Newsletter from Europe Issue 1/2002
Bashir Khanbhai MEP
(Norfolk and Suffolk)




There are serious breaches in the implementation of the European Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and a recent report details 4,180 infringements of the 1999 code of conduct for fishing. Widespread fishing by vessels without proper authorisation, falsification of log books, use of unauthorised equipment and non-submission of reports on infringements by Belgium, Italy, Netherlands and Spain continue to undermine the CFP.

Illegal fishing has devastated fish stocks. Substantial cuts in catches coupled with severe penalties for infringement must be enforced to ensure the livelihood of our fishermen. Total Allowable Catches (TACs) for cod in the Kattegat will be reduced by 58%, haddock caught in the Irish Sea by 52%, sole in the North Sea by 25% and langoustines in the bay of Biscay by 45%. Also, there will be limits on fishing shark, red seabream and blue ling.


Many of us living in the
countryside have noticed the creeping abandonment of farmland – almost 270,000 hectares abandoned to bracken encroachment. Almost 500,000 hectares are now lying fallow as EU funded set-aside. 11% of the nation’s sheep and 7% of its cattle have been slaughtered over the last 8 months. Their livestock would have occupied about 900,000 hectares and until they restock to allow appropriate grazing, vast areas of pasture will be covered in ragwort.

In the last 10 years prior to the Foot and Mouth outbreak, the dairy herd in England and Wales had declined by 20% and the sheep flock by 500,000. Therefore, the area of England under production in the arable, horticultural and livestock sector has shrunk significantly.

The Countryside Stewardship Scheme needs more relaxed rules for entry. It must substantially improve the rates of payment to offer real incentives to farmers if they are to continue to be the guardians of the landscape. Blair should ensure that care and cash is provided to preserve this green and pleasant land we call England – it is just as important as helping inner city areas where his votes might be!



“Guide to European Funding” leaflet is available from the Home Office Active Community Unit (ACU) Tel: 020 7217 8400 or:

The EU Research Programme FP6 (2002-6) offers businesses (SMEs) in Eastern Region support schemes to stimulate innovation, research and development in the field of technology. Priority areas are:-

a)     Genomics and biotechnology

b)     IT initiatives

c)      Nanotechnologies & new production processes

d)     Aeronautics

e)     Food safety & health

f)        Sustainable and environmental development

Check the website  



The Council has approved a budget of about £60bn of which £28bn is allocated for agricultural subsidies. About £20 billion is allocated for structural measures; £4bn for internal policies; £3bn for external policies; £2bn for pre-accession aid; £100m for the conversion of the Portuguese and Spanish fishing fleets and £3.5bn for administration.


The EU Court of Auditors Annual Report highlighted that about 5% of the 2000 budget was unaccounted for despite the recent reforms of the Commission! Most of the accounting problems arose from Member States’ failure to check expenditure in areas such as agricultural subsidies and the Structural Funds which they administer themselves and which account for some 85% of the EU budget! Finally, some £7bn allocated to Structural Funds was not utilised owing to delays in starting the 2000-06 programmes.


The 2002-04 Euromed Youth II Programme is designed to encourage youth exchanges, voluntary work and training in the EU as well as Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey.

The scheme aims to develop mutual understanding between young people from different cultures and encourage democratisation of civil society to help better integratation into society.


The Laeken Summit in Belgium should have set out guidelines for reform of the EU institutions to allow enlargement to go forward. European leaders including Blair agreed that the EU should have, at some stage, an elected President. They directed that a European Convention of 100 officers be established under the chairmanship of past President of France, Mr. Giscard d’Estaing, to advise on reform. This Convention would hand over to the Inter Governmental Conference (IGC) finishing in 2004.


Mr. Giscard was rejected by French voters 20 years ago and is “a personality of the European past, not one of the future”! Surely the EU can identify someone who is younger, innovative, successful in business, modest and “in touch” with the Europe of today!


An elected president of the EU would be a real supra-national “leader” with legitimacy and electoral claim to override national will. How would this work without a State? What would be the role of national leaders and national parliaments? Does Europe need such a change to be an efficient trading block? Has Blair consulted the British public? If not, why not?


1. 23Nov  Eastern Region Media in Cambridge

2. 23Nov  S. Norfolk CA Annual Dinner:

3. 30Nov   Marshalls Workshop in Cambridge.

4. 30Nov  Farm in Thetford & Mtg in Diss.

5. 30Nov  Mid Norfolk CA Rendham branch

6. 07Dec  EUW Meeting, Huntingdon

7. 07Dec  Conservative Future, W.Chelmsford







 Promoted & Printed by Conservative MEPs in the EPP-ED Group in the European Parliament, Brussels: Khanbhai, Sturdy, Beazley & Van Orden