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Greens/EFA Round-up

Debriefing of the plenary week Strasbourg 4-8 February 2013


Common Fisheries Policy

Legislative Report
Committee on Fisheries
Plenary debate Tuesday 5th February 2013 - vote Wednesday 6th February 2013
MEPs voted Wednesday to finally put the EU's fisheries policy on a sustainable footing, addressing overfishing in Europe and beyond. This historic vote, the first time the European Parliament has had a role as co-decider on EU fisheries policy, throws down the gauntlet to EU governments, who will meet in Council this month to decide their position on Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reform.  Crucially for the Greens, MEPs have backed plans to require sustainable levels of fishing from 2015 on, to enable fish stocks to be restored to abundant levels by 2020. More fish in the sea means more profitable fishing for fishermen so this situation will benefit both the environment and the industry. The Greens also hailed the support of MEPs for a key Green proposal to ensure that the right to fish is allocated based on best performance, with a view to rewarding environmentally and socially sustainable fishermen.  Further information:
Michael Earle, Advisor on Fisheries, Michael.Earle@europarl.europa.eu
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French President Hollande

Plenary debate Tuesday 5th February 2013 Greens/EFA Co-President Daniel Cohn-Bendit spoke on behalf of the group during a debate with French President Hollande in the Strasbourg hemicycle Tuesday morning. He emphasised the need to find a compromise over the Budget of the European Union and put forward how the budget could be a tool for member states recovery and continued prosperity. He urged Mr. Hollande to support reform of the Common Agricultural Policy to benefit farmers instead of the current situation that favours large agro-industrial companies, and  also spoke about Europe's future energy policy and the situation in Mali. _________________________________________

Sound level of motor vehicles

Legislative Report
Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
Plenary debate Tuesday 5th February 2013 - vote Wednesday 6th February 2013
MEPs voted to revise EU rules on noise from vehicles Wednesday. Greens criticised the outcome after a coalition of centre-right MEPs backed amendments to weaken draft legislation that was already low on ambition. It marked a victory for the noisy car industry, whose intense lobbying still echoes around parliament, and is clearly a loss for public health and the environment. Weaker noise limit values, combined with various other exemptions, mean the overall result will lead to no meaningful improvement in EU rules on vehicle noise despite the clear evidence of the negative impact of noise pollution on public health. It is now up to EU governments to put public health first when environment ministers consider the draft legislation. Further information:
Terhi Lehtonen, Advisor on Environmental Issues, terhi.lehtonen@europarl.europa.eu
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Preparations for CITES COP 16

Motion for Resolution
Plenary debate Tuesday 5th February 2013 - vote Wednesday 6th February 2013
Ahead of the high-level meeting of the CITES convention on the protection of endangered species (COP16), MEPs adopted a resolution setting out priorities for EU action. Against the background of growing wildlife crime against endangered species, the EU needs to lead the way in ensuring effective action is taken through CITES. Among the most alarming issues is the rise in rhino and elephant poaching, along with the trade in these animal parts. The Parliament also called for the EU to back proposals to ban commercial trade in polar bear parts. Urgent action is needed and the EU needs to push for this, whilst getting its own house in order. Further information:
Terhi Lehtonen, Advisor on Environmental Issues, terhi.lehtonen@europarl.europa.eu ____________________________

Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki

Formal address
Wednesday 6th February 2013
In an emotional and historic speech in front of the European Parliament Wednesday, Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki gave voice to the democratic aspirations opened up by the Arab Spring. He spoke of a country facing a great desire for change and one where hope is strong. He also gave thanks to Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Hélène Flautre, and Isabelle Durant for their support and aid over the years. The three Green MEPs will visit Tunisia from the 21st to the 24th February to discuss the process of democratisation with the principal actors there. _______________________

EU budget - Preparation of the European Council meeting

Council and Commission statements
Plenary debate Wednesday 6th February 2013 - EU Summit Thursday 7th & Friday 8th February 2013
EU heads of state and government will meet for the second of two summits on the future EU financial framework (2014-20). Ahead of that, parliament - a co-decider on the EU budget - debated the situation. The latest proposals, being considered by EU governments, fall short both in terms of overall ambition, but also in the areas where spending cuts are foreseen. Future oriented spending is to be cut at the expense of backward-looking areas, such as the conservative approach to the Common Agricultural Policy, with no European value-added. The Greens believe the EP must stand strong and not accept an MFF along these lines but should instead push for a budget financed by own-resources, such as FTT, and without rebates. Further information:
Roccu Garoby, Advisor on the Multiannual Financial Framework, roccu.garoby@europarl.europa.eu
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Next issue of Greens/EFA Plenary Round-up : 15 March 2013