MEP Anthea welcomes enormous majority vote for a single seat for parliament.
Local MEP Anthea McIntyre joined fellow Conservatives in last week’s vote in favour of a single seat at the mini plenary in Brussels.
The result, 429 for a single seat and 184 against, is the highest majority ever recorded in such a vote and reflects the economic and environmental costs of the controversial Brussels-Strasbourg arrangement.
“The current two-seat regime is completely bonkers!” said Anthea, “It means that the whole legislature, administrative team and thousands of support staff are shifted for four days each month from Brussels to Strasbourg.
“A fleet of 20 trucks carries tonnes of paperwork between the two parliament buildings and the process wastes 170 million pounds of taxpayers' money every year. It also creates 20,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.”
The ending of this “travelling circus” has been a long-held Conservative objective and has progressively been gaining support from MEPs across the political spectrum.
"I am delighted that the parliament has made its view so clear,” said Miss McIntyre, “the travelling circus must end and this vote is a very significant step forward in our long-running campaign to stop this grotesque wastefulness.”
Anthea McIntyre, Hereford’s new MEP, has wasted no time in getting to see some of the good work being done in locally with the support of the European Social Fund.
Within days of the confirmation of her election, Anthea visited Hereford Primary Care Trust’s TOWN Training Centre to meet a number of the young people being helped to prepare themselves for the world of work.
Commenting on her visit, Anthea said:
“It was an inspiring visit – the students and the tutors showed great enthusiasm and determination to succeed and I was pleased that Ofsted’s Chief Inspector has reported that this centre is one of only 15 inspected this year awarded the accolade of ‘outstanding’.
“The Centre offers a range of varied and specialist courses with the common learning ethos which ensures that everyone receives Individualised learning, designed to meet their personal needs, delivered by a committed staff team who will help them reach their full potential.
“I was very pleased to see this example of practical help delivered in such a professional manner in the heart of Hereford."
Anthea McIntyre MEP, the European Conservatives and Reformists group’s shadow rapporteur on the proposals, warned that the parliament should not ‘throw its toys out of the pram’ after MEPs called the decision a ‘declaration of war’ against the legitimacy of MEPs and the Commission.
The council has unanimously decided to consider the evaluation mechanism under article 70 of the EU treaty, which precludes MEPs from having co-decision powers.
Other political groups have demanded that the Parliament immediately takes the matter to the EU’s Court of Justice, and have threatened to cut off all cooperation with the Council.
Speaking in the debate this morning, Miss McIntyre said:
“I too was surprised by the Council’s move to change the legal basis of Schengen. But I am even more surprised by your reactions. This is a time for cool heads and calm consideration. We should not react with a childish tantrum and throw our toys out of the pram. These are very challenging times for the EU and we need good working relations between the institutions. The first step should be to investigate the legal consequences of the Council’s action.
“In my view the management of a country’s borders is directly linked to national security and, under the European Treaties, national security remains the responsibility of each member state. I understand why member states don’t want to give up this competence – and they are quite right.”
MEP Anthea McIntyre has made the news in Kansas!
The following article appeared in the Kansass City Star on 14th June 2012
In spat, EU Parliament stops talks with EU Council
By DON MELVIN
BRUSSELS -- Just as voices across Europe are calling for stronger governance in response to the financial crisis - a surer hand at the wheel - one branch of the EU said in a fit of pique Thursday that it was suspending cooperation with another branch on a range of important security issues.
The European Parliament, feeling slighted it was not consulted on a proposal the Justice and Home Affairs Council made earlier this month on curbing the free movement of people across national borders, announced it would stop working with the Council on five law-enforcement proposals. They relate to the border controls as well as to fighting cybercrime, improving cooperation among national police forces, finalizing the internal security budget, and crafting an anti-terrorism proposal requiring airlines to supply information on passengers to EU member countries.
"This is quite drastic action," acknowledged Armin Machmer, a spokesman for Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament.
A British member of the Parliament, Anthea McIntyre, put it another way. "We should not react with a childish tantrum and throw our toys out of the pram," she said.
The immediate flashpoint was the proposal this month by the Justice and Home Affairs Council, which is composed of officials from the 27 EU national governments, to amend the way the Schengen open-borders agreement allows national authorities in some instances to temporarily close their borders. The Parliament, made up of elected representatives from around Europe, felt it should have helped develop the proposal rather than having it presented to them on a yes-or-no basis.
But beyond that, the Parliament has felt ignored or consulted only as an afterthought on a variety of issues, including on the European Union's response to the financial crisis now threatening the euro currency.
The Schengen Agreement, allowing people to move unhindered across the national borders of 26 European countries, is considered one of the EU's proudest achievements. Tinkering with it arouses strong emotions.
"This is a very sensitive point," Machmer said. "That also in part explains the fury."
The decision to suspend cooperation was made by a majority vote of the Parliament's Conference of Presidents, a group composed of Shulz and the leaders of the Parliament's political groups.
"It is without precedent that in the middle of the legislative process, one co-legislative chamber excludes the other," Shulz said in a statement. "The JHA Council's approach of 7 June represents a slap in the face of parliamentary democracy and is unacceptable to the directly elected representatives of European citizens."
Morten Bodskov, minister of justice for Denmark, which holds the EU's rotating presidency at the moment, said he regretted the Parliament's decision.
"A good cooperation is to the benefit of all, especially during the present economic crisis," Bodskov said.
Jochen Mueller, a spokesman on home affairs issues for the Council, could not be reached for comment.
But Timothy Kirkhope, another British member of the Parliament, denounced the decision to suspend cooperation with the Council.
"The European Parliament is now threatening public safety in order to make a political point," Kirkhope said. Members of Parliament, he added, were "putting their own self-aggrandizement ahead of safety and security."
European Small Businesses back Anthea
MEP Anthea McIntyre has won the backing of the influential European Small Business Alliance for her efforts to reduce the burden of regulation on small and micro enterprises.
Miss McIntyre was appointed by the European Parliament’s Employment Committee to prepare a report on the impact of regulation on small businesses and her proposals have been warmly endorsed by the ESBA which represents nearly one million small enterprises across 35 European countries.
Amongst Miss McIntyre’s key recommendations are measures to cut the disproportionate cost and complexity of business regulation on businesses with less than 10 employees; to improve access to and the cost of finance; cutting burdensome regulations; addressing indirect labour costs; access to export markets and the capacity to develop them; average payment times and skill shortages.
While welcoming a raft of current initiatives, Miss McIntyre stressed that such measures must not create additional red tape, must demonstrate added value and value for money, and must complement Member States’ initiatives.
Perhaps the most radical recommendation is that any new business regulations should be drafted on the basis of their impact on micro and small businesses in the first instance. This would reverse the current situation where the impact of regulation on the smallest businesses is considered at a late stage in the process.
Miss McIntyre also called on the Commission to consider a ‘one in, one out rule’ that allows the objectives of health, safety and equality provisions to be maintained while scrapping one existing regulation for each new one proposed.
The ESBA said, "ESBA has called for fitness checks for a long time and fully supports the McIntyre report’s call for the identification of areas in which there are excessive burdens, inconsistencies or ineffective legislation in the field of employment that have an adverse impact on SMEs. ESBA is also a longstanding proponent of the concept of a ‘one in, one out rule’. Whilst maintaining the objectives of health and safety, this rule could cut a significant amount of red tape by getting rid of unnecessary and out-dated regulation.”
Miss McIntyre said:
“My personal experience running a small business has shown that far too often new regulations are imposed without proper consideration of their impact. It is relatively easy for large businesses to hire a specialist to deal with a specific regulation but many small businesses simply can’t afford to do so and that leads to the business owner trying to cope with more and more bureaucracy while trying to grow their business and earn enough to pay the wages at the end of the month. This situation is damaging the ability of micro and small businesses to create new jobs and must be addressed.”
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