Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Online reactions to Valls being slapped in face in Brittany

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Davos 2017: "Donald Trump could be the entrepreneurs' entrepreneur"

Read more

THE DEBATE

Hard Brexit, here we come: The blowback against globalisation (part 2)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Hard Brexit, here we come: UK to leave EU common market (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Pardon my whistleblower: Obama commutes Chelsea Manning sentence (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Pardon my whistleblower: Obama, security and surveillance (part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

CAR citizens reluctantly leave makeshift camp

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: My French Film Festival, 'Stalin's Couch' and 'Birth of a Nation'

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Iraq: On the ground with French troops in Mosul

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

2017-01-18 Brexit

French papers: A small slap for Valls, a major PR blow for his campaign

FRENCH PAPERS - Weds. 18.01.17: French papers react with alarm to the British prime minister's highly anticipated speech in which Theresa May clarified her government's "hard...

Read more

2017-01-18 Theresa May

Theresa May: 'It's my way or the highway'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - 18.01.17: British papers react to PM Theresa May's highly anticipated speech in which she clarified the government’s "hard Brexit" plans. Also, the world...

Read more

2017-01-17 Brexit

'Great Brexpectations'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Tues. 17.01.17: In the UK, Theresa May is set to give a speech in which she will present a 12-point plan for Brexit. British papers are calling it her most...

Read more

2017-01-17 Donald Trump

Trump's anti-European 'attack'

FRENCH PAPERS - Tues. 17.01.17: French papers react to comments US President-elect Donald Trump made in interviews with European papers published this weekend. Papers across the...

Read more

2017-01-16 Donald Trump

Donald Trump's busy weekend

IN THE WORLD PAPERS - Monday, January 16: Donald Trump has had a busy weekend. He was criticised by CIA Director John Brennan and he gave multiple interviews, including one of...

Read more