Plenary focus - January 2023
Last month, the huge corruption scandal involving Qatar rocked the European Parliament. At that time, the revelations seemed overwhelming, but they were only the tip of the iceberg. Since then, the disclosures have multiplied and extended to other countries such as Morocco. The list of suspected MEPs and assistants is growing, as is the list of missed opportunities to sanction human rights violations caused by corruption. This scandal should not be taken lightly, a strong institutional response is needed. The plan of action proposed by President Metsola to fight corruption is insufficient. Our group demands that the measures adopted correspond to those requested by the European Parliament during the last plenary session including the mandatory transparency register, the setting up of a special committee, suspension of the Qatari and Moroccan officials’ accesses to the parliament and the establishment of an independent ethics body. It’s time to clean up the European institutions.
Martin SchirdewanDebate: Tuesday
Food price inflation in Europe
91 million people in the EU were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2019. Now food prices are also exploding. Across Europe, food prices rose by 18 % last year alone. As a result, many people can´t buy simple foods such as flour, butter or sugar. The EU has to take action and say how it wants to protect people from the price explosion and ensure that everyone can feed themselves sufficiently and healthily.
Malin BjörkDebate: Tuesday
The Swedish Presidency
This Swedish government is in power together with the far-right Sweden Democrats, a party that is rooted in neo-nazism and admires Hungary’s Viktor Orbán. It is a horrible situation for my country in so many ways, and I can only encourage other member states to put pressure on Sweden so that we, over the next six months, can still make the necessary progress on EU climate policy, manage the shift away from Putin’s bloody fossil energy, and safeguard international law in EU asylum and migration policies.
Leïla ChaibiDebate: Wednesday
The threat of Uberisation
The Parliament has the opportunity to decide whether the Platform Workers Directive is pro-worker or pro-lobby. In the midst of the Uber Files and Qatar Gate scandals, we hope that the Parliament will show that it is acting for workers’ rights and the public interest with an ambitious directive with the widest possible employment presumption.
Manu PinedaDebate: WednesdayVote: Thursday
The far-right attack on Brazil’s democratic institutions
Our group strongly supports Lula’s government and the Brazilian people in the face of the recently attempted coup. This is not an isolated incident and we have seen it in other countries in the region. The extreme right in Latin America, in the US and in Europe, is trying to subvert legitimately elected governments with violence and lawfare practices. In the face of this, the EU must stand on the side of democracy and stem the reactionary wave with action, not just words. This must be a priority.
Miguel Urbán CrespoDebate: TuesdayVote: Wednesday
Human rights and democracy in the world & Moroccogate
The Qatargate scandal points to an even deeper Moroccogate affair. The European Parliament should take the same precautionary measures with Morocco as it did with Qatar. Every European Parliament legislative activity in recent years involving Moroccan interests should be retrospectively reviewed to ensure that it is not influenced by foreign interference.
Anne-Sophie PelletierDebate: TuesdayVote: Wednesday
The video game industry continues to grow and is an important part of the lives of many Europeans, especially young people. The European Parliament must take this issue seriously and discussions around this industry have allowed us to integrate important advances such as the fight against the hypersexualisation of women in video games, which only reinforced rape culture.
João Pimenta LopesDebate: WednesdayVote: Thursday
Small-scale fisheries in the EU
The future of small-scale, coastal and artisanal fishing depends on immediate, meaningful and effective measures, enabling the specific problems affecting this part of the fishing sector to be addressed.This means increasing fishing incomes, renewing, modernising and capaciting the fleet, enhancing the profession’s attractiveness, providing training for young people and improving operating and safety conditions.