Lib Dem MEPs lead calls for election manifesto commitment to a Single Seat for the European Parliament

Edward McMillan-Scott MEPLib Dem MEPs today called on all European political as well as national parties to include an election manifesto commitment to a Single Seat for the European parliament.

Speaking after a public hearing in the European Parliament in Brussels, senior Lib Dem MEP Edward McMillan-Scott, co-chair of the cross-party, pro-European, pro-democracy Single Seat campaign, commented:  Continue reading

Davies: Irish Presidency accused of deceiving MEPs

Picture shows Matthias Groote MEP, Chair of the Environment Committee of the European Parliament (left) with Chris Davies MEP (right) and Bill the Cod.

The Irish Presidency will this evening be accused of deceiving MEPs over an issue key to reform Europe’s Common Fisheries Policy.

The preparation of long term management plans for every fishery is seen as crucial to the rebuilding of depleted fish stocks.

But since 2009, EU governments have blocked negotiations on their preparation in an argument with the European Parliament over the terms of the Lisbon Treaty.

Ministers say that governments have the right to set annual quotas, but MEPs say the treaty gives them the power to set guidelines.

MEPs argue that the Ministers have in the past been responsible for allowing over-fishing and the decline in stocks.

Chris Davies, a British MEP who founded the cross-party Fish for the Future group, has been amongst those pressing for negotiations. Continue reading

Lyon: Lib Dem MEPs calls on EU Parliament to scrap planned budget hikes

George Lyon MEPSenior UK Liberal Democrat MEP George Lyon today called on the European Parliament to scrap planned budget increases ahead of the next series of votes on EU spending in 2014.

Mr Lyon, a vice chair of the EU Budget Committee, has tabled amendments that, if implemented, would see the one off costs of funding the European election absorbed within a real-terms budget freeze.

Commenting, Mr Lyon said: Continue reading

Davies/ Hall: Conservative MEPs betray British business in carbon vote

MEPs in Strasbourg today narrowly (334-315) rejected a proposal by the European Commission to delay the auctioning of greenhouse gas allowances to avoid a further drop in the price of carbon. The European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) was originally introduced to incentivise investments in low carbon technologies by putting a price on polluting greenhouse gas emissions.

UK Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies, the environment spokesman for the Liberal Democrat (ALDE) group in the European Parliament, commented after the vote:

“MEPs have turned their back on the future.  Continue reading

Bowles: Strengthening EU banks to get Europe back on the path to growth and trade

Sharon Bowles MEPSharon Bowles MEP, Chair of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, today welcomed the vote in favour of the Capital Requirements Directive and Regulation, which implements Basel III – the international accord which sets global standards for banks – into EU law. 

While in recent weeks the hotly politicised subject of capping bankers’ bonuses has dominated the headlines this measure is in fact part of a much larger raft of legislation which will increase banks’ resilience to future financial crises by requiring them to have higher capital buffers to absorb losses and hold more easy-to-sell liquid assets. In addition, the regulation and directive introduce various other measures to strengthen corporate governance and transparency, and encourage growth and lending to the real economy in the EU.

Sharon Bowles MEP said: Continue reading

Lyon: New test results underline need for EU-wide action on horsemeat scandal

UK Liberal Democrat MEP George Lyon has today warned that addressing the horse meat scandal will require an EU-wide solution.

Mr Lyon, a member of the EU Agriculture Committee, was commenting after the EU Commission published the result of testing which found the presence of horse DNA in almost 5% of beef samples taken from across the continent. He said: 

‘What these test results underline clearly is that this is an EU-wide problem that demands an EU-wide solution. Continue reading

Lib Dem MEPs pave way for tough new rules on corporate transparency

Large oil, gas, diamond and logging companies will be obliged to disclose full information on all projects where payments to governmental authorities exceed a threshold of 100.000 Euros under new rules negotiated between MEPs and ministers from all 27 EU Member States last night.

The Leader of the Liberal Democrat delegation in the European Parliament, Fiona Hall MEP, who steered the legislation through the Development Committee and was a key MEP for the insertion of the county-by-country and project-by-project rule, commented: Continue reading

Lib Dem MEPs call for Committee of Inquiry on Cyprus

 

Sharon Bowles MEPSenior UK Liberal Democrat MEP Sharon Bowles has called for a Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry should the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) Hearing on 25 April not answer the many questions hanging over the Cyprus affair.

Sharon Bowles, who chairs the influential ECON Committee said: Continue reading

BEARDER: Ban pesticides which could harm bees

Catherine Bearder MEP - South East EnglandThe Government has been branded “beyond complacent” after it stalled on banning chemicals which could damage bees.

Catherine Bearder, a Lib Dem MEP for the South East of England, is backing calls to suspend the use of neonicotinoids amid fears of the impact on the bee population.

Members of the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee have demanded a moratorium on use of the chemicals.

However, the UK Government is still unconvinced and is asking the European Commission to launch a major study to settle the debate.

But Catherine said: “This is beyond complacent. Britain cannot continue to flap around on the issue. We all know how important bees are to our biodiversity. Continue reading