TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Refugee crisis and Schengen: time running out
- Glyphosate EU approval decision postponed
- Safeguarding the EU’s financial interests
- Women refugees and asylum seekers in focus on Women's Day
- Controversial EU deal with tobacco industry
- Children to get guaranteed rights across the EU under new law
- Revision of posting of workers directive
- Corporate tax transparency
Mon. 7 Mar. – Extraordinary EU-Turkey summit / Weds. 9 Mar. – plenary debate
EU leaders met with their Turkish counterparts on Monday to discuss how to respond to the refugee crisis. Europe's disunity in responding to the crisis has created an existential threat to the EU out of a humanitarian emergency. While cooperation with Turkey on the refugee crisis is necessary, EU governments cannot ignore major rights concerns with the regime there, and must accept their responsibility in responding to the crisis.
Aleksejs Dimitrovs - Advisor on legal affairs, civil liberties, justice and home affairs - email@example.com
Glyphosate EU approval decision postponed
Mon. - Tues. 7-8 Mar. – Council working group
A decision on whether or not to reapprove the controversial toxic substance glyphosate for use in Europe was postponed, following disagreement among representatives of EU governments. The European Commission had recommended that EU governments reapprove the controversial substance glyphosate, which is used as a herbicide in the EU, for a further 15 years. The Greens/EFA group has been running a campaign against the approval of the chemical, which WHO has determined as "probably carcinogenic in humans".
- Axel Singhofen, Advisor on Health and Environment Policy
- Nelly Baltide, Food campaigner
Safeguarding the EU’s financial interests
Mon. 7 Mar. – EP debate; vote Tues.
Parliament backed a report assessing the level of fraud in EU funds, which occurs mainly in EU member states. The report, which was drafted by Green rapporteur Benedek Javor, also sets out a number of concrete proposals for improving the situation. In particular, the report recommends creating a corruption index, with a view to strengthening controls of funds in correlation with previous cases of fraud/corruption. It is now up to the European Commission and Member States to take serious and credible steps to stop fraud in the spending of public funds.
Pam Bartlett Quintanilla, Transparency and Democracy Campaigner
Women refugees and asylum seekers in focus on Women's Day
Tues. 8 Mar. – EP debate and vote
International Women's Day 2016 was marked with a debate and an address by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to the European Parliament. MEPs adopted a resolution with a specific focus on the situation of women refugees and asylum seekers, calling for a safe and legal passage into the EU to be opened, in order to stop human rights violations, mostly against women and girls, occurring at the EU external borders. The refugee crisis has highlighted the acute and particular way in which women fleeing desperate situations are affected and it is important that the national and EU response to the refugee crisis has this in focus.
Georgia Tsaklanganos - Advisor on Women's Rights and Gender equality
Controversial EU deal with tobacco industry
Weds. 9 Mar. – EP vote
MEPs sent a clear message against renewing a controversial agreement between the EU and tobacco companies. A clear majority backed a resolution calling for the Commission not to extend the Philip Morris International agreement, due to expire this summer. The Greens, who have led calls against the deal, stressed that effort should be instead focussed on addressing the public health impact of tobacco.
Roccu Garoby - Advisor on Budgetary Control - firstname.lastname@example.org
Children to get guaranteed rights across the EU under new law
Tues. 8 Mar. – EP debate; vote Weds.
New EU rules setting out safeguards for children suspected or accused in criminal proceedings were adopted by the European Parliament on Wednesday. This is a welcome step forward in ensuring children are afforded a guaranteed level of protection across the EU. It is, however, disappointing that the new law limits the right for children to be assisted by a lawyer in certain cases.
Nicholas Hernanz, Advisor on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
Revision of posting of workers directive
Tues. 8 Mar. – Commission statement
MEPs debated the Commission's new proposal on the Revision of the Posting of Workers Directive. The Green/EFA group will fight against exploitation of posted workers to ensure they are adequately protected and remunerated and can live a decent life in the country in which they are staying. The protection of workers in subcontracting chains is another matter that Greens/EFA will pay close attention to when working on the proposal in Parliament. Workers must be protected not only by words but by real action, which requires adequate control to ensure the rules for protecting their rights are followed.
- press release (FR/DE)
Herlinde Vanhooydonck - Advisor Employment & Social Affairs
Corporate tax transparency
Tue. 8 Mar – ECOFIN meeting
EU finance ministers agreed to make the largest corporations operating in the EU report their activities to tax administrations. While this is a welcome step forward, it falls far short of what is required. Strengthening transparency of corporations' tax activities is crucial for tackling tax avoidance. Public country-by-country reporting obligations for all large corporations would enable proper scrutiny of their tax management schemes.
Catherine Olier, Tax Justice Campaigner - email@example.com _________________
Today is the fifth anniversary of the Fukushima earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. Even five years on, the world is still struggling to recover from the significant impact of this accident. It is important that we do not just remember Fukushima, but also learn the lessons of that day.
Delphine Chalençon, Climate Campaigner - firstname.lastname@example.org
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Next issue of Greens/EFA Plenary Round-up: 15 April 2016