One President of the EU

It is campaign time again! (the euro-blogoshpere seems to get into online campaigns…) “Who do I call if I want to call Europe?” is one of the best known quotes by Henri Kissinger. Now Jon Worth and Jan Seifert want to answer this question and launched the whodoicall.eu campaign that calls for one president of the EU.whodoicall The idea is that one person should be President of the European Commission and, at the same time, President of the European Council (the position which is newly created under the Lisbon treaty). Read the arguments here.

Although I am not completely convinced about this idea, I signed the petition because I think that this new position of a European Council president is somewhat unnecessary. It will only create more confusion among citizens that already today are not too familiar with EU institutions. I am also not too convinced that EU policy making becomes more coherent with a permanent European Council president as well as rotating presidencies in the Council of Ministers. It just makes things more complicated!

But one critical remark regarding Kissinger’s quote. He was Secretary of State so his “natural” EU counterpart is actually the High Representative of Foreign Affairs. So he should call Mr Solana and none of the presidents! So, instead of talking about the presidents, one should rather give the High Representative more power (or introduce more QMV in EU foreign policy) to ‘please’ Mr Kissinger.

(I don’t know if I want to please Mr Kissinger though, and anyway I doubt that Kissinger would ever refrain from negotiating with national counterparts…but that is a different story…)

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2 responses to “One President of the EU

  1. Yes, a good idea to get some EU level democratic accountability, when EU level posts are created, and the Commission president is supposed to reflect the European Parliament election result.

  2. Although I understand there were pluses and minuses discussed in the ratification debate, I want to congratulate my European friends and say, chins up! It is difficult indeed to get unanimity among so many governments. I think it shows strength in Europe. Now you will get a president. If I haven’t disgusted you sufficiently already, I recommend the following post, http://euandus3.wordpress.com/2009/11/03/the-eu-as-a-partner-for-the-us/