February 22, 2010
Carl Bildt, the Swedish foreign minister, wrote on 19 February to foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton complaining about the manner in which way Joao Vale de Almeida was recently appointed ambassador in Washington (see post dated 19 February).
Bildt asks how the appointment was made, pending adoption of new rules governing the procedure, but with diplomatic appointments already Ashton’s prerogative. She appears not to have played a major role in the decision.
Some see the Almeida decision as a power grab by President Barroso.
“In the future, if the US wants to send a message to the EU, it will go through Almeida because it knows he has a special relationship with Barroso. Ashton will be left out,” one interviewee suggested.