What's coming up in Parliament
COP24 UNFCCC summit in Katowice, Poland, 3 to 14 December
In this meeting of the COP24, representatives must come together and commit to maintaining the emissions reduction targets set out in the Paris Agreement. Greens/EFA MEPs will be present at the COP, including Bas Eickhout who will be part of the official delegation of the European Parliament.
If you have any further questions or interview requests, don't hesitate to get in touch with Ruth Reichstein, Team Leader Communication, Strategy & Press, who will be in Katowice: + 32 472 70 29 96 / Ruth.Reichstein@europarl.europa.eu
Debate on conflict of interest and the protection of EU budget, the case in the
Czech Republic, Wednesday, 12 December
At the request of the Greens/EFA group, the European Parliament will debate the conflict of interest case in the Czech Republic. This follows the determination of the European Commission's own legal service that Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš holds a conflict of interest between his role as PM and his ties to businesses that receive millions in EU funds. The Greens/EFA group are calling on the European Commission to resolve this conflict without delay. The debate will focus on what next steps should be taken.
ECJ ruling on the revocability of Article 50, Monday, 10 December
The Court is expected to rule on the case on the morning of Monday, 10 December. This follows on from the opinion of the Advocate General published on Tuesday, 4 December. The case, which was brought to the ECJ by a group of Scottish politicians including Greens/EFA Member Alyn Smith, had been referred from the Scottish Court of Session and the UK's Supreme Court. The timing of the judgement is particularly pertinent, given the vote in Westminster on Wednesday - see below.
UK Parliament vote on Brexit deal, Tuesday, 11 December, debate in the European Parliament Wednesday 12, December
Next week is crunch time for the Brexit process. On Wednesday, the UK Parliament will cast its meaningful vote on the deal on the table. With this deal largely expected to fail to win the required number of votes, all eyes will be on Westminster. If the deal doesn’t pass, UK MPs should know that there is a way out of this, should they wish to re-join the European family. The Greens/EFA group has made it clear repeatedly that the European Union should welcome the UK back with open arms.
Joint debate on digital service tax, Wednesday, 12 December, vote on Thursday
At the request of the Greens/EFA group, MEPs will debate on Wednesday the proposed digital service tax, after the failure of the ECOFIN Council to adopt the digital tax. The Council did not throw its weight behind proposals despite a large majority voting in favour within the Economic Affairs committee of the European Parliament. The Greens/EFA group strongly supports a digital tax based on "digital presence" and/or revenues as it would help end the profit shifting and tax evasion of tech giants. Our group has tabled an amendment calling for a change in the legislative procedure from unanimity in the Council to majority rule, to avoid future proposals being blocked by the Council.
Refit of the general food law, debate on Monday, vote on Tuesday, 11 December
On Tuesday, MEPs will vote on a report on the proposal for a regulation on the transparency and sustainability of EU risk assessment in the food chain. This new EU regulation is meant to respond to citizens’ concerns around the authorisation procedure of pesticides. However, a legal opinion commissioned by the Greens/EFA group concludes that in its new regulation the EU Commission misses the goal of more transparency. Scientific data on the authorisation of foodstuffs and additives can continue to be kept under the cover of trade secrets. We are calling for full transparency around the risk assessment process for what goes into the food chain.
Humanitarian visas, vote on Tuesday
On Tuesday, MEPs will vote (for the second time) on humanitarian visas. This comes after a point of order was raised by several MEPs, including the Rapporteur, asking for the vote to be repeated since several MEPs had already taken out their cards when the vote was closed. This demand was rejected. However, a new report, with the same content, was initiated at committee level and will now be voted on Tuesday. The file has received the backing of the LIBE Committee and the Greens/EFA wants to see the plenary vote in favour. Our group has consistently called for the establishment of safe and legal pathways for migration and if adopted, this file would oblige the European Commission to act and propose concrete legislation establishing a European Humanitarian Visa.
European Council, Thursday 13 to Friday 14 December
Ahead of the EU Council, the EU Parliament will discuss preparations on the morning of Tuesday, 11 December. Ska Keller will be present at the Council on Thursday. For any interview requests, please get in touch with a member of the Greens/EFA press team.
Presidents Press briefing, Tuesday 13, 10:30am
Ska Keller and Philippe Lamberts will present the Greens/EFA priorities for the plenary week in the Daphne Caruana Galizia room in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.