Plenary focus - October II
Søren SøndergaardDebate: TuesdayVote: Wednesday
ORGANISED CRIME REPORT
Organised crime is a growing threat. This is especially true in the EU, where we also have free movement of crime. Not only does this cost taxpayers money, but when laundered money is used to buy influence this is a grave threat to democracy. The report contains several good suggestions on organised crime, including the abolition of banking secrecy. But unfortunately it also contains a number of proposals that we cannot support such as PNR and the strengthening of FRONTEX. We must fight crime, but we require a policy that promotes social justice, the elimination of poverty and ensures universal access to employment and education.
Sabine WilsVote: Tuesday
Ships which are going to get scrapped are classified as hazardous waste. However, last year alone at least 265 European ships were recycled under very bad working and environmental conditions on beaches in South Asia. Unfortunately, the outcome of the trialogue negotiations is not sufficient for tackling this issue appropriately: we need strict rules to make dismantling on beaches impossible. In addition, there’s no incentive directed at ship owners to recycle their ships in a safe and environmentally-friendly way.
Mikael GustafssonDebate: MondayVote: Tuesday
SRHR - ESTRELA REPORT
Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) are central to the agenda for women’s rights and gender equality, as well as being an issue of respect for human rights. The report voted in committee is firmly pro-choice, stating a woman’s right to legal abortion, and it also takes a progressive approach on more specific issues. Emphasising the importance of adequate funding to ensure access to SRHR is a key issue today. When adopted, this report will take SRHR policy at the EU level many steps forward.
Kyriacos TriantaphyllidesVote: Wednesday
The Lampedusa tragedy demonstrates once again the effects of the EU’s “Fortress Europe” policy that criminalises migration and increases funding of border controls and restrictive measures, all set against the backdrop of people fleeing extreme poverty, persecution and wars. Thousands of people have died at our borders and if we don’t want to have more blood on our hands the EU needs to stop the hypocrisy and radically change its migration and asylum policy while taking into account the root causes of migrants’ situations.
The Commission’s proposal on medical devices was based purely on an economic approach that relegated patient safety to a secondary consideration. The internal market came first and public health was only an after thought. Nevertheless, the ENVI committee was able to revert this inadequate logic, bringing patient safety to the forefront. It was a big step forward that ensures patients’ safety as it guarantees the same level of rigorous assessment will prevail across the EU. It is important that the plenary vote confirms this, making patient safety a priority.
23% of under-25s in Europe are unemployed. EU leaders want to allocate just EUR 8 billion for the Youth Unemployment Initiative. Without increasing the ESF share to 25% of the structural funds, the EU cannot implement its commitments. We demand clear statements that tell us how these policies will be implemented in real terms. The Commission has finally noted that excessive austerity has devastating social consequences, but the proposed indicators for the social dimension of EMU are not sufficient enough to get a real picture of the reality. Quite simply, we need to stop austerity now.