Welsh Conservatives in the European Parliament
Dr Kay Swinburne MEP

Explanation of Votes, Strasbourg, 10.10.13

EC-Ukraine cooperation agreement on a civil Global Navigation Satellite System (A7-0298/2013- Amalia Sartori)

I voted in favour of this report today and I am glad to see that the final steps to establish this Inter-institutional Agreement between the European Parliament and the European Central Bank are being taken.

•    Ceskova - 2011 discharge: European Council and Council - DEC
It is vital that we, as MEP's, can assure our constituents that their hard-earned tax-payer's money is being spent effectively and smartly by the EU, without waste or mismanagement.
We must also be able to assure them that EU spending is held to full account and that the EU's budgets can be awarded full legitimacy.
Whilst the EU remains unable to grant discharge on its budgets, we find ourselves in the unacceptable position of not being able to provide these assurances to our constituents - this is not good enough and must be remedied.

•    Zanoni - Assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment - COD 1R
I am aware that this report tackles some important and complex issues and it is another of the issues being debated at this week's plenary session which has stirred much debate amongst both colleagues and constituents.
However, I do have concerns about some of the proposals outlined in this report. I fear that they could result in the introduction of unnecessary burdens for developers and relevant authorities and slow the delivery of key infrastructure in Member States, without providing us with guarantees that these new requirements would deliver actual environmental benefits.

•    Harbour - Recreational craft and personal watercraft - COD 1R
I was pleased to vote in favour of this report led by my Conservative colleague, which aims to establish improved safety and environmental performance requirements for watercraft.
This report revises boat categories, making them much clearer for boat designers and buyers in our constituencies, a welcome step. It will also strengthen the EU's single market and improve market conditions for Europe's manufacturers by getting rid of national variations in requirements for standard equipment fitted to recreational watercraft.

•    Vergnaud - Recognition of professional qualifications and administrative cooperation through the Internal Market and Information System - COD 1R
I voted in favour of this report today on the recognition of professional qualifications and administrative cooperation throughout our internal market.
The internal market is the strongest asset the EU has and I support efforts to strengthen it, in this case by making it simpler and quicker for our citizens to attain recognition of their professional qualifications abroad.
However it is essential that whilst doing so, we also ensure that the high standards we have for all professionals in the UK, and across Member States, particularly those that we have in place for healthcare professionals, are maintained and I am pleased to see that this report tackles this very important issue.

•    Bauer - EU-Armenia agreement on the facilitation of the issuance of visas - Consent
As the UK is not taking part in the adoption of this decision on visa facilitation with Armenia I opted on this occasion to abstain on this report.

•    OQ to the Commission - EU-Taiwan trade relations
As the EU's 7th largest trading partner in Asia, it is important that we engage positively with Taiwan and explore the possibilities of strengthening our trade relations via negotiations for a bilateral agreement on investment protection and market access. For this reason I voted in favour of this Resolution today.

•    Motion for Resolution - Amendment of Regulation (EU) No. 432/2012 establishing a list of permitted claims made in foods
I voted today to support the Resolution drafted by Dr Sommer MEP which opposes the Commission's draft measure to establish a list of permitted claims made in foods.
I believe it is right that the European Parliament takes such action to hold the European Commission to full account in instances where it cannot support the content of measures put forward or it feels that full and proper proceedings have not been followed.

•    Motion for Resolution - Amendment of certain Annexes to Regulations (EC) Nos. 853/2004, 854/2004 and 2074/2005

Consumers have the right to know that the food they are purchasing is subject during production to the absolute highest standards of food hygiene and food safety requirements possible. Consumers need to know that the food hygiene guarantees that their food comes with are cast-iron.

Therefore we must, where necessary, update our systems of control, in order to ensure that they employ the most effective and modern practices for guaranteeing food safety. I therefore support the European Commission's proposal to make changes to practices for the inspection of pig meat and I voted to reject the ENVI committee's resolution. 
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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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