Plenary focus - January 2019
Anja HazekampDebate: MondayVote: Wednesday
Each year, about 400.000 tonnes of pesticides are sold and used in the EU. Such an extreme amount is utterly horrendous. As is the fact that many of these pesticides have not been evaluated thoroughly for their safety. The current overuse of pesticides is a threat to our food safety, to our health, to the health of animals, and to the environment. The recommendations of the PEST committee - to increase the independence and transparency of EU’s pesticide approvals - are therefore an important step towards achieving a cleaner environment for us and for future generations.
Eleonora ForenzaDebate: MondayVote: Tuesday
Gender mainstreaming in the European Parliament
It’s a great success that European Parliament recognises the social and political need of women’s organizations, their work and their key role in preventing gender based violence and promoting gender equality. There is no conscious gender mainstreaming without women’s self-determination and authority to fight patriarchal violence against women and LGBTQI people.
Patrick Le HyaricVote: Wednesday
The vote that will take place on the extension to Western Sahara of commercial preferences granted to Morocco is a disgrace and illegal. Illegal because it recognizes the occupation by Morocco of this territory while a ruling of the European Court concluded that Morocco cannot apply commercial preferences to Western Sahara the commercial preferences without the consent of its people. A disgrace because it tries to do so by distorting the ruling in order to please the Moroccan authorities. International law must prevail in our relations towards our partners. This is why we are asking for the European Court to rule on the extension to Western Sahara before voting on it.
Marisa MatiasDebate: MondayVote: Tuesday
Gender equality and taxation policies
Gender equality can and should be promoted at all levels, including fiscal policy. This report is an important step towards better alignment with the reality of fiscal policies and the promotion of a more equitable distribution of income, wealth, opportunities, productive assets and services. That is, true equality
Lola Sánchez CaldenteyDebate: TuesdayVote: Wednesday
Latin America trade/association agreements
We believe international trade should put people and the planet before all else. The European Union Central American Association Agreement (EU-CAAA) should rely on three complementary and equally important pillars: political dialogue, cooperation, and trade which should reinforce and balance each other and their effects. However the Association Agreement still has to be formally ratified by some EU member states and therefore both the political dialogue and the cooperation pillars are not being applied, while the trade pillar has been provisionally applied since 1 August 2013 creating a free trade area between the EU and Central America. Therefore the deal presents a clear asymmetry. Its effects jeopardise progress in human rights policy and further weaken the region’s democratic governance. It is imperative that we rebalance the agreement by assuring human rights, labour and enviromental standards are duly enforced by means of sanction-based clauses that the agreement should spell out.
Helmut ScholzDebate: TuesdayVote: Wednesday
Latin America trade/association agreements
Six trade unionists and human rights activists have already been murdered in Colombia this year. The sad record of political killings from 2018 will continue. The Colombian government has not kept its promises to improve the security situation; a condition to obtain the approval of the European Parliament for this trade agreement. The agreement has led to a reversal of the trade balance in favor of the EU and an increased dependence on mining companies and large agricultural producers for export. In addition, the new government of Colombia is turning its back on the outcome of the peace process. In light of these facts, the Commission’s account and the Parliament’s report are way too uncritical. My group is calling for a suspension of the provisional application of the agreement until the human rights situation improves significantly. The EU must also intensify efforts to safeguard the peace process. In response to the current economic and social problems, negotiations must take place to amend the agreement with Colombia, Peru and now, Ecuador, in order to facilitate their sustainable development.