Jude's weekly update

14 November 2014

Monday: went to a great carbon capture & storage conference (see here for a report: http://bellona.org/news/climate-change/2014-11-ccs-needed-climate-growth-establishes-european-parliament-event ), met former-Lib Dem MEP Fiona Hall, who is now representing an insulation company, to talk about energy efficiency & had a great chat with old colleague Isabelle Barthès of IndustriAll European Trade Union

Tuesday: I had my first Petitions Committee hearing ordinary citizens asking for the EU to help them address their specific situation (lots on flooding, noise pollution etc) & intervened in 2 cases: the voting rights of British expats (see the video here: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=g0Qaw_QF89E ) & the terrible stories of forced adoptions in the UK (see Daily Telegraph report featuring my intervention: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/11225026/Parents-fight-British-social-services-gag-to-petition-European-Parliament.html )... Felt emotionally exhausted! In between, it was great to meet a delegation of Fabian Society women, incl our own Cllr Joy Allen (Bishop Auckland). I had a detailed briefing from the DECC & BIS teams representing the UK in EU negotiations on energy, industry & research - very interesting! And finished the day with a great European Blind Union/RNIB event hosted by Labour Whip Catherine Stihler

Wednesday: the day started early with a meeting on the Latvian Presidency (Jan 2015-June 2015) plans for renewables & energy efficiency, followed by a good chat with Carol Tongue on the creative industries in Europe & the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament group meeting, before heading to European Labour meeting with new Shadow Europe Minister Pat McFadden. The mini-plenary started with speeches marking the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Very powerful reminder of importance of EU to peace in Europe. Last night I went to see the film Pride - one word: fantastic!

Thursday: up early again (earlier if possible!) for a discussion with UK trade minister Lord Livingston & other MEPs on #TTIP before today's votes in plenary... Lots of office work, correspondence & forward planning done this pm. A productive day! 

Next week the diary is rammed... Starting with the TTIP team negotiating services provisions & ending on Friday pm with me opening the pop-up Xmas Traidcraft shop in Mbro... I worked in it when I was 18!

Do you think the North East needs its own voice in the EU exit negotiations?

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