Tony Blair Positioning to Be EU President

February 10, 2008 10:58 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Since stepping down as Britain’s prime minister, Blair has been an international diplomat and a business consultant. The first EU president could be his next role.

30-Second Summary

German newsmagazine Der Spiegel wrote on Jan. 28 that Tony Blair is the prime contender to become the first EU president.

At the moment, the EU member states take turns to be leader for one year. But that is set to end, and a long-term president will be elected.

Blair has yet to say publicly whether he will run. However, many thought his intention to make a bid for president was indicated by an appearance he made on Jan. 12 with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Sarkozy has already offered his support for Blair should he launch a campaign.

Speaking in French, Blair addressed a 2,000-strong crowd of Sarkozy supporters: “Europe is not a question of left or right, but a question of the future or the past, of strength or weakness.”

Time magazine speculates that Blair could find “common ground” among all of the member states. However, not everyone is thrilled with the prospect of a Blair candidacy. A Web site,, has appeared with sole purpose of decrying the idea.

Much of the opposition to Blair stems from his advocating the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Also, questions about probity arose when Blair became a part-time consultant to investment bank JP Morgan and Zurich Financial Services.

On this subject, U.K. paper The Independent wrote, “The appointment of former heads of government to such positions is controversial because they are hired for the contacts they made while in political office and the access and influence they might still command.”

Headline Link: Blair tests the water for presidential bid

Background: Blair’s post-premiership career

Leaving office

Opinion: Assessing Blair’s abilities

Analysis: Blair and the EU presidency

Reference: Tony Blair


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