Plenary Flash October II 2020
Greens/EFA priorities 19-23 October
Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
This plenary, the European Parliament will vote on the reform of the “Common Agricultural Policy” (CAP) from 2021-2027. The Greens/EFA group believe that the CAP reform as proposed by the Commission is fundamentally incompatible with the European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork Strategy, and are calling for the Parliament to reject the proposal outright. Instead, we will push for a fair and sustainable CAP, in which payments to large land-owners are capped to ensure that small-scale farmers can also benefit from financial aid. We want to see investment in regional food production, cutting down the distance food is transported, as well as binding CAP payments to ambitious environmental objectives. This is what is needed if the EU is to meet its own climate goals, preserve our biodiversity and support a new generation of ecological farmers.
Debate Tuesday, votes Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
Greens/EFA MEPs: Martin Häusling, Benoit Biteau, Tilly Metz, Bas Eickhout
Digital Services Act
On Monday, the European Parliament will debate three own-initiative proposals relating to the Digital Services Act, the European Commissions’ initiative to update the legislative framework on electronic commerce and consumer rights online (expected to be published this December). The Greens/EFA want to promote diversity, freedom and choice in our online lives, by ensuring interoperability between platforms, challenging hate speech and discrimination, and ending online surveillance practices such as behaviourial advertising and micro-targeting. We want a DSA that puts our privacy, our rights and our freedoms at its heart, protects the freedom of the internet and does not lead to censorship.
Debate Monday, votes Tuesday
Greens/EFA MEPs: Alexandra Geese, Patrick Breyer, Marcel Kolaja, Kim van Sparrentak
The European Parliament will vote on a report on “Artificial Intelligence” (AI). Legal frameworks for AI, to ensure lawfulness and the growth of European systems, should be established. In this context, the report focuses on the removal of unnecessary legal barriers, the implementation of AI and the protection of property rights and personal data. In one problematic paragraph, the report is calling for “increasing need for AI (...) in remote or biometric recognition technologies.” Even though the Greens/EFA group are generally in favour of a European AI strategy, we are strongly opposed to any legislation and technology that might lead or facilitate mass surveillance as this would undermine our personal rights and freedom.
Debate and vote 19 Monday
Greens/EFA MEPs: Sergey Lagodinsky, Patrick Breyer
Gender Equality in EU’s foreign and security policy
On Thursday, the European Parliament will debate gender equality in the EU’s foreign and security policy. The Greens/EFA have spearheaded the direction of this report, in an ambitious drive towards an explicitly feminist EU foreign policy. We are calling for an intersectional feminist approach to all EU external action, that will challenge the backlash against women’s rights, mainstream gender equality in policy-making and address the unequal power relations at its core. As part of this, we call for the urgent ratification of the Istanbul Convention.
Debate and vote 22 Thursday
Greens/EFA MEPs: Ernest Urtasun, Hannah Neumann
State of the Energy Union
On the initiative of the Greens/EFA Group, the Parliament will hold a debate on the Commission’s report on the State of the Energy Union. The Greens/EFA group expects that the report acknowledges the progress made, including the fact that overall the EU is on track to achieve the 2020 renewables targets, but also highlights problems, such as the concern that member states are set to miss both the maximum primary and final energy consumption targets for 2020. Sadly, projects such as NordStream-2 are not even mentioned, while the reference to the safety of the Ostrovets nuclear power plant on the EU border with Belarus is very generic and hardly helpful.
Debate 22 Thursday
Greens/EFA MEPs: Ville Niinistö
Energy Charter Treaty
The Commission has published its proposal for the reform of the controversial Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), which allows investors to sue states for loss of profits, causing a huge obstacle for the implementation of climate policies. While the new proposal does contain new provisions on sustainable development and lays out new procedural rules, fossil investors are still able to sue states and have no obligations to curb emissions or respect human rights. It will also have to be accepted by fifty other third countries, including Japan and Kazakhstan, before the changes can be made. The priority for the Greens/EFA group is to ensure the Energy Charter Treaty does not constitute a costly obstacle in our path towards a carbon neutral continent.
Greens/EFA MEPs: Anna Cavazzini
Serious security threats through the sale of EU passports and visas
On the initiative of the Greens/EFA group, MEPs will debate the serious security threats posed by so-called “golden visa” schemes, that sell residence permits and citizenship to non-EU citizens in exchange for money and investment. This follows recent revelations from an Al Jazeera investigation into alleged links between high level Cypriot officials and passport sales. The Greens/EFA call for serious scrutiny and binding minimum standards to ensure that wealth is not the key for citizenship and residence rights in the EU.
Greens/EFA MEPs: Sven Giegold
Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
On Tuesday, the European Parliament will debate a report on the non-proliferation treaty, the control of nuclear weapons in the future and disarmament. The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons represents the only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear weapon tates and is reviewed every five years. The Parliament’s report aims to enable the HR/VP and the Member States to act in a coordinated manner during the review conference.
Debate 20 Tuesday
Greens/EFA MEPs: Mounir Satouri
- Group Presidents, Ska Keller and Philippe Lamberts will hold the plenary session press briefing at 10.30-11.00 on Tuesday 6.
- The full plenary agenda for the week can be found on the Parliament website here.
The plenary sessions can be followed live here.