PETITION: EUROPEAN COMMISSION
2.7 tons of diseased beef from Poland was exported to 14 countries around the EU risking the health of EU citizens. This was caused by abattoirs illegally slaughtering sick cows and passing it off as healthy meat off, going against EU regulations that requires a veterinary inspection before and after slaughter.
Food scandals keep occuring in the European Union. Whether it is fipronil in eggs, contaminated Lactalis baby milk or horsemeat in beef lasagne: the recurring scandals demonstrate the fundamental issues with transparency and control in Europe's long supply chains. Unsafe low quality food is traded at the cost of healthy, fresh, high quality food. This only strengthens the urgent need to ensure that healthy food can find its way to our citizens’ plates; particularly children and the elderly. This could be remedied by a short food supply chains and locally produced food. It is not enhances and maintains health, but would better protect the environment, promote domestic agriculture, conserve rural areas, create less food waste and reduce unfair trading practices.
Therefore we call on The European Commission to:
- Food to be exempted from the public procurement system (Directive 2014/24/EU) so that locally produced quality food is preferenced over cheap low-quality food
- Implement mandatory labelling of food based on where it comes from in restaurants, public kitchens & convenience products in order to prevent any type of fraud that present a serious public health risk
- Encourage shorter food supply chains to create an easier, clearer and more transparent monitoring system as there are fewer intermediaries to be regulated with EU standards
To: European Commission, European Parliament, EU Member States
Every day, thousands of animals are transported under horrible conditions, throughout Europe and beyond. They are transported to be slaughtered, fattened or used for breeding. These journeys can last tens of hours and sometimes even days, often with a lack of space and without water and proper food.
All species of farm animals, including their offsprings, are subject to this cruel trade: pigs, cows, sheep, donkeys, chicken, and horses. The majority of trucks are not even adequately equipped; hence compromising animal welfare severely
They suffer from stress, heat, cold, injuries, lack of space and some even die. Not even the most vulnerable are spared from this cruelty. Unweaned offsprings are the most affected by this cruelty. They are forced to stand for hours and days in crowded trucks without adequate milk substitute feed or even rest.
The situation is even worse when animals are transported outside the EU, where journeys last days often without any rest. The time has come to end this cruelty! We need EU laws that only allow long-distance transport in exceptional cases and that favour slaughtering on site.
Animal welfare is currently one of the main concerns for EU citizens. Therefore we call upon on the European Commission, the Parliament, and the Member states:
- To set a maximum journey time and distance to slaughter at 4 hours and 300km
- To reduce the maximum journey time and distance even further for unweaned animals such as young calves to max 50 km and 1,5 hours;
- To correctly implement the Regulation 1/2005 aiming at harmonizing standards of animal welfare;
On Saturday 19 January, the Sea Watch 3 ship rescued 47 people on a dinghy in front of the Libyan coast: among them there are also 13 minors, 8 of whom are unaccompanied. Since the night of 24 January , the ship has been blocked offshore of the Syracuse coast. The Italian government has authorized its entry into Italian territorial waters due to bad weather conditions, but has not given it a " safe port " to dock and disembark the people. This is unacceptable!
Seeking asylum is not illegal and humanitarian aid is not a political game. We demand European leaders rescue those trapped at sea and bring them onshore to a safe port without delay. Relocating asylum seekers must be solved on land, and should not be carried out with people in distress at sea. It is inconceivable that 28 countries from a large continent such as Europe, with a population of around 500 million people, are unable to welcome 47 people.
For the past few days, the Italian minister has been evicting dozens of people seeking asylum from a refugee centre. Without any notice, families who had been living in this centre for years, were pulled from their rooms and forcibly transferred. Nobody knows where they have been moved to. The people evicted were vulnerable, including victims of sex trafficking and children suffering with mental health problems. This is not an isolated event. All around Europe, asylum seeker rights are being eroded.
We need to ensure the rights, dignity, and protection of people seeking asylum in Europe. And we have a part of that solution. In 2013, the Reception Conditions Directive (Directive 2013/33/EU) was established to create adequate standards of living and reception for people seeking asylum in the European Union. This Directive obliges the Member States to ensure an adequate standard of living for asylum seekers in Europe, including education, healthcare, and housing.
Since 2016, the Reception Conditions Directive has been revised. The European Parliament proposed improved conditions of reception of refugees and asylum seekers. However, the proposal has been stuck from passing because Member States refuse to adopt a comprehensive reform for a common asylum seeker system.
That's allowed countries around Europe, like Italy and Greece, to strip away the rights of asylum seekers as they see fit.
Therefore demand the member states and the European Council to:
- fulfil their obligation to ensure an adequate standard of living for asylum seekers.
- adopt the common EU asylum system, including the Reception Conditions Directive and the Dublin regulation order to protect the rights of asylum seekers all around Europe, in full respect of the principle of solidarity.
The climate crisis is here, and young people have the most to lose. Thousands of students around Europe are rising up, striking from school, demanding politicians take concrete action on climate change. Political inaction on climate change affects young people more than any other generation. Yet, they have the least amount of electoral power to have their say. A future with climate change will be inherited by the next generation. That's why it's time for countries in the European Union to lower their voting age to 16 and allow young people to have a political say now.
Politics needs a breath of fresh air. Our institutions have to cater and centre young people in the decision making process, especially on climate change. Young people of Europe want their voices heard. More than ever, they're joining non-government organisations, protests, petitions, social movements and engaging in direct action over formal political structures that do not include them. Austria and Malta have both lowered the voting age, and the European Parliament has endorsed this decision. Now, Member States around Europe should follow suit. It's time to lower the voting age to 16.
To the European Parliament,
As a constituent, I’m writing to urge you to vote for strong rules to end the secrecy on industry studies used to prove that pesticides are safe. As our elected representative in the European Parliament, you have a duty to protect our health, the food we eat, our plants and our environment from toxic pesticides.
Yet the decision-making process on pesticides continues to rely on unpublished studies commissioned and assessed by the pesticide producers. This is unacceptable and needs to change.
Your vote in the European Parliament on the 16th of January will be crucial to determine whether citizens can trust the European institution in the future, in particular, the European Food Safety Authority – EFSA.
As you are aware, the glyphosate case has highlighted the serious flaws in the way in which pesticides are approved. Back then, more than one million people, in the fastest ever European Citizens Initiative, raised their voice demanding the European Commission to protect people and the environment from toxic pesticides, by improving transparency in our food system and ensuring that all studies used to support the regulatory approval of pesticides are made public.
Therefore, I urge you to make sure that all industry studies are available to the public in their entirety and that those running the assessment of pesticides do not have any conflict of interest.
Millions of EU citizens are eagerly looking forward to your vote in favor of major changes to the system of pesticide approval. Our health, our food, our plants, and animals should precede the interests of secretive lobbies and private interests of multinationals.
The clock is ticking. Three years after the historic Paris Climate agreement it is clear we have to do more, much more, to halt climate change. But here is the good news: The solutions for a rapid shift to a Green economy are there. People across Europe, and across the world, are rising up to demand action. So now it’s a matter of political will. Now it’s time to deliver.
Science shows that Europe’s current targets of cutting emissions by 40% in 2030 do not go far enough to keep the world’s temperature below 1.5C. In fact, scientists have analysed that the temperature of our earth will rise to at least 3 degrees if Europe doesn’t increase it’s commitment. This is potentially disastrous, considering the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that stated that if the world’ temperature rises above 1.5C, the impacts of climate change on our planet would be irreversible. It’s time to demand more from our leaders. It’s time they deliver.
We demand EU leaders to commit to a 55% cut in emissions by 2030 to avoid the risk of climate change.
We demand our leaders to show their commitment to tackling climate change by taking bold action today.
Young people are finding it harder and harder to access the labour market after graduating. Far too many young people are caught up in unpaid jobs during the day but then, in order to support themselves, take up paid night time jobs in order to support themselves. Others are stuck in a vicious cycle of one unpaid internship after another as they find it impossible to find quality, paid work.
It's simple: Interns Work. Pay your Interns.
Since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, working for free has become increasingly common. In certain sectors, entry level positions have been replaced by unpaid internships. In others, unpaid interns are given little learning experience. This is not a coincidence. It is the results of employers taking advantage of the high youth unemployment rate in Europe and treating young people as cheap or unpaid labour force. Unpaid internships are an exploitative, unjust and discriminatory practice. We're calling on the EU to ban unpaid and low-quality internships at an EU wide level.
Unpaid internships perpetuate social inequality. Young people who do not have the privilege of financial security, parental support or cheap housing cannot take up unpaid internships, finding it even harder to enter the labour market.
Businesses, institutions, NGOs and all other employers should pay interns for their work. Young people deserve the ability to build a prosperous future for themselves. We need laws to make sure employers don't exploit their employees.
I demand that interns are adequately paid for their work. The EU must ban unpaid internships and improve the quality of internships at an EU wide level. That is only fair.
A warning bell has been ringing: global warming needs to be limited to 1.5°C as soon as possible. Any additional warming, even by half a degree more, will further increase the threats of drought, floods, excessive heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people in Europe and worldwide. As you know, already several European regions are facing more and more extreme weather disasters, which are occurring with increasing frequency and intensity. Events such as the ones that took place in countries such as Italy, Portugal, and Greece are only examples of the urgent need to address this issue in order to prevent any further negative impact on the lives of European citizens. This is an unprecedented wake-up call that the EU Member States can no longer afford to ignore.
The CO2 emissions resulting from the use and the consumption of fossil fuels are still playing a significant role in global warming. Europe can and must do something to contribute to reverse this trend by adopting concrete measures leading to rapid and effective shifts in sectors such as energy, industry, and infrastructure.
Therefore, I call on the European Commission and the European Parliament to introduce an EU legislation that could strengthen and complement the current rules on climate and energy, with the aim of discouraging the use of fossil fuels in all sectors and stimulate the use of renewable sources and energy saving.
In particular, I urge you to:
- Introduce a minimum price on CO2 emissions that can range from €40 per tonne of CO2 produced by 2020 up to €100 by 2030.
- Abolish the current system of free allowances for polluters.
- Introduce a border adjustment mechanism for third countries imports to compensate for the lower price on CO2 emissions in the exporting country.