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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Meanwhile in Brussels

The FT diary this morning mentions that:
David Cameron is finally slipping over to Brussels next month. The Tory leader who has studiously avoided the E word since taking charge, has realised that an aspiring party of government eventually has to admit that the European Union exists.... Cameron's path is being smoothed this week by Oliver Letwin. Letwin is the first senior Tory to visit Brussels since the attempt to pull their troops out of the centre-right European People's party in the European Parliament. He will dine with MEPs tomorrow and launch a set of five strategy groups to come up with a European policy.
Apparently the strategy groups the FT mentioned are a way to connect the tory MEPs to their policy review. Appa the five groups are going to be run by the tory MEPs and will be doing stuff on:
  • Economic reform
  • The EU budget, CAP, and waste
  • Democracy promotion / global human rights
  • Quality of life and the environment
  • The EU institutions
Not sure what to make of it. It probably makes sense for them to try and link up more with their MEPs - our impression is that it's very easy for MEPs to get stranded out of the Westminster loop (and thus never called by hacks) while on the other hand quite a lot of MPs don't really know that much about what goes on in Brusssels. Should be interesting to see what they come up with.

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