31st Oct 2020

Irish PM eyes top EU job

Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern has let it be known that he would be interested in one of the EU top jobs when the posts comes up for negotiation later this year.

The Irish Times reports that when Mr Ahern was questioned about a possible Brussels position, he said:

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  • Bertie Ahern is a "home bird" but likes Europe (Photo: Council of the European Union)

"I have given no great thought to that. Most people who would know me would know that I am fairly much a home bird."

But he added: "I like Europe, I like dealing with Europe. I have been dealing in the European Council now continuously - except for a very short period - for 21 years. And I like all of that."

Mr Ahern also pointed out that he is second only to veteran Luxembourg leader Jean-Claude Juncker when it comes to experience on the EU stage and that "maybe a small minority" of his colleagues "would like to see me give some of my time to a role."

In the second half of 2008, when France takes over the EU presidency, negotiations for the EU three major political jobs - president of the European Commission, president of the council and EU foreign minister - are set to begin.

Although the treaty contains a job description for each of the posts, the exact nature of the position is set to depend on the personality of the person, with the permanent EU president and EU foreign minister being essentially new jobs.

The trio of personalities - who will fill their posts in 2009 when the new EU treaty is supposed to come into force - is likely to be the result of some ferocious bartering between member states, taking into account country size, political colours and EU credentials.


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