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Plenary session debriefing

8-10 July


TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Programme of the German Presidency, Chancellor Merkel in plenary
  • Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing
  • EU Hydrogen Strategy
  • Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability
  • Boosting Roma Inclusion Process in Europe
  • State of Play Rule of Law in Member States
  • Commission Statement - Cultural Recovery for Europe
  • Srebrenica Commemoration, 25 Years On

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Programme of the German Presidency, Chancellor Merkel in plenary

Wednesday, 8 July at 14:15

Chancellor Angela Merkel presented Wednesday the priorities of the German Presidency of the European Council to the plenary of the European Parliament. MEPs then debated with Council President Charles Michel on reconstruction and the negotiations on the EU budget. The Greens/EFA group are calling on the German Presidency to make the Green Deal and climate protection the engine for job creation and the recovery, and for the launch of a rule of law initiative.

Ska Keller MEP, President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, commented:

"The German Presidency of the Council comes at a challenging time. Right now, the big tasks for the EU are to overcome the corona pandemic, organise the recovery effort and move ahead with climate protection. The German presidency will have a great opportunity to contribute to these efforts by building an ecological, solidarity-based and gender-equitable Europe and by making the Green Deal and climate protection a motor for jobs and the transformation into a green economy.

Philippe Lamberts MEP, President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, comments:

"The German Presidency should ensure that the rule of law and climate protection are the focus of the recovery plan. It's essential that the strong basis set out in the Commission proposal on the recovery plan is maintained in the upcoming negotiations at the next European Council summit and an agreement is found as soon as possible."

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Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing

Debate Wednesday 8 July evening, vote Friday 10 July morning

The European Parliament voted Friday on the EU Commission's recent communication on the fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism. In the resolution, the Parliament reflects on necessary legislative measures to take in this field. This includes turning the relevant parts of the anti-money laundering directive into a regulation, as well as institutional reforms, including the possible creation of an EU supervisory and financial intelligence unit.

“The Parliament welcomes the Commission's approach to tackle money laundering and we support the initiation of infringement proceedings against states that have failed to implement the Anti-Money Laundering Directive. However, the Commission must go further if we are to identify and tackle the full extent of money laundering and terrorist financing in Europe.said Saskia Bricmont MEP, Greens/EFA spokesperson on money laundering in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee.

“In order to properly tackle cross-border crime and money laundering the EU needs an EU-wide Anti-Money Laundering Supervisor and a Financial Intelligence Unit.added Sven Giegold MEP, Greens/EFA spokesperson on money laundering in the Economic Affairs Committee.

Further information:
Catherine Olier - Advisor on Economic and Monetary Affairs
catherine.olier@ep.europa.eu
Aleksejs Dimitrovs - Advisor on legal affairs, civil liberties, justice and home affairs
aleksejs.dimitrovs@ep.europa.eu

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EU Hydrogen Strategy

Wednesday, 8 July 

The European Commission presented Wednesday its hydrogen strategy. The Greens/EFA group is calling for support exclusively to green hydrogen, produced from renewable energy sources, rejecting hydrogen produced from fossil fuels because of its negative impact on the climate and the high costs. In order to meet its climate targets, Europe’s energy strategy cannot rely on hydrogen alone. Corporate interests should not be decisive in drafting priorities or allocating funding.

Ville Niinistö MEP, Greens/EFA coordinator in the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, commented:

 "Hydrogen can play a role in decarbonisation and in promoting the greening of European industries and the economy. However, the Hydrogen Strategy must not be allowed to become a greenwashing exercise used to subsidise obsolete gas pipelines. Funding hydrogen from fossil fuels is not sustainable and not in line with our climate commitments.

Bas Eickhout MEP, Greens/EFA Vice-Chair of the Environment Committee, said:

 "The Hydrogen Strategy must be built on renewable and green hydrogen only. Only 100 percent renewable hydrogen should be part of the picture. The Green Deal and climate protection require massive investment with incentives for a green economy and industry without coal, gas and nuclear energy. Investments in renewable energies and a wave of renovation will create jobs, reduce fossil fuel emissions and protect the planet."

Further information:
Heike Leberle – Advisor on energy
heike.leberle@ep.europa.eu
František Nejedlý – Tax Justice Campaigner
frantisek.nejedly@ep.europa.eu

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Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability

Oral question with resolution Thursday 9 July

Following a Greens/EFA request, MEPs voted Thursday and Friday on the chemicals strategy for sustainability, calling for a comprehensive tightening of the rules based on which chemicals can be placed on the market as well as concrete bans. The resolution was adopted by a large majority.

The Greens/EFA group are calling for endocrine disrupters, used in cosmetics, toys and food packaging to be banned, as well as long-life fluorochemicals in all non-essential applications. The combination or 'cocktail' effects of chemicals should be addressed, rather than looking at the toxicity of individual chemicals.

The Commission’s upcoming chemicals strategy is an essential aspect of the European Green Deal. A paradigm shift is necessary to protect human health against harmful chemicals and to deliver on the zero-pollution ambition for a toxic-free environment. The ENVI Committee is united in calling for major strengthening of EU chemicals legislation, including legislative changes to REACH, concrete action on endocrine disruptors, persistent chemicals, and nanomaterials.

Sven Giegold MEP, shadow rapporteur for the Greens/EFA group in the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, commented:

"The European Parliament sent a demand that we need a paradigm shift in chemicals legislation to achieve a healthier world for people and a toxic-free environment. This will require the chemical industry to play its role in the ecological transition. The European Commission should adopt a zero tolerance strategy on toxic chemicals. The European Chemicals Strategy must be guided by the precautionary principle and the protection of people and the environment."

Further information
Axel Singhofen, Advisor on Health and Environment Policy
axel.singhofen@ep.europa.eu

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Boosting Roma Inclusion Process in Europe

Debate (without resolution) on Thursday afternoon

A debate on how to enhance the inclusion of Romani people in Europe over the next decade took place in the European Parliament Thursday. Romani communities continue to face marginalisation and discrimination across Europe. A European Parliament report, led by Greens/EFA MEP Romeo Franz, on Romani inclusion strategies and how to combat antigypsyism, is set for debate and vote in the September plenary.

Further information:
Aleksejs Dimitrovs - Advisor on legal affairs, civil liberties, justice and home affairs
aleksejs.dimitrovs@ep.europa.eu

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State of Play Rule of Law in Member States

Debate Thursday afternoon

On the initiative of the Greens/EFA group, MEPs held a debate Thursday on the Rule of Law Deficiencies Regulation, which, once adopted, will allow the EU to address deficiencies related to the rule of law in Member States by applying budgetary countermeasures. The Parliament approved the proposal with some changes in April 2019, but the Council has yet to formulate its position. Members will invite the EU leaders to avoid any decisions related to this regulation in the European Council, thus undermining proper legislative procedures.

Further information:
Zita Herman - Advisor on employment and social affairs
zita.herman@europarl.europa.eu

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Commission Statement - Cultural Recovery for Europe

Debate on Friday morning, with resolution to be voted in September

MEPs debated on the cultural recovery for Europe, a discussion strongly supported by the Greens/EFA Group. The cultural and creative sector in Europe has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Professionals in this sector have faced serious losses of income with little or no financial support from national governments. Our group calls for EU-level commitment to revitalise the sector and support the cultural ecosystem and creators. A resolution on this issue will be voted in the September session.

Further information:
Frédérique Chabaud - Advisor on Culture, Youth, Education, Media and Sport
frederique.chabaud@ep.europa.eu

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Srebrenica Commemoration, 25 Years On

Debate Friday 10 July

At the request of the Greens/EFA Group, the European Parliament held a commemoration Friday, 25 years since the Srebrenica Genocide. Europe has a duty to remember the darkest events of its post-second World War history and denounce any attempt to deny or overlook such atrocious crimes and the political ideas leading to such events. Justice, dialogue and reconciliation, including the search and identification of those still missing, is needed to ensure a peaceful future for the families of victims, and for the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the wider region.

"Srebrenica weighs on the EU as the greatest political failure after WWII. We remember the victims of this crime with shame and sadness. We need a rigorous prosecution of crimes in order to overcome the traumas of the past" declared Greens/EFA MEP Romeo Franz.

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Next issue of Greens/EFA Plenary debriefing: 18 September 2020


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