Is the prime minister of Belgium, Herman Van Rompuy, now the favourite to become the first president of the European Council?
Van Rompuy belongs to the Christian Democratic and Flemish party (Christen-Democratisch en Vlaams; CD&V), represented in the Group of the European People’s Party (EPP), the largest in the European Parliament.
You can look at Van Rompuy’s web page or the official web page of the prime minister of Belgium (Dutch or French) for additional information.
Since the European Council meeting last week, speculation about Van Rompuy as a favourite for the post as president has really taken off. A few examples:
Euronews: Van Rompuy, from Belgian premier to EU president? (2 November 2009)
EurActiv: Consensus growing for low-profile EU ‘chairman’ (2 November 2009)
DutchNews.nl: Balkenende’s EU chances shrink (3 November 2009)
Le Figaro (France): Présidence de l’UE: le nouveau favori est belge (2 November 2009)
Der Standard (Austria): Belgiens Rompuy und Italiens d’Alema im Rennen (2 November 2009)
De Standaard Online (Belgium): Van Rompuy koploper (3 November 2009)
Favourites, but candidates?
If we follow the latest media speculation about the new top jobs of the European Union, we now seem to have two nearly anointed office holders. One is the favourite to become the president of the European Council (Herman Van Rompuy) and the other is the front runner to take over as high representative (David Miliband), but as yet neither is a candidate.
The European Union works in mysterious ways.