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2007/2194(INI) What future for young farmers under the ongoing reform of the CAP?

Progress: Procedure completed

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead AGRI VERALDI Donato Tommaso (icon: ALDE ALDE)
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
RoP 052

Events

2008/07/25
   EC - Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2008/07/16
   EC - Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2008/06/05
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2008/06/05
   EP - Decision by Parliament
Details

The European Parliament adopted by 571 votes to 31, with 39 abstentions, a resolution on the future for young farmers under the ongoing reform of the CAP.

The own initiative report had been tabled for consideration in plenary by Donato Tommaso VERALDI (ALDE, IT) on behalf of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.

MEPs take the view that, in future, the CAP must seek to remove the barriers currently facing young people wishing to set up in farming, by making generation change one of its priorities. They consider that, in planning and implementing support measures for young farmers, specific account should be taken of the situation of young farmers in the new Member States.

The resolution draws attention to the continuing difficulties stemming from high setting-up costs (including agricultural property sale and rental prices) and the need to invest continuously in tangible capital and human potential in order to make technological and logistical improvements. The Commission is called upon to propose, in its legislative proposal on the 'health check', that the aid for young farmers provided for in the legislation on rural development should figure among the compulsory measures included in the plans drawn up by the Member States, which should also be accompanied by an increase in the amount of setting-up support .

Emphasising the contribution made by land prices to the problems experienced by young people setting up in farming, the report recommends the introduction of instruments enabling priority in respect of agricultural land transfers to be given to young farmers setting up in business rather than to existing farmers wishing to increase the size of their holdings, including an early-retirement mechanism, deferred-purchase aid, phased setting-up arrangements and rental of part of the land. The Commission is called upon to support the Member States in creating a land bank on the basis of land freed up as a result of early retirement.

The resolution recommends that, as part of the incentive scheme for initial setting up, provision should be made for incentives for owners who rent farms to young farmers and/or for rent support until the tenth year after setting up.

In order to prevent the desertification of disadvantaged farming areas, MEPs urge that it be made easier for young farmers to set up in business in areas with a permanent natural handicap, such as islands and mountain areas. Bearing in mind the difficulties involved in setting up in problem farming areas, the Community aid ceiling should be raised from EUR 55 000, and the time limit for achieving compliance with the rules should be increased from three years to five years after set-up.

Given the high level of indebtedness and high installation costs of young farmers, it is very difficult for them to establish a good competitive position. MEPs therefore call on the Commission and Member States to devise additional solutions to these specific problems. Member States and regional authorities should examine the options for introducing or improving schemes to provide start-up capital to new farmers at preferential rates. The Commission and Member States are called upon to develop new (fiscal) measures to help young farmers carry the heavy interest costs which they face following the procurement of their farms.

The resolution recommends that more flexibility be introduced in farm setting-up and transfer procedures . Succession arrangements involving parties who are not family members should be facilitated in order to preserve farms and to enable young entrepreneurs with an education in farming to become farmers. MEPs take the view that national early-retirement arrangements should apply only where the retiring farmer's holding is taken over by a young farmer, or, alternatively, that the retiring farmer should be entitled to an improved pension where this happens.

MEPs take the view that overall setting-up and holding-development plans should include special measures relating to the statutory recognition of young farmers , thus ensuring equal social rights for men and women. It is vital, in this regard, to maintain certain essential services in rural areas, such as crèches, kindergartens and mothers’ helps.

The Parliament stresses that it is in the EU's interests, economically (improving productivity) and environmentally (updating knowledge of 'green' practices) to provide increased support for lifelong training for farmers and encourages, in particular, programmes to promote mobility among young farmers in the EU (including Leonardo). MEPs consider it necessary to establish an exchange programme for young farmers to facilitate the pooling of best practices, as well as a training network in which information on issues such as sustainability, bio-energy, climate change and competitiveness is central.

Lastly, the resolution stresses that young farmers should be given support in the years following their setting-up and that a special reserve fund should be established to help them deal with unforeseeable circumstances at the time of setting up, such as damage to crops due to extreme weather or a sharp increase in costs.

Documents
2008/06/05
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
2008/05/13
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
Documents
2008/05/13
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary
Documents
2008/05/06
   EP - Vote in committee
Details

The Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development adopted an own initiative report by Donato Tommaso VERALDI (ALDE, IT) on the future for young farmers under the ongoing reform of the CAP.

MEPs take the view that, in future, the CAP must seek to remove the barriers currently facing young people wishing to set up in farming, by making generation change one of its priorities. They consider that, in planning and implementing support measures for young farmers, specific account should be taken of the situation of young farmers in the new Member States.

The report emphasises that young farmers face the dual challenge of implementing measures to improve farming practices and make them both more sustainable and more viable, whilst at the same time restoring agriculture's crucial role in managing environmental aspects and thereby becoming a leading player in tackling climate change. To this end, policies and measures need to offer long-term and sustainable prospects for young farmers and financial support must be granted for their efforts to protect the environment. Generation change is necessary to preserve a high level of quality for European food, food safety and the European Union's self-sufficiency in the future.

The report draws attention to the continuing difficulties stemming from high setting-up costs (including agricultural property sale and rental prices) and the need to invest continuously in tangible capital and human potential in order to make technological and logistical improvements. The Commission is called upon to propose, in its legislative proposal on the 'health check', that the aid for young farmers provided for in the legislation on rural development should figure among the compulsory measures included in the plans drawn up by the Member States, which should also be accompanied by an increase in the amount of setting-up support.

Emphasising the contribution made by land prices to the problems experienced by young people setting up in farming, the report recommends the introduction of instruments enabling priority in respect of agricultural land transfers to be given to young farmers setting up in business rather than to existing farmers wishing to increase the size of their holdings, including an early-retirement mechanism, deferred-purchase aid, phased setting-up arrangements and rental of part of the land. The Commission is called upon to support the Member States in creating a land bank on the basis of land freed up as a result of early retirement.

The report recommends that, as part of the incentive scheme for initial setting up, provision should be made for incentives for owners who rent farms to young farmers and/or for rent support until the tenth year after setting up.

In order to prevent the desertification of disadvantaged farming areas, MEPs urge that it be made easier for young farmers to set up in business in areas with a permanent natural handicap, such as islands and mountain areas. Bearing in mind the difficulties involved in setting up in problem farming areas, the Community aid ceiling should be raised from EUR 55 000, and the time limit for achieving compliance with the rules should be increased from three years to five years after set-up.

MEPs take the view that young farmers' entrepreneurialism should be supported through transparent, simpler and less cumbersome rules and through the lower costs that this would entail. Member States and regional authorities should examine the options for introducing or improving schemes to provide start-up capital to new farmers at preferential rates. The Commission and Member States are called upon to develop new (fiscal) measures to help young farmers carry the heavy interest costs which they face following the procurement of their farms.

The report recommends that more flexibility be introduced in farm setting-up and transfer procedures. In respect of succession arrangements, consideration should be given to introducing legislation that focuses more closely on keeping farms together, with a view to achieving both economies of scale and economies of scope. Succession arrangements involving parties who are not family members should be facilitated in order to preserve farms and to enable young entrepreneurs with an education in farming to become farmers.

MEPs take the view that overall setting-up and holding-development plans should include special measures relating to the statutory recognition of young farmers, thus ensuring equal social rights for men and women. It is vital, in this regard, to maintain certain essential services in rural areas, such as crèches, kindergartens and mothers’ helps.

The Committee on Agriculture points out that, because of the great demands on 'tomorrow's managers', curricular training must be systematically stepped up to ensure genuine knowledge transfer from agrarian research to farming. It also stresses the need to provide increased support for lifelong training for farmers. MEPs encourage, in particular, programmes to promote mobility among young farmers in the Union (including Leonardo) and the creation of an agricultural best-practice exchange programme for young farmers.

Lastly, the report stresses that young farmers should be given support in the years following their setting-up and that a special reserve fund should be established to help them deal with unforeseeable circumstances at the time of setting up, such as damage to crops due to extreme weather or a sharp increase in costs.

2008/04/17
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2008/03/05
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2007/09/27
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament
2007/06/05
   EP - VERALDI Donato Tommaso (ALDE) appointed as rapporteur in AGRI

Documents

Votes

Rapport Veraldi A6-0182/2008 - par. 4 #

2008/06/05 Outcome: +: 557, 0: 48, -: 20
FR DE GB IT PL ES RO HU BE NL PT EL BG AT FI CZ SK LV LT IE SI DK EE LU CY MT SE
Total
66
73
64
53
47
46
23
21
22
24
21
20
15
16
12
21
11
9
8
7
6
7
4
4
5
2
18
icon: PPE-DE PPE-DE
239

Lithuania PPE-DE

1

Ireland PPE-DE

3

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1

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3

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2

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2
icon: PSE PSE
174

Finland PSE

2

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For (1)

Abstain (1)

2

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2

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1

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2

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2

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icon: ALDE ALDE
77

Hungary ALDE

1

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1

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2

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1

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3
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34

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2

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1
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26

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3

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2

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6

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35

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Rapport Veraldi A6-0182/2008 - par. 35 #

2008/06/05 Outcome: +: 537, -: 77, 0: 9
FR DE IT PL ES RO NL PT BE EL BG HU GB AT SK LT FI IE LV SI CY EE LU CZ MT DK SE
Total
65
73
52
48
45
24
24
21
21
19
16
22
63
16
10
9
11
8
9
7
5
4
3
22
2
7
17
icon: PPE-DE PPE-DE
235

Lithuania PPE-DE

1

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4

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2

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2

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79

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2

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2

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Rapport Veraldi A6-0182/2008 - par. 54/2 #

2008/06/05 Outcome: +: 585, -: 44, 0: 11
DE FR IT GB ES PL RO NL HU PT BE EL BG AT SK LT LV FI IE SI CY DK EE LU MT CZ SE
Total
78
66
54
66
46
48
23
25
22
21
22
19
16
16
11
10
9
11
8
7
5
7
4
4
2
22
18
icon: PPE-DE PPE-DE
245
4

Lithuania PPE-DE

1

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4

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2

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1

Luxembourg PPE-DE

3

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173

Slovakia PSE

2

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1

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1

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2

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1
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1

Rapport Veraldi A6-0182/2008 - par. 55 #

2008/06/05 Outcome: +: 588, -: 37, 0: 6
DE FR IT GB PL ES RO BE NL PT HU EL AT BG SK LT LV FI IE SI DK CY EE LU MT CZ SE
Total
78
66
53
66
49
39
22
21
23
21
22
20
16
17
11
10
9
11
8
7
7
5
4
4
2
22
18
icon: PPE-DE PPE-DE
239

Lithuania PPE-DE

1

Ireland PPE-DE

4

Cyprus PPE-DE

2

Estonia PPE-DE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg PPE-DE

3

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2
icon: PSE PSE
172

Slovakia PSE

2

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1

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1

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1

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2

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2

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80

Hungary ALDE

1

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1

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2

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2

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31

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2

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4

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2

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2

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2
5

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1

Rapport Veraldi A6-0182/2008 - am. 3 #

2008/06/05 Outcome: +: 589, -: 31, 0: 22
DE FR IT GB PL ES RO NL HU PT EL BE BG AT SK LT FI LV IE DK SI EE LU CY MT CZ SE
Total
79
67
54
65
49
45
24
24
22
21
20
22
17
16
11
10
12
9
8
7
7
4
4
5
2
21
17
icon: PPE-DE PPE-DE
240

Lithuania PPE-DE

1

Ireland PPE-DE

4

Estonia PPE-DE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg PPE-DE

3

Cyprus PPE-DE

2

Malta PPE-DE

2
icon: PSE PSE
177

Slovakia PSE

2

Lithuania PSE

For (1)

1

Finland PSE

2

Denmark PSE

2

Slovenia PSE

For (1)

1

Estonia PSE

2

Luxembourg PSE

For (1)

1

Czechia PSE

2

Sweden PSE

Against (1)

5
icon: ALDE ALDE
82

Hungary ALDE

1

Latvia ALDE

1

Slovenia ALDE

2

Estonia ALDE

For (1)

1

Cyprus ALDE

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1

Sweden ALDE

3
icon: UEN UEN
37

Lithuania UEN

2

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1
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
31

Italy Verts/ALE

2

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4

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1

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2

Belgium Verts/ALE

2

Austria Verts/ALE

2

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1

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1

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1
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2

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1

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3

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1

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2

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2
icon: NI NI
27

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3

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1

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3

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2

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2

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1
icon: IND/DEM IND/DEM
13

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2
5

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2

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1

Rapport Veraldi A6-0182/2008 - par. 67 #

2008/06/05 Outcome: -: 394, +: 212, 0: 16
PT ES EE FR SK BG LU MT IT HU SI LV CY RO AT BE LT EL FI DK IE NL PL SE CZ GB DE
Total
20
43
4
64
10
16
4
2
52
21
7
8
5
24
16
22
10
20
11
7
8
23
47
18
22
62
76
icon: PSE PSE
173

Estonia PSE

2

Slovakia PSE

2

Luxembourg PSE

For (1)

1

Slovenia PSE

For (1)

1

Lithuania PSE

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1

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1

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2

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2
icon: IND/DEM IND/DEM
12

France IND/DEM

Abstain (1)

1

Netherlands IND/DEM

2

Poland IND/DEM

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3

Sweden IND/DEM

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1
5
icon: NI NI
25

Slovakia NI

2

Bulgaria NI

2

Italy NI

For (1)

Against (1)

Abstain (1)

3

Austria NI

2

Belgium NI

3

Poland NI

1

Czechia NI

Against (1)

1

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6
icon: UEN UEN
36

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3

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2

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Against (1)

1

Ireland UEN

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4
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
29

Spain Verts/ALE

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2

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2

Latvia Verts/ALE

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1

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2

Belgium Verts/ALE

2

Finland Verts/ALE

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1

Denmark Verts/ALE

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1

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2

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1

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2
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
33

Portugal GUE/NGL

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3

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1

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2

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2

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1

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2

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2
icon: ALDE ALDE
79

Spain ALDE

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2

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1

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1

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2

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1

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1

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3

Sweden ALDE

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3
icon: PPE-DE PPE-DE
235

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1
4

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3

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2

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4

Latvia PPE-DE

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3

Cyprus PPE-DE

2

Lithuania PPE-DE

1

Ireland PPE-DE

4

Rapport Veraldi A6-0182/2008 - par. 70 #

2008/06/05 Outcome: +: 515, -: 105, 0: 16
DE FR PL ES IT RO HU BG PT NL BE AT EL SK LT FI LV IE SI DK EE LU GB CY MT CZ SE
Total
77
66
49
45
55
24
21
17
20
23
20
16
20
11
10
12
8
8
7
7
4
4
66
5
2
22
17
icon: PPE-DE PPE-DE
240

Lithuania PPE-DE

1

Ireland PPE-DE

4

Estonia PPE-DE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg PPE-DE

3

Cyprus PPE-DE

2

Malta PPE-DE

2
icon: PSE PSE
174

Slovakia PSE

2

Lithuania PSE

For (1)

1

Finland PSE

2

Slovenia PSE

For (1)

1

Denmark PSE

2

Estonia PSE

2

Luxembourg PSE

For (1)

1

Czechia PSE

2
icon: ALDE ALDE
81

Hungary ALDE

1

Latvia ALDE

1

Slovenia ALDE

2

Estonia ALDE

For (1)

1

Cyprus ALDE

For (1)

1

Sweden ALDE

Against (1)

Abstain (1)

2
icon: UEN UEN
35

Lithuania UEN

2

Denmark UEN

Against (1)

1
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
31

Spain Verts/ALE

2

Italy Verts/ALE

2

Netherlands Verts/ALE

2

Belgium Verts/ALE

For (1)

Abstain (1)

2

Austria Verts/ALE

Against (1)

2

Finland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Latvia Verts/ALE

1

Denmark Verts/ALE

Abstain (1)

1

United Kingdom Verts/ALE

Abstain (1)

4

Sweden Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1
icon: IND/DEM IND/DEM
13

France IND/DEM

2

Netherlands IND/DEM

2
5

Sweden IND/DEM

Against (1)

1
icon: NI NI
27

Poland NI

1