Welsh Conservatives in the European Parliament
Dr Kay Swinburne MEP

UK Conservatives battle against red tape, 15.09.11

Conservative MEPs have launched a battle against red tape in a report to the European Parliament which calls for fewer but better pieces of legislation in Europe.
Kay Swinburne, MEP for Wales, said: "The EU needs to significantly reduce the burden of its laws and regulations on businesses and individuals. It can only do that by breaking its addiction to churning out new laws.
"That means curbing its instinct to legislate on everything, and aiming instead for legislation that is relevant, targeted and clear.
The report on Smart Legislation drafted by Conservative MEP Saj Karim was adopted by the Parliament in a vote this week.
A key demand is a "one-in, one-out" rule for new European legislation, requiring the EU to scrap at least one old and defunct piece of legislation if it wants to make way for any new piece of law.
The report requires European institutions to respect the principles of subsidiarity and supports the closer involvement of national parliaments in the European legislative process.
Given that the EU is set to miss its target of reducing administrative burdens by 25 per cent by 2012, the report demands: "All stakeholders must step up their game, not only to reach the 25 per cent goal, but also to reduce regulatory costs over the course of this Commission and indeed beyond 2014."
"Discrepancies in interpretation and the ´gold-plating´ of legislation are major issues that need to be addressed, primarily by Member States in implementing and transposing legislation into national law, but also by the Commission in its role as guardian of the treaties.
"Member States should therefore be required to justify their decision to introduce higher requirements in domestic legislation beyond standards set in EU legislation."
The report goes on to urge EU leaders to start a dialogue with small businesses across Europe to identify barriers to trade and to improve communication about proposed legislation which is currently poor.
Following Wednesday’s vote, Dr Swinburne said: "I hope this report will begin the process whereby European legislation is more-easily understood, always proportionate and necessary, and evenly applied and enforced."
"Welsh businesses and citizens deserve legislation that is relevant and easy to understand. Hopefully this report will be the first step in simplifying this process and ultimately succeed in reducing EU red tape."
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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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