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Reinfeldt a 'dark horse' for EU president job

Reinfeldt a 'dark horse' for EU president job

Published: 31 Oct 2009 14:17 GMT+01:00
Updated: 31 Oct 2009 14:17 GMT+01:00

With reports emerging over the frontrunners for the permanent position of EU president, a new contender has emerged in the international media in the shape of Sweden's Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

Reinfeldt has already downplayed speculation in the Swedish media linking his name to the new position of president of the council of EU leaders.

Referring to next year’s general election he has told journalists at home that he “has a meeting with voters in the autumn of 2010, and he doesn't intend to miss it.”

However, this denial of interest hasn't quite reached the international media who have since touted his name among the top list of contenders for the job, including former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker.

The successful candidate is expected to be announced soon and the position will come into force once the Lisbon Treaty has been ratified by all 27 EU states.

The Czech Republic - the only country not to sign – is showing signals that it will comply in the coming weeks.

The full-time president will serve a two-and-a-half-year term, strengthening the current rotating system of a six-month presidency, of which Sweden is currently at the helm.

The international media points to the fact that Reinfeldt has impressed his peers in the role, significantly over climate change issues ahead of the Copenhagen summit in December.

A recent article in the New York Times touted Reinfeldt’s name in its list of top contenders.

Meanwhile, news agency Reuters described him as a ”potential compromise candidate after winning praise from EU diplomats for Sweden's presidency of the EU.”

And a recent blog posting by journalist Paul Waugh of the London Evening Standard stated Reinfeldt was in contention by default.

”With Blair and Juncker polarising opinion, most received wisdom is that Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende is the man who could emerge as the compromise choice,” he wrote.

”But amid fears that the Dutch government would then collapse - Reinfeldt could be the dark horse.”

Waugh added that his own political sources had also tipped Reinfeldt for ”displaying exactly the skills needed by a new European Council president.”

Christine Demsteader (christine.demsteader@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:08 October 31, 2009 by Leprehcaun
..

Right; with enough pinches of salt to fill bathtub this article might be a bit believable. "potential compromise candidate" translated from Politiicish into English means "There is no way in hell that he, a Swede, will be president of the EU". The only EU citizens that can become presidents of the EU are quite uninteresting and invisible Dutch and Belgian "right" wing politicians.

"Possible candidate" my a§§. Democracy is dead; the EU is a political playground and policies and decisions are made consider what nationalists allow and demand; what the majority of the EU population wants has nothing to do with its decisions and neither does what the best thing to do is to do.

Does anyone even believe that their is a slight chance that the president can be a non-Belgian/non-Dutch? Anyone?

Seriously the EU is just one big joke, fix it or get rid of it. If it can't exist because nationalists don't allow it then it shouldn't exist; there shouldn't be any "compromises". Brussels was chosen because of its location, it had nothing to do with the city's history or the meaning of it. It had nothing to do with it being an optimal location to keep costs down or because its location was very convenient for the politicians and lobbyists. It was chosen out of nationalism. If they had chosen Berlin it could be seen as an attempt at giving a hand to the Soviet Union/Russia (then and now); an attempt for European unification and peace between the east and west, with a message that would mean, we aren't better or worse than you. Although still not an option Geneva would, theoretically, also be a good option but instead nationalism prevails; when it comes to the EU it always has and the charade doesn't seem to end any time soon. The undemocratic choice of who the EU president will be will be another Brussels instead of Geneva. For crying out loud when you talk about "compromise candidate" you've obviously never even considered to actually give the right; the best person the job. If you're not going to do that, at least hold an election instead of making it a nationalism-taking into-consideration and super-indirect-representative/dictatorial choice.

Vilket jävla hyckleri! Ner med EU!
16:30 October 31, 2009 by Nemesis
It is bad enough that some lunatics have wanted Tony Blair as president of the EU. At least some people are taking a stand against that. See,

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/stopblair/signatures.html.How

Some Italians have even suggested Berusconi for the job. Personally I think if they seriously propose him, that Italy should be kicked out of the EU.

The president of the EU is an important job. We do not need imbeciles, religious fundementalists, halfwits, idiots, sycophants or other forms of idiots in charge.

We need capable politicans who can juggle all competiting European interests and who are extremely good diplomats to take the job.

We do not need as president of Europe, a nationalistic sycophant of some vested business interest or pressure group.

Whoever is made president of Europe needs to identify as a European who will put Europe and Europeans first in all matters, regardless of vested national interests.
17:06 October 31, 2009 by eZee.se
"We do not need as president of Europe, a nationalistic sycophant of some vested business interest or pressure group."

And i'm willing to bet even as we speak some vested group like the RIAA or MPAA (or their affiliates) are right now trying to get as close to the candidates who have even a shot in hell of getting the job.

The chance that we are going to get someone who is not corrupted at all by such groups is truly minimal... and depressing.
18:29 October 31, 2009 by zircon
Reinfeldt, you sly fox... BTW, the EU is looking more and more each day like the movie version of The Lord of the Rings. With the Swedish PM of course being some sort of a Gandolf. "What say ye, mr Reinfeldt? Where wilst thou taken the ring to?"
18:37 October 31, 2009 by Cornelius Hamelberg
Would just like to squeeze this in now but will endorse and decorate our Prime Minister more seriously, more fully and in more fitting colours after the Nigunim concert

Fredrik Reinfeldt has been and is a likable and able leader, currently steering Sweden's presidency of the European Union. Certainly not an intrusive kind of personality as we could have had with say an extra-ordinary Olof Palme type in a similar position - not intrusive but effective and able to gather a coalition or a compromise around him and that's what now matters - even as he has successfully pushed ahead with Climate Change on the EU agenda and hopefully will continue to do so in the upcoming Climate Talks in Copenhagen.

http://www.se2009.eu/

I don't think that the 27- nation EU is so much looking for the leader who will say like the Pied Piper of Hamelin: follow me!

"I'm able,

By means of a secret charm, to draw

All creatures living beneath the sun,

That creep or swim or fly or run,

After me so as you never saw!"

After which the twenty six will assemble behind him or her. In the case of Tony Blair there could be some resistance to the idea of following Tony Blair whose role cannot be divorced from his background as the Brit who led Britain into Iraq etc - a Britain which is still outside of the Euro zone and has some reservations about the European Charter.

Admittedly, the presidential post is almost second to that of European Union's Foreign Minister which could also be a straight fight between several contenders including the experienced Carl Bildt and David Miliband…
19:41 October 31, 2009 by spy
Why don't we roll it in with the Eurovision song competition and get Terry Wogan to host the elections? It could be good entertainment.
20:01 October 31, 2009 by Iraniboy
He is way much better than other possiblities, Tony Blair,...
22:23 October 31, 2009 by zircon
A bit premature to consider mr Reinfeldt a serious contender to become the EU president nr I. Like it is said in this particular article, he will emerge after a certain collapse... Like a dark horse. And dark horses belong to myths, that is if you think twice. The EU doesn't need any man or woman who breaks his or her own horseshoes! And the planet is the global heat to take on. Please, don't turn this into a war dispute... Mr Reinfeldt is certainly an able man and good diplomat, but in terms of our disturbing global economy and uncertain future, we need a different prize fighter. One experienced one who understands the black or white flag on all grounds.
11:47 November 1, 2009 by Cornelius Hamelberg
OK UK & NATO & the United States of America, Europe, Japan, Russia, China, Africa, South America, Middle East, Australia, Canada, the rest of the world and Mother India

I hear you.

But let's be fair. All of the opinions expressed above are either correct or bi-assed. No one said that of all the 27 nations that make up the present European Union, of all the English and German speakers, the Slavs, the French, Spaniards, Dutch, Portuguese, Belgians , Poles, Hungarians, Scandinavians and I-talians, the Swedish Prime Minister is the old warhorse that towers above all others and should obviously be he who leads.

As I promised there will be more about Frederick the Great later, if not here then elsewhere…

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/default.stm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/timothygartonash
16:24 November 1, 2009 by zircon
Is it the black flag or white flag this time, Hamelberg?
17:00 November 1, 2009 by Cornelius Hamelberg
It is the rainbow this time dear Zircon

but it could well be the fire next time:

http://www.shaykhabdalqadir.com/content/articles/Art100_31102009.html
02:37 November 2, 2009 by zircon
I Still don't like the idea of your PM Reinfeldt being the first president to the EU. He has nothing corporate on him, when of course he is a natural politician or international diplomat. The latter always being of a different breed of men and women. I always thought that the Swedes were more cold and calculated, like the English..
09:07 November 2, 2009 by EtoileBrilliant
He would be good except on two counts (i) Euro-professionals have long memories. Sweden's rejection of the Euro in 2003 would probably prohibit this appointment and (ii) listening to the SD agenda (some good points) but the removal of tax credits for white labour (cleaner, barn flickor, etc) is just so stupid. I can understand why they want to increase property tax in the light of reduced tax receipts, but to implement a measure that would increase unemployment is just daft.
14:24 November 2, 2009 by zircon
In short: mr Reinfeldt to me seems more like a Boyar, and leave Ivan the Terrible/Mr Blair to do the work of the tsar. World economies such as China, Japan, Russia and the USA (with on the side South America), are the old world views, and should not be underestimated. Like Michael Corleone said in Godfather I to his brother Sonny, "It's not personal, it's business.."
20:28 November 2, 2009 by Cornelius Hamelberg
True, the Social Democrats have just had a successful - some say wonderful convention and our Prime Minister intends to rise to the challenge: He says that he has an election date to keep.

True, true, no-thing personal, it's business and all that and for us, it's got to be the home turf first. I just read the latest Dick Morris report in which he says, "And there are only two ways to pay for it: (1) printing more money, which causes inflation, and (2) hiking taxes, which kills investment, businesses and jobs."

I may be wrong, but I can't imagine that you would recommend Mona Sahlin instead - for the post of president of the European Union - that would be a looong or loony shot - more of an anti-climax - and talking about dark - in my view Mona casts a much darker figure as first horselady of the apocalypse…

In these dark and depressing times, just for the sheer delight or high seriousness of it ( could lighten up my darkness) do you mind telling us what reservations you would have about endorsing such a less preposterous thought as fielding Mona for EU president?

http://www.onlinenigeria.com/music/seagulls/
01:46 November 3, 2009 by zircon
Here is where it stops for me. Signing off now...
04:18 November 3, 2009 by Kal Bentchev
Personally, I think it is a mistake for the European Union to need to elect a President of Union. A confederation type of government with collaborative inputs from all member states is the best option for the future of the Union. The Lisbon Treaty needs to be modified at best.

Kal Bentchev

Stockholm, Sweden
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