Can you name the men in charge of the EU?
We’ll give you a clue…. there are five in total.
These include the presidents of the European Parliament, European Council, European Commission, European Central Bank and Eurogroup, the informal meeting of financial institutions in the eurozone.
So who are they? Whichever way you vote in the EU referendum, these five names are well worth remembering.
Schulz had dreamed about becoming a professional football player until a knee injury put an end to those ambitions. Instead he became a bookseller, politician and then mayor of his home town of Wurselen.
He made his name in the European Parliament 2009 when he questioned whether Jose Manuel Barroso, then European Commission president, should be automatically given a second term. After speaking with Barroso, he dropped his objection and was later unanimously nominated as a candidate for president of the European Parliament.
In 2010, Schulz was interrupted by British MEP Godfrey Bloom who heckled him with the Nazi slogan ‘Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer’ meaning ‘one people, one empire, one leader’.
Schulz also got into trouble after he took over the European Parliament’s Twitter account – set up by staff – for himself, making it his own personal account.
His main responsibilities include 1) ensuring parliamentary procedures are properly followed, 2) overseeing parliament’s various activities and committees, 3) representing parliament in all legal matters and in its international relations and 4) giving final assent to the EU budget.
The president of the European Council is former Polish prime minister Donald Tusk – who has himself been outspoken in recent weeks about EU leader’s ‘utopian illusions’ risking breaking Europe apart.
Tusk may have come under fire for having one of the largest political salaries in the world (not to mention his motorcade of five limousines) but he has been a key figure in working toward resolving the migration crisis and helping Syrian refugees coming to Europe.
Tusk also played a part in successfully keeping Greece a member of the eurozone, despite its struggling economy.
His main responsibilities include 1) leading the EC’s work in setting the EU’s general political direction and priorities, 2) promoting cohesion and consensus within the EC and 3) representing the EU externally on foreign and security issues.
Juncker was prime minister of Luxembourg from 1995 to 2015. His appointment to the EU commission was controversial due to the country’s status as a tax haven while under his control, something The Guardian’s Nick Cohen writes about in great detail here.
When he was caught have a few too many during a press meet and greet last year, that probably didn’t help his reputation either.
But that said, Juncker has been a strong advocate of ensuring there is a minimum wage and income for all workers in European countries.
He was one of the architects of the euro single currency and has worked tirelessly to keep the eurozone afloat after the financial crisis in 2008, making sure Greece’s debts didn’t take it down.
Juncker is also an advocate of deeper EU integration and strives to help those in the poorest nations.
His main responsibilities include 1) giving political guidance to the Commission, 2) calling and chairing meetings of the college of the Commissioners, 3) leading the Commission’s work in implementing EU policies, 4) taking part in G7 meetings and 5) contributing to major debates both in the European Parliament and between EU governments in the Council of the European Union
‘Super Mario’ was an Italian economist and banker at Goldman Sachs before becoming president of the European Central Bank in 2011.
He is pretty well respected on the whole and was nominated the world’s second greatest leader by Fortune Magazine in 2015 and world’s eight most powerful person by Forbes in 2014.
However, he has been accused o having a conflict of interests in the job (he’s a member of Rockefeller’s Group of Thirty lobbyists in the financial sector) and was heckled by a female protester wearing an ‘End ECB dick-tatorship’ T-Shirt last year.
Dijsselbloem, dubbed Mr Euro, took over as president of Eurogroup in 2013 from Jean-Claude Juncker and went on to negotiate a bailout package with Greece after the Syriza party’s victory in the Greek elections.
Dijsselbloem, who was raised a Roman Catholic, also holds a position as minister of finance for the Netherlands and is a member of the country’s labour party at the same time as being president of Eurogroup.