A revised proposal for the Electro-Magnetic Fields Directive adopted by the European Parliament inStrasbourgtoday is ‘safe, proportionate and practical,’ say Liberal Democrat MEPs, who lobbied hard for the original draft directive to be withdrawn.
The new text has been substantially modified after Lib Dem MEPS, especially former West Midlands MEP Liz Lynne, highlighted objections from industry and in particular health services that safety restrictions to prevent exposure to Electro-Magnetic Fields were so tightly drawn that technology such as hospital MRI scanners would be impossible to use.
Her successor, Phil Bennion MEP, the current Lib Dem Employment and Social Affairs spokesman, said the new proposals, supported by the UK government, were now practical and evidence-based.
The European Commission today unveiled new proposals to strengthen air passenger rights. West Midlands Lib Dem MEP Phil Bennion, who sits on the European Parliament Transport Committee, commented:
“This is a very welcome proposal which will close some of the glaring loopholes in the existing legislation. A significant change is the clarification of the “exceptional circumstances” under which airlines do not have to pay compensation, something I have long called for as a member of the Transport Committee. This means airlines will no longer be able to avoid paying out by pointing to issues like mechanical problems, and will prevent customers being dragged through long and expensive court cases. Airlines will also have to explain to passengers why they are being delayed no more than half an hour after the scheduled departure time, putting an end to uncertain and frustrating waits sitting on the runway or in the departure lounge.” Continue reading “Bennion: EU proposal to strengthen air passenger rights” »
Liberal Democrat MEP Phil Bennion has slammed the Greens in the European Parliament for their attempts to force all vehicles over 1.5 tonnes used for carrying goods to install digital tachographs.
The rejected Green proposals would have caused mayhem for millions of self-employed drivers, from farmers to plumbers. However, a Socialist proposal to include vehicles over 2.8t rather than the current 3.5t vehicles into the regulation originally introduced to ensure proper rest periods for long distance lorry drivers was adopted, meaning that there will be a potentially bigger administrative burden on larger vans.
Commenting after the votes on the revision of the 1985 tachograph regulation, Mr Bennion, the Liberal Democrat spokesperson on transport in the European Parliament, said:
West Midlands region MEP Phillip Bennion and the Liberal group in the European Parliament called today for pro-growth reforms to reverse soaring unemployment across the EU.
Unemployment in the EU rose to 10.3% in the most recent April figures, as employers cut 102,000 jobs from their payrolls. Unemployment in the EU has not been this high since 2000, with many governments facing the double challenge of reducing both unemployment and budget deficits at the same time.
The Liberal and Democrat Group in the European Parliament (ALDE) today stressed the need for structural reform of the labour market to tackle unemployment and reach the EU2020 goals for smart, sustainable and inclusive jobs and growth.
Phil Bennion (UK Lib Dems), a member of the Employment committee, welcomed a resolution voted on today at the Parliament in Strasbourg, following on from the Employment package presented in April by the European Parliament.
Phil Bennion MEP explains why Lib Dems in the Parliament today voted against a resolution on the patenting of essential biological processes. He stressed that the resolution did not strike the right balance between the right of breeders and the need to patent innovative techniques. He explained that Lib Dems are not in favour of patenting plants or natural processes in themselves, but instead support the need to patent breeding techniques in order to stimulate innovation.
Liberal Democrats today strongly condemned the obstructive Conservative approach at an EU level towards tackling the economic and financial challenges facing the Eurozone, saying it would threaten the economic recovery of the UK.