The Eurovision vision contest


Thanks to Clive Bates for an engaging review and insightful critique of the E3G ‘Europe in the World’ pamphlet on his ‘Bacon Butty’ blog.

Judging from the first paragraph, I think we can say that Clive likes it:

Terrific pamphlet by Tom Burke and Nick Mabey of E3G. Their Europe in the World publication is a vision for Europe painted on the broadest possible canvas - an inspiring call for Europe to cast off its paralysing anxieties and face the globalising world with confidence and purpose. This is about defining a European mission that is outward-looking, and aimed at playing the most fundamental role we expect from any state institution: providing security. But they have a broad definition of security, making the case for Europe as a key actor providing in energy security, climate security, water security and food security. They define success not in raw GDP terms (which remains the obsession of the EU’s Lisbon Agenda and most leaders), but in terms of quality of life, health, security and well-being.

Clive’s review isn’t all praise however - he questions whether the pamphlet is tough enough on the issue of political leadership, and has some additional ideas for furthering democratic engagement. I particularly liked his suggestion that

I think the key is to arrange the affairs of Europe so that our leaders - the Blairs and Chiracs of the future - have to own the European project and take it to their people. One way would be to link the weighting each member state gets in qualified majority voting not to population, but to number of people voting in the European elections - thus incentivising domestic politicians to increase turnout.

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