GREEN MEP WARNS OF TRADE DEAL THREAT TO NHS

Screen_Shot_2014_03_10_at_11.42.2312348cc1c1fec711Jean Lambert MEP has warned that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) damages democracy, threatens the future of the NHS and should be scrapped.

Speaking as negotiations between the European Commission and the US enter their fourth round in Brussels, Lambert said the free trade agreement could override important EU and UK laws which set standards and protect services – on issues such as food safety, data protection, health and the environment.

The London MEP was speaking at the launch of a joint report from her and Green MEP colleague Keith Taylor, which highlights some of the many dangers of the agreement to UK sovereignty.

The right to access public procurement – government spending, which could include the NHS – forms a major part of negotiations.

Transnational corporations from the US would have the right to enter the UK market – with ‘regulatory harmonisation’ between the EU and US companies leading to standards being watered down.

There is also the prospect that the UK government could be sued if it introduces regulations that might limit the future expected profit of services, making the liberalisation of services virtually irreversible.

Greens are the only major group in the European Parliament which currently opposes the trade deal.

Lambert said:

“These deals being made behind closed doors will have serious consequences for our rights – they will see democracy losing out to corporate power.

“We already know the Tory-Lib Dem coalition don’t care about our public services staying in public hands – but this deal could stop future governments reversing their damaging privatisation agenda.

“The deal threatens to open the NHS to US companies, and close the door on a future government putting patients back before profits.

“This trade deal is not about free trade, but a free-for-all, slashing regulations in favour of big business.

“Greens are the only party putting human rights before corporate rights. This deal must be scrapped.”

NEW EU ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAW WILL IMPROVE LIVES FOR WORKERS

 

LambertJeanMEP250Jean Lambert MEP welcomed the European Parliament’s support for a new EU law which will help tackle discrimination against citizens working in another EU country.

 

The new directive, which passed with an overwhelming majority today, will help support workers who are using their right to free movement to work abroad in the EU.

 

 It will provide EU citizens with an easier means to combat discrimination they may face based on nationality, such as improving access to support and information through equality bodies.

 

Lambert, a member of the European Parliament’s Employment Committee which was involved in scrutinising the legislation, said:-

 

“This law is good news which will improve the lives for EU citizens that choose to live and work in another European country – including millions of UK citizens.

 

“It sends a clear message that discrimination will not be tolerated, and all workers must have their rights protected, regardless of where they come from.

 

 “While the right to free movement in the EU already exists on paper, in practice discrimination and lack of support can be major obstacles to accessing these rights. Today’s measures should help ensure all workers are treated equally.

 

 

“But the danger of discrimination is rising, which is not helped by some politicians who seek to make EU nationals the scapegoats for the poverty and inequality that austerity policies have created.

 

“This law reaffirms the rights that free movement brings for us all across the EU, and that discrimination is not acceptable. It’s time for all politicians to stop taking cheap shots at people on the basis of their nationality and start tackling the real causes of poverty and inequality.”

 

More information on the legislation here:

‘EU MUST ACT TO COMBAT RISE IN RACISM’

5436be67ed

RACISM is on the rise across Europe – and the EU can play a key role in combating it, a conference organised by the Greens in Brussels has heard.

The conference, entitled ‘Afrophobia in the EU’ was organised by the Greens / EFA Group in the European Parliament, along with the European Network Against Racism.

The conference was co-hosted by Jean Lambert MEP, a vice-President of the European Parliament’s cross-party Intergroup on Diversity and Anti-Racism, and Jean-Jacob Bicep of the French Greens. and the European Coalition of Cities against Racism.

The  Conference took place on Thursday 20th February 2014 at the European Parliament in Brussels. This event, which included MEPs, EU officials, civil society organisations, artists, and academics, aimed at providing evidence on the existence of a specific form of racism,known as Afrophobia, that specifically targets Black people in Europe.

The London Green MEP said the answers included forging better relations between the EU and Africa, using laws already on the statute books in the EU which will mean challenges to the police and public prosecutors when victims of racism go unsupported, and an increased electoral turn-out by supporters of anti-racist candidates.

“Racism is on the rise across Europe – and there is a real risk that we will see a rise in the number of xenophobic and racist politicians elected to the next European Parliament in May,” she said.

“To make sure this doesn’t happen we need everyone – and their families and friends – to go out and vote in the European parliamentary election in May, voting for progressive candidates to reduce the political space for those that don’t believe in equality.”

She added: “We need the EU to act – and if that’s going to happen we must make sure there are as many progressive voices elected as we can.

“The EU must establish better dialogue and joint working with countries throughout Africa and the Caribbean: for example, by having a formal Delegation for Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation.

“We also need to act to control European companies operating in Africa to ensure they don’t pollute the environment, they treat workers decently and keep most of their profits in-country for the benefit of the people.”