'However one measures the achievements [of the Schuman Declaration goals], the EU has delivered' - Graham Watson MEP - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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'However one measures the achievements [of the Schuman Declaration goals], the EU has delivered' - Graham Watson MEP

Wednesday, 9 May 2012
Today - 9th May - is celebrated as Europe Day, the anniversary of the 'Schuman declaration' delivered in Paris in 1950 by Robert Schuman (the Luxembourgish-born French foreign minister at the time) in which he proposed a new form of political cooperation for Europe. The goal and vision was to make war between Europe’s nations unthinkable and forge shared prosperity through economic growth.

To mark this years’ anniversary, Liberal Democrat MEP Sir Graham Watson has penned an article with fellow regional party member Andrew Wigley in which he argues ‘however one measures the achievements of those goals, the conclusion has to be the European Union has delivered on both counts’. As the authors explain:

for those of us who believe in the EU’s objectives and feel that Britain should be leading in Europe, these are turbulent times. Liberal Democrats tend to default to a more enlightened, progressive mindset. Our values are anchored in being engaged in the international community; sufficiently self aware to recognise the UK no longer has the clout to go it alone. Internationalists by instinct, we recognise the challenges of our age are rarely managed at the national level alone. Tackling global issues can only be achieved in concert with other countries and within an agreed framework of action that has political and legal bite.

But the authors do issue a warning to the party and a rallying call: while the Liberal Democrat party ‘
should keep the EU in check, we should not sleepwalk down the slippery slope of euroscepticism’. They write:

let UKIP spew nonsense, and Conservatives spin half-truths, but it is our responsibility as Liberal Democrats to defend the reality of living in a globalised world; that if we want less crime on our streets, if we want a cleaner environment, if want to guarantee affordable energy solutions, if want to safeguard economic growth and prosperity, that can not only be achieved realistically by means of the European Union. There isn’t an alternative.

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