The Financial Times names Frans Timmermans as a candidate for the presidency of the European Council. Will the leftist leader return to comfortable Brussels after his ignominious election defeat?
Frans Timmermans named for European Council
The chair of the European Council has become vacant with the resignation of Belgian Charles Michel. The Financial Times lists French Timmermans as one of the candidates, alongside Italian Mario Draghi, among others. The British newspaper relies on sources high up in the Brussels civil service. The newspaper earlier had the scoop that Wopke Hoekstra would succeed Timmermans as European Commissioner.
Toiling as group chairman
It would be a swift return of Timmermans to Brussels. Barely a few months ago, he was second in command there. Timmermans descended on the Netherlands to become prime minister, but lost the election to Geert Wilders. Now he plods along in the Lower House as GroenLinks-PvdA parliamentary party leader. A not very prestigious job for a former vice president of the European Commission.
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Timmermans is not a quiet diplomat
But the question is whether Timmermans can ground himself at the European Council, which is more of a talking shop than the European Commission. The council president must excel in quiet diplomacy. That is not Timmermans' style, with its assertiveness and self-centeredness. We are willing to bet that French Timmermans, after Aboutaleb's departure, is more likely to run for the mayoralty of Rotterdam.
This article first appeared on the website Culture under Fire of the Civitas Christiana foundation and was written by Rogier Jansen. We have reproduced the article with permission from the foundation, for which we thank them!