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Written in Consultation: 11/19/09, 12:45:11 by jonathan  | Print article  | View all categories.
EU PRESIDENT AND FOREIGN MINISTER APPOINTMENTS|jonathan|1258663511|Press release: Immediate

Open Europe responds to outcome of EU summit

Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy has been nominated EU President, while the UK Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton will become EU Foreign Minister.

Open Europe Director Lorraine Mullally responded saying:

"This whole process has been a stitch-up and a perfect illustration of just how out of touch and anti-democratic the EU now is.  27 EU leaders met behind closed doors over a cosy dinner in Brussels to thrash out who will represent Europe's 500 million citizens on the world stage, without so much as a wink to voters as to what on earth was going on."

"After years of insisting that the Lisbon Treaty would bring the EU closer to citizens, how sad and ironic that the very first big decision was made after a secretive backroom deal which should have no place in a 21st century democracy. This has been EU politics at its very worst."

"Neither Herman Van Rompuy nor Catherine Ashton has any democratic mandate to speak on behalf of Europe's citizens.  Most people were denied a say on the Lisbon Treaty which created these posts, and now the jobs themselves have been filled without the slightest input from voters, nor even national parliaments."

"Neither candidate has explained to the public why they should get these jobs. And most people in Europe have never even heard of Herman Van Rompuy or Catherine Ashton, yet here they are to represent us in the global arena.  Surely Europe can do better than this?"

"As for the politicians themselves, Herman Van Rompuy is a classic EU federalist who can be relied upon to quietly move EU integration forward.  Likewise, Catherine Ashton was instrumental in pushing the Lisbon Treaty through the UK Parliament, which gives a strong indication of the direction she wants to take the EU."

Notes for editors:

1) For more information, please contact Lorraine Mullally on 00 44 (0)207 197 2333 or 0044 (0)7817 027911.

2) Open Europe is an independent think-tank calling for reform of the European Union, with offices in London and Brussels.

Its supporters include: Sir Stuart Rose, Executive Chairman, Marks and Spencer plc; Sir Crispin Davis, Former Chief Executive, Reed Elsevier Group plc; Sir David Lees, Chairman, Tate and Lyle plc; Sir Henry Keswick, Chairman, Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd; Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover KG, Life President, J Sainsbury plc; Sir John Egan, Chairman, Severn Trent plc and Lord Kalms of Edgware, President, DSG International plc; Hugh Sloane, Founder, Sloane Robinson.

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