Noel Whelan: EU jobs carve up was bizarre – but it worked

Member states balancing criteria of scale, power, geography and gender admirably

Nominee president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen: on Tuesday afternoon she was a political unknown outside of Germany but, by Wednesday morning, she was at the centre of a paparazzi scrum. Photograph: Thierry Monasse

Nominee president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen: on Tuesday afternoon she was a political unknown outside of Germany but, by Wednesday morning, she was at the centre of a paparazzi scrum. Photograph: Thierry Monasse

Imagine if, on Tuesday morning at some Defence Forces event or some constituency gig still celebrating Wexford’s Leinster Senior Hurling final win, our Minister for Defence, Paul Kehoe, had received a call from Leo Varadkar or a Brussels based Irish official telling him to get to Brussels post haste because the European Union wanted him to take on the role of president of the European Commission.

That, in some ways, is akin to what happened to the German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen earlier this week.

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