Sunday, 3 October 2010

Interest sprouts in Brussels - 27/28th September 2010

This is the Hemicycle, at the heart of the European Parliament building. It's where the 736 MEPs meet and debate - literally, hugely impressive.
Below is a sculpture which symbolises the entwining of the 27 countries that now make up the EU.

Thanks to the inspiration and hard work of Past Master David Hanger, Junior Warden Sally Muggeridge, Silvia Cambie and Janet Morris, a group of Marketors had a fantastic 24 hours in Brussels learning about how the EU works and visiting a lobbying organisation (FAEP), the Commission and the Parliament.

Did you know that 80% of our laws are now created in Brussels - all the ones that involve trading standards, rights to work in different countries etc. So, like it or not, we need to engage with the EU and ensure that our preferences are known and our interests represented. We pay 1% of our GDP to fund it, so we might as well get value for our money.
Did you know that the average MEP is 20 years older than a Westminster MP and has had a "real job/life" before going into politics?
We all learned a great deal and came home with a new respect for those who struggle to create an open market across 27 different countries and even more cultures and languages. It may cost a lot, but it's cheaper than the wars that preceded it.

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