© Martin-Pluimers
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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.

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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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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No mandate for hard Brexit

UK general election result

Reaction to the results of the UK general election from Greens/EFA co-presidents Ska Keller and Philippe Lamberts.


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Great step towards European security union

European Public Prosecutor

The Justice and Home Affairs Council has come to a political agreement on the European Public Prosecutor (EPPO). The EPPO is tasked with identifying instances of fraud using EU money, for example in cross-border EU-funded construction projects. The European Commission estimates that this amounts to €500 million per year, with a large share being VAT fraud.


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Bundeswehr/Modes (CC BY 2.0)

European Commission defence proposals

More cooperation needed instead of cash injection for arms industry

We do not need more money for the defence industry, much less a new arms fund. When the EU Member States pool projects, money is saved and our defence is better and more efficient.


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Glyphosate

Greens/EFA MEPs go to ECJ over access to studies

A group of Greens/EFA MEPs has filed a case with the European Court of Justice demanding public access to the studies used by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in assessing the safety of glyphosate.


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Epizentrum | CC BY-SA 3.0

Commission sets out options for Eurozone's future

Reflection paper

The European Commission has today (31 May) released a reflection paper setting out options for the completion of a robust economic and monetary union. The proposal contains almost nothing on social and taxation issues, which leaves the EU lagging far behind French President Macron's proposals for social minimum standards, as well as a minimum corporate tax.


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Amaury Laporte (CC BY-NC 2.0)

As sources signal Trump likely to pull out, all parties must stand together

Paris Agreement

It seems likely that Donald Trump will this week announce the US's intention to leave the Paris climate deal agreed in 2015.


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Epizentrum, CC BY-SA 3.0

New rules for finance industry sign of political amnesia

Securitisation agreement

The European Parliament and Council of ministers agreed on new legislation designed to resuscitate the market for "securitisation" - one of the key causes of the financial crisis that began 10 years ago and that Europe has yet to fully recover from.


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Rolf van Melis | CC

Road mobility package

Road transport sector let down by Commission's proposals

The European Commission has today (31 May) presented the first part of its road mobility package. The package contains proposals for controversial changes to current laws on the social and environmental aspects of the road transport sector, as well as an update that will affect the working conditions of freight drivers working abroad.


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Budget © nobiggie

Commission proposal lacks real ambition

EU budget 2018

The European Commissioner for Budget, Günther Oettinger, has presented his draft EU budget for the year 2018. This officially launches the annual budget procedure that will continue until the end of this year. For the Greens/EFA group, the draft budget shows little ambition.


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@thomas-richter

New emissions targets for 2030 show progress but Member States can do more

ENVI committee

The European Parliament’s Environment Committee has today voted to strengthen climate protection in Europe and has adopted a package that sets out targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by EU countries during the period 2021 to 2030.


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© Trista Weibell

European Commission must invest more to promote solidarity

European Solidarity Corps

“Promoting solidarity between young people across the EU is something we strongly support, but the European Commission will have to do better than this to make it happen," comments Greens/EFA education and policy spokesperson, Helga Trüpel.


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J-C Juncker © European People's Party EPP

Juncker’s Luxembourg made money from the sidestepping of European law

Panama Papers inquiry committee

On Tuesday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will attend the PANA inquiry committee in the European Parliament. The former finance minister and prime minister of Luxembourg will face questions about his current and past record when it comes to tax transparency and justice.


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EU Council CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Eurogroup needs to follow through on commitments to Greece

Greece

"Greek people continue to suffer under largely harmful reforms and failure to agree on debt relief does nothing to improve the situation," says Greens/EFA MEP Sven Giegold.


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©if

Road Mobility Package must deliver for workers and the environment

Road transport

The European Parliament has voted on a resolution setting out its position on EU road transport policy. This comes ahead of the European Commission’s Road Mobility Package. The Greens/EFA group wants to see significant improvements to the conditions of workers in the transport sector.


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European Parliament denounces Member States' failure to relocate refugees

Relocation

Member States must finally implement the relocation of 160,000 refugees from Greece and Italy. Those Member States that continue to boycott relocation cannot be allowed to get away with their refusal to show solidarity. The Commission must initiate infringement procedures against them.


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Digital-world-©-Nicholas-Monu

Digital borders in Europe to remain

Digital Single Market

The European Parliament has today adopted a new regulation that will ensure that Europeans who buy or subscribe to online content services are able to access them when they travel in other EU countries. Services like Netflix and Spotify will now be obliged to enable cross-border portability of their...


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Eurogroup must deliver on Greek debt relief

"Greece has made huge progress on the many difficult asks that have been made of it. It is now time that the Eurogroup delivered on its side of the bargain," says Ska Keller.


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