Monday, January 30, 2012

The Danish Presidency - will it matter?

Denmark is currently holding the rotating presidency of the EU. It's one of the smaller countries in the Union, and it has opted out of the euro. Plus its prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, a social democrat, is new at the helm of Danish politics (and now the EU). These facts might cause people to diminish the importance of this particular presidency.

But maybe all of the above works to Prime Minister Thorning-Schmidt's advantage. After all (bearing in mind Denmark's surprising win in the 1992 European Championships in football), Denmark is a country that thrives at being an underdog. So maybe a political upset is in the making, too.

Thorning-Schmidt is a skilled analyst (who holds an M.Sc. in political science and an M.A. in European studies from the College of Europe) who's is quite underrated despite her impressive resumé and ability to ride off a storm (she was falsely accused of tax fraud and met by a crowd of agressive journalists in the Copenhagen Airport without as much as a blemish or a stutter).

Nobody really expects much of this presidency (or any other due to the fact that the union now also has a permanent president in Herman von Rompuy). But maybe the Danes' ability to prepare professionally and punch above its weight might result in competent stewardship.

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