Two challenging choices for EU's future : President Van Rompuy and HR Ashton - commentaires Two challenging choices for EU's future : President Van Rompuy and HR Ashton 2009-11-22T12:13:13Z 2009-11-22T12:13:13Z <p>Thanks Derek for your comment.</p> <p>Be careful I don't say that the EU is mainly a commercial organisation, I say that the EU is mainly a commercial power. Meaning that the outcomes of the EU power projection are the outcomes of a great power only when it deals with trade-related issues.</p> <p>On political/military issues unfortunately there is a long way to go to be considered as a global power (just to mention the most recent examples : Iraq war, reaction on Kosovo independence). You mention human rights, immigration etc but if you read the actual policies of the EU you will notice that we do not have a single asylum policy and that we struggle to have a common approach towards illegal immigration. As for human rights just look the evolution of the human rights dialogue with China and you will see that also there there is the need a lot of progress.</p> <p>On your second point you mention that the Commission is to serve the interest of the EU. Of course in theory that is the idea. But look at what was the first statement of PM Gordon Brown about the appointment of Commissioner Ashton (source BBC) : it gives Britain « a powerful voice in Europe ». And anyway this kind of statements is not unusual among head of states or of government following the appointment of a commissioner...</p> <p>As for a bigger say to the European citizens in the nomination of high level portfolio we do agree !</p> <p>Thank you</p> <p>Pietro</p> Two challenging choices for EU's future : President Van Rompuy and HR Ashton 2009-11-21T18:17:28Z 2009-11-21T18:17:28Z <p>A useful summary of the « why's and »wherefores" of the appointments - but surely a UK-centric one ?</p> <p>First, you claim that the EU is mainly a commercial organisation : it is not. It is a far more reaching form of organisation, involving a common interest in, eg, human rights, cross-border crime, immigration .... and much more.</p> <p>This leads on to questions about the real ability of the appointees to carry out the functions ahead of them. Consider such situations as the invasion of Georgia, the collapse of world finance. Given the usual low-key style of Van Rompuy, the lack of experience of Baroness Ashton, and the « no-profile » performance of Barroso when faced with such issues, what would have happened ? The real world is full of such « one-off » situations.</p> <p>You say that the British have a long record of diplomacy, but do not point out that the new High Representative acts for the EU, not for the UK. That specific EU remit is the key factor determining the appointments of all Commissioners, etc. Individual Commissioners are nominated by their own country, but to serve the EU interest. It is also a reason why they cannot be subject to election by all EU electors.</p> <p>However, when it comes to the « appointments » of the Presidents of the EU Commission and the Council, and the High Representative, since these are not in the power of any nation, why should they not be directly elected ? The Robert Schuman foundation website (available in all EU institutional languages) carried out such an election for the Council President's post, and showed that such an election was entirely possible. Instead of which we had the degrading exhibition of defensive EU politics at it's worst : behind-closed-doors « wheeling and dealing ».</p> <p>Please don't be so submissive to the existing EU cultural norms.</p>