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No more dirty secrets in the authorisation procedure for pesticides, GMOs, food additives and novel food!

Democracy and science have in common the fact that they cannot be properly carried out in the dark: both require transparency. The altercation around the reauthorisation of the herbicide glyphosate in 2017 shed an uncomfortable light on the opacity of both the assessment process and the authorisation process of pesticides in the EU. The Commission's imperfect attempt to make the situation better will be debated and voted on next week in the European Parliament, under strong industry lobby pressure.

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Meat, animal feed and the EU's unbearable hypocrisy on GMOs

How GMOs enter the EU unnoticed

NGO Mighty Earth just published a powerful report on the dire consequences of the current EU meat, milk and eggs production system on those countries, especially in Latin America, which produce the feed for farm animals. deforestation, pollution, cancers, are the direct cause of EU’s letting genetically modified protein crops in for feeding our farm animals.

© Udo Weber

Greens/EFA Debriefing

Plenary week, 12-16 March 2018

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary week included: Commission ethics and appointment of the Secretary-General Selmayr, glyphosate saga and first meeting for PEST committee; Brexit and guidelines on the framework of future EU-UK relations, new special committee on taxation, protection of investigative journalists in Europe, EU Multiannual Financial Framework and own resources, Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base

Debating the future of EU-UK relations after Brexit

EFA MEPs Jill Evans & Alyn Smith in key debate

EFA MEPs Alyn Smith (SNP - Scotland) and Jill Evans (Plaid Cymru - Wales), took part in today's European Parliament debate on the future of EU - UK relations after Brexit, with Commission President Jean-Claude Juncke...

European Union

What's coming up in Parliament

Strasbourg Flash - Plenary session 12-15 March 2018

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

© Riccardo Parreggiani

1000 solutions to solve climate change

An inspiring speech by Bertrand Piccard

During the European Ideas Lab organised by the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament and the European Green Party presented '#1000solutions' initiative for clean, efficient and profitable solutions that can be implemented by lawmakers around the world.

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Protection of fundamental rights in the EU

European Parliament calls for more ambition

The Greens/EFA group have fought hard to improve the report’s sections on asylum, migration, economic and social rights, non-discrimination, the fight against terrorism, hate speech, gender-based violence, minority and linguistic rights, and Roma and LGBTI rights. These were either largely ignored or absent from the original text and several amendments on these issues were tabled by our group.

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Save the bees

Have your say by answering the consultation

The European Commission is collecting ideas and views on the decline of bees in order to develop an EU initiative on pollinators. This is the chance to play your part! Answer the consultation to save the bees!

Marek Pawluczuk
en | es

Coal Regions in Transition

Speech by Florent Marcellesi at the high-level conference "Coal Regions in Transition Platform: High-Level Dialogue on financing and investments" - Brussels, 27 February 2018.

"In order to talk about financing in the coal transition, I’d like to remind that to achieve a real, just and efficient phase out of coal, we need much more ingredients than money"

en | fr | de

Five reasons not to allow the Bayer - Monsanto merger

Why the Commission should stop this "merger from hell"

In September 2016 Bayer and Monsanto announced their intention to merge. If authorised by the European Commission, this would create, in the Commission’s own words, “the world's largest integrated pesticides and seeds company”, and have devastating consequences. Join us in calling on Margrete Vestager, Commissioner for Competition, to stop this “merger from hell”!

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Greens/EFA Debriefing

Plenary week, 5-8 February 2018

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary week included: Emissions Trading System; Glyphosate: authorisation process for pesticides; Geoblocking; Visit of Croatian Prime Minister; Zero tolerance for female genital mutilation; Transnational lists for European elections; International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) address to Parliament; Rule of law in Romania; Special committee on tax.

© Alexander Briel
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Transnational lists for the European elections

Questions & answers

Although the EU Treaties stipulate that "the Parliament is composed of representatives of the citizens of the Union" (i.e. that MEPs represent all EU citizens, not just those of their Member State), European elections are held at national level. Transnational lists would create a common constituency, made up of the entire European Union. This would sit alongside the existing constituencies of Member States.

European Union

What's coming up in Parliament

Strasbourg Flash - Plenary session 5-8 February 2018

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

Viktor Dimchev

The messy fight against corruption in Bulgaria and the need for ambition in the EU institutions

A new report commissioned by the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament has found that much more ambition is required in the fight against corruption both within Bulgaria but also at EU level.

© Don Bayley

Bisphenol A, an old artificial oestrogen, still allowed in out dated and industrial food packaging

Have you ever heard about endocrine disrupters (EDCs)? If so, then you’ve probably also heard of BPA, aka « bisphenol A », one of the world’s most famous EDCs. But if you never heard about those chemicals that irreversibly affect the hormonal system, there’s no way you’ve escaped « BPA- free » labels on food containers for our little ones.

©sergey-zolkin

Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 15-18 January 2018

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary week included: Conservation of fishery resources and protection of marine ecosystems; Women, gender equality and climate justice; EU plastic strategy; No spyware for dictators: stricter rules for dual-use exports; Clean energy package: put Paris into practice; Priorities for the new Bulgarian presidency; Future of Europe with Irish PM: hard border must be avoided; Marrakesh Treaty: facilitating the access to published works; Glyphosate: presidents to decide on special committee; EU tax haven blacklist.

Modern mutagenesis techniques are GMOs according to the European Court of Justice Advocate General

On Thursday 18 January, the European Court of Justice published the opinion of its Advocate General on the legal statute of modern mutagenesis. This opinion confirms what civil society and the Greens/EFA have been claiming from the beginning: these are not “breeding techniques” but GMOs. At the same time, the Advocate General opens the door for some of these techniques to be exempt from risk assessment, traceability and labelling - an unacceptable conclusion.

Irish PM calls for dialogue in Catalonia

EFA MEP Jordi Solé asks Ireland's PM about the situation in Catalonia

Ireland's Prime Minister has called for dialogue between the Spanish government and Catalonia following recent elections which saw a pro-independence majority elected. The Taoiseach was in Strasbourg to deliver a ...

European Union

What's coming up in Parliament

Strasbourg Flash - Plenary session 15-18 January 2018

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

en | fr

Best Green wishes for 2018

The Greens/EFA Group wish you all the best for 2018. As far as we are concerned, we will continue pushing for progressive, fair and sustainable solutions to the issues facing the European Union.

©elijah-hail

Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 11-14 December 2017

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary week included the adoption of the recommendations after the tax scandal of the Panama Papers; the Green report on European Strategy for low emission transport; Poland and the Bialowieza forest; another Green report on new legislation to regulate EU vessels outside EU waters; the EU summit and Brexit and migration; the Green objection to phosphate additives in kebabs

One Planet Summit

Money should only be used to support renewable energy sources

Following the COP23 and its new alliance, Powering Past Coal, signed by 25 entities to ensure the phasing out of coal from power generation by 2030, the goal of concrete, imminent action against global warming is being pursued in Paris at the One Planet Summit, on 12 December. The Greens urge leaders to turn away from all fossil fuels and support green energy sources

Photo by P. Vasiliadis.

Q&A on phosphate additives in kebab meat

Why the Greens/EFA group is objecting to the Commission's proposals

On Wednesday 13 December, the European Parliament will vote on an objection to Commission proposals that would allow phosphates to be used as additives in products such as donor kebabs. The objection, from Greens/EFA MEP Bart Staes and the S&D’s Christel Schaldemose, is designed to protect public health. The following Q&A should help clarify some of the misconceptions regarding the Commission’s proposals.

European Union

What's coming up in Parliament

Strasbourg Flash - Plenary session 11-14 December 2017

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

Cross-border broadcasting and Europe's linguistic heritage

EFA perspective on EU rules for cross-border online TV

There are an estimated 40 to 50 million speakers of regional and minority languages in the European Union. Each and every one is a vital part of the diverse tapestry that makes Europe what it is today. Yet, despite...

EU Member States agree that Council should join the EU Transparency Register

Lobbying Transparency

We have to give credit to the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union for their success in reaching an agreement between all 28 EU Member States that would shed a slither of light into the lobbying that surrounds the Council of the European Union. This was by no means an easy task. The Council’s decision-making process is arguably the least transparent when compared to the Commission and the Parliament, and some Member States appear keen to keep it that way.

The fight against corruption and how to win it

Defeating the disease

New estimates released this year have shown the staggering amount of money that is lost due to corruption in the EU: between 179 and 990 billion euros, every single year. To play with a metaphor, corruption is like a contagious disease, a virus that spreads quickly, infecting people in ways that are not always visible, and ravishing our public services in its wake. The virus was created by humans, but we don’t need doctors to eradicate it, just a lot of hard work - or better said, a lot of teamwork! We need your support for these campaigns and we are happy to lend you ours as well – just get in touch, and let’s get to work.

©thomas-martinsen

Transparency of legislative work within Council preparatory bodies

European Ombudsman - Public consultation and invitation to submit comments

As a first step in the inquiry, the Ombudsman asked the Council 14 questions, to which the Council replied on 26 July 2017 [2]. The Council listed various improvements that will enhance the public’s ability to...

©jeremy ricketts
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Save Bialowieza!

The last remaining primeval forest in Europe is under threat

Show your support! The Białowieża forest is all that remains of an ancient forest that once stretched across lowland Europe. Illegal logging by the Polish government has led to 180,000 trees being felled this year. The European Court of Justice has ruled that Poland must stop the logging immediately.

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Make the Panama Papers report a victory for tax justice!

During the last plenary session of 2017, the European Parliament will vote on the final Panama Papers report and its recommendations. Thanks to the Greens/EFA group, the report contains many important findings and tools to tackle money laundering and tax dodging. Read more to find out the seven key recommendations that are in danger and that we need to protect.

Sunflower

Greens/EFA highlights

Week commencing 27 November

A look ahead to what's coming up next week, including news on glyphosate, the Panama Papers and energy.

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.

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5 top priorities for the European Pillar of Social Rights

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.

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 13-16 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.

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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.

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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

© track5

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.