Forget the debt crisis _ European Union President Herman Van Rompuy is just trying to spread a little happiness.

For the New Year, the politician who fancies soothing Haiku poetry in his free time is sending "The World Book of Happiness" to world leaders and urging them "to make people's happiness and well-being our political priority for 2012."

Is the president of a political bloc of 500 million people, many of whom are facing financial struggles, out of touch with today's harsh political realities? He acknowledged in an accompanying letter to government leaders that "I know the cynics will immediately dismiss these proposals as naive."

Still, he said it was worth sticking his neck out. The book is a compilation of 100 short treatises of scientists and experts in positive psychology.