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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 Strasbourg Session (12 - 15 February 2007)

Conservative MEP wins support to scrap rising levels of waste

The amount of rubbish we throw out could stabilise atnext year's level, thanks to a proposal from Conservative Rapporteur on the Waste Framework Directive, Caroline Jackson MEP. The Directive, which MEPs adopted this week in Strasbourg, could shape the next 50 years of EU policy on waste management.

By adopting Dr Jackson's report, MEPs have:

   approved the idea of a five-stage hierarchy of waste disposal options;

   endorsed her suggestion that the Commission bring forward a proposal on waste prevention;

   accepted the idea that an energy-from-waste plant can qualify as a 'recovery' operation, although they disagreed over the precise formula to be applied.

Caroline Jackson MEP said:

"This is a victory for those who, like me, believe that energy from waste has a part to play in dealing with the waste we must divert from landfill in future."

The waste prevention proposal would aim to stabilise waste production at 2008 levels by 2012. Currently, municipal solid waste is predicted to increase by more than 40 per cent by 2020 compared to 1995 levels.

The Directive, a successor to the first Waste Framework Directive, adopted in 1975 and revised in 1991, is important in defining terms.

But Dr Jackson added: "It's no good the EU being a world leader in waste terminology if it continues to be a world leader in waste generation.

"I am delighted that the Parliament adopted my report by such a large margin."


Blair snubbed on 'war on terror' as Labour MEPs vote to condemn UK over CIA prisoner transport

In a direct attack on Tony Blair's foreign policy, Labour MEPs voted this week to condemn the UK's alliance with the USA in the war on terror.

The vote in the European Parliament also implies that Britain would be unable to deport non-UK citizens and be required to provide diplomatic help to UK residents who trained in the terrorist camps in Afghanistan.

Labour's double standards were condemned by Conservative Foreign Affairs Spokesman in the European Parliament, Charles Tannock MEP.

Charles Tannock MEP said:

"Labour voted against Blair, the USA and NATO and in favour of more EU powers over security and counter-terrorism.

"Labour wants a 'water pistol' war on terror with MI6 and the CIA fighting with one hand tied behind their backs and a committee of MEPs monitoring the battle. Security is, and must be, the responsibility of national parliaments and governments."

"I particularly condemn the requirement on the British Government to extend consular protection to former UK residents who had not bothered to become citizens, but chose instead to travel to dangerous parts of the world. This is contrary to all the traditional obligations and rights of citizenship of our Member States."


European Parliament rejects Blair's inequitable CAP cuts – again

The European Parliament has once again rejected proposals to allow Britain to voluntarily withhold one fifth of farmers' CAP payments, and redistribute them into rural development schemes, Conservative Spokesman on Agriculture in the European Parliament, Neil Parish MEP, said this week.

While Conservatives are supporters of a reform to the CAP, they want any reform to maintain a level playing field across the whole EU. This proposal would see English farmers receive significantly less support than their counterparts on mainland Europe, and with differing levels of modulation in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, a farmer on the border could find he is receiving substantially more than even the farmer next door.

Mr Parish said that, as a former farmer himself, he hates to see these programmes being held up, but made clear that the Parliament will not back down in its opposition until a full impact assessment has been carried out by the government detailing what impact this modulation will have on English farmers.

Neil Parish MEP said:

"This proposal is still a very bad deal for English farmers, but we must find a solution to the impasse so that rural development programmes are not stalled any longer.

"This week in the European Parliament, I intervened to ensure this report did not have to be referred to the Agriculture Committee yet again, as would have happened according to the Parliament's services. I am doing all I can to speed the process up so that we can get the ball rolling on rural development payments as soon as possible.

"We do want to see reform of the CAP but this is fundamentally the wrong way to go about it. All our farmers ask for is a level playing field, and these proposals would put them at significant disadvantage to the rest of Europe. The key sticking point for us is in the lack of an impact assessment and until we see one, we are simply unable to back down.

"Ultimately, if the Prime Minister had negotiated a better budget deal in 2005, Defra would not have been desperately trying to find a way to make up the shortfall in its rural development spending. However, I feel the time for recriminations between MEPs and the UK Government has passed. We hope we can reach a compromise soon, which respects the interests of English farmers."


Conservatives stand up for British data Protection

Conservative MEPs this week voted for British data protection rights in voting against a motion on the PNR (Passenger Name Records) agreement, SWIFT (the international transactions clearing house) and the transatlantic dialogue in these areas.

Conservatives are in full support of measures which highlight fraudulent financial transactions for the benefit of funding terrorism.

Conservatives Spokesman on Justice and Home Affairs in the European Parliament, Philip
Bradbourn MEP, said

"The European Parliament resolution failed to recognise the importance of ensuring that access to such data should be limited to appropriate law enforcement agencies trusted with counter-terrorism action.

"In the case of the PNR agreement, Conservatives believe it is the sovereign right of a country to ask for information on people entering its territory. Any agreement on data transfer should recognise this right.

"The more appropriate method to handle such agreements and ensure high standards of data
protection is through a mechanism of intergovernmental cooperation."


UKIP is far from dolphin friendly

Proposals to introduce a uniform definition on drift nets to help control and enforce restrictions and so further protect dolphins and whales got the thumbs down from a far from dolphin-friendly UKIP in Strasbourg this week.

Drift nets, huge nets placed near the sea surface and banned by the EU since 2002, can trap large numbers of whales and dolphins.

Conservative Spokesman on Fisheries in the European Parliament Struan Stevenson, MEP said:

"Drift nets have been banned in the EU for several years now. This proposal tightens up procedures. UKIP clearly doesn't care for dolphins."

 

Results of the votes:

McCarthy - Classification of wood
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

McCarthy - Public works contracts
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Bösch - Protection of the Community's financial interests (Hercule II programme)
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Grässle, Pahor - Rules for the implementation of the Financial Regulation
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Brepoels - Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE)
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Jackson - Waste
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Blokland - Waste recycling
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Bozkurt - Women in Turkey
Adopted - Conservatives abstained

Fava - Transportation and illegal detention of prisoners
Adopted - Conservatives against

Glattfelder - Macro-financial aid for Moldova
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Miguélez Ramos - Conservation of stocks of highly migratory species
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Miguélez Ramos - Drift nets
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Goepel - Voluntary modulation of direct payments under the CAP
Adopted - Conservatives in favour of rejection of proposal

Starkeviciute - The Court of Auditor's Special Report No 6/2005 on the Trans-European Network for Transport
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Motion for a resolution - Climate change
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Motion for a resolution - PNR, SWIFT
Adopted - Conservatives against

Motion for a resolution - Lisbon Strategy (European Council 8/9 March 2007)
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Lehne - Shareholders' voting rights
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Gahler - Budget aid and developing countries
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Aubert - Illegal fishing
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Motion for a resolution - Country Strategy Papers - Malaysia, Brazil and Pakistan
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Estévez - EC-Russia Short-stay Visa Agreement
Adopted - Conservatives abstained

Estévez - EC-Russia Readmission Agreement
Adopted - Conservatives abstained

Andersson - Member States' employment policies
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Batzeli - Common organisation of the market in wine
Adopted - Conservatives against

Yanez-Barnuevo García - External dimension of the fight against terrorism
Adopted - Conservatives abstained

Bullmann - Economic policy guidelines for 2007
Adopted - Conservatives abstained

Joint motion for a resolution - Darfur
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Montoro Romero - EIB Annual Report 2005
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Dos Santos - Increase in energy prices
Adopted - Conservatives abstained


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

LABOUR
(+)  Bozkurt - Women in Turkey (A6-0003/2007)
(+)  Fava - Transportation and illegal detention of prisoners (A6-0020/2007)
(-)  Goepel - Voluntary modulation of direct payments under the CAP (A6-0009/2007)
(+)  Estévez - EC-Russia Short-stay Visa Agreement (A6-0029/2007)
(+)  Batzeli - Common organisation of the market in wine (A6-0028/2007)
(+)  Yanez-Barnuevo García - External dimension of the fight against terrorism (A6-0441/2006)
(+)  Bullmann - Economic policy guidelines for 2007 (A6-0012/2007)

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS
(+)  Bozkurt - Women in Turkey (A6-0003/2007)
(+)  Fava - Transportation and illegal detention of prisoners (A6-0020/2007)
(+)  Estévez - EC-Russia Short-stay Visa Agreement (A6-0029/2007)
(+)  Batzeli - Common organisation of the market in wine (A6-0028/2007)
(+)  Bullmann - Economic policy guidelines for 2007 (A6-0012/2007)

UKIP
(-)  McCarthy - Public works contracts (A6-0018/2007)
(-)  Jackson - Waste (A6-0466/2006)
(-)  Blokland - Waste recycling (A6-0438/2006)
(-)  Miguélez Ramos - Drift nets (A6-0014/2007)
(-)  Motion for a resolution - Climate change (B6- 0045/2007)
(-/+/0)  Goepel - Voluntary modulation of direct payments under the CAP (A6-0009/2007)
(-)  Lisbon Strategy (European Council 8/9 March 2007) (B6-0048/2007)
(-)  Yanez-Barnuevo García - External dimension of the fight against terrorism (A6-0441/2006)



  "Mini" Plenary Highlights 31 Jan - 1 Feb 2007
  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