Quotas, again... and again... and again... !
The call for quotas and 'affirmative action' was heard again in Strasbourg this week. Having sat on the parliament's Women's Committee since 2009 it is a call I am getting used to, and it is always guaranteed to make me see red! The suggestion that women need quotas in order to succeed in the boardroom or in the political arena is not only outdated, it is downright insulting.
A €10 billion Black hole...
One of the reports being debated this week concerned provisions for the European Commission's 2013 budget. It is important to scrutinise these reports carefully, as they often reveal little nuggets of information. This report, authored by an Italian MEP, Giovanni La Via, revealed that in 2011 the Commission asked the Council of Ministers for an extra €10 billion as it was somewhat short of cash, and was unable to pay its bills. The Council refused the request, and so the Commission is now paying bills from 2011 from its 2012 budget. This has implications for the 2013 budget. The text follows, and it is clear that the economic crisis is worse than the EU is letting on.
The full report can be found here:
Or as many in Brussels and Strasbourg are now calling it, "flogging a dead horse"! Lib Dem MEP Chris Davies presented a report on the mess that is the EU's carbon trading scheme, and he looked even more fed up than usual. The scheme was supposed to provide the cash needed for investing in renewable energy but so many carbon credits have been given away that there is now a surplus and the price has fallen so low that there is no incentive for companies to invest in Green Energy. In order the rectify this it proposed that the ETS is 'fixed'. As the EU is only responsible for 11% of global CO2 emissions people are now realising that the cost of green energy is making the EU uncompetitive.
World Water Forum
The 6th World Water Forum has just taken place in Marseilles in France. The European Parliament, of course, felt obliged to issue a motion for a resolution on the event - huge amounts of MEP's and staff time are spent on these largely pointless declarations as the political wrangle over every line and every punctuation mark.
I was sorry that Baroness Ashton was unavailable for a number of key debates this week. We seem to be seeing less and less of her these days. This is a shame as I always enjoy our exchanges in the chamber, and I look forward to the next round!
Campaign For A Referendum NEW Petition
We achieved our first goal of collecting 120,000+ signatures gaining the debate in Parliament we wanted on 24th October 2011. To keep the pressure on the government, we started a NEW petition on 31st October 2011. The aim is to collect as many signatures as we can in 12 months. Please register your signature on the link below even if you signed the previous petition.