What's coming up in Parliament
Greens/EFA priorities - plenary session 15-18 April 2019
Open ENVI meeting Tuesday, 14:00
Climate activist Greta Thunberg will address the Environmental Committee of the European Parliament. The Greens/EFA group had suggested inviting her earlier this year to speak in plenary but the majority of the other groups namely EPP, ALDE and ECR opposed the invitation. Greta's visit follows the visit of a group of 60 climate activists from the Fridays for Future movement during the first plenary session in April, on the invitation of the Greens/EFA group. As an answer to the requests of the climate movement, the Greens/EFA Group will present on Tuesday our 10 priority measures to save the climate including measures how to finance the green transition.
Rights and values programme
Vote Wednesday, 12:30
On Wednesday, the Parliament will vote on the Rights and Values Programme. The report authored by Greens/EFA MEP Bodil Valero contains measures to support civil society organisations in Member States working to promote human rights and democracy in the EU. Almost €1 billion could be allocated to the scheme, and it will become easier for smaller organisations to apply for EU funds.
Frontex - European Border and Coast Guard
Debate Wednesday 15:00, vote Thursday
On Thursday, the Parliament will hold the final vote on the mandate of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex. The agreement reached in trilogue negotiations will result in an unprecedented and unbalanced expansion of Frontex’ and its resources. Despite increasing the agency by 10,000 extra border guards, the deal will not strengthen the rescuing of migrants and refugees at sea.
CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles
Debate, Wednesday 09:00
On Wednesday morning, the plenary will debate the outcome of trilogue negotiations on new CO2 emission standards for new heavy-duty vehicles. Greens/EFA rapporteur, Bas Eickhout, successfully pushed for ambitious reduction targets for trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles. Trucks and heavy goods vehicles will have to reduce their CO2 emissions by 15% by 2025, and by 30% by 2030, compared with 2019 levels.
Digital Services Tax
Debate Monday, 17:00
On a Greens/EFA initiative, the Commission will make a statement to the plenary on the failure to adopt a digital services tax. A digital services tax would ensure that tech giants pay their fair share of tax where they operate. So far, a tech tax has failed to gain traction among the Member States.
Debate Monday, 17:00, Vote Tuesday, 17:00
On Monday evening, the Parliament will confirm the outcome of trilogue negotiations on the EU Whistleblower Protection Directive. The ground breaking EU-wide law will give legal protections to those who wish to come forward when they encounter illegality and wrongdoing in the work place. The Greens/EFA group have long been calling for whistleblower protection across the EU and this Directive is a victory for whistleblowers, campaigners, and all those who wish to expose the truth.
Debate Rule of Law in Romania
Debate Monday, 17:00
On Monday evening, the Commission will update the plenary on the situation of the rule of law in Romania. The Romanian government is currently attempting to de facto legalise corruption in the country for officials, and is embroiled in efforts to detain the former anti-corruption chief Laura Codruța Kövesi on trumped-up charges, while she is in the running for the role of European Chief Prosecutor. The Socialist and ALDE government must take the fight against corruption seriously and uphold the rule of law.
European Defence Fund
Vote Wednesday, 12:30
The new European Defence Fund is a seven year, €13 billion fund that will allow for spending on weapons of mass destruction, white phosphorus or depleted uranium ammunition. Under pressure from defence industry lobbyists, a majority of the EPP, ECR, ALDE and S&D groups gave up Parliamentary control over how these funds will be spent, despite the fact that there was a clear mandate to secure it. The Greens/EFA group have managed to ensure that the new fund will not be spent on the development of autonomous weapons systems, or 'killer robots'.
EU-US trade talks
On Monday, the EU will formally adopt a negotiating mandate to commence trade talks with the US, in spite of the Parliament voting against the opening of negotiations in March. In 2017, President Trump signalled his desire to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement. The Greens/EFA MEPs reject calls to open trade talks with Trump so long as the US wants to opt-out of international obligations to counter climate change.
Investigation into conflict of interest surround Czech PM Andrej Babiš
CONT hearing Monday 19:00
On Monday, Commission Oettinger will appear before a closed-door session of the Budgetary Control Committee (CONT) to update the Parliament on the progress of the investigation into the conflict of interest surrounding Czech PM Andrej Babiš. The Commission launched an investigation following pressure from Transparency International and the Greens/EFA group after TI revealed Babiš to be the beneficial owner of the Agrofert group of companies, which have received large amounts of EU funds. The Commission’s own legal service has found that Babiš is in conflict of interest with his role as PM and as a recipient of EU funds through Agrofert.
Fiscalis: cross-border cooperation between tax authorities
Vote Wednesday from 12:30
The Parliament will vote on the outcome of trilogue negotiations on the Fiscalis programme for improving cross-border cooperation between tax authorities. The Fiscalis programme helps tax authorities in the exchange of information and common tax audits. This is key to the fight against tax evasion and money laundering, as well as helping to share knowledge and expertise. Rapporteur: Sven Giegold
Horizon: climate research funding
Debate, Wednesday from 18:00
The new research programme Horizon Europe will see the largest investment in climate research and green technology in the EU so far. More than 40 billion Euro will be invested in climate-related research in the new research program Horizon Europe. With new technology and more research, we will reach net-zero emissions much faster. The agreement means that at least 35% of the EU research budget should go directly to research that in various ways will combat climate and environmental problems.
On Monday, the Council will adopt its position on the EU’s new Copyright Directive. The Directive threatens a free internet as we know it and will make upload filters the norm and restrict possibilities of expression due to licencing obligations that are impossible to fulfil. The Greens/EFA group had joined the protests of millions of people and received a petition of over 5 million people against this law.
Votes Tuesday & Wednesday
Two fisheries files will be voted on next week and will include an end to pulse fishing by from the 1st of July 2021.
Better enforcement and modernisation of EU consumer protection rules
Vote Wednesday, 12:00
In April last year, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a directive on better enforcement and modernisation of EU consumer protection, as part of its 'new deal for consumers' package. The package has some improvement of current consumer protection legislation. However, this is a wasted opportunity to stop companies from selling different quality products in different countries under the same brand
Debate with the prime minister of Latvia on the Future of Europe
The Prime Minister of Latvia, Krišjānis Kariņš, will be debating the future of Europe in plenary.
Presidents Press briefing
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.