The week ahead 9th – 13th October 2013

9th – 13th October 2013. Tobacco products. Watercraft. Syrian refugees and Lampedusa tragedy. Professional Qualifications. Council budget discharge. Swift Agreement. Long term trends. Sakharov Prize.

Tobacco products

The parliament will vote on a proposed update of EU laws regarding the manufacture and sale of tobacco products, which is specifically aimed at discouraging younger people from taking up smoking for example by including larger warning labels and banning ‘lipstick’ packaging.

ECR shadow rapporteur Martin Callanan MEP has sought to ensure a balance between robust legislation on one hand and jobs and personal choice on the other. However, he is vehemently against efforts that would require electronic cigarettes to be authorised as a medicinal product, significantly limiting their availability. As ‘E-cigs’ contain no tar, carbon monoxide or smoke, and are often used to cease smoking, Mr Callanan believes they should face no more stringent authorisation procedure as regular tobacco.

Contact: James Holtum

Vote: Tuesday lunchtime


Malcolm Harbour MEP is steering through legislation covering safety and emissions on everything from small inflatable boats to large motor yachts, sailing boats and jet skis.
The directive will align EU exhaust emissions with US levels, with a view to adopting global rules. The rules will also standardise the equipment the craft are fitted with so that manufacturers can sell across Europe without adapting for each country.
The directive will make boats safer and more environmentally friendly whilst driving down costs.

Contact: John Furbisher

Vote: Wednesday lunchtime

Syrian refugees and Lampedusa tragedy

A parliamentary debate and vote on a resolution regarding the Syria refugee crisis will take on an added poignancy following last week’s tragedy off the coast of Lampedusa.

The ECR has co-signed a resolution with all main political groups welcoming that Syria’s neighbours have kept their borders open to refugees, and calling on the EU and national governments to use all tools available to them – including the European Asylum Support Office and the Refugee Fund – to support the victims of Syria’s civil war.

ECR home affairs spokesman Timothy Kirkhope will also argue that the EU’s Border Agency Frontex should have more of a role to play not just in securing Europe’s borders but also ensuring that those fleeing persecution are able to do so in a humane way.

Contact: John Furbisher

Debate: Wednesday morning

Professional Qualifications

Proposals to speed up and simplify the process by which qualified professionals have their qualifications recognised across the EU will be voted on this week.

ECR shadow rapporteur Emma McClarkin is pleased that many of the proposals she drafted in a pre-legislative report have been adopted such as a mutual evaluation mechanism to prevent national governments from blocking access to professions, and alert mechanism to prevent professionals prohibited from working in one Member State from working in another, and strengthened rules of language skills for healthcare professionals.

Contact: John Furbisher

Vote: Wednesday lunchtime

Council budget discharge

The parliament will be asked to refuse to grant discharge to (sign off) the 2011 budget of the European Council and Council of Ministers by ECR rapporteur on the discharge, Andrea Ceskova MEP.

The parliament has refused to grant discharge for the past two years because the council refuses to participate in the discharge process, arguing that it should be covered by the commission’s discharge procedure.

Overall, the ECR will continue to vote against granting discharge to any aspect of the EU budget until all of the budget is given a positive statement of assurance by the auditors.

Contact: Jan Krelina

Vote: Wednesday lunchtime

Swift Agreement

In light of the Prism allegations the parliament will debate whether to suspend the so-called ‘Swift agreement’, which allows for data regarding terrorist financing to be transmitted from the EU to the USA.

ECR justice and home affairs spokesman Timothy Kirkhope believes the agreement to be crucial and he rules out any suspension of the agreement until a full investigation by national governments or the commission finds conclusive evidence that the agreement has not been fully adhered to.

Contact: John Furbisher

Debate: Wednesday afternoon (Vote at the end of October)

Long term trends

MEPs are set to adopt a report by ECR MEP James Elles that looks into the rapid transition occurring in the world and calling for greater effort to be invested into monitoring global trends to aid better decision-making – especially budgetary decisions.

Mr Elles’s report calls for an agreement to be signed between the main EU institutions to ensure that staff with expertise in monitoring global trends are able to make their research available to aid future policy making.

Contact: John Furbisher

Vote: Tuesday lunchtime

Sakharov Prize

The Parliament’s Group leaders will decide who will win the 2013 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. ECR nominee Malala Yousafzai, a young education rights activist from Pakistan, is on the shortlist for the award.

Decision: Thursday lunchtime

  • Email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter