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Plenary Flash 4-7 October 2021

Greens/EFA priorities

THE ROLE OF DEVELOPMENT POLICY IN RESPONSE TO BIODIVERSITY LOSS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Biodiversity loss affects the whole planet and preserving nature is imperative if we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The current negative trends around biodiversity and ecosystems will undermine 80% of the progress made so far across the SDGs. This includes progress on poverty, hunger, health, water, cities, climate, oceans and land. Sustainable development and supporting biodiversity must go hand in hand. The Greens/EFA group are calling on the EU to ensure policy coherence for development in all EU internal and external policies and to halt biodiversity loss in order to meet the Agenda 2030 goals.

Greens/EFA MEPs: Michele Rivasi, Rapporteur
Debate:
Monday, 4 October
 

EU SOLUTIONS TO THE RISE OF ENERGY PRICES

Following the recent surge in energy prices across the EU, largely driven by soaring fossil fuel costs, the European Parliament will debate solutions for businesses and consumers on Wednesday. Rising costs are a serious threat to vulnerable and energy-poor citizens, particularly with the approaching winter months. To provide immediate relief in this crisis, the Greens/EFA Group are calling for national targeted measures such as tax relief, direct support, a ban of forced disconnections and relaxed payment periods for energy bills. The key to affordable energy is greater efficiency alongside robust and cost effective renewable policies that do not rely on imports. The EU must accelerate the Green Transition and reduce dependency on natural gas.

The Greens/EFA Group are calling on the Commission to propose stronger security of supply rules in the EU gas market to protect against manipulation at the hands of major gas corporations and foreign powers.

Debate: Wednesday, 6 October
 

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN CRIMINAL LAW AND BIOMETRIC SURVEILLANCE

The use of Artificial Intelligence and biometric mass surveillance by police forces poses threats to discriminated communities, civil liberties and privacy. MEPs will debate artificial intelligence in criminal law and its use by the police and judicial authorities in criminal matters. This report addresses the increasing use of artificial intelligence and related tools in the context of law enforcement. The Greens/EFA group has long called for EU-level action to address the risks of predictive policing, for minorities and discriminated communities, mass surveillance, and for a ban on the use of facial recognition in public spaces.

Greens/EFA MEPs: Patrick Breyer, shadow
Debate: Monday, 4 October
Vote: Tuesday, 5 October
 

RRF RECOVERY PLANS: STATE OF PLAY

The Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) aims to mitigate the social and economic impacts of the Covid 19 pandemic by making European economies and societies more sustainable and resilient to the green and digital transformation. It is vital that none of this money is lost to fraud, corruption or used to undermine fundamental rights. The majority of Member States’ recovery plans have been approved so far, however, those submitted by Hungary and Poland have yet to be signed off. Given the serious concerns around the rule of law and fundamental rights in both Hungary and Poland, the Greens/EFA Group call on the Commission and Council to ensure that the plans are fully inline with the RRF Regulation and respect shared European values as enshrined in the Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Greens/EFA MEPs: Alexandra Geese, Damian Boselager, Ernest Urtasun
Debate:
Wednesday, 6 October
Vote: Wednesday, 6 October 
 

EU-US RELATIONS

Following the election of President Joe Biden, the Greens/EFA Group notes some improvements in transatlantic relations, and look forward to joint action in the areas of climate change, health, security and fundamental rights. However, in the wake of the US-led withdrawal from Afghanistan and the new AUKUS security pact, MEPs will discuss next steps in developing EU-US relations with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell. The Greens/EFA Group welcomes the recent meeting of EU and US officials on September 29th, but recognises the need for more discussion on the nature of transatlantic cooperation, particularly in light of the recent Texas abortion law (which will be debated on Thursday, 7 October).

Greens/EFA MEPs: Reinhard Bütikofer
Debate:
Tuesday, 5 October
Vote: Tuesday, 5 October
 

EUROPEAN HEALTH PREPAREDNESS & RESPONSE AGENCY (HERA)

In the wake of the pandemic, the new European Health Preparedness and Response Agency (HERA) will be charged with ensuring a coordinated EU response to future health crises. However, the Commission’s current proposals would exclude the European Parliament in the oversight of HERA, putting the authority directly under the supervision of the Commission. It is essential for public trust, transparency and accountability that the Parliament will have a role in scrutinising the work of HERA. That is why the Greens/EFA Group have called for this debate as our group believes that strengthening the EU’s responses to health emergencies must be in the interests of public health and not the interests of big pharma. A fully-fledged independent agency with a mandate of public interest, settled via ordinary legislative procedure, and exposed to the same rigorous scrutiny as other agencies should be the basis for this new body.

Greens/EFA MEPs: Michele Rivasi, Margrete Auken, Tilly Metz
Debate:
Tuesday, 5 October
 

MORE

Outcome of the Final Trilogue on the EU Asylum Agency
MEP: Damien Boeselager
Vote: Thursday, 7 October
More

Reforming the EU policy on harmful tax practices
MEP: Ernest Urtasun
Debate: Wednesday, 6 October
More

The situation in Belarus after one year of ongoing protests and their violent repression
MEP: Viola von Cramon-Taubadel
Debate: Tuesday, 5th October. Vote: Thursday, 7th October
More

Aarhus Convention
MEP: Marie Toussaint 
More

Greens/EFA Group Presidents, Ska Keller and Philippe Lamberts, will hold the regular plenary session press briefing at Tuesday 11:00 in the Daphne Caruana Galicia press room in Strasbourg. You can follow the press conference on the Parliament's website or EbS and if journalists following virtually wish to ask questions, they may do so using Interactio via the following link. 

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 

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