European Council

9157497455_724ede816a_h - UPDATED

The final big piece of the jigsaw is the choice of a President of the European Council.

This is the most closed of all the processes: 28 EU leaders will select a current or former member of the European Council to occupy the new Europa building and chair their meetings from 2015 to 2017.

The opaque nature of the process makes it more difficult to predict, but the ‘Van Rompuy’ model of a low-profile but effective conciliator is likely to be followed, with EU leaders preferring not to be outshone.

Potential candidates include Enda Kenny, the Irish PM, who leads a Conservative-Labour coalition in Dublin and who impressed in his handling of the EU budget negotiations. Anders Fogh Rasmussen is another possibility. His selection would overcome the political difficulty of Denmark naming a Liberal as the country’s Commission nominee.

Donald Tusk, the Polish PM, had been mooted for the European Council and Commission jobs, but recently stated that he would remain in Warsaw until the next Polish elections in 2015.