The complicated balance between listening and leading, and how it applies to politics in Europe

Look across Europe, and think of the calibre of its leaders. Merkel, Sarkozy, Cameron. Zapatero, Berlusconi, Tusk. Reinfeldt, Løkke, Pahor. Brussels with Barroso and Van Rompuy. This is not a quality lineup, not what one would classically call a statesman or stateswoman among the lot of them. Not a Schuman, an Adenauer, even a Delors […]

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Will the politician ready to defend Schengen please stand up?

So started an interesting exchange of views about the future of Schengen yesterday – my tweet, and then a reply from European Commisson spokesperson Koen Doens: [blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/jonworth/status/64751179715969024″] [blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/ECspokesKoen/status/64768441663492096″] Subsequent to the Twitter discussion, I’ve had some time to digest the letter Barroso sent back to Berlusconi and Sarkozy (you can find the PDF […]

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Ashton: you are the weakest link. Goodbye.

Foreign Ministers of EU countries are meeting today in Brussels, while at the same time protests against Hosni Mubarak in Egypt enter their 7th day. On his way to the Brussels meeting Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt tweeted this: [blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/carlbildt/status/31952709766610944″] The right question to pose – but what prospect for any answers? For the […]

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Nicolas Sarkozy’s hair

Nicolas Sarkozy has released his message for 2010. Apart from the rather smug line that France has coped better with the economic crisis than other countries, one thing rather struck me: Sarko’s hair, which looks even more of a perfect dark brown buffon than normal. Remember that Sarko was born in 1955, making him almost […]

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