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Please follow the links bellow to watch the full version of the docudrama “Do it like a European?” created by communications studies students for young people. It is a non-partisan attempt to cover contemporary ideas, and young people’s hopes for Europe on the eve of the 2009 elections to the European Parliament in a way that appeals to young audiences.

Watch the film in High Definition!

Do it like a European? – PART ONE

Do it like a European? – PART TWO

Do it like a European? – PART THREE

Do it like a European? – PART FOUR

Do it like a European? – PART FIVE

Do it like a European? – PART SIX

A production celebrating the 50th anniversary of the European Parliament and 30 years since the first Euro-elections, presented by the Jean Monnet European of Excellence and the JMECE Lab at the University of Leeds, UK. A production supported by a grant from the European Parliament.

Please send us your feedback at cla7sm@leeds.ac.uk or csfbs@leeds.ac.uk

The European Parliament, the European Union and the 2009 election of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage in free elections since 1979 has always posed a challenge to those seeking to inform voters that they personally elect candidates to serve as Members of the European Parliament.

In Britain, turnout has always been low. Many people are unaware of the impending elections on 4 June 2009. Many of the students who produced this dvd were equally unaware at the outset and equally unaware that they could vote on 4 June 2009 to elect Members of the European Parliament to represent their region. So we decided to find out more.

We produced an experimental dvd written by us for young, potential first time voters. In the process of discovery and production, the importance of voting in 4 June 2009 in the elections to the European Parliament became increasingly clear.

The European Parliament influences EU legislation. Our MEPs influence the legislation that affects us all. On 4 June 2009, we have the opportunity to vote.

The dvd reflects our interpretations of Europe. We thank the European Parliament, and all those who made it possible for us to discover why voting on 4 June 2009 matters, and why voting gives all of us an opportunity to play our part in shaping the future. Responsibility for the content remains ours.

All the materials are part of the activities promoted by the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at the University of Leeds, and the JMECE Lab, at the Institute of Communications Studies.

Please fell free to distribute the dvd among peers online.

Script/production supervisors: Stergios Mavrikis & Fabro Steibel.

Initial Idea: JMECE Lab members: May Jacobs, Stergios Mavrikis, Agnes Inge Schneeberger, Fabro Steibel, Anna Zoellner.

Producer: Vivienne Errington-Barnes, Ass. Producer: Maya Manwaring, Writer: Nick Miller, Director: Ali Dickinson, Camera: Joe Davis, A.D.:Anna Spragg, D.O.P: Charles Woods, Editor: Will Lock, Script Political Supervisor: Luke Errington-Barnes, Hair & Make-up: Jessie Young, P.D.: Laura Smith, Special Effects: Will Lock, Composer: Howard Carter, Ass. Writer: Emma Brown, Lighting: Tom Lane, Lighting Ass.: Jonny Hughes, Boom/Grip: Alex Darwin, Ass. Script Political Supervisor: Sundeep Kumar, Production Design Ass.: Cameron Carswell, Costume: Jinny Howarth, Costume Ass.: Klaudia Stoniek, Researcher (film): Amy Moorcroft, Production Ass.: Cristina Cretu, Runner: Teresa Lee, Runner: Edmund Perou, Runner: Lucy Dixon, Sound Editor: Lee Charallah, Animation Composer: Callum Oliver.

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We would  like to invite you to watch the following short interviews with EU officials and others interested in the future of Europe and the forthcoming Euro-elections filmed and edited by the JMECE LAB team on the eve of the 2009 elections to the European Parliament in a way that appeals to young audiences. 

Feel free to use that material online on your blogs and websites.

Communicating Europe, reaching out to EU citizens – PART ONE

Communicating Europe, reaching out to EU citizens – PART TWO

Communicating Europe, reaching out to EU citizens – PART THREE

Communicating Europe, reaching out to EU citizens – PART FOUR

Interviewees:

Sarah Lambert, Acting Head of Representation European Commission in UK

Andrew Robinson, Honorary Consul, French Embassy in UK

Caroline Flint, Minister for Europe in UK

Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, Ambassador of France to the United Kingdom

Diana Johnson, Labour MEP for Hull North

Per Augustsson Minister, Deputy Chief of Mission Political and European Affairs, Embassy of Sweden in UK

• Detective Inspector Phil Butler, Northumbria Police

David Fortune, Chief Inspector

Christian Krappitz, European Commission Representation in UK

• Ambassador Georg Ambassador of Germany to the United Kingdom

Jan Winkler, Late Ambassador for the Czech Republic to the United Kingdom

Maureen Foers, Yorkshire Women Entrepreneurs

Borbála Czakó, Ambassador of Hungary to the United Kingdom

• Dr Richard Corbett, Labour MEP for Yorkshire and Humber

Les Parkes, Deputy Chair, European Movement, Yorkshire Branch

• JMECE Lab members Juliet Lodge, Fabro Steibel, Stergios Mavrikis, Francisco S. Perez, Amy Moorcroft

jmece_lab_event

Yorkshire MEPs: European politics are politics as normal

ICS Prof Juliet Lodge, Dr Richard Corbett, MEP Labour, Diana Wallis, MEP Liberal Democrat and Mark Green, Honorary German Consul at the Conference "You and the future of democracy in the EU"

ICS Prof Juliet Lodge, Dr Richard Corbett, MEP Labour, Diana Wallis, MEP Liberal Democrat and Mark Green, Honorary German Consul at the Conference "You and the future of democracy in the EU"

Why bother voting in the next European elections? Two Yorkshire MEPs offered the following arguments at a conference on the future of EU democracy held in Leeds on Friday, 13 March 2009: First, because the European Parliament is the institution that democratically controls policies related to issues like climate change and the current economic crisis, which cannot be dealt with by individual countries alone. Second, because the European chamber offers real political options where members decide in accordance with their ideological positions, irrespective of their country of origin.

This was the rationale offered by Yorkshire MEPs Richard Corbett (Labour) and Diana Wallis (Liberal Democrat) at a public event at the Leeds Civic Hall focused on the practical implications of European politics for the younger generation. Participants included university and local secondary school students, who viewed the first screening of a student-produced DVD “Do it like a European?” about the importance of voting in the June 4th European Parliament elections.

This conference, celebrating 30 years of the first elections to the European Parliament, ended with a cautionary tale : if you do not vote, you let someone else choose for you. Whom they choose will affect policy priorities and outcomes. If you do not vote, you open the door to less democratic or extremist elements, a real possibility in Yorkshire.

Panel 4: European Union from the citizen's perspective: Dr Alina Dobreva (researcher), Christina Michael (journalist), Dr Katharine Sarikakis (ICS Senior Lecturer),  Neill Schofield (European Movement) and Lynette Falconer (Leeds Europe Direct)

Panel 4: European Union from the citizen's perspective: Dr Alina Dobreva (researcher), Christina Michael (journalist), Dr Katharine Sarikakis (ICS Senior Lecturer), Neill Schofield (European Movement), Dr Simon Lightfoot (Senior Lecturer in European Politics) and Lynette Falconer (Leeds Europe Direct)

Invited to speak at a round-table organised by the Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence (JMECE) and the JMECE Lab at the University of Leeds, one of the Labour MEPs for the Yorkshire and the Humber region, Dr Richard Corbett, said the European Parliament could be seen as a democratic response to one of the biggest challenges posed by economic globalisation: How to take decisions beyond the nation-state. “Rather than having diplomats make decisions for us, we have elected representatives who decide on issues that European countries cannot deal with on their own, as in the case of climate change”, said Dr Corbett.

Besides, decisions at the European Parliament are contested among political groups that divide ideologically, as in any other parliament, rather than by the nationality of their members. “A Swede Green MEP has much more in common with a French Green MEP than with a Swede Conservative MEP”, argued Dr Corbett.

“The European Parliament”, he said, “is about real political choices. In the end, you have to choose between those who want a regulated common market, and those who want a free-for-all market with few protections for consumers.”

The Labour MEP also warned about the risk of the region electing a BNP member for the European Parliament. It would be a shame for the UK, he said, to endow a fascist politician with all the extra legitimacy and the resources of European parliamentary representation.

Panel 2: Communicating Europe? Goeffrey Martin (Special adviser to the Commonwealth Secretary on Strategic Relationships), ICS Prof Juliet Lodge, Judith Stamper (Principal Teaching Fellow in Broadcast Journalism) and DCI Dave Fortune

Panel 2: Communicating Europe? Geoffrey Martin (Special adviser to the Commonwealth Secretary on Strategic Relationships), ICS Prof Juliet Lodge, Judith Stamper (Principal Teaching Fellow in Broadcast Journalism) and DCI Dave Fortune

Diana Wallis, the Liberal Democrat MEP for the Yorkshire and the Humber region illustrated how political choices are reflected in the European Parliament. She reflected on the ideological division between environmental “purists”, who oppose the use of any fossil fuels for producing energy, and those who, like her, would like to reach clean energy production “bit by bit”, allowing coal-reliant regions like Yorkshire to engage in low-emission energy projects like those related to carbon capture and storage. “Europe is about politics as normal”, Wallis remarked, “the sort of politicians you get into Europe, the sort of politics you’ll get out.” She argued that the current economic crisis, along with the challenges of climate change, may offer a good opportunity for the EU to show its relevance in this borderless world. “What we need is leadership” she said. “If you elect politicians who are isolationists, you won’t get the achievements of the past few years.”

Tomorrow’s EU: More participatory, but never a fully-fledged federation

The DVD screened at the event, titled “Do it like a European?” was conceived by the JMECE Lab and written, produced, shot and edited by students from the Institute of Communications Studies and the JMECE . In the next days the short film will be available on line. So, stay tuned.

The DVD screened at the event, titled “Do it like a European?” was conceived by the JMECE Lab and written, produced, shot and edited by students from the Institute of Communications Studies and the JMECE . The film will be soon available on line. So, stay tuned.

In response to questions from the public, the two Yorkshire MEPs gave their opinion on the proposals for a more participatory democracy, and about the prospects of the EU becoming the United States of Europe. Diana Wallis said: “We need to spend time reassessing representative democracy, which I think it is partially broke. It was devised for the age of the horse and the cart, when your representative would go to the parliament and then would report back. We live in a different world now. The politician is in need of the help of citizens.” She supported the idea of the European Citizens Initiative, a proposal to grant citizens the right to set off the legislative process if they manage to get a million signatures from across the EU member states. Having citizens from all over Europe supporting a legislative proposal should be the closest thing to a “European demos”, she said, as there would be citizens from different states collaborating in a common goal.

Dr Corbett was more sceptical. Dr Corbett said the EU faced “a problem of space”: “European institutions are inevitably and unavoidably more distant, that’s why you should not take to the EU level issues that can be solved at the local or national level.” He argued that good ideas don’t need one million signatures to get into the EU policy-making process. There are other channels, like the MEPs themselves or the European Parliament’s Petitions Committee, to listen to citizens’ demands, said Dr Corbett.

Simon Duffin, Press Officer of the UK Office of the European Parliament talking about "The European Parliament in perspective"

Simon Duffin, Press Officer of the UK Office of the European Parliament talking about "The European Parliament in perspective"

As for the EU becoming the United States of this side of the Atlantic, Diana Wallis warned “we should not try to imitate the USA, because we are different.” In her view, the idea of a federal union is “passé and old fashioned” and has already been “thrown away”.

Dr Corbett said in a humorous way that the EU is “a Europe of States who are sometimes united, so up to a point we already have a United States of Europe.” As the former president of the Young European Federalists, Dr Corbett said he had never been afraid of using the word “federal”, as “a federation is about having different levels of government, being as decentralised as possible, and centralised only when necessary.” He said the idea of a federation conveyed, thanks in part to the British mass media, the image of a highly centralised state. He argued that although the EU already has federal characteristics epitomized by the European Court of Justice, it was unlikely ever to become “a fully-fledged federation”.

The conference, titled “You and the Future of Democracy in Europe”, was organised by the Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence (JMECE) and the JMECE Lab at the University of Leeds in conjunction with the UK Office of the European Parliament, the Europe Direct Centre in Leeds, and Leeds City Council.

In response to questions from the public, the two Yorkshire MEPs gave their opinion on the proposals for a more participatory democracy, and about the prospects of the EU becoming the United States of Europe.

In response to questions from the public, the two Yorkshire MEPs gave their opinion on the proposals for a more participatory democracy, and about the prospects of the EU becoming the United States of Europe.

The event included talks by Professor Juliet Lodge, Director of the JMECE; Simon Duffin, Head of Media at the UK Office of the European Parliament; Judith Stamper, Teaching Fellow in Broadcast Journalism at the Institute of Communications Studies, University of Leeds; Geoffrey Martin, Special Adviser to the Commonwealth Secretary on Strategic Relationships; Dave Fortune, Chief Inspector, Police Forces of Yorkshire; Mark Green, Honorary German Consul in the Yorkshire region; Dr Simon Lightfoot, Department of Politics, University of Leeds; Lynette Falconer, Information Manager, Europe Direct Leeds; Dr Alina Dobreva, European Commission stagiaire; Christina Michael, journalist working for the Cordis website; Neill Schofield, the European Movement and Dr Katharine Sarikakis, Senior Lecturer in Communications Policy at the Institute of Communications Studies, University of Leeds.

The DVD screened at the event, titled “Do it like a European?” was conceived by the JMECE Lab and written, produced, shot and edited by students from the Institute of Communications Studies and the JMECE . The short film will be soon available on line. So, stay tuned (www.jmecelab.com)

Check the programme HERE

Ready and TH!NKing ABOUT IT

The JMECE Lab will be in Brussels on 26 January to kick off the first Europe-wide blogging competition!

The JMECE Lab will be in Brussels on 26 January to kick off the first Europe-wide blogging competition!

A dynamic community of bloggers, journalists and journalism students; a forum alive with debate and discussion; a creative portal to inspire youth involvement with the 2009 Parliamentary Elections – brought to you by the European Journalism Centre (EJC).

Travelling from every member state of the European Union, 81 bloggers will come together in Brussels on 26 January to kick off the first Europe-wide blogging competition, TH!NK ABOUT IT. The two-day launch event kicks off a blogging competition running until the European Parliamentary Elections in June.

TH!NK ABOUT IT will host bloggers from each EU member state in a a forum alive with debate and discussion – a dynamic online community of bloggers, journalists and journalism students sharing their thoughts on the EU and the upcoming European elections.

The bloggers, all individually invited and registered, are asked to cover, report, critique and debate on campaign issues and candidates. The goal is to get Europeans to TH!NK ABOUT IT and to express their views on Europe.

The bloggers, all individually invited and registered, are asked to cover, report, critique and debate on campaign issues and candidates. The goal is to get Europeans to TH!NK ABOUT IT and to express their views on Europe.

The bloggers, all individually invited and registered, are asked to cover, report, critique and debate on campaign issues and candidates. The goal is to get Europeans to TH!NK ABOUT IT and to express their views on Europe.

At the kickoff, invitees are briefed on the European blogsphere, European Parliament, elections and on understanding the EU from a journalist’s perspective. Between 4 and 7 June 2009, citizens of the European Union will be called upon to elect, for the seventh time, their representatives to the European Parliament, which will at that time be celebrating thirty years of election by direct universal suffrage.

This briefing will offer journalists from the EU 27 Member States access to in-depth information as well as opportunities to meet and exchange words with key players concerning the challenges related to the lack of identification, political debate and effective European leadership. The programme will also provide a comprehensive overview on the development of the campaign throughout Europe in the first semester of 2009 and the fundamental role political parties and the mass media played. The two-day event in Brussels will additionally be tailored as a useful platform for networking and creating contacts with EU officials, lobbyists, researchers and other stakeholders.

Useful Link about Euro-elections:

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/elections2009/default.htm?language=EN

 

Production of a short film  marking the “50th anniversary of the European Parliament and 30 years since the first Euro-elections”

Production of a short film marking the “50th anniversary of the European Parliament and 30 years since the first Euro-elections”

Future activities of the project, “Europe in my eyes”, (supported by the European Parliament)

8th-11th December 2009
Film on young people’s views on Europe / Filming in Brussels

JMECE LAB team will film parts of the Euro-film in Brussels this December. The focus of this production is the European elections, political participation and mobilization of young people and how young people perceive themselves as European citizens with the right to vote for the European Parliament. ICS Broadcast Journalism undergraduates have a special role in this project under the direction of Judith Stamper, ICS Programme Head of Broadcast Journalism.

Script/production supervisors: Stergios Mavrikis & Fabro Steibel,

Initial Idea: JMECE Lab members May Jacobs, Stergios Mavrikis, Agnes Inge Schneeberger, Fabro Steibel, Anna Zoellner.

Producer: Vivienne Errington-Barnes.

Director: Ali Dickinson.

Writer: Nick Miller.

Ass. Producer: Maya Manwaring,  Camera: Joe Davis, A.D.:Anna Spragg, D.O.P: Charles Woods, Editor : Will Lock, Script Political Supervisor: Luke Errington-Barnes, Hair & Make-up: Jessie Young, P.D.: Laura Smith, Special Effects: Will Lock, Composer: Howard Carter, Ass. Writer: Emma Brown, Lighting: Tom Lane, Lighting Ass.: Jonny Hughes, Boom/Grip: Alex Darwin, Ass. Script Political Supervisor: Sundeep Kumar, Production Design Ass.: Cameron Carswell, Costume: Jinny Howarth, Costume Ass.: Klaudia Stoniek, Researcher (film): Amy Moorcroft, Production Ass.: Cristina Cretu, Runner: Teresa Lee, Runner: Edmund Perou, Runner: Lucy Dixon, Research Heads (politics): Lauren Worrall, Renata Cordeiro, Emma Preston, Sound Editor: Lee Charallah, Animation Composer: Callum Oliver.

Report by JMECE Lab, ICS, University of Leeds.

13/09/2008 / Euro Election Roundtable in Sheffield (2008 European Year of Intercultural Dialogue Festival)

Yorkshire MEPs: Climate change, workers’ rights and helping the poor, key reasons for voting in the June 09 Euro elections

Sheffield event, 13.08.2009 (Pic1) and JMECE Lab Members with MEPs
ABOVE: Fabro Steibel, Francisco Seoane Pérez, Labour MEP Linda McAvan, May Jacob, Labour MEP Dr. Richard Corbett, Conservative MEP Timothy Kirkhope, Stergios Mavrikis, Prof. Juliet Lodge. BELLOW: Citizens of Sheffield enjoying the event. Copyright: UK Office of the European Parliament

Getting the rest of the world to agree on global pacts to fight climate change, ensuring workers’ rights all over the European Union, and helping the countries in the developing world. These were the three reasons for voting in the next European elections due in June 2009 given by Yorkshire MEPs at a public roundtable in Sheffield on 15 September 2008 organised by the UK Office of the European Parliament.

Richard Corbett and Linda McAvan, Labour MEPs, and Timothy Kirkhope, one of the two Conservative MEPs from the region, took questions from the public in a lively debate moderated by BBC Yorkshire’s Political Editor, Len Tingle. The Liberal democrats and the UKIP, each of them with an elected MEP from the Yorkshire and Humber region were unable to attend but had supporters in the audience.

The European representatives were asked to comment on two recurrent criticisms about the EU: its alleged transformation into a superstate that would challenge national sovereignties and the presumed cost to the UK of EU membership.

Dr Corbett rejected the myth of the superstate claim, and pointed out that the European Commission was smaller in size than many municipal and local authorities’ bureaucracies. Responding to those who fear a loss of national sovereignty, Dr Corbett explained that all European legislation proposed by the Commission has to be approved and decided by the Council of Ministers (which comprises a minister from each state) and the European Parliament, whose members are directly elected by voters in each of the member states. Mr Kirkhope said he shared many of the criticisms regarding ‘red tape’ but dispelled the notion of a European superstate: “We don’t have a superstate, we are not likely to have that, and people in the member states would not like that.” Linda McAvan stressed her firm belief in local government and taking decisions close to the people. She argued for taking decisions on each issue at the right level: “I don’t think you could run a health service at a European scale, but for some rules you need such a European level, as it happens with the environment.”

The concerns about the costs to Britain of EU membership, voiced by one of the UKIP members in the audience, were rebutted as exaggerated by the MEPs. Dr Corbett said that any of the costs of being a contributor member (the UK gives more than it receives from the EU) were compensated by the access to the EU market, “the biggest trading block in the world.” Mr Kirkhope and Ms McAvan also highlighted the pro-European stance of most businesses. The Conservative MEP said almost every piece of new legislation is accompanied by an impact and cost-effectiveness analysis on its actual application. Ms McAvan stressed that businesses favoured supranational European laws that enforce common standards as being more effective and fairer than the pre-1993, pre Single Market situation of having to meet the very divergent requirements of individual national regulations.

The referendum on the EU Constitution

“Why have we been denied a referendum on the EU Constitution?” asked a member from the public. Dr Corbett said that, contrary to popular claims, the British Government had never suggested the idea of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. “There was an argument to have a referendum on the Constitution, not on a treaty”, he said. “Britain has never ratified an international treaty through a referendum”, he contended. Previous European Treaties like Amsterdam or Nice were approved in the national Parliament, as Lisbon recently was. Mr Kirkhope deemed Dr Corbett’s reasoning as “cynical”, because in his view the Lisbon Treaty contained broadly the same text as the Constitution. He declared himself in favour of the Lisbon treaty, but supported a referendum on it. Ms McAvan cautioned about the populist appeal of referendums. “If asked whether there should be a referendum on any issue, the majority will say yes”, said the Labour MEP. She did not favour a popular vote on the Treaty, and defended representative democracy: “We elect politicians to take decisions.” Britain has ratified Lisbon in line with parliamentary procedure. The chairman asked the audience what their position on a referendum was. A small minority favoured one; the majority opposed one and a few people abstained.

Jonathan Arnott, the young leader of the UKIP, asked MEPs about the alleged mismanagements of EU accounts. The European representatives rejected the accusations of fraud in the EU, put the issues in perspective and underlined that the locus of responsibility for this lay in the member states where there was, in some cases, mismanagement. The member governments deal with the implementation of the funds provided by the EU.

The debate ended with a call for participation in the next European elections. Dr Corbett said that, besides fighting against climate change and for workers’ rights, UK voters have an extra reason for going to the polls next June: preventing the entry of the British far right in the European Parliament. If the Yorkshire region elected a British National Party representative, it would be “a shame for the country”, lamented Dr Corbett. Linda McAvan backed her Labour colleague on this issue: Electing a BNP as a European representative would be “a disaster.” “Make sure Yorkshire is represented by mainstream parties”, she added.

The roundtable with Yorkshire MEPs was held at a conference room in Sheffield Cathedral and was part of a larger event, the European Festival, organised in Sheffield by the UK Office of the European Parliament. This special day, which included dance, theatre, and music performances of a wide range of cultural backgrounds, celebrated the 2008 European Year of InterCultural Dialogue and 50 years of the European Parliament.

For a set of photos please click bellow:

Click here for the EuroBlogFest:

Prize won

The JMECE docudrama “Do it like a European?” wins prize at the international Winton Film Contest

Visit our Special Euro Elections section:

Activities supported by:

UK Office of the European Parliament

UK Office of the European Parliament *

EU Commission Representation in the UK

EU Commission Representation in the UK *

Supported by:

University of Leeds
Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence

Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence

Institute of Communications Studies

A member of:

Sent - Thematic Network of European Studies

Sent - Thematic Network of European Studies

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Dr Richard Corbett, MEP welcomes the JMECE LAB

“Congratulations to Leeds ICS in being a step ahead of the rest of Europe in this interesting initiative.”

JMECE LAB photo collection

Disclaimer:

*

Disclaimer: We are pleased to acknowledge the support of the European Parliament and the European Commission, and the Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence, University of Leeds. They are not responsible for the content of our pages, or of any material displayed.

JMECE Lab logo © Talke Hoppmann & Fabro Steibel Copyright © 2008 JMECE Lab

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