Monday, November 01, 2010

National Embassies left with "a lot of consular work" says Ashton

The ongoing drip drip of bad (budgetary) news coming out of the European Diplomatic Corps has forced a petulant reaction from Cathy Ashton's press team.

Complaining about reports about fleets of arnmoured cars will be provided for her Ambassadors around the world.
"They will be allocated on the basis of the security and terrorist threat. In any case, Baroness Ashton believes it is impossible to put a price on safety."
Eh? Impossible to put a price on safety? That Madam is your job. You have a budget and you spend it after weighing up risks.

The only real safety is not to have been born. Every politician with any involvement in any form of public security has to put a price on safety every day of every week.

Providing well over 100 top of the range armoured limosines for EU diplomats is weighing up your own importance as a subject far higher than bugetary discipline. Which given it is not your money you transparently care little about.

It is instructive however to see what you percieve as the relative roles pof EU and national diplomats, To you the EU's role is,
"humanitarian aid, development and trade issues" and to "drive forward EU foreign policy".
The role of National Embassies however should be confined to,
"a lot of consular work"
Lets have a look at what EU Foriegn policy is and what you see as your remit,
Arctic Region
Civilian Crisis Management
Common Foreign & Security Policy (CFSP)
Instrument for Stability (IfS)
Conflict Diamonds (Blood Diamonds - The EU; the Kimberley Process)
Eastern Partnership
Environment - Green Diplomacy
EU Election Assistance; Observation
Euro-Mediterranean Partnership
European Neighbourhood Policy
Black Sea Synergy
External Energy Policy
Human rights; Democratisation
Information on grantsAll available translations.
Landmine Actions
Middle East Peace Process
Northern Dimension
Public Consultations
Uprooted People
EU Centres
So not a lot left for the Nations there is there?

As Marta Andreasen points out,
""The fragrant (sic)waste of taxpayers' money on the EU diplomatic service is appalling. Why should people have to pay such exorbitant amounts of cash to an organisation whose purpose is to supplant member state diplomatic services?

"That the biggest EU diplomatic posting will be to Turkey with 132 staff, all working feverishly for this country's accession, while the vast majority of European peoples oppose Turkish entry, shows that this EU diplomatic service is there to serve the views of the EU political elites and not the people of Europe.

"The sooner we stop footing the bill for this EU carry-on the better.

"The vanity of the EAS knows no limits. They are playing at being James Bond with these armoured limos.

"British embassies are closed and downgraded, and our international voice is being drowned out by career eurocrats in comfort postings. Worse still this is all done with the connivance of the foreign office".
I like the idea of 'fragrant waste' - the sweet smell of excess perchance?

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