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Democracy listens to dissent - what have eurosceptics done for the EU? - London, 21st November 2012

"Politics can be not just the art of the possible, especially if that means the art of speculation, calculation, intrigue, secret deals and pragmatic maneuvering, but that it can even be the art of the impossible, namely the art of improving ourselves and the world."  Vaclav Havel, inaugural speech as President of Czechoslovakia

Democracy is about listening to all voices, including those speaking out against existing rules and structures. For democracy to work it must engage with dissent and empower different voices.

As part of Parliament Week the European Parliament's UK Information Office hosted a discussion with those critical of the European institutions themselves.

We brought together activists, politicians, journalists and interested public to hear and discuss criticism from the left and the right of the political spectrum in a 90-minute lunchtime discussion that was both educational and entertaining.


Tom Moriarty from Occupy London and Gawain Towler from UKIP/EDF.

The discussion was chaired by Dr Simon Usherwood, Senior Lecturer in Politics, University of Surrey.


Parliament Week is a national initiative co-ordinated by the House of Commons and the House of Lords.  Its aims are simply to raise awareness of democracy and democratic institutions in the UK, and to inform people about how they can take an active part in them.