What's coming up next week in Parliament
Strasbourg Flash week commencing 13th February
- Emissions Trading System revision: (debate Monday, vote Wednesday)
- Whistleblowers: Greens keep up pressure on Commission to act (debate Monday)
- Austrian President Van der Bellen addresses plenary (Tuesday)
- Future of the EU: joint debate (debate Tuesday, votes Thursday)
- Statement by the President of the Eurogroup (Tuesday)
- Parliamentary vote on CETA (Wednesday)
- Terrorism directive (debate Wednesday, vote Thursday)
- Robotics: legislative recommendations (debate Wednesday, vote Thursday)
- Aviation strategy (debate and vote Thursday)
- Press briefing with Greens/EFA co-presidents (Tuesday)
EU ETS revision – MEPs must align scheme with Paris ambition
Monday 13 February - debate / Wednesday 15 Feb - vote
The European Parliament will vote on the revision of the EU’s Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) for the period 2021-2030. At the moment, with the price of carbon around €5/ton of CO2, the system isn't driving emission reductions as it was supposed to. Key to the deal reached in the Environment committee is the removal of cement and clinker from the list of industries receiving free allocations. Ending free allocations for this heavily polluting sector could save as much as 20 billion euros, which could be used instead to finance climate action, and would have a positive downward effect on emissions. However, intense lobbying threatens to undo this hard-earned progress. If MEPs are to be consistent with the warm words around the Paris Agreement, they must not weaken this deal. See our podcast and blog for more info.
Whistleblowers: European Parliament demands whistleblower protection (again!)
Monday 13 February - debate
The Greens/EFA group is keeping up the pressure on the European Commission. After we drafted a model law to protect whistleblowers all across Europe last year, the Commission is finally moving forward, and the Parliament in the meantime has been focussing on the need to protect whistleblowers when EU funds are being misspent. The report calls on the Commission to set up an independent agency to receive reports about EU spending, and to bring forward a proposal to protect whistleblowers in the Member States before the end of the year.
Austrian President Van der Bellen addresses plenary
Tuesday 14 February
We will be delighted to welcome a former Green party leader to the European Parliament when Austrian President, Alexander Van der Bellen, addresses the plenary. After Brexit and the victory of Donald Trump, his success shows that pro-European voices offering a message of unity rather than division can succeed in defeating populist and nationalist forces.
Future of the EU - Joint debate
Tuesday 14 February - debate / Thursday 16 Feb - votes
This joint debate will cover three reports, each looking at a different aspect of the future of the EU. The first two, both from AFCO, look at the potential of the current treaties and set out proposals to change them. The report from Verhofstadt contains a range of positive proposals in terms of democratic accountability, balance of powers and institutional organisation. We would like to see the relationship between the three main institutions changed, with a stronger role for the Parliament. We also want to see more effective use of the existing treaties, such as reforming the ECI.
Greek economic adjustment programme
Tuesday 14 February - Statement by the President of the Eurogroup
The Eurogroup is due to meet on 20 February where it will discuss the ongoing second review of Greece's economic adjustment programme. With Greece due to make a 7.2 billion euro repayment in July, and elections just around the corner in the Netherlands, France and Germany, Greens have called for negotiations to be swiftly concluded. Financial support for Greece must not be made conditional on further cuts to pensions, or other austerity measures.
Commission comitology reform
Tuesday 14 February
The Commission is expected to announce a long-awaited proposal to reform the so-called comitology process used to authorize new GMOs and pesticides at the EU level. Decisions can only be taken in the standing committees when a qualified majority is reached, but routine abstentions from big states is making this process unworkable. We want a new system that makes these decisions more democratic and accountable.
CETA: Parliament should reject trade deal
Wednesday 15 February - plenary debate and vote
The Greens remain strongly opposed to this deal and will call for Parliament to decline to give its consent. Private “courts” for investors would undermine our democracies, and the agreement poses serious threats to public services, workers’ rights and the environment. At the very least, the ratification procedure in the European Parliament should be suspended until compatibility with the EU treaties has been tested by the ECJ. Green MEPs will take part in the demonstration outside the Parliament on Wednesday.
Terrorism: poor definitions undermine intention of directive
Wednesday 15 February - plenary debate / Thursday 16 Feb - vote
While the Greens/EFA group sees a clear value in having a coordinated EU-wide approach to tackling terrorism and its financing, the final deal agreed in the trilogue contains a number of critical flaws. The definition of a terrorist act is highly problematic, including acts that “result in major economic loss” ̶ a definition that could lead to civil disobedience or public protest falling under the banner of terrorism. We are also concerned about the legally unclear definitions used in the article on public provocation to commit a terrorist offence, and travelling for the purpose of terrorism.
Robotics: legislative recommendations offer protections while allowing innovation
Wednesday 15 February - plenary debate, Thursday 16 Feb - vote
The report tackles a wide variety of issues covered by robotics, including its impact on civil liability rules, on health, employment, transport and privacy. The report is broad enough not to hinder innovation or the development of the European artificial intelligence economy, while re-asserting some important principles. We are keen that the precautionary principle be applied, and that attention is paid to privacy and data protection, and the impact on jobs and the economy.
Aviation strategy not credible
Thursday 16 February - debate and vote
This report is a response to the Commission's Aviation Strategy for Europe. The Commission's priorities are hard to reconcile with the EU's Paris Agreement commitments. We need to have a credible aviation strategy that allows us to curb emissions and prioritise more sustainable transport modes, such as rail transport.
Co-presidents press briefing
Tuesday 14 February – 10.30-10.50, EP press room LOW N -1/201
Press briefing with Greens/EFA co-presidents on the key issues of the session for the Greens/EFA group. Also live-streamed on our website.