Europe to appoint Supreme Leader, or something

There will be 27 EU foreign ministers and, when they can agree, there will be one person expressing their point of view. The representative will have to represent what the views of the members states actually are, and it is sometimes difficult to squeeze out what those views actually are.” Yikes! That’s Chris Patten, FP contributor and former ...

597633_071212_europe_05.jpg
597633_071212_europe_05.jpg

There will be 27 EU foreign ministers and, when they can agree, there will be one person expressing their point of view. The representative will have to represent what the views of the members states actually are, and it is sometimes difficult to squeeze out what those views actually are."

Yikes! That's Chris Patten, FP contributor and former EU commissioner for external affairs, explaining how policymaking will take place under Europe's new guidelines for a common foreign policy outlined in the Lisbon treaty, which is to be signed Thursday by the EU's 27 member states. The document is a watered-down version of what was once the EU's would-be constitution, now dead and buried thanks to a series of failed or indefinitely delayed national referendums.

INACIO ROSA/AFP/Getty Images

There will be 27 EU foreign ministers and, when they can agree, there will be one person expressing their point of view. The representative will have to represent what the views of the members states actually are, and it is sometimes difficult to squeeze out what those views actually are.”

Yikes! That’s Chris Patten, FP contributor and former EU commissioner for external affairs, explaining how policymaking will take place under Europe’s new guidelines for a common foreign policy outlined in the Lisbon treaty, which is to be signed Thursday by the EU’s 27 member states. The document is a watered-down version of what was once the EU’s would-be constitution, now dead and buried thanks to a series of failed or indefinitely delayed national referendums.

INACIO ROSA/AFP/Getty Images

Like everything in the EU, the details of the treaty tend to be complex and not altogether clear. A few practical changes, such as lengthening the term of the EU presidency from six months to two-and-a-half years, are straightforward enough. But most of what treaty means in the real world will be sketched out later, in true European fashion. It will also form, in Patten’s words, an “Extremely High Rep, or whatever we are going to call him,” who will be charged with running the common foreign and security policy.

Seriously, they don’t know what the official will be called? I’d say deciding what to call the high officers would be a good start. At least then member states will know how to address the invitations for their Brussels cocktail parties. Instead, it’s sip champagne first, and worry about the pesky details later. Ah, Europe.

(Hat Tip: James Forsyth)

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