David Miliband lined up as EU 'foreign minister'
David Miliband is being lined up to become the European Union’s first “foreign minister” as a “plan B” should Tony Blair be blocked from becoming its president
With resistance growing in some countries to Mr Blair, diplomats have been suggesting alternatives to boost Britain’s standing in the reshaped EU.
One “hypothetical” suggestion gaining ground in Brussels links the Foreign Secretary to the job of High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, a post created by the Lisbon Treaty.
“If Blair does not get the presidential job, then Miliband is in line to become the High Rep. This means Britain would keep a top post,” said an EU official. “It is a powerful post and he could really make something interesting of it.”
If Mr Miliband took the job next year, he would have to resign from the Cabinet. This would be likely to lead to claims that he had effectively given up on Labour’s chances of winning the next general election.
The post, effectively that of European foreign minister, is widely regarded in diplomatic circles as being equal, or even superior, to the presidency. Any future EU foreign minister will become Europe’s front line trouble shooter in conflicts, such as the war in Georgia last year.
He will also play a leading role in the day-day-to management of international negotiations in the Middle East and with Iran.
Mr Miliband’s tenure as Foreign Secretary has won him admirers in Brussels where many are understood to consider him “ideal material”.
Who is Miliband?
David Miliband is the elder son of Marion Kozak and the late Marxist intellectual Ralph Miliband (son of Polish-Jewish parents from Warsaw) who fled Belgium during World War II.
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