The European Parliament has officially risen for the summer recess, and although they managed to bag themselves an extra week of holiday than usual this year (due to return 30th August) this doesn’t mean they can escape their responsibilities.
In the penultimate plenary session in Strasbourg, MEPs officially adopted a resolution setting out its position as regards the EU’s progress on meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals concluding that innovative development funding mechanisms need to be backed by the EU if the MDGs are to be met by 2015.
The report, produced by the British MEP rapporteur Michael Cashman, received the majority needed to be passed through a ‘left-wing’ alliance between the parliaments ALDE Liberals, Greens (EFA), United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE-NGL) and the Socialists (S&D).
Noticable was the absence of the European People’s Party (EPP), the largest grouping within the House, and also the Conservative ECR group which includes the MEPs affiliated and representing through association the thoughts of the new British PM David Cameron.
In the adopted resolution, the Parliament specifically expressed its support for policies on voluntary family planning, safe abortion, treatment of sexually transmitted infections and the provision of reproductive health supplies consisting of life-saving drugs and contraceptives, including condoms.
Yet a glance at the official voting record reveals that the British Conservative MEPs refused to support amendments to the report on these issues: for instance, the first part of amendment 42 dealing with safe abortion and the provision of condoms was rejected by Richard Ashworth, Robert Atkins, Giles Chichester, James Elles, Vicky Ford, Daniel Hannan, Malcolm Harbour, Roger Helmer, Syed Kamall, Timothy Kirkhope, Emma McClarkin, Struan Stephenson and Charles Tannock while Ashley Fox, Sajjad Karim, James Nicholson, Kay Swinburne and Marina Yannakoudakis abstained.
Mary Honeyball, a Labour MEP of the S&D Socialist group, used her blog to question what this means for the UK position vis-à-vis the development goals: “We know that David Cameron has promised there will be no cuts to overseas development aid. The big question now is: Will Cameron make good on this promise or will he renege on all those vulnerable people who so badly need our assistance?”
Of the 634 votes cast: 353 (55.68%) voted in favour, 206 (32.39%) voted against and 75 (11.83% abstained).
Since in the context of requiring a majority to adopt a resolution an abstention is effectively vote against, re-tallying the results revises the margin of victory down to 353-281.
Since this is now the summer recess and the all-important UN high-level meeting in September is fast approaching, why not see if your MEP is listed below as having voted against (or abstained) the Cashman report and write him or her a little note requesting an explanation…?
Voting Record: Progress towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals: mid-term review in preparation of the UN high-level meeting in September 2010 (June 15th 2010, Strasbourg).
Harkin, Krahmer, McMillan-Scott, Takkula.ECR:
Bokros, Callanan, Ceškova, Cymanski, van Dalen, Eppink,Foster, Fox, Girling, Grobarczyk, Hannan, Helmer, Kamall, Karim, Kožušnik, Kurski, Legutko, McClarkin, Nicholson, Ouzky, Piotrowski, Poreba, Stevenson, Strejcek, Swinburne, Tannock, Tomaševski, Tošenovsky, Wlosowicz, Yannakoudakis, Zahradil, Zile, Ziobro.EFD:
Agnew, Andreasen, Batten, Belder, Bizzotto, Bloom, Borghezio, Bufton, Campbell Bannerman, Clark, Colman, (The Earl of) Dartmouth, Farage, Fontana, Messerschmidt, Morganti, Paška, Provera, Rosbach Rossi, Salavrakos, Salvini, Scotta, Speroni, Tzavela.
Ader, Albertini, Angelilli, Antonescu, Antoniozzi, Arias Echeverria, Ayuso, Bach, Baldassarre, Balz, Bartolozzi, Basescu, Bastos, Bauer, Bendtsen, Berlato, Bodu, Boge, Bonsignore, Borys, Brezina, Brok, Busuttil, van de Camp, Cancian, Carvalho, Casa, Casini, Caspary, del Castillo Vera,Cavada, Coelho, Collino, Comi, Daul, David, De Mita, Des, Deutsch, Dorfmann, Ehler, Essayah, Estaras Ferragut, Feio, Ferber, Fernandes, Fidanza, Fisas Ayxela, Fraga Estevez, Gahler, Gal, Gall-Pelcz, Garcia-Margallo y Marfil, Gardini, Garriga Polledo, Gauzes, Giannakou, Glattfelder, de Grandes Pascual, Grasle, Grosch, Grzyb, Gutierrez-Cortines, Gyiri, Handzlik, Hankiss, Herranz Garcia, Hibner, Higgins Jim, Hohlmeier, Hubner, Iacolino, Itala, Iturgaiz Angulo, Ivanova, Jahr, Jaroka, Jedrzejewska, Jeggle, Jimenez-Becerril Barrio, Kaczmarek, Kalinowski, Kalniete, Karas, KariHš, Kasoulides, Kastler, Kelam, Kelly Sean, Klas, Koch, Kolarska-Bobinska, Kosa, Kostinger, Koumoutsakos, Kozlowski, Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Kuhn, Kukan, Landsbergis, Langen, La Via, Lechner, Lehne, Liese, Lisek, Lope Fontagne, Luhan, Lukacijewska, Lulling, McGuinness, Mann, Marcinkiewicz, Marinescu, Mastella, Matera, Mato Adrover, Matula, Mauro, Mayer, Melo, Mendez de Vigo, Meszaros, Mikolašik, Millan Mon, Mitchell, Morkunaite-Mikuleniene, Motti, Muscardini, Nedelcheva, Neynsky, Niculescu, Niebler, Nitras, Olbrycht, Iry, Pack, Papanikolaou, Patrao Neves, Patriciello, Pieper, Posselt, Pottering, Poupakis, Quisthoudt-Rowohl, Rangel, Riquet, Rivellini, Roithova, Rubig, Salafranca Sanchez-Neyra, Saryusz-Wolski, Saudargas, Schnellhardt, Schnieber-Jastram, Schopflin, Schwab, Scurria, Seeber, Siekierski, Silvestris, Sogor, Sommer, Sonik, Soullie, Štastny, Stolojan, Strasser, Surjan, Szajer, Tatarella, Teixeira, Theocharous, Thun und Hohenstein, Tikes, Trzaskowski, Tsoukalas, Ulmer, Ungureanu, Urutchev, Vaidere, Verheyen, Vidal-Quadras, Voss, Walesa, Weber Manfred, Weisgerber, Wieland, Winkler Iuliu, Wortmann-Kool, Zaborska, Zalba Bidegain, Zalewski, Zanicchi, Zasada, Zeller, Zver, Zwiefka.
Angourakis, Melenchon, Toussas, Triantaphyllides.
Binev, Brons, Claeys, Dodds, Ehrenhauser, Kovacs, Martin Hans-Peter, Molzer, Morvai, Obermayr, Sinclaire, Stassen, Szegedi, van der Stoep, Stoyanov Dimitar, Vanhecke, Werthmann.
- Surnames in RED indicate an MEP who voted against the report.
- Surnames in BROWN indicate an MEP who abstained.
- Underlines show the MEPs who voted against the party whip.