Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Well, diddums!

It seems that the newish members of the European Union are once again being discriminated against. The WJS New Europe blog reports that of the 115 EU delegations in different countries (an awful lot really) only 2 are headed by East Europeans, the delegation to Norway is led by a Hungarian and the one to Afghanistan by a Lithuanian. They get the really important ones, you can see. Poland, whose Institute of Foreign Affairs produced the damning report has yet to head a delegation anywhere.
The Polish Institute of International Affairs, a think tank funded by the Polish government, said in a report that in the EU’s external service there were only 36 Poles, a mere 2% of more than 1,700 employees. Poland makes up for almost 8% of the EU’s total population.

Out of 115 heads of EU delegations, there’s one from Hungary, heading the EU’s delegation to Norway, and one from Lithuania representing the bloc in Afghanistan, said the report written by Ryszarda Formuszewicz and Jakub Kumoch.

Taking into account the population factor, there’s overrepresentation of citizens of 11 countries, in particular Belgium, reads the report. Sixteen countries, including Poland, are underrepresented.

As of June, French nationals headed 16 EU delegations. A further 16 ambassadors came from Italy, and 15 from Belgium, a country with a fraction of the population of France, Italy — or Poland.
Surely anyone could have predicted that Belgium would be over-represented.

It gets better:
Women head only 10% of the delegations of the European Union that officially promotes gender equality. Knowledge of foreign languages other than the official languages of the European Union doesn’t seem to play a role in the selection process, and thus the head of the EU delegation to Moscow doesn’t speak Russian, and the ambassador to Ukraine doesn’t speak Ukrainian or Russian, according to the report.
I wonder if the system was devised by the FCO.

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