Intervjuud on võimalik lugeda siit.
Indrek Tarand on Euroopa Parlamendi Islandi delegatsiooni liige ning EP ja Islandi parlamentaarse ühiskomisjon (Joint Parliamentary Committee) liige.
Hautala, Jäätteenmäki & Tarand:
“Arktiliste põlisrahvaste keelte kaitse (eriti Venemaal) peab olema EL Arktika poliitika nurgakivi”
— Arutelu EP välisasjade komisjonis 09.11.2010.
Raport ise: link
The European Parliament is directly elected institution, which represents about 500 million citizens and their interests which are of course very differing. The EP is in close co-operation with the European Commission and European Council; together they produce legislation on issues affecting our daily lives, for example environment protection, consumer rights, equality, transport and the free movement of people, capital and services. Not to mention human rights.
The subjects or topics I am engaged in are mainly connected to the committees and delegations I sit at, although these are rather close to my heart as well.
Among them is, for instance, Iceland, the country that 1st recognised the restoration of the independence of Estonia in 1991. Currently the negotiations on Iceland’s possible accession to the EU are being held. But does the small island-state itself event want to join? Recent polls have showed that people are rather sceptical, even the political groups in Althingi have been said to debate on the issue quite seriously. If Iceland were a Member State, its economic prospects might look better than they do currently in view of the so-called Icesave case, although the latter will not be tied to the negotiations. The EU on the other hand may have a stronger voice in the Arctic region. And this is a region that will attract very much attention in the years to come…
As former Chancellor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Estonia, I was appointed the Green shadow rapporteur in AFCO regarding the European External Action Service report. Guy Verhofstadt (Belgium, EPP) and Elmar Brok (Germany, S&D) were jointly writing the report on how the new “Ministry of Foreign Affairs EU” must be constructed. This involved months of work on when and where to emphasise Human Rights, how to set up crisis prevention and management, who should be in charge of the delegations, how to deploy development aid, how much and in what areas should the EP have control over their budget and so on.
Of course having such an institution as the EEAS is vital if the EU will want to speak with one voice on a global level – or with its neighbours, for that matter. The issue of energy security is the first practical challenge that comes to mind…
This autumn the European Parliament adopted the Alejo Vidal-Quadras (Spain, EPP) resolution on security of gas supply, which calls for the EU to introduce a regulation in order to further secure gas and energy supply in Europe. The document contains several methods and ideas on how to prevent future gas conflicts as seen in the case of the Russian-Ukrainian problems in recent years. This regulation would provide preventive safety measures to ensure that nobody would be left in to the cold.
This reminds that one has to think beyond (but not excluding) its national borders in Europe. Internet freedom and intellectual property rights are issues that affect us all, especially when EU will introduce reforms in this field in the near future regardless whether you are a consumer or a provider of Internet content, be it written articles, music or videos. How should the EU respond to illegal file sharing? We are living in the 21st century and we all download a variety of things from the net. But what about the people that provide the content? If we chose to restrict downloading in today’s form, what measures can be taken? To what extent can we monitor peoples’ activities online? As anyone may guess, these questions affect us all.
Should there be introduced any directives or regulations on a EU level that the citizens will regard unsuitable, lacking or simply bad and they wish to change it – or even call for creating an entirely new EU policy – they have the chance to do so with the European Citizen Initiative. This is a project going to be launched next year, with the aim of giving EU’s citizens the right to introduce an idea for new legislation by the Commission; the latter has to respond and justify its answer and action that will or will not follow.
This is undoubtedly a big step in the development of the citizen society, moreover that all people from all Member States can have a say. This all will have to follow strict rules that are currently in the making. For example, according to the latest state of play, at least 1 million signatures have to be collected from at least 1/3 of the Member States, plus the number of signatures has to be proportionate to the population of that state. This opens up an even greater window of opportunity for small countries. As for now, the setting up of the system continues.
ACTA or Anti Counterfeit Trade Agreement is an international framework for combating trading with counterfeit goods and piracy in all of its commercial forms. The ongoing negotiation talks have been widely criticized for its secrecy regarding both its content and the negotiation process itself. The first issue was raised because according to leaked documents and other sources, ACTA was beginning to pose a threat to civil rights by interfering in their daily lives through checking their e-mails and monitoring their activity on the Internet.
The European Parliament got involved in the end of 2009, although the negotiations began in 2007. The European Commission, representing the EU as one of the 27 stakeholders had to succumb to the pressure of the European Parliament and make the negotiations public. The EC thus violated the Lisbon Treaty, according to which it has to consult with the EP regarding multilateral international agreements. It was concluded that one of the parties wanted the EC to keep quiet until the agreement was reached. The countries currently involved are Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States. The latter was said to have told the EC to keep quiet after the last round of talks held in August.
However, the European Commission claims that the process has been public, although only to the extent such international agreement talks can be. The European Parliament hasn’t quite agreed with this and has tabled a resolution that demands transparency and respect for civil rights. Furthermore, it is clearly stated that the European Parliament is willing to go to court, if needed.
Nonetheless the EP suggested to continue the talks – and with a good reason. The OECD estimates that infringements of intellectual property in international trade (excluding domestic production and consumption) accounts for more than €150 billion per year (higher than the GDP of more than 150 countries). Also, there was growth in seizures of fakes dangerous to health and safety since last year: e.g. cosmetics and personal care products (+264%), toys (+98%), foodstuff (+62%), computer equipment (+62%) and medicines (+51%) show a remarkable percentage increase compared to earlier years. Fake medicines are thought to account for almost 10% of world trade in medicines.
Currently none of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) are involved in the talks. Luckily the agreement is said to be constructed in a way that is open to new parties at any stage and special mechanisms will be created for the smooth transition period.
As for now the MEPs are working in order to publish the negotiation texts and stand against the possible breach of civil rights and intellectual property rights. Namely, ACTA consists of three parts, one of which focuses on IPR infringements. Of course such regulation is necessary in order to avoid counterfeit goods, but this cannot be done at the expense of peoples’ privacy and rights. As the EP resolution on ACTA adopted in March this year states:
” H. whereas it is crucial to ensure that the development of IPR enforcement measures is accomplished in a manner that does not impede innovation or competition, undermine IPR limitations and personal data protection, restrict the free flow of information or unduly burden legitimate trade,”
In the beginning of October it was announced by the Commission that the talks were finished. This info has yet to be verified by other parties as well.
For more information, please read:
Väliskomisjon ehk AFET (Affairs Etrangéres) on ELi välispoliitiliste küsimustega tegelev komisjon. 150pealine komisjon tegutseb lähtudes mõistagi poliitiliste fraktsioonide tahtest, aga raamistiku just välispoliitilisteks teemadeks annavad Euroopa ühine välis- ja julgeolekupoliitika (ÜVJP) ning Euroopa julgeoleku- ja kaitsepoliitika (EJKP). Viimasega tegeleb Väliskomisjoni allkomisjon SEDE ehk Julgeoleku- ja kaitse allkomisjon. Tegeletakse riikidevaheliste suhtluse, ÜRO koostöö, inimõiguste ja demokraatia edendamise, rahvusvaheliste assotsiatsioonilepingute sõlmimise ja järelvalvega, viiakse läbi valimisvaatlusi ja palju muud.
Teisisõnu võtab AFET sõna teemadel nagu Lähis-Ida, Afganistan, Island, Arktika, Iraan ja ka Venemaa. Paraku erineb AFET teistest komisjonidest lisaks oma tavalisemast intrigeerivamale sisule ka selle poolest, et AFETil (ja tema allkomisjonidel) ei ole seadusandliku tavamenetluse võimu. Erinevalt mõnedest teistest komisjonidest, mis said selle õiguse Lissaboni lepingu alusel, puudub AFETi tekstidel seega seadustandev jõud.