To that we will come in a moment. Meanwhile the Nabobs are beginning to worry about the really important issues arising out of the Lisbon Treaty. As EU Observer reports, anxieties about aspects of the EU’s very own Diplomatic Service are beginning to animate those with snouts that need a trough. As they report:
The service is likely to employ thousands of staff – but its exact size and composition are still fully unclear, highlighted Wilhelm Schoenfelder, who until recently served as Germany’s ambassador to the EU. “What will be the share of member states, and how will be the share among member states? I don’t know. These are all open questions.”
So, happy EU Taxpayer, you will soon have the great privilege of paying, through the nose, mind you, for yet another huge sleazeocracy of drone-like civil servants which will be set up to keep Queen Bee Javier Solana or whoever ends up as EU Foreign Minister serviced.
Naturally the cost of all this is going to be, well, breath-taking and so there is a little concern over which unlucky EU region is going to have to cough up to support this bloated beehive of diplomats:
……the cash for the whole project still needs to be scraped together. “Up until now nobody has done any preparatory work for the budget,” Mr Schoenfelder said, asking whether there is money enough in the EU’s 2007-2013 or whether “additional money” is needed.
We all know, do we not, to whom the begging-bowl will be proferred first when the time comes.
Meanwhile signs are there that national governments will be routinely excluded from anything to do with the policy and decision making process of the new diplomatic service, as Sir Brian Crowe, a former senior official at Mr Solana’s secretariat has opined:
Mr Crowe (sic), a former top aide to Mr Solana, said the service should have a “confidential relationship with the high representative. Member states should not expect to see everything the External Action Service produces. You cannot run a foreign policy like that”.
Well at least he has the candour to admit what we all knew, that the Union’s common foreign policy is going to be conducted largely without reference to the national members.
Clearly the Union anticipates no problems with ratification for it expects work on the new service to begin as soon as the Treaty is finally signed next month. But one Guenter Burghardt, a former EU “ambassador” to the USA, has warned that:
“we have to make sure that there are no discussions taking place in the open air” before the UK parliament has ratified the reform treaty and Ireland has held its treaty referendum early next summer, with both London and Dublin sensitive about foreign policy issues.
So that is clear then: do not do it in the street and frighten the horses.
EU Observer detects some evidence that member states are concerned at how much is going to be done behind closed doors and without reference to them But the EuroNabobs are equally concerned that France will use her 2008 Presidency to meddle in all the preparations.
This whole business must be a real worry, for France, above all, thinks of it as having the greatest diplomats in the world. After all, is not much of the jargon of diplomacy still expressed in French? We still speak of Chargé d’affaires, démarche and the like and there is nothing quite so magnificent as an arrogant French diplomat in his pomp. Meddling is just what they will do so that they get a lion’s share of the places at the trough and so that the new ‘External Action Service’ (why do they always choose names that make one think of things like the Einsatzgruppe or Sonderkommando? Perhaps it is the nature of the beast…) is a dutiful mirror of the Quai d’Orsay.
So, the wheels keep turning and with each turn the day of the Empire draws nigh. Meanwhile Brown and Miliband keep their bottle of ink and their Mont Blancs at the ready to sign along the dotted line.