me happy to have a task!
"In place of the rotating presidency, under which member states take six-month turns at the helm, a president of the European Council (which comprises the 27 European leaders) will be elected by the leaders to a two-and-a-half-year term. The rotation system will be retained for the councils of ministers (finance, agriculture, etc.)" (farmer: = Council of the European Union, GS here also: Solana)
The president will prepare summits and represent the European Union on the world stage without, hopefully, treading on the toes of the new "High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy".
the new created position of the president will be more a formal one.
The President gives the EU a "face" and is a representative figure. One with whom you can "drink champaign" and who "walks the red carpets"
In Germany we have a similar system: a President and a Prime Minister.
Do you know the name of the German President? It's Horst Köhler. He has no direct influence in the daily politics. But he is the highest person in the State. Do you know Angela Merkel? Of course. She is the one with the real power - in an "action post" as Prime Minister. No, the new President will be also elected for just 2,5 years. The Secretary General of the Council (since 1999 Solana) is elected for 5 years (Solana now in his 2.term). So I think the new post will not create new powers, but more continuity in the the general outline. That's all.
By the way - your question came up also in an interview with Solana in October 2004 (when they were about to sign that first constitution in Rome):
"SPIEGEL: The new constitution also creates a position that could end up competing with yours, that of the permanent president of the Council. This person would represent the EU to the rest of the world.
Solana: Yes, but also at the level of the head of state and government.
SPIEGEL: A man for shaking hands?
Solana: That is also the case today. During EU summit meetings with other countries, the presiding chairman of the Council is accompanied by the president of the EU Commission and myself. I will do what a foreign minister does."
http://www.spiegel.de/international/spi ... 99,00.html