Introduced by the new Treaty of Lisbon, the Council has a president for 2.5 years – extendable for another 2.5 years. As the first ever president of the Council, Herman van Rompuy is almost at the end of his first term and is likely to be reappointed for a second term, according to the Guardian.
This reappointment is not widely covered in the media; moreover it is much in the shadow – and not too visible to the EU citizens. We notice that when we elect national presidents, especially by popular vote, that this has huge coverage across the borders and it catches the interest of citizens all over Europe.
Let's take France, where Sarkozy takes up the challenge to be re-elected in April. Not only the French are invested and interested in this – throughout Europe people are interested and knowledgeable about the upcoming elections and Sarkozy's opponents. EU citizens are connected in a way that is never matched by politicians or policymakers from an EU level.
Even the elections in the United States seem to be of more interest to the people in the EU, than the reappointment our European President. Although Van Rompuy might be more visible than Baroness Ashton, he is not nearly as visible as Hillary Clinton or even Europe's national leaders, like 'Merkozy'.
I hope that the EU will put a lot of practical effort in their work on transparency and connecting the EU citizens for the elections of the European Parliament, and implicitly the president of the European Commission, in 2014 – following France's great example and momentum.
Dan LUCA / Brussels