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أحلامنا المشتركة -> Greens Press -> Newsletter of Jean Lambert
عدد مرات القراءة 20982006-04-11

Newsletter of Jean Lambert - London's Green MEP

This newsletter covers Jean's activities for mid-end of March 2006.


1. London and UK
2. Brussels and Strasbourg
3. Comment on Current Affairs - Asylum Voucher Systems
4. MEPs in Action and Jean's reports
5. Dates for the Diary
6. Previous Newsletters


1. London and UK

London Boroughs

Jean visited a Lewisham Youth Offending team project, part-funded by the
EU. This has raised questions about whether the benefits, education and
housing rules really work together well enough.

Jean participated in a networking event at Walthamstow Town Hall
organised by the Waltham Forest Muslim Trust and spoke on current issues
concerning the EU and Islam.

Jean opened an international women's conference in Greenwich.  The
conference focused on the 'Women in the global justice struggle to make
poverty history' with a particular emphasis on Africa.  The event was
organised by the Woolwich Simba Project.

As part of Jean's ongoing campaign to improve London's air quality, Jean
visited Tally Ho Corner in Barnet, launching the Barnet Greens' election
campaign.  Tally Ho Corner has registered nitrogen dioxide levels which
are in breach of EU air quality standards.  Nitrogen dioxide can have
acute and chronic effects on airways and lung function.

To mark Kurdish New Year, Jean spoke at the Newroz celebrations at
Finsbury Park, Haringey.

London/UK

Jean participated in the State of Race Equality in London event at City
Hall.

Jean was one of the guest speakers at a public meeting on human rights
in Swansea.  Jean gave a European perspective on human rights issues,
and spoke alongside Amnesty International and asylum rights campaigners.

Green Party Spring conference (Scarborough)
At the 'Meet the MEPs' session, Jean spoke about her work on the
Services Directive and on Working Time, highlighting her latest report I
Must Work Harder?

Jean spoke on a health panel, focusing on work-stress, as part of the
conference day focusing on health.  Also as part of this day, Jean
co-chaired a session on stem cell research.

To mark the 20th anniversary of Chernobyl, Jean spoke on an anti-nuclear
panel.  The party also presented its Alternative Energy Report, as a
response to the Government's Energy Review.  Jean chaired that
presentation.  She also participated in the Young Greens women's group
meeting.

A visual display represented highlights of Jean's work from the last six
months.

Constituents' concerns.
Recent concerns have included GM contamination of organic farming, the
EU Water Initiative and water improvements for poor countries, and
individual asylum and extradition cases.


2. Brussels and Strasbourg

Brussels

Dublin Foundation Lunch
Jean co-hosted an MEP lunch on the Working Hours with the European
Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Dublin
Foundation). Jean chaired this working lunch at which issues around
flexibility in workplace practices were discussed.

Islam in Europe Conference
Jean moderated an afternoon session of this conference which was a Dutch
Green initiative.  The debate focussed on issues of identity and raised
questions about who represents whom in policy formation.

John Fisher School Visit
Jean hosted a visit from the Surrey based John Fisher School to the
European Parliament. The students were treated to a talk about the EU
institutions, a visit to the Plenary Chamber and a Green "goody-bag".
The Parliament's staff were impressed by the boys' enthusiasm and
willingness to learn. MEPs have allotted quotas for such visits which
provide some travel and subsistence allowances.

Employment Committee
Jean's Opinion on trafficking was discussed in the Employment Committee
and focuses on the issue in relation to labour law. The final vote has
been rescheduled to September because of a new Commission report on the
issue.

Meeting with Nikolaus Van der Pas
Jean met with the new head of DG Employment to talk about future
Commission initiatives. Topics included the Posting of Workers Directive
and the Directive on Services of General Interest. Mr Van der Pas also
relayed that the Commission would release the next draft of the Services
Directive at the April Plenary Session!

Individual Meetings
Jean spoke with a series of representatives from a wide range of
organisations this month. These included UNESCO, the EU Kashmir Centre
and the RSPCA. At all meetings strategies for future joint action were
discussed. For example, Jean will be submitting a written question on
firework noise levels as part of a new RSPCA initiative.

Million Faces
As part of the Million Faces campaign, Jean and her staff had their
photos taken for this "visual petition" which urges Member States to
support the international Arms Trade Treaty. Further information can be
found at http www.controlarms.org

Vienna
As the European Council Presidency is currently with Austria, the Green
Group held their Enlarged Bureau in Vienna this month. Jean was one of
the panellists speaking at the opening session - 'social, ecological and
ethical responses to the challenges of globalisation'.


Strasbourg

In Strasbourg, Jean gave a Plenary speech on social protection and
inclusion. She highlighted the importance of the Article 13 Directives
on anti-discrimination, stating that they should be implemented as fully
as possible. She also welcomed the call for a Green Paper on child
poverty. The full speech can be accessed on Jean's website.


3. Comment on Current Affairs - Asylum Voucher Systems

UK Ministers are now preparing to ask the Commons for approval on the
return of the controversial asylum voucher system. This is Jean's response:

Cash benefits for asylum seekers were reinstated after the original
voucher system proved to do more damage than good. Without dramatic
changes we will simply end up facing the same difficulties we did five
years ago.

The government acts as if asylum seekers have nothing to offer our
society or our economy and restricts their right to work forcing them to
claim any benefits they can. These benefits are however provided at a
miserable level, designed to rob people of their self-respect and
personal autonomy and the voucher system certainly succeeds in
stigmatising their bearers.

Asylum seekers qualifying for 'hard case' support, receiving the
vouchers, are here because their homeland is too dangerous to return to.
They are not criminals and should not be punished through the rationing
of food, drink and everyday essentials. It is high time the government
treated asylum seekers as people with a right to life.


4. MEPs in Action and Jean's reports
The Spring 2006 edition of MEPs in Action is now available at
http://www.jeanlambertmep.org.uk/downloads/other/springmep.pdf or in a
paper copy on request from Jean's London office.

Jean's report, I Must Work Harder? is available at
http://www.jeanlambertmep.org.uk/downloads/reports/I_Must_Work_Harder.pdf
or in hard copy from the London office. Additional copies of these and
other reports by Jean are available on request.


5. Dates for the Diary
 
7 April, International Day of Action Against Homophobia
11 April, Public meeting opposing Thames Gateway Bridge, Greenwich
14-22 April, MEP Delegation visit to India
24-30 April, RSPCA Week and Real Nappy Week (Women's Environment Network)
25 April, Yom Hashoah, Jewish Holocaust Memorial Day
26 April, Jean co-hosting Reception with ECRE (European Council on
Refugees and Exiles), Brussels
29 April, Network for Peace AGM and public meeting on 'Security, Civil
Liberties and Peace', London
4 May, London local elections


6. Previous Newsletters

Previous newsletters can be viewed on Jean's website.






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