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Sharon Bowles MEP visits Epsom

December 2, 2005 9:29 AM
Sharon Bowles MEP

Sharon Bowles is the newest MEP for South East England

Sharon Bowles MEP was the guest speaker at Epsom & Ewell Lib Dems AGM, held recently at the Phoenix Club in Epsom. Sharon succeeded Chris Huhne MP when he stood down as an MEP on being elected to the Westminster parliament. She arrived directly from Strasbourg, where the European Parliament's rotating sessions had been held that week, and regaled members with her accounts of the reality of life in the European goldfish bowl.

Although she is the South-East's newest MEP, Sharon Bowles is, of course, no stranger to the European scene, having practised as a European Patents Lawyer and been a professional representative before the Office for Harmonization of the Single Market (European Trade Mark and Designs Office). She is also no stranger to many local members who remember her from the 2004 European Elections campaign.

Amongst other anecdotes, one that stood out was the occasion when the European Lib Dem group lobbied Tony Blair as he arrived in Brussels for a meeting of the Council of Ministers, the body that actually takes the decisions in Brussels - the Commission are more like the UK Civil Service, they make proposals and carry out the decisions of the Council.

The members of the European Lib Dem group ALDE lined the entrance and stairs, carrying placards "Make EU Law in Public". Currently meetings of the Council are held in secret, so it is impossible to find out which members actually supported the various decisions. Sharon and her fellow Lib Dems wanted to shame Tony Blair into proposing a long-overdue change, which would only need to be passed by a simple majority.

Sharon also responded to various questions from members about the EU. Arising from this it was noted that she has an interesting link on her website to "What has Europe ever done for us?" which is definitely worth a visit.

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