The Multilateralist

Van Rompuy tries to soothe the Eurozone

Herman Van Rompuy, the head of the European Council, is headed to eastern and central Europe in an effort to counter the impression that Paris and Berlin have already sewed up a Eurozone reform package–the so-called "Competitiveness Pact"–with very little input from smaller members. As EUObserver reports: Mr Van Rompuy hopes to undo the political ...

Herman Van Rompuy, the head of the European Council, is headed to eastern and central Europe in an effort to counter the impression that Paris and Berlin have already sewed up a Eurozone reform package–the so-called "Competitiveness Pact"–with very little input from smaller members. As EUObserver reports:

Mr Van Rompuy hopes to undo the political damage done by Berlin and Paris’ presentation of their pact as a fait accompli and to shepherd through a comprehensive solution for all EU countries.

In what he described as a "rethink" that restarts the discussion "from zero", the consultations will also be done in "association" with the commission. "I want to have an open and inclusive discussion with member states on how to achieve a higher degree of economic policy co-ordination," he said in a statement. "I will listen to all and I will also test my own ideas."

The success of the mission will likely hinge on Van Rompuy’s credentials as an honest-broker. And judging by the anger he faced recently in the European Parliament–where one member compared the European Council to the Politburu–those credentials may not be all that strong.

Herman Van Rompuy, the head of the European Council, is headed to eastern and central Europe in an effort to counter the impression that Paris and Berlin have already sewed up a Eurozone reform package–the so-called "Competitiveness Pact"–with very little input from smaller members. As EUObserver reports:

Mr Van Rompuy hopes to undo the political damage done by Berlin and Paris’ presentation of their pact as a fait accompli and to shepherd through a comprehensive solution for all EU countries.

In what he described as a "rethink" that restarts the discussion "from zero", the consultations will also be done in "association" with the commission. "I want to have an open and inclusive discussion with member states on how to achieve a higher degree of economic policy co-ordination," he said in a statement. "I will listen to all and I will also test my own ideas."

The success of the mission will likely hinge on Van Rompuy’s credentials as an honest-broker. And judging by the anger he faced recently in the European Parliament–where one member compared the European Council to the Politburu–those credentials may not be all that strong.

David Bosco is an associate professor at Indiana University's School of Global and International Studies. He is the author of books on the U.N. Security Council and the International Criminal Court, and is at work on a new book about governance of the oceans. Twitter: @multilateralist
Tag: Europe

More from Foreign Policy

The Taliban delegation leaves the hotel after meeting with representatives of Russia, China, the United States, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Qatar in Moscow on March 19.

China and the Taliban Begin Their Romance

Beijing has its eyes set on using Afghanistan as a strategic corridor once U.S. troops are out of the way.

An Afghan security member pours gasoline over a pile of seized drugs and alcoholic drinks

The Taliban Are Breaking Bad

Meth is even more profitable than heroin—and is turbocharging the insurgency.

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya addresses the U.N. Security Council from her office in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Sept. 4, 2020.

Belarus’s Unlikely New Leader

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya didn’t set out to challenge a brutal dictatorship.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid

What the Taliban Takeover Means for India

Kabul’s swift collapse leaves New Delhi with significant security concerns.