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Weekly overview

Our weekly overviews - Brussels agenda and Strasbourg Flash - give you a concise idea of the priorities and the highlights for the Greens during the parliamentary weeks. The weekly overview covers both the EP committees and plenary debates and votes but also focuses on hot topics in the other EU institutions. Furthermore, it provides you with a list of Greens/EFA activities which range from press conferences to public conferences.

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Strasbourg Flash

Weekly preview of the Greens/EFA group – 21-24 November 2016

EU priorities (full text below):

  • Occupational retirement provision (Parliament, Tuesday)
  • EU-Turkey relations (Parliament, Tuesday)
  • Conflict minerals trialogue (Tuesday)
  • Council/Commission Statements on outcome of COP22 (Parliament, Wednesday)
  • Will CETA be referred to the ECJ? (Parliament, Wednesday)
  • Commission considers Code of Conduct changes (Wednesday)
  • National Emissions Ceilings - proposals watered down (Parliament, Wednesday)
  • Umbrella deal on EU-US data protection (Committee, Thursday)
  • Dieselgate hearing with French Minister, Ségolène Royal (Committee, Thursday)

Greens/EFA events:

  • Press briefing with Greens/EFA co-presidents Rebecca Harms and Philippe Lamberts (Tuesday)
  • Press conference on Dieselgate and the hearing of Ms Ségolène Royal (Wednesday)

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Occupational retirement provision
Tuesday 22 November - plenary vote

The Commission’s proposal was aimed primarily at encouraging cross-border provision of pensions so as to improve provision of workplace pensions. While we would stress the importance of adequate state pensions as the first priority, we are pleased that the report includes an obligation to include environmental, social and governance assessments in the investment and risk management procedure. It also provides legal clarity that an environmentally responsible investment strategy cannot be attacked in court simply because it won’t achieve the maximum return on investment.

EU-Turkey relations
Tuesday 22 November - plenary debate

The Greens/EFA group has called for accession negotiations with Turkey to be put on hold for as long as the Erdogan regime continues to flout fundamental rights. Visa liberalisation is also impossible until the Turkish government meets the necessary conditions. So long as the EU-Turkey deal is the only response to the refugee crisis, the Member States leave themselves dependent on President Erdogan. If we want to solve the refugee crisis, the EU must take matters into its own hands. Member States should finally fulfil their commitments on the resettlement of refugees and the EU must stop returning refugees to Turkey. See our latest press release.

Conflict minerals trialogue
Tuesday 23 November

There is already a broad political agreement in favour of legislating against conflict minerals: this final trialogue meeting will agree the details. This legislation is intended to stop the financing of armed groups through trade in conflict minerals by forcing companies to source responsibly. While the original proposal was for a voluntary certification scheme, we have helped deliver binding legislation. Though we regret that many companies who import products containing conflict minerals, or who only import a small volume of risk materials, will not be included in the reach of the legislation, this is nonetheless a positive and welcome step forward.

Council and Commission Statements on the outcome of COP22
Wednesday 23 November - plenary

We have been pushing for clear policy commitments and financing to ensure that the ambitions agreed in Paris are delivered.

Will CETA be referred to the ECJ?
Wednesday 23 November - plenary vote

The plenary will vote on a motion to refer CETA to the European Court of Justice, requesting an opinion on the compatibility of the agreement with EU treaties. This has been a demand of the Greens/EFA group for some time.

Commission discussion on Code of Conduct
Wednesday 23 November - Commission college

The Commission is expected to discuss a proposal on extending the cooling off period for Commissioners. We are demanding a strong proposal to rebuild trust after recent scandals (Kroes, Barroso, Oettinger). See background.

National Emissions Ceilings
Wednesday 23 November – plenary debate

MEPs will vote on a first reading agreement on a revision of the National Emissions Ceiling Directive. During the trialogue process, instead of increasing the ambitions to align with cost effective potential based on climate policy targets as was recommended by the impact assessment commissioned by the European Parliament, the Commission proposal was watered down. Methane targets were removed from the law and ammonia emission targets were weakened under pressure from the agriculture lobby.

Umbrella Agreement on data protection
Thursday 24 November - LIBE vote

LIBE MEPs will vote on a report from Greens/EFA MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht, giving consent to an umbrella agreement on data protection. There will for the first time be a binding agreement on data protection when it comes to police and judicial cooperation between the EU and the US. This ‘Umbrella agreement’ on data protection sets high standards: persons concerned have clear rights to information and EU and US citizens will have the right to appeal. The agreement is internationally binding and is about to be finally agreed upon by the Obama administration. The plenary vote is expected on Thursday 1 December.

Ségolène Royal at Dieselgate hearing
Thursday 24 November - EMIS hearing

The EMIS enquiry committee will hear from French Environment Minister, Ségolène Royal. The Minister initiated a Commission of Experts at the end 2015 to investigate emission tests at French car manufacturers. In August 2016, the public learned that the final report was lacking crucial information, including information on defeat devices of the French car manufacturer Renault.

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Co-presidents press briefing
Tuesday 22 November – 10.30-10.50, EP press room LOW N -1/201

Press briefing with Greens/EFA co-presidents Rebecca Harms and Philippe Lamberts on the key issues of the plenary session for the Greens/EFA group. The briefing will be live-streamed on our website: www.greens-efa.eu/press/722-press-briefing

Press conference on Dieselgate and the hearing of Ms Ségolène Royal
Wednesday 23 November - 10.30-10.50, EP press room LOW N -1/201

MEPs Bas Eickhout and Karima Delli will look ahead to the session with French Environment Minister, Ségolène Royal. You can live stream the press conference via our website: http://bit.ly/2fI24tL

 

Greens/EFA Press contacts