Plenary Focus - September 2017
Corruption and human rights in third countries
Miguel Urbán Crespo
This report pins the blame on countries of the South even though it is multinationals which are responsible for 70% of tax evasion in the world, many of them European. It also contains no analysis on the types of perverse financing that the EU defines as part of its external relations; nor the role of private sector companies in the public sector nor the origin of illicit movement of capital within the territory. The response is simple: isolation of tax havens, an international model that harmonises taxation and fiscal reform for the majority.
Measures to safeguard the security of gas supply
Xabier Benito Ziluaga
The measures proposed here deviate greatly from the EU’s climate objectives. This regulation would support building yet more natural gas infrastructure that will lead to an increase of methane emissions - a gas which has a global warming potential that is 86 times higher than carbon dioxide. Furthermore, the promotion of gas will continue to jeopardise the development of renewables as an alternative energy resource.
Implementation of the Mediation Directive
The adequate implementation of this Directive should help promote the amicable settlement of disputes and reduce the hurdles that lengthy and costly judicial procedures create. In this regard, EU-wide quality standards such as minimum standards should be established to ensure consistency. Moreover, efficient safeguards need to be put in place in the mediation processes to protect weaker parties from being deprived of their rights to an independent judicial determination. It is also necessary to provide financial incentives for the parties in order to use mediation as an affordable and effective way to solve conflicts in internal and cross-border disputes in the EU.
The functioning of franchising in the retail sector
Cornelis de Jong
The exploitation of small entrepreneurs who operate their own supermarkets or shops under a franchise formula needs to stop. My report on this received overwhelming support in the internal market committee as it addresses the problems in the franchise sector and demands much-needed improvements. Franchises need to be given space for entrepreneurship to flourish instead of being strangled and exploited by stringent and unfair contract terms.
EU political relations with Latin America
Relations between the EU and Latin America must be based on mutual recognition and equality with absolute respect for sovereignty. The EU must act as a mediator, help eradicate poverty and inequalities from Latin America, fight impunity and - most important of all - refrain from interventionism. The EU must also stop trying to impose its neoliberal policies on Latin American countries which don’t share its ideological vision.
The Istanbul Convention
Words cannot describe how happy I am with the adoption of the Istanbul Convention - the most far-reaching internationally legal instrument that can serve as a global standard against VAW. However, the Convention doesn’t necessarily put an end to VAW and its implementation still depends on individual member states. Each of us has a responsibility to speak out against VAW amongst our families, friends and at work. Complicit silence must end in order to stand up for women and a more egalitarian society.
The Istanbul Convention
The EU accession to the Istanbul Convention has been a major success. But we still have to act in response to women´s rights organisations and women´s shelters around Europe for a comprehensive EU legal framework - one without opt-outs for member states in combatting violence against women (VAW). GUE/NGL stands in solidarity with these movements and will not give up until a binding EU framework is in place.
State of the Union
Patrick Le Hyaric
A frank debate on the State of the Union cannot be held without a full assessment of the policies pursued by the Commission and their consequences for people. The European Union can no longer be the vehicle for vicious competition that increases inequalities between citizens nor the proponent of a blind austerity that deprives them of their future prospects. It must reaffirm itself based on rights and be a force for progress for its citizens by providing new guarantees and setting new ambitions for development, beginning with an ecological transition.