Wednesday 11 March 2009

An official British perspective on Europe?

David Miliband, British Foreign Secretary, has given a speech on European Reform at the LSE. (Click here). There seems to be a few ideas there, along with a desire for reform (and note the use of climate and energy security policy to slip in an attack on the CAP), but is Britain actively promoting these policies or engaging with the other member states to forge a way forward? It doesn't seem as if any country is really pushing imaginative schemes, to judge from the bland outcome of the recent summits.

And the Commission is hardly taking a lead either.

I like the defence of the single market and the Community institutions/legal system:

"...the best defence from encroaching protectionism is an effective European Commission. You cannot be in favour of the single market, but against the very institutions that preserve the rules of the game. This is the fundamental contradiction at the heart of the eurosceptic position."

I've ranted on about it myself. Why can't there be a spirited defence of Community values for a wider audience? Reform isn't enough - the public should be told why the system must be defended and reformed.


  1. Eurocentric,

    Good of you to pick up David Miliband's speech. I had noticed his active blogging, including on European themes, and started thinking about posting on this, relieved I might finally find something positive to say about a high-ranking UK politician.

    Now I am at least going to read his speech.

  2. It is an interesting read, in that I rarely get to hear of what Britain would like to see Europe doing, etc. beyond extreme calls for a reversion to a free trade area (though reversion is the wrong word, since it was never one in the first place). It's a pity that we don't get to see what policy discussions there are in Britain - which are necessary for the public to know what the reasons behind Britain's position (which is usually unseen and ambiguous) is.