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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on February 2nd, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

The White House has said that the US President would not be attending what used to be the regularly scheduled EU-US talks, which have been planned to take place in Madrid in May 24-25, 2010 by the Spanish Rotating EU Presidency for the First half of 2010.

Honestly, why should he participate in the European Games while there are so many real problems on his plate?

The EU has three Presidents – if they cannot decide who is their President in fact – do they really expect for Obama to travel trans-Atlantic, and sit at Summits chaired by all three of them – Herman Van Rampuy, The Permanent EU President, Jose Manuel Baroso, the President of the European Commission, and the Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero,    who is presently the Rotating President of the EU?

Papers write of a “Snub.” This is ridiculous and for us who watched the Copenhagen Conference that was saved by President Obama under a G-2 arrangement with China, because he had to act fast if he wanted to save the meeting from itself, and there was no strong man or woman of the EU to stand at his side, the above “News” are old hat – and we say – we told you so!  Actually, we welcome Charles Forelle writes as “World News” in the Wall Street Journal of today: “Things haven’t been good recently for Europe’s position on the world stage. Despite the new treaty ambition to make the EU a bigger player, the bloc has sometimes seen itself shut out.  At climate talks in Copenhagen in December, Mr. Obama hammered out a last-minute accord with China and other emerging nations. The Europeans were left out of the picture.” This recognition of reality in a WSJ article is very unusual – but this is real life. If the EU does not get together – and still claims 7 seats at the G-20 – rather then one seat for real – they are turning themselves, by their own choice,  into world political irrelevancy. The same is true at the UN where we see more and more a 2 1/2 seats situation – with France and the UK in Security Council seats but Germany on practical UN Security Commissions, and no EU representative with any powers what so ever.

Obama’s decision not to go to Madrid is no snub to Mr. Zapatero or to Spain – but rather the cleareeded sign that he wants to go and meet the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED EUROPE. Had Obama decided to go to Masdrid it would have been as if someone from Europe would come to a meeting of the US Governor’s Association. Just think – Germany id California, France is New York, the UK is Texas, Spain is Florida, Poland is Illinois, Austria is Vermont … etc etc. Perhapse indeed Van Rampuy should come to the US Governor’s Association meeting in order to learn what is needed in order to create out of the EU the neededpartner for Obama in order to turn the G-2 into a G-3 and to create out of the G-20 a new meaningful global body.

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The best article on this we found is from The Telegtaph:
Barack Obama has snubbed the EU amid confusion in Washington over which “president” of Europe he would be expected to meet at a trans-Atlantic summit this spring.

By Bruno Waterfield in Brussels  – from Telegraph.com
Published:  01 Feb 2010 –

 www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnew…

The White House has said that Barack Obama will not be attending the EU-US talks planned to take place in Madrid in May.
The White House has said that the US President would not be attending the regularly scheduled EU-US talks, which have been planned to take place in Madrid in May 24-25, 2010 by the Spanish Rotating EU Presidency for the First half of 2010.

Honestly, why should he particioate in the European Games while there are so many real problems on his plate.
US officials have expressed frustration because the Lisbon Treaty, which was supposed to give the EU a single global voice, has created a number of European presidents competing for Washington’s attention.

Even the venue for the summit, Madrid or Brussels, has been “up in the air” after a tussle between Spain, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency and Herman Van Rompuy, the new created President of Europe.

Under the terms of the Lisbon Treaty, Mr Van Rompuy, President of the European Council which represents EU heads of government, should host the summit in Brussels as Europe’s lead negotiator in global bilateral talks.

But Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the Spanish prime minister, insisted that he should host the summit because the EU was in “transition” after the Lisbon Treaty entered into force in December.

A US official told the Wall Street Journal that President Obama had not yet received an a formal invitation to the EU-US summit, a twice yearly meeting that has taken place since 1991.

“We don’t even know if they’re going to have one. We’ve told them, ‘Figure it out and let us know’,” said the official.

Other American diplomats have blamed confusion over which of the three EU “presidents” is in charge of the summit – Mr Van Rompuy, Mr Zapatero or José Manuel Barroso, the European Commission president.

“Who attends from the US and at what point will depend on who’s calling the meeting,” said a US state department official.
“There’s a competition in Europe because you now have the standing EU architecture.”

Many national and EU diplomats are dismayed at the institutional infighting that has followed the entering into force of the Lisbon Treaty.

“The Spanish are behaving badly. They’ve made a mess of the summit but Van Rompuy and the post-Lisbon EU institutions will carry the can in the long term. The squabbling has damaged the EU in the eyes of the most powerful nation in the world,” said a senior source.

A European Commission spokesman hinted that the meeting would have to be downgraded or cancelled if Mr Obama did not show up.

“Normally a summit is a summit because it is attended by heads of state and government,” said the spokesman.

A Spanish foreign ministry spokesman said: “The EU-US summit is scheduled to take place in May in Madrid, as was foreseen and we are still preparing it.”

US officials have indicated that Mr Obama might reschedule talks with the EU in the wings of a Nato summit in Portugal this autumn.

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