LYON: EU Must Justify Spending Increases

George Lyon MEPCommenting on the European Commission request for an additional 11.2billion euros in an amending budget, Liberal Democrat MEP George Lyon said:

“It is hard to understand how the Commission can justify this increase in the EU budget, long before bills from Member States are even through the door.

“At this stage the Commission has no definite idea of what the final payment claims will be for EU projects and will not know until later in the autumn what size the bills from Member States to the EU budget are likely to be. Continue reading

Ludford: Eurosceptics crazy to dismiss EU legal ‘scoreboard’

Baroness Sarah Ludford MEPCommenting on the publication of the first EU ‘Justice Scoreboard’ assessing the effectiveness of national legal systems in EU countries in civil and commercial law, Lib Dem European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford said:
“Even for Eurosceptics it’s crazy to rubbish this exercise since they’re still supposedly in favour of EU trade. British firms operating in Europe require predictable, speedy and transparent justice that upholds the rules of the Single Market. Surely even Tories want to make sure contracts are honoured and businesses can invest with confidence in Europe?” Continue reading

Lib Dem MEPs lobby for fair distribution of EU funding

Lib Dem MEPs have welcomed the Coalition Government’s commitment to ensure that cuts to European funding from 2014 onwards will be shared in a fair manner across the UK.

The Coalition Government has announced that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be subjected to an equal percentage cut of around 5% compared to the current 2007-2017 EU funding levels.

MEPs and national governments are currently negotiating the next long-term EU budget for 2014-2020. Although a final deal has yet to be reached, the EU’s budget is expected to be cut in real-terms for the first time in its history.

The leader of the Liberal Democrat delegation in the European Parliament, North East MEP Fiona Hall, said: Continue reading


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

Bennion: Better access to pensions for Brits living in the EU

UK Lib Dem Euro MP Phil Bennion welcomed today’s Employment Committee vote on the future of pension provisions in the EU.

The European Parliament report calls for a more coordinated approach to pensions, which would enable British citizens working abroad to transfer pensions more easily from one EU country to another.

While the EU does not decide how national governments run private and public sector pensions, the EU is increasingly assisting in the coordination of pension systems across borders.

 Phil Bennion MEP commented: Continue reading

Bowles: “Today’s agreement on a bankers’ bonus cap will usher in a much needed culture change”

Sharon Bowles MEPFinal agreement on a cap for bankers’ bonuses will be reached tonight in Brussels with the completion of the last trialogue negotiation between the European Parliament and European Commission. 

New rules on bonuses, incorporated in the updated Capital Requirements Directive (CRD), include:

  • A salary / bonus ratio of 1:1 which can be raised to 1:2 with a shareholder vote of 65% if there is a 50% quorum or 75% vote if no quorum applied.
  • Up to 25% of the bonus can be paid in long-term instruments (deferred for five years) linked to the capital, and therefore stability, of the bank.* Continue reading

Davies: Commission calls Daimler’s bluff

Chris Davies MEPThe European Commission has warned that new model types of Daimler cars put on the market anywhere in Europe do not conform to EU law and should not be sold.

The announcement could inflict huge damage upon Daimler’s finances and reputation.

Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani will appear in front of the Environment Committee tonight (20 March 17.30-18.30) to discuss the enforcement of the mobile air conditioning (MAC) directive, applicable since 1 January 2013. Continue reading

Bowles on Banking Union: Making ECB accountable is great victory

 Sharon Bowles MEPSpeaking from Brussels today following the final negotiations on the Banking Union Sharon Bowles MEP, who chairs the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, said:

“This was an historic agreement to establish first steps for a Banking Union which will see the ECB take over supervision of systemic banks, or those receiving state aid, and revise the voting arrangements of the European Banking Authority. Continue reading

Hall: MEPs push for more fuel efficient and less polluting cars

Fiona Hall MEPLiberal Democrat MEP Fiona Hall welcomed today’s vote in the European Parliament’s Industry Committee to renew the procedure in which vehicles are tested on their emissions and fuel efficiency.

Current tests do not take place under real life conditions and turn a blind eye to the practice of taping over cracks around the doors and grill, over-inflated tyres, adjusting the wheel alignment and brakes, using special super-lubricants, minimising the weight of the vehicle, testing at altitude and at unrealistically high temperatures and on super-slick test-tracks.

Ms Hall was responsible for drafting a report in the Industry Committee on measures to help reach the EU’s 2020 targets of cutting CO2 emissions for passenger cars. Commenting after the vote, she said: Continue reading