Brussels Commentary Employment Committee June 20th- 21st 2012
Events were enlivened on Wednesday afternoon by the Committee President, Madam Pervenche Beres, a French Socialist. You should know that the Commission send these issues out to Committees who then appoint a Rapporteur to write a report on it. Committee members are then invited to submit amendments. At the end of any debate the Commission are invited to make comments. In this case the Commission representative made comments on the desirability of certain amendments. That, said Ms Beres, is out of order. "Your job is to not comment onour amendments, that is not your business, stick to what you are supposed to do". That, of course, is her way of establishing the primacy of Parliament. That sounds OK, Parliament being the only democratically elected element in the EU. Problem, the majority of MEPs are there to serve the EU and regard the Commission as the fount of all wisdom.
We actually got down to discussing how to reduce the regulatory burden, at last. We'll see how this comes out at the vote later on. Here, you may have seen, on my web site, the video of May 23rd when I was asking for exactly this kind of action. This produced a "Blue card" question, also on the same video. My questioner asked what I meant by "Red Tape", and this became more extraordinary when I realised, afterwards, that she is a member of the Employment Committee! My video of May 31st in committee actually sees me agreeing with the President who has initiated the report on reducing Red Tape, as noted above. Unfortunately, my blue card questioner, Jutta Steinruck, left the committee just before I spoke! But please do not think that Jutta Steinruck is lazy for she is rapporteur for, "EU Program for Social Change and Innovation". Therefore she had to put together the amendments submitted, all 392 of them, plus a lot more from other committees as "opinions".
We voted on this today, 61 pages of amendments. It took nearly an hour and only that quick because many of the amendments had been compressed together into "compromises".
We also debated a "Statute for a European Mutual Society". Would you have believed that the EU has to promote Mutual Societies, known in the UK as Friendly Societies. Many countries do have them, why can the rest not learn from others like us and go out and do it, their style? And if they don't want to, well, let them go on without.
But then, I think we all know that the EU is not about enabling people to do things their way. Nor is it interested in encouraging people to adopt good ideas seen elsewhere. No chance, but then Europe was terribly backward before the EU took it in hand. I always think of farming and how farmers use the plough. Who invented it, where and when? No idea, except it was well over a thousand years ago. How did it spread, not by governments, that's for sure, there were no governments then, only Tribal Chiefs, War Lords, Village Elders. How did it spread? Simple, people knew a good idea when they saw one.
Right at he end of Committee today a report displaced from Wednesday was taken, to my surprise. It was, "European Maritime and Fisheries Fund", including spending more money on the CFP. So I took the opportunity to speak, it will be on my videos in a day or two.