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Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 13-16 November 2017


Table of contents

 

  • Paradise Papers: scandal shows need to implement PANA recommendations
  • Malta: Money-laundering scandals need to be investigated
  • Money Laundering legistation
  • Poland: parliament to vote on breach of EU values
  • Winter plan for asylum seekers: call for action plan
  • COP23: turning diplomacy into action
  • Greens/EFA motions for resolutions

 

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Paradise Papers: scandal shows need to implement PANA recommendations
 

Debate on Tuesday 14 November

 

The European Parliament debated Tuesday the Paradise Papers. This recent scandal has highlighted once again the enormous problem posed by offshore territories and tax havens used by wealthy individuals and large companies for tax evasion and tax avoidance. The British government in particular has major questions to answer. It is unacceptable that the UK, whose overseas territories are largely involved in the scandal, is currently blocking progress on the future EU blacklist. This scandal shows the urgent need for the recommendations of the Panama Papers inquiry to be approved and implemented. This includes the establishment of a permanent inquiry, as seen in the US Congress, which would give the parliament the ability to react swiftly and investigate ongoing and future tax and money laundering issues.

 

 

Further information
František Nejedlý – Tax Justice Campaigner
frantisek.nejedly@ep.europa.eu

 

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Malta: Money-laundering scandals need to be investigated
 

Debate Tuesday 14 November; Vote Wednesday 15 November

 

Action is needed in Malta to tackle money-laundering and ensure that journalists and whistle-blowers are protected. The shocking murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, whose work was crucial in uncovering the murky reality of corruption in Malta, raised serious concerns about the safety of journalists. Revelations by the ICIJ consortium in April 2016 showed that a Minister and the chief of staff of the Prime Minister owned shell companies in tax havens but investigations on Panama Papers revelations have not been forthcoming.

 

The Greens, together with other political groups, have called for the Parliament to establish a “European Daphne Caruana Galizia prize for investigative journalism”. It is embarrassing that the Socialists & Democrats in the European parliament were unwilling to contribute to a common resolution. As with the concerns regarding the rule of law in Hungary and Romania, the affiliation to a European party family overrules the defence of European values.

 

 

Further information
Catherine Olier - Advisor on Economic and Monetary Affairs
catherine.olier@ep.europa.eu

 

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Money Laundering

 

European Council must stop dragging its heels 

 

The eighth round of trilogue negotiations on the revision to the anti-money laundering directive ended abruptly Tuesday after the Estonian Presidency confirmed it did not have a mandate to negotiate or a latest text for a basis for discussion. MEPs had made the creation of a public registry of beneficial ownership for both companies and trusts a red line in the negotiations. European Member States, who continue to refuse to allow progress on trusts, must stop dragging their heels on this important issue. As seen with the last Paradise Papers tax scandal, urgent legislation is needed to increase transparency.

 

 

Further information

 

Further information
Aleksejs Dimitrovs - Advisor on legal affairs, civil liberties, justice and home affairs
aleksejs.dimitrovs@ep.europa.eu

 

Catherine Olier - Advisor on Economic and Monetary Affairs
catherine.olier@ep.europa.eu

 

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Poland: parliament votes on breach of EU values
 

Debate and vote Wednesday 15 November

 

The European Parliament voted Wednesday on breaches of EU values in Poland. The Greens have serious concerns regarding the independence of the judiciary and public media, the freedoms of NGOs and civil society, and for women’s rights and environment protection. In light of the Polish government's continued failure to comply with the fundamental values of the EU, the text calls on the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committee to draw up a report on the infringement of fundamental principles and values by the Polish Government.

 

The Greens/EFA group is calling for the European Parliament to take the first step towards potential Article 7 proceedings against Poland (1). The call comes in a motion for a resolution, signed by the Greens/EFA, EPP, S&D, ALDE and GUE/NGL, which was supported by the majority of MEPs Wednesday. The Greens/EFA group also co-tabled a number of successful amendments on women's rights with GUE/NGL and S&D, including criticisms of the restrictions on access to the emergency contraceptive pill and abortions.

 

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(1) Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union provides a mechanism to enforce EU values. Under Article 7(1), the Council may determine that there is a clear risk of a serious breach of EU values by a Member State and is intended to prevent an actual breach by addressing specific recommendations to the Member State in question. 

 

 

Further information
Aleksejs Dimitrovs - Advisor on legal affairs, civil liberties, justice and home affairs
aleksejs.dimitrovs@ep.europa.eu

 

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Winter plan for asylum seekers: call for action plan
 

Debate on Wednesday 15 November

 

As winter sets in, the European Parliament discussed Wednesday how to protect asylum seekers from the winter in places like the Greek islands. Urgent action is needed to prevent suffering and loss of life in the overcrowded hotspots in Greek islands. Approximately 6,500 people currently live in the Moria camp, which has a capacity of around 2,000. Many of them currently live in summer tents and have to sleep on the floor on thin sleeping mats or blankets, including seriously ill and disabled migrants, pregnant women, children and survivors of torture and other trauma. The Greens/EFA call for an action plan to be launched as a matter of urgency by the Greek authorities, with the support of the European Commission to ensure that asylum seekers on the islands are transferred to adequate housing on mainland Greece and have access to medical care, including mental healthcare. We also want EU Member States to step up relocation efforts of those eligible and to prioritise and ensure family reunification.

 

 

Further information
Maria Giovanna Manieri - Advisor on legal affairs, civil liberties, justice and home affairs
mariagiovanna.manieri@ep.europa.eu  

 

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COP23: turning diplomacy into action
 

Until 17 November, Bonn

 

With President Trump pulling out of the Paris Agreement, there is a real and urgent need for international leadership. This year, heads of states and governments cannot simply reaffirm their commitment to limit global warming to safer levels. They need to make substantive progress on the rules and processes in order to implement the decision made in Paris in December 2015.

 

This is particularly true for Europe, which, if it wants - as French President Macron announced it at the UNFCCC/ COP 23 - claim leadership in these negotiations, must quickly abandon its own addition to fossil fuels and agree upon more ambitious targets to reduce its emissions in key sectors. 

 

Get the latest news on the Greens’ work at the climate talks from our Climate Change campaign on Twitter and on our climate website.

 

 

Further information
 

Terhi Lehtonen – Advisor on environmental issues
terhi.lehtonen@ep.europa.eu

                                                                                                                                                     

Delphine Chalençon - Climate Change Campaigner
delphine.chalencon@ep.europa.eu  

 

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Greens/EFA motions for resolutions

 

 

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Next issue of Greens/EFA Plenary Round-up: 15 December 2017


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