On Monday we prepared the week & together with Clare Moody (Lab SW MEP) & Theresa Griffin (Lab NW MEP), I had a really good discussion with Airbus about their EU priorities
Tuesday: started off a busy day with a great chat about cultural diversity with Avi Tawil of the European Jewish Community Center. Met the fantastic Thalidomide Survivors Campaign for an update on their struggle for justice and compensation from German government. Had a good meeting with my old colleague Simon Cox from Unite about TTIP, before meeting WWF and then the CCSA on the deployment of carbon capture & storage in EU. Without time to breathe, we had a meeting with DG Trade on EU negotiations with Latin America (fascinating!) & ran to catch an EP hearing with Colombian President Santos Calderón... Where Richard Howitt (Lab East MEP) raised the human rights situation & need for a ceasefire in Colombia. The day finished late with an internal Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament trade meeting... Enjoyed a relaxing evening after all that!
Wednesday: up early & out to participate in an Industry, Research & Energy committee hearing on Energy Security. Fascinating! Got interviewed about news that NE has been chosen to host a new Digital Catapult - great news for the region (see more here: http://www.labour4ne.org.uk/meps_welcome_digital_jobs_boost_for_the_north_east ). Lunchtime was spent talking about TTIP & investor-state dispute settlement at great panel event. The afternoon was in the international trade committee - presenting my first legislative Opinion. Airbus held an interesting reception in the evening in which Clare & I got to quiz their CEO Tom Enders.
Thursday: international trade committee this morning - with the adoption of my report & a hearing on EU-Burma investment treaty negotiations. It ended with s detailed discussion about Burma with human rights activists... In between I went to a meeting to prepare next week's Petitions Committee (forced adoptions in the UK is on the agenda), had a discussion with the Brazilian ambassador & publicised NECC's trade delegation to Brazil at the end of November, and met EAPPI's ecumenical accompaniers... Phew! Time to rush to airport.
Friday: I'm headed to Boro to talk to pupils at Kings Academy 6th form, speaking to Unison's regional conference in Durham & eating at Wansbeck CLP's annual dinner!