Welsh Conservatives in the European Parliament
Dr Kay Swinburne MEP

Explanation of Votes, Strasbourg Plenary Session, 04.07.13

Council and Commission statements - Review of the Irish Presidency, including the MFF agreement


I welcome the fact that a political agreement was reached on the EU's Multi-annual Financial Framework for 2014-2020 last week and I would very much like to thank the Irish Presidency for their hard work to conclude not only this file, but many other important files, such as Horizon 2020, the Common Agricultural Policy and the Connecting Europe Facility.


Many of my constituents, be they farmers, university researchers or local administrations are recipients of the EU funds which are allocated to Wales and I hope that now this agreement on the MFF has been reached, we will finally be able to provide many of them with the certainty and the assurances they have been waiting for with regards to future funding, so that they may begin to plan for the coming 2014-2020 period.


In a time of continuing economic difficulty and all too high youth unemployment, I hope that this agreement will also mean the start of the delivery of smarter spending from the EU. Having negotiated a budget agreement that reflects the need for reduced EU spending, it is crucial that we now see the EU prioritising targeted spending on areas of growth and job creation which would see benefits right across the EU.



Giegold - UCITS


The UCITs brand is an EU success story. Where good regulation of a product has been copied around the world allowing people to invest their money in a reliable product that can then fund the wider economy.


My biggest concern as we hit UCITS 5, is that all of these changes and additions should not put so many additional costs and rules around the funds as to negate their attraction to the investor community.


At the same time, I support more transparency in the funds performance pay and fees, and if anything would like to see this aspect of the regulation go further. The whole point of employing a fund manager instead of investing directly as yourself is because of their expertise, if you cannot see how these fees are broken down and paid, how can you measure whether you are getting value for money? Perhaps your fund manager is performing really well and deserves his bonus – but do you as the investor have the information you need to make that determination?


I believe in empowering the investor so he can decide whether he is getting value for money.


Groote - Timing of auctions of greenhouse gas allowances - COD 1R


As a believer in the free market, I am disgusted in how this EU scheme is being mismanaged.


The whole point of the emissions trading scheme was to create a way for the market to price in carbon emissions and thereby use market tools to aid environmental priorities.


The market forces have acted. Businesses have priced in the extra charges, and financial market participants have created a secondary market which supports these activities.


The EU may not be happy with the results, but ultimately if you decide to create market mechanisms you have to deal with the results. Changing the rues of the game halfway through is unfair on those who have made long term business decisions based upon supply and demand and current prices.


I am strongly opposed to market interventions and the level of uncertainty this gives to all EU projects going forwards is unacceptable.


If the ETS is functioning that badly, we need to start again, not tweak at the edges and think we have power to control markets – we do not!


Pargneaux - Serious cross-border threats to health - COD 1R


The challenge we face when it comes to preventing and responding to serious health threats has increased as we have continued to become a more and more globalised world, yet the cross-border nature of such serious health threats is an issue we are well placed to assist in tackling as the European Union.


Therefore I welcome the opportunity that this report has provided for us to reinforce the EU's ability to respond to such serious health threats, but I am pleased to see that this report also provides Member States with the freedom necessary to allow them to effectively tackle public health threats back home.



Podimata FTT


It comes as no surprise to anyone that I oppose this report. The FTT is a badly thought out proposal that will never achieve the revenues people claim it can, and will simply cost businesses and small investors more while banks and sophisticated market actors will create ever more complex products to avoid it.


We do not levy VAT upon food and expect the supermarkets to pay it – we all know that the cost is passed on to the consumer. It is a fantasy to think an FTT is any different.


I cannot understand why the countries who agreed to go ahead with this in enhanced cooperation have done so, and I look forwards to hearing the European Court of Justice’s views on the extraterritorial implications of the tax. Given there is still no answer to the basic question of who should collect the tax and how, I suspect this debate will continue for a long time and hopefully will die and death in the long run.


It is fundamentally flawed and should be taken back to the drawing board, if not thrown in the bin.







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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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