I am no more tempted into history by the noble Lord, Lord Tomlinson, than I am by the noble Lord, Lord Pearson. I am lost in admiration for the historical overview of the presidency since the time of Walter Hallstein given by the noble Lord, Lord Howell, but I shall not follow him in that direction either.
However, in the light of what the noble Lord, Lord Pearson, said, it is worth saying what Article 214(2) provides, as amended by the Treaty Of Nice:
"The Council, meeting in the composition of Heads of State or Government and acting by a qualified majority, shall nominate the person it intends to appoint as President of the Commission; the nomination shall be approved by the European Parliament.
The Council, acting by a qualified majority and"—
I hope that the noble Lord, Lord Pearson, is paying attention because the words—
"by common accord with the nominee for President" are not new. They are as they were in the previous treaty.