Section 1.e gave some idea of the impact that EU membership has had on Whitehall. As the member states of the EU have moved gradually towards closer integration, the commission’s role in harmonisation and regulation of economic and social activity has expanded, and the EU’s influence has spread steadily into new areas of activity in which member states previously ran their own show. However, co-ordinating the interests of fifteen states in any area is technically a highly complicated business, and getting their ministers to reconcile their different viewpoints involves a lot of haggling, brinkmanship and compromise.