Belgium assumes EU rotating presidency while in political limbo - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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Belgium assumes EU rotating presidency while in political limbo

Thursday, 1 July 2010
Belgium, 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 I wonder...?

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