15/05/2017 European Parliament

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Live coverage of debates on the annual report on the protection of the EU's financial interests, the European Qualifications framework for lifelong learning, and food safety.

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TRANSLATION: Handing over to Mr Lundgren, go ahead. Mr President, I


would like to make a point of order, concerning article 11 about a


manifestation that took place in 27th April in Brussels. A


demonstration of one of our Swedish colleague, who showed solidarity to


a Palestinian terrorist, a man who is convicted of three terror attacks


in which five persons were murdered, including a mother of two children.


Also, attempted murder, membership in a terror organisation and


conspiring to commit a crime. He was acquitted of 33 other murders, which


he was charged for because of a lack of evidence. In this house, we


cannot accept a manifestation of showing solidarity with convicted


terrorists. I demand that you, as the president of the European


Parliament, will take a responsibility seriously and look


into this matter. Thank you. APPLAUSE


TRANSLATION: Thank you very much president. I'm turning towards you


and to colleagues in the chamber to say that the council and seven


member states have been blocking aid to the areas in central Italy struck


by the earthquake. I'd like to denounce this fact and so I'd like


to call on all colleagues, seven months after the disaster, still


most of the people affected still live in tents and there's no hope


for a normal life to resume at the moment. So please, if we really do


want to change things, we've got to show our solidarity. Let's do


something as quickly as possible, we need to be building houses for these


people as soon as possible. TRANSLATION: Of course, the Speaker


will be representing the position of the Parliament during the trial log.


Our position as a Parliament has been extremely clear on this, so I


would refer you to the representative of that particular


issue. We know our issues and our views on this. So I would refer you


to that. We hold that as a very important issue in our hearts. Thank


you Mr President. On 14th February in this very chamber one of the


members of this Parliament referred to Israel as a terrorist state. I


objected to that at the time during the foreign affairs debate. I


understand it was referred to the bureau. I will be writing to you


personally Mr President asking why no action has been taken, thank you.


TRANSLATION: I'd like to be very clear on this and on other issues, I


do not intend to suffocate any kind of political debate within this


chamber, but if everybody starts to ask for sanctions to be put in place


everybody time they disagree with something somebody has said, I mean


we have to look at whether our values as a European Parliament are


being trampled on or not. I do not want to sensor any debate. I will


not be doing that otherwise we will never get to the end of this kind of


thing. If somebody is criticising somebody else or attacking a state,


if these are just political attacks, verbal attacks, I don't think


intervention is required. By way of sanctions. This applies to what


you've just said, Sir, but on other issues as well, whether people


pronounce vulgar accusations or statements, things that will flout


the values of the European Union, that is different, otherwise coming


in with sanctions every time somebody disagrees with what


somebody else has said, I think that would be going too far. Go ahead.


TRANSLATION: Thank you very much indeed president. I have


unfortunately to say that Greece and Cyprus, two member states of the


European Union have been victims of expansionist threats by Turkey and


there have been violations of airspace and maritime spaces and


there's been a blockade placed on a member of the European Union. There


have also been questions raised regarding damages incurred by


European companies who are trying to prospect for gas resources. Our


sovereign rights are being violated but also the rights of the European


Union. And we believe that it is necessary for action to be taken and


the European Parliament and European Union have to react, just as is the


case whenever there are other cases in the member states of the European


Union, where threats have been experienced. You cannot just have a


country like Turkey using this rhetoric and not do anything,


because there are now real dangers in this part of the world. We're


asking for your solidarity and we're asking for a real reaction. We're


asking for measures to be taken against a country that is


jeopardising the stability of the region and which is violating the


principles and values of the European Union.


TRANSLATION: Thank you very much. The Minutes and texts of the


sittings adopted are available. Any comments? They've been distributed.


No. In that case The Minutes are approved.


With regard to the composition of political groups, Renato Soro will


officially be a member of the SND group as of tomorrow. I have


received a request from the non-attached for a change in the


modification of a commission. That modification within in The Minutes


of this meetings. If there's nobody to objects to that it will be


considered adopted. In relation to the decision by several committees


to enter into institutional negotiations pursuit to rule 69 C


paragraph one announce the opening of the sitting 26th April 2017 I


have received no request in Parliament. The committees were able


to start negotiations after the expiry of the deadline laid down in


rule 69 C paragraph two. Various committees have decided to enter


into institutional negotiations pursuant to rule 69 C. The reports


which constitution the mandates for those negotiations are available on


the web page. And their titles will be published in the minutes of the


sitting. Pursuant to rule 69 C paragraph two members or political


groups reaching a medium threshold may request in writing by tomorrow


Tuesday 26th May at midnight that decision to enter into negotiations


be put to the vote. If no request for a vote in Parliament on the


decision toner into negotiations is made within the aforementioned


deadline the committees may start the negotiations. I would like to


inform you that on Wednesday, together with the president of the


Council, I shall sign 12 acts adopted under the ordinary


legislationive procedure in accordance with rule 78. The titles


of the acts will be published in The Minutes of this sitting. We now come


to the order of business, the final draft agenda as adopted by the


conference of presidents on May 11, pursuant to rule 149 has been


distributed. I have received no request for changes to the final


agenda. So the agenda is deemed adopted. So the first item on the


agenda is a report, the annual report 2015 on the protection of the


EU's financial interests, fight against fraud.


TRANSLATION: Thank you, president. Financial fraud and all ports of


illegal activities that is detrimental to the European budget


must be efficiently eliminated. That is only possible if we have the


proper tool kit and the choice of tools at hand is only possible if


you know what's actually happening. The EU budget. We started the debate


for the reports. Please those who would like to leave should do so in


silence. OK.


TRANSLATION: My request is that you restart the clock, president, please


reset the clock, president, because I have been unable to say anything.


TRANSLATION: You can go from the beginning please, take it from the


top. TRANSLATION: Financial fraud and all


kinds of illegal activities that is detrimental to the yew budget should


be efficiently eliminated, that's only possible if you use the proper


tools. And the selection of tools at hand is possible if you know what


actually happening. The EU budget is aimed at improving circumstances in


all areas of life. And any damage to the EU budget are detrimental to


achieving that objective. According to the report for 2015, on


the protection of EU financial interests, the volume of fraud


amounts to 640 million euros per aNam. One can assume that the actual


volume of fraud is even higher. Because, not all cases are detected


or reported. We must efficiently defend our taxpayers' money. But


there are different hindrances on that road. Among those is


insufficient co-operation at different levels and another problem


is such that no member states implement regulations on time. We


are lacking a common system of collecting comparable data from


member states. The report we are talking about today points to a


number of issues. Let me point out those that are most relevant. Such


as, income lost because of gap in regulations on VAT and


intracommunity fraud on VAT. Also only two member states have been


gathering and providing information on losses incurred in income,


because of transborder VAT fraud. It is worrying that the number of cases


has been on the increase in three farming funds for example there has


been an increase over the last five years. Also there is a sharp


increase in the number of irregularities in fisheries. What is


also worrying is high irregularities in cohesion funds. If you look at


the analysis of member states and of the commission, you could consued we


should put a stop to these worrying tendencies. Also investigation is


needed on a large number of problems with respect to research and


development and innovation in entrepreneurship. Among the problems


found, the most important are lack of common rules for reporting for


all member states. It is the reason why we can't see the picture


properly and another problem is that we are a lacking information


interchange system for relevant institutions to fight transnational


crime. We also should supervise any exemptions from procedures while


using funds to assist people who come to Europe. Of course, export


controls are use chl, because we can discover many new Ig regularities.


One should point out that prevention is important. Prevention is easier


than recovering the money after wards. We should welcome the fact


that directive has come into force where is it now a crime to put into


circulation counter fit money. One should point out the role of whistle


blowers and protection of whistle blowers. We should point out that


relevant regulations have been put in put in EU institutions. It is


important to protect investigative journalists. The report includes a


lot of information on o' its reports so far. The time of court actions


that are being conducted. Thank you for your attention. And I wait to


hear your replies. Thank you. Thank you, I would now like to ask the


commissioner to take the floor, please. Mr President, members, I'm


grateful for this opportunity to participate in this debate on the


Parliament's yearly resolution on the protection of the EU's finance


ideal interests. The fight against fraud is of utmost importance for


the commission, as it is for the Parliament. Protection of the


European budget is all the more important at a time when the trust


of citizens in the European project and in its capability to bring


security and prosperity is at risk. I would like to take this


opportunity to thank the members of the committee on budgetary control


and in particular the reporter for the excellent work on this motion


for a resolution. The result is a comprehensive and we structured


report. It is thanks to the political pressure exercised by the


European Parliament that several issues highlighted in the commission


reports have been addressed and progress has been made at European


and at member states level. Over the last five years, together, we have


significantly reinforced the framework for the protection of the


union's financial interest. Let me recall the most important measures.


We have adopted several important acts, modernising the legal


framework for the protection of the financial interests of the EU like


the public procurement directives and the four delegated and for


implementing acts on irregularity reporting. The legal framework for


the programming period 14-20 for the first time refers explicitly to the


obligation from member states to put in place proportionate and effective


antifraud measures. On the revenue side, the revised regulation on


assistance in the customs area and into force creating new databases to


fight better customs fraud. The last and not the least of these legal


achievements is the the directive on the protection of the union's


financial interests by means of criminal law for which a political


agreement was finally reached, also thanks to persistence of the


Parliament. But there are also important ongoing legal initiatives.


The negotiations of the European public prosecutors office have moved


forward very fast and we have seen 17 member states willing to


establish the EPPO and enhanced co-operation and a few more making


preparations to join it. Like the Parliament, the commission supports


establishing a strong and efficient EPPO with as many member stapts as


possible and with the necessary means to effectively fight crimes.


We are convinced that the EPPO has significant potential to improve the


current situation as regards the low level of prosecutions for crimes


affecting the union's financial interests. Olaf will continue to


play a key role as regard none fraudulent and fraudulent


irregularities. It will complement and support the work of the EPPO.


Beyond the protection of financial interests it will continue


investigations effects by members of institution and staff likely to lead


to disciplinary or criminal proshe'dings. The commission is


determined to maintain a strong Olaf to play a crucial role to make sure


an adequate protection of the budget. Members of Parliament over


the five last years, we have also made progress on concrete actions


and measures. I will mention three examples for which the Parliament's


support reiterated in the report is once more important and particularly


welcome. The first is the embedding of antifraud measures in national


antifraud strategies. The second is to extend the use of IT tools by all


member states to strengthen the fight against fraud. And the third


is the accomplishment of harmonised and qualityive reporting of the


detected Ig regularities and frauds -- Ig regularities and frauds. The


commission acknowledges that data is not fully comparable and takes notes


of the requests of the Parliament to improve the situation. New


guidelines are being prepared in co-operation with national experts


to address the most important issues to reduce the disparities and


standardise the process. The document is expected to be finalised


this year. It is by analysing such data that we can understand whether


the measures we have adopted really make a difference. However, still


is, there is still much to do. The commission will keep on fulfilling


its role of supporting and assisting member state when needed and of


facilitating the exchange of best practices and know how. President,


members of Parliament, I would like to close my intervention, stressing


once more the importance of the Parliament's resolution. It is by


acting together to wards the same target that we have achieved all


these improvements. But we are aware that we cannot rest on our laurels.


We can count on you to keep -- we count on you to keep encouraging and


also cite criticising when necessary the commission and the member states


in their fulfilment of treaty obligation to protect the union's


financial interests from irregularities and from fraud. I


thank you for your attention. TRANSLATION: Thank you very much


indeed. I would now like to ask somebody else to take the floor. You


have three minutes. TRANSLATION: Thank you very much. I would like to


thank the commissioner for her words and also to thank the reporter for


this excellent piece of work. In the report on the protection of the EU's


financial interests, it shois again that there has been an increase in


fraudulent Ig regularities. That will have a negative impact on the


EU's budget. The directive is an extremely important tool, as the


prosecutor's office n terms of fighting fraud. That goes against


the interest of the EU's financial interests. And also to fight


terrorism and organised crime, because a lot of times these kinds


of illegal activity are funding exactly that crime. So these things


are interlinked. We need to ensure that the national control


authorities is enhanced and there needs to be better co-operation and


good co-operation with Olaf as well, because today, a third of the alerts


have not actually been followed up. By the national authorities. And


also co-ordination in various sectors needs to be stepped up.


There is a lack of mutual assistance sometimes, because this could


improve exchange of information when it xoms to structural -- comes to


structural funds. I have flagged up the need to do this. But in fact two


years later my suggestions have not been followed up. I think today more


than ever they are necessary. And Olaf has reiterated and corroborated


this view. Another point is the #1r5ib89 of having -- availability


of having common actions that. That is important. The EU has experience


when it comes to judicial co-operation in penal matters. I


think we could copy that kind of co-operation and transfer it to this


area as well, because that will lead to a great deal of value added. Also


the reinforced co-operation procedures can be looked at. We need


co-ordinated action between the different authorities and


investigative bodies. So we have got to fight cross border fraud as well.


That is important. And what about whistle blowers? They're crucial in


this. And so we need to ensure that there is a European and national


legal framework to protect these people. I think the commission


should... Ensure that there is a stepping up of legislative


initiatives on that front. We need this. We have got to protect the


international, the EU's interests. Thank you. TRANSLATION: Thank you.


The reporter raises many programmes, questions, we are dealing with how


good the control and notification systems for fraud are. If you look


at the report, it is shocking. The number of regulations has doubled.


80% more. The number of fraud cases has gone


down by 26%. I don't believe that. It's a question of where we're


looking. Commissioner, you said the commission seems this is strange and


is concerned because of the low number of notifications. How can we


get over the conflict of interest of the member states, if fraud is still


defined by member states, they have to pay back the money. The figures


that we have that leaves me no other conclusion than we're closing our


eyes. Different interpretations of notification practice leads to


different interpretations of what is fraud and irregularities. The


commission must be much further ahead and they must be deerling with


the harm onnisation of notification systems more urgently. I'm struck


that every year we look at figures and nobody's interested in what


happens to these figures. This year it will be different and we'll make


sure there's follow-up. How efficient is OLEF? If you look at


the situations, the cases with recommendations haven't changed over


many years as long as the supervisionory authority can deal


with the efficienciy nothing will come of it. There's a lot of work to


be done. It would be good if the commission were to do something. I'm


concerned about something else. 75% of all fraud cases are revealed by


administrative controls. That's not a success. 25% not by administrative


controls, but chance. So here again, here too action is urge lently


needed thank you. TRANSLATION: Thank you very much.


TRANSLATION: Thank you very much, president. As regards the report, I


think it's a very interesting report but I have to say that we believe


that part of the solution has to come from a European tax body and


when we have enhanced cooperation between a certain number of member


states in place, then we hope that quickly we'll be able to create a


legal framework and provide resources and means for there could


be a proper European public prosecutor in place, so that we can


properly fight against this problem with all of the guarantees and


resources in place. Then we also have to recall that the current


situation means that we're dealing with the multiannual budgetary


framework, which means there are cycles for all of the funds and so


on. We have to bear in mind that the crisis brought a lot of these


programmes to a halt. As a result, as was said, in many member states,


the reporting of irregularities, errors or fraud has been quite


chaotic as a result of all of this. I think we have to make an effort to


make sure that the time tables of all the different member states are


properly harm Nilesed so you can -- harmonised so you can compare then.


Then you have a situation whereby we have a contradictory application of


the name and shame principle, because whilst the figures seem very


high and this has been commented on, you have to then look to the member


states, where they came from, but then also, we're criticising certain


member states because of the low rate of the figures, so I think


somewhere we have to draw the line and say you know, what these figures


mean, what harmonisation will give us and what we can do to improve


things. And also, think about how we can move away from these disasters,


even though as you said, you know, progress has been made. It has to be


made clearer. Now we are talking about this 80% figure for the


irregularities for the shared EU budget. But we also need other


assessments of the budget whether increasing funds, earmarked, I'm


thinking here of the horizon 2020 programme and the FC programme.


There too there are worrying results. Recently, for example,


we've seen a lot of talk about the programme in Spain in the context of


the FC programme. Thank you very much, one-and-a-half minutes,


please. TRANSLATION: Thank you very much.


Fight against fraud of the European Union's budget that needs to be, of


course, stepped up. Illegal activities, I mean, 75% of fraud


affects trade in goods, for example, tobacco, electronic goods, steel,


iron, and particularly products from the United Arab Emirates and the


Ukraine as well. Falsification of products, counterfeiting products


come a great deal from China. Actually Turkey as wasle. -- as


well. We feed to ensure that illicit trade in these products is fought as


much as illicit trait in tobacco products. There are activities that


actually follow on and a knock off on effect further down-the-line.


It's very important to tackle these things at source. What about all the


funds used for immigration matters? Some of these funds go missing. They


don't actually reach the refugees that need them. There are problems


in the Aegean areas who can't receive any more migrants.


TRANSLATION: Two minutes. Thank you Mr Chair, dear colleagues, first of


all I would like to congratulate you for the comprehensive report and the


commissioner for her statement. We are struggling overcome the effect


of the recent financial and economy crisis in of the associates of the


degree. This increasingly, increases dramatically the role of protection


of union's financial interests one of the most relevant to us to


restore its attractiveness. In the relevant annual report 2015 there


are aspects that are utmost importance for the main goal of the


protection of the EU financial interests. Firstly, the total number


of irregularities detected both by the commission and member states is


increasing for a second consecutive year. There could be difference


reasons for this fact, including better control, increased level of


spending or simply a rise of fraudulent activities. We need a


better preventive work of the institutions. Secondly, the


antifraud measures undertaken by the EU institutions and member states


should tackle the expenditure sides of the budget. The final goal is to


secure better revenuer mitting implementation of policies and that


increases the credibility of the institutions. Thirdly, from


managerial point of view, we need a full implementation of budget


focussed results strategy in. The process of designing and


implementing management and control system should be pursued cost


effectiveness. This means that the control strategies should target


predominantly the areas with high risk and error rates. Does the


control not impose a burden on beneficiaries. I would like to


underline again the importance of efforts of European Commission and


member states in the protection of EU's financial interest. All of the


fraudulent cases damages the reputation of the union. Adequate


action taken by the commission services to protect the EU budget


are indispensable in achieving major results against fraud. Thank you.


TRANSLATION: Two-and-a-half minutes please. Thank you, chair. Dear


colleagues, first of all, I would like to say thank you. We had really


an excellent cooperation during the whole discussion period. I think


that finally the outcome of this discussion is really an excellent


report which I commented to the Parliament to support. It's also


important that in the committee there was a consensus on the report


and it's a good sign that the different political groups coming


with different political backgrounds could agree on the most important


issues regarding the protection of the financial interests of the


European Union. There are several points in the report and I would


like to point out only four important issues from my


perspective. First and it was already mentioned, the question of


the EPP, the European public prosecutors office. I agree it's an


important progress and development that finally we could agree and


enhance cooperation. It could start its work within two or three years.


On the other hand, we have to keep in mind that this enhanced


cooperation, at the moment, consists of 17 member states and some of


those member states who are the most critical from the point of view of


the expanding of the EU funds are not part of the EPPO and this raises


the issue - how can we put pressure on those member states, where we can


experience a high level of corruption. If they are not part of


the EPPO. And from this perspective I believe that the strengthening of


competencies is something we have to do to have the rights and the


competences to better control the expanding of the EU funds in the


member states. The second issue is the anticorruption report of the


European Union. This was published three years ago and it was promised


in every two years we will see anticorruption report. Now the


commission Sheffield this report. I think this is exactly the wrong


message we can certained to the member states and those who are in


the corruption business, if the European Commission is not doing its


best to mop up corruption in the European Union. Third issue is the


whistle-blower protection. It was already mentioned that


whistle-blowers can contribute a lot to protect the financial interests


of the European Union and we have to help them and to protect them on the


European level, not only the member state level to do so. This is my


last word, if the investigative journalism in parallel with


whistle-blowers can do a lot. Thank you to support this idea. I think we


need to support and protect investigative journalism in the EU.


TRANSLATION: Thank you, president. I too would like to thank the


representative for this report. As far as our point of view is


concerned, we want transparency when it comes to, when comes to... Public


tenders. That's extremely important, when it comes to public procurement.


And also cross-border fraud. We can see how easy it is to get round


controls, when they use certain measures, which are easy to


implement. So this is all interlinked and also, the


legislation we have on organised crime. Italy plays a very important


role here. It's very easy to get hold of the data that you need. It's


important to see that there is illicit trade in cigarettes from


areas where the rules are more stringent and also where the ones


that aren't so stringent. TRANSLATION: Thank you president.


Madam commissioner, the report about the protection of the EU's financial


interests raises very interesting questions and challenges when it


comes to tax fraud. It was said already, tax fraud and fighting


fraud can only be done if the problem is clearly identified and


the problem is tackled efficiently. The route of travel is to make sure


that we can re-establish the confidence of citizens. A big


problem in tax fraud is the problem of VAT fraud. It's been pointed out.


VAT is the biggest source of income of the member states.


50 billion euros has to do with carousel fraud. And also organised


crime. A the cap means VAT avoidance strategies at the tax avoidance are


something we know from other areas. Aggressive tax planning and tax


avoidance strategies cause 60 billion euros of losses in budgets.


There are two member states and the EU which have statistics for all of


income because of cross-border VAT fraud. We have the special report


which shows the EU system is not as efficient and the lack of data leads


to losses for the EU. Member states have instruments to fight VAT fraud


available to them. The lack of account controls between tax and


customs, exchange of data between member states and lack of


cooperation between prosecution and law enforcement authorities and the


notifications of irregularities have gone up by one third from 2014 and


15. The notifications of fraud cases have gone down by 11% over the same


period and I agree with the previous speaker that we have to make added


efforts, and we should also be concerned that 52% of these


fraudulent cases are in the agricultural area and we need to pay


attention to that. We need more transparency, more cooperation is so


that the EU can get its funds back. One minute and a half, please. Thank


you very much indeed, President. Fighting against fraud is vital if


we want to defend the interests of the European Union said this is


incumbent upon all member states. One of the areas we need to fight


against fraud concerns the smuggling of tobacco -based products. This is


a very important smuggling activity globally, countless cigarette


smuggling operations are ongoing, and this accounts for a considerable


loss of revenue for the member states. There is also a health risk


concerning our consumers. It seems we're not making quick pros Gress


regarding this. In June 2016, a law was adopted to implement a technical


instrument which would allow for better monitoring of tobacco


smuggling, but this was not properly followed up, and now in our country,


we are forcing the vendors to refuse bank card payments, and the banks


are actually making 1% commission on this. This means that people are


being forced into buying illicit products, counterfeit cigarettes,


and there is a risk for public health and we have to do something.


Thank you, President. Ladies and gentlemen, the European Union today


is facing a huge amount of mistrust on the side of our European


citizens, and that is why it is so important today that we really care


about transparency and our voters and the European citizens and to


renew trust, not only in the European institutions but also an


member states of the European Union. In many member states, the European


Union has lost this trust. Commissioner, at the beginning, we


were applauding courage to change something of the status quo but,


based on the report, the European Commission has not done or has not


changed that much in the past few months or the past few years. That


is why we have to concentrate on these real and very necessary


changes because this report clearly identifies what is wrong and what is


not functioning well in the European Union. It is our task as politicians


to renew trust. To protect the financial interests of the European


Union should be our utmost priority. The European citizens should not


consider benefits of the European Union as an opportunity to fraud.


Some high representatives of the member states are reporting that and


the Czech Republic is also one of them. Unfortunately, based on that,


that is the cause of this mistrust, and this is basically costing us a


hundred of thousands of millions per year. That is why I am disappointed


that the steps of the European Commission and I hope, based on our


arguments, you will change your steps. Two minutes. Thank you,


President. The report we talking about now and the discussion we are


having here reflects the fact that we have criminals in the European


Union on the one hand and on the other hand authorities and


governments at member state level that are fighting against those


fraudsters. Hopefully, we will find a solution to hold sway against


those fraudsters. But what I'm missing here is, what happens of the


government of the member state or authority of the member state is


hampered here? If a system is being built up the taxes that ultimately


leads to a situation whereby this government actually is involved in


criminal activities itself, there is a lot of legislation that implicates


the family and the circle of friends of Mr Orban, and nobody gets access


to those funds often, apart from him. There are governments that are


against the EP PO because they will probably... They want to solve legal


problems from this philosophical point of view, but it is very


important to actually achieve that. On the other hand, some states will


be against that because there will be negatively impacted on. The other


once themselves involved in criminal activities. So we need to sometimes


unravel all these different relationships. Thank you. One


minute. Thank you very much, President. In this report, there are


many shocking figures and facts, but that should not be cause for us to


say we need more and stricter controls but should reflect, how can


come about? On very good approach to avoid errors and to prevent fraud is


to consider what the EU is responsible for. Should it be


responsible for everything? Do the rules make sense? Rules we do not


need cannot be exceeded so we shall have to think, cannot we have more


subsidiarity is more rules would be unnecessary? It makes no sense, we


think, in the EC group, I do not think that would lead to more


transparency. It also would not mean that more procedures would be


opened. What we would see is a prosecutor would have great problems


of limitations. Thank you very much indeed. One and a half minutes,


please. Thank you very much indeed, President. I would like to thank the


raptor for the work done on this I would like to focus my intervention


on three issues. The first issue concerns the need that has been


expressed by this Parliament for establishing an anti-corruption code


which allows us to create a system of transparent indicators, publish


the progress made to eradicate corruption and also presenting an


annual report on dealing with this problem at the European level. Far


from dealing with this, the report announced the actions to stop


publishing comparative data, and this has not been communicated to


this House and is a cruel disregard of the European Parliament agreement


set out in article 148 on the report of the human rights and the union in


September 20 15. The second issue concerns channelling the


simplification of cutting red tape. When projects have been completed,


such as the European employment portal, the coordinator of the


project is asked to repay sums were erroneously pledged to members of


the consortium, which for reasons outside the project's control, has


gone bust. The commission cannot resolve these problems acting


against another user and in this case that is the coordinator.


Finally, we have to improve procedures for interchange of data


between member states and homogenise the criteria for following up


possible infringement and we have to communicate is better because there


are too many differences in terms of reporting of corruption between the


member states and that is all the more reasons for us to do something


very concrete to improve the situation. Thank you very much


indeed. There are eye watering levels of fraudulent activity


costing member state of the European Union 637 million euros in 2015.


When you add irregularities that are not fraudulent, the total amount of


money involved goes to over 3 billion euros. That of course is


known fraud at irregularities but, by definition, there must be more


that is not detected. And that is before even asking the fundamental


question as to whether taxpayers got value for money from the cash that


was spent. But this report beautifully illustrates the European


project as a whole because whenever you have no European error areas, it


will result in areas implementing across 28 countries. And the


European Union will inevitably have the have more harmonisation as that


answer. You get responses like a prosecutor's office because the


system will fail to function without it and responses including imposing


rules across all 28 member states. This is the very essence. Once power


moves from a nation state of the European Union in one area, it


follows that powers must continue to flow in that same direction. That is


how the European Union is set up. So really, there can only be too honest


position Taia. You either support a European superstate with all that


entails with the loss of sovereignty and identity, and that view is


logically consistent, however much I disagree with it, I respect those


who hold that view. The other position is to recognise that the


alternative is to leave the European Union and to get off the train


before it reassures destination superstate. That is what we in the


UK are doing. If only the European Union had remained as a trading


organisation rather than a political monolith, I am sure we would not be


in this position today. The minutes, please. Thank you for the floor, Mr


President. I would like to congratulate her on that report. We


live in times when the trust of citizens in the EU and institutions


is eroding. It falls on us to restore that confidence. Transparent


use of EU funds and effective fighting fraud form an important


aspect of our work. In 2014, due to the VAT cut, we lost almost 160


billion euros of revenue and 50 billion euros were lost due to VAT


fraud within the community. This is a tremendous loss. We could've


channelled these funds into fostering economic growth and jobs.


Instead of seizing the numerous opportunities for quick action in


the fight against fraud, we still see unreliable data being reported


by member states. This is the consequence of an efficient


cooperation with the European Commission. There are also numerous


other gaps in cooperation between member states. They should exchange


information better and they should exchange best practice as well. We


need a strong and independent EP PO and it needs to have enough power is


said that can act quickly and efficiently in order to protect the


financial interests of the EU. If it is not given enough responsibilities


and powers, if they are not independent and therefore not


legitimate, then this will be a great opportunity lost in terms of


being able to fight fraud effectively at a supranational


level. Only if we act in a coordinated manner at an EU level


can we protect the financial interests of the EU.


TRANSLATION: President, Madam commissioner, dear colleagues, if we


look at the data today then the number of financial irregularities


has increased to an alarming degree, about 30% increase between 2015 and


2016. We need to look at this carefully and come up with concrete


measures. I support this report and I hope after we adopt the report


we'll improve cooperation between the commission and the member


states. At the same time, we also have to improve cooperation between


the relevant bodies at the member state level and we have seen a


massive loss of revenues in VAT for the member states. If you look at


cross-border transactions, commissioner, that's a real weak


point. I think we have to focus our efforts on where the biggest


vulnerabilities lie. Here we have to cooperate closely and loyally


between the member states to eliminate the kind of carousel fraud


that we have to deal with. Customs problems are also very important


when it comes to detecting fraud and we haven't done enough to resolve


these issues. I think we need to improve the control procedures that


exist for those goods which are often subject to counterfeiting.


About 75% of these goods, we're talking about tobacco, alcohol and


electronic goods, these are subject to counterfeiting, we have to check


them more closely. We need to detect any irregularities so we can avoid


them in the future. We have to strengthen these measures too. I


would like to ask the commission to look into the possibility of using


mandatory risk assessment tools that we should impose on the member


states. We also have to look at efficiency here. It's not just about


the that titical number of checks carried out but the effectiveness


and efficienciy of these checks. Here I have a proposal. We should


increase the sanctions at play here, because then we can really correct


the errors, but use sanctions to help that happen. We also have to


make sure that we haven't forgotten about citizens here. This is


taxpayers money we're talking about. TRANSLATION: Thank you very much.


One minute-and-a-half. TRANSLATION: Thank you president.


Commissioner, colleagues, an effective fight against fraught


needs to take a two pronged approach. We need to ensure that the


legal systems are were ereformed, particularly in the countries that


had dictatorship in their past. Their legal system needs to be


adapted to modern forms of crime. The legal systems there need to be


made more democratic. And we also need to be courageous, tone sure


that deep seated reforms at European level are also undertaken. We need


to ensure that we have crimes that can be looked at at EU level and


courts will be able to look at that at EU level. If there's fraud


against the EU's financial interests, it can't be left up to


the member states' courts to look at those, 27 different ones. We need an


EU court to look at that, an EU prosecution office to look at that.


We need to ensure that we fight corruption in an efficient way. We


also need political, a political fight against corruption. Because


it's detrimental to the European Union's image as a whole, of course.


It undermines the faith of the citizens in us. Of course, it's


extremely important to use the taxpayers' monies. The leadership of


the European Union needs to ensure that investment is done very well.


TRANSLATION: Commissioner talking today about fraud with EU resources,


we're talking about 22 thousand irregularities and 3 billion euros.


Irregularities have increased by about 6,000 cases, more tan a third.


The commission says that the number of irregularities has gone up


because the EU's budget has also increased. Now the commission, the


Parliament, and some member states, including Germany, want to have a


European public prosecutors office to fight fraud. Public prosecutor


for a state that doesn't exist and we one we don't want. My solution is


better and simpler. Less redistribution, less irregularities,


less fraud and we should cut the EU's budget and cut it down to what


things that can be done by EU. For example, the mutual assistance with


national, with natural disasters, no distribution and no subsidies.


TRANSLATION: Thank you very much indeed. Now we move onto the catch


the eye procedure. And I have two colleagues on my Speaker's list. You


have the floor first, please. TRANSLATION: Thank you very much.


Protection of the EU's financial interest should be one of the main


pillars for the European Union, because that will help to enhance


faith of the, of European citizens in us. We need to ensure that there


is a reduction in fraud. That 11% decrease, for example, is very


important. However, there's also been an increase by 12% so we've got


decreases on the one hand, increases on the other hand. It's up to the -


we have to ensure that we, ensure that there is a reduction across the


board. And of course, national authorities are responsible for 80%


of the funds and checking those funds. Here we need to tighten up


procedures. We need to ensure that proof is obtained why it is needed


to prove or refute fraud, so the measures need to be tightened, legal


measures need to be tightened up to make sure they are more efficient.


We also need to ensure that cooperation is enhanced.


TRANSLATION: President, fighting against corruption that is the duty


of states, but Brussels is going further. They're cooperating with


international elites at the moment. We have a group which maintains the


situation with a lack of law. Macron is in power in France, but he worked


in a bank. And a lot of political leaders are in the same boat,


including in Greece. But people will say no to Macron.


TRANSLATION: Thank you very much indeed. Commissioner, you have the


floor. Thank you, Mr President, thank you honourable members. This


debate shows once more how the need for an adequate protection of the


union's financial interests is. It also indicates that continuous


improvements and enhancements are necessary to bring the fight against


fraud and irregularities in line with the expectations of the


European citizens. Please rest assured that the commission is fully


committed to continue to strengthen the protection of the European


Union's financial interests and to reinforce our efforts in this area.


To ensure the European budget is delivering its optimal impact and


value for money, the commission and the member states have the duty to


make every effort to prevent that public money is defrauded. On your


question or on your consultation also that the total number of


irregularities detected by the commission and the member states is


rising again and what reason is for this, I can only tell you that there


is no straight answer to this question. Identifying the main


reasons behind increases and decreases in the number of


irregularities is always, as you know, a complex exercise. Several


factors may contribute to this in relation to 2015, increased spending


changes in control strategies, and the delayed reporting have played a


role. I may kindly refer you to certain paragraphs in the report


about this. On fraudulent irregularities, there we see that


the number of fraudulent irregularities have been decreasing.


I want to tell you here that interpreting the true meaning of the


fluctuations in the number of this kind of irregularities reported and


in their related financial value, it is always difficult and could easily


be misleading. As observers, we tend to associate a positive judgment to


decreases and a negative one to increases of detected fraudulent


activities. However we should never forget that we are looking at the


member states' capacity to prevent and detect fraud. It is the


detection efficiency of member states that counts. Of course, as


you told many of you told money lost due to fraud is money we could use


better. We could invest it in useful proinjects. -- projects. We should


know that reporting of irregularities does not always mean


that the budget lost the amounts member states and the commission


recover. Often the amounts, let's not forget about that. Of course, we


recognise that there is a conflict of interest, but let me tell you


that we also address this conflict of interest among others in the


public procurement directive of 2014, where definition of conflict


of interest is introduced and also, I can also tell you that the


commission prepared guidelines with member states experts on conflict of


interests. And then a member asked me why the commission decided to


discontinue the anticorruption report. Well, an effective fight


against corruption within the European Union remains essential


delivered through the right vehicle. Fighting corruption has become a key


element of the European semester process. I want to underline that.


The commission will take up anticorruption measures in the


context of its main economic policy dialogue between the member states


and the European institutions. This is in line with the general approach


of this commission to stream line processes and focus on key issues in


the relevant forum. There was also a question, Mr President, on the


whistle-blowers and about the state of play on initiatives of the


commission on protection of whistle-blowers. There I can tell


you that the commission is assessing the feasability and scope for


European action to strengthen the protection of whistle-blowers. We


are carrying out an impact assessment, has launched a public


consultation in March and is about to launch a targeted consultation.


The commission should decide in July of this year what action to propose


before the end of the year, before December. Dear members of


Parliament, I can, yes, despite my efforts, I have probably not


addressed completely certain specific or certain technical issues


in my introduction or in my reply to your questions. But can I tell you


that the commissioner will meet representative in the beginning of


June in order to continue the discussion on how further improved


the protection of the European Union financial interests. Thank you for


your attention. And I can tell you that the commission Council and


European Parliament's continuous support, thank you.


TRANSLATION: Thank you very much indeed. I'd like to ask you to take


the floor. Thank you very much, President. I


want to thank the commissioner and all the colleagues who participated


in this debate. I have to say that, taking into account the complexity


of the issue and the fact that it raises a lot of concerns, I am full


of hope because, independently from our political differences, this


concern for the Budget, for the efficiency in fighting all the


negative elements, is something we share, and it always gives us hope


that we will be able to fight efficiently everything that is


detrimental to the correct functioning. And I agree, when it


comes to the importance of the issues here, the accounting systems,


the issue of European... European persecution services, as well as


cooperation, we will be able to fight fraud and irregularities, and


this is crucial for the European institutions and politicians. At the


very end, I wanted to thank all the Shadow raconteurs who really made it


possible for our work on this report to be fruitful, interesting. Thank


you very much indeed. That concludes this item on our agenda and there


will be a vote on the site tomorrow. We're now moving on to our next item


on the agenda. Namely, a European qualifications framework for


lifelong learning. This is an oral question addressed to the


commission. So I would like to begin by giving the floor to the author,


please. Thank you, chair, and thank you for being here. The European


qualifications framework is a European wide qualification


framework which joins the qualifications of different EU


members together. In a way, it is a translation of different


qualifications which make qualifications in different EU


countries easier to understand. As such, it is of key importance for a


well functioning European integration ability. According to


the commission, the upcoming review of the EQ F or make it even easier


to compare qualifications across countries, it will help learners,


workers and employers to better understand what a job applicant


knows and is capable of doing. The revised EQ F is also supposed to


facilitate the comparison and understanding of qualifications of


the third country nationals. These are important goals. Nonetheless,


the Parliament has adopted a question, or questions, which read


as follows, qualifications differ across the European Union and that


makes it difficult to assess the knowledge and capabilities of


workers and learners. In 2008, Parliament and the Council adopted a


recommendation on the establishment of a European qualifications


framework for lifelong learning with the aim of improving the


transparency, compatibility and transferability of qualifications in


Europe. The EQ F's objectives have not yet been fully achieved. As part


of its new skills agenda therefore the commission is proposing to


revise the system so that a new Council recommendation. Question


one, how will the proposed recommendation facilitate equal


opportunities in the knowledge-based society and a better permeability


between the education and training system? How will it help to match


the supply and demand of skills in the labour market? Question two, why


would they revised EQ F work better? Despite the current framework being


only partially implemented and member states' calls to focus on


this? Question three, how was the framework contributing to informal


and non-formal learning? How is the new relationship between ECT S


expected to work? Question for, how will be commission support a


consistent implementation of EQ F across member states, its use and


involvement by all relevant stakeholders as well as its better


visibility? Question five, by using the EQ F as the meta framework, how


would the commission ensure that the specific features of national


training and education systems can be recognised and understood in the


other member states? Question six, the growing migration flows to and


from the EU highlight the need for better understanding of


qualifications awarded outside the EU and of the recognition in order


to help migrants and refugees integrate into EU labour markets.


How does the commission intend to support the development and


application of mechanisms to enable the comparison and recognition of


third country qualifications? In the resolution that will be voted by


Parliament on Wednesday, it is also highlighted that relevant


stakeholders, such as public employment services, social


partners, education and training providers, should be further


involved in close corporation in the creation, implementation, promotion


and monitoring of the EQ F at an EU and national level in order to


ensure its broader support. We have also highlighted the importance of


member state commitment and involvement so far only the


Netherlands and Sweden have specific procedures put in place within the


plans for the inclusion of non-formal qualifications. No member


state has specific procedures for informal learning within the


National qualifications frames. This is an unnecessary barrier to the


labour market. We should always respected national competence and


guarantee that the distinctive crates of the education system of


member states are safeguarded. But at the same time, many member states


are still in the early stages of implementing the National


qualification systems. This is too slow if qualifications are the


Beacon parable across Europe, we have to see improvement here. If the


fully functional EQ F is to be achieved, we need to make sure that


employers know how to use the system so that it can truly be the tool


that we all want it to be. Improving the EQ F is key in achieving our own


goals and our common goal. That is to say that people are in jobs, not


jobless, and that people do not end up in desperate situations with high


and employment rates. So please, Commissioner, we look forward to


hear your answers to all these questions. Thank you. Thank you, Mr


President. Honourable members let me start by welcoming your engagement


and contribution to working on the new skills agenda for Europe. I know


you are currently working on a reboot on the skills agenda, and I


look forward to reading this. Your question today on the EQ F comes at


the right moment as, in one week's time, the council will adopt the new


recommendation. Let me now address the issues raised in your question.


Firstly, I want to stress that the EQ F is a success story. In almost


ten years since it was established, it has helped make qualifications


more transparent and therefore more can parable across Europe. 24 of our


member states have National qualification frameworks in place


and have completed the referencing process of the EQ F. Others will


follow this year. Citizens across Europe are already benefiting from


the level on the diplomas and certificates. This makes it easier


for the qualifications to be understood in other member states.


This is why phase two represents an evolution and not a revolution.


Compared to the 2008 text, the key principle remains, this is a


transparency tool, not a recognition tool, EQ F levels will feature an


individual diplomas and certificates, and member states


participating countries and social partners, indeed also social


partners, will continue to meet at a European level to agreed the correct


referencing of each qualification framework. But the world of


qualifications does not stay still. People are increasingly learning in


different settings and are rightly demanding that this learning and


experience is better recognise. This will happen even more on the future.


Qualifications and National qualifications framework at


adapting. This is why the new EQ F recommendation proposes a continuous


updating of the referencing process. In order to ensure that this keeps


pace and the referencing remains valid. A Member of Parliament is


highlighted in your question in motion for resolution of the EQ F


equal opportunities and permeability should be stringent. This is valid


both within systems, for example to make progress from the location of


the higher education easier, as well as between different systems and


countries. I am sure that Parliament will welcome therefore that our


proposed revision puts a greater emphasis on credit systems to


support flexible learning countries including setting our principles for


credit systems in a dedicated annex. And, of course, linked to this, a


goal for the recognition and validation of non-formal and


informal learning in line with the dedicated Council recommendation of


2012. Member states are invited by the EQ F to incorporate this


validation in the National qualification frameworks. Indeed,


for the EQ F, what counts are the outcomes of learning and not the


duration or the institution where the La Quinta place. Ensuring the


consistency of EQ F implementation is a task of the EQ advisory group,


this group was created in 2009 and has proven its value in building


trust between member states, and its work will continue. We will continue


our work together with the advisory group to better communicate about


the EQ F and to improve its outreach to citizens and employers. We will


also report closely on the ground through peer learning activities,


studies. All this should also help to make it


more visible. Dear Members of Parliament, you know that the EQ F


serves as a translation grid between different training systems. It helps


to better understand and compare qualifications that are part of the


systems. The EQ F therefore fully respects and protects each national


educational training system. The goal is transparency in


understanding, not harmonisation. Regarding better understanding of


qualifications, it includes a recommendation on exploring such


comparisons. We should not have illusions. The reference includes


the EQF to have mature qualification systems. They have been done by New


Zealand, by Australia and Hong Kong but this is not done in isolation,


migrants and refugees need our help now. Other actions of the new skills


agenda for Europe focus on practical actions for a better understanding


of the skills of third country nationals. Next month I were


launched a skills profile tool for this purpose. It will be done on the


20th of June and this will coincide with the world refugee Day. The new


EQF brings new clarity on international qualifications such as


industry qualifications. This will be achieved by expert and peer


support to member states for the levelling. Honourable members of


Parliament, the EQF has been a successful tool to improve the


transparency of qualifications. Across Europe it has stimulated


member states to introduce national qualifications frameworks and if


there is a tool which is used for individuals and employers and they


are beginning to refer to EQF levels in their CV 's. I hope soon to


include adverts. The new EQF will build a bond. It looks to the future


to keep pace with changes in qualifications and continue to be at


the forefront of skilled transparency. Together with the nine


other actions of the skills agenda for Europe, we aim for a joined up


approach which promotes better skills in Europe. Thank you very


much. TRANSLATION: We would like to to give the floor to another for two


minutes play -- two minutes, please. I want to welcome the outcome of the


use of the European qualifications process. This has become a source of


reference and inspiration. Enabling the development of a qualification


framework within Europe and globally despite this progress. Studies have


shown that there are shortcomings that are hampering the main aim of


the EQF. That is transparency and comparability within the EU. This


initiative should accompany the policies that are underlined in the


skills agenda for advanced mobility. This promotes skills that are


relevant to a modern economy and a functional economy. It also


complements a lifelong learning initiative together with


transparency and a recognition of qualifications around the EU. Whilst


we recognise that action on a level is necessary, this has to fall


within the treaty parameters. We would stand to gain a lot more if we


had broader cooperation and information mechanisms,


transparency, comparability and cooperation. This will help support


worker's mobility and that of Apprentices, enabling them to work


to attain their lifelong learning objective and in-turn improving


their employability. I have contribution towards the better use


of skills and qualifications would make it easier for companies to


employ them and to fill job vacancies available that are often


difficult to fill because of the death in skilled candidates. We have


to build upon what we have achieved so far and remove obstacles to


mobility take to trust and recognition of qualifications


irrespective of where they were obtained. We should do this to the


benefit of the individual and enable the market and the economy. The next


speaker for the European Parliament. It is a good opportunity to talk


about qualifications and the revision that the council is going


to be adopting in the next few days in the context of the EQF. In the


context of the objections that were set out over the last few years by


the European Commission, it is an important issue. Apprenticeships and


a recognition of those were whether they are informal or informal


throughout a career. This is important because of the changes


occurring in the labour market where workers are more and more


vulnerable. They have more short-term contracts and high levels


of unemployment existing in many member states. Secondly, this is


important because of the changes in the labour market forcing us to move


towards these transitions because of digitalisation. We have new groups


of vulnerability. People who have come here as refugees to Europe and


they want to be able to access the labour market. It is a good thing we


are talking about this and working on this but there are issues on the


table. If we are going to be able to ensure this revision is properly


adhered to, that is one issue. In the past, a number of member states


have gone very far with this but not all of them. Some of them have been


performing very differently. We have to guarantee access for all groups,


particularly those risk groups. They have to access the labour market


freely and easily. Thirdly, we have to be able to listen to the


parliament because people haven't been listening to Parliament's views


on this subject area will stop we have to make sure that we are aware


of the fact that when it comes to supply and demand and the quality of


the work, those are separate issues because demand is very important. We


have massive issues to deal with an employment. Thank you. For the


European Conservatives and reforms group now. TRANSLATION: Thank you


very much. The possibility to acquire new knowledge or skills is


no longer limited only to classical schools at the place of your


residence. We have the Internet, distance learning, travelling per


studies and working as a volunteer. All these are ways of how


individuals can enhance their qualifications either at a young age


or later in life. This is a way of acquiring skills and brings about


the need to understand, evaluate and recognise these skills in order to


improve the job prospects for the individual and to communicate to the


potential employer what skills the potential employee has available.


The EQF is a tool for the member states to better understand and


recognise skills acquired in the education system is in other


countries. Even though the relevant recommendation was adopted in 2008,


we still have not implemented its goals, transparency and


transferability of qualifications. It is therefore necessary to make


this instrument more efficient in order to facilitate the situation


for employers, workers and lawyers to understand a national and


international qualification from third countries. Member states need


to increase their effort to acknowledge and recognise


qualifications and diplomas more quickly and more efficiently and


also to reference the levels in the EQF. The result of referencing


should be available at national and European level. We have to emphasise


that it is an incompetence of member states to take care of the quality


of education and the European qualification frame and that it


doesn't interfere in any way. Thank you. TRANSLATION: For the group of


the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, two minutes


and 30 seconds. We are living in a world that changes everywhere. Our


face changes. There is the development of knowledge, skills and


competence. Both the private and public sector requires skills that


are almost inconceivable 30 years ago and adapting to these changes,


we should no longer follow the old school ways when it comes to


education. Our education and training systems lag behind these


dynamic limiting the recognition of non-formal and informal learning


including the skills are a volunteer activity.


There is the challenges that we face ahead and we have to look at them


with open mind and confidence. Greater flexibility in skill's


recognition is beneficial to the European citizens but can also lead


to a better economic and social integration for migrant and refugee


's and responding to another challenge of the EU. At the same


time, to structure dialogues with EU neighbourhood countries, especially


the ones that have an association agreement with the EU, we should aim


at referencing their national qualification frameworks to the EQF.


If sooner or later this these -- these countries will become EU


members, their citizens will be ready from day one to cope with the


demands of the European market and labour. EU support through Dover --


development aid should be directed to the third countries in order to


offer assistance in the national qualifications frameworks. The


revision of EQF should result in a framework that responds to all these


existing challenges but also things ahead and anticipate potential


problems. Thank you. For the convertible group of the European


left the. We are focused on migrants from other member states and from


the countries. This has the fundamental tool to facilitate


recognition of skills that workers have when they are regularly


discriminating against. This can contribute to national creations of


public policies put --. It only looks at


the economic potential of candidates will stop as such we are asking the


commission to strengthen its cooperation with member states and


with social stakeholders and with public employment services. Thank


you. Have a group of freedom and I met democracy. I think that I can


share a lot of the things that people have talked about and a lot


of the good initiatives but there are two main things. I think the


problem is we need to ensure that we are keeping pace with globalisation


and the whole system of the education system. We need to make


sure we are not levelling it out because there is a point in time


where young people need to have personal development and training


but what we are doing is creating a system that will destroy all of


this. It will mean we have a one size fits all approach. Instead of


keeping pace with the developments, we are going to be excluding a lot


of people. Not everyone can adapt to that kind of thing. Sometimes were


using the wrong approach. Instead of tackling the real problem of a lack


of qualifications in the EU, the problem is because of an employment.


Unemployment is the real problem. Putting a sticking plaster on this


is not the way to go. We need to tackle the roots of the problem of


unemployment. There are better ways of achieving this. Anything else we


do will not be efficient if we don't do that. We don't create jobs. If we


don't come measures to boost employment, then we are not going to


get anywhere. We can talk about all kinds of wonderful qualification


frameworks but there will be no point of this. We need to talk about


mobility. Last year, 110,000 young people in


Italy left my country, they left their own country because they did


not see any prospect for them staying in Italy. And those people


who left actually had qualifications, they had


capabilities, but they didn't find the country, their own country, but


was able to value their achievements, and they left. So, we


need to ensure that we are not building a house by starting with


the roof and not looking at the foundations. TRANSLATION: Madam


President, dear colleagues, the EU wants to put in place in the


European framework for qualifications for lifelong


learning. The project is to ensure a better match between the available


qualifications and those needed in the labour market. We have to take


account of what the three levels of knowledge are, knowledge and skills,


which can be acquired formally and informally. Unfortunately, the


proposal, it has a full paragraph on the inclusion of migrants, and we


are very much against this policy, taking into account the 25 million


unemployed in Europe. This will devalue our education and


qualifications systems. It puts the larger question of mobility, better


equivalence of codification is, as a pretext to develop mobility of


workers, fostering the source of greater security. The EU has tried


in the past to have education without success. This new provision


is not destined for any greater success. For all these reasons, we


will vote against this text, and will be putting down amendments so


that this framework is not mandatory. Member states should be


able to remain free, of igniting formal and informal convocation is,


given their own conditions and needs. We have got the wrong target,


we should have a new regulation to preserve fair competition and not


fostering unfair competition between east and west. That is to say,


competition between migrants and European persons. Thank you very


much for your attention. Next Speaker.


TRANSLATION: This has been in place for about ten years now, and the aim


was to provide staffing levels, with the requisite qualifications. For


people who have the right level of qualifications, to enable them to be


able to change jobs throughout their working lives. This is something


that was supposed to give the best available profiles to the capitalist


system. And now they are seeking to completely exploit the migrants as


well. The line of the Greek government, when it comes to


imposing massive sacrifices on people, in the context of the fourth


memorandum, the line of the Greek woman is fine in this direction now.


The people have to rise up and fight back, this is the only solution. We


are launching an appeal so that everybody can participate in a


general strike against the line of the government in the big capitals.


The European qualifications framework is the main tool for


sophistication of mobility of employees and greater comparability


of the verification systems. Qualifications differ across the


European Union, which makes it difficult to assess skills by


employers. The European qualifications framework should


Felicity opportunities in a knowledge-based society and ensure a


better comparability between the systems and education programmes.


The commission proposes to revise the system, as Mrs commissioner has


just presented. I would like to emphasise that the commission should


focus more on implementation of the current framework, because the


current framework has not been fully introduced yet by member states. So,


we have new proposals on the table, but implementing them should create


an effective system implemented by all stakeholders. It is also very


important that the commission supports a mechanism to enable


comparison of qualifications and the validation of informal learning. We


have asked relevant questions to the commission in our oral question. I


am looking forward to fruitful debate and co-operation on the loo


legislation. Thank you very much. -- on the new legislation. Thank you,


President. Of course, in our current gender, achieving employment for our


citizens is something that has got to be a priority. And what we've got


to do is ensure that skills and knowledge that the people have, and


capabilities that the people have, is given its true worth, because it


is extremely viable. This is extremely important in an economy


which is changing all the time, to explore new avenues. It's very


important to ensure that supplies and demand of work tellies. Look at


the labour market today. It requires flexibility. -- tallies. Constant


updating and constant training is required. And I think training and


vocational training needs to ensure that there is mobility guaranteed


for workers. Migratory flows are such now that there is a challenge


to integrate people, newcomers. And it is important to realise that.


People coming from third countries, too. So, we've got to try and


integrate all these problems. Transference of skills is extremely


important, from one state to the other, to sustain the demand and


also to boost employment. The best response I think to the challenges


facing us today, demographic and technological, is to ensure that we


make sure that we have equal opportunities and that we emphasise


new skills. TRANSLATION: Thank you, Madam President. This is an


ambitious instrument which promotes efficient mobility among member


states and facilitates lifelong learning. The stress is put on the


results, knowledge, capacity and competence. The new priorities


within the framework, by 2020, enable those learning and working to


better present their abilities and skills toddle regardless of where


they were acquired. But the devil is in the details as always. What about


qualifications from third countries? How should this interact with points


system and Deacon elation of points from other systems, where


competencies are required. How to best describe the term on patents.


This is very difficult, we cannot interfere with competence in the


mistakes with respect to education. TRANSLATION: The European framework


of vocational qualifications for lifelong learning took seven words


that shows that this has a link to reality. And this is being praised.


Full employment has been pretty much forgotten, even though we are in


favour of this. There are experienced workers and young


people, with qualifications, have been unemployed for years and have


the feeling that they are not needed. We should change our


priorities. First of all, we should have new arrangements for


employment, otherwise things like this qualifications framework will


actually increase the number of unemployed people. Thank you. Thank


you, commissioner. Thank you for this important tool that is


available to us, telling us about the kind of Europe that we would


like to see in the area of education. The role of the European


Union is to build, which is between different actors and different


policies are social, economic, youth policy or education policy, to show


that there is a pathway which we can embark upon, and ways to create


syndication which fit into the European framework, ensuring


portability of skills in order to meet with realities and trends in


society. The framework is crucial to improve employability and mobility.


There are many different educational pathways, as many as there are


individuals, and we need to make training accessible to all. Mobility


is important, particularly for young people, and young people living near


the border is at stake when it comes to this recognition of diplomas and


skills. This will make the connection throughout the EU between


those qualifications in different member states. It will ensure that


there is no mismatch between the skills which are out there and the


skills which are needed on the labour market.


Are you TRANSLATION: A lifelong learning is necessary if you want to


be successful in the labour market when it comes to new technologies,


or to my reservation, new IT and so on. Since the crisis, we have


introduced a number of support programmes for education and the new


posts of work. It turns out that the unemployment rate continues to be


very high. Even though in many countries we have many positions not


covered because we don't have the people with the right qualifications


and skills for them. When the framework was created, lifelong


learning was an important pillar of this. We know the systems of


education are... Big qualifications framework was supposed to enable an


exchange between the member states so that we do not have these


obstacles in the area. The targets of the original EQF were not totally


fulfilled so I agree with the commission that the revised


framework should work better because it was only implemented partially. I


agree with the member states and with the questions that were asked


and I expect and says to those questions from the commission. Thank


you. Thank you. TRANSLATION: Thank you very much.


The main thing is that this can be exercised and that entails


recognition is of qualifications, professional, formal or informal.


That is something that benefits the workers or potential workers


themselves but employers also have to help with this. On the other


hand, there are disadvantages for the employers because they can


employ people on lower wages. The report focuses on recognising the


qualifications of refugees and migrants. Surely this is another way


of generating another flood of workers which will only keep wages


in the European lower. The new commission's proposals are business


as usual. They lead to no good results. We need to review the


framework. This does not bring growth or reduction of unemployment.


Policies need to cover both education and training of workers


and create new jobs. Our states pay for apprenticeships but this is not


a strategic choice. This is just help to increase the profits of


businesses. We cannot port all burden on the shoulders of workers.


Migration, expanding skills, mobility not a solution. On the


contrary, they pressure for more social dumping. Thank you.


Lifelong learning and this framework is an important instrument to ensure


mobility of students and employees. In 2006, I was able to ensure that


equal quality between vocational training and academical training was


recognised. We want Copenhagen to have the same value as the loan --


Bologna. We need to improve the recognition of such skills. There


are different educational levels covering the entire range of


education. Unfortunately we don't have all of the pathways in the


member states. We quite rightly asks the European Commission to what


extent we can make this qualification framework more of a


reality. In many cases, improved cooperation can result between those


offering education and national authorities. It is important to --


that the unique characteristics of national systems can be maintained.


We have a system that is ready for the future and the real value in the


internal market can be achieved over decades. In the reform that we are


working towards, the instrument of the EQF can be simplified, unified


and improved. Reducing the red tape and increasing the flexibility. We


are working in education to see a real added value in Europe and


inspiration. TRANSLATION: Madam President, I support the European


connotation -- qualification framework because I believe this


would lead to transparency and a level of comparability between


qualifications in different member states. Technology is evolving


rapidly and as is the labour market. The EU needs a whole range of skills


which will help us to make more progress. However, skills and


confidence that has been acquired outside of official systems are


still underestimated. This is a hindrance to European citizens


because sometimes it means they can't get jobs or promotions. The


review of the framework should lead to better visibility the skills that


people have gained outside of classrooms. Only Sweden and the


Netherlands have introduced systems to recognise the formal


qualifications and I would call upon member states to give more


visibility to informal studies as well as volunteering and voluntary


work in the national frameworks. It will improve chances for young


people. Thank you. TRANSLATION: Thank you very much. First of all I


would like to thank the commission for taking the initiative to revise


the European framework which hasn't been fully implemented although they


were adopted six years ago. Why? The European framework was formed in


response to the need to equalise and make comparable the diplomas and


qualifications. If such an important goal is not implemented, there must


be a cause and it has to do with the instrument. We have seen what


difficulties this European framework was implemented international


systems. It seems the framework is insufficient and there are new


challenges. There is education outside the formal system. We have


high-class IT experts who obtain skills outside the formal


frameworks. We need to understand what diplomas and certificates of


persons coming to the EU from third countries are worth. Some kind of


system is required. There is a need to determine what is the level of


the European qualifications framework to make it more popular


and more recognised by both citizens and employers. It is also important


to take into the account, this proposition of the agenda for


qualifications to assure comparable to those skills. To compare national


systems and to exchange good practices. Thank you.


The diversity of educational pathways represents an opportunity


for sustainable economic development as well as personal development of


learners and citizens. I know from personal experience that lifelong


learning develops creative and critical thinking, helping us to


gain in soft confidence to become a problem solvers, entrepreneurs and


responsible citizens and to acquire the intercultural, social and


transversal skills needed to achieve more inclusive, open and tolerant


communities. We are often asked to equip learners with skills and


competences for a world that does not yet exist. Therefore, probably


including lifelong learning in our education policy is key and


promoting EU collaboration and harmonisation across member states


is important. In the context of democratic changes, flexible


economies and uncertain job Martin is characterised by increasing


digitisation, Robitaille 's Asian and automation of production, we


must embrace the concept of occupational literacy, promoting


active engagement in arts, citizenship and sport. Furthermore,


we must include refugees as they have much to offer and they arrive


with skills and desire to contribute. Furthermore, we must


include refugees as they have much to offer and they arrive with skills


and a desire to contribute. Sun-macro the other day about the


framework is a very fine idea. It is linked to the labour market. I


support all the efforts to recognise informal and non-formal learning and


skills. If we want to shape the uniform of the market and the single


market, then we also need to recognise this skills obtained


elsewhere. The free flow of learning and it is one of the key actions.


This is not fully implemented will stop only a few people use the


possibility to migrate and should the European qualifications


framework be amended, then this would encourage the workforce


mobility which will have long-standing effects on the


economy. People looking for jobs abroad face difficulties,


particularly when their qualifications need to be


recognised. It is not only them who are facing challenges. The employers


had to recognise the skills that these people are bringing with them.


Therefore I believe that it would be necessary to introduce a type of


certificated and so that we would apply uniformed criteria so as to


know who is offering what in the market. This will be good for all.


Thank you. TRANSLATION: Thank you. Free circulation of people is one of


the rights of our citizens. It is a pillar on which the internal market


is founded. However, despite this lack of comparability and mutual


recognition of diplomas is a major obstacle which prevents a lot of


Europeans from finding jobs outside their borders. Achieving some kind


of convergence between such diverse systems will be a very positive step


towards achieving our objective. We have got to continue down this track


and we have got to fully commend the European qualifications framework


and do so in a way that fits in with the other systems. This will mean


that supply and demand could be matched better in the labour market


and companies would be an easier position to interpret qualifications


and the abilities of candidates. This would lead to greater mobility


between countries and at the end of the day, it will help generate jobs.


Mobistine are adapting their national frameworks to the European


framework. -- member states. A lot of them are still in the initial


stages of this. I'm asking, why are you planning to renew this framework


which has not yet been fully implemented and which we haven't yet


been able to assess? TRANSLATION: Colleagues, with regards to the


questions to the commission, I have to point to the fact that we have to


measure how our environment reflects the knowledge ability of our


qualifications. Let us know that there are quite a few problems and


faults but still the European Union is developing fast. Why is this


important? Why is this important? People who


come from outside the borders of the European Union, the migrants, are


quite often having very low skills, quite often catching up needs as


long as the decade. To us just think about the lack of knowledge of


languages come if a technician living in the north of Africa learns


his skills on machines that are very obsolete now, his skills now cannot


be equal, cannot be acknowledged, cannot be equal to those of a


technician here in Europe. Technology develops fast, therefore,


these questions are quite pertinent. Let us not turn this into a


political problem, a political question, that's why I support all


the motions that protect the high-quality skills. This is a basic


value. We need to strengthen the European Union.


Thank you, Madam President. First of all, let me say that any sensible


citizen, or indeed employer, in Europe, is in favour of supporting


and improving qualifications and realises that this is a necessity,


as is the need to have comparability between formal and informal


training. Some objectives have been set, but they are still to be


achieved. Now, that problem is up to the memo states, because they simply


have not implemented the objectives properly. That is a big problem,


particularly in terms of the rules, and if the EU isn't really working


on these issues, such as basic rules which underpins the single market,


then I think we are in serious difficulty. It is a serious problem.


And I think that means we've got to get rid of any administrative


hurdles, for instance in the acknowledgement and recognition of


qualifications. And I think that's what the EU needs to do. Make this


easier, get rid of the hurdles, and in a few years, when we come back to


looking at this framework, we hope that our successors won't be saying


that objectives and hopes have not been delivered on. So, I sincerely


hope that this will be implemented properly. Thank you. We move now to


the Catch The Eye procedure. This framework has been a significant


driver of reforms. Not all of the objectives of the recommendation


from 2008 well recognised. This is why, if we take European


cross-border mobility of learners and lifelong learning seriously, it


is important that we make qualifications more transparent and


understandable across front countries and different educational


systems. One of the greatest challenges is posed by the changes


over time in revocation systems. This makes it necessary to keep


referencing things and up-to-date, especially considering the


increasing proliferation of industry based training and certifications. I


would especially welcome if the commission could provide more


details on this. Thank you very much.


I asked for the floor because I would like to add a couple of things


to this debate. First of all, yes, of course I agree with one of the


objectives, which is the harmonisation of diplomas. But, dear


colleagues one of the other issues we should explore is the


commercialisation of education. You study three years, and then again


and again, total nine years, and then you're jobless. This is the


main problem. I would like to put this to the session. Someone said, I


was fine with my education until I went to school. In other words, what


we are lacking is education with a humanitarian background, with a


human face. Education, well, that's human face. Education, well, that's


easy, but we need education that makes our citizens more human. Thank


you. Thank you for the floor, Madam Chair. I would like to congratulate


you for attacking this very important work of amending the


European convocations framework. I recall March 2008, when we finally


adopted the first document with this title. Back then, I was chairing, I


was actually the minister responsible for education in the


country which was holding this item for the European Union, and I was


signing this document, which I deemed a special privilege. So, it


has been ten years and I am not really satisfied with the


fermentation of this document in member states. But as you have


mentioned, practically all member states will this year weather all


key elements of this framework. In this respect, I will call it a


success nonetheless, and I'm especially glad that you decided to


upgrade the basic document. We need to establish that we are not talking


about the recognition of qualifications, but rather about the


transparency and comparability of convocations. If we are unable to


compare educational results twin member states, then the European


educational systems would continue to go the wrong way. And I believe


that this document enables a type of harmonisation between convocations.


Thank you very much. Thank you, one minute. TRANSLATION: Ladies and


gentlemen, the European convocations framework for lifelong learning is


an important step towards greater transparency and recognition of


skills, facilitating mobility within the Common Market. The proposal of


new guidelines of the council shows that the framework is used in all


member states, but convergence of descriptions of similar convocations


has not been achieved, which is an obstacle to their mutual


recognition. So, memo states should still seek harmonisation of


qualifications, in line with European standards. It is important


to apply them in education and training institutions and employment


agencies, to ensure their application and to make them a


the new recommendations of the the new recommendations of the


council will be useful in this regard. Thank you. Thank you. This


brings us to the end of the debate. And now, for the replies to the


numerous questions and the very valid discussion, I handover. Thank


you very much, Madam President. Dear members of Parliament, I would like


to thank you for the todays' debate which shows the accordance attached


to this framework. I will not go into the detail of all of your


questions but I would like to stress that the EQF is a tool to make


convocations more transparent and it is not about harmonisation of


qualifications. Secondly, it builds on the achievements of the


recommendation of 2008, and it will make EQF a more effective tool,


relevant to the reality of today and to the evolving nature of


qualifications. And finally, the future success of the EQF is in the


hands of member states and stakeholders who were in charge of


fermentation. The commission's role will be one of support. Dear members


of Parliament, I count on your continuous support for the EQF and


for other initiatives within the European skills agenda. It is indeed


our joint responsibility to offer citizens are necessary tools to


develop their skills and find the jobs that is right for them. Of


course, this counts especially for the more than 19 million unemployed


people in our union. Skills are of utmost importance for them, so we


work on it. Also by improving the EQF. And as you know, this is only


one of our actions to create more jobs, more growth and fairness in


our union. Thank you very much. TRANSLATION: Thank you very much,


commissioner, for those replies. That brings us to the end of that


debate. The motion for resolution from the committee on employment and


social affairs will be voted on tomorrow. On Wednesday, I stand


corrected. Thank you once again. We move on now to the following night


on the agenda. Next on our agenda, we have the report on resource




Live coverage of debates in the European Parliament on the annual report on the protection of the EU's financial interests, the European Qualifications framework for lifelong learning, and food safety.