The proposed President of the European Council is very far from being ?President of Europe? ? either in terms of profile or power.
Whoever lands the job (and it?s highly unlikely to be Tony Blair) will have practically zero influence on anything, acting instead as little more than a moderator between the governments of the member states as they continue to run the EU show. And will be in office for just two and a half years ? which is no time at all in EU terms (hell, it?s just taken more than a decade to get agreement on a treaty which doesn?t solve half the problems it was meant to?)
from Brussels Blog by Tony Barber
There is something fishy about the race to fill two of the biggest jobs going in Europe – the first long-term presidency of the European Union, and the post of EU foreign policy chief. The closer the EU gets to decision time, the more various unofficial candidates are ruling themselves out or running into difficulties. As far as concerns the presidency, the […]
The new German coalition agreement, or government programme ?Wachstum. Bildung. Zusammenhalt. Koalitionsvertrag zwischen CDU, CSU und FDP. 17. Legislaturperiode? is a detailed document of 128 pages (pdf).
Policies are entwined between the national (state and federal) and European levels, so a detailed study requires study of the whole programme.
There?s a scene in the second of the Lethal Weapon series of films where Murtagh (Danny Glover) and Leo Getz (Joe Pesci) create a fracas in the apartheid era South African consulate in Los Angeles so that Riggs (Mel Gibson) can gain entrance through another door. Joe Pesci asks the South African consular official to talk his friend (Danny Glover) out of emigrating to the most beautiful country in the world. The official is confused. That is until Murtagh is introduced; at which point the official utters in disbelief ?But?but?you?re blek?. Mayhem ensues as Glover?s character starts protesting against apartheid.,
from FT.com – World, Europe
Legatum, a UK-based think-tank, lists Finland as the most prosperous nation in the world, not only in monetary matters but also in the quality of its democracy and governance
from Grahnlaw by Grahnlaw
I understand why the European mainstream in favour of integration has been less than enthusiastic about the campaign to make Tony Blair ? a failed European ? the first President of the European Council. More astonishing is the fact that William Hague, the Conservative shadow foreign secretary, has stupefied the ambassadors of the EU member states by proclaiming the possible election of Blair to be a hostile act against the Conservatives (Britain). Hague has had plenty of followers, trying their best to outdo him.
From the heady days of the famed Franco-German twin engine of European integration and from Joschka Fischer?s Humboldt speech, we had arrived at a Germany, which is the European mainstream, but with little fire, vision or engaging dreams, with little more than a determination to do the daily chores in a responsible manner.
The Swedish EU Presidency is likely to convene an extraordinary summit of EU leaders in mid-November. It hopes the Lisbon Treaty will be fully ratified by then, paving the way for open discussions on candidates for the EU ‘top jobs’ and members of the new European Commission.
Today, David Miliband, UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, spoke on EU foreign policy after Lisbon, at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS):