Greens/EFA highlights

Week commencing 27 November

EU must cease arms exports to Saudi Arabia

Press conference: Wednesday 29 November, 10:00 in the press room

Despite the fact that Saudi Arabia is committing grave breaches of humanitarian law in Yemen, EU Member States continue to export arms to the country. In September, the European Parliament adopted the annual report on the union’s arms export control in which it called for an arms embargo on Saudi Arabia. The presidents of Greens/EFA, S&D, ALDE and GUE/NGL groups wrote to the High Representative in October, asking her to put forward a proposal in the Council to impose an EU arms embargo on Saudi Arabia. With Federica Mogherini due to make a statement to the parliament on the Situation in Yemen that afternoon, we will host a press conference with Ska Keller, Bodil Valero, Molly Scott Cato and Yannick Jadot.

Tax Justice: Panama Papers inquiry comes to a close

PANA committee hearings: Tuesday 28 November from 9.00 to 12.30 and from 15.00 to 18.00

The Panama Papers inquiry committee will come to a close with two final hearings. The first will focus on two money laundering scandals: the case of NLB financial group and the Azerbaijan Laundromat revelations. The second will look at the recent Paradise Papers. This will include input from ICIJ journalists involved in the story and Commissioners Jourová and Moscovici. The committee voted on its draft report on 18 October. It set out a strong agenda for defeating money laundering and tax dodging, including many Greens/EFA proposals. The plenary vote is expected in December. You can see a summary of the main Greens/EFA recommendations in the PANA report here.

The Greens/EFA members of the committee are Sven Giegold, Pascal Durand, Eva Joly and Molly Scott Cato.

Energy: committee vote on renewables and energy efficiency directives

Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, Tuesday 28 November, 9.00 – 12.30

On Tuesday next week, the energy committee of the European Parliament will vote on the recast of the renewables directive. There are some welcome elements, including on citizen energy and the easing of administrative procedures. However, we are deeply concerned at the lack of ambition on targets. S&D rapporteur José Blanco López is calling for a 35% overall EU target but they wouldn't be binding at national level. There is also a problematic ‘factored-in 10% deviation'. This would give flexibility to countries that are not fulfilling their targets under "exceptional and duly justified circumstances". This is far too vague and could further undermine the EU target.

They will also vote on the energy efficiency directive. The Greens are part of a coalition to fight for a 40% binding target on energy efficiency by 2030. An ambitious energy efficiency policy will help us to bring down energy bills for European citizen and business. It can also help to combat energy poverty and is key to achieve our climate policy targets.

The Greens/EFA shadows are Claude Turmes (Renewables) and Benedek Javor (Energy Efficiency).   

Glyphosate: final appeal vote 

Appeal committee: Monday 27 November

The appeal vote of the Member States on the European Commission's proposal to renew the authorisation of glyphosate for a period of five years will take place on Monday. The Commission is expected to again present its proposal for a five year renewal, with no restrictions. The European Parliament has already set out its position, which is much stricter than the Commission's. The parliament is calling for the substance to be phased out within five years, with non-professional use to cease at the end of this year when the license expires - see our press release for more info. If no qualified majority is reached, the Commission will be left to take the decision alone. The Commission has promised not to renew glyphosate's licence without qualified majority support from Member States. 

The Greens/EFA food safety spokesperson is Bart Staes.

CAP not fit for purpose

A Commission Communication on the Common Agricultural Policy is expected next week. A recent study, co-financed by the Greens/EFA group, shows it is not fit for purpose, so we'll be looking for major changes. Read the study here.

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