Welsh Conservatives in the European Parliament
Dr Kay Swinburne MEP

Explanation of Votes 16.11.11

European Heritage Label
I have abstained from voting on the European Heritage Label report as I still have a number of concerns that have not been addressed from the first reading. My main concern is how the tone of the report is one of homogenisation that goes against the principles of the ECR which stands for respecting the cultural differences between Member States. Indeed, the difference between Welsh Heritage and the rest of the UK does not even support this integrated approach. I do not agree with the potential increased bureaucratic burden on Member States as a result of processing the applications and I also worry about potential difficulties that could arise relating to the financing of a European Heritage Label, which could be particularly acute given the current economic climate we are operating in.
Single European Railway Area (recast)
Whilst I can appreciate the vision of the Rapporteur for a Single European Railway Area, when it concerns a single land mass; I voted against this report as I believe that the proposed measures would inevitably create unnecessary regulatory burden for the rail industry throughout Europe, including for those that could not benefit as part of a single area now. The report excludes provision for an obligatory minimum service for the rail companies in case of strike which in my view is detrimental and is not acceptable to the EU citizens. In addition to this, it is envisioned that there would be a high level of involvement from the Commission, additional oversight over the work of national regulatory bodies and ultimately the creation of a European regulatory body, all of which I cannot support as UK Conservative.
European Cinema in the Digital Era
Given the interest in the creative industries from within my constituency, a dynamic growth sector in a poorly performing economy, I had hoped that this report would actively encourage and support the talent pool in Wales. Although the Borys report attempts to address the issue of helping and promoting the production of European films and the cinema industry itself, I still have reservations regarding certain proposals contained in the text which is why I have abstained on voting on this report. The report suggests using film education to enhance European identity, appears to be openly discriminatory against American made films, and also seeks to support cinemas that show European films. What’s more, it calls for unacceptable budget increases and for specific European subsidies in order to keep small European cinemas open. All of these are reasons why I could not support this report.
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Welsh Conservatives

The European Commission has today designated European Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status to the well-known Pembrokeshire Early Potato from West Wales.
The Pembrokeshire Early Potato was one of only three quality farm products whose applications for PGI status were approved today.
The EU PGI schemes protect product names against misuse and under these schemes more than 1200 products are already protected.
Commenting on this announcement from the European Commission today Dr Kay Swinburne MEP – who is from West Wales - said:
"I am delighted to see that this application to have "Pembrokeshire Earlies" added to the register of PGI products has been approved by the European Commission today."

"Achieving this prestigious status is a clear acknowledgment of the high-quality and distinctive produce we continue to deliver in Wales. Pembrokeshire Early Potatoes thoroughly deserve their place alongside the well-known food and drink products from right across the EU which already feature on the PGI register."


Kay was delighted to host an event to celebrate Higher Education, Science and Innovation in Wales last night in the European Parliament.  The event builds on the British Council’s “Strategic Analysis of the Welsh Higher Education Sector, Distinctive Assets”.  A number of experts spoke to share their views of Welsh HE at the event and how it can develop in the future.

In advance of the 'Fox-Hafner Report' vote on the single seat for the European Parliament, Kay and the other UK Conservative MEPs feel it is right to draw attention to the fact that the seven-year cost of the dual-seat arrangement comes to £928,000,000. Since her election to the European Parliament in 2009, Kay has strongly supported bringing the monthly Parliamentary meetings in Strasbourg to an end and therefore saving taxpayers a considerable sum of money.


Kay was delighted to meet Malala Yousafzai, who was awarded the EU's Sakharov Human Rights Prize at the European Parliament today.

Following Malala’s speech to the European Parliament, Kay said, “What an inspirational speech Malala gave to the Members of the European Parliament today. As a mother of young children myself, I hope that they can also aspire to achieve like her. Malala is an exceptional young lady who has overcome adversity by tremendous force of character and a passionate belief in the right of everybody to enjoy and benefit from education.”   


Kay was very pleased to meet with members of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Group at the European Parliament in Brussels, one of four groups set up in key Welsh research strengths to engage with EU research funds. The delegation visiting Brussels included representatives from Cardiff University, Bangor University, Swansea University and Trinity St.Davids University.

In advance of tomorrow's European Council meeting of leaders, Dr Swinburne has echoed the recommendations made in a recent report published by a number of business leaders, which highlights the importance of removing barriers to business competitiveness in Europe and getting rid of burdensome legislation by cutting EU red tape.

Last year Dr Swinburne encouraged businesses in Wales to highlight to the European Commission which over-burdensome regulations they would like to see slashed, by writing to small businesses all over Wales and asking them to tell her their red-tape problems.

Electronic cigarettes no longer face being taken off the shelves by the EU after Conservative MEPs were successful today in amending EU legislation on tobacco labelling.

Conservative MEP's led the amendment to defeat proposals that would have classified e-cigarettes as medicinal products, meaning they would have to undergo an overly burdensome and costly authorisation procedure, which would go beyond the procedures for traditional tobacco products... (Read more under 'Articles')



Welsh Conservative MEP Kay Swinburne has been sitting down with leaders in Europe's biotech field to choose the top five candidates to compete in this year's EuropaBio Most Innovative EU Biotech SME Award.

As a member of this year's judging committee, Kay is once again supporting the EuropaBio award, which has attracted applications from all three sectors of biotechnology - healthcare, industrial and agricultural, from across the EU... (Read more under 'Articles')


WELSH Conservative MEP Dr Kay Swinburne today hailed a vote in the European Parliament as a "wake-up call" in the battle to save Europe's endangered languages.

MEPs meeting in Strasbourg backed a report which calls on governments across the EU to develop action plans to encourage continued linguistic diversity.

The report, written by Corsican MEP François Alfonsi, also says governments should be "more attentive" to threats which may lead to languages becoming extinct.

Dr Swinburne, who was a shadow rapporteur for the report, has argued that Welsh can be seen as a positive example of language revitalisation which communities across the EU should follow... (Read more under 'Articles')

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