Welsh Conservatives in the European Parliament
Dr Kay Swinburne MEP

Explanation of Votes, Strasbourg, 24.10.13

·        


Draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014 - all sections

Many of our constituents have had to practice sensible, careful and long-term management of their finances in the wake of Europe's financial crisis. Yet, despite the votes that have been taken here in the European Parliament today, agreement on a large proportion of the European Union's budgets going forwards, including our crucial long-term budget for 2014-2020, remains outstanding. We must prove to our constituents that we can use the opportunity the European Parliament has to negotiate annual and long-term budgets to secure smart and targeted spending of taxpayers money, that will deliver on growth and job creation going forwards.

 

 

 

·         Draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014 - all sections

 

The need for reduced EU spending remains clear and I am disappointed that this report on the European Parliament's position, voted upon today, does not recognise this.

 

However what is also desperately needed at European level-is better spending! As MEP for Wales, I recognise the importance of the European Union's cohesion policy and its structural funding. Yet, these funds will not deliver the growth that they need to, unless they are invested wisely. I hope that in Wales (and across the Member States of the EU) better spending will be the guiding principle going forwards and that new envelopes of EU funding for 2014 and beyond, will focus on investing the money where it is most needed and where it can generate real results.

 

 

 

·         Marine knowledge 2020

 

I am really pleased to see this report stressing the importance of the need to better understand our seabeds. It is vital that the potential of such knowledge is not underestimated. By improving our knowledge of our seabeds we can not only strengthen the effectiveness of measures to protect our marine environments, but we can also unlock great potential for innovation and job creation in our fisheries sector. This must comprise an important element of EU marine policy going forwards and it will be vital in achieving the commitment to support sustainable and competitive fishing industries, which we have outlined in the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.

 

 

 

Application and enforcement of international trade rules

 

I voted in favour of this report on the proposal to strengthen the enforcement of the EU’s trade rights in trade agreements and I am pleased that this report facilitates a role for the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee, via the holding of regular exchanges of views with the European Commission on matters relating to trade dispute management.

 

 

 

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund

 

The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund must be allowed to fully support the sustainable fisheries policies that we have secured as a part of the Common Fisheries Policy reforms. I, like many of my colleagues here, represent a constituency with a strong and vibrant small boat fishing sector and I know that the fisherman in my constituency recognise the value of a sound fisheries policy; one that supports a thriving fishing industry, protects our marine environments and promotes sustainable fishing practices. I hope that we can deliver a EMFF that fully supports our fishing communities in reaching these goals, whilst stopping the wasteful and uncompetitive application of these funds for commercial refitting of fleets with no environmental basis.

 

 

Climate change conference

 

The impact of climate change on our planet cannot be confined to Member State or European Union borders, therefore I do believe that it is important that we work with other parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, to come up with the right global responses to the challenges climate change poses. However, given our lack of competitiveness currently, particularly with regards to our energy costs, we need to refrain from aggressive new targets. The upward revision of the 2020 emissions reduction target from 20% to 30%, an unconditional 50% reduction target for 2030, and the financial transaction tax (FTT) for the financing of future climate change mitigation measures are disappointing inclusions at this time of economic challenge.

 

 

 

Organised crime, corruption, and money laundering

Organised crime and corruption is an area where I believe Member States can and should work together to develop strategies to tackle cross-border crimes such as money laundering, terrorism and cybercrime. However we must be careful to ensure that we only look to measures that are appropriate and that also respect the role of Member States.

 

 

 

European Neighbourhood Policy, working towards a stronger partnership: EP's position on the 2012 progress reports

I supported the adoption of this resolution on the European Neighbourhood Policy, which rightly notes the importance of strengthening the EU's partnerships with its neighbours on the basis of a mutual commitment to common values such as democracy and human rights.

 

 

 

 

European Semester for economic policy coordination: implementation of the 2013 priorities

Once again I find myself having to oppose a European Parliament report that supports the introduction of a financial transaction tax. Evidence continually demonstrates that an FTT would damage our economies and hamper our recovery, at a time when it is more vital than ever that we back only measures that will support it.

 

 

 

 

Migratory flows in the Mediterranean, with particular attention to the tragic events off Lampedusa

The events that occurred off the coast of Lampedusa were a terrible tragedy. I am glad that this European Parliament resolution is evaluating what we can do to better support the control of Mediterranean migratory flows and prevent further loss of

life.

 

 

 

 

Suspension of the SWIFT agreement as a result of NSA surveillance

I fully appreciate the concern that recent accusations suggesting that the NSA has been monitoring communications within the EU have caused and I am supportive of a thorough investigation into these allegations being carried out by Member States and the European Commission. However, until such an investigation has taken place, I do not believe that it is right, nor responsible, to suspend what is a critically important flow of financial information, vitally important to monitoring capital movements especially for criminal and anti-terrorist purposes.

 

 

 

 

Draft amending budget No 6/2013

I opted to abstain in this vote on the Draft Amending Budget 6. This amending budget is another example of the poor budget management that is so unacceptable at EU level. Our constituents need to see evidence of sound budgetary supervision from the European Commission, instead of these sorts of last minute requests for funds to cover shortfalls that should have already been identified.

 

 

 

 

General Union environment action programme to 2020

Whilst European environment policy has given us some of the tools we need to tackle the environmental challenges our planet faces, there is no doubt that there remains much room for improvement. This environment action programme must take the opportunity it has to get the legislation we already have in place working properly and to put EU environment policy on the right tracks as we head towards 2020.

 

 

 

 

Dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiation

Once again this session we are looking at a report that tackles another very important issue relating to public health. I believe this may well  be another area where we need to take a smarter approach to our legislating, firmly prioritising the protection of public health (in this case against the dangers of ionising radiation) but also ensuring that we avoid placing administrative burdens on industry where the health or protection grounds are not clear.

 

 

 

Annual report from the Council to the European Parliament on the common foreign and security policy in 2012

With so many difficult tasks still ahead for the European Union, I would really like to see this Parliament focusing on the vital areas in which the EU does have competence, such as the single market, or the environment, or investment in research and development. Not, as we are here, on the expansion of European Union defence policy, which is an area that rightly remains the competence of the Member State.

 

 

 

Electronic communications

A fully functioning digital single market for Europe holds a wealth of potential for growth and job creation. It is the completion of these sorts of single market initiatives that we must prioritise if we really want to encourage our economies to move forwards.

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Welsh Conservatives
04/12/2013

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."

 
26/11/2013

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.
20/11/2013


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.

20/11/2013


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.”   

12/11/2013



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.

23/10/2013
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.
08/10/2013


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')

 


18/09/2013


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')

11/09/2013


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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Dr Kay Swinburne MEP
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Tel: 029 2054 0895
kayswinburnemep@welshconservatives.com

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

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© Copyright Kay Swinburne 2013 | All rights reserved. | Photographs of the Parliament supplied by Adam Issacs.
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