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Thursday, March 29, 2007

The topsy-turvy world of the EU

At a seminar we held on Monday on EU trade policy one of the experts - Chris Stevens - said that dealing with the EU reminded him of the topsy-turvy world of Gilbert and Sullivan.

Two stories in today's papers illustrate his point nicely:
  • Angela Merkel has claimed that unless the EU presses ahead with bringing back the EU Constitution the gap between EU politicians and ordinary people will widen.
  • The EU is rocked by yet another fraud scandal. EU officials argue that this shows there is a need for even more integration. They want an EU Public Prosecutor to be appointed.
PS - for a much more eloquent description of the surreal world of the EU (such as official's arguments over "non non-papers") check out this recent FT article by Gideon Rachman .


Barry said...

The trouble with Merkel is that she is an east german, and as such used to top down decrees on how a country should be run from a foreign power, so it isn't suprising that she wants this sort of governance for the whole of the european continent.

The eu has intrinsic democratic deficit, and the constitution only increases the problem, what is needed is a pathway to return the power to where it belongs, the national democraticallly elected parliaments, not to allow the unelected commission to continue with its power grabs.

Anonymous said...

Instead of the cut-and-paste Reuters report, which rather misrepresents what Frau Dr Merkel had to say, let's have a look at what she actually said, shall we?

"I want to emphasize once more that an election campaign for the European Parliament in 2009 where we cannot say to people

- that we can enlarge the European Union,

- how many members the European Commission will have in future,

- that energy policy is a European competence, i.e. that Europe has a common energy policy,

- that, where appropriate, we cooperate on internal security and legal issues on the basis of majority decisions,

would only widen the distance between the institutions and Europe's citizens."

The problem with Barry above is that he is too prone to gib, crass and patronising generalisations about "the trouble with foreigners".