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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.

Black silhouettes lobby business © nico_blue

MEPs' outside activities show it's time to overhaul Parliament's ethics rules

Side jobs

A report by Transparency International EU on the outside activities of MEPs shows that up to 104 MEPs have earned more than €100,000 each over the last four years on top of their salaries as full-time MEPs.


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© Benoit Beauregard

Free internet still possible as European Parliament votes for more scrutiny over copyright bill

Copyright reform

Today, the European Parliament decided by to have greater scrutiny over a law that severely threatens how people participate and express themselves online. The European Commission's proposed directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market would see the introduction of a link tax and automatic upload filters and will likely stop people from posting photos, videos and sharing links to news articles as they do today.


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© Colonel

EFA MEPs criticize changes to European electoral law

Statement from EFA MEPs J-M Terricabras & Jordi Solé (Catalonia)

MEPs from the European Free Alliance (EFA) Group in the European Parliament, which represents Europe's stateless nations, regions and minorities, have expressed dissatisfaction with the outcome of today's vote to reform European electoral law. They are concerned that the changes run contr...


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© Trista Weibell

We need a Europe of solidarity and humanity

Press release from EFA MEP Jordi Solé

Commenting after the address to the European Parliament of Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on the future of Europe, Catalan MEP Jordi Solé (Greens/EFA) was critical of the Polish PM's narrow vision of a Europe of nation states. Instead Solé called for a 'Europe of s...


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© paule858

Racism and hatred towards minorities must not become socially acceptable

Italy

The announcement by the new Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini to have a register of Sinti and Roma people will be debated today by Members of the European Parliament at the initiative of the Greens/EFA Group.


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Rolf van Melis | CC

Transport committee told to try again after MEPs reject mobility package

Workers’ rights

The fight for the rights of lorry and bus drivers is still alive, after the European Parliament rejected a set of legislative proposals on driving and rest times, posting of workers, and cabotage.


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©-Tobias-Keckel

Electoral thresholds will damage the diversity of our parliament

EU electoral law

The European Parliament has today given consent to the reforms to the electoral law of the European Union. The reforms introduce an obligatory threshold of 2 to 5 % for constituencies with more than 35 seats (impacting only Spain and Germany).


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Situation in Poland

Polish government leads country away from democracy and civil rights

Poland/Future of Europe debate

Ska Keller, President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, comments on the Future of Europe debate with the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.


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Welcome Tilly Metz and Romeo Franz

New members of the Greens/EFA Group

Tilly Metz follows Claude Turmes who moved to Luxembourg as State Secretary for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure yesterday (Monday, 2 July). Romeo Franz succeeds Jan Philipp Albrecht, who will be sworn in as Minister for the Environment, Agriculture, the Energy Revolution and Digitisation in Schleswig-Holstein on 31 August.


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Open Arms – 'Saving Life is not a Crime' – MEP Ana Miranda

Press release from EFA MEP Ana Miranda (Galicia)

Greens/EFA MEP Ana Miranda, who is on board the ship Astral operated by NGO Open Arms, has called for action at EU level to prevent the criminalisation of NGOs engaged in search and rescue work in the Mediterranean. The ship which assisted in the rescue of 59 people from the Mediterranean sea ove...


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Steindy (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Kurz is fuelling European division

Austrian Presidency

The Presidents of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, Ska Keller and Philippe Lamberts, comment on the start of the Austrian EU Presidency.


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Poland: European Commission begins infringement proceedings

Quote from Ska Keller

On the announcement that the European Commission will begin infringement proceedings against Poland, Ska Keller, Co-President of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament, comments.


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Tax avoidance

Austria

Open for shady money

Tax loopholes, the sale of passports to dubious figures and inaction against money laundering makes Austria a safe haven for tax evaders, kleptocrats and corrupt cash according to a new report from the Greens/EFA group. The study "Austria - (still) open for shady money" released at the beginning of the Austrian Presidency of the EU shows that while Austria has made some progress on issues of financial secrecy in recent years, the country remains an attractive destination for dirty money.


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Migrants © Samuel Aranda

European summit conclusions

Quote from Ska Keller, Greens/EFA Co-President

This summit buries the right to asylum in Europe. In future, refugees will de facto no longer have the possibility for asylum on European soil. The heads of state and government follow the right-wing nationalist agenda.


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© Alexander Briel

Green light for new flagship programme

European Solidarity Corps

The Greens/EFA group has welcomed a breakthrough in the negotiations over the EU’s flagship solidarity programme, European Solidarity Corps. The Council had originally refused to provide fresh funds to make the programme viable in the current budget period. However, after consistent pressure from the European Parliament, the Council finally backed down and agreed to provide more than €75m in additional money to fund this new flagship programme.


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European Parliament calls on the EU to take a stand against Viktor Orban's assault on democracy

Hungary

The European Parliament has backed a report from Greens/EFA MEP Judith Sargentini for EU Member States to trigger Article 7 sanctions procedures against Hungary. Since Prime Minister Viktor Orban's re-election in April the Hungarian government has continued its authoritarian crack down on civil society, academia and freedom of speech. Last week the Hungarian government passed the "Stop Soros" package of laws which aim to single out NGOs working on migration in the country and will make it almost impossible for organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to continue their operations in Hungary.


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Worldbank (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Results must not be dictated by Orbán and Seehofer

EU (mini) summit

In the run-up to next week's EU summit and the planned mini-refugee summit on migration this weekend, Green/EFA Group Co-Presidents Ska Keller and Philippe Lamberts comment.


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© European People's Party

Cross-party letter to President Tajani

Discrimination in Europe

The Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, upon the initiative of Marco Affronte and Philippe Lamberts, has organised a cross-party letter to the President of the European Parliament, calling on him to speak out against the recent racist and discriminatory remarks of some European political leaders.


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© Colonel

Quote from Josep Maria Terricabras

European Citizens' Initiative reform

The European Parliament's Constitutional Affairs committee has today voted on the reform of the European Citizens' Initiative, with the majority blocking all meaningful improvements.


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Tax avoidance

Quote from Molly Scott Cato

Luxembourg/Engie ruling

Greens/EFA tax and competition spokesperson Molly Scott Cato comments on the European Commission's decision that Luxembourg gave illegal tax benefits to Engie.


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© alengo

"Link tax" and upload filters will cause huge damage to free internet

Copyright reform

The European Parliament's Legal Affairs committee voted to largely approve the Commission's proposed directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. The Greens/EFA group voted against, citing concerns that the proposals will restrict how internet users can participate online.


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©fre-sonneveld

Paris Agreement now enshrined in EU law

Energy Governance

A final text on a European framework law on climate and energy (energy governance) was adopted in trilogue on Tuesday, 19 June. This Regulation is the transposition at European level of the Paris Agreement resulting from COP21.


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Europe is taking a step in the right direction

Energy efficiency directive

The Greens/EFA group has welcomed the increase in energy efficiency targets in the EU, but warned that they still fall short of delivering on the Paris climate agreement.


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UNHCR (CC BY-NC 2.0)

A European solution is not automatically a good one

Merkel/Macron

Greens/EFA co-presidents Ska Keller and Philippe Lamberts comment on the outcomes of the meeting between President Macron and Chancellor Merkel.


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Digital-world-©-Nicholas-Monu

Bridging the digital language divide

Press release from EFA MEP Jill Evans (Plaid Cymru)

Greens/EFA MEP Jill Evans (Plaid Cymru) hopes her new report 'Language Equality in the Digital Age' will make an important contribution to bridging the digital language divide. This could lead to Siri speaking Welsh, or Alexa speaking Lithuanian, whilst making it easier for sign language ...


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©Nuno Nogueira

European Commission cannot have carte blanche on foreign affairs priorities

EU foreign policy

The Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament has today expressed strong concerns about the European Commission's proposals to bundle multiple peace-building, defence and security policies under one budget line.


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@Kristian Auth

Posted workers/transport: weak mandate must be renegotiated

Quote from Terry Reintke

A majority of MEPs have just rejected the negotiating mandate for posted workers in the road transport sector. MEPs voted to overturn the decision made in the Transport Committee, where Social Democrats, Liberals and Conservatives voted against social rights such as minimum wages, adequate rest periods, local collective agreements and legally secure entitlement to allowances for travel, accommodation and food.


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©andrea-boldizsar

Modest success on targets but key decisions pushed back to 2023

Renewable Energy

The European Parliament, Commission and Council came to agreement on the revision to the Renewables Directive late last night.


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Cross-party leaders calls on Commission to take immediate action on Polish judicial reforms

Poland

The Greens/EFA group has organised a cross-party letter calling on the European Commission to take immediate steps to put the brakes on Polish judicial reforms.


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Migrants © Samuel Aranda

Refugees in the Mediterranean – MEPs call for solidarity

Press release from EFA MEPs Jordi Solé & J-M Terricabras (Catalonia)

MEPs today held an emergency debate on humanitarian emergencies in the Mediterranean and the need for solidarity. This follows the Italian and Maltese governments' refusal to allow the refugee rescue ship MV Aquarius access to their ports in order to land the 629 people on board. Speaking ...


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European Parliament to call for release of political prisoners:

Russia 2018 World Cup

The European Parliament will tomorrow call for the release of Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian film director imprisoned in Russia who is currently on hunger strike, and other political prisoners in Russia.  MEPs will vote tomorrow on a resolution on the initiative of the Greens/EFA Group, which is ...


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© eliandric

Cohesion policy must be a driver of the circular economy

Circular economy

The European Parliament has today backed Greens/EFA proposals on making Cohesion Policy a driver of the circular economy. The proposals are contained in an initiative report from Greens/EFA MEP Davor Škrlec.


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©abraham osorio

Aquarius debate in European Parliament

Quote from Philippe Lamberts

We urgently need a new approach to this humanitarian crisis. Monday's undignified showdown over the Aquarius was a horrible reminder that the EU still lacks a coherent strategy for responding to the suffering on Europe’s borders.


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Europe needs solidarity, not tax giveaways

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.


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©-Tobias-Keckel

No double standards on EU's human rights commitment

Press release from EFA MEP Jordi Solé (Catalonia)

Catalan MEP Jordi Solé has called upon the EU to avoid double standards in its commitment to human rights and democracy around the world. The EFA MEP spoke in the European Parliament's debate today about the EU's annual report on human rights and democracy in the world, in the pres...


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UNHCR (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Refugees stranded at sea shows urgent need for Dublin reform

Aquarius/Sea Watch 3

Two rescue ships carrying refugees, including pregnant women and children, have been refused permission to dock in Italy and Malta.


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Jordi Borras

Altsasu case – concerns over fundamental rights and judicial independence in Spain

Statement from EFA MEPs Ana Miranda & Jordi Solé

MEPs from the EFA Group in the European Parliament have voiced concerns about the independence of the Spanish judiciary and fundamental rights in Spain. The MEPs criticised this week's 'disproportionate' sentencing of several youths from the small Basque town of Altsasu, who were invo...


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Ggia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

New study shows how EU-Turkey deal is turning refugees into detainees

Asylum

The European Union's agreement with Turkey is failing to uphold the rights of refugees in Greece, according to a new study commissioned by the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament.


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New Spanish government should play progressive role in the EU

Greens/EFA group welcomes new Spanish government

The Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament has welcomed the appointment of the new Spanish Government and expressed hopes for a renewed role for Spain in Europe, geared towards more green and progressive policies. Greens/EFA group co-presidents Ska Keller and Philippe Lamberts comment: &l...


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UNHCR (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Deaths on the Mediterranean must shake EU ministers into action

Home Affairs Council

Ahead of tomorrow's meeting of EU Home Affairs ministers, the Greens/EFA group is calling for progress on reforms to the Dublin system, which determines which Member State is responsible for an asylum claim.


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Alvesgaspar - Own work CC BY-SA 4.0

We expect the coalition to work in the interest of citizens

Italian government

We respect the choices made by the Italian citizens. While we strongly object with most of the program of the new government, we consider the European institutions have to work with it. We strongly urge the coalition to adhere to universal human rights and to clearly reject any kind of hate speech.


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Prime Minister ousted to restore dignity to the institutions

Confidence motion to remove Rajoy

Greens/EFA co-presidents Philippe Lamberts and Ska Keller commenting on the no-confidence motion.


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selensergen

EU must fight illegal trade measures at the WTO

Trump EU trade tariffs

"The US has imposed illegal measures that must be challenged in the WTO. The EU has spent enough time trying to placate a US administration hell-bent on upending global cooperation on trade,"


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@Erich Westendarp

European Commission looking for savings in the wrong places

Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy

The Greens/EFA group has expressed strong concerns with the European Commission’s planned reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy, due to be published on Friday (1 June). The European Parliament today backed an own-initiative report on the reforms, which are expected to see CAP spending on rural development cut by 25 percent. The Greens/EFA Group wants to see a more targeted approach, promoting rural development and small farms and investing money in transitioning to sustainable agriculture.


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© Alexander Briel

Future of Europe debate with Xavier Bettel

Quote from Philippe Lamberts

The European Parliament is today holding a debate with the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel, on the Future of Europe. Greens/EFA group co-president Philippe Lamberts will speak for the group. In his speech, he will say that Luxembourg’s commitment to European integration is undermined by its aggressive tax policies.


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Greens/EFA welcome Commission back-track on partnership principle

MFF and Cohesion Policy

The European Commission has today presented its first sectoral proposals for the post 2020 Multiannual Financial Framework, starting with the European Regional Development Fund, Cohesion Fund and Common Provisions Regulation.


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OG Picture: Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

EU must remain united in defence of multilateralism

Trade

The European Parliament will this evening hold two key debates on trade - on President Trump’s trade tariffs and the EU’s new anti-dumping legislation, which is due to be voted on tomorrow. The Trump administration is due to make a final decision on tariffs for steel and aluminium from the European Union on 1 June.


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© Lya_Cattel

North Sea plans are unsustainable and at odds with Common Fisheries Policy

Fishing

The Greens/EFA group has condemned the decision of the majority of MEPs to back fishing legislation without guaranteeing meaningful sustainability targets. MEPs voted today on the trilogue outcome on the Multiannual Management Plan for the North Sea. While the Common Fisheries Policy sets an upper limit to fishing intensity (known as F-MSY), the North Sea Plan allows fishing at higher levels than allowed under the basic regulation.


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@Kristian Auth

Big win for a socially just Europe

Posting of workers

The European Parliament backed the outcome of trilogue negotiations on the revision of the Posting of Workers Directive. Under the agreement, workers who provide a service in an EU Member State other than their country of origin will not only be guaranteed the same pay as their colleagues, they'll also receive the same entitlements, making their terms and conditions genuinely equal.


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Parliament backs Greens/EFA plans on sustainable finance

Sustainable Finance

The European Parliament has today voted in favour today of an initiative report from Greens/EFA MEP Molly Scott Cato, setting out the parliament’s position on Sustainable Finance. The Greens/EFA group has successfully steered the parliament's position on the sustainability transition to include support for plans to extend the concept of stranded assets to include fundamental ecological systems and services such as unsustainable agriculture. The European Commission published its proposals on Sustainable Finance on 24 May.


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