Vietnam river boat
@christiane ahumada
en | de | fr

Vietnam Trade Agreement

The Greens/EFA group will vote against the agreement on the grounds of the Vietnamese government's continuing human rights abuses, repression of opposition and organised labour, continued deforestation, lack of enforceable human, environmental and social standards and exclusive rights for investors.

euro-coins

EU governments are making domestic considerations a priority

MFF

The postponement of the negotiations of the Heads of State and Government on the Multiannual Financial Framework is disappointing. EU governments were unable to agree on a strong united position for a budget for the future. The Green Deal and challenges such as digitisation and growing inequality cannot be tackled with an austerity budget. The European Parliament, under pressure from the Greens/EFA group, is calling for more investment in climate protection and is united behind the call for an increase in the EU budget to 1.3% of gross national income and own resources.


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artificial-intelligence

A boost for innovation and anti-discrimination

Digital and data strategy/artificial intelligence

The European Commission presented its digital strategy, data strategy and for the first time presented a strategy on artificial intelligence and against discrimination. The digital strategy means that AI that poses limited risks to security and discrimination can be used for purposes that can benefit the public good


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Mailboxes

Tax haven blacklist exposes double standards of EU governments

Quote from Sven Giegold MEP

The European Union's Ministers of Economy and Finance presented the updated list of tax havens, to include also Panama, the Seychelles, the Cayman Islands and Palau, because they do not meet at least one of the European Union's tax good governance criteria


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Jigsaw and money
Jigsaw and money © alexsl

The proposal of Charles Michel fails to meet the challenges of the 21st century

MFF

Charles Michel presented the draft position of European Council on the EU budget (Multi-annual Financial Framework, MFF). The EU governments are expected to adopt their position at the summit meeting at the end of next week.


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PVC Recycling Sign
PVC Recycling

Parliament votes against toxic recycling

Quote from Bas Eickhout MEP

The European Parliament has voted to object to a Commission draft regulation that would allow for recycled PVC products to be exempt from a ban on lead. The objection which was tabled by the Greens/EFA group calls for an end to toxic recycling. This is the first time the European Parliament has vetoed chemicals legislation.


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Robot © Arseny Togulev
Robot © Arseny Togulev

Artificial Intelligence

Parliament calls for greater consumer protection

Members of the European Parliament voted Wednesday 12 February for greater consumer protection and oversight of decisions made by artificial intelligence systems, in the resolution "Automated decision-making processes: Ensuring consumer protection and the free movement of goods and services".


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European flag at Downing Street ©Frederick Tubiermont
European flag at Downing Street ©Frederick Tubiermont

Brexit: Future EU-UK relationship

Quote from Philippe Lamberts MEP

The European Parliament will vote on the negotiating mandate for the future EU-UK relationship in the upcoming talks with the UK on a future trade agreement. Philippe Lamberts MEP, President of the Greens/EFA group and Member of the UK coordination group in the European Parliament


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split screen with fossil fuel factory and windmills
split screen with fossil fuel factory and windmills

Climate emergency means EU must not fund new gas projects

Energy/PCI list

The European Parliament will vote on an objection to the "PCI list" of energy infrastructure projects, eligible for EU funding, which will include gas and other fossil fuel projects. The Greens/EFA group oppose the funding of new fossil fuel projects.


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fence
© tanner-van-dera

Humanitarian situation of refugees at EU external borders

Greens/EFA MEPs trip to Croatian border with Bosnia and Herzegovina

Greens/EFA MEPs Saskia Bricmont, Erik Marquardt and Tineke Strik have returned from a fact-finding mission to Croatia's border with Bosnia and Herzegovina and to refugee camps where they confirmed reports of violent returns of asylum seekers and migrants from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina.


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macedonia web

Commission's enlargement proposals on Western Balkans

Quotes from Viola von Cramon MEP & Reinhard Bütikofer MEP

There is a chance it seems, that there will be a new dynamic in the EU’s enlargement policy. Hopefully that will result in finally opening accession talks with both North Macedonia and Albania during the Croatian presidency. The new methodology for enlargement negotiations that the Commission proposes will only be acceptable if it would be combined with a removal of the vetoes


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Heather Anderson
Heather Anderson

New MEP makes maiden and valedictory speech in European Parliament

Press release from EFA MEP Heather Anderson (SNP)

Newly elected SNP MEP Heather Anderson has given her maiden speech to the European Parliament – the day before Brexit. The speech was made during a debate on the European Commission’s work programme for 2020 and in the presence of Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President of the ...


en
European Parliament

SNP & Plaid Cymru MEPs vote against Brexit withdrawal agreement

Press Release from EFA MEPs Jill Evans (Wales) & Christian Allard (Scotland)

Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru MEPs voted against the UK's withdrawal from the EU at Wednesday's European Parliament session in Brussels. SNP MEPs have campaigned hard to prevent Scotland being dragged out of the EU against its will. Scotland voted heavily to remain in the EU ...


en
Brexit

Withdrawal Agreement vote sad day for Europe

Brexit

We will continue to support citizens' rights and the principle of solidarity. The ties that bind us run deeper than our political union and although the UK will for now embark on a separate path we will stay partners and friends. If the UK changes its mind in the future then we will leave a light on for them to return home.


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EFA Group welcomes new SNP MEP

Heather Anderson replaces Alyn Smith

The European Free Alliance (EFA) Group in the European Parliament has welcomed new Scottish National Party (SNP) MEP Heather Anderson. Ms Anderson replaces former EFA Group President Alyn Smith who was elected to Westminster at the December UK General Election. The appointment also means that ...


en
Trucks on highway
Creative Commons CC0

Social pillar of the Mobility Package - voted in Transport Committee

Quote from Ciarán Cuffe MEP

The European Parliament Transport Committee has just given the green-light to the social pillar of the 'Mobility Package' on three separate files dealing with the rules governing rest periods, cabotage and the posting of road transport operators.


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Justice
Justice

The rule of law in Hungary and Poland

Quote from Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield MEP

The situation in Hungary and Poland is worsening all the time. So far the European Commission and the Parliament have initiated Article 7 and now it's time for the Council to do its part to protect the rule of law in Europe. The Council needs to move forward on serious breaches of the rule of law


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Biodiversity Forest © texasmary
© texasmary

New global agreement on biodiversity needed

Biodiversity

The European Union has already set climate change high on the agenda. Now it needs to do the same with protecting biodiversity.


en
European flag 530x390
© Alexander Briel

Conference on the Future of Europe

Quote from Daniel Freund MEP

MEPs have voted with a large majority on a resolution launching the 'Conference on the Future of Europe', which will lead to a reform process aimed at improving the democracy and citizen participation in the European project.


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

Parliament to debate EU subsidies and potential conflicts of interest - quote from Mikuláš Peksa MEP

Czech PM Babiš

The European Parliament debates the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic and the reopening of a criminal investigation into his company's use of EU subsidies and potential conflicts of interest.


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European Green Deal
European Green Deal // Wind turbine construction

Parliament calls for more ambition in green transition

European Green Deal

A majority of MEPs have voted in favour of a cross-party resolution on the European Green Deal, initiated by the Greens/EFA group. The Greens/EFA group have succeeded in including demands for more biodiversity protection, more climate financing and a more social approach to tackling the climate crisis.


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European Parliament

UK Settlement Scheme criticised as 'not fit for purpose'

Press Release from EFA MEP Christian Allard (SNP)

EFA MEP Christian Allard (Scottish National Party) has slammed the UK’s EU Settlement Scheme, describing it as “not fit for purpose” and calling for it to be scrapped. The call came during a debate in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on citizens’ rights after Brexit....


en
People together
People together

Bland declarations on employment will not solve inequality

Roadmap for a Social Europe

We were waiting for a roadmap that could curb inequalities and tackle the scourge of poverty, but instead the Commission has offered bland declarations on employment. The Commission Roadmap reduces the social agenda to the issue of employment and leaves out issues such as poverty and social exclusion.


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coal mining garzweiler
coal mining garzweiler // Frank Kehren (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

A necessary tool but commitment to coal phase-out needed

Just Transition Fund

The Just Transition Fund is a necessary tool to support the regions that will be affected by the move away from coal and other polluting industries, which we have long been calling for. Unfortunately, the Commission's proposal does not set a binding date for the phase-out of coal.


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Oriol Junqueras elected President of EFA Group in the European Parliament

EFA MEPs elect ERC's Junqueras to succeed Alyn Smith

Catalan MEP Oriol Junqueras has today (Tuesday) been elected President of the European Free Alliance Group in the European Parliament. He succeeds SNP MEP Alyn Smith who was elected to the UK Parliament at the December UK General Election. The European Free Alliance forms a joint parliamentary...


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Oriol Junqueras
Oriol Junqueras ©Marc Puig i Perez(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

ECJ rules Oriol Junqueras has the right to be a MEP

Today, European Court of Justice has ruled that our colleague Oriol Junqueras has the right to be a Member of the European Parliament. The Spanish Supreme Court had ruled that Junqueras could not take up his seat after he was elected in the last European elections in May, as he was in pretrial detention for having participated in the organization of a self-determination referendum in Catalonia. The Greens/EFA group have long been calling for a political solution.


en
drinking water bottle
drinking water bottle ©kate-joie

Europe will benefit from public drinking water dispensers and cleaner water

Drinking Water Directive

Yesterday (Wednesday, 18 December), the representatives of the European Parliament, the Council of Member States and the European Commission agreed on stricter limits for lead and endocrine disruptors such as bisphenol A allowed in drinking water.


en
Ilham Tohti
Ilham Tohti

European Parliament criticises China's repressive policy in Xinjiang

Sakharov Prize for Ilham Tohti

The Sakharov Prize this year goes to the Uighur professor of economics and civil rights activist Ilham Tohti.   Reinhard Bütikofer, Chairman of the China Delegation of the European Parliament and Greens/EFA spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, comments:"The European Parliament has t...


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Office of the Prime Minister of Malta
Frank Vincentz (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Parliament vote shows Commission must begin Rule of Law dialogue

Malta

On the initiative of the Greens/EFA group, the European Parliament has just voted on a resolution on the Rule of Law in Malta, after the recent revelations around the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The vote calls on the Commission to enter into dialogue with the Maltese Government in the context of the Rule of Law Framework.


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Emily O'Reilly
Emily O'Reilly ©european ombudsman

Parliament votes for Emily O'Reilly to continue work in holding EU institutions to account

European Ombudsman

The European Parliament has voted to elect Emily O'Reilly to continue in her current role as European Ombudsman, an independent role that is designed to hold EU institutions and bodies to account, as well as promoting good administration. O'Reilly won in the third round of votes. There were five candidates in the first round.


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A_Babiš
David Sedlecký CC BY-SA 4.0

Debate on conflict of interest and corruption in EU funds

Quote from Mikuláš Peksa MEP

The European Parliament debates conflict of interest and corruption in EU funds. The Greens/EFA group had pushed for this debate after a European Commission audit report confirmed that the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is in a large-scale conflict of interest, as he personally benefited from EU funds


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globe on grass
globe on grass ©Guillaume de Germain

Deal reached on taxonomy will support sustainable investments

Quote from Bas Eickhout

A deal has been reached on a framework to facilitate sustainable investment. All financial products that make the claim that they contribute to environmental sustainability will have to prove this by disclosing the share of their investments into activities that are considered sustainable.


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Climate March Cop25 Madrid
Climate March Cop25 Madrid ©Friends of the Earth International (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Climate summit closes with timid call to step up ambition - reaction from Bas Eickhout MEP

COP25

After two weeks of negotiations, the 25th UN climate conference (COP25) in Madrid has ended today without an agreement on binding rules for the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement. The next climate summit will take place in Glasgow, in November 2020, where countries are supposed to present their plans for achieving the Paris targets.


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European Council
European External Action Service (https://www.flickr.com/photos/eeas/32978511020)

Climate targets need action

Quote from Ska Keller

Agreeing on a target is important but only half the battle. What counts now is how the EU and Member States will work to achieve the targets. The long term budget is a litmus test for how serious they are.


en
Green investment
© Yury Kuzmin

Taxonomy deal not agreed today by Member States

Sustainable Finance

The same day the Commission came forward with the "European Green Deal", Member States have not passed the Taxonomy deal agreed last Thursday. Member States will have another opportunity to revisit the deal on Monday.


en

A welcome and necessary step but now we need to see real action

European Green Deal

The Green Deal has serious shortcomings when it comes to agricultural funds and trade policy and these need to be addressed for a truly ambitious climate policy. The Green Deal needs clear and binding measures that limit global warming to 1.5c, herald the phase-out of fossil fuels, and protect biodiversity.


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Budapest - Hungary © Jaap Hart
© Jaap Hart

Hungary and the rule of law

Ministerial meeting with EP rapporteur, Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield (Greens/EFA)

The ability for the Hungarian people to live in a free and democratic European country is too important to push into the long grass. Nothing will change for Hungarian people without courage and political will from Member States.


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Reindustrialising-Europe
© Sigal Suhler Moran

Compromise on sustainable investment will boost greener economic activities

Taxonomy

The European Parliament, Council and Commission have reached a compromise on a framework to facilitate sustainable investment, known as 'taxonomy'. This will create an EU classification framework for identifying which economic activities are sustainable will be created.


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Commission audit finds conflict of interest with Czech PM's companies

Andrej Babiš

The leaked report clearly states Andrej Babiš controls the Agrofert group and that contracts awarded to his companies are in breach of Czech and EU law. The Commission audit has found that around €11 million will need to be returned as a result of Andrej Babiš' conflict of interest.


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files©samuel-zeller
©samuel-zeller

Greens/EFA request public access

Andrej Babiš audit report

In a letter to EU-Commissioner Johannes Hahn, Mikuláš Peksa, Greens/EFA Member of the Czech Pirates, on behalf of the Greens/EFA in the European Parliament calls to publish the European Commission´s audit report immediately regarding the investigation against Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš on conflict of interest.


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Justus Lipsius EU Council
JLogan (CC BY-SA 3.0)

EU Ministers fail to agree corporate transparency measures

Quote from Ernest Urtasun MEP

EU Ministers failed to agree on Thursday 28 November, on proposals for greater corporate transparency. The proposals, which have been on the table for over three years, for public country-by-country reporting would ensure more transparency around the profits earned and taxes paid by large multinational companies.


en
27736.climate effect
sun shining through clouds

Calls for bolder and urgent climate action

Press Release from EFA MEP Aileen McLeod

The European Parliament today voted to declare a climate and environmental emergency in Europe. There were calls for the EU to take the necessary action in cutting greenhouse gasses in order to achieve climate neutrality. The European Parliament resolution was supported by SNP MEP Aileen McLeo...


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Why wait ? climate emergency
Why wait ? climate emergency

Climate emergency declaration must lead concrete actions

The EU must commit to a range of goals including: Achieving climate neutrality by 2040, a 65% reduction in emissions by 2030, and to put the environment and biodiversity at the centre of the EU's agricultural policy to halt biodiversity loss


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Daphne

European Parliament to send mission to Malta after the revelations around the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia

Quote from Sven Giegold MEP

The priority of the Parliament mission must be to investigate all potential links to the Prime Minister who has protected and defended three ministers for so long. Malta must adhere to the rule of law and European values so that there can be justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia and her family.


en
New Commission presentation
Presentation European Commission 2019 © European Union, [2019] – Source: European Parliament

Neither blank cheque nor a red card

Greens/EFA abstain on the vote of the new Commission

The Greens/EFA are very concerned about the selection of Commissioners from Hungary, France and Croatia and are extremely critical of the linking of the title 'promoting our European way of life' with migration policy.


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Office of the Prime Minister of Malta
Frank Vincentz (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Maltese Prime Minister's Chief of Staff Keith Schembri resigns

Quote from Sven Giegold MEP

Keith Schembri the Chief of Staff of the Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, has resigned following the arrest of businessman Yorgen Fenech last week in connection with the investigation into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. Fenech owns the company 17 Black, which appeared in the 'Panama Papers' with connections to Schembri and Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi.


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International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women & Istanbul Convention

Quote from Alice Bah Kuhnke, MEP

The EU must take a stand and end all gender based violence. The Commission must make violence against women and girls and other forms of gender-based violence a crime under EU law. We need considerably more investment in the fight against violence against women and a radical change of course to put an end to hatred against women.


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Child eating Apple
CC Scott Webb

World Children's Day – Europe must do more to build a better world for all children

Press release from EFA MEP Diana Riba (ERC)

On World Children's Day – 20 November 2019 – EFA MEP Diana Riba has called for the EU to do more to build a better world for all children. That means ensuring that children's rights are respected in all aspects of EU law, and taking concrete steps to end child poverty in Europ...


en
Fridays for Future Berlin 2019
Fridays for Future Berlin 2019 (CC BY 2.0) Jörg Farys / WWF

Greens/EFA call on action instead of empty declarations

Climate emergency

A Group of MEPs among which the Greens/EFA tabled an amendment for the resolution ahead of the UN Climate Conference COP25 to ask for the declaration of climate emergency on a European level. The European Parliament should not only officially declare climate emergency, but also agree on a number of concrete measures to make the declaration tangible.


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Breakthrough for climate budget

EU budget 2020

The European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission agreed on a green EU budget for the year 2020. The climate budget is finally becoming real under pressure from the Greens/EFA and the European Parliament. The ambitious fight against youth unemployment threatened to fail because of national egotisms in the Council. Yet, in the end, the European Parliament prevailed.


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Natural gas - ©  Ratfink1973  Pixabay
© Ratfink1973 Pixabay

EIB takes big step towards becoming a climate bank but loopholes remain

European Investment Bank

EU Member States and the Commission agreed to a new energy lending policy for the European Investment Bank. It is a good step in the right direction and a milestone on the road to ending investments for fossil fuels altogether. The EIB needs to become the climate bank of Europe but we're not quite there yet.


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