Author Archives: Catherine Bearder MEP

Catherine Bearder MEP writes…Why Tim Farron is the right person to rebuild the Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrats have taken an electoral pounding over the last five years. When we entered coalition government in 2010 it gave us the opportunity to put Liberal Democrat policies into practice for the first time in generations.  We tempered the excesses of the Tories, as is becoming increasingly clear as the new government adopts a frightening, hard right-wing agenda. For this we have paid a heavy price. The loss of so many brilliant and hard-working councillors, MPs and MEPs means we will have to spend time rebuilding and reorganising the party from the bottom up.

It seemed we were so busy being in government that we forgot to remind ourselves and our voters just exactly what it is we stand for. We talked about what we had blocked the Tories from doing, but not enough about what drives us – those values and ethical beliefs that brought us all into politics. Our new leader will need to do that.  He will need to take the liberal values we espouse in our constitution and convey them to the electorate. He will have to energise the grassroots, inspire a new generation of activists and get people back out on the doorsteps, making the case for why we need a strong Liberal voice in British politics.

I believe that Tim Farron is the best man for that task. Tim is a stalwart campaigner and a passionate, inspiring communicator. He has all the skills, vision and drive to reach out to our existing members, all those who have recently joined and those who will join when they know how important it is to have Liberal Democrats defending the values that we hold dear.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 11 Comments

Catherine Bearder MEP writes…The fight for Britain’s future starts now

As the dust settles from the elections and we lament the loss of so many talented and dedicated Liberal Democrat MPs and councillors, there will inevitably be discussions over what went wrong and how it could have been avoided. As a party we have a lot of hard thinking to do about how best we rebuild. But there is no time for a protracted period of introspection. The country stands at a crossroads: one way leading to a strong and united Britain at the heart of the EU, the other to a little England isolated from its neighbours at home and abroad. The voice of the Liberal Democrats and liberalism is needed now more than ever.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 4 Comments

Catherine Bearder MEP writes… Launch of MEP group on Wildlife Crime

Wildlife crime is a major threat to international security. This trade is now worth an estimated $20 billion a year and has become the fourth largest illegal activity in the world after drugs, arms and people-trafficking. From Al Shabab in Somalia to Boko Haram in Nigeria, armed groups and criminal gangs are making huge profits from the illegal wildlife trade, fuelling instability and conflict.

We need to act now to stop them.

Posted in News | Tagged | 5 Comments

Catherine Bearder writes… 100 days to stop the Tories or Labour neglecting the environment

The countdown starts today. Just 100 days left to ensure that any future government has a strong Liberal voice in it. That means a strong voice for social justice and economic responsibility, ensuring that we finish the recovery and do so fairly. But it also means a voice that will continue to stand up for a radical approach on issues like drugs policy, indiscriminate snooping and constitutional reform. Crucial issues, but ones that both Conservatives and Labour would happily sweep under the carpet and forget about altogether if they were given the chance.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 10 Comments

Catherine Bearder MEP writes… We need to act now to protect elephants

ELephants Bostwana Sedudu Photo by Mp3iefEvery 15 minutes an elephant is killed for its ivory. This rapid rate of human destruction has seen the population of African elephants plummet from 10 million in 1910 to a low 434,000 now.

If we want to protect elephants from being confined to the history books we need to act now.

That’s why this week I called for an EU Action Plan to stamp out the illegal wildlife trade in a letter to the new European Commission, co-signed by 82 fellow MEPs from 24 countries.

The joint campaign with the Sunday Mirror and Born Free has already attracted broad-based support from all of the party groupings in the parliament. Many of my colleagues can see that we can no longer dilly-dally if we want to halt and reverse the terrifying trend which sees many creatures firmly on the road to extinction.

Posted in Op-eds | 2 Comments

Catherine Bearder MEP writes… EU climate targets thanks to Ed Davey and Lib Dems

Green wind farmThis week, European leaders including David Cameron thrashed out an agreement on the EU’s climate change targets up until 2030.

The EU has been a world leader in the fight against climate change, becoming the first region to set binding targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But in the face of the financial crisis, leaders have become more nervous and the momentum behind the drive towards a greener economy has started to wane.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | Leave a comment

Catherine Bearder writes… Now the referendum is over, we need a unifying vision for Britain

Now that the people of Scotland have voted to remain a part of the UK, discussions over what further devolution of powers for Scotland will take place – as well as for the other British nations and regions – will inevitably dominate public debate. However, a big risk facing us as a country is that we become too introspective, turning in on ourselves rather than looking at the wider picture.

That’s because as well as a new constitutional arrangement, we desperately need a unifying vision of Britain and its place in the world. Indeed, it’s the lack of such a vision that has been one of the key factors fuelling Scottish separatism and the nationalism that feeds UKIP.

Posted in Op-eds | 28 Comments

Catherine Bearder MEP writes…Working with the new European Commission

Charlemagne is back in EuropeWhile the UK media has been focusing on Cameron’s cabinet reshuffle and what it means for the Tories’ 2015 election strategy, an even bigger shake-up has been taking place in the running of the European Union. A bit like during the Lib Dem European election campaign, the most frequently heard words this week in Brussels and Strasbourg have been “jobs, jobs, jobs”, and this time it is all about our own.

The last time we were in Strasbourg two weeks ago the Parliament sorted out who got what …

photo by: e³°°°
Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Tagged , and | 4 Comments

Catherine Bearder writes … Back to work in the European Parliament

European Parliament, StrasbourgIn May’s European elections, it was liberals across the EU who stood up against the growing tide of nationalists, anti-Europeans and populists. Today, the newly elected MEPs met for the first time in Strasbourg to officially open the 8th European Parliament.

The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), the political group with which Liberal Democrats sit in the European Parliament, took a big hit when we lost all of my hardworking Lib Dem colleagues and nine German FDP MEPs. But it is not all doom and gloom. Liberals topped the polls in the Netherlands, and our numbers have been boosted by new liberal parties from Spain, Portugal and the Czech Republic, meaning we are still the fourth largest group with 68 MEPs.

photo by:
Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 16 Comments

Catherine Bearder MEP writes … The British media is in love with the Euromyth

The invented tales about European Union policy have the ability to amuse and terrify the public.

But Catherine Bearder, a Liberal Democrat MEP for South East England, explains why she has launched her Euromyth Buster campaign to make sure fact is not substituted for fantasy.

Let’s face it, is it any surprise people in the UK get exasperated by the European Union? They are swamped with erroneous tales of alleged devious directives and barmy plans from ‘meddling Brussels bureaucrats’. I have my favourites.

  • There was the ‘fear’

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 16 Comments

Catherine Bearder MEP writes…The simple Lib Dem approach to aviation

Why was I not surprised?

The knee-jerk, short-sighted reaction of Tory backbenchers to dwindling airport capacity was simple: Bung another runway onto the sprawling tarmac at Heathrow.

The airport already pumps out pollution and noise affecting hundreds of thousands of people and a moment’s respite lasts 90 seconds until the next jet swoops from the skies.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 58 Comments

Catherine Bearder MEP writes… Lib Dem MEPs kill ACTA

After careful consideration, Lib Dem MEPs have decided to reject the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in the European Parliament. There is now a majority in the Parliament that will reject the ratification of this plurilateral treaty originally designed to establish international standards for intellectual property rights.

So why do we reject ACTA?

In principle, Lib Dems support the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) and the fight against counterfeiting – in particular when it comes to dangerous counterfeit medicines, electronics and toys. But we are also champions of fundamental rights and freedoms and we must weigh up carefully between the need to …

Posted in News and Op-eds | Tagged , and | 3 Comments

Lib Dem MEPs help expose draft ACTA text

The secrecy surrounding Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has concerned me and many of my constituents as it has many MEPs. As a member of the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade, I met the European Commission in early March to discuss the unacceptable level of secrecy in which these negotiations are shrouded, and demanded that we in the European Parliament, as the only directly elected representatives of the public at European level, be given immediate access to the final draft of the consolidated negotiating text. You can view my question here.

Following severe criticism from myself and a number of my …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | Leave a comment

Opinion: Climate change – a final chance to act

Catherine Bearder MEP at the Wave climate march

So it has finally arrived, the first day of the Copenhagen Climate Change summit. We have been led to believe that it’s going to fail, then it’s going to succeed and then it will fail again, it’s been quite a rollercoaster. This has really tested the participating countries’ resolve to tackle this issue. This is made tougher because of the economic crisis which has caused hardships for so many people and so it’s understandable that the economy …

Posted in News | Tagged , , , and | Leave a comment
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarSue S 4th Jul - 5:50pm
    When it came down to the biggest test of prejudice, ie the selection of the American Presidential candidate by the Democrats, they voted for a...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 4th Jul - 5:13pm
    Thanks for the Tweet summaries!
  • User AvatarStuart 4th Jul - 5:12pm
    @Andrew "However perhaps the key to ending any relative career effects of parental leave is when both men and women stop calling it “maternity leave”...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 4th Jul - 5:07pm
    Wrong to call MPs ignorant about money creation. Positive Money and the Bank of England both admit that banks delete money too, but Positive Money...
  • User AvatarDavid 4th Jul - 5:00pm
    @ruth. 100% of your euro MPs are female. Seriously though 2 points: 1. You have so few MPs now and since 8 is not a...
  • User Avatarjedibeeftrix 4th Jul - 4:49pm
    @ Ruth - "most women have babies so how is it separate from gender?!" The coalition gov't very sensibly introduced equal/mixed maternity/paternity leave. So it...
Sat 4th Jul 2015
10:00
10:00
Sun 5th Jul 2015
03:00
Mon 6th Jul 2015
Wed 8th Jul 2015
Thu 9th Jul 2015
Fri 10th Jul 2015
Sat 11th Jul 2015
Sun 12th Jul 2015
Thu 16th Jul 2015
Sat 18th Jul 2015
Sun 19th Jul 2015
Mon 20th Jul 2015
Thu 23rd Jul 2015
Sat 25th Jul 2015
Sun 26th Jul 2015
Mon 27th Jul 2015
Thu 30th Jul 2015
Sat 1st Aug 2015