Stanley's blog

B for bastion!

Faites vos jeux! Who will be the four bastions of the Union’s future when the Lisbon Treaty comes into force?

Commission Barroso?

Parliament Buzek?

European Council Blair?

‘Foreign Minister’ Bildt?

The odds are shortening on the four Bs.

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  1. How about B for Bollocks?
    Even if we grant you the first two Bs, I find it hard to believe either of your others.

    That would mean neither would be from a euro zone country. We’d have a forthright foreign minister whose outspoken views on Russia are well beyond the EU consensus (if there were such a thing), and who has an irrepressable urge to steal the limelight from the big countries’ foreign ministers. Don’t hold your breath. Someone once said to me that while Solana’s skill was making you think that his idea was actually yours, Bildt can’t resist reminding you that it was his. I fear we’ll get someone much greyer and more mainstream. Ursula Plassnik? Frank-Walter Steinmeier (after the election)? Dora Bakoyannis? George Papandreou?

    As for Blair, he’s more a presidential-style media star than a consensus buildier with a grasp of detail. His war record is a black mark for many Europeans. Besides, who really wants him? Gordon Brown? Angela Merkel? Certainly not the Belgians or Luxembourgers. He might get Italy’s vote as one of the more fully clad visitors’ to Berlusconi’s Sardinian villa. Let’s be generous and give him the Danes, Swedes, Poles and Dutch (although Balkenende might want this job for himself). But does Nicolas Sarkozy, who has cunningly used Blair to divide and embarass his Socialist opposition, actually want Blair overshadowing him on the European stage? Privately, French officials say the EU Council president will have to come from a country fully engaged in all the EU’s policies, including the euro.

    Let’s start a rumour: Giulio Amato for Council president. He’s smart, multilingual, a great consensus builder, a subtle man on detail, a good European and someone who won’t “faire de l’ombre a ces messieurs-dames.” You read it here first.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘1055386704 which is not a hashcash value.

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