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Official Journal of the European Communities Debates of the European Parliament 1994/95 Session. Report of proceedings from 16 to 20 January 1995

273 pages
ISSN 0378-5041 Official Journal Annex of the European Communities No 4-456 Debates of the European Parliament English edition 1994/95 Session Report of proceedings from 16 to 20 January 1995 Europe House, Strasbourg Sitting of Monday, 16 January 1995 General contents 1. Resumption of the session, p. 1 — 2. Approval of the Minutes, p. 2 - 3. Order of business, p. 3 — 4. Uniform format for visas, p. 5 II) Sitting of Tuesday, 17 January 1995 1. Approval of the Minutes,.p. 12-2. Statement by the President, p. 12 - 3. Decision on urgency, p. 12 — 4. Political guidelines of the Commission-designate, p. 13 — 5. Programme of the French presidency, p. 45 - 6. Question Time, p. 69 — Annex: Question Time, p. 91 Sitting of Wednesday, 18 January 1995 117 1. Approval of the Minutes, p.8 — 2. Topical and urgent debate (objections), p. 120 — 3. European Parliament's right of inquiry — implementing measures for acts adopted, p. 120 —4. Codification of Community legislation, p. 123 — 5. Maximum speed of two or three-wheel motor vehicles, p. 125 - 6. White Paper - Social policy, p. 127 - 7. Political guidelines of the Commission-designate (continuation), p. 131 — 8. Votes, p. 139 — 9. White Paper - Social policy (continuation), p. 147 — 10. Work of ACP-EU Joint Assembly in 1994, p. 163 —. Interoperability of high-speed train network, p. 169 -12. Global Satellite Navigation System, p. 174 — 13. European Medicines Evaluation Agency, p. 177 — 14.
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ISSN 0378-5041
Official Journal Annex
of the
European Communities
No 4-456
Debates of the European Parliament English edition
1994/95 Session
Report of proceedings
from 16 to 20 January 1995
Europe House, Strasbourg
Sitting of Monday, 16 January 1995 General contents
1. Resumption of the session, p. 1 — 2. Approval of the Minutes, p. 2 - 3. Order of
business, p. 3 — 4. Uniform format for visas, p. 5
II) Sitting of Tuesday, 17 January 1995
1. Approval of the Minutes,.p. 12-2. Statement by the President, p. 12 - 3. Decision on
urgency, p. 12 — 4. Political guidelines of the Commission-designate, p. 13 —
5. Programme of the French presidency, p. 45 - 6. Question Time, p. 69 — Annex:
Question Time, p. 91
Sitting of Wednesday, 18 January 1995 117
1. Approval of the Minutes, p.8 — 2. Topical and urgent debate (objections), p. 120 —
3. European Parliament's right of inquiry — implementing measures for acts adopted,
p. 120 —4. Codification of Community legislation, p. 123 — 5. Maximum speed of two or
three-wheel motor vehicles, p. 125 - 6. White Paper - Social policy, p. 127 - 7. Political
guidelines of the Commission-designate (continuation), p. 131 — 8. Votes, p. 139 — 9.
White Paper - Social policy (continuation), p. 147 — 10. Work of ACP-EU Joint
Assembly in 1994, p. 163 —. Interoperability of high-speed train network, p. 169 -
12. Global Satellite Navigation System, p. 174 — 13. European Medicines Evaluation
Agency, p. 177 — 14. Appointment of members of the Court of Auditors, p. 180 —
15. European Observatory for SMEs, p. 181 NOTE TO READER
Parallel editions will also appearing in the following official languages of the Union: Danish,
German, Greek, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch and Portuguese. The English edition contains
the original texts of the interventions in English and an English translation, provided by
freelance translators, of those made in other languages. In these cases, the following letters
appear in brackets after the name of the speaker to indicate the language spoken: (DA) for
Danish, (DE) for German, (EL) for Greek. (ES) for Spanish, (FR) for French, (IT) for Italian,
(NL) for Dutch, (PT) for Portuguese, (Fl) for Finnish and (SV) for Swedish.
The original texts of these interventions appear in the edition published in the language spoken.
Sitting of Thursday, 19 January 1995 189 Contents (continued)
1. Approval of the Minutes, p. 190 - 2. Chechnya, p. 190-3. Votes, p. 200 - 4. Topical
and urgent debate, p. 205 — 5. Application of Community law 1993, p. 224 —
6. Euratom-US nuclear cooperation, p. 229 - Annex: Formal sitting, p. 235
Sitting of Friday, 20 January 1995 242
1. Approval of the Minutes, p.2 — 2. Votes, p. 243 - 3. EC-USA competition laws,
p. 244 — 4. CAP conversion rates, p.7 — 5. European apiculture, p. 249 — 6. Measures
in respect of certain agricultural products of the French overseas departments, p. 256 —
7. Fishing off the Guinean coast, p. 260 — 8. Statement by the Commission on livestock
welfare, p. 263 — 9. Adjournment of the session, p. 266
imprime sur
papier blanc
blanchi sans chlore
Abbreviations used for Political Groups as shown following the name of the speaker
(PSE) Group of the Party of the European Socialists
(PPE)p of the European People's Party (Christian-Democratic Group)
(ELDR)p of then Liberal Democratic and Reformist Party
(GUE / NGL) Confederal Group of the European United Left / Nordic Green Left
(FE) Forza Europa Group
(RDE) Group of the European Democratic Alliance
(V) Green Group in the European Parliament
(ARE)p of the European Radical Alliance
(EDN) Europe of Nations Group (Coordination Group)
(NI) Non-attached Members
Resolutions adopted at the sittings of16 to 20 January 1995 appear in the Official Journal of the
European Communities C 43, 20.2.1995. 16. 1.95 Debates of the European Parliament No 4-456/1
/. Resumption of the session
2. Approval of the Minutes
McMahon, Morris, Langer, Thomas, De Vries, Gyldenkilde, Castellina, Wolf
3. Order of business
Theato, Kellett-Bowman, Samland, Vanni D'Archirafi (Commission), Samland, Theato,
Breyer, Plooij-Van Gorsel
4. Uniform format for visas
Green, Lehne, Ford, Cars, Mezzaroma, Sánchez García, Krarup, Gollnisch. Barros Moura,
Wiebenga, Vanni D'Archirafi (Commission)
IN THE CHAIR: MR HANSCH (To loud applause the President extended a personal welcome
to each of the new Swedish Members entering in succession) President
Welcome, and please now take your seats in your groups.
(The sitting was opened at 5 p.m.)
There are also changes in the Commission and its staff. As you
can see, we have some new seats for you here.
1. Resumption of the session
Let me say a few words of welcome to our new Members. We
President. — I declare resumed the session of the European are delighted that in the very first days of your parliamentary
Parliament, adjourned on Friday, 16 December 1994. work you are able to participate in one of the most important
decisions of this term, namely the hearing of candidates for the
new Commission and the vote of confidence, which the
European Parliament is to hold for the first time.
Originally and, as you know, strictly speaking in accordance President. — Ladies and gentlemen, today is a special day, as
with the Treaty, the hearing and the vote of confidence were to you all know. I would therefore ask you to take your seats now,
have taken place last December, without the new Members. so that we can greet our new colleagues in the appropriate
Contrary to the wishes of certain governments and certain manner.
Commissioners, we insisted that, despite any misgivings, this
Ladies and gentlemen, the peoples of Austria, Finland and should be postponed until January, so as to allow the new
Sweden have expressed their desire to be members of the Members to participate in the process, and this is our first
European Union. Today we have the honour and the pleasure welcome to you. We are offering you the opportunity to
of welcoming the elected representatives of those peoples who participate in the vote of confidence in the new Commission.
are joining us in this House.
(Loud and sustained applause)
Ladies and gentlemen from Austria, Sweden and Finland, I can
Willkommen Österreich in der Europäischen Union! put your minds at rest in one respect. In this matter — the
hearings and the vote of confidence — there are no old and new
(To loud applause the President extended a personal welcome Members in this House, but only new Members, since the
to each of the new Austrian Members entering in succession) procedure and decision concerning the vote of confidence are
completely new to everyone in the House.
I am delighted that our colleagues from Austria can now take
their seats among the groups, and while they are doing so, let
As everyone knows, the more comfortable we feel about our
us say: Tervetuloa Suomi! work, the easier it is to perform. This feeling of comfort
naturally depends partly upon the working conditions. I can
(To loud applause the President extended a personal welcome
well imagine that you do not feel entirely at ease in your first
to each of the new Finnish Members entering in succession)
few days at work. This is probably due to the fact that we are
surrounded by a building site and have to cope with temporary Please take your seats in your groups, so that you will be ready
arrangements. So please forgive us if you suffer some incon­for work as soon as we begin.
venience. Please bear with this inconvenience in the know­
And now, ladies and gentlemen: Hjärtligt välkommen, Sver­ ledge that times of change and progress inevitably involve
ige! temporary arrangements or, to put it more philosophically. 95 Debates of the European Parliament No 4-456/2
2. Approval of the Minutes what is temporary in our planned world can have a charm of its
own. President. — The Minutes of the last sitting have been
You come to us from three countries. You can — and I am sure
you will — bring something new into this House. Let the Are there any comments'?
identities of your countries, their history and culture, their
McMahon (PSE). - Mr President. 1 would like to refer to the traditions and lifestyles, be felt here in the European Parlia­
comments made by Mr Wynn on the Friday who commented
ment. You need not, and should not. suppress them. But do
on the fact that I had not raised the question of Hood aid. I
also bear in mind that the experience and traditions which you
would like to use this opportunity to report to the House and bring with you from the Austrian. Swedish and Finnish
personally to thank the Commission on behalf of my consti­Parliaments are just one part of the European tradition of
tuents in Strathclyde West. During the Christmas recess the democracy and parliamentarianism.
Commission very generously agreed ECU 500,000 of disastei
aid for the victims of flooding in Strathclyde where there has
No national parliament, whether the British House of Com­
been serious disruption involving loss of life, mainly in my
mons, the German Bundestag, the French National Assembly
constituency. There was some dislocation in Mr Smith's. Mr
or any other, no national parliament can serve as a blueprint for
Miller's and Mr Collins' constituencies as well.
the European Parliament. We are a real parliament, just
different! I would like to go on record to thank President Delors and
yourself. Mr President, for interceding in this matter. I want
(Applause) publicly on behalf of the people of Scotland to thank the
European Parliament and the Commission for showing their
In order to fulfil our own role, which is no more important, but solidarity and generosity.
neither is it any less important, than that of the national
President. — We are pleased at that information, Mr McMa­parliaments, we have arrived at our own decision-making
processes and our own priority areas of business. Our working hon.
methods, which have taken shape over the past 15 years, have
Morris (PSE). - Mr President, I asked you at the last
proved their worth in some respects, whilst in others we are
part-session to approach the Council of Ministers and urge
still feeling our way. We look forward to friendly criticism and
them to accept the recommendations of this House to fix a
constructive suggestions from you. Ladies and gentlemen, I
maximum journey time for the transport of animals destined
hope that in spite of all the difficulties — the travelling, the
for slaughter. You did that and we have not had a positive
different places of work, the language problems and the
response as yet from the Council. We now have huge
organizational difficulties — you will be touched by the
demonstrations taking place in the United Kingdom over the
fascination of this unique, incomparable Parliament. This
export of veal calves which are brought up in crates in Holland.
Parliament has so many difficulties and flaws that really it
France and Germany.
should not be able to function at all. And yet it does. The
elected representatives of such diverse peoples as ours, with Can I ask you please to urge the Council of Ministers to resolve
such diverse cultures, traditions, languages and historical the issue of the transport of live animals and to undertake to
experiences as there have been in Europe's past, prove on a look at the issue of the rearing of veal calves. And may I
daily basis that cooperation is feasible. And therein lies the implore this House to show its disdain for the abhorrent trade
wonder of Europe! in veal calves by shunning the veal being served in Parlia­
ment's restaurants in Strasbourg and in Brussels.
I should like to repeat before the new Members of the House
President. — We shall press for the response from the Council
what I said in my inaugural speech as President of this
of Ministers.
Parliament. Institutions are important. So is their reform, but
we cannot win people's hearts and minds by debating about (Parliament approved the Minutes)
ourselves and about institutional change. We can win them
only if our policies allay some of their fears and concerns, if we
link the unification of Europe to their dreams and aspirations.
President. — I would inform the House that Mrs Marin and Mr
There is never any question, in anything we do, of creating a
Ferri have notified me that, with effect from 15 December
European superstate. The Union can be a people's Union and
1994, they have joined the Forza Europa Group.
remain at the same time an of Member States, in whose
future countenance the different peoples will still recognize Mrs Gyldenkilde has informed me that, with effect from 21
their own unmistakable features. It has often been said, and it December 1994, she has joined the Confederal Group of the
remains true, that the diversity of Europe's peoples, languages, European United Left. The Confederal Group of the European
cultures and traditions is not its weakness but its strength, as
United Left informed me on 5 January 1995 that it has changed
long as we manage to pool our efforts, exercise our sovereign­
its name. It is now called the Confederal Group of the
ties jointly and replace conflict with cooperation. I wish you,
European United Left — Nordic Green Left.
and all of us, every success in the work ahead. I wish you and
all of us exciting sittings, stirring debates and successful
political initiatives. I wish you, together with us, the success
we need in order to complete the next step on the road to a
European Union of healthy democracy, economic prosperity, President. — Ladies and gentlemen, I should like to point out
social justice, peace and security. Thank you, and now to work! that it is unfortunately no longer possible for the Minutes and
agenda to be distributed in the Chamber, as hardly any
Members now have a personal seat and it is impossible to (Applause) No 4-456/3 Debates of the European Parliament 16. 1.95
speaking about the Agenda. This is no time for general know which language version to distribute to each place. In
discussion. We must discuss Parliament's Agenda. future, therefore, the Minutes and agenda will bed in
Members' pigeon-holes before the opening of the sitting, and
(Applause) you can collect the documents from there.
President. — The problem is, Mr de Vries, that I cannot always
tell that just by looking at their faces.
President. — As regards the translation of texts into Finnish Gyldenkilde (GUE/NGL). - (DA) Mr President, I have to tell
and Swedish, 1 should like to draw your attention to the you that in my opinion no one can really claim to have a
unstinting efforts of the language departments which, in monopoly on being the Greens. I hope that both the Greens,
extremely difficult conditions caused primarily by crippling who call themselves the Greens in Europe, and also the Nordic
staff shortages, are doing everything possible to ensure that Greens want the greatest possible numbers of people to adopt
texts being debated at this part-session will be available in the points of view of the Greens, and for this reason 1 do not
Finnish and Swedish. They really are making every effort to think we should be concerned that more of us are calling
enable us to have the Finnish and Swedish versions too. We ourselves Greens. I simply hope that a great many will adopt
can undoubtedly congratulate these departments and express the Greens' points of view. Besides, there have been discus­
understanding for any hitch which may affect their output in sions between ourselves, the Nordic Greens, and the Greens,
these very difficult early stages. (') but they have turned out this way because we are also
socialists, and that is why we are where we are today.
Langer (V). — (DE) Mr President, you have just announced
Otherwise, thanks to the Greens for their cooperation.
that a new group has been formed, or rather that a group has
adopted a new name which includes the word 'green'. On the
President. — We have now heard the concerns of Mr Langer
one hand we are of course delighted, as we could not possibly
and a statement from Mrs Gyldenkilde, and I think that that
object to a spreading of green ideas. But on the other hand, we
will do for now.
are somewhat taken aback by this choice of name and we
should like to let our colleagues in that group know, in a
cordial and friendly way, that we reserve the right to speak to
them about it. We are surprised that parties which do not
This matter can be looked at under our Rules of Procedure.
belong to and have no contact with the European Green
And in accordance with the possibilities allowed for by our
Federation are now describing themselves as 'green' in this
Rules of Procedure, a final decision will then be taken.
House. We should like these comments to be regarded as a
provisional statement, by way of a precaution.
Castellina (GUE). — (IT) Mr President, while it is undoubted­
ly always useful to talk about the formation of groups with all President. — We take note of your statement for the time
our colleagues, I hope that this Parliament will not adopt being, Mr Langer.
Comintern tradition with an Internationale laying down what is
Thomas (PSE). — Mr President, on a point of order. I still the 'right green' and what is the 'wrong green' as was
belong to the Group of the Party of European Socialists! Communist practice in the past. I should like to ask our Green
colleagues and friends not to adopt this stance.
Wolf (V). — (DE) I would point out that this accusation of I wish to start the New Year with a piece of good news for this
reviving Stalinist practices is out of all proportion to our House: in December I asked to put down an urgent motion to
insistence that green politics should be comprehensively and discuss the situation of rural workers throughout Europe, and
coherently green. We shall of course continue to cooperate in particular the British Government's attempts to abandon the
with colleagues who raise green issues in other groups, and Agricultural Wages Board. It gives me great pleasure to inform
will do whatever we can to see that ecological considerations this House that we were part of a very successful campaign that
prevail. But green politics do not simply mean that one made the British Government decide not to abolish the
occasionally gives a little thought to the environment: rather, Agricultural Wages Board.
green politics have developed into a global approach, which
I hope when the Liberal Group campaigns in the future, it will others may share...
point out that it did not support this issue and will be
thoroughly ashamed of itself. (The President cut the speaker off)
President. — Ladies and gentlemen, things are starting again in
President. — That really is an end to the matter now for all
the same way as last year! I see now that Mr de Vries has a
concerned. (:)
point of order.
De Vries (ELDR). — (NL) Two remarks, Mr President. In the
first place we did not take part in the vote on the Agricultural
3. Order of business Wages Board because we did not consider it a matter of
urgency. We have written to the Committee on the Rules of
President. — The next item is the order of business. Procedure about it, because we think that misuse of Parlia­
ment's agenda must be prevented, even if the misuse comes
The final version of the draft agenda as drawn up by the from the largest Group in the House.
Conference of Presidents at its meeting of 12 January pursuant
In the second place, Mr President, may I urge you to interrupt to Rule 95 of the Rules of Procedure has been distributed.
Members of the Assembly asking to speak now but not
;) Interpretation of the Rule* of Procedure — Announcement by llie President
— Documents received — Petitions: sec Minines ') Referral lo committees — Authorization lo draw »/> reporis: sec Minutes 16. 1.95 Debates of the European Parliament No 4-456/4
Vanni D'Archirafi, Member of the Commission. — (IT) Mr Wednesday:
President, like Mr Samland, we view with great concern a
The Committee on Budgetary Control has requested the postponement of the discussion on the Medicines Evaluation
inclusion on the agenda of its report by Mr Bourlanges on the Agency regulation that should have come into operation on 1
procedure for appointing Members of the Court of Auditors, to January. 1 should therefore be very grateful to Parliament if the
replace the report by Mrs Haug on behalf of the Committee on debate could take place and the opinion be given during this
Budgets, on which the Committee on Budgetary Control has part-session.
not yet given its opinion.
President. — I put to the vote the request by the Committee on Theato (PPE), chairman of the Committee on Budgetary
Budgetary Control to include the Bourlanges report in place of Control. — (DE) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, we have
that by Mrs Haug. welcomed three new Member States today. Now three new
Members must also be appointed to the Court of Auditors. This
assumes that we receive nominations from the Member States, (Parliament rejected the request)
and a letter to this effect is on its way. After hearing statements
from the candidates to the Court of Auditors, Parliament
The agenda therefore remains as proposed.
approves their appointment. We should set this procedure in
motion as quickly as possible, and to do so we need to adopt
Mr Bourlanges' report on the appointment of the members of Samland (PSE), chairman of the Committee on Budgets. —
the Court of Auditors at the earliest opportunity. I therefore (DE) Mr President, we have just taken a vote which none of the
request that this report be placed on this week's agenda, so that proposers wanted in that form. You were putting to the vote the
the parliamentary procedure can be initiated and completed question of whether we should enter the Bourlanges report on
rapidly. the agenda. All the parliamentary groups were in favour. Then
you asked about the Haug report, and the majority was in
With regard to Mrs Haug's report, the Committee on Budge­ favour ofthat report being placed on the agenda. Yet there was
tary Control is in the same position now as in December, when never any intention — neither on the part of the Group of the
we were unable to adopt our opinion in the committee. The Party of European Socialists nor of the committee — that we
committee has not met since then, and will not be meeting until should vote on whether to include the Haug report or the
next week. We are therefore asking that the report be Bourlanges report. Rather, it was our intention, and likewise
withdrawn from the agenda. that of the chairman of the Committee on Budgetary Control,
to add the Bourlanges report to the agenda. I am no expert in
President. — Is there a speaker in favour of this request? procedural matters, but I would ask you, given that the House
is unanimous on this matter, to find some way of including the
Kellett-Bowman (PPE). — Mr President, Mrs Theato has said
Bourlanges report on the agenda after all.
it all. We rejected the Haug report and referred it back to
committee in December for the reason that an opinion had not
yet come from the Committee on Budgetary Control; it has still President. — The problem for me was and still is that
not been possible for the Committee on Budgetary Control to according to the text I have, the Committee on Budgetary
discuss its opinion. This should be done in good time for Control requested that its report by Mr Bourlanges should be
February's part-session. included on the agenda in place of the report by Mrs Haug.
That is the request which I put to the vote, and you know the
President. — Is there a speaker against the request?
result. If the House does not object to taking both these reports,
then I would simply suggest that we do that, without going to Samland (PSE), chairman of the Committee on Budgets. —
the trouble of voting again on the matter. Mrs Theato would (DE) Mr President, the objections of the Committee on
like to say something on this as chairman of the Committee on Budgetary Control are justified. On the other hand, the
Budgetary Control. Commission has indicated that it is under extreme pressure, as
we all know, with regard to this arrangement. Because as from
1 January 1995, new pharmaceutical products can be approved Theato (PPE), chairman of the Committee on Budgetary
only by the European Agency, whilst national agencies are no Control. — (DE) Mr President, perhaps there has been a
longer authorized. misunderstanding, or perhaps I expressed myself badly. It was
certainly not our intention to overload the agenda. We had to
However, the European Agency is not yet up and running,
assess the urgency of the various items, and that may be how
because we have so far been unable to deliver our opinion on
they came to be linked in your text. I thought you would be
this matter. taking a further vote on the Bourlanges report. But you moved
on very quickly to the next vote, and 1 had no opportunity of I wish to speak against the request and invite colleagues who
drawing your attention to it.
sit on the Committee on Budgetary Control to use the meeting
time available to the Budgets Committee this evening, in the
hope of adopting an opinion by the end of today. Since the I endorse what Mr Samland said as chairman of the Committee
views of the Budgets Committee and the Committee on on Budgets, namely that we do not wish any conflict to arise
Budgetary Control do not differ widely on this question — at here. If the groups are also indicating that both reports should
least among the Members with whom we have spoken — it be included, I would appeal to you — for the reasons I have
should be readily dealt with. There is no knowing whether, given — to place the Bourlanges report on the agenda too.
once we have heard the Commission's view, it will be possible
to deliver our opinion this week. The ball is in the Commis­
President. — My impression is that this is not a controversial sion's court in that respect, as we pointed out in December.
matter. We have the time on Wednesday evening, so we shall
first take the Haug report, then the one by Mr Bourlanges, and I would therefore oppose the request for postponement, and
then the rest of the agenda. ask that the Haug report be dealt with this week. Debates of the European Parliament No 4-456/5 16. 1.95
Council regulation creating a uniform format for visas for third Thursday:
country nationals wishing to enter countries of the European
President. — The Green Group in the European Parliament and
the Liberal and Democratic Group have requested the inclusion
The regulation which is in the pipeline is merely the first move of their oral questions to the Commission on the negotiations to
renew for 1995 the nuclear cooperation agreement between towards the unification of visa policy throughout the European
Euratom and the United States. Union. What is special about it is that it introduces legislation
to determine the visual appearance of a visa, the data it should
Breyer (V). — (DE) We all know that negotiations are
contain and the security features it should have. In addition,
currently under way to renew the agreement between Euratom
certain provisions relating to data protection are laid down.
and the USA. In my view, this House should have an input into
these important negotiations. At the very least, we should I wish to make it absolutely clear that in the eyes of the
ensure by means of this question that Parliament is kept members of the Committee on Civil Liberties and Internal
informed of developments. After all, our statement during the Affairs, this really can be nothing other than a first step
debate on trade in plutonium made it clear that this House towards a common visa policy. For we do of course wish to go
regards plutonium as an extremely significant issue. I therefore a good deal further than just determining the visual appearance
think it very important, now that these talks are about to be of a European Union visa for third country nationals. It is our
concluded, that the European Parliament should be informed of belief that we should draw up, as soon as possible, a uniform
the current state of the negotiations. This would also give the list of those third countries whose citizens require a visa from
House an opportunity to express its views. I would therefore one of the EU Member States if they wish to enter the
ask you to approve this request. European Union.
President. — Is there a speaker in favour of the request? Even that is only a first step towards the long-awaited
convention on the common external borders, which will also
Plooij-Van Gorsel (ELDR). - (NL) Mr President, on behalf of
have to be taken into account in the context of a common visa
the Liberal Group I should also like you to put this question on
and immigration policy relating to third countries. I should like
the Agenda. As we heard, it is about the negotiations between
to illustrate the importance of this uniform visa policy with the
the United States and EURATOM, and the differencesn
aid of some examples. If, for instance, a Turkish businessman
theds and the Commission seem at present to be
from Germany, who employs staff in his medium-sized
insoluble, in particular as regards interpretation and implemen­
company, wishes to travel to other European Union countries
tation of control rights. Parliament therefore needs to be
to conduct business within the single market, for example
informed about the mandate which the Council has given to the
visiting trade fairs and concluding contracts, he requires visas
Commission with regard to the acceptance of unilateral
from many of those other EU countries. In this way, his
American conditions. Then we can form our own view. As you
freedom of movement within the single market is in practice know, enormous amounts are being handled within EURA­
restricted. If a Turkish pupil in a German school wishes to join TOM, so Parliament needs to be informed from the point of
a school trip visiting the European Parliament in Strasbourg, he view of safety, the environment and the budget.
requires a visa just to cross the border between Kehl and
Strasbourg. President. — Since no one wishes to speak against, I now put
to the vote the request by the Green Group in the European
To give another example — and I once came across such a case
Parliament and the Group of the European Liberal, Democratic
in my work as a solicitor: if a German man wishes to take a
and Reformist Party to include on the agenda the oral questions
holiday in Majorca with his Australian wife, as millions of
to the Commission on the negotiations to renew the nuclear
Germans do each year, this may mean that he has to apply for a
cooperation agreement between Euratom and the United
visa for his Australian wife.
All of this is undesirable in the light of our efforts to create a
(Parliament agreed to the request) (')
single market and to pursue a common policy towards third
countries. There is an urgent need for all the EU institutions —
with close cooperation between the Commission, the Council
4. Uniform format for visas
and Parliament — to adopt a more resolute approach, so as to
President. — The next item is the report (A4-0117/94) by Mr achieve uniformity at long last in the interests of the people
Lehne, on behalf of the Committee on Civil Liberties and living in our countries. Our current efforts represent just one
Internal Affairs, on the proposal for a Council regulation small step in this direction. Since we wished to expedite
laying down a uniform format for visas (COM(94)0287 — matters and take that step without delay, we have done
C4-0115/94 - 94/0163(CNS)). everything to make this procedure as uncontroversial as
possible. It is to facilitate the earliest possible decision that we
Green (PSE). — Mr President, in view of the fact that we are
have refrained from incorporating in this report all these
adopting an extraordinary procedure — voting after this report
suggestions and the problems to which I have referred.
— it would be helpful if you could remind Members ofthat, and
also of how long has been allocated for the debate. We have, nevertheless, tabled a series of amendments, the
main purpose of which is to make it clear that at this stage, the
President. — If I understand you correctly, Mrs Green, the
regulation applies only to short-term visas for stays of up to
answer is that we shall need some 40 minutes more. It will
three months. Further, our deliberations in the Committee on
therefore be possible to close the sitting at about 6.30 p.m.
Civil Liberties and Internal Affairs covered certain ways of
improving data protection, and we took on board a number of Lehne (PPE), rapporteur. — (DE) Ladies and gentlemen, the
improvements emanating from the Committee on Legal purpose of this report is to pave the way for the adoption,
Affairs, particularly regarding the subsequent definition of pursuant to Article 100c of the Treaty on European Union, of a
specific aspects of the visa procedure. But what those of us in
the Internal Affairs Committee wished to avoid was watering f) Deadline for rahiin v motions for resolutions — Requests for urgent
procedure — Topical and urgent debate (subjects proposed): see Minutes down what needs to be decided here, namely the principle of 95 Debates of the European Parliament No 4-456/6
And, of course, there is the consequent discrimination against uniformity. We want uniform provisions for the European
black Europeans, who clearly are going to be picked out by Union and Its Member States, and no exemptions for individ­
police and immigration authorities again and again and again ual countries. For this reason, the committee rejected by a
and checked to see whether they are moving around legally in majority vote two amendments from the Forza Europa Group
their own European Community. which provided for such exemptions.
So those are the problems that face us and, of course, there is
That is all I can say on this subject as rapporteur for the
the sin of omission as well as commission. Parliament is
Committee on Civil Liberties and Internal Affairs. I can only
dealing with the technical detail but the Council is implement­
ask this House to adopt the report. It is not a great step forward,
ing, without parliamentary consultation, a whole series of
but it is a small one in view of the urgent need to harmonize
proposals on issues such as bilateral treaties between Union
visa requirements and to introduce a uniform policy relating to
Members and third countries, on the expulsion of nationals.
third country nationals. Even such a small step does represent
We are putting the cart before the horse. The cart may be in
splendid order but we are standing politics on its head. The
elected politicians are dealing with the technicalities while the
May I just appeal once again to the Council in particular, but
unaccountable bureaucrats are making the political decisions
also to the Commission, to step up the pace of work in the other
on our behalf and on behalf of the people of the European
areas I have mentioned. Implementation of the provisions of
Article 110c of the Treaty on European Union is, to my mind, a
crucial contribution to the completion of the European Union's (Applause)
single market.
Cars (ELDR). — (SV) In my view, European cooperation has
always aimed to open up borders, break down walls and help to Ford (PSE). — Mr President, speaking on behalf of the Party
build bridges between people and nations. The report which is of European Socialists on the proposal for a Council regulation
on the laying down of a uniform format for visas, under Article now before Parliament is, as Mr Lehne has also said, a step in
this direction. It is a small step, but nevertheless quite an 100c of the Treaty. I first offer my sympathy to Mr Lehne for
important one. One aim of the proposal is to make it easier for the conditions under which he had to work. It has been worse
than a cocktail party in here with groups of Members standing all EU citizens, or I should say now, for all of us EU citizens, to
move freely within the borders of the Union, which is of course around chatting while he has been trying to present his ideas to
quite excellent. However it is also important, Mr President, that Parliament. I hope, Mr President, that you can make sure that
the rest of us have some opportunity to actually be heard by the Union should make it easier for people from outside the
Union to come here as visitors, and if and when conditions in those Members who want to listen to us rather than have a kind
their home countries require it, that they should be able to seek of coffee bar for Members without the coffee.
and find asylum from oppression and persecution here.
This proposal from the Council is entirely a technical one.
President. — Mr Cars, you are the first of the new Members to Viewed strictly in this light the Council, Commission and,
make his maiden speech, and I congratulate you on it. I also most importantly, the rapporteur, Mr Lehne, have done an
compliment you on the fact that you have succeeded in doing
extremely good job. The Socialist Group — although we would
something which is very difficult for most of the Members
like to see one or two small amendments adopted — can
here, namely keeping exactly to your speaking time. Congra­support the report as a whole. We have no objection to the
tulations on that too!
report. Yet I found the debate in the committee and here
tonight very unsatisfactory, for buried within the proposal that Mezzaroma (FE). — (IT) Mr President, the free movement of
we have in front of us is a detailed agenda on the evolution of persons is one of the four fundamental freedoms that the Single
Community policy on police, justice and immigration. As Mr Market was intended to achieve and, frankly, there is still much
Lehne has said, this is a first small step towards a common visa to be done in this area. There is an intolerable delay in the
policy. process of social cohesion: successfully introducing the free
movement of goods, services and capital is undoubtedly a
We would welcome moves towards a common visa policy but
considerable achievement, but it means that Europe is still too
there are some fundamental political questions that have to be
narrowly based on trade.
asked. We have not addressed the question of the harmoniza­
tion of regulations. If we are going to move towards a common Do we or do we not want, alongside a Europe without customs,
visa policy, how are we going to do so? Are we going to adopt a Europe without frontiers where everyone can move freely
such reactionary principles as that a refusal of a visa by any without always having to endure national authorities' bureau­
one Member State of the Union automatically leads to a refusal cratic delays? Even the rights of Members of the European
by all others? What are we going to do about data protection? If Parliament are blatantly disregarded at frontiers: ignorance and
the Belgian Embassy in Delhi, for example, has rejected a visa a lack of information mean that the European laissez-passer
application for entry to the European Union, clearly it needs to provides nobody with any guarantees at all. The free move­
tell the embassies of all the other European Union countries, ment of persons obviously has to be achieved while fully
not only in Delhi but all around the world, that such a visa has respecting Member States' national legislation and internal
been refused. We have not discussed what countries are
security: we cannot make security subordinate to the free
actually going to be listed as ones whose nationals require
movement of persons at all costs.
visas. Some of us are very concerned that we may find that
people of any part of the world that is not white, Anglo-Saxon, The common good often takes precedence over the individual
Protestant or Catholic will have to apply for a visa to come into good and personal freedom may therefore be restricted if and
the European Union. We also have the problem of discrimina­ when it is deemed appropriate to safeguard the social order of
tion against European residents who come from third coun­ the national community. Putting this kind of scheme into
tries. The 12 to 14 million third-country nationals who already practice makes it necessary to guarantee individual freedom
reside here are apparently going to have to apply for visas to and society's need for security. We therefore need to adopt,
move outside the European Union country in which they live. without further procedural delays, a common and uniform No 4-456/7 Debates of the European Parliament 16. 1.95
European Union's ultra-protectionist attitude towards the citiz­format for visas to ensure that personal data are protected with
ens of the rest of the world? When visas are granted, will the the necessary confidentiality. For this purpose, we must
promises made by some Member States to third countries be approve this regulation, aware that the decision will be of
honoured? It is clear, Mr President, that we must act carefully major importance, even in the short term, since the format of
in dealing with issues like these, and that the maximum national visas will also be established.
guarantees must be provided when documents of this kind are
We should also bear in mind that the adoption of the uniform harmonized. But in my opinion, what is most important is the
format for visas is now indispensable because of the entry into criteria and the philosophy which guide us in granting visas.
force of the Schengen Agreement. Schengen legally and We will be able to find satisfaction in the proper use of this
substantively recognises the free movement of persons and all document, because, apart from the practical evaluation of the
the administrative structures and procedures for actual — and visa, there will also be an ethical evaluation at the time it is
not just potential — free movement between the frontiers of granted.
Member States must therefore be put on an operational footing.
Krarup (EDN). — (DA) Mr President, the Commission's This is the objective that the Commission and Parliament must
proposal for a regulation, which is being discussed here, is pursue. Parliament must therefore lay claim, vis-à-vis the
Community authorities, to its role of promotion and supervi­ simply a piece in a larger game, to which my attitude differs
from that of the previous speakers. The game in fact concerns sion of all initiatives on movement, as set out. moreover, in the
the European Union. Inwardly, it concerns the internal market, Maastricht Treaty. The European Parliament cannot relinquish
its prerogatives as regards the individual rights that citizens while outwardly it concerns what can quite simply be called a
strengthening of 'Fortress Europe'. must always be able to exercise and claim at any time, without
any coercion, especially if exerted by the bureaucracy of
A uniform format for visas, with such little legal certainty: is national authorities.
there anyone who is bothered by this? Is there anything
Lastly, any demagogic talk of opening up external frontiers problematic about it? Yes, this little regulation is only the first
indiscriminately is completely out of the question if we are to course. The main course, which has not been served yet, is the
safeguard the very image of the European Union. Commission's exclusive right, as stated expressly in the s explanatory memorandum, to determine the
third countries whose nationals have to be in possession of a
visa when crossing the external frontiers of the Union. This
right, which is expressly mentioned in Article 100c, is
Vice-President supplemented by Article K.l, which puts the national politi­
cians out of the running in respect of important and crucial
questions regarding policy on foreign nationals. It concerns the Sanchez Garcia (ARE). - (ES) Mr President, the subject
conditions of entry and movement by nationals of third which occupies us today is highly significant, not only because
countries, their circumstances, the conditions governing family of the importance of such a formal measure as establishing a
reunion, sanction systems etc. To put it more simply: this is a common visa format, but also because of the relationship
step on the road towards the Union having exclusive powers to between this measure and the extremely important issue of visa
control policy relating to foreign nationals. This is stated loud policy.
and clear in the Lehne report, on page 8. The Commission
Although the adoption of a regulation on the formal aspects of proposal, now before us, on a uniform format for visas will, as
visas is a significant step forward, this should not hide the fact it were, create the material preconditions for a future visa that
that the process of harmonizing visa policy has come to a will be valid throughout the Community.
standstill. Neither of the texts presented by the Commission to
the Council has been approved by the Council, and there is no Careful consideration has already been given to which third
indication that they will be in the near future. countries will be affected. This was done in the proposal for a
regulation which the Commission presented on 25 March last
The implementation of the free movement of persons, one of
year, and here a second step has been proposed, a sort of Cassis
the fundamental principles of the internal market, must not be
de Dijon principle applied to the question of foreign nationals.
delayed because of a few Member States' internal politics. If
A Member State does not have the right to require a visa of a
the European Union is to act as a single entity on the world
person who wishes to cross the external frontier and who is in
stage, it must start by harmonizing the terms and conditions of
possession of a visa issued by another Member State.
entry to the Union, by laying down clear and precise mies
which ensure that our external frontiers are effectively con­ I have asked myself what this means for the country I come
trolled, but do not reduce people's ability to enter the from. In Denmark, the majority of the population attaches
Community. importance to our being able to conduct our own policy on
foreign nationals, and in relation to Denmark's current Aliens'
In my opinion, this is one of the measures which must
Act it is the minister responsible to parliament who decides
accompany the total abolition of border controls in the
which countries' nationals can be exempted from visa require­
European Union. Indeed the Schengen Group, immigration,
ments. We have a positive list, a register of countries whose
external borders and the temporary nature of visas are factors
nationals are exempted from visa requirements, but in future
which appear to make a single Community format essential.
we will have a negative list issued by the Union authorities.
But I would like to ask some questions, as other colleagues
This means in practice that 33 countries whose nationals have
have done.
hitherto been able to enter our territory freely will in future be
subject to a compulsory visa system. Now for my considered Will the visa contain all the necessary information? Will it be
response: We wish to determine our own policy, we want to be easily recognizable by all Community police forces? What
in control of our own borders and to decide on the require­about visas granted to foreign citizens visiting their relatives in
the Community? What about citizens of countries outside the ments placed on our guests. This is of particular importance to
Community who want to live in the European Union for more Denmark. Denmark is the only country on the European
than three months? Will the visa not be a reflection of the continent which is not party to the Schengen Convention, and I 16. 1.95 Debates of the European Parliament No 4-456/8
i.e. the details of the format, dimensions and specifications of would caution the Danish Government against letting in by the
visas for the purpose of defining a uniform format for visas in back door something which cannot come in through the front
the European Union. And — if I may be permitted to say so - 1 door. I have voted against the proposal in the Committee on
am reminded when we are called on to decide on regulatory Legal Affairs and I intend doing so here in the plenary.
minutiae of this kind how much we need a genuine hierarchy
Gollnisch (NI). — (FR) Mr President, I share the misgivings of Community acts, reserving essentially legislative acts for
expressed by the previous speaker as, in the context of co-decision by the European Parliament so as to leave time and
migratory flows and the world's population explosion, all energy for the tasks of exercising political supervision over the
European countries are small countries. They are all small Commission and the Council.
countries at least in terms of their population, when compared
That being said, I must stress the political importance of the that is to the population explosions in other continents. I am
subject we are debating, which is concerned with initiating the tempted to say that we are all to some small extent Denmarks.
definition of a common policy on visas under the terms of the
We all have serious reasons to fear a massive influx of prolific Treaty on European Union. In approving this report, the
peoples who live in miserable conditions, an unfortunate fact European Parliament is doing its duty by sending out a clear
which European Right Members also regret, and who are signal of its commitment to creating the necessary conditions
tempted to come to our countries in search of more favourable to ensure the free movement of persons in accordance with
social and economic conditions which we are no longer in a Article 7a of the EC Treaty. It is removing obstacles which, in
position to provide. Now there is one thing you learn in the essence, the governments of the Member States and the
navy, in which I served, and this is that the strength of a chain Council are tenaciously maintaining.
is determined by its weakest link. It is quite clear that the
I consider this to be the essential political message of this message will soon spread around the world that it is easier to
debate: to affirm that the European Parliament, for its part, is in enter the European Economic Community by some doors than
favour of the free movement of persons within the Community. it is by others; that it is easier to obtain a visa to cross certain
borders than it is to cross others, by applying to the authorities
The strangest aspect of all is that we should be debating the
in a particular country. In allowing a visa issued by the
form visas are to take before the Council and the Member
authorities of one country to give right of entry to all the other States, who are also debating this issue, have decided on the
Member States, we would be creating a very dangerous substantive rules for granting visas to third country nationals
situation. and in particular before they have done what they should do
under the terms of the Treaty, namely agree a list of countries
Certain European Union Member States have retained, for
from which a visa will be required. This, as we know, requires
reasons which are their own and a matter of individual
a unanimous decision. As we all know, there is a reason for this
sovereignty, more favourable arrangements or agreements
and it lies in the imperfect nature of the so-called third pillar of
with particular countries in Africa, Asia or America. It is to be
the Treaty on European Union. The task of defining the system feared, for example, that many Brazilians who are welcomed in
governing access to the Community by third country nationals Portugal, for perfectly sound cultural and historical reasons,
and the policy on visas are still inter-governmental matters and will in fact stay just a very short time in Lisbon before moving
this explains the ineffectiveness of the decision-making pro­on to Community countries whose social systems are at present
cess, which contrasts sharply with theg process more favourable than those of Portugal. The same may be said
that operates when it is a Community decision as in this case.
of Commonwealth nationals who will naturally pass through
London and some African nationals who will enter by way of
Mr President, there is another conclusion to be drawn with the
Italy or France. I believe that we will ultimately be seen to have
1996 Inter-Governmental Conference in mind. Some matters
organized the inundation of Europe and, in any event, we are
must be transferred from the third pillar to Community
already clearly departing from the spirit of the Treaties.
jurisdiction and I propose that this be done on the basis of
Article K.9, which requires the point by point agreement of the The Treaties initially provided for freedom of movement, but
governments of the Member States. I do not think this is an this was only intended for European nationals. Moreover, this
unrealistic proposal. is already a major sacrifice which warrants our serious
attention, a sacrifice so great that last time we witnessed
For the moment, Mr President, it is important to complete the
Socialist Members from Luxembourg, in theory the most
definition of the visa format, with rules to guarantee the
enthusiastic supporters of the right to vote for foreigners in
protection of personal data and the fundamental freedoms of
Europe, changing their tune when it came to applying this
the citizens of the European Union and third country nationals.
measure to their own countryn they realized, for example,
The main objective, quite apart from this, is to ensure the free
that a Portuguese list in Luxembourg could have perhaps
movement of persons in the European Union in such a way as
deprived them of a seat at the last European elections. They
to guarantee the freedom and security of European citizens
were granted exceptional arrangements.
without thereby imposing unlawful discrimination on third
country nationals, who must not be allowed to become victims Well, we fear that very serious imbalances will emerge. Mr
of an isolationist Europe closed to the outside world. Ford already illustrated the point when he asked: "Will refusal
to grant a visa apply to all Member States when it is opposed
In fact, Mr President, contrary to some of the views expressed
only by a single diplomatic authority?' If I understand Mr Ford
here, to which we have listened with distaste, as usual, a police
correctly, he wants acceptance to apply erga omnes — to all —
force will not solve the problem of security of third country
while a refusal, on the other hand, can be repeatedly contested.
nationals, nor will it transform Europe into a fortress closed to
This is neither fair nor reasonable, and that is why we have
the countries of the third world. Development and new
such misgivings with regard to the report submitted to us.
economic policies are what we need to provide the necessary
aid to tackle the causes that make Europe a magnet for those Barros Moura (PSE). — (PT) Mr President, the subject we are
forced to live in poverty in their own countries. Restricting debating here today is, as a number of colleagues have already
freedom or imposing discrimination will not solve these pointed out, highly technical and strictly regulatory in nature.
problems. It is by extending the freedoms of the Community The object, as we know, is to determine the physical features.