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Plenary Flash 20-23 November 2023

GREENS/EFA priorities for the plenary session

 

ISRAEL-GAZA CONFLICT

Next week, MEPs will debate the ongoing conflict in Gaza. The Greens/EFA Group is calling for an urgent ceasefire agreement in Gaza, and for humanitarian aid to be allowed to reach people. We call for the unconditional release of hostages in Gaza, the safe evacuation of civilians, respect for international law and human rights and for a two-state solution. A political solution is the only way to secure lasting peace in the region and to bring an end to the cycle of violence. The EU must use all the tools at its disposal to help bring peace to the people of Israel and Palestine.

Debate: Wednesday 22 November
MEPs: Jordi Solé
More: Israel-Gaza: Greens/EFA Group call for an urgent ceasefire agreement

 

COP28 RESOLUTION 

As 2023 is on track to be the hottest year on record, it is clear that time is running out to maintain the 1.5°C target. Therefore, the importance of the UN Climate Conference in the fight for saving the climate cannot be underestimated. Greens/EFA successfully pushed for the European Parliament to call for the agreed loss and damage fund to finally be established and staffed with fresh money, much more overall ambition to significantly lower emissions, a concrete date for the phase out of fossil fuels and an end of fossil subsidies. The first review after the Paris Agreement (“global stocktake”) sets the moment to end the fossil fuel era. The Greens/EFA call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, for tripling renewable energy, doubling energy efficiency and concrete plans and measures to phase out all fossil fuels as soon as possible. Climate justice towards all who are suffering from the global north’s vast output of emissions needs to be translated into concrete action. On the model of the accountability framework for the tobacco industry, we call for limiting the fossil fuel industry’s lobby influence.
We urge for the United Arab Emirates to free political prisoners, to stop repressing the human rights movement and climate activists and we call for the UN to integrate human rights criteria in the selection process for future COP28 host countries.

Debate: Monday 20 November
Vote: Tuesday 21 November
Greens/EFA MEP: Pär Holmgren

 

PESTICIDES

Next week, MEPs will decide on the European Parliament negotiating mandate for the Sustainable use of Plant Protection Products Regulation (SUR). The EU’s Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies set EU-wide targets to reduce the use and the risk of chemical pesticides and the use of the more hazardous pesticides by 50% before 2030. The Commission proposal published in June 2022 would put this into law, transforming the current Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive into a Regulation.
The numerous negative effects of pesticides on biodiversity, non-target organisms like pollinators, and human health are obvious and well documented. This law is crucial to finally reduce the use of chemical pesticides in the EU and enable a shift to more sustainable farming practices by providing much-needed support for farmers. Beyond reduction targets, it will also set legal obligations for users of pesticides with regard to training, advice and the need for mainstreaming non-chemical alternatives and the introduction of preventative measures.

Debate: Tuesday 21 November
Vote: Wednesday 22 November
Greens/EFA MEP: Sarah Wiener, European Parliament Rapporteur

 

NEW ZEALAND TRADE AGREEMENT

MEPs will vote on the trade agreement with New Zealand, with a broad majority expected. The agreement marks a turning point in EU trade policy, as it sets new enforceable standards on climate and sustainability, which the Greens/EFA have long campaigned for. The EU model for trade agreements must be further improved and must include, among other things, concrete targets and a clear roadmap for the implementation of sustainability commitments and phase out of fossil fuels.

Debate: Tuesday 21 November
Greens/EFA MEP: Sara Matthieu (shadow rapporteur)

 

HUNGARY

Next Tuesday, MEPs will debate the ongoing assault on democracy, fundamental rights and the rule of law in Hungary. Recently, the governing Fidesz party announced it would table a new ‘sovereignty law’ that could be used to further attack NGOs and independent journalists. Prime Minister Viktor Orban was recently photographed shaking Vladimir Putin’s hand as his government continues to block EU support for Ukraine in the Council. The Spanish Council Presidency failed to hold a hearing on Article 7 during this week’s General Affairs Council and the Commission has been edging closer to releasing frozen structural funds. The Greens/EFA Group are calling on the Council to pursue the Article 7 procedure against the Hungarian government and for the Commission to hold its nerve on the requested reforms in the face of Orbán’s blackmail tactics.

Debate: Wednesday 22 November
Greens/EFA MEP: Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, European Parliament Rapporteur for the situation in Hungary
More: EUCO quote from Terry Reintke MEP 

 

CO2 STANDARDS FOR TRUCKS, TRAILERS, COACHES & BUSES 

Next week, MEPs will debate measures to strengthen the CO2 emission performance targets for new heavy-duty vehicles. The Greens/EFA Group hopes to maintain the previously agreed outcomes of the ENVI committee vote, which includes an emissions reduction target of -90% by 2040, ensuring that virtually all new urban buses on the EU market as of 2030 will be zero-emissions. The standards will, for the first time, include CO2 targets for utility vehicles such as rubbish trucks and and smaller trucks. These measures will accelerate the decarbonisation of the sector. Ambitious CO2 emissions reduction targets will lead to the progressive phasing-out of combustion engines in the trucks and buses market. This will considerably improve air quality across Europe, cleaning up air pollution in cities across the EU. With 70,000 Europeans dying prematurely each year due to pollution from road transport, we cannot afford to dilute or delay these measures further.

Debate: Tuesday, 21 November
Vote: Wednesday, 22 November
Greens/EFA MEP: Bas Eickhout, European Parliament Rapporteur
More: Clearing the road for cleaner transportation 

 

MORE

Net Zero Industry Act

The Net Zero Industry Act is the first legislative proposal at EU level truly dedicated to industrial policy. Greens/EFA have welcomed the Union’s initial intention to act in a unified manner to boost our manufacturing capacity for key clean energy technologies. However, parliamentary work has significantly watered-down and shifted these ambitions. Therefore, the Greens/EFA group will next week table amendments to this act in an effort to bring back the necessary focus on the decisive technologies, and to introduce vital environmental safeguards.
Debate: Monday, 20 November
Greens/EFA MEPs: Damien Carême
 

Packaging
The European Parliament will vote on its position on the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation ahead of the trilogue negotiations. The Greens/EFA strongly welcomed the Commission's proposal, which laid  down binding packaging waste reduction targets for the first time along with concrete waste prevention measures. The Greens/EFA strongly supported setting reuse targets for key sectors during negotiations. However, an unprecedented lobby effort by the single-use packaging industry could seriously weaken the level of ambition next week.  
Debate: Tuesday 21 November
Vote: Wednesday 22 November
Greens/EFA MEPs: Grace O’Sullivan
 

Right to Repair
The European Parliament will decide on its position for the trilogue negotiations; it is expected that this landmark file will set the tone for a more affordable, sustainable, and circular future for consumers. 
Debate: Monday, 20 November
Vote: Tuesday, 21 November
Greens/EFA MEP: Anna Cavazzini 

 

Jobs & Impact Investments in a Just Transition 
The European Parliament report on the potential both to create significant numbers of new jobs and to transform existing employment into green and sustainable jobs in the green transition.
Vote: Wednesday 22 November 
Greens/EFA MEP: Sara Matthieu

Budget
Last weekend, the EU’s budget for 2024 was agreed in late-night negotiations between Members of the European Parliament, Commission and Council. The Greens/EFA Group managed to secure increases for the LIFE programme, Erasmus, Horizon and the Union’s Civil Protection Mechanism as well as greater support for the southern neighbourhood under Next Generation EU. MEPs will debate the outcome of the negotiations on Tuesday. The Greens/EFA Group are calling for an agreement on the revision of the EU’s long-term budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework, by the end of the year.
Debate: Tuesday, vote Wednesday. 
Greens/EFA MEPs: Rasmus Andresen, Francisco Guerreiro
More: Parliament to vote on MFF revision - quote from Rasmus Andresen

 

LINKS

  • The Group Presidents Terry Reintke & Philippe Lamberts will hold the plenary session press briefing on Tuesday, 21th of November at 10:30 AM.
  • Location: Daphne Caruana Galizia Press Room, Weiss N-1/201 or online via European Parliament website. Journalists can ask questions remotely via Interactio.
  • The full plenary agenda for the week can be found on the Parliament website.

 

GREENS/EFA PRESS CONTACTS

Simon McKeagney (Head of Communication)
Simon.mckeagney@europarl.europa.eu

Alex Johnson (EN press officer) 
Alex.Johnson@europarl.europa.eu

Pia Kohorst (DE press officer) 
pia.kohorst@europarl.europa.eu

Guendalina De Sario (FR press officer) 
guendalina.desario@europarl.europa.eu

Helena Hellström Gefwert (EN press assistant) 
helena.hellstrom@europarl.europa.eu  

Mia Müller (DE press assistant) 
Mirjam.Muller@europarl.europa.eu

Valentina Chiarini (FR press assistant)
valentina.chiarini@europarl.europa.eu  

Valentina Servera Clavell (EFA Communications officer) 
Valentina.ServeraClavell@europarl.europa.eu 

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