Recent events at the European Parliament
Funding the EU
The European Parliament's leadership has reminded EU Member States they still face negotiations over the EU's long-term budget before it can be approved by MEPs.
European Head of State and Government Council agreed spending plans for 2014-2020 on 8 February, but Parliament's four largest political groups have indicated that the deal as it is may not receive the necessary parliamentary majority. In a statement they said: "We see with astonishment that EU leaders agree to a budget that could lead to a structural deficit. Large gaps between payments and commitments will only store up trouble for the future and not solve existing problems." They also expressed concern that the budget as agreed will do too little to stimulate growth and job creation and called for the EU to have genuine own resources in order to reduce Member States' contributions.
Scottish MEPs and political parties have made their own comments on this issue - links to their websites can be found in the box to the right or via the EP Office in Scotland website.
Member States decided to cut the long-term budget - also known as the multiannual framework - by 3.4% or €34 billion, partly by reducing planned funding for investment in infrastructure, broadband, research and digitalisation. EP President Schulz and leading MEPs will begin discussions on the agreement with European Council President Van Rompuy and Commission President Barroso on Monday 18th February.
The EP Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety will debate on Monday 18th February the EU response to the discovery of horsemeat in products labelled as containing beef, with representatives from the European Commission and EU Food Safety Agency (EFSA). The meeting will be live-streamed on the EP website.
Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy
A major reform of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) which aims to cut fishing to sustainable stock levels, end dumping at sea (discards), and base long-term planning on sound scientific data, was approved by the EP at its February session. MEPs also insisted that the CFP should move to a more decentralised and regionalised approach to fisheries management with the appropriate involvement of stakeholders. These proposals were adopted by 502 votes to 137. Parliament will now start negotiations with the Council and the Commission. The Irish Presidency of the EU Council has repeatedly said it hopes to achieve an agreement by the end of June.
News from Scotland's MEPs
Ian Hudghton MEP has welcomed the outcome of the European Parliament's February vote on reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
George Lyon MEP has welcomed the fact that the recent agreement for the medium term Common Agricultural Policy budget does not imply further cuts for Scottish farmers.
David Martin MEP has called for measures to block extremist parties gaining access to public funding through European Political Parties structures.
Alyn Smith MEP has called on the European Commission to propose legislation to make country of origin labelling for meat products mandatory.
Struan Stevenson MEP was named "Fisheries MEP of the Year' for 2012 at the Parliament Magazine MEP Awards in January.
Catherine Stihler MEP spoke to the EP plenary in February to highlight the importance of ensuring that libraries have access to e-books.
Recent Events in Scotland
Euroscola Civic Reception
On 29 January, the Lord Provost of Glasgow hosted a civic reception at Glasgow City Halls for Glasgow students who attended the European Parliament's Euroscola Programme last November. The students travelled to Strasbourg and spent the day discussing and debating European political issues with 600 fellow students from around Europe. During their stay in Strasbourg they also conducted a number of projects in French, and hosted a Ceilidh! Around 10,000 16-18 year olds participate in Euroscola each year, including two groups from Scotland.
40 Years UK/EU
Throughout 2013, the UK Office of the European Parliament will be hosting a series of events linked to the 40th anniversary of UK accession to the EC (as it then was) on 1st January 1973. A launch event was held in London on 11th January. A video is available on the UK Office website. On 25th January, the Office hosted a seminar with Alyn Smith MEP looking at the impact of UK membership on Scottish business and the Scottish economy, also featuring speakers from the Scotch Whisky Association and Scottish Enterprise. A recording of their presentations and the debate which followed is available on our website. Some background papers are available on our website, including a short summary by Professor Jo Shaw of the Scottish experience of UK membership.
Upcoming events at the Edinburgh Information Office
The Future of EU Fisheries
(21st February 2013 18:00-19:00, Oban)
On 21st February 2013 The European Parliament Office in Scotland and Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) are holding a forum on ' The Future of EU Fisheries.' This will take place at the Scottish Marine Institute in Oban. The programme includes a lecture by Struan Stevenson MEP. The event is free to attend but you need to register by emailing email@example.com or calling 0131 557 7866.
Funding the EU and EU Funding in Scotland
(22nd February 2013, 9:00-14:00, Glasgow)
On 22nd February the European Parliament Office in Scotland is holding a conference in Glasgow on 'Funding the EU and EU Funding in Scotland'. Speakers include MEPs, academics and representatives of local and national government. Struan Stevenson MEP (Con), George Lyon MEP (LibDem), and David Martin MEP (Lab) will all speak. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0131 557 7866.
Europe's Knowledge Economy: Women in Science
(8th March 2013, Edinburgh)
To mark International Women's Day on 8th March, the EP Office, in Scotland in association with Edinburgh University, the Scottish Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology and Education Scotland, will host an event for S3-S5 students to highlight the possibilities offered by studying a science subject. Speakers will include Scottish MEP Catherine Stihler, who has a Degree in Chemistry. This event is invitation-only. For further information, please email email@example.com or call 0131 557 7866
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