I have been reading up a little on the new EU president Herman van Rompuy and the High Representative Lady Catherine Ashton. People say they are unknown but that does not mean they where regionally unknown. They both seem much accomplished and reasonable people. It is good that one was British because that will make the Brits more interested in the EU. Mending the apart UK? And as Charlemagne points out in his blog today, there are only two and a half countries in the EU that really have a capacity to project power abroad, and the UK is one of them.
So, on December 1st the EU is taking another step forward. For me it is an important step. I might even celebrate a little. We are not so many years out of chaos and all these cultures. This is good achievement! The job descriptions for the two positions are apparently not that detailed and it is going to be interesting to see how they are received around the world. Something that will determine how the whole thing turns out. People complain about the legitimacy question but it is as good as it gets right now.
So what does it mean that the EU is going to have a Labour face. Well, what I learned from this charts at the EU parliament election is that they are placed approximately as the Swedish moderates. Politically then, since van Rompuy is a Christian Democrat, we are talking about a center-right approach. A guy from Brussels and a gal from London.
Excuse me for this little passus but I'm trying to get a feel for how Sweden is going to be represented in the world on global issues like Afghanistan, Russia and the Middle East. Personally, I am, like about 50% of the American public, against the Afghan mission but I think Sweden is going to play along with the European effort as long as it is on. Others, like the authors of the report yesterday, would argue that NATO is not really that important any longer and that the EU should act more independently. This has been argued earlier by for example Ove Bring, Professor in International Law, Sweden.