Boicot económico en Arizona, ¿acción efectiva o mero simbolismo? (Spanish Edition)

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To ensure that sport events are enjoyable for all those concerned and to minimise safety risks, competent agencies are encouraged to support social and educational measures to prevent spectator violence. Developing close links with supporter groups should be an important element. The Commission encourages the exchange of good practices in this field. Thus, the Commission has no competence to regulate this matter at EU level. This project has, for years, been up against the opposition of the inhabitants of the island, who will be severely affected by the project, which will destroy the environment in the area and, as a result, the main local economic activity — tourism.

This controversial project has been the subject of numerous questions and petitions, given its rejection by the people, as well as a number of legal proceedings. It is worth remembering that in the High Court of the Canary Islands agreed to suspend the decision of the Government of the Canary Islands to remove the protected status of the seagrass meadows sebadales , which meant that the building works in question had to be stopped. Unfortunately, the work on the port, which will lead to irreversible damage to the marine ecosystem, is still continuing, as in May, the dumping of material for the construction of the external sea wall began.

The information reported in the local media as mentioned above would appear to contradict this answer given by the Commissioner for Regional Policy. Is the Commission aware of this report published in the local press in Tenerife? Other sources claim that the construction of the Granadilla pier will not receive any EU funding whatsoever. What information does the Commission have at its disposal concerning construction work at Granadilla port, Santa Cruz de Tenerife Spain? Has the Commission made plans for any type of support mechanism for the construction of the Granadilla pier?

Has any budget item been allocated by the Commission to support the construction of the Granadilla pier? The Commission is aware of the report published in the local press in Tenerife and underlines that it has acted in full accordance with the current regulatory framework. The Commission had a range of observations regarding the project, notably related to the environment, economic viability and state aid issues, which required detailed explanations from the Spanish authorities, which explains the time required to deal with the application.

Expenditure related to a major project can be certified to the Commission before the project has been approved by a Commission decision. The Commission has carried out a thorough examination of this application and has requested additional information, which has been provided, in order to be in a position to reach a final conclusion on its approval.

The Spanish authorities consider that this infrastructure is vital for the island of Tenerife and has been included as a priority project in their strategic plan for the development of seaports in Spain. In recent years, most EU Member States have had to reform their pension systems due to demographic changes higher life expectancy and low birth rate and economic changes the late age at which young people enter the labour market and the rise in unemployment in the EU. The Commission has urged the Spanish Government to initiate a series of steps before the end of the year to avoid being sanctioned for excessive imbalances.

The changes proposed by the Commission include pension reform and, more specifically, defining the sustainability factor in order to guarantee the long-term financial stability of the pension system by ensuring, among other things, that the retirement age increases in accordance with the rise in life expectancy. It also calls for governments, employers and trade unions to reach a consensus on modifying the increase in the number of contributory years.

What steps does the Commission intend to take to prevent the budgetary adjustments established by the troika from affecting the right to a decent quality of life for all in old age? Does the Commission intend to prioritise this issue in order to ensure that older people enjoy a decent standard of living and economic independence? Country Specific Recommendations on pensions and retirement have almost exclusively been aimed at helping Member States preserve the sustainability and adequacy of their public pension systems.

Linking the retirement age to changes in life expectancy — proposed in the CSR for the Spanish pension sustainability factor — could have a positive impact on both adequacy and sustainability of pensions. En oversigt over sprogkrav for brugsanvisninger for medicinsk udstyr til patienter — i hver af de forskellige medlemsstater? En oversigt over sprogkrav for brugsanvisninger for medicinsk udstyr til sundhedspersonale — i hver af de forskellige medlemsstater?

The Commission thus does not possess the information requested by the Honourable Member. Gerechtelijke stappen door niet-verzekerde depositohouders in Cyprus. Heeft de Commissie een behoorlijke effectbeoordeling van haar voorstel uitgevoerd? Gelet op de klachten van belanghebbenden en burgers, acht de Commissie het passend om een nieuwe, juistere effectbeoordeling uit te voeren?

De volledig tekst van de effectbeoordeling is geregistreerd als document SWD final en is op de website van de Commissie beschikbaar op het volgende adres:. Bij de voorbereiding van het voorstel heeft de Commissie zorgvuldig de implicatie van het bail-ininstrument ten aanzien van de bescherming van de mensenrechten geanalyseerd. In die omstandigheden zou, als niet tot afwikkeling zou worden overgegaan, de instelling insolvent worden. Een en ander zou garanderen dat deposito's pas na alle ongedekte niet-bevoorrechte passiva het voorwerp van bail-in kunnen zijn.

De Commissie denkt niet dat in dit stadium een verdere effectbeoordeling nodig is. Has the Commission properly conducted an impact assessment in relation to its proposal? In the light of the complaints raised by stakeholders and citizens, does the Commission think it will be appropriate to conduct a new and more accurate impact assessment? The full text of the impact assessment is registered as document SWD final and is available on the Commission website at the following address:. In the preparation of the proposal, the Commission has carefully analysed the implication of the bail-in tool with regard to the protection of human rights.

In particular, the limitation to property rights entailed by the bail-in tool is justified under the relevant human rights rules as interpreted by the Court of Justice by the fact that the point of entry into resolution is reached when that the institution is no longer viable or is likely to be no longer viable. In these circumstances, if no resolution action was taken, the institution would have entered into insolvency. It would ensure that deposits are bailed-in only after all unsecured non-preferred liabilities.

The Commission does not think that a further impact assessment is needed at this stage. Mens det koster ca. EUR gennem EU's bidrag. Tuberculosis TB is influenced by migration, economy, and functioning of healthcare systems. The health services' organisation is competence of national governments including leadership for interventions to fight TB. EU's structural and regional funds, pre-accession and European neighbourhood instruments could all be used to fight multidrug resistant TB MDR-TB if this is prioritised by the recipient countries.

The budget available to prevent and treat TB is matter of setting priorities at national level as well as the choice of the most appropriate financial instrument. Research on TB has been one of the priority areas of FP7. Tra i giovani europei si riscontra una mancanza di fiducia e spirito imprenditoriale. Sette progetti europei riguardanti temi chiave, quali la formazione degli insegnanti, una piattaforma on line per gli educatori e nuovi metodi per la valutazione delle competenze imprenditoriali, sono stati al centro di un invito a presentare proposte pubblicato nel Entrepreneurship is at the heart of the economy and fosters economic dynamism, growth and job creation.

This is why the challenge for the European Union EU is to continue promoting the key factors for building a climate in which entrepreneurial initiative and business activities can thrive. As attitudes and social understanding take shape at an early age, education can play a major part in successfully addressing the entrepreneurial challenge. Research has proved the existence of a positive correlation between business start-ups and economic competitiveness and growth.

However, the benefits of entrepreneurship education are not only economic. Entrepreneurship is a skill that is useful in both personal and social aspects of everyday life. The EU offers many opportunities in the form of funds and programmes, such as Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs. However, it does not raise enough awareness of entrepreneurship and does not sufficiently encourage young people to develop this skill.

This is why there is a need to promote and encourage entrepreneurship in educational institutions, and why more training should be offered to students as well as to teachers and professors. There is a lack of entrepreneurial spirit and confidence among the young people of Europe. Given the social and economic benefits of entrepreneurship, is there scope for greater promotion in schools and universities? Would the Commission consider developing a specific framework for this initiative? The Commission is working in close cooperation with national authorities and other relevant stakeholders to promote education for entrepreneurship.

The Commission calls on Member States to give all young people the chance of at least one practical entrepreneurial experience during compulsory education since the priority is to make this type of learning a basic feature in our education systems. The Commission's activities have also recently focused on training teachers, as they have a key role in bringing entrepreneurship education into the classroom. Two European workshops in aimed to share and disseminate successful methods, followed up with the publication of a guide for educators in A call for proposals sees seven European projects addressing key issues such as training teachers, online platform for educators and new methods to assess entrepreneurial skills.

Can the Commission explain why there remains such a disparity between some Member States in relation to charges for making calls on mobile phones? The EU rules provide NRAs with tools to act in relation to any competition problems that exist within their national markets and to impose remedies on operators when appropriate. The Irish mobile market offers its customers a variety of services and tariffs, both as a stand alone or in bundles that allow consumers to choose services that best corresponds to their needs.

The Commission has addressed an important issue which contributes substantially to end-user prices, namely the rates operators charge to each other when terminating calls on their respective networks. Application of cost-oriented termination charges will lower the wholesale costs for domestic calls, which in a competitive market should also lead to lower retail prices.

Despite the tools available under the current regulatory framework it is true that disparities between Member States exist, which should not be present in a fully functioning single market. The Spring European Council stressed the importance of the digital single market for growth and called for concrete measures be prepared in time for the October European Council.

Galway, Ireland, wave defences have been severely damaged by recent bad weather. Any further damage threatens to cause the seawater to contaminate a small freshwater lake. The lake is designated as a Special Area of Conservation SAC , because of a rare strain of weed which is growing in it. Could the Commission outline what support or funding, if any, are available to tackle coastal erosion where it threatens Special Areas of Conservation?

The regulatory framework governing European Regional Development Fund ERDF projects includes environmental and risk protection as a potential investment area. The corresponding funding allocation supports investments in the fields of water source protection drinking water and promotion of energy efficiency and renewable energy. Enquiries may be addressed to the following department: Sligo, telephone Til trods for dette tal har lande som f. Prevalence in the definition of rare diseases has been consistently applied in EU rare disease legislation and policy.

Despite this figure, countries such as Denmark, Sweden and the UK have defined rare diseases as having a different prevalence. In connection with this, can the Commission please answer the following questions:. Does the Commission feel there should be consistency in the definition of rare diseases across Europe? In its assessment report following the implementation of the national plans for rare diseases, will the Commission look at how rare diseases are defined in the national plans across Europe? The Commission is promoting one consistent definition of rare diseases across all its policies.

At the same time, according to Art. This includes the definition of rare diseases. Europe's challenges and on the Council recommendation mentioned above, the Commission is planning to report upon how Member States are using the definition of rare diseases for the purposes of EU-level policy. One of the growing public health threats in Europe is the spread of tuberculosis TB , especially in its drug-resistant forms.

While one part of the problem is the treatment of people infected with TB, another part is the lack of sufficient measures to prevent the spread of the disease. What, if any, initiatives and support does the Commission have with regard to developing better prevention measures against tuberculosis, including new vaccine s? The Commission is aware of the importance of preventive measures for eliminating tuberculosis TB as a global health problem.

The most advanced TB vaccine candidates are currently in phase II clinical trials, and developing these into final products will require the mobilisation of significant scientific and financial resources. This is a challenging task but in the most optimistic scenario, it could result in the introduction of a new TB vaccine by Forskellig ordlyd af forskellige sprogversioner af et direktiv.

Der kan imidlertid altid ske fejl, og der sker fejl. It is important that the meaning of EU legislation should always be clear, regardless of which of the official languages it is translated into. However, mistakes can and do happen. What does the Commission intend to do about this discrepancy in meaning between the language versions?

Does the Commission know if this difference in wording has led to the Member States implementing the directive in different ways? If citizens, organisations or companies discover such a discrepancy among translations, is there an easy way for them to report it? And can it then be ensured that a correction is made — or at least a memo published explaining the differences and stating which is the valid interpretation of the text? Therefore, it is for the European Parliament and the Council to analyse the case and decide if any language version needs to be corrected. Citizens, organisations and companies can notify errors in legal acts through Eur-Lex public helpdesk eurlex-helpdesk publications.

Does the Commission have its own estimates of the revenue that is currently lost to developing countries, and does it believe that it is appropriate for European taxpayers to effectively subsidise tax avoidance on this scale? Various estimates of the amount of tax revenues lost in developing countries exist and show substantial losses as the Honourable MEP rightly points out. These losses are difficult to estimate in a precise manner due to their nature.

However, the Commission shares the view that they are very high. Furthermore, the Commission strongly supports international efforts to curb tax evasion and avoidance and welcomes the international prominence these issues are given in international fora, such as the G8, G20, UN and the OECD.

The EU also supports a large number of country-specific projects, capacity building initiatives and other activities. Tax avoidance by large corporations is now a major concern for governments around the world, and it is an issue that will feature prominently at the G8 summit that begins today in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. Does the Commission support this initiative and, if so, does the Commission believe that such transparency should be restricted to banks or should it apply to all transnational corporations?

Finally, what proposals on tax avoidance does the Commission intend to propose at the summit? To this end, the Commission will work closely together with the European Parliament and the Council to make sure that EU rules are adopted as quickly as possible in this area. The Commission's contribution concentrated on evasion rather than avoidance, notably the aim for automatic exchange of information between tax authorities to become the new global standard of cooperation in tax matters.

New initiatives on automatic exchange of information which are ongoing at the international level could greatly benefit from EU achievements in this area. The Chinese authorities have responded by announcing the launch of an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy probe into wine imports from the European Union. This probe, which seems to be some kind of retaliatory measure, may seriously jeopardise EU wine and spirit exports to a fast-growing market.

Although the Commission has already made it clear that there is no dumping or subsidising of European wine exports to China, how does it intend to respond to this anti-dumping probe? In its reply, the Commission gives no clear indication of what preventive or punitive measures it would take in cases involving the proven exploitation of workers. The monitoring and enforcement of the working and employment conditions and the actual remuneration of workers, including posted workers, fall within the competence of the Member States, which have specialized bodies such as labour inspectorates to make such verifications and determine the appropriate corrective measures.

When the Commission becomes aware of alleged abusive or unfair practices, it first has to make a thorough clarification of the factual circumstances in order to be able to assess whether or not the allegations of social dumping practices constitute a breach of the applicable Union rules. If it becomes apparent that a Member State has not transposed EU legislation correctly, has failed to transpose it at all, or is applying transposed rules incorrectly, infringement proceedings are instituted to compel the Member State concerned to amend its legislation or the way in which it is applied.

Wniosek Komisji zawiera jednak. Does the Commission foresee the possibility of implementing such a plan within a suitable time frame? Has the Polish Government made adequate efforts in this regard? Discussions between the Commission and the Polish authorities on the correct implementation of the Water Framework Directive WFD have been ongoing since The Commission made several recommendations aiming at ensuring that flood prevention infrastructure receiving EU support does not violate the WFD. At no point was the option to withdraw still unused EU funds in this sector discussed.

All efforts are currently concentrated on making sure that all allocated money is spent in compliance with EU legislation. The legal framework for the European Structural and Investment Funds for is still being discussed with the Council and the Parliament, and thus no definitive answer can be provided at this time.

Nevertheless, the Commission proposal includes an. Espionaje del Reino Unido en la Cumbre del G The Guardian newspaper recently revealed how the British intelligence services had spied on visiting diplomats at the G20 summit in They reportedly tapped private communications and breached any number of privacy rules, with the express authorisation of the UK Government. Intercepting the communications of the visiting G20 politicians and diplomats was instrumental in enabling the UK to secure a negotiating advantage at the summit.

The surveillance was authorised by the former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, and constitutes multiple rights violations, dealing a blow to the legitimacy of British diplomacy and the results of the summit itself. As far as we know, this gross violation of national interests and privacy at such a high-level summit is an unprecedented crime which calls for concrete action to be taken against the UK. Does the Council intend to hold the UK criminally responsible for this shocking act of espionage? Has the Council taken any action to ensure the UK does not repeatedly violate the fundamental liberties and national interests of other countries?

The Council has not discussed any of the specific issues raised by the Honourable Member. However the Commission has expressed its concerns and has sought clarifications from the United States on its reported surveillance activities to the extent that they concern EU individuals and premises. The Commission considers that the trade negotiations with the United States should not be postponed, but that conversations on US surveillance activities should run in parallel to the negotiations.

The Commission will follow this matter with the utmost attention. Some of Spain's autonomous communities regional governments have put forward proposals concerning economic development plans for the construction sector, with the aim of promoting the improvement of energy efficiency in housing.

These proposals comply with the energy efficiency directive, but the development of the plans depends on the availability of the funds in question from the EIB.

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In regions such as Andalusia, the political will to implement plans to comply with this directive exists, but the cooperation of central government is needed. Does the Commission have any information as to whether the Spanish Government has requested access to the EIB funds made available for projects relating to the implementation of this directive?

May a regional government, such as an autonomous community in Spain, request access to this EIB funding directly, without passing through the central government? Requests have originated in the Spanish Government, regional governments, municipalities, and in public and private institutions. The pipeline of loans under study shows an increasing effort in this field. Furthermore, the EIB has additionally promoted the following special energy efficiency initiatives in Spain:.

ELENA — European Local Energy Assistance — a European Commission technical assistance facility for accelerating the preparation and implementation of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects developed by municipalities, regions and other local authorities. In Spain this facility has already been used in the cities of Madrid and Barcelona, and in the region of Murcia for projects related to improving EE in public transport, lighting and buildings. Regional governments can request the EIB for loans directly. The projects must be in line with general EIB lending objectives and eligibility criteria for energy efficiency.

In dem am They had to cope with difficult working conditions and often violent treatment, and without being paid. The testimony includes accounts of beatings, torture and murder which took place at sea and while the vessels were moored near the coast and information pointing to the complicity of Thai officials. The fish in question are processed to make meal which is then used as feed for Thai prawns, and those prawns are in turn exported to Europe.

The EU shares the concerns raised by the Honourable Member. The EU will continue to monitor the implementation by Thailand of labour standards under the International Labour Organisation ILO Conventions and will seek in the ongoing Free Trade Agreement FTA negotiations with Thailand to include a reference to the implementation of core labour standards, including the elimination of child labour and forced labour. If so, what risks? Are there any European governments or services that are involved, cooperate or are connected in any way with this programme?

Does the Commission intend to claw back any funds in view of the failure of the implementation of the project? Please also see the inaccurate and out-dated website: Are you aware that a site exists at www. Does the Commission believe that this is an incentive to ask questions which leads to an abuse of the system? Does it consider that excessive numbers of questions asked to the Commission by MEPs leads to high administration costs and that these questions should be limited with this cost factor in mind? The Commission considers that this should not be an incentive to ask more questions.

It is not for the Commission to judge whether the number of parliamentary questions is. La convention de sur l'interdiction de l'usage des armes chimiques et sur leur destruction confirme ce principe de droit international. La Syrie est donc clairement en violation du droit international. Evidence from a range of sources now confirms that such gases have been used several times. The use of such gases is strictly prohibited by international law, and the Geneva Protocol of declared the use of these destructive and inhumane weapons unacceptable.

The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction reiterates this principle of international law. Syria is, therefore, in clear violation of international law. At this time, without a sucessful deployment of a UN investigation mission, it is difficult to confirm the use of chemical weapons. The EU recalls that any use of chemical weapons by anyone under any circumstances would be reprehensible and completely contrary to the legal norms and standards of the international community.

The Syrian authorities bear a particular responsibility to ensure that their chemical weapons are stored securely pending independently verified destruction and are not permitted to fall into the hands of any other State or non-state actor. Salafism is a fundamentalist movement which advocates returning to an original form of Islam through a strict and literal interpretation of the Quran and the Sunnah. Although not all Salafists are prepared to engage in violent acts, the movement has a troubled relationship with European governments: The Salafist movement is growing very rapidly, and this is worrying as it could pose a threat to the very idea of democracy.

Regrettably, the status of Salafist groups in Europe was not addressed, even though closer cooperation among the Member States on this issue is now badly needed. Without generalising, it must be acknowledged that Salafism is often a stage on the path towards a more violent form of Islamism. By way of illustration, all the young people who recently travelled from Germany to join the jihads in Syria or Egypt had ties of one kind or another with the Salafist movement.

Does the Commission intend to take steps to facilitate closer coordination between Member States with a view to tackling all possible threats? EU citizens travelling to Syria and other conflict zones are a serious concern for European internal security. This report indicates that increasing numbers of radicalised EU citizens travelled to regions of conflict to engage in terrorist activities, and refers to the threat posed by these people should they return to the European Union with the intent to commit acts of terrorism.

The processing of PNR data, as envisaged in the Commission EU PNR proposal, provides an effective instrument to detect and prevent terrorist-related activities by analysing air travel routes. The Commission continues to addresses all forms of radicalisation and violent extremism as one of the priorities for internal security. Since the fall of the Mubarak regime, sectarian violence against Copts has made a sudden reappearance in Egypt.

The EU is aware and concerned about the constraints that different religious minorities face in Egypt and condemns all forms of intolerance, discrimination and violence against persons because of their religion or belief, wherever it takes place and regardless of the religion. The EU delegation is closely following cases of sectarian violence and emphasises the importance of avoiding discrimination on religious grounds in its contacts with Egyptian authorities.

In order to support the improvement of freedom of religion or belief in Egypt, the EEAS is keen to engage with all the relevant stakeholders in the country as well as with the regional and international organisations sharing EU's values and objectives in this respect. The EU considers that cooperation and political dialogue are the most appropriate channels to encourage and put pressure on Cairo's government so that it will undertake concrete actions in order to protect Copts and other religious minorities. However, subsequent declarations by the European Commission render the agreement obtained meaningless and make a mockery of the defence of the culture exclusion.

This will simply cause confusion, concern and defiance on the part of cultural players in Europe. The debate on the culture exclusion has revolved primarily around European cinema, especially national and European support and development policies for that sector. However, audiovisual goods also include music which, through the tried and tested system of radio quotas, is a sector which has managed to maintain strong national production. Quotas have allowed French song to be preserved and have generated a positive economic effect for the music industry.

France is the only country in the Union today whose local repertoire accounts for an important proportion of registered music sales. The Commission can inform the Honourable Member that there is no discussion on the European dimension of cultural diversity: The Commission and the Member States have discussed about ways to include the right balance in the negotiating directives of the TTIP between, on the one hand, the sensitivity of the audiovisual sector and on the other, the aim of extensive and ambitious negotiations.

Audiovisual services are excluded from the chapter on trade in services and establishment. Although the Commission is willing to listen to the ideas of its partners on this issue, it is of course not in a position to negotiate liberalisation commitments in this sensitive area. Quest'anno cade il cinquantenario del disastro del Vajont. Molte cose sono state fatte in ambito europeo in questa direzione, ma non abbastanza.

Le scienze della terra assumono quindi un ruolo centrale tanto nello sviluppo economico quanto in quello sociale. Reputa la Commissione che sia necessario lo stanziamento di fondi per la ricerca e lo studio di aree a rischio geologico sul territorio dell'Unione al fine di prevenire disastri evitabili? Reputa la Commissione che sia necessario promuovere uno standard europeo di sicurezza e di certificazione geologica per l'installazione e gestione dei siti industriali sul territorio dell'Unione? Reputa la Commissione che sia auspicabile un'implementazione delle funzioni della Federazione europea dei Geologi, anche semplificando l'iter di accesso al titolo di eurogeologo?

Per proteggere l'ambiente sono essenziali norme di sicurezza in materia di realizzazione e gestione dei siti industriali. Occorrerebbe effettuare ricerche supplementari prima di adottare qualsiasi ulteriore misura. It has been shown that the Vajont disaster could have been avoided, particularly had geological studies been used properly. Since then, the importance of applying geology to civil engineering has been recognised. Barely a year ago, at the general meeting of the European Geological Service, it was reiterated how geology can offer Europe a great deal but also how geology needs direct commitment from Europe.

It is not possible to develop the land without understanding the land. Earth sciences thus play a pivotal role in both economic and social development. Safety rules on setting up and running industrial sites are essential to ensure a secure environment. The Commission has recognised this necessity, which is reflected in the support of projects in the area of crisis management through the current Framework Programme for Research, Development and Demonstration Activities FP7.

However, to date, no specific research has been carried out on the feasibility of developing European geological certification standards related to industrial sites. Additional research would be needed before any further steps are taken. This directive introduces a new system of automatic recognition based on a common set of knowledge, skills and competences. Valutazione d'impatto dell'ingresso della Croazia nell'Unione europea. Osservati nel loro complesso, i negoziati di adesione si sono protratti per circa 8 anni, dall'ottobre del ad oggi. La Croazia vive una particolare situazione economica, avendo subito anch'essa il contraccolpo della crisi finanziaria iniziata nel ed avendo perso nel successivo biennio, come sottolinea uno studio del Ministero degli Affari esteri italiano, circa sette punti percentuali di prodotto interno lordo.

La Croazia non dovrebbe fare eccezione. In dit kader stel ik de Commissie graag de volgende vragen:. Deelt de Commissie mijn mening dat de Europese Unie het zich niet kan permitteren een land dat zijn zaken zo slecht voor elkaar heeft toe te laten treden? Deelt de Commissie mijn mening dat als een land al in aanmerking zou moeten komen voor toetreding tot de Europese Unie, dergelijke alarmerende problemen eerst opgelost moeten zijn, voordat er sprake kan zijn van toetreding.

De belangrijkste taak is nu om het concurrentievermogen van de economie te vergroten en snel werkgelegenheidsbevorderende groei op gang te brengen, terwijl ook de begroting wordt geconsolideerd. Met betrekking tot de tenuitvoerlegging van de zeer dringende structurele hervormingen van de economie zijn de eerste belangrijke stappen gezet om het concurrentievermogen en de groeiperspectieven te verbeteren.

In het verleden zijn dankzij uitbreidingen concrete resultaten geboekt wat betreft groei en werkgelegenheid in de hele EU, alsmede meer investeringen. Het wettelijke en institutionele kader om corruptie te bestrijden is opgezet en begint vruchten af te werpen. Despite the lack of public support, despite the existential crisis facing the European Union and despite the general malaise in Europe, it has apparently been considered wise to allow Croatia to join the European Union.

This gives rise to the following questions to the Commission:. According to a Reuters article 1 , Croatia has no sooner joined than there are budget deficits, conditions for business are poor, and neither the judicial system nor the machinery of government is functioning properly. Does the Commission agree that the European Union cannot afford to let a country which is performing so badly join the EU? If not, why not? Does the Commission agree that the accession of Croatia will once more impose a heavy and improper burden on the Member States, which are already struggling to solve the problems of other weak countries?

Does the Commission agree that even if it is accepted that a country should be eligible for accession to the European Union, such alarming problems must first be solved before accession is possible. Does the Commission share the concern that as soon as Croatia has acceded to the European Union, the readiness to reform the country will decline to a low level and it will again become clear that the lessons of the past have not been learned, for example those prompted by the accession of Bulgaria?

Croatia is going through a difficult economic situation, given that it too has suffered the backlash of the financial crisis that began in and, over the following two years as pointed out in a study conducted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs , lost around seven percentage points of its gross domestic product. The Social Investment Package underlines the need for Member States to invest in services that enhance human capital, raise people's capacity to participate in society and the economy and strengthen people's capability to cope with risks.

Redes sociales y perfiles de fallecidos. Los familiares de las personas fallecidas pueden intentar borrar el rastro de su pariente en las redes sociales, pero es un proceso largo y complicado que muchas veces no llega a buen fin. Respuesta conjunta de la Sra. Borgerne har i stigende grad taget digitaliseringen til sig. Borgerne gemmer i stigende grad fotos, personlige papirer og dokumenter digitalt. One of these problems is the removal of the profiles of deceased persons from the networks.

Currently, all textual and audiovisual material that deceased persons have uploaded to the network remains available to everyone, which may be unpleasant and painful for their families. People have increasingly embraced digitisation. This is a positive thing, but it also presents challenges. People increasingly store photographs, personal papers and documents in digital format. This is a sound and secure form of storage, but it is almost too secure. We are currently in the process of building up an enormous digital heritage, which we cannot safeguard for family members because we have no legislation in this area.

Is this something that the Commission is aware of, and are there any legislative initiatives on the horizon to safeguard our digital heritage? Does it think this something that the forthcoming Data Protection Regulation will address? The farm is not a typical work place and, as such, standard health and safety regulations are not always suitable or relevant. Factoring in the long hours in all weathers, the wide variety of hazards facing farmers — mechanical, electrical, chemical, biological, as well as respiratory disease and zoonosis, coupled with the isolated nature of the work — it is apparent that health and safety concerns in agriculture are not the same as in other sectors.

The risk factors are higher and more frequent, and when it is considered that farms are often not just a place of work but also a family homestead the risks are multiplied. It is disappointing that efforts to undertake an own-initiative report in the Parliament on improving farm safety have been halted, despite the joint commitment of the Agriculture and Employment committees. Does the Commission consider it beneficial to create a list of indicators to determine how farm safety can be improved and to facilitate a review of risk assessment measures regarding best farm practices?

In practical terms, could the Commission ensure that agricultural machinery operators increase safety features on all farm machinery, and particularly the PTO shaft? It should be noted that the Commission has launched a comprehensive review of the 24 EU health and safety Directives. The Commission will inform the other EU institutions and bodies of the results available by the end of and of any suggestions on how to improve the operation of the regulatory framework.

Investment under Rural development would allow farmer to have access to modern and safe mechanical equipment. Training activities to reduce work related accidents as well as advice to individual farmers covering occupational safety standards could also be funded. The uptake of these funding opportunities is only possible when Member States or regions include these measures in their Rural Development Programmes.

Those implementing measures include the safety requirements for the risks related to tractors T and C category vehicles at their workplace; in particular the ones corresponding to PTO shaft are covered through standards. C'est le cas pour le PTCI: Records are being kept of the TFTA agreement negotiations, which have been embarked on by the Commission in the utmost secrecy.

Those records are equally secret. Indeed, only MEPs on the Committee on International Trade may see those records — at meetings held in camera with no agenda, in English only, and with no interpretation into the EU's official languages or even into the Commission's other working languages French and German. Is the Commission waiting for the agreement to be signed before informing the public's representatives what is in it? Why are the secret records being drawn up only in the language of the United States?

Is English soon to become the EU's sole language? The way in which the negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership TTIP are conducted does not differ from any other trade negotiations. International negotiations, especially where they concern important economic interests, imply a certain degree of confidentiality.

But confidentiality does not mean secrecy and does not prevent the Commission from informing the public of the main elements in the negotiations. In an unprecedented step, the Commission has published the EU's initial position papers. Throughout the negotiations, the Commission communicates with industry, consumer groups, trade unions, NGOs and civil society at large, including via its civil society dialogues.

As such, the Commission organised a meeting after the first round of negotiations to inform civil society and enable them to interact with the negotiators. The TTIP negotiations are part of a democratic process: If so, what amount of support was provided in and ? We have obtained an analysis from an ecological services expert which shows that the swift designation of that valuable wildlife area, which in this case was carried out within six months, only took account of a single, incomplete growing season. The Commission is aware of the fact that the designation process, carried out over a relatively short time, resulted in some cases in designation of the sites for which the boundaries do not necessarily precisely correspond to location of the habitat types or habitats of the species of Community interest.

If the local authorities consider that the boundaries should be corrected they may contact the Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection in Kielce. It has to be noted, however, that any such correction must be based solely on scientific considerations. Er schied aus dem Amt aus, nachdem er in dieser Position nicht wiederernannt wurde. Nach seinem Weggang von Europol arbeitete er als deutscher Regierungsbeamter weiter.

Jeder Europol-Beamte ist in Bezug auf bedeutende Informationen, die der Geheimhaltung unterliegen, zu Verschwiegenheit und Geheimhaltung verpflichtet. According to the ORF report, these advisory reports also discussed matters of relevance to European Union security policy. Is this advisory work by the former Europol director compatible with his previous office? In the event of allegations of this nature, which agency is responsible for investigating whether there has been a violation in this case?

The Director was appointed by the Council in for a four-year period as Director of Europol. He left office after not being reappointed in this position. Following his departure from Europol, he continued to work as a German Government official. He retired in Any of his advisory activities undertaken after his retirement, in particular his duties and obligations as a retired police officer, are primarily governed by German administrative law and would have to be assessed notably against this background.

Every Europol official has a duty of discretion and confidentiality relating to information significant enough to require confidentiality, even after termination of office, unless this information has been made public or accessible to the public. It is important to note as the official in question was a German civil servant, it is German law on activities carried out during retirement that would apply in the case of any breach of those duties and obligations.

Furthermore, the Commission is not responsible for issues of conflict of interest arising in agencies, although it does share responsibility for applying the aforementioned rules in its capacity as a member of the Europol Management Board. Misure sanitarie adottate da regioni italiane in contrasto con la direttiva sull'assistenza sanitaria transfrontaliera.

La Regione Campania, mediante decreto n. Non ritiene la Commissione doveroso impedire che la crisi economica possa determinare scelte protezionistiche di tale tipo da parte di amministrazioni pubbliche? To find a way out of the health budget deficit in which they find themselves, other Italian regional authorities, including that of Molise, are considering, from the solutions put forward by the governmental technical panel, introducing protectionist measures in their questionable financial recovery plans for healthcare, in order to impose a quota on the flow of patients across regional borders.

Does the Commission not believe that it must prevent the economic crisis from giving rise to protectionist choices of this kind by governments? L'UE sostiene le iniziative avviate da tali paesi per contrastare la radicalizzazione e prevenire gli atti di terrorismo. Il Consiglio Affari esteri del giugno ha ribadito l'impegno dell'UE a collaborare con il Pakistan per combattere il terrorismo, anche assicurando i colpevoli alla giustizia.

Essa mantiene stretti rapporti con i partner internazionali per potenziare il sostegno e le azioni di follow-up contro la radicalizzazione e il finanziamento del terrorismo, sia in Kenya che nella regione. Il suo obiettivo principale consiste nel sensibilizzare al problema della radicalizzazione, intensificare la ricerca e promuovere il dialogo a tutti i livelli. Can the European institutions firmly condemn these attacks which once again victimised Christians and members of other religious minorities? They must put in place effective measures to prevent or sanction violations of FoRB and ensure accountability.

The EU support these countries' efforts to tackle radicalisation and to prevent acts of terrorism. The EU is liaising with international partners to increase support and follow-up action to combat radicalisation and financing of terrorism, both in Kenya and in the region. Its key focus is to promote awareness on radicalisation, increase research and promote dialogue at all levels. The EU also cooperates with the UN, and notably the Alliance of Civilisations, that addresses inter-religious dialogue.

Inoltre, sono emerse serie preoccupazioni in merito al possibile utilizzo indebito da parte degli Stati Uniti d'America dei dati di carattere finanziario trasferiti dal sistema Swift in seguito all'accordo UE-USA. Tutte le vicende ricordate, compreso l'allarme relativo all'utilizzo del sistema Swift, hanno come copertura legale la lotta al terrorismo internazionale. According to international press reports, the competent authorities in Brussels have launched an investigation to determine the nature of a number of illegal intrusions into the system of Belgacom, the largest telephone and Internet telecommunications operator in the capital of Europe.

Exposing Digital Photography by Dan Armendariz

If the reconstruction were to be confirmed by the investigators, we would be facing yet another case of EU sovereignty being violated, not to mention the fundamental freedoms of its citizens and businesses. After the Echelon case and the latest scandal over the PRISM system, the Belgacom affair is set to prove that the confidentiality of online and telephone communications in Europe is seriously at risk.

All the events referred to, including the alert over the use of the Swift system, are covered by international anti-terrorist legislation. What steps will it take to ensure greater protection of the confidentiality of telecommunications in Europe? Does it think it should propose setting up a special investigation committee to get to the bottom of the PRISM case and similar incidents?

The Commission is therefore not going to propose suspending this Agreement. On the issue of protection of personal data, including when transferred through telecommunications, the Commission welcomes the vote in the LIBE Committee on the data protection reform package.

The Commission considers that the vote is an important signal of progress in the legislative procedure and is committed to ensuring a swift adoption of the data protection reform before the end of this parliamentary term. The proposal is undergoing first reading before Parliament and Council. How is Antonio Tajani going to put these words in practice? What concrete steps will he take to help European industry? Is Antonio Tajani ready to fight against the efforts to set new climate change goals for ? Is his approach shared by the majority of Commission members or does it represent an isolated activity without the broader support of that Institution?

Indeed, there is no intrinsic contradiction between competitiveness, decarbonisation and resource efficiency. Adequate climate and energy policies can help to incentivise investment and can create jobs and growth in low-carbon and energy technologies.

The EU has consistently and firmly stated its position that settlements are illegal under international law, constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible. This policy, unanimously agreed by Member States, is best served by a constant engagement at all levels with Israeli authorities, enabling to systematically convey EU concerns on the settlement issue and on the respect for human rights both within Israel and in the occupied territories. The EU has clearly indicated to Israel that an upgrade in bilateral relations will be based on shared values and seen in the context of the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict through the implementation of the two-State solution.

Abilitazione dei docenti di scuola media inferiore e superiore. Tuttavia, i decreti ministeriali attuativi prevedono una discriminazione fra coloro che hanno frequentato la Scuola di specializzazione per l'insegnamento secondario SSIS e coloro che hanno conseguito l'abilitazione in altri Stati europei.

Ritiene la Commissione che la mancata previsione di uno sbocco professionale per gli abilitati TFA, discriminati rispetto agli abilitati SSIS e agli abilitati in altri Stati membri dell'UE, sia conforme a quanto richiesto in chiusura della citata procedura di infrazione? Il fatto di prevedere uno sbocco professionale in Italia per gli insegnanti che hanno seguito un tirocinio formativo attivo TFA non rientra nelle competenze della Commissione. However, the implementing ministerial decrees discriminate between those who attended a teacher-training college for secondary education Scuola di specializzazione per l'insegnamento secondario SSIS and those who gained their qualification in other European countries.

Does the Commission believe that failure to provide a career route for TFA-qualified teachers, which is discriminatory with respect to teachers who qualified at SSISs and in other EU Member States, is in accordance with what was called for at the conclusion of the infringement procedure? The issue of providing a career route in Italy for teachers who have undergone a tirocinio formativo attivo TFA or active teaching traineeship does not fall within the competence of the Commission.

The rise of extreme chauvinistic movements in Europe is not a new problem. However, the overall jump in their ratings has been triggered by the recession and the harsh measures imposed under the memoranda. He appears to have been murdered by a member of the far-right organisation Golden Dawn. The Council has not discussed the specific issues raised by the Honourable Member. An agreement on the adjustment programme for Greece was reached in in order to address the challenges revealed by the crisis and considering the persistent macroeconomic imbalances and deteriorating competitiveness of the Greek economy.

The ownership of the programme is Greek and its implementation is the responsibility of the Greek authorities. It should be noted that employment and social policies fall very largely under the national competence of the Member States. All the institutions involved have recognised that the programme demands great sacrifices from the Greek people and, given the serious situation facing their country, these sacrifices are indispensable for economic recovery and will contribute to the future stability and welfare of the country. The Spanish Government and the Autonomous Government of the Canary Islands have consistently backed the construction of the port and its ancillary infrastructure, arguing that, despite its major environmental impact, the project had special interest status.

The judgment issued by the Supreme Court confirms that the building work being carried out on the port of Granadilla, as approved by the Canary Island authorities, is completely unlawful. From now on, all measures taken under the Specific Local Development Plan must be regarded as null and void and work on the expansion of the port and its ancillary infrastructure will have to be halted.

The initial construction work has already had a serious environmental impact which may be irreversible, however. No public authority has taken responsibility for this damage. Is the Commission familiar with the judgment handed down by the Spanish Supreme Court? Does the Commission not believe that, in the light of that judgment, the Spanish Government must halt work on the port of Granadilla immediately? Does the Commission plan to put pressure on the Spanish authorities to halt the construction work?

In line with the shared management principle, it is the responsibility of the Member State to ensure the respect of EU and national law and to declare only legal and regular expenditure incurred and paid with respect to projects. The Commission considers that it is not for the Commission to interpret the judgment of the Supreme Court and draw conclusions. It is up to the national authorities to assess whether the works on the port of Granadilla should stop and inform the Commission accordingly. In the meantime, the Commission confirms that to date no EU funds have been disbursed to the major project Port of Granadilla.

Gebrek aan handhaving EU-regels betreffende welzijn van varkens. Uit eerder onderzoek van CiWF blijkt dat ook in 74 boerderijen in Duitsland, Denemarken, Hongarije, Spanje, het Verenigd Koninkrijk en Nederland regels uit dezelfde richtlijn worden overtreden. Varkens hebben hierdoor zwaar te lijden onder ruimtegebrek, vieze stallen, gebrek aan stalverrijking en de daaruit voortvloeiende ziektes en verwondingen.

Geven de bijgevoegde onderzoeken de Commissie aanleiding om verdere acties te ondernemen en daarmee te bewerkstelligen dat bestaande regelgeving wordt nageleefd? Wanneer gevallen van niet-naleving worden geconstateerd, zijn de lidstaten zelf in de eerste plaats verantwoordelijk voor de handhaving van het recht van de Unie binnen hun rechtsgebied.

Hoewel de Commissie de handhaving van de bestaande wetgeving inzake dierenwelzijn van groot belang acht, kan zij alleen optreden wanneer duidelijk is dat een lidstaat stelselmatig nalaat die wetgeving te handhaven. Eerder dit jaar zijn inbreukprocedures in verband met de groepshuisvesting van zeugen ingeleid. Wat de verstrekking van los materiaal en het vermijden van het couperen van staarten betreft, is voor een andere aanpak gekozen.

De Commissie weet dat de situatie in sommige lidstaten onbevredigend is, maar de lidstaten moet actief bijstand worden geboden bij de toepassing van deze voorschriften door middel van capaciteitsopbouw. Om die reden heeft de Commissie toegezegd om in nauwe samenwerking met de lidstaten richtsnoeren inzake afleidingsmateriaal voor varkens en staartbijten te ontwikkelen.

De Commissie zal dit beleid voortzetten en alleen in laatste instantie inbreukprocedures tegen de lidstaten inleiden. A previous CiWF investigation highlighted that rules stipulated by the same directive have also been breached by 74 farms in Germany, Denmark, Hungary, Spain, the UK and the Netherlands. This causes pigs to suffer from a lack of space, filthy stalls, a lack of stall enrichment and the illnesses and injuries resulting from this.

If not, why not? If so, what practical steps are Member States which have had proceedings initiated against them currently taking to guarantee the welfare of pigs as soon as possible? Do the enclosed investigations provide the Commission with the opportunity to take further action to ensure compliance with existing regulations? If so, what new action will the Commission now take?

Member States' have the primary responsibility to enforce Union law within their jurisdiction when instances of non-compliance are discovered. Although enforcement of existing animal welfare legislation is important for the Commission, the latter can only intervene when it is clear that a Member State systematically fails to enforce such legislation.

Infringement proceedings were launched earlier this year as regards group housing of sows. A different approach has been chosen regarding the provision of manipulable material and avoidance of tail-docking. While the Commission is aware that in some Member States the situation is unsatisfactory, it is necessary to actively assist Member States in the application of these requirements through capacity building.

It is for this reason that the Commission has undertaken to develop guidelines on enrichment material for pigs and tail-biting in close collaboration with the Member States. The Commission will continue to proceed along these lines and will only use infringement proceedings as a last resort against Member States. Independencia y objetividad de la autoridad competente. This legal change will allow a third party to acquire the aforementioned gas for the ACS company. Until now, only the Escal company could buy the gas. The Castor project, which was completed some time ago but was not implemented until recently, has been carried out in the context of overcapacity in the gas system due to the crisis and a bubble in the number of facilities.

On the basis of the information provided by the Honourable Member, the question raised does not seem to relate to European law and should be answered by the national competent bodies in the light of the relevant Spanish administrative law. The European Union is not a party to this agreement. The aim of these amendments is twofold: Does the Commission agree that the UPC Agreement affects or alters the scope of existing common rules, and specifically the Brussels I Regulation recast?

In addition, the entry into force of the UPC agreement has been made dependant on the amendment of the Brussels I Regulation. In areas of exclusive competence, Member States may adopt legally binding acts if authorised by the Union. Quelle est la position de la Commission? A study conducted in France is raising hopes for a one-day breast cancer treatment. There are many advantages to one-day breast cancer treatment. Its simplicity makes it possible to make the disease less alarming, to obtain better compliance and to increase treatment options, explains the radiation oncologist responsible from the Montpellier Cancer Institute ICM.

This technique is based on the latest medical advances. The technique involves delivering highly targeted radiation during surgery, after ablation of the tumour, making it possible to spare the surrounding healthy tissue. Specifically, it is intended for cancers sensitive to hormone therapy in menopausal women, provided there is a good early prognosis, as the risk of local recurrence is higher in young women.

Until now, the most appreciable advances have been made in surgery, in order to limit ablation mastectomy in favour of conservative surgery. Other European countries, such as the UK and Italy, have already used this technique to treat thousands of patients. Can it substantiate the analyses and conclusions of this study? The Commission is aware of the clinical study conducted by the Montpellier Cancer Institute ICM on a one-day breast cancer treatment referred to by the Honourable Member. The treatment consists of combining the excision of the tumour, intraoperative breast irradiation and cosmetic surgery into one operation.

The authors of this publication conclude that this is a feasible therapeutic approach for early breast cancer in selected patients with an excellent prognosis and a very low recurrence risk. As a matter of policy, the Commission does not judge individual research publications that do not directly relate to its funding activities. Some Europeans, acting on the advice of their osteopaths, have recently exchanged their iPhones for a different type of device producing less electromagnetic radiation.

Does it recognise hypersensitivity syndrome? The symptoms seem to be almost always the same: Identifying whether exposure can cause short-term symptoms such as headaches, fatigue and dizziness has attracted a substantial amount of research. The independent Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks has a standing mandate to evaluate the risks arising from exposure to electromagnetic fields based on new scientific evidence.

While some studies reported an association between individual symptoms and Radio Frequency exposure, there was no consistency in these findings. An update of the Committees opinion is ongoing and it is expected to be finalised by end This opinion will review all scientific studies published after , including those on the association between Radio Frequency and symptoms. The Commission has no role in the recognition of specific diseases or syndromes. The Commission welcomes enhanced access of consumers in Europe to renewable energy technologies, which helps them becoming active participants in the energy markets.

Innovative retail strategies may contribute thereto. The Commission has carried out an anti-dumping investigation into imports of solar panels from China and recently concluded that they were dumped and have caused injury to the European producers. For that reason, the Commission has sought and reached an amicable solution in the form of a price undertaking with the Chinese exporters that enables them to continue exporting solar panels but at non-dumped prices. La crise italienne peut-elle, selon vous, faire replonger la zone euro dans la crise? Does the Commission share the view that the euro should be devalued so that the European economy can get back on its feet?

Could a bond buyback scheme like that employed in the United States be a solution, even if it is an unconventional measure? The Commission does not wish to comment on the actions of individual policymakers in Member States within a domestic policy context. Recent episodes of political uncertainty in some Member States have not led to significant cross-country spillovers on financial markets, testifying to the increased resilience of the euro area as a whole. This reflects several factors, including progress with reform efforts by Member States, action by the ECB to remove redenomination risks and the ongoing strengthening of the EMU governance framework.

The euro exchange rate floats freely in foreign exchange markets and, over time, it should reflect the economic fundamentals of the euro area as a whole. The Commission does not issue opinions on the valuation of the euro and does not take actions to intervene in currency markets nor does it intervene in the monetary policy decisions of the independent ECB. Monetary policy decisions in the euro area, including potential bond-purchase schemes by the central bank, are the exclusive competence of the ECB. The Commission is not in a position to comment on the ECB's management of its bond portfolios, in respect of the ECB's independence as enshrined in the Treaty.

Each day of the shutdown would appear to incur a major financial loss for the country and therefore has consequences for its partners. Up to now, analysts have been forecasting a GDP increase of 2. The US shutdown is a cause for concern for Europe. Should this situation persist, could it not slow down the recovery that is under way? Europe is a major trading partner of the United States and could be more directly affected by the shutdown. What figure would the Commission put on the potential daily losses? Therefore it may lower Q4 GDP growth from 0. As such it will not have a big impact on GDP growth in The only impact on trade would occur through a weaker US demand for imports including EU goods.

Or un belge sur deux effectue ses achats sur internet. In principle, a website based abroad that sells products, for example, in Belgium, has to apply the Belgian VAT rate, but there are no checks. However, one in every two Belgians buys online. How does the Commission plan to respond to thwart companies that take advantage of the Internet to flout tax laws? The organisation and the management of tax systems is primarily the responsibility of the Member States; this means that the assessment, collection, auditing and the recovery of VAT fall under the responsibility of Member States.

In particular, the control of sales over the Internet distance selling is the responsibility of national tax administrations, including situations where the seller operates across borders. There exists no information at the European level that Member States neglect the risk of VAT fraud linked to the sales over the Internet, neither as regards pure domestic nor as regards cross-border sales. In order to assist the Member States in their efforts to fight fraud more efficiently, the Commission provides the legal framework allowing Member States to smoothly cooperate in this field and it offers them the tools for combating cross border fraud cases.

For example the E-audit project group set up under the Fiscalis programme enables Member States to share best practice on auditing e-commerce and on Internet monitoring and search tools. What does the Commission plan to do so that these funds are injected more effectively into the DRC for the good of the Congolese people? The EU's development projects in DRC are designed to improve the situation of the Congolese people mainly those most vulnerable and in need.

The best way to ensure that our funds benefit the population is to closely follow and monitor the implementation of the projects to ensure the achievement, even at a slow pace, of the expected results. Moreover, the increase in the number of ruptured PIP implants started as early as and Afssaps should have reacted in , or at the latest, whereas the French health authorities announced their recommendation that all women should have their implants removed as a precaution in late Does it plan officially to call on the French authorities or the former authorities to explain themselves? These proposals will considerably reinforce the rules governing medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices in the European Union.

As soon as the French authorities communicated the measures taken to address the PIP breast implants scandal, the Commission organised meetings with national authorities in order to facilitate the exchange of information between France, the other Member States and our main international partners. Ces concessions signifient-elles la fin de toutes les poursuites? The Commission has stated that the new concessions proposed by Google could bring an end to its investigation into the search giant.

If not, what is the point of already having made a statement on this issue? Do these concessions spell the end for all prosecutions, with no fine? Not even a symbolic fine for the time the institutions have spent on this case, but especially for the manipulation to which millions of Internet users have fallen prey? The revised proposal covers all entry points for searches on Google such as voice searches and searches entered in toolbars. Rival links are displayed in a larger space, with a visible frame.

They will be accompanied with an icon, and dynamic text. Rival links may also be shaded to be better highlighted, with a different colour than the one used for ads. Google has changed the granularity of the auction for the selection of rival links. In Google's revised proposal, the granularity will be the same as the one of Google's AdWords auctions.

Google proposes to improve the granularity of the opt out option for third party content to a subdomain by subdomain level, as well as to tighten the non-retaliation clause to ensure that the use of the opt out has no impact on AdWords ranking in addition to natural search ranking. Google proposes to implement a general principle not to prevent porting or managing of user campaign data across Google AdWords and non-Google advertising service.

It is too early to prejudge the decision that wil be taken in this case. The Commission is seeking feedback from the market on Google's revised proposal. The next steps to be taken will be decided based on the basis of the assessment of that feedback. The euro area crisis has led Europeans to consider and work on strengthening and deepening economic and monetary union. Until now, work has focused on budgetary, financial and economic aspects, with the social dimension put on the back burner. At stake are macroeconomic policies that continue to prioritise austerity, social spending cuts, wage cuts and privatisations.

Budgetary consolidation lies at the heart of all policies, even though its effects are totally incompatible with the fight to reduce poverty. Moreover, tax systems are such that the burden is shared very unevenly: The idea should be championed that social spending is an investment, not a burden. The Commission also stands accused of paying too little attention to the social impact of the recommendations it makes to each Member State. How did this perception come about? Should an EU-level multidimensional strategy not be put in place, to fight poverty? The Platform against Poverty and Exclusion is the flagship designed to help achieve the poverty target and works to develop strong partnerships with civil society for the design and implementation of policy reforms.

The Social Investment Package, adopted by the Commission in February, calls on Member States to improve the adequacy and sustainability of social protection systems, and includes a recommendation on Investing in Children to break intergenerational cycles of disadvantage. The Commission is fully aware of the obligation under the horizontal social clause to carefully anticipate and assess social impacts in the design and implementation of its policies and activities.

The Impact Assessment IA system takes these requirements into account, while social inclusion and social protection is one of the domains defined in the Commission's impact assessment guidelines. The Commission's IA Guidelines clarify for which policy initiatives an impact assessment has to be carried out. The Guidelines are currently under revision and the public will be consulted on the draft revision.

Do the changes recently made by the Commission to the legislation on medical devices go far enough and will they protect diabetic patients? What does the Commission have to say about that? The proposed changes appear to be a step in the right direction, but would they not leave patients in a position where they would not be protected against any harm? They reinforce the approval system in particular for high-risk devices, introduce stricter rules for notified bodies, reinforce the requirements for clinical evidence and strengthen the rules on vigilance and market surveillance.

These improvements to the regulatory framework will allow for safer and better performing devices to reach patients, including devices intended for diabetes, such as glucose meters and insulin pumps. The main reasons were a lack of clear evidence of the added value for patient safety of such agency. It also appeared questionable whether a separate agency would have the critical mass in terms of cost efficiencies. Even though devices intended for diabetics are not considered as high risk devices class III and as such are not envisaged to undergo the new approval procedure, the Commission is confident that the overall improvements of the legislative framework will ensure a high level of patient safety in the Union for all devices.

Les robots ne seront pas totalement autonomes. Human-replacing robots are something that the Commission is starting to introduce with its Petrobot project. It says that granting legal status to robots and intelligent systems is an option and nothing more. The technology is not yet ready to deliver the degree of autonomy to grant personality or legal status to robots.

However the relevant ethical, legal and societal issues linked to future systems, endowed with more intelligence and autonomy, are seriously taken into account by the robotics and artificial cognitive systems community. Granting robots a legal personality is an academic discussion at the moment, and the Commission is funding activities adressing legal issues related to robotics e. Fully autonomous systems are not a reality now. There are clear worldwide trends indicating that we could see such systems in the future. Developing policy options and understanding the legal consequences of fully autonomous systems is thus important preparation for the future.

Several projects dedicate resources to legal and ethical analysis. The people of Puerto Rico need realistic and viable options, and it is our responsibility as Members of Congress to provide them with those options. The new Progressive Party was in full agreement with the defini- tion of statehood that was included in the bill and did not submit any changes. The Independence Party proposed some minor changes to the definition that I am sure will be discussed in more detail here today. But we should not be concerned with these two definitions, be- cause they are clear. In the case of statehood, there are 50 more examples; and everyone knows what independence means and what it entails.

It is the definition of the so-called new Commonwealth that con- cerns us, because, once again, the Popular Party was given the op- portunity to come up with a definition of Commonwealth that is constitutional, realistic, viable and, most of all, a definition that the U. Unfortunately, it is quite evident that the definition of the new Commonwealth submitted by the Popular Party does not meet the aforementioned requirements.

Basic attributes of the proposed defi- nition, such as the permanent nature of the relationship, the mu- tual consent language, the existence of a compact, the constitu- tional guarantee of U. First of all, the so-called Commonwealth status can never be per- manent in nature, precisely because it is a colonial relationship which the U. The president of the Popular Party, Anibal Acevedo Vila, was the first one to admit this fact in the congressional hearings that were held in Washington last March 19th.

It is clear the Congress cannot constitutionally bind itself never to alter the current or any future territorial relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico nor renounce its constitutional power under the territorial clause which states that Congress shall 9 have the power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regu- lations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States, article 4, section 3.

As long as Puerto Rico remains an unincorporated territory, the U. Congress retains the authority to act unilaterally and to deter- mine which Federal laws will apply or not in Puerto Rico. But what strikes me as the most absurd of the statements in the definition is the claim that Puerto Rico be an autonomous body politic, sovereign over matters covered by the Constitution of Puer- to Rico, while at the same time demanding that Congress guar- antee forever the U.

Once again, the Popular Party talks about the rights, privileges and benefits of U. Furthermore, the fact is that the current citizenship status of persons born in Puerto Rico exists at the discretion of Congress. Because the Constitution has been partially extended to Puerto Rico, particularly the fundamental rights of due process and equal protection. Congress obviously cannot exercise its discretion in an arbitrary and irrational way. But the suggestion that the current citizenship can be guaranteed forever and it is irrevocable by fu- ture Congresses is dangerously misleading.

No such statutory sta- tus can bind a future Congress from exercising its constitutional authority and responsibility under the territorial clause. Birth on an unincorporated terri- tory like Puerto Rico does not confer a citizenship status protected by the 14th amendment of the Constitution, as indicated by the fact that the U. Congress in which they have no voting representation.

It is time for the pretense and the partisan mischief to end. It is time for all of us to put hypocrisy aside and be truthful about what the real choices are for Puerto Ricans. It is time to decide if we want to have full self-government and full empowerment that will allow us to search for a brighter future in equality with our fellow citizens, or we would rather live hanging on to an outdated colonial relationship of the past. As we approach a century of U. Chairman and fellow members, I want to once again thank you for your interest and attention to this vitally important issue.

I look forward to the testimony of our distinguished guests and to further congressional action on this subject. Please take your seats.

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Gentlemen, because you are representatives of the three different parties today, I will use a little discretion and allow you more time than the 5 minutes. Rodriguez, you are up first. On behalf of Governor Pedro Rossello and the 3. Today I come before you wearing two hats, representing the New Progressive Party of which the Governor is president, and as the president of the Puerto Rico Senate. We have talked long enough in Puerto Rico about our political status. We have talked for years. It is time now to act and to find out how strong is the creed of equality, democratic values, and pluralism of our Nation once the voice of the people of Puerto Rico is heard in the proposed plebiscite.

I want to make three essential points: First, that the constitutional integrity of the status options of- fered in the plebiscite must not be compromised. These op- tions must reflect what is constitutionally attainable within the powers of Congress under the Territorial Clause. They must hon- estly describe to the people of Puerto Rico what is legally possible, not what is in consistent with the Constitution, impractical eco- nomically or politically, or subject to the vicissitudes of future nego- tiations. The people of Puerto Rico are closely monitoring these events, and they are expecting a clear and precise message from Congress of what may constitutionally be offered in the definitions of the three competing formulas.

For these reasons, the Committee should adopt, in their entirety, the three status option definitions as set forth in the proposed leg- islation. Congress must state with clarity that U. Second, it is important that the process you have developed to provide for full self-government for the island through a self-deposi- tion of the people of Puerto Rico in conjunction with the Federal 11 Government must not be compromised. We hope to continue to work with you to realize our objective, a plebiscite in which full self-government for Puerto Rico is initiated.

We be- lieve it fairly and accurately reflects both the benefits and obliga- tions that Statehood entails. It should be adopted in its entirety as a stated valid option for the status plebiscite scheduled for Puerto Ricans should be well informed of what statehood means under this definition. They should know that statehood is the only formula that guarantees our U.

They should know that statehood is the only formula that guarantees the protection of the U. They should know that statehood is the only formula that guarantees the Presidential vote and the election of two Senators and at least six Members of Congress who will shape the laws that affect our daily lives. They should also know that statehood is the only formula that guarantees Americans citizenship to our children, grandchildren, and all future generations born in Puerto Rico.

They should know that only statehood guarantees the entire application and full fund- ing of Federal programs, which will be provided to the State of Puerto Rico on parity with the rest of the States of the Union. They should know, too, that these benefits — citizenship, equal rights, full funding — carry with them the duty to pay Federal in- come tax, a duty that will ultimately be offset by a corresponding reduction in island taxes as Federal funds compensate for local out- lays.

They should know the commitment of our Nation to democratic values, multiculturalism, and pluralism, all central to the Amer- ican Dream. One thing we already know is that when the Nation has required our presence in the battlefields in the First and Second World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Somalia, and Bosnia, we have been in the front lines, attesting to our commitment to demo- cratic values and ideals.

I invite you to visit the memorial dedicated by the people of Puerto Rico dedicated to the hundreds of citizens, the people who made the ultimate sacrifice of their Nation. This memorial is lo- cated on the south side of our Capitol. The poll revealed that 60 percent of our youth would move to the United States. If the same question were polled today, the numbers would be even higher than those in In a more recent poll, 91 percent of those interviewed stated that U.

Surprisingly, 53 percent of independence supporters polled said they consider U. In sum, the statehood definition clearly and precisely declares to voters that it is the only formula that puts Puerto Rico on an equal footing with all the other States and confers on its residents the same constitutional rights and responsibilities as all other U. Chairman Young, as stated in the letter signed by you and Chairmen Burton, Gallegly, and Gilman on February 9, , in re- sponse to the plebiscite, I quote: There is a need for Congress to define the real options for change and the true legal and political nature of the status quo, so that the people can know what the ac- tual choices will be in the future, end of quote.

That you have accomplished with H. The status options as defined in the bill meet your criteria. They should stand as writ- ten, or otherwise the self-determination process will be com- promised, as it was in The process is important. Rather, this campaign will be waged on the merits of the status options, what is good for Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans, what can be done, and the implications of choosing one path over the other.

Second, the bill encompasses all status options, thereby estab- lishing its credibility and claim to inclusiveness. Every legitimate internationally recognized status option is offered to voters of every persuasion, a democratic process that denies no one their say but one which recognizes that the majority rules. Putting on my Senate hat, let us remember that it was a Puerto Rico legislature that requested Congress to respond to the results of our plebiscite in which none of the options, for the first time since , received a majority vote among our electorate.

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With your continual assistance, Puerto Rico and the residents of this island will enter the next millennium confident in their future 13 as first class American citizens, confident in their future and the American Dream. The conscience of the democratic world will be closely watching this process. The international community will finally judge the firmness of our Nation in respecting the will of the people of Puerto Rico freely expressed in , a democratic process which will be a test for the democratic institutions of our Nation.

Puerto Rico stands as the final frontier of the U. After years of colonialism, under the U. Chairman and members of this Committee. I will allow that to a short degree, but not too much, because we have a long witness list. I appreciate the enthusiasm. Now we have the president of the Popular Democratic Party. Vila, you are up. In my previous experience before you, I expressed the views of our matter regarding the tenets of political formula to which we are audience here.

It is, as you know, a formula that stresses the values and aspirations of the United States, preserving at the same time our distinct national and cultural identities. This is a status that has served the people of Puerto Rico well, that has allowed the sons and daughters of this island to work toward a common ideal of progress and well-being and to avoid the clashes between otherwise unaccommodating visions. Commonwealth can serve both our people and your people even better. This is why we have tried for many years, and continue to try now, to allow our present status to achieve its full potential.

Accordingly, I do not come today to go once again over terrain that has been very well covered in the past. Today, I would like to address issues that are most significant for the process that you have commenced and that still wait to be discussed. May I, in this respect, point out two glaring defects of this bill besides others which we have mentioned in the past. This bill does not recognize the sovereignty of the people of Puerto Rico to freely choose among all the alternatives preferred by the different sectors of the Puerto Rican society.

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Accordingly, it does not comply with the elemental requirements concerning the exercise of the right to self-determination, the need that the process be made subject to the approval of the people con- cerned or, at least, adopted by consensus of the leading political groups that represent the people. The common history shared between Puerto Rico and the Con- gress has had two good examples of this.

When Puerto Rico exer- cised, without exhausting, its self-determination right in , the people validated the process proposed by Congress with its vote. Later, in the plebiscite process, the U. Congress vali- dated that process by getting the support and consensus of the three political parties on the island.

As Chairman Young clearly stated, during that process back in — and I am quoting — a referendum should only be authorized by Congress if it is to be fair to all parties and the statuses that they advocate. That same principle was reaffirmed recently with regard to this process by the President of the United States, the Honorable Wil- liam Jefferson Clinton, in a letter to the president of the Popular Democratic Party on April 4, , where he states: I have made it clear that the Federal Government should offer the people of Puerto Rico serious and fair options that are responsive to their di- verse aspirations for their islands.

If, notwithstanding the fact that the procedure for the establish- ment of Commonwealth required the approval by the people, that process is not satisfactory to some of you, what could be said about this process that until now has been established unilaterally? Why should this bill seek to impose a given procedure, tilting the table to favor a formula that has never commanded a majority in this society? Or is it that half a century after we initiated the self-determina- tion process, statehood followers have finally come to realize that the table needs tilting in order to prevent another defeat for state- hood?

Is it that you are now willing to follow them in such a monu- mental hoax? This is not a question of naked power to do something, as de- bates concerning this bill have pitifully assumed. This is a question of honest statesmanship and solemn respect or the principles of de- mocracy and government by consent. Before this bill goes further, you might as well tell, loud and clear, whether you are willing to honor the procedural principles of self-determination that have governed the proposals for changes in our relations or whether you pretend to impose the rules unilater- ally.

On March 19, I submitted the definition of the new Common- wealth to this Committee. It describes the minimum content of our aspirations. The report on H. The record said — and I am still quoting — these descriptions can- not be fairly termed wish lists. In short, there was no absolutely no legal impediment to the adoption and enforcement of the Commonwealth option there, and there is none now.

The only thing needed is your political will and your commitment to fair play. These are not times to be narrow minded. We must build on our past and look to the future. Europe is currently creating a whole new and dynamic relationship which includes a common market, common citizenship, and most likely common currency, and he United States has to look to the future with an attitude that will encourage, not impede, this type of arrangement.

The development of the new Commonwealth is consistent with these modern tendencies of national reaffirmation and political and economic interdevelopment among the peoples of the world. The majority of Puerto Ricans believe in autonomy and self-government with U. The current status of Puerto Rico needs development, not demolition.

Now, I want to express myself from the heart, and because my heart thinks, feels, and dreams in Spanish, it can only speak in Spanish. Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico es un pueblo orgulloso de su identidad, de su cultura, de su idioma. Algunos pequenos incidentes dramatizan nuestro sentido de identidad propia.

Recuerdo como si fuera hoy, la ilusion y la an- y luego la angustia cuando apenas tenia dieciseis anos, de las Olimpiadas de Montreal por mementos, nuestro equipo de baloncesto parecia que iba a triunfar sobre el de Estados Unidos, para despues terminar derrotado. Y se me aprieta el corazon. Una noche aqui en San Juan, en los juegos Panamericanos de , cuando un Puertorriqueho, nadando en el uniforme de los Estados Unidos, gano una medalla de oro para los Estados Unidos.

Esa atleta saco de su uniforme una pequena bandera Puertorriqueha en sehal clara que para el, aquella medalla tambien era nuestra. Miles de personas, nos pusimos de pie para entonar nuestro himno. La Borinqueha, en un reclame de que aquella medalla era nuestra. En mis treinta y cinco anos, he visto y vivido orgullo y compromise de este pueblo, con mantener su relacion con los Estados Unidos y especialmente, su ciudadania Americana. Esa es la realidad del Puertorriqueno de entrar al nuevo milenio. Esa es la realidad que solo puede armonizar el Estado Libre Asociado.

Esa es la realidad. Que este proyecto pretende no reconocer, pero aun, peer aun.

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Ha quedado demostrado que este proyecto al tratar de destruir el ELA, tendria el efecto de obligar a los Puertorriquenos a escoger entre dos 2 soledades. La soledad de perder su identidad, lenguaje y cultura a cambio de preserver su ciudadania. O la soledad de perder su ciudadania a cambio de preserver su identidad. El Estado Libre Asociado.

No tenian una segunda oportunidad sobre la tierra. A nombre de mi pueblo, que es y sigue siendo mayoritariamente estadolibrista, me reafirmo en nuestro derecho, a entrar al nuevo milenio en harmonia con ustedes. Y con nuestro inquebrantable espiritu y esencia Puertorriqueno. Que el Senor los ilumine. House of Representatives on H. It is, as you know, a formula that stresses the values and aspirations that we share with the United States preserving, at the same time, our distinct national and cultural identities.

This is the status that has served the People of Puerto Rico well; that has allowed the sons and daughters of this Island to work towards a common ideal of progress and well being and to avoid clashes between otherwise unaccommodating visions. Commonwealth can serve both oup People and your People even better. This is why we have tried for many years and continue to try now to allow our present status to achieve its full potential. It is not surprising, then, that our definition of Commonwealth — the way in which we describe the essence of our beliefs — is neither new to our People nor alien to this Committee.

Accordingly, I do not come today to go once again over a terrain that has been very well covered in the past. Today I would like to address issues that are most significant for the process that you have commenced and that still wait to be discussed. In this day and age, there is no right to self-determination if the process for its exercise is not adopted by consensus but by the sheer exercise of the will and power of one of the parties. May I, in this respect, point out two glaring defects of this bill, besides others which I have mentioned in the past.

Accordingly, it does not comply with the elemental reguirements concerning the exercise of the right to self-determination; the need that the process be made subject to the approval of the people concerned or, at least, adopted by consensus of the leading political groups that represents the people. The common history shared between Puerto Rico and the Congress has had two good examples of this.

When Puerto Rico exercised, without exhausting, its self-determination right in , the People validated the process proposed by the Congress with its vote. Congress validated the process by getting the support and consensus of the three political parties on the Island. That same principle was reaffirmed recently with regard to this process by the President of the U. Why not follow now the same consultation that governed the constitutional reforms of the 's? Or is it that half a century after we initiated the self determination process statehood followers have finally come to realize that the table needs tilting in order to prevent another defeat for statehood?

Is it that you are now willing to follow them in such a monumental hoax. This is not a question of naked power to do something, as debates concerning this bill have pitifully assumed. It is a question of honest statesmanship and solemn respect for the principles of democracy and government by consent. Before this bill goes any further, you might as well tell, loud and clear, whether you are willing to honor the procedural principles of self-determination that have governed the proposals for changes in our relations, or whether you pretend to impose the rules unilaterally.

We must assume that the joint letter from Congressmen Young and Miller of March 3, , giving the three political parties the opportunity to present a new definition for each formula, and this second round of hearings before the Committee is a new approach of openness, to have a referendum "fair to all parties and the statuses they advocate" and to revise the provisions, findings and assumptions of this bill which have until now made impossible any meaningful participation for us.

It is substantially similar to the Commonwealth definition included in the Committee Report of H. The definition of the New Commonwealth, as well as the definition of Statehood and Independence included in the report to H. These descriptions cannot be fairly termed wishlists. For a cronology of the process that concluded with the approval of H. In short, there was absolutely no legal impediment to the adoption and enforcement of the Commonwealth option then and there is none now.

The only thing needed is your political will, and your commitment to fair play. What should be under discussion now before Congress is what best serves the interest of all parties to the present process, and how to give meaningful content to Puerto Rico's right to self-determination, without artificially raised or dubious legalisms to obscure the nature of the policy decisions required. For a discussion of some of the policies and legal issues with regard to Puerto Rico, See Appendix D: These are not times to be narrow-minded.

Europe is currently creating a whole new and dynamic relationship which includes a common market, common citizenship and most likely common currency and the United States has to look into the future with an attitude that will encourage not impede this type of arrangements. The development of the New Commonwealth is consistent with these modern tendencies of national reaffirmation and political and economic interdevelopment among the peoples of the world. The current status of Puerto Rico needs development, not demolishment. Thus, I claim and demand from each one of you to allow the People of Puerto Rico the opportunity to support the development of Commonwealth so as to further contribute to our mutual national interests into the new raillenium.

The least you can do in a process like the one established in this bill, that is not legally binding or self-executing, is to allow my people to democratically express their support for Commonwealth. Thank you for sending me copies of the Popular Democratic Party General Council's recent resolutions regarding Puerto Rico's future political status.

As you know, I have placed a high priority on establishing a process that would enable this fundamental issue to be resolved finally. To achieve this, I am fully committed to working with the Commonwealth's elected leaders, the Congress, and all others concerned, and I hope that the necessary procedures will be underway by next year. I have made it clear that the federal government should offer the people of Puerto Rico serious and fair options that are responsive to their diverse aspirations for their islands, so that the option authorized by a majority of votes can be implemented.

I will continue to keep the views of supporters of the Commonwealth arrange- ment in mind as we carry out this process. Under a compact, the Commonwealth would be an autonomous body politic with its own character and culture, not incorporated into the United States, and sovereign over matters covered by the Constitution of Puerto Rico, oonsistent with the Constitution of the United States. B The United States citizenship of persons born in Puerto Rico would be guaranteed and secured as provided by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and equal to that of citizens born in the several states.

The individual rights, privileges and immunities provided for by the Constitution of the United States would apply to residents of Puerto Rico. Residents of Puerto Rico would be entitled to receive benefits under Federal social programs equally with residents of the several States contingent on equitable contributions from Puerto Rico as provided by law.

C To enable Puerto Rico to arrive at full self-government over matters necessary to its economic, social, and cultural development under its constitution, a Special Constitutional Convention would submit proposals for the entry of Puerto Rico into international agreements and the exemption of Puerto Rico from specific Federal laws or provisions thereof.

The President and the Congress, as appropriate, would consider whether such proposals would be consistent with the vital national interests of the United States in the transition plan provided for in Section 4 of this Act. The Commonwealth would assume any expenses related to increased responsibilities resulting from these proposals.

The bill didn't have detailed definitions, but presented three formulas of status: Independence Party presented and explained their status definitions 3. Intense discussions, negotiations and congressional hearings about the contents of the three status formula definitions and procedures takes place. The Statehood and Independence definitions, also, suffered modifications as a result of negotiation activities. What are essentially policy issues have been clouded by dated legalisms and charades.

The history of the relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico is rich in examples of this distracting trait. Right at the outset it was claimed that, different to other countries, the United States had no power under the Constitution to acquire territories for the purpose of governing them as colonies. Although there was good authority for that position.

Congress treated the matter, which was debated for years, as a policy issue and voted for the establishment of an empire. The Doctrine of Separate and Unequal. Respectable authors have for a long time now questioned whether that policy decision was right, as democracy and colonialism do not really mix, and state that the United States should get out of the business of governing others. New York, Doubleday, Doran, Puerto Rican politicians have also fallen prey to this malady.

Since the start of the twentieth century, many alleged that the Treaty of Paris, wherein Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the United States, was null ab initio. The argument used was that, by granting Puerto Rico full autonomy in , Spain had renounced its sovereignty over Puerto Rico and that therefore it was powerless to cede the island to the United States or any other power. For an analysis of the argument, see: The debate was not quieted until the Supreme Court of the United States dismissed the argument in Balzac v.

People of Porto Rico. The contention that Congress is powerless to enter into a binding compact with the people of a territory in order to grant it a full measure of self-government, is another of the most egregious instances of trying to push a policy issue behind a legal screen. The claim has a long history. The Northwest Ordinance of provided, as respects the part relating to the bill of rights, that "It is hereby ordained and declared, by the authority aforesaid, that the following articles shall be considered as articles of compact, between the original States and the people and States in said territory, and forever remain unalterable, unless by common consent It was considered by many at the time that such a commitment lacked validity, Channing, History of the United States , vol.

It is indeed preposterous that now, more than two hundred years later, the issue is still being raised and that Congress is still told by some that it cannot, no matter what the national interest may dictate, enter into a valid compact of permanent union with the people of Puerto Rico on the basis of a common citizenship or any other basis under Commonwealth status.

The holders of such a view pay no heed to Law of 75 Stat. Acevedo Vila's statement before this Committee on March 19, The proponents of the position that Puerto Rico is still a territory of the United States pay no attention either to the holdings of the highest federal courts to the effect that Puerto Rico's status is unique; that its present relationship to the United States has no parallel in history; that the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is an autonomous entity, sovereign over matters not covered by the United States Constitution; and that Puerto Rico has accordingly ceased to be a territory of the United States see the above statement by Mr.

Acevedo VilA, and its appendixes, for the relevant citations. Those who cling to the position that Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States subject to the plenary power of Congress demean both the government of the United States and the people of Puerto Rico. They demean the government of the United 26 3 States by considering it capable of playing such a monumental hoax on world opinion and demean the people of Puerto Rico also by considering them capable of having voted, in the referendum held for the approval or rejection of Law , in favor of anybody having plenary power over them.

Attackers of Commonwealth status point to sundry opinions of the United States Department of Justice to the effect that Congress is powerless under the Constitution to enter into a valid compact with the people of a territory. For the contrary position see the following opinions of the Department of Justice itself: President Ford's Library, Norman E. Ross Files, Ad Hoc Committee, folders There are many other important studies holding that there are no constitutional hurdles to Commonwealth status.

To hold otherwise is actually to state that the United States is less of a nation than others. Other nations have entered into binding compacts with formerly dependent territories and some stipulate that the citizens of such territories shall continue to be citizens of the former administering nation. See, for example, the compact between the Cook Islands and New Zealand. Not to go any further, Puerto Rico itself had such a compact with Spain, while at the same time enjoying full Spanish citizenship.

The Autonomic Charter of clearly stated that it could only be amended at the petition of the Puerto Rican Parliament. It is, of course, clear that the United States is empowered, like other administering nations, to divest itself totally or of such part of its sovereignty over any of its dependent territories or associated entities as the national interest may require. The United States Constitution is not such a strangely constricting document that it allows only three decolonizing formulas, admission to the Union as a State, independence, or free association with the United States, but without a shared citizenship.

It is most difficult to envision any perceptive court accepting the bizarre argument that the United 27 4 States Constitution limits the sharing of American citizenship, besides the members of the Union, to dependent peoples only, thus condemning the nation to remain as one of the few colonial powers in the world should such dependent peoples desire to hold on to their American citizenship. Many fanciful legal interpretations have been pressed on Congress through its long and distinguished history, but this appears to be among the most astounding, if not the most bizarre.

In all, the most that can be said on the constitutional possibility of entering into a binding compact as described and related issues is that there are conflicting views on the subject. This emphasizes the fact that what Congress faces in discussing Commonwealth status and other status formulas are plain policy issues and not abtruse legal questions. What should be under discussion before Congress now is what best serves the interest of all parties to the present process, how to give meaningful content to Puerto Rico's right to self-determination, without permitting legalisms to obscure the nature of the policy decisions required.

Fernando, you are next. Members of Committee, I will be developing my testimony for the benefit of the people in Puerto Rico, and for your benefit I have provided you with a translation. We have read that, Fernando. Senores miembros del Comite: El Senador Berrios se encuentra hoy fnera de este edificio, donde el Partido Independentista ha convocado una manifestacion de respaldo a la independencia de Puerto Rico. Hemos expresado ya esta propuesta a la Casa Blanca y nos proponemos hacerlo de manera formal proximamente.

Debo senalar ademas que hablemos de elevar nuestra denuncia ante la comunidad internacional y en particular, ante el Comite de Descolonizacion de Naciones Unidas. El 31 de marzo, el Partido Independista envio al Comite la definicion de la formula de independencia que proponemos sea incluido en el proyecto de la Camara