Michael McDowell: What impetuous zeal explains EU’s article 16 debacle?

Decision-making being hijacked by utterly incompetent individuals is key issue

 President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen: The  Commission’s mishandling of the AstraZeneca affair has played straight into the hands of those who have contempt for the EU and the Belfast Agreement. Photograph:  Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP via Getty Images

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen: The Commission’s mishandling of the AstraZeneca affair has played straight into the hands of those who have contempt for the EU and the Belfast Agreement. Photograph: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP via Getty Images

The demands of the news cycle are notorious. But we rely on senior figures in government, whether elected or unelected, not to succumb to their addiction for short-term approbation and to get things right. The euro-debacle over article 16 of the Irish Protocol was a case in point.

The European Commission is not elected. It is supposed to be collegiate. It is supposed to act in the collective interests of the union and its member states. But it put its own image before its duty to act carefully and with consideration. Why?

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