Thursday, November 19, 2009

That was what they wanted...

The French and German governments had made it fairly clear that they wanted the new European Union President as defined under the Lisbon Treaty to be someone limited to greeting foreign dignitaries and chairing summits.

That was what they wanted...
Van Rompuy, 62, is a technocrat with a penchant for haiku poetry. A Dutch-speaking Christian Democrat, he is unknown abroad, and even in Belgium he keeps a low profile. Or as a Belgian commentator recently put it: "Van Rompuy opens his mouth only to breathe."
...and that was what they got. Herman Van Rompuy, currently Prime Minister of Belgium.

Same idea, but more lefty, for the E.U. Foreign Policy brief:
Ashton, who has never been elected to public office and is largely unknown outside Britain, had seemed an unlikely choice. She won the foreign policy brief after British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and left-leaning leaders from Spain, Greece, Slovakia, Slovenia, Portugal and Austria decided to put her name forward.

Ashton, 53, was a junior minister and leader of the House of Lords in 2007 and had a history as an anti-nuclear weapons campaigner.

She has barely caused a ripple during her year as EU trade chief and has no known foreign policy experience.
Catherine Ashton of Britain, currently the E.U. Trade Commissioner.

So it appears that Henry Kissinger's famous question regarding Europe... (paraphrased) "who do I pick up the phone and call?" is still unanswered.

Some one is there to take the call now, but they appear to be a message center worker.


The article linked above has a line saying "German Chancellor Angela Merkel and often-outspoken Premier Nicolas Sarkozy of France did not reveal a preference before the meeting." Technically correct. Other sources have confirmed that the Von Rompuy choice was predetermined by Franco-German agreement before the nomination.

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