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Aviation

The European Parliament has given its support to the Commission's aviation strategy. The Greens/EFA group voted against, citing the continued lack of climate realism and the failure to address unfair intermodal competition.

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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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European Council Conclusions

Put the brakes on CETA and re-think how we approach trade policy

Speaking after the European Council, the co-president of the Greens/EFA group, Philippe Lamberts, said: "The Commission and EU governments continue to ignore the unprecedented mobilization of citizens against trade agreements, such as CETA, which would only serve the interests of multinational corporations, as opposed to serving the general interest.


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Turkey

Persecution of journalists must end

The European Parliament will today debate the situation of journalists in Turkey. Commenting ahead of the debate Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms said: “The situation of journalists in Turkey, which was bad before the coup, intensifies day by day. "Thousands of journalists have been dis...


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EU Budget

Parliament takes step in the right direction

The European Parliament today voted on the 2017 budget and the revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), backing several amendments from the Greens/EFA Group. Among these are the freezing of 20% of the pot in the EU Commission's budget from which former EU commissioners are paid a trans...


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Corporate Taxation

We must end race to the bottom on tax competition

MEPs will today debate the European Commission’s new proposal for a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB). Commenting ahead of the debate, Green economic and finance spokesperson Molly Scott Cato said: “The way we currently tax companies, treating subsidiaries from the same company as ...


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Work Programme

Commission proposals fall short of what is needed

The European Parliament will today debate the Commission’s Work Programme for 2017.Speaking ahead of the debate, the co-president of the Greens/EFA group Philippe Lamberts said:"While the Commission is focusing on many of the right things, the measures proposed fall far short of what is ...


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Civil liberties must be safeguarded in fight against terror

Press release from EFA MEP J-M Terricabras (Catalunya)

MEPs in Strasbourg on Tuesday debated progress on security issues, with new European Commissioner for the Security Union, Sir Julian King. President of the EFA Group in the European Parliament, Josep-Maria Terricabras, took part in the debate and emphasised the need to protect and defend human right...


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CETA

Heads of State and Government must stop CETA

EU Trade Ministers today decided to postpone the decision to approve the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada. Heads of state and government will now discuss how to proceed with the controversial trade agreement at the Council meeting on Thursday and Friday (20...


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Public Health

MEPs vote to ban the use of mercury in dentistry

Members of the European Parliament’s Environment committee today voted to adapt EU legislation on mercury, to bring it in line with the Minamata Convention on Mercury signed in 2013. The new regulation aims to ban mercury in dentistry by December 2022. Green member of the environment committee Bas...


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Conflicts of interests

European Parliament takes concrete steps in response to scandals

The European Parliament's Legal Affairs committee today adopted a report from rapporteur Pascal Durand (Greens/EFA) on European Commissioners' declarations of interests. The report, which originates from the inability of the parliament to properly check the financial interests of Miguel Arias Cañet...


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CETA - MEP José Bové refused entry to Canada

No free speech allowed on free trade!

The co-president of the Greens/EFA Group has sent a letter (1) to the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, following the decision of Canadian authorities to refuse Greens/EFA MEP José Bové entry to Canada.José Bové was invited to Montreal by the Council of Canadians, the Réseau ...


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Sakharov Prize

Green nominee Can Dündar on shortlist

The European Parliament’s foreign affairs and development committees have today decided on the shortlist for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, including Green nominee, Can Dündar.


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Nobel Peace Prize

Santos win a welcome display of support for Colombian peace process

Commenting on the announcement that Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Vice-President of the European Parliament and member of the European Parliament’s ad-hoc delegation to the referendum in Colombia Ulrike Lunacek said: "We are very pleased with t...


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GMOs

Commission must finally listen to the parliament on GMO approvals

MEPs voted today to object to a decision by the European Commission to authorise the cultivation of three genetically modified organisms in the EU, and the authorisation to import two (1). Due to a lack of confidence in the Commission’s authorisation process, a majority in the European Parliament ...


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ICAO

We must build on this meagre deal

Bas Eickhout comments on the International Civil Aviation Organization agreement on implementing a global market-based measure to limit emissions from aviation


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Caterpillar and Alstom cases show urgent need for European reindustrialisation policy

MEPs have today voted in favour of a resolution on the need for a European reindustrialisation policy, in light of the recent Caterpillar and Alstom cases. The Greens/EFA group secured a range of amendments, which included the need for:  more ambition on green targets and indicators;greater dem...


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Syria

War crimes in Aleppo require urgent action by the European Union

Commenting on today’s debate in the European Parliament, and ahead of tomorrow's vote on a resolution on the escalation in Syria, Greens/EFA group co-president Rebecca Harms said:"The images and reports from Aleppo must open our eyes to the urgency of the situation. Following the Russian atta...


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Anti-Torture Regulation

Human Rights and coherent trade policy are not mutually exclusive

A clear majority of MEPs today adopted a legislative report which revises EU trade rules, focusing on provisions to prevent the trade in goods that could be used for torture or capital punishment. Greens/EFA MEPs have been instrumental in ensuring this revision, which includes clear and robust provi...


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Paris Ratification

Now we need action

The European Parliament today voted by a considerable majority in favour of European Union ratification of the Paris Agreement. Commenting after the vote, Green climate change policy spokesperson Bas Eickhout said: "The European Parliament has today taken another big step towards fulfilli...


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