Mention the name Catherine Ashton and you could be forgiven for receiving a blank stare in response.
From today, though, all that is likely to change, for she is not only a little known (outside of the political world) Baroness who had been working as the Trade Commissioner for the EU but she has just been named as the person who will be its newly created foreign affairs supremo.
In a similarly surprising move, EU leaders have chosen the Belgian Prime Minister, Herman van Rompuy to be the first permanent European Council President.
Of course, there had been much lobbying for the above post to be awarded to one Anthony Blair, (our ex PM but now multi-millionaire after dinner speaker) and for the foreign supremo role to go to Blair’s protege David Miliband (our own Foreign Secretary) but thankfully, the EU’s 27 leaders have shown they have a greater vision.
All credit must go to them for turning their collective back on ‘celebrity politics’ in favour of people who will be able to negotiate with the world on a fresh footing and relatively untarnished by their immediate history.
The EU has taken a lot of criticism in the past but, just maybe, it is now starting to show it could be a good deal for all of us after all!
The jury is still out!!