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Sweden reaches deal over top EU positions

Christine Demsteader · 20 Nov 2009, 06:13

Published: 20 Nov 2009 06:13 GMT+01:00

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He also revealed British EU Commissioner Baroness Catherine Ashton will assume the post of High Representative for Foreign Affairs.

Both candidates received backing from all 27 EU countries for the positions creating by the Lisbon Treaty.

The talks were coordinated by Sweden in its is role as head of the rotating EU Presidency over a working dinner attended by heads of state and government.

"We are convinced that Herman Van Rompuy is the right man to lead the European Council in the right way," Reinfeldt said after the summit meeting.

The Swedish Prime Minister was given a Rubik's cube by European Commissioner José Manuel Barrosso as a memento and recognition of negotiating the positions after weeks of politicial wrangling.

The two candidates were largely overlooked in the run up to the announcement, which has been met with a level of surprise by commentators over their limited experience in foreign affairs.

After backing Tony Blair for the EU president role, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made a last-minute decision on Thursday in nominating centre-left Baroness Ashton, who has been in her position as EU Commissioner responsible for trade for less than 12 months.

Story continues below…

However, Christian Democrat leader Van Rompuy had come to the forefront as a possible candidate over the last few days.

Christine Demsteader (christine.demsteader@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:10 November 20, 2009 by Craptastical
I'm also glad that they were able to agree on the first president so quickly.

I do hope that the president won't always be essentially an organizer and note taker for meetings, but instead will eventually become a democratically elected post which carries real political power and clout.

How elections would work I have no idea, because the smaller countries wouldn't agree to a popular vote, and the larger countries most certainly won't cede any of the political power they currently have.

Wow, this is beginning to remind me of something. There's a republic that was similar to this in the beginning....
09:18 November 20, 2009 by Nemesis
van Rompuy is OK, but far from inspired.

Ashton is a Blair puppet. We don´t need her in Europe, let alone in a senior position in Europe.
10:30 November 20, 2009 by hopingagainsthope
Three Cheers ??? I don't know what Trowbridge is smoking, drinking, or eating, but I sure would like to get some of it if he can find glory in this pathetic episode for Mr. Rheinfeldt, Sweden, or anyone else. How low can expectations get? And somebody wants "Sweden" to get credit....with the headline "Sweden Reaches Deal Over top EU positions"?? Goodness gracious!

As Carl Bildt remarked earlier in the week, the last thing Europe needs at this point is an insipid choice for its first President and Foreign Minister. This is an historic opportunity to make a statement about the seriousness of Europe and the part it wants on the world stage. Judging from this, it wants no place at all. Consider the historic opportunity squandered.

But aren't these two just perfect? If Herman and "Lady" Ashton don't take the prize for no-credibility, no one does. Remember, Europe is preening forward about an UNELECTED President. Is everybody comfortable with that? Wake me up when Europe is ready to get serious. I think that's the way it will be greeted on the world stage, whilst each and every little patch of Europe, like Sweden, will continue to represent itself. OR....Raise your hand if you're ready for President van Rompuy and his foreign minister to speak for Sweden.
10:52 November 20, 2009 by Osokin
Ok these are the puppets, now who is the puppeteer ?
11:18 November 20, 2009 by unkle strunkle
Probably the guy who customized the Rubik's cube for Reinfeldt. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/20/world/europe/20union.html?_r=1

Now THAT'S entertainment!
11:34 November 20, 2009 by sweco1
The puppeteer is the family that owns Seagrams Whiskey. They are the royality of a very large group of people that are working together very activily to maintain their hold on power in Europe and North America.

They were doing the same thing hundreds of years ago in Odessa until Konstantin Petrovich Pobedonostsev figured out what they were doing and kicked them out of Russia.

A early example of the method they used to take power is Filiki Eteria in Greece 1814.

They don't fight the normal way, that is why they have been assassinating the good polititions of Sweden like Anna Lindh to make room for their polititions.Their polititions look likes Swedes but secretly work for another group.

They have been active in Swede for over hundred years, they just don't want you to know that they exist!

Once you realize that this group really does exist then it is easy to figure out who the players are.

The place they made land fall in Sweden hundreds of years ago was Gothenburg!
11:47 November 20, 2009 by Great Scott
This has nothing to do with Reinfeldt or Sweden as a matter of fact, the truth behind this is, Herman van Rompuy is nothing but a Muppet for Germany and France, someone they can use and manipulate. As for Baroness Catherine Ashton, this is Gordon Browns attempt to stop Germany and France getting total control.
11:54 November 20, 2009 by zircon
The Show is over!
14:28 November 20, 2009 by ricobhi
Craptastical raises a good question about how elections will be conducted. Will the EU adopt election rules similar to the US? I hope the EU can improve on the US process. In theory, the US process is useful, but in practice, it's flawed. The US Constitution calls for an Electoral College made up of representatives from each state, but doesn't provide very well for the people to participate in the process. Custom has dictated that the Electoral College should vote the will of the people, however, they're technically under no obligation to do so.
15:51 November 20, 2009 by bocale1
I agree with everybody that sees that as a bad taste joke.

A president who can merely represent himself, being the expression of a country that does not count anything in Europe, and, most of all, a foreign ministry that has never had similar roles in the past, with very little international political experience, expression of a country that is much closer in terms of foreign policy to US than to UE and, finally, that will loose her government support in a few months when the anti-EU tories will take the lead in UK. Very very low profile choices. EU reputation compromised probably forever!

Nothing to celebrate about for people, like me, that still think that Europe should be united to face the most challenging issues of the future.

Very sad day!
16:06 November 20, 2009 by honza
the show is going on and we can not do anything with that - i would vote for a party that would be FOR stepping out of EU.

presiden rompuy! who??

foreign affairs ashton! who??
16:30 November 20, 2009 by Nemesis
@ honza

If you don´t like the EU, I suggest you goto flysas.com and book a flight out of Europe.

Then you can be as anti-European as you want.
17:03 November 20, 2009 by Leprechaun .se
Holy crap the Brit looks just like my old British English teacher! I had to read the name to be sure it wasn't her..

Well our presidency is quite eventful..
18:08 November 20, 2009 by mkvgtired
Nemesis, the EU and Europe are two different things. Just because someone would like to see their country withdraw from the EU does not make them anti-European. Countries like Norway and Switzerland are European and are not members of the EU. I know people in the UK that think Europe should be unified financially and should have open borders, but they do not agree with the growing power of Brussels.
20:54 November 20, 2009 by Bosnia and Herzegovina
Congratulations Mr. Prime Minister Reinfeldt. You demonstrated a real leadership. I think that everybody have to recognize how great is to secure a consensus between 27 states in making this decision. In several months everybody will refer to Mr. Rompuy as Mr. President and to Mrs. Ashton as Ms. High Representative. At the end only that matters.
21:13 November 20, 2009 by bocale1
@honza, @Nemesis, with those 2 names you do not need to fly out of Europe to be outside EU. The EU will be so weak and dependent on single country interests that it will become merely an abstract concept.

Yesterday, I believe that who is against a strong living EU has had the biggest victory they could imagine. Totally irrelevant people in key positions will mean that every country will do its politics without caring too much about EU.
21:31 November 20, 2009 by Davey-jo
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Get real! This was a Franco-Prussian stitch up job from the start. Mr Rompuy will never be known as Mr President; he'll be known as Mr Rumpy (or worse!). In the UK he'll be ignored or the subject of tabloid abuse. I don't think Swedes understand the full loathing of the EU in this country, it follows from the conspiracy of the politicians to keep the voters away from all things European. This "Treaty" is undemocratic, it has been forced on people despite there being referenda against it and now we have the ridiculous spectacle of an unelected member of the House of Lords (for heavens sake!) being made Mrs High & mighty. Well you might call that leadership; I call it a foulness that defies belief.
00:45 November 21, 2009 by spy
Eurovision song contest all over again. . .
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