Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Here's my editing of the English text, incorporating DoDo's suggestions:

The Treaty of Lisbon provides for the new post of President of the Council of the European Union, to be elected by the Council for a mandate, renewable once only, of two and a half years. Under the terms of the treaty: "The President shall ensure the preparation and continuity of the work of the European Council" and "The President shall chair it and drive forward its work". Further, "The President of the European Council shall, at his level and in that capacity, ensure the external representation of the Union on issues concerning its common foreign and security policy."

The future president will therefore have a key role in determining the policies of the Union and its relations with the rest of the world. This first presidency will also have a major symbolic weight for both citizens of the European Union and for the image of the Union in the rest of the world. In this perspective, we believe it is essential that the first president embodies the spirit and values of the European project.

For some time now, increasingly insistent rumours have instanced a wish, in some quarters, to see Tony Blair appointed the first president of the European Union. This appointment, were it to take place, would be in total contradiction with the values professed by the European project.

In violation of international law, Tony Blair committed his country to a war in Iraq that a large majority of European citizens opposed. This war has claimed hundreds of thousands of victims, contributed to destabilising the Middle East, and eroded world security. In order to lead his country into war, he made systematic use of lies and the manipulation of information. His role in the Iraq war would weigh heavily on the image of the Union in the world should he in fact be named its president.

The steps taken by Tony Blair's government, and his complicity with the Bush administration in the illegal programme of "extraordinary renditions", have led to an unprecedented decline in civil liberties. This is in contradiction with the terms of the European Convention of Human Rights which is an integral part of the treaty.

The European Charter of Fundamental Rights formalizes the founding values of the European project and is one of the pillars of the new treaty. Tony Blair fought its inclusion in the Treaty of Lisbon, and eventually managed to secure an exemption for the UK.

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 tax or defence and foreign policy harmonisation.

Furthermore, it seems unthinkable that the first president of the European Union should be the former head of a government that kept its country out of two key elements of the construction of Europe: the Schengen area of free movement of people and the Euro zone.

Finally, a recent Financial Times/Harris poll showed that Tony Blair is rejected by wide majorities of the population of EU member countries. At a time when one of the priorities of the European institutions is to reconnect with its citizens, we believe it is essential that its president should be a person with which a majority of citizens can identify. Therefore, we declare our total opposition to this nomination.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 1st, 2008 at 05:07:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Others have rated this comment as follows:


Occasional Series