22nd - 26th April 2013 - Brussels

Passenger Name Records Audit reform Car CO2 EU/USA Trade Agreement Pensions Damas de Blanco

Passenger Name Records

The civil liberties, justice and Home Affairs committee will vote on creating an EU Passenger Name Records agreement, which is being steered through the parliament by ECR spokesman Timothy Kirkhope. The agreement would exchange passenger information between air carriers and law enforcement authorities across the EU in order to prevent, investigate and prosecute serious crimes and terrorism.

Mr Kirkhope argues that the agreement is crucial. For example, similar national systems have seriously contributed to 95 percent of Belgian drugs seizures, the seizure of 279kg of cocaine in Sweden, the arrest of many terrorist suspects including one of the plotters behind the Mumbai attacks. In the UK it has helped to catch 57 murderers, 175 rapists, 25 kidnappers, 397 drug offenders and 920 violent criminals.

Given the value of this data, the lack of a common EU agreement would lead to European passengers’ data being processed by national authorities without a clear set of rules and a legal framework.

Press conference: Wednesday @ 15.00
Press officer to contact: James Holtum on +32 473 861762

Vote: Wednesday @ 09.45

Audit reform

The legal affairs committee will vote on major reforms of the EU’s audit market, being led through the parliament by ECR spokesman Sajjad Karim.

The reforms will tackle the question of appointment of firms, in particular by introducing requirements around mandatory re-tendering and mandatory rotation of firms. Such a combination approach will tackle problems of over-familiarity between the auditor and the audited company, yet avoids disruption and high costs from the European Commission’s proposals of rotation every 6 years. Around 20% of FTSE 350 companies have had the same auditor for more than 20 years.

The report also addresses the need to improve the quality of audits, ensure robust supervision and align non-audit services to international standards to reduce conflict of interests.

Mr Karim wants a reform that will improve audit quality, ensure independence, and increase transparency over the process.

Press Conference: Thursday @ 14.00
Press officer to contact: John Furbisher on +32 498 984760

Vote: Thursday @ 10.00

Car CO2

MEPs in the environment committee will vote on a review of legislation passed four years ago regulating CO2 emissions from cars and light goods vehicles.

ECR shadow rapporteur Martin Callanan steered the LGV proposals through the parliament and he believes that his approach of incentivising manufacturers, rather than setting punitive targets, is having a positive effect and should be continued. He argues that consumers increasingly look for better fuel efficiency, which has become a major investment priority for manufacturers.

Press officer to contact: James Holtum on +32 473 861762

Vote: Wednesday @ 15.00

EU/USA Trade Agreement

The International Trade committee will set out its position on the EU/US trade partnership by adopting a resolution ahead of the negotiations. ECR trade spokesman Robert Sturdy is a vociferous backer of an agreement, but he says it must be used to overcome vested domestic interest to the benefit of all.

Press officer to contact: John Furbisher on +32 498 984760

Vote on resolution: Thursday @ 10.00


ECR MEP Syed Kamall will co-host a seminar with EPP MEP Thomas Mann looking at the European Commission’s 2012 White Paper on Pensions and its 20 recommendations to make pensions safe, adequate and sustainable. Speakers will include Joanne Segars, Chair of PensionsEurope and Chief Executive of the National Association of Pension Funds (UK); Klaus Stiefermann, Managing Director, Pension Fund Association (Germany); and Gerard Riemen, General Director, Federation of Dutch Pension Funds (Netherlands).

Press officer to contact: John Furbisher on +32 498 984760

Seminar: Tuesday @ 12.30 in room A4F384

Damas de Blanco

‘The Ladies in White’, an opposition movement in Cuba consisting of wives and other female relatives of jailed dissidents, will finally collect their 2005 European Parliament Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in person after they were banned from collecting it at the time. The award will be made by a joint meeting of the foreign affairs, human rights and development committees.

They will also meet with ECR Group MEPs, including foreign affairs spokesman Charles Tannock.

Press officer to contact:Jan Krelina on +32 493 214346

Award of Sakharov Prize: Tuesday @ 17.45 –
Meeting with ECR Group: Wednesday @ 11.00 (room Jan6Q1)


ECR spokesman: James Holtum on +32 473 861762
UK delegation: John Furbisher on +32 498 984760
Czech delegation: Jan Krelina on +32 493 214346
Polish delegation (PiS): Mateusz Kochanowski on +32 489 582781
Latvian delegation: Roland Petersons on +32 228 41545
Danish delegation: Peter Hansen on+32 489 84 47 96
Belgian delegation: Luc Rochtus on +32 479 73 45 67
Netherlands delegation: Maarten van de Fliert on +31 652 24 44 64


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