Candidates for the future Presidency of the Union out of the wood on the eve of the Summit in Brussels Thursday and Friday, although no official decision of the European Heads of State and Government are expected.
Monday to Luxembourg, the head of British diplomacy, David Miliband, is again mounted the niche to defend the candidacy of former Prime Minister Tony Blair, even if it appears now. "The Lisbon Treaty gives us the opportunity and the possibility of playing an important role at the global level, take the", he said. At the same time, the Luxembourg Prime Minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, was available. "If an appeal was launched, I would have no reason to refuse to hear it." "Provided that it is underpinned by ambitious ideas for the position", he stated in an interview published Tuesday by "The world", thus confirming the rumors that were circulating for several days.
Jean-Claude Juncker was also careful to recall the reasons for which the three Benelux countries have built a front of refusal against a British nomination: "I does not distinguish the fields in which the United Kingdom would have a real European inspiration over the last ten years, except for breakthroughs on defence." These arguments seemed to fly since the Germany, inter alia, made behind the scenes was not favourable to the candidacy of former British Prime Minister.
Two visions of Europe
Beyond the names and nationalities, are two visions of Europe who compete. Tony Blair enjoys international visibility probably greater than that of Jean-Claude Juncker. But it remains the symbol of a certain Euroscepticism, the United Kingdom still, for example, refusing to adopt the single currency as his country. Nicolas Sarkozy, who had been one of the first to support the candidacy of Tony Blair, was also himself conceded. "The fact that Britain is not in the euro remains a problem", had said the head of State in an interview to the "Figaro". If the three Benelux countries were the first to mobilize against a British nomination, they are now divided on the choice of an alternative candidate, each defending one of its own. In addition Jean-Claude Juncker, current Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, also expressed words covered its interest in this position and may be a candidate. Like the former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, now MEP and leader of the Liberal Group of the European Parliament. Latter already enjoys the support of the German Liberal MEPs. And one would think that Angela Merkel in will as its candidate to meet its new Government partners. For many observers, the working dinner scheduled this Wednesday night at the Elysee Palace between Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel could be decisive for the choice of the future President of the European Council, the candidate of the Franco-German couple that can hardly be challenged by the other capitals.
In the designation of the current President of the Commission in 2004, Guy Verhofstadt had favorite figure before hitting a veto of Tony Blair. A new British refusal may this time be avoided by proposing to entrust to David Miliband the second important position created by the Treaty of Lisbon: the High Representative of Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Union. This hypothesis seems credible, that Paris as Berlin, without however the claim, have indicated that this position should return to a "large" Member State of the Union, with an old diplomatic tradition and experience of the management of international crises.