Can EU reject Trump’s choice of an anti-EU ambassador?

Can EU reject Trump’s choice of an anti-EU ambassador?
Ted Malloch celebrating Trump's victory with UKIP's anti-EU politician Nigel Farage.

Ted Malloch, an American author and political scientist, has declared himself as candidate to the post as US  ambassador to the EU. After expressing anti-EU opinions in media he seems not welcome to Brussels. The leaders of the main political groups in the European Parliament wrote recently that his appointment, if he would be proposed, should be rejected.

Malloch is in favor of Brexit and has said in interviews that the EU will eventually cease to exist. He has boasted that he had a diplomatic post in a previous career where he helped bring down the Soviet Union. “So maybe there’s another union that needs a little taming.”

This prompted journalists at the daily press briefing at the European Commission (9 February) to pressure the Commission’s spokesperson on whether EU intended to reject Malloch’s appointment. Normally the spokesperson does not reply to hypothetical questions as this obviously was the case since we only have Malloch’s word that he will be proposed as American ambassador to EU.

“This is not the right timing to speculate on this,” the spokesperson said and referred to the written procedure for approving a request from a third country for the appointment of an ambassador.

The central paragraph states that the request implies the approval from the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European External Action Service and the authorities of the Member States of the European Union and that the procedure generally lasts eight weeks.

Can an appointment be blocked by any of the EU institutions? There is hardly any reason for EU to accept an anti-EU ambassador who will not work for promoting the transatlantic relationship based on common values. It is not known if an appointment has been blocked in the past but according to the spokesperson it can go both ways and anyone of the institutions can say no.

M. Apelblat

The Brussels Times

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