July 15. 2024. 6:38

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EU socialists: Ban on petrol cars ‘key demand’ for next Commission


The ban on internal combustion engines for new cars from 2035 is a “key demand” of the EU’s social democrats for the next European Commission, according to their official document of ‘key demands’, as seen by Euractiv.

The Social Democrats grouping of the European Parliament (S&D) is meeting with Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday (9 July) at 18:00 CET.

According to sources, von der Leyen and the S&D group will discuss the next EU executive’s work programme.

The S&D group currently has 136 seats in the 720-member EU Parliament.

The centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) and the Liberals (Renew), together with S&D form a majority which could get von der Leyen re-elected as President of the European Commission.

Strong ‘green’ commitments

According to the document entitled “Our Key Demands for 2024-2029”, the social democrats want the next executive to show strong commitment on green policies, ranging from climate to agriculture.

“The legal commitment made by the European Union in its Climate Law to make the EU the first climate neutral continent by 2050, and the achievements made so far in the European Green Deal, the Fit for 55 Package and the 2030 target must remain in place”, the document reads.

The EU socialists also stress that “the ban on internal combustion engines for new cars from 2035 and the deforestation regulation” should also remain intact.

This “key demand” may set the EU socialists on a collision course with the EPP, considering that the centre-right group wants to allow internal combustion engines with climate-friendly fuel.

Moreover, the S&D group calls for a “thorough” implementation of the Nature Restoration Law and the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030.

“They have been a success, and they provide regulatory stability and perspective that needs to be maintained for the continued competitive and green transformation of European industry,” the document reads.

On the new 2040 climate target, the socialists say it should be “at least 90% and up to 95% of net [greenhouse gas] GHG emissions compared to 1990 levels”.

Rule of law to be a key condition for EU funding

The social democrats also seem to have adopted a stricter approach when it comes to the rule of law.

Particularly, they stress that Article 7 of the Lisbon Treaty, according to which the Commission can suspend certain rights of member states where there is a risk of breaches of the rule of law, should be reformed and “allow for qualified majority voting”.

Currently, activating Article 7 requires unanimity among the EU member states.

“All rule of law violations should be included on the Conditionality regulation […] The respect of fundamental rights and democratic principles must be preconditions to participate in any EU funding programme”, the document reads.

Earlier today, Euractiv reported that the EU socialists together with the other progressive forces (Renew, Greens, Left and part of the EPP) want to prevent hard-right ECR from getting the European Parliament’s LIBE committee, which focuses on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.

“We understand that the EPP wants to please Meloni and keep her close, but LIBE, no”, an EU socialist official said.

Read more: Pro-EU forces to block ‘Patriots’ in Parliament, ECR from rule of law committee

Boosting defence with new own resources, not through social, cohesion cuts

The S&D group say the next Multiannual financial framework (MFF), including the next Common Agricultural Policy, must have an “ambitious approach” but also better monitoring.

“Stronger safeguards are needed regarding the effective fight against organised crime, European mafia and corruption, and the respect of the independence of justice”, the socialists say.

According to the document, the next MFF should include a “considerably increased heading on security and defence based on new own resources”.

“Resources should be mobilised to boost the research and development of European defence products via an enhanced European Defence Fund, complemented by other initiatives along the whole life-cycle of these products”.

“A Defence Investment Fund should be dedicated to supporting exclusively the EU’s defence industry, without allowing any cuts towards other priorities such as social or cohesion spending”.

“With a single market for defence products in view, joint procurement and a level playing field in the Union’s defence market should be fostered, dedicating the necessary resources to drive cross-border collaboration, innovation and the development of SMEs in, and to the benefit of all the member states”, the document concludes.

Read more with Euractiv

In Europe as in France, Le Pen’s party still trapped behind ‘cordon sanitaire’

In Europe as in France, Le Pen’s party still trapped behind ‘cordon sanitaire’

The President of the Rassemblement National (RN), Jordan Bardella, already saw himself as Prime Minister, but he was elected to lead the Patriotes pour l’Europe group in the European Parliament on Monday 8 July, remaining for the time being trapped behind a watertight "cordon sanitaire".