Committee of Employment and Social affairs
As a Member of the Employment Committee, I'm able to contribute to the Liberal Group position on a variety of issues. I'm particularly involved in work to supporting Small Businesses (for more information please see my "Boosting SMEs" page) but am also involved with issues like "eco-innovation". I'm also keen to ensure a good deal for our farmers, and have worked closely with Liberal colleagues from the Employment Committee and the Agriculture Committee to ensure that new proposals for the EU Globalisation Adjustment Fund, don't end up hurting farmers by shifting money from the Common Agricultural Policy.
I've been using my influence to try and steer the debates in the Committee in a more sensible direction, highlighting the practical problems with some of the fluffy policy ideas being floated. I consult with stakeholders from Business, NGOs, the European Commission, and crucially from the UK civil service based in Brussels (UKREP) to make sure that I have a well rounded view when making important decisions.
A European Parliament report on asbestos now sets out a practical strategy for managing the risks, says MEP Phil Bennion, who pushed for substantial changes to earlier drafts.
In a resolution passed by the European Parliament, MEPs call for an EU strategy to deal with asbestos problems, which, despite an EU-wide ban, is still found as a roofing or insulation material in many farm and industrial buildings, water pipe lagging, older trains and ships.
Commenting on the decision of the European Council of Ministers to back an EU Youth Guarantee, Lib Dem Employment Spokesman Phil Bennion MEP said: "This is a fantastic initiative to help a generation in danger of being left behind and builds on the example set by the UK coalition government.
"Under the EU scheme, young people up to the age of 25 should receive either an offer of employment, further education or work-focused training at the latest four months after leaving education or after becoming unemployed.
Amongst the many issues I'm involved with on the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, I'm representing the Liberal (ALDE) group on a report being drawn up by French Greens on Social Housing.
The rapporteur (draftsperson) is very keen and has done a lot to try to stimulate a constructive debate before her draft report is published.
Brussels, the Social Partners and UK Businesses Having been a Small Business Owner and a farmer for most of my working life, I brought a number of insights with me to the Parliament when I became an MEP in February 2012.
Becoming an MEP has also given me some perspectives on the policy process in Brussels and the European Institutions, much of which was completely new to me.
Unemployment in the EU rose to 10.
3% in the most recent April figures, as employers cut 102,000 jobs from their payrolls.