Vote for a progressive, green MEP for the Midlands North-West

Policy

Policy

A healthy and protected environment is my priority as our survival depends on it. The challenges we face today are unprecedented in terms of gravity and scale. Therefore, if elected I will focus on three key priorities.

 

Key priorities

An energy independent Europe is an enormous opportunity. To remain below a 1.5°C increase in global temperature Europe must move towards a renewable and sovereign energy system. The citizens of Europe have a chance to control their own energy and end reliance on countries engaged in human rights violations. Revenue neutral carbon tax, a phasing out of all fossil fuels, and an upgraded energy grid that can support renewable generation are required.

A just transition will be vital in order to ensure that the change to a low carbon economy does not perpetuate the existing inequalities in our society. A European led scheme in retraining and assisting communities in designing their future should be established. Public participation at every stage will be essential to make sure that nobody gets left behind.

Resilient communities are key to a high quality of life in Europe. Strengthening local supply chains, preparing for and protecting against our increasingly unpredictable weather, creating thriving circular economies in the smallest of areas, and interrupting the urbanization cycle are all crucial areas where European support is needed.

Policy Positions

Gender equality is at the heart of Green policies. We want the right to abortion to be included in the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights. We want to guarantee free and accessible, good-quality and safe sexual and reproductive health care and services for all, including abortion.

Europe needs to fight gender-based violence as laid out in EU policies on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. All European countries must implement the Istanbul Convention as a matter of priority. We are determined to secure equal pay for equal work and a more gender-balance composition of power structures.

We also want all policies and services to recognise the true diversity of Europeans and to tackle and prevent all forms of discrimination and violence, including LGBTIQ.

Everybody must pay their fair share in taxes because corporate tax evasion and corporate tax avoidance undermine democracy.Our societies are becoming increasingly divided. Unfair taxation contributes to inequality. Growing inequality, unfettered lobbies and corruption pose great dangers for democracy.

Greens will develop tax regimes that do not continue to privilege large multinational corporations and wealthy individuals. We have fought hard in the European Parliament for more tax justice. We will continue to crack down on tax havens, tax evasion, tax avoidance and money laundering.

It is unacceptable that a number of multinational corporations as well as big internet platforms pay almost no taxes at all. Therefore, we want to introduce a digital tax in Europe. Greens stand against unfair tax competition between member countries which is disrupting public budgets everywhere

Safety guarantees to asylum seekers exist because of lessons that Europe’s dark history has taught us. For us, the right to asylum is non-negotiable. We want an asylum policy based on solidarity, on humanity and an orderly process, including the fair sharing of responsibilities among Member States and re-establishing a European sea-rescuing mission.Europe must create common standards and common rules for labour mobility and migration. We want the Union to support countries and municipalities integrating refugees or migrants. Helping migrants should never be criminalised. People do not belong in prison for seeking asylum.

Europe needs to become a truly social union, empowering workers, fighting poverty and reducing inequality. The social promise of justice and inclusion for all citizens must be renewed. It must not fall victim to austerity policies nor to corporate greed.

We fight social dumping. Fair pay, Union rights and decent working conditions must be secured. European framework legislation must enforce, through a minimum income directive passed by the next European Parliament, that Member States guarantee their citizens a decent minimum income, respecting national social security systems.Greens also fight for fairly paid sick leave and fair parental leave in all countries. Social rights must become legally enforceable. We advocate for national experiments on universal basic income and working-time reduction schemes.

The rule of law is under assault, both in Europe and abroad. Defending it against authoritarianism is a battle for the soul of Europe. European institutions and Member States must be united in this conflict. The EU needs a binding and comprehensive mechanism to regularly monitor the state of democracy, the right of opposition forces to be heard, the rule of law, free press and fundamental rights in all EU Member States.

It also needs a system of political dialogue and swift intervention and support measures to independent media, civil society and, if necessary, adequate sanctions. Transparency of EU institutions for citizens is indispensable. A lack of transparency in the Council compromises democratic accountability and allows hypocritically blaming ‘Brussels’. The EU must support minority groups reliably against any discrimination. It needs to provide protection to activists, journalists and whistle-blowers who expose hidden information in the public interest.

European funds most not be used to break European rules. National governments that undermined the rule of law shall be denied control over EU funds, while final beneficiaries shall be protected. Corruption must be resolutely fought.

A Common Food Policy refers to a policy framework setting a direction of travel for the whole food system, bringing together the various sectoral policies that affect food production, processing, distribution, and consumption, and refocusing all actions on the transition to sustainability.  Current food and farming systems are designed to keep food prices down – but they do so at a huge cost to human health, the environment and farmers’ livelihoods. More than half of adults in the EU are now either overweight or obese. Meanwhile, food systems account for up to 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions, as well as driving rapid biodiversity loss and soil degradation. In the face of high production costs, low farmgate prices and powerful industries upstream and downstream, family farms are struggling to stay in business: one out of four farms disappeared from the European landscape from 2003-2013. We are facing huge challenges now in terms of climate mitigation, biodiversity protection and healthy diets but Member States are being asked to meet these goals with the toolbox of an agricultural policy, and without any formal requirement or framework for aligning supply- and demand-side policies around these goals. A Common Food Policy would not replace the CAP, but would provide a framework for aligning it with other policies across the food system in order to make real progress on healthy diets, fighting climate change and other crucial challenges.

Read more here.

The trade treaties proposed so far – such as CETA, TTIP and TISA – are seriously flawed. Negotiated in secrecy, they have neglected concerns about social rights, public services and the environment. We especially reject privileged dispute settlement rights for investors which undermine democracy.

We need to move away from trade liberalization towards trade sustainability based on international rules, transparent processes and enhancing – not endangering – the rights of workers, farmers and consumers, animal welfare and the protection of health and the environment. The Paris Agreement, international labour standards rules and Sustainable Development Goals must form the foundation of trade treaties.

Europe needs to make sure that companies meet high standards both inside and outside the EU. The Union and Member States must introduce rules to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights – and guarantee people access to justice when companies break these rules. Countries should also work towards a strong international treaty to the same effect. Multinational companies should be required to exercise due diligence throughout their supply chain to make sure their business is not in breach of human rights, sustainable development, or contributing to habitat destruction.