Plenary Flash - 13-16 February 2023
Greens/EFA priorities for the plenary session
On February 1, the European Commission presented the Green Deal Industrial Plan in response to the US Inflation Reduction Act. By accelerating the expansion of renewables and green technologies, we will boost European innovation and competitiveness, while creating sustainable jobs and reaching climate and energy targets. The Greens/EFA Group calls for fresh money and massive strategic investments in the Green transition, including with a new investment fund based on common debt, and for state aid support for companies that have the highest social and environmental standards.
The Greens/EFA Group urge for the revision of the Public Procurement Directive to include mandatory sustainability criteria for public procurements, in order to stimulate demand for green products. Clear guidelines and standards to green the industrial sector will pave the road to the much-needed green transformation.
Vote: Thursday, 16 February (debate on the resolution took place on 18 January)
Greens/EFA MEPs: Bas Eickhout, Anna Cavazzini
More: Motion for a resolution on an EU strategy to boost industrial competitiveness, trade and quality jobs
Adequate minimum income
On Wednesday, MEPs will vote on a resolution calling on Member States to raise the minimum income for people in need to at least the poverty line. Minimum income schemes are one of the strongest social tools to lift people out of poverty and it would ensure that everyone, especially the most vulnerable, can live a decent life. It would guarantee everyone in the EU a living income to pay rent, buy healthy food, continue their education, secure access to health care, and cover energy bills. The Commission has already proposed a recommendation on minimum income schemes, which is non-binding. The Greens/EFA group calls on the Commission to put forward legal measures to make sure that everyone is guaranteed a life in dignity.
Debate/Vote: Wednesday, 15 February
Greens/EFA MEP: Sara Matthieu
Council of Europe convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence: EU accession
The EU signed the Istanbul Convention in 2017, and signalled its commitment to eradicating gender-based violence. However, the EU ratification process has been stuck in the Council ever since, and 6 Member States (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia) have yet to ratify the Convention. The report, to be voted on next Wednesday, follows an CJEU Opinion from October 2021 that was requested by the European Parliament, which stressed that the Council does not need to have a 'common accord' before adopting the decision to ratify the Convention on behalf of the EU, which means the Council can adopt it with a qualified majority (QMV). The Greens/EFA Group call for the Council and the remaining Member States to ratify the Istanbul Convention without further delay and to keep striving for a Union free of gender-based violence.
Debate: Tuesday, 14 February
Vote: Wednesday, 15 February
Greens/EFA MEP: Sylwia Spurek
Special Committee on Foreign Interference Mandate
Next week, MEPs will vote on the mandate for an updated special Committee on Foreign Interference, in the wake of the corruption scandal involving several MEPs and third countries. The upcoming vote on the extension of the Special Committee mandate is key to ensure public scrutiny and democratic oversight over the urgent work on measures to ensure transparency, integrity and accountability in the work of EU institutions.
The Greens/EFA Group is calling for a strong mandate for the special committee and a dedicated report to investigate shortcomings in transparency, integrity and accountability rules, in particular linked to foreign interference, and urgently propose reforms. We are also calling for the enlargement of the special committee, to reflect the importance of the work that will be carried out.
Vote: Tuesday, 14 February at 12:00
More: Parliament stands united against corruption in the wake of the Qatargate revelations
An independent EU Ethics body
Next week, on the request of the Greens/EFA Group, the Parliament will debate the urgent need for an EU Ethics Body. The Greens/EFA Group has long called for an independent Ethics Body to credibly enforce rules against conflicts of interest, the revolving door and corruption in the EU institutions. The recent Qatargate scandal around third countries influence over certain MEPs is a glaring reminder of the urgent need for an EU Ethics Body. The Parliament voted for the establishment of an EU Ethics Body in Greens/EFA MEP Daniel Freund’s report in 2021. The Commission is supposed to come out with a proposal for such a body but has been dragging its feet. It is essential in the wake of recent revelations that the Commission comes out with a proposal without delay, in order to rebuild trust in the EU institutions.
Debate: Tuesday, 14 February
Greens/EFA MEP: Daniel Freund
More: Greens/EFA Group Propose Transparency and Integrity Measures
EU Ethics Body essential to build trust in EU institutions
CO2 emission standards for cars and vans
The vote will mark the end of the combustion engine from the year 2035 on. The green transformation of the industry also sets an end to fossil fuel-driven mobility and will drive investments in competitiveness, creating sustainable jobs and achieving our climate and energy targets. The Greens/EFA Group support the outcome of the trilogue negotiations and urge all other groups to vote in favour of this first final vote on one of the proposals of the Fit For 55 package. In the agreement to be voted on, the Greens/EFA Group achieved allowing car manufacturers a bonus for the percentage of low or zero emissions vehicles they put on the market. This will increase the percentage of electric cars manufacturers sell by 2030.
Debate/Vote: Tuesday, 14 February,
Greens/EFA MEP: Bas Eickhout
Developing an EU cycling strategy
On Thursday, MEPs will vote on the resolution on developing an EU cycling strategy. The text, which Greens/EFA MEP Karima Delli led on, was agreed on almost unanimously in the TRAN Committee. It asks the Commission to develop a European strategy for cycling, which would include, among other things, massive investments in infrastructure to guarantee the safety of cyclists and the boosting of European bicycle manufacturing. The resolution demands that cycling be seen as a real mode of transportation, and that its industry be considered on par with other European ones.
Debate: Wednesday, 15 February
Vote: Thursday, 16 February
Greens/EFA MEP: Karima Delli
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)