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Barroso's report card: failed… at the September session

The principal in the person of Fredrik Reinfeldt, the Swedish Prime Minister, who currently presides over the European Union, handed in his report card to
student Barroso: not enough to move on to the July session. But he is admitted to a catch-up session in September…
In short, it's very academic.
what happened in recent days, after intense negotiations between Brussels and Stockholm as well as some European capitals.

The major opposition in Parliament. After an interview with Nicolas Sarkozy (probably a coincidence -:)), the Swedish Prime Minister who wanted to
seeing the candidacy of Barroso (who promised the Swedes in return an important post) endorsed was obvious.
«We won't make a decision
on José Manuel Barroso in July but we hope that this decision will be taken later
».
The application ran the risk of not
pass the ramp to the European Parliament in July and it was better to postpone it.
Four political groups in Parliament – ​​left and center
(communists, socialists and democrats, greens, liberals) - refused to have their hands twisted and to nominate the future President of the European Commission in July. The Greens led by Dany
Cohn-Bendit had given the first la.
By sounding a vigorous charge against the reappointment of the President of the European Commission in July and
against José-Manuel Barroso himself.
They had been followed by the Communists of the GUE, the Liberals led by Guy Verhofstadt and then the
Socialists and Democrats by Martin Schulz.

Support never formalized. The former Portuguese Prime Minister was nevertheless assured of the “unanimous” support of the 27 heads of state and government, acquired during the European summit in June.
But this support had not been formalized. For political reasons. Certain States and not the least (France, Germany and Belgium to a certain extent) do not wish this to be the case.
Thus. But for legal reasons. Formalizing the appointment of the future president means formally beginning the procedure for appointing the new European Commission. The only treaty
applicable being the Treaty of Nice, the Commission must have fewer members than Member States. And this is the serious problem for the States which do not want (no longer want) this
provision which appears in the Treaty of Nice, was reinstated in the draft Constitutional Treaty and taken up, although limited in value, in the Treaty of Lisbon (with a postponement of the
measure of 5 years and the possibility left to the European Council to modulate – or cancel – this measure at any time. 

The institutional error. We will not change José-Manuel Barroso. As in 2004, when he maintained against all odds the candidacy of
Buttiglione, the Italian commissioner tipped for questions of Justice and Home Affairs who had made an unjustified statement on homosexuals, he did not really feel the
lines of force and rupture. Five years at the head of the Commission, and its president has still not understood that going overboard with force, over the European Parliament, can have a boomerang effect.
When the assembly is in a position to increase its power, or in danger of seeing it diminish, there is, in general, an institutional reaction, more independent of the links that we want to make to it.
endorse. The European deputies – newly elected – do not want to obey the political contingencies of their government.

The risk for Barroso. In doing so, the Portuguese knows well the risk he is taking. To be postponed for three months decision, the possibility of being nominated becomes less certain. Other events may arise which disrupt the situation (in particular the worsening of the economic and social crisis or
terrorist acts) or, worse, another candidate. If no one has yet applied for the position, contrary to everything anyone can say, the “good” candidates
There is no shortage of potential. It is enough that the race for candidacy is open. This is what just happened today...

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).