Tax avoidance transparency
MORE TRANSPARENCY TO FIGHT TAX AVOIDANCE
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The European Parliament’s plenary session has voted to support a standing subcommittee to look at tax transparency and to tackle tax evasion and avoidance.

Coronavirus - We must fight together

Unprecedented EU response needed to avert worst of virus crisis

COVID-19

We need a coordinated European response like no other to meet the challenge of this global pandemic head-on. We must focus on protecting the most vulnerable; from those at high risk, to the homeless and marginalised, to refugees who have no protection whatsoever from this pandemic in overcrowded camps with very little medical attention


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Kids at lesbos refugee camp
Kids at lesbos refugee camp | Fotomovimiento (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Ylva Johansson comments on access to asylum

Quote from Tineke Strik MEP

Today, Ylva Johansson, European Commissioner for Home Affairs, stated at a press conference in Athens that EU Member States, including Greece, must guarantee the right to access asylum. The Greek government has been accused of denying refugees access to asylum. Tomorrow (Friday, 13 March) EU inte...


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Circular economy
Circular economy - © ma_rish

Commission plan positive step to kick start circular economy

Circular economy

The new Action Plan contains key proposals for the transformation to a circular economy, such as a commitment to address key product value chains, to come forward with waste reduction targets and to revise waste shipment rules. However, several indispensable pieces of the puzzle are still missing


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Reindustrialising-Europe
© Sigal Suhler Moran

First steps towards climate-neutral industry

Industrial strategy

The European Commission has fired the starting gun for the transformation of our industry towards climate neutrality. To begin the green transition of industry, recycling management, energy efficiency and the expansion of renewable energies in the European Union are essential.


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Homewithsolarpanelsontheroof-Roberta Casaliggi

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) strategy

Quote from Damian Boeselager MEP

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) form the backbone of the European economy. It is good that the European Commission acknowledges the tough decisions SMEs are facing today to be competitive in the digital age and to transition to Green and sustainable business models.


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Syrian and Iraqi refugees arrive from Turkey to Lesbos, Greece
Ggia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Greens/EFA call for the relocation of refugees from Greece

Refugees

MEPs will debate, Tuesday 10 March, the situation on the Turkish-Greek border and the demands on the European Union. On Thursday (12 March) Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will visit the camps on the Greek islands.


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After the market

Africa Strategy must move beyond business as usual

EU/Africa

We regret that the Commission has not taken this opportunity to balance the rights of the private sector with social and environmental duties, which would allow it to become a real player in development. We urge the Commission to play its role as a regulator, in particular with regard to due diligence


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Turkey Eu Flags
CC BY dschenck

Meeting of Turkish President with President Ursula von der Leyen and President Charles Michel

Quote from Sergey Lagodinsky MEP

The Turkish President only has leverage as long as EU governments fail to agree on a fair European system for the distribution of refugees. The European Union and European governments must do everything in their power to end the humanitarian disaster in Idlib and to exert influence on Russia


en
Graphic featuring gender equality

Commission's Strategy falls short of expectations

Gender Equality

""Ursula von der Leyen has said she wants to put gender equality high on the agenda, but she falls short of delivering equality within her own Strategy," comments Greens/EFA MEP Alice Bah Kuhnke.


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climate message

EU must take the lead with more ambitious climate targets

Climate Law

To save the climate, 2020 is crucial. The European Climate Law presented by the European Commission falls short of the promises enshrined in the Green Deal and does not live up to the EU's claim to take this leading role in climate protection.


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Kids at lesbos refugee camp
Kids at lesbos refugee camp | Fotomovimiento (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Europe must protect human rights and the rule of law

Situation on the Greece-Turkey border

"It is shameful that refugees are beaten away at European borders with batons and tear gas and when the Greek military conjures up civil war-like scenes against refugees," comments Greens/EFA co-president Ska Keller.


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euro-coins

EU governments are making domestic considerations a priority

MFF

The postponement of the negotiations of the Heads of State and Government on the Multiannual Financial Framework is disappointing. EU governments were unable to agree on a strong united position for a budget for the future. The Green Deal and challenges such as digitisation and growing inequality cannot be tackled with an austerity budget. The European Parliament, under pressure from the Greens/EFA group, is calling for more investment in climate protection and is united behind the call for an increase in the EU budget to 1.3% of gross national income and own resources.


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artificial-intelligence

A boost for innovation and anti-discrimination

Digital and data strategy/artificial intelligence

The European Commission presented its digital strategy, data strategy and for the first time presented a strategy on artificial intelligence and against discrimination. The digital strategy means that AI that poses limited risks to security and discrimination can be used for purposes that can benefit the public good


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Mailboxes

Tax haven blacklist exposes double standards of EU governments

Quote from Sven Giegold MEP

The European Union's Ministers of Economy and Finance presented the updated list of tax havens, to include also Panama, the Seychelles, the Cayman Islands and Palau, because they do not meet at least one of the European Union's tax good governance criteria


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Jigsaw and money
Jigsaw and money © alexsl

The proposal of Charles Michel fails to meet the challenges of the 21st century

MFF

Charles Michel presented the draft position of European Council on the EU budget (Multi-annual Financial Framework, MFF). The EU governments are expected to adopt their position at the summit meeting at the end of next week.


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PVC Recycling Sign
PVC Recycling

Parliament votes against toxic recycling

Quote from Bas Eickhout MEP

The European Parliament has voted to object to a Commission draft regulation that would allow for recycled PVC products to be exempt from a ban on lead. The objection which was tabled by the Greens/EFA group calls for an end to toxic recycling. This is the first time the European Parliament has vetoed chemicals legislation.


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Robot © Arseny Togulev
Robot © Arseny Togulev

Artificial Intelligence

Parliament calls for greater consumer protection

Members of the European Parliament voted Wednesday 12 February for greater consumer protection and oversight of decisions made by artificial intelligence systems, in the resolution "Automated decision-making processes: Ensuring consumer protection and the free movement of goods and services".


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European flag at Downing Street ©Frederick Tubiermont
European flag at Downing Street ©Frederick Tubiermont

Brexit: Future EU-UK relationship

Quote from Philippe Lamberts MEP

The European Parliament will vote on the negotiating mandate for the future EU-UK relationship in the upcoming talks with the UK on a future trade agreement. Philippe Lamberts MEP, President of the Greens/EFA group and Member of the UK coordination group in the European Parliament


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split screen with fossil fuel factory and windmills
split screen with fossil fuel factory and windmills

Climate emergency means EU must not fund new gas projects

Energy/PCI list

The European Parliament will vote on an objection to the "PCI list" of energy infrastructure projects, eligible for EU funding, which will include gas and other fossil fuel projects. The Greens/EFA group oppose the funding of new fossil fuel projects.


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Vietnam river boat
@christiane ahumada

A wasted opportunity to support sustainable development and human rights

Vietnam Trade Agreement

The Greens/EFA group will vote against the agreement on the grounds of the Vietnamese government's continuing human rights abuses, repression of opposition and organised labour, continued deforestation, lack of enforceable human, environmental and social standards and exclusive rights for investors.


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fence
© tanner-van-dera

Humanitarian situation of refugees at EU external borders

Greens/EFA MEPs trip to Croatian border with Bosnia and Herzegovina

Greens/EFA MEPs Saskia Bricmont, Erik Marquardt and Tineke Strik have returned from a fact-finding mission to Croatia's border with Bosnia and Herzegovina and to refugee camps where they confirmed reports of violent returns of asylum seekers and migrants from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina.


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macedonia web

Commission's enlargement proposals on Western Balkans

Quotes from Viola von Cramon MEP & Reinhard Bütikofer MEP

There is a chance it seems, that there will be a new dynamic in the EU’s enlargement policy. Hopefully that will result in finally opening accession talks with both North Macedonia and Albania during the Croatian presidency. The new methodology for enlargement negotiations that the Commission proposes will only be acceptable if it would be combined with a removal of the vetoes


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Heather Anderson
Heather Anderson

New MEP makes maiden and valedictory speech in European Parliament

Press release from EFA MEP Heather Anderson (SNP)

Newly elected SNP MEP Heather Anderson has given her maiden speech to the European Parliament – the day before Brexit. The speech was made during a debate on the European Commission’s work programme for 2020 and in the presence of Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President of the ...


en
European Parliament

SNP & Plaid Cymru MEPs vote against Brexit withdrawal agreement

Press Release from EFA MEPs Jill Evans (Wales) & Christian Allard (Scotland)

Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru MEPs voted against the UK's withdrawal from the EU at Wednesday's European Parliament session in Brussels. SNP MEPs have campaigned hard to prevent Scotland being dragged out of the EU against its will. Scotland voted heavily to remain in the EU ...


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Brexit

Withdrawal Agreement vote sad day for Europe

Brexit

We will continue to support citizens' rights and the principle of solidarity. The ties that bind us run deeper than our political union and although the UK will for now embark on a separate path we will stay partners and friends. If the UK changes its mind in the future then we will leave a light on for them to return home.


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EFA Group welcomes new SNP MEP

Heather Anderson replaces Alyn Smith

The European Free Alliance (EFA) Group in the European Parliament has welcomed new Scottish National Party (SNP) MEP Heather Anderson. Ms Anderson replaces former EFA Group President Alyn Smith who was elected to Westminster at the December UK General Election. The appointment also means that ...


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Trucks on highway
Creative Commons CC0

Social pillar of the Mobility Package - voted in Transport Committee

Quote from Ciarán Cuffe MEP

The European Parliament Transport Committee has just given the green-light to the social pillar of the 'Mobility Package' on three separate files dealing with the rules governing rest periods, cabotage and the posting of road transport operators.


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Justice
Justice

The rule of law in Hungary and Poland

Quote from Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield MEP

The situation in Hungary and Poland is worsening all the time. So far the European Commission and the Parliament have initiated Article 7 and now it's time for the Council to do its part to protect the rule of law in Europe. The Council needs to move forward on serious breaches of the rule of law


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Biodiversity Forest © texasmary
© texasmary

New global agreement on biodiversity needed

Biodiversity

The European Union has already set climate change high on the agenda. Now it needs to do the same with protecting biodiversity.


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European flag 530x390
© Alexander Briel

Conference on the Future of Europe

Quote from Daniel Freund MEP

MEPs have voted with a large majority on a resolution launching the 'Conference on the Future of Europe', which will lead to a reform process aimed at improving the democracy and citizen participation in the European project.


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Andrej Babiš
Andrej Babiš © Martin Strachoň (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Parliament to debate EU subsidies and potential conflicts of interest - quote from Mikuláš Peksa MEP

Czech PM Babiš

The European Parliament debates the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic and the reopening of a criminal investigation into his company's use of EU subsidies and potential conflicts of interest.


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European Green Deal
European Green Deal // Wind turbine construction

Parliament calls for more ambition in green transition

European Green Deal

A majority of MEPs have voted in favour of a cross-party resolution on the European Green Deal, initiated by the Greens/EFA group. The Greens/EFA group have succeeded in including demands for more biodiversity protection, more climate financing and a more social approach to tackling the climate crisis.


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European Parliament

UK Settlement Scheme criticised as 'not fit for purpose'

Press Release from EFA MEP Christian Allard (SNP)

EFA MEP Christian Allard (Scottish National Party) has slammed the UK’s EU Settlement Scheme, describing it as “not fit for purpose” and calling for it to be scrapped. The call came during a debate in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on citizens’ rights after Brexit....


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People together
People together

Bland declarations on employment will not solve inequality

Roadmap for a Social Europe

We were waiting for a roadmap that could curb inequalities and tackle the scourge of poverty, but instead the Commission has offered bland declarations on employment. The Commission Roadmap reduces the social agenda to the issue of employment and leaves out issues such as poverty and social exclusion.


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coal mining garzweiler
coal mining garzweiler // Frank Kehren (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

A necessary tool but commitment to coal phase-out needed

Just Transition Fund

The Just Transition Fund is a necessary tool to support the regions that will be affected by the move away from coal and other polluting industries, which we have long been calling for. Unfortunately, the Commission's proposal does not set a binding date for the phase-out of coal.


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Oriol Junqueras elected President of EFA Group in the European Parliament

EFA MEPs elect ERC's Junqueras to succeed Alyn Smith

Catalan MEP Oriol Junqueras has today (Tuesday) been elected President of the European Free Alliance Group in the European Parliament. He succeeds SNP MEP Alyn Smith who was elected to the UK Parliament at the December UK General Election. The European Free Alliance forms a joint parliamentary...


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Oriol Junqueras
Oriol Junqueras ©Marc Puig i Perez(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

ECJ rules Oriol Junqueras has the right to be a MEP

Today, European Court of Justice has ruled that our colleague Oriol Junqueras has the right to be a Member of the European Parliament. The Spanish Supreme Court had ruled that Junqueras could not take up his seat after he was elected in the last European elections in May, as he was in pretrial detention for having participated in the organization of a self-determination referendum in Catalonia. The Greens/EFA group have long been calling for a political solution.


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drinking water bottle
drinking water bottle ©kate-joie

Europe will benefit from public drinking water dispensers and cleaner water

Drinking Water Directive

Yesterday (Wednesday, 18 December), the representatives of the European Parliament, the Council of Member States and the European Commission agreed on stricter limits for lead and endocrine disruptors such as bisphenol A allowed in drinking water.


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Ilham Tohti
Ilham Tohti

European Parliament criticises China's repressive policy in Xinjiang

Sakharov Prize for Ilham Tohti

The Sakharov Prize this year goes to the Uighur professor of economics and civil rights activist Ilham Tohti.   Reinhard Bütikofer, Chairman of the China Delegation of the European Parliament and Greens/EFA spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, comments:"The European Parliament has t...


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Office of the Prime Minister of Malta
Frank Vincentz (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Parliament vote shows Commission must begin Rule of Law dialogue

Malta

On the initiative of the Greens/EFA group, the European Parliament has just voted on a resolution on the Rule of Law in Malta, after the recent revelations around the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The vote calls on the Commission to enter into dialogue with the Maltese Government in the context of the Rule of Law Framework.


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Emily O'Reilly
Emily O'Reilly ©european ombudsman

Parliament votes for Emily O'Reilly to continue work in holding EU institutions to account

European Ombudsman

The European Parliament has voted to elect Emily O'Reilly to continue in her current role as European Ombudsman, an independent role that is designed to hold EU institutions and bodies to account, as well as promoting good administration. O'Reilly won in the third round of votes. There were five candidates in the first round.


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A_Babiš
David Sedlecký CC BY-SA 4.0

Debate on conflict of interest and corruption in EU funds

Quote from Mikuláš Peksa MEP

The European Parliament debates conflict of interest and corruption in EU funds. The Greens/EFA group had pushed for this debate after a European Commission audit report confirmed that the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is in a large-scale conflict of interest, as he personally benefited from EU funds


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globe on grass
globe on grass ©Guillaume de Germain

Deal reached on taxonomy will support sustainable investments

Quote from Bas Eickhout

A deal has been reached on a framework to facilitate sustainable investment. All financial products that make the claim that they contribute to environmental sustainability will have to prove this by disclosing the share of their investments into activities that are considered sustainable.


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Climate March Cop25 Madrid
Climate March Cop25 Madrid ©Friends of the Earth International (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Climate summit closes with timid call to step up ambition - reaction from Bas Eickhout MEP

COP25

After two weeks of negotiations, the 25th UN climate conference (COP25) in Madrid has ended today without an agreement on binding rules for the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement. The next climate summit will take place in Glasgow, in November 2020, where countries are supposed to present their plans for achieving the Paris targets.


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European Council
European External Action Service (https://www.flickr.com/photos/eeas/32978511020)

Climate targets need action

Quote from Ska Keller

Agreeing on a target is important but only half the battle. What counts now is how the EU and Member States will work to achieve the targets. The long term budget is a litmus test for how serious they are.


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Green investment
© Yury Kuzmin

Taxonomy deal not agreed today by Member States

Sustainable Finance

The same day the Commission came forward with the "European Green Deal", Member States have not passed the Taxonomy deal agreed last Thursday. Member States will have another opportunity to revisit the deal on Monday.


en

A welcome and necessary step but now we need to see real action

European Green Deal

The Green Deal has serious shortcomings when it comes to agricultural funds and trade policy and these need to be addressed for a truly ambitious climate policy. The Green Deal needs clear and binding measures that limit global warming to 1.5c, herald the phase-out of fossil fuels, and protect biodiversity.


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Budapest - Hungary © Jaap Hart
© Jaap Hart

Hungary and the rule of law

Ministerial meeting with EP rapporteur, Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield (Greens/EFA)

The ability for the Hungarian people to live in a free and democratic European country is too important to push into the long grass. Nothing will change for Hungarian people without courage and political will from Member States.


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Reindustrialising-Europe
© Sigal Suhler Moran

Compromise on sustainable investment will boost greener economic activities

Taxonomy

The European Parliament, Council and Commission have reached a compromise on a framework to facilitate sustainable investment, known as 'taxonomy'. This will create an EU classification framework for identifying which economic activities are sustainable will be created.


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Commission audit finds conflict of interest with Czech PM's companies

Andrej Babiš

The leaked report clearly states Andrej Babiš controls the Agrofert group and that contracts awarded to his companies are in breach of Czech and EU law. The Commission audit has found that around €11 million will need to be returned as a result of Andrej Babiš' conflict of interest.


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