Monday, 11 January 2010

Hearing Ashton - some euroweb reactions

Catherine Ashton, our very-likely-to-be foreign minister, had her hearing in front of the European Parliament today.

Some reactions from the Euroblogosphere and on Twitter:
"Afterwards I asked her which leaders would be called at a moment of international crisis. 'I suspect,' she said, 'in an international crisis a number of phone calls will be made. One of them will be to me.'"
(Ashton gives diplomatic answers by Gavin Hewitt)

"La squadra di Barroso II, che non dovrebbe vedere molte sorprese visto che i tre grandi gruppi (PPE, S&D, e ALDE) sono ben rappresentati in quest’occasione, ha iniziato i lavori delle audizioni con Miss Pesc, Ashton. I commenti che circolano in rete sono abbastanza chiari, Quatremer sentenzia con una parola: NOIA!"
(Audizioni dei Commissari by Alberto Corsini)

"This oral exam is known not to be an easy one, contrary to most TV quizzes, and candidates cannot use any jokers or “phone a friend” to help them on a question. Indeed, MEPs are committed to their designation power and will not be a soft touch. With this in mind, President Barroso has organised a training seminar to prepare his team in view of their hearings."
(Who wants to be a Commissioner by The Lobby)

"Ohne Vision für Europas Außenpolitik zu sein, das warfen Franziska Brantner und ihre Kollegin Ulrike Lunacek, beide außenpolitische Sprecherinnen der Fraktion Die Grünen/EFA bei der Anhörung am Montag, 11. Januar, der designierten Hohen Vertreterin für die Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik der Europäischen Union, Lady Catherine Ashton, vor. Wenn Diplomatie bedeute, viel zu reden, ohne konkret zu werden, habe sich die designierte Vizepräsidentin der Kommission als wahre Diplomatin gezeigt."
(Ohne Vision für Europas Außenpolitik by Kirsten Baumbusch)

"Now, the European socialists are so excited about securing the foreign policy post of High Representative that they were never going to give her a hard time. And the other big groups knew that if they messed with Lady Ashton, the whole cross-party stitch-up might come unstuck. So she was safe as houses, before we even began."
(Europe's new foreign policy chief: a depressing start by Charlemagne)

"Im Minutentakt und ohne Pause hagelte es Fragen auf die 53-jährige, die Spannbreite der Themen umfasste den gesamten Globus. Ashton überstand diese Tortur mit Einfühlungsvermögen, Humor und einer Mischung aus gekonnten Plattitüden und echter Sachkenntnis."
(Charmante Realistin by Jochen Bittner)

"Au final, ces trois heures semblent avoir été longues pour tout le monde. On retiendra que la baronne a définitivement pris ses distances avec son passé d'activiste anti-nucléaire, mais cela ne nous dit pas ce qu'elle fera pour l'Europe pendant cinq ans."
(Auditions des commissaires : Ashton passe ... et ça casse ? by eToile)

"The EU is now in a position to assume a 'stronger, more credible role in the world,' the nominee for the EU's top foreign policy post says – as diligently recorded by the BBC. "
(In your dreams lady by EU Referendum)

"Fin de l'audition d'Ashton. Verdict: ennuyeuse à mourir. On ne va pas s'amuser durant les 5 prochaines années..."
(Twitter reaction by Jean Quatremer)

"Mrs. Ashton had no worries because her position is not at all threatened by this hearing as it may be the case for other Commissioners. So she appeared relaxed and cool during the hearing. Well maybe a little bit too much..."
(Hearing of Ashton by Europeanization)

"Ashton #hearing conclusions: No great visions but a pragmatic approach, lots of diplomatic language, very few good questions by MEPs"
(Twitter reation by Kosmopolit)
From what I have read on Twitter during the hearing, these reactions summarise quite well what most people think: Nothing spectacular but nothing problematic either. Ashton should pass without problems.

Update: You find the full video of the hearing, including the different language versions, embedded at the Bruxelles2 blog!


Bricko said...

I just listened to a few samples on the Commission's website: and you know what? I couldn't help thinking C.Ashton sounded a bit like Miss Sth Carolina at times.

Joe Litobarski said...

Hi, Julien

Alexandra from Europeanization was also at the hearings and gave some interesting reactions here.

Julien Frisch said...

Carl Bildt, the Swedish Foreign Minister, also found some very positive words.

Julien Frisch said...

Not to forget Basteiro's article!

Julien Frisch said...

And Behind the Scenes.