Julian Priestley is the author of five books and many articles, reviews and opinion pieces, covering many political themes.
A kind of miscellany about the European Parliament
Co-authored with Stephen Clark
The idea for my second book, a kind of miscellany about the European Parliament, came during a debate on my first book. A member of the audience drew my attention to a book on life in the Commission in the early years. In fact, it turns out to be a series, published by the Commission itself with sometimes an uncomfortable mix of anecdote and heavy policy description. I just wanted something which could give a flavour of what Jacques Delors describes in his preface as ‘La Comédie Humaine’ of a multilingual, multinational, multiparty politics.
But I needed to dragoon a co-author who would bring a more up-to-date insight on the Parliament and who could cover some interesting aspects of which I had little direct knowledge. I asked Stephen Clark, my close colleague for my last seven years at the EP, and who is now its Director of Communications. It was a huge pleasure to work with someone who writes so well, and who shares so much of my approach to what’s interesting and important about a Parliament; so that’s how ‘Europe’s Parliament: People, Places & Politics” was born.
We wanted to avoid a duplication of the more heavyweight academic literature on the Parliament’s powers and its functions, and we succeeded. So here there are anecdotes aplenty, some history, some very personal assessments (‘The Top Ten Speeches’) and some ground-breaking stuff on how the EP communicates with the wider world. It was fun to write, and people have been kind enough to say, fun to read. It was published by John Harper Publishing, and it got some really warm appreciations from Jacques Delors and Martin Schulz. The launch was hosted by Martin Schulz, by now President of the Parliament in the ‘Parlementarium’ in Brussels.