Greens/EFA Roundup

Debriefing of the Brussels plenary week 10-14 November 2014

Table of contents

  • Marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall
  • Tax Evasion and the Luxembourg Leaks revelations
  • Turkish intervention in Cyprus
Outside the plenary
  • Authorisations of Genetically Modified Organisms

Marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall

Plenary debate
Wednesday 12th November 2014

Speaking in the plenary on Wednesday, Greens/EFA Co-President Rebecca Harms described how Germany has changed greatly since the fall of the Berlin wall and how many young Europeans have taken the city of Berlin to their hearts. Germany has to be grateful that it is in the European Union and that reunification has been possible. Its position as a hegemonic power is however not something that everyone is happy about. New tensions are real in the south of Europe it should do what it can for the good of Europe. The forces symbolised in the fall of the Berlin wall continue and can be seen more recently in Euromaidan. Together with the rest of the EU, Germany must ensure that bloodshed in the East of Ukraine is stopped. Russia cannot be allowed to try to call into question results of events in 1991.

Further information:
Rebecca Harms - Greens/EFA Co-President _______________________________________________________

Tax Evasion and the Luxembourg Leaks revelations

Plenary debate
Wednesday 12th November 2014

We need to put an end to the tax war between EU Member States. The only beneficiaries are big companies and the extremely wealthy who are managing to avoid paying all of the tax that they ought to pay. Meanwhile, the well-being of all other citizens suffers. 'LuxLeaks' has shown a fundamental violation of the social contract in Europe and could, even worse, lead to a breakdown in the confidence and trust that citizens should have in the people they elect. But Luxembourg is not alone. The system in the Netherlands, for example, could be just as bad and there are similar provisions in the tax codes of many member states. Commission President Juncker must broaden the ongoing inquiry and give it everything that it needs to put an end to this tax trickery.

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


Turkish intervention in Cyprus

Motion for resolution
Vote Thursday 13th November 2014

MEPs adopted a resolution Thursday condemning Turkish intervention and calling for the withdrawal of its ships from the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus. All parties must also make efforts to de-escalate the situation in order to pave the way for the resumption of the negotiations led by the UN. Also of concern are plans to push ahead with offshore gas exploration and extraction, which would pose major environmental risks. The development of a safe, clean and sustainable energy policy, focusing on renewable energy and stepping up energy efficiency should be prioritised instead.

Further information:
Paolo Bergamaschi - Advisor on Foreign Affairs


Authorisations of Genetically Modified Organisms

Committee vote
Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
Tuesday 11th November 2014

On Tuesday MEPs voted to strengthen opt-outs of GMO authorisations for member states and regions. This means that negotiations will now take place with EU governments in the Council, who have a different collective position. Although such a strengthening is welcome, there are still concerns, especially regarding the bigger picture. No must mean no: countries wanting to opt out of GM authorisations must have a totally legally watertight framework for doing so. However, we are still very concerned that this new opt-out scheme is a slippery slope for easing EU GMO authorisations in general and does not fundamentally change the flawed EU approval process in itself.   

Further information:
Arnaud Apoteker - GMO campaigner

Corinna Zerger - Advisor on Food Saftey and Quality
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Next issue of Greens/EFA Plenary Round-up: 28 November 2014