Stanley's blog

Everyone agrees that the European Union must get its act together. The wrangling over the next EU-US summit shows that the EU won’t get it’s act together until the egotism of Member State leaders is brought under control.

Now it’s the turn of Spain, the current EU Presidency, which insists on hosting the summit and, thus, Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero would be the first to shake the hand of President Barack Obama, if he attends.

The US State Department, in referring to the EU discussions as to whether the summit will be held in Madrid or hosted by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso in Brussels, said:.

“We don’t even know if they’re going to have one [a summit],” said a State Department official. “We’ve told them, ‘Figure it out and let us know.’ ”

How pathetic this looks in Washington. The question now being asked in relation to EU external policy is whether the Lisbon Treaty is creating more difficulties than it is resolving. One thing looks increasingly certain. Obama will not be at a Madrid summit nor, I suspect, at a Brussels one.

Baroness Ashton has wisely refrained from commenting.

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