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Weekly overview

Our weekly overviews - Brussels agenda and Strasbourg Flash - give you a concise idea of the priorities and the highlights for the Greens during the parliamentary weeks. The weekly overview covers both the EP committees and plenary debates and votes but also focuses on hot topics in the other EU institutions. Furthermore, it provides you with a list of Greens/EFA activities which range from press conferences to public conferences.

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Strasbourg Flash

Weekly preview of the Greens/EFA group – 12-15 December 2016

EU priorities (full text below):

  • LuxLeaks appeal trial (starts Monday)
  • 4th Railway Package: missed opportunity for progress (debate Monday, vote Wednesday)
  • New Greens/EFA co-presidents and bureau announced (Tuesday)
  • Commission Statement: rule of law in Poland (Tuesday)
  • Sakharov Prize presentation (Tuesday)
  • Commission Statement: Energy Union Package (Tuesday)
  • Parliament’s rules of Procedure (Tuesday)
  • Commission: Labour mobility package - coordination of social security systems (Tuesday)
  • Council and Commission statements ahead of European Council (Tuesday)
  • ETS vote in ENVI (Thursday)

Greens/EFA events:

  • Press briefing with Greens/EFA co-presidents (Tuesday)

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LuxLeaks appeal trial

Monday 12 December, 11:30am, Luxembourg: Press conference

The appeal of Antoine Deltour, Raphael Halet and Edouard Perrin begins on Monday. In June, Antoine and Raphael were given suspended sentences and a fine. We will be holding a press conference at 11:30am, Représentation au Luxembourg (7, rue du Marché aux Herbes). Pascal Durand, Benedek Javor, Sven Giegold and Claude Turmes will be present, alongside invited whistleblowers from Germany, Hungary, Ireland and Spain. We will also participate in the solidarity gathering outside the court room, alongside NGOs.

4th Railway Package: missed opportunity for progress

Monday 12 December: debate, Wednesday 14: vote

This is a deeply disappointing package. Whilst the technical pillar is satisfactory, the Greens/EFA group has strong concerns regarding the PSO and Governance files. We cannot agree with the negotiated compromise. The rules for tendering don't guarantee enough staff protection in the case where transfer of staff from one company to another becomes necessary and there are numerous loopholes to undermine fair EU-wide competition. The new rules for separation within companies provide for unnecessary bureaucracy but not for an impartial management that would benefit customers, tax payers and the companies themselves.     

New Greens/EFA co-presidents and bureau announced

Tuesday 13 December

The Greens/EFA group will announce the results of their internal election for co-presidents and bureau members.

Commission Statement: rule of law in Poland

Tuesday 13 December: plenary debate

The Parliament will again debate rule of law in Poland. This week, the Greens/EFA group responded to reports that the Polish government intends to withdraw Poland’s signature from the Istanbul Convention. See our press release.

Sakharov Prize

Tuesday 13 December: plenary

Nadia Murad and Lamiya Aji Bashar will be presented the 2016 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

Commission Statement: Energy Union Package

Tuesday 13 December: plenary debate

The Commission’s Energy Package contains a series of proposals on the future energy policy of the European Union. The proposals fall far short of what is needed to match the ambitions agreed under the Paris Agreement and the Commission's rhetoric on making Europe number one in renewables. See our most recent press release and blog for details.

Parliament’s rules of Procedure

Tuesday 13 December: plenary vote

This report represents the outcome of two years of work on revising the European Parliament’s rules of procedure. The Greens/EFA group has secured a series of measures to improve transparency, including measured adopted from the report of Pascal Durand, which will see an enhanced check of potential conflict of interests both at the beginning of the legislature and in case of a major portfolio change. Other positive measures include: a more precise declaration of side incomes by MEPs; a ban on lobby side jobs; an improvement on the functioning of the ethical Advisory committee. We will also be putting forward additional amendments which seek to end revolving doors and set stricter rules regarding meetings between lobbyists and MEPs.

Commission: Labour mobility package - coordination of social security systems

Tuesday 13 December

The Commission has foreseen the need to publish a proposal for the revision of European social security coordination since 2015. Due to pre-Brexit tensions and discussions, this was put on hold but is now back on the agenda. The Commission is understood to be planning problematic restrictions on access to benefits, in particular with regards to jobseekers and non-active persons. On top of this, some Member States are pushing the Commission after Brexit to introduce a system of indexation for child benefits in cross-border situations. A more positive step is the inclusion of coordination rules for long-term care benefits as these are currently not properly covered by the regulation.

Council and Commission statements ahead of European Council

Tuesday 13 December: plenary debate

Key topics will include migration (including the EU-Turkey statement), Security, and EU-Russia relations. There will also be an informal meeting of the 27 leaders to discuss the Brexit process.

ENVI ETS vote

Thursday 15 December: committee vote

On Thursday the ENVI committee is scheduled to vote on on the much-needed reform of the Emissions Trading System (ETS). The so called EU 'cornerstone policy' in the fight against climate change has been largely malfunctioning, and has not being able to deliver a carbon price high enough to properly incentivise the reduction of green-house gases within EU industry. Greens/EFA demand greater ambition. In particular, to make sure that the current surplus of allowances is reduced and to avoid the build-up of a new surplus in the next trading phase in order to deliver an appropriate carbon price and make the ETS a driver of innovation.

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Co-presidents press briefing

Tuesday 13 December – 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: www.greens-efa.eu/press/722-press-briefing

Greens/EFA Press contacts