Tag Archives: EP Plenary

Puigdemont attends Strasbourg Plenary

In spite of the arrest warrant issued in Madrid, on January 13 Catalan independence leader Carles Puigdemont attended Plenary session in Strasbourg in his right of a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), due to immunity guaranteed by the status.
The former Catalan president has been elected to the European Parliament upon the political programme aiming at independence referendum for Catalonia, legally exiting the Kingdom of Spain.

Upon his arrival to the court of the Europarliament, Puigdemont called for an immediate release from a Spanish jail of Oriol Junqueras, the fellow Catalan MEP

“Mr.Junqueras should be here with us. He has the same rights,” Puigdemont said, backed by the group with posters “Free Junqueras.”

Puigdemont arrived together with the other Catalan MEP, Toni Comín.
Both politicians are wanted in Spain for their role for the 2017 independence referendum, considered ‘illegal” by Madrid. They have narrowly escaped the arrest and persecution in Spain, by fleeing to Belgium, where they continued their activities, struggling for the interests of their electorate.

In a statement made in four languages Catalan, Spanish, French and English, Puigdemont underlined the problem of Catalan protracted argument with Madrid is not a regional, but “European affaire“, because in spite of being the EU member state, Spain does not respect fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens. He also mentioned the extraordinary resources behind the attempts of Spain to prevent him to enter his MEP office. Puigdemont added that he feels no fear in France, because his MEP immunity is respected there. He expressed hope that Spanish judiciary will also respect the decision of the European Court of Justice ruling on 19 December 2019, clearly stating that Junqueras had parliamentary immunity as he was an elected MEP and should have been released from prison.

Junqueras is currently serving a 13-year prison sentence after being convicted in Madrid of sedition and misuse of funds by Spain Supreme Court for his engagement in organising the October 2017 referendum, considered “illegal“. Furthermore he was accused for the subsequent unilateral declaration of independence passed in the Catalan parliament. At the time of the events in 2017, Junqueras was deputy regional president, while Puigdemont was president and Toni Comín a minister in the regional government.

MEPs condemn Ankara military intervention in Syria

MEPs strongly condemned the unilateral Turkish military intervention in northeast Syria, urging Ankara to withdraw all of its forces from Syrian territory.

In a resolution, adopted on October 24 by show of hands, MEPs warn that Turkey’s intervention in northeast Syria is a grave violation of international law, undermining the stability and security of the region as a whole.

Since Ankara launched its military invasion, alongside a high number of civilian and military casualties, at least 300 000 citizens have been displaced, underline MEPs, quoting United Nations sources. MEPs advocate that a UN-led security zone should be established in northern Syria.

They firmly reject Turkish plans to establish so-called “safe zone” along the border in north-east strongly condemned the unilateral Turkish military intervention in northeast Syria, urging Turkey to withdraw all of its forces from Syrian territory.

Parliament expressed its solidarity with the Kurdish people, underlining the important contribution of Kurdish-led forces, particularly that of women, in fighting Daesh. MEPs are extremely concerned over reports that hundreds of ISIS prisoners escaped from camps in northern Syria amid the Turkish offensive, which increases the risk of a resurgence of the terrorist group.

MEPs vote for Brexit deadline extension

The European Parliament continues to support an “orderly Brexit” based on the already negotiated Withdrawal Agreement (WA), MEPs reaffirmed in the resolution adopted on September 18 during Strasbourg Plenary with 544 votes in favour, 126 against and 38 abstentions.

In the resolution the MEPs pledge to reject any Withdrawal Agreement without a backstop; in case of “no deal” consider the UK solely responsible for the consequences of the  a haphazard departure.

The consequences of a are noDSCN9756[1]t theoretical. They are human, social, political, financial, economic and legal. Leaving without a deal will not solve these questions. We will pursue the negotiations with responsibility, honesty and determination” said the EU Brexit top negotiator Michel Barnier, while concluding the debate in Strasbourg Plenary.

The MEPs approve of another conditional Article 50 deadline extension upon the UK request.
According to the Resolution the Withdrawal Agreement is fair, balanced and provides legal certainty, reiterating Parliament’s support for an “orderly Brexit”.

The document also underlines that the existing Withdrawal Agreement takes into account the UK’s red lines and the EU’s principles, providing a fair and balanced solution.

Von der Leyen vows cooperation among EU institutions

Ursul von der Leyen, endorsed by the EU leaders for European Commission president had a meeting with the European People’s Party MEPs in camera at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on July 3. She also made a press statement, explaining that the cooperation among EU insitutuions will be her proportion in case her candidacy is approved by the Europarliament.

Von der Leyen met with the newly elected president of the European Parliament Socialist David Sassoli, however the exchanged of view has not been revealed.

 

Italian Socialist Sassoli new Europarl president

Italian MEP for a decade, former journalist David-Maria Sassoli has been elected as the new president of the European Parliament.

Mr Sassoli, (63) received the support of 345 out of a total of 667 MEPs in the second round of voting in Strasbourg Plenary session.

The centre-left politician was in competition with three other candidates. He has  assumed the respuonsibility of assembly speaker immediately.

In his frist press-conference in his new capacity Sassoli vowed to deliver more democracy to the European citizens, and even open wider doors for NGO, ensuring everyone is heard. He also regretted insufficient democratic tools in EU, and promised to work on improvement on institutional democratic procedures.

The vote took place in one day delay caused by protracted crisis Summit of the EU leaders stuck in disagreement over top jobs nominations. The proposed and agreed among leaders of the member-states list of candidates for top jobs should be endorsed by European Parliament. Sassoli promised to ensure comprehensive debate.

Answering questions Sassoli pointed out that Dublin regulation should be amended because it is not more relevant to the current context. He said that European Council has a “moral obligation” to discuss asylum system to ensure Dublin as amended.

Mamikins MEP challenges Latvian PM

MEP Andrejs MAMIKINS (Latvia) criticises disparities between slogans and realities of respect of human rights in Latvia, namely the situation of 12% of stateless inhabitants of the country, who are excluded from political life. There are around Soviet 200 000 inhabitants of Latvia who voted independence, but nowadays are forgotten, and they will not vote in upcoming European elections in May 2019.

Socialist MEP also raised an issue of conflict of interest of Prime minister Arturs Krisjanis KARINS, who keeps his American citizenship while chairing Latvian government. The interview was taken in Strasbourg after the debate between Latvian Prime minister and Members of European Parliament on Future of Europe. The debate has concluded the discussion between heads of states and government and MEPs on future of the EU.

Mr Kariņš was the twentieth EU head of state or government to debate the future of Europe with MEPs, the last one in this parliamentary term.

MAMIKINS MEP on Russian sanctions “stalemate”

MEP Andrejs MAMIKINS (Socialist, Latvia) reflects on the “stalemate” of anti-Russian sanctions, and strategy chosen by the European Parliament to continue their further imposition. MEP considers a new resolution, proposing  to strip Russia from the status of a ‘strategic partner‘, and imposing additional sanctions as a part of the upcoming European election campaign, pleasing a part of electorate, and flaunting the might and significance of the European Union.

However even the rapporteurs here, in the European Parliament don’t believe that Russians will react on the reports, Russian simply doesn’t read them”, MAMIKINS said. “None of Russian civil servants with self-respect will read them, and nobody believes they will have any effect. The real sanctions, or the construction of the second pipeline of the Nord Stream II  to be abandoned, orthe sectoral sanctions to be strengthened, – all this will not happen, because the European Parliament is a big lightening rod, it is blowing off steam, but the real power is with the European Council, and the decisions are taken there by the heads of states and governments. We know that recently Mekel agreed with Macron on the Nord Stream II, and that is all – as soon as there is an agreement in the Council, that will be implemented”, MEP underlined.

Regular Europeans don’t read what is issued by the European Parliament, MEP continued, regretting that politicians don’t hear opinions, and wishes of millions of the EU citizens, affected by sanction war initiated by the EU, defining it as a “philosophic” question to the European political class. He also mentioned fading interest of the Europeans in the Europarliament, referring to the declinign turnout in the 2014 elections: in eastern Latvia 22%, in Slovakia 13%, indicating the attitude to the EU project in member-states. “This shows to what extend the regular people believe in what we are doing here” MAMIKINS lamented.

The failure of the political class is compensated by the citizens, who in “parallel develop their own ‘people’s diplomacy'” MEP  explained, mentioning enlarging, and broadening the exchanges of students, scientific and business cooperation, but also growing interest to invest in Russia, illustrating with example of Austria, formally supporting sanctions, but multiplying its investments the same time.

Concluding MAMIKINS reiterated his assessment of the EU sanctions policy as the “stalemate,” a result of a self-imposed ‘mantra‘ repeated last five years dabbing Russia as “foe” and Putin as an “aggressor, which caused their current awkward posture, they have no clue how to correct.

Is is very similar to NATO, spending 16 times more than Russia, but repeating relentlessly that “Russia is our foe”, and “danger is looming from the East“, – MEP pointed out. Subsequently or they “steal this money“, which is beneficial to some circles, or they “lie” that Russia is a foe, able to attack any moment, he added.

However even before the Ukrainian crisis, and Crimea, Russia has been an effective ‘scarecrow‘ for quite some time.  When President Putin, during his trip to Siberia suggested to join the North Atlantic Alliance, the reaction was absolutely negative MAMIKINS reminded.

Nevertheless counter-terrorism, space programmes, exploring Arctic,  energy dialogue, including nuclear energy, and nuclear waste, – cooperation in all these fields between the EU and Russia will continue in spite any sanctions, so will the gas and oil export, MEP ensures. “This is real politics, not the loudmouths here in the European Parliament – the civil servants in the European Commission understand that European can’t without Russia’, – he said.

MEP believes that in the upcoming election forces, promoting normalisation of relations with Russia will be represented by ultra-right and ultra-left parties, as Matteo Salvini, and European Left with portrait of Che Guevarabut not the systemic political congregations unable to get out of the actual impasse.

VIDEO: in Russian language from the European Parliament, Strasbourg 12 March 2019.

MEP Andrejs MAMIKINS (43) “Saskaņa” (Harmony) party, Latvia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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