Select Committee on European Union Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 300-303)

Mr Robert Cooper and Mr Richard Crowder

30 JUNE 2008

  Q300  Chairman: Three plus one plus one, which does not, in fact, increase the credibility of the European Union.

  Mr Cooper: No, it is ridiculous.

  Q301  Chairman: Could I just come back to the example that you gave earlier which we found very interesting about the role of the ESS as far as Sweden is concerned. Without expecting you to be too precise, do you think that the influence of the ESS as an educational influence in developing the policy of Member States in these sorts of areas is probably inversely correlated with the size of the Member State?

  Mr Cooper: I think it is probably more random than that actually. From time to time the other place where it gets cited is here, of course. Now and then somebody underlines that the ESS laid down this doctrine and therefore we must do that, but normally somebody produces it in support of something they are already going to do. That the EU is committed to trying to make multilateral institutions work is normal and natural, and I guess we probably would have done it anyway.

  Q302  Chairman: Would it be possible to have some discussion of the issues if there had not been a certain result in the Irish referendum, totally off the record? It might be interesting to hear from you an assessment of where you think we are and what the implication of this is for the next six to nine months?

  Mr Cooper: (The answer was given off the record)

  Q303  Chairman: Thank you very much, as ever, for coming and spending time with us, we do appreciate this. We are also very pleased that you seem to be enjoying what must be a very tough job.

  Mr Cooper: Exhausting!

  Chairman: Thank you very much.

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