He has emerged as front-runner and will likely be installed in December, if he can keep a low enough profile until the next EU Summit being held in Brussels next week. He is the favourite of Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy for two reasons. Firstly, he is a low profile character who would mould the role, for his tenure at least as more of a Chairperson than of a jet-setting President. Sarkozy and Merkel have apparently agreed that they do not want to be seen as playing second fiddle to an EU presence on international junkets.
The second appealing factor is Mr Van Rompuys likely legislative agenda as he is a staunch fan of the original EU Constitution and a Federalist. His domestic manifesto was penned largely by him and called for a massive expansion of the presence of the EU in councils, town halls, schools and in sporting events all around the EU. The document also says that apart from the EURO, other national symbols need to be replaced by European symbols, such as licence plates, EU Identity Cards, EU Flags at all government buildings across the EU and EU Sporting teams and events.
When the EU Constitution was dropped by the people of Europe and re-introduced without the EU Anthem he told the Belgian Parliament
It is also a certainty that President Van Rompuy will additionally be the instigator of direct taxation to the EU which he has championed for many years. Initially this will be in the form of “Green Taxes” drawn from petrol pumps and from aviation duties, but the aim will be to ring fence VAT across the EU and make it a direct tax set by and paid to the EU.
“We go on with the ratification of the European Constitution in all our parliaments, but we need to admit that for the moment the project is over. However, this doesn’t mean that we cannot continue to work in a creative way in the direction which the Constitution points in.
“I don’t object if we break up the Constitution into smaller parts, as long as we continue to work in the same direction: in the direction of more Europe.”
The adoption of the Lisbon Treaty has paved the way for a Federal Europe, and this will now be rolled out; but it will be done so under the guise of the wishes of the peoples of Europe, when really it is for the betterment of the new elite. The EU has used soft power as a means to consolidate central control of EU Nations for many years, and it will roll out the next phase of the EU project in the same manner. EU Flags will be sent to town halls, schools and Government buildings. The EU Ring of Stars is already proudly displayed in a number of EU countries, but by no means all. The destruction of National Identity and formal efforts towards a European Identity will be openly adopted. The EU which has been working its way into schools without a mandate for years will now have the final say on the way and manner our children are educated. If they cannot win our minds they will take our children’s instead.
What is our Prime Minister, Gordon Brown likely to do? Nothing. Though Whitehall will give the impression of resisting many of the above mentioned initiatives they are at heart fully sold up to the EU project. It is only for appearances sake that Labour will make some overtures, but as soon as these matters have come into place they will be fully supported and pointed to as Labours willingness and ability to work well with European Partners. But the truth is, it is all about giving the appearance that some domestic control and scrutiny remains when in truth it does not. The Conservatives will talk about a Federal Europe being unacceptable, but they too know the only way out now is what they consider the nuclear option, withdrawal.
Meanwhile, in Italy, Franco Frattini, the Italian Foreign Minister has called for a single European Army to be created to underpin a common European Defence policy. The logic according to Mr Frattini is:
"if we do not find a common foreign policy, there is the risk that Europe will become irrelevant. We will be bypassed by the G2 of America and China, which is to say the Pacific axis, and the Atlantic axis will be forgotten. We need political will and commitment; otherwise the people of Europe will be disillusioned and disappointed. People expect a great deal of us. After Lisbon we have no more alibis".Was he speaking for you when he said that? No, me either. He continued his assessment concluding that it was a “Necessary objective to have a European Army” because
…. Erm, so we should have a European Army because it will make it easier for the Americans to deploy European troops and assets??"Take Afghanistan: at present President Obama asks Poland, or Italy, or Great Britain for more troops. If there were a European army, he would have a 'toolbox' to draw from. He might need 30 aeroplanes: he would be able to ask if the European army was in a position to provide them."
Keep your eyes peeled. These are the sorts of discussions that long ago would have been conducted in Parliament by representatives drawn from the people of the UK (and soundly rejected). Now the fundamental decisions of our lives are being made in Brussels, Paris and given in interviews to journalists from the Times along the Tiber. The discussion and topics will be contextualised by the agents who support these changes, and opponents will be quickly marginalised. Gordon Brown may hark on about Britain having influence in Europe, but he also said that the UK was best placed of all G8 Countries to see out a recession and that his Party would not make spending cuts... His belief that the UK has influence in the EU proves how well Sarkozy and Merkel can marganilise him without him even realising.
Democracy truly is the most valued and also the vaguest of political terms in the political world; oh fair England what is the reason for your extended slumber?
18-Nov-09 Update: I did not realise that Mr Rompuy is also a poet, good thing then that Iain Martin did and has published someo of his work.