Strasbourg : Plenary session from 21 May 2012 to 24 May 2012
Amendment of the European Parliament Regulation implementing the European Citizens’ Initiative
Tuesday 22 May 2012
The report on inviting the President of the European Parliament to undertake all steps necessary to organise smooth running of the public hearings of successful European Citizens’ Initiative (ECIs) proposes amending the EP’s rules of procedure accordingly.
It proposes that the hearings should be organised by committees competent with regard to the subject matter concerned but at the same time ensuring PETI participation wherever appropriate. A proper treatment of all successful initiatives has been safeguarded by creating a single desk under the responsibility of the Vice-President responsible for the citizens' initiative.
The EP Vice President would ensure a stable environment for the ECIs in the EP. Extensive debates took place on how to organize hearings bearing in mind the importance of distinguishing petitions and ECIs which have a different legal basis, ECIs being the beginning of a possible legislative process.
EU and China: unbalanced trade?
Tuesday 22 May 2012
The report adopted in INTA committee is fairly balanced and addresses trade relations between the EU and the China. It reflects the current situation whereby China has become a very important global player and a fierce competitor. China is indeed the EU's second-largest trading partner.
The report emphasises the need to adopt a balanced approach towards China and calls on the Commission and the Members States to build up better cooperation with China in all areas of interests.
China is also a major source of concerns (breach of Intellectual property rights, dumping, corruption, violations of WTO subsidy rules, discrimination of foreign operators etc), accordingly, the report questions the automatic granting of the market economy status in 2016, unless prior to this date, China has fulfilled all criteria, likewise the report asks the EU to carry out regular assessments in the form of annual reports on China's compliance with the obligations included in its protocol on accession to the WTO.
Common system for taxing financial transactions
Wednesday 23 May 2012
This is a very ambitious proposal and it is a key part of our strategy to exit the crisis. The introduction of the financial transactions tax (FTT) will make the global financial sector more stable, less short-termist and more focused on financing the real economy. We have based our position on the design proposed by the European Commission and strengthened it by adding the issuance and the ownership principles. If the Council is unable to reach a unanimous decision by September 2012, the FTT should be introduced by enhanced cooperation.
- We support the Commission's proposal which is the result of hard lobbying by our Group and by other stakeholders. For this reason, we leave untouched the proposed rates (0,1 for stocks and bonds and 0,01 for derivatives) and the broad scope of the FTT with regard to financial instruments.
- However, we improve its design by adding two important criteria: 1) the issuance principle, and 2) the ownership principle. The first one refers to where the financial instrument is issued - that is, a non-EU investor will be forced to pay the FTT if he buys a financial instrument issued in the EU (e.g. a Greek bond). The second one ensures that the instrument can not be legally transferred unless the tax has been paid.
- We confirm the principle that the tax should be collected by Member States. As the Commission's proposal does not address the management of revenues from the FTT (which is part of the MFF remit), we simply mention that the revenue from an FTT could be envisaged to be managed at Union level, either as a part of Union own resources or directly linked to specific Union policies and public goods, thus reducing the national contributions to the Union budget.
A resource-efficient Europe
Wednesday 23 May 2012
Moving towards a resource efficient economy will bring increased competitiveness and new sources of growth and jobs through cost savings from improved efficiency, commercialisation of innovations and better management of resources throughout their life-cycle.