Plenary Focus - DECEMBER 2017
Brexit and EU Council debate
With its common positions on the Brexit negotiations, the European Parliament has defended the rights of citizens in the EU and Britain, as well as the people of the north of Ireland. In the second phase, much more clarification and negotiation are needed, however. The rights of EU citizens and the impact of Brexit on the island of Ireland remain our group’s highest priorities and both sides need to concretely implement such commitments.
For us, citizens’ rights include all social and labour rights, and the procedure for securing ‘settled status’ for EU citizens in the UK must be fair, simple, and transparent. Citizens must be able to individually go to court to claim their rights. Similarly, there must be no hard border between the north and south of Ireland, as promised by Theresa May. The British government must find a solution that protects the Good Friday Agreement in all its parts.
Trump embassy move to Jerusalem
We denounce the provocative decision by the United States to proceed with the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It violates UN resolutions and their decisions on giving the city special international status. Jerusalem is central to a comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue, and the position of the international community is that East Jerusalem will be the capital of the independent Palestinian state. The two-state solution is the only way to achieve peace and security in the Middle East.
Panama Papers recommendations
Miguel Urbán Crespo
The report voted in the ‘Panama Papers’ committee contains many important points - thanks in part to GUE/NGL’s amendments which passed with the majority’s support. But as if the new EU blacklist on tax havens wasn’t embarrassing enough with so many omissions, the EPP is now trying to water down the report. We therefore remain hopeful that this plenary vote won’t further undermine the EU’s fight against tax evasion.
Debate: Tuesday Vote: Wednesday
Situation of the Rohingya
The silence has been deafening. We can no longer sit by passively to act and save the Rohingyas now. Nor will we stop our criticisms and condemnation until the Rohingyas are allowed to be reestablished, peacefully, in their own country. They must be recognised as an integral part of the Burmese people and are treated as equals.
Debate: Tuesday Vote: Thursday
Towards a digital trade strategy
Europe must become a leading international actor in designing the rulebook on digitised global economy. However, regulatory framework is failing to keep up with technological development. As Europeans, we must embrace new opportunities without compromising on data protection: it’s a fundamental part of EU law. GUE/NGL is determined to protect this right and we reject the notion that data protection would be a barrier to trade. Quite the contrary, in fact. We reject the proposal in TiSA to allow corporate access to our data to facilitate trading with European citizens, patients and customers. Sadly, the EPP is determined to reopen TiSA negotiations in this report and we will therefore vote against it.
Debate: Monday evening
Agriculture Omnibus Regulation
Luke Ming Flanagan
I welcome the inclusion of the Omnibus regulation to the Plenary agenda, stating that while there are unsatisfactory elements within it such as the promotion of financial instruments, there are some positive aspects to it. These beneficial aspects, changes to land eligibility, adjustments to the ‘young farmers’ scheme will have a broad and tangible benefit on the ground if implemented properly.