M.  whereas this politically motivated criminal prosecution initiated by the Russian Federation may result in efforts to misuse the Interpol system and other bilateral and multilateral cooperation agreements in order to restrict the rights of the investigating prosecutors and trial judges in the 13 January case during searches, interrogation and arrests; whereas the Russian Federation may attempt to seek international arrest warrants against the Lithuanian officials involved in these proceedings;

N.  whereas a propaganda and disinformation campaign is being conducted in the state-controlled media of the Russian Federation, as well as by its official representatives, aimed at developing conspiracy theories regarding the 13 January case, and is part of the hybrid threats against the EU and democracies;

O.  whereas the rule of law, including judicial independence, is one of the common values on which the EU is founded; whereas the Commission, together with Parliament and the Council, is responsible under the Treaties for guaranteeing respect for the rule of law as a fundamental value of the Union and for making sure that EU law, values and principles are respected;

P.  whereas the judges of any Member State are also judges of the European Union as a whole;

Q.  whereas the independence of the judiciary underpins the rule of law and is essential to the functioning of democracy and the observance of human rights; whereas the independence of the judiciary is enshrined in Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights;

R.  whereas the UN Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary stipulate that it is the duty of all governmental and other institutions to respect and observe the independence of the judiciary; whereas they also state that there must not be any inappropriate or unwarranted interference with the judicial process(2);

S.  whereas the Universal Declaration of Human Rights enshrines in particular the principles of equality before the law, of the presumption of innocence and of the right to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law;

T.  whereas Article 1 of the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters – which has been ratified by the Russian Federation – stipulates that ‘the Contracting Parties undertake to afford each other, in accordance with the provisions of this Convention, the widest measure of mutual assistance in proceedings in respect of offences the punishment of which, at the time of the request for assistance, falls within the jurisdiction of the judicial authorities of the requesting Party’;

U.  whereas the Russian Federation is breaching more and more international law and commitments and takes positions that run counter to good neighbourly relations, thus undermining any prospect for future cooperation;

1.  Expresses its solidarity and sympathy to the families of the victims of the 13 January case;

2.  Notes that the actions of the authorities of the Russian Federation with respect to Lithuanian judges and prosecutors violate fundamental legal values, in particular the independence of the judiciary, as well as the principle that human rights and freedoms may only be restricted lawfully for the purposes for which such restrictions are imposed by international law;

3.  Recalls that the criminal prosecution of prosecutors and judges for their professional activities is a form of unacceptable external influence that interferes with the primacy of law;

4.  Stresses that proceedings in such criminal cases against prosecutors and judges cannot be considered legitimate;

5.  Strongly condemns these violations of fundamental principles and norms of international law committed by the Russian authorities and objects to these politically motivated instances of criminal prosecutions;

6.  Expresses its solidarity with the Lithuanian prosecutors, investigators and judges indicted by the Russian Federation in this case and with the efforts of the Lithuanian Government to bring this case to light and to limit the harm and danger facing those unlawfully accused by the Russian authorities;

7.  Stresses that the universally recognised guarantees for the independence of judges and prosecutors prohibit interfering in any way in the administration of justice by the court or exerting even the slightest influence on a judgment, as well as prosecuting a judge for a judgment rendered thereby or interfering in the work of the prosecutor’s office in investigating cases;

8.  Calls on the public authorities of the Russian Federation to terminate the criminal proceedings initiated against the Lithuanian prosecutors, investigators and judges in the 13 January case;

9.  Calls on the authorities of the Russian Federation, in implementing the Treaty between the Republic of Lithuania and the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic on the Basis for Relations between States of 29 July 1991, to assess the accountability of the persons who led or participated in the act of aggression of 11-13 January 1991 against the state of Lithuania, and to assist the law enforcement authorities of the Republic of Lithuania in seeking justice in the 13 January case;

10.  Calls on the authorities of the Russian Federation and Belarus to comply with the Republic of Lithuania’s requests for mutual legal assistance in the 13 January case;

11.  Calls on the Russian authorities to cease the irresponsible disinformation and propaganda statements made by Russian Federation officials regarding the 13 January case;

12.  Calls on the Member States, if requests for mutual legal assistance are received from the Russian Federation in connection with the criminal prosecution in the Russian Federation of the Lithuanian prosecutors and judges involved in the 13 January case, to treat this case as politically motivated, to cooperate closely with the Lithuanian authorities, and to refuse legal assistance to the Russian Federation in this case;

13.  Calls on the Commission for the Control of Interpol’s Files (CCF), in charge of preventing abusive arrest warrants of a political nature, to be alert to any international arrest warrant requested against the accused Lithuanian officials; calls on all Member States and other signatories of the ICPO-Interpol Constitution to ignore all international arrest warrants against the accused Lithuanian officials; calls on Interpol to ignore all Russian requests for warrants related to the 13 January case;

14.  Calls on all Member States to refrain from transferring any personal data to Russia that could be used in criminal proceedings against Lithuanian judges, prosecutors and investigators;

15.  Calls on the Member States to fully cooperate at European level with regard to their policies towards Russia, as more consistency and better coordination is essential in order to achieve more effective EU policy, and to make greater efforts to build resilience and work towards practical solutions that support and strengthen democratic processes and an independent judiciary;

16.  Calls on the Presidents of the Council and the Commission, the VP/HR and the Member States to continue to follow such cases closely, to raise these issues in different formats and meetings with the Russian Federation, and to report back to Parliament on exchanges held with the Russian authorities, while making the latter fully aware of the unity and solidarity of the European Union in this case, as in other related cases; urges the Member States to raise this case when communicating with the Russian authorities;

17.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Security and Co‑operation in Europe, and the presidents, governments and parliaments of the Russian Federation and Belarus.

(1) https://www.europarl.europa.eu/ep-live/en/committees/video?event=20191112-0900-COMMITTEE-LIBE
(2) https://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/IndependenceJudiciary.aspx


Measures to address the impact on European agriculture of the WTO ruling on the Airbus dispute
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European Parliament resolution of 28 November 2019 on measures to address the impact on European agriculture of the WTO ruling on the Airbus dispute (2019/2895(RSP))
P9_TA(2019)0082RC-B9-0197/2019

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the decision taken by the arbitrator of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in the Airbus subsidy dispute (DS316) on 2 October 2019, authorising US countermeasures on EU exports worth USD 7,5 billion (EUR 6,8 billion),

–  having regard to the formal decision taken by the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body on 14 October 2019 giving the green light for those countermeasures,

–  having regard to the US decision to introduce a new tariff of 25 % ad valorem on some agri-food products and some non-agricultural products and 10 % ad valorem on non-agricultural products, as of 18 October 2019,

–  having regard to the relevant articles in Regulation (EU) No 1144/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on information provision and promotion measures concerning agricultural products implemented in the internal market and in third countries and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 3/2008(1) (hereinafter ‘the Promotion Regulation’) and to the Commission Implementing Decision of 18 November 2019 on the adoption of the work programme for 2020 of information provision and promotion measures concerning agricultural products implemented in the internal market and in third countries,

–  having regard to the relevant articles in 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(2) (Single Common Market Organisation (SCMO) Regulation),

–  having regard to Rule 132(2) and (4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the USA is the number one destination for agricultural exports from the EU-28, having accounted for EUR 22,3 billion in 2018 (16,2 % of all agri-food exports), and therefore represents an irreplaceable market in terms of both value and volume;

B.  whereas agri-food exports worth EUR 4,3 billion (60 % of the total value of the countermeasures) will be hit by the new tariffs, which will be equivalent to EUR 1,1 billion;

C.  whereas the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Ireland are the main countries affected by the US decision, while the agri-food sectors of other EU Member States will also be adversely affected;

D.  whereas the main agricultural products targeted by the US sanctions will be emblematic EU products with a very high added value that are often protected under EU quality schemes (wines and spirits such as single malt whisky, olive oil, and dairy products such as butter and cheese);

E.  whereas other agricultural products, such as table olives, pork, coffee, sweet biscuits, processed fruit, citrus, mussels, liquors and cashmere are also targeted, albeit to a lesser extent;

F.  whereas farmers and operators in the agri-food chain are, following the Russian embargo, once again victims of a non-agricultural trade conflict beyond their influence and whereas the US decision to apply these tariffs may stand indefinitely until the Member States comply with the WTO resolution on the Airbus dispute;

G.  whereas the US countermeasures will add economic and legal uncertainty for European producers in a sector already volatile by its very nature, and more instability to the EU internal market, which is having to contend with the disturbance caused by the Russian embargo and having to prepare for the economic fall-out from a potential UK withdrawal from the EU;

H.  whereas the USA may, according to provisions in US law, introduce a so-called tariff carousel that would have a knock-on effect on other products, amplify the economic consequences of the countermeasures and have a disproportionate impact on the agri-food sector;

I.  whereas the dispute on Boeing subsidies is still pending before the WTO;

J.  whereas for some sectors, such as table olives (already affected by the application of US tariffs since November 2017) and olive oil, the US decision will further jeopardise the already fragile situation of the internal market, while for other sectors such as wine, whisky and dairy, it risks causing serious disturbances in the market overall; whereas such a decision would therefore threaten growth, investment and job creation and lead to a significant loss of competitiveness and market share – which has taken years to establish and from which it will be difficult to recover;

K.  whereas the tariffs will lead to significant price increases for consumers and economic losses and job losses for companies on both sides of the Atlantic, ultimately benefiting producers from outside the EU and the US;

L.  whereas according to the current EU rules, promotion campaigns that have already been approved and target the US market cannot be reprogrammed, and some actions that have already been taken to promote very high value products may prove to be fruitless if the US tariffs are to be applied;

M.  whereas EU agriculture, which by its very nature has particular sensitivities, is increasingly integrated in international markets, thus underlining the importance of constructive trade relations overall and of maintaining a food supply chain with high-quality produce that meets customers’ demand;

1.  Expresses deep concern at the collateral damage that the EU agri-food sector is facing throughout the entire agri-food chain as a consequence of the decision taken by the United States to impose countermeasures on the European Union as a result of the Airbus dispute; considers it unacceptable that the agricultural sector must bear a large part of the cost of a legal dispute originating in a completely unrelated sector; deplores the decision to impose duties on so many agricultural products;

2.  Expresses its deep regret over the USA’s lack of engagement with the EU’s attempts to find a timely negotiated solution ahead of the application of the tariffs; underlines its concern over the fact that, so far, the US has refused to work with the EU on a timely solution for our respective aircraft industries in the context of the long-standing Airbus-Boeing dispute;

3.  Supports the Commission in its efforts and urges it to continue trying to find negotiated solutions to dilute the current trade tensions between the two parties;

4.  Stresses the need for a coordinated and unified EU response, especially since the tariffs have been designed to unequally affect different Member States in an attempt to divide the Union’s position;

5.  Calls on the Commission to closely monitor the EU agri-food market in order to detect, in a timely manner, disturbances arising from the application of the tariffs, the cumulative effects with other market developments, including those of the ongoing Russian embargo, and the knock-on effect of displaced products on the food supply chain;

6.  Urges the Commission to investigate the impact of these countermeasures on the sectors affected and the internal market, and where justified, in accordance with WTO rules and within the limits of the budget, to mobilise rapid support for the sectors worst affected; expresses it deep regret, in this context, over the lack of appropriate funding for these purposes in the 2020 budget;

7.  Calls on the Commission to consider the use of tools under the SCMO, such as private storage schemes and market withdrawal, and any new or other available instruments and relevant measures to deal with disturbances that arise in the internal market;

8.  Welcomes the Commission’s announcement that it will review the current secondary legislation covered by the SCMO to allow operators to extend the duration of promotion campaigns in the US and to allow more flexibility in the management of ongoing promotion campaigns in third countries, in order to enable operators to be responsive and strengthen their actions in the US and to counter the impact on consumers, or refocus, when needed, on alternative markets by re-programing activities that have already been approved for the US market; asks the Commission to introduce these modifications as soon as possible and to adopt additional measures to provide more flexibility for the management of promotion campaigns under the Promotion Regulation;

9.  Insists that the US sanctions are exceptional and could not have been predicted and managed by operators; therefore asks the Commission to adapt the control and audit rules in such a way that operators will not be penalised as a result of unavoidable adaptations that they will have to make for promotion actions or for the non-execution of promotion actions that have already been planned;

10.  Calls on the Commission to undertake horizontal information and promotion measures that may take the form of high-level missions, participation in trade fairs and exhibitions of international importance aimed at enhancing the image and increasing the promotion of the products concerned, in line with Articles 2 and 9 of the Promotion Regulation;

11.  Notes that, due to this specific market problem, the Commission should consider using the provisions laid down in Articles 15 and 19 of the Promotion Regulation in order to support operators who will have to step up their efforts to enter the US market and to help mitigate barriers to entry;

12.  Requests that the Commission approve, within the margins available, additional calls accompanied by an increase in promotion allocations for 2019, as the annual budget has already been committed, in order to prevent any delay in reacting quickly to the US countermeasures;

13.  Supports enhancing the horizontal Promotion Regulation, while drawing on the expertise of national trade promotion offices, in order to assist operators in enlarging and consolidating their position in third markets and in finding new outlets for EU products in view of the reform of the common agricultural policy (CAP) and the next revision of the Promotion Regulation;

14.  Stresses that, under these circumstances, it is vital to avoid further cuts to the CAP budget and to pursue the reform of the CAP crisis reserve, since the agricultural sector is increasingly affected by volatility and politically motivated international crises that require a strong and efficient budgetary response;

15.  Stresses the need to diversify export markets and secure market access for the agri-food products affected by the US tariffs, by eliminating the persistent technical obstacles which have prevented operators from taking full advantage of the export possibilities under other trade agreements;

16.  Reiterates its commitment to free trade and open markets, as these have expanded economic and employment opportunities for numerous small and medium-sized enterprises in the US and the EU, and emphasises the importance of constructive trade relations that are mutually beneficial for the EU and the US;

17.  Stresses its support for the preservation of a rules-based trading system and for the WTO as an institution, while recognising the need for comprehensive reform, in particular with regard to the WTO Appellate Body;

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

(1) OJ L 317, 4.11.2014, p. 56.
(2) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 671.


Crisis of the WTO Appellate Body
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European Parliament resolution of 28 November 2019 on the crisis of the WTO Appellate Body (2019/2918(RSP))
P9_TA(2019)0083B9-0181/2019

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Marrakesh Agreement of 15 April 1994 establishing the World Trade Organisation (WTO),

–  having regard to Article 17 of the Understanding on rules and procedures governing the settlement of disputes (DSU), establishing the Standing Appellate Body of the Dispute Settlement Body of the WTO,

–  having regard to the Communication from the European Union, China, Canada, India, Norway, New Zealand, Switzerland, Australia, Republic of Korea, Iceland, Singapore, Mexico, Costa Rica and Montenegro to the General Council of the WTO of 11 December 2018 (WT/GC/W/752/Rev. 2) and the Communication of the European Union, China, India and Montenegro to the General Council of the WTO of 11 December 2018 (WT/GC/W/753/Rev.1),

–  having regard to the interim appeal arbitration arrangement between the EU and Canada, pursuant to Article 25 of the DSU, of 25 July 2019, as well as a similar arrangement with Norway agreed on 21 October 2019,

–  having regard to the informal process on matters related to the functioning of the Appellate Body under the auspices of the General Council and to the reports provided by New Zealand Ambassador David Walker to the General Council of the WTO on 28 February 2019 (JOB/GC/215), 7 May 2019 (JOB/GC/217), 23 July 2019 (JOB/GC/220) and 15 October 2019 (JOB/GC/222), as well as to the draft General Council Decision on Functioning of the Appellate Body presented by Ambassador Walker to the General Council on 15 October 2019, as annexed to his report of that date,

–  having regard to the statement by the Commission of 26 November 2019,

–  having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

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

A.  whereas the WTO was created to strengthen multilateralism, promote an inclusive world economic order and foster an open, rules-based and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system;

B.  whereas the WTO dispute settlement system, thanks to its binding character, two levels of adjudication and independence, and the impartiality of its adjudicators, has successfully contributed to ensuring that WTO rules are respected and to the security and predictability of the multilateral trading system, thereby avoiding unilateral measures;

C.  whereas the WTO Appellate Body plays a fundamental role in the WTO dispute settlement system;

D.  whereas since 2017, the United States has been blocking the replacement of any of the seven members of the Appellate Body and has rejected numerous proposals to launch the selection process to fill the remaining vacancies;

E.  whereas on 10 December 2019, the mandates of two of the three remaining Appellate Body members will expire and the Appellate Body will no longer be able to hear any new appeals, as three members are needed to do so;

1.  Is deeply concerned that, without a solution, the Appellate Body will cease to be operational after 10 December 2019, which could have very serious consequences for the rules-based multilateral trading system;

2.  Deplores the fact that the ongoing discussions between the WTO Members have not yet yielded positive results;

3.  Fully supports the informal process facilitated by Ambassador Walker and considers his proposals to be a very good basis for finding a satisfactory solution that addresses the shared concerns over the functioning of the Appellate Body and the need to reform it; invites all WTO Members to engage constructively in these discussions so that the vacancies can be filled as soon as possible, while ensuring that the WTO is equipped with financial and human resources in accordance with its needs;

4.  Calls on the Commission to continue its engagement with all of the WTO Members, including the United States, in order to unblock the appointments procedure as a matter of priority, even after 10 December 2019 if necessary;

5.  Supports recent EU initiatives to conclude interim arrangements for provisional solutions with our major trade partners that would preserve the European Union’s right to the resolution of trade disputes at the WTO through binding two-level, independent and impartial adjudication, while recalling that a Standing Appellate Body remains the core objective of the EU’s strategy;

6.  Recalls the importance of interparliamentary dialogue as a way of contributing to the ongoing discussions and to achieving a positive conclusion;

7.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the WTO Members, and the Director-General of the WTO.


On-going negotiations for a new EU-ACP Partnership Agreement
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European Parliament resolution of 28 November 2019 on the ongoing negotiations for a new Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (2019/2832(RSP))
P9_TA(2019)0084B9-0175/2019

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Partnership Agreement between the Members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part, signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000 (‘the Cotonou Agreement’)(1), and to its revisions of 2005 and 2010(2),

–  having regard to the Commission recommendation of 12 December 2017 for a Council Decision authorising the opening of negotiations on a Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the countries of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States(3),

–  having regard to its resolutions of 4 October 2016 on the future of ACP-EU relations beyond 2020(4) and of 14 June 2018 on the upcoming negotiations for a new Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States(5),

–  having regard to the questions to the Council and the Commission on the ongoing negotiations for a new Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (O-000035/2019 – B9‑0057/2019 and O-000036/2019 – B9‑0058/2019),

–  having regard to Rules 136(5) and 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

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

A.  whereas the negotiations for a new Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States are still ongoing and are likely to take longer than originally anticipated;

B.  whereas the strength of the Cotonou Agreement and its acquis are based on a number of unique characteristics that need to be maintained and reinforced;

C.   whereas ACP-EU relations are of great importance, particularly at this juncture where the multilateral system is under strain and being called into question; whereas the Cotonou Agreement is a key element of our multilateral system given the number of states it unites and the content and structure of the partnership, and whereas the partnership should be afforded greater prominence and visibility in the United Nations and other global forums; whereas in 2015, the international community made major global commitments as part of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement and the Addis Ababa Agenda, and whereas ACP-EU cooperation will be essential in achieving these global objectives;

D.   whereas the reinforcement of the parliamentary dimension between the EU and the ACP Group, by ensuring greater efficiency and representativeness, should be a key element of the new ACP-EU partnership;

E.  whereas the frequency and variety of ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) meetings has enabled consistent dialogue over the years, thereby effectively contributing to the strengthening of parliamentary diplomacy; whereas the current international climate should act as an incentive for the ACP-EU States to move forward with this parliamentary dialogue and enhance its effectiveness;

1.  Welcomes the progress made so far on the negotiations of the strategic priorities of the foundation and the work on the regional protocols;

2.  Takes note that more time will be needed to negotiate the remaining parts of the agreement, and that the negotiations have not been finalised by the end of October 2019 as originally anticipated;

3.  Welcomes, in view of the expiry of the Cotonou Agreement in February 2020, the decision made by the ACP-EU Council of Ministers to delegate to the ACP-EU Committee of Ambassadors the power to adopt transitional measures until the new ACP-EU partnership enters into force;

4.  Strongly reaffirms the position expressed in its two resolutions on the post-Cotonou framework adopted in October 2016 and June 2018, respectively, and believes that some of the essential elements of the Cotonou Agreement need to be strongly reiterated so that they can be fully taken into account during the remaining period of the negotiations;

5.  Reiterates the importance of strengthening the parliamentary dimension of the future agreement, which needs to ensure democratic accountability at all levels; stresses that the institutional framework should include an ACP-EU JPA; considers this demand as non-negotiable in terms of the European Parliament giving its consent to the future agreement;

6.  Recalls that the ACP-EU JPA has a prominent role to play in ensuring democratic oversight of the future agreement, and reiterates its calls for a strengthening of the JPA’s consultative and scrutiny role; is convinced that regular meetings are needed at ACP-EU level to ensure a strong partnership;

7.  Takes the view that the ACP-EU JPA plays a key role in achieving the SDGs and assessing policy coherence for development; is convinced that the JPA promotes exchanges on global challenges such as human rights, democracy, good governance, gender equality and peace and security, as well as the climate, the environment and biodiversity;

8.  Reiterates its commitment to multilateralism, and calls for coordination, notably within the framework of the JPA, in order to adopt a concerted ACP-EU position in international forums; emphasises the need to engage further with other international partners, as well as with civil society, in the run‑up to multilateral negotiations;

9.  Considers that the JPA should be composed of equal numbers of EU and ACP representatives, and that it should meet twice a year in plenary session, alternating between the European Union and an ACP State;

10.  Stresses that the Regional Partnership Parliamentary Committees must meet once a year in each region, and should not be contingent on the meetings of the Regional Partnership Council of Ministers being convened; stresses, furthermore, that the regionalisation of the EU-ACP partnership under the new agreement, which is intended as an incentive to encourage deeper regional integration among ACP countries, should not be implemented in such a way as to be to the detriment of the agreement’s overarching common objectives;

11.  Repeats that some of the unique characteristics of the Cotonou Agreement, namely respect for human rights, democracy, fundamental freedoms, good governance and the rule of law, need to be maintained and reinforced;

12.  Stresses that the new agreement should further strengthen the idea of a partnership on an equal footing while taking account of the particularities of each country and of cooperation between the ACP countries and the EU as united and mutually supportive partners within the multilateral system; points out that the new agreement must therefore make it possible to move beyond a mere donor-recipient relationship;

13.  Reiterates the importance of political dialogue both in defending our shared values and as an integral part of the partnership, and calls for political dialogue to be used systematically, as well as in a more effective and proactive manner, in order to prevent political crises;

14.  Regrets the shrinking space for civil society in some countries and reiterates that the future agreement should provide for an increased role for civil society, including NGOs, human rights and community groups, diasporas, churches and religious associations and communities, as well as representatives of young people and women in particular, with a view to safeguarding the interests of the disabled, as well as social movements and trade unions, indigenous people and foundations, and the representation of vulnerable and marginalised people who are discriminated against, and that this should be achieved in political dialogue and at all levels;

15.  Calls for the eradication of poverty and the promotion of sustainable development to be the overarching objectives of ACP-EU cooperation, in line with the ‘leave no one behind’ principle; reiterates that the fight against exclusion, discrimination and inequalities must be at the core of this agreement;

16.  Recalls that the human rights component of the future agreement should include explicit wording on fighting discrimination on any grounds, including sexual orientation or gender identity, or against children, people on the move, elderly people or persons with disabilities;

17.  Stresses the importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment as a driver of development, and calls for the EU and the ACP countries to include gender equality as a cross-cutting issue in the agreement; underlines the importance of parties committing to sexual and reproductive health and rights and to the full implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development;

18.  Expects the EU to pay due attention to the policies of and challenges faced by its partner countries when allocating financial assistance, in particular taking account of the fact that the majority of migratory movements occur between the ACP countries themselves; reiterates that the future agreement must offer assistance to host communities affected by large displaced populations and address the root causes of forced displacement in a comprehensive, rights-based manner;

19.  Welcomes the fact that the achievement of the SDGs is considered a key objective of the future agreement, and reiterates its demand for the creation of strong monitoring mechanisms to ensure that implementation of the agreement effectively contributes to and promotes the SDGs; stresses the need to mainstream cross-cutting issues such as environmental sustainability, climate change objectives, gender issues and social justice, and incorporate them into all policies, plans and interventions as part of the future agreement;

20.  Reiterates the key goal of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) of promoting long-term development and regional integration; stresses that trade agreements should promote sustainable development and human rights and insists that they should be an integral part of the future agreement;

21.  Calls for the systematic inclusion of enforceable sustainable development and human rights provisions in all currently negotiated and future EPAs, and for an in-depth analysis on the impact of EPAs on local economies and intra-regional trade in order to address concerns about their implementation in terms of regional integration and industrialisation;

22.  Believes that the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs requires the strong participation of local authorities and non-state actors to strengthen democratic ownership; considers an ACP-EU peer monitoring, accountability and review mechanism, involving representatives from national, regional and local authorities, civil society and scientific communities, tasked with drawing up yearly conclusions and recommendations for follow-up, to be of value in terms of achieving this end;

23.  Recalls that the private sector is an essential partner in order to achieve sustainable development, promote economic growth and reduce poverty; calls for clear provisions in the future agreement on the role and responsibilities of enterprises which are involved in development partnerships and promote the principles of corporate social responsibility, the UN Global Compact, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the International Labour Organisation core labour standards, environmental standards and the UN Convention against Corruption;

24.  Reminds the negotiating parties to include ambitious provisions in the new agreement to combat illicit financial flows and tax evasion, and to provide financial and technical assistance to developing countries to cope with emerging global standards on fighting tax evasion, including the automatic exchange of information, information on beneficial ownership of companies and on public country‑by‑country reporting of multinationals to stop base erosion and profit-shifting, based on G20 and OECD models;

25.  Reiterates that making aid allocation conditional on cooperation with the EU on migration issues is not compatible with agreed development effectiveness principles;

26.  Recalls that the European Parliament must be immediately and fully informed at all stages of the negotiating procedure, in line with Article 218(10) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and reiterates the necessity of agreeing on improved practical arrangements for cooperation and information sharing throughout the full life cycle of international agreements;

27.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the ACP Council of Ministers, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the African Union Commission, the Pan-African Parliament and the Bureau of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.

(1) OJ L 317, 15.12.2000, p. 3.
(2) OJ L 287, 4.11.2010, p. 3.
(3) COM(2017)0763.
(4) OJ C 215, 19.6.2018, p. 2.
(5) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0267.

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