Wishing You a Very Happy Christmas
and a Peaceful New Year.
Mairead McGuinness MEP
HArd wOrKInG, STrAIGHT TALKInG
wInTEr nEwSLETTEr 2010
Europe stands with us
‘You are a smart and stubborn people. to address the shortcomings that allowed and sanctions. Member states would be
Time and again you have proved you the problems to escalate to crisis point compelled to take early corrective action
can overcome adversity. This time while also supporting us, particularly or face sanctions.
you do not face the challenges alone. through the European Central Bank. Reforming how banks are regulated to
Europe stands with you.’ New rules alone won't be sufficient,
avoid a repeat of the banking problems
Governments have primary responsibility
COMfOrTInG wOrdS frOM EU is underway. The Commission proposes
for sound fiscal policy making.
COMMISSIOnEr OLLI rEHn, On HIS a system of supervisory coordination
rECEnT vISIT TO dUbLIn. The EU surveillance system is being among EU regulators and governments
reformed. The stability and growth pact to identify and deal with struggling banks.
The calm Finnish Commissioner for will be re-enforced with the concept of And banks would be required to pay
Economic and Monetary Affairs – now “prudent fiscal policy making”, including into a national fund to cover the cost of
a household name in Ireland – admitted monitoring national debt levels. managing bank failures.
that the worst excesses of the banking
The second core element of the reforms The proposals form part of a package of
and economic crisis could have been
is to broaden economic surveillance to legislation planned for spring 2011 for
avoided by earlier and better surveillance.
identify and address macroeconomic managing any future crisis in the banking
Shutting the stable door after the horse
has bolted perhaps but it is a clear imbalances and divergences in and investment sectors.
acknowledgement that the EU‘s fiscal competitiveness.
As we face into meeting the tough targets
policy framework failed in many EU The Commission will monitor of bringing our deficit below 3pc of the
member states, including Ireland, with unsustainable developments, carry out GDP by 2014, it is worth reflecting on the
devastating consequences for national in-depth country analysis and issue words of Commissioner Rehn who said
economies and the risk of a financial and country specific recommendations. that medium term budgetary objectives
economic meltdown of the euro area. A third element of the reforms will and their implementation with expenditure
In the spirit of never wasting a good crisis, see greater enforcement of economic ceilings should become a permanent
the EU is reforming economic governance surveillance through the use of incentives feature of fiscal policy in Ireland.
EU heads of state and governments have A proposal by German Chancellor,
agreed that changes are needed to the Angela Merkel, that errant member
Lisbon Treaty to provide for a permanent states might lose voting rights if they fail
crisis management fund to replace the to keep their house in order has been
existing temporary measures. The target rejected by many member states as
is to have the changes adopted and unacceptable.
ratified by member states by 2013. However, there is recognition of the
Anything that would increase the need for some form of sanction on
competence of the EU would require a member states who fail to meet their
referendum here in Ireland. However, commitments under the Stability and
there is no political desire to reopen the Growth Pact. Other sanctions being
Treaty in a major way which would see suggested are fines or loss of EU funds.
the necessity to hold a referendum. The details have still to be clarified.
ContaCt MairEad ConstituEnCy offiCE: Mentrim, Drumconrath, Navan, Co. Meath
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +353 (0)41 685 4633 Fax: +353 (0)41 685 4634
Website: www.maireadmcguinness.ie BrussEls offiCE: Tel: +32 (0) 2284 7214 Fax: +32 (0) 2284 9214
news in Brief
An Irishman, David O’Sullivan, is to head
up the new European External Action
Service (EEAS) – a new diplomatic service
established under the terms of the Treaty of
Lisbon. The new service will assist Catherine
Ashton, the EU‘s High Representative for
Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
Staff will include officials from external Agriculture spending is under close scrutiny. Post-2013 agricultural policy may be refocused on
environmental issues, including biodiversity. Mairead is photographed with Geoff Coates, Technical
relations services in the Council and the Manager for Operation Pollinator, which helps farmers to establish and manage pollen rich habitats in
Commission, as well as personnel from key locations around the farm – boosting pollinating insect populations.
the diplomatic services of the 27 member
Eu Budget post-2013
THE EU COMMISSIOn HAS LAUnCHEd A dEbATE On HOw THE EU bUdGET
Hermann Van Rompuy, a Christian SHOULd bE SPEnT And HOw IT SHOULd bE fInAnCEd In THE fUTUrE.
Democrat, officially took office on January
1st 2010 as the first full-time President of the Currently the money in the EU budget The current budget is set until 2013, so
European Council, a new position created comes mainly (three-quarters) from there is some time for the debate to take
under the Lisbon Treaty. member states making a contribution place. The Commission will put forward
He was Belgian Prime Minister and was based on their Gross National Income concrete proposals for the future of the
unanimously endorsed by the European (GNI). The remainder comes through the EU budget by July 2011.
Council as the President of the European VAT system.
As in member states, the issue of saving
Council in November of last year. The Commission regards the current money at EU level is also on the agenda.
system as opaque, complex and lacking
His tasks include liaising with EU leaders fairness. It has caused friction on occasion Boosting efficiency and eliminating pockets
and arranging the bloc‘s annual summits. between EU member states, between the of inefficiency in areas like staffing, IT,
new payers and the new beneficiaries. buildings and costs related to the realities
doinG it BEttEr Controversially, the Commission wants
of working in 23 languages is being
There is broad agreement on the need for the EU to effectively collect its own tax. It discussed.
making better laws. has proposed a number of options for the From an Irish perspective, the President
future financing of EU policies, including a of the EU Commission Mr. Barosso
‘Smart Regulation in the European Union’
tax on the financial sector, charges related has spoken of the need to look at
outlines how the Commission plans to
to air transport, VAT and energy. the Common Agricultural Policy to
evaluate the impact of legislation throughout
the policy cycle. It outlines the need for These ideas represent a radical departure further shift the direction of the CAP
implementing existing legislation and from the current system. Likely to meet towards competitiveness, innovation,
amending it if it is not fit for purpose. with opposition they will nonetheless form environmental protection and climate
part of the debate in the run up to 2013. change.
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) provides member states and the European
institutions with the best possible scientific advice on questions related to the safety and
the socio-economic aspects of the use of chemicals.
ECHA manages the technical, scientific and administrative aspects of REACH
(Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) legislation.
Restrictions under REACH can be used to regulate the manufacturing, placing on the
market, or use of certain substances, if they pose an unacceptable risk to human health
or the environment.
The Agency is mandated to work with member states to ensure implementation of
legislation in this complex area. ECHA also gets involved in looking at the testing of
chemicals and the use of alternatives to using animals.
It plays a key role with industry in ensuring that high standards are observed in the
Mairead met with Maria O’Shea from Conahy,
use of chemicals in the EU. The REACH model is also being looked at by other global
Co. Kilkenny on her visit to the European
Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki earlier this trading partners as a way of managing chemical legislation to ensure safe use and to
year. Maria is a scientific officer in the Agency. protect socio-economic concerns.
MEPs get hundreds of emails every day and each one receives attention. This is one of the primary ways we have of
keeping in touch with our constituents. Email me at email@example.com
new look CaP
SIzE Of bUdGET POST-2013 wILL bE CrUCIAL
Dacian Cioloş, EU Commissioner for mandatory ‘greening’ component of
Agriculture and Rural Development direct payments linked to such issues
unveiled his plans on the future of as permanent pasture, green cover,
the CAP post-2013 in November. The crop rotation and ecological set-aside is
document entitled ‘CAP towards 2020’ outlined.
seeks to address the food, natural Again there is no detail as to how this
resources and environmental challenges would be applied and how much of
of the future. the payment would be linked to these
This is the second stage in a rather measures. There is also a proposal for
lengthy process that will see the new a specific support scheme for small EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development,
farmers, but again little of what this Dacian Cioloş.
look CAP take effect in 2014. The
commitment is for evolutionary not might look like is provided in the
revolutionary reforms. document.
Of real importance to Irish farmers Simplification of cross compliance rules
is the proposal to change the way in is promised but the Water Framework
which direct payments are allocated. Directive will be added to the existing
The current system in Ireland that uses array of Directives checked under cross-
an historic basis to determine payment compliance. This means increased
entitlements is basically rejected, as cross-compliance, which is worrying.
is a single flat rate payment across all On market support measures, the
member states. document talks of streamlining and
The document proposes redistributing, simplifying the intervention and private
redesigning and better targeting of direct storage systems. These measures are
intended to provide a safety net only.
payments. The criteria used will be both
economic i.e. basic income support to There is no mention of the EU budget in
farmers, and environmental, so as to the document and this will be crucial. As
support the provision of public goods. I write there has been a failure to agree
the budget for 2011, which does not
The proposal is for a basic level of
auger well for a much tougher debate
payment in each member state (or
on future financing, not just of the CAP
region) and placing an upper limit on The future potential of nanotechnology in food
but of the EU itself. The negotiations will
payments to larger farmers. No figures production was one of the issues discussed at a recent
be tough and those who say they want event hosted by Mairead in the European Parliament
are included in the paper at this stage.
a fully funded CAP must persuade their on ‘An Innovation Union for Europe’s food and drink
In addition, enhancing the environmental finance ministers and political leaders to industry’. Paul Kelly, Director of Food and Drink
performance of the CAP through a put their money where their mouth is. Industry Ireland (FDII) is photographed with Mairead
at the event.
ACTIOn nEEdEd TO GET MOnEy
bACK TO fArMErS
Long term prospects for agriculture will not
improve if farmers cannot reverse the steadily
decreasing trend in their share of the value
added generated by the food supply chain,
which has decreased from 29pc in 2000 to
24pc in 2010. If this trend continues, farmers
will be in receipt of an ever decreasing share
of the price consumers pay for food. By 2020
this could drop to just 19pc of the added value,
which is unacceptable. It is vital that the issue
of retail buying power and concentration of
power in input suppliers and at processing level
is seriously addressed by the Commission. I am
working with other like minded MEPs to address
this issue. The Commission has established a
Mairead in Brussels with a delegation from the School of Agriculture, Food Science & Veterinary
Medicine, University College Dublin (UCD); Prof Shane Ward, Prof Maurice Boland, Principal,
platform to discuss this and other aspects of the
College of Life Sciences and Gerry Looby. food chain, with a view to action.
MEPs get hundreds of emails every day and and each one receives attention. This one of thethe primary ways we have of
MEPs get hundreds of emails every day each email receives attention. This is is one of primary ways we have of
keeping in touch with our constituents.with firstname.lastname@example.org Website www.maireadmcguinness.ie
keeping in touch Email: constituents. Email me at email@example.com
Visitor Group october 2010
y, Kildare, Meath,
the European Parliam ent in Strasbourg. They travelled from Laois, Louth, Kilkenn
In October a group of visitors from Ireland East visited
Wicklow and Wexford.
of the organi nd ,C EO of
Enjoying a glass of Dingle Farmhouse Milk sation's book Irish Rural Li
with producers Tommy and European U 'Europe and nk at the laun
Mae Bric on a recent visit to Kerry. nion's role in Rural Ireland ch
place at the Irish rural de : A guide to
Ploughing C velopment'. the
hampionship The launch to
s in Athy in Se ok
rter, Sean Conn
th students Ian Ca . Mary‘s Diocesan
Mairead met wi rs on a visit to St
Rothwell and their teache in the ‘My Visio n for Europe’
school took part pete to present
Drogheda. The nationwide com
competition where students wi nners of this
pean Union. As
future of the Euro European Parlia
ment try Market in
thoughts on the travelled to the th Wicklow Coun
on the students th Anniv ersary of the Nor Bennett and Ca
year’s competiti Marking the 40 with Rev. William
in Strasbourg in
May. ea d is photographed yle T.D., Fine Gael
Newcastle, Mair and Andrew Do
e, Co. Wicklow
Byrne, Newcastl rie s and Food.
These are some useful websites for more information on the EU and the Parliament.
Europe direct http://ec.europa.eu/europedirect/index_en.htm
the European Commission in ireland http://ec.europa.eu/ireland/welcome/index_en.htm
the European Parliament http://www.europarl.europa.eu
Mairead with br the European Commission http://ec.europa.eu
others Kevin, Jo
based Kiernan hn and Mark Ki
Milling at the Tu ernan of Longfo Council of the European union http://www.consilium.europa.eu
llamore Show in rd-
August. EPP Group in the European Parliament http://www.eppgroup.eu
One of the most important aspects of my work as an MEP is to listen to you and keep you informed about what is happening in Europe.
The quickest way to keep up-to-date and watch what is happening is through my website www.maireadmcguinness.ie
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