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Commission statement on Hungary

The European Commission has decided to open infringement proceedings against Hungary as a result of the restrictions on international universities in the country. The Greens/EFA Group is calling for the European Parliament to launch the Article 7 procedure for the protection of the rule of law in Hungary.

CC BY dschenck

EU Parliament debates current situation

Turkey

Talks on Turkey's accession to the EU should remain frozen until Turkey returns to democracy and substantially improves its approach to human rights, says Greens/EFA co-president, Ska Keller.


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©naassom-azevedo

Gulf between vision and action is far too wide

European Commission proposals on Social Europe

The European Commission has presented its proposals for a European pillar of social rights and work-life balance. This coincides with the publication of a reflection paper in which it sets out its long term vision for a social Europe. For the Greens/EFA group, this may be a first step, but there is still a long way to go.


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©parker-byrd

Despite small steps forward, geoblocking will continue

Geoblocking

The European Parliament has voted on a new regulation designed to limit the practice of “geoblocking”. While the regulation goes further than what was originally proposed by the European Commission, it falls far short of ending the practice.


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©jens-kreuter

Revised directive will help protect consumer interests

Audiovisual Media Services

The European Parliament’s Culture and Education Committee has voted on proposals to reform the Audiovisual Media Services Directive. This revision will extend the scope of the regulation to include video sharing platforms.


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©samuel-zeller

European Parliament blocks move to co-opt cohesion spending for Junker Plan

Cohesion Policy

The Greens/EFA group has helped to block a proposal originating from the European Commission that would have given Member States the ability to transfer unlimited funds from European Structural and Investment Funds to the 'Juncker plan'.


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©john-towner

Greens/EFA group reacts to French election

If Macron is to take on and defeat the far right, he needs to get real on social justice and do more for those who feel marginalised, say Greens/EFA presidents.


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CC0

Monsanto Tribunal shows need for global legal jurisdiction on environmental crime

Opinion of Monstanto Tribunal

"For far too long, Monsanto has been able to act with impunity, causing massive destruction to our environment and severely damaging the lives of many people around the world" says Greens/EFA MEP Bart Staes.


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Turkish referendum

Reaction of the Greens/EFA group

After a campaign that took place in a climate of intimidation and fear, with outrageous restrictions on freedom of the press, Erdogan is now on track to transform the country into a one-man authoritarian regime. It is now high time for the EU to increase the pressure on Erdogan to end his fight against the free press and the opposition


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Commission finally recognises need to revise European Citizens' Initiative

European Citizens' Initiative

Vice-President Timmermans has announced that the European Commission will present proposals to revise the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) later this year. The ECI in force today has so far failed to deliver on its original promise, which is why the Greens/EFA group, civil society and citizens who have tried to use the ECI, Josep-Maria Terricabras responds to the good news.


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©adrian

European Parliament stands up for consumer interests

Roaming

With the Parliament giving its approval to the results of the trialogue on roaming charges, lower prices have been secured for consumers and roaming costs will soon be a thing of the past. Not only this, but smaller providers will now also be able to compete with the big telecommunications corporations.


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EU Justice Commissioner must act now to protect privacy

EU-US Privacy Shield

The European Parliament has adopted a resolution strongly criticising the EU-US "Privacy Shield". The Privacy Shield regulates the transfer of personal data from the EU to the US, such as when using online services like search engines or social networks. Jan Philipp Albrecht, Vice-Chair of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committee, is now calling on the Commission to do more to protect personal data in the EU.


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European Union

"Keep Our Citizens Safe" - EU Parliament approves Brexit mandate

EFA Press release from SNP MEPs Ian Hudghton & Alyn Smith

The SNP Members of the European Parliament Ian Hudghton MEP and Alyn Smith MEP have today (Wednesday) voted, with heavy hearts, to approve a European Parliament negotiating mandate in response to the UK commencing the Article 50 process to leave the EU. The mandate is not about the merits of Brex...


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CC CIMMYT

European Parliament votes against GMOs while Commission presses ahead with Big Agri mergers

Agriculture

MEPs have rejected the European Commission's latest proposal for new GM authorisations. The proposal would allow imports of up to 20 different varieties, most of which have not even been tested for safety. This clear lack of support follows opposition from Member States and shows it's now time for the Commission to withdraw its proposal.


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Epizentrum, CC BY-SA 3.0

EU fails to regulate the shadow banking sector

Money Market Funds

The European Parliament has adopted the draft European regulation on money market funds, as agreed in the inter-institutional negotiations. The Greens/EFA group voted against the proposal, citing inadequate supervision of these funds, which operate as shadow banks.


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Negotiations must be conducted in good faith

Brexit

The European Parliament has backed a resolution setting out its terms for negotiating Britain’s exit from the European Union. The resolution was co-signed by the Greens/EFA group alongside the EPP, S&D, ALDE, and GUE-NGL groups. Negotiations must commence in good faith, says Greens/EFA co-president, Philippe Lamberts.


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Budget © nobiggie

No additional funds despite fresh commitments and ongoing crises

EU budget: MFF revision

The European Parliament has approved the Midterm revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020. The revision is a poor deal for the parliament, says Greens/EFA member of the European Parliament’s Budget committee Indrek Tarand.


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©jeremy ricketts

MEPs call for stricter rules on palm oil

Palm oil and rainforest deforestation

For the first time, Members of the European Parliament have called for stricter rules on the import of palm oil. For the Greens/EFA group, this represents a step forward on how to protect the world’s rainforests from the devastation caused by reckless palm oil production.


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Ruben de Rijcke (CC BY-SA 3.0)

A step in the right direction, but Parliament fails to deliver independent EU oversight

Dieselgate

The European Parliament has voted on both the findings and recommendations of the Dieselgate inquiry committee and the draft legislation on type approval of vehicles. The Greens/EFA group was instrumental in securing an inquiry into Dieselgate.


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Panama Papers

One year on, Member States need to stop blocking tax reforms

Today marks the one year anniversary of the publication of the Panama Papers by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). It is time for EU Member States to stop blocking progress on tackling tax evasion and money laundering


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© Alexander Briel

Today is a sad day for the European project

EFA press release Josep-Maria Terricabras MEP

Following the triggering of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union today, which begins the Brexit process, Josep-Maria Terricabras, President of the EFA Group in the European Parliament said that an inevitably difficult and complicated negotiation now lies ahead in order to try and reach an agreement.


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Brexit must not undermine the EU’s binding principles

Article 50 triggered by UK

"We will be sorry to see the UK go. However, the decision of one member to leave should not put all of Europe’s shared achievements at risk. We will not allow Brexit to undermine the basic principles that bind the EU. " The Greens/EFA co-presidents react to the triggering of Article 50.


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Food campaign - The Greens/EFA in the EP

GMOs fail to secure support of Member States

GMO maize appeal vote

The European Commission should withdraw its proposals, and focus its energy on developing a safer and more sustainable agriculture, says Bart Staes.


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@ European Union 2017

The European Union must evolve

60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome

As the European Union celebrates its 60th anniversary, many challenges remain. If the EU is to survive, and the people of Europe to regain their enthusiasm for it, it must evolve. The Greens/EFA group is calling for a renewed focus on equal rights for all; an open, democratic and free society, with a humane refugee and migration policy.


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© Alexandra Buxbaum / Greenpeace

European Commission must put citizens' health first

Glyphosate

On a Greens/EFA initiative, a cross-party group of MEPs has written to the European Commission, expressing concern about the studies being used in the assessment of the safety of the controversial herbicide, glyphosate.


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©all-bong

MEPs back copyright exceptions on books for people who are blind or visually impaired

Marrakesh Treaty

The European Parliament’s Legal Affairs committee has taken the next step towards ensuring access to published works for people who are blind or visually impaired.


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Pace of progress will be too slow

Energy Labelling

Negotiations between the European Parliament, Commission and Council on the revision of EU energy labelling rules have come to a close. The Greens/EFA group welcomes a decision that will see consumers benefit from simplified energy labelling, but regrets the lengthy transition for so many products.


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European Parliament calls for greater transparency and integrity

Constitutional committee backs report

If MEPs are to demand the European Commission be more transparent, they need to do ask the same of themselves, says Sven Giegold.


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©freestocks-org

European Parliament wants to ban import of new GM maize

GMOs

The European Parliament's Environment Committee has voted against the import of a range of genetically modified maize varieties for use in feed and food. The majority of MEPs voted against the European Commission's proposal to authorize several Genetic Engineering Maize varieties from Syngenta.


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Images_of_Money | CC BY 2.0

Latest scandal shows need for changes to money-laundering directive

Money laundering of Russian funds by European banks

Reports that EU banks have laundered hundreds of millions of Russian money show just how important the revision of the money-laundering directive is, says Judith Sargentini.


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©harri-kuokkanen

To stop terrorist attacks, we need better police cooperation, not blanket suspicion

One year after the Brussels attacks

A year on from the attacks in Brussels, EU Member States should end their policy of blanket suspicion and focus on better police cooperation, says Jan Philipp Albrecht, Vice-Chair of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committee and Greens/EFA home affairs spokesperson.


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One year on, the EU must call time on disastrous migration pact

EU-Turkey deal

As concerns with the deal continue to grow, the Greens/EFA group is reiterating calls for the deal to be scrapped, and for EU member states to fulfil their own responsibilities in ensuring access to protection, family reunification and realistic opportunities for regular migration in Europe.


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© MONUSCO | Sylvain Liechti

Huge step forward against financing of conflict

Conflict minerals

The European Parliament has approved new legislation aimed at tackling the problem of conflict minerals by ensuring companies source responsibly. For the first time in Europe, firms involved in the extraction and trade of minerals will be legally obliged to check their supply chain to ensure there are no links to armed conflicts or human rights abuse.


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Oregon Department of Agriculture (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

ECHA opinion doesn't answer all the questions on glyphosate

Glyphosate

There remain a range of reasons as to why glyphosate is at odds with a healthy and sustainable agriculture. Not only does the chemical target the weeds it is supposed to kill, but it also harms surrounding plants and wildlife, making it a real threat to biodiversity. The issue of pesticide-resistant crops also poses increasing problems for animals and the environment.


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Convictions show the need for urgent EU protection of whistleblowers

LuxLeaks trial

The verdict of the LuxLeaks trial shows just how urgently we need a directive offering a minimum level of protection at the European level to guarantee the rights of whistleblowers, across all sectors.


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Streamlined legislation will help improve consumer confidence

Food controls

New regulations on the official controls of food and feed law will help to ensure the uniform application of agri-food chain rules across the EU. The changes are in part a response to the horse meat scandal, in which the Greens/EFA group was instrumental in helping to bring any future wrongdoing into the open.


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© AlexeyVS

New rules will protect vulnerable and put an end to dangerous storage

Trade and use of mercury

The European Parliament has approved new legislation on the regulation of mercury. The new law will reduce the trade and use of mercury, the risk of contamination, and bring legislation in line with the Minamata Convention on Mercury signed in 2013


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CC BY-SA 2.0 | Molly Adams

Stalled progress shows need for greater effort at EU level

Gender equality

MEPs have backed a report from Greens/EFA rapporteur Ernest Urtasun on equality between women and men in the EU. The report forms the European Parliament's response to the European Commission’s report on progress on gender equality in the EU for 2014-15.


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Dan Nguyen (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Closing loopholes will improve public safety

Gun control

Improvements to the firearms directive backed by the European Parliament include the prohibition of certain semi-automatic firearms and converted firearms, better measures for deactivation, tracing and storage of weapons, and more information exchange between EU countries.


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©Jainav 46

Revised legislation will improve long-term performance

Shareholder Rights Directive

The European Parliament has given its approval to the revised directive on shareholders' rights. This will strengthen both the long-term commitment of shareholders in listed companies and the link between directors' pay and long-term performance.


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©m0851

European Parliament wants EU to get serious on "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle"

Circular economy

The European Parliament has voted on a series of reports to revise legislation related to waste and packaging, under the banner of “the Circular Economy”. The Greens/EFA group has argued that creating a circular economy will create jobs and would be hugely beneficial for the environment.


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Ggia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

EU-Turkey deal left in responsibility vacuum

EU-Turkey deal

At the Conference of Presidents, the Liberals and right wing parties blocked proposals for a plenary debate in Strasbourg on the EU-Turkey deal. The Greens/EFA group had proposed an oral question to ensure the Parliament maintains democratic oversight of the EU-Turkey deal.


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© tanner-van-dera

Hungarian asylum proposals clearly violate human rights

Greens/EFA group calls for infringement proceedings

Following the decision of the Hungarian Parliament on the treatment of asylum seekers, the Greens/EFA Group has written to the European Commission calling for infringement proceedings against Hungary and the end of the Frontex mission in Hungary.


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Court ruling shows need for EU law on humanitarian visas

European Court of Justice ruling

The European Court of Justice has ruled that there is no legal requirement for EU countries to issue humanitarian visas. "The ruling demonstrates the clear need for EU legislation on humanitarian visas" says Bodil Valero.


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©jakob-madsen

EU Commission gives Hungary green light for controversial new nuclear

Paks II nuclear plant

"With the Hungarian state to be the owner, financer, operator and regulator of the new nuclear power plant, there is a clear problem of concentration of power." Hungarian Green MEP Benedek Jávor on the Paks II nuclear project.


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©freestocks-org

European Parliament sets out plans for improved access to life-saving drugs

Access to medicines

The European Parliament has backed a report calling for improved access to medicines. At present, many vital drugs are overpriced due to abuse of patent rules by pharmaceuticals and the imbalance in the negotiating powers of pharmaceutical companies and Member States. The report sets out a number of proposals to counter these problems.


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© European Union , 2017

EU governments must wake up

Future of the EU

"One thing is absolutely clear: the EU cannot continue as before and expect its problems to simply disappear. The EU’s politicians must wake up and actively fight for the European project," said Greens/EFA co-president Ska Keller, commenting in the run up to the next EU summit, and on the Commission's White Paper on the Future of the European Union.


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UNHCR, CC BY-NC 2.0

EU must put rights of children first

Migrant children

The European Commission is due to address the European Parliament today on how to tackle the disappearance of migrant children in Europe. The Greens/EFA group is calling on the Commission and Member States to put the rights of children first, regardless of their migration status.


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EU must act to counter Trump's recklessness

She Decides conference

On Thursday 2 March, Brussels will play host to the She Decides conference. The conference has been organised in response to the decision of the Trump administration to implement the extended version of the so-called Global Gag Rule, which prevents international NGOs from receiving US aid for sexual health and family planning services, including access to abortions. The Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament is backing calls for EU member states to pledge additional funding for international aid to counter the global gag rule.


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czechr@flickr.com (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

EU Environment Ministers show a little courage on carbon market reform

EU Emission Trading Scheme

Following the European Parliament, EU member state's environment ministers have now set out their negotiating position on the reform of the EU's emissions trading scheme (ETS). The climate ministers agreed to take steps to curb the oversupply where it risks to undermine future climate targets, but have still fallen far short of the reforms needed to make this scheme deliver on its promise.


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©tobias-christopher

Serious shortcomings from both EU Commission and Member States

Dieselgate inquiry

The European Parliament committee set up to investigate the Dieselgate scandal has voted on its final report. The report makes clear that both the EU Commission and Member States should have acted on emission fraud sooner and makes recommendations for future action.


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