Plenary week, 5-8 February 2018
Table of contents
- Emissions Trading System
- Glyphosate: authorisation process for pesticides
- Visit of Croatian Prime Minister
- Zero tolerance for female genital mutilation
- Transnational lists for European elections
- International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) address to Parliament
- Rule of law in Romania
- Special committee on tax
Emissions Trading System
Debate Monday, vote Tuesday
MEPs voted on the outcome of trilogue negotiations on the Emissions Trading System. The system, which has been considered EU’s landmark climate policy, has been failing to deliver until now. The changes adopted will result in an increase in the price of carbon allowances but will unfortunately not be sufficient to bring EU emissions down to what is required to meet Paris Agreement commitments.
Member States now have a duty to come up with national policies to boost the carbon price, for example by introducing national minimum prices that lie above the current ETS price.
While the current rules placed a limit on Member States’ ambitions, EU governments can now shut down coal plants without having to pass the CO2 on to other sectors.” said Green MEP Bas Eickhout.
Terhi Lehtonen – Advisor on environmental issues
Delphine Chalençon - Climate Change Campaigner
Glyphosate: New committee to look at authorisation process for pesticides
Following the approval of the political group presidents in January, the parliament voted to create a special committee to look at authorisation procedure for pesticides. Through this committee, the Green/EFA group will seek to analyse the failings in the process that led to the renewal of the authorisation of glyphosate. The protection of public health and our environment must take precedence and this requires total independence of scientific work.
Next steps: The Greens/EFA group will have two members and two substitutes. The constituent meeting is expected in March 2018. The committee is expected to meet for one year.
Juliette Leroux - GMO Campaigner
Geoblocking: consumers will still face “this video is not available in your country”
Debate on Monday, vote on Tuesday
The European Parliament adopted by a large majority (557 votes in favour, 89 against, 33 abstentions) the outcome of the geo-blocking trilogue – which was a disappointment, with many of the good elements of the European Parliament's position removed. While the new regulation introduces some new limits, by excluding videos, music, ebooks and online gaming, the final regulation falls far short of putting an end to geo-blocking. On the plus side, e-commerce websites will no longer be allowed to forcibly redirect people to a particular national site and prices can't be different depending on which country someone orders from.
Mattias Bjärnemalm - Advisor for digital policy
Visit of Croatian Prime Minister on the Future of Europe
Debate on Tuesday
The European Parliament continued its series of debates with invited European leaders on the Future of Europe with the visit of the Prime Minister of Croatia, Andrej Plenković. Greens/EFA co-president Ska Keller used her speech to raise questions regarding widening social inequality and environmental concerns in Croatia.
Zero tolerance for female genital mutilation
Debate Tuesday, vote Wednesday
The European Parliament adopted Wednesday a resolution calling for the end of female genital mutilation (FGM). FGM affects 500,000 women and girls living in Europe and every year around 180.000 girls are at risk of undergoing it. This shocking and totally unacceptable situation must end now.
Helena Argerich i Terradas - Advisor on Women's Rights and Gender Equality
Composition of the European Parliament and transnational lists
Debate and vote on Wednesday
The European Parliament adopted two reports which will have a direct impact on the forthcoming European elections. The first, on the composition of the parliament and adopted on 23 January in the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, provided for the 73 seats opened up by Brexit to be redistributed between underrepresented states (27 seats), future countries joining the EU (19), and transnational lists (27, fewer than the 50 proposed by the Greens/EFA group). For the Greens/EFA group, the inclusion of transnational lists was a red line, but they were rejected. The second report reaffirms the procedure for Spitzenkandidaten in the European elections.
Now that the Parliament has adopted those reports, the Council should agree its position by unanimity. This will return to the Parliament to give its consent.
- Text adopted
- Q & A on transnational lists (also available in FR – DE)
- Animation ( also available in FR – DE)
- Press release (also in FR – DE – ES)
- Plenary video by Greens/EFA Co-President Philippe Lamberts
Guillaume Sellier, Advisor on Constitutional Affairs
International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) address to Parliament
Debate on Wednesday
A representative of International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) addressed the plenary on Wednesday. The organisation, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017, said there was an increased threat of nuclear weapons use. It urged MEPs to rally all EU Member States to sign and ratify the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons adopted last year.
Romania: Commission must play active role in supporting rule of law
Debate on Wednesday
The parliament heard Council and Commission statements on threats to the rule of law by the Romanian justice system reform. In December, the Greens/EFA group wrote to Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans expressing concern about the proposed changes to the justice system in Romania.
Special committee on tax: We must ensure progress on tax justice is not lost
Decision in Conference of Presidents on Thursday
The political group presidents approved the establishment of a special committee on tax during Thursday’s Conference of Presidents. There is a clearly unfinished work to do when it comes to tax justice. We need to investigate new tax scandals - such as the Paradise Papers - and ensure that European Parliament’s recommendations and findings from the inquiry on the Panama Papers (PANA) are being implemented by the European Commission and the Member States.
Next steps: There will be a plenary vote during the mini-session in Brussels (28 February to 1 March). The committee is expected to run from March until the end of the current mandate.
Catherine Olier - Advisor on Economic and Monetary Affairs
František Nejedlý – Tax Justice Campaigner
Greens/EFA motions for resolutions
- Executions in Egypt
- Child slavery in Haiti
- Situation of UNRWA
- Russia, the case of Oyub Titiev and the Human Rights Centre Memorial
- Recent human rights situation in Turkey
Want to be kept informed?
Next issue of Greens/EFA Plenary Round-up: 16 March 2018