Why would Birgitte Nyborg be (very) fit to lead Europe

By Andrea Masini

For a very long time I have been thinking about paying a written tribute to Birgitte Nyborg, protagonist of the TV political drama Borgen and, in the fiction, Danish prime minister. In particular, I was thinking about an endorsement of Birgitte Nyborg as a potential, future president of the European Union. In my opinion, her political virtues (she’s resolute, modern and ambitious) would make her perfect for this role. A third and final series of Borgen is scheduled for the spring of 2013, and I haven’t written anything so far. I haven’t, because (maybe) I had a “TV-fiction crush” on her, which would transform my endorsement into a declaration of love. I’ll try to do my best, merely explaining the reasons why Birgitte Nyborg would be the perfect leader for Europe.

She’s resolute…

Strenuously pursuing the vision of European integration would probably be the hardest task of the President of the EU, especially in times of crisis. The role requires perseverance to reach the long term goal of making the EU more united than ever, as well as resoluteness to fight against whom is resistant to change (national states, industries, etc.). Exactly the same perseverance Birgitte Nyborg has shown while discussing her budget with the ousted politicians of the opposition. The same resoluteness Nyborg made use of in the negotiation with Mr Krone, the almighty Danish businessman who was mad at the PM for a bill that would have damaged his industries. The same stubbornness she had at home with her little child Magnus, who wasn’t allowed to eat chocolate snacks for breakfast: just healthy vegetables for him. Birgitte Nyborg has proved to be a leader who goes straight to the target. A leader governing 27 countries (even more in the future) should have Nyborg’s resoluteness in his (or her) DNA.

She’s modern…

The President of the EU shouldn’t belong to the political schemes of the past, when Europe was still divided by the Berlin Wall. In other words, he (or she) should go beyond the traditional political ideologies, representing something new, looking to the future, rather than to the past. Birgitte Nyborg has the perfect profile of the modern president that the EU needs. She’s the leader of the Moderate Party, a centre-of-left party which combines ideas of social solidarity, ecology and progressive liberalism. She has proved to reject the old Labour rationale (too often held hostage by the trade unions), as well as conservative stances (too close to the status quo).This is the perfect mix of positions the President of the EU should stand for. It’s not a matter of political opportunism. It’s just the ideal ideological background the president of Europe should have in order to move away from the past, towards the future of European integration.

She’s ambitious..

In the second series, Birgitte Nyborg decided to lead the peace talks between North and South Kharun, two fictitious African countries at war. Nyborg’s first goal was that of gaining popularity at home. Nevertheless, thanks to a successful negotiation process, she has been able to put small Denmark in the limelight. Ça va sans dire, the president of the EU should be as much ambitious as Birgitte Nyborg was, giving to the relative small European Union an important role in the international political scenario. In particular,this episode of Borgen refers to two main international events. First, the conflict between North and South Sudan. Secondly, the Oslo Accords, in which another small Northern European country, Norway, played a major role in promoting peace between Israel and Palestine. Nowadays, the EU needs to do more in terms of international conflict resolution. In particular, with regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict, as well as to the general situation in the Middle East (for example in Syria), the voice of the EU is not loud enough. The ambition and the charisma of Birgitte Nyborg would certainly help to make it louder.

… and yes: she’s beautiful.

Of course, it doesn’t really matter if the future President of the EU is a man or a woman. His or her look is even less important. Nevertheless, I can’t help thinking about the fact that, with her outstanding charm, Birgitte Nyborg would give a far better image of the EU than Herman Van Rompuy does. I know it’s not important at all. But if I didn’t tell it, my “half declaration-tribute” to Birgitte Nyborg wouldn’t have been complete.


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