Why Obama won't bother to attend the EU summit

Press quote (The Wall Street Journal)
04 February 2010

Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, a London based think-tank, said this president does not have the attachment to the old continent of many of his predecessors. "Obama is very unemotional about the EU," he said. The key to getting him to attend E.U. summits is to provide practical solutions to problems. "He's not going to take the EU seriously unless the EU delivers," he said. Mr Grant's point is reinforced by what, according to many European press reports, was European squabbling ahead of the Madrid meeting over transcendental questions such as who was going to sit next to Mr and Mrs Obama at the summit dinner, who would shake Mr Obama's hand first (Mr Zapatero) and who would sit to his right (Herman Van Rompuy, new president of the European Council).