However this snippet perked my interest. It is a report on the sayings of Chris Patten when he was the UK Commissioner. The American Political Councelor Kyle Scott sets the scene,
Over rubbery fish at an Adenauer Stiftung AffairHe then listens to what Patten had to say about the EU and where he, Patten thought it should go. Here he is on the realities of being an EU member
the difference between expanding an alliance like NATO, and a Union like the EU. When a country joins an alliance, it becomes a distinct member of a group committed to a common cause -- but nothing more. When countries join the EU, they become part of the whole, formally and practically indistinct in many areas of EU competenceWell he is not wrong, and the EU would have done well to heed his advice,
-- 1) Deliver substance: highlight areas where the EU can make a difference in the world, such as the rapid changes in Justice and Home Affairs, or external assistance.
-- 2) Go with the flow of the institutional debate: Don't spend energy trying to stop intergovernmental efforts that have a head of steam behind them. Instead, try to channel these efforts in useful directions.
-- 3) Exploit the Community Method where it exists: Make the most of EC strengths, such as on the internal market, trade, or foreign assistance.
-- 4) Be open to new ways of working: The number of regulations passed should not be a measure of success of the Commission.
-- 5) Regulate better: aggesively develop the initiative the Commission launched in 2002. Get serious about consultation and impact assessment rather than just going through the motions.
--6) Get economic management right: There should be no free riders in the monetary union, but the EU should seek greater flexibility that takes account of the differences between states. The Commission must also be ready to accept the same sort of management discipline it demands of the Member States.
-- 7) Put more effort into monitoring implementation of EU legislation: use score cards and league tables on infractions. Compare best practices. Be ready to be tougher on sanctioning persistent bad performance, perhaps by cutting EU financial programs such as structural funds.
-- 8) Be prepared to scale back or eliminate bad policies: Take a thorough look at the CAP, and focus greater attention on what needs to be done at the Community level, and where subsidiarity and national/local administrations would be the better option.
-- 9) Get internal organization right: Create real clusters of issues where Commission Vice Presidents have real authority.
-- 10) Demonstrate that the EU can make a difference to peoples lives.