Welsh Conservatives in the European Parliament
Dr Kay Swinburne MEP

Explanation of Votes, Strasbourg, 11.12.13

Justice Programme 2014-2020 A7-0396/2013

This proposed regulation would streamline three existing EU programmes in the field of justice into one over-arching ‘Justice Programme’ for 2014-2020. I do not support a common EU legal and judicial area and I have concerns regarding the level of EU expenditure this proposal foresees for judicial training, therefore I voted against this report today.


Rights and Citizenship Programme 2014-2020 A7-0397/2013

Again this report proposes to replace three current programmes with a single Rights and Citizenship Programme for 2014-2020. I believe that this report is a mixed-bag in terms of outcome. There have been some significant improvements on the proposals originally considered in Committee; however I remain concerned that this proposal appears to encroach upon the exclusive competence of the Member States in its addressing of some issues.


Autonomous trade preferences for Moldova A7-0422/2013

I voted in favour of this proposal to fully liberalise bilateral trade in wine between Moldova and the Member States of the European Union.


ILO Convention concerning safety in the use of chemicals at work A7-0400/2013

Member State competence in the field of employment and social affairs must be fully respected by the European Union. I will continue to oppose efforts to encroach upon Member State competence within this area and therefore I voted against this initiative today.


Illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, their parts and components and ammunition A7-0359/2013

I fully support the exchange of information in this area; such cooperation will greatly enhance our capacity to tackle firearms trafficking and therefore I voted in favour of this report.


EU-China Agreement relating to the modification of concessions in the schedules of Bulgaria and Romania in the course of their accession to the EU A7-0332/2013

I voted in favour of this agreement which has been negotiated with the People’s Republic of China and now outlines the compensatory adjustments required on account of Bulgaria and Romania’s accession to the EU.


Importation of beef from animals not treated with certain growth-promoting hormones and increased duties applied by the United States to certain products of the European Union A7-0427/2013

The trading partnership that exists between the United States and the EU is the largest in the world and of vital importance for all of our economies. The ongoing negotiations of the TTIP offer an exciting opportunity to strengthen and deepen this partnership and therefore we must do all that we can to ensure that they are a success. In light of this, I am pleased to see the Parliament voting in favour of this revised Memorandum of Understanding, so that a positive outcome on this issue of non-hormones-treated beef can be maintained.


EU-Côte d’Ivoire Fisheries Partnership Agreement: protocol setting out the fishing opportunities and financial contribution A7-0416/2013

I support the renewal of this protocol to a Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Cote d’Ivoire and I therefore voted in favour of this report today. This agreement has demonstrated that it is economically justified and effective and I hope that it will continue in this manner, whilst also generating further support for the development of sustainable fisheries practices.


Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund - application EGF/2013/001 FI/Nokia from Finland A7-0411/2013

I am opposed to the use of this Fund in principle and I therefore voted against this proposal to mobilise the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund.


Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund - application EGF/2013/003 DE/First Solar from Germany A7-0408/2013

I am opposed to the use of this Fund in principle and I therefore voted against this proposal to mobilise the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund.


Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (application EGF/2012/011 DL/Vestas - Denmark) A7-0410/2013

I am opposed to the use of this Fund in principle and I therefore voted against this proposal to mobilise the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund.


EU space industrial policy A7-0338/2013

I welcome the opportunity this own-initiative report provides to evaluate the state of play on EU space industrial policy. This report addresses a number of key issues concerning our space industry and I voted in favour of its adoption here today.


Cloud computing A7-0353/2013

Cloud computing is one of the key recent advances in Information and Communication Technology and has real potential to deliver benefits in areas such as direct cost savings and more efficient use of physical and human resources. I welcome this reports suggestion of the need to work with industry to develop common standards for cloud computing. However national security and intelligence agencies are a matter of Member State competence and I do have concerns with regards to some aspects of this report which make reference to these. Therefore I am unable to give this report my full support and I opted to abstain.


Common Fisheries Policy A7-0409/2013

This report contains a number of welcome provisions for a revised Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), which will hopefully lead to this reform being noted as one of the success stories of this mandate. I voted in favour of this report which rightly reflects the calls that have been made by so many of our constituents to introduce a ban on discards. It also establishes essential measures to decentralise the CFP, bring an end to overfishing and restore our fish stocks to sustainable levels. I welcome the adoption of this long-awaited reform today and hope that it will deliver the political objectives agreed once implemented by Member States.


Common organisation of the markets in fishery and aquaculture products A7-0413/2013

This report forms an essential component of what is a pleasing overall reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. I hope that the measures outlined in this report in areas such as Producer Organisation’s, labelling, marketing and production strategies, will enable the delivery of a fairer and simpler CFP for both the industry and consumers.


Civil protection mechanism A7-0003/2013

I voted against this report, which I feel raises a number of serious budgetary and subsidiarity concerns. Proposals such as the new 24/7 European Emergency Response Capacity could also unnecessarily interfere with Member States’ responses to disasters inside the EU. For these reasons I voted to reject this proposal at today’s vote.


Credit agreements relating to residential property A7-0202/2012

In order to address some of the problems highlighted by the crisis with regards to mortgages, this proposal centres on the need to introduce better safeguards and to make available more information for consumers taking out mortgages. Whilst I welcome some of the progress that has been made during Trilogue negotiations on this issue, I remain unconvinced that EU legislation is the right tool with which to handle mortgage markets.


Imports of rice from Bangladesh A7-0304/2013

I can support the position outlined in this report on taking further steps to align trade legislation to articles 290 and 291 of the TFEU, in this case with regards to the Regulation on imports of rice originating in Bangladesh.


Timing of auctions of greenhouse gas allowances A7-0046/2013

As this proposal returns to the plenary session, many of my concerns about it remain. The Emissions Trading Scheme was established as a market mechanism and I maintain my position that it must therefore be allowed to function as one. The proposed European Commission intervention would only serve to create uncertainty and undermine much needed market predictability. Whilst I acknowledge that this ETS mechanism does require reform I cannot support this proposed course of action and therefore I voted against this report today.


Gender aspects of the European framework of national Roma inclusion strategies A7-0349/2013

Once again here, I believe we are voting on an issue where a one size fits all approach at EU level will not generate the best outcome. I believe that Member States should be able to formulate their own Roma inclusion policies to effectively tackle the problems of inclusion and integration they face.


Development and 'state building' in South Sudan A7-0380/2013

This report provides an important opportunity to review the status of South Sudan and the problems it faces and to also assess how the EU can strengthen its efforts to assist it in its development. I support the new strategy and the priorities that have been outlined for the EU within this report and I therefore voted in favour of its adoption today.



CARS 2020: towards a strong, competitive and sustainable European car industry A7-0391/2013

I am fully supportive of the automotive industry and the strong role it plays in driving growth in our economies, particularly within the UK where currently British manufacturers are enjoying a welcome period of sustained growth. However I have reservations as to whether some of the measures outlined in this report would provide the right support for our automotive industry and I therefore opted to abstain on this report.


Sexual and reproductive health and rights A7-0426/2013

This report covers a large number of very important issues, however many of them fall beyond the legal remit of the EU. Many of the issues considered in this report are matters for individual Member States to address and such Member State competence must be respected, therefore on these subsidiarity grounds, I voted instead for the alternative ECR/EPP resolution today,.


Volunteering and voluntary activity in Europe A7-0348/2013

Volunteering is a fantastic way to make an active contribution to your community and an important practice that we must encourage, not just as a citizenship tool, but also as a means for achieving personal or professional development. However, I do have reservations with regards to some proposals within this report, which I feel do not fully respect the competences of the Member States.


Defining criteria determining when recovered paper ceases to be waste pursuant to Article 6 (1) of Directive 2008/98/EC on waste

I support the European Commission’s draft measure establishing criteria for determining when recovered paper ceases to be waste. This proposal aims to remove obligations and burdens placed upon businesses (in this case those dealing with the end of waste materials) something which I always welcome and therefore I voted to reject this objection at today’s vote.


North-East Atlantic: deep-sea stocks and fishing in international waters A7-0395/2013

Protecting and preserving our marine environments has rightly been a key focus of the reform of the common fisheries policy and the state of our deep sea marine environments is an area that requires our full attention. I personally feel strongly that all deep sea fishing must be carried out in a sustainable manner. Whilst not perfect, I do feel that this report makes important advances in the management of deep sea fisheries and therefore I voted in favour of its adoption today.



EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement: protocol setting out fishing opportunities and financial contributions A7-0417/2013

I hope that following the approval of this protocol today this Agreement will now be able to function fully effectively, delivering environmental sustainability as a priority and assisting the region with employment and further economic benefits.


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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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