MEPs vote to take over the diplomatic service
Telegraph UK (Link) - Daniel Hannan (October 21, 2009)
At 11.00 pm last night, I was being roundly out-voted. The Constitutional Affairs Committee was pushing through a report calling for the EU�s diplomatic corps (�European External Action Service�) to be answerable to MEPs. Needless to say, everyone was thoroughly in favour of the idea � despite the fact that, with Lisbon still unratified, the EEAS shouldn�t strictly speaking exist at all. I voted against, obviously, as did the brilliant new MEP for South West England, Ashley Fox, and a patriotic young Dane called Morten. The resolution went through by something like 30 votes to three.
I sat next to a Belgian liberal � believe me, you�ve never met a Euro-fanatic until you�ve met a Belgian liberal - who rolled her eyes theatrically whenever I voted against something (the proposal, for example, that recruitment to this European diplomatic service must be based on the principle of gender mainstreaming). She now says she is confident that the Parliament as a whole will rubber-stamp her proposal tomorrow, and she�s almost certainly right.
After all, the apparatus of an EU foreign office is already
in place. Go to any third country and you will find an EU mission that dwarfs
any of the member state legations. They are even known, de facto is not
de jure, as �European embassies�. What is their legal base? A flimsy
cat�s cradle of Commission press releases, Council communiqu�s and European
Parliament resolutions. All the
European Constitution Lisbon
Treaty will do, in effect, is to regularise what is already happening.
You see how Brussels progresses? Something is done quietly. Then, a decade later, when a treaty gives formal sanction to existing practcie, we are told that it is far too late to complain, since the whole thing was settled years ago. Thus do policies go from being unthinkable to being inevitable without any intervening stage.