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

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

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

McMillan-Scott welcomes Nobel Peace Prize for European Union

Commenting on the Nobel Peace Prize award to the EU for six decades of advancing peace in Europe, senior Lib Dem MEP Edward McMillan-Scott (Yorkshire & Humber), who has been the European Parliament’s Vice President responsible for democracy and human rights since 2004, said:

“The Nobel Peace Prize for the EU is recognition of the transformative power of the European project that brought a war-torn continent back to prosperity and through its enlargement process helped to spread democracy and freedom to the former Soviet bloc and is a model for reform worldwide. Continue reading

Hall: New EU caps on roaming charges come into force on 1 July

Fiona Hall MEPOn 1 July, charges for using a mobile phone abroad will be significantly reduced thanks to new EU rules negotiated earlier this year.

The new prices caps (excluding VAT) are: 23p per minute to make a call (compared with 28p previously); 6p per minute to receive a call (rather than 9p); 7p to send a text message (compared with 9p); 56p per megabyte (MB) to download data or browse the internet whilst travelling abroad (no previous cap).

Fiona Hall MEP, leader of the UK Liberal Democrat delegation in the European Parliament and the party’s European industry spokesperson, commented:

“The new caps on roaming charges are great news for holidaymakers and business travellers alike. Continue reading

Lib Dem MEPs call on UK Government to support deal on European Patent Court

Senior Liberal Democrat MEP Sharon Bowles, chair of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, has today called on the UK Government to support a proposed deal on the location of the new European Patent Court.

A European patent that covers the whole of the single market rather than the current system which requires patents to be registered in European countries separately and at greater cost (including substantial translation costs) has been on the table for over four decades.

Last year, the 40 year long battle over which languages should be admissible came to an end with the decision of 25 EU Member States to push ahead with the creation of a common patent regime without the involvement of ItalyandSpain. However, for the past 6 months,France,Germanyand theUK had blocked further progress over a disagreement on the possible location of the newEuropean Patent Court. Now a compromise deal has been proposed by Council President Herman van Rompuy to end the stalemate at the European Council this week. 

Commenting ahead of the European Summit this Thursday and Friday in Brussels, Ms Bowles, who is also the Parliament’s only European patent attorney, said: Continue reading