In accepting his appointment as the first president of the European Union, Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy announced that “global governance” is the only way to address the crises that beset the planet.

“We’re living through exceptionally difficult times – the financial crisis and its dramatic impact on employment and budgets, the climate crisis which threatens our very survival, a period of anxiety, uncertainty and lack of confidence,” he said in his maiden press conference. “Yet these problems can be overcome through a joint effort between our countries. 2009 is also the first year of global governance with the establishment of the G20 in the middle of the financial crisis. The climate conference in Copenhagen is another step toward the global management of our planet.”

Lord Christopher Monckton, former science adviser to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, previously warned the dangers of a U.N. treaty proposal promoted by President Obama would lead to world government. Now, the new leader of the EU has seemingly affirmed that as a goal.

The climate-change conference in Copenhagen is scheduled to begin Dec. 7.

The EU summit established under the Lisbon Treaty held a meeting attended by heads of state and government from 29 EU member countries and unanimously chose Van Rompuy as president.

Van Rompuy told reporters after the meeting that he will make EU unity a priority, adding that the most urgent issues are environmental protection and a stable job market.

He will resign as Belgian prime minister and assume the 30-month presidency from Jan. 1 next year.

Former EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton of the United Kingdom was also chosen as the EU’s new foreign affairs chief.

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