Tony Blair set to become EU chief as Sarkozy battles to win him the post
2009 02 08

By Simon Walters and Peter Allen | dailymail.co.uk


Helpful friend: Nicolas Sarkozy wants Tony Blair to become the first EU President


Tony Blair is poised to become the first President of Europe after it was confirmed that French leader Nicolas Sarkozy is determined to help him win the post.

A senior aide to President Sarkozy told a private gathering of senior British and French politicians that he is to tell fellow EU leaders that Mr Blair is the only man who can help Europe stand up to the rest of the world.

The remark by Alain Minc, a key member of Mr Sarkozy’s inner circle, is the second French blow to Gordon Brown’s standing in two days, coming after Mr Sarkozy said Mr Brown’s decision to combat the recession by cutting VAT was a ‘mistake’.

Mr Minc, a political wheeler-dealer, entrepreneur and TV show host, was attending a meeting last month of the Franco British Colloque, a high-powered discussion group of British and French politicians, civil servants and opinion-formers.

Members are under orders not to reveal the confidential discussions, but The Mail on Sunday has established that Mr Minc used the meeting to win support for Mr Sarkozy’s campaign to ensure Mr Blair becomes the President of Europe.

The role is due to be created next year – but only if the EU’s controversial Lisbon Treaty is ratified in the autumn by Ireland and the Czech Republic, the two EU countries which have so far refused to do so.

Mr Minc told the gathering, which was also attended by French Prime Minister Francois Fillon: ‘When the Lisbon Treaty is ratified, Europe will move into a new phase. Europe will need a strong leader and Nicolas Sarkozy will nominate Tony Blair for the position.’

Mr Minc explained why Mr Sarkozy was determined to overcome opposition to Mr Blair from a handful of EU leaders, notably German chancellor Angela Merkel.

He said: ‘We have to unite and say to Mrs Merkel that we cannot afford not to have Tony Blair, who will be a strong figurehead, is entirely respected around the world and will be a commanding leader at the helm of Europe.’

Mr Minc has been described by one commentator as ‘France’s Peter Mandelson’. Indeed, his AM Conseil consultancy has employed Lord Mandelson as an ‘adviser’ in the past and the two are members of the Policy Network think-tank.


Respected: Barack Obama watches Mr Blair speak in Washington last week


The conference took place in Versailles, days after Mr Blair visited Paris to chair a conference for Mr Sarkozy on the economic crisis, in what was seen as the latest part of a charm offensive to boost his chances of winning the EU presidency.

Mr Blair paid glowing tribute to Mr Sarkozy’s recent performance in the rotating EU presidency, saying: ‘Under his leadership, Europe looked as if it were acting in concert.’

Mr Blair was referred to as Prime Minister Blair throughout – Mr Brown was not even invited.

The post of President of the EU’s Council of Ministers will replace the current system under which the EU nations on a six-monthly basis. Supporters say it is the only way to give the presidency rotates among EU a strong voice.

Critics claim it is another step on the road to a European superstate.
Publicly, Mr Blair says he is not campaigning for a job ‘which does not even exist’.

Privately, friends say he would relish it.

Likewise, in public Mr Brown’s advisers say he is ‘relaxed’ about the prospect.

Privately, they admit it is a ‘nightmare’ which would further diminish his status.


Overshadowed: Mr Brown's aides say Mr Blair's appointment would be a ‘nightmare’


Mr Minc was not the only person at the conference to make provocative remarks about ‘President Blair’.

Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell, tipped to succeed Mr Brown as Labour leader, is in hot water after apparently backing the idea.

Asked if Mr Blair was the right man for the job, Mr Purnell said: ‘We need someone who is a world-respected statesman, has experience of being involved in intractable international issues like the Irish peace process, and, while being on the Centre Left, understands how the markets work and sparkles with charisma...’

As Mr Purnell, a close ally of Mr Blair, paused for effect, there were gasps from some in the audience who realised they were meant to think he was referring to Mr Brown’s predecessor.

He then added: ‘...which is why I nominate Bill Clinton.’

The joke was not lost on fellow guests, who knew that, as an American, Mr Clinton is not eligible.

A spokesman for Mr Purnell said: ‘It was an after-dinner gag. He did not endorse Mr Blair.’

Source: President Blair: Former PM set to become EU chief as Sarkozy battles to win him the post



Related Articles
Witchcraft and nail clippings: the weird world of Cherie Blair?
Tony Blair & Wife Perform Chant Ritual To Lizards/Pyramid In Mexico
Blair rejects calls for probe into London bombings
New EU foreign policy think tank created - European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR)
Tony Blair converts to Catholicism
Operation Sarkozy
Leading author claims Sarkozy is 'Napoleon in a suit'
Nigel Farage on the New Euro-Nationalists (Video)
EU Constitution author says referendums can be ignored


Latest News from our Front Page

6,000-Year-Old Temple with Possible Sacrificial Altars Discovered
2014 10 21
A 6,000-year-old temple holding humanlike figurines and sacrificed animal remains has been discovered within a massive prehistoric settlement in Ukraine. Built before writing was invented, the temple is about 60 by 20 meters (197 by 66 feet) in size. It was a "two-story building made of wood and clay surrounded by a galleried courtyard," the upper floor divided into five ...
What happened to Journalist Serena Shim? Assassinated? Find out what happened to Serena, Press TV director calls on Turkey
2014 10 21
Press TV news director Hamid Reza Emadi says the “suspicious death,” of the news channel’s correspondent in Turkey is a tragedy for “anyone who wants to get the truth.” Emadi made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Sunday following Serena Shim’s death across the border from Syria’s Kurdish city of Kobani, where the ISIL terrorists and Kurdish fighters ...
Ancient Roman Nanotechnology Inspires Next-Generation Holograms for Information Storage
2014 10 21
The Lycurgus Cup, as it is known due to its depiction of a scene involving King Lycurgus of Thrace, is a 1,600-year-old jade green Roman chalice that changes colour depending on the direction of the light upon it. It baffled scientists ever since the glass chalice was acquired by the British Museum in the 1950s, as they could not work ...
Rapid Geomagnetic Reversal Possibility: Confirmed
2014 10 21
From the video: "The scientists who conducted the study are still unsure why the magnetic field is weakening, but one likely reason is the Earth’s magnetic poles are getting ready to flip, said Rune Floberghagen, the ESA’s Swarm mission manager. In fact, the data suggest magnetic north is moving toward Siberia." Tune into Red Ice Radio: Ben Davidson - Suspicious0bservers: Space Weather ...
Georgia Guide Stone 2014 cube stone removal
2014 10 21
From: Youtube: Was it all just a gag? it seems the cube stone just happens to be made out of the same Elberton granite that the rest of this morbid monument is made from.
More News »