Friday 5 September 2008

Powerful women (III): Benita Ferrero-Waldner

Mostly in the shadow of Mr Solana, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, is the number two diplomat of the European Union - and today she has turned 60 years old.

I won't go through her CV, Wikipedia and the website of the European Commission provide quite some information. But its worth noting that although Ms Ferrero-Waldner is rather low profile compared to other figures more prominently present in European foreign relations (i.e. the Presidency), considering the recent developments, the European Neighbourghood Policy will become more relevant for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, which, in case Javier Solana doesn't capture it, will make Ms Ferrero-Waldner more important in the upcoming future.

I don't know whether the Commissioner is considered to remain in office after the next European Parliament elections in 2009, but at least until then we might hear more often from her than we have so far.

In any case: I wish you a happy birthday, Ms Ferrero-Waldner, and the right touch in dealing with the European Union's neighbours!

The category "Powerful Women" is dedicated to European women with influence on the national or supranational level but with relevance for both. It has been inspired by the initiative "Females in Front".


Jon Worth said...

She's always struck me as rather unintelligent. Solana vs. Patten was an interesting tussle, while Solana can easily win vs. Ferrero Waldner.

Anonymous said...

Ferrero-Waldner is the perfect example for a politician being sent to Brussels because the party hasn't got anything else for her to do. After she lost the bid for the Austrian presidency she was the perfect ÖVP (Austrians Peoples Party) candidate for the EU commission because there was nothing for her to do in the ÖVP.

Having lived in Austria during her time as Foreign Minister I wouldn't say she is unintelligent but I think she is a bad diplomat and she hasen't really got any charisma at all.

Anonymous said...

Solana should be sacked immediately and this woman with her..... read my posts on Kosovo etc., on my blog Ironies Too

Julien Frisch said...

What nice birthday comments... ;-)