This Thursday, the European Council is expected to announce their first-ever elected President.
However, with a baffling selection process taking place firmly behind closed doors, and no clear candidates or actual vote, the European public is struggling to get excited for what may be an important decision.
The role, whilst largely administrative, represents a new era of European integration. It would be the first time the European Union would have a recognizable, elected leader. As Reuters put it:
The post of EU president was created to give Brussels more clout and respect in world affairs. The person was supposed to be instantly recognizable and charismatic to boost dwindling public confidence which hit rock bottom when French and Dutch voters rejected the EU's draft constitution in 2005.
Whilst the European Council currently has a presidential position, this position is technically the head of state of the member that is currently president of the council. These member states rotate every 6 months. Having a separate, elected leader who holds office for two and a half years would, in theory, provide more continuity to pan-European politics and give an identifiable face for the rest of the world.
The problem is, with a region as diverse as Europe, a candidate that can appease all states is unlikely to be found. The Financial Times reports:
A majority of the EU's 27 national leaders are deeply uncomfortable with the idea that the bloc's first full-time president might overshadow them - diminishing the status of national governments in the process.
Just who could overcome this deadlock? We look at the favorites - with odds from British bookmakers Ladbrokes - and ask you to vote on who should be chosen.
Please note - odds correct at time of publication Wednesday, but may change. Check Ladbrokes for the latest odds.
Former Prime Minister of The United Kingdom - ODDS 5/1 Appointed a special Middle East envoy for the UN -- Turned around British Labour and helped broker peace in Northern Ireland -- Support for Iraq War and Afghanistan forever in the European mind
Current Prime Minister of Belgium - ODDS 4/7 As Belgium's budget minister helped to drive down national debt -- Helped stabilize Belgium politics after a period of uncertainty that saw three Prime Minister's within a year
Prime Minister of Luxembourg - ODDS 7/1 Longest serving European Premier-- Well known for his pro-European views -- Once helped broker an important economic agreement between French president Chirac and German Chancellor Kohl
Current Prime Minister of the Netherlands -ODDS 5/1 Oversaw tough immigration policies and cuts in public spending that made him unpopular with the Dutch public-- Resigned twice as prime minister -- Once referred to by the Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Karel De Gucht as "a mix of Harry Potter and a petty rigid bourgeois mentality"
Former President of Latvia - ODDS 8/1 Attended high school and college in Toronto -- Earned a PhD in experimental psychology before returning to her country of birth to work in politics -- First female president in Central and Eastern Europe -- Succeeded in achieving EU and NATO membership for her country
Former Prime Minister of Finland - ODDS 10/1 Studied at Dartmouth -- Began his career in journalism -- Consultant for the new Nord Stream gas pipeline from Russia-- Remembered for his successful right-wing fiscal policies
Former President of Ireland, Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights - ODDS 25/1 First female President of Ireland -- Hugely popular during her time in office -- First Irish President to meet the Queen of England -- Known for liberal social policies and support of global human rights