More Vistula and Danube Less Rhine

EU’s leadership needs to pivot to the East if it wants to be truly geopolitical. Why not Sikorski and Kallas as High Representatives and Johannis as President of the European Council?

If you look at the current EU leadership, you might be forgiven to think that the enlargements to the East of 2004, 2007 and 2013 never happened. The Presidents of the EU institutions are all from the West, from Ursula von der Leyen (Germany) via Christine Lagarde (France) to Charles Michel (Belgium). There is not a single Pole, Romanian or Croatian present. High Representative Josep Borrell (the EU’s foreign minister) is from Spain, while the strategic digital and green portfolios were steered by Margrethe Vestager (Denmark) and Frans Timmermans (Netherlands). You need to dive deep into the organigram to find, in the third row, Valdis Dombrovskis (Latvia) as trade Commissioner, though hardly visible in public. Maroš Šefčovič (Slovakia) has now replaced Frans Timmermans, but his technocratic education makes him unable to influence the direction of the EU.

„Why is the East so poorly represented? . . . Together, the Central and Eastern European countries make up 22.6 percent of the EU population.“


Add to this Věra Jourová (Czechia) and Dubravka Šuica (Croatia), who both were given vice-presidencies with fancy titles (“Values and Transparency” and “Democracy and Demography,”) but without a portfolio and a staff of only seven, the impression is confirmed that the East lost out big time when the EU leadership was chosen in 2019.

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