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Foreign Policy Centre

Ideas for a fairer world


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 and Chair of the Exiting the EU Select Committee
  • 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
  • Dr Marina Prentoulis, Senior Lecturer in Media and Politics, UEA
  • Marie Le Conte, Buzzfeed
  • Oli Henman, Head of International Networks, Civicus
  • Jacqueline Minor, Head of Representation, European Commission Representation in the United Kingdom
  • Stephen Booth, Co-Director, Open Europe
  • Karin Christiansen, Chair of Open Knowledge
  • John Peet, Political and Brexit Editor, The Economist
  • Adam Hug, Policy Director, Foreign Policy Centre

The After Brexit: Can we build a new democratic foundation for UK-EU relations? panel is available to watch on Youtube. Hilary Benn's keynote speech is available to watch on Facebook.

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.

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