November 25, 2009
Regarding ‘EU elects discrete, consensual leaders‘:
Henry Kissinger asked ‘If I want to call Europe who do I call?’ After his appointment, Herman Van Rompuy replied jokingly that he awaits the first phone call.
In Belgium, Van Rompuy was seen as the consolidating force bringing the country out of its political impasse. His role in leading the European Union through its own identity crisis should not be underestimated. With the financial crisis, the effects of globalisation are more exposed than ever, we need an EU leader to move us past national selfishness to a European vision, which will unite various EU mindsets.
Whilst Van Rompuy appears to be ideal in this post, his emphasis on Europe’s Christian heritage excludes many of our fellow Europeans, whether they be Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox or third-generation Muslim immigrants. He needs to be more diplomatic in harmonising Europe and remain open-minded even when he is a staunch opponent of Turkish membership to the EU.