Author Archives: Paul Haydon

MEPs call for review of funding for European far-right

Last year, for the first time, the far-right Alliance of European National Movements (AENM) organised itself into a pan-European bloc, and has therefore recently been allocated almost £400,000 in public funding from the European Parliament. This group includes the BNP, the Front National in France and Jobbik, a far-right political party in Hungary renowned for its racist and anti-semitic views. Of particular concern is the possibility that public money could now end up being used to incite racial hatred.

Under EU regulations, parties must observe fundamental principles such as liberty, democracy and respect for human rights in order to …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 2 Comments

Opinion: Focusing on the size of the EU budget is side-lining the wider issue of what it is spent on

The outcome of the EU budget summit last week was not as bad as it could have been. Cameron did not wield his veto, as he was threatening to just a few days before. And while EU Leaders did not reach a final agreement, progress was made towards reaching a compromise at the next Council meeting in early 2013. Crucially, the UK was able to drum up support for a real-terms freeze amongst like-minded member states such as Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden. This is …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 10 Comments

Opinion: We shouldn’t take peace in Europe for granted

The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the EU on Friday was met with predictable derision from the likes of Nigel Farage, who described it the decision as “baffling,” and leader of the Tory MEPs  Martin Callanan, who said it was “a little late for an April Fools’ Joke.”

Admittedly, the current social unrest across Southern Europe made the award seem a little incongruous, especially coming just days after Angela Merkel’s visit to Greece was met with violent protests in Athens.

Yet in fact, this was …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 18 Comments

Opinion: Britain and the EU-Liberal Democrats need to help reduce the democratic deficit

Following the launch of the Balance of Competences review of EU powers last week, the next major debate within the coalition looks set to be over Britain’s relationship with Europe. Nick Clegg has emphasised that the review should not be used as a way to exploit the eurozone crisis and carve out a special EU deal forBritain. However, many Tory eurosceptics will no doubt view it as a platform to push for a significant repatriation of powers, in the run-up to an eventual referendum on EU …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 36 Comments

Opinion: We need to counter the perception that we are no longer a political force to take seriously

Many of my friends are quite bemused when I say am working for the Liberal Democrats. “They’re a bit of a laughing stock at the moment,” one will say. “They’ll be wiped out at the next election,” another comments. These are not die-hard Labour tribalists or Tory hardliners, who yearn for the end of the Lib Dems and the return to a two-party system. They are just ordinary members of the public, with nothing more than a passing interest in politics.

Posted in Op-eds | 34 Comments

Opinion: European countries need to work together on asylum

The EU plans to reach an agreement over a Common European Asylum System by the end of this year, aiming to strengthen common standards on asylum, establish greater solidarity between member-states, and ensure fair and decent treatment of refugees. Currently countries on the EU’s periphery continue to shoulder the brunt of refugee flows relative to their capacity, burdening the already strained living conditions in immigration reception and detention centres.

Malta provides a case in point. During 2011 Malta received more asylum requests per-capita than any other EU country, with

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Tagged | 4 Comments

Opinion: Crime, transport and the battle for London Mayor

Just six months ago today London was emerging from its third night of rioting, with a semblance of order only just beginning to take hold as a massive police presence descended on the city. The fear in the streets was palpable. We had been given a brief and terrifying glimpse of what sheer anarchy looked like, the rage and shameless opportunism of London’s marginalised youth provoking deep existential questions about what was wrong with our society.

Yet, as the contest for London Mayor begins to build up momentum, Ken and Boris’ campaigns continue to revolve around the same old topic …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 4 Comments
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