Food campaign - The Greens/EFA in the EP
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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.

@ 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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Employment committee backs strengthened regulations

Limiting exposure to carcinogens

The European Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs committee has today backed the draft report on the amendment to a directive designed to protect workers from risks of exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work.


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Images_of_Money | CC BY 2.0

European Parliament demands hard line on financial crimes

Anti-Money Laundering Directive

The majority of MEPs have agreed to a number of key demands from the Greens/EFA group. This includes a proposal for the introduction of a real estate register showing who owns what land and property in each EU country. Real estate is often misused for money laundering purposes and therefore it's crucial to know who benefits from its ownership.


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Bob Mical, CC BY-NC 2.0

Disproportionate, ineffective and expensive

EU entry/exit system

The Greens/EFA group have voted against new measures to create an entry/exit system for people from third countries travelling to and from the EU. Under the measures, authorities will be able to gather and store personal data on non-EU citizens, including tourists and business people. These costly and largely ineffective measures are set to undermine fundamental liberties in the interests of looking tough on crime and terrorism.


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EU needs concrete action towards robust energy and climate governance

Winter Energy Package

The Energy Council meets today to discuss the Winter Energy Package. We need more concrete proposals for delivering better energy and climate governance, says Claude Turmes.


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©andrew-pons

Special treatment for Germany discomforts Europe

European Semester Winter Package

Following publication of the latest European Semester country reports assessing the reform efforts made by EU countries, it's apparent that the European Commission is using double standards in its recommendations. While Germany is often treated with leniency, the other member states face harsher penalties for rule breaking.


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EU Council CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Eurogroup inaction poses grave risks to Greek future

Greece

With elections fast approaching in the Netherlands, France and Germany, there's a real risk that Greece's future gets put to one side. This is not a risk worth taking when many Greek households are already struggling, and with Greece due to make a massive loan repayment in July. The institutions must make progress.


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©chuttersnap

EU institutions must end exploitation of interns

Ombudsman rules EEAS trainees must receive a fair allowance

The European Ombudsman has delivered her judgement on unpaid internships with the European External Action Service (EEAS). She has recommended that the EEAS pay all of its trainees an appropriate allowance to allow greater access for young people from all backgrounds.


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©adam-birkett

Commission strategy not credible

Aviation

The European Parliament has given its support to the Commission's aviation strategy. The Greens/EFA group voted against, citing the continued lack of climate realism and the failure to address unfair intermodal competition.


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shannonpatrick17 (CC BY 2.0)

Comments from Greens/EFA co-presidents on EU-Canada relations

Canadian President Justin Trudeau addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg

It is of the utmost importance that Europe and Canada work together on human rights, justice and climate protection.


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We must renew the purpose of the European project

Future of Europe

With Brexit looming, and the EU facing a range of external and internal challenges, we must renew the sense of purpose of the European project. If we are to face these problems, and rebuild citizens' faith in our institutions, we need a Europe that really delivers for its citizens


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©matthew-henry

New directive risks undermining the very freedoms it aims to protect

Terrorism

The definition of what constitutes a terrorist offence poses serious problems for individual freedoms.


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EU Commission must create a legal framework

Robots and artificial intelligence

The European Parliament has opened an urgently needed debate on creating an ethical and legal framework for the development and use of autonomous and intelligent machines. The European Commission must act and develop concrete legislative proposals.


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©paul-morris

Conservative and Liberal alliance fails to prevent damaging food and commodity speculation

MiFID II

"The watering down of limits on food speculation will have tough consequences for the people and farmers in developing countries," said Greens/EFA economic and finance spokesperson, Sven Giegold.


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©veeterzy

Parliament fails first test on Paris Agreement

EU Emissions Trading

Intensive lobbying has weakened climate progress.


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Deal puts interests of big business first

CETA

"This is a defeat for the EU and for the prospect of regulating globalization," Greens/EFA trade spokesperson Yannick Jadot said.


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farmland©nicole-harrington

Commission proposal would do little for accountability or public health

Comitology

The European Commission has published its long-awaited proposal for the reform of the comitology process, used to approve or renew products, such as GMOs and pesticides.


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gruene.at

Austrian President addresses European Parliament

Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen addresses the European Parliament in Strasbourg

"Van der Bellen embodies hope for the whole of Europe," said Greens/EFA co-presidents Ska Keller and Philippe Lamberts.


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European Parliament votes to protect whistleblowers

Citizens across Europe should be able to speak up about crimes

The European Parliament has voted in favour of a report on the protection of whistleblowers.


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©drew-coffman

EU must now quickly deliver benefits of treaty

ECJ ruling on Marrakesh Treaty

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has today (14 Feb) published its opinion on the Marrakesh Treaty for the blind, visually impaired or otherwise disabled.


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©nicolai-berntsen

Automotive industry

Draft EU supervision will have to be strengthened

The European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection committee has voted in favour of the draft report on approval and market surveillance of motor vehicles (“type approval”). The Greens/EFA group has been pushing for the establishment of an independent EU agency to help restore consumer confidence and avoid further scandals, but this proposal did not find majority support in committee.


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@dominik-scythe

EU Commission lets aviation off the hook again

International flights exempt from emission scheme

The European Commission has announced it will extend indefinitely the “stop the clock” measure under which international aviation remains exempt from the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). The Commission has once again let the sector off the hook, says Green MEP Bas Eickhout.


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@Thyes

Informal EU Summit

EU leaders must wake up to the challenges they face

"The sleepwalkers must now wake up; if Europe is to stand strong in a world where it must face major challenges, while having few friends, it cannot pursue policies that benefit only a minority of its own citizens," Philippe Lamberts said.


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