News » May 30th - 31st 2012 - Brussels Commentary Employment Committee
Brussels Commentary Employment Committee 30th - 31st May 2012
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee was celebrated in the European Parliament on Wednesday evening. Organised by a Tory MEP British MEPs were invited and of course I went, as did Roger Helmer and many of our assistants. A lot of people there but I did not see many Lib-Dems or Labour! The Minister for Europe gave an address, followed by the Ambassador to Belgium and Sir John Hutton. In the middle of the Parliament the National Anthem was sung and glasses were raised to the Queen!
Wednesday Bernadette Segol, General Secretary of the ETUC, was present in Committee and the questions included one on today's Irish Referendum. She said that the ETUC was against this Budget Treaty, but were aware of the position of the Confederation of Irish Trade Unions. She did not wish to interfere in Irish affairs.
The committee was happy to vote to spend a lot of money, eg 2.5 million Euros from the Globalisation Adjustment Fund to help Spain compete with China in footware production. No one ever offered that to Northampton losing its shoe makers to various countries. Of course I lost the vote, carried by 32 to 1! As I did on the European Statistical program, 300 million Euros, heavily defeated again; 41 to 2.
Other insidious measures were debated. "Optimising the role of territorial development in Cohesion policy", means strengthening the Regions at the expense of the nation state. Hello, East Midlands, goodbye England. Carried, 38 to 1.
Couple that with, "Establishing a European Neighbourhood Instrument", which means creating bonds with non-European Countries. Hello Turkey, Georgia... goodbye Western democracies. Carried again, 32 to 1.
Thursday Agenda included several items on SMEs, for once helping them. I had to agree with the President's report and question to the Commission and you can see my contribution on video soon.
Finally, thank you for helping in the football tournament held here Wednesday. An Astroturf pitch had been laid out between the Parliament buildings close to the main road. Surrounded by a wire fence, team tents and portable stands several teams of five-aside, all in professional kit, did their stuff. The pitch surrounds carried advertising but I doubt that would have been sufficient and you, the E taxpayer, no doubt made a contribution. Thank you for your generosity.
Derek Clark MEP Brussels 31st May 2012.