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05.12.2011

Commission Work Programme 2012

Greens/EFA motion for a resolution

The European Parliament,

–    having regard to the Commission Work Programme 2012 (COM (2011) 777),

–    having regard to the Framework Agreement between the European Parliament and the Commission adopted on 20 October 2010, in particular Annex IV thereof,

–    having regard to the outcome of the regular dialogue with the parliamentary committees,

–    having regard to Rule 110(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the European Union is confronted with an unprecedented financial, economic, social, ecological and democratic crisis,

B.   whereas this requires both urgent short term action as well as profound reform to bring lasting responses and put Europe on a sustainable recovery track,

C.  whereas there cannot be any sustainable exit from this crisis in resorting to the policies that led to it; whereas it would be timely to rethink our model towards a broader political concept, putting people and the protection of the environment at the centre of policy-making and aiming at creating wellbeing and the best opportunities for all,

D.  whereas the European Commission’s performance must be measured against the challenges of overcoming this triple crisis and in making the European Union a more democratic area, accessible to its inhabitants and guaranteeing their civil rights, assuring transparency and democratic scrutiny, as well as defining the role of the European Union on global level, all of which necessitates new ideas and firm action,

Building a Europe of stability, solidarity, sustainability and responsibility

1.    Is deeply alarmed at the persistence of the renewed financial turmoil in the EU and the persistence of substantial macro financial imbalances within the euro area and more broadly the EU as a whole;

2.    Underlines that a further revision of the EU institutional framework needs to tackle the challenge of a more legitimate and robust economic governance based on increased democratic accountability as well as enhanced economic and social convergence; deems in particular that such an objective requires a more resilient budgetary and macro financial framework built on both discipline and solidarity; emphasizes that these elements are necessary parts of the impetus and vision that needs to be urgently activated and made explicit for overcoming the crisis; 

3.   Welcomes the Commission Green Book on the feasibility of introducing Stability Bonds; takes note on the Commission's assessment that stability bonds would have significant potential benefits, would facilitate the transmission of euro-area monetary policy and would promote efficiency in the bond market and in the broader euro-area financial system; underlines the Commission's assessment that the approach of full substitution of Stability Bond issuance for National issuance with joint and several guarantees would be the most effective option for delivering the benefits of Stability Bond issuance; looks forward for stakeholders contributions to the Green Book; asks the Commission to put forward concrete operational and institutional proposals including transitional options in its follow-up document to be adopted in February 2012;

4.   Takes note of the Commission's second package of proposals for the strengthening of economic governance aimed at enabling the EU's Monetary Union to better function in the longer term; emphasizes that democratic accountability needs to be ensured and the principles of subsidiarity and social dialogue must be respected in order to preserve the policy space required for National implementation and ensure the consistency of different economic policy instruments;

5.    Urges the Commission and the Council to ensure the consistency of economic conditionality and adjustment programmes in the framework of any rescue programme with Union's objectives of social and sustainable development and in particular employment and economic policy guidelines as well as EU 2020 objectives; asks to the Commission to include recommendations addressed in the framework of the EU Semester to Member States under financial assistance to take account explicitly of these consistency requirements;

6.    Urges the Commission to adopt as soon as possible a legislative proposal for an EU banking resolution framework  with an EU fund, clear and effective supervisory diagnostic and remedial toolkit and strong role for the ESAs and ESRB; looks forward for the interinstitutionnal negotiations and further adoption under co-decision in 2012 of a far reaching and comprehensive resolution framework which would properly address moral hazard by minimizing recourse to tax payers money and ensure and orderly resolution of impaired institutions;  

7.    Welcomes the announcement by the Commission that it will address shadow banking and ways of protecting core banking services to the real economy from proprietary risk taking activities; Looks forward to robust proposals in 2012 that will promote a banking sector that serves the real economy, is based on stable funding and enjoys no direct or indirect taxpayer subsidy for speculation.

8.    Deems that the implementation of the Commission proposal on EU 2020 Project Bonds could and should be a major vector for the development of services of general interest in the Member States as well as at EU level; underlines that procedures established with that purpose should be explicitly laid down in a project eligibility framework to be defined following the ordinary legislative procedure;

9.    Welcomes the initiative on tax havens, highlights that it should not just covers secrecy jurisdictions outside the EU, and that concrete action must follow; In this context, calls on the COM to identify - in the absence of a meaningful international definition and corresponding list of tax havens or secrecy jurisdictions - the appropriate legislative vehicle to establish an EU definition and a corresponding list, addressing the issues of no or nominal taxes, a lack of effective exchange of information with foreign tax authorities and a lack of transparency in legislative, legal or administrative provisions;

10.  Calls on the Commission to propose a revision of the directive regarding the system of taxation applicable in the case of parent companies and subsidiaries of different Member States, in line with the recent EP report on the directive;

11.  Welcomes the quick reaction mechanism against VAT fraud, but highlights that given the extend of VAT fraud, estimated to reach 80-100 billion Euros per year, fighting VAT fraught should be addressed more comprehensively, and as far as legally possible at the EU level in line with TFEU article 325

12.  Believes that the crisis should be used as an opportunity to transform our development model of society towards a highly energy efficient, renewables based and climate resilient economy; underlines the need for policy coherence to that end in the roadmap 2050 process, sector reforms, legislation and budgets, such as the Energy Efficiency Directive and the infrastructure package, the agriculture, cohesion and fisheries reforms, the White Paper on Transport, development policy, trade rules, etc;

13.  Expresses regret at the lack of proposals to combat social exclusion and poverty at EU level at a time where citizens are heavily hit by a European economic crisis;

14.  Regrets the absence of both policy guidance and legislative action relating to the social dimension of the crisis; calls for a strong united voice addressing the social and employment impact of the economic measures that the heads of states are presenting as EU policy; calls on the Commission to finally accept what citizens have understood long ago: that economic policy must go hand in hand with a coordinated social and employment policy;

15.  Stresses the ongoing over focus of action on the labour supply side - up skilling, mobility - while any labour supply measures remain useless if the labour demand remains as limited as currently; calls on the Commission to tackle across the EU job creation; stresses that job creation needs to go hand in hand with decent living incomes so as to avoid more and more people falling into the working-poor-trap;

16.  Underlines the urgent need to tackle unemployment, in particular youth unemployment and in that framework calls upon the Commission, inter alia, to ensure that Member States properly implement the youth guarantee initiative;

17.  Calls on the Commission in the context of inclusive growth to finally come forward with a legislative framework for Restructuring in the European Union; stresses that in the absence of such a framework, the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund is only doctoring symptoms, while the causes remain uncured;

18.  Would appreciate if the Commission would finally tackle the long list of outstanding promised legislation in the Employment & Social Affairs field, including the revision of the Working Time Directive, several health & safety directives, the Posted Workers Directive;

19.  Calls on the Commission to work out how to reach a nearly 100% renewables based energy efficient economy by 2050 as part of the energy roadmap process; Is dissatisfied with the Commission proposal on the Energy Efficiency Directive which will not permit that overall energy consumption is reduced by at least 20% compared to today’s consumption and recalls its demand for stronger measures allowing the achievement of a binding 2020 energy efficiency target;

20.  Reiterates its demands to stop the awarding of licensing for experimental drilling and hydraulic fracturing into unconventional gas such as shale gas until the environmental and climate impacts have been independently and thoroughly examined and the identified legislative gaps on EU level have been closed.  

21.  Reminds the Commission that the best way to accelerate the development of renewable energy sources  and thereby enhancing EU sustainability and supply security is to create a favourable investment framework by means of an ambitious, binding target in the electricity, heating and transport sector for the year 2030 and stable national support schemes; supports a planned revision of the electricity market design and calls on the Commission to step up its efforts to achieve a sustainable energy system by proposing concrete market integration measures for short-term storage and smart grids to complement existing initiatives and the available cooperation mechanisms of the Renewable Energy Directive.  

22.  Remains firmly convinced that nuclear energy has no place in a sustainable energy future, whilst underlining the need to ensure the highest safety standards during the period of nuclear phase-out; condemns in that context the large amount of public money still devoted to nuclear; urges the Commission, against the background of the EU action on radioactively contaminated food after the Fukushima accident, to present a proposal to review the regulation on maximum levels in case of nuclear accidents as well as a review of the maximum permitted levels of radioactive contamination

23.  Regrets the lack of legislative action by the Commission to protect human health and the environment, despite obvious evidence of the need to urgently take action on identified challenges in the field of air quality, biodiversity, climate change, safety of nanomaterials and noise legislation; points e.g. to the delayed reviews of, or commitments for, proposals on  national emission ceilings, indoor air quality, dedicated financing for management of Natura 2000 sites, non-CO2 emissions from aviation, consumer information on car fuel economy, reviewing all relevant Community legislation to ensure the safety of nanomaterials, and noise legislation;

24.  Urges the Commission to step up its legislative activity and fully use its right of legislative initiative, and not let individual Member States obstruct its exercise of this prerogative, in particular expects the Commission to finalise the move to a 30% Greenhouse gas reduction target for 2020 so as to complete the necessary adjustments in time for the next ETS commitment period;

25.  Is disappointed by the few concrete initiatives foreseen for 2012 for the implementation of the Resource Efficiency Roadmap set forward by the Commission in 2011; calls on the Commission to step up considerably its commitment to the Roadmap and speed up its work on initiatives in this field;

26.  Calls upon the Commission to provide clarification on the concrete means by which it intends to monitor via the European Semester the Member States' implementation of resource-efficiency policies and of a fiscal reform that favours a shift from the taxation of labour to environmental impacts and the phasing out of Environmentally harmful subsidies;

27.  Regrets that the initiative on a sustainable competitiveness of the EU construction sector, foreseen in 2010 then postponed in 2011 is not planned to be published by the end of the year; notes further that it is not foreseen for 2012; similarly regrets the constant delay since 2010of the Eco-Innovation Action Plan; Urges, therefore, the Commission to promptly bring forward those initiatives to 2012 if it is serious about meeting the Resource Efficiency Roadmap milestones by 2020.

28.  Calls on the Commission to streamline resource efficiency in the Integrated Industrial Policy flagship and the Innovation Union flagship initiatives, and work towards the development of long-term sectoral industrial strategies and policies needed to assist the transition to a low-carbon, resource and energy-efficient economy, as committed already in the Integrated Industrial Policy flagship; is disappointed to see that instead, foreseen activities focus primarily on the development of specific industrial strategies in the space sector and the defense sector; calls therefore on the Commission to reasses its priorities towards supporting a wider industrial transformation and establishing the EU as a leader in the green economy;

Single market

 29.       Calls for a further follow up of the Single Market Act and emphasises that the planned revisions of single market legislation should contribute to achieve societal goals in line with the EU2020 objectives, in particular the fight against climate change and the promotion of energy efficiency and resource efficiency; is looking forward to the recast of the General Product Safety Directive (GSPD) as well as the accompanying market surveillance instrument ; underlines that such a regime should ensure high levels of consumer protection and fast and effective communication between MS market surveillance authorities within the Union and at external border points;

30.       Awaits the Commission proposal for a revision of the Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive in order to enhance and encourage professional mobility within the EU; in this respect hopes to see clearer definition of partial access, removal of loopholes via temporary access, inclusion of non formal and informal learning, a proposal for an electronic professional card and clarification of the purpose and functioning of common platforms."

31.       Insists that the upcoming revision of Public Procurement rules should improve legal clarity and facilitate the access of SMEs by simplifying these rules, and allow extended use of the "most economically advantageous tender" principle in order to encourage sustainability of products and processes."

32.       Underlines that  the  European Consumer Agenda  needs to ensure a high level of consumer protection, be easy to understand and ensure easy access to information and simple administrative processes;        

33.       Calls for a legislative proposal on collective redress targeted to sector specific legislative initiatives in the consumer, environmental and competition sector ; furthermore expects the Commission to deliver on the list of proposals for civil, commercial, commercial and procedural law, as well as on intellectual and industrial property ; is concerned about the on-going negotiations for a first reading agreement on the regulation implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent  based on an institutional and legal architecture for a "new'" patent which does not seem compatible with the Treaties;

34.       Underlines that, whilst recognising the need to remove unnecessary obstacles and optimise performance as much as possible in the single market for services, services of general interest need special protection regimes;

35.       Awaits the Commission proposals as regarding the Digital Agenda for Europe and e-Commerce and e-markets  

36.       Calls for a Directive on access to basic banking services in order to boost mobility;

37.       Underlines the role of the retail sector when it comes to a more resource efficient, sustainable and low carbon economy; asks therefore the Commission to come forward with its work on the Retail Action Plan.

38.       Demands comprehensive legislation covering legal rights of all passengers and holiday makers in a single piece of legislation and strengthening these rights in areas such as pre-contractual information, rights of withdrawal, reimbursement and liabilities

39.       Underlines that in the assessment of the functioning of the Customs Union the issue of reinforcement of cooperation between customs authorities and market surveillance authorities needs to be addressed;

40.       Is generally satisfied with the Commission performance as regards the information society and signals as priorities for 2012 inter alia roaming, and calls for a directive on Net Neutrality

41.       Urges the Commission to propose without delay the promised reform of the collective societies for the management of intellectual property rights since without transparent and efficient collection and redistribution of revenues from copyright this legal tool loose its primary interest for artists, and today's situation is greatly unsatisfactory in most cases in most European countries;

Next Multiannual financial framework and major reform packages

42.  Recalls that EU budget needs to reflect the EU policy priorities for a transformation to a sustainable economy; Reiterates the need to end rebates and to introduce new own resources, such as a Financial Transaction Tax, to free budget debates from the short sighted perception of (net) national contributions and to increase investments on EU level to help achieve the EU 2020 strategy and EU 2050 energy and climate targets; Encourages the Commission to take the lead in the negotiations, keeping in mind that the expenditure and revenue side of the EU budget are linked;

43.  Insists that the Common Agricultural Policy reform should be geared towards sustainable farming and food systems and warns the Commission not to continue business as usual in direct payments and not to abandon an integrated rural development policy; calls upon the Commission to work towards a fair income of farmers from the food chain by tackling the widespread misuse of dominant positions of input providers and the processing industry; warns that current measures taken to solve the problems of milk farmers will not solve the crisis in the sector without sufficient supply management and the strengthening of producer organisations; insists that legislation on promotion and information needs to focus on quality aspects such as sustainable farming systems, climate change, biodiversity and water protection aspects;

44.  Believes a follow up is needed to the quality products package to for the identification and background of products, linking quality products to the general objective of preserving biodiversity;

45.  Looks forward to working with the Commission and the Council on a profound and radical Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, and encourages the Commission to maintain its objective of maintaining fish stocks at abundant levels, above those capable of producing Maximum Sustainable Yield; is concerned about the consequences for fish stocks and fishing communities that would result from the imposition of a system of tradeable fishing rights; recalls that recovery plans are a crucial component of a sustainable fisheries policy and regrets Council’s reluctance to apply the ordinary procedure for the adoption of them, as a result of which such plans are currently blocked;

46.  Emphasises that the EU transport policy, including the further development of a Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) should be coherent with the EU 2020 targets and calls on the Commission to integrate the general principles of the 'White paper on Transport Policy up to 2020' into its proposals for concrete legislation; further encourages the Commission to boost the enforcement of existing social, safety and environmental legislation within the transport sector;

47.  Congratulates the Commission for an ambitious proposal for a reform of Cohesion Policy; stresses that the Commission should continue to play a decisive role in the preparation of the future programming period with the view of concluding on Partnership Contracts with the Member States which take account of requirements to meet regional and local needs and European added-value; welcomes the revision of the guidelines of national regional aid in the light of the proposed new architecture of EU structural funds taking into account consequences of new categories of regions on the population plafond

48.  Underlines the importance of a strong partnership approach for effective and efficient programming; urges the Commission to adopt a legally binding Code of Conduct for the implementation of partnership as soon as possible in order to provide for guidance and clarification also in the preparation phase of the future programme period;

49.  Calls on the Commission to base its future strategy on the outermost regions on the local and regional assets specific to these regions taking also into account its analysis on future challenges for regional development according to its report on Regions 2020;

50.       Urges the Commission to present a legislative proposal to prohibit the placing on the market of foods derived from cloned animals and their descendants and to present a fresh legislative proposal on Novel Foods, taking account of the EP positions expressed in the context of the previous (failed) legislative procedure;

51.       Urges the Commission to come up with a proposal on the setting of nutrient profiles, in accordance with Article 4 of Regulation 1924/2006 on Nutrition and Health Claims made on foods; points out that it is essential to establish nutrient profiles before the positive list of health claims becomes applicable, in order to prevent consumers from being mislead about the quality of food;

52.       Urges the Commission, against the background of the EU action on radioactively contaminated food after the Fukushima accident, to review the legislation on maximum levels for radioactive contamination of foodstuffs;

53.       Points out that legislative action is urgently needed in the field of food contact materials, e.g. for printing inks or coatings; urges the Commission to re-examine its position regarding Bisphenol A in food contact materials;

54.       Calls on the Commission to propose clear food waste reduction targets all along the food production and supply chain in the framework of the waste framework directive; calls on the Commission to put a special focus on food waste when assessing the Member States waste prevention programmes;

55.       Calls on the Commission in relation with GMO cultivation  to ensure that all Member States put in place mandatory anti-contamination measures and a strict liability system which ensures that the polluter pays for damages; urges the Commission to ensure the proper implementation of the provisions of Directive 2001/18 on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms, particularly the requirements of the environmental risk assessment; Urges the Commission to put in place stringent rules ensuring that GM-free honey production is possible;

56.       Calls on the Commission to come up with a proposal on the labelling of food from animals that have been fed with GMOs, in order to ensure free choice for consumers;

57.       Urges the Commission to come up with a report on socio-economic effects of GMOs, containing an assessment of the socioeconomic implications of deliberate releases and placing on the market of GMOs;

58.  Urges the Commission to clarify that directive 98/44 does not allow that plants, animals and breeding material necessary for conventional breeding be patented, or revise the directive if this is not unambiguous;

Pursuing the Citizens agenda

59.  Expresses its concern about the Commission’s approach to fundamental rights violations within the EU in the area of freedom, justice and security, avoiding its responsibility by repeatedly quoting Article 51 of the Charter, thus limiting as much as possible the scope of the Charter as well as the Commission’s legal and political responsibility in its implementation; emphasises the universality and indivisibility of the principles and rights enshrined in the now legally binding Charter and as enshrined in Article 2 TEU; stresses that fundamental rights are directly applicable and inherent to all persons on the EU territory, not only citizens; calls for a holistic, compulsory assessment of compliance with the Charter for the entire legislative process of the EU, as well as for the actions of Member States;

60.  Expects the freedom of movement to be taken seriously and thus invites the Commission to identify and lift still existing legal, administrative and practical barriers, especially those of discriminatory nature and concerning persons belonging to minorities; calls upon the Commission to show commitment in facilitating the establishment of a Common European Asylum System in 2012.

61.  Notes with regret that a mid term review of the Stockholm program is not appropriately included in the Commission's work program for 2012, nor is the relevant scoreboard, and calls upon the Commission to remedy this omission; Expresses concern over the shift from the principle of protecting individual liberty and security to the Commission adopting initiatives aimed at enhancing collective security through mass surveillance and repression, without having due regard for the rule of law and fundamental rights; calls upon the Commission to show the same will in promoting proposals that enhance individual rights as for proposals that restrict individual  freedoms; emphasizes that the Commission's role as guardian of the Treaties also entails monitoring implementation of existing EU legislation in the field of civil liberties; 

62.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that the need for smart external borders is properly checked against the obligation to protect  fundamental rights, in particular, free movement and personal data; reminds that in times of crisis the implementation of costly megaprojects is hardly feasible, especially taking into account the problems concerning current initiatives, in particular SISII; believes that any measure in this field should be aimed at better service for those crossing external borders rather than building a fortress; recalls in this respect that the principle of proportionality when collecting and using data is of utmost importance;

63.  Underlines that EU security measures and cooperation have to comply with the Union's fundamental rights obligations and focus on targeted law enforcement and intelligence activities with proven capacity to lower crime rates and prevent terrorist attacks, bucking the trends in which we are pursuing mass surveillance and firing social workers and ordinary police officers; supports prioritizing initiatives to combat environmental, economic and corporate crimes, particularly given their detrimental effect on ordinary citizens that are now being asked to foot the bill for the economic and financial crisis;

64.  Stresses that law enforcement has to be based on proper data protection safeguards and procedural rights for those affected; calls for the extension of the applicable rules to general data protection to data processing in police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters and points to the need to ensure proper detention conditions, quality of justice and rights of suspects as a basis for trust in police and judicial cooperation; furthermore stresses the need for a higher degree of democratic and fundamental rights accountability of the activities of Europol and Eurojust in their upcoming review;

65   Underlines the urgent need to revise the regulation on public access to documents in line with the requirements stemming from the Lisbon Treaties, the Charter of Fundamental Rights and ECJ jurisprudence;

66.  Regrets that the Commission has not come forward with a Directive on the eradication of violence against women as requested by Parliament in several resolutions and the latest its report A7-65/2011 adopted in April 2011;

67.  Regrets no follow up of the Commission initiative to prepare a cost benefit study in 2010 on the launching of a paternity leave which would unlock the blocking of the Maternity Leave in Council;

68.  Welcomes the legislative proposal by the Commission on improving the gender balance in the boards of companies listed on stock exchanges pointing out the gender equality as crucial for the EU's growth and competitiveness;

69.  Takes note of the non legislative consultation of the Social Partners on the equal pay and the gender pay gap, regrets however that no legislative proposal has been put forward since the adoption of the European Parliament resolution of 18 November 2008  (A6-389/2008) with recommendations to the Commission on the application of the principle of equal pay for men and women;

70.  Regrets that the Work programme contains little initiatives directly linked to culture and education; Urges the Commission to take on the issue of youth and mobility, as well as marking the steps for a better education system, integrating informal and formal learning, and in connection with trainings schemes in enterprises in different countries, whenever possible;  expects the Commission to uphold its commitment to safeguard cultural and linguistic diversity; Calls on the Commission to further support the development of Europeana both as regards the regulatory framework and financing;

71.  Calls on the Commission to pursue its search for good and sustainable solutions for artists and creators of on line content in all copy rights issues by including in its legislative work plan the issue of contract law and the legal protection of the artists, as well as the issue of the necessary regulation of oligopoles in the context of cultural industries.

 

Europe in the World

72.       Considers that the new approach to the European Neighbourhood Policy aims at placing the basic principles of the Union's external action, namely the universal values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, at the centre of this policy while reflecting the need for the EU to support the current historic events in the Southern Mediterranean neighbourhood; calls in this respect on the Commission, the EEAS and the Council to develop a clearer methodology of benchmarking within the concept of deep democracy and to focus in priority its action on the independence of the judiciary, the security and law enforcement sector reform, the fight against corruption and the independence of the media; expects that the partnership with societies proposed by the revised ENP will be translated into a genuine mechanism involving civil society actors into the monitoring of agreements and policies concluded between the EU and its neighbours;

73.       Stresses that the EU must guarantee that renewed agreements, including sectoral agreements, with Southern Mediterranean countries towards a transition process does not contradict EU founding values with due respect for Charter of fundamental rights; strongly recommends the Commission to systematically provide EU Institutions with impact assessments, which includes a comprehensive Human Rights chapter; asks at the same time the Commission to take into account the recommendations of its evaluation of EU Readmission agreements notably in defining a revised Global Approach to Migration and Mobility with its Southern neighbours;

74.       Stresses the importance to keep a self standing instrument for the promotion and support of democracy and human rights and considers that the revised EIDHR should build on its previous added value such as its worldwide coverage, its action in complementarity with other external financial instruments, its possibility to work without the host country consent, a strong focus on local activities and CSOs while continuing further increasing procedural flexibilities; warns that the European Endowment for Democracy should not lead to overlapping and duplication with existing instruments and reaffirms the right of the budgetary authority to monitor and scrutinise the implementation of this fund

75.       Observes that the EU recent communications on "increasing the impact of EU development policy: an agenda for change" and the future approach to the EU budget support to third countries, failed  to address the structural causes of poverty in developing countries and calls on the EU to reorient its development policy and  implement Policy Coherence for Development in practice by linking development aid with other EU policy areas, such as agriculture, trade, tax, climate change, investment, access to raw materials; considers that  the EU Raw Material Strategy is a clear example of contradiction between EU's economic interest and the objective of poverty eradication, which violates EU obligation on Policy coherence for Development, art. 208 of the Lisbon Treaty, hindering developing countries economic development prospects,

76.       Calls on the EU to ensure, in the ambit of access to raw materials, that trade agreements reflect developing countries' needs to break away from commodity dependence and to diversify their economies; in this respect, points out that export taxes, that are permitted under the WTO rules, are one of the few remaining trade policy tools at the disposal of developing countries to pursue development goals; henceforth, urges the EU to refrain from attempting to ban the use of export taxes at WTO, bilateral trade agreements and EPAs, as it would limit their policy space to use this tool for value-addition, diversification, infant industry protection, food security, revenue and environmental considerations.

77.       Insists on the leading role that national parliaments of recipient countries and civil society organisations should play as they are best placed to identify priority sector, prepare Country Strategy Papers and monitor budget allocation, demands that national parliaments adopt Country Strategy Papers and multiannual budget in consultation with civil society, prior to policy dialogue with donors in order to empower parliamentarian's role in decision making,

78.       Calls on the EU to include foreign investors obligation and duties, operating in developing countries, to respect human rights, environmental and ILO core labour standards; considers that EU companies should be legally liable in their home countries for violation of these rights by their subsidiaries abroad and for entities they control,

79.       Notes that the Commission is pushing for a more assertive approach to ensure that European exporters and investors gain access to third country markets, through the removal of investment barriers; recalls that, in line with the principle of policy coherence for development, it is vital that investment treaties provide a better balance between the rights and obligations of investors and host governments; urges the EU not to ban the use of performance requirements (local content, technology transfer, environment sustainability, etc.) as they are often prerequisite to ensure that foreign investment benefit the domestic market;

80.       Is concerned over the Commission's new legislative proposal for radical reform of the GSP, which intends to exclude more than half of developing countries from this scheme, a large number of which will be ACP countries; considers that the consequences will be extremely negative for countries who are benefiting GSP, as the Commission's proposal would also serve as punishment by taking away this scheme from those countries in case of "serious and systematic unfair trading practices including the supply of raw materials to EU industries

81.       Welcomes the setting-up of the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps (EVHAC) and the intention to establish a legal framework for joint contributions from young Europeans to the humanitarian aid operations of the EU; calls on the Commission to not only focus on humanitarian aid but also on mediation, dialogue and reconciliation in situations of political crisis and military conflict taking into account the concept of an European Civil Peace Corps (ECPC) which has been promoted by the European Parliament since more than a decade and which has been subject to a feasibility study commissioned by the European Commission;

Effective implementation

82.  Urges the Commission to exercise its power and duty to bring infringement proceedings against Member States that have failed to fulfil an obligation under EU law; reminds that the discretionary power conferred by the Treaties upon the Commission in dealing with the infringement process must respect the rule of law, the requirement of transparency and openness and the principle of proportionality and must never endanger the very first aim of that power, which is to guarantee timely and correct application of EU law; Urges the Commission to guarantee that citizens/complainants are not excluded when dealing with the compliance of EU law and asks the Commission to propose a procedural code in the form of a regulation under the new legal basis of article 289 TFEU which calls for an ‘open, efficient and independent European administration’; Points out that  consultation submissions should be considered carefully before the Commission  publishes its proposals; Furthermore insists on a correct application of the rules on delegated and  implemented acts.

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