Tag Archives: EPlenary

MEPs to practice remote vote

President and political group leaders decided to hold an extraordinary plenary session next Thursday, 26 March to allow for implementation of special measures.
Parliament´s President and Group leaders – Conference of Presidents – held an informal exchange of views on March 19 morning. They approved in written procedure the proposal of EP President Sassoli to convene an extraordinary plenary session next Thursday, 26 March in Brussels to debate and vote on the first three legislative proposals of the European Commission to tackle the effects of the COVID19 pandemic in EU Member States. (Image: illustration)

The European Parliament is doing its duty and will continue to do so. Parliament must remain open, because a virus cannot bring down democracy. We are the only European institution voted in by its citizens and we want to continue representing and defending them”, EP President David Sassoli said.

On the agenda:
The Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, which will make available €37 billion of the Cohesion funds to member states to address the consequences of the crisis,
a legislative proposal to extend the scope of the EU Solidarity Fund to cover public health emergencies
a Commission proposal to stop the so-called ghost flights caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

It is key that the European Parliament (pictured) adopts these three proposals swiftly, to provide concrete support to EU citizens and to the Member States in this unprecedented situation.

The Bureau of the European Parliament will adopt specific measures for this session to ensure the votes can be organised remotely.

This plenary will formally replace the session foreseen for 1-2 April.

MEPs determined to eradicate FGM

The European Parliament has repeatedly demonstrated a strong commitment to elimination of the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) worldwide. By adopting laws and resolutions, MEPs have advocated common action to eradicate female genital mutilation.

The European Parliament has repeatedly demonstrated a strong commitment to help eliminate the practice of FGM worldwide. By adopting laws and resolutions, MEPs have advocated common action to eradicate female genital mutilation.

On Wednesday, 12 February, members adopted a new resolution calling on the European Commission to include actions to end FGM in the new EU Gender Equality Strategy, to be presented in March, and to provide care for survivors.

They also urged EU countries to ratify the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and reiterated calls to incorporate FGM prevention measures in all policy areas, especially in health, asylum, education and employment.

MEPs also expressed their concerns about the increasingly widespread phenomenon of “medicalisation” of FGM.On Wednesday, 12 February, members adopted a new resolution calling on the European Commission to include actions to end FGM in the new EU Gender Equality Strategy, to be presented in March, and to provide care for survivors.

They also urged EU countries to ratify the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and reiterated calls to incorporate FGM prevention measures in all policy areas, especially in health, asylum, education and employment. MEPs also expressed their concerns about the increasingly widespread phenomenon of “medicalisation” of FGM.

Mavrides denounces Turkey-GNA deal

Anna van Densky Strasbourg Planned joint conference “Turkey-Tripoli GNA Memorandum as threat to EU security” of the Chair of the Delegation on the Mediterranean Kostas MAVRIDES MEP (S&D, CY), and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Interim government of Libya Abdulhadi LAHWEEJ  could not proceed as planned because of the degradation of the security situation in Benghazi,preventing the Libyan guest to come to the European Parliament, Strasbourg. The planes in Benina Benghazi Airport were destroyed or highjacked by Al-Sarraj militia, the high diplomat said.

However the Minister LAHWEEJ has send his statement in written to express the rejection of two Memoranda sealed recently between Tripoli administration and Turkey.

The two agreements are rejected by Libyan Parliament and the Interim government for two major reasons – the “unconstitutional” nature of Al-Wefaq gorvernment, which did not gain the support of the Libyan Parliament .

According to the Skhirat Agreement the mandate of the reconciliation government in Tripoli was given for one year, and it has expired long ago.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) violates the Law of Sea signed in Jamaica in 1982 between two countries that do not have common borders, and more seriously,threatens our friendly relations between neighbouring countries of Libya – Greece, Cyprus, Egypt. Accordingly, the two memoranda of understanding (MoU) are cancelled and have not entered into effect. In view of one of its parties, Libya has not completed its required legal procedures” Minister LAHWEEJ stated.

In general, I strongly believe that the time has come for the EU to reconsider our position. Turkey is a neo-ottoman regime with aggressive policies that go against European values and Rule of Law, but also against our strategic interests in the Mediterranean and elsewhere. The AKP Administration of Turkey is committing crimes against humanity inside and outside Turkey and supporting jihadist regimes, just like with the Tripoli regime and Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt MAVRIDES MEP said.

The European Union has to defend its vital security and economic interests vigorously, in line with EU and International Law by imposing strict economic measures towards Turkey, without attempting to ignore the assertiveness of Ankara, its military build up in the Mediterranean, and increasing contempt to the international law” he added.

Tripoli administration Al-Wefaq sealed two memoranda with Turkey – the first one on demarcation of the maritime border, and the second memo on security and military cooperation, – both of them rejected by the Interim government of Libya in unanimity with people’s representatives in the Parliament.

MEPs approve of Leyen Commission

The plenary vote has concluded the process of careful examination by Parliament of the proposed team of commissioners. Its objective has been to ensure that the EU’s executive body has the democratic legitimacy to act in the interest of Europeans.

The MEPs approved of Ursula von der Leyen team with +461 in favour, -157 against and 89 abstentions.

MEPs elected Ursula von der Leyen as Commission president in July. Then, from the end of September to mid-November, parliamentary committees organised hearings with each of the nominees to judge their suitability for their proposed post.

On 21 November political group leaders and Parliament’s president Sassoli agreed that the process of examination had been completed and that Parliament is ready to hold the final plenary vote.

The vote took place after the introduction of the opinions of the leaders of the political groups on Wednesday 27 November in presence of Ursula von der Leyen, who will her team and the new Commission’s programme. Following a debate, MEPs will decide by simple majority whether to elect the Commission or not.

The new Commission will start work on 1 December.

Need for EU legislationon exotic pet trade

Anna van Densky from Strasbourg At monthly hearing of the European Parliament Animal welfare intergroup David van Gennep, CEO AAP Animal Advocacy and Protection foundation (AAP), explained the profound need in regulating exotic animal trade, limiting the list to 42 allowed spices in the European Union, thus creating the ‘positive list’. The exotic animals as pets fashion is a rise, so is the trade in the species, however the overwhelming majority of them can not be adapted to life in captivity, suffering in misery,  being moved from cage to cage, changing owners and caretakers. Many of the exotic pets are tormented by various diseases, related to the unsuitable conditions, lacking space, proper diets and even sunshine. Some of them are transmitting bacteria and viruses, representing danger to humans. Public health and security remain the compromised issues, victim to whims of some individuals, eager to compensate their own mediocrity with the exotic pets colorful identities.

Unfortunately barbaric tradition to keep exotic animals as pets in captivity is booming in Europe nowadays due to the e-commerce, facilitating the purchase. High popularity of pictures with exotic species  is also a lucrative business for their  owners, careless, and often negligent to the particular spices needs,  exploiting the animal to maximum profit along the dramatically shortened lifespan.

‘With the growing popularity of exotic pets we can not help all the suffering and abandoned animals, the only way out is to address the root causes of the problem, and put in place the legislation, establishing the positive list of allowed exotic pets across the EUDavid van Gennep said, calling the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to ensure  the proper legal framework for resolving the issue of exotic pets. Dutch APP foundation, led by Mr.Gennep, aims at long-term solutions for improving the welfare of these exotic, non-domesticated animals, and in this regard the proper European legislation is the relevant solution for the animals and communities in Europe and beyond.

Some of the exotic pet trade is legal, selling spices bred in the EU, but increasingly the animals are captured from the wild illegally (often in Africa) to supply for the European demand for exotic pets, fueling the multi-billion global black market. Some owners discover themselves unable to provide for the pets, when they rapidly grow, and intentional releases of exotic pets are increasingly common in Europe, exposing animal to long agony and painful death. Not less catastrophic  is the other outcome of the irresponsible behavior, when the abandoned animal does not die from starvation or exposure to harsh conditions, but finds a mate to proliferate producing invasive species to detriment of the ecosystems.

Furthermore the exotic pet trade is the contempt to the EU Lisbon Treaty, enshrining animal welfare as “European value“. The Lisbon Treaty, in force from December 1st 2009, includes animal sentience as an Article. It means that recognition of animals as creatures having ability to feel is now in the main body of the Treaty, establishing responsibility of the governments of the EU member-states towards the animals, and requesting the humane treatment of them.

The hearing of the Intergroup chaired by Anja Hazekamp  MEP (GUE/NGL) took place on October 24 in Strasbourg during Plenary week #EPlenary of the European Parliament.

Latvian PM shares vision of Future of Europe

The EU needs to strengthen the its core principles, Latvian Prime Ministers Krišjānis Kariņš said in the debate on the Future of Europe, on April 17 at European Parliament plenary session in Strasbourg.

Kariņš suggested four main fields of EU action: completing the Single Market, controlling external borders, undertaking a smart transition towards clean energy and boosting security. “Don’t fight the populists, address the causes of people’s malcontent,Prime Minister said. With people worrying about their jobs, the EU needs to sharpen its main tool for job creation – the Single Market. Europe needs to foster “National Champions” by opening up the Single Market, not embarking on a Chinese way of protectionism. “We need to continue to tear down the barriers to the Single Market. This is what will create more jobs and more wealth in Europe,” he said, singling out digital industry and services as the two main fields of action.

To avoid re-erecting internal borders and allow for an unhindered Single Market, the EU needs to shore up its external borders, control migration and make sure people arriving in the EU accept European values. “It is extremely important to maintain our national identities. Arrivals need to adapt themselves,” Mr Kariņš said, suggesting that Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency need to be beefed up further.

“If we truly want to increase the share of renewable energy in our system, we need to open up markets and deregulate prices. Consumer choice is what can best drive energy transition,” the Latvian PM suggested. “By opening electricity markets to competition and market prices, we can greatly increase the uptake in renewable energy sources and increase energy efficiency.”

My country spends 2% of its GDP on the military. I believe we all should. But we also need to work on strengthening our information defence”, PM Kariņš said, adding that new legislation could help to hold social media platforms to account for allowing disinformation to spread .

The Prime minister had discussion with MEPs, many of whom knew him as a colleague in the European Parliament.  

However Prime minister has been also confronted with harsh criticism for disparity between his speech and realities.  Lativian MEP Andrejs MAMIKINS raised a range of problems, including double citizenship of Mr.Kariņš, who kept his American passport while being head of Latvian government. MEP Mamikins pointed to the chronic situation of conflict of interests.

Today was the prime Minister of Mr. Kariņas to participate in the ES future debate. The Prime minister spoke of the diversity in Europe and the need to fight dirty money. In return, I offer the prime_minister to look in the mirror”, MEP MAMIKINS said.

MEPs battling over Brexit

Debating with European Council president Donald Tusk and Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker the European Parliament largest political group leaders gave their support to the decisions taken by the EU heads of states and governments, concluding March 21-22 Summit to avoid a disorderly Brexit, giving additional opportunities to Theresa May government to avoid the UK departing from the bloc without an agreement. At In the second March European Parliament plenary numerous MEPs also individually expressed solidarity with pro-EU UK movements and bitterly criticised Westminster for incapacity to build a majority around any of possible models of moving forward.

The UK MEPs represented a variety of view, from ardent supporters of the EU membership, to staunch sovereignists, requesting immediate departure from they bloc without further delay.

In the situation when the Article 50 Agreement has not been delivered by the government, and the proposed deal was voted down twice by the Westminster, Alyn Smith from Scottish National Party (UK, Greens) MEP says the best way out is to stay in the EU. He reminded that his native Scotland voted to remain in the bloc.

Nigel Farage MEP, accused UK politics of being dishonest, while attempting to stop Brexit,the “Westminster has betrayed the greatest democratic vote in the history of our country“, he said,  and vowed Brexiteers would not let it happen without consequences.

The top EU negotiator for Article 50 Agreement Michel Barnier reiterated that the deal was produced in co-operation with the UK, and not “against” the UK. He also underlined the unprecedented difficulty of the process, being not “trade talks“, but “exit” talks, and that it was a unilateral decision of Britons to leave, so they a have to assume the responsibilities for the consequences.

 

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