Friday, July 01, 2005

There is something rotten in the European Union

Insider brands Brussels a “bureaucratic nightmare”

Jim Dougal, who quit a year ago as head of the Commission's UK representation in London, launches a vitriolic attack on what he calls the “Brussels machine” on the eve of Britain's assumption on Friday of the European Union presidency.

“It is not just that the Commission fails to explain what the EU is for . . . Its modus operandi displays an outrageous lack of common sense . . . It became intolerable to work within what had come to seem like a bureaucratic nightmare that makes Whitehall look a model of simple efficiency.”

Accusations of overbearing bureaucracy are the hallmark of eurosceptic attacks on the EU but it is rare for a Brussels aficionado to echo those concerns.

In his article, Mr Dougal says: “The Brussels machine has no idea of how it should even begin to sell itself to the British public”. Mr Dougal was hired to brief the Commission on UK affairs and to help improve the British public's understanding of its workings but he describes how he quickly realised his job was impossible.

He gives a damning insight into the red tape that critics say hampers the Commission's operation. Mr Dougal also describes José Manuel Barroso, Commission president, as “hardly the first choice” and “the lowest common denominator” on which member states could agree.

And, as if we really needed any further evidence of sheer the asininity of many EU politicians, a Financial Times editorial also concludes that:
The strategic reasons for enlargement have not changed. What has been exposed is a crisis of leadership: EU politicians prefer to blame "Brussels" rather than confront potentially unpopular Europe-wide issues. This craven capitulation is enlarging the constituency for populist and nationalist demagogues - not least in Turkey

See - Nervousness about EU enlargement