Plenary focus - April

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  • Lynn Boylan
    Lynn Boylan

    Genetically modified maize

    The Commission’s implementing decision, which authorises genetically modified maize products, blatantly displays a lack of precaution towards human health risks. Only a few of the 20 products authorised have actually been tested for safety and several have not even been created yet. Not only does this decision fly in the face of its own objective, but it far exceeds the implementing powers provided for in the Regulation.

  • Dennis de Jong
    Dennis de Jong

    Approval and surveillance of motor vehicles and their trailers, and of systems and components.

    The results of the EMIS inquiry committee showed that the type approval for motor vehicles needs reform. The Dalton report introduces European inspectors on our own roads whilst the inquiry revealed that the Commission is just as crooked as the member states. How can we trust this Commission that refrained from starting infringement procedures against the member states even though they were aware of the problems?

  • Neoklis Sylikiotis
    Neoklis Sylikiotis

    Emission measurements in the automotive sector

    The Commission and member states have serious political responsibilities for the emissions scandal. The EMIS report admits that neither the EU nor member states searched for defeat devices. It also states that delays were due to political priorities, lobby influence and pressure from the industry. The Volkswagen case is not the only violation but the emissions’ political scandal is more widespread. We must deal with the existing ‘procedures’ that protect the multinationals. We will work hard to stop practices that have harmful consequences on human health and the environment.

  • Miguel Urbán Crespo
    Miguel Urbán Crespo

    Role of EU external action on refugee and migrant movements

    It has been a year since the shameful EU-Turkey agreement. The EU’s migration policy - now deeply entrenched in the externalisation of our borders which respects neither human rights nor international law - not only belongs to the far-right, it is also xenophobic and institutionally racist. The current European model of migration policy is under dispute and policy-makers are only choosing between terrible options. Instead, we defend a Europe that is based on solidarity and respect for human rights.

  • Marina Albiol
    Marina Albiol

    Role of EU external action on refugee and migrant movements

    This report may contain nice words about defending human rights and our obligations under international law, but it is actually supporting the EU’s current policies which are directly against such principles. We do not support the militarisation of the Mediterranean and the closure of the Aegean, forcing migrants and asylum seekers to take much riskier routes. This report is a lost opportunity since we could have been working on a completely different approach - focusing on safe and legal routes or a mechanism to grant humanitarian visas.

  • Kateřina Konečná
    Kateřina Konečná

    Palm oil and deforestation of rainforests

    For the first time, the European Parliament will be voting on this issue and for me, this is an important step towards fulfilling the COP21 agreement and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Indonesia is burning due to palm oil which we use as biofuels and in our food because it´s cheaper. As a result, our biodiversity and rainforests are suffering. This race to the bottom is leading to an ecological catastrophe. The issues surrounding palm oil must be tackled and I know we have strong support from many NGOs and other political groups.

  • Malin Björk
    Malin Björk

    Trafficking in human beings

    The most dominant form of human trafficking in Europe is that of women and girls into the sex industry where they are used and abused by pimps and sex buyers. All measures to combat trafficking in human beings must be victim-centred and have a strong gender dimension. An important step in this direction would be to decriminalise persons working in prostitution in all EU countries and shift the focus to punishing the procurers (ie. the pimps) and the buyers who fuel the trafficking industry.

  • Martin Schirdewan
    Martin Schirdewan

    Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem’s remarks on southern countries

    As president of the informal Eurogroup and Schäuble’s chief adjutant in imposing austerity policies in Europe, Jeroen Dijsselbloem’s latest remarks with analogies to alcohol and women when analysing the economic crisis in southern Europe demonstrates his total incompetence and lack of character. Despite his earlier promises, this loudmouth is now apparently too cowardly to appear in front of the plenary. The Council must clarify if they find Dijsselbloem’s remarks appropriate and economically correct.

  • Gabi Zimmer
    Gabi Zimmer


    In the negotiations that are now under way, the rights of more than four million EU citizens in the UK and in the EU must be protected. Prime Minister Theresa May must not use this as a ‘bargaining chip’ in order to get better access to the European market. We will apply pressure within the European Parliament to ensure their rights will not be violated. Further, under no circumstances must there be a closed EU external border in the north of Ireland. What has been agreed in The Good Friday Agreement must also apply after Brexit. Otherwise, the long-term peace process could be under threat.