Eats, meets and leaves

Hans-Gert Pöttering, President of the European Parliament, arrived yesterday for a two day visit which includes a meeting at the Assembly before heading off to Dublin on Tuesday to address the Dail Sub-Committee on Ireland’s Future in the European Union. As yet his trip is attracting scant interest in the MSM. I was wondering if the visit placed additional pressure on the DUP and SF to get a deal in place in advance but with the overwhelming lack of interest and no concrete purpose for him coming being flagged I now doubt that idea has any legs.

Adds: My original suspicions on this visit having an impact on the timing of last week’s DUP/SF deal are back on. Pöttering has pledged to examine EU support for a Centre for Conflict Transformation at the Maze. That would seem to let the DUP off the hook of dealing with that hot potato.

  • Ian

    “Pöttering has pledged to examine EU support for a Centre for Conflict Transformation at the Maze. That would seem to let the DUP off the hook of dealing with that hot potato.”

    More ingenious negotiation by Unionism there.

    Sinn Fein will still get their Conflict Transformation Centre, but the “national stadium” gets long-fingered. Northern Ireland’s moment in the spotlight during the 2012 Olympics has fallen foul of political Unionism’s innate ability to shoot itself in the foot.

    Anyone who thought that Sinn Fein were really interested in the establishment of a ‘national’ stadium needs their head examined.

  • Greenflag

    ian ,

    ‘More ingenious negotiation by Unionism there.

    ‘has fallen foul of political Unionism’s innate ability to shoot itself in the foot.

    The reason they keep shooting themselves in the foot is because they keep aiming for their head! Some of us are hoping their aim will improve in time and that sooner rather than later they’ll hit the target 😉

  • Dave

    Hans-Gert Pöttering managed to produce one of the funniest and deluded quotes during the recent US presidential election:

    “It would be wonderful to think that the intense interest with which Europeans are following today’s US presidential election might be matched by Americans watching the European parliamentary elections in June 2009.”

    Not content with wasting taxpayers money on the Maze, the EU managed to squander an additional 250 million euros of said taxpayers money its own search engine (which crashed on its first day).

  • jone

    Is it really in the gift of this buffoon to be giving money to anyone? I thought it was the Commission and the Council of Ministers who did all the serious business of the EU while MEPs sit around scratching themselves.

  • Sneakers O’Toole

    “Not content with wasting taxpayers money on the Maze, the EU managed to squander an additional 250 million euros of said taxpayers money its own search engine (which crashed on its first day)”

    In fairness, it crashed due to high demand, often a problem when a highly anticipated new site opens. It’s a good problem to have, even if it is inexcusable in this day and age not to be prepared for it.

    But it looks like it will be a cracking resource for researchers and history buffs when it does get up and running:

    “Europeana hosts about 3 million digital objects: film materials, photos, paintings, sounds, maps, manuscripts, books, newspapers and archival papers from the past 2,000 years and over 1,000 institutions in the 27 EU states.”

    Looking forward to it.

  • Greenflag

    sneakers o’toole ,

    Any idea when it will be up and running ? Sounds great.

  • pith

    What a brilliant idea to get the European Union involved in this. Hopefully Pöttering will use some of the expertise he has available to provide practical assitance. Maybe he could get Ashley Mote to come over and sit in a cell. Again.

    Isn’t it funny that the Commission – which has the money – produces a Task Force report for Northern Ireland which results in not a penny more while the President of the European Parliament who doesn’t have the money wheels in with prospective offers of cash for the politically-sensitive Maze Museum? It is either a stitch-up or a gaffe.

  • Sneakers O’Toole

    Supposed to be up and running now Greenflag but unexpected demand means they’ve took it down again to tighten a few nuts and bolts.

    You can keep an eye here

    http://www.europeana.eu/portal/

    Says it will be back mid December.