I happened to be doing some research into the composition of the European Parliament’s Committees and came across the somewhat strange composition of the Development Committee (DEVE). It turns out that there are only 2 UK MEPs that are full members of the committee – Glenys Kinnock (PES / Labour) and Nirj Deva (EPP-ED / Conservative). I found this quite astounding.
The UK is one of the leading countries in the UK on issues of development aid – targeting of aid to the poorest countries, efforts during the G8 Presidency etc., and yet neither the Lib Dems not UKIP can manage to muster up a single MEP to take decisions on the issue, and the Tories can muster only one (they have 2 members of a number of Committees). OK, the work of the Committee might be quite technical, but the EU has a reasonable development aid budget and it’s an area you would think the main parties would want to profit from. Or maybe they are just scared – Glenys rules the roost when it comes to EU development aid issues in the UK and perhaps the other parties don’t feel they can rival that?
UPDATE: I’ve also discovered that the UK has no full member of the Women’s Rights & Gender Equality (FEMM) Committee. Shameful.