Two institutions cohabit here

I spent most of this morning in a meeting of a body entitled the Political Monitoring Group (PMG). As faithful readers will know from previous posts, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions have agreed to pool almost half of their own resources in a set of joint services (translation, buildings, IT, logistics) that, by one estimate, save the taxpayer up to 14 meuro per year. The management of these joint services is established through a Cooperation Agreement that provides for a series of inter-institutional administrative bodies and meetings, with the whole being overseen by the Political Monitoring Group (composed of members of the two Committees). My CoR counterpart, Gerhard Stahl, would surely agree with me that the cooperation has been going really well, and proof positive of this came at the end of this morning’s meeting, when our political masters decided that, since everything was going so well, they didn’t need to meet so often. The PMG was conceived of as a sort of appeals chamber where any problem that could not be boiled off at administrative level could be addressed politically. In truth, though, there have been very few such problems. This is all grist to the mill of my argument that the two consultative bodies are setting a shining example to the other institutions.