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Corruption

The report on the cost of corruption on citizens' life finds that with the €904 billion a year lost to corruption across the EU we could end world hunger, eliminate malaria, provide basic education, safe water, sanitation, healthcare and electricity and still have money left over (€360 billion). The Greens/EFA group are calling for the EU and its Member States to take a far more proactive stance in the fight against corruption.

@Erich Westendarp

Parliament calls for more transparency on the authorisation of pesticides and additives in the food chain

Food law

Members of the European Parliament voted in favour of greater transparency around the authorisation of pesticides, GMOs and additives in the food chain. "We cannot rely on the industry to judge whether its own products are harmful. We need more scrutiny by independent scientists", declared Bart Staes, Greens/EFA group spokesperson on pesticides


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ggia (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

People should not have to risk their lives to seek asylum

Refugees

The European Parliament voted to set up an EU-level humanitarian visa system for third-country nationals. The proposal would allow asylum seekers to apply for visas and is designed to create a safe channel for those in need of asylum and to reduce the amount of people risking their lives in trying to travel to Europe. The European Commission now has to present a legal proposal


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ECJ ruling on Article 50

Quote from Alyn Smith

"If the UK chooses to change their minds on Brexit, then revoking Article 50 is an option and the European side should make every effort to welcome the UK back with open arms." commented Alyn Smith Greens/EFA (SNP) MEP and co-litigant on the case.


en

Time for stricter testing around pesticide authorisation

PEST final report

The final report calls on EU governments and the European Commission to step up environmental and health assessments of pesticides and pesticide active substances, to ensure that no conflicts of interest affect the authorisation procedure and to make risk assessments transparent. The product glyphosate will be tested for cancer risks. MEPs will vote on the final report in the plenary session of the European Parliament in January.


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EU-wide class action law suits will hold companies to account

Consumer rights

Today, the majority of the members of the Legal Affairs Committee today voted in favour of greater consumer protection and for the possibility of EU-wide class action law suits. Representative entities, such as consumer organisations, will be able to bring collective redress before the courts if infringements affect people in several EU countries.


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Major breakthrough on transparency for MEPs

Transparency/Lobbying

The Constitutional Affairs Committee of the European Parliament has voted for the first time for binding lobby transparency for MEPs. MEPs who co-author EU laws will need to publish any meetings they have had with interest representatives that fall under the scope of the EU Transparency Register. The Greens/EFA group have long been calling for much stronger rules around lobbying in the European Parliament, in order to increase the transparency and accountability of decision making.


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UNHCR, CC BY-NC 2.0

EU Member States must show solidarity on the redistribution of refugees

Common European Asylum Policy

The European Commission has just announced the unravelling of the European asylum package and the postponement of the reform of the Dublin System for the redistribution of asylum seekers, a controversial issue between EU governments, as well as the amendment of the Asylum Procedures Regulation.


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Plan to tax tech giants falls flat in the Council

Digital tax

"The fact that the Finance Ministers cannot come to an agreement on something as important as a digital tax is extremely disappointing," comments Molly Scott Cato, economic affairs spokesperson for the Greens/EFA group.


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(C) Lars Aronsson

Reforms too little to avert the next crisis

Eurozone

Eurozone finance ministers have emerged from an overnight meeting with proposals for reforms of the single currency. The proposals agreed to include a Eurozone budget. However, these reforms do not go far enough to prevent the next crisis, according to the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament.


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Britain can step back from the brink

ECJ Opinion on Brexit

"It was always clear that Brexit is a lose-lose game but the legal opinion of the Court of Justice reminds us that it's still possible for the UK to step back from the brink." commented Philippe Lamberts, President of the Greens/EFA group and member of the Brexit Steering Group in the European Parliament.


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© Trista Weibell

A social budget for a social Union

European Social Fund Plus

"We are taking steps towards a more social union. Projects such as promoting jobs for young people and helping the homeless promote social cohesion and need more support. A social budget for the future must have top priority in the budget negotiations. A social Europe can show the value that the European Union can have in people's lives". Jean Lambert, Social Policy spokesperson for the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, comments.


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Closure of CEU a dark day for Hungary and Europe

Hungary

"So long as the EPP continues to keep Fidesz within their ranks, they are endorsing and supporting Orbán's assault on the rule of law. This was a supposedly a red line for the EPP, now Manfred Weber must clarify how he expects to reconcile the actions of the Hungarian government with Fidesz's role in the group." Judith Sargentini, Greens/EFA rapporteur on the rule of law in Hungary report, comments on the closure of the Central European University in Budapest.


en
David Sedlecký CC BY-SA 4.0

European Commission finds Czech PM Babis has conflict of interest

Andrej Babiš

Several international media outlets are reporting that the European Commission's legal service has concluded that Prime Minister of Czech Republic Andrej Babiš has a conflict of interest between his role as head of the Czech government and his business dealings.


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© Martin-Pluimers

Hungary - media freedom and democracy

Quote from Judith Sargentini

"If this melange of autocracy isn't enough for the Council to do something, then what is? The Council needs to get its act together and debate our report on the rule of law in Hungary now, before the situation deteriorates further." Comments of Judith Sargentini on the media freedom and democracy in Hungary.


en
©Jainav 46

European Parliament condemns 'Cum Ex' tax fraud and demands EU-wide investigation

Tax fraud

“The perpetrators behind these schemes must be brought to justice and complicit banks must be held to account for facilitating these crimes. The silence and inaction of the Member States and their Finance Ministers is shocking", commented Sven Giegold, Greens/EFA spokesperson on economics and finance.


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No border crossing © imagemonkey

We cannot allow Schengen border controls to become the new normal

Schengen

MEPs voted in favour of entering into negotiations with the Council and the European Commission on the rules applicable to temporary border controls inside the Schengen area. "Border controls in the Schengen area must remain the absolute exception and strictly limited in time. The EU must stand up for the right of citizens to free movement", declared Greens/EFA MEP Bodil Valero.


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Worldbank (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Global migration needs a global response

UN Migration Pact

"The European Union will undermine its credibility if it cannot show its united support to this global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration, a voluntary declaration that promotes the protections of human rights, and the humane treatment of migrants," says Judith Sargentini.


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Future of Europe debate with Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen

Quote from Philippe Lamberts

"Denmark has a lot to offer Europe and the world, it was once a global champion of renewable energy, a world leader in development aid and a country where social partners are strong. However, now Denmark is joining hands with those who want to make Europe a fortress and are closing its doors to those in need" comments Philippe Lamberts, President of the Greens/EFA group


en
© Mlenny

Commission Climate Strategy missed opportunity to meet Paris goals

Climate Strategy/COP24

Europe should be the torchbearer for the green transition, but instead the Commission will go to UN climate talks Katowice with an underwhelming and unambitious document. This Strategy is a wasted opportunity to present clear climate targets towards a CO2-free economy, climate protection, green jobs and for keeping global warming under to 1.5c.


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Sasha Popovic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Launch of the Parliamentary Network of Friendship Groups of Catalonia

Press release from EFA MEPs J-M Terricabras and Jordi Solé

With the support of EFA MEPs Josep-Maria Terricabras and Jordi Solé, a group of Members of Parliaments from the United Kingdom, Denmark, Estonia and Flanders, together with MEPs from the European Union-Catalonia Dialogue Platform, have established the Parliamentary Network of Friendship Group...


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MEPs reject tougher fiscal rules that would ensure more austerity

Fiscal Compact

The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs in the European Parliament has rejected a report from the European Commission that would help enshrine austerity policies into law.


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Article 50 hearing before ECJ

Quote from Alyn Smith

A group of Scottish politicians, including Greens/EFA (SNP) Member Alyn Smith, will bring a case to the European Court of Justice on the question as to whether or not Article 50 can be withdrawn once the process of a Member State leaving the EU has started.


en
Creative Commons

Greens/EFA take European Parliament to court over animal welfare conditions

Animal Transport

The Greens/EFA group is taking the European Parliament to the European Court of Justice for having blocked the setting up of a committee of inquiry into the conditions around animal transport.


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bigstock-Ill-Boy-In-Hospital-Bed

Greens/EFA demand debate on medical devices

Implant files

The "Implant Files", a cross-border investigation by journalists into how medical devices on the EU market, such as pacemakers, artificial hips and contraceptives, which may have caused pain, injury or even death among patients, must be debated by the European Parliament, according to the Greens/EFA group.


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Russia/Ukraine -Clashes and capture of Ukrainian ships by Russia

Quote from Rebecca Harms

The EU and the Member States must be prepared to react to the breach of international law with targeted, tough sanctions and to support and protect Ukraine's sovereignty and integrity, including in the Sea of Azov.


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Alleged conflict of interest Czech of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš

Quote from Bart Staes MEP, Greens/EFA

"It is up to the European Commission, as guardian of the treaties, to look at all the evidence and decide if Babiš has a conflict of interest between his role as Prime Minister and his potential links to Agrofert. It would seriously undermine trust in the European political system if a sitting Prime Minister is negotiating EU funds that could end up in his own pockets."


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No to nuclear

More EU support for decommissioning the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant

Lithuania/Nuclear decommissioning

Members of the European Parliament's Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee just voted, by an absolute majority, to support nuclear decommissioning in Lithuania with €780 million, higher than the Commission's proposal of only €552 million.


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A step towards greater European sovereignty

International trade/Foreign investment screening

"At a time when European Member States increasingly rely on foreign investment in strategic sectors, it is essential for the EU to acquire information sharing and coordination tools to defend our economic and political sovereignty." Reinhard Bütikofer, Greens/EFA Member of the Industry, Research and Energy Committee of the European Parliament, comments on the agreement on exchange of information.


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Towards a more social Europe

Child benefit/EU Employment Agency

There will be no cuts in child benefit for parents whose children live in an EU Member State other than that in which the parents work, according to the European Parliament's Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) Committee.


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European Parliament calls for the strongest possible protection for whistleblowers

The Legal Affairs Committee voted in favour

Whistleblowers are the drivers of positive change. They have uncovered tax dodging, data breaches and war crimes, and in the process they have helped to change politics. That's why this proposal is now a good basis with which to protect those who wish to disclose information in the public interest.


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Jigsaw and money © alexsl

This "eurozone budget" will not help avert the next crisis

The euro

"This proposal is no more than a basic compromise, that does not even come close to solving the basic design flaws of the single currency. Anyone who believes this path will avert future euro crises is deluding him- or herself. ", commented Philippe Lamberts, Greens/EFA co-president and Sven Giegold, economic and financial affairs spokesperson for the Greens/EFA group.


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Picture credit : david-hellmann - Unsplash

More compensation and greener commuting for rail passengers

Passenger rights

MEPs voted for rail passengers throughout the EU to have a greater entitlement to compensation without the loophole of force majeure, for full rights even when travelling with several railway providers, and to be able to take bicycles on the train.


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Deal will put UK in a weaker position than as EU member

Brexit

Brexit has always been a lose-lose game for both the UK and the EU. Now that we have the deal on the table, British citizens know what Brexit will really mean for them. That's why it would be fair to ask them whether Brexit is the future they want. If not, we would warmly welcome their continued EU membership


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Creative Commons CC0

Driving down emissions from trucks

CO2/trucks and heavy duty vehicles

The European Parliament voted in favour of Greens/EFA rapporteur Bas Eickhout's proposed changes to the European Commission's regulation on "CO2 emission standards for new heavy-duty vehicles", which would see substantial reductions in CO2 emissions from trucks and heavy goods vehicles.


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European Parliament calls for more climate spending

EU budget/MFF

The European Parliament voted for the new EU budget from 2021, which is better suited to tackling the climate change with taxes on plastics, emissions trading and tech companies. In the interim report on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the period 2021-2027 and on the reform of EU's revenue ("own resources"), the Parliament have pushed through Greens/EFA demands to increase the EU budget, to commit to 30% climate-related spending by 2027 and to make the EU less dependent on the payment behaviour of EU governments.


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European flags © Xavier Häpe

EP backs Minimum standards for minorities in the EU

Press release from EFA MEP Miroslavs Mitrofanovs

MEPs have strongly supported a report calling for minimum standards for minorities in the EU (rapporteur József NAGY). The report represents a complete overview of the European Parliament’s position on the rights of national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities in the EU. ...


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Adriatic Sea - Blue Fish Plan: plenary vote on Tomašić report

Quote by Marco Affronte, independent Greens/EFA MEP

The November 13th Strasbourg Plenary vote on a blue fish plan for the Adriatic Sea saw two major winners, Croatians and industrial fishing, and two major losers: the Adriatic Sea and small fishermen.


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European Union

German government should stop blocking progress

Future of Europe

At the occasion of the visit of the German chancellor Angela Merkel to the European Parliament, Greens/EFA Co-Presidents Ska Keller and Philippe Lamberts call on the German Chancellor to revive the European engagement of the German government and to unblock important files in the European Council.


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© Albert Dobrin

European Parliament vote on the Rule of Law in Romania

Quote from Ska Keller

The European Parliament has just passed a resolution on the Rule of Law in Romania with a large majority. Ska Keller, President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament comments: "This vote sends a clear sign from the European Parliament to the Romanian government that damaging the...


en
© Eva Serrabassa

Strong basis for the future of renewable energy and greater energy efficiency

Energy Package

Members of the European Parliament voted on the final Energy Package for more renewable energy, greater energy efficiency and a legally binding roadmap to the Paris climate targets.


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© Martin-Pluimers

Hungary: Judith Sargentini to attend General Affair Council on Monday to present Rule of Law report

Quote from Judith Sargentini

"This is a small step in the right direction, but we are in a great hurry when it comes to Hungary. This meeting is a preparation for formal consultations between the European Parliament and the Ministers of Member States. We are dealing with an extremely serious situation in one of our own countries, which calls for swift and substantive action."


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MEPs concerns at harsh sentences sought for Catalan leaders

Press release from the EFA Group in the European Parliament

MEPs from various political groups in the European Parliament, including the European Free Alliance, have signed a joint statement expressing their concern at the harsh sentences for Catalan political prisoners demanded by the Spanish prosecutor this week. Several Catalan pro-independence leaders...


en
Donald24 (CC0 1.0)

Special committee to vote on final report 13/11

Terrorism

Following the attacks in Paris, London and Brussels, the European Union has launched more than 250 anti-terrorist measures, ranging from the monitoring of passenger data to the entry and exit system. The Greens/EFA group are calling for alternatives to mass surveillance and repressive security policies.


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@Erich Westendarp

Our hair, testimony of our overall exposure to pesticide residues

Pesticides

Environmentalists in the European Parliament are launching a campaign on pesticide contamination. They used an independent institute that performed capillary tests for 30 pesticides reported as endocrine disruptors. Results: The laboratory detected one or more of these 30 pesticides for two thirds of the samples.


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© sceka

EU Parliament calls for arms export ban to Saudi Arabia

Killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Members of the European Parliament called for an arms embargo against Saudi Arabia on the initiative of the Greens/EFA Group. Ska Keller and Philippe Lamberts appeal to the EU governments to implement an EU-wide ban on arms exports to Saudi Arabia, which the Parliament has already called for three times since 2016 through Greens/EFA group-led initiatives.


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© Mlenny

European Parliament demands EU governments do more to prevent climate catastrophe

Climate Protection/COP24

MEPs voted to call on EU governments and the European Commission to heed the warnings of recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and increase their ambitions to reduce CO2 emissions from 40% to 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, ahead of the UN climate summit in December 2018, in Katowice, Poland.


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Rolf van Melis | CC

A new instrument to fight climate change and air pollution

Transport/Eurovignette Directive

The European Parliament voted on a future EU-wide toll for trucks busses and vans, which will apply the Greens/EFA core demand for a 'polluter-pays' principle that would take into account CO2 emissions and road construction costs.


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©freestocks-org

A major step forward in the fight against antibiotic resistance

Health/Antibiotics

The European Parliament adopted a new legislative framework for veterinary medicinal products and medicated feed, which are a step forward in preventing the rise in antibiotic resistance.


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CC Heine Christiansen

Austrian government using Orban's playbook

Civil society space

The Austrian government wants to exclude environmental organisations from environmental impact assessments. The amendment to the Environmental Impact Assessment Act will be put to the vote tomorrow (Thursday, 25 October) in the Austrian National Council.


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© MarioGuti

European Parliament votes to ban a range of plastics in a victory for the planet

Plastics

The European Parliament has just voted to ban a whole range of plastic products which contribute to destructive and toxic pollution on land, rivers and seas.


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