Fainting in Coyles
An occasional letter from the Heart of Euroville

Friday, September 26, 2003  

It's the Miniture for Europe at it again

The famous 'lets talk to the people about Europe' roadshow finally starts.


Ok, fair enough.

Europe Minister Denis MacShane will underline the economic benefits of EU enlargement for Northern Ireland during a visit to the region today. The visit is part of the Government's commitment to inform people across the country about the EU, to hear their concerns and listen to their views.

Northern Ireland is a Province, not a region, this is pure Euro speak. Deny nationality by references to foriegn conceptions of loyalty. I do like the idea of 'hearing concerns and listening to views', that would be a first, and if he actualy managed to do either he would change his policies forthwith, but there again where is he is he when he is listening?

Dr MacShane will attend a breakfast meeting with local business representatives hosted by the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce where he will urge local businesses to take advantage of the benefits of EU expansion by building business links with the ten EU accession countries.

No problem with that, go get business

Afterwards, Dr MacShane will attend the 'Europe on the move schools conference' in Belfast. Organised by the British Council, the conference is a follow up to the successful EU enlargement schools roadshow which visited more than 100 schools in Northern Ireland. The Minister will then deliver a key note speech at a conference held by the Womans National Commission on the implications of EU enlargement for women in Northern Ireland.

I would love to see the promotional material being stuffed down the throats of les jeunes. Of course children should know what countries have joined the club, but I am prepared to bet that the roadshow did not mention the vast sums of money spent bribing the eastern electorates, nor the considerable opposition in many of the countries. Interesting that the British Council see it as their job to pump out Euro propaganda, I always understood that their job was to go abroad and pump out pro - British propaganda - they are quite good at it too.

Oh yes and the implications for women of EU enlargement, that'lll be quite some speech. I will admit my ignorance here, what implications, are there any that are women specific, more competition from Baltic prostitutes, dunno?

Dr MacShane will say: 'Northern Ireland has benefited hugely from membership of the EU – 58 per cent of good exports from the region go to EU countries, bringing in over £2 billion a year to the local economy. Over 88,000 jobs in Northern Ireland depend on exports to the EU and enlargement will strengthen these links as well as bringing further economic benefits. But European membership has other benefits too. It means people have the right to travel, work, study and live visa-free throughout the EU and perhaps more importantly it helps spread peace, security and prosperity across Europe.'

These figures are of course deeply contentious. 58% hey, I wonder how much of that is going straight over the border to Eire? And what is more how much has changed since we joined the EECSince we are talking about exports, I am amazed that the percentage isn't a great deal more.

I know I go on about McShane, but he is such a trite little twerp with no clue as to his brief.

posted by Eliab | 2:14 pm
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