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DavidDvorkin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-19-09 01:51 PM
Original message
EU chooses unknown for new top job
Source: EU Observer

EU leaders have chosen Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy to be the first president of the European Council, while UK trade commissioner Catherine Ashton will become the bloc's foreign policy chief.

Read more: http://euobserver.com/9/29024



Ashton is a leftist, anyway.
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DavidDvorkin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-19-09 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
1. Merkel supposedly wanted an unknown for the top job
Someone who wouldn't eclipse her by becoming the highly visible face of Europe. She sees herself in that role.

She got her wish for now. She'll have it for the next 2.5 years, and possibly for the next 5. We'll see what happens after that. Will the EU feel that they need someone bigger in the presidency, or will they continue to choose apparatchiks?
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-19-09 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I know him :-) and yes indeed, he's pretty certain not to ruffle any feathers
Edited on Thu Nov-19-09 03:06 PM by BelgianMadCow
He has always been a kind of tenacious backbencher with good knowledge of the issues. He has a low need of profiling himself, very little star quality as well.

His party (CD&V) has been in the leading coalition in Belgium for the better part of the last 50 years, and is a part of the largest bloc in the european parliament, the christian democratic one.

That makes him a nice consensus candidate, from the heart of the european union. (Brussels is in Belgium ;-))

Personally, I would have liked someone with a higher profile - there is a dire need for a stronger political european union, and that would be better served with a less "gray" candidate.

Still, I'm rather proud :D
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DavidDvorkin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-19-09 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I wanted a big personality in there, too.
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DumpDavisHogg Donating Member (255 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-19-09 03:14 PM
Response to Original message
3. Another conservative
Where do people get the idea that the EU is such a big left-wing bastion?
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Stella_Artois Donating Member (838 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-19-09 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Because compared to the US it is fairly left wing
Not massively so, but on average a European Convservative issue by issue would have more in common with a Democrat than a Republican.
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DavidDvorkin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-19-09 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. True. For that matter,
a European politician can safely call himself a socialist, and pandering to religion isn't a good way to get elected in (Western) Europe.
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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-19-09 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Over half of the time, socialists together with christian democrats form the coalition
I'd say we're pretty far to the left, without all being commies :-)

Gay marriage is allowed, euthanasia is allowed, abortion is allowed (the last two with conditions). We have strong social security and powerful unions. For the time being though.
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-19-09 06:49 PM
Response to Original message
8. He's not Blair!
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T_i_B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-20-09 07:02 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Very true
Although I don't think I'm the only one who's never heard of Baroness Ashton.
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-20-09 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Neither have I. Not being Blair is enough.
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Divine Discontent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-20-09 04:23 AM
Response to Original message
9. we greet the new future king of the world! lol
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