Patten argues that the Commission should act as a “reality check” on the Union’s foreign policy initiatives and concentrate on areas where the Commission can add value to policy at EU level. “Deepening relations is not achieved by posing for pictures but by engaging in exchanges, sharing expertise, and launching joint programmes,” he added.As part of the process of identifying the Union executive’s ‘core’ tasks Patten suggests some external relations work could be ring-fenced within each department. In a paper outlining problems the Commission faces in making an effective contribution in the foreign policy field, Patten compares the institution’s role to that of a maid “asked to prepare increasingly large and grand dinners in a pokey kitchen with poor ingredients”.He says the problems stem from Union governments making “ringing declarations which they are subsequently reluctant to underwrite in money and staff”. He also asks whether the EU has correctly identified its priorities and questions the wisdom of allocating 250 million euro – or twice the annual budget for Russia – for reconstruction in Latin America after Hurricane Mitch.Patten’s paper claims Union foreign policy-making is still dogged by tensions over which areas are the Commission’s responsibility and which are solely a matter for member states. It adds that the “welcome” creation of Javier Solana’s role as EU high representative to coordinate foreign policy more effectively has not resolved tensions but has led to “new institutional complications”.