Thursday 8 October 2009

New EU High Representative – the most important job

The most important job to fill, now that the democratic legitimacy of the Lisbon Treaty is assured in all 27 EU member states, is not the media sexy President of the European Council, despite attempts to inflate the job description way beyond that outlined in the amending treaty in order to justify the (s)election of Tony Blair.

The crucial post for the European Union is the new High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy as well as Vice-President of the Commission, in charge of the external action of the union. He or she will chair the Foreign Affairs Council and lead the European External Action Service (EEAS).

This is also the assessment of Timothy Garton Ash, in “The US has lost its focus on Europe. It's up to us to get our act together” (The Guardian, 7 October 2009):

“… the personalities chosen as president – that is, chair – of the European council and as high representative for foreign and security policy will matter a lot; second, nobody [among US officials] understands that, for Europe's future role in the world, the latter is actually the more important job”.

Ralf Grahn

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