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This is very interesting but the faux pas of attempting to close the Irish border over vaccines was entirely of vdL's making and she went on to blame a Commissioner's staff (may have been Dombrovskis). She is a worthy contender for the title of worst Commission President in my memory, though so far she's outdone by Santer and Barroso. And of course the Council got the Commissioner they wanted.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 28th, 2021 at 07:27:03 AM EST
I haven't seen anything to suggest she was personally involved in the decision, and at least she was quick to reverse it once Michael Martin contacted her on it to express his concerns.

From what I have read the decision on Article 16 was not included in earlier drafts of the regulation circulated to other Commissioners, and the regulation was formally adopted within an hour of the final version of it being circulated and before others had had a chance to sound the alarm.

It was seen by the trade directorate (the lead agency) as an entirely technical matter to close a potential loophole and those working on it didn't appreciate the political implications.

Of course Von Der Leyen, as Commission President, has to take overall responsibility for all acts of the Commission and it never looks good if someone working on her behalf tries to push the responsibility elsewhere.

But to claim she was personally involved in making that decision is not something I have seen in evidence, and I have no problem with people who make a mistake and then act quickly to correct it. If only all our political leaders did so.

To try an big this up as some sort of major flaw in the Commission President is  playing into the agenda of Brexiteers who couldn't give a fig for the concerns of Unionists - the only people it offended - and are just looking for a stick to beat the EU with.

I have no particular view on Von Der Leyen's competence in general, but as I said in my letter I think the Commission has major structural issues it needs to address if it is to have an ongoing role in pharmaceutical procurement or emergency response management.

Frankly I think the sort of personality politics played by Brexiteers and the UK Tabloid press is a distraction from more important issues, and I don't think we should be buying into it.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Mar 28th, 2021 at 01:04:02 PM EST
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