EU leaders to discuss presidential hopefuls | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 11.11.2009
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EU leaders to discuss presidential hopefuls

The European Union has scheduled a special summit in an effort to select its first ever full-time president and foreign policy representative.

Flags of different European countries

The EU president will represent all 27 member countries

European diplomats say that about 10 names have been put forward for the position of president and about the same again for the role of EU High Representative, the bloc's new chief of foreign policy.

Sweden, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency, will hold a dinner for top diplomats in the Belgian capital next week. The meeting is aimed at helping Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt draw up a list of possible candidates for the two new posts created under the Lisbon Treaty.

The Lisbon Treaty, which was finally ratified last week, stipulates that both appointments have to be made by majority vote. But diplomats believe Reinfeldt is likely to try and find consensus candidates.

"My prime minister is going to start a second round of consultations and hopefully we will be able to present the candidates next Thursday," Reinfeldt's spokeswoman, Robert Alenius, told the AFP news agency.

There has been much speculation about who is on the list. The frontrunners for the post of President are believed to be the Prime Ministers of Belgium and the Netherlands, Herman Van Rompuy and Jan Peter Balkenende.

Editor: Trinity Hartman

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