NEWS: Lynne: European Commissioner praises visit to West Midlands in European Parliament

Liz Lynne MEPEU Employment Commissioner Lázló Andor has praised a visit to West Midlands company Bridgnorth Aluminium as a great experience to study health and safety and other industrial issues in Britain.

He made his comments after Liberal Democrat MEP Liz Lynne, who in June brought the Commissioner to the West Midlands, raised his visit to the company during a Q&A session on employment issues in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Continue reading

NEWS: Bearder: Democracy still a distant dream in Zimbabwe

Catherine Bearder MEP - South East EnglandCatherine Bearder MEP has met with the Zimbabwean Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and National Healing Minister Moses Mzila-Ndlovu to discuss the current state of affairs and the outlook for democratic reform inZimbabwe.

Ms Bearder who is a member of the ACP (African Caribbean and Pacific) Delegation from the EU discussed with Mr Mzila-Ndlovu his recent incarceration by his own government for addressing and organising a prayer meeting. Continue reading

NEWS: Newton Dunn: Parliament´s environment committee calls for limit of phosphorus in household detergents

Bill Newton Dunn MEPThe European Parliament Environment Committee today voted to limit the amount of phosphorus permitted in household detergents.

The Commission had proposed to restrict the use of phosphates and other phosphorus compounds in household laundry detergents only. That decision was uncontroversial – from the point of view not only of the European Parliament, but also the Council and Commission.

However, EP ALDE Rapporteur Bill Newton Dunn (Lib Dem,UK) proposed to go further, to extend the limitation to detergents for household automatic dishwashers. Continue reading

NEWS: Lyon: CAP reform proposals fail key test of sustainability and competitiveness

George Lyon MEPThe European Commission’s eagerly awaited proposals for an overhaul of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post-2013 have been criticised today as a mixture between good and bad ideas that ultimately fail the key test of sustainability and competitiveness by the Liberal and Democrat Group (ALDE).

Commenting after the presentation of the Commission’s legislative package to the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee today, UK Liberal Democrat MEP George Lyon (ALDE), who last year opened the debate on how to reform the CAP after 2013 with an own initiative report, said: Continue reading

NEWS: Andrew Duff wants controversial EU-Morocco fish pact to go to European Court

Andrew Duff MEPUK Liberal Democrat MEP Andrew DUFF and at least one-tenth of the whole European Parliament have tabled a resolution to refer the controversial EU – Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement to the European Court of Justice for an opinion on its legality under the EU Treaties and international law.

The resolution ‑ which is jointly promoted by Mr DUFF and Raul ROMEVA I RUEDA (Verts/ALE, ES) ‑ is the first attempt by the European Parliament to use its new Lisbon Treaty power to refer the EU’s international agreements to the Court for a judicial opinion before taking its vote of consent. Continue reading

NEWS: McMillan-Scott: Stepping up the pressure for a Single Seat for the European Parliament

Edward McMillan-Scott MEPAs the European Parliament meets for a second time this month in Strasbourg, UK Liberal Democrat MEP Edward McMillan-Scott, European Parliament Vice-President responsible for Democracy and Human Rights, is calling for a spending stop for all building projects concerning the Parliament until a comprehensive analysis of the real costs of all its three working places has been conducted.

 Mr McMillan-Scott, who co-chairs the Single Seat campaign determined to bring an end to the European Parliament’s historic three working places arrangement in Strasbourg,Luxembourg and Brussels, said. Continue reading

NEWS: Hall: MEPs call for strict safety regime for offshore oil and gas drilling

Fiona Hall MEPMEPs today sent a strong signal of support to the European Commission on the need for a tighter safety regime for offshore oil and gas activities, including site-specific contingency plans.

The European Parliament’s plenary voted overwhelmingly in favour of a report to update safety rules and close loopholes in current legislation by bringing regulation in all Member States up to the level of best practice, with particular reference to theUK’s safety case approach.  Continue reading

NEWS: Ludford: Faster progress needed for an EU-ready Bosnia

Baroness Sarah Ludford MEPThe Commission today issued a progress report on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s readiness for the EU accession process.Bosniahas not had a central (state level) government since a general election last year, and the EU still has a peacekeeping force there under a UN mandate.

 UK Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman Sarah Ludford commented:

 “Bosnia’s progress continues to be stifled by inter-ethnic disputes impeding essential political and economic reform. Without politicians who can raise their eyes from tactical and nationalist obstruction it will stagnate and even go backwards.” Continue reading

News: Davies: Commission to adopt radical fisheries plan

Chris Davies MEPRadical plans for reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy are due to be adopted by the European Commission on Wednesday, 13 July.

They are expected to demand a halt to the overfishing that has devastated stocks, and to limit catches to sustainable levels by 2015.

Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki last month told a meeting of the European Parliament’s cross-party ‘Fish for the Future’ group that a reduction in employment was inevitable, but that without change to protect fish stocks the loss of jobs would be even greater. Continue reading

NEWS: Wallis: Boosting the EU’s single market with optional European sales law

Diana Wallis MEPOvercoming divergences between national contract laws and boosting cross-border trade and transactions is at the heart of proposals by the European Commission for an optional common European sales law expected to be published tomorrow.

Commenting ahead of the official announcements by the Commission, UK Liberal Democrat MEP Diana Wallis, who was responsible for drafting and steering a report on policy options towards a European contract law through the European Parliament earlier this year, said: Continue reading