Welsh Conservatives in the European Parliament
Dr Kay Swinburne MEP

Explanation of Votes in the European Parliament, Strasbourg, 16.02.12

Guidelines for the 2013 budget – sections other than the Commission
I welcome this report drawn up by my fellow colleague, Derek Vaughan, on the guidelines for the 2013 budget which covers all EU institutions apart from the Commission. He has established in this own-initiative report the need for the EU to freeze these budgets, however, I would urge him and his colleagues on the Budget Committee to be bolder in order to seek a real term reduction in the overall EU budget.
With a number of EU Member States implementing harsh austerity measures and unemployment on the rise, standing at 8.9% in my own constituency of Wales, it is only fair that the EU institutions play their part in curbing expenditure.
Unnecessary and wasteful excesses needs to be identified and reduced, and where possible, eliminated, including addressing the politically taboo issue of a two seat Parliament.  Strasbourg and Brussels symbolises the EU excesses which my constituents believe should stop and is covered by amendment 2, which was carried today.
I hope that the formal negotiations on the MFF are also able to be more bold.

Motion for resolution: Contribution of the Common Fisheries Policy to the production of public goods
With the CFP negotiations high on the EU’s political agenda, this joint motion for resolution on the contribution of the Common Fisheries Policy to the production of public goods makes some sensible assertions. We need to have a fisheries policy that keeps conservation and sustainability issues in mind, particularly as the current fisheries policy has failed to meet any of its targets. We also need to look at the contribution the entire sector makes to local and European economies.
The Welsh fishing sector, although small, has a wider community impact, especially through the recreational and touristic sector and the extensive scientific research programmes being carried out around the Welsh coastline. We need however, to take case when discussing the inclusion of recreational fishing in the CFP reform process, as the symbiotic relationship between fishing and tourism in my constituency should not be damaged by the inappropriate application of fisheries policies to recreational boats. Despite this one reservation I support the overall motion.

State of play regarding the proposed multi-annual plan for the western stock of Atlantic horse mackerel and the fisheries exploiting that stock
Sustainable fishing policies should be at the heart of EU policy formulation. The western stock of horse mackerel is of great economic importance to the EU and so we need to ensure we do not risk depletion of their stocks in our waters. It is important that we develop a strategy, based on the latest scientific evidence, which will provide the maximum sustainable yield whilst keeping in line with the goals of the Common Fisheries Policy.
 It is therefore sensible that this strategy is based on a rule of harvest control looking at trends on where their eggs are abundant so that sustainable exploitation of stocks can be achieved. It is for these reasons I supported the joint resolution on a multi-annual plan for western stock of Atlantic horse mackerel. 
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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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