Saj Reports Back
North West England
January 2010 Edition
Dear Friends and Colleagues
Firstly may I take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy new year and I hope that, despite the adverse weather conditions, 2010 has got off to a good start. Although I was snowed-in for several days, I was delighted to have spent Christmas and New Year with my family.
Now that the worst cold spell for almost 30 years is over and the snow has melted, I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to all those who worked around the clock to keep our region’s roads open, our trains running, emergency services operating and to those who made sure the more vulnerable members of our society were looked after. It was a great tribute to human endeavour to see so many communities in our region pulling together in what was such an unusual start to the year.
In 2010 I am really looking forward to getting on with my new role as Legal Affairs Spokesperson for the European Conservatives and Reformists Group. I have already had an incredibly busy January in Europe, so I've put together a brief list of the things I’ve been up to over the last month in my role representing the people here in the North West.
Presentation of Financial Oversight Opinion to the Legal Affairs Committee
As Legal Affairs spokesperson for the ECR Group, I presented an opinion to the EU Legal Affairs committee last week on the need to strengthen financial supervision in Europe, especially in the wake of the recent financial crisis. I feel the ‘credit crunch’ and subsequent economic downturn has exposed important failures in financial supervision, both in particular cases and in relation to the financial system as a whole.
The European Commission has proposed the establishment of a new architecture for EU financial regulation to improve the quality and consistency of supervision, to ensure more effective rulemaking and enforcement and better to identify risks in the financial system. I broadly support these proposals, however, I believe it is vital that Member States and national financial supervisors retain competence where appropriate.
As the only UK Conservative to put forward such a proposal I believe it is essential financial supervision should be strengthened to avoid the harmful economic consequences that have been brought about over the last few years. These proposals will not just be important for
London and the City, but also the long-term financial prosperity for the North West of England.
You can read more about the proposal by clicking
Bangladeshi Birthday Bash in Crewe
On the 17th of January I attended an event celebrating the achievements of the Crewe Bangladesh Welfare Association (CBWA). The colourful event attracted over 300 guests and included traditional Bangladeshi dancing, food and hospitality.
Held at the Victoria Centre in Crewe, it was also attended by local Conservative Member of Parliament, Edward Timpson MP, and the Conservative Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion and Social Action, Baroness Warsi.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable occasion that showed the important work carried out by the CBWA in the wider community and how their work of encouraging positive engagement ensures the establishment of stronger and cohesive societies.
Ensuring the EU-India Free Trade Agreement Benefits the North West
January has seen three days of talks taking place in New Delhi between the European Union and India in a push to conclude a free trade agreement by the end of 2010.
Having authored a report last year on the India-EU free trade agreement, I have a keen interest in the conclusions of these discussions and in making sure our region benefits, as I believe it should, by the breaking down of existing barriers to global trade. I believe that opening up these markets will bring investment to the region through creating investment opportunities and building trade alliances.
Please click here if you are interested in reading my report into the EU-India free trade agreement.
Standing up for British Interests following the Lisbon Treaty
Speaking to many of you across the region, I know there is a great deal of scepticism surrounding the affects of the Lisbon Treaty on the UK.
This month it was announced that the European Union would open over 50 new embassies across the world. These embassies will take over national bilateral missions in the 54 countries where they are established; leading to concerns that further power will be taken away from the British Foreign Office and shifted to a new EU diplomatic service.
I have clearly stated that the effects of the Lisbon Treaty and the centralisation of EU powers should exist to improve, not damage, our national representation throughout the world. A ‘one size fits all’ EU embassy cannot favour one member state over another and I want
Britain to be at the front of the queue.
For example, it is vital that under these proposals, citizens from the North West travelling abroad must still have the same access to a British embassy and not be competing for the time of diplomats along with citizens from the other EU states. May I ensure you that in my capacity as a British Conservative MEP for the North West of England I will always put British interests and the interests of my constituents in the North West first and foremost.
Meeting with Federation of Small Businesses Representatives
On the 26th of January I met with a delegation of representatives from the European Small Business Alliance (ESBA) and the Federation of Small Businesses to discuss the European Commission proposal to amend a Council Directive (78/660/EEC). Under the proposal micro-companies would be exempted from drawing-up annual accounts through the lifting of current reporting requirements by Member States.
I wholeheartedly support the amendment and believe that an environment with less red tape for small businesses is vital for enhancing competitiveness, unlocking enterprise and releasing growth potential. In the current economic climate, reducing administrative burdens to business is of key importance to help get our economy back on track.
Parliament is to vote for the amendment in February.
As many of you will now know, my UK assistant Lucy Pickles has left for pastures new. She provided a fantastic service to me and my office over the last three years and will be very much missed by many of my colleagues and constituents throughout the North West. She takes up a new role with the Conservative Group on Westminster City Council, to which I’m sure you’ll join me in wishing her the best of luck.
Lucy has been replaced by David Hopps, who many of you may know though his active involvement in North West Conservative politics over the last six years. David can be contacted on 07969 533 554 or by email on:
Thank you for reading this month’s update, please don’t hesitate to contact me and my team if you have any questions or comments.
Sajjad Karim MEP - Putting The North West First
Contact Team Karim:
David Hopps: 07969 533 554
Paul Dyson: 07969 533 616
Joanna Kielty: 0032 228 47640
Caroline Trakadas: 0032 228 37640
Tel: 0161 8617571
Fax: 0161 8607582