The European Union has turned it’s attention to choosing an executive commission, after electing a new president and foreign affairs chief last night.
France and Germany have already staked their claim for top economic and trade positions. Herman Van Rompuy will take up his post as EU president on January 1 next year. Both he and Britain’s Catharine Ashton, the new foreign relations chief, are seen as consensus builders rather than strong leaders. The 27 candidates proposed for the next Commission will have to be approved by European Parliament before taking up their posts. A new commission should already have been appointed, but delays in ratification of the EU’s Lisbon treaty mean decisions still need to be made.