Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I'll be president of Europe if you give me the power - Blair | Special Reports | Guardian Unlimited Politics
Tony Blair has been holding discussions with some of his oldest allies on how he could mount a campaign later this year to become full-time president of the EU council, the prestigious new job characterised as "president of Europe". Blair, currently the Middle East envoy for the US, Russia, EU and the UN, has told friends he has made no final decision, but is increasingly willing to put himself forward for the job if it comes with real powers to intervene in defence and trade affairs.

Article continues Blair, who is being actively promoted by the French president Nicolas Sarkozy, recognises he would need to abandon his well-paid, private sector jobs if he won. His wife Cherie - often portrayed as seeking ever more wealth and well-paid consultancies for her husband - is understood to be supportive of him accepting the job.

Some Blair allies also say that he now recognises that as envoy in the Middle East he is not going to be allowed to become the key player in furthering Israeli-Palestinian talks this year, and will be reduced to a role of supporting political development in Palestine and boosting its economy.

The president of the European council of ministers is a post created under the Lisbon treaty. The president will be the permanent chair of the council of ministers, Europe's chief decision-making body.

Jonathan Powell, Blair's Downing Street chief of staff, is among the former lieutenants he has met to discuss a bid for the European role.

Some senior figures believe he could yet be a loser in the carve-up of four big European jobs due to be distributed at the end of the French presidency in the second half of this year. Some claim that if the commission president, José Manuel Barroso, wanted to remain in post for a second term, it would be difficult for Blair, a political ally and previous advocate for Barroso, to hold the parallel, prestigious European council job.

by Fran on Sat Feb 2nd, 2008 at 01:10:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Petition against a Tony Blair presidency of the European Council

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Feb 2nd, 2008 at 04:45:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's terrifying to realise what a complete unDemocratic stitch-up this will be. A cosy arrangment amongst chums to divvy up the proceeds between themselves.  God, it's so bad it's positively British.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Feb 2nd, 2008 at 08:56:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series