Ashton finalizing six more top appointments
EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton is expected to fill at least six more top posts in the European External Action Service (EEAS) by the end of the month, following the nomination on Tuesday (16 November) of a Swede to chair the Political and Security Committee (PSC).
This intro grabs my attention. It is QUITE possible that the person who emerges from the EU and ultimately "confirms the covenant" per Daniel 9:27 comes from this group. Therefore the individuals who are rising to power within this group holds great interest for a prophecy watcher. Lets see who is appointed to some of these positions:
Olof Skoog, a 48-year-old Swedish diplomat who came to Brussels in 2007 after postings in Havana, Vienna, New York, Bogota and Stockholm, will chair the meetings and set the agenda of the PSC on behalf of Ms Ashton for the next five years.
That is a powerful position, as this position is responsible for setting the agenda for the PSC.
The PSC brings together 27 EU member state ambassadors at least once a week to thrash out compromises on EU foreign and security policy. It is also the bloc's first port of call in the event of an unforeseen international crisis and works closely with the the Joint Situation Centre (SitCen), the Union's intelligence-sharing bureau in Brussels.
It looks like the PSC is worth watching VERY closely.
An EU diplomatic source added: "He had huge support - he's very highly rated and liked by his colleagues, so she accelerated this appointment."
The rest of the EEAS top cadre, the six so-called "managing directors" of the service's geographical and thematic departments, is expected to be announced in one package before 1 December, the official launch date of the new corps.
The EEAS chief is currently conducting final interviews for the six managing director posts, with 27 screenings held in the past week alone.
Another top post is named, and this too is worth watching closely:
Swedish commission official Christian Leffler is favoured for the Middle East and Mediterranean rim branch.
Even more interesting information:
The final EEAS line-up would cater for all the big EU countries except Italy. Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Portugal, the Netherlands and Romania would stand out as mid-sized countries which missed out.
Belgium and Portugal have Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso, however. Denmark has its man as head of Nato. And a Dutch general recently took charge of the EU Military Staff.
That last sentence is interesting, "A Dutch General recently took charge of the EU military staff".
I'm guessing it is this individual:Biography: Lieutenant General Frederik Meulman
These are all very interesting appointments - and as mentioned, all of these new positions are worth watching closely.
In other EU news:
Analysis - Euro zone seems at a loss to stop the rot
Despite public assurances of unity and determination, it's not clear that euro zone finance ministers know how to stop the rot gnawing away at the 16-nation European currency area.
The European Union stemmed the first wave of debt crisis in May with "shock and awe" tactics by rescuing Greece along with the International Monetary Fund and creating a $1 trillion financial safety net for other euro zone states in distress.
Six months later, the deterrent effect of the 440 billion euro (£375 billion) European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), the main component of that contingency fund, which EU officials said they believed would never need to be used, seems to have worn off.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso played down any sense of a renewed euro zone crisis this week, saying all the necessary instruments were now in place in case a country needed help.
But with typical European cacophony, the man who chairs EU summits and heads a task force on reforming euro zone economic governance, Herman Van Rompuy, undermined such soothing talk by saying the currency bloc was now in a "survival crisis."
Each euro zone struggler's case is different. Ireland and Spain had healthy budgets and below-average public debt before real estate bubbles burst in 2007-8, leaving huge private debts, mass unemployment and a gaping hole in government revenues.
Ireland has been dragged down by its banks' reckless property lending, while EU stress tests in July showed Spain's biggest banks remain healthy and Madrid has begun to isolate and resolve problems in its weaker savings banks.
Portugal has suffered an inexorable loss of competitiveness since in joined the euro at its creation in 1999.
In May, the EU briefly managed to get "ahead of the curve" in its response to the crisis. But there is little sign that its current course can restore confidence in the markets.
"Unless the EU changes track and agrees to make the EFSF permanent and the ECB steps up its purchases of the hard-hit countries' government bonds, investors will believe that default is inevitable and demand correspondingly punitive interest rates," said Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform in London.
I just keep remembering the rhetoric which was discussed in the spring (when this crisis was first under discussion) and the Western EU (WEU) - that 10-member leadership group who figures so prominently in the powerful EU Council, threatened to "go it alone" if necessary. I'm not saying this will happen, but it was most definitely discussed.
One has to wonder if we are beginning to see the emergence of the 10 Kings. Things change during a crisis, and the EU is most definitely facing a crisis - and that is coming from their president - not media sensationalism.
Additionally, it is important to recognize that the infrastructure for the EU's foreign policy and military is now in place.
All we're waiting for now, is a powerful individual to step up and become immersed in the Middle East political situation. The time and situation for this is now more favorable than ever before and we may be on the verge of finally seeing such an individual emerge.
We'll be watching.