Steven Agnew of the Greens has replied to my questions. I'd like to thank him for replying and answering my questions despite the little time I've given the candidates to reply before the poll on Thursday. The answers I've got from candidates so far have been very helpful and interesting, and hopefully I'll get more responses. Here's Steven Agnew's reply:
Due to restraints on time I couldn't answer the questions in more detail. For further information go to our website election section:
An important task of the European Parliament is to confirm the next Commission. As an MEP, will you back or oppose a second term for Jose Manuel Barroso and why? If you oppose him, is there an alternative you would support and why?
I would not support a second term for Barroso as I do not believe that his performance stands up to scrutiny as his commission has;
- A passive approach to the economic crisis
- Oversaw reckless deregulation at the cost of social policy
- Neglected climate change and environmental degradation
- Failed to promote democracy and human rights in the EU
I back the European Greens campaign to see the next Commission President directly elected.
The CAP is an important issue, and there seems to be a lot of talk about its reform. What would you like being done differently, and what aspects of CAP would you retain?
Public money must be used for public good and therefore I would like to see CAP reformed to ensure that subsidies are linked to good environmental management and high animal welfare standards. This will ensure that good practice is rewarded and incentivise others to raise their game.
The Common Fisheries Policy has been widely criticised. What would you like to see being done differently, if anything?
The Common Fisheries Policy provides a framework to ensure that we have sustainable fishing industries across Europe. However failure to enforce CFP rules by member states has seen the rules been flouted by some putting at a disadvantage those in compliance. I would like to see better controls introduced.
Financial regulation has become a big issue because of the recession. How do you think the EU should (if at all) regulate the financial services? Do you support the Larosiere report?
We have seen the disastrous consequences of the lack of regulation of financial services. The near collapse of our banking system has shown that we must find a balance between profit maximisation and the needs of wider society which an unregulated market can provide no provision for.
I believe the de Larosiere report points us in the right direction.
What do you think will be the most important issues for you as an MEP?
The Green New Deal must be the blueprint for the tackling of the economic crisis and for moving Europe towards a low carbon future. We must make the shift to renewable energy and end our over reliance on imported fuels. Creating our own energy will ensure that we can end the fluctuation in prices that saw thousands of families driven into fuel poverty over the winter, create jobs in new industries and reduce CO2 emissions. We also require efficient public transport infrastructure across Europe and sustainable waste solutions. Incineration will only add to the problem therefore cannot be part of the solution and that is why I would work to ensure that incineration cannot be used to meet member states’ renewable energy production targets.