I've been perusing EUROPA - Growth and Jobs - Working together for Europe's future: the EU's official website documenting their relaunched Lisbon Strategy. You remember- it was that ludicrous new millenium deal whereby EU leaders met up at some five star resort in Portugal and agreed to overtake the US by 2010.
Apparently "...the approach to implementing the Lisbon Strategy has had limited success. The Lisbon package consists of 28 main objectives and 120 sub-objectives, with 117 different indicators. The reporting system for 25 Member States adds up to 300 annual reports which clearly no-one reads."
You don't say.
"Urgent action is now needed. The Commission's proposal is simple, focussed, pragmatic and concrete. A new partnership between the European Commission and the Member States will be established. It shall make the EU more competitive by raising its productivity and by employing more people. Responsibilities for implementing these actions will be clearly assigned between the EU level and national level. To make things simpler and more coherent, there shall be just one national growth programme and one EU growth plan."
And to think this sort of passed me by when it was announced earlier in the month.
Naturally, like any other new CEO taking over a corporate disaster, Barossa blamed the whole thing on his predecessor, Prodi. The Telegraph reported him pledging 'a radical shift in direction towards a business-friendly Brussels, focused narrowly on job creation, economic growth, and making Europe an attractive place for entrepreneurs.'
But because this is the EU he also said: "I have three children: the economy, our social agenda, and the environment. Like any modern father, if one of my children is sick, I'm ready to drop everything and focus on him until he is back to health. But that does not mean I love the others any less."
Now you and I know it doesn't matter a row of subsidised beans what he says, because absolutely nothing will come of it beyond further waste paper mountains. But a mob of cossetted MEPs immediately laid into him for failing to pay equal attention to environmental concerns and guaranteeing job security for workers.
It's difficult to read these Euro Parliament debates without seriously rising blood pressure, and it doesn't help that the MEPs all seem to have names like Tyssen, Goebbels, Cohn Bendit, and of course, Mussolini.
What was that thing about all our problems coming from Europe?