Tag Archives: European Parliament

Italy PM Conte debates Future of Europe

MEPs will exchange views on the future of Europe with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Tuesday at 17.00.

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Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte leaving the Europarliament studio where he had an interview with European Youth. He refuses questions of press, under pretext that he is in a hurry to meet the President and MEPs to debate The Future of Europe.

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In a plenary debate on the Future of Europe, the Italian Prime Minister said: “This is a valuable opportunity to reverse the process of detachment between rulers and governed, which if fed could lead to the European project imploding”. The prerequisite for relaunching it, are “solidarity and cohesion between the member states”.

Prime minister focused on different aspects of the EU foreign policy, in first ranks challenges of African multiple crisis, causing migration, but also paid a lot of attention to Venezuela problems, he also mentioned the need of more coordinated approach to foreign policy, for example a need to receive a common EU seat in the UN Security Council. Among priorities he underlined the significance of strengthening relations with the United States, an imperative of a strong dialogue with Russia and China and the creation of a meaningful European common defence.

In spite of explaining at length the Italian position towards Venezuela, it was Africa to absorbing the central place of Italian foreign policy.  Through his speech and in the debate with MEPs Prime minister Conte underlined the paramount significance of Africa for European future, underlining that in spite of all efforts the EU border guards, or asylum policy are in modality of coping with consequences of multiple crisis Africa suffers. He insisted on intensifying aid to African states,  build on new partnerships, and aimed at assistance in crisis resolution. Concerned with human dignity, Conte underlined that fighting African poverty is one of the biggest challenge for the EU future.

A bitter regret of absence of EU solidarity has been a bitter refrain thorough the speech and debate with MEP,  Prime minister blamed the EU a great deal of hypocrisy in handling the migration crisis, producing declarations, but failing to deliver upon promises.

 

France-Italy diplomatic clash over Yellow Vests

President Emmanuel Macron’s government recalled France ambassador to Rome Christian Masset on February 7 in an unprecedented act since World War II , saying it had enough with “repeated, baseless” attacks by Italian political leaders against France.

The decision came after a meeting between Italy’s deputy prime minister and leaders of the French Yellow Vest movement who have been calling for President Macron’s resignation.

Luigi di Maio, Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement welcomed the “winds of change across the Alps” yesterday on Twitter after meeting with Yellow Vest activists Cristophe Chalencon and Ingrid Levavasseur.

The vise-president of the European Parliament Fabio Castaldo has also taken part in the meeting. (Pictured below: first from right).

In a statement on the decision, France’s foreign ministry blamed Italian officials of making “outrageous statements” and “repeated, baseless attacks” for months.

The statement said the attacks were without precedent since World War II. “Having disagreements is one thing, but manipulating the relationship for electoral aims is another,” it said.

“All of these actions are creating a serious situation which is raising questions about the Italian government’s intentions towards France,” diplomats added, making clear that Paris is increasingly worried by Di Maio and Salvini’s vocal support for the anti-establishments protest movement.

Ambassador Fr Rome

Ambassador Christian Masset (pictured above) arrived to Rome on 6 of December 2017.  As a carreer diplomat he previously served as an Ambassador to Japan, and held other prominent positions in Foreign Affairs Ministry working in Brussels, London, and Pretoria.

 

 

MEPs call Rada Dyriv to save Pokrovsk zoo animlas

The ongoing Padalko zoo (Pokrovsk, Donetsk region, Ukraine) horrendous animal abuse continues to cause sharp criticism of the whole spectrum of the European political forces. The Members of the European Parliament joined an initiative of John Flack (UK, ECR) addressing an open letter to Anotolii DyrivFirst Deputy Chair of Committee on Environmental Policy of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine

padalko zoo cages

The Members of the European Parliament have called the Ukrainian Parliament Rada to act without delay to save the animals.

We in The European Parliament, and  I know that also my political colleagues in the United Kingdom wish to encourage Ukraine to forge closer links with the Western family of nations” John Flack MEP (UK, ECR) wrote.

“We in the west take the humane treatment of animals very seriously and would urge all in the Ukraine to follow best practice. It is not only the right thing to do but will encourage future
investment” he underlined.

 MEP (UK, ECR), who initiated the letter, regrets he can not leave for Porkovsk immediately, to accept the invitation of the animal welfare groups in Ukraine, but out of his own convictions and the wish of his electorate to monitor the situation closely, he is considering a trip to Ukraine in the nearest future to see how the situation with Padalko zoo abused animals has been resolved, and what are the conditions of the other animals in private, and public zoos.

Mr.Flack urges Mr.Dyriv and the Rada committee he chairs to use the “considerable influence to protect the vulnerable and abused animals”.

In relation to Pokrovsk zoo MEPs call Mr.Dyriv to “arrange for unrestricted access by qualified veterinarians to all animals”. But not only, due to the scale and gravity of abuse and cruelty, MEPs call for “police to investigate the fate of missing Lions and Bears”, that were listed on the zoos inventory at the beginning of November 2018 but are now missing without explanation.

“If crimes have been committed then their should be prosecutions, both to punish the perpetrators but also to encourage correct behaviour in others” the open letter continues.
There is also a request to arrange for permission to be granted for International and Ukrainian animal welfare charities to
“both visit and then to monitor the conditions at all Ukrainian zoos”.

European politicians ask Mr.Dyriv to consider  “urgently”  whether Pokrovsk zoo is a “fit and proper place” to keep animals and whether it would be in “national interest” the Padalko zoo to be closed forthwith and the animals transferred to other reputable facilities.

“With elections due shortly in Ukraine I am sure that many of your people will be closely watching the fate of these defenceless animals.
I and my colleagues would welcome the opportunity to visit you in the Ukraine and to see for ourselves the improvements you are able to bring about” the letter concludes.

The open letter was initiated (23.01.2019) and singed by the Member of the European Parliament  (MEP) John Flack MEP, who is the Vice President European Parliament Animal Welfare Intergroup, and British Conservative Spokesman for Regional Development; and Rupert Matthews MEP,  Member for the East Midlands (U.K),  at present the letter circulates in the Europarliament, collecting signatures of the politicians. 

The scandal broke out when the pictures of the animal abuse hit social media, provoking a wave of indignation in Europe, and across the globe, launching a international campaign to save Porkovsk zoo animals from Padalko zoo.

MEPs Stefan Eck, Sirpa Petiekainen, Anja Hazekamp, and legendary Brigitte Bardot have already addressed the issue, calling President Petro Porkoshenko, and Minister of Ecology Ostap Semerak to save the Porkovsk  zoo animals from abuse, however in vain so far. One more lion died from hunger after the transportation to another private zoo with an ambivalent reputation, and a number of animals have vanished without trace.

All the proposals of charities to transfer animals to sanctuaries were rejected by the owner of the zoo Igor Padalko, who is hoping to recover the animals after his zoo is rebuilt from public funds.

There are around 100 animals in private zoo in Pokrovsk, owned by Mr.Padalko, who denies veterinarians and activists the access to the dying animals. A few of them have been transported to another private zoo. Mr.Padalko is supported by the Mayor of Porkovsk Ruslan Trebushkin, and the governor of the Donetsk region Olexander Kutz.

The Ukrainian activists called for a demonstration in Kiev on the 24 of January opposite the Ministry of Ecology to protest against the animal abuse, and inaction of the Minister of Ecology Ostap Semerak, the petition for demanding his resignation has been circulation online, collecting the first hours two thousand signatures.

Di Maio for Europarliament Single Seat

Deputy Prime minister of Italy Luigi di Maio criticises the EU for squandering public money, while using two seats for the European Parliament in Brussels for groups and committees meetings, and in Strasbourg exclusively for the Plenary one week a month, while three weeks the building stays empty.

Till present around 1,5 million citizens singed a petition for Single seat, and the campaigners say that two thirds of MEPs support their demand. The Single Seat campaign is chaired by Anna Maria Corazza Bildt MEP (Moderaterna, Sweden), and 5 Vice-Chairs from the Parliament’s main political groups.

This Parliament has been voting across political and national boundaries, constantly regularly for a single seat of the European Parliament. We want to be able to decide when and where to meet. Chancellor Angela Merkel and Sebastian Kurz showed leadership last year and took a clear public position in favour of one location for the European Parliament” Anna Maria Corazza Bildt said, while debating in Strasbourg with Spanish Prime minister Pedro Sanchez on January 16 in the framework of the “Future of Europe” cycle.

single seatHowever successive French governments have declined the claim of the campaigners to give up Strasbourg, insisting the city is a symbol of the reunification of Europe after the World War II, and its status as the seat of the European Parliament is enshrined in the EU treaty. “It was not France that unilaterally decided to place the seat in Strasbourg. It is a symbol of the French-German reconciliation on which Europe is built,” insists MEP Anne Sander (EPP, France).

 

MEPs demand Mehman Huseynov release

MEPs deplore the crackdown on dissent in Azerbaijan, raising the issue at January  European Parliament Plenary in Strasbourg, and adopting a resolution taking stock of the human rights situation in Azerbaijan.

MEPs call for the immediate and unconditional release of prominent Azerbaijani anti-corruption blogger Mehman Huseynov, who is serving a two-year prison sentence for speaking out about his experiences of being tortured by the police and criticising government officials by exposing their unexplained wealth.

They also demand an end to Azerbaijan’s harsh general crackdown on dissent and the immediate and unconditional release from jail of all political prisoners. MEPs remind Azerbaijan of its obligations stemming from the European Convention on Human Rights and call on the country’s authorities to fully respect and enforce the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights.

The resolution, adopted by 533 votes in favour, 28 against and 36 abstentions, further underlines the importance of the new agreement currently being negotiated between the EU and Azerbaijan, stressing that democratic reform, the rule of law and respect for human rights must be at its core.

MEPs emphasise that the European Parliament will closely monitor the human rights situation in the country throughout the negotiations prior to deciding whether or not to give its consent to the agreement.

Europarl leaders refuse Brexit deal revision

The Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament political groups informed that the Withdrawal Agreement is fair and balanced and the it is only deal possible. It is therefore one not open to renegotiation.

 

The Conference of Presidents, together with the Brexit Steering Group, discussed  the state of play of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.

The Conference took note that the meaningful vote in the House of Commons on the Withdrawal Agreement had been deferred and that the UK Prime Minister had held meetings yesterday with a number of European leaders to explore ways to facilitate the UK’s ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement.

The Conference reconfirmed its view that the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration are fair and balanced and represent, given EU principles, current UK red lines and the commitments set out in the Good Friday Agreement, the only deal possible to ensure an orderly withdrawal from the European Union. It stressed that renegotiating the backstop was not possible since it is the guarantee that in whatever circumstances there could be no hardening of the border on the island of Ireland. The Conference reiterated that without a backstop Parliament would not give its consent to the Withdrawal Agreement.

The Conference also reiterated its support for as close as possible future EU-UK relationship such that the deployment of the backstop would not be necessary. The President and group leaders reaffirmed that the backstop is in any case to be used only as a measure of last resort. All efforts to make this point clear were welcomed.

The Conference noted that failure to ratify the Withdrawal Agreement would mean no transition period following the exit from the EU. It called on the Commission and the Member States to continue and intensify their work on no-deal planning.

  • The Conference finally noted that Parliament’s consent to the Withdrawal Agreement would be facilitated by UK government assurances as regards implementation of the citizens’ rights provisions of the Agreement in those areas outlined in a ‘diplomatic bag‘ correspondence with the Home Office.

The Conference of Presidents agreed to return to the issue of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union at its next meeting.

Tajani calls for release of Sentsov

Sakharov Prizie winner Oleg Sentsov  cousin Natalya Kaplan and lawyer Dmitriy Dinze represented him during the ceremony in Strasbourg  Sentsov was not in the Parliament to collect the award in person, because he remains in prison in Siberia.

Oleg Sentsov was nominated for his peaceful protest against the illegal occupation of his native Crimea. Also for his courage, determination and his convictions in support of human dignity, democracy, the rule of law and human rights; these are the values on which our Union is built, even more after the terrible attack of yesterday, values that this Parliament cherishes, upholds and promotes.” the Parliament President Antonio Tajani said, while awarding the Prize.

Sentsov’s hunger strike and courageous public stance made him a symbol of the struggle for the release of political prisoners held in Russia and around the world,” he added. Noting that the award comes against a backdrop of serious tensions between Russia and Ukraine, Tajani called for a de-escalation of the situation and reiterated support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

The President called for the immediate and unconditional release of Sentsov and all other illegally detained Ukrainian citizens in Russia and the Crimean peninsula as well as other imprisoned laureates: “The Sakharov Prize is not only an award. It is a commitment. And we keep standing close by our laureates.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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