Collapse of the rule of law in Malta
The state of the rule of law in Malta following government corruption scandals and the death of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia will be discussed at the plenary meeting on Tuesday. The EPP Group Chairman Manfred Weber MEP stated: “The rule of law in Malta is at stake. The murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia was just the tip of the iceberg. This is why we repeat our call on the Commission to act. The current state of media freedom and independence of the judiciary in Malta is unacceptable for an EU Member State.” Roberta Metsola, the EPP Group’s Spokeswoman in the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, added: “We are calling on the European Commission to urgently launch a rule of law dialogue with the Maltese authorities in line with its role as guardian of the treaties. There are very serious questions regarding the freedom of the media, lack of law enforcement and Malta's constitutional institutions which are in a state of paralysis. The horrific assassination of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia and the circumstances in Malta surrounding her execution have shown how urgently action is needed. The least the Maltese expect is that the rule of law is protected.”
Paradise Papers expose urgency for blacklist of tax havens
The EPP Group calls for speeding-up work on blacklists of tax havens and places used for money laundering. The Paradise Papers leak has shown us yet again the organised, large-scale lack of responsibility of some who do not want to contribute to common welfare. The EPP Group believes that only much stronger cooperation, both within the EU and on an international level, can prevent tax evasion and money laundering.
Anti-dumping: protecting EU jobs and industry
The excess production capacity and subsidised economy in third countries bears the risk of significant price distortion in Europe. Therefore, better protection of the European industry against dumped and subsidised imports is one of the main aims of the EPP Group. "The jobs of hundreds of people are being endangered due to unfair trading practices. This is why we need a new anti-dumping methodology for those World Trade Organisation (WTO) Members where significant distortions exist", said Salvatore Cicu MEP on the Regulation, which is a response to the expiry of parts of China’s WTO accession protocol in December 2016 and to unfair trade practices from third countries. The new approach for examining the substantial market distortions differentiates between WTO members and non-WTO members and replaces the calculation methodology based on the status of a market economy or a non-market economy.
The situation of the rule of law and democracy in Poland
On Wednesday, MEPs will discuss the abuse of power and the breaches of the rule of law by the ruling Law and Justice Party government in Poland. The EPP Group considers that democracy and the rule of law in Poland are being seriously undermined. It is concerned by actions of the Law and Justice government such as the refusal to publish the verdicts of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal, the destruction of the sovereignty of the same tribunal, the fake judiciary reform or ignoring the recommendations of the European Court of Justice. We also regret the lack of will from the Law and Justice government to engage in a constructive dialogue with the European Commission.
Eastern Partnership Summit: setting out Parliament's priorities
In preparation of the 5th Eastern Partnership (EaP) Summit in Brussels on 24 November, the European Parliament will debate and adopt its recommendations on Tuesday on Wednesday for this high-level meeting of EU leaders and those of the six Eastern partner countries. The responsible MEP Laima Andrikienė expects the summit to be forward-looking, injecting new dynamism and to set a clear political vision for the EaP's future, notably by offering an enhanced model of the partnership (EaP+) and by establishing a trust fund for those countries which have made substantial progress in implementing current association agreements. "The EaP is a long-term policy and the European Parliament should not be afraid of setting ambitious and relevant long-term goals which help move the reform process in the partner states forward. The EaP has to remain relevant for all six partner states. At the same time, we should acknowledge their different aspirations, so differentiation is key."
Saving lives with driver assistance in cars
Every year, a staggering 25,500 people die on Europe's roads and 135,000 are seriously injured. Parliament's Rapporteur Dieter Koch MEP considers these figures of loss of life and life-changing injuries completely unacceptable. Considering that human error accounts for more than 90% of all accidents, it is paramount to start using the best available technology to help drivers on the road. In the Report to be voted on on Tuesday, the EPP Group will push for ambitious proposals for mandatory driver assistance systems in cars, like automatic emergency braking systems with pedestrian and cyclist detection or lane-keeping assistance.
Persecution of Christians in the world
75% of all religiously-motivated violence and oppression is carried out against Christians and such persecution has worsened in the last two years, according to the latest statistics. In 12 countries in particular, the situation is extremely serious: China, Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, North Korea, India, Iraq, Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria, Sudan and Turkey. MEPs will debate the gravity of the situation facing Christians during a plenary debate with the EU's High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on Monday in Strasbourg.
Tuesday: Meeting with Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Opposition Leader in the Greek Parliament, Strasbourg
Thursday: Meeting with Laurent Wauquiez, President of French region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, candidate for the leadership of Les Républicains, Strasbourg; Pre-coalition talks in Berlin
Saturday: CSU Party Presidency meeting, Munich
Press Conferences (13-17 November)
Tuesday @11.10 EPP Group Chairman Manfred Weber's plenary briefing
Wednesday @10.00 Alessandra Mussolini MEP and others on “The reform of EU asylum rules (Dublin regulation)”
Wednesday @15.00 Salvatore Cicu MEP, Rapporteur, and others on “New anti-dumping rules to protect EU jobs and industry”