Standing up to bullies was instilled in Frans Timmermans from his schooldays.
The Dutchman came to prominence 6 years back as his nation’s foreign minister with a psychological speech at the United Nations. Russian-backed separatists had actually shot down Flight MH17 jam-packed with Dutch nationals, and Timmermans funnelled the beliefs of a stunned country to the world.
In his next task as first vice president of the European Commission, he squared off with conservative populists like the UK’s Nigel Farage and with autocratically minded leaders in Hungary and Poland.
In 2015 Timmermans, a member of the Dutch Labour Party, led an energetic and enthusiastic campaign to end up being the president of the Commission.
And for a week it appeared he would be designated.
However his tenaciousness had actually stirred excessive bad blood with Budapest and Warsaw, which broke the ice for conservatives to coalesce around a Christian Democrat option, Ursula von der Leyen.
Timmermans took a role overseeing the European Green Deal as one of the Commission’s 3 executive vice presidents.
To prosper he requires to stand up to federal governments and beneficial interests hurrying to reboot economies crashed by the coronavirus.
That implies making sure the trillions of euros that the EU and its member states invest transform instead of entrench contaminating markets and facilities.
Timmermans begins his first podcast interview with how songwriters from Jacques Brel to Bruce Springsteen have actually provided solace and motivation for him.