Strasbourg 14.09.2021 After summer holiday the European Parliament has started to consider if the principle of rotation of the Speaker remains relevant, or the incumbent Italian Socialist politician David Sassoli would stay for another two and a half years as the head of the institution.
Manfred Weber (EPP, Germany) has renounced taking over from Italian socialist David Sassoli, as had been negotiated after the 2019 elections. He is focused on his new ambition to ascend the presidency of the European People’s Party (EPP), the party. This sudden move opens a perspective for his political rival David Sassoli to follow the footsteps of another Socialist politician and the European Parliament speaker Martin Schulz, who was the only politician to serve two terms.
Martin Schulz MEP (Germany, S&D) led the Parliament until January 2017. He won 409 out of 612 valid votes cast in the first ballot. Mr Schulz was the first President in the history of the European Parliament to be re-elected for a second two and a half year term.
In a brief address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg immediately after the vote, Mr Schulz thanked for MEPs for their confidence in him. “It’s an extraordinary honour to be the first re-elected President of the European Parliament. I will take my duty very seriously, because we are heart of the European democracy, keeping the task of passing legislation and overseeing its enforcement. An overwhelming majority of this house drew the conclusion that the leading candidate in the European election should become the President of European Commission, therefore a German word, Spitzenkandidat, has entered into several other European languages”. However the system of electing of the European Commission president has failed, and unknown to the majority of the Europeans Ursula von der Leyen has been appointed in obscure procedures, and then endorsed by the MEPs.
During the press-conference in the European Parliament, Strasbourg, on September 14, the chair of the Socialists and Democrats group Iratxe Garcia-Perez declined to answer if the group is going to support the principle of rotation, but preferred to focus of the personality of the Speaker, phrasing David Sassoli for his excellence.
The president of the European Parliament David Sassoli issued a communication to attention of the Members of the European, informing them about next Plenary taking place in Brussels instead of Strasbourg as a result of the sanitary situation in Grand Est region of France. (Image above: European Parliament, Strasbourg)
“Unfortunately, the health situation prevents us from going to Strasbourg for the first plenary session in October. We hope that everything will change soon and that we can return to our city
The novel coronavirus COVID-19 continues to spread in Europe and across the world” Sassoli wrote on his Twitter micro blog.
“On September 10, 2020, the Conference of Presidents debated the consequences of the pandemic and came to the conclusion that Parliament will again hold its sessions in Strasbourg as soon as conditions allow. In close collaboration with the French authorities, we continue to closely monitor the evolution of COVID-19″ the text of the communication reads.
“Unfortunately, given the recent increase in the rate of transmission of the virus in France, including in the Bas-Rhin department, and for the sake of public health, we must reconsider the displacement of Members and employees in the European Parliament, a few days of the first parliamentary session in October.
“Strasbourg, seat of the European Parliament, is very close to our hearts. Beyond the legal obligation to hold the sessions there, it is our most sincere wish to find this city which embodies the reconciliation of European countries better than any other.
“I would like to thank the French authorities and the City of Strasbourg for their support and the close collaboration implemented since the start of the pandemic and I sincerely hope that we will be able to go there again soon”.
“The session of the European Parliament from 5 to 8 October will be held in Brussels”.
Image below: European Parliament, Brussels.
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.
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.
MEP Anja Hazekamp (The Netherlands) asked the Commissioner for Environment K for action against Malta, refusing to put an end to the spring hunting of migratory birds. The MEP picketed the main entrance of the European Parliament in Brussels at Simone Veil Agora to display the sign of ban for migratory birds killings.
- Malta is a hosting place for some 170 species of birds migrating between Europe and Africa. But poachers kill or capture up to 200,000 wild birds every year — a problem widespread across the Mediterranean.
- In particular, illegal trapping of birds such as finches continues to persist in Malta, despite the European Court of Justice ruling against Malta for allowing the trapping of protected species.
- To legalize finch trapping within the framework of European law, Malta used a legal maneuver called a derogation by claiming that finch trapping was a traditional practice in the country.
- Such legal derogation is being used as a smokescreen to illegally trap finches and other protected species not just in Malta but in other countries as well.
The vast majority of these birds, including white storks (Ciconia ciconia) and black storks (Ciconia nigra), are strictly protected under the European Union’s Birds Directive of 1972. But in Malta, poachers kill or capture up to 200,000 wild birds every year: shooting them for food, taxidermy or simply target practice, or trapping them to keep as pets or live hunting decoys.
As they come in to magnificent Malta islands, the migratory birds are confronted by 10,000 hunters with the a cynical motto, “if it flies… it dies,” launching the massacre. So far the Maltese Government not only tolerates but encourages and protects the abuse of the EU law on wildlife protection, referring to centuries old ‘cultural’ tradition. The referendum (2015) showed the public opinion divided; the pro-hunting camp had won by 2,200 votes, with 126,434 votes in favour of keeping the spring hunt alive and 124,214 against. (Image below: trapped bird).
Member of the European Parliament (ALDE, Lithuania) Petras AUŠTREVIČIUS expressed his shock, on the breaking news on arrest and jailing of Russian leading animal rights activist Yuri KORETSKYH, who was calling authorities for humane treatment of stray animals in Russian cities, brutally culled ahead of the World Cup championship.
“We should ask Mr.Putin, why a humanist is in jail!”, MEP said, underlining that the only concern of animal rights activists was promotion of humanism to stray animals in Russian cities. These cats and dogs were condemned to death instead of constructing shelters to resolve the problem of stray in a civilised way, the activists are promoting, MEP continued. “The animals did not commit any crime, it is a responsibility of authorities to build shelters”, MEP said.
The jailing of KORETSKYH shows the real face of Russian power, which is able of “abusing anyone” AUŠTREVIČIUS continued. “They go against any logic, any common sense for already last two decades”, MEP said, suggesting the situation with attitude towards animal rights activism in Russia is contrary to the European trends, aiming at raising welfare standards of animals.
“We invest tens of millions, or may be more, to ensure humane treatment of animals”, AUŠTREVIČIUS underlined, pointing out that European governments at highest level support animal welfare movements as conducive to public good. He also concluded that animal rights groups in Russian should get support from their European counterparts protecting stay in urban environments. “I’m sure Russian authorities will get a strong response for culling stray for hosting World Cup. I can promise it!”