Index 
 Previous 
 Next 
 Full text 
Verbatim report of proceedings
XML 32k
Wednesday, 31 May 2023 - Brussels Revised edition

11. Order of business
Video of the speeches
PV
MPphoto
 

  President. – The next item is the order of business. The final draft agenda as adopted by the Conference of Presidents on 11 May pursuant to Rule 157 has been distributed. With the agreement of the political groups I wish to put to the House the following proposals for changes to the final draft agenda.

For Thursday, the report by Ms Cicurel on the requests for the waiver of the immunity of Maria Spyraki and the report by Mr Halicki on the request for the waiver of the immunity of Alexis Georgoulis are added to the votes. If there are no objections, these changes are approved.

We now move to changes requested by political groups. For today, Wednesday, the Renew and ECR groups have requested that Council and Commission statements on ‘Reconstruction and integration of Ukraine into the Euro-Atlantic community’ be added in the afternoon. The debate is to be wound up with a resolution to be voted in June. The ECR Group has requested that the debate be added as a third point before the debate on ‘Breaches of the rule of law and fundamental rights in Hungary and frozen EU funds’. As a consequence, the sitting would be extended to 23.00.

I give the floor first to Petras Auštrevičius to move the request on behalf of the Renew Group.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Petras Auštrevičius, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Madam President, dear colleagues, on behalf of the Renew Group I would like to have the following debate added to the agenda for today, with the session therefore being extended: ‘Council and Commission statement on the reconstruction and integration of Ukraine into the Euro—Atlantic community’, with a resolution to be adopted in the June plenary.

Dear colleagues, awaiting the Commission’s assessment regarding Ukraine’s progress implementing recommendations, also in July NATO will hold its summit in Vilnius. It is important to reiterate our unwavering and standing support for Ukraine for full Euro—Atlantic integration and therefore send a very clear signal to the brave people of Ukraine.

Colleagues, I do understand, because our session is overcrowded, that this might happen in June, but I wish to have full clarity and solidarity with this decision.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  President. – So just to clarify, Mr Auštrevičius, your proposal is now to move it to June?

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Petras Auštrevičius, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Madam President, my proposal is for this mini—session, but there might be a compromise for June.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  President. – We have received an alternative proposal from the S&D Group. I give the floor to Mr Cimoszewicz to present the alternative title, for this session.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Madam President, the Renew and ECR proposal speaks about two very important but separate issues: the reconstruction of Ukraine, which needs an urgent working—out of the programme, and the Euro-Atlantic integration of that country.

Although my political group believes that it would be beneficial to prepare this debate better, we can agree to add that point to our agenda as Commission and Council statements on the need for a fair, inclusive and sustainable reconstruction and recovery of Ukraine.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Michael Gahler, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, the EPP Group would like to support the suggestion from Renew and the ECR. However, as already slightly indicated by colleague Auštrevičius, we would prefer to have it in June – also with one argument, which is that it is a bit closer to the debate that will be held anyhow ahead of the summit in Vilnius in July. So we think it’s better to have it then.

I was also informed that the Swedish Presidency will not be present at a later stage today, but will certainly be present in Strasbourg. So we would support the suggestion of the Renew Group to have it in June, and the title.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  President. – OK, so back to Mr Auštrevičius’ original point, would there be agreement that this be debated for the plenary in June, and it will go through the preparatory stages for that?

OK, we’ll do that. So the sitting is not yet extended until 23.00. But it will happen!

The Greens and S&D groups have requested that a Commission statement on ‘Social and economic costs of the climate crisis and the urgent need for European solidarity to support affected countries and regions, especially after the current floods in Emilia Romagna and Marche’ be added as the fourth point in the afternoon. Therefore the sitting would be extended to 22.00. I give the floor to Terry Reintke to move the request.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Terry Reintke, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Madam President, colleagues, first things first. As you said, President, I think it is important that we make clear that this Parliament stands in full solidarity with all people who are affected by these horrible floods in different regions in Italy. We have again and again shown how important, especially in moments like this, European solidarity is.

We can see – and this is not an isolated event – that climate change is nothing happening in the distant future anymore; it is something that is happening now –with extreme weather events, with droughts, with floods, with forest fires. We in this Parliament should debate what needs to be done now, what the necessary steps are to show solidarity with people in Italy, but also what the long term implications are, so that we avoid situations like this from happening again.

So, colleagues, please support our request to debate this today in plenary.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  President. – I have received an alternative proposal from the Renew and EPP groups, so I give the floor to Nicola Danti to present on behalf of both groups.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Nicola Danti, a nome del gruppo Renew. – Signora Presidente, intanto vorrei esprimere gratitudine per la solidarietà che Lei ha espresso nell'apertura della seduta alle popolazioni così colpite nelle regioni italiane di Emilia-Romagna, Marche e anche Toscana.

Noi avremmo una proposta alternativa a quella che hanno proposto il gruppo socialista e il gruppo dei Verdi, che ha il seguente titolo: "Dichiarazioni della Commissione sui costi economici e sociali del cambiamento climatico alla luce delle alluvioni in Italia e il bisogno urgente di solidarietà europea".

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Elisabetta Gualmini, a nome del gruppo S&D. – Signora Presidente, intanto Le esprimo la mia gratitudine per le Sue parole. Come Lei ha detto, siamo di fronte a una terra ferita, quella dell'Emilia-Romagna, delle Marche e, in parte, della Toscana. Abbiamo visto un ciclone con la forza di un uragano, colline che si abbassano e fiumi che si alzano, un fiume di 50 centimetri è diventato alto 12 metri.

E di fronte a questa catastrofe naturale davvero io penso che sia importante avere il supporto e il sostegno di tutte le forze politiche, in modo che il Parlamento esprima non solo la solidarietà, ma anche la richiesta alla Commissione europea perché siano stanziati i fondi e gli aiuti necessari.

Propongo dunque un titolo di compromesso tra la proposta dei Verdi, che ringrazio, e di Renew; il titolo sarebbe "Commission statement on the social and economic costs of climate change in light of the floods in Emilia-Romagna, Marche and Toscana and the urgent need for European solidarity".

 
  
MPphoto
 

  President. – I need to check whether the other groups agree with this alternative proposal. I see that the Green Group does, Renew does, the EPP does. OK, so I will put the compromise request to the vote.

(Parliament agreed to the request)

So we will have that proposal, and therefore the sitting will be extended to much later than originally foreseen.

The EPP, S&D, Renew and Greens groups have requested that Council and Commission statements on ‘Threat to democracy and the rule of law in Poland, in particular through the creation of an investigative committee’ be added as the fourth item this afternoon. As a consequence, the sitting would be extended again.

I give the floor to Jeroen Lenaers to move the request.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Jeroen Lenaers, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, on Monday the President of Poland signed a law creating a commission to investigate Russian interference in Polish politics. At least that’s what he would like us to believe, but the real objective is clear for us all to see, and this is to intimidate political rivals and to interfere in the upcoming elections.

This is not a surprise. The ruling party in Poland has consistently undermined the rule of law and democracy in its efforts to cling on to power. It is always tilting the playing field in its own favour. But this is no longer about tilting the playing field. This is about removing the opposition from the playing field altogether.

These are classic autocratic tactics. If you are afraid of elections, if you’re afraid of opposition, if you’re afraid of checks and balances that define any normal democracy, this is what you do.

It’s a disgrace for Poland. It’s a disgrace for the EU, and this House must urgently address it here. This is why the EPP, S&D, Renew and Green Groups have requested adding the debate for which you read the title to the agenda today as a matter of urgency.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Stéphane Séjourné, au nom du groupe Renew. – Madame la Présidente, cette affaire est d’une extrême gravité, c’est pour cela que je me permets de reprendre la parole. Renew Europe proposera probablement une résolution pour le mois de juin pour qu’on puisse, y compris au Parlement européen, prendre une position concrète sur cette affaire.

Je voudrais à ce propos formuler une remarque, et peut être envoyer un message à nos collègues du PiS. D’abord la remarque: finalement je suis heureux que le PPE se rende compte de la véritable nature de leurs probables futurs collègues de coalition. Aujourd’hui le groupe ECR prétexte de travailler sur les ingérences étrangères pour construire l’incapacité des oppositions à se présenter contre eux, ce qui est extrêmement grave en démocratie. Et le Parlement européen doit en tout cas prendre toutes les mesures et s’exprimer systématiquement contre ces procédures.

Au-delà de ça, je pense que l’ensemble des groupes politiques sera d’accord pour cette résolution et peut être aussi pour l’adopter ici, dans cette plénière, pour qu’on puisse avoir en perspective le début des négociations.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Ryszard Antoni Legutko, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Madam President, let me begin by saying that investigation is a standard parliamentary practice – oh yes, it is – and the commission that has been set up meets all democratic standards. Whoever says otherwise lies; whoever says otherwise lies.

(Interjections from the floor)

Madam President, could you please discipline the colleagues?

The Soviet – sorry, the Russian interference...

(Interjections from the floor)

Russian interference has been with us for a long time. The top politicians from France, Germany, Finland, Austria have been on the payroll of Putin and his oligarchs, and...

 
  
MPphoto
 

  President. – Dear colleagues, can you please let Mr Legutko speak.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Ryszard Antoni Legutko, on behalf of the ECR Group. – This is amazing! I mean, this is political hooliganism!

(Mixed reactions)

So Poland has also been a place that Russian infiltration was present. And just let me give you a few examples. There was an attempt to tie us to the Russian gas supply for several decades to come. We had the Polish ambassadors being coached by Russia’s Foreign Minister, Mr Lavrov. I know some of your colleagues have been responsible for this. I know that you suspect that all the truth may come out, but please, for the sake of decency, reject this stupid and disgraceful proposal.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  President. – I put the request to the vote by roll call.

(Parliament agreed to the request)

So now the sitting will be extended until 23.00.

Also today the ECR Group has requested that a Commission statement on ‘Interference in the European political agenda by non-European organisations who are behind the activities of radical environmentalist movements, in light of recent inquires by the German authorities’ be added as the last item in the afternoon.

I give the floor to Vincenzo Sofo to move the request on behalf of the ECR Group, and then to Michael Bloss to speak against.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Vincenzo Sofo, a nome del gruppo ECR. – Signora Presidente, a nome del gruppo ECR, chiedo dunque di inserire nella plenaria di oggi un dibattito senza risoluzione intitolato "Dichiarazione della Commissione sulle interferenze nell'agenda politica europea da parte di organizzazioni extra europee che si celano dietro l'attività dei movimenti ambientalisti radicali alla luce delle recenti indagini delle autorità tedesche".

Quest'Aula non può infatti ignorare quanto sta emergendo da inchieste giornalistiche che svelano come i movimenti tipo "Ultima Generazione", che negli ultimi mesi stanno intensificando le azioni contro le politiche energetiche e industriali dei nostri governi e della Commissione, siano sponsorizzati, finanziati e manovrati tutti da una stessa organizzazione, dietro alla quale si trovano politici, media e industriali della sinistra americana.

Parliamo nel solo 2022 di diversi milioni di dollari usati per provocare decine di migliaia di azioni, spesso illegali, e che appunto già sono oggetto di indagini giudiziarie in Germania.

È urgente, dunque, che anche quest'Aula indaghi se dietro a questi movimenti ci sia un tentativo di ingerenza extra europea nelle nostre politiche nazionali e comunitarie e se in tale operazione siano coinvolti anche i partiti ambientalisti presenti in questo Parlamento.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Michael Bloss, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Madam President, dear colleagues, climate activists need to be protected and we need them now more than ever – these are not my words; these are the words of the UN Secretary—General, António Guterres, on the recent events in Germany. And you want to do the opposite – you want to criminalise them; you want to silence them and you want to silence the debate on the climate emergency.

But whether you approve or disapprove of their actions, they have fundamental rights. They have a right to a voice; they have a right to protest. And it’s our duty as parliamentarians to uphold these rights. This is the essence of democracy. So, let us listen to the interference of the UN Secretary—General and protect their rights. Please, colleagues, vote against this request by the ECR Group.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  President. – I put the request to the vote by roll call.

(Parliament rejected the request)

The Left Group has requested that Council and Commission statements on Israeli attacks in Gaza be added as the last item this afternoon.

I give the floor to Clare Daly to move the request on behalf of The Left Group.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Clare Daly, on behalf of The Left Group. – Madam President, over 5 days earlier this month, Israel attacked and bombed Gaza 323 times. Ten civilians were killed, 1 100 people displaced. More than 150 000 Palestinian civilians have been killed or injured in Gaza and the West Bank since 2008; 33 000 of those were children.

The EU stands by and watches this happen and calls Israel our friend. We construct houses and schools in the West Bank; the Israelis come and destroy them. We cannot consider ourselves a union of values and continue to call Israel our friend. We need to have this conversation, but in light of the time constraints that we are now already under and the positive remarks by some of the other groups that they will facilitate a full and necessary debate on this in June, I’ll withdraw it on that basis.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  President. – I have received an alternative proposal from the S&D Group. I give the floor to Evin Incir to move the request.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Evin Incir, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Madam President, we were actually asking for the floor in case the Left would put forward their proposal. But since they withdraw, we will also withdraw ours and then we will come back to it during the next session.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  President. – We will deal with it in the preparation for the upcoming plenary part—session.

The Greens and The Left groups have requested that the vote on the report by Ms Kalniete on ‘Foreign interference in all democratic processes in the European Union, including disinformation’ be postponed to the June part-session.

I give the floor to Philippe Lamberts to move the request.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Philippe Lamberts, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Madam President, dear colleagues, I think it’s a very good thing that this Parliament has tackled the issue of foreign interference and disinformation seriously. We already adopted one report on it, there is a second one coming, and as we could see a few minutes ago, these issues are sensitive issues, not easy ones to deal with because, of course, they put in tension different aspects of democracy in terms of freedom of speech, but also restrictions that can be applied to them. And so we cannot just go about voting on such an important text without giving the possibility of the real sovereign – that is the plenary of this assembly – to discuss potential amendments to make this text better.

So my plea to you is that, yes, we have the debate on the text today – well, in this session, I don’t know if it’s today or tomorrow – and we vote the report in the June session allowing for this assembly to table and discuss amendments to make it better.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Sandra Kalniete, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, I appreciate highly the atmosphere we had working on this ING2 Committee second report and the dialogue which we had among shadow rapporteurs and rapporteur. However, committee voted on this report with very convincing vote: 27 in favour, 1 against, 1 abstention. And I oppose postponement of the vote for the plenary session in June because there is no lack of clarity. There was a clear majority. And there was also a deadline for tabling amendments. To those political groups or individual Members who missed it, I say this is not a reason to proceed in this way.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  President. – I put the request from the Greens and The Left groups to the vote.

(Parliament rejected the request)

With that the agenda is adopted and the order of business is this established.

 
Last updated: 20 September 2023Legal notice - Privacy policy