Commission Question – Subject: Ebola aid first response For each of the Ebola-affected countries, could the Commission please state on which date the first responders funded by the EU arrived at the scene of the outbreak?

Question for written answer E-000252/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: Ebola aid first response

For each of the Ebola-affected countries, could the Commission please state on which date the first responders funded by the EU arrived at the scene of the outbreak?

EN

E-000252/2015

Answer given by Mr Stylianides

on behalf of the Commission

(23.2.2015)

 

 

On 22 March 2014 an outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) was declared in the forest region of Guinea. Within a few weeks, cases were detected in Conakry and in neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone.

 

Immediately after the declaration of the first case, on 27 March 2014 the European Commission mobilised funding to support partners that were already present in the three most affected countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone) and therefore able to be immediately operational. Contracts were signed with Médecins sans Frontières, the World Health Organisation and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies for a total amount of EUR 3.9 million. Emergency actions were targeted in the three countries, mainly aiming at treating the first cases of patients infected by the virus and for containing the spread of the epidemic.

 

After these first emergency interventions, the EU has progressively scaled up its humanitarian response to Ebola, and – as of 26 January 2015 – more than EUR 64 million has been allocated by the Commission. Concerning development assistance, the preparedness activities in neighbouring countries and research activities, the EU has pledged globally more than EUR 413 million for Ebola, whilst EUR 807 million has been allocated by the EU Member States. Moreover, numerous Member States are also supporting the fight against Ebola through in-kind assistance and the Commission has managed non-financial tools providing transport and coordination for aid through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, deploying experts and mobile laboratories.

 

 

Commission Question – Subject: European Circular Economy Package Can the Commission please provide an update on the European Circular Economy Package? I understand that the Commission’s own estimates are that this package could create 180 000 jobs by 2030. Can the Commission please provide the independent economic basis for such figures, and confirm whether it has also evaluated the potential job losses as a result of the cost of compliance?

Question for written answer E-009639/2014

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: European Circular Economy Package

Can the Commission please provide an update on the European Circular Economy Package?

I understand that the Commission’s own estimates are that this package could create 180 000 jobs by 2030. Can the Commission please provide the independent economic basis for such figures, and confirm whether it has also evaluated the potential job losses as a result of the cost of compliance?

EN

E-009639/2014

Answer given by Mr Vella

on behalf of the Commission

(13.2.2015)

 

 

The Impact Assessment1 accompanying the proposal to revise recycling and other waste-related targets in the EU Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC2, the Landfill Directive 1999/31/EC3 and the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive 94/62/EC4 estimated that the implementation of the proposal would create more than 180.000 direct jobs by 2030. The Commission Work Programme 20155 proposed to withdraw this proposal and replace it by a more ambitous proposal in 2015 to promote circular economy.

 

The estimates in the Impact Assessment come from the Waste Model which examines employment in waste management, which was developed by the independent consultants Eunomia in cooperation with the Copenhagen Resource Institute. The model was developed on the basis of a review of literature and evidence and through consultation with Member States and experts.

 

As well as this legislative proposal related to waste, the wider Circular Economy Package analysed the potential job impacts of stepping up efforts to increase resource efficiency in Europe. Additional measures to improve resource productivity by 30% by 2030 could boost GDP by nearly 1%, while creating 2 million additional jobs (in net terms, so accounting for any job losses)6. These results are based on modelling by independent consultants Cambridge Econometrics as reported in “Study on modelling of the economic and environmental impacts of raw material consumption”.

 

 

1  SWD(2014)207

 

2  OJ L 312, 22.11.2008, p. 3–30

 

3  OJ L 182, 16.7.1999, p. 1–19

 

4  OJ L 365, 31.12.1994

 

5  COM(2014) 910

 

6  SWD(2014)211

 

Commission Question – Subject: VP/HR – Support for British ex-soldier Nicholas James Dunn from Northumberland is a 28-year-old former British soldier who was imprisoned in India on 18 October 2013, along with 34 of his colleagues, five of whom are also British ex-soldiers. Fourteen are Estonian, three Ukrainian and twelve Indian. The charges against the men were finally quashed in the High Court in Madurai on 10 July 2014, yet they are still being prevented from leaving India four months after being cleared of any wrongdoing. What, if anything, has the EU done about this clearly unacceptable situation?

Question for written answer P-010438/2014

to the Commission (Vice-President / High Representative)

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: VP/HR – Support for British ex-soldier

Nicholas James Dunn from Northumberland is a 28-year-old former British soldier who was imprisoned in India on 18 October 2013, along with 34 of his colleagues, five of whom are also British ex-soldiers. Fourteen are Estonian, three Ukrainian and twelve Indian. The charges against the men were finally quashed in the High Court in Madurai on 10 July 2014, yet they are still being prevented from leaving India four months after being cleared of any wrongdoing.

What, if anything, has the EU done about this clearly unacceptable situation?

 

EN

P-010438/2014

Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini

(6.2.2015) 

 

 

The EU is aware of this unfortunate case and has been monitoring developments since its start in October 2013, liasing with the concerned Member States. The EU raised this issue on several occasions with Indian interlocutors.

 

The EU took positive note of the acquittal of the 35 crew members of the MV Seaman Guard Ohio by the Madras High Court in July 2014 and has been following closely the appeal filed before India’s Supreme Court by the Tamil Nadu police. The EU is hopeful that the judiciary process will bring the matter to a satisfactory closure at the earliest.

 

 

Commission Question – Subject: ISIS assets In light of the various humanitarian abuses perpetrated by the terrorist organisation known as ISIS, can the Council please confirm what financial measures are being taken, including the freezing of its assets, at Member State and/or EU level?

Question to the Council for written answer E-009643/2014

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: ISIS assets

In light of the various humanitarian abuses perpetrated by the terrorist organisation known as ISIS, can the Council please confirm what financial measures are being taken, including the freezing of its assets, at Member State and/or EU level?

 

EN

E-009643/2014 Reply (2.2.2015)

 

With respect to financial measures taken at EU level related to ISIS, as referred to by the Honourable Member in his question, the Council can inform the Honourable Member that Council Common Position 2002/402/CFSP1 concerns restrictive measures against members of the Al-Qaida organisation and other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with them, as referred to in the list drawn up pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR) 1267(1999) and 1333(2000), as regularly updated by the committee established pursuant to UNSCR 1267(1999) and 1989(2011).

In particular, UNSCR 2161(2014) reaffirms criteria for listing an individual, group, undertaking or entity associated with Al-Qaida and eligible for inclusion in the Al-Qaida Sanctions List. These criteria include participating in the financing, or otherwise supporting, acts or activities of Al-Qaida or any cell, affiliate, splinter group or derivative thereof. UNSCR 2170(2014) specifically relates to measures regarding ISIL, including against terrorist financing.

“Islamic State of Iraq”, “ISI” and “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant” are listed in Annex 1 to Regulation (EC) No 881/2002 as amended, as aliases for “Al-Qaida in Iraq”, and are therefore subject to EU restrictive measures.

These measures:

establish an arms embargo for listed individuals, groups, undertakings and entities;

provide for the freezing of funds and economic resources belonging to, owned, held or controlled by a listed natural or legal person, entity, body or group;

provide that no funds or economic resources are made available, directly or indirectly, to, or for the benefit of, listed, natural or legal persons, entities, bodies or groups; and

prohibit the listed persons from entering, or transiting through, the territory of EU Member States.

The Commission and the Member States inform each other of the measures taken under Regulation (EC) No 881/2002. The Council does not hold that information.

 

1  Council Common Position of 27 May 2002 concerning restrictive measures against members of the Al-Qaida organisation and other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with them, OJ L 139, 29.5.2002, p. 4.

 

 

Commission Question – Subject: Gender-selective abortion 1. Does the Commission condemn the practice of gender-selective abortion? 2. If so, what measures are in place to ensure that no EU money is spent on such abortions, or given to facilities which provide them?

Question to the Commission for written answer E-000253/2015

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: Gender-selective abortion

  1. Does the Commission condemn the practice of gender-selective abortion?
  2. If so, what measures are in place to ensure that no EU money is spent on such abortions, or given to facilities which provide them?

 

 

 

Answer on behalf of the Commission given by Mr Mimica E-000253/2015

 

Gender-selective abortions constitute a serious violation of human rights, in particular of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Gender-selective abortion is an indication of social, cultural, political and economic injustice against women.

The EU is fully committed to eliminating the root causes of the preference for sons, which results in harmful and unethical practices such as female infanticide and prenatal sex selection. The EU has adopted a comprehensive approach focused on the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment and on contributing to the shifting of the social norms that allow such practices.

The EU Plan of Action on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment foresees strengthening EU support to partner countries in combating gender-based violence and all forms of discrimination against women and girls. Further, gender issues are mainstreamed into the EU’s development cooperation activities through education and health-related programmes and/or the support to civil society organisations, carried out in close cooperation with local authorities.

The EU does not fund private health facilities that carry out gender- selective abortions.

 

 

Commission Question – I have recently been contacted by a constituent who expressed grave concern about the continued detention of members of the Sikh community in India over matters which were political, and not criminal, in nature. What discussions has the EU had with the Indian Government on the continued detainment of Sikh political prisoners who have served their sentences, and what steps are being taken to ensure their release?

Question to the Commission for written answer P-001122/2015

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: VP/HR – Sikh political prisoners

I have recently been contacted by a constituent who expressed grave concern about the continued detention of members of the Sikh community in India over matters which were political, and not criminal, in nature. What discussions has the EU had with the Indian Government on the continued detainment of Sikh political prisoners who have served their sentences, and what steps are being taken to ensure their release?

Answer given by High Representative/Vice President Mogherini (25.3.2015) E-001122/2015

The EU is closely following the situation of religious minorities in India and holds regular contacts with their representatives, including the Sikh Community.

Through the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights we support access to justice. Recently, the EU has been funding two projects in India (including Punjab) aimed at strengthening national human rights institutions and achieving effective justice in order to empower human rights defenders and bring relief to prisoners in conflict states. The EU regularly holds a Human Rights Dialogue with India and the situation of religious minorities is also addressed in that context.

Commission Question – Subject: VAT mini one-stop shop (MOSS) rules The new VAT mini one-stop shop (MOSS) rules that came into force on 1 January 2015 may be well-intentioned in terms of ensuring that multinational companies pay their fair share of taxation. However, small businesses which trade throughout Europe will now find that their costs are dramatically higher. Some of my constituents in the North East of England (the area with the highest unemployment anywhere in the UK) advise me that this is so serious that they are likely to go out of business. One of the key problems is that businesses below the UK VAT threshold will now become subject to VAT, making them uncompetitive when trading in other Member States of the European Union. 1. Would the Commission please review these rules as a matter of extreme urgency? 2. Would the Commission consider a proposal to exempt businesses with an annual turnover of less than EUR 1 million from these rules?

Question to the Commission  for written answer E-000254/2015

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: VAT mini one-stop shop (MOSS) rules

The new VAT mini one-stop shop (MOSS) rules that came into force on 1 January 2015 may be well-intentioned in terms of ensuring that multinational companies pay their fair share of taxation. However, small businesses which trade throughout Europe will now find that their costs are dramatically higher. Some of my constituents in the North East of England (the area with the highest unemployment anywhere in the UK) advise me that this is so serious that they are likely to go out of business. One of the key problems is that businesses below the UK VAT threshold will now become subject to VAT, making them uncompetitive when trading in other Member States of the European Union.

  1. Would the Commission please review these rules as a matter of extreme urgency?
  2. Would the Commission consider a proposal to exempt businesses with an annual turnover of less than EUR 1 million from these rules?

 

Answer given by Mr Moscovici on behalf of the Commission (26.2.2015) E-000254/2015:

The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its answers to written questions E-10405/2014 and P-000460/2015.

 

 

Letter – Why wont Labour let the British people decide for themselves?

Dear Editor,

 

Ed Miliband and the Labour party have made it clear that they are opposed to the UK leaving the European Union.  This is fine, we now have a debate on this issue which is both healthy and constructive.  Many viable arguments can be made on both sides of the debate and I am delighted that this discussion is now being held in the political mainstream.

What I take issue with is the fact that Labour do not wish to give the British people a say in this vital decision.  Politicians are elected to work for the people, not dictate what they can and cannot have a say on.  From immigration, to educational funding the EU has a impact on so many aspects of life in modern Britain and I believe the British people deserve a say on this issue.

We need an open, fair, referendum on this long running and divisive issue so that once and for all we can settle what way the future of our country is headed. Labour as a party (unlike many of their voters) are opposed to British withdrawal from the EU yet they are very reluctant to make a case for this in front of the British people; I suspect this is because they know that if a referendum is held, the result very well may not go as they hoped.

 

Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East