German party cool on Blair for EU

A senior politician in Germany has cast doubt on the suitability of British former Prime Minister Tony Blair to be president of the European Council.

The chief whip of Germany’s Free Democrats – the junior partner in the country’s new coalition – said he would prefer someone from a smaller country.

Mr Blair is the most high-profile name in the frame for the new EU job.

But the prime minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker, has emerged as a serious rival.

While some countries have expressed support for Mr Blair’s candidacy, others are cooler on the idea. Germany, the most powerful nation in the EU, has yet to declare its position.

The chief whip of Germany’s Free Democrats, Joerg van Essen, explained his party’s position.

“We know Tony Blair for a very long time but I must admit there is a sympathy in my party for candidates from a smaller country,” he told the BBC.

“We want to bring European countries closer together, and I think if someone is from a smaller country these people are more sensitive and they know the problems of the smaller ones, and I think that would be helpful for Europe. Europe is too dominated by the biggest ones.”

BBC News

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2 Responses to German party cool on Blair for EU

  1. euandus2 says:

    The Economist recently referred to the candidacy of the Belgian prime minister as “comical” while Tony Blair’s would be quite good for the EU standing next to the US. While Blair is a good choice as a figure head, the Belgian prime minister is perhaps superior in negotiating common positions (which is necessary in divided Belgium). I have just posted on what might be behind the British position here. http://euandus3.wordpress.com/2009/11/19/228

    • gcdaz says:

      Interesting analysis. Your comparison of Britain to Texas was an interesting choice. It should be noted that the founding fathers were concerned about the “big state” vs “little state” comparison, as well. The anti-federalists argued that states with bigger populations, and thus larger representation in the House, might not be concerned with the welfare of the smaller states, but their own interests. They never imagined that the whole of Congress would attempt to destroy the United States with “socialist” agendas which are foreign concepts to the Constitution of the United States, such as health care, the Federal Reserve and gun control. Even the basic premise of Freedom of Religion has been attacked by the so-called separation of Church and State and the recent hate crimes law.

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