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Bildt fears insipid EU top job compromise

AFP/The Local · 19 Nov 2009, 12:02

Published: 19 Nov 2009 12:02 GMT+01:00

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Bildt warned that the EU could miss a "historic occasion", saying the choice could diminish Europe's voice in the world.

"In my circle of foreign ministers there is undoubtedly a certain apprehension about the fact that certain heads of government are leaning towards a minimal solution for the presidency question, which could reduce our chance of having a clear voice in the world," Bildt wrote on his blog.

A first-ever European Union president and a new foreign policy supremo will be named at a working dinner in Brussels Thursday by the EU's 27 heads of state and government.

Bildt said the consensus required for making such a choice could translate into weaker candidates nabbing the top posts.

"This could mean -- from our point of view -- missing a historic occasion," he wrote, adding that the coming into force of the Lisbon treaty was a chance for Europe to "become a new power on the global stage."

Story continues below…

Thursday's talks will be coordinated by Sweden as the country holds the rotating EU presidency.

Bildt's name had circulated to become the 27-country bloc's new foreign policy chief, but his chances were cut short Tuesday when Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt named EU Affairs minister Cecilia Malmström as the country's next EU commissioner.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:41 November 19, 2009 by karex
Seems a bit odd that Bildt would be concerned about a possible tendency which is very much ingrained in Swedish culture - nothing is ever done without a consensus around here which usually means things take forever to happen, if at all.
13:51 November 19, 2009 by Jan M
Inspiring or uninspiring choices will not affect the EU's voice/influence in the world. Economic might will. Hands up anyone who thinks the Chinese president is selected based on charisma/inspirational qualities. Charisma/'inspirational' individuals when there's not much behind the mask. Obama and the US being a good example. Bildt may mean that the EU is much more like the latter. A weak structure in need of some convincing deceptional salesmanship but if so he should just spit it out.
14:37 November 19, 2009 by zircon
Yes Minister! Transparency not such a good thing then?..
16:00 November 19, 2009 by mkvgtired
I realize the difficulty of running a cross border multi-lingual campaign, but shouldn't the public at least be allowed to veto the decision through a popular vote? It seems like this position will just put more distance between Brussels and the European public.

Also, getting a consensus from 27 different heads of state from 27 different cultures will be almost impossible. They will have to compromise if they want to make any headway.
16:09 November 19, 2009 by Suresh Alvapillai
Don't waste your votes, vote to Tony Blair. We believe, he is the right candidate or the right president of Europe Union
18:26 November 19, 2009 by Nemesis
Give the EU a real leader.

Give us Paavo Lipponen, Mary Robinson or Tarja Halonen.

We need people with backbone who can represent us all.
18:30 November 19, 2009 by Davey-jo

We need a vote. Why do want to be given a "real leader"? Why don't you demand to chose who leads?

When my country (UK) joined the Common Market 30 odd years ago there was no mention of anything like a European Union. The UK has been repeatedly denied a vote on anything to do with Europe; for the simple reason that a large number disagree with actually being part of this nefarious enterprise. This is yet another example of the EU forcing itself upon the UK and indeed any member state that dares to say no (I'm thinking here of Eire being forced to hold referendum after referendum until the "right" result was pressed out of a weary people).

It's really stupid to act in this way. Large empires with no democratic mandate have a nasty habit of collapsing in disarray and acrimony. It's only a matter of time before the thieves fall out with themselves.
20:18 November 19, 2009 by mkvgtired
If the UK leaves the EU maybe it will be a wakeup call. Or perhaps the EU will just demonize the UK and impose trade restrictions. I think it would all depend on who was in charge at the time. If it caused disruptions in the financial markets (which I am almost sure it would to some extent) I think the European media would have a field day. Every shortcoming could be blamed on the UK and the then-current leaders would have much less scrutiny over their actions. Either way, I think that should be something the UK should run by its voters. From the British people I have talked to most (but far from all) think they would be better off if the UK left the EU.

A recent poll:

20:50 November 19, 2009 by Bosnia and Herzegovina
The best candidate is one that is acceptable for all 27 members states. And institutions and system are the the key factor for success. If someone can not realize his dream to join his wife in Brussels do not mean that everything will go in wrong direction. Proper question is - Why some of self-minded great leaders are not acceptable for all 27 member states? Mr. Bildt has to recognize he is not one of them. Best luck some other time.
21:14 November 19, 2009 by Plowbridge
It has now been leaked that Merkel and Sarkozy's lapdog Herman van Rompu is the new EU President. Carl Bildt can be proved correct in his concerns as this is a compromise appointment of a man who lacks the global experience and image to sell the EU to the world. Still as long as he doesn't upstage his power thirsty master and mistress then that's o.k!
21:23 November 19, 2009 by Davey-jo
It gets better: the BBC are reporting that "Baroness Ashton appointed as EU's foreign policy chief". This woman has never been elected by anybody at all; she owes everything to being installed in the UK unelected second chamber by the warmonger Blair. What kind of joke is this?
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