Luca Jahier and the Vice-Presidents of Group III

This morning I went, at the kind invitation of Luca Jahier, the new President of the Various Interests Group, to an extraordinary Group meeting. I presented myself and spoke about the constraints, challenges and perspectives of the Committee’s Secretary General and of the administration he heads. It was an excellent and very positive occasion. There were a lot of constructive questions and clarifications and expressions of points of view. In my opinion, the EU’s institutions have still not fully thought through the cumulative implications of waves of enlargement from the most obvious point of view; geographical, by which I mean distances and time spent travelling. Clearly, a member who has effectively to spend three days out of the office in order to attend a meeting in Brussels (the Cypriots and the Maltese, for example) faces very different challenges to those of members who can hop on the Thalys, Eurostar or ICT in the morning and be back on the evening of the same day. I am intent on driving through a step-change in the mentality of our administration so that we are collectively far more attentive to logistical support and simple creature comforts.