Tuesday 6 Mar 2018
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and the Biotechnology Innovation organisation have recently requested that the US Trade Representative place the EU on its watch list for the 2018 Special 301 Report, a yearly review of the global state of intellectual property rights enforcement.
The watch list identifies trading partners engaging in harmful practices in terms of IP protection and market access for US companies.
This is an extremely worrisome development, against which the EPWG on Innovation, Access to Medicines and Poverty related diseases must take a stance, at a time when the EU is reviewing its IP incentives regime, which we support.
EPWG Statement 06.03.2018
Nessa Childers MEP
The European Union has a major impact on access to medicines for developing countries, through its policies, legislation and bilateral and regional trade agreements. It is vital that the EU adopts appropriate measures that improve access to existing medical tools (medicines, diagnostics, vaccines) and that stimulate the research and development (R&D) of urgently-needed better tools for people in developing countries, notably for poverty-related diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The Working Group operates as a Bureau of MEPs, with one Chair and four Co-Chairs, and a Secretariat, formed by Médecins Sans Frontières’ Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines and Global Health Advocates. The Working Group is open to MEPs, academics, representatives from the European Commission, international organisations and civil society.
Friday 9 Feb 2018
Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, welcomed this week’s decision to establish a special committee to probe the EU’s decision-making process on pesticide approval, in the wake of the “Monsanto Papers” revelations.
Speaking from Strasbourg after the plenary votes, Ms. Childers, a member of Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee, said:
“The revelations of Monsanto’s maneuvering to influence the scientific assessment of glyphosate and ensure the renewal of its EU authorisation raise serious questions about our ability to safeguard human health and to objectively assess the safety of chemical products.
“This probe will enable us to examine not only how the European Food Safety Agency and the European Chemicals Agency have discharged their responsibilities to assess the safety of glyphosates but also how pesticides are allowed into the EU markets in general.
“This is crucial for the environment and our citizens’ health. It is no less important in terms of public trust in our institutions and in the evidence they seek to inform the decisions they make on our behalf.”
Wednesday 7 Feb 2018
Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, gave a guarded welcome to the approval of the deal reached between the European Parliament and the EU’s national governments to reform the Union’s carbon emissions trading scheme.
The EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is the first and largest international market scheme to cap and trade greenhouse gas emissions.
It covers close to half of all emissions in the region, including power plants and heavy industry.
Speaking from Strasbourg after the final vote in Parliament, on Tuesday, Ms. Childers, a member of the Committee on the Environment, said:
“We are used to seeing this policy described as the EU’s flagship on the fight against climate change, but the fact is that, since the inception of the scheme, it has been plagued by an overabundance of allowances.
“Big corporate polluters were granted free allowances to offset competition from those who face no emission penalties abroad. It turns out they not only had plenty to use for production, but ended up selling these free allocations in the market and pocketed the profits.
“The pricing signal has been too low to incentivise decarbonisation, which calls into question the very purpose of this complex and expensive enterprise.
“I have been part of previous efforts to removing allowances from the market, and welcome the higher rate at which the available quantity will be progressively reduced, even if it is lower than what we need. It will need to be corrected at the earliest available opportunity.
“The necessary shift from carbon-intensive activities in our economies will affect a number of sectors, so this reform rightly includes funding mechanisms to support innovation, transition to sustainable energy production and retraining for workers.”
“Too many member state governments and conservative forces keep dragging their feet on this and other policy fronts we need to avert catastrophic climate change.
“Unfortunately, reckoning with the price of environmental disasters is something our governments have yet to properly do. Let us hope the same does not keep happening to the price signal of our carbon allowances.”
Thursday 18 Jan 2018
Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, cautiously welcomed the approval of a raft of proposals to make energy cleaner and more sustainable in Europe.
The European Parliament approved draft EU legislation to increase both energy efficiency and the share of renewables in the energy mix by a target of 35% by 2030, together with measures to help households facing energy poverty.
Ms. Childers had tabled strong proposals for the sustainability of biofuels, in particular, and worked together with colleagues in the Socialists and Democrats’ group to put forward proposals to curb energy poverty.
Speaking from Strasbourg after votes in Parliament on Wednesday, Ms. Childers said:
“What we got through today is the most that conservatives in Parliament allowed themselves to support, bearing the interests of powerful agribusiness lobbies in mind.
“Yet it is the very least we must do to avoid catastrophic climate change and remain with the commitments made in the Paris Agreement. We will be forced to improve matters such as sustainability criteria to make sure they are fit for our purpose, which is no less than tackling existential risk.
“I am heartened to see the ecologically disastrous use of palm oil phased out from our renewable fuel mix.
“The freezing of old-school, food-crop-based biofuels at current Member State levels is also progress, even if I had proposed a full phase-out.
“Our future cannot be fuelled on carbon. I hope Member State governments, with whom we will now have to negotiate on this legislation, won’t dilute it even further.”
Contact: Mário Monteiro de Sá +32-474 08 80 19
Wednesday 17 Jan 2018
Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, pleaded with the Taoiseach to match his level of commitment to social inclusion and equality, in line with his efforts to the safeguard the peace process in the island of Ireland.
Speaking from the European Parliament in Strasbourg today, in the first of a round of debates between EU country leaders and parliamentarians on the future of the Union, Ms. Childers said:
“I must thank the Taoiseach for his continued efforts and commitment to preserve the peace process and to prevent the formation of barriers within the island of Ireland, on foot of the UK’s decision to withdraw from the Union.
“I must also follow that with a plea to him, as a member of the European political force whose worldview and power has most considerably shaped both the emergence of the financial and economic crisis, a decade ago, and the measures taken in response to it since.
“That plea is that you work to mend the frayed social contract that can bind together our communities at national and European level.
“Just as conflict in the north of Ireland hid inequality and deprivation of basic rights under a cloak of ethno-religious hatred, so today the march of populism draws much energy from the losers of globalisation and the losers of our response to a crisis of globalisation.
“We saved finance and strived for a return to the status quo ante, in a transfer of wealth without precedent.
“Now it is time to break with precedent to save those who have no roof over their heads, those who struggle to keep one above themselves and their families, and their children, who depend on us to stop climate chaos.
“Fair taxation, even a modicum of taxation in some cases, might just help us to do that and, who knows, make the case for the retrospective bank recapitalisation that we never saw.”
Contact: Mário Monteiro de Sá +32-474 08 80 19