Tony Blair is busy mediating for peace in the Middle East for the moment but European institutional stardom is said to be winking on his horizon again.
The British former prime minister’s suitability as the EU’s first full-time president is re-kindling speculation in view of the scale of recent and current crises. An article in the British business daily Financial Times points the spotlight at Blair. The Lisbon reform treaty creating the position depends on ratification by all member states though, and Ireland’s second say on this is only expected later this year. But the paper says France’s Nicolas Sarkozy led the EU with such vigour last year that this strengthened arguments that the bloc could do with a big name to guide it. Job-shuffling soon in powerful international organisations is forecast to include a new Nato secretary-general. Various posts are tipped to go to people of various nationalities, and if José Manuel Barroso (Portugal) stays on as European Commission head, this also boosts the chances of having Britain’s Blair as EU president.