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Reasons to vote in European Elections

Why the European Parliament matters

Spokespeople from some of the wide range of industry groups, trade associations, and civil society organisations which now liaise with the European Parliament and MEPs as a matter of course.  They are experts in their own spheres who understand how the Parliament affects the way the UK operates. Contact details are also provided and those mentioned are happy to speak to the media.

RICS THE ROYAL INSTITUTION FOR CHARTERED SURVEYORS

"RICS and its members are involved at all stages of the property life cycle and are therefore very much affected by decisions made at EU level. Whether it is EU legislation in the field of financial services, sustainability, property, construction or land, RICS members are well placed to deliver practical solutions on the ground. It is therefore important for RICS members to have their voice heard and give the future European Parliament a strong mandate by voting in the European Parliament elections."
Contact person: Sander Scheurwater (sscheurwater@rics.org), RICS Europe Head of External Affairs & EU Liaison, +32 (0)2739 4228

RNIB ROYAL NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR BLIND PEOPLE

"The European Parliament recently agreed rules to improve access to bus transport for disabled people, and is working currently on a law to make websites more accessible too. MEPs play a vital role in making Europe better for disabled people, and influence laws affecting all EU citizens in all 28 EU Member States, including the UK. We therefore urge everyone to vote in the European elections on 22nd May this year. They really matter!"
Contact person: Dan Pescod (dan.pescod@rnib.org.uk), Campaigns Manager, RNIB, +44 (0)20 7391 2087

NATIONAL FARMERS UNION

"The challenges faced by a growing world population and the impact of climate change will place new demands on our industry and will require that European farming continues to produce sustainably and increases productivity. This way we will ensure that UK and European agriculture delivers on all fronts in the future. The European Parliament has a vital role to play in helping us to make this happen. European policies and legislation play a major part in shaping the framework in which farming operates."
Contact person: Meurig Raymond (meurig.raymond@nfu.org.uk), Deputy President, +44 (0)24 7685 8506

AUTOMOTIVE COUNCIL

"UK Government & Industry Automotive Sector Strategy Document says in its report of July 2013:

The automotive industry in the UK is fully integrated into the EU industry, with significant EU supply chains and substantial exports of finished vehicles and engines to EU markets. The Automotive Council believes that the UK’s active membership of the EU is an essential factor in the automotive industry’s current and future success.

The UK has been a key player in the development of the Single Market, pressing for further liberalisation and removal of internal barriers, and contributing to the framing of all rules and regulations affecting the Single Market. These have included employment, health and safety legislation, the development of technical regulations affecting vehicles, rules on labelling requirements, and advertising. The industry, individual companies and, via the Technical Committees of its Trade Association, the SMMT, have a good working relationship with Departmental policy

The UK is an influential member of the EU, and the Government is committed to making the EU more competitive, to deepening the Single Market, and to tackling remaining barriers to trade. Exports are increasingly important for the UK sector. As a member of the EU, the UK benefits from all EU free trade agreements with third countries, and the Government is committed to securing ambitious free trade deals which will provide essential jobs and growth over the coming years".

TUC TRADE UNION CONGRESS

"The European Parliament is increasingly important to people's jobs and working conditions, and it's very important that people turn out to vote on 22 May. The TUC works through its members of the EU Economic and Social Committee and with our sister organisations in the European Trade Union Confederation, as well as directly with British MEPs, to influence the Parliament's decisions. Working people need a European Parliament that will revitalise the European social model and stand up for their rights, equality and social justice."

Owen Tudor
Head of European Union and International Relations
TUC, Congress House, 23-28 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS
T: +44 20 7467 1325  F: +44 20 7467 1343  M: +44 7788 715261

ROYAL COLLEGE OF NURSING

Dr Peter Carter – Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing said:

"The RCN believes that our engagement with the EU and the European Parliament is very important for nursing staff. We have been actively involved in shaping European legislation and initiatives that impact directly on our members. Good examples are the recently transposed EU directive which will protect staff from needlestick injuries and improvements to the EU legislation for recognising nursing qualifications across Europe. Our members see the forthcoming European elections as an important opportunity to shape the future direction of initiatives impacting on nursing staff across the EU, which is why thousands of them have responded to our survey to directly inform the RCN European election manifesto, which we will be launching shortly"

FAITHS FORUM FOR LONDON

As part of a drive by London Faith leader to increase engagement with the upcoming European Parliamentary election in May 2014. The Faiths Forum for London has just returned from a visit to the European Parliament, the visit served as a fact finding mission to increase understanding and awareness of the impact of the European Parliament on lives of people in London. The European Parliament elections are the second largest election in world; with over 400 million people eligible to vote. Faith leaders and groups are working to ensure citizens have an opportunity to make an informed choice.

Leonie Lewis Co-Chair, of the Faiths Forum for London said:

“Decisions made in the European Parliament have a huge impact on the lives of people living in London. This involves protecting our worker rights, consumer rights as well as improving food safety. With the recent devastating floods in parts of England, Brussels has offered to assist our Government through the European Solidarity Fund, an emergency fund to support member state in times of crisis.”


CBI CONFEDERATION OF BRITISH INDUSTRY

"A Single Market needs commonly agreed rules. This allows firms full access to the market on equal terms, and ensures they are able to fully exploit the economies of scale that a large market can bring. In this respect, the drive by the EU to harmonise regulations, standards and processes across the Single Market has had significant benefits for businesses.

Cross-border trade in goods and services, investment flows and labour movements in the EU have grown significantly and, for many companies, the move into exporting or international operation is made easier by the EU’s harmonised policies on many key areas of business regulation.

For UK firms operating in the EU market, the UK’s ability to influence these rules has had a significant impact on their ability to compete. Despite frustrations with a number of specific pieces of legislation, the majority of CBI members continue to believe that the benefits of EU membership through enhanced market access and competitiveness outweigh the costs of regulation. 71% of CBI member companies reported that, on balance, the UK’s membership of the EU has had a positive impact on their business – with over half (52%) saying that they had directly benefitted from the introduction of common standards. Only 15% suggested this had had a negative impact.

However, while the EU has less extensive influence over UK law than is often stated and the UK is influential in shaping EU law itself, the impact of poorly thought-out EU legislation is a major issue for businesses. In a survey of CBI members, 52% of businesses said that they believed the overall burden of regulation on their business would fall if the UK were to leave the EU.

There is clearly a significant problem that needs to be addressed to ensure that the benefits of the Single Market are not diluted or even outweighed by the negatives of unnecessarily costly or bureaucratic regulation."


FEDERATION OF SMALL BUSINESSES

Europe is the world’s biggest market - one in five FSB members trade abroad, predominately within the EU. But EU laws, shaped by MEPs, affect all UK businesses, consumers and the public sector. Ahead of the European Parliament elections taking place in May 2014, we are calling on current and would-be MEPs to be the voice of small businesses and to Think Small First in everything they do.

Our manifesto for the elections sets out our ideas for boosting the single market, improving the quality of regulation, and driving economic growth and jobs across Europe. The FSB will be at the heart of the debate to ensure EU proposals are proportionate, encourage entrepreneurship and help small firms thrive in new markets.

Jayne Almond
Policy Adviser - EU and International Affairs
T: (+44) 020 7592 3195
Follow us on Twitter - @fsb_hq


CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION

Steve Elliott, Chief Executive says:
"The Chemical Industry plays a huge part in the economy of the UK with facilities and suppliers around the country employing around half a million people.  It is heavily dependent on exports and several European chemical companies are based in the UK therefore our relationship with the EU is important. EU legislation  has a major impact on the  UK Chemical Industry in areas such as the cost of energy, employment laws for our workforce, environmental regulation and our ability to trade in a single market with our partners in the EU. We need European institutions who understand that that we live in a global world and Europe has to compete with other nations, regions and continents.

MEPs are co-legislators in EU decision making and therefore on 22 May 2014 we have a chance to determine which UK MEPs will be making those decisions on our behalf. "
  
For further information please contact :
Simon Marsh, Employment and Communications Director
Chemical Industries Association, Kings Buildings, Smith Square, London SW1P 3JJ
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7963 6725
Mobile: +44 (0) 7951 389197