Day: August 14, 2010

EU Appoints First Permanent Ambassador To The US

Chris Perver 90x115by Chris Perver

The European Union has just appointed its first permanent ambassador to the United States of America, following the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty late last year. The post was previously appointed by the rotating EU presidency, which was run on a six-monthly basis and held consecutively by the governments of the European states. Following the adoption of the redrafted EU Constitution, the unelected European Commission will now have the power to appoint its own foreign ambassadors. Accusations of cronyism have been leveled at EU officials following the decision to appoint Mr. Vale de Almeida as EU ambassador to the US. Like Baroness Catherine Ashton, High Representative for the EU Foreign Policy, he is a close associate of EU Commission President Manuel Barroso who has no previous experience of being in such a powerful position. His remit as ambassador will also be vastly expanded under the new Lisbon Treaty. He will have the power to speak on behalf of EU President Van Rompuy and EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton, as well as represent the 27 member states as and when they are in agreement.