'Britain and Europe: The Hope still Lives’
Julian Priestley was a lifelong member of the European Movement, was President of its Europe-wide youth section, led the youth campaign for Europe in Britain's 1975 referendum and became one of the first generation of British EU civil servants, with an outstanding career as an official in the European Parliament, rising to become its Secretary-General from 1997 to 2007.
He was also active in the Labour party, standing three times as a candidate in UK general elections. He contributed to the pro-European cause in his many writings, in his speeches to audiences all over Europe and in his contributions to the campaigns he fought.
After his premature death in 2017, a number of his friends decided that a fitting way to mark his passionate European commitment would be to establish an annual lecture in his honour. This lecture is designed to provide an opportunity for prominent speakers to contribute to the ongoing debate about the European Union in the United Kingdom. The European Movement is proud to have co-sponsored these lectures.
The first of these lectures was given in London in 2018 by Richard Corbett, then leader of the British Labour MEPs in the European Parliament and the second in Newcastle in 2019 by Frances O'Grady, Secretary-General of the TUC. Both events were chaired by former Europe Minister, Baroness Quin (Joyce Quin).
The 2021 event will be chaired by Baroness Royall, former Leader of the House of Lords, and the principle speaker will be Bobby McDonagh, former Ambassador to the UK from the Republic of Ireland.