The leaders of the 27 EU member states will meet in Brussels this Thursday to thrash out the remit of the new president for EU, with some of the smaller states favouring a low-profile role involving little more than chairing meetings:
Mr Blair is very much in the running to take on this role. His opponents, who can be found mainly in the Benelux countries, do not want to see the job going to a big name and believe that the holder should simply be a chairman of council meetings…….(something which Blair doesn’t really want). While Poland is arguing for prime ministers to continue to have a key role alongside the president, again to avoid giving him too much power.
The Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, told the BBC that a Blair presidency would be “very good for Britain as well as very good for Europe”.
I have to admit, I agree with Mr Miliband….well certainly with the ‘good for Britain part’….but keen to gather some thought, from across Europe on the latter. So, what do you think, is a Blair Presidency good for Britain and or Europe?
Thoughts below please:
Picking a president
• The first president of the European Council will be chosen by the consensus of the leaders of the 27 EU states
• The shortlist will be drawn up by Fredrik Reinfeldt, Prime Minister of Sweden, which holds the six- month rotating EU presidency
• Each state can nominate up to two people. These will be whittled down to no more than two or three in total for the final shortlist
• An unwritten rule says the top jobs must be shared between member states. Poland, Denmark and Portugal are therefore out of the running as a Pole heads the European Parliament, a Dane is in charge of Nato and a Portuguese runs the European Commission