We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Graham Watson MEP: Building a Liberal Europe

October 18, 2010 1:52 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

How did the Liberal family rise to occupy so important a place on the European political stage within the space of so few years? How did Liberals react to EU developments such as the scandals in the Santer Commission, the proposal to make Rocco Buttiglione the European Commissioner for justice and home affairs and the rejection of the Treaty establishing a Constitution? And how did Liberals use their new found influence in the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Council? This month sees the publication of a new book, Building a Liberal Europe, by Graham Watson, the longest-serving Leader ever of the Liberal group in the European Parliament.

Graham Watson chronicles the history of the Liberal group in the European Parliament over the thirty years from 1979 to 2009. He describes how the liberal policies and personalities of the period helped to shape today's European Union. Concentrating on the period 1994-2009, after parliament gained powers of co-decision over EU lawmaking, he traces the growth of Liberal representation across the EU's institutions and the increasing discipline and effectiveness which have boosted our impact.

The book is partly a chronological account of the EU during these years, partly a study of Liberal influence in different policy areas, partly a personal memoir of one of the leading Liberals of the day. It is nonetheless an eminently readable and often gripping account of how Liberal ideas were advanced by different actors. Watson draws on his own experience of 35 years as a Liberal active in European affairs and 15 years as a Member of the European Parliament to illustrate the unique contribution which Liberals can claim to have made to European integration.

'Graham Watson chronicles a fascinating period in the EU's development with the humanity and humour which were a hallmark of his leadership of the EU's Liberal MEPs.' Romano Prodi (President of the European Commission, 1999-2004)

Building a Liberal Europe can be ordered here for £20/€25, including free delivery anywhere in Europe.

A launch and book signing will be held at the European Parliament Offices in London on Monday 25 October at 18:30, and another event will be held in Taunton on Saturday 6 November at 18:00 (Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton, Somerset)