Monday, January 30, 2006

A man with a tough job

Reijo Kemppinen declares that he is not on "Mission: Impossible". [You know, it's so rare that people bother with the colon in the middle, said the pedant...]. The new head of the European Commission's Office in London gave an interesting interview to Euractiv, refuting the argument that there is something special about the treatment of European affairs in the UK Press:

"The people and the press in the UK have been led to believe that they are somehow uniquely eurosceptic. I am not sure whether the British tabloid press treat the EU any different than it treats Tony Blair and his ministers. British media are highly commercialised and politicised, that's what it is. It is useless to try to question that."

The feeding frenzy over the Liberal Democrat leadership probably supports that point. However, if you want an idea about the "new" approach to the relationship between the European Commission and the Member States, read about it in full here. It certainly led me to reflect upon the differences between the various parts of the UK. I recently moved Scotland, and there is less of an ingrained public culture of instinctive euroscepticism here. But is Kemppinen really going to be able to get through to ordinary people in the UK. Will he be any more successful than the spectacularly unsuccessful "Sound of Europe" conference in Salzburg last week (Thanks to Jon Worth for nobly blogging it when others would probably have wandered off to see the cultural sites of Salzburg, Mozart's birthplace, and the like, rather than listen to yet another wordy worthy speech).


Anonymous Jon Worth said...

I think I was capitivated by the sheer awfulness of Sound of Europe... Or alternatively the fact I was obliged to take minutes of the conference meant I couldn't escape.

Reijo Kemppinen has a tough task, but we wish him well. BTW, the UK is not the EU's most sceptical member state at the moment - that honour falls to Austria. See this from EU Rota - Austria takes the title for the moment.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006  

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