Plenary Focus - December 2014
We call on the heads of state and government to question critically the Commission’s Annual Growth Survey 2014. The millions of unemployed and poor are not feeling the benefits of this so-called ‘economic recovery’. Much needed social security systems are being eroded. Member states must immediately end their failed austerity policies. The funding provided so far under the Jobs and Growth Package is a drop in the ocean compared to what’s needed to alleviate people’s suffering. On the Banking Union we criticise this push for an undemocratic concentration of power at the ECB with this regulatory mechanism. In addition, the dangerous business of shadow banks is not controlled.
Debate: Wednesday; Vote: Thursday
Joao Pimenta Lopes
Domestic work is one of the most unprotected and invisible forms of work, bearing in mind its isolated and individual nature. It’s therefore very difficult for domestic workers to organise themselves in representative associations or trade unions which can defend their labour and social rights. The ILO Convention 189 introduces the requirement to protect domestic workers who, often, as women and migrants, find themselves in extremely vulnerable situations, becoming victims of discrimination and many forms of abuse involving severe violations of their human rights.
Debate: Tuesday; Vote: Wednesday
ECB REPORT 2012
The ECB 2012 activity report shows that the European institutions have not learned the lessons from the current crisis. While it states that the European recession is not mainly linked to a lack of access to credit, it fails to acknowledge that one of the main reasons is, in fact, the collapse of demand due to austerity policies. On the contrary, the report emphasises the need to attach strict conditionality to the OMT programme, confirming that this mechanism is designed to implement Troika policies by other means.
Debate and vote: Thursday
The automotive industry is suffering in Europe. Statistics show that the amount of vehicles sold has significantly decreased in recent years: by 6.85% for personal vehicles and by 10.87% for professional ones. To tackle the crisis we need public cooperation in research and development to build a European industry focused on job creation and on finding innovative environmentally friendly solutions. The ‘Cars 2020’ strategy goes in the opposite direction by only promoting the interests of big business.
Debate: Monday; Vote: Tuesday
WOMEN’S RIGHTS - ESTRELA
The vote on the Sexual and reproductive health and rights report is a clear vote for or against a a woman’s right to decide freely and safely over her own body and sexuality, about young people’s right to comprehensive sexuality education, and about a broader agenda of non-discrimination. A large part of the centre right have chosen to side with the extreme-right to oppose these basic rights. I think it is a disgrace. This week’s vote will really show who stands where in the fight for women’s human rights.
COMMON FISHERIES POLICY
The new Common Fisheries Policy insists on a centralised management but what is needed is proximity management, involving communities and taking into account the huge diversity that characterises fisheries in the EU. It ignores the fact that economic, social, and environmental aspects of fisheries are closely linked and interrelated. If the aim is to make fisheries more sustainable, it would be necessary to adopt a broad package of measures extending to the environmental, but also to the social and economic spheres, otherwise the same path of destruction will be pursued.
Debate: Monday; Vote: Tuesday
This agreement became necessary after Bulgaria and Romania joined the European Union in 2007. This accession meant losses for China with regard to tariffs agreed under the WTO. The new agreement is a positive example of a dispute settlement with China that provides the country with adequate compensation.