Wednesday

24th Aug 2016

Barroso admits he wants to be EU commission president for a second time

  • "I will see whether the conditions are right to continue. And whether the Europeans want me" (Photo: EUobserver)

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso has for the first time publicly admitted he wants a second term as head of the EU executive.

In an interview with Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad on Saturday (19 July), he said he feels "honoured and privileged" to serve as commission president.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"If today I had to decide about a second term, my answer would be 'yes'. Provided of course that I have the support of member states and the European Parliament. I have not said that before", he indicated.

He said however that it is "too early" to take a final decision on his candidacy since the appointment of a new commission president is only scheduled to take place after the June 2009 European Parliament elections.

"One year is an eternity in politics," noted Mr Barroso. "If I say it is too early now, then that is not some kind of political remark. I'm really serious about that. People say we are bureaucrats. I'm not a bureaucrat or some kind of technocrat, I'm a democrat. In June or July, when the decision has to be taken, I will see whether the conditions are right to continue [as commission president]. And whether the Europeans want me [to continue]"

Mr Barroso's public admission of his long-rumoured wish to have a shot at the five-year post comes shortly after both French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berluconi said they would back him.

The decision on the presidency of the commission is taken by EU leaders normally after strong haggling behind closed doors on which all sorts of quid pro quos are worked out.

But it is expected that it will reflect the outcome of the European elections meaning that the centre-right European People's Party – to which Mr Barroso belongs - will have to maintain its dominance after the poll.

The Lisbon Treaty, which has been rejected by Ireland, but which Germany and France are still keen to see come into force, contains an article on the commission president being chosen in light of the European elections.

MEPs are keen to see this followed whether or not the treaty is in place as way of getting citizens more ownership over the elections which have in recent years been marked by voter apathy – a principle that Mr Barroso has now also indicated he is willing to see followed.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. HuaweiMaking Cities Smarter and Safer
  2. GoogleHow Google Makes Connections More Secure For Users
  3. EGBAThe EU Court of Justice Confirms the Application of Proportionality in Assessing Gambling Laws
  4. World VisionThe EU and Member States Must Not Use Overseas Aid for Promoting EU Interests
  5. Dialogue PlatformInterview: "There is a witch hunt against the Gulen Movement in Turkey"
  6. ACCAACCA Calls for ‘Future Looking’ Integrated Reporting Culture With IIRC and IAAER
  7. EURidNominate Your Favourite .eu or .ею Website for the .EU Web Awards 2016 Today!
  8. Dialogue PlatformAn Interview on Gulen Movement & Recent Coup Attempt in Turkey
  9. GoogleA Little Bird Told us to Start Tweeting About Google’s Work Across Europe. Learn More @GoogleBrussels
  10. Counter BalanceThe Trans Adriatic Pipeline: An Opportunity or a Scam in the Making for Albania?
  11. Counter BalanceThe Investment Plan for Europe: Business as Usual or True Innovation ?
  12. Belgrade Security ForumMigration, Security and Solidarity within Global Disorder: Academic Event 2016