European flags © Xavier Häpe

Press release

Statement from Philippe Lamberts, President of Greens/EFA group

European Council 19-20 October

"This week provided an illustration of a stark contrast. While the European Parliament managed to agree, with broad majorities, on crucial legislation such as on e-privacy, on posted workers and on reforming the Dublin system, the European Council's performance was disappointing.

"The sabotage mainly orchestrated by Luxembourg and Ireland regarding the taxation of the US digital giants is unacceptable. This shows once again that it is necessary to put an end to the unanimity rule on taxation if the EU wants to move forward.

"Also worrying is the rallying of member states around the agreement with Libya on migrants, which makes us complicit in human rights violations.  Even if the European Union does not have infinite reception capacities, it is clear that member states are still a long way from doing what they are capable of.

"More than a calendar of meetings, what we need from the Council is less words and more action to defend our democratic values and to make decisions in the general interest. That’s also the reason why the idea of slowing down the pace of trade agreements is relevant in order to build a Europe that is able to regulate globalization by putting the environment and human and social rights ahead of corporate interests.

"Promoting high social and environmental standards has nothing to do with protectionism. It is a matter of justice, democracy and rule of law."

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