How to Save Trade Policy

28.06.2017

New Ideas for a Globalised World

As we take stock of recent political events in the US and Europe concerning trade policy and its impacts, we will bring together a range of experts, academics, NGOs and MEPs to discuss alternatives to the current model and how to improve trade policy going forward.

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EU Commission gets strong support in favour of its proposal to ban three neonicotinoids

Despite efforts by industry to halt bans on neonicotinoids, there is a clear majority at the European Parliament in favour of the Commission’s proposal to ban clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid. The Greens/EFA are now urging Member States to be as progressive as the European Parliament and not only to vote in favour of the Commission’s proposal without further delay, but also to refrain from adopting national emergency authorisations to circumvent the EU wide ban.

Greens/EFA proposals to improve cohesion policy

Now more than ever, it is vital that the EU shows how it can clearly and directly improve the lives of people across the continent. That is why it is so important that the EU takes the correct steps in strengthening its Cohesion Policy.

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Google fine

"This is a good example of how the EU member states can act collectively to clamp down on corporate power; action an individual country may not feel able or willing to do on its own," says Molly Scott Cato.

World Refugee Day 2017

On World Refugee Day and for the rest of the week, Greens talked to refugees from all over the world through live video chats in front of the European Parliament.

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New Banking Subsidies in Italy

"This is an outrageous circumvention of the rules of the European Banking Union," says Sven Giegold.

the Energy Efficiency Legislation

Today EU Energy ministers will meet to discuss a crucial file of the Energy Package: the Energy Efficiency Directive. The Greens urge EU Energy Ministers to raise their ambition on this particular legislation, as not only it is key for Europe to respect its commitments to the Paris Agreement, but energy efficiency also because offers numerous benefits to all of us.

As the debate over independence and conflicts of interest in scientific assessments continues to heat up, Members of the EU Parliament’s Environment committee organised an exchange of views this morning with the Court of Auditors and the European agencies on Medicines, Chemicals and Food (EMA, ECHA, and EFSA respectively). The aim of the meeting was to undertake a comprehensive analysis of these agencies’ approach in dealing with potential conflicts of interest. Greens/EFA MEPs called for more stringent measures to avoid any corporate bias in the agencies’ evaluations and conclusions.

EFA - Culture committee considers Brexit

The implications of Brexit for culture and education were the focus of a hearing of the European Parliament's Culture Committee this week. MEPs heard evidence from a number of expert speakers including Eluned Haf, Head of Wales Arts International, invited at the initiative of Plaid Cymru MEP ...

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New rules on middle-men from EU Commission

"The Commission has stepped up a gear in the fight against tax dumping in the EU," says Sven Giegold.

© Patrick Laverdant

Cut the spraying, shift the spending!

Deliver food security, create long term jobs all across the EU, mitigate climate change, reduce air pollution, protect animal welfare and at the same time improve soil fertility, water management and biodiversity: mission impossible?

@sharedstudios.com
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Opening the doors to dialogue

20.06.2017

World Refugee Day

Far too often we just talk about refugees - it is time to let people tell their own story. This unique project aims at engaging with refugees around the globe, entering into a real dialogue with them and raising awareness about their situation.

©thomas-martinsen
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The Greens/EFA Co-Presidents' briefing

13.06.2017

LIVE press conference 13 June 2017 11:40-12:00

Greens/EFA co-presidents Ska Keller and Philippe Lamberts present the key issues of the plenary session and of the European agenda for the Greens/EFA group

@vince-lee

Letter to the European Patent Office

Patenting of "natural" seeds.

Today and tomorrow (27.-28.07.17), the European Patent office will discuss the patenting of "natural" seeds. Two resolutions of the European parliament, an opinion by the Council and a legal notice by the Commission all asked the EPO to stop this practice which is not allowed by the European regulation. Since 2014, EPO has been letting corporations privatise and hold rights on plants existing in Nature or bred by farmers, an unacceptable situation bordering bio-piracy

Position Paper on the future of Cohesion policy post-2020

On 26th and 27th June 2017, the European Commission is holding the 7th Cohesion Forum, which will be...

Stop blocking Dublin reform and open legal channels for migrants and refugees

S&D and Greens/EFA letter to the European Council

The S&D and Greens/EFA groups in the European Parliament have sent a joint open letter to European Council President, Donald Tusk, and the Heads of States and Governments, ahead of the next European Council meeting on 22/23 June, asking for immediate action to reform the Dublin Agreement and open legal channels for migrants and refugees.

©antonio-grosz

Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 12-15 June 2017

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary included: Tax justice: Country by country reporting; Glyphosate renewal; Energy efficiency labelling; 2016 report on Kosovo; Effort sharing regulation and President Trump's decision to withdraw the US from the Paris agreement; Trump's decision to withdraw the US from the Paris agreement; Panama Papers follow-up and the rule of law in Malta; Preparation of the European Council of 22 and 23 June 2017.

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New GMOs

Not as precise as advertised... and still useless

More precise, less risky, more efficient, less costly: that is how their promoters have been selling the idea of deregulating new biotechnologies to the legislators, both at EU and national level.

© Colonel

Transparency and accountability vital to avoid misuse of European funds

Debating the future of European Political Parties

Greens/EFA Vice President, and President of the EFA Group in the European Parliament, Josep-Maria Te...

Follow-up of the Panama Papers and the rule of law in Malta

Briefing ahead of European Parliament Plenary Debate on Malta

The Panama Papers has been a blow on Malta’s reputation to fight anti-money laundering and enable tax dumping, with revelations by the ICIJ consortium in April 2016 that politically exposed members of the Maltese government owned shell companies in tax havens. This briefing looks at the revelations and sets out key asks of the Greens/EFA group.

Images_of_Money | CC BY 2.0

Letter to European Commission on money laundering allegations in Malta

The European Commission must to look into these serious allegations and open an infringement procedure against Malta if deemed necessary.

Q&A on the Effort Sharing Regulation

The ‘Effort Sharing Regulation’ (ESR) sets binding national emission reduction targets for 2021-2030 for road transport, buildings, agriculture and waste. These sectors represent around 60% of EU greenhouse gas emissions. But will it meet the EU's Paris Climate Agreement commitments?

World Refugee Day 2017

Every year, on World Refugee Day, our group talks about refugees and the issues they face in Europe and in the world. This time, it will be different

"Do you want Catalonia to be an independent state in the form of a Republic?"

EFA MEP Jordi Solé on Catalonia's plans for an independence referendum on 1 October

The Catalan government has announced a referendum on independence which will take place on 1 October...

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More food needed?

Just replace pesticides with biodiversity!

Making biodiversity work for farmers is good for farmers, good for bees, good for climate, good for the economy, good for you ... and the Greens/EFA group has always been a frontrunner in pushing in this direction.

en | ca

Europe's Languages Charter – 25 years later

25th anniversary of the adoption of the European Charter of Regional and Minority Languages

To mark the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the European Charter of Regional and Minority Langua...

Conservatives duck out of tax transparency reforms

Country by country reporting

Reforms to oblige big companies to reveal financial information in every country they operate would defend citizens’ interests and answer calls for the EU to do more against tax avoidance. The proposal is now at risk, after changes supported by the conservative and liberal groups in the European Parliament.

©sidharth-bhatia

Six ways to improve the Erasmus programme

With 4000 students being involved at any one time, it’s clear that the Erasmus programme has been a massive success in bringing students from all over Europe together and in allowing them to experience totally different environments. However, like any system, there are always ways to make it better.

European Union

What's coming up next week in Parliament

Strasbourg Flash 12-15 June

Topics Tax justice: Country by country reporting (Committee Vote Monday) Glyphosate renewal ...

©pritchard-barrett

Four actions we as a planet can take to help save the oceans

In honour of today being World Oceans Day, we’ve put together this list of four Greens/EFA demands on how the European and global community can protect Earth’s oceans. With the United Nations Ocean Conference taking place this week, now is the time to get the planet talking about this issue.

Panama Papers investigation: obstruction and lack of cooperation hinder progress

Greens/EFA paper on one year of the PANA committee

One year into the investigation of the Panama Papers, we look at what has been learned so far, and what needs to be done to deliver tax justice.

Lobbying Transparency versus “freedom of the mandate”

A false debate

Members of the European Parliament are about to miss a big opportunity to deliver on lobby transparency in Europe. This is because Members from the EPP, S&D and ALDE groups are - rather ironically - arguing that their “freedom of the mandate” would make it legally impossible for them to enact policies that could finally transform the EU lobby register into an effective transparency system.

Chafer Machinery (CC BY 2.0)

Greens/EFA go to court over lack of transparency on glyphosate

It was over a year ago when our MEPs Bart Staes, Benedek Jávor, Heidi Hautala and Michèle Rivasi first sent the European Food and Safety Authority (EFSA) an official access to documents request, trying to access the studies on which EFSA based its assessment that glyphosate is not carcinogenic.

Mr Juncker answers European Parliament’s Panama Papers committee

We welcome support for our requests

It is not every day that the President of the European Commission visits the European Parliament and agrees to answer questions on committee work. This time, Mr Juncker accepted the invitation as the sitting President of the European Commission and former Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Luxembourg.

©patrick-fore

Agriculture can play its part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions

the status quo is NOT an option!

On 30 June, the Agriculture committee will vote on the so-called ‘LULUCF’ file. What is hiding behind this enigmatic acronym is the contribution of the agriculture and forest sectors to the reduction of climate change. Until now, they had been left out of the collective effort to reach the goals set up collectively by the world nations in the Paris agreement. It’s high time to make a change!

© René Mansi

Sustainable development at the core of our agenda

European Sustainable Development Week 30 May-5 June

The Greens/EFA Group always emphasized the need to integrate environmental and social concerns in all policies. Sustainable development is at the core of our agenda. We are active to ensure that these issues remain high on the programme of the European Parliament.

How Luxembourg resisted European tax cooperation and made money with its circumvention

Time to ask Mr Juncker some questions

As Mr Juncker is coming to the inquiry committee investigating the Panama Papers on Tuesday 30th of May, the Greens publish a report showing how Luxembourg attempted between 2003 and 2005 to block a very important reform to fight tax evasion: the Savings tax Directive, which would automatically send tax information among Member States.

Time to respond to the public consultation on whistleblower protection!

For those of you that have not yet responded to the European Commission’s public consultation on whistleblower protection in Europe, now is the time! The deadline closes on 29th May. The Greens/EFA group has put together a submission to the consultation which we are publishing here in case you’d like to use it for inspiration.

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Trump’s European voyage of discovery

A guided tour

To mark Donald Trump's first foreign trip as President, here's a hand-picked guide to Europe with some highlights he shouldn't miss. Map and directions included.

©gustavo-quepon

Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 15-18 May 2017

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary included: food waste; Commission statement: harnessing globalisation by 2025; ECJ ruling on competences of EU vs Member States in FTAs; Council and Commission statements - Making relocation happen; Vote on GMO objections; Situation in Hungary; Money laundering; Conclusions of the European Council meeting; Cross-border portability.

Chechnya

The Atrocities On Our Doorstep

Greens/EFA call on Russian authorities to take action

LGBT rights conference

LGBTi Rights - "Progress is reversible"

EFA MEP Alyn Smith (Scotland) speaks out on LGBTi rights

EFA MEP Alyn Smith (Scottish National Party) has spoken out in the European Parliament, in Strasbour...

European Union

Crisis in Syria

Plenary speech by EFA MEP Jordi Solé

EFA MEP Jordi Solé takes part in the European Parliament debate on the crisis in Syria, Strasbourg 16 May 2017.

Overproduction of food (waste)

produce less, feed more!

For many years the Greens/EFA group has been leading the fight for food security, social justice, ro...

European Union

Making relocation happen

Plenary speech by Greens/EFA Co-President Ska Keller

There is far too little progress on the relocation of refugees from Greece and Italy to other Member States. Member States must make relocation happen. It is an important instrument of solidarity and responsibility sharing.

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What is glyphosate ?

Have you been trying to explain what glyphosate is to your friends?

Check out this short video and understand how the EU is taking the decisions on this issue and how you can get involved. Join the movement and sign the European Citizens Initiative on glyphosate

©alex-talmon

Ensuring transparency, balanced participation and ethical decision-making in the UNFCCC

Global climate conference

This week kicks off the intersessional climate change conference in Bonn, Germany. When we see the climate crisis continuously escalating, the people negotiating our future need the best possible space to do it. They need a space free from the fossil fuel lobby. However, as reports regarding conflicts of interest and sponsoring of the COPs have shown, this is far from reality.

©ben-rosett

Commission’s decision to withdraw Anti-Corruption Report Widely Criticised

The European Commission was supposed to publish its second Anti-Corruption Report last year, but after a series of delays it has now been withdrawn and will no longer be published. Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans confirmed to the European Parliament last week that they had decided to scrap the report but promised to MEPs, who have heavily criticised this decision, that corruption is still an important topic.

©heidi-sandstrom

Greens/EFA call on Juncker and Commission to rethink direction of Europe

An alternative scenario...

A scenario where the European Union becomes a continental space of freedom, security, democracy and human rights