After looking at Jerzy Buzek's Votewatch profile and seeing him win over Mario Mauro (EPP) and Graham Watson (ALDE), I still have to briefly say why he is the wrong choice for the European Parliament presidency.
As a big fan of Central and Eastern Europe I am happy that someone from Poland will become the next president of the European Parliament. I also don't mind that the EPP will get the presidency of the EP. And it is an asset that thanks to his Solidarity background he can claim to be part of the group of people who co-initiated the fall of the wall 20 years ago.
But Jerzy Buzek is still the wrong choice, for three simple reasons:
- He is old.
- He is male.
- He has built his political career on national politics.
So one of the main political instruments the EP has are symbolic decisions, decisions that rise above the standard message of politics. The EP could have made a choice of such symbolic value, but it looks as if it won't.
Party politics and power positions are dominated by old males. With Barroso in place for a second term on top of the European Commission, and with no women in sight for the post of European Council president and High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy (if the Lisbon Treaty is ratified), the post of the European Parliament president could have been the only one where MEPs could have made a point for equal opportunities and equal share of power. But they have missed their chance.
How to engage the younger generation in (European) politics, if only worn-out old male politicians are the example of who can make it in our democracy?
And the third point is equally important:
Jerzy Buzek has no distinct European profile. His career is built on his Solidarity background, and when he left the national stage after his term as prime minister his reputation had been very low.
He has spent only four years in the European Parliament, and now he is chosen as EP president in a series of power deals between the Socialists, the People's Party and the Liberals, while he still says in the EuroparlTV interview (see also Anda's comment on Twitter) that his nomination is a matter of pride for Poland.
I don't want someone who makes one country proud, I want somebody who makes the European Union proud of itself!
This is the absolutely wrong sign for the European "democracy", especially for my generation, who is desperately looking for people like Alex Stubb or Cecilia Malmström who hold high national offices after having been an MEP, write blogs, and (in Alex's case) can still run an Ironman in their free time.
I want those for high European posts, not their fathers.
Politicians like Buzek - as nice as he may be - or his predecessor Pöttering, the elder statesman puppets, bore me to death - and with them, nobody should be surprised that young people don't go to vote and don't show interest in the EU.