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 EUROPEAN ELECTIONS 
by Fran on Sun Mar 29th, 2009 at 02:18:50 PM EST
The European Citizen: We want informed debate on Europe! (But Europe shouldn't take part)
The EU is distant; it doesn't engage; people feel uninformed about the issues and there is rarely any debate on substantive issues - the only debate seems to be infrequent, confused and hurried grandstanding on the constitutional issues.

People want more information. There should be more debate on what legislation is passed and decisions are made at an EU level.

Perhaps a campaign to try to engage people in the European elections would be a good idea? No, that would be propaganda.

Now this campaign is not at all likely to be effective - billboards cannot replace a vigorous political party debate and campaign, and these billboards aren't much good to start off with - but it does highlight a certain attitude which is sadly quite widespread in some approaches to debates on Europe, on both the pro-Europe and Eurosceptic sides. And it's mainly this: if a viewpoint on Europe comes from outside the member state, it is derided as foreign and therefore invalid and not worthy of consideration; official information campaigns are automatically labeled propaganda and are unhelpful to the debate.
by Fran on Sun Mar 29th, 2009 at 02:22:44 PM EST
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A Choice for Europe? - The New Federalist, webzine of the Young European Federalist
The European institutions are fighting the low turnouts in the European Parliament elections with a common strategy and a single message throughout Europe: "It's your choice". The problem: A choice requires different alternatives. A single campaign requires a single discussion.

Paradoxically, the turnout in European elections has been decreasing ever since the first direct elections in 1979 while the power of the European Parliament has been steadily increasing. More and more laws are made by the `citizen's chamber' while less and less people take advantage of their right to directly influence these decisions. It's all about choice

This year, there will be no lectures about citizen's responsibilities or duties in the European Parliament's communication strategy - the European elections 2009 are all about choice. The key message is that all citizens can influence policies by giving their vote. This message is spread with a single campaign throughout Europe: Postcards, billboards and 3-dimensional street installations will raise important questions concerning energy, climate change, agriculture, consumer protection, security, free markets and other important topics. In room-sized cubes with the name "choice boxes", citizens can record their views on European issues - selected scenes will be played on Europarl TV, Youtube and on screens outside the boxes. In order to reach all potential voters, the campaign will also be present on TV and radio, young voters are supposed to be attracted by My Space, Facebook and Flickr.

by Fran on Sun Mar 29th, 2009 at 02:23:13 PM EST
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BBC:Tory party to expel donor Wheeler

The Conservative party says it is expelling one of its multi-millionaire donors after he gave £100,000 to UKIP.

Spread-betting tycoon Stuart Wheeler said he had made the UKIP donation because he believed the Tories were too soft on European integration.

Mr Wheeler, an outspoken Eurosceptic, gave £5m to the Conservatives in 2001 and wanted to remain a party member.

by Sassafras on Sun Mar 29th, 2009 at 06:54:35 PM EST
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at least UKIP are being honest about being anti-europe. The conservatives won't admit it.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 07:11:19 AM EST
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The British political race to the right continues.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 07:28:48 AM EST
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