Welsh Conservatives in the European Parliament
Dr Kay Swinburne MEP

Explanation of Votes, Strasbourg, 11.12.13

EU-Armenia agreement on the general principles for Armenia 's participation in Union programmes A7-0406/2013

I support the conclusion of this Protocol, which will facilitate the participation of Armenia in certain Union programmes. I hope that this agreement will serve to strengthen the links that have already been developed via the Eastern Partnership and European Neighbourhood Policy.


EU donor coordination on development aid A7-0393/2013

I support efforts being made within this report to achieve more effective EU coordination on development aid. Whilst I am not fully convinced of the merits of another Regulation and would prefer to see tools that already exist in this area strengthened, I do welcome this effort to generate more effective and efficient EU development spending.


Mandatory automatic exchange of information in the field of taxation A7-0376/2013

I fully support the fight against all types of tax fraud, evasion and aggressive tax planning and I appreciate the work that the OECD, the G8 and the G20 have done on a global AEOI model. However, I do object to the exclusive right given to the Commission in Amendment 22 as regards negotiations of agreements with third countries on AEOI on behalf of the EU. This prohibits Member States from concluding any such agreements bilaterally with third countries in the area of taxation, which is not an exclusive competence of the EU.


System for registration of carriers of radioactive materials A7-0385/2013

I voted against this proposal to replace the national level registration procedures relating to carriers of radioactive materials within the EU with this system, as I am concerned that it offers no real added value and could in fact end up introducing extra bureaucratic burdens.


Human rights in the world 2012 and EU policy on the matter A7-0418/2013

I voted in favour of this report today which provides an important opportunity to take stock of EU human rights policy.


Annual report on EU competition policy A7-0357/2013

Competition policy is an important part of our EU legislative framework and it is right that it is annually monitored to ensure it is supporting fully functioning markets and growth creation right across the EU. I am pleased to see today the removal of some of the elements of this report which I found problematic, such as the call for an EU public credit rating agency. Overall, I now find this to be a largely positive report.


Milk production in mountain areas, disadvantaged areas and outermost regions A7-0383/2013

This report analyses the effect of the end of milk quotas on disadvantaged, outermost and mountain areas. In this case I believe that where required we should be looking to better utilise the provisions that already exist to provide support to our farmers; instead of entailing significant additional budgetary expenditure on new measures under the CAP such as the one outlined in this report.


Resilience and disaster risk reduction in developing countries A7-0375/2013

I voted to support this report which focuses on the EU’s approach to building resilience and reducing disaster risk, particularly in the most vulnerable, poorest and marginalised populations where the exposure to risk is high. This report makes a number of key recommendations including a call for stronger efforts to be made to tackle the inefficient use of EU and Member State funding for Disaster Risk Reduction.


Women with disabilities A7-0329/2013

This report considers the specific problems facing women and girls in the EU who have a disability. These issues are vitally important and do need to be addressed. However I feel that a large number of them would be best dealt with at individual Member State level and I therefore have concerns regarding the calls this report makes for EU legislation to be proposed on a number of these issues.


European retail action plan for the benefit of all actors A7-0374/2013

I was pleased to vote in favour of this report, which focuses on the importance of the European Union’s retail sector and calls on both the European Commission and the Member States to give the highest prominence to this sector in light of how important it is to both the single market and the digital single market.

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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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National Political Party: Conservative Party
European Group: European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR)

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