• Joined for the first time by Roger Helmer as a UKIP MEP who retains his place on this committee. He is very welcome as far as I am concerned. A dire agenda, unless you think that, "Strengthening economic and budgetary surveillance of Member States experiencing or threatened with serious difficulties with respect to their financial stability in the Euro area", is exciting. Actually it is. This will bring in examination of Euro country budgets before they are announced, with punitive measures for breaches thereof. Does not affect UK but it does affect Ireland, especially if they vote "Yes" in their referendum on May 31st.
Will this come to the UK? Well, we signed the Lisbon Treaty which clearly says that the currency of the EU shall be the Euro!
There was also a debate on the "Training of seafarers". I can think of a certain Italian Captain of cruise liners who could do with a pointer or two, but otherwise... Plenary Session 28th - 29th
Agenda is full of Enlargement reports. You know Turkey is an applicant country, but Serbia, Kosovo & Montenegro have all got their names down to join, or are thinking about it. Just think how deep the UK taxpayer will have to dig to find our over-large share of support for that lot.
Thursday Votes on all the above, all approved, of course, by huge majorities. William Dartmouth put down an Oral Question in the vote on Turkey, having spoken about it the previous evening, see the UKIP MEP's website. Oral Questions are listed on the voting list and the proposer speaks to it, but whether or not it goes to a vote is down to members. MEPs can oppose this by rising in their places and when 40 or more do so the Oral Q is defeated.
William's Q was, "Notwithstanding the above, all negotiations of Turkey's membership of the EU should be suspended until such time as the Turkish Government terminates its visa free arrangement with the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad of Syria".
Many more than 40 MEPs stood up, including the UK Lib-dems!
If that is not enough, know this. All candidate countries get pre-accession funding. Turkey is budgeted for 14 BILLION Euros over the period 2014 to 2020. Do I have to point out who will find a big lump of that?
The worst news this week, of course, is not from here, but from our own Parliament, in particular George Osborne. The National Planning Policy Framework is to simplify planning applications. Among the general loss of countryside as it disappears under concrete there is a real nasty. There is a built-in presumption of sustainable development. That means supporting a low carbon future. In turn that comes round to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, our old friend carbon dioxide.
To achieve those reductions the claim is for more windmills and the electricity companies will now have all this weight of entrenched "sustainability" in their armoury. Planning permissions will now be even easier to award as local authorities are forced to cave in to this madness.
It's bad enough now. Having spoken at a few meetings protesting against windmills I was encouraged by the resulting rejections, not that I claim my contribution to have clinched it. Hearing that one planner was to appeal the decision I enquired of the relevant Government Office. I asked, "If a wind turbine planning application is turned down the planners can appeal the decision, so can the protesting group appeal against the decision if it goes the other way?" The answer, an unequivocal "NO". And that was months ago, before the Government, our Government, brought in this "build what you like, where you like" policy.
Of course that brings me right back here, to Brussels. Where do you think all this nonsense about global warming, greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide (that's a chemical!,ugh, nasty stuff) came from. Yes, I know about Al Gore and his rotten unscientific video but it's the EU which really took it up. The 202020 strategy, 20% reduction of C02 by 2020, is straight EU, desperate to be seen as the standard bearer in fighting global warming. We lead the world!! And who has pushed it in the UK; Nick Clegg and Huhne, former MEPs the pair of them!