‘It’s the people, stupid!’ – Martin Westlake at the John Fitzmaurice memorial lecture

On Monday 29 November, Martin Westlake, Secretary-General of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), delivered the seventh annual John Fitzmaurice memorial lecture, with the title ‘It’s the people, stupid!’.

A full summary of the event will appear shortly in the Germinal section of the Brussels Labour website and in the next print edition of Germinal.

In the meantime, you can read the text of the speech in the John Fitzmaurice memorial lecture section of the website, where you can find out more about the lecture.

Brussels Labour would like to thank Martin for agreeing to deliver the lecture, and also for his very generous contribution of a banner for use at future lectures (see photos below).

A selection of photos from the event is below – for more photos, visit our Flickr page.

European political parties – the missing link

Julian Priestley, former General Secretary of the European Parliament and a good friend of Brussels Labour, has recently published a paper for the Notre Europe foundation (set up by Jacques Delors) which he has agreed to let us put online (click here to read the paper).

Titled ‘European political parties: the missing link’, its central thesis is that Europe’s political parties are failing to make the links between the institutions and the citizen. As a result they bear some of the responsibility for the anti-EU sentiments present in many member states, and these sentiments in turn hinder the development of the parties. The importance of their role in recent EU-level decisions on key posts served only to highlight the untransparent way in which they reached their positions, resulting, as Julian puts it, “in a failure to add any discernible democratic value to the process”. Continue reading European political parties – the missing link