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Commission 2015 work programme a ‘big business shopping list’

“Instead of helping workers, the work programme is all about making it easier for companies at the expense of workers' rights and conditions,” Rina Ronja Kari told Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Parliament's debate on the Commission's Work Programme for 2015. She questioned the new Commission's priorities as set out to MEPs in its annual plan of action.

Dimitrios Papadimoulis questioned whether Juncker's recent intervention in Greek national politics was part of the Commission's work programme. “A few days ago, you said Greeks should vote for 'familiar faces' and not 'the wrong way'. Sorry, but this is not your job! You wouldn't dare to intervene ahead of an election in Germany or the UK,” he said. “While the Greek left that you warn against stands for solutions such as growth, sustainable debt, and a strong welfare state, the Troika you support stands for the extremist policies that increase unemployment, inequality, and cause deflation.”

Barbara Spinelli also intervened on the question of Greece, saying the President's stated desire to see 'familiar faces' was regrettable. “Reading your agenda, I would say that it must have been written up by some of the so-called familiar faces that have brought Europe to the brink of destitution and disintegration.” She drew attention to the ongoing effects of migration policy in the “mass grave” that is the Mediterranean. “We urgently need a review of our rules on asylum, starting with an evaluation of the increasingly ineffective Dublin III regulation,” she said.

Expressing fear that on some fundamental aspects, particularly environmental standards, the Commission was falling very short, Josu Juaristi Abaunz said “citizens need another model, another Europe, and to be part and parcel of that change”. He told the Commission President that “nothing of the kind of change we want to see is present in your programme”.

João Ferreira criticised the Commission's investment plan as “a programme of public-private partnerships” and said the planned policies for 2015 would continue to “condemn young people to insecurity and forced migration”.

“It is symbolic that the Commission will bin files such as the maternity leave policy that could still represent some kind of social advancement, even if tenuous. This work programme reads like a shopping list from European big business,” he said.

Citing failings in Commission policy proposals on free trade, privatization, and tax evasion, Marina Albiol Guzmán said that “in short, the new Commissioners have come up with a new work plan with the same old policy: a Titanic policy, which condemns those in steerage to drowning while saving the people who travel in first class”.

Takis Hadjigeorgiou wound up the list of GUE/NGL speakers with doubts about the Commission's investment proposals and the leverage factor of 15 that it relies upon.

 

The GUE/NGL group is made up of 52 MEPs from across Europe working for peace, solidarity, social justice, equality, democracy and human rights in Europe and beyond. It is the only gender balanced group in the European Parliament.

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