Getting to love HermanPosted: March 16, 2010
When Nigel Farage compared the European Council president to a damp rag in February, I though «Oh, that’s not very nice to Herman» And then I realized : I have a certain sympathy for Herman Von Rompuy.
Yes, I was surprised and a bit disappointed last November when the council pulled out of a hat the name of Von Rompuy for the very first stable president of the European Council. My first thought was of course “Who’s this guy ?” Wikipedia has very few elements to tell at the time, though the page was massively edited since.
The nomination of Herman Von Rompuy as president of the Council and of Lady Ashton as High Representative was actually one of the reason that pushed me over the edge to start this blog.
Since, Herman did took a clear place in the European landscape. Even on twitter, where @Presseurop has been giving “Hermans“ as Follow Friday awards, and tweeters has been using the hashtag #HVR (among others) to talk about Herman Von Rompuy.
But why am I so positively inclined to Herman ?
Maybe because he is calm and shows a great deal of self control. Maybe because he is at the exact opposite of my national president (who I would anonymously name Litle-Nervous-Guy). Maybe just by contrast to all the critics directed to his fellow Lisbon-Treaty-New-Function nominee Catherine Ashton.
Herman took a few actual good steps : he wants to increase the number of council summits, he got before the European Parliament to explain himself (which lead to the Farage Incident), he made a few good speeches (even quoting Shakespeare, which is quite a good way to appeal to me), … It’s good, but that’s not much… Still, so far, I’m quite supportive to Herman.
It’s no surprise to me he had such a good impact in Belgium when he was prime minister : Herman looks like the perfect personn to cut deal and make things run smoothly. I think he is the good one to make the member state let go of the member-against-member-compromise way of the council to a more member-with-member-agreement. In short, Herman could be a great first council president.
Still, my expectations are high for this presidency and as much as I appreciate Herman’s personality, I hold him accountable for the way his two and a half years council presidency will be managed.