Tuesday, January 14, 2014

EU Presidents: Barroso - Sarkozy - Schulz - Van Rompuy

Jose-Manuel Barroso - Nicolas Sarkozy - Martin Schulz - Herman Van Rompuy

"President of Europe" has a nice ring to it, inspiring historical personalities from Adolf to Tony. Aware perhaps of the dangers of this kind of unwanted leadership, the European Union likes to have at least four at any one time, all competing with each other. Right now, there is Jose-Manuel Barroso, chosen as Commission President because the French and Germans wanted someone with an opinion of their own, so to speak. There is the president of the European Parliament, the abrasive europhile Martin Schulz. And there is Herman Van Rompuy, who presides over the summits of national leaders. The low-key Van Rompuy reminds us of Paul the Octopus, the creature that successfully predicted the outcome of the matches in the 2010 World Cup: Herman may well be a shy and brilliant creature, or may just be pretending. Finally, there is the so-called rotating national president - the head of state or government of each member state presides over the EU for six months in turn. The tiggerish French President Sarkozy may have left the political stage in Paris now, but he is included here because he enjoyed the role so much that he managed to extend it by years. Go Sarko, go! No really, go.

With apologies to: Mighty Mouse; Tigger; the Great Dictator; Paul the Octopus