St Robert's Centre on Robert Street was the venue for this open meeting on Thursday 27 May 2004, organised by Yorkshire and the Humber in Europe. The audience heard a five minute speech by each of the four candidates at this meeting and were given opportunity to ask questions of the panel. This webpage provides links to those represented but is not a full list of candidates or policies, and does not provide direction on which values are promoted by the parties.
Chairman: Les Parkes, chair of North Yorkshire European Movement
The Green party speaker reminded the audience that the UK is part of Europe - on that we have no choice. The Conservative MEP reiterated the need to make "Europe" far more understood; he was in favour of bringing new countries into the EU and he personally has a history of working on pro-European issues. TheLiberal Democrat speaker raised the issue of the war in Iraq and described his outlook to the EU as being open and constructive, but also standing up when Britain's position needs to be protected. The Labour MEP outlined her experience in the EU parliament and the positive impact of European law on the UK.
The question and answer session gave the speaker on the panel the opportunity to highlight where the EU has benefited this region. Answers included the benefit of four weeks minimum holiday each year and a minimum of one day off work in seven. The environment has been a key area where EU legislation and pressure has been made on individual governments for the benefit of all across frontiers. The meeting heard how the EU parliament's stance on GM food has secured a moratorium on GM crops (despite the attempts of the USA to force the EU to make this issue one for national governments rather than Brussels). It was also noted how EU standards had given an impetus for coastal resorts in Yorkshire to work on their environment to secure a Blue Flag. On matters of health, the EU has ensured higher standards for all in the Blood Services Directive.
After the questions, the audience had the opportunity to ask direct questions to the candidates.