June 13, 2013
Gay Mitchell MEP today spoke at the plenary session in Strasbourg regarding the millennium development goals. Mr Mitchell believes the commission should take stock of what has been achieved to date. He believes the institutions should take the time to show the people of Europe all that has been achieved and pass on the good news that is a direct result of development aid, particularly in this time of austerity when governments are hard pressed to meet their development aid commitment.
To view this speech please click on the video below:
Gay Mitchell MEP speaks on the freedom of the press and media and the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief
June 12, 2013
Gay Mitchell MEP today spoke at plenary regarding the issue of sexual reproductive rights and religion being perceived as opposing forces and secondly regarding the issue of religion and the intolerance for religious opinion found generally today in European society. He also touched on the freedom of the press and seeks non interference from the owners of print media.
To view this speech please click on the video below:
June 12, 2013
Gay Mitchell MEP spoke today with preparations for the next council meeting in mind. Mr Mitchell asserted that for growth to be achieved Europe requires a free market that is actually free and went on to urge action regarding the perceived boardroom culture where large companies seek to socialise debt and privatise profit. While acknowledging the merits of capitalism Mr Mitchell believes Europe should strive for the operation of a market that is free from state dictatorship and manipulation.
To view the speech please click on the video below:
May 28, 2013
Gay Mitchell MEP (Dublin) has welcomed an EU commitment to ensure every child has access to a basic education in the developing world by 2030.
“Education is an investment in a child’s future, their family’s future and that of their community. In fact, it is estimated that if all children in low-income countries could read, global poverty would fall by 12 per cent. A child born to a mother who can read is 50% more likely to survive past the age of five. Women who take part in literacy programmes have better knowledge of health and family planning,” Mr Mitchell said in Brussels today.
The European Commission has confirmed that at least 20 per cent of the 2014-2020 development aid budget is foreseen for human development and social inclusion – with education as a main component. Up to €2.5 billion will be mobilised for education, as a priority for EU development post-2015.
“Since 2004, the EU has helped to get 9 million pupils in developing countries into primary education, but many children still often leave school without essential literacy or numeracy skills,” Mr Mitchell continued.
“Literacy remains a challenge here in Europe with 1 in 5 pupils and more than 73 million adults experiencing difficulties with reading and writing. Improving literacy across Europe is also a priority. A further €1.5 billion will go to the future Erasmus for All programme, an academic exchange programme between EU and overseas universities, which has helped pupils improve their education by gaining experience of studying abroad.
“We are now less than two years away from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target date of 2015. One clear MDG is to promote progress in education and establish a global dialogue around education. We cannot forget the global commitment to the developing world,” Mr Mitchell added.
May 21, 2013
Gay Mitchell MEP addressed the European Parliament at its plenary session in Strasbourg regarding the challenges that should be considered and the priorities that should be observed regarding a European banking union. Please click on the video below to view the speech:
May 6, 2013
The European Parliament’s Committee on Organised Crime, Corruption and Money Laundering (CRIM) has agreed this morning to invite Member States to implement models of civil law forfeiture, along the lines of Ireland’s Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), as proposed by Gay Mitchell MEP.
This follows hearings during which the Committee heard evidence from the Head of Ireland’s CAB, Detective Chief Superintendent Eugene Corcoran, at the instigation of Gay Mitchell. The final CRIM Committee report also draws on findings from a paper submitted by Mr Mitchell on asset confiscation as an instrument to deprive criminals and criminal organisations of the proceeds of their activities. The final Committee report, voted through this morning, calls for European legislation providing for the enforceability of confiscation orders in Member States other than those in which they were issued. This is an interim report and MEPs are considering if a full EU CAB is needed.
Gay Mitchell, MEP for Dublin and only Irish member on the Committee, said: “Crime does not stop at member state borders and a collective effort against organized crime is crucial if we are to meet the challenge”.
The United Nations estimates that the total amount of criminal proceeds in 2009 was approximately USD 2.1 trillion, or 3.6% of global GDP. Even though there are no definite EU figures, it is believed that organised crime generates billions of Euros in profits annually.
April 16, 2013
The EU needs to focus on implementing and supporting stimulus measures across its Member States to promote economic growth and job creation, Gay Mitchell MEP (Dublin) told the European Parliament in a plenary address earlier today.
In response to a debate opened by the Finnish Prime Minister and the President of the EU Commission, Mr. Mitchell told parliament that the objective of consolidation had become known as austerity: “What actually happened is that the Euro was ushered in to ensure a European Germany and not a Germanic Europe, after the fall of the Berlin Wall. What we have been doing is retrospectively putting in the foundations to sustain the currency, this should be pretty much complete with the provision of bank supervision and accompanying bank recapitalisation.
“The European Central Bank (ECB)has made it clear that it has the firepower to defend the currency.
“It is time to turn from consolidation to stimulus and consideration should now be given to empowering the European Investment Bank (EIB) to do for stimulus what the ECB has done and is doing for the currency and liquidity. We cannot perpetually be in a state of consolidation,” Mr Mitchell said.
To watch it click the video below:
April 2, 2013
Gay Mitchell MEP is calling for the establishment of an EU-wide Coastguard to reinforce the anti-smuggling efforts of police and customs authorities across Europe, and particularly along the vulnerable Irish coastline.
Maritime criminal drug trafficking and tobacco smuggling is on the increase according to the Fine Gael MEP, despite EU initiatives like Seaport Cooperation Programme (SEACOP) and the Cargo Container Programme. Maritime shipments pose the greatest problem because large quantities can be transported at any one time.
“Cocaine is still entering the EU from South America through maritime routes in large ports of the Netherlands and Belgium and to major container ports in Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom, according to the latest research by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and Europol.
“The Eastern Baltic Sea area is considered the next emerging cocaine entry point into Europe. In a similar vein, methamphetamine is believed to be trafficked by regular ferry lines from Lithuanian, Latvian or Estonian ports via the Baltic Sea.
“Ireland, with approximately 3,000 kilometres of coastline, and given its geographic position on the Atlantic, is very much exposed to drug smuggling. Criminal gangs in North-West Europe play a pivotal role in intra-European trafficking.”
Mr Mitchell, the only Irish member of the European Parliament’s Special Committee on Organised Crime, Corruption and Money Laundering, has also raised concerns over tobacco smuggling:
“The Irish government is losing €526 million per year in revenue as a direct result of tobacco smuggling. Across the EU, lost taxes on tobacco are estimated at €9.5 billion. Ireland does not have the budget right now to increase the number of naval vessels but could we follow the US model in World War II and lend-lease throughout the EU? Would it be acceptable for some of the EU States with large navies to lend-lease vessels to Ireland, paid for by the EU, in order to stop this haemorrhaging of money? Or, alternatively, could we accept, say, a French vessel and crew under an Irish flag and command? European policymakers are to examine the possibility of tougher rules on tobacco, with the support of the Irish EU Presidency. The illegal import of cheaper tobacco on the black market will only serve to hamper efforts to help our citizens quit smoking which is seriously harming their health.”
Around 7,000 people die in Ireland every year due to smoking related illness. Half of all patients admitted to St James’ Hospital in Dublin are suffering from such illnesses. WHO data estimates Ireland spends between €1-2 billion of its health budget treating smoking related illnesses each year. Irish research puts the average cost of admitting a smoker to hospital with a tobacco related disease at €7,700, not including out-patient costs, GP visits, medicines and other supports.
“An EU Coastguard force could have a role in dealing with the scourge of smuggling, both its entry into the EU as well as the intra-European drug trafficking, thereby complementing the work of the European border surveillance system (EUROSUR).”
Mr Mitchell has presented his proposal for the establishment of an EU Coastguard to the European Parliament’s Special Committee on Organised Crime, Corruption and Money Laundering.
March 28, 2013
The President of the European Parliament Human Dignity Working Group, Gay Mitchell MEP (Dublin), hosted a ‘Week for Life’ event at the Parliament in Brussels last week.
The Fine Gael MEP and co-host Nirj Deva MEP led attendees in a discussion under the theme ‘When does human life begin?’ and were joined by expert speakers with academic and medical backgrounds. Mr Mitchell invited Professor William Reville, Department of Biochemistry, University College Cork and Dr Violetta Radosav MD, of the Department of Family Planning, Timisoara, Romania as guest speakers.
In hosting a ‘Week for Life’ event at the European Parliament, Brussels on March 19th, Gay Mitchell MEP is pictured alongside one of the guest speakers, Professor William Reville (left). Professor Reville teaches at the Department of Biochemistry, University College Cork.
March 13, 2013
Gay Mitchell MEP highlighted the need for the EU to invest in the success of Egypt’s future and to help build stability in the region. He stated that Egypt is a country which requires close contact and support so that democratic norms can take root.
Click on the below link to view Mr. Mitchell’s intervention: