Plenary focus - March 2021
Martin SchirdewanDebate: Wednesday
The OpenLux revelations show how multinational corporations and mega rich individuals keep using Luxemburg to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. According to Tax Justice Network, Luxemburg is one of the world’s top five tax havens. In 2020 alone, it was responsible for €22 billion in tax losses for other countries. This underlines, once again, how EU finance ministers have failed to put in effective legislations to curb aggressive tax planning and avoidance in the EU - even though appropriate measures have been proposed by the Parliament. Our fight goes on, and we will now increase the pressure in advocating for effective tax transparency, unitary taxation and wealth taxes.
Manon AubryDebate: MondayVote: Tuesday
Corporate Due Diligence
With no public oversight, multinational corporations are out of control. Their entire business model, whether it’s in mining, manufacturing or textile industries, is built upon systematic human rights and environmental abuse in the supply chains. However, for as long as the European Union and its member states refuse to extend corporate responsibility to the people and the environment in the supply chains, or providing access to justice for the victims, they will be complicit in this worldwide exploitation. The vote in the plenary on our proposal for mandatory corporate due diligence will thus send a strong political message to all multinationals and European governments: stop corporate impunity!
José GusmãoDebate: WednesdayVote: Wednesday
The European Semester
Given the massive economic consequences, and still with huge uncertainty regarding the evolution of this pandemic, the European Commission has already gone ahead and announced the resumption of budgetary rules for the year 2023. Notwithstanding the abject failure of its own vaccine strategy, not only is this latest decision premature and irresponsible, the announcement came without any concrete proposal or intention for revising budgetary rules. It immediately puts pressure on member states to put the brakes on investments in healthcare, the economy, and for supporting their citizens. Evidently, the Commission hasn’t learned from its disastrous response to the financial crisis, and anyone who says otherwise had clearly been very naive or overly optimistic.
Malin BjörkDebate: WednesdayVote: Wednesday
EU as LGBTIQ Freedom Zone
At a time when right-wing governments across Europe are adopting anti-LGBTI declarations, or by introducing transphobic legislation and pulling out of international human rights conventions because they are seen as promoting ‘gender ideology’, the EU must take a clear stand for every person’s fundamental rights. That should leave no room for doubt: discrimination and persecution of LGBTI people have no place in the EU.
Dimitris PapadimoulisDebate: TuesdayVote: Monday
InvestEU should have been a more ambitious programme for supporting sustainable and inclusive recovery and growth - especially SMEs, research, social investment and skills, and sustainable infrastructure. We therefore regret the significant cuts in the financial envelope of the programme, the deletion of the strategic European investment and solvency support windows, and the minimum contribution of the programme to the EU climate targets.
Petros KokkalisDebate: TuesdayVote: Monday
InvestEU will support recovery, providing finance for projects that support the EU’s priority objectives, in particular the green and digital transition, whilst also facilitating the access to funding. During the negotiations, however, we failed to exclude fossil fuels from EU funding and integrate taxonomy. The EU has made climate protection a priority, sustainable investment should therefore be a one-way street.