Stanley's blog

Do the EU leaders really want strong external representation? The dispute over who should have represented the Union at the international talks on phasing out mercury in Stockholm on 7-11 June, puts this into doubt.

The EU was unable to speak with a single voice, or even negotiate, at the First Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to prepare a Globally Legally Binding Instrument on Mercury, because of deadlock between the Commission and Council of Ministers over who should take the lead in international negotiations on environment, climate change, energy and other policy areas which have their competence shared between the EU and the Member States.

So much for the Lisbon Treaty strengthening the Union externally. This will only be achieved through political will, solidarity – which has all but disappeared – and avoiding turf wars. What happened on mercury makes us a laughing stock.

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