Friday, April 08, 2005

A rather muddled bunny

We admit it. We have been so entranced by the Wallström Blog that we forgot that the fragrant one also has a day job or two. One of them is preparing a communications strategy for the Barroso commission.

Originally due out in May of this year, little Margot seems to have been so busy blogging (and dining out) that her timetable has already slipped to June.

However, that has not stopped the Kommisar for truth and reconciliation talking about her cunning plans to a tame interviewer from EurActiv.

But even in a cosy little tête-à-tête, with no nasty questions being asked, it seems that Margot still cannot help getting it wrong. For instance, she tells us that her "benchmark" by which she will measure her success at the job is "by improving the figures of the number of people who claim to have heard of the European Union. To see that it is going upwards, not downwards."

Not a lot for five year's work at £180,000 a year, but there you go.

But her most egregious comments come when she is asked whether she or someone else in her department had looked "into the attitudes and got the feelings of people, how they actually feel and what are their strong and weak attachments to Europe?"

Candidly, she tells us that this has been done though focus groups and it has also been done at member state level, with the Constitution as being a sort of case study for this. Then says the fragrant one:

We are moving in that direction to look at every relevant viewpoint and there are differences between member states. You couldn't, for example, compare the debate on the constitution in Spain with the one in Ireland. They are totally different with completely contrasting sentiments. So you have to adapt and have one strategy in Spain and another in Ireland. It does not work with "one size fits all" policies.
So let me get this straight. We have one constitution for Europe, with exactly the same words, but you have to give a different message in each member state. And whatever else, you cannot have a "one size fits all" policy.

Funny, I thought the "one size fits all" policy was what the EU was all about. Do we have a rather muddled bunny here?

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