It’s probably the most famous quote about European politics – Henry Kissinger’s “Who do I call if I want to call Europe?” From today there’s a new campaign website that might just start to give an answer to that historic question… whodoicall.eu calls for One President of the EU – i.e. the same person to be President of the European Commission, and President of the European Council (the latter a new position setup in the Lisbon Treaty). Why is this a good idea? Well, it gives the EU strong leadership, and allows the President to be democratically accountable. More arguments and debate can be found on the whodoicall.eu site.
Who’s behind the idea? Well, it started when Jan Seifert and I were having lunch a few weeks ago and we started to speculate… We then set to work building the site and working out our ideas. I did all the design work and Jan has done a lot of the content work. Overall we don’t know how far things are going to go with this, but it’s fun and positive, so why not give it a try?
Well, we reckoned it was worth putting the idea out there… Who knows how far the campaign will go, but it’s important to introduce something else into the debate than the for-and-against-Blair stuff we have at present.
Jon and Jan, while the Lisbon Treaty does not endorse the combination of the Commission and European Council presidencies, neither does it exclude the “double-hatting”, which would strengthen democratic accountability, as you correctly point out.
If the member states (Council) fails to grasp this opportunity, another treaty reform may prove necessary, but I am with you as to the objective.