Thursday, May 10, 2007
After Tony... & Jacques... & Gerhardt...
The news that Tony Blair will be stepping down as Prime Minister of Great Britain at the end of June is significant for all sorts of reasons. One of them being the enormous question mark it leaves, not only in terms of British leadership, but also in terms of Western Europe as a whole. Because with Blair's departure, England, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain will all be governed by relatively new heads of state. And this at a time when the United States is effectively governed without one.
Of course, these folks all know each other from conferences and summits and the like. And as far as the EU goes, the executive personnel are all seasoned pro's. But it takes some time for the balance of forces (and personalities) to settle. Time that -- considering all the sensitive dossiers on the table (Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon) -- isn't necessarily available.