Posts Tagged ‘Brussels’

EU Commission President Tony Blair?

May 27, 2014

27th May 2014

My twitter account

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El Presidente Blair?

Not that I’m holding my breath or feeling TOO expectant as to the likelihood of the prospect, but just in case, this is to let the usual suspects know they heard it first on my twitter page.

WHO CAN STOP NIGEL FARAGE,  HIS ANTI-IMMIGRATION & ANTI-EU PARTY & SIMILAR PARTIES ACROSS THE EU?

Can this man stop Farage, Ukip et al? More than a few of us think so.

TB _europe_star

Jose Manuel Barroso is about to step down as EU Commission President.  We just felt an “earthquake” across Europe this last weekend. kilroywashere4The multifarious anti-ists regarding the EU project are now no doubt askance with a “why bother?” as this continent searches for a replacement President. Our UKIP MEPs in Britain are probably too busy to notice. They are in full attack mode. Their strategy? To get in there, wreck the joint and leave a note saying “Kilroy Farage was here”.

After the car crash of anti-EU-ism at the weekend and this “Third Man” mention from Christian Thams on twitter

Schulz says me or Juncker as EU Commission President, not a third candidate. Rumours in Berlin say Merkel looks for ‘Third Man’

… I felt it was time to write something.

Like a lot of us, I spent much of the “count” night watching in puzzled bemusement. I thought Mr Thams’ tweet timely, and tweeted my own thoughts on it. My tweet went virtually unnoticed. It got 1 RT from and I faved it for future reference:

I had actually pre-empted that thought in a reply to Harry Vaughan’s tweet, at 1:18am –

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And I pointed up the thought again in a reply to Dennis, with the Farage/Blair video link at 2:41am –

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CHEWING THE CUD AT BRUSSELS

Now, as I write, the rumours are getting warmer still. EU Presidents, Prime Ministers, Chancellor Merkel et al are chewing the cud at Brussels tonight. With the realisation that France’s position after the EU elections’ euro scepticism is even more threatening to EU unity, perhaps to its very future, than is Britain’s UKIPism, the time may well have come for Ms Merkel to turn to the man she reportedly derided as “Mr Flash” last time an EU (Council) Presidency post was up for grabs.  Word is that she has thrown her support behind Jean-Claude Juncker, the recently defeated Luxembourg prime minister. He too was mooted as a contender in the 2009 EU Council Presidency race.

From Dave Keating at 4:52pm, today, 27th May –

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COULD FRAU MERKEL WARM TO MR FLASH?

The complexities of the in-house limited voting for the Commission President and the Commission members themselves will not ease the pain or anger of those who insist there is no TRUE democratic accountability or choice for us mere voters. The principle, as from Treaty of Lisbon days, is that the group of parties with most electoral support has preference for its nominated candidate. However there have been anti-EU votes from ALL sides, left to right. A certain third way Blairite, the original, could span this breadth with comparative ease and incomparable political nous and productive diplomacy. We should remember that across Europe there are more senior politicians in the Blair mould than ever before, notably France’s beleaguered President Francois Hollande and Italy’s ambitious and new self-declared Blairite Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Such individuals will throw their thoughts into the ring.

Tony Blair has been all over the media today here at home. From BBC Radio 4’s Today (listen here) to BBC’s News 24 (here) to Huffington Post (here). There is no doubt his profile is presently on the rise. That may not be due simply to post-election questions hanging over the leadership Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and David Cameron.

There is little doubt that should a referendum under a future Tory government as promised by David Cameron result in an “OUT” vote, the rest of the EU would be up the creek without a paddle. Whether we Brits like it or not the UK is one of the three main countries in the Union. Angela Merkel will know this better than anyone, as she watches France’s keenness on “the project” falter even under a socialist leader like Hollande.

EU Commission

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The election of EU Commission & President at a glance [click here]

JUNE:

THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL DECIDES ON ITS PROPOSAL FOR A CANDIDATE FOR THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION
(by qualified majority)
JULY:
The candidate negotiates with Parliament’s political groups to get backing from a majority of members
 
ELECTION OF THE COMMISSION PRESIDENT BY THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT by a majority of its component members (at least 376)

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Clearly nothing will be decided over the foie gras tonight. Today’s statement on the Commission President Election at the European Parliament website at 1:19m said:

The candidate of the largest Group Mr. Jean Claude Juncker will be the first to attempt to form the required majority.

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From – British Influence, The Campaign to Keep Britain in the EU comes this (uploaded yesterday. No mention of Tony Blair)

Neither of the current frontrunners for the Presidency – the centre-right’s Jean-Claude Juncker and the centre-left’s Martin Schulz – is inspiring. One or other of these so-called Spitzenkandidats might be fine if the EU needed the status quo. They might be OK if the EU needed another integration drive, as both are federalists. But neither is suited to the task of decentralising power and boosting competitiveness.

This group will surely recognise which inspiring European (and world statesman) IS suited to decentralising power and to boosting competitiveness.

Only time will tell if those with the power to decide on the incumbent for the next 5 years of this important position act wisely. Europe – this is not a time to opt for a second MR NOBODY.

VOTE TONY BLAIR FOR EU COMMISSION PRESIDENT.

blair_merkel_kissfrommrflash

For Europe’s future!

You know it makes sense.

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Tony Blair is still a busy boy

March 21, 2012

All blog posts 2012 + Original posts list: from 2006 to 2012

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Comment at end

Today Tony Blair is in Brussels. More on that here.

Yesterday he was in Westminster at the Queen’s Jubilee. More on that just below.

On Monday he was in London speaking on the future of Africa – (Speech as published in The Times here.  

It’s hardly surprising if he doesn’t always know which door he’s supposed to be going through.

LONDON, Tuesday March 20, 2012: Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair attends Queen Elizabeth II address to both Houses of Parliament at Westminster Hall. (Photo by Toby Melville - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The media had some fun and games watching who was sitting next to whom and why in Westminster Hall as the Queen gave a speech to both Houses of Parliament to mark her 60 years on the throne. Avoiding fisticuffs between Messrs Blair & Brown was as usual, the preferred explanation for placing the speaker’s wife between the two former Prime Ministers.  Since they have been seated next to each other at several high-profile events in recent times, without any sign of blood, this was an entirely invented excuse for twitterblab. As it happened Sally Bercow, the Speaker’s wife, got a lovely picture or two for her album. I can even see the caption now – ‘Sally between two last Labour Prime Ministers’.  Hmm – did I mean “last two”?  No –  “two last”.

There were one or two other notable pictures at the event of our politicians.

THE KALEIDOSCOPE IS SHAKING ME

For instance, this one of David Cameron scowling somewhat at the speech by the Speaker in which he mentioned “kaleidoscope” three times. I ventured to tweet that three reminders of Tony Blair’s “the kaleidoscope has been shaken …  pieces in flux” might have been three too many for Mr Cameron. In fact he was rather more likely to have been annoyed because Mr Bercow was publicising his own favourite charity. The Queen’s speech to both Houses was not a hijacking occasion.

But you really WILL have to learn to hide your distaste better, Mr Cameron. I know, I know - John Bercow is a Blairite Tory. He isn't the only one, as you well know. Anyway, Tony would never have scowled like that; even at Gordon.

And then there was this straightening things up moment as they waited for Her Majesty to arrive.

David Cameron and Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour party, adjust their ties. REUTERS/John Stillwell/pool.

There were several pictures of Tony Blair in conversation with Ed Miliband. The latter now seeks the valued advice of the former, regularly. Naturally. But I rather enjoy pondering on the conversation or lack of in this one. More pictures here at DayLife

Former prime minister Tony Blair talks with Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband. Photo: JOHN STILLWELL/AFP/Getty Images

BBC: Pictures of the Queen’s Jubilee event at Westminster Hall

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AHLC Report: Agenda in support of Palestinian Economic Sustainability and Institution Building

Source

Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 in Office of Tony Blair, Office of the Quartet Representative

AHLC Report: Agenda in support of Palestinian Economic Sustainability and Institution Building

Read the full report for the meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee on Office of the Quartet Representative Development Agenda in support of Palestinian Economic Sustainability and Institution Building

Quartet Representative Tony Blair said: 

“This AHLC meeting in Brussels comes at a profoundly important time for the Palestinian Authority (PA). Amid a steep fiscal crisis, slowing economic trends and continuing political uncertainty, policy reforms and institution-building plans implemented by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad are coming under increasing financial strain.

“While efforts continue to resume Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, it is important in the coming period to redouble our efforts to shore up the fiscal position of the Palestinian Authority and to re-energize the Palestinian economy.

“Sustaining economic growth and job creation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip will require new actions by various parties. These actions should aim at boosting investor confidence and further unlock the immense potential of the Palestinian private sector.

“My development agenda in 2012 focuses on seven thematic areas related to the economic growth and institution-building, specifically:

  • Private sector development
  • Promoting movement, access and trade facilitation
  • Area C development
  • Reconstructing and opening up Gaza economically;
  • Improving living and business conditions in East Jerusalem;
  • Improving the rule of law covering the judicial and security sectors;
  • Strengthening the PA fiscal position.

“The goal of this development agenda, again, is to catalyse significant economic change on the ground to give greater oxygen to the political negotiation process. So the ‘ground-up’ economic agenda will continue to provide critical support to the ‘top-down’ political process.”

OQR’s Key Priorities in 2012

In 2012, Quartet Representative Tony Blair’s key priorities within this development agenda focus on four areas:

  • Working with the PA to resolve the short-term and medium-term energy problems in Gaza;
  • Promoting greater Palestinian trade flows between Gaza, the West Bank, and international markets;
  • Promoting Area C development through agreed fast-tracking mechanisms and the active participation of local Palestinian communities;
  • Pressing for greater direct budget support from regional and international donors to help the PA overcome its acute fiscal crisis.

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AFRICA (source)

The following oped by Tony Blair first appeared in The Times on Monday 19 March 2012.

For most of my first term as Prime Minister, bad news about Africa was all I heard. Brutal conflict engulfed Sierra Leone and Liberia. Rwanda was emerging from a genocide that had decimated its population. It was the era of Drop the Debt: petitions and letters piled up in Downing Street for the campaign. As ever, the British public gave their support generously, but perhaps with a sense that the problems were intractable, that this was the same old African story.

But I was always an optimist about Africa. I believed that things would and could be different. Now, 15 years later, they are. Africa is on the move. And to keep up with a changing Africa we need new thinking and new approaches.

Africa’s economies are booming. Over the past decade, six of the world’s ten fastest-growing countries were African. In eight of the past ten years, sub-Saharan Africa has grown faster than East Asia. Aid has helped: the doubling of aid to Africa that I championed at Gleneagles in 2005 has strengthened, not stymied Africa’s progress. Africa has seen the largest recent turnaround in poverty of any region, malaria rates have fallen by a fifth in the past decade, and rates of HIV-Aids have plummeted.

The debt relief campaign has liberated African economies from the burden of indebtedness, allowing them to compete globally. Government funds that once went to service debt now go on public services. In Nigeria, a country of 170 million people, 70 per cent of whom live on less than $1.25 a day, the millions saved have been piled back into healthcare, with vaccination levels rising from 10 per cent to 65 per cent in places. Thousands of lives have been saved each year. And the progress on malaria, Aids and measles is spread right across the continent.

Africa is also benefiting from the movement of capital, skills, and technology, particularly from the new economic powerhouses of China, Brazil and India; taking the best of what has been learnt the hard way by West and East and applying it from Maputo to Monrovia.

However, the main thing changing Africa is Africa itself. There is one indispensable thing that cannot be imported: government. Here, too, things have improved. The number of democracies in sub-Saharan Africa has skyrocketed from three in 1989 to 23 in 2008. Since 1991, African governments have been defeated at the ballot box 30 times. Between the 1960s and 1991 that happened only once. To seize this moment, African governments across the continent must step up to lead the way. I see a new generation of leaders emerging, ready to take their countries’ destinies into their own hands, no longer dependent on outside assistance. This is achievable. I believe that we can end African countries’ dependence on aid within a generation. But it will need a new approach, a new partnership between developed and developing world.

This new approach has three elements. First, African governments need the capacity to deliver tangible results for their citizens. Democracy is spreading and deepening across the continent, but too often democratically elected leaders come to power on a wave of popular enthusiasm only to find that they lack the government institutions to implement the changes their people expect. African governments must be supported to build the systems and institutions they need to get things done. I set up my charity, the Africa Governance Initiative, which now has projects in five countries, to provide exactly that support, but the lesson is much wider and should become integral to our approach to development.

Second, Africa needs a vibrant private sector. Development will only become self-sustaining when it is based on a private sector that creates jobs, opportunities and incomes. And the private sector can only thrive when the right infrastructure is in place: roads to bring goods to market; airports and ports to enable trade; and behind all this, power to switch on the lights to make commerce possible. These aren’t new points. But, as Bill Gates told G20 leaders last year, infrastructure development must be prioritised, by African governments and their partners.

Third, we need a new way of rich and poor countries working together. The old way, where the rich world gives and the poor world passively receives, is an anachronism. African countries must be in the driving seat of their own development, setting priorities and making decisions. Where aid is needed, it should get behind these priorities to strengthen governments’ own systems.

These changes in how we work with Africa are necessary. But perhaps the biggest change that is needed is less tangible: a change in our expectations. Too often when we think of Africa we conjure up outdated images of a generation ago. In trying to galvanise global support for aid, I admit I played my part in this, characterising Africa as a scar on the conscience of the world. But Africa today is moving forward at a dizzying pace; our attitudes, how we think of, and talk about Africa must keep pace. I look forward to the day when people open a newspaper to read about African entrepreneurs creating jobs, African researchers developing breakthrough technologies, African elections running smoothly and think … this is the way I expect it to be.

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Also see –  A New Approach to a New Africa

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“Here’s your cards” – Quartet Envoys to Tony Blair

October 11, 2011

Comment at end

Or –

11th October 2011

Knives are out as Blair battles in vain with Envoys to keep his job as Quartet Representative

Meeting, Brussels, Oct 9th. From left to right: Robert H. Serry, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, Catherine Ashton, Helga Maria Schmid, Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Sergei Vershinin, Head of the Middle East and North Africa Department of the Russian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Tony Blair, Quartet Representative to the Middle East and David Hale, US Special Envoy for Middle East Peace

All right … I LIED!

Sometimes the only way to get the British press to sit up and take notice (you won’t find THIS reported widely) is to use their tactics. Also, it is satisfying to rub their noses in their own lies and prejudices.

From the picture above it hardly looks as though Tony Blair was expecting the heave-ho at this meeting on Sunday of the envoys. YES, by the way, Tony Blair is NOT the “envoy” but the representative of the Quartet and its envoys.

It’s be useful if we ALL understood that, for a start. If they want to sack anyone it should be the above individuals and NOT Mr Blair (see here)

French – here, English – here

Statement by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the EC participates at the Quartet Envoys meeting, Catherine Ashton, following the Middle East Quartet Envoys Meeting
in Brussels, 9 October 2011 –

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Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Commission Vice-President, hosted a meeting of the Middle East Quartet envoys today in Brussels to follow up on the statement issued by the Quartet on 23 September in New York. After the meeting she issued the following statement:
“I was very pleased to host the Quartet envoys here in Brussels today. Following the successful meeting we had with my Quartet colleagues in New York, we discussed what to do next to encourage our Israeli and Palestinian partners to resume substantive negotiations as soon as possible. With that in mind we will be contacting the Parties to invite them
to meet in the coming days. I believe we have made good progress and will keep in close contact with Quartet partners and colleagues in the region with view to meet and move things forward. “

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Tony Blair’s mandate for the Quartet

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Click to Buy Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’

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Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here

Recent comments:

I am staggered by all the hate directed towards our former Prime Minister. I believe that Tony Blair made the Iraq decision in good faith and is most certainly NOT a war criminal. If anyone should be tried at the Hague it should be those in the media for totally misrepresenting the information and facts. The media are to blame for fuelling this hatred as it is purely driven by them. (UK)

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The greatest and most successful leader the Labour Party has ever had with the courage to fight the Islamist terrorists who really would like to kill us all, and you never hear a good word about him. The herd of independent minds, commentators, activists etc who have never had to make a difficult decision in their lives drown out all debate with their inane chants of war crimes and blood on his hands. Defend him at every chance. I just wish more people would do it. (Glasgow, UK)
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Blair was the greatest Labour Prime Minister. It is a disgrace that the party has turned away from his legacy. Shame on Ed Miliband and his so-called ‘new generation’.

EU Audio-Visual: Tony Blair at Brussels meeting, Monday 22nd March 2010

March 25, 2010
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    25th March 2010

    Tony Blair’s meeting with the EU Foreign Affairs Council, Monday 22nd March 2010

    Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair was in the EU Parliament on Monday 22 March to talk about Palestine

    Above picture from here – ‘Three questions to Tony Blair at EU parliament’

    Former British premier Tony Blair, who is the special envoy for the Middle East Quartet of the EU attends a Development Committee hearing on the Palestinian territories at the EU Parliament headquarters in Brussels, March 22. Blair warned Iran the world will do "whatever it takes" to stop it acquiring a nuclear weapon. (AFP/John Thys)

    Three videos on the Blair visit.

    The main one, the discussion between Mr Blair and MEPs is very interesting. But since many of you will be desperate to see little David slaying the Giant before the latter had a chance to address the MEPs here is this one first (more information here.)

    [Tony BLAIR, Middle East Quartet Representative arrival at the Justus Lipsius for the Foreign Affairs Council: – extracts.]

    Well?!? It did say “extracts”.

    I thought Goliath managed to speak reasonably well at the meeting afterwards, considering.

    He was clearly in pieces after Cronin’s bit of fun and games –

    Tony Blair smiles after he delivered a speech during a press conference after his working session with EU foreign ministers at the EU Commission on March 22, 2010 in Brussels. (Photo credit – GEORGES GOBET/AFP/Getty Images)

    MAIN MEETING

    In the margins of the Council, Foreign Affairs Ministers, gathered in Brussels, will discuss the Middle East Peace Process in the presence of International Quartet Envoy, Tony Blair.

    Q & A session with Mr Blair (Almost an hour of questions/answers)

    Information:

    EPRef-69181 | 22/03/2010 | 00:56:51

    RECORDED EP Committee on Development
    Exchange of views with Tony BLAIR, Special Envoy for the Middle East Quartet and other representatives on “Palestine, Bridge Building and Development”

    You will notice that Mr Blair listens to some French speakers and then he responds in English. I’m not sure how many of our present UK or even EU parliamentarians would have that facility.

    Still the same old self-depracatory style – (much missed by many of us.)

    “Thank you for calling me an excellent diplomat. It’s better than a lot of things that I have been called.”

    Press briefing

    This 3mins 28secs press briefing followed his meeting with the EU Foreign Affairs Council.

    Index of EU Audio-Visual Service (Credit : © European Union, 2010.)


    Thursday? It must be China

    Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang shakes hands with visiting former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in Beijing, March 25. (Xinhua Photo)

    Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang met with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Thursday, hoping China and Britain could further boost cooperation and mutual trust.

    During his meeting with Blair, Li said China and Britain were both influential countries in the world and should take the opportunity to increase cooperation and mutual trust, which would benefit the two countries as well as the world.

    China would unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development and pursue a win-win strategy of opening-up, and actively participate in international cooperation on tackling the global financial crisis, climate change and health care, said Li.

    Li appreciated Blair’s efforts to “advance China-Britain relations,” and said he hoped the former British prime minister would continue to play an active role in promoting exchange and cooperation between China and western countries.


    [Visit Tony Blair Office News]


    RECENT BLOG POSTS

  • George Monbiot (the “terrorist”) on Tony Blair – his life and death
  • Arresting Tony Blair – Cronin’s Cant on why he Couldn’t
  • Tony Blair on Israeli & Palestinian Peace: “After being British PM I thought I should try something easy”
  • Press Watch 2: Cif Watch monitors and records anti-Israel & anti-Jew comments
  • Guardian, war criminal, Blair, Guardian, Cifers, citizen’s arrest, Guardian, Cronin, anti-free market, Milosevic, EU
  • Tomorrow, 22nd March 2010, Tony Blair is to speak at the EU parliament



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    Pay attention, EU leaders: it ain’t over till it’s over

    October 30, 2009
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    30th October, 2009

    FRAGMENTING OF THE OPPOSITION TO ‘PRESIDENT’ BLAIR

    DIVIDE & RULE?

    With the news that the Irish have been “forced” to back one of their own for the EU presidency post, things may be about to get interesting.

    John Bruton, a former Irish Taoiseach, has presented himself DIRECTLY to EU leaders as a candidate for this job. They just can’t resist it, can they? So is something happening which might yet mean that the underdog, (and former favourite) can break through?

    Mr Blair’s supporters cannot be accused of using divide and rule as a tactic. They would rather that he had a clear majority in favour of his candidacy without splitting the opposition, obviously. But heads above parapets time for this EU Council presidency job might focus a few wavering minds.

    Excerpt:

    TAOISEACH Brian Cowen was forced last night to publicly throw his weight behind former Fine Gael Taoiseach John Bruton‘s bid to get the newly created top job in the EU.

    The Government ditched its support for former British Prime Minister Tony Blair after Mr Bruton’s dramatic entry into the race for President of the European Council — a post with an estimated salary of €300,000.

    The former Taoiseach threw his hat into the ring by going directly to EU leaders to pitch himself for the powerful post, bypassing Mr Cowen.

    Earlier in the day, Mr Cowen gave Mr Bruton qualified backing, saying his Government welcomed his candidacy but would be assessing the level of support for it.

    Mr Cowen had to be repeatedly asked if he was supporting Mr Bruton’s nomination, particularly as he had previously indicated support for Mr Blair.

    After the referendum, Mr Cowen said that the Government would be “very supportive” of Mr Blair if he was a candidate and he had “the highest regard” for the former British PM.

    Mr Cowen gave Mr Bruton a less ringing endorsement yesterday.

    “The Irish Government would like to see him proceed in a successful way if that is possible. As I say, I welcome his candidacy and the Government will support his candidacy on the basis of sufficient support for it. But that remains to be seen,” he said.

    […]

    Apart from diluting their support, I am not quite sure where Bruton’s newly declared candidacy leaves these two:

    Mr Bruton is behind several sitting prime ministers, including Luxembourg‘s Jean-Claude and the NetherlandsJan Peter Balkenende.

    Among other potential candidates are Sweden‘s Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, former Austrian chancellor Wolfgang Schussel and former Finland Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen.

    This unenthusiastic and qualified endorsement of Bruton by Ireland follows hard on the heels of the Spanish declaring that they won’t may not back Mr Blair either.

    SPAIN

    Prime Minister José Luis Zapatero has refrained from openly backing Blair. Instead his objective, according to government sources, is to achieve “maximum consensus” among EU members – in other words, a less controversial contender. Zapatero has made few public comments beyond a vague statement of support for someone with “leadership capability” and “pro-European conviction”. But the Spanish premier is not likely to be bursting with personal enthusiasm for Blair: Zapatero was elected in 2004 on promises of withdrawing troops from Iraq – and removing Spain from the Bush-Blair axis. He is also known to think highly of Dutch PM Balkenende. As doubts surface about Blair, some Spanish analysts have begun to speculate that Felipe Gonzalez, the former socialist PM, who deepened Spanish ties with the EU, could emerge as a consensus option.

    So, we can take Spain as a “maybe”.

    We already know that the Benelux countries – are not for Mr Blair. They are for, well, a Benelux candidate.

    BENELUX

    The tiny Benelux trio has a barely disguised aversion to Blair, who they fear would bring superstar qualities where they are least wanted. Quite aside from having their own, low-key contenders for the post, including Luxembourg premier Jean-Claude Juncker and Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, they fear that someone from one of the larger EU nations will ride roughshod over the interests of smaller member states. Benelux is also among the best pupils in the EU class – part of both the euro and Schengen zones – and see no reason why Britain should be rewarded for its poor European credentials. In a joint memo, interpreted as the launch of an anti-Blair campaign, they insist that a president should have “demonstrated his commitment to the European project”, and be someone who “listens” rather than a big talker.

    DARK HORSE MILIBAND – in Right/Left EU stitch-up?

    Leaders from Belgium, Hungary, Luxembourg and Spain suggested Thursday they would not back Blair, whose country is neither in the eurozone nor the Schengen group of EU countries that have abolished visas for travel within their borders.

    In a clandestine proposal by senior EU leaders, the Left would nominate a candidate for the post of EU foreign minister, while the group of centre-right governments would nominate the president – effectively ruling out Blair, The Times said.

    One name being bandied around for the foreign supremo job was Foreign Secretary David Miliband. However Miliband on Thursday ruled himself out of the role.

    Names in the frame. What do you mean – WHO?

    CLIMATE DEBATE IN BRUSSELS

    Meanwhile, today Poland on behalf of central Europeans states is objecting to heavy expected “burden-sharing” on climate concerns in central and eastern Europe.

    RELATED

    Excerpt from Cranmer:

    Tony Blair: L’Europe, ce n’est pas moi

    It is reported that the star of the first Emperor of the Holy European Empire is fading.

    Incroyable.

    And so Tony Blair now has competition in the form of:

    John Bruton of Ireland
    Bertie Ahern also of Ireland
    Jan Peter Balkenende of Holland
    Herman Van Rompuy of Belgium
    Vaira Vike-Freiberga of Latvia
    Wolfgang Schüssel of Austria
    Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg
    Felipe Gonzalez of Spain
    Paavo Tapio Lipponen of Finland
    and Fredrik Reinfeldt of Sweden

    Failures, pygmies, nobodies and has-beens (or are they have-beens?). The only name missing is Neil Kinnock.

    Until one realises that perhaps the very notion of ‘President Blair’ would be antithetical to the EU’s historic modus operandi. (more)

    Cranmer is behind John Rentoul with this news and similar picture, as Mr Rentoul reminds us today. And as he reminded us four weeks ago AND in July.

    My suggestion? Go to Blair supporters for Blair reports.




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