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.

TTIP Washing

Commission makes mockery of Sustainability Impact Assessment of TTIP

The decision by the European Commission (EC) to contract a firm behind a report that over-states the benefits of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) for an Impact Assessment makes a mockery of the w...

Public Eye Awards 2014

Bees thank you for the massive support!

The Public Eye Awards call on people all over the world to choose the worst case of offences against the environment and human rights Once again this year, the Berne Declaration (BD) and Greenpeace presented the awards. ...

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Brussels Agenda

Weekly preview of the Greens/EFA group - 27-31 January 2014

Greens/EFA priorities for the week include Europe's banking sector, F-gases' climate damage, emissions trading, pollution from shipping, airline emissions, data protection and Europol. Greens/EFA events will deal with human trafficking and smuggling, seed diversity, food security and the role of industry, greening regional policy, LGBT rights

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Greens/EFA Round-up

Debriefing of the plenary week Strasbourg 13-16 January 2014

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg plenary included, carbon capture and storage, CO2 emissions from vans, plastic waste in the environment, honey labels and GMOs, public procurement, public services and innovation, Spain's new abortion law, free movement for all EU citizens, data protection and EU-US relations, EU passports for sale, Serbia and Kosovo and the EU's role, EU-ASEAN relations, new GMO authorisation, investment products and commodity speculation and the troika's flawed role under scrutiny.

Brussels Agenda

Weekly preview of the Greens/EFA group - 20-24 January 2014

Greens/EFA priorities for the week include EU climate and energy policy to 2030, shale gas, fracking and EU rules, data protection and EU-US cooperation, EU enlargement and the Balkans, tobacco rules, meat origin and clear labels, waste shipments and EU rules; genetic resources and benefit sharing, money laundering, terrorism funding and the finance system, preventing trade dumping and ensuring social and environmental standards

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Carbon capture and storage technology

Not the solution to Europe’s fossil fuel addiction

Europe at heart

Film competition for filmmakers and enthusiasts

What is going on with the European project? Whereas a lot of Europeans feel at lost and in distress regarding the EU, many outsiders still see Europe as a place of refuge and longing. New hopes alternate with feelings of despair among many in the European Union. New and old cleavages between North and South are opening up. Is the project threatened? Can it reinvent itself?

Food crisis and fraud

The fight to get on the right track

Over the past few years we have seen the horsemeat scandal, battery cage eggs marketed as organic, road salt in foods and numerous other cases of fraud or fraudulent labelling in the EU food chain. In response to all t...

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Strasbourg Flash

Weekly preview of the Greens/EFA group - 13-17 January 2014

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary include carbon capture and storage, climate-damaging emissions from vans, plastic waste in the environment, honey labels, bee health and GMOs, public procurement, public services and innovation, free movement for all EU citizens, data protection and EU-US relations, European citizenship, EU-ASEAN relations, GMO authorisation and democratic process, investment products and commodity speculation, Troika's flawed role under scrutiny

The 2030 Energy and climate package

Why having three binding targets does matter

At the end of this month, the European Commission is to publish a communication on the energy and climate package for 2030. The Parliament has started debating the subject a few months ago. The discussions are heated be...

The first MEP delegation to Iran after 7 years

After 7 years a delegation of the European Parliament (EP) visited Iran from 12 to 17 December 2013. The delegation of the EP met the members of the Iranian Parliament, the Foreign Minister and NGOs in Tehran...

EFA logo
EFA logo

e-fa: News Round Up

News Bulletin from the European Free Alliance Group in the European Parliament

November/December 2013 Round-Up The European Free Alliance (EFA) draws together political parties fighting for democracy and self-determination for the stateless nations and regions of Europe. European Free Alliance MEPs...

Fracking in Romania

Greens call on President Schulz to denounce the ongoing rights abuses in Pungești, Romania

Green MEPs have written to Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, calling on him to denounce the current situation in Pungești, Romania, where villagers have been lawfully protesting against Chevron's pl...

No new GMO authorisations

Green motion seeks to block proposed EU authorisation of controversial GM maize

On Tuesday (17 December), the European Parliament's environment committee will vote on a motion proposed by the Greens to reject the recent proposal by the Commission to authorise the cultivation of a type of genetically...

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Greens/EFA Round-up

Debriefing of the plenary week Strasbourg 9-13 December 2013

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg plenary included trotecting migrants' lives in Mediterranean, reforming EU fisheries policy, deep sea fishing and destructive trawling, EU-Morocco fisheries and Western Sahara, the situation in Ukraine, repairing the emissions trading scheme, EU rules on mortgages, sexual and reproductive health and rights, promoting stability and peace beyond Europe, combatting tax avoidance through transparency, the EU as a human rights defender, bank accounts, posted workers

Smoking and health

Getting tough on tobacco? The final round.

A long-awaited revision of EU rules on tobacco products could be agreed by the European Parliament and Council in trialogue negotiations on Monday (16 December). There has been massive controversy surrounding the legisla...

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Brussels Agenda

Weekly preview of the Greens/EFA group - 16 - 20 December 2013

Greens/EFA priorities for the week include final trialogue negotiations on tobacco, GMO authorisation and democratic process, winding up failing banks and protecting taxpayers, EU car emissions rules, railway safety, investment products and commodity speculation, cloning and food production, tackling air pollution at EU level

Warsaw Special

Climate Campaign Newsletter Issue 70 - December 2013

This year COP19 will be remembered as being the most corporate COP ever. The destructive role played by dirty corporations was criticised by a lot of participants. Environmentalists have criticised the important presence of big business and polluting industries, which clearly attempted to undermine and subvert effective and just climate action

Deep sea fishing

Ending bottom trawling crucial for sustainable deep sea fisheries policy

New EU rules governing deep sea fishing will be voted by the European Parliament this week. The Greens believe a priority for these rules must be the phasing-out destructive bottom trawling and gillnets. This image s...

Fisheries

Time to ban destructive deep-sea trawling

One of the key food related items on the agenda of the plenary of the European Parliament this week is the vote on the report on Deep Sea Fishing in the North-East Atlantic. The biological characteristics of deep-sea ...

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Strasbourg Flash

Weekly preview of the Greens/EFA group - 9-13 December 2013

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary include - Protecting migrants' lives in Mediterranean, Reforming EU fisheries policy, Deep sea fishing and destructive trawling, EU-Morocco fisheries and Western Sahara, Ukraine: democratic danger and EU perspective, Repairing the emissions trading scheme, Mortgages - EU rules under review, Sexual and reproductive health and rights, Promoting stability and peace beyond Europe, Combatting tax avoidance through transparency, The EU as a human rights defender, Bank accounts: a basic right, Posted workers, social dumping and EU rules

Saving migrants lives at sea

Greens continue to push for concrete provisions under EU rules

The European Border Surveillance system (EUROSUR) becomes operational today. The system was finalised earlier this year, just ahead of the latest major tragic losses of life of migrants in the Mediterranean, off the coas...

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Brussels Agenda

Weekly preview of the Greens/EFA group - 2 - 6 December 2013

Greens/EFA priorities for the week include winding up failing banks and protecting taxpayers, protecting migrants lives in Mediterranean, EU data protection rules. Among Greens/EFA events, interactive debate for the deaf and hard of hearing community, conferences on better rail networks and economic crimes and a European public prosecutor

Tuna Conservation

Final day

The annual meeting of ICCAT, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, got under way yesterday in Cape Town, South Africa. Among the hottest topics on the agenda will be the bluefin tuna, famed for its importance in sushi and other dishes as well as the extent of the "fishing frenzy" to catch it.

Public Eye Awards 2014

Vote for Bees and real sustainable Agriculture

The Public Eye Awards call on people all over the world to choose the worst case of offences against the environment and human rights. Syngenta, Bayer and BASF are being nominated for their role in the mass-killing of bees and other essential insect pollinators ...

Victory in EP on the reform of collective rights management organisations

On 26 November, the Gallo report on Collective Rights Management was unanimously adopted by the Legal Affairs committee. This new directive is an important victory in the EU Parliament. It is a key step to increase the transparency of collective rights organisations in Europe, to improve the management of the money they collect and its proper distribution in the interest of the artists and the authors.

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Youth at the UN Climate talks

The future is ours

The COP19 negotiations have come to an end and do have barely produced any concrete outcome. Only one thing is crystal clear - the importance of young people as a key partner during the climate negotiations.

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Brussels Agenda

Weekly preview of the Greens/EFA group - 25 - 29 November 2013

Greens/EFA priorities for the week include sexual and reproductive health and rights, railway safety, European investigation order, rules on car noise, honey labels, bee health and GMOs, sustainable reindustrialisation and competitiveness

sunflowers copyright-Bruce-Fritz
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Greens/EFA Round-up

Debriefing of the plenary week Strasbourg 18-22 November 2013

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary included standards in public procurement, MFF and EU budget, single seat of the Parliament, boardroom quotas for women, rules on EU spending to hit crisis countries, priorities for additional social funds, agriculture policy reform, EU environment and climate change action,...

Fiscalis programme

An improved tool to fight tax fraud

MEPs adopted the Fiscalis 2020 programme on 21 November, which aims to strengthen tax administrations and cooperation across the EU. The Greens worked to ensure that the fight against tax fraud, evasion and avoidance is at the core of the programme. It will strengthen tax authorities capacities and facilitate cooperation to help them work together to tackle the problem, maximising efficiency. In particular, it will also fund IT systems to support the exchange of information between tax administrations. The Greens also ensured civil society will have a greater input into the programme, so as to be on an equal footing with business interests.

COSME programme

A step in the right direction but efforts still needed

The European Parliament has endorsed the COSME programme on 21 November 213, which aims to strengthen the competitiveness and sustainability of EU enterprises, particularly SMEs. The new programme will help address the competitiveness and sustainability of EU enterprises, promote entrepreneurship and improve access to finance and to markets. While the Greens would have preferred sustainability to play a more central role, the Group is still happy that the programme maintains it as an objective. The report rightly emphasises that access to skills, including managerial skills and knowledge (and not only access to finance), are critical factors for SMEs. The Greens also welcome the initiative to involve stakeholders in the drafting of the work-programme, including NGOs and labour organisations. The Greens succeeded in ensuring greater support for start-ups.

Common Security and Defence Policy

Cooperate or loose it

The European Parliament adopted on 21 November 2013 a report on the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). This report is the most important contribution of the European Parliament to the upcoming European Council on Defence issues this December, the first Council devoted to the CSDP in the past five years.

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Cohesion Fund

Group pushes for new Greener elements

The Cohesion fund for the next programming period 2014 – 2020 was voted on by MEPs today. Although containing weaknesses in places, the outcome was a definite step forward with provisions the group had pushed for thr...

GMO (In)Digest

Issue 11 of the GMO Campaign Newsletter

EU Work: Pioneer wins court case against the Commission Following a legal complaint from Pioneer, the European Court of Justice declared on 26th September, that the European Commission had failed to fulfil its obliga...

“Europe for citizens”

A mixed outlook

The European Parliament adopted on 19 November 2013 the new “Europe for Citizens” programme, aimed at improving EU citizens' knowledge of the EU and its history. The programme will support activities such as public conferences, targeted at fostering remembrance of the EU's past and increasing debate and citizens' interest and involvement with EU issues at EU level. However, although Greens support and will vote in favour of the programme, the group believes that the budget is too small to respond to the challenges faced by the European Union.

CAP reform

The Greens/EFA group stays on course until the final votes

This month the CAP reform is back to plenary in the European Parliament. Key debates and votes on legislative proposals following the trilogues (interinstitutional negotiations) (15 in total!) will take place this Wedn...

The EU should lead the climate negotiations

Blog from COP19 in Warsaw

The high level segment of the COP19 has now started. In order for the negotiations to make tangible progress, building trust this week will be vital and the EU must play its part to ensure a successful outcome at this year’s conference. With the 2015 COP being held on its territory, it cannot afford to risk losing face…

Whose interests are we exactly defending at COP19?

Blog from Warsaw

The international coal and climate summit organised by the Polish Ministry of Economy is taking place today and tomorrow. The Greens, which organised a counter summit last week, severely criticized the decision. The interests that must be defended at the COP19 are those of the people, not those of the big polluters.

EFA logo
EFA logo

e-fa: News Round-Up

news bulletin from the European Free Alliance Group in the European Parliament

October/November 2013 Round-Up The European Free Alliance (EFA) draws together political parties fighting for democracy and self-determination for the stateless nations and regions of Europe. European Free Alliance MEPs ...

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Strasbourg Flash

Weekly preview of the Greens/EFA group - 18-22 November 2013

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary include standards in public procurement, MFF and EU budget, single seat of the Parliament, boardroom quotas for women, rules on EU spending to hit crisis countries, priorities for additional social funds, agriculture policy reform, EU environment and climate change action

The Amazon up for grabs?

Public Conference and debate on the Belo Monte dam and its alternatives

CONFERENCE PRESENTATION Belo Monte is a controversial mega-dam complex on the "big bend" of the Xingu river, a tributary of the Amazon. Like other mega-projects, it is claimed that such large scale developme...

Strasbourg Flash - MFF special

Greens/EFA preview on the future EU budget and funding programmes for the November plenary 2013

With the European Parliament to vote on the EU multiannual financial framework 2014-20, as well as a series of votes on EU funding programmes for the budgetary period, this preview provides an overview from a Green persp...

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The BEE2BEES Project

Open Data for Healthy Bees

The B2B project just launched at EU level aims at developing an open source tool to follow up bee colony losses. Beekeepers can use this application, either on their smartphone or on a computer, to share information a...

Brussels Agenda

Weekly preview of the Greens/EFA group - 11 - 15 November 2013

Greens/EFA priorities for the week include final conciliation negotiations on the EU's budget framework 2014-20. The Greens/EFA also organise a participatory debate about Poland and its future (in Warsaw) as well as 4 conferences in Brussels on UN climate talks, post-growth society, the Belo-Monte dam and the right to decide: a democratic right

Travel diary - Rebecca Harms, Greens/EFA Co-President's visit to Eastern Europe

Building the Green fight back against fossil and nuclear energy

What an intense week: Warsaw, Katowice, Prague, Paks and Budapest. Many wonderful encounters, interesting conversations and events. In all three countries I visited during my Central Europe tour (27th to 31st October) I ...

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Commission lets GMOs loose

Borg wants to impose new GMOs to the EU

Only a few months before being replaced, it seems that the EU Commission has decided to impose new GMOs on to its citizens who by and large do not want them.Tomorrow, on the 6th November, Commissioner for Health and C...

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Brussels Agenda

Weekly preview of the Greens/EFA group - 4 - 8 November 2013

Greens/EFA priorities for the week include Limiting CO2 emissions from vans, Reducing the use of plastic bags, Forcing through GMO authorisations, A pollinator-friendly agricultural model: the way forward, Nuclear Transparency Watch: launch of a European civil society initiative to improve nuclear safety and transparency

Greens/EFA Round-up

Debriefing of the plenary week Strasbourg 21-25 October 2013

        Table of contents     EU data protection rules Towards a UN climate change deal Sexual and reproductive health and rights Medical implants and consumer ...

Mikhail Khodorkovsky

10 years in jail and still fighting for democracy, the rule of law and the social market economy in Russia

Mikhail Khodorkovsky has been in detention for 10 years. He was arrested on 25 October 2003 and sentenced to a total of 14 years imprisonment in two politically motivated trials. The well known legal expert and trial obs...

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Respect My Privacy

New Data Protection Rules approach first vote

On Monday, 21st October, the Civil Rights, Justice and Home Affairs committee of the European Parliament will have its first vote on new EU wide data protection rules. Although we are still some months away from a fi...