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Europe explained

The latest edition of the Record Europe

The Record: Europe examines the key moments in the political week in Brussels and Strasbourg and focuses on the work of the European Parliament and European Commission.

With studio debate and actuality from the Parliament - as well as excerpts from the work of Europe's national parliaments - the programme is presented from Brussels and Strasbourg by Shirin Wheeler.


24th May edition
Lucy Thomas
Producer, The Record: Europe

CAP reform plans unveiled

Europe's faming Commissioner unveiled plans to shake up Europe's agriculture policy this week, but why are some warning that the proposals to cut subsidies are doomed to failure?

The UK's Chancellor Alistair Darling has welcomed the changes, calling for "fundamental reforms" of the sector in the face of rising food prices.

But France's Agriculture Minister Michel Barnier has told the BBC that subsidies and other supporting mechanisms are "vital" to sustain Europe's agriculture - and that such a "lack of enthusiasm" from the UK for common EU policy is "unsurprising".

With such divisions between member states will an agreement - scheduled under the French presidency later this year - ever be reached?

Joining Shirin Wheeler in the studio to discuss the issues are:

  • Michael Mann, EU Commission Agriculture spokesman
  • Neil Parish MEP, British Conservative and chair of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee
  • Bogdan Golik MEP, Polish Socialist
  • Marie-Hélène Aubert MEP, French Green
Commission poised for U-turn?

MEPs have backed a call for a wide-ranging anti-discrimination bill forcing the European Commission to re-think earlier plans for a disability-only package.

Last month the Commission told the programme that despite initial enthusiasm, there was little point in trying to push through broad measures in the face of opposition from member states such as Germany.

But after pressure from NGOs and this week's signal from the Parliament, it appears that the plans are now going back to the drawing board.

Joining Shirin Wheeler to discuss to discuss what happens next are:

  • British Liberal Democrat and author of the report on wide-ranging measures, Liz Lynne MEP;
  • Michael Cashman MEP the British Labour chair of the parliament's Gay and Lesbian intergroup;
  • and the leader of the Bavarian Centre Right MEPs, Markus Ferber.

The Record: Europe is broadcast on BBC Parliament on Saturdays at 2300 GMT, Sundays at 1700 GMT and Mondays at 1000 GMT, on BBC World on Saturdays at 1330 GMT and Sundays at 0630 GMT and on the BBC News channel on Sundays at 0530 GMT and Mondays at 0330 GMT.


Presenter profile


Shirin Wheeler presents the weekly EU politics programme The Record: Europe from Brussels and Strasbourg.

She is based in the BBC's Brussels bureau. She was born in Berlin and educated in Washington DC, Brussels and Britain.

Shirin has been in Brussels since 1996, working mainly with BBC TV and radio.

During her time in Belgium she has also reported for BBC business programmes, local radio and regional TV. She has two daughters.


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