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Actualités


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Debriefing des Verts/ALE

Les faits et les dossiers marquants de la semaine du 18 au 22 novembre 2013


(Ce document n'existe qu'en anglais)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Public procurement and global rules
  • MFF: EU budget 2014-2020
  • Funding EU energy and transport systems
  • Erasmus+
  • Europe for Citizens
  • EU nuclear energy spending & ITER
  • Rules on EU spending to hit crisis countries
  • European Social Fund
  • Supporting cohesion and our regions
  • Common Agricultural Policy reform
  • Horizon 2020: research and innovation spending
  • Enterprise and support for small businesses
  • Taking action on tax evasion
  • EU environment and climate change action
  • EU budget 2014
  • Single seat and the right of MEPs to decide
  • Boardroom quotas for women
  • Labelling Retail Investment Products
  • Implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy
  • Others

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 Public procurement and global rules

Legislative report (Scholz report)
Committee on International Trade
Plenary debate Monday 18th November 2013 - vote Tuesday 19th November 2013

Revised rules on how public procurement is regulated at international level were voted on by MEPs Tuesday. The Government Procurement Agreement obliges its parties, which include the EU, to open up their public procurement markets, making them accessible to providers from third countries. The Greens have major concerns about the agreement and voted against. The EU's recently improved rules on public procurement aim to ensure that key factors like ethical labour conditions, sustainability and environment protection, are central to awarding public tenders; moreover, public procurement is an important tool to pursue public and industrial policy goals. Both aspects risk being overturned by the backdoor through the GPA.

Further information:
Chiara Miglioli, Advisor on International Trade
chiara.miglioli@europarl.europa.eu
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MFF: EU budget 2014-2020

Interinstitutional agreement (Dehaene, Kalfin Reports)
Plenary debate & vote Tuesday 19th November 2013

The final agreement on the EU's multiannual financial framework (2014-20) was confirmed by MEPs Tuesday, the first time the EP has had a say role on the EU's budgetary framework. The Greens voted against the final outcome which includes largely meaningless compromises on the key outstanding issues and represents a backward looking deal. The proposals on own resources is aspirational and stand almost no chance of being respected, the review clause will mean nothing as the unanimity rule has been kept and budgetary flexibility is reduced to a minimum. Thus, this is no 'compensation' for the Parliament accepting the massively scaled-down ambition of the overall MFF and the Green group regrets that MEPs rolled over and accepted this bad outcome for Europe.

Further information:
Roccu Garoby, Advisor on budgetary affairs
roccu.garoby@europarl.europa.eu
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Funding EU energy and transport systems  

Multiple reports (Valean, Riquet, Ayala-Sender)
Committee on Trasnport and Tourism
Plenary debate Monday 18th November 2013 - vote Tuesday 19th November 2013

EU funds for key energy and transport infrastructure projects were voted on by MEPs Tuesday. While the Greens believe the energy side of the Connecting Europe Facility will play a positive and important role in developing European infrastructure and energy networks, with a view to facilitating a renewable energy-powered system, the group has major problems with the transport side. Unsustainable and environmentally-damaging transport infrastructure projects are set to get a significant share of the funds, flying in the face of EU environment and climate goals. For these reasons the Greens voted against the reports.

Further information:
Hana Rihovsky, Advisor on Transport and Tourism
hana.rihovsky@europarl.europa.eu
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Erasmus +: Promoting European education

The European Parliament adopted on 19 November 2013 the Erasmus +, a six-year (2014-2020) EU programme for education, training, youth and sports. It will allow more than 5 million people to participate in European mobility programmes. With a budget of 13.1 billion euros, Erasmus + benefits from a 40% increase in its budget compared to the last programme. The Greens were successful in introducing a loan facility for students in the text, but recall the importance of supervision of this facility to avoid indebtedness of beneficiaries. However, we regret that the new programme does not cover unemployed young people.

Further information:
Frédérique Chabaud: Advisor on Culture, Youth, Education, Media and Sport
frederique.chabaud@europarl.europa.eu
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Europe for Citizens

The European Parliament adopted on 19 November 2013 the new “Europe for Citizens” programme, aimed at improving EU citizens' knowledge of the EU and its history. The programme will support activities such as public conferences, targeted at fostering remembrance of the EU's past and increasing debate and citizens' interest and involvement with EU issues at EU level. However, although Greens support and will vote in favour of the programme, the group believes that the budget is too small to respond to the challenges faced by the European Union.

Further information:
Frédérique Chabaud: Advisor on Culture, Youth, Education, Media and Sport
frederique.chabaud@europarl.europa.eu
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EU nuclear energy spending

Several reports - (Skinner, Krahmer, Chichester, Remek)
Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
Tues. 19 Nov. - EP vote

The European Parliament adopted on Tuesday 19 November 2013 four reports relating to EU nuclear energy spending. Sadly, EU funds will continue to flow towards the nuclear industry over the coming budgetary period (2014-20). The Greens wanted the EU's nuclear budget to be cut and for research to be limited to medical applications, radiation protection and safety but this will not be the case. Despite the massive public subsidies already received by the nuclear industry, EU funds will continue to flow to nuclear. The Greens believe it is high time to change the legal basis, with a view to ensuring the EP has a say as a co-decider on nuclear funds.

One of the reports concerned funding for the experimental nuclear fusion project ITER. The Greens regret that the disproportionate contribution towards ITER from the EU budget is set to continue. Apart from the fact that Europe contributes far more public funds than any other single international partner to the ITER project, there are serious questions to be asked about spending such a large amount of taxpayers' money on research into an energy technology with which there are serious doubts that it will ever be commercially viable, as well as potential risks. The Greens were unsuccessful in the bid to ensure no more money from the EU budget to go towards ITER.

All Green amendments were voted down. We therefore voted against three of the reports (Skinner, Krahmer, Remek). The only positive outcome of these votes is that the EU will continue to finance the decommissioning of the most dangerous reactors in Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovakia. This is why we eventually abstained on the Chichester report.

Texts adopted:

Further information:
Michel Raquet, Advisor on Energy michel.raquet@ep.europa.eu
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Rules on EU spending to hit crisis countries

Legislative report (Van Nistelrooij, Krehl report)
Committee on Regional Development
Plenary debate Tuesday 19th November 2013 - vote Wednesday 20th November 2013

New rules governing how EU structural and investment funds are disbursed were confirmed by MEPs on Wednesday, but by a poor majority. The Greens have major concerns about a key provision of the 'common provisions regulation' on macroeconomic conditionality, which would allow the Commission to propose suspending EU funds for regions in member states under excessive deficit procedures under the Stability and Growth Pact. This wrongheaded provision implies a double sanction of countries already in economic difficulty. We pushed for this provision to be overturned but in the end were unable to vote due to a scandalous procedural decision by EP president Schulz and as a result abstained in the final vote.

Further information:
Simone Reinhart, Advisor on Regional Development,
simone.reinhart@europarl.europa.eu
_________________________________________________________

European Social Fund

Legislative report (La Via report)
Committee on Employment and Social Affairs
Plenary debate Tuesday 19th November 2013 – vote Wednesday 20th November 2013

A proposal on the allocation of additional funds under the European Social Fund (ESF) was voted on by MEPs Tuesday. The funds for action on unemployment are foreseen to be exclusively allocated to France, Spain and Italy, as part of a backroom deal to compensate them for the outcome of the multiannual financial framework. The Greens criticised the failure to extend this to other countries and the failure of the Parliament to overturn it. MEPs should have ensured these funds - intended for action on youth unemployment - target all of the crisis countries, which are experiencing massive problems with youth unemployment.

Further information:
Philine Scholze, Advisor on Employment and Social Affairs,
philine.scholze@europarl.europa.eu
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Supporting cohesion and our regions

Multiple reports (Olbrycht, Bostinaru & Zeller reports)
Committee on Regional Development
Plenary debate Tuesday 19th November 2013 - vote Wednesday 20th November 2013

MEPs approved the next funding period on cohesion and regional policy. Although containing weaknesses in places, the outcome was a definite step forward with provisions the group had pushed for throughout the process. These included greater protection of rights of people with disabilities, no funding for construction of nuclear power plants, more funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy in public buildings and the housing sector and for sustainable urban mobility. However, we were against macroeconomic conditionality being in the regulation of the Cohesion Fund and are disappointed that regions and the beneficiaries of the programmes can be sanctioned by having their funding cut

Further information:
Simone Reinhart, Advisor on Regional Development
simone.reinhart@europarl.europa.eu
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Common Agricultural Policy reform: Missed chance

Various reports: Capoulas Santos; Dantin; La Via; Capoulas Santos; Dess
Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development
Plenary debate & vote Wednesday 20th November 2013

The long-awaited revision of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy was confirmed by MEPs Wednesday. The Greens strongly criticised the outcome, which is much worse than the position voted by the EP earlier in the year, and will fail to provide for the fundamental reform the CAP needs. Key provisions to cap or limit problematic direct payments to farmers have been hollowed out. This is compounded by provisions to allow the diversion of funds aimed at supporting more sustainable farming to direct payments. The final outcome also allows the use of pesticides and GMOs in ecological focus areas, while damaging export refunds will see EU products continued to be dumped in developing markets.

Further information:
Hannes Lorenzen, Advisor on Agriculture and Rural Development,
hansmartin.lorenzen@europarl.europa.eu
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Horizon 2020: research and innovation spending

Green shadow Philippe Lamberts
Weds. 20 Nov. – EP debate; vote Thurs.

The European Parliament adopted on 21 November 2013 a series of legislative files setting out the EU's research and innovation funding programme 2014-20, Horizon 2020. The Greens gave a broad welcome to the programme but expressed regret that it failed to clearly exclude firms from illegal Israeli settlements from receiving EU funds. For the Greens the direction of the new programme is positive. The Greens are happy that sustainable energy will be prioritised and that resource efficiency and sustainability will be a focus throughout Horizon 2020. SMEs will get earmarked funds and there will be a social aspect to research and innovation. However, the final outcome is overshadowed both by the reduced ambition of the overall budget and the failure to ensure strict provisions excluding firms located in the illegal Israeli settlements from benefitting from Horizon 2020 funds.

Texts adopted:

Further information:
Camilla Bursi - Advisor on Industry and Research Policy
camilla.bursi@europarl.europa.eu
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Competitiveness of enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises

(Creutzmann report) - Green shadow Reinhard Bütikofer
Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
Weds. 20 Nov. – EP debate; vote Thurs. 21 Nov. 2013

The European Parliament has endorsed the COSME programme on 21 November 213, which aims to strengthen the competitiveness and sustainability of EU enterprises, particularly SMEs. The new programme will help address the competitiveness and sustainability of EU enterprises, promote entrepreneurship and improve access to finance and to markets. While the Greens would have preferred sustainability to play a more central role, the Group is still happy that the programme maintains it as an objective. The report rightly emphasises that access to skills, including managerial skills and knowledge (and not only access to finance), are critical factors for SMEs. The Greens also welcome the initiative to involve stakeholders in the drafting of the work-programme, including NGOs and labour organisations. The Greens succeeded in ensuring greater support for start-ups.

Further information:
Camilla Bursi - Advisor on Industry and Research Policy
camilla.bursi@europarl.europa.eu
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Establishment of an action programme for taxation in the EU for 2014-2020 (FISCALIS)

(Stolojan report) - Green shadow Philippe Lamberts
Committee on the Economic and Monetary Affairs
Thurs. 21 Nov. – EP debate and vote

MEPs adopted the Fiscalis 2020 programme on 21 November, which aims to strengthen tax administrations and cooperation across the EU. The Greens worked to ensure that the fight against tax fraud, evasion and avoidance is at the core of the programme. It will strengthen tax authorities capacities and facilitate cooperation to help them work together to tackle the problem, maximising efficiency. In particular, it will also fund IT systems to support the exchange of information between tax administrations. The Greens also ensured civil society will have a greater input into the programme, so as to be on an equal footing with business interests.

Further information:
Michael Schmitt - Advisor on Economic and Monetary Affairs
michael.schmitt@europarl.europa.eu
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EU environment and climate change action

Haug report
Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
Plenary debate & vote Thursday 21st November 2013

The LIFE programme, which supports environment and climate protection projects in the EU and policy preparation by the Commission, was adopted by the EP Thursday. The Greens would have preferred greater overall means but there was no scope to increase the budget. The group is largely happy with the priorities set. Limiting national earmarking will help ensure only the merits of the project count for financing under the programme. The group welcomes the higher co-financing rate for priority species and habitats protected under EU legislation, and also for nature and biodiversity in general.

Further information:
Terhi Lehtonen, Advisor on Environmental issues,
Terhi.Lehtonen@europarl.europa.eu
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EU budget 2014

Budgetary procedure
Plenary debate & vote Tuesday 19th November 2013

A deal on the EU's budget for 2014 was confirmed by MEPs. Under the agreement, the budget will be reduced by a historical 9% compared with 2013. Not only is this outcome devoid of ambition, it will also lead to a situation again next year, where the EU is facing budget shortfalls compared with programmed spending. This chaotic budgeting is not only bad for the credibility of the EU, it will negatively impact on beneficiaries of EU programmes in key areas like social and regional funds. For this reason, the Greens voted against the deal.

Further information:
Tom Koeller, Advisor on Budgets, Tom.koeller@europarl.europa.eu
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Single seat and the right of MEPs to decide

Own Initiative Report (Green MEP Gerald Häfner & Fox report)
Committee on Constitutional Affairs
Plenary debate Tuesday 19th November 2013 - vote Wednesday 20th November 2013

Ending the European Parliament's wasteful multi-seat operation is the focus of a report, co-drafted by Green MEP Gerald Häfner, which was supported by MEPs Wednesday. The report calls for MEPs to be finally granted the right to determine the EP's location themselves and calls for the Parliament to use its power to initiate changes to the treaty to this end. It underlines the waste, cost, inefficiency and environmental impact of the multi-seat operation and highlights that this should finally be stopped.

Further information:
Guillaume Sellier, Advisor on Constitutional Affairs,
guillaume.sellier@europarl.europa.eu
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Boardroom quotas for women

Legislative report (Kratsa/Regner report)
Committee on Women's Rights and Gender equality & Committee on Legal Affairs
Plenary debate Tuesday 18th November 2013 - vote Wednesday 19th November 2013

On Wednesday MEPs voted overwhelmingly to endorse draft new EU legislation obliging companies to adjust their recruitment, selection and appointment procedures to increase female representation on their boards to at least 40% by 2020 if they are below this level. The Greens have long argued for boardroom quotas, as a proven and necessary measure to increase the participation of women in higher management positions. This is a major step forward and it is now up to the Council and consequently EU governments to engage with the Parliament to finalise this legislation.

Further information:
Elisabeth Horstkoetter, Advisor on Women's Rights and Gender equality
elisabeth.horstkoetter@europarl.europa.eu
Veronica Herlofsen, Advisor on Legal Affairs and Economic and Monetary Affairs, veronica.herlofsen@europarl.europa.eu
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Labelling Retail Investment Products

Legislative report (Berès report)
Committee on the Economic and Monetary Affairs
Vote Wednesday 20th November 2013

MEPs voted Wednesday on new legislation on key information documents for investment products (PRIPS). The new rules would ensure compulsory information on products like structured bonds, private pension funds, insurance investment funds and corporate bonds. The EP also supported a Green proposal to create a sustainable investment label, which will help combat “Greenwashing” in the investment market.

Further information:
Veronica Herlofsen, Advisor on Economic and Monetary Affairs, veronica.herlofsen@europarl.europa.eu
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Implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy

(Koppa report) – Green shadow Tarja Cronberg
Committee on Foreign Affairs
Debate Wedn. 20 Nov. – Vote Thurs. 21 Nov.

The European Parliament adopted on 21 November 2013 a report on the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). This report is the most important contribution of the European Parliament to the upcoming European Council on Defence issues this December, the first Council devoted to the CSDP in the past five years.

The Greens are satisfied with the overall report. At committee level we were able to introduce three extensive paragraphs on conflict prevention, mediation and the European Civil Peace Corps. Also the ideas put forward by Koppa on CSDP institutions, procedures and instruments are in line with our position. There is also language on preventing the use of EU level funding for military CSDP. Regrettably, we lost several amendments to the conservative majority on controversial issues.

The report has the right message ahead of the December European Council of defence: Much stronger cooperation among Member States is paramount and needed in case they want to be able to act militarily within the CSDP context. But we reject the idea to use fresh money from the EU budget in order to stabilise these inefficient and risky structures. We also reject the idea to have EU defence research and an EU drone programme. This is why Greens abstained in final vote

Further information:
Tobias Heider - Advisor on Security and Defence
tobias.heider@europarl.europa.eu
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OTHERS

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OUTSIDE THE PLENARY

UNFCCC COP19 in Warsaw
Monday 18th to Friday 22nd November 2013

The UN climate summit (COP19) in Warsaw is set to draw to a close on Friday. With two years to go to the crucial UN climate summit in Paris, at which it is hoped to conclude a global agreement, urgent progress is needed.  The Greens believe the EU needs to do more: notably, moving to a 30% greenhouse gas reduction target for 2020 and adopting a 2030 reduction target of at least 50% compared to 1990 levels. If the EU delivered this, it would be a major step towards reclaiming its leadership role and help spur progress in the UN talks.

Further information:
Delphine Chalençon, climate campaigner, delphine.chalencon@europarl.europa.eu
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Next issue of Greens/EFA Plenary Round-up: 13 December 2013


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