Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Off to a Great Start for the 27th Time

It sure says al lot for their gentility, work ethic, noblesse, and whatever the hell it is that they keep implying makes them think that they have an exclusive concession on civilization.

MEPs were threatened with a fine (later backed down from in only the way they could) if those Ministers of European Parliament did not attend European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso's “State of the Union” speech.

"The parliament's bureau looked at the matter and we agreed that we need to beef up MEPs' presence during debate. But we felt we need a bit more time to mull over the various possibilities," Mr Buzek said Tuesday morning.

The original proposal agreed by the assembly's political groups late last week envisioned three electronic checks over the three hour slot and a small fine for MEPs whose absence was registered twice.
I suppose that’s some kind of bid to make it look like this is serious bidness we’re talking about here. And to think that it was the last good weekend to get a little golf in.
Joseph Daul, president of the largest group, the centre-right EPP, was careful to emphasize he was not present at the meeting last week when the preliminary decision was made but suggested "we should take another look at this."

The proposal, the first time that something has ever been concretely suggested, follows years of poor plenary attendance by the 736 deputies during speeches - a phenomenon reserved not only for EU commissioners but also for visiting dignitaries.

The little penalty kerfuffle has resulted in Mr Buzek making a personal plea - and putting his authority on the line - that MEPs should be present for Mr Barroso's speech, which is likely to focus on the problems facing the EU and outline some solutions.

"I would like to launch a personal request to all of you to be present" said Mr Buzek, referring to the importance of the "image of this House worldwide."
Voting with their feet, lope that they are, says quite a bit about their image at home, let alone trying to make it seem better “worldwide”.

As if the world was watching to begin with. Elsewhere in the world of this dark art or political self-legitimation, we learn that his speech was “jam-packed with initiatives and gestures”.