Monday

21st Aug 2017

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.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  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.

"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.

Analysis

Visegrad lobby makes food quality an EU issue

Fico convinced the EU commission chief to take action in the perceived problem of discriminatory food practices, even though the evidence for the phenomenon is anecdotal.

EU Commission sets red lines for Poland on Article 7

The EU executive expects Warsaw to halt the judiciary reform and address concerns over the rule of law, and not to force out supreme court judges, or else the sanctions procedure will start.

EU Commission to act on Poland

The EU executive is likely to issue a new set of rule of law recommendations to Poland and start legal probes once the controversial pieces of legislation have been published.

Orban vows to defend Poland from EU's 'inquisition'

The Hungarian leader called EU Commission vice-president Frans Timmermans an "inquisitor", allied with George Soros and the Brussels elite, and argued for the EU executive to stop being a political body.

Opinion

Setting course for strong and focused EU

From strengthening the internal market to completing the energy union, the prime ministers of Denmark, the Netherlands and Finland set out their vision for the EU.

News in Brief

  1. Macedonia sacks top prosecutor over wiretap scandal
  2. ECB concerned stronger euro could derail economic recovery
  3. Mixed Irish reactions to post-Brexit border proposal
  4. European Union returns to 2 percent growth
  5. Russian power most feared in Europe
  6. Ireland continues to refuse €13 billion in back taxes from Apple
  7. UK unemployment lowest since 1975
  8. Europe facing 'explosive cocktail' in its backyard, report warns

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressEuropean Governments Must Take Stronger Action Against Terrorism
  2. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceDoes Genetics Explain Why So Few of Us Have an Ideal Cardiovascular Health?
  3. EU2017EEFuture-Themed Digital Painting Competition Welcomes Artists - Deadline 31 Aug
  4. ACCABusinesses Must Grip Ethics and Trust in the Digital Age
  5. European Jewish CongressEJC Welcomes European Court of Justice's Decision to Keep Hamas on Terror List
  6. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  7. Centre Maurits CoppietersWe Need Democratic and Transparent Free Trade Agreements Says MEP Jordi Solé
  8. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  9. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  10. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  11. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  12. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference