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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Thoughts on the new European president.

This one is dedicated to our eventual new President. Mind the title of the first article. You get the impression that Blair is really loved politician, right? Wrong, the poll is made among Europeans(some of them) and what? AMERICANS! So Blair get 15% of US vote, surprise surprise. Just don't be manipulated by it. My comments are below.

Blair and Merkel top EU-wide poll

7 April 2008

A poll by Harris Interactive found most European citizens consider German Chancellor Angela Merkel to be the most influential leader in Europe, while Tony Blair is currently the preferred candidate for the job of EU President. However, a large proportion say they would prefer the job not to be created at all.

A majority of French (68%), Spanish (57%) and Germans (57%), regard Germany as the leading country in Europe today, according to the survey, published on 4 April. The poll explored a variety of issues, including who has the potential to be the next President of Europe. It was conducted online among a total of 6,478 adults (aged 16-64) in France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, Italy and the United States.

Asked about concrete leaders, Europeans strongly favour Angela Merkel, who leads the chart in European countries. She is considered to be the most influential leader in Europe by 38% of the French, 29% of the Germans, 30% of the Spanish, 27% of the Italians and 18% of the British. Nicolas Sarkozy scores 18% in his own country, 10% in Germany, 16% in Spain, 13% in Italy and 9% in Great Britain. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has a modest rating of 1% in France, 3% in Germany, 7% in Spain and 11% in Italy. A big difference is obvious regarding the perceptions of the Americans, who consider Brown the most influential leader in Europe with 23%, compared with 8% for Merkel and 9% for Sarkozy.

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso is considered to be the most influential European leader by 8% of the French, 11% of the Germans, 6% of the Spanish and 11% of the Italians. 6% of the Americans see him as the most influential leader in Europe.

Jean Claude Juncker of Luxembourg is the only leader considered to be a possible contender for the job of president, according to the ranking. But he is credited with only 1% in France, 2% in Germany, 1% in Italy and less than 1% in Spain and the UK.

Asked "If you were to vote today for a President of Europe, who would you chose?," most Europeans answered "Former British PM Tony Blair". Blair is considered fit for the job by 8% of the French and Spanish, 4% of the Germans, 13% of the British and Italians and 15% of the Americans. Former Spanish PM Felipe Gonzalez scores high in his country (24%), but is almost entirely neglected by the other nations. The names of two Eastern Europeans appear: Vaclav Havel, the former president of the Czech Republic, and Bronislaw Geremek, a Polish politician, but their scores are modest.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, strongly supported the idea of "President Blair" towards the end of last year. But several opinion makers have rejected the notion that Tony Blair could ever be the first Council president. Some argue that Mr. Blair forfeited the right to be considered a true European when he followed the US into the Iraq war, which brought about divisions along an 'Old Europe-New Europe' fault line.

Moreover, Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht recently poured cold water on Blair's bid to become the European Union's first full-time president. De Gucht said Belgium would not accept a candidate from a country that does not fully participate in all EU policies, including the euro currency and the bloc's passport-free zone. Britain has opted out of both and also maintains its so-called 'red lines' on policing, justice and internal affairs.

Meanwhile, a large proportion of Europeans believe "there should be no President of Europe": 21% in France, 32% in Germany, 46% in the UK, 14% in Italy and 16% in Spain.

Under the terms of the Lisbon Treaty, which EU leaders agreed upon in December after the failure of a proposed EU constitution, the heads of state and government are to choose a president of the European Council for a two-and-a-half year term, renewable once. The Lisbon Treaty, which is set to be ratifird by 1 January 2009, also envisages retaining the presidency of the European Commission. source

My comment: Americans Vote for EU PRESIDENT???!!!!!! I'm sorry, but do I get something wrong here! When did USA get to be a part of EU? Because as far as I'm concerned it is not! That's idiotic. And if Angela Merkel gets to be a candidate for a president, my vote goes for her. I absolutely agree that Tony Blair cannot be considered full-time European after all the ass-licking for USA that he did in the past years. We don't want that for Europe, I don't want that for Europe. We deserve a president that will follow our directions of development and not go to lick the private parts in a doggy style of the next US president. And I kind of prefer that there's no European president also. It looks like this is kind of suspicious position for a non-power post.

The Lisbon Treaty: Playing Presidential poker?

8 April 2008
Dominik Hierlemann, Bertelsmann Stiftung

The Treaty of Lisbon will change the way European politicians govern and cooperate in the future, says Dominik Hierlemann of the Bertelsmann Stiftung. But with unclear definitions of the new leadership roles, the top EU positions could prove confusing for the bloc's citizens, he warns in a March paper.

Hierlemann raises a number of issues surrounding the precise roles of the Council President, Commission President and High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs to be introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, and in particular that of the first President of the European Council, set to be chosen in the autumn.

The author identifies competition between the three positions as a potential source of conflict - citing the possible reduction of the Commission President's role to that of "top administrator" as an example, which he warns "would be completely erroneous".

Outlining the Council President's function as set out by the Lisbon Treaty, Hierlemann describes how he should facilitate EU citizens' understanding of the European institutions and enhance both the bloc's visibility and its leadership potential.

But the nature of the Council President's mandate remains unclear, he says, arguing that the future president should play an influential role in the European debate, determining the top issues to be tackled. The figure chosen is to be elected on the basis of a qualified majority for two-and-a-half years and can be re-elected once, he explains.

But the external representation of the position remains uncertain and it is unclear whether the President will stand as "Mr. or Mrs. Europe" or become "more of a king or queen presiding over the quest for internal compromises," believes Hierlemann.

As far as the EU rotating presidencies are concerned, their role will be altered by the Treaty, the author explains, predicting that the rotating presidency will focus more on the internal issues of the individual member state, turning the appointed country into a mediator between policymaking at EU level and the member states.

Hierlemann concludes that there is a need to define both the objective of the rotating presidencies and the relative position of the heads of state and government in the new set-up, particularly as their impact on EU policymaking appears to have been weakened by the new Treaty.

Moreover, the rotating presidencies should place greater emphasis on one specific issue to communicate to other member states, he adds. source

My comment: Yeah, definitions, we all need definitions. And that article kind of confused me even more. I really should read the whole Treaty.

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