© Patrick Laverdant

Cut the spraying, shift the spending!

Deliver food security, create long term jobs all across the EU, mitigate climate change, reduce air pollution, protect animal welfare and at the same time improve soil fertility, water management and biodiversity: mission impossible?

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,...

©antonio-grosz

Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 12-15 June 2017

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary included: Tax justice: Country by country reporting; Glyphosate renewal; Energy efficiency labelling; 2016 report on Kosovo; Effort sharing regulation and President Trump's decision to withdraw the US from the Paris agreement; Trump's decision to withdraw the US from the Paris agreement; Panama Papers follow-up and the rule of law in Malta; Preparation of the European Council of 22 and 23 June 2017.

en | fr

New GMOs

Not as precise as advertised... and still useless

More precise, less risky, more efficient, less costly: that is how their promoters have been selling the idea of deregulating new biotechnologies to the legislators, both at EU and national level.

© Colonel

Transparency and accountability vital to avoid misuse of European funds

Debating the future of European Political Parties

Greens/EFA Vice President, and President of the EFA Group in the European Parliament, Josep-Maria Terricabras, has voiced support for greater transparency and accountability in order to counter any possible misuse of Eur...

"Do you want Catalonia to be an independent state in the form of a Republic?"

EFA MEP Jordi Solé on Catalonia's plans for an independence referendum on 1 October

The Catalan government has announced a referendum on independence which will take place on 1 October 2017. EFA MEP Jordi Solé from Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya took the floor at the European Parliament in ...

en | de | fr | nl

More food needed?

Just replace pesticides with biodiversity!

Making biodiversity work for farmers is good for farmers, good for bees, good for climate, good for the economy, good for you ... and the Greens/EFA group has always been a frontrunner in pushing in this direction.

en | ca

Europe's Languages Charter – 25 years later

25th anniversary of the adoption of the European Charter of Regional and Minority Languages

To mark the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the European Charter of Regional and Minority Languages by the Council of Europe, diverse MEPs intervened in the European Parliament's Strasbourg Plenary session in the...

Conservatives duck out of tax transparency reforms

Country by country reporting

Reforms to oblige big companies to reveal financial information in every country they operate would defend citizens’ interests and answer calls for the EU to do more against tax avoidance. The proposal is now at risk, after changes supported by the conservative and liberal groups in the European Parliament.

©sidharth-bhatia

Six ways to improve the Erasmus programme

With 4000 students being involved at any one time, it’s clear that the Erasmus programme has been a massive success in bringing students from all over Europe together and in allowing them to experience totally different environments. However, like any system, there are always ways to make it better.

European Union

What's coming up next week in Parliament

Strasbourg Flash 12-15 June

Topics Tax justice: Country by country reporting (Committee Vote Monday) Glyphosate renewal (debate Tuesday) Energy efficiency labelling (debate and vote Tuesday) Effort sharing regulation (debate Tuesday, vo...

©pritchard-barrett

Four actions we as a planet can take to help save the oceans

In honour of today being World Oceans Day, we’ve put together this list of four Greens/EFA demands on how the European and global community can protect Earth’s oceans. With the United Nations Ocean Conference taking place this week, now is the time to get the planet talking about this issue.

Lobbying Transparency versus “freedom of the mandate”

A false debate

Members of the European Parliament are about to miss a big opportunity to deliver on lobby transparency in Europe. This is because Members from the EPP, S&D and ALDE groups are - rather ironically - arguing that their “freedom of the mandate” would make it legally impossible for them to enact policies that could finally transform the EU lobby register into an effective transparency system.

Chafer Machinery (CC BY 2.0)

Greens/EFA go to court over lack of transparency on glyphosate

It was over a year ago when our MEPs Bart Staes, Benedek Jávor, Heidi Hautala and Michèle Rivasi first sent the European Food and Safety Authority (EFSA) an official access to documents request, trying to access the studies on which EFSA based its assessment that glyphosate is not carcinogenic.

Mr Juncker answers European Parliament’s Panama Papers committee

We welcome support for our requests

It is not every day that the President of the European Commission visits the European Parliament and agrees to answer questions on committee work. This time, Mr Juncker accepted the invitation as the sitting President of the European Commission and former Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Luxembourg.

©patrick-fore

Agriculture can play its part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions

the status quo is NOT an option!

On 30 June, the Agriculture committee will vote on the so-called ‘LULUCF’ file. What is hiding behind this enigmatic acronym is the contribution of the agriculture and forest sectors to the reduction of climate change. Until now, they had been left out of the collective effort to reach the goals set up collectively by the world nations in the Paris agreement. It’s high time to make a change!

© René Mansi

Sustainable development at the core of our agenda

European Sustainable Development Week 30 May-5 June

The Greens/EFA Group always emphasized the need to integrate environmental and social concerns in all policies. Sustainable development is at the core of our agenda. We are active to ensure that these issues remain high on the programme of the European Parliament.

How Luxembourg resisted European tax cooperation and made money with its circumvention

Time to ask Mr Juncker some questions

As Mr Juncker is coming to the inquiry committee investigating the Panama Papers on Tuesday 30th of May, the Greens publish a report showing how Luxembourg attempted between 2003 and 2005 to block a very important reform to fight tax evasion: the Savings tax Directive, which would automatically send tax information among Member States.

Time to respond to the public consultation on whistleblower protection!

For those of you that have not yet responded to the European Commission’s public consultation on whistleblower protection in Europe, now is the time! The deadline closes on 29th May. The Greens/EFA group has put together a submission to the consultation which we are publishing here in case you’d like to use it for inspiration.

©gustavo-quepon

Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 15-18 May 2017

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary included: food waste; Commission statement: harnessing globalisation by 2025; ECJ ruling on competences of EU vs Member States in FTAs; Council and Commission statements - Making relocation happen; Vote on GMO objections; Situation in Hungary; Money laundering; Conclusions of the European Council meeting; Cross-border portability.

Chechnya

The Atrocities On Our Doorstep

Greens/EFA call on Russian authorities to take action

LGBT rights conference

LGBTi Rights - "Progress is reversible"

EFA MEP Alyn Smith (Scotland) speaks out on LGBTi rights

EFA MEP Alyn Smith (Scottish National Party) has spoken out in the European Parliament, in Strasbourg over the alarming situation of LGBTi rights and the EU guidelines to protect and uphold them, particularly in the afte...

Overproduction of food (waste)

produce less, feed more!

For many years the Greens/EFA group has been leading the fight for food security, social justice, robust ecosystems and against climate change. Today the European Parliament adopted another non-binding resolution calling...

©alex-talmon

Ensuring transparency, balanced participation and ethical decision-making in the UNFCCC

Global climate conference

This week kicks off the intersessional climate change conference in Bonn, Germany. When we see the climate crisis continuously escalating, the people negotiating our future need the best possible space to do it. They need a space free from the fossil fuel lobby. However, as reports regarding conflicts of interest and sponsoring of the COPs have shown, this is far from reality.

©ben-rosett

Commission’s decision to withdraw Anti-Corruption Report Widely Criticised

The European Commission was supposed to publish its second Anti-Corruption Report last year, but after a series of delays it has now been withdrawn and will no longer be published. Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans confirmed to the European Parliament last week that they had decided to scrap the report but promised to MEPs, who have heavily criticised this decision, that corruption is still an important topic.

©heidi-sandstrom

Greens/EFA call on Juncker and Commission to rethink direction of Europe

An alternative scenario...

A scenario where the European Union becomes a continental space of freedom, security, democracy and human rights

©jonathan-simcoe

Attack against civil society stalled until independent Court of Auditors Report

Response to the controversial EPP report

A couple of weeks ago, we sounded the alarm in response to a controversial report, penned by the EPP group in the European Parliament, which attacked NGOs and civil society organisations in a biased and unconvincing manner.

©jerry-kiesewetter

The role of middlemen in the Panama Papers

PANA investigation confirms Greens’ findings

The PANA committee’s findings support those outlined by the Greens earlier this year, namely that so-called intermediaries such as banks, law firms and accounting firms help clients to set up offshore structures for dodging taxes or laundering dirty money.

CC BY-SA 3.0 | UNESCO

World Press Freedom Day

We can all help to protect press freedom together!

Today, 3rd May, is World Press Freedom Day. A day for celebrating freedom of speech, and for acting to protect those who are struggling, every day, to expose the truth.

Women working in textile factory

Remember the fight for garment workers’ rights this May 1st

Greens/EFA working to ensure Rana Plaza tragedy is not repeated

The first of May recognised around the world as the International Workers' Day. On this day we acknowledge the crucial role of the worker in our societies and the need for stringent standards across our industries to ensure everyone has the right to work in a safe workplace.

Budget accountability

Checking the spending of public funds

It’s that time of the year again, when the European Parliament reviews the spending of public funds by 52 EU institutions, and formally signs-off on the final accounting, this for time for the year 2015. Every year...

© Alexandra Buxbaum / Greenpeace

Monsanto is the hideous tree that hides the forest

How Bayer buying Monsanto is more than just another merger

The acquisition of Monsanto by Bayer threatens to undermine current safeguards, and this is why we strongly oppose the potential deal.

Fotolia/montage: Zitrusblau
en | de | nl

Land is not a commodity

European Parliament calls for access to land for small and medium farmers, not corporations

For a long time "landgrabbing" - that is, the large-scale purchase of land for financial investment and industrial agricultural production - was considered primarily as a problem for developing countries. But Europe faces the same problem: Large investors are discovering arable land as a safe investment.

©jon-flobrant

European Pillar of Social Rights and Work-life Balance

A first Greens/EFA assessment on Commission initiatives

On 26 April 2017, the Commission presented its proposals for a European Pillar of Social Rights and Work-Life Balance. Since advancing social Europe is a key objective of GreensEFA, we had a closer look at the different ...

©matthew-henry

Greens/EFA sounds the alarm against attacks on civil society and NGOs

It is beyond dispute that there is an increasing trend across the world to undermine democratic principles and shrink the freedoms and liberties that citizens and civil society organisations now enjoy. Hungary, Poland and Romania are recent EU examples of this.

Garment workers remain unsafe four years after Rana Plaza

Blog post by Jean Lambert MEP and Judith Sargentini MEP

Four years on from the Rana Plaza disaster, urgent action is needed to clean up the garment industry, say Green MEPs Jean Lambert and Judith Sargentini.

©jamie-street

World health day

Nestlé’s global tax practices: clear as clean water?

7th of April marks World’s Health Day. This year this day is a bit special: it follows the 150th anniversary of the Swiss company Nestlé. The Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament decided to commemorat...

©krsto-jevtic

Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 3-6 April 2017

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary included: Palm oil and deforestation of rainforests; One year anniversary of the Panama Papers; Dieselgate: inquiry report and type approval legislation; EU-Syria strategy; Brexit: Article 50 resolution; Money Market Funds; MFF revision; GMO objection; Roaming charges.

International Romani Day

Green Publication on Countering antigypsyism in Europe

On the occasion of the International Romani Day on the 8th of April, a new publication by Green MEPs has been launched. It raises awareness of the most critical aspects of discrimination against European Roma and contributes to the fight against antigypsyism.

European flags © Xavier Häpe

Citizens must be central to Brexit talks

According to MEPs from the European Free Alliance group, the negotiations should be fair and in good faith, with citizens' interests coming first and people not used as bargaining chips

en | fr

One-year anniversary of the Panama Papers scandal

Have we seen a revolution yet?

One year ago today, over 100 investigative journalists working together from 80 countries, published the biggest leak in history, the Panama Papers. The release of 11.5 million documents and thousands of press articles allowed the world to understand the global scandal of tax evasion and money laundering.

Europe needs independent oversight to prevent another Dieselgate

Dieselgate inquiry

The Dieselgate inquiry is at and end and its come forward with some important recommendations about how to stop further cheating. One of the key demands is the establishment of an independent agency to monitor the market. Bas Eickhout writes on the battle to make sure this happens.

chuttersnap
en | nl

GM maize for cultivation

The Commission must accept the appeal committee’s vote and refuse new authorizations

With a clear majority of Member States voting against the cultivation of three GM maize varieties within the EU on Monday 27 March, it should now be clear to the European Commission that it is time to withdraw its proposals. But is the Commission paying attention?

CCBY Lindsay Eyink
en | de | nl | it | fr

The European Commission is tabling science fiction legislation on GMOs

20 types of GM maize have been proposed for authorisation in feed and food... some of them do not even exist yet!

The European Commission is proposing to authorise a new GM maize developed by Syngenta that contains up to 20 types. This means that a single authorisation could lead to a 20-fold increase in the amount of GM maize in our food and feed.

amika san CC BY-ND 2.0

Parliament calls for improved citizen participation and transparency in report on e-democracy

From the Greens/EFA Transparency and Democracy Campaign

The European Parliament recently adopted a report on e-democracy which makes a series of recommendations on digital tools, citizen participation, and internal party democracy. Since transparency and democracy is one of our key priorities, we tabled a number of amendments to give the report some teeth.

©antonio-grosz

Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 13-16 March 2017

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary included: Mercury rules; Gender equality: still a long way to go on equality; Arctic policy; Animal welfare; Firearms control; LuxLeaks appeal verdict; Official controls in the food chain; Shareholders' rights; Conclusions of the European Council/Rome Declaration; Conflict minerals; Fishing sector data collection.

Still a long way to go until we reach gender equality in the EU

Report by Green MEP Ernest Urtasun

We continue to have many reasons to keep on fighting for equality. In the current political atmosphere in Europe, we need the EU’s leaders to take a firm stance on gender equality and make it a priority

© Photo European Parliament

European political parties should respect European values

Plenary debate with Josep-Maria Terricabras

MEPs have been discussing a request to review how the European parliament funds European political parties. The main concern is to avoid a misuse of public money and to ensure that European political parties respect European values.

Scotland's place in Europe's family of nations

Plenary intervention by Alyn Smith

Scotland faces the prospect of being removed from our family of nations against our clearly expressed democratic will. It's not fair, and if the EU is not a community of justice and law and democracy then what are we for?

© Mlenny

Europe must ban drilling in the Arctic!

A blog from our climate campaign

The European Parliament is going to adopt its position on an ‘integrated EU Policy for the Arctic’. The Greens call on the EP to prevent dirty lobby from putting the Arctic even more at risk than it already is, and to strongly oppose any offshore hydrocarbon or mineral exploration and extraction in this very vulnerable corner of our planet