Plenary flash 11-14 September 2023
GREENS/EFA priorities for the plenary session
State of the European Union
On Wednesday, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will deliver her annual State of the European Union Speech to the European Parliament, setting out the Commission’s priorities for the next year up until the European elections. Following the floods, fires and climate change driven extreme weather we have witnessed in recent months, it is essential that the Commission works to protect people, the climate and nature against the drastic effects of global heating. The Commission must stay the course on the Green Deal, putting climate action at the heart of its work over the next year, particularly in the face of attacks from the right and far right. The Commission must ensure that no one is left behind in the green transition and that social policies are key to securing a fairer future. The Commission must equally ensure that the rule of law and European values are upheld in our Union and at our borders in the last year of this mandate. The Greens/EFA Group welcome the EU’s continued support for Ukraine against Russian aggression.
Debate: Wednesday, 13th September
Greens/EFA MEP(s): Philippe Lamberts will speak on behalf of the Group following President von der Leyen’s speech
Towards a more disaster resilient EU - protecting people from extreme heatwaves, floods and forest fires (Greens/EFA initiative)
On the initiative of the Greens/EFA Group, Members of the European Parliament will debate the recent extreme weather events and the devastating consequences of the fires, floods and heatwaves endangering people's lives and homes in the south of Europe, most recently in Spain and Greece. MEPs will address the need for a more disaster-resilient EU. UN Secretary-General António Guterres just alerted the world that the summer of 2023 has been the hottest on record. We are facing the beginning of climate breakdown, but we still have the chance to take bold climate action now. During the upcoming UN Climate Conference COP28, it is imperative the EU takes the lead to defend an ambitious global phase-out of all fossil fuels, shifting to a climate-neutral economy and limiting global warming to below 1.5 degrees.
In a second debate initiated by the Greens/EFA Group, the plenary will discuss working conditions for firefighters. It is essential that those who are fighting the effects of the climate crisis on the ground are given the tools and support they need to protect people, their homes and the environment we all live in.
Debate - Towards a more disaster resilient EU: Tuesday, 12th September
Debate - Working conditions for firefighters: Thursday, 14th September
Renewable Energy Directive
The Greens/EFA Group support the outcome of negotiations on the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive. Boosting renewable energy is a key goal of the Green Deal to make the EU fit for climate neutrality, creating new and better jobs, increasing wealth and prosperity and achieving European energy independence. The Greens/EFA Group successfully managed to increase the EU target to a 42.5% share of renewable energies by the year 2030 (compared to 32% by 2030 set in the current Renewable Energy Directive, RED II), with an aspirational target of 45%. Another plus is simplifying and shortening the administrative permit-granting processes applicable to renewable energy projects, related storage and grid connections, without excessive derogations to existing environmental rules. Realising renewable energy projects, such as installing solar panels on a rooftop, will be much quicker and simpler in the very near future.
Debate: Monday, 11th September
Vote: Thursday, 14th September
Greens/EFA MEP(s): Ville Niinistö (ITRE), Martin Häusling (ENVI)
ReFuelEU: Sustainable Aviation Fuels
This vote on the final outcome of trilogue negotiations marks the first European target-setting for a pathway to climate-neutral aviation. From 2025 on, EU planes will have to fly on more sustainable fuels. The Greens/EFA achieved an increase from the Commission’s initial proposal, including an agreement on a substantially increased sub-target for the zero-emission aviation fuel “e-kerosene” to almost 2% between 2030 and 2034. The Greens/EFA Group successfully argued that palm- and soy-based biofuels cannot be used as fuels for aviation and for a roadmap to tackle the non-CO2 emissions of aviation. We support the compromise found as a first-ever step towards decarbonising the aviation sector by 2050. The Greens/EFA Group will keep on focussing on a crucial modal shift from short-haul flights to using rail transport.
Vote: Tuesday, 12th September
Greens/EFA MEP(s): Ciarán Cuffe (TRAN)
Violence and discrimination in the world of sports, especially in light of the FIFA Women’s World Cup (Greens/EFA initiative)
During the Fifa World Cup this summer it became clear to everyone that football - and sports, in general - are not exempt from sexism or discrimination. The Greens/EFA Group has therefore initiated a European Parliament plenary debate on violence and discrimination in the world of sports. As lawmakers, we are working hard to end gender-based violence in the EU so that in the future, no victim needs to carry the consequences of the actions of their perpetrator. We stand in solidarity with Jenni Hermoso and all victims of gender-based violence.
Debate: Thursday, 14th September
Greens/EFA MEP(s): Viola von Cramon, Diana Riba I Giner
Critical Raw Materials Act
The European Parliament will vote on its position on the Critical Raw Materials (CRM) Act ahead of the trilogue negotiations. Currently, the EU imports almost 90% of its CRM from countries such as China. Compared to the Commission’s proposal from March this year, the EP’s Committee on Industry has put forward a more ambitious draft that prioritises recycling over extracting, creates safeguards for Natura 2000 areas, and introduces the mitigation of the consumption of raw materials. The Greens/EFA Group welcomes these green wins and will enter the negotiations with the goal of making the use of CRM more circular.
Debate: Wednesday, 13th September
Vote: Thursday, 14th September
Greens/EFA MEP(s): Henrike Hahn
Human rights implications of the EU-Tunisia migration deal (Greens/EFA initiative)
In July, Commission President von der Leyen, Prime Ministers Meloni and Rutte, and Tunisia’s President Kais Saied signed a “strategic comprehensive partnership” between the EU and Tunisia, the core of which is migration management. On the ground, democracy and rule of law have been abolished over the past two years, and the clamp down on political opposition, media and civil society - as well as the heavy discrimination and abuse of refugees and asylum seekers - is ever increasing. The Greens/EFA and the European Parliament stand in solidarity with Tunisian civil society, which means that no EU funds should benefit Tunisia’s oppressive regime. EU funds must be strictly conditional upon respect for human rights and the rule of law. Rather than outsourcing border control, the EU should ensure safe and legal routes for migrants trying to cross borders.
Debate: Tuesday, 12th September
Greens/EFA MEP(s): Jordi Solé and Francois Alfonsi
Ambient Air Quality & Cleaner Air for Europe
Vote: Wednesday, 13th September
Greens/EFA MEP: Nicolae Ştefănuță
Electricity Market Design (EMD)
Press briefing Thursday 14th September at 14:30 via zoom with Greens/EFA shadow Michael Bloss
Announcement: Monday 11th September
Greens/EFA MEP: Michael Bloss
- The Group Presidents Terry Reintke & Philippe Lamberts will hold the plenary session press briefing on Tuesday, 12th September at 11:00 AM.
- 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
Simon McKeagney (Head of Communication)
Alex Johnson (EN press officer)
Pia Kohorst (DE press officer)
Guendalina De Sario (FR press officer)
Helena Hellström Gefwert (EN press assistant)
Mia Müller (DE press assistant)
Valentina Chiarini (FR press assistant)
Valentina Servera Clavell (EFA Communications officer)