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A blog by Ciarán Cuffe, Greens/EFA MEP

Increasing the energy efficiency of buildings and the renovation rate in Europe is a win-win. It’s a chance to tackle poverty, create jobs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, says Ciarán Cuffe, Greens/EFA MEP and rapporteur on the European Parliament’s report: ‘Maximising the energy efficiency of the EU Building stock’.

strasbourg building ep
© European Union 2015 - Source EP

Greens/EFA Debriefing

Plenary week, 25-28 March 2019

Greens/EFA priorities for the plenary week included the Copyright Directive; the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Cohesion Fund; the Framework for sustainable investment; the final report of the TAX3 committee; the Mobility Package; recent developments on the Dieselgate scandal; the rule of law in Malta and Slovakia; the 2017 'discharge'; the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment.

tax
tj-dragotta

Members States must stop blocking tax transparency

“We recognise and value the benefits for society that arise from fair, effective and predictable tax regimes. We are committed to acting with integrity, honesty and transparency in all matters related to tax and en...

Why we objected to GMOs in the EU - 36 times!

Our Group has always fought against Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in the EU. We believe that they pose risks to consumers’ health, animal welfare and the environment. This is why the every time the European Commission proposes the authorisation of a new one, the European Parliament objects to it. Read our top six reasons for saying no (again and again).

Mobility-migration
Mobility-migration © René Mansi

Consumer rights: time for a class action mechanism in the EU

The European Parliament today adopted its position on new legislation regarding a collective redress mechanism to be used by consumers throughout the EU. Unfortunately, Member States in the Council are slacking in moving forward on this, thereby not recognising the need for such a tool for the protection of consumers.

Hemicycle European Parliament Strasbourg
European Union

What's coming up in Parliament

Greens/EFA priorities - plenary session 25-28 March 2019

A look ahead to the March II plenary session in the European Parliament in Strasbourg and the Greens/EFA priority issues on the agenda

exxon lobby badge media stunt

ExxonMobil’s lobbyists should be removed from European Parliament

Following ExxonMobil’s refusal to give testimony at a hearing of the European Parliament’s Environment and Petitions Committees, the Greens/EFA Group have today called for their lobby badges to be removed until they agree to face MEPs in a public setting. When representatives of Monsanto refused to attend a similar hearing we also got their access badges revoked, so we think the same thing should be done for ExxonMobile.

copyright reform article 13
Andreas Krupa(CC BY-SA 4.0)

A vote for a Digital Single Market, a vote for an open and free internet for all

Copyright Reform

Two years and a half have passed since the European Commission proposed a Directive for Copyright in the Digital Single Market. More years have passed ever since academics, politicians and the civil society have looked into the amendment of a law that is considered obsolete. Now, we are only counting days until the European Parliament votes on this controversial file

Exhaust pipes

Ending the secrecy that allowed the car emissions scandal to flourish

Dieselgate

After car manufacturers were caught manipulating the results of emissions tests designed to reduce the amount of pollution emitted by vehicles in Europe, the Greens/EFA Group is still pushing hard to fix the failures in the EU’s regulatory process that allowed for this massive-scale emissions fraud.

European flags
© Photo European Parliament

Greens/EFA Debriefing

Plenary week, 11-15 March 2019

Greens/EFA priorities for the plenary week included the climate debate, the final trilogue on Whistleblower Protection Directive, the second Brexit vote, the reform of the European citizens’ initiative, the Clean Air for All resolution, the European Anti-Money Laundering Blacklist, the opening of trade negotiations between the EU and the US, gender balance and top EU financial roles,...

Mobility-migration
Mobility-migration © René Mansi

Company cross-border re-structuring in Europe

a first success for workers and the fight against letter-box companies

The European Parliament and the Council finally reached an agreement on the mobility aspect of the new legislative package on company law including measures for protecting and reinforcing worker’s rights in Europe. The deal reached will support honest companies moving within the EU, but will also provide tools to catch dishonest companies looking for the loopholes to profit from the differences between Member States in financial, social and employment rules.

people sign © Brandon Laufenberg
© Brandon Laufenberg

Strengthening the European Citizens’ Initiative

Improving Your Power to influence the EU

The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) is the EU’s most important tool for participatory democracy. Historically championed by the Greens/EFA Group, which has pushed to ensure that citizens have stronger pow...

05 Whistle-blower
en | fr

Breakthrough for whistleblowers as EU institutions agree on new law to protect them from retaliation

Thanks to the high profile revelations by whistleblowers in recent years, including the #luxleaks case and #PanamaPapers, and to the campaigning efforts of NGOs, trade unions and journalists, the final result is an ambitious text that will set minimum standards for how whistleblowers should be protected across the European Union.

International Women's Day

International Women's Day

We strike for a feminist Europe

A Europe against gender-based violence, where women can make decisions over their bodies, that secures equal pay for equal work, that guarantees access to sexual healthcare, that fights for gender equality. The future is now

Hemicycle European Parliament Strasbourg
European Union

What's coming up in Parliament

Greens/EFA priorities 11-14 March 2019

A look ahead to the February plenary session in the European Parliament in Strasbourg and the Greens/EFA priority issues on the agenda

secret science

European Court of Justice to decide if transparency over cancer studies should override commercial secrets

On the 7th March 2019, the European Court of Justice will deliver its verdict in a landmark case pitting the public interest in transparency against the commercial interests of private companies. The case was brought by four Greens/EFA MEPs in May 2017, after EFSA claimed that it had used unpublished studies by Monsanto, Syngenta and Cheminova to conclude that glyphosate was not carcinogenic.

More democracy

Citizens’ Rights improved as European Parliament Strengthens the Role of the EU Ombuds(wo)man

To improve democracy and the rights of citizens in Europe, the Greens/EFA decided to strengthen the European Ombuds(wo)man’s office so that it could better investigate maladministration and conflicts of interest. We also managed to secure a role for the Ombuds(wo)man’s Office in important areas such as whistleblower protection and sexual harassment.

strasbourg building ep
© European Union 2015 - Source EP

Greens/EFA Debriefing

Plenary week, 11-15 February 2019

Greens/EFA priorities for the plenary week included the EU-Singapore trade agreement, the protection of animals during transportation, the EU-Morocco fisheries agreement, the debate on the Future of Europe with the Italian Prime Minister, the final trilogues on copyright and on the gas directive, ...

climate message
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United we can fight climate change!

Your message for the climate: Upload your picture!

Over the past few months, young people across Europe have been marching on our streets to raise their concerned voices against the biggest threat mankind has ever faced. We want to bring your/their voice to the European Parliament. Politicians should not ignore, but listen to the Thousands of people fighting for climate protection in the streets.

Hemicycle European Parliament Strasbourg
European Union

What's coming up in Parliament

Greens/EFA priorities

A look ahead to the February plenary session in the European Parliament in Strasbourg and the Greens/EFA priority issues on the agenda

Money laundering and affordable housing - what’s the link?

Impact of money laundering on housing prices across the EU

Tax evasion and money laundering through real estate can contribute to the increase of rental and housing prices in your city. We Greens/EFA are fighting hard in the European Parliament against money laundering - not least, because everyone in Europe should have the right to affordable housing!

#Truthneedsfriends

The #TruthNeedsFriends Campaign

Join the Campaign to Protect the Truth

People who expose the truth nowadays are harassed, demoted, fired, or sued by employers who are desperate to silence them. Also known as "whistleblowers", these people speak up to defend our rights. The European Union is on the verge of adopting a new law that would protect people who tell the truth. Join our campaign and put pressure on your government - because the #TruthNeedsFriends.

What type of agriculture do you want ?

What type of agriculture do you want ?

40% of European funds is spent on agriculture. That's around 114 euros per person, per year. But this question is never asked: what kind of agriculture do YOU want? If you want to have a say on Common Agricultural Policy, try this interactive CAP reform tool to help us improve EU food systems and agriculture.

After years of deadlock and political nightmares, are we finally ready to change the discussion on GMOs?

What care ethics can bring to the conversation

Today, the European Parliament backed four objections against the authorisation for import of new GM plants into the EU, bringing the total number of such objections to 31 in just over three years. Nevertheless, the European Commission decided to override this opposition and to authorize 24 of them. Why and how did we end up in this political stand-off? And, more importantly, how do we get out of this situation? A team of researchers may have opened a path with the publication of several studies on the Politics of Care and how it could be used to assess emerging technologies.

question mark
©ken-treloar

Whistleblower protection around the corner as EU governments agree on their position

New Whistleblower Directive

The European Union is on the verge of enacting new legislation that would change the lives of people who reveal the truth about illegalities, corrupt practices and other dodgy dealings - otherwise known as “whistleblowers”.

strasbourg building ep
© European Union 2015 - Source EP

Greens/EFA Debriefing

Plenary week, 14-17 January 2019

GREENS/EFA priorities for the plenary week included the special committee on pesticides, glyphosate, gender equality and taxation policies, Brexit, the Romanian presidency, nuclear decommissioning, rights and values, …

Hemicycle European Parliament Strasbourg
European Union

What's coming up in Parliament

A look ahead to the January plenary session in the European Parliament in Strasbourg and the Greens/EFA priority issues on the agenda

Globalisation - webpage

Our vision for trade policy

Read our paper 'Green trade for all'

Trade policy requires a rapid and radical rethink. Globalisation currently demands twice the resources that the planet can provide. We need a systematic transformation to ensure maximum human well-being with the minimum use of resources. Read our ideas and steps we can take right now, in our 'Green Trade for All' paper.

Happy & Green 2019
en | fr

Best Green wishes for 2019

The Greens/EFA Group wish you all the best for 2019. As far as we are concerned, we will continue pushing for progressive, fair and sustainable solutions to the issues facing the European Union.

©Cquim

Greens/EFA Debriefing

Plenary week, 10-14 December 2018

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary week included humanitarian visas, conflict of interest of Czech Prime Minister, transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment in the food chain, the digital service tax, the revocability of Art 50 ...

The “innovation principle” is a regulatory Trojan horse from the industry

How a group of industries with problematic products are trying to weaken the precautionary principle

Few words carry a more positive image than “innovation”: solving humanities’ problems, bringing comfort, relief and fun. So why the hell are the Greens/EFA in the European Parliament opposing the introduction of the so-called “innovation principle” in the Horizon Europe Regulation, which will be setting the terms for the next 160 billion euro EU research funding programme? Because this is in reality an industry stunt to hinder the precautionary principle, and the EU citizens' safety. Here is how.

Hemicycle European Parliament Strasbourg
European Union

What's coming up in Parliament

A look ahead to the December plenary session in the European Parliament in Strasbourg and the Greens/EFA priority issues on the agenda

en | fr

A new EU law for more transparency in the food chain

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.

CCO oakie

Hungary: Orban and the end of the freedom of speech

Media freedom and democracy in Hungary

During the past weeks, we have seen important breaches of democracy in Hungary: a convicted thief, the former prime minister of Macedonia was granted asylum, the Central European University was shut down and will have to move to Vienna, and government mouthpiece media came under the control of one foundation, headed by an ally of Viktor Orbán. The Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament call on the Council to react to protect democracy and freedom of speech before the situation deteriorates further.

COP24 logo

Our demands for the COP24 negotiations

UN climate talks in Katowice

This December government leaders will gather in Katowice, Poland for the COP24 climate summit, where all countries of the world, including EU Member States, must commit to put forward higher 2030 climate targets by 2020. To stay below 1.5°C, as indicated in the landmark IPCC report, the EU needs to commit to significantly increase both its long-term and 2030 targets.

Brussels protest on Latvian school reforms

EFA MEP Miroslavs Mitrofanovs opposes Latvian education reforms

Opponents to controversial school reforms in Latvia brought their protests to Brussels this week, supported by Greens/EFA MEP Miroslavs Mitrofanovs, and former MEP Tatjana Ždanoka. They oppose plans by the Latvian go...

Whistleblower

European Parliament pushes for strong protection for whistleblowers in landmark vote

The European Parliament took a clear position in favour of strong whistleblower protection, making several essential improvements to the European Commission’s draft legal proposal presented earlier this year. The report, supported by an overwhelming majority in the legal affairs committee, will be the Parliament’s negotiating position

sunflower©sergey-zolkin
©sergey-zolkin

Greens/EFA Debriefing

Plenary week, 12-15 November 2018

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary week included: Clean Energy Package; Emissions from Trucks and other heavy Duty vehicles; Future of Europe debate with Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany; Romania rule of law resolution; Multiannual Financial Framework; Humanitarian visas.

What's coming up in Parliament

A look ahead to the November plenary session in the European Parliament in Strasbourg and the Greens/EFA priority issues on the agenda

sunflowers
Gérôme Bruneau

Greens/EFA Debriefing

Plenary week, 22-26 October 2018

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary week included COP 24 – Climate; COP 14 - Convention on Biological Diversity; Reducing plastic pollution; The use of Facebook users’ data by Cambridge Analytica and the impact on data; Charging of heavy goods vehicles; Use of antibiotics in farming; Drinking water directive and open letter; Decision on Sakharov Prize winner 2018; Future of Europe debate with Klaus Iohannis, Romanian President; Debate on EU-wide breaches of REACH chemicals regulation; Killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Hemicycle European Parliament Strasbourg
European Union

What's coming up in Parliament

Strasbourg Flash - plenary session 22-25 October 2018

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

Investigation
©joao-silas

Investigative journalists reveal a vast corruption scandal in Bulgaria involving EU funds

Viktoria Marinova, a Bulgarian journalist, was brutally murdered on 6 October 2018. The Greens/EFA in the European Parliament demanded an immediate and independent investigation into Marinova’s death. While the motive remains unclear, this terrible crime has brought to light serious allegations of corruption in Bulgaria.

EFSA logo EN RGB web

Allergy risks not properly assessed for a recently authorised GM maize, says EU expert

Shortcuts in EFSA’s evaluation undermines their conclusions

As the European Parliament is set to vote on an objection against a new genetically modified maize comporting several genetic modifications, concerns arises from experts on the quality of the assessment of these so-called "stacked events" GMOs. Dr Jean-Michel Wal, who was until recently the panel’s allergy expert, officially expressed his doubts twice already, with growing alarm.

Superweed and GM Maize
CC0
en | fr

New GM ‘eradication’ techniques pose grave threat to ecosystems

Why we need an international moratorium on so-called “gene drive”

The European Parliament will vote next week on a call for an international moratorium on a new biotechnology called ‘gene drive’ that has the potential to eradicate entire populations. Supported by more than 200 global food leaders and NGOs, this moratorium is opposed by many private interests.

sunflower©ciprian-lipenschi
©ciprian-lipenschi

Greens/EFA Debriefing

Plenary week, 1-5 October 2018

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary week included the rule of law in Romania, the CO2-regulation for cars and vans, the money laundering, the UN binding treaty on business and human rights, the Future of Europe debate with Prime Minister of Estonia

Refugee Camp Lebanon
Worldbank (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Plea for continued support for Palestinian refugees

EFA MEP Jordi Solé defends importance of UNRWA

Greens/EFA MEP Jordi Solé has praised the work done by UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine) in support of Palestinian refugees. Solé was speaking in a European Parliament debate in response t...

European flags
© Photo European Parliament

What's coming up in Parliament

Strasbourg Flash - plenary session 01-04 October 2018

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

Money Laundering
Images_of_Money | CC BY 2.0

Danske Bank money laundering scandal will be investigated by European supervisor following Greens’ request

Good news! The European Commission has asked the European Banking Authority (EBA), the European “policeman” of banks, to investigate whether Danish and Estonian authorities did not respect EU law in the Danske Bank’s money laundering scandal.

Transparency spending

Court Decision against Journalists seeking Transparency of MEP spending shows need for urgent reform

This disappointing decision from the European Court of Justice was in some ways inevitable due to the fact that the European Parliament’s accounting systems are outdated and not done in a way that foresees public scrutiny of how the various Parliamentary Allowances are spent.

sunflower bee
Jenni Peterson

Greens/EFA Debriefing

Plenary week, 10-14 September 2018

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary week included: The Future of Europe debate with Prime Minister of Greece; Autonomous weapon systems; The rule of law in Hungary; Language Equality in the Digital Age; State of the European Union; Digital copyright; Dual quality of products; Greens/EFA MEPs take EFSA to court over Monsanto studies on glyphosate; European CO2-regulation for cars and vans.

secret science

Greens/EFA MEPs to face Monsanto, Cheminova and the EU Food Safety Authority in Court

Glyphosate transparency

A public hearing will be held before the European Court of Justice in a case brought by 4 Greens/EFA MEPs against the EU Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for its refusal to provide the public with access to crucial studies regarding the impacts of glyphosate on human health.