European Parliament News

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

Rogue MEP's Falklands intervention condemned

10-May-2013 @ 11:0

Conservatives in Brussels are to demand that the European Parliament"s authorities rein in a Spanish MEP after he told Argentina the EP did not accept British sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.

Sturdy: EU solar panels duties are a really dim idea

08-May-2013 @ 17:0

An eye-watering EU duty of 47 percent on solar panels from China, proposed today, puts thousands of jobs at risk in Europe, whilst pushing prices of solar panels through the roof, Robert Sturdy MEP, Conservative trade spokesman and Vice-President of the European Parliament's International Trade committee, said today. The duties represent the most significant EU anti-dumping response, with China exported solar panels and their components being worth around €21 billion to the EU. The EU responded to a complaint by an industry association called EU ProSun, which claimed that the solar panels from China were being 'dumped' (they were entering European markets at prices cheaper than their market value). However, Mr Sturdy said that anti-dumping cases must always consider the wider interests of the EU, and in this case such duties will do far more harm than good, costing jobs, forcing up prices for consumers, running contrary to EU environmental policy, and damaging the trading relationship with China. He is calling on national governments to reject the proposal. The trade spokesman for the European Conservatives and Reformists group in the European Parliament, said: "This is a really dim idea from the European Commission. The commission has failed to take into account the much wider implications of these duties on companies that import and install solar panels, and their customers who will have to pay much more. "The European Union wants to promote renewable energy but then imposes a massive duty on solar panels. The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. "This decision will have wide ramifications for our trading relationship with China. Such a significant and punitive duty surely will not go unnoticed or unpunished by Beijing. "EU trade policy needs to stop putting parochial interests first and start to look at the wider picture. Trade defence is based on strict criteria, but not on basic common sense and consideration of the consequences of these actions on the wider EU economy. "EU trade interests, consumers and businesses will be hit hard by this decision. The Commission needs to look at this in a different light."

Struan hails black-pudding breakthrough

08-May-2013 @ 14:0

Scots MEP Struan Stevenson today welcomed a decision to grant protected status to Stornoway black pudding. The decision means that only products made in the Isle of Lewis town can be labelled and marketed as "Stornoway" black pudding and puts it on a par with Parma ham, Roquefort cheese and Champagne. Mr Stevenson said: "Black pudding from Stornoway is well-known and well-loved around the world and this decision means it cannot be be faked or counterfeited. People will not be allowed to pass off inferior puddings made elsewhere as Stornoway puddings. "It's a good day for Stornoway and a good day for black pudding."

Accounting standards need scrutiny to make sure banks behave

08-May-2013 @ 18:0

Conservatives MEPs today called for the regime for global accounting standards to be held up to thorough international scrutiny in light of the central role it played in causing the financial crisis. The MEPs a series of key questions at a hearing in the European Parliament on the future of International Financial Reporting Standards. With the European Commission set to commit to another six years of funding for both the International Accounting Standards Board and the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group - the bodies which respectively write the standards and grant them the EU's legal endorsement - the hearing flagged up several major areas requiring attention on in depth. Host Syed Kamall MEP, Conservative MEP for London, said: "It cannot just be business as usual. We need to be sure we get to a regime which is clear and simple but also thorough and a powerful tool for better governance. Time is passing and this needs addressing now." International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) are globally-recognised accounting standards that have been used in the EU for the accounts of banking groups and other listed companies for more than 20 years. Some investors believe that their complexity allows banks to misrepresent the reality of their balance sheets, making it hard to know what may be wrong with their finances. Some of the standards are said to have contributed to the crisis, in particular those relating to how derivatives and losses on loans are recognised on balance sheets. Dr Kamall, Conservative MEP for London, believes that fresh call for European banks to be stress-tested once more, to identify possible capital shortfalls, means transparency in banks' balance sheets should be top priority for the Commission. He has been fighting hard to raise awareness of the issue at a European level. At today's event, organised by the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants, he said: "The European accounting model has developed over several centuries and is about far more than simply providing information to the capital markets" "Accounts in this context are drivers of better governance, not just about information for investors." "It is important to discuss the extent to which IFRS, which run up to several thousand pages of rules, can achieve these aims. Often the more rules there are, the easier they are to get around." "The G20 commitment is to strengthen the global financial system. We have to ask ourselves whether converging around complex, wordy accounting standards is something that will stave off future crises."

NATO Secretary General comments on EU defence policy

06-May-2013 @ 18:0

Conservative Security and Defence spokesman, Geoffrey Van Orden MEP, today stated that European defence policy was merely a case of the EU looking for ways to justify its existence and push for more European integration.

Conservative message on financing SMEs is getting through

02-May-2013 @ 16:00

Anthea McIntyre MEP today welcomed a "useful step forward" in her drive to get better access to finance for small businesses. 

Welcome for Syria aid boost

27-Apr-2013 @ 17:0

Nirj Deva MEP, Conservative spokesman on international development in the European Parliament, today warmly welcomed a promise of €100m extra for humanitarian aid in war-torn Syria.

Welcome for key findings of Lords' EU fraud report

17-Apr-2013 @ 11:0

The House of Lords European UnionCommittee today (April 17) published its report on The Fight Against Fraud onthe EU's finances. It concludes that the amount of fraudacknowledged by the European Commission at €404 million offers "only a glimpse"of the true level. The real figure is close to a staggering €5 billion, itsuggests. Conservative MEPs Timothy Kirkhope and MartaAndreasen were among those who supplied evidence to the committee enquiry toinform its findings. Welcoming the report's key findings today,Philip Bradbourn MEP, Conservative spokesman on budgetary control in theEuropean Parliament, said: "This hard-hitting report reinforces whatConservative MEPs have been hilighting for a long, long time - that fraud andmisuse of money is simply not taken seriously enough within theEU. "It has been alllowed to throw its roots wideand deep while some people look the other way. The problem is far worse than hasbeen admitted. "This is powereful justification for ourlong-standing demand that the EU should have a commissioner dedicated full timeto budget control - one charged not just with monitoring performance but withreal powers to investigate and root out fraud right across theunion."

Kirkhope: Consistent approach will drive down montrous trade in human life

16-Apr-2013 @ 15:0

Senior Conservative MEP Timothy Kirkhope today calledon all EU countries to adopt a serious and consistent approach to tackling humantrafficking after a new study showed thecrime increasing while convictions fell.

25 years on, Margaret Thatcher's Bruges speech still shows the way forward

16-Apr-2013 @ 14:15

Speaking in a debate on the Future of Europe with Finnish Prime MinisterKatainen, European Conservatives and Reformists group leader Martin Callanansaid that Margaret Thatcher's 1988 Bruges speech was still strikingly relevantto the debate.

MEPs fail to support fairer deal for women drivers

16-Apr-2013 @ 14:0

MEPs fail to support fairer deal for women drivers

Big step forward in fight against cyber crime

16-Apr-2013 @ 13:0

Big step forward in fight against cyber crime

Tories rebut Farage's mischievous claim to Maggie legacy

15-Apr-2013 @ 19:0

Conservative MEPs today batted aside an attempt by Nigel Farage to claim that his party were the successors to Lady Thatcher's heritage.

Harbour welcomes end to excessive credit card charges

11-Apr-2013 @ 18:0

Harbour welcomes end to excessive credit card charges

Safer, cheaper and more environmentally friendly boats and jet skis after European Parliament vote

10-Apr-2013 @ 15:0

A new law that would make boats and jet skis safer and greener have sailed through the European Parliament today. The proposals on so-called recreational craft and personal watercraft have been steered through the Parliament by European Conservatives and Reformists Group Member Malcolm Harbour. The new standards revise boat categories to base them on their tolerance to wind force and wave height. At present they are merely categorised according to the expected conditions of use – such as ‘in shore use’ or ‘on the high seas’.

McClarkin’s drive for language checks and portable qualifications

09-Apr-2013 @ 17:0

An ECR MEP’s initiative to make professional qualifications more-easily transportable across Europe bore fruit today with a key vote in the European Parliament.

Baroness Thatcher: tribute from Conservative MEPs' leader Richard Ashworth

08-Apr-2013 @ 16:0

Baroness Thatcher: tribute from Conservative MEPs' leader Richard Ashworth Richard Ashworth, leader of the UK's Conservative MEPs, today said: "Baroness Thatcher was an inspiration to a generation. "Her vision and leadership almost single-handedly transformed a dysfunctional economy. In alliance with President Reagan she helped re-shape our world. "What is more, she taught Britain to have a pride in itself once again.

Fresh evidence of FTT damage

03-Apr-2013 @ 13:0

New research on the potential impact of  the EU's planned Financial Transactions Tax is further evidence that the move is ill-conceived and will create unintended damage.

Battle lines drawn to resist fresh EU budget cash grab

27-Mar-2013 @ 13:0

Conservative MEPs today pledgedto fiercely resist a bid by The European Commission to add an extra €11.2bn tothe EU budget for 2013. 

Transparency and flexibility are keys to audit reform

26-Mar-2013 @ 15:0

Reform of Europe's auditrules must encourage much greater transparency and openness as well as betterquality of audit, a conference in the European Parliament heard today.