St Swithun’s School, Winchester welcomed Professor Mike Mannin from the University of Portsmouth for an evening talk on The Future of Europe last week. Professor Mannin is the Jean Monnet Professor in EU integration at the university. Describing himself as a sceptical Europhile, Mr Mannin delivered an informative and balanced talk and allowed all arguments to be considered free of the emotive debates on the subject which have dominated much of the recent media discussion. An audience of over 150, made up of current and former pupils, parents, teachers and visitors from other local schools, welcomed the insightful discussion at this crucial time in light of the forthcoming EU referendum in June.
Alicia Dent, a politics student in Year 12 said, ‘I was particularly fascinated by the complexity of the possible outcomes, dependant on the overall majority’. Mrs Batten, head of politics at St Swithun’s and event organiser said ‘We were delighted to be able to offer an opportunity for members of our community to learn more about this topical issue which we hope will help people to vote in an informed manner’.
Mr Mannin is also the director of the University of Portsmouth’s Centre of Excellence for the Study of Transnational Europe (CESTE). He has written and researched in this area over numerous years, including works on the UK and the EU and the inclusion of central and Eastern European countries in the EU. He is currently producing a work on the EU's Eastern new neighbours.