Plenary update: 6 to 9 June 2016

S&D Group's news on the European Parliament's Plenary session in Strasbourg - 28 to 31 May 2018

Tue, 7 - Towards a migration compact

+ 33 3 88 17 5159

For the S&D Group EU Migration policy whether it concerns EU internal measures or international cooperation, should be based on solidarity and burden fair-sharing, legality and the respect for human rights. The success of a Migration Compact depends on fulfilling a number of conditions as a sufficiently broad/wide/sustainable budgetary basis, a value based Migration policy and investing in reliable partners. Stronger external action is needed using existing budgets and tools in an innovative way and bringing fresh proposals and financial means on the table. The EU should aim at achieving full commitment on delivering an effective European Border Control to its external borders and reduction of flows towards Europe. The EU should help with "capacity building" initiatives and supply of equipment and technologies in third countries, while these Third countries should also engage in Search and Rescue activities. The European Border and Coast Guard, within its new mandate, has to step up the cooperation with third countries and have a coordinating role, while and also putting the respect of European fundamental rights and values at its heart core. We also expect the European Commission and the member states to speed up the implementation of the emergency relocation scheme of refugees to the EU countries in compliance with their commitments. Only a longer term intensified EU-Africa cooperation can give a basis for a successful sustainable management of the migratory flows.

Press contact - Jan Bernas + 32 471 64 87 77


Wed, 7 - Decision of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey to lift the parliamentary immunity of 138 members

The decision taken by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey to lift the parliamentary immunity is totally inacceptable and violates the Turkish constitution and all democratic principles on which the EU is based. This decision is a clear political move against the members of the opposition party HDP, as 50 of their MPs will be prosecuted as "supporters of terrorism" because the adoption of this bill in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TNGA). This decision constitutes a clear violation of their rights as MPs designed to eliminate opposition and will only worsen the conflict by shutting down democratic dialogue. With this decision but also decisions and governmental practices against free press, freedom of expression unfortunately show that Turkey has never been so far from EU accession process as it is today.

Press contact - Jan Bernas + 32 471 64 87 77


Tue, 7 - Rules against certain tax avoidance practices

+ 33 3 88 17 5791

The anti-tax avoidance directive reflects the OECD's action plan to limit tax base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) and follows recommendations made by Parliament. It builds on the principle that tax should be paid where profits are made and includes legally-binding measures to block the methods most commonly used by companies to avoid paying tax. It also proposes a common definition of tax havens. It is incomprehensible that Panama has been able to disappear from the black list of tax havens by the OECD. And the third main measures is the unification and clarification on the legislation on patents. Today, too many multinationals are abusing tax incentives related to patents to artificially reduce the amount of their profits and thus taxes. The report proposes to submit these multinationals to an exit tax should they repatriate their patented products to low-tax countries. This additional exit tax revenue could be used to finance the fight against unemployment, improve access to education, the development of health systems and the strengthening of security. Therefore, the S&D Group urges the European member states to be ambitious in the fight against tax evasion by large multinationals. European citizens are disgusted by the LuxLeaks and Panama Papers revelations and scandals. Today, the fight against tax evasion has become an urgency and a priority.

Press contact - Solange Hélin-Villes + 32 476 510 172


On Thursday 2nd June, thanks to pressure from the Socialists and democrats Group, the political leaders in the European Parliament agreed on a mandate to set up an inquiry committee on the Panama papers scandal.


Tue, 7 - Follow-up to the resolution of Parliament of 11 February 2015 on the US Senate report on the use of torture by the CIA

+ 33 3 88 17 5493

More than a year after the release of the US Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture the member states and EU institutions have shown little interest in recognising the multiple fundamental rights violations and torture which took place on European soil. Following the work and the investigation of LIBE committee on the alleged transportation and illegal detention of prisoners in European countries by the CIA, the European Parliament has instructed the Council and the Commission with concrete recommendations, most of which have still not been addressed, or even looked at. The resolution aims to follow up on this process and again demand answers from the European Union and its involvement in one of the most scandalous and horrendous systematic crimes and gross violations of fundamental rights and international human rights law in Europe after the Second World War, conducted with assistance and cooperation of some EU member states.

Press contact - Tim Allan + 32 475 635 673


Mon, 6 - EU engagement with the UN and the African Union

+ 33 3 88 17 5440

Africa today is facing an unprecedented wave of instability: Boko Haram, Al-Mourabitoune, Al-Shabab, AQMI, the Central-African conflict, etc. In this context, the civil and military engagement with Africa must be a priority of the European Union: to enable the African people to assure their own security. Above all, it's a question of legitimacy. This report sets out some of the broad guidelines of our engagement with Africa. The Socialists and Democrats have made sure the questions of development, respect of human rights, as well as the issues in the Sahel region, are at the heart of this report. More than ever, Europe has a role to play in Africa, a constructive and collective role for stability that will benefit both Africans and Europeans alike.

Press contact - Dimitris Komodromos + 32 474 622 884


▶  Wed, 8 - Macro-financial assistance to Tunisia

+ 33 3 88 17 5747

The EU should keep standing by Tunisians’ side. After the extension of duty-free export quotas on Tunisian olive oil and the launch of negotiations for an asymmetrical and progressive trade agreement, Macro-Financial Assistance is another concrete tool to help Tunisia mitigating its economic hardship. In line with their previous positions, the Socialists and Democrats will however recall during the debate that MFA alone cannot erase all the challenges Tunisia is facing. It makes it even more urgent for the Commission and Member States to contemplate additional and urgent actions to alleviate Tunisian debt and retrieve stolen assets from Ben Ali’s era.

Press contact - Dimitris Komodromos + 32 474 622 884


▶  Tue, 7 - Situation in Bangladesh

+ 33 3 88 17 5477

Bangladesh represents one of the biggest populations in developing countries in the world, and it is right for the EU to address its challenges in tackling poverty, democracy-building and severe vulnerability to climate change.  The debate will allow us to call for continued European engagement three years after the Rana Plaza tragedy, to address counter-terror concerns and to raise continued deep concerns about respect for human rights.

Press contact - Dimitris Komodromos + 32 474 622 884