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Sean Kelly MEP Newsletter, March 2010

A chairde, Welcome to my July newsletter. As summer kicks off, it has been another busy month between Brussels, Strasbourg and Ireland South. I am delighted to be marking my first full year as a member of the European Parliament representing the people of Ireland South; it has been an immense honour as well as both a thrilling and most enjoyable experience. This month kicked off with the welcome introduction of a cap on mobile phone charges which will benefit those of us who use our mobile phones in other EU countries. The start of the month was spent in Strasbourg where we voted to cut and cap bankers' bonuses, approved the new EU diplomatic service, and introduced more rights for boat and ferry passengers among many other things. The highlight of the month in Brussels for me was meeting a delegation of engaged and enthusiastic members from Macra na Feirme, who were over as part of an information trip. My work on the Haulbowline toxic waste issue is continuing, I addressed a public meeting on the issue in Cobh and I am currently drafting a petition for the Parliament's Petitions Committee. The parliament rose in the middle of the month, which gave me the opportunity to concentrate on doing what I enjoy most -constituency issues. I Tel: 061-468788


Sean Kelly MEP Newsletter, March 2010 held clinics in Cork in the offices of Bernard Allen TD and Sen. Jerry Buttimer and in Noel Coonan TD's office in Nenagh and had the pleasure to meet many people. These three outstanding public representatives were most helpful and facilitating and I deeply appreciate their support. I was honoured to attend the Fourth of July reception hosted by Ambassador Dan Rooney at the US Embassy in Balsbridge. . Around the constituency, I had the pleasure of attending many great events. I paid a visit to the DELL workers in Limerick. I participated in an Eirgrid conference on the future of energy in Killarney. I also paid a visit to the Killarney School of English as well as the opening of the Feile Lughnasa in Cloghane. I addressed student teachers who were undergoing an immersion course in Gaeltacht Uibh RĂĄthaigh. This month Macroom was twinned with French town Bubry and I had the pleasure of speaking at the twinning ceremony in Macroom. Still in Cork, I also presented the Douglas GAA club's awards following their successful golf classic. I was delighted to attend the Young Fine Gael Summer School in Tramore and to meet such committed and passionate young people.

I hope you enjoy the newsletter and as always, if you have any comments or queries do not hesitate to contact me at Le gach dea-ghuĂ­, Sean Kelly. In this month's newsletter: Page 3:

CAP Reform

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Macra Visit to European Parliament

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Photos of Clinics & Around the Constituency

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Motorway Service Stations

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Appoint ICMSA Rep to European Committee

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Use Energy Funds to stimulate growth

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Rename Shannon Airport

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Update: Haulbowline Toxic Dump

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YFG Corner

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This Month in Strasbourg

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Jargon Buster: European Ombudsman Tel: 061-468788


Sean Kelly MEP Newsletter, March 2010

CAP Reform: Encourage Young People into Agriculture

Vital Young People are encouraged into Agriculture

In Strasbourg this month, I spoke in the debate on the Lyon Report on CAP Reform, and urged the Commission to bring forward policies to encourage young people into agriculture. Any reform of the CAP has to prioritise encouraging young people into agriculture - it is a great pity that only 7% of farmers across the EU are under the age of 35. We also need to reject any calls for renationalisation of the CAP - it is one of our only truly common policies and serves to guarantee food quality, food security and biodiversity. I strongly believe that the two pillar structure of direct payments and aid for the delivery public goods must also be maintained. Fairness is also crucial in relation to direct payments - costs and purchasing power differences across the EU must be taken into account as â‚Ź1,000 in Eastern Europe goes a lot further than â‚Ź1,000 in Ireland. I asked Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos for clarity on the issue of the historical basis for direct payments as farmers need predictability going forward. Commissioner Ciolos responding to my request said in the Plenary Chamber that "for us to have fairer agriculture we have to define clear criteria for the distribution of direct aid - the historic reference is not fair, objective and transparent." Tel: 061-468788


Sean Kelly MEP Newsletter, March 2010

CAP Reform: Ireland Needs a Credible Plan B This month I also participated in a public consultation held my Macra na Feirme and on CAP Reform in the Arklow Bay Hotel. The event included a lively question and answer session during which I stated that following on from my discussions with new Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos; Ireland will need a plan B in its negotiations as the historic basis for the single farm payment will not be feasible in the next term of CAP. Commissioner Ciolos outlined three reasons to me for this:   

the historic basis was initiated when the 12 new member states had not yet joined the EU; young farmers need to have access and are omitted under the current scheme; by 2020 the model will be 20 years old and this is not feasible for any business going forward.

For these reasons, while Ireland can look for the historic basis, it would be prudent and sensible to have a Plan B if, as seems likely, the historic basis will not continue.

Commissioner Ciolos agus Mé Féin Tel: 061-468788


Sean Kelly MEP Newsletter, March 2010

Macra Representatives visit European Parliament I was delighted this month to welcome members of Macra na Feirme to the European parliament. The Macra representatives were visiting as part of an information trip to the European Commission and Parliament. They met with a wide range of officials in the Commission regarding issues such as The EU's Agricultural Policy, EU Cohesion and regional Development Policy and Agriculture-specific Aspects of Climate Change. They also had a lively discussion with me and other Irish MEPs.

Macra Members and me during their visit to European Parliament this month Tel: 061-468788


Sean Kelly MEP Newsletter, March 2010

Constituency Clinics & Around the Constituency Tel: 061-468788


Sean Kelly MEP Newsletter, March 2010

Motorway Service Stations - Get Out of the Way NRA

Service Stations are essential conveniences

I condemned the ham-fisted rollout of Motorway Service Stations on Ireland's new motorways. The NRA has closed to the door to the private sector in the past, monopolising the construction of Motorway Service Areas. I have been contacted by a concerned constituent who is willing to build a service area but has been closed out by the NRA. We now have a situation where the Government does not have the money to build Service Stations in Limerick, Cork, Waterford, Wexford and Cavan. There is a simple solution to this problem which is let the private sector build them, this is best practice in other EU Member States and does not involve reinventing the wheel. All the NRA has to do is assign a plot of land for development and let the private sector construct the necessary access routes, buildings and so on. Now that straitened times require creative thinking, the NRA should reexamine its ludicrous practices and allow the private sector to play its role in providing these necessary services. Tel: 061-468788


Sean Kelly MEP Newsletter, March 2010

ICMSA representative should to be appointed to European Economic and Social Committee

This month I called for a representative of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association to be appointed to the European Economic and Social Council (EESC). Article 301 of the Lisbon Treaty provides for the European Council to increase the size of the committee on a proposal from the European Commission. Agriculture is a crucial element of our economic and social make-up with a value of â‚Ź11.6 bn and is still the main activity in rural Ireland employing 97,200. It is central to our relationship with the European Union. The ICMSA as one of the major representative bodies for this economic and social group should have a seat on this committee. Agriculture is fundamental to the economic and social fabric of rural Ireland and the overall Irish economy; it is imperative that the ICMSA as a representative body of this critical economic and social group have a delegate on the EESC. The Lisbon Treaty which we all fought so hard to ratify makes it possible to increase the size of the committee; the government should lobby the Commission and Council to do this. The Economic and Social Committee is a bridge between Europe and organised civil society, the ICMSA as one of Ireland's largest civil society groups and a major social partner must have a seat so as to accurately reflect Irish socio-economic structures. The Government must work with the Council and the Commission to ensure Ireland and Irish agricultural interests are properly reflected on Ireland's EESC representation. Tel: 061-468788


Sean Kelly MEP Newsletter, March 2010

Unused EU Energy Funds needs to be availed of to stimulate growth During the month, I called for a new financial energy instrument to utilise unused funds to the tune of 114 million euro, for projects in the field of energy. This would encourage investment and create green jobs. The Commission should direct unused funds to the field of renewable energy to stimulate economic growth, jobs and energy security would be a proactive step towards the European Union's objective of meeting a 20% target of renewable energy by 2020. The idea behind this proposed fund is to encourage investment in grass root level projects. The establishment of this fund should be voted on by the end of the year. Ireland is in a vulnerable position. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland predicts that in 2020, oil will still be the dominant fuel used. Ireland has the fastest wind speeds in Europe. At present Denmark is the only country in Europe that is exporting energy generated from wind. Ireland has enormous potential in this area and also in relation to ocean energy. I recently chaired a meeting of the Atlantic Energy Group in Limerick. Key points raised at this meeting included; creating a European Development Zone, exporting energy to the UK and Europe, the international recognition of Ireland as a model site for the development of wind and wave energy and the issue of guaranteeing the price of power to ensure competitiveness in the European market. These innovative ideas need to be endorsed and promoted. This will lead Ireland on the pathway to renewable energy. Putting 114 million euro to use for renewable energy projects would be very much welcomed. Tel: 061-468788


Sean Kelly MEP Newsletter, March 2010

Rename Shannon Airport Towards the end of the month, I urged the Shannon Airport Authority to consider rebranding Shannon Airport in light of falling passenger numbers. The fall-off in visitor numbers in the Mid-West and South West, needs to be addressed, these regions have suffered hugely due to the decline in the number of tourists in general and Americans in particular. Tourism is a vital component of the Mid- and South West economies, which are experiencing huge difficulties in the current climate. However whilst numbers are falling, a growing number of visitors originate from Continental Europe. A problem with this market is a lack of knowledge and awareness of the location of Shannon Airport for Continental Europeans. Unfortunately the name Shannon has very little resonance outside of Ireland and our Diaspora, in this age where many people go with instantly recognisable names and brands, the name Shannon unfortunately is not readily identifiable. A name change to something like Ireland Atlantic Coast Airport would be far more descriptive and hopefully prove more attractive to potential visitors to the region. If anything can help develop Shannon Airport and spur the regional economy, even a name change; then it should be considered. This would add to the history and profile of Shannon Airport by giving a clear indication that it is located very close to some of Ireland's most scenic tourist destinations. A name change to something more descriptive could be beneficial to Shannon but the most important thing Shannon Airport needs right now is independence from the Dublin Airport Authority so it can chart its own course.

Shannon name-change could be boost airport needs Tel: 061-468788


Sean Kelly MEP Newsletter, March 2010

Update: Haulbowline Toxic Dump

Haulbowline Island -Toxic waste

At a public meeting in Cobh on Monday (July 19) I announced a plan of action to tackle the Haulbowline toxic dump issue at European level. It is a disgrace that this site has been lying idle for the last decade and that a comprehensive clean up has not been accomplished. The 37% cancer rate above the national average in Cobh is a cold hard fact. Public health is of paramount importance. Cobh and the Cork Harbour area highly regarded as popular tourist attractions. This toxic dump site takes away from the beauty of the area. It is an eyesore and is a hindrance for increasing tourism potential and developing the area. Each summer over 50 liners visit Cobh. It is a pity they have to look at this site. I called for the Government to take immediate action without delay. The people of Cobh ad the Cork Harbour area have been waiting too long for a baseline health study and it high time that such a study is conducted. Based on the advice I have received from the European Commission, I will be following a new line of enquiry addressing specific questions. I am happy to be in a position to draft a petition to be sent to the Petitions Committee in the European Parliament to highlight the imminent public health and environmental threats posed by this site. When the petition comes before the Parliament's Petitions Committee to be heard, representatives of the people of Cobh and the various pressure groups including the Cork Health Study Group will have an opportunity to address the Tel: 061-468788


Sean Kelly MEP Newsletter, March 2010 Committee in the Brussels. The Haulbowline toxic dump issue will no longer be swept under the carpet. One of the major tasks of the Petitions Committee is to investigate issues, raised by European citizens, who draw attention to alleged infringements of EU law. In practise almost half of the Petitions Committee activity concerns issues related to the application of EU law. This can lead to extensive debates in the Committee and may also lead to fact finding visits to the country or region involved. I am confident that by bringing the Haulbowline issue to the Petitions Committee this will force the Government to comply with the relevant EU law and previous judgments by the Court of Justice in Luxembourg. Ireland can no longer ignore toxic waste dumps that do not have licence. Tel: 061-468788


Sean Kelly MEP Newsletter, March 2010

YFG Corner

It was a pleasure to attend the Young Fine Gael annual Summer School in Tramore, Co. Waterford earlier this month. There were over 150 delegates in attendance. It was very interesting to hear the debates. It was a good opportunity to hear the views of our young members. Indeed they have a lot to contribute. I thoroughly enjoyed the walk about in Tramore town and it was good to meet the locals. Enda Kenny, John Deasy TD, Senator and bye-election candidate Paudie Coffey, Senator Maurice Cummins and Cllr John Cummins were also in attendance. I was glad to be present for the political sessions in the Grand Hotel in Tramore. From what I hear, everybody enjoyed the social aspect of the weekend and there was a lot of dancing! I hope all of the YFG members enjoy their summer before returning to College in the autumn. Tel: 061-468788


Sean Kelly MEP Newsletter, March 2010

This Month in Strasbourg Bankers' bonuses capped and cut We voted on the salaries of directors of listed companies and policies in the financial services sector. The effect will be to cap the ridiculous bonuses bankers were paying themselves Green light for EU diplomatic corps The parliament voted to approve the establishment of the European Union's new diplomatic corps - the External Action Service under the Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton. Parliament gives green light for SWIFT II The new version of the SWIFT anti-terrorist agreement on bank data transfers to the US was approved by the European Parliament. This tracks terrorist financing, parliament fought hard to include extra safeguards to protect personal data.

Adi贸s Spain, bienvenue-welkom-willkommen Belgium! Spanish PM Zapatero faced friends and critics in the hemicycle while presenting the results of his 6-month EU Presidency. Belgian PM Yves Leterme presented his programme the following day: economy, environment and fighting unemployment are among his priorities. Better protected boat passengers As of 2012 the rights of passengers of regular boat and ferry services will be extended. New regulation approved enshrines rules on assistance and compensation in cases of delays. Cancellation or a 1.5 h late departure will give right to be rerouted, returned to the initial port of departure or fully reimbursed. In addition, depending on the delay, compensations of 25-50% of the ticket price will be paid out. Boat passengers will have more rights than air passengers. Ban on food from cloned animals MEPs approved the ban of food from cloned animals from the European market. So we won't be eating Dolly the Sheep anytime soon! MEPs back Iceland's EU ambitions The Parliament voted to back Iceland's EU Membership Application. Tel: 061-468788


Sean Kelly MEP Newsletter, March 2010 Stricter rules on industrial emissions The EP overwhelmingly supported more stringent rules on industrial air pollution, with strict limits for nitrous oxides, sulphur dioxides and dust particles, which are particularly harmful to health and the environment. Thousands of industrial plants across the EU will be affected by the Industrial Emissions Directive, which will impose tougher restraints on emissions of nitrous oxides, sulphur dioxide and dust by 2016.

Here are links to the speeches and contributions I made during the plenary: 

Contribution of EU regional policy towards fighting the financial and economic crisis  European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and the role of macro-regions in the future cohesion policy  Commission Green Paper on the management of bio-waste in the European Union  Promoting youth access to the labour market, strengthening trainee, internship and apprenticeship status  A sustainable future for transport  Intelligent Transport Systems in the field of road transport and interfaces with other transport modes  Question Time (Commission)  Question Time (Commission)  Question Time (Commission)  Regulation of European banking, securities and financial markets  Explanations of vote on Petitions Committee Report  Review of the Spanish presidency  Entry into force on 1 August 2010 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) and the role of the EU  AIDS/HIV in view of the XVIII International AIDS Conference  Iceland's application for membership of the European Union Tel: 061-468788


Sean Kelly MEP Newsletter, March 2010

Jargon Buster: European Ombudsman

The European Ombudsman investigates complaints about maladministration in the institutions and bodies of the European Union. The Ombudsman is completely independent and impartial. The current Ombudsman is Mr P. Nikiforos Diamandouros who took office on 1 April 2003. The Ombudsman usually conducts inquiries on the basis of complaints but can also launch inquiries on his own initiative. The Ombudsman may simply need to inform the institution concerned about a complaint in order for it to resolve the problem. If the case is not resolved satisfactorily during the course of his inquiries, the Ombudsman will try, if possible, to find a friendly solution which puts right the case of maladministration and satisfies the complainant. If the attempt at conciliation fails, the Ombudsman can make recommendations to solve the case. If the institution does not accept his recommendations, he can make a special report to the European Parliament If you are a citizen of a Member State of the Union or reside in a Member State, you can make a complaint to the European Ombudsman. Businesses, associations or other bodies with a registered office in the Union may also complain to the Ombudsman. Complaints can be lodged by post, fax or e-mail. A complaint guide and form is available from the Ombudsman’s office and can be downloaded from the Ombudsman’s website: Tel: 061-468788


Sean Kelly MEP July Newsletter  

July Newsletter -Sean Kelly MEP

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