Round One to Parliament

As various places are reporting, Barroso is now saying he needs more time to secure the European Parliament’s assent to his Commission. Faced with the prospect of a majority of MEPs voting to reject the entire Commission, he’s taken this unprecedented step, handing a significant victory to Parliament.

According to the German newspaper whose web site really could be better organized, negative votes were likely to come from the Socialist, United Left, Liberal and Green groupings, as well as a large number of independent deputies. The head of the Socialist group, Martin Schulz (Ger-SPD), is quoted estimating 362 no votes to 345 yes votes.

Get ready for some horse trading, because Buttiglione is not the only problem. As we noted here previously, Laszlo Kovacs (Hun-MSzP) is in trouble for not knowing enough about energy policy. Neelie Kroes (Neth-VVD) is thought to be too close to industry to be an effective competition Commissioner. Ingrida Udre (Lat-Center) is in trouble for a party-finance scandal. Stavros Dimas (Gre-ND) is “accused of incompetence” according to another German newspaper (whose web site is only marginally better). And Mariann Fischer Boel (DK-Liberal) is having trouble as prospective Commissioner for agriculture because she receives EU farming subsidies. (The Union has all of the nominees’ biographies here.)

Proposals for ending the standoff abound, including an emergency summit of EU government leaders tomorrow. We’ll see.

It’s usually foolhardy to anticipate a clear outcome from any intra-EU conflict. In this case, however, I think the question “Can EU governments appoint anyone they please to the Commission?” is about to receive a definitive, “No.”

This entry was posted in A Fistful Of Euros, The European Union and tagged , , by Doug Merrill. Bookmark the permalink.

About Doug Merrill

Freelance journalist based in Tbilisi, following stints in Atlanta, Budapest, Munich, Warsaw and Washington. Worked for a German think tank, discovered it was incompatible with repaying US student loans. Spent two years in financial markets. Bicycled from Vilnius to Tallinn. Climbed highest mountains in two Alpine countries (the easy ones, though). American center-left, with strong yellow dog tendencies. Arrived in the Caucasus two weeks before its latest war.

One thought on “Round One to Parliament

  1. I think the question ?Can EU governments appoint anyone they please to the Commission?? is about to receive a definitive, ?No.?

    And, quite right, too.

    Though, it is hard to think of anybody who has been around for a while, that is, anyone capable of doing the job of commissioner, not having some reason for some cadre in the parliament, to object. So, I’m thinking that the ‘nuclear option’ arrangement is probably a good one. Its nice to see an EU process working so clearly as it should.

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