EU Turf Wars

In EU news, the turf wars over the formation of the EU’s External Affairs Service don’t show any sign of abating. British Foreign Minister David Miliband has now been drawn into the fray, due to a letter he co-signed urging Catherine Ashton to beware the European Commission’s power grab. The letter’s tone has also been construed as further evidence of widespread disappointment with Ashton’s performance to date. Meanwhile, in addition to member states facing off against the commission, the EU Parliament has now expressed its desire for greater involvement in the EAS’ formation and orientation.

None of this strikes me as unhealthy. After all, so long as they’re resolved, power struggles have the salutory effect of defining roles, which the EU desperately needs in the post-Lisbon transition period. Of course, the EU’s problem seems to be its ability to never actually resolve its power struggles, but as the saying goes, “If ya ain’t got dreams, ya got nightmares.”

Finally, the European Commission has begun the fact-finding stage of its investigation into the role of credit default swaps in the Greek debt crisis, a first step toward the kind of regulation that I mentioned yesterday.