Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The traffic stopper is needed - allegedly - because it's impossible to think of a state, or a superstate, without a charismatic newsworthy figurehead.

The figurehead isn't there to write policy notes and have meetings, but to embody a political narrative, so that people know what they're a part of - giving them a chance to feel they can at least agree or disagree, in that traditionally powerless democratic way.

If there are no figureheads, the process becomes remote to the point of disinterest.

The EU does a lot of this already, so picking Van Rompuy and Ashton is in character - more so than picking Blair would have been.

That doesn't mean 'The best we could have expected, considering' is really all that admirable, or the ideal template for the future.

The EU is good at functional politics, but very bad at narrative politics, with theatre and pageantry. Theatre and pageantry are stupid and annoying, but very necessary.

Brussels doesn't want to believe this, but I think it's a mistake to ignore it.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 08:04:48 AM EST
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