Thursday

6th May 2021

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.

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

"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.

MEPs to declare EU an LGBTI 'freedom zone'

The symbolic move is an attempt to buttress against right-wing governments' increased scapegoating of LGBTI people, particularly in Poland and Hungary.

Analysis

Relief in EPP group, as Orbán's party finally leaves

The debate over Fidesz had become an unbearable political burden on EPP - but it also represented a core dilemma for many centre-right, mainstream parties struggling to deal with their populist challengers.

EPP group moves forward to suspend Orban's Fidesz

MEPs are scheduled to vote on Wednesday to change the rules of procedure of the centre-right European People's Party parliamentary group to allow the suspension of a member party.

News in Brief

  1. Israel study: Two Pfizer doses give over 95% protection
  2. Barnier calls Johnson a 'bulldozer' in Brexit memoirs
  3. Hungary and Poland prevent 'gender' in summit declaration
  4. Draghi: Italy to welcome foreign tourists from mid-May
  5. Germany announces new, stricter, emission cuts
  6. Channel Islands 'blockade' threat in UK and France row
  7. French reporter kidnapped by rebels in Mali
  8. Trump's Facebook ban upheld but with caveats

EU adds new 'dark red' zone to travel-restrictions map

The European Commission has proposed additional measures to limit non-essential travel within and to the European Union - amid fears over more transmissible mutations triggering a new surge in cases across the bloc.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region can and should play a leading role in Europe’s digital development
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council to host EU webinars on energy, digitalisation and antibiotic resistance

Latest News

  1. Greek prisons accused of abusing detainees
  2. EU and US join up against China on Taiwan
  3. Conservatives' Covid-strategy wins in lockdown-fatigue Madrid
  4. Commission drafts new rules targeting foreign state aid
  5. Why Europe should stop worrying about 'sportswashing'
  6. Conference on Future of Europe must listen to local voices
  7. What happens now to the EU's post-Covid recovery fund?
  8. EU turns from China to India on free trade

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us