September 2009

Letter to the Guardian - European Arrest Warrants

Dear Sir The apparently lenient treatment in his home country of Daniel Ubani the German doctor who killed a British patient with a fatal injection when tired (Guardian August 24th) contrasts with the treatment of 2 of my London constituents Deborah Dark and Andrew Symeou both of whom are subject to action under a European Arrest Warrant and being supported in their fight for justice by the admirable Fair Trials International.

WW2 anniversary a reminder of EU value

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the September 3rd 1939 British and French declarations of war in the Second World War. Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and MEP for London Sarah Ludford said:

"This 70th anniversary - and the forthcoming 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall - is a timely reminder of the profound value of the European Union and its entrenchment of pan-European peace and democracy following the horrors of World War II the Holocaust Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe the Cold War and the threat of nuclear obliteration."

Sarah meets Binyam Mohamed and Moazzam Begg at Cageprisoner event.

Sarah pictured with Binyam Mohamed and Moazzam Begg at the Cageprisoner fundraising event

Sarah pictured with Binyam Mohamed and Moazzam Begg at the Cageprisoner fundraising event

9/11 anniversary a reminder that justice under the law is best revenge

Commenting on the eighth anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks on the twin towers in New York Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman Sarah Ludford MEP recently appointed vice-chair of the European Parliament's delegation to the United States said:

"Eight years on the outrage at these horrific attacks does not lessen. But the world has learnt that the 'war on terror' approach is not the way to deter terrorists or secure justice which only adherence to the rule of law can provide."

UK legal threat over faith employers' LGBT discrimination

The European Commission has confirmed to the Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman London MEP Sarah Ludford that it is actively pursuing the UK government for possible infringement of European Union employment equality law over a religious test which may in particular exclude LGBT staff. Sarah Ludford commented:

"The Commission seems at last to be actively doing something about what I believe is a blatant UK breach of EU equalities law. Personal religious faith and religious freedoms must be respected but not at the expense of others' civil liberties and the UK must be made to bring its regulations into line with EU norms."

New Human Rights Commissioner will heighten EU respect for freedoms

European Commission president Jose Barroso who is seeking endorsement from MEPs for a second term has agreed to the European Liberal Democrats' demand that the next Commission will have a Commissioner charged exclusively with fundamental rights and civil liberties.

The move was revealed when Barroso appeared in front of the European Parliament's Liberal (ALDE) group to seek support for his renomination as the next Commission president. The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group to which UK Liberal Democrat MEPs belong made this in July an explicit request to Barosso after long campaigning for such a post.

Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and MEP for London Sarah Ludford commented:

Sarah to co-chair EU diabetes group

London Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford has been made a co-chair of the European Parliament's cross-party Diabetes Working Group having been active in it for a number of years. The group is supported by the International Diabetes Federation Europe which groups dozens of national diabetes organisations including Diabetes UK.

Sarah has a family connection in that her husband Steve Hitchins has had diabetes for 40 years and is chair of the UK branch of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation which exists to find the cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications. She commented:

Poor climate change PR is barrier to action

In answer to Liberal Democrat European MEP for London Sarah Ludford a top European Commission official has acknowledged that the EU has failed to convince the public of the seriousness of global climate change and the economic and jobs advantages of urgent action.

At an event organised in the European Parliament by the European Forum on Renewable Energy Sources (Eufores) Sarah Ludford asked Christopher Jones Director-General for Energy and Transport why the public relations on energy conservation and climate change was so poor. He admitted that getting the message across is one of the biggest challenges for the new Commission. Sarah Ludford commented:

Sarah addresses B'nai B'rith at the Raoul Wallenberg Lodge

Left to Right: Jean Etherton Sarah Ludford MEP Wendy Fishman

Sarah meets Jean Etherton UK Vice President of B'nai B'rith and Wendy Fishman President of Raoul Wallenberg Lodge

Sarah speaks about visas for the Western Balkans

Sarah Ludford on behalf of the ALDE Group. - Madam President the ALDE Group firmly and consistently supports the goal of EU accession for all the Western Balkan countries. We are aiming to equip their citizens to join an integrated free movement area with a single market and common values.

Freedom of short-term travel is a vital part of preparation for that. The Commission and the Council obviously share that goal so why on earth has the Commission managed to put forward such an ill-judged and divisive proposal?