25th Jun 2022

Centre-right backs Barroso for second term

Centre-right politicians in the European Union have backed Jose Manuel Barroso to have a second five-year term as head of the European Commission.

A gathering of the European People's Party (EPP), home to both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy's political parties, on Thursday (19 March) agreed to give its political blessing to the Portuguese politician, who has often indicated his interest in a second term.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • Mr Barroso - all set for a second term? (Photo: ec.europa)

"[Mr] Barroso has a broad appeal in all the main political families and is by far the best candidate for this position taking into account his successful term as Commission President and his wide political experience at the national level", said the President of the EPP, Wilfried Martens.

The EPP, currently the biggest political family in Europe, said that if it maintains its dominance after the June EU elections, then the commission president should continue to be a centre-right politician.

The commission president is chosen by member states, usually a strife-torn process carried out behind closed doors.

At the end of last year, EU leaders agreed they would decide on the next commission president at their June summit, shortly after the European elections.

For long, Mr Barroso's second term seemed almost a given - he has also received the backing of the UK's centre-left Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

However, French President Nicolas Sarkozy cast doubt on Mr Barroso's chances by refusing to fully endorse him earlier this month, in contrast to previous public backing. He also suggested the commission president should only be decided upon after Ireland re-votes on the Lisbon treaty, set for the autumn.

The u-turn is thought to have come about due to Paris' dissatisfaction at the way the commission is dealing with the current economic crisis.

Neither Mr Sarkozy or French Prime Minister Francois Fillon attended the EPP meeting on Thursday.

For its part, the European Parliament said it is in favour of EU leaders choosing the president in June so it can vote on the nominee in mid July.

"What counts is that we hold elections on 15 July and that the president reflects the results of the parliamentary elections. Mr Barroso has done a good job," said parliament chief Hans-Gert Poettering on Thursday.

The commission's current term formally expires at the end of October.

EU opens door to Ukraine in 'geopolitical' summit

EU leaders will also discuss eurozone issues with European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde, as more and more leaders are worried about voters' distress at soaring inflation.

EU parliament revokes Russian lobbyist badges

After months of stalled negotiations to remove Russian lobbyists from the EU's joint-transparency register, the European Parliament has decided to go solo and unilaterally bar them from its premises.

News in Brief

  1. Belgian PM: Gas shortage requires joint response
  2. Bulgarian MPs set conditions for lifting enlargement veto
  3. Latvia: We need a brigade-size Nato force to 'feel safe'
  4. Deal reached on controversial energy treaty reform
  5. EU carbon emissions from energy up 6% in 2021
  6. Germany step closer to gas rationing
  7. Albania: EU 'disgrace' at lack of enlargement progress
  8. 'Serious blow' to EU credibility over North Macedonia

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  2. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers for culture: Protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage!
  4. Reuters InstituteDigital News Report 2022
  5. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBHow price increases affect construction workers
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic think tank examines influence of tech giants

Latest News

  1. EU summit's uncertainty in the face of economic war
  2. Next winter's gas looms large at EU summer summit
  3. Ukraine becomes EU candidate after 120 days of war
  4. How to enhance EU cybersecurity
  5. Competing options for EU enlargement
  6. MEPs demand to exit 'ecocide treaty' after reforms 'fail'
  7. Finland optimistic in Turkey talks over Nato
  8. Hungary's global-tax veto seen as 'blackmail'

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us