The Treaty of Lisbon created two key new positions: President of the Council and High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Vice President of the Commission. These positions were filled, respectively, by Belgium's former Prime Minister, Herman van Rompuy, and the UK's Catherine Ashton. This article examines the process by which these appointments were made and assesses the performance of the post holders during the first eighteen months of their tenure. It asks what could reasonably have been expected of these two leaders in a context where Member States continue to exercise power and influence alongside rather than via the European Union and in which major events - the sovereign debt crisis and the Arab spring - have challenged the incumbents to stamp their mark on Europe's position in the world. It concludes that van Rompuy has performed relatively satisfactorily, whereas Ashton is widely perceived to have failed in making her mark.
|Number of pages||21|
|Journal||European Foreign Affairs Review|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2011|