Category: Archive

Editorial: Clarity, please

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

So whither clarity? Well, it survives despite the obfuscations of dictators, democratically elected governments and individual politicians such as Dick Roche, the Irish government’s minister for Europe.
Roche has been beavering away on the “Report of
the European Convention Working Group on Simplification of Instruments and Procedures.”
This doubtless nobly conceived institution is apparently charged with making the Byzantine workings of the European Union more understandable and accessible to the EU’s citizens.
“There is much in the Working Group Report to welcome,” Roche said in a statement on the report this week. Fair enough.
The he added: “The reduction in the number of instruments and procedures is also welcome as a positive step toward making decision-making in the EU less complicated and more user-friendly. The group’s efforts in this regard are very positive and imaginative. With regard to QMV, I believe that it should be used as far as possible. At the same time, there is a need to retain unanimity in a limited number of key areas. For Ireland, taxation is clearly one of those issues. The report’s recognition of the need to take account of exceptions in areas of great political sensitivity for member states is particularly welcome. I emphasized this principle in the Working Group and I am glad that the report reflects this. I am concerned about the possible implications of the recommendation to abolish the distinction between compulsory expenditure and non-compulsory expenditure in the budgetary area. Whatever the procedure, it is vital that expenditure on the CAP remains ring-fenced so that farmers can have certainty over a multi-annual period…”
All clear on that now?

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