UKIP calls for emergency anti-dumping measures on Chinese steel

Following steel plant closures in the North East and elsewhere in the country UKIP is calling for the introduction of emergency anti-dumping measures on Chinese steel.

The call also follows a ruling by the World Trade Organisation’s appeal body against China, largely upholding a WTO panel decision in February that found anti-dumping duties imposed by China on imports of European and Japanese high-performance stainless steel tubes were in breach of international trade rules.

The European Commission said the verdict was of “systemic importance” as it highlighted “again the shortcomings of Chinese trade defence investigations.”

UKIP’’s North East Euro-MP Jonathan Arnott said that the introduction of emergency anti-dumping measures on Chinese steel is urgently needed.

“If the UK re-activated its full membership of the WTO with full voting and speaking rights, we could make our voices heard right away. Sadly, because we are EU members we must go cap in hand to the European Commissioner on Trade, in a lengthy process necessitating the agreement of the 27 other EU states.

“In the last week thousands of jobs have been lost at steel plants throughout the UK because of two main factors; the dumping of Chinese steel and a British steel industry rendered uncompetitive because of exorbitant energy prices, a consequence of the EU’s obsession with carbon emissions.

“Antonio Tajani, who was EU Industry Commissioner until last year, said that high energy prices ‘are creating an industrial massacre in Europe.’ This is refreshing honesty from the European Commission.’

Mr Arnott continued, “Our membership of the EU has helped cripple our steel industry by pushing up energy prices and preventing us acting immediately at WTO level. Yet another reason to leave the EU’.”

North East Premier League teams praised

Local MEP Jonathan Arnott has voiced delight that both the North East’s Premier League football teams have emerged with favourable results from the 2015 edition of the BBC’s “The Price of Football” study.

“At £25 the cheapest Sunderland match-day ticket is 19% below the league average, whilst at Newcastle the cheapest ticket costs £27, which is 12% below the league average.

“As a lifelong football fan I appreciate that even at these prices however the cost of football, especially in the Premier League, remains too high.  But I still think that it is worth praising these two local teams, who are not in as strong of financial position as some of their rivals, for not exploiting local fans, unlike many of their Premier League rivals.

“Times are tough here in the North East; the economic success enjoyed by other areas of the UK has not been felt here.  Unemployment is the highest in the UK and just released figures released show that it continued to rise even higher in recent months. Many of those in employment are having to work second jobs just to make ends meet,” said Mr Arnott, UKIP Euro-MP.

“In an era when Premier League TV funding continues to exceed the GDP of some small countries, and is continuing to rise, local fans must not be priced out of football and the next generation must be able know what it is like to see their footballing heroes in real life, not just on TV.”

 

Commission Question – Religious liberty

Question for written answer E-001165/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: Religious liberty

According to the Pew Research Center, over 75 % of the world’s population lives in areas with severe religious restrictions. Could the Commission please describe its strategy for promoting religious liberty around the world?

EN

E-001165/2015

Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini

on behalf of the Commission

(14.10.2015)

The Commission is well aware of the work of the Pew Research Center on Religion and Public Life.

Freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief, constitutes one of the essential foundations of the EU, enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and the European Convention on Human Rights.

In June 2013, the Council adopted “EU Guidelines on the promotion and protection of Freedom of Religion or Belief” (FoRB). These guidelines recall what the international standards on FoRB are, provide practical guidance to staff on how to seek to prevent violations of FoRB, to analyse cases and to react effectively to violations worldwide.

In multilateral fora, the EU has actively engaged on FoRB over the last years, presenting resolutions on the issue both at the Human Rights Council and at the UN General Assembly. The EU supports the action of the UN Special rapporteur on FoRB who provides a significant contribution to advancing the FoRB agenda worldwide. Through the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), the Commission finances civil society projects promoting FoRB. In 2013, a global call for proposal was launched with an allocation of EUR 5 million for projects combating discrimination based on religion or belief. Under this call, initiatives contributing to dialogue and addressing extremism, amongst others, were recognised as eligible project activities.

Further, the Commission remains engaged in a regular dialogue with religious communities and is committed to ensure the implementation of secondary legislation prohibiting discrimination based on religion in employment and combating hatred against persons because of their religion.

Commission Question – Turkey’s sanctions against the Vatican

Question for written answer E-009115/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: Turkey’s sanctions against the Vatican

Turkey has imposed sanctions on the Vatican as a result of His Holiness Pope Francis recognising that the Armenian genocide was the first genocide of the 20th century.

What statement does the Commission wish to give to support the interests of the Christian faith communities of Europe who will see the sanctions against the Vatican as a very provocative step, as it is a sacred place to millions of Christian Roman Catholics, who form a massive population in Member States?

EN

E-009115/2015

Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini

on behalf of the Commission

(14.10.2015)

The Commission is not aware of any sanctions adopted or proposed by Turkey against the State of Vatican or the Holy See in relation with the Armenian question.

Commission Question – International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

Question for written answer E-010263/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

Could the Commission please provide details of what involvement, if any, the EU has had in the funding, personnel or any other work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)?

EN

E-010263/2015

Answer given by Mr Hahn

on behalf of the Commission

(14.10.2015)

 

The United Nations’ International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) is one of the most important mechanisms for delivering justice to the victims of war crimes committed during the 1990s on the territory of the former Yugoslavia.

Co-operation with the ICTY is one of the pre-conditions for progress in the accession process towards the membership of the European Union. The European Commission works closely with the tribunal and has supported its work both politically and financially.

Since 1999 there have been 16 projects with the ICTY for a total of EUR 9.733 million. Eight of these projects have supported the outreach activities of the ICTY, primarily in the former Yugoslavia. The other main strand of support (six projects) has been to support the placement of prosecutors from the former Yugoslavia at the Tribunal in The Hague to facilitate regional co-operation in dealing with war crime cases with a cross border dimension.

Commission Question – EU Coastal and Marine Policy – North East England

Question for written answer E-010544/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: EU Coastal and Marine Policy – North East England

Could the Commission please provide details of any projects that are under the umbrella of the EU Coastal and Marine Policy?

Could it also provide details of any funding under this umbrella that has been provided to projects in North East England?

EN

E-010544/2015

Answer given by Mr Vella

on behalf of the Commission

(6.10.2015)

The EU provides funding for its Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP) from various EU funding instruments, such as the maritime and fisheries fund1 (EMFF), the regional development fund2 (ERDF) and the social fund3 (ESF). Spending decisions on priorities and particular projects are made at a national or subnational level through operational programmes which must be approved by the Commission. In addition, our maritime policy is implemented through programmes that are directly managed by the Commission, such as the directly managed IMP measures of the EMFF, the Horizon 2020, the research programme and the LIFE+ environmental programme. The United Kingdom (UK) may benefit from all of these additional sources of funding.

By way of example, Northumberland’s fish producers and harbours benefited from over  GBP 100 000  from the European Fisheries Fund in 2011. More than GBP 46 000 of this was used for processing equipment and over GBP 57 000 for improvements to harbours in Seahouses and Amble.

Furthermore, ERDF investment of GBP 14 900 000 has helped create the National Renewable Energy Center (NAREC) in Blyth, Northumberland, including the world’s largest turbine blade facility capable of testing blades up to 100 metres in length and the world’s most advanced marine test lab. NAREC – now part of the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult – is the UK’s flagship technology innovation and research centre for offshore wind, wave and tidal energy hosting some of Europe’s largest transnational research and testing facilities for electrical networks, offshore wind, marine and tidal power generation technologies.

1  Regulation (EU) No 508/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of of 15 May 2014 on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and repealing Council Regulations (EC) No 2328/2003, (EC) No 861/2006, (EC) No 1198/2006 and (EC) No 791/2007 and Regulation (EU) No 1255/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council

2  Regulation (EU) No 1301/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the European Regional Development Fund and on specific provisions concerning the Investment for growth and jobs goal and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006

3  Regulation (EU) No 1304/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the European Social Fund and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1081/2006

Commission Question – FIFA corruption scandal

Question for written answer E-008841/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: FIFA corruption scandal

Considering both the (EU) ‘White Paper on Sport’, published by the Commission on 11 July 2007 (COM(2007)0391) and the ‘specificity of sport’ as outlined in the Lisbon Treaty, would any ‘restructuring’ of FIFA on the part of the EU members of UEFA (should the corruption scandal unravel) be based on EU law or Member State law?

Considering the most recent corruption allegations against nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives, what action does the Commission intend to take?

EN

E-008841/2015

Answer given by Mr Navracsics

on behalf of the Commission

(6.10.2015) 

 The specificity of sport implies that sports organisations establish their own governance structures, the rules of sports and the rules of sports competitions. However, when doing so they need to respect all relevant legislation in force in the Member States and at EU level.  The EU has no competence to legislate on sport but it can facilitate cooperation between Member States and sports organisations.

Good governance of sports organisations is one of the priorities of the EU Work Plan for Sport 2014-20171. The expert group on good governance composed of representatives from Member States and sport organisations developed guiding principles of good governance.

Corruption is a serious crime, which falls under Article 83(3) TFEU. At the EU level action has been taken based on the EU Convention against corruption involving officials2 and the Framework Decision on Corruption in the Private Sector3. Furthermore, the EU adopted an Anti-Money Laundering Directive4 in May 2015 that provides for a number of preventive measures, including a requirement for so-called “obliged entities” (e.g. banks and financial institutions) to monitor financial transactions and to report suspicious transactions to national Financial Intelligence Units. Following on from the first EU Anti-Corruption Report in 2014, the Commission supports Member States to share experience on policy themes such as asset declarations and whistleblowing and has incorporated corruption-related recommendations into the European Semester.

Nevertheless, the investigation and prosecution of individual cases lie primarily within the competence of Member States.

1  http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex:42014Y0614(03)

2  http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=URISERV:l33027

3  Framework Decision 2003/568/JHA

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=URISERV:l33308

4  http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1438158653970&uri=CELEX:32015L0849

Commission Question – FIFA World Cups 2018 and 2022

Question for written answer E-008842/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

In light of the deaths of construction workers in Qatar, and the questions raised over the Qatari bid, does the Commission intend to apply any diplomatic pressure regarding the host nation of the FIFA World Cup 2022?

Question for written answer E-009086/2015

to the Commission

Rule 130

Jonathan Arnott (EFDD)

Subject: FIFA World Cups 2018 and 2022

There have been many questions raised over the successful FIFA World Cup bids of Russia and Qatar in 2018 and 2022, respectively. Considering the poor treatment and deaths of construction workers in Qatar, as well as the most recent corruption charges of nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives, does the Commission intend to support the hosts for 2018 and 2022?

In light of the appalling human rights abuses which contravene EU employment and social policy, will the Commission go so far as to ask Members States to boycott both hosts in 2018 and 2022 unless replacement hosts are found?

EN

E-008842/2015

E-009086/2015

Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini

on behalf of the Commission

(8.10.2015)

As regards the working conditions of migrant workers in Qatar, the Commission refers the Honourable Member to its answer in question 8495/20151.

The decision to grant the organization of the football World Cup 2022 lies with FIFA and its constituent federations.

The Commission considers that any decision on whether to re-launch the bidding process for the 2022 World Cup should take into due consideration the on-going investigations conducted by the Swiss authorities.

The Commission cooperates regularly with UEFA, which is an important partner in its dialogue with the sport movement. In agreement with good governance principles shared by many sport organisations, the Commission considers that there is a clear need for increased transparency in the awarding process.  In the context of the EU Expert Group on Good Governance, the Commission, Member States and sports governing bodies are drawing up guiding principles for the award procedure for major sports events.

1  http://eur-lex.europa.eu/advanced-search-form.html