Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

The 'Blame Game' has Begun in Germany.

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: From Tehran to Najaf, a pilgrimage fraught with danger

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Germany's Jamaica Talks Fail and French Mayors Hit the Capital

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

President Robert Mugabe emerges from house arrest

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Harassment and hypocrisy in Washington

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Military pressures Mugabe to step down, Macron mediates in Lebanon crisis

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

France raises a glass to tourism

Read more

FOCUS

France's newest political party accused of 'old' methods

Read more

#THE 51%

Hear me roar: The growing economic power of older women

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

An overview of the stories making the French and international newspaper headlines. From Monday to Friday live at 7.20 am and 9.20 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2009-11-20

Belgium’s PM named EU’s first President

Belgium’s papers all lead with the nomination of Herman Van Rompuy to the post of President of the European Council. In the UK however there's less interest in Catherine Ashton’s selection as the EU’s first High Representative for Foreign Affairs.

Herman Van Rompuy won’t have to pack his bags – he’s staying in Brussels but donning a new hat. The Belgian Prime Minister has been selected as the EU’s first President. Flander’s biggest selling paper, Het Laatste Nieuws, leads with a photo of Van Rompuy and the headline “A Belgian as the First”.


The French-language paper Le Soir wonders whether Obama will call Van Rompuy when he needs to “speak to Europe”. Neither Van Rompuy nor Ashton have a high international profile compared to other candidates for the two top jobs.


The Independent
in the UK says Catherine Ashton has a lucky habit of being in the right place at the right time. She’s leader of the House of Lords yet has a low profile in the British Labour Party. Some commentators believe her post carries more clout than that of the President of the Commission. She will head up Europe’s beefed up diplomatic service with 5,000 staff posted to 130 EU Embassies around the world.

The Guardian focuses on the machinations behind the selection of the two leaders. Apparently the former Italian PM Massimo d’Alema was the front runner of Asthon’s job but Israel opposed his candidacy because of his pro-Palestine position. This put the ball in Britain’s court. Because Ashton now has the foreign policy job, Britain is out of the running for the Commission’s economic posts. This suits other EU heavyweights – it means France and Germany will be able to lay claim to the big single market, financial services, trade and competition portfolios. The UK is afraid that EU legislation to regulate financial services could threaten the City.

French left-leaning paper Libération worries about the charisma vacuum in the choice of Van Rompuy and Ashton. The paper compares the Belgian Prime Minister to a ‘local anaesthetic’ and says the only person more boring than him is… Catherine Ashton!


Other stories in today’s international papers:

The Irish Times
Government calls for replay of match with France

The Irish Times
Not falling into a trap of pointing the finger

 

By James CREEDON

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2017-11-20 Emmanuel Macron

Germany's Jamaica Talks Fail and French Mayors Hit the Capital

FRENCH PAPERS - Mon. 20.11.17: Talks to create a coalition government have failed in Germany and the French press asks what this may mean for France and the rest of Europe. We...

Read more

2017-11-17 Zimbabwe

'Zimbabwe keeps it in the family with 'coup''

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Fri. 17.11.17: Papers around the world focus on the situation in Zimbabwe. The Mail and Guardian explores what's happening behind the scenes in the power...

Read more

2017-11-17 climate change

'No, it's not too late to save the planet!'

FRENCH PAPERS - Fri. 17.11.17: As the UN Climate Change Conference draws to a close in Germany today, French left-wing daily Libération has a message of hope: it's not too late...

Read more

2017-11-16 Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe post-Mugabe: What happens next?

IN THE WORLD PAPERS - Thursday, November 16: After Robert Mugabe is ousted from power by the military, what's next for Zimbabwe? That's what most papers are wondering. In other...

Read more

2017-11-16 2023 Rugby World Cup

Olympics, Rugby, Golf: Has France become champion of hosting bids?

IN THE FRENCH PAPERS - Thursday, November 16: We look at how the COP23 climate change conference is progressing in Bonn. Also, French rugby gets the hosting rights to the World...

Read more