Plenary Focus - March 2013
Austerity and Disability
Austerity policies disproportionally impact on the rights of people with disabilities. Cuts to grants, welfare payments and public services cut people with disabilities off from participating in society; they restrict their right to independent living.
In many countries, people with disabilities are to the fore in fighting back against austerity policies; this debate must be used to assist these movements and to highlight the cruel reality of the social costs of bailing out capitalism.
Oral Question: Tuesday
Both Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) proposals confirm that the Internal Market doesn’t function properly, but it remains to be seen whether either are a step in the right direction. While improving dispute resolutions is in principle a good idea, unfortunately setting rules for both domestic and cross-border trade will likely damage national ADR regimes that currently work well. Above all, there are no convincing arguments to support giving the EU competence beyond cross-border disputes.
Debate: Tuesday; Vote: Tuesday
Patrick Le Hyaric
This 5th reform of the CAP sees European agriculture policy once more align itself with the dictates of the WTO and EU competition rules. For our group it is important that the CAP ceases to follow this logic and takes account of the specific characteristics of agricultural professions and prioritises providing quality food to Europeans. To do this, the CAP must guarantee a stable income for farmers based on fair prices. The regulation of production should in turn maintain the diversity of European agriculture around smaller scale farms that respect the environment and maintain the dynamism of our countryside. The amendments that we have tabled principally concern: European production in sensitive areas such as milk; limiting payments to large farms to EUR 100,000; maintaining strong environmental conditionality in the CAP; and, providing adequate resources that reflect the importance of this policy.
Debate: Tuesday; Vote: Wednesday
All of us, no matter what our gender identity might be, are affected by crude simplifications about individuals’ character and behaviour based on traditional gender-based roles and sexual characteristics. We need to address the damaging effects stereotypes can have, particularly on girls and women, from discrimination and suppression of personal expression to being socio-economically disadvantaged in old age. Effective initiatives and policies would help identify and counter stereotypes and create equal opportunities for all.
Debate: Monday; Vote: Tuesday
We need a strong common position from the European Parliament rejecting the MFF conclusions of the European Council. The Council simply ignored the European Parliament, namely its co-decision competences; it insists on an EU budget with a deficit, strictly violating the EU treaties. This MFF Council proposal will not adequately contribute to fighting unemployment and poverty. The Two-Pack will just make things even worse by condemning young people and the unemployed to a future ruled by austerity and recession.
Debate: Wednesday; Vote: Wednesday