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Plenary Flash 16-19 October 2023

GREENS/EFA priorities for the plenary session

 

Hamas attacks against Israel

The Greens/EFA Group condemns the terrorist attacks by Hamas in the strongest terms possible. Acts of terror are never justified and civilians should never be targets. Our thoughts are with all the innocent civilians, hostages, and their families caught up in this latest cycle of violence. Israel has a right to defend its security, this right has to be exercised in compliance with international law. This conflict risks entering into a terrible new cycle of violence. We call for the unconditional release of hostages in Gaza, the safe evacuation of civilians and respect for international law and human rights. It’s clear that only a political solution can bring peace and security for people in the region, and we urge all parties to come back to the negotiation table and solve this long-standing conflict with a sustainable peace that leads to a two-state solution. The EU must do everything in its power to support peace efforts in any way possible.

Debate: Wednesday, 18 October
Vote: Thursday, 19 October
Greens/EFA MEP: Jordi Solé

 

Ukraine Facility

MEPs will vote on the European Parliament’s position for trilogue negotiations on the Ukraine Facility, which has been designed to support Ukraine, its recovery and its path to EU accession with up to €50 billion for the period from 2024 to 2027. This facility will make the EU's support for Ukraine part of the EU's long-term budget planning and introduce appropriate transparency and accountability requirements. The Greens/EFA have successfully pushed for more requirements on sustainability, the green transition, involvement of local government and CSOs and overall transparency, all for the benefit of the people of Ukraine and the EU. To mobilise the funds quickly, the Greens/EFA urge for an agreement on the MFF before the end of the year. 

Debate: Monday, 16 October 
Vote: Tuesday, 17 October
Greens/EFA MEP(s): Viola von Cramon (AFET), Damian Boeselager (BUDG)

 

Forced Labour Regulation

The European Parliament’s Committees on trade (INTA) and the internal market (IMCO) will jointly vote on the Parliament’s negotiation mandate for the regulation banning products made with forced labour from the EU market. The Greens/EFA have been pushing for the Parliament's position to include a number of improvements to the Commission's proposal: the inclusion of all economic operators, remediation for victims of forced labour, the reversal of the burden of proof for operators in the case of products linked to situations of forced labour imposed by a State, and the Commission as a competent authority (in addition to the Member States).

(Committee) Vote: Monday, 16 October
Greens/EFA MEPs: Anna Cavazinni (IMCO), Saski Bricmont (INTA)

 

Commission Work Programme 2024

The Green Deal needs to be at the centre of the Commission's efforts until the end of this legislature. The Greens/EFA Group calls on the Commission and in particular the two newly elected Commissioners Maroš Šefčovič (Executive Vice-President in charge of the Green Deal) and Wopke Hoekstra (Climate Action) to keep promises made ahead of their election last week. When coming up with their new proposal on future greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, the Commission needs to adopt a science-based approach and only consider options of at least 90% emissions reduction by 2040. It should also start working on a binding target for 2035 in order to set a clear path for climate neutrality in the future. In addition, the Commission committed to engage discussions on a phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies and to monitor how much money Member States are spending on such harmful subsidies and take action. The Greens/EFA urge for starting to work as soon as possible on a fossil-fuel-free Multiannual Financial Framework.

Debate: Tuesday, 17 October, in presence of Commission President Ursula von der Leyen
Greens/EFA MEPs: Bas Eickhout, Michael Bloss, Marie Toussaint

 

Need for an EU legislative framework on intrusive spyware (Greens/EFA Initiative)

Next week, MEPs will debate the latest revelations into the use of surveillance spyware against European officials, including the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola. Last week, an investigation by the European Investigative Collaborations consortium of journalists revealed that the Vietnamese secret services have acquired Predator spyware in an attempt to infiltrate the telephones of European, American and Asian officials. The surveillance spyware was allegedly sold by a Greek company “Predator” to the Vietnamese secret services, which may pose a violation of the EU’s export controls. The revelations come at a time of deteriorating respect for human rights in Vietnam, despite the commitments made in the wake of the adoption of the EU-Vietnam Trade Agreement in 2019. The Greens/EFA Group calls on the European Commission to finally react to the mounting number of abuses and propose legislative action against spyware, as recommended by the European Parliament's Committee of Inquiry into Surveillance Spyware (PEGA), which was adopted in  June of this year.

Debate/Vote: Tuesday, 17 October
Greens/EFA MEPs: Saskia Bricmont
More: Parliament calls for an end to surveillance spyware

 

Budget 2024

The Parliament’s reading of the draft budget 2024 attempts to align the annual budget with the revision of the MFF (the EU’s seven year budget), which was discussed during the last plenary. The draft budget as it stands is not fit for the challenges and priorities that we face right now with multiple challenges of the climate crisis, the war in Ukraine and humanitarian crises. This vote shows we need the revision of the MFF to go through before the end of the year. Given the cost of living and the overall economic situation, it’s vital to deal with the costs of interest payments for NextGeneration EU, which are growing with inflation. The Greens/EFA Group successfully included key priorities: Including an extra 100m EUR for Erasmus; extra funding for the LIFE programme; the Union’s civil protection mechanism, which is becoming even more important with the frequency and impact of climate induced disasters; and an additional 550m for humanitarian aid. 

Debate: Tuesday, 17 October
Vote: Wednesday, 18 October  
Greens/EFA MEP: Rasmus Andresen (section III), Francisco Guerreiro (other sections) 

 

MORE:

  • Preparation of the European Council meeting
    Members of the European Parliament will debate ahead of the European Council meeting on the 26th and 27th of October. 
    Debate: Wednesday, 18 October
    Greens/EFA MEPs: Philippe Lamberts, Terry Reintke 
  • Fur Free Europe
    European Citizens’ Initiative “Fur Free Europe“ seeks to ban rearing and killing of animals for the purpose of fur production in the EU. MEPs will establish the Parliament’s position on this issue with a resolution. 
    Debate: Thursday, 19 October 
    Vote: Thursday, 19 October 
    Greens/EFA MEPs: Tilly Metz, Francisco Guerreiro, Caroline Roose
  • Fighting Disinformation in the EU - Enforcement of the DSA
    After a recent study showed that many online platforms, including X (formally known as Twitter), are still falling short in detecting and fighting disinformation, MEPs will debate the enforcement of  the Digital Services Act - an especially prescient topic in the context of upcoming national and European elections.
    Debate: Wednesday, 18 October
    Greens/EFA MEPs: Alexandra Geese
     

LINKS

  • The Group Presidents Terry Reintke & Philippe Lamberts will hold the plenary session press briefing on Tuesday, 17th of October at 11:00 AM. Location: Daphne Caruana Galizia Press Room, Weiss N-1/201 or online via European Parliament website. Journalists can ask questions remotely via Interactio.
  • The full plenary agenda for the week can be found on the Parliament website here.
  • The plenary sessions can be followed live here.

 

GREENS/EFA PRESS CONTACTS

Simon McKeagney (Head of Communication)
Simon.mckeagney@europarl.europa.eu

Alex Johnson (EN press officer) 
Alex.Johnson@europarl.europa.eu

Pia Kohorst (DE press officer) 
pia.kohorst@europarl.europa.eu

Guendalina De Sario (FR press officer) 
guendalina.desario@europarl.europa.eu

Helena Hellström Gefwert (EN press assistant) 
helena.hellstrom@europarl.europa.eu  

Mia Müller (DE press assistant) 
Mirjam.Muller@europarl.europa.eu

Valentina Chiarini (FR press assistant)
valentina.chiarini@europarl.europa.eu  

Valentina Servera Clavell (EFA Communications officer) 
Valentina.ServeraClavell@europarl.europa.eu 

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