Fianna Fail and the Liberals

Things aren’t looking so good for the Fianna Fail Party in their new Grouping in the European Parliament. At the last plenary session they caused hassle by abstaining on a vote on a resolution by the ALDE, Green and Socialist groups on media freedoms, this caused the vote to be lost. This has causd huge anger in the ALDE grouping.

Reports are also surfacing that the Fianna Fail MEP’s tried to scupper a resolution on Gay Rights emerging from the Liberal Grouping. This just goes to show how “liberal” Fianna Fail really are.

Brian Cowen too is facing pressure from within the Liberal Grouping of the ELDR. The ELDR currently only have 4 heads of Government on the European Council, and Cowen’s support for Tony Blair and possible support for John Bruton, is not sitting well with the ELDR leadership.

Fianna Fail have found themselves between a rock and a hard place on this occasion. Will they toe the Liberal line, or will they continue to annoy their “allies” and do their own thing. I can’t see Guy Verhostadt keeping his cool with them for too long.

More in the EU Observer

The Presidency of the European Council

There has been a lot of talk lately about the collapse of the Tony Blair candidacy for President of the European Council (see Nosemonkey’s recent post for an explanation of all those councils!). I personally am thankful for that, but Blair is still holding out and hoping to get Angela Merkel’s backing for the post. I don’t see him getting the German Chancellors backing due to the whole Iraq War debacle.

So who will get it? Paddy Power have odds up for a few politicians and Jan Peter Balkenende, the Dutch Prime Minister, is currently favourite. While I think he would make a good Council President I think its time the EU stood up and appointed a woman to being the top post. With David Milliband looking likely as the Foreign Affairs portfolio, a female President would be excellent. (There is a twitter campaign for this by the way!) Paddy Power mention two women on their list, former Irish President, Mary Robinson and current Finnish President Tarja Halonen.

Mary Robinson has ruled herself out for the role, leaving Tarja Halonen the sole remaining mentioned female candidate. I am sure there are others. Julien Frisch has a post outlining why she could be a good President. She certainly has the experience!

So who will get it? If the Czech President Vaclav Klaus signs the Lisbon Treaty after the constitutional Court gives its verdict this week, there will be a special summit on the 11th and 12th of November to decide the names of those getting the new posts.

Who are you backing?

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