Apr 29, 2016

Who's really the boss of Europe? Prime Minister Orban performs impressively on EU power matrix

Hungary has ranked in the top 10 of Europe's most powerful nations

Prime Minister Viktor Orban has performed impressively on an EU power matrix put forward by

In the chart, posted on Politico's website yesterday, Hungary has ranked in the top 10 of Europe's most powerful nations.

The graph plots which national leaders are the most effective at combining forces with their ambassadors to the EU, to ensure power and influence.

The starting premise is the increasing importance in recent years of leaders’ summits and the “Coreper” meetings of ambassadors who prepare those gatherings and keep diplomacy ticking between them, relative to other ministerial meetings.

On the coordinate system of the chart, the relative strength of a country’s leader and ambassador is demonstrated, where the country is ranked overall, and whether its trajectory in the matrix is positive, neutral or negative based on likely events in the coming months.

Hungary has been ranked in a very impressive place on the coordinate system. Outside elite Brussels circles, Hungary has got a very strong and determinative classification being in the top 10 strongest countries.

Remarkably, Hungary is the only country outside the Western European region on the top right quarter of the matrix. Most of the surrounding countries of Hungary are mostly on the left side, with less influential ambassadors and down with weaker leadership.

Among leaders, Germany’s Angela Merkel is without peer. That places an extra burden on ambassadors (known as “Permanent Representatives”) to help their countries keep the pace. Yet outside elite Brussels circles, few know which ambassadors matter or how well they work with their leaders.

Turkey and other EU membership candidate countries are also included on the chart to illustrate that influence does not come only from a formal seat at the table.

Read more here.