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Transparency & lobbying

The European Parliament calls for stricter rules on lobbying. Today, the majority of MEPs adopted a report from Green rapporteur Sven Giegold on "Transparency, Accountability and Integrity in the EU Institutions". Greens / EFA, Social Democrats and some member of EPP, ECR and ALDE groups backed the report.

Catalonia is under siege

Press release from EFA MEPs J-M Terricabras & Jordi Solé (Catalonia)

Catalan MEPs have written to all members of the European Commission and MEPs following today's attack on Catalan democracy by Spanish armed police. Spain's Guardia Civil raided several Catalan ministries, arresting members of the government, ahead of Catalonia's independence referendu...


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European flags © Xavier Häpe

Spain must comply with EU fundamental rights charter

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

Catalan Greens/EFA MEPs Josep-Maria Terricabras and Jordi Solé have written to the Chair of the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs to protest the political and judicial persecution by Spanish authorities against politicians, media, civil servants ...


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© Colonel

Defending democratic rights in Catalonia

Press release from EFA MEP Jill Evans

Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans has co-signed a question to the European Commission condemning the actions of the Spanish government in trying to prevent Catalonia's forthcoming independence referendum. It follows reports that Spain's prosecutor general has threatened 712 democratically electe...


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© eliandric

EU must recognise the potential of green jobs

Press release from EFA MEP Jill Evans (Wales)

Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans has proposed in parliament that the new EU skills strategy should take account of the vast potential to develop green technologies and acknowledge their importance in creating high skilled jobs in the future. She also called for action to ensure that migrants to Europe ...


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Greens/EFA force vote on the Militarisation of EU development policy

Development

Tomorrow, the Greens/EFA group will attempt to force a vote on the militarisation of development policy. MEPs will decide whether or not the mandate for the negotiations of the European Commission’s proposed revision to the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) requires further parliamentary approval or can go direct to trilogues.


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EU must defend freedom of expression in Spain

Press release from EFA MEP J-M Terricabras (Catalunya)

Catalan MEP Josep-Maria Terricabras has called upon the European Commission to defend the right to freedom of expression in Spain and to mediate with the Spanish Government in respect of Catalonia's forthcoming referendum on independence. He addressed his remarks directly to European Commissi...


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©markus-spiske

Greens/EFA group puts pressure on Commission to take action

Dieselgate

The European Commission needs to stop dragging its heels on Dieselgate, according to Greens/EFA MEP, Bas Eickhout. The Greens/EFA group has chosen Dieselgate as the subject of its first Topical Debate slot.


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©florian-pircher

Binding standards needed to keep network safe

EU Commission Cyber Security Strategy

The digitalisation of everyday life and the so-called Internet of Things requires more security for information technologies, as made clear by the May 2017 "WannaCry" incident.


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© Alexander Briel

Juncker must show citizens that the EU can improve their lives

State of the Union

The Greens/EFA group will call on President Juncker to be much bolder in meeting the needs of European citizens in their response to his annual State of the Union address.


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Arms embargoes needed against countries that breach humanitarian law

EU arms exports

The EU Member States must place arms embargoes against all countries that fail to uphold international humanitarian law. That is one of the key demands of a report from Greens/EFA MEP Bodil Valero on EU arms exports.


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caroline-attwood

Better cooperation needed to stop further food scandals

Fipronil eggs scandal

Following a request from the Greens/EFA group, the European Parliament will hear Council and Commission Statements today on the Fipronil eggs scandal. You can follow the debate live from around 10.15am on the European Parliament website.


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Ilias Bartolini (CC BY-SA 2.0)

More action required to stop the poverty driving forced migration

Migration

"What is sorely missing now is proposals to really counter the poverty driving forced migration. Because that is what we want to see; that people are not forced to leave their home town to pursue a better future", says Green migration spokesperson Judith Sargentini.


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asjjuni0/pixabay

Health and safety of citizens must come first

EU-Japan food controls

The Greens/EFA group has today won the support of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee for its objection to proposals to change the rules on the import of food from the Fukushima area of Japan.


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Investor courts have no place in a fair EU trade policy

ECJ to rule on CETA

Yannick Jadot welcomes the announcement that the ECJ will have a say on CETA.


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Ggia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

EU Commission must get tough on boycotting Member States

ECJ ruling on relocation scheme

Member States must show solidarity or face consequences, says Greens/EFA president Ska Keller.


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©thong vo

Passenger data agreements need to be revised

Opinion of the European Court of Justice

The European Court of Justice has today presented its opinion on the compatibility of the EU-Canada Passenger Name Record data agreement (PNR) with EU law. The judges stated that the agreement should must be concluded in its present form, singling out in particular the long-term storage of pass...


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Development policy being militarised through the back door

Legal Affairs committee approves dubious interpretation of EU Treaties

"It is deeply concerning that development policy risks being militarised through the back door. The view supported by the majority of the Legal Affairs committee is quite at odds with the arguments put forward by the Parliament’s own legal services," says Heidi Hautala.


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©byrev (pixabay)

Prime example of misguided EU security policy

European entry and exit system

The world won't be made safer by putting all tourists and business people under blanket supervision, says Jan Philipp Albrecht.


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© Martin-Pluimers

Judith Sargentini to lead investigation into Hungary

Hungary

"With fellow EU countries refusing to call him to order, it now falls to the European Parliament to take the initiative," says Judith Sargentini.


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EU Member States should listen to the parliament on GMOs

Environment committee rejects GMOs

"The European Parliament has consistently made clear its opposition to GM authorisations. I hope that the Member States will take this into account when they come to make their own decision tomorrow," says Bart Staes.


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@jacob-valerio

Grand coalition opens the door to misuse of civilian tools and development funds

EU Military Capacity Building in third countries

"It would be nothing short of scandalous if development money were to be diverted to the European defence industry in the future," says Bodil Valero.


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©paul-morris

Contamination concerns cannot be ignored

Food safety / EU-Japan trade deal

Greens/EFA MEP Michèle Rivasi has written to the Chair of the European Parliament's Environment and Public Health Committee, objecting to the Commission's proposals to lift import controls on food from Japan put in place after the Fukushima disaster (1). The proposals, which come at the same time as the Commission approves a free trade deal with Japan, would reduce the safeguards designed to prevent radioactive elements (cesium 134 and 137) in foodstuffs from being imported into the EU.


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©axel-ahoi

Rushed process is not serious

EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement

At today's EU-Japan summit, political agreement was reached on the EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement (JEFTA). It would be the biggest ever FTA signed by the EU. Negotiations are now expected to continue at the technical level, despite the fact that many critical and highly political issues are yet to be decided on.


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Jeremy Brooks (CC BY-NC 2.0)

MEPs sharply criticize human rights violations in Turkey

Turkey

“The clear criticism on President Erdogan is also a clear message to those Turkish people who are standing up against the authoritarian course of the Turkish president," says Greens/EFA co-president, Ska Keller.


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©drew-coffman

More accessible books available for blind and visually impaired people

Marrakesh Treaty

The European Parliament has approved the final deal on the implementation of the Marrakesh treaty in the EU. The treaty makes exceptions to some copyright rules for books and other materials in accessible formats for people who are blind or visually impaired (such as audiobooks, large print, and braille).


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UNHCR (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Instead of attacking NGOs, Member States must offer real solutions

Refugees and migration

Joint statement from Italian, French and German Greens/EFA MEPs on the European Interior Ministers' action plan.


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©matthew-henry

Anti-terror measures must not put fundamental rights at risk

New parliamentary committee on terrorism

The Greens/EFA group has ensured that the new committee will carefully assess the effects of security measures on fundamental rights.


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Camilo Rueda López (CC BY-ND 2.0)

MEPs back measures to fight VAT crime

VAT fraud

The European Parliament has backed the directive on the protection of the financial interests of the EU (or "PIF Directive"). This will reform the collection of VAT for cross-border businesses and will make consistent EU-wide rules on VAT fraud.


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Petar Milošević (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Blatant disregard for the banking union rules

EU Commission approves rescue of Monte dei Paschi

"The European Commission has again shown blatant disregard for the rules of the European Banking Union. There is no legal justification for further banking subsidies from the European Commission, only a clearly political one," says Sven Giegold.


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©henry-be

Member States fail to protect public health and environment from endocrine disrupters

Toxic substances

The Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed has today voted to approve new criteria determining hormone-disrupting chemicals used in pesticides. The European Commission's criteria will make it very difficult to identify endocrine disrupters, meaning that few if any products would be removed from the market.


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(CC BY-SA 2.0) Dave Dugdale

Country-by-country reporting is a major win for tax justice

Tax Justice

The European Parliament has today backed proposals for country-by-country reporting of financial information, a major tool in the fight for tax justice. Country-by-country reporting would require large multinationals operating within the EU to publish financial information for all territories in which they operate, including those outside the EU.


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© enviromantic

Clear consensus on the need to end planned obsolescence

Consumer goods and the environment

The European Parliament has adopted an own-initiative report from Pascal Durand aimed at extending the life of products to the benefit of consumers and businesses, their employees and the environment.


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Budget © nobiggie

Reform of the EU budget is long overdue

Future of EU finances

The Greens/EFA co-presidents welcome the fact that the European Commission is now taking steps to reform the EU budget.


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Action against Google shows EU's collective power

Google fine

"This is a good example of how the EU member states can act collectively to clamp down on corporate power; action an individual country may not feel able or willing to do on its own," says Molly Scott Cato.


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Circumvention of EU Law sets a dangerous precedent

New Banking Subsidies in Italy

"This is an outrageous circumvention of the rules of the European Banking Union," says Sven Giegold.


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EU must tackle aggressive methods of tax advisors and lawyers

New rules on middle-men from EU Commission

"The Commission has stepped up a gear in the fight against tax dumping in the EU," says Sven Giegold.


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© Scanpix Sweden

New fishing legislation will ensure EU boats meet standards worldwide

Comment from Greens/EFA MEP Linnéa Engström

This new legislation will do a great deal to safeguard the future of international fish stocks and communities dependent upon them globally, says Linnéa Engström.


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©miguel-cardona-jr

Parliament supports measures to stop social and environmental dumping

International Trade

"We want open trade, but we do not want trade that undermines social or environmental standards," says Greens/EFA MEP Heidi Hautala.


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Possibilities for keeping EU citizenship after leaving EU set out in new report

Press release from EFA MEP Jill Evans (Wales)

As formal negotiations get underway in Brussels, Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans is publishing a new report that explores how UK citizens could retain EU citizenship after the UK's withdrawal from the EU. The study was launched in the European Parliament on Tuesday, and the researchers will present t...


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Stop blocking reforms and open legal channels for migrants and refugees

Ska Keller and Gianni Pittella joint open letter to the European Council

The S&D and Greens/EFA Groups in the European Parliament have sent a joint open letter to European Council President, Donald Tusk, and the Heads of States and Governments, ahead of the next European Council meeting on 22/23 June, asking for immediate action to reform the Dublin system and open legal channels for migrants and refugees.


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Political groups block lobby transparency

Lobbying Transparency Register

Citizens have a right to know which lobbyists politicians have met in the process of creating a law. Regrettably, such a binding legislative footprint was not included in today's mandate. The objectors to mandatory lobby transparency will use the protection of their free mandate as a fig leaf.


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HELEN M BUSHE (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Fair and thorough investigation urgently needed

Malta / Money Laundering

MEPs have today held a debate on the Panama Papers and the rule of law in Malta in the presence of Maltese Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat. Prime Minister Muscat faces allegations that senior members of his government were involved in money laundering. Despite several senior officials being implicated...


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Babak Fakhamzadeh (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Parliament signals prospect of future EU membership for Kosovo

Kosovo report

The European Parliament has backed a report from Greens/EFA rapporteur Ulrike Lunacek on Kosovo. The report forms the Parliament's response to the Commission's annual progress reports on candidate and potential candidate countries.


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Stodtmeister (CC BY 3.0)

EU needs to do more than Trump bashing

Climate

"It is heartening that so many European leaders have lined up to attack Trump’s reckless decision and to pledge their renewed commitment to the Paris climate agreement. However, leadership requires action as well as words," says Greens/EFA climate spokesperson Bas Eickhout.


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JLogan (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Improved cooperation could save billions of euros

Preparation of the European Council of 22 and 23 June 2017

"EU member states need to make pooling and sharing resources the rule, not the exception. Improved cooperation could save billions of euros, money that is urgently needed to prevent conflicts and violence in the world," comments Greens/EFA co-president Ska Keller, ahead of the Council summit.


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EU countries must not shirk their shared responsibilities towards refugees in Europe

Refugee relocation

The European Commission has announced that it will start infringement proceedings against Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic in response to their boycotting of the relocation of refugees from Greece and Italy to other Member States. Greens/EFA co-president Ska Keller responds.


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Werbefabrik/Pixabay

Country by country reporting can help end tax dodging

Tax Justice

The European Parliament has taken a major step to curb the secrecy which allows businesses to minimise their tax liabilities.


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Chafer Machinery (CC BY 2.0)

European Commission must take action in response to Monsanto Papers

Glyphosate

"With so many unanswered questions, and an ongoing scientific debate regarding the safety of glyphosate, the European public has a right to know if Monsanto had any undue influence on the outcomes of the EFSA and ECHA assessments," says Greens/EFA food safety spokesperson, Bart Staes.


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European Parliament adopts simpler labelling

EU energy labelling

The European Parliament has voted in favour of the final agreement on revisions to EU rules on energy labelling. This will see the reintroduction of a simplified, colour-coded A-G system. For the Greens/EFA group, the simplified energy labelling is to be welcomed, but the pace of change is unacceptably slow.


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farmland©matt-benson

EU Member States must not allow organic reform to fail

Organic farming

"We urgently need a decision on whether we will continue with an outdated and flawed regulation or bring about a positive end to the negotiations on this important package" says Martin Hausling.


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