Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Archive for July 18th, 2007

The Future of Europe

Posted by jonathanfryer on Wednesday, 18th July, 2007

peter-luff.jpgI was unable to get to the ‘Future of Britain’ project seminar at the LSE this afternoon, as I was campaigning in the Ealing Southall by-election. But I did attend the ‘Future of Europe’ presentation by Peter Luff at the European Parliament’s London office at lunchtime, following the AGM of the London Europe Society. Peter is in the unusual position of being Chairman of an organisation — the European Movement — of which he used to be Director. In between, the European Movement went through some dark days, not least because a lot of its thunder — and potential funding — was ‘stolen’ by the now defunct Britain in Europe, at whose launch both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were both prominent, before dropping it like a hot potato.

Peter argued that there have been great achievements in four areas of life and policy thanks to the European Union (though these are too often taken for granted): peace, jobs, justice and pleasure. And he is now inclined to add a fifth: security. What is clear to all but the most blinkered of europhobes, moreover, is that there are major areas of political action which quite simply have to be taken regionally if it is going to have any effect. Think migration, energy, the environment and nuclear proliferation, for starters.

‘Europe must be central to our thinking,’ he maintained. ‘Nationalism does not make sense in the modern world.’ Amen to that.


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