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July 22, 2010

In his first year at the European Parliament, MEP Leonidas Donskis agreed to 27 written declarations submitted by his colleagues. The total number of submitted written declarations was 54; the validity date for some of them will extend into the second year of the current European Parliament`s mandate.

Every MEP or political group can submit written declarations to their colleagues regarding a wide variety of issues in the European Union. If, during the three months following the submission, the declaration receives the support and signatures of more than half of the MEPs, it becomes the official position of the European Parliament, through which the EP itself, other EU institutions or EU member states are urged to take certain actions. Members of the European Parliament submit declarations on a wide range of topics. Declarations often serve as an excellent starting point in bringing various important issues to the forefront of the EP`s attention and soliciting responses from both the EU`s and member states` legal bases.

Leonidas Donskis, together with MEPs from Latvia, has submitted a written declaration on the proposed construction of a nuclear power plant in the Hrodna Province, Belarus. With this initiative L. Donskis is seeking to draw wider international attention to these worrying plans to begin the construction already this year, and only 20 km away from the border of Lithuania and thus the EU itself.

Before starting the summer break, Leonidas Donskis signed twelve new written declarations submitted by his colleagues, which raise issues and offer proposals in the spheres of human rights, consumers` rights, patients`, children`s, women`s rights, the protection of nature.

In the context of consumers` protection, L. Donskis gave his approval to a written declaration on standardised and clear European energy bills. The authors of the written declaration emphasise the freedom of choice and urge the creation of a comprehensive and simple-to-use format for energy bills, using which it would be easy to compare energy prices and choose a different supplier.

L. Donskis did not agree to a written declaration by Austrian MEP Andreas Mölzer regarding the Google Street View programme. The written declaration claims that the actions of Google are potentially violating basic rights in the EU. Leonidas Donskis agreed to several written declarations which highlight problems in the sphere of the protection of nature and ecology: the written declaration on the fight against the loss of biodiversity, on the EU`s efforts to fight deforestation, on fragile ecosystems and the protection of endangered species.

MEP Leonidas Donskis also signed several written declarations which raise issues regarding human rights: on a European Patients` Day, on the fight against violence against children, on fighting violence against women. He also agreed to two written declarations on the situation of human rights in Iran: one on the situation following the 2009 elections, and one on the situation of women`s rights in the country. The written declarations state that "gender equality and the freedom of religion are still not recognised in Iran. Activists who fight for human rights, journalists, homosexuals, defenders of women`s rights, minority rights and workers` rights are still persecuted. The support of human rights is one of the main principles of the external relations of the European Union and its member states." L. Donskis also approved a written declaration on the Armenian genocide in Turkey, which states that Turkey should bear its historical responsibility and recognise the genocide, apologise and set provisions for material compensation for lost property. This follows L. Donskis` earlier approval on a written declaration concerning the support of Sweden`s right to recognise the genocide of Armenians carried out in Turkey.

Among the written declarations submitted in the first year of the current European Parliament`s work are several more adventurous cases. For example, MEPs from Italy - perhaps already in a holiday mood, but more likely seeking to draw attention to the traditional products coming from their regions - registered a written declaration which urges to declare March 24 as a day of traditionally-produced European ice-cream. Meanwhile, in his written declaration, another MEP from Italy, Mario Borghezio, is suggesting to declassify scientific information on UFOs which has been collected by various European institutions and governments.

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What do you think?
Which of the activities of L. Donskis at the European Parliament proved to be the most effective?
Activities in the field of human rights
Work with Eastern Partnership and post-Soviet countries
Support of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU

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