Index 
Texts adopted
Tuesday, 23 September 2008 - BrusselsFinal edition
Community statistics relating to external trade with non-member countries ***I
  Resolution
  Consolidated text
 Protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating trade therein ***I
 Statistical returns in respect of the carriage of goods by road as regards the implementing powers conferred on the Commission ***I
  Resolution
  Consolidated text
 European Year of Creativity and Innovation (2009) ***I
  Resolution
  Consolidated text
 Amendment of Regulation (Euratom, ECSC, EEC) No 549/69 determining the categories of officials and other servants of the European Communities to whom the provisions of Article 12, the second paragraph of Article 13 and Article 14 of the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the Communities apply *
 Draft amending budget No 6/2008 - executive agencies
 Follow-up to the Monterrey Conference of 2002 on Financing for Development
 Internal Market Scoreboard
 Improving the quality of teacher education
 The Bologna Process and student mobility
 Alignment of legal acts to the new Comitology Decision
  Resolution
  Annex
 Hedge funds and private equity
  Resolution
  Annex
 Transparency of institutional investors
  Resolution
  Annex
 Amendment of Regulation (EC) No 999/2001 as regards the implementing powers conferred on the Commission ***I
  Resolution
  Consolidated text
 Waste statistics ***I
  Resolution
  Consolidated text
 Adaptation of a number of instruments to the regulatory procedure with scrutiny, "omnibus" Regulation, Part Two ***I
  Resolution
  Consolidated text
 Natural mineral waters (recast version) ***I
  Resolution
  Consolidated text
 Colouring matters for medicinal products (recast version) ***I
 Foodstuffs intended for particular nutritional uses (recast version) ***I
  Resolution
  Consolidated text
 Roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles and their trailers (recast version) ***I
  Resolution
  Consolidated text
 Extraction solvents used in the production of foodstuffs and food ingredients (recast version) ***I
  Resolution
  Consolidated text
 Combating terrorism *
 Protection of personal data *
 Deliberations of the Committee on Petitions during 2007
 Hill and mountain farming
 European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism

Community statistics relating to external trade with non-member countries ***I
DOC 88k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 September 2008 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on Community statistics relating to external trade with non-member countries and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1172/95 (COM(2007)0653 – C6-0395/2007 – 2007/0233(COD) )
P6_TA(2008)0414 A6-0267/2008

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament ,

-   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2007)0653 ,

-   having regard to Article 251(2) and 285(1) of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0395/2007 ),

-   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on International Trade (A6-0267/2008 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend the proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.   Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 23 September 2008 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No .../2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council on Community statistics relating to external trade with non-member countries and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1172/95

P6_TC1-COD(2007)0233


(Text with EEA relevance)

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 285 (1) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,

Having consulted the European Economic and Social Committee,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Central Bank(1) ,

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty(2) ,

Whereas:

(1)   The statistical information on Member States' trade flows with non-member countries is of essential importance for the Community's economic and trade policies and for analysing market developments for individual commodities. The transparency of the statistical system should be improved in order for it to be able to react to the changing administrative environment, and to satisfy new user requirements. Council Regulation (EC) No 1172/95 of 22 May 1995 on the statistics relating to the trading of goods by the Community and its Member States with non-member countries(3) should therefore be replaced by a new Regulation in conformity with the requirements set out in Article 285(2) of the Treaty.

(2)   External trade statistics are based on data obtained from customs declarations as provided for in Council Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92 of 12 October 1992 establishing the Community Customs Code(4) , hereinafter referred to as the 'Customs Code'. Progress in European integration and the resulting changes in customs clearance, including single authorisations for the use of the simplified declaration or the local clearance procedure, as well as centralised clearance, which will emanate from the current process of modernisation of the Customs Code, make it necessary to adjust the way external trade statistics are compiled, to reconsider the concept of the importing or exporting Member State, and to define more precisely the data source for compiling Community statistics.

(3)   In order to record the physical trade flow of goods between Member States and non-member countries and to ensure that data on imports and exports is available in the Member State concerned, arrangements between Customs and statistical authorities are necessary and have to be specified. This includes rules on the exchange of data between Member States' administrations.

(4)   In order to allocate EU exports and imports to a given Member State, it is necessary to compile data on the "Member State of final destination', for imports, and the 'Member State of actual export', for exports. In the medium term, those Member States should become the importing and the exporting Member State for external trade statistics purposes.

(5)   For the purpose of this Regulation commodities for external trade purposes should be classified in accordance with the 'Combined Nomenclature' established by Council Regulation (EEC) No 2658/87 of 23 July 1987 on the tariff and statistical nomenclature and on the Common Customs Tariff(5) , hereinafter referred to as the 'Combined Nomenclature'.

(6)   To meet the European Central Bank's and the Commission's need for information on the share of the euro in international merchandise trade, the invoicing currency of exports and imports should be reported at an aggregated level.

(7)   For the purposes of trade negotiations and internal market management, the Commission should be provided with detailed information on the tariff treatment of goods imported into the European Union, including information on quotas.

(8)   External trade statistics provide data for the compilation of balance of payments and national accounts. The characteristics which make it possible to adapt them to Balance of Payments purposes should become part of the mandatory and standard data set.

(9)    Member States' statistics on customs warehouses and free zones are not subject to harmonised provisions. However, the compilation of these statistics for national purposes remains optional.

(10)    Member States should provide Eurostat with annual aggregated data on trade broken down by business characteristics, one of the uses of which is to facilitate analysis of how European companies operate in the context of globalisation. The link between business and trade statistics is established by merging data on the importer and the exporter available on the customs declaration with data requested by Regulation (EC) No 177/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 February 2008 establishing a common framework for business registers for statistical purposes (6) , hereinafter referred to as 'Business Register legislation'.

(11)    Council Regulation (EC) No 322/97 of 17 February 1997 on Community Statistics(7) provides a reference framework for the provisions laid down in this Regulation. However, the very detailed level of information on trade in goods requires specific confidentiality rules if these statistics are to be relevant.

(12)    The transmission of data subject to statistical confidentiality is governed by the rules set out in Regulation (EC) No 322/97 and in Council Regulation (Euratom, EEC) No 1588/90 of 11 June 1990 on the transmission of data subject to statistical confidentiality to the Statistical Office of the European Communities (8) . Measures which are taken in accordance with those Regulations ensure the physical and logical protection of confidential data and ensure that no unlawful disclosure and non-statistical use occurs when Community statistics are produced and disseminated .

(13)    In the production and dissemination of Community statistics under this Regulation, the national and Community statistical authorities should take account of the principles set out in the European Statistics Code of Practice, which was adopted by the Statistical Programme Committee on 24 February 2005 and appended to the Commission Recommendation of 25 May 2005 on the independence, integrity and accountability of the national and Community statistical authorities.

(14)    Specific provisions need to be formulated until such time as customs legislation changes yield additional data on the customs declaration and until the electronic exchange of customs data is required by Community legislation.

(15)    Since the objective of this Regulation cannot be achieved by the Member States and can be better achieved at Community level, the Community may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is required to achieve this objective.

(16)    The measures necessary for implementing this Regulation should be adopted in accordance with Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999(9) laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission.

(17)    In particular the Commission should be empowered to adapt the list of customs procedures or customs approved treatment or use which determine an export or import for external trade statistics; to adopt different or specific rules for goods or movements which, for methodological reasons, call for specific provisions; to adapt the list of goods and movements excluded from external trade statistics; to specify the data sources other than the customs declaration for records on the import and export of specific goods or movements; to specify the statistical data, including the codes to be used; to establish requirements for data related to specific goods or movements; to establish requirements on the compilation of statistics; to specify characteristics of samples; to establish the reporting period and the level of aggregation for partner countries, commodities and currencies as well as to adapt the deadline for transmitting statistics, content, coverage and revision conditions for statistics already transmitted; and to establish the deadline for transmitting statistics on detail trade by business characteristics and statistics on trade broken down by invoicing currency. Since those measures are of general scope and are designed to amend non-essential elements of this Regulation, inter alia by supplementing it with new non-essential elements, they must be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny provided for in Article 5a of Decision 1999/468/EC,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

Article 1

Subject matter

This Regulation establishes a common framework for the systematic production of Community statistics relating to trade in goods with non-member countries (external trade statistics).

Article 2

Definitions

For the purpose of this Regulation, the following definitions shall apply:

   a) "goods' means all movable property, including electricity;
   b) "statistical territory of the Community' means the customs territory of the Community as defined in the Customs Code with the addition of the island of Heligoland in the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany;
   c) "national statistical authorities' means the national statistical institutes and other bodies responsible in each Member State for producing Community external trade statistics;
   (d) "Customs authorities' means the 'customs authorities' as defined in the Customs Code;
   e) "customs declaration' means the 'customs declaration' as defined in the Customs Code;
   f) "decision by Customs' means any official act by Customs authorities relating to accepted customs declarations and having legal effect on one or more persons.

Article 3

Scope

1.   External trade statistics shall record imports and exports of goods.

An export shall be recorded by Member States when goods leave the statistical territory of the Community according to one of the following customs procedures or customs-approved treatment or use, laid down in the Customs Code:

   a) exportation;
   b) outward processing;
   c) re-exportation following either inward processing or processing under customs control.

An import shall be recorded by Member States when goods enter the statistical territory of the Community according to one of the following customs procedures laid down in the Customs Code:

   d) release for free circulation;
   e) inward processing;
   f) processing under customs control.

2.   The measures designed to amend non-essential elements of this Regulation relating to the adaptation of the list of customs procedures or customs-approved treatment or use referred to in paragraph 1▌ in order to take into account changes in the Customs Code or provisions deriving from international conventions ▌shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 11(3).

3.   For methodological reasons, certain goods or movements call for specific provisions ("specific goods or movements"). This concerns industrial plants, vessels and aircraft, sea products, goods delivered to vessels and aircraft, staggered consignments, military goods, goods to or from offshore installations , spacecraft, electricity and gas and waste products.

The measures designed to amend non-essential elements of this Regulation inter alia by supplementing it, relating to specific goods and movements and to different or specific provisions applicable to them, shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 11(3).

4.   For methodological reasons, certain goods or movements shall be excluded from external trade statistics. This concerns monetary gold and means of payment which are legal tender, goods by virtue of the diplomatic or similar nature of their intended use, goods movements between the importing and exporting Member State and their national armed forces stationed abroad as well as certain goods acquired and disposed of by foreign armed forces, particular goods which are not the subject of a commercial transaction, movements of satellite launchers before their launching, goods for and after repair, goods for or following temporary use, goods used as carriers of customised information and downloaded information , goods declared orally to customs authorities which are either of a commercial nature, provided that their value does not exceed the statistical threshold of EUR 1 000 or 1 000 kilograms, or of a non-commercial nature. The measures designed to amend non-essential elements of this Regulation, inter alia, by supplementing it, relating to the exclusion of goods or movements from external trade statistics, shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 11(3).

Article 4

Data source

1.   The data source for records on the imports and exports of goods referred to in Article 3(1) shall be the customs declaration, including possible amendments or changes to statistical data resulting from decisions by Customs authorities pertaining to it.

Where a simplified procedure as defined in the Customs Code is used and a supplementary declaration is furnished, the data source for records shall be this supplementary declaration.

2 .   For ▌specific goods or movements as referred to in Article 3(3) , data sources other than the customs declaration may be used.

The measures designed to amend non-essential elements of this Regulation , inter alia by supplementing it, relating to the specification of these other data sources , shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 11(3).

3.    Member States may continue to use other data sources for the compilation of national statistics other than those defined in paragraphs 1 and 2 until a mechanism for mutual exchange of the relevant data by electronic means as referred to in Article 7(3) is in place. However, the compilation of Community external trade statistics under Article 6 should not be based on those other data sources.

Article 5

Statistical data

1.  Member States shall obtain the following set of data from records on imports and exports referred to in Article 3(1):

   a) the trade flow (import, export);
   b) the monthly reference period;
   c) the statistical value of the goods at the national border of the importing or exporting Member States;
   d) the quantity expressed in net mass and in a supplementary unit when indicated on the customs declaration;
   e) the trader, being the importer/consignee on import and the exporter/consignor on export;
  f) the importing or exporting Member States, being the Member State where the customs declaration is lodged and, where indicated on the customs declaration:
   i) on import, the Member State of final destination;
   ii) on export, the Member State of actual export;
   g) the partner countries, that is, on imports, the country of origin and the country of consignment/dispatch, and, on export, the country of destination;
  h) the commodity according to the Combined Nomenclature being:
   i) on import, the goods code of the Taric subheading;
   ii) on export, the goods code of the Combined Nomenclature subheading;
   i) the customs procedure codes to be used for deriving the statistical procedure ;
   j) the nature of transaction where indicated on the customs declaration;
   k) if granted, the tariff treatment on import held by Customs authorities, that is the preferential code ▌;
   l) the invoicing currency where indicated on the customs declaration;
  m) the mode of transport, detailing:
   i) the mode of transport at the frontier;
   ii) the internal mode of transport;
   iii) the container.

2.   ▌The measures designed to amend non-essential elements of this Regulation by supplementing it, relating to further specification of the data referred to in paragraph 1, including the codes to be used, shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 11(3).

3.   Where not otherwise stated and without prejudice to customs legislation, the data shall be contained in the customs declaration.

4.   ▌For 'specific goods or movements' as referred to in Article 3(3), limited sets of data may be required.

The measures designed to amend non-essential elements of this Regulation by supplementing it, relating to these limited sets of data, shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 11(3).

Article 6

Compilation of external trade statistics

1.  Member States shall compile for each monthly reference period statistics on imports and exports of goods expressed in value and quantity by:

   a) commodity;

b)   importing/exporting Member States;

   c) partner countries;
   d) statistical procedure;
   e) nature of transaction;
   f) tariff treatment, on import;
   g) mode of transport.

Implementing provisions for compiling the statistics may be determined by the Commission in accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 11(2).

2.   Member States shall compile annual statistics on trade by business characteristics, namely economic activity carried out by the enterprise according to the section or 2-digit level of the common statistical classification of economic activities in the European Community (NACE) and size class measured in terms of number of employees .

The statistics shall be compiled by linking data on business characteristics recorded according to the Business Register legislation with the data recorded according to Article 5 (1) on import and export. To this end, national Customs authorities shall provide the relevant traders' identification number to national statistical authorities.

The measures designed to amend non-essential elements of this Regulation by supplementing it, relating to the linking of the data and these statistics to be compiled, shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 11(3).

3.   Every two years Member States shall compile statistics on trade broken down by invoicing currency.

Member States shall compile the statistics using a representative sample of records on imports and exports from customs declarations which contain the data on the invoicing currency. If the invoicing currency for exports is not available on the customs declaration, a survey shall be carried out to collect the required data.

The measures designed to amend non-essential elements of this Regulation inter alia by supplementing it, relating to the characteristics of the sample, the reporting period ▌and the level of aggregation for partner countries, commodities and currencies ▌shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 11(3).

4.   The compilation by Member States of additional statistics ▌for national purposes may be determined when the data are available on the customs declaration.

5.  Member States shall not be obliged to compile and transmit to the Commission (Eurostat) external trade statistics on statistical data which, by virtue of the Customs Code or national instructions, are not yet recorded nor can be straightforwardly deduced from other data on the customs declaration lodged at their Customs authorities. The transmission of these statistics is optional for Member States. The following data are concerned:

   a) the Member State of final destination, on import;
   b) the Member State of actual export, on export;
   c) the Nature of Transaction.

Article 7

Data exchange

1.   Without delay and at the latest during the month following the month the customs declarations were accepted or were subject to customs decisions pertaining to them, national statistical authorities shall obtain from their national Customs authority the records on import and export based on the declarations which are lodged with or furnished to that authority.

The records shall contain at least those statistical data listed in Article 5 which are, according to the Customs Code or national instructions, available on the customs declaration.

2.  Member States shall ensure that records on imports and exports which are based on a customs declaration lodged at their national Customs authority are transmitted without delay from that Customs authority to the Customs authority of the Member State which is indicated on the record as:

   a) the Member State of final destination, on import
   b) the Member State of actual export, on export

Within a Member State, the data received by the national Customs authority shall be transmitted to the national statistical authority as provided for in paragraph 1 .

3.   A Member State shall not be required by paragraph 2 to transmit records on imports and exports to another Member State until the Customs authorities in those Member States have established a mechanism for mutual exchange of the relevant data by electronic means.

4.   Implementing provisions for determining such transmission may be determined in accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 11(2).

5.    If the national Customs authority cannot provide all the required data referred to in Article 5 (1) to the national statistical authority as a result of several simplified procedures under Regulation (EC) No 450/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2008 laying down the Community Customs Code (Modernised Customs Code) (10) and Decision No 70/2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 January 2008 on a paperless environment for customs and trade (11) , the national statistical authority shall not be obliged to provide such data as cannot be obtained from the national Customs authority to the Commission (Eurostat).

Article 8

Transmission of external trade statistics to the Commission (Eurostat)

1.   Member States shall transmit to the Commission (Eurostat) the statistics referred to in Article 6(1) no later than 40 days after the end of each monthly reference period.

Member States shall ensure that the statistics contain information on all imports and exports in the reference period in question, making adjustments where records are not available.

Member States shall transmit updated statistics when statistics already transmitted are subject to revisions.

Member States shall include in the results transmitted to the Commission (Eurostat) any statistical information which is confidential.

The measures designed to amend non-essential elements of this Regulation , inter alia by supplementing it, relating to the adaptation of the deadline, content, coverage and revisions of the statistics shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 11(3).

2.   ▌The measures designed to amend non-essential elements of this Regulation, by supplementing it, relating to the deadline for transmitting statistics on trade by business characteristics referred to in Article 6(2) and statistics on trade broken down by invoicing currency referred to in Article 6(3) shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 11(3).

3.   Member States shall transmit the statistics in electronic form, in accordance with an interchange standard. The practical arrangements for the transmission of the results may be determined in accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 11(2).

Article 9

Quality assessment

1.  For the purpose of this Regulation, the following quality assessment dimensions shall apply to the data transmitted.

   - "relevance" shall refer to the degree to which statistics meet the current and potential needs of users;
   - "accuracy" shall refer to the closeness of estimates to the unknown true values;
   - "timeliness" and "punctuality" shall refer to the delay between the availability of the information and the event or phenomenon it describes;
   - "accessibility" and "clarity" shall refer to the conditions and modalities by which users can obtain, use and interpret data;
   - "comparability" shall refer to the measurement of the impact of differences in applied statistical concepts and measurement tools and procedures when statistics are compared between geographical areas or sectoral domains, or over time;
   - "coherence" shall refer to the adequacy of the data to be reliably combined in different ways and for various uses.

2.   Member States shall provide the Commission (Eurostat) with a report on the quality of the data transmitted every year.

3.   In applying the quality assessment dimensions laid down in paragraph 1 to the data covered by this Regulation, the modalities and structure ▌of the quality reports shall be defined in accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 11(2).

The Commission (Eurostat) shall assess the quality of the data transmitted.

Article 10

Dissemination of external trade statistics

1.   At Community level, external trade statistics compiled in accordance with Article 6(1) and transmitted by the Member States shall be disseminated by the Commission (Eurostat) by Combined Nomenclature subheading at least.

Only where an importer or exporter so requests shall the national authorities of a given Member State decide whether such statistics of that State which may make it possible to identify the said importer or exporter are to be disseminated or are to be amended in such a way that their dissemination does not prejudice statistical confidentiality.

2.   Without prejudice to data dissemination at national level detailed statistics by Taric subheading, preferences and quota shall not be disseminated by the Commission (Eurostat) if their disclosure would undermine the protection of the public interest as regards the commercial and agricultural policies of the Community.

Article 11

Committee procedure

1.   The Commission shall be assisted by a Committee for external trade statistics.

2.   Where reference is made to this paragraph, Articles 5 and 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply, having regard to the provisions of Article 8 thereof. The period laid down in Article 5(6) of Decision 1999/468/EC shall be set at three months.

3.   Where reference is made to this paragraph, Article 5a (1) to (4), and Article 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply, having regard to the provisions of Article 8 thereof.

Article 12

Repeal

Regulation (EC) No 1172/95 is repealed with effect from 1 January 2010 .

It shall continue to apply to data pertaining to reference periods before 1 January 2010 .

Article 13

Entry into force

This Regulation shall enter into force on the twentieth day following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

It shall apply as from 1 January 2010 .

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at ║

For the European Parliament For the Council

║ ║

The President The President

(1) OJ C 70, 15.3.2008, p. 1.
(2) Position of the European Parliament of 23 September 2008 .
(3) OJ L 118, 25.5.1995, p. 10.║
(4) OJ L 302, 19.10.1992, p. 1.║
(5) OJ L 256, 7.9.1987, p. 1. ║
(6) OJ L 61, 5.3.2008, s. 6.
(7) OJ L 52, 22.2.1997, p. 1. ║
(8) OJ L 151, 15.6.1990, p. 1.
(9) OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23. ║
(10) OJ L 145, 4.6.2008, p. 1 .
(11) OJ L 23, 26.1.2008, p. 21.


Protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating trade therein ***I
DOC 30k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 September 2008 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on amending Regulation (EC) No 338/97 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating trade therein as regards the implementing powers conferred on the Commission (COM(2008)0104 – C6-0087/2008 – 2008/0042(COD) )
P6_TA(2008)0415 A6-0314/2008

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2008)0104 ),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 175(1) of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0087/2008 ),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (A6-0314/2008 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal;

2.   Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend the proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.   Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.


Statistical returns in respect of the carriage of goods by road as regards the implementing powers conferred on the Commission ***I
DOC 33k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 September 2008 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1172/98 on statistical returns in respect of the carriage of goods by road as regards the implementing powers conferred on the Commission (COM(2007)0778 – C6-0451/2007 – 2007/0269(COD) )
P6_TA(2008)0416 A6-0258/2008

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2007)0778 ),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 285(1) of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0451/2007 ),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A6-0258/2008 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend the proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.   Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 23 September 2008 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No .../2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council on amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1172/98 on statistical returns in respect of the carriage of goods by road, as regards the implementing powers conferred on the Commission

P6_TC1-COD(2007)0269


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position at first reading corresponds to the final legislative act, (EC) No .../2009.)


European Year of Creativity and Innovation (2009) ***I
DOC 33k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 September 2008 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the European Year of Creativity and Innovation (2009) (COM(2008)0159 – C6-0151/2008 – 2008/0064(COD) )
P6_TA(2008)0417 A6-0319/2008

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2008)0159 ),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Articles 149 and 150 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0151/2008 ),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Culture and Education (A6-0319/2008 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend the proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.   Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 23 September 2008 with a view to the adoption of Decision No .../2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the European Year of Creativity and Innovation (2009)

P6_TC1-COD(2008)0064


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position at first reading corresponds to the final legislative act, Decision No 1350/2008/EC.)


Amendment of Regulation (Euratom, ECSC, EEC) No 549/69 determining the categories of officials and other servants of the European Communities to whom the provisions of Article 12, the second paragraph of Article 13 and Article 14 of the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the Communities apply *
DOC 31k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 September 2008 on the proposal for a Council regulation amending Regulation (Euratom, ECSC, EEC) No 549/69 determining the categories of officials and other servants of the European Communities to whom the provisions of Article 12, the second paragraph of Article 13 and Article 14 of the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the Communities apply (COM(2008)0305 – C6-0214/2008 – 2008/0102(CNS) )
P6_TA(2008)0418 A6-0339/2008

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(2008)0305 ),

–   having regard to Article 291 of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Article 16 of the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Communities, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C6-0214/2008 ),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A6-0339/2008 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal;

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

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

4.   Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission.


Draft amending budget No 6/2008 - executive agencies
DOC 33k
European Parliament resolution of 23 September 2008 on Draft amending budget No 6/2008 of the European Union for the financial year 2008, Section III - Commission (12984/2008 – C6-0317/2008 – 2008/2166(BUD) )
P6_TA(2008)0419 A6-0353/2008

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to Article 272 of the EC Treaty and Article 177 of the Euratom Treaty,

–   having regard to Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(1) (hereinafter "the Financial Regulation"), and particularly Articles 37 and 38 thereof,

–   having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2008, as finally adopted on 13 December 2007(2) ,

–   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management(3) ,

–   having regard to Preliminary draft amending budget No 6/2008 of the European Union for the financial year 2008, which the Commission presented on 1 July 2008 (COM(2008)0429 ),

–   having regard to Draft amending budget No 6/2008, which the Council established on 15 September 2008 (12984/2008 - C6-0317/2008 ),

–   having regard to Rule 69 of and Annex IV to its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A6-0353/2008 ),

A.   whereas Draft amending budget No 6 to the general budget 2008 covers the following items:

   the necessary budgetary adaptations (establishment plan) arising from the extension of the mandate of three executive agencies: the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), the Executive Agency for the Public Health Programme (PHEA), and the Trans-European Transport Network Executive Agency (TEN-T EA),
   the creation of the necessary budgetary structure to accommodate the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), and allocation of the corresponding budgetary needs,
   an increase of EUR 2 200 000 in commitment appropriations, to cover part of the costs of a new building for EUROJUST,
   an increase of EUR 3 900 000 in commitment appropriations for the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP) – Entrepreneurship and Innovation,

B.   whereas the purpose of Draft amending budget No 6/2008 is to formally enter these budgetary adjustments into the 2008 budget,

1.   Recalls that the appropriations for Joint Undertakings are paid from the operational budget of the programme concerned;

2.   Notes that, according to Article 179(3) of the Financial Regulation, the European Parliament, as part of the budgetary authority, should have been informed of the rent for a new building for EUROJUST, which has significant financial implications for the budget;

3.   Expects to be provided with such information by the Commission in the future, should any further needs for buildings arise, in order to allow the budgetary authority to issue an opinion under Article 179(3) of the Financial Regulation;

4.   Adopts Draft amending budget No 6/2008 unamended;

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

(1) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 71, 14.3.2008, p. 1.
(3) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.


Follow-up to the Monterrey Conference of 2002 on Financing for Development
DOC 62k
European Parliament resolution of 23 September 2008 on the follow-up to the Monterrey Conference of 2002 on financing for Development (2008/2050(INI) )
P6_TA(2008)0420 A6-0310/2008

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Monterrey Consensus, adopted by the United Nations (UN) International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico, on 18-22 March 2002 (the Monterrey Conference),

–   having regard to the commitments made by Member States at the European Council in Barcelona on 14 March 2002 (Barcelona commitments),

–   having regard to its resolution of 25 April 2002 on the financing of development aid(1) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 7 February 2002 on the financing of development aid(2) ,

–   having regard to the Joint statement by the Council and the representatives of the governments of the Member States meeting within the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission on European Union Development Policy: 'The European Consensus'(3) signed on 20 December 2005,

–   having regard to the Commission Communication of 9 April 2008 entitled 'The EU - a global partner for development - on speeding up progress towards the Millennium Development Goals' (COM(2008)0177 ),

–   having regard to the Commission Communication of 4 April 2007 entitled 'Keeping Europe's promises on Financing for Development' (COM(2007)0164 ),

–   having regard to the Commission Communication of 2 March 2006 entitled 'Financing for development and aid effectiveness – the challenges of scaling up EU aid 2006-2010' (COM(2006)0085 ),

–   having regard to the Commission Communication of 12 April 2005 entitled 'Accelerating progress towards attaining the Millennium Development Goals – Financing for Development and Aid Effectiveness' (COM(2005)0133 ),

–   having regard to the Communication of 5 March 2004 entitled 'Translating the Monterrey Consensus into practice: the contribution by the European Union' (COM(2004)0150 ),

–   having regard to the European Council conclusions of 14 March 2002 on the international Conference on Financing for Development (Monterrey, Mexico, 18-22 March 2002) ,

–   having regard to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted at the UN Millennium Summit in New York on 6-8 September 2000, and reaffirmed at subsequent UN Conferences, notably the Monterrey Conference,

–   having regard to the commitment made at the Göteborg European Council on 15-16 June 2001 for Member States to reach the UN target for Official Development Assistance (ODA) of 0,7% of Gross National Income (GNI),

–   having regard to the Commission Communication of 2 March 2006 entitled 'EU Aid: Delivering more, better and faster' (COM(2006)0087 ),

–   having regard to its resolution of 22 May 2008 on the follow-up to the Paris Declaration of 2005 on Aid Effectiveness(4) ,

–   having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Development and the opinion of the Committee on Budgets (A6-0310/2008 ),

A.   whereas for the second time in history the UN is organising an International Conference on Financing for Development, which is to be held in Doha from 29 November to 2 December 2008, aimed at bringing together Heads of State and Government and not only development but also finance ministers, as well as representatives from the international financial organisations, private banking and business and civil society, to examine the progress that has been made since the Monterrey Conference,

B.   whereas, to achieve the MDGs, there is a need for greatly increased financing,

C.   whereas financing for development should be defined as the most cost-effective way to respond to the world's development needs and global insecurities,

D.   whereas the need for adequate predictable and sustainable financial resources is more urgent than ever, especially taking account of the challenge of climate change and its implications, including natural disasters, and the particular vulnerability of developing countries,

E.   whereas the EU is the world's biggest aid donor, a major shareholder in the international financial institutions, and the most important trading partner for developing countries,

F.   whereas the EU has committed itself to a clear and mandatory timeframe for reaching the 0,56% of GNI target by 2010 and the 0,7% of GNI target by 2015,

G.   whereas, if current trends regarding Member States' ODA levels continue, some Member States will not meet the targets to which they are committed of 0,51% for the EU 15 (i.e. the Member States part of the EU prior to the 2004 enlargement) and 0,17% for the EU 12 (i.e. the Member States which acceded to the EU on 1 May 2004 and 1 January 2007) of GNI by 2010,

H.   whereas programmable aid to Africa is rising despite the general decrease in ODA in 2007,

I.   whereas significant new development challenges have recently emerged, including climate change, structural changes in commodity markets and in particular those for food and oil, and important new trends in South-South cooperation, including support for infrastructure by China in Africa and lending by the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) in Latin America,

J.   whereas financial services in many developing countries are underdeveloped as a result of many factors including restrictions on supply of services and lack of legal certainty and property rights,

1.   Reaffirms its commitment to poverty eradication, sustainable development and the achievement of the MDGs, as the only ways to bring about social justice and improved quality of life for the approximately one billion people globally who live in extreme poverty, defined as an income of less than one US dollar a day;

2.   Calls on Member States to place a clear division between development spending and spending on foreign policy interests and emphasises, in this regard, that ODA should be in line with the criteria for ODA established by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD/DAC) and the OECD/DAC recommendations on untying ODA;

3.   Underlines the absolute need for the EU to aim for the highest level of coordination in order to achieve coherence with other Community policies (environment, migration, human rights, agriculture, etc.) and avoid duplication of work and inconsistency of activities;

4.   Recalls that the immediate and necessary actions to be taken by the EU to tackle the dramatic consequences of the soaring food prices in developing countries should not be understood and carried out as part of the financial efforts required by the Monterrey Consensus; therefore looks forward to a concrete proposal from the Commission on the use of emergency funds;

5.   Stresses that the excessive and disproportionate administrative burden in some of the partner countries impairs the effectiveness of development aid; fears that this burden risks jeopardising the achievement of the MDGs;

6.   Notes that the EU still has to find the right balance between two contradictory approaches towards development aid: on the one hand, to trust partner countries in the adequate allocation of the funds and to help their administrations develop the right tools for implementation of the funds; on the other hand, to earmark the financial aid in order to avoid misuse or ineffective allocation of the aid;

Volumes of ODA

7.   Points out that the EU is the world's leading donor in ODA, representing almost 60% of the world official development aid, and welcomes the fact that the EU share of global ODA has been increasing over the years; nevertheless requests the Commission to provide clear and transparent data on the share of the EU budget devoted to EU development aid in order to assess the follow-up to the Monterrey Consensus by all European donors; also expresses its regret that the level of EU financial contributions to developing countries lacks visibility and invites the Commission to develop appropriate and targeted communication and information tools to increase the visibility of EU development aid;

8.   Welcomes the fact that the EU met its binding ODA target of the EU average of 0.39% of GNI by 2006, but notes the alarming decrease in EU aid in 2007 from EUR 47,7 billion in 2006 (0,41% of EU collective GNI) to EUR 46,1 billion in 2007 (0,38% of EU collective GNI) and calls upon Member States to raise ODA volumes to achieve their promised target of 0,56% of GNI in 2010;

9.   Insists that reductions in Member States' reported ODA should not take place again; points out that the EU will have given EUR 75 billion less than was promised for the period 2005-2010 if the current trend continues;

10.   Expresses serious concern that a majority of the Member States (18 out of 27, especially Latvia, Italy, Portugal, Greece and the Czech Republic) were unable to raise their level of ODA between 2006 and 2007 and that there has even been a dramatic reduction of over 10% in a number of countries such as Belgium, France and the United Kingdom; calls on Member States to fulfil the ODA volumes to which they are committed; notes with satisfaction that some Member States (Denmark, Ireland, Luxembourg, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands) are certain to reach their ODA targets for 2010, and is confident that these Member States will maintain their high levels of ODA;

11.   Welcomes the firm stance of the Commission on the efforts to be concentrated on both the quantity and the quality of development aid from Member States, and strongly supports its warning against the potential highly negative consequences of the Member States' failing to fulfil their financial commitments; calls on the Commission to use its expertise and authority to convince other public and private donors to honour their financial promises;

12.   Is extremely concerned that some Member States are backloading ODA increases, leading to a net loss for developing countries of more than EUR 17 billion;

13.   Welcomes the approach of some Member States to develop binding multi-annual timetables for increasing ODA levels to meet the UN target of 0,7% by 2015; asks Member States that have not yet done so to disclose their multi-annual timetables as quickly as possible; stresses that Member States should adopt these prior to the above-mentioned Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to be held in Doha and fulfil their commitments;

14.   Observes that the 2007 decreases in reported aid levels are due in some cases to the artificial boosting of figures in 2006 by debt relief; calls on Member States to increase ODA levels in a sustainable manner by concentrating on figures with the debt relief component removed;

15.   Views as totally unacceptable the discrepancy between the frequent pledges of increased financial assistance and the considerably lower sums that are actually disbursed and is concerned that some Member States are demonstrating aid fatigue;

16.   Stresses the fact that consultation with partner governments, national parliaments and civil society organisations is crucial in the decision making on ODA volumes and destinations;

Speed, flexibility, predictability and sustainability of financial flows

17.   Stresses that assistance needs to be delivered in a timely manner and expresses dissatisfaction that the processes for delivery are often subject to undue delays;

18.   Stresses the need to balance flexibility in the delivery of cooperation funds, in order to respond to changing circumstances, such as rising food prices with the imperative for predictable funding to allow partner countries to plan for sustainable development and climate change adaptation and mitigation;

19.   Calls strongly for the clear observance of the principles of responsible lending and financing, to make lending and financing operations sustainable in terms of economic and environmental development along and in line with the equator principles; calls on the Commission to participate in establishing such principles and press in international fora for binding measures to put them into practice in such a way that their coverage extends to new development actors from public and private sectors;

Debt and capital flight

20.   Fully endorses efforts by developing countries to maintain long-term debt sustainability and to implement the initiative for very Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC), which is of key importance to fulfil the MDGs; regrets, however, that the debt relief plans exclude a large number of countries for which debt remains an obstacle to fulfilling the MDGs; stresses the need for an urgent international debate on extending the reduction of international measures to a number of indebted countries currently excluded from the HIPC initiative;

21.   Calls on the Commission to address the issue of 'odious' or illegitimate debts, meaning debts having arisen from irresponsible, self-interested, reckless or unfair lending and the principles of responsible finance in bilateral and multilateral negotiations on debt relief; welcomes the Commission's call for action to limit the rights of commercial creditors and vulture funds to be repaid, in the event of judicial proceedings;

22.  Calls on all Member States to adhere to the framework of debt sustainability and push for its development to take account of a country's internal debt and financial requirements; calls on all Member States to recognise that lender liability does not just involve compliance with the sustainability framework, but also entails:

   - taking into consideration the vulnerability of borrowing countries to external shocks, making provision in such cases for the possibility of suspending or easing repayment;
   - incorporating transparency requirements, for both parties, in borrowing agreements;
   - exercising greater vigilance in ensuring that the borrowing does not contribute to human rights violations or an increase in corruption;

23.   Urges the EU to promote international efforts which aim to put in place some form of international insolvency procedures or fair and transparent arbitration procedure to deal efficiently and equitably with any future debt crisis;

24.   Regrets that the Commission does not place more emphasis on the mobilisation of internal resources to finance development, as these are sources of greater autonomy for developing countries; encourages Member States to be fully involved in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and to call for it to be strengthened; calls on the Commission to ask the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) to include among these international accounting standards a country-by-country reporting requirement on the activities of multinational companies in all sectors;

25.   Regrets that the Commission communication package on aid effectiveness (COM(2008)0177 ) does not mention capital flight as a risk factor for the economies of developing countries; points out that capital flight does serious damage to the development of sustainable economic systems in developing countries and points out that each year tax evasion costs developing countries more than they receive in the form of ODA; calls on the Commission to include measures to prevent capital flight in its policies, as required by the Monterrey Consensus, including a frank analysis of the causes of capital flight, with the goal of closing down tax havens, some of which are located within the EU or operate in close connection with Member States;

26.   Notes, in particular, that according to the World Bank the illegal component of this capital flight amounts to 1 000 to 1 600 billion USD each year, half of which comes from developing countries; supports the international efforts made to freeze and recover stolen assets and asks those Member States that have not done so to ratify the United Nations Convention against corruption; deplores the fact that similar efforts are not being made to combat tax evasion and calls upon the Commission and Member States to promote the global extension of the principle of the automatic exchange of tax information, to ask that the Code of Conduct on tax evasion currently being drawn up at the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC) be annexed to the Doha declaration and to support the transformation of the UN Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters into a genuine intergovernmental body equipped with additional resources to conduct the international fight against tax evasion alongside the OECD;

Innovative financing mechanisms

27.   Welcomes the proposals for innovative financing mechanisms put forward by the Member States and calls on the Commission to examine them against the benchmarks of ease of practical implementation, sustainability, additionality, transaction costs and effectiveness; calls for financial mechanisms and instruments that provide new funding and do not put future financial flows at risk;

28.   Calls for financial mechanisms and instruments which provide measures to leverage private money as stated in the Monterrey Consensus and deploy credit guarantees;

29.   Calls on the Commission greatly to enhance funding of climate change adaptation and mitigation measures in developing countries, in particular of the Global Climate Change Alliance; emphasises the acute need for funding beyond current ODA flows as ODA alone should not provide adequate support for measures for adaptation and mitigation for climate change in developing countries; stresses that innovative finance mechanisms should be developed urgently for this purpose, such as levies on aviation and oil trading, as well as by earmarking of auctioning revenues from the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS);

30.   Welcomes the Commission's proposal to establish a Global Climate Financing Mechanism, based on the principal of frontloading aid to finance mitigation and adaptation measures in developing countries; calls on Member States and the Commission to make substantial financial commitments in order to implement the proposal urgently;

31.   Calls on the Commission and Member States to earmark at least 25% of future auctioning revenues from the EU ETS to finance climate change adaptation and mitigation measures in developing countries;

32.   Calls on the Commission to develop access to finance for small-scale entrepreneurs and farmers, as a means of increasing food production and providing a sustainable solution to the food crisis;

33.   Calls on the European Investment Bank (EIB) to investigate possibilities for the immediate setting up of a guarantee fund in support of micro-credit and risk-hedging schemes that respond closely to the needs of local food producers in poorer developing countries;

34.   Welcomes the proposal to set up a multi-donor gender fund that was launched at the UN and would be managed by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), with the aim of promoting and funding gender equality policies in developing countries; calls on the Council and the Commission to examine and endorse this international initiative;

35.   Calls for a redoubling of efforts to encourage the development of financial services, given that the banking sector has the potential to unleash local financing for development and that furthermore a stable financial services sector is the best way to combat capital flight;

36.   Calls on all stakeholders to appreciate fully the enormous potential of revenues from natural resources; in this regard sees it as essential that resource industries are transparent; considers that, while the EITI and the Kimberley Process are moving in the right direction, much more needs to be done to encourage the transparent management of resource industries and their revenues;

Reforming international systems

37.   Calls upon the Council and the Commission to include the European Development Fund in the EU budget at the 2008/2009 Midterm Review, in order to enhance the democratic legitimacy of an important part of EU development policy and its budget;

38.   Notes the first step taken in April 2008 towards the better representation of developing countries within the International Monetary Fund (IMF); regrets that a wealth-based weighting continues to govern the breakdown of voting rights at the IMF; calls on the Commission and Member States to demonstrate their interest in double-majority decision-making (shareholders/States) within the institution responsible for international financial stability, the IMF;

39.   Calls on the Commission and Member States to use the above-mentioned Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development, to be held in Doha, as an opportunity to present a common EU position on development aimed at achieving the MDGs through a sustainable approach;

40.   Calls on Member States to undertake a rapid and ambitious reform of the World Bank so that those most directly concerned by its programmes are better represented;

o
o   o

41.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the UN Secretary-General, and the heads of the World Trade Organisation, the IMF, the World Bank Group and the UN ECOSOC.

(1) OJ C 131 E, 5.6.2003, p. 164.
(2) OJ C 284 E, 21.11.2002, p. 315.
(3) OJ C 46, 24.2.2006, p. 1.
(4) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0237 .


Internal Market Scoreboard
DOC 56k
European Parliament resolution of 23 September 2008 on the Internal Market Scoreboard (2008/2056(INI) )
P6_TA(2008)0421 A6-0272/2008

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Internal Market Scoreboard no 16 bis of 14 February 2008 (SEC(2008)0076 ),

–   having regard to its resolution of 4 September 2007 on the Single Market Review: tackling barriers and inefficiencies through better implementation and enforcement(1) ,

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission of 20 November 2007 entitled "A single market for 21st century Europe" (COM(2007)0724 ),

–   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement on better law-making(2) ,

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission of 30 January 2008 entitled "Second strategic review of Better Regulation in the European Union" (COM(2008)0032 ),

–   having regard to the Presidency Conclusions of the Brussels European Council of 8 and 9 March 2007, which endorsed the Action Programme for Reducing Administrative Burdens in the EU, established an EU target of a 25% reduction in administrative burdens, and called on Member States to set equivalent targets at national level,

–   having regard to the Commission Staff Working Document of 20 November 2007 entitled "Implementing the new methodology for product market and sector monitoring: Results of a first sector screening - Accompanying document to the Communication from the Commission - A single market for 21st century Europe" (SEC(2007)1517 ),

–   having regard to the Commission Staff Working Document of 20 November 2007 entitled "Instruments for a modernised single market policy - Accompanying document to the Communication from the Commission - A single market for 21st century Europe" (SEC(2007)1518 ),

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission of 29 January 2008 entitled "Monitoring consumer outcomes in the single market: the Consumer Markets Scoreboard" (COM(2008)0031 ),

–   having regard to the Conclusions of the Council (Competitiveness - Internal Market, Industry and Research) of 25 February 2008 on a single market for 21st century Europe,

–   having regard to rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (A6-0272/2008 ),

A.   whereas it welcomes the publication of the Internal Market Scoreboard, which helps to reduce the transposition deficit,

B.   whereas all Member States are legally obliged to transpose all Internal Market directives within the prescribed deadlines,

C.   whereas the Scoreboard primarily aims at stimulating Member States to ensure timely transposition,

D.   whereas the current deficit of 1,2% is below the future target of 1,0% agreed by the Heads of State and Government in 2007,

E.   whereas the fragmentation factor is 8%, meaning that 124 directives have not been transposed in at least one Member State,

F.   whereas there are disparities between the transposition levels registered in the various Member States,

G.   whereas a directive may not be fully effective, even though it has been quickly and properly transposed, in particular when its implementation generates situations of legal uncertainty which lead to proceedings before the European Court of Justice and hamper the effective functioning of the Internal Market,

H.   whereas the number of open infringement proceedings is still very high and a large number of these infringements relates to absent or incorrect transposition,

I.   whereas unfair advantage can be attained by the evasion of certain directives and a lack of transposition or incorrect transposition,

J.   whereas the implementation of Internal Market directives is crucial for the achievement of the Lisbon and Göteborg Sustainable Development Agenda,

K.   whereas the average time for an infringement proceeding to be brought to the European Court of Justice exceeds 20 months,

L.   whereas some Member States do not respect the rulings of the European Court of Justice in infringement cases, which is of further detriment of the functioning of the Internal Market,

M.   whereas the administrative burden is too onerous in the Member States, which is a result of both national and Community legislation;

Implementation - the basis of the Internal Market

1.   Stresses that timely implementation, correct transposition and correct application of Internal Market directives is a prerequisite for the effective functioning of the Internal Market, and has implications also for competitiveness and the economic and social balance within the EU;

2.   Underlines the importance of ownership of the Internal Market at national, regional and local levels; underlines the Commission's role to create partnerships in the related policy-making process to this end;

3.   Recalls that from 2009 the transposition deficit target is set at 1,0%; urges Member States to take action to attain this objective;

4.   Urges those Member States with a particularly high deficit to take immediate action and the Commission to work closely with them with a view to improving the situation; notes that some Member Sates have proven that it is possible to significantly and rapidly reduce the deficit;

5.   Recalls that the high fragmentation factor must urgently be dealt with by the Member States as well as the Commission;

6.   Regrets that Member States sometimes add additional requirements when transposing directives into national law; holds the view that this so-called 'gold plating' hampers the effective functioning of the Internal Market;

7.   Holds the view that a strong, open and competitive Internal Market acts as an essential part of Europe's response to the challenges of globalisation by promoting the competitiveness of European industry, reinforces incentives for foreign investments, and ensures consumers' rights in Europe; the external dimension should be taken into consideration by the Commission when adopting new Internal Market initiatives;

8.   Recalls that in an open and competitive Internal Market, better targeted and more stringent tools are needed to improve the fight against counterfeiting and piracy;

9.   Calls on the Member States to urgently address correct transposition and application of Internal Market directives through the use of existing guidelines and best practices; urges the development of more accurate tools to address the deficiency;

10.   Calls on the Commission to speed up the process of solving disputes at an early stage and to highlight those infringements with the most serious consequences for European citizens; also encourages the Commission to produce a compilation of infringement proceedings brought before the European Court of Justice in order to provide detailed information on the offence in question;

11.   Calls on the Member States to fulfil their obligations in accordance with the rulings of the European Court of Justice;

Developing the Scoreboard as a tool for policy-making

12.   Takes the view that while the Scoreboard should primarily serve to encourage timely and correct transposition, it could be further developed as a tool assisting policy makers in identifying obstacles and barriers and in pinpointing where new initiatives are called for; calls on the Commission to widen and deepen the range of information and indicators included in the Scoreboard, inter alia quality, social conditions of workers and the impact on the environment and climate change;

13.   Calls on the Commission to include an easily comprehensible summary in future Scoreboards to increase accessibility for citizens and other stakeholders; encourages relevant EU and national bodies to publish the Scoreboard on their websites and to step up efforts to promote the Scoreboard to the media;

14.   Regrets that the Scoreboard does not provide information concerning directives which have not been transposed; takes the view that certain directives, for example Directive 2006/123/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on services in the internal market(3) , are more important for the effective functioning of the Internal Market than others; calls on the Commission to consider indicators that better reflect the relative importance of directives for industry and citizens within various sectors; holds the view that impact assessments carried out by the Commission may be of relevance for this purpose;

15.   Recalls that the quality of Community legislation and its implementation is of major importance to the proper functioning of the Internal Market, and that the number of cases before the European Court of Justice related to unclear provisions and incorrect implementation of secondary legislation demonstrates the need to draft Community legislation more precisely; therefore calls on the Commission to introduce indicators in the Scoreboard regarding the number of proceedings before the European Court of Justice concerning quality of secondary legislation, as well as its incorrect implementation;

16.   Welcomes the Commission's intention to introduce a more systematic approach to monitoring the functioning of key goods and services markets in order to uncover market failures and promote more effective policy instruments; hence calls for the inclusion of more sector-specific and Member State-specific information in the Scoreboard and for the inclusion of accurate information; calls for the inclusion also of indicators relating to cross-border aspects of public procurement;

17.   Calls on the Commission to ensure, in accordance with point 34 of the Interinstitutional Agreement on better law-making, that all of its proposals for directives contain a specific provision requiring Member States to draw up tables illustrating the correlation between the act in question and the transposition measures, and to communicate those tables to the Commission; regrets in this respect that Member States are watering down the efforts of the Commission and Parliament as regards transparency by opposing the clause or making the clause a non-binding recital;

18.   Considers the achievement of the Lisbon and Göteborg Sustainable Development Agenda to be a political priority, and emphasises in particular the importance of implementing those directives which are necessary for its achievement; calls on the Council to give Internal Market issues a leading role within the revised strategy post-2010;

19.   Welcomes the Commission's intention to develop instruments improving Single Market policy and tools by making Single Market policy more evidence-based, targeted, decentralised and accessible, as well as better communicated;

20.   Calls on the Commission, through sector inquiries, business surveys, consumer surveys or other means, to evaluate the quality and coherence of implementation in the Member States in order to guarantee the effective functioning of legislation;

21.   Underlines the fact that late and incorrect implementation deprives consumers and undertakings of their rights, causes harm to the European economy and undermines confidence in the Internal Market; calls on the Commission to develop indicators measuring the costs incurred by citizens and industry as a result of late and incorrect transposition, and calls on the Commission also to develop indicators reflecting the relationship between transposition performance and infringement proceedings brought against Member States;

22.   Welcomes the Commission's intention to table further better regulation initiatives, in particular to improve impact assessments and to reduce administrative burdens, as this will contribute to the more effective functioning of the Internal Market; holds the view that work on these issues is interlinked and needs to be approached in a consistent way;

23.   Welcomes the target of reducing administrative burdens within the EU by 25% by 2012; calls on the Member States to take action to achieve this aim; holds the view that the Scoreboard should measure efforts and progress at national and Community level related to this; therefore calls on the Commission to reflect on including a chapter in the Scoreboard on this issue;

24.   Regrets that citizens still face many obstacles in relation to free movement within the Internal Market; notes in this context that 15% of SOLVIT cases handled in 2007 were related to free movement of persons and EU citizenship; calls therefore on Member States and the Commission to step up efforts to ensure the free movement of persons; calls in particular on Member States to establish one-stop shops to assist people on all legal and practical matters when moving within the Internal Market; also calls on the Commission to develop indicators to be included in the Scoreboard which measure obstacles to the free movement of persons;

25.   Reiterates the aim of making Internal Market legislation work better; takes the view that improved implementation also depends on the development of practical co-operation and partnership between administrations; calls on the Member States and the Commission to further develop systems of exchange of best practices; stresses that, due to the number of authorities at local, regional and national level, there is a need to actively promote and support administrative cooperation and simplification; points out that the Internal Market Information system has the potential to play a major role to this end;

26.   Calls on Member States to establish national Internal Market centres to promote the coordination, simplification and political visibility of their efforts to make the Internal Market work; underlines that such centres should be placed within existing entities, for example with the national Single Contact Points; urges Member States to ensure improved practical knowledge of EU law at all levels of national administrations to ensure that citizens and businesses do not face unnecessary burdens and obstacles resulting from a lack of understanding of the rules;

27.   Welcomes the Commission's work to establish partnerships with the Member States in the implementation process through working groups, networks in specific sectors, meetings with national experts and implementation guidelines; believes that the Commission's work with the implementation of Directive 2006/123/EC will prove to be a success to be repeated in the future; stresses that Parliament should be continuously informed about implementation processes;

28.   Highlights that implementation problems are often detected through the SOLVIT network; notes with concern that SOLVIT centres are often understaffed, and that the average handling time of a case is more than 10 weeks; calls on the Member States to ensure that SOLVIT centres are properly staffed, and calls on the Member States and the Commission to improve administrative efficiency in order to shorten the handling time considerably; calls furthermore on Member States to make a bigger effort in promoting the services of the SOLVIT network through the appropriate information channels in order to increase citizens' and businesses' awareness of SOLVIT;

29.   Welcomes the Commission's intention to improve the filtering of enquiries and complaints by businesses and citizens through SOLVIT and other Single Market Assistance Services to ensure that they are directed immediately to the right administrative body regardless of which network they are tabled through; emphasises that experiences from SOLVIT should be fed into national and EU policy-making, resulting in structural or regulatory changes where necessary;

30.   Calls on the Commission, in cooperation with Parliament and the Presidency of the Council, to hold a yearly Internal Market Forum with participation of the Member States and other stakeholders in order to establish a clearer commitment to proper implementation in due time and to provide an arena for benchmarking and exchange of best practices;

31.   Calls on the Council to give a higher priority to Internal Market issues either by establishing a new Council formation addressing these questions or by giving them top priority on the agenda in the existing Competitiveness Council;

32.   Recalls its above-mentioned resolution on the Single Market Review, where it called for the Commission to establish an Internal Market Test; calls on the Commission to take action to introduce such a test;

The Internal Market and Consumer Markets Scoreboards

33.   Holds the view that the Internal Market Scoreboard and the Consumer Markets Scoreboard both serve to promote an improved Internal Market to the benefit of citizens and consumers;

34.   Welcomes the Commission's intention to ensure a better communicated Internal Market, and holds the view that the two Scoreboards are important steps in that direction;

35.   Emphasises that while the two Scoreboards are interlinked and that it is important to promote their coherent development, they have however different target addressees and hence should be kept separate with different sets of indicators;

36.   Holds the view that a review of the indicators used as well as the relationship between the two Scoreboards should be carried out on a regular basis in order to adapt them to development in the Internal Market;

o
o   o

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

(1) OJ C 187 E, 24.7.2008, p. 80.
(2) OJ C 321, 31.12.2003, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 376, 27.12.2006, p. 36.


Improving the quality of teacher education
DOC 54k
European Parliament resolution of 23 September 2008 on improving the quality of teacher education (2008/2068(INI) )
P6_TA(2008)0422 A6-0304/2008

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to Articles 3(1)(q), 149 and 150 of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to the Commission communication entitled Improving the Quality of Teacher Education (COM(2007)0392 ) and to the related Commission staff working papers (SEC(2007)0931 and SEC (2007)0933),

–   having regard to Decision No 1720/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 November 2006 establishing an action programme in the field of lifelong learning(1) , which includes the specific objective of enhancing the quality and European dimension of teacher training (Article 17(2)(e)),

–   having regard to the eight key skills set out in Recommendation 2006/962/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 entitled Key Competences for lifelong learning – A European Reference Framework(2) ,

–   having regard to the 10-year Education and Training 2010 work programme and specifically to Objective 1.1 'Improving Education and Training for Teachers and Trainers'(3) , as well as to the subsequent joint interim reports on progress towards its implementation,

–   having regard to the European Union's multilingualism policy and to the Commission's High Level Group Report on Multilingualism (2007),

–   having regard to the Presidency Conclusions of the Lisbon Special European Council of 23-24 March 2000,

–   having regard to the Presidency Conclusions of the Barcelona European Council of March 2002, which adopted concrete objectives for improving, among other things, education and training for teachers and trainers,

–   having regard to the Council Conclusions of 5 May 2003 on reference levels of European average performance in education and training (Benchmarks)(4) ,

–   having regard to the conclusions adopted by the Education, Youth and Culture Council at its meeting of 15-16 November 2007 and specifically to the conclusions on teacher education(5) ,

–   having regard to the OECD's triennial PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) surveys as well as to its report 'Teachers Matter: Attracting, Developing and Retaining Effective Teachers' (2005),

–   having regard to the report 'How the world's best performing school systems come out on top' (McKinsey & Co, September 2007),

–   having regard to the study published by the European Parliament in Feburary 2007 entitled Current situation and prospects for physical education in the European Union,

–   having regard to its resolution of 13 November 2007 on the role of sport in education(6) ,

–   having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Culture and Education (A6-0304/2008 ),

A.   whereas high quality education and training have multifaceted benefits that go beyond job creation and the promotion of competitiveness, and are important components of lifelong learning,

B.   whereas there is a need to educate individuals to become self-sufficient, informed and committed to a cohesive society, and whereas the quality of teaching is a critical factor in contributing to the European Union's social and economic cohesion as well as its job creation, competitiveness and growth potential in a globalising world,

C.   whereas the European Social Fund can play an important role in education and training development, thus contributing to better teacher education,

D.   whereas the quality of teacher training is reflected in educational practice and has a direct effect not only on pupils' level of knowledge but also on the formation of their personality, particularly during the first years of their school experience,

E.   whereas the challenges faced by the teaching profession are increasing as educational environments become more complex and heterogeneous; whereas these challenges include advances in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), changes to social and family structures, and the increasingly diverse mix of students in many schools resulting from increased immigration and the emergence of multicultural societies, the increase in the autonomy of schools, which entails an increase in teachers' duties, and the need to pay more attention to the learning needs of individual pupils,

F.   whereas there is a clear and positive correlation between high quality teacher training and pupils achieving high success rates,

G.   whereas in the light of the growing supply of information in conjunction with ongoing digitisation, the capacity must be developed to use media and their content effectively in accordance with individuals' aims and needs, and whereas media education is a type of pedagogical approach to the media which should enable users to develop a critical and reflective approach when using all media,

H.   whereas more than 80% of primary school teachers and 97% of pre-school teachers in the Union are women, while in secondary education the equivalent figure is only 60%,

I.   whereas the quality of teacher education can affect early school leaving levels and older students' reading skills,

J.   whereas pre-school and primary education have a particularly critical impact on children's eventual educational achievement,

K.   whereas with more than 27 different teacher training systems in place across the Union, the challenges facing the teaching profession are nonetheless, in essence, common to all Member States,

L.   whereas teaching is a vocational profession in which high levels of job satisfaction are important for the retention of good staff,

M.   whereas it would be unfair to make teachers solely responsible for their educational activity; whereas it needs to be stressed that the ability of teachers to offer a proper education to all their pupils, create a climate in which all can live together, and reduce violent behaviour, is closely linked to the conditions in which they teach, the means of support available, the number of pupils with learning difficulties in class, the social and cultural environment in the school, the cooperation of families, and the social support received; whereas the level of teacher commitment depends to a large extent on society's commitment to education, and both factors interact in the interests of better teaching,

N.   whereas every effort needs to be made to ensure that all teachers feel they belong to a respected and valued profession, given that a large part of professional identity depends on society's perceived view,

O.   whereas attracting top-performing recruits to the teaching profession requires corresponding levels of social recognition, status and remuneration,

P.   whereas teachers play important social and developmental roles that extend beyond traditional subject boundaries, and can perform an important function as role models,

Q.   whereas the objective of equal opportunities for all is enshrined in the EC Treaty, particularly in Article 13 of the Treaty, which provides a legal basis for combating discrimination on grounds of sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation,

R.   whereas the quality of schools is to a large extent dependent on the degree of autonomy attaching to their plans and management,

S.   whereas appropriate professional qualifications for physical education teachers play a very important role in the physical and mental development of children and in encouraging them to adopt a healthy way of life,

1.   Strongly supports the analysis that raising the quality of teacher education leads to substantial gains in student performance;

2.   Considers that the provision of more and better quality teacher education combined with policies aimed at recruiting the best candidates into the teaching profession should be key priorities for all education ministries;

3.   Believes that increases in education expenditure should target the areas that produce the greatest improvements in student performance;

4.   Emphasises that Member States must attach greater importance and allocate more resources to teacher training if significant progress is to be made in achieving the Lisbon Strategy's Education and Training 2010 objectives, namely that the quality of education is to be boosted, and that lifelong learning is to be reinforced across the Union;

5.   Strongly encourages the promotion of continuous and coherent professional development for teachers throughout their careers; recommends that all teachers have regular academic, work and financial opportunities, such as government scholarships, to improve and update their skills and qualifications, as well as their pedagogical knowledge; considers that these training opportunities should be structured in such a way that the qualifications are recognised in all the Member States;

6.   Stresses the need for increased transnational dialogue and exchanges of experience, especially in the provision and effectiveness of continuing professional development in the field of pre-school, primary and secondary teacher education;

7.   Urges that particular attention be paid to the initial induction of new teachers; encourages the development of support networks and mentoring programmes, through which teachers of proven experience and capacity can play a key role in new colleagues' training, passing on knowledge acquired throughout successful careers, promoting team-learning and helping to tackle drop-out rates among new recruits; believes that by working and learning together, teachers can help improve a school's performance and overall learning environment;

8.   Calls on the Member States to ensure that, while maintaining the focus on recruiting and retaining the best teachers, notably by making the profession sufficiently attractive, the composition of the teaching workforce at all levels of school education represents the social and cultural diversity within society;

9.   Emphasises the close link between ensuring that teaching is an attractive and fulfilling profession with good career progression prospects and the successful recruitment of motivated, high-achieving graduates and professionals; urges the Member States to take further measures to promote teaching as a career choice for top achievers;

10.   Stresses the particular importance of gender policy; stresses also the importance of ensuring that pre-school and primary school teachers are of high quality and that they receive the appropriate levels of social and professional support that their responsibilities entail;

11.   Recognises the importance of the ongoing participation of teachers in working and discussion groups relating to their teaching activity; believes that this work should be backed up by mentors and educational authorities; considers that participation in critical reflection activities concerning the teaching process should generate greater interest in teachers' work and thus improve their performance;

12.   Insists on the important role of school in terms of children's social life and education as well as in giving them the knowledge and skills necessary for participating in democratic society; stresses the importance of having qualified, competent and experienced teachers involved in the conception of effective pedagogical training methods for teachers;

13.   Calls on the Member States to ensure that only suitably qualified physical education teachers can give PE lessons within the public education system;

14.   Highlights the marked differences between the average wages of teachers, not only between different Member States, but also in relation to average national incomes and GDP per capita; believes that teachers should benefit from good remuneration packages which reflect their importance to society, and calls for action to address the 'brain-drain' of top teachers to better-paid private sector posts, particularly in the areas of science and technology;

15.   Emphasises that teachers must be better equipped to meet the range of new demands made on them; recognises the challenges that developments in ICT present to teachers, but also the opportunities; encourages the prioritisation of ICT education during initial and subsequent training to ensure up-to-date knowledge of recent technological developments and their educational application and to ensure that teachers have the necessary skills to take advantage of these in the classroom;

16.   Believes that training should aim, amongst other objectives, to provide teachers with the innovative framework they need in order to mainstream the environmental perspective into their activities and into the new subject areas; favours local seminars aimed at meeting needs detected in particular contexts and courses intended for the staff of a given establishment, with a view to implementing concrete projects which take into account their needs and their particular context;

17.   Emphasises that teacher mobility, better cooperation and team work could improve the creativity and innovation of teaching methods and would facilitate learning based on best practices;

18.   Calls on the Commission to reinforce the financial resources available to support teacher education through the Lifelong Learning Programme, and in particular teacher exchanges between schools in neighbouring countries and regions; emphasises that mobility facilitates the spread of ideas and best practice within teaching and promotes improvements in foreign language skills as well as awareness of other cultures; stresses that teachers should benefit from greater language learning facilities throughout their careers, which, inter alia, will maximise the opportunities provided by Union mobility programmes;

19.   Calls for media studies to be assigned priority in teacher training and for media studies modules already underway to be an important component in the basic training of teachers;

20.   Highlights the crucial role of the Comenius and Comenius-Regio school partnership in this teacher mobility framework;

21.   Strongly supports foreign language learning from a very early age and the inclusion of language lessons in all primary curricula; emphasises that sufficient investment in recruiting and training foreign language teachers is vital in order to achieve this objective;

22.   Stresses that every teacher should be a role model as regards the mastery of his or her own language, since this is a vital tool for correct transmission and facilitates pupils' learning of the remaining subjects while developing their ability to communicate, a factor of ever greater importance in numerous professional activities;

23.   Underlines the need for teachers in all Member States to have certificated competence in at least one foreign language;

24.   Calls for media competence to be promoted in the school, post-school and extramural education of teachers in the context of media studies and lifelong learning by means of cooperation between the public authorities and the private sector;

25.   Emphasises that there is no substitute for the time teachers spend in the classroom with students and is concerned that increasing administration and paperwork can be detrimental to this and to time spent preparing classes;

26.   Calls for civic education to become a compulsory subject both in teacher training and at schools, so that teachers and pupils have the requisite knowledge of citizens' rights and obligations and of the Union and can analyse and critically assess topical political and social situations and processes;

27.   Considers that every school has a unique relationship with its local community, and that school leaders should have greater decision-making responsibility that allows them to address the educational challenges and teaching requirements particular to their environment, in collaboration with parents and with local community stakeholders; stresses that, with the arrival of a highly diverse immigrant population, the teaching profession needs to be made specifically aware of intercultural issues and processes, not only within schools but also in relation to families and their immediate local environment, where diversity flourishes;

28.   Emphasises the extremely beneficial impact of the Comenius programme on teachers and its importance for small communities, especially in socially and economically deprived areas, in that it promotes inclusion and greater awareness of the European dimension in education;

29.   Welcomes the agreement of the Member States to work together to enhance the coordination of teacher education policies, notably through the Open Method of Coordination; urges the Member States to take full advantage of this opportunity to learn from each other and asks be consulted on the timetable and developments in this area;

30.   Underlines the need for better statistics on teacher training across the Union, in order to encourage the sharing of information, greater cooperation and the exchange of best practice; proposes that the Member States, in cooperation with the Commission, put in place systems that ensure comparative data is readily available on teacher education across pre-school, primary and secondary education;

31.   Considers that, in order to deal with violence at schools, it is vital to achieve closer cooperation between head teachers and parents and to create the tools and procedures to tackle the phenomenon effectively;

32.   Stresses the importance of gender-sensitive teaching and of the gender aspect in teacher training;

33.   Calls on the Commission to disseminate best practice models from the Member States which improve general life skills by means of school projects, e.g. healthy diet and sport, domestic science and private financial planning;

34.   Calls on the Member States to include in teacher training conflict resolution programmes, so that teachers learn new strategies for resolving all kinds of conflicts inside the classroom, and also for coping with violence and aggression;

35.   Calls on the Member States to include in teacher training basic knowledge about the European Union, its institutions and their mode of functioning and arrange for practical visits by trainee teachers to the institutions of the Union;

36.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and Commission, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States, to the OECD, to Unesco and to the Council of Europe.

(1) OJ L 327, 24.11.2006, p.45.
(2) OJ L 394, 30.12.2006, p.10.
(3) OJ C 142, 14.6.2002, p.7.
(4) OJ C 134, 7.6.2003, p.3.
(5) OJ C 300, 12.12.2007, p.6.
(6) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0503 .


The Bologna Process and student mobility
DOC 49k
European Parliament resolution of 23 September 2008 on the Bologna Process and student mobility (2008/2070(INI) )
P6_TA(2008)0423 A6-0302/2008

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to Articles 149 and 150 of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission entitled Delivering on the Modernisation Agenda for Universities: Education, Research and Innovation, (COM(2006)0208 ),

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission entitled Mobilising the brainpower of Europe: enabling universities to make their full contribution to the Lisbon Strategy (COM(2005)0152 ),

–   having regard to the report entitled "Focus on the structure of higher education in Europe 2006/07 − National trends in the Bologna Process", (Eurydice, European Commission, 2007),

–   having regard to the Eurobarometer survey from March 2007 on "Perceptions of Higher Education Reforms",

–   having regard to its position adopted at first reading on 25 September 2007 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the production and development of statistics on education and lifelong learning(1) ,

–   having regard to the Council Resolution of 23 November 2007 on modernising universities for Europe's competitiveness in a global knowledge economy,

–   having regard to the Presidency Conclusions of the European Council of 13 and 14 March 2008,

–   having regard to Rules 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Culture and Education and the opinion of the Committee on Budgets (A6-0302/2008 ),

A.   whereas the aims of the Bologna process are to establish a European Area of Higher Education by 2010, including higher education reforms, elimination of remaining barriers to the mobility of students and teachers, and the improvement of the quality, attractiveness and competitiveness of higher education in Europe,

B.   whereas the mobility of students and the quality of education must remain among the core elements of the Bologna process,

C.   whereas student mobility forms new cultural, social and academic values and creates opportunities for personal growth and for enhancing academic standards and employability at national and international levels,

D.   whereas student mobility is still beyond the reach of many students, researchers and other staff, especially in the newer Member States, principally because of insufficient grants; whereas the obstacles are well known, and have been indicated repeatedly by many stakeholders involved in the debate,

E.   whereas particular attention should be paid to the appropriate funding of students' learning, living costs and mobility,

F.   whereas Parliament has consistently made the mobility of students its budgetary priority and has endeavoured to ensure an appropriate level of funding for Community programmes in the field of education; whereas its firm position on that issue led, despite cuts introduced by the Council on the Commission's proposal, to an increase in appropriations for the Lifelong Learning and Erasmus Mundus programmes negotiated under the Multi-annual Financial Framework 2007-2013 and recent budgetary procedures,

G.   whereas reliable statistical data on student mobility are required in order to observe, compare and evaluate, as well as to develop, adequate policies and measures,

H.   whereas recognition of informal and non-formal learning forms the cornerstone of a lifelong learning strategy, and the importance of adult learning in this process also needs to be recognised,

I.   whereas the choice to go abroad should not be hindered by any administrative, financial or linguistic barriers,

J.   whereas mobility encourages foreign language learning and the improvement of overall communication skills,

K.   whereas reform and modernisation of universities in terms of quality, studies structure, innovation and flexibility is urgently needed,

L.   whereas the quality of teaching is as important as the quality of research and should be reformed and modernised throughout the European Union, and whereas these two dimensions are closely linked,

M.   whereas different national recognition systems constitute a significant obstacle to equal treatment of students and to their progress in the European Higher Education Area and the European labour market,

N.   whereas mobility can be hindered by both the failure to give full and proper recognition to courses attended and the lack of equivalence of grades obtained,

O.   whereas it is urgent to implement, coordinate and promote a coherent approach among all countries that signed the Bologna Process,

P.   whereas the Bologna Process must create a new progressive model of education which guarantees access to training for all, whose principal objective is to transmit knowledge and values, and which creates a sustainable society for the future which is self-aware and free of social imbalances,

1.   Considers that an increase in student mobility and the quality of the various educational systems should be a priority in the context of redefining the major goals of the Bologna Process beyond 2010;

2.   Stresses that in order to achieve student mobility, actions must be taken across various policy areas; various aspects of mobility go beyond the scope of higher education and concern the scope of social affairs, finance, and immigration and visa policies;

3.   Welcomes the efforts of Member States within the framework of intergovernmental cooperation to enhance the quality and competitiveness of education in the Union by, in particular, the promotion of mobility, ensuring recognition of qualifications and quality assurance, particularly in light of the limited room for manoeuvre due to the narrow margins left in Heading 1a of the Financial Framework;

4.   Is convinced that the consultation method undertaken by all stakeholders involved in the process should continue: institutions as well as student representatives should closely co-operate in order to tackle the remaining barriers to mobility and problems related to quality and the implementation of the Bologna Process;

5.   Points out that in implementing the Bologna Process, particular attention should be devoted to close and intensive cooperation and coordination with the European Research Area;

Student mobility: Quality and Efficiency

6.   Insists on the urgent need for comparable and reliable statistics on student mobility and the socio-economic profile of students, such as common indicators, criteria and benchmarks, in order to overcome the current lack of data and promote the exchange of good practices;

7.   Calls on universities to improve and simplify the information provided online and off-line, both for incoming and outgoing students; calls on universities and Erasmus National Agencies to collaborate with student organisations in order to make available all the necessary information in due time; calls on universities to support student rights, in line with the commitments they have made, by adhering to the Erasmus University Charter;

8.   Emphasises that in order for the Bologna Process to fulfil its objectives, reciprocity in terms of the flow of students and scholars is necessary; underlines the disparities in current trends, and in particular the poor mobility towards the Member States which acceded to the EU in 2004 and 2007;

9.   Points out the importance of mentoring for the social, cultural and linguistic integration of incoming students;

10.   Stresses that an improved command of languages is a considerable asset and one of the reasons for student mobility, and that it is important for intensive language courses to be offered to incoming students, before and/or during Erasmus study periods;

Higher education reform and modernisation of universities: quality, innovation and flexibility

11.   Calls on universities in the Union to undertake an innovative, far-reaching and methodical curricular reform, since ambitious and high-quality content and restructuring of organisation is crucial for student mobility and for greater flexibility; calls for a "mobility study period" to be introduced into all degree programmes to enable students to go abroad;

12.   Calls for emphasis to be given to the need for joint European doctoral programmes promoting doctoral student mobility and for the creation of a framework for a European doctorate;

13.   Stresses the essential role of the quality and excellence of teaching, given that the development and ongoing training of qualified teachers in all sectors of studies is crucial for their attractiveness and effectiveness and for achieving the Bologna Process objectives;

14.   Reiterates the need for more trans-national dialogue and exchange of information and experiences to facilitate a convergence of teacher education, including primary teacher education, and the effectiveness of continuing professional development;

Funding and investment in student mobility and the social dimension

15.   Special assistance should be provided to students from disadvantaged groups in society by, for example, proposing inexpensive and decent accommodation, considering that extra support after arrival is often necessary;

16.   Proposes the introduction of a harmonised European Student Identity Card, in order to facilitate mobility and to enable students to get discounts for accommodation and living costs;

17.   Calls on the Member States and the competent authorities to guarantee an equal and universal access to mobility by simple, flexible and transparent grant-awarding procedures and by additional financial support for high-cost destinations and for those students who need it; considers it essential for students to receive this support before their departure, to avoid placing an excessive financial burden on them;

18.   Welcomes the fact that, in the context of the mid-term review of the Multi-annual Financial Framework provided for in the Declaration attached to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 on budgetary discipline and sound financial management, increasing the financial envelope allocated to the programmes in the field of education and notably for Erasmus grants could be considered, subject to the results of monitoring and evaluation of the programme;

19.   Points out that new means of financing student mobility, such as interest-free loans and transferable loans, should be introduced and promoted;

20.   Invites European universities to cooperate with the private sector (e.g. economic or business organisations such as chambers of commerce) in order to find new effective mechanisms of co-financing student mobility during each cycle (bachelor-masters-doctorate), thereby improving the quality of educational systems;

21.   Suggests a fruitful dialogue and a two-way exchange between companies and universities in order to come up with innovative partnerships and to explore new ways of cooperation;

Quality and full recognition of diplomas

22.   Calls on the Commission and the Member States to proceed with the implementation of the European reference frameworks (Bologna Qualifications Framework, European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning, European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance, and the Lisbon Recognition Convention) in order to establish the European High Education Area;

23.   Stresses the urgency, therefore, of implementing the comprehensive, unified and effective credit transfer system ECTS, in order that students' and academics' qualifications may be easily transferable throughout Europe thanks to a single common framework;

24.   Emphasises that the three-cycle degree system (Bachelor degree, Masters Degree and Doctorate) could become more flexible especially by using a "4+1" instead of "3+2" system for the first and second cycles; notes that for some studies this could be more appropriate in order to enable greater mobility and employability of graduates;

25.   Calls for internships and other informal and non-formal mobility experience approved by universities to be granted ECTS credits and recognised as an integral part of study curricula;

Bologna Process implementation in all countries concerned

26.   Calls on the Member States' competent authorities and European universities to encourage and foster the exchange of best practices and awareness-raising initiatives;

27.   Urges Member States to facilitate visa procedures and to reduce the procedural costs for mobile students, especially those from more easterly Member States and candidate countries, in line with the EU Directives on visas;

o
o   o

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

(1)OJ C 219 E 20.8.2008, p. 68.


Alignment of legal acts to the new Comitology Decision
DOC 51k
Resolution
Annex
European Parliament resolution of 23 September 2008 with recommendations to the Commission on the alignment of legal acts to the new Comitology Decision (2008/2096(INI) )
P6_TA(2008)0424 A6-0345/2008

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission(1) , as amended by Council Decision 2006/512/EC(2) (hereinafter together referred to as "the Comitology Decision"),

–   having regard to the Statement by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission concerning the Council Decision of 17 July 2006 amending Decision 1999/468/EC laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission (2006/512/EC)(3) ,

–   having regard to the Agreement between the European Parliament and the Commission on procedures for implementing Council Decision 1999/468/EC laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission, as amended by Decision 2006/512/EC(4) ,

–   having regard to Article 192, second paragraph, and Article 202 of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Articles 290 and 291 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–   having regard to its decision of 8 May 2008 on the conclusion of an interinstitutional agreement between the European Parliament and the Commission on procedures for implementing Council Decision 1999/468/EC laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission, as amended by Decision 2006/512/EC(5) ,

–   having regard to Rules 39 and 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A6-0345/2008 ),

A.   whereas, for the sake of the quality of legislation, it is increasingly necessary to delegate to the Commission the development of the non-essential and more technical aspects of the legislation as well as its prompt adjustment to take account of technological progress and economic change; whereas such delegation of powers must be facilitated by giving the legislator the institutional means to scrutinise the exercise of such powers,

B.   whereas hitherto the Union legislator had no option other than to use Article 202 of the EC Treaty in order to carry out such delegation; whereas recourse to that provision has not been satisfactory since it refers to the Commission's powers of implementation and to the scrutiny procedures to which such powers are subject, those procedures being decided on by the Council by a unanimous vote after mere consultation of Parliament; whereas those scrutiny procedures are based essentially on the action of committees composed of civil servants of the Member States, and Parliament was excluded from all such procedures until the adoption of the Council Decision of 28 June 1999 as amended by Decision 2006/512/EC,

C.   whereas Article 2(2) of the Comitology Decision introduces measures where a basic legal instrument adopted by codecision provides for measures of general scope designed to amend non-essential elements of that instrument, inter alia by deleting some of those elements or by supplementing the instrument with new non-essential elements; whereas it is up to the Union legislator to define, on a case-by-case basis, the essential elements of each legislative act that can only be amended by means of a legislative procedure,

D.   whereas the Comitology Decision makes what are known as "quasi-legislative" measures subject to a regulatory procedure with scrutiny under which Parliament is fully associated with the control of such measures and can oppose draft measures proposed by the Commission which exceed the implementing powers provided for in the basic instrument or a draft which is not compatible with the aim or the content of the basic instrument or does not respect the principles of subsidiarity or proportionality,

E.   whereas the new procedure guarantees democratic control of implementing measures when they are quasi-legislative in nature by placing both co-legislators, Parliament and the Council, on an equal footing, and thereby brings to an end one of the most serious aspects of the democratic deficit in the Union; whereas the Comitology Decision enables the most technical aspects of legislation and its adjustment to be delegated to the Commission, thereby ensuring that the legislator concentrates on the essential aspects and on improving the quality of Community law,

F.   whereas the new regulatory procedure with scrutiny is not optional but compulsory when the implementing measures possess the characteristics specified in Article 2(2) of the Comitology Decision,

G.   whereas the current alignment of the acquis with the Comitology Decision is still not complete since there remain legal instruments that provide for implementing measures to which the new regulatory procedure with scrutiny should be applied,

H.   whereas not only implementing measures hitherto subject to the regulatory procedure but also some of measures subject to the management or consultation procedures may fall within the ambit of the requirements of Article 2(2) of the Comitology Decision,

I.   whereas the Treaty of Lisbon introduces a hierarchy of norms and creates the concept of a "delegated act", where "a legislative act ... delegate[s] to the Commission the power to adopt non-legislative acts of general application to supplement or amend certain non-essential elements of the legislative act"; whereas the Treaty of Lisbon also treats implementing acts in a new way and provides in particular for codecision between Parliament and the Council as the procedure for the adoption of the regulation that will lay down the mechanisms for control by the Member States over implementing acts,

J.   whereas implementation of the corresponding provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon will necessitate an intense and complex process of interinstitutional negotiation, and whereas the present process of alignment should therefore be completed as soon as possible and in any event before the Treaty of Lisbon enters into force,

K.   whereas, in the event that the Treaty of Lisbon enters into force, it will be necessary to move on to a new – more complex – alignment of the acquis to the provisions of Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union on delegation of legislation; whereas although the definition of the term "delegated act" in the Treaty of Lisbon is similar to the concept of a "quasi-legislative" measure contained in the Comitology Decision, the two concepts are not identical and the procedural regimes provided for in those two instruments are totally different; consequently, the present alignment exercise cannot be regarded as constituting an exact precedent for the future,

L.   whereas, for the same reason, the results of the alignment under way in relation to each individual legal instrument cannot be seen as a precedent for the future,

M.   whereas it appears useful to agree between the institutions on a standard passage for delegated acts that would be regularly included by the Commission in the draft legislative act, although the legislators would remain free to amend it; whereas it is necessary to proceed to the adoption in codecision of the regulation laying down the mechanisms for control by Member States of implementing acts in accordance with Article 291 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

1.   Requests the Commission to submit to Parliament, on the basis of the appropriate articles of the EC Treaty, legislative proposals completing the comitology alignment; calls for these proposals to be drawn up in the light of interinstitutional discussions and to address in particular the legislative acts listed in the Annex hereto;

2.   Calls on the Commission to submit the corresponding legislative proposals for the purpose of bringing the remaining legal acts into line with the Comitology Decision, in particular those listed in the Annex hereto;

3.   Requests the Commission, in the event that the present alignment procedures are not concluded prior to the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, to submit the relevant legislative proposals needed to adapt those legal acts that have still not been aligned at that juncture to the new regime provided for by Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;

4.   Requests the Commission to submit in any case, following the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, the relevant legislative proposals needed to align the whole of the acquis communautaire to that new regime;

5.   Requests the Commission to submit as soon as possible the draft legislative proposal for the regulation laying down in advance the rules and general principles concerning the mechanism for control by Member States of the exercise of implementing powers by the Commission, in accordance with Article 291(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;

6.   Requests that additional resources be granted in the European Parliament for all comitology procedures, not just during the current transitional period but also in preparation for the eventuality that the Treaty of Lisbon enters into force, in order to ensure that every comitology procedure between the three institutions functions satisfactorily;

7.   Confirms that the requests respect the principle of subsidiarity and the fundamental rights of citizens;

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

ANNEX TO THE RESOLUTION:

DETAILED RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE CONTENT OF THE PROPOSAL REQUESTED

Parliament asks the Commission to present the corresponding legislative proposals to align the remaining legal acts to Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 as amended by Decision 2006/512/EC, including in particular:

-   Directive 2000/15/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 April 2000 amending Council Directive 64/432/EEC on health problems affecting intra-Community trade in bovine animals and swine(6) ;

-   Directive 2000/25/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2000 on action to be taken against the emission of gaseous and particulate pollutants by engines intended to power agricultural or forestry tractors and amending Council Directive 74/150/EEC(7) ;

–   Regulation (EC) No 1760/2000 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 July 2000 establishing a system for the identification and registration of bovine animals and regarding the labelling of beef and beef products and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 820/97(8) ;

-   Directive 2001/43/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 June 2001 amending Council Directive 92/23/EEC relating to tyres for motor vehicles and their trailers and to their fitting(9) ;

-   Directive 2001/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2001 amending Council Directive 95/53/EC fixing the principles governing the organisation of official inspections in the field of animal nutrition and Directives 70/524/EEC, 96/25/EC and 1999/29/EC on animal nutrition(10) ;

–   Decision No 676/2002/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 March 2002 on a regulatory framework for radio spectrum policy in the European Community (Radio Spectrum Decision)(11) ;

-   Directive 2002/33/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2002 amending Council Directives 90/425/EEC and 92/118/EEC as regards health requirements for animal by-products(12) ;

-   Directive 2004/3/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 amending Council Directives 70/156/EEC and 80/1268/EEC as regards the measurement of carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption of N1 vehicles(13) ;

-   Directive 2004/41/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 repealing certain directives concerning food hygiene and health conditions for the production and placing on the market of certain products of animal origin intended for human consumption and amending Council Directives 89/662/EEC and 92/118/EEC and Council Decision 95/408/EC(14) ;

-   Directive 2005/33/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 2005 amending Directive 1999/32/EC as regards the sulphur content of marine fuels(15) ;

-   Directive 2005/64/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 October 2005 on the type-approval of motor vehicles with regard to their reusability, recyclability and recoverability and amending Council Directive 70/156/EEC(16) ;

-   Directive 2006/40/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2006 relating to emissions from air-conditioning systems in motor vehicles and amending Council Directive 70/156/EEC(17) ;

–   Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 of 11 July 2006 laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999(18) ;

-   Regulation (EC) No 1905/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation(19) .

(1) OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23.
(2) OJ L 200, 22.7.2006, p. 11.
(3) OJ C 255, 21.10.2006, p. 1.
(4) OJ C 143, 10.6.2008, p. 1.
(5) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0189 .
(6) OJ L 105, 3.5.2000, p. 34.
(7) OJ L 173, 12.7.2000, p. 1.
(8) OJ L 204, 11.8.2000, p. 1.
(9) OJ L 211, 4.8.2001, p. 25.
(10) OJ L 234, 1.9.2001, p. 55.
(11) OJ L 108, 24.4.2002, p. 1.
(12) OJ L 315, 19.11.2002, p. 14.
(13) OJ L 49, 19.2.2004, p. 36.
(14) OJ L 157, 30.4.2004, p. 33.
(15) OJ L 191, 22.7.2005, p. 59.
(16) OJ L 310, 25.11.2005, p. 10.
(17) OJ L 161, 14.6.2006, p. 12.
(18) OJ L 210, 31.7.2006, p. 25.
(19) OJ L 378, 27.12.2006, p. 41.


Hedge funds and private equity
DOC 76k
Resolution
Annex
European Parliament resolution of 23 September 2008 with recommendations to the Commission on hedge funds and private equity (2007/2238(INI) )
P6_TA(2008)0425 A6-0338/2008

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Second Council Directive 77/91/EEC of 13 December 1976 on coordination of safeguards which, for the protection of the interests of members and others, are required by Member States of companies within the meaning of the second paragraph of Article 58 of the Treaty, in respect of the formation of public limited liability companies and the maintenance and alteration of their capital, with a view to making such safeguards equivalent(1) ,

–   having regard to the Fourth Council Directive 78/660/EEC of 25 July 1978 on the annual accounts of certain types of companies(2) ,

–   having regard to the Seventh Council Directive 83/349/EEC of 13 June 1983 on consolidated accounts(3) ,

–   having regard to Council Directive 86/635/EEC of 8 December 1986 on the annual accounts and consolidated accounts of banks and other financial institutions(4) ,

–   having regard to Council Directive 2001/23/EC of 12 March 2001 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the safeguarding of employees' rights in the event of transfers of undertakings, businesses or parts of undertakings or businesses(5) ,

–   having regard to Directive 2001/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 September 2001 amending Directives 78/660/EEC, 83/349/EEC and 86/635/EEC as regards the valuation rules for the annual and consolidated accounts of certain types of companies as well as of banks and other financial institutions(6) ,

–   having regard to Directive 2001/107/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 January 2002 amending Council Directive 85/611/EEC on the coordination of laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS) with a view to regulating management companies and simplified prospectuses(7) ,

–   having regard to Directive 2001/108/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 January 2002 amending Council Directive 85/611/EEC on the coordination of laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS), with regard to investments of UCITS(8) ,

–   having regard to Directive 2002/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 September 2002 concerning the distance marketing of consumer financial services(9) ,

–   having regard to Directive 2003/6/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2003 on insider dealing and market manipulation (market abuse)(10) ,

–   having regard to Directive 2003/41/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 June 2003 on the activities and supervision of institutions for occupational retirement provision(11) (Pension Funds Directive),

–   having regard to Directive 2003/51/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2003 amending Directives 78/660/EEC, 83/349/EEC, 86/635/EEC and 91/674/EEC on the annual and consolidated accounts of certain types of companies, banks and other financial institutions and insurance undertakings(12) ,

–   having regard to Directive 2003/71/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 on the prospectus to be published when securities are offered to the public or admitted to trading(13) ,

–   having regard to Directive 2004/25/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on takeover bids(14) ,

–   having regard to Directive 2004/39/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on markets in financial instruments(15) ,

–   having regard to Commission Directive 2006/73/EC of 10 August 2006 implementing Directive 2004/39/EC of the European Parliament and the Council as regards organisational requirements and operating conditions for investment firms and defined terms for the purposes of that Directive(16) (MiFID Implementing Directive),

–   having regard to Directive 2004/109/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 December 2004 on the harmonisation of transparency requirements in relation to information about issuers whose securities are admitted to trading on a regulated market(17) ,

–   having regard to Directive 2005/1/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2005 establishing a new organisational structure for financial services committees(18) ,

–   having regard to Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 October 2005 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing(19) ,

–   having regard to Directive 2006/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2006 relating to the taking up and pursuit of the business of credit institutions (recast)(20) (the Capital Requirements Directive),

–   having regard to Directive 2006/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2006 on the capital adequacy of investment firms and credit institutions (recast)(21) (the Capital Adequacy Directive),

–   having regard to Directive 2007/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 July 2007 on the exercise of certain rights of shareholders in listed companies(22) ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2008 on the taking-up and pursuit of the business of Insurance and Reinsurance (Solvency II) (COM(2008)0119 ) (Solvency II Proposal),

–   having regard to the Commission communication of 21 December 2007 on Removing obstacles to cross-border investments by venture capital funds (COM(2007)0853 ),

–   having regard to its resolution of 15 January 2004 on the future of hedge funds and derivatives(23) ,

–   having regard to its resolutions of 27 April 2006(24) on asset management and of 13 December 2007 on Asset Management II(25) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 11 July 2007 on financial services policy (2005-2010) - White Paper(26) ), in particular paragraph 19 thereof,

–   having regard to its resolution of 20 February 2008 on the Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Jobs (Part: broad guidelines for the economic policies of the Member States and the Community): Launching the new cycle (2008–2010)(27) ,

–   having regard to the International Organisation of Securities Commissions' (IOSCO) Objectives and Principles of Securities Regulation of May 2003, which include principles for, inter alia, the marketing of collective investment schemes including hedge funds,

–   having regard to the study by the European Parliament Policy Department for Economic and Scientific Policy on Hedge Funds on Transparency and Conflict of Interest, of December 2007,

–   having regard to the Hedge Fund Working Group's best practice standards of 22 January 2008, and the subsequent setting up of a Hedge Fund Standards Board to act as custodian of those standards,

–   having regard to Article 192, second paragraph, of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Rules 39 and 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Legal Affairs and the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (A6-0338/2008 ),

A.    whereas there is at present national and EU regulation concerning financial markets that directly or indirectly, though not exclusively, applies to hedge funds and private equity,

B.    whereas the Member States and the Commission should ensure the consistent implementation and application of that regulation; whereas all further adjustments to existing legislation should be the subject of a proper cost/benefit analysis and should be non-discriminatory,

C.   whereas the Commission has not responded positively to all aspects of Parliament's earlier requests, including those made in its above-mentioned resolutions of 15 January 2004, 27 April 2006, 11 July 2007, 13 December 2007,

D.   whereas hedge funds and private equity have very different characteristics and no unambiguous definition of either exists but both are investment vehicles used by sophisticated rather than retail consumers; whereas they cannot be appropriately treated as a single category for product-specific regulation,

E.   whereas hedge funds and private equity are increasingly important alternative investment vehicles that not only have a significant and increasing share in global assets under management, but also improve the efficiency of financial markets, by creating new investment opportunities,

F.   whereas several global, EU and national institutions have, long before the current financial crisis, analysed potential concerns in relation to hedge funds and private equity as regards financial stability, risk management standards, excessive debt (leverage) and the valuation of illiquid and complex financial instruments,

G.   whereas an analysis conducted by the Financial Stability Forum in 2007 concluded that financial stability concerns were best addressed through enhanced supervision of all actors,

H.   whereas in its Global Financial Stability Report of April 2008, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded that there is a "collective failure to appreciate the extent of leverage taken on by a wide range of institutions - bank, monoline insurers, government-sponsored entities, hedge funds - and the associated risks of a disorderly unwinding",

I.   whereas realising the Lisbon Agenda requires long-term investment in growth and jobs,

J.   whereas such long-term investment requires well-functioning stable financial markets in the EU and globally, contributing to the real economy, which can be achieved only by ensuring the presence in the EU of a competitive and innovative financial industry,

K.   whereas hedge funds and private equity in many cases provide liquidity, foster market diversification and market efficiency by creating demand for innovative products, and aid price discovery,

L.   whereas financial stability also requires better supervisory cooperation, including at global level, which logically requires, continuing improvements of current EU supervisory arrangements including regular exchanges of information and enhanced transparency of institutional investors,

M.   whereas the Commission should investigate the possibilities of regulating off-shore market players globally,

N.   whereas appropriate levels of transparency towards investors and supervisory authorities are crucial to ensure such well-functioning and stable financial markets as well as for promoting competition between market actors and products,

O.   whereas the Commission should monitor and analyse the effects of the operations of hedge funds and private equity and to consider putting forward a directive on minimum transparency rules on how investments are financed in the future, risk management, methods of assessment, managers' qualifications, possible conflicts of interest as well as the disclosure of ownership structures and the registration of hedge funds,

P.   whereas in order to satisfy the need to monitor market activity for supervisory purposes, information on hedge fund exposures and lending should be made available to competent supervisory authorities without excessive burdens,

Q.   whereas the fund industry is expected to move further towards binding measures on corporate governance with a view to achieving greater transparency which must also be made public; calls for an improvement of controlling mechanisms,

R.   whereas Member States should use best practice to ensure that company pensions acquired by employees are shielded from bankruptcies;

S.   whereas the Commission should consider including in the definition of the prudent person principle, whenever that principle is incorporated in the existing Community legislation, the requirement for investors to verify that the alternative investment funds in which they invest comply with appropriate legislation and the industry's best practice standards,

T.   whereas the current diversity of private placement definitions in the Member States constitutes an obstacle to the internal market and creates an incentive for the leakage of high risk products onto the retail market,

U.   whereas a one-stop-shop website for codes of conduct should be established, including a register of those who comply, their disclosure and explanations of non-compliance; observes that reasons for non-compliance can also be a learning tool; whereas that website should be established for the EU and promoted internationally,

V.   whereas in its Global Financial Stability Report of April 2008, the IMF warned that "corporate debt market appears vulnerable as default rates are set to rise, owing to both macroeconomic and structural factors",

W.   whereas the recent increase in private equity transactions has significantly increased the number of employees whose jobs are ultimately controlled by equity funds, and, therefore, due regard should be paid to existing national employment laws as well as Community employment law (in particular Directive 2001/23/EC), which was formulated when this was not so; whereas national and Community employment law should apply on a non-discriminatory basis, including fair and appropriate treatment of all economic actors with similar responsibilities towards employees,

X.   whereas under many legal systems, hedge funds and private equity that own and control companies are not regarded as employers and are therefore exempt from employers" legal obligations,

Y.   whereas in the event of extreme debt loads companies present a higher risk profile,

Z.   whereas, as with other entities, there may be conflicts of interest either arising from the business model of private equity or hedge funds or from the relationships between those vehicles and other actors in financial markets; efforts to enhance existing Community legislation should not be restricted to hedge funds and private equity and should be in line with global standards such as the IOSCO principles for the management of conflicts of interest by collective investment schemes and market intermediaries;

AA.   whereas the remuneration systems for managers of hedge funds and private equity may give rise to inappropriate incentives leading to irresponsible risk taking,

AB.   whereas hedge funds were amongst the investors in the complex structured products that were subject to the credit crisis, and thus incurred losses as did other investors.,

AC.   whereas in order to minimise the risk of future financial crises and given the strong interactions across markets and between market participants as well as the objective of a level playing field across borders and between regulated and unregulated market participants, several initiatives in the EU and at global level are under way, including a review of the Capital Requirements and Capital Adequacy Directives and a proposal for a directive on Credit Rating Agencies, in order to secure more coherent and harmonised regulation across the board,

AD.   whereas principle-based regulation is an appropriate approach to regulating financial markets as it is better able to keep up with market developments,

AE.   whereas there is need for action at EU level on the basis of the following seven principles for financial institutions and markets:

   - regulatory coverage: existing Community legislation should be reviewed to identify any regulatory gaps; national variations should be reviewed and harmonisation should be promoted, for example through colleges of supervisors or otherwise; international equivalence and cooperation should be pursued;
   - capital: capital requirements should be mandatory for all financial institutions and should reflect risk from the type of business, exposures and risk control; longer liquidity horizons should also be considered;
   - originate and distribute: to achieve a better alignment of the interests of investors and originators, originators should generally retain exposure to their securitised products by holding a representative stake in the product; disclosure should be made of the level of the stakes originators keep in loan products; as an alternative to retention, other measures to align interests of investors and originators should be investigated;
   - accounting: a smoothing technique to counter the pro-cyclical effects of fair value accounting should be considered;
   - rating: to increase transparency and understanding in the ratings market, Credit Rating Agencies should adopt codes of conduct regarding visibility of assumptions, product complexity and business practices; conflict of interest should be managed; unsolicited rating should be independently categorised and not used as a means of pressure to obtain business;
   - derivative trading: open and visible trading of derivatives should be promoted whether on-exchange or otherwise;
   - the long term: reward packages should be aligned with longer term outcomes, reflecting losses as well as profits,

AF.   whereas such action would provide a legal basis, universal and comprehensive, encompassing all financial institutions above a certain size, mutually taking into account international supervisory and regulatory practices,

1.   Requests the Commission to submit to Parliament by the end of 2008, on the basis of Article 44, Article 47(2), or Article 95 of the EC Treaty, a legislative proposal or proposals covering all relevant actors and financial market participants, including hedge funds and private equity, responding to the seven principles outlined in Recital AE and following the detailed recommendations below;

2.   Confirms that the recommendations respect the principle of subsidiarity and the fundamental rights of citizens;

3.   Considers that the financial implications of the requested proposal or proposals should be covered by EU budgetary allocation;

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

ANNEX TO THE RESOLUTION: DETAILED RECOMMENDATIONS on THE CONTENT OF THE PROPOSAL(S) REQUESTED

Recommendation 1 on financial stability, capital and universal regulatory coverage

The European Parliament considers that the legislative act to be adopted should aim to regulate:

Capital requirements - Investment firms including partnerships and limited partnerships, insurance companies, credit institutions, conventional funds (such as UCITS and pension arrangements) should be required to comply with capital requirements. The Commission should ensure that appropriate capital requirements be risk based, not entity based, for all financial institutions. Consideration regarding adherence to codes of conduct may be taken into account by supervisors. Those capital requirements should, nevertheless, not be additional requirements to already existing rules and should in no case be regarded as a guarantee in the event of any fund failure.

Originators and Securitisation - The Commission's proposal(s) concerning capital requirements should require that originators hold portions of securitised loans on their balance sheets or impose capital requirements on the originator that are calculated on the assumption that it held those portions or provide other means to align the interests of investors and originators.

EU oversight of Credit Rating Agencies - The Commission should establish a mechanism for EU review of Credit Rating Agencies, procedures and compliance, with duties allocated to existing bodies such as the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR), also in order to foster competition and enable market access in the field of credit ratings.

Valuation - The Commission should adopt principle-based legislative measures on the valuation of illiquid financial instruments in line with the work of competent international bodies in order better to protect investors and the stability of financial markets, taking into account the various initiatives on valuation currently under way in the EU and globally and examining how best to promote this valuation.

Prime brokers - The transparency requirements applicable to any institution providing prime brokerage services should be increased in line with the complexity and opacity of the structure or nature of the exposures, to which their dealings with all products and actors, including hedge funds and private equity expose them.

Venture capital and SME sector: The Commission should propose legislation to provide a harmonised EU-wide framework for venture capital and private equity, and particularly so as to ensure cross-border access to such capital for the SME sector in line with the Lisbon Agenda. For this purpose, the Commission should implement, without delay, the policy proposals set out in its communication on removing obstacles to cross-border investments by venture capital funds. The proposal should be in line with principles of good regulation and should avoid additional legal, fiscal and administrative complexities at EU level.

Recommendation 2 on transparency measures

The European Parliament considers that the legislative act to be adopted should aim to regulate:

Private Placement Regime - The Commission should submit a legislative proposal for the establishment of a European private placement regime allowing for cross-border distribution of investment products, including alternative investment vehicles, to eligible groups of sophisticated investors. Such a proposal should establish, where appropriate, the following principles of disclosure to investors and relevant public authorities:

   - general investment strategy and fee policy,
   - leverage/debt exposure, risk-management system and portfolio valuation methods,
   - source and amount of funds raised, including internally,
   - rules providing for full transparency of high level executives and senior managers" remuneration systems, including stock options,
   - registration and identification of shareholders beyond a certain proportion.

Investors - The Commission should, in cooperation with supervisory authorities, devise rules to ensure clear disclosure and communication of relevant and material information to investors.

Private equity and protection of employees - The Commission should ensure that Directive 2001/23/EC always grants the same rights to employees, including the right to be informed and consulted, whenever control of the undertaking or business concerned is transferred by any investors, including private equity and hedge funds.

Pension schemes - Since the mid-1990s, there has been an increasing number of pension funds and insurance companies with holdings in hedge funds and private equity and any failure would negatively affect the pension entitlements of the pension schemes' members. In reviewing Directive 2003/41/EC, the Commission should ensure that employees or staff representatives are informed directly or via trustees about the way in which their pensions are invested and the associated risks.

Recommendation 3 on excessive debt measures

The European Parliament considers that the legislative act to be adopted should aim to regulate:

Leverage for private equity - The Commission should, while reviewing Directive 77/91/EEC on capital, ensure that any amendments adhere to the following fundamental principles: there is capital held according to risk, there is a reasonable expectation that the level of leverage is sustainable both for the private equity fund/firm and for the target company, and that there is no unfair discrimination against specific private investors or between different investment funds or vehicles that use similar strategy.

Capital depletion - The Commission should propose harmonised supplementary measures at EU level, where needed, on the basis of a review of existing national and Community legislative options in order to avoid unreasonable asset stripping in target companies.

Recommendation 4 on conflicts of interest measures

The European Parliament considers that the legislative act to be adopted should aim to regulate:

The Commission should introduce rules to ensure effective separation between services that investment firms provide for their clients. The European Parliament wishes to reiterate that any adjustments should be applicable to all financial institutions and thus non-discriminatory. As recommended by the IOSCO, financial institutions, which provide a range of different financial services should have policies and procedures, including proper disclosure, at the firm or group level that enable it to identify, assess and develop appropriate means of addressing conflicts or potential conflicts.

Credit Rating Agencies - Credit Rating Agencies should be required to increase information and eliminate or mitigate asymmetric information and uncertainty and disclose the conflicts of interest under which they operate without destroying the transaction oriented financial system. In particular, Credit Rating Agencies should be required to separate their rating business from any other services (such as advice on structuring transactions) that they provide in respect of any obligations or entities that they rate.

Market access and concentration - the Commission's Directorate General for Competition should launch a general review of the effects of market concentration and of the effects of dominant players in the financial services industry and in the light of the international situation including hedge funds and private equity. It should asses whether Community competition rules are applied by all market players, whether there is unlawful market concentration or any need to remove barriers to new entrants as well as the need to remove legislation favouring incumbents and current market structures where competition is limited;

Recommendation 5 on existing financial services legislation

The European Parliament considers that the legislative act to be adopted should aim to regulate:

The Commission should undertake an examination of all existing Community legislation relevant to financial markets in order to identify any lacunae as regards the regulation of hedge funds and private equity and, based on the results of such examination, to submit to the European Parliament a legislative proposal or proposals amending the existing directives where necessary, in order better to regulate hedge funds, private equity and other relevant actors. Such proposed regulation should be purposive.

(1) OJ L 26, 31.1.1977, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 222, 14.8.1978, p. 11.
(3) OJ L 193, 18.7.1983, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 372, 31.12.1986, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 82, 22.3.2001, p. 16.
(6) OJ L 283, 27.10.2001, p. 28.
(7) OJ L 41, 13.2.2002, p. 20.
(8) OJ L 41, 13.2.2002, p. 35.
(9) OJ L 271, 9.10.2002, p. 16.
(10) OJ L 96, 12.4.2003, p. 16.
(11) OJ L 235, 23.9.2003, p. 10.
(12) OJ L 178, 17.7.2003, p. 16.
(13) OJ L 345, 31.12.2003, p. 64.
(14) OJ L 142, 30.4.2004, p. 12.
(15) OJ L 145, 30.4.2004, p. 1.
(16) OJ L 241, 2.9.2006, p. 26.
(17) OJ L 390, 31.12.2004, p. 38.
(18) OJ L 79, 24.3.2005, p. 9.
(19) OJ L 309, 25.11.2005, p. 15.
(20) OJ L 177, 30.6.2006, p. 1.
(21) OJ L 177, 30.6.2006, p. 201.
(22) OJ L 184, 14.7.2007, p. 17.
(23) OJ C 92 E, 16.4.2004, p. 407.
(24) OJ C 296 E, 6.12.2006, p. 257.
(25) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0627 .
(26) OJ C 175 E, 10.7.2008, p. 392.
(27) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0058 .


Transparency of institutional investors
DOC 68k
Resolution
Annex
European Parliament resolution of 23 September 2008 with recommendations to the Commission on transparency of institutional investors (2007/2239(INI) )
P6_TA(2008)0426 A6-0296/2008

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Second Council Directive 77/91/EEC of 13 December 1976 on coordination of safeguards which, for the protection of the interests of members and others, are required by Member States of companies within the meaning of the second paragraph of Article 58 of the Treaty, in respect of the formation of public limited liability companies and the maintenance and alteration of their capital, with a view to making such safeguards equivalent(1) ,

–   having regard to the Fourth Council Directive 78/660/EEC of 25 July 1978 on the annual accounts of certain types of companies(2) ,

–   having regard to the Seventh Council Directive 83/349/EEC of 13 June 1983 on consolidated accounts(3) ,

–   having regard to Council Directive 86/635/EEC of 8 December 1986 on the annual accounts and consolidated accounts of banks and other financial institutions(4) ,

–   having regard to Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2000 on certain legal aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce, in the Internal Market ('Directive on electronic commerce')(5) ,

–   having regard to Directive 2001/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 September 2001 amending Directives 78/660/EEC, 83/349/EEC and 86/635/EEC as regards the valuation rules for the annual and consolidated accounts of certain types of companies as well as of banks and other financial institutions(6) ,

–   having regard to Directive 2001/107/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 January 2002 amending Council Directive 85/611/EEC on the coordination of laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS) with a view to regulating management companies and simplified prospectuses(7) ,

–   having regard to Directive 2001/108/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 January 2002 amending Council Directive 85/611/EEC on the coordination of laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS), with regard to investments of UCITS(8) ,

–   having regard to Directive 2002/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 September 2002 concerning the distance marketing of consumer financial services(9) ,

–   having regard to Directive 2003/6/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2003 on insider dealing and market manipulation (market abuse)(10) ,

   having regard to Council Directive 2003/48/EC of 3 June 2003 on taxation of savings income in the form of interest payments(11) ,

–   having regard to Directive 2003/51/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2003 amending Directives 78/660/EEC, 83/349/EEC, 86/635/EEC and 91/674/EEC on the annual and consolidated accounts of certain types of companies, banks and other financial institutions and insurance undertakings(12) ,

–   having regard to Directive 2003/71/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 on the prospectus to be published when securities are offered to the public or admitted to trading(13) ,

–   having regard to Directive 2004/25/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on takeover bids(14) ,

–   having regard to Directive 2004/39/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on markets in financial instruments(15) ,

–   having regard to Directive 2004/109/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 December 2004 on the harmonisation of transparency requirements in relation to information about issuers whose securities are admitted to trading on a regulated market(16) (the 'Transparency Directive'),

–   having regard to Directive 2005/1/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2005 amending Council Directives 73/239/EEC, 85/611/EEC, 91/675/EEC, 92/49/EEC and 93/6/EEC and Directives 94/19/EC, 98/78/EC, 2000/12/EC, 2001/34/EC, 2002/83/EC and 2002/87/EC in order to establish a new organisational structure for financial services committees(17) ,

–   having regard to Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 October 2005 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing(18) ,

–   having regard to Directive 2006/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2006 relating to the taking up and pursuit of the business of credit institutions(19) ,

–   having regard to Directive 2006/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2006 on the capital adequacy of investment firms and credit institutions(20) ,

–   having regard to Commission Directive 2006/73/EC of 10 August 2006 implementing Directive 2004/39/EC of the European Parliament and the Council as regards organisational requirements and operating conditions for investment firms and defined terms for the purposes of that Directive(21) (the MiFID Implementing Directive),

   having regard to Commission Directive 2007/16/EC of 19 March 2007 implementing Council Directive 85/611/EEC on the coordination of laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS) as regards the clarification of certain definitions(22) ,

–   having regard to Directive 2007/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 July 2007 on the exercise of certain rights of shareholders in listed companies(23) ,

–   having regard to its position of 25 September 2003 on the proposal for a European Parliament and Council directive on investment services and regulated markets(24) ,

   having regard to the Study on Hedge Funds: Transparency and Conflict of Interest commissioned by its Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs(25) ,

–   having regard to Article 192, second paragraph, of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Rules 39 and 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (A6-0296/2008 ),

A.   whereas it is recognised that alternative investment vehicles such as hedge funds and private equity can offer new diversification benefits for asset managers, increase market liquidity and the prospects of high returns for investors, contribute to the price discovery process, risk diversification and financial integration, and improve market efficiency,

B.   whereas hedge funds and private equity are distinct investment vehicles that differ as regards the nature of investment and investment strategy,

C.   whereas EU-based hedge funds and private equity require a regulatory environment which will respect their innovative strategies in order to enable them to remain internationally competitive while mitigating the effects of potential adverse market dynamics; whereas there is a risk that product-specific legislation could be inflexible and stifle innovation,

D.   whereas hedge funds and private equity which have their management company domiciled in the EU have to comply with existing and future Community legislation; whereas non-EU-based entities also have to comply with this legislation in the context of certain activity,

E.   whereas EU onshore hedge funds, hedge fund managers and private equity are subject to existing legislation, notably concerning market abuse, and whereas they are subject to regulation indirectly through counterparties and when related investments in regulated products are sold,

F.   whereas in some Member States hedge funds and private equity are subject to national regulatory regimes and differing implementation of existing EU directives; whereas such divergent national rules give rise to the risk of regulatory fragmentation in the internal market, which may have the effect of impeding the cross-border development of this business in Europe,

G.   whereas directives seem to be the appropriate legal instruments with which to address any issues needing to be tackled in relation to hedge funds and private equity; whereas an analysis and assessment of the impact on hedge funds and private equity of legislation already in force in the Member States and in the EU should precede any directive on the transparency thereof; whereas such legislation should be the starting-point for harmonisation; and whereas existing regulations may need to be adjusted but should avoid changes that would introduce unjustifiable divergences,

H.   whereas it is recognised that one of the main issues is the need for, and analysis of, transparency and instances in which it can be enhanced; whereas transparency has several facets, such as the transparency of hedge funds and – as the case may be – private equity vis-à-vis the companies whose shares they acquire or own, as well as vis-à-vis prime brokers, institutional investors such as pension funds or banks, retail investors, business partners, regulators and authorities; whereas one of the main transparency problems lies in the relationship between a hedge fund and – as the case may be – a private equity on one hand and the companies whose shares it acquires or owns on the other hand,

I.   whereas the experience of the United States, where freedom of information legislation has been used by competitors to obtain fund investment details at a level intended for investors, is that this has compromised both the investors and the fund,

J.   whereas inconsistent implementation of the Transparency Directive has led to divergent levels of transparency throughout the EU and to high costs for investors,

K.   whereas transparency is an essential condition for investor confidence and the understanding of complex financial products, and thus contributes to the optimum functioning and stability of the financial markets; whereas transparency is an aid to, not a replacement for, due diligence,

L.   whereas the current sub-prime crisis cannot primarily be attributed to one single sector – bearing in mind that it will take time to thoroughly understand the full causes and effects of that crisis, and whereas the manifold reasons for it include inter alia :

   rating agencies, especially the conflicts of interest of credit rating agencies and the misconception of the meaning of ratings,
   negligent lending practices in the US housing market,
   rapid innovation in the area of complex structured products,
   the originate-to-distribute model and the long intermediation chain,
   investors' greed in seeking ever-higher returns and a short-sighted incentive structure as regards remuneration,
   failure to observe the due diligence process,
   the securitisation and rating agency process in the context of complex structured products, which resulted in overpricing of those products with respect to the underlying assets,
   conflicts of interests within, and the lack of regulation of, American investment banks,

M.   whereas Community legislation provides for mechanisms such as comitology or Lamfalussy procedures which allow for flexibility in reacting to the changing business environment via implementing measures; whereas this system will improve with the instrument of delegated acts under the Treaty of Lisbon,

N.   whereas numerous different hedge funds and private equity initiatives and organisations such as the International Organization of Securities Commissions, the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and industry bodies, including those relating to hedge funds and private equity, have established principles and codes of best practice which may complement and serve as a model for EU legislation; whereas, in addition to complying with EU legislation, companies and business associations should be encouraged to sign up to these codes on a 'comply or explain' basis and details of such compliance and explanations should be publicly available and properly assessed,

O.   whereas some over-the-counter (OTC) products could use more open or visible trading systems in order to increase mark-to-market valuation where possible and to give an indication of potential ownership changes; whereas a more general OTC clearing system is attractive for the purposes of supervisory oversight and risk assessment, but, in order to ensure that there is a level playing field in the global context, any new system needs to be introduced on an international basis,

P.   whereas industry-wide monitoring and reporting has a role to play in addressing public concerns and in order to understand the economic impact of private equity, and whereas there is already an obligation incumbent on private and public companies to consult their employees about matters that affect their interests; whereas no imbalance should be created between commercial disclosure required of private equity portfolio companies and that required of other private companies,

Q.   whereas product-related legislation does not seem to be the appropriate type of regulation to deal with this innovative sector,

R.   whereas a one-stop-shop website for codes of conduct would be helpful and should be established for the European Union and promoted internationally; whereas that website should include a register of those market players who comply with the codes of conduct, their disclosures, and explanations of non-compliance; whereas reasons for non-compliance can also be a learning tool,

S.   whereas attention is drawn to the need to overcome the obstacles to cross-border distribution of alternative investments by establishing a European private placement regime for institutional investors,

T.   whereas, in the context of private equity, the costs of any additional reporting requirements, in particular where these are frequent, should be justified and proportionate to the benefits flowing from them; whereas, in all contexts, better linkage is needed between remuneration packages and long-term performance,

U.   whereas no proposal in this field is in preparation,

1.   Requests the Commission to submit to Parliament, on the basis of Articles 44, 47(2) or 95 of the EC Treaty, depending on the subject matter, a legislative proposal or proposals on the transparency of hedge funds and private equity; calls for such proposal(s) to be drawn up in the light of interinstitutional discussions and following the detailed recommendations below;

2.   Confirms that the recommendations respect the principle of subsidiarity and the fundamental rights of citizens;

3.   Considers that the requested proposals have no financial implications;

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

ANNEX TO THE RESOLUTION: DETAILED RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE CONTENT OF THE PROPOSALS REQUESTED

The European Parliament asks the Commission to propose a directive or directives guaranteeing a common standard of transparency and to tackle the issues mentioned below covering hedge funds and private equity, on the basis that the directive(s) should give Member States, where necessary, enough flexibility to transpose EU rules into their existing company-law systems; in parallel, it asks the Commission to encourage improvements in transparency by supporting and monitoring the evolution of self-regulation already introduced by managers of hedge funds and private equity and their counterparties, and to encourage Member States to support these efforts through dialogue and exchange of best practice.

Taking into account the fact that there is no uniform public disclosure of sovereign wealth funds (SWFs), the European Parliament welcomes the initiative of the International Monetary Fund to establish a working group to draft an international code of conduct for SWFs, and believes that such a code of conduct would go some way to demystifying SWF activities; it calls on the Commission to take part in that process.

On hedge funds and private equity

The European Parliament asks the Commission to submit the appropriate legislative proposals by way of review of the existing acquis communautaire affecting the various types of investors and counterparties, together with an impact assessment and with the involvement of the industries concerned, to explore the possibility of differentiating between hedge funds, private equity and other investors and to adapt or establish rules providing for the clear disclosure and timely communication of relevant and material information so as to facilitate high-quality decision-making and transparent communication between investors and the company management as well as between investors and other counterparties; where proposals already exist they should be implemented accordingly; it invites the Commission to explore ways of enhancing the visibility and understanding of risk, as distinct from creditworthiness; attention should be paid to the question whether existing and future directives and transparency measures are not undermined by excessive disclaimers in contracts.

The new legislation should require shareholders to notify issuers of the proportion of their voting rights resulting from an acquisition or disposal of shares where that proportion reaches, exceeds or falls below the specific thresholds starting with 3% instead of 5%, as mentioned in Directive 2004/109/EC; it should also oblige hedge funds and private equity, as far as those categories of investors can be differentiated from others, to disclose and explain – vis-à-vis the companies whose shares they acquire or own, retail and institutional investors, prime brokers and supervisors – their investment policy and associated risks.

These proposals should be based on an examination of the existing Community legislation, carried out with a view to ascertaining the extent to which the existing rules on transparency can be applied to the specific situation of hedge funds and private equity.

With a view to the above-mentioned legislative proposals, the Commission should in particular:

   explore the possibility of contract terms, to be applied to alternative investments, that provide for an unambiguous disclosure and management of risk, for measures to be taken in the event of thresholds being exceeded, for a clear description of lock-up periods and for explicit conditions governing cancellation and termination of the contract;
   investigate the issue of money laundering in the context of hedge funds and private equity;
   explore possibilities of harmonising rules and recommendations for hedge funds and – as the case may be – private equity to register and identify shareholders beyond a certain proportion, as well as to disclose their strategies and intentions – bearing in mind that an overflow of information should be avoided;
   explore the need for, and ways of, obliging intermediaries to enable the original shareholders to participate actively in voting at general meetings of shareholders and to make sure that their voting instructions are respected by proxy-holders, as well as to ensure that voting policies of identified shareholders are disclosed;
   establish, together with the industry, a code of best practice on how to rebalance the current structure of corporate governance with a view to reinforcing long-term orientation and discouraging financial and other incentives for short-term excessive risk-taking and irresponsible behaviour;
   establish rules providing for full transparency of managers" remuneration systems, including stock options, through formal approval by the general meeting of the company's shareholders.

On hedge funds specifically

The European Parliament asks the Commission to establish rules that enhance the transparency of voting policies of hedge funds, on the basis that the addressees of Community rules should be the managers of such funds; such rules could also include a system of EU-wide shareholder identification; where proposals already exist they should be implemented accordingly.

With a view to the above-mentioned legislative proposal(s), the Commission should in particular:

   investigate the effects of securities lending and voting on borrowed shares, having regard to better regulation principles;
   examine whether reporting requirements should also apply to cooperation agreements between several shareholders and to indirect acquisitions of voting rights via option arrangements.

On private equity specifically

The European Parliament asks the Commission to propose rules that forbid investors to "plunder" companies (so called "asset stripping") and thus misuse their financial power in a way that merely disadvantages the company acquired in the long term, without having any positive impact on the company's future and the interest of its employees, creditors and business partners; moreover, the Commission should explore common rules to guarantee the capital maintenance of companies; in parallel, the European Parliament also asks the Commission to examine whether the Member States have put in place measures to counteract asset stripping.

With a view to the above-mentioned legislative proposal(s), the Commission should examine ways of addressing the issues arising when banks lend huge amounts of money to acquirers, including private equity, and then disclaim any responsibility whatsoever as to the purpose for which that money is used or the provenance of the money used to repay the loan, bearing in mind that these points ultimately remain the responsibility of the debtor and that capital requirements for comparable risks must be the same across the entire financial system.

The European Parliament also asks the Commission to examine whether the Transfers of Undertakings Directive(26) needs to be adjusted to the specific situation of leveraged buy-outs.

(1) OJ L 26, 31.1.1977, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 222, 14.8.1978, p. 11.
(3) OJ L 193, 18.7.1983, p. 1.
(4) OJ L 372, 31.12.1986, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 178, 17.7.2000, p. 1.
(6) OJ L 283, 27.10.2001, p. 28.
(7) OJ L 41, 13.2.2002, p. 20.
(8) OJ L 41, 13.2.2002, p. 35.
(9) OJ L 271, 9.10.2002, p. 16.
(10) OJ L 96, 12.4.2003, p. 16.
(11) OJ L 157, 26.6.2003, p. 38.
(12) OJ L 178, 17.7.2003, p. 16.
(13) OJ L 345, 31.12.2003, p. 64.
(14) OJ L 142, 30.4.2004, p. 12.
(15) OJ L 145, 30.4.2004, p. 1.
(16) OJ L 390, 31.12.2004, p. 38.
(17) OJ L 79, 24.3.2005, p. 9.
(18) OJ L 309, 25.11.2005, p. 15.
(19) OJ L 177, 30.6.2006, p. 1.
(20) OJ L 177, 30.6.2006, p. 201.
(21) OJ L 241, 2.9.2006, p. 26.
(22) OJ L 79, 20.3.2007, p. 11.
(23) OJ L 184, 14.7.2007, p. 17.
(24) OJ C 77 E, 26.3.2004, p. 329.
(25) IP/A/ECON/IC/2007-24.
(26) Council Directive 2001/23/EC of 12 March 2001 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the safeguarding of employees' rights in the event of transfers of undertakings, businesses or parts of undertakings or businesses (OJ L 82, 22.3.2001, p. 16).


Amendment of Regulation (EC) No 999/2001 as regards the implementing powers conferred on the Commission ***I
DOC 33k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 September 2008 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 999/2001 as regards the implementing powers conferred on the Commission (COM(2008)0053 – C6-0054/2008 – 2008/0030(COD) )
P6_TA(2008)0427 A6-0279/2008

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2008)0053 ),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 154(4)(b) of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0054/2008 ),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (A6-0279/2008 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend the proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.   Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 23 September 2008 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No .../2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 999/2001 laying down rules for the prevention, control and eradication of certain transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, as regards the implementing powers conferred on the Commission

P6_TC1-COD(2008)0030


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position at first reading corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EC) No 220/2009.)


Waste statistics ***I
DOC 35k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 September 2008 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 2150/2002 on waste statistics, as regards the implementing powers conferred on the Commission (COM(2007)0777 – C6-0456/2007 – 2007/0271(COD) )
P6_TA(2008)0428 A6-0282/2008

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2007)0777 ),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 285(1) of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0456/2007 ),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (A6-0282/2008 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend the proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.   Calls on the Commission to publish the report referred to in Article 8(1) of Regulation (EC) No 2150/2002 as soon as possible;

4.   Calls on the Commission to present the proposal referred to in Article 8(2) of Regulation (EC) No 2150/2002 as soon as possible, in order to abolish overlapping reporting obligations;

5.   Calls on the Commission to present further reports and proposals following up on those published pursuant to Article 8(3) of Regulation (EC) No 2150/2002, concerning the progress of the pilot studies referred to in Articles 4(3) and 5(1) of that Regulation, as soon as possible;

6.   Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 23 September 2008 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No .../2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 2150/2002 on waste statistics, as regards the implementing powers conferred on the Commission

P6_TC1-COD(2007)0271


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position at first reading corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EC) No 221/2009.)


Adaptation of a number of instruments to the regulatory procedure with scrutiny, "omnibus" Regulation, Part Two ***I
DOC 47k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 September 2008 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council adapting a number of instruments subject to the procedure referred to in Article 251 of the Treaty to Council Decision 1999/468/EC, as amended by Decision 2006/512/EC, with regard to the regulatory procedure with scrutiny – Part Two (COM(2007)0824 – C6-0476/2007 – 2007/0293(COD) )
P6_TA(2008)0429 A6-0100/2008

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2007)0824 ),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Articles 37, 44(1), 71, 80(2), 95, 152(4)(b), 175(1), 179 and 285 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0476/2007 ),

   having regard to the undertakings given by the Council representative by letter of 17 September 2008 to adopt the proposal as amended, in accordance with Article 251(2), second subparagraph, first indent of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Development, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, the Committee on Transport and Tourism, the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A6-0100/2008 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend the proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.   Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 23 September 2008 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No .../2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council adapting a number of instruments subject to the procedure referred to in Article 251 of the Treaty to Council Decision 1999/468/EC with regard to the regulatory procedure with scrutiny - Adaptation to the regulatory procedure with scrutiny - Part Two

P6_TC1-COD(2007)0293


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position at first reading corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EC) No 219/2009.)


Natural mineral waters (recast version) ***I
DOC 36k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 September 2008 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the exploitation and marketing of natural mineral waters (recast) (COM(2007)0858 – C6-0005/2008 – 2007/0292(COD) )
P6_TA(2008)0430 A6-0298/2008

(Codecision procedure – recast)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2007)0858 ),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 95 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0005/2008 ),

–   having regard to the undertakings given by the Council representative by letter of 17 September 2008 to adopt the proposal as amended, in accordance with Article 251(2), second subparagraph, first indent of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 28 November 2001 on a more structured use of the recasting technique for legal acts(1) ,

–   having regard to Rules 80a and 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (A6-0298/2008 ),

A.   whereas, according to the Consultative Working Party of the Legal Services of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission, the proposal in question does not include any substantive amendments other than those identified as such in the proposal and whereas, as regards the codification of the unchanged provisions of the earlier acts together with those amendments, the proposal contains a straightforward codification of the existing texts, without any change in their substance,

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as adapted to the recommendations of the Consultative Working Party of the Legal Services of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission and as amended hereunder;

2.   Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.   Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 23 September 2008 with a view to the adoption of Directive 2008/…/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the exploitation and marketing of natural mineral waters (recast)

P6_TC1-COD(2007)0292


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position at first reading corresponds to the final legislative act, Directive .../EC.)

(1) OJ C 77, 28.3.2002, p. 1.


Colouring matters for medicinal products (recast version) ***I
DOC 31k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 September 2008 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the colouring matters which may be added to medicinal products (recast) (COM(2008)0001 – C6-0026/2008 – 2008/0001(COD) )
P6_TA(2008)0431 A6-0280/2008

(Codecision procedure – recast)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2008)0001 ),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 95 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0026/2008 ),

   having regard to the undertakings given by the Council representative to adopt the proposal, in accordance with Article 251(2) of the EC Treaty and with the recommendations of the Consultative Working Party of the legal services of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission,

–   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 28 November 2001 on a more structured use of the recasting technique for legal acts(1) ,

–   having regard to Rules 80a and 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (A6-0280/2008 ),

A.   whereas, according to the Consultative Working Party of the Legal Services of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission, the proposal in question does not include any substantive amendments other than those identified as such in the proposal and whereas, as regards the codification of the unchanged provisions of the earlier acts together with those amendments, the proposal contains a straightforward codification of the existing texts, without any change in their substance,

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as adapted to the recommendations of the Consultative Working Party of the Legal Services of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission;

2.   Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.   Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission.

(1) OJ C 77, 28.3.2002, p. 1.


Foodstuffs intended for particular nutritional uses (recast version) ***I
DOC 36k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 September 2008 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on foodstuffs intended for particular nutritional uses (recast) (COM(2008)0003 – C6-0030/2008 – 2008/0003(COD) )
P6_TA(2008)0432 A6-0295/2008

(Codecision procedure – recast)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2008)0003 ),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 95 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0030/2008 ),

–   having regard to the undertakings given by the Council representative by letter of 17 September 2008 to adopt the proposal as amended, in accordance with Article 251(2), second subparagraph, first indent of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 28 November 2001 on a more structured use of the recasting technique for legal acts(1) ,

–   having regard to Rules 80a and 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (A6-0295/2008 ),

A.   whereas, according to the Consultative Working Party of the Legal Services of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission, the proposal in question does not include any substantive amendments other than those identified as such in the proposal and whereas, as regards the codification of the unchanged provisions of the earlier acts together with those amendments, the proposal contains a straightforward codification of the existing texts, without any change in their substance,

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as adapted to the recommendations of the Consultative Working Party of the Legal Services of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission and as amended below;

2.   Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.   Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 23 September 2008 with a view to the adoption of Directive 2008/...EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on foodstuffs intended for particular nutritional uses (recast)

P6_TC1-COD(2008)0003


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position at first reading corresponds to the final legislative act, Directive 2009/39/EC.)

(1) OJ C 77, 28.3.2002, p. 1.


Roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles and their trailers (recast version) ***I
DOC 37k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 September 2008 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles and their trailers (recast) (COM(2008)0100 – C6-0094/2008 – 2008/0044(COD) )
P6_TA(2008)0433 A6-0299/2008

(Codecision procedure – recast)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2008)0100 ),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 71 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0094/2008 ),

–   having regard to the undertakings given by the Council representative by letter of 3 September 2008 to adopt the proposal as amended, in accordance with Article 251(2), second subparagraph, first indent of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 28 November 2001 on a more structured use of the recasting technique for legal acts(1) ,

–   having regard to Rules 80a and 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A6-0299/2008 ),

A.   whereas, according to the Consultative Working Party of the Legal Services of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission, the proposal in question does not include any substantive amendments other than those identified as such in the proposal and whereas, as regards the codification of the unchanged provisions of the earlier acts together with those amendments, the proposal contains a straightforward codification of the existing texts, without any change in their substance,

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as adapted to the recommendations of the Consultative Working Party of the Legal Services of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission and as amended below;

2.   Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend the proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.   Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 23 September 2008 with a view to the adoption of Directive 2008/.../EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles and their trailers (recast)

P6_TC1-COD(2008)0044


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position at first reading corresponds to the final legislative act, Directive 2009/40/EC.)

(1) OJ C 77, 28.3.2002, p. 1.


Extraction solvents used in the production of foodstuffs and food ingredients (recast version) ***I
DOC 36k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 September 2008 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the approximation of the laws of the Member States on extraction solvents used in the production of foodstuffs and food ingredients (recast) (COM(2008)0154 – C6-0150/2008 – 2008/0060(COD) )
P6_TA(2008)0434 A6-0284/2008

(Codecision procedure – recast)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2008)0154 ),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 95 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0150/2008 ),

   having regard to the undertakings given by the Council representative by letter of 17 September 2008 to adopt the proposal as amended, in accordance with Article 251(2), second subparagraph, first indent of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 28 November 2001 on a more structured use of the recasting technique for legal acts(1) ,

–   having regard to Rules 80a and 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A6-0284/2008 ),

A.   whereas, according to the Consultative Working Party of the Legal Services of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission, the proposal in question does not include any substantive amendments other than those identified as such in the proposal and whereas, as regards the codification of the unchanged provisions of the earlier acts together with those amendments, the proposal contains a straightforward codification of the existing texts, without any change in their substance,

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as adapted to the recommendations of the Consultative Working Party of the Legal Services of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission and as amended below;

2.   Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.   Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 23 September 2008 with a view to the adoption of Directive 2008/.../EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the approximation of the laws of the Member States on extraction solvents used in the production of foodstuffs and food ingredients (recast)

P6_TC1-COD(2008)0060


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position at first reading corresponds to the final legislative act, Directive2009/32/EC.)

(1) OJ C 77, 28.3.2002, p. 1.


Combating terrorism *
DOC 91k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 September 2008 on the proposal for a Council Framework Decision amending Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA on combating terrorism (COM(2007)0650 – C6-0466/2007 – 2007/0236(CNS) )
P6_TA(2008)0435 A6-0323/2008

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal (COM(2007)0650 )

–   having regard to the Council guideline of 18 April 2008(1) ,

–   having regard to Article 29, Article 31(1)(e) and Article 34(2)(b) of the EU Treaty,

–   having regard to Article 39(1) of the EU Treaty, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C6-0466/2007 ),

–   having regard to Rules 93 and 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A6-0323/2008 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Calls on the Commission to alter its proposal accordingly, pursuant to Article 250(2) of the EC Treaty;

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

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

5.   Calls on the Council and the Commission, following the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, to treat as a priority any subsequent proposal designed to amend this text pursuant to Article 10 of the Protocol on Transitional Provisions to be annexed to the Treaty on European Union, to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and to the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community and pursuant to Declaration No 50 relating to that Protocol;

6.   Declares itself already prepared – once the Treaty of Lisbon comes into force – to consider any such proposal if necessary in accordance with the urgency procedure and in close cooperation with Member States' parliaments; should the new proposal reflect the substance of this opinion, the procedure laid down in the interinstitutional agreement as regards codification could apply;

7.   Instructs its President to forward this opinion to the Council and the Commission.

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendment
Amendment 1
Proposal for a framework decision – amending act
Recital 6 a (new)
(6a)    Action by the European Union to combat terrorism should be taken in close cooperation with local and regional authorities who have a key role to play, particularly in relation to prevention, in so far as the instigators and perpetrators of terrorist acts live within local communities with whose population they interact, and whose services and instruments of democracy they employ.
Amendment 2
Proposal for a framework decision – amending act
Recital 7
(7)   The current proposal foresees the criminalisation of terrorist linked offences in order to contribute to the more general policy objective of prevention of terrorism through reducing the dissemination of those materials which might incite persons to commit terrorist attacks.
(7)   The current proposal foresees the criminalisation of terrorist linked offences in order to contribute to the more general policy objective of prevention of terrorism through reducing the dissemination of those materials with the intention and the likelihood of inciting persons to commit terrorist attacks.
Amendment 3
Proposal for a framework decision – amending act
Recital 10
(10)   The definition of terrorist offences, including offences linked to terrorist activities, should be further approximated in all Member States, so that it will cover public provocation to commit a terrorist offence, recruitment for terrorism and training for terrorism, when committed intentionally.
(10)   The definition of terrorist offences, including offences linked to terrorist activities, should be further approximated in all Member States, so that it will cover public incitement to commit a terrorist offence, recruitment for terrorism and training for terrorism, when committed intentionally.
(This amendment applies to the entire legislative text under consideration, with the exception of Recital 9; if it is adopted, technical adjustments will have to be made throughout the text.)
Amendment 4
Proposal for a framework decision – amending act
Recital 11
(11)   Penalties and sanctions should be provided for natural and legal persons having committed or being liable for public provocation to commit terrorist offences, recruitment for terrorism and training for terrorism, when committed intentionally. These forms of behaviour should be equally punishable in all Member States irrespective of whether they are committed through the Internet or not.
(11)   Penalties and sanctions should be provided for natural and legal persons having committed public incitement to commit terrorist offences, recruitment for terrorism and training for terrorism, when committed intentionally. These forms of behaviour should be equally punishable in all Member States irrespective of whether they are committed through the Internet or not.
Amendment 5
Proposal for a framework decision – amending act
Recital 11 a (new)
(11a)    The failure of the Council to agree on procedural rights in criminal proceedings hampers European judicial cooperation; this deadlock urgently needs to be overcome.
Amendment 6
Proposal for a framework decision – amending act
Recital 12
(12)    Additional jurisdictional rules should be established to ensure that public provocation to commit a terrorist offence, recruitment for terrorism and training for terrorism may be effectively prosecuted when they are directed towards or resulted in the commission of a terrorist offence which is subject to the jurisdiction of a Member State.
deleted
Amendment 7
Proposal for a framework decision – amending act
Recital 12 a (new)
(12a)    This Framework Decision is complementary to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism of 16 May 2005, and it is therefore essential, in parallel with the entry into force of this Framework Decision, that all Member States ratify that Convention.
Amendment 8
Proposal for a framework decision – amending act
Recital 14
(14)   The Union observes the principles recognised by Article 6(2) of the Treaty on European Union and reflected in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, notably Chapters II and VI thereof. Nothing in this Framework Decision may be interpreted as being intended to reduce or restrict fundamental rights or freedoms such as freedom of expression, assembly, or of association, the right to respect for private and family life, including the right to respect of the confidentiality of correspondence.
(14)   The Union observes the principles recognised by Article 6(2) of the Treaty on European Union and reflected in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, notably Chapters II and VI thereof. Nothing in this Framework Decision may be interpreted as being intended to reduce or restrict fundamental rights or freedoms such as freedom of expression, assembly, or of association, freedom of the press and freedom of expression of other media, or the right to respect for private and family life, including the right to respect of the confidentiality of correspondence, which also covers the content of e-mail and other kinds of electronic correspondence.
Amendment 9
Proposal for a framework decision – amending act
Recital 15
(15)   Public provocation to commit terrorist offences, recruitment for terrorism and training for terrorism are intentional crimes. Therefore, nothing in this Framework Decision may be interpreted as being intended to reduce or restrict the dissemination of information for scientific, academic or reporting purposes. The expression of radical, polemic or controversial views in the public debate on sensitive political questions, including terrorism, falls outside the scope of this Framework Decision and, in particular, of the definition of public provocation to commit terrorist offences,
(15)   Public incitement to commit terrorist offences, recruitment for terrorism and training for terrorism are intentional crimes. Therefore, nothing in this Framework Decision may be interpreted as being intended to reduce or restrict the dissemination of information for scientific, academic, artistic or reporting purposes. The expression of radical, polemic or controversial views in the public debate on sensitive political questions, including terrorism, falls outside the scope of this Framework Decision and, in particular, of the definition of public incitement to commit terrorist offences,
Amendment 10
Proposal for a framework decision – amending act
Recital 15 a (new)
(15a)    The criminalisation of the acts listed in this Framework Decision should be effected in such a way as to be proportionate to the legitimate aims pursued, necessary and appropriate in a democratic society, and non-discriminatory; it should, in particular, be compatible with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and with the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
Amendment 11
Proposal for a framework decision – amending act
Article 1 − point -1 (new)
Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA
Article 1 − paragraph 2
(-1) Article 1(2) is amended as follows:
" 2. This Framework Decision shall not have the effect of altering the obligation to respect fundamental rights and fundamental legal principles as enshrined in Article 6 of the Treaty on European Union , in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms."
Amendment 12
Proposal for a framework decision – amending act
Article 1 – point 1
Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA
Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a) "public provocation to commit a terrorist offence" means the distribution, or otherwise making available, of a message to the public, with the intent to incite the commission of one of the acts listed in Article 1(1)(a) to (h), where such conduct, whether or not directly advocating terrorist offences, causes a danger that one or more such offences may be committed;
(a) "public incitement to commit a terrorist offence" means the distribution, or otherwise making available, of a message to the public clearly and intentionally advocating the commission of one of the offences listed in Article 1(1)(a) to (h), where such conduct manifestly causes a danger that one or more such offences may be committed;
Amendment 13
Proposal for a framework decision – amending act
Article 1 − point 1
Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA
Article 3 − paragraph 1 − point b
(b) "recruitment for terrorism" means to solicit another person to commit one of the acts listed in Article 1(1), or in Article 2(2);
(b) "recruitment for terrorism" means intentionally to solicit another person to commit one of the offences listed in Article 1(1)(a) to (h) , or in Article 2(2);
Amendment 14
Proposal for a framework decision – amending act
Article 1 - point 1
Framework decision 2002/475/JHA
Article 3 - paragraph 1 - point c
(c) "training for terrorism" means to provide instruction in the making or use of explosives, firearms or other weapons or noxious or hazardous substances, or in other specific methods or techniques, for the purpose of committing one of the acts listed in Article 1(1), knowing that the skills provided are intended to be used for this purpose.
(c) "training for terrorism" means to provide instruction in the making or use of explosives, firearms or other weapons or noxious or hazardous substances, or in other specific methods or techniques, for the purpose of committing one of the offences listed in Article 1(1)(a) to (h) , knowing that the skills provided are intended to be used for this purpose.
Amendment 15
Proposal for a framework decision – amending act
Article 1 - point 1
Framework decision 2002/475/JHA
Article 3 - paragraph 2 - point d
(d) aggravated theft with a view to committing one of the acts listed in Article 1(1);
(d) aggravated theft with a view to committing one of the offences listed in Article 1(1);
Amendment 16
Proposal for a framework decision – amending act
Article 1 - point 1
Framework decision 2002/475/JHA
Article 3 - paragraph 2 - point e
(e) extortion with a view to the perpetration of one of the acts listed in Article 1(1);
(e) extortion with a view to the perpetration of one of the offences listed in Article 1(1);
Amendment 17
Proposal for a framework decision – amending act
Article 1 - point 1
Framework decision 2002/475/JHA
Article 3 - paragraph 2 - point f
(f) drawing up false administrative documents with a view to committing one of the acts listed in Article 1(1)(a) to (h) and Article 2(2)(b).
(f) drawing up false administrative documents with a view to committing one of the offences listed in Article 1(1)(a) to (h) and Article 2(2)(b).
Amendment 18
Proposal for a framework decision – amending act
Article 1 - point 1
Framework decision 2002/475/JHA
Article 3 - paragraph 3 a (new)
3a.    Member States shall ensure that the acts referred to in paragraph 2(a) to (c) of this Article are criminalised with due respect for the obligations relating to freedom of speech and freedom of association by which those States are bound, in particular the obligations relating to freedom of the press and freedom of expression in other media, and with due respect for the confidentiality of correspondence, including the content of e-mail and other kinds of electronic correspondence. The criminalisation of the acts covered in paragraph 2(a) to (c) shall not have the effect of reducing or restricting the dissemination of information for scientific , academic, artistic or reporting purposes, the expression of radical, polemic or controversial views in the public debate on sensitive political questions, including terrorism.
Amendment 19
Proposal for a framework decision – amending act
Article 1 - point 1
Framework decision 2002/475/JHA
Article 3 - paragraph 3 b (new)
3b.    Member States shall also ensure that the criminalisation of the acts referred to in paragraph 2(a) to (c) of this Article is effected in a way which is proportionate to the nature and the circumstances of the offence, having regard to the legitimate aims pursued and the necessity thereof in a democratic society, and excludes any form of arbitrariness and discriminatory or racist treatment.
Amendment 20
Proposal for a framework decision – amending act
Article 1 - point 3
Framework decision 2002/475/JHA
Article 9 - paragraph 1 a
"1a. Each Member State shall also establish its jurisdiction over the offences referred to in Article 3(2)(a) to (c) where the offence was directed towards or resulted in the carrying out of an offence referred to in Article 1 and such offence is subject to the jurisdiction of the Member State under any of the criteria set out in paragraph 1(a) to (e) of this Article."
"1a. A Member State may decide not to apply, or to apply only in specific cases or under specific circumstances, the jurisdictional provisions in paragraph 1(d) and (e) in respect of the offences referred to in Article 3(2)(a) to (c) and in Article 4, in so far as they are linked to the offences referred to in Article 3(2)(a) to (c)."

(1) See the Council's public register: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/fr/08/st08707.fr08.pdf


Protection of personal data *
DOC 146k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 September 2008 on the draft Council Framework Decision on the protection of personal data processed in the framework of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters (16069/2007 – C6-0010/2008 – 2005/0202(CNS) )
P6_TA(2008)0436 A6-0322/2008

(Consultation procedure - renewed consultation)

The European Parliament ,

-   having regard to the draft Council Framework Decision (16069/2007),

-   having regard to the Commission proposal (COM(2005)0475 ),

-   having regard to its position of 27 September 2006(1) ,

-   having regard to its position of 7 June 2007(2) ,

-   having regard to Article 34(2)(b) of the EU Treaty,

-   having regard to Article 39(1) of the EU Treaty, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C6-0010/2008 ),

-   having regard to Rules 93, 51 and 55(3) of its Rules of Procedure,

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A6-0322/2008 ),

1.   Approves the draft Council Framework Decision as amended;

2.   Calls on the Commission to amend its proposal accordingly, pursuant to Article 250(2) of the EC Treaty;

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

4.   Calls on the Council to consult Parliament again if it intends to amend the draft substantially or to replace it by another text;

5.   Calls on the Council and the Commission, following the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, to treat as a priority any subsequent proposal designed to amend this text pursuant to Article 10 of the Protocol on Transitional Provisions to be annexed to the Treaty on European Union, to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and to the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community and pursuant to Declaration No 50 relating to that Protocol, in particular with respect to the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Communities;

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

Text proposed by the Council   Amendment
Amendment 1
Draft Council Framework Decision
Recital 4 a (new)
(4a)    Article 16 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union as introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon will enable data protection rules for the purposes of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters to be strengthened.
Amendment 2
Draft Council Framework Decision
Recital 5
(5)   The exchange of personal data in the framework of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, notably under the principle of availability of information as laid down in the Hague Programme, should be supported by clear (...) rules enhancing mutual trust between the competent authorities and ensuring that the relevant information is protected in a way excluding any discrimination of this cooperation between the Member States while fully respecting fundamental rights of individuals. Existing instruments at the European level do not suffice. Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data does not apply to the processing of personal data in the course of an activity which falls outside the scope of Community law, such as those provided for by Title VI of the Treaty on European Union, or, in any case, to processing operations concerning public security, defence, State security and the activities of the State in areas of criminal law.
(5)   The exchange of personal data in the framework of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, notably under the principle of availability of information as laid down in the Hague Programme, should be supported by clear (...) rules enhancing mutual trust between the competent authorities and ensuring that the relevant information is protected fully respecting fundamental rights of individuals.
Amendment 3
Draft Council Framework Decision
Recital 5 a
(5a)   The Framework Decision applies only to data gathered or processed by competent authorities for the purpose of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties. The Framework Decision leaves it to Member States to determine more precisely at national level which other purposes are to be considered incompatible with the purpose for which the personal data were originally collected. In general, further processing for historical, statistical or scientific purposes is not incompatible with the original purpose of the processing.
(5a)   The Framework Decision applies only to data gathered or processed by competent authorities for the purpose of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties. In general, further processing for historical, statistical or scientific purposes is not incompatible with the original purpose of the processing.
Amendment 4
Draft Council Framework Decision
Recital 6 b
(6b)    This Framework Decision shall not apply to personal data which a Member State has obtained within the scope of this Framework Decision and which originate in that Member State.
deleted
Amendment 5
Draft Council Framework Decision
Recital 7
(7)   The approximation of Member States" laws should not result in any lessening of the data protection they afford but should, on the contrary, seek to ensure a high level of protection within the Union.
(7)   The approximation of Member States" laws should not result in any lessening of the data protection they afford but should, on the contrary, seek to ensure a high level of protection within the Union, in accordance with the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data ("Convention 108") .
Amendment 6
Draft Council Framework Decision
Recital 8 b
(8b)   Archiving in a separate data set is permissible only if the data are no longer required and used for the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties. Archiving in a separate data set is also permissible if the archived data are stored in a database with other data in such a way that they can no longer be used for the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties. The appropriateness of the archiving period depends on the purposes of archiving and the legitimate interests of the data subjects. In the case of archiving for historical purposes a very long period may also be envisaged.
(8b)   Archiving in a separate data set is permissible only if the data are no longer required and used for the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties. Archiving in a separate data set is also permissible if the archived data are stored in a database with other data in such a way that they can no longer be used for the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties. The appropriateness of the archiving period depends on the purposes of archiving and the legitimate interests of the data subjects.
Amendment 7
Draft Council Framework Decision
Recital 11 a
(11a)   Where personal data may be further processed after the Member State from which the data were obtained has given its consent, each Member State may determine the modalities of such consent, including, for example, by way of general consent for categories of information or categories of further processing.
(11a)   Where personal data may be further processed after the Member State from which the data were obtained has given its consent, each Member State may determine the modalities of such consent.
Amendment 8
Draft Council Framework Decision
Recital 13 a
(13a)   Member State should ensure that the data subject is informed that the personal data could be or are being collected, processed or transmitted to an other Member State for the purpose of prevention, investigation, detection, and prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties. The modalities of the right of the data subject to be informed and the exceptions thereto shall be determined by national law. This may take a general form, for example, through the law or through the publication of a list of the processing operations.
(13a)   Member States should ensure that the data subject is informed that the personal data could be or are being collected, processed or transmitted to another Member State, to a third country or to a private entity for the purpose of prevention, investigation, detection, and prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties. The modalities of the right of the data subject to be informed and the exceptions thereto shall be determined by national law. This may take a general form, for example, through the law or through the publication of a list of the processing operations.
Amendment 9
Draft Council Framework Decision
Article 1 - paragraph 2 - point c a (new)
(ca) are processed at national level.
Amendment 10
Draft Council Framework Decision
Article 1 − paragraph 4
4.    This Framework Decision is without prejudice to essential national security interests and specific intelligence activities in the field of national security.
deleted
Amendment 11
Draft Council Framework Decision
Article 2 − point l
(l) "to make anonymous" shall mean to modify personal data in such a way that details of personal or material circumstances can no longer, or only with disproportionate investment of time, cost and labour, be attributed to an identified or identifiable individual.
(l) "to make anonymous" shall mean to modify personal data in such a way that details of personal or material circumstances can no longer be attributed to an identified or identifiable individual.
Amendment 12
Draft Council Framework Decision
Article 7
The processing of personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs or trade-union membership and the processing of data concerning health or sex life shall be permitted only when this is strictly necessary and when the domestic law provides adequate safeguards .
(1)    The processing of personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs or trade-union membership and the processing of data concerning health or sex life shall be prohibited .
(2)    By way of exception, such data may be processed if:
- provided for by law, following prior authorisation by a competent judicial authority, on a case-by-case basis and if absolutely necessary for the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of terrorist offences and of other serious criminal offences,
-    Member States provide suitable specific safeguards, for example access to the data concerned only for personnel who are responsible for legitimate tasks which justify the processing.
These specific categories of data may not be processed automatically unless domestic law provides appropriate safeguards. The same proviso shall also apply to personal data relating to criminal convictions.
Amendment 13
Draft Council Framework Decision
Article 11 - paragraph 1
1.   All transmissions of personal data are to be logged or documented for the purposes of verification of the lawfulness of the data processing, self-monitoring and ensuring proper data integrity and security.
1.   All transmissions, access to  and subsequent processing of personal data are to be logged or documented for the purposes of verification of the lawfulness of the data processing , self-monitoring and ensuring proper data integrity and security.
Amendment 14
Draft Council Framework Decision
Article 12 − paragraph 1 ‐ introductory part
1.   Personal data received from or made available by the competent authority of another Member State may, in accordance with the requirements of Article 3(2), be further processed only for the following purposes other than those for which they were transmitted or made available:
1.   Personal data received from or made available by the competent authority of another Member State may, in accordance with the requirements of Article 3(2), be further processed only if necessary for the following purposes other than those for which they were transmitted or made available:
Amendment 15
Draft Council Framework Decision
Article 12 − paragraph 1 ‐ point d
(d) any other purpose only with the prior consent of the transmitting Member State or with the consent of the data subject, given in accordance with national law.
(d) any other specified purpose provided that it is prescribed by law and is necessary in a democratic society for the protection of one of the interests set out in Article 9 of Convention 108, but only with the prior consent of the transmitting Member State or with the consent of the data subject, given in accordance with national law.
Amendment 16
Draft Council Framework Decision
Article 14 − paragraph 1 ‐ introductory part
1.   Member States shall provide that personal data transmitted or made available by the competent authority of another Member State may be transferred to third States or international bodies or organisations established by international agreements or declared as an international body only if
1.   Member States shall provide that personal data transmitted or made available on a case-by-case basis by the competent authority of another Member State may be transferred to third States or international bodies or organisations established by international agreements or declared as an international body only if
Amendment 17
Draft Council Framework Decision
Article 14 − paragraph 1 ‐ point d
(d) the third State or international body concerned ensures an adequate level of protection for the intended data processing.
(d) the third State or international body concerned ensures an adequate level of protection for the intended data processing equivalent to that afforded by Article 2 of the Additional Protocol to Convention 108 and by the corresponding case-law under Article 8 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
Amendment 18
Draft Council Framework Decision
Article 14− paragraph 2
2.   Transfer without prior consent in accordance with paragraph 1, point c, shall be permissible only if transfer of the data is essential for the prevention of an immediate and serious threat to public security of a Member State or a third State or to essential interests of a Member State and the prior consent cannot be obtained in good time. The authority responsible for giving consent shall be informed without delay.
2.   Transfer without prior consent in accordance with paragraph 1, point c, shall be permissible only if transfer of the data is essential for the prevention of an immediate and serious threat to public security of a Member State or a third State or to essential interests of a Member State and the prior consent cannot be obtained in good time. In such a case, the personal data may be processed by the recipient only if absolutely necessary for the specific purpose for which the data were supplied. The authority responsible for giving consent shall be informed without delay. Such data transfers shall be notified to the competent supervisory authority.
Amendment 19
Draft Council Framework Decision
Article 14 − paragraph 3
3.   By way of derogation from paragraph 1, point d, personal data may be transferred if
3.   By way of derogation from paragraph 1, point d, personal data may by way of exception be transferred if
(a)the national law of the Member State transferring the data so provides for it because of
(a) the national law of the Member State transferring the data so provides for it because of:
i. legitimate specific interests of the data subject, or
i. legitimate specific interests of the data subject, or
ii. legitimate prevailing interests, especially important public interests, or
ii. legitimate prevailing interests, especially the urgent and essential interests of a Member State or for the purpose of averting imminent serious threats to public security , and
(b) the third State or receiving international body or organisation provides safeguards which are deemed adequate by the Member State concerned according to its national law.
(b) the third State or receiving international body or organisation provides safeguards which the Member State concerned shall ensure are adequate according to its national law.
(ba)    Member States shall ensure that records are kept of such transfers and shall make them available to national data protection authorities on request.
Amendment 20
Draft Council Framework Decision
Article 14 − paragraph 4
4.   The adequacy of the level of protection referred to in paragraph 1, point d, shall be assessed in the light of all the circumstances surrounding a data transfer operation or a set of data transfer operations. Particular consideration shall be given to the nature of the data, the purpose and duration of the proposed processing operation or operations, the State of origin and the State or international organisation of final destination of the data, the rules of law, both general and sectoral, in force in the third State or international organisation in question and the professional rules and security measures which are complied with there.
4.   The adequacy of the level of protection referred to in paragraph 1, point d, shall be assessed by an independent authority in the light of all the circumstances surrounding a data transfer operation or a set of data transfer operations. Particular consideration shall be given to the nature of the data, the purpose and duration of the proposed processing operation or operations, the State of origin and the State or international organisation of final destination of the data, the rules of law, both general and sectoral, in force in the third State or international organisation in question and the professional rules and security measures which are complied with there.
Amendment 21
Draft Council Framework Decision
Article 14 a − title
Transmission to private parties in Member States
Transmission to private parties and access to data received by private parties in Member States
Amendment 22
Draft Council Framework Decision
Article 14 a − paragraph 1 ‐ introductory part
1.   Member States shall provide that personal data received from or made available by the competent authority of another Member State may be transmitted to private parties only if:
1.   Member States shall provide that personal data received from or made available on a case-by-case basis by the competent authority of another Member State may be transmitted to private parties only if:
Amendment 23
Draft Council Framework Decision
Article 14 a − paragraph 2 a (new)
2a.    Member States shall provide that their respective competent authorities may have access to and process personal data controlled by private persons only on a case-by-case basis, in specific circumstances, for specified purposes and subject to judicial scrutiny in the Member States.
Amendment 24
Draft Council Framework Decision
Article 14 a − paragraph 2 b (new)
2b.    The national legislation of the Member States shall provide that, where private persons receive and process data as part of a public service remit, they are subject to requirements which are at least equivalent to or otherwise more stringent than those imposed on the competent authorities.
Amendment 25
Draft Council Framework Decision
Article 17 − paragraph 1 − point a
(a) at least a confirmation from the controller or from the national supervisory authority as to whether or not data relating to him have been transmitted or made available and information on the recipients or categories of recipients to whom the data have been disclosed and communication of the data undergoing processing; or
(a) at least confirmation from the controller or from the national supervisory authority as to whether or not data relating to him or her are being processed and information on the purpose of the processing, the recipients or categories of recipients to whom the data have been disclosed and communication of the data undergoing processing, and knowledge of the reasons for any automated decisions;
Amendment 26
Draft Council Framework Decision
Article 22 − paragraph 2 − point h
(h) prevent the unauthorised reading, copying, modification or deletion of personal data during transfers of personal data or during transportation of data media (transport control);
(h) prevent the unauthorised reading, copying, modification or deletion of personal data during transfers of personal data or during transportation of data media, including by means of appropriate encryption techniques (transport control);
Amendment 27
Draft Council Framework Decision
Article 22 − paragraph 2 − point j a (new)
(ja) monitor the effectiveness of the security measures referred to in this paragraph and take the necessary organisational measures relating to internal monitoring to ensure compliance with this Framework Decision (self-auditing).
Amendment 28
Draft Council Framework Decision
Article 24
Member States shall adopt suitable measures to ensure the full implementation of the provisions of this Framework Decision and shall in particular lay down effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions to be imposed in case of infringement of the provisions adopted pursuant to this Framework Decision.
Member States shall adopt suitable measures to ensure the full implementation of the provisions of this Framework Decision and shall in particular lay down effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions, including administrative and/or criminal penalties in accordance with national law, to be imposed in case of infringement of the provisions adopted pursuant to this Framework Decision.
Amendment 29
Draft Council Framework Decision
Article 25 − paragraph 1 a (new)
1a.    Each Member State shall ensure that the supervisory authorities are consulted when drawing up administrative measures or regulations relating to the protection of individuals' rights and freedoms with regard to the processing of personal data for the purpose of the prevention, investigation, detection and prosecution of criminal offences or the enforcement of criminal penalties.
Amendment 30
Draft Council Framework Decision
Article 25 a (new)
Article 25a
Working Party on the Protection of Individuals with regard to the Processing of Personal Data for the purpose of the Prevention, Investigation, Detection and Prosecution of Criminal Offences
1.    A Working Party on the Protection of Individuals with regard to the Processing of Personal Data for the purpose of the Prevention, Investigation, Detection and Prosecution of Criminal Offences, ('the Working Party'), shall be established. It shall have advisory status and act independently.
2.    The Working Party shall be composed of a representative of the supervisory authority or authorities designated by each Member State, a representative of the European Data Protection Supervisor, and a representative of the Commission.
Each member of the Working Party shall be designated by the institution, authority or authorities which he or she represents. Where a Member State has designated several supervisory authorities, they shall nominate a joint representative.
The chairpersons of the joint supervisory bodies set up under Title VI of the Treaty on European Union shall be entitled to participate in or to be represented at the meetings of the Working Party. The supervisory authority or authorities designated by Iceland, Norway and Switzerland shall be entitled to be represented at meetings of the Working Party insofar as issues related to the Schengen acquis are concerned.
3.    The Working Party shall take its decisions by a simple majority of the representatives of the supervisory authorities.
4.    The Working Party shall elect its chairperson. The chairperson's term of office shall be two years. His or her appointment shall be renewable.
5.    The Working Party's secretariat shall be provided by the Commission.
6.    The Working Party shall adopt its own rules of procedure.
7.    The Working Party shall consider items placed on its agenda by its chairperson, either on his own initiative or at the request of a representative of the supervisory authorities, the Commission, the European Data Protection Supervisor or the chairpersons of the joint supervisory bodies.
Amendment 31
Draft Council Framework Decision
Article 25 b (new)
Article 25b
Tasks
1.    The Working Party shall:
(a) give an opinion on national measures, where necessary to ensure that the standard of data protection achieved in national data processing is equivalent to that provided for in this Framework Decision,
(b) give an opinion on the level of protection between the Member States and third countries and international bodies, in particular to ensure that personal data are transferred in accordance with Article 14 of this Framework Decision to third countries or international bodies which provide an adequate level of data protection,
(c) advise the Commission and the Member States on any proposed amendment to this Framework Decision, on any additional or specific measures to safeguard the rights and freedoms of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data for the purpose of the prevention, investigation, detection and prosecution of criminal offences and on any other proposed measures affecting such rights and freedoms.
2.    If the Working Party finds differences between the laws and practices of Member States which are likely to affect the equivalence of protection for persons with regard to the processing of personal data in the European Union, it shall inform the Council and the Commission.
3.    The Working Party may, on its own initiative or that of the Commission or the Council, make recommendations on all matters relating to the protection of persons with regard to the processing of personal data in the European Union for the purpose of the prevention, investigation, detection and prosecution of criminal offences.
4.    The Working Party's opinions and recommendations shall be forwarded to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission.
5.    The Commission shall, on the basis of the information provided by the Member States, report to the Working Party on the action taken in response to its opinions and recommendations. That report shall be made public and shall also be forwarded to the European Parliament and the Council. The Member States shall inform the Working Party of any action taken by them pursuant to paragraph 1.
6.    The Working Party shall draw up an annual report regarding the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data for the purpose of the prevention, investigation, detection and prosecution of criminal offences in the European Union and in third countries. The report shall be made public and shall be transmitted to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission.
Amendment 32
Draft Council Framework Decision
Article 27 a − paragraph 1
1.   Three years after expiry of the period laid down in Article 28(1), Member States shall report to the Commission on the national measures they have taken to ensure full compliance with this Framework Decision, and particularly also with regard to those provisions that already have to be complied with when data is collected. The Commission shall examine in particular the implications of the provision on scope in Article 1(2).
1.   Three years after expiry of the period laid down in Article 28(1), Member States shall report to the Commission on the national measures they have taken to ensure full compliance with this Framework Decision, and particularly also with regard to those provisions that already have to be complied with when data is collected. The Commission shall examine in particular the application of Article 1(2).
Amendment 33
Draft Council Framework Decision
Article 27 a − paragraph 2 a (new)
2a.    To this end, the Commission shall take into account the observations forwarded by the parliaments and governments of the Member States, the European Parliament, the Article 29 Working Party established by Directive 95/46/EC, the European Data Protection Supervisor and the WorkingParty established by Article 25a of this Framework Decision.

(1) OJ C 306 E, 15.12.2006, p. 263.
(2) OJ C 125 E, 22.5.2008, p. 154.


Deliberations of the Committee on Petitions during 2007
DOC 66k
European Parliament resolution of 23 September 2008 on the deliberations of the Committee on Petitions during 2007 (2008/2028(INI) )
P6_TA(2008)0437 A6-0336/2008

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on the deliberations of the Committee on Petitions, notably its resolution of 21 June 2007 on the results of the fact-finding mission to the regions of Andalucía, Valencia and Madrid conducted on behalf of the Committee on Petitions(1) ,

–   having regard to Articles 21 and 194 of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Rules 45 and 192(6) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Petitions (A6-0336/2008 ),

A.   recognising the singular importance of the petitions process in allowing individuals the opportunity to draw to the attention of the European Parliament specific issues which are of direct concern to them covering the area of activity of the Union,

B.   whereas the Committee on Petitions should always strive to improve its efficiency in order to better serve EU citizens and meet their expectations,

C.   mindful of the fact that, in spite of considerable progress in the development of the structures and policies of the Union during this period, citizens often remain conscious of many shortcomings in the application of the policies and programmes of the Union as they affect them directly,

D.   whereas, in accordance with the EC Treaty, EU citizens have the right to petition the European Parliament but they may also channel their complaints to other EU institutions or organs, notably the Commission,

E.   whereas efforts to promote and provide information on the public right to petition Parliament remain vital at national level, so as to awaken public interest and, in particular, prevent confusion over the various complaints procedures,

F.   whereas it is the responsibility of the Member States to apply Community regulations and directives, a responsibility which they may delegate to regional or local political authorities depending upon their own constitutional arrangements,

G.   whereas it is legitimate for Parliament to exercise democratic oversight and supervision of Union policies, bearing in mind the important principle of subsidiarity, in order to ensure that Union laws are properly implemented and understood and that they fulfil the purpose for which they were designed, debated and adopted by the competent institutions of the Union,

H.   whereas EU citizens and residents of the Union may actively participate in this activity by exercising their right of petition to the European Parliament in the knowledge that their concerns will be addressed and investigated by the responsible committee and that a suitable reply will be given,

I.   whereas the existing Treaties already contain commitments to respect, as core principles of European society, human dignity, freedom, democracy, the rule of law, human rights, equality and the rights of minorities and whereas the new Treaties on European Union and on the Functioning of the European Union will, if ratified by all 27 Member States, further strengthen this by incorporating the Charter of Fundamental Rights, providing for the accession of the Union to the European Convention on Human Rights, and introducing a legal basis for citizens' legislative initiatives, as well as a proper system of administrative law for the EU institutions,

J.   whereas Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union lays down procedures whereby the Union can take action to counter serious and persistent breaches by a Member State of the principles on which the Union is founded, as laid down in Article 6 of that Treaty,

K.   recalling in this respect that EU citizens frequently petition Parliament for redress where they feel that their rights as recognised under the Treaties have been infringed and where they find that judicial remedies are unsuitable, impractical, excessively protracted or – as is often the case – expensive,

L.   whereas the Committee on Petitions, as the responsible committee, has a duty not only to respond to individual petitions but also to seek to provide viable solutions to the concerns expressed by petitioners within an adequate time frame, and whereas this constitutes the main objective of its work,

M.   whereas the solutions to the concerns of petitioners are generally found as a result of loyal cooperation between the Committee on Petitions, on the one hand, and the Commission, the Member States and their regional and local authorities on the other hand, which together provide non-judicial remedies,

N.   whereas, nevertheless, there is not always a clear willingness on the part of Member States and regional or local authorities to find practical solutions to the problems raised by petitioners,

O.   whereas, moreover, although petitioners' allegations are not always well-founded, the petitioners are entitled to expect an explanation and a response from the committee responsible,

P.   whereas enhanced inter-institutional coordination should make the redirection of inadmissible petitions to national authorities more effective,

Q.   whereas petitions may be declared inadmissible if they are not concerned with the area of activity of the European Union and whereas the petitions process is not a method to be used by citizens as a means of appealing against decisions taken by competent national legal or political authorities with which they may disagree,

R.   whereas it is essential that Parliament provide itself with the means, in terms of effective authority, rules, procedures and resources, to respond efficiently and in good time to the petitions received by it,

S.   whereas the petitions process can make a positive contribution to better law-making, notably by identifying areas indicated by petitioners where existing EU law is weak or ineffective having regard to the objectives of the legislative act concerned and whereas, with the cooperation and under the authority of the competent legislative committee, such situations can be remedied by revising the legislative acts concerned,

T.   whereas the petitions process also makes a significant contribution to the identification of instances in which Member States are not correctly applying Community law, which in a number of cases leads to the initiation by the Commission of infringement procedures under Article 226 of the EC Treaty,

U.   whereas the infringement procedure is designed to ensure that the Member State concerned is made to comply with existing Community law and is moreover decided upon at the discretion of the Commission without there being any provision for direct parliamentary involvement in this process; noting, nevertheless, that about one third of infringements are related to issues submitted by petitioners to the European Parliament,

V.   whereas an infringement procedure, even if successful, may not directly provide redress in relation to the specific issues raised by individual petitioners, whereas this undermines citizens' confidence in the EU institutions' ability to meet their expectations,

W.   whereas in 2007, when the membership of the Committee on Petitions was increased from 25 to 40, Parliament registered 1 506 petitions (representing a 50% increase compared to 2006), of which 1 089 were declared admissible,

X.   recording that in 2007 a total of 159 petitioners participated in meetings of the Committee on Petitions, not including many others who were present to observe proceedings,

Y.   whereas six fact-finding visits were organised in 2007 to Germany, Spain, Ireland, Poland, France and Cyprus, as a result of which reports were prepared and recommendations made which were subsequently sent to all interested parties and in particular to the petitioners,

Z.   whereas nine full committee meetings were organised at which over 500 individual petitions were debated, with the valuable assistance of representatives of the Commission, all petitioners being informed of the outcome,

AA.   whereas the priority areas of concern to EU citizens, as expressed in the petitions process, focus on the following issues: the environment and its protection, including the weakness of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive, the Water Framework Directive, the Drinking Water Directive, the Waste Directives, the Habitats Directive, the Birds Directive, the Money Laundering Directive and others, and including general concerns about pollution and climate change, individual and private property rights, financial services, free movement and rights of workers including pension rights and other social provisions, free movement of goods and taxation, recognition of professional qualifications, freedom of establishment and allegations of discrimination on grounds of nationality, gender or membership of a minority,

AB.   whereas the subject-matter of petitions and the course of their examination in 2007 involved major contemporary issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss, water scarcity, regulation of financial services and the European Union's energy supply,

AC.   bearing in mind the permanent and constructive relations established between the European Ombudsman, who has the responsibility to investigate citizens' complaints regarding allegations of maladministration in the EU institutions, and the Committee on Petitions, which reports regularly to Parliament on the Ombudsman's Annual Report or on Special Reports – which remain the Ombudsman's last means of action when his recommendations are not followed – of which there was one in 2007,

AD.   whereas a request from the committee responsible submitted in June 2005 for authorisation to draw up a report on a Special Report from the Ombudsman to Parliament on maladministration within the European Anti-Fraud Office was refused by a decision of the Conference of Presidents on 15 November 2007,

AE.   bearing in mind future developments which will further enhance the involvement of EU citizens in the activity and work of the European Union, notably by the introduction of the "citizens' initiative" provided for under the Treaty of Lisbon, if ratified by all 27 Member States, which will permit not less than one million individuals from several Member States to call for a proposal for a new legislative act, and for which specific procedures must be introduced involving the Commission, to which such initiatives must be initially addressed, the European Parliament and the Council,

AF.   whereas if the operations of the Committee on Petitions are effective and efficient, this sends a clear signal to citizens that their legitimate concerns are being dealt with and establishes a genuine connection between citizens and the EU; whereas, however, if there are unacceptable delays, and an unwillingness on behalf of Member States to implement the required recommendations in accordance with Community law, this merely serves to increase the distance between the EU and its citizens and in many cases confirms their view that a democratic deficit exists,

AG.   whereas in the course of 2007 the members of the Committee on Petitions were able to benefit from the considerable enhancement of the e-Petition database and management tool, developed by its secretariat in collaboration with the service responsible for information technology, which provides all members of the committee and political groups with direct access to all petitions and associated documentation, thus improving their ability to serve petitioners effectively,

AH.   noting, nevertheless, that Parliament failed to provide the resources, requested in last year's resolution on the work of the Committee on Petitions, that are needed to improve internet facilities for the petitions process and to give effect to Rule 192(2) of Parliament's Rules of Procedure, which provides that an electronic register "shall be set up in which citizens may lend their support to the petitioner, appending their own electronic signature to petitions which have been declared admissible and entered in the register",

AI.   whereas it is important for EU citizens to be properly informed of the work of the Committee on Petitions as they prepare to vote for a new Parliament in the next EU elections scheduled for June 2009,

1.   Welcomes the close collaboration between the Committee on Petitions and the services of the Commission and the Ombudsman and the climate of cooperation that exists between the institutions which seek to respond to the concerns of EU citizens; firmly believes, however, that priority should be accorded to enabling the Committee on Petitions itself to further enhance its own independent investigatory facilities, notably through the reinforcement of its secretariat and its legal expertise; undertakes to further streamline internal procedures of the Committee on Petitions in order to facilitate the petitions process further, notably with respect to the time frame within which petitions are determined, their admissibility, investigation and follow-up, the organisation of committee meetings, cooperation with other parliamentary committees which may have an interest or competence with regard to certain petitions, and committee initiatives such as fact-finding missions;

2.   Stresses that the legal scope of the Charter of Fundamental Rights will be recognised if the Lisbon Treaty is fully ratified, and that this will formally enshrine its independent binding character, and points out that specific measures will have to be envisaged to determine what effect this will have on citizens' rights and, as a consequence, on the work and competences of the Committee on Petitions;

3.   Reiterates its requests to its Secretary-General to conduct an urgent review of the "Citizens Portal" on Parliament's website with the objective of enhancing the visibility of the portal as regards the right of petition and to ensure that citizens are provided with the means to append their signatures electronically in support of petitions, as provided for in Rule 192(2) of the Rules of Procedure; urges that the Citizen's Portal must ensure web-browsing software interoperability in order to provide citizens with equal rights of access in this respect;

4.   Considers that the present procedure for registration of petitions unduly delays their examination, and is concerned that this may be perceived as displaying a certain lack of sensitivity towards petitioners; urges its Secretary-General, therefore, to take the necessary measures to transfer the registration of petitions from the Directorate-General of the Presidency to the secretariat of the committee responsible;

5.   Calls for the initiation of negotiations between Parliament and the Commission with a view to better coordinating their work on complaints in a way that facilitates, simplifies and streamlines the complaint procedures and makes them more transparent and expeditious; calls on the Secretary-General to report back to the Committee on Petitions within six months;

6.   Supports the formalisation of a procedure whereby petitions in the field of the internal market are transferred to the SOLVIT network with a view to significantly shortening the petitions process in the field of internal market issues such as car taxes, recognition of professional qualifications, residence permits, border controls and access to education, while preserving Parliament's right to examine the issue should a satisfactory solution not be found through SOLVIT;

7.   Reiterates the need for greater involvement on the part of the Council and the Member States' Permanent Representations in the activities of the Committee on Petitions, and urges them to increase their presence and participation in the interests of the citizens;

8.   Considers that, in the context of the reinforcement of the secretariat of the Committee on Petitions, and in the context of development of the e-Petition system, the introduction of an IT facility for online tracking aimed at petitioners would help to create a more transparent and efficient process by means of, inter alia , regular status updates and calls for additional information; notes that such a measure would better meet the expectations of EU citizens while also fostering improved performance of the institutional responsibilities incumbent on Parliament and on its Committee on Petitions;

9.   Calls on the Commission to take full account of the recommendations of the Committee on Petitions when reaching decisions regarding the initiation of infringement proceedings against Member States, and reiterates its demand that the Committee on Petitions be directly and officially notified by the Commission when an infringement procedure is launched which is related to a petition under consideration by the Committee;

10.   Reiterates in this connection the representative nature of the Committee on Petitions as well as the institutional role and duty that it performs vis-à-vis EU citizens and residents;

11.   Expresses concern about the excessive length of time taken to conclude infringement cases by the Commission services and the Court of Justice, if and when the Court is involved, and – recognising that this is frequently the result of slow and often deliberate obstruction within the Member State administrations involved – calls for the introduction of more stringent timescales; expresses its doubts about the efficiency of the so-called 'horizontal infringement procedures', which take longer to conclude; calls for a review of the infringement procedure aimed at ensuring greater respect for the application of EC legislative acts;

12.   Calls on the institutions concerned to make better use of this procedure as a means of ensuring full respect for Community law, and deeply regrets that too often the slowness of the procedures used and the frequent obfuscation of what is at stake lead to de facto breaches of Community law by Member States, who thus act with impunity against the interests of directly affected local communities who have petitioned Parliament;

13.   Considers it problematic that the present system for the monitoring of Community law allows Member States to delay compliance until a pecuniary sanction is actually imminent and still avoid responsibility for past intentional violations, and that citizens often appear to lack adequate access to justice and remedies at national level even when the Court of Justice has ruled that a Member State has failed to respect citizens' rights under Community law;

14.   Recommends that priority be given to ensuring that the Committee on Petitions is effective and efficient in all aspects of its operations from start to finish, as this represents a real and tangible commitment to its citizens indicating that the EU is willing and able to respond to their legitimate concerns;

15.   Expresses its concern and dismay at reports by petitioners that, even when they have obtained the support of the Committee on Petitions on the substance of their petition, they too often experience great difficulty in obtaining any compensation from the authorities and national courts involved; believes that such systemic weaknesses need to be further investigated, notably in so far as they apply to the financial services sector, as in the case of the findings of the Committee of Inquiry into the Equitable Life Crisis, which were based on petitions received by Parliament and on which a report was produced in 2007;

16.   Welcomes the fact that in 2007 the Commission and the Court of Justice acted swiftly, including by means of an injunction, to prevent the imminent destruction of an area protected under the Habitats Directive in the Rospuda Valley by the Via Baltica road corridor, in respect of which the Committee on Petitions had conducted its own independent investigation and fact-finding visit and made specific recommendations; laments the fact that there were not more examples of this kind;

17.   Urges the Commission, when dealing with petitions and complaints related to environmental policy – which is one of the predominant concerns of petitioners in the EU – to be more ready to act to prevent breaches of Community law; notes that the "precautionary principle" has insufficient practical legal force and is too often ignored by responsible authorities in Member States who are nevertheless under an obligation to apply the EC Treaty;

18.   Regrets the lack of support given to the Committee on Petitions by the Commission when, as a result of fact-finding visits in particular, compelling evidence is obtained concerning failure to respect citizen's rights as enshrined in the Treaty or failure to apply legislation, and calls for new procedures to be established which allow Parliament to bring such cases directly before the Court of Justice;

19.   Fully recognises that the petitions process, as recognised in the Treaty, is nevertheless primarily concerned with obtaining non-judicial remedies and solutions with regard to the problems raised by EU citizens through the political process and, in this context, welcomes the fact that in many instances satisfactory outcomes are achieved;

20.   Recognises also that in many instances satisfactory solutions cannot be found for petitioners because of the weaknesses in the applicable Community legislation itself;

21.   Calls on the responsible legislative committees, when preparing and negotiating new or revised legislative acts, to pay close attention to the problems reported through the petitions process;

22.   Calls on the Commission to be more concerned about the use of Cohesion Funds in areas of the EU where large infrastructure projects have a major impact on the environment, and urges Member States to ensure that EU funds are directed towards sustainable development in the interests of local communities, a growing number of which are petitioning Parliament to protest that such priorities are not always respected by regional and local authorities; welcomes the work being undertaken by the Committee on Budgetary Control and the Court of Auditors in this respect;

23.   Notes that a growing number of petitions received, notably from citizens from the new Member States, concern the question of the restitution of property, even though this subject remains essentially one of national competence; urges the Member States involved to ensure that their laws concerning property rights resulting from regime change are fully in accordance with Treaty requirements and the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights, as required also by Article 6 of the EU Treaty as amended by the Treaty of Lisbon; emphasises that petitions received on this subject do not concern the system of property ownership but the right to legitimately acquired property; in this context, urges the Commission to be particularly vigilant not only in its dealings with existing Member States but also in its negotiations with candidate countries;

24.   Reaffirms its commitment to upholding the recognition of rights of EU citizens to their private property which has been legally obtained, and condemns all attempts to divest families of their property without due process, proper compensation or respect for their personal integrity; notes an increase in the numbers of petitions received on this issue, especially regarding Spain in 2007, and notes also the report and recommendations of the fact-finding visit conducted by the Committee on Petitions to investigate the problem for the third time; notes that, as regards the Public Procurement Directives, ongoing infringement procedures are still open;

25.   Notes also the criticisms raised by the Committee on Petitions following its fact-finding visit to the Loiret, in France, in 2007, and in particular requests the French authorities to act decisively to ensure compliance with EU directives which risk being infringed should certain planned projects for the construction of bridges over the River Loire be allowed to go ahead, bearing in mind that the Loire Valley is not only protected under the terms of the Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive but is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Europe's last remaining wild river systems;

26.   Expresses its ongoing concern about the lack of implementation of the provisions of the Drinking Water Directive in Ireland, the absence of any assessment in advance of a 2007 decision to remove a national monument situated at Lismullin in the path of the M3 motorway project near Tara in County Meath – leading to the Commission's decision to bring an action against Ireland before the Court of Justice on the grounds that Ireland's wider approach to the removal of national monuments in circumstances such as those at Lismullin does not fully respect the requirements of Directive 85/337/EEC(2) , the problems faced by local communities in Limerick, and other issues raised in the report of the fact-finding visit to Ireland conducted by the Committee on Petitions in 2007; notes that some of these issues are the subject of ongoing infringement procedures;

27.   Notes the report on the fact-finding visit to Poland which made recommendations concerning the protection of the Rospuda Valley and the last primeval forest in Europe; urges the Commission to continue to work with the Polish authorities on alternative routes for the Via Baltica road network and rail network as recommended by the report of the Committee on Petitions; also encourages the Commission to ensure that funding is made available to alleviate the pressure on the road system in Augustow in such a way as to protect the local population and preserve the environment of the area;

28.   Notes the fact-finding visit to Cyprus in November 2007 by the Chairman and members of the Committee on Petitions; urges the parties concerned to continue with their efforts to reach a negotiated solution to the outstanding issues of concern to petitioners, notably as regards the sealed-off section of Famagusta which should be returned to its lawful owners, and welcomes the fact that the two sides in Cyprus are having talks within a framework of renewed efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem; stresses the importance, moreover, of the immediate implementation of UN Security Council resolution 550 (1984), which sets out the commitment to return the town of Famagusta to its lawful inhabitants;

29.   Notes the growing number of petitions and letters received by the Committee on Petitions concerning the most sensitive matter of child custody, on which it is extremely difficult to take action, as for instance in the case of petitions concerning the German Jugendamt, because of the involvement of the courts in many cases, and because of the fact that – except in cases of parents from different EU countries – it is difficult to claim competence for the EU as such;

30.   Records that, in 2007, many British petitioners who had their property confiscated by the British Customs & Excise authorities were still without redress even though the Commission halted infringement proceedings against the UK for failure to respect the Treaty obligation allowing the free movement of goods; urges the British authorities to come up with an equitable solution including the payment of ex gratia payments to petitioners who suffered serious financial loss before the authorities reviewed their practice and, according to the Commission, began to act in conformity with the relevant directives;

31.   Also records the fact that, in Greece, the customs authorities continue to confiscate, as an extraordinary measure only, the cars of Greek nationals provisionally abroad and who return to Greece with foreign number plates on their vehicles, many of whom have been accused of smuggling and have not had their case duly processed, as previously reported by the Committee on Petitions to Parliament; urges the Greek authorities to provide compensatory payments to those petitioners who have been victims of this practice; takes note of the ruling of the Court of Justice C-156/04 (7 June 2007) that deems satisfactory most of the explanations provided by the Greek authorities in this case; welcomes the implementation of new legislation adopted by the latter in the purpose of addressing the shortcomings highlighted in the aforementioned ruling;

32.   Deplores the fact that, among the oldest outstanding petitions still being worked upon, the case of the "Lettori", the foreign language teachers in Italy, continues to be unresolved despite two decisions by the Court of Justice and the support of the Commission and the Committee on Petitions for their case and their grievances; urges the Italian authorities and the individual universities involved, including inter alia those of Genoa, Padua and Naples, to act to apply a just solution to these legitimate claims;

33.   Records that the petitions considered by the Committee on Petitions in 2007 included – although it was originally tabled in 2006 – the so-called "One Seat" petition, which was supported by 1.25 million EU citizens and which called for a single seat for the European Parliament, to be located in Brussels; notes that in October 2007 the President referred the petition back to the committee, which subsequently called for Parliament to give its opinion on this question, bearing in mind that the seat of the institution is governed by the provisions of the Treaty and that the Member States have the responsibility for taking a decision on this matter;

34.   Resolves to review the name of the Committee on Petitions, as translated into all EU official languages, for the next legislative term, so as to ensure that the name communicates the nature of the Committee in a comprehensible manner, as this is apparently not the case in certain languages at the moment, and so as to underline the element of participatory democracy in the right of petition; suggests that the term "Committee on Citizens' Petitions" may be more easily understandable;

35.   Is concerned by the number of petitions received which draw attention to the problems of electoral registration experienced by EU citizens who are expatriates or have minority status within a Member State; urges all Member States to pay particular attention to the facilities made available for all EU citizens and eligible EU residents in order to ensure their full participation in the next EU elections;

36.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution and the report of the Committee on Petitions to the Council, the Commission, the European Ombudsman, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, their committees on petitions and their national ombudsmen or similar competent bodies.

(1) OJ C 146 E, 12.6.2008, p. 340.
(2) Council Directive 85/337/EEC of 27 June 1985 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (OJ L 175, 5.7.1985, p. 40).


Hill and mountain farming
DOC 77k
European Parliament resolution of 23 September 2008 on the situation and outlook for hill and mountain farming (2008/2066(INI) )
P6_TA(2008)0438 A6-0327/2008

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 6 September 2001 on 25 years' application of Community legislation for hill and mountain farming(1) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 16 February 2006 on the implementation of a European Union forestry strategy(2) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 12 March 2008 on the CAP 'Health Check'(3) ,

–   having regard to the Committee of the Regions own-initiative opinion entitled 'For a Green Paper – Towards a European Union policy for upland regions: a European vision for upland regions'(4) ,

–   having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development and the opinion of the Committee on Regional Development (A6-0327/2008 ),

A.   whereas mountain areas account for 40 % of Europe's total surface area and are home to 19 % of Europe's population,

B.   whereas mountain areas cover more than 50 % of the territory of some Member States, such as Greece, Spain, Italy, Austria and Portugal and the farming community remains a significant element in those areas,

C.   whereas mountain areas (particularly high mountain areas and highlands) are cultural landscapes that reflect the harmonious interaction between humans and biosystems and form part of our natural heritage,

D.   whereas mountain areas suffer intensely from the effects of climate change and extreme weather phenomena, such as droughts and fires,

E.   whereas mountain areas are not uniform but are made up of diverse forms of mountain range at varying altitudes (high mountains, highlands, glaciers, unproductive areas),

F.   whereas mountain areas have specific features (gradients, varied altitude, inaccessibility, growth, shorter growing seasons, low soil classification, weather, and particular climatic conditions), which make them different from other landscapes in the European Union and whereas they are, in many respects, 'disadvantaged' due to permanent natural handicaps, and whereas in some mountain areas this results in their gradual desertification and declining agricultural production,

G.   whereas mountain areas (particularly high mountains and highlands) have the potential to be or could be a model for high-quality products, services and recreational areas, that can be sustainably developed only through the integrated and long-term use of resources and traditions,

H.   whereas stock farming products of particular quality are produced in mountain areas and whereas their production process makes integrated and sustainable use of natural resources, pastureland and specially adapted varieties of grazing crops as well as traditional technology,

I.   whereas mountains (particularly high mountains and highlands) are multifunctional habitats, in which the (agricultural) economy is closely tied to social, cultural and ecological issues, and whereas such areas should therefore be given support in the form of appropriate funding,

J.   whereas the economy of mountain areas is particularly sensitive to fluctuations in the economic cycle, because of permanent structural shortcomings, and, in the long term, is dependent on the diversification and specialisation of production processes,

K.   whereas there are already European conventions for the protection of certain mountain areas - the Convention on the Protection of the Alps of 7 November 1991 (Alpine Convention), and the Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians of 22 May 2003(Carpathian Convention) - which are important instruments for an integrated policy on mountain areas, although they have not been fully ratified and implemented,

L.   whereas the agro-sylvo-pastoral economies of mountain areas, which often comprise multiple activities, are an example of environmental balance that should not be disregarded,

M.   whereas the majority of farms in mountain areas are family farms with high financial risk,

1.   Points out the vast differences in the actions taken by Member States in regard to mountain areas (particularly high mountains and highlands), which envisage purely sectoral rather than integrated development, and that there is no integrated EU framework (as is the case for maritime areas: COM(2007)0574 );

2.   Stresses that Article 158 of the EC Treaty, on cohesion policy, as amended by the Treaty of Lisbon, identifies mountain regions as suffering from severe and permanent handicaps, whilst acknowledging their diversity, and calls for particular attention to be paid to such areas; regrets, however, that the Commission has not yet been able to draw up a comprehensive strategy to support mountain areas and other regions suffering from permanent natural handicaps effectively, despite numerous requests to do so by Parliament;

3.   Stresses the need for good coordination of the various Community policies aimed at ensuring harmonious development, particularly for regions such as mountain areas, which suffer from permanent natural handicaps; is concerned, in this connection, about the usefulness of separating the Community's cohesion policy from rural development in the current programming period 2007-2013, resulting from the integration of the European Agricultural Fund for Regional Development into the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP); considers that this new approach needs to be monitored closely in order to evaluate its impact on regional development;

4.   Points out that mountain areas suffer handicaps which make it less easy for agriculture to adapt to competitive conditions and entail extra costs so that it cannot produce very competitive products at low prices;

5.   Proposes that, in the context of the Green Paper on territorial cohesion to be adopted in autumn 2008, and in keeping with the objectives of the territorial agenda and the European Spatial Development Perspective, the Commission should, in cooperation with the Member States, adopt a territorial approach in order to address the problems in different types of mountain territories and make provision for such measures within the next legislative package on the Structural Funds;

6.   Would like the Commission to develop a genuine integrated EU strategy for mountain areas and considers the publication of a Green Paper on mountains to be an important first step in that direction; calls on the Commission to launch a wide-ranging public consultation involving regional and local authorities, socio-economic and environmental actors, as well as national and European associations representing regional authorities in mountain areas, in order better to identify the situation in those regions;

7.   Welcomes the Green Paper on territorial cohesion as a method for dealing with the different areas of the European Union and calls, in this connection, for a CAP with a first and second pillar so that in the European Union, with regard to the international challenges, the economic environment can be effectively influenced accordingly, with a view to making multifunctional mountain and hill farming viable, for which production-linked instruments, including as regards milk transport, are also necessary;

8.   At the same time, urges the Commission to develop, within its remit, an integrated EU strategy for the sustainable development and use of resources in mountain areas (EU strategy for mountain areas) within six months of the adoption of this resolution; also calls for national action programmes containing specific implementation measures to be drawn up on this basis by arrangement with regional authorities and civil society representatives familiar with and defending local interests and needs on the spot (e.g. as regards the different types of mountain area), with account to be taken of existing regional initiatives, accordingly;

9.   Emphasises the importance of demarcating mountain areas as a prerequisite for targeted measures, such as, in particular, for mountain and hill farming, and the need for those areas to be properly classified by degree of natural disadvantage, which should be monitored to a greater extent by Member States on the basis of the current eligible-area map;

10.   Calls on the Commission to produce an overview of programmes and projects funded on topics of relevance to mountain areas for the purpose of transferring knowledge and promoting innovation;

11.   Calls on the Commission, in the context of the European Spatial Planning Observation Network work programme, to pay special attention to the situation of regions that are beset by permanent natural handicaps, such as mountain areas; considers that a sound and thorough knowledge of the situation as regards mountain areas is essential in order to be able to draw up differentiated measures that better address the problems of those regions;

12.   Emphasises the role played by hill and mountain farming in production, in the cross-sectoral maintenance and utilisation of landscapes and as a multifunctional basis for other sectors of the economy and characteristic feature of traditional cultural landscapes and social fabrics;

13.   Points out that many mountain areas have to tackle urban pressures caused by their attractiveness to tourists and, at the same time, to protect traditional landscapes that are becoming less agricultural and are losing their beauty as well as qualities of essential importance to the ecosystem;

14.   Notes that farming in mountain areas (in particular in highland and high mountain areas) involves greater effort (inter alia because of high labour intensity and the need for manual labour) and higher costs (inter alia because of the need for special machinery and the high cost of transport) due to natural conditions and risks;

15.   Calls for specific and greater account to be taken of the multifunctionality of mountain and hill farming in future CAP reforms by bringing the framework directives for rural development and national programmes into line with the role of mountain and hill farmers not only as producers but also as economic forerunners for other sectors and that scope be created for synergetic collaboration (inter alia, funding for ecotourism programmes and marketing for high-quality products); points, in particular, to the need for charges to be made for mountain farming's ecological benefits;

16.   Pays tribute to the work carried out by mountain farmers; notes that the conditions for mountain farming (above all as regards earning a supplementary income, the work life balance and the ability to start a family) should not be complicated by red tape but should be improved through the fusion of sectoral policies; calls on the Commission and the competent (comitology) committees to review existing and prospective rules (above all on compulsory registers) in keeping with the 'better regulation' initiative and/or to make them less complicated with a view to comprehensive simplification of administrative procedures;

17.   Emphasises that compensatory payments for mountain areas (in particular in highland and high mountain areas) should continue and that they should, in future, be exclusively geared towards offsetting permanent natural disadvantages and additional costs stemming from farming difficulties, that such payments are justified in the long term due to the lack of alternative production and that full decoupling would lead to a systematic reduction in activity affecting all sectors; emphasises that the needs of mountain areas cannot be met by rural development funding alone;

18.   Calls for more assistance for young farmers and equal opportunities for women and men (particularly through family-friendly measures, the regulation of full and part-time work, combined-wage models, supplementary-jobs models, the work life balance and the ability to start a family) as vital factors; calls on the Commission to devise approaches, with stakeholder involvement, as part of 'flexicurity' discussions and projects;

19.   Calls for demographic balance to be maintained in those areas that often face problems arising from urban migration;

20.   Is convinced that priority should be given to maintaining sufficient population density in mountain areas and of the need for measures to combat desertification and attract new people;

21.   Stresses the importance of ensuring a high level of services of general economic interest, improving the accessibility and interconnection of mountain areas and providing the necessary infrastructure, in particular as regards passenger and freight transport, education, the knowledge-based economy and communication networks (including broadband access) in order to facilitate connections with upland markets and urban areas; calls on the competent authorities to promote public-private partnerships for these purposes;

22.   Emphasises that producer associations, farming cooperatives, collective marketing initiatives driven by farmers and inter-sectoral partnerships that create added value within regions through an integrated development approach (e.g. Leader groups) and in line with sustainable farming strategies, make an important contribution to the stability of income positioning and security of agricultural production on markets and should be given greater support accordingly;

23.   Calls for special financial assistance for the dairy sector (dairy farmers and processors) which plays a key role in mountain areas (in particular highland and high mountain areas) given the lack of alternative production; calls for a 'soft landing' strategy to be adopted for mountain areas during the milk quota reform, and for accompanying measures (special payments) to reduce any negative impact, that leaves room for introducing adjustment processes, which preserves the basis for farming; calls for additional funds to be made available from the first pillar, in particular in the form of a dairy cow premium;

24.   Calls on the Member States to establish, with an emphasis on support for sustainable and adapted agriculture in mountain areas, additional per-hectare payments for organic farming and extensive grazing as well as support for investments in livestock facilities appropriate to the species;

25.   Points out that undertakings in mountain areas produce high-quality products by making renewed use of traditional know-how and manufacturing procedures and play a key role in the field of employment and should thus be envisaged in EU aid systems;

26.   Calls for special assistance measures as a result of increased costs and efforts needed, in particular for delivering milk and dairy products in valleys; repeats its call for the introduction of a dairy cow premium for mountain areas in this context;

27.   Underlines the cross-sectoral importance of typical (high-quality) regional and traditional products; asks that the EU strategy for mountain areas to include measures to protect and promote those products or their manufacturing procedures and their certification (e.g. as laid down in Council Regulation (EC) No 509/2006 of 20 March 2006 on agricultural products and foodstuffs as traditional specialities guaranteed(5) and Council Regulation (EC) No 510/2006 of 20 March 2006 on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs(6) ) and to safeguard them from imitations; calls for special provision to be made within the EU promotion programmes for high-quality foodstuffs (e.g. those from mountain pasture and farm cheese dairies as well as high-quality meat);

28.   Calls on the Commission and the Member States to support farmer groups and local communities to establish regional quality labels as referred to in paragraph 27; suggests that support be given by improved information and appropriate training for farmers and local food processors as well as by financial support for setting up local processing facilities as well as first promotion campaigns;

29.   Calls for the establishment of a fund for disadvantaged areas, including mountain areas, containing, for example, resources from the second pillar which have not been used due to the lack of national co-financing;

30.   Calls for guaranteed targeted special financial assistance for mountain areas, in accordance with Article 69 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003 of 29 September 2003 establishing common rules for direct support schemes under the CAP and establishing certain support schemes for farmers(7) , specific access to this assistance with minimum red tape, and for the upper limit for resources under Article 69 to be raised to 20 %;

31.   Points out that mountain areas can provide high-quality agricultural produce and can add to the diversity of agricultural products in the European market, preserve certain animal and vegetable species, uphold traditions and foster industrial and tourist activities and combat climate change by protecting biodiversity and capturing CO2 through permanent grassland and forests and that sustainable forestry exploitation will make it possible to produce energy using wood residues;

32.   Calls for the interests of breeders and farmers of livestock, in particular of indigenous breeds, in mountain areas and in view of the current risks and pressures to which they are subject, to be taken into account in animal health, animal protection and animal breeding provisions, such as breeding programmes, the retention of herd books and compliance checks;

33.   Stresses that the Commission's actions in the fields of competition and international trade policy have consequences on the development of mountain areas; calls on the Commission, in this context, to address the needs of those areas in a more targeted way when future adjustments are made, in particular at World Trade Organisation negotiations and as regards the flexibility of State aid rules and factoring public services of general interest into competition law;

34.   Calls for particular attention to be given to stock farmers in fire-stricken mountain areas, as the pastureland in those areas requires limited and cautious use over the next five-year period;

35.   Calls for the 'strategy' to cover the different types of landscape in mountain areas (mountain pastures, protected forests, high mountains, highlands, meadows, landscapes of particular beauty) and to make provision for ideas and incentives for the protection and the sustainable use of mountain pastures, grassland, forests and other less favoured, sensitive areas in order to regenerate and re-grass them, protect them from erosion, promote rational management of water resources and combat unwelcome developments such as ending grazing on land which then reverts to its wild state on the one hand or over-grazing on the other;

36.   Points out, with regard to preserving species diversity, the need to establish repositories of indigenous genetic material from animal and plant species, particularly indigenous farm animals and mountain flora; calls on the Commission to examine whether and how to launch an international action plan initiative;

37.   Stresses that in some mountain areas in the European Union, particularly in the newer Member States, there is a growing risk of depopulation and an impoverishment of the social life of local communities and that those areas are also threatened by a curtailment or even a discontinuation of farming, which is likely to result in changes to the landscape and the ecosystem; 

38.   Stresses that grass premiums are essential for the continuation of farming in mountain areas and should therefore be maintained;

39.   Emphasises the importance of a long-term forestry strategy that takes into account the effects of climate change, the natural life cycle and natural composition of the forest ecosystem, and creates prevention, response and compensatory mechanisms in crisis situations (e.g. storms and forest fires) and incentives for integrated forest management; points to the scope for sustainable transformation and exploitation of timber and timber products from mountain regions at local level (as high-quality products with low shipping costs and hence reductions in CO2 emissions, construction materials and second-generation biofuels);

40.   Stresses the importance of the issue of water management in mountain areas and calls on the Commission to encourage local and regional authorities to develop a sense of solidarity between downstream and upstream users, including through appropriate funding to support the sustainable use of water resources in these areas;

41.   Stresses that mountain areas are particularly vulnerable to the consequences of climate change and calls on the Commission, the Member States and the competent regional and local authorities to promote the immediate implementation of measures to provide protection against natural disasters, in particular forest fires, in those regions;

42.   Points out that mountain areas require new means of protecting their territory against flooding (with an emphasis on flood prevention), whilst farmers and foresters can support anti-flooding preventive measures by means of the direct area-related payments which they receive under the CAP;

43.   Points out that thorough and comprehensive anti-erosion protection for soil, buildings and the conservation of aquifers must be provided as a constituent part of farming and forestry practice in order to minimise the risks of flooding and soil erosion and to prevent drought and forest fires and also for the purpose of increasing the supply of groundwater and surface water in the countryside;

44.   Emphasises that deciduous and coniferous forests need particular care as a sector of the economy, as recreational areas and as a habitat, and that the unsustainable use of forests leads to ecological and safety risks (such as rock falls and mudslides), which require counteracting measures;

45.   Recalls the suggestion in paragraph 15 of its resolution of 16 February 2006 that efforts be made to encourage the separation between forests and grazing land in mountain areas and to introduce the requirement to use paths (not least for safety reasons in general);

46.   Points out that mountains form natural barriers, and in many instances are also national barriers, which makes cross-border, transnational and interregional cooperation - and the promotion thereof - essential, given the problems they have in common (e.g. climate change, animal diseases, loss of biodiversity);

47.   Welcomes efforts in the field of sustainable tourism and those aimed at making efficient use of nature as an "economic advantage" through sustainable and also traditional leisure and sports activities that take specific local characteristics into account; emphasises the role of people who "use" nature for the benefit of their own health whilst respecting the natural environment;

48.   Urges greater coordination of rural development and structural support and the development of common programmes;

49.   Suggests that rural development and structural assistance be combined and that integrated programmes be developed;

50.   Stresses the significance of introducing an integrated approach to decision-making and administrative procedures such as regional planning, the licensing of construction projects and the refurbishment of dwellings by means of environmental, heritage and urban-planning practices, with a view to ensuring sustainable development in mountain areas; recommends that the potential of mountain areas should be exploited in order to promote the comprehensive development of tourism and the use of innovation in land development and, to that end, encourages local, decentralised initiatives and cooperation between mountain areas;

51.   Emphasises that land that is not suitable for cultivation and production must be used, inter alia, for the maintenance of forests, sustainable hunting and fishing and for the enhancement of those activities, in order to prevent it reverting to its wild state and to prevent fire hazards, erosion and a reduction in biodiversity;

52.   Cites the importance of mountain areas (particularly high mountains and highlands) for conservation, biodiversity and habitat preservation but points in particular to the need to maintain farming and forestry in "Natura 2000" areas and nature reserves and calls for the increased interlinking of those areas by introducing a minimum proportion of ecological offset land in farming areas (possibly 5 %);

53.   Calls on the Commission to give its full backing to nominating mountain areas for inclusion on the world heritage list and to avail itself of all the international opportunities available to protect those regions;

54.   Points to the unique water resources of mountain areas, which can be used sustainably for natural irrigation and as a source of drinking water and energy and for spa tourism; stresses the need for upstream and downstream solidarity in the management of these resources; highlights the need in this connection, and so as to prevent any conflicts, to devise solutions, collaboratively, for the use of water resources throughout the areas concerned;

55.   Calls on the Commission to promote the implementation of the Mountain Farming Protocol to the Alpine Convention in close collaboration with the Alpine Convention institutions, to give optimum backing to interlinking mountain and hill farming with other policy areas and, in this connection, to take the necessary steps to ensure the ratification of the Alpine Convention protocols that are not yet part of the acquis communautaire and the accession of the European Union to the Carpathian Convention as a contracting party;

56.   Highlights the importance of the voluntary sector (especially mountain rescue, civil protection and charities) with regard to services and the cultural and natural heritage in the mountains;

57.   Applauds the work of organisations and research institutes dedicated to the cause of mountain areas and stresses that use must be made of their expertise and motivation in developing an EU strategy for mountain areas and similar measures;

58.   Points to the role played by the promotion of part-time basic and further vocational training and - in the interests of diversifying vocational capacities and opportunities - of lifelong learning initiatives and projects;

59.   Considers it to be necessary to invest in local, advanced training centres in agricultural economy for mountain areas, so as to train professionals with the ability to manage activities in a mountain environment, protect the land and develop agriculture.

60.   Calls for particular attention to be given to preserving the landscape and strengthening and modernising the infrastructure in mountain areas which are difficult to access and for the information gap to be bridged and for the results of the research framework programmes (e.g. for e-Government) to be made accessible;

61.   Points to the need for efficient local services in maintaining population levels and for competitiveness; calls for targeted support to be given to local entities working as services of general interest;

62.   Emphasises the need to focus on sustainable mobility solutions and to adopt an integrated approach to trans-national (transit, long-distance corridors) and local requirements (such as access to areas at very different altitudes and urban mobility);

63.   Calls for mountain areas to be given support in the areas of transport management, noise protection and landscape conservation through measures aimed at taking traffic off the roads (e.g. more 'sensitive areas' in the 'Infrastructure Charging Directive'(8) ), thus forming the basis for a better quality of life and sustainable tourism;

64.   Stresses the importance of 'transition zones' between plains and mountain areas for providing high-value private and public infrastructure facilities and services (e.g. universities, airports, hospitals); calls for support to make such facilities more easily accessible, particularly by means of public transport;

65.   Emphasises that, through the intelligent use of many different sources of energy, mountain areas are 'models' for a diversified energy mix, energy-efficient building solutions and second-generation biofuels, and that support should be given to research work in those fields; stresses, nonetheless, that the development of second-generation biofuels must not give rise to competition between feedstock production (fallow land, coppices, etc.) and grazing areas;

66.   Advises Member States to improve the structure of and procedures for the provision of financial assistance intended to support the development of mountain areas and at the same time to simplify administrative procedures and access to resources intended to support the protection and sustainable use of territorial assets: the cultural heritage and natural and human resources;

67.   Considers that sustainable, modernised and multifunctional agriculture is necessary in mountain areas for maintaining other activities, such as the exploitation of biomass and agri-tourism, thus increasing the incomes of local people and calls on the Commission and Council to take account specifically, in the CAP and in regional policy, of the needs of mountain areas: the arrival of new farmers, compensation of extra costs linked to the problem of inaccessibility, for example with regard to milk collection, the maintenance of services in rural areas and the development of transport infrastructure;

68.   Points to the vulnerability of mountains and glaciers on climate change, because of their topographical features and structural disadvantages, as well as to their potential as a 'test laboratory' for innovative technologies on climate protection that imitate Nature; calls on the Commission to devise a differentiated climate policy as regards mountain areas and, in the process, to draw on existing knowledge (such as the Alpine and Carpathian Conventions); calls for research activities to be undertaken and transitional measures to be adopted in this area;

69.   Calls for coordination arrangements for mountain areas and less favoured areas to be functionally linked with the CAP and the second pillar (rural development);

70.   Stresses that sustainable agriculture and the development of mountain areas are of importance to the population not only in those particular areas, but also of adjoining areas (e.g. plains), and that the EU strategy for mountain areas should also influence sustainability in those adjoining areas as regards water supply, environmental stability, biodiversity, balanced population distribution and cultural diversity; calls on the Commission to examine, in formulating the EU strategy for mountain areas, how existing initiatives for the integration of mountain areas and adjoining areas can usefully be incorporated into the strategy;

71.   Instructs its Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development to monitor the progress of this resolution in the Council and the Commission;

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

(1) OJ C 72 E, 21.3.2002, p. 354.
(2) OJ C 290 E, 29.11.2006, p. 413.
(3) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0093 .
(4) Committee of the Regions, 23-2008.
(5) OJ L 93, 31.3.2006, p. 1.
(6) OJ L 93, 31.3.2006, p. 12.
(7) OJ L 270, 21.10.2003, p. 1.
(8) Directive 2006/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2006 amending Directive 1999/62/EC on the charging of heavy goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures (OJ L 157, 9.6.2006, p. 8).


European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism
DOC 52k
Declaration of the European Parliament on the proclamation of 23 August as European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism
P6_TA(2008)0439 P6_DCL(2008)0044

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the United Nations Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity,

–   having regard to the following articles of the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms: Article 1 - Obligation to respect human rights; Article 2  - Right to life; Article 3 - Prohibition of torture, and Article 4 - Prohibition of slavery and forced labour,

–   having regard to Resolution 1481 (2006) of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly on the need for international condemnation of crimes of totalitarian communist regimes,

–   having regard to Rule 116 of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 23 August 1939 between the Soviet Union and Germany divided Europe into two spheres of interest by means of secret additional protocols,

B.   whereas the mass deportations, murders and enslavements committed in the context of the acts of aggression by Stalinism and Nazism fall into the category of war crimes and crimes against humanity,

C.   whereas, under international law, statutory limitations do not apply to war crimes and crimes against humanity,

D.   whereas the influence and significance of the Soviet order and occupation on and for citizens of the post-Communist States are little known in Europe,

E.   whereas Article 3 of Decision No 1904/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 establishing for the period 2007 to 2013 the programme 'Europe for Citizens' to promote active European citizenship(1) calls for support for the action 'Active European Remembrance', intended to prevent any repetition of the crimes of Nazism and Stalinism,

1.   Proposes that 23 August be proclaimed European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism, in order to preserve the memory of the victims of mass deportations and exterminations, and at the same time rooting democracy more firmly and reinforcing peace and stability in our continent;

2.   Instructs its President to forward this declaration, together with the names of the signatories, to the parliaments of the Member States.

List of signatories

Jim Allister, Alexander Alvaro, Jan Andersson, Georgs Andrejevs, Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Emmanouil Angelakas, Roberta Angelilli, Robert Atkins, John Attard-Montalto, Elspeth Attwooll, Inés Ayala Sender, Liam Aylward, Maria Badia i Cutchet, Enrique Barón Crespo, Alessandro Battilocchio, Edit Bauer, Jean Marie Beaupuy, Christopher Beazley, Zsolt László Becsey, Bastiaan Belder, Ivo Belet, Irena Belohorská, Monika Beňová, Rolf Berend, Sergio Berlato, Giovanni Berlinguer, Adam Bielan, Šarūnas Birutis, Sebastian Valentin Bodu, Guy Bono, Mario Borghezio, Josep Borrell Fontelles, Victor Boştinaru, John Bowis, Sharon Bowles, Iles Braghetto, Elmar Brok, Danutė Budreikaitė, Cristian Silviu Buşoi, Philippe Busquin, Simon Busuttil, Jerzy Buzek, Martin Callanan, Mogens Camre, Luis Manuel Capoulas Santos, Marco Cappato, David Casa, Paulo Casaca, Michael Cashman, Françoise Castex, Giuseppe Castiglione, Jean-Marie Cavada, Charlotte Cederschiöld, Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Ole Christensen, Sylwester Chruszcz, Philip Claeys, Luigi Cocilovo, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Richard Corbett, Dorette Corbey, Titus Corlăţean, Corina Creţu, Brian Crowley, Magor Imre Csibi, Marek Aleksander Czarnecki, Ryszard Czarnecki, Daniel Dăianu, Joseph Daul, Dragoş Florin David, Antonio De Blasio, Arūnas Degutis, Véronique De Keyser, Gérard Deprez, Marie-Hélène Descamps, Nirj Deva, Christine De Veyrac, Mia De Vits, Jolanta Dičkutė, Gintaras Didžiokas, Koenraad Dillen, Alexandra Dobolyi, Valdis Dombrovskis, Beniamino Donnici, Bert Doorn, Den Dover, Petr Duchoň, Bárbara Dührkop Dührkop, Andrew Duff, Árpád Duka-Zólyomi, Constantin Dumitriu, Michl Ebner, Lena Ek, Saïd El Khadraoui, Maria da Assunção Esteves, Edite Estrela, Jonathan Evans, Robert Evans, Göran Färm, Richard Falbr, Carlo Fatuzzo, Szabolcs Fazakas, Markus Ferber, Emanuel Jardim Fernandes, Francesco Ferrari, Petru Filip, Hélène Flautre, Alessandro Foglietta, Hanna Foltyn-Kubicka, Nicole Fontaine, Glyn Ford, Ingo Friedrich, Urszula Gacek, Michael Gahler, Kinga Gál, Milan Gaľa, Iratxe García Pérez, Patrick Gaubert, Jas Gawronski, Eugenijus Gentvilas, Georgios Georgiou, Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg, Adam Gierek, Maciej Marian Giertych, Neena Gill, Béla Glattfelder, Bogdan Golik, Bruno Gollnisch, Ana Maria Gomes, Alfred Gomolka, Donata Gottardi, Genowefa Grabowska, Dariusz Maciej Grabowski, Vasco Graça Moura, Ingeborg Gräßle, Lissy Gröner, Elly de Groen-Kouwenhoven, Françoise Grossetête, Ignasi Guardans Cambó, Ambroise Guellec, Zita Gurmai, Catherine Guy-Quint, Małgorzata Handzlik, Gábor Harangozó, Malcolm Harbour, Marian Harkin, Joel Hasse Ferreira, Satu Hassi, Christopher Heaton-Harris, Gyula Hegyi, Erna Hennicot-Schoepges, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Edit Herczog, Jim Higgins, Mary Honeyball, Karsten Friedrich Hoppenstedt, Milan Horáček, Richard Howitt, Ján Hudacký, Stephen Hughes, Alain Hutchinson, Jana Hybášková, Filiz Hakaeva Hyusmenova, Marie Anne Isler Béguin, Ville Itälä, Lily Jacobs, Anneli Jäätteenmäki, Mieczysław Edmund Janowski, Lívia Járóka, Rumiana Jeleva, Anne E. Jensen, Dan Jørgensen, Romana Jordan Cizelj, Ona Juknevičienė, Jelko Kacin, Filip Kaczmarek, Gisela Kallenbach, Syed Kamall, Othmar Karas, Sajjad Karim, Ioannis Kasoulides, Piia-Noora Kauppi, Metin Kazak, Tunne Kelam, Glenys Kinnock, Timothy Kirkhope, Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, Eija-Riitta Korhola, Magda Kósáné Kovács, Miloš Koterec, Holger Krahmer, Guntars Krasts, Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis, Aldis Kušķis, Zbigniew Krzysztof Kuźmiuk, Joost Lagendijk, André Laignel, Alain Lamassoure, Jean Lambert, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Vytautas Landsbergis, Carl Lang, Romano Maria La Russa, Vincenzo Lavarra, Henrik Lax, Johannes Lebech, Stéphane Le Foll, Roselyne Lefrançois, Klaus-Heiner Lehne, Lasse Lehtinen, Jörg Leichtfried, Jo Leinen, Fernand Le Rachinel, Katalin Lévai, Janusz Lewandowski, Bogusław Liberadzki, Marcin Libicki, Alain Lipietz, Pia Elda Locatelli, Eleonora Lo Curto, Antonio López-Istúriz White, Andrea Losco, Patrick Louis, Caroline Lucas, Sarah Ludford, Astrid Lulling, Elizabeth Lynne, Marusya Ivanova Lyubcheva, Linda McAvan, Arlene McCarthy, Edward McMillan-Scott, Jamila Madeira, Eugenijus Maldeikis, Toine Manders, Ramona Nicole Mănescu, Vladimír Maňka, Thomas Mann, Marian-Jean Marinescu, David Martin, Miguel Angel Martínez Martínez, Jan Tadeusz Masiel, Manuel Medina Ortega, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, Emilio Menéndez del Valle, Rosa Miguélez Ramos, Marianne Mikko, Miroslav Mikolášik, Francisco José Millán Mon, Gay Mitchell, Nickolay Mladenov, Viktória Mohácsi, Claude Moraes, Javier Moreno Sánchez, Eluned Morgan, Philippe Morillon, Jan Mulder, Cristiana Muscardini, Riitta Myller, Pasqualina Napoletano, Robert Navarro, Cătălin-Ioan Nechifor, Catherine Neris, James Nicholson, null Nicholson of Winterbourne, Rareş-Lucian Niculescu, Lambert van Nistelrooij, Vural Öger, Péter Olajos, Jan Olbrycht, Seán Ó Neachtain, Gérard Onesta, Janusz Onyszkiewicz, Ria Oomen-Ruijten, Dumitru Oprea, Josu Ortuondo Larrea, Csaba Őry, Siiri Oviir, Reino Paasilinna, Maria Grazia Pagano, Borut Pahor, Justas Vincas Paleckis, Vladko Todorov Panayotov, Marco Pannella, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Neil Parish, Ioan Mircea Paşcu, Aldo Patriciello, Béatrice Patrie, Vincent Peillon, Bogdan Pęk, Alojz Peterle, Maria Petre, Willi Piecyk, Rihards Pīks, Mirosław Mariusz Piotrowski, Umberto Pirilli, Paweł Bartłomiej Piskorski, Gianni Pittella, Francisca Pleguezuelos Aguilar, Zita Pleštinská, Rovana Plumb, Zdzisław Zbigniew Podkański, Samuli Pohjamo, Lydie Polfer, Nicolae Vlad Popa, Bernd Posselt, Christa Prets, Vittorio Prodi, Jacek Protasiewicz, John Purvis, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, Karin Resetarits, José Ribeiro e Castro, Teresa Riera Madurell, Karin Riis-Jørgensen, Maria Robsahm, Bogusław Rogalski, Zuzana Roithová, Dariusz Rosati, Wojciech Roszkowski, Christian Rovsing, Flaviu Călin Rus, Leopold Józef Rutowicz, Eoin Ryan, Guido Sacconi, Aloyzas Sakalas, Katrin Saks, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Manuel António dos Santos, Sebastiano Sanzarello, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Gilles Savary, Toomas Savi, Christel Schaldemose, Agnes Schierhuber, Carl Schlyter, Olle Schmidt, Pál Schmitt, György Schöpflin, Esko Seppänen, Adrian Severin, Brian Simpson, Kathy Sinnott, Marek Siwiec, Peter Skinner, Csaba Sógor, Bogusław Sonik, María Sornosa Martínez, Bart Staes, Grażyna Staniszewska, Margarita Starkevičiūtė, Peter Šťastný, Petya Stavreva, Dirk Sterckx, Struan Stevenson, Catherine Stihler, Robert Sturdy, Margie Sudre, László Surján, József Szájer, Andrzej Jan Szejna, István Szent-Iványi, Konrad Szymański, Csaba Sándor Tabajdi, Hannu Takkula, Charles Tannock, Andres Tarand, Salvatore Tatarella, Britta Thomsen, Silvia-Adriana Ţicău, Gary Titley, Patrizia Toia, László Tőkés, Ewa Tomaszewska, Witold Tomczak, Jacques Toubon, Catherine Trautmann, Helga Trüpel, Vladimir Urutchev, Inese Vaidere, Nikolaos Vakalis, Adina-Ioana Vălean, Frank Vanhecke, Anne Van Lancker, Geoffrey Van Orden, Daniel Varela Suanzes-Carpegna, Ari Vatanen, Armando Veneto, Riccardo Ventre, Donato Tommaso Veraldi, Marcello Vernola, Alejo Vidal-Quadras, Kristian Vigenin, Kyösti Virrankoski, Graham Watson, Henri Weber, Renate Weber, Anders Wijkman, Iuliu Winkler, Janusz Wojciechowski, Corien Wortmann-Kool, Anna Záborská, Zbigniew Zaleski, Iva Zanicchi, Andrzej Tomasz Zapałowski, Dushana Zdravkova, Roberts Zīle, Marian Zlotea, Tadeusz Zwiefka

(1) OJ L 378, 27.12.2006, p. 32.

Last updated: 26 May 2009Legal notice