His initial appointment was greeted not only with howls of 'not-elected' but more significantly, with disappointment by those who are more pro-European; A lightweight, the dampest squib and a grotesque result were some of the observations.
But as EUReferendum rightly pointed out at the time:
Herman is a Machiavellian operator, a man who has no time for nationhood or democracy, a man who once had the locks on the doors of the Belgian Parliament changed to stop a vote on a key issue.Despite the inauspicious start, Rompuy-Pumpy has been quietly going about his business; he is a federalist who has, since he took office, been making the case for more integration. For example pushing for direct EU green taxes, extolling 'global governance' in his acceptance speech, and in the Guardian last Sunday revealing plans to use the Lisbon Treaty to push for greater economic union in the EU this year (my emphasis):
The first is the full implementation of the [Lisbon] treaty...to make further progress in co-ordinating national economic policies to consolidate recovery; to contribute to enabling Europe to speak with a single, firm voice in the world, in defence of its values and interests; and to bring the union closer to and make it more useful for all of Europe's inhabitants.Then, as the FT notes, yesterday Rompuy-Pumpy announced – ahead of the meeting, on 8th January in Madrid, with EU Commission President Barroso and Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero, the current President of the Council of the EU – an unscheduled summit on economic policy on 11th February. There are normally four scheduled summits every year.
The rare, if not unprecedented, convening of this unscheduled EU summit and its date are the personal initiative of Rompuy-Pumpy, and it shows that he is beginning to lay claim to his territory and signaling his prerogatives. He is not going to have his calendar dictated by the Spanish EU Council Presidency.
Rompuy-Pumpy is certainly a man to keep a close eye on, Iain Duncan Smith once made an often derided comment; "do not underestimate the determination of a quiet man".
It was inappropriate for IDS but it certainly isn't for Rompuy.