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Greens/EFA Debriefing

Plenary week, 1-5 October 2018

Table of contents

  • European CO2-regulation for cars and vans
  • Greens/EFA call for Daphne Caruana Galizia Prize
  • Money laundering debate
  • Rule of law in Romania
  • UN binding treaty on business and human rights
  • The Future of Europe debate with the Prime Minister of Estonia
  • EU Council Summit and Brexit debate
  • Greens/EFA motions for resolutions


European CO2 regulation for cars and vans

Wednesday, 03 October

The European Parliament voted Wednesday to reduce CO2 emissions for new cars by 40% by 2030. Although the reduction goes beyond the 30% proposed by the Commission, it lags behind the 45% reduction proposed by the Environment Committee.

To stay within the Paris climate commitments will require an ambitious reduction of CO2 emissions from new passenger cars. That's why the Greens/EFA group are calling for a large reduction in CO2 by 2030 for the transport sector to meet the EU's climate goals. EU Environment Ministers will set out their position on 9 October.

The run-up to this vote has seen unprecedented lobbying by the car industry and the European Commission in an attempt to further water down the Parliament's position.

Greens/EFA climate spokesperson, Bas Eickhout, commented: "While it's good to see that the Parliament recognises the need for ambition in reducing emissions, conservatives groups stand in the way of the kind of efforts needed to save the planet.”

Further information:

Yan Dupas - Advisor on Environmental Issues


Greens/EFA call for Daphne Caruana Galizia prize

Monday, 01 October

On Monday, 01 October, the Bureau of the European Parliament had a discussion on a Greens/EFA initiative for the EU to have a special prize for investigative journalists to honour the murdered Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. The prize, which has seen cross party support, is designed to support investigative journalists in their tireless and sometimes dangerous efforts to uncover corruption, organised crime and wrongdoing. October 16 will mark the one-year anniversary of Daphne Caruana Galizia's death in Malta. To be continued.

Further information:
Pam Bartlett Quintanilla - Transparency and Democracy Campaigner


Money laundering debate

Wednesday, 03 October

MEPs debated Wednesday, on the initiative of the Greens/EFA group, on the risks of money laundering in the EU banking sector following on from major multi-billion euro scandals in large European banks. Recent scandals involving European banks such as Danske Bank in Denmark and Estonia, as well recent cases with ING in the Netherlands, Pilatus Bank in Malta and ABVL Bank in Latvia, show the urgent need for changes to how anti-money laundering rules are enforced. The Greens/EFA are calling on the Parliament to adopt the new proposal under a fast-track procedure to ensure that the EU has more powers to keep dirty money out of Europe.

Greens/EFA MEP Judith Sargentini co-rapporteur on the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive, commented: "Money-laundering fuels crime, corruption, terrorism and all the suffering that comes with it. The fact that we cannot trust our top European banks to enforce the rules which could help end the scourge of dirty money is sickening.”

Sven Giegold, Greens/EFA spokesperson on money laundering said: "The sheer volume of dirty money flowing into Europe is turning our continent into a playground for the corrupt at the expense of ordinary citizens. There needs to be far greater resources and powers at the European-level to detect and deter money laundering, which is why we welcome the Commission's proposals. However, we need these proposals adopted as soon as possible in a fast-track procedure by Parliament and Council.”

Further information:
František Nejedlý – Tax Justice Campaigner


Rule of law in Romania

Debate Wednesday, 03 October

At the initiative of the Greens/EFA group, the European Parliament held a debate Wednesday with the Prime Minister of Romania on the state of corruption and the rule of law in the country. This summer Romania's long-running protests against corruption and for the independence of the judiciary came to a head when the police attacked peaceful demonstrators. Romanians are fed up with high-level graft and moves by the government to weaken anti-corruption measures. This summer, the Socialist and Liberal government dismissed the head of the anti-corruption agency and they have been trying to push through an amnesty for corruption offences for officials. The Greens/EFA strongly believe in the need to fight corruption and support the rule of law. The European Parliament is expected to vote on a resolution on the issue in November.

Ska Keller and Philippe Lamberts, Co-Presidents of the Greens/EFA group said: "Romania with its proud tradition of fighting for freedom and civil liberties is taking a dangerous step in the wrong direction. We support the democratic movements standing up for the rights of all Romanians."

Further information:
Aleksejs Dimitrovs - Advisor on legal affairs, civil liberties, justice and home affairs
Pam Bartlett Quintanilla - Transparency and Democracy Campaigner


UN binding treaty on business and human rights

Tuesday, 02 October

In 2014, the UN set up a working group looking into drafting a binding treaty on human rights and business based on the need to address severe legal gaps with regard to human rights violations perpetrated by transnational corporations, often in less developed nations and at the expense of the poorest in society.

On Tuesday the Greens/EFA raised the question with the European Commission on what the EU's input will be to the binding treaty. The European Parliament has stated in several resolutions its support for a binding UN treaty and the Greens/EFA group will reiterate their support on October 11, at an event in the Parliament ahead of the presentation of the draft treaty in Geneva the following week. Molly Scott Cato, Judith Sargentini, Max Andersson and Heidi Hautala will attend the opening of events in Geneva, and meet fellow elected parliamentarians from the global inter-parliamentary initiative of supporters of the Treaty.

Further information:
Inès Trépant - Advisor on Development


The Future of Europe debate with the Prime Minister of Estonia

Wednesday, 03 October

Greens/EFA co-president, Philippe Lamberts, debated Wednesday the future of Europe with the Prime Minister of Estonia, Jüri Ratas.

"The work of the Estonian Presidency of the Council in the past demonstrated not only your strong commitment to our common cause but also that leadership qualities do not depend on the size of the Member-State," said Philippe Lamberts. 

However, we are disappointed to see that Estonia is still amongst the OECD’s most carbon-intensive economies, as it still produces the vast majority of its energy from oil shale, with disastrous results in terms of emissions and toxic waste.

Further information:
Mélanie Vogel - Advisor on constitutional affairs


Brexit debate must not descend into theatre 

Debate Tuesday 2 October

Greens/EFA MEPs Philippe Lamberts and Molly Scott Cato intervened in the debate ahead of the next EU Council Summit (October 18-19).

On the state of the Brexit negotiations, the Greens/EFA believe the UK government should not forget that they joined the EU freely and that it was the UK’s decision to leave. If in the future this decision should be revised, the EU should not close the door.

Further information:
Helena Argerich i Terradas - Advisor on Constitutional Affairs


Greens/EFA motions for resolutions


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Next issue of Greens/EFA Plenary Round-up: 26 October 2018


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