Blair's EU Presidency Hopes 'Fading'

Tony Blair's prospects of becoming President of the European Council would seem to be faltering, following reports that he has failed to secure the backing of European leaders.

Although Mr Blair has been endorsed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, he has reportedly had a lack of support from other European leaders, with some of the reasons believed to include concerns over Britain's alleged lack of commitment to the EU and the fact that Britain remains outside the Eurozone.

Meanwhile, in Britain, both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats remain opposed to the prospect of a Blair presidency.

However, Mr Blair's spokesperson stressed that there was no campaign as the job did not yet exist and said that the former Prime Minister remained "fully focused on his existing projects".

Meanwhile, ratification of the Lisbon Treaty has moved closer after it was reported that delegates at the European leaders' summit in Brussels have approved a deal with Czech President Vaclav Klaus, leaving the path clear for the country - the only EU member state which has not yet ratified the Treaty - to approve it.

President Klaus had wanted an opt-out from the Treaty's Charter of Fundamental Rights over fears that descendants from ethnic Germans expelled from Czechoslovakia after World War II would attempt to reclaim properties. However, EU officials have played down this prospect.


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

26 October 2009
Blair's Euro Bid Gains Support
Foreign Secretary David Miliband has voiced his support for Tony Blair's bid to take the reins of Europe. Mr Miliband said a Blair presidency would be "very good for Britain as well as very good for Europe".
11 February 2004
New committee to allow greater scrutiny of European legislation
Parliament is to have more opportunity to scrutinise and debate European legislation, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has said today. Mr Straw set out plans for a new parliamentary committee to debate European issues, whereby Ministers, European Commissioners and Members of both the Lords and Commons would be able to attend.
28 October 2009
Brown To Canvass For Blair
Prime Minister Gordon Brown is expected to formally put his weight behind predecessor Tony Blair's bid for the EU presidential office, according to reports. Mr Brown will lobby on behalf of his New Labour ally, who appears to be a forerunner for the first permanent Brussels role, created under the Lisbon Treaty.
01 December 2005
Blair faces strong opposition to EU budget deal
Prime Minister Tony Blair has predicted that he will face widespread criticism over EU budget plans.
14 June 2005
Blair rejects proposed rebate freeze
A formal plan to freeze Britain’s £3 billion European Union rebate has been firmly rejected by Prime Minister Tony Blair. Mr Blair rejected the proposal, which was put forward during his meeting with Luxembourg Prime Minister and current EU President Jean-Claude Juncker this morning.