Sunday

22nd Apr 2018

EU leaders give 'unanimous' support to Barroso reappointment

EU leaders have given unanimous political backing for Jose Manuel Barroso to become president of the European Commission for a second time, putting an end to months of speculation about his candidacy.

Czech Prime minister Jan Fischer, currently in charge of the EU, said there was "broad and unanimous support" for the centre-right Portuguese politician, who presented some of his plans for his second mandate during a dinner with EU leaders on Thursday evening (18 June).

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Mr Barroso - said he was "extremely proud" (Photo: European Commission)

A clearly-relieved Mr Barroso, who first put out feelers for a second mandate two years ago, said: "what can I say to you except I am extremely proud of the unanimous support I received."

He explained that he got backing from all 27 governments because he has always shown "respect" to all member states regardless of size or geography.

The draft conclusions of the summit say that EU leaders all agreed Mr Barroso is the "the person they intend to nominate as President of the European Commission for the period 2009-2014."

Responding to vociferous complaints received from left-wing and green deputies in the European Parliament in the run-up to the summit, he said he was "used to being criticised."

But he also pledged to avoid creating a right wing-oriented commission. "Europe has to be a cross-party project," he said. "It has to be political but not too partisan."

Mr Fischer said he would begin consultations with political leaders in the European Parliament next week but urged that the nomination of Mr Barroso should "take as little time as possible."

For their part, the group leaders in the parliament will vote on 9 July to determine whether the Barroso decision should be put on the agenda of the first session of the newly elected parliament in mid-July.

The support in parliament will be conditional on the sort of policy agenda Mr Barroso intends to have over the coming five years - the socialists, as the second largest faction in the EU assembly, want some guarantees on what they see as a too business and industry-oriented approach.

On Thursday, Mr Barroso said his two main priorities would be tackling the economic crisis and climate change.

If he is approved by parliament in July, he will become the "commission president designate," a commission official told EUobserver.

The remainder of his team would be nominated in autumn after Ireland's second vote on the Lisbon Treaty. Mr Barroso would become commission president fully only when he and his whole team are voted on by parliament in late autumn, the official added.

While there was progress on the Barroso issue, leaders postponed discussion on Ireland's Lisbon treaty guarantees until Friday.

Ireland wants the guarantees - on tax, neutrality and ethical issues, designed to persuade voters to say Yes to the treaty the second time round - to have the form of a protocol that would eventually be enshrined in EU law.

But some member states are wary the move could re-open debate on ratification of the modified treaty. The issue is especially sensitive in the UK, where a galloping Conservative opposition party has suggested it may call a referendum.

"We shall be able to provide robust guarantees ...without opening the Lisbon treaty," said Mr Fischer in anticipation of Friday's debate.

Agenda

Whistleblowers, Syria and digital revolution This WEEK

The European Commission will present proposals to protect whistleblowers, combat fake news and organise the digital single market. The international community will gather in Brussels to discuss how to help Syrians in the current war and after.

Investigation

MEP friendship groups offer 'backdoor' for pariah regimes

MEPs are using so-called 'friendship groups' to cater to foreign governments without oversight and little public scrutiny. Initially set up to promote cultural exchanges, some have become lobbying platforms to push state views from governments with poor human rights records.

Macron and Merkel pledge euro reform

France and Germany have pledged to forge a joint position on euro reform by June, despite German reluctance on deeper monetary union.

Agenda

Whistleblowers, Syria and digital revolution This WEEK

The European Commission will present proposals to protect whistleblowers, combat fake news and organise the digital single market. The international community will gather in Brussels to discuss how to help Syrians in the current war and after.

Macron and Merkel pledge euro reform

France and Germany have pledged to forge a joint position on euro reform by June, despite German reluctance on deeper monetary union.

News in Brief

  1. Audit office: Brexit 'divorce' bill could be billions higher
  2. MEPs urge better protection for journalists
  3. Dieselgate: MEPs back greater role for EU in car approvals
  4. European parliament adopts new organic farming rules
  5. EU granted protection to half million people in 2017
  6. Report: Facebook to carve 1.5bn users out of EU privacy law
  7. Greek court ruling permits migrants to travel to mainland
  8. Commonwealth summit hopes for trade boost after Brexit

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersWorld's Energy Ministers to Meet in Oresund in May to Discuss Green Energy
  2. ILGA EuropeParabéns! Portugal Votes to Respect the Rights of Trans and Intersex People
  3. Mission of China to the EUJobs, Energy, Steel: Government Work Report Sets China's Targets
  4. Martens CentreJoin Us at NET@WORK2018 Featuring Debates on Migration, Foreign Policy, Populism & Disinformation
  5. European Jewish CongressKantor Center Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide - The Year the Mask Came Off
  6. UNICEFCalls for the Protection of Children in the Gaza Strip
  7. Mission of China to the EUForeign Minister Wang Yi Highlights Importance of China-EU Relations
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersImmigration and Integration in the Nordic Region - Getting the Facts Straight
  9. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMacedonians in Bulgaria Demand to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  10. Counter BalanceThe EIB Needs to Lead by Example on Tax Justice
  11. ILGA EuropeTrans People in Sweden to be Paid Compensation for Forced Sterilisation
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsThe Danger of Standing Up for Justice and Rights in Central Asia

Latest News

  1. ECJ ruling set to end 10-year 'mouth tobacco' lobbying saga
  2. Whistleblowers, Syria and digital revolution This WEEK
  3. MEP friendship groups offer 'backdoor' for pariah regimes
  4. Macron and Merkel pledge euro reform
  5. Obscurity surrounds EU military fund's expert groups
  6. New EU party finance rules short circuit accountability
  7. Draghi to stay in secretive 'lobby' group
  8. Bulgaria offers lesson in tackling radical-right populists