Tag Archives: peace

  • courtesy David Holt London via flickr

    May 9th – Europe Day

    Today, May 9th, is Europe Day. But what does that really celebrate? Given that the UK’s relationship with Europe has never been more present in the public consciousness – ironically at a time when our future relationship with the EU has never been less clear – it is worth some reflection.

  • History has stopped repeating itself

    The Battle of Waterloo was one of the great milestones in European history — and today marks the 200th anniversary of the episode that concluded an extremely prolonged military campaign. I’m delighted to be attending the Waterloo 200 Service of Commemoration at St. Paul’s Cathedral today to mark the occasion. The ceremony is testament to […]

  • Photo by Joi Ito via Flickr

    Voting on Palestine

    Parliaments across Europe, including the House of Commons, have been debating whether to recognise Palestine officially as a state. The European Parliament had a similar debate last month, led by my Labour colleague Richard Howitt, and this week will take a final vote on the matter. A message from Parliament in support of recognising Palestinian […]

  • EU and UK flags

    Idealism or pragmatism?

    I wrote my first article for the UK European Movement since becoming Vice Chair, on the subject of balancing pragmatism and idealism about the European Union. The EU today might appear to be less about inspirational idealism, and more about nitty-gritty pragmatism. And pragmatism is important. But when we focus exclusively on self-interested arguments, we […]

  • Photo courtesy of www.kremlin.ru

    Putin, Ukraine and UKIP

    I was in the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee today when it voted 49-8 in favour of the EU’s trade agreement with Ukraine, preparing the way for a simultaneous ratification of the agreement by both Ukrainian and European parliaments next week. This reaffirms, in a practical and non-military way, the support of 28 European democracies […]

  • Photo by Wikipedia user Andrejavus, licensed in CC

    Lessons from history

    Spending my summer break pottering along the Baltic coast from Germany through Poland, Lithuania and Latvia is a reminder of how recently Europe saw horrific slaughters like those now on our television screens in Iraq and Syria. I write these words from Bialystok, where, seventy-five years ago, the Jewish community comprised almost two thirds of […]

  • Photo courtesy of Wikipedia editor Saruman

    The First World War

    The madness that saw millions of young people go out to slaughter each other on the battlefields of the First World War started 100 years ago today. Of course, on all sides, most were motivated by high ideals: to defend their country, to right a wrong, to do their duty. Killing people who had precisely […]

  • Photo by Tim Bekaert via Wikimedia

    A view from Ypres

    Travelling back from Brussels to Yorkshire by car this time, we decided to go via Ypres (or Ieper, to give its proper name). It’s always moving to visit the area, with its countless war cemeteries, but never more so than on this 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. The Menin gate […]

  • At a Srebrenica commemoration event

    Remembering Srebrenica

    This weekend, I spoke at two commemorations of the Srebrenica massacre — one in Leeds (at the Makkah Masjid mosque) and one in Bradford (at the town hall) — marking the 19th anniversary of the cold-blooded massacre of over 8000 Muslims in the Bosnian civil war. I visited Srebrenica three years ago. Like others in […]

  • via Wikimedia Commons

    Never again

    This week is the hundredth anniversary of the assassination of Austrian Archduke Ferdinand in Vienna which triggered the start of the First World War. Two highly symbolic events to mark it stand out: one by governments in Ypres and one by civil society organisations in Sarajevo. Herman van Rompuy’s initiative to convene the heads of state […]

  • Ten years of a larger European Union

    It’s ten years this month since eight central and eastern European countries (and two Commonwealth countries, Malta and Cyprus) joined the EU. This was a historic achievement, bringing former Communist dictatorships into the family of democratic countries that constitute the EU — helping to anchor peace, stability and human rights in a potentially volatile area. […]