Hi there (or Hej as we say in Sweden),
I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce myself as the new Head of the European Parliament Information Office in the UK. After heading the Stockholm office for the last 6 years, I am looking forward to settling into my new role and to adapting to the British political debate about Europe, which is somewhat more heated than I am used to.... That said, as only the second non-Brit to hold this position, I hope to bring my special brand of Scandinavian openness and informality to Europe House and to continue our successful engagement with all interested stakeholders and the great British public.
Remember, Europe House is your house. I look forward to the chance of getting to know you at one of our future events.
10 February 2012 - Mortage credits: what's Europe up to?
Legislation creating new consumer safeguards for residential mortgage credit is making its way through the European Parliament. At the end of February, members of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee are expected to vote on a report which considerably widens the scope of the initial proposals by the European Commission.
One of the shadow rapporteurs in the Committee, Vicky Ford (Eastern, Cons) will brief participants about the current state-of-play, listen to key stakeholders (from the industry and consumer side) as well as answer questions from the specialist media.
When : 11 am - 12 noon
Venue: Europe House
This briefing is aimed at experts, interested parties and commentators. If you are interested in attending, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
29 February 2012 - Leeds University
Language students at Leeds University will hear how the EU institutions work and in particular the important role interpreters play at the European Parliament at workshops organised by the Interpretation Department and assisted by the European Parliament UK Office. 23 official languages of the EU are in use at parliamentary meetings in Brussels/Strasbourg and interpreters play an essential role in the language diversity of a multi-cultural European democracy. An evening lecture open to other students at the University on current EU affairs will also be given.
2 March 2012 - A woman's place is Europe
How far are we to closing the gender gap in pay in Europe? On the eve of the 101st anniversary of International Women's Day, a strong line up of female speakers, including the two London based MEPs on the Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee, Mary Honeyball (Lab) and Marina Yannakoudakis (Cons), the Shadow Europe Minister Emma Reynolds and the businesswoman Heather McGregor, will discuss with an audience what Europe has done, is doing or should be doing to improve gender equality in the workplace. The website Women's Views on News will be conducting a live forum during the event allowing its readers to pitch in questions and suggestions.
Time: 10 am - 12 noon
To secure a seat please email email@example.com
5 March 2012 - University of Portsmouth
Politics students at Portsmouth University will hear, during an evening lecture given by a member of staff from the European Parliament Information Office in the UK, about the current challenges facing the EU - the audience will be invited to take part in a question/answer session.
12 March 2012 - U3A Meeting in Shropshire
Staff from the European Parliament Information Office in the UK will attend a meeting organised by the U3A Whitchurch, Shropshire branch which will also include U3A members from neighbouring Market Drayton and Oswestry on Monday 12 March. Presentations will be given by the Outreach team on the role of the European Parliament in the EU Legislative procedures and followed by a Q&A session.
30 March 2012 - South West Seniors Network
As part of the regional outreach work in the South-West of England during 2012's European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between the generations, staff from the Outreach team of the European Parliament Information Office in the UK will attend an event organised by the South West Seniors Network in collaboration with the South West forum on Ageing and Age UK to be held at Tauntan Conference Centre in Somerset on 30 March.
What's on in Europe House
The headquarters of the European Parliament and the European Commission in London hosts regular exhibitions that are open to the public. Please visit the 12 Star Gallery website to find out about the exhibitions coming up in Europe House.
8 December Annual Sakharov Debate on Human Rights
8 December at Europe House saw a lively debate take place between Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty, Robert Buckland, MP, Charles Tannock MEP, Richard Bellamy and Colm O'Cinneide of University College London and moderated by Joshua Rozenberg. Over 100 people attended the debate whose title "The European Court of Human Rights : What's at stake ?" ensured lively discussions between the panellists as well as engaging the audience comprising lawyers, barristers, human rights campaigners, members of the public and students.
In the two decades since it was first established the European Parliament Sakharov Prize has become a well known and valuable symbol in the fight for human rights. It is awarded for freedom of thought and this year's prize has been awarded to five representatives of the Arab Spring which includes two women thus reflecting the crucial role women played in the events and the strugggle for human rights.
25 November & 2 December Crossborder Fora in Cavan and Armagh
On 25 November, in cooperation with the European Parliament Office in Ireland, the UK Office organised a conference in Cavan, Ireland on Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy. The Offices worked in cooperation with the Joint Secretaries of the North-South Ministerial Council to arrange the event, which featured senior politicians, local NGOs and local farmers and other stakeholders. It was part of a new pilot scheme to explore cross border perspectives on topical EU issues and to hear the views of local people on important reforms in the pipeline.
A further event as part of the same pilot project was held in Armagh on 2 December on 'Greening the CAP'. The conference featured a presentation from the European Commission on their proposed reforms to the CAP, followed by a panel session with contributions from John Bryan, President of the Irish Farmers' Association and John Thompson, President of the Ulster Farmers' Union, as well as a perspective from young farmers. This was followed by a political debate featuring Mairead McGuinness MEP (Ireland), Bairbre de Brun MEP (Northern Ireland), Esther de Lange MEP (Netherlands) and Neil Parish MP, who is a Member of the DEFRA Select Committee. Over 90 people attended, including several county and local councillors, farmers and farmers' representatives and students from a local agricultural college. In spite of political differences north and south of the border there were many common criticisms of the CAP reform proposals. MEPs welcomed these contributions to the debate, which they said would help inform their positions as the proposals were scrutinised and amended in Parliament.
25 November European Parliament Simulation Game
On 25 November at Europe House in London, over 50 students from 3 universities battled it out in a simulated exercise of drawing up a piece of EU legislation.
The 7 political parties of the European Parliament as well as the European Commission and the Council of Ministers were role-played by the students who enthusiastically debated the proposal on the Financial Transaction Tax. Students had already heard in preparatory sessions from a representative of the British Banking Association as well as a supporter of the so-called Robin Hood Tax about the various elements which make the Financial Transaction Tax the buring issue it is in the real world of European politics. The students who took part will go on to the European Parliament in Brussels to repeat the experience meeting students from European universities at a further simulation exercise in early 2012.
A similar event for UK universities is foreseen at Europe House in autumn 2012.
22 November Get Involved Beyond The Vote, Liverpool
On 22 November the ABCC Community Centre in the Anfield area of the City of Liverpool hosted an information seminar given by the European Parliament Outreach, the Houses of Parliament Outreach and a
representative from the National Alliance of Womens' Organisations. The event was advertised as a 'Get Involved Beyond The Vote' session which was open to the public to come and hear how the democratic processes of both Parliaments work and how to engage actively with them. The audience was small but highly interactive and ranged from the Mayor of Liverpool, a local councillor, a delegation from a Manchester Housing Association as well as Merseyside Citizens' Advice Bureau staff, interested members of the public and politics students from Chester.
21 November 'Reforming UCITS -enaging with the UK' - a debate
Investment fund managers, consumer groups and financial journalists had a chance to quiz the newly appointed rapporteur on the UCITs Directive (regulating investment funds) at Europe House on 21 November, in a debate jointly hosted by the European Parliament Information Office in the UK and the think tank Business For New Europe. Interested parties in the UK were given a chance to feed into the process at an early stage thanks to the presence of Sven Giegold , a German Green MEP, who will steer the next UCITS Directive revision. He appeared on a panel alongside representatives from Which?, the Investment Management Association and the FSA's Consumer Panel. The British shadow rapporteur, Dr Syed Kamall (London, Cons), was also present and offered a brief response to Mr Giegold's presentation.
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