The First official program number. We have arrived – through rain and twisting streets – to the DG Competition. (DG btw stands for Directorate-General – thank you Google again for your generous assistance. I’m not familiar with the Union slang, so I assumed it to be something along the lines of general department.)
Someone from the Merger Policy and Strategic Support Unit is here to tell us about Merger Review. The guy seems really nice, but I’ve never personally had the slightest interest in competition legislation. It’s all very technical and market oriented. Okay, now he said the word which is actually the interesting thing about mergers: consumer-protection. Regulations, measures, requirements and exceptions, conglomerates and vertical mergers don’t move me; what is interesting is why we regulate mergers, what it says about the interests and values of our society? I am rather certain we won’t be discussing that today.
Hmm, he does speak of the goals, but the viewpoint here is efficiency: administrative efficiency, reduction of costs and better allocation of jurisdiction so these could be achieved. Very commission-, state- and company-oriented. Naturally, of course, but I need the individual or community to be involved to get seriously interested myself. It’s intriguing to look at some of the others though and see how excited they are of this theme. That is as it should be: some – however strange it is ;-) – actually prefer spinach soup to chilli chocolate.
I like the informality of this room. Duffy Duck stands in the corner on a windowsill next to a plastic bulldozer and from the other corner a female saint smiles benevolently at both of them and the football in a glass case in the middle. On the wall there is an ad for the movie “Invasion of the Ants” and on the hallway we were greeted by a poster for an Astrid Lindgren-movie. I bet they don’t do their more important negotiations in these premises.
It’s still raining. My feet haven’t dried yet, but they don’t squish anymore either. I liked walking in the rain, even though buying the umbrella was a good idea. I mean really, who could possibly live with panda-eyes, bird’s nest for a hair and clothes soaked to the bone!! ;-) Makes me thing of the time when one was wetter than ever. Thunder, curtain dropping, slow strides to the front of the stage… Okay, back to the reality. No insane grins, when there’s talk about “review and consolidation of the Notices on jurisdiction”.
Coffee-break. I notice that I’ve been working too many times as a seminar secretary. There I go again arranging the coffee table. They had brought in the milk-portions, sugar, tea bags and spoons in a paper bag and left it on the table. Now I definitely like unofficial, but I’m not sure whether this is not just a tad too much. I also notice that in certain situations I like tidiness. As in throwing empty milk-portions to the thrash can half a meter way. ::cough, cough:: girlish, I know.
For some reason I am again wondering if some people here might think that I’m bit of an idiot – you know: harebrained, big blue eyes, decent at organising things, but not necessarily blessed with too much brains. I’d like to think that I’m not an idiot. But, really, would an idiot know that she isn’t an idiot? Or that she is? Would an idiot have knowledge for knowing? Knowing of knowledge? Non-knowledged know-how...
But seriously, I am not capable of expressing my opinions properly in the presence of some people – for various reasons. Sometimes I’ve been known to adapt the wide-eyed, brainless “ooh, aah, reeaally?” attitude, which is why I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if someone did think that I was an idiot.
I am not an idiot – honest. But still I have to ask myself if that harebrained “woman” is truly a part of me. If she is, should I embrace her or try to change myself towards something/someone I am more comfortable with? Is there again a middle way – being more articulate, knowing one’s own mind, but giving up the desire for perfection; the need to know everything, the fear of saying something without thorough knowledge? Having an idiotic opinion, making an idiotic statement always now and then doesn’t make you an idiot.
- Yeah, really. Otherwise we would all be idiots.
- Maybe we are.
- Is that your definition of an idiot?
- Mine? I am not worried about being an idiot. I am perfect. Perfection itself. You’re the one moaning about idiocy. So ask yourself what for you is an idiot?
- I don’t know. One who never questions the rationality and sensibility of their thoughts and actions? I don’t know.
- So perfection is idiocy?
- Did I say that? Yeah, maybe.
- Well, then you don’t have to worry. You are not an idiot.
- Oh, bugger off.
Okay, time to move on. The second presentation of the day. Is there something to be drawn from these lectures for my own research? Some questions about uniform applicability, control of national / local courts, being the ultimate guarantor of....(insert your choice of value), parallel competence. Same questions being talked over and over, century after century. Efficiency again. That is what they were mad about already in the 18th century too.
Transparency is also an interesting theme; as a viewpoint to the eternal “legitimation of power” –question. What the attitude towards the need for – the right to? – transparency tells of the state, the rights of and the importance given to its citizens. Yeah, we can think about that for the rest of the evening. I bet.