Talk:President of the European Council

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Candidates for 2009[edit]

Is this section anything other than reportage of speculation. No formal announcements of candidacy yet, nor even ratification that the job will exist in that format. Kevin McE (talk) 08:41, 14 December 2007 (UTC)[]

I think its important to mention the names that are coming up (and Blair was formally supported/proposed by Sarkozy making it more than just speculation) as earlier it is mentioned that the type of person will determine what the Presidents power and influence would be like in the future.- J Logan t: 10:47, 15 December 2007 (UTC)[]

The picture of Anders Fogh looks horrid. There are many open-source pictures of him that are better, but I dont know how to edit wikipedia this way. Could someone replace the picture?

-Alexander —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:02, 29 March 2008 (UTC)[]


I'm not sure about having three images there, we have those three but there are four mentioned and no doubt more to come. Blair is the frontrunner, we might as well just show him as otherwise it will be biased or turn into a gallery.- J Logan t: 12:02, 30 January 2008 (UTC)[]

The three currently displayed are the three mentioned most often by far, from what I've read in news articles. Some Scandinavians have been mentioned too, but not as much IMO. Of course the Blair-Sarkozy thing has been covered most by the english-language media, but I think we should keep these three until more new more-or-less candidates are actively spoken of. The current caption contains the words among others. -   15:17, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
Fair enough, but if we get to the stage where we have official candidates then we should default to just those figures I reckon.- J Logan t: 16:02, 30 January 2008 (UTC)[]
Of course. -   16:06, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Less candidate-partisan coverage[edit]

In covering the candidates, I found the page to be too Blair-centred. This probably originates in a similarly Blair-centred British media. I tried to correct that a bit, citing some French, German, Austrian and Hungarian sources. However, as I also added further bits of information on the interpretation and chances of the Blair candidacy, and didn't attempt to write a full subsection on Juncker, the balance is still sqewered. Anyone with a good access to French and German media willing to take that up? (talk) 15:09, 14 February 2008 (UTC)[]

I agree there is too much on Blair, but it is hard finding the sources - it isn't all UK press though. Thanks for the further information though, I wish they would come up with more data on the others soon though. In everything I've managed to find (not just UK press) its all Blair Blair Blair.
On your change to the infobox though, the European Council President is a person, based on the country system in the Council of Ministers. So it is correct to write the president not the state.- J Logan t: 10:27, 16 February 2008 (UTC)[]
On Blair in the media, I think that "all Blair Blair Blair" is a media campaign of his supporters, not a reflection of discussions in the Council (where the President will be decided). In particular, the Independent article on which much of the Blair section seemed to be based (reference #12) has it even in the title.
However, today I will put together a Juncker section, branching off the paragraph on him and citing a few more sources, to which I will add Merkel's expected implicit endorsement tomorrow.
One more section that may be worth fleshing out is the implications of power balance, e.g. the representation of small vs. large states, left vs. right, North vs. South, East vs. West, when considering all four top jobs in the EU. (talk) 12:54, 18 February 2008 (UTC)[]
I now added that major edit (and also registered). Also added beyond the Juncker section: a sentence on the lack of a prescribed nomination process and Sarko kicking off the speculation. Of the changes to the old text, I consider one significant: the old version said that in October 2007, Sarkozy reiterated his "support" for Blair. What Sarkozy said was indeed reported thusly in a number of newspapers, and not only British. However, other newspapers I checked (above all French ones) spoke of a double endorsement, and I found the official transscript that reinforces the latter version.
There is one further source that I think is worth adding, but I'm not sure how and exactly where. op-ed in the Wall Street Journal would both underline the point of Blair advocates that he is recognised abroad, and evidence a dismissal of Juncker on the same term ("tiny Luxembourg").Rontombontom (talk) 08:24, 19 February 2008 (UTC)[]
Thanks for your additions, great work. Yes a section in representation would be good, in the above sections as the candidates bit is not getting very long. Wish they'd hurry up and decide a few things about this post so we have some hard material to write on. Had internet troubles of late and now I have some catching up to do but I'll help out on that soon.- J Logan t: 12:50, 19 February 2008 (UTC)[]
About the representation section, maybe later this week, today I only plan to update the sentence on Merkel's laudation of Juncker this morning. I may also think about how to shorten the candidates section... I didn't plan it to be this long when I began writing & assembling sources :-)Rontombontom (talk) 14:22, 19 February 2008 (UTC)[]

Intergov vs Federalist, Presidential vs Parliamentary[edit]

JLogan, you wrote when removing one sentence, Line on school of thought - I'd disagree, it is also supported by intergovs - so he is controlled by the leaders in the Council rather than the other way around. Could you expand on that? Because I can't parse this short sentence: e.g. what is the 'it' the integovs support too (strong Commission? democratic legitimation vested in the Parliament?); and did my sentence read as if saying that the President would control the Council?Rontombontom (talk) 14:22, 19 February 2008 (UTC)[]

The line "This school of thought desires European power to be concentrated in a Commission controlled by the democratically elected Parliament." makes it sound like the idea of a weak President is desirable by those wanting a strong supranational structure and opposed by those wanting a stronger intergovernmental counterweight. Where as a weak President is also desirable by those who wish to avoid a President who would dominate the leaders in the European Council, as a weak President would follow the instructions given by the leaders and just arrange meetings etc rather than upstage them with his influence. Ergo, it seems misleading.- J Logan t: 11:21, 21 February 2008 (UTC)[]
OK, fair point, we are talking of two orthogonal differences with four possible opinions. However, both the present version and my unfortunate edit represents only two of those. I shall think about a good re-wording.Rontombontom (talk) 20:00, 21 February 2008 (UTC)[]
Okay, having thought about it, here is my take. Before I attempt any re-write, I lay out my thoughts for your comments.
I see these four opinions, all of which I attempt to present in a way hopefully agreeable to their champions:
1. Only national governments have a real democratic mandate, the EU should be intergovernmental, so the Council should be strong and all the EU officers shall remain weak, including a Council President (this is held by the less vehement Eurosceptics, and some intergov Europhiles)
2. The EU is best run intergovernmentally via the European Council, but for more efficient work, higher recognition among citizens and abroad, the President should be at least symbolically powerful (more intergov Europhiles, I think this is how the original proponents among the heads of states thought in 2003-4)
3. The EU should become more federal, with increased powers for the EP and accountability for the Commission while the Council shall behave more like an upper house (with the Bundesrat of Germany as best analogy), so its President shall practice a chairman and negotiating job rather than one analogous to a head of state (the view of parliamentarian Europhiles)
4. The EU should become more federal, with reduced possibilities for stasis and blocking of the EP and Commission due to bickering and national selfishness emanating from the European Council, thus a stronger Council President with real powers is needed as federal counterbalance to the national governments, as well as being the "Mr. Europe" in the Kissingerian/American sense, best with democratic mandate (the view of presidential Europhiles)
As I see it, the actual job description in the Treaty of Lisbon is a compromise between all four (but primarily 3 and 2). Now, the first paragraph of our First President section doesn't clearly separate 2 and 4, and seems to present 3 through the glasses of 4. In particular, "attract semi-retired leaders" implies a do-nothing job for politicians beyond their prime. Whereas, on one hand, 'retirement into the EU' is a phenomenon affecting all top EU jobs, including more active ones, and also a more active Council President; and on the other hand, the parliamentarian federalists do not see negotiation as an unimportant task, but an important one for which the qualification is years of experience in the Council, e.g. being an elder statesman (something indeed fitting all the discussed candidates we listed, from Blair to Schüssel, expect Merkel). Furthermore, that "rather than wield power within the institutions" at the end of the paragraph, while technically correct, in itself can be read as opposing a federal check on the Council (opinion 1), hence I felt the necessity to mention the opinion that the check be the EP and the Commission (according to opinion 3).
If this is fleshed out, at least part of it may be better placed in the previous section, Duties and powers. (The one or two paragraphs on the power balance I plan will go into the Election section.) What do you think? Rontombontom (talk) 11:18, 22 February 2008 (UTC)[]
That's all well and good but I think this is a tad OR, do we have an academic journal talking about this? We can't chat about our own assumptions and guesswork.- J Logan t: 17:07, 22 February 2008 (UTC)[]


Animum, why have you immediately reverted my edit? (talk) 00:19, 19 February 2008 (UTC)[]

Really sorry, I just got a bit too hasty on RC patrol. Apologies, —Animum (talk) 00:25, 19 February 2008 (UTC)[]
Thanks for the restore! I shall at last register to avoid being mistaken for a spammer. (talk) 06:39, 19 February 2008 (UTC)[]


Why do we now have an image gallery of the candidates? Don't you think this is going over the top, it really doesn't help much and one is just a place holder anyway. One or two is one thing, but now we have loads of images of names that have been mentioned in passing by the press. We don't need any of them really.- J Logan t: 13:57, 31 March 2008 (UTC)[]

I added the five uppermost (one horisontal line, choosing those with similar aspect ratio and IMO good image quality), and I still think there should be images of more candidates that just Blair and Jancker. But ten images is over the top. Especially, we shouldn't try to make it an official gallery that includes every politician ever mentioned. At least Mary Robinson shouldn't be there if we haven't got an image of her. -   14:49, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Bertie Ahern[edit]

Ahern may indeed have economic, political, and diplomatic experience and a great reputation. But what's it have to do with this position? Understand that the article needs sources which state "because of his experience... Ahern is a likely candidate." There are sources that say this, but the section would need to be written differently. What the anonymous IP address has tried to do is what I would consider advertising, which is not what this article should be about. Personal, I would love to support a fellow Irishman, but lets not let this article devolve into the taking of any political sides.--Patrick Ѻ 18:07, 5 May 2008 (UTC)[]

Neither of the links given to support the claim that Bertie Ahern helped double Ireland's economic output contain the words "Bertie" "Ahern" or "Taoiseach", the merely report the expansion of the Irish economy over the time period. This is a spurious connection at best. A far better source for the same data would be the OECD website, or the IMF, or the ESRI.

Thankfully, there is some counter-balance to the over-zealous flattery engaged in by the author(s), but the section remains too long and wordy. Some sections of the CV should be deleted (foot & mouth perhaps?). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Xerxesy (talkcontribs) 10:18, 24 May 2008 (UTC)[]

Image copyright problem with Image:Consilium logo.svg[edit]

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Date and term length in infobox[edit]

Should the supposed details of the future presidency be removed from the infobox per WP:CRYSTAL until such time as the Treaty of Lisbon comes into effect (or is at least ratified by all members)? In the text, it is possible to explain that we are talking about the Treaty of Lisbon, but the infobox gives the wrong impression.--Boson (talk) 06:36, 12 May 2009 (UTC)[]

Copied text?[edit]

Van Rompuy has served as Belgium's premier for less than a year but has earned a reputation as a consensus-builder. He emphasized that quality in his acceptance speech tonight. This looks like a news article. Was it copied from somewhere? It certainly doesn't look encyclopedic. --CodeGeneratR (talk) 07:01, 20 November 2009 (UTC)[]

I do not find this instance any more - seems to be fixed. Tomeasy T C 09:45, 21 November 2009 (UTC)[]


Only one person. Don't you think it looks a bit pathetic to start a list already?- J.Logan`t: 10:12, 20 November 2009 (UTC)[]

Absolutely. Tomeasy T C 09:44, 21 November 2009 (UTC)[]

Rompuy takes office on 1 December or 1 January[edit]

I am not sure about this. Lisbon Treaty takes effect as of 1 December. But what about the newly designated posts. Won't they take office just when the new year starts? Who will preside the last European Council this year in Brussels? Tomeasy T C 09:43, 21 November 2009 (UTC)[]

Swedish Presidency:
- SSJ  19:42, 23 November 2009 (UTC)[]
Thanks. Tomeasy T C 20:23, 23 November 2009 (UTC)[]
The official press release issued today, December 1st, by the EU, on the "implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon", announces that the European Council has met, and has formalized Mr. Van Rompuy's appointment as President, effective immediately. A press release was issued by the European Council reporting on the meeting and it is clearly stated that Mr. Van Rompuy's term as President starts today:

It is clearly stated that the European Council decided "To elect Mr Herman Van Rompuy as President of the European Council for the period from 1 December 2009 until 31 May 2012".-- (talk) 18:14, 1 December 2009 (UTC)[]

Permanent Vs Rotation Presidency[edit]

Anyone knows how the permanent president is going to work with the rotation presidency? Are they going to be merged together or will have 2 different roles? Maybe some lines to clarify this will help!--Melitikus (talk) 11:57, 23 November 2009 (UTC)[]

One presidency presides the Council of the European Union (also called Council of Ministers), while the other one presides the European Council. Did this help? Tomeasy T C 12:40, 23 November 2009 (UTC)[]

Yes - but who will do what?

Premanent President = European Council:: Rotation President = European Union Council (Council of Ministers)


the words are so similar that it is easy to confuse them Council of Ministers and Council of Prime(Chief) Ministers would be more clear - though not all the leaders are called prime ministers--Melitikus (talk) 16:44, 23 November 2009 (UTC)[]

Whatever. You got it right. Tomeasy T C 18:14, 23 November 2009 (UTC)[]


Source for budgeted 2010 expenditure for the Office of the President (which includes, but does not separate out, the salary of the President) is here:

Maybe somebody with more time than me can fit it into the article. Regards, Anameofmyveryown (talk) 01:37, 11 March 2010 (UTC)[]

Source found I found the little insinuation about France's involvement in rejecting Juncker so sexy, (at the end of the paragraph about who was envisaged to be the next president) that I decided to dig up the source. Here it is (an interview with Wilfried Martens, president of EPP), I hope someone can insert it:

regards, Axel

Weasel words/bias?[edit]

Under "Duties and powers", the first paragraph reads: "The presidency set agenda of the meetings, a competence that was misused to push national interests."

Aside from being grammatically questionable, it doesn't seem to be NPOV. The sources appear to be simple descriptions of the office of president and don't seem to support the claim that the powers of the presidency pre-2009 were regularly abused for national self-interest. This sentence seem fishy to anyone else?

AngryHatter (talk) 16:48, 20 February 2014 (UTC)[]

Agreed!! — Blue-Haired Lawyer t 17:45, 20 February 2014 (UTC)[]

URGENT need for updating![edit]

This article urgently need updating, now that there is a new President in place. (talk) 11:07, 11 December 2014 (UTC)[]

Bias in reporting[edit]

Those who are determined to eliminate national democracy, also known as EU-supporters, deliberately and wrongly refer to this job as "president of the European Union" in order to try and legitimize the undemocratic EU and its unelected politicians. It should mention in paragraph one that this is basically a confidence trick in line with referring to the undemocratic EU as "Europe". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:10, 31 January 2017 (UTC)[]