European Parliament News

Here you can find an archive of all the news items that have been on this website.

MEPs back Conservative MEP's groundbreaking report on non-military drones

15-Sep-2015 @ 11:15

A report by UK Conservative transport spokesman Jacqueline Foster on the safe use of remotely piloted aircraft systems - or drones - for non-military use has been overwhelmingly backed by the European Parliament's Transport Committee.

Conservative MEPs welcome microbusiness exemption from "VATmoss" rules

11-Sep-2015 @ 14:00

 Conservative MEPs have welcomed confirmation that the European Commission is to bring in an exemption from EU VAT rules for microbusinesses.    

Alarm sounded over new EU jobs ruling

11-Sep-2015 @ 11:30

Conservative MEP Anthea McIntyre has expressed alarm over potential implications of a new European court ruling on workers' hours.

The judgment published today by the European Court of Justice rules that travelling time to and from jobs must be counted as part of the working day for employees who do not have a regular fixed place of work.

Conservative transport spokesman wins support over Gibraltar vote

09-Sep-2015 @ 15:30

Conservative MEPs have won the backing of fellow parliamentarians for deleting a needless reference to Gibraltar in a report on EU transport policy.

Conservative MEPs urge rethink on funding for key regional transport scheme

03-Sep-2015 @ 01:00

Conservative MEPs from East Anglia and the Midlands are challenging the European Commission for rejecting a funding bid to help shift millions of tons of freight from road to rail in their regions.

Latest bout of Spanish bullying condemned

10-Aug-2015 @ 15:30

A Conservative MEP today condemned the latest spate of incursions by Spanish vessels into Gibraltar's waters – and vowed to continue her opposition to Spain's aggression..

Julie Girling MEP, who represents Gibraltar and South West England in the European Parliament, said: “Spain is fully aware of the legal position around territorial waters, yet over the past two years has increased unlawful incursions by state vessels from around five per month to around 40 per month. These provocations by the Spanish are unacceptable.

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McClarkin hails success in support for breast cancer care

06-Aug-2015 @ 14:30

East Midlands MEP Emma McClarkin has welcomed the European Parliament's formal adoption of a Written Declaration on the fight against breast cancer.

This means that a majority of MEPs have now signed up to support the principles set out in the declaration, which include calls for the following:

Conservative MEPs welcome EU-Vietnam free trade agreement

05-Aug-2015 @ 15:00

Conservative MEPs have warmly welcomed the announcement that the EU and Vietnam have agreed an ambitious free trade agreement (FTA), after almost three years of negotiations.

Kirkhope writes to Commission urging action over Calais chaos

28-Jul-2015 @ 11:0

Dear Vice-President Timmermans,

For many weeks now an important trans-European travel route from the UK to mainland Europe has been repeatedly blocked sometimes as a result of militant French trade unions, but mostly because of the trespassing and even tragic deaths of migrants desperate to leave Calais and enter the United Kingdom via the Channel Tunnel.

The situation in Calais has become unsustainable and it is time the French government stepped in to take responsibility for processing the migrants that have set up camp close to the entrance to the tunnel and now live in substandard conditions. Instead, the French government is taking action to make the camp a permanent feature. A camp is not a long term solution to anything.

The French government is working in cooperation with the British government to set up a safe zone for hauliers, but the Elysee Palace is failing to take sufficient measures to tackle the root of the crisis. This is not fair to anybody: travellers, hauliers or the migrants themselves.

They deserve their right to have an asylum application heard, whether in France or in the first safe country they arrive such as Italy. Countries that are demanding solidarity of others are failing to display responsibility themselves. Their responsibility is to process migrants arriving on their shores and determine the strength and validity of their case. If migrants do not meet the appropriate criteria then sadly they should be deported.

We await proposals from the commission to clarify a workable and effective returns policy for failed asylum seekers.

France is failing in its responsibility under the treaties to ensure the uninhibited passage of people across the EU, and to ensure basic humanitarian standards for migrants living in their country. The Mayor of Calais - with limited powers and resources - cannot resolve this problem alone. Therefore the time has come for the European Commission to step in and demand France ask for assistance from the commission, including
from the European Asylum Support Office.

Enough is enough. One of the benefits British people see in their EU membership is the ability to drive through mainland Europe without hinderance or substantial delay. It is time for the European Commission to start putting pressure on the French government. France must take action that is appropriate for the scale of the crisis on its border.

Yours sincerely,

Timothy Kirkhope MEP,
Conservative Justice and Home Affairs spokesman in the European Parliament

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Boost in the fight against terrorism as EU passenger records agreement backed by MEPs

15-Jul-2015 @ 17:0

A critical EU counter-terror system is a step closer to reality after a committee of MEPs today gave MEP Timothy Kirkhope’s proposals their backing.

Girling: Unreasonable targets could derail agreement on clean air rules and penalise farmers

15-Jul-2015 @ 15:0

ECR MEP Julie Girling, leading on air quality for the European Parliament, has criticised moves by left wing and liberal MEPs to undermine efforts to reach an achievable deal on new air emissions rules by voting through unrealistic targets.

The European Parliament's Environment and Public Health Committee voted today on Mrs Girling's report on the so-called National Emissions Ceiling Directive (NECD).

Foster: Rules on civil use of drones need to be light-touch and safety-focused

14-Jul-2015 @ 14:30

Conservative Transport Spokesman Jacqueline Foster has today presented her draft report on the safe use of remotely piloted aircraft systems – or drones – for non-military use.

Fox on Greece: Nobody wins if we have a dishonest fudge

13-Jul-2015 @ 13:45

Ashley Fox, leader of Britain's Conservative MEPs, called for caution following today's announcement of a "deal" in Brussels on Greece.

McClarkin: TTIP support a much-needed boost for businesses and consumers

08-Jul-2015 @ 14:15

Conservative trade spokesman in the European Parliament Emma McClarkin has welcomed today's vote in support of the proposed EU-US trade agreement, known as TTIP.

The agreement has the potential to deliver real, tangible benefits for consumers and businesses across the EU.

A comprehensive deal with the US would benefit the economies of EU countries to the tune of €120bn - that is an average €545 in extra disposable income for a family of four each year.

On the sticking point of investor protection, MEPs agreed that TTIP should be accompanied by a reformed and transparent investor protection mechanism.

Conservative MEPs condemn Labour support for EU power grab

08-Jul-2015 @ 12:15

Conservative MEPs will today oppose a report calling for more tax harmonisation at an EU level and for Britain to be subjected to a regular report on its tax affairs for the consideration of Eurocrats.

Fox to Tsipras: Go for an orderly exit - not the martyrdom of expulsion

08-Jul-2015 @ 11:45

The Greek prime minister should concentrate on taking his country out of the euro in an orderly way – not engineering an expulsion to play the martyr.

 

Conservatives put correct focus on panorama photographs

07-Jul-2015 @ 18:45

Conservative MEPs will this week vote to delete controversial clauses from proposed legislation which threatened to ban people from photographing and sharing pictures of landmark buildings such as the Eiffel Tower or Houses of Parliament.

Fears were voiced over a controversial clause in a report on copyright which said commercial use of photographs or video of "works...permanently located in...public spaces" should always be subject to prior authorisation.

Lewer: Give local government more say in EU funding decisions

02-Jul-2015 @ 10:0

The Conservative spokesman in the European Parliament on Regional Development, Andrew Lewer MBE MEP, has used his speech at the LGA Conference in Harrogate to call for greater local-decision making in the delivery of EU funds.

With much of the legislation implemented by local government in the UK originating in the EU, Mr Lewer believes it is vital that local authorities continue to bring their local knowledge and experience to the table when it comes to deciding how, where and when EU regional development money is spent.

Speaking at the Local Government Association's annual conference in Harrogate, the East Midlands MEP highlighted the commitment last year from Lord Ahmad, Minister for Communities and Local Government responsible for European programmes, to significant local engagement in the local delivery arrangements for EU regional funding.

This was a commitment that Conservative MEPs lobbied for, alongside the LGA.

However, complex EU funding rules meant that only the Greater London Authority could achieve so-called ‘Intermediate body’ status – giving it a direct role in decision-making on local projects.

To ensure that investment flowed to local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) as fast as possible, the UK opted to offer them so-called "key advisory status", a purely advisory rather than decision-making role.

Mr Lewer, alongside fellow LGA Vice-President and Conservative MEP, Julie Girling, lobbied for, and won, an important commitment to a full review of that status decision by March 2016.

With that deadline fast approaching, and the UK-EU Partnership Agreement and Operational Programme finally given the thumbs up by the European Commission last week, Mr Lewer is calling for that review to be both thorough and timely.

He said:  “Irrespective of where you stand on UK membership of the EU, regional development funding makes up one third of the entire EU budget - a huge slice of a cake that UK taxpayers have contributed to.
“We are therefore backing the LGA’s call for intermediate body status for LEPs and local authorities - or at the very least ‘advisory status plus’ - when it comes to the Growth Programme for England. This will help to ensure that local people's priorities are addressed."

Meanwhile, Ms Girling added: “We need to ensure that when money returns to the UK it is well spent. One way of doing this is by ensuring strong local input from our LEPs and local authorities when it comes to decision-making and local project delivery."
 
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Girling: Withdrawal of burdensome maternity leave proposals a welcome move

01-Jul-2015 @ 18:15

Conservative MEPs have welcomed today's confirmation by the European Commission that the proposed maternity leave directive is to be withdrawn.

The directive was first put forward in 2008, but has faced deadlock for the past five years, due to a lack of agreement between the European Parliament and national governments.

Mobile roaming to end in 2017, but telecoms agreement puts spam blockers at risk

30-Jun-2015 @ 11:0

Mobile phone roaming will end in July 2017 and will be significantly cut next summer in an agreement on telecoms laws reached last night between MEPs and representatives of EU governments. 

The deal, reached after overnight so-called trilogue discussions involving the European Commission, Council and Parliament, does contain some areas of concern for East of England Conservative MEP and lead negotiator for the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, Vicky Ford MEP.

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