Eilidh Whiteford's Nomination of Anja Emerett

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    Hello ladies and gentlemen, members of the European Union. I'd like to extend my gratitude to the people that voted me into this position here today. I am humbled that I was elected by such a majority - I truly did not expect this result. But now that I'm here I intend to do the best job I can in this office, with my team. So, I hereby nominate: Anja EMERRETT to the post of Internal Affairs. For any further questions please find me at the Questions to the Premier Commissioner to aid me in helping this Commission be the most transparent and the most democratically accountable. Soon, I and my team will be releasing an itinerary of time scales, and start getting to action in this term.

  • Mod

    Thank you for the nomination, Premier.

    I will gladly await questions, concerns or the approval of our Council.


  • I, Speaker John Oliver, do formally open up this confirmation hearing for Anja Emerett for the position of Commissioner of Foreign Affairs. All councillors are invited to take part, and I also invite Commissioner-Candidate Emerett to make an opening statement at this hearing before we begin questioning them. Discussion starts now (23:00 GMT, OCT 3rd), and Ends (23:00 GMT OCT 7th) whereby voting would comment and end (23:00 GMT OCT 10th). I request all Cllrs. remain respectful towards the Commissioner-Candidate.

    I now give the floor to the commissioner-candidate.

  • Mod

    To the esteemed members of the European Council,

    It's great to see you all again. I am pleased to say that I've already had the honour of working with many of you. During my term as Premier I feel that the linkages of the European Council and Commission were strengthened, resulting in better communication between the two bodies. This new working relationship between the Council and Commission made way for some great discussion, and in the end, also resulted in some good reform. I would like to not only extend this spirit to Internal Affairs, but I would like to see Internal Affairs actually do what it's supposed to do - enforce Council legislation. If the Commission is to have any respect for the democratic decisions made by the European Council, or the will of the member-states thereof, then this responsibility ought to be taken very seriously.

    Internal Affairs also has institutions of its own to run. Our programs and agencies are a mess. The vast majority of them are unorganised, without leadership and totally non-functional. Naturally, I have ideas of my own to proceed with this, but I would love to also engage the Council in this matter. These are after all also institutions of the member-states. My ideas are only my ideas. I also want to hear yours. No doubt there will be common ground.

    That's why I don't actually intend to spend too much time Europolis. I believe that the Internal Affairs Commissioner should be out touring the member states, hearing out their worries, ideas or visions, and seeking to support them appropriately. If need be, it also has to step up to the plate and do more than issue a worded statement. It has to do work.

    Please stand with me.

    Thank you,

  • "Thank you for your opening statement, Commissioner-Candidate. I welcome all Councilllors to begin their questioning, I will encourage all Councillors to push forward with tough questions."

  • Mod

    "Good afternoon, Ms. Emerett.

    "Congratulations on your nomination. I have no doubt that you are at least mostly qualified, given the fact that you were a Premier Commissioner in the not to distant past. I have a few questions to start us off.

    "First, you talk about the Emerett Report in which you will conduct an audit of all European nations for compliance with every EU law that has been passed. Then it will move on to further research, and area you were ambiguous with during your campaign. Then a report will be published. Then you will send out recommendations...then you will enforce laws if not complied with after a certain amount of time. Are you banking on a second term in Internal Affairs or will you have given yourself adequate time to thoroughly go through every single set of laws and see whether or not they comply with European law passed by national parliaments and national governments?

    "Second, you seem to be fostering discussion within Europe and within the European regional institutions themselves. While that may be good, it seems to me that the turnover rate that these discussions, particularly Council discussions, seem to be small. In fact, the only thing accomplished by these discussions was the caucus reform, a reform proposed by an Angleteric colleague months before it was even brought to the Council discussion. And then months ensued before legislation was tabled. This seems to be a prime example of efficiency of the Whiteford team generally when it comes to legislation. Am I correct in this assumption?

    "Third, a nation blatantly disregarded European law and was called out on it by my Duxburian colleague and the Steward of the Duxburian Union, the former Councillor for the United Kingdom and my Prime Minister. Yet another discussion ensued and no action was taken, apparently due to 'not enough time'. If a member state was able to explicitly disregard European law and when confronted on it, provided no credible response and you as Premier Commissioner were not proactive enough to act on this evidence....how are we to trust that this Emerett Report isn't more than a trip around Europe paid for by monies sent by national governments to Europolis in which nothing will get done...and how are we to trust you when you say you will deliver when clearly you haven't?"

    Julia Hartley-Brewer

    Councillor for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

  • Mod

    Thank you very much for your questions, Councillor Hartley-Brewer.

    First off, let me be the first person to welcome you to Europolis! Congratulations on your position. Your eagerness to get involved right away is the exact kind of quality that would greatly enhance the Council-Commission working relationship. It's good to have you here.

    To your first question, though. The Emerett Report will be done thoroughly. It won't be rushed for completion. Since I served as a member of the European Commission in full during my last term, I cannot run again. Despite this, I think one term is feasible to accomplish my plans. Of course, things never go as smoothly as planned and I am sure there will be challenges, but I'm confident we'll make it. I'm trailblazing here, but I'm also taking into consideration of what could go wrong.

    I mean, you raise a valid consideration with your second question. But I would like to just point out you may have overlooked Commission reform, which is something I led. I narrowed down my focus onto a single subject and threw out some previously suggested ideas, and then followed up by including all new suggestions and comments. From one single proposal I made, we sparked several others, and before we knew it, we snowballed it into something completely new and different. The actual discussion itself was a bit of an up hill battle, but it was done very fast. So, that also speaks to the efficiency of team Whiteford in my opinion. With that said, I don't think it's necessarily fair to shame discussions on the basis of timed efficiency. I'd happily to take a slower process if it means we will produce the best legislation we can.

    Finally, your last point is completely valid and is probably the only thing that left me unhappy in my Premiership term. There was no actual discussion on that subject - or any discussion that I led on it, at least - so you're right, no action was taken. The topic of lack of Commission enforcement is something that I am passionate about, particular when it comes to the UDHoR, and I wanted my Internal Affairs Commissioner to share this same passion with me. Unfortunately, that was not the case - so there was malaise. However, I decided to step up to the plate, thrust myself into that position this time, and I want to see if I can get it rolling.

    But let me just be clear, I will be taking countries to task if they are found to be lacking in implementing Council decisions. At the very least, they will be brought to the EcoJ as a result. It's important to keep the EcoJ involved in this as well, and they can finally enjoy having some work. Real, hard repercussions will be put to place.

    Thank you,

  • Mod

    "Thank you for your responses, Commissioner-Candidate Emerett, and thank you for your warm reception.

    "I would like to refer to your last comment. I am happy to see that you are ready to take nations to task for non-compliance, that's a very important area that Europe has not decided to be serious about in the past. However, I want to make sure I ask this question....if you were willing to wait on an Internal Affairs Commissioner, how will we know you will get this rather large plate of reforms and basic oversight done in your term? You already had a term as Premier Commissioner to get some of these same things accomplished, and it didn't happen.

    You also on your watch had no budget despite planning on delivering one, the defence post had literally nothing happening in it, and the reforms you championed weren't even begun until the last month of your tenure. Given that you have expressed that you want to be known as a trailblazer, is this the kind of trailblazing you want to be known for? Waiting until the last possible month of your tenure then cram everything in there?"

    Julia Hartley-Brewer

  • Mod

    I mean, it is principally the role of Internal Affairs to enforce compliance. Sure, I could of done more than 'waited on' have my Internal Affairs Commissioner - but I'm already preoccupied with not only my office, but also with the many other offices - so there was no realistic way I could of done it. Besides, that's the point of having working partners and other Commission offices, so that working burdens can be distributed. I trusted my former Internal Affairs Commissioner and I specifically put him in that office to do it. I mean, he even asked me to have that office specifically. You have to trust your team mates. You can't play ball alone. As Captain, you gotta make these calls. Sometimes you lose, and you gotta also take the blame for it. So, ultimately it was my fault, but I had to make that decision I could. This time I'll be in Internal Affairs position myself, so I am offering my expertise directly.

    Again, I could be the sacrificial lamb as to why more did not get done in regards to my Commission team, but the activity of all of the EU's institutions, whether it be the ECoJ, Commission and even the Council, and the activity of virtually all member states themselves, practically vanished into thin air this summer session. If anything, I found that Mr. Hitches and myself were two of the most active anomalies within the EU - so that's also completely telling of our drive and spirit. Marie Solomon and the rest were literally nowhere to be found. Mr. Hitchens played an active role in Foreign Affairs, and I also supported him and helped with it. I completely disagree that Defence and Peacekeeping had 'literally nothing' done in it. I completely took on the office as my own. Yes, while Economics is another office that dropped the ball, it was another one that I trusted with a good colleague of mine. You best bet that the budget was something I hounded him on. I completely understand and identify where the Commission has come short. I believe I'm one of the first Commissioners - certainly one of the first Premiers - who has come out and said, 'this is organization is not working. It's not working for anybody. It's let everybody down'. It needed to be fixed. Commission reform I knew I could get done when the timing was right and when activity was looking to pick up again. I could of proposed it in May, but it wouldn't have gone anywhere. Once things picked up again, I immediately put it on the table. While it did come late in my term, it's not like it was rushed though. If you take a look at it it, it's long, filled with many difficult compromises, and was a tedious task to put together, yet it was still done.

    You may look at it in terms of things being done last minute, but the reality is that it's something that is actually materializing and being done , which, as we all know, is a triumph on its own for the Commission. But more importantly, we are also made sure it is done well, that it was done right, and that it was done in the best way possible.


  • Mod

    "Considering that you are putting a vast amount of policies on your plate heading into this job, I am merely concerned that if we trust you with this position, you come up with an achievable set of reforms and that we hold you to account on them. If your judgement and intuition decided that it was better to delegate without ensuring that the job was done, aren't we to take that into consideration when voting to confirm your appointment?

    "You've talked about reorganising our European institutions that fall under your jurisdiction into a European civil service, as it were. Can you describe this change and will you be consulting the Council on this change, as it clearly affects the budget and functionality of Europe."

    Julia Hartley-Brewer

  • Mod

    I didn't decide to delegate instead of do work- it was quite literally their job as elected officials by the European Council. Remember, this last Commission was elected via the old Commission rules that we just reformed. Commissioners Dawson, Ericsson, Hitchens and Solomon were all separately elected from me. It was the Council who chose them. Even as Premier, they weren't really accountable to me either. I did my best and offered them and help and assistance if they required it, but neither Commissioner Dawson or Ericsson took up my offer. You see, this is why we needed much of reform that I rallied for. In the end, I took charge of my own office, ran Defence and Peacekeeping, and assisted Commissioner Hitchens in Foreign Affairs. So I'm not sure how this has translated into delegating without making sure it was done. Unless, of course, I was to run all 5 offices, which I wasn't elected to do. I was elected to do one. As Premier I had a responsibility to lead a team that would work together and get it done as a team, but I unfortunately did not find this same spirit in my Commission team and I take the blame for that - but don't say I didn't get it done.

    In regards to the institutional reform I brought up, the answer is yes. When I announced my plan to look into streamlining Internal Affairs agencies into one, I said that it would be consulted with the Council. These institutions are after all also institutions of the member-states and their people. Basically, all these institutions are technically separate from each other. So, first off, we have a bureaucratic mess. Secondly, all of these institutions either require a Commissioner to lead them, or require Council-appointed delegates or leaders. As we know, the latter of these two instances don't happen. We don't see the Council interested in actually filling these roles, i.e the Arts Collaboration Fund, and we don't see Internal Affairs Commissioner micromanaging them either. A streamlined organization would naturally fill these roles with people of real expertise in these areas. Naturally, there might be one or two institutions that perhaps need micromanaging, but that would need to be discussed. Thirdly, we need a mechanism to hire and train people for our institutions. This streamlined organization would do that.


  • Mod

    "But as Premier Commissioner, it is your job to hold your own team to task. And it was not the Council who chose them, it was the people of Europe who chose them. I know you may not have been fortunate to select your own Commission, but it is your job to deliver the agenda you set. And if someone isn't doing it well, it is on you, Ms. Emerett. You cannot shift the blame on that. You were Premier Commissioner, you had the authority to get that person moving or remove them from office and have a special election to replace them, and you didn't. We have seen other Premier Commissioners take on that work or be proactive in their replacement of their team members, and you didn't at all. That is why I keep coming back to this point. It's a matter of judgement, Ms. Emerett, and you have shown to be lacking in decisive judgement. Just as you defer decisive judgement on reform in favour of endless debate.

    "In relation to the streamlined organisation, can you go into more details about what this will look like, namely some of the reorganisation bodies and what will be removed."

  • Mod

    "Endless debate? There was only one discussion during my term. One. And guess what? It actually got something done. Not only did it actually get something done, but it achieved exactly what you're trying to argue. Not only that, but it allowed everyone's voices to be heard. The Commission has a tendency to rule from the top instead of actually involving the member states, so I am glad that I actually got them actively involved in producing change.

    Not only did I completely deliver on my own agenda, but I did help others. I did take others to task. I don't think you followed my term as closely as you claim. I think I was perhaps one of the first Premier Commissioners to campaign on trying to have actively produce a team ethos. I routinely pushed my Commissioners to work, gave them advice and offered to help them. To quote Mr. Hitches, who said this about to me the council 3 months ago:

    'As perhaps the most veteran of the Commission team, I feel as though I need to support Mrs Emerett, whose conduct these last months I appreciate greatly, as leader of this Commission. Though I cannot in any way defend Mrs Solomon or Mr Dawson - their conduct has, I think I can say, been lacking, the Premier's leading of this team has in fact been formidable. Her conversations with each of us as Commissioners have been as motivating as they could, and it is up to us as individual Commissioners to answer the question of our inactivity.'

    Again, while I am glad that we have apparently already quickly forgotten the old Commission system, you have to remember that each Commissioner came in with their own ideas and own visions. I couldn't actively compel activity unto them. However, unless I am to do all the work, there is no way I can guarantee it. I did take on the workload of Defence and Peacekeeping. I'm just one person though, I can't take them all. These people are elected by the Council - who, by the way, are the representatives of the people of Europe -"

    It was at this point Emerett was interrupted by a screaming Councillor Edward Firoux. "Elect the Council! Let the people of Europe truly get their say! This body isn't elected at all!"

    Emerett burst out into a quiet laughter and shook her head.

    "Thank you, Councillor Firoux.

    But let me continue what I was saying. These people are fundamentally elected to do their job as well. As Premier, I couldn't simply remove them from office. That was not a Premier's power. I also dare you two name these apparent Premier Commissioners who have evidently done so. Not that I would of personally done it - there was certainly nobody else active to replace them with. That would of been short-sighted.

    As for the organization, I want to put it up to discussion first before I start proposing specifics."

  • Mod

    "It's widely accepted and proven that the EFA Premiers of the past, particularly Maleeka Licszkoszi, were very quick to get on their Commission's case when it wasn't producing results in private, and you could have done the same, Ms. Emerett. As for Mr. Hitchens' words, they're lovely words...but much like your record, it's just words. There is very little action to match your promises to the European people when you were elected...including your promise to reform this Council into an elected body. So while Mr. Firoux continues to yell, I will continue to challenge the record.

    "I also find it quite ironic that people who have turned into the very embodiment of career politics in Europolis (and, if we go by what Councillor Firoux said, are not elected) shout out, when they have had time to petition for this change. While I cannot speak for my predecessor, we had a Councillor election in Britain at the same time as a Commission election. The result was binding to HM Government, and by virtue of winning the election, I was placed in my position as Councillor and was instructed by the British people to challenge Europolis. That is what I am doing, and for someone who was a former Premier Commissioner and now a Commission-Candidate, from a country that has no problem with producing Commissioner after Commissioner, to shout out about a reform that could have been an agenda item for many of the number of Inquistan politicians that have entered this hall and this city yet has not been delivered is laughable.

    "Here we go with discussion again, Ms. Emerett. Do you not have your own idea to put forward first? If nothing else, you should have your own idea about this new system and what it should look like instead of leading from behind. I understand you will want to reflect any changes upon discussion, but to put forward absolutely no idea of what that might look like is not a good stance."

    Julia Hartley-Brewer

  • Mod

    "Hold on right there, I'm going to interject. Ms. Emerett has demonstrated far too much poise and composure for my liking. I know she has too much grace and respect to defend herself against this barrage of words, so I will. This is her confirmation debate and I have something to say. Just like how she graciously watched herself get put 3rd and 4th on member-states voting lists during her first Commission, after the great Marie Solomon was ranked 1st by many (Still waiting for you to explain that one, Gisela), I had to speak up. The Council seems to be very good at rewarding those who aren't active and those whoa actually do things. Despite people's hesitations and the tough discussions she had to face, Ms. Emerett completed her term by always remained warm-spirited, inviting, happy and always willing to hear you out. I admire her temperament.

    This confirmation debate is so embarrassing. I am legitimately embarrassed for the Council. Councillor Julia Hartley-Brewer has successfully derailed this entire confirmation, and has decided to discredit any of her personal achievements, quoting God's knows what, and she is so keen to be hostile to this Commissioner on literally no basis. God, you're such a mess. Endless debate? Ms. Emerett only had one. Never got things done? No, it did. What island are you on, seriously?

    But now, to your latest attack.

    First off, Ms. Emerett literally was defended by a colleague who said she was involved and that she helped push them. Again, to quote Mr. Hitchens:

    'As perhaps the most veteran of the Commission team, I feel as though I need to support Mrs Emerett, whose conduct these last months I appreciate greatly, as leader of this Commission. Though I cannot in any way defend Mrs Solomon or Mr Dawson - their conduct has, I think I can say, been lacking, the Premier's leading of this team has in fact been formidable. Her conversations with each of us as Commissioners have been as motivating as they could, and it is up to us as individual Commissioners to answer the question of our inactivity.'

    Yet you denounce this as 'just words'? Umm, ok. From an actual colleague that just worked for her? Ok. I'm sure you would hear these same words from her other colleagues. You then - and this is hilarious - actually fail to answer her only one single challenge to you. You couldn't name a Premier that simply just removed a person from their Commission. That's because it never happened. Maleeka Licskoszi certainly wasn't one of them. Not only that, but you didn't even provide proof for it either. You used, 'just words'. Furthermore, didn't Mrs. Licszkoszi have the exact reputation of delegating to her Commissioners and not delivering up to her promises? If I remember it correctly, she was among the first Premiers to create the so-called committees we saw, where only some of them had moderate success. It's also the EFP, by the way, not the EPA. Christ.

    Second off, Ms. Emerett never once included actually turning the Council in Europolis into an elected body. That was me. That was not part of any of her former campaigns. I think you're confusing the both of us, but I wouldn't be surprised - we both have pretty good hair. I'm not sure why you decided to then make that snide comment and go at me there. Very strange. Then again, you recently attacked a new Councillor and colleague of ours on his personal looks. Your rehearsed, petty, and completely unoriginal attack fell flat. It was pretty lame.

    Thirdly, no kidding she shouldn't reveal the legislation plans. This is about her confirmation. She not only brought up the idea, but has presented what the general idea will be as well. Of course she doesn't have the legislation for it. What now, are politicians are supposed to make the legislation, present it, and then be elected afterwards? Furthermore, this is obvious bait you're using. Even if she did present the plan, you would quickly pick it apart, say it's unworkable, and we'd never hear the end of it.

    Fourth, what the hell is wrong with having discussion? God, this is the first time we have a Commissioner actually invested in the opinions of member states. We'd had dozens of Commissions where they just expected to have things handed to them, have the member states simply just do what they say, or act as if they thought they were outright statesmen. We finally get someone who has a proven record otherwise, and has been credited with hearing people out and actively involving their opinions in legitimate, proven change.

    What's your answer? Let's berate this person and tell the they're ineffective despite her record saying otherwise - and say you want her to rule with an iron first. You sound like friggin' Laila Zapatero. No, I don't want Europolis working without hearing my opinion, thanks.

    Besides, why are you being so belligerent to someone that could possibly be our Internal Affairs Commissioner? What's wrong with you? I was actually excited about having a Commission-Council working relationship, but damn, that seems to be out of the window.Or at the very least use common respect.

    This Council isn't ready for Ms. Emerett as Internal Affairs. This chamber has become toxic. It's not about working together anymore. It's about attacking each others looks, berating our Commissioners, and demanding that the Commissions should just act and do. Facts also don't matter either, apparently.

    Just save yourself the time Anja, pack your bags and go back to Saint Dominico - clearly you will find no one with your same vision here."

    Edward Firoux,

    Councillor of Inquista

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