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Parliamentary Highlights

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

For further details visit the Press Service section of the European Parliament website

Review of Brussels Session (31 January - 1 February 2007)

Vodka Challenge Won By Conservative MEPs

Vodka producers in the UK do not have to swallow re-labelling legislation from the EU, thanks to Conservative MEPs. Britain is the second biggest producer of vodka in Europe . The Poles and the Scandinavians had attempted to restrict the term "vodka" to products made from potatoes and grain. Almost a third (30 per cent) of vodka produced in Britain is made from molasses.

In future, the term vodka will apply to the spirit made from potatoes, grain and molasses. Other vodkas made from different ingredients such as grapes or apples will have to spell that out on their labels.

Conservatives Health and Consumer Affairs Spokesman, John Bowis MEP, said:

"British vodka is safe thanks to a compromise deal worked out by the British Conservatives and allies.

"Vodka in the UK will continue to bear that simple label. The attempt by the Poles and the Scandinavians to restrict the term to their own products failed."


Labour Party Beats The UK Egg Industry Into The Ground - And Off Our Shop Shelves

Labour is discriminating against our agricultural industry, forcing British pig and poultry farmers, already struggling to survive against the mighty supermarkets, to shell out thousands on new charges.

The Government will charge farmers with more than 40,000 birds a one-off £3,331 application fee and between £2,229 and £2,794 a year for inspection fees under new environmental legislation from the EU, while other countries charge their farmers nothing. Many fear egg production across the UK could now drop by a third.

Families across the country get through more than 10 million eggs a year and to keep up with our love of a fried egg with the great English breakfast retailers may have to import to avoid shortages on shop shelves.

The Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control permit system (IPPC) aims to reduce emissions into the environment and although it is aimed at heavy industry, many poultry and pig farms will find themselves in the same category due to the ammonia and dust produced.

Conservative Spokesman on Agriculture in the European Parliament, Neil Parish MEP said:

"The Dutch and the Belgians are not charging at all for permits while other EU countries are charging just small administration fees. Profit margins in our poultry industry are far too small already so thousands of pounds worth of extra bureaucracy will cause many poultry farmers to leave the business.

"These charges could harm consumers too. If our poultry industry collapses, our supermarkets will start importing from abroad which means lower-quality and potentially less-safe chicken on our supermarket shelves."


Europe Should Quit On Smoking Policy

Europe should butt out on enforcing smoke-free zones across Member States with more heavy-handed legislation, Conservative Spokesman on Health and Consumers Spokesman, John Bowis MEP said this week in Brussels .

Although smoking bans are a positive move, Europe should quit on trying to impose an EU-wide policy, he said.

John Bowis MEP added:

"Not only is it good health news for British people on holiday, living and working in France , but it shows that Member States are doing this on their own initiative and do not need heavy handed European legislation on this matter.

"As usual, Europe is at its best when it shares good practice. It enables us to learn from and, when appropriate, emulate one another."



Results of the votes:

Barón Crespo - Protection of passengers against displaced luggage
Adopted - Conservatives in favour  

Barón Crespo - Approval of motor vehicles with regard to the forward field of vision of the motor vehicle driver
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Chichester - EC-Korea Agreement on scientific and technological cooperation
Adopted - Conservatives in favour  

Budreikaité - Mainstreaming sustainability in development cooperation policies
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Elles - Draft Amending Budget No 1/2007
Adopted - Conservatives in favour  

Motion for a Resolution - Dalits in India
Adopted - Conservatives against

Arnaoutakis - Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Community and the Gabonese Republic
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Joint Motion for a Resolution - Moratorium on the death penalty
Adopted - Conservatives had a free vote

Ries - Promoting healthy diets and physical activity: a European dimension for the prevention of overweight, obesity and chronic diseases
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Wallis - Limitation periods in cross-border disputes involving injuries and fatal accidents
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Flasarová - Discrimination against young women and girls in the field of education
Adopted - Conservatives abstained   

Deva - EU-relations with the Pacific Islands
Adopted - Conservatives in favour  

Lehne - The European private company statute
Adopted - Conservatives against


Party watch - where different from Conservatives in recorded final votes:

UKIP
(-)  Budreikaité - Mainstreaming sustainability in development cooperation policies (A6-0474/2006)
(-)  R Promoting healthy diets and physical activity: a European dimension for the prevention of overweight (A6-0450/2006)



  Plenary Highlights 11-14 December 2006
  Plenary Highlights 13-16 November 2006
  "Mini" Plenary Highlights 11 - 12 October 2006
  Plenary Highlights 25 - 28 September 2006
  Plenary Highlights 3 - 6 July 2006
  Plenary Highlights 3 - 6 April 2006
  Plenary Highlights 13 - 16 March 2006
  "Mini" Plenary Highlights 1 - 2 February 2006
  Plenary Highlights 16 - 19 January 2006
  "Mini" Plenary Highlights 12 - 13 October 2005
  Plenary Highlights 5 - 8 September 2005
  Plenary Highlights 4 - 8 July 2005
  Plenary Highlights 9 - 12 May 2005
  "Mini" Plenary Highlights 25 - 26 April 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