10 JUN 2011
Foreign secretary says 'elected presidents are for countries, and the EU is not a country and never will be'
Hélène Mulholland | The Guardian (William Hague dismisses Tony Blair's vision of European Union presidency
Foreign secretary William Hague has dismissed Tony Blair's vision for an elected head of the European Union by insisting that member states have more pressing priorities than further "constitutional tinkering".
Hague made clear his view after Blair argued that a directly elected president of Europe, representing almost 400m people from 27 countries, would give the EU clear leadership and enormous authority.
In an interview with the Times, Blair set out the agenda that he thought a directly elected EU president should pursue, although he conceded there was "no chance" of such a post being created "at the present time".
Asked about the former prime minister's call for further European integration and the creation of an elected president, Hague suggested that Blair may have been thinking of the role for himself.
"I can't think who he had in mind," Hague joked.
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