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Greens/EFA Round-up

Debriefing of the plenary week Strasbourg 20-23 May 2013

Bank resolution

Committee Vote - Hökmark report
Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs
Vote Monday 20th May 2013

Crucial new EU rules on bank resolution were voted by the economic affairs committee Monday evening. From the outset of the crisis, the Greens have argued for robust rules to address the problems of excessively large banks and welcomed the proposed new framework for dealing with ailing and failing banks across Europe. These include a new toolkit aimed at bailing in shareholders and creditors well ahead of depositors and taxpayers, who should only be involved as a last resort and to the minimum extent possible. Crucially, a majority of MEPs endorsed a Green-backed defence of giving the European banking authority a binding mediation role in the resolution of cross-border groups. This would be an important provision for ensuring timely and decisive action in the interests of the EU as a whole.

Further information:
Michael Schmitt - Advisor on Economic and Monetary affairs
David Kemp - Advisor on Economic and Monetary affairs

Renewable energy in the European internal energy market

Legislative Report (Reul Report)
Plenary debate Monday 20th May 2013 - vote Tuesday 21st May 2013

MEPs voted on Tuesday on a report setting out the EP's position on EU renewable energy policy. Although the MEPs gave strong backing for national support schemes for renewables, such as feed-in tariffs, the message was mixed overall.  There is a call for a binding renewables target for 2030, but no explicit nominal target. The Greens believe the EU should adopt an ambitious and binding 2030 target for renewable energy aiming at a 45% share and tabled an unsuccessful amendment to this end. Combined with the right policies on the internal energy market, well-designed individual support schemes and the necessary infrastructure, such a target would ensure that the EU can move towards 100% renewable energy by 2050.

Further information:
Heike Leberle - Advisor on Energy  _____________________________________________________

Offshore oil and gas prospection, exploration and production activities

Legislative Report (Belet Report)
Plenary debate Monday 20th May 2013 – vote Tuesday 21st May 2013

The Greens criticised new EU legislation on offshore oil and gas exploration that was adopted by MEPs on Tuesday for falling far short of what is needed given the cross-border risks of offshore exploration. The new EU rules were meant to prevent accidents like the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 happening in EU waters and deal with consequences of such incidents but major shortcomings will seriously undermine this goal. Absent from the regulations are provisions on the independent supervision of installations, the criminalisation of environmental damage, and on a moratorium on drilling in the Arctic and environmentally sensitive areas. The legislation also lacks any meaningful EU oversight structure to reflect the cross-border nature of the associated risks. Finally, the legislation will fail to ensure that offshore operators are fully liable and financially responsible for any damages resulting from accidents.

Further information:
Grace Murray, Advisor on Energy

Fight against tax fraud, tax evasion and tax havens 

European Parliament's position (Kekuš report)
Plenary debate and vote Tuesday 21st May 2013

With tax evasion figuring at this week's EU summit, MEPs will adopt a report setting out parliament's position. While EU governments are coming to the issue belatedly, the Greens have long pushed for tougher EU action to address the estimated €1 trillion per year lost through tax avoidance. Adopting a clear EU definition of tax havens is crucial but revising EU company tax rules, including introducing a mandatory common consolidated tax base, is also essential. Shifting from unanimity decision-making on taxation by EU governments would be vital for progress.

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

Supervising European banks

Legislative report (Giegold; Thyssen reports)
Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs
Plenary debate Tuesday 21st May 2013 - vote Wednesday 22nd May 2013

The European Parliament approved an agreement on new EU legislation creating a European system of banking supervision. The final vote on the bill had been postponed until more clarity on the oversight role of Parliament. The Greens welcomed the vote and called on the European Central Bank to engage constructively in the negotiations on the role of parliamentary oversight of the new supervisory mechanism.

Further information:
Michael Schmitt - Advisor on Economic and Monetary affairs
David Kemp - Advisor on Economic and Monetary affairs

MEPs will vote on important new EU rules on banking supervision - part of the EU banking union. The final legislative agreement addresses Green concerns on potential conflicts of interest with the ECB's mandate and provisions to reflect the diversity of banking models. There are also provisions to ensure the democratic accountability of the new banking supervision mechanism but the details have been left to a future inter-institutional agreement. The Greens want the EP to withhold its final legislative go-ahead until there is more certainty on this.

 Olaf, the EU Commission and Dalligate 

Tues. 21 May – EP conference of presidents

The publication of leaked reports by OLAF and its supervisory committee on the controversial dismissal of EU commissioner Dalli raise serious questions about the roles of all those involved in the controversy, as well as EU rules on lobbying. At the insistence of the Greens, the political group presidents met to finally discuss the necessary follow-up at a closed meeting. The group believes all those involved should give their accounts to the EP in a transparent procedure, including commission president Barroso.


Concerns with EU-US trade deal

Motion for resolution
Committee on International Trade
Plenary debate Wednesday 22nd May 2013 - vote Thursday 23rd May 2013

On Thursday MEPs unfortunately voted to support the opening of negotiations with the United States to conclude a free trade agreement. The final decision will be taken on 14th of June by the Member States. By passing this resolution, a majority of members have shown that they are not concerned by the lack of transparency in these negotiations. This is a very bad signal to the European economy and the Greens have serious reservations. The agreement would pave the way for a renegotiation of the rights and rules that organise our economy and our society, including those governing cultural exceptions, public services, intellectual property, GMO, chlorinated meat, beef hormones, geographical indications, social, health and environmental standards. This jeopardises the European model of society. The Greens supported an amendment which proposes to refuse the negotiating mandate for the moment, as there has been no impact analysis nor consultation with civil society.

More information :
Martin Köhler - Advisor on International Trade

Situation of Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries

Motion for a resolution
Vote Thursday 23rd May 2013

The European Parliament adopted a resolution Thursday on the situation of refugees from Syria. The Greens regret that the resolution does not further address the political and military dimensions of the conflict. Most Green amendments were rejected, with the exception of an amendment denouncing cases of excessive detention and deportation of Syrian refugees by some Member States and stressing the importance for Europe to show an example in the housing Syrian refugees on its soil. By focusing this report mainly on the critical situation of refugees, the European Parliament sends a confused political message and has missed the opportunity to contribute effectively to the resolution of the crisis.

More information:
Raphael Fišera - Advising on the issue of human rights

Contact person

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