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No Miliband for Europe

Yesterday, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced not just that Foreign Secretary David Miliband was not in contention for the job of EU high representative for foreign policy — a powerful new post created by the Lisbon Treaty — but that he never was interested at all. Miliband made sense: He is young, liberal, well-liked in ...

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Yesterday, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced not just that Foreign Secretary David Miliband was not in contention for the job of EU high representative for foreign policy — a powerful new post created by the Lisbon Treaty — but that he never was interested at all.

Miliband made sense: He is young, liberal, well-liked in Europe, and well-connected in Washington — important, given that the role is in part meant to consolidate Europe’s voice and then turn up the volume. We’ll know who will hold the post in the next few days, according to Brown. Other names that keep coming up include Italy’s Massimo D’Alema, Belgium’s Herman Van Rompuy, and Sweden’s Carl Bildt.

But I’ll still be wishing it were Miliband and don’t quite get the calculus here. In six or eight months, Labour will be out of power and Miliband will become a shadow minister, prime or foreign, for five years at least. The EU job — brief, big stage, big responsibility — would surely suit Miliband and make him more valuable for Labour as well. Granted, I’d rather live in London than Brussels. But, what else am I missing?

JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images

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