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February 18, 2006

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Britain’s Voice in Europe: Time For Change

Denis MacShane MP

Once again the European question is being asked. What is Europe for? Why are the British so doggedly Eurosceptic? Is the EU a response to 20th century problems no longer really needed in the new era of globalisation? Is there such a thing as a European identity?

The purpose of this pamphlet will be to argue that finding answers to these essentialist questions about Europe provide fascinating topics for political scientists, columnists, and speech- or article-writers for ministers but they are not the right questions. Instead the author takes it as a given that the EU is not going to disappear and that Britain will not quit the EU in any foreseeable future.

This pamphlet will seek to answer a question that our scratchy, name-calling EU debate in Britain fails to ask: how can Britain maximise its influence in Europe and what new mechanisms or policies are needed to achieve greater democratic oversight of the decisions taken in our name by the European Union.

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