Exclusive: third candidate in running for Euro presidency
In an interview with a prominent politician which is likely rock senior establishment figures within and beyond the European Union, Though Cowards Flinch (TCF) can exclusively reveal that a third candidate has expressed an interest in being invited to express an interest in entering the race to become European president.
The news comes as senior officials at the EU express confidence that Vaclav Klaus will ratify the Lisbon Treaty on behalf of Poland, despite David Cameron’s last minute antics, and that the Treaty will come into force, thus opening the way for the appointment of a first permanent president.
To date, only ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair and current prime minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker (pictured), have expressed interest in the not-yet-job, although Tony Blair has been careful to do so by not expressing an interest.
Yesterday, however, our reporters caught up with famous blogger and savvy politician Cllr Paul Cotterill (PC), and here we report on what was said:
TCF: As you are very wise, can we ask your views on the European presidency?
PC: Certainly, I’m happy to condescend to you with a few thoughts. First though, we need to be clear on what European presidency you’re talking about?
TCF: Erm, the EU one?
PC: Ah well, there are three of those, if we assume full ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, and if we ignore for interviewing convenience the various other presidencies of the General Court, the Court of Justice, the Court of Auditors and so on.
First there is the presidency of the Commission, and then there’s the presidency of the European parliament, the functions and roles of which are set out in the consolidated verion of the Lisbon Treaty freely availble on the world wide web.
The other presidency, to which I think you may be referring in the context of the current widespread media coverage, is the presidency of the European Council. This presidency will be a two and a half year term, reneweable once. The President of the Council is chosen by the 25 heads of state within the EU, thus meaning that the future of Europe can effectively be determined by 13 people in smart suits acting in unison over a big dinner.
The ramifications for this are enormous, clearly, and include the possibility of stupendously luxurious showers being installed at massive expense and then not used in many large buildings across Europe to which ordinary people have no access.
The new President of the Council does not need to be anybody with an electoral mandate at all, the only requirement in fact being that s/he does NOT hold national office (Article 15, para .6). This enables the 25 ministers to appoint absolutely anyone to the office, including me, for example.
TCF: That’s very interesting, and you are very wise. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
PC: Well, I can see clearly enough what you are trying to get at there.
For the record, therefore, I can confirm that while I am not formally expressing an interest in the presidency, my strong and highly hounourable sense of public duty would of course mean I would feel bound to listen to any public calls for my candidature; it would simply not be reasonable to ignore the pleas of several million Europeans for the kind of intellectual authority and leadership that my presidency would bring.
I have set out my stall on what a modern European Union should seek to achieve. I recognise that this differs markedly from the current capitalist desire to embed further the neo-liberal and anti-democratic principles already set out in the Treaty of Rome, and I recognise that, under my putative presidency, the Lisbon Treaty would in fact most likely be ‘unratified’ in favour of a new Treaty (provisionally the Treaty of Bickerstaffe) which embeds socialist institutions and operates in favour of the working classes and the disposessed both within Europe and (as a result of my adherence to Kantian principles of cosmopolitan universalism), beoynd its artificial borders.
Further, my current position as local councillor in one of the ‘lowest’ tiers of local goverrnment in Europe clearly provides legtimacy for my candidature both through my electoral mandate, and as evidence of my willingness to enact properly the principle of subsidiarity which are supposed to be at the heart of the insitutions of Europe, but which are in fact currently siply a sham and are merely a convenient sop to the working public in the context of the continued hegemony of capital.
Clearly, therefore, I would be the choice of the people, if the people had the power to choose the president.
However, I must stress that, in keeping my normal and well-known unassuming humility, this is not an expression of interest; it is merely an expression of interest in being asked by the leftwing new media to express an interest at the appropriate point.
TCF: Thank you for your wise words. TCF supports your non-campaign, and we wish you well. When this news of your non-candidacy gets out, we believe it will spread like wildfire, and you will be swept to the presidency on a wave of popular sentiment which will crush the asprations of the current non-contenders for the post. Happy, egalitarian and prosperous days will then ensue.
PC: That’ll be nice.