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Fractie Renew Europe


Ierland - Fianna Fáil Party (Ierland)

Geboortedatum : , Cork

Schriftelijke stemverklaringen Billy KELLEHER

Ieder lid kan een schriftelijke verklaring over zijn stem in de plenaire vergadering indienen. Artikel 194 van het Reglement

Europees Semester: sociale en werkgelegenheidsaspecten in de jaarlijkse strategie voor duurzame groei 2021 (A9-0026/2021 - Lina Gálvez Muñoz) EN


The European Semester cycle is a crucial element in ensuring sound economic governance across all Member States. The importance is heightened this year by the economic crisis we face due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular the employment and social dimensions.
I am strongly supportive of the majority of elements of the ‘Report on the European Semester for economic policy coordination: Employment and Social Aspects in the Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy 2021’. Our 2021 economic policy needs to be coherent with our social and environmental goals if we want to ensure that the EU’s recovery from the pandemic is sustainable and leaves no one behind.
Unfortunately, I had to abstain on the final vote on the report due to unnecessary calls for a common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB) and public country-by-country reporting (CbCR), to which I am fundamentally opposed. I regret that my colleagues repeatedly include such references in reports when these not relevant to the European Semester.

Zorgvuldigheidsplicht en verantwoordingsplicht voor ondernemingen (A9-0018/2021 - Lara Wolters) EN


We welcome this important report, which calls on the EU to adopt mandatory due diligence legislation. This would be a crucial step for ensuring more sustainable and responsible business practices regarding protection for human rights and the environment, as well as ensuring access to justice for victims.
At the same time, we want to ensure that future legislation is not overly burdensome for SMEs. We believe that this report strikes the right balance by advocating a proportional and risk-based approach, while also calling for appropriate technical and financial assistance for SMEs.
We hope that the Commission’s upcoming legislative proposal will take forward many of the ideas put forward in this report and help the EU to lead the way towards more people- and planet-friendly business practices worldwide.

Een sterk sociaal Europa voor rechtvaardige transities (A9-0233/2020 - Dennis Radtke, Agnes Jongerius) EN


We, as a society, face a period of considerable change as we transition to become greener and more digital. This need for change has been further compounded by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is imperative that the transition is as socially just as it is economically. A strong social policy for Europe is essential to help deliver on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
It is for these reasons that I strongly supported the Report on ‘a strong social Europe for just transitions’.
However, I voted against certain aspects of the text, including the call on the Commission and Member States to end direct payments under the CAP for farmers not complying with European and international labour laws and collective bargaining agreements. We must uphold the highest labour standards and protect the rights of our workforce, but the penalties for breaches must also be proportionate and allow for the situation to be remedied and improved.

Tenuitvoerlegging van de EU-waterwetgeving (B9-0401/2020) EN


. – Fianna Fáil MEPs believe that access to clean water is a fundamental right. We chose to support many of the pro-public ownership amendments put before MEPs as part of this file. This is consistent with party policy in Ireland. From the opposition benches, Fianna Fáil ensured that the government formed in Ireland in 2016 ended water charges for ordinary households while still respecting the ‘polluter pays’ principle. Additionally, Fianna Fáil ensured that the State committed to funding the necessary investments in the water network, to ensure both the supply and cleanliness of water, through general taxation. However, water services remain a national competence, and while Ireland has chosen to follow a public-only model of water delivery, we believe that it is up to each individual Member State to decide, through their own democratic systems, what type of system to implement and how to fund it. Furthermore, we believe that the European Commission must do better at responding to European Citizens’ Initiatives when the threshold for action is met. If the process is to work, citizens must know that their campaigning will deliver the actions they require, and that the Commission will not pick and choose which parts to respond to.

Een nieuwe strategie voor Europese kmo's (A9-0237/2020 - Paolo Borchia) EN


. ‒ I voted in favour of the report on ‘A new strategy for European SMEs’. Our SMEs and micro-enterprises comprise the majority of companies in Europe and therefore, have a key role to play in the recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and in reinvigorating the growth of the European economy.
I was pleased that, through the amendment process at committee stage, my Renew Europe colleagues were able to significantly strengthen the draft text, insisting that SMEs be put at the centre of the EU’s recovery plans as well as at the heart of the Commission’s flagship policies: the green transition and the digital transition.
However, as part of a pro-European political party, the Fianna Fáil delegation wishes to distinguish itself from the Group of the rapporteur. We would like to emphasise that our party’s engagement on this report, the rapporteur of which is from the ID Group, does not in any way link us to this political group and the Eurosceptic positions and values its members embody – all of which we staunchly oppose.

Situatie van de grondrechten in de Europese Unie - Jaarverslag voor de jaren 2018-2019 (A9-0226/2020 - Clare Daly) EN


This report is an important exercise in taking stock of respect for fundamental rights, the rule of law and civil liberties in the EU, all of which are key priorities for the Fianna Fáil Delegation.
We are extremely concerned at reports that the fundamental rights of migrants and asylum seekers have not been respected by some EU Member States. However, we did not support amendments 40 and 49, which referred to specific Member States, because the failure to manage migration in a safe and humane manner lies with the EU as a whole. Frontline countries have repeatedly asked for assistance to deal with large numbers of arrivals, but attempts to come to an agreement based on solidarity and shared responsibility have been blocked by some Member States in the Council.
We welcome recent proposals from the Commission to reach a much-needed consensus on a new Pact for Migration and Asylum. All Member States must be prepared to accept their fair share of responsibilities and to ensure the adequate protection of arrivals, particularly of the most vulnerable.

Een nieuwe industriestrategie voor Europa (A9-0197/2020 - Carlo Calenda) EN


Growth in the EU has been slowing or stagnant over the last few years. This has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, it is essential that the EU develops a new and ambitious industrial strategy to reinvigorate industry, to promote growth and investment, and to ensure that our industry is compatible with our carbon neutrality commitments, as well as being fit for a digital age. The pandemic highlighted that it could be prudent for the EU to develop its own capabilities and autonomy in certain sectors, whilst at the same time it underlined the interconnected nature of the world we live in and the importance of maintaining an open and outward-looking agenda.
Unfortunately, I was not able to vote in favour of this report. Whilst I support the aforementioned objectives of a new industrial strategy, I also believe that it is crucial that the EU remains an open and competitive market which fosters the growth of our EU companies and industry, but does not unjustifiably favour them. Unfortunately, I feel that this report from the Parliament did not strike the sensitive balance needed.

Verbetering van de doeltreffendheid van ontwikkelingshulp en de efficiëntie van steun (A9-0212/2020 - Tomas Tobé) EN


Improving aid effectiveness and efficiency is essential to ensure the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Aid effectiveness is also more necessary than ever in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has increased the needs of many developing countries while also putting pressure on budgets for Overseas Development Assistance (ODA).
However, our Delegation voted against this report because it includes two amendments that support migration conditionality. This would make receipt of development assistance conditional on third country cooperation with the EU’s migration policy.
This is a principle that our Delegation, the Irish Government and the previous European Parliament, consistently opposed. Tying development assistance to migration risks making EU development assistance less effective, by seeking to advance political objectives, rather than helping those in greatest need. It also risks undermining the EU’s credibility as the world’s largest donor.
By voting against this report, we have registered our strong opposition to migration conditionality and we will continue to do so in future debates. EU development assistance should be based on the principles of poverty eradication, reducing inequality and making sure that no one is left behind. This is the only way to make the Sustainable Development Goals a reality.

De stand van zaken met betrekking tot het Europees verkiezingsproces (A9-0211/2020 - Pascal Durand) EN


Fianna Fáil MEPs took the position that the most suitable place to discuss potential treaty or institutional changes is at the Conference on the Future of Europe.
While we supported the final vote on this report, we voted against a number of amendments that sought to pre-empt these discussions. The discussion on the future of Europe should have considerable input from the citizens of Europe.
We urge European leaders to settle their differences and agree finally on the establishment of this important conference. Consideration should be given to the timing of the Conference having regard to the pandemic.
Additionally, we are concerned about the Spitzenkandidaten process for electing the EU Commission President. The 2019 election demonstrated that, despite the best efforts of the European Parliament, the European Council is authorised by the Treaties to propose a candidate for Commission President and not the European political parties.
Furthermore, we are very concerned about proposed European transnational list elections. Irish people value the direct connection to their public representatives made possible by our PR-STV system. We feel that list systems, whether national or transnational, ultimately increase the divide between citizens and decision makers and this is not healthy in a democracy.

Gemeenschappelijk landbouwbeleid - steun voor de strategische plannen die de lidstaten opstellen en die uit het ELGF en het Elfpo worden gefinancierd (A8-0200/2019 - Peter Jahr) EN


The CAP is the European Union’s mechanism for ensuring food security, protecting farm incomes and developing rural communities.
Farmers, as custodians of the land, will play a significant role in protecting the environment, enhancing biodiversity and promoting sustainable food production.
Fianna Fáil votes on the CAP Strategic Plans sought to marry these two objectives. We voted for the greenest CAP plan in history; setting aside at least 30% of the Direct Payments budget for new eco—schemes to support farmers protect and enhance biodiversity on their lands. Earlier this month we voted for a 60% overall reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.
We voted to align, where appropriate, CAP objectives with the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies, the Sustainable Development Goals, the European Green Deal and the Paris Agreement.
We will further strengthen climate ambition through the myriad pieces of legislation expected via F2F and the Biodiversity Strategies.
We voted not to send the CAP proposal back to the Commission as this would have delayed the Plan’s adoption that must be implemented from 1 Jan 2023. We supported sensible measures that gave flexibility to Member States to ensure that countries could shape their schemes based on local needs.