Robinson rules out EU presidency


FORMER PRESIDENT Mary Robinson has ruled herself out of contention for the position of president of the European Council.

Mrs Robinson yesterday contacted the group campaigning to have her nominated for the post to say she could not commit herself to considering the challenge of the EU presidency because of her current focus on climate change.

“I very much appreciate the support you have offered to the campaign being mounted to have me nominated as president of the EU.

“It is humbling and gratifying to be mentioned as a possibility for such a position – particularly when it appears that the campaign is being led by civil society and those interested in issues we both wish to address and progress,” Mrs Robinson said in a message to the campaign group.

She said that in recent times she had become increasingly focused on climate change and its negative impacts on the developing world. She added that the issue of climate justice was a topic of extreme urgency and was proving very time-consuming and demanding.

“With this focus I could not commit myself to considering accepting the challenge of the EU presidency.”

She said she shared the aspiration of the group to see a woman in one of the senior EU positions but “that person will not be me”.

In a message to supporters, the organisers of the campaign said that although the news that Mrs Robinson was ruling herself out was disappointing, it was encouraging that so many people joined a campaign to put social justice at the heart of Europe.