We need an ambitious yet realistic agenda to end extreme poverty by 2030 as the UN has proposed, and it is my firm belief that increased cooperation between states on issues such as trade, human rights, security and climate change gives us the political clout in order to achieve this. It is only in this way we can ensure that the benefits of globalisation are felt all the way from the Peterlee to Patagonia.
Most important, even the mere consideration of a programme of this nature might change the atmosphere of the discussion. It may change the current toxic environment where everyone is pulling in opposite directions with each party losing patience with everyone else, to a constructive discussion about a long-term solution with a short-term, finite safety net.
Like it or not, the idea of an in-out referendum will play a big part in the Britain's forthcoming general election. Britons might tell pollsters they care little about the topic, but Europe is woven into so many issues that it will be up there in the headlines day after day. Yet the question of Britain's E.U. membership defies simple answers.
History seems to repeat itself in the European Parliament altogether too often. This week in Strasbourg the European Parliament voted for a well-meaning yet naive proposal to cap the costs that can be charged for card payments at a very low level. Whether this ever actually becomes law is an open question, but in the meantime no doubt we will hear plenty of it from the EU's PR machine.
With Immigration remaining a significant area of debate in the UK, I assessed the pros and cons of immigration in my interview with Private Law Editor, Amy Ling, exploring the possibilities that immigration allows to students, how it is affects our current housing market and the issue of whether migrants should adapt to British values.
This has been a really exciting week for Paul Brannen MEP and me, as our team in Brussels joined us in Newcastle for 'Constituency Week'. With the help of two electric LEAF cars kindly lent to us by Nissan we travelled all over the region to meet with local groups and businesses, giving our European office the chance to see the impact of our work in the North East.