Bowles: Latest oil scandal proves need for better corporate transparency in developing world

Sharon Bowles MEPEuro MP Sharon Bowles, who chairs the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, has renewed calls for better corporate transparency in the developing world following revelations that approximately £690 million paid to the Nigerian government by subsidiaries of Shell and ENI ended up in the hands of former Nigerian oil minister and convicted money launderer, Dan Etete.

For years big multinational companies have been able to keep their business dealings in the developing world a secret but new EU proposals will require companies to make public details of their activities on a country-by-country and project-by-project basis.

However, Ms Bowles believes these ‘projects’ need to be properly defined to ensure that payments, such as the one made by Shell and ENI, are reported. Continue reading

Ludford: International action needed on homophobic bullying and discrimination

On International Day against Homophobia, Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford has given her support to young LGBT people suffering from bullying or discrimination at school.


Sarah has taken part in a video message from European leaders to gay and lesbian youngsters, telling them how they are working to ‘make things better.’ She commented: Continue reading

Bearder: Sticking up for animal welfare

The loss of biodiversity is happening right under our noses… and too many people choose not to listen, Catherine Bearder MEP has said.

It came as Catherine joined the Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals, which is the hub for animal welfare in the European Parliament.

The group has successfully lobbied for an EU ban on the import of seal products and spearheaded a call to outlaw cloning of animals in the food chain. Continue reading

Bearder: All revved up over EU regulation plans

Catherine Bearder with Motocycle Action Group

Bikers are gearing up for a battle with European law makers over proposals which could impact on the extent motorbikes are modified.

The EU has said the proposed Type Approval and Market Surveillance Regulation is aimed at improving motorbike safety.

But the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), which has 50,000 UK members, claims it is unnecessary and is worried about the effect on the industry.

Catherine Bearder, Euro MP for Buckinghamshire, met with local MAG members at On Yer Bike. Paddy Tyson, campaign manager for MAG, said: “The proposed EU regulation which concerns us contains come clauses which aim to curtail personal modifications to motorcycles. Continue reading

McMillan-Scott: MEPs call for single seat of the European Parliament ahead of first ECJ hearing

Edward McMillan-Scott MEPIn a vote to clear the EU’s budget for 2010, MEPs have today sent out another strong message of support for a single working location of the European Parliament.

EU Member States continue to veto a single seat for the European Parliament despite the fact that it would achieve estimated savings of € 180million (£145million) a year.

A court case brought forward by France and Luxembourg against the European Parliament’s decision to merge two Strasbourg sessions into one week is due to start on June 5th.

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

Bennion: to patent or not to patent biological processes?

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.

Lyon: Member States promise no illegal eggs by year end

George Lyon MEPAt a meeting of the European Agriculture Committee, Commissioner John Dalli announced that all Member States had promised that they would be compliant with the ban on battery cages by the end of this year.

He also said that 16 Member States now expected to be compliant with the sow stall ban by the end of this year.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat MEP for Scotland George Lyon said: Continue reading

Bowles: Fight against tax-dodging multinationals

Sharon Bowles MEPLast year large multinational companies operating in the developing world avoided paying taxes of approximately $165 billion to host governments.

Sharon Bowles MEP, who chairs the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, has launched a new campaign – ‘Own, Up, Pay Up!’ – to shed light on the issue and to prevent future financial malpractice among EU multinationals.

Hundreds of people have already signed Sharon’s petition in support of moves to get tax-dodging multinationals to pay their fair share, as well as help local populations hold their governments to account. Continue reading