Welsh Conservatives in the European Parliament
Dr Kay Swinburne MEP

Explanation of Votes, Strasbourg, 17.11.11

Development of an integrated maritime policy
In principle, there seems to be some merit in developing an integrating EU maritime policy, however this report was not one that I could support in plenary today. I have reservations about the tone and the details contained in the report, in particular its raises issues with respect to subsidiarity. I hope that when the matter of an integrated maritime policy comes before this Parliament again, it contains more value added measures which allow Member States to make decisions where appropriate and for EU policy to only be applied where it offers a real cross border maritime solution.
Motion for resolution – EU-US summit of 28th November
The opportunity for transatlantic dialogue at the summit on the 28th November needs to be utilised to the full. In today’s turmoil, the EU must be talking at all levels to its key partners around the world. Never more so than with respect to regulating the financial markets and derivative products post the financial crisis of 2008 and implementing the decisions taken by the G20. The summit dialogue needs to ensure that US politicians and regulators respect the need for parity in our financial services legislation. We need to make sure that in the attempt to make our financial markets more secure, we do not begin to limit access and the flow of capital. Likewise, the Dodd-Frank Act needs to be interpreted in a non-protectionist way. Extraterritoriality, equivalence and reciprocity are not essential but recognition of comparable systems of regulation is and we need to seek ways in which to acknowledge this.
We must work to ensure Dodd-Frank and the EU’s EMIR and MiFID fit together. Closer cooperation needs to continue in financial services between the EU and the US but in the spirit of equals to prevent extraterritoriality battles.
Motion for resolution – the open internet and net neutrality in Europe
The internet has become a vital medium for rural and urban citizens alike. In rural Wales it is important that broadband speeds are improved for the whole of the nation, however, just as important will be ensuring that no artificial blocks on download speed are imposed by service providers. I look forward to the report by BEREC analysing net neutrality and their traffic management. Enabling rural Wales to benefit from net access for TV, telephony and video downloads will have a major effect. I also welcome the IMCO committee additions concerning transparency requirements, quality of service and information on actual delivery speeds. I welcome this resolution and hope that the full benefits of the net can be experience by all EU citizens.
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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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