Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
First, in paragraph eight:
Rather than move European integration forward, the former British Prime Minister set a series of so-called red lines during the Lisbon negotiations, with the intent of blocking any progress in social issues and tax as well as common defence and foreign policy.
do we mean "tax harmonization"? Do we mean "taxation". I used "tax harmonization" in the updated Spanish version.

Now, At the risk of being fastidious about this, I really have a problem with adopting the narrative that the President of the Council is the President of the European Union. It is clear to some commentators and should be clear to all that there will be four top jobs to be filled, three of which with the title of "President" and one of which up to now identified as "President of the EU":

  • President of the European Commission
  • President of the European Council
  • President of the European Parliament
  • High Representative for the common Foreign and Security Policy

In this vein, I think "President" should be replaced with "President of the Council" wherever there is any ambiguity or the context includes the EU as a whole. In the title, I would put President of the European Union in scare quotes. Therefore:

In the title

Petition against the nomination of Tony Blair as "President of the European Union".
with scare quotes.

In the first paragraph

We, European citizens of all origins and of all political persuasions wish to express our total opposition to the nomination of Tony Blair to the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Full title, including the word council explicitly.

In the fourth paragraph:

... increasingly insistent rumours have instanced a wish, in some quarters, to see Tony Blair appointed the first "President of the European Union"...
Scare quotes.

In paragraph nine:

... it seems unthinkable that the first President of the European UnionCouncil should be the former head of a government that kept its country out of two key elements of the construction of Europe ...

And in the concluding paragraph:

At a time when one of the priorities of the European institutions of the European Union is to reconnect with its citizens, we believe it is essential that its the Council's President should be a person with which a majority of citizens can identify.
Apart from the grammatical inconsistency of having its (singular) refer back to European institutions (plural), he is not going to be the President of all the institutions, nor of the EU as a whole.

This may sound like nitpicking but you don't fight narratives without carefully picking every word.

As I wrote this I realised that we don't want Blair representing the EU in any capacity. We could be successful in blocking him as President of the Council but they might say "okay, let's make him Commission President or (worse!) 'Mr. CFSP'". I think we should find a way to block him from all four two jobs. This becomes too clumsy in the opening paragraph, but in the last paragraph it has a place since we mention all the European institutions. We could say

At a time when one of the priorities of the Institutions of the European Union is to reconnect with citizens, we believe it is essential that all of the four top dignataries, the Presidents of the Commission, Council and Parliament and the High Representative for the CFSP, should be people with which a majority of citizens can identify.
That way we block Blair from any EU job. In fact, the High Representative job might be more to his liking and a continuation of his current stint as Middle East envoy.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 06:19:34 AM EST

Others have rated this comment as follows:

Display:

Occasional Series