While many supported for the position of the “EU President” (including me) the Luxembourgian PM Mr Jean-Claude Juncker, the heavyweights of EU France, Germany and Britain found him “too federalist” so the position was given to Mr Van Rompuy who was favored by all. Mrs Ashton appointment was much criticized by Spain and other EU states because as they claimed, this position should be given to a national of a country that is fully committed to EU, has adopted the Euro and belongs to the Schengen Agreement.
If we compare them to their USA counterparts and their influence or importance in their country and the world, the European ones seem rather unimportant. I am not criticizing them in person or their work, rather the political situation in Europe that is becoming increasingly a farce.
Instead of that we still see the big powers of EU pulling the strings, while in most EU summits with other countries or regions/blocks of the world, it is the head of the EU Commission Mr. Manuel J. Barroso that is always present, representing the EU.
Not to mention that it was another Commissioner that was sent to Haiti to see and evaluate the situation, the Bulgarian Commissioner Mrs Kristalina Georgieva, not Baroness Ashton. Many criticize her for the lack of competence or knowledge, others because of her inability to speak any other European languages notably German or French.
So if she is really not the right person for the job, why she was offered it and by whom? All important positions in EU are filled by people favored by our Governments and many in many cases they are not the best choice. Our governments want still to pull all strings in European politics, so they place people in certain positions after and agreement or political compromise.
In Greece people vote for their Parliament and a new Government. It is up to the Parliament then to choose the President of the country. In this system, it is not necessary the direct election of the President by the people. But in the EU’s case we have three Presidents, but only one elected in this way: The President of the European Parliament.
In other words we do not have one "EU President," that can be elected by us and represent us. That is why, Mr. Van Rompuy is officially called the President of the European Council and not what it was mentioned in the Lisbon Treaty. He speaks for and represents our governments, not the citizens. But then why do we need a person for this position and what do we gain from it, as citizens of Europe?
Nothing is done in Europe without the full approval by our national Governments, especially of the powerful ones. But if we pay for a “President” and a “Minister of Foreign Affairs” shouldn’t we be treated to influential ones, exactly as our American cousins have Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton? Two politicians with real influence in the world stage.
I am not sure I want to have another two overpaid politicians that not only do so little, they do not speak for me, but also they have no real credibility in the world stage. What does Europe is actually showing to the rest of the world and how do we want them to take us seriously? We are still divided over important policies and we send puppet politicians to speak for our Governments. At least we are showing the real face of Europe this way.