Sending viewers to sleep
It is always hard to sell stories about the European Union, but today's developments in Europe don't need embellishing. The court decision in the Czech republic affects nearly half a BILLION people. And in a significant way.
It is always hard to sell stories about the European Union. Talking about treaties, constitutions, Brussels bureaucracy and proportional representation can make the most ardent news viewers fall asleep.
And so today was no different. Al Jazeera anchor David Foster threw over to me in London during the Newshour earlier with a friendly reminder that a simple mention of the EU generally sparks a collective yawn. My challenge was to make the story exciting.
But truth be told, today's developments in Europe don't need embellishing. The court decision in the Czech republic affects nearly half a BILLION people. And in a significant way.
The signature of the Czech President clears the way for the Lisbon treaty to come into force. We're told this will "streamline" the way the EU works, but perhaps most importantly it will create the new posts of European President and European Foreign Minister.
The theory is that this will give Europe a stronger & united voice on the world stage. Already there's been speculation former British Prime Minister Tony Blair may fill the role, although he too seems to be growing tired of the idea which has received a lukewarm reception.
Critics say that the Lisbon treaty will effectively turn Europe into a Federal system, in which individual countries would have little say on the formulation of foreign policy.
Make no mistake, the EU may have a habit of sending viewers to sleep, but the Lisbon treaty is controversial and could potentially influence European and indeed global politics for decades to come. Still awake?