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Foreign Office Updates

November 8, 2010

The UK government is having a bit of a data dump today.  We now have business plans for government departments plus information on who ministers have been meeting with, any gifts they’ve received and details of foreign travel.  Here are links to the FCO plan, latest organization chart and the meeting and travel lists.

The business plan has a whiff of government by powerpoint in that it’s long on bullet points and short on reasoning, there’s a little more detail in this version but not much.  There’s also lots of references to institutional changes and relatively few to international strategies.

The top line ‘structural reform priorities’

1. Protect and promote the UK’s national interest
2. Contribute to the success of Britain’s effort in Afghanistan
3. Reform the machinery of government in foreign policy
4. Pursue an active and activist British policy in Europe
5. Use ‘soft power’ to promote British values, advance development and prevent conflict

Readers of this blog will latch on to number 5 although I have to say that I’d be a lot more impressed if we had a definition of what they mean by ‘soft power’.

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