© lilly3

On 17 November, the European Parliament, Council and Commission will sign the Inter-institutional Proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights in Göteborg. The Greens/EFA group welcomes this declaration of intent, but wants action to make a social Europe a reality. Here we present some of the key priorities of our group, and the opportunities to make them happen.

Gérôme Bruneau

Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 13-16 November 2017

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary week included: Paradise Papers - scandal shows need to implement PANA recommendations; Malta - Money-laundering scandals need to be investigated; Money Laundering legislation; Poland - parliament to vote on breach of EU values; Winter plan for asylum seekers - call for action plan; COP23: turning diplomacy into action.

Tax avoidance

We need better rules to prevent future Paradise Papers

A look at the Greens/EFA proposals

Last week’s Paradise Papers offered another disturbing glimpse into the murky world of offshore finance, used by wealthy individuals and big business for tax evasion and tax avoidance. But the PANA inquiry committee has already adopted strong recommendations with concrete political proposals to prevent activities revealed in Paradise Papers.

European Union

What's coming up in Parliament

Strasbourg Flash - Plenary session 11-14 November 2017

A look ahead to next week's session in the European Parliament in Strasbourg and the Greens/EFA priority issues on the agenda

Political manoeuvring to avoid serious discussion on conflicts of interest in climate policy at COP23 Climate negotiations

COP23 Climate Negotiations

There is currently a heated debate ongoing about the need to prevent dirty energy companies from disproportionately influencing and watering down climate policy. Ecuador together with other developing countries are leading the charge to demand the introduction of a conflicts of interest policy in the UN Climate Change negotiations, and they are supported in this endeavour by NGOs, Green politicians and the “G77 group” of States – all of whom are demanding more ambitious action to protect the planet.

boris smokrovic unsplash

Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 23-27 October 2017

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary week included a Minute's silence for Daphne Caruana Galizia; Protection of whistleblowers; Extension of Glyphosate licence; Biofuels: targets need to be genuinely sustainable; GMOs: Parliament votes on 20th objection; Action needed to ensure adequate minimum income; Entry/Exit system “costly and disproportionate”; Protecting workers from carcinogens; Discharge of the Council EU budget; Combating sexual harassment and abuse in the EU; Sakharov prize.

Does Veolia use France and US as private tax havens?

New tax report

An analysis issued by Greens / EFA Group in the European Parliament found that the efficient tax management has made it possible that an increasingly smaller part of profits made by VEOLIA in France are actually taxed. VEOLIA ENVIRONMNET is able to pay only very limited amounts of tax on profits made in two of its major countries of operation: France and the US, becoming some sort of tax havens for the group.

Donald24 (CC0 1.0)

Study confirms doubts about lawfulness of the Entry Exit System

A study commissioned by the Greens/EFA Group

The Opinion of the CJEU impacts other data retention schemes, including the one proposed in the EES, significantly and therefore cannot be ignored – neither in on-going legislative procedures nor in view of potential amendments to be made to existing instruments.

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Happy 20th anniversary Mr. Juncker!

EU Parliament voted on 20th GMO in 2 years

The European Parliament adopted today its 20th objection to a GMO put forward for authorisation by the EU Commission, in less than two years. We ask whether President Juncker shouldn’t mark this uncomfortable anniversary by pausing to reconsider his Commission’s approach to GMOs

European Union

What's coming up in Parliament

Strasbourg Flash 23-27 October 2017

A look ahead to next week's session in the European Parliament in Strasbourg and the Greens/EFA priority issues on the agenda

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European Parliament votes for improvements of the Dublin System

Common European Asylum Policy

We need an asylum policy that better reflects the needs of applicants. Family ties, social and cultural connections and language can all have a big impact on people’s ability to integrate into their new community.

Glimmer of hope

Accountability of the Council budget may soon be improved, ending seven-year stalemate

A seven-year dispute between the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union over whether or not the Parliament should have the right to oversee how the Council spends its budget, may soon be resolved, if a...

Tragic death of investigative journalist shows urgent need to end opacity and protect sources and whistleblowers

The work done by Ms. Caruana Galizia and her colleagues on the Panama Papers has been crucial for uncovering the murky reality of corruption in Malta. It was thanks to these journalists that the European Parliament was able to secure an EU-wide inquiry into tax avoidance and financial secrecy

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Minimum income

A social investment to tackle poverty

On the occasion of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the Greens/EFA would like to highlight the crucial character of minimum income schemes for all EU Member States. Adequate minimum income schemes are essential to combat poverty and social exclusion. They enable people to be contributing members of society, undertake training and/or look for work.

Plans to deregulate new GMOs continue apace

As the EU Commission and industry push ahead with plans to deregulate new GMOs, EU citizens are still not properly involved in the debate

The issue of new GMOs and whether they should be regulated, or not, has been in the spotlight recently with a high-level event organised by the Commission and a hearing at the EU Court of Justice. A clear outcome of these debates is that the right of citizens to decide which technologies should be used and in which conditions, is absolutely off the radar of the EU Commission. This has to change.

European Ombudsman Encouraged by Parliament

... to Increase Transparency, Participation and Accountability in the EU institutions

The European Parliament petitions committee adopted its annual report on the activities of the European Ombudsman in which it congratulated the work done by Emily O’Reilly and her team so far to increase the transparency, good governance and accessibility of the EU institutions.

© Udo Weber

Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 2-6 October 2017

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary week included Brexit and the state of play of negotiations with the United Kingdom, the situation in Catalonia, air passenger rights and the cancellation of air flights by Ryanair, objection on endocrine disrupters and on genetically modified soyabeans, 2017 UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, European Public Prosecutor's Office and the fight against (VAT) fraud,...

Amazon state aid decision proves there are tax havens within the EU

We need a systemic solution

3/4 of Amazon’s profits remained untaxed in Europe thanks to sweetheart tax deals with Luxembourg. This is what Margrete Vestager, European Commissioner for competition, announced in a press conference together with a decision requiring Luxembourg to collect €250 million in unpaid taxes from the company. Such decision must now be implemented quickly.

Challenges faced by environmental rights defenders in the world

Sakharov Prize

Aura Lolita Chávez Ixcaquic, the Greens/EFA candidate to the European Parliament’s Sakharov prize for Freedom of Thought, is a Guatemalan environmental human rights defender.

Greens/EFA Food campaign

Biofuel stitch-up

An article by Molly Scott-Cato, MEP

A powerful biofuel lobby is behind the recast of the Renewable Energy Directive, and MEPs are inviting them into the parliament for dinner.

What's coming up next week in Parliament

Strasbourg Flash 2-6 October 2017

A look ahead to next week's session in the European Parliament in Strasbourg and the Greens/EFA priority issues on the agenda

Lolita Chávez: defending human rights in Guatemala

Greens/EFA Sakharov Prize nominee

It is high time that the European Parliament and the European Union step up their efforts in support of environmental rights defenders around the world, who are on the front line of human rights violence and corporate abuse and have little, if any, support from their national authorities.

Key Transparency Challenges in the European Union

Right to Know Day, 28th September 2017

The objective of this statement is to highlight key transparency challenges across Europe in order to provide a common basis for future campaigning to improve respect for the right of access to information, to increase citizen participation, and to ensure democratic accountability at both EU and national level.

Black silhouettes lobby business © nico_blue

Caterpillar boycotted the hearing of Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion

Letter by MEP Sven Giegold requesting the withdrawal of their access badges

Caterpillar has to lose its entrance passes to the European Parliament for their refusal to answer questions on their tax avoidance to the public in today’s Parliamentary hearing. Shying away from the European Parliament’s public hearing on Caterpillar’s efforts in tax dumping will not keep such practises under wraps.

Michele Benericetti (CC BY 2.0)

Stop the rogue EU trade talks with Morocco over Western Sahara

EU Commission contravening ECJ ruling and breaching principles of international law, warn Green MEPs

By Florent Marcellesi, Bodil Valero, Barbara Lochbihler, Pascal Durand, Bart Staes and Margrete Auken, Members of the European Parliment from the Green/EFA Group

Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 11-15 September 2017

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary included: State of the Union speech by Commission President Juncker, Sven Giegold's report on Transparency, Accountability and Integrity in the EU Institutions, aviation emission trading system, arms exports, Fipronil eggs scandal, debate on migration and on Turkey, dieselgate, objection to GM soya, militarisation of development policy,

©the-climate-reality-project

Conservatives renew attack on civil society

The EPP group has reintroduced its anti-NGO amendments from the ‘Pieper report’

The conservative EPP group in the European Parliament has relaunched its attack on civil society.

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Stronger measures to tackle violence against women

Press release from EFA MEP Jill Evans (Wales)

The European Parliament today voted in favour of ratifying the Istanbul Convention, which is the first legally binding instrument on preventing and combating violence against women and girls at international level. Th...

©jakob-madsen

Supporting renewable energy is the right political move

World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2017

"This report is indeed in my view a crucial resource for those engaged in the political debate around nuclear power. Since it began, this document has always provided invaluable facts on which to assess the promises of the nuclear industry. Despite the fact that the nuclear sector continues to claim the opposite, this latest report clearly shows that there is no such thing as a nuclear renaissance..." - Rebecca Harms

Fighting the EU's hypocrisy on GMOs

The European Parliament will vote tomorrow on whether to allow the import of a new GM soybean into the EU

There is a terrible hypocrisy at the heart of the EU’s policy on GMOs. This is largely invisible from EU citizens, as it does not affect the labelling of food. To discover it, you‘d have to take a dive into the story of the more than 70 GM crops which are allowed to enter the EU to feed our farm animals.

European Union

What's coming up next week in Parliament

Strasbourg Flash 11-16 September 2017

A look ahead to next week's session in the European Parliament in Strasbourg and the Greens/EFA priority issues on the agenda

@mathyas-kurmann

Top 10 Green recommendations to improve the PANA Report

Panama Papers inquiry

We take a look at some of the key improvements the Greens/EFA group wants to see to the Panama Papers inquiry report.

Parliament moving forward on whistleblower protection

Molly Scott Cato’s report adopted by the ECON Committee

The move to protect whistleblowers across Europe continues, thanks to the approval yesterday of a report drafted by Greens/EFA MEP Molly Scott-Cato which calls for ambitious protection of those reporting wrongdoing and illegal activities all across Europe. Emphasising that whistleblowers’ alerts are useful in various sectors, this report focuses on their role in the fight against tax avoidance, in preventing misconduct by multinationals and in ensuring the smooth functioning of the EU’s internal market.

@Kristian Auth
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International Day of the Disappeared

The fate of tens of thousands of people in Syria.

On the occasion of the "International Day of the Disappeared" (30 August) we would like to recall the fate of tens of thousands of people in Syria. Since March 2011, Syrian security forces have had countless people arbitrarily arrested, imprisoned, disappeared, and many of them killed.

Bayer/Monsanto merger

The Commission recognises that the Bayer/Monsanto merger would be highly problematic

It is clear from the Commission judgement on the potential merger that they share our concerns, as Greens, about risks of further consolidation in the market for seeds and pesticides.

EU Leaks

The Greens/EFA support whistle blowers

Greens/EFA have decided to set up a secure email account, which allows you to blow the whistle in defence of the public interest, whilst remaining anonymous.

You don't need to be a Catalan independentist to support the referendum on self-determination

Opinion Article by EFA MEP Jordi Solé, originally published in The Parliament Magazine

It was summer 2010 when many Catalans came to the conclusion that their country no longer belonged in the Spanish state. The Spanish Constitutional Court, after a four year long procedure, was expected to finally issue i...

What our interns say about their experience

Recent Greens/EFA stagaires on working for the group

Our recent interns on their experience of working for the Greens/EFA group.

© texasmary

Commission’s embarrassing reaction on access to justice on environmental matters

Aarhus Convention

This is the first time that the European Union is evaluated by the UN Aarhus Compliance Committee. Shockingly, it is also the first time that the Commission proposes to vote against the findings and recommendations made by the Committee to ensure the proper implementation of the world’s first international environmental treaty, also known as the “Aarhus Convention”.

Greens/EFA

More democracy needed in Europe

Here’s a chance to push for it!

For those of us who believe in democracy, freedom and fundamental rights, the importance of citizen participation and inclusiveness is obvious. That’s why the Greens/EFA Group picked Transparency and Democracy as one of its priorities, and that’s why we rejoiced when - finally - after years of denying the need to improve the world’s very first tool for citizen participation across borders, the European Commission announced that it would take steps to reform the European Citizens’ Initiative (#ECI).

©sergey-zolkin

Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 3-6 July 2017

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary included: Longer lifetimes for products would benefit consumers and business; Country by country reporting will help deliver tax justice; Endocrine Disrupters definition not fit for purpose; “PIF” directive will help Union in the fight against fraud; New parliamentary committee on terrorism; Turkey: EU progress incompatible with proposed constitutional reforms; Marrakesh Treaty - copyright exceptions on books for the blind or visually impaired; Refugees and migration.

Map of Europe with EFA parties

Estonia's EU Presidency welcomed

EFA President Josep-Maria Terricabras on Estonia's EU Presidency

President of the EFA Group in the European Parliament, and Greens/EFA Vice President Josep-Maria Terricabras has welcomed the start of Estonia's six-month Presidency of the EU Council during a special debate at the E...

5 GMOs authorized for import in the EU without any political support

5 GMO authorizations were published on 4 July 2017, without any political support, neither from the Member States nor from the European Parliament. This is further proof that the decision process concerning GMOs needs to be changed quickly to a more democratic and more transparent one. The Greens/EFA are actively working to that end.

Climate change needs more than a family picture!

G20 meeting in Hamburg

At the end of this week, the G20 will hold itsmeeting in Germany. With the recent geopolitical developments, the EU - which is the largest trader in the world and which always presents itself as being the leader in the fight against climate change - has a particularly important role to play. The G20 must clearly come with more than just a mere family photo...

European Union

What's coming up next week in Parliament

Strasbourg Flash 3-6 July 2017

A look ahead to next week's session in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Young seedling © Meriel Jane Waissman
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The European Patent Office’s new rules are unacceptable

Patents on “natural” seeds

The European Patent Office (EPO) has missed the opportunity to change its internal rules in a way that would have clearly prevented the granting of patent on non genetically modified seeds.

©vectorcartoons

Give bees a chance

EU Commission gets strong support in favour of its proposal to ban three neonicotinoids

Despite efforts by industry to halt bans on neonicotinoids, there is a clear majority at the European Parliament in favour of the Commission’s proposal to ban clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid. The Greens/EFA are now urging Member States to be as progressive as the European Parliament and not only to vote in favour of the Commission’s proposal without further delay, but also to refrain from adopting national emergency authorisations to circumvent the EU wide ban.

How the EU can work better for citizens and the climate

Greens/EFA proposals to improve cohesion policy

Now more than ever, it is vital that the EU shows how it can clearly and directly improve the lives of people across the continent. That is why it is so important that the EU takes the correct steps in strengthening its Cohesion Policy.

A chance for EU ministers to deliver on the Paris Agreement

the Energy Efficiency Legislation

Today EU Energy ministers will meet to discuss a crucial file of the Energy Package: the Energy Efficiency Directive. The Greens urge EU Energy Ministers to raise their ambition on this particular legislation, as not only it is key for Europe to respect its commitments to the Paris Agreement, but energy efficiency also because offers numerous benefits to all of us.

We want to get rid of conflict of interests in the EU agencies!

As the debate over independence and conflicts of interest in scientific assessments continues to heat up, Members of the EU Parliament’s Environment committee organised an exchange of views this morning with the Court of Auditors and the European agencies on Medicines, Chemicals and Food (EMA, ECHA, and EFSA respectively). The aim of the meeting was to undertake a comprehensive analysis of these agencies’ approach in dealing with potential conflicts of interest. Greens/EFA MEPs called for more stringent measures to avoid any corporate bias in the agencies’ evaluations and conclusions.

From remainers to retainers – Brexit's impact on culture and education

EFA - Culture committee considers Brexit

The implications of Brexit for culture and education were the focus of a hearing of the European Parliament's Culture Committee this week. MEPs heard evidence from a number of expert speakers including Eluned Haf,...