Wishing You a Very Happy Christmas
                                                                and a Peaceful New Year...
news in Brief
ExtErnal aCtion
An Irishman, David O’Sullivan, is to head
up the new European External Action
Service (EEAS)...
new look CaP
Dacian Cioloş, EU Commissioner for               mandatory ‘greening...
Visitor Group october 2010

Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5

Mairead McGuinness - Newsletter, Winter 2010


Published on

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Mairead McGuinness - Newsletter, Winter 2010

  1. 1. 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. trEaty ChanGE 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: mairead.mcguinness@europarl.europa.eu 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
  2. 2. news in Brief ExtErnal aCtion 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 states. CounCil PrEsidEnt 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. Clean chemicals 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 mairead.mcguinness@europarl.europa.eu
  3. 3. 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. retail power 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 ourmairead.mcguinness@europarl.europa.eu Website www.maireadmcguinness.ie keeping in touch Email: constituents. Email me at mairead.mcguinness@europarl.europa.eu
  4. 4. 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. Mairead with Seamus Bola 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 ptember. elly, Conor rter, Sean Conn th students Ian Ca . Mary‘s Diocesan School, 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 their 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 rmel 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. Agriculture, Fishe Spokesperson on usEful WEBsitEs 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 Log on for news, comment and information.