David Martin MEP

Labour Member of the European Parliament and one of the six MEPs representing Scotland in Brussels and Strasbourg

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MEPs voted today for compulsory checks on the sources of minerals imported from conflict zones.

Under the proposals, companies must make reasonable checks to ensure the step behind them in the supply chain can verify where the product came from, which will help break the link between armed conflict and the minerals trade.

David Martin MEP, member of the European Parliament’s International Trade committee and Labour's European spokesperson on conflict minerals, said:

“In Europe we have had voluntary guidelines in place for five years and more than 80 per cent of companies have chosen not to publish any information on their supply chain due diligence. A mandatory scheme was absolutely vital to stop unscrupulous European companies using minerals for which they either do not know or do not care about the origins.

"Natural resources have been a boon for some countries but a curse for Africa. Today with this vote we now have an opportunity to stop the exploitation of workers in Africa and the widespread human rights abuses which are caused by conflict minerals.

"We have seen enough of bleeding hearts within the Conservatives. What we need is action to turn the minerals curse into a blessing. Unlike the Tories, Labour believes consumers should be able to buy products safe in the knowledge they are not fuelling conflict, slavery or child exploitation. I am extremely pleased the European Parliament has supported these proposals by the S&D Group. This vote shows how the European Union can make a real difference.”

"In adopting a sensible and efficient mandatory set of rules on conflict minerals, we are joining the US in ensuring that companies will be responsible for ensuring that their suppliers are not fuelling human rights abuse and conflicts across the world. This will benefit both consumers and business and please the many thousands of UK citizens who have been contacting their MEPs before this important vote.

"These mandatory requirements, while not burdensome on any one link in the supply chain, will make a huge difference to those on the ground in conflict areas. We now encourage individual EU Member State governments to give their support to reaching an agreement on this legislation."

Scottish MEP welcomes EU action to break link between armed conflict and the minerals trade

MEPs voted today for compulsory checks on the sources of minerals imported from conflict zones.

Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission has appointed senior Scottish MEP David Martin to head the EU’s Election Observation Mission (EOM) in Burundi.

 

Following the invitation of the Government of Burundi, the European Union will be deploying an Election Observation Mission in the country for the elections of Deputies and Municipal Councils of 26 May and the presidential of June 26th. This is the third observation mission of the European Union which since the end of the civil war has accompanied the democratic consolidation process in the country.

 

On the appointment of David Martin MEP as Chief Observer, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice -President of the European Commission said:

 

“With his experience in the area of election observation, human rights and international relations, David Martin is well placed to guide the European observers in a difficult context of specific concern to me.

 

“The situation in Burundi is critical. I hope that the conditions for transparent, inclusive and credible elections can, through dialogue, be swiftly restored. The Election Observation Mission of the EU will be there to help build confidence in the process if these conditions are met."

 

Commenting on the appointment Mr Martin said:

 

“These elections present major challenges for the country and the Great Lakes region. The EU Electoral Observation Mission in Burundi will work alongside other regional and international observers, including the United Nations (MENUB ) and the African Union to support the transparency and credibility of the electoral process.

 

“Firstly however it is essential that the violence and intimidation cease as well as the restrictions on human rights defenders and the media that we have witnessed in recent days. We are hopeful that the resumption of political dialogue, as soon as possible, will allow credible, inclusive and non-violent elections to proceed."

 

A core team of seven electoral experts has been based in Bujumbura since April 24. If conditions are satisfactory, the EOM will, over the course of next week, deploy the first group of 20 long-term observers who, after training in Bujumbura, will join their area of ​​responsibility in the country. In total, for the incoming polls, the EU EOM will have more than 80 observers throughout Burundi from EU member states as well as Norway, Switzerland and Canada.

 

The election observation missions of the European Union adhere to the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation adopted at the United Nations in 2005 and the Code of Conduct for International Election Observers. This mission is independent from EU institutions and from EU Member States and is required to remain neutral and respect the laws of Burundi.

 

Scottish MEP to head European Union Election Observation Mission in Burundi

Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission has appointed senior Scottish MEP David Martin to head the EU’s...

Europe’s future is facing a crisis: over 5 million young people are unemployed.  Scotland’s senior MEP, David Martin, welcomes an opportunity for job creation in Southwest Scotland and plans to vote in favour of a funding package to help create new jobs for those aged 16 to 25 years old.

Euro_Youth_Guarantee.jpgSpeaking from Strasbourg Mr Martin said: “It is completely unacceptable that 743,000 people aged 16-24 years old are unemployed in the UK.  Surely Britain can do better than this for our young people”.

The vote will take place later today (Wednesday 29 April, 2015) and is for an amendment to the European Social Fund which would allow for an increase in pre-financing as part of the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI).  This could mean that previously agreed funding could be accessed at the beginning of a scheme to allow for quick implementation. Labour MEPs have led the campaign to create the YEI, which is available in regions where youth unemployment is over 24%. Regrettably the Southwest of Scotland is one of the six areas in the UK that meets this grim statistic.

The European Commission encourages Member States to use this funding to provide a Youth Guarantee, ensuring under 25s, who have been unemployed, are offered a good quality job, continued education, an apprenticeship or further training.

Scotland’s senior MEP welcomes EU funding to tackle youth unemployment in Southwest Scotland

Europe’s future is facing a crisis: over 5 million young people are unemployed.  Scotland’s senior MEP, David Martin, welcomes an opportunity for job creation in Southwest Scotland and plans to...


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