So the European Commission is asking The Netherlands for ‘clarification’ of why results from Thursday’s EP poll there have been released already. Supposedly results are only allowed to be released once the polls have closed all over Europe – Sunday evening. I’ve been debating this on Twitter with @julienfrish, @kierancotty, @davidcochrane and @MickFealty. With Geert Wilders being the big recipient of anti-everything sentiment in the Dutch poll, the last thing anyone needs is the Commission grumbling that the Dutch didn’t respect the rules. What about the Irish too, as results are trickling out today at the Irish Election website? The UK is rather different – polls were on Thursday, but people care so little about the EP elections that little information has trickled out, and Brown has used the lull to try to re-assert a little authority over his cabinet.
So what should happen with all of this? First of all the EP elections over 4 days is silly. OK, national traditions, bla, bla, but could we not have the polls open on Saturday and Sunday in all European countries? The Commission grumbling at The Netherlands looks quite cantankerous when the institutions and the Member States have not managed to make some order out of this mess of election days.
Secondly, why does the Commission send out some anonymous spokesperson to say these sorts of things? Plays right into the hands of people sceptical about the institutions. Someone with a little political nous should do it… which would of course be helped if the Commissioners themselves had more political nous, and some more leadership from the top.
And everyone wonders why the population is frustrated by the EU…