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European Parliament : The Future

Timothy Kirkhope MEP

Our Knaresborough based speaker Timothy Kirkhope MEP beat both the weather and the majority of our members by getting to Otley and giving us an interesting, and informative talk. Attendance was about forty per cent of normal but the talk was one hundred per cent enjoyment. 

As one would expect of a person who is the leader of his party’s representatives on the European Parliament Timothy Kirkhope is an accomplished speaker; without resorting to party politics he gave us an educating picture of the formation and running of the European Union.

We heard that the EU had expanded from fifteen member countries in 1999 to twenty seven at present, and that the only democratic part of the EU is the European Parliament of which we have seventy members.

The European Commission has the power to initialize European Laws but it is thought that the Lisbon Treaty will help to harmonize this law-making with considered foreign policy.

When so many people blame “ European Laws” for many things with which they disagree it was surprising to be told that only ten per cent of European Parliament’s output has to be implemented. The issues that have to be implemented are called Regulations. The remaining ninety per cent of the output are called Directives that although they alert governments the actions subsequently taken are at the individual country’s discretion.

Before closing his talk and inviting questions Timothy Kirkhope told us the M62 is also known as the E20 and is part of a road that runs from Shannon to and through Europe. Nobody raised the question do Europeans walk on water?

Our next meeting is on Thursday 21st January 2010 at 10-00am in Otley Civic Centre when
Mr Roger Bowers will tell us about being “High Sheriff of Yorkshire”.

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