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James Elles I am a Member of the European Parliament for the South-East Region, with special responsibility for the Conservative Party in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. Now in my sixth term, I am a member of the European Parliament’s Budgets committee, and also a substitute member of both the Foreign Affairs committee and the EU-US delegation. I am the founder of the Transatlantic Policy Network, which I currently chair, and a co-founder of the European Internet Foundation.

I am online not only to inform you about my work as a Member of the European Parliament but for you to have access to me so that you can contact me when you have a problem with a European dimension or simply wish to express your views on the big issues facing the European Union. Please send me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you.

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In six weeks’ time, millions of voters go to the polls across the European Union to elect MEPs for the period 2014-2019. For the UK, European Election Day will take place on Thursday 22nd May. Recent polling shows that two thirds of the UK think the European Parliament has “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of impact on Britain. At the same time, three quarters of these people said they know “not very much” or “hardly anything” about the European Parliament. Further to this only one in ten say they could name an MEP in their area (see ‘Europe on Trial Public opinion and Britain’s relationship with the EU’, March 2014, Lord Ashcroft).

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Any analyses made today about long-term trends underline that the world is in transition, often represented as the emergence of a multipolar world as the major powers of the 20th Century adapt themselves to the more fluid conditions of the 21st Century. As has often been said in this blog, it is not so much the final destination which is the real object of forecasting exercises, but the visible changes to trends which are of the most interest. One mistake never to make is to predict final outcomes with any certainty, as for example Francis Fukuyama saying in 1990 we were now witnessing the End of History! (see ‘The End of History the Last of Man, Avon Books 1992)

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Press release

From JAMES ELLES, Conservative European MP for the South-East (with special responsibility for Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire) Release: Immediate- Friday, 4 April 2014

NEW TRANSATLANTIC  PARTNERSHIP WILL STRENGTHEN EU AND US ECONOMIES

Writing in his blog this week, James Elles, Conservative European MP for the South-East, reminds readers that evidence of continuing flash-point areas such as in Northern and Central Africa, the Middle East and more recently Crimea, demonstrates clearly that a security alliance in the European-Atlantic region has never been so relevant to ensure peace and stability.

Although the direction of NATO is changing, it will continue to be a cornerstone for EU – US security, as was highlighted in the joint EU -US Summit Joint Statement a week ago.   Mr Elles records this statement emphasising that both the EU and US will continue working to fully strengthen EU-NATO cooperation, especially on early consultations on crises and emerging security challenges such as maritime, energy and cyber security.

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This blog complements that of last week, summarising the main points from the launch of two documents on Monday afternoon in the House of Lords at an event hosted by the Digital Policy Alliance, together with the European Internet Foundation (EIF) and the Digital Business First (DBF). After briefly covering the content of the two documents, this blog reviews the ensuing discussion and its consequences.

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Press release From JAMES ELLES, Conservative European MP for the South-East (with special responsibility for Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire)

Release: Immediate – Friday, 28 March 2014

HOW CAN UK BUSINESSES WIN THE GLOBAL RACE WITH THEIR HANDS TIED BEHIND THEIR BACK?

The Government must raise its level of ambition and deliver a national digital strategy that would properly equip the UK for the future, James Elles, the Conservative European MP for the South-East region, writes in his weekly blog today (Friday 28 March 2014).

Mr Elles, a co-founder of the European Internet Foundation (EIF), was present at a House of Lords event on Monday (24 March 2014) to launch two documents on the importance of the digital agenda in both Europe and within the UK.

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Latest Speech

“It is a great honour for me to host this event today in the European Parliament.

Starting my involvement in the European Institutions in February 1976 as a stagiaire at the European Commission, I became a full time civil servant there until my election to the European Parliament in June 1984. I am now completing my 28th year as a Conservative MEP representing the Thames Valley for my Party which includes Witney, that of the Prime Minister. I consider myself to be very fortunate to have had this opportunity; my friends tell me that as a pro European I have consistently defied the laws of gravity in so doing!

Have I had doubts along the way about supporting the European cause? Occasionally perhaps, but my underlying enthusiasm and commitment to the European ideal remains undimmed from all that I have witnessed or in which I have been a participant. So many have been involved in this process with the genuine conviction that European unity and action will reduce the dangers that we face either from our demonstrable historical record of our capacity to destroy ourselves – witness the 2 great wars of the last century – as well as potential challenges and threats outside, both economic and political.