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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

The 'democratic deficit' and reform of the EU's machinery with Jack Straw

The next event in our series of high-level seminars exploring what the future holds for the European project, and Britain's engagement within it, in light of the ongoing economic and political dislocations at the heart of the European Union.

Tuesday 21 February 2012, 12:30 - 14:00
IPPR, 14 Buckingham Street, London WC2N 6DF

In many countries, including the UK, the European project appears more detached from citizens than ever before, while the crisis in the eurozone is having a negative impact on public opinion in other, generally pro-European member states. At the same time, there is a broader crisis in political representation at the European level with turnouts in European elections down, populist parties of right and left gaining support in European elections, and growing calls in some countries for repatriation of significant political powers from the EU.

This event will consider how European politics can become better connected to the needs and values of the region's citizens, and how democratic participation in EU affairs can be enhanced. Why has the European project become so detached from what citizens want from a pan-European organisation? How can national parliaments better feed into the work and scrutiny of the European parliament? What other reforms are needed in the European Union, including to the Commission, Council and Parliament to enhance their legitimacy and make them more accountable?

Speakers for this seminar include:

  • Jack Straw MP, former Foreign Secretary, Labour Party
  • Lord John Kerr, former Permanent Under-Secretary of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Head of the Diplomatic Service (1997-2002)
  • Simon Hix, Professor of European and Comparative Politics, London School of Economics
  • Ann Pettifor, Director of Advocacy International and also of PRIME (Policy Research in Macroeconomics).

We do hope you will be able to join us to debate these important issues. If you would like to attend the seminar, please RSVP to as soon as possible. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.