Even if the 27 Heads of State and Government have proposed to renew the Christian Democrat José-Manuel Barroso at the head of the European Commission, this appointment no longer seems as certain as at the beginning of July. Several political groups took advantage of the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg to plant banderillas in this candidacy. Each in their own style!
President of the Greens Daniel Cohn-Bendit, accustomed to shooting first, began by citing a list of "equally valid" candidates. For example, the British conservative, Chris Patten, or the former Irish president, Mary Robinson. As a consolation prize, he proposed that Barroso take the post, created by the Lisbon Treaty, of the first president of the European Council.
more brutal, Martin Schulz, the leader of the Socialists, attacked head on. " His behavior is partisan and opportunistic. This does not correspond to the image I have of a President of the Commission he explained, demanding a more specific “action program”.
The leader of the liberal group, Guy Verhofstadt, refused to attack the man. But he also asked for more ambition and audacity. He wants the Commission to put in place a vast European recovery plan, with a major loan, new budgetary resources, the creation of a post of European financial supervisor and the appointment of a European commissioner on human rights and public freedoms. Basically, the complete opposite of the policy followed for 5 years by Barroso.
Attacks so strong that the President of the EPP Joseph Daul, as well as Michel Barnier, stepped up to defend their foal. The result will be known in the fall. José-Manuel Barroso, who is due to present his program in September, has plenty to work on during the holidays. With a real risk, now, of not passing the passing exam.
(Nicolas GROS-VERHEYDE) - Published in Ouest-France, July 2009