|Silvio Berlusconi - Brian Cowen - Gunther Oettinger - Elmar Brok|
Euro-politics is really Euro-pop - silly costumes, national stereotypes and heavily accented English. But underestimate these larger than life characters at your peril. Silvio Berlusconi, the former Italian PM is still capable of launching. Brian Cowen, his Irish counterpart, retained power despite the critical situation in his country and his own drunken behaviour. And Oettinger, the EU Commissioner for energy, who was shunted off to Europe by Chancellor Merkel in one of her regular political clear-outs, has been a quietly effective lobbyist for German interests. But the connoisseur's joker has to be Elmar Brok. This provincial German, with his gratuitous moustache, has defined the EU's and Germany's policies for years. The joke's on you, Europe.