Lib Dem Euro MP Phil Bennion has welcomed a historic vote by the European Parliament for sweeping reforms of European fisheries policy to end over-fishing and stop the wasteful practice of throwing thousands of tonnes of 'over quota' fish back into the sea.
In the vote at Strasbourg, Euro MPs including Dr Bennion and the Lib Dem ALDE group backed a blueprint for reform of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) by 502 votes to 137.
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.
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.
On top of being a "transport enthusiast", I am convinced that an effective, ambitious and innovative European transport policy is essential not only for growth and jobs, but also for European, and notably UK, citizens. Establishing the right European Transport policy is key to encouraging and promoting mobility, labour mobility, cultural and educational mobility but also tourism mobility. We also need to do much more to better connect Europe with efficient and sustainable transport links, to improve road safety, to develop our European Union external aviation policy to remain a hub in the world, and to support SMEs. Those are my top priorities as the Liberal Democrats transport Spokesperson in the European Parliament
As a substitute Member of the European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council (DPLC) I follow the situation on the ground in the Palestinian Territories, Israel, and the surrounding countries which are affected by the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict.
Though the Palestinian Legislative Council itself does not currently function, the Delegation continues to monitor the situation of Palestinians on the ground and the ongoing political developments.
The most pressing issue that is raised with us is the situation of refugees, many of whom are now the descendents (second and third generation) of refugees displaced following the 6 day war, and who have lived outside of what was once Palestine for all of their lives.
As such these "stateless persons" enjoy no citizenship of any state, and are primarily supported by aid through the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) and to a lesser extent the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Our work due to its basis on the Palestinian political situation is by nature focussed on the situation of Palestinians, rather than Israelis, though this is counterbalanced by the European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with Israel.
Despite this Palestinian focus, I and my colleagues try to remain objective and neutral - looking at the political failings, whatever their root causes which result in the humanitarian problems which blight ordinary people in the region.
We as a delegation continue to call for a peaceful, political resolution of the conflict between Israel and Palestine, based on a two state solution, a safe and secure state of Israel, and a viable, economically and politically independent Palestinian State.
For more information please see the following links:
European Parliament Delegation for relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council
United Nations Relief Works Agency
United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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