Choosing Mr. Europe

America’s riveting presidential election campaign may be garnering all the headlines, but a leadership struggle is also underway in Europe. And, unlike in America, nobody – not even people closely involved in the process – really knows how the EU’s leaders are chosen.

BRUSSELS – America’s riveting presidential election campaign may be garnering all the headlines, but a leadership struggle is also underway in Europe. Right now, all eyes are on the undeclared frontrunners to become the first appointed president of the European Council.

Nobody – not even people closely involved in the process – really knows how the European Union’s leaders are chosen. There are no formal rules, much less elections; somehow, names just surface in the media to become part of the EU’s mysterious internal bargaining system.

In fact, there are five jobs up for grabs, so a complex but secretive discussion is being conducted between Europe’s chancelleries over who might do what without disturbing the delicate balances between political families or between large and small states.

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