Students have launched a citywide consultation on one of the hottest issues in politics – the future of the European Union.
De Montfort University Leicester (DMU)’s Department of Politics and Public Policy has taken over a shop space at Leicester’s Highcross for its 100 Ideas for Europe campaign.
Within just a few hours of the launch yesterday, the team had more than 100 responses and plan to collect many more over the next two days.
DMU’s politics lecturers were also on hand to answer questions people had about the issues involved in Britain’s relationship with the EU.
Among the topics under discussion are economic integration, trade, security and defence, environment, agriculture, foreign policy and immigration.
Gareth Watson, first year Business and Globalization student, was among those interviewing people about their views.
He said: “It’s not a black and white issue, but it’s one which people get very emotional about. People have been very vocal about the EU. As a student to get involved in something like this is a great experience.”
Alieu Ceesay, International Relations, has also been gathering views. He said: “Someone told me the EU has become too bossy, it’s interfering in our lives too much. Other people have already decided what they are going to vote but there are plenty of people who say they do not have the information to make their minds up.”
Professor Alasdair Blair, head of DMU’s politics department and Jean Monnet Professor of International Relations, said: “We want to encourage a genuine and open conversation on European integration.
“Although there has been lots of coverage, the media has focused on the personalities not the issues and we are finding people have a lot of questions and concerns that they need answers to.
“We’ve been very pleased with the response and the engagement so far.”
100 Ideas for Europe is the latest project by DMU’s Policy Commission, established in 2013 to give students across the university the chance to engage with real-world politics. In 2014 the Commission published a manifesto with ideas for political parties ahead of the General Election, and last year students proposed ideas for Leicester to the city council.
This time, students will present a dossier containing 100 ideas to inform the EU debate to MPs at Westminster, ahead of the Referendum on June 23.
* Come along and share your ideas on the future of the EU – or ask any questions that you like to our lecturers – by visiting the pop-up shop. It is opposite Supercuts on the ground floor of Highcross and is open from 9.30am to 4.30pm. You can also follow the campaign on Twitter using the hashtag #DMU100Ideas
Posted on Wednesday 24th February 2016