European Parliament News

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

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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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.