The European Election – Fighting an Integrated Campaign

European Union flagIn a speech earlier this month Nick Clegg detailed just how crucial the European Union is for prospects of a stronger economy and a fairer society here in Britain (you can read the full text of his speech here).

The Liberal Democrats’ success in the European Election is thus hugely important in making sure the EU lives up to its potential in contributing to that combination of increased economic strength and greater social fairness that we are uniquely in a position to deliver. The election is also significant from a political perspective, with the party’s eventual performance being used as a yardstick for our relative success or decline by pundits and opponents alike.

It is thus very important that we run a truly integrated campaign – one that runs in tandem with our local campaigns and seeks not to talk about work in Brussels in the abstract, but about issues – and ones that people care about. I am therefore very keen to help give local activists the resources to fight the European Election in a way fully integrated with our local Council campaigning.

One very simple thing I can do is point the way to some useful tools to help Councillors, candidates, and activists do this. There are several very useful electronic resources which are fairly easy to tap into which I would therefore like to recommend. These are:

  • EuropeWatch – a daily news briefing courtesy of British Influence on all the major stories including a round-up of the UK and continental press, leading commentary from European affairs specialists, and a daily infographic with interesting facts on the UK-EU relationship including useful economic figures.
  • Sarah Ludford’s e-newsletter – a weekly message direct from our hardworking Lib Dem MEP for London on what she has been up to, complete with commentary on any major developments in Europe or Westminster.
  • The UK Lib Dem MEPs blog where press releases from our delegation in Brussels are published along with other useful blog posts.
  • MEP and Euro Candidate Twitter Feeds –we each tend to tweet interesting facts, stories, and opinions relevant to the Euro campaign and Mark Pack has put together a helpful list of London Euro Candidate twitter feeds here.
  • And lastly, my own Facebook campaign page where I post up-to-date news, articles, and developments relevant to the campaign on a daily basis.

All my fellow London European candidates and I have already been busily working away linking up with local campaign efforts across our Region and we are keen to do our utmost to not only get as many Liberal Democrat Councillors elected next year but also see our hardworking Lib Dem MEP Sarah Ludford re-elected to represent London. I also know that MEPs and candidates across the rest of the country are likewise gearing up for a similar battle. I hope that these two articles have perhaps been useful in helping to give you a few more tools to join in this fight.

* Matt J. McLaren stood as an MEP candidate for London in May’s European Election and was recently appointed Parliamentary Spokesperson for Enfield North. Matt maintains an online blog here.

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This entry was posted in Europe / International.
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One Comment

  • Semantic quibble: I think it is best to avoid words like “delegation” when describing groups of MEPs. We don’t usually describe the Lib Dem group of MPs in the UK HoC as a “delegation”, even though party groups in the HoC act more like delegations than do European Parliamentary party groups (as party whipping is much weaker in the latter). The word implies that the members are pledged to vote in a particular way. Government representatives in the European Council are delegates: they vote as they are told to by the government who sends them. MEPs are not: they have individual mandates (even if elected in a list system) so they can vote and otherwise act as they see fit.
    I find it somewhat regrettable that the local and Euro elections are to be fought on the same day, as they are such different things. Local elections tend to be about potholes and local amenities, not ideology. Euro elections should be about different ideological visions of how the EU should look, and representing constituents in the European Parliament: the relevant issues are totally different from those faced by Councillors.

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