Issue 525 | 23 November 2020

Our cover star this issue is Spanish deputy Iratxe García Pérez. The leader of the European Parliament’s Socialists and Democrats group talks to Deputy Editor Lorna Hutchinson about her 16 years as an MEP and why she believes that, post-pandemic, the EU will bounce back with a much stronger foundation based around social justice, equality and sustainability.

Looking ahead to the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November, our first feature sees Sylwia Spurek (PL, Greens/EFA) and her partner Dr. Marcin Anaszewicz explaining to Lorna why men must join the campaign to eliminate gender-based violence. Similarly, Frances Fitzgerald (IE, EPP) highlights why tackling the scourge of domestic violence requires male champions to join women in condemning gender-based violence.

In our second feature, we look at how Europe can make its flagship Single Market more sustainable, beginning with rapporteur for the sustainable single market for business and consumers report, David Cormand (FR, Greens/EFA), who calls for an end to the practice of built-in obsolescence and the establishment of a right to repair. Shadow rapporteur Arba Kokalari (SE, EPP) meanwhile, calls for the removal of barriers inhibiting the expansion of more circular business practices across Europe.

Elsewhere, we look at the upcoming Strategy on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Rapporteur of Parliament’s Resolution on the European Disability Strategy post-2020, Stelios Kympouropoulos (EL, EPP), explains how strengthened new legislation can ensure no one is left behind. We also have co-chair of Parliament’s Disability Intergroup, Ádám Kósa (HU, EPP), who looks at the challenges people with disabilities have been confronted with during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Also inside: Internal Market Committee vice-chair, Maria-Manuel Leitão Marques (PT, S&D), discusses how the EU can update its ageing eCommerce rules. Newly elected EESC President Christa Schweng sets out her vision for the much-misunderstood institution. Meanwhile Stefan Berger (DE, EPP), parliament’s rapporteur on the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) report, explains how Europe can become a leader in digital finance.

Former European Commissioners Jyrki Katainen and Janez Potocnik together argue that the paths for delivering the European Green Deal and ensuring Europe’s post-COVID-19 recovery are one and the same. Tomáš Zdechovský (CZ, EPP), a vice-chair of Parliament’s EMPL Committee, calls for stronger EU action on companies operating in Bangladesh who are not playing by the rules.

We also bring you reports by Commissioning Editor Rajnish Singh on the EU’s partnership with Africa in the fight against climate change, as well as on the upcoming European Defence Agency annual conference.

Answering our five questions this issue is Spanish Renew Europe MEP José Ramón Bauzá Díaz.