Gender balance: √
Big/small country balance: √
Left/right party balance: √
East/west country balance: ≠
3 out of 4; not bad for the first time.
On a more serious note: there was more than one article today on how much it speaks for European affairs to vote two ‘faceless’ people on top – Herman van Rompuy as EU President and Catherine Ashton as high representative – and how bad of an idea it was to get a Belgian.
First of all, that van Rompuy and Ashton are not much known outside their countries or Brussels doesn’t mean they’re not good at what they are doing. It speaks more for the linguistic media divide in Europe. There aren’t many qualified – let say – Finish, Polish, Greek, Austrian, Irish, Danish or Slovene politicians coming to my mind like this; and I’m following EU affairs.
Second, I hope they will know how to use to their advantages the fact that the position they are going to take isn’t defined yet and that, anyway, nobody is expecting them to do anything particularly useful or worth remembering. Being able to get a job done free from overwhelming expectations is something a certain guy on the other side of the Atlantic might be envying those newcomers for.
Last but not least; I don’t know what better qualification there could be for a top EU position than a successful experience in managing Belgian politics, its linguistic, social, economic and other ‘vanity’ mess issues.
Regarding my opinion on Tony Blair and how relieved I am that he did not make it, it couldn’t be expressed any better than Korie already did.