The Secretary General of the European Parliament is responsible for the administration of the European legislature, and since Welle had been SG of the European Peoples Party (EPP) as well as of the EPP-ED group in the European Parliament, and has lately served as the head of office of European Parliament President Hans-Gert Pöttering (EPP; German christian-democrat), he looks at least experienced in leading administrative bodies, especially in and around the European Parliament.
Politically, Welle seems to be a true European for whom the European Union is "the last utopia", bring a "balance of interests on a supranational level" and "the protection of peace on the continent" (source). He is also fighting for a more democratic European Union, which, I hope, he will be able to push for in his new post.
However, critics call him "Prince of Darkness", because he seems to be in favour of a less transparent policy-making within the EP. Already 1 1/2 years ago, he was expected to take over the post of SG, not least because he was seen as one of the most influential figures within the Parliament. Yet,
"Across the board those who have come into contact with him praise his intelli-gence, dedication and political skill. They pay tribute to his almost unrivalled know-ledge of the Parliament and his devotion to work. “You could ring his office at midnight and he would still be there, working on some deal,” said one senior British MEP.Altogether, it looks as if we will get an ambitious European conservative with strong political networks and the ability to use them tactically. Which means, we will get a politician for a semi-administrative post, which can be good or bad, depending on how he uses his position.
If he uses his skills for the good of the Union, we might be able to applaud him quite soon. If he remains the Prince of Darkness, a new "shut-up"-SG, then we might have to come back to the matter with a more negative note!
So let's wait and see...
Read also: Restructuring of the European Parliament Secretariat (07 May 2009)