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Who Needs to Be EU President?

Whoever steps into Europe’s new top job as President of the European Council will set the mold. If it is someone of worldwide renown, the presidency will immediately be established as a post of global importance; otherwise, the presidency will be doomed as just another of the EU’s confusing plethora of worthy senior positions that are neither valued nor understood outside Brussels.

Whoever steps into Europe’s new top job as President of the European Council will set the mold. If it is someone of worldwide renown, the presidency will immediately be established as a post of global importance. But if its first occupant is not a household name, the presidency will be doomed as just another of the European Union’s confusing plethora of worthy senior positions that are neither valued nor understood outside Brussels.

The key point here is that Europe won’t be able to upgrade the job later. If the presidency goes to a politician who lacks fame and charisma, its place will forever be low down in the international pecking order.

Of the half-dozen candidates to become “Europe’s President,” only Tony Blair needs no introduction anywhere. All the other names in the ring have to be accompanied by a description – the former Finnish this or Austrian that.

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