from Europe Summer 2001
GENERAL ELECTION RESULTS
Almost everyone had predicted Labour´s victory but most of us expected to win a number of seats. Conservative activists in every constituency - especially in Eastern Region - worked very hard but the electors wanted to give Labour a second chance.
We must not be demoralised. We must regroup, assess the results and formulate new policies that will secure a victory at the next Election.
Think of what Disraeli wrote:-
"The Tory Party is not dead but sleepeth; and in an age of political materialism, of confused purposes and perplexed intelligence, that aspires only to wealth because it has no other accomplishment, Toryism will yet arise to bring back strength to the Crown, liberty to the Subject and to announce that power has only one duty - to secure the social welfare of the people".
EU FAILS IN ANIMAL WELFARE
Britain has banned tethering of pigs and stalls for pregnant sows. Sow stalls are so narrow that the pig cannot even turn around and the 16.5 weeks of pregnancy is too long for such confinement. Public opinion on the continent is in favour of adopting British practices.
The European Parliament, under heavy pressure from the Danish MEPs and determined opposition from British Conservative MEPs, voted in favour of continuing cruel and outdated practices for pig welfare for another decade!
Clearly, British pig farmers will continue to have higher production cost. How can they compete on a "level playing field" with continental farmers who will continue to rear pigs in sub-standard conditions? The only safeguard is to insist on declaring the country of origin on the packaging so that the consumer can choose to buy products from animals that have been reared in a decent manner. BUY BRITISH PORK & BACON.
TAKING YOUR PET ABROAD
The European Parliament recently approved provisions that should make it easier for us to take our pets abroad. Cats and dogs will need to be identified by a transponder or tattoo and be vaccinated. Tattoos are to be phased out over 8 years in favour of microchips. Electronic checks at EU borders are expected to assist in ensuring success of the new system.
CHILD SAFETY IN CARS
I supported the European Parliament Report to improve road safety by requiring compulsory use of seatbelts for children under 12 years of age. Whilst seatbelts are compulsory for adults and children there are no specific requirements for very young children and we use standard seatbelts for them. New standards conform to UN/ECE technical standards although taller children over 1.5m or older than 12 years of age will be permitted to use seatbelts for adults.
FIGHTING EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN
The European Parliament has passed a Resolution that requires a minimum 8 year jail sentence for sexual exploitation of children under 16 years of age. It prescribes a minimum 4 year jail sentence for exploitation of older children up to the age of 18. Also, a minimum 1 year jail sentence for possession of child pornography has been approved. I support stiff sentences and a "name & shame" policy for paedophiles and those who lure young children into prostitution.
DISEASES IN POOR COUNTRIES.
I will be presenting a European Parliament Report on "Fighting communicable infectious diseases HIV/AIDS, TB & Malaria". The Report highlights the severe impact of these three diseases on the economies of poor countries with working populations decimated, families destroyed and young children abandoned because of inability to pay the high cost of treatment! It outlines a series of measures to combat the scourge of these diseases:-
1. A Global Fund supported by the EU, G8, WHO, UN, IMF, World Bank, oil-rich nations and any public or private source to fight these diseases.
2. This Global Fund would procure medication and vaccines at low prices, support building of health infrastructure like day care centres, train medical personnel & give social and nutritional support, especially to mother and child.
3. My Report suggests ways of stimulating Research & Development for vaccines for these diseases as well as ways to encourage developing countries to help local manufacture of essential medicines to ensure affordable access to healthcare for the poor.
4. Close co-operation between the public & private sector, including NGOs, is seen as essential in implementing the project.
EU FUNDING OPPORTUNTIES
Socrates II - Supports exchanges in education. The Commission will fund up to 50% of project costs for educational exchanges involving partners from at least 5 European countries. www.europa.eu.int/comm/education/socrates
Better access to finance for companies in all stages of development, particularly for innovative SMEs, high technology projects and start-ups. For info:
Structural operations in fisheries and aquaculture. Investment aid to strengthen competitiveness of the industry, enhance the value of produce and revitalise areas dependent upon the fishing industry.
CONSTITUENCY TRIP TO STRASBOURG
The next trip (subsidised by the EU) to visit the European Parliament in Strasbourg will be on 2-6 September 2001. The four-day trip includes coach travel & channel crossing (Eurotunnel), 4 nights B&B, morning visit to the Parliament and afternoon sightseeing in Strasbourg, dinner hosted by Bashir, optional visits (wine tasting). Cost:- £150 twin occupancy with £68 extra for single room. Contact European Travel Service to book your seat & secure the application form:- Tel 01423 526800 or Fax 01423 527800
1 Gabon: ACP:EU Joint Parliament Assembly.
2 Mauritania: to assess efficacy of EU aid.
3 Helsinki: European Pharmaceutical Wholesalers Conference.
4 Northern Greece: to assess fraud in this tobacco-growing region.
5 Bulgaria to assess efficacy of EU aid.
6 Opened New Wing of Downham Market School and visited Middleton Primary School, Norfolk.
7 Visit to NW Norfolk, North Norfolk, Waveney Norwich North CA and Bungay CA.
Promoted & Printed by Conservative MEPs in the EPP-ED Group in the European Parliament, Brussels: Khanbhai, Sturdy, Beazley & Van Orden