Jean Quatremer has an interesting post about the EU presidencies on his blog Coulisses de Bruxelles, UE, where he takes up a rumour that José Manuel Barroso might become the first semi-permanent president of the European Council. But besides, the posting discusses different priorities among the member states and takes up the possibility of a merger of the top jobs as Commission and European Council president. In addition, he mentions the election procedure. The post is followed by a lively discussion. See:
After a slow start, there seems to be a growing awareness of the need to discuss the future roles of the top office holders of the European Union, as well as the transparency of the election and the democratic legitimacy of the ones who are going to represent the EU internally and externally during the first five years of the Lisbon Treaty.
These are at least first steps towards serious debate about the issues at stake, and may lead to real discussion about the qualifications needed. We can be grateful to Jan Seifert and Jon Worth have launched a debate by calling for a merger of the presidencies on their web site and blog Who do I Call?
Personally, I have offered my own view of the issues at stake and the selection criteria in my blog post Heavyweight president for European Council?
In the long run a European Union, which teaches the world the virtues of democracy, can not continue to work in the footsteps of the Holy Alliance.
P.S. Consolidated versions of the Lisbon Treaty are to be published 15 April 2008 and in book form on Europe day, 9 May 2008.
P.S. II: Can 'managed democracy' really be the way forward for the European Union?