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by Fran on Sun May 10th, 2009 at 11:05:01 AM EST
Jon Worth » PES is not backing Barroso, but is not backing anyone. Confused?

I've been hammering on and on at the PES and the issue of why socialists have not been able to nominate a candidate for President of the Commission to follow Barroso when the Portuguese's term of office ends 31st October this year. The story behind all of this gets immensely complex - I'm going to try to set the record straight as far as I see it.

Essentially there is a disagreement between the Party of European Socialists, headed up by party president Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, and 3 of the PES member parties. Those 3 parties, and their party leaders, namely Socrates in Portugal, Zapatero in Spain and Brown in the UK, are quite happy with Barroso being re-nominated as President of the Commission as this re-nomination suits their own petty national interests, and also - especially for the UK - the fact that Barroso is weak also helps his cause.

In the opposite camp are MEPs in the Socialist Group in the European Parliament, and leaders of some of Europe's social democrat parties that are out of power nationally. For them they need a strong message for the election campaigns on why a social europe is possible and desirable, and accomplishing that with Barroso in place is not going to be easy. So hence we have Rasmussen in an interview in Le Monde stating "Si une autre majorité se dégage, M. Barroso ne pourra pas être reconduit", and he also stated in Financial Times Deutschland "Wir wollen nach der Europaparlamentswahl zusammen mit anderen Parteien einen anderen Kommissionspräsidenten wählen".

by Fran on Sun May 10th, 2009 at 11:09:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See this diary.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon May 11th, 2009 at 07:59:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]

I recently blogged that the European elections are not about Gordon Brown's leadership.

http://thehoneyballbuzz.com/2009/05/05/the-european-elections-are-about-more-than-gordon-browns-lead ership/

Neither are they about MPs, expenses.  Although I have no wish to comment on the revelations brought to us by that great bastion of progressive jouralism, the Daily Telegraph",  in relation to individual MP colleagues, there are, I believe, some general points which need to be made.

Firstly, wherever this saga of MPs and their allowances goes, it plays no part in the European elections.  On 4th June the country will be voting for representatives in the European Parliament.  It is neither a vote about who runs Britain or a vote about the behaviour of British MPs.  It is, purely and simply, an election to chose representatives in the European Parliament.  The conduct of some Members of the British Parliament and the system used to pay their allowances has no bearing whatsoever on the 4th June poll.

by Fran on Sun May 10th, 2009 at 11:09:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Britons urged to take EU pub quiz - Telegraph
European Union officials have enlisted one of Britain's most popular pastimes, the pub quiz, in their battle to win over the public.

The office of the European Parliament in London has devised a special quiz to celebrate Europe Day, an annual celebration which was marked across the continent on Saturday.

Questions include: How many staff does the European Commission employ? How many time zones are there in the European Union? What is EU's guiding principle which means decisions should be taken as close to the citizen as possible?

by Fran on Sun May 10th, 2009 at 11:14:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Green EU election profiler website launched - Dutch news - Radio Netherlands Worldwide - English
The Netherlands Society for Nature and Environment has launched a European election profiling website specifically focused on nature and the environment. Visitors to groendekieswijzer.nl can fill in their responses to statements on issues ranging from nuclear power to animal welfare. The website then indicates which political party programme corresponds most closely to their views. With the exception of the right wing populist Freedom Party, all parties cooperated with the profiler. The Society for Nature and Environment compiled the profiler because most environmental legislation is made at European Union level.
by Fran on Sun May 10th, 2009 at 01:40:00 PM EST
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