Dutch call for permanent EU chairman

European affairs minister Frans Timmermans has called for the appointment of a permanent chairman of the EU council of ministers to replace the current six month revolving chairmanship.

A permanent appointment would be far better for the continuity of the EU, Timmermans said on NOS radio, adding that the job should be ‘technical’ rather than ‘political’ in nature.
Claims that such a chairman would be too powerful, were wrong, Timmermans said. EU leaders would not allow themselves to be told what to do by a permanent chairman, he said. ‘It is they who decide what happens.’
Meanwhile, the new French president Nicolas Sarkozy has added his weight to Dutch calls for a slimmed down constitution, ANP reports. Earlier, the UK gave support to the Dutch position.

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