Ukraine: UKIP, 5-Star, Front National, AfD, Podemos, Communists & their allies fail to block a 1.8 billion EU financial aid

MacrofinancialsupportforUkraine-version2

The European Parliament baked the plan to give an extra €1.8 billion in EU medium term loans to Ukraine. The aim of the financial aid is to help the country out of its economic recession and to support Ukraine’s economic stabilisation and reform agenda.

The text was supported by 492 votes in favour, while 107 MEPs voted against and 13 abstained.

Ukraine aid final vote

 

(Click here to see how the MEPs voted).

Most of the EU political groups voted in favour of this legislative resolution. The Members who voted against the financial aid being granted to Ukraine come from the eurosceptic group EFDD group (formed of the British UKIP, Italian 5-Star and their allies) and the radical left group GUE/NGL (formed of communist and their allies), whose members voted against.  The radical right non-attached, such as French Front National, Austrian FPO, Dutch VVD also voted against. Similarly, most of the Members of Alternative for Germany (AfD), who sit in the ECR group, opposed the decision.

Ukraine is facing a severe crisis and a deep recession and the new government has put in place an ambitious macroeconomic adjustment and structural reform programme. This plan was backed by a financial assistance programme by the IMF and an EU macro-financial assistance (MFA) operation.

However, due to structural problems, the armed conflict in the East of the country and the trade restrictions imposed by Russia, the EU parliamentarians believe that additional financial assistance is needed. In the current context, Ukraine’s external financial needs are larger than initially thought, requiring additional financial assistance by the international creditors and donors.

Therefore, a majority of MEPs voted in favour of further supporting the economic and political stabilisation of Ukraine. The EU parliamentarians also underlined that Ukraine has to fulfil some pre-conditions in order to be granted the EU’s financial aid. These are the respect of effective democratic mechanisms, the rule of law and the respect for human rights. Moreover, the Ukrainian government must commit itself to continuing the fight against the oligarchic structure, corruption and enhance the efficiency of its public services.

The MFA is an exceptional EU crises-response mechanism available to the EU’s partner countries facing important balance of payment problems. This particular case represents the biggest financial aid given by the Union to any third country in such a short time. Moreover, the MFA is complementary to the assistance of other donors in the context of the economic programme supported by the IMF.

EU Countries failed to fully implement EU Directive from 2011, aimed at tackling sexual child abuse

child abuse

 

The number of websites related to child pornography is growing and is estimated that 200 images containing child pornography are put into circulation every day. Parliament again shed the light on the issue of paedophilia on the Internet in a resolution voted last Wednesday.

The 677 Members of the Parliament voted on this issue on 11 of March 2015. The main issues voted in the non-binding resolution addressing the sexual exploitation of children and child abuse images, were to embrace the investigation of offences, the prosecution of offenders and the protection of child victims. The resolution was approved by 90 % of MEPs (606) in favour and 4 votes against. 67 members abstained. (Click here to see how MEPs votes). All the political groups voted in favour of the text with the exception of the members of the radical left group GUE/NGL who abstained.

Continue reading

EU Parliamentarians demand to increase the resources of the EU foreign and security policy

070905-N-6106R-352

The European Parliament adopted a non-legislative resolution on the annual report on EU Foreign and Security policy. 436 EU parliamentarians voted in favour of the document while 145 opposed it and 64 abstained. (Click here to see how the MEPs voted). The majority backing the report was composed of the grand coalition EPP-S&D-ALDE plus the Greens.

CFSP all

The report underlines the worsening of the security situation in EU’s neighbourhood. The MEPs believe that the EU has not been able to unleash its full potential to shape the international political and security environment due also to financial limitations and the lack of common policies. Continue reading

All EU parliamentarians, except communists and 5-Stars, endorse international efforts against ISIS

Islamic state

The Members of the European Parliament have voted a resolution in which they express their concern regarding the developments in the Middle East. The hard-left GUE-NGL group, as well as the Italian 5-stars movement were the only Members that voted against a paragraph expressing the full support of the EU for the international efforts against ISIS/Da’esh, including the military actions of the international coalition, coordinated by the United States, and encourages the EU Member States who have not already done so to consider ways of contributing to these efforts, including tracing and interdicting ISIS secret funds held overseas.

ISIS

Click here to see how each MEP voted.

EU economic policy: mixed recommendations resulted from the grand coalition

Economy

EU parliamentarians adopted three resolutions on three different angles of the European Semester for economic policy coordination for 2015. The big political groups, People’s Party group and the Socialists group, needed to reach a compromise position to be able to muster a majority, as neither of them had the numbers to pass its core agenda. As a result, the texts include a mixture of measures oriented both towards flexibility and competitiveness and towards more labour-friendly standards.

The first resolution, dealing with the Annual Growth Survey (AGS) for 2015, was the most disputed. It was adopted by 437 votes in favour, 249 against and 11 abstentions. (Click here to see how the MEPs voted). The text was supported by the grand coalition EPP, S&D and ALDE. All the other political groups opposed it. Continue reading

Human Rights and Democracy report backed by the majority of the MEPs

Human rights

Members of the Parliament adopted the EU’s annual report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2013. The report was supported by 390 votes in favour, 151 against and 97 abstentions. Click here to see how the MEPs voted.

Among other topics, the adopted report puts a particular focus on the question of human rights in relations with EU partners, including China and Russia. The report discussed the challenges posed by Russia’s annexation of Crimea, whether this policy of aggression is a Russia’s continuation towards authoritarian rule, with a worsening human rights situation inside the country. Continue reading

Greens, communists, nationalists vote against strong EU criticism of the Venezuelan government

Venezuela

A majority of EU parliamentarians voted a resolution asking Venezuelan authorities to immediately release all peaceful protesters, students and opposition leaders arbitrarily detained for exercising their right to freedom of expression and fundamental rights.

The text voted states that Venezuelan government must also create an environment in which human rights defenders and independent non-governmental organisations can do their legitimate work of promoting human rights and democracy and ensuring the security of all citizens, regardless of their political views and affiliations. MEPs voting in favour of the declaration were of the opinion that the opposition has suffered arbitrary detentions and attacks in an election year, which could cast doubt on the legitimacy of the electoral process. Continue reading

Gender-based report splits EU Parliament political forces

Gender_equality

Every year, Parliament´s Women´s rights committee prepares a report about the progress made in equality between women and men. On 9 March, MEPs discussed the non-legislative report written by the Belgian Socialist Member Marc Tarabella in plenary and voted on it the following day.

The report as a whole received the backing 440 Members, while 200 MEPs voted against and 47 abstained. (Click here to see how the MEPs voted). Continue reading

ECB’s strategy endorsed by EU’s grand coalition, under fire from the other groups

ECB and hte euros

The resolution on the European Central Bank Annual Report for 2013 was adopted with a majority of 461 Parliamentarians voting in favour, 172 against and 65 abstaining (click here to see how each MEP voted).

The annual report describes the activities of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) and reports on the Eurosystem’s monetary policy of the previous year. The report is presented to the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, the European Commission and the European Council.[1] Continue reading

EU parliamentarians favour a stronger competition policy

Competition policy

Today, the European Parliament adopted by large majority a non-binding resolution on the annual report on EU competition policy. The text was supported by 526 votes in favour, 108 against and 59 abstentions. (Click here to see how the MEPs voted). All the main EU political groups voted in favour of the resolution with the exception of the eurosceptics EFDD and the radical left GUE/NGL.

The resolution highlights the key role played by competition in the EU internal market and stresses that the EU’s competition policy has brought numerous benefits in terms of consumers welfare and has been an important tool to eliminate obstacle to free movement of goods, services, persons and capitals. The textclaims that competition policy should be focused particularly on protecting consumers, improving consumer welfare, fostering innovation and stimulating economic growth; Continue reading