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Open Europe is a eurosceptic think-tank and interest group, founded in London by some UK business people, with offices in London and Brussels.[1]. While Open Europe does not advocate British withdrawal from the European Union, it is critical of the process of European integration and has called for "substantial powers to be returned" to member states. Open Europe was set up by some of the people behind the campaign against the UK joining the euro and the European Constitution.

Contents

Supporters

Activities

Open Europe holds regular seminars and discussions on EU reform. Recent speakers at Open Europe events include William Hague, Gisela Stuart, Sir Stephen Wall, Alberto Alesina, Vincent Cable and Professor John Gillingham.

Open Europe regularly publishes original research aimed at promoting new ideas among key EU policy makers, business people and academics.

The organisation has conducted extensive polling on EU-related issues, both at a national level and a pan-European level, including the first independent poll on the future of the European Union to be carried out in all 27 EU member states. The poll found that 75% of people in the EU want a referendum on any new treaty which gives more powers to the EU. Another poll (with a loaded question) showed that Irish voters ' they would be less likely to vote for Cowen and his party in an Irish general election if he decided to re-run the referendum',[2] having already rejected the Lisbon Treaty in a referendum in June 2008 (nevertheless, a second referendum with an increased turonout approved the Treaty by two to one. Independent opinion polls on either side of the referendum continued to show a negative view of Cowen and his party.)

Criticisms

The Irish government accused Open Europe of “meddling” in the Irish debate, claiming a poll of Irish voters showing they did not want to be made to vote a second time on the Lisbon Treaty was “biased”. Speaking during a debate with Open Europe’s Lorraine Mullally on Irish radio Newstalk, Europe Minister Dick Roche claimed the suggestion that Nicolas Sarkozy was reported to have said there should be a second referendum was “complete nonsense.” He denied there had been any suggestion of a second referendum at that stage.

Peter Mandelson attacked the group in an interview in The Guardian. He said that the real agenda of the group was “less integration, less strength embodied in our single market and fewer opportunities to build our economic strength.” He argued that “Those are the people who are most insidious since they maintain a pretence of being open to Europe but actually want to lead Britain away from and out of Europe.”[3]

Daily Telegraph journalist Shane Richmond criticised an opinion poll carried out by Open Europe “I hate to say this, because I know and like the Open Europe people, but I think the bulk of their poll is not that useful, because the wording of their questions was not neutral enough.”[4]

See also

References

External links

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