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View Full Version : Van Rompuy becomes EU's first president



Maciamo
20-11-09, 12:33
19 November 2009 was a historical date for Europeans. For the first time in history, most of Europe (the EU) is unified under a single president. The top job was assigned to Belgian Prime Minister, Herman Van Rompuy.

Although the press has already criticised the choice due to Van Rompuy's shyness and lack of charisma, he qualifies well for the job thanks to his cross-cultural negotiating skills and multilingualism. Europe needs to be unified under a competent leader. It does not need a superstar president who doesn't know what he his doing. In other words Van Rompuy is a sort of anti-Bush Jr.

The BBC has a summary chart (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8363297.stm) comparing the status and function of the EU president in contrast with the US president. We can see at once that the power of the US president is more dictatorial (commander-in-chief of the army, can sign executive orders without Congress approval) while the EU presidency looks resolutely democratic and modern.

let`s talk
20-11-09, 18:04
Maybe I missed something but it is a kind of confusing. The EU Constituation is not ratified yet, technically. But the President established by this Constitution is here.

LeBrok
20-11-09, 19:40
I have to admit I know nothing about Rompuy, and probably saw the guy first time in my life. I hope he's smarter than he looks. First impression wasn't great, the dude doesn't even know how to use the comb if he wants to carry what's left on his head, or get a haircut. Even if this doesn't naturally come to him, in his age he should have learnt the importance of first impression in politics or in front of millions on TV. I would say we need leaders with good common sense. He might be too nerdy to know how the real life works, as Bush was too romantic to understand.
I was hoping for Tony Blair, the only candidate I knew, lol, smart and I love listening to his great speeches.
Anyway congrats to Belgium for the first EU president!

Maciamo
21-11-09, 12:37
Maybe I missed something but it is a kind of confusing. The EU Constituation is not ratified yet, technically. But the President established by this Constitution is here.

The EU Constitution has become the Lisbon Treaty (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Lisbon). It has been ratified by all member states and will enter into force on 1 December 2009.

Maciamo
21-11-09, 12:42
I have to admit I know nothing about Rompuy, and probably saw the guy first time in my life. I hope he's smarter than he looks. First impression wasn't great, the dude doesn't even know how to use the comb if he wants to carry what's left on his head, or get a haircut. Even if this doesn't naturally come to him, in his age he should have learnt the importance of first impression in politics or in front of millions on TV. I would say we need leaders with good common sense. He might be too nerdy to know how the real life works, as Bush was too romantic to understand.
I was hoping for Tony Blair, the only candidate I knew, lol, smart and I love listening to his great speeches.
Anyway congrats to Belgium for the first EU president!

My first impression wasn't great either. But I have known him for years in Belgian politics and he is probably much more capable than he appears. People shouldn't judge on looks alone. This is one of the main failures of democracy, electing people for their looks and charisma rather than their abilities and experience. He was elected by head of states and ministers. They know why they chose him and not someone else. As an Italian journalist commented on Euronews, "if Van Rompuy managed to govern Belgium, Europe will be a piece of cake for him." :satisfied:

Maciamo
25-11-09, 12:28
I don't understand the criticism that Van Rompuy is not famous enough to become President of the European Council. Until now it was a rotating presidency for 6 months, with the head of state of the presiding country designated as president of the council. This means that the president of Malta or Cyprus could be at the head of Europe. They are certainly less famous. There was also no guarantee that the president was up to the task, or pro-EU, or even interested in ruling the EU Council in addition to his/her country.

As far as celebrity is concerned, Barrack Obama was a perfect stranger to most people inside and outside the US just 2 years before he became president, and dare I say until he became president for some people. He had never served in a government before. Van Rompuy was already Prime Minister of Belgium; reputedly the most difficult country to manage politically in Europe due to the delicate cultural and linguistic differences between north and south (Belgium can be seen as the epitome of the major divide between Latin and Germanic cultures in Western Europe).

From a purely practical point of view, Van Rompuy already lives in Brussels, so there won't be any relocation or commuting fee for his new assignation, which is good news for tax payers. ;-)

LeBrok
26-11-09, 08:29
Maciamo, why do you feel a strong need to defend the guy? ...right, you're from Belgium. :)
It reminds me all responses of black Americans after Obama was elected. They all were saying that he is the best president ever, that he will show the world, the whole world will be so much better soon, he will do miracles. lol
Just a minute, relax, I'd say, let's step back, sit down and watch, and let them just be. Let's not make anything else of them, than they actually are.
Both of them have the whole presidency to be a good president, and to prove skeptics wrong.

Maciamo
26-11-09, 13:00
Maciamo, why do you feel a strong need to defend the guy? ...right, you're from Belgium. :)
It reminds me all responses of black Americans after Obama was elected. They all were saying that he is the best president ever, that he will show the world, the whole world will be so much better soon, he will do miracles. lol
Just a minute, relax, I'd say, let's step back, sit down and watch, and let them just be. Let's not make anything else of them, than they actually are.
Both of them have the whole presidency to be a good president, and to prove skeptics wrong.

I am not defending the guy. I just don't see how people can criticise him before he takes office on basis that they don't know him ! I am just saying, wait and see. Let's not forget that he was elected by the governments of the 27 member-states. They certainly haven't taken the decision lightly. They had all the information necessary about every candidate, lots of advisers... He was not elected by an ignorant pleb.

When Bush was elected in 2001 I wasn't very pleased knowing he was a hardcore Evangelist. But I waited that he made a fool of himself then made crucial mistakes (Iraq War, Patriot Act) before criticising him. I was glad that Sarkozy and Obama became presidents based on their campaign programme, but I also waited to see if they'd keep their promises before judging them. So far they have been doing a pretty good job carrying on the reforms they announced. But you never know what will happen. Tony Blair was an excellent PM until he started supporting Bush and try convincing Europeans to invade Iraq. His display of religiousness in recent years, combined with his close association with the Catholic Church and his Faith and Globalisation initiative have all help to seriously deteriorate the good image I had of him. I am obviously not the only one, as he was boycotted by many EU member states for the EU presidency. Van Rompuy was elected against Blair. It must mean that it is not completely useless. ;-)

Maciamo
01-12-09, 10:45
The Lisbon Treaty comes into force today.

Chris
02-12-09, 23:13
My personal slant on it is that it's a plus he's not a celebrity politician. Substance over image would make a refreshing change in politics, and from what I know about him, he manages the different factions in Belgium very well.

Again, it's a personal view, but Blair would have been the opposite (i.e. divisive) and a disaster for EU cohesion.

Invictus_88
16-12-09, 03:39
His necessity is still something of a mystery to me.

Perhaps someone could help to illuminate?

Maciamo
16-12-09, 13:18
His necessity is still something of a mystery to me.

Perhaps someone could help to illuminate?

The new permanent presidency of the EU is just replacing the 6-month rotating presidency. This way non-European leaders around the world won't have to check who is in charge of the EU every 6 months. It brings a more stable international image of the EU.

Secondly, the new president will now be fully dedicated to his job. With the rotating presidency, it was the incumbent country's PM or president who presided the EU, thus having to govern both his/her country + the EU. It precents what French-speakers call the cumul des mandats ("accumulation of terms").

Van Rompuy's name may not yet be famous, but who can name the exiting EU president (last rotating presidency) ? It was Sweden's PM. Still doesn't ring any bell ? Fredrik Reinfeldt. Unlikely that many (non-Scandinavian) people should know Reinfeldt and not Van Rompuy. Imagine what it would be if Malta's president were to preside the EU ! At least we have a 2.5 years to familiarise ourselves with the same guy now.

Invictus_88
21-04-10, 22:15
Why does the EU need an international image? Why not have a flag?

One need not pay a flag.

Maciamo
22-04-10, 11:13
Why does the EU need an international image? Why not have a flag?

One need not pay a flag.

I don't understand what you mean. The EU already has a flag. What does this have to do with this discussion ?

Invictus_88
22-04-10, 17:21
A flag is also an image. Why not simply have one of them? They don't cost so much.

If the EU wishes to look strong and stable, it should dedicate itself above all else to the acquisition of vast quantities of money and the bringing together of diverse abd vastly powerful economies.

Committees, presidents, and silly rules? All this is a distraction.

edao
10-05-10, 22:06
Nigel Farage a classic British biggot lets rip, enjoy :grin:

Video link to his speach in the parliament. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bypLwI5AQvY&feature=fvw)

Maciamo
11-05-10, 09:13
Nigel Farage a classic British biggot lets rip, enjoy :grin:

Video link to his speach in the parliament. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bypLwI5AQvY&feature=fvw)

That's the guy who crashed his mini airplane towing a UKIP banner 5 days ago.

edao
11-05-10, 21:08
That's the guy who crashed his mini airplane towing a UKIP banner 5 days ago.

Yeah, I gues he might want to think twice next time he thinks about insulting one of the most powerful men in th world, beware Van Rompuy!

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00714/Farage_1_714987a.jpg

^ lynx ^
14-05-10, 18:26
wow, that must have been a very ugly accident. Thanks God nobody died.

Cambrius (The Red)
14-05-10, 18:57
Outrageous!

Aristander
09-10-10, 01:05
Yeah, I gues he might want to think twice next time he thinks about insulting one of the most powerful men in th world, beware Van Rompuy!

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00714/Farage_1_714987a.jpg


:laughing: Obviously he was the victim of one of Van Rompuy's anti-aircraft missiles! :laughing:

RH NEG-I
23-11-10, 15:25
The Lisbon Treaty comes into force today.
You mean the treaty that they refused to allow referendums on? LOL All the Lisbon treaty is is a re-worded EU constitution that was rejected by the European people. ALL UNIONS ARE ABOUT CENTRAL CONTROL!!! Remember the SOVIET UNION?? Same exact idea..By the way which one of you actually VOTED for your new leader? None of you, even the EU representatives voted IN SECRET!!! These people have thier own agenda just like the international banking interests that control the buerocracy in the United States. The Elitist families of the world are retaking power..and they arent nationalists, they see themselves as the ruling class and have consolidated power behind closed doors-outside of national soveriegnty. This is communism, lets put all our money in the hands of central bankers under the flag of unity and hope and peace..and then comes the fractional reserve banking tricks and the money goes to your own enslavement and into their pockets.

RH NEG-I
23-11-10, 16:58
I also find it funny that many Europeans think the EU will stand against an Imperial United States and the George Bushs and the Obamas of the land. The EU leaders ARE EXACTLY THE SAME PEOPLE!!! Our leaders are part of a global cartel that fake thier contempt for one another. Behind closed doors it is all about enslaving the masses and dividing the spoils in polite company.

LeBrok
23-11-10, 19:33
I don't understand why you are displaying proudly in your avatar the picture of the solder of the US empire? From the love of empire?

RH NEG-I
24-11-10, 00:54
I don't understand why you are displaying proudly in your avatar the picture of the solder of the US empire? From the love of empire?


That is me 25 years ago..I am proud of what I have been though. I am not proud of the illegal wars, or our international mobilization. It is a disgrace to our founders. I am a patriot in the vein of Frankilin and Jefferson...a true conservative.

Rastko Pocesta
28-04-11, 16:12
My favourite candidaet was Martti Ahtisaari - he is an experienced diplomat and peace mediator, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, the man who brough Finland into European Union and is a vocal NATO advocate in his country. Václav Havel and Carl Bildt were also very good candidates.

I don't know what to think about Van Rompuy. He seems to know what he is doing. However, a meeting with Qaddhafi was really a loss of faith in him and an utter disappointment. I mean, he is a conservative and that is a big minus, but he seemed to handle the issues quite well in the first year of the presidency.