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Greens/EFA Debriefing

Plenary week, 16-19 April 2018


Table of contents


  • Future of Europe - debate with President Macron
  • Selmayr: Commission ethics in question – Discharge of Commission 2016 budget
  • Money Laundering - New legislation will deliver real benefits for citizens 
  • Organics - Parliament to seal the deal on new legislation
  • Greenhouse gas emissions 
  • The Circular Economy
  • Energy performance of buildings
  • Facebook & Cambridge Analytica - Parliament to respond to scandal 
  • Protection of journalists - resolution following recent murders 
  • Dieselgate - new legislation on type-approval and market surveillance
  • Greens/EFA motions for resolution



Future of Europe: debate with President 

Debate Tuesday 17 April


French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a speech in the parliament’s series of Future of Europe debates. Ahead of the debate, Greens/EFA MEPs have written to the President, asking him to show leadership in the Council on tax. Greens/EFA are calling on the President to encourage his partners to reach agreement on proposals for country-by-country public reporting and a common consolidated corporate tax base. 

“We share a will to build a political Union that listens to the voice of its citizens. They must be at the core, not at the margin, of the European project.” saidGreens/EFA co-president Philippe Lamberts in his speech.




Commission - ethics in question and discharge of 2016 budget

Wednesday 18 April


The European Parliament has today backed a resolution criticising the European Commission for its handling of the appointment of Martin Selmayr as Commission Secretary General. The resolution calls on the European Commission to “reassess the procedure of appointment of the new Secretary General in order to give other possible candidates within the European public administration the possibility to apply" and for the process to be revised so that future appointments are open and transparent.

MEPs also voted on the discharge of the Commission’s budget for 2016. In response to the Selmayr scandal, one of a series of problems regarding ethics and conflicts and interest in the European Commission, the Greens/EFA group called for a postponement of the discharge of the European Commission's budget. This was rejected and the majority of the House granted discharge to the Commission.

The Greens/EFA group has also produced a proposal for future appointments of senior management positions in the European Parliament. The proposals are available here.


Further information:
Robert Godina - Advisor on Budget and Budgetary Control

Roccu Garoby - Advisor on Budget and Budgetary Control

Pam Bartlett Quintanilla - Transparency and Democracy Campaigner


Money Laundering: New legislation will deliver real benefits for citizens 

Debate on Wednesday 18, vote on Thursday 19 April


MEPS gave their approval Thursday on the outcome of negotiations on the update to the anti-money laundering directive. Greens/EFA MEP Judith Sargentiniwas co-rapporteur. The revised legislation includes a series of important measures for cracking down on money laundering, including the creation of ultimate beneficial ownership registers. This legislation will deliver tangible benefits to EU citizens. These new measures will be tough on financial crime and help prevent money flowing out of the real economy, away from vital public services such as schools and hospitals.


Every year, national governments lose billions to money laundering, with painful consequences for public spending. These new measures will help make sure that criminals can’t siphon money away from the real economy. 


Further information:

Catherine Olier - Advisor on Economic and Monetary Affairs


Aleksejs Dimitrovs - Advisor on legal affairs, civil liberties, justice and home affairs




Organics: parliament seals the deal on new legislation

Vote on Thursday 19 April


The European Parliament voted on the outcome of the trilogue negotiations on a new organic regulation. Greens/EFA MEP Martin Häuslingwas the parliament’s rapporteur, steering negotiations for nearly four years until the final agreement in November 2017. The new regulation will result in clear rules, giving consumers a better idea of what lies behind the organic label. It will also bring the regulation up to date to support the continued development of the organic sector. This is good news for organic farmers and for consumers! 



Further information:

Hannes Lorenzen, Advisor on Agriculture and Rural Development




Greenhouse gas emissions 

Debate on Monday 16, vote on Tuesday 17 April


MEPs voted on the outcome of trilogue negotiations on two key pieces of climate legislation. The “LULUCF” regulation sets out the rules for how to count emissions from forestry and land use, while the binding greenhouse gas emission reductions set out the commitments to meet the EU’s Paris Agreement commitments. Together, these form a key sign as to whether or not the European Union is on track to deliver on its climate commitments. While the trilogues on the LULUCF actually improved both the Council and the Parliament’s position, the greenhouse gas targets are less satisfactory. The ambition level of the overall 2030 climate target proposed is insufficient so the regulation will merely act as a safety net and will drive little or no additional reduction efforts.



Further information:
Terhi Lehtonen – Advisor on environmental issues



The Circular Economy

Debate on Monday 16, vote on Wednesday 18 April


MEPs decided on a series of reports to revise legislation related to waste and packaging, under the banner of “the Circular Economy”. The package includes revision of three pieces of legislation in substance (the waste framework directive, the packaging and packaging waste directive, and the landfill directive) and to bring three other pieces of legislation in line in terms of comitology and reporting requirements (on batteries, end of life vehicles, waste electrical and electronic equipment). 


The Greens/EFA group has focussed on concrete preventative action: reduction targets for food waste and marine litter; substitution of hazardous substances; separate collection of biowaste; stronger recycling targets; and an end to incineration of recyclable or compostable waste. While the final result is not as far-reaching or urgent as we would have wished, it still marks a significant improvement on the current legislation. Assuming that Member States will fully implement the new provisions, these measures will be a step towards the EU meeting its climate commitments and will also boost the economy. 


Texts adopted




Further information:
Axel Singhofen, Advisor on Health and Environment Policy



Energy performance of buildings
Vote on Tuesday 18 April


The report on Energy Performance of Buildings was adopted by a large majority of the Parliament (546 votes in favour, 35 against and 96 abstentions). The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive is set to provide more efficient and healthier homes for citizen through ambitious building policy.


The report calls for the introduction of national long-term renovation strategies, deep renovations and Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEBs) as standard for all buildings by 2050. It also foresees balanced electro-mobility requirements, strict inspection regimes, tough building automation targets and proposes measures to tackle split incentive dilemmas and worst performing buildings to the benefit of energy poor and the introduction of air quality and fire safety as additional elements to be considered. 

However, a 3% yearly renovation rate for existing buildings was not anchored in the legislative part of the text. 



Further information:
Heike Leberle – Advisor on energy




Facebook & Cambridge Analytica: Parliament to respond to scandal 

Debate on Wednesday 18 April


The debate in the European Parliament responded to the scandalous misuse of personal data. Greens/EFA MEPs Jan Philipp Albrechtand Sven Giegoldwrote to the President of the European Parliament, calling for Mark Zuckerberg to be invited to a hearing. The decision to invite the Facebook boss was discussed and approved by the heads of the political groups last Thursday.

“Thanks to the new General Data Protection Regulation, companies such as Facebook will soon face severe penalties for the sort of violations seen in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Huge internet companies will then have no choice but to realise that they must comply with the rules of the EU market and respect data protection” declared Jan Philipp Albrecht 





Protection of journalists: resolution following recent murders 

Vote on Thursday 19 April


The European Parliament passed Thursday on a resolution on the protection of investigative journalists in Europe. Following the murder of Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová. It calls for a thorough and independent investigation, and for national and EU authorities to look into the cases that Ján Kuciak was working on. There also needs to be reforms at national and European level to provide better protection to journalists and whistle-blowers. Further investigation is also required into the management of EU funds management in Slovakia.  A thriving democracy relies on investigative journalism. But that requires funding. To sustain the work of people like Ján Kuciak and Daphne Caruana Galizia, the Commission should create a permanent fund to support investigative journalism.



Further information:

František Nejedlý – Tax Justice Campaigner

Pam Bartlett Quintanilla - Transparency and Democracy Campaigner



Dieselgate: new legislation on type-approval and market surveillance

Vote on Thursday 19 April


The European Parliament approved Thursday new legislation on type approval and market surveillance of motor vehicles.
The Dieselgate scandal revealed the extent of the shortcomings in the approval of vehicles in the EU. This reform gives the Commission the power to monitor national authorities, greater transparency rules and enhanced market surveillance to organise EU-wide recall procedures and to impose penalties on fraudulent manufacturers. These are real victories for the public.



Further information:
Aurélie Brochard, Advisor on Internal Market and Consumer Protection



Greens/EFA motions for resolutions



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