Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Rogues a-plenty at UN General Assembly

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'The door is open for dialogue with Madrid,' says Carles Puigdemont

Read more

THE DEBATE

Iran's rebuttal: Tehran answers Trump and Netanyahu

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Kurdish independence referendum: What impact on the region?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Iraqi Kurdistan FM: 'We are determined to go ahead' with independence vote

Read more

FOCUS

Are universities in Pakistan becoming a breeding ground for terrorism?

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: 'It', 'Loveless', 'Nothing to Hide' and 'The Party'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Save the Children CEO on Rohingya crisis: 'Children are being shot at'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

British PM expected to make offer to Brussels in upcoming speech

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

2017-09-20 Donald Trump

'US threatens to totally destroy North Korea'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS, Weds. 20.09.17: The New York Times calls out US President Donald Trump on his "strikingly selective definition of sovereignty" after his address at the UN...

Read more

2017-09-20 Hurricane Irma

Are hurricanes an uncontrollable phenomenon?

FRENCH PAPERS, Weds. 20.09.17: As Hurricane Maria sweeps through the Caribbean, Catholic daily La Croix argues that, in this "age of hurricanes", governments simply aren't doing...

Read more

2017-09-19 climate change

'We aren't ready' for a second vote in Kenya and flip-flopping on climate change

IN THE INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Tues. 19.09.17: With the approach of Hurricane Maria, we take a look at how the international press is covering climate change, including the...

Read more

2017-09-19 Hurricanes & storms

Another Hurricane? It's Maria's turn. And, when's your printer going to stop working?

IN THE FRENCH PAPERS - Tues. 19.09.17: French papers are focusing again on hurricanes, this time the approach of Hurricane Maria in the Caribbean. Closer to home, Les Echos has...

Read more

2017-09-18 Donald Trump

'Rocket Man' and Trump's right-hand gal at the UN

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Mon. 18.09.17: We take a look at what might be discussed behind the scenes at the UN General Assembly. Using military might against North Korea could be...

Read more