Thursday, November 19, 2009

British Woman now occupies most powerful post in the EU

It is ironic that the British, who are so very anti-EU, are going to supply, with effect from December 1 this year, the person who will occupy the most powerful post in the EU: Baroness Catherine Ashton is to be the "High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy" - a title that is impressively long as it is important.

The Baroness has been the EU's Commissioner for Trade, a position in which she has not made many waves, but in which she has no doubt built up considerable and appropriately high-level experience of the workings of the EU.

I was chatting a few days ago in Oxford with my friend Professor Miguel Mesquita da Cunha, who used to be an Adviser to an earlier EU President, and whose opinion it is that ever since the UK joined the EU, it has supplied people for key posts in the EU. Most British people do not realise what a sea-change has come about in the EU over the years that they have been part of the EU: when they joined, the EU was dominated by the French and the first language of the Commission was, for all practical purposes, French. With the accession of an increasing number of countries, the French influence has been marginalised. And, as most of the "new" countries prefer English, that has become clearly the dominant language. Not only that, English-language thought-forms and Anglo-American values are clearly winning out over traditional Continental European values. At least, that has been the trend up to now. So much for Miguel's view.

It remains to be seen whether the current crisis, and the operation of the new Lisbon Treaty from December the first, will change the trend and, if so, in what direction. Sphere: Related Content

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