2008-01-15

Blair for EU President

What a terrible idea this is. Admittedly a lot of people in a lot of different countries know Tony Blair, which can't be said for most possible candidates. Alas, he's known for making a disastrous mistake and then not owning up to it, i.e. for showing bad judgment and not being particularly trustworthy. That sort of fame isn't really a desirable quality in a candidate.

4 comments:

Finnsense said...

I'm not wild about Blair but to put the other side, he is a true statesman. Had he not gone into Iraq he would have been seen as one of the great all-time British PMs. He speaks French. He is a pragmatist who knows what it would take to unite the EU countries. The Americans love him.

I can't think of anyone who would be likely to make more progress. I fully accept that he is spineless and amoral but EU President is more a diplomatic role than a policy role anyway. That's what diplomats are for.

Ari said...

I disagree that Blair is uniquely capable of getting things done. In EU matters his prime ministership was a pretty quiet time. If he was great at winning other EU leaders over, shouldn't he have more accomplishments to show for it? Jean-Claude Juncker, mentioned as a potential candidate in the EurActiv article, is reputed to be a smooth cabinet operator par excellence. Blair, not so much.

Aapo said...

I think it was in 2003 when the Commission tried to stir debate around the CAP share of the EU budget, but with no success whatsoever - there was no support from the member states so the CAP was sealed till 2012. At that time, Tony just kept silent and gave in to Chirac and Schröder.

Until Britain's presidency, two years later, when he tried to reopen the CAP and link it to the rebate issue. And failed miserably.

Just let him go and earn his diplomatic pay cheques at JPMorgan. Those fellows will make better use of his skills too, to be honest.

Finnsense said...

To be fair I don't think anyone could have made headway with the CAP. The French are pathologically opposed to reform and Britain was on the back foot all the time trying to defend the rebate. Criticising Blair for not making progress here is like criticising Arafat for not solving the problems in the Middle East.

But I agree somewhat. The British presidency was a dud.