WIL EU Breakfast Debate with Michel Barnier, EU Chief Negotiator for Brexit

02 Oct 2017 12:55 | Anonymous

While the fourth cycle of the Brexit negotiations just started, following intensive discussions between its main protagonists, around 60 WIL members and guests were privileged to meet and discuss with Michel Barnier, the EU’s Chief Negotiator for Brexit.

To access the full report click here.
The pictures of the event are available here.

Executive Summary : 

                       Speech by Michel Barnier, the EU’s Chief Negotiator for Brexit - European Parliament, Brussels

The future of Europe is more important than Brexit, Michel Barnier

The meeting, who took place at the European Parliament in Brussels on the 26th of September 2017, gave rise to an exceptional exchange of views, as Mr. Barnier shared insights on Brexit negotiations and its latest developments, while WIL members and guests coming from across Europe and representing various organizations, showcased how Brexit may potentially influence the sectors for which they are responsible.

In particular, Michel Barnier stressed the importance of conducting negotiations on an objective and legal basis, without harming EU citizens and the single market. He also presented his views about the future of Europe: “the negotiations should be the opportunity to explain why we are together, and how being part of the EU allows us to be respected, to defend our cultural and social model, our identity while preserving our national identities."

Intervention by Anne Houtman, Lecturer at Sciences Po Paris, 
former Director for General Policy at DG Energy of the European Commission (second on the right)

Following the debate with Mr. Barnier, the discussion on Brexit and its impacts on Europe continued with Anne Houtman, Lecturer at Sciences Po Paris, former Director for General Policy at DG Energy of the European Commission, who remarked that there was a lot of confusion, deliberately or not, around the notions of ‘sovereignty’ and of 'diversity', which deserved a better debate. The expression 'shared sovereignty' suggesting a loss of it was wrong, e.g. the decisions of the United Kingdom to join the EU, to delegate some competences to the EU or to leave it were fully sovereign decisions. The gains from exchanging - goods or ideas - within the EU are all the more important due to the diversity of its Member States, and the UK is different. In addition, Anne Houtman called for better communication with those EU citizens who are far away from 'the center' and more debates with Eurosceptics.

Several other interesting positions and exchange of views took place among our participants, which you will find in the longer version of the report. To access, please click here. 

Interventions by Katherine Corich (on the left), Founder and Chair of Sysdoc
Isabella Lenarduzzi (on the right), Owner of JUMP

Following the debate, the participants continued the discussions over a breakfast buffet, which was also a great opportunity to network and meet new WIL members and guests.

Networking time - European Parliament, Brussels
September 26th, 2017

For more photos from the event, please click here.

The WIL would like to thank you for your proactive participation and is already looking forward to seeing you at our next EU Breakfast Debate with the European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager on 5 December 2017 (to register, please click here).

© European Network for Women in Leadership 2018

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