People do not feel represented at European level How does he explain that one

People do not feel represented at european level how

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People do not feel represented at European level. How does he explain that one? Mr. Davey: I share the concern about falling turnout, but let us be clear: turnout is falling not only in elections to the European Parliament, but in elections to this House and to many local authorities, too. We should all be concerned about that as democrats, but it does not undermine the role of the European Parliament as a democratic forum. I would have thought that the right hon. Gentleman supported that.
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Mr. Chaytor: Does the hon. Gentleman agree that it is profitable to look at the turnout in the municipal elections in France and in the general election in Spain, which were held on Sunday? The turnout on both occasions was significantly higher than the typical turnout in recent elections in the UK. Have we not got something to learn from the way in which other European countries encourage their electorates to participate in elections? Mr. Davey: I absolutely agree. Liberal Democrats believe that it is useful to talk to and work with colleagues in other countries, because they often have good ideas, whether on elections—proportional representation, for example—the reform of education or health. Engaging with colleagues in Europe is a sensible thing to do for the people whom we come here to serve. Let me list some of the other key reforms in the Lisbon treaty. For the first time, member states will have the right to leave the EU. For the first time, national Parliaments have been given a mechanism to call a halt to EU legislation. For the first time, ordinary European citizens will be able to petition the Commission to propose a draft law. For the first time, we have a European treaty that creates mechanisms for handing back power from the EU to the member states. Genuine Eurosceptics should be praising the treaty, not burying it. The fact that they do not back the reforms 11 Mar 2008 : Column 187 that they used to call for reflects the reality that the vast majority of Eurosceptics are not genuinely sceptical but have a closed mind and are predetermined in their opposition to everything European. The Lisbon treaty is not simply about calling the bluff of the anti-Europeans and exposing the shallowness of their position, beneficial though that is. The treaty also has many practical benefits for Britain and for Europe, as various experienced UK politicians have said: “It contains measures which are essential to the operation of our foreign policy if it is to be amplified by partnership in the kind of world in which we live.”— [ Official Report, House of Lords, 7 November 2007; Vol. 696, c. 60.] Those are the words of a distinguished former Foreign Secretary, Lord Howe. Other experienced Conservatives have discussed qualified majority voting, the issue that has so incensed some Conservative Members.
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  • Fall '08
  • Finklerberg

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