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Europe

New EU Foreign Minister to Complicate Power Balance

Interaction between bloc's arms could cause problems in Brussels after ratification of the European Constitution.

The new European Union foreign minister is set to cause a big power upheaval in the European Commission and beyond when he joins the Brussels executive in two to three years time. The EU's current external representative, Spain's Javier Solana, is to join the commission as vice president and EU Foreign Minister directly after the European Constitution has been ratified. According to the new constitution, he will be responsible for the Union's common foreign and security policy but will also be responsible for "coordinating other aspects of the union's external action," which means trade, development, enlargement and external relations. Diplomats in Brussels are already wondering how three personalities -- commission president, foreign minister and council chair -- will work together without provoking a permanent power struggle between the institutions. ( EUobserver.com)

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