, home of course to the EU institutions, today (1st July) assumes the six-month rotating presidency of the European Union.
Taking the reins off the back of its recent national elections
, Belgium is in the unusual position of acquiring this status with only a caretaker government and so without neither a confirmed Prime Minister at the helm nor a coalition agreement in place to guide its agenda for the EU's priorities. Indeed, the negotiations on forming a new government are not expected to come to a conclusion until September or early October at the earliest...
It is therefore expected that the current President of the European Council, fellow Belgian Herman van Rompuy
, will have a big role to play over the next few months.
"To a great extent, the Belgian EU Presidency will be Herman Van Rompuy's presidency
," said Pascal Delwit, a professor of political science at the Free University of Brussels
(Universite Libre de Bruxelles
) in an interview with EurActiv France
. Mr Delwit is also quoted as commenting that the lack of political leadership in Belgium means "no-one will be there to overshadow him
Does this leave the door open for Mr Barroso