european union

Belgian and Brit Get Top EU Jobs

Updated 21:45

Belgian Prime Minister Herman van Rompuy has been chosen by EU leaders as the new President of the European Council, current British Commissioner Catherine Ashton has been chosen as the High Representative for Foreign Affairs. The choice was made in Brussels Thursday evening, with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt in charge of the negotiations.

"We are convinced that Rompuy is the right man to lead the European Council in the right way", Reinfeldt said.

"I've been very thorough", he added, "I'm Swedish".

European Commissioner José Manuel Barrosso gave Reinfeldt a Rubik's Cube as a souvenir of his work in co-ordinating the negotiations.

Reinfeldt was in charge of the negotiations, as current President of the EU, and had come under criticism for some for his way of whittling down the candidates. But despite predictions that the negotiations could go on all night, the decision was made swiftly on Thursday evening, as it was agreed that Europe's centre-right leaders would choose who would become the President of the European Council, while centre-left leaders would select the High Representative for Foreign Affairs.

Rompuy is from the centre-right of the political spectrum, while Ashton is from the centre-left British Labour party.