Tag Archives: euromyth

The Truth about Europe

I had the opportunity to visit the EU Parliament in Brussels last week with a group of PPCs. We were hosted by Sir Graham Watson, former Lib Dem MEP (1994-2014), and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. Our group heard informative talks by the EU Commission’s Director General of Trade, by the Senior Advisor to Renew Europe (former ALDE) and by the Research Director from the European Policy Centre, amongst others.

Representing a constituency which voted Leave in the EU Referendum, I thought it would be useful to post some of the information sources on the workings of the EU. So much of the 2016 Referendum was shrouded in hearsay and untruths, here are the facts.

There is a great resource online, “What the EU does for me” which has information on EU projects in your area, briefings on EU policies, and a large section on how the EU affects various aspects of daily life. This website is a great place to start.

An issue which came up several times in our discussions was how to combat fake news. There are several websites which tackle the myriad untruths:

And here is a download of the June 2019 report on the EU’s action to fight fake news.

The ‘EU Citizenship Portal’ contains information about people’s rights and how to get involved in EU policy making. The ‘Have Your Say’ portal on the Europa website is for citizens and stakeholders to send their concerns and interests directly to policy-makers and decision makers.

European Citizens’ Initiatives (petitions) allow citizens to initiate legislation themselves, such as was the case with the Right2Water citizens’ initiative. The European Commission responds to all citizen correspondence it receives, in the language of the citizen contacting them.

We all know that in campaigning, emotional appeal works better than facts and figures. So for stories on how the EU makes a difference in people’s lives, check out the #EUandME campaign which includes short films highlighting European values and experiences.

Posted in Europe / International | Also tagged , , , , and | 47 Comments

EU birth certificates myth swallowed whole by the anti-European press

It may be the silly season, but the latest Euromyth to ruffle right-wing feathers takes silliness to a whole new level. The Express, Mail, Sun and Telegraph unanimously announced at the weekend that Brussels wants to remove the royal crest from British birth certificates and replace it with the hated EU flag. The Mail declared Brits would be “stamped with the EU flag from the cradle to the grave” while the Sun led with the rather lame “B-EU-rths ‘n deaths”.

They gave generous space to Eric Pickles, who fumed:

This imposed Euro-law is part of an

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 20 Comments

Euro 2014 – a cause to fight for, not to hide from

So, we’ve selected our candidates for Europe in England and Scotland, and a pretty good bunch they are too – people who are committed to the concept of a Europe of twenty-seven (soon to be twenty-eight) nations pooling some sovereignty for a greater good. So far, so good. But what are they going to do for the next eighteen months?

Past experience says, “not much to do with Europe”. Yes, they’ll be campaigning to a lesser or greater extent, but what will they be

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged | 50 Comments

Opinion: A storm in a jam jar – my top 5 Euromyths

Those of us familiar with the EU are used to its complicated processes, obscure acronyms and often unfathomable procedures. We sometimes forget that it is still a hybrid project that no-one has ever tried before: a multinational, multilingual experiment in international cooperation where countries decide by common accord to pool decision-making in certain areas and under certain conditions for their own mutual benefit.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 30 Comments

The Independent View: How do you know what to say about Europe?

Rightly or wrongly, the Liberal Democrats are as seen as the most pro-European of the three main political parties. The UK debate on the European Union is often framed in terms of “Europhiles v Eurosceptics”. However, it’s my experience, after 2 and a half years as the European Commission’s head of media in the UK, that most people don’t really have much of an opinion either way. They care about things that affect them personally, and probably don’t see the EU very present in their daily lives. European debates, either in the UK or at EU level, have a tendency …

Posted in Europe / International, Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged | 11 Comments
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