Peter Mandelson has been named as Britain's next European commissioner.
The former cabinet minister will replace Britain's two current commissioners, Neil Kinnock and Chris Patten who are stepping down.
Enlargement of the European Union means Britain will now have only one commissioner.
The appointment is seen as a remarkable comeback for Mr Mandelson, who has twice resigned from the Cabinet in controversial circumstances.
It will also trigger a Westminster by-election in his Hartlepool seat.
What do you think of Peter Mandelson's appointment as Britain's EU Commissioner? What impact will he have on the rest of the EU? Is he the right man for the job?
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received:
It's not Peter Mandelson's fault if he's too talented not to be involved in politics at some level. Obviously there is a lot of jealously amongst much of the press and public that they don't have similar talents, this is the only explanation I can see for the unwarranted torrent of venom they seem to heap on him. From what I know of friends who live in his constituency, he has been an excellent MP for Hartlepool, and will be a great servant to us in Brussels. People should get over his past and appreciate his talents and what they can do for Britain.
A very bad appointment indeed: A minister who has had to resign twice in the past should not rewarded by further high office. Mandelson has demonstrated a lack of judgement that ought to preclude any further role. There are many excellent and much more deserving individuals. In conclusion, as a member of the Labour Party I am deeply embarrassed by this terrible selection.
Stuart Mackintosh, Washington DC, USA
I have no problem with his appointment. However it does emphasise one point. If you are from ordinary society and you lose your job, well, you are unemployed. If you are a company director (even a terrible one) or a politician and you lose your job you either get a huge bonus, or a better job.
David, Berlin, ex UK
Why all the outrage? Political patronage has always existed and always will. Why on earth shouldn't Blair nominate someone who shares his views on the EU? He's hardly likely to nominate a political enemy is he? Stop whining, get over it, and let's hope that he used his undoubted talents in a way that benefits the UK in Europe.
This is a great decision. He is intelligent and understands media presentation very well. While I think the Commission should be more accountable democratically or should have its powers reduced, I don't believe it is the faceless bureaucratic monstrosity that many make it out to be. Hopefully Peter Mandelson will be able to knock some sense into the Commission so that it will be more pro-active in selling the EU to the people of Britain and promoting the benefits we gain from membership. It is a good choice.
Jack Davenport, Preston, England
Do Tony Blair and Peter Madelson have no shame? An ex-minister who resigned twice being parachuted into a vital post? Is there any semblance of accountability within this present government? How long till the return of Alastair Campbell?
Tom Finlay, Edinburgh, Scotland
Maybe he won't be subjected to the blatant smear campaigns that the tabloid press have been running against him if he's sat in Europe. He should be left to do a job which he is clearly capable of doing, being one of the more intelligent people in politics. He could have really made a difference in Ireland if he had been given the chance.
Chris, Sheffield, UK
I suppose that he's no better nor worse than those before him - all political failures or non-entities, however the one thing this does demonstrate is just how dangerous the EU is when people of his calibre run it. I just hope he's our last ever EU commissioner.
JR, Wigan, England
Is there nobody in the Labour party prepared to sing "The king is in the altogether!"?, however I rejoice that after Hutton I decided to refrain from being a life long Labour voter in Europe, locally and pretty soon nationally.
This Government seems to do what it wants - however outrageous and against the electorates obvious preferences and Tony Blair remains impervious to it all. No wonder the population is withdrawing from any real engagement with politics. Where this could all lead is scary. What exactly does Mandy have to do before he is finally considered unfit for high office? Given his behaviour in the past, putting him forward for this very important role, representing this country is shameful.
Tino , Norwich, Norfolk
Good for Tony Blair. It is pleasing to see a pro-European being given a high-profile job, and makes a refreshing change from the negative propaganda we keep hearing from the likes of UKIP and the other tedious Euro-sceptics. Well done.
Jon Wilson, Ealing, London
I'm certainly no Mandelson fan, but the fact remains that Commissioners are civil servants with no legislative power - so this appointment really isn't the end of the world. What frustrates me more is the way we all gloss over the fact that the Commission is elected by the European Parliament, not appointed by governments. Governments only have the right to propose.
Toby, York, UK
This is a man that twice had to resign over corrupt practices and in fact would have been barred from running for a local council - the only reason for appointing him is his proven track record as a spin doctor - no surprise when Blair has to win two referenda over Europe
Geoff Sturdy, Nelson UK
In fairness the supposed scandals the man has been linked to were more a storm in a teacup. The only problem with the loan from Geoffrey Robinson was that he failed to declare it, and he has been vindicated of all wrongdoing in the Hinduja affair. Mandelson is one of the most talented and astute politicians of his generation, and from our experiences, here in Northern Ireland, a talented negotiator, which can only be beneficial in the cut and thrust world of EU politics.
Andie, Belfast, Northern Ireland
So Blair ignores the people and picks a crony - no surprise really - after all Caligula made his horse a Senator
Andrew, Nottingham, England
Hmm, how did Chris Patten get his job as Governor of Hong Kong when he lost his parliamentary seat - was it not a "crony" appointment like this? All parties do it and will continue to do it. Let's not kid ourselves either party will be any different in the future.
I wouldn't want to se too many comments against Peter Mandelson that focused on his personality or his private life. But I am very disappointed that Tony Blair chooses to give a politician with little public support and much public suspicion a well-paid important job through a process that is behind-the-scenes, underhand and uncompetitive. If the rest of us have to go through application procedures, interviews and performance assessments in order to earn our £22,000 p.a. annual salaries, why should Blair encourage this back-handed approach to shuffling his mates into jobs with no public scrutiny at all? The Prime Minister should not be seen as championing the "one rule for us, another rule for them" ethic.
Neil Alldred, Ballymena, Northern Ireland
He's a clever and committed pro-European and will make an excellent Commissioner. Is there anyone Blair could choose who would do a better job? Probably not.
Jon Worth, London
Peter Mandelson is ideal for the post. After all without the EU Commission where else would we put our failed and faded politicians.
Mandelson is a clever political operator - probably too clever for his own good. Blair seems blinded to his faults. Sometimes it is better to accept that someone is not right for a job even when he appears fully qualified. This sends the wrong signal to the country. Now is the time for a little humility from No10. In the absence of a truly effective opposition, our PM (or should that be President) is flexing his political muscles rather than reflecting on what is for the best of the EU and the UK.
Simon, Oxford, England
At least most other countries send political has-beens to the commission. We send our political never-made its. Leon Britten, Neil Kinnock, and now Peter Mandelson. No wonder the rest of Europe sees Britain as a bad joke.
James, Milan, Italy
Third time lucky for him, very unlucky for us. Perhaps when he gets sacked again it will be permanent. What a shambles this government is when this loathsome man gets another top job.
Excellent news. He has the talent and commitment this country needs in Europe. He did a great job as Trade & Industry and Northern Ireland Secretaries, and was only hounded out of office by the mindless right wing press and Labour dinosaurs who can't get used to the idea that they are now a party of government.
James, St Albans, UK
President Tony decided that he wants his buddy Peter to be the next commissioner. Our opinion is not relevant.
Theo, Uxbridge, UK
Once again this Labour government demonstrates that honesty, integrity and respect for the electorate mean nothing to them & Blair's autocratic arrogance, in appointing yet another personal friend to high, unelected office, is the norm. No wonder people feel disenfranchised with politics, especially Europe.
Comments about cronyism are a bit naive - the role of EU Commissioner is a patronage post and always has been a retirement home for 'nearly men' of British politics. In this respect Mandelson is a decent enough choice, but Robin Cook would have been better. He has stronger 'elder statesman' credentials, he's far from enthusiastic about the EU and so would have challenged the bureaucracy of the Commission to a greater extent. Most importantly, it would have been a great way for Blair to have sidelined him.
Who will actually vote for Labour at the next general election? They are taking us for mugs on absolutely everything.
Fraser, London, England
Two points: 1) at least his career in UK politics is over and 2) Fraser from London may think we are being mugged off by Labour, but the lack of a creditable opposition party means we are probably stuck with them.
Stuart, London, England
He is definitely the right man for the job! He can manipulate any situation, convince anyone that he is 'doing the right thing' and dare I say - may even 'persuade' the EU to give us a bigger rebate (or is that loan?) to pay for our house building plans. I think the French and Germans will be terrified that they may now have to deal with such a man!
Paul McKay, London, UK
Yippee! Another by-election!
Mike Mitchell, High Wycombe, UK
This guy is not just a Tony Blair crony, he has won more than one election in his Hartlepool constituency. And his two resignations were for such minor issues that nobody even remembers today what they were for, so I don't think you can call him a corrupt politician. To all the vocal minority that cannot stand new labour I will say one thing: we the majority voted for them twice with a wide margin, and we will likely do so again next year.
Ricardo, London, UK
Yet another Blair boo boo! Does the PM really think that this is a vote winner?? After the Iraq debacle, this is a guaranteed election loser.
Winston Dunbar, Lincoln UK
We already can't trust anything the Intelligence Services say because Tony's puppet is now running it. Now we won't be able to trust anything we're told about the EU as we have another puppet representing Tony's interests in EU rather than ours. Soon Campbell will return and then we won't be able to trust anything the government says, as if we did anyway.
Nick, Reading, UK.
This is a great appointment. Westminster's loss is Britain's gain - at last we will have a high-profile, articulate and remarkably talented political figure representing us in developing our relationship with Europe. Peter Mandelson is uniquely placed to cut through the Euro sceptic poison that passes for debate.
Simon, London, England
"Appointment" - says it all. There is no point in saying anything as we don't get a say on Europe - except to send people on the talking shop gravy train that is the European "parliament". I am completely pro-Europe, but completely anti non-democratic European Commission.
I always believed that UK politics would never sink to French standards, where politicians lie, peddle influence, line their pockets and generally always seem to be involved in scandal (that is brushed under the carpet by a complacent media). The actions of Tony Blair and those who surround him have shattered this belief. The UK is as corrupt as the best of them. Mandelson's appointment is the final nail in the coffin.
Joe Ryan, Chartres, France
A vacant seat in Hartlepool you say? I think the Lib Dems will have that, thank you very much!
Paul, Bristol, UK
Here are five reasons why the Mandelson nomination is a mistake. Firstly, it devalues the work of Neil Kinnock who has devoted the last five years to reforming the European commission after the scandals of the Santer years. Secondly it signals to our European partners a low opinion of the importance of the post and the role of the commission. Next it sends an equally wrong signal to the British people of the importance attached to Britain's position in Europe. Fourth, it limits the scope to negotiate with the commission president for a senior portfolio for the British commissioner, which as a large country Britain could expect. And finally it takes too little account of the new powers of the European Parliament to vet the appointment. MEPs will inquire into the reasons for Mandelson's previous resignations and may decide that he is not a fit person to hold high office.
J. Gallacher, Brussels, Belgium
Mandelson had to resign from the Cabinet because of dodgy mortgage dealings. Now he's going to an institution fabled for waste and fraud. Talk about finding your niche.
Alex Swanson, Milton Keynes, UK
Surely there is someone more worthy, with a good track record, to be our Commissioner bearing in mind that we will now have only one post allocated to the UK.
Letitia I McRae, Nottingham, UK
How astute of Mr Blair to make such appointment during the Parliamentry recess, covers up all the smoke and fury over the defence cuts, toll roads, rapid spread of MRSA, rising Council Taxes.
Michael Owen, Bristol
Further evidence of how corrupt the EU is. Another failed politician on the EU gravy train. What can he possibly have to offer the UK in Europe. It stinks. Who is going to save us from the politicians I ask.
G M Oldroyd, On board M.Y. Infinity. Croatia
As commissioner, what will he do? Another serious error by a Prime Minister who should have our best interests to the fore. By the way has anyone found out what Neil Kinnock has achieved?
Roy Davies, Leicester
This is a very good appointment, Mandelson will be a very able fighter for Britain's interests in Europe, and Tony Blair has shown that he is still in charge. It is important that our leader is not only in control of his party, but is shown to be in charge. It's interesting, though, that the very same people who admired strength in Mrs Thatcher seem to be upset by it in Tony Blair.
John, London, UK
Jobs for the boys! Isn't politics such a sincere profession...
This is an act of simple defiance that ignores the past history of Mandelson. As he relinquishes his post as Hartlepool's MP, he now becomes even more unaccountable in his new unelected post. Today, it would be a wonderful exercise of real democracy if we could veto Mandelson's appointment. However, we do not live in a real democracy, we just believe that we do!
Saqib Dodhy , Birmingham, UK
An excellent choice as we need someone who can pull their weight for Britain in Europe, especially as we are now to have only one Commissioner. Mandelson has all the necessary skills to do a great job.
Ian Saunders, Sheffield
We've already sent Godfrey Bloom and Robert Kilroy-Silk - do you not think Europe have suffered enough?
Dave Williams, Prudhoe, UK
I am a great admirer of the job achieved by Neil Kinnock and Chris Patten. I just hope that work will be allowed to continue. I think Peter Mandelson will do a great job, as he did in Northern Ireland, but his political enemies will want otherwise.
Paul, Livingston, Scotland
How can a man who has been discredited and left domestic public office on more than one occasion possibly be a suitable candidate to represent the UK in Europe? If he'd had any moral fibre he'd have stepped away from the political stage years ago.
Jonathan, Fleet, Hampshire
So you can now make questionable decisions twice in domestic politics, resign, and be non-democratically appointed to a plush job on the EU gravy train. Contemptible beyond belief.
Dean, Maidenhead, UK
It's a wonderful appointment. Peter Mandelson is one of the most capable politicians of our generation and believes in the European ideal. At the same time he is realistic and committed and will get the best possible deal for the UK. This is a clear signal from the PM that he is determined to win the referendum on the Constitution to be held after the election. Peter is by far and away the best person for this job.
Jonathan Hoffman, London
I cannot think of a more unsuitable person to represent the interests of the United Kingdom electorate. For such an important post should there not be an election - in a similar way to the election of a Mayor for London?
Terry, Epsom, England
Third time lucky...
James Murphy, Southampton, Hampshire
This job is too important to be filled by political patronage, however worthy the recipient. The European Commission should be elected and accountable. If the other member states don't want to go down that road, it doesn't prevent us (and others?) from doing so. Whatever I may think of Peter Mandelson, I think the present system goes a long way to explain the rise of euro-scepticism in general and UKIP in particular.
David Anderson, Wakefield, West Yorkshire
Yet again cronyism rules and the view of the majority adult population is ignored by Blair. The sooner we rid this country of this arrogance the better.
Alan Preddy, Epsom England
What an inspired appointment! "Cometh the hour, cometh the man". Mandelson's attributes make him the ideal person to deal with the secretive, ambitious and corrupt organisation that is the EU Commission and bureaucracy.
Billy, Strathaven, Scotland