To write, as you did, that Janusz Lewandowski, the European commissioner for financial programming and the budget, lost credibility in the 2013 budget negotiations amounts to calling a fireman who pours water on a blaze a vandal: you got the facts right but completely missed the point (“The EU in 2012”, 10-16 January).
Faced with intransigence from both the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament, and the prospect of the collapse of the budget negotiations, the commissioner simply suggested a creative way to find an agreement between member states and the Parliament. Contrary to what you imply, not one member state challenged his figures of pending claims for 2012 since those claims came from, well, those very same member states.
Let me put this simply: if the Commission had not come up with ideas to break the deadlock, we most probably would not have a budget for the EU today. “Undercut credibility”? Rather the contrary, if you ask me.