Richard North, 15/09/2004  

According to AFP, the Dutch Foreign Minister, Bernard Bot has announced that the EU hopes to finalize its plans to help development in Iraq by the time of the next EU Summit (this is a summit of all the members as opposed to the partial summits that seem to be going on throughout the autumn or the EU-ASEM Summit, or the EU-US Summit or, indeed, any other summit you may care to think of). This one will take place on November 5, a notable date in British parliamentary history.

At present there are all sorts of discussions going on to find out what various member states are prepared to contribute. Commissioner Chris Patten has reminded everyone that the EU has already given €200 million (c£136 million), though he unaccountably failed to mention what was achieved for that money.

He added that he was hoping another €200 million (c£136 million) would be raised and that the EU will decide what to do to help Iraq, though the present security situation made Commissioner Patten fear that nothing much might come of it. Of course, if Iraqis, or whoever, persist in kidnapping international fonctionnaires, left-wing journalists who are also supporters of Arab dictators and parasitical aid workers, all present arrangements may be called off.

But not before important matter are sorted out:
“Bot travelled to Baghdad earlier this month to study the options, and another mission of EU experts to the war-ravaged countries is being planned, the Dutch minister said.”
So good to know the EU takes problems in countries less fortunate than the member states seriously.

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