Europe - Questions and Answers Jun98
BELIEF in CONSERVATIVE values – not
ambition to get into Parliament – Lynda Dwyer’s dad said 7 years ago
that I should join the LABOUR PARTY if I wanted to be in Parliament! How
right he was! Even as a paper
candidate, I would have made it in the last general election!
Free enterprise which encourages self reliance.
Equality of opportunity which allows anyone to develop one’s full
potential and achieve success.
Family values, community spirit and compassion for those in need.
Strong United Kingdom with secure borders & an independent parliament.
Conservative economic policies will deliver a stable and growing economy.
Inherent dislike of bureaucracy, state interference and encroachment of
CAN I OFFER AS A MEP?
When I arrived in Norwich, as the PPC for
that seat, I found the Association in debt by £20,000, with no Agent, no
typewriter, no computer, unpaid lease charges on a printer and a shrinking
I spent 18 months in Norwich. When I
left, after the Elections in May last year, there was a
£10,000 credit in the Bank, a brand new Computer, a photocopy
machine the Association owns, and a healthy membership. Full credit for
this success goes to the Association officers, the members who supported
us, neighbouring constituencies, and
Eastern Area office who pulled together to achieve it. I acted as a
catalyst to stimulate and motivate. It worked!
In Europe, my commercial, industrial and
international experience will enable me to be pro-active – A
BUSINESSLIKE APPROACH – more action than words!
Article 3(f),(n), 74-78, 129b-129d of the
EC Treaty sets out the aims of a common transport policy with
establishment and development of Trans-European networks. Budget £1.5bn
Harmonising national regulations covering road, rail, air, barge and
maritime means of transport to create a single market for provision of
infrastructure and service provision.
Promote rail/road/inland waterways integrated transport systems which
enhance better connections throughout the EU.
Encourage transport providers to compete for services rather than
encourage competition between modes of transport.
Assistance to develop transport links from the rural and remote areas to
Encourage competition in the private sector to build and operate the
Harmonisation of technical and environmental standards across national
Encourage separate ownership of track and provision in provision of rail
Clearly, development of the A1, A12 and
the A47 are essential to connect Eastern Region including our eastern
ports: Felixstowe and Harwich, to our national network. Conservative MEPs
from our region must fight tooth and nail to secure funding from Europe
Most of land in Eastern Region is for cropping, fallow and set
aside; a little is mixed farming mainly arable or horticulture and
Articles 37 to 48 of the EC Treaty.
To increase productivity and offer a fair reward to those who work in
To stabilise markets by regulating supply and prices such that consumers
are able to buy at a reasonable price.
The EU has “an agricultural market
organisation” which intercepts between the world market and the EU’s
internal market such that world import prices are subject to levies to
match internal market price and export subsidies are paid when EU product
prices cannot compete with world market prices. All prices are fixed
annually. The cost of all these is funded by the European Agricultural
Guidance and Guarantee Fund( EAGGF). The EAGGF is capped in its growth
each year and in its total as a % of EU GDP.
There are 21 market organisations which
can be broadly distinguished according to three organisational
Market organisation with price support.
About 70% of agricultural products have a market and price guarantee as
well as external protection. Products covered are: cereals, sugar, dairy
products, meat, certain fruits & veg and table wine. Farmers get
guaranteed price and produce is bought up for storage. There are quotas
for each farm for milk and sugar.
Market organisation with external support.
25% of the products are only protected from competition from third
countries. There is no price guarantee to the EU farmer but the import
duty is adjusted to protect the EU farmer. Products such as eggs, poultry,
certain fruit & veg, ornamental plants and superior(not table) wine.
Market organisation with direct subsidies
Producers – not processors – of oilseed and pulses receive subsidies.
For olives, tobacco and durum wheat the producers receive a subsidy in
addition to market prices being protected by external protection and
intervention measures. Special items produced in small quantities in the
EU like flax, hemp, cotton, silkworms, hops, seed and dry feed receive
Agricultural Structures Policy.
1992 reform of CAP reduced price support and introduced compensation for
loss of income.
1995/96 intervention price for cereals was cut in stages by 33%. In return
the producers receive aid which rises proportionally with lower prices
subject to size of farm, set aside of land previously sown with cereals
and oilseed. For oilseeds the producer received a world market price plus
a premium. For beef, the intervention price was reduced by 15% in three
annual instalments. Setting aside areas of arable land for the purpose of
protecting the environment can be subsidised for a period of 20 years.
Reforestation was made more attractive by increasing the Community
1972 policy aimed at helping only viable farms. 1975 policy extended to
help sustain less favourable areas like mountain and hill farms. 1988
EAGGF was co-ordinated with the European Regional Fund and the European
Social Fund such that:-
Objective 1 covered Promoting the development and structural adjustment of
structural adjustment of regions whose development is lagging behind.
Objective 5b covers facilitation of development of rural areas.
Objective 5a covers adjustment of production and processing structures in
agriculture and forestry.
GATT Uruguay Round:- 1993
We have agreed to reduce subsides and
tariffs effective by 2000 affecting particularly sugar, beef and cheese.
Enlargement of the EU will bring the
problem of eastern countries with large areas and populations in
agriculture which is inefficient and heavily subsidised.
NOTE:- UK agriculture is small and
efficient with only 2.1% employed in it
- compare with Greece(20%), Ireland(12%), Portugal(11.5%) ,
Spain(9.3%), Finland(7.8%), Italy(7.5%), Austria(7.3%) and EU average
Article 38 of the EC Treaty
Fair standard of living for fishermen
Good availability of supply, stability of prices and reasonable price for
Preservation and protection of stocks by regulation of catch according to
size, quota etc.
Guide prices are set annually for the
different fish species. Producer organisations may determine withdrawal
prices below which they do not sell fish landed by their members who are
then compensated in part by the EAGGF. Withdrawal price for most fish
species is between 70 and 90% of the guide price. Customs duty is levied
on imported fish. Export refunds may be paid to compensate for the price
difference between EU price and the lower price in certain export markets.
Regulations exist affecting capacity
targets(1991), fleet reductions for each member State according to fish
species and fishing techniques e.g. 20% reduction for trawling for
demersal species(of which stocks are seriously threatened) and 15% for
flatfish. Fishing for pelagic species, where the stock situation is
better, and for static-gear fishing (using fixed nets and pots) is
confined to the levels of the base year, 1991.
require member States to monitor and inspect that fleets do not violate EU
rules. The EU inspectors also have random checks on logbooks required to
be kept by each boat to show catch type, size, net size etc
Articles 2, 3 (k) and 130r-130t of the EC Treaty.
How do we resolve the conflict of interest between the economy and
Protect and improve the quality of the
environment, protect the health of the population, careful & rational
use of natural resources, international co-operation to ensure global
environmental protection including reducing the levels of greenhouse
European Environment Agency is based in
Copenhagen. Derek Osborn is the Chairman.
Aquatic environment, air pollution, use
& disposal of chemicals, protecting flora & fauna, noise pollution
and waste disposal including recycling.
Single European Act 1987 established
Principles of prevention and avoidance
Polluter Pays principle
Rectify at Source principle
The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
guidelines in 1988 laid down the administrative procedure for economic
The EU banned production &
consumption of CFC in 1997
The EEA report to be published on 23rd
June, 98 will show that :-
Greenhouse gas emissions associated with climate change have fallen 3% in
western Europe and 19% in the east thanks to UK’s switch to gas-fired
power stations and economic problems in eastern Europe.
Sulphur emissions, which cause “acid rain” fell 50% between 1980 and
1995. But summertime smogs and particulate pollution from vehicles mean
air pollution remains a serious problem, particularly in southern Europe.
Nature conservation measures in the west are failing to stop a decline in
protected species under threat from intensive agriculture and economic
The volume of rubbish produced in Europe is rising steadily.
COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS:-
Advisory body of 222 (24 from UK)
representatives of economic and social groups. Advises the Commission
& the Council of Ministers. Appointed for 4 years.
The first assembly(1994-98) comprises
half representatives from Local Authorities & half from Regional
authorities of each member state.
Focuses on local & regional issues to
bring the people closer to the EU.
Promotion of general & vocational training
Trans -European networks
Structural & regional policy
Budget: ECU 27 million
Four political groups(EPP,PES,Liberals
& Radicals) work through 8 specialist committees.
No power to delay legislation and its
opinions are not binding for any decision-making body.
Kaleidoscope 2000 programme promotes
cultural events e.g. concerts or cultural events for unemployed artists;
vocational training for young people in cultural sector; the conservation
of cultural heritage under the Raphael programme; encouragement of
literary translation through the Ariane programme.
DEVELOPMENT AID TO THIRD WORLD:-
Foster economic & social development
Integration of developing countries into the world economy
Campaign against poverty
ECONOMIC & SOCIAL COMMITTEE:-
Advise the Commission & the Council
of Ministers. Advice is not binding. Meet 10 times a year and produce
about 180 reports.
222 members(24 from UK) for 4 year term,
3 groups represented:-
workers b) employers c)
interest groups e.g. professions, agricultural co-operatives, chambers of
commerce & consumer organisations.
Work through different committees and
managed by a Bureau of 30 (10 from each group) elected from the 222
Phase I :- July 1990-
November 1993: free capital transfers, single EU market & EMS for
1993-December 1998: EMI established,
countries start to meet convergence criteria, Euro adoption agreement by
ECB with staff & dates for introducing the Euro for circulation
Phase III:-1st January 1999-1st July 2002: 1/1/99:
Banks & companies can deal in Euro 1/1/2002: Euro coins & notes
for public 1/7/2002: National currencies withdrawn!
Member states budget deficit must be less than 3% of GDP
Member states public debt must be less than 60% of GDP
EMS currencies held within 15% band; EMU introduced fixed exchange against
EDUCATION & YOUTH:-
Budget:- £600m i.e about 1% of total
encourage mobility in students &
reciprocal recognition of academic and
co-operation between educational
youth exchanges (YOUTH for Europe III
development of distance learning(SOCRATES/COMENIUS)
promote & improve vocational training
& retraining(LEONARDO DA VINCI PROGRAMME)
develop a European dimension to education
by promoting study of languages of member states.(SOCRATES/COMENIUS
No watertight EU policy in place.
EU produces 690 million toe(ton of oil
EU consumes 308 million toe
ECSC: European Coal & Steel Community
EAEC(EURATOM): European Atomic Energy
Agenda 2000 – accession of some in
Maybe in year 2005
10 states want to join:-
Poland, Romania, Latvia, Estonia,
Lithuania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, & Slovenia PLUS Switzerland,
Cyprus, Malta &Turkey.
Referendum in Switzerland was negative so
the application is on “ice”.
Turkey’s application is, at present,
not acceptable. It has, however, a Customs Union with the EU since 1995.
Cyprus & Malta are probably
Conditions for Accession:-
stability of democracy & its institutions
functioning market economy which fits into EU single market
ability to assume rights & obligations arising from EU law – acquis
adherence to the aims of political & economic union
EU’s capacity to absorb the new members without losing the momentum of
Agricultural output is 7.8% of GDP for 10 new applicants(EU 2.5% avg) and
26.7% work in it(EU 5.7%)
Average GDP of new applicants is only 30% of the EU average.
Using the current CAP & other policies EU will need an extra ECU12
billion to finance the larger EU.
The EUROPEAN COMMISSION:-
Est. 1993 1st pillar
20 Commissioners , 26 Director-Generals
& 20,000 staff
Costs ECU 3 billion out of EU budget of
ECU 90 billion
Initiates legislation, treaties, or negotiations
Monitors the passage of legislation
Implements legislation passed by Parliament- can sue member states by
taking them to the EU Court of Justice(ECJ)
Maintains contact with world institutions & non-members
Manages the EU representation worldwide
Has special powers to monitor/implement competition
state aid to companies & company mergers
EC officials chair Committees which take
many decisions, especially for CAP:-
ADVISORY: Consultation only with nationals of member states
MANAGEMENT: Important decisions are taken and here the nationals of member
states can reject the EC official stand
REGULATORY: Nationals of member states have the greatest scope of exerting
EC powers are limited in dealing with
CFSP(2nd pillar) & the JHA(3rd pillar).
billion(ECU 90 bn)
agricultural levies on imports(about 1.5%)
custom duties on imports(about 10%)
1.4% of vat collected by each member(about 55%)
member states contribute to a maximum 1.2% of their GNP(about 30%)
Share of member’s contribution:- 1996
Germany 30%; France 18%; Italy 12.1%; UK
10.8%; Spain 6.4%; Holland 5.8%
48% EAGGF; 31% Structural(Social Fund,
Regional Fund, Transport, Environment); 4% Research & Technology; 5%
Admin for EC;
EC initiates budget; EP debates &
approves; COM can amend but EP can reject & then it goes to
Conciliation committee – CO-DECISION process.
“Compulsory” expenditure can only be
approved by COM & EP has less say e.g. CAP
“Non-compulsory” expenditure e.g.
structural funds, research & technology EP can amend COM proposals
COURT OF AUDITORS:
in Luxembourg 15
representatives(1 from each member state) + staff
Checks the accounts and can persue fraud.
COURT OF JUSTICE:
in Luxembourg 15 Judges advised by 9
Advocates-General interpret EU Law covering:-
legislative watchdog to check compatibility of legislation
administrative court for any litigation
civil court for assessing damages arising from public liability
arbitration court between states or persons
direct Elections since 1979
PES(216); EPP CD(173); UEG(56); ELDR(52); GUE/NGL(33); GREENS(27);
ERA(20); EDN(18); NI(31)
Initiate; Legislate; monitors that EC implements. Formulate policy to
redistribute power in EU. Represent the citizens’ views in the
EU citizens’ rights
Arrangement for EU elections
Approve ECB appointments & work
Approve use of Structural & Cohesion funds
Confirmation of EC President & Commissioners
Completion of Single Market
Recognition of Diplomas
Co-operation in Education
Action programme for Environmental protection
Protection at the workplace
Co-operation with developing countries
Promotion of vocational training
Implementation of Social & Regional Funds
BUDGET amendment and approval.
CONSULTATION in other areas of EU legislation
EP is the driving force for change and
reform of the EU. On average each MEP represents 600,000 people(German MEP
represents 800,000 and the Luxembourg MEP represents 60,000!)
What is wrong with the EP?
Insufficient powers to influence the CFSP & JHA
Does not interface with the media well to inform citizens
Public perception is not good
Aim is to promote restructuring so that
there is “open competitive market”. Unfortunately, state subsidies
continue e.g. coal & steel in Germany, Air France, & Council
decisions on Regional Aid are politicised. Conflict between open
competitive single market in the EU and industrial & regional policy
Some member states oppose EU’s role in
trans-European network. Also, who should represent the EU at the WTO –
the EC or member states? – NOT RESOLVED!
brings the EU closer to its citizens.
Personal representatives of Foreign
Ministers meet once a week and the Foreign Ministers meet once a month to
formulate policy covering CFSP & JHA matters.
EP is kept regularly informed.
JUSTICE & HOME AFFAIRS (JHA):-
3rd Pillar of the EU
extends citizenship of the EU to include right to move, establish and vote
in local Municipal elections
border control with checks using shared data files on persons entering
& leaving the EU e.g. Schengen Agreement
increased Police co-operation & exercises between states
increased co-operation to fight against drugs & drug related crime
harmonisation of laws relating to possession of firearms
Limited to family reunion & certain specified temporary work.
students are permitted to enter.
Otherwise entry refused to EU.
Asylum:- The Centre for Information, Discussion &
Exchange (IDEC) on Asylum has laid down guidelines but
each member state persues its own policy.
AIMS OF EU:-
the right to reside anywhere in the EU
stand for & vote in EP elections wherever they reside including local
seek diplomatic or consular protection abroad from any EU embassy if
one’s own country is not represented
right to petition & go to the Ombudsman for arbitration of any dispute
respect fundamental & human rights as guaranteed by the European Human
Prosperity differentials as EU expanded
south such that Greece & Portugal have GDP at less than 50% of EU
average. Also, large parts of Spain, southern Italy & Sardinia,
Ireland, Northern Ireland, Corsica, the French overseas departments and
the new German Landers(East Germany)
The Structural Funds form the heart of
the Structural Policy:-
European Social Fund – for labour-market policy
EAGGF Guidance section – structural adjustment in agriculture including
production & secondary activities for farmers
European Regional Development Fund(ERDF)-for development aid to
disadvantaged regions covering health, education, trans-European transport
networks, telecommunication & energy, innovation & tourism ,can
support small businesses with with both investment & operating aid
& in research for development.
Cohesion Fund- for economically weak member states e.g this fund is used
for improving trans-European transport networks in Greece, Spain, Ireland
Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance(FIFG)- for aid under the
Fisheries Policy including processing & marketing of products
Principles of structural policy:-
Region is considered undeveloped if per capita GDP is below 75% of EU
Unemployment is greater than EU average in areas suffering from industrial
decline (Objective 2)
Combating long-term unemployment & easing entry of young people to
labour market (Objective 3)
Facilitate workers’ adaptation to industrial change with change of
production systems or technology(Objective 4)
Development of rural areas (
Objective 5b) if area has a low population density, a high proportion of
the labour force is employed in agriculture, low level of agricultural
earnings and a below average overall regional economy
EU funds supplement member states aid to
COMMUNITY SUPPORT FRAMEWORK(CSF):-
Each member state (or the EC) prepares
detailed socio-economic & environmental impact plans/proposals for
regional development showing how EU funds will be spent and negotiates
with the EC to apply Objectives 1, 2 and 5b.
Objective 1:- Requires national funding also. Covers expansion &
improvement of general & vocational training e.g training
instructors(Special educational needs for schools) Upto 75% of overall
costs paid by EU and at least 50% of public-sector expenditure paid.
“Edinburgh Facility”:- In
1992 agreement to increase funds for Structural Development such that
infrastructure projects e.g for trans-European transport networks in 1999
would receive ECU27.4bn
SOCIAL SECURITY EXPENDITURE as a % of GDP
(1993):- EU avg.27.52%
Denmark & Holland (32%); Germany
& France (29%); UK(26%); Italy, Spain & Luxembourg(23-24%);
Ireland(20%); Portugal(17%); Greece (15%)
WOMEN IN EUROPE:-
Article 119 of the treaty of Rome
indicates “equal treatment of men & women and confirms equal pay for
equal work”; Maastricht 1991 established Article 6 of the Social policy
Agreement, which re-confirms this. EU Courts have upheld this.
Much more needs to be done on conditions
of employment for women so that the needs of single parents, family
responsibilities, time limitations on temporary work etc are addressed to
allow more women into the labour market.