Archived "What's New"

September - December 2001

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19th December 2001

Green MEPs criticise DEFRA's review of Local Authority Energy Efficiency Activity draft recommendations

The Green Party Executive and the Green Party MEPs have written to the Rt Hon Margaret Beckett regarding DEFRA's review of Local Authority Energy Efficiency Activity. They are very concerned by the suggestion in the paper of draft recommendations that the Home Energy Conservation Act targets be non statutory and indicative only.


12th December 2001

"Genoa to Laeken" - Guaranteeing our fundamental rights

At a hearing yesterday organised by Caroline Lucas, Green MEP for the South-East, Jean spoke about our rights as citizens of the European Union and the promises made by our governments to defend the values of democracy, justice and freedom. The presence at the hearing of one of the journalists who was badly beaten up at Genoa - his injuries included a punctured lung and the loss of his front teeth - to present a Petition to the Parliament was a strong reminder that these values are not always upheld by these same governments. We must ensure that authorities are held accountable for behaviour which breaks their obligations under the EU Treaty.

MEP office Press release

Green Group Press release

Jean's speech

The hearing also coincides with a report on a recommendation on security at meetings of the European Council and other comparable events, which was adopted today In Parliament. The report attempts to answer two questions:
- How can we improve political dialogue while protecting fundamental rights of European citizens involved in peaceful demonstrations and protests?
- How can we prevent or punish criminal behaviour be demonstrators and ensure that reactions by police and security forces and not disproportionate?
Although the Jean regrets the lack of strong condemnation of the behaviour of law enforcement bodies in Genoa, she support the general orientation of the recommendations included in the report.

Further information on the report

Link to relevant issues page

 

11th December 2001

Jean's call for Commission to give greater access to information endorsed by Parliament

Jean's report on access to information which she drew up on behalf of the Petitions Committee was adopted today in Parliament. The report is considered crucial in order to counter attempts by the decision-making institutions (Council and Commission) to abuse data protection by claiming confidentiality. It was referred to the European Parliament by the European Ombudsman who called on Parliament to intervene after the Commission refused to give out some information which he deemed non-confidential. MEPs are now calling on the Commission to give out the information in question.

Background information on the report

Related news: Heidi Hautala, co-president of the Green Group in the European Parliament, defeats Council in fight over access to documents. (6th December)
Press release

 

10th December 2001

Jean sends message of support to Europe-Roma protests on UN Human Rights Day in London

The Council of Europe have delivered a severe condemnation on Europe's treatment of the Roma Gypsy community. It is known that this community group is subject to wide spread racism, discrimination and violence. The European Parliament has also expressed their concern about the treatment of the Roma people in some of those countries that are currently seeking membership of the Union.

 

6th December 2001

Jean welcomes High Court's decision to declare Carriers Liability illegal

Train companies and road hauliers were fined £2,000 for each asylum seeker found aboard. But the Court says the fines are wrong. Jean Lambert MEP said: "We welcome the High Court's decision. Carriers Liability is a measure we have always opposed. It represented an outsourcing of the immigration service, with an attempt to shift responsibility to others.

 

6th December

Visit to Medecins sans FrontiËres

Jean met with representatives from MÈdÈcins sans FrontiËres in Brussels, where she observed an initial interview with someone who had come for help and had an in-depth discussion with representatives from their offices around Europe about different national systems regarding medical provision for people like asylum seekers or illegals. They advised
her of their position on the proposed directive on minimum reception standards. Many of the people they help are refugees and asylum seekers.

 

3rd December 2001

ARSENAL STADIUM: Jean calls for public enquiry into the Arsenal Stadium plans

"The stadium proposals represent the largest planning application that the borough has ever seen. They will have far reaching impacts across Islington and beyond. Given the numerous breaches of Islington's own Unitary Development Plan that the new stadium represents, it is crucial that the Government calls in this proposal for a full public inquiry."

 

1st December 2001

STOP ESSO DAY! Jean Lambert MEP and London Greens picket Esso Stations

On December 1st, Jean Lambert will be joining other London Greens to highlight Esso's shameful record on climate change. Together with campaigners form Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and People & Planet, London Green Party members will be picketing Esso petrol stations in protest against the company's "cavalier and destructive" attitude to the Kyoto climate agreement. The Greens will be distributing leaflets asking drivers to boycott the company widely regarded as a leading "climate change villain".

 

29th November 01

Jean welcomes Parliament's vote on terrorism but condemns adoption European arrest warrant report 29/11/01

The adoption of the report on a European arrest warrant has worrying implications for civil liberties. This would mean that judicial authorities in Member States would carry out each other's requests for arrest and extradition, and would minimise safeguards regarding evidence. A member state may be forced to extradite even for an offence which is not punishable under its own criminal law. Click on title to read more.


28th November 01

Jean critical of UK's Anti-terrorism Bill (28/11/01)

Jean Lambert says that the UK Government's Bill is the harshest in Europe. "Labour's so-called anti-terrorist measures gives Britain the most repressive legislation in the European Union."

 

26th November 01

Jean reports East London Council to European Commission Over Spitalfields Market Development

 

21st November 01

Jean Lambert criticises decision to allow Terminal 5 at Heathrow

 

19th November 01

Vote in the European Parliament on privatisation a further set-back for Transport Secretary Stephen Byers.

Amendments to a Bill on the privatisation of transport were accepted, making it clear that bodies like the GLA, rather than the Government, who should take crucial decisions over privatisations such as London Underground, and that they should be exempt from tendering or being forced into PFI contracts.

 

16th November 01

Green MEP welcomes setback for Turkish Dam project

Green MEP Jean Lambert says Balfour Beatty's decision to pull out of the Ilisu Dam project in Turkey is positive news "I welcome Balfour Beatty's withdrawal. It is now time for the UK Government to say that they do not support the Dam, and for Turkey to rethink its energy policy and to develop one which accords with the protection of the environment and human rights."

Click on title to read full story.

More on this issue

 

13th November 2001

LIVE ANIMAL TRANSPORT - THE MAAT REPORT *

Jean welcomed Parliament's vote to strengthen action concerning live animal transport. "We know that current legislation is not being properly implemented and that there is still tremendous suffering for animals being transported over long distances without adequate care,"said Jean, speaking after the vote. Click on the headline to read more.

More on animal welfare

 

29th October 01

Jean Lambert condemns David Blunkett's new proposals on asylum as lacking dignity and compassion

More on these issues

 

25th October 01

NUCLEAR CONTROVERSY - European Parliament publishes report

Green Group press release.

Jean welcomed the decision to publish the report "Possible Toxic Effects from the Nuclear Reprocessing Plants at Sellafield and Cap de La Hague " along with peer review studies. It is an important contribution to the debate, she said, especially on the dose issue and differences between Member States on what would be acceptable levels of risk. This report was originally commissioned by the Petitions Committee, of which Jean is a member, and she will be working with the Committee to have a follow-up public hearing as soon as possible in order to clarify many aspects of the findings. The aim is also to have further European Parliament reports to pick up on other issues raised, such as that of vulnerability and how to meet the zero emissions targets set by the OSPAR Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic. The report concludes that these plants couldbe posing risks equivalent or greater to Chernobyl. Background information.

The STOA report on the possible toxic effects of the nuclear reprocessing plants at Cap La Hague and Sellafield. been published and can be viewed on the Parliament website at
www.europarl.ep.ec/stoa/publi/pdf/00-17-01_en.pdf.

Related issues

 

Sellafield's Mox Plant

The British Government's decision to allow BNFL to open the Sellafield Nuclear Fuel Fabrication Plant (Sellafield's Mox Plant) is a dangerous and costly failure of imagination" said London's Green MEP, Jean Lambert. Read press release.

Related issues

 

23rd October 01

Jean happy with adoption of report on public participation in environmental planning

Jean's opinion on public participation in environmental planning was adopted by the Petitions committee on 12th September. She introduced the idea of making resources available to small groups and NGOs in the consultation process. Read the Opinion.

Since then, Jean has given her broad approval to Parliament's almost unanimous adoption of the report aiming to give the public more say over planning permission decisions on schemes affecting the environment. However, she argued that the report was too limited and should have gone further to give rights to the public. The definition of 'public' is not broad enough and so does not open up access to decision-making in this area to the widest possible number of people. Jean's speech. Background information

Related issues

 

23rd October 01

Jean welcomes report on Information and Consultation of Workers

Explaining her vote to the plenary, Jean welcomed this report, saying that workers' rights will be better protected, and called for its rapid implementation.

Background information.

 

5th October 01

ASYLUM AND IMMIGRATION - report adopted by Parliament

Jean welcomed the adoption of a report on a Common European Asylum Policy, which calls on the Commission and Council to guarantee many important safeguards for asylum seekers such as giving full effect to the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, ensuring adequate information, interpretation, and examination of each case individually. The report on the Common Immigration policy, also adopted, was not so positive however, and Jean condemned it as being unrealistic and not responding to the real needs of the labour market, which requires greater flexibility. She also criticized it on humanitarian grounds: "People are not just cogs in economic wheels" she said.

Jean's contribution in plenary debate 2nd October 2001 on the Asylum and Immigration policy

Press release from the Green Group.

More on these issues

 

JEAN'S POSITION ON THE WAR AGAINST TERRORISM

WAR ON THE TALIBAN - Jean urges American restraint

"If we truly believe in the values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law, we cannot justify indiscriminate slaughter to bring the guilty to arbitrary justice" she said in a press release she issued following the terrorist attacks on America. She spoke of her deep sadness at the tragic loss of life, but warned against increasing the spiral of violence.

She also emphasised the fact that most Muslims are as appalled as everyone else at the attacks and condemned attacks on Muslims and their businesses, schools and places of worship. Read the press release and a letter to the Telegraph .

 

5th October

Anti-terrorism regulation adopted in haste

Jean voted against a Council regulation aiming to freeze the assets of a list of organisations suspected of carrying out terrorist activities (see Article from EU Observer).

HOW GOVERNMENTS SHOULD REACT IN TIMES OF CONFLICT: Speech to the Conscience AGM, 13th October 2001

 

27th November 2001

European Parliament's definition of terrorism safeguards civil liberties

The Green/EFA Group in the European Parliament today warned that a general European arrest warrant could prove to be premature given the widely differing national criminal laws. The Group rather proposes to limit its scope to acts of terrorism only.

Press release from the Green Group.

 

UK astounding decision will give terrorists access to Nuclear Bombs

Press release from the Green Group.

More on these issues

 

Jean meets refugees at Calais centre - 26th Sept 01

Jean talked with refugees at Sangatte, the disputed Red Cross centre near the Eurotunnel depot outside Calais. She said "Visiting Sangatte and talking to the people there was a moving experience. These are the people who are treated and portrayed as criminals by the press and the government, when in fact they are simply normal people - many of them barely out of their teens - fleeing injustice and striving for a better life."

She called on the UK and other governments to consider that their policies are dealing with people's lives, not just numbers, especially in the light of Parliament's discussions asylum and immigration next week. Many of the refugees in Sangatte are from Afghanistan, and Jean commented on the hypocrisy of the UK government - while it backs military action against the Taliban it turns its back on those who are suffering due to the same regime. "Do we now expect them to go back?"

Read Green Group Press Release.

More on these issues

 

20th September 01

REFUGEES - Parliament adopts report on Refugee Status

Speaking in plenary, Jean welcomed the Committee's amended report on minimum standards for granting and withdrawing refugee status and urged the Parliament to follow the line it had adopted in its vote a few weeks ago. She supported the emphasis on human rights and equality before the law, and pointed out that the Geneva Convention does not cover all forms of inhumane treatment.

However, she rejected the 'safe third country' concept, arguing that a country safe for some people could be dangerous for others. Parliament adopted the report with a narrow majority.

More on these issues

 

Echelon Spy System: European Parliament report misses the point

The UK Greens, in the week commencing 5th September, voted against a report by the European Parliament on the Echelon interception system. The report confirms that the US system was run with the collaboration of countries including the UK. Though Jean welcomes much in the report, it does not address the real issue of the threat to individuals' right to privacy. See the UK Greens' press release for more information.

 

Controversy over Takeover Bids Directive

Parliament voted out by 273 votes to 273 votes a controversial report on rules for company takeover bids in July. The UK Greens were against this agreement which had been reached with Council on the grounds that in some member states,  it reduced the rights of workers to be informed and consulted about hostile takeover bids. Read a parliament news report about the Directive and Jean's letters to UK media explaining her position.