Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

It's van Rompuy and Ashton

by Jerome a Paris Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 01:25:04 PM EST

Or so says Le Monde. Looks like Blair's persistent lobbying did open the route for the UK to grab the most important of the two new jobs. The only silver lining is that the Commissioner in charge of banking reform in the next Commission will not be British...

But Blair did not get the job - and we do claim credit for that, via our 45,000-strong petition against him.


STOP BLAIR! PETITION CLAIMS VICTORY

To be handed in today, a Europe-wide online petition succeeded in spurring opposition to Tony Blair's now-failing bid for the presidency of the European Council.

[ Paris, 19 November 2009 ] With more than 45,000 signatures, the Stop Blair! petition (http://stopblair.eu) will be handed in today, in advance of this evening's summit slated to discuss candidates for the post of President of the European Council. Once tipped as hot favourite, Tony Blair is now understood to have little chance of securing the presidential job.

A volunteer effort with no budget and no advertising, the Stop Blair! petition has nonetheless shown that Mr Blair would not be a popular choice for the post wrongly billed as "EU President".

"It was always our analysis that the smaller EU member states and Germany were not in favour of the 'big' presidency Tony Blair would bring," said John Evans, Stop Blair! coordinator at European Tribune (http://www.eurotrib.com), which organized the petition. "But, when those countries were silent while Blair's communications machine was running full tilt, we were the only ones to stand up and say no. We spoke out early and clearly, and we were heard."

Barring last-minute arm-twisting in the corridors of power, Blair's candidature seems most unlikely to be accepted by the European Council.

Display:
Beyond all hope, i hope Le Monde is wrong.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 01:28:29 PM EST
The Guardian is saying the same thing with a flashing message, but no story posted yet.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 01:28:51 PM EST
by gioele (gioele(daught)sandler(aaaattttt)gmail(daught)kom) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 04:27:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I like how the link is to

tony-blair-european-council-president

as if they expected him to win.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 05:28:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tony Blair is not surprised that he failed to secure the post because he was aware of the 'direction of travel' when he telephoned a series of EU leaders.
LOL

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 05:29:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]

It is understood that he would have been unsure of taking the post when the Swedish government, which holds the rotating EU presidency, indicated in a paper on Wednesday that the president would have little or no role in foreign affairs.

This appeared to run counter to the Lisbon treaty, which said the president would oversee foreign policy in conjunction with the high representative.

"In conjuction with". Some spin there, dear Guardian!

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, without prejudice to the powers of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Methinks the superiority of the High Representative is clear...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 04:58:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How can the UK get ANYTHING? They have been trying to destroy Europe from the start, have not joined in any of the major undertakings, are trying to dismantle the social democracy that was prevalent on the continent...

Yikes.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 01:32:41 PM EST
My sentiments exactly. I feel robbed, or raped. What ever has Britain done to enhance operation of the European Union?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 01:43:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The one with the most votes won. That is democracy.

Ah, wait. Does not apply here.

Very sorry.

by t-------------- on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 05:23:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why is Ashton bad? She's neither Blair not Milliband...

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 01:41:40 PM EST
She's British, and it's rather upsetting to have a US mole as foreign affairs secretary.
And she's a peer, which is not the best of symbols in my books. The House of Lords is an aberration and has been for centuries.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 01:55:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Zum Beispiel.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 02:04:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's over the top just because she is British. What do we know about her foreign policy views (as opposed to her, AFAIK positive, social views)? Really a standard British Atlanticist?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 02:06:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So how does that make her preferable to (say) Mary Robinson who has actually been elected to something... and whose views on a wide range of foreign policy issues are well known.

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 02:19:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Robinson didn't want the job.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 04:11:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
.
Catherine Ashton, Baroness Ashton of Upholland (pdf) and as EU Commissioner of Trade.

"But I will not let myself be reduced to silence."

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 03:46:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
wikipedia has this:


Ashton studied economics at the University of London. Between 1977 and 1979 Ashton worked at the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and was later elected as its national treasurer and subsequently as one of its vice-chairs. As of 1983 she worked for the Social Work Training Council.[2]

From 1983-89 she was Director of Business in the Community working with business to tackle inequality, and established the Employers' Forum on Disability, Opportunity Now, and the Windsor Fellowship.

She chaired the Health Authority in Hertfordshire from 1998 to 2001, and her children's school governing body, and became a Vice President of the National Council for One Parent Families.

(and that text has been updated significantly over the past hour... The earlier version had this:


Cathy Ashton studied economics at London University.

From 1983-89 she was Director of Business in the Community working with business to tackle inequality, and established the Employers' Forum on Disability, Opportunity Now, and the Windsor Fellowship.

She chaired the Health Authority in Hertfordshire from 1998 to 2001, and her children's school governing body, and became a Vice President of the National Council for One Parent Families.

So the CND bit has been added recently...


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 03:48:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We should have In Wales' view of her, but she's busy tonight.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 03:55:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
She changed it herself, according to the history of edits page.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 03:57:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't that interesting?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 03:58:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is a violation of wikipedia policy...

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 04:01:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...if true.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 04:18:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How do you know this? I see a bunch of anonymous edits.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 04:16:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Click on the IP address.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 04:42:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
okay???

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 04:49:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
[ET Moderation Technology™]

I know anyone can run a whois search, but posting someone's address and phone number on ET just because they added some edits to wikipedia is a bit much.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 05:22:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Assumed whois search is public domain info and it looked like a business address - but am happy to comply with ET policy.

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 07:14:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is public domain info, like I said anyone can run a whois search.

It's just a bit too much for my personal privacy radar - not site policy per se.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 02:31:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...actually, and I don't mean it personally about you.

I wasn't aware being British was a disqualifier. Being British Prime Minister and failing to lead your country into closer EU integration is a disqualifier, but by that token Vaclav Klaus was out but not some other Czech.

What it seems to me from reading Ashton's biography on wikipedia is that, well, she doesn't have much of it.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 03:54:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"I wasn't aware being British was a disqualifier."

This is disingenuous -of course there's nothing in the treaty to disqualify Brits particularly (though I would like to see the EU starting to suggest that they leave if they don't want to integrate, something unlikely with a Brit as foreign affairs secretary).

To start with, you know that there are symbols in those appointments. And this is an unfortunate one, particularly for the foreign affairs position, given the recent past. We are talking about the country that did the most to ensure that the EU could never have a coherent policy, at any rate a coherent policy not decided in Washington.

The symbolism of appointing to possibly the most important position in the EU someone from an anti-European integration country is hard to swallow. If she had fought tooth and nail to get the UK to be more pro-European I would of course waive her nationality as a point of regrets, but that is far from being the case.

Then, you also know that EU appointees rarely sever the ties with their home country and do take some instructions -again, not exactly a nice outcome in that regard.

Plus, she did get to her position via peerage. It's not just that she's a baronness -it's that it's BECAUSE she's a baronness that she has a political existence at all. Again, a very unpleasant symbol.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 05:12:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is Ashton a US mole because she's a US mole, or because she's British?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 04:01:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So what's this about Brits complaining about unelected elites in Brussels?  Baroness Ashton has never been elected to anything...

Belgium PM set for top EU job - The Irish Times - Thu, Nov 19, 2009

Former British prime minister Tony Blair was out of the running as Europe's new president tonight after his successor Gordon Brown said he was switching his support to another Briton -- EU Trade Commissioner Baroness Cathy Ashton.

She is now odds-on to become Europe's "foreign minister" -- the second top job being allocated by EU leaders at a summit in Brussels.

Downing Street emphasised that Mr Brown only dropped his insistence on Mr Blair for the role of "president of the European Council" after arriving for the summit tonight to find support amongst his colleagues rapidly fading.

The situation became clear at a pre-summit meeting of EU Socialist leaders, including Mr Brown.

"That being the case, Mr Brown took the initiative to ensure that the High Representative role will go to a UK person -- someone who is already in the Commission, someone who is a woman -- Cathy Ashton," a Downing Street spokesman said.

It is believed that most European Union leaders have thrown their support behind Belgian prime minister Herman Van Rompuy for the role of EU President with Ms Ashton as the foreign affairs chief.

EU president and Britain's Catherine Ashton as foreign affairs chief, senior diplomats said.

"There is a consensus. The largest centre-right governments and Socialist leaders have reached a deal," one diplomat familiar with the negotiations told Reuters. Several other diplomats confirmed the deal, which must still be finalised.



notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 02:04:37 PM EST
She's a bureaucrat and an insider, now promoted to eurocrat by insiders.

Matches the British narrative perfectly.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 04:04:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This went out today (with translations in FR, DE, and ES):

STOP BLAIR! PETITION CLAIMS VICTORY

To be handed in today, a Europe-wide online petition succeeded in spurring opposition to Tony Blair's now-failing bid for the presidency of the European Council.

[ Paris, 19 November 2009 ]  With more than 45,000 signatures, the Stop Blair! petition (http://stopblair.eu) will be handed in today, in advance of this evening's summit slated to discuss candidates for the post of President of the European Council. Once tipped as hot favourite, Tony Blair is now understood to have little chance of securing the presidential job.

A volunteer effort with no budget and no advertising, the Stop Blair! petition has nonetheless shown that Mr Blair would not be a popular choice for the post wrongly billed as "EU President".

"It was always our analysis that the smaller EU member states and Germany were not in favour of the 'big' presidency Tony Blair would bring," said John Evans, Stop Blair! coordinator at European Tribune (http://www.eurotrib.com), which organized the petition. "But, when those countries were silent while Blair's communications machine was running full tilt, we were the only ones to stand up and say no. We spoke out early and clearly, and we were heard."

Barring last-minute arm-twisting in the corridors of power, Blair's candidature seems most unlikely to be accepted by the European Council.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 02:22:01 PM EST
Kudos of the highest order are in order, though until it's official i assume you wait.

Which reminds me, are we still thinking it's decided, or are we still reacting to leaks.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 03:14:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The French press is announcing it as done, while the English-language press seems to have a time-lag.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 03:19:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
With the exception of the Telegraph:

Herman Van Rompuy and Baroness Ashton land top EU jobs - Telegraph

The little-known Belgian federalist and the Labour peer who has never held elected office were selected at a meeting in Brussels.

EU leaders chose the Belgian prime minister as the first President of the European Council. Britain's European Trade Commissioner was made the High Representative for Foreign Affairs.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 03:21:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Torygraph always has the inside track on Europe...

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 03:34:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by gioele (gioele(daught)sandler(aaaattttt)gmail(daught)kom) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 04:30:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It looks like it is official, BBC is reporting it too.

BBC News - Belgian PM Van Rompuy is named as new EU president

EU leaders have chosen the Belgian Prime Minister, Herman van Rompuy, to be the first permanent European Council President.

The other top job created by the Lisbon Treaty - foreign affairs supremo - will go to the EU Trade Commissioner, Baroness Catherine Ashton from the UK.

Both are seen as low-key consensual politicians.

Earlier, the UK government said it was no longer pushing for former PM Tony Blair to get the presidency post.

Mr Van Rompuy had crucial French and German support. He has a reputation as a coalition builder, having taken charge of the linguistically divided Belgian government and steered it out of a crisis.

But after reading van Rompuy's position on Turkey I am not sure that is a much better choice than Blair. And as mentioned above, why does the UK get such a important position, despite not being part of Schengen nore the Euro.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 03:21:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess I'm grateful that they dumped miserable Blair, but WTF???

Two grey, 'unknown', unelected people, one appointed by a king and one by the antisocial bliar party.  One from a small country, one from the big, anti-EU country;  One 'conservative', one misnamed 'socialist', ---since it's their two-party Europe---- neither discussed in public until the eleventh hour.  

We not only not get a chance to elect them, but we are misguided until it's a done deal between 7 men and 1 woman?  

<snark> So generous of the patriarchy to give women a baroness in the name of 'equality'. </snark>  

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 04:18:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I so agree with you. Lately I have been having the impression that women's equality is regression, instead of progressing. And I don't really know what can be done to change that.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 04:28:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if I may venture a male opinion, I personally think that the fact that progressive opinions and politicians in general have been pushed back in Europe these past years by conservative and neo-lib politics and politicians is not totally unrelated. Just a thought...
by Bernard on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 04:41:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've watched these women, old friends, doing their nails on stage as they sing this song.  In honor of the EU's forward thinking, may i present,

The Roche Sisters (they called themselves The Roches)



"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 05:25:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the frenzy and exuberance of last nights stunning results, i'm hurt (i know that's not rational) that no one noticed both the beautiful singing and incredible sarcasm of these wonderful singers.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 12:51:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
" One 'conservative', one misnamed 'socialist'"

Yes, there's that too, and aplenty. The deal was that ONE of the top 4 position would go to the "left".

And it goes to Labour, which is by all means a rightist party. Way to the right in fact.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 02:56:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fran: But after reading van Rompuy's position on Turkey I am not sure that is a much better choice than Blair.

What, you mean these this?

"Turkey is not a part of Europe and will never be part of Europe. An expansion of the EU to include Turkey cannot be considered as just another expansion as in the past," he said.

"The universal values which are in force in Europe, and which are fundamental values of Christianity, will loose vigour with the entry of a large Islamic country such as Turkey."

Turkey may not ready to enter the EU right now, but "will never be" is a bit unimaginative, isn't it?

La Chine dorme. Laisse la dormir. Quand la Chine s'éveillera, le monde tremblera.

by marco on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 06:56:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's par for the course for a Christian Democrat. You have Christian Democrats in three of the top 4 jobs: Barroso, Buzek, and now van Rompuy.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 02:28:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The universal values which are in force in Europe, and which are fundamental values of Christianity

Woohoo...

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 02:28:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He is saying what both Merkel and Sarko have said before their elections...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 04:41:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Turkey is not a part of Europe and will never be part of Europe."

Can't argue with that too much. I know it has Istanbul, but for the most, Turkey is not in Europe and, barring some funny tectonics or major border changes, will not be.
Whether it means that Turkey cannot be part of the EU is another matter. There were talks of having Israel in, and it does not even have Istanbul.

"The universal values which are in force in Europe, and which are fundamental values of Christianity"

Now this makes me puke.
There are fundamental values of secularism in the EU, and what Turkey would do to them is ambivalent: the state is more secular than most EU states, but the population is less so.

Now the funny thing is that, of course, the values of Christianity are part of Islam, which recognises both Moses and Christ. So the potential problem could only be about those secular values. Yet it's Christianity that's trotted out. Bleh.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 04:58:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can't argue with that too much. I know it has Istanbul, but for the most, Turkey is not in Europe and, barring some funny tectonics or major border changes, will not be.

Same for Russia and Kazakhstan, and in the past, Denamrk (with Greenland) and France (with Algeria). So what? "Only a minority of its territory is in Europe" doesn't equal "not part of Europe".

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 05:04:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
News flash: Russia is Europe.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 06:00:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And so is Turkey. (I wonder when van Rompuy, or people below Merkel & Sarkozy in their parties, will call for dumping Turkey from the Council of Europe -- or UEFA...)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 07:51:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
" "Only a minority of its territory is in Europe" doesn't equal "not part of Europe". "

Actually, it does. Inclusion is transitive.
Besides, Greenland is not part of Denmark, merely administered from there (and I would argue that it's the population that matters, rather than area, which is negligible in Greenland anyway).

Now, I know that a strict reading would exclude most countries because of small islands here and there. So if you insist: Turkey is as much part of Europe as France is of the Pacific Ocean.

Again, whether it can be part of the EU is another matter entirely.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 06:27:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oops, I missed that "in the past" applied to Greenland as well -though it's a distant past if you want to have it as an integral part.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 06:28:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For suitable values of "distant." Greenland was accorded home rule in 1979 and still does not control its foreign policy or natural resources. And de facto it is every bit as "independent" of Denmark as Belarus is of Russia. That is to say "not much."

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Nov 24th, 2009 at 08:31:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, it does. Inclusion is transitive.

Huh? Transitiveness of inclusion would mean that it is equivalent with "IS part of Europe"...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 07:34:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, either it is or it is not.

Since the proposition "it is part of Europe" is demonstrably false...

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 09:07:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In other words, since Ankara is part of Turkey, if Turkey is part of Europe then Ankara is part of Europe. Yet, it's not.

The proposition "3% of Turkey's territory and 17% of its population" is part of Europe, though, would be correct.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 09:16:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It looks like the trade off is that Michel Barnier will be getting the Commissioner for the Internal Market and Financial Regulation

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 03:44:25 PM EST
sounds like a good deal for France.

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 03:45:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it for the EU, too?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 03:48:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. a Brit in charge of financial regulation would ensure that nothing is done. With Barnier getting the job at Sarkozy's behest, it's at least an open question;

  2. given her lack of foreign policy experience, it's hard to know how Baroness Ashton will turn out in the job. Will she be driven by Foreign Office guys, or by Brussels bureaucrats? No idea, but at least an open question - and with a social/anti-nuke background, there's some seeds of hope...


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 03:52:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the most important question: Will Baroness Asthon stop the traffic?

Seriously: it looks like we don't know much about her politics and future plans for the job, so I guess we'll have to reserve judgment and hope she doesn't turn into She-Blair.

by Bernard on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 04:05:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At the moment I'm seeing Foreign Minister as a largely ceremonial post - although only slightly more ceremonial than President.

She won't turn into She-Blair, but she may turn into nothing much.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 04:59:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One original concern was that the first occupants of the new offices created by the Lisbon Treaty would shape the office for the future.  It would seem that this might be less of a damaging imprint that might have been. Having a role in deflecting events from the most dangerous likely course is a signal accomplishment for ET. Remaining is the larger task of moving the debate onto grounds that might be productive of future improvements.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 05:34:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't like Barnier, but he's an undoubted pro-European.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 04:00:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not really a strong one...


Mr Sarkozy originally supported Mr Blair but switched to Mr Van Rompuy after talks with Ms Merkel, who said at an October 29-30 EU summit that the first full-time president should come from a small country.

Gordon Brown, Mr Blair's Labour successor, was forced to abandon his support for his former colleague after it became clear that there was not enough backing for the ex-premier.

"What has been concluded is that the preferred candidate for the high representative role is going to be an existing commissioner and a woman, and that's Cathy Ashton," said Mr Brown's spokesman.



In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 03:59:39 PM EST
No mention of her being a fellow Labour party member?

This might be a good sign. Was she included in the short list on purpose to have an excuse to keep Blair and Miliband out?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 04:03:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hannan doesn't like her - which is another good sign.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 05:06:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC: A profile of EU Trade Commissioner Cathy Ashton
She was picked for the role after long-time friend and ally Gordon Brown persuaded other EU leaders to throw their weight behind her.

The prime minister praised the "brilliant" job that she had done as EU trade commissioner, a job which she has held for just over a year.

While her appointment will be seen as underwhelming in some quarters and not the heavyweight figure many hoped for the role, Baroness Ashton is used to shaking off criticism and getting on with the job.



En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 05:14:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A speech - which is on her website, so she must be quite pleased with it:

European Commission - Commissioners - Commissioner Ashton


As a child I grew up in a small village in Lancashire in the North of England. No one in my family had ever visited America. But we all knew what the American dream meant, and I suppose, secretly, we all wanted to be American.

The main reason was films and television programmes that were beamed into our living room. We saw the land of the free, founded on the principle of liberty and opportunity, where working hard was the route to success and where anything was possible. The US I grew up with was an outward looking force for good in the world. A nation that defined itself not by what it was but by what it had the potential to be. A nation that was open to trade in goods, services and, above all ideas.

The European Union shares these ideals. We are a large open economy that believes in democracy, liberty and openness. These are the principles that the European Community was founded on in the 1950s and they bind our Member States to this day.

Today we are at one of those moments in history where we need to remember what we stand for. Faced with the worst global economic slump for 80 years, the temptation is to retreat back into our shells, to pull down the blinds and shut out the world. That is a natural instinct when faced with a challenge on the scale of the one we presently face.

But sometimes retreat is the wrong reaction. Retreating to the safety of our own domestic markets is certainly a huge mistake - it is what tipped recession into depression in the 1930s and what could turn downturn into downfall today. So the choice we all face is between doing what is popular but damaging in the short term and what is right and sustainable in the medium to long term. The EU is staking its claim on the latter, and I believe that that the US should too.

Free trade => good doesn't seem like the most sophisticated of all possible analyses.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 05:33:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, what tipped recession into depression in the 30s was retreating to the safety of domestic markets, at the expense of postponing the container shipping industry globally for another 45 years.

Is the EU staking claim to what is right and sustainable in the medium to long term?  Haltingly, yes.  Should the US do it too? Why not?

but it's just a speech.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 06:04:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
While withholding judgement on the two key picks, i'd posit the choices as a missed opportunity for the EU. And echoing Fran, it will take much to convince me that the UK, outside of Schengen and the Euro, should have been given such a supposedly key position.

I can understand since the EPP is in power, that a minor conservative xtian gets the role, but i don't get the foreign policy choice at all, except if it was to lessen the position.  Chairman of the board of her kid's private school?

What needs immediate research is her positions as Trade Commissioner. How does studying economics in the 80's give one credibility for understanding what's happening today, now that the Chicago School has destroyed the global economy? But what did she actually do? Who pulls her regal strings, the dear baroness.

Convince me that it's not a missed opportunity, please.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 04:08:19 PM EST
...to advance the transition from intergovernmentalism to supranationalism.

The Council has asserted its power to appoint people who will not overshadow the member states' governments.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 04:13:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that's exactly what i was inferring, well said.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 04:18:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But it was also a key argument against Blair that the high profile of a figure like him would increase the weight of the European Council, in other words the heads of government, and thus favour the intergovernmental over the supranational...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 04:21:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Blair would strengthen the Council to the detriment of the Commission, that is true. It would also weaken the influence of the individual member states.

If they had appointed someone like Moratinos or Blidt to the Foreign Policy role, they would have gotten themselves an activist supranational foreign minister. A nightmare for the states.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 04:24:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pour Cohn-Bendit, l'UE "a atteint le fond" avec Ashton et Van Rompuy, Europe - Information NouvelObs.comCohn-Bendit: EU "plumbs the depths" with Ashton and van Rompuy - Nouvel Observateur
"L'Europe a atteint le fond", a dénoncé jeudi 19 novembre le chef de file des Verts au Parlement européen, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, [...] "...Ce qui est bien, c'est que nous n'avons plus devant nous que des bonnes surprises. Les choses ne peuvent que s'améliorer", a soutenu Daniel Cohn-Bendit. "Après avoir nommé un faible président de la Commission européenne, ils ont désormais nommé un président du Conseil falot et une Haute représentante insignifiante [...] ...les chefs d'Etat et de gouvernement ont poursuivi leur politique d'affaiblissement des institutions européennes"."Europe is plumbing the depths," according to European Parliament Green leader Daniel Cohn-Bendit [...] "...The good thing is we have nothing ahead but good surprises. Things can only get better," said Daniel Cohn-Bendit. "After appointing a weak Commission President, now they've appointed a colourless Council President and an insignificant High Representative [...] ...the heads of state and government have continued their policy of weakening European institutions."
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 02:37:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't actually mind van Rompuy. If he managed to compose a viable government for Belgium after the last parliamentary election he may be just what the Council needs to get its job done.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 04:27:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was hoping for D'Alema - not so much because he's Italian as because he's ME-friendly, talks to everyone, successfully finangled that ceasefire resoluton on Lebanon that screwed the US into OKing clauses that assured a NEUTRAL buffer-force between Leb and Israel that gets on fine with the Lebanese (all faiths) instead of what the US wanted i.e. an Israel-proxy goonsquad to kick down doors and plant euro-boots on the Shi'ite population's necks.  So I had hopes that if we got D'Alema - whom Israel formally-objected to 'cause horror of horrors, he actually talks with H*a*m*a*s!! - he might actually succeed in getting Gaza de-blockaded, force through a reasonable just-solution Palestinian state! So booohooo and grrrrr!  Also worried about having a Brit - ANY Brit - in the FP slot because they're major troublemakers re relations with Russia.  Plus he's NOT a neoliberal... and as the Presidency-thingy was going to a northerner it seemed only-fair to give the FP post to a southerner/Mediterranean-critter. If not D'Alema, I'd have been perfectly happy with Moratino... or a Greek. But a Brit??? - regardless of such irrelevancies as the nonentity's gender-if-any, Brits AS SUCH are bad-bad news for the EU and its "neighbourhood".. :-(

"Ignoring moralities is always undesirable, but doing so systematically is really worrisome." Mohammed Khatami
by eternalcityblues (parvati_roma aaaat libero.it) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 08:47:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Supranationalism built atop intergovernmentalism is not what I desire.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 04:45:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
on the German Spiegel site, one commented that the only time the two names come up in recent Google is both attended the Bilderberger dinner.

And what's positive about being for nuclear disarmament?  What are the alternatives, agnostic? Pro armament?

To me she seems an intelligent society woman.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 04:17:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
what's positive about being for nuclear disarmament?  What are the alternatives, agnostic? Pro armament?

Well, actually, in the UK you could be in the CND, or you could be in love with the "Independent Nuclear Deterrent" and want to keep Trident and (now) want to buy a new round of it, like most of the rest of the British Establishment.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 04:20:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]

And what's positive about being for nuclear disarmament?

It's at least somewhat subversive, anti-authoritarian and, shall we say it, communisticky (especially in the "better red than dead" 80s)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 04:26:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]

O, noes! They appointed an anorak to an EU top job!

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 04:29:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Surely you mean "better dead than red".

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 04:44:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That was the argument: the "better red than dead" label was stuck onto anyone who was not fiercely anti-communist and/or who opposed anything advocated by the "better dead than red" crowd. Anyone who sought middle ground was accused of thinking "better red than dead" and therefore untrustworthy.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 05:50:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Van Rompuy's first comments as Council President select, "I'm waiting for Obama's call".  Referencing Kissinger's infamous quip

http://eux.tv/

by gioele (gioele(daught)sandler(aaaattttt)gmail(daught)kom) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 07:57:31 PM EST
Why must the EU always be at the US's beck and call?

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 08:25:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Shut up," he explained.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Nov 19th, 2009 at 11:59:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Was he serious or joking?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 02:29:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In that case he should be waiting for Hillary Clinton's call. Kissinger was never president.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 02:53:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To be fair, it would be Kissinger or Clinton calling Ashton and Obama or Nixon calling van Rompuy.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 03:48:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The silence on these nominations in the US blogosphere is quite telling...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 03:41:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it's not all that active here where it counts either.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 03:44:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Telling of what? They didn't hear about them?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 03:44:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was wondering about that too, but it is not only the websites, also on CNN it is not headline, just a link in a small side box, neither NYT, the only one who has linked to the Guardian is Huffpo, at least so far.

But to be fair, many of the European sites and News sources just start to post their articles and comments on it also.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 04:10:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
are lurking here, natch.
by wu ming on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 10:59:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And echoing Fran, it will take much to convince me that the UK, outside of Schengen and the Euro, should have been given such a supposedly key position.

Friends close, enemies closer.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 05:03:37 AM EST
She's got a full-sized Dalek in her sitting room (a gift from her husband)

"now this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." W. Churchill
by Thor Heyerdahl (thor.heyerdahl@NOSPAMgmail.com) on Sat Nov 21st, 2009 at 10:23:07 AM EST


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