May 10, 2009
We have a surfeit of leaders in the European Union (to borrow a phrase from The Economist’s Charlemagne) but a deficit of leadership. Barack Obama had recently to share the press briefing, following an uninspiring EU-US Summit in Prague on 5 April, with no less than the President of the Commission and the Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic and Sweden, representing the current and next EU presidencies.
The Lisbon Treaty would at least have put an end to this charade, and will hopefully lead to the President of the Union and its foreign minister persuading the 27 Member States to speak more often with a single voice.
This will be a tough task with the United States, bearing in mind Obama’s demands for greater help in Afghanistan, more fiscal stimulus and a serious attitude towards energy security.
So much will depend on the persons appointed President of the Union and foreign minister, and how they work together and with the Commission President.