About the E-AG
The European-Atlantic Group (The E-AG) is one of the longest running Interest Groups associated with Parliament. It was formed in 1954 to consider international relations of the Americas and Europe and related matters arising in any quarter of the globe. The aim of the E-AG is to shed new light on these topics in an independent, non-party political setting and to ventilate them in a high level and challenging forum where differing opinions are heard out with respect. Experts and commentators and members of the public discuss with those at the helm of affairs how best to resolve issues of contention. Speakers are invited to advocate practical solutions. The E-AG has evolved to interpret and develop an in-depth perspective on global issues.
The E-AG is a registered charity dedicated to educating and informing the public.
It is a community open to all with an interest in international affairs.
Debate-discussions have been patronised by Royalty, former Presidents, Ministers, Captains of Industry, leading Diplomats and high ranking Service officers.
The Palace of Westminster is the long-established venue of the E-AG for meetings.
The European-Atlantic Group was founded in London in 1954 by Michael John Layton, 2nd Baron Layton (1912-1989) then a Vice-President of the Council of Europe and Elma Dangerfield, CBE (1907-2006) together with other members of the Houses of Parliament, industrialists, bankers, economists and journalists. Its object was, and remains, to promote closer relations between the European and Atlantic countries by providing a regular forum in the UK for discussion of their problems and economic and political co-operation. The founders of the E-AG stated that their purpose was to disseminate authoritative information concerning the work of international organisations that included the Council of Europe (COE), the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Western European Union (WEU), Euratom (EAEC), the European Economic Community (EEC), the Council for Trade and Goods (GATT) which was succeeded by the World Trade Organisation) etc. The E-AG held discussions, dinners and meetings in London, usually in Committee Rooms of the House of Commons or House of Lords on European-Atlantic relations with the rest of the world; including the Middle East, Far East, Africa, Afghanistan.
The Group’s London office for many years was at 6 Gertrude Street, Chelsea. For much of this period, the President was the Earl of Bessborough. and there was an impressive list of Vice-Presidents, including the Marquess of Lansdowne, the Earl of Limerick, the Earl Jellicoe, The Lord Carrington, The Lord Chalfont, The Lord Shawcross,
The Lord Granchester. Sir Nicholas Henderson, Sir Frederic Bennett, Sir Fitzroy Maclean, Bt., General Sir Harry Tuzo, and Douglas Fairbanks junior. The Chairman was the Lord Rippon of Hexham, Q.C., Vice-Chairmen were Sir Antony Buck, Q.C., M.P., and Sir W. Hugh-Jones. The Director was Elma Dangerfield, C.B.E.who co-founded the Group in 1954 and remained active in it in her nineties. Until her decease in January 2006 her co-Director was Justin Glass, who became Finance Director in
1987 and Director in 1992, retiring from the Group in 2012. He was succeeded as Director by Anthony Westnedge, OBE, and then by Charles Bennett.
E-AG Presidents have included Lord Layton CH CBE, the Earl of Listowel, Sir Geoffrey de Freitas KCMG MP, Sir Frank Roberts GCMG GCVO, Lord Dahrendorf, Lord Judd, The Earl of Limerick KBE, Lord Dykes, Viscount Montgomery of Alamein CMG CBE, Sir Michael Burton KCVO CMG, Baroness Hooper CMG, and Baroness Symons of Vernam Dean, and the Rt. Hon. Lord Hamilton of Epsom.
The E-AG hosted Anniversary celebration banquets for the founding of NATO every decade. In 1989, the 40th Anniversary, the Duke of Edinburgh was the main Speaker at Guildhall and General John Galvin, US Army, Supreme Allied Commander in Europe also spoke. In 1999 the 50th Anniversary celebration was at Guildhall with the Duke of York, the Secretary-General of NATO Herr Manfred Worner, the Foreign Minister of Poland and 525 influential delegates. In 2009 the 60th Anniversary was held at St James’s Palace with 27 Ambassadors among the delegates and the main speaker was the Duke of York. An annual event for many years has been for delegations from the Association of Former Congressmen, representing Republicans and Democrats. Monthly events of the E-AG were addressed by figures as diverse as President Nyerere of Tanzania, King Hussain of Jordan the Rt Hon Iain Duncan-Smith MP, the Rt Hon Michael Howard MP, The Rt Hon Mrs Thatcher, Mr Neil Kinnock, and Former Presidents including Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, Tan Mahathir of Malaysia and Vytautis Landsbergis of Lithuania.