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EurActiv: Consensus growing for low-profile EU 'chairman'
Confirming that EU leaders appear to read the job description of the first-ever permanent Council president as more of a 'chairman' than a 'leader', agencies reported today (2 November) that the mild-mannered Belgian prime minister, Herman Van Rompuy, is the "most consensual" figure for the top job.

"There is a consensus on his name [Van Rompuy], which is rare among 27 [EU heads of state and government]. Nobody else has unanimity," said an EU diplomat, quoted by AFP.

"Nobody opposes him and many are asking him to accept," said another.

Van Rompuy, who became Belgium's prime minister last year and who turned 62 yesterday, found himself the object of very clear requests to take the post of first permanent Council president at the EU summit on 29-30 October, the sources reportedly added. AFP hinted that Van Rompuy has the strong support of France and Germany.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Mon Nov 2nd, 2009 at 01:03:55 PM EST
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BBC News: Miliband hails links with Russia
Foreign Secretary David Miliband has said the UK and Russia would not "paper over our differences" but these would not block co-operation between them.

He met his Russian counterpart on the first visit to the country in five years by a UK foreign secretary.

Mr Miliband said greater cultural and business links between both countries reflected increased "common ground".

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Mon Nov 2nd, 2009 at 01:07:29 PM EST
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Sanity prevails!

And Von Rompuy is surely better than Balkenende. (Please?)

I would be interested in knowing who vetoed Balkenende and why.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 2nd, 2009 at 01:27:12 PM EST
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Van Rompuy certainly looks better than Balkenende.

Dutch paper Volkskrant cites an anonymous source who states that Balkenende is not preferred by some East European states, because of his strict line on the EU budget.

I imagine that Balkenende still has some enemies among influential federalists in the European Parliament.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Mon Nov 2nd, 2009 at 05:54:48 PM EST
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