Remember drippy Comparative Politics?
Now with added EU!
The EU is now in a position to assume a "stronger, more credible role in the world," the nominee for the EU’s top foreign policy post says…
Who drafts this lame stuff for her? This person?
Memo to Baroness Ashton’s Speechwriter:
First Do not use these feeble comparative forms. They reveal weakness and pessimism – that you are not confident that the EU can be strong and credible, rather that it is not strong and credible now but that you might edge the indicators up a bit
Second Do not even talk at all about the EU being strong and credible. It shows that you and the EU aren’t! Can you imagine a leader of China or India or Russia talking in these terms? Of course not. Because they let their strength and credibility emerge and be felt (a) from the force of what they are saying, and (b) from their obvious willingness to fight hard and long for what they want.
Third Remember that success in foreign policy comes in part from being cooperative, and in part from not being cooperative. See above all the Disaster of Copenhagen, when the EU was played as suckers by a few countries showing real determination. So bland, inoffensive noises are just the wrong tone to adopt. (Yes, we know that the EU pretends that it achieves its internal results through good-natured unthreatening consensus-building. But it is not like that beyond EU borders. A quite different ‘style’ and vocabulary are needed.)
Got all that?