Stanley's blog

Alain Lamasourre, in his comment of 4 February, came up with a great idea for the appointment of the President of the European Council. He is now working on a Parliamentary resolution proposing the following procedure:
• Candidates declare themselves between 15 December 2008 and 15 January 2009.
• The candidates then conduct campaigns.
• Each candidate has a televised hearing before the European Council, giving her/him the opportunity to state how she/he sees the role and what kind of relations are planned with other EU and national players.

The advantages are obvious:
• Secrecy is eliminated.
• The public can easily relate to this process, which the media will certainly feature.
• The winning candidate will have greater legitimacy
Lamasourre does not expect the European Council leaders to be attracted to the idea but he will promote the idea through the media and public opinion.

Author :


  1. Doesn’t Lamassoure have his timing wrong? The Treaty says the person should be in position by 1st January 2009 as far as I’m aware.

  2. Jon, a valid point – but actually neither Lamassoure nor Stanley are to be blamed: This post was originally published on 6 February, when a consolidated version of the Lisbon Treaty was not yet available. I have no clue why it was re-published today, but I am sure that the essence of Lamassoure’s proposal remains a valid basis for discussion.

  3. The Treaty does not say that the President shall be in position by 1 January 2009. In fact the provisions of the treaty do not apply until this date. Alain Lamasourre’s timing is, therefore, in order.

  4. To Jon :
    My proposal complies with the spirit of the new treaty. It is not likely to be followed by the members of the European Council, but it is not unfeasible. Reconciling the letter and spirit of the treaty could be achieved, either: a. by delaying the last ratification until June 2009, so that the Czech Prime Minister would exert the Presidency according to the current rotating system; or b. by appointing an interim President as of 1 January 2009, pending the results of the Parliamentary election in June. This second option is likely to be chosen for the High Representative: why not resort to it also for the President of the Council?

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