Flash - Plenary session
Greens/EFA Priorities 17-19 June 2020
Resolution on the anti-racism protests following the death of George Floyd
Debate Wednesday, vote Friday
The Greens/EFA Group pushed for this debate with a resolution on the anti-racism protests following the killing of George Floyd. The cross-group resolution condemns the killing of George Floyd and the use of force against Black Lives Matter protesters in the US and EU. The resolution also calls for the EU institutions to take determined steps to end structural racism and discrimination in Europe, and provides some concrete recommendations on how to move forward, such as creating an EU Code of Police Ethics, to end racial and ethnic profiling used by police and law enforcement authorities.
Alice Bah Kuhnke is the Greens/EFA shadow rapporteur on the resolution.
Commission Statement: The PRC national security law for Hong Kong and the need for the EU to defend Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy
Debate Thursday, vote Friday
The Greens/EFA pushed for a debate with a resolution on the situation in Hong Kong, which condemns the Chinese government’s attempts to further undermine democracy and urgently requests all charges against peaceful protesters to be dropped. The resolution states that the Chinese Communist Party policy of abandoning the “One Country, Two Systems” approach is putting Hong Kong's autonomy at risk and fuelling tensions in the whole region, including Taiwan. The resolution also calls for setting up a UN Special Envoy on the situation in Hong Kong and calls on the EU and its Member States to consider filing a case before the International Court of Justice.
Reinhard Bütikofer, Chairman of the European Parliament’s delegation to China and Co-Chair of the newly set up Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC)
The framework to facilitate sustainable investment, known as 'taxonomy,’ will create a common EU system in order to define what can be considered an environmentally sustainable economic activity. By doing so it should help shifting finances towards more sustainable economic activities. All financial products that claim to contribute to environmental sustainability will have to prove this claim by disclosing the share of their investments into activities that are considered sustainable. The financial sector must play its role in the green transition and taxonomy will help push them towards sustainable investments.
Bas Eickhout (Greens/EFA) is the European Parliament's Rapporteur on this report.
For a long time, the Greens/EFA group has been calling for the investigation of tax scandals from the past years. After years of special committees (TAXE in 2015, TAX2 in 2016, TAX3 in 2018) and one inquiry committee (PANA in 2017), the European Parliament will vote on establishing a permanent sub-committee on tax, covering the topics of tax fraud, tax evasion and tax avoidance, under the ECON committee. It is vital that the Parliament will have the opportunity to look at tax issues and tax transparency, particularly now that tax revenue could be part of financing the COVID-19 Recovery Plan.
Sven Giegold is the Greens/EFA shadow rapporteur on the Tax Sub-Committee.
Votes on Thursday & Friday, 17 June (MEPs already debated on 17 December 2019)
This week the European Parliament will vote on the EU Disability Strategy resolution, calling on the Commission to put forward a comprehensive, ambitious and long-term post-2020 European Disability Strategy. On our Group’s initiative, the resolution urges the Commission to come up with a package of binding targets, deadlines and monitoring for the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the EU Member States. This includes the topics like independent living, housing, employment, freedom of movement as well as an evaluation of human rights violations experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Commission will present its proposal within the next year.
Greens/EFA MEP: Katrin Langensiepen, Vice-Chair of EMPL, Co-Chair of the Disability Intergroup
Animal Transport Inquiry Committee
Following pressure from the Greens/EFA group, the European Parliament will vote on starting an inquiry into the irregularities in animal transport across the EU, given allegations of serious and systematic violations of the regulation on the protection of animals during transport. Within the European Union, pigs, cows and other animals are often transported in confined spaces far beyond the permitted times, the water and food supply is inadequate and rules on temperatures and rest periods are not observed. During the previous mandate, the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament had blocked the opening up of an inquiry committee.
Budgetary Control report into the investigation against the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic on the misuse of EU funds and potential conflicts of interest
On Friday the Parliament will vote on the CONT committee report into the conflicts of interest around Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, following a fact-finding mission in February. The report finds there is no clear mechanism in place in Czechia to prevent and address situations which may objectively be perceived as conflict of interests. Now, measures must be taken to address the conflicts of interest around Andrej Babiš. The Greens/EFA group are calling on the Council to set out how it intends to avoid a conflict of interest around the table in the negotiations on the MFF.
Viola von Cramon is the Greens/EFA shadow rapporteur on the resolution.
Future of Europe
Debate Wednesday, vote Thursday
This week, MEPs will debate and vote on a resolution on the Conference on the Future of Europe. The Conference on the Future of Europe should lead to a participatory reform process aimed at improving the democracy and citizen participation in the European project. Despite the Parliament already having voted to launch the process for setting up the Conference, the Council has yet to take the next steps. The Parliament resolution this week aims to put the Conference back on the agenda for the Covid recovery period.
Daniel Freund, is the Greens/EFA representative to the Conference.
- European Parliament resolution on the European Parliament’s position on the Conference on the Future of Europe
- Conference on the Future of Europe - quote from Daniel Freund
Votes Thursday and Friday, Guidelines for the 2021 Budget - Section III
The guidelines for the 2021 EU budget votes will be a key chance for the Parliament greater emphasis on climate spending then what is currently envisaged by the Commission’s proposal of May 2020. The Corona crisis cannot undermine our climate ambitions but should be used as a catalyst for the transition. This vote will send a clear political signal on the European Parliament's raised political ambition in terms of climate in both the MFF and Recovery Package for the upcoming negotiations. The Commission is pushing for 25% of the budget for 2021 to be on climate spending and nothing on biodiversity. The Greens/EFA group have successfully pushed for the vote to call for 30% spending on climate and 10% on biodiversity to match the needs of the climate emergency.
David Cormand is the Greens/EFA MEP leading on the file.
Land grabbing and deforestation in the Amazonas
Commission statement and debate Friday
The Greens/EFA group has pushed for a debate on deforestation and land grabbing in the Amazon region, following Brazilian proposed law PL-2633/20 which would legalise past land grabbing; the dismantling of the Brazilian legal framework to fight deforestation and protect indigenous people pursued by the Bolsonaro administration; and the constant increase of deforestation rates in the Brazilian Amazon ahead of the fire season. Ratification of the EU-Mercosur trade deal is still on the agenda of the German Council Presidency. It would encourage large scale environmental and social damages for the sake of export agriculture. The Greens/EFA group are calling for a halt to deforestation, protection for forest communities and for a stop to the EU-Mercosur ratification process.
Anna Cavizzini is the Greens/EFA MEP leading on this file.
Debate Wednesday, vote Thursday
The Parliament will vote on a resolution on recommendations on the negotiations for a new partnership with the UK. The Greens/EFA group want the EU to build the strongest possible relationship with the UK based on common values and a level playing field ensuring the absence of any kind of dumping and lowering of standards. The resolution deplores the lack of political will from the UK government to agree on an ambitious and comprehensive partnership that builds on the mutually agreed Political declaration.
The Greens/EFA MEPs, Sergey Lagodinsky (AFET) and Heidi Hautala (INTA), are shadow rapporteurs on the resolution. Philippe Lamberts is the Greens/EFA Member of the UK Coordination Group.
As Eastern Partnership (EaP) turned 10 last year, the EU-EaP Summit on 19 June 2020 will be a key opportunity to define the next 10 years Partnership. In May, the Commission set out the Commission’s updated agenda towards the EaP. The main policy objectives focus on the EaP countries’ resilience in terms of their economies, the rule of law and security, environment, digital transformation, and societies. However, the EU must go beyond this and devise a sustainable and credible strategy for long-term engagement, focusing on not only stabilisation and market-access but more so on democratisation and people’s well-being, with ambitious and transformational goals.
Ahead of the summit MEPs in the Greens/EFA Foreign Affairs Working Group have published their position paper: “The Eastern Partnership: Future Made to Measure”
This Friday, European leaders will meet to discuss the COVID-19 recovery fund and a new EU long term budget. The Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament call on the heads of state and governments to find an agreement on the Commission's proposals as a first step towards a European economic recovery plan founded on solidarity, and further calls for payments to be clearly linked to Green Deal projects and full respect for the rule of law.
Ska Keller will follow the EUCO on behalf of the group.
The full plenary agenda for the week can be found on the Parliament website here.
The plenary session can be followed live here: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/plenary/en/home.html