Plenary focus - July II 2019
Martin SchirdewanDebate: TuesdayVote: Tuesday
Ursula von der Leyen vote
On behalf of the millions of EU citizens who voted for us, we invited Ursula von der Leyen to our group on Thursday morning. Our members challenged her on everything from the climate emergency, austerity, tax justice, enforcing the Dublin Regulation, women’s rights, workers’ rights, EU-Mercosur FTA to defence and transparency at the Commission. As the Left, we are deeply troubled by her candidacy and the process of her nomination. Backroom deals can only deepen the undemocratic shortcomings of the EU. Furthermore, as Germany´s Defence Minister and a former Minister of Labour, von der Leyen has a long record of failures. With support from right-wing conservatives, the chances of a peaceful EU and a more humane migration policy look more remote than ever.
Miguel Urbán CrespoDebate: Wednesday
Humanitarian assistance in the Mediterranean
The EU and its member states must choose between saving lives or being complicit for the deaths of thousands at sea. The xenophobic right-wingers and the extreme neoliberals are destroying a Europe for its people. To prevent more deaths, we must stop the criminalisation of life-saving NGOs. Further, we urgently need a civil search and rescue system in the Mediterranean that complies with international law.
The Finnish presidency
Climate change is the biggest challenge we face and there is no time to waste. For those of us in the environment committee, Finland’s goal is to strengthen the EU’s position as a global leader in climate action. This must be the priority during the Presidency. All the while, we mustn’t forget taking social justice into our consideration. In our divided society, common values have been put into question. It is therefore important that we build a Europe that is good and fair to all its citizens. As a Nordic welfare state, Finland can set a path towards a socially inclusive Europe: one that strongly defends democracy and human rights.