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Greens/EFA candidate Ulrike Lunacek elected

The European Parliament has today re-elected Ulrike Lunacek as Vice-President. This will be her second term as Vice-President, having previously been elected in July 2014.

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Money laundering

European Parliament sends Commission back to the drawing board on money-laundering blacklist

The European Parliament today rejected a delegated act on third countries at high-risk of money laundering, and has urged the Commission to make a new assessment on which countries should be included on the blacklist.


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EP President

Tajani must leave his political past behind him

The Italian EPP MEP Antonio Tajani has today been elected President of the European Parliament.


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Brexit

Prime Minister’s speech sets out self-defeating agenda

British Prime Minister Theresa May has today delivered a highly anticipated speech, outlining her position for the Brexit negotiations. The speech confirms that the British Government has chosen the hardest form of separation between the UK and the European Union, exiting the single mar...


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Monti Report

Reform of EU's own resources system urgently needed

The report marks the end of the mandate of the High-Level Working Group Own Resource to develop recommendations for the reform of the income side of the EU budget.


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Mercury

Beginning of the end for the use of dental amalgams in the EU

New law will reduce the trade and use of mercury, the risk of contamination, and bring legislation in line with the Minamata Convention on Mercury signed in 2013.


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Maltese EU Presidency and tax practices

New report shows island state is a tax haven

At the start of the Maltese EU Presidency, the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament has today presented a study on the country’s tax practices. The study, written by the Italian-British academic, Tommaso Faccio, shows that Malta would be included in the list of tax havens if the crit...


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Five Star MEP joins Greens/EFA

Marco Affronte joins as independent member

Marco Affronte, member of the Five Star Movement, has left the EFDD group and joined the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament as an independent member.


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Data protection

Rules must protect fundamental right to privacy

The European Commission has today presented its package on data protection. The proposals include measures relating to the existing ePrivacy directive, which protects personal data in electronic communication.


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ECJ ruling on data retention

Swedish and UK regimes are incompatible with EU law

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has today ruled that the current data retention regimes for electronic communications services in Sweden and the UK are incompatible with EU law (1). The ECJ ruling states that "general and indiscriminate" retention of data is illegal, but does allow ...


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ECJ ruling on Western Sahara

EU must end complicity in illegally occupied Western Sahara

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has today ruled that Western Sahara is not a part of Moroccan territory. The effect of the ruling is that no bilateral EU-Morocco agreement can apply to this territory. Commenting on the ruling, Vice-chair of the European Parliament intergroup on Western Sahara...


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Emissions Trading System

Tentative step towards aligning flagship scheme with Paris Agreement

The European Parliament’s Environment committee has today voted on the much-needed reform of the Emissions Trading System (ETS). The so-called EU 'cornerstone policy' in the fight against climate change has been largely malfunctioning, and has not been able to deliver a carbon price hi...


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European Parliament presidency

Greens/EFA group nominates Jean Lambert

The Greens/EFA group today nominated British MEP Jean Lambert as their candidate for the presidency of the European Parliament. Commenting on the result, Jean Lambert said: "I am honoured to have the support of the Greens/EFA group to stand as their candidate for the presidency of the Eur...


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Fourth Railway Package

Package fails to deliver for passengers

The European Parliament voted today on the fourth railway package. The Greens/EFA Group voted against the political pillar of the proposal, as the new rules will not bring any real improvements. Commenting after of the vote, Green transport spokesperson Jakop Dalunde said: "The tenderi...


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Poland

It's time to trigger Article 7

A debate will take place this afternoon in the European Parliament on the state of rule of law and democracy in Poland. The Greens/EFA Group will call for the use of Article 7. Last week, representatives of the Polish government announced their intention to withdraw Poland’s signature from the Ist...


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Greece

Financial assistance must not be at the cost of labour rights

The European Parliament will today debate the labour market reforms and labour relations in Greece. The European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are pushing to make financial assistance conditional on the liberalisation of labour laws, despite the fact...


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Rules of procedure

New rules will enhance transparency and integrity

The European Parliament has today amended the Parliament's Rules of Procedure. The Greens/EFA group has secured a series of measures to improve transparency, including those adopted from a report from Pascal Durand, which will see an enhanced check of potential conflicts of interests for Comm...


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Sakharov Prize

Award is signal of support for all women who oppose oppression

The European Parliament has awarded this year's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to Nadia Murad and Lamiya Aji Bashar.


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Commission labour mobility package

Proposals could undermine “social Europe”

The European Commission has today announced its proposals on EU social security coordination.They include plans to tighten the rules for accessing benefits for non-working citizens. For example, EU citizens currently receive unemployment benefits in the country in which they last worked. Under the C...


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European Parliament united in defence of fundamental rights

The European Parliament has approved a report on the Situation of Fundamental Rights in the EU in 2015, with the Greens/EFA Group voting in favour. Three of the four amendments presented by the Greens/EFA Group were approved. Following the vote, MEP Josep-Maria Terricabras, spokesperson on the subje...


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New Bureau of the Greens/EFA Group

Ska Keller and Philippe Lamberts elected co-presidents

The Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament has today elected its bureau for the next two and a half years.


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Refugees

Commission plan to return refugees to Greece not credible

The European Commission has announced its intention to gradually resume the transfer of refugees to Greece under the Dublin system. Commenting on the announcement, Greens/EFA migration policy spokesperson, Ska Keller said: "With the EU having so far met only 5% of its target for relocating ref...


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CETA

Employment and Social Affairs committee opposes trade deal

The European Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee has today recommended that the European Parliament decline to give consent to CETA. Their opinion will now be passed to the lead committee, International Trade, who will vote in January ahead of a final plenary vote on the agreement...


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Corporate Tax Avoidance

Zara caught tax shopping

The Greens/EFA group has today presented a report on the tax avoidance strategies of Inditex, the Spanish based owner behind clothes retailer Zara (1). Research commissioned by the group shows that Inditex avoided at least €585 million in taxes for the period 2011-2014, by using aggressive avoidan...


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Dieselgate

Commission launches overdue infringement proceedings

The European Commission has today launched infringement proceedings against seven EU Member States. The states are accused of having failed to set up a system of sanctions for car companies that installed prohibited software in their vehicles in order to cheat emission tests. This sanction system is...


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Women's Rights: Poland

Polish government intends to withdraw support for Istanbul Convention

The Polish Minister for Social Affairs, Labour and Family has today announced their intention to withdraw Poland’s signature from the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. The convention, commonly referred to as the Istanbul Conventi...


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Nature Directives

Commission commits to Action Plan to ensure full compliance

Following an orientation debate held today by the College of Commissioners, the European Commission has confirmed it will develop an Action Plan to improve implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives (Nature Directives) and their coherence with other EU policies. The Greens/EFA group &nda...


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Presidential election Austria

Van der Bellen win shows a progressive alternative is possible

The president of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, Philippe Lamberts, reacts to the victory of Alexander Van der Bellen in the Austrian presidential election: "The victory of Van der Bellen gives hope for the whole European Union. He shows that there is an alternative that is not...


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Italian referendum

After ill-conceived vote, Italy must look to solve fundamental problems

Responding to the result of the Italian constitutional referendum, and the subsequent resignation of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Greens/EFA group president Philippe Lamberts said: "It is obvious that Italy's political system, which is one of Europe's most intricate and most ...


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Football Leaks

Latest scandal shows need for urgent tax reforms

According to information obtained by the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) consortium, several big football stars, including player Cristiano Ronaldo and manager Jose Mourinho, may have avoided large sums of tax through the use of tax havens. Commenting on the reports, Green economic an...


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Greece

Eurogroup reform proposal on collective bargaining is against EU law

This week has seen a series of meetings between Greek government officials and representatives of the institutions as part of the second bailout review negotiations. These talks take place ahead of the Eurogroup meeting of 5 December, where discussions on an agreement on the restructuring of Greek p...


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Conflicts of Interest

Parliament strengthens its scrutiny over Commissioners' Conflicts of Interest

The European Parliament has today approved by a large majority the report by Greens/EFA MEP Pascal Durand on the declarations of interests of European Commissioners. The report is a reaction to multiple ethics scandals in the European Commission, which the Parliament has so far had little powers to uncover or prevent.


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Commission's Winter Package

A lost decade for the energy transition

The European Commission has today presented its Winter Package, containing a series of legislative proposals on the future energy policy of the European Union. The proposals fall far short of what will be needed to match the ambitions agreed under the Paris Agreement.


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Data protection

Transatlantic deal is great step forward

The European Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committee has today adopted with a significant majority the EU-US data protection agreement for police and law enforcement authorities (“Umbrella agreement”). The agreement provides regulation for data protection when it comes t...


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Divestment makes its way into EU pension law

The European Parliament has today backed a report on improving provision of workplace pensions (1). The Greens/EFA group has secured a number of key amendments, which will introduce social and environmental measures into pension risk assessment and bring divestment into EU legislation. Commenting...


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CETA

European Parliament refuses to refer trade deal to ECJ

The European Parliament has today rejected a call from a coalition of MEPs, including Greens/EFA members, to refer the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the EU to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).Various legal experts, including the German Association of Judges ...


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Air pollution

Revised legislation won’t tackle public health crisis

The European Parliament has today voted in favour of a long-overdue revision of EU air quality legislation, setting out national limits on a range of air pollutants. The Greens/EFA group has condemned the final agreement, which is substantially weaker than the European Commission's original proposal...


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EU-Turkey relations

Accession negotiations must be frozen

The European Parliament will today debate EU-Turkey relations. While there is expected to be support from a majority of MEPs for a freeze on accession negotiations with Turkey, the Greens/EFA group is also calling for pushback on Turkey's calls for enhancement of the Customs Union and Visa Liberalis...


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Code of Conduct

EU Commission must urgently bring forward proposals

The European Commission met today to discuss a new Code of Conduct but, despite indications from President Juncker that one was forthcoming, they have not presented a new proposal. Commenting, Greens/EFA transparency spokesperson Benedek Jávor said: "Given the recent scandals, one would think ...


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EU-Turkey Relations

Press release from EFA MEPs Maragall and Terricabras

EFA MEPs Ernest Maragall and Josep-Maria Terricabras have voiced their concerns about the situation in Turkey as the European Parliament prepares to vote on freezing EU accession negotiations. Maragall & Terricabras This follows the deteriorating state of Turkish democracy and human rights...


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Conflict minerals

Binding rules agreed as EU finally takes action

  The European Parliament and Council today reached a final agreement on new EU regulation aimed at tackling the problem of conflict minerals. This legislation is intended to stop the financing of armed groups through trade in conflict minerals by forcing companies to source responsibly. Com...


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UKIP spending

European Parliament Bureau calls for repayment of misappropriated funds

The European Parliament's top decision-making body has today ruled that the UKIP-dominated ADDE party misappropriated more than €500,000 from the EU. The European Parliament's Bureau has ordered the party to repay €170,000 of misspent funds. The party will be unable to recoup hundreds of thousan...


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COP22

Marrakech makes timid steps towards raising ambition

The COP22 in Marrakech will come to a close this evening. Commenting on the final agreement that is expected to be announced in the coming hours, Greens/EFA climate spokesperson Bas Eickhout said: “The COP22 in Marrakech opened with the historic news of the Paris Agreement entering into force in ...


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EU double standards on false anti-Russian propaganda

Press release from EFA MEP Tatjana Ždanoka

Speaking ahead of a European Parliament vote on a report that accuses Russia of propaganda against the West, Latvian MEP Tatjana Ždanoka says MEPs must avoid double standards in dealing with Russia. At next week's plenary session of the European Parliament MEPs will vote on the Fotyga report which ...


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ADDE Funding row

UKIP must be held accountable

Commenting on the news that the Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe* (and UKIP in particular) has been found to have misspent hundreds of thousands of euros of public money, Greens/EFA co-president Philippe Lamberts said: “It is clear from the report that UKIP has run roughshod over the rules ...


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European entry permit

Superfluous data collection

 The European Commission today presented its proposal for a new European entry permit. Under the proposals, travellers to the European Union who do not need a visa would have to apply for entry using the EU Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS). The system is intended to coll...


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Greens/EFA group reacts to Trump victory

Commenting on the result of the US presidential election, Greens/EFA co-president Philippe Lamberts said: "The American people have taken their decision and the whole world will have to live with it. But we cannot hide our fear of the consequences. Donald Trump has fought a campaign based on r...


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Megaprojects in Turkey

Turkey Progress Report

Accession negotiations must be put on hold

The European Commission will present today its annual report on Turkey’s progress on EU membership. Commenting ahead of the report, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms said: “The EU and its Member States must strongly condemn the recent arrests and call on the Turkish government ...


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Corporate Tax Avoidance

Greens uncover new tax scandal involving chemicals giant BASF

  The Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament has uncovered that chemical giant BASF used aggressive tax strategies and a series of ‘tax tricks’ to avoid paying almost a billion euros in tax over a five year period between 2010 and 2014.  The new revelations come ahea...


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Turkey

Opposition arrests a further blow to democracy and rule of law

Several members of Turkey’s opposition HDP party, including its leader Selahattin Demirtas, have been arrested and detained in Ankara.


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CETA

The European Parliament must stand up for the common good

Greens/EFA trade spokesperson Yannick Jadot reacts to the signing of CETA at EU-Canada summit.


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