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Our Europe, Not Theirs

Our Europe Not TheirsJulian Priestley and Glyn Ford (Eds)

“As Europe's socialists prepare to contest the 2014 European Parliamentary elections this book by Labour MEPs and officials is a timely and useful contribution to the debate, not just to the one raging in the UK, but also among European progressives. It postulates a radical alternative view very different from that of the conservatives, while supporting firmly Britain's place at the heart of Europe.”         Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament 

“In this great European crisis, any progressive proposal to change course, to reassert European solidarity, strengthen the efficiency of its actions internationally, and to boost growth, jobs and competitiveness is welcome. That this proposal comes from British sources at a time when the actions of the UK government threaten British membership of the Union may seem almost paradoxical. But the Labour MEPs and officials, and Julian Priestley who edited this book, have a deep understanding of European issues which adds to the interest of their ideas.”
Jacques Delors, former president of the European Commission

“This book recognises the crucial importance of the 2014 European elections and the need for change in Europe. Julian Priestley and his colleagues go further and put forward a radical socialist alternative to the ruinous policies of austerity that the conservatives have used their strength in Brussels to impose. This book is a useful antidote to the negative voices we usually hear from the other side of the channel.”                                       
Harlem Désir, leader of the French Socialist party

The debate about Europe in the UK has too often been reduced to the black-and-white simplicities of whether we should be in or out. The contributors to this volume seek to move the debate on, by fleshing out a progressive European economic, social, external and internal agenda.

The policies pursued in Brussels are predictably and unremittingly conservative, the product of the technocratic right dominating EU institutions and most national capitals. These essays propose a clean break with the right’s hegemony and suggest a radical agenda for change and reform in Europe, one which focuses more on the real interests of working people, consumers and businesses than on the primitive eurosceptic agenda of opt-outs. Instead of supporting the disruptive distraction of a referendum, the UK left should work with other European progressives to create a programme for economic, social and ecological renewal for Europe in the world.

In this volume, contributors – all leading Labour MEPs and senior EU officials –  mount critiques of: austerity throttling Europe’s growth prospects; the return of poverty and rampant inequalities; unchallenged and unaccountable corporate power; environmental policies long on promise and short on delivery; short-sighted immigration management; and fair trade sacrificed too often in the name of an ideological commitment to unbridled globalisation.

Contributors: Nick Costello, Patrick Costello, Glyn Ford, David Martin MEP, Linda McAvan MEP, Julian Priestley, Derek Reed.

Julian Priestley is former Secretary General of the European Parliament (1997/2007); he was also previously Secretary General of the European Socialists. He now sits on the boards of the Jacques Delors think-tank in Paris; Votewatch, an EU transparency campaigning organisation; the scientific board of FEPs (the European socialists' foundation). He writes and speaks extensively on European politics and has published two books on the European Parliament with John Harper Publishing.

Julian Priestley How on earth did we get here?
Derek Reed It’s the politics, stupid
Derek Reed Reshaping the European economy
Nicholas Costello Social policy for a competitive Europe
Linda McAvan Why the right is plain wrong on environmental policy
and climate change
David Martin International trade: our jobs, our values
Patrick Costello An internationalism for the twenty-first century
Glyn Ford The mad, the bad and the sad
Julian Priestley Flinging the furniture round the room

Keywords: Europe, UK, austerity, conservatism, left strategy, EU, reform.

Future publicity: Official launch event at 2013 Labour Party Conference, Brighton, 22-25 September

Publication date: August 2013  Pbk, 192pp                

ISBN 9781907103889                      Price: £13.99


Price: £13.99