British MEP announces 'tongue-in-cheek' candidature for EU Presidency - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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British MEP announces 'tongue-in-cheek' candidature for EU Presidency

Wednesday, 14 October 2009
The mystery surrounding who will become the first full-time President of the European Council took an unusual turn this week when a European MP declared his candidature.

Chris Davies MEPChris Davies, a British Liberal Democrat MEP for the North-West, revealed to a small gathering of the press at the European Parliament today that he has written to each of Europe’s 27 heads of government to state his claim for the job.

He believes his qualifications for the job are as good as other candidates suggested so far and so is prepared to make himself "available for interview."

Campaigning under the banner "Stop Blair: Yes EU can", Davies took a swipe at former UK Prime Minister saying that he has "never deceived a parliament or been responsible for the illegal invasion of another country."

While admitting his campaign for the presidency was "more or less tongue-in-cheek", he hopes to highlight just how limited the circle of individuals said to be in the running for Europe’s top job is.

"I recognise Tony Blair is a great public speaker, but I don't think he belongs in Brussels," he said, "I think he belongs in The Hague."

Davies believes the best person for the job would be a woman, remarking that "there is nothing written in the Lisbon Treaty to say that anyone cannot be considered for the job.

"We have millions of talented people in Europe, and more than half of them are women, so why is the recruitment net not being cast wider?"

As for his own credentials: "I'm male, I'm middle class, I'm white, I'm in my 50s, I have an Oxbridge education and 30 years of political experience, so I reckon my credentials are as good as any of the other candidates."

He then spoke of his time chairing the Liverpool City Council’s housing committee in the Opposition years of the 1980s, jovially adding "I think after that, managing 27 heads of European states would be a piece of cake."

The President of the European Council post would be created once the last country Czech Republic ratifies the Lisbon Treaty, and although not officially announced as a candidate, Tony Blair is thought to be the front-runner.

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