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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.

Greens freeze part of Commission budget to force action on revolving doors and ethics

Today, the European Parliament voted on the EU budget for 2017, sending a clear signal to the European Commission that they need to urgently reform their ethics codes, particularly to control the revolving doors (which i...

Why the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base is much more than a cryptic acronym

A blog from our Tax Justice Campaign

CCCTB: Say hello to the new acronym in town. It stands for Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base and while it might sound boring, it’s actually something quite revolutionary.

Hearing of Alexander Dobrindt, Olaf Lies and Ségolène Royal

EMIS inquiry committee - 20 October, November

Hearing with German Transport Ministers Alexander Dobrindt and Olaf Lies (20 October), upcoming hearing with Minister Ségolène Royal (presumably in November)

World Food Day

Agriculture must move in step with the needs of our climate

“Climate is changing. Agriculture must too”. That is the theme of this year’s UN World Food Day, to be celebrated on 16th October. The message is a promising one. And with World Food Day falling just before the ne...

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GMOs

Divergence of opinion within EFSA highlights serious shortcomings with assessment process

Since the beginning of the year, the European Commission has proposed eight new authorisations for commercialisation of genetically modified (GM) plants in the EU, a further two authorisations for cultivation and the renewal of the authorisation for cultivation of the GM-maize Mon 810.

In solidarity with Népszabadság

Questions about media freedom and pluralism in Hungary

The biggest Hungarian opposition daily newspaper Népszabadság was summarily shut down over the weekend of 8-9 October 2016. Journalists were told that their offices were being moved to another building and that they should put their things into boxes ready for the move.

National Technical Services and Type-approval Authorities German type approval authority “Kraftfahrtbundesamt” leaves many questions open

EMIS inquiry committee - 10 October 2016

The hearing of the Committee of inquiry into Emission Measurements in the Automotive Sector (EMIS) with the German type approval authority (“Kraftfahrtbundesamt”, KBA) was very left many questions open.

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Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 3-6 October 2016

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary included: transparency; GMO cultivation faces objection vote; Commission hearing on macro-economic conditionality for Portugal & Spain; Legal Aid Directive will ensure minimum standards; Making sure trade policy protects human rights; European Public Prosecutor's office and Eurojust; Ratification of the Paris agreement (COP 21); 18th birthday Interrail pass for Europeans; Look ahead to European Council meeting; The need for a European reindustrialisation policy; Women’s rights in Poland; Thailand, the case of Andy Hall; Enforcement of EU law not sufficiently transparent; Syria; Food Contact Materials.

Ban on Bisphenol A in all Food contact materials

A strong call for better EU food safety rules

Food contact materials (FCMs) are largely used in everyday life such as food packaging, kitchen utensils, tableware, etc.

Green Plan for Transparency and Integrity in the European Parliament

(AKA, “Rules of Procedure”)

The recent ethics scandals involving former Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso - who moved through the revolving door to Goldman Sachs - and former Commissioner Neelie Kroes - who failed to declare that she was listed as Director of a company in a secretive tax haven (Panama), has made clear that there is an urgent need to reform the Commission's ethics system. Indeed, in a plenary debate held on Tuesday 4th October, the majority of political groups made strong calls for the EU Commission to reform its ethics system.

Dodgy taxes, shady ethics

Reforming two broken systems

A blog from our Transparency & Democracy and Tax Justice Priorities Conflict of interest: situation in which a person or organisation is involved in multiple interests, financial or otherwise, which could possibly negatively affect his or her motivation or decision-making.

MEPs protest on Right to Know Day against fake transparency on glyphosate

“Secret Science is not science”

Every year, on 28th September, transparency campaigners, governments and international bodies such as UNESCO celebrate International Right to Know Day.

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6 reasons to ban GM plant cultivation in the EU

On Friday 14 October, the EU Commission will probably submit to the Standing Committee on plants, animals, food and feed three draft regulations aimed at renewal of the authorisation of cultivation in the EU of three GM maize varieties

Join the Food Revolution Newsletter

Issue n°21 September 2016

On Thursday 8th September, the Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament examined three petitions opposing the use of the systemic herbicide glyphosate.

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Don’t let neoliberal ideology undermine farmers’ existence

Interview with Jan Slomp, President of the Canadian National Farmers’ Union

Interview with Jan Slomp, President of the Canadian National Farmers’ Union

Who wants to be a tax haven?

A blog from our Tax Justice Campaign

Imagine being on the TV show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. You’ve reached the last stage and you hope to win the one million Euro prize. All you need to do is answer the following question... What is a tax haven? Is ...

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Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 12-15 September 2016

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg Plenary included: Car emissions scandal; Work-life balance; Rule of law in Poland; Situation in Turkey; State of the Union; Social dumping in the EU; Asylum - additional measures for Italy and Greece; Apple tax ruling; Copyright reforms; External investment plan; Nomination for Sakharov Prize 2016; Informal EU Council on security.

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The Monsanto Tribunal

Because industrial agriculture is endangering farmers, citizens, the ecosystems and our future

Industrial agriculture has developed rapidly in so called developed countries in the wake of Second World War in an attempt to avoid famines and restore food sovereignty in the countries most affected by this conflict.

Good for business, bad for us

Why Bayer buying Monsanto is more than just another merger

German drugs and chemicals group Bayer has announced a $62 billion cash offer for the US company Monsanto, owner of the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup and of the only GM plant currently authorised for cultivation in the EU (Mon 810 Maize).

Sakharov Prize 2016

Greens/EFA nominate Can Dündar for defending of freedom of thought and expression in Turkey

The Greens/EFA group has agreed to nominate Can Dündar, a Turkish journalist, columnist and documentarian, for this year's Sakharov Prize.

Interview of Olivier de Schutter

Former UN special Rapporteur for the Right to Food

Interview of Olivier de Schutter former UN special Rapporteur for the Right to Food, co-chairs the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food

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Protecting universal postal services

MEP Jill Evans has defended the Universal Service Obligation to deliver and collect post at least five times a week within the EU. Jill Evans was speaking on behalf of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament&#...

1 year Dieselgate

EMIS interim report to be voted

Since March of this year, the EMIS inquiry committee has been investigating possible maladministration on the part of the European Commission or Member States authorities in relation to the implementation of European emissions legislation. With the committee’s interim report due to be debated in the European Parliament this week, we take a look at the key findings of the inquiry so far.

Greens’ Petition on Panama Papers handed over to the European Commission

You are more than 530,000 (exactly 533,211 and counting!) to have signed our Panama Papers petition. We started the petition beginning of April to ask the European Union to end shell companies and sanction the banks that helped their clients dodge taxes.

Child & dad playing in the grass©ZoneCreative

Creating Labour Market Conditions Favourable for Work-Life Balance

The European Parliament voted today to back a report on Creating Labour Market Conditions Favourable for Work-Life Balance. Commenting on the report, and the forthcoming Commission proposals, Greens/EFA MEP Tatjana Ž...

EU - Turkey: The answer is more democracy

Greens/EFA MEP Ernest Maragall has spoken out to condemn the military coup in Turkey as well as aspects of the Turkish government's response to it, during a debate at the European Parliament in Strasbourg with EU Foreig...

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Inquiry committee on dieselgate

Greens/EFA action and proposals

Discover the work of the Greens/EFA in the European Parliament's inquiry committee which was set up to investigate the car pollution scandal

Glyphosate is back on the EP agenda with a clear message from citizens to stand against the use of the substance

On Thursday 8th September, the Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament examined three petitions opposing the use of the systemic herbicide glyphosate.

Inquiry committee on dieselgate

Hearings of EU Commissioners Bienkowska and Vella - 12 September 2016

  On Monday, 12 September (7pm to 10.30pm, room Louise Weiss N1.3 in the European Parliament in Strasbourg) EU-Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and ...

Apple state aid case

record €13 billion fee and lessons for tax justice

30 August 2016 will be an important day in EU-US relations. While France's Secretary of State for Trade announced that France will ask to stop the TTIP negotiations, Commissioner Vestager announced that Ireland gave illegal tax benefits - worth up to €13 billion - to Apple, one of the most emblematic US multinationals.

Disappointing performance from Verheugen leaves many questions unanswered

EMIS hearing

On 30 August, the EMIS committee heard from one of the key players in the control of car emissions, the former European Commissioner for Industry, Günter Verheugen, who finally accepted to speak to the committee after several refusals to take part.

Hearings of former EU-Commissioners Günter Verheugen and Antonio Tajani (30 August/5 September)

EMIS hearings

  Former EU-Commissioners Günter Verheugen and Antonio Tajani will speak at the next EMIS hearings. As Commissioner for industry and entrepreneurship from 2004 to 2010 Günter Verheugen was in charge of ...

Barroso scandal

outrage continues as Greens/EFA call for swift action to curb conflicts of interest

The Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament wrote to EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Vice-President for Transparency Frans Timmermans, calling on them to use their powers to cut short any conflicts of interest arising from Barroso’s controversial move to Goldman Sachs

Out there

Celebrating diversity, fighting for equal rights & open societies

Pride is first and foremost political. It is not just about dressing up and bringing some more colour and glitter into the world. The Pride season is about equal rights for all. It is about the right to live the life you want to live, love the person you want to love and be the person you want to be. This is why the Pride season is a mirror for our society, showing us how open, how equal, how inclusive our societies are.

Offshore Wealth Reconsidered – Tax havens are doing better than might you think

A new report from our Tax Justice Campaign

There are plenty of tax havens around the world, but probably not as many as there have been promises to shut them down. We have looked into whether the amount of wealth hidden in these countries has decreased over the past few years, either because of the financial crisis or because of international actions against tax havens. Spoiler alert: the answer is no!

Panama Papers: European Parliament kicks off its investigation

A blog from our Tax Justice Campaign

The biggest tax scandal of all time – involving both politicians and well-known figures, and triggering a range of investigations – deserved the highest possible response from the European Parliament. That is exactly what the Greens called for immediately after the Panama Papers revelations and what was finally approved at the beginning of June.

Urgent reforms to Commission's Revolving Door rules necessary following Barroso's move to Goldman Sachs

The previous President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, who was in the job for 10 years, has been head-hunted by Goldman Sachs to become their chair and advisor and to lead the way on their behalf during the Brexit negotiations.

Final report on Luxleaks

Who’s to blame and what needs to change

When the Luxleaks scandal broke 18 months ago, the Greens in the European Parliament were the first to call for an inquiry committee to make sure we could properly investigate the revelations.

Secretive accountability?

Greens/EFA deplores plans to question Cañete “in camera”

Next week, on Tuesday 12th July, EU Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete is set to appear before the European Parliament's legal affairs committee to respond to EU Parliamentarians' (MEPs) questions about his impartiality and independence, following a series of questionable revelations that have cast doubts upon his integrity.

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Greens/EFA Round up

Debriefing of the Strasbourg plenary week 4-8 July 2016

Greens/EFA priorities for the Strasbourg plenary included: Energy labels and a common sense A-G system; Human trafficking and EU external relations; UK referendum aftermath; Diverting development aid to military purposes; Revising money laundering rules and tackling tax avoidance; Controversial EU-Canada trade deal ratification; EU border and coast guard and fundamental rights; Whistleblower protection: EU rules badly needed; Tax evasion: conclusion of Lux Leaks investigation.

Protection of whistleblowers

Plenary debate on July 6th, 2016

Whistle-blowers play an essential role in our democracies and the EU has the duty to protect those who take risk to disclose information in the public interest.

A step forward on money-laundering, but Commission needs to be bolder

After the Panama Paper revelations, the European Commission needs to show it is ready to take strong action on tax evasion and avoidance. Their newly published anti-money laundering package goes some way towards achieving that. But with up to €1 trillion lost from the real economy each year, they need to be much bolder.

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Report on human trafficking

Trafficking reduces human beings into commodities

Modern slavery, forced prostitution, recruitment of child soldiers – trafficking in human beings has a lot of different appearances.

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Scotland's Remain vote must be respected

Scotland's decisive vote in favour of remaining part of the European Union at the recent referendum must be respected, according to SNP MEP Ian Hudghton. Mr Hudghton was speaking in a debate in the European Parlia...

Join the Food Revolution Newsletter

Issue n°21 June 2016

GREEN INSIGHT INTO EU FOOD POLICY Glyphosate approval: EU governments should begin glyphosate phase-out following Commission intransigence Toxic substances: Shameful Commission compounds wrongs on endocrine disru...

Scotland and Europe

Statement by Greens/EFA co-presidents Rebecca Harms and Philippe Lamberts after meeting with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Greens/EFA co-presidents Philippe Lamberts and Rebecca Harms today met with Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Commenting after the meeting Philippe Lamberts and Rebecca Harms said: “While deeply regrettable...

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Outcome of the referendum in the United Kingdom

Plenary debate in the European Parliament

LIVE - Greens/EFA Co-President Philippe Lamberts will intervene on behalf of his Group during extraordinary plenary debate on the outcome of the UK referendum

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EU Global Strategy for the European Union's Foreign and Security

Greens/EFA Group issues alternative EU strategy

The Greens/EFA Group has today issued 27 specific recommendations on how to make a substantial contribution to security and peace. They welcome parts of Mogherini's strategy but stress that sets the wrong priorities in many respect

More EU transparency needed

Experts provide testimony before the European Parliament

  Last week, the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament hosted a public hearing at which legal experts, academics, civil society organisations and representatives of the European Ombudsman's office highlight...

Luxleaks committee delivers final verdict

A blog from our Tax Justice campaign

In the same week as Finance Ministers agreed a weak package of reforms on tax avoidance, the European Parliament Special Committee TAXE has published a harsh assessment of Member States' willingness to adopt tax reforms. The committee, created in February 2015 to investigate the Luxleaks scandal, also put forward a series of recommendations on how to make corporate taxation fairer.