S&D - Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats

11/20/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/18/2023 18:00

S&D Group's news on the European Parliament's Plenary session in Strasbourg: 20 - 23 November, 2023

Rule of law in Spain

Debate on Wednesday 22 November

Iratxe García Pérez, President of the S&D Group

"Spain once again has a progressive government under the leadership of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez with a progressive agenda to drive Spain and Europe forward. Together, we will continue to build a feminist, green and fair Europe. Together, we will stop reactionary movements in Europe. Pedro Sanchez has demonstrated that it is possible to beat back the unholy alliance between the conservatives and the far right in Spain, and so we will in Europe. We will not allow them to bring their hate speech from Spain to Europe, in a desperate attempt to distract from their failure in the elections."

Press contact: Silvia Pelz

Packaging and packaging waste

Debate on Tuesday 21 November, vote on Wednesday 22 November

Delara Burkhardt - S&D negotiator on the issue in the European Parliament's Committee on environment, public health and food safety

"With the reform of EU packaging rules, we have the chance to get the waste hierarchy right and to avoid packaging waste from the beginning. With more reusable packaging, no more unnecessary throwawaypackaging like paper cupsin restaurants and requirements to limit the empty space in packages, we will reduce our waste mountains."

Press contact: Nicolas Derobert

Sustainable use of plant protection products

Debate and vote on Tuesday 21 November

Marie Arena - S&D negotiator on the issue in the European Parliament's Committee on environment, public health and food safety

"Next week, the European Parliament has the opportunity to adopt an ambitious law to reduce the use of pesticides in Europe. Pesticides pose a significant threat to our environment and agriculture by contributing to the decline of pollinators, as well as contaminating our soils and water. Moreover, the escalating concern is their potential impact on human health. Hence- for the first time -the EU law will set binding reduction targets. It will also provide for adequate support to help our farmers' transition towards a greener and healthier agriculture."

Press contact: Nicolas Derobert

Net-Zero Industry Act

Debate on Monday 20 November, vote on Tuesday 21 November

Tsvetelina Penkova - S&D negotiator on the issue in the European Parliament's Committee on industry, research and energy

"Next Tuesday,we vote on the Net-Zero Industry Act -the legislative framework setting the plan to reindustrialise Europe. The aim of our Group is to help inthe creation of high-paying jobs and the development of sustainable and green technologies. We reversed the logic of the legislative proposal of the European Commission and instead of having a very short and limited list of net-zero technologies;we expanded this list and gave each member state the freedom to pick the technologiesthat they consider strategic from it. These strategic net-zero technologies will benefit from a faster permitting process and will be eligible for funding under STEP -the Strategic Technologies Platform for Europe, gathering unused money from various EU programmes and instruments."

Press contact: Alexander Stanchev

International Day on the Rights of the Child

Debate on Monday 20 November, vote on Tuesday 21 November

Brando Benifei - S&D negotiator on the European Parliament's resolution on the European Child Guarantee

"On Monday, we mark the International Day on the Rights of the Child. The social and economic situation of children and their families in Europe has worsened dramatically due to many recent crises. All ofthis has increased inequality and social exclusion, exacerbating existing challenges. Our iconic initiative to protect children is the European Child Guarantee. As we are taking stock of this project next week, two years after its conception, we reiterate that it urgently needs a dedicated budget of at least €20 billion. More efforts are also needed by the European Commission and EU member states to push for ambitious social policies, such as a strong anti-poverty strategy, minimum income schemes and minimum wage policies, public housing strategies as well as significant investments in early childhood education and care, healthcare and access to high-quality nutrition schemes for all children in need and their families. Children come first, but child poverty today remains a serious European problem, affecting all EU countries, no one excluded. It is time to eradicate it once and for all!"

Press contact: Petra von Wüllerstorff

International day for the elimination of violence against women

Debate on Thursday 23 November

Evin Incir - European Parliament's co-negotiator on gender-based violence in the Committee on civil liberties, justice and home affairs
Pina Picierno - S&D negotiator on the issue in the European Parliament's Committee on women's rights and gender equality

"Ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25, the S&Ds pushed for a plenary debate to demonstrate our support for women's rights and our commitment to fight gender-based violence. Millions of women suffer in Europe every single day, experiencing physical, psychological, economic and digital violence, often by partners or ex-partners. This pandemic must be eradicated! We are now fighting for an ambitious EU directive on gender-based violence, in which we insist that sex without consent is recognised as rape in the whole Union, among many other important provisions. It is totally unacceptable that the national governments watered down the Commission's proposal by removing the criminalisation of rape at EU level. It would be an unforgivable insult to all women if minimum rules on the offence of rape were not included in this legislation. We are determined to take on the fight with the member states! Rape must not be tolerated, and no one must stay unpunished anywhere in the EU. The new directive must ensure that 'only yes means yes'."

Press contact: Inga Czerny-Grimm

Cyprus confidential - need to curb enablers of sanctions evasion and money laundering rules in the EU

Debate on Wednesday 22 November

Eero Heinäluoma - European Parliament's negotiator on the EU anti-money laundering legislation

"At our request, the European Parliament next week will also discuss the latest money laundering scandal in Europe - the Cyprus Confidential Files. Millions of leaked documents expose how accountants, bankers, auditors and lawyers in Cyprus helped Russian oligarchs circumvent EU sanctions. This is a stark reminder of why Europe urgently needs stronger anti-money laundering rules that will ensure the enforcement of sanctions. We are currently working on a deal that would clamp down on the evasion of sanctions by oligarchs and their enablers. It has to be finalised by the end of the year. Moreover, we call for a full investigation of the auditing giant PwC's alleged role in helping Russian oligarchs evade EU sanctions."

Press contact: Petra von Wüllerstorff

Humanitarian situation in Gaza

Debate on Wednesday 22 November

Pedro Marques - S&D vice-president for foreign affairs

"We are witnessing a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. Thousands of innocent civilians have already lost their lives. We reiterate our support for Israel's right to defend itself against Hamas and our call to release all hostages. The collective punishment of more than two million Palestinians in Gaza by the Netanyahu government is unacceptable. Defeating the Hamas ideology will only be possible if the killing of innocent Palestinians by the thousands each week is stopped."

Press contact: Jan Bernas

Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and New Zealand

Debate on Tuesday 21 November, vote on Wednesday 22 November

Pedro Silva Pereira - S&D negotiator on the issue in the European Parliament's Committee on international trade

"Next week, the European Parliament is set to give its consent to the new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the European Union and New Zealand, which is unequivocally the most progressive trade agreement ever concluded by the EU. We hope it will serve as a gold standard for future agreements. For years, the S&D Group has been advocating to put workers and environmental standards at the core of our trade policy. And we are continuing to deliver. This agreement includes the possibility of sanctions as a last resort in its trade and sustainable development chapter in cases of a breach of the Paris Agreement or core ILO Conventions, as we have requested for many years. The progressive trade agreement has also dedicated provisions on gender equality and fossil fuel subsidy reform, as well as a cooperation chapter on sustainable food systems and animal welfare. New Zealand is a valuable partner in the strategically important Indo-Pacific region and the FTA is economically balanced, including tariff-rate quotas and safeguards for sensitive agricultural products. The accompanying resolution highlights these and other achievements but also makes concrete demands for the implementation of the trade agreement, so that businesses, workers and consumers can enjoy its benefits."

Press contact: Inga Czerny-Grimm

Right to repair

Debate on Monday 20 November, vote on Tuesday 21 November

René Repasi - European Parliament's negotiator on the issue in the Committee on internal market and consumer protection

"Every year, the replacement of goods represents a loss of €12 billion to consumers' pockets and the production of 35 million tonnes of waste. We want to empower consumers and incentivise them to choose repairing their goods instead of being obliged to replace them. We want to bolster repair shops to offer competitive and affordable repair. To this aim, the S&D Group has fought: to ensure an additional twelve months of legal guarantee in cases of repair; to oblige member states to establish financial incentives for consumers to use repairs (repair vouchers, national repair funds, etc.); to guarantee that independent repairers have access to spare parts as well as all repair-related information at a reasonable cost. With the right to repair, we want to promote a more sustainable consumption of goods, protect the environment and save consumers' money."

Press contact: Georgina Mombo Rasero

Reform of the EU treaties

Debate on Tuesday 21 November, vote on Wednesday 22 November

Gabriele Bischoff - S&D vice-president and European Parliament's co-negotiator in the committee on constitutional affairs

"The world is evolving and our institutional architecture and decision-making processes in the EU are not fit for purpose if we want to stay relevant as a global player. We need to amend the EU Treaties to increase the EU's capacity to act, including switching from unanimity principles to qualified majority voting and adding new competences to address new and emerging global challenges."

Press contact: Ewan Macphee