Plenary focus - November 2020
Manon AubryDebate: Wednesday
Recovery Fund & the Rule of Law
The threat by Poland and Hungary to veto the MFF over the EU’s rule of law is unacceptable. The European Parliament must stand firm: democracy is non-negotiable. If the Polish and Hungarian far-right governments win this battle, they will use it as pretext for more human rights violations in their countries. This would set a dangerous precedent for other member states and we cannot and must not accept that. We have to state it clearly and loudly.
Martin SchirdewanDebate: Wednesday
The transition period ends on 31st December but negotiations on a possible future agreement are still ongoing. The Left in the European Parliament want a deal that guarantees peace on the island of Ireland on the one hand, and social and environmental standards on the other. If that is not the case, millions of EU citizens will have Boris Johnson to thank for. Since day one of the negotiations, Johnson’s chaotic government and its rigid, tactically ill-thought considerations have torpedoed any EU’s aspirations of reaching an agreement.
Georgios GeorgiouDebate: TuesdayVote: Wednesday
Turkey’s violations at Varosha
We condemn the unilateral action of Turkey to ‘open’ part of Varosha which is both illegal and flagrantly violates UN Resolutions. We urge Ankara to immediately reverse this and refrain from any action that will further undermine the resumption of meaningful negotiations for the comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem. We also deplore President Erdogan’s outrageous call for a two-state ‘solution’ during his provocative, illegal visit to Varosha. We remind Turkey that the agreed basis remains BBF (A Bi-communal & Bi-zonal Federation), and the only way forward is the resumption of negotiations from where things had been left off at Crans Montana 2017.
Clare DalyDebate: TuesdayVote: Tuesday
EU fundamental rights report
While agreeing many solid compromises in relation to protecting fundamental economic & social rights, as well as the rights of migrants and the defence of freedoms, the failure of the report to mention countries where breaches of fundamental rights occurred and to call out the abuses of fundamental rights which are rampant across the EU is a sure sign that we are condemned to see them repeated.
María Eugenia Rodríguez PalopDebate: WednesdayVote: Thursday
Poland’s abortion ban
Polish women’s fight to stop the judicial ruling which bans abortion has been granted a reprieve - at least for now. The decision was made by a constitutional court at the behest of the far-right government and the ultra-conservative lobbies. The restrictions and fear caused by the pandemic are being used to weaken the rule of law with attacks on fundamental rights. But beware: Poland is at the heart of the EU. If we allow them to get away with this, soon we will have the enemy at the gates.
Malin BjörkDebate: WednesdayVote: Thursday
Polish abortion ban
The decision by the Polish constitutional court means a de facto total ban on abortion in Poland, and is both an attack on women’s rights and on the principle of the rule of law, as the court is not independent but is controlled by the Polish government. Thanks to the huge street protests, the court decision has been halted, but the fight for women’s and LGBTI people’s rights and for the rule of law must continue. Funding to member states that breach these fundamental rights must stop.
Malin BjörkDebate: Wednesday
EU’s LGBTIQ strategy
I welcome this first-ever EU LGBTIQ strategy - it is something we have long called for. At a time when LGBTIQ people are coming under attack from authoritarian and conservative right-wing forces in many countries, we need even more political commitment and genuine action to accompany the strategy. We must give much more support to LGBTIQ activists and organisations in countries like Poland and Hungary, and we must tie EU funds to respect for fundamental rights.
Sira RegoVote: Monday
Tackling homelessness in the EU
As a result of the austerity measures and cuts to our social and public services, the number of homeless people in EU member states has increased by 70% in the last ten years. Amidst a global pandemic, the EU must now consider housing as a fundamental right. The EU must also stop the criminalisation of homelessness, as is the case in some EU countries. We hope that by 2030, no one will have to sleep on the streets anymore.