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Foreign Policy Centre

Ideas for a fairer world

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> Europe and the people: Examining the EU's democratic legitimacy- London Conference

Date: Wednesday October 26th 2016

Time: 2.30pm-7.30pm

Venue: Europe House, 32 Smith Square, London, SW1P 3EU

Speakers include:

  • Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP, former Shadow Foreign Secretary, Labour
  • Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP, former Attorney General, Conservative
  • Douglas Carswell MP, UKIP
  • Emma Reynolds MP, Labour
  • Stephen Gethins MP, Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Europe)
  • Baroness Smith of Newnham, Director of the European Centre, Cambridge University and Liberal Democrat Peer
  • Lord Liddle, Chair of Policy Network and Labour Peer
  • Professor Vernon Bogdanor, Research Professor at the Institute for Contemporary British History, Kings College London
  • Stephen Booth, Co-Director, Open Europe
  • Dr Marina Prentoulis, Senior Lecturer in Media and Politics, UEA
  • Marie Le Conte, Buzzfeed
  • Oli Henman, Head of International Networks, Civicus
  • Further speakers to be announced shortly

In the wake of the British vote to leave the EU, this conference will examine concerns across Europe around the democratic legitimacy of EU institutions and the European project as a whole. It will look at how the debate about EU democratic legitimacy across member states fit within the context of a crisis of trust in institutions at both national and international levels in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis.

The conference will explore the mechanisms through which EU institutions have sought to gain democratic legitimacy, comparing and contrasting with other national and international organisations. The conference will look to explore the potential democratic basis for a future UK-EU relationship post-Brexit, examining the emerging UK Government and EU thinking. The conference will explore the findings of the recent FPC publication Europe and the people: Examining the EU's democratic legitimacy that assessed the major challenges the EU faces and set out ideas for potential democratic and organisational reform.

This conference series is kindly supported by the European Commission Representation in the UK Call for Proposals for civil society organisations 2015-16. The event is independently organised by the FPC and the wide range of views on the matters under discussion are those of the speakers alone.

Please RSVP to events@fpc.org.uk providing your name and any affiliation.

Download Europe and the People: London conference flyer (300 kilobyte PDF)


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> Europe and the people: Examining the EU's democratic legitimacy- Leeds Conference

Date: Friday 25th November 2016

Time: 3.00pm-7.00pm (followed by drinks)

Venue: University of Leeds

Speakers include:

  • Nigel Adams MP, Conservative
  • Richard Corbett MEP, Labour
  • Dr Victoria Honeyman, Lecturer, University of Leeds
  • Dr Jim Buller, Senior Lecturer, University of York
  • Dr Matthew Wood, Lecturer, University of Sheffield
  • Dr Mette Wiggen, Lecturer, University of Leeds
  • Further speakers to be announced shortly

In the wake of the British vote to leave the EU, this conference will examine concerns across Europe around the democratic legitimacy of EU institutions and the European project as a whole. It will look at how the debate about EU democratic legitimacy across member states fit within the context of a crisis of trust in institutions at both national and international levels in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis.

The conference will explore the mechanisms through which EU institutions have sought to gain democratic legitimacy, comparing and contrasting with other national and international organisations. The conference will look to explore the potential democratic basis for a future UK-EU relationship post-Brexit, examining the emerging UK Government and EU thinking. The conference will explore the findings of the recent FPC publication Europe and the people: Examining the EU's democratic legitimacy that assessed the major challenges the EU faces and set out ideas for potential democratic and organisational reform.

This conference series is supported by the European Commission Representation in the UK Call for Proposals for civil society organisations 2015-16, though the event is independently organised by the FPC and will contain a wide range of views on the matters under discussion.

Please RSVP to events@fpc.org.uk providing your name and any affiliation.


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> No shelter: the harassment of activists abroad by intelligence services from the former Soviet Union

Date: Tuesday November 22nd 2016

Time: 6.00pm-7.30pm

Venue: Thatcher Room, Portcullis House, Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London

Speakers:

  • Chris Bryant MP
  • Dr John Heathershaw, Associate Professor in International Relations, University of Exeter
  • Adam Hug, Policy Director, Foreign Policy Centre
  • Further speakers tbc

Chair: TBC

This seminar will examine the experiences of a wide range of civil society activists, opposition politicians, religious leaders and others who have had to leave their former Soviet country of origin due to the risk of persecution at home, but who are unable to escape the pressures of their country's security services, even in exile. It will discuss the experiences of activists being monitored, followed, harassed, attacked, kidnapped or killed across the former Soviet Union and beyond.

The seminar will analyse CIS security service cooperation, when the intelligence service of the country where an activist is seeking shelter either formally collaborates with or turns a blind eye to the activities of the intelligence services of the activist's home country in tracking, harassing, attacking or kidnapping them. There will be a particular focus on the activities of the security services of Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, against whom there are strong allegations of involvement in a number of murders, attacks, kidnappings and threats against activists and opponents outside their borders. It will also look at the countries where activists in exile seem to be most at risk of harassment, noting in particular the situations in Russia and Turkey.

The No Shelter seminar will explore issues around the monitoring of activists' emails, phone calls and other forms communication by intelligence services and the practical challenges human rights defenders and others face in keeping their information secure from prying eyes. It may also examine the use of malware and other attacks on activists' emails, websites and bank accounts.

The seminar will also debate the impact of the United States 'Spectrum' surveillance system and the current UK debate about the Investigatory Powers Bill on the narratives used by authoritarian regimes in their own surveillance of opposition figures and human rights activists. The seminar may also look at the role played by Western companies in exporting technology and consultancy services that help develop the surveillance systems of authoritarian regimes, or that can be used for torture and ill-treatment. It may also explore the extent to which Western intelligence cooperates with intelligence agencies from the former Soviet Union involved in such practices.

Please RSVP to events@fpc.org.uk providing your name and any affiliation.


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> Investing in women's economic resilience & social wellbeing: Rethinking the role of private sector development in Africa

Nestle logo

supported by Nestlé

Part of the 'Africa Rising? Building Africa's Productive Capacity for Inclusive Growth' series

This series of roundtable discussions - supported by Nestlé - are taking place at a time when global development priorities are being reshaped and redefined by the 17 recently adopted UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Change agreement (COP21). COP21 aims to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5°C (above pre-industrial levels) however, has yet to provide the commitments needed to achieve this aspiration. In addition, the UN Commission on the Status of Women will mark its 60th anniversary (CSW60) in 2016. Its priority focus will be women's empowerment and sustainable development. The level of global inequality and insecurity disproportionately affecting women and girls continues to be compounded by an unprecedented global economic crisis, on-going austerity and mounting uncertainty. These conditions present very real challenges for public spending dedicated to sustainable development. As such, understanding the development transformation role played by business and enterprise has become increasingly important.

Read more…