Monthly Archives: Nov 2012

Inadmissibles declarations antisemites du leader du Jobbik, Márton Gyöngyösi.

Inadmissibles declarations antisemites du leader du Jobbik, Márton Gyöngyösi.
Nous jugeons inadmissibles les déclarations de Monsieur Márton Gyöngyösi, leader du troisième Parti de Hongrie, le Jobbik, sur les Juifs.

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Guy Verhofstadt: “We strongly support the Commission’s blueprint but believe the Redemption Fund is possible with the current Treaty”

Commenting today on the Commission’s blueprint for full economic and monetary union, Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE group leader stated:
“We strongly welcome the paper produced by the Commission and agree with the overall assessment made of the cr…

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Guy Verhofstadt: "We strongly support the Commission’s blueprint but believe the Redemption Fund is possible with the current Treaty"

Commenting today on the Commission’s blueprint for full economic and monetary union, Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE group leader stated:
“We strongly welcome the paper produced by the Commission and agree with the overall assessment made of the cr…

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Stopping the destruction of blanket bog

Earlier on this year, I wrote a blog about blanket bog, flooding and climate change to raise awareness of the problems occurring in Walshaw Moor near HebdenBridge in West Yorkshire. Blanket bog is a rare, valuable habitat that supports biodiversity, and also has a very useful flood protection role (the CalderValley including HebdenBridgeis very flood prone).

At that time environmental activists and local residents were concerned that damage to the blanket bog on Walshaw Moor might represent a breach of European environmental legislation that protects special habitats called the EU birds and habitats directive. I subsequently sent an official question to the European Commission (EU civil service)’s Environment department, which investigates possible non respect of EU environmental laws. I asked the Commission whether the inappropriate land management being undertaken on Walshaw Moor such as repeated burning of areas of blanket bog in order to provide a habitat for red grouse, and the construction of tracks to enable access for commercial grouse‑shooting, was breaching the legislation. 

This week I received a written answer to my question, which reads as follows:

“The Commission has very recently received a complaint regarding the management and protection of a part of the South Pennine Moors managed by the Walshaw Moor Estate Limited. The Commission is currently analysing this complaint and will ask the UK authorities to provide information in response to the alleged issues. Should it become apparent that the national authorities have not fulfilled their obligations in this respect, the Commission will take the necessary steps to ensure full compliance with the Birds and Habitats Directives.

Given that the Commission has not yet had an opportunity to assess the complaint and the allegations made with regard to the situation at Walshaw Moor it is not at this stage possible to answer the first question.”

The official complaint mentioned by the Commission is the one lodged by the RSPB http://www.rspb.org.uk/Images/Walshaw_Moor_RSPB_Briefing_on_European_complaint_tcm9-326700.pdf for the third time in its history. The RSPB complaint claims that Natural England, the government agency responsible for enforcing the EU birds and habitats directive, is failing to do so in Walshaw Moor. 

Natural Englandwas undertaking legal proceedings against the Estate for 43 breaches of an environmental stewardship agreement, proceedings which were dropped following the conclusion of a new agreement, which the RSPB say is flawed as it essentially permits and even financially funds the very same destructive activities.  The RSPB say that Natural England has failed to take the steps needed to ensure the landowner does not continue to damage the land at Walshaw Moor and that they restore the degraded areas of blanket bog. 

I am supporting the RSPB complaint in any way I can, as from what I have seen there is a great danger that the land at Walshaw Moor will be damaged permanently from this failure to respect environmental legislation.  

It is vital to act in such a situation to stop destruction of beautiful and special parts of the Yorkshirecountryside and to make sure that other protected habitats are given the protection they need, protection which by law they should have.

If you are concerned about the Walshaw Moor situation and would like to know more or find out what you can do, please contact my office at rebecca.taylor@europarl.europa.com


http://ec.europa.eu/environment/index_en.htm – European Commission Environment Department

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ADLE welcomes the launch of free trade negotiations with Japan

The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe today welcomed the Council’s decision to authorise the launch of free trade negotiations with Japan. ALDE MEPs were instrumental in drafting the Parliament’s position in favour of free tra…

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An EU Single Supervisor needed without delay

Today the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs committee adopted the legislative package establishing a Single Supervisory Mechanism, a key element for the creation of a European Banking union. For the ALDE Group, the trans…

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More focus on innovation and SMEs in Horizon 2020

More focus on innovation and SMEs in Horizon 2020
Today, the European Parliament’s Industry, Research & Energy Committee (ITRE) voted on its negotiation position for Horizon 2020, the upcoming EU multi-annual programme for research and innovation. It is the eighth RTD framework programme and is set to comprise 80 billion Euros for the seven years between 2014 and 2020.

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A European border surveillance system will enhance detection of irregular migration and help save lives

Today Parliament’s Civil Liberties committee approved legislation to improve surveillance at the external borders of the Schengen area. In 2011, the European Commission presented a proposal to further develop the European border surveill…

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Liberals secure a modern and streamlined future for the Erasmus for all programme

Today a majority of the European Parliament’s Culture Committee voted in favour of a more streamlined and simplified version of the mobility programme Lifelong learning, or “Erasmus for All”.

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Morsi power grab a huge blow for Egypt’s revolution and his own reputation

Amid growing protests in Egypt over President Morsi’s unilateral decree assuming widespread powers that may not be challenged or questioned, Guy Verhofstadt issue a strong statement of condemnation:

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