The Lisbon Treaty was supposed to settle everything, giving the European Union a “president” and a “foreign minister.” Turns out the countries were kidding. They just wanted more colorless bureaucrats in Brussels. But the colorless bureaucrats are serious. They want real power. And the battle is joined.
National leaders are concerned Mr Van Rompuy, who had been expected to take a back seat role, is attempting to expand his position.
Germany and France backed his candidature on the understanding he would act as an EU “chairman” rather than a high-profile leader.
But the introduction of the Lisbon Treaty has triggered bitter in-fighting between Mr Van Rompuy, Baroness Ashton, the foreign minister, and the Commission over who is in charge of representing Europe on the global stage.
Diplomats are increasingly worried that amid the turf wars there is a danger of Brussels “mission creep” as squabbling EU chiefs try to enlarge their empires at the expense of each other and national sovereignty.
It’s time for a TV soap opera based on the EU.