Do the Dutch know what they are doing?

We can doubt it, after what just happened during the EcoFin meeting. The Dutch Finance Minister was presenting a proposal drafted mainly by the UK on a new financial package. At the last minute, Jan Peter Balkenende introduced a “ESDP Institutional Strenghtening Fund”, and therefore tasked Wouter Bos with presenting the whole package – without approval from David Miliband. When Bos clearly could not explain the details of the package, he asked for a recess, which was accepted by the Presidency.

This gesture is unacceptable and ridiculous. If a Minister is defending a proposal, it seems normal for him/her to understand the details of it. If he/she cannot, the proposal must be retired, introduced by somebody more capable, or the minister should be better prepared.

Senior European diplomats consulted are publicly very annoyed. This does not bode well for the remainder of negotiations – and we have just started.


One Response to Do the Dutch know what they are doing?

  1. The Dutch Delegation says:

    The Dutch delegation would like to express its concern with the quality of the information being delivered by some members of the press. It seems clear that there is a campaign to discredit the Dutch proposals which is motivated by reasons that are beyond the impartiality that should characterise the media professionals. We condemn the direct accusation of unpreparedness of the Finance Minister Wouter Bos as the proposal had sprout in the corridors under extreme pressure and there was little time to accommodate all the precise details of such a technical initiative, thus the request for a recess is a perfectly normal procedure in these circumstances.
    Besides, the media are suggesting that the proposal had been drafted exclusively by the UK when it was JOINTLY written by all the member states involved and included a third amendment that was included separately as it constituted a Dutch initiative. Therefore we believe that a renowned forum such as the EUNewsonline should take better account of the work of their professionals which did not even approach any of the members of the Dutch Delegation in an effort to deliver unprejudiced information.

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