In Parliament this week: International Women´s Day, EU asylum rules, palm oil

On the occasion of International Women’s Day Parliament calls attention to women’s economic situation. Other issues being dealt with this week include the reform of EU asylum rules and the environmental impact of the production of palm oil as well as a debate on the rule of law in Poland. In addition political groups and parliamentary committees prepare for next week’s plenary session.

International Women´s Day

Women still receive lower wages and pensions, have limited access to top positions, are less represented in politics and devote more of their time to family and the home than men. This year Parliament is dedicating International Women’s Day to the economic empowerment of women.

There will be different meetings and events with participants such as the Indian activist, scientific advisor Dr Vandana Shiva; the Yezidi activist and Sakharov Prize laureate 2016 Lamiya Aji Bashar; the renowned French nuclear physicist Hélène Langevin-Joliot, who is the granddaughter of Marie Skłodowska-Curie; and business owner Gina Miller who took the UK government to court over Brexit.

Reform of EU Asylum rules

Swedish ALDE member Cecilia Wikström presents her report on the reform of the Dublin regulation, which clarifies which EU country is responsible for processing asylum seekers, to the civil liberties committee on 9 March.

Palm oil production

The environment committee votes on 9 March on a proposal concerning the sustainable production of palm oil. The production of palm oil leads to deforestation: jungle is removed to be replaced by palm plantations, to get a very cheap oil used for cosmetics and all type of food, putting ecosystems in danger, for example orang-utans at risk of extinction.

Rule of Law in Poland

Also on 9 March, the civil liberties committee holds a debate on the state of play of the rule of law in Poland with commissioner Frans Timmermans.

Money laundering

The committee investigating money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion holds its last hearing today. The hearing looks at the roles played by banks, accountants and lawyers in setting up secret offshore constructions for their clients. The first two hearing of this sort took place on 24 January and 9 February.