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Europe looking ahead to new political leaders

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In France, Chirac has been part of the political landscape since what seems like the beginning of the industrial revolution and Blair also gives the impression of someone who has been along well past his date of expiration. The UK is already prepping themselves for Gordon Brown taking over while France is hearing the early shots of the 2007 elections. This past week Ségolène Royal, the likely Socialist candidate for president in France, has "passed Sarkozy on the right" and has backed off of support for the 35 hour work week and talked about using the military for troubled youth. The left is in shock as Royal tries to make the Socialistrelevantnt in time for the election.

It's an interesting time right now in European politics as the older generation, who created the vision of the EU, goes into retirement and the newer generation attempts to readjust Europe for the future. As an outsider there appeared to be too much distant idealism that never connected with voter fears on issues ranging from competition, social reform and EU expansion. The new leaders have some tough challenges coming but it's positive to see them actually talking about issues that truly impact regular people.

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