Demystifying the EU - "From Theory to Practice"

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Demystifying the EU “From Theory to Practice” Bill Blakemore for the Industry and Parliament Trust

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Brussels and the EU Why come here? What can you achieve? How can you achieve it?

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About Bill Blakemore Involved with EU for 9 years 4 years – BT Government eForum FP5 project EU funding in ICT EU procurements 5 years – independent consultant EU ‘expert’: rapporteur, evaluator of proposals & projects Bidder then Project manager: Eurosparks Influencer: cross-border transport legislation

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The EU - a legislation machine My induction to Brussels

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Co-Decision Process: 18 months +

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The SPARKS story

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It started with London parking tickets

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A growing problem of unfairness... Daily Mail, Monday 16th July 2007

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German Vehicle B CC 654* 49 PCN’s from not paying Congestion charge over 6 months 7 On-street contraventions French Vehicle : 549 QAJ 7* 112 PCN’s for Congestion Charge avoidance in 6 months (out of maximum possible 120 days) London has a problem with foreign vehicles Dutch Vehicle: BG-SL-3* 46 PCN’s for Congestion Charge avoidance

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Not just parking and congestion Wide use of civil enforcement Imminent introduction of the Low Emission Zone in London London 2012 Other road charging schemes

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12 The scale of the UK problem 3m+ foreign registered vehicles enter the UK each year 142,000 foreign registered vehicles in the UK at any point In London foreign registered vehicles represent 3% of all traffic In SE & major cities FRV’s are up to 2% of traffic Cars make up 87% of the foreign registered vehicle stock HGV’s make up 9% of the foreign registered vehicle stock 1 coach in 15 is an FRV (1300 at any one time on UK roads

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Most FRV’s do comply with rules, but: FRV’s twice as likely to fail to pay congestion charge. Hard core of frequent offenders abuse parking and bus lane rules 11% of the FRV’s (15,000 vehicles) remain in UK beyond the 6 months deadline for DVLA re-registration. FRVs are 30% more likely to be involved in an accident than a UK registered vehicle 60% of HGV’s that fail VOSA roadside test for mechanical faults are FRVs FRVs are more likely to be caught on camera speeding UK FRV ‘Behaviour’

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14 3,536 vehicles - number of foreign registered vehicles recorded speeding on camera in North Wales constabulary region in 2007/08 Speeding FRVs in North Wales If North Wales experience is mirrored across UK: 84,000 FRV speeding offences are not prosecuted each year

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FRVs not just a UK problem Applies to all enforcement where the driver is not stopped. Camera enforcement rendered ineffective Eg: the Bruges experience: 24,000 parking tickets 4,800 from FRV’s 60% of those are French No payment Dublin motorway ring road Low emission zones across Europe

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The SPARKS Objective To enable the enforcement of traffic regulations to be equally effective against all vehicles, irrespective of nationality It’s a question of fairness.

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We bid for EU funding to do a legal study: “ What is the treaty basis for EU to fix the problem?” SUCCESS !!

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The European Commission began to get active too they had a consultation....

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... then they proposed a directive Legal mechanism for access to registration data held by foreign authorities Network infrastructure to provide connectivity Standardised notification of penalties to individuals Scope limited to road safety offences Enforcement through other EU legislation

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Good and bad New obligations to share data New infrastructure to automate it But not addressing the scope we wanted And only “half a directive” – where was the other bit?

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How can you point the EU in the direction you want to go?

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Can you get others to work with you ?

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Our challenge: get MEP’s on side to change the text SUCCESS !!

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And influence the Governments to support the legislation Failure !!

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Where are we now? HALF TIME But the break is nearly over New proposal is being developed Lisbon Treaty has changed things New campaign to run next year

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Lessons for you

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Know what you want to achieve here You have to be patient and determined You have to have money and influence

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Is there EU money to contribute to help you achieve your aims? Research? Key policy initiatives?

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FP7 (Seventh Framework Programme) 2007-2013 €53.2 billion over 7 years - 3% of GDP by 2010 on research Cooperation programme “fosters collaborative research across Europe and other partner countries, according to themes are: health; food, agriculture and fisheries, and biotechnology; information and communications technologies; nanosciences, nanotechnologies, materials and new production technologies; energy; environment (including climate change); transport (including aeronautics); socio-economic sciences and the humanities; space and security”.

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Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows Programme (€4Bn over 7 years) European Refugee Fund: €699m External Borders Fund: €1,820m European Fund for the Integration of Third-country nationals: €835m Return Fund: €676m http://bit.ly/4fRqPj

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Be prepared for the long haul

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Bill Blakemore bill@sparksnet.org Tel. +44 118 9313616 www.sparksnet.org

Summary: Demystifying the EU is a personal account of working with the European Union over the last 9 years, including work on the SPARKS Project

Tags: europe sparks eu commission european parliament

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