The European Parliament is open for business! -Day in the life of an MEP week 2

Judith Bunting MEP

This week has been momentous, with my time having been spent in Strasbourg for the opening of the European Parliament, voting for the president, finalising our committees, and continuing to find my feet as an MEP.


Monday was a day of travelling and emails as I made my way from the UK over to Strasbourg to finally take up my elected role as an MEP.

The opening of the European Parliament took place on Tuesday, and was an historic and emotional experience. Our group of 16 Liberal Democrat MEPs donned bright ‘Stop Brexit’ t-shirts to draw attention to the serious point that Brexit is not inevitable.

My personal goal as a Pro-European, British MEP is to be visible, accountable and show what really goes on in the European Parliament. 

We sixteen Liberal Democrats were elected to stop Brexit. We are committed to achieving this. I am pleased to say that our bright message was heard across Europe and was received well by our fellow Europeans in Parliament. As a group we will continue to fight for Britain to play a leading role in the EU. I will do my best to represent you in this while I am a MEP.

Our first official task as MEPs was to vote for the next president of the European Parliament. I supported the newly elected president, David Sassoli, an Italian politician who has been very active in his support for young people and who is committed to tackling climate change. Later in the week Mr Sassoli addressed the European Parliament and stated; “Only when we are united can we counterbalance the most powerful global players.”

There were many voting sessions to elect the President of Parliament, 14 Vice Presidents and the Quaestors – sometimes described as the trades union leaders of MEPs. At almost 10pm on the second day of voting, we even voted on which method to use, with the quick and efficient electronic voting devices winning – thank goodness! With so many new MEPs we were given a trial run to ensure that everyone was happy with how to use them. This involved us voting yes, no or abstain on our favourite musicians. I am pretty sure that the Beatles won. I will get a photo to show you the voting device soon.

Judith Bunting MEPOur committee positions were officially confirmed this week, and I am delighted that I represent the UK on the Education and Culture committee (CULT) and on the committee for Industry, Research and Energy(IRE). With my team I have also made a start on the applications for three pilot projects, putting together ideas around increasing interest in science among teenage girls and promoting lifelong learning. Both of these areas are close to my heart.

Back in the UK we had a number of team meetings in our new office space in Reading. The week was once again rounded off with visits to local Liberal Democrat teams, including a second party in Wokingham constituency where we celebrated their fantastic council gains and I talked with them about my role as a MEP.

If you are planning to hold street stalls to promote Europe over the summer, please let my team know by contacting us at; SocialMedia@JudithBunting.co.uk 

You can keep updated with my activities by signing up to receive my new MEP newsletter here.

South East MEPs Committee Roles announced

In the South East, your local Liberal Democrat MEPs are part of the following European Parliamentary committees:

Catherine Bearder, Leader of the Liberal Democrats European Parliamentary Party:

  • Constitutional Affairs Committee
  • Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee
  • Culture and Education Committee

 Judith Bunting:

  • Culture and Education Committee
  • Industry, Research and Energy Committee

 Antony Hook:

  • Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee
  • Legal Affairs Committee

The Liberal Democrat delegation as a whole is doing well in terms of securing top jobs: Chris Davies, North West MEP, has been elected as Chair of Fisheries Committee, and Lucy Nethsingha, East of England MEP, has been elected Chair of the Legal Affairs Committee. The Lib Dems have also secured the 1st Vice-president of the Human Rights Sub-Committee for Irina Von Wiese.

On the appointment of committees, Leader of the Liberal Democrats European Parliamentary Party, Catherine Bearder, said:

 “As one of the largest countries, Britain should be leading in Europe, not leaving. Liberal Democrat success in the European elections is now translating into power and influence for Britain in Europe.”

 

 Judith Bunting, MEP for the South East region, said:

 “The benefit of having leading positions is that we have a strong position in so many important areas. I look forward to reporting on the benefits that the EU can offer students and apprentices in the U.K. As one of the U.K. voices on the science, industry and energy committee, I will make the most of our industrial expertise and the fantastic reputation enjoyed by British scientific research and renewable energies.”

 

 Antony Hook, MEP for the South East region, said:

 “We live in a global world within which we must reach beyond our borders to work with our friends and neighbours on issues such as civil rights.  As a barrister of 16 years I look forward to bringing my experience, prosecuting serious criminals and defending vulnerable individuals against the state, to enhance and improve cooperation between European police and judicial services.”

You can keep to date with my activities as an MEP by reading my weekly MEP Life blog post and listening to our podcast as well as following me on social media