Greens/EFA Round-up

Debriefing of the plenary week Strasbourg 11-14 March 2013

Greenhouse gas emissions - monitoring and reporting mechanism

Legislative report - Green MEP Bas Eickhout
Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
Plenary debate Monday 11th March 2013 - vote Tuesday 12th March 2013

Important rules on how greenhouse gas emissions are accounted for and reported in the EU were voted for by MEPs Tuesday. Green draftsperson Bas Eickhout has ensured EU member states will have to report annually on their global climate aid, and  design climate policies  that are consistent with EU's 2050 climate target. 

Greenhouse gas emissions LULUCF

Legislative report - Kriton Arsenis
Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
Plenary debate Monday 11th March 2013 - vote Tuesday 12th March 2013

As part of key rules on how forest and land use emissions are accounted, the Greens pushed for and welcomed the mandatory accounting of emissions from cropland management but regretted the failure to include wetlands, a significant source of emissions.

Further information:
Terhi Lehtonen, Advisor on Environmental issues,


Nuclear Stress Tests

Oral Question & resolution
Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
Plenary debate Monday 11th March 2013 - vote Thursday 14th March 2013

Two years to the day after the nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima, MEPs debated the nuclear stress tests on nuclear facilities in the EU. The Greens voted against the weak, pro-nuclear lobby resolution Thursday, which failed to take into account the lessons learned from Fukushima. The stress tests fail to properly assess a host of key risks to nuclear reactors (terrorist attacks, plane crashes, etc), with the result that the stress tests will simply be an excuse for the nuclear industry to continue with business as usual, and no proposals to close unsafe or ageing reactors.

Further information:
Michel Raquet, Advisor on Energy issues,


European venture capital funds

Legislative resolution - Green MEP Philippe Lamberts
Vote Tuesday 12th march 2013

The European Parliament adopted Tuesday new EU rules governing venture capital funds. These new rules create an EU-wide passport for venture capital funds, whilst strengthening supervision. Green draftsman Philippe Lamberts had wanted to ensure tough new third country rules, introducing the first ever binding EU definition of tax havens, but, in the end EU governments failed to accept these new provisions, reneging on an agreement reached under the Danish EU presidency.

Further information:
Michael Schmitt, Advisor on Economic and Monetary Affairs,


EU agricultural policy rebooted? CAP reform

Legislative resolutions - Green MEPs José Bové (France), Martin Häusling (Germany), Bas Eickhout (Netherlands)
Plenary Debate Tuesday 12 March 2013 - Vote Wednesday 13 March 2013

The Greens expressed serious regret at the outcome of Wednesday's vote on 4 key legislative proposals aimed at reforming the EU's Common Agricultural Policy. For the Greens this is a missed opportunity for much needed fundamental reform the needs. The CAP is to plough on unsustainably as MEPs utterly fail to overhaul EU agriculture policy. The Greens believe the CAP needs a radical overhaul to promote resilient, sustainable farming and food systems, with fair incomes and decent employment in rural economies. Specifically, the Greens want a lower ceiling on direct payments to prevent large farmers and the agro-industry from absorbing the lion's share of the CAP and strict cross-compliance rules, including provisions to promote crop rotation.

Further information:
Hannes Lorenzen and Andrzej Nowakowski, Advisors on Agriculture and Rural Development


Food scandals and security an EU issue

Commission statement - Tuesday 12 March 2013

Recent scandals in the food sector (notably horsemeat) have clear EU-level implications. The Greens want the Commission to ensure that controls and monitoring are working properly, as well as shorten the supply chain between producers and consumers as much as possible. The Greens want the Commission to come forward with labelling and monitoring proposals.


EU economic governance - 2 pack

Legislative report - Green MEP Philippe Lamberts
Vote Tuesday 13 March 2013

The European Parliament adopted new rules Tuesday providing sounder EU economic governance and crisis response. The final agreement on key legislative proposals - the so-called "two-pack" - aims at further strengthening economic governance in the Eurozone. The Greens welcomed the legal provisions increasing democratic oversight over countries under assistance as well as the commitment by the Commission to outline proposals on further steps towards the mutual issuance of sovereign debt under specific conditions and proactive measures on public investments.

Further information:
Francisco Padilla, Advisor on Economic and Monetary Affairs,


Radioactive contamination of drinking water

Plenary Report - Green MEP Michèle Rivasi
Vote Tuesday 12 March 2013

The European Parliament today adopted a report on radioactive contamination in drinking water, setting out its opinion on draft EU rules as part of a consultation process. The report, by Green draftsperson/rapporteur Michèle Rivasi calls for the legal base for the draft legislation to be changed to give the European Parliament co-decision powers over these crucial rules for public health. The report also calls for the removal of loopholes in the draft legislation, including weak monitoring of radioactive contamination and the failure to distinguish between natural and manmade sources of radioactivity.

Further information:
Corinna Zerger, Advisor on Food Safety and Quality,


Future EU budget - EP red lines

Motions for resolutions
Key debate and vote Wednesday 13 March

The European Parliament rejected on Wednesday the Council's position on the next EU multiannual financial framework (MFF) (2014-20). The EP outlined its position in response to last month's EU Summit on the MFF. The Greens supported this rejection and stressed that the EP must remain strong and defend a future-oriented EU budget, with true own resources and aimed at promoting the sustainable transformation of the European economy. The Greens believe we need to substantially increase the investment in future-oriented areas, such as research and innovation, sustainable development and programmes that will give European youth a better prospect.

Further information:
Roccu Garoby, Advisor on the Multiannual Financial Framework


Bee population decline and insecticide ban

Wednesday - Thursday 13-14 March - Decision by Council technical group

Crucial proposals from the European Commission to suspend the use of neonicotinoid insecticides - due to their damaging impact on bee populations - were voted on by EU member states Friday. Despite an overwhelming and growing body of evidence on the disastrous impact of these pesticides on pollinators, EU governments failed to reach the qualified majority necessary to accept the Commission's proposal, following intense lobbying from industry. Fortunately, there was no majority to reject the proposal either. This means that hope is still alive for the proposal. The Greens will continue to campaign and call on EU governments to support the proposed suspension.


Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails

Joint motion for a resolution
Vote on Thursday 14 March 2013

The joint resolution on the case of Arafat Jaradat and situation of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails was successfully voted Thursday. The European Parliament expressed its deepest concern at the death, under disputed circumstances, of Mr. Jaradat on 23 February 2013 while in Israeli custody and called on the Israeli authorities promptly to open independent, impartial and transparent investigations into the circumstances of his death. Thanks to the outstanding presence of Greens/EFA MEPs during the vote, the EPP’s resolution was voted down.

Further information:
Raphaël Fišera, Advisor on Human Rights,