Preparation of the Commission Work Programme 2013

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 35(3) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the current economic, social and environmental crisis more than ever demands strong European leadership and a stronger integration at EU level;

B.  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;

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

Dealing with the crisis

1.  Underlines that a strong and explicit commitment and roadmap towards a deeper and more complete Economic and Monetary Union, encompassing a credible path to a banking union and a greater fiscal and political integration built on a stronger democratic legitimacy, are necessary conditions for the survival of the common currency;

2.  Stresses that the immediate priority for such purpose is concrete action on the building up of a Banking Union for the euro area aiming at breaking the negative feedback loop between domestic banks and their sovereigns; urges the Commission to put forward within the next few months a set of new legislative proposals to be added to its working programme, including inter alia:

–   a common supervisory authority with ultimate decision powers for at least systemic banks, whether domestic or cross-border;

–   a joint deposit guarantee scheme aiming at supporting depositor confidence and avoiding bank runs;

–   a common bank resolution authority for systemic relevant and cross-border institutions to be backed by a common resolution fund big enough to cope credibly with systemic cries and funded up front by banks themselves to ensure burden sharing and to limit to the maximum extent possible taxpayer costs;

–   a uniform single rule book for the prudential supervision of all banks and a single macro-prudential framework to forestall further financial fragmentation;

–   a legislative proposal for the structural reform of the euro area banking sector that effectively insulates core banking services to the real economy from speculative activities in financial markets and aimed at eliminating ‘too big/too complex to fail’ institutions;

–   a ‘same risk, same rule’ regulatory framework that ensures that non banks performing bank-like activities and interacting with banks are not beyond the reach of regulators;

–   credible and regular stress-testing of banks’ financial health that promotes the early detection of problems and effective dimensioning of intervention;

3.  Asks the Commission, as a short term bridging measure, to make explicit the legal and practical modalities required for a direct recapitalization by the ESM of impaired banking institutions of Member States experiencing or threatened with serious difficulties with respect to their financial stability, as well as for granting a banking licence to the ESM;

4.  Urges the Commission to impose stringent conditions by means of the competition policy framework to the institutions that benefited from crisis-related State aid and the support of ECB liquidity lines;

5.  Believes that the introduction of a limited form of common debt as a first step of a roadmap towards fully fledged Eurobonds with appropriate governance safeguards is necessary for ensuring the viability of the Economic and Monetary Union in accordance with the European Parliament position on the ‘two pack’; urges therefore the Commission to put forward a proposal for immediately establishing a European Redemption Fund as well as the immediate issuance of common short-term debt in the form of eurobills to reduce spreads, protect Member States from panic induced negative externalities and the negative feedback loop between sovereign and banking crises;

6.  Deems that the current recessionary spiral in the euro area requires more resolute action from the Commission in order to fully and proactively use the flexibilities embedded in EU fiscal rules allowing a differentiated path for budgetary consolidation in case of a severe economic downturn; urges in the same spirit the Commission to put forward a set of proposals under an initiative for sustainable growth in accordance with the European Parliament position on the ‘two pack’ aiming at promoting long term investments and complementing the required structural reforms for the ecological transformation of the European economy and a green job rich recovery;

7.  Underlines that a more resilient EMU requires as a matter of urgency a sustained and symmetric reduction of excessive macroeconomic imbalances; looks forward to the dedicated study foreseen by the Commission on the way surplus countries could contribute to overall rebalancing; looks forward to the enhanced scoreboard for macroeconomic imbalances to be established in 2012 which is expected to include a new set of indicators shedding light on the connection of macroeconomic imbalances and the financial sector developments;

8.  Stresses that the Commission follow up of its communication on double non-taxation must lead to concrete changes in EU tax law to plug the holes used by companies to dodge taxes, underlines that a follow up to tax haven communication (to be expected) must lead to comprehensive legislative proposals tackling all aspects of tax havens a fiscal evasion; asks the Commission to diligently confirm the participation of Member States having notified the will to participate to a enhanced cooperation for the establishment of a financial transaction tax in conformity with the provisions of Article 331 TFEU;

9.  Calls on the Commission to mainstream Article 9 TFEU in all its proposals, and take into account requirements linked to the promotion of a high level of employment, the guarantee of adequate social protection, the fight against social exclusion, and a high level of education, training and protection of human health and thus present balanced recommendations related to the European Semester and any legislation related to the financial and economic crisis. Calls on the Commission to present the country specific recommendations and the Annual Growth Survey covering all targets of the EU 2020 strategy and its headline targets;

10. Calls on the Commission to follow up on the (planned) Council recommendations on the Youth Guarantee and Quality Framework on traineeships and to take legislative action in view of increasing youth employment and to gear community funding into this direction;

11. Welcomes the Commission’s approach presented in the Employment package – Towards a job rich recovery – acknowledging the need for a changeover to a green, resource efficient economy and applauds the long-requested change of policy towards job creation; calls on the Commission to follow up on the key employment actions and to promote a mainstreaming of green employment into national job plans and to encourage investment in the field of resource efficiency and renewable energy;

Smart, sustainable and inclusive European Union

12. Calls on the Commission to present a proposal on the revision of the working time directive in case the negotiations between the social partners would fail;

13. Calls on the Commission to present without delay - in case it does not happen already in 2012 – the Health and Safety Strategy 2013-2020 as requested in the European Parliament’s Delli report on the mid-term review of the European strategy 2007-2012 on health and safety at work (2011/2147);

14. Believes that the crisis should be used as an opportunity to transform our development model of society towards a highly efficient, renewables based and climate resilient economy; underlines the need for the Commission to come forward with concrete policy suggestions for a 2030 energy and climate package based on the current three pillars, i.e. greenhouse gases - renewable energies -energy efficiency;

15. Expects the Commission to propose comprehensive legislative action for 2013 in the field of resource efficiency and climate action by proposing an absolute reduction of resource use, reducing CO2 emissions from heavy duty vehicles, reviewing air quality policies and the Ecodesign Directive and adjusting the effort sharing decision;

16. Strongly criticises that the Commission still has not come forward with legislative proposals or reviews already announced or committed to in 2011 or before in the field of environmental policy, notably as regards NOx emissions from aviation, noise management, consumer information on car fuel economy and CO2 emissions, access to genetic resources and benefits sharing, and the regulatory aspects of nanomaterials; insists furthermore that the Commission presents all legislative proposals announced for 2012, notably the announced packages on the revision of the Tobacco Products Directive, maritime transport emissions, reduction of fluorinated greenhouse gases, reduction of CO2 from cars and vans for 2020;

17. 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; insists that this phase-out must start from the most dangerous nuclear plants; calls for a more democratic process, in particular through co-decision, for issues concerning nuclear as is the case for all the other energy sources;

18. 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; urges the Commission furthermore, in line with the conclusions of the Environmental Council of 4 December 2008, to ensure the proper implementation of the provisions of the directive on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms, particularly the requirements of the environmental risk assessment;

19. Believes that encroachment on the genetic commons especially via patenting on conventional breeding techniques on plants and animals used in agriculture is contrary to European and global food security since it inhibits the freedom to farm and breed and free exchange of genetic stock as used for millennia and forming the basis of our terrestrial food production system;

20. Urges the Commission to firmly defend its key proposals on reforming the Common Agriculture Policy against initiatives of Member States and Council to water its ambitions down to the status quo and encourages it to further elaborate on the scope and efficient implementation of ecological and social conditioning of direct payments to farmers, so as to make farming and food systems more sustainable across the EU; recalls that healthy, robust and resilient ecosystems are the basis on which sustainable growth is based, especially in sectors reliant on living systems and natural resources;

21. Supports the proposal from the Commission to cap direct payments and to introduce conditioning of these payments to employment and environmental performance; Insists that, as part of the work programme, the Commission should take the initiative to definitely abandon the instrument of export refunds which are not in line with goals of EU development;

22. Refuses the use of both the reserve for crisis in the agriculture sector and the European Globalization Adjustment Fund for farmers which would mean that the European Union considers these funds as a compensation for negative free-trade agreements; Stresses the need for a coherent approach from the Commission in policies related to agriculture and rural development, including trade, environment, development - gains made or promoted in one sector should not be contradicted or nullified by another: a coherent approach to making rural economies vibrant and keeping farmers farming, and sustainably, in the interests of long-term food security and budgetary efficiency;

23. Welcomes the Commissions’ initiative to enlarge the scope for bottom-up partnerships between farmers, consumers and civil society by mainstreaming the LEADER method to all structural funds; Warns however the Commission not to give up the principle of earmarking certain percentages of the CAP budget for development of these partnerships and for specific agro-environmental measures so that the necessary transformation of farming into sustainable and integrated systems which respond to challenges like climate change, loss of biodiversity and soil fertility and water quality can take place;

24. 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 primary 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 in case of the privatisation of the right to fish; recalls that recovery plans are a crucial component of a sustainable fisheries policy and urges the Commission to ensure that Article 43.2 is the legal basis for its proposals and limits its use of 43.3 to proposals strictly concerned with the setting and allocating of fishing opportunities;

25. Insists that the implementing measures of the cohesion legislative package focus on the greening of cohesion policy and fully respect the principles of partnership and multilevel governance;

26. Welcomes the Commission intention to overcome the blockade by Council on the EU Solidarity Fund by presenting a new proposal;

27. Urges the Commission to propose a 4th railway package that contains a stronger boost to improving a single railway area in terms of financing, interoperability, passenger rights, transborder tickets, information and services;

28. Encourages the Commission to withdraw its proposal on a Regulation on the ground handling services at airports’ from the airports package;

29. Demands the Commission to include first steps of internalisation of external costs for the entire road sector into its proposals on a ‘road package’;

30. Highlights the strategic relevance of the Single Market Act in view of achieving sustainable and inclusive growth and for a balanced approach of the SMA’ 2nd edition which takes due account of the economic, social and environmental dimensions alike;

31. Underlines the importance to ensure accessibility of SMEs and micro-enterprises to public procurement, including in the context of the transition to e-procurement; calls for a proper assessment of the real impact of the services directive not only on growth but also on employment and quality of services provision; calls to reinforce market surveillance in relation to the revision of the general product safety directive;

32. Considers that protection of vulnerable consumers should be a priority in the consumer agenda, particularly regarding consumer credit and online gambling; calls for implementation of an effective, affordable and accessible collective redress mechanism for all consumers in Europe;

33. In the adoption and implementation of the research and innovation packages under the MFF calls on the Commission to

–   promote balance between competitiveness objectives and the delivery of benefits for EU’s citizens’ and society as a whole,

–   ensure the widest benefits of knowledge creation and knowledge transfer through open innovation and open access policies,

–   include non-technological and non-commercially oriented activities,

–   promote wide participation of societal actors such as civil society organisations and SME’s;

34. Furthermore underlines that public private partnerships should stop functioning like closed shops and calls on the Commission to make a thorough assessment of public private partnerships so as to establish governance and management frameworks that encourage wide participation of societal actors, promote participation of SME’s and , avoids conflicts of interests;

35. Calls on the Commission to review the implementation of the regulatory framework for electronic communications and in particular the state of play of the net neutrality in the EU, especially in view of infringements to this principle;

36. Calls on the Commission when drawing up proposals on the revision of the community trademark regulation and directive approximating national trademark laws to take due account of the legal problems come to light in the controversy around the ACTA agreement;

37. Urges the Commission not to further delay a proposal on collective rights management as planned still in June 2012 in order to facilitate cross-border flow of good and services in the European Single Market and better organize and ensure the well-functioning of collecting societies;

38. Considers the existing legislation relating to the application of the principle of equal pay for men and women as ineffective and unenforceable; urges the Commission to come forward with the revision of the existing legislation as demanded by Parliament in its resolution adopted 13 March 2012;

39. Calls on the Commission to launch a comprehensive strategy to fight violence against women as promised in the Stockholm Action Programme and as requested by Parliament in several resolutions and the latest in the Svensson report in April 2011; reiterates the need for the Commission to present a legislative criminal-law instrument to combat gender-based violence;

40. Calls on the Commission to come forward with a legislative proposal for different types of leave (paternity, adoption, care leave and filial) in order to improve the reconciliation of professional, family and private life, which at the same time could unlock the blocking of the Maternity Leave in Council;

41. 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;

42. Underlines the importance of the successful completion of the legislative procedures for the next generation of multiannual programmes in the field of culture and education and points in this context to the controversy surrounding the legal basis chosen for the ‘Europe for Citizens’ programme; insists in this framework on safeguarding cultural and linguistic diversity in all new texts or programmes, to keep in mind the key role of artists and creators, especially in view of their on line work, and supports the development of Europeana both as regards the regulatory framework and financing;

43. Welcomes the Commission announcement to submit two proposals concerning European political parties to provide European political parties with legal personality under EU law and to adapt the financial rules to the specific needs for accomplishing their tasks as defined under the Treaties; Underlines that the Commission, as guardian of the Treaties, should have an interest in cooperation between the institutions to investigate and remedy possible contraventions in the implementation of Union law and thus calls on the Commission to play a constructive role in helping find an agreement between the institutions to strengthen the provisions governing the exercise of Parliament’s Right of Inquiry under article 226 TFEU;

44. Calls on Commission to vigorously defend the Schengen acquis and uphold the proposal on the Schengen Evaluation Mechanism, and the proposal to amend the Schengen Borders Code, that preserve and develop the EU as an area with no internal borders and a European approach in decision making; Further calls on Commission to maintain the current legal base chosen for the two proposals, fully taking into account the prerogatives of the European Parliament as co-legislator in the area of Schengen Border Management;

45. Calls for an EU border management policy that fully respects fundamental rights, the application of the asylum acquis and the right to free movement; Demands that any development of a smart border system fully respects and take into account the principal of necessity, proportionality and privacy of the individual;

46. Calls for an Entry-Exit system that guarantees and facilitates free movement of people across the external borders and maintains and develops the European Union as an open and accessible area; deplores the developments of a Border management system of surveillance and control, that in anyway restrict or reduce the privacy and integrity of people crossing the EU external borders; Urges the Commission to put forward a proposal that is in full respect of the Unions Fundamental Rights obligations;

47. Anticipates the revision of the Regulation on the European Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) in order to align it with the Lisbon Treaty and strengthen the FRA´s role and independence, taking into account the EPs forthcoming proposals on the issue; Calls on the Commission to act upon its commitment to perform fundamental rights impact assessments for all legislative proposals;

48. Calls for an EU law enforcement policy that is consistent with the unions fundamental rights obligations and policies, focuses on crime prevention and social work, moving away from repression and surveillance projects, and prioritises the fight against financial, economic and environmental crimes which hit ordinary people hardest and undermine their trust in the EU most in the current crisis;

49. Calls on the Commission to propose legislative measures on legal aid for suspects and accused persons in criminal matters and pre-trial detention in criminal proceedings to strengthen trust in judicial cooperation in criminal matters;

50. Welcomes the Commission’s data protection package; urges Council and Commission to make all possible efforts to ensure the adoption of comprehensive standards that meet the Union’s fundamental rights obligations;

Europe in the world

51. Highlights the importance of improving the accession process of the Western Balkans by making it more benchmark-driven, transparent, open and mutually accountable; urges the Commission to make fresh, convincing and genuine efforts in order to revitalise the enlargement process as well as to continue to prioritise in its enlargement policy conditions such as constructive political dialogue, consolidation of the rule of law, including ensuring the freedom of expression and the protection of minority rights, the effective fight against corruption and organised crime, enhancing the effectiveness and independence of the judiciary, improving administrative capacities and track records in enforcing acquis-related legislation, overcoming inter-ethnic and inter-religious tensions, and addressing of the situation of refugees and displaced persons as well as resolution of pending bilateral issues;

52. Welcomes the ongoing process aimed at adopting an EU Strategy on Human Rights and Democracy so as to bring more coherence, consistency, effectiveness and visibility to the EU Human Rights policy; calls for a commitment to an inter-institutional declaration on human rights, to be drawn up as soon as practicable; Supports in particular the adoption of an EU Action Plan involving the Commission, the EEAS and Member States; calls in this respect on the Commission to ensure its full implementation notably regarding the achievement of greater policy coherence through the systematic elaboration of human rights impact assessment prior to the launching of all agreements and during these negotiations; expresses its determination to make full use of Article 218 of TFEU according to which Parliament must be informed by the Commission at all stages of the negotiations of international agreements;

53. Believes that the renewed European Neighbourhood Policy must duly implement its commitment to develop a genuine partnership with societies and endorses in this respect the decision taken in the EU Action Plan to do so with third country’s civil society, including at the local level; reiterates its support for the setting-up of an institutionalised civil society consultation and monitoring mechanism for ENI and all other instruments, policies and strategies;

54. Calls on the Commission to develop adequate and concrete follow-up programmes to the EU Election Observation Mission Reports in close cooperation with the EEAS and the Parliament, ensuring that these follow-up programmes are also linked to any development programmes;

55. Considers it a matter of priority that the on the Commission to assess its policy of engaging in deep reaching bilateral Free Trade Agreements with most of the world, within the perspective of a long-term EU-wide industrial policy;

56. Is of the opinion that trade policy within the frame of a EU-wide industrial policy must contribute to enhancing the value of European production, particularly through improvements in sustainability standards, the facilitation of a more rapid market introduction of green technologies and increased substitution of non-renewable and rare raw materials; urges the Commission to base its trade policy on such a long-term strategy indicating more precisely which industrial sectors shall be developed or maintained in the EU during the next 30 years and which might face serious difficulties, also in order to facilitate an open and fair discussion among the social partners and citizens throughout the Union, and prepare the ground for a long-term conversion and requalification process of endangered industrial sectors and their employees;

57. Underlines the need to draw the consequences of the financial, economic, climate, food, energy crisis for a reform of global trade rules, including a reform of Trade Defence Instruments to tackle social and environmental dumping;

58. Regrets the continuing difficulties and delays in the alignment with the Lisbon Treaty in the area of Trade; regrets that the review of the Generalised System of Preferences and the pending Market Access Regulation for ACP countries not signatories of EPA Agreements fail to respect the principle of Policy Coherence for Development and the interests and concern of developing countries;

59. Calls on the Commission to identify new options for strengthening standards on the responsibilities of transnational corporations and related business enterprises with regard to social and environmental rights and possible means of implementation, notably in the framework of extractive industries;

60. Calls for a communication on the impact of Free Trade agreements with developing countries and regions on the promotion of Human Rights and Policy Coherence for Development and on their impact on access to food and food security in these countries;

61. Expresses it concerns on expansion of GM technologies in poor countries; believes that to achieve food security the EU should rather invest in sustainable agricultural production and refrain from encouraging or financially supporting projects linked to the development of biotechnology;

62. Insists furthermore on the need to develop legally binding sustainability criteria that prevent negative climate, environmental and social impacts from the use and production of biomass for energy;


63. Stresses that despite its limited size, the EU budget pools resources, acts as a catalyst and provides economies of scale and cross-border effects to achieve commonly agreed EU political objectives; is strongly convinced that the EU budget represents a very strong tool to increase strategic investment with European added value; Insists on the need to introduce new own resources for the EU budget in order to finance properly the EU2020 strategy and the new competences laid down in the Lisbon Treaty and points out that this would reduce national contributions to the EU budget, which would in turn facilitate the fiscal consolidation taken at national level;

64. Insists on the willingness and the readiness of the EP to negotiate the MFF (2014-2020) but reminds its position on the MFF negotiation which says that it is not prepared to give its consent to the next MFF regulation without political agreement on the reform of the own-resources system, creating new own resources, putting an end to existing rebates and other correction mechanisms and leading to more transparency, fairness and sustainability nor that it will be possible to meet the political goals of the Union without adequate financing from a robust EU budget;

65. Is concerned by the situation of payments in the EU budget; believes that the payment level requested by the Commission in its proposal for the 2013 budget is a strict minimum in order to honour outstanding commitments; asks the Commission to follow the situation of payments closely during 2013 and to submit draft amending budgets if necessary; believes that the lack of payments in the EU budget is in clear contradiction to the need for stimulating growth as advocated by the European Council;

66. 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’;

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

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