Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Green MEPs head the poll on transparency, accountability, democracy and waste in the EU.

This is what I have been saying at hustings in London during this campaign and have the voting record to prove it. Now Open Europe, which campaigns for transparency and democracy in the EU, has stated it also. The Greens have a record second to none in the EU when it comes to this issue. But as I have also said at hustings, it is important to view the record of the other parties, and particularly of the pan European blocks which they are members of, such as the European People's Party, in the case of the Tories. All of the parties (well most of them) can talk a good talk. The point is can they walk the walk?

Green leader comes top in Open Europe's "premier league" MEP poll

Caroline Lucas MEP, leader of the Green Party, has been rated best British MEP on transparency, accountability, democracy and waste by campaign group Open Europe.
And Britain's Green Party MEPs were ranked above the groups of all other British parties.
Today Open Europe published a ranking of all 785 Members of the European Parliament, scoring their record on promoting transparency and reform in the European Union over the last five-year term.

Open Europe's ranking was based on a range of activities, including voting records, attendance, written declarations, and whether the MEPs themselves have taken part in wasteful activities, such as the controversial second pension fund.

Open Europe awarded points based on a "Premier League" model, where 3 points was the highest score, followed by 1 point and 0 points. On attendance, a scale from 1 to 6 was used. MEPs who had been the subject of substantive press reports of wrongdoing were shown Open Europe's "red card" and had 10 points deducted from their score.

UKIP leader shares bottom place with a Conservative, a Labour MEP and a LibDem
The bottom thirteen places for British MEPs in Open Europe's ranking included 5 Conservatives and 6 UKIP MEPs. The very bottom place, however, was jointly shared between an MEP each from the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, Labour and UKIP.
The UKIP MEP with the poorest score was party leader Nigel Farage.

Green Party leader Dr Caroline Lucas MEP, commenting on the result, said:
"I'm delighted that the Green Party has topped the poll on promoting transparency and reform in the EU. It shows more clearly than ever that if people want to see greater democracy, transparency and accountability in parliament, the best way of achieving that is to vote Green on 4 June."
Open Europe's Research Director Mats Persson said commented:
"No matter where their political sympathies may lie, MEPs should all be working for a more open, democratic EU, while trying to reduce the waste of taxpayers' money. These issues should be at the top of their agenda - especially now when the public's trust in politicians is at an all-time low.
"They might talk a good game at home, but too many British MEPs have voted against transparency and EU reform on a number of occasions. What we need now is a new generation of politicians, committed to acting in the public interest and pushing for a much better deal for taxpayers at all levels of government - including EU level."

Open Europe's categories were as follows:

A) Transparency, openness and democracy
MEPs are ranked according to whether they:
1. Voted for easier public access to EU documents

2. Voted against keeping MEPs' expenses and accounts secret

3. Voted to increase transparency, including better public access to MEPs' voting records

4. Responded to Open Europe's Transparency Initiative on expenses and allowances

5. Voted in favour of imposing sanctions for MEPs guilty of financial irregularities

6. Voted in favour of providing mandatory receipts for travel expenses

7. Voted to respect the outcome of the pending legally-binding Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty

8. Voted in favour of opening Europe up to trade with developing countries

9. Achieved good attendance at the Parliament's voting sessions

B) Fighting waste and misuse of EU funds
MEPs are ranked according to whether they:
1. Opted out of the Parliament's controversial second pension fund

2. Voted in favour of cleaning up the second pension fund

3. Supported moves to abolish the Parliament's second seat in Strasbourg

4. Voted against 'hypocritical' EU subsidies to tobacco farmers

5. Voted to reform the CAP and discontinue subsidies to tobacco farmers

6. Voted not to clear the European Parliament's accounts for 2006 due to 75% unaccounted expenditure on MEPs' assistants' allowances

7. Voted not to approve the Parliament's accounts for 2007

8. Voted not to approve the Commission's accounts for 2007

9. Voted to postpone clearing the European Council's accounts for 2007

10. Voted against clearing the accounts of the European Police College for 2007 while it was under investigation for fraud

To see the league table, please click here:www.openeurope.org.uk/research/mepranking.xls (See sheet two for UK MEPs only)For a guide to the criteria used in the ranking, please click here:www.openeurope.org.uk/research/rankingguide.pdf

No comments: