EU President

The Belgian Premier has been named as the first EU President. Is this a full time job, requiring him to resign as the Premier of Belgium?

Yes, he (Herman van Rompuy is his name, it’ll be fun to see people struggling with it) will have to resign.

Thanks. Does this sort of thing help or hurt one’s political career?

We don’t know, it hasn’t happened before, but it might well be the peak of an European political career. – Can you go any further as a politician in Europe?

That is not the job title. He is President of the European Council.

What is the European Council ? This is

Speaking for myself, I care more about who is the actual premier of my country than who officially “runs” the inscrutable bureaucracy that is European politics.

ETA: that also means I’m slightly disappointed that we couldn’t shift Balkenende to Europe.

Lovely title, sounds much better than “figurehead dependent on the good will of Angela Merkel.”