At least until now, the member states of the European Union have declined to move into the open with regard to the two new top jobs under the Lisbon Treaty: the President of the European Council and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
This is something they should change at the upcoming meeting of the European Council 29 to 30 October 2009. Open nominations and public debate about known candidates are a must in an EU, where every citizen shall have the right to participate in the democratic life of the union, and where decisions shall be taken as openly and as closely as possible to the citizen. These principles are actually a more important challenge for the Swedish Presidency of the EU Council and the member states’ leaders, than who they end up voting into the offices.
A talent pool of 500 million EU citizens should suffice to find two individuals with enough vision and experience or potential, even if most of the possible candidates have served at national level.
Kosmopolit has done what EU citizens can do at this stage, when the member states and Europarties have failed to act openly, by discussing candidates for the more important job, that of the new Hig Representative/Vice-President, in “The new High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy” (Kosmopolito blog, 23 October 2009).
It is better if you read Kosmopolit’s thoughts about the best and the realistic candidates, without me second-guessing him.
One question of principle, though: I would not give as much weight to experience, because the right younger person with broadly suitable experience grows on the job. Wisdom and experience may be more important traits for the President of the European Council, whereas dynamism and work capacity could be crucial for the High Representative.