Plenary topics

Strasbourg Plenary Session

The Parliament meets regularly to vote and debate at its plenary session, in Brussels or Strasbourg. Ahead of each plenary session, the S&D Group announces its priorities and its objectives for the main debates, reports and resolutions.

The S&D Group holds a press conference at 10:10-10:30 CET on Tuesdays during Strasbourg plenary weeks, in room LOW N-1/201. You can also watch it live via our homepage.

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Social investment for growth and cohesion

June 2013 (Strasbourg)
10/06/2013

This oral question is a response to the Social Investment Package presented by the European Commission on 20 February and is intended to send a strong signal from the European Parliament regarding the social dimension of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). 

A lack of effective social governance has resulted in increasing levels of social exclusion and inequality, with the burden of austerity falling hardest on public services and the most disadvantaged. Yet social and economic progress are interdependent. Europe's global competitiveness depends on its capacity to strengthen its social model.

Our vision for the EMU begins with a strong social aspect to its structure to guarantee economic and fiscal aspects are integrated with the social dimension. Our plans for a social pillar within the EMU include a detailed set of proposals on how economic and monetary union can be transformed into an economic, monetary and social union.

Session plénière - Parlement européen à Strasbourg, du 1er au 4 juillet 2013.

Plenary Session - European Parliament in Strasbourg from 10 to 13 June 2013. Socialist and Democrat priorities on the agenda

10/06/2013

Welcome to the S&D's priorities on the agenda for upcoming June Plenary session in Strasbourg. Find out more about each topic.

 

Monday 10 June 2013 -

  • Social investment for growth and cohesion, 
  • A new agenda for European consumer policy, 

 

Tuesday 11 June 2013 -

  • Serious cross-border threats to health,
  • Fund for European aid to the most deprived,
  • Minimum standards for the reception of asylum seekers,
  • Application for international protection lodged in a member state by a third-country national or a stateless person,
  • Evaluation mechanism to verify application of the Schengen acquis,
  • Transparency requirements in relation to information about issuers whose securities are admitted to trading on a regulated market,
  • Adjustment rate to direct payments provided for in Regulation (EC) No 73/2009 in respect of calendar year 2013,

 

Wednesday 12 June 2013

  • Deadlock on the revision of Regulation,

 

Thursday 13 June 2013

  • Second amendment to the Cotonou Agreement of 23 June 2000

 

For more information, please contact Dimitris KOMODROMOS 
dimitris.komodromos@europarl.europa.eu
0032 474 62 28 84 (GSM)
0032 2 283 14 59 (Brussels)
0033 3 88 17 46 98 (Strasbourg)

 

Social investment for growth and cohesion

Monday, 10 June

 

This oral question is a response to the Social Investment Package presented by the European Commission on 20 February and is intended to send a strong signal from the European Parliament regarding the social dimension of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). 

A lack of effective social governance has resulted in increasing levels of social exclusion and inequality, with the burden of austerity falling hardest on public services and the most disadvantaged. Yet social and economic progress are interdependent. Europe's global competitiveness depends on its capacity to strengthen its social model.

Our vision for the EMU begins with a strong social aspect to its structure to guarantee economic and fiscal aspects are integrated with the social dimension. Our plans for a social pillar within the EMU include a detailed set of proposals on how economic and monetary union can be transformed into an economic, monetary and social union.

Your contact :
Pervenche Berès
Phone : + 32 2 284 57 77
Phone : + 33 3 88 17 57 77
pervenche.beres@europarl.europa.eu

 

A new agenda for European consumer policy

Monday, 10 June

 

This report contains a number of positive measures to improve the co-ordination of social housing policy and the exchange of best practice within the existing framework – there is currently no EU competence on this issue.

The S&D Group calls for effective measures for redress, transparent consumer information and strong support for consumer organisations in order to tackle the challenges consumers face in a globalised, digitised world and to ensure a high level of consumer protection amidst the financial crisis.

Your contact :
Vicente Miguel Garcés Ramón
Phone : + 32 2 284 54 14
Phone : + 33 3 88 17 54 14
vicentemiguel.garcesramon@europarl.europa.eu

 

Serious cross-border threats to health

Tuesday, 11 June

The Commission’s proposal is a response to recent crises such as the bird flu pandemic in 2009, the volcanic ash cloud in 2010 and the E. coli bacteria outbreak in 2011. It aims to strengthen measures for protecting populations by tackling cross-border threats to health more efficiently and effectively.

It is only through a well-prepared, co-ordinated and efficient approach at EU level that member states can better provide the public with the necessary protection and information they need when faced with a health pandemic.

Your contact :
Gilles Pargneaux
Phone : + 32 2 284 54 40 
Phone : + 33 3 88 17 54 40
gilles.pargneaux@europarl.europa.eu

 

Fund for European aid to the most deprived

Tuesday, 11 June

The Fund for European aid to the most deprived (FEAD) is intended to both replace and expand on the current EU food aid programme (the Food distribution programme for the most deprived persons of the community – MDP), which has been running since 1987. It would provide assistance to charities and NGOs working with the most deprived members of the community, including the homeless and children, for the period 2014-2020. The report by Emer Costello leaves it to each country to decide the final scope of the support within their own programmes (whether to provide food aid or basic material assistance and which groups to target amongst the most deprived).

FEAD is symbolic of European solidarity with those most severely affected by the crisis, but the increased budget is still far from adequate. In 2010, nearly 25% of Europeans (120 million people) were at risk of poverty and social exclusion. FEAD is an instrument designed to alleviate the most severe forms of poverty – food and material deprivation – which exist in all member states.

Your contact :
Emer Costello
Phone : + 32 2 284 56 81
Phone : + 33 3 88 17 56 81
emer.costello@europarl.europa.eu

 

Minimum standards for the reception of asylum seekers

Tuesday, 11 June

The main objective of the directive is to ensure higher standards of treatment for asylum seekers in terms of reception conditions, to guarantee a dignified standard of living in line with international law. It also harmonises national rules on reception conditions to limit the secondary movements of asylum seekers between member states and therefore lessen the administrative burden.

Your contact :
Antonio Masip Hidalgo
Phone : + 32 2 284 54 74
Phone : + 33 3 88 17 54 74
antonio.masiphidalgo@europarl.europa.eu

 

Application for international protection lodged in a member state by a third-country national or a stateless person

Tuesday, 11 June

The objective of this regulation is to improve the efficiency of the 'Dublin system' and to ensure higher standards of protection for the people involved.  The proposal also aims to address the situations which put pressure on member states' reception facilities and asylum systems.

It introduces the so-called 'early warning, preparedness and crisis management mechanism', to address the root causes of ineffective national asylum systems or problems stemming from particular pressures. It introduces a number of improvements on the protection level, provides more legal clarity, extends the right to information and allows for unaccompanied minors to be reunited with family members.

Your contact :
Sylvie Guillaume
Phone : + 32 2 284 54 33
Phone : + 33 3 88 17 54 33
sylvie.guillaume@europarl.europa.eu

 

Evaluation mechanism to verify application of the Schengen acquis

Tuesday, 11 June

Following the decision of the Council in June 2012 to change the legal basis and not to include the European Parliament in co-decision on the Schengen evaluation mechanism, the Conference of Presidents decided to freeze five legislative dossiers until a solution could be found.

Even if this agreement is not exactly what the European Parliament would have liked, it can be considered a satisfactory result and is a major achievement for Schengen and for freedom of movement. This agreement transforms Schengen from being a system based merely on intergovernmental co-operation to a truly European system where the Commission will play a key role in ensuring that it functions well and the European Parliament will provide democratic scrutiny.

Your contact :
Ioan Enciu
Phone : + 32 2 284 54 57
Phone : + 33 3 88 17 54 57
ioan.enciu@europarl.europa.eu

 

Transparency requirements in relation to information about issuers whose securities are admitted to trading on a regulated market

Tuesday, 11 June

This directive harmonises transparency requirements for all listed companies. It has already received significant press attention, largely due to the issue of country-by-country reporting for the extractive and forestry industries – which was dealt with as a package alongside the Accounting Directive.

Our Group has pushed hard for this legislation for many years. New rules will boost investor confidence and reduce short-termism after the financial crisis. They will also reduce administrative burdens on small- and medium-sized issuers. We have now ensured that sanctions remain effective, proportionate and dissuasive.

Your contact :
Arlene McCarthy
Phone : + 32 2 284 55 01 
Phone : + 33 3 88 17 55 01
arlene.mccarthy@europarl.europa.eu

 

Adjustment rate to direct payments provided for in Regulation (EC) No 73/2009 in respect of calendar year 2013

Tuesday, 11 June

Capoulas Santos exorta Durão Barroso a manter proposta de embalagens invioláveis de azeite na restauração

In the 2014 draft budget, the Commission's first estimates for direct payments and market-related expenditure for farmers showed that the sub-ceiling under Heading 2 for the financial year 2014 is likely to be exceeded.  To meet financial discipline obligations, the Commission proposes a cut of 4.91759% on direct payments over €5000 (representing €1471.4 million for the calendar year 2013) to try to achieve a more balanced distribution of payments.

The rapporteur, supported by the committee on agriculture and rural development, contested the Commission’s method of calculation, which is based on the European Council multi-annual financial  framework (MFF) agreement of 7-8 February 2013.  This agreement does not have formal legal standing and therefore the rapporteur has taken the original figures from the Commission's proposal on the MFF as a basis of calculation, as these are the same figures as in the CAP reform proposals. This method of calculation resulted in a reduction of 0.748005%.

The rapporteur agrees on the threshold of €5000 and the committee adopted an amendment which leaves the door open for the European Parliament to reconsider its position once the MFF has been adopted. 

Your contact :
Luis Manuel Capoulas Santos
Phone : + 32 2 284 59 91
Phone : + 33 3 88 17 59 91
luismanuel.capoulassantos@europarl.europa.eu

 

Deadlock on the revision of Regulation

Wednesday, 12 June

This motion for a resolution on the deadlock in negotiations on Public Access to Parliament, Council and Commission Documents follows the Commission statement made on 21 May (during the last plenary session) on this issue.

The revision of Regulation No 1049/2001 on Public Access to Parliament, Council and Commission Documents has been ongoing since the initial Commission proposal was published on 30 April 2008. After a subsequent Commission proposal and deadlock in Council, the Parliament adopted its first reading position on 15 December 2011.

Since then, trilogue negotiations have broken down due to the unwillingness of some member states – and the Commission in particular – to compromise.

This motion for resolution is intended to show: the Parliament's willingness to negotiate; its reasonableness in terms of red lines; and that the responsibility for the deadlock lies with the Commission and the Council.

Your contact :
Michael Cashman
Phone : + 32 2 284 57 59
Phone : + 33 3 88 17 57 59
michael.cashman@europarl.europa.eu

 

Second amendment to the Cotonou Agreement of 23 June 2000

Thursday, 13 June

The Cotonou Agreement of 2000 established a unique partnership between the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) and the European Community and its member states. The agreement includes a revision clause which allows it to be adapted every five years until 2020.

The report was adopted unanimously and without amendments, recommending that Parliament gives consent to the second revision of the agreement. The rapporteur and the committee, however, express the strongest reservations about parts of the Cotonou Agreement which “do not reflect the position of the European Parliament and the values of the Union” and urges all parties to revise the unsatisfactory clauses during the next revision of the agreement, "including the explicit introduction of non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation”.

Your contact :
Michael Cashman
Phone : + 32 2 284 57 59
Phone : + 33 3 88 17 57 59
michael.cashman@europarl.europa.eu

Front page and title photo: © European Union 2013 - European Parliament

S and D Group s news on the European parliament Plenary session in Strasbourg - 20 to 23 May 2013

S&D Group's news on the European parliament Plenary session in Strasbourg - 20 to 23 May 2013

May 2013 (Strasbourg)
23/05/2013

The activity of the S&D Group's on the European Parliament Plenary Session of May was focused on Relaunching the European project ensuring the youth guarantee which the S&D Group has fought so hard for. The S&D Group is demanding a strong position against both tax evasion and avoidance.


Asset recovery to Arab Spring countries in transition

Wednesday 22 May 2013

The Parliament's resolution should underline the fact that the return of misappropriated assets stolen by former dictators and their regimes goes beyond its economic significance. The return of such assets is a moral imperative and a highly political issue due to its symbolism as a matter of restoring justice and accountability, in the spirit of democracy and the rule of law.

This issue represents an essential part of the Union's support for democratic transition and economic recovery in the countries concerned and can strengthen mutual confidence between both sides in the spirit of partnership with societies, a cornerstone of the reviewed European Neighbourhood Policy.

Therefore, the resolution should call for the establishment - without delay - of an EU mechanism composed of a team of investigators, prosecutors, lawyers and other experts from member states, other European countries and the United States, with the aim of providing legal and technical advice and assistance to Arab Spring countries in the process of asset recovery. And moreover, request that this mechanism be duly financed by the relevant financial instrument within the field of the Union's external relations.


Implementation of the audiovisual media services directive

Wednesday 22 May 2013

This own-initiative report is in response to the first report of the Commission to the European Parliament on the application of the Directive 2010/13/EU on Audiovisual Media Services, the cornerstone of media regulation in the EU, and aims to evaluate its effectiveness and the progress made in its transposition.

The audiovisual media services directive's (AVMS) full implementation in all member states and coordination between regulatory authorities, service providers and the Commission are vital in order to reach wider audiences in the EU and beyond.

Moreover, the Commission's timely and accurate monitoring and analyses of the implementation and functioning of the Directive are also necessary in order to identify difficulties and uncertainties so they can be resolved and the regulatory aims of the Directive achieved more effectively.


Adequate, safe and sustainable pensions

Wednesday 22 May 2013

This own-initiative report is a response to the European Parliament to the Commission White Paper on Pensions.

Public pension systems (alone or in combination with occupational pension systems) have to ensure a decent living standard for all pensioners. Instead of linking the statutory pension age to changes in life expectancy, the contribution bases should be enlarged within the given systems. Better working and employment conditions as well as active labour market policies are crucial in this context, to reduce the economic dependency ratio (number of economically active people vs. number of inactive people). Existing occupational insurance schemes should not be jeopardized by EU legislation.


Regional strategies for industrial areas in the European Union

Wednesday 22 May 2013

The S&D Rapporteur focuses on the main challenges of structural transformation processes in old industrialised regions in the European Union and on the role EU Cohesion policy can play in this context.

This initiative report identifies three main objectives:

a) to identify where regional funding is most needed in old industrialised regions

b) to determine which successful regional strategies exist for undertaking structural change and

c) to define how the Cohesion policy funds can be further used to support industrial regeneration.

The report presents some ideas on how specific challenges and obstacles can be overcome by developing well-structured regional strategies. It also highlights the role that European public funding could play in possible future attempts to reconvert old industrialised regions.


Specific tasks for the European Central Bank concerning policies relating to the prudent supervision of credit institutions

Tuesday 21 May 2013

This report on the European Central Bank (ECB) is one of two Reports comprising the Single Supervisory Mechanism package - the other being the Giegold Report on the European Banking Authority (EBA). The deal represents a significant achievement for our Group, as we retained all the important elements in the ECON text after the negotiations in Trilogue.

The Single Supervisory Mechanism is a first and vital step towards a fully fledged banking union and one which has the potential to break the vicious circle between private and sovereign debt. But it should now be complemented by a resolution framework including a European Single Resolution Fund and a deposit guarantee schemes mechanism.

The agreement will ensure better accountability and transparency than did the original proposal from the Commission. The European Parliament will now be able to approve the appointment of the heads of supervision and will have greater access to documents. This is a major achievement for our Group.

This own-initiative report is a response to the Commission's Action Plan on tax fraud and tax evasion and its two recommendations to member states on aggressive tax planning and promotion of good governance in tax matters.

S&D Rapporteur highlights that an estimated trillion euro of public money is lost due to tax fraud and tax avoidance every year in the EU, and proposes concrete actions to counter this damaging development and to halve this tax gap by 2020.

The S&D Group calls for the Commission to come forward with a legislative proposal on a clear definition and common set of criteria to identify tax havens, together with a public European black list of tax havens by 31 December 2014.

We also call on the Commission to propose that the competent authorities suspend or revoke the banking licences of financial institutions and financial advisers if they assist in tax fraud.

The Commission should furthermore refrain from granting EU funding and member states should refrain from giving access to state aid or to public procurement to these companies.


Nuclear decommissioning assistance programmes in Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovakia

Monday 20 May 2013

In the context of the negotiations for accession to the European Union, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovakia made the decision to close and subsequently decommission their reactors by a commonly agreed date. This early closure represents an exceptional financial burden for member states which was not commensurate with the economic strength of the countries concerned. In recognition of this fact and as an act of solidarity, the European Union committed itself to continue to provide additional financial assistance for the decommissioning of these reactors.

The current proposal for a Council Regulation foresees an extension of financial support from the Union with the general objective of reaching an irreversible state within the decommissioning process, while retaining the highest level of safety.


Reinstatement of Myanmar/Burma's access to generalized tariff preferences

Monday 20 May 2013

Under the EU Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) the EU grants non-reciprocal trade preferences to developing countries. This means that exporters from these countries pay lower duties on some or all of what they sell to the EU, giving them vital access to EU markets and contributing to the growth of their economies.

The GSP regulation states that these preferential arrangements may be withdrawn temporarily given the serious and systematic violation of principles laid down in international conventions. These conventions cover core labour rights, such as ILO Convention 29 on forced labour. Myanmar/Burma's access to the GSP tariff preferences was temporarily withdrawn in 1997 primarily due to routine and widespread practice of forced labour.

Since 2011, Myanmar/Burma has undertaken serious efforts towards openness and reform, which has resulted in the Council lifting sanctions and, in this proposal, reinstating the country's access to GSP, based on ILO conclusions. Our group can therefore support this proposal.


Establishing a framework for managing financial responsibility linked to investor-state dispute settlement tribunals established by international agreements to which the EU is party

Monday 20 May 2013

The EU is negotiating investment protection agreements with third countries, including with Canada, the US, Japan, India and China. These investment agreements will most likely have an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism which allows companies to launch claims against the EU in the event of a violation of some key provisions of the agreement. This regulation is aimed at establishing a framework for the situation in which an investor sues the EU.

Who has to defend itself - the EU or the member state? Who has to pay?

Essentially, this dossier represents a conflict battle between member states and the Commission over competence in terms of investment policy. Several member states, particularly Germany, Finland and the Netherlands would like to keep as much power as possible in the hands of the member states. Our Group has clearly taken the "community line", in expressing support for a strong role for the Commission in the defending the Union in investment-arbitration cases.

This oral question (OQ) was tabled at the initiative of our Group and it has received the support of the EPP, ALDE, Greens and GUE.

Three years after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, a legislative framework for the EU's new exclusive competence on foreign direct investment (which is now an integral part of the EU's trade policy) is slowly being established.

However, there are a number of potential incompatibilities between EU law and international investment treaties which still need to be addressed.

This OQ deals with three issues:

1. the existence of 190 bilateral investment treaties between EU member states

2. the inclusion of clauses in bilateral investment treaties which do not restrict the movement of capital

3. the fact that investment treaties might grant greater rights to foreign investors than to European investors.

S and D Group s news on the European parliament Plenary session in Strasbourg - 20 to 23 May 2013

Regional strategies for industrial areas in the European Union

May 2013 (Strasbourg)
22/05/2013

The S&D Rapporteur focuses on the main challenges of structural transformation processes in old industrialised regions in the European Union and on the role EU Cohesion policy can play in this context.

This initiative report identifies three main objectives:

a) to identify where regional funding is most needed in old industrialised regions

b) to determine which successful regional strategies exist for undertaking structural change and

c) to define how the Cohesion policy funds can be further used to support industrial regeneration.

The report presents some ideas on how specific challenges and obstacles can be overcome by developing well-structured regional strategies. It also highlights the role that European public funding could play in possible future attempts to reconvert old industrialised regions.

S and D Group s news on the European parliament Plenary session in Strasbourg - 20 to 23 May 2013

Implementation of the audiovisual media services directive

May 2013 (Strasbourg)
22/05/2013

This own-initiative report is in response to the first report of the Commission to the European Parliament on the application of the Directive 2010/13/EU on Audiovisual Media Services, the cornerstone of media regulation in the EU, and aims to evaluate its effectiveness and the progress made in its transposition.

The audiovisual media services directive's (AVMS) full implementation in all member states and coordination between regulatory authorities, service providers and the Commission are vital in order to reach wider audiences in the EU and beyond.

Moreover, the Commission's timely and accurate monitoring and analyses of the implementation and functioning of the Directive are also necessary in order to identify difficulties and uncertainties so they can be resolved and the regulatory aims of the Directive achieved more effectively.

S and D Group s news on the European parliament Plenary session in Strasbourg - 20 to 23 May 2013

Asset recovery to Arab Spring countries in transition

May 2013 (Strasbourg)
22/05/2013

The Parliament's resolution should underline the fact that the return of misappropriated assets stolen by former dictators and their regimes goes beyond its economic significance. The return of such assets is a moral imperative and a highly political issue due to its symbolism as a matter of restoring justice and accountability, in the spirit of democracy and the rule of law.

This issue represents an essential part of the Union's support for democratic transition and economic recovery in the countries concerned and can strengthen mutual confidence between both sides in the spirit of partnership with societies, a cornerstone of the reviewed European Neighbourhood Policy.

Therefore, the resolution should call for the establishment - without delay - of an EU mechanism composed of a team of investigators, prosecutors, lawyers and other experts from member states, other European countries and the United States, with the aim of providing legal and technical advice and assistance to Arab Spring countries in the process of asset recovery. And moreover, request that this mechanism be duly financed by the relevant financial instrument within the field of the Union's external relations.

S and D Group s news on the European parliament Plenary session in Strasbourg - 20 to 23 May 2013

Adequate, safe and sustainable pensions

May 2013 (Strasbourg)
22/05/2013

This own-initiative report is a response to the European Parliament to the Commission White Paper on Pensions.

Public pension systems (alone or in combination with occupational pension systems) have to ensure a decent living standard for all pensioners. Instead of linking the statutory pension age to changes in life expectancy, the contribution bases should be enlarged within the given systems. Better working and employment conditions as well as active labour market policies are crucial in this context, to reduce the economic dependency ratio (number of economically active people vs. number of inactive people). Existing occupational insurance schemes should not be jeopardized by EU legislation.

S and D Group s news on the European parliament Plenary session in Strasbourg - 20 to 23 May 2013

Specific tasks for the European Central Bank concerning policies relating to the prudent supervision of credit institutions

May 2013 (Strasbourg)
21/05/2013

This report on the European Central Bank (ECB) is one of two Reports comprising the Single Supervisory Mechanism package - the other being the Giegold Report on the European Banking Authority (EBA). The deal represents a significant achievement for our Group, as we retained all the important elements in the ECON text after the negotiations in Trilogue.

The Single Supervisory Mechanism is a first and vital step towards a fully fledged banking union and one which has the potential to break the vicious circle between private and sovereign debt. But it should now be complemented by a resolution framework including a European Single Resolution Fund and a deposit guarantee schemes mechanism.

The agreement will ensure better accountability and transparency than did the original proposal from the Commission. The European Parliament will now be able to approve the appointment of the heads of supervision and will have greater access to documents. This is a major achievement for our Group.

S and D Group s news on the European parliament Plenary session in Strasbourg - 20 to 23 May 2013

Fight against tax evasion and tax havens

May 2013 (Strasbourg)
21/05/2013

This own-initiative report is a response to the Commission's Action Plan on tax fraud and tax evasion and its two recommendations to member states on aggressive tax planning and promotion of good governance in tax matters.

S&D Rapporteur highlights that an estimated trillion euro of public money is lost due to tax fraud and tax avoidance every year in the EU, and proposes concrete actions to counter this damaging development and to halve this tax gap by 2020.

The S&D Group calls for the Commission to come forward with a legislative proposal on a clear definition and common set of criteria to identify tax havens, together with a public European black list of tax havens by 31 December 2014.

We also call on the Commission to propose that the competent authorities suspend or revoke the banking licences of financial institutions and financial advisers if they assist in tax fraud.

The Commission should furthermore refrain from granting EU funding and member states should refrain from giving access to state aid or to public procurement to these companies.

S and D Group s news on the European parliament Plenary session in Strasbourg - 20 to 23 May 2013

Reinstatement of Myanmar/Burma's access to generalized tariff preferences

May 2013 (Strasbourg)
20/05/2013

Under the EU Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) the EU grants non-reciprocal trade preferences to developing countries. This means that exporters from these countries pay lower duties on some or all of what they sell to the EU, giving them vital access to EU markets and contributing to the growth of their economies.

The GSP regulation states that these preferential arrangements may be withdrawn temporarily given the serious and systematic violation of principles laid down in international conventions. These conventions cover core labour rights, such as ILO Convention 29 on forced labour. Myanmar/Burma's access to the GSP tariff preferences was temporarily withdrawn in 1997 primarily due to routine and widespread practice of forced labour.

Since 2011, Myanmar/Burma has undertaken serious efforts towards openness and reform, which has resulted in the Council lifting sanctions and, in this proposal, reinstating the country's access to GSP, based on ILO conclusions. Our group can therefore support this proposal.