Politics and Presidents

If you’re in the US, you may not know that the Lisbon Treaty was recently — finally — adopted here in Europe, or that we finally have an EU president. The US news may have been focusing too much on Sarah Palin’s media tour. The whole EU thing was probably little more than a quick note in between Tea Baggers and missing children. 😉

The EU president was chosen this week, surprisingly quickly. The Dutch prime minister, Balkenende, was a possibility for a while, but ultimately the position went to a Belgian by the name of Herman Van Rompuy. Debate continues over whether he can be strong enough to hold his own on a world stage or if he’s just going to bend to pressure — from within Europe, as well as outside. We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, if you’re curious as to the difference in power between the US and EU presidents, the BBC has drawn up a simple comparison. I’m still trying to understand all the various parties and systems both here in the Netherlands and in the EU, so even I found it kind of helpful.