Procedure : 2008/2231(INI)
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Document selected : A6-0502/2008

Texts tabled :

A6-0502/2008

Debates :

PV 18/02/2009 - 20
CRE 18/02/2009 - 20

Votes :

PV 19/02/2009 - 9.3
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


REPORT     
PDF 204kWORD 137k
12 December 2008
PE 412.142v02-00 A6-0502/2008

on the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean

(2008/2231(INI))

Committee on Foreign Affairs

Rapporteur: Pasqualina Napoletano

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 OPINION of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs
 OPINION of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean

(2008/2231(INI))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to the Barcelona Declaration establishing a Euro-Mediterranean partnership, which was adopted at the Euro-Mediterranean Conference of Ministers for Foreign Affairs held in Barcelona on 27-28 November 1995,

 having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council entitled ‘Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean’ (COM(2008) 0319),

 having regard to the approval of the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean by the Brussels European Council of 13-14 March 2008,

 having regard to the Declaration of the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean, held in Paris on 13 July 2008,

 having regard to the Final declaration of the Meeting of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Union for the Mediterranean, held in Marseilles on 3-4 November 2008,

 having regard to the Conclusions of the Meeting of Euro-Mediterranean Ministers for Foreign Affairs held in Lisbon on 5-6 November 2007,

 having regard to the Conclusions of the Euro-Mediterranean Summit held in Barcelona on 27-28 November 2005 to mark the tenth anniversary of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership,

 having regard to the Declaration of the Bureau of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly (EMPA) of 12 July 2008, the EMPA Declaration on the Middle East Peace Process of 13 October 2008 and the EMPA Recommendation to the First Meeting of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean of 13 October 2008,

 having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of 9 October 2008,

 having regard to the Declaration of the Euro-Mediterranean Summit of Economic and Social Councils, held in Rabat on 16 October 2008,

 having regard to the Final declaration of the Presidency of EMPA and the recommendations adopted by EMPA at its fourth plenary session, held in Athens on 27-28 March 2008,

 having regard to the first meeting of EuroMed-Scola, which brought together young citizens from the partner countries and the EU countries in Strasbourg on 16-17 November 2008,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on the European Union’s Mediterranean policy, and in particular that of 5 June 2008(1),

 having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament entitled ‘Reinvigorating EU actions on Human Rights and democratisation with Mediterranean partners - Strategic guidelines’ (COM(2003) 0294),

 having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on strengthening the European Neighbourhood Policy (COM(2006) 0726),

 having regard to its resolution of 15 November 2007 on strengthening the European Neighbourhood Policy(2),

 having regard to its priorities for its Presidency of the EMPA (March 2008 - March 2009),

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

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on International Trade, the Committee on Constitutional Affairs and the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (A6-0502/2008),

A. whereas the Mediterranean basin is becoming an area of key importance and the European Union and partner countries increasingly have shared interests in meeting the challenges of globalisation and peaceful coexistence, meaning that there is a need to ensure greater regional cohesion and the development of a joint policy strategy for the area,

B.  whereas the European Union is, and should continue to be, committed to the fulfilment of the UN Millennium Development Goals,

C. whereas the economic, political and cultural distance between the two sides of the Mediterranean is increasing and those disparities need to be rectified in order eventually to create a shared area of peace, security and prosperity,

D. whereas there is a need for an extensive results-oriented overhaul and deepening of the relations between the European Union and the Mediterranean partner countries, based on the principle of equality between all the partners and capitalising on the work already done, but also addressing the limitations and shortfalls of the policies implemented to date and in particular the disappointing track record of the Barcelona Process,

E.  whereas the neighbourhood policy conducted with the Mediterranean countries has its limitations and, by placing the emphasis on bilateral relations, is proving to be lacking in balance and unable to contribute to a shared process of significant reform in the region,

F.  whereas there is a need to establish relations based on a close partnership and founded on respect for human rights and the rule of law between the European Union and the Mediterranean countries of the Mediterranean basin in its entirety,

G. whereas since the launching of the Barcelona Process no substantial progress has been made in some of the partner countries as regards adherence to, and respect for, some of the common values and principles highlighted in the 1995 Barcelona Declaration to which they subscribed, especially as regards democracy, human rights and the rule of law,

H. whereas there is a need to promote regional and economic integration between the countries of the Mediterranean basin; whereas genuine regional and economic integration can be achieved only if concrete progress is made as regards settlement of the existing conflicts and progress in the field of democracy and human rights,

I.   whereas closer relations between the EU and the countries of the Mediterranean have led to a significant increase in trade between those countries without, however, the necessary upgrading and modernisation of the corresponding infrastructure,

J.   whereas the Heads of State and of Government recognised in the Declaration of the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean that the EMPA will be the legitimate parliamentary expression of the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean, declaring at the same time their strong support for the strengthening of the role of the EMPA in its relations with Mediterranean partners,

K. emphasising that it is insufficient to address the gamut of political relations between the countries of the Euro-Mediterranean area solely from an intergovernmental perspective,

L.  emphasising the importance of the role played by EMPA, which is the only parliamentary assembly enabling dialogue and cooperation in the Euro-Mediterranean area to bring together the 27 EU Member States and all the parties connected with the Middle East peace process,

M. whereas it is important to ensure the involvement of local and regional authorities in the projects and initiatives established by the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean and to take into account the recent proposals from those authorities,

N. whereas it is important to ensure the involvement of the social partners and civil society in revitalising Euro-Mediterranean relations,

O. pointing to the need to avoid any duplication or overlap of existing instruments, policies or institutional levels, and to ensure the overall cohesion of the system of Euro-Mediterranean relations,

P.  emphasising the need for a speedy and peaceful resolution of all conflicts involving Mediterranean countries and realising the importance of the maintenance of intercultural dialogue in this respect,

Q. whereas the persistence of the conflict in the Middle East and the serious political tensions in the region, such as in Western Sahara, may imperil the achievement of several of the objectives pursued by the new institution,

1.  Believes that the proposal entitled ‘Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean’, adopted by the Heads of State and Government at the Summit for the Mediterranean held in Paris on 13 July 2008, contributes towards peace and prosperity and that it will constitute a step towards economic and regional integration as well as ecological and climatic cooperation between the Mediterranean countries, provided that it delivers what it promises and yields concrete and visible results; points out that opening up the process to countries not involved in the partnership increases the likelihood of establishing parity in relations between the European Union and the Mediterranean partner countries and of tackling the problems of the region in a comprehensive way;

2.  Notes that the meeting of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, held in Marseilles on 3-4 November 2008, proposed that the ‘Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean’ be named the ‘Union for the Mediterranean’; takes the view that this name would help highlight the joint nature of the partnership with a view to the implementation of economic regional integration projects; considers it necessary, however, for the strategic value of Euro-Mediterranean relations and the Barcelona Process acquis, including the involvement of civil society, to be reaffirmed, taking as a starting point the policies which the European Union is already developing with its Mediterranean partners in the shape of regional and sub-regional programmes and common guidelines for bilateral cooperation;

3.  Calls on the Council and the Commission in this respect to ensure the cohesion of European Union action, especially with regard to possible institutional developments (in particular the role of the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy as Vice-President of the Commission) and the utilisation of the Community budget;

4.  Welcomes the fact that the Union for the Mediterranean has been promoted within the framework of the European Union institutions;

5.  Agrees with the decision to place the emphasis on a multilateral framework by pinpointing certain large-scale projects to be implemented using the new instruments under the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean; nevertheless highlights the lack of any strategies for economic or regional integration in the Mediterranean basin to support those projects;

6.  Takes the view that a ‘programme agreements’ approach should be adopted to the implementation of projects, drawing on the principle of subsidiarity to clearly define the financial, managerial and supervisory responsibilities of the various institutional levels: European Union, Member States, regions, enterprises and the social partners;

7.  Points out that the projects financed within the framework of the Union for the Mediterranean should be supported by funding from the Community, from partner states and from private financing; calls on the Council and Commission, to this end, to specify the role and strengthen the initiatives of the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP) which, through its investment programme, is facilitating the economic opening-up and modernisation of the Mediterranean countries; reiterates its support for the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean Investment Bank and coordination with international investors; emphasises the importance of the remittance of savings by emigrants from the Southern Mediterranean countries to their countries of origin and considers this to be a tremendous and as yet insufficiently-used lever for development;

8.  Takes the view that, pending review of the financial perspective, the European Union’s share of funding for Mediterranean projects, while guaranteed, must not be to the detriment of the Euro-Mediterranean regional projects already in progress or scheduled, the bolstering of which the European Parliament has called for many times; emphasises, in this connection, the powers exercised by the European Parliament in the EU budgetary procedure; hopes that Parliament will be regularly updated on the stage reached in projects;

9.  Considers that the Secretariat will be able to demonstrate major potential for revitalising Euro-Mediterranean relations thanks to its operational capacity and the political value of its composition; welcomes the fact that unanimous agreement has been reached on the seat of the Secretariat; points out that the city of Barcelona was the birthplace of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership;

10. Agrees that, from an EU perspective, before the Treaty of Lisbon enters into force, the co-presidency must be compatible with the external representation of the European Union in accordance with the Treaty provisions in force;

11. Welcomes the decision of the Ministerial Conference of 3 November 2008, which duly took note of the recommendation adopted by the EMPA in Jordan on 13 October 2008; supports the decision to bring a strong parliamentary dimension to the Union for the Mediterranean, thereby reinforcing its democratic legitimacy, by building on the EMPA, which should be further consolidated and its work better articulated with that of the other institutions of the Partnership, with the possibility being envisaged of granting it legal personality and entitling it to propose and assess economic and regional integration strategies and projects and allowing it to make recommendations to the meetings of foreign affairs ministers; expects this recognition of the EMPA as an institution also to be reflected by its participating as an observer at all meetings of the executive, at meetings of the Heads of State and Government, at ministerial meetings and at all the preparatory meetings of senior officials;

12. Welcomes the decision of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Union for the Mediterranean to include the League of Arab States as a participant at all meetings at all levels, in consideration of its positive contribution to the goals of peace, prosperity and stability in the Mediterranean region;

13. Emphasises the need to include regional and local authorities in the new institutional framework; welcomes the opinion delivered by the Committee of the Regions and the proposal to create a Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (EMRLA);

14. Considers that, in parallel with the enhancement of the parliamentary dimension, a similar development is required in securing the involvement of civil society within the appropriate institutional structure of the Union for the Mediterranean, not least through mechanisms to ensure it is consulted on the selection, implementation and monitoring of projects; invites the EMPA, in that connection, to involve civil society in the Northern and Southern Mediterranean countries more closely in its work; calls for the role of the social partners to be enhanced with a view to the establishing of a Euro-Mediterranean Economic and Social Committee;

15. Highlights the fact that some of the countries participating in the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean were not part of the Barcelona Process; calls on the Council, the Commission and all the States participating in the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean to maintain, in this connection, a cohesive framework of relations geared to economic and regional integration between the European Union and all the countries of the Mediterranean basin; calls on the Council and the Commission to ensure that all member countries of the Union for the Mediterranean are able to access the regional programmes already provided for under the Euro-Mediterranean partnership;

16. Underlines that participation in the Union for the Mediterranean does not constitute an alternative to enlargement of the EU and does not affect the accession prospects of any current or future candidate state; considers that the Union for the Mediterranean will not hamper other regional cooperation initiatives;

17. Stresses the need for an extensive overhaul of Euro-Mediterranean policy as a whole that strengthens its political dimension and joint development; points out that in any event the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean initiative does not weaken the broader perspectives of that policy;

18. Takes the view that the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean should step up existing forms of cooperation under EuroMed in order to provide all partner countries with the chance of participating in the Union’s regional programmes and corresponding policies on the basis of priorities and objectives set by mutual agreement, pointing to the importance of extending the scope of Community programmes to include participation by partner countries, not least in the fields of education, research and professional training (student exchanges, etc.);

19. Takes the view that the issues of peace and security, human rights and democracy, and cultural cooperation, must be addressed via the Euro-Mediterranean dimension; underlines that the Union for the Mediterranean is intended to address regional, infrastructural and environmental issues by means of strategic plans and specific projects; hopes that this practical dimension can contribute to a renewal of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership;

20. Recalls the first initiatives proposed at the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean on 13 July 2008: de-pollution of the Mediterranean, maritime and land highways, civil protection, the Mediterranean Solar Plan, higher education and research, and the Mediterranean Business Development Initiative;

21. Recalls that, in order to attain the ambitious objectives of the Barcelona Process, it is necessary rapidly to extend the areas of cooperation to cover water management, agriculture, food security, energy, professional training, culture, health, tourism, etc.;

22. Strongly supports the environmental dimension of the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean and the related initiatives and projects, such as the new Euro-Mediterranean initiative for the de-pollution of the Mediterranean and the Mediterranean Project for Solar Energy;

23. Takes the view that the inclusion of all the Mediterranean countries in the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean provides the opportunity to deal with the problems of the region in a more comprehensive manner and to link and coordinate the process, in a more effective way, with already existing programmes such as the UNEP Mediterranean Action Plan;

24. Welcomes the proposal, contained in the Final Declaration of the Presidency of the Fourth Plenary Session, for the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean Energy Community supported by the EMPA; recognises the importance of strengthening cooperation in the field of energy between Euro-Mediterranean partners and the need to develop a regional energy market, with a view to the implementation of large-scale renewable energy and energy infrastructure projects in the Mediterranean region;

25. Hopes that the strengthening of Euro-Mediterranean relations will provide a boost to the development of an area of peace and prosperity; emphasises that peace and political stability in the Mediterranean are vital for collective and individual security far beyond its shores; emphasises that this aim can only be achieved through negotiated and comprehensive settlement of the conflicts in the region; believes that the EU must assume the role of leadership in the resolution of those conflicts by winning the confidence of all parties involved; stresses the need to formally maintain cooperation in the field of combating international terrorism, drugs trafficking, organised crime and the trafficking of human beings; welcomes the call made in the Marseilles Declaration to the parties concerned to endeavour to implement a process of gradual demilitarisation and disarmament of the Middle East with a view, in particular, to creating an area free of nuclear armaments and weapons of mass destruction;

26. Considers that in order to ease tensions around the Mediterranean, intercultural and inter-societal understanding among its peoples must be improved, and that initiatives such as the Alliance of Civilisations must therefore be supported as a prime forum for dialogue contributing to stabilisation of the region; urges the Council and the Commission to propose strategies for promoting that dialogue; encourages an upgrading of links between the EMPA and the Anna Lindh Foundation, including the organisation of meetings between leading networks of the Anna Lindh Foundation and of the EMPA Culture Committee;

27. Points out that one of the main goals of Euro-Mediterranean policy is to promote the rule of law, democracy, respect for human rights and political pluralism, and notes that there are still severe violations thereof; reiterates the importance of promoting human rights and the rule of law; calls for an assessment of what has been achieved so far and for adjustment of the instruments implemented under the partnership; urges the Commission to set precise criteria for eligibility of those instruments, including as regards other international organisations such as the Council of Europe, and to put in place an effective system to monitor their implementation; in that connection, calls on all the parties concerned to further and promote respect for freedom of religion and belief and for minority rights; hopes that a joint policy-making and institutional framework will be defined that facilitates greater mutual cooperation in the pinpointing of problems and in the search for common solutions;

28. Calls on the Council and the Commission, therefore, clearly to enshrine the promotion of human rights and democracy in the objectives of this new initiative, to further strengthen the implementation of existing mechanisms such as the human rights clause contained in the Association agreements and the setting-up of subcommittees on human rights, and to create a mechanism for the implementation of that clause in the new generation of agreements and the ENP bilateral Action Plans; emphasises that the instruments for promoting human rights available under the European Neighbourhood Policy must be exploited to the full, guaranteeing greater political cohesion between the European institutions;

29. Calls on all the countries participating in the partnership, the Commission and the future institutions of the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean to inject fresh vigour into the management of joint migration policies in order to better harness human resources and exchanges between the peoples of the Mediterranean while also eschewing a ‘security-first’ approach; considers that immigration issues must focus on the possibilities for legal migration, the combating of illegal migratory flows, on smoother integration of immigrant groups and on the exercising of the right of asylum; highlights the importance of there being close cooperation and a spirit of joint responsibility between the Member States of the European Union and the Southern Mediterranean countries; welcomes the holding of the EuroMed Ministerial Conference on Migration in November 2007 and takes the view that the Union for the Mediterranean needs to award priority attention to the structured management of migratory flows;

30. Notes the declaration of the Heads of State and Government that the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean demonstrates a determination to favour the development of human resources and employment in line with the Millennium Development Goals, including by alleviating poverty, and looks forward to new initiatives, programmes and financial provisions to that end;

31. Considers that, in order to permit the creation of a mutually beneficial Euro-Mediterranean free trade area, the economic and commercial initiatives of the Union for the Mediterranean must favour the economic growth of the region, help improve its integration into the world economy and contribute to reducing the development gap between the Northern and Southern Mediterranean, while boosting social cohesion;

32. Stresses the need to assess and take systematically into account, the social impact of liberalisation processes, particularly in terms of food security; further stresses that this impact may vary significantly from one sector to another and from one country to another;

33. Stresses the importance of the informal sector and the mass economy in the countries of the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean; considers that, in the interests of the development of the region, support must be given to progressively integrating those activities into the formal economy;

34. Notes that, since the 2004 and 2007 enlargements, trade between the Union’s new Member States and its Mediterranean partners has been constantly increasing; calls for this trend to be taken into account and supported in the context of the partnership;

35. Stresses the need to encourage young people to create small businesses, including by facilitating access to credits and microcredit; also considers that support for the FEMIP must be stepped up;

36. Notes that the agreements between the European Union and Member States, of the one part, and the Mediterranean countries, of the other part, provide for cooperation measures in the field of immigration and political asylum, including the funding of immigration centres, and urges the European Union and Member States to verify that human rights and fundamental freedoms are being fully respected in those centres;

37. Believes it essential to achieve concrete and tangible targets in the social field; points out in this regard that the objective of a free trade area cannot be measured simply in terms of economic growth, but also and above all in terms of job creation; points out that youth and female unemployment is the foremost social emergency in the Mediterranean countries;

38. Invites the Southern Mediterranean partner countries to develop south-south trade, as in the Agadir Economic Agreement signed by Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia, and stresses that the European Union institutions must respond positively to requests for technical support to promote such south-south economic integration;

39. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the governments and parliaments of all the partner countries.

6.11.2008

OPINION OF The Committee on International Trade

for the Committee on Foreign Affairs

on the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean

(2008/2231(INI))

Rapporteur for opinion: Kader Arif

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on International Trade calls on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Welcomes the renewed willingness to give a fresh political and practical impetus to multilateral relations between the European Union and its Mediterranean partners;

2.  Recalls that the ‘Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean’ aims to found itself on the achievements of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, revitalise this process and give it an added dimension;

3.  Stresses that the functioning of the Union for the Mediterranean must be governed by the principles of parity, equality and co-management as well as by those of shared responsibility and governance;

4.  Stresses that ownership by the population will guarantee a strong partnership and the success of this initiative; considers that, to that end, political aspirations must be translated into specific, more easily comprehensible projects closer to the citizens; also considers that the UfM must incorporate local and regional authorities and the private sector into the operation of its mechanisms for the consultation and active participation of civil society (associations, social partners, etc.);

5.  Hopes that the UfM’s projects will be specific and unifying, and that they will reflect the needs of people in the region; stresses that they must contribute to balanced and sustainable development in the region and must foster regional and sub-regional inter-connections with a view to promoting integration and cohesion;

6.  Recalls the first initiatives proposed at the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean on 13 July 2008: de-pollution of the Mediterranean, maritime and land highways, civil protection, the Mediterranean Solar Plan, higher education and research, and the Mediterranean Business Development Initiative;

7.  Notes that at present only one of the six proposed projects focuses on economic and commercial issues; regrets that the Paris Declaration contains very few references to the economic and commercial aspects of the partnership, such as direct foreign investments, employment, the informal economy and poverty reduction;

8.  Recalls that, in order to attain the ambitious objectives of the Barcelona Process, it is necessary rapidly to extend the areas of cooperation to cover water management, agriculture, food security, energy, professional training, culture, health, tourism, etc.;

9.  Recalls that Parliament has on several occasions reiterated the need, over and above the resources earmarked by the Commission for funding the projects of the Union for the Mediterranean, to create a Euro-Mediterranean investment and development bank;

10. Considers that, in order to permit the creation of a mutually beneficial Euro-Mediterranean free trade area, the economic and commercial initiatives of the Union for the Mediterranean must favour the economic growth of the region, help improve its integration into the world economy and contribute to reducing the development gap between the Northern and Southern Mediterranean, while boosting social cohesion;

11. Recalls that, in the second part of the 2005 five-year Work Programme, entitled ‘Sustainable Socio-Economic Development and Reform’, the Euro-Mediterranean partners identified a number of priorities: on the one hand the need for an improved business climate, increased access to credit, consolidated macro-economic stability and improved public finance management, and on the other hand the need to deal with social issues, including social protection systems, poverty reduction and job creation, particularly for young people and women;

12. Stresses the need to assess and take systematically into account, the social impact of liberalisation processes, particularly in terms of food security; further stresses that this impact may vary significantly from one sector to another and from one country to another;

13. Recalls that the objective of creating a free trade area and of liberalising trade is not an end in itself, but must go hand in hand with reducing poverty and unemployment, promoting economic and social rights and respecting the environment;

14. Stresses that, to achieve this objective, regional economic integration must take place in every dimension (both North-South and South-South); encourages in particular the creation of co-ordinated regional programmes between countries on the southern shore of the Mediterranean, which would be a step towards not only the economic but also the political integration of these countries;

15. Stresses that the Union must boost its support for the Mediterranean partners’ programmes aimed at facilitating the creation of a favourable climate whereby investments can be increased and economic cooperation and trade enhanced by means of technical and financial assistance mechanisms for the facilitation of trade;

16. Calls for consideration to be given to establishing specialised EU agencies in the partner countries with a view to providing these countries with concrete aid in areas such as investment promotion;

17. Stresses the importance of the informal sector and the mass economy in the countries of the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean; considers that, in the interests of the development of the region, support must be given to progressively integrating these activities into the formal economy;

18. Notes that, since the 2004 and 2007 enlargements, trade between the Union’s new Member States and its Mediterranean partners has been constantly increasing; calls for this trend to be taken into account and supported in the context of the partnership;

19. Stresses the need to encourage young people to create small businesses, including by facilitating access to credits and microcredit; also considers that support for the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP) must be stepped up;

20. Considers that migration must be addressed in a concerted and balanced manner, taking account of its link with development and incorporating its cultural and human dimensions; advocates the facilitation of the legal movement of persons and the improved integration of immigrant populations, while avoiding a brain drain and combating the trafficking linked to illegal immigration;

21. Stresses that the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership must not focus solely on economic and commercial issues; recalls that the three pillars of the Barcelona process are closely interlinked; regrets that so little progress has been made with the first pillar, intended to contribute to peace and stability, and the third pillar, devoted to human and social development;

22. Calls on the Council and Commission to clearly indicate that the promotion of human rights and democracy is one of the objectives of the new initiative, to enhance the implementation of existing mechanisms such as the human rights clause in association agreements, and to create a support mechanism for the application of this clause in the next generation of agreements, in the bilateral action plans of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and in the sub-committees on human rights;

23. Wishes Parliament to be duly consulted on the creation of the permanent bodies of the Union for the Mediterranean and regularly informed of the progress of its projects.

24. Also stresses the need to give the UfM a genuine parliamentary dimension, based on the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly (EMPA), which must be regarded as the UfM’s legitimate parliamentary expression and which, as a consultative body, should have the right to submit proposals and evaluations.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

5.11.2008

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

29

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Kader Arif, Daniel Caspary, Christofer Fjellner, Béla Glattfelder, Ignasi Guardans Cambó, Jacky Hénin, Caroline Lucas, Erika Mann, Helmuth Markov, David Martin, Vural Öger, Georgios Papastamkos, Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl, Tokia Saïfi, Peter Šťastný, Gianluca Susta, Daniel Varela Suanzes-Carpegna, Iuliu Winkler, Corien Wortmann-Kool

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Jean-Pierre Audy, Bastiaan Belder, Ole Christensen, Albert Deß, Eugenijus Maldeikis, Javier Moreno Sánchez, Zbigniew Zaleski

Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

Sepp Kusstatscher, Roselyne Lefrançois, Michel Teychenné

(1)

Texts adopted of that date: P6_TA(2008)0257.

(2)

OJ C 282E, 6.11.2008, p. 443.


OPINION of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (21.10.2008)

for the Committee on Foreign Affairs

on the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean

(2008/2231(INI))

Rapporteur: Íñigo Méndez de Vigo

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Constitutional Affairs calls on the Committee on Foreign Affairs as the committee responsible to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Calls for the experience gained in connection with the Barcelona Process to be used in order to inject new energy and vitality into relations between the European Union and its Mediterranean partners, without disrupting those relations;

2.  Stresses the importance of maintaining the coherence of institutions and avoiding any duplication thereof, and stresses that the Barcelona Process - Union for the Mediterranean (BP-UfM) should be included within the Union’s institutional framework; considers that setting up an autonomous institutional structure could only damage the effectiveness of the process;

3.  Supports the principle of co-presidency, on a basis of parity, equality and joint governance, and, on the assumption that the Treaty of Lisbon will enter into force, considers that it should be consistent with the resulting institutional framework regarding the external representation of the European Union and that the biannual summit, the Joint Permanent Committee and the meetings of senior officials are useful tools for injecting greater efficiency and transparency into the Process;

4.  Stresses the need for the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly (EMPA) to be given an enhanced role in the process and supports the EMPA Bureau, which in a statement issued on 12 July 2008 called for that Assembly - as a legitimate parliamentary body - to become an integral part of the Barcelona Process - Union for the Mediterranean (BP-UfM);

5.  Supports the demands made by the President of the European Parliament, who called in his speech to the Summit meeting in Paris on 13 July 2008 for the EMPA to be given the right to make proposals, to exercise democratic control and to monitor and regularly assess the progress of projects;

6.  Calls for the EMPA to be closely involved in preparations for the biannual summit meetings of Heads of State and the annual meetings of the Foreign Ministers of the countries which are members of the Barcelona Process - Union for the Mediterranean (BP-UfM);

7.  Considers it essential for the EMPA to be established as the parliamentary dimension of the Barcelona Process - Union for the Mediterranean (BP-UfM) establishing for that case a legal basis as suggested by the EMPA and considers:

–    that the EMPA should meet at least once a year;

–    that all members of the EMPA should be able to set up groups drawn up in accordance with political allegiances (in addition to the current division into parliaments of Mediterranean partners-European Parliament-parliaments of the Member States), which will lead to improved integration and effectiveness;

–    that the EMPA should have more precise operational rules and a strengthened permanent secretariat;

–    that it should be mandatory for the EMPA to be consulted for its opinion on the main points and projects relating to the Barcelona Process - Union for the Mediterranean (BP-UfM);

–    that the Council and Commission should be integrally associated with the work of the EMPA, both at the preparatory stages and during official meetings and plenaries;

–    that parliamentary representatives of countries which are not part of the Barcelona Process should be invited to participate;

8.  Considers that the secretariat of the Barcelona Process - Union for the Mediterranean (BP-UfM) should be composed of officials seconded from the countries participating in the process and should be integrated into the departments of the Commission; its seat must be selected according to criteria based on operational effectiveness and the host country’s compliance with democratic values and financial capacity, as well as the political, financial and social support offered by the national, regional and local authorities concerned; therefore supports the candidacy of Barcelona to host the secretariat;

9.  Considers that the secretariat of the Barcelona Process - Union for the Mediterranean (BP-UfM) must be tasked to draw up and manage projects as well as to coordinate the overall process; it shall report to the Euro-Mediterranean Committee and to the EMPA;

10. Points out that the projects financed in the framework of the Barcelona Process - Union for the Mediterranean (BP-UfM) should be supported mainly using Community funds, funds from partner states as well as private financing;

11. Stresses the need to establish a Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Development Bank capable of attracting direct foreign investment for the realisation of projects responding to the needs of the citizens in the region;

12. Calls for the drawing up of an institutional framework for the Barcelona Process - Union for the Mediterranean (BP-UfM) to be the subject of extensive consultation and far-reaching discussion involving all the stake-holders involved in the process, in order to ensure that it is based on broad consensus and takes all sensitivities into account;

13. Considers that, in parallel with the enhancement of the parliamentary dimension, a similar development is required in achieving the involvement of civil society within the appropriate institutional structure of the Barcelona Process - Union for the Mediterranean (BP-UfM);

14. Considers that promoting cooperation of that type can also play a positive role as regards the creation and development of other similar regional unions.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

20.10.2008

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

15

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Enrique Barón Crespo, Richard Corbett, Andrew Duff, Jo Leinen, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, Rihards Pīks, Adrian Severin, József Szájer, Johannes Voggenhuber, Andrzej Wielowieyski, Dushana Zdravkova

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Costas Botopoulos, Elmar Brok, Carlos Carnero González, Monica Frassoni

2.12.2008


OPINION of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality ()

for the Committee on Foreign Affairs

on the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean

(2008/2231(INI))

Rapporteur: Ilda Figueiredo

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality calls on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Urges the Member States and all the Mediterranean partners involved in the Barcelona Process to give more consideration to the situation of women and equal opportunities for men and women, and stresses the importance of incorporating the gender perspective into all policies and practical measures promoting equality between men and women;

2.  Calls on all States taking part in the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean to ratify both the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and all other United Nations and International Labour Organisation human rights instruments;

3.  Regrets that no special consideration has been given to the situation of women in the Commission communication entitled 'Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean' and stresses that the 'projects' dimension should include the promotion of geographical, economic and social cohesion and always take into account the issue of equal opportunities for men and women and the gender perspective;

4.  Expresses its concern about the poverty and social exclusion, which seriously affect women and children, and warns against the impact of policies which do not take due account of the need to promote equal rights and opportunities for men and women, with due respect for the dignity of women;

5.  Stresses that it is essential for women who have migrated from third countries, including those along the southern shores of the Mediterranean, to Member States to be granted citizenship rights, in order to ensure the effective protection of their rights;

6.  Calls on all participants in the Barcelona Process to give special consideration to the establishment and public funding of projects to improve women's living conditions, particularly in the fields of sexual and reproductive health and education, the creation of quality jobs with rights specifically geared to women and the construction of facilities to provide support for children and older people which foster women's inclusion in society;

7.  Stresses the importance of promoting access by women to all levels of the education system, since a properly skilled workforce plays a decisive role not only in reducing gender inequalities but also in enhancing the competitiveness and social cohesion of an entire economy;

8.  Urges the Member States and partners in the Barcelona Process to promote positive measures in the field of equal opportunities and combating discrimination against women in all areas, with special reference to employment, family life and education, with the aim of preventing violence against women and trafficking in human beings, and ensuring respect for and the promotion of the role of women in society, including by facilitating their access to positions of responsibility and decision-making positions;

9.  Points out that fostering women's involvement in the labour market in the Mediterranean area means developing the facilities and services required to ensure that women not only gain access to the labour market but are also able to remain in employment;

10. Points to the need for closer links between women's associations in the Mediterranean countries, with a view to fostering the development of civil society and the active involvement of women.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

2.12.2008

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

17

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Edit Bauer, Ilda Figueiredo, Claire Gibault, Lissy Gröner, Urszula Krupa, Pia Elda Locatelli, Astrid Lulling, Siiri Oviir, Zita Pleštinská, Anni Podimata, Teresa Riera Madurell, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Anne Van Lancker, Corien Wortmann-Kool, Anna Záborská

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Donata Gottardi

Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

Juan Andrés Naranjo Escobar


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE ()

Date adopted

2.12.2008

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

36

5

1

Members present for the final vote

Bastiaan Belder, Elmar Brok, Colm Burke, Marco Cappato, Philip Claeys, Véronique De Keyser, Michael Gahler, Klaus Hänsch, Jana Hybášková, Anna Ibrisagic, Ioannis Kasoulides, Maria Eleni Koppa, Vytautas Landsbergis, Johannes Lebech, Francisco José Millán Mon, Pasqualina Napoletano, Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck, Vural Öger, Alojz Peterle, Tobias Pflüger, Samuli Pohjamo, Bernd Posselt, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Christian Rovsing, Flaviu Călin Rus, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, György Schöpflin, Charles Tannock, Inese Vaidere, Geoffrey Van Orden, Ari Vatanen, Marcello Vernola, Andrzej Wielowieyski, Zbigniew Zaleski, Josef Zieleniec

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Árpád Duka-Zólyomi, Martí Grau i Segú, Pierre Jonckheer, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Erik Meijer

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