Some breaking news to add to my post of yesterday about MEPs’ allowances and excesses, sorry expenses. The wall of silence surrounding the confidential internal audit report into employment of assistants is breaking down. Paul van Buitenen, the whistleblower who brought down the Commission of Jacques Santer in 1999, is responsible. Now a Green MEP, he read the report and has just published a summary of it.
Having said that, Jens-Peter Bonde, a veteran eurosceptic from Denmark, is now claiming that there is a second, even more top-secret report. That one contains names and has not been read by any MEPs or sent over to Olaf, the anti-fraud agency, he says. Read more
Remember the European Union’s “Lisbon Agenda“? Adopted by EU leaders almost exactly eight years ago, it was a programme that promised to turn the 27-nation bloc into “the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world” by 2010.
Such was the lack of progress towards this laudable goal that by November 2004 an expert group led by former Dutch premier Wim Kok concluded that the Lisbon Agenda risked becoming “a synonym for missed objectives and failed promises”.
Today, the picture looks a whole lot rosier – at least if you believe the latest analysis prepared for the Lisbon Council think-tank by Michael Heise, chief economist of the Allianz Dresdner group in Germany. ”Despite the decade-long defeatism of the cynics, Lisbon is working,” says his report. Read more