EurActiv - Letters to the Editor

Sir,

Regarding ‘Blair still first in line for EU president, say UK media‘:

To me it seems pretty obvious that people close to Tony Blair are spreading the idea that he could become Council president.

There is not a shred of evidence that this is a realistic option.

Angela Merkel is known to oppose Blair’s candidacy. Jean-Claude Juncker is certainly not in favour either as Blair vetoed him as Commission president in 2004. Guy Verhofstadt will harbour similar sentiments, and Nicolas Sarkozy’s daily changing whims are not what drives EU decision-making.

And then there are the objective facts which speak against Blair:

He is solidly disliked by Europeans across the board because of his lies leading to the Iraq war.

He never delivered any of his promises with regard to the UK’s position in the EU. He did not even organise an informed debate.

His performance as Middle East envoy has been subterranean.

The Socialists lost the last European election.

Finally, the idea of Cherie Blair becoming the EU’s first lady is just scary.

Ronald Grünebaum

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Comments

  1. Everybody in the EU knows who Blair is. EVERYBODY. No other candidate can make that claim.

    As president Blair will immediately engage public interest in the EU, whether it be because they love him or loathe him. No other candidate will.

    The alternative is more eurobscurity.

  2. Yes, Simon, but everybody in the EU hates Tony Blair. Ok, maybe there are a few naive innocents who still think he is ok, but overall the overwhelming majority of people in Britain, the overwhelming majority of people in Europe and the overwhelming majority of people in the world HATE Tony Blair.

    And since everybody knows him and the overwhelming majority dislikes him, Blair would make a very bad symbol for the European Union.

    What is the big deal with having to be known by everybody, anyway? Only a couple of years ago few people knew who Barack Obama. The post of President of the EU Council doesn’t need a “star” and it’s remit is not global policy, but organising and overseeing the work of the new EU Council.

  3. It does not matter who will be appointed the EU President. What matters is that s/he will be a “consensus candidate” of the kind that Mr Barroso was 5 years ago when appointed President of the European Commission.

    What in the Eurocrat’s language means NOT that the chosen one will be the best professional in his/her field of expertise with a personal opinion and the guts to stand behind this opinion but that s/he will be so faceless and servile that no party will object to his/her candidature.

  4. Does Blair really have no greater merit than the fact that people know who he is? That seems like a very poor reason to become president…

  5. Simon,

    everybody knows Claudia Schiffer. Thinking of it she may actually be a better choice than Blair.

  6. The list of individuals is not as sacrosanct as the writers and correspondents would assume to be the case.

    What is needed is a forthright character and preferentially one with the credentials to present a positive case for All. We cannot have people from Countries that might decide to pull out of the European Union after the next General Election (as the Conservative Party in the UK will have it do, as the consequences will be dire for the UK which at a stroke will involve a mass exodus of money and investment away from the UK to the EU) but to have a real Leader who is for all that is good.

    In that therefore the listmisses out and the Candidate that best fits the bill is Dora Bakoyannis the former Foreign Minister of the Hellenic Republic (Greece.) There is no better person than Dora and she would be ideal.

  7. Ronald,

    I think Simon meant “a politician” that everyone knows. I think Berlusconi would fulfill that requirement quite appropriately. 🙂

  8. Blair and his grasping wife simply follow the cash. In view of the unaccountability of EU personnel regarding expenses and freeloading they would fit in admirably, ie loads of cash for very few worthy achievements.
    Let him in at your peril!

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