Rumours are reaching me via Twitter that Baroness Ashton, UK Labour politician and outgoing Commissioner for Trade is the individual the socialists are now backing to be the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Policy. I must say I am astounded.
Let me at least set the record straight about what I think about Ashton. I was not immensely positive about her appointment to the Commission just over a year ago (I even questioned the legality of the appointment), but since then I think she has been OK. I happened to hear her speak a few weeks ago in Brussels and was genuinely impressed by her approach. She was coherent, thoughtful and genuinely decent.
I’m also very happy that one of the top jobs is going to a woman.
But really, how will a top team of Barroso, Ashton and Van Rompuy look? None of them are remotely inspirational… Surely Barroso – Freiberga – Miliband or something like that would have been a better bet? The Belgian press are even confirming the news now. I was hopeful for something better than Barroso – Solana, but I am really not sure we have achieved that.