Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
It's normal, in business, for minutes to record actual decisions rather than the to and fro of whatever discussion took place. The same goes for most Government cabinets. The absence of "word for word" records or videotapes is meant to stop leaders grandstanding for lobby groups or various constituencies back home. If everything were recorded, then the real meetings would take place behind closed doors elsewhere, and the formal meetings would be mostly for show.

Even as it is, "Council Conclusions" are generally circulated for discussion and agreement in the week prior to the meeting so that the outcome of formal meetings are generally already a "forgone conclusion". Most decisions have already been made by consensus beforehand.

It is only when there is a genuine crisis, or unforeseen developments, when decisions have to be made "on the hoof" at the actual formal meetings themselves. The professional diplomats and EU Officials hate it when this happens because they lose control of the process.

The UK has been trying to delay conclusions until the last minute, in the hope of stampeding Prime Ministers into a hasty decision. It hasn't been working. There is a reason the process is so convoluted. The issues are complex with so many interests involved. Personally I am nearly always surprised at how well the system works considering there are 27 governments involved.

Look at how difficult one government is finding it to come up with agreed positions on Brexit...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jun 6th, 2018 at 10:42:58 PM EST
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