from Europe Issue 2/2003
CARS LITTER COUNTRYSIDE
the past few months I have noticed a number of cars abandoned in our countryside.
It seems that more and more people are now leaving their unwanted cars on
country lanes, in ditches, on farmland and even in public car parks hoping
that the council will remove, scrap and dispose of them.
should the council bear the cost of disposal of citizens' private assets?
Why should law abiding citizens pay higher rates to their Council for those
who have chosen to be irresponsible?
EU legislation for End of Life Vehicles (ELVs) was adopted by the European
Parliament and the Council of EU Ministers in September 2000 and should have
been in place in member states by April 2002. The Directive requires:-
Manufacturers of vehicles and components to
re-design products to reduce/eliminate the use of hazardous substances
(lead, mercury) and facilitate recycling and disposal.
Member States to set up collection and disposal of
ELVs through Approved Treatment Facilities (ATFs) as well as a system of
de-registration so that a “Certificate of Destruction” can be used to
verify appropriate disposal.
EU envisages that from 1st January 2007, the manufacturer of the
vehicle will meet all or a significant part of the cost of collection and
disposal and hopes that its Directive will increase the rate of
re-use/recovery of metals to 85% by July 2006 and 95% by July 2015. The UK
has so far failed to implement this directive and is now facing fines from
the European Commission for non-compliance.
EU Directive will have a crippling effect on our scrap car industry as
dealers, especially the
UK government has said that the final owner of the ELV will continue to bear
the cost of collection and disposal until July 2007. The re-use, recovery
and disposal will be managed by ATFs supervised by the Environment
Protection Agency (EPA).
EU Directive is yet another example of complex legislation from a
bureaucracy gone mad. We need legislation that neither burdens the
manufacturer/scrap dealer nor the end user of the vehicle in order to
facilitate enforcement. Only then can we ensure that people will no longer
need to abandon their old vehicles and litter our countryside.
NOT GUNS, FOR THE POOR
of poor people, especially in Africa, suffer from hunger and disease,
struggling to live on less than USD$1 a day. Yet many of their governments,
led by ruthless and corrupt dictators, spend millions of dollars of national
income, grants and aid to purchase weapons e.g. rifles, hand-held grenades,
portable anti-tank and anti-aircraft guns, machine guns, ammunition, land
mines, tanks and military aircraft.
51 of the UN Charter authorises states to defend themselves and it is
generally accepted that small arms are mainly used for security purposes. At
present there are 639 million firearms. Civilians legally own 59% of small
free availability of small arms, especially in certain regions of the world
initiates, intensifies and sustains violence, internal conflict and communal
unrest. The WHO estimates that 2.3 million people die each year as victims
of conflict where small arms are used. These arms threaten vulnerable people
such as refugees, women and children. The UN estimates that there are 12.8
million refugees and 25 million internally displaced persons. Potential
violence from the proliferation and widespread use of small arms prevents
these people from returning to their villages. Expenditure on firearms
deprives funding of health, sanitation and education thereby impeding
arms threaten aid and voluntary workers (70% of deaths of personnel from
UN, the Red Cross and NGOs is from use of firearms) and the violence
resulting from firearms increases public health costs.
produces, sells and profits from the sale of such arms to the poor? Is it
possible to regulate the international small arms trade? What are the
humanitarian consequences of the massive use of small arms and light
98 countries have the capacity to manufacture small arms. China, Russia
and the USA are the biggest producers, although 10 others have significant
production/sales: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Israel,
Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. It is difficult to estimate the
volume and value of arms sales, as each producer/seller country is
reluctant to confirm its deals. Reliable estimates suggest that arms sales
amounted to USD$2.8 billion and ammunitions USD$4.6bn in the year 2000.
illegal trade, both for new and second hand weapons, is estimated to be
worth USD$1billion. Such illegal trade consists of sales by governments or
“middlemen” (merchants of death) to countries under an arms embargo,
unrecognised paramilitary groups, rebels, warlords and mercenaries. Under
these conditions, sale prices are inflated and the poor suffer even more
as their governments pay over the odds to secure these weapons! Huge
financial kickbacks from such purchases fill the Swiss bank accounts of
dictators and warlords and fuel their desire to sustain their reign of
contrast to nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, there are no
international norms or standards applying to small arms. The UN Conference
on Small Arms in 2001 failed to establish a legal framework to restrict
the manufacture, sale and use of such weapons. Clearly, there is an
insatiable demand and producer countries continue to profit without the
need to disclose their activity.
this situation compatible with the morality proclaimed by President Bush
and Prime Minister Blair? Should the rich nations with the capacity to
produce the weapons of death continue to sell arms to the countries where
millions are starving to death? If it is right to disarm Saddam Hussein in
Iraq then why should we not apply the same principle in Somalia, Ivory
Coast, Zimbabwe and any other country that uses violence against its own
people or its neighbours? It is time that the rich and mighty nations who
sit at the top table recognise that hypocrisy & double standards
should have no place in international politics. The poor of this world
deserve better from us all!
Limited places available on May & June 2003 visits to the European
Parliament in Strasbourg.
Dates: 12th-16th May & 2nd-6th
Accommodation: 4 nights Bed & Breakfast
Destinations: Reims, Strasbourg, Namur
Cost: £165.00 per person (excl.
Closing Date: 31/03/03
For further information, contact Louise:
Tel: 01603 781480 / 00 32 228 47953
1 Mar Address Suffolk
2 Mar Appearance on
Politics Show East
4 Mar Address Norwich City
7 Mar Business Link Meeting
on EU Funding
12 Mar Address EUW Essex
17 Mar Suffolk College Visit to Brussels
20 Mar East of England Europe Panel, Brussels
24 Mar Regional Journalist Visit to Brussels
27 Mar ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly, Congo
email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
and register to receive my “In Touch” and other news.
Promoted & Printed by Conservative MEPs in the EPP-ED Group in the European Parliament, Brussels: Khanbhai, Sturdy, Beazley & Van Orden