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Parliamentary Highlights

This is for people who want more information on actual reports/legislation going through the Parliament.

Summary of Brussels Session (25th & 26th April 2005)

Main Events of the Session:

Protection of Groundwater

Although Conservatives successfully defeated the amendments seeking to introduce uniform groundwater standards across the EU, we abstained in the final vote because a number of amendments were passed which undermined the positive features of the original Commission proposal.

A new definition of deterioration in groundwater status has been introduced, contrary to the Water Framework Directive. Furthermore, there are several amendments with regard to the frequency of monitoring the quality of the groundwater, thereby preventing member states from operating in a cost-effective way and in a manner which is proportionate to risk.

Human Rights

The European Parliament adopted Simon Coveney's report on human rights in the world for 2004 (+ 251, - 64, Abst. 255). However, Conservatives abstained on the final vote, along with many other Members of the House. Conservatives MEPs supported most of what the report stated on the grounds that the party believes in the highest level of civil and political human rights throughout the World, good governance and democracy as the form of ideal government.

Charles Tannock MEP, Foreign Affairs spokesman in the European Parliament, said:

"Our party has a policy position in rejecting the International Criminal Court and therefore we could not support amendment 45 and we are examining the issue of resiling the UN Geneva Convention on Refugees in order to regain control of immigration and asylum policy and therefore could not support amendment 35. Similarly we regard the death penalty for the most serious crimes and abortion as conscience issues and have no stated policies either way. In the light of these considerations we had to abstain overall."

Situation of the Roma

Conservatives abstained on the final vote of the Joint Motion for a resolution regarding the situation of the Roma.

Timothy Kirkhope MEP, Leader of the delegation said:

"I and my British Conservative colleagues completely and unreservedly condemn all forms of racism and xenophobia. However, we were unable to support this resolution because we do not think that the cause of a specific minority group such as the Roma is furthered by "pigeon-holing" them into a separate category, which runs the risk of increasing their isolation and marginalisation. Instead, we feel it is best to keep the fight against discrimination and prejudice, which the Roma undoubtedly face, within the mainstream of political, economic, and social policy."

Votes this week

Consultation of the Economic and Social Committee
Adopted - Conservatives against

Consultation of the Committee of the Regions
Adopted - Conservatives against

Brok - Implementation of Community Assistance
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Chichester - Scientific and technological cooperation agreement between the EC and Brazil
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Chichester - Scientific and technological cooperation agreement between the EC and Mexico
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Kirkhope - Protocol to the Agreement with Switzerland on the free movement of persons
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Coelho - Schengen Information System - access for vehicle registration services
2nd reading approved - Conservatives abstained

Klass - Protection of groundwater against pollution
Adopted - Conservatives abstained

Harkin - European Foundation for the improvement of Living and Working Conditions
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Hughes - European Agency for Safety and health at work
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Lax - Reciprocity mechanism
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Handzlik - Internal Market in the new Member States
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Coveney - Human Rights in the world (2004) and the EU's policy
Adopted - Conservatives abstained

Resolution - Situation of the Roma in the EU
Adopted - Conservatives abstained

Cabrnoch - Social protection and good quality healthcare
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Van den Burg - Financial markets
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Resolution - Persistent organic pollutants
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Party Watch - where different from Conservatives

(+) Resolution - Situation of the Roma (RC B6-0272/2005)

Liberal Democrats
(+) Resolution - Situation of the Roma (RC B6-0272/2005)

(-) Chichester - Scientific and technological co-operation between EC and Mexico (A6-0080/2005)

  Plenary Highlights 7 - 10 March 2005
  Plenary Highlights 10 - 13 January 2005
  Plenary Highlights 15 - 18 November 2004
  "Mini" Plenary Highlights 13 - 14 October 2004
  Plenary Highlights 13-16 September 2004
  Plenary Highlights 29 March - 1 April 2004
  "Mini" Plenary Highlights 25-26 February 2004
  Plenary Highlights 9-12 February 2004
  "Mini" Plenary Highlights 28-29 January 2004
  Plenary Highlights 12-15 January 2004
  Plenary Highlights 17-20 November 2003
  "Mini" Plenary Highlights 5-6 November 2003
  Plenary Highlights 20-23 October 2003
  Plenary Highlights 22-25 September 2003
  Plenary Highlights 1-4 September 2003
    Plenary Highlights 30 June - 3 July 2003
  Plenary Highlights 2-5 June 2003
  Plenary Highlights 12-15 May 2003
  Plenary Highlights 7-10 April 2003
  "Mini" Plenary Highlights 26-27 March 2003
  Plenary Highlights 10-13 March 2003
  Plenary Highlights 10-13 February 2003
  Plenary Highlights 13-16 January 2003
  Plenary Highlights 17-20 December 2002
  Plenary Highlights 18-21 November 2002
  "Mini" Plenary Highlights 6-7 November 2002
  Plenary Highlights 21-24 October 2002
  Plenary Highlights 23-26 September 2002
  Plenary Highlights 2-7 September 2002