Obama asks EU: who is your leader?
The White House has embarrassed the EU leadership by opting to skip an upcoming US-EU Summit in Madrid over concerns the federation is unnecessarily squandering time and efficiency in a confusing leadership structure, rivalry among potential leaders and country officials, and a colossal bureaucracy ingrained in its numerous government agencies.
President Obama is still frustrated at the lack of clear direction from his EU counterparts regarding the handling of various top transatlantic dossiers. Though their international overtures towards the old continent remain intact, American officials want to see a better level of coordination within the union’s diplomatic and political apparatus to exhibit deeper involvement with Brussels.
Washington is especially bemused and unimpressed with the multi-layered EU government that currently exhibits a rivalry-prone triumvirate: Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European council; José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European commission, and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the Spanish prime minister who holds the title of president in office during Spain‘s six-month presidency of the EU.
While Brussels diplomats are sorting through the complex array of systemic balances that gave birth to the union’s multi-layered red tape – that is, too many national interests to preserve –, State Department protocol is still awaiting the name of the single individual President Obama will be talking to.
Sources privy to the president’s thinking and from Brussels state that Americans don’t want a repeat of last April US-EU Prague Summit where Obama shook hand with all 27 leaders.
Officials at the State Department routinely reiterate the current administration’s strong commitment to renewed transcontinental cooperation but stress the EU must restore order in their own house and spend more time addressing their social and economic pending woes rather than wasting time building a multinational bureaucracy trodden in inefficiency.
Elsewhere, many political analysts also emphasize that Obama’s unwillingness to focus on external affairs is a sign that White House strategists want their boss to be seen domestically as more attuned to America’s ongoing social and economic crises.