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A first serious alternative to Barroso? JP Balkenende

(B2)The current Dutch Prime Minister, Jan-Peter Balkenende (CDA/PPE) could be a candidate for the presidency of the European Commission. Brilliant, young, the current Dutch Prime Minister does not hide his ambitions. And the idea is “running” in the Dutch media. The Netherlands has not had the presidency of the Commission for… almost 40 years (1973 and the Sicco Leendert commission Mansholt).

Disadvantage: he comes from a country that said “No” to the Constitution. Which can also be seen as an advantage. Advantage: he comes from the Benelux, and from a founding state, supporter of all policies but, at the same time, of a certain limitation of the power of “Brussels”. He comes from a majority party in the European Parliament (European People's Party). And he can be a candidate who synthesizes British, French and German.

In two words, as a (non-Dutch) ambassador in Brussels told me “He meets the conditions. The European Council tends to appoint one of its own to head the European Commission.” It is, in my opinion, the first credible alternative to the already declared candidate, the Portuguese José-Manuel Barroso.


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).