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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.

What's coming up next week in Parliament

Strasbourg Flash 2-6 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

Lolita Chávez: defending human rights in Guatemala

Greens/EFA Sakharov Prize nominee

It is high time that the European Parliament and the European Union step up their efforts in support of environmental rights defenders around the world, who are on the front line of human rights violence and corporate abuse and have little, if any, support from their national authorities.

Key Transparency Challenges in the European Union

Right to Know Day, 28th September 2017

The objective of this statement is to highlight key transparency challenges across Europe in order to provide a common basis for future campaigning to improve respect for the right of access to information, to increase citizen participation, and to ensure democratic accountability at both EU and national level.

Black silhouettes lobby business © nico_blue

Caterpillar boycotted the hearing of Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion

Letter by MEP Sven Giegold requesting the withdrawal of their access badges

Caterpillar has to lose its entrance passes to the European Parliament for their refusal to answer questions on their tax avoidance to the public in today’s Parliamentary hearing. Shying away from the European Parliament’s public hearing on Caterpillar’s efforts in tax dumping will not keep such practises under wraps.

Michele Benericetti (CC BY 2.0)

Stop the rogue EU trade talks with Morocco over Western Sahara

EU Commission contravening ECJ ruling and breaching principles of international law, warn Green MEPs

By Florent Marcellesi, Bodil Valero, Barbara Lochbihler, Pascal Durand, Bart Staes and Margrete Auken, Members of the European Parliment from the Green/EFA Group

Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 11-15 September 2017

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary included: State of the Union speech by Commission President Juncker, Sven Giegold's report on Transparency, Accountability and Integrity in the EU Institutions, aviation emission trading system, arms exports, Fipronil eggs scandal, debate on migration and on Turkey, dieselgate, objection to GM soya, militarisation of development policy,

©the-climate-reality-project

Conservatives renew attack on civil society

The EPP group has reintroduced its anti-NGO amendments from the ‘Pieper report’

The conservative EPP group in the European Parliament has relaunched its attack on civil society.

©volkan-olmez

Stronger measures to tackle violence against women

Press release from EFA MEP Jill Evans (Wales)

The European Parliament today voted in favour of ratifying the Istanbul Convention, which is the first legally binding instrument on preventing and combating violence against women and girls at international level. Th...

©jakob-madsen

Supporting renewable energy is the right political move

World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2017

"This report is indeed in my view a crucial resource for those engaged in the political debate around nuclear power. Since it began, this document has always provided invaluable facts on which to assess the promises of the nuclear industry. Despite the fact that the nuclear sector continues to claim the opposite, this latest report clearly shows that there is no such thing as a nuclear renaissance..." - Rebecca Harms

Fighting the EU's hypocrisy on GMOs

The European Parliament will vote tomorrow on whether to allow the import of a new GM soybean into the EU

There is a terrible hypocrisy at the heart of the EU’s policy on GMOs. This is largely invisible from EU citizens, as it does not affect the labelling of food. To discover it, you‘d have to take a dive into the story of the more than 70 GM crops which are allowed to enter the EU to feed our farm animals.

European Union

What's coming up next week in Parliament

Strasbourg Flash 11-16 September 2017

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

@mathyas-kurmann

Top 10 Green recommendations to improve the PANA Report

Panama Papers inquiry

We take a look at some of the key improvements the Greens/EFA group wants to see to the Panama Papers inquiry report.

Parliament moving forward on whistleblower protection

Molly Scott Cato’s report adopted by the ECON Committee

The move to protect whistleblowers across Europe continues, thanks to the approval yesterday of a report drafted by Greens/EFA MEP Molly Scott-Cato which calls for ambitious protection of those reporting wrongdoing and illegal activities all across Europe. Emphasising that whistleblowers’ alerts are useful in various sectors, this report focuses on their role in the fight against tax avoidance, in preventing misconduct by multinationals and in ensuring the smooth functioning of the EU’s internal market.

@Kristian Auth
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International Day of the Disappeared

The fate of tens of thousands of people in Syria.

On the occasion of the "International Day of the Disappeared" (30 August) we would like to recall the fate of tens of thousands of people in Syria. Since March 2011, Syrian security forces have had countless people arbitrarily arrested, imprisoned, disappeared, and many of them killed.

Bayer/Monsanto merger

The Commission recognises that the Bayer/Monsanto merger would be highly problematic

It is clear from the Commission judgement on the potential merger that they share our concerns, as Greens, about risks of further consolidation in the market for seeds and pesticides.

EU Leaks

The Greens/EFA support whistle blowers

Greens/EFA have decided to set up a secure email account, which allows you to blow the whistle in defence of the public interest, whilst remaining anonymous.

You don't need to be a Catalan independentist to support the referendum on self-determination

Opinion Article by EFA MEP Jordi Solé, originally published in The Parliament Magazine

It was summer 2010 when many Catalans came to the conclusion that their country no longer belonged in the Spanish state. The Spanish Constitutional Court, after a four year long procedure, was expected to finally issue i...

What our interns say about their experience

Recent Greens/EFA stagaires on working for the group

Our recent interns on their experience of working for the Greens/EFA group.

© texasmary

Commission’s embarrassing reaction on access to justice on environmental matters

Aarhus Convention

This is the first time that the European Union is evaluated by the UN Aarhus Compliance Committee. Shockingly, it is also the first time that the Commission proposes to vote against the findings and recommendations made by the Committee to ensure the proper implementation of the world’s first international environmental treaty, also known as the “Aarhus Convention”.

Greens/EFA

More democracy needed in Europe

Here’s a chance to push for it!

For those of us who believe in democracy, freedom and fundamental rights, the importance of citizen participation and inclusiveness is obvious. That’s why the Greens/EFA Group picked Transparency and Democracy as one of its priorities, and that’s why we rejoiced when - finally - after years of denying the need to improve the world’s very first tool for citizen participation across borders, the European Commission announced that it would take steps to reform the European Citizens’ Initiative (#ECI).

©sergey-zolkin

Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 3-6 July 2017

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary included: Longer lifetimes for products would benefit consumers and business; Country by country reporting will help deliver tax justice; Endocrine Disrupters definition not fit for purpose; “PIF” directive will help Union in the fight against fraud; New parliamentary committee on terrorism; Turkey: EU progress incompatible with proposed constitutional reforms; Marrakesh Treaty - copyright exceptions on books for the blind or visually impaired; Refugees and migration.

Map of Europe with EFA parties

Estonia's EU Presidency welcomed

EFA President Josep-Maria Terricabras on Estonia's EU Presidency

President of the EFA Group in the European Parliament, and Greens/EFA Vice President Josep-Maria Terricabras has welcomed the start of Estonia's six-month Presidency of the EU Council during a special debate at the E...

5 GMOs authorized for import in the EU without any political support

5 GMO authorizations were published on 4 July 2017, without any political support, neither from the Member States nor from the European Parliament. This is further proof that the decision process concerning GMOs needs to be changed quickly to a more democratic and more transparent one. The Greens/EFA are actively working to that end.

Climate change needs more than a family picture!

G20 meeting in Hamburg

At the end of this week, the G20 will hold itsmeeting in Germany. With the recent geopolitical developments, the EU - which is the largest trader in the world and which always presents itself as being the leader in the fight against climate change - has a particularly important role to play. The G20 must clearly come with more than just a mere family photo...

European Union

What's coming up next week in Parliament

Strasbourg Flash 3-6 July 2017

A look ahead to next week's session in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Young seedling © Meriel Jane Waissman
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The European Patent Office’s new rules are unacceptable

Patents on “natural” seeds

The European Patent Office (EPO) has missed the opportunity to change its internal rules in a way that would have clearly prevented the granting of patent on non genetically modified seeds.

©vectorcartoons

Give bees a chance

EU Commission gets strong support in favour of its proposal to ban three neonicotinoids

Despite efforts by industry to halt bans on neonicotinoids, there is a clear majority at the European Parliament in favour of the Commission’s proposal to ban clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid. The Greens/EFA are now urging Member States to be as progressive as the European Parliament and not only to vote in favour of the Commission’s proposal without further delay, but also to refrain from adopting national emergency authorisations to circumvent the EU wide ban.

How the EU can work better for citizens and the climate

Greens/EFA proposals to improve cohesion policy

Now more than ever, it is vital that the EU shows how it can clearly and directly improve the lives of people across the continent. That is why it is so important that the EU takes the correct steps in strengthening its Cohesion Policy.

A chance for EU ministers to deliver on the Paris Agreement

the Energy Efficiency Legislation

Today EU Energy ministers will meet to discuss a crucial file of the Energy Package: the Energy Efficiency Directive. The Greens urge EU Energy Ministers to raise their ambition on this particular legislation, as not only it is key for Europe to respect its commitments to the Paris Agreement, but energy efficiency also because offers numerous benefits to all of us.

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,...

© Patrick Laverdant

Copernican revolution of the CAP needed

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?

©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.

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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.