BM says - apologies to our contributor for the late posting of this, but if you wondered why things have been a little slow in Brussels this past week, you need look no further ...

Brussels politics was left paralysed this morning after trade unions and social NGOs expressed “extreme disappointment” at developments in the European Union. The severe emotional state was sparked by the Commission’s rejection of calls for an EU law defining public services and the ways to protect them from internal market rules.

Utilising the highly successful ‘mother-in-law’ lobbying strategy, social partners have invoked levels of distress amongst officials not seen since last Boxing Day. “They’ve been miffed before but never sulked on this scale.” noted one diplomat. “We went round with chocolates, but they still expressed a wonder that we turned out like this, just like they knew we would the day they first met us.”

The emotional blackmailing tactic is often used in meetings, and can range from passive-aggressively knitting in the corner of the room, to frequent and disruptive harrumphing. In some cases, trade unions have been known to offer sweets to everyone in the room except the organisers, to great effect.

Mediators, in the form of Commission spouses, are attempting to relax the stand-off with sympathetic murmurings. It is hoped that work on the policy area may be resumed by this afternoon if the Social NGOs can be talked down to “mild displeasure”.

However, those who remember the Services Directive “Black Tuesday” are sceptical as to the likelihood of a quick resolution. “World-weary bitterness may sound less intense, but when combined with the collective throwing up of hands, it incurred a terrible sense of guilt. It took us months to get back to normal, just sniping across the table.”

Original source: http://euobserver.com/9/25173/?rk=1

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