Jan 09. Tony Blair, the former UK
prime minister, is re-emerging as a possible choice to be the European
Union’s first full-time president after four momentous crises reinforced the
argument for having a high-profile international personality in the job.
According to EU officials and
diplomats, the impressive performance of Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s
president, during his six-month spell in charge of the EU last year has
strengthened the hand of those who say a big name should guide the 27-nation
In one sense, the discussions are
premature. The full-time president will take office next year only if the
EU’s Lisbon institutional reform treaty, which creates the position, is
ratified by all member-states – notably, Ireland, which is expected to hold
a second referendum on the treaty between September and December.