Welsh Conservatives in the European Parliament
Dr Kay Swinburne MEP

Explanation of votes, Strasbourg, 18.04.12

Coordination of social security systems
 
I have voted in favour on the report for the coordination of social security systems across the EU as it makes the necessary updates and amendments that have already taken place at national level to the existing EU legislation.
 
Whilst it is primarily a technical report, it clarifies the social security situation for those who pursue activities in different Member States and similarly details how unemployment benefits would be distributed for self employed individuals active in several Member States. These are both important measures as they will assist in supporting the free movement of labour, which is an integral part of the Single Market.
 
 

 
Human rights in the world and the European Union's policy on the matter
 
 
The report rightly recognises the important role that the EU can play in promoting respect for human rights across the world and through its various policies. Nevertheless, I have deep concerns about the references the report has made, particularly in accusing my Member State, the UK, for adopting an ‘obstructionist attitude’ concerning the EU’s accession to the European Convention on Human Rights. The UK’s main point is that whilst we adopt the Convention, we should make sure that we focus on real human rights abuses as opposed to legal loopholes that many are exploiting.
 
Currently, the UK is being prevented from dealing with suspected terrorists and those inciting racial hatred because of a disproportionate emphasis in the ECHR on the right to family life.
 
It seems a little illogical to be holding ourselves up as a global standard when we have not got the detail right on our own institutions. Post 9/11, we have had to look carefully at the process and mechanisms that we are using and ensure that they really are fit for purpose – then we can look to influence human rights policy in the rest of the world, in the meantime I have abstained.
 
 
 

Negotiations of the EU-Azerbaijan Association Agreement
 
 
I support the report on the negotiations of the EU-Azerbaijan Association Agreement as I believe it gives a fair and balanced account of the current state of play in Azerbaijan. It correctly recognises the urgent need for the country to make further progress on its respect for human rights, the rule of law and freedom of expression, in particular to allow political opponents to voice their opinions of the current administration.
 
Despite these reservations, the report also recognises that the country has become a strategic partner for the EU, in terms of supplying energy and looks to build upon this mutually beneficial relationship to enhance the development of relations between the EU and Azerbaijan.
 
 

Negotiations of the EU-Armenia Association Agreement
 
The report on the negotiations of the EU-Armenia Agreement is timely given that the parliamentary elections are due to be held in a couple weeks time.
 
The report also highlights the significant progress that still needs to be made in a number of areas, particularly stressing the pressing need to continue to fight corruption. Moreover, it emphasising the need for Armenia to resolve the conflict and land disputes it is involved in so that it can work towards ensuring regional stability.
 
I sincerely hope that Armenia fulfils its pledge to hold fair and free elections, for the benefit of all its citizens and that EU-Armenian relations can develop on a positive path over the coming years.
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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)

European Conservative and Conformist Group
© Copyright Kay Swinburne 2013 | All rights reserved. | Photographs of the Parliament supplied by Adam Issacs.
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