Frédérique Ries







INTERGROUPS – SUGGESTIONS BY ALDE MEMBERS – DESCRIPTIONS

11/24/2014

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. TOURISM (p. 1-2)
  2. ANTISEMITISM (p. 3)
  3. SOCIAL ECONOMY (p. 3)
  4. WESTERN SAHARA (p. 3)
  5. LOGISTICS (p. 4)
  6. BETTER REGULATION AND ADMINISTRATIVE BURDER REDUCTION (p. 4)
  7. AQUATIC ENVIRONMENT AND RECREATIONAL FISHERIES (p. 4)
  8. WELFARE AND CONSERVATION OF ANIMALS (p. 4)
  9. SEAS, ISLANDS AND COASTAL AREAS (p. 5)
  10. LONG-TERM INVESTMENT (p. 5)
  11. AUTOMOTIVE (p. 6)
  12. DANUBE REGION (p. 6)
  13. URBAN (p. 6)
  14. YOUTH (p. 7)
  15. SKY AND SPACE (p. 7)
  16. DIGITAL AGENDA FOR EUROPE (p. 7)
  17. RURAL, MOUNTAIN AND REMOTE AREAS (p. 8)
  18. DISABILITY (p. 8)
  19. VOLUNTEERING AND ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP (p. 8)
  20. FAMILY POLICIES (p. 8)
  21. AGEING AND SOLIDARITY BETWEEN GENERATIONS (p. 9)
  22. POVERTY AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION (p. 9)
  23. CLIMATE CHANGE, BIODIVERSITY AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (p. 9)
  24. CHILDREN’S RIGHTS AND WELL-BEING (p. 10)
  25. LGBTI RIGHTS (p. 10)
  26. TRADITIONAL MINORITIES, NATIONAL COMMUNITIES AND LANGUAGES (p. 10)
  27. TIBET (p. 11)
  28. HEALTH (p. 11-12)
  29. FIGHTING AGAINST POVERTY IN DEFENCE OF HUMAN RIGHTS (p. 12)
  30. CLASSICAL MUSIC AND POETRY (p. 13)
  31. SPORT (p. 13)
  32. CREATIVE INDUSTRIES IN EUROPE (p. 14)
  33. SMEs (p. 14)
  34. FOR THE RELATIONS WITH THE PORTUGUESE SPEAKING COUNTRIES (p. 15)
  35. BIODIVERISTY, HUNTING AND COUNTRYSIDE (p. 16)
  36. BALTIC SEA (p. 16)
  37. RELIGIOUS TOLERENCE AND CHRISTIANS IN THE MIDDLE EAST (p. 16)
  38. ANTIRACISM, EQUALITY AND INCLUSION (p. 16)
  39. INTEGRITY: TRANSPARENCY, CORRUPTION AND ORGANISED CRIME (p. 17)
  40. ANTIRACISM AND DIVERSITY (p. 17)
  41. WINE, SPIRITS AND QUALITY FOODSTUFFS (p. 17)
  42. ENERGY FOR EUROPE (p. 17)
  43. CROSS-BORDER COOPERATION (p. 18)
  44. WAYS OF SAINT JAMES AND OTHER EUROPEAN CULTURAL ROUTES (p. 18)
  45. THE IMPACT OF THE EU LEGISLATION AND POLICIES ON CULTURE (p. 18)
  46. ADRIATIC-IONIAN REGION (p. 18)

 

 1. TOURISM Intergroup (N. Nicolai, F. Maura)

 (Tourism development, culture heritage, traditions and gastronomy)

 

  1. Why do we need an intergroup on tourist

Tourism makes an estimated contribution of 9% to the EU’s GDP. It employs approximately 5.2% of the total workforce (corresponding to roughly 9.7 million jobs) involving 1.8 million businesses, primarily small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and generates over 5% of the EU’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Moreover, it is one of the few sectors which continue to create thousands of jobs despite the economic crisis.

Being one of the biggest drivers for growth in Europe and a key provider of new jobs, tourism needs to be tackled thoroughly by the European Parliament within a holistic approach.

Tourism is a very diverse activity which encompasses many different services (e.g. catering, accommodation, transport, cultural and leisure activities, etc.) and which has the power to improve accessibility to remote regions, contribute to people’s wellbeing, improve quality of life and promote Europe’s natural and cultural heritage.

As a result of this diversity, a large number of the EU policies impacting tourism are not discussed primarily by the TRAN (Transport&Tourism) committee but by other committees, as they go far beyond the TRAN committee’s remit.

An intergroup on tourism would therefore allow exchange of views between MEPs from various committees on horizontal issues affecting tourism such as: Tourism as part of regional development, the cultural aspect of tourism, gastronomy and tourism, access to remote regions and tourism connectivity, Visa policy, accessibility of touristic resorts, tourism tax, the promotion of Europe as a touristic destination, etc.

 

  1. What are the current challenges facing the tourism sector

Europe’s market share on the global tourism market is constantly decreasing to the benefit of other destinations in the world (from 57% in 2000 to 51% in 2011 and is expected to fall to 41% by 2030[1]). This is a long term trend that can only be overcome or slowed-down if a number of challenges are tackled at EU level.

Challenges:

  • The digital revolution in the tourism sector / need for an increased digital-connectivity of tourism destinations and businesses
  • Visa procedures for tourists entering the EU: need of simplification of the Visa code and of visa facilitation agreements or visa waiver agreements with BRICS
  • EU funding and investment facilitation for the development/renovation of EU tourist destinations
  • Lack of level-playing field for all participants in tourism businesses
  • Connectivity of touristic destinations, in particular in remote and outermost regions
  • Helping touristic destinations become more accessible
  • Adopting touristic offer to customer’s needs (e.g. ageing society / young travellers)
  • Making tourism destination more sustainable
  • VAT and the competitiveness of the tourism sector on the world market
  • Turning local gastronomy/identities into a competitive advantage

 

  1. The preservation of cultural heritages and their role in tourism – the need of strengthening the European Heritage Label

Born in 2006 as a joint initiative by national governments, the European Heritage Label is administered today by the European Commission. European Heritage sites are carefully selected at national and EU level for their symbolic value and the activities they offer, which highlight their place and role in European history and/or in the development and promotion of the values that underpin European integration.

The European Heritage Label brings together outstanding heritage sites with a symbolic European value. All the labelled sites have played a significant role in the history and culture of Europe or in European integration. Visitors can enjoy European Heritage sites as single destinations or as part of a tour. Either way, they will get a real feel for the breadth and scale for what Europe has to offer and what it has achieved.

The label is open to sites in any of these participating EU Member States: Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Luxembourg, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia.

Sites can be: s can be:

  • Monuments
  • Natural, underwater, archaeological,
  • Cultural landscapes
  • Places of remembrance
  • Cultural objects and intangible heritage
  • Industrial or urban locations
  • associated with a particular location,
  • including contemporary heritage

 

An intergroup on tourism would therefore make the label more known and would try to raise an extra budget for the heritage sites themselves to fulfil the necessary requirements of the labelling process (Multilingual websites, developing educational projects, etc.).

 

  1. How can these challenges be tackled in the working group

 A tourism intergroup would help tackling these challenges, as it would allow MEPs with different background, active in the various EP committees (e.g. REGI, AGRI, IMCO, TRAN, LIBE, ITRE, IMCO, CULT, AFET, etc.) to exchange views and devise coherent approaches to tackle these horizontal issues.

* * *

2. ANTISEMITISM Intergroup (C. Wikström)

The mission is to shape policy at the European Parliament on questions related to antisemitism and to engage Members in determining EU policy towards a credible fight against anti-Semitism.

* * *

3. SOCIAL ECONOMY Intergroup (B. Becerra, M. Dlabajova, M. Harkin)

Created in 1990 and in permanent way for 24 years, the Social Economy Intergroup of the European Parliament has established an impressive track record as a platform and facilitator of the inter-parliamentary dialogue and as a link between the social economy sector and Members of Parliament. With nearly 50 MEPs and 30 sector organisations, the Social Economy Intergroup offers important networking opportunities and an invaluable source of information about the social economy sector in the European Union.

Objectives of the Social Economy Intergroup:

  • To bring together MEPs from all political groups and all Member States to facilitate the exchange of views on policies and legislation related to the social economy enterprises
  • To constitute a regular dialogue between MEPs and the social economy sector and its entrepreneurs to exchange thoughts on social economy and its current issues, among which its contribution to smart, inclusive and sustainable growth (Europe 2020 Strategy), social entrepreneurship, social inclusion, and social innovation
  • To ensure that the European Parliament and the other European institutions like the European Commission, the Council of Ministers and the European Economic and Social Committee and Committee of the Regions shall take into account the interests of the social economy and its actors in the development and the implementation of policies.

* * *

4. WESTERN SAHARA Intergroup (J. Nart, F. Maura)

The Western Sahara intergroup has existed in the European Parliament since 1986. It brings together all European Parliament groups in order to support and promote a peaceful and long-lasting solution to the on-going conflict, within the framework of the relevant UN resolutions which confirmed the right of the people of Western Sahara to self-determination.

 

Secondly, given the illegal occupation has created a humanitarian crisis and fostered frequent abuses of human rights in the illegally occupied Western Sahara, the Western Sahara intergroup will raise awareness and urge the institutions of the European Union to help to stop these violations.

 

Thirdly, following the Moroccan authorities allowing for the illegal exploitation of Western Sahara’s natural resources, against the interests of the Sahrawi people, the intergroup will help put pressure to end these illegal activities.

 

In sum, the intergroup will encourage decision makers in the European Union to act decisively in adopting a policy promoting just peace in Western Sahara in benefit of the whole region.

 

* * *

5. LOGISTICS Intergroup (R. Tremosa)

Objectives of the intergroup:

  • Promote a better understanding of logistics
  • Discuss the full range of policy areas impacting logistics and supply chains including transport, innovation, industry, environment, sustainability, trade, energy, customs, intermodality, internal market and employment; with the overall aim of forging a more integrated policy approach to tackle current and future challenges while improving EU competitiveness.

* * *

6. BETTER REGULATION AND ADMINISTRATIVE BURDEN REDUCTION Intergroup       (P. Telicka, C. van Nieuwenhuizen, J. Nart)

The European elections and the renewal of all EU political institutions offer an exceptional opportunity to give a new impetus to the EU and to go forward in the regulatory simplification without affecting the existing standards. Better regulation can strongly contribute to improving European competitiveness, growth and creation of jobs. Reducing EU red tape is also key to ensure a business environment that small and medium sized companies can grow in.  An intergroup on better regulation and administrative burden reduction would allow members from different committees to have a horizontal debate on these issues, as these are not primarily just of legal nature.  Mr Telicka believes this is a topic on which ALDE should be the leader in this Parliament.

* * *

7. AQUATIC ENVIRONMENT AND RECREATIONAL FISHERIES Intergroup                   (N. Nicolai, J. Huitema)

The objectives of this Intergroup are:

– improving the contact and communication between the MEPs and their 25 million angling constituents;

– serving as a forum for discussion on recreational fishing, environment protection, rural development, fishing tourism…;

– giving MEPs access to EAA (European Anglers Alliance) and EFTTA (European Fishing Tackle Trade Association) in-house experts and broad network of scientists.

* *

8. WELFARE AND CONSERVATION OF ANIMALS Intergroup (M. Paulsen)

The Animal Welfare Intergroup is a cross-party forum of MEPs with the objective to join forces for the promotion of the welfare and conservation of animals and to act as a catalyser leading to better EU legislation, enhanced enforcement efforts and the dissemination of knowledge and best practises. It is one of the longest running and best attended intergroups of the European Parliament and has had a concrete impact on the shaping of animal welfare related policy making over the three decades of its existence.

* * *

9. SEAS, ISLANDS AND COASTAL AREAS Intergroup                                                     (G. Meissner, J. Huitema, A. Guoga)

The objective of the intergroup is to promote maritime affairs and the particularities of islands and coastal regions.

The intergroup shall foster a maritime agenda of the EU covering topics from a Blue Growth for maritime industries to healthy seas to fisheries to maritime safety or marine literacy.

Furthermore the intergroup shall be a platform for all seas and oceans of the EU, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic to the Baltic Sea and Black Sea.

* * *

10. LONG-TERM INVESTMENT Intergroup (D. Riquet, C. van Nieuwenhuizen)

Restoring growth, employment and competitiveness in Europe is our main concern and, by making possible economic and social infrastructures as well as research and innovation projects, long-term investment will prove crucial.

However, in a context of shrinking public spending, the European Union and Member States’ budgets alone cannot meet these needs. As a result, Europe is increasingly lagging behind other industrialised countries in many fields that require financing on periods up to 20 or 30 years and the level of unemployment remains high in many Member States. At the same time, we see that quantitative easing policies led by central banks, which become involved in speculative sectors because of the lack of long term investments opportunities based on real assets, have resulted in the creation of an important capital mass.

We must put an end to this huge mismatch.

As this is an issue covering the activities of many committees (ECON, BUDG, ITRE, TRAN, REGI, EMPL, ENVI…), we believe that the establishment of an intergroup on long-term investment will provide us with an efficient horizontal tool, enabling the Parliament to develop an outlook on this issue which is European and pragmatic over the new legislature (2014-2019).

Missions of such an intergroup may include defining long-term financing needs, thinking about a way to diversify funding instruments, promoting cooperation among financial institutions, sharing best practices and monitoring EU policies. In particular, where will the 300 billion from Mr Juncker’s investment plan come from and where will they go?

Let’s stop being short-sighted. Let’s make sure private investment is directed towards real economy. Our jobs and our citizens’ wellbeing are at stake.

* * *

11. AUTOMOTIVE Intergroup (D. Riquet)

The automotive sector, which supports thousands of SMEs and employs 12.7 million people across Europe, is the 1st private investor in R&D and generates important trade surplus, plays a pivotal role in the EU economy. However, it is facing important societal, environmental and economic challenges.

With the start of a new legislature and a new impetus to boost Europe’s industrial fabric, there is a golden opportunity to work on a more competitive automotive industry, resilient and able to address today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. To do so it will be essential to encourage and maintain a strong dialogue between the industry and European Institutions.

The European Parliament should play a key role in this dialogue and the proposed Automotive Intergroup is an essential tool in this process.

* * *

12. DANUBE REGION Intergroup (M. Theurer)

Danube region covers parts of 9 EU countries (Germany, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia) and 5 non-EU countries (Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Ukraine and Moldova).

The Danube Region Intergroup aims to provide relevant information to the members of the European Parliament and to identify proposals or procedures able to sustain or solve the current challenges regarding the Danube Region: the lack of road and rail transport connections, the environmental threats (water pollution, floods, climate change), the untapped shipping potential, the irregular socio-economic development, the insufficient energy connections, the uncoordinated education, research and innovation systems or the shortcomings in safety and security.

The Danube Region Intergroup can and must represent a significant mechanism, able to identify sustainable keys for at least the following priority areas: sustainable development of transport, trade and tourism, improvement of the mobility, inter-modality of inland waterways, rail, road, development and protection of the Danube Delta, restoring and maintaining water quality, managing of environmental risks, preserving of biodiversity, air and soil quality, supporting business competitiveness and creation of new sustainable jobs.

* * *

13. URBAN Intergroup (I. Mihaylova)

The re-establishment of the Urban Intergroup is important taking into view the enhancement of urban dimension in Cohesion Policy during recent years, as well as for the period 2014-2020. More than two thirds of EU citizens live in cities and towns, which are increasingly seen as the engines of national and regional economies. Achieving the core goals of Europe 2020 strategy -smart, sustainable and inclusive growth – cannot be achieved without the active involvement of Europe´s urban centres. This will also give opportunity for ALDE to support key priorities like sustainable urban development, support for SMEs, innovation, low carbon economy and social inclusion.

* * *

14. YOUTH Intergroup (I. Kyuchyuk, A. Guoga)

The re-establishment of the Youth Intergroup in the new European Parliament is an essential way for youth organisations to ensure access to the Parliament and make sure youth issues are high on the agenda of MEPs.

The Youth Intergroup has a record of achievement over the past 5 years. It has given a space for a fruitful exchange between MEPs across political groups and committees on youth related issues, while also bringing hundreds of young people themselves into these debates. The intergroup has been, and hopefully in the future will continue to be a space for MEPs to discuss diverse youth relevant topics following their agenda and priorities in order to input and mainstream youth into the overall work of the European Parliament.

Among the achievements of the Youth Intergroup are the work on the Youth Guarantee, fair internships (both inside and outside the Parliament), quality education (through influencing the Erasmus+ programme, for example) and youth participation. However, these are huge topics, and mere stepping-stones towards the goals we pledge to reach by fortifying the development of European youth.

* * *

15. SKY AND SPACE Intergroup (D. Riquet)

With their highly skilled and dynamic workforce, comprehensive research and development programmes, and strong emphasis on innovative technology, the Aerospace and Space industries play a pivotal role in the EU economy. As such, it is essential that as parliamentarians we encourage a sustained and productive dialogue with our stakeholders in these key sectors.

As an established Parliamentary Intergroup, Sky and Space will continue to promote a strong relationship with the Industry, and with National and European institutions, thus providing the European Union with a basis for ongoing mutual cooperation – an essential requirement if we are to meet the economic, environmental and social challenges facing these sectors in years to come.

It is of vital importance that the European Parliament continues to contribute to aerospace policy going forward and maintaining the dialogue with the industry. The Sky and Space Intergroup is an essential tool for in this process.

* * *

16. DIGITAL AGENDA FOR EUROPE Intergroup (M. Schaake, A. Guoga)

The intergroup on the Digital Agenda is an informal network of Members of the European Parliament, cross-party and cross-nationality, who are interested in digital technologies and in how they can benefit society.

We recognise the profound impact that digital technologies have on the way our societies, economies and the media work. We wish to take an active role in shaping that impact through improving the knowledge of the functioning and impact of technologies.

Through the organization of events and exchanges of views, we seek to advance the development of smarter, more relevant EU policies that promote fundamental rights, prosperity, learning and participation.

* * *

17. RURAL, MOUNTAIN AND REMOTE AREAS Intergroup (I. Mihaylova, N. Ali)

The establishment of the Intergroup on Rural, Mountain and Remote Areas is important taking into view that these areas, with their spaces (80% of the EU), population (59% of Europeans) and their diversity, are one of the key to the success for the European Union and fundamental for its social, economic and territorial cohesion. To mobilize their potential and overcome their challenges, I believe we should approach their development in a comprehensive and integrated way.

* * *

18. DISABILITY Intergroup (M. Harkin)

The Disability Intergroup is an informal, cross-party gathering of MEPs committed to promote equal rights and opportunities for persons with disabilities in and outside the EU through parliamentary work. Established in 1980, the Disability Intergroup is one of the oldest Intergroups and also one of the largest ones, with over 100 members, from all political Groups and all EP Committees, and regularly attracting new members. The Disability Intergroup contributes to ensuring that EU legislation and policies are designed and implemented together with persons with disabilities.

* * *

19. VOLUNTEERING AND ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP Intergroup (M. Harkin)

The creation of European Parliament Intergroup on Volunteering and Active Citizenship is necessary to support an on-going commitment of the European Parliament towards the further development of a comprehensive EU agenda on volunteering and to foster citizens and civil society organizations’ involvement in democratic life in Europe.

To have an official contact point on volunteering and active citizenship in the European Parliament;

* To support the coordination of policy development on volunteering and on     active citizenship;

* To get one-step closer to a permanent contact point on volunteering and        active citizenship in the European Commission;

* To recognise the role and contribution of civil society to vibrant democracy;

* To contribute to the proper functioning of civil society organizations;

* To build a constructive civil dialogue in Europe.

* * *

20. FAMILY POLICIES Intergroup (M. Harkin

The main goals of the Family Policies Intergroup are:

○ To reinforce family as a basic component of society, source of social              integration, solidarity, education and culture,

○ To promote family-friendly policies at European, national and regional         level, and

○ To reconciliate work and family.

The guiding principle behind all our policies is « the best interests of the child » applied to the promotion of the social, legal and economic protection of families.

* * *

21. AGEING AND SOLIDARITY BETWEEN GENERATIONS Intergroup (M. Harkin

The EP Intergroup on Ageing and Solidarity between Generations is active since 1982. It has been a key forum to discuss the impact of demographic change and to find sustainable and fair solutions for all generations. In the last parliamentary term (2009-2014), some 40 MEPs joined this Intergroup. They represented most of Member States and all political groups. This Intergroup has been successful for many years and we urge your political group to support its re-establishment.We cannot afford not to have an Intergroup on ageing and intergenerational solidarity in the European Parliament.  

* * *

22. POVERTY AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION Intergroup (M. Harkin)

Poverty and social exclusion Intergroup – The Intergroup considers poverty to be an attack on human dignity and on fundamental rights and believes that the best way of guaranteeing that European policies live up to the expectations of Europe’s most deprived is to consult them. They have things to say. It is by creating permanent structures to enable dialogue and consultation, in order to redirect policies, that each European can find their place. The objective of the Intergroup is to introduce these concerns into the work of the European Parliament and to analyse the legislative proposals with these concerns in mind

* * *

23. CLIMATE CHANGE, BIODIVERSITY AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Intergroup (M.H. Petersen)

Recognising that the wellbeing of humankind is severely affected by climate change and the loss of biodiversity, this cross-sector and multi-stake­holder platform seeks to take a lead in integrat­ing these issues into the legislative processes of the European Parliament.

Objectives

  • Provide a cross-party and cross-committee platform for MEPs to openly debate and exchange with all stakeholders in a balanced way
  •  Encourage strong involvement, dialogue and close cooperation among all stakeholders
  • Effectively integrate sustainable development principles – social, economic and environmental pillars – into EU decision-making and policy
  • Build on political, scientific and practical expertise to guide the development and implementation of coherent sustainable policies based on scientific evidence
  • Develop and demonstrate the value of innovative nature-based solutions for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in a competitive Europe
  • Link the innovation agenda with the sustainability agenda

* * *

24. CHILDREN’S RIGHTS AND WELL-BEING Intergroup (N. Griesbeck)

WHY an Intergroup?

  • While Children are affected by every legislation and policy that we adopt at European level, in the European Parliament there is no Parliamentary committee that has an explicit responsibility for children.
  • There is a need of a formal body in the EP to mainstream children’s rights and assess the impact of legislative and non-legislative work on children.
  •  The aim of the Intergroup is to promote children’s rights and ensure that the best interest of the child is taken into account in EU internal and external action.
  • Our work will be based on the Child Rights Manifesto prepared by 15 organisations working towards the realisation of the EU’s legal and policy commitments to promote and protect children’s rights, and obligations set out in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

HOW?

  • Appoint a focal point on children rights and well-being in each parliamentary committee, in cross-political representation, who would be a member of the Intergroup and would alert the Intergroup on the files that would have an impact on children in the respective committees
  • Coordinate action to support children’s rights in every policy area and build horizontal support
  • Early warning in cooperation with civil society and awareness raising

* * *

25. LGBTI RIGHTS Intergroup (S. in’t Veld)

Objective of the intergroup:

– advancing and protecting the fundamental rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.

* * *

26. TRADITIONAL MINORITIES, NATIONAL COMMUNITIES AND LANGUAGES Intergroup (N. Torvalds, Y. Toom, N. Ali)

Objective of the intergroup:

– serving as a forum for co-operation and co-ordinations for political groups devoted to help these minority communities; for exchanging views on the current situation and future minorities, their regions and languages; for monitoring information and best practice and member states; for helping to improve minority protection and facilitating the drawing up of legislation and policies for minorities; and for providing access to expert advice for policy makers.

* * *

27. TIBET Intergroup (H. van Baalen, C. van Nieuwenhuizen)

  • It’s been 25 years since the creation of the Tibet Intergroup (TIG) in the European Parliament by MEP Michel Hervé in 1989. The TIG is one of the oldest official Intergroups of the EP. We managed to organize several visits of H.H. the Dalai Lama to the EP in Strasbourg and Brussels. We were able to get through hundreds of Tibet Resolutions of the EP and helped to prevent the execution of death penalties against Tibetans in China. All this gave us as Intergroup a strong reputation in the EU Institutions and worldwide, as one of the most active Tibet supporters.
  • 25 years of strong commitment to the Tibetan cause – its people, its culture, its religion, its identity – and continuous express of concern and indignation about the human rights abuses in Tibet.
  • Thomas Mann had the honour of chairing the Tibet Intergroup in the 7th parliamentary term from 2009 to 2014, as well as in the 6th and 5th term, always supported by five Vice-Presidents, representing almost all political groups (ALDE, ECR, S&D, EPP, EFD).
  • On a regularly basis, the TIG meets once a month in Brussels, inviting high-ranking experts in order to inform about the alarming situation in Tibet: Monks and nuns, released prisoners, politicians, scientists, artists, athletes, journalists.
  • 19th February 2014 we celebrated our 100th Tibet Intergroup Meeting. Our key note speakers were Kelsang Gyaltsen, Special Representative of the Dalai Lama in Europe, and Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet.
  • We met for one day in one of the biggest rooms of the EP with more than 400 guests from all over the world: Parliamentarians, national Tibet support groups, Tibetans in exile, Officials of the Council and the Commission, Diplomats and NGOs took part – surrounded by hundreds of Tibetan Flags.
  • Every Year the TIG organizes such big conferences in the EP Brussels.
  • The TIG is not financially supported or funded by any internal or external organisations or individuals.

* * *

28. HEALTH Intergroup (F. Ries)

The idea is to create a dynamic intergroup addressing horizontal issues and challenges related to health, keeping in mind the following objectives:

  • Ensuring leadership in health policy and bringing the activities of the European Union in line          with the priorities of its people for both a democratic and accountable Europe, as well as one            which genuinely enhances the well-being of people and the environment they live in whilst               facilitating           economic growth.
  • Discussing how to achieve universal access to healthcare and an equal access to medicines and    quality care and that no discrimination occurs for anyone in need of treatment or care.
  • Building policy frameworks which incentivise ground-breaking science, medical and systems         innovations, research and development, including on the role of biotechnologies in public     health.
  • Ensuring patient access to therapies for severe and life-threatening, rare and ultra-rare diseases throughout Europe and supporting early access to live-saving medicines.
  • Stepping up prevention efforts in Member States, and addressing European legislation that may                arise concerning determinants of health such as alcohol or tobacco, endocrine disruptors, poor        environmental factors such as urban design, transport and air quality.
  • Fighting antibiotic resistance, which promises to be one of the major public health challenges      of the century.
  • Advocating for policies focusing on fighting chronic diseases (including neurodegenerative) and multi-morbidities, promoting healthy-ageing and supporting carers and the health workforce.
  • Facilitating a debate on how to reduce income and health inequalities between and within            Member States.
  • Thinking on how to build and maintain affordable and sustainable health systems across                Europe.
  •  Discussing links between public health and international trade policy.
  • Exploring mechanisms to promote patient and citizens’ empowerment in co-designing and co-    managing their health, including long term support for survivors of disease and those living with          chronic diseases in non-health areas such as employment and anti-discrimination.
  • Supporting strong public interest-based policy to prioritise health and social outcomes.

* * *

29. FIGHTING AGAINST POVERTY IN DEFENCE OF HUMAN RIGHTS Intergroup               (S. Goulard, Y. Toom)

The objective of this intergroup is to ensure that Europe’s most deprived contribute to the policies which will directly affect them, to fight for their dignity and the respect of their human rights, to facilitate discussion between Europe’s most deprived and the EU-level decision makers.

The Intergroup, which has existed since 1980, considers poverty to be an attack on human dignity and on fundamental rights and believes that the best way of guaranteeing that European policies live up to the expectations of Europe’s most deprived is to consult them. It is by creating permanent structures to enable dialogue and consultation, in order to redirect policies, that each European can find their place. The objective of the Intergroup is to introduce these concerns into the work of the European Parliament and to analyse the legislative proposals with these concerns in mind.

* * *

30. CLASSICAL MUSIC AND POETRY Intergroup (M. Diaconu)

Classical music is at the very heart of our European culture, is part of who we are and we need to preserve and further explore it. This intergroup will put together numerous high level concerts and other cultural events and it already has the official endorsement of the Menuhin family as it is followed closely by Jeremy Menuhin, the son of the famous musician. In addition to classical music, the Intergroup will also embrace Poetry and other art forms in order to allow as wide a range of artistic expressions as possible.

* * *

31. SPORT Intergroup (O. Rehn, J. Nart, A. Guoga)

With the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Union acquired competences in the fields of sports and education.

The sport as an element of formation, entertainment and economic tank, is at the centre of the life of the million Europeans, either as sporting amateurs and professionals, or as consumers-supporters and consumer-punters, or as professionals of teams, leagues and federations.

Since the Bosman ruling, the European Union initiated a process of integration of certain aspects of the sporting sector, while for other sectors – taxation, codes of conduct of the teams and players …– there are still enormous differences between the Member States.

For all these reasons, we consider that the creation of a Sport Intergroup at the European level is necessary to continue to respect values and principles. We therefore want to organize seminars on the various aspects of the sports, and to propose to the European Commission, in collaboration with the Leagues, Federations, associations, ONG and specialists of the sector, to carry on legislative initiatives dealing with the sporting-formative activity.

In a more particular way, the Intergroup should focus on:

– the integrity of the sports events: the fight against match-fixing, the training of the young sportsmen, the defence of the consumer-supporter and the consumer-punter, the request of the minimum common standards in order to fight against the match-fixing (which is not a penal offence in all the Member States) and possibly the creation of a European agency of the sport and its integrity.

– financial fair play: supervise the UEFA’s initiatives in this sector,

-the treatment of young athletes:  supervise the phenomenon and the request for the installation of the minimum common standards for the protection of the young athletes, in their countries of origin and once arrived in the Union.

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32. CREATIVE INDUSTRIES IN EUROPE Intergroup (M. Dlabajova)

Europe’s creative industries are facing an ever increasing number of policy issues at EU level. The many facets of digitalisation, including contested copyright, the question of net neutrality, but also maintaining an innovative edge and securing the sector’s competitiveness as well as defining its role in international trade – challenges for creative industries in current EU policy debates are manifold.

While many of these issues are cross-cutting for the creative sector and threaten to thwart its development, there is no common approach at European level to define a future-oriented policy agenda in this important economic sector. This has to change.

Establishing an intergroup on « Creative Industries in Europe » could bring about that change.

Tackling current challenges and defining a future EU policy undoubtedly needs a strong cross-committee approach. Relevant questions span committees such as CULT, JURI, ITRE, IMCO, INTA and BUDG, to name just a few. By establishing an intergroup in the European Parliament we will create an open and transparent forum to fuel the much needed debate on how to ensure a distinct European cultural heritage for the generations to come.

In particular the intergroup will focus on the following issues:

  • monitoring the modernisation of the EU copyright framework and its effects on creative                industries
  • discussing a new approach to funding and financing European cultural entrepreneurs
  • assessing the impact of relevant funding programmes such as Horizon 2020 and Creative                Europe
  • assessing the potential impact of EU trade policy on Europe’s creative industries

* * *

33. SMEs Intergroup (C. van Nieuwenhuizen, J. Huitema, M. Theurer, A. Guoga)

Focuses on creating good conditions for SME’s and an entrepreneur-friendly climate in the EU.

The SME Intergroup will give us the possibility to cooperate with several Commissioners and DGs such as Bienkowska and VP Timmermans and it will also enable us to work on SME policies across several committees such as ITRE, IMCO, TRAN and INTA.

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34. FOR THE RELATIONS WITH THE PORTUGUESE SPEAKING COUNTRIES Intergroup (J. Faria)

The Portuguese speaking countries (Angola, Brazil, Cape-Verde, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and São Tomé e Príncipe) count with more than 261 million speakers. Moreover, Portuguese is the fifth most spoken language in the world, the third in the Western Hemisphere and the most predominant language in the Southern Hemisphere.

Furthermore, the CPLP’s (Community of the Portuguese Speaking Countries) GDP was estimated to be US$ 2 470 625 million worth (PPP, 2010), meaning that if the community was a single market, we would be speaking of the sixth largest world economy.

In our vision of the European Union, each and every one of our Member States- through its history, culture and heritage, brings a new dimension to our Union and, of course, our Union brings a new dimension to each one of our Member States.

The recently established European Parliament Delegation for relations with the Federative Republic of Brazil (14/07/2014) sent a strong message to the world showing the strategic importance that Brazil has to the EU as a regional power (also seen in the last EU-Brazil Summit conclusions).

At the same time, a reinforced link between the EU and the Federative Republic of Brazil, through the implementation of an intergroup such as this one, will no doubt boost the existing cooperation agreement between both parties and, at the same time, make Brazil turn its attention to Europe rather than to the American Continent.

On the other hand, one should not forget that on the other side of the Atlantic, in Africa, there is also an important emerging regional power, the People’s Republic of Angola which should not be neglected.

Furthermore, Portuguese speaking countries are also vital in the European relations with the African Continent (as shown by the EU-Africa Summits). And also in the framework of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, signed in Cotonou, where 7 of the 79 ACP Countries are full members of the CPLP.

Through the implementation of such an intergroup, we could be creating an axis between EU, Brazil and Angola, as well as all the other CPLP’s (Cape-Verde, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and São Tomé e Príncipe) for future cooperation.

That’s why we intend to promote a greater knowledge and better understanding of the Portuguese speaking countries in the wider context of the European Union External Relations.

Having said this, we think it is highly relevant to establish this new Forum at the European Parliament, which will surely add new, but also common and shared approaches to our External Policies or to other policy fields, such as Culture, Aid and Development, Migration, R&D, Agriculture and Rural Development, Infrastructural Investments, Marine and Maritime Affairs and Natural Resources, Energy or Tourism.

* * *

35. BIODIVERSITY, HUNTING AND COUNTRYSIDE Intergroup (J. Huitema)

The role of hunting and other forms of sustainable use of wild species contributing to biodiversity enhancement and rural development

* * *

36. BALTIC SEA Intergroup (Y. Toom)

The Baltic-Europe Intergroup was formed in 2004 as a forum for the discussion and promotion of a wide range of economic, environmental and geo-political issues related to the Baltic Sea region. One of the most significant achievements of the Intergroup was initiating the Baltic Sea Strategy that was adopted by the European Parliament at the end of 2006. It will be important for the parliamentary intergroup to monitor the implementation of the Baltic Sea Strategy over the next five years and to be able to make contributions to the solution of various problems. As the name indicates, the activities of the Baltic-Sea Intergroup are not narrowly regional.

* * *

37. RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE AND CHRISTIANS IN THE MIDDLE EAST Intergroup       (J. Nart)

In Iraq and Syria, the religious minorities, mainly Christians but also other religions are persecuted, massacred and displaced from what is their cradle of civilization and history. This persecution by Daesh cannot leave us indifferent.

If Europe does not defend the Christians in the Middle East, religious minorities and religious plurality, it fails its history and its values.

As MEPs, it is our duty to denounce these abuses and to take concrete measures.

This is to show our commitment to face this threat that I suggest the creation of an intergroup on religious tolerance, and the defence of the Christians in the Middle East.

This would allow our Parliament to bring a European and pragmatic view on this subject.

* * *

38. ANTIRACISM, EQUALITY AND INCLUSION Intergroup (J. Nart)

Despite the existence of EU laws against racist violence and discrimination, millions of people in Europe continue to face specific forms of racism and discrimination, ranging from very brutal acts of violence or harassment to indirect and structural forms of discrimination.

It is therefore vital to develop a sustainable institutional response and make a political commitment to fight against all forms of racism.

The establishment of a strong “Anti-Racism, Equality and Inclusion Intergroup” would enhance the capacity of MEPs across parties to react in a concerted manner to manifestations of racism, hate and discrimination.

* * *

39. INTEGRITY: TRANSPARENCY, CORRUPTION AND ORGANISED CRIME Intergroup      (B. Becerra, M. Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz)

The intergroup would broadly focus on a number of areas including integrity of EU institutions, EU anti-corruption and transparency legislation and EU anti-corruption monitoring.

* * *

40. ANTIRACISM AND DIVERSITY Intergroup (G. Deprez, F. Maura)

Objective of the intergroup:

–              Join forces to react to hateful comments and policies in the European Parliament

–              Mainstream racial equality and anti-racism in the policy and legislative work of EU bodies

–              Propose remedies and corrective measures to be taken by Member States in the field of racial             equality

–              Consult and liaise with civil society organisations and representatives of ethnic and religious minorities

* * *

41. WINE, SPIRITS AND QUALITY FOODSTUFFS Intergroup (I. Jakovcic)

The Intergroup  aims to provide information to MEPs about the stakes that matter for their region or country in the field of wine growing, spirits and food production and to give them the opportunity to express their concerns in the European Parliament in order to defend the specificity of the European wine growing tradition. Its objective is also to underline the importance of a healthy and diversified nutrition.

* * *

42. ENERGY FOR EUROPE Intergroup (J-C Girauta)

With the beginning of the new term of the European Parliament, in light of the challenges facing the European Union it is important to establish the Intergroup “Energy for Europe”, with aim of discussing wide range of European Energy matters.

Europe needs Energy in both literal and metaphorical-political sense. There is a unique opportunity to create a more competitive and integrated energy market that will allow citizens and businesses to access secure and sustainable energy in affordable prices. Thanks to the Intergroup, it will be possible to create strategies to reach the energy and climate goals while keeping Energy Security Strategy.

We propose to focus on five areas:

•             Energy Resources: conventional and alternative sources of conventional fuels; renewable                       sources of energy

•             Energy Security: diversification of routes and supplies; indigenous resources

•             Clean energy:  renewable sources of energy, clean energy from conventional sources

•             Access to energy: affordable energy; energy in rural and remote areas

•             Energy Union: a new framework for energy in European Treaties

* * *

43. CROSS-BORDER COOPERATION Intergroup (C. Bearder)

The main objectives of the group are to raise awareness of cross-border cooperation regions and policy within the European Parliament, in particular as this is an area where it is possible to show real added value of the EU to citizens.

* * *

44. WAYS OF SAINT JAMES AND OTHER EUROPEAN CULTURAL ROUTES Intergroup    (F. Maura)

This intergroup exists since 2009 and had a precedent in 1997. It is focus on cultural routes, especially on the Ways of Saint James which is the first European Cultural Route recognised by the Council of Europe. The Ways of Saint James played an important role in the creation of a common European culture and identity, connecting people, countries and cultures.

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45. THE IMPACT OF THE EU LEGISLATION AND POLICIES ON CULTURE Intergroup               (F. Maura)

This intergroup aims to ensure that the contribution of culture to creating social capital is taken into account in the making of the EP legislative and political works. For this reason, its work will focus on assessing the impact that EU policies, legislation and directives have on creative industries and cultural heritage and on developing knowledge and political basis for securing a better understanding of culture’s contribution to sustainable development and wellbeing in future European strategies and policies (including the EU2020’s review).

* * *

46. ADRIATIC-IONIAN REGION Intergroup (I. Jakovcic)

The maingoalof the EU Strategy for the Adriatic andIonianRegion is to promotecrossbordercooperationinorder to achieveeconomicgrowthandprosperitythrough the developmentof the Region’s competitiveness, intercommunicationandattractiveness. The Intergroupwouldenable to exchangeviewswithin the Parliament on a varietyofissuesthat are crucial for the Region. At the same time, itwouldserve as a forum fromwhichMEPswillhave the possibility to sendpoliticalimpulses to strengthencooperationinvarioussectors. The prospectof EU accessionofnon-memberstatesinthe region, whichconstitutesanimportantmaritimeand marine areain Europe, meansthat the Adriatic-Ionianregionwillgainincreasingimportance. The establishmentofthisintergroupwouldpresentanexcellentopportunity to assembleMEPsfrom the Adriatic Ionianbasin, as well as thosewithaninterestintopicssuch as crossborderconnection, maritimeissues, environmentalpreservation, marine innovation or coastaldevelopment.

 

[1]Sources : UNWTO



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