Plenary Focus - November 2016
The European Union must act now. As the crisis escalates, Turkey routinely disregards Parliament’s resolutions and statements; the HDP arrests prove that. If Erdoğan brings back the death penalty then it’ll already be too late - we must act now to help the people of Turkey.
This EU policy of appeasement and the dirty deals with the Turkish government cannot continue. The Commission and the Council have a duty to bring about a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question; of guaranteeing human rights for all, including minorities, refugees and the political and civil opposition in Turkey.
Annual Growth Survey 2017
These endless Annual Growth Survey reports never seriously provide for a proper growth and jobs strategy. What the EU needs is to reverse the present anaemic growth and record unemployment levels by implementing an alternative economic policy. This should include public investments geared toward social and environmental sustainability - and to reduce income inequality.
European Defence Union
The EU’s ambition is to become a global military power - and the Lisbon Treaty has paved the way for this by removing the necessary institutional hurdles. After Brexit, this military scheme shall form the cement of the EU - with Trump’s victory misused as an argument for more military autonomy. The arms and defence industries will undoubtedly be the main beneficiaries from all these. We at GUE/NGL therefore utterly reject this report and have already tabled a minority report.
European Semester Package
This is the start of a renewed cycle of economic governance with more blackmail on member states and their budgetary policies. As the recent rounds of sanctions and suspension of structural funds have proved, the economic governance that supports the euro and EMU is an instrument that is going to be used to push through the European Union’s neoliberal agenda
Access to anti-money-laundering information by tax authorities
Of course, we support all measures that contribute to better access to information by tax authorities as well as better cooperation at international levels. However, we are convinced that it’s not possible to combat money-laundering by relying solely on the diligence of private companies and the financial system. Fraud, tax evasion and money-laundering are inseparable from the capitalist system and this has to change.
Emissions of certain atmospheric pollutants
When the European Parliament adopted the National Emission Ceilings Directive back in 2005 - as part of the Commission’s clean air policy to reduce pollution and improve the EU’s air quality - we had some ambitious goals for it. However, we can only express our disappointment with the outcome of the negotiations between the EU institutions for choosing to put the interests of industries and farming ahead of citizens’ health.
Situation in the West Bank, including settlements
Israel’s policy of constructing illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank constitutes a major barrier to peace, and was an important factor in recent violence. These settlements are illegal under international law, but Israel continues to expand them, while demolishing Palestinian houses and EU-funded structures. To secure peace, the EU must do more than condemn this - it must make relations with Israel conditional on respect for international law.
Istanbul Convention on preventing gender-based violence
The EU has long discussed how to tackle violence against women and yet member states are still dragging their feet in ratifying the Istanbul Convention. Without this, we cannot guarantee to women and girls that they are properly protected. We must also emphasise that this Convention does not grant special rights to women but, rather, remedies existing injustices and seeks to prevent further violation of gender-based rights across Europe. Such a move would be a defining moment for Europe in solidarity and as the true guarantor of rights.