(Thumbnail from World Economic Forum)

 

It’s been nearly two-and-a-half years since Tony Blair’s tenure as British Prime Minister ended, but a provision in the newly-approved Lisbon Treaty has brought him back into the spotlight. (Footage from Sky News)

The agreement, which enters into force in December, creates the position of European Union president, a role some think Blair would be perfect for. Other international media sources differ though, saying there are better candidates out there.

We’re tracking controversy on the first appointment of a president from France 24, BBC News, The Times of London, EuroNews, and the Financial Times.

We start with France 24, who notes although Blair was an early favorite, his political ideology lacks support form other European leaders.

“Tony Blair’s candidacy has stumbled earlier than expected due to a lack of support from European Socialists. A center-right candidate is likely to be chosen, simply because there are more center-right leaders in the EU.”

BBC brings in a pro-Blair perspective, talking to Britain’s business secretary. He says the EU needs a proven figure to establish the new role.

“If we want that job to be a really influential job, somebody who will help shape the strategic direction and purpose of the European Union, we’re going to have to have somebody with a good brain and a strong personality.  Tony Blair has both."

A reporter for The Times of London on the other hand, suggests that the emergence of Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy as Blair’s main competition for the job means European leaders are looking the opposite direction.

“[Van Rompuy] has come to the fore because he is the man with the fewest enemies among his fellow EU leaders…He is certainly less linked to Iraq than the British candidate and his country is more committed to the Euro.”

EuroNews echoes the support for Van Rompuy. The channel gets a perspective from a Belgian citizen and tells us why Van Rompuy is a good choice for the job.

“‘He’s indispensable in keeping the peace between the different communities.’…That sort of skill in the center-right 62-year-old makes him a true blue ribbon candidate in the eyes of a majority of the EU’s leaders.”

Finally, the associate editor and columnist for The Financial Times steps back from the question of who will be the president and instead looks at the challenges they will have to face.

 

“The European Union’s inadequate system of crisis management…a lack of strategic policy focus…[and] poor presentation…I have no doubt that the first council president’s success or failure will depend largely on those three factors.”

Would Tony Blair or Van Rompuy be a good choice for EU president? Or should EU leaders be looking elsewhere? We want to know what you think.

Tony Blair: Right Man for EU President Job?

by Nathan Giannini
0
Transcript
Nov 11, 2009

Tony Blair: Right Man for EU President Job?

(Thumbnail from World Economic Forum)

 

It’s been nearly two-and-a-half years since Tony Blair’s tenure as British Prime Minister ended, but a provision in the newly-approved Lisbon Treaty has brought him back into the spotlight. (Footage from Sky News)

The agreement, which enters into force in December, creates the position of European Union president, a role some think Blair would be perfect for. Other international media sources differ though, saying there are better candidates out there.

We’re tracking controversy on the first appointment of a president from France 24, BBC News, The Times of London, EuroNews, and the Financial Times.

We start with France 24, who notes although Blair was an early favorite, his political ideology lacks support form other European leaders.

“Tony Blair’s candidacy has stumbled earlier than expected due to a lack of support from European Socialists. A center-right candidate is likely to be chosen, simply because there are more center-right leaders in the EU.”

BBC brings in a pro-Blair perspective, talking to Britain’s business secretary. He says the EU needs a proven figure to establish the new role.

“If we want that job to be a really influential job, somebody who will help shape the strategic direction and purpose of the European Union, we’re going to have to have somebody with a good brain and a strong personality.  Tony Blair has both."

A reporter for The Times of London on the other hand, suggests that the emergence of Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy as Blair’s main competition for the job means European leaders are looking the opposite direction.

“[Van Rompuy] has come to the fore because he is the man with the fewest enemies among his fellow EU leaders…He is certainly less linked to Iraq than the British candidate and his country is more committed to the Euro.”

EuroNews echoes the support for Van Rompuy. The channel gets a perspective from a Belgian citizen and tells us why Van Rompuy is a good choice for the job.

“‘He’s indispensable in keeping the peace between the different communities.’…That sort of skill in the center-right 62-year-old makes him a true blue ribbon candidate in the eyes of a majority of the EU’s leaders.”

Finally, the associate editor and columnist for The Financial Times steps back from the question of who will be the president and instead looks at the challenges they will have to face.

 

“The European Union’s inadequate system of crisis management…a lack of strategic policy focus…[and] poor presentation…I have no doubt that the first council president’s success or failure will depend largely on those three factors.”

Would Tony Blair or Van Rompuy be a good choice for EU president? Or should EU leaders be looking elsewhere? We want to know what you think.

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