Human Rights Medal of Honour for Vice-President McMillan-Scott

Edward McMillan-Scott MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament for Democracy and Human Rights, was presented with the Medal of Honour by the President of Venice-based European Inter-University Centre forHuman Rights and Democratisation, Professor Horst Fischer, “in recognistion of his lasting efforts in the promotion and protection of human rights.” 

Previous winners are Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Manfred Nowak, human rights lawyer and former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture. 

Speaking after the awards ceremony at the opening of the academic year at the Scuola Grande, Venice on 22 September, McMillan-Scott said: Continue reading

Lib Dem MEPs lobby for fair distribution of EU funding

Lib Dem MEPs have welcomed the Coalition Government’s commitment to ensure that cuts to European funding from 2014 onwards will be shared in a fair manner across the UK.

The Coalition Government has announced that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be subjected to an equal percentage cut of around 5% compared to the current 2007-2017 EU funding levels.

MEPs and national governments are currently negotiating the next long-term EU budget for 2014-2020. Although a final deal has yet to be reached, the EU’s budget is expected to be cut in real-terms for the first time in its history.

The leader of the Liberal Democrat delegation in the European Parliament, North East MEP Fiona Hall, said: Continue reading

McMillan-Scott: Transatlantic push for human rights as Beijing changes bosses

Edward McMillan-Scott MEPBlind Chinese human rights activist Mr Chen Guangcheng made a forceful appeal on Capitol Hill, Washington [5 March 2013] for a transatlantic pact to highlight human rights abuses in China, as the 12th National People’s Congress in Beijing rubber-stamped new president Mr Xi Jinping.

The call was endorsed at a hearing in the US capital by UK Lib Dem MEP Edward McMillan-Scott MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament responsible for Human Rights & Democracy and transatlantic relations, and Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), who chairs the House human rights committee: Continue reading

McMillan-Scott calls for treaty change for Single Seat following ECJ ruling

Today the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in Case C-237/11 (Joined Cases C-237/11, C-238/11), France v European Parliament against MEPs’ decision to merge two Strasbourg plenary sessions into one week in October.


Senior Liberal Democrat MEP Edward McMillan-Scott, European Parliament Vice President and co-founder of the cross-party Single Seat campaign commented: Continue reading

McMillan-Scott: MEPs want Treaty change in support of Single Seat for the European Parliament

On the eve of a major seminar [Strasbourg, 24 October 1330 - 1530] on the European Parliament’s controversial monthly trek from its home in Brussels to its official ‘seat’ in Strasbourg, MEPs have voted overwhelmingly to invoke their new powers under the Lisbon Treaty to propose treaty changes.

By 615 – 64, MEPs voted for a change in the treaty to allow for a Single Seat and in a series of budget votes with similar majorities pointed out that the economic and environmental savings of such a move.

The cross-party Single Seat campaign, led by two parliament Vice-Presidents, Edward McMillan-Scott (UK, Liberal Democrat) and Alexander Alvaro (Germany, FDP) has figures showing the additional costs at some €180m per year and 19,000 tonnes of CO2. They also asked governments to address the issue in the current negotiations on the EU’s Multi-Annual Financial Framework 2014 – 2020. Mr McMillan-Scott said: Continue reading

McMillan-Scott welcomes Nobel Peace Prize for European Union

Commenting on the Nobel Peace Prize award to the EU for six decades of advancing peace in Europe, senior Lib Dem MEP Edward McMillan-Scott (Yorkshire & Humber), who has been the European Parliament’s Vice President responsible for democracy and human rights since 2004, said:

“The Nobel Peace Prize for the EU is recognition of the transformative power of the European project that brought a war-torn continent back to prosperity and through its enlargement process helped to spread democracy and freedom to the former Soviet bloc and is a model for reform worldwide. Continue reading

McMillan-Scot: Appointment of EUSR for Human Rights

The EU High Representative, Baroness Ashton, today appointed former MEP, Stavros Lambrinidis, as the new EU Special Representative for Human Rights – a newly created position with the full backing of the European Parliament.

Edward McMillan Scott (Lib Dem, UK), European Parliament Vice President responsible for Human Rights and Democracy welcomed the appointment: Continue reading

McMillan-Scott: spotlight on China on International Day against Torture

Edward McMillan-Scott MEP

After her release Zhang, a Beijingaccountant who was imprisoned for her religious beliefs, sent the MEP a list of 50 escalating torture steps used to persuade her to recant. Zhang Lianying and her husband Niu Jinping, another ex-prisoner whom Edward met in Beijing during his last visit in May 2006, now live in theUSA. Another former prisoner of conscience whom McMillan-Scott met, Cao Dong, was then imprisoned and tortured until his release in November 2011. However, on June 8 2012 he was re-arrested and McMillan-Scott fears that he is again being tortured somewhere. Continue reading

McMillan-Scott: Coherent EU strategy on human rights overdue

Edward McMillan-Scott MEPA senior UK Liberal Democrat MEP has welcomed today’s adoption of a strategic framework on human rights and democracy by the EU’s 27 Foreign Ministers as an overdue step towards enhancing the effectiveness and visibility of the EU’s human rights policy.

Edward McMillan-Scott MEP, a Vice President of the European Parliament responsible for the promotion of human rights and democracy, commented:

“The Arab Spring is only the latest of developments to highlight the importance of a coherent human rights and democracy promotion policy. Continue reading

McMillan-Scott: European pressure on China as Dalai Lama visits UK

On the eve of Tibetan Spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, speaking at the Yorkshire International Business Convention [Friday 15 June], the European Parliament has increased pressure on China by passing a resolution on Tibet [Thursday 14 June], co-sponsored by Yorkshire & Humber MEP Edward McMillan-Scott (Liberal Democrat) in his capacity as Vice-President of the European Parliament responsible for Democracy and Human Rights. The resolution draws attention to the chronic human rights abuses taking place in Tibet which has tragically caused 38 Tibetans to self-immolate in protest since 2009.

Mr McMillan-Scott has for many years been highly critical of the way the Chinese regime treats people in Tibet.  In 1996 he visited Tibet, and afterwards he met the Dalai Lama who had been forced into exile in 1959 by the Chinese Communist Party.  McMillan-Scott is campaigning for a truly independent Tibet, free from Chinese repression; in 2008 he sponsored a successful political boycott by key EU figures of the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony because of human rights abuses by China in Tibet, and in China itself.

Following the passing of the resolution in the European Parliament, Mr McMillan-Scott commented: Continue reading