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Debriefing of the October plenary session

2-5 october 2023


TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. European Media Freedom Act
  2. Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF)
  3. Assessment of Maroš Šefčovič and Wopke Hoekstra
  4. The impact of the proposed extension of glyphosate in the EU on people’s health, biodiversity, and the Green Deal
  5. The need for a speedy adoption of the Asylum and Migration Package

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European Media Freedom Act

MEPs voted on the new “European Media Freedom Act,” which is aimed at protecting the independence of journalists and the plurality of media across Europe. The Greens/EFA Group have long fought for EU-level rules to address issues such as high media market concentration, the fair allocation of state funding and the independence of public service media and national regulatory authorities. We have managed to include strong safeguards regarding the protection of journalistic sources. However, we strongly believe the text should ban the use of spyware against journalists. The Greens/EFA Group is also concerned about the privileged treatment some media outlets will enjoy as it may distort the market creating different categories of media outlets and may also open the door to abuses in the form of dissemination of disinformation on social media.

Diana Riba I Giner MEP, Greens/EFA shadow rapporteur in the Culture Committee commented: “Free media is one of the fundamentals of a free and democratic society and cannot be compromised.”

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MFF

MEPs debated the package of revision to the Multiannual Financial Framework, the EU’s seven-year budget. The Greens/EFA Group welcomes the package of the MFF revision that proposes to address some of the most pressing issues related to Ukraine as well as the structural problems related to the structural problems related to Next Generation EU debt repayment and additional flexibility including for addressing humanitarian needs globally and for response to unforeseen weather events. Our Group fully supports the Commission proposal and believes that the additional resources as proposed by the Parliament are needed to ensure that the most urgent needs are addressed.

Rasmus Andresen MEP, Greens/EFA Member of the Budgets Committee, stated: “It is essential that we support our Ukrainian allies in their struggle against Russian oppression, which is why we welcome the MFF revision to ensure continued financing and support for Kyiv. Our group supports the Commission proposal but argues that we need greater flexibility and additional resources to tackle issues such as climate related disasters and to take our responsibility in humanitarian crises across the globe.”

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Assessment of Maroš Šefčovič and Wopke Hoekstra

MEPs voted on the appointment and new responsibilities of Wopke Hoekstra and Marius Sefcovic during the upcoming plenary session. The Greens/EFA Group insists on the importance of fully delivering on the European Green Deal and the climate transition given the climate and biodiversity crisis we are in and the emergency to act. We are only at the beginning of this “Man on the Moon” project, especially when we see that the summer of 2023 has been the hottest summer ever recorded. The door to keep 1.5°C alive is closing at an alarming pace, and the biodiversity collapse poses a fundamental risk to society. Important issues remain to be tackled by the EU including on post-2030 climate targets to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and on measures to phase out fossil fuels, as well as on restoring nature and building resilient ecosystems. We hope that Mr. Hoekstra, as Commissioner-designate for Climate, and Mr. Sefcovic, as Vice-President designate for the EU Green Deal, will be up for the task of facing the emergency before us.

“The Greens/EFA Group has won important commitments on climate action from Von der Leyen’s Commission in the negotiations on the candidacies of the Commissioner-designates… Our group has secured written promises from both Hoekstra and Šefčovič on a science-based reduction of at least 90% in CO2 emissions by 2040.” comments Bas Eickhout MEP, Greens/EFA Vice Chair of the Environment Committee.

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The impact of the proposed extension of glyphosate in the EU on people’s health, biodiversity, and the Green Deal

On Greens/EFA Groups initiative, MEPs debated the upcoming proposal on renewing the EU approval of Glyphosate. Last week, the Commission published their proposal to renew the approval of glyphosate for 10 years. Member States are expected to vote on the proposal in mid-October. In the previous renewal decision in 2018, glyphosate was renewed for only 5 years due to massive citizen concern and doubts about its safety. The approval ran out at the end of 2022, but a one-year extension was granted to allow EFSA sufficient time to conclude its peer review to properly consider all the evidence on glyphosate. The Greens/EFA Group urges the Member States not to approve the Commission's proposed renewal but instead ban the use of glyphosate within the EU due to the serious concerns around lack of data and effects on biodiversity.

 Tilly Metz MEP, Greens/EFA member of the Agriculture and Rural Development committee, commented: “We don’t need glyphosate for productive farming, nor for weed control. On the contrary, the use of Glyphosate puts our long-term food security at risk and should therefore be banned.”

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The need for a speedy adoption of the Asylum and Migration Package

MEPs debated the need for a speedy adoption of the asylum and migration package. The Greens/EFA Group have long called for an end to the inhumane and degrading treatment of refugees and migrants on our borders. Our Group looks forward to the upcoming negotiations with the Member States to fight for the right to asylum and safe legal pathways. We will be fighting for solidarity, access to asylum, fair relocation between Member States, and respect for fundamental rights. Regrettably, Member States continue pushing for policies that are not only dehumanising but also risk undermining practical solutions to ensure full solidarity between EU countries when managing migration.

Tineke Strik MEP, Greens/EFA Member of the Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs Committee stated: “The Greens/EFA Group has long called for an end to the inhumane and degrading treatment of refugees and migrants on our borders. Our Group looks forward to the upcoming negotiations with the Member States as an opportunity to fight for the right to asylum and safe legal pathways for migration.”

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Situation in Nagorno-Karabakh after Azerbaijan's attack

MEPs debated and voted on a resolution following Azerbaijan’s attack on the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. 

Markéta Gregorová, Pirate Party MEP and Greens/EFA member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, commented: “The EU needs to increase its support of Armenia, as it faces a humanitarian crisis due to the arrival of tens of thousands of refugees and growing security concerns.”

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Greens/EFA motions for resolutions

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Next issue of Greens/EFA Plenary debriefing: 20 October 2023

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