Posts tagged "Enda Kenny"

Five days on from the election: five reflections on the Commission presidency

[infopane color=”6″ icon=”0049.png”]This blogpost, originally published at 12:55 on Friday 30 May, has been updated following remarks by the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, later on Friday afternoon.[/infopane]

That was the week that was: an odd few days where the European People’s Party won the European Parliament elections, but was also the biggest loser; and where Socialists in the Parliament backed the EPP lead candidate for the European Commission presidency, only for some centre-right leaders to apply the brakes in the European Council.

Jean-Claude Juncker, the EPP lead candidate, is still the frontrunner and the only person formally in the running. His chances have been boosted tanks to comments by the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, on Friday, that she is conducting negotiations on the basis that Juncker should be President.

However, it is clear that a number of heads of government would like to dump him in favour of someone else. The President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, has been charged with an exploratory mission to find the person – Juncker included – who can command the sufficient majority in the Parliament and European Council.

Meanwhile, five political groups in the European Parliament have backed Juncker to have a first go at building majorities in the same institutions – and if he fails, are likely to call for Martin Schulz, lead candidate of the second-placed Socialists, to have a go.

If those who want to block Juncker in the European Council succeed – and it is not a done deal yet for the former Luxembourg prime minister – an inter-institutional battle between the Parliament and European Council will be on the cards.

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Countdown to Dublin: who will be the EPP candidate?

11449097146_83a4e8dd2b_hIn 50 days’ time, the European People’s Party will open its electoral congress in Dublin and select its common lead candidate for the European Parliament elections.

While the Socialists, Liberals, Greens and Left have all selected their lead candidates for the position of President of the European Commission (or at least have a selection process ongoing), the field for the EPP nomination is wide open. The EPP President, Joseph Daul, noted in December that there are “about six people who are interested” in the job.

So who are the contenders?

We have run the rule over the chances of a handful of potential centre-right candidates for the Commission presidency:


[Note – 28 January 2014: Viviane Reding has stated that she will not participate in the contest, adding that there is ‘no room for two Luxembourgers in the race’ and expressing support for Jean-Claude Juncker.]

Other candidates may emerge too – Valdis Dombrovskis, who resigned as Latvia’s prime minister in November – has also been mentioned, as have Poland’s PM Donald Tusk (in spite of his clear statement that he will remain in Polish politics at least until the 2015 parliamentary elections) and Lithuania’s President, Dalia Grybauskaitė.

And in our poll, you said – by a small margin – that Jean-Claude Juncker would be picked as the EPP candidate.

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PES fires starting pistol on candidates race

The Party of European Socialists (PES) announced today the opening of a process of nominations to be the ‘common candidate’ of the Party for the European Parliament elections. This candidate would then be put forward as the PES candidate for the European Commission President.

In a statement, the PES said that the nominations process – which will last until the end of October – “is designed to meet the many demands for a more democratic and transparent way to designate key European Union posts. It is also hoped that it will increase interest in the election”.

According to the Party, each nominee needs to be supported by 15% of PES full member parties or organisations (at least one nominating the candidate, plus five other supporters). The PES Presidency will hold a meeting on 6 November to verify the process and announce the nominee(s), with the candidate being selected at the PES Election Congress in February 2014. The PES manifesto will be adopted at the same meeting.

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