Parliamentary Activities

The European Parliament, unlike Westminster, owns its own Agenda and has a democratic structure that relates to the numbers of MEPs in the various different political groups. Each group is given committee places and responsibilities according to its size. Accordingly each MEP, assuming they wish to, can serve on Parliament's committees and delegations. The notion of 'backbench' members does not exist in the same way as it does at Westminster.

John's roles in the Parliament were:

Committees and Delegations

Committee on Budgets (BUDG)

The committee is responsible for the Parliament side of the Budgetary Legislative Procedure. This process sets the European Union Budget each year within the context of a seven year agreement between the Member States known as the Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF). The committee helps develop the Parliament's view of the MFF and conducts the mid-term review. Reports are brought to the Budgets Committee on all elements of EU expenditure and the legislative process that has budgetary implications including long term investment policy and the European banking system. Budgets Committee is one of the few Parliament bodies that takes an overview of all the activities of the Union. John was a voting member of BUDG throughout his mandates.

Committee on Internal Market & Consumer Protection (IMCO)

One of the key legislative committees of the European Parliament, IMCO is responsible for the coordination of national legislation in the sphere of the internal market and for the customs union.  In this respect IMCO develops EU statutes around: the free movement of goods including the harmonisation of technical standards; the right of establishment; and freedom to provide services except in the financial and postal sectors. The committee looks at the functioning of the Single Market, including measures aimed at the identification and removal of potential obstacles to the implementation of the Single Market, including the Digital Single Market; the promotion and protection of the economic interests of consumers, except for public health and food safety issues; and policy and legislation regarding the enforcement of Single Market rules and consumer rights.

Committee on Regional Development (REGI)

Regional development has been a central activity of the European Union since the UK joined the EEC in 1973. The establishment of the cohesion funds and European Social Fund saw the EU developing investment policy aimed at accelerating the economic development of the poorer regions. Improving the cohesion of the Union has been an important priority ever since and took on new significance after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the accession of the former Warsaw Pact states. The Regional Development Committee oversees Cohesion Policy and the accompanying legislation required to implement the Union's programmes.

Committee on Budgetary Control (CONT)

The committee is responsible for the control of the implementation of the budget of the EU and of the European Development Fund. The Committee also oversees the closure, presenting and auditing of the accounts and balance sheets of the EU, the control of the financial activities of the European Investment Bank. Budgetary Control (CONT) monitors the cost-effectiveness of the various forms of EU financing in the implementation of the Union’s policies, relations with the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), consideration of fraud and irregularities in the implementation of the budget of the Union and various other matters concerning the implementation of the financial regulation.

Delegation to the Countries of South Asia

John served as first Vice-Chair of the Delegation. This standing body of the European Parliament covers inter-parliamentary relations with Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. I have had the privilege of being Chair of this delegation since 2009. Relations with these countries, while still developing, are based on different legal grounds, reflecting diverse patterns of intensity in commercial exchanges, investment flows, development cooperation, technical assistance, or cultural links. Cooperation Agreements exist with Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. The agreement with Pakistan was substantially updated in 2019.

Delegation to Palestine

The Delegation for relations with Palestine is concerned with developments in the Middle East Peace Process and the European Union's policy and actions concerning the establishment of the two state-solution. The European Parliament has repeatedly expressed its strong support for the two-state solution, with the State of Israel and an independent, sovereign, free, contiguous and viable Palestinian State with living side-by-side in peace. Delegation Members assess the situation in Palestine regularly, meeting with Palestinian authorities, our Palestinian Legislative Council counterparts, and political and community leaders as well as NGOs. The delegation scrutinises the use of EU funds for Palestine, including to the UNRWA, and monitors EU diplomatic policy and legal positions.

Delegation to the CARIFORUM Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC)

The states that comprise CARIFORUM (Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago) have a trade and economic partnership agreement (EPA) with the European Union. The CARIFORUM JPC debates the progress of the EPA and makes recommendations on future developments as well as overseeing the development of friendly relations between the region and the EU.

Delegation to the Republic of North Macedonia (JPC)

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia aspires to join the European Union at some point in the future. A barrier to progress toward accession has been the dispute with neighbouring Greece over the name of the country. The Prespes Agreement of June 2018 set out a path toward the resolution of the dispute and the approval of the changes to the constitution of FRY Macedonia that followed open the door to NATO and EU membership. John participated fully in the work of the delegation as a substitute member during the changes to implement the Prespes Agreement.

Rapporteur and Shadow responsibilities


  • General Budget of the European Union 2019
  • Standing Rapporteur Budget Committee - EU Space Programme and Fusion Research
  • Budget Legislative Opinion - EU Space Programme 2021-27
  • Budget Legislative Opinion - Creative Europe Programme 2021-27
  • Regional Development Legislative Opinion - Amending the TEN-T legislation in the light of Brexit

Shadow Rapporteur (S&D Group)

  • Internal Market & Consumer Protection Opinion on General Budget of EU 2020
  • Regional Development Legislative Opinion on the European Solidarity Corp 2021-27
  • Budget Legislative Opinion - Erasmus+, education, training, youth and sport 2021-27
  • Budget Legislative Opinion - Establishing Horizon Europe 2021-27
  • Budget Legislative Opinion - Horizon Europe Regulation 2021-27
  • Budget Opinion - Territorial cohesion in the EU, 7th Commission Report
  • Budget Opinion - EU external financing instruments mid term review and post 2020 recommendations

Membership on European Parliament Intergroups

  • SMEs
  • Creative Industries
  • Friends of Kashmir