European Parliament News

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

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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Conservatives to host major hearing on digital economy

29-Jun-2015 @ 13:45

When - 09:30 - 11:30, Wednesday 1st July
Where - European Parliament, Brussels, Room ASP 1H1


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Dalton: Deal on seal trade ban will protect Inuit way of life and meet WTO rules

25-Jun-2015 @ 17:0

The European Conservatives and Reformists have backed a deal on the future of the EU's ban on the trade of seal products.

EU survey discovers most people go on holiday in summer

25-Jun-2015 @ 14:45

The EU appears to have spent taxpayers' money on a detailed study whose chief finding is that most people take their holidays in the summer months.

​Five Key areas to transform the Digital Single Market in the European Union

24-Jun-2015 @ 1:0

The Digital Single Market is an important step in the modernisation of the European economy.

The Digital Single Market - what's in it for Britain?

24-Jun-2015 @ 01:00

The internet and digital technologies are transforming our world. But existing barriers online mean citizens often miss out on cheaper and more varied goods and services; internet companies and start-ups have their horizons limited, and businesses and governments cannot fully benefit from digital tools.

Kirkhope tells Hollande: get a grip on Calais and ask the EU for help

23-Jun-2015 @ 17:0

The French government's failure in its duty to tackle the ongoing migrant crisis in Calais is now causing British travellers to have their passage across the EU hindered, leaving the European Commission with no choice but to intervene: that's that response of Conservative Home Affairs spokesman in Europe, Timothy Kirkhope MEP, to the increasing problem of migrants seeking to cross into the UK.

Commission tax plans threaten national sovereignty, say Conservative MEPs

17-Jun-2015 @ 16:30

Conservative MEPs have criticised an attempt by the European Commission to re-launch plans for a so-called Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB). 

Kirkhope: threats and recriminations will not solve Europe's migrant crisis

16-Jun-2015 @ 12:30

Speaking as EU Home Affairs Ministers meet in Luxembourg to discuss plans to deal with the EU's migrant crisis, Timothy Kirkhope MEP, Conservative spokesman on home affairs in the European Parliament said:

"We keep hearing about the need for solidarity between countries but solidarity is built on trust and that is clearly lacking in today's EU.

"Countries that want to help Italy cope with the pressures it faces are not going to feel enamoured by thinly veiled threats from Mr Renzi.

"The real danger with the European Commission's proposals are that countries are now turning on each other over the numbers of migrants, they are going to take, rather than working together to ease the pressures on the front line and trying to tackle the issue at source. Some countries should try to do more to help but in a borderless zone, compulsory relocation is not going to be the solution to this crisis."

The former UK Immigration Minister concluded: "The EU needs a holistic approach to tackling this crisis, to discourage economic migrants from making the journey, and to assist in protecting genuine refugees. Instead EU countries have descended into bickering and finger pointing that will undermine the cooperation that is clearly needed and which we began to see emerging from the terrible tragedies that happened in the Mediterranean a few months ago."
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Lewer: Urgent answers needed over Euronews subsidies

12-Jun-2015 @ 11:0

Andrew Lewer, the Conservative Party's Culture Spokesman in the European Parliament, has demanded that the European Commission come clean about the value of the subsidies given to the Euronews television channel.

Dalton: It's time for real reform to end FIFA corruption

11-Jun-2015 @ 13:30

Conservative MEPs are leading calls for a proper clean-up of football's world governing body, following months of damning allegations about corruption.

Speaking in a European Parliament debate in Strasbourg, West Midlands MEP Dan Dalton said that the decision by Sepp Blatter to resign is a welcome move, but that this should only be the start of a full deep-clean of FIFA.

If it becomes clear that the 2018 and 2022 tournaments were awarded due to corrupt practices, then there should be no hesitation in re-awarding them.

Mr Dalton, a former professional sportsman, said: "The rotting core of the once beautiful game has finally exploded. The ensuing fallout is a painful but necessary cleansing process.

If we are to clean-up FIFA once and for all, we need to dig down and remove all the dirt, and find out whether corruption influenced the Russian and Qatari World Cup bids.

Whilst I welcome Blatter's resignation, he should go immediately for the sake of FIFA's credibility, to allow an open and unhindered process of reform".

Fox: We must wean ourselves off Russian gas

09-Jun-2015 @ 18:45

Europe's drive for energy security must include shale gas and nuclear power, MEPs were warned today.

Equality, yes – EU social engineering, no

09-Jun-2015 @ 14:15

"Nobody disagrees with equality, but this is patronising to women and pushes Europe's powers into areas where they should not be allowed."

Fox: Judges ruling on energy-saving defies common sense

04-Jun-2015 @ 12:15

Conservative MEPs have criticised a ruling by the European Court of Justice today banning Britain from cutting VAT on energy-saving materials.

Tories get backing for their roadmap to growth

03-Jun-2015 @ 16:15

MEPs in Brussels have backed a raft of Conservative guidelines for cutting red tape and minimising burdensome regulation.

As a package, the proposals approved by the European Parliament's Employment Committee for shaping the EU's planned "Refit" programme amount to a road map for cutting back bureaucracy, boosting growth and helping small businesses create jobs.

McClarkin welcomes strong pro-TTIP vote

28-May-2015 @ 16:0

The European Parliament has sent a welcome strong message that all issues are open to negotiation between the EU and USA as it seeks to find agreement on a game-changing trade and investment partnership.

Conservative Trade Spokesman in the European Parliament Emma McClarkin - MEP for the East Midlands - welcomed the parliament's decision and particularly its decision not to lay down red lines on investor protection at this early stage.

An amendment had been tabled by left wing MEPs seeking to demand that an investor-state-dispute-settlement (ISDS) clause be ruled out of any agreement. The rejection of the amendment was supported by Ms McClarkin who believes that European investors must be able to ensure non-discriminatory treatment in the US, and with a proposal on the table to reform ISDS so that it is more transparent and includes additional safeguards, any refusal to consider it is premature.

Although the parliament's adoption of a strongly pro-TTIP position is not binding on the negotiators, the parliament must give consent to any eventual deal.

Ms McClarkin is now urging the European Commission and the US Trade Rep to take this vote as a signal to redouble their efforts.

She said: "This vote has injected a dose of caffeine into TTIP negotiations.

"The parliament is right not to take investor protection off the table at this early stage. This resolution should be about telling the USA what we do want in a balanced and ambitious agreement, not setting down red lines that risk scuppering the talks. ISDS needs to be reformed and we should give those reforms a chance before ruling out any form of ISDS in this agreement when there are already 1400 ISDS clauses in EU Member States' bilateral investment treaties.

"TTIP is worth far too much to our economy and to everybody's pocket for us to let it fail. This agreement is not just about the wider issues of growth, jobs and investment but it would have tangible benefits too such as an estimated 17 percent saving on the price of shoes, 12 percent on jeans and even 30 percent on sweets.

"We will continue to push for an ambitious and comprehensive agreement that will benefit people across Europe. We cannot begin to seriously grow Europe's economy without opening up for trade, and this agreement would show the world that we mean business."