hvrHerman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, is preparing to address the UN General Assembly next week. After a somewhat clumsy negotiation process, this will be the first time the EU has the right to address the UN General Assembly. Van Rompuy’s speech will have three main topics:

1) Global economic interdependence (including the Eurozone crisis)

2) Climate change

3) The Arab Spring

President Van Rompuy has agreed to answer questions from Debating Europe readers on the three main topics of his speech. He will record one or two video responses from the UN corridors and upload them to his “Ask the President” website.

So, what are you waiting for?  Send us your ideas / questions on the Eurozone crisis, climate change or the Arab Spring in the comments below, on TwitterFacebook or by email. The President will choose one or two of them to respond to with a video response.

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7 comments Post a commentcomment


  1. Paul Odtaa

    The fact that only now is the EU being allowed to address the UN General Assembly shows that the EU is punching well below its weight internationally.

    Can I suggest we debate how can the EU be more influential in world affairs?

    I realise this is slightly off topic.

    • Profile photo of Debating Europe
      Debating Europe

      Hi Paul!

      Absolutely, we can debate how the EU can be more influential. ;-) We’ll open up a topic and start asking our interviewees what they think. Any suggestions to get the ball rolling?

  2. Jean Papadopoulos

    Cher Monsieur Van Rompuy,

    Avec une bonne dose de volonté politique ferme,et une petite dose de persuasion,
    en considérant qu’il existe en méditerranée orientale, des zones d’exclusivité économique apparemment très riches en énergies fossiles et que le droit international définit ces zones comme appartenant à la Grèce (et à Chypre), et donc à l’Union Européenne,
    ne serait-il pas possible d’utiliser ces richesses comme monnaie d’échange ou garantie à la dette grecque, avec l’accord du gouvernement grec mais aussi avec la ferme garantie par les états de l’UE que toutes les menaces contre ces zones seraient des menaces contre l’UE (on pourrait envoyer des moyens militaires belges, danois, allemands,…qui ne servent pas à grand chose dans leur casernes provinciales), on donnerait ainsi un vrai message d’Union politique et de défense d’intérêts communs tout en obligeant la Grèce à réduire ses propres moyens militaires de 75%, les sommes ainsi économisées pouvant servir à des politiques nationales
    de relance supervisées par les oragnes de l’UE.
    Bien sûr ceci n’excluerait pas d’autres mesures de contrôle de la gestion de la dette pour et par tous les états membres…
    On ferait d’une pierre, de multiples coups:
    – diminution voir disparition du risque d’un conflit gréco-turc qui point à l’horizon
    – renforcement du sentiment européen avec énorme impact sur les populations ET les marchés financiers
    – réelle aide directe et indirecte à la Grèce pour sortir de la crise financière, avec motivation de la population grecque à soutenir ce réel projet politique
    – stabilisation de la méditerranée orientale par un renforcement réel des frontières orientales de l’UE à l’heure de la grande inconnue des “printemps arabes”.
    Tirant les leçons de la crise actuelle des valeurs financières mais surtout des valeurs politiques et morales, et avant qu’il ne soit trop tard, l’UE deviendrait ainsi le véritable outil stabilisateur imaginé après le désastre de la IIème guerre mondiale par des hommes Politiques.
    merci

  3. Gordon

    The original European Community idea made sense – peace through open trade, opening up of markets, easy access to markets, no wars between France and Germany, etc, etc.

    Today much of the original idea seems to have been lost in translation so to speak. And yet the European Union gets bigger and bigger as nations from the East rush to apply for membership. Many people wonder whether it’s all been worthwhile when at the onset of major financial problems we seem to have no plan A far less a plan B. We seem to be lurching from one emergency to another.

    Take the Greek situation for example. Greece may or may not default on its debt obligations, but clearly membership of the Eurozone is too difficult for Greece and consideration must be given to allow Greece (and others) the possibility of leaving the Eurozone, giving them the flexibility of devaluing. Surely this can be done technically and would not be the end of the world. There are after all some very fine countries (!!) who declined to join the Euro. What does President Van Rompuy think?

    02/12/2011 Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, has responded to this comment.

  4. invisibleman

    dear mr herman van rompuy

    my question are:
    1)in palestenian case, there’s to many ambigous international humanity policy by united nation diplomacy and controvercial statment. i don’t know, how us America and canada could make they vetto option to prevent palestenian “country” to become a member united nation.i think united nation should clear the veto power from some of nation because is a kind of unjustice point that causing untrust security global perception. so, what rational thing on united nation platform or declaration while it founding which could prevent a nation to join in to the united nation member ?

    if you think or answer my question as same like other zionism activis who “sit down” on united nation building converence with their hidden racis purpose so stop to read my next question hence you’re not right or neutral person to this case and i asking to the wrong person. if not like that, please describe your argument by objective method even full of fact and rational thinking!

    2) in many muslim europe person i’ve hear that after twin tower ruin by a pair of air bus plane . many of them feels unsafety to do something especially social interaction to the other europe citizen on some of europe countries. my question is: how the europe goverment responding this situation with right policy desecion that covering all off muslim anxiety social problems?

    okay, i thing enough for this time but anytime i’ll be back with another case quetion. vielen dunk

  5. Jonathan

    Should the UN be asking why the events of 9/11 were inadequately investigated by the official US investigation?

  6. Christos Mouzeviris

    Dear Mr President,

    My question is, as a citizen of one of the “peripheral” European economies, when will Europe stop being divided by the monopolies and the interests of the rich countries. The euro is designed to fit those countries and other economies are not allowed to develop. But they do pay the price, and get the slander as well.

    It is not just Greece’s problem, it is a European one. Most European countries are heavily indebted, but instead of pointing the finger on other, richer states, the European elites are trying to make the people of the “weakest link” to pay the price.

    Have you been recently to Greece Mr Van Rompuy? Have you been there to listen to the stories of the people and what they have to deal with in their every day lives? Do you think that a German or a Belgian or an Austrian , a British or a Swede would accept a 40% salary cut while the VAT on his bread and milk went up to 23%?

    While Greece is not allowed or encouraged to develop industries, and become as rich as other states, it sells its few products to its “partners” tax free, THEY allow their press to portray all its citizens as lazy and corrupt..The Greeks are one of the most hard working people in Europe, but they get paid less than other Europeans for doing the same jobs! Where is the unity and equality in the European “family”?

    And we have the Germans rejecting any viable solution or at least a first step towards it,(aka eurobonds), we are forced to be bailed out and receive constant loans that we will never be able to repay. So our “Partners” are asking guarantees, thus the sell out of our country. Shame!
    We are putting the wishes of the markets and banks above the interests of the people, and we do not even redistribute the losses equally all over the continent…The “peripheral” economies will take the hardest hit, while the richer countries must survive by any means, keeping their AAA ratings, while the “peripheral” countries’ ratings are reduced to junk!

    Is that equality? Is that partnership? If you want to solve the economic crisis in Europe, a) create jobs and give money to the people to spend, to pour money into our markets and revive them, not impoverish them. b) create equality among the member states: equal salaries for the eurozone (at least) one economic governance and model for the eurozone (at least) since we have one common market and currency, it only makes sense to have one economy! c) allow states to exploit their natural resources and create jobs, on a national level, not force them to sell everything to multinationals, d) force the rich states to allow the poorer ones to develop and share..development, industrialization, new investments in new green industries, not only in the northern richer states, but everywhere in Europe. e) create pan-European industries that will exploit and develop each regions’ resources and potentials, for the betterment first of the people of that state or region, but in extent for the whole Continent..

    If we keep dividing Europe in East and West, North and South and the richer north/western countries do not want to let go of their riches, then they will simply have to keep bailing out the weaker regions..So do not complain! They will lose some of their wealth, but the whole continent will gain in stability..Can we do that? Create an equal and prosperous continent from tip to tip?

    I think not…We haven’t reached that level of selfishness in Europe..In extend all the above goes for the rest of the World as well..

    Bedankt.

    Best regards,

    Christos Mouzeviris.

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