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Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 9-13 May 2016


TABLE OF CONTENTS

EP Plenary

  • Improving transparency of foreign direct investment (Mon., Tues.)
  • Greek bailout and Euro crisis in the spotlight again (Tues.)
  • Situation in Turkey and visa liberalisation (Weds.)
  • Reforming EU asylum policy (Weds.)
  • Saving the Schengen free movement system (Weds.)
  • Small step towards corporate tax transparency (Weds., Thurs.)
  • Panama Papers: EP inquiry into tax evasion and money laundering in the EU (Thurs.)

Greens/EFA motions for resolutions

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Improving transparency of foreign direct investment

Mon. 9 May – EP debate; vote Tues.

MEPs backed a legislative report by Sven Giegold MEP setting out new EU rules on how Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) are measured. The rules will improve the transparency of EU statistics, leading to more clarity and better traceability of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) within and from the EU to the rest of the world. The provisions will provide a clearer view of gross capital flows across jurisdictions and help identify the jurisdictions where the ultimate ownership and beneficiaries of FDIs are based. 

Further information
Francisco Padilla - Advisor on Economic and Monetary Affairs
francisco.padilla@ep.europa.eu 

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Greek bailout and Euro crisis in the spotlight again

Tues. 10 May – EP debate

On Tuesday, MEPs debated the Greek bailout with the Commission and Council. The renewed posturing on the implementation of Greece's bailout programme is a worrying distraction from the persistent deterioration of the Greek economy. Dialogue is urgently needed. The latest push by the troika for even more austerity measures to be passed in Greece is wrong-headed. Instead, the creditors should be heeding the IMF's advice and insisting that socially balanced and sustainable structural reforms, such as an overhaul of the fiscal administration, the reform of the judicial system and the media are a top priority. The Syriza government and its EU partners must do far more to fight tax evasion and take on those who have engaged in tax fraud. As the IMF's analysis has made clear, a significant restructuring of the Greek debt and a reduction of unrealistic and self-defeating primary surplus targets has to be on the table.

Further information
Francisco Padilla - Advisor on Economic and Monetary Affairs
francisco.padilla@ep.europa.eu

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Situation in Turkey and visa liberalisation

Weds 11 May – EP debate

MEPs debated the situation in Turkey Wednesday and the proposed visa liberalisation with the EU. The clampdown against all opposition by the Erdogan regime has reached new level. The Greens have always supported visa liberalisation for Turkish people but the fulfilment of the 72 criteria set out by the EU must be a precondition for this.

Further information
Sabine Meyer - Advisor on Foreign Affairs
sabine.meyer@ep.europa.eu

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Reforming EU asylum policy

Weds. 11 May – EP debate

MEPs debated proposals by the European Commission for reforming the EU's system of asylum rules. Despite the widespread acknowledgement that the EU's Dublin system of asylum rules is not fit for the task, the Commission has fallen short of proposing a total overhaul. Our MEPs used the debate to make the case that we need to take much greater account of asylum seekers' preferences and existing ties. Otherwise, asylum seekers will continue to take dangerous routes and use people smugglers to avoid this broken system.

Further information
Maria Giovanna Manieri - Advisor on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
mariagiovanna.manieri@ep.europa.eu

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Saving the Schengen free movement system

Weds. 11 May – EP debate

New proposals from the European Commission on the introduction of border controls under the EU's Schengen system were debated by MEPs Wednesday. The Commission's proposal on Schengen is regrettable and essentially supports those EU governments that want to abdicate their responsibility in the refugee crisis. Closing borders is a knee-jerk reaction and not a solution. Only by revamping the EU asylum system will we have a coherent and lasting response to the refugee crisis. 

Further information
Maria Giovanna Manieri - Advisor on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
mariagiovanna.manieri@ep.europa.eu

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Small step towards corporate tax transparency

Weds. 11 May – EP debate; vote Thurs.

On Thursday, new EU rules obliging the largest corporations operating in the EU to report their activities to tax administrations were endorsed by MEPs. The new measure, which has already been approved by EU governments, is a small step forward but falls far short of the full public country-by-country reporting obligations demanded by the European Parliament for ensuring full transparency of corporations' tax dealings. Our MEPs put forward an amendment which would have widened the reporting obligation to cover a larger number of multinational companies, but this proposal fell.

Further information
Raffaele Fargnoli - Advisor on Economic and Monetary Affairs
raffaele.fargnoli@ep.europa.eu 

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Panama Papers: EP inquiry into tax evasion and money laundering in the EU

Following initial pressure from the Greens/EFA group of MEPs, there is now broad political agreement on the mandate for an inquiry committee on tax evasion, tax avoidance and money laundering. The draft mandate we published in April has been used as a starting point for negotiations. The Panama Papers show that we need to investigate whether obligations under existing EU anti-money laundering legislation and tax cooperation have been properly enforced by EU governments and authorities. Some legal checks are still to be included in the draft mandate which should be adopted at the end of May. We also published a report this week on why the United States are becoming the biggest tax haven on the planet.

Further information

Catherine Olier - Tax Justice Campaigner
catherine.olier@ep.europa.eu

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Greens/EFA motions for resolutions

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Next issue of Greens/EFA Plenary Round-up: 10 June 2016


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