Wednesday, 24 November 2010

EU General Affairs Council has taken note – So have we

We have dealt with some aspects at least loosely related to the General Affairs Council (GAC).

We started by looking at the advance information about the meeting: EU General Affairs Council 22 November 2010: What do we know? (22 November 2010). - Not much and scant hope of major improvement is the short answer.

The following blog post revealed the current limits of machine translation from Finnish into other European languages. The theme could be described as “institutionalism with a human face”, and the entry commended the work of pioneering web editors and media teams in the EU institutions who have grasped the meaning of “social” in social media. These “pockets of excellence” show the way towards interaction to other actors in the public sector. The post also noted some of the trailblazers among government ministers who participated in the GAC or FAC meeting: Ihmiskasvoinen Euroopan unioni? Verkkotiedottajat ja #some (23 November 2010).

The third post based its reflections on the GAC conclusions:

Press release, 3047th Council meeting, General Affairs, Brussels, 22 November 2010 (document 16572/10)

This time the post was in Swedish, and it asked if the member states have understood that the European Union policies and internal actions are not ”foreign affairs” (any more). Why are many of the member states still represented by their foreign minister? Why are many ministers for Europe still housed in the foreign ministry (and as junior ministers), instead of in the prime minister's office?: EU: Har rådet för allmänna frågor fel medlemmar? (24 November 2010).

Potentially the General Affairs Council could be important, through coordination of the work of all other Council configurations as well as preparation and follow-up of the meetings of the European Council.

In practice, we do not have to exaggerate much to say that the GAC repeatedly “took note of a note”.

We have duly taken note.



Ralf Grahn



P.S. I am happy to see that the Spanish version Europa451.es and the Italian Europa451.it of the collective blog are alive and kicking as Euroblogs, and they keep up the @Europa451 presence on Twitter as well.