La Treizième Étoile: 10/07/11 - 17/07/11 Blog Archives
News from the European Union with a focus on the South West UK and Gibraltar region and its MEPs
My tweets (@SWUKinEU)
MEPs Girling, Watson and Dartmouth have their say on latest CFP reform proposals

Thursday, 14 July 2011
Maria Damanaki, the European Commissioner for Fisheries, yesterday finally unveiled her proposals for reforming the existing EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Since fisheries is a very important industry for the South West region, our MEPs were quick and numerous to have their say on it:

Julie Girling (Conservative) said she was delighted the Commission was now taking the issue of discards "serious" but urged caution on its actual enforcement and said it must be part of a wider policy that "allows fishing to be done sustainably". She also praised the work of constitunet and celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and his FishFight campaign, which she said has "certainly had an effect" at the Commission and amongst her colleagues in the Parliament:

Graham Watson (Liberal Democrat) was also pleased that the Commission was responding to "widespread public revulsion" and is acting to tackle discards, and welcomed one of the Commissioner's proposals that effectively regionalise decision making by involving local fishermen, local governments and scientists. He said that Commissioner Damanaki was one of the "far-sighted Fisheries Commissioners we've ever had" and the public should give her a fair chance:

The Earl of Dartmouth (UKIP) was expectedly less welcoming and said the UK "had been stuck in the Common Fisheries Policy for 30 years" and called for the Government to immediate repatriate fishing powers back to the UK "not only to protect our national interest but also the dwindling fish stocks" (not entirely sure how that would work in practice mind):

(All videos produced by Quadrant for UK radio stations and are used with kind permission.)

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Trevor Colman explains why UKIP must not become a pan-European political party

Tuesday, 12 July 2011
You know it's really an issue of major concern when Trevor Colman comes out of the woodwork - and in the case of UKIP, it indeed is such a big issue.

Next month (August), UKIP members will cast their ballots on whether or not the party, campaigning for the UK to leave the EU, should become a pan-European political party. If yes, it would provide rather significant existential problems for the party since they would gain access to additional EU funds (UKIP estimates are in excess of £1 million - provided by the EU taxpayer of course) and be able to call on the services of a think tank to actually formulate policy papers.

Mr Colman is a staunch opponent and believes the introduction of pan-European parties is "a move by the European Union to rid itself of political parties representing national freedom". As such he is heading up the "NO" campaign, and in this video he seeks to make his case. Enjoy:


Ashley Fox: why I'm against whole notion of transnational lists for Euro elections

Sunday, 10 July 2011
Earlier this year British Liberal Democrat MEP Andrew Duff proposed the creation of an additional 25 members of Parliament who would be elected on EU-wide transnational lists presented by the European political parties. He believes truly European elections would contribute to a greater identification of citizens with European affairs.

However, Ashley Fox, a fellow member of the Parliament's Constitutional Affairs Committee (AFCO), spoke this week in plenary in Strasbourg against the idea. He expressed his belief that the whole notion is "a complete waste of money, and an attack on a Nation States rights to choose its own form of democracy."

He also answered questions from colleagues Nicole Sinclaire (NI, UK), Olle Schmidt (ALDE, SE) and Rainer Wieland (EPP, DE) via the blue card procedure under Rule 149(8) - their interventions are also included in the video above.


Last election:

Click here to see which six MEPs were elected.