Issue 522 | 12 October 2020

Our cover star this issue is GUE/NGL co-chair Martin Schirdewan. The German MEP tells Lorna Hutchinson why he believes EU leaders must step up their response to the Coronavirus pandemic and utilise the full firepower of the Union’s arsenal to combat the impact of the crisis on Europe’s citizens and businesses.

This issue we examine Europe’s changing approach to food security, beginning with a report on our recent webinar with AnimalhealthEurope that took a comprehensive look at the future of the livestock sector in Europe in the context of the EU Green Deal and the Farm to Fork Strategy. Next, the chair and vice-chair of the European Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, Norbert Lins (DE, EPP) and Francisco Guerreiro (PT, Greens/EFA), discuss their hopes and expectations for the Farm to Fork Strategy, while vice-chair of Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee, César Luena (ES, S&D), explains why now, more than ever, the 2030 Biodiversity Strategy is so important for protecting not only Europe’s but the world’s biodiversity.

Elsewhere, we look at sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Sylwia Spurek (PL, Greens/EFA) tells us that, to enjoy full sexual and reproductive rights, individuals should have unrestricted access to reproductive health needs, including access to contraception. Deputy Editor Lorna Hutchinson, meanwhile, reports on a recent webinar involving Sophie in ’t Veld (NL, RE) and European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič, that examined access to safe abortion in EU humanitarian aid.

Also in this issue, Maria Arena (BE, S&D), the rapporteur for Parliament’s Resolution on the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, explains how the EU’s plans can protect citizens and the environment. Former European Commissioner for Health and Food safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis meanwhile, argues that the EU’s COVID-19 response shows that it’s time the EU played a bigger role in health policy.

Maria Spyraki (EL, EPP) and Juozas Olekas (LT, S&D) put forward their visions on how the biotech sector can support Europe’s recovery from the crisis. Rapporteur on the EU-Africa Strategy, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou (FR, RE), and member of the delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary, Heléne Fritzon (SE, S&D), both FEMM Committee members, discuss this year’s European Week of Action for Girls, and look at how gender equality can be built into the ACP-EU partnership.

Urmas Paet (EE, RE) reviews the EU’s response to the ongoing crisis in Belarus, while Postal Services Directive rapporteur, Markus Ferber (DE, EPP), asks whether it is time to re-evaluate the status of Europe’s postal sector.

We also bring you coverage of the European Internet Forum’s (EIF) recent online event featuring an interview between EIF steering committee chair MEP Pilar del Castillo (ES, EPP) and Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf.

Finally, answering our five questions this issue is Portuguese GUE/NGL MEP Marisa Matias.