European Movement
events in Sussex

The European Movement

Encouraging local communities in Britain to play a leading role in a strong, democratic and reformed Europe. 
The European Movement was formed originally in 1948
by Sir Winston Churchill.
The movement has no political party affiliation.

Sussex branch

Click here for a form to join
See the branch constitution

The Sussex branch is one of ten in the south-east, and covers both East and West Sussex - there is also a separate branch set up in Eastbourne


Chair:    Sarah Leigh
Secretary:    Martin Toomey

Events in 2006

Saturday 20 May 2006

Special General Meeting
at Friends’ House, Euston Road, London NW1

This meeting was called on the initiative of Sussex Branch with the support of 106 members of the Movement who signed a request to the Chairman that a general meeting be called.

The main purpose of this Special General Meeting was to decide what the objectives, systems and structures of the European Movement should be in the future.  In the month preceding the meeting an opportunity for debate had been offered on this website.

Click here to see those contributions.

You can read a report of the meeting.
It was followed by a general meeting in November to finalise new arrangements.

Presidency dinners

Austria took over the EU Presidency from the UK on 1 January this year,
and on 30 May a dinner was held at the Birch Hotel, Haywards Heath.

The guest speaker at this dinner was Eveline Jamek, the Austrian attaché for EU Affairs,
who presented an overview of her country’s handling of the current Presidency,

and answered questions afterwards.

Click here for a resumé of the points in her talk

From July onwards the EU Presidency would be held by Finland,

and a similar lunchtime event was planned for October.

The Summer Seminar
Friday 7 July 2006

Europe and the Citizen
– is the European Union democratic enough ?

The broad theme for the seminar will be the so-called "democratic deficit". The rejection of the Constitutional Treaty came as a shock to EU administrators, and the painful process of agreeing an EU budget for the period 2007-2013 has also undermined confidence.  Some argue that it has been 'enlargement fatigue', and most agree that with a UK press that is often hostile it has been difficult to encourage voters to engage democratically with the real issues.  But have they had the opportunity? Three thermes were introduced by experienced guests, leading to discussion on practical ways of improving the democratic nature of the EU and the European Parliament.

Click here for a report on the event

Getting the message over

Members of the branch regularly take advantage of market days, town fairs and special local events to get the European Movement message over.

The Sussex branch had a stand at the Steyning Leisure Showcase on 30 September 2006.

Steyning_showcase.jpg (52365 bytes)

Oliver Hayward, Margaret Tuccori and Sarah Leigh at the Sussex Branch stand

Presidency lunch – Finland
16 October 2006 at the Newick Park Hotel

Alexander Stubb, MEP, talks in the Library of Newick Park Hotel

Finland took over the EU Presidency from Austria on 1 July this year,
and a lunchtime event to hear about current issues was held on Monday 16 October.

The guest speaker was Alexander Stubb, one of Finland's MEPs, talking about the issues that Finland has handled as current EU priorities, and answering questions afterwards.

Click here for an account of the event

Home study day
held on Saturday 4 November 2006

"Unity in diversity" - current enlargement issues

Are there limits to Europe? can frontiers can be drawn on historic grounds, ethnicity, values?
how are the aspirations of smaller countries in south-east Europe being handled?
what general principles could enable further expansion of the EU?

Click here for notes about the study day topic

Study Days are usually 3 hour afternoon events, held in a private house.

A second theme originally planned for a Study Day, on regional links between East Sussex and Northern France, was included as a special presentation during the AGM.

European events in neighbouring areas

Bulgaria and the EU
The Bulgarian ambassador spoke at an evening meal and talk organised by the West Kent branch on 10 November 2006.  Some notes here on what was said.

The Future of the European Constitution
Points made by three guest speakers at a conference on 18 November 2006
organised by the Federal Union.

General Meeting
Saturday 25 November 2006

This meeting was a follow-up to the SGM held in May this year, which set up an urgent
'Strategic Task Force'  to review the structure of the European Movement and recommend within a 6 month timescale how its vitality could be sustained in the future.

The November SGM was an opportunity for all members to hear progress and recommendations, and to discuss amendments then approve a radically new Constitution.

The meeting was held in London, at the Northampton Suite, City University.

link_arrow.gif (968 bytes)  The Sussex Branch was congratulated for initiating the Special General meeting "as the means by which the European Movement can re-establish its sense of purpose and fulfil it".  Sarah Leigh, who guided the Strategic Task Force, received a gift of appreciation from Acting Chairman Marie-Louise Rossi.
Sarah Leigh, who guided the Strategic Task Force, receives a gift of appreciation from Acting Chairman Marie-Louise Rossi.

Annual General Meeting
was held on Monday 4 December 2006
at Adastra Hall, Keymer Road, Hassocks  BN6 8QH

Reports of this year's activities.  Plans for 2007.
Approval of Accounts.   Election of Officers.

Rory Curran, East Sussex Officer for Europe,
talked about the development of Regional Links
between Southern England and Northern France.

The evening ended with mulled wine and seasonal refreshments.

Celebratory dinner
Friday 15 December 2006
at the Steyning Centre, Steyning, West Sussex

This dinner celebrated the 60th year of Wilton Park, the international conference centre at Wiston House, Steyning, which was originally part of the effort to re-introduce democracy to post-war Europe. The evening was organised by the Steyning Society and Steyning Museum.
Contact Peter Harris on 01903 813983.

home page