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Greens/EFA Debriefing

Plenary weeks July I and II 2019


  • The new GREENS/EFA group after the elections
  • Election of the President of the European Parliament
  • Election of the President of the European Commission
  • Debate on humanitarian assistance in the Mediterranean


An enlarged GREENS/EFA group after the elections

With 75 Members (39 women and 36 men), the GREENS/EFA group achieved its highest representation ever and is now the fourth biggest group in the European Parliament. The Green Wave has swept across Europe and newly elected progressive Members from Pirate, independent, ecological and animal welfare parties joined our Group which is built on a shared commitment to the values of environmental protection and sustainability, respect for fundamental rights, self-determination, democracy and solidarity.

Ska Keller and Philippe Lamberts have been relected as Co-Presidents of the Group.

THE GREENS/EFA GROUP will continue fighting for social justice, the rule of law, digital rights and freedoms, linguistic freedoms, guaranteed human rights for all, equality, transparency, climate protection, animal welfare, and a peaceful foreign policy. We want to make the EU more social, greener and democratic.


Election of the President of the European Parliament

3 July

At the end of a very long and tensed Summit, the Heads of State and governments in the European Council agreed on a list of names for top EU positions. The deal agreed in the Council fails to respect the lead candidate process and the results of the European elections and was de facto not acceptable for our Group since the Parliament must decide on its Presidency independently from European governments.

The Greens/EFA put forward Ska Keller as candidate for the EP presidency.  The socialist MEP David Sassoli was elected.

Early July, the Parliament also confirmed GREENS/EFA MEPs Heidi Hautala and Marcel Kolaja as EP Vice-Presidents, Karima Delli as Chair of the Transport Committee and Petra de Sutter as Chair of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee.


Election of the President of the European Commission

16 July

Ahead of the vote in plenary, the GREENS/EFA group invited the nomimee for Commission President Ms Von der Leyen to a group meeting on 10th July during which our MEPs addressed their questions and expected to see clear proposals on policies.

Following the hearing, the Greens/EFA group decided to vote against her candidacy. “The statements of Ursula von der Leyen were disappointing. We did not hear any concrete proposal, be it on rule of law or on climate. We have been elected on a mandate for change and we don't see how change will be possible with this candidate” declared Greens/EFA Co-Presidents.

On Tuesday this week, Ursula von der Leyen delivered a nice speech. But beyond nice words, nothing concrete on: climate, sea rescue, rule of law, lead candidates. How exactly is she planning to put the words into action? Concrete proposals would have been good.

Greens/EFA voted against Ms von der Leyen who was elected with a very narrow majority (in favour: 383 votes in favour – 327 against – 22 abstentions).  374 votes were needed to get elected.


Debate on humanitarian assistance in the Mediterranean

During the plenary debate, our MEP Erik Marquardt gave a powerful speech calling for an end to deaths in the Mediterranean. The Greens/EFA will keep fighting for search and rescue at sea and for safe and legal ways for asylumseekers and migrants to reach Europe.


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Next issue of Greens/EFA Plenary Round-up: 20 September 2019


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