Welsh Conservatives in the European Parliament
Dr Kay Swinburne MEP

Report on the 2009 Annual Statement on the Euro Area and Public Finances (debate), Strasbourg 25.03.10

Mr President, coming from a non-eurozone Member State, I am not sure whether my opinion holds much weight with my colleagues in this debate. Currently many would claim that the eurozone problem is one which should be solved by eurozone members.

However, the euro does not sit in isolation. It sits in the global market and has been affected by the global financial and economic crisis just as those outside the eurozone have. How we manage our states’ finances during the good years entirely affects how we are able to react and recover today. As many have pointed out, there is a reason why Germany faces a very different government deficit to Greece. While they may be united by a common currency, attitudes towards saving and spending vary considerably. Joining a monetary union did not unite completely different cultures and traditions of fiscal policy.

The UK perspective has a lot to say on differences in fiscal policy. We also bloated our public sector, spent and spent in the good years, borrowing more and more to create debts we could not even admit to when it looked as though the good times were gone forever, and creating a culture where a supposedly respected economist from the UK even last week stood up in front of one of our committees and claimed that governments can "magic" money.

Fundamentally, money to fund the public sector does not magically appear. It comes from tax receipts from the private sector. Germany realises this. Its policies in the recent past have focused upon using government spending and incentives to help stimulate the private sector. Hence it is now in a strong position for recovery. Ultimately the public sector has done its job in the crisis. It bailed out the banks and stepped up when the private sector failed. Now it is the turn of the private sector to replenish the coffers.

The downside of austerity measures, which will put hardworking people out of public sector jobs, must be turned into an upside for start-up companies, taking advantage of entrepreneurial spirit by reducing start-up costs for businesses so that they can create the profitable private sector that is required to dig all of our countries out of the holes we now find ourselves in. All of those countries that have practised unsustainable economic policies for the past few years – including my own – need to realise that change is essential and inevitable.


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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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