Thursday, 19 November 2009

EU: Van Rompuy and Ashton ticket confirmed

The Swedish presidency of the Council of the European Union confirmed the proposals circulated since early evening.

The prime minister of Belgium, Herman Van Rompuy, will become the first president of the European Council, for two and a half years.

Catherine Ashton, Baroness Ashton of Upholland, has been nominated EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy. She will become vice-president of the Commission.

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Comment

The heads of state or government reached decisions, which was important in itself.

The nominations are compromises between many competing interests. Both nominees are inexperienced in their new areas of responsibilities, but the same can be said for the system of rotating chairmanships they are going to replace, so they have the possibility to grow on the job a bit longer.

The new office-holders can start to drive forward the work of the European Union, which requires much patience in order to achieve more coherence and cohesion, internally and on the world stage.

With the Lisbon Treaty and these nominations entering into force, the European Union advances by two cautious steps.



Ralf Grahn



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