Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Yes Commissioner

Derk-Jan Eppink
Derk-Jan Eppink
Just short of £20 has just been dispatched in the direction of Amazon and I suspect it will be money well spent.

Derk-Jan Eppink, a Dutch former eurocrat, has penned an insider's account of the inner workings of the European Commission and its most powerful officials. According to EU Observer it does not portray the institution in an especially flattering light:
Deeming them "footsoldiers in the battle for integration", Mr Eppink portrays high-ranked eurocrats as being in constant battle between themselves for one upmanship and in battle with their commissioners to make sure they do not stray from the official message - also known as The Line to Take (LTT).

Source: EU Observer

None of the contents reported by EU Observer are anything particularly new, though it will be interesting to read them from an insider's perspective.

The running theme is one of unelected officials making fundamentally political decisions behind the backs of Commissioners who at least have a minute degree of democratic legitimacy, nominated as they are by democratic national governments. At the very least the Commissioners are those who face the public opprobrium when the policies turn out to be as appalling as ever, rather than skulking in the shadows working on the next phase of 'the project'.

Hopefully, in the face of Mr Eppink's pedigree, the book may at least help chip away at the facade of the Commission simply being a 'civil service' there to act at the behest of national governments on matters for their common good.

The complete europcrat training DVD series can also be ordered at Amazon here.

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