Setting the Record Straight: Don’t Blame the European Union

Filmed at GLG London

On June 23, Britain will vote on whether or not to remain in the European Union (EU), and questions surrounding the role of the EU have reached an all-time high. While it started as a political project to encourage unity among Europeans from different countries, the EU has solidified itself as a comprehensive governing body that promotes its own currency (the euro) and rules on trade, immigration, security, and other foreign policy issues. Despite its many functions, popular opinion suggests many European are misinformed when it comes to the scope of the EU’s reach. Former Director General of the Council of the European Union’s Legal Service Jean Claude Piris wants to set the record straight. Piris sat down with GLG in London to discuss when it’s okay to fault the EU as well as the need for structuring reforms to improve coherence for economic and budgetary policy.

From 1988 to 2010, Jean-Claude Piris negotiated and adopted key European treaties in his role as Director General of the Legal Service of the Council of the EU. He is the author of many acclaimed articles and books including: “The Lisbon Treaty: A Legal and Political Analysis” (2010), which featured a foreword by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Recently, Piris has shifted his focus to Brexit. In January 2016, he published “If the UK votes to leave: The seven alternatives to EU membership” for the Centre for European Reform.