What's coming up in Parliament
Glyphosate: copy, paste, approve.
Press conference, Tuesday, 08:30.
Bart Staes, along with MEPs from other groups, will present new research proving that German authorities (the Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung) copy and pasted industry text for their conclusions on the renewal of the hazardous product “glyphosate”. This worrying new development sheds light on the failure of regulators to stand up to the power of industry when it comes to the authorisation of dangerous substances.
Special Committee on Pesticides (PEST) final report,
Debate Monday, 17:00, vote Wednesday, 12:30.
The PEST report, authored by Greens/EFA MEP Bart Staes, calls for public access to all industry studies in their entirety to allow for timely independent scrutiny, and to make sure that there are no conflicts of interest in the assessment process. It makes numerous calls on the European Commission and on Member States to strengthen the health and environmental assessment of pesticide active substances as well as of pesticide products. It calls for a ban of the use of pesticides for pre-harvest applications and in public spaces.
Debate Wednesday, 18:00, vote Thursday, 12:00.
During Lithuania's accession to the EU, it was agreed that the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant, which includes two Chernobyl-type reactors, is to be dismantled over safety concerns. The EU agreed to foot a substantial amount of the bill. However, wrangling over the exact amount by the European Commission, has led the ITRE committee to propose that the Commission must show support for Lithuania and cover 86% of the costs of decommissioning the Ignalina Plant to Lithuania's 14%. This is up from the Commission's proposal of 80% to 20%. The EU must continue to prove itself a reliable partner to Lithuania. Greens/EFA MEP Rebecca Harms is rapporteur on this file.
The Parliament will also vote on Wednesday on future funding for Euratom and further increases for the ITER fusion reactor. The Greens/EFA group oppose more taxpayers’ money being spent on nuclear power.
Report on gender equality and taxation policies in the EU
Presentation Monday, 17:00, vote Tuesday, 12:00.
Greens/EFA co-rapporteur Ernest Urtasun will present a new joint report calling for the elimination of gender biases present in many tax systems in the EU, which are indirectly reinforcing current gender gaps (employment, income, unpaid work, pension, poverty, wealth, etc.), creating disincentives for women to enter and remain in the labour market, and reproducing traditional gender roles and stereotypes. It also specifically calls for the individualization of personal income taxation and the elimination of the “care and tampon tax” in the EU.
The Fiscalis programme for cooperation on taxation
Debate Wednesday, 18:00, vote Thursday 12:00.
Fiscal fraud very often takes place by exploiting loopholes in bilateral tax treaties and fiscal competition in an international dimension, that’s why the fight against tax avoidance and evasion and financial crime cannot be tackled effectively solely by individual countries. Greens/EFA rapporteur Sven Giegold argues that the Fiscalis programme will concentrate EU intervention on setting up efficient mechanisms and the indispensable IT tools for administrative cooperation, aiming at providing more effective tools for national tax authorities in their fight against tax fraud, tax evasion and tax avoidance, while indirectly facilitating taxpayer’s tax compliance.
Rights and values
Debate Wednesday, 18:00, vote Thursday 12:00.
Democracy and rule of law in Europe are under threat. That is why one of the Greens/EFA group’s core priorities is the adoption of a strong Rights and Values Programme, which would provide the much needed support for civil society groups defending and promoting democracy, equality and the rule of law in the EU. Greens/EFA rapporteur Bodil Valero will argue that this instrument should be adequately funded and easily accessible for supporting citizens and civil society engaged in promoting these most endangered European values.
The Parliament will also debate on the protection of the EU’s budget in cases of where there are deficiencies in the rule of law in Member States on Wednesday evening.
Debate, Wednesday, 15:00, vote 17:00.
Despite the fact that basic rights must be respected by both the European Union and the Member States, when implementing EU law, we continue to witness breaches and violations of rights. Josep-Maria Terricabras will present his report on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union in 2017 with a focus on Rule of Law, Women’s rights, Migration, Media freedom, freedom of expression and assembly, Racism, xenophobia, discrimination, hate speech and other forms of intolerance and the Role of the Agency on Fundamental Rights.
EU Western Sahara
Vote, Wednesday 12:00.
The Parliament will vote on the EU-Morocco agreement that will consolidate the illegal annexation of Western Sahara by Morocco and run directly against the UN-led peace efforts, by dividing the territory of Western Sahara in two and strengthening one of the parties of the conflict. This follows on from a scandal around the agreement when it emerged there were significant conflicts of interests for former ALDE rapporteur Patricia Lalonde who resigned just before the vote in Committee.
UK Parliament vote on Brexit deal, Tuesday
Debate in the European Parliament Wednesday 08:30.
Next Tuesday the UK Parliament should vote on the Brexit withdrawal agreement. The clock is ticking ahead of the UK's upcoming departure from the EU on March 29th. With this deal largely expected to fail to win the required number of votes, all eyes will be on Westminster. If the deal does not pass, UK MPs should know that there is a way out of this, should they wish to re-join the European family. The Greens/EFA group has made it clear repeatedly that the European Union should welcome the UK back with open arms.
Debate with Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă, Tuesday, 15:00.
This month marks the start of the six-month Romanian EU Council Presidency. With vital files such as tax transparency, whistleblowing and climate action to shepherd through before the EU elections in May and rampant corruption and at home, the Romanians have their work cut out over the next few months. Ska Keller will debate with the Romanian PM on behalf of the group.
Future of Europe debate with Pedro Sanchez, Prime Minister of Spain
Greens/EFA President, Ska Keller, will participate in the debate on the future of Europe with the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez.
Presidents Press briefing, Tuesday, 10:30.
Ska Keller and Philippe Lamberts will present the Greens/EFA priorities for the plenary week in the Daphne Caruana Galizia room in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.