Tony Blair says EU should elect its president

AP News
Posted: Jun 09, 2011 4:35 AM

Former British Prime Minster Tony Blair says the European Union should have an elected president, though he says there's no chance of that happening soon.

In an interview published in The Times on Thursday, Blair is quoted as saying that the 27-nation EU needs to become more united to meet the challenge from China, in particular. Blair says that electing someone on a European-wide basis could foster a debate on the direction Europe's citizens wish to go.

Blair was reportedly interested in getting the job of President of the European Council, as the job is formally known, when it was up for grabs in 2009. Instead, EU leaders backed Belgium's Herman Van Rompuy.

The President chairs regular meetings of EU leaders and helps forge compromises on difficult issues.