Recent events at the European Parliament
On 9 May, Europe Day was celebrated across the EU's member states and institutions. Events included open days at the European institutions, live performances and concerts, exhibitions, quizzes, and a giant karaoke in Brussels. A major event this year was the screening of the LUX prize-winning film Die Fremde by almost all of the Parliament's Information Offices in the 27 Member States. Click here for Parliament President Jerzy Buzek's statement.
MEPs have supported plans for a joint register of lobbyists and interest groups. Parliament President Jerzy Buzek told the Constitutional Affairs Committee that "It is vital we consider adopting a Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament." An EP group working on new and stricter rules both for MEPs and lobbyists aims to finalise its work by the end of June.
The French and Italian national governments have called for the temporary reimposition of border controls in response to the high numbers of immigrants from northern Africa in recent months. Most European political groups said they would oppose any attempts to reduce freedom of movement within the Schengen area. MEPs, however, stress the need for an improved long-term European policy on migration and asylum.
News from Scotland's MEPs
Ian Hudghton MEP has expressed his disappointment after the European Parliament backed a motion by the European Commission to extend fisheries regulations on fish discards for a further 18 months.
George Lyon MEP has written to Commissioners Ciolos and Dalli asking them to halt recently-announced plans requiring 100 per cent accuracy on sheep identification tags, amid concerns that the technology available cannot achieve this.
David Martin MEP has welcomed the European Parliament's call for a ban on the trade in seal products in the European Union.
Alyn Smith MEP has published a guide to buying property across the EU, and warned Scots not to buy property in Cyprus, after receiving complaints from constituents about their dealings in the country.
Struan Stevenson MEP has called for openness by the Iraqi authorities in relation to the Iranian refugees massacred at Camp Ashraf in Northern Iraq, following a visit to the country in his capacity as Chairman of the EP Delegation for relations with Iraq.
Catherine Stihler MEP has welcomed new rules passed by the European Parliament which will force clothes manufacturers to state on an item's labelling whether or not it uses real animal fur.
The latest news and events from the Edinburgh Information Office
On 19 May, the European Parliament Office in Edinburgh, together with the European Movement hosted their 5th annual Europe Quiz at the Pleasance bar in Edinburgh. Eighteen teams entered, but the winning team of the five round quiz was The Comitologists from the Scottish government with a grand total of 72 points. The winning team was awarded a magnificent trophy.
LUX Film Prize Screenings
To mark Europe Day 2011, the European Parliament Office in Edinburgh hosted two screenings of Feo Aldag's film Die Fremde (When we leave), which won the 2010 European Parliament LUX Film Prize. The film was shown both at the Glasgow Film Theatre (in conjunction with the Goethe Institut) and the Edinburgh Filmhouse. In Glasgow the film was followed by a lively Q&A session with panellists including David Martin MEP, and Smina Akhtar (director of the Amina Muslim Women's Resource Centre in Glasgow), during which the panellists and members of the audience discussed the film and some of the issues it raised.
TransEuropa is a transnational Festival of Culture, Politics and Art partly funded by the European Commission. It featured events in 12 cities simultaneously to mark Europe Day, including events at the Scottish Storytelling Centre on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. The European Parliament Information Office in Edinburgh took part in this event in the form of a public display stand and distributed EP materials to participants and attendees.
Upcoming events at the Edinburgh Information Office
Aberdeen Discussion Events
On 16-17 June, the European Parliament will host a series of events in Aberdeen related to current EU activity and legislation on food and farming to help promote public debate on these issues.
On 16 June in the evening there will be a public question time with MEPs and other experts on food and food policy in the City Council Chamber at 6.30pm.
On 17 June in the morning, there will be a schools question time with MEPs on the EU, food and farming.
On 17 June at lunchtime there will be a Round Table discussion on CAP Reform with MEPs, the NFUS, academics and representatives of local and Scottish government.
For more information, please visit the Edinburgh Office website.
EuroParlTV viral video competition
The European Parliament's web television channel, EuroParlTV is organising a competition to create a viral spot 1 to 3 minutes long on the theme Diversity in Europe. The first prize is a trip for two people to three European cities of their choice. The deadline for the competition is 31 July. For more information visit www.europarltv.europa.eu/contest or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
SEET Europe Quiz Final
The Scottish European Educational Trust Annual Primary School Europe Quiz, sponsored by Standard Life, final will take place in the Scottish Parliament on Monday 6 June.
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