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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 March 2007)

Conservative Leader claims David Cameron has pushed Blair and Brown to focus on Europe's environmental future

Timothy Kirkhope MEP, Conservative Leader in the European Parliament, praised David Cameron as "the true leader of the new green agenda in Europe" in Strasbourg this week.

Speaking in the post-European Council debate on Wednesday, he welcomed the Summit agreement (reached last week) to cut EU greenhouse gases by 20% by 2020. Timothy Kirkhope MEP said:

“I hope the leadership shown by Member States will result in broader international action. The Leader of my party, who has done so much to put climate change at the centre of politics in the UK, welcomes the new found enthusiasm of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

"The agreement sends a message to Europe that the EU can make a difference when it is not concentrating on arcane institutional issues that do not relate to the lives of the people.”

Mr Kirkhope added:

"However, it is essential to know that institutional change will not be needed to improve the EU emissions scheme."


Open Skies is a closed book for UK Operators, say Conservatives

In a debate in Strasbourg this week on the EU-US open skies deal, Conservatives fully supported negotiations between the EU and the US on the basis that the air transport markets are opened fairly. Timothy Kirkhope MEP, Leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament, said that the 'open skies' air transport agreement does not. He stated that not only would the current proposals harm UK business, but they would have a detrimental impact on EU businesses as well.

Timothy Kirkhope MEP said:

"What is on the table now will give US companies a substantial share in our unregulated market, while EU companies will be left to fight for the scraps of the US regulated market. The Commission should be fighting for reciprocal agreements on ownership rights. In the current deal, US interests can own up to 49% of the voting stock of an EU airline, whereas EU interests can only own up to 25% voting stock of a US airline. Is this fair and open? In a word, No.

"According to the European Court of Justice, any transatlantic negotiations should honour Member State bi-lateral agreements (such as Bermuda II), which this agreement fails to do. The Commission, in seeking to harmonise its policy, has (again) not taken into account the differences that can exist between Member States.

"What we are calling for on this matter is action, not more dialogue. The Commission has championed the fact that the two sides have agreed to go back to the table in three months, but there are no firm commitments from the US to take action on this issue.

"In short, we are against this agreement, as it does not provide an open and fair market."


Cameron's corporate social responsibility agenda wins through in Strasbourg

In Strasbourg this week, Philip Bushill-Matthews MEP successfully overturned a Labour attempt to create a new oppressive business regime by persuading the European Parliament to accept a voluntary, not compulsory, CSR code

Conservatives managed to set the agenda by ensuring that regulations and red tape would not strangle business in its efforts to become more socially responsible.

In a key vote, Philip Bushill-Matthews MEP, Conservative Employment and Social Affairs Spokesman, guaranteed that EU corporate social responsibility will be voluntary.

Mr Bushill-Matthews said:

"This Labour report has been completely turned around. The British Labour Rapporteur had called for yet more EU legislation rather than inspiring companies to choose to adopt the concept themselves.

"The voluntary nature, as proposed by the Commission, has now been endorsed. Extra regulation is off the table. Business should be reassured, and those that care about social and environmental issues should also be pleased.

"As is increasingly the case, it is the Conservatives who are setting the agenda."


MEPs Join Together In The Fight Against Hepatitis C

Adopting a Written Declaration on Hepatitis C, the European Parliament this week called for EU-wide action on the disease affecting 12 million Europeans and 180 million people worldwide.

Almost 400 MEPs signed the Declaration, calling for a Council Recommendation on Hepatitis C screening in order to ensure early diagnosis and wider access to treatment and care within Member States.

Half a million people are infected with the virus in the UK, which came bottom of a table of the table in every aspect of dealing with disease in a recent survey of five major European countries.

Hepatitis C attacks the liver, but damage typically occurs only after 20 or 30 years and can lead to liver scarring and, potentially, liver cancer or failure.

Those affected often show no symptoms for many years, which has led to the virus being called 'the silent killer'.

Conservative Health Spokesman in the European Parliament, John Bowis MEP, co-author of the Declaration, said:

"I welcome the adoption of this declaration. Hepatitis C is a stealthy killer - if not diagnosed and dealt with, it can lay dormant for many years without symptoms. The UK has a poor record in managing this disease compared with many of our neighbours.

"At a European level, the sharing of best practice on screening for early diagnosis and more research into treatment and management of Hepatitis C should be encouraged."


Results of the votes:

Parish - Financing of interventions by the EAGGF, Guarantee Section
Adopted - Conservatives against

Parish - Drinking milk produced in Estonia
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Lewandowski - Repeal of Regulation (EC) No 2040/2000 on budgetary discipline
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Klinz - Prudential assessment of acquisitions and increase of shareholdings
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Howitt - Corporate social responsibility
Adopted - Conservatives abstained

Sartori - Equality road map
Adopted - Conservatives abstained

Lévai - Cross-border collective copyright management
Adopted - Conservatives against

Klamt - Statistics on migration and international protection
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Proposal for a decision - Number and numerical strength of the interparliamentary delegations
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Leichtfried - European Aviation Safety Agency
Adopted - Conservatives against

Bourzai - Marketing of the meat of bovine animals aged 12 months or less
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

McDonald - Ratification of the ILO's 2006 Consolidated Maritime Labour Convention
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Ferreira - Social Services of general interest
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Motion for a resolution - EC-US Air Transport Agreement
Adopted - Conservatives abstained

Motion for a resolution - Nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament
Adopted - Conservatives abstained

Oral Question – Community action on the provision of cross-border health care
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Oral Question – Illegal bird hunting in Malta
Adopted - Conservatives against

Council and Commission statement - Euro-Mediterranean relations
Adopted - Conservatives abstained

Arif – Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Pack – Bosnia-Herzegovina
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Voggenhuber – Compliance with Charter of Fundamental Rights in Commission legislative proposals
Adopted - Conservatives against

Meyer-Pleite – Negotiations of an EU-Central America Association Agreement
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Yanez-Barnuevo Garcia – Negotiations of an EU-Andean Community Association Agreement
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Commission statement – Missing persons in Cyprus
Adopted - Conservatives in favour

Musotto – Regional policy (islands and natural and economic constraints)
Adopted - Conservatives abstained

Schapiro – Local authorities and development cooperation
Adopted - Conservatives in favour


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

LABOUR
(+)  Parish - Financing of interventions by the EAGGF, Guarantee Section (A6-0038/2007)
(+)  Oral Question – Illegal bird hunting in Malta (B6-0119/2007)
(+)  Voggenhuber - Compliance with Charter of Fundamental Rights in Commission legislative proposals (A6-0034/2007)
(+)  Musotto – Regional policy (islands and natural and economic constraints) (A6-0044/2007)

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS
(+)  Parish - Financing of interventions by the EAGGF, Guarantee Section (A6-0038/2007)
(+)  Oral Question – Illegal bird hunting in Malta (B6-0119/2007)
(+)  Voggenhuber - Compliance with Charter of Fundamental Rights in Commission legislative proposals (A6-0034/2007)
(+)  Musotto – Regional policy (islands and natural and economic constraints) (A6-0044/2007)

UKIP
(0)  Parish - Drinking milk produced in Estonia (A6-0051/2007)
(-)  Klamt – Statistics on migration and international protection (A6-0004/2007)
(-)  Meyer-Pleite – Negotiations of an EU-Central America Association Agreement (A6-0026/2007)
(-)  Yanez-Barnuevo Garcia – Negotiations of an EU-Andean Community Association Agreement (A6-0025/2007)
(-)  Musotto – Regional policy (islands and natural and economic constraints) (A6-0044/2007)



  Plenary Highlights 12 - 15 February 2007
  "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