Tony Blair has been holding discussions with some of his oldest allies on how he could moount a campaign to become the full-time president of the European Uniion Council, the prestigious new job characterised as “president of Europe.” He is currently the Middle East envoy for the US, Russia, EU, and the UN, but has told friends it is a job that leads nowhere and is probably not going to result in success anytime in the near future. The president of the European council of ministers is a post created under the Lisbon treaty. Blair has the active support of President Sarkozy of France, but would encounter a problem if the commision president, Jose Manuel Barroso, decided he wanted to seek the president position.
Smaller nations in the EU might be concerned if major leadership positions were parcelled out to former key figures who come from larger countries. There is also considerable anger among EU leaders about Blair assuming the position, given his close affinity with the failed policies of George Bush in Iraq. Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany fear a Blair presidency might help her Socialist opponents, and there is always the reality Blair would need the support of his successor, Gordon Brown.