18 September 2008


Commission on Europe after Fifty: Policy Implications for Britain


This major new report on Britain's role in Europe is published by the Chatham House Commission on Europe after Fifty: Policy Implications for Britain, chaired by Sir Stephen Wall.

Its key messages are:

  • The sterile debate about Europe is compromising future British prosperity and security
  • British thinking on international challenges will evolve closer to its EU partners than to the US
  • British leadership is needed, for example, on energy security, to better handle Russia's dominant position
  • The political thinking behind the island mentality that dominates the British debate on domestic security disregards the increasingly mobile nature of 21st century threats.

Report Dissemination

May 2009

  • Ahead of the European elections, The Economist cites the report in a debate on Britain's relationship with Europe. 

December 2008

  • The discussion about possible future British membership of the euro area raised in the report was featured in the International Herald Tribune. 

November 2008

  • Le Figaro discusses the report in the context of British leadership of the European operation against piracy. 
  • Commission Member Anand Menon writes in E!Sharp magazine. 

October 2008

  • The report's findings, particularly as relevant to the EU-US relationship, are presented and then followed by a discussion at a dinner hosted by the Transatlantic Policy Network in Brussels.
  • Formal release of the report in Brussels at The Centre with a presentation by Sir Stephen Wall and comments by David Rennie, European Union correspondent at The Economist.
  • Article by Sir Stephen Wall 'British political parties lose their way in the Channel fog' in the European Voice.

September 2008

  • Private high-level meetings to discuss the report's findings and recommendations at the UK Permanent Representation to the EU, Commission President Barroso's Cabinet and the Council of the European Union in Brussels.
  • The possibility of Britain joining the single currency in the future is discussed in The Guardian. 
  • A Chatham House Members Event to discuss the findings of the report involving a presentation by Sir Stephen Wall and commentary by Dr Denis MacShane MP and David Heathcoat-Amory MP. 
  • Report Launch at Chatham House which offers in-depth discussion of report's findings with the Commission Members and a small group of experts in European issues from a variety of backgrounds. 
  • The risk to Britain's security and economic stability from dependence on Russian gas and the recommendation to create a European Energy Agency is discussed in The Telegraph. 
  • Private high-level meetings to discuss the report's findings and recommendations in Downing Street, the Foreign Office, The Conservative Party, European Commission Representation in London, and at the French and German Embassies.