Euro-Politics and its Effects on the UK: Why Vote for MEP's?

Wed, 29 Apr 2009 18:45 in Discussion Forums
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Where: Dialogue Society, London

Panellists

  • Amedee Turner QC, Honourary MEP
  • Dr Monica Threlfall, Reader in European Politics at the Institute for the Study of European Transformations
  • Jonathan Fryer, 2nd London List (LibDem)
  • Cllr JP Floru, 4th London List (Cons)

Abstract

On 4th June 2009, British citizens will cast a nationwide vote to elect new Members of the European Parliament (MEP’s) to fill the 72 seats in the European Parliament reserved for the UK. The UK is an important actor in the European Union and its involvement in Euro-politics may arguably be characterized as critical engagement. Considering some of the challenges that the British government has recently faced due to the global credit crunch and the depreciation of the British sterling against the Euro, the UK will strive to preserve the delicate balance between representing the interests of its citizens and working towards fulfilling the interests of 500 million fellow Europeans. How essential and effective will the new 72 MEP’s representing the UK in the next term of the European Parliament be for British citizens? What effect if any will they have on issues that concern UK communities and society at large? How can MEP’s make the elections count and get the electoral to vote? What are the likely consequences of not voting – such as the BNP winning seats? What effect can small faith and/or ethnic communities have on the outcome of the elections? In short, why should we vote for MEP’s? The Dialogue Society will host three distinguished guests on British and European politics, Amedee Turner QC, Jonathan Fryer, and Cllr JP Floru to discuss at length the impact of the upcoming EP elections and to assess the future role of the UK in European politics.

Biography of Amedee Turner QC

Queen’s Counsel, Honorary Member of the European Parliament. Chairman of Civil Liberties and Internal Affairs Committee (Organised Crime, Europol, Immigration and Terrorism). Rapporteur of 40 European Parliament Reports. Chief Whip European Democratic Group. Member of Advisory Council of Anglican Observer to the United Nations 2002-2006. Publications- The Law of Trade Secrets 1964,1967, The Law of the European Patent 1979, Manuals for the Macedonian Parliament Democratic Procedures 2002. Muslim Grassroots in the West Discuss Democracy 2007. Speaking engagements on Islam and Democracy in Washington DC, Boston, San Diego, California, Dearborn, and at Harvard, with the religious NGOs at the UN, in New York, Dover Delaware, University of Chicago, Louisville University, London School of Economics, the Grand Committee Room of the Houses of Parliament, Heythrop College London, the Foreign Press Association London, the London Interfaith Centre, and Edinburgh, Bradford, Bristol, Westminster and Cardiff Universities, Istanbul and the House of Lords (the UN Association).

Biography of Dr Monica Threlfall

Monica Threlfall (BA Hons, Oxford; MA Politics, Leeds; PhD Loughborough) joined ISET as Reader in European Politics in 2009 after holding posts as a politics lecturer at Loughborough and South Bank, and as a research fellow at Birkbeck. Her research interests include political representation issues, particularly of women, ethnic minorities and EU free movers, as part of the public concern with political disaffection and ordinary citizens' feelings of lacking representation. She works as a Principal Investigator on the EU FP6-funded IP project Gendered Citizenship in a Multicultural Europe -FEMCIT, which integrates a gendered approach to recognized dimensions of citizenship, such as the political and the economic, with more recent insights on multicultural, bodily/sexual, and intimate citizenship. Moreover, Dr. Threlfall has taught EU social politics for many years and her current work focuses on the social politics of the EU, where she has researched the social dimension of the integration process, particularly the development of social and gender policies over time, the employment strategy, forms of social integration across the member-states, and most recently the regulation and enforcement of social rights in the EU's versus the Council of Europe's regimes.

Biography of Jonathan Fryer

Jonathan Fryer is a writer, lecturer and broadcaster, working mainly for the BBC, Diplomat Magazine, the Guardian and London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). He is the author of a dozen non-fiction books; the next one out is a study of Lawrence of Arabia. In recent years he has focussed particularly on the Middle East and was recently in Turkey, reporting on the local elections.

A Vice-President of Liberal International and a member of the ruling council of the European Liberal party, ELDR, Jonathan was based in Brussels for seven years as a journalist and speaks seven European languages. He was a co-founder of Quaker House, Brussels, which lobbies the EU on ethical matters.

Jonathan very narrowly missed being elected to the European Parliament in 2004 and is once again Number 2 on the Liberal Democrat list for London this time.

Biography of Cllr JP Floru

JP Floru (pronounced John-Paul) was born in Belgium and studied law in Belgium and the UK. He qualified as a solicitor with the law firm Lovells in the City. He now runs two small businesses and is a City of Westminster Councillor. He also runs an annual student seminar, Freedom Week, where UK students are thought the basic principles of the philosphy of freedom. He lists fighting the nanny state as one of his hobbies.

He is fourth on the Conservative List for London for the European elections which means that if the Conservatives win one extra seat in June he will be elected.

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