© Alexandra Buxbaum

Green MEPs demand access to full studies

Four Green MEPs have submitted an appeal to the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA), calling for access to the full studies used to determine the safety of controversial herbicide, glyphosate.

©sergey-zolkin

Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 16-19 January 2017

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary included: EP Presidency; Greens/EFA candidate for EP Presidency; EP Vice-Presidency; New MEPs joins Greens/EFA Group; Brexit; European Pillar of Social Rights; International Science and Technology Centre; Union Customs Code implementation; Money-laundering blacklist.

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No new GM plants!

Tell your Ministries to block 3 genetically modified maize from entering EU fields!

No new GM plants have been authorised for cultivation in the EU in almost 20 years.

Jean Lambert for President of the European Parliament

Statement from Jean Lambert on her candidacy

The European Parliament will elect its new President for the second half of this Parliamentary term. Jean Lambert, MEP for London, is the Greens/EFA candidate.

Wayne Azzopardi flickr

Implications of Maltese presidency for EU tax reforms

Is Malta a Tax Haven?

The Greens publish a new report on Malta’s tax system, which offers a number of advantages for foreign multinationals and wealthy individuals.

Welcome to “Weirdland”

The trial of a “Faucheur de Chaise”

Do you know the difference between Antoine Deltour, whistleblower in the Luxleaks scandal, and Jon Palais, French citizen seizing chairs? When it comes to justice: none. They are both prosecuted for denouncing something morally wrong and costly to our societies, while the real culprits walk free.

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Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 12-15 December 2016

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary included: LuxLeaks appeal trial; 4th Railway Package: missed opportunity for progress; New Greens/EFA co-presidents and bureau announced; Commission Statement: rule of law in Poland; Sakharov Prize presentation; Commission Statement: Energy Union Package; Parliament’s rules of Procedure; Commission: Labour mobility package - coordination of social security systems; Revision of the Research fund for Coal and Steel; Council and Commission statements ahead of European Council; European Parliament presidency: Greens/EFA candidate; ETS vote in ENVI.

European Parliament timidly improves transparency, integrity and ethics

Good news from the European Parliament, kind of! The tireless efforts of the Greens/EFA transparency team somewhat paid off this month as the European Parliament voted on a number of proposals to increase transparency an...

Support for Thalidomide Victims

Plaid Cymru and EFA MEP Jill Evans has spoken up in support of thalidomide victims at a key debate in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. More than fifty years has passed since thalidomide was given to pregnant wom...

Appeals procedure against whistleblowers Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet as well as journalist Edouard Perrin

Joint statement by whistleblowers Ana Garrido, Brigitte Heinisch, Jonathan Sugarman and András Horváth together with Greens/EFA Members of the European Parliament

We, whistleblowers and Members of the European Parliament, express our solidarity with the LuxLeaks whistleblowers Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet, as well as the journalist, Edouard Perrin, who all served the public i...

©andrew-neel

Anti Corruption Day 2016

Today is International Anti Corruption day, a UN sponsored day that aims to raise awareness and call for action in the fight against corruption. Last year, we published a series of proposals for how ethics, transparency and integrity needed to be improved in the EU institutions, as well as a list of ways in which we were working to achieve those goals.

Tax shopping

Exploring Zara's tax business

 The countdown to Christmas is well underway and for most of us, December is the month of shopping fever. While you are wondering what to get Grandma for this special day (and praying you won’t get that ugly p...

EU nature legislation

Green position ahead of the orientation debate of the Commission college on the follow-up to the Fitness Check of the Birds and Habitats Directives

The Birds and Habitats Directives form the cornerstones of the EU’s legislative framework on nature conservation and are making a major contribution to halting the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Hearing Vladimir Sucha and Giovanni De Santi

EMIS Committee

The EMIS committee held its second hearing of JRC officials on Thursday, following disappointment from some Members with the first hearing held in April. Vladimir Sucha, JRC’s current director-general, Vladimir Suc...

Time to get tough on money laundering crimes

Lessons from the Panama Papers

What is the link between Russian President Vladimir Putin’s best friend, the international football player Lionel Messi, and Andrew M., an American citizen suspected of running a child prostitution network? At first gl...

European Parliament adopts new measures to control conflicts of interest in the European Commission

It’s almost as if the European Commission is trying its hardest to shoot itself in the foot. The list of ethical scandals just keeps growing: Cañete, de Gucht, Kroes, Barroso, Oettinger.

European Parliament moves forward on transparency of decision-making and impact of lobbyists

After much insistence and plenty of reminders from the Greens/EFA group, the European Parliament has finally put into place an official mechanism that allows Members of the European Parliament to publish a list of the interest groups or lobby organisations that they met with in the context of a particular report or piece of legislation.

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Issue n° 23 November 2016

GREEN INSIGHT INTO EU FOOD POLICY Public health- The Parliament says no to herbicides with bentazone Glyphosate: the European Court of Justice rules for transparency on access to information on chemicals GMO cultivation, not here not anywhere

EFA President in Brexit talks

President of the EFA Group in the European Parliament Josep-Maria Terricabras is taking part in the first of a series of exchanges of view on the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union. Josep-Maria Te...

©olia-gozha

Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 21-24 November 2016

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary included: Occupational retirement provision; EU-Turkey relations; Conflict minerals trialogue; Council/Commission Statements on outcome of COP22; EU Parliament refuses to refer CETA to the ECJ; Commission considers Code of Conduct changes; Emissions of certain atmospheric pollutants; Renewing the approval of the active substance bentazone; Sign language and professional sign language interpreters; Umbrella deal on EU-US data protection; Dieselgate hearing with French Minister, Ségolène Royal; EU accession to the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Ratification of the Istanbul Convention will mean that women and girls will be guaranteed the right to live lives free from violence.   Statistics show that violence against women is a serious problem in the Europ...

Hearing of French Minister Ségolène Royal

EMIS inquiry committee 24 November 2016

  Ségolène Royal, France’s environment minister, appeared before the EMIS committee in Strasbourg today. The much-anticipated hearing got off to a rocky start, as Ms Royal arrived 40 minutes l...

Ombudsman report

excellent work on transparency, citizen rights, good administration and conflicts of interest

  The Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament is a big supporter of the work done by the European Ombudswoman, Emily O’Reilly, to ensure oversight over the EU administration and defend transparency and ...

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Let's get CETA to the European Court of Justice!

Ask your MEP to support our resolution

On Wednesday 23rd November, the European Parliament will vote on our resolution. We call on Members of the European Parliament to approve our demand to send CETA to the European Court of Justice. But we need your support, send them a tweet.

Nobel winning economist Pr Stiglitz visits the Greens in the European Parliament

A blog from our Tax Justice Campaign

Pr Stiglitz did us the honour to come and speak yesterday with Green Members of the European Parliament. As a member of the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT), together wit...

A new era for the EU-Africa cooperation in the energy field?

A blog from COP22 in Marrakesh

Helping Africa accelerating its energy transition is indispensable while climate negotiations are on-going in Marrakech. As 16 November is the so-called “Africa day” at COP 22, several options are on the table to put energy efficiency, renewables and grid development in focus. Africa's domestic potential in renewable energy sources remains largely untapped. Throughout the continent, 635 million people are left without access to electricity.

Positive feedback on Greens/EFA draft EU Directive for the protection of whisteblowers

  On 4 May 2016, the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament presented a draft Directive to ensure minimum standards of protection for whistleblowers across the European Union. The Directive, drafted with the...

Conflicts of interest

Juncker finally pushing to improve the Commission’s ethics rules, but more needs to be done

Next Wednesday 16th November, the Commission is due to discuss (and possibly decide) on a prolongation of the cooling off period for ex- Commissioners, which is designed to prevent possible conflicts of interest arising from the "revolving door".

Start of the COP22

A day to celebrate

The last year has seen a major change in global attitudes towards climate change and how to tackle it. This change started after the Paris Agreement - the first globally binding agreement to fight climate change - was reached in December 2015. Just eleven months later, this agreement has already entered into force - a speed that is unprecedented among global agreements - a clear confirmation of the importance that countries attach to combating climate change and to the myriad opportunities this fight entails.

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GMO cultivation

Not here, not anywhere

In the coming weeks, the European Commission will submit to the Standing Committee on plants, animals, food and feed three draft regulations aimed at the renewal of the authorisation for cultivation in the EU of three GM maize varieties.

Finance Ministers agree on criteria to define tax havens

Will US be screened accordingly, after Trump’s victory?

This post was supposed to be about yesterday’s European Finance Ministers meeting and their decision on criteria to screen non-European countries who are deemed to be tax havens. These criteria will ultimately lead to some countries appearing on the first European common backlist of tax havens at the end of 2017.

Members of the European Parliament failing to improve their own ethics system

A blog post from our Transparency and Democracy campaign

  Today, members of the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee have voted to amend their “Rules of Procedure”, which govern the way the EU’s only directly elected institution works and which lay down...

Corporate tax avoidance

New research shows chemical giant BASF uses toxic tax tricks to avoid €923 million in tax

A chemical giant abusing their powers... It might sound like the plot to a trashy old movie, found in the bargain bin on an old VHS. But sadly, it is merely the latest episode in a long-running real life horror saga. After Google, Amazon, Starbucks, McDonalds, IKEA, and Apple, you can now add BASF to the ever growing list of major companies caught not paying their fair share of taxes.

Two years after the Luxleaks scandal

what progress for tax justice?

A blog from our Tax Justice campaign Happy anniversary! Two years ago, the newly appointed European Commission – "the Commission of the last chance" – started its mandate with the Luxleaks scanda...

©sergey-zolkin

Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 24-27 October 2016

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary included: Breaches of democracy, rule of law, fundamental rights; Commission Work Programme; Corporate Tax package; Democracy and press freedom Hungary; Key debate on conclusions of European Council; Debate on situation of journalists in Turkey; EU budget 2017; 2016 Sakharov Prize winner; CETA trade deal on hold (Thursday)

How a fair EU agri-food policy can help create jobs in rural areas

A blog from our food campaign

How effective is European support for farming and agriculture? Well, the numbers speak for themselves: rural economies are in bad shape. Between 2005 and 2010, 2.5 million farms were lost in the EU, with the average f...

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Issue n° 22 October 2016

GREEN INSIGHT INTO EU FOOD POLICY Glyphosate: MEPs protest on Right to Know Day against fake transparencyBan on Bisphenol A in all food contact material GMO- Divergence of opinion within EFSA highlights serious shortcom...

Greens freeze part of Commission budget to force action on revolving doors and ethics

Today, the European Parliament voted on the EU budget for 2017, sending a clear signal to the European Commission that they need to urgently reform their ethics codes, particularly to control the revolving doors (which i...

Why the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base is much more than a cryptic acronym

A blog from our Tax Justice Campaign

CCCTB: Say hello to the new acronym in town. It stands for Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base and while it might sound boring, it’s actually something quite revolutionary.

Hearing of Alexander Dobrindt, Olaf Lies and Ségolène Royal

EMIS inquiry committee - 20 October, November

Hearing with German Transport Ministers Alexander Dobrindt and Olaf Lies (20 October), upcoming hearing with Minister Ségolène Royal (presumably in November)

World Food Day

Agriculture must move in step with the needs of our climate

“Climate is changing. Agriculture must too”. That is the theme of this year’s UN World Food Day, to be celebrated on 16th October. The message is a promising one. And with World Food Day falling just before the ne...

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GMOs

Divergence of opinion within EFSA highlights serious shortcomings with assessment process

Since the beginning of the year, the European Commission has proposed eight new authorisations for commercialisation of genetically modified (GM) plants in the EU, a further two authorisations for cultivation and the renewal of the authorisation for cultivation of the GM-maize Mon 810.

In solidarity with Népszabadság

Questions about media freedom and pluralism in Hungary

The biggest Hungarian opposition daily newspaper Népszabadság was summarily shut down over the weekend of 8-9 October 2016. Journalists were told that their offices were being moved to another building and that they should put their things into boxes ready for the move.

National Technical Services and Type-approval Authorities German type approval authority “Kraftfahrtbundesamt” leaves many questions open

EMIS inquiry committee - 10 October 2016

The hearing of the Committee of inquiry into Emission Measurements in the Automotive Sector (EMIS) with the German type approval authority (“Kraftfahrtbundesamt”, KBA) was very left many questions open.

©krsto-jevtic

Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 3-6 October 2016

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary included: transparency; GMO cultivation faces objection vote; Commission hearing on macro-economic conditionality for Portugal & Spain; Legal Aid Directive will ensure minimum standards; Making sure trade policy protects human rights; European Public Prosecutor's office and Eurojust; Ratification of the Paris agreement (COP 21); 18th birthday Interrail pass for Europeans; Look ahead to European Council meeting; The need for a European reindustrialisation policy; Women’s rights in Poland; Thailand, the case of Andy Hall; Enforcement of EU law not sufficiently transparent; Syria; Food Contact Materials.

Ban on Bisphenol A in all Food contact materials

A strong call for better EU food safety rules

Food contact materials (FCMs) are largely used in everyday life such as food packaging, kitchen utensils, tableware, etc.

Green Plan for Transparency and Integrity in the European Parliament

(AKA, “Rules of Procedure”)

The recent ethics scandals involving former Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso - who moved through the revolving door to Goldman Sachs - and former Commissioner Neelie Kroes - who failed to declare that she was listed as Director of a company in a secretive tax haven (Panama), has made clear that there is an urgent need to reform the Commission's ethics system. Indeed, in a plenary debate held on Tuesday 4th October, the majority of political groups made strong calls for the EU Commission to reform its ethics system.

Dodgy taxes, shady ethics

Reforming two broken systems

A blog from our Transparency & Democracy and Tax Justice Priorities Conflict of interest: situation in which a person or organisation is involved in multiple interests, financial or otherwise, which could possibly negatively affect his or her motivation or decision-making.

MEPs protest on Right to Know Day against fake transparency on glyphosate

“Secret Science is not science”

Every year, on 28th September, transparency campaigners, governments and international bodies such as UNESCO celebrate International Right to Know Day.

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6 reasons to ban GM plant cultivation in the EU

On Friday 14 October, the EU Commission will probably submit to the Standing Committee on plants, animals, food and feed three draft regulations aimed at renewal of the authorisation of cultivation in the EU of three GM maize varieties

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Issue n°21 September 2016

On Thursday 8th September, the Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament examined three petitions opposing the use of the systemic herbicide glyphosate.