Not long after the Czech President, Vaclav Klaus, appeared to relent on his decision to stall on the signing of the Lisbon Treaty, the subject of the President of the EU has been doing the rounds yet again. The boy Miliband went on the Andy Marr Show today, firstly to quash the daft idea that he would be after a berth over in Brussels (a rumour that has had the right leaning froth brigade generating yet more froth), and secondly to bat for Tony Blair.
The Prez business is generating a lot of column inches, not to mention the attention from the blogosphere, but what nobody seems to be asking is whether the post is anything more than a figurehead, someone who would be a roving ambassador for the EU, its number one salesperson.
Fortunately, the consistently thoughtful Nosemonkey’s EUtopia blog has checked out the new post. And some interesting conclusions are drawn: for instance, the post is for just two and a half years – half the term length of both the President of the European Commission (Jose Manuel Barroso at present) and EU High Representative (currently Javier Solana). It has no formal powers. It doesn’t end the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU, which will continue to be held for six months at a time by each member state.
I can only echo the conclusion made by Nosemonkey: it’s a meaningless position, and we’re getting the whole thing out of proportion.
No change there, then.