BETA


2017/2191(INI) Annual report on competition policy

Progress: Procedure completed

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead ECON TREMOSA I BALCELLS Ramon (icon: ALDE ALDE) STOLOJAN Theodor Dumitru (icon: PPE PPE), SANT Alfred (icon: S&D S&D), LOONES Sander (icon: ECR ECR), LÓPEZ BERMEJO Paloma (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL), REIMON Michel (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE), KAPPEL Barbara (icon: ENF ENF)
Committee Opinion INTA SAÏFI Tokia (icon: PPE PPE) Sander LOONES (icon: ECR ECR), Anne-Marie MINEUR (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL), Ramon TREMOSA i BALCELLS (icon: ALDE ALDE)
Committee Opinion IMCO SCHALDEMOSE Christel (icon: S&D S&D) Jan Philipp ALBRECHT (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE), Dennis de JONG (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL)
Committee Opinion AGRI SZANYI Tibor (icon: S&D S&D) Bas BELDER (icon: ECR ECR), Michel DANTIN (icon: PPE PPE), Miguel VIEGAS (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL)
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
RoP 54

Events

2018/09/10
   EC - Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2018/04/19
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2018/04/19
   EP - Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
Details

The European Parliament adopted by 445 votes to 104, with 38 abstentions, a resolution on the annual report on competition policy.

Members welcomed the report on competition policy 2016 of 31 May 2017, which shows that, in a fair competitive environment, investment and innovation are key for the future of Europe.

While strongly supporting the independence of the Commission and national competition authorities in their mission to shape and enforce effectively EU competition rules, Members called on the Commission to ensure regular information and exchanges with Parliament on competition policy, as provided for by the Interinstitutional Agreement (IIA) between the Commission and Parliament.

Improving the application of competition rules : Parliament called on the Commission to monitor the implementation of legislation linked to the completion of the single market, such as in the energy (including self-consumption) and transport sectors, the digital market, and retail financial services (including insurances), in order to improve the enforcement of EU competition rules and achieve a consistent application in Member States.

Members noted, however, that state aid can be an indispensable tool to secure the necessary infrastructure and supply for both the energy and transport sectors, and can be necessary to ensure the delivery of services of general economic interest (SGEI). They stressed that accessing cash from ATMs is an essential public service that must be provided without any discriminatory, anti-competitive or unfair practices.

The Commission was asked to:

reallocate adequate financial and human resources to DG Competition; continue its efforts to prevent the misuse of EU funds and in public procurement which is one of the government activities most vulnerable to corruption; adopt indicative guidelines to shorten the duration of antitrust investigations and proceedings for abuse of a dominant market position; examine carefully, in connection with a possible reform of the Merger Regulation, whether current assessment procedures take sufficient account of circumstances on digital markets.

Tax competition : Parliament reiterated that fair tax competition is important for the integrity of the internal market and that all market players, including digital companies , should pay their fair share of taxes where their profit is generated and compete on equal terms. It stressed the need to tax companies on the basis of their genuine activity in Member States.

Distortive anti-competitive practices, such as selective tax advantages, should be eliminated. Furthermore, the Commission should have access to all the relevant information exchanged between the national tax authorities, in order to assess the compatibility of their tax rulings and arrangements with EU competition rules.

Digital market : Members welcomed the Commission's decision against illegal tax benefits granted to Amazon and stressed that timely recovery of illegal aid is essential. They noted the Commission's statement of objections and its preliminary findings that Google has abused its dominant market position as a search engine by giving illegal advantages to another of its products, this being its price comparison shopping service. The Commission is called on to ensure that this company effectively implements corrective measures as soon as possible.

In general, Parliament stressed the specific challenge that digital businesses represented for competition and tax authorities, in particular as regards algorithms, artificial intelligence or the value of data. They encouraged the Commission to develop policy and enforcement instruments dealing with the emergence of digital economies.

Financial services : Parliament has asked the Commission to closely monitor activities in the retail banking and financial services sectors. It invited the Commission to explain under what conditions it was possible to use public funds to bail out major banks. It considered it a priority to ensure that State aid rules will be strictly respected when dealing with future banking crises, so that the burden of rescuing banks does not fall on taxpayers.

Members also stressed that access to cash via ATMs is an essential public service that must be provided without any anti-competitive practices being applied.

Transport sector : the Commission was asked to ensure fair competition in the transport sector in order to complete the single market, taking account of the public interest and environmental considerations and safeguarding the connectivity of insular and peripheral regions.

Members called on the Commission to:

clarify state aid rules for European and non-European airlines , with a view to establishing a level playing field between their operations targeting European and non-European markets. The same competition rules should be applied to all air carriers when flying to or from the EU and to both national and low-cost carriers; carefully assess all airline merger deals in accordance with the EU’s merger control procedure, including their impact on market competition; complete the implementation of the Single European Railway Area and to verify that every Member State has a strong and independent national antitrust regulator.

International cooperation : Parliament stressed the importance of international cooperation for the effective application of competition law principles in an era of globalisation. It asked the Commission to include a chapter on competition in international trade and investment agreements.

Members called for trade defence instruments to be updated to make them stronger, faster and more effective. They welcomed the new method of calculating anti-dumping duties by assessing market distortions in third countries. They emphasised, furthermore, the particular importance of the anti-subsidy instrument in tackling unfair global competition, and establishing a level playing field with EU state aid rules.

The resolution emphasised that reciprocity must be one of the key principles underpinning Union commercial policy, with a view to ensuring a level playing field for EU firms, in particular in the area of public procurement.

Documents
2018/04/19
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
2018/04/18
   EP - Debate in Parliament
2018/03/01
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
Details

The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs adopted the own-initiative report by Ramon TREMOSA i BALCELLS (ADLE, ES) on the annual report on competition policy. Members welcomed the report on competition policy 2016 of 31 May 2017, which shows that, in a fair competitive environment, investment and innovation are key for the future of Europe.

They strongly supported the independence of the Commission and national competition authorities in their mission to shape and enforce effectively EU competition rules and asked the Commission to ensure regular information and exchanges with Parliament on competition policy, as provided for by the Interinstitutional Agreement (IIA) between the Commission and Parliament.

Improving the application of competition rules : the report called on the Commission to monitor the implementation of legislation linked to the completion of the single market, such as in the energy (including self-consumption) and transport sectors, the digital market, and retail financial services, in order to improve the enforcement of EU competition rules and achieve a consistent application in Member States.

Members noted, however, that state aid can be an indispensable tool to secure the necessary infrastructure and supply for both the energy and transport sectors, and can be necessary to ensure the delivery of services of general economic interest (SGEI). They stressed that accessing cash from ATMs is an essential public service that must be provided without any discriminatory, anti-competitive or unfair practices.

The Commission was asked to:

reallocate adequate financial and human resources to DG Competition; continue its efforts to prevent the misuse of EU funds and stimulate accountability in public procurement; adopt indicative guidelines to shorten the duration of antitrust investigations and proceedings for abuse of a dominant market position; examine carefully, in connection with a possible reform of the Merger Regulation, whether current assessment procedures take sufficient account of circumstances on digital markets.

Tax competition : Members reiterated that fair tax competition is important for the integrity of the internal market and that all market players, including digital companies , should pay their fair share of taxes where their profit is generated and compete on equal terms. Distortive anti-competitive practices, such as selective tax advantages , should be eliminated. Furthermore, the Commission should have access to all the relevant information exchanged between the national tax authorities, in order to assess the compatibility of their tax rulings and arrangements with EU competition rules.

Digital market : Members strongly welcomed the Commission’s decision against the illegal tax benefits granted to Amazon and stressed that the timely recovery of illegal aid is essential. They took note of the Commission’s statement of objections and its preliminary conclusion that Google has abused its market dominance as a search engine by giving an illegal advantage to another of its products, this being its comparison shopping service. The Commission was called upon to: (i) ensure that the company implements the remedy effectively and promptly; (ii) diligently conduct all other pending antitrust investigations, such as Android, AdSense, and investigations in the travel and local search sectors, where Google is allegedly abusing its dominance; (iii) develop policy and enforcement instruments dealing with the emergence of digital economies.

Transport sector : the Commission was asked to ensure fair competition in the transport sector in order to complete the single market, taking account of the public interest and environmental considerations and safeguarding the connectivity of insular and peripheral regions.

Members called on the Commission to clarify state aid rules for European and non-European airlines , with a view to establishing a level playing field between their operations targeting European and non-European markets. The report stated that the same competition rules should be applied to all air carriers when flying to or from the EU and to both national and low-cost carriers.

The Commission was invited to carefully assess all airline merger deals in accordance with the EU’s merger control procedure, including their impact on market competition. Members also asked the Commission to complete the implementation of the Single European Railway Area.

Trade defence instruments: Members called for trade defence instruments to be updated to make them stronger, faster and more effective. They welcomed the new method of calculating anti-dumping duties by assessing market distortions in third countries. They emphasised, furthermore, the particular importance of the anti-subsidy instrument in tackling unfair global competition, and establishing a level playing field with EU state aid rules.

The report emphasised that reciprocity must be one of the key principles underpinning Union commercial policy, with a view to ensuring a level playing field for EU firms, in particular in the area of public procurement. It called on the Commission to take account of the needs of SMEs when conducting negotiations and trade with a view to ensuring better access to markets and making the firms in question more competitive.

Lastly, Members stressed that the Commission must put increased effort into ensuring the consistent application of the EU competition rules in all Member States with regard to e-commerce-related business practices.

Documents
2018/02/21
   EP - Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
2017/12/06
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2017/11/28
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2017/11/27
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2017/11/21
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2017/10/23
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2017/09/14
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
2017/09/07
   EP - SZANYI Tibor (S&D) appointed as rapporteur in AGRI
2017/08/30
   EP - SAÏFI Tokia (PPE) appointed as rapporteur in INTA
2017/06/21
   EP - SCHALDEMOSE Christel (S&D) appointed as rapporteur in IMCO
2017/03/21
   EP - TREMOSA I BALCELLS Ramon (ALDE) appointed as rapporteur in ECON

Documents

Votes

A8-0049/2018 - Ramon Tremosa i Balcells - § 6 19/04/2018 12:35:44.000

2018/04/19 Outcome: -: 303, +: 296, 0: 7
PL BG CZ EE SK LT FI HR SI NL LU LV HU RO AT DK IE MT BE DE CY PT ES EL SE FR GB IT
Total
43
13
17
5
9
10
8
10
6
23
3
7
13
28
18
9
10
6
17
77
4
19
40
12
17
63
56
61
icon: PPE PPE
182

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1

Lithuania PPE

2

Luxembourg PPE

2

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1

Belgium PPE

3

Cyprus PPE

1

United Kingdom PPE

2
icon: ALDE ALDE
57

Estonia ALDE

3

Finland ALDE

2

Croatia ALDE

For (1)

1

Slovenia ALDE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg ALDE

For (1)

1

Latvia ALDE

1

Romania ALDE

2

Austria ALDE

For (1)

1

Denmark ALDE

2

Ireland ALDE

For (1)

1

Germany ALDE

2

Portugal ALDE

1

Sweden ALDE

2

United Kingdom ALDE

1
icon: ECR ECR
53

Bulgaria ECR

1

Czechia ECR

2

Slovakia ECR

1

Lithuania ECR

1

Finland ECR

For (1)

1

Croatia ECR

For (1)

1

Netherlands ECR

2

Romania ECR

2

Belgium ECR

2

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For (1)

1
icon: NI NI
7

Poland NI

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2

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2

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2

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1
icon: ENF ENF
30

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2

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2

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1

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35

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2

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1

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1

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3

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1

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1

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4

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4

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1
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
41

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1

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3

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4

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3
icon: S&D S&D
156

Bulgaria S&D

2

Czechia S&D

4

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2

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1

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1

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1

Malta S&D

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1

Greece S&D

3

A8-0049/2018 - Ramon Tremosa i Balcells - § 19/2 19/04/2018 12:36:06.000

2018/04/19 Outcome: +: 575, 0: 16, -: 7
DE FR IT GB ES PL RO NL BE PT AT CZ SE HU BG EL LT IE HR SK DK LV FI SI MT CY LU EE
Total
78
62
60
57
39
42
27
22
18
18
18
17
16
14
12
11
10
10
10
9
8
7
7
6
6
4
3
5
icon: PPE PPE
175

United Kingdom PPE

2

Sweden PPE

1

Lithuania PPE

2

Finland PPE

2

Cyprus PPE

1

Luxembourg PPE

2

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1
icon: S&D S&D
154

Netherlands S&D

3

Hungary S&D

2

Bulgaria S&D

2

Ireland S&D

For (1)

1

Croatia S&D

2

Slovakia S&D

2

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2

Latvia S&D

1

Finland S&D

1

Malta S&D

3

Cyprus S&D

For (1)

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icon: ALDE ALDE
58

Germany ALDE

3

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1

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2

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1

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icon: ECR ECR
53

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icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
45

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1

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5

Netherlands Verts/ALE

2

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2

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3

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icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
40

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icon: EFDD EFDD
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A8-0049/2018 - Ramon Tremosa i Balcells - Am 1 19/04/2018 12:38:03.000

2018/04/19 Outcome: +: 284, -: 273, 0: 30
IT FR ES SE GB PT EL IE AT MT CY RO DK FI LV BE HU LT DE EE LU HR SK SI NL CZ BG PL
Total
60
61
39
16
55
19
5
10
18
6
1
28
8
8
7
17
13
10
77
5
3
10
9
6
23
17
13
41
icon: S&D S&D
153

Greece S&D

1

Ireland S&D

For (1)

1

Malta S&D

3

Cyprus S&D

For (1)

1

Denmark S&D

2

Finland S&D

1

Latvia S&D

1

Hungary S&D

2

Croatia S&D

2

Slovakia S&D

2

Netherlands S&D

3

Bulgaria S&D

2
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
44

Italy Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

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5

Austria Verts/ALE

3

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1

Latvia Verts/ALE

1

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2

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1

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For (1)

1

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1

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icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
35

France GUE/NGL

2

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icon: ENF ENF
30

Belgium ENF

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1

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1

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2

Poland ENF

2
icon: EFDD EFDD
35

France EFDD

Abstain (1)

3

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2

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1

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1

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1

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1
icon: NI NI
7

France NI

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1

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icon: ALDE ALDE
58

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2

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1

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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

Finland ALDE

2

Latvia ALDE

1

Germany ALDE

3

Estonia ALDE

3

Luxembourg ALDE

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1

Croatia ALDE

Against (1)

1

Slovenia ALDE

Against (1)

1
icon: ECR ECR
53

Italy ECR

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1

Romania ECR

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2

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2

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1

Belgium ECR

2

Lithuania ECR

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1

Croatia ECR

Against (1)

1

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Abstain (1)

1

Netherlands ECR

2

Czechia ECR

2

Bulgaria ECR

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1
icon: PPE PPE
170

Sweden PPE

1

United Kingdom PPE

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1

Greece PPE

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1

Ireland PPE

Abstain (1)

4

Malta PPE

Abstain (1)

3

Finland PPE

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3

Belgium PPE

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2

Lithuania PPE

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Luxembourg PPE

2

A8-0049/2018 - Ramon Tremosa i Balcells - Résolution 19/04/2018 12:39:14.000

2018/04/19 Outcome: +: 445, -: 104, 0: 38
DE RO ES GB IT FR BE PL AT NL BG PT HR LT CZ SK FI SE HU LV DK SI EE LU IE CY EL MT
Total
76
28
38
55
60
62
18
41
18
23
13
19
10
10
17
9
8
16
13
7
8
6
5
3
10
1
5
6
icon: S&D S&D
153

Netherlands S&D

3

Bulgaria S&D

For (1)

Abstain (1)

2

Croatia S&D

2

Slovakia S&D

2

Finland S&D

1

Hungary S&D

2

Latvia S&D

1

Denmark S&D

2

Ireland S&D

For (1)

1

Cyprus S&D

For (1)

1

Greece S&D

1

Malta S&D

3
icon: PPE PPE
169

United Kingdom PPE

For (1)

1

Lithuania PPE

2

Sweden PPE

1

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg PPE

For (1)

Abstain (1)

2

Greece PPE

For (1)

1
icon: ALDE ALDE
57

Germany ALDE

2

Romania ALDE

2

United Kingdom ALDE

1

Austria ALDE

For (1)

1

Portugal ALDE

1

Croatia ALDE

For (1)

1

Finland ALDE

2

Sweden ALDE

2

Latvia ALDE

1

Denmark ALDE

2

Slovenia ALDE

For (1)

1

Estonia ALDE

3

Luxembourg ALDE

For (1)

1

Ireland ALDE

For (1)

1
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
45

United Kingdom Verts/ALE

5

Italy Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Belgium Verts/ALE

2

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Netherlands Verts/ALE

2

Croatia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Lithuania Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Hungary Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Latvia Verts/ALE

1

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1

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For (1)

1

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For (1)

1
icon: ECR ECR
52

Romania ECR

2

Italy ECR

For (1)

1

Belgium ECR

2

Netherlands ECR

2

Bulgaria ECR

1

Croatia ECR

For (1)

1

Lithuania ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Czechia ECR

2

Slovakia ECR

1

Finland ECR

For (1)

1
icon: NI NI
7

United Kingdom NI

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1

Poland NI

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2

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3

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1
icon: ENF ENF
30

Germany ENF

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1

Belgium ENF

Against (1)

1

Poland ENF

2

Netherlands ENF

2
icon: EFDD EFDD
35

Germany EFDD

Abstain (1)

1

France EFDD

Abstain (1)

3

Poland EFDD

1

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1

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icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
37

United Kingdom GUE/NGL

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1

Italy GUE/NGL

3

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3

Finland GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

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1

Denmark GUE/NGL

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1
4

Greece GUE/NGL

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Abstain (1)

2
AmendmentsDossier
479 2017/2191(INI)
2017/10/05 IMCO 69 amendments...
source: 612.074
2017/10/20 AGRI 92 amendments...
source: 612.208
2017/10/26 INTA 26 amendments...
source: 612.360
2017/11/28 ECON 292 amendments...