The Belgians

by scartabello

Contrary to what my previous post may have alluded you to think, I’m not Dutch. My passport is issued by the quaint, less organised, little country to the South. Home to the brave, Ceasar called it. Sadly we have lost that epithet a long time ago. Now we have become home to the chronically identityless self-deprecating surrealists. Which I must say, is quite a feat to accomplish in itself.

But this post will not talk about the unbearable lightness of being Belgian. That would encompass an entire blog on its own. I would like to draw attention to the Belgian currently heading the EU. Some call him EU President, a term not so politically correct, others call him Haiku Herman. To me he will remain the man who brought serenity and some consistency to my country in times of despair. And he did it in a manner that can be identified as “quiet determinism with a Machiavellian twist.”  (He is, after all, a Catholic)

It would thus be a mistake to dismiss ce petit belge as unimportant or worse harmless. He has turned the qualification “grey mouse” into his trademark. His ressemblance to a non-assuming professor in philosophy with a witty sense of humour and a fondness of Japanese poetry provides perfect cover for his intentions and ambitions.

A small hint of those ambitions may have been given during his first EU Summit.  As the FT Brussels blogger rightly concludes,  Mr. Van Rompuy wants  “More Action, More Results & More Summits!”  More summits means more exertion of power to push member states just that tiny bit further than they anticipated into a maze of up close and personal encounters.

Because despite his current role, HVR remains a staunch believer in federalism. Applying federalism in an intergovernmentalist manner will be his recipe to master for the next 2,5 years . How successful he’ll be remains to be seen. One thing is certain: never underestimate a man with a self-deprecating sense of humour, especially if he’s Belgian. Trust me on this.

I leave you here with a Comic Relief moment that bears the same title as this post for your entertainment…

Until the next post,