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Emissions cheating

The European Commission has just announced that it will open a formal investigation into whether BMW, Daimler and VW colluded to breach EU anti-trust rules around the roll-out of clean emissions technology.

ICAO

We must build on this meagre deal

Bas Eickhout comments on the International Civil Aviation Organization agreement on implementing a global market-based measure to limit emissions from aviation


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Caterpillar and Alstom cases show urgent need for European reindustrialisation policy

MEPs have today voted in favour of a resolution on the need for a European reindustrialisation policy, in light of the recent Caterpillar and Alstom cases. The Greens/EFA group secured a range of amendments, which included the need for:  more ambition on green targets and indicators;greater dem...


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Syria

War crimes in Aleppo require urgent action by the European Union

Commenting on today’s debate in the European Parliament, and ahead of tomorrow's vote on a resolution on the escalation in Syria, Greens/EFA group co-president Rebecca Harms said:"The images and reports from Aleppo must open our eyes to the urgency of the situation. Following the Russian atta...


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Anti-Torture Regulation

Human Rights and coherent trade policy are not mutually exclusive

A clear majority of MEPs today adopted a legislative report which revises EU trade rules, focusing on provisions to prevent the trade in goods that could be used for torture or capital punishment. Greens/EFA MEPs have been instrumental in ensuring this revision, which includes clear and robust provi...


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Paris Ratification

Now we need action

The European Parliament today voted by a considerable majority in favour of European Union ratification of the Paris Agreement. Commenting after the vote, Green climate change policy spokesperson Bas Eickhout said: "The European Parliament has today taken another big step towards fulfilli...


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Hungary migration referendum

Result fails to meet threshold

Commenting on the result of the Hungarian referendum on EU migration quotas, which failed to reach the legal threshold of 50% turnout, Greens/EFA MEP Tamás Meszerics stated: “Despite an extremely aggressive propaganda campaign, a majority of the Hungarian electorate did not cast a valid vote. Eve...


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Paris Agreement ratification

Now it's time to deliver

  The Environment Council will meet tomorrow (Friday 30 September) in Brussels, where it is expected to take the decision to ratify the Paris Agreement. Speaking ahead of the meeting, Green climate change policy spokesperson Bas Eickhout stated: "We would like to congratulate the Environm...


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Transparency register

Progress on lobby transparency but many loopholes remain

Today, Frans Timmermans, Vice-President of the European Commission, presented the proposal for a new Inter-Institutional Agreement between the European Commission, European Parliament and the European Council, relating to the transparency register for lobbyists. Rapporteur for the Transparency Repor...


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EUleaks

PANA Committee

Greens/EFA MEPs launch EULeaks whistleblower platform

A group of Greens/EFA MEPs today launched EULEAKS, an online platform which will allow whistleblowers to upload documents securely and anonymously. The platform, which can be accessed via the Greens/EFA website (http://www.greens-efa.eu), went live following the first meeting of the Committee of Inq...


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CETA/TTIP

Trade Ministers must not wave through unjust trade agreements

 EU trade ministers and Commissioner Malmström will meet tomorrow and Friday (22-23 September) to discuss free trade agreements with Canada (CETA) and the US (TTIP).Deputy Chairman of the Committee on International Trade and Green trade spokesperson Yannick Jadot stated:“EU Ministers appear ...


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Bahamas Leaks

Neelie Kroes revelations a perfect example of why people are losing trust in politicians

A new investigation from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) reveals that former EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes breached the EU Commission’s Code of Conduct by withholding information about her participation in an offshore company in the Bahamas. A whistleblower shar...


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Informal summit in Bratislava

European leaders must show they are willing and able to work together

Speaking ahead of today’s informal summit of EU heads of state and government in Bratislava, Slovakia, Rebecca Harms, co-President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, said: “The disputes of recent months have undermined citizens’ trust in the European Union and the European Co...


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Refugee crisis

European Parliament calls for urgent distribution of asylum seekers

The European Parliament today backed a report from Greens/EFA MEP Ska Keller on refugee quotas. A large majority of the Members of Parliament called for Member States to urgently meet their commitments to relocate 160,000 refugees from Greece and Italy to their territory


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Brexit - Scotland's democratic will must be recognised

Press release from EFA MEP Ian Hudghton (SNP)

In a European Parliament debate on the future of the EU, dominated by the response to Brexit, SNP President Ian Hudghton MEP called for the democratic will of the people of Scotland to be recognised. MEP Ian Hudghton The debate followed a major speech on the 'State of the Union' by EU ...


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State of the Union

European Union still best answer to the challenges we face

Commenting on today's State of the Union address from President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms said: "The European Union, with all its achievements and its shortcomings, is still the best answer to nationalism. We are better able to defe...


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Social Dumping

Time to end the exploitation of workers across the European Union

The European Parliament today adopted the Balas report on "social dumping within the European Union".Today’s decision is significant in the context of the forthcoming negotiations on the controversial directive on posted workers.Commenting after the vote, Greens/EFA member of the Committ...


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Copyright reforms

Plans are an attack on the freedom to link

Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Günther Oettinger, presented today his proposals for copyright reforms. Responding to the plans, Greens/EFA digital agenda spokesperson Julia Reda said: "Commissioner Oettinger's retrograde plans spell disaster for the internet. Oettinger has let ...


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Turkey debate

Use all opportunities for dialogue

Following today's debate on the latest developments in Turkey with Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, co-president of the Greens/EFA Group Rebecca Harms said: "The EU needs to push for an end to the persecution of journalists, lawyers ...


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Dieselgate

Interim report from inquiry committee backed by MEPs

  The interim report from the Committee of Inquiry into Emission Measurements (EMIS) has been passed by MEPs with a strong majority on Tuesday, 13 September. Commenting on the vote, Greens/EFA energy spokesperson and shadow rapporteur for the interim report Claude Turmes said: "As...


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Mass collection of flight passenger data is unlawful

Opinion of the CJEU Advocate General

The Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union, Paolo Mengozzi today presented his opinion on the agreement for the collection and retention of air passenger data (PNR) between the European Union and Canada. Green MEP and home affairs spokesperson Jan Philipp Albrecht said:"...


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Copyright reform

Oettinger’s copyright proposals unfit for digital age

A leaked draft* of the new EU Copyright Reform Directive reveals major flaws in the European Commission’s proposals.  Commenting on the leak, Greens/EFA digital agenda spokesperson Julia Reda said:  “This confirms our worst fears. Commissioner Oettinger has let copyright reform be hi...


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Rule of law in Turkey

Greens express outrage as political advisor is targeted by Turkish police

The Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament has responded strongly to the news that the home of a former member of their staff has been searched by Turkish police, and a warrant issued for his arrest. The home of Ali Yurttagül, a former political advisor to the Greens/EFA group in the European ...


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Apple state aid ruling

EU decision on Apple's tax arrangements a welcome step forwards on tax justice

The EU Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, today presented the results of the proceedings against Ireland for infringements of EU competition law. The ruling has major implications for Apple, who operate a significant portion of their global business through subsidiaries in Ireland, resulting in an effective tax rate of less than 1% on their foreign profits. The Commissioner has ruled that these special conditions are in breach of state aid. As a result of the ruling, the firm will now be required to pay up to €13bn of unpaid tax plus interest.


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Stress test for banks

Taxpayers' money should not be used for bank bailouts

The European Banking Authority (EBA) will tonight publish the results of the 2016 stress test for banks. The EBA carries out the test to assess whether banks hold enough capital to see them through a further worsening of the banking crisis. The stress test results play a crucial role in possible ban...


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EU climate change policy

Commission proposals fail to live up to promises on climate action

The European Commission today presented its proposal on how to share the effort of greenhouse gas reductions between EU member states. The legislation sets out the emissions reductions required by EU member states until 2030 in sectors not covered by the EU’s emissions trading scheme. Commenting o...


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EU rules on posted workers

Commission right to push ahead with reform

The European Commission today announced it would be proceeding with its proposal to revise EU rules on the posting of workers, overruling opposition from parliaments in 11 member states which had sought to block the plans with a so-called ‘yellow card’. Welcoming the decision, Green social ...


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Attempted coup in Turkey

Further polarisation must end

Commenting on the attempted coup d’état in Turkey, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms stated: “We are shocked by the events in Turkey. Although the background to the coup remains unknown, a military coup is clearly incompatible with democratic objectives. We extend our deepest condolences t...


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EU asylum rules

Retrograde proposals on rights and criteria for asylum seekers

The European Commission today presented further proposals for reforming the EU’s system of asylum rules, notably as regards the criteria under which asylum-seekers’ applications for international protection are judged in the EU, and the rights and treatment they should receive. Commenting on the...


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EU firearms rules

MEPs vote for middle ground in review

The European Parliament’s Internal Market committee today voted on proposals to revise EU rules on firearms, which were presented following the Paris attacks. Commenting after the vote, Green spokesperson Pascal Durand MEP stated: "MEPs have today voted for the middle ground in this crucial r...


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EU-US Privacy Shield

EU Commission signs blank cheque for data transfers

<xml> </xml> The European Commission today adopted the 'Privacy Shield' framework for the transfer of personal data of EU citizens to the US. Commenting on the adoption, Green home affairs and data protection spokesperson Jan Philipp Albrecht stated: "The Commission has today signed...


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Transparency/ethics

Cañete fails to address conflict of interest concerns; full investigation must follow

EU climate and energy commissioner Cañete today appeared before the EP's Legal Affairs committee to answer questions on his links to a number of cases raising concerns about potential conflicts of interest and/or corruption (1). Commenting after the hearing, Green legal affairs and transparency spo...


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EU border and coastal guard

FRONTEX transformed into return agency

The European Parliament today approved a proposal to grant the EU’s border management agency FRONTEX greater powers, notably for border and coast guard missions. The Greens opposed the plan, due to concerns about the fundamental rights implications of the new system. After the vote, Greens/EFA vic...


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EP tax avoidance investigation

Parliament adopts strong conclusions to Luxembourg Leaks investigation

The European Parliament today adopted the final report concluding the investigation of its special committee on tax avoidance. Welcoming the vote, Greens/EFA co-president Philippe Lamberts said:  “This investigation has shed light on the regulatory breakdown which allowed the large-scale tax ...


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EU energy labelling rules

Clearer energy label delayed for key products after EP vote

The European Parliament today voted on a proposal to revise EU rules on energy labelling. Commenting after the vote, Green energy spokesperson Michèle Rivasi said: “This vote is definitely an opportunity lost for European consumers. MEPs have voted to delay the long overdue introduction of clear ...


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EU development aid

Diverting development aid to military projects would be scandalous

The European Commission today presented a controversial proposal to transfer EU development aid, earmarked for peace and poverty reduction, towards military projects in third countries in Africa (1). The Greens hit out at the ‘Capacity Building in support of Security and Development proposal, with...


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EU anti-money laundering rules

Commission proposes steps forward in response to Panama Papers

The European Commission today presented proposals to update EU rules on anti-money laundering, including provisions to strengthen existing legislation in response to the Panama Papers revelations. Commenting on the proposals, Green MEP Judith Sargentini, who was co-rapporteur/draftsperson for parlia...


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EU-Canada trade agreement

Commission backtracking on ratification process welcome but problems with CETA remain

The European Commission today set out a proposal as to how the EU-Canada trade agreement (CETA) should be ratified. Responding to the proposal, Green trade spokesperson Yannick Jadot stated: "We welcome that the Commission has backtracked from its initial plan and is proposing a proper and d...


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EU anti-terrorism rules

Missed opportunity as MEPs vote for false solutions

The EU’s justice and home affairs committee today voted on draft EU anti-terrorism laws. The Greens expressed disappointment with the outcome, in particular the adoption of counter-productive provisions to criminalise traveling for criminal purposes. Speaking after the vote, Green home affairs spo...


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Air pollution

Deal on draft EU law a blow for public health

An agreement between the European Parliament and Council revising EU air quality legislation, setting out national limits on a range of air pollutants, was today confirmed (1). The Greens condemned the final agreement, which significantly weakens the draft legislation proposed by the European Commis...


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Luxembourg Leaks trial

Regrettable verdict a wake-up call on whistleblower protection

A Luxembourg court today ruled that ‘Luxembourg Leaks’ whistleblowers Antoine Deltour and Raphaël Halet were guilty of stealing documents, revealing business secrets and violating trade secrets (1). Criticising the verdict, Green transparency spokesperson Benedek Javor MEP, who was ...


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UK referendum

EU response must ensure interest of all European citizens to the fore

The European Parliament today debated the outcome of the UK referendum on EU membership and adopted a resolution setting out its opinion (1) ahead of a summit of EU leaders (28-29 June). Commenting in the context of the debate, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms said: “The European Union, its ...


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©nicole-harrington

Glyphosate approval

EU governments should begin glyphosate phase-out following Commission intransigence

EU health commissioner Andriukaitas this evening confirmed that the European Commission would be granting a temporary 'technical extension' of the EU approval of the herbicide glyphosate, despite the proposal having failed to secure the support of the necessary qualified majority of EU gover...


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UK referendum

European partners must work together to deliver decisive response to UK vote

There can be no doubt that this vote will have a dramatic impact across Europe and the globe. From the outset, the European project aimed at ensuring lasting peace through the extension of freedom, democracy and shared prosperity. Reconnecting with that ambition is what is needed to address the many legitimate reasons behind this public dissatisfaction and ensure the EU can win back the support of citizens.


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EU energy rules

Parliament calls for greater ambition ahead of upcoming review

The European Parliament today adopted two reports setting out its assessment of how the EU’s laws on energy efficiency and renewable energy are being implemented. The Greens welcomed the votes, which called for more ambition, ahead of reviews of the legislation expected to be presented by the ...


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Tax avoidance

Minimalist new EU law shows EU governments not taking problem seriously

An agreement between EU finance ministers on new EU anti-tax avoidance legislation was confirmed today, after a provisional deal struck at last week’s council meeting was formally accepted by all EU member states. The Greens expressed regret at the final agreement, which will deliver only limited ...


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Russia

Prolonging EU sanctions correct and necessary

EU governments today agreed in principle to prolong the sanctions against Russia put in place after the war in the Donbas Region. Commenting on the decision, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms said: "This decision is correct and necessary given the Russian authorities are still refusing to ...


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Conflict minerals

Binding rules agreed, as EU takes problem seriously

The European Parliament and Council today reached a political agreement on a new EU regulation aimed at tackling the problem of conflict minerals by introducing transparency provisions. Commenting on the outcome, Green development spokesperson Judith Sargentini said: “This deal is a breakthrough i...


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Toxic substances

Shameful Commission compounds wrongs on endocrine disruptors

The European Commission today presented long-delayed proposals, setting out scientific criteria to address the problem of chemical substances that interfere with the endocrine system (1). The Greens hit out at the proposals, with Green environment and health spokesperson Bas Eickhout stating: "...


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Refugee resettlement

Incoherent proposals underline dysfunctional EU approach to refugee crisis

The European Commission today presented proposals to reinstate transfers of asylum seekers to Greece under the Dublin asylum system, as well as presenting updates on progress under the EU’s resettlement and relocation scheme and the EU-Turkey agreement. Responding to the Commission proposals, Gree...


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Toxic substances

Commission given strong rebuke over failure to act on endocrine disruptors

The European Parliament today adopted a resolution criticising the European Commission for failing to propose scientific criteria to address the problem of chemical substances that interfere with the endocrine system, as it was required to do under EU law and under a Court ruling last year (1). Welc...


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