This week in Europe: 15-18 April

Europe Day - European Union - Some rights reserved by Niccolò CarantiLib Dem MEP calls on EU Parliament to scrap planned budget hikes

On Tuesday, senior UK Liberal Democrat MEP George Lyon called on the European Parliament to scrap planned budget increases ahead of the next series of votes on EU spending.

Mr Lyon, a vice chair of the EU Budget Committee, has tabled amendments that, if implemented, would see the one off costs of funding the European election absorbed within a real-terms budget freeze.

Commenting, he said:

At a time when finances are tight it is only right that the European Parliament exercise the same restraint as families and businesses across the UK who are working hard to balance the books.

The fact that we have already been able to cut travel costs and freeze allowances is welcome but it is clear that there is more work that needs to be done.

Our priority has to be working for a stronger economy and a fairer society and helping people to get on in life. We need to be investing in jobs and growth and therefore it is essential that the one off costs of funding the European election is absorbed within a real terms freeze in the Parliament’s budget.

This is not a party political issue and I would hope that MEPs from all parties will back my amendments.

Irish Presidency accused of deceiving MEPs

On Wednesday, the Irish Presidency was accused of deceiving MEPs over an issue key to reform Europe’s Common Fisheries Policy.

The preparation of long term management plans for every fishery is seen as crucial to the rebuilding of depleted fish stocks. But since 2009, EU governments have blocked negotiations on their preparation in an argument with the European Parliament over the terms of the Lisbon Treaty.

Ministers say that governments have the right to set annual quotas, but MEPs say the treaty gives them the power to set guidelines. MEPs argue that the Ministers have in the past been responsible for allowing over-fishing and the decline in stocks.

Chris Davies, a British MEP who founded the cross-party Fish for the Future group, has been amongst those pressing for negotiations. He claims that the promises by Minister Simon Coveney to engage with the Parliament on the issue have not been kept.

Ahead of the debate he said:

It’s bad that we have had only finer words but no action from the Irish Presidency. It’s worse that assurances have been given only to be broken.

The Irish Presidency should take a lead and get us around the table.

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One Comment

  • Time to get out of this mad house club we in bad states but we indirectly and directly are supporting the euro club failure. We win a reduction in budget they reject that then say they have a 16billions black hole which will take money from our struggling ecconomy time to call it a day get out of europe

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