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  • Dr Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos

British MEPs and leader on "EU citizens' rights" debate join BiE

We are delighted to announce that Julie Ward MEP, Mary Honeyball MEP and 'New Europeans' founder and CEO, Roger Casale, have joined the 'Britain in Europe' network of leading experts in EU law and European policy.

This development comes as a result of a close collaboration with the two British MEPs and the New Europeans following the EU referendum, in the context, in particular, of the debate on the protection of the rights of EU citizens in the UK, and the rights of UK citizens in the EU, after Brexit. It is a reflection of the growing influence of BiE research and pulbic engagement, particularly in the debate on the risks that Brexit poses for the protection of European human rights.

Mary Honeyball entered the European Parliament in 2000, following three decades of involvement in Labour politics. Since becoming an MEP she has taken a special interest in women’s issues, and acts as the Labour spokesperson for women’s rights and gender equality.

She is currently a full member of the Legal Affairs Committee and a substitute member of the Culture and Education Committee. She has contributed to securing important advances, including measures to tackle child safety online and steps to broaden employment and learning opportunities for Europe’s youth. She has also worked on copyright and cultural issues, advancing the cause of creators and the creative industries.

Julie Ward is a Labour MEP for the North West of England. She is also a writer, theatre-maker and cultural activist who began her working life on the factory floor before becoming a community arts worker.

She is a member of the European Parliament’s committees on Culture and Education, Women's Rights and Gender Equality and Regional Development. Julie is also a children's rights champion; she co-founded the cross-party Intergroup on Children's Rights and sat on the Labour Party’s Children and Education Policy Commission. She is a board member of the European Internet Forum, and a founding member of the European Caucus of Women in Parliament.

Roger Casale is an award-winning civil rights campaigner and the founder and Secretary General of NEW EUROPEANS. He has led the campaigns in Britain and the EU for the unilateral guarantees of EU 27 citizens’ rights and the rights of Britons in Europe. Prior to setting up New Europeans, he worked as a senior government affairs adviser in the private sector including for the CEOs of companies such as Finmeccanica, Camelot, Telespazio and Evonik in the UK. From 1997 – 2005 he was the Labour MP for Wimbledon, including three years as a Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Foreign Office between 2002 and 2005. He was made a Commendatore della Repubblica Italiana in 2009 for services to British-Italian bi-lateral relations and won a Financial Times Future of Britain Award in 2017 for his article “A Green Card for Europe.” In 2017 he also won the Sheila McKechnie Foundation People’s Choice Award for the #RightToStay campaign. He speaks English, French, Italian and German and lives in Italy and the UK.

BiE experts continue to express concern that the rights of EU citizens, and UK citizens in the EU, have not been unilaterally recognised by the British government and the EU institutions respectively, and have consistently argued that continuing uncertainty in this area may breach the right to private and family life, particularly as enshrined in the ECHR. In formalising collaboration with the leading MEPs and innovators in the citizens' rights movement, BiE seeks to ensure that research undertaken by our academic experts will have maximum impact with policy makers, and that the fundamental rights of the more than five million people affected will be effectively secured.

The collaboration likewise opens invaluable channels of communication on European law and policy, notably in relation to children's rights, learning opportunities for young people in Europe, copyright and cultural issues...

(Photo above) Mary Honeyball MEP speaking at a BiE event at the British Academy on EU citizens' rights and the ECHR after Brexit

Julie Ward MEP, Samia Badani (New Europeans) and BiE founder Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos at the European Parliament after a working meeting to discuss the submission of a written question to Donald Tusk on EU citizens' rights (May 2017)

BiE is continuing in the path of working closely with policy makers, including MPs and MEPs coming from across the political spectrum, in the direction of supporting the development of a close working relationship with Europe after Brexit.

Dominic Grieve MP (Conservatives) speaking at the launch of a BiE report (October 2016) on Brexit: Opportunities, Challenges and the Road Ahead

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