European Parliament

Climate & Environment
Most key habitats in Europe are in poor or bad condition
Most key habitats in Europe are in poor or bad condition
Credit: R Boed (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

80% of Europe's key habitats are found to be in bad or poor condition according to the State of Nature in the EU 2013-2018 report by the European Environment Agency (EEA). About one-third of the 233 listed habitats is in an unfavourable condition and getting worse, while the condition is unfavourable but stable in about the same number of habitats.

At the same time, only a quarter of Europe's species are found to have good conservation status. Reptiles and vascular plants are faring best among species types. The situation is improving for mammals, while it's getting worse for birds and fish.

Urbanisation, pollution and lack of water are playing a role in the loss of habitats and biodiversity. But the biggest reason is intensive farming, which tends to be favoured by the EU's common agricultural policy (CAP). An upcoming CAP reform will be voted on in the European Parliament and EU council. But groupings on the political right are expected to reject most measures that would prioritise the environment. According to WWF's Jabier Ruiz, "the future of the CAP looks grim".

Climate & Environment
European Parliament about to decide over EU's Common Agricultural Policy
European Parliament about to decide over EU's Common Agricultural Policy
Credit: Tobias Nordhausen (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

The European Parliament and the council of member states are about to decide over the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for the years 2021-2027. With the animal farming industry in Europe emitting more CO2 than all EU cars and vans combined, this will be an important decision for the environment, biodiversity and small farms.

Until now, the CAP has mostly benefitted large agribusinesses while failing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or the loss of biodiversity. Between 2005 and 2013, almost 3 million small to medium-sized had to close down. Existing ecologic measures implemented in the CAP have not proven to be effective.

In the current negotiations, a coalition of political groups in the European Parliament led by the right-wing EPP is trying to keep the CAP this way, while environmentalist groups are calling for a "greener" CAP that serves the environment, farmers and rural communities.

Climate & Environment
EU climate law approved with emission reduction now aimed at 60%
EU climate law approved with emission reduction now aimed at 60%
Credit: unsplash.com / Martin Sepion

The European Parliament has ratified the latest proposals regarding environmental protection. Greenhouse gas emissions are now targeted to be reduced by 60% compared to 1990 levels. Previously adopted goals for 2030 had aimed at a 40% reduction.

Regional News • Europe
European Parliament: Politicians report theft of technical equipment
European Parliament: Politicians report theft of technical equipment
Credit: unsplash.com / Charles Büchler

Allegedly up to 100 offices of members of the European Parliament have been broken into during the Covid-19 lockdown. Several politicians have reported the theft of computers and valuables within the past 6 weeks. The Germany member of parliament Nico Semsrott stated that dozes and possibly 100 offices could have been broken into.

Internal investigations are currently underway and suspicions of internal perpetrators are obvious.

Thomas Waitz of the Austrian Greens party has stated that "The theft of electronic items is annoying. But the bigger problem is that neither the offices are secure and sensitive data and documents can be easily stored in the office, nor can it be guaranteed that the offices are not bugged. What is needed here is a quick solution and a new security concept from the administration".

Regional News • Americas • United States
United States congressman launches investigation on why Nigel Farage was at Trump rally despite Covid-19 travel ban
Screenshot of Nigel Farage's Tweet, announcing his arrival in the United States
Screenshot of Nigel Farage's Tweet, announcing his arrival in the United States Credit: @nigel_farage via Twitter

The former member of the European Parliament and former leader of the UK Independence Party Nigel Farage has attended the Donald Trump Rally in Tulsa. United States congressman Bennie G Thompson who chairs the committee on homeland security has now requested all documents and information on why the politician has been allowed to travel to the United States despite the ban on all travel from the United Kingdom due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Farage had gotten an exception under the "national interest" clause.

Regional News • Europe
The European Parliament has taken a formal vote that "Black Lives Matter" and supports the cause of the protests
The European Parliament has taken a formal vote that "Black Lives Matter" and supports the cause of the protests
Credit: Pendect/Ashley Winkler

In a resultion that bears no legal consequences, the European Parliment has denounced racism and white supremacism and declared that "Black Lives Matter". The resolution has been passed with 493 votes in favor and 104 votes against and "strongly condemns the appalling death of George Floyd".

Regional News • Europe • European Union
EU politicians deem Hungary's emergency law "incompatible with EU membership"

Politicians from the liberal group in the European parliament have claimed that the legislation that enables the Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban to rule by decree without time limits is incompatible with an active membership in the European Union. The chair of the European parliament's rule of law group, Sophie in’t Veld, who's a Dutch member of parliament and part of the liberal group in the MEP said in a statement that Orban has succeeded with "killing democracy and the rule of law in Hungary".