EU Presidential Selection

eupresident-montageTomorrow night, the European Union will have its first-ever president.  Time’s Leo Cendrowicz reports that few Europeans much care, perhaps because they have no voice in the selection.

In my New Atlanticist essay “Europe’s President Selected, Not Elected,” I both marvel at the fact that Europeans “not only have no direct voice in choosing the leader but don’t even know who the likely candidates are a day before the announcement is made” and argue that the person who holds the office first will, as with George Washington here, “have enormous power to shape the position.”

My personal favorite would be Tony Blair, although I assess his chances at being selected as virtually nil.  Former Latvian president Vaira Vike-Freiberga is a more plausible winner, who would be an excellent choice for reasons Caroline Hammargren outlines.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. yetanotherjohn says:

    Perhaps the likeness is not to George Washington, but to Samuel Huntington.

  2. yetanotherjohn says:

    My personal favorite would be George W. Bush, who has even less chance than Tony Blair. But you have to admit that the political theater such a selection would make would be worth the ticket.

  3. Alex Knapp says:

    Dammit, yetanotherjohn, I was going to make that same joke re: Huntington!

  4. Perhaps always referring to the EU as the Common Market would help.

  5. davod says:

    Common Market – No

    European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC)- Yes.

    The lack of participation is not surprising considering the development process. I read some time ago that the EU Parliamentary processes were based on the Politburo in the U.S.S.R.

  6. davod says:

    With this evolution who will give up its permanent seat on the UN Security Council, the UK, or France.

  7. Look at the bright side, at least Henry Kissinger would know who to call now when he wants to talk to Europe.

  8. G.A.Phillips says:

    Is Kenya part of Europe?