NEWS: Ludford: Qatada judgement teaches us useful lessons

Baroness Sarah Ludford MEPThe European Court of Human Rights has ruled that theUK cannot deport extremist Islamic cleric Abu Qatada. Although it accepted the validity of diplomatic assurances fromJordanthat Abu Qatada would not face torture, it said evidence obtained from others under torture could be used to try him, thus jeopardising his right to a fair trial.

Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford commented: Continue reading

NEWS: DUFF: ‘Strategic Mistake’ to move science research from Europe to US

Andrew Duff MEPBASF have announced that they are to relocate their plant science research hub from Europe to the United States. UK Liberal Democrat Euro-MP Andrew Duff says he regrets the decision of a leading European Science Companies to move to the USA.

Mr Duff said: “Until we intensify research into GM we will be unable as a society to take informed decisions about the future of plant biotechnology. GM science offers the prospect of long-term solutions to problems of disease, drought, nutrition and food insecurity.” Continue reading

NEWS: HALL: Science cooperation with Africa

Fiona Hall MEPThe leader of the Liberal Democrats in the European Parliament, Fiona Hall, has spoken out in favour of a group of nine African countries (South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Mauritius, Madagascar, Namibia, Zambia, Botswana and Mozambique) to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), the world’s biggest radio telescope.

Co-author of a Written Declaration on science capacity building in Africa, Ms Hall is calling on her fellow MEPs to step up support for scientific partnerships between Europe and Africa, in particular current radio astronomy projects. She said: Continue reading

NEWS: Watson and Clegg in Effort to reengage Britain in Europe

Sir Graham Watson MEPLeading Government Ministers, Party Leaders and European Commissioners from Liberal Democratic parties across Europe met in London on the 9th of January at the invitation of Sir Graham Watson, in his role as president of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform party (ELDR) together with UK Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg.

The main topics addressed were the European economic growth; the eurozone and treaty change and the Multi-Annual Financial Framework, the European Unions long term budget strategy. A number of key Lib Dem Ministers attended the event including Energy Secretary Chris Huhne, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander and Business Secretary Vince Cable.

Prior to the meeting, Sir Graham commented: “Finding a credible solution to the economic crisis remains the number one priority. This will inevitably require greater fiscal coordination, discipline and solidarity among Eurozone countries. The draft Reinforced Economic Union (REU) Treaty under discussion at present is one step in this regard. But fiscal austerity alone cannot solve our problems. Unless we tackle the underlying cause of the crisis – Europe’s chronic lack of competiveness in the global economy – this crisis will be the first of many more to come.”

“What Europe needs is an urgent and far-reaching reform agenda to unlock jobs and economic growth across the Union; a European liberal agenda for the 21st century. Europe has done this before, and reaped the rewards: the Single Market Programme of the 80s and 90s was a truly remarkable liberal achievement, tearing down trade barriers within Europe and unlocking unprecedented levels of new jobs, growth and prosperity. We need to recapture this level of ambition.”

European Liberal Democrats in Government therefore called on all European leaders and institutions to use the extraordinary summit on Jaunary 30th to kick-start and drive forward a plan for Jobs and Growth inEurope.