What's coming up in Parliament
Strasbourg Flash - Plenary session 15-18 January 2018
- No spyware for dictators: stricter rules for dual-use exports
- Clean energy package: put Paris into practice
- Priorities for the new Bulgarian presidency
- Future of Europe with Irish PM: hard border must be avoided
- Glyphosate: presidents to decide on special committee
- Press briefing with Greens/EFA co-presidents
No spyware for dictators: stricter rules for dual-use exports
Debate Tuesday, vote Wednesday
MEPs will vote on the parliament’s position for the recast of the "Control of exports, transfer, brokering, technical assistance and transit of dual-use items", from Greens/EFA rapporteur Klaus Buchner. Dual-use items can be used for military as well as for civilian purposes, including drones, high performance computers and some chemicals. About 10% of EU exports fall under dual use. This recast introduces the possibility to control exports of cyber-surveillance items on human rights grounds. With warfare increasingly built on dual-use technology, this is a much needed reform.
To learn more: See our briefing for more info.
Clean energy package
Debate Monday, votes Wednesday
The parliament will vote on three legislative reports that will shape the future of the EU climate and energy policy for the next decade. This is the parliament’s chance to preserve the EU’s credibility on the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
Renewable Energy Directive
This report aims to increase the EU renewable target to at least 35% by 2030, significantly higher than the 27% proposed by the Commission and the Council. However, this EU wide target does yet not translate into national binding targets and includes a worrying flexibility mechanism allowing Member States to deviate by 10% under "exceptional and duly justified circumstances.” The report also proposes to phase-out palm oil by 2021 and establishes a meaningful improvement of sustainability criteria for solid biomass.
Energy Efficiency Directive
The report voted in the ITRE Committee introduced an EU-wide, binding 40% energy efficiency target for 2030 with national binding targets, far more ambitious than the 30% proposed by the Commission and the Council. It also continues the obligation for Member States to achieve yearly energy efficiency improvements of 1.5% among final energy customers. Savings accounted for the target shall be new, additional and cumulative, in order to avoid double counting of energy efficiency measures.
Regulation on the Governance of the Energy Union
This report, from Greens/EFA co-rapporteurs Michelle Rivasi and Claude Turmes, establishes national energy and climate plans for 2030 and long-term climate and energy strategies for 2050 in order to comply with the Paris Agreement. It sets out credible trajectories for the roll out of renewables and energy efficiency up to 2030 and puts in place strong corrective measures in case of any delays or shortfalls.
The report proposes the introduction of a “carbon budget” for the first time into EU law to identify what can be emitted in the atmosphere to comply with a 1.5°/2°C scenario. It also proposes the establishment of a climate and energy dialogue platform so that citizens, local authorities and stakeholders have a say on long-term strategies and national plans.
To learn more: listen to our short podcast with Claude Turmes.
Presentation of the programme of the Bulgarian Presidency
Bulgaria takes on the presidency at a testing time, and we are hoping that by the end of the presidency, Europe will have taken a step forward. Whether it is safeguarding the future of the Eurozone, creating a more genuinely social Europe, getting real on climate change or solving the rule of law crisis in several states, they have a difficult but important job to do. Bulgaria also has to clean up its act at home, where corruption has been tolerated for far too long.
For more info: see our recent press release from our group presidents.
Debate with Prime Minister of Ireland Leo Varadkar on the Future of Europe
Avoiding a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland remains a priority. Only by keeping the UK fully in the single market and customs union will borders be avoided both in Ireland and in the Irish Sea. It must be clear that membership of the single market and customs union go hand in hand with full respect of all relevant EU legislation, the four freedoms, jurisdiction of the ECJ and contributions to the EU budget.
Decision on Special Committee on Glyphosate
Conference of Presidents on Thursday
In December, we called for the establishment of a special committee to investigate the handling of the assessment process for pesticides. The Conference of Presidents is expected to make its final decision at their meeting on Thursday. The glyphosate saga raised serious questions about the process for authorising pesticides in the EU. The special committee is needed to explore why studies demonstrating that glyphosate is dangerous were ignored and to make sure authorisation processes are transparent and objective.
For more info: see our press release from December.
Co-presidents press briefing
Tuesday 16 January – 10.30-10.50, EP press room LOW N -1/201
Press briefing with Greens/EFA co-presidents on the key issues of the session for the Greens/EFA group. Also live-streamed on our website.