By chance, this week I have met the new Permanent President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, twice. The first was at a private function, the second at a reception at the Royal Palace. On the basis of what I saw and heard, I rapidly came to the conclusion that Van Rompuy was the perfect person for the job. He has had a bad press in some quarters, but those who point to his alleged failings either misunderstand the man or the difficult role he must now play or both. Implementing this particular provision of the Lisbon Treaty was always going to be a tall order but Van Rompuy’s appointment would happily appear to be one of those rare phenomena in political affairs: the right man in the right place at the right time.