Straw ridicules EU diplomats

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has attacked the EU’s diplomatic missions as being run by ‘odd-bods’ from small countries with no clear goal.

Background

The British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw is largely
unimpressed by the EU's diplomatic efforts on the bigger world
stage. In a speech before the Commons Foreign Affairs Select
Committee on 25 May he ridiculed both the work and staff of the
offices in 123 countries, mostly under the responsibility of the
European Commission, running EU trade missions and development
projects.

"You find all sorts of odd bods running these
sorts of odd offices. There are a lot of these people abroad and it
is not entirely clear what they are doing. All sorts of people are
referred to as ambassadors. I meet them every day. What's
astonishing is the less important the country, the more people like
this they seem to have. I call everybody Excellency, which doesn't
cause any problem," said Straw, earning laughter from his
audience.

Straw's jibes at EU diplomacy could be seen in
the context of attacks from the eurosceptic British press, which
have stated that the new post of EU foreign minister, to be created
by the constitution, would have the right to issue orders to Member
States' ministers: "The mandate for this guy comes from the
Council. He can't possibly give us orders. It's fantasy," commented
Straw.

 

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