Belgian minister: Belgian PM front-runner for EU presidency

20:46, November 19, 2009      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy is expected to become the European Union president, according to his deputy.

"He (Van Rompuy) has his chance to be elected, he is more than 50 percent likely to be elected, but we won't talk about it until the decision has been taken by EU leaders at the summit on Thursday," Vice Prime Minister Laurette Onkelinx told Belgian media RTL-TV on Wednesday.

Van Rompuy is the front-runner among several candidates for the EU top post, which is expected to be discussed and decided at an informal summit later Thursday.

Other candidates include Luxembourgian Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, former Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Blair has received Britain's support to run for the post, but he has also been criticized for his support of the Iraq war in 2003.

Moreover, Britain's refusal to join the 16-nation Eurozone and 25-nation Schengen area is considered as a disadvantage for Blair.

The summit, starting at 6 p.m. local time in Brussels "might take a few hours, it might take all night," Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt told reporters in Stockholm on Wednesday.

Under the Lisbon Treaty, the President of the European Council will be a stable and full-time function. The president enjoys a tenure of two and a half years and can be reelected for a second term

The Lisbon Treaty will enter into force on Dec. 1, 2009.

<i>Source: Xinhua</i>
  • Do you have anything to say?
Special Coverage
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
Most Popular
Hot Forum Dicussion