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EU Parliament to probe glyphosate scandal and pesticides decision-making

Press Release

Thursday 18 Jan 2018

Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, welcomed today’s decision to clear the way for a special committee to probe the EU’s decision-making process on pesticide approval, in the wake of the Monsanto Papers’ scandal.

The leadership of the European Parliament’s political groups has decided to support the establishment of a special committee on pesticides on foot of pressure from progressive representatives and civil society groups.

The proposal will now be put to a vote at the February plenary session during the week of Monday 5th.

Speaking from Strasbourg after today’s announcement, Ms. Childers, a member of Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee, said:

“The revelations of Monsanto’s manoeuvring to influence the scientific assessment of glyphosates and ensure the renewal of its EU authorisation mean that we need to reassess how the EU does its own work in this field.

“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.”


Contact:  Mário Monteiro de Sá +32-474 08 80 19

EU Parliament sows the seeds for better biofuels and energy policy –Childers

News item

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

Taoiseach must show same commitment to social progress as to peace process -Childers

News item

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

Health services across EU must do a better job of serving needs of citizens with disabilities -Childers

News item

Friday 1 Dec 2017

Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, welcomed yesterdays approval of Parliament’s assessment of the progress made with the European disability strategy for the 2010-2020 period.

 Parliament’s final position was voted in Brussels with a set of recommendations to the Commission and EU Member State’s governments, to enable about one in every six EU citizens to overcome barriers to participation on an equal basis.

 Ms. Childers was tasked by Parliament’s Public Health committee with evaluating progress in terms of access to health.

 Speaking after the vote, Ms. Childers said:

 “We are still far from ensuring equal access to the highest attainable standard of health for all, as a fundamental right.

 “Persons with disabilities need to be followed with the help of multidisciplinary specialist care. There is a lack of specific knowledge and awareness among healthcare providers, and this compounds the exclusion and poorer health outcomes that come with physical and sensory barriers.

 “There is potential in European Reference Networks framework, together with other sources of EU funding and cross-border healthcare rights to improve the quality of treatment by pooling specialist knowledge and resources, but we need to review these structures with disability rights in mind.

 “Legal protection against multiple and inter-sectional discrimination remains too weak in these contexts.

“This often leads to the denial of sexual and reproductive rights to girls and women with disabilities, and of the right to informed consent to treatment for those with psycho-social and intellectual disabilities.

 “It remains a source of shame to our country that repeated promises to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities go unfulfilled. Ireland remains the only Member State of the European Union yet to do so.”


Childers demands legal protection for whistleblowers across the EU

News item

Wednesday 25 Oct 2017

Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, welcomed the decision by the European Parliament to demand a European legislative framework to protect whistleblowers who come forward with disclosures of misconduct.

Ms. Childers had steered the work on this report for her political grouping in Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee.

Speaking after today’s vote by the full parliament in Strasbourg, Ms. Childers said:

“We had a horrific reminder of the life and death nature of these matters just this week, as Europe lost a brave investigative journalist in a car bomb murder.

“There has been a litany of high profile disclosures of disgraceful behaviour on a global scale in recent years, including on tax avoidance.

“Yet, the most significant impact we saw on people’s lives was that suffered by the whistleblowers and journalists at the dock, as we saw with the Luxleaks trials.

“This is a farcical and unjust state of affairs, which led me to vote against the Trade Secrets Directive when it came before Parliament.

“Indeed, when egregious misconduct happens not to be explicitly prohibited in legal terms, not only do we often end up with impunity for the perpetrators but also condemnation for those who had the courage to point the finger at them.

“We can no longer tolerate a legal regime that safeguards commercial secrets and at the same time leaves whistleblowers vulnerable to retaliation and even prosecution.

“People’s jobs, good names, and even life and limb are at risk when they take the step to expose wrongdoing.

“Sadly, in Ireland, we are no strangers to this reversal of the scales of natural justice at the hands of the organisations put on the spot.

“I was disappointed to see Fine Gael’s conservative EPP grouping attempting to withhold protection from whistleblowers who reach out to the media in good faith, and then rejecting this motion altogether.

“I call on the Commission to come forward with a proposal as soon as possible.”