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Plenary Flash 12-15 June 2023

Greens/EFA priorities for the plenary session

 

Beyond plenary: Nature Restoration Law and EPP sabotaging European law-making

Ahead of the Environment Committee vote on the Nature Restoration Law (15 June), the Greens/EFA urge all MEPs to support the agreement found last week among progressive groups and to vote against the rejection amendment. The EPP walked out of negotiations last week, teaming up with right wing populists and extremists in an escalation of their ongoing campaign to sabotage the European Green Deal, and in a move that puts party politics over the livelihoods of European citizens. Protecting nature is essential to address climate change and ensure food security in Europe. All MEPs who care about nature conservation and food security should support this law to ensure fertile soils and safeguard our food supply. We need to build a resilient European agricultural sector that works with nature, not against it, and for this we need the Nature Restoration Law.

Coreper: Friday, 9th June 
Vote in lead Committee ENVI: 15th June
Environment Council: 20th June
Greens/EFA MEP: Jutta Paulus (shadow rapporteur)
Coreper: Friday, 9th June
Vote in lead committee ENVI: 15th May
Greens/EFA MEP: Jutta Paulus (shadow rapporteur)

 

The Water Crisis in Europe (Greens/EFA Initiative)

Ahead of another hot summer, Europe’s freshwater reservoirs are already running dry due to ongoing droughts. Governments are rushing to address both current and future shortages while also confronting the tensions arising from increased competition over water. In addition, water pollution continues to be a major problem affecting most of Europe. Waste water pollution triggers the loss of biodiversity, constituting a significant risk to human health. This has prompted the Greens/EFA Group to initiate a plenary debate for MEPs to weigh in on the increasing urgency of the situation in the context of climate change and the EU’s policy response.

Debate: Tuesday, 14th June

 

Batteries and Waste Batteries

The Parliament will vote on the outcome of trilogue negotiations on the Battery Regulation, which were concluded on 9 December 2022. In negotiations, the Greens/EFA Group successfully pushed for higher levels of lithium recovery, stronger rules for replaceability of batteries, strengthening and improving due diligence requirements and the phase out of lead containing non-rechargeable batteries.

Debate: Tuesday, 13th June
Greens/EFA MEP: Malte Gallée

 

Regulation on laying down harmonised rules on Artificial Intelligence (Artificial Intelligence Act)

On Tuesday, MEPs will vote on the mandate for trilogue for the Artificial Intelligence Act. The AI Act is the world’s first legislation on artificial intelligence and contains harmonised rules on the placing on the market of these systems. The Greens/EFA Group has long advocated for a human-centric approach to AI that puts fundamental rights at the core of the legislation. We have therefore included a number of proposed bans which will prohibit the most unethical practices in the EU, as well as crucial environmental provisions, which will enable better monitoring of the environmental impact of AI systems.

Vote: Tuesday, 13th June
Debate: Wednesday 14th June
Greens/EFA MEP: Kim van Sparrentak, Sergey Lagodinsky

 

Pegasus and equivalent surveillance spyware (PEGA Inquiry Committee)

Next Wednesday, MEPs will debate and vote on the final recommendations of the PEGA committee on surveillance spyware, following the widespread abuse of spyware against journalists, activists and politicians exposed in the Pegasus spyware scandal. During its inquiry, the Committee has been subject to continuous political pressure, notably from Member States implicated in the scandal, which have refused to cooperate in a meaningful way. In many cases, national governments chose to stay silent when met with accusations of abuse, preventing also the victims (among them Greens/EFA MEPs Diana Riba i Giner and Jordi Solé) from accessing information and their right to fair and efficient judicial proceedings to this day. The report contains clear recommendations to the EU and Member States on the use of spyware and calls for an immediate end of the abuse of spyware and a cessation of the use of spyware by the end of the year. 

Debate: Wednesday, vote Thursday

Greens/EFA MEPs: Hannah Neumann (shadow), Saskia Bricmont, Diana i Riba 

More: MEPs mission to Spain met with lack of openness and transparency over spyware scandal

 

Ensuring food security and the long-term resilience of EU agriculture

On Wednesday, Members of the European Parliament are going to debate and vote on the Ensuring Food Security and the Long-term Resilience of EU Agriculture report. This report should be focusing on how to ensure sustainable food production and security within the EU, impacted by climate change, biodiversity loss and rising prices following the invasion of Ukraine. Instead, the EPP, ECR and ID Groups have used the situation to justify putting a stop to the implementation of the Farm to Fork Strategy, to obtain useless and dangerous derogations to the CAP cross-compliance obligations, and recently to demand that most of the remaining legislations from the Green Deal be scrapped or weakened. The EPP in particular has been developing populist rhetoric and making unfounded accusations, such as these regulations potentially impeding food production and availability in the EU. 

This new report on food security is an attempt by the right-wing and far-right to replace the Farm to Fork resolution from 2021 with a text more in line with their views, but it falls short of addressing any of the actual threats to food security.

Debate: Wednesday 14th June
Vote: Thursday 15th June
Greens/EFA MEP: Pär Holmgren

 

Humanitarian and environmental consequences of the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam

The Greens/EFA Group we on the Commission, Member States, and the international community at large to provide immediate humanitarian aid in response to the Kakhova Dam attack, as well as provide targeted long-term assistance to mitigate the long-term ecological impact. The EU needs to invest in sustainable and inclusive reconstruction of Ukraine, to design for the recovery of a sustainable, clean and green Ukraine, underpinned by the European Green Deal. We welcome Ukraine's EU candidate status and commend Ukraine for persisting with its reforms of decentralisation and democratisation despite the ongoing Russian aggression.
Debate: Tuesday 13th June

 

Lessons learnt from the Pandora Papers and other revelations

On Tuesday, MEPs will debate the lessons learnt from the Pandora Papers and other related scandals. This report is the first time that the Parliament is looking into tax issues related to digital nomads, high networth individuals, real estate and capital gains. The rapid growth of low tax regimes designed to attract pensioners, digital nomads and the very rich poses risks and loopholes for our tax systems and the Parliament is calling for a break on these schemes and for the Commission to take action. The current disparity of capital gains taxation across the EU may generate wealth shifting and tax avoidance across Member States, which is why this report calls on the Commission to assess the need for a capital gains tax in the EU. The report also recognises the sharp increase in housing prices and the financialisation of housing. Here the Parliament also calls on the Commission to assess the need to better coordinate real estate taxation in the EU and the impact of low-tax regimes on housing prices.

Debate: Wednesday 14th June
Greens/EFA MEPs: Damien Carême

 

LINKS

The Group co-Presidents Terry Reintke and Philippe Lamberts will hold the plenary session press briefing on Tuesday, 13th June at 10:30. 

Location: Daphne Caruana Galizia Press Room, Weiss N-1/201 or online via European Parliament website. Journalists can ask questions remotely, via Interactio.

The full plenary agenda for the week can be found on the Parliament website.

The plenary sessions can be followed live here.

 

GREENS/EFA PRESS CONTACTS

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