Sat, 27 Mar 1999

Mismanagement in the EU

The resignation of all 20 members of the European Union's executive commission is a dramatic way for the many to take collective responsibility for the failings of some. But why wasn't a different kind of responsibility -- steady and unspectacular -- seen earlier, and instead?

The committee of experts' report on fraud, mismanagement and nepotism in the European Union shows an organization insufficiently restrained by internal sanctions against inefficiency and waste.

The inquiry found that it was "becoming difficult to find anyone who has even the slightest sense of responsibility", adding, "the temptation to deprive the concept of responsibility of all substance is a dangerous one. That concept is the ultimate manifestation of democracy." It is a sorry indictment of an organization that was supposed to be a shining light, overriding petty nationalism and showing the way of the future, that this inquiry would find it necessary to restate such a simple, fundamental truth.

-- The Sydney Morning Herald