November 19, 2009
EU’s New “President” and “Foreign Minister” finally appointedThe 27 EU Heads of State and Government, after much horse-trading, have finally unanimously agreed on two names: The Belgian prime minister Herman Van Rompuy has been appointed as the first ever permanent EU “President” while Baroness Cathy Ashton, currently EU Trade Commissioner, has been appointed as the EU’s “Foreign Minister.”
The creation of the posts of President of the European Council and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy is one of the 2007 Lisbon Treaty’s main institutional innovations. Yet a quick look at the Treaty makes one wonder if journalists have not given too much importance to the EU “top jobs” race.
the powers and responsibilities of these two new figures are rather limited.
And according to Article 18 of the EU Treaty, again as amended by the Lisbon Treaty, the High Representative is (a) to conduct the EU’s foreign and security policy and the EU’s defence policy, as mandated by the Council (i.e. the Member States), (b) to represent the Union in political dialogue with third countries and (c) to express the Union’s position in international organizations.
History will tell whether
those now arguing that “the
EU will soon have a president and a foreign minister, comparable in
world affairs with the president and the secretary of state in the
USA,” were prescient or guilty of wishful thinking.
November 19, 2009 | Permalink
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