June 2012

Current breaches of Schengen rules show the need for an EU evaluation mechanism




Following the decision of Justice and Home Affairs ministers on 7 June 2012 to unilaterally change the legal base of the new Schengen Evaluation Mechanism in order to exclude Parliament from its co-legislative role, the European Parliament held today a debate with the Council and Commission on the "breaches of Schengen rules" to highlight the need for a EU driven mechanism based on the community method.

Hellim and Halloumi must have equal recognition

London Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford has met with a delegation from North Cyprus to discuss equal treatment of Halloumi and Hellim cheese as regards EU recognition of protected-origin status.

Greek Cypriots applied for Halloumi cheese to be designated under the rules of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) which ensure that the product can’t be imitated or reproduced. Some British products such as the English cheese Stilton have the same protection.

Sarah's bulletin: 8th June

Dear friends,

Eurocrisis: what next?

Sarah's speech to Parliament on Israel/Palestine

Sarah Ludford (ALDE ). – Mr President, I would like to congratulate Baroness Ashton for her part in securing the Council conclusions on the Middle East peace process of 14 May because I think they are a good illustration of how strong support for Israel’s security and close engagement with Israel – as well, of course, for the two-state solution – is entirely consistent with outspoken criticism of illegalities and human rights abuses by Israel, such as illegal settlement, forced transfer of Bedouins, home demolitions and so on.

Londoners need to open eyes to EU benefits

London Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford has welcomed the findings in a report by Eurosceptic lobby group ‘Open Europe’ highlighting the trade and economic benefits to the UK from membership of the EU 'single market'.

The report not only explicitly endorses full EU membership as 'the best option for the UK' but warns that withdrawal would create 'unpredictable political and economic risks'. Meanwhile however many Tory MPs have signed up to the Better Off Out campaign opposing EU membership, becoming indistinguishable from UKIP.

Sarah Ludford commented:

Ludford: London cyclists failed by Brussels and Boris

London Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford is protesting against a European Commission research report which claims there is not enough evidence to justify fitting blind-spot sensors or cameras on big lorries (HGVs) to protect cyclists.

Sarah Ludford works with the ‘See me Save me’ campaign inspired by the death of Eilidh Cairns who was knocked off her bike and killed by a lorry in Notting Hill in 2009, and which aims to eliminate blind spots. As part of the campaign Sarah supported a European Parliament Written Declaration (similar to an Early Day Motion) calling for blind-spot technology such as sensors and cameras to be fitted on HGVs.

UK must not provoke eurozone-only bank powers

Dear Sir,

Philip Stephens’ warning, “Cameron bids Europe a Churchillian farewell” (June 12), is one to be taken seriously. He identifies as a “central contradiction” in the UK prime minister’s policy the ruling out of increased European Union-wide powers in the banking field alongside an insistence that eurozone decisions should not affect the interests of the UK financial services sector. The fine print of any proposals is of course crucial. Even a non-specialist like me can spot that the term “European banking union” means bewilderingly different things to different proponents, such that it is entirely legitimate for HM Treasury to wish to examine them in forensic detail.


Sarah's bulletin: 15th June

Dear friends,

Eurocrisis, again

EU anti-trafficking plans must target local action

Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford has urged the European Commission to support local as well as international action in its new strategy, due for publication tomorrow, to combat trafficking of people for labour and sex purposes. 

Sarah Ludford commented:

EU deal will help British victims of crime in Europe

A senior UK Liberal Democrat MEP has welcomed a deal reached between Euro-MPs and EU Member States to set minimum standards for helping crime victims across Europe.


For business or leisure travellers abroad the trauma of being a victim of crime is compounded by language difficulties, lack of knowledge about the foreign justice system and cultural barriers.


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


"The UK provisions for crime victims are already among the best in Europe and Liberal Democrat Euro-MPs have long pushed for the EU to raise the standards of other European countries, as we are doing for defendants."