Lord Hill of Oareford, has been confirmed as the United Kingdom’s next European Commissioner overseeing a major shake-up with plans to liberalise the EU’s capital markets and will be able to work safeguard the City of London from heavy handed Brussels regulation.
Responding to the appointment Richard Ashworth Conservative MEP for South East England said:
“A high ranking portfolio and one which is extremely important for the interests of the United Kingdom (and especially the city of London). It will enable the UK government, through him, to be highly instrumental in building a sound basis for the creation of jobs and economic growth in the EU.”
“Junker doing as he promised … protecting the interests of the United Kingdom. A good result for Britain and a good outcome for David Cameron.”
Lord Hill’s post, entitled “financial stability, financial services and capital markets union” commissioner, will be a significant economic post following tough talks with Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
The Week Ahead in Strasbourg
State of the Union
President Barroso will deliver his third ‘State of the Union’ speech setting out the commission’s agenda. ECR group chairman Martin Callanan MEP will argue that the EU needs fundamental reform and a change of direction in order to meet the challenges of the 21st century and restore its relevance.
Debate: Wednesday @ 09.00
MEPs will vote on several aspects of reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, including proposals led through the parliament by ECR MEP Struan Stevenson regarding the organisation of markets in fishery and aquaculture products.
Struan’s proposals set out conditions to incentivise fishermen to support sustainable fishing practices, help Producer Organisations deal with day to day resource management and market issues and improving the market position of the EU. Mr Stevenson is proposing an enhanced role for Producer Organisations to ensure the smooth running of the markets, to help fishermen minimise discards and to have an EU wide eco-label to help consumers make informed choices. Increased labelling on where and when the fish was caught will also be important parts of the reform.
Vote: Wednesday @ 12.30
A report containing proposals on how the EU can produce less burdensome legislation, authored by ECR MEP Sajjad Karim, will be put to the vote. In his report Sajjad calls for the smallest businesses to be exempted from regulation unless the commission can prove the benefits to them. The report is critical of the commission for failing to fully respect the subsidiarity principle when drawing up impact assessments for new legislation. It also supports efforts to increase transparency in national transposition, so as to prevent ‘gold-plating’ of legislation. Finally, the report continues to press the Commission on the need to reduce the overall regulatory burden imposed by European legislation, and for a ‘one-in, one-out’ policy to be put in place for future legislation.
Vote: Thursday @ 12.00
The parliament will vote on an agreement reached with national governments that will help consumers to make ambitious but realistic energy savings that form part of the EU’s goal to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent by 2020.
ECR shadow rapporteur on the proposal Vicky Ford MEP believes that the deal represents a fair compromise, particularly considering the often rigid approach taken by some MEPs. Countries have agreed to establish strategies for renovating buildings, with three percent of central government buildings to be renovated each year. Countries will need to set up energy efficiency obligation schemes requiring energy distributors or retail companies to help consumers by saving 1.5 percent of their energy sales each year. Companies will also have improved access to energy audits, which in particular help SMEs to cut the costs of their energy bills.
Vote: Tuesday @ 12.00
Syria and Russia
The EU’s High Representative Baroness Ashton will debate the situation in Syria, and the recent concerning judicial cases in Russia. ECR foreign affairs spokesman Charles Tannock MEP believes that the international community must continue to exert maximum diplomatic pressure on Syria, and on those countries, such as Russia, that have refused to suitably condemn the regime. On Russia itself, Dr Tannock will argue that the Pussy Riot case is one of a growing number of concerning apparent abuses of the judicial system, following on from the Khodorkovsky case, which undermine the perception that Russia is governed by the rule of law.
Debate: Tuesday from 15.00
Pakistan flood assistance
Following the devastating Pakistani floods in 2010 the EU proposed a temporary trade waiver that would give preferential access on 75 tariff lines – mostly textiles – to assist the country with its reconstruction.
Despite being proposed in 2010, the waiver has been blocked in the World Trade Organisation by, amongst others, India and Bangladesh. Successful EU lobbying and improved bilateral ties between the countries has encouraged them to drop their objections. Now the parliament will finally vote on the proposals. ECR international trade spokesman Robert Sturdy MEP has been a strong advocate of the measure, which helps Pakistan through trade instead of solely aid.
Vote: Thursday @ 12.00
Plans to upgrade broadband speeds across East Sussex must not be delayed any further. European red-tape must not stand in the way of super-fast broadband being provided across East Sussex and the South East.
In a letter to the EU Commission’s Vice President Jacques Almunia I have am seeking assurances that their are no further delays in the plans of East Sussex County Council or Broadband Delivery UK, to upgrade broadband speeds.
I have expressed my own concerns that businesses in my constituency and rural communities are being adversly affected by the delay; super-fast broadband will allow SME’s and rural communities to functionand compete against businesses and win new trade.
I am extremely annoyed EU red tape has blocked essential improvements in tele-communications and internet speeds in East Sussex and across the South East. I am seeking an immediate remedy here by Commissioner Almunia and a clear explanation as to why this delay has taken place.
I would appreciate readers views on this issue and how they are being affected by slow internet speeds particularly in East Sussex, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard Ashworth MEP
Our Olympic Team have brought a renewed sense of national pride, and I support the flying of our national flag on all local and national government buildings to celebrate our great nation. This is under threat however, following a pernicious EU regulation (Article 7 (2) of EC Regulation 1828/2006 which compels EU member states to fly the EU flag outside government buildings. I believe flag flying should be a pleasure and not a chore. The European Commission has said that nation states face “financial corrections” if the EU flag is not flown, in other words we will be fined for not flying the EU flag. These types of measures will not provide for greater support for the European Union, and in fact I am sure the public will resent this imposition from Brussels bureaucrats. This obsession to try and create a European identity via top-down diktats shows how out of touch the Brussels elite are with British people. I would like to receive your views on the EU flag issues please email me direct at
Richard Ashworth MEP