Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Baroness Ashton, the European Parliament, and some sweat for Europe

Yesterday, maybe-EU-Commissioner Ashton was roasted in the EU Parliament Committee on International Trade.

EUobserver reports and quotes from the meeting:
"Now it's not the time for a novice, we need a big hitter. Frankly, looking at your CV, you do not have any direct relevant experience to take on this job at what is a very very dangerous time," Mr Farage said.

Mrs Ashton, a former economist, defended her record as a negotiator while stressing that she has "hundreds of very experienced people" working on the trade portfolio at her disposal.

"I am a negotiator, this is what I do. I may not have had the profile of the now newly ennobled Lord Mandelson, but that does not mean I have got no experience. Quite the contrary," she said.
She does not sound very convincing, but instead more like someone in a strong defence rather than in an attack position. If she is like this when she is negotiating, the next WTO talks will be fun for the rest of the world.

Jon Worth called her appearance "dull", which fits the larger picture of EU politics these days.

And while Baroness Ashton had to sweat in the EP committee, I have lost quite some sweat today running around the city to work on international co-operation and European democracy. One major state institution in the morning (two times, actually), and six European and international organisations in the afternoon. Several kilometers, but hopefully with positive results.

In any case, I will go to bed today and feel Europe in my legs. I wish the same to Baroness Ashton...