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Two new leaders in search of a job description. CEPS Policy Brief No. 200, 25 November 2009

Publication Date
  • Foreign/Security Policy 1993--(Includes Cfsp/Cesdp/Ess)
  • General
  • European Council-Presidency
  • Lisbon Treaty


After weeks of intense speculation, the question of who will fill the new EU positions of European Council President and High Representative for EU foreign policy has now been answered: Herman Van Rompuy will take office as European Council President on 1 January 2010; and Catherine Ashton will be appointed the EU’s foreign affairs chief on 1 December 2009. The question of precisely what powers these two individuals will exercise under the new Treaty of Lisbon, however, remains largely unanswered, as it is not yet clear how they will perform as individuals and in tandem. In this Policy Brief drafted in the days immediately following the selection of these two leaders, CEPS researchers Piotr Maciej Kaczyński & Peadar ó Broin, attempt to give at least a general indication of the two leaders’ powers, based on the provisions in the Treaties.

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