Stanley's blog

Philip Stephens in his, a little unkind, article in today’s Financial Times, rightly emphasizes the need to have a European Council President who commands recognition and respect in Washington, Moscow, Delhi and Beijing.

He believes that Angela Merkel qualifies on every count (see post of 6 February) but recognises that she prefers to remain as German Chancellor. At which point, Stephens cannot come up with another acceptable candidate. And therein lies the problem. Nor can anyone else.

We should therefore focus our minds on how to persuade Angela Merkel and the German CDU/CSU to put European leadership before domestic leadership. Could history appeal to the Chancellor?

A graduate of Karl Marx University in Leipzig, a deputy spokesman of the last DDR government, the first female German Chancellor, the first European Council President…The combination of symbolism and effectiveness is compelling.

In today’s interdependent world, the distinction between domestic and international policies has become blurred. European leadership would be welcome in many countries. The long term interests of the Federal Republic might best be served by its Chancellor assuming the leadership of Europe.

Why don’t we start an EU-wide petition addressed to Angela Merkel?

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  1. Perhaps the real job of combined Commission and European Council president would have enough appeal for Angela Merkel, and added democratic legitimacy from the citizens’ point of view.

  2. I agree with the FT opinion and also with the two candidates the article claim to be serious. I think she is engaged with trying to keep the biggest member state on track and maybe a bit to the right from the European consensus. He is available and has been able to reach out to the left and the right. And people are still looking for him.

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