The Netherlands will not nominate prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende or any other Dutch national for the new job of president of the European council of ministers, European minister Frans Timmermans said on Sunday.
The job is being created through the Treaty of Lisbon. At present the position of council president is rotated among the 27 member states of the European Union.
Sources in Brussels had told various Dutch newspapers that Balkenende was hot favourite for the job and that he enjoyed the backing of German chancellor Angela Merkel.
Forme British prime minister Tony Blair is the only ‘official’ candidate for the job so far. According to Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper, he has the backing of French president Nicolas Sarkozy.