Plenary focus - May

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  • Helmut Scholz
    Helmut Scholz

    Trade in conflict resources

    Warlords in conflict regions finance their weapons by stealing and selling natural resources.Much of this ends up in products used by European consumers. We need to stop this irresponsible trade with a binding regulation that forces any company that places a product on the EU market to prove that it is "conflict-free".The Commission proposes a voluntary approach to this goal. INTA rapporteur Winkler proposes an obligation only for EU-based smelters and refiners. That would affect only twenty companies, and would change nothing for more than eighty per cent of conflict resources brought into trade. Sakharov laureate Mukwege, expert NGOs and more than a hundred bishops called the INTA proposal absolutely insufficient. Based on civil society proposals, we are tabling amendments demanding a binding regulation including for downstream companies, with exceptions for micro-enterprises

  • Cornelia Ernst
    Cornelia Ernst

    Agenda on migration

    The new agenda on migration comes as a major disappointment. Instead of the radical change in paradigm that is long overdue and that we are asking for, the Commission wants to continue its failed policy.The very few new and potentially good things that are in the Commission communication, such as relocation and resettlement, come too late and are too little and too vague. There is no mention of fundamental rights, instead they want to beef up border control even further, this time even bringing in the army. Deaths will increase, not decrease.