UK Parliament(CC BY 3.0)
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Brexit

This devastating defeat for Theresa May cannot be seen as a crisis but as an opportunity to break the deadlock in the UK Parliament and take the question of Brexit back to the people. The time for political games is over, the solution to this crisis must be put to the British public

Calls for swift action on citizens' rights in event of Brexit no-deal

Press release from EFA MEP Alyn Smith (SNP)

As the deadline to reach a Brexit agreement approaches, and with no obvious way forward to reach a deal, Alyn Smith MEP has authored a joint letter to EU leaders calling for swift action to protect the rights of citizens in the event of a chaotic no-deal. The letter, cosigned by twenty-four other...


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(CC BY-SA 2.0) Dave Dugdale

European Parliament supports greater cross-border cooperation between tax authorities

Fiscalis programme

The European Parliament has voted with a broad pro-European majority in favour of the Fiscalis programme for improving cross-border cooperation between tax authorities, which is part of the Multi-Financial-Framework (MFF) programmes currently being negotiated between the Parliament, Council and Commission.


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©-Tobias-Keckel

The EU needs new tools to protect and support the rule of law

European Values

Today, the European Parliament voted in favour of a support scheme for civil society organisations working to promote human rights and democracy in the EU. Almost €1 billion will be allocated to the scheme, and it will also become easier for smaller organisations to apply for EU funds. The report authored by Greens/EFA MEP Bodil Valero also contains special emergency measures to support civil society organisations in Member States where there is a rapid and serious deterioration of the rule of law.


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©jakob-madsen

EU must remain a reliable partner in decommissioning nuclear power plant

Nuclear power/Lithuania

The European Parliament is sending a signal of reliability in assisting the people of Lithuania in the decommissioning of the outdated Ignalina nuclear power plant


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Parliament approves Terricabras report on Fundamental Rights

Press release from EFA MEP J-M Terricabras

The European Parliament has today voted to approve a report prepared by MEP Josep-Maria Terricabras which analyses the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union (in 2017). The report, approved by MEPs, calls for "impartial" investigations into the excessive use of police for...


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Pgiam istock

EU Parliament adopts strong recommendations to better protect health and the environment

Final Report Special Committee on Pesticides

The European Parliament has just called on EU governments and the European Commission to make the authorisation procedure for pesticides more transparent, to take decisions based on independent scientific evidence, to test pesticides and pesticide active substances more rigorously for health and environmental risks, and to re-asses the product glyphosate for its cancer risks


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Call for unilateral action to guarantee citizens' rights in Brexit

Press release from EFA MEP Alyn Smith (SNP)

Greens/EFA MEP Alyn Smith (SNP) has today urged the EU to act unilaterally to guarantee the rights of citizens who have been left in limbo following the UK Government’s botched handling of the Brexit negotiations. Speaking in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, the SNP MEP said: &ldqu...


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Spanish government must push for social and green Europe

Future of Europe

The Spanish government shows in many areas that a greener and a more social Europe is possible. We welcome the Spanish government's very concrete measures to help families in need and to bring forward the energy transition.


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Gender equality and taxation policies in the EU

Quotes from Ernest Urtasun and Molly Scott Cato

Today, the European Parliament has voted for a raft of actions aimed at supporting gender equality in taxation policies. The report gender equality and taxation policies in the EU, which was co-authored by Greens/EFA MEP Ernest Urtasun, calls on the European Commission to end gender-discrimination in taxation policies through the individualisation of tax systems and for VAT exemptions for essential basic goods such as sanitary products.


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Glyphosate renewal rife with chemical industry influence - new findings

Public health/Glyphosate

Today, Bart Staes, Greens/EFA MEP and co-rapporteur for the PEST Committee on the EU pesticide authorisation procedure, together with colleagues from other groups, present damning new evidence on the chemical industry's involvement in the procedure for renewing the authorisation of the dangerous substance glyphosate.


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Symbolic gestures on tax not enough

Tax

The European Commission will unveil plans to move decisions on tax issues under Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) in the Council. However, Member States will still retain a veto over tax issues under the current unanimity rule. Following on from major tax scandals, as well as an urgent need to introduce new legislation on key tax issues, core files have been stuck for months or years in the Council.


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Creative Commons CC0

EU governments must abolish modern slavery on Europe's roads

Mobility Package/Transport

"It is a victory for trade unions and all those working towards fairer working conditions that the European Commission and a cross-party group of MEPs were unable to pursue their anti-social aims in the Transport Committee. " said Keith Taylor


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European Parliament to debate situation in Hungary on Greens/EFA request

Hungary

Following the mass protests in Hungary around the so-called "slave law" and opposition to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's autocratic rule, the European Parliament on the request of the Greens/EFA group, has tabled a plenary debate on the situation in Hungary for the end of January in Brussels (30th or 31st).


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JLogan (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Romania has a lot of work to do at home and in Brussels

EU Council Presidency

On the start of the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council, Philippe Lamberts, President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament comments.


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main-charbon - pixnio.jpg

Last call for coal

Electricity Market Design

After lengthy negotiations, the EU agreed on the directive and regulation on electricity market design, which will see an end to subsidies for coal power by mid-2025. The agreement, while still insufficient to reach the Climate Paris Goals is still a step in the right direction towards ending coal subsidies and increasing the role of renewables in the energy market.


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Image by Hans

EU bans single use plastics in an early Christmas present for the planet

Plastic

Today's agreement to ban certain single use plastics is an early Christmas present for the planet and our future on it. With every plastic bottle that washes up on a beach and each bird that chokes to death on our plastic waste, the need to act on plastic pollution is ever more pertinent.


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Ruben de Rijcke (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Parliament is the driving force behind stronger reductions on CO2 emissions for cars

CO2 emissions

"The kind of effort showed by EU governments is the equivalent of switching from fifth to fourth gear while keeping your foot on the accelerator; it'll slow you down a little but it won't stop the car from crashing. Yet, despite reluctance from the capitals, the European Parliament has proven that it is the only institution in the driving seat on the road to reaching the Paris climate goals.", said Bas Eickhout


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© Martin-Pluimers

Hungary protests

Quote from Judith Sargentini

Following protests this weekend in Hungary around the so-called new "slave law", which allows employers to increase the amount of overtime for employees without financial compensation, and after the governing Fidesz party tightened control over the courts, the media and forced the closure of the Central European University, the European Council must initiate Article 7 proceedings against the Hungarian government, according to the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament. Read the declaration of Judith Sargentini, Greens/EFA rapporteur on the rule of law in Hungary report.


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©des

Major gap between expectations of citizens and decisions of governments

UN climate negotiations (COP24)

This COP was a big disappointment. It showed that there is a major gap between the expectations of the citizens and the analysis of the scientists on one hand and the decisions of the governments on the other hand.


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Tax avoidance

Parliament slams inaction on tech tax

Proposal to tax tech giants

It's time that the tech giants paid their fair share. These companies, which are increasingly part of our everyday lives, from how we consume content and goods to how we communicate, and they should be treated as equal contributors to society


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David Sedlecký CC BY-SA 4.0

Czech PM's conflict of interest must end

Andrej Babiš

"Today's vote could not be any clearer: the European Commission must ensure that the conflict of interest around Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is resolved. There's no doubt that Mr Babiš is seriously violating EU financial regulation", said Greens/EFA Co-President, Ska Keller.


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European flags © Xavier Häpe

EU Summit - 13 and 14 December

Quote from Greens/EFA Co-President Ska Keller

The European Council must break its current cycle of deadlock and postponement. We urgently need progress on a common European asylum system as well as on the Eurozone reform. On Brexit, it is clear that there cannot be a change in the withdrawal agreement.


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Ruling stops license to pollute

ECJ decision Euro6

The General Court of the European Court of Justice issued a ruling on the amendment of the Euro6 norms and annuls the conformity factor in the RDE legislation. The European Commission watered down the limits for NOx emissions by introducing a conformity factor.


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monikawl999

EFA Group President comments on Strasbourg attack

"Our thoughts are with the victims and their families" - Terricabras

The President of the European Free Alliance Group in the European Parliament, Josep-Maria Terricabras, has commented on yesterday's fatal attack in Strasbourg. Josep-Maria Terricabras MEP said: "We are all deeply shocked and saddened by the events in Strasbourg yesterday evening. &...


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@frank-mckenna

JEFTA imports old mistakes

EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement

The Japan-EU Free Trade Agreement (JEFTA) between the European Union and Japan does not represent a forward-looking and sustainable trade policy, which is why the Greens/EFA Group have voted against it in the European Parliament today.


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© jackmac34

Grief and sorrow

Attack in Strasbourg

We mourn the deaths following the terrible attack around the Christmas market in Strasbourg. Our deepest sympathy is with the injured, the relatives and friends of the dead. We stand together in solidarity with the victims and all the people of Strasbourg.


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@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.


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New report: The cost of corruption across the EU

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.


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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.


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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.


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©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


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© 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.


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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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