July 2011

Lundbeck move to stop supplying execution drugs welcome

Lethal injection death penalty capital punishment execution drugs.Reacting to the announcement by Danish pharmaceutical company Lundbeck that it taking steps to stop its drug Nembutal generically known as pentobarbital being used in executions in US prisons Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford who is vice-chair of the European Parliament's delegation to the US said:

Using your mobile abroad cheaper as of today thanks to Euro-MPs

Mobile phoneAs of today (Friday 1st July) the cost of using your mobile abroad - mobile 'roaming' - within the EU will become cheaper as part of an EU initiative to gradually reduce the cost of making and receiving calls on a mobile when overseas.

Sarah speaks to the European Parliament about a Schengen IT agency

Sarah Ludford on behalf of the ALDE Group . - Madam President Mr Coelho is as usual a safe pair of hands - I am not sure what we would do without him - and he has safely overseen the co-legislation of this regulation.

The Commission has attempted to develop several large-scale systems over the last few years but we know certainly in the case of SIS II that there have been serious delays and even some apparent mismanagement. In some of our Member States it is not unknown to have these problems. So it is sensible to concentrate technical know-how in one place. But at the same time as Mr Coelho said it is important to ensure on sensitive issues such as any proposal for system or data interoperability that Parliament is very much involved in any such decision.

Passengers must not be forced through 'naked' bodyscanners

In October 2010 Sarah spoke in a European Parliament seminar on 'naked' body scanners. ()The European Parliament will today debate and tomorrow vote on a report on prospective EU rules for the use of 'naked' bodyscanners at EU airports. MEPs are demanding that they be equal decision-makers in setting such rules.

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

UK urged to take part in clampdown on foreign rogue drivers

MEPs have approved a new EU law which will mean that foreign car and lorry drivers caught speeding drink-driving jumping red lights or failing to wear seat belts in another EU country will be punished even if they skip back to their home country. The final version has to be negotiated with EU governments.

A new system of increased cross-border cooperation between European police forces and licensing authorities will mean that if the driver fails to pay a fine identifying details will be exchanged with the country of residence so that the fine can be collected.

The UK has chosen to opt out of this measure for the moment although it still has the option of joining in at a later date.

Passenger data-sharing deal must not sell out European interests

Sarah Ludford MEP headshot 3Euro-MPs have grilled the European Commission about the state of play in negotiations for updated agreements on transferring airline passenger ('PNR') data to Australia Canada and the US.

'Passenger Name Records' are the data kept by airlines on travellers for commercial purposes to process the booking. Besides name and address those include information on the travel agent used credit card details accompanying passengers and frequent flyer programmes.

EU further reduces cost of calls and smartphones abroad

Mobile phoneThe European Commission has proposed a major review of the rules on charges for using your mobiles abroad. Not only must the cost of calls and texts come down further but for the first time price caps are set on data costs for internet and email on smartphones.

Using data while abroad costs an average of £1.80 per MB today. But it will fall to no more than about 80p (€.90) per MB from July 2012 and 45p (€.50) by 2014. That will represent just one-quarter of today's price.

Sarah meets Croydon students to talk about human trafficking on cocoa farms

Sarah and Catherine Bearder MEP heard from a group of youngsters in the EP about how to stop human trafficking on cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast; they are pictured with students from the Oasis Academy in Croydon.On Monday 11 July 2011 Sarah and her LibDem MEP colleague Catherine Bearder heard from a group of youngsters meeting in the European

UK’s air pollution reprieve does not wipe out need for action

Sarah Ludford MEP and Mike Tuffrey AM Spokesperson on the environment for the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group are working hard to try and clean up London's air.It has been revealed that the European Commission has wiped clean the slate on London's bad air record from January 2005 (when European standards came into force) until now and no EU action will be taken over th