On May 1st, the Schools of Government and Society and Institute of German Studies jointly held the West Midland European Parliament Hustings, an event was organised by chairwoman, Dr. Isabelle Hertner. Seven of the ten parties standing up for the election on May 22nd sent candidates to participate in the debate. The European Parliament is the […]

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On May 1st, the Schools of Government and Society and Institute of German Studies jointly held the West Midland European Parliament Hustings, an event was organised by chairwoman, Dr. Isabelle Hertner. Seven of the ten parties standing up for the election on May 22nd sent candidates to participate in the debate.

The European Parliament is the European Union’s only directly elected institution. The UK elects 73 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) every 5 years through proportional representation. These 73 MEPs meet with other MEPs from the other 27 member states of the EU to sit in the European Parliament in Strasburg and Brussels. Currently, no UK MEPs sit in the largest grouping of MEPs in the European Parliament (European People’s Party) but there are UK MEPs in all of the other political groupings.

Guests at the event included Phil Bennion, Liberal Democrat MEP, Will Duckworth, Green Party candidate, William Etheridge, UK Independence Party candidate, Neena Gill, Labour Party candidate, Anthea McIntyre, Conservative Party MEP and Nikki Sinclaire, MEP for the ‘We Demand a Referendum Now’ Party.

Each candidate introduced themselves, their party and their aims for 3 minutes. After this, the floor was opened for questions from the audience.  All questions had to be addressed to all of the candidates and could not be directed at anybody in particular.The audience asked questions that included the issues of racism, the proposed EU referendum in 2017 and controversy about the closed-list proportional representation electoral system employed by the UK.  All candidates had equal time to answer all of the questions asked, which  lasted for just over one hour each.

After the talk, Dr. Hertner was thanked for organising and chairing the debate.

A wine reception followed where people had the opportunity to meet the candidates and question them personally.

The candidates were varied, ranging from across the political spectrum, and most of the parties standing in this election were represented in this event.

Voting for the European Parliament and local elections takes place on May 22nd.

 

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