Monthly Archives: Mar 2014

Siemens to create 1000 new windfarm jobs in Hull

Yorkshire & the Humber MEPs Edward McMillan-Scott and Rebecca Taylor have welcomed the news that Siemens will build a major new wind turbine factory in Hull. The manufacturing giant has finally confirmed, three years after the plans were first announced. …

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3 Russian officials on US sanction list proposed by Verhofstadt

3 Russian officials on US sanction list proposed by Verhofstadt
Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the European Liberals and Democrats, proposed earlier this week an enlarged sanction list he thinks the European council should adopt: “These people hold billions of euros in real estate and business assets in the EU and form part of the inner circle in the Kremlin.

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Agreement on completion of banking union is an act of responsibility

After lengthy negotiations, the Parliament, Council and European Commission this morning concluded an agreement on the regulation for the orderly winding down banks (banking resolution) creating a single European resolution authority and …

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EU takes step toward greater corporate transparency

EU takes step toward greater corporate transparency
The group of Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament (ALDE) welcomes the EP´s Legal Affairs committee´s decision to approve a new directive on non-financial reporting by large companies. This will help improve corporate transparency.

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Parliament committee votes to end roaming fees by 2015

From 15 December 2015 telecom providers in the EU will no longer be allowed to charge extra roaming costs to their customers. This is the main outcome of the telecom package which has been adopted today in a decisive vote by the EP Commit…

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Better protection of rights for posted workers across EU

The group of Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament (ALDE) welcomes the approval by the EP’s Employment committee of the agreement on reinforcing EU rules on posting of workers.

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Verhofstadt proposes names to complete EU sanctions list

Guy Verhofstadt , ALDE President welcomed the conclusions of the Council recognising that the referendum in Crimea was illegitimate and supporting the territorial integrity of Ukraine. He also welcomed the increased efforts to support …

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Verhofstadt: Crimean referendum is illegal and will not be recognised

93 per cent of the population on the Crimean peninsula have voted in favour of joining Russia. The vote turn-out was around 80 per cent. Both the European Union and the United States of America reject the referendum as unconstitutional.

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ALDE Newsletter March 2014


14 March 2014 Headlines ALDE News Profiles of MEPs in the News Networking ALDE News NSA scandal: EP proposes clear plan against mass surveillance of EU citizens “I am very proud that this Parliament is the only Parliament, and the only institution in Europe that has raised this issue and I regret that no Parliament, nor EU Member State has seriously addressed this unprecedented massive violation of our citizens’ rights “, said Sophie in ‘t Veld (D66, Netherlands) in welcoming the March 12 adoption of the final report, following six months of inquiry into the massive surveillance of EU citizens by the US National Security Agency and by Member States secret services. Read More MEPs vote to strengthen rights of holiday makers European travellers who book their holiday package online will enjoy more rights when they arrange their package following today’s adoption by the European Parliament of an update of the 1990 package travel directive. Taking account of the growth of independent online bookings a consumer booking a flight, a hotel or a hire car via a link on the airline’s website will have additional safeguards in the event that the company goes bankrupt before completion of the holiday. Earlier rules had been drawn up in an era when most people made arrangements through professional travel agencies. Read More ALDE calls for an end to secrecy of public documents “This is the moment to make EU institutions more transparent, to give citizens more trust. Trust of citizens hinges on openness and accountability of the politicians who represent them. Europe is becoming a political union, discretion and confidentiality must make room for transparency and open government” says ALDE MEP and rapporteur Sophie in’t Veld (D66, Netherlands). Read More MEPS look to cut plastic bags use Members of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee approved during the March Strasbourg plenary session a report on reducing the consumption of plastic bags. Read More Data protection package strengthens citizens’ rights The European Parliament on March 12 agreed on a common position on proposals for a new EU Data Protection Regulation and a Directive on data processing in law enforcement. This update comes with the need to face the rapid technological changes and threats since the widespread use of Internet. Read More Verhofstadt: “Europe lacks the courage of its convictions” In a March 12 debate in the European Parliament ahead of next week’s European Council, Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE group President) pointed out that this will be the last formal summit before the European elections yet crucial issues remain unresolved. Read More Guy Verhofstadt confirmed as European Democratic Party candidate for the presidency of the European Commission The European Democratic Party, meeting on Wednesday March 12, 2014 in Strasbourg, has chosen Guy Verhofstadt, former Belgian Prime Minister and current leader of the ALDE group in the European Parliament, as its candidate for the European Commission Presidency. Read More European Arrest Warrant reform will strengthen human rights and improve efficiency The European Parliament on 27 February overwhelmingly backed a report by ALDE MEP Sarah Ludford (Lib Dem, UK) calling for major reforms to the European Arrest Warrant, including a human rights safeguard clause to help avoid miscarriages of justice and a proportionality check to prevent it being used for minor offences. Read More Joint statement by Guy Verhofstadt, President of ALDE Group in the European Parliament and Mikhail Kasyanov, Co-Leader of People’s Freedom Party (PARNAS) on the escalation of the situation in Crimea Putin has recklessly taken a step that put Russia on the brink of war with a friendly country Ukraine. Russia dropped the pretence of being a good neighbour and became a military agressor. Read More Human Rights in the EU: there is still much work The European Parliament meeting in the February II Strasbourg plenary session adopted by majority Louis Michel’s (MR , Belgium) report on the situation of fundamental rights in the EU for 2012. Read More SOLVIT: Stronger focus on businesses The European Parliament on 27 February adopteds an own-initiative report that will further improve SOLVIT, the EU help desk for citizens and companies with legal problems in the EU. Read More Ukraine: This is Europe’s hour to prove its ambitions for a common foreign policy Ahead of the March 6 emergency EU summit to discuss the EU response to Russian military occupation of Crimea and the urgent need to provide assistance to the new government of Ukraine, Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE group leader, said: “The European Union must act quickly and increase the pressure on Russia to return its forces to their bases and de-escalate the tension on the Crimean peninsula.” Read More The ‘New Narrative for Europe’ gets backing of Merkel in Berlin At an event in Berlin the previous weekend, Germany’s Chancellor Merkel and Commission President José Manuel Barroso officially received a copy of a cultural charter for a New Narrative for Europe. The project was launched last year by Danish liberal MEP Morten Løkkegaard (Venstre, Denmark). Read More Democratic Venezuela: Political opposition vital During a February 27 debate in the European Parliament in Strasbourg ALDE strongly condemned the recent acts of violence in Venezuela that have left 13 people dead, more than 70 injured and hundreds detained. Read More eCall system save lives but undermines privacy The European Parliament on 26 February adopted the introduction of an eCall system for all new passenger cars from 1 October 2015. In case of a serious accident the system would automatically be activated and send an emergency 112 call, enabling emergency services to locate and arrive at the scene more quickly. Read More 4th Railway Package: one step forward, two steps back During the February II penary session the majority of the European Parliament adopted the fourth Railway Package composed of six amending legislative proposals which aim to improve low passenger satisfaction levels, increase efficiency and competitiveness, remove barriers to free circulation of rail transport services and create a real single railway market across the EU. ALDE regrets that some of the Commission’s proposals were unfortunately watered down due to vested interests and inertia. Read More EU sales law – improved consumer rights After years of discussions, the proposal for a Common European Sales Law (CESL), adopted 26 February by the European Parliament lays down optional EU-wide rules for purchases from other member states, particularly relevant given the sale of purchases nowadays made online. Read More Jobless youth should not be left behind In early 2013, the EU member states endorsed a plan to establish Youth Guarantees at national level, one of many EU measures to tackle the massive youth unemployment problem. The Youth Guarantee focuses on measures that aim to ease young people’s school-to-work transition and their sustainable inclusion in the labour market. Young people up to the age of 25 should receive either an offer of employment , further education or work-focused training at the latest four months after leaving education or after becoming unemployed. For regions where youth unemployment exceeds 25 % EU funding from the Youth Employment Initiative is available. Read More Continuous repressions in Russia must stop Guy Verhofstadt, President of the Liberal Group in the European Parliament issued the following statement following the arrests of political activists in Russia. “I condemn the sentences handed down by a Moscow court in the cases of eight individuals arrested after the Bolotnaya Square protests in Moscow in May 2012.” Read More EU should be united in fighting violence against women The European Parliament on February 25 gave support to Antonyia Parvanova’s (NMSP,Bulgaria) call for a European action plan aimed at combating all forms of Violence against Women, including trafficking against women. Every year 3.000 women in the EU die of the consequences of violence. It is estimated that between 20-25% of women in the EU have suffered physical violence at least once in their lives . Over 10 % have suffered sexual violence. Read More Modernised European trade mark protection A proposal to obtain trademark protection for goods will be made easier and quicker with new rules that were discussed during the European Parliament’s February II plenary session. Read More European Semester: Continue reforming to open prospects to future generations The European Parliament on 25 Februaru adopted three reports in the framework of the fourth European Semester launched by the Commission for next year, setting as priority: “strengthening the recovery”. Read More EU food aid programme continues The European Parliament on 25 February approved an agreement to continue a € 3.5 billion programme that delivers food aid to poverty-hit Europeans over the period 2014-2020. The on-going economic crisis has reduced governments’ abilities to provide for those facing extreme poverty. 43 million Europeans cannot meet their basic food needs. 18 million people now have to rely on food aid. The Fund for European Aid to the most deprived (FEAD) will help Member States break the vicious circle of poverty and deprivation. Read More Europe’s openness to foreign talent benefits growth The European Parliament signed off on 25 February ALDE MEP Cecilia Wikström’s (Folkpartiet, Sweden) report improving rules and conditions for third country nationals who come to Europe for research, studying, paid or unpaid traineeships, to work as a volunteer or as au-pair. Read More Uganda: Unacceptable anti-gay law Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE President called the signing of the Anti-homosexual act in Uganda an “appalling breach of human rights”. This act, recently signed into law by Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, hands down sentences of life in prison for LGBTI persons engaging in sexual activity and up to seven years in jail for any business, NGO or individual that supports an LGBTI person. Read More Troika’s lack of democratic accountability fuels euroscepticism After several months of enquiry, the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) on 24 February voted on a report on the role and operations of the Troika (ECB, Commission and IMF) with regard to the euro area programme countries. Read More Networking Ukraine’s Ruslana Lyzhychko invited by the ALDE Group in Strasbourg On 25th February and in the framework of the Ukrainian political and human rights crisis, the ALDE Group invited Ruslana Lyzhychko, a famous Ukrainian pop singer and activist of Maidan Square to share her experiences and voice the requests of the civil society. Ruslana held a common press conference with ALDE Leader Guy Verhofstad as well as with MEPs Marielle de Sarnez, Hans van Baalen and Henri Malosse, President of the OSCE. After her statements, Ruslana received applause by the audience, a rare occasion in a press conference. Ruslana Lyzhychko and Guy Verhofstadt also launched a proposal to set up a non-partisan, civil society initiative “Maidan Platform”. The main objective of this initiative is to empower Maidan activists and channel their commitment for a different Ukraine. Maidan Platform would develop specific proposals and initiatives with the sole aim of eradicating corruption in Ukraine.The ALDE Group organised an internal projection of her film “The beginning” which pictured the events from November 2013 until Yanoukovic´s fall. MEP Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, Vice Chair of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly, hosted this event along with Ruslana. Profiles of MEPs in the News Nathalie Griesbeck (Mouvement Démocrate, France) Nathalie Griesbeck was born in 1956 in Metz, a city in the northeast of France and prefecture of both the Lorraine region and the Moselle department. She studied at the University of Metz where she obtained a Masters of law and then at Nancy University where she obtained two postgraduate diplomas, both times as valedictorian. She was and continues to be a lecturer in public law at the University of Metz.In 1983 she entered public life being elected the youngest ever Municipal Councillor in Metz. She was then chosen by an overwhelming majority as Departmental Councillor of the Metz III canton in 1988. She has since then been re-elected on each occasion. Unanimously elected as a deputy Mayor in 1989, and then First Deputy Mayor in 1995, Nathalie was responsible for finance and economic development. From 1995 and 2001 as chairman of the Departmental Senior Citizens’ Association, better known as the Hôtel de Gournay, she brought a new dynamic, succeeded in improving the financial situation and restoring the operational capacity of the Metz Public Housing Office (OPAC) – a body that builds and manages the vast majority of social housing in the City.Nathalie was first elected member of the European Parliament in 2004. She headed the centrist list in the Grand Est constituency, which comprises five regions: Alsace, Bourgogne, Champagne-Ardenne, Franche-Comté and Lorraine. Having to prioritize her multiple mandates, she decided to focus on her roles as a Member of the European Parliament and member of the Moselle Departmental Council, where she has served as Vice-president in charge of Community actions since 2011. During the 2004-2009 legislature, she served as full member of the Budget committee and substitute member of the Transport and Tourism Committee. Nathalie has been given the responsibility of permanent rapporteur for the strategic question on Structural funds. Re-elected in 2009, she decided for her second mandate to keep her place as substitute member of the Transport and Tourism Committee, and to join the Civil liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE).As full member of the LIBE committee, Nathalie has been involved in a large number of key issues. She is very concerned about the questions of asylum and migration. She was rapporteur on a text regarding the situation of unaccompanied minors. With the support of the ALDE Group, she wrote and passed an own initiative report getting the Parliament to recognize that an unaccompanied minor is above all a child who is potentially in danger and that child protection, rather than immigration policies, must be the leading principle when Member States and the European Union are dealing with such children. Working in LIBE, Nathalie also pushed for the reform of the European Arrest Warrant and the creation of a European Public Prosecutor’s Office.In the Transport and Tourism Committee, Nathalie is committed to stronger transport infrastructures and better harmonisation of European transport. Concerned about European health and well-being, she has also been focusing on road safety and passengers rights. She took a clear stance on the recent 4th Railway Package. Nathalie is also a member of the Delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly that brings together on a regular basis, the elected representatives of the European Parliament and those of the African, Caribbean and Pacific states’ national parliaments. For the upcoming elections this May, Nathalie has again been chosen as the head of the centrist ‘Alternative’ list for the Grand Est constituency in France. Amidst her hectic schedule as elected representative, university lecturer, and married mother of two, Nathalie Griesbeck still manages to make time for her passions in life: reading, music and long walks in the forest, although these are unfortunately becoming shorter and less frequent. Read More For more information, please contact: ALDE Press Service and Inter-institutional relations unit neil.corlett@europarl.europa.eu willem.vandenbroucke@europarl.europa.eu ALDE Join ALDE on Facebook Follow ALDE on Twitter Events Media Freedoms and Accession Talks: Speak up Serbia! 2014-04-01 Videos Sylvie GOULARD 12 March plenary speech on role and operations of the Troika Phil BENNION 11 March plenary speech on Freedom of movement for workers Johannes Cornelis VAN BAALEN 12 March plenary speech on Invasion of Ukraine by Russia Guy VERHOFSTADT 12 March plenary speech on Preparations for the European Council Marietje SCHAAKE 13 March plenary speech on Russia sentencing of demonstrators involved in the Bolotnaya Square events Pat the Cope GALLAGHER 13 March plenary speech on Joint Debate Fisheries One charger for all mobile phones and tablets sold in the EU Links Alliance for Liberals and Democrats for Europe – ALDE Alliance for Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party – ALDE Party European Democratic Party – EDP Liberal International Friedrich Naumann Stiftung LYMEC European Parliament

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Troika formula has been made a scapegoat but needs to be reviewed

The European Parliament voted today on a report evaluating the role and the operations of the Troika with regard to the euro area programme countries (Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus). The report points out that the Troika assistanc…

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