Two New Positions Created to Head European Union

With Ireland expected to pass the Lisbon Treaty this time around, Europe could soon see the creation of two new positions vying to lead the EU: a full-time European Council president and a new and improved EU "foreign minister." The question now is which office will wield more power? For all the talk of former British prime minister Tony Blair as a potential first "European president," it's uncertain as to whether that role will be a real mover and shaker on the world stage or wind up merely chairing dull quarterly meetings of European heads of state. After all, the job will have very little policymaking muscle, and will be excluded from ministerial-level decisions on key areas such as finance and agriculture. Alternatively, the new foreign minister will have a real hand in setting a single European foreign policy. The post comes with a seat on both the council and the commission, a sizable budget, and command of the EU's new diplomatic service. Given all the big, global issues on the horizon, from climate change to nukes, whoever takes the reins will be one of the more important new figures to emerge from the shake-up in Brussels.

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