Blamerbell's Brussels burp

For those keen to know what the better half of the Welsh blogosphere got up to in Brussels this week, I implore you to check out the blolumn of Matt 'but we have not got five minutes' Withers. Much like the closet class swot, Matt was obviously taking some pretty hefty notes and he's quoted almost all the good bits from our very brief meeting with two of Wales' four MEPs, while ignoring all the boring crap about energy.

I have to confess, though, for most of that session I was struggling with quite possibly the bubbliest sparkling water I've ever come across. It was like supping straight out of a geyser. Ooh err. I nabbed another bottle for later hangover pacifying purposes, but the bobbling around in my bag only agitated the fizzy little buggers further and it exploded all over my crotch in the middle of the EU press conference.

Anyway, as I've mentioned before, one of our destinations on this fact-finding/indoctrination exercise was Wales House, home to the assembly's bureaucrats in Brussels. That's all very well, despite the fact that Wales is merely a region in the eyes of the European Union. But alarm bells ring when Wales' own MEPs confess they have no contact with the Welsh assembly government. Somewhat bizarrely, it becomes clear that they are briefed only by the UK government.

Two questions arise: (1) what's the point of housing WAG diplomats in Brussels when our MEPs are directed by Westminster and (2) why isn't the assembly government making sure that Welsh MEPs are representing its own unique agenda?

Oh and (3) could someone send me some of that bubbly water. I want to try snorting it.

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posted by Blamerbell @ 12:08 am,

8 Comments:

At 12:15 pm, Blogger sanddef said...

For those keen to know what the better half of the Welsh blogosphere got up to in Brussels this week,

Oh you so need to get around a bit more, CJ

Two questions arise...

Good points. So what do WAG diplomats do over there then?

 
At 1:33 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

I did ask this question directly to the gentlemen in charge of the 'Welsh Local Government Office' in Brussels, and he gave me a very passionate and detailed answer. Basically he acts as a conduit between the EU and local councils in Wales in informing and helping implement legislation that is relevant to welsh councils. I shared Blamie's slight confusion as to why the Assembly has an office out there particularly as the Welsh Assembly pretty much cannot get EU membership even with indepedence...

 
At 1:34 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

For those keen to know what the better half of the Welsh blogosphere got up to in Brussels this week,


haha im honoured im in the better half!!! although i wouldnt lose any sleep over it Sandeff

 
At 1:40 pm, Blogger Mr Gasyth said...

I shared Blamie's slight confusion as to why the Assembly has an office out there particularly as the Welsh Assembly pretty much cannot get EU membership even with indepedence...

For much the same reason as the WLGA has oen I guess: that it is regional and local government who are responsilbe for implementing over half the regulations, directives and laws passed by the EU. For that reason they need to get their views in early on matters that affect them and push the Welsh viewpoint, both directly to the Commission and to their colleagues in UKRep.

As for Wales unable to get EU membership after independence, I guess you get this argument from GK and EM? And you swallow it whole unquestioned? And you're a journalist? God help us.

 
At 1:59 pm, Blogger sanddef said...

As for Wales unable to get EU membership after independence, I guess you get this argument from GK and EM?

Who or what are GK and EM?

i wouldnt lose any sleep over it Sandeff


That's two Ds and one F, and yes, I'll be up all night trying to figure out how many people there are in the Welsh Blogosphere, including Y Rhithfo.
;-)

 
At 3:04 pm, Blogger Mr Gasyth said...

Glenys Kinnock and Eluned Morgan

 
At 4:13 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

As for Wales unable to get EU membership after independence, I guess you get this argument from GK and EM?

Neither in fact...Im sure Blamie can pin point the source where we both heard this...It was not a politician but someone who would be inherently involved in such a move.

I am not a journalist, simple as that.

 
At 5:14 pm, Blogger sanddef said...

Wales or any other part of the EU (Scotland, Catalonia etc) would have to renegotiate its membership of the EU on becoming independent from a current member state. Though it is far more likely that such a negotiation would be concluded before becoming officially independent, not after. I would also entail signing up to the Euro, as is the case for all new EU members.

 

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