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Plenary Flash 5 - 8 February 2024

GREENS/EFA priorities for the plenary session

EU 2040 Climate Targets

Replacing fossil fuels with a massive deployment of renewables and energy efficiency must be at the forefront of the EU’s path towards climate neutrality. Next week, the Commission is expected to recommend a 90% reduction in net greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 (compared to 1990 levels) in its communication on climate targets for the year 2040. The European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change stressed that the EU has already exhausted its fair share of the remaining global greenhouse gas budget to keep a maximum of 1.5° global warming, and urged Europe to aim for a higher level of ambition to minimise our emissions. The Greens/EFA Group are calling for net-zero GHG emissions reduction by 2040. The EU needs to live up to the commitments made at the COP28 climate conference to phase out oil, coal and gas to save the climate, boost investments into electrification, renewable energies and insulation of buildings and make our economy and industry fit for global competition.

Debate: Tuesday 6 February 

MEPs: Bas Eickhout, Pär Holmgren, Michael Bloss, Jutta Paulus, Marie Toussaint

More: Greens/EFA demands EU Post-2030 Climate Targets

 

Farmers' Protests

Next week, MEPs will debate the ongoing farmers’ protests unfolding across Europe. The roots of these protests are in our economic system which is failing our farmers: small farmers are struggling with rising costs as the agro-industry giants profit. The Greens/EFA Group calls for a profound reform of the CAP, adapting the national CAP strategic plans, and changing the system so all farmers can make a decent living from what they produce - instead of the enormous benefits enriching those who control the agro-industrial monopolies; inputs like pesticides, fertilisers, seeds, pharma, on one side and retailers and their unfair trading practices on the other. While many are exploiting the dissatisfaction of farmers across the Union to push an anti-green, anti-ecological, or even far-right narrative, the Greens/EFA stand in solidarity with farmers and peaceful protests - the  producers of our food and custodians of our biodiversity. It is essential that we fix the social and economic aspects of the system so we can help farms adapt to the massive challenge of climate change and work towards a fair and just green transition, in collaboration with farmers across Europe. 

Debate: Wednesday, 7 February

Greens/EFA MEPs: Benoît Biteau

 

Plants obtained by certain new genomic techniques and their food and feed

On Tuesday the European Parliament will vote on its new genomic techniques (NGTs) report which was recently adopted by the ENVI Committee. 

The Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament has criticised the Commission's plan to exempt NGTs from certain rules of the existing legal framework on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). By exempting the vast majority of NGTs (category 1 NGTs), from GMO risk assessment, monitoring, traceability and consumer labelling, the Commission fails to respect consumer’s right to information as well as the precautionary principle, laid down in the EU.

The Greens/EFA are calling for the Commission’s proposal to be rejected, as it will once again benefit the genetic plant pharma industries to the detriment of farmers.

Debate: Tuesday, 6 February

Vote: Wednesday 7 February

Greens/EFA MEPs: Martin Häusling

 

Allegations of Russian interference in the democratic processes of the European Union 

The Greens/EFA Group is deeply concerned by reports that MEP Tatiana Ždanoka has been working on behalf of the FSB’s Fifth Service while also serving as a Member of the European Parliament. It is imperative that the European Parliament investigate this matter thoroughly, and together with the Latvian authorities, immediately assess whether or not Ms. Ždanoka can continue to sit as a Member of the European Parliament. The Greens/EFA group condemns all attempts of Russian interference in the democratic processes of the European Union, insists that the Russian authorities must end these practices and calls on the HR/VP and the Council to take appropriate measures against Russian individuals and entities in case allegations of interference are confirmed  in order to safeguard the security of our Union and its democratic processes.

The Greens/EFA Group is and has always been a leading champion for democracy and human rights, core values that Russia opposes. That a potential FSB agent can have access to benefits and information as a Member of the European Parliament is a threat to our security and we call for an immediate investigation into these matters, as well as a suspension of Ms. Ždanoka’s access while the investigation is ongoing. 

Debate: Tuesday, 6 Feb

Vote: Thursday, 8 Feb

Greens/EFA MEPs: Sergey Lagodinsky

 

Rule of law and media freedom in Greece 

Next week, the European Parliament will debate a resolution on the rule of law and media freedom in Greece. This will be the first opportunity in years for the Parliament to discuss the situation in Greece, which is drastically deteriorating under the EPP government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Greece has seen the criminalisation of opponents of the government, failings in the rule of law, a crack down on media freedom, the use of surveillance technologies at the border, attacks on LGBTIQ rights, and the criminalisation of both migrants and the NGO workers attempting to provide support to asylum seekers. 

There are ongoing serious questions about the use of pushbacks by the Greek state against migrants, police corruption and brutality and attacks on minorities such as the Roma community. Last year, Prime Minister Mitsotakis and ministers refused to meet with an official mission of MEPs looking into the rule of law in Greece. The Greens/EFA Group calls for the need for the Commission to look into the situation in Greece and to use all tools, including infringement procedures and financial measures, to stop violations of EU law. The EPP should stop shielding their ally in Athens from scrutiny. 

Debate/Vote: Wednesday, 7 February

Greens/EFA MEPs: Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, Petros Kokkalis 

More: A legal vacuum, the systematic criminalisation of migrants for driving and car or a boat to Greece

 

MORE

Two years of war on Ukraine: Unwavering EU Support

MEPs will debate the outcome of the 1st February European Council Summit, with particular focus on the war on Ukraine. The Greens/EFA urge for quick delivery of support for Ukraine via the newly agreed Ukraine Facility. 

Debate: Tuesday, 6th February

Greens/EFA MEPs: Terry Reintke, Philippe Lamberts 

More: Joint statement from five European Parliament Political Group leaders calling for financing of aid to Ukraine

 

Quality Traineeships in the EU

On Monday, the European Commission will give a statement on quality traineeships in the EU and will debate with MEPs on the need to ensure trainees are paid fairly. This follows the European Parliament's call for the Commission to come up with a strong legislative proposal to ensure internships are paid. The Commission proposal is now expected for April.

Debate : Tuesday, 6 February
Greens/EFA MEPs: Rosa D'Amato, Kim van Sparrentak
More: European Parliament vote on call for end to unpaid internships

 

Condemning Norway's recent decision to advance seabed mining in the Arctic

Next week, MEPs will vote on a resolution condemning Norway's recent decision to advance seabed mining in the Arctic. MEPs will call on Norway to apply the precautionary principle and support the existing international moratorium on deep sea mining.  The Greens/EFA have long called for a stronger protection of deep seabeds as well as the Arctic region.
Vote: Wednesday, 7 February
Greens/EFA MEPs: Pär Holmgren, Caroline Roose

 

TEU priorities for the 68th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)

Women and girls, particularly those who experience intersectional forms of discrimination, continue to be disproportionately affected by poverty and the risk of social exclusion. Ahead of the UN CSW session, we ask the Council and EU Member States to take a unified position and commit to advancing towards a feminist foreign policy, to address the systemic root causes of women’s poverty and to prioritise the investment in all public services and infrastructures.

Debate: Wednesday, 7 February
Vote: Thursday, 8 Feb
Greens/EFA MEPs: Monika Vana

 

LINKS

Group Presidents, Terry Reintke and Philippe Lamberts will hold the plenary session press briefing on Tuesday, 7 February at 11:00 AM.

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.

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