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.

Azerbaijan human rights

Greens call for release of Azeri human rights activist

Azeri human rights activist Rasul Jafarov was sentenced to six and a half years in prison on Thursday (16 April). The alleged tax avoidance charges and the sentence have been described by observers as politically-mo...

EP committee draws clear red lines for TTIP concerning food and health

With an overwhelming majority (59-8-2) the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) gave red light to the TTIP opinion report of Green rapporteur. Green draftsperson, MEP Bart Staes, who is very pleased with the result of the vote in ENVI: "It would have been unthinkable for the ENVI committee not to reach a majority vote on a critical report on TTIP."

EFA logo
EFA logo

MEPs take part in EFA party General Assembly

Several MEPs from the Euopean Free Alliance (EFA) Group in the European Parliament, including its President, Josep-Maria Terricabras from Catalunya and Jordi Sebastià from the Valencian Countries, will take part in the ...

TTIP and sustainable food production: water and fire?

The currently negotiated and disputed free trade agreement (TTIP) between the EU and US could have deep impacts on how we produce our food. Even if there are not many policy areas that have a more direct impact on people and the planet, this was one of the issues that were largely left out in the TTIP-debate. That is why the Greens-Efa group in the European Parliament (EP) organised (together with a broad range of organisations: ARC2020, Compassion in World Farming, Corporate Europe Observatory, Eurocoop, European Coordination Via Campesina, European Milk Board, Friends of the Earth Europe and Slowfood) a big conference and debate “TTIP talks – What’s Cooking? – Perspectives on Food and Farming” on 10 December 2014. The Greens-Efa now publish the report that summarises the presentations and discussions of this conference.

End of EU milk quotas

31 March 2015 was the end of 31 years of milk quotas. On that day the European Milk Board (EMB) organised a strong symbolic action in front of the European Parliament. This way, European dairy farmers intended to denounc...

The Bee2Bees Project

Open Data for Healthy Bees

Bees play a crucial role as pollinators: a third of our foods depend on them. But bees are in crisis: numbers of domesticated honeybees as well as wild bees are in steep decline due to increased mortality in bee colonies.

GMO (In)digest

Issue 17 of the GMO Campaign Newsletter

EU Work: New Directive on GMO will enter into force in April See (GMO (In)digest 16) Following its formal adoption at Competitiveness Council on March 2, and final signature at the EP plenary session on March 11, the Di...

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Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Brussels plenary 25 March 2015

Greens/EFA priorities for the Brussels plenary included tax policy; the Annual Tax Report; Macro-financial assistance to Ukraine; Minimum rates of pay in the transport sector; International Roma Day.

Europe's Roma Community

Basic human rights must not be compromised

International Roma Day on April 8 is not just about celebrating Roma culture, it is also intended to highlight the persecution and discrimination that the Roma people face in all aspects of life. The Greens have long fought for an effective strategy on Roma inclusion, and we continue this work as the European Parliament now prepares a resolution on Roma rights.

Pesticide Action Week 20-30 March

How TTIP threatens to lower standards of protection from toxic pesticides

On 28 December, right before the sixth round of negotiations on the TTIP trade deal, American and European pesticide lobby groups CropLife America and the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA), made recommendations...

Pesticide Action Week

No Pesticides, No GMOs

As pesticide action week is set to begin, one may reflect on the fact that GMOs have been sold primarily as a way of reducing the use of pesticides. Shouldn't we then celebrate this way to reduce our pesticide addictio...

Pesticide Action Week 20-30 March

10 days of action for a pesticide-free world!

The Pesticide Action Week is back this year with its 10th edition. This annual international event is open to all and aims to raise awareness on the health and environmental risks of synthetic pesticides. The event fur...

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Issue n°10 March 2015

GREEN INSIGHT INTO EU FOOD POLICY Cloning for farming purposes: Greens ask the Commission to come with better proposal EU seed marketing regulation fully withdrawn: The Greens say thank you to the seed savers commu...

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Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 9-12 March 2015

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg plenary included Lux Leaks and tax evasion, gender equality, lorry design and road safety, credit card fees; services trade and liberalisation, EU enlargement progress; energy union and Ukraine, transparency and anti-corruption, Russia and Nemtsov's murder; counter-terrorism cooperation with third countries and human rights.

Fukushima: Time to switch power source

Climate campaign blog

Today marks the 4th year anniversary of the Fukushima earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. In Japan, the situation is far from being back to normal. The health impacts on the local population have increased and the impacts on the local economy are equally threatening. Despite this catastrophe, which shows once again that this energy source is far too dangerous and costly, some European governments and EU officials are still not bold enough to put an end to it: they continue to bow down to the nuclear lobby, agreeing to give them large direct and indirect subsidies...

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Development committee demands concrete legislation to stop deadly trade

Yesterday evening, the European Parliament's Development committee called for binding rules on trade in conflict minerals. Such rules are urgently needed in order to ensure that mineral purchases made by European corpora...

Foreign Affairs Committee votes on conflict minerals

On Monday the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (AFET) voted on an opinion to a Trade committee report on conflict minerals.

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EFA logo

Education in Valencia and the EIB

At the invitation of Valencian MEP Jordi Sebastià, fellow MEPs from the EFA Group in the European Parliament, Ernest Maragall and Jill Evans, visited the region to look into the use of European Investment Bank (EIB) loa...

Save Maternity Leave

Directive on gender equality and women's rights cannot be scrapped

The Directive on pregnant workers and workers who have recently given birth, also known as the Maternity Leave Directive, was first adopted by the European Parliament by a large majority in October 2010. 4 years later,...

Human trafficking, forced labour and land grabbing

Europe's share of responsibility

Barbara Lochbihler, foreign policy and human rights spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group, visited Thailand and Cambodia from 12 to 20 February to follow up on the group’s work on human trafficking and land grabbing. Th...

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EFA logo

Speaking out against gender-based violence

The need for a European Strategy against gender-based violence was the focus of a conference organised at the European Parliament by EFA MEP Jordi Sebastià and others from the Greens/EFA group. The event brought togethe...

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EFA logo

Lignite mining in Lusatia - an environmental and cultural catastrophe

The ecological and social consequences of large scale lignite mining were the focus of a conference at the European parliament organised by the European Free Alliance, in conjunction with local campaigners from Lusatia i...

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Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 9-12 February 2015

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg plenary included processed meat and origin labelling; access to medicines in the EU; CIA abuses and the role of EU governments; combatting child abduction globally; Ukraine, Russia and the EU's role; EU counter-terrorism policy and fundamental rights; Lux Leaks and tax evasion: EP investigation; detention of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi.

Let’s use our money wisely! Let’s divest!

Climate campaign blog

Despite that some constructive proposals have been put forward at the new round of climate negotiations that is currently taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, a growing number of citizens are getting tired of these never ending talks. This is the reason why some citizens and businessmen have decided to take the lead themselves and are now calling for divestment.

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Issue n°9 February 2015

GREEN INSIGHT INTO EU FOOD POLICY Vote on mandatory country of origin labelling of processed meat: Greens hope the European Commission will finally address the issue  End of Milk quota: The Greens call for a m...

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Mandatory origin labelling of processed meat

Greens/EFA call the Commission to legislate for more transparency and better consumer information

90% of EU consumers want to know where their meat comes from. So, as Greens, our main argument for labelling the country of origin of meat, both processed and unprocessed, is to meet consumers' demands and enable them to make informed choices

VAT fraud in the EU

Taxpayers’ money goes to organised crime

Benedek Jávor and Ingeborg Gräßle, Chair of the European Parliament's budgetary control committee, hosted a conference on VAT fraud – a multi-billion euros a year prejudice to states and taxpayers.

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EFA logo

Support for European Roadmap for Linguistic Diversity

MEPs have backed calls for a European Roadmap for Linguistic Diversity to support Europe's regional, minority, and endangered languages. The European Network to Promote Linguistic Diversity (NPLD) this week launched a co...

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EFA logo

MEPs join TTIP protest

MEPs Jill Evans (Wales) and Jordi Sebastià (Valencia) joined hundreds of others at an event organised in Brussels by Friends of the Earth to focus opposition to the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Prot...

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EFA logo

Smart specialisation – a smarter approach to EU structural funding

The concept of smart specialisation will play a key role in ensuring the success of EU structural funding in future, according to a seminar organised in the European Parliament by Catalan MEP Ernest Maragall. Whilst th...

End of milk quota

The Greens call for a more balanced approach to prevent crisis

On 27th January, the Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament discussed the end of milk quota in the EU. As the end of the milk quota system draws nearer, the dairy industry claims that ˮmilk will remain the whi...

EU counter-terrorism policy

Mass surveillance will not make Europe more secure

There were no votes during this week’s one-day plenary session of the European Parliament. MEPs discussed a handful of points on the agenda, including EU counter-terrorism policy.

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EFA logo

EU must do more to tackle human trafficking

The EU must take a more joined-up approach to tackling the serious issue of human trafficking, according to SNP MEP Ian Hudghton. Mr Hudghton wants to see greater collaboration of action and data collection amongst EU me...

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EFA logo

EFA MEPs back single seat for European Parliament

Several EFA MEPs have given their backing to the campaign for a single seat for the European Parliament. At an event in Brussels, MEPs signed a pledge calling for an end to the Parliament's monthly commute to Strasbourg ...

GMO (In)digest

Issue 16 of the GMO Campaign Newsletter

Renationalisation proposal, GMO-free regions 2015 conference, situation in Spain and Czech Republic as well as in USA, China and Mexican are the items of our newsletter n°16

Energy giant Repsol abandons oil and gas exploration in Canary Island waters

Climate campaign blog

Last Friday energy giant Repsol announced that it was putting an end to its oil and gas exploration in Canary Island waters, saying that reserves are too small and of too poor quality. The Greens - who have supported the local resistance groups against drilling in this region- will continue their advocacy work for this important cause, pressing the European Commission to take a clear stand and move towards an EU-wide ban of such projects in the future, in the Canary islands and elsewhere.

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Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 12-15 January 2015

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg plenary included the Charlie Hebdo attack and freedom of expression; EU GMO authorisations and the Trojan horse of the opt-out; migration; borders and more Mediterranean tragedies; Ukraine, Russia and the EU's role; the EU Commission's work plans and 'better regulation’; Turkey, freedom of expression and the EU's role; recent atrocities by Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria; TTIP, trade policy and controversial investor-state settlement schemes; EU investment plan; tax evasion - EU Parliament inquiry committee gains cross-political support.

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EFA logo

Focus on minorities and languages in European Parliament

The European Parliament's Intergroup for Traditional Minorities, National Communities and Languages has held its inaugural meeting of the new parliamentary term in Strasbourg. The group is a cross party gathering of MEPs...

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Issue n°8 January 2015

GREEN INSIGHT INTO EU FOOD POLICY Vote on GMO authorisation: New EU scheme eases way for GMOs without addressing flawed authorisation process  FOOD FOR THOUGHT  The European Parliament's Su...

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Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 15-19 December 2014

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg plenary included tar sands, EU GMO authorisations, EU Commission's work plans and 'better regulation', European economic governance, EU budget shortfalls, EU summit, LuxLeaks, recognising Palestine, CIA abuses and the complicity of EU member states,...

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Issue n°7 December 2014

GREEN INSIGHT INTO EU FOOD POLICY GMO authorisation: New scheme fails to changed flawed GMO authorisation process  FOOD FOR THOUGHT EU Sustainable food strategy: Join the Growing call for action! Conference i...

COP20 - The final hours…

Climate campaign blog

The climate summit in Lima will probably probably continue until Sunday. Last night the poorer countries expressed too many objections to the draft ADP text, which will be the text that will have to be agreed upon at the climate summit in 2015 in Paris.

COP20: Success in Paris next year will depend on the agreement in Lima!

Climate campaign blog

We are now quickly approaching the end of the COP20. While it is clear that negotiators will be able to strike some kind of deal in Lima, it is important to underline the importance of making serious good progress on all these three elements: the draft text agreement for the 2015 agreement, the ADP decision on INDCs and a agreement on a pre-2020 work plan to close the mitigation gap.

Let’s stop subsidizing the past!

Climate campaign blog

Richest states promised to phase out fossil fuel in 2009 and reinterred their promise last year. However, the various reports on the subject compiled by NGOs, think tanks or banks cannot be clearer: only very little has been done at national level. If the world if serious about agreeing on a climate deal that will limit global warming well below 2°C it is about time for action!

Climate March in Lima: Citizens are on the move, but what about our climate negotiators?

Climate campaign blog

Next year Paris cannot and should not be Copenhagen, neither in the expectations, in the preparation process nor in the mobilisations. As we are in the middle of the political segment of COP20, a new large-scale citizen mobilisation is taking place today to remind our negotiators on the emergency to act but also to show them that a growing bigger number of people are ready for the transition to a green economy. So what exactly are our Heads of States and governments waiting for?

Towards awareness and action against IBD’s

Last week in the European Parliament representatives of the European Commission, professors and patients were brought together by the European Greens to exchange information on the alarming raise of IBD’s amongst the...

The Green Climate fund – A key element to strike an ambitious climate deal in Paris

Climate campaign blog

With the announcement by Norway at COP20 last Friday to contribute with $258 million dollars the Green Climate Fund has now almost received the $10 billion demanded by its board before the end of this year. However too many unclear elements remain to ensure trust between the developped countries and more vulnerable states and thus good progress and success of the future climate deal...

COP 20 in Lima must be more than a dress rehearsal

Climate Campaign Blog

After quite some celebration, media hype and self-gratulations over the US and China deal, time for a cold shower: the prospects of a Paris 2015 agreement that delivers a path to a below 2°C warming are anything but certain. This negotiation round, Conference of Parties in Lima, Peru, that started last Monday will need to deliver key decisions to know wether the pledges, such as those made by US and China, will match what climate science says is necessary.

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TTIP talks

What's cooking?

  Producers of good food and farming practices need to keep a keen eye on the EU-US talks TTIP talks are currently the hot topic on the European Commission trade menu. But what’s cooking? How much should...

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Issue n°6 November 2014

  GREEN INSIGHT INTO EU FOOD POLICY Novel foods: EP sends clear signals on food from clones and nanomaterials in food GMO authorisation: 'No must mean no', as MEPs vote to strengthen GMO opt-outs ...