from Europe Issue 7/2002
OF EU'S FINANCIAL REFORM
to The Times (printed August 10, 2002)
In 1999, my maiden speech as a Conservative MEP and member of the European
Parliamentís Budgetary Control Committee reflected the concerns of all
European MPs at our inability to assess a new team of commissioners after
the fall of the disgraced Santer Commission. It seems to me that little
has been achieved in the way of financial reform since then.
was born in Tanzania, where the Government and the civil service were
incompetent and corrupt. I thought that I would find it different here in
the EU. There are 360 million European citizens in 15 member states and
yet we cannot find just 20 men and women with the relevant professional
competence and work experience to be commissioners. To make matters worse,
the democratically elected European Parliament of 626 MEPs, which may vote
on whether or not to dismiss an individual commissioner, is overruled by a
recycled politician who, as President of the Commission, reserves the
right to sack, or not sack, his own commissioners. Is this a parliament
with teeth or just a talking shop?
Kinnockís sacking of Marta Andreasen (report, and leading article,
August 3; letters August 8), highlights the Commissionís arrogance and
simply confirms the weakness of its accounting systems. Kinnock was
appointed vice-president of the Commission to reform and clean up the
Brussels bureaucracy, not to silence competent professionals with
integrity who exercise their judgement in the best interest of European
perception, especially in the UK, is that the European commissioners are
overpaid, incompetent and arrogant in their use of political power, for
which they have no mandate. European citizens will remain disillusioned by
the EU until the Parliament is able to choose the commissioners and secure
the right to sack them at any time for mismanagement.
K. Twitchen: "Bashir- you have
courage and integrity. Superb article, well done."
Duck: "I was pleased to read
your letter today and that someone like you can bring the facts to the UK
public with some authority."
Shaxson: "Well done, and many,
many thanks for your Times letter! If other nations' MEPs were prepared to
be equally honest, a truly democratic European Organisation of free
countries could evolve. Keep up the good work- you have the majority of
British people behind you."
Smith: "More power to you Sir.
Kinnock would seem to be as useless as when he was a Socialist leader. You
have my support."
Tuhill: "I have never voted
Conservative in my 40 years with the vote but I was pleasantly surprised
by your article. It summed up exactly what I have against the Commission
and I suspect is a major reason for British antagonism towards the Euro.
Please continue to expose this nonsense."
Cllr A. Delaney: "I wish to congratulate you on speaking out. It is bad enough with the commissioners from Italy and Spain being deeply involved but for Neil Kinnock to sack someone for blowing the whistle on the state of the EU accounts paints a sorry picture. Keep up the good work and naming those responsible for these blatant attempts at a cover-up."
EXPANSION OF STANSTED AIRPORT
of letter to Eastern County Councils)
massive expansion proposed at Stansted airport will not only blemish the
beautiful countryside of mid Essex but also bring unprecedented noise and
air pollution to West Suffolk and the Stour Valley, and especially to
Sudbury. The main flight path to Stansted from eastern and southern Europe
follows a route from Dusseldorf to Brussels and then over the North Sea to
the Stour at Harwich and then Sudbury. The explosion in low cost airlines
operating out of Stansted has already had a major impact on our part of
East Anglia - if the airport gets one, two or even three extra runways,
our peace and tranquillity will be shattered.
is essential for Stansted to improve its road and rail access as well as
parking to handle any expansion. The proposed £5.2bn expansion of
Stansted from 1 to 4 runways will allow it to handle around 120,000
passengers on 800 flights (1 flight every minute) but such a massive
expansion of Stansted over a short time is unnecessary and unacceptable. I
see merit in sharing capacity with a new airport in the Thames Estuary,
possibly part funded by the EU, that will certainly rejuvenate
economically a deprived area. Stansted will have fewer new jobs but the
rural character of Suffolk and Essex that attracts all residents and many
foreign tourists will be preserved.
As one of the Councils
responsible in arriving at a final decision on this important issue, I
urge you to consider only a modest expansion of Stansted. I hope you will
encourage and support the construction of a new airport in the Thames
Estuary to share capacity for increased air travel as a better option,
both economically and environmentally.
I am confident that I am reflecting the view of the majority of
residents of East Anglia and my Conservative colleagues in both
Westminster and the European Parliament.
SME CONFERENCE - 'ACCESS EU FUNDING'
Following the success of my
July conference "Access EU Funding" for SMEs in Brome, Suffolk,
I am holding a second event in the East of England. This will offer small
and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex,
Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire the opportunity to find out
how to access funding from the European Union.
If the UK continues to be a
full member of the EU then I need to make sure that our region secures
maximum benefit. Small businesses create jobs and prosperity and I am
determined to help them.
There will be presentations
from Euro Keys, an independent European Public Affairs company, EEDA (East
of England Development Agency) and the European Information Centre.
The conference will take place at the Bury Lodge in Stansted, Essex (located just off the M11) on Friday 11th October, 2002 from 10.30-14.30. Admission is strictly by pre-booking with Louise Fox (Tel.: 00 32 228 47953 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org). The cost is £25, including a buffet lunch.
21 June Addressed Huntingdon
23 June Annual Civic Service,
26 June Royal Norfolk
29 June N. Norfolk District
Council Civic Event
5 July Norwich North Cons.
6 July Braintree Conservative
7 July N. Norfolk Cons. Assoc.
10 July Access EU Funding
12 July Canvassing for Ipswich
12 July Bedfordshire County
13 July Saffron Walden Cons.
July Norfolk Millennium Library &
24 Aug S. Norfolk Cons. Golden Jubilee Ball
30 Aug Anglian Farmers, Easton College, Norwich
Promoted & Printed by Conservative MEPs in the EPP-ED Group in the European Parliament, Brussels: Khanbhai, Sturdy, Beazley & Van Orden