Britain’s prosperity depends on trade with Europe, whatever Ukip may say

Nigel Farage

It is high time Britain left the ailing EU and its burdensome regulations and embraced trade with fast-growing emerging economies. That was the argument put forward by Nigel Farage at his keynote speech this morning at the Ukip conference. It’s an argument that also chimes with a growing body of opinion about the EU’s diminishing importance for British trade, with recent trading statistics showing that Britain’s non-EU exports have risen to their highest levels since records began in 1998 while exports to the beleaguered eurozone continue to fall. However, the idea that Britain’s economic prospects would actually improve were it to leave the EU is deeply misguided. Continue reading

Spread the word about this EU push for citizen participation

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Most people probably won’t have even heard of the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), introduced on the 1st April last week. Hailed as the first transnational instrument of participatory democracy in world history, it allows members of the public to call for new European laws on issues of their choice, provided they have a million supporting signatures from at least seven member states. But despite its alleged aim of bringing the EU closer to its citizens, it hasn’t aroused much interest outside of the so-called ‘Brussels Bubble’. Instead, it seems to have primarily got the attention of lobbyists eager to use it to their advantage. If the initiative is to succeed in actually giving a voice to everyday citizens rather than special interest groups, it is crucial that more people are made aware of it and how they can become involved. Continue reading

Leader of the 1968 Student Revolt and radical Green MEP Daniel Cohn-Bendit on his idea of Europe

MEP Daniel Cohn-Bendit, prominent leader of the student revolts which erupted throughout Europe in 1968, came to Kings College London on 28th February to give a talk on where the EU should be headed in these equally turbulent times. Originally nicknamed ‘Danny the Red’ for his outspoken anarchist views, Cohn-Bendit became known as ‘Danny the Green’ when he joined the environmentalist movement during the 1980s. He is now co-president of the European Greens–European Free Alliance in the European Parliament, and has become known for his fiery wit, idealism and willingness to challenge the status quo. Continue reading

Jack Straw on Britain, Europe and the EU’s “existential crisis”

Jack Straw came to UCL last month and gave an inaugural lecture on Britain and Europe, after having been named Visiting Professor in Public Policy. Throughout his 33 year career the Labour MP has had experience in nearly every senior cabinet position, having served as Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Lord Chancellor and Leader of the House of Commons. Continue reading

MEP Diana Wallis Interview: Improving Tranparency and Participation in the EU

Many in the UK and across Europe tend to view the EU as an elitist and alien bureaucracy, out of touch with the everyday needs of its citizens. This is particularly significant at a time when there is widespread alarm over the Euro crisis coupled with growing separatist yearnings  in the UK. So how is the EU responding to such charges? Can the EU become more democratic, more transparent, and increase the participation of its citizens in the policymaking process? Eureka spoke with two high-ranking officials of the European Parliament, Diana Wallis and Michael Shackleton, to find out their thoughts on the matter Continue reading

Despite the Euro crisis-Britain still needs Europe

When the Euro crisis first began to unfold back in 2010 it was greeted by many in the U.K.with a certain sense of schadenfreude. There was an air of smug satisfaction that we had decided not to join the single currency, and many argued that those countries that had joined should deal with their own mess and leave Britain to focus on its own painful economic recovery Continue reading

Anti-capitalist protests: a pointless trend or the foundations of an alternative system?

The demonstrators occupying St Paul’s, as well as similar protesters in Wall Street and throughout the world, have seemed to capture the headlines for all the wrong reasons. First they were branded as hypocrites for consuming capitalist goods, as if owning a mobile phone or buying a coffee from Starbucks automatically disqualified them from any criticism of the current economic system. The purchase of one flavoured latte, so the argument went, clearly amounts to a complete endorsement of unbridled capitalism, therefore undermining any argument for a fairer and better regulated global economy. The implication is that anyone concerned about the excesses of the free market should strip to a loincloth and revert to a barter economy if they want their views to be taken seriously Continue reading