Belgian Named EU Prez After Blair Bid Fails
Center-right leaders want one of their own for European Council
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2009 1:15 PM CST
Belgian PM Herman Van Rompuy arrives at the European Council building in Brussels before today's meeting at which he was named the first full-time president of the EU.   (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Tony Blair won't be the first president of the European Council. The job went to Belgian PM Herman Van Rompuy today after British PM Gordon Brown withdrew Blair's nomination when it became clear he didn't have enough support. Blair tells the Guardian he isn’t surprised, because the “direction of travel” of the council was clear. As a consolation prize, a Brit landed the council's foreign policy post.