Speech of Arlene McCarthy_

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Speech of Arlene McCarthy_ Powered By Docstoc
                                                       Brussels, 1 February 2007-02-01

               Acceptance Speech by Mrs Arlene McCarthy
                          on her re-election as
                     Chair of the IMCO committee.

                            Brussels, 31 January 2007

I am just going to say a couple of words, because I really do want to thank you for
your support. If I am looking a little bit red-eyed, it is because I have flu, not because
I am overcome by emotion and joy at being re-elected as your Chair.

I do, though, want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to continue to chair the
Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee. For me, and for my Group, it
has been a real privilege to chair this Committee in the last year. I have immensely
enjoyed working with the very high calibre of Members who serve on this Committee,
who always produce, in my view, a very high standard of work and reports. It is a real
credit to the Parliament and to the work of this committee. Of course with the support
of our excellent Secretariat, we are going to continue with my new Vice-Presidents -
of course Ms Roithovà is still with us - to put this Committee's work in the centre of
the European political and economic debate.

As you are aware, we have the forthcoming Single Market Review, a critical piece of
work for this committee. We have new consumer protection laws coming up in the
review of the acquis. I think, certainly, that this Committee deals with the issues that
matter to our citizens back home. If you look at the issues that we are going to be
dealing with, whether it is time-share, package travel, unfair commercial practices, the
Consumer Credit directive - because Mr Lechner is in my sights here - then we are, I
think, trying to deliver better legislation. We are very determined to provide our
citizens and businesses with the right kind of framework to access and benefit from
the single market, safe for the knowledge that they have redress if something goes
wrong and that they have rights wherever they work, travel or live in Europe. We
need to continue in our objectives to deliver that.

One area I am very excited about is that we are going to be reaching out, in our
Hearing with young consumers, to young people, and looking at the future citizens of
Europe as well. I think that is very important in this Committee.

Colleagues, we should not forget that we, in this Committee, have raised the issues
that matter to people. It was us, it was this Committee, that actually raised the issue of
high mobile phone roaming charges. It was our hearing that raised that issue for
citizens and consumers. It was also on an issue of importance, on the cat and dog fur
trade, that we persuaded the Commission to come forward, on behalf, again, of our
citizens, who are very active in this area, with draft legislation.

We can also say with pride that we are a Committee that is responsive to our citizens'
and consumers' demands and concerns.

We this committee are in forefront in of taking our responsibilities seriously in
scrutinising the implementation of legislation to make sure that it is, in fact, delivering
for citizens.

I want to thank you for the support and I hope that, together, we can live up to, or
continue to live up to, the demands and expectations of our citizens.