Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 244

Posts Tagged ‘meps’

European Defence Fund: MEPs reach a deal with the Council

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 16 dicembre 2020

MEPs and the German presidency of the Council reached an agreement on Monday on a 7.9 billion euro envelope in support of common R&D defence projects. In the 7 years to come, The European Defence Fund (EDF) will cover projects jointly agreed by Member States and compatible with the Union’s defence priorities as defined within the framework of the Common Security and Defence Policy. The Fund will also take into consideration Member States’ cooperation within other regional and international organisations such as NATO.The Fund will finance collaborative projects involving at least 3 participants from 3 Member States, provide co-funding for common prototypes and promote cross-border activities of small and medium-sized enterprises by e.g. providing higher financing for the projects that involve such companies.Moreover, the Fund will also dedicate up to 8% of the funds to disruptive technologies and offer an additional 10% bonus for the eligible projects developed within the framework of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO). Above all, the Fund should contribute to reduce duplication and strengthen interoperability of the defence systems used by European armed forces.“This compromise, just as the whole Fund, is an important signal sent by the Member States to their citizens and companies: from now on, we want to pull our resources together in order to increase quality of defence technologies produced by the European defence sector, while reducing their cost. This progress should benefit not only Member States’ armed forces, but also their industries, which desperately need every possible stimulus helping them to properly recover from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the Fund will complement Member States’ defence spending efforts and should thus be perceived as part of a broader answer to the justified demands from our Allies.” said lead MEP Zdzisław Krasnodębski (ECR, PL), EP rapporteur on the file. The provisional agreement will be put to a vote in the forthcoming meeting of the Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE).

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MEPs call for the creation of a Global EU Connectivity Strategy

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 14 dicembre 2020

Bruxelles. MEPs urge that connectivity be prioritised in the EU’s work in order to achieve a more proactive European position in global politics.In the report on connectivity and EU-Asia relations, Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs stress the fundamental role that connectivity plays in the geopolitical relations of the EU and member states. They highlight connectivity is fundamental for the EU and is deeply ingrained in its approach to domestic and international challenges. The report was adopted on Thursday by 54 votes in favour, 2 against and 12 abstentions.MEPs encourage the Commission and the European External Action Service EEAS to create a Global EU Connectivity Strategy as an extension of the current EU-Asia connectivity strategy. This would strengthen the EU’s role as an indispensable geopolitical and geo-economic actor, as well as forging stronger partnerships with democracies around the globe that share the EU’s fundamental values.Calling for the promotion of fiscally, economically, socially and environmentally sustainable connectivity, MEPs point out that global challenges will be aggravated if opposing international factions develop or global relations break down entirely.A Global EU Connectivity Strategy must implement projects that conform with EU values of freedom, human rights, rule of law, democracy, non-discrimination and solidarity, and must reinforce the EU’s international role as a norm-setter, say MEPs.For its implementation, adequate human and financial resources must be allocated, with investments that respect the public good, transparency, and market efficiency, while avoiding debt entrapment, stress MEPs.

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Research: MEPs reach deal with Council on Horizon Europe programme

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 14 dicembre 2020

Bruxelles. Horizon Europe will help EU’s health system prepare for future pandemics, and industry to decarbonise and innovate, after MEPs and Council came to an informal agreement on Friday.”We really needed this agreement, and we managed to deliver a strong and well financed programme for research and innovation, that will start in time” said Dan Nica (S&D, RO), rapporteur on the Horizon Europe regulation. “Money channelled through the Horizon 2020 helped find a vaccine against COVID-19. The Parliament insisted on an ambitious investment in research and innovation and ensured budgetary stability and predictability in order to have a Horizon Europe programme that will deliver on the future challenges. The budget increase for Horizon with the €5,4 billion from New Generation Europe and the extra €4 billion from the multiannual financial framework (MFF) will ensure investment in resilience both for short term and long term: basic research (through the ERC), the fight against climate change, digitalisation, the support for innovative SMEs and the support for the European Research infrastructure” he said.Citizens, businesses, social partners and the research and knowledge community will have to work in the same team. We cannot miss the opportunity to lead in all these challenges.” M. Nica added.”Finally, we achieved an ambitious and balanced budget which strongly supports fundamental research as well as thematic research” said Christian Ehler (EPP, DE) rapporteur on the Horizon Europe specific programme. “It includes an additional €1bn for the European Research Council and the highest budget ever for digital topics. For the first time there is also a specific budget for Europe’s cultural and creative industries” he said.Industry, Research and Energy committee Chair Cristian Bușoi (EPP, RO) said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly demonstrated that research and innovation (R&I) is a driver for our recovery. We rely on R&I to become resilient for future crisis and to address challenges such as cancer and antimicrobial-resistance, but also to adapt to our globalized world, fight climate change and to prepare a better and greener future for next generations. But to achieve all these ambitions we require an ambitious programme. I believe that this is what we have achieved to deliver today”. The informal agreement will be confirmed in the Industry, Research and Energy committee later this month. Since the European Parliament had insisted to have a Partial Agreement already in April 2019, the whole programme is in position to be finalised and to start on the 1st of January 2021.

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MEPs want legally sound solutions for obtaining cross border e-evidence

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 10 dicembre 2020

MEPs backed with amendments two legislative proposals to simplify the existing procedures for obtaining electronic evidence with cross border elements for law enforcement and judicial authorities in criminal investigations and prosecution.The European Production Order or Preservation Order (Orders) will be used by judges and prosecutors to obtain electronic information from service providers in cross-border criminal investigations when searching for subscriber data and IP addresses or traffic and content data.Under the draft legislation, orders to produce subscriber data and IP addresses for the sole purpose of identifying the person could be issued for any criminal offence and should be addressed directly to the service provider and simultaneously to executing authority and executed within 10 days or in emergency cases within 16 hours.But orders for access to traffic and content data should be subject to stricter requirements and only issued for criminal offences punishable in the issuing state by a prison sentence of at least 3 years. This stricter requirements would not apply for offences committed exclusively online, notably for cybercrimes, terrorism related offences or sexual abuse of children online.Executing authorities will have 10 days to decide if they want to raise any objections to the orders received. If no objection is raised within the time limit, the order can be executed.MEPs demand that if the issuing state of an order regarding traffic and content data is subject to an Article 7 TEU procedure, the service provider should transmit the requested data only after receiving written approval from the executing authority.

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MEPs want legally sound solutions for obtaining e-evidence in cross border cases

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 10 dicembre 2020

The EU must strike the balance between law enforcement needs and the protection of fundamental rights, according to the Civil Liberties Committee.MEPs backed with amendments two legislative proposals to simplify the existing procedures for obtaining electronic evidence with cross border elements for law enforcement and judicial authorities in criminal procedures.The European Production Order or Preservation Order (Orders) will be used by judges and prosecutors to obtain electronic information from service providers in cross-border criminal investigations when searching for subscriber data, IP addresses, traffic and content data.Under the draft legislation, orders to produce subscriber data and IP addresses for the sole purpose of identifying the person could be issued for any criminal offence and should be addressed directly to the service provider and simultaneously to executing authority and executed within 10 days or in emergency cases within 16 hours.But orders for access to traffic and content data should be subject to stricter requirements and only issued for criminal offences punishable in the issuing state by a prison sentence of at least 3 years. This stricter requirements would not apply for offences committed exclusively online, notably for cybercrime, terrorism related offences or child sexual abuse online.Executing authorities will have 10 days to decide if they want to raise any objections to the orders received. If no objection is raised within the time limit, the order can be executed. The executing state can invoke a list of non-recognition grounds and for example take into account specific rules on criminal liability in relation to journalist and freedom of expression in other media under the law of the executing state, or for example if there is incompatibility with fundamental rights obligations. MEPs demand that if the issuing state of an order regarding traffic and content data is subject to an Article 7 TEU procedure, the service provider should transmit the requested data only after receiving written approval from the executing authority.

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MEPs urge the Council to stop delaying EU accession talks further

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 10 dicembre 2020

In the run-up to next meeting of European Affairs ministers today, MEPs call on the Council to approve the negotiating frameworks for North Macedonia and Albania.In the statement on North Macedonia and Albania, signed by more than 20 MEPs, representatives of political groups urge all parties involved to find a solution to ensure that accession negotiations will begin before the end of the year. Warning that current hold-up in accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania is jeopardizing the European Union’s credibility in the Western Balkans, they call on Bulgaria and North Macedonia to find a compromise on pending bilateral issues to avoid delaying the accession process any further.Bulgaria should approve the opening of the intergovernmental conference (IGC) with North Macedonia as soon as possible and in any case in December, thereby acknowledging the country’s efforts in the EU accession process. North Macedonia, in its role as a future accession country, should also make every effort possible from its side to resolve the outstanding issues, stress MEPs in their statement.Albania also deserves to move forward on its path to EU accession, say MEPs, pointing to its comprehensive efforts to reform, in particular in the justice sector, over the last few years, as well as the Commission’s positive assessment. They add that effort is also needed by Albania in several areas, on its way to meet all the conditions laid out in the Council Conclusions.

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Human rights and COVID-19: MEPs deplore measures taken by authoritarian regimes

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 8 dicembre 2020

The Foreign Affairs Committee expresses its deep concern over how many authoritarian regimes around the world have used the pandemic to repress civil society and critical voices.In their annual report assessing the human rights situation in the world, adopted on Thursday, Members on the Foreign Affairs Committee highlight the negative impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on democracy and the rule of law in many countries.They express their deep concern at the worrying pattern of several authoritarian regimes having used the pandemic as an excuse to justify exacerbated measures aimed at weakening democratic principles and fundamental freedoms, severely undermining human rights, repressing dissent and limiting space for civil society.While unfortunately noting the persistence and increase of many negative trends, MEPs also welcome the growing aspirations and mobilisations of citizens, in particular the younger generations, for political and societal changes in support for human rights, democratic governance, equality and social justice, more ambitious climate action and better protection of the environment.They call for an inclusive and rights-based approach to boost climate action that ensures public participation and access to justice in the making, implementation and review of political decisions related to climate change and its consequences.The report asks the EU and its Member States to continue supporting the strengthening of democratic institutions, transparent and credible electoral processes worldwide, to fight against impunity, to ensure the work of civil society organisations and to combat inequalities.It also urges the same parties to develop an explicit strategy to counter increasing state withdrawal and pushback against the international human rights framework.Members further call on all EU countries to make the European Union’s foreign and security policy more effective by using the rule of qualified majority voting in the Council, notably when it comes to human rights-related matters.The parliamentarians finally push for the urgent adoption and implementation of an “autonomous, flexible and reactive” global EU human rights sanctions mechanism, as an essential part of the EU existing human rights and foreign policy toolbox. Such a mechanism would strengthen the EU’s role as a global human rights actor, they say, allowing for targeted sanctions against individuals and state or non-state actors and other entities responsible for or complicit in serious human rights violations around the world.The text was approved by 48 votes in favour, 7 against and 14 abstentions.

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MEPs call for unity in Common Security and Defence Policy

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 8 dicembre 2020

In a world with increasingly assertive and competing powers, and shifting alliances, the EU is aiming to be a global actor in peace and security, say Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs in the annual report on the Implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). In the report adopted on Thursday – by46 votes in favour, 17 against and 6 abstentions – they note that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the EU’s vulnerability and its reliance on non-EU states. MEPs underline the vital need to intensify the EU’s efforts towards strategic autonomy. As a first step, they hope that the Strategic Compass will pave the way towards a more independent operational capacity, a more harmonized strategic culture and thus facilitate the European Union’s decision-making.MEPs stress that the EU can actively contribute to overcoming and settling conflicts around the world through CSDP missions and operations, in particular in the EU’s neighbourhood.They express concern about Russia’s military interventions in neighbouring countries, as well as its disinformation campaigns in the European Eastern Neighbourhood. MEPs also point to Turkey’s illegal activities in Eastern Mediterranean and its involvement in Nagorno-Karabakh.Finally, they warn that a trend of non-compliance with ,withdrawal from, or the non-extension of, global arms control treaties would seriously damage the international arms control regimes that have provided decades of stability and could directly threaten European security.

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MEPs demand access to decent and affordable housing to be a fundamental rights

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 6 dicembre 2020

Bruxelles. Access to adequate housing should be recognised as a fundamental right and enforceable through European and national legislation, say Social Affairs Committee MEPs.The Employment and Social Affairs Committee adopted a resolution, with 37 votes to 11 and 7 abstentions, on the housing situation and costs in the EU. In the text, MEPs reiterated the need for an EU level goal to end homelessness in 2030.In many EU countries, rates of homelessness have increased over the last decade due to rising housing costs and the freezing or cutting of social programmes and benefits. Member states should be more active in correcting these housing market inequalities, MEPs say. They should also maintain exceptional measures to prevent homelessness and protect homeless people in the context of the current crisis, through moratoria on evictions, disconnection from energy supply and the provision of temporary housing. Furthermore, committee members call on the Commission and Member States to prioritise emissions reductions and energy efficiency through housing renovation, in line with the European Green Deal and in order to ensure a socially just transition to a climate-neutral economy that leaves no one behind.Rapporteur Kim VAN SPARRENTAK: “With the adoption of this report, the EMPL committee confirms that the fundamental right to housing has to be put above the profit of large investors and financial intermediaries. To ensure that housing becomes a social good again and not just a market, the EU should develop an integrated strategy for affordable housing”.The full house is expected to vote on the draft report during the January plenary session.

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MEPs to Wojciechowski: EU farm policy must help improve animal welfare in transport

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 6 dicembre 2020

Bruxelles. Ways the EU farm policy can improve the welfare of transported animals and put an end to unnecessary transports were discussed with Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski, on Wednesday.The ambition of the EU Commission is to reduce the need to transport live animals and to use Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) instruments to this end, Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski told MEPs. He wants to incentivise local production to avoid long-distance transports and to introduce an animal welfare label covering all stages of the food supply chain from farm, through transport, up to the slaughterhouse.During the debate, many MEPs stated that when transports of live animals cannot be fully avoided, the EU farm policy should strive to improve their welfare during transportation. Some MEPs suggested that eco-schemes could be used to this end. They called on the Commission to support the shortening of supply chains, to encourage transport of meat instead of live animals, and to ensure the compliance of imports with EU animal welfare standards.MEPs want to have preventative sanctions in place and applied rigorously all over the Union when EU rules are breached. Some also called on the Commission to immediately initiate infringement procedures against member states that fail to enforce existing EU rules.Several MEPs called for boosting animal welfare checks at EU borders and beyond or to ban exports of live animals abroad if EU standards cannot be enforced outside the Union for transports that continue to non-EU countries. Some MEPs also called for a complete ban on the transport of live animals and for a reduction in livestock production.

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MEPs want to improve free movement of services

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 6 dicembre 2020

Bruxelles. The Internal Market Committee insists that all member states respect EU rules on the free movement of services and sees fragmentation as a threat to the single market.The resolution on the future of free movement of services was adopted with 31 votes in favour (3 against, 11 abstentions).MEPs call on the Commission to ensure enforcement and compliance with the Services Directive in many member states in order to reduce existing barriers to provide services cross-border. They assert that fragmentation and issues with implementation costs the EU around €297 billion, which corresponds to 2% of the EU’s GDP.At the same time, the MEPs emphasise the need to balance economic freedoms, social rights and the protection of consumers, workers, and business interests. Development of the single market should also bring further improvement for consumer and workers’ rights.”The single market creates jobs and generates wealth for European citizens, but we still need to improve it to realize the full potential. This report highlights different ways to reap the low hanging fruit of the market for services. SMEs would benefit enormously if we finally manage to open this market,” said Rapporteur Morten Løkkegaard (Renew, DK). The resolution points out that cross-border provision of services is often made difficult due to numerous obstacles, including a lack of user-friendly information, failure to mutually recognise or compare professional qualifications, limited access to regulated professions, unfounded territorial restrictions, language requirements, and administrative barriers for public procurement. MEPs underline that the special status of services of general interest remains fully recognised; however, the rules should not be misused with member states sometimes unjustifiably hindering access to certain sectors.The MEPs want to see the single digital gateway becoming more citizen- and SME-friendly and the points of single contact being developed into fully functioning portals, providing all necessary information about any business-related requirements a company must comply with in the relevant member state (e.g. professional qualifications, VAT rules, registration requirements, reporting obligations).The resolution also emphasises that free, fair and safe movement of services and people, consumer protection, and the strict enforcement of EU law is paramount for tackling the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. MEPs therefore urge the member states to ease unjustified and disproportionate barriers and not use COVID-19 as a justification for limiting the free movement of services. Plenary is expected to vote on the resolution in January 2021.

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MEPs approve deal on tap water and demand that EU water legislation be respected

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 5 dicembre 2020

The agreement with member states on the drinking water directive was approved with 73 votes to 2 and 5 abstentions. The new rules will improve the quality of tap water by tightening the maximum limits for certain pollutants such as lead and harmful bacteria. They also aim to cut plastic litter by encouraging the use of tap water. This could be done by providing water free of charge in public buildings or for a low service fee, and to customers in restaurants, canteens, and catering services.The Committee also adopted a resolution on the implementation of EU water legislation with 68 votes to 2 and 10 abstentions.While MEPs agree with the Commission’s assessment that the Water Framework Directive (WFD) is fit for purpose and should not be revised, they strongly regret that half of the bodies of water in the EU are still not in good condition and that the objectives of the WFD have not yet been reached. This is mainly due to inadequate funding, particularly slow implementation, and insufficient enforcement. The precautionary and polluter-pays principles are not being implemented properly, and many member states are using exemptions too broadly, they say.The resolution underlines that the WFD objectives need to be better integrated into sectoral policies, particularly in agriculture, transport and energy in order to be fully compliant with the WFD and for all surface and ground waters to achieve ‘good status’ by 2027 at the latest.MEPs urge member states to reduce the use of fertiliser and pesticides and call for such targets to be integrated and implemented in the national Strategic Plans under the EU’s farm policy. Additional action regarding chemicals and pollutants, water pricing policies, hydropower and urban wastewater treatment is needed, they say. The plenary will vote on the deal on the drinking water directive and on the resolution on the implementation of the EU water legislation during its 14 – 17 December session.

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MEPs call for an EU-wide “right to disconnect”

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 5 dicembre 2020

In a resolution adopted on Tuesday with 31 votes in favour, 6 votes against and 18 abstentions, Employment Committee MEPs say that EU countries must ensure that workers are able to exercise the right to disconnect effectively, including by means of collective agreements. They point out that this right is vital to protect workers’ health. The culture of being “always on” and the growing expectation that workers should be reachable at any time can negatively affect work-life balance, physical and mental health, and well-being, the Employment Committee asserts. They call on the Commission to propose an EU Directive on the Right to Disconnect, since this right is not explicitly enshrined in EU law . MEPs also stress that being able to switch off from work should be a fundamental right , permitting workers to refrain from work-related tasks and electronic communication outside working hours without facing any repercussions .The non-legislative resolution is expected to be voted on in a plenary session in January 2021. Once endorsed by Parliament, it will be put forward to the Commission and EU countries for implementation as part of future regulatory decisions.

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Trade MEPs agree to new EU export rules on dual use items

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 4 dicembre 2020

The trade committee backed the new set of rules for exporting dual use products and technologies, including cyber-surveillance tools.The reviewed rules, agreed provisionally by Parliament and Council negotiators on 22 November, govern the export of so-called dual use goods, software and technology – for example, high-performance computers, drones and certain chemicals – that can have legitimate civilian applications, but can also be used for the development of weapons of mass-destruction, terrorist acts and human rights violations.The current update, made necessary by technological developments and growing security risks, includes new criteria to grant or reject export licenses for certain items.Thanks to Parliament’s negotiators, the updated regulation will also have substantially stronger human rights considerations among those new criteria to avoid that certain surveillance and intrusion technologies exported from the EU contribute to human rights abuses.It will set up an extensive, EU list of technologies that are subject to export restrictions. The list, which goes beyond international lists, also includes stricter export controls on certain cyber-surveillance tools in the interest of protecting human rights and political freedoms. The regulation also sets up an EU-level coordination mechanism for the exports of cyber-surveillance items, new transparency and reporting obligations for member states, and will swiftly incorporate emerging technologies.The Committee on International Trade approved the provisional agreement by 39 votes, with two against and one abstention on 30 November (the results were announced on 1 December). The proposal for the updated regulation now needs to be formally endorsed by Parliament as a whole, as well as the Council, before it can enter into effect.

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Alexei Navalny quizzed by MEPs on Kremlin crackdown against political opponents

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 30 novembre 2020

Prominent Russian opposition figures called on the EU to step up the fight against “dirty” Russian money in the European Union, in a meeting with MEPs on Friday.On Friday, MEPs on the Foreign Affairs Committee and several members of Russia’s political opposition and non-governmental organisations, including Alexei Navalny, debated the political and socioeconomic situation in Russia in view of next year’s parliamentary elections.The invited speakers stressed the importance of the Russian political opposition being able to actually participate in the upcoming legislative elections, and not just keep an eye on the result of the election, which they said is already expected to be fraudulent.Should President Vladimir Putin remain in power after 2024, they called on the EU to formally withhold recognition of his position as president. They described recent changes to Russia’s constitutional presidential terms limits as illegally enacted.Members and the invited guests also discussed the effectiveness of the current EU sanctions regime. Mr Navalny and the other participants stressed that the EU must properly target the money of oligarchs close to President Putin and not just officials with no real estate or bank accounts in Europe. Rather than the current EU sanctions regime, which the Russian state can use as a pretext to spread propaganda and sow distrust among the Russian population vis-à-vis the EU, targeting the “corrupt money” of oligarchs could be a much more effective way to create a rift within the “Kremlin elite”, they said.Mr Putin does not enjoy as much popular support at home as the Russian government often proclaims, they pointed out, including with regard to Russia’s assertive foreign policy.For all the interventions and details, you can watch the debate again here. (27.11.2020) MEPs quizzed the guests on a range of issues, including what the EU can do to better support the Russian opposition, on their views on EU relations with a future democratic Russia and on how they see developments in Belarus affecting the political climate in Russia. They also expressed their admiration for the continuous work of the Russian political opposition and called for the EU’s money laundering rules to be more effectively and fairly implemented throughout the European Union.Participating via videoconference, Mr Navalny was joined by: Vladimir Kara-Murza, Chairman of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation. Vice President of the Free Russia Foundation; •Vladimir Milov, politician, publicist, economist and energy expert. Former Deputy Minister of Energy of Russia; • Ilya Yashin, politician, Head of the Krasnoselsky Municipality.

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MEPs condemn Turkey’s activities in Varosha, Cyprus, and call for sanctions

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 29 novembre 2020

Bruxelles. In a resolution adopted by 631 votes in favour, 3 against and 59 abstentions, MEPs condemn Turkey’s illegal activities in the Varosha suburb of the city of Famagusta and warn that its partial “opening” weakens prospects of a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem, exacerbating divisions and entrenching the permanent partition of the island.MEPs call on Turkey to transfer Varosha to its lawful inhabitants under the temporary administration of the UN (in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 550 (1984)) and to refrain from any actions that alter the demographic balance on the island through a policy of illegal settlement.A sustainable solution to reunify the island of Cyprus and its people can only be found through dialogue, diplomacy, and negotiations, MEPs stress. They call on the European Council to maintain its unified position on Turkey’s illegal actions and impose tough sanctions in response.MEPS regret that the Turkish authorities have endorsed the two-state solution for Cyprus and reiterate their support for a fair, comprehensive and viable settlement on the basis of a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation with a single international legal status. They also call on the EU to play a more active role in bringing the negotiations under UN auspices to a successful conclusion.As Turkey distances itself more and more from European values and standards, EU-Turkey relations are at a historic low, warns Parliament. Its illegal and unilateral military actions in the Eastern Mediterranean infringe on the sovereignty of EU member states Greece and Cyprus. MEPs also point out Turkey’s direct support of Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as well as its actions in Libya and Syria.

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MEPs call on EU leaders to end MFF deadlock without giving in on rule of law

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 28 novembre 2020

In the debate on the European summit of 10-11 December, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen updated MEPs on progress made in Brexit negotiations and on COVID-19. Vaccinations can start before the end of the year if member states get the logistics in place quickly, she said. She also called on the Polish and Hungarian governments to stop withholding much-needed recovery funds from EU citizens; they can turn to the European Court of Justice if they contest Rule of Law conditionality being in line with the Treaties, she said. Finally, she pointed to the climate crisis “rumbling on”, urging member states to agree on ambitious carbon reduction targets. She also announced that the Commission will table a new agenda on the fight against terrorism on 9 December.All political group leaders urged the European Council to agree on the long-term budget and thus allow EU funds to alleviate the economic crisis. ECR and ID group speakers considered the veto by the Hungarian and Polish governments to be legitimate, while all other group speakers called for the deadlock to be broken without giving in on rule of law principles. “No horse-trading”, said the S&D group leader, echoed by her EPP counterpart: “Take the EU to the court, but lift the irresponsible veto”. COVID-19 vaccines are proof that the EU is able to achieve quick progress when all parties and member states work as a team. The same should be true for the recovery, most insisted.On the future EU-UK partnership, many pointed out that Parliament needs time to look into the details of any deal before giving its consent. If necessary, Parliament could meet at the end of December, said the GUE/NGL speaker. Both Greens and Renew Europe chairs stressed that European leaders need to act decisively on the climate now, while the EPP insisted that there must be consequences for Turkey’s long list of breaches of international law and sanctions must be considered.

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MEPs set out blueprint for a new Industrial strategy

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 28 novembre 2020

Bruxelles. In a report adopted on Wednesday with 486 votes in favour, 109 against, and 102 abstentions, MEPs call on the Commission to come up with a revised industrial strategy, as the original strategy, published in March 2020, coincided with the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and came out before the Next Generation EU plan was set up. It could therefore not take into account the impact of the pandemic on European industries.The new strategy should have two distinct phases, one focusing on recovery and the other on reconstruction and building resilience. The first should focus on maintaining the smooth functioning of the single market, mainly by recapitalising enterprises, saving jobs and adapting production to a post-COVID “new normal”. The second phase should aim to help reconstruct and transform European industry by pursuing the objectives of the twin transitions and reinforcing the EU’s industrial sovereignty and its strategic autonomy, which require a competitive industrial base and massive investment in research and innovation.MEPs stress that the new strategy should in particular help the EU achieve climate-neutrality, deliver on the European Green Deal, manage the twin green and digital transitions and create high-quality jobs.It should contain a strong social pillar, address the social consequences of structural change and help hard hit regions to recover economically and socially.MEPs also highlight the importance of a research-based European pharmaceutical industry to safeguard high-quality manufacturing and guarantee affordable medicines for all patients in need. They call again for a plan to mitigate the risk of medicine shortages.

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EU economies need public investment-led stimulus, ECB President tells MEPs

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 20 novembre 2020

Bruxelles. MEPs quizzed ECB President Lagarde about the bank’s policies going forwards, how to factor in climate change, and looming high debt as a result of the pandemic. Thursday’s meeting was the fourth and last time that MEPs will meet with President Christine Lagarde in 2020. Opening the discussion, Ms Lagarde struck a downbeat tone on the EU’s economic prospects due to the continued effects of the pandemic. She also insisted, however, that the ECB’s standard tools and those specifically put in place to cope with the exceptional situation, together with other actions at EU level, had been very successful in preventing a much worse situation. Ms Lagarde also insisted that member states needed to run a public investment led stimulus of the economy.Although MEPs were broadly in agreement that the exceptional times called for exceptional action, some worried that the ECB was coming close to overstepping its mandate, while others argued that it was urgent for the ECB to consider using additional tools. This difference in approach also concerned the question of whether the ECB should specifically target climate change, notably by purchasing more green bonds.MEPs also worried whether the easing of the conditions linked to the ECB’s targeted longer-term refinancing operations (TLTRO) programme had become another way to finance banks rather than meeting its original purpose – that of facilitating lending to the real economy.In light of the prolonged downturn, some MEPs questioned the role of the stability and growth pact in its current format, whereas others asked Ms Lagarde whether debt should be cancelled in some form. Finally, the recent blocking of the EU’s long-term budget by Hungary and Poland was also brought up by MEPs, who hinted that the ECB’s governing council could have reason to look into potential negative repercussions on the Eurozone economy.

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MEPs quiz experts on better designing taxation to help the economic recovery

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 19 novembre 2020

MEPs discussed with experts ways in which taxation systems should be reformed to ensure big multinationals, traders and the wealthiest persons contribute more to the economic recovery. Grace Perez Navarro, Deputy Director of the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, Joaquim Miranda Sarmento, Professor of Finance at the University of Lisbon, and Liina Carr, Confederal Secretary at ETUC, all gave testimony in front of the EP’s subcommittee on taxation matters (FISC) on Monday.Opening the meeting, the Chair of the sub-committee, Paul Tang (S&D, NL) said that the economic crisis caused by the pandemic increases the need to secure tax revenues are delivered in a fair and sustainable way. More than ever, better coordination of tax policies at EU level can help alleviate this crisis and support the green and digital transition, he added. MEPs stressed the need to reduce the tax burden on SMEs and normal people, shifting it instead to those who could and should be paying more taxes. To this end discussions focussed on ways to develop the financial transactions tax, recalibrate corporate taxation and develop eco taxes. MEPs also quizzed the experts on how to better address money laundering and blatant tax evasion.

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