Welcome to the mad world of the EU!

..working towards the divorce of the UK and the EU...

Monday, 15 October 2012

Strasbourg Commentary Employment Committee 8th/9th October 2012

Monday In order to cope with growing anti- EU feeling, I suppose, the
president of the committee suggested that the EU should use a "Green
Card". In this National governments would be invited to ask the Commission
to propose Regulations and Directives of their choice, to turn it all on
its head. What would D. Cameron make of that?

At least we might get something original. I have remarked before that the
same old plans keep on getting trotted out, especially on coping with the
financial crisis. Well, this week we had a debate on "Erasmus for All".
This is a long standing program and it is now suggested that several other
similar programs be rolled into it, at a cost of 19.1 billion Euros!
Comments for its content included,-

adult learning, apprenticeships, like-long learning, adult learners, youth
employment schemes, adult citizenship, youth forums, youth work, training
at all levels, sport, vocational education, visits.  Anything new there?

In a debate on the financial situation it emerged that members were very
worried, -there is s serious social situation developing! Nothing is being
done, could have told them that, but better that they say it for
themselves. Likewise the remark by a senior member that 80% of people say
we are wrong, we must do something about it!

At the end of the day the debate was on, "...exposure of workers to risks
from physics agents". By which they mean electromagnetic fields, why they
can not say so is beyond me. This includes MRI scanning but at first
attempt, in 2005, they set exposure limits so low that MRI scanning would
stop. Fortunately, they invited experts from two London Hospitals, St
Thomas and Barts, to address the committee. These two managed to convince
the committee to revise their ideas. It was debated again a few months ago
when all seemed well, but I still contacted the London experts. As a
result Dr Keevil of Kings College, a St Thomas consultant, kindly made
time to see me, when in Brussels with other experts. He gave a guarded OK
to the revised document.  I'm glad of that because more amendments have
now appeared which foul it up again. Hence my contribution of today, on my
web site soonest. If that appears rushed it is because this was the last
item of the day, we were well over time, the translators were beyond their
hours of duty, so we all had to be very brief.

Tuesday A long voting session, scheduled for 2 hours, completed with half
an hour to spare. Included no less than 8 awards of money under the
Globalisation Adjustment Fund, all nodded through without comment. The GAF
is used to help displaced workers to re-train and find new work when a
company closes. Never anything for a UK situation, but then, its up to the
government of the country concerned to claim.

The Erasmus project was voted in, of course, 40 votes to 1.

The vote on the "Economic and Monetary Union" report, commented on above,
came out at 27 - 16, a very unconvincing "yes", given the usual majorities

If anyone queries the length of time to vote on these reports please
realise that after the GAF awards there were 6 more reports each
containing multiple amendments, up to 170 or more, all of which require a

Finally, you will see my letters to the papers on my web site. One of my
recent letters was quoted in part by the Derby Telegraph, extract below.
It all helps.

Derek Clark   MEP                               Brussels 9th Oct 2012

MEPs locally  6th Oct 2012

RAILWAYS - Euro MP calls for review of rail contract decision (Derby
Evening Telegraph, 6/10/2012, p.6): "A EURO MP has become the latest to
demand the Government looks again at its decision not to award Derby
train-maker Bombardier a lucrative contract following the recent furore
over its handling of the bidding process for the West Coast Main Line rail
franchise. (...) Derek Clark, UK Independence Party MEP, said: "This is a
public procurement situation echoing the mismanagement of Thameslink.
"That contract should have gone to Bombardier of Derby not Siemens of
Germany. (...) "Once again, straightforward British bidding has lost out
to EU smoke and mirrors so our operators or manufacturers don't get a look

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