Catherine Bearder MEP - South East EnglandShopkeepers and supermarkets are being urged to make sure shelves are stocked with Easter eggs made with traffick-free chocolate.

South East MEP Catherine Bearder is supporting charity Stop the Traffik’s campaign calling on shops to make sure the Easter eggs they sell are not made using child labour.

She said: “Despite the hard work of groups such as Stop the Traffik, it is still tricky to buy Easter Eggs which are Fairtrade. I think the change will only happen with pressure from shoppers. Continue reading


Catherine Bearder MEP - South East EnglandTime to listen to young people across Europe… that is the message from Catherine Bearder MEP.

Catherine hosted BtB (Bite the Ballot) and WIMPS (Where is My Public Servant) in Brussels as they launched an initiative aimed at boosting young voter registration ahead of the 2014 European elections.

The aim was to build interest in the ‘Rock Enrol’ campaign and encourage Members of the European Parliament to put young people at the top of the agenda.

Catherine said: “I have worked closely with Bite the Ballot, so I understand the group’s passion and enthusiasm to engage more young people in politics. Continue reading

Ludford/ Bearder: EU-US trade deal unique opportunity to boost jobs and growth

Liberal Democrat MEPs have welcomed the launch of negotiations over a comprehensive trade deal between the EU and US earlier today.

 Sarah Ludford MEP, Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s US Delegation, commented:

“The US is the EU’s most important trading partner and a hugely valuable economic partner for Britain. A transatlantic free trade deal will give a great boost to jobs and growth in both EU and the US. With such benefits on offer, this is hardly the time for the UK to exclude itself from EU leadership.” Continue reading

BEARDER: Time to bust those euromyths

Catherine Bearder MEP - South East EnglandLet’s face it, is it any surprise people in the UK get exasperated by the European Union?

They are swamped with erroneous tales of alleged devious directives and barmy plans from ‘meddling Brussels bureaucrats’.

I have my favourites.

There was the ‘fear’ sparked amongst the European male population after the story of the German man who claimed to have been made impotent by Euro coins. Continue reading

Bearder: MEPs overwhelmingly reject ACTA

Catherine Bearder MEP - South East EnglandThe European Parliament today rejected the controversial Anti Counterfeiting Agreement (ACTA) with an overwhelming majority.

ACTA was aimed at protecting copyright measures across EU member states, as well as USA and Japan. However, major developing countries and counterfeit centres such as India and China did not take part in the agreement.

Civil rights campaigners also attacked ACTA because they believed it strangled online freedoms.

UK Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder, the party’s spokesperson on international trade in the European Parliament, commented after the vote: Continue reading

Bearder: Let’s get ‘game-changing’ EU-US Free Trade Agreement

Catherine Bearder MEP - South East EnglandLiberal Democrats in the European Parliament today welcomed the interim report of the EU-USA High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth and urged both parties to launch a free trade agreement as soon as possible.

The interim report concludes that a ‘comprehensive transatlantic trade and investment agreement’ is the best option for supporting jobs and promoting growth and competitiveness across theAtlantic. Such an agreement could have huge benefits for the British economy, and the US Chamber of Commerce has estimated that the elimination of import tariffs alone would raise EU-US GDP by $180 billion.

Catherine Bearder MEP, Lib Dem EU spokesperson for international trade, commented:

“I call on the European Commission and their American counterparts to launch negotiations for a free trade agreement as soon as possible. Continue reading

Bearder: Tories reject new transparency rules to clamp down on corruption


Catherine Bearder MEP - South East EnglandA Senior UK Liberal Democrat MEP has today criticised Conservative MEPs on forming and ‘unholy alliance’ with UKIP and fascist MEPs to vote down new EU rules calling for big businesses to publish what they pay to governments in developing countries.

Due to the Conservative and far-right alliance, the International Trade Committee today rejected tough amendments to Commission proposals requiring oil, mining and logging companies to publish payments to countries in which they operate to help curb corruption and bribery.

Catherine Bearder MEP, the Lib Dem spokesperson for international trade in the European Parliament, commented after the vote: Continue reading

Bearder: Standing up fo online freedoms means stopping ACTA

Catherine Bearder MEP - South East EnglandThe European Parliament’s Trade Committee today voted against the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Agreement (ACTA) as a recommendation for the whole Parliament to reject the deal during its next plenary session in July.

UK Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder commented after the hotly contested vote:

“Liberal Democrat MEPs take the issue of copyright and counterfeiting very seriously as property rights – including intellectual property rights – form the basis of our economy and also help prevent dangerous counterfeit products, such as medicines, electronics and toys from entering our markets.  Continue reading

Bearder: Time for strong action to stop trafficking

Catherine Bearder MEP - South East EnglandA new European strategy aimed at stemming the flow of women, men and children trafficked across the continent, has been welcomed by Catherine Bearder MEP.

It came as Catherine hosted the Fighting Human Trafficking event at the European Parliament earlier today (Wednesday).

Row for Freedom members travelled to Brussels to speak about becoming the first all-female crew to cross the Atlantic. The team completed the challenge earlier this year to raise awareness of the problem of trafficking.

The European Commission has this week agreed to adopt the EU Strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings (2012-2016). Continue reading

Bearder: Conservative MEPs vote against narrowing gender pay gap

Catherine Bearder MEP - South East EnglandTory MEPs have been criticised after this week voting against European Parliament proposals to tackle the pay gap between men and women.

The vote came after it emerged women in theUKstill earn around 10 per cent less than their male colleagues for the same work. 

The UK’s Office for National Statistics reported in 2011 the median gross earnings for full-time employees were £498-a-week.

However, men were bringing in £538-a-week compared to the £440 median full-time wage for women. 

Liberal Democrat South East MEP Catherine Bearder voted on Thursday in favour of the principle of equal pay for male and female workers for equal work, or work of equal value.

She said: “It is a complete disgrace that the work of women in theUKand across Europe remains so greatly undervalued. Continue reading