Nature Restoration Law - good intentions, bad design
The EPP Group urges Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans to withdraw the disputed Nature Restoration Law. Ahead of the crucial vote on the draft bill in Parliament's Environment Committee on 15 June, the controversy continues. "We denounce how the European Commission overstepped its role by trying to influence how Members should vote in order the get the Nature Restoration Law to pass. We take this very seriously", said Christine Schneider MEP, the EPP Group's Chief negotiator of the file. The EPP Group withdrew from the negotiations with other political Groups because its concerns were not accommodated. The proposal has good intentions but it is badly designed, when it comes to food production and renewable energy.
Don't fear AI - put up guardrails
Don't fear Artificial Intelligence (AI), but regulate risks, the EPP Group said ahead of Wednesday’s plenary vote to establish the Parliament’s position on the EU AI Act. "The boundaries of AI technology are being pushed almost daily. We must have guardrails in place to ensure that new powerful AI systems, such as ChatGPT, are developed and deployed responsibly", says Deidre Clune MEP, who negotiated the law on behalf of the EPP Group in the Internal Market Committee. "Several important improvements were made to the AI Act, including a research exemption. The AI Act clearly focuses on high-risk systems instead of trying to over-regulate every little bit of software. We need to reduce the bureaucratic burden for European companies, especially SMEs and start-ups, or nobody will want to develop AI in the EU anymore. We are already clearly falling behind the US and China. Our industry needs a chance to compete and this is not it”, says Axel Voss MEP, who negotiated the law on behalf of the EPP Group in the Civil Liberties Committee.
World must react to Russian war crimes against Ukraine
The EPP Group wants to pave the way for Ukraine’s NATO membership after the war and supports a new ‘Marshall Plan’ to help with the country’s post-war reconstruction. The Group’s Members will reiterate this position during a plenary debate on Tuesday, while also strongly condemning Russia for the humanitarian and environmental consequences of the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam. “There is little doubt that the Russian aggressor blew up the Nova Kakhovka dam - yet another war crime committed by the criminal Putin regime. The world needs to react to this total onslaught against Ukrainian citizens and the environment. Russia must be defeated”, insists Michael Gahler MEP, who will lead negotiations on the Resolution on behalf of the EPP Group.
Don’t overburden farmers
The EPP Group defends European farmers who guarantee our food security. On Wednesday afternoon, the plenary will debate a Report on ensuring food security and the long-term resilience of EU agriculture. "The EPP Group stands firmly on the side of farmers and we ask the Commission to do the same instead of creating additional new burdens for them. We can ensure food security only if our farmers have a strong, viable position in the food chain and they can invest and innovate for the future", says Marlene Mortler MEP, the European Parliament Rapporteur.
Commemorating victims of mass Soviet deportations
On 14 June, on the EPP Group's request, the European Parliament will officially commemorate the tragic events of 1941 and the victims of mass Soviet deportations. Over three decades, the Soviet regime deported an estimated 6 million people from across Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia. "What seemed impossible is happening again. Russia has deported more than one million Ukrainians to its territory, including some 200,000 children who have been separated from their families. Thousands of people have been placed in filtration camps. That is why it is particularly important to commemorate the Soviet deportations this year. Never forget”, said Rasa Juknevičienė MEP, who proposed the event. European Parliament President, Roberta Metsola MEP, will open the event which will be attended by MEPs, diplomats and civil society in the European Parliament, Strasbourg at 14:00 hrs on Wednesday (Visitor's Area, level -1, Weiss building).