In a secret meeting, a group of FM banded together to discuss the DE presidency and its role in the Council. Although they were very appreciative of the Presidency’s tireless work both in preparation of the summit and its smooth operation, they were disappointed with its initial lack of flexibility vis-à-vis accepting draft proposals and initiatives by various countries. Others banded together and personally attacked their colleagues, both in private and public (including the EU News online forum).
Although it is well known that the collection of politicians gathered at the Council represent the best and worst of
Europe, this endeavour is a learning process – a thought which should remain ever-present in our subconscious. Often constructive criticism is interpreted as a personal attack; more than too often our esteemed politicians cross the line and are arrogant, insulting and bullying their colleagues. We would be wise to remember that here at the Council we are fostering working relationships with colleagues and even if we prefer to work more with some than with others, all deserve a minimum amount of respect – yes even those obstinate politicians who are accountable to their constituencies. We would also be wise to remember that in life we often have to stand up to bullies and fight. Isn’t finding the right balance between the two what international relations and diplomacy is all about? GstWtr