Contributors seek to move on the debate about Europe, away from the simple question of staying in or leaving, and towards the development of a progressive European economic and social 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. In the run-up to the UK referendum, the left should be working with other European progressives to create an alternative programme for economic, social and ecological renewal for Europe in the world.
In this volume, contributors 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.
Introduction – Julian Priestley
1. How on earth did we get here? – Julian Priestley – FREE CHAPTER
2. It’s the politics, stupid – Derek Reed
3. Reshaping the European economy – Derek Reed
4. Social policy for a competitive Europe – Nicholas Costello
5. Why the right is plain wrong on environmental policy and climate change – Linda McAvan
6. International trade: our jobs, our values – David Martin
7. An internationalism for the twenty-first century – Patrick Costello
8. The mad, the bad and the sad – Glyn Ford
9. Flinging the furniture round the room – Julian Priestley
‘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