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Future of Europe/Mark Rutte in the European Parliament

Mr Rutte might like to present himself as a man of the people by cleaning up some coffee. But on Europe, his vision is every man for himself.

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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Migration

Outsourcing to 'third countries' an abdication of responsibility

The European Commission today presented its proposals for a 'Migration Compact' system for managing an EU approach to migration, as well as for a legal entry visa programme for high-skilled migrants, the so-called 'blue card'. Commenting on the 'Migration Compact', Green migration spokesperson Judit...


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©timon-studler

Human rights must be central to EU migration compact

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

MEPs in Strasbourg have debated the European Union's proposed new 'migration compact' aimed at addressing the root causes of migration. The European Commission proposes using EU funding to encourage private investment in migrants' countries of origin, notably Africa. The propos...


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Toxic substances/Glyphosate

3 strikes must mean Commission rules glyphosate approval out

A proposal for a temporary 'technical extension' of the EU approval of the herbicide glyphosate today failed to secure the support of a majority of EU governments (1). Commenting on the development, Green environment and food safety spokesperson Bart Staes stated: "We applaud those EU governmen...


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Tax avoidance/Panama Leaks

Comprehensive inquiry to be set up in EU Parliament on Green initiative

The European Parliament's Conference of Presidents of political groups today agreed on the creation of a parliamentary inquiry committee to investigate the Panama Papers revelations, following an agreement between political groups on a mandate for the committee (1). The mandate will now be confirmed...


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Toxic substances/Glyphosate

Commission back-down must lead to complete rethink on toxic pesticides

The European Commission today proposed a temporary 'technical extension' of the EU approval of the herbicide glyphosate for a limited period (1). The proposal comes after the failure to secure a qualified majority of EU governments in favour of re-approving the controversial substance for 9 years, a...


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EU investment plan

Review underlines concerns about repackaged funds and skewed priorities

The European Commission today presented a review of the EU investment plan (EFSI), which was presented in January 2015. Reacting to the review and the progress on the plan, Greens/EFA co-president Philippe Lamberts stated: "The 'Juncker Plan' was introduced with much fanfare but this review onl...


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Greece

Taboo on debt relief broken but Eurogroup must stop sidestepping

Commenting on the outcome of the Eurogroup meeting on the Greek bailout programme, Greens/EFA co-president Philippe Lamberts said: "We welcome the decision to release a new tranche of rescue loans to Greece, which is essential to stanch the persistent deterioration of the Greek economy. However...


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Digital Single Market

Baby step forward as Commission misses point on geoblocking

Commenting on today's presentation of an 'anti-geoblocking package' as part of the European Commission's Digital Single Market initiative, Greens/EFA digital agenda spokesperson Julia Reda said: "The proposed 'anti-geoblocking' regulation doesn't do what it says on the tin. When most Europeans ...


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EU-US 'Privacy Shield' data exchange

No blank cheque for data transfers without equivalent protection standards

 The European Parliament will today debate the proposed 'Privacy Shield' framework for the transfer of the private data of EU citizens to the US, ahead of a vote on a resolution setting out parliament's position tomorrow. In the context of the debate and vote, Green home affairs and data protec...


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Rule of law

Poland and EU must continue honest dialogue on constitutional concerns

The deadline for the Polish government to make legislative changes in response to the monitoring procedure under the EU's rule of law framework will expire today. The Polish government has indicated it will not be revising the legal and constitutional changes with regard to the 'Constitutional Tribu...


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Austrian election

Van der Bellen's victory renews hope in Europe

Commenting on the election of Alexander Van der Bellen as Austrian president, Greens/EFA co-president Philippe Lamberts said: "We warmly congratulate Alexander Van der Bellen on his election as president of Austria. This is a momentous day for the Greens in Austria and Europe. However, it is al...


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Toxic substances

Glyphosate EU approval decision postponed as concerns refuse to go away

A decision on whether or not to reapprove the controversial toxic substance glyphosate for use in Europe was today postponed for the second time, following disagreement among representatives of EU governments. A revised proposal by the European Commission to reapprove glyphosate for use in Europe fo...


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Turkey

Erdogan attempts to 'correct' election outcome by stripping MPs of immunity

The Turkish parliament will today debate and vote on a draft law to strip over 130 Turkish MPs of their parliamentary immunity. The law will need to be adopted in two separate votes, with the second vote taking place Friday.  Commenting on the debate and votes, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca H...


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Nuclear industry

Leaked EU Commission paper foresees major expansion of nuclear power

A draft paper from the EU's Sustainable Energy Technology Plan, which is being steered by the European Commission, was leaked today in the German media. The paper argues for the expansion of nuclear power and builds on an analysis on the future of nuclear power in Europe (the Community Nuclear Illus...


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Trade agreements

EU-Canada trade agreement must not be applied before full democratic ratification process

EU trade ministers will meet tomorrow (13 May) with the EU-Canada trade agreement (CETA) on the top of their agenda. Commenting ahead of the Trade Council, Green trade spokesperson Yannick Jadot stated: "There are legitimate concerns that the European Commission and EU governments in favour ...


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China/trade

EU should not consider China as market economy if criteria not met

The European Parliament today adopted a resolution setting out its position on the question of market economy status for China. After the vote, Green spokesperson on China Reinhard Bütikofer stated: "All the evidence makes clear that China is not a market economy. The EU therefore has no reaso...


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Tax avoidance

US should be considered a tax haven according to new research

New research commissioned by the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament has outlined how the US has fallen behind on tax transparency and made the case for it to be considered as a tax haven under the new EU blacklist (1). The research has been published ahead of a delegation by the European Pa...


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Turkey

Rule of law concerns cannot be ignored by EU in visa liberalisation

The European Parliament today debated the situation in Turkey and the proposed visa liberalisation with the EU. In the context of the debate, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms stated: "The clamp-down against all opposition by the Erdogan regime has reached new level. The sentencing of the j...


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Justice

European police and security

New EUROPOL rules will strengthen police cooperation

The European Parliament today adopted new rules on EUROPOL, the EU's law enforcement agency. The new rules will strengthen EUROPOL's ability to ensure cross-border cooperation between police services. After the vote, Greens/EFA vice-president Josep-Maria Terricabras said: “The tragic terrorist att...


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Yes to Turkey visa liberalisation, but not at any price

Press release from EFA MEP Ernest Maragall

Greens/EFA MEP Ernest Maragall, a member of the European Parliament's Delegation for relations with Turkey, has spoken out in support of liberalising EU visa conditions for Turkish citizens to visit Europe. But the Catalan MEP said that visa liberalisation should not be approved until the Turkish s...


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EU asylum rules

Proposals fall far short of overhaul and raise serious fundamental rights concerns

The European Commission today presented proposals for reforming the EU's system of asylum rules. Commenting on the proposed reforms, Green asylum spokesperson Jean Lambert said: "Despite the widespread acknowledgement that the EU's Dublin system of asylum rules is not fit for the task, the Com...


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Whistleblower protection

Greens present draft EU law as Deltour trial continues

The Greens/EFA group in European Parliament are presenting a draft for a new EU directive on whistleblower protection. The draft directive, which has been launched coinciding with the trial of Luxembourg Leaks whistleblower Antoine Deltour, aims to provide the basis and further impetus for a proposa...


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Rail sector

New EU rules will save time and money

The European Parliament today adopted new EU legislation setting out rules governing the rail sector in Europe. The 'technical pillar' of 4th Railway Package, sets out rules governing the rail sector in Europe, notably as regards  safety, interoperability and the strengthening of the European R...


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Greece/Eurogroup

Posturing must end; responsible decisions on Greek economy needed

Commenting on the latest developments regarding the Greek bailout programme, Greens/EFA co-president Philippe Lamberts said: "The renewed posturing on the implementation of Greece's bailout programme is a worrying distraction from the persistent deterioration of the Greek economy. The decision ...


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Basque peace process - Otegi visit to European Parliament

Press release from EFA MEPs J-M Terricabras & Tatjana Ždanoka

At the invitation of the European Parliament's Basque Friendship Group, well-known Basque independentist figure Arnalo Otegi is visiting Brussels to push for greater support for the Basque peace process. MEPs have called for the Spanish government to enter into dialogue in the search for a la...


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Who made my clothes?

Jill Evans MEP asks 'who made my clothes'?

Press release from EFA MEP Jill Evans (Plaid Cymru)

As the third anniversary of the Rana Plaza clothing factory tragedy approaches this Sunday, Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans is backing a campaign for ethical clothes labelling in Europe. Over a thousand people died and more than two thousand five hundred were injured in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2013 when th...


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Tax avoidance/Panama Leaks

EU Parliament inquiry green light; robust mandate must follow

The European Parliament's Conference of Presidents of political groups today agreed on a proposal from the Greens/EFA group to set up a parliamentary inquiry committee to investigate the Panama Leaks revelations, which showed wealthy individuals and firms channel funds through offshore firms to avoi...


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Trade secrets

New EU rules open the door to abuses and endanger whistleblowers

The European Parliament today adopted new EU rules on the protection of trade secrets. The Greens have expressed concern with the law, notably the excessive rights to secrecy for businesses and provisions that pose a threat to whistleblowers. After the vote Greens/EFA MEP Julia Reda stated: &ldqu...


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Data protection

New EU rules provide major step forward for consumer protection

The European Parliament today adopted a legislative agreement on the reform of the EU's data protection rules, finalising the new law. Commenting on the new rules, Green MEP and European Parliament draftsperson/rapporteur on the data protection regulation Jan Philipp Albrecht stated: "Today's a...


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PNR air passenger data retention

Mass surveillance placebo will not tackle terror threat

The European Parliament today voted to approve new legislation setting up an EU system for the collection and retention of air passenger data (PNR). The Greens have consistently criticised the proposed system, which will fail to address the terrorist threat, whilst undermining the fundamental lights...


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EU-Turkey

Turkey's democratic backslide condemned by EU Parliament

The European Parliament today adopted its annual progress report on Turkey's EU accession process. Commenting on the report, Green foreign policy spokesperson and Turkey expert Bodil Valero said: "The European Parliament has today highlighted its concerns with the backsliding on democratic norm...


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Toxic substances/glyphosate

EU Parliament opposes re-approval of glyphosate for most uses

The European Parliament today adopted a resolution setting out its position on a proposal by the EU Commission to reapprove the controversial toxic substance glyphosate for use in Europe. The resolution flagged concerns with the Commission's proposal, notably calling for significantly restricting th...


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Corporate tax transparency

Proposed public reporting obligations for big business fall short

The European Commission is today set to present a proposal to introduce public country-by-country reporting obligations on corporations. The European Parliament has been calling for such obligations for some time as means to ensure full transparency of corporations' tax dealings. The Greens express...


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MEPs back improvements to flagship Erasmus+ scheme

Press Release from EFA MEP Ernest Maragall (Catalonia)

In a key report by Greens/EFA MEP Ernest Maragall voted today by the European Parliament, MEPs have called for the EU's flagship Erasmus+ programme to do more to promote mobility through vocational training in Europe. But MEPs rejected an amendment calling for the documentation about the prog...


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Inclusion is key to resolve Nagorno-Karabakh dispute

Press release from EFA MEP Josep-Maria Terricabras (Catalonia)

Speaking as the European Parliament debates the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, Josep-Maria Terricabras, President of the EFA Group in the European Parliament, called for the legitimate representatives of the people of the territory to be included in the negotiations about its future. MEP Josep-Ma...


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Refugee crisis

EU-Turkey deal undermines international law and human rights

The EU-Turkey agreement to return refugees in Greece to Turkey, which has been implemented since Monday, will be discussed in the European Parliament's civil liberties and home affairs committee today. Ahead of the debate, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms said: "The situation regarding the...


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Dutch referendum

EU must find way to maintain crucial Ukraine agreement

Commenting on the outcome of the Dutch referendum on the EU-Ukraine agreement, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms said:"Ukrainian citizens and civil society have bravely pushed to reform their country, to achieve stable democracy and the rule of law for their country. The EU-Ukraine Associat...


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VAT/sales tax

EU Commission proposing to continue patchwork framework

The European Commission today presented proposals to reform the rules governing value added tax in the EU. Commenting on the proposals, UK Green MEP and tax policy spokesperson Molly Scott Cato said: "Reform of the EU's complicated VAT system is overdue and we welcome that the Commission is wil...


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Tax avoidance/Panama Leaks

EU Parliament must set up inquiry committee

In response to the Panama Leaks revelations, which showed wealthy individuals and firms channel funds through offshore firms to avoid paying taxes, the Greens have called for an immediate response at EU level. The Greens/EFA group is leading the push for the creation of a European Parliament inquiry...


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EU asylum policy

EU Commission sets out piecemeal changes

The European Commission today presented its proposals for reforming the EU's asylum system. Commenting on the proposals, Green migration spokesperson Jean Lambert said: "The unravelling chaos in Greece and Turkey has underlined for the umpteenth time that a comprehensive European solution to th...


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Tax avoidance/money laundering

Panama leaks revelations underlines how EU still failing to tackle tax avoidance

In response to the Panama Leaks revelations, which showed wealthy individuals and firms channel funds through offshore firms to avoid paying taxes, the Greens have called for an immediate response at EU level. Commenting on the findings and their implications, Green tax spokesperson Sven Giegold sai...


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EU nuclear industry analysis

EU Commission outlines high risk strategy, with reactor lifetime extensions of up to 60 years

The European Commission today presented a paper setting out its analysis on the future of nuclear power in Europe (the Community Nuclear Illustrative Programme - PINC). It is the first paper of its kind by the Juncker Commission and the first since the Fukushima accident in Japan. The Greens critic...


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EU summit

Legally dubious agreement with Turkey

Speaking after the EU heads of state and government agreed deal that will see thousands of refugees in Greece forced to return to Turkey with little or no chance to apply for asylum, Greens/EFA co-president Philippe Lamberts said: “This agreement falls far short of what needs to be done to find a...


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