European Parliament News

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

UKIP fail to back repayment of £630 million to the UK

25-Nov-2015 @ 13:30

A European parliament vote confirming the immediate repayment of £630 million to the UK has been welcomed by Conservative MEPs.

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Conservative MEPs lead the fight against EU tax harmonisation

25-Nov-2015 @ 13:30

Conservative MEPs have today rejected a report calling for EU tax harmonisation. The report comes from a special committee of MEPs set up in the wake of the "LuxLeaks" revelations over allegations of tax avoidance.

Conservative MEPs oppose EU UN Security Council seat

24-Nov-2015 @ 16:45

Conservative MEPs have voted against a European Parliament report which calls for a seat for the EU at the UN Security Council.

New insurance rules will bring greater clarity and choice for consumers

24-Nov-2015 @ 1:0

Conservative MEPs have backed new rules designed to ensure clearer information and greater choice for consumers when buying insurance products. The so-called Insurance Distribution Directive covers general insurance products, including car insurance and life insurance policies. The directive takes a "minimum harmonisation" approach, meaning that existing practices in individual EU countries will be allowed to continue. Consumers and retailers will be given enhanced information about the price and costs of products, and whether the insurance seller has an economic incentive or receives commission, so that an informed decision can be made. The directive also brings in a new standardised product information document for non-life insurance documents. This was originally overly detailed and burdensome, however Conservative MEPs have succeeded in ensuring that the information required will be much less prescriptive than proposed. Ashley Fox MEP, who led negotiations on behalf of the ECR group said: "Buying insurance products can be a particularly complex and time-consuming process, so these new rules will give consumers greater choice and information about what they are purchasing. "We have succeeded in taking out some of the excessive elements of the original proposal, meaning that we can provide more information to consumers whilst at the same time minimising the burdens on insurance retailers. "In addition, we have worked to ensure that when an insurance product is sold in addition to a good or service which is not insurance, the customer should be offered the possibility of buying the good or service separately" Conservative Spokesman on Economic Affairs, Dr Kay Swinburne MEP added: "This is yet another example of Conservative MEPs working to ensure that EU legislation is used to bring advantages to consumers, rather than simply create new burdens."

Anthea McIntyre launches key report on bringing jobs back to Britain

20-Nov-2015 @ 11:0

Conservative Employment spokesman Anthea McIntyre has today launched a key report on the importance of "re-shoring", bringing jobs back to Britain.

Conservatives give cautious welcome to key EU energy report

18-Nov-2015 @ 17:0

Conservative Energy and climate change spokesman, Dr Ian Duncan MEP has given a cautious welcome to a report from the European Commission on the state of the so-called Energy Union. Today's report looks at progress made in 2015 and identifies key actions for 2016, with the aim of increasing security of supply in response to current geopolitical issues and maintaining the EU's lead in the transition to a low carbon economy. Alongside the security and decarbonisation goals the State of the Energy Union report continues the focus on energy efficiency, the internal energy market, and research, innovation and competitiveness. The report approves a number of key infrastructure projects, including interconnections between the UK and Ireland, and between the UK, France and Belgium. This should allow the UK to achieve its 10% interconnection target for 2020, improving security of supply and increased capacity, reducing the cost to consumers. The report also praises measures taken by the UK government to tackle fuel poverty, noting that the UK is among the few EU countries with a clear fuel poverty definition and related strategy and programmes to deal with it. Dr Duncan commented: "The focus on infrastructure investment to create a free market in energy is welcome. "However there remains a lot more to be done to bring down regulatory barriers if we are to deliver cheap, clean energy to consumers across Europe"

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Conservative MEPs welcome announcement on EU-Australia trade negotiations

16-Nov-2015 @ 18:0

Conservative MEPs have welcomed the news that EU and Australian leaders have opened the way for talks on a free trade agreement.

Text of oral question tabled on steel industry

13-Nov-2015 @ 12:0

Here is the text of the oral question tabled by Conservative MEPs on measures being taken to tackle the situation in the steel industry

Fox: Conservatives reject "interfering" report on EU election rules

11-Nov-2015 @ 19:45

A report from a group of MEPs on bringing in common EU rules for European Parliament elections has been branded "interfering and unnecessary" by the leader of the Conservative delegation in the European Parliament, Ashley Fox.

Conservative MEPs support aviation sector and reject "anti-growth" resolution

11-Nov-2015 @ 19:30

Conservative MEPs have refused to support a resolution on the aviation sector which calls for a reduction of the power of member states and an increase in the amount of prescriptive social legislation. The resolution from the Transport Committee sets out the Parliament's position ahead of the European Commission's publication of a new Aviation Package by the end of the year. Although Conservatives agree with much of the content of the report, such as improving the capacity and connectivity of EU airports, advancing the conclusion of air service agreements with a number of non-EU countries, and speeding up implementation of the Single European Sky initiative, the report has been padded out with extra demands that the delegation cannot support. Transport Spokesman and Deputy Leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament, Jacqueline Foster MEP, said: "I strongly support any measure which would boost the aviation and aeronautics sector, particularly speeding up the implementation of the Single European Sky programme. "Regrettably, however, EPP, socialist and liberal MEPs have inserted a number of demands which we just cannot support. "Although fully supporting proper recognition of EASA as an extremely effective safety agency, we do not support a single European voice in this key area. "Every country is contracted to the International Civil Aviation Organisation in its own right, and I cannot support the removal of a representative from each member state, including the UK. "Furthermore, I believe that current employment legislation on working conditions, standards and practice should be maintained, rather than this report being hijacked by overly prescriptive proposals on contracts and job locations which would hinder growth and competitiveness. "I look forward to receiving the Commission's proposals in December, which I hope will be a balanced and forward looking package of legislation to modernise and grow our vital aviation sector.

Disappointment as socialists block key debate on situation in steel industry

11-Nov-2015 @ 15:0

A socialist-led coalition of MEPs has today blocked a request from Conservative MEPs for an emergency debate to be held in the European Parliament this afternoon on the situation in the steel industry.

EU spending error rate remains stable, but reform is needed, say Conservative MEPs

10-Nov-2015 @ 14:0

For the 21st year the EU Court of Auditors has given the EU's accounts only a qualified statement of assurance, with the rate of error slightly down on last year's report.

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Fox: European Council must respect Cameron's four objectives on EU reform

10-Nov-2015 @ 13:0

The leader of the Conservative delegation in the European Parliament, Ashley Fox MEP, has warmly welcomed today's publication of the letter from David Cameron setting out the four key objectives for reforming the UK's membership of the EU. The Prime Minister's letter to the European Council President Donald Tusk paves the way for talks among EU leaders ahead of a promised referendum on EU membership by the end of 2017.

Conservative MEPs table question to European Commission on steel

09-Nov-2015 @ 17:30

Conservative MEPs have tabled an Oral Question to the European Commission on the situation in the steel sector, ahead of today's extraordinary meeting of EU Ministers to discuss the crisis.

Scots MEP sees benefits of million Euro funding for Glasgow Caledonian University

04-Nov-2015 @ 17:30

Ian Duncan, Conservative MEP for Scotland, has seen first-hand the impact of 1 million Euros of research funding, which he secured for Glasgow Caledonian University students and staff. Last week, the European Parliament in Strasbourg voted through a joint bid by Ian and Rohinton Emmanuel, Professor and Subject Leader in Sustainable Design and Construction at Glasgow Caledonian University, for research funding.

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Senior MEPs write to Commission urging action on steel industry

31-Oct-2015 @ 8:0

Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom Directorate General for Trade

Foster secures overwhelming support for report on safe use of drones

29-Oct-2015 @ 12:30

A report by Conservative MEP Jacqueline Foster on the safe use of remotely piloted aircraft systems - or drones - for non-military use, has been overwhelmingly backed by MEPs. The first ever report by the European Parliament to deal with this exciting and constantly evolving technology seeks to ensure that any legislation brought forward by the European Commission takes a risk-based approach, without creating unnecessary red-tape for the industry.

European Parliament passes ambitious but realistic clean air targets

28-Oct-2015 @ 1:0

MEPs have voted for an ambitious set of clean air targets today by backing proposals put forward by the Conservative MEP leading on the targets for the European Parliament, Julie Girling. The parliament in Strasbourg was voting on a proposal for a revised National Emission Ceilings Directive (NECD), which forms part of the EU Clean Air Package. It puts in place new annual caps on the emissions of air pollutants such as sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC) and ammonia (NH3) until 2020.

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Girling leads calls for Commission to scrap "dangerous" plan on GM feed

28-Oct-2015 @ 16:0

MEPs have backed ECR MEP Julie Girling today in calling on the European Commission to think again over plans to let member states unilaterally ban animal feed made from genetically modified (GM) crops. Mrs Girling has strongly criticised Commission proposals to give member states the freedom to restrict or prohibit the use of GM organisms in food or feed in their territory, even if EU scientists have deemed them to be safe. After similar votes from the Environment and Agriculture Committees, the Parliament as a whole has formally voted to reject the Commission's proposal. However, the Commission has refused to withdraw its proposal which it believes is the best way to address disagreements among member states on the use of GMOs. Mrs Girling said: "The Commission's refusal to withdraw its proposal despite opposition from a huge majority of the Parliament flies in the face of its own Better Regulation agenda. "The EU cannot produce enough protein feed for its livestock. We rely on imports of GM feed to maintain our livestock sector. "The Commission's proposal is dangerous as it pits politics against the agricultural sector. It side-lines science and the advice of the EU's own advisory agencies. "I still hope the Commission will eventually listen to the strong voice coming from the Parliament and scrap this plan which blasts a hole through the core principles of the single market."

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Conservatives vote to stop taxpayer-funded subsidy for Spanish bullfighting

28-Oct-2015 @ 14:0

As part of the vote on the EU's budget for 2016, Conservative MEPs have voted in favour of an amendment to end taxpayer subsidies for Spanish bullfighting. The amendment, which has cross-party support, aims to stop EU funds being released from the Common Agricultural Policy for the controversial blood sport.