Plenary Focus - June 2015
This week’s vote on Parliament’s position on the TTIP negotiations is a moment of truth for MEPs. Will the widespread public opposition to investor-state dispute settlement be reflected in the house? Will MEPs demonstrate their willingness to shield public services, consumer protection and our agriculture from the interests of large corporations in the transatlantic mega-deal?
The next EU summit has to decide whether to extend the sanctions against Russia. Among the member states an open debate on their usefulness and the prospects of relations with Russia has already started. The rapporteur is trying to influence this discussion directly but he was politically unable and unwilling to analyse the escalating conflict with Russia candidly. Consequently there are no proposals for a clear perspective for a common relationship. Maybe the report can discipline the EPP.
SITUATION IN HUNGARY
The human rights situation in Hungary continues to deteriorate. Hate speech is increasing against the most vulnerable (the homeless, Roma, Jews, LGBTI, etc). But this time, Victor Orban has crossed a red line by planning to reintroduce the death penalty and publishing a questionnaire titled “Immigration and terrorism” linking the two and
making references to extreme right positions. How long will the Commission and the Council allow EU member states, and not only Hungary, violate the most fundamental principles of the rule of law, democracy and human rights which are universal values. This is not acceptable.
EU STRATEGY FOR EQUALITY POST 2015
This report is a clear message from the European Parliament to the Commission to adopt a new separate equality strategy (2015-2020) for women’s rights and gender equality aimed at creating equality and ending all kinds of discrimination. Gender inequalities are widening in the economy and one in three women has been a victim of violence. It is high time for action to replace complacency
The Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1997. However, it was not ratified by the biggest polluters, namely the USA or China. In 2012, in Doha, Parties to the Kyoto Protocol adopted an amendment to the Protocol, establishing a second commitment period between the years 2013 and 2020. What really helps our fight with climate change is that the EU and Iceland continue to participate in the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol but this step is completely insignificant if we cannot secure participation of the biggest polluters such as China, India or, our current biggest self-appointed “ally”, the USA. Let us say loud and clear: Current emissions from the EU and Iceland are not the problem. Without the biggest polluters nothing will change and the EU will only damage its competitiveness.That is why we have to urge these countries during the upcoming Paris Climate Change Conference to join us in fight against climate change.
EUROPEAN ENERGY SECURITY STRATEGY
We oppose the European Energy Security Strategy since it serves private interests, enhances inequalities and exclusions, limits the sovereignty of states and fails to combat energy poverty. We choose a different path for real growth, in which energy is a public social good and everyone has equal access to it, where there is enhanced state
control, public infrastructures for the benefit of the people and international partnerships based on solidarity