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Member of the European Parliament Graham Watson Visited IES

Member of the European Parliament Graham Watson Visited IES

Author:Zhang Lei From:Site author Update:2017-08-21 13:43:46

Graham Watson, member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) within the European Parliament, visited the Institute of European Studies (IES), CASS, on the 17th May 2011.

After a short recap on the history of European integration, Watson told the IES researchers that the Treaty of Lisbon has transformed the EU into a political entity. In a sense, the EU can be viewed as a state since it has a Common Foreign Policy, internal policy and Common Justice & home affair Policy etc. The EU’s decision-making process has become more democratic and efficient after the Lisbon Treaty came into force. Parliamentary democracy within the EU level is shaping up and the European Parliament is quite similar in structure to the Lower House of its member states.

According to the MEP, the Treaty also changed the attitude of the national Parliaments towards the European Parliament. The representatives from the national Parliaments are often present at the European Parliament and MPs from member states routinely exchange views with their counterpart MEPs. Indeed, the Treaty of Lisbon has transformed the EU from an international club to supranational entity.

Watson also mentioned that there are three challenges for the EU: the debt crisis, migration problems and also external issues such as energy security and neighbourhood policy. Although the EU faces many difficulties, Watson is still optimistic about EU’s future as the EU has a Common Market, rule of law and power of idea.

Mr. Watson first visited China in 1986. This time he is impressed by China’s fast development. In his opinion, China and the EU should co-operate in many fields, such as global economic governance, climate change and development aid policy.

Watson praised the EP’s delegation to China and China’s EU ambassador, Song Zhe, for their contribution to promoting EU-China relations. He said that China and the EU should encourage dialogue and communication to improve relations. “As a famous saying goes, there are no misunderstandings in life, only the failure to communicate,” said Watson.

Watson was in Beijing to attend the Second China-Europe High-level Political Parties Forum.

Watson has been elected to the European Parliament since 1994. He held the position of the leader of liberal and democratic group in the European Parliament from 2002 to 2009, and currently the Chair of the EP’s delegation to India and a full member of the delegation to China.

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