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!


1.       Free enterprise which encourages self reliance.

2.       Equality of opportunity which allows anyone to develop one’s full potential and achieve success.

3.       Family values, community spirit and compassion for those in need.

4.       Strong United Kingdom with secure borders & an independent parliament.

5.       Conservative economic policies will deliver a stable and growing economy.

6.       Inherent dislike of bureaucracy, state interference and encroachment of individual liberties.




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 membership!

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!


  1. Consult
  2. Identify problems
  3. Act on securing solutions
  4. Report back







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 (1995-99).




1.       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.

2.       Promote rail/road/inland waterways integrated transport systems which enhance better connections throughout the EU.

3.       Encourage transport providers to compete for services rather than encourage competition between modes of transport.

4.       Assistance to develop transport links from the rural and remote areas to national networks.

5.       Encourage competition in the private sector to build and operate the transport networks.

6.       Harmonisation of technical and environmental standards across national frontiers.

7.       Encourage separate ownership of track and provision in provision of rail transport.


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 for this!


AGRICULTURE:-  Most of land in Eastern Region is for cropping, fallow and set aside; a little is mixed farming mainly arable or horticulture and forestry.


Articles 37 to 48 of the EC Treaty.




1.       To increase productivity and offer a fair reward to those who work in agriculture.

2.       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 principles:-


a)      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.


b)      Market organisation with external support.


About 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.


c)      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 flat-rate subsidies.

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 part-financed subsidies.


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:-


a)      Objective 1 covered Promoting the development and structural adjustment of structural adjustment of regions whose development is lagging behind.

b)      Objective 5b covers facilitation of development of rural areas.

c)      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 5.3%.




FISHERIES:-   Article 38 of the EC Treaty




1.       Fair standard of living for fishermen

2.       Good availability of supply, stability of prices and reasonable price for consumer.

3.       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.


1993 regulations 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


ENVIRONMENT:-  Articles 2, 3 (k) and 130r-130t of the EC Treaty.  Budget: £350m 


Aims:-   How do we resolve the conflict of interest between the economy and ecology?


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 gases.


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 guidelines:-


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 projects.


The EU banned production & consumption of CFC in 1997


The EEA report to be published on 23rd June, 98 will show that :-

a)      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.

b)      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.

c)      Nature conservation measures in the west are failing to stop a decline in protected species under threat from intensive agriculture and economic development.

d)      The volume of rubbish produced in Europe is rising steadily.





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.

1.       Promotion of general & vocational training

2.       Culture

3.       Health

4.       Trans -European networks

5.       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.




1.       Foster economic & social development

2.       Integration of developing countries into the world economy

3.       Campaign against poverty




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:-

a)      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 members.


Maastricht Treaty:-


Phase I :-   July 1990- November 1993: free capital transfers, single EU market & EMS for currencies

Phase II:-  November 1993-December 1998:  EMI established, countries start to meet convergence criteria, Euro adoption agreement by EU-zone, establish 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!


Convergence criteria:-

a)      Member states budget deficit must be less than 3% of GDP

b)      Member states public debt must be less than 60% of GDP

c)      EMS currencies held within 15% band; EMU introduced fixed exchange against Euro.




Budget:- £600m i.e about 1% of total budget

A)      encourage mobility in students & teachers

B)      reciprocal recognition of academic and professional qualifications

C)      co-operation between educational establishments

D)      youth exchanges (YOUTH for Europe III progm)

E)       development of distance learning(SOCRATES/COMENIUS)

F)       promote & improve vocational training & retraining(LEONARDO DA VINCI PROGRAMME)

G)      develop a European dimension to education by promoting study of languages of member states.(SOCRATES/COMENIUS programmes)




No watertight EU policy in place.


EU produces 690 million toe(ton of oil equivalent)

EU consumes 308 million toe

Type                         Production              Consumption

Nuclear                        29%                            16%

Natural Gas                 24%                            21%

Crude Oil                     23%                            44%

Lignite(wood coal)      12%                             13%

Hard Coal                      8%                               4%


ECSC: European Coal & Steel Community

EAEC(EURATOM): European Atomic Energy Community




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 acceptable.


 Conditions for Accession:-

a)      stability of democracy & its institutions

b)      functioning market economy which fits into EU single market

c)      ability to assume rights & obligations arising from EU law – acquis communautaire principle

d)      adherence to the aims of political & economic union

e)      EU’s capacity to absorb the new members without losing the momentum of European integration



1.       Agricultural output is 7.8% of GDP for 10 new applicants(EU 2.5% avg) and 26.7% work in it(EU 5.7%)

2.       Average GDP of new applicants is only 30% of the EU average.

3.       Using the current CAP & other policies EU will need an extra ECU12 billion to finance the larger EU.




Est. 1993  1st pillar


20 Commissioners , 26 Director-Generals & 20,000 staff

Costs ECU 3 billion out of EU budget of  ECU 90 billion


a)      Initiates legislation, treaties, or negotiations

b)      Monitors the passage of legislation

c)      Implements legislation passed by Parliament- can sue member states by taking them to the EU Court of Justice(ECJ)

d)      Maintains contact with world institutions & non-members

e)      Manages the EU representation worldwide

f)       Has special powers to monitor/implement competition 

Policy e.g. state aid to companies & company mergers


EC officials chair Committees which take many decisions, especially for CAP:-

1.       ADVISORY: Consultation only with nationals of member states

2.       MANAGEMENT: Important decisions are taken and here the nationals of member states can reject the EC official stand

3.       REGULATORY: Nationals of member states have the greatest scope of exerting their influence


EC powers are limited in dealing with CFSP(2nd pillar) & the JHA(3rd pillar).




£60  billion(ECU 90 bn)


Financed by:-

1.       agricultural levies on imports(about 1.5%)

2.       custom duties on imports(about 10%)

3.       1.4% of vat collected by each member(about 55%)

4.       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%


Expenditure:- 1996

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





in Luxembourg 15  representatives(1 from each member state) + staff

Checks the accounts and can persue fraud.




in Luxembourg 15 Judges advised by 9 Advocates-General interpret EU Law covering:-

a)      constitutional matters

b)      legislative watchdog to check compatibility of legislation

c)      administrative court for any litigation

d)      civil court for assessing damages arising from public liability

e)      arbitration court between states or persons




direct Elections since 1979


626 members:           PES(216); EPP CD(173); UEG(56); ELDR(52); GUE/NGL(33); GREENS(27); ERA(20); EDN(18); NI(31)


20 Committees:


Function:- Initiate; Legislate; monitors that EC implements. Formulate policy to redistribute power in EU. Represent the citizens’ views in the EU.


1.       ASSENT

a)      EU citizens’ rights

b)      International agreements

c)      Arrangement for EU elections

d)      Approve ECB appointments & work

e)      Approve use of Structural & Cohesion funds

f)       Confirmation of EC President & Commissioners


2.       CO-DECISION

a)      Completion of Single Market

b)      Recognition of Diplomas

c)      Health

d)      Culture/Research

e)      Co-operation in Education

f)       Trans-European networks

g)      Consumer Protection

h)      Action programme for Environmental protection



a)      Transport Policy

b)      Environment Policy

c)      Protection at the workplace

d)      Co-operation with developing countries

e)      Promotion of vocational training

f)       Implementation of Social & Regional Funds


4.       BUDGET amendment and approval.

5.       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?

a)      Insufficient powers to influence the CFSP & JHA

b)      Does not interface with the media well to inform citizens

c)      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 continues!


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!


IGC:-  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.




3rd Pillar of the EU


a)      extends citizenship of the EU to include right to move, establish and vote in local Municipal elections

b)      border control with checks using shared data files on persons entering & leaving the EU e.g. Schengen Agreement

c)      increased Police co-operation & exercises between states

d)      increased co-operation to fight against drugs & drug related crime

e)      harmonisation of laws relating to possession of firearms


Immigration:- Limited to family reunion & certain specified temporary work. Investors, inventors, 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.




1.       Security

2.       Peace

3.       Freedom

4.       Prosperity


EU Citizens rights:-.


1.       the right to reside anywhere in the EU

2.       stand for & vote in EP elections wherever they reside including local municipal elections

3.       seek diplomatic or consular protection abroad from any EU embassy if one’s own country is not represented

4.       right to petition & go to the Ombudsman for arbitration of any dispute

5.       respect fundamental & human rights as guaranteed by the European Human Rights Convention




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:-

a)      European Social Fund – for labour-market policy

b)      EAGGF Guidance section – structural adjustment in agriculture including production & secondary activities for farmers

c)      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.


Other funds:-

a)      Cohesion Fund- for economically weak member states e.g this fund is used for improving trans-European transport networks in Greece, Spain, Ireland & Portugal

b)      Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance(FIFG)- for aid under the Fisheries Policy including processing & marketing of products


Principles of structural policy:-

1.       Region is considered undeveloped if per capita GDP is below 75% of EU average

2.       Unemployment is greater than EU average in areas suffering from industrial decline (Objective 2)

3.       Combating long-term unemployment & easing entry of young people to labour market (Objective 3)

4.       Facilitate workers’ adaptation to industrial change with change of production systems or technology(Objective 4)

5.       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 region


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%)




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.