orange flowers © by Henry Be
orange flowers © Henry Be

A blog by MEPs Anna Deparnay-Grunenberg and Grace O’Sullivan

Biodiversity is all around us. Even for those restricted to home in these trying and sad times, a cursory look around shows a world teeming with life.

youthcrisis

Unlocking the potential of Erasmus+

Today our MEP Ernest Maragall has issued a report calling for Erasmus+ to do much more to promote mobility in vocational training across Europe. Mobility can greatly improve employability, but there are currently far too many barriers for young people in vocational training. With young unemployment still unacceptably high, Erasmus+ must be reformed to help unlock the full potential of Europe's young people.

Corporate tax avoidance

IKEA cheating EU governments out of massive tax revenue according to new research

This is not about the latest IKEA furniture but about how this company structured itself to dodge €1 billion in taxes over the last 6 years using onshore European tax havens, according to new research commissioned by the Greens.

Séralini proves again that the EU's GMO evaluation process is flawed

A post from the food campaign

For the Greens, the evaluation process of GMOs - as well as the authorisation decision process - in the EU must be reviewed and strengthened. Mr Juncker even committed himself to do so during his first speech to the plenary of the European Parliament.

Public transport

Boosting support for railways and public services in the Danube and Adriatic regions

Following a question, initiated by Green MEPs Michael Cramer and Davor Skrlec, from the European Parliament’s transport and tourism committee, European Commissioner for regional policy, Corina Crețu last week responde...

Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 1-5 February 2016

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg plenary included car pollution laws and real driving emissions tests, controversial TiSA services agreement, health damaging endocrine disruptors and Commission inaction, EU Corporate Tax Package, Schengen and Europe's asylum shame, Brexit, opposing GMO feed approvals and reforming the system, and the EU-Kosovo progress report.

A few EU governments are blocking blind people’s access to knowledge

Blog post by MEP Julia Reda

Among everything I’ve experienced in politics so far, the squabble over the Marrakesh treaty stands out as a particular letdown. A few European governments – including Germany and the UK – are currently playing a leading role in denying people with visual impairments urgently needed access to knowledge and culture for no defensible reason. Today, the European Parliament is calling on these governments to end their obstructionism in an unusually strongly-worded resolution.

Health vs. wealth

Why what we eat could be killing us – and why no one cares

This is a strange story, a tale that at first glance appears to be a work of pure fiction, of things that cannot possibly happen in real life. And yet every single word of it is true: from the bullying big corporations to the timid and toothless legislators; from the shocking evidence of widespread use of dangerous ingredients in our food to the staggering display of arrogance and indifference on the part of those in the know. Above all, it is a tale of typical 21st century law-making – where lobbies rule the roost and even public health is of secondary interest to the pursuit of profit.

Corporate tax / Google

Letter from Greens/EFA to Commissioner Vestager

The Greens/EFA MEPs sitting on the European Parliament's TAXE committee, established following the "LuxLeaks" revelations, yesterday wrote to Commissioner Vestager asking her to open an investigation into the U...

Public health / endocrine disrupters

When the guardian of the treaties acts as guardian of special favours to big business

The WHO/UNEP consider endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) a global threat that needs to be resolved. EDCs are present in a large range of commonly-used products such as pesticides and biocides, food contact m...

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EFA logo

Basque prisoners and human rights

A cross-party group of MEPs is to visit the Basque Country in February to consider the situation of Basque prisoners. EFA MEPs Josep-Maria Terricabras (Catalonia) and Tatjana Zdanoka (Latvia) will participate in the dele...

Fighting fraud and corruption across the EU

Benedek Jávor, a Green MEP that has been championing the fight against corruption in the EU institutions on behalf of the Greens/EFA group, explains how the EU institutions can and should work hard to end corruption, fr...

EU Corporate Tax Package

This homeopathic dose is not enough

If the fight against tax avoidance and tax competition were a disease, we would need urgent surgery. Unfortunately, what the European Commission is proposing with its package to be published tomorrow, is a homeopathic me...

Our meat production and consumption also warms the planet

by Florent Marcellesi, EQUO (Spanish Greens) spokesperson in the European Parliament (@fmarcellesi) and the EQUO Animal Rights Group (@equoanimales).   If we are what we eat, nowadays we are, without doubt, cl...

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EFA logo

Regional clusters can help drive growth

EFA MEPs met Mikel Irujo, Delegate of the Government of Navarra in Brussels, to discuss sub-state government networks in the European Union. They looked at new initiatives backed by the European Commission which focus on...

Political crisis in Montenegro

Greens/EFA group supports calls for transparency and fair elections

The Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament has always been a strong supporter of the EU accession and integration processes of the countries in the Western Balkans region. In the context of the current political cri...

#Dieselgate and the car lobby

A contribution from a transparency and democracy perspective

  Since the VW scandal started to unravel, the extent to which EU governments and regulators have either looked the other way or actively participated in dirty (air) decisions is one of the main questions the new Eu...

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Food campaign - The Greens/EFA in the EP

Join the Food Revolution Newsletter

Issue n° 17 January 2016

On 20th January, the European Parliament, following the initiative by Greens/EFA MEP Keith Taylor, voted to reject draft EU rules on baby food, which would have allowed baby foods to contain far higher levels of sugar than those recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 18-22 January 2016

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg plenary included car pollution laws and real driving emissions tests, Poland and the rule of law, presumption of innocence in criminal trials, sugar in baby food, EU-Kosovo, Denmark's new refugee law ...

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EFA logo

"Lies and Double Standards" on Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine

EFA MEP Tatjana Ždanoka from Latvia has criticised the 'lies and double standards' applied to the EU's relations with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Ms Ždanoka was speaking during a debate at the European Parliament in...

Situation in Poland
Situation in Poland

Silesia and the situation in Poland

As MEPs hold a debate on the situation in Poland with Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, MEPs from the EFA Group have highlighted concerns with Poland's treatment of its Silesian minority. The debate focusses on ...

Happy New (Tax) Year!

Belgium's tax loopholes for multinationals condemned by European Commission

And what a better gift to start 2016 than Monday’s announcement by the European Commission that Belgium will recover €700 million from 35 big companies that received an illegal preferential tax treatment in the past ...

Better regulation

or how to make it difficult to propose a new law

The Commission 'Better Regulation' package is the centre-piece of its new agenda to change what the Union does, and how it does it. Here is a Green look behind the scenes of this mechanism

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EFA logo

Catalonia's journey to independence

EFA MEPs joined colleagues from the European Free Alliance political party to celebrate the formation of a pro-independence government in Catalonia. The Catalan parliament met on Sunday to elect a new head of government,...

en | de

EU General Data Protection Regulation

The outcome of the negotiations and 10 key points

The new Data Protection Regulation aims at establishing a single level playing field on the ba-sis of high data protection standards, fit for the digital age. As part of the EU’s Digital Single Market it will make it easier for data controllers and users to know what their rights and obligations are and to enforce their rights.

sunflower©ciprian-lipenschi
©ciprian-lipenschi

Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 14-18 December 2015

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg plenary included preventing approval of a genetically-modified maize variety; car pollution laws and real driving emissions tests; Europe's energy future; updating EU border and coastguard rules; finalising EU data protection reform; EU summit: refugee crisis and Paris attacks top agenda; Dieselgate, car pollution rules and the EU response; Sakharov Prize award for Raif Badawi; Hungary and basic democratic values; EU arms export rules: EU must prevent arms going to repressive regimes and terrorists.

Tax justice

The European Parliament has agreed on its new special tax committee

The fight for tax justice continues... Today, the European Parliament officially brought back to life again its special committee to investigate tax rulings and other harmful measures, now called TAXE 2. After an intense...

Court decision on endocrine disrupters

uncovering the Commission’s failure to act

The EU Court of Justice just gave its ruling in Sweden’s case against the Commission with regard to the Commission's failure to act to adopt criteria for endocrine disrupters (EDCs). In January 2015, The Council and the European Parliament (EP) – both the EU's legislative arms - took Sweden's side in the case and stood together against the European Commission for its failure to act.

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EFA logo

Electoral success in Corsica

EFA MEPs have paid tribute to the victory in Corsica on Sunday 13 December of the progressive nationalist coalition Pe A Corsica (For Corsica) which finished first in elections for the Corsican Assembly. The allianc...

Annulation de l'Accord de libre-échange entre l'UE et le Maroc

Réaction de José Bové

La Cour européenne de Justice de l’Union européenne a annulé le 10 décembre 2015 l’accord de libre échange entre l’Union européenne et le Royaume du Maroc. Cette décision a des répercussions immédiates. &...

en | fr

Follow our climate team

Live from COP21 UN climate talks in Paris

Greens are in Paris, bringing you daily updates and in-depth interviews from COP21. Read our reports and assessments and watch our videos

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EFA logo

Geoblocking and minority languages

EFA MEP Jill Evans (Plaid Cymru) wants the European Commission to ensure that legislation on access to web based programming while abroad facilitates the use of Welsh and other minority languages. Jill Evans says that '...

International Anti-Corruption Day

Greens/EFA call for urgent improvements in the EU and Member States' integrity systems

On the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day, the Greens/EFA group is highlighting the most urgent measures that need to be taken to ensure integrity in the EU institutions and Member States.

EU Financial Transaction Tax

No to "make believe" policy

That's the short way to describe the financial transaction tax (FTT), a small levy on financial transactions such as shares, bonds and derivatives, whose supporters can't wait to see 11 pioneer European countries implement it and finally deliver on their promises. Today's meeting of EU finance ministers is a great step towards making this dream come true.

EU boardroom quotas for women

Don't back down

Not voting can have serious consequences. Especially when a majority is needed in the European Council. EU ministers could not agree on Monday on a new rules on EU boardroom quotas for women. The vote was canceled and th...

World soil day

What's next after the UN year of Soils?

Soil is a living ecosystem. Soil health has a direct impact on human health, farmers work and climate change. But soil is under threat today. We lose an estimated 24 billion tons of fertile soil each year due to erosion.

The Circular Economy Package

A waste of job opportunities?

An opinion article by Jean Lambert and Davor Skrlec, Green MEPs The new Circular Economy Package is a step back for Europe. In a European Union with levels of unemployment at around 11%, youth unemployment at over ...

Unhappy meal

Commission opens formal investigation into Luxembourg's tax treatment of McDonald's

"McDonald's pays a significant amount of corporate tax across Europe". This is what Irene Yates, Vice President for Corporate Tax of McDonald's Europe told the European Parliament on November 16 when invited to...

TAXE is dead, long live TAXE!

If there’s one thing that the Greens do not like it’s energy waste. But when we see a scandal coming – like an attempt to stop or weaken the European Parliament’s unfinished investigation into the biggest tax sca...

The circular economy package

a transformation for all?

Transparency of Meetings with Lobbyists

Lobby Calendar

The Green/EFA group is committed to lobbying transparency and to the equal access of stakeholders to the decision-making process. That is why we are now the first political group in the European Parliament to automatically publish information about meetings held with lobbyists and interest representatives such as civil society organisations.

Join the Food Revolution Newsletter

Issue n°16 November 2015

GREEN INSIGHT INTO EU FOOD POLICY Novel Foods: Greens won't mess with citizens' health and freedom of choice Animal Welfare: A weak vote showing little appetite for improvement of animals' rights. Conference Why Soil matters?: 1st feedback

Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 23-27 November 2015

Greens/EFA priorities for the Brussels plenary included EU cohesion policy and marginalised communities; EP tax investigation; Energy Union: stuttering European energy transition; European cooperation and defending democratic freedoms following the Paris attacks; Diesel gate, car pollution rules and the EU response; Greens/EFA events around the COP21 climate talks.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

This year's international day of eliminating violence against women coincides with the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Beijing Platform for Action, where for the first time, after centuries of silence, it was established that violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relationships between women and men

Corporate tax

European Parliament hearing on companies' tax practices

Walt Disney was one of the 11 big companies that participated in a hearing of the Special committee investigating tax scandals (TAXE) on Monday, but it was Lewis Carroll who was with us in spirit. On 16 November, for fiv...

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EFA logo

Scotland’s place in the UK’s EU Renegotiations

As the UK Government seeks to renegotiate the UK's EU membership, SNP President Ian Hudghton MEP hosted a press briefing at the European Parliament in Brussels on Scotland's place in the UK's EU Renegotiations. He was jo...

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EFA logo

Working towards a summit on language diversity in Europe

EFA MEP Jordi Sebastià has hosted a seminar at the European Parliament to prepare for a Summit on Language Diversity in Europe, scheduled for December 2016. A Protocol on Language Diversity, an effective tool supportin...

A global climate deal is possible

OK, so we're dreaming. But is it so hard to believe that world leaders would put aside short-term interests and differences were set aside for the sake of future generations? Help us make sure world leaders hear the calls of citizens for action on climate change ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in Paris this December. Visit: parismoment.eu

Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 26-29 October 2015

Greens/EFA priorities for the Brussels plenary included EP tax investigation; preventing the trade in torture products; strengthening the European citizens' initiative; refugee crisis and EU governments' response; Diesel gate and the EU car pollution rules; A real end to roaming and protection of net neutrality; Commission work programme and better regulation; Gender equality at the European Court of Justice; Reforming GMO food and feed authorisations in Europe; EU air pollution rules; Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought.

Historical commitment towards gender balance with the European court reform

The European Parliament approved the long-awaited European Union general court reform today in the plenary. Amending the statute of the court, the court's operating conditions were enforced by increasing the number of judges by 28 to a total of 56. We also witnessed a historical step towards gender balance.

EP tax investigation

Report adopted but special committee must be granted extension to allow more complete investigation

On 26 October, the European Parliament's special committee investigating tax issues voted on a report summarising the findings of the investigation so far. While the Greens voted in favour of the report, which contains some ambitious proposals, we criticise the incomplete nature of the investigation, with member states and corporations refusing to cooperate with Parliament.