European Parliament News

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

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."

Tories wary over poor-value food giveaway

28-May-2015 @ 9:30

Conservative MEPs last night voted against proposals to spend millions more taxpayers' money on an inefficient scheme that sends free fruit, vegetables and milk to schools outside Britain.

The programme was established in the days of EU milk lakes and food mountains as a way of usefully getting rid of tons of produce that would otherwise go to waste.

But when the surpluses stopped, the EU instead began buying fruit and vegetables on the open market to keep the scheme going.

Today MEPs are voting on a proposed overhaul to the programme which would see an extra €20 million a year spent on milk distribution. It would also set a compulsory proportion of the scheme's overall budget to be spent on education about food and healthy eating.

The UK is one of three EU countries that opts out of the school fruit scheme and it applies the school milk scheme only in Northern Ireland. Instead the UK runs its own healthy eating programmes in schools.

Conservative Agriculture spokesman Richard Ashworth said:  "Nobody is denying the benefits of fresh fruit, vegetables and milk to school-age children. We agree with promoting healthy eating generally, but we object to this EU scheme on several grounds.

"For a start of this is simply not an area the EU should be concerning itself with.  It needs to be looking at the bigger picture of competitiveness, jobs and growth and leave projects like this – worthy as they may be – to member states or regional and local government.

"Secondly the EU's Court of Auditors has repeatedly criticised this scheme for its inefficiency and poor value.

"Finally, this is not a proper use of Common Agricultural Policy spending. That budget is already stretched and this is not the type of thing it was intended for.

"Getting fruit and milk into schools may be a good thing, but the EU are the wrong people to be doing it."

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Kirkhope: Commission proposals on resettlement will not fix migrant crisis

27-May-2015 @ 17:45

Timothy Kirkhope MEP, ECR Home Affairs Spokesman, has warned that plans to relocate 40,000 asylum seekers from Italy and Greece to other EU countries will not help to tackle the source of Europe's migration crisis.

The European Commission has announced proposals to relocate Syrian and Eritrean asylum seekers to 23 of the 28 EU countries, with each country receiving 6,000 Euros for each migrant they take in.

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Conservative EU budget message is winning through

27-May-2015 @ 14:15

Pressure from David Cameron and Conservative MEPs is helping to achieve greater budgetary discipline in the EU.

That was the view from Richard Ashworth MEP today as he responded to an announcement by the EU Commission of its draft budget for the bloc in 2016.

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Tory welcome for Gibraltar's new base in Brussels

27-May-2015 @ 10:45

Conservative MEPs have welcomed the opening this week of a new office in Brussels to promote the interests of Gibraltar.

Ashley Fox and Julie Girling, who represent the South West of England and Gibraltar in the European Parliament, said the office would give the British Overseas Territory a permanent base in Brussels to maintain links with key contacts in the EU institutions.

Call to action on Missing Children's Day

22-May-2015 @ 17:00

 If you do one thing on Bank Holiday Monday – make sure you sign up to the international alert system that saves children's lives.

Duncan – Scottish Government breaking EU fishing law

21-May-2015 @ 11:0

Ian Duncan MEP has demanded an urgent explanation from the Scottish Government over their refusal to store and transport discarded fish. Ian has been informed by the Shetland Fishermen´s Association that Marine Scotland deny financial responsibility, claiming that it is for fishermen to dispose of the fish, despite it being written into EU Law.  

The Discard ban was brought in at the start of this year as part of reforms to the EU's Common Fisheries Policy, and aims to resolve issues around the storage of fish that cannot be sold. Last month Ian brought forward an amendment to the ban, backed by the European Parliament´s Fisheries Committee, giving fishermen a two-year "grace period" to adapt to the ban. 

The Discard ban also requires that

Conservatives call for sound sense on conflict minerals, not grandstanding

20-May-2015 @ 16:45

Eye-catching headlines are no substitute for sound legislation and a measured approach, Conservatives warned in Strasbourg today as MEPs voted on the issue of so-called conflict minerals.

To improve the protection of endangered missing children in Europe we suggest the following first five steps:

20-May-2015 @ 1:0

  1. A bigger, stronger AMBER Alert network
  2. More flexibility in issuing child alerts
  3. Border checks on children’s passports
  4. Better cross-border police cooperation
  5. Better cross-border information sharing

AMBER Alert Europe’s ultimate goal is to improve the protection of endangered missing children in Europe. This is achieved by providing training and coordination to law enforcement and connecting citizens with law enforcement when the police believe the public can help find the child. 

AMBER Alert: The Campaign For Improvement

20-May-2015 @ 01:00

Each year one million children go missing or are abducted in Europe. 76% of those children are killed within three hours of the abduction.

Urgent action needed to end the Vatmoss devastation

19-May-2015 @ 9:45

Conservative MEPs today issued an urgent call to the EU and its Governments to address devastating problems caused by new rules for VAT collection.

Kirkhope: Binding EU quotas will not solve migration problems

13-May-2015 @ 1:0

Timothy Kirkhope, Conservative spokesman in the European Parliament on home affairs, has warned that the European Commission's proposals issued today on the introduction of migrant quotas will not solve Europe's migration crisis.

He feels strongly that legally binding quotas will not help to stem the flow of people into Europe.

Mr Kirkhope, who is a former UK immigration minister, stresses that we need to go to the source of the problem: it is important that we do what we can to help create stability in North Africa, while also assisting the countries arrival.

He said: "True solidarity cannot be created through compulsion alone, and binding quotas oversimplify a very complex situation.

"We need a dynamic and adroit response to ensure that policies are drawn up, which mean asylum seekers are processed quickly. An efficient returns policy for those who are not granted asylum must also be put in place.

"Just as importantly, we must create a strategy which tackles the problem at the source. We need to work with police forces in third countries, to train them to identify, investigate and prosecute human traffickers and organised criminal groups.

"Whilst legal migration forms part of the European Commission's wider migration strategy, I do not believe that we can solve the problems we have seen in the Mediterranean and address the huge numbers of refugees through further forms of legal migration. There needs to be a clear differentiation between economic migrants and those seeking genuine asylum in order for Europe's asylum approach to work effectively and efficiently."


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Kirkhope: EU asylum-quota bid will meet a resolute response from British Conservatives

11-May-2015 @ 12:0

A senior Conservative MEP has called for cool heads and British resolve in response to an expected call from the EU Commission for the UK to take a mandatory quota of refugees trying to reach Europe from North Africa.