To Members of the European Parliament
I am deeply concerned about the lack of regulation on CRISPR-CAS9 (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) gene drives and the ecological, cultural and societal threats they pose.
Gene drives are a controversial new genetic manipulation technology that threatens the balance of our delicate ecosystems. It allows scientists to modify, delete or insert DNA into organisms that ensures the human made mutations are inherited to all its offspring. This mutation eventually spreads throughout the population with every generation of new offspring.
In theory, scientists argue that they could create populations of malaria-resistant parasites. In practice, without careful consideration, unleashing mutated species modified by gene drive technology could devastate entire ecosystems. The risks of these GMOs breeding with local wild or cultivated population creates biosecurity risks that are contrary to aims laid down by Convention on Biological Diversity. We’ve seen this before with invasive species killing off local wildlife. With gene drives, we could speed up that invasive process.
There is a severe lack of knowledge, data or understanding on the potential impact of gene drives on biological diversity. What’s worse is that big agricultural lobbyist and corporations have begun to appropriate and test this technology for commercial gain, whilst the US Defence Advanced Research have been considering to use it for bioweaponary. In the wrong hands, our biosecurity and food security would be under threat. That’s why we call on the European Parliament to call for an international moratorium on gene drives.
Over 160 civil society organizations from six continents have joined the call already: we don't want gene drives. We’ve seen plenty of rushed scientific experiments creating more ecological problems. Look to the GMO created superweeds in America immune to pesticides reeking havoc in local fields. Therefore, I call on the the European Parliament to promote an international moratorium on the release in the environment of organisms modified by gene drive technology.
To Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs
More than 40 days have passed since the writer Jamal Khashoggi was killed. The world is still shocked by what the Saudi regime's killers have done to him inside the Saudi consulate. There must be accountability and full justice for Jamal Khashoggi.
According to Turkish investigators, the journalist was most probably tortured, and his body being cut into pieces inside the consulate.
Jamal Khashoggi arrived at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul for a pre-arranged appointment to obtain a document he needed to marry his fiancé. After entering the consulate, he was never seen again.
We expect the truth and justice over the case. The European Union must aim to obtain this true from the Saudi authorities. Federica Mogherini, as our High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs, I urge you to call for an international, independent and impartial investigation board that can provide an insight on the disappearance of the journalist, and make sure that the perpetrators of this horrific crime will be held accountable to justice.
As you know, despite Saudi government promise to promote reform in the country, the world is well aware that the Saudi Arabian authorities have been repressing freedom of expression and dissent, by arresting people who speak out against the policies of the government. Such people are often subjected to unfair trials, enforced disappearances, torture, and long prison sentences. Some may even face the death penalty. This need to end.
The European Parliament has recently voted for stricter CO2 targets in the car and van industry. This is because transport is still one of the largest sources of CO2 emissions in Europe, factoring for one-fifth of emissions. Now the final decision lays at the feet of the Council to decide our CO2 targets.
Currently, Germany, France, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria are being influenced by rich car manufacturers to lower these targets. Our representatives should listen to us, not lobby groups. Let the Environment Ministers of Germany, France, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria know that Europe wants a reduction of CO2 emissions of cars and vans by 40% by 2030. It's up to us to let these Environment Ministers know that we want higher emissions reduction targets to work towards a decarbonised renewable future.
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The Białowieża Forest is one of last and largest remaining fragments of the immense primeval forest that once stretched Europe. It is part of UNESCO's World Heritage Site and has to be protected from destruction by human intervention.
The Polish State Forest Holding has now started the construction works of the Narewkowska Road, laying asphalt to cover a 400-metre stretch of the road fifteen kilometers every day. These construction operations are taking place despite the European Commission's decision to suspend the construction of the road. The European Commission have asked the company to comply with Europe's environmental standards and provide and environmental impact assessment before construction is done.
But this has not happened.
A stronger reaction from the European Commission is of highest importance to prevent further environmental damage in Białowieża forest.
Therefore, we call upon you to ensure that European laws for the protection of nature are respected and that further environmental damage in Białowieża forest is prevented. The unique ecosystem needs our protection.
We strongly urge the European Commission:
- to firmly demand that the Polish authorities stop the further construction of Narewkowska Road until proof of compliance with EU legislation is provided.
- in case the environmental compliance cannot be demonstrated, we urge you to definitely halt the asphalt work of the road.
On 12 September 2018, the European Parliament supported the report of Green MEP Judith Sargentini with a two-thirds majority. The report concludes that Hungary’s government is breaching core European values, such as democratic integrity, human rights, the freedom of the press, and an independent judiciary. By voting to enact the Article 7 procedure of the EU Treaty, the European Parliament reaffirmed its commitment to protecting our democracy and the rule of law in Hungary and across the EU.
In some EU countries, and Hungary in particular, the state is no longer able to guarantee the freedom of the media, the impartiality of the courts, and the independence of its academic institutions. Unfortunately, the Hungarian people no longer enjoy the same freedoms and rights as we have come to expect in the EU.
The European Parliament did their part in trying to give the Hungarian people back their rights and freedoms, and now it is time for the Council to take over, they have the power to force the Hungarian government to change their act. The governments of the member states, who make up the Council, have to show their commitment to protecting the rights of Europe’s citizens on 16 October, when the next General Affairs Council meeting will take place. So far none of our governments have put the Hungarian case on the agenda, which means they ignore the problems citizens face in Hungary.
This is where our community can make a real difference: We need to put pressure on national governments to stand up for our rights and freedoms and make sure they discuss the report during the Council meeting and put fundamental values of the European Union first.
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Dear Prime Minister Armin Laschet,
Dear Federal Minister of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Svenja Schulze,
Dear Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Peter Altmaier,
As we speak, RWE, the multinational energy company, clears the Hambach forest to make way for open-cast mining. If their plan works, chainsaws could soon be set loose and start cutting down trees that have stood for many centuries.
Locals and environmental activists have been protesting these plans for over 5 years in order to protect the Hambach forest, but despite filing numerous complaints, they couldn’t stop RWE.
Through its lignite production in the Rhineland region, the company is responsible for 30% of Germany's CO2 emissions. The Coal Commission, appointed by the German Government will have to decide on the future of coal in Germany.
However, while the phase-out of coal is currently under deliberation by the Coal Commission, RWE is acting unilaterally to wipe out what is now left of the Hambach forest. RWE is thus also delegitimising the Coal Commission.
The federal government and the government of North-Rhine Westphalia have the power to stop this project, which is hugely damaging for our environment and the climate.
Therefore we urge to:
- urgently stop the RWE project until the Coal Commission has presented its proposal for phasing-out coal in all of Germany: please ensure that the Hambach forest is protected while negotiations are on the way
- to protect the rights of activists to peacefully demonstrate for their goals to protect the forest from being torn down to make way for dirty brown coal
The Hambach forest must remain protected!
When making your regular trip to the supermarket, are you – just like us – annoyed at how much unnecessary plastic goes into your basket? Innumerable single-use plastic bags are used to collect loose fruit and vegetables; even foods with its own natural packaging sometimes comes with an added plastic coating!
All of this is useless plastic - which when thrown away builds up in our oceans and threatens our marine life. Every year, we produce more than 300 million tonnes of plastic, 8 million tonnes of which end up in our oceans. By 2050, it is predicted that there will be more plastic than fish in the sea. And plastic is made of fossil fuels. It contributes significantly to climate change and to harming our planet as well as our wildlife.
Let’s stop this useless plastic consumption. Change is possible.
We urge supermarkets to work with us against single-use plastic by reducing the amount of plastic packaging used in stores and in the transportation of goods. We urge supermarkets to get in touch with their suppliers to ask them to reduce useless packaging and to offer alternatives to their clients whenever possible. We urge supermarkets to put pressure on decision makers in their countries and in Brussels to agree on binding and concrete new rules to reduce the production of useless plastic.
Sign our petition asking supermarkets across Europe to take a stance against useless plastic so that we #UseLessPlastic!
Undocumented migrants and refugees are human beings, just like you. But sadly, far-right and nationalist forces across Europe scapegoat migrants using language that seeks to rid them of their humanity. It may win elections but it won't solve the problem, merely create more.
As we all know, the refugees' road to Europe is long and torturous and many perish along the way. Many of us, citizens of Europe, want to help those in need. But there are many cases of people who help that are being arrested, fined and intimidated, just for offering assistance in the direst of circumstances.
This is not the European Way! This is why we sympathise with the "Welcoming Europe" European Citizens Initiative, coming from NGO's all over Europe. (Uhm, what's an ECI? 🤷♀️🤷♂️)
We Europeans want to:
🛑 Stop governments that punish volunteers and civil society organisations for offering humanitarian help or shelter for refugees.
🇪🇺 Strive for more effective means to protect all victims of labour exploitation, crime across Europe and human rights abuses at our borders.
🎗 Support citizens who want to offer refugees a new a home and build a new life.
We have joined forces for a more humane Europe defined by community, compassion and kindness. Sign the ECI for a #WelcomingEurope!
Over the last two months, Trump's administration has forcibly taken about 2,000 children away from their parents at the US border. They are detained at 'Casa Padre' - a former Walmart. Children, even siblings, are told they cannot hug each other.
In Europe, off the coast of Italy, a rescue vessel for migrants and refugees is denied entry and forced to spend days stranded at sea. The ship carried pregnant women, children and unaccompanied minors.
What is the world coming to! This is totally unacceptable and not representative of who we are!
More and more people are standing up against such inhumanity.
Join them. Zero tolerance can never be the answer.
Support Tax Transparency for Big Corporations in the EU!
Every year, the EU loses between €50 - €70 billion through the aggressive tax dodging practices of big corporations!
Real corporate tax transparency would force multinationals to pay their fair share of tax.
However, Sweden, Germany, Ireland, Finland, Luxembourg, Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic are currently blocking a key transparency reform that would mean multinationals have to publish data on where they generate their profits and where they pay tax.
Instead of supporting tax transparency, EU governments are trying to bury the reform.
Public Country-by-Country Reporting would prevent corporate giants from shifting their profits and dodging taxes, and it would make them pay their fair share.
We call on EU Member States to stop blocking the tax transparency reform and to adopt the Public Country-by-Country-Reporting in the European Council without delay!