Today the European Parliament backed the creation of the new EU Aid Volunteers initiative. It will provide a way for people willing to help communities around the world struck by disasters. Around 4,000 volunteers from across Europe will be deployed at various periods throughout the course of the scheme until 2020.
The new programme will be open to people from all ages and walks of life who have the relevant skills and knowledge needed to assist during a humanitarian crisis. Deployed volunteers will receive training and will be provided with all relevant resources needed during the mission. It is envisaged that volunteers will be brought together with international organisations to work together on common projects.
Bill Newton Dunn, Liberal Democrat MEP for the East Midlands said:
“Every year I am struck by the number of people who are willing to dedicate so much time and energy into helping others overseas, so I believe it’s only right that we have proper structures in place to make applying to volunteer as easy as possible.”
“We live in a world where sadly natural disasters are becoming ever more common so Europe must be able to provide humanitarian organisations with people who are skilled and willing to help.”
“It is only the Liberal Democrats who are making the case for Europe as the party of “in” and we believe opportunities, such as this scheme, highlight the opportunities Britons receive through being in Europe.”
The European Parliament today voted on a report calling more European coopeation to address organised crime, corruption and money-laundering in the EU. The report calls for stronger maritime cooperation and border management to stamp out human-trafficking and the smuggling of counterfeit products, weapons and illegal drugs. It also calls for better information-sharing and coordination between national authorities to enable them to fight organised crime and confiscate criminal assets more effectively.
Bill Newton Dunn MEP, the Liberal Democrat Coordinator on the European Parliament’s committee on Organised Crime, commented:
“Shockingly, at a time when governments across Europe are struggling to balance the books, we are losing billions of pounds worth of tax revenue each year to gangs of ruthless criminals. VAT fraud alone is estimated to account for €100 billion of lost revenue a year to the EU, while £4.7 billion of taxes are being lost to criminals annually in the UK. Continue reading →
Today the European Parliament adopted a report calling for greater cooperation to tackle organised crime, corruption and money laundering in the European Union. Liberal Democrat MEP for the East Midlands Bill Newton Dunn, who has been fighting for these issues to be dealt with on a political level for years, welcomed the outcome of the vote.
Bill Newton Dunn MEP commented:
“Hundreds of billions of pounds worth of taxes are lost every year across Europe due to organised crime, as well as millions of legitimate jobs which have been taken out of the grasp of hard-working citizens. Fraud, counterfeiting, smuggling and cyber-crime are all having a drastic impact on the economy and are undermining efforts to promote jobs and growth. Britain is particularly affected, with half of Europol’s investigations into organised crime having links to the UK.” Continue reading →