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Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Greens threaten Commission with censure over GM crop

The European Parliament’s Greens group on Wednesday (12 February) threatened to table a motion of censure against the European Commission, because of its persistence to authorise a GM crop that was rejected by 19 member states and a parliamentary majority.
The Greens, other MEPs and environmental organisations were outraged by the Commission’s decision to move ahead and authorise the GMO maize crop Pioneer 1507, despite the opposition of 19 member states which voted against on Tuesday (11 February).
In a wave of reactions on Wednesday, Green MEPs poured scorn on the EU executive, calling its decision “a disdain for the democratic process”.
Daniel Cohn-Bendit, the co-president of the Greens group in Parliament, said in a statement: “if the Commission doggedly pursues the authorisation … we will launch a motion of censure in the European Parliament.”
Such a motion, which can be tabled by a minimum of 77 MEPs, could – after several steps – mount up to a resignation of the entire Barroso II commissioners team. According to the rules of procedure, at least one tenth of MEPs have to support the motion. If tabled, it is likely to make the agenda at the EP’s plenary session on 24-27 February.
A motion of censure requires approval by two-thirds of all 766 MEPs. An approval would also force the EU Commission to step down. This would be the first time in EU history: in 1999, the EU Commission led by Jacques Santer faced such a censure, but decided to resign before the motion was tabled.
Insiders in The Greens group described the threat as a “warning shot”, hoping the Commission would cave in and redraw its proposal. If not, they claim they will table the motion.