TONY Blair is secretly
backing plans to create a permanent President of Europe. It is now being
discussed as part of negotiations in Berlin aimed at reviving the Constitution without sparking
It was reported in the Daily
Express that Kim Darroch, Mr Blair’s personal envoy to the EU, has been told to
use the negotiations to press for a permanent EU president to replace the
current system, in which the presidency rotates among the member states every
The Prime Minister would be one of the favourites for the job, which would go
to a former EU leader. His main rival would be the outgoing French president
Jacques Chirac, who has clashed with Mr Blair over the future of Europe many times during the past decade.
would be appointed by other EU leaders, rather than being directly elected.
Neil O’Brien, director of the independent think tank Open Europe, warned that
the new president would inevitably gain more powers as time went on.
Mr O’Brien said: “It is very hard to see how the president would be accountable
to the people. As for who could do it, Tony Blair would be an obvious
by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the heads of state to sign a
declaration of faith in the EU collapsed last week. Instead, only unelected
heads of the EU’s main institutions signed the document.
A majority in EU countries want a referendum on any new constitution, a poll
further back you look, the further forward you can see.” (Winston