It is universally acknowledged that the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy has created enormous environmental and economical damage. Discards and over fishing being the two most prominent examples. In turn with plummeting fish stocks, thousands of jobs have also been lost damaging communities and cultures based on the fishing sector. This report and uncosted proposal outlines a ‘Big Data’ response. What is actually require is a complete overhaul and revision of EU fisheries policy. Effective and efficient data management has its place BUT only if applied to a policy that is effective, workable and sustainable. All the time that the existing damaging CFP is allowed to continue, no amount of ‘Big Data’ management and application will resolve the current known issues. It will merely confirm what is already known. This Parliament should deny approval of this proposal and request a major re-think of existing policies instead. That is an action I would and could support.
Within the last 24 hours the EU has proposed yet another attack on free speech and views expression, this time via starving anti-EU parties of funding. Not only is this undemocratic but it flies in the face of evidence of increasing disengagement with the EU project by voters across all member states. Democracy is not a perfect system, but the alternatives do not bear thinking about. Examples of abandoning democracy are widespread - does the EU really want comparisons with dictatorships or communism? The key component of democracy is the representation of the wishes of as many subjects and citizens as possible, and accepting that there are always contrasting views, but allowing the debate. Trying to ignore, stop or prevent Eurosceptism by withdrawing what the EU perceives to be its oxygen, namely the funding of Eurosceptism parties, is an affront to democratic evolution across Europe. The EU may not have liked the result of the UK referendum, but the result cannot be denied. The terms of Brexit will be considered by this institution and the supporters of Brexit should not be denied their valid share of resources. Every European pays for the EU through taxation, and it is only right that all views enjoy equal privileges including democratic expression.
Speaking Notes: This afternoon the plenary session was addressed by President Juncker. In his address he launched his White Paper regarding the future of the European Union. In doing so he acknowledged the depth of disengagement with the EU project across Europe. He declined to accept where the blame lay for an EU project that has been derailed by EU actions, by lack of sensible and coherent action, or by no action at all. Despite his denials, all the 5 scenarios outline and continue an outcome of ‘Closer Europe’ with the emphasis on monetary union, overseas aid, climate change and defence strategies. Effectively there will no deviations from the strategic scripts already in place. All of which to date have produced all that the EU claims are counterproductive and detrimental to the federal EU project. In doing so the nurturing of what is seen as threats will continue to prosper - sowing the seeds for further disengagement and discontent. Mr Juncker may claim to have read the mood of the continent. Yet citizens will not be offered the direct option via Referenda to select their scenario of choice - even if that is the least of the worst options. An inkling of what Mr Juncker wants can be found on page 25 within the 5th scenario by the way. This White Paper is simply a last gasp effort to restore control but just like the regret associated with the opening of Pandora’s box - that time and opportunity has been lost. Mr Juncker announced he will retire at the end of the Parliament term. His legacy will be a White Paper, launched to late, too many words and lacking the focus or content that could pull the EU back from the brink.
Download a copy of the Juncker White Paper on the future of the European Union below:
Diane in the EU Parliament
This page shows some of the work that Diane does representing south east England voters in the European Parliament