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What's coming up next week in Parliament

Strasbourg Flash 13-16 March 2017


Priorities

 

  • Mercury rules will protect vulnerable and put an end to dangerous storage (debate Monday, vote Tuesday)
  • Gender equality: still a long way to go on equality (debate Monday, vote Tuesday)
  • EU Arctic policy (debate Monday, vote Thursday)
  • Animal welfare: rabbit farming needs minimum standards (debate Monday, vote Tuesday)
  • Circular Economy can deliver for climate and jobs (debate and vote Tuesday)
  • Firearms: stronger controls will improve safety (debate and vote Tuesday)
  • LuxLeaks appeal verdict (Wednesday)
  • Official controls in the food chain (debate Tuesday, vote Wednesday)
  • Shareholders' rights: progress on transparency (debate Monday, vote Tuesday)
  • Major step forward on conflict minerals (debate Wednesday, vote Thursday)
  • Fishing sector data collection (debate and vote Thursday)

 

Greens/EFA events

 

  • Press briefing with Greens/EFA co-presidents (Tuesday)

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Mercury
Debate Monday 13 March, vote Tuesday 14 March?

MEPs will vote on the outcome of the trialogues on the regulation of mercury. This will reduce the trade and use of mercury, the risk of contamination, and bring legislation in line with the 2013 Minamata Convention. While the Greens/EFA group wanted a commitment for mercury to be banned in dentistry throughout Europe by the end of 2022, Member States could not agree to this. However, the final deal remains stronger than the Commission's original proposal, including a ban on using dental amalgams from July 2018 on children younger than 15 and on pregnant and breast-feeding women. The legislation will also see an end to the hazardous storage of liquid mercury underground. 

 

Equality between women and men in the EU
Debate Monday 13 March, vote Tuesday 14 March

Equality between women and men in the EU was enshrined in the Treaty of Rome in the principle of equal pay for equal work. 60 years on, this is still not a reality. The pay gap remains at 16.5% and has increased in some Member States in the past 5 years. This report, from Greens/EFA rapporteur Ernest Urtasun, is the Parliament's response to the Commission’s report on progress on equality between women and men in the EU. Improved implementation of gender equality policies could result from enhanced coordination of various tools and mechanisms already available at EU level.

 

An integrated EU policy for the Arctic
Debate Monday 13 March, vote Thursday 16 March

This is the Parliament's response to the Commission's Integrated European Union Policy for the Arctic. Climate change and growing competition for access to the Arctic and its natural resources mean the Arctic region faces new challenges, especially to the environment and human security. The report includes a range of measures on environmental protection, sustainable fishing, and a call for Member States and the Commission to work towards a ban on oil and gas extraction in the Arctic.

 

Minimum standards for the protection of farm rabbits
Debate Monday 13 March, vote Tuesday 14 March

The fourth most farmed species in the world, most rabbits are kept in miserable, disease-ridden conditions. While the report was originally due to call on the Commission to bring forward binding legislation on rabbit welfare, this was narrowly blocked in committee by EPP and others. The Greens/EFA group will back amendments at plenary for this call to be reinstated.

 

Circular Economy
Debate and vote Tuesday 14 March

MEPs will hold a joint debate on the Circular Economy, covering a range of files to revise legislation related to waste and packaging. The Greens/EFA group focussed on concrete preventative action, binding reduction targets for food waste and marine litter, improved collection of waste materials, stronger recycling targets and an end to incineration of recyclable or compostable waste. Taken together, these measures can help the EU meet climate commitments and boost the economy.

 

Revised firearms directive will improve public safety
Debate and vote Tuesday 14 March

MEPs will vote on an agreement between Parliament and Council on revisions to the firearms directive. The main purpose of the revision is to improve security measures on gun control. Measures include prohibition of certain semi-automatic firearms and converted firearms, medical and psychological monitoring for those acquiring or in possession of a firearm, and improved information exchange between Member States. While we would have liked to secure tighter restrictions on what types of guns are legal and who can own them, this agreement is still a significant step forward.

 

LuxLeaks verdict
Wednesday 15 March

In the first trial following the uncovering of the LuxLeaks scandal, whistleblowers Antoine Deltour and Raphaël Halet were found guilty of stealing documents, revealing business secrets and violating trade secrets. Journalist Edouard Perrin was acquitted. In the appeal case, all three have again had to face the court. The verdict is expected on Wednesday. We have repeatedly defended the role of whistleblowers, who we believe should be exempted from such court proceedings.

 

Official controls in the food chain
Debate Tuesday 14 March, vote Wednesday 15 March

This proposal is part of a comprehensive package to modernise the laws controlling animal health, plant health and animal welfare. The aim of this proposal is to ensure the uniform application of the agri-food chain rules across the EU. The final proposal includes a number of Greens/EFA amendments, including measures on transparency, consumer expectations, stricter penalties, and the inclusion of a whistleblower clause.

 

Shareholder rights directive: progress on transparency
Debate Monday 13 March, vote Tuesday 14 March

MEPs will approve the agreement with the Council on the revised directive on shareholders' rights. The legislation aims to improve long-term commitment of shareholders in listed companies and strengthen the link between directors' pay and long-term performance. We have secured greater transparency on executive remuneration, and that shareholders will have a say on this. Non-financial performance (e.g. social and environmental impacts) must now be taken into account in investment strategies. Thanks to amendments previously adopted by the Parliament on a Green initiative, country-by-country public reporting is currently being discussed in another legislative proposal.

 

Major step forward on conflict minerals
Debate Wednesday 15 March, vote Thursday 16 March

This deal is a major breakthrough in responding to the problem of conflict minerals. For the first time in Europe, firms involved in the extraction and trade of minerals will be obliged to check whether their supply chain has links to armed conflicts and human rights abuses. While the Commission and Council were originally intent on allowing companies to voluntarily self-certify as a ‘responsible importer’, we are pleased to have helped secure binding legislation. Some loopholes remain, with the majority of ‘downstream firms’ not subject to binding provisions, but this is nonetheless a major step forward. We would like to see this used as an example for binding legislation on corporate responsibility for other sectors and producers, such as textiles and palm oil.

 

Fisheries data collection
Debate and vote Thursday 16 March

This report, from Greens/EFA rapporteur Marco Affronte, aims to bring data collection into line with the requirements resulting from the revised common fisheries policy (CFP). By harmonising the framework with the other EU legislation on the collection of information in fisheries, we can remove overlaps and help reduce the costs of the whole marine data collection system.

 

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Co-presidents press briefing
Tuesday 14 March – 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.

 

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Greens/EFA Press contacts

Ruth Reichstein (DE): +32 472 70 29 96 / Ruth.Reichstein@europarl.europa.eu

Guendolina De Sario (FR): +32 486 48 47 64 / guendalina.desario@europarl.europa.eu

David Weir (EN): +32 489 609 318 / David.Weir@europarl.europa.eu


Contact person

Phone Brussels
+32-2-2841669
Phone Strasbourg
+33-3-88174012

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