I was listening to Sony Kapoor the other day who complained about bad summit outcomes during the euro crisis. Actually it was a chilling talk as he basically confirmed that nobody in EU governments or EU institutions seems to have a clue about finance and economics – let alone the political will to look at the underlying problems of the crisis. And curiously we are faced with the following situation: Seemingly incompetent people meet for diner and negotiate about highly complex matters throughout the night – with a press conferences at 4am or 6am… And it seems obvious to me that decisions that are taken at 2am are not necessarily the best decisions – so are we really surprised that the outcomes are sub-optimal?
Here is an idea:
Get rid of evening summits and endorse normal working days – start in the morning with a working breakfast followed by a morning session and a working lunch. Negotiations can continue in the afternoon. Forget about the diner – go to the pub instead for a normal night out. It might also do the trick to create a team spirit among EU leaders!
The issues at stake at the moment are far too important for negotiations after a busy working day – you really need the whole day! This would also improve coordination with national capitals as experts in ministries and parliamentary committees would be at the disposal during summits. And there would be no more press conferences at 4am – good news for all journalists and bloggers…