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Tony Blair’s bid for EU Presidency faces growing opposition

Two years out of No. 10 Downing Street, Tony Blair has a new ambition: becoming Europe’s first president under the Treaty of Lisbon. Under the new treaty (which will go into effect next year if Ireland ratifies it in an October referendum), the President of the European Council would be transformed from a rotating six-month ...

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Two years out of No. 10 Downing Street, Tony Blair has a new ambition: becoming Europe’s first president under the Treaty of Lisbon. Under the new treaty (which will go into effect next year if Ireland ratifies it in an October referendum), the President of the European Council would be transformed from a rotating six-month post to a newly powerful position that could be occupied by the same person for up to five years.

But while Blair is is the highest-profile politician to be considering the position, his candidacy is being met with rapidly growing opposition from other European states

Senior officials in Stockholm, which assumed the six-month rotating presidency of the EU today, said they feared a President Blair would be a divisive figure, triggering friction between small and large European countries, and added that José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the Spanish prime minister, was even more strongly opposed to Blair securing the post and usurping Madrid’s running of the union next year[…]

“The small countries don’t want a strong leader because they fear he will be run by the big [EU] countries,” said {Swedish prime minister Fredrik] Reinfeldt

Given how many different egos (both national and personal) are involved, a Blair bid would likely be the dramatic fight election junkies love. Stay tuned.

GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images

Tag: Europe

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