Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Louis XIV's message for the royal baby

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Macron hopes for breakthrough on trade tensions during US visit

Read more

THE DEBATE

Macron meets Trump: A state visit with discord on the horizon?

Read more

ENCORE!

Music show: Mahalia, Ariana Grande & Willie Nelson

Read more

FOCUS

Tramadol: Cameroon’s low-budget opioid crisis

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

EU citizens’ consultations: Macron’s efforts to renew Europe

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Strengthening ties Down Under: The man charged with promoting Australia in France

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Jagland: ‘Would be disastrous if Russia pulls out of Council of Europe’

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Much ado about nothing? Actress Natalie Portman's boycott of 'Jewish Nobel awards' sparks backlash

Read more

IN THE PRESS

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

2018-04-23 Emmanuel Macron

Much ado about nothing? Actress Natalie Portman's boycott of 'Jewish Nobel awards' sparks backlash

IN THE PAPERS - Monday, April 23: We take a look at coverage from the French and international papers ahead of Emmanuel Macron's trip to Washington. Will he succeed in convincing...

Read more

2018-04-23 France

Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump: Strategic BFFs?

IN THE PAPERS - Monday, April 23: Just how successful will Emmanuel Macron's trip to Washington be? And how real is his “bromance” with Donald Trump? The papers speculate their...

Read more

2018-04-19 Donald Trump

'Badass': Accolades pour in for Southwest pilot who landed plane after engine failure

IN THE PAPERS - Thursday, April 19: We look at reactions to an expected meeting in the coming months between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. There's much scepticism, though, about...

Read more

2018-04-20 United Kingdom

A reflection of our times: More women, more young people in Time 100 list for 2018

IN THE PAPERS - Friday, April 20: The British papers put pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May over her handling of the Windrush scandal, affecting children of Caribbean...

Read more

2018-04-19 France

Emmanuel Macron in Berlin: Will Europe's superhero succeed?

IN THE PAPERS - Thursday, April 19: In France, ongoing strikes continue to create chaos as students, health professionals and civil servants join the movement to air their...

Read more