Pickles Visits Os Corelia
Eric Pickles, commission candidate for Davishire, was onboard a small private jet whizzing from Europolis to Os Corelia. Mr Pickles was goint to visit some key people in the government of Os Corelia and he was excited at the opportunity.
As the pilot confirmed they were on approach Mr Pickles packed away his notes into a briefcase. Discussion on the environment, trade and nuclear security are planned. It is hoped to be a productive trip.
The plane touched down in Kaldoon pulling up to the arrivals gate. Waiting in arrivals was Count Kairos Jelesniak himself not long off a flight from Europolis after being summoned home to prepare for the commission election. He saw Mr Pickles approached and moved toward him through the gathered crowd in arrivals.
'Mr Pickles, welcome to Kaldoon the emerald in the oceanic crown of Os Corelia! I am Kairos Jelesniak, Os Corelia's Councillor in the European Council. We are joyed that you have chosen to visit Os Corelia in your campaign for commission votes. We are looking forward to hearing what you can bring to the table. We've had quite a showing of public apathy towards candidates thus far with low turnouts expected, lets see if you can change that ey!'
The Count escorted Mr Pickles through the airport to where a car was waiting adorned with an os corelian flag and an EU flag. The car drove them through Kaldoon past all the sights of the Karpathia dynasty, past the concert hall where eurovoice was held until they reached the parliament centre. The Count took Mr Pickles through security down past the corridor of empty senator offices, up the grand staircase to the parliamentary floor with a few MPs busy working away and meeting various lobbyists and constituents. They eventually came to a foyer area with several PA's working on business.
'Malageet wonderful to see you again' The Count said to one o fthe PA's working
'What can I do for you Count Jelesniak?' she responded
'Myself and Mr Pickles have an appointment with the Prime Minister' he announced
'Of course I will let her know you are here' said the PA as she walked into the office adjacent to the foyer. After a few minutes she returned and announced 'the prime minister will see you now'
The Count escorted Mr Pickles into the office which had a large arched window that looked out across Kaldoon Bay letting in a swathe of natural sunlight. The room was decorated with maritime insignia and a great state flag adroned the room alongside the national flag. In front of the large window were several arm chairs in one of which the Prime Minister was sitting sipping herbal tea whilst reading over a report on the recently passed Education reforms. 'Madame Prime Minister what a pleasure to see you as always' the Prime Minister raised her head and smiled 'Ah Kairos my good friend welcome welcome and I assume this is Mr Pickles' she stood up straightened her skirt and shook Mr Pickles hand then gesturing towards the armchairs said 'Please take a seat' and they sat.
'Now Mr Pickles my PA was briefed by yours about this meeting and believe you wanted to meet me to discuss issues that you would aim to tackle if elected. I am more than happy to discuss these topics. I suggest you lead our conversation and myself and the count will reply to your ideas and queries with the best of our knowledge'
Mr Pickles appears pleased at the warm and friendly nature of Os Corelia.
"Prime Minister, may I thank you for agreeing to meet me today. I believe that it is very important for those candidates who wish to become commissioners to visit nations throughout the union."
Mr Pickles opens a document, glances at it briefly before placing it back into his briefcase.
"Prime Minister, one of the key issues I wanted to talk to you about today is the environment. I believe that the environment is an important topic for both our nations. Would Os Corelia be prepared to work with me, should I become a commissioner to campaign to reduce our impact on the environment? regardless of the office I may be appointed.
After listening intently the Prime Minister leaned back in her chair and responded:
'Well Mr Pickles you are indeed correct to assume the environment is of great importance to us and indeed through our combined support in ALDGE have attempted to back many moves to legislate on the European level. The failure of the Ocean Protection Act was a big blow to us and all green legislation following has tanked. I want to know what kind of commitment you are willing to make to reduction of carbon emissions, investments in green technology and reducing the offloading of toxic waste in in appropriate areas? You will have to forgive my cynicism Mr Pickles but your capacity as a commissioner would be limited to championing ideas not writing legislation and it is only through the council that these battles can be won. Kairos I'm sure you can expand on this for me as man in the know'
The Count nodded in agreement and lent forward in his seat as he spoke:
'Yes I do have to agree with Madame Prime Minister on this query. I whole heartedly support green legislation and moves to protect the environment this is one of the reasons the Os Corelian government signed up to ALDGE and subsequently I am involved in the ALDGE group when voting although technically not a member due to neutrality of my role. Sitting in the legislative chamber you learn a lot and the thing is that the commissions power is incredibly weak and ever made so by a successive series of failures by commissions to have any impact at all. I guess my question to you is why run for a body that has no purpose?'
"Well Prime Minister, I fully understand that legislation can only be passed through the council with a majority vote. However should I be appointed to a suitable post then I will need to work with others to as you put it "champion Ideas" and then work with the council to get legislation written and proposed to the council.
I am fully committed to working with other nations and commissioners on reducing our species impact on the environment by any possible means because if we harm the environment on a significant level then we will be unable to sustain our existance without significant adoptions."
Mr Pickles took a sip from a glass of water before continuing.
"Admittedly the commission is in need for reform and I agree that most recent commissions have had no real major successes. It is however in my view easier to reform the system from within rather than from the outside. And if at the end of my tenure I to am judged to be a failure then I will not stand again for the position."
'Well Mr Pickles lets hope you can deliver on much needed reform' the Prime Minister replied with a warm smile as she began to sip at her herbal tea' tell me of the other things you wished to discuss'
"Well another main issue that Davishire sees as important is trade between nations. Trade between nations benefits both sides of the agreement. I believe that it is important to ensure that the European reduces barriers to business.
I also believe it is important the our security services properly protect our sea lanes and fishing grounds from agressors.
Do you agree with me on this and if so how do you believe that we should move forward on improving trade?
'I am sure it will come to you as no surprise that the Corelian prioritises water protection to ensure our major industry of fishing is not take out of our hands so to speak. We have established one directional shipping lanes around our isles to ensure security and minimal damages to habitats. Our Sea force are doing an exceptional service tot heir nation and I don't believe that we would need nor want European defensive assistance. I can see merit in bringing down barriers to business to better trade relations.
I have a question for you Mr Pickles, what is your vision for Europe? Sell me your candidacy by giving me your manifesto for election'
Well firstly may I say that I am glad that you see the merits of bringing down barriers to free trade and I hope that if elected commissioner I will being able to work with Os Corelia and other European Nations to bring about free trade for all. Now moving onto your question."
Mr Pickles took another sip from the nearly empty glass of water.
"I believe that I am different from what is often seen as the norm for my country. I believe strongly that further cooperation and in some areas international integration are key to move our region into the future. A strong, democratic European Union of Sovereign States working together for the greater good.
What I would work towards would very much depend upon which department I may be elected to however I have some key principles, notably free trade. It is important the international barriers are lowered so as to encourage free trade between nations. Provided that it is fair and legal. I am also a very keen supporter of the environment. It is important that the region as a whole works together to reduce our impact on the environment, preferably through international agreements and treaties but also working with national governments to bring about support for environmental legislation. It is important that we care for our environment.
I also aim to continue to create discussion on the future of the European legislative system to improve the effectiveness of the European Commission so that in the future commissions will be a success. It is important that the commission works or changes to provide a more stable Europe.
The future of Europe is going to be in my opinion a bright one, with low military spending, a greener more sustainable society with an open and accountable leadership."
Mr Pickles takes another sip of water, the glass is now empty.
"I am also a supporter of creating the foundations for the reduction in the number of nuclear weapons held within the arsenals of the European Union. I believe that it is important for the future of this region to reduce spending on weapons of mass destruction whilst also reducing defence spending overall."
'That is an impressive and admirable approach and belief system to hold Mr Pickles and indeed I wish you the greatest of luck in the election. Before we part ways is there anything else you wished to discuss?'
"No there is not anything else at the moment.
May I thank you for allowing me to visit your brilliant country. I look forward to seeing you again in the future."
With those final words the Prime Minister and The Count stood up and shook Mr Pickles' hand. The Count then led him out into the foyer where the Prime Minister's secretary provided him with a keychain with the Prime Minister's seal on it. Then the Cuont escorted Mr Pickles out of the building gave him a last handshake before Mr Picles got into a pre-arranged car and drove off.