Showing: March 2012
Here you can find an archive of all the news items that have been on this website as well as any comments, polls or surveys.
£12,000 to recruit a single Eurocrat
Posted,3/29/2012 6:00:00 PM
In an answer to a parliamentary question submitted by London Conservative MEP Marina Yannakoudakis, the European Parliament revealed today that it costs over £12,000 to recruit just a single official to one of the EU institutions.
"Strasbourg" victory boosts Conservative campaign
Posted,3/29/2012 1:00:00 PM
Conservative MEPs have struck a major blow today in their campaign to scrap the rules which force the European Parliament to hold sessions in both France and Belgium - and to move thousands of staff and tons of equipment back and forth between the two on a monthly basis. Their votes helped to deliver a crucial amendment which demanded that the Parliament's work should be confined to a single seat and that the European Council should take action accordingly. Conservative MEPs have been progressively winning support for their campaign to end the so-called "travelling circus" that sees the Parliament switching sittings between Brussels and Strasbourg and back every month. The two-seat policy means that the whole legislature, administrative team and thousands of support staff are shifted for four days each month and relocate from the Belgian capital to Strasbourg, nearly 300 miles away. A fleet of 20 juggernauts carries tons of paperwork between the two parliament buildings and the process wastes €200m of taxpayers' money every year. It also creates 20,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. The Strasbourg building is used for only 40 or so days per year. Richard Ashworth, leader of the Conservative MEPs, said: "This is a very significant step forward in our long-running campaign to stop this wastefulness. "More and more MEPs from other member states are joining us in our stance - and now this vote delivers a very powerful message: Any possible justification for Strasbourg sessions is long gone - and the public will no longer stand for such scandalous waste." The amendment was approved in a plenary vote on estimates for the 2013 European Parliament budget. The estimates were voted through. Mr Ashworth said: "While not everything in the package of budget proposals was completely to our liking, we took an important tactical decision that is was important to drive through that key amendment on Strasbourg. "If you are going to be serious about saving money and controlling the budget this is a very obvious place to start. That is why we have prioritised its scrapping. "Nobody should doubt our determination to see a significant reduction in the overall EU budget in 2013 and beyond. Having established the vital principle of scrapping the Strasbourg sessions we will continue to inject some economic reality into the debate. We're fighting for the taxpayer at every stage. "The current parliamentary budget proposal is only €9 million away from a figure which would deliver an absolute budget freeze. We will be pushing hard for the savings to be found to hit that target. " "The simple truth is that the parliament cannot keep Strasbourg and its credibility."
Further mobile 'roaming' price cuts thanks to EU deal
Posted,3/28/2012 5:00:00 PM
Consumers will benefit from even cheaper telephone calls and internet downloads abroad this summer following an agreement reached between national governments and MEPs on new mobile roaming legislation.
EU-US counter-terrorist agreement safeguards lives and liberties
Posted,3/27/2012 5:00:00 PM
The Passenger Name Records (PNR) agreement between the EU and USA is a crucial tool in the fight against terrorism and serious crime, Timothy Kirkhope MEP said today after the European Parliament’s home affairs committee voted to give consent to the deal.
Approval for Bradbourn's plan to boost regional airports - and ban the "one bag" rule
Posted,3/27/2012 4:00:00 PM
The European Parliament's Transport Committee today approved a report by Conservative MEP Philip Bradbourn promoting a raft of measures to boost business at regional airports.
Labour Councillor must be expelled for Thatcher tweet
Posted,3/26/2012 4:00:00 PM
Conservative MEP Martin Callanan has called on Labour to expel a councillor who posted a message on Twitter about "celebrating" the death of Lady Thatcher. The North-East MEP said Councillor Linda Hobson's words were disgusting and indecent. Hobson, a Labour member of Newcastle City Council, deleted her entire Twitter account yesterday after her message about the former prime minister provoked a furious response. She wrote about seeing Lady Thatcher's picture on television and being disappointed to learn she had not died. Mr Callanan said: “These comments really are beyond the pale. For someone elected to public office and who is a practising nurse, to proudly tweet about celebrating another human being’s death shows a total lack of integrity, responsibility and decency. Her constituents have a right to expect the highest standards and she has let them, her party and her profession down.
Conservatives pour scorn on Barroso's prediction of FTT "savings"
Posted,3/23/2012 2:00:00 PM
The European Commission today published a report claiming that a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) in the EU would save each member state 50 per cent of its annual contributions to Europe.
Labour MEPs want to give more powers to EU over human rights
Posted,3/22/2012 2:00:00 PM
During its current chairmanship of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, the UK Government is trying to introduce changes in the activities of the Court. It is felt that too many issues which should be matters of national jurisdiction are being dealt with by the Court. This has an adverse impact on national efforts to change immigration policy, to deport terrorists, and to set the rules for prisoners. The Prime Minister has stated that "what we are striving for is that national governments should take primary responsibility for safeguarding their citizens' rights".
New pig welfare standards must be enforced - everywhere
Posted,3/21/2012 3:00:00 PM
European Commissioners cannot sit back - they must take tough action against any countries that flout new rules partially banning the use of stalls for sows, Conservative MEP Vicky Ford has warned.The East of England MEP was speaking at a Brussels briefing she organised to highlight issues affecting British farmers. These included the new EU directive which will come into force next January, banning the use of stalls except in the first four weeks of gestation.
Fears raised over danger of EU protectionism
Posted,3/21/2012 1:00:00 PM
The European Commission has announced measures it says are aimed at opening up a worldwide procurement market and fair access for European businesses - but a Conservative MEP today raised concerns over potential protectionism.