EU leaders also moved closer to an agreement on a new president on Thursday, with Dutch PM Jan Peter Balkenende and Finnish ex-PM Paavo Lipponen emerging as the key contenders.
Former British prime minister Tony Blair’s ambitions were dealt a blow when his supposed political allies, the European parliamentary group of Socialists, failed to endorse him for the post.
After a meeting of the centrist alliance, Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said: “We have to reset Europe and we have to start with new ideas.
“There is a link, and there will remain a link for the coming generation between Iraq, Bush and Tony Blair.”
The proposal of warmonger and neo-Liberal Blair for the EU Presidency has been widely condemned within the UK. The Third Way has said that he and others should face a War Crimes court.