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Plenary Flash 05-09 July 2021

Greens/EFA priorities

Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights in Hungary and Poland - Joint debate

Breaches of EU law and of the rights of LGBTIQ citizens in Hungary as a result of the adopted legal changes in the Hungarian Parliament & The outcome of 22 June hearings under Article 7(1) of the TEU regarding Poland and Hungary - Council and Commission statements

Following the Hungarian Parliament’s vote to ban the teaching of LGBTIQ education and literature, advertisements and other materials under the guise of "protecting children", the European Parliament will question the European Commission and Council on their plans to use the tools available to ensure that EU law is followed by Hungary. The Greens/EFA Group calls for the immediate repeal of the new Hungarian laws to protect the fundamental rights of all Hungarian citizens. The Group also calls for the European Commission to show its commitment to safeguarding the rule of law in both Hungary and Poland, and the European values to which every Member State has signed up.

Last week, EU Ministers discussed the ongoing Article 7 procedures for failings on the rule of law against the governments of Hungary and Poland in the General Affairs Council, for the first time in two years. Discussions every couple of years is not enough to solve the rule of law crisis in the EU. It's time for the Member States to come forward with clear recommendations with deadlines to act for Hungary and Poland,

Greens/EFA MEPs: Gwendoline Delbos Corfield (EP Rapporteur on the situation in Hungary); Terry Reintke (Greens/EFA shadow rapporteur on Poland in the LIBE Committee)
Debate: Wednesday, 7 July
Vote: Thursday, 8 July (on the “Breaches of EU law and of the rights of LGBTIQ citizens in Hungary as a result of the adopted legal changes in the Hungarian Parliament” only)
More info: Rule of Law: Article 7 discussions shows urgent need for action; Hungary: Government must scrap law targeting LGBTIQ community

 
 

Presentation of the programme of activities of the Slovenian Presidency - Council and Commission statements

Slovenia took over the EU Council Presidency from Portugal on Thursday July 1st. European values are under increasing pressure in Slovenia. Civil society and the free press are come under fierce attacked from Prime Minister Janez Janša and the appointment of the Slovenian Deputy Prosecutor to the EPPO is being obstructed. In recent months, the government has launched several hate and smear campaigns against numerous independent media outlets and journalists in the country. PM Janša's attempts to block the candidates for Deputy Prosecutor to the European Public Prosecutor's Office and attacks on judges raises concerns over political interference in the independence of the judiciary.

Greens/EFA MEPs Daniel Freund and Sergey Lagodinsky recently visited the country. On Tuesday morning (08:00 am), Daniel Freund and civil society activists from Slovenia will stage an action in front of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, to highlight Prime Minister Janša’s attacks on civil society.

Greens/EFA MEPs: Daniel Freund, Sergey Lagodinsky, Saskia Bricmont
Debate: Tuesday, 6 July (without resolution)

More info: Slovenian PM blockage of European Public Prosecutor must end – quotes from Saskia Bricmont & Daniel Freund

 
 

General Union Environment Action Programme to 2030

On Thursday 8th July, MEPs will vote on the General Union Environment Action Programme to 2030, which sets the direction for EU environmental and climate policy action for the next 10 years, building on the European Green Deal. It establishes a monitoring framework to assess the progress of Member States and the Union towards a 2050 objective of ‘living well within planetary boundaries’, as well as six thematic priority objectives (climate mitigation, climate adaptation, circular economy, biodiversity protection, zero pollution and reducing our environmental footprint).

The report, led by Greens/EFA rapporteur Grace O’Sullivan, strengthens the Commission’s proposal significantly. Strong emphasis is placed on the need for systemic change in light of the ecological crises we face, and includes a call on the Commission to develop "beyond GDP" indicators to measure economic progress in terms of the well-being of people and planet, facilitating the transition to a sustainable economy. The report also lays down a number of other concrete actions, including clear deadlines for the phasing out of all environmentally harmful subsidies, as well as an obligatory compatibility check for all Union measures and policies with the objectives of the programme.

Greens/EFA MEPs: Grace O’Sullivan (Greens/EFA rapporteur)
Debate: Wednesday, 7 July
Vote: Thursday, 8 July

 

Establishment of Antarctic Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and the conservation of Southern Ocean biodiversity - Council and Commission statements

Initiated by Grace O’Sullivan MEP, the resolution on the Establishment of Antarctic Marine Protected Areas and the conservation of Southern Ocean biodiversity calls on all negotiating countries of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) to support the decision to protect three new areas in the Antarctic waters. The resolution highlights the importance of the southern ocean for biodiversity and climate change mitigation as well as urges the Commission and Member States to increase their diplomatic efforts to convince the countries which are blocking the decision.

The Greens/EFA Group welcomes the appeal for support on protecting the new areas and believes that the European Parliament’s initiative can be helpful to persuade the remaining countries to adopt the decision.

Greens/EFA MEPs: Grace O’Sullivan (initiator of the resolution)
Debate: Wednesday, 7 July
Vote: Thursday, 8 Jul

 

Plans and actions to accelerate a transition to innovation without the use of animals in research, regulatory testing and education - Commission statement 

The European Union has made a clear commitment to proactively reduce the use of animals in science, and adopted a final objective to completely replace the use of animals with non-animal alternatives in 2010. Unfortunately, the number of such practices has decreased only very slowly over the last decade.

In the light of the European Green Deal, Next Generation EU, and the health and environmental challenges we are facing, it is essential that the EU acts to accelerate the transition from a reliance on the outdated animal-based model to modern, human-relevant, non-animal science in the areas of research, regulatory testing and education. In addition, the public concern about the use of animals in experiments is growing, and the EU has to give the right answer.

Greens/EFA MEPs: Tilly Metz
Debate: Thursday, 8 July (with resolution to be voted in September)

 

Asylum and Migration - Joint debate

The Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund 2021-2027 (AMIF) is part of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027. This fund will benefit from a budget of €9.882 billion, which constitutes a considerable increase compared to the previous programming period. The AMIF could play a considerable role in supporting the integration of third-country nationals, ensuring access to fair and effective asylum systems, and promoting dignified returns in full respect of fundamental rights.

The Greens/EFA Group achieved some key wins in the negotiations, particularly in guaranteeing direct access to this fund for local and regional authorities. In addition, at least 20% must be allocated to the solidarity objective, which was a priority for our Group. The text also reinforces funding for the integration objective while limiting the undue prioritisation of the return objective.

The European Parliament will discuss the Border Management and Visa Instrument (BMVI), based on the Commission’s proposal in the context of the next MFF for 2021-2027. The instrument aims to ensure strong and effective European integrated border management at the external borders, contributing to the internal security within the Union, while safeguarding the free movement of people.

The Parliament has strengthened the “fundamental rights” dimension of the instrument, and given more relevance to actions related to search and rescue and the issuing of humanitarian visas. However, such progress cannot completely overcome the problems regarding the current management of the external borders. The Greens/EFA still have deep concerns over serious allegations of fundamental rights violations involving both Frontex and the Member States.

Greens/EFA MEPs: Eric Marquardt (Greens/EFA Shadow for the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund); Alice Bah Kuhnke (Greens/EFA Shadow for the Integrated Border Management Fund)

Debate: Tuesday, 6 July
Vote: Wednesday, 7 July

 

The 70th anniversary of the Geneva Convention - Council and Commission statements

The 1951 Refugee Convention, known as the Geneva Convention, defines the term ‘refugee’ and sets out the rights and duties of refugees. According to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), the EU's common policy on asylum, subsidiary protection and temporary protection must be in line with this Convention. However, the Commission's recent proposals for a new Pact on Migration, as well as developments in some Member States, have raised questions as to whether this will remain the case in practice. On 28th July, the Geneva Convention will celebrate 70 years of existence, offering an opportunity to reassert its relevance and importance in today's context.

Greens/EFA MEPs: Eric Marquardt; Damien Carême; Tineke Strik (Members of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs)
Debate: Tuesday, 6 July (without resolution)

 

The repression of the opposition in Turkey, specifically HDP - Statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

On Wednesday 17th March, the Chief Public Prosecutor of Turkey’s top Court of Appeals requested the dissolution of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). This was accepted by Turkey’s Constitutional Court on 21st June, opening the door for a case to close the parliament’s third-largest party. The context of this decision is an ongoing crackdown on the Turkish political opposition, and in particular of the HDP, and a shrinking space for democracy and the rule of law, and of continuous measures by the Turkish authorities aimed at silencing dissenting voices.

The Greens/EFA condemn the decision confirmed by the General Assembly of the Constitutional Court, as well as the continued detention of HDP parliamentarians and functionaries, including the co-Chair, Figen Yüksekdağ, and former co-Chair, Selahattin Demirtaş. We call on the Turkish authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Selahattin Demirtaş and other imprisoned members of the opposition, to drop all charges against them and to reinstate the legal status of the HDP. The Greens/EFA call on the Turkish government to urgently reverse its autocratic policies and to work towards strengthening democracy, rule of law, and human and civil rights, which include political pluralism, freedom of association, freedom of assembly and freedom of expression.

Greens/EFA MEPs: Sergey Lagodinsky (chair of the EU-Turkey delegation)
Debate: Tuesday, 6 July
Vote: Thursday, 8 July

 

MORE

  • The full plenary agenda for the week can be found on the Parliament website here.
  • The plenary sessions can be followed live here.
 

GREENS/EFA PRESS CONTACTS

 
 
 

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