15 SEP 2010
Herman Van Rompuy, the EU president, has tried to sideline Baroness Ashton to seize control over key aspects of foreign policy.
Bruno Waterfield | Telegraph
Mr Van Rompuy, the President of the European Council which brings together EU leaders, has been accused of supporting a French proposal to set up a "special task force" on strategic relations that would rival Lady Ashton, who is supposed to be in charge of Europe's foreign policy.
"He tried to overreach himself by getting Ashton and member states to report to him on their strategic relationships with China, India, Russia and the US. Meanwhile preparations for Thursday have not been up to standard," said an official.
The Daily Telegraph understands that the disarray and the squabble between the EU's president and foreign minister has been blamed for a "lack of focus" at a time when Europe is trying, and failing, to punch its weight against the US and China on the global stage.
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