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December 2011 Strasbourg opening: Eurozone, climate change, new MEPs

Strasbourg -
Monday 12/12/2011

The outcomes of the Eurozone crisis summit and the Durban climate change conference were highlighted by Parliament's President Jerzy Buzek in his opening address at the 12-15 December plenary session in Strasbourg. Mr Buzek welcomed 17 new MEPs, and also noted the 60th anniversary of the Geneva Convention on refugees and the 30th anniversary of the imposition of martial law by Poland's communist regime.

Eurozone summit

Mr Buzek stressed the importance for Europe of the Eurozone crisis measures agreed at the 8-9 December European Council. He announced that its President Herman Van Rompuy would brief MEPs on the outcome on Tuesday morning, followed by a 3-hour priority debate

Climate change conference

The climate change conference deal reached in Durban (South Africa) on 11 December was not entirely satisfactory, inasmuch as it lacked detailed implementing arrangements, said Mr Buzek, adding that he was nonetheless pleased that the EU delegation there had "spoken with one voice".

Geneva convention on refugees

The Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, signed 60 years ago this year, was the foundation of all EU asylum legislation, and also defined the international law concept of "refugee", noted Mr Buzek.

He added that Parliament had taken part in negotiating the Common European Asylum System and called for it to be implemented in full by the end of 2012.

Mr Buzek also highlighted the plight of 3,800 Libyan refugees in Tunisia, who are unable to return home. The USA had agreed to take 800, and the EU 150, he said.

Martial law in Poland

It was 30 years since the Polish authorities had imposed martial law, in an effort to suppress the Solidarity movement, noted Mr Buzek, pointing out that many people standing up for the right to free speech had paid with their lives.

The democracy and human rights that central and eastern Europe enjoy today could not have been achieved without the help of western Europe, and the EU should now be helping north Africa in the same way, he added.

17 new MEPs

Next, Mr Buzek welcomed 17 new MEPs, further to a June 2010 European Council decision allowing for an additional 18 MEPs. The remaining (Dutch) Member will be announced later. 

Name

Member State

Political group

ANDERSDOTTER Amelia

SE

Greens/EFA

BRATKOWSKI Arkadiusz Tomasz

PL

EPP

COCHET Yves

FR

Greens/EFA

CUSCHIERI Joseph

MT

S&D

GARCÉS RAMÓN Vicente Miguel

ES

S&D

GARCÍA-HIERRO CARABALLO Dolores

ES

S&D

McINTYRE Anthea

UK

ECR

MALINOV Svetoslav Hristov

BG

EPP

MAZEJ KUKOVIČ Zofija

SI

EPP

NILSSON Jens

SE

S&D

ORTIZ VILELLA Eva

ES

EPP

ROATTA Jean

FR

EPP

ŠADURSKIS Kārlis

LV

EPP

SEDÓ i ALABART Salvador

ES

EPP

STADLER Ewald

AT

NA

TREMATERRA Gino

IT

EPP

WEIDENHOLZER Josef

AT

S&D

 

Contact

  • Richard Freedman

    (Press Officer)

    Mobile: +32 498 98 32 39