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Greens/EFA Round-up

Debriefing of the Brussels plenary session 2-3 April 2014



 

Table of contents

    • Car engine noise
    • EU nuclear safety rules
    • Europe's Magnitsky law
    • Emissions from aviation
    • Net neutrality
    • Clinical trials for medicines
    Outside the Plenary
    • Putin's Russia: USSR reloaded?
    • Bee Week 2014
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      Car engine noise

      Legislative report (Ouzky report)
      Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
      Plenary vote Wednesday 2nd April 2014
       

      A deal on revised EU rules aimed at limiting noise from cars was voted on by MEPs Wednesday. The deal seriously weakens the original proposal made by the European Commission, both delaying the eventual start date for the noise limits and weakening the limits originally proposed meaning there will be no meaningful improvement in noise level of new vehicles sold in the EU until 2026. The deal represents a victory for the car lobby and those manufacturers producing noisy vehicles but is a bad outcome for those affected by vehicle noise and the health and environmental issues it causes.

      Further information:
      Terhi Lehtonen, Advisor on Environmental Issues
      Terhi.Lehtonen@europarl.europa.eu

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      EU nuclear safety rules

      Non Legislative report (Jordan report)
      Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
      Plenary vote Wednesday 2nd April 2014
       

      Already weak proposals by the EU energy commissioner Oettinger to revise EU rules on nuclear safety were voted on by MEPs Wednesday and further weakened. The legal process chosen by the Commission excludes the European Parliament from co-deciding on the legislation and the Greens criticised the failure to change the legal basis as well as the whitewash of safety concerns with Europe's ageing nuclear reactors. The proposals fail to set out up-to-date safety criteria for nuclear power plants, which live up to the latest scientific and technical standards. the vote put the nuclear industry first, leaving public safety as an inconvenient afterthought.

      Further information:
      Michel Raquet, Advisor on Energy
      michel.raquet@europarl.europa.eu

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      Europe's Magnitsky law

      Legislative report (Ojuland report)
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
      Plenary vote Wednesday 2nd April 2014
       

      Proposals to impose visa restrictions on the Russian officials implicated in the death of rights lawyer Sergei Magnitsky were supported by MEPs Wednesday. The European plans, which come long after similar action in the US, are long overdue. It is now up to member States in the council to heed the call of MEPs and impose restrictions on the 32 people that benefit from the corrupt Russian judicial system and go unpunished while Magnitzky has paid for his revelations with torture and death.

      Further information:
      Paolo Bergamaschi, Advisor on Foreign Affairs
      paolo.bergamaschi@europarl.europa.eu

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      Emissions from aviation

      Legislative report (Liese report)
      Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
      Plenary debate Wednesday 2nd April 2014 - vote Thursday 3rd April 2014

      A backward proposal to restrict the application of the EU's emissions trading scheme for aviation to solely domestic flights was backed by MEPs, after being rejected by the environment committee. The Greens criticised the proposal from the outset and it has already failed in its strategic aim of trying to create an international scheme for dealing with aviation emissions. Prolonging the exclusion of international flights from the emissions trading scheme will allow emissions from the sector to continue rising, undercutting reductions from other sectors. The actions of Airbus and the European airlines to undermine EU climate policy have been shameless and discredit the sector as a constructive partner for the future.

      Further information:
      Terhi Lehtonen, Advisor on Environmental Issues
      Terhi.Lehtonen@europarl.europa.eu

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      Net neutrality

      Legislative report (Del Castillo report)
      Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
      Plenary vote Thursday 3rd April 2014
       

      Important new draft EU rules on electronic communications were backed by MEPs Thursday. The Greens successfully fought for the inclusion of provisions that protect the important principle of net neutrality and welcomed the outcome. While the provisions on roaming are a welcome improvement for consumers, these could have been be totally overshadowed by the original proposals which would essentially have given large providers the all-clear for discriminating against users as they see fit. Information online should not be subject to discrimination, blocking or interference by internet access providers. We now hope EU governments in Council will endorse this approach

      Further information:
      Cristian Bulumac, Advisor on Intellectual property and telecoms
      cristian.bulumac@europarl.europa.eu

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      Clinical trials of medical products

      Legislative report (Wilmott report)
      Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
      Plenary vote Thursday 3rd April 2014
       

      An agreement on new EU legislation on clinical trials was voted on by MEPs Thursday. The Greens believe there need to be clear and robust transparency requirements on clinical trials and believe the deal represents a step forward to this end. It is no longer acceptable that pharmaceutical companies can withhold data from clinical studies on medicines for which they seek or have obtained authorisation. Clinical study reports should be made publicly accessible. Importantly, the new rules will also reintroduce an ethics committee, with the power to block unethical trials.

      Further information:
      Axel Singhofen, Advisor on Health and Environment Policy
      axel.singhofen@europarl.europa.eu

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      Outside the Plenary

       

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      Putin's Russia: USSR reloaded?

      Public Hearing
      Tuesday 1st April 2014
       

      Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, released from jail at the end of last year, and Oleg Orlov, Director of Memorial, were our special guests Tuesday for a hearing on Putin's Russia. Topics included human right and civil liberties in Russia, what's next after Crimea and how should the EU react.

      Further information:
      Werner Schulz, Green MEP
      werner.schulz@europarl.europa.eu

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      Bee Week 2014

      Action and activities
      Tuesday 1st April - Friday 4th April 2014

      Bees and pollinators are bio-indicators of biodiversity and food security: when they start dying in huge numbers then something is seriously wrong with the system. As part of 2014’s European Week of bees and pollinators, the Greens/EFA Group organised a series of events from the 1st to the 4th April to highlight how a pesticide-and-GMO-free agriculture is a prerequisite for healthy bees and pollinators. These culminated in the launch of a new open source project to track losses in bee colonies across Europe and improve bee health, the 'Bees2Bees project'.

      Action highlighting effects of pesticides

      Further information:
      Nelly Baltide, Food campainger

      nelly.baltide@europarl.europa.eu

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      Next issue of Greens/EFA Plenary Round-up: 18 April 2014

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