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.

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Plenary Flash - July session

Greens/EFA priorities 8-10 July 2020

This week, the Parliament will debate on the programme of the German Presidency of the EU with Chancellor Merkel, on prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, EU hydrogen strategy, Roma inclusion,... Discover all the other major topics on the agenda and the Greens/EFA priority issues

German presidency logo

KEY DEMANDS FOR THE GERMAN COUNCIL PRESIDENCY 2020

Germany takes over the presidency of the EU Council. This comes at a crucial time in the history of the European Union, faced with many unprecedented challenges at once. The EU Green Deal must lead the way out of this crisis. For the climate. For jobs. For recovery.

Fridays for Future demonstration European Council/Anuna De Wever/Adélaïde Charlier
Fridays for Future demonstration European Council/Anuna De Wever/Adélaïde Charlier

The EU recovery plan

In our previous blog, “Financing the green deal,” we have already briefly discussed the EU Recovery Plan. This plan was proposed by the European Commission to define the procedure of recovery in Europe after the COVID crisis. While it is mainly focused on rebuilding the economy, a lot of voices in and outside of the European institutions have expressed that this could be a very important moment for climate. While the world was in lockdown and our economy collapsed, huge amounts of CO2 emissions were continuously released.

Hong Kong Island Skyline
@bady qb
en | de

No feel-good summit

EU-China Summit

When Commission President von der Leyen and Council President Michel meet China's Prime Minister Li Keqiang today for an electronic version of the traditional EU-China Summit, there is only one question: feel-good summit, yes or no?

strasbourg building ep
© European Union 2015 - Source EP

A Greens/EFA take on the plenary week

Plenary week, 17-19 June 2020

Greens/EFA priorities for the plenary week included anti-racism protests following the death of George Floyd, Hong Kong, sustainable investment/taxonomy, tax sub-committee, the Disability Strategy, the animal transport inquiry committee, investigation against the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic on the misuse of EU funds and potential conflicts of interest, the Future of Europe, recovery/MFF, land grabbing and deforestation in the Amazonas, Brexit, Eastern Partnership and European Council.

Picture of the Hemicycle in Brussels
Photo European Parliament - Architecte : Association des architectes du CIC : Vanden Bossche sprl, C.R.V. s.a., CDG sprl, Studiegroep D. Bontinck

Flash - Plenary session

Greens/EFA Priorities 17-19 June 2020

During this week plenary session, the Parliament will debate and vote on the anti-racism protests following the death of George Floyd, Sustainable Investment/Taxonomy, Disability Strategy, the Future of Europe... Discover the other major topics on the agenda and the Greens/EFA priority issues

Green Growth
@micheile-henderson

Financing the green deal

As you know the commission proposed a pact called the European Green Deal, that will be the roadmap for Europe to tackle climate change and become carbon neutral in 2050. In our previous blogs we have explained what this pact is, and what it is not. In this blog, we would like to address an important aspect that is missing: MONEY. In the world we live in today, to achieve the goals that the EU has set, we need a good budget.

Hand holding grain © Bart Sadowski
Hand holding grain © Bart Sadowski

Common Agricultural Policy transitional regulation mandate

Quote from Bronis Ropé MEP

Today, the majority of MEPs voted in favour of the negotiating mandate for the transitional regulation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and to postpone a more sustainable agricultural policy for another two years.

strasbourg building ep
© European Union 2015 - Source EP

A Greens/EFA debriefing of the plenary week

Plenary week, 13-15 May 2020

Greens/EFA priorities for the plenary week included the Recovery and Transformation Plan & Multiannual Financial Framework, Discharge 2018 procedure, emergency legislation in Hungary and its impact on the rule of law and fundamental rights, transitional CAP mandate vote and a debate on COVID-19 vaccines.

Picture of the Hemicycle in Brussels
Photo European Parliament - Architecte : Association des architectes du CIC : Vanden Bossche sprl, C.R.V. s.a., CDG sprl, Studiegroep D. Bontinck

Plenary Flash

Greens/EFA priorities, 13 – 15 May 2020

During this week plenary session, the Parliament will debate and vote on the Recovery Plan & Multiannual Financial Framework. Discover the other major topics on the agenda and the Greens/EFA priority issues

COVID-19
© CC0 Martin Sanchez.jpg

Will COVID-19 destroy or empower the European Green Deal?

This new crisis might be a make it or break it moment, and it is crucial we don’t return to business as usual afterwards. Let’s not forget that going back to normal is going back to a climate emergency.

Solidarity rainbows during corona in leeds_Uk
Solidarity rainbows during corona in leeds_Uk @dan burton
en | fr

What world do we want to return to?

Greens/EFA Recovery and Resilience Plan

More than ever, people in Europe and everywhere understand that with solidarity and cooperation we can overcome the COVID-19 crisis. Together, we can make another European and global future, one that is more socially, economically and environmentally resilient. Read our plan

Picture illustrating farm to fork

The COVID-19 crisis reveals the many fissures of the EU food system and shows us the way out

As COVID-19 hits the EU agri-food sector hard, it also reveals its main shortcomings. Far from shying away from the issues, we should use this occasion to reshape the EU food and farming system to the benefit of farmers, consumers and their shared environment, with the help of the future Farm to Fork strategy, and, hopefully a refounded Common Agriculture Policy.

Le coronavirus menace le monde
©Alexandra_Koch

All about the european green deal

The European Green Deal is a pact that was launched this year by the European Commission. It aims to make Europe the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050. This all sounds good on paper, but will it be enough?

European flag 530x390
© Alexander Briel
en | es | it | fr | el | de

Now Europe, now Eurobonds

In the last days, we have witnessed an inexplicable European paralysis to address the COVID-19 crisis. It has taken too long to see patients crossing borders to be treated in neighbouring countries, or material circulating from one country to another. Fortunately, it seems that solidarity within Europe is growing every day, and we are finally reacting on the health-care front.

Kosovo
Babak Fakhamzadeh (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Kosovo: Vote of no confidence amid Corona crisis

Quote from Viola von Cramon-Taubadel MEP

The current political turmoil in Kosovo and the Corona pandemic should not be used to any individual politician's advantage. Kosovo needs a stable government that can lead its citizens through these times of uncertainty and crisis.

Budapest - Hungary © Jaap Hart
© Jaap Hart

Hungary/Corona crisis: Draft bill on modifying criminal code risks democratic standards

Quote Gwendoline Deblos-Corfield MEP

Today, the Hungarian Parliament will debate passing a motion that would allow the government to rule by decree until the end of the Corona virus crisis. Under the proposals, any law could be suspended or overridden as long as the emergency continues, and no elections including municipal, by-elections or referenda will be allowed until the government declares the emergency over.

Picture of migrants in Greece
Christopher Jahn/IFRC (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Evacuate vulnerable asylum seekers from Greek islands

Corona virus

Members of the European Parliament are calling on the crisis team of the European Commission to make an emergency plan to protect vulnerable asylum seekers against Covid-19. On the Greek islands are now more than 42.000 asylum seekers, while camps were supposed to house 6.000 people

Picture of climate activists

All about the EU climate law

A blog from two young climate activists

The European Green Deal is a pact that was launched by the President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. And the climate law is consequently one of the most important parts of the green deal.

Picture of the plenary chamber in Brussels
Photo European Parliament - Architecte : Association des architectes du CIC : Vanden Bossche sprl, C.R.V. s.a., CDG sprl, Studiegroep D. Bontinck

Plenary flash

Greens/EFA priorities, 9 - 12 March 2020

This week the Parliament will meet in Brussels. Discover the Greens/EFA priority issues on the agenda

Catalonia Protest
Sasha Popovic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Spain accused of ‘criminalising dissent’

EFA MEPs supporting Catalan academics

Spanish authorities have been accused of ‘criminalising dissent’ after it emerged that supporters of Catalan self-determination are facing legal action and other measures simply for supporting a peaceful refe...

Picture We are ready. Why aren't you ? Petition on climate law
en | fr | de

We are ready. Why aren't you ?

Sign the petition to EU Ministers of Environment

This year must be the year we save the climate. At the UN Climate Summit in November in Glasgow we need world leaders to take concrete steps to make the Paris Climate Agreement goals a reality. Unless the EU announces plans to dramatically increase its climate goals before this summer, other world leaders will not budge.

Andrej Babiš
Andrej Babiš © Martin Strachoň (CC BY-SA 4.0)

MEPs' fact-finding mission to Czech Republic on conflicts of interest - quote from Daniel Freund MEP

Czech Republic

Today, a European Parliament fact-finding mission on conflicts of interest in the Czech Republic with Members of the Budgetary Control Committee has just ended. Daniel Freund MEP, Greens/EFA Member of the Budgetary Control Committee who was part of the fact-finding mission on conflicts of interest in the Czech Republic, comments:

Euro banknotes © Markus Spiske
Euro banknotes © Markus Spiske
en | de

We need a better EU budget plan

Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF)

President Michel's disappointing budget proposal lacks ambition. The EU needs a strong and modern budget to fight climate change and inequalities.

European Parliament Building Strasbourg ©Cquim
European Parliament Building Strasbourg ©Cquim

A Greens/EFA take on the plenary week

Plenary week, 10-14 February 2020

Greens/EFA priorities for the plenary week included the future EU/UK relationship, conclusion of the EU - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, objection to the energy projects ‘PCI List’, humanitarian situation of refugees at EU external borders, automated decision-making processes, the illegal trade in companion animals in the EU, and the Gender Equality Strategy.

Hemicycle European Parliament Strasbourg
European Union

A look on the plenary week

Greens/EFA priorities - session 10-13 February 2020

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

© 2020 EU-EP/DH

Focus on Europe’s minorities, national communities and languages

EFA MEPs support new European Parliament Intergroup

A new group has been set up in the European parliament that will be a focal point for discussion on the issues facing Europe’s minorities, national communities and languages. Europe’s rich linguistic, nati...

Board in train station
Board in train station
en | de | fr

Reintroduce the Paris-Brussels-Berlin night train route by 2022!

Sign our petition

Until 2014, it was possible to travel between Paris and Berlin thanks to a night train operated by the SNCF and the Deutsche Bahn. According to the operators, this line has been closed for budgetary reasons. Connecting three major European capitals (Berlin-Brussels-Paris) by night train is essential in times of climate emergency!

We will leave a light on - action Brexit
We will leave a light on - action Brexit Greens/EFA

We will leave a light on

Brexit

This is a sad week for Europe, but this is not the end of our story. As our former MEP AlynSmith once said: "I am not asking you to solve our domestic discussions. I am asking you to leave a light on so we can find our way home". We will

A Greens/EFA take on the plenary week

13-17 January 2020

Greens/EFA priorities for the plenary week included the European Green Deal, the Sustainable Investment Plan, Just Transition Fund, Roadmap on Social Europe, the Council hearings on the rule of Law in Hungary and Poland, Czech PM Andrej Babiš' conflicts of interest, Convention on biodiversity, ...

Hemicycle European Parliament Strasbourg
European Union

This week in the European Parliament

Greens/EFA priorities - plenary session 13-17 January 2020

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

strasbourg building ep
© European Union 2015 - Source EP

Greens/EFA Debriefing

Plenary week, 16-19 December 2019

Greens/EFA priorities for the plenary week included the rule of law in Malta, conflict of interest and corruption, situation of the Uyghur in China, EU pollinators initiative, animal welfare, EU-Mercosur and European Green Deal, EU Ombudsperson, ...

finland eu council logo
finland eu council logo

Greens/EFA call on Croatia and Germany to keep EU Council ambition high in 2020

Closing of the Finnish Presidency

On 31 December 2019, Finland’s EU Council presidency draws to a close. Just before the beginning of Finland’s presidency term, the country elected a new five-party centre left coalition government, which immediately adopted well regarded climate goals. Showing leadership on ambitious climate action at the national level set high expectations for Finland to demand ambitious climate decisions also at the EU level.

Hemicycle European Parliament Strasbourg
European Union

What's coming up this week

Greens/EFA priorities - plenary session 16-19 December 2019

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

The EU is not a cash machine for oligarchs and politicians

Greens/EFA Proposals to end fraud in farm subsidies

On the occasion of the International Day Against Corruption, the Greens/EFA Group is publishing a series of recommendations on how to end the abuse of EU farm subsidies. Farm subsidies make up the biggest portion of EU spending and are an indispensable measure to protect European farmers, ensure food sovereignty, and promote healthy and sustainable food production in Europe. However, the lack of controls on the way EU funding is disbursed by European governments means that in some cases, unscrupulous politicians and people in positions of power are able to abuse the EU funding system for their own personal gain.

EuropeanClimateLaw_Logo_Sun_website.jpg
European Climate Law Logo
en | de | fr

Why we need a European climate law

A Climate emergency needs climate solutions

On 28 November 2019 the European Parliament declared the climate emergency. This call must now be followed by ambitious concrete action. The Greens/EFA group call for an ambitious and rapid implementation of the European climate law and listed a series of short and medium term actions to address the emergency we are in.

strasbourg building ep
© European Union 2015 - Source EP

Greens/EFA Debriefing

Plenary week, 25-28 November 2019

Greens/EFA priorities for the plenary week included the votes on climate emergency and the Climate Summit in Madrid (COP25), the new European Commission, the votes on the 2020 Budget, public country-by-country reporting, combatting gender-based violence, and an EP Mission to Malta following recent revelations around the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

leKids at lesbos refugee camp
leKids at lesbos refugee camp || Fotomovimiento (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
en | de | fr

Time to put an end to the humanitarian crisis on the Greek islands

Time to take responsibility

At the next European Council on 2-3 December, our government leaders have the opportunity to solve a humanitarian crisis, which has long reached its critical limit. This is why we have sent them a letter calling them to immediately improve the living conditions and relocate asylum seekers to other member states. You can also take action.

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

European Parliament calls for the immediate return of the children of Jihadist fighters

Quote from Saskia Bricmont MEP

By calling for the repatriation of children and a coordinated European response, the European Parliament is taking responsibility and responding to Member States' inaction.

Hemicycle European Parliament Strasbourg
European Union

What's coming up this week

Greens/EFA priorities - plenary session 25-29 November 2019

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

kids playing in grass @robert-collins

30 years of children rights: let’s act!

Thirty years ago, 20 November 1989, Members of the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). To date, it is the most widely ratified binding international treaty in the world - only the United States of America did not ratify it. However, there is still a lot of work to be done!

en | de | fr | es

MORE TRANSPARENCY TO FIGHT TAX AVOIDANCE

Help us sending a clear signal!

The responsible ministers of the EU countries will discuss the proposal in their meeting of 28 November. Send them a clear message: Ask them to stop blocking corporate transparency and tax justice!

Protecting Journalists is Protecting Democracy

EU needs to step up ambition so that the #TruthNeverDies

The UN highlights each year, on 2 November, the need to end impunity for crimes against journalists, because journalists are in the front line when it comes to holding the powerful to account, which is why they are often violently silenced. This year, the UN is reminding us that each year one journalist gets a Pulitzer prize, but one hundred get shot. Press freedom across the world - including in Europe - is in crisis.

Kilis refugee camp turkey
T.C. Başbakanlık Afet ve Acil Durum Yönetimi Başkanlığı (CC BY-SA 3.0)
en | de

EU must pressure Turkey not to deport refugees to Syria

Quote from Tineke Strik & Katrin Langensiepen

Today, Syrian refugees currently residing in Turkey might have to leave Istanbul Refugees residing in Turkey or face the risk of being deported back to war-torn Syria. Refugees had until today to return to the provinces in which they were first registered when arriving in the country.

European flags
© Photo European Parliament

Greens/EFA Debriefing

Plenary week, 21-24 October 2019

Greens/EFA priorities for the plenary week included the votes on the EU budget 2020, the search and sea rescue in the Mediterranean, the Turkish military operation in Northeast Syria, the public country-by-country reporting, pesticides and bees, the opening of accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania,...

Free as a bird © Tiburonstudios
© Tiburonstudios

Well deserved prize for human rights defender Ilham Tohti

Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought

Greens/EFA have supported and do welcome this choice. Ilham Tohti is the paradigmatic non-violent prisoner of conscience who has been jailed for life just for speaking up on behalf of Uyghur minority in China, even after being sentenced he has held on to his consistent approach of trying to build bridges between Han Chinese and the Uyghur minority.

bee sunflower
boris smokrovic unsplash

Protection of bees against harmful pesticides

The European Parliament must stop Commission's plans

The very partial implementation of the Bee Guidance Document is the latest of many comitology 'black box' scandals. Everybody claims they love bees, but the decision making process on how to really protect them is taking place in the dark and does not aim to protect them properly, based on existing scientific evidence.

MEP urges colleagues to take more time on Brexit

Alyn Smith is President of the EFA Group in the European Parliament

Scottish MEP Alyn Smith has urged colleagues not to rush through ratification of any Brexit deal with undue haste. The European Parliament will have the final say on any Brexit deal.

Hemicycle European Parliament Strasbourg
European Union

What's coming up in Parliament

Greens/EFA priorities - plenary session 21-24 October 2019

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

French Tanks

Turkey-Syria

Group statement

Again, a major disaster is unfolding in Syria. The sudden announcement by President Trump of the withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria has given Turkish President Erdogan the opportunity to let his armed forces inv...