Which MEP best represents your political views?

Votewatch.eu have launched a new tool along the votematch lines. Using EP Votematch, having showed how you would vote on issues that have passed the European Parliament, it will rank the MEPs that you agree with most. It is an interesting idea and I must say I was surprised with the results.

Across the whole Parliament I agreed most with Kristiina OJULAND an Estonian ALDE MEP. Among the Irish MEPs Marian HARKIN (Ind, ALDE) was the MEP I agreed with most.

Before you answer the questions you can get more information on the resolution and exactly how MEPs voted. So you don’t have to know everything about EU politics to use this.

It is interesting that on the website you can see how users would have voted on the questions. It makes for an interesting analysis, when more people respond.

So who is the MEP you agree with most?

List: Irish MEPs and their Committees

If your like me, you will want to know what committees in the European Parliament the Irish MEPs have been assigned to. I have gleaned this information off the europarl website and some of ye might find it interesting.

Committee on Development

  • Gay Mitchell (FG/EPP – Dublin)

Committee on International Trade

  • Joe Higgins (SOC/GUE-NGL – Dublin)

Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

  • Proinsias De Rossa (Lab/S&D – Dublin)
  • Marian Harkin (Ind/ALDE – North West)

Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

  • Nessa Childers (Lab/S&D – East)

Committee on Industry, Research and Energy:

  • Brian Crowley (FF/ALDE – South)

Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection

  • Alan Kelly (Lab/S&D – South)

Committee on Transport and Tourism

  • Jim Higgins (FG/EPP – North West)

Committee on Regional Development

  • Sean Kelly (FG/EPP – South)

Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development

  • Mairead McGuinness (FG/EPP – East)
  • Liam Aylward (FF/ALDE – East)

Committee on Fisheries

  • Pat “The Cope” Gallagher (FF/ALDE – North West)

Committee on Petitions

  • Mairead McGuinness (FG/EPP – East)

A boring list, but usefull information.

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Morning Briefing, 15th January

Maidin Maith againn!!!

An nuacht ar an maidin seo!

Well the bastards (Bus Eireann) put up their fairs today and i didnt even know! really pissed off!!! Had the exact change ready and it had gone up. I last got a bus on firday and they had no signs up!

Any back on the news

Breakingnews reports on the confusion been made by Pat Rabbitte on wheather or not he would enter a coalition with FF.

RTÉ reports on more hangings in Iraq. When will they learn that will only make things worse.

EU Parliament now have 785 MEP’s with Bulgaria and Romania MEP’s attending for the first time! (BBC)

Some interesting debates are taking place on Right Wing World (hat tip: Sam) on various issues including the United Nations, the EU Constitution and others

Slán!

Worlds AIDS Day 1 December: MEPs call for increased funding for Global Health Fund

In adopting a joint resolution with 546 votes in favour 34 against and 24abstentions on HIV/AIDS one day ahead of World AIDS day, MEPs call on the Commission to increase to 1 billion euros its contribution to the global fund against HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB, and on all Member States and G8 members to increase their contribution to 7 billion in 2007 and 8 billion in 2008, in order to provide UNAIDS with the resources necessary to reduce the epidemics.

MEPs express their deepest concern at the expansion of HIV/AIDS and other epidemics amongst the poorest populations in the world and at the lack of focus on prevention of HIV/AIDS, inaccessibility of key medicines, insufficient funding and the lack of research efforts on the major epidemics.

Parliament stresses the importance of accountability of governments, health service providers, the pharmaceutical industry, NGOs and civil society, and others involved in prevention, treatment and care. MEPs call on all international donors to work to ensure that HIV prevention programmes reach the people most at risk of infection as identified in the UNAIDS conclusion that these vulnerable groups are not being provided for The House stresses the need for the EU to fund specific programmes to ensure that those children affected by the AIDS epidemic through the loss of one or both parents or through contracting the disease themselves remain in education and are supported.

Parliament calls on all aid programmes to make sure that once a patient starts a course of treatment, funding is provided for continued uninterrupted treatment, in order to prevent the increased drug resistance that results from interrupted treatments.

Sexual and reproductive health

The House Stresses that the strategies needed to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic effectively must include a comprehensive approach to prevention, education, care and treatment and must include the technologies currently in use, expanded access to treatment and the development of vaccines as a matter of urgency. MEPs call on the European Commission and the governments of our partner countries to ensure that health and education, and HIV/AIDS and sexual and reproductive health in particular, are prioritised in Country Strategy Papers.

MEPs call on the Commission and Member States to support programmes that combat homophobia and break down the barriers that stop effective tackling of the disease, especially in Cambodia, China, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam and across Latin America, where there is increasing evidence of HIV outbreaks among men who have sex with men. The House welcomes the inclusion of research into HIV/AIDS in the 7th Research Framework Programme and calls for research on vaccines and microbicides, diagnostic and monitoring tools suited to developing countries’ needs, epidemic transmission patterns and social and behavioural trends to be supported. The House underlines that women must be involved in all appropriate clinical research, including vaccine trials. Parliament also calls for investment in the development of female-controlled prevention methods such as microbicides, female condoms and post-exposure prophylaxis for survivors of rape.

Access to medicines

The House encourages governments to use all the possibilities available to them under the TRIPs Agreement, such as compulsory licences, and for the WHO and the WTO and its members to review the whole of the TRIPs Agreement with a view to improving access to medicines . MEPs calls on the Commission and the Member States to take the necessary steps in the WTO, in association with the developing countries, to modify the TRIPS Agreement and its article based on the Decision of 30 August 2003, particularly in order to abolish the complex, time‑consuming procedural steps needed for authorisation of compulsory licenses. The House meanwhile, encourages and calls on all countries facing major epidemics to make immediate use of Article 30 of the TRIPS Agreement to access the necessary medicines without paying royalties for patents to the right-owners.

Parliament supports the commitment made by heads of state and government at the 2005 UN World Summit calling for universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention services, treatment and care by 2010. The House believes, however, that a clear plan for funding universal access should be developed and international and interim progress targets set. Finally, MEPs call for support for the developing growth of regional and national generic drug industries in affected areas with a view to facilitating access to affordable drugs.

Ill post up the text of the resolution once its on the Parliaments website

Latvia Update (Mary Lou McDonald SF)

Okay i got a resonse from Mary Lou McDonald yesterday on this.

Stephen, a chara

Thank you for your email of June 19 2006, concerning the question of gay rights in Latvia.

I put down a formal written question to the Commission in response to your representations and I am now forwarding both question and answer for your attention.You will have noticed from the delay in responding to you, that the Commission moves very slowly.

I would be pleased to read your observations on the answer from the commission and please do not hesitate to contact me on any issues of concern to you in the future.

Le gach dea-mhéin

Mary Lou McDonald

WRITTEN QUESTION E-3425/06

by Mary McDonald (GUE/NGL)

to the Commission

Subject: Discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation

Can the Commission say if Latvia has refused to include sexual orientation in its anti-discrimination policy and if this was a condition of EU entry?

Can the Commission say what it could do about this situation?

E-3425/06EN

Answer given by Mr. Spidla

on behalf of the Commission

(1.9.2006)

The Commission is concerned about the situation of sexual orientation as one of the potential goals in draft legislation discussed recently in the Latvian Parliament. The Latvian President Mrs Vike-Freiberga also criticised this version of the law and returned it to the Parliament for further review.

The Commission underlines that all Member States have to transpose all the provisions of Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation1. Member States that joined the European Union on 1 May 2004 were obliged to transpose the Directive by that time. The Commission is currently in the process of analysing the transposition measures in all Member States and will take the appropriate measures provided under Article 226 of the EC Treaty to ensure that all the provisions of the Directive are correctly transposed into national law.

Latvia

Remember all my post’s about writing to MEP’s on Latvia? Well ILGA Europe have put together a brilliant page here . facts, statements, images, personal stories, accounts of the court cases against the anti-gay hooligans and more. The page has been continually updated.

Thanks to Click Here on angypotato.net.