Tuesday 17 February 2009

No seat, no Sarkozy

EUobserver has reported that Sarkozy has threatened to boycott the April NATO conference (the 60th anniversary of NATO) - unless he gets to pick his own seat.

And to think he was held up as an example of what an energetic and statesmanlike politician can do at the helm of the EU!

Honestly, this is complete and utter childishness - while the article highlights Sarkozy's lack of English as an embarrassing factor, it is far worse that he so focused on the seating "issue" that he has forced NATO leaders into a compromise seating arrangement. I wonder what effect this will have on the "goodwill" that's supposed to result from the expected re-integration of France forces into the NATO command structure? There will be goodwill, but it is likely to be somewhat tarnished. It can hardly be a good strategy to throw tantrums - there's no other word for it - over insignificant seating arrangements. I can't understand how any of his officials can, apparently, feel so much embarrassment that he cannot speak enough English to engage in smalltalk with other leaders: linguistic ability doesn't automatically translate into statesmanlike qualities, even if it hampers forming relationships with other world leaders. Causing small but intense rows over seating arrangements, on the other hand, hardly helps in building relationships.

The French President Sarkozy seems to run purely on ego. It was mainly ego which drove his presidency - claims that Europe had "changed" him clearly have no basis outside the aim of flattering the EP - Europe just happened to be lucky that it worked to our advantage for 6 months (most of the time).

I do have some respect for him, though - he does try to put his plans into action and to come up with solutions, even if some of them are not fully thought through: a can-do attitude which would be more welcome in many places at the moment - yet it is difficult to have respect for him when he pulls these sort of stunts.


  1. Perhaps a new European Ego-label needs to be devised(?) Or a new health warning(?)

  2. I feel a Directive coming on.

    ...Colour-coded ego alerts...