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Plenary Flash - 17-20 October 2022

Greens/EFA priorities for the plenary session

 

COP27 Resolution

On Tuesday, the European Parliament will vote on a cross-party resolution which will form the mandate of the European Parliament delegation for the Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC (COP27) from 6th to 18th November 2022. 

The resolution, adopted in the Environment Committee on 3rd October, appeals to wealthy countries to pledge more than $100 billion in climate financing as of the end of this year - after failing to reach this target for three years. The resolution also calls for a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty, and a dedicated Finance Facility for Loss and Damage to support the countries and regions which suffer most from climate change and bear the burden of floods, heats and droughts.  

The Greens/EFA successfully negotiated the inclusion of a chapter emphasising the gender implications of climate change and the fact that gender equality is key to a successful transition. 

Oral question: Tuesday, 18 October
Vote: Thursday, 20th October
Greens/EFA MEPs: Pär Holmgren (Greens/EFA shadow), Bas Eickhout (Head of EP delegation), Michael Bloss (Greens/EFA member of the EP delegation), Jutta Paulus, Marie Toussaint

 

Rule of law in Malta

Five years have passed since the tragic assassination of journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia, in Malta. Despite several arrests in the case, the person or people behind the murder remain unconvicted. On Monday, the European Parliament will debate the state of the rule of law in Malta, in particular concerning media freedom and safety of journalists. 

The European Parliament’s resolution pays tribute to Daphne and other journalists' work in exposing organised crime, tax fraud and money laundering, and stresses the importance of those involved in such illegal activities to be held accountable. While a degree of progress has been made in Malta, not nearly enough is being done. There are still serious problems for media freedom, the safety of journalists and the rule of law in general. The European Parliament calls for the Maltese authorities to cooperate with European authorities and ensure that proposed reforms addressing these issues meet European and international standards.

Debate: Monday, 17 October
Greens/EFA MEPs: Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield

 

Alternative Fuel Infrastructure

On Wednesday, the European Parliament will vote on the Deployment of Alternative Fuels Infrastructure (AFIR). As part of the Fit for 55 package, the Commission proposed to replace the current Directive on Alternative Fuels Infrastructure with a Regulation. Member States will now be obligated to deploy more charging points for cars and trucks over the coming years and should ensure at least 3.5 million charging stations across Europe by 2030. 

The Greens/EFA Group supports the requirements to make charging infrastructure more user friendly. This will help build consumer and business confidence in electric vehicles and significantly cut air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
However, the report falls short in a number of areas. Its support for the continued deployment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for both road and maritime transport will cost EU governments and the private sector millions of Euros every year, with little to no climate or air pollution benefit. Furthermore, the exemption for private jets to use electricity whilst stationary is an inexplicable get-out for a sector that needs to clean up its act. 

Debate: Monday, 17 October
Vote: Wednesday, 19 October 
Greens/EFA MEPs: Anna Deparnay-Grunenberg 

 

General Budget of the EU for 2023

On Wednesday, MEPs will vote on the EU’s general budget for next year. The Parliament’s reading of the draft 2023 budget is a good compromise that attempts to leverage the budget to deal with the multiple crises the EU faces stemming from Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine. The Parliament’s draft also calls for greater ambition in tackling the climate and biodiversity crises. Greens/EFA Group priorities, which have been placed at the heart of this budget includes: Large increase in humanitarian aid and support to the EU’s eastern and southern neighbourhoods, as well as increases for programmes that will accelerate the energy transition and dealing with climate change at home and abroad. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) is not fit or flexible enough to deal with current needs or new emergencies as they arise. The Greens/EFA Group are calling on the Commission to present an ambitious proposal for a revision of the current MFF as soon as possible.

Debate: Tuesday, 18 October
Vote: Wednesday, 19 October
Greens/EFA MEPs: Francisco Guerreiro (Section III), Alexandra Geese (Other Sections)

Frontex Discharge 2020

This week, Der Spiegel published a report linking Frontex, the EU’s border and coast guard agency, to ‘pushbacks’ in Libya. The Libyan authorities have been accused of human rights violations against refugees. The allegations of Frontex knowledge of or involvement in the illegal action of pushbacks are piling up, from Greece to Italy, Malta and Spain, yet the border agency continues to deny all allegations. This week Spiegel, Frag Den Staat and Lighthouse journalists also published the EU’s anti-fraud office, OLAF’s report into Frontex, which found that the agency was well aware of the Greek authorities’ practice of pushbacks. The OLAF report found that Frontex actively took measures to ensure that human rights violations would not be witnessed, documented or investigated. Frontex has a legal obligation to ensure human rights are respected. 

The Greens/EFA Group have long pushed for greater accountability and transparency at the border agency. Earlier this year, the former Director of Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, resigned following the conclusions of the OLAF report. However, as the recent press reports highlight, serious questions around human rights abuses, mismanagement and lobbying continue to hang over the agency. While new management in place is committed to reforming the Agency, the structural issues rocking Frontex are of a vast scale.  The Greens/EFA Group will vote against granting the annual Discharge report into Frontex for the year 2020. 

Debate/vote: Tuesday, 18 October
Greens/EFA MEPs: Bas Eickhout (CONT), Saskia Bricmont (LIBE), Tineke Strik, Erik Marquardt

More: Frontex - Parliament refuses 2020 Budget Discharge 

 

Keep the bills down: social and economic consequences of the war in Ukraine and the introduction of a windfall tax

On Tuesday, MEPs will debate the social and economic consequences of the war in Ukraine and the introduction of the windfall tax. The Greens/EFA group calls for supporting households, especially the ones affected the most by the soaring energy prices, as well as SMEs during the crisis. It is crucial that multinational companies and financial actors, not only those in the energy sector, that are making excessive profits, shall be subject to a windfall tax for the whole duration of this crisis to pay their fair share. These profits are well in excess from what the companies had planned for, any extra costs they face and what they could productively invest. It is a matter of economic justice that they contribute their excess profits to help those who are faced with precarity and do not hand them out as dividends or remuneration to wealthy investors and management. Revenues from this windfall tax should be shared with vulnerable households to help them during the cost of living crisis and should be shared between member states in solidarity.

Debate: Tuesday, 18 October
Greens/EFA MEPs: Claude Gruffat

MORE:

  • First plenary session press briefing with the new co-President Terry Reintke
    Group co-Presidents, Terry Reintke and Philippe Lamberts will hold the plenary session press briefing on Tuesday, 18th October at 10:40. 
    Location: Daphne Caruana Galizia Press Room, Weiss N-1/201 or online via European Parliament website. Journalists can ask questions remotely, via Interactio.

LINKS:

  • 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) 
Simon.mckeagney@europarl.europa.eu

Alex Johnson (EN press officer) 
Alex.Johnson@europarl.europa.eu

Pia Kohorst (DE press officer) 
pia.kohorst@europarl.europa.eu

Guendalina De Sario (FR press officer) 
guendalina.desario@europarl.europa.eu

Helena Hellström Gefwert (EN press assistant) 
helena.hellstrom@europarl.europa.eu

Mia Müller (DE press assistant) 
Mirjam.Muller@europarl.europa.eu

Valentina Chiarini (FR press assistant)
valentina.chiarini@europarl.europa.eu

Valentina Servera Clavell (EFA Communications officer)
Valentina.ServeraClavell@europarl.europa.eu

 

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