Plenary focus - July 2021
Manon AubryDebate: Tuesday
Slovenian EU Council Presidency
The Left is very concerned about the rise of a Trump-like far-right PM in Slovenia and the impact it will have on the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU. The Slovenian government and its Prime Minister Janez Janša are following the examples of Hungary and Poland, attacking freedom of speech, weakening democracy and limiting the rights of their opponents. Our friends from Levica, who have been specifically targeted by this government, have warned us about the worrying developments, which require a firm reaction from the EU. The Left will increase pressure on the Commission and the Council to make sure that the rule of law mechanism is at last enforced so that human rights violations are no longer tolerated within the EU.
Martin SchirdewanDebate: Tuesday
Slovenian EU Council Presidency
Slovenian PM Janez Janša and Hungarian PM Victor Orbán are ideological best friends. They disregard human rights and stand for autocratic systems. The fact that Slovenia, of all places, is taking over the EU Council Presidency with this Prime Minister symbolises an EU that makes pacts with right-wing populists, accepts media interference and disregards human rights at its external borders. This reveals the deep crisis the EU is currently stuck in.
Malin BjörkDebate: Wednesday
LGBTQI+ rights in Hungary
Attacking LGBTI people’s rights is a central theme in Orbán’s ongoing dismantling of democracy and rule of law in Hungary. But we will not give up. We will keep on claiming our rights and we will keep on pushing for the European Commission and the member states to stand up and finally act decisively against the corrupt and undemocratic regime in Budapest. We will never accept that anyone’s fundamental rights are trampled upon, regardless if the attacks are pointed at gay people, women or refugees.
Özlem DemirelDebate: TuesdayVote: Thursday
The repression of the opposition in Turkey, specifically HDP
Once again, the fight to keep the Erdogan regime in power is being fought on the back of the democratic and Kurdish movements. The submission to the Turkish Constitutional Court to ban the HDP is the result of this political calculation. In addition, there are attempts to create chaos through paramilitary groups. The attack on the party office in Izmir, in which a young woman from the HDP, Deniz Poyraz, was killed in a savage way, is assessed by many observers as the beginning of a wave of attacks intended to create chaos and fear. It is particularly cynical to see the Commission and the Council speak of positive developments in relations with Turkey and the extension of the refugee deal as a success, while the Erdogan regime represses its own population and disregards the rights of refugees.
Helmut ScholzDebate: MondayVote: Tuesday
Citizens’ dialogues and citizens’ participation in the EU decision-making
We know that many people are not satisfied with the way democracy works in the EU: they distrust the institutions, don’t know how the multi-level governance functions or just do not feel heard. This is why we need to give Europeans a stronger voice by strengthening the existing participatory instruments, which have various shortcomings, and by creating new ones.
Cornelia ErnstDebate: MondayVote: Tuesday
Technologies for data processing to combat online child sexual abuse
The text resulting from the negotiations allows for indiscriminate scanning of all communications, which simply is illegal. It is clear that child sexual abuse is a horrendous crime that must be tackled with various actions. But what is being voted this week can be compared to the post office opening all letters sent by every person to check whether there is anything illegal. We cannot allow for such mass surveillance. I will therefore vote against this file.
Clare DalyDebate: TuesdayVote: Wednesday
Integrated Border Management Fund
This Fund will reinforce Europe’s capacities for carrying out checks and surveillance at the external borders; it will fund security research projects, which will inevitably see the same arms companies that profit so handsomely from the wars that drive people from their homes profit again with EU funding for ‘security research’ on how to keep those people from entering Fortress Europe; it will fund border control cooperation with third countries, which as we’ve seen with Libya is an absolute disaster; and it will funnel even more money towards a Frontex already bloated with cash and which has a documented history of rights violations. This fund will support actions that will lead to gross violations of fundamental rights not only in the EU but also in third countries, and will represent a key source of funding for private security companies.