“Expectations low for new EU president, foreign policy chief”

“Expectations low for new EU president, foreign policy chief”
November 21 & 22, 2009
     The appointment of Herman Van Rompuy and Catherine Ashton as the EU’s new president and foreign policy chief, respectively, has been greeted with skepticism and criticism among Western analysts. Marco Incerti argues that Ashton, who will head a new diplomatic body of several thousands and represent the EU’s foreign interests, lacks the experience and international networks to have an effect on issues such as Iran’s nuclear program and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (Associated Press). Carsten Volkery writes that while Ashton has a reputation as a “tough negotiator”, expectations for the new EU leaders are so low they can only be exceeded (Spiegel).
     Outlining more of the critical reaction among European analysts, Annie Lowrey believes the selection of the “comically obscure” pair means non-EU powers will continue favoring their bilateral relationships with individual European states, which would allow the UK, France and Germany to maintain more autonomy as the Lisbon Treaty comes into effect (Foreign Policy).
Associated Press | Spiegel | Foreign Policy

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