Euroville

Do you play Farmville? This is the cartoonish, stupid, absorbing, facebook-game with motley animated animals and vegetables which millions of people feed and seed in their virtual farms. The more you pick, the more you get. Simple principle.
In the last few days it seems to me like EU leaders are trying to play their own kind of Euroville, where EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton already unveiled her plans for building European diplomatic farm and feeding own administration for it in the next couple years. She called this “my first priority” during her first “performance” in front of European parliament in January 2010.
By the end of April EU foreign ministers should have decided on adopting Ashton's proposal regarding setting up the European External Action Service, created by the Lisbon Treaty. She made her final proposal last week. According to it, EEAS will be lead by a High Representative with enormous power and little liability to EP. A network of EU embassies will be representing the Union in third countries, as her proposal explains. Its number of around 5,000 diplomats and the legal capacity to perform its duties should make it the most important structure in the EU. It should cover all the regions and thematic fields. The structure may have competences in development, neighboring policy and foreign aid as well as security and defense policy.
Catherine Ashton is ought to have vision for a new set up of EU’s external relations. Overall aim of the proposal is creating an absolutely independent EEAS with its own budget; EEAS which is going to be in charge for delegations abroad.

Building this “Euroville” organization, a few questions come to mind. If we already have Ashton and van Rompuy, aren’t we overrepresented on the world stage, the critics already asked? What is the External Action Service able to deliver? And isn’t it just a new bureaucracy between the Commission and the Council?
After all, will EEAS make EU to speak with one and the same voice as it does in the field of international trade?
In a month we’ll see who is a better in building a stable farm in “Euroville”. Is Catherine Ashton going to achieve golden ribbon?

Speaking about farmers, The Commission adopted one very important policy paper - to increase food security in developing countries, the European Commission has suggested that small-scale farmers must be supported and efforts must be made to ensure that their land rights are respected, as EurActiv said. In this policy paper, issued by European Commission this week, is said “The European Union (EU) reacted to the growing food security challenges with an additional €1 billion 'Food Facility' as a temporary measure to support those developing countries worst affected. The EU and its Member States are, and have been for many years, the most important and reliable players in world food security, both financially and politically.” Their plan is to do so by supporting integrated pest management, improved soil and water management and stress-resistant crop varieties which should result in "sustainable and ecologically efficient" farming.
This policy paper is part of “the 2010 Spring Development package, which together set out an EU position for the UN High Level Event on MDGs in September 2010”. As we all know, one of the MDG’s is to halve population in the world that suffers from hunger by 2015.

* also published in TH!NK ABOUT IT platform

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