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Greens/EFA Debriefing

Plenary week, 25-28 November 2019


  • Climate Emergency and Climate Summit in Madrid (COP25)
  • New European Commission
  • Budget 2020
  • Public Country-By-Country Reporting
  • Combatting Gender-Based Violence
  • Justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia – EP Mission to Malta






The European Parliament voted Thursday to declare a climate emergency and urged the Commission and Member States to act with urgency in order to keep global temperatures rises under 1.5c. Unfortunately, the text fails to propose any concrete measures to achieve this. The planet needs more than good intentions ahead of the UN Climate Summit (COP25) next week in Madrid.

The Greens/EFA group are calling for the EU to come out with concrete measure before the climate summit in Madrid (COP25).

Bas Eickhout, Green/EFA Vice Chair of the Environment Committee and head of the European Parliament's delegation to the COP25 in Madrid, comments:

"The climate crisis will have dramatic consequences for all life on this planet and will require a herculean effort to avert its worst effects. That's why it's important to declare a climate emergency. However, this must be followed by serious and credible actions if it is to be more than a symbolic gesture. Due to interventions of the conservatives and liberals, the declaration was not linked to specific commitments by the European Parliament.”

For the Greens/EFA Group, the EU must commit to a range of goals including: Achieving climate neutrality by 2040, a 65% reduction in emissions by 2030, and to put the environment and biodiversity at the centre of the EU's agricultural policy to halt biodiversity loss."

Pär Holmgren, Green/EFA delegate to the COP25 in Madrid comments:

"The Commission cannot go empty handed to Madrid, they need to propose ideas that will encourage other countries to act. Polluting industries must pay their fair share: Aviation needs to start paying taxes for their climate impact and shipping needs to reduce emissions. The green transition in global trade and cross border industries will need international agreement, which is why the EU must lead the way."



Texts adopted


Further information
Yan Dupas - Advisor on Environmental Issues





The European Parliament endorsed Wednesday the new European Commission of President Ursula von der Leyen.

The Greens/EFA group abstained on the vote, as we have major concerns about the political choices in the college, namely the selection of commissioners from Hungary, France and Croatia. We are also extremely critical of the linking of the title 'promoting our European way of life' with migration policy. Nevertheless, we will keep the door open for constructive cooperation on major challenges such as combating the climate crisis.

Ska Keller, President of the Greens/EFA group in the European parliament, commented:

"Our voting behaviour is a sign of goodwill despite fundamental criticisms. We have clear reservations about some elected commissioners, but we are equally committed to constructive cooperation in order to make the European union more ecological and social.

Philippe Lamberts, President of the Greens/EFA group in the European parliament, said:

"If we are not issuing a red card even before the new commission starts to work, we are neither giving it a blank cheque. Bold statements are no substitute for real action on the ground. If the von der Leyen commission is serious about engaging Europe in a green deal, it cannot at the same time pursue the same policies as before.”

We cannot afford to sit back and watch. The Greens/EFA will push for concrete and ambitious policy and take a clear stance against the far right. There is no time to lose.

The new Commission will start its mandate from the 1st of December.




Vote Wednesday

The European Parliament confirmed Wednesday the outcome of the conciliation committee on the EU's 2020 budget. Thanks to the efforts of the Greens/EFA group the budget will include an additional half a billion euros of investment for climate protection and an additional 78 million euros for combating youth unemployment and promoting the Erasmus exchange scheme.

Texts adopted


Further information

Roccu Garoby - Advisor on Budget and Budgetary Control

Zita Herman - Advisor on Employment and Social Affairs




EU Ministers meeting Thursday, Brussels.

EU Ministers failed to agree Thursday on proposals for greater corporate transparency. The proposals, which have been on the table for over three years, for public country-by-country reporting would ensure more transparency around the profits earned and taxes paid by large multinational companies.

Ernest Urtasun MEP, Greens/EFA shadow rapporteur on the file in the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, commented:

"Today was another wasted opportunity to make tax transparency for multinationals a reality. Member States such as Croatia and Luxembourg that continue to block progress should be called out for putting the profits of multinational companies ahead of the interests of millions of European citizens. We encourage Germany to clarify its position on such a crucial matter as it could help unblock this text in the Council.

It's thanks to the Finnish Presidency that this was even discussed today and we hope they will manage to get an agreement before the end of the year.”



Further information
František Nejedlý – Tax Justice Campaigner





The European Parliament adopted Thursday a resolution, initiated by the Greens/EFA Group, on the EU accession to the Istanbul Convention and other measures to combat gender-based violence.

MEPs used the opportunity of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25 November) to urge the Council to stop blocking EU ratification of the Convention and denounce this massive violation of human rights which is still very present in the EU.

One in three women in Europe has experienced physical or sexual acts of violence at least once since the age of 15. 55% of women have been confronted with one or more forms of sexual harassment and in many Member States over half of all female murder victims are killed by an intimate partner, relative or family member. 

The Greens/EFA group wants the EU ratification of the Istanbul Convention, to add gender-based violence in the list of EU crimes and a directive to combat gender-based violence.



Further information
Helena Argerich i Terradas - Advisor on Constitutional Affairs





The Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament agreed Thursday to send an urgent mission to Malta to look at the rule of law after the recent revelations around the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The Parliament will also debate the recent revelations in Malta in the December Plenary.

Sven Giegold, Greens/EFA MEP who took part in the previous European Parliament mission to Malta following the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, commented:  

"Three government ministers have now resigned in connection to the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The priority of the Parliament mission must be to investigate all potential links to the Prime Minister who has protected and defended these ministers for so long. Malta must adhere to the rule of law and European values so that there can be justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia and her family."









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Next issue of Greens/EFA Plenary debriefing: 20 December 2019

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