AT THE moment, I am loving the European Championships - I admired the performance Italy put in against Belgium. I am loving that Aberdeen FC re-enter European competition on June 30, and I am rather fond of German lager. Sadly the two most common words I hear on Europe at the moment are “Eurosceptic” and “Europhile”. To me, the word Europhile doesn’t exude harmony or togetherness, it’s a hard word. However, an internet search tells me it means a person who is fond of, admires, or even loves European culture, society, history & food. Love, fondness and admiration are certainly softer more romantic words. A survey of people’s views of Europe was published in an article on March 1, 2016 in this fine publication. That article told me that Aberdeen is rated the second most Europhile region in the UK, behind only Ceredigion in Wales. It got me to thinking why that was, and frankly I suspect it’s nothing to do with love or admiration, I suspect it is much more practical especially for businesses. When we asked our members (as individuals) what was important about the EU, the single market and freedom of movement came out tops. It strikes me that these are much harder reasons for wanting to be in the EU than a “fondness” of history or food. These are reasons why three in four of our members say they want to stay in the EU. I suspect the reasons for Ceredigion being “fond” of the EU are different but I’ll leave others to comment on that. These results in the North-east have remained fairly stable across the last year, despite the national mood of business showing a rise in support for a Brexit with a corresponding slight drop in support for the Remain campaign. At Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, we speak with one voice on behalf of our members. While our members as individuals have views on the EU, most member companies don’t have a public position. That is one of the reasons why we have provided advice and information to our members to in turn give to their staff. We decided to be impartial last year and I am glad we did as the quality of the public debate has been very poor. We have tried to be a trustworthy voice. We should of course all vote, even though we cannot be sure of what “in” or “out” actually means to us. The decision we make is about the economy, it is also though about national culture and many more things. Perhaps the best lesson we should take is that these complex decisions and debates are best not led by politicians.