The Launch Conference of the S&D Group / FEPS Progressive Economy Initiative takes place on Thursday 7 March in the European Parliament.
You can find more information on the conference, which will focus on Failed Austerity in Europe, by clicking here. Registration is available until 4 March.
If you can’t make it in person, there will be live webstreaming via the same link.
On Tuesday 26 February, Brussels Labour will host the 2012 John Fitzmaurice Memorial Lecture (which unfortunately had to be postponed from last year).
The lecture, which will start at 18:00, will be delivered by Douglas Alexander, Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs.
Please note that the venue - Brussels Press Club Europe, Rue Froissart 95, 1040 Brussels – will be open from 17:30 and the Lecture will start at 18:00, as our speaker will have to leave early.
Information on previous lectures is available here.
On 18 February, FEPS and IPPR will hold a joint event entitled ‘Staying in – Winning the debate to keep Britain in the EU’.
Following David Cameron’s intention to hold a referendum on UK membership of the EU, is a timely debate on Britain’s future in Europe.
Speakers include Emma Reynolds MP (Shadow Europe Minister), Jo Leinen MEP (President of the European Movement), Giles Merritt (Secretary General of Friends of Europe) and Will Straw (Associate Director at IPPR and author of the report‘Staying in’).
The event will be chaired by Ernst Stetter (Secretary General of FEPS) with concluding remarks by Massimo D’Alema (President of FEPS and former Prime Minister of Italy).
Date & Time: 18 February , 17:00-19:00
Venue: FEPS office, rue Montoyer 40, 1000 Brussels
Registration: email FEPS events
More information: please contact Charlotte Billingham at FEPS
On Monday 28 January, Hannes Swoboda, President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament will be present at an event with Brussels branches of progressive and socialist parties in Europe.
The event, which is held in support of the Partito Democratico campaign for the Italian elections on 24-25 February, will be held at Mediterraneo, Rue de Trèves, 40, 1050 Ixelles. It begins at 19:00.
For more information click here (link to Facebook)
Our first meeting of 2013 takes place next week:
Wednesday 23 January 2013 at 20:00
Italian PD campaign headquarters, ‘Socialists House of Europe’, Rue Major Dubreucq 40, 1040 Ixelles (just off Place de Londres)
ETUC: the voice of European workers at 40
Judith Kirton-Darling, Confederal Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)
Future events include:
Tuesday 26 February 2013 at 18:00
Brussels Press Club Europe, Rue Froissart 95, 1040 Brussels
2012 John Fitzmaurice Memorial Lecture*
Guest speaker invited
Please note that the venue will be open from 17:30 and the Lecture will start at 18:00, as our invited speaker will have to leave early
Tuesday 5 March 2013
Sister Parties event
Wednesday 20 March 2013
Brussels Labour Annual General Meeting
This ‘Tribune’ article was written for Notre Europe – Jacques Delors Institute.
In Britain when a family decides not to have a party to mark some calendar event it is usually said, ‘We’re having a quiet New Year’ or ‘I’m having a quiet birthday.’ The celebration of Britain’s fortieth anniversary of its membership of the European Community will be a particularly muted affair.
Any boisterous carousing is more likely to come from the other side. Britain’s dedicated anti-Europeans will congratulate themselves on the UK’s progressive disengagement from the European project; the ‘veto’ of the Fiscal Pact; the negative position on the EU budget voted in the House of Commons (thanks in part to an act of crass opportunism by Labour MPs); growing public support for a referendum; the inroads now being made by UKIP in national as well as European elections, the toil in Whitehall drawing up an inventory of competences to be repatriated to Britain, and the first opinion polls showing a strong majority for outright withdrawal. All the while the daily drip feed of anti-European bile from most of the media continues.
There are also worrying but understandable signs that the rising optimism of the anti-Europeans is mirrored by the frustration and annoyance of the UK’s friends and partners which begin to resemble the World War I recruiting song, “We don’t want to lose you but we think you ought to go”.
As the UK government tries to appease anti-Europeans at home through a policy of surly non-cooperation it alienates even members of what used to be an almost automatic support group of countries from Northern and Eastern Europe. Patience with Britain is being exhausted, and resistance to any future demands for special treatment growing.
Read the rest of the article by downloading the PDF here.
Inauguration of the new headquarters of the Italian Partito Democratico de Bruxelles
You are invited to join this event on Friday 23 November at 19:00 at Rue Major Dubreucq 40 (on the corner of Place de Londres, Ixelles). Please contact Pietro Emili for more information.
The next meeting of Brussels Labour will be the Christmas Social, which will take place on Wednesday 5 December from 19:30. The Social is kindly hosted by David Earnshaw & Jo Wood and will take place at Square Ambiorix 6, 1000 Brussels. All Brussels Labour members and friends are welcome – and please bring a bottle!
Labour Movement for Europe events
The LME has an ongoing series of events in the UK. The latest events are listed here.
Brussels Labour, Labour International, and anyone with an interest in European politics came away revitalised and optimistic about Labour’s commitment to internationalism, and its prospects for the 2014 European elections. The European events themselves were lively, well attended, and set out the pro-European case very well.
Brussels Labour’s fringe, co-hosted with the Labour Movement for Europe, was a case in point. Over 150 of the party faithful battled across Manchester through thirst-quenching rain on Sunday lunchtime to hear a well-informed debate “Europe – moving beyond austerity onto plan B.” It was a particular pleasure to see former Brussels Labour Treasurer, Emma Reynolds MP, now Shadow Minister for Europe, speaking against the backdrop of our very own Brussels Labour banner.
Brussels Labour’s Honorary President Neill Kinnock chaired the event, and was as surprised as anyone that the first intervention from the floor was from Tim Montgomerie of the influential ConservativeHome website. I suppose he would be hard-pressed now to find 150 pro-Europeans in the whole Conservative party, never mind at one of their fringe events.
At the EPLP reception, the star turn was supposed to be Eddie Izzard, and I imagine that many of the 900 people crowding the room were there for him and Ed Miliband. But the biggest cheer of the evening was for S&D Group Leader Hannes Swoboda MEP, when he said “we need a strong Labour, in a strong Britain, in a strong Europe.”
It was great to see Axelle Lemaire as one of the speakers at the Labour International and EPLP breakfast fringe , where again it was standing room only. Axelle represents overseas voters in the French parliament, and many of us would like the UK to give us similar representation.
One theme that came across from all European events want that the UK is just about the only country which sees the EU not in terms of whether it should move left or right (and move on from Camerkozy austerity) but only whether we should be in or out. Glenis Willmott MEP’s plenary speech argued cogently for the Labour to set out a progressive vision for Europe, in particular with initiatives such as the Youth Jobs Guarantee, and although Ed Miliband’s speech as leader was light on detail, he gave a clear commitment to engagement in Europe and internationalism.